Sunday, April 29, 2012

Brown Sugar Crackle Cookies

It has been forever but I am going to get this food blog going again.  This recipe is just what I needed to get my rear in gear.  I am in love with Melanie Gunnell's food blog -- Mel's Kitchen Cafe --  I follow her recipe posts religiously.  Her recipes are original and ALWAYS delicious.  When I received her latest post for these cookies, I knew that I had to make them immediately.  We were not sorry.  These cookies are beyond delicious.  You must make them today!

Brown Sugar Crackle Cookies

14 tablespoons butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (about 1 3/4 ounces)
2 cups packed dark brown sugar (14 ounces), divided
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (about 10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Heat 10 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch stainless steel (not nonstick) skillet or small uncoated saucepan over medium heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Browned butter can burn easily and quickly so keep a close eye on it! Remove the skillet or pot from the heat and transfer the browned butter to a large heatproof bowl. Stir the remaining 4 tablespoons butter into the hot butter to melt; set aside for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large (18 by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper, silpat liners or lightly coat them with cooking spray. In a shallow baking dish or pie plate, mix the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, rubbing between your fingers, until well combined; set aside. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Add remaining 1 3/4 cups brown sugar and salt to the bowl with the cooled butter and mix until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula; add the egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 1 minute. Give the dough a final stir with a rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Divide the dough into 24 portions, each about 2 tablespoons, forming balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Working in batches, toss the balls in the reserved sugar mixture to coat and set them on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart, 12 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but it will take 3 batches.)

Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are browned and still puffy and edges have begun to set but the centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone – don’t overbake), 11-13 minutes. Cool the cookies for 1-2 minutes on the baking sheets and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Source:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chicken Noodle Pork Chops

There is nothing fancy about this dinner but it is Ted's most favorite meal.  As far back as I can remember, my mom made these pork chops.  It was our family's version of the Brady Bunch's pork chops and applesauce (I am old and I loved the Brady Bunch!).   I always make mashed potatoes, brown sugar buttered carrots and applesauce to go with these pork chops.  It is such an easy meal to make and it is wonderful.  Try to get over the fact that you are serving chicken noodle soup over mashed potatoes and make this for dinner.  You will not be sorry!

Chicken Noodle Pork Chops

4 boneless butterflied pork chops
1 family-size can chicken noodle soup

Line bottom of skillet with oil and heat.  Dredge pork chops in salted and pepper flour.  Use plenty of flour because it helps make a great gravy.  Brown pork chops on both sides in skillet.  Once they are brown, pour condensed soup (do not add the water)  over the pork chops, cover skillet and simmer until they are done (about 30 minutes depending on thickness of the chops).   Water can be added if sauce becomes too thick.

Serve the gravy over the chops and mashed potatoes.   So easy and so good!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Peach Crumb Pie

I adapted this recipe from my mom's apple crumb pie that she made for our family when I was growing up.  She always made it with apples but any fruit works.   Since it is peach season and my husband loves pie, it was on the menu today.   You can use any favorite pie crust recipe.   I wish I could say that I make homemade pie crust but I don't!   Pillsbury is my personal favorite and it works for me :-)   Enjoy -- Ted sure did!

Peach Crumb Pie

6-7 large peaches
9 inch unbaked pie shell (or your favorite recipe unbaked)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup butter or margarine

Place unbaked crust in deep dish pie pan and crimp edges.  Peel and slice peaches.  Pour into unbaked shell.  Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon and pour over peaches.  Melt 1/3 cup butter or margarine and mix with remaining 1/2 cup sugar and flour blending well into crumbs.  Spread over top of peaches and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until done.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chocolate Toffee Bar Cookies

I promise that I will be posting more than just desserts but these bar cookies are one of my go-to recipes when I need an easy dessert that just makes me feel better and today after work I needed to feel better.

A few weeks ago I decided that it would be really fun to play on our kickball team at work.  Tonight was our first practice.  The only bad part was that I didn't even make it to practice.  I fell outside work skinning both my hands and knees.  Lovely.  I am on the DL list before I even hit the field.  So what's a girl to do?  Go home and make cookies for dinner.  Sounds like a plan right?  I thought so!  Enjoy.  I will post some real food soon.

Chocolate Toffee Bar Cookies

2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups chocolate chips (preferably Ghiradelli double chocolate chips)
1 pkg. Heath toffee bits

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 15x10x1 bar pan (preferably stoneware bar pan).  In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.  In large bowl, cream butter, sugars and vanilla until creamy.  Beat in eggs.  Add flour mixture and stir until combined well.  Add chocolate chips and toffee bits and stir until combined.  Spread in greased pan and bake approximately 20 minutes.  Try not to eat the whole pan when it is hot out of the oven!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Finally!! I am doing this -- Welcome to my food blog!

I have been wanting to start a food blog for such a long time.  The idea was so mind-boggling and still is after following all the awesome food blogs out there.  I love to cook and have been wanting to share my recipes with friends for years.  What better way than to blog.....right?  I have found another addiction---look out!  I have so many recipes that I want to share that I don't even know where to start.  I am thinking that I am going to keep this very simple as I learn.  Hopefully soon I can start adding pictures to each recipe.  Any suggestions are welcome!

I think I will start out with one of my favorite cookie recipes that my friend Laura shared with me several years ago.  I asked my niece and daughter which recipe I should post first and this was their choice. There are no words to describe how amazing these cookies are.  They are addicting and I guarantee you can't eat just one.  Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Cookie Dough:

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese (can use light but prefer regular)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder


1 c. sifted powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/8 tsp. almond extract
1 Tbsp. milk
Add color of choice to icing

(The icing does harden up so don't make this until cookies are cool and ready to be iced.  I suggest doubling the icing recipe so there is enough for all the cookies.)

For cookie dough, cream together the sugar, butter and cream cheese until fluffy.  Add eggs, vanilla and almond extract.  Mix until smooth.  Add flour and baking powder and mix.  Put dough on piece of waxed paper and wrap up like a present.  Place in food storage bag and refrigerate at least an hour or overnight so it is easier to roll out.  (The dough can be made and frozen for up to one month).

Roll dough out on on floured surface about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and cut out in desired shapes.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from oven before bottoms turn brown so they stay soft and chewy.  Ice cookies when cool.