Sunday, September 29, 2013

Granola Bar Cookies

Each year Hubby hikes to the top of Mt. Timpanogos. It is an 18 mile round trip hike with some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see. The weather is very unpredictable--but always amazing. Hubby went last week and hiked mostly in the clouds. I wanted to make a treat to add to his lunch--something more than a cookie but tastier than a protein bar. I found the perfect cookie, it is full of oats, dried fruit, nuts and a little white chocolate for fun. It is packable and delicious. It would be a great addition to a 'care package' for the starving college student. Or just hide a few in the freezer for those afternoon cookie cravings. Trust me--they are yummy.

Granola Bar Cookies or 11,752 Thousand Feet Cookies
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (3.5 ounces)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup dried fruit, I like a berries and cherries mix, chopped
3/4 cup chopped nuts
1 cup white chocolate chips
In the bowl of a mixer add butter and sugars, beat for 3-4 minutes till light, add eggs one at a time beating well after each one, add vanilla. Combine salt, spices, baking powder, baking soda, flour and oats. Add dry ingredients to mixer bowl and stir gently. Add dried fruit, nuts and white chocolate chips. Stir gently.
Bake on a parchment lined sheet pan at 350 for 9-10 minutes till just golden. Cool on pan for several minutes then remove to a cooling rack.
Printable recipe

Recipe from Cooking Classy

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Chocolate and Peanut Butter is my all time favorite flavor combination. Just take a look at Peanut butter on my side bar. You will see Frosted Peanut Butter Cookies, Peanut Butter Temptations and Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies. This is just a start, which is the best?? Well they are all excellent so choose one and just enjoy. I am going to add another cookie to the mix. This is a rich chocolate cookie with tiny Reese's Peanut Butter Cups added. And they are delicious.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons water
1 bag of Reese's Minis Peanut Butter Cups (8 ounces)
Mix together flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda--set aside. In the bowl of a mixer mix together melted butter  peanut butter and sugars until light. Add egg, vanilla,  water and mix together. Slowly add flour mixture. Add about 3/4 of the Mini's (I gave them a rough chop). Batter will be thick. Using a medium Pampered Chef Scoop, scoop  dough on a parchment lined sheet. Slightly flatten cookie and top with 1 or 2 Peanut Butter Mini's. Bake at 375 for 7-8 minutes or until cookie is set, do not over bake.
Cool cookie and enjoy with a tall glass of cold milk.
Printable Recipe
 I came across a new (to me) blog-- Mom on Time Out, I think I will visit there often. Thanks Trish for a great recipe.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lemon Zucchini Bread

Well friends I have one last zucchini post for the year--I thought I was done but Roy dropped a couple of beautiful yellow zucchinis on my door step. This time of the year it is usually a drop and run--but I was a happy recipient. 
Lemon and zucchini are perfect partners. This bread combines the bounty of zucchini and the light refreshing taste of lemon. It is a match made in heaven. And if you happen to have 'yellow zucchini' the lemon will shine while the zucchini adds a wonderful moistness. This bread slices beautifully and has a wonderful crumb.  The glaze is a perfect finishing touch. I think you will make this bread often--even  if you have to purchase zucchini!
Lemon Zucchini Bread
In a small bowl rub the zest of one lemon into 2/3 cup sugar. It will smell wonderful.
In a large bowl combine:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a bowl whisk together:
2 eggs (whisk till thick and lemon colored)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
juice from 1 lemon (2-3 tablespoons)
lemon zest and sugar mixture
1 cup grated zucchini
Pour wet mixture into dry ingredients and mix very gently just until combined. Pour into pans that have been sprayed with Bakers Joy or you can grease and flour your pans. This makes one large loaf or 3 smaller loaves. I have a Pampered Chef's Mini Stoneware Pan--it fills 3 of the 4 small pans. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes then turn bread out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.

Glaze with a mixture of:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon Meringue Powder (this is optional, it helps the glaze harden)
zest of one lemon
pinch of salt
lemon juice until desired consistency
Combine and whisk until there are no lumps. Drizzle over cooled bread.
Printable Recipe
This is another yummy recipe from Jenn's blog Eat Cake for Dinner

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Zucchini Orange Poppy Seed Bread

I am sure you still have access to Zucchini. This is a wonderful way to use your garden bounty. Our neighbor Roy is in charge of growing zucchini for our neighborhood, you really only need one person! Roy planted a yellow zucchini which was perfect for this bread. It was wonderful--I'll make it again, like tomorrow.

Zucchini Orange Poppy Seed Bread
 (or a combination of all my favorite sweet breads)
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 large eggs
1/2 cup oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
zest from 1 orange
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup grated zucchini
In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds, set aside.
In a small bowl rub together the sugar and orange zest--this will smell wonderful.
In another bowl whisk the eggs until thick and lemon colored. Add the oil, orange juice and yogurt. Stir in the sugar/orange zest mix. Now add the zucchini. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Never over mix sweet breads--they get tough. Pour into greased pans--I use three small pans or you could use one large loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes for a large pan, adjust time for smaller  pans. Cool in pans for 10 minutes then turn onto a cooling rack. When cool glaze/frost with:

Orange Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
zest from a orange
orange juice to reach desired consistency
1/2 teaspoon meringue powder, optional--this will help glaze harden
Whisk ingredients together, use a small amount of juice adding more as necessary.
I like plenty of glaze or even frosting
Printable Recipe

Thanks Jenn from Eat Cake For Dinner. Jenn has a great blog--I go to her blog often when making my weekly menu. Check our her Favorites on her sidebar- some great recipes! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Apple Cinnamon & Oatmeal Cookie with Cinnamon Frosting

Lady Behind the Curtain Monthly Challenge
This months Behind the Curtain Challenge was to use Apples and Cinnamon together. I had so many ideas--so little time. So I went with what else but a cookie. This is a basic oatmeal cookie with some yummy add-ins: cinnamon, nutmeg, chopped apples and walnuts. What an amazing combo! Now, the cookie was excellent as is. But I have a difficult time with 'as is'.  I made a small batch of cinnamon butter cream frosting. Amazing. Cookie on steroids. I think you will love this. Thanks Cheryl for an fabulous challenge!

Apple Cinnamon & Oatmeal Cookies with Cinnamon Frosting
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (3.5 ounces)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon each: baking powder, baking soda, salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg--freshly grated
1 1/2 cups baby oats
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped--I used my Pampered Chef Chopper--it made nice small apple chunks, mix apple with 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cups chopped walnuts--again I used the PC Chopper It makes quick work of anything chopped

Mix butter and sugars in Kitchen Aid and beat for about 3 minutes, add egg and vanilla and beat another minute.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices; stir well and add oats. Combine. Turn mixer down to low and sprinkle in dry ingredients, very gently combine. Don't over mix. Stir in apples and nuts.
Line sheets with parchment paper. Using a medium Pampered Chef Scoop scoop portions of dough on cookie sheets. You should get about 24 cookies.
Bake at 350 for 13-15 minutes. I liked my cookie more done than less. Choose your favorite!
When cool swirl with:

Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting
1/4 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 tablespoons cream
pinch salt
Mix together in a bowl. Swirl on cooled cookies.
Printable Recipe
Inspired by Joy the Baker 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

Hubby's favorite non-chocolate, non-nut cookie is a Snickerdoodle. Now you must know that Snickerdoodles and I do not get along. About 50 years ago (yes 50) I was a member of the Busy Bees 4-H club. It was time to make something for the fair. I chose Snickerdoodles, a cookie we had learned to make that year.
The details are bit fuzzy but it went something like this: I was measuring the dry ingredients and some how put in a tablespoon of salt instead of 1/2 teaspoon. I was ready to dump it and start over but my ever frugal mother had a better idea. If we 6 timed the recipe it would work. So needless to say I made one large batch of Snickerdoodles, I made them in a huge dish pan, and cooked Snickerdoodles for days. I made enough Snickerdoodles to last a life time. Poor hubby.
Then a Snickerdoodle recipe caught my eye. Brown Butter Snickerdoodles--I'm ready to take the plunge. So I browned my butter--a smell that is out of this world, and quickly made just one batch. They were amazing! I will make them again. The Snickerdoodle curse is over.

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter (1 cup)
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt

For rolling mixture
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tarter, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Heat till the butter foams and begins to turn brown. Stir constantly and watch closely. You want brown butter not black. Carefully pour butter in a bowl to cool.
With an electric mixer mix the butter and sugars until blended. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, vanilla and yogurt until combined. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the flour mixture, beat until just combined.
Chill dough--you want it to be firm enough to roll into balls. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Roll the dough into balls and then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on parchment covered sheet pans. Bake at 350 for 8-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookie begin to turn golden brown. They will look underdone in the middle but will set up as they cool. If you want crispy cookies cook 2 minute\s longer. Enjoy! Recipe from Pretty Peas.
Printable recipe

One Year Ago------Witchy Pillow
Two Years Ago----Pizza Loaf
Three Years Ago---Peanut Butter Cookies
Four Years Ago----Zucchini Spice Cupcakes

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Not So Ordinary Potato Salad

Potato Salad is a picnic staple. I have made it for years just like my mother did. Potatoes, boiled eggs, celery, onion, mayo, mustard and a little pickle juice. It was always fine but turned out a little different each time. We never had a recipe; I do like recipes, quality control (I just might be a little controlling--when it comes to food).
So my assignment was a salad--potato. Boring. I have a macaroni salad that I love so I morphed the two salads and came up with one yummy Potato Salad-- A Not So Ordinary Potato Salad.
This is delicious--it just might become your new favorite potato salad (don't tell Grandma)!

Not So Ordinary Potato Salad
5 pound boiled potatoes, Yukon Golds are the best, but reds work too, don't overcook, cool, dice
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup black olives, chopped
1/2 cup sweet/spicy pickles, chopped I like Famous Dave's
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup green onion, sliced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 to 4 tablespoons of milk, cream or pickle juice--to thin dressing
Garnish with 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsleyI like to chop the veggies with my Pampered Chef Chopper--it makes quick work of the chopping. Just don't over chop!! Mix together the mayo, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and milk and/or pickle juice to thin. Dice the cooled potatoes, add the veggies and gently stir in the sauce. Check to see if or salt and pepper is needed. Chill, top with parsley. Serve well chilled. The cold salad can sit on the serving table for about 30-45 minutes. Then get it back in the iced cooler so you can safely enjoy the leftovers--if there are any. This salad is a winner. Great for your Labor Day Picnic.
Printable Recipe