Cinnamon Rolls (or Sweet Dough)

Grandma Dora, Mother, Grandmother

Grandma Dora as a child with her mother (left) and Grandmother (right).

My Grandma Dora grew up as an only child.  She lived near her grandparents, so I would guess that she spent a lot of time cooking and baking with both her mother and grandmother.  Grandma Dora’s grandparents came to America from England as adults, so perhaps some of her cooking and baking skills had English roots.  Many of the recipes from Grandma’s recipe box came from friends and neighbors, but I am sure some of them came from her mother and grandmother as well.  In fact, some of them are written in her mother’s handwriting.  I like to imagine that this recipe for sweet dough is one that three generations made together.

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Sweet Dough

  • 2 packages yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • Grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • sifted flour – 7 cups or more

Pour water over yeast, stir and let stand about 10 minutes.  Scald milk and cool until lukewarm.  Cream together the butter, sugar and salt;  add eggs, lemon if used, and nutmeg.  Add lukewarm milk to softened yeast and blend this liquid with 3 cups flour.  Beat smooth, then add butter mixture and enough more flour to make a medium soft dough.  Knead smooth, but keep as soft as can be handled without sticking.  Let rise in a cozy warm place until fully doubled.

Filling:

  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon

After the dough has doubled in size, punch down and flatten out on a lightly floured surface.  Use a rolling pin to roll into a large rectangle.  Spread with 4 tablespoons butter or margarine.  Mix sugar and cinnamon together.  Sprinkle over the dough.  Roll dough up tightly;  pinch edge of dough into roll to seal.  Cut roll into 1-inch slices.  Place in 3 greased 9×13 pans.  Cover and let rise in warm place 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until double.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from pan to wire rack.  Drizzle vanilla glaze over warm rolls.

Vanilla Glaze:

Mix 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and 2 to 4 tablespoons milk until smooth and thin enough to drizzle.

Grandma Dora’s recipe is only for the sweet dough.  I am sure it could be used to make different things such as sweet bread or even doughnuts.  I decided to make it into cinnamon rolls as I’m sure my grandmother did many times.  I used my own recipe for the filling and glaze.  I am used to making cinnamon rolls by dumping all of the ingredients into the bread machine and letting it make the dough for me, so this was a little different.

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I stirred the yeast into the warm water and let it set.  I scalded the milk on the stove and then let it cool.

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I creamed the butter, sugar and salt in the Kitchenaid.

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Then I added the eggs and decided to put in a tablespoon and a half of lemon juice (I didn’t have any whole lemons on hand.).  I don’t like nutmeg, so I didn’t add it, but I’m sure it would be fine to add.  I took the creamed butter mixture out of the Kitchenaid and put it in another bowl.  I then put the softened yeast and lukewarm milk into the Kitchenaid and added 3 cups of flour and then put the creamed butter mixture back in.

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After that mixed, I put the kneading hook attachment on and added about 4 more cups of flour (I could have kneaded it by hand, but decided to take the easy way out and use the kneading hook.).  The dough was nice and soft, so I put it in a greased bowl and let it rise.

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I covered the bowl with plastic wrap so the dough wouldn’t dry out.

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Once it was doubled in size,

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I punched it down and put it out on the lightly floured counter.

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I then rolled it out, buttered it, sprinkled on the cinnamon and sugar, and rolled it up!

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I cut it into 1-inch slices.  To do this, I used a piece of floss.  I put the floss under the roll, then brought it up and crossed it, so it would cut.  After all of the pieces were put into the greased 9×13 pans (this makes a BIG batch and they need space in the pans so they can raise) I covered them with plastic wrap again (I grease the plastic wrap so it won’t stick) and let them rise.  Once they were doubled, I popped them into the preheated oven and baked until golden brown.

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They turned out beautifully and were even more beautiful with the frosting.  Because they made such a big batch, I shared them with my family and even a neighbor.  All of these instructions may make them sound very complicated, but it really wasn’t too bad and it was well worth the effort!  I hope you give these a try.  You’ll have plenty to share, which is always fun!

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Happy Baking!

Amy

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes – A Bonus Recipe

Figuring out what to make for dinner is always hard for me.  It’s not even the act of making it, it’s coming up with the idea.  If I can get something in the crockpot in the morning, I’m so proud of myself!  I was having one of those days.  I had a lot going on, and knew it was going to make everything else easier if I had some kind of a plan for dinner.  Even if I still had to make a side dish, at least the main dish would be in the works.

I have the greatest rotisserie chicken recipe that I’ve altered and use in the crockpot, rather than out on the grill where it’s intended.  I spiced up my bird, turned it on high and let it go.  At least for a while, planning dinner was out of my mind.  As time passed and the morning turned to afternoon, the smell coming from the crockpot was constantly reminding me that I’d have to come up with something to go along with it!  I was tired of the traditional mashed potatoes and gravy.  I had to think up something different.

Cheesy Potatoes - Baked

I love cheese and I love potatoes.  Putting them together makes them EVEN better!  I have a delicous cheesy potato recipe that I got from my mom’s recipe box. Funny thing though, I’m not sure that she’s ever made it.  Whenever there are family get togethers, I’m the one who makes and brings this dish.  Maybe I’ve mastered it.  Or maybe it’s just because I want to make sure that they’re at our holiday meals because I like them so much!

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes – A Bonus Recipe

  • 1/2 cup butter (I reduce it by a couple of Tablespoons to lower the fat.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 package (16 oz) frozen hash brown potatoes
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 can (soup) milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cheese cracker crumbs, divided

In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Saute onion until tender.  Stir in potatoes, soup and milk.  Add cheese and 1/2 of the crumbs.  Pour into a shallow casserole dish. Top with remaining crumbs.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Yields 6-8 servings.

Cheesy Potatoes- OnionsI melted the butter and sauteed the onions.  Yum!  I LOVE the smell of sauteing onions!!

Cheesy Potatoes- Goldfish CrackersWhile the onions were cooking, I crushed up my cheese crackers by rolling the rolling pin over them inside of a plastic, zippered bag.  Man does it save on the mess!  Any kind of cheese crackers will work, but I’m a mom so I always have Goldfish on hand.  My boys are older now, so at least they aren’t crushed all over the seats and floor of our cars!

Cheesy Potatoes - Pot

Once the onion was tender, I stirred in the potatoes, soup and milk.  Then I added the cheese and 1/2 of the cracker crumbs.

Cheesy Potatoes - OvenI poured my potato mixture into a 9×13 and topped it with the rest of the cheese cracker crumbs.  The oven was ready to go at 375 degrees, so I popped them in.

Cheesy Potatoes - Baked I pulled them out when the timer went off.  They were bubbling and golden brown around the edges.  They smelled delicious as always!

Cheesy Potatoes

Cheesy Au Gratin potatoes were the perfect side dish to go with my rotisserie chicken!  Dinner was served!!

Happy Baking!

Wendy

Fruity Baked Oatmeal – A Bonus Recipe

You might recall that when I gave you the recipe for the oatmeal bread I mentioned I really love baking with oatmeal.  I do.  And, so I have another oatmeal recipe for you.  I have been baking this breakfast dish for many years and it is one of my favorites.  I had never had baked oatmeal until I went on a retreat with some friends.  They were going to a missions conference at a retreat center and I went along with them to watch their boys during the meetings.  It was a nice place and I remember that they served baked oatmeal for breakfast.  I loved it and so I began looking for a recipe.  Once I found this recipe, I never turned back.  I’ve tried other baked oatmeal recipes, but they never measure up to this one.  I will give you the original recipe and then tell you how I have changed it over the years.  Both the original recipe, and the “healthier” version I have come up with are worth your time!

Fruity Baked Oatmeal

  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup chopped peeled tart apple
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh or frozen peaches
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Additional fat-free milk, optional

In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Combine the eggs, milk, butter;  add to the dry ingredients.  Stir in the apple, peaches and blueberries. 

Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cut into squares.  Serve with milk if desired.

Putting it together is really quite simple.

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Just combine the dry ingredients.

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Then combine the wet ingredients.

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Add the fruit.

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Stir together.

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Put it in the pan and bake.

I have changed it a bit, to try to make it healthier.  Actually, I pretty much make it a little bit different every time.  But overall, here is my “new” version.

Amy’s Fruity Baked Oatmeal

  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup chopped peeled tart apple
  • 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen peaches
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

The directions to put it together are pretty much the same as the original recipe (dry ingredients, wet ingredients and then mix in fruit).  I use a slightly larger pan since I add more ingredients.  I also bake closer to 45 minutes.

My favorite way to make this is to put all of the ingredients together on a Saturday night.  Then, I stick it in the refrigerator overnight.  On Sunday morning I put it in the oven and it makes a nice breakfast before church.  The leftovers are also good warmed up in the microwave.  You can serve with milk like the recipe states or serve it with a dollop of yogurt.

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I’m glad I found this recipe.  It is one I’m sure I will always keep in my recipe box.  I hope you give it a try and add it to yours.  If you do, let me know what you think!

Happy Baking!

Amy

Brown Sugar Frosting

Grandpa Wichterman Guitar Cropped

My Grandpa in 1938, playing his guitar in front of the log cabin that he and my Grandma lived in as newlyweds. Brownie his dog listens, enjoying the music.

Every year, on the fourth Saturday in September, we attend a Fall Festival held by one of the small towns in our area. It’s such a simple event. Sometimes we laugh because there is so little to do there, but we love it. We like the quietness, the slowness, like we’ve briefly stepped back in time. We walk along and look at the tractors and the small hit and miss engines that are on display. Then stand and watch the cast iron, campfire cooking. After we get our fill of smoke, we wait our turn to go on the horse and wagon ride. The highlight of the day is the dulcimer band, though they play more than just dulcimers. There are other instruments, like the spoons, penny whistle, guitar, upright bass, and mandolin. The same musicians come every year and every year they play the same songs.

HFF Tractors

Tractors on display at the Fall Festival.

The Fall Festival starts at 11:00am.  We always arrive around that time, with a picnic.  We bring the old “Indian blanket” and lawn chairs and sit, eating our lunch, in the shade of the big, Wild Cherry trees. I had talked with Amy the day before about what we were bringing to share for our picnic lunch.  I told her I’d bring some cupcakes.  I’d been dying to try my Grandma Dora’s Brown Sugar Frosting recipe that I’d found leafing through her box.  It sounded “fallish” and what better place to try it, but at our annual Fall Festival outing. Brown Sugar Frosting RecipeBrown Sugar Frosting

  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil hard for one minute.  Beat with mixer until stiff enough to put on cake, about 3 minutes.  Frost cake while frosting is still warm so it spreads easily. Brown Sugar Frosting Ingredients I had already made my cupcakes, caramel flavored, which seemed like they’d make a perfect taste combination with Brown Sugar Frosting!  I gathered my ingredients and got started. Brown Sugar Frosting PanI simply measured all of the ingredients into my saucepan and began heating it up on the stove top. Brown Sugar Frosting Boiling Soon everything was melted and mixed together.  I raised the temperature and while whisking constantly, brought it up to a hard boil.  Once boiling, I timed it for one minute. Wait until you smell this while it’s cooking.  If you’ve ever been to Mackinac Island, this smell will take you back!  —  NO, it doesn’t smell like the horses!!  It smells like the rich, sweet fudge shops with the sugary, caramelized scent that pulls you right in their front doors!  Our house smelled wonderful!  With an aroma like that, I knew the taste had to be incredible! Brown Sugar Frosting Mixing After it was done boiling, I removed it from the heat and poured the hot syrup into my Kitchenaid.  I used my whisk attachment and beat it on the highest setting for about three minutes.  At that point, the syrup was beginning to thicken.  I knew that it would get even thicker as it cooled, so I turned it off and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes while I got my cupcakes ready to frost. Brown Sugar Frosting Cupcakes2 It was late when I was frosting the cupcakes that night.  Our boys were in bed and my husband was in reading.  I was thinking and quietly frosting them in the calm.  After some dripped off of my spatula, onto the table, I tasted it.  As I licked my finger, I shouted out, “OH BABY!” which my husband later teased me about, but I couldn’t help it, it was just THAT good! This frosting is kind of delicate. I had to frost my cupcakes when it was at just the right temperature. If it cooled too much, it got rather fudge-like. (Not that it was a bad thing, but it was harder to spread.) I frosted the cupcakes when the frosting was still warm and it went on smooth and hardened with a beautiful, glossy sheen! A couple of times, I could tell that the frosting was cooling and thickening too much, so I popped it into the microwave, for less than 5 seconds to thin it back down. It worked perfectly! Brown Sugar Frosting Cupcakes3 At the end of our Fall Festival picnic, I got out my caramel cupcakes topped with the Brown Sugar Frosting and placed them on the old “Indian blanket”.   I was excited to see what everyone thought.  I knew what I thought!  Not to my surprise, everyone LOVED it!  My husband has requested it for his next birthday cake.  I was told that it was hands down, the best frosting they had ever eaten!  (It would also be great on Edna’s Butterscotch Cake.) Brown Sugar Frosting Cupcakes4 Decorating the top of a cupcake, Brown Sugar Frosting looks simple and old-fashioned, but there’s absolutely nothing simple about the taste! Happy Baking! Wendy

Pork Kabobs – A Bonus Recipe

This post has been contributed by Guest Blogger, Matt.

I have never looked through my grandmother’s recipe box.  As a matter of fact, I’m not even sure I have ever seen it.  So when Wendy and Amy asked me to be a guest blogger with some of my recipes, I wondered how I could help.

One thing I love to do is cook outdoors.  From grilling, to an open fire fish fry, or even making our Thanksgiving dinner over the fire, I enjoy being outdoors when I cook.  The more of the meal I can do in the open air, the better I feel about it.

My grandpa was a master griller.  I remember helping him make his secret sauce for what he called “Denver Steaks.”  He never told anyone how to make it.  Not even me, while I was helping him.  “A little bit of this, and a little bit of that.” was all he ever said went into it.  I guess I inherited his neglect of writing down recipes.  I seldom write down what I make, but I always remember what I put into a recipe.  So when I was asked to write up a kabob recipe I made recently, I was a little bit worried about getting all of the measurements right, but I did my best.

kebob dinner

These kabobs can be made with any kind of meat you would like to grill, as well as any veggies you have that are big enough to go on a skewer.  I happened to have some pork loin that I was planning to grill, but I have made this recipe with beef and it could be done with chicken as well.  I had recently picked up some sweet peppers at a nearby farm market (the same one that Amy talked about in her Golden Apple Bars recipe) , and I had a sweet onion as well as a hot onion.  I threw in some baby portabella mushrooms, tomatoes and I had all of the fixin’s I needed.

I began by putting together my marinade.  This is a basic marinade that I use for much of my grilling.  It’s incredibly simple, too.

marinade

Matt’s Marinade

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 clove minced or chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

I often modify this marinade, depending on the meat and how large the amount is that I need.  For this particular recipe I doubled the marinade, added two tablespoons of teriyaki sauce, and another two teaspoons of soy sauce.  I have been known to add things like ginger, mustard powder, onion, or other spices that go well with particular meats.

kebob bowl

kebob ingredients

After blending the marinade, I poured it over the large bowl that I cut the onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and meat into.  I stirred the ingredients and placed them in the refrigerator for four hours, shaking up the bowl occasionally.

kebob rack

While the grill was preheating, I skewered the meat and vegetables.  There is no right or wrong order, but I prefer to put the meat next to onions for the flavor that they give.

kebob grill

I turned the burners to low, and placed my kabob racks on the grill, turning them occasionally. The low burner temperature allows the vegetables to cook through, without the meat getting over done.

kebobs done

I served these with fresh raspberries, pineapple, and a side of rice. The meal was met with rave reviews!

My grandpa might not have been happy that I just shared my recipe, but he sure would have been proud!

Happy Grilling!

Matt

 

 

 

Oatmeal Bread

I love cooking with oatmeal.  I don’t know why, but I use tons of it in my cooking.  I already shared the oatmeal cookie recipe and I’m sure I’ll share more recipes with oatmeal as time goes on.  So, when I saw the oatmeal bread recipe in my Grandma Dora’s recipe box, I wanted to give it a try.

I normally do all of my bread baking in my bread machine, so this was going to be different for me.  I was thinking about how impressed my Grandma would have been with my bread machine.  But, when I said that to my mom she said, “Oh she would have probably said that she liked the old way better.”  Then, she went on to tell me that when my grandpa wasn’t making enough money on the farm, he worked at a limestone quarry for income.  He would be laid off in the wintertime, so he would help my grandma with kneading the bread when she made it.

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Oatmeal Bread

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 packages yeast (or 4 1/2 teaspoons yeast)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 6 to 7 cups sifted flour

Combine and bring to a boil in saucepan, 2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups rolled oats.  Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup molasses, 1 tablespoon salt and 2 tablespoons shortening.  Let cool.  Dissolve 2 packages yeast in 1 cup warm water.  When cool enough, put all together and add 6 to 7 cups sifted flour.  Mix into loaf and let rise as any bread.  Bake at 375 degrees from 3/4 to 1 hour.

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I started by combining the water and rolled oats.  Actually, I only had quick oats on hand, so I just used those.  It made a nice pan of oatmeal.

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After it had boiled a little bit, I removed it from the heat and added the molasses, salt and shortening.  It called for 1 tablespoon salt, but that just seemed like way too much.  I opted for 1 teaspoon instead.  The addition of the molasses made the mixture look dark and beautiful like chocolate.  (If you aren’t a fan of molasses, my guess is that honey could be substituted here.)

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I set the mixture aside to let it cool and combined the warm water with the yeast.  The recipe called for two packages of yeast.  I buy yeast in jars, so I looked up the conversion and found that 1 package of yeast is 2 1/4 teaspoons.  So, I needed 4 1/2 teaspoons altogether.  I stirred it up until the yeast dissolved in the water.

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Once everything was cool, I put it all in the kitchen aide.  I decided to use my kneading hook attachment although the regular paddle would probably have worked as well.  I added about 6 1/2 cups of flour before I thought it looked right.  The recipe just called for sifted flour.  I wasn’t sure whether to use all purpose flour or bread flour.  In the end, I decided on bread flour and I think it was a good choice.

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Next it said to “mix into loaf and let rise as any bread.”  Since, I usually let the bread machine do this part for me, I called my older sister, who likes to bake bread without the bread machine, for advice.  She said I should let it rise once until doubled in the bowl and then punch it down and let it rise again in the bread pan.  Both times I let it rise I covered the bowl or pan with plastic wrap, so it wouldn’t dry out.

Since it was such a beautiful day outside, I put the dough in the bowl (I should have greased the bowl first, but forgot) and went out for a walk.  When I came back, the dough had risen high up in the bowl.  I punched it down and prepared to put it in two greased loaf pans.  Although the recipe said “loaf” singular, I knew that with more than 6 cups of flour, this was going to make at least two loaves.  In the end, I think I should have used three loaf pans (or even four) because the two loaves were huge!

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After the second rising, I preheated the oven to 375 degrees.  After about 40 minutes the loaves were looking very done.  I let them go a few more minutes and took them out.  They were a nice brown color.  The loaves were so big that I wondered how they would be.  However, when I sliced the bread, I was happy to see that it was nice and soft and tasted good too.  My parents both tried some and raved over it.  My dad said it was “perfection.”  I wondered how it would be the second day.  It was still soft and tasted great – it was good toasted too.  I think this is one I’ll be making again!  I hope you’ll give it a try.  I think you will be happy that you did!

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Happy Baking!

Amy

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies on plate

I do school at home with my boys. They’re actually in an online public school, so it’s like homeschooling with certified teachers being the ones who give assignments, do the grading, Live Lessons on the computer and a whole lot more. It’s very structured, with deadlines and testing, just like the brick and mortar classrooms, but with the flexibility of being at home. It takes a lot of time, but I’m glad to do it. It’s been fun to watch the boys learn and listen to them read or talk about science facts knowing that I played a big part of their success. Because of this, I don’t have a lot of time during the day to bake “extras.” I always figure if I can get dinner on the table around 6:00pm, (Or honestly, even know what I’m cooking for dinner by then!) I’m doing pretty good! But it was Friday night. School was done for the week so I felt like I could take the time to bake something fun!  Plus, my mother-in-law was staying with us for awhile, so I thought she might appreciate a sweet treat after dinner that night.

Chocolate Chip Bags Cropped

Chocolate chip cookie bags, a modern one from my pantry and an old package found folded up in Grandma Dora’s recipe box.

Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies?  Chocked full of ooey-gooey goodness, when they’re warm and melting in your mouth!  They’re possibly the most common cookie because of their deliciousness and Nestle’s Toll House is probably the most common recipe.  (Though I’m not sure that I had ever made them before!) I was so excited when I found this old bag folded up inside my Grandma Dora’s recipe box.  She had obviously saved it for the recipe that was on the back.  It was so adorable and petite.  I grabbed a bag out of my own pantry to compare them.  I debated on making these cookies for the blog because of how common they are, but because I did find a few differences in the recipes, I decided to give them a try.  It is interesting to see the differences between the two bags, now and then.  Probably the most noticeable was the size.  My Grandma’s bag was only 6 oz while mine was 12 oz.  I figured the recipes were exactly the same, but surprisingly there were a few things that had changed over time.

Chocolate chip Cookie Recipe

Chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of Grandma Dora’s bag.

Original Toll House Cookie Recipe  (The “original” original!)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1 1/8 cups sifted flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Few drops hot water
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 6 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and sugars.  Beat in egg.  Add soda, flour and salt.  Mix together.  Add a few drops of hot water.  Mix until well blended.  Add chopped nuts, chocolate chips and vanilla.  Drop by the half teaspoonfuls.  Bake at 375 degrees for 6 minutes.  Makes 50 cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies-Water

I started by creaming the butter and both sugars.  Then I beat in an egg and added the flour, soda and salt.  The next, small step in the recipe was the part that was a little different from the “modern” bag in my pantry.  I was to add a “few” drops of hot water.  I did just that.  It did make the dough more creamy or sticky.

Chocolate Chip Cookies adding ChipsNext I poured in my bag of chocolate chips. (I buy mini chips because I think they’re more fun! Plus they turned out to be the perfect chips for these tiny cookies!) I added vanilla, but skipped the nuts this time.   I had doubled the recipe, so I added my whole12 oz whole bag of chips.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

The dough looked beautiful.  Next came the fun part, putting them on the trays!

Chocolate Chip Cookies Dough Trays

Here was the other difference that I had found between the new and old recipes.  This recipe said to drop the dough in 1/2 teaspoonfuls….What?!  Have you looked at how small a 1/2 teaspoon is?!  I had to consult with Amy on this.  I just wasn’t 100%!  After discussing it, I decided to go with it.  After all, it was written on the recipe.  I used my measuring spoons to measure out the small amount of dough.  I couldn’t believe how tiny the balls of dough looked compared to what I usually make when I bake other cookies.

Chocolate chip Cookies BakedOn the bag, it said to bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes.  I thought that sounded WAY too long for the size of the balls of dough.  I was imagining that they’d come out like little hockey pucks if I left them for that long!  I timed them for a few minutes at a time and decided that 6 minutes was the perfect time, much less than what the recipe called for.  I pulled them out, let them sit for a minute on the tray and then transferred them onto cooling racks.  They were so cute!  I never would have thought to make cookies so tiny.  I was really happy that I had decided to go with what the old recipe said rather than making them big like the “modern” recipe said to do.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Stacked
They were delicious, too!  They were soft, but with crisp edges.  My oldest son told me that they tasted like they were professionally made!  Maybe the secret was in those few drops of hot water and the petite size.  I think my Grandma Dora was on to something, keeping that package stashed in her recipe box all those years.

My mother-in-law did enjoy the bite size cookies after dinner that night and lunch the next day too!  I’d see her “sneaking” them after other meals as well!  I was happy I had decided to make them so she could enjoy them during her stay with us.

Happy Baking!

Wendy