Sugar Cookies – A Bonus Recipe

Cookies 073 Wendy and I realized something the other day.  We never made “Christmas cookies” over Christmas.  We made lots of cookies, but for some reason (maybe it had to with family members taking turns being sick through most of the season and therefore never having time), we never made the traditional roll out, cut into shapes and frost kind of Christmas cookies.  So, we decided we definitely needed to make Valentine cookies this year.  One day when she and my nephews were over, we pulled up our sleeves and started in on some fun. Cookies 072 I always like to pull this recipe out for roll out sugar cookies.  I actually got it in junior high or high school in a home economics class.  I remember very little about those classes, but I have always kept this recipe.  I remember one time when our neighbor who had moved away came back for a visit.  I was always making these cookies when I first got this recipe and so I made them for her.  She took one bite and said, “These are just like cookies from a bakery!”  I’ve never forgotten she said that and I always think fondly of her (and her comment) when I make this recipe. Cookies 066 Sugar Cookies

  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 4 teaspoons milk
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Thoroughly cream shortening, sugar and vanilla.  Add egg;  beat until light and fluffy.  Stir in milk.  Sift together dry ingredients.  Blend into creamed mixture.  Divide dough in half.  Chill 1 hour.  On lightly floured surface, roll to 1/8 inch thickness.  Cut in desired shapes with cutters.  Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees about 6-8 minutes.  Cool slightly;  remove from pan.  Makes 2 dozen. Cookies 001 To begin, I put the shortening, sugar and vanilla in the KitchenAid. Cookies 002 I creamed the three ingredients. Cookies 003 I then added the egg (I actually doubled the recipe, so I had two). Cookies 004 I beat the ingredients until they were light and fluffy.  I then stirred in the milk. Cookies 005 Next I combined the dry ingredients and blended them into the creamed mixture.  I chilled the dough for an hour or more. Cookies 008 Then, with the help of my nephews and sister, we rolled out the dough and began cutting shapes. Cookies 011 We baked the cookies at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes.  They always smell so good when they are baking. Cookies 076 Next came the fun of frosting and decorating.  My sister had brought her collection of sprinkles, so we all had fun putting our own finishing touches on our cookies.

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My nephews wanted to decorate the snowflake cookies.

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They were very generous with the sprinkles!

Cookies 075 This is a recipe I highly recommend.  You just can’t go wrong with these.  So, pull your family together and have some festive Valentine’s Day fun together! Cookies 074 Happy Baking! Amy Cookies 053 Cookies 054 Cookies 055 Cookies 052 Cookies 034 Cookies 044 Cookies 048 Cookies 043

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Ham and Cheese Whirls – A Bonus Recipe

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The Superbowl is coming and it is snack food time!  Our family always has a little party featuring our favorite snacks.  Wendy usually makes my favorite, Mexican Layered Dip.  And, her husband, who is a great cook, makes a variety of good snacks.  I usually add some dishes of my own and it is a lot of fun.

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Last Saturday, after going on another hike in the snowy woods, we came back hungry and decided to make Ham and Cheese Whirls.  We were talking about what a great Superbowl snack they would be.  The recipe is actually, from our older sister, Rebekah.  Everyone worked together, and we had these delicious treats on the table in no time.

Ham and Cheese Whirls

Biscuit: (or substitute 1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup milk

Filling:

  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked ham
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

To make biscuit:  Mix dry ingredients.  Then add milk slowly.

For filling:  Mix cheese, ham, celery and mayonnaise.

Roll out biscuit into a rectangular shape.  Spread on filling.  Roll up and cut into rolls on greased pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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First we put the dry ingredients into the Kitchenaid. (You could also use frozen bread dough, or make up some bread dough in your bread machine.)

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Next we added the milk slowly and mixed until it formed a soft dough.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 011We put the dough out on the floured counter top.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 012We rolled out the dough into a rectangular shape (We doubled the dough since there were a lot of us eating, so it was bigger than one batch would look.).

Ham and Cheese Whirls 013While some of us were making the dough, others were shredding the cheese,

Ham and Cheese Whirls 002cutting up the celery,

Ham and Cheese Whirls 009and dicing the ham.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 014We mixed those three ingredients together along with the mayonnaise to create the filling.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 015Next, we spread the filling all over the rolled out dough.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 016Then it was time to carefully roll the dough up like you would cinnamon rolls.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 017Once it was all rolled, it was time to cut it into rolls.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 019We used a piece of floss to cut the rolls.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 020The floss keeps the dough from getting smashed like it might if using a knife.

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When the rolls were cut, they were placed on a cookie sheet.  We put them in the oven for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees.  My nephew thought they looked so good that he wanted to try one before we cooked it!

Ham and Cheese Whirls 032I think the cooking was worth his wait because they came out of the oven golden and bubbly.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 042I’m glad we made a double batch because we all liked them!

Ham and Cheese Whirls 044Ham and cheese whirls are a dish I definitely recommend for your Superbowl Party.  Give them a try and let us know what you think!

Happy Baking!

Amy

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies – A Bonus Recipe

Grandma and Becky

Grandma Dora pulling my sister in a wagon on a snowy day. Maybe she couldn’t resist being out in the snow either.

The snow is perfect right now.  It has been for days and I can’t seem to keep myself from going outside.  I know I have work to do inside, but when I look out at the snow sparkling in the sunlight, I just can’t resist.  I’ve been cross country skiing or sledding with my friends and family (and even by myself when no one else was available to go) almost every day this week.

So, I honestly haven’t taken a lot of time to bake this week, but when I did bake, I decided to go with my all time favorite.  I’ve made a lot of cookies in my day.  In fact, I’ve made a lot of chocolate chip cookies.  But, this is the one cookie recipe that I always come back to.  It is simply the best.  How could you go wrong with the combination of chocolate, peanut butter and oatmeal?  Well, I’ll tell you – you can’t go wrong.  Just like the snow that’s on the ground right now, it’s perfect.

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My sister and my nephews are coming over today while my brother-in-law goes with some of his friends to the car show in Detroit.  I decided I would make them some chocolate chip cookies for a treat when they came.  But, not just any chocolate chip cookies – peanut butter chocolate chip cookies!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars;  beat in peanut butter, egg and vanilla.  Combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt;  stir into the creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool 1 minute before removing to a wire rack.  Yield:  2 dozen.

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First I creamed the butter and sugar together.

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Then I beat in the peanut butter, egg and vanilla.

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Next, I combined the flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt.  (My sister likes to blend up the oatmeal before she adds it.  It changes the texture and is very good too.)

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I stirred the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until I had a nice cookie dough.

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Next came the chocolate chips.  Doesn’t it look good enough to eat?

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After that I rolled it into balls and put it on the cookie sheets.

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I baked them at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  They turned a lovely golden brown.  I cooled them for a minute, then moved them onto a wire rack.  They smelled delicious!

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I’m sure that when my sister and nephews get here, I’ll try to coax them outside to play in the snow.  And, maybe when we come inside all wet and cold and happy, we’ll have a snack of milk and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  You just can’t go wrong with these cookies.  They are simply the best of the best!  You really have to try them!

Happy Baking!

Amy

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