Friday, May 23, 2008

Everything Cookies

I am entering this recipe for Amy... only because she made these first and loved them and recommended them to me. I asked her to blog them because even though I have access to Pioneer Woman's Recipe, it takes about 10 clicks for me to get them.

And it is nice to know which recipes y'all like because I don't dare try many new recipes. But Amy has a life other than blogging unlike some of us (cough - sputter!), but I wanted to give her credit for discovering these cookies.

And of course, be sure to go see all of Pioneer Woman's photos of the preparation because that's the best part of it all.

Hyacinth’s Everything Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/3 cups quick oats
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups Quaker Granola (oats & honey, yellow box)
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups Cran-raisins
1 1/2 cups apricots

Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla. Next add flour, baking soda, and salt. Add in oatmeal and granola. Fold in pecans and other ingredients. With cookie scoop or two spoons, drop onto cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

Now don't do what I did and accidentally add twice the salt than required (I halved the recipe but got confused on the salt). If you have low blood pressure come on over and I'll take care of that with just one or two cookies.

Plus, after I added too much salt, for some reason I felt that adding an extra egg would help. huh? I kept thinking it was going to be too dry. Duh... not my best move. My brain seriously freezes when I cook. What's up with that. So, if you need some more cholesterol come and eat my cookies.

And make sure you actually have more than 1/4 cup oats before you start.

I'm certain Amy didn't have that many foul-ups as she and I came from different breeds when it comes to cooking.

But in the end, the taste was scrumptious and i loved the dried fruit. So ignore everything I did wrong and go make some healthy cookies.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Any favorite pesto recipes y'all wanna share? I made something for Jimmy like a year ago and he just remembered he liked it. I'm not quite sure what I made so I'm looking for a pesto recipe with noodles in it.

Boston Cream Cupcakes

My obsession with cupcakes continues . . . this time with a cream filling that, frankly, I could eat plain. But then I'd miss out on the Sinful Chocolate Ganache frosting. And we can't have that . . . .

Makes 24 cupcakes

1 box yellow cake mix
1 3.4-ounce box instant vanilla-flavored pudding mix
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
Sinful Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows) (don't you love the name of the frosting??)

Prepare cake mix following cupcake directions. Let cupcakes cool completely.

In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, cream, powdered sugar, milk, and sour cream. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Spoon pudding mixture into a squeeze bottle that has a long narrow tip (or a decorating bag with a small tip). Insert tip into top of cupcake and squeeze about 1 tablespoon pudding mixture into center of cupcake. (When adding filling, you'll see the cupcake expand. If you add too much filling, the top of the cupcake will start splitting open which is quite easy to disguise with Sinful Chocolate Ganache frosting.) Repeat procedure with remaining filling and cupcakes. Spread Sinful Chocolate Ganache evenly over each cupcake. Store covered in refrigerator.

Sinful Chocolate Ganache
Makes about 2 cups

6 1-ounce squares semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, combine chocolate and cream. Microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until chocolate is melted and smooth (about 2 minutes total). Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Let mixture cool until it reaches a spreadable consistency (about 30 minutes).

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Homemade Croutons

These are the lightest crispiest croutons we've ever had and we love them!! They are so great on toss salad or soup.

Cut one loaf French bread into 1/2-inch slices and then in 3/4-inch cubes. Melt 1/2 to 3/4 cup butter. Stir in 1/4 t. garlic powder. Toss with bread cubes until bread is evenly coated. Spread on shallow baking pan. Bake at 300 for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until bread cubes are dry and crisp.

Another salad tip I recently learned from a friend in town who used to work at Juniper Restaurant is to soak a cored head of lettuce in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes before draining and serving in a salad. The cold water keeps the lettuce fresh and crisp. It's amazing!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Lemon Cream Cupcakes

Since I'm obsessed with cupcakes, I've been trying all kinds of new recipes. We recently found this one and love the moist texture and light lemon taste. So perfect for spring!!

Yield: 30 Cupcakes

1 cup margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream

3 tablespoons margarine, softened
2-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition (batter will be thick). Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350° for 21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. For frosting, cream butter and confectioners' sugar in a small mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice, vanilla, lemon peel and milk; beat until smooth. Frost cupcakes.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Caramelized Salmon

I got this recipe from a colleague at work.  He grew up in Alaska where salmon was plentiful.  I made this a few weeks ago when we had Jenny & Brad over.  It is very very good!

1 cube butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp dill weed (adjust amount as you like)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (adjust amount as you like)

Mix above ingredients together in sauce pan until butter is melted and sugar dissolved.  Put sauce on salmon as it cooks (on grill or in oven).