Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Carol's Cookies from The Walking Dead

If you're a fan of The Walking Dead you may remember several episodes back that Carol made a batch of cookies.  Thank goodness - because what that means to me is that at least in the event of a zombie apocalypse there are still cookies!  Yes, good ole cookies that you can make with ingredients that are in your cupboard and not in your fridge.  This recipe has no dairy in it so the bonus is that it is also vegan!  Are they good?  Yes, they are delicious!  Carol made these cookies from what she had on hand but I'm sure you can add whatever you think would make them even better - chocolate chips, nuts or some additional spices.  It's a good basic cookie that I will most definitely go to again and again and add something new each time.  You can find this recipe at amc.com.  Enjoy!

Makes approximately 1 dozen cookies

1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 large chocolate bar - I used dark chocolate
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup shortening
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl combine shortening, applesauce, white and brown sugar and mix until all ingredients are blended together well.
Add baking powder, baking soda, flour, salt and vanilla.
Mix until doughy and flour is completely absorbed.
Let dough stand 3 to 5 minutes.
Melt chocolate (I melted in microwave for about 20 seconds and mixed until thoroughly smooth.)
Add chocolate to dough and incorporate into mixture.
Place golf ball size dollops of dough (I used ice cream spoon) and place on ungreased cookie sheet and space about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 11-13 minutes and let cool on cookie sheet.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Fool Proof Sugar Cookies

These cookies were made for Valentines Day.  I had tried another recipe before settling on this one.  The first recipe was such a disaster that the cookies and the cookbook BOTH went into the garbage.  I wasn't taking any chances of trying anything from that cookbook again.  How do some of these books get published??  You really have to wonder.
After trying that new recipe I decided to go back to my favorite cookbook - The Doubleday Cookbook.  This cookbook was originally published in 1975.  Over 40 years ago.  Doesn't matter...it's still my favorite and the one that I have gotten the most successful recipes from.  It's like my baking bible!  Never had a bad recipe come out of this book!

These are called Sand Tarts but they are very much like a good basic sugar cookie and a wonderful dough to work with.  I think you will like them if you try them.

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups sifted flour

Cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy; beat in egg, then vanilla.  Mix in flour and salt
, one third at a time, beating just to blend.  Wrap dough and chill 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Roll a small amount of dough at a time to 1/8" thick and cut with a 2" round (or whatever shape desired) cookie cutter.  Arrange 1" apart on greased baking sheets, brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar or sprinkles.  Bake 8 - 10 minute until pale golden.  Cool on wire racks.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins - Vegan

Hope everyone has had a nice Christmas.  The weather here has been wacky!  Christmas Day was in the 70's and we even had the air conditioning on....I'm not complaining at all.  This beats snow any day of the year!
I've been trying more vegan recipes lately.  This one comes from the cookbook by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, The Joy of Vegan Baking.  So far both recipes I've tried have been a success so that is a good sign that these recipes work!  These muffins are flavorful and moist....so enjoy!

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsps baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup nondairy semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, optional (I did not use)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease muffin tins or use muffin liners.
In a medium size bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt together.
In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil together, then add the mashed bananas.  Stir in the water and vanilla and mix thoroughly.  Add the flour mixture, along with the chocolate chips and stir to mix.
Fill each muffin tin halfway with the batter.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Frozen Berry Cobbler

It's rare that I make a cobbler but when I saw this on Pinterest I knew that I would be making this one. It's so easy and delicious.  It's definitely a winner.  Frozen berries and a cake mix.  Can it get any simpler?  And the recipe works.  I made some cookies the other night that were also real simple (too simple in fact) and they were a total disaster.  I found the recipe in a cake magazine and the recipe was posted by the editor.  Total failure, which my gut told me it would be.  Nothing could save those babies...but this baby works!!!  Please give this a try!  And don't leave out the sugar coating.  It is sooo good!

2 - 12 oz bags of frozen mixed berries
1 white cake mix
1 can of 7 Up or Sprite (must be clear soda - you may use diet if you like)

Place frozen fruit in 9 x 13 in baking dish.  Add the dry cake mix over the top.  Pour soda slowly over the cake mix. Do not stir the cake mix and the soda.  This will give you a crust.   If you stir the two you will have a cake like topping.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 - 40 minutes.

For the sugar coating:

2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 - 3 teaspoons milk (unsweetened

almond or soy are fine also)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Slowly combine milk and powdered sugar to desired consistency.  Add 1/2 tsp vanilla.  Spread over warm cobbler and let set.  Can be eaten while still slightly warm or cool.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Spiced Apple Cake

I made this cake a few weeks ago and plan on making it again soon.  It is super simple and delicious.  My mom had given me this little cookbook a few Christmas's ago and every cake that I've made out of it has been a success!  I've been under the weather lately but am finally feeling better.  Thank goodness Thanksgiving was not a bust.  Could have felt better but at least I was on some antibiotics by then and enjoyed a mini vacation on Chincoteague Island.  Hope you all had a nice holiday and if you try this cake you enjoy it!  This recipe comes courtesy of the book "Mmmm...Baking."

1 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing (I use baking spray)
Generous  1 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Scant 1 1/2 cups self rising flour*
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup golden raisins (I omitted these)
3 small apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp honey, warmed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and line a 9-inch round springform cake pan.
Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in the eggs.  Sift the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg into the batter and fold in gently using a large spoon.  Fold in the golden raisins (if using).
Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan and level the surface with a spatula.  Scatter over half the sliced apples.  Spoon over the remaining cake batter and gently level the surface again.  Arrange the remaining apple slices over the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 1 - 1 1/4 hours, until risen, golden brown and firm to the touch.  Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.  Brush the top with the warmed honey and let cool completely.

*If you do not have self rising flour you can make your own.  1 cup self rising flour = 1 cup flour + 1 1/2 tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp salt.




Sunday, November 22, 2015

Ethiopian Cabbage and Potatoes

Lately I have been eating a wide variety of foods - Thai, Indonesian, Middle Eastern, Indian.  All this has made me realize how bland American food really is.  While for some people a roast and potatoes just hits the spot, it doesn't do it for me.  For one, I don't eat meat.  Secondly, I just happen to love all the flavorful spices incorporated in these other foods.  So delicious!  I had recently cooked some cabbage up and had a hard time having it taste really good without the usual ham hock or chicken stock.  When I googled vegan cabbage dishes this one came up.  No problem with flavors - plenty of it!  The only thing I would do is cut the potatoes a bit smaller next time and keep larger pieces of cabbage.  Mine were shred so small they disappeared!  This dish can be a main meal with some crusty bread on the side or this can be a side dish.  Either way, enjoy!  (I deviated from the original recipe after reading some of the comments and what I am posting is my version.)

1/4 cup olive oil
4 carrots, sliced thin
1 onion, sliced thin
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
5 potatoes, peeled and cup up into 1 inch cubes

Heat the olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Cook the carrots and onions in the hot oil for about 5 minutes.  Stir in salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric and cabbage and cook about another 15 minutes.  Add potatoes, cover and reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 25 - 30  minutes, stirring occasionally,
 until potatoes are soft.  (Mine took 30 minutes.)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Apple Cider Donut Cake

If you enjoy apple cider donuts, I think you will like this cake.  It has the taste of an apple cider donut with a bit of a different texture since it is a cake and not deep fried!  However, it's really good.  I like trying new apple recipes this time of year when apples are abundant and very reasonable.  Especially when you get them buy the bushel and have a ton to cook up!  I've definitely been on the hunt for some new apple recipes.  I tried some new pie recipes and they were a complete disaster. I don't really know what went wrong but they were both trash bound as soon as I had my first taste.  No need to worry though with this cake.  Delicious!!!!  Hope you give this a try.  The original recipe can be found here.

2 large Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and chopped
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Sugar Topping
6 Tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour large Bundt pan.  I used Pam spray with flour.
In a medium saucepan bring apples and cider to a boil and let simmer for 10-12 minutes until apples have softened.  Let cool for a few minutes and then pour into food processor or blender and pulse until pureed.  Pour out one cup into bowl and add milk.  Set aside for later.
In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer cream butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time until well incorporated.  Add oil and mix well.
Add flour mixture and apple/milk mixture alternately in three additions, scraping bowl as needed. Add vanilla and mix in only to just combine.
Add batter to prepared pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.  Mine took about 50 minutes.
Cool cake in pan on rack for about 10 minutes. Combine sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in small bowl.
 Transfer cake to cooling rack and while still warm (but not hot) sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.   Use fingers if needed to coat sides of cake with sugar mixture.