Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday Randomness #344 : Inconsistencies Pop Up Again!

* I bought a 32 pack of Hostess twinkies and cupcakes from Costco-something I buy every few years or so.  By day 2 there were only 9 of the 16 cupcakes left.  I had eaten 1, Daisy replied "What cupcakes?",  Mica said "I may have eaten 2...maybe 3.  There's still the twinkies left!"  About 10 minutes later Hedgehog comes upstairs and upon questioning her she responses with the following: "I had 2, maybe 3 and then blurts out, but there are the twinkies!"  With almost identical answers you'd think they were sisters.  So what's the obsession with the cupcakes versus the untouched twinkies?!?

*Me to Hedgehog when I had bought a large piece of fresh ginger: "The way you (hedgehog) are sniffing that raw ginger is just indecent!"
*Mica: "I stayed home from FHE (Family Home Evening with her singles ward) to read about coffee!"  (Coffee is discouraged in LDS teachings. Her reading was for a plant class.)

*Daisy, looking very proud of herself, "I had extra energy so I decided to brush my hair!" And then in true movie star style she pretended she was fluffing imaginary curls in her hair.

-Hedgehog about a former math teacher's presentation of the lesson material: "The teacher would turn off the lights for the presentation and she had a soft, soothing voice.  I usually got put in the back of the classroom so it was quite the struggle (to stay awake!).

-Mica: "Answering physics questions online is like slots.  You're like, 'let it be the right one...come on..., come on..., Yes! when it's the right answer and grumbling when it's not and you have to try again."

*Comments from Hedgehog from a past class about herself and another ginger student and the teacher using examples to make points about slavery: "Myself and the other ginger would be the slaves because we would stick out in a crowd.  If we had a baby it's hair would be the perfect color.  She (the teacher) would take the children with that perfect ginger hair color (for slavery)."

*Daisy commenting after swimming a few laps with me: "I have insect legs." "What?!?"  "I have insect legs-you know, they are thin and stick-like, insect legs!"

-Mica upon pressure from a religious activity to encourage more dating: "For the dating box I could just say I'm already in a relationship.  I just wouldn't say with what or whom."  She continued with this statement: "Right now I want to be in a relationship with more sleep."

*Daisy upon getting a Herbst appliance as part of her braces treatment: "It's like the chamber of secrets in here with all the twists and turns and corners."

(DISCLAIMER: Many of these instances happened in the past-for example, Daisy brushes her hair now with daily regularity and the teacher events are definitely in the past.  But some things are likely not to change.  Hedgehog would probably still be happy sniffing ginger.  I sometimes wonder if she buys exotic spices and teas just because she likes the scents. And answering homework questions online is still a dicey business sometimes.)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies! Christmas Cookie #10 Chocolate Dipped Macaroons

Last cookie for the Christmas cookies for 2016.

Chocolate dipped Macaroons
1 package (14 oz.) sweetened flaked coconut
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sweetened cream of coconut or sweetened condensed milk  ( I used the sweetened condensed milk)
¾ tsp. almond or vanilla extract
Dipping chocolate (about 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine coconut and flour together in large bowl.  Stir in cream of coconut or milk and extract.  Drop by tablespoons onto well-greased or parchment lined cookie sheets about an 1 inch apart.  Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom of cookies and tops starting to brown at the tips.  Cool on rack.  Temper chocolate and dip bottom of cookies into tempered chocolate.  Let set up. 

Friday, April 07, 2017

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies! Christmas Cookie #9 Holiday Spiced Snickerdoodles

Holiday Spiced Snickerdoodles

3 cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened ( I used 6 tbsp. butter and ½ cup butter flavored shortening so the cookies wouldn’t spread so much when baking)
1 1/3 cup sugar plus ¼ cup, divided
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cloves

Combine butter, shortening, and 1 1/3 cup sugar until fluffy.  Add in eggs and vanilla.  In separate bowl combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.  Add flour mixture on low speed just until blended. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix remaining 1/4 cup sugar with spices in separate bowl.  Roll dough into 1 inch balls, roll in sugar/spice mixture, place on greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until edges are set and tops are puffed but still slightly soft.  Cool on wire rack

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies! Christmas Cookie #8 Sour Cream Sprinkle Bars

Sour Cream Sprinkle Bars
1 box (15.25 oz.) yellow cake mix
¾ cup sour cream
½ cup butter, softened
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 egg
¾ cup white baking chips
¼ cup colored sprinkles, plus extra for garnish

1 can (16 oz.) cream cheese frosting

Grease 13" x 9" pan.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix cake mix, sour cream, butter and nutmeg.  Add in egg.  Fold in chips and sprinkles and then spread evenly in pan.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on rack in pan.  Frost and sprinkle on remaining sprinkles.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies! Christmas Cookie #7 Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter, softened  (I cut it down to 6 TBSP. butter)
1 egg
½ tsp. almond extract
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup white baking chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy then add in extract and egg and blend.  Meanwhile, mix together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix just until blended.  Fold in cranberries and chips.  Drop by Tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets and bake for 8- 10 minutes or until edges turn light brown and cookies look set and not moist.  Cool on wire rack.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies! Christmas Cookie #6 Raspberry Almond Sandwich Thins

Raspberry Almond Sandwich Thins

2 ½ cups flour
½ tsp. baking powder
1 cup butter (cut down to ¾ cup butter) softened
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
¼ tsp. almond or vanilla extract plus ¼ tsp, divided
½ cup raspberry preserves
Powdered sugar, for sprinkling

Directions: Whisk together flour and baking powder.  Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and extract, mix well. Beat in flour mixture on low speed until just combined.  Divide dough into two balls and flatten into discs.  Wrap or cover in bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Roll dough on well-floured surface to ¼ thick.  Use a 2 inch cookie cutter to cut sandwich shapes.  Place on greased or parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until light brown on edges.  Cool on wire rack, repeat with remaining dough, rerolling scraps.  Combine preserves with remaining extract.  Spoon approx. 1 tsp. filling onto bottom of a cookie-then top with another cookie to make cookie sandwich.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Makes approximately 28 sandwich cookies.  Adjust baking time and filling amount if making smaller cookie sandwiches.  

These were very elegant looking.  Be careful not to let them brown while baking and sprinkle on the powdered sugar just before serving.  Use a good quality raspberry or other preserve. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies! Christmas Cookie #5 Lemon-Poppy Seed Drops

Lemon-Poppy Seed Drops

o    2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
o    1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
o    1 tsp. baking powder (cut down to 3/4 tsp. for high altitude)
o    ¼ tsp. salt
o    1 ½ cups sugar (cut down to 1 1/4 cup for high altitude)
o    1 cup butter, melted (cut down to 3/4 for high altitude)
o    ¼ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
o    2 eggs
o    2 tsp. grated lemon peel
o    1 ½ cups powdered sugar
o    2–3 Tbsp. lemon juice
o    2 tsp. light corn syrup
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Whisk flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt in bowl.  Beat butter and sugar in another bowl.  Add yogurt, eggs and lemon peel to butter/sugar mixture then just add in flour mixture until blended.   Drop by 1 tbsp. onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes, just until light brown on edges. Cool on pan on wire rack for about 10 minutes. Make glaze by combining glaze ingredients. Put glaze on warm cookies, let stand until set.

(This is the halfway mark.  Five more cookies to go.)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies! Christmas Cookie #4 Salted Peanut Bars


1 cup flour, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 6 TBSP chilled butter plus 3 TBSP, divided

¾ cup sugar, ¼ cup heavy cream plus 1 tbsp. cream divided, 1 TBSP corn syrup, 1 cup marshmallow cream, 1 ½ cups cocktail peanuts

20 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped, ½ tsp. coarse salt (I cut it down to 1/4 tsp.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line 8 x 8 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Combine flour and brown sugar, then mix in 6 tbsp. chilled butter with pastry blender to make coarse crumbs.  Press into bottom of pan and bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on wire rack.   Combine remaining 3/4 cup white sugar with 1/4 c. heavy cream, 3 tbsp. butter, and corn syrup in medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and add marshmallow cream.  Spread onto warm crust and then place peanuts on top, pressing in gently.  Finally, combine caramels and 1 tbsp. cream in medium microwave bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute or until almost melted. Stir until smooth.  Spread over top of peanuts, sprinkle with salt.  Refrigerate for a few hours to set up.  Store in fridge.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies! Christmas Cookie #3 Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprints

o    Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprints  
o  1 ½ cups all-purpose flour  
    ½ cup unsweetened cocoa    
  1 cup butter, softened  (cut down to 3/4 cup butter)
    ¾ cup sugar, plus ¼ cup, divided  (may need a bit more for dipping)
    1 egg  
    1 tsp. vanilla extract   

    1 cup canned purchased white frosting   
    ¼ tsp. peppermint extract   
    4–6 drops red food coloring
o    Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix flour and cocoa with whisk to get out any lumps.  Cream the butter and 3/4 sugar until fluffy, then add in egg and vanilla.  Beat in flour mixture just until mixed.  Place remaining sugar in a small bowl.  Roll dough into 1 inch balls and dip in sugar.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake 5 minutes then make impressions with a small measuring spoon in center of each cookie and bake an additional 4-5 minutes or until cookies are lightly set.  Cool completely.  Combine frosting, extract, and coloring.  Pipe onto cookies using a plastic bag with the corner cut off.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies! Christmas Cookie #2 Pizzelles

Pizzelles (recipe adjusted for high altitude)

6 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 TBSP vanilla
4 c. flour
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Beat eggs, adding in sugar.  Mix in cooled and melted butter along with vanilla.  Add in baking powder and flour and mix until smooth.  Mixture will be a bit thick and sticky.

Bake in Pizzelle iron.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies! Christmas Cookie #1 Vanilla Crescents

Cookie #1 Vanilla Crescents  These were just a simple nut shortbread rolled twice in powdered sugar after they baked.  They were actually a little better over baked to give them more of a biscotti-like crunchy and dry texture that went well with hot cocoa.

My co-workers seemed to like the Christmas cookies that I made this year.  I don't have the recipes readily available for all of them but I'll try to include some of the recipes I do have. The recipe will follow the name of the cookie if I have a recipe to share.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Randomness #490 : Cookies, Cookies, Cookies! Star Wars Sugar Cookies

The librarians at one of the branches of our local library system made this Star Wars cookie cutter set for me with their 3D printer and then I made cookies to share with them!  Here's the cookie recipe that I used:

Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 c. shortening
1/4 c. butter
2 eggs, beaten
2 TBSP milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 plus 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Cream sugar, shortening, and butter and then add in eggs, milk, and vanilla, mixing well.  Add in baking powder, salt, and 3 cups flour until all ingredients are combined.  Add more flour if dough is really sticky, it should be a slightly tacky consistency.    Shape into a ball and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight or stick in the freezer for a half hour until dough is easy to hand.  Grease cookies sheets lightly or use parchment paper.  Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut into shapes.  Reroll trimmings and cut until dough is used up,  Try not to work in too much flour.  Bake at 400 degrees F for about 8 minutes or until edges start to turn light brown.  Remove to a rack to cool.

Look for more cookie posts this week and the next!