Friday, June 5, 2015

French Bread

They took my favorite recipe off but luckily I still have.  I made this this weekend with a couple new trips in the mix.  It turned out great.


  • 1-1/4 cups water (70° to 80°)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted, optional


  • 1.In bread machine pan, place the first five ingredients in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed).
  • 2. When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Roll each portion into a 10-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal.  I did not divide in half.  I made one large loaf. 
  • 3. Sprinkle a greased baking sheet with cornmeal; place loaves seam side down on prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 20 minutes.
  • 4. Whisk egg and water; brush over loaves. With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf. I preheated my stone and baked on a cookie sheet on the stove at 450 for approx. 20 minutes (watch it though because it did get brown).  I put a small bowl in the lower shelf of the oven filled with water.  The crust was crispy and bread soft inside.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Irish Soda Bread

Definetely a winner - the best soda bread I've made.  I replaced the raisins with craisins.  I had to add a little buttermilk to get the dough all to come together. 

Irish Soda Bread I [from]

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 pint sour cream
1 cup raisins
1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease two 8x4 inch loaf pans.
2.Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, sour cream and raisins and mix until just combined. Distribute batter evenly between the two pans.
3.Bake loaves at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 1 hour.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tres Leche Cake

Many people have been talking about Tres Leche Cake so Jeff asked me to make one.  He loved this as did his friends.  I wasn't crazy about the densness of the cake.

Tres Leche Cake - from Pioneer Woman


  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 5 whole Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar, Divided
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Cream
  • _____
  • 1 pint Heavy Cream, For Whipping
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan liberally until coated.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.
Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter and allow to cool.
Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture—try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.
Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes. To ice the cake, whip 1 pint heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable.
Spread over the surface of the cake. Decorate cake with whole or chopped maraschino cherries. Cut into squares and serve.

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

These went over VERY well at my house.  Jeff's already asking to make them again - and BOTH kids ate them.  I will definetely be making them again.  I halved the recipe for the marshmallow filling.

Chocolate Whoopie Pie recipe with a butter and marshmallow cream filling.

  • 1 3/4 cups flour (7.9 oz)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (7 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 (7 oz) container marshmallow cream
  • 2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Don’t use cooking spray or anything very slippery because it might cause the cookies to spread.
  2. Thoroughly mix together flour through cocoa and set aside
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and shortening until creamy, then add the sugar and beat until well mixed. Beat in the vanilla, then add the egg and beat until fluffy, scraping sides of bowl often.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk alternately, stirring with a heavy duty scraper, until batter is smooth and thick.
  5. Drop batter by generously heaping tablespoons onto baking sheets spacing about 2 inches apart (I usually can fit 12 per sheet on a 13x18 inch tray). Bake one sheet at a time for 12 to 15 minutes or until cookies are puffed, slightly cracked and set. Let cool on baking sheets for about five minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack.
  6. FILLING: Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Beat in vanilla and confectioners' sugar. Stir in marshmallow cream and beat until fully mixed in. Spoon between cookies.
  7. Wrap the cookies in plastic wrap (Press and Seal works really well).

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Cookies

I try to make a few new Christmas Cookie recipes every year.  This year I got a sprtiz gun so I used a regular spritz cookie out of the recipe book that came with the gun and then I also make these smores grahams.  They were very good.  One tip I would suggest is to use a flatter shape so they don't turn over when you put them back in the oven.

Smores Spritz Cookies


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 24 mini marshmallows
  • 2-4 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla (the dough may look curdled - keep going). Gradually beat in the flour mixture.
  4. Fill a cookie press with the dough* and press out shapes onto the cookie sheets. Bake 8-11 minutes or until golden brown and firm. Cool for 1 minute then remove to a cooling rack.
  5. Once the cookies are completely cool, place half of the cookies on a cookie sheet, flat side up. Top with 1 mini marshmallow. Place under a broiler until marshmallows are puffed and toasted. Immediately top with the remaining cookies, flat side down, to form sandwiches. Cool.
  6. Melt 2 ounces chocolate in a narrow yet deep enough bowl or cup for dunking. Dip half of each cookie into the chocolate. If needed, melt the remaining chocolate. Let harden before serving. Store in an airtight container (if chocolate starts to melt, store in the refrigerator).

*Spritz cookie dough needs to be really soft and slightly sticky in order to work. If you feel that your dough is too soft, chill in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes.
Not ready to give up the lemon phase quite yet, I also make these.  They were better than the other recipe I tried, I liked the icing, but still I'm not sure I would make them again.  I used lemon heads because that is what I had on hand.
The Cookie Jar – Lemon Drop Cookies
Serves: 5 dozen
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ c butter/shortening (I used ½ c butter and 1 c shortening)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1½ tsp soda
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • finely chopped zest of 1 lemon
  • 6 oz. package crushed lemon drops
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (I doubled this)
  • juice of 1 lemon (double)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cream sugar and shortening in your mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and flavoring and blend well.
  4. Sift dry ingredients and gradually add to wet mixture.
  5. Add lemon zest and crushed lemon drops.
  6. Roll in balls, flatten with a fork.
  7. Bake on parchment paper for 10-12 minutes.
  8. Whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice to make a glaze.
  9. Cool 1-2 minutes, brush with glaze.
I used my favorite oatmeal peanut butter cookie recipe to make the reese's peanut butter cup in the mini muffin pan recipe.  The cookie is not as sturdy as the original recipe so I found them to be a bit crumblier, but they still did come out good.  I baked them at a lower temp (350) but baked closer to 15 minutes.

Monday, December 15, 2014

I entered into the Great American Cookie Swap this year.  I received red velvet peppermint cookies which my husband who is a mint an, loved.  They came fresh and soft which really added to them.  I also received a dark chocolate, dried cranberry, pistatio cookie.  They were also lovely and my oldest son was a big fan.  I made Lemon Crinkle Cookies from Lauren's Latest.  I hope that my guest bloggers enjoyed them.  They were not a favorite with my family.  I would not make them again.  They turned out ok, but I have other lemon cookies that I prefer in taste.  I admit to forgetting to take a picture.  But I can say that they looked in comparison to Lauren's.


½ cups Butter, Softened
1 cup Granulated Sugar
½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 whole Egg
1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
¼ teaspoons Salt
¼ teaspoons Baking Powder
⅛ teaspoons Baking Soda
1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
½ cups Powdered Sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non stick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
*If using a non stick darker baking tray, reduce baking time by about 2 minutes.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cashew Clusters

Other than the fact that I burned my hand on the carmel and melted the spoon in the caramel because of it, these turned out wonderful.  I will definetely make again.

Cook 1 1/2 cups sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, swirling the pan but not stirring, until dark amber, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons butter and 3 cups salted cashews. Pour onto an oiled baking sheet and separate into small clusters with 2 forks. Let harden.

Note: I used 1 bag of Wegmans cashews.

From Food Network magazine