Saturday, November 28, 2015

Chocolate/Peanut Butter Candy Cookies

Besides chocolate and peanut butter, this candy "cookie," has an unusual third ingredient. If you can believe it, cornflakes! Yep. Cornflakes are one of Lauren's favorite kinds of cereal and she is pretty much the only one that eats that kind in this house. The last time she was home before Thanksgiving was in the middle of September! Somehow, the box of cornflakes got shoved to the side and back of our pantry. These candy "cookies" are not baked in the oven, they firm up in the fridge. I asked the hubby what he thought these tasted like. He said, "corn flakes with peanut butter and chocolate!" Personally, I can't taste the corn flakes at all, I think they add a certain "crunch," that will keep your friends and family guessing!!!
12-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup smooth peanut butter
2 1/2 cups cornflakes, crushed
In a large gallon-sized zipper top plastic bag, crush enough cornflakes to make 2 1/2 cups. Set aside. In medium saucepan, melt the morsels and peanut butter over low heat until smooth and all the morsels are melted. Remove from heat and add the crushed cornflakes with a large spoon. Combine well.  Put a piece of wax paper on a jelly roll pan. Drop onto the wax paper using two tablespoons. I made my cookies kind of  big, so it made 18. Please feel free to make as big or small as you want.  Put in the fridge for a minimum of two hours or until set. Keep covered in a container in the fridge for up to one week.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Vanilla Kipferl (Crescents)


Ah, now that Halloween is over and we are heading towards Thanksgiving, the holiday cookie baking season has begun!! My goal this holiday season, is to go out of my comfort "zone," and try and make cookies I've never made before. My mother-in-law who passed away in 2011, was a fabulous baker. I loved how when my family would visit my in-law's in Cleveland, after every meal (even breakfast), a tin of "bakery" would appear on the table. There would be potica, kolache and chocolate chip cookies. I don't remember these vanilla crescents ever making an appearance though. I found a recipe for vanilla "kipferlin" or "crescents" in an American Slovene Club cookbook that is falling apart and looks like it was used frequently. It is part of the treasure "trove" of recipes and cookbooks that we found in my in-law's house.  After a lot of researching on the Internet, I think they really should be called "kipferl." Anyways, I made a dozen or so of these crescents last night and the hubby had a "sample."  He said, "oh, I remember my mom making these!" When he said that, I thought that was pretty cool. Well, this afternoon, when he saw me making up the rest of the dough, he said, "your cookies are just as good as the ones my mom used to make!" Yahoo, now that made me smile :)  


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 3/4 cups white flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup powdered sugar (reserved)

In a large bowl, put the butter, flour, white sugar, vanilla extract and pecans. Mix well with spoon or with your hands until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for a minimum of one hour. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl, put the reserved powdered sugar and set aside. Roll batter into 3 1/2 dozen equal sized balls with the palms of your hands. With your fingertips, press each ball into a "crescent" shape. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for approximately 15 minutes or until the cookies are just starting to turn brown. Remove to wire rack and let them cool just a bit. While still slightly warm, roll each cookie into the reserved powdered sugar. Keep covered at room temperature.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Swedish Tea Rolls

I have just as much passion now for baking as I did when I was little and used to whip up desserts for my dad in my Easy-Bake Oven. I still haven't figured out how a light bulb did all the work, but maybe that is a mystery I'll never solve. What's cool about my relationship with my dad now, (besides becoming incredibly close), is that since my mom is in a skilled nursing facility, when I fly back by myself, I get to bake again for him!  My dad is very diplomatic and even though I slightly burned the bottom of the meatloaf  I made for him last month, he still told me it was good :) Anyways, I don't know of any Swedish in my background, but when I found a recipe from 1933 AND it used cinnamon and sugar, my "radar," went up!!  Oh my goodness, these are so crispy since I used shortening! I will be seeing my dad over the upcoming holidays and I know I'm going to make him these. I wonder what he would say if I told him the recipe was just a few years older than him? LOL.


1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 cups white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In small bowl, put the white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Stir with small spoon until well combined and set aside. In a large bowl, put the flour, baking powder and salt. With two knives, "cut" in the shortening. Pour the milk in and with a large spoon, mix until the dough is just starting to form a soft ball. Place on a slightly floured board and knead about 30 times. Roll out to approximately 12 inches in length and six inches in width. Cut into 10 equal-sized squares. Fold each square in half and press gently. Dip each roll into the ingredients in the small bowl and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the bottom of the rolls are just starting to turn slightly brown. Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes before removing to wire rack to continue cooling.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ginger Cupcakes

As much as I love to bake, I have never ever used molasses. I originally bought a jar to try and make a "Shoo-Fly" pie. I still have that on my "to do" list, but in the meantime, I made some ginger cupcakes!! Ginger is most definitely a spice you need to use in moderation. A little goes a LONG way :) When I found a cupcake recipe using ginger and molasses, I knew it was one to try. When I was frosting these cupcakes after dinner last night, Dominic came over to investigate what I was doing. I told him he had to wait until after he had a bath to "sample" one. He and I both liked them so much we each had two!


1 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses, unsulphured
1/2 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and put paper liners into a 12-cup baking tin. In a large bowl, put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and butter. Mix well with large spoon. Add the brown sugar, egg and molasses. Combine well. Add the boiling water carefully and stir together until smooth. Pour evenly into the paper liners and bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove to wire rack to cool. Frost with your favorite frosting and sprinkles! Makes 12 cupcakes. Store in a covered container at room temperature for up to three days.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Apple Butter/Oatmeal and Walnut Muffins

Doesn't it seem like now that we are in the month of October, pumpkin flavored food is EVERYWHERE??  As much as I love marshmallow Peeps, when I saw the pumpkin spice flavored ones on the JustBorn website, I have to admit, I found that a bit, ahem, different. Well, all righty then.  There are other fall foods besides pumpkin, right? How about the apple?!?! More specifically, apple butter! I looked at the side of the apple butter jar and butter is NOT listed under the ingredients. Why in the world is it called apple butter then?!?!?! Anyways, I wondered if an entire cup of apple butter was put into these muffins if they would be too moist. Well, I shouldn't have worried! They were just right. Whew!


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 cup white flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup apple butter
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside. In large bowl, put the butter, light brown sugar, white sugar, egg, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, salt and apple butter. Mix well with electric mixer or by hand. "Fold" in the oats and walnuts with a large spoon. Distribute batter evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Store covered at room temperature for up to three days.  Makes one dozen.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tomato Salsa

Recently, the hubby came home from the store with a bunch of really nice looking fresh tomatoes. The only thing is, we already had a bunch! Hmm, they would be great in a salad, but how about homemade salsa?!?!? Sounds yummy, right? The "heat" level of salsa is a very personal preference.  Please feel free to turn up the "temperature" by using hot sauce! I LOVE the Frank's RedHot  brand!!


2 cups chopped tomatoes,
  seeds removed
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12-ounce package three pepper
  and onion blend, frozen
Few dashes of hot sauce,
  if desired

Put the tomatoes, lemon juice, chili powder, salt, black pepper, hot sauce (if desired) and about a fourth of the frozen bag of the peppers and onions into a blender. Blend until the peppers and onions are well incorporated. Keep adding a fourth of a bag at a time until all the peppers and onions are added. I tried to dump the entire bag into the blender and let's just say my blender was not happy!  Blend ingredients until desired consistency. Makes three cups of salsa. Store covered in a container for up to three days.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Deluxe Pumpkin Bread

When I baked this pumpkin bread last night, it felt like summer. Today, it's cool and rainy. It seems like once the middle of September rolls around, the stores start putting up the Halloween and yes, Christmas displays!  Cathy's Kitchen bakes pumpkin bread year round.  The past couple of times I have made pumpkin bread, I've added chopped pecans and coconut, which made it pretty tasty.  I was curious if I added milk chocolate chips and oats, plus upped the cinnamon and nutmeg, what the end result would be. Well, guess what?!?! It was awesome! I gave the hubby a bite of this warm from the oven and then left the remaining piece on a plate while I did the nightly call with my dad. After I hung up the phone, I was going to eat what was left on the plate. There was none left, the hubby ate it while I was chatting with my dad! That's okay, I still love him anyways!
This morning, I cut up the pumpkin bread and gave it to the hubby to take to work to share with his co-workers. He told me, "I'm sure it will be a hit!" I sent my husband an e-mail about 10:00 a.m. this morning and asked him how much of the pumpkin bread was left. His response, "the bread is almost completely gone!" Cool.
1 1/2 cups white flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray and set aside. In large bowl, put the flour, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, canola oil and water. Mix well by hand or mixer until smooth.  "Fold" the chocolate chips, pecans, oats and coconut into the batter and gently combine with a large spoon.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Store covered at room temperature for up to three days. Serves 6-8.