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

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.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 048

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.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 001

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

Caramel Corn – A Bonus Recipe

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It is time for our annual Christmas Vacation Party!  This party tradition started many years ago when my brother and I would watch Garfield’s Christmas together to celebrate the start of vacation from school for Christmas.  It’s changed over the years – some years we added playing the Andy Griffith Show board game (we are the masters of this game – don’t even try to compete with my family’s knowledge of Andy Griffith Show trivia!), decorating Christmas cookies, wearing our pajamas to the party (my sister-in-law thought of this idea a few years ago) and I almost always make caramel corn to go with the other party food.  I thought you might enjoy trying this recipe for your own Christmas get togethers, but let me warn you, this stuff if addicting!
Caramel Corn
  • 8 quarts plain popped popcorn
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 1 pound (2 cups) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Karo Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda OR 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon vanilla
    Pop the popcorn and put it in the oven at 250 degrees to keep warm. Melt butter in saucepan and add other ingredients.  Boil 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon baking soda, OR 1/2 teaspoon soda and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  When it begins to foam up, pour it over the popcorn and mix well.  Divide evenly between to pans and place back in the oven. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour.  Stir every 15 minutes. Spread on cookie sheets to cool.  Store in a sealed container.
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    First, I popped the popcorn and placed it in two pans.
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    I added two cups of peanuts to the popcorn, because I like peanuts in caramel corn.  I then put it in the 250 degree oven to keep warm (keeping the popcorn warm helps the caramel to spread better).
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    Next, I melted the butter in a saucepan.
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    After the butter was melted, I added the brown sugar, Karo syrup and salt.
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    I brought the ingredients to a boil and let them boil for 5 minutes.
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    I then added a tablespoon of baking soda and it foamed up nicely.
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    I poured the caramel mixture over the two pans of popcorn.
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    I stirred until it was evenly coated.
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    I baked it in the oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  I then put it out on cookie sheets to cool.
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    The results were delicious as you can see!
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    I know my family will enjoy this crunchy caramel corn with its sweet and salty taste at our Christmas Vacation Party!  I hope you will make up a batch and enjoy it as well!
    Happy Baking!  Amy