Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sugar and Spice Cookies

We made these cookies for the first time this year just a couple of weeks ago, and within minutes half of the tray was gone. Did we sell any of them? Nope, the cookies smelled so heavenly that all of the employees wanted to eat the cookies right then! You could try making them yourself, or you could come and get some before we stop making them for the season again! 

Sugar and Spice Cookies

2 sticks of butter
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves
2 3/4 cups flour (spooned into measuring cups and leveled)
1 1/2 tablespoon molasses
1 egg

Cinnamon/Sugar mixture for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare baking sheets by covering with parchment paper.

Cream together the butter and brown sugar, something I've discovered with cooking at home is that if you don't cream the mixture long enough your cookies will turn out flat like papers, so you probably want to cream them for 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together. 

When the butter and sugar is creamed, add molasses and egg and mix until just combined. Then add dry ingredients, usually I'll do this about half at a time to make sure the everything gets mixed together well. Scoop with a small cookie scoop. Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture. 

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until they have crackles across the top. Allow to cool on baking sheets for 3-5 minutes so they are easier to move to cooling racks. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Homemade Box Mix Style Brownies

It's really no secret that I have a slight Pinning addiction. I may also have a board full of recipes that I want to try some time. I happened across these awesome brownies on Picky Palate and knew they would be perfect to try. The only problem was that she baked them in an 8X11 inch pan. I've never even heard of that size! So I doubled the recipe and baked it in a standard 8 x 13 inch pan. The results were awesome. The brownies were super thick and rich. I was happy to share with a couple of neighbors to spare myself some unneeded pounds!

Homemade Box Mix Style Brownies

adapted from Picky Palate

2 sticks unsalted butter, partially melted
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla 
1 cup all purpose flour
2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with foil sprayed with baking spray (makes it easier to get out) making sure to leave a couple inches for handles on each side of the pan. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, oil and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla until combined. Then add flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and chocolate chips, making sure all is well combined. Place in prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. I had a hard time knowing whether these were done or not, because of all the chocolate chips, but they were done after about 40 minutes in our oven. Allow to cool completely in the pan, about 1 hour. Remove, using the foil, slice and serve.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chocolate Chip Lava Cookies

This is another cookie recipe that I found on my Pinterest page. I loved the idea, I had never heard of such a thing before. These cookies were so yummy! They actually turned out in our oven, not many do! Our kids also enjoyed eating these and especially the little surprise in the center. I'm sure that you could use whatever chocolate chip cookie dough you wanted for this recipe, here's one of ours, but I just went with their recipe, because I knew it would make the right amount of dough for what I was doing. I was able to make a dozen of these cookies, because I don't like unbaked cookie dough, but if you are a dough-eater, you may need to plan to make fewer than a dozen.

Chocolate Chip Lava Cookies
adapted from Kevin and Amanda

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 (11 1/2 ounce bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spay a standard size cupcake pan with baking spray. Place 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in a Ziplock style bag, set aside.

Cream together butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 3-5 minutes. You want it to be a much lighter color then it starts with and it should have a light and fluffy texture. Add egg and vanilla and beat until the mixture is well combined. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in the bowl and beat on low speed, just until combined. Add the remaining chocolate chips.

To prepare the chocolate chips in the bag, place the bag flat in the microwave and microwave for 30 seconds. Flip the bag over and microwave for an additional 15 to 20 seconds, just until all the chips are melted. Set aside.

Using a small cookie scoop, scoop 12 balls, flattening them one by one and placing each in it's own cupcake compartment. Cut a corner off of the Ziplock bag and basically pipe chocolate onto each of the scooped cookies. Finally, scoop 12 more balls, flattening and placing on the melted chocolate. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges are just browned. You might want to run a knife around the edges as soon as the cookies come out, so that when they are cool, they don't stick. The same knife can also help you get them out of the pan.

Here's the really fun part about these cookies, you can eat them just as they are, and they are delicious! Or you can warm them up in the microwave for a few seconds, and throw on some ice cream and chocolate topping to make a really decadent treat, it's up to you!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Apple Crisp

We at Cutler's love A Bountiful Kitchen's website, there are always awesome recipes on there, way more than I am ever going to be able to try. :( I was really excited when I saw her recipe for Apple Crisp, one of my very favorite treats to eat and make. I have to make a confession, I have never made Apple Crisp without using a can of pie filling from the store before, peeling, coring, and slicing the apples seemed way too daunting to me. But, I figured this recipe would be great and it was! I also like tons of topping on my Apple Crisp, so when I saw how the topping covered, I decided to double it, loved it! Next time I make this, I would probably substitute a sweeter apple, but that's really just a preference thing.

Apple Crisp
adapted from A Bountiful Kitchen

4 pounds of apples, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of salt

2 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cup flour (usually all purpose, actually used cake and it worked fine)
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup butter (no substitutions)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or butter a 9 x 13 baking dish. In a large bowl, place prepared apples. Sprinkle with vanilla. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and mix until combined. Place apples in prepared pan.

To make the topping, place dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut up butter and either cut in with a pastry blender or use your fingers to combine. Place on the topping. 

Bake for 45 minutes. The apples will be bubbly and the topping will be golden brown. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream. I think that caramel would also be awesome on top!