Category Archives: Squares and Cookies

Canadian Oatmeal Shortbread

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Back again!  And with a recipe at that!  I’ve actually been getting some baking on lately, which has been great.  Feels great, tastes great, love it.  You get the gist.  It feels so good to create good tasting things .

Canadian Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies

Canadian Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies

In other news:

  • My baby is a whole 6 months old already!  She’s such a blessing to us.
  • We’ve been having some pretty great weather, which is helping mightily at keeping me sane.
  • Hubby is still home on parental leave (SCORE!).
  • I’ve started running again for the first time in three years!

That last thing there, let me tell you!  It’s feeling so good.  (I mean, it hurts like heck…  but it feels A-mazing to be running again!)

Hubby being home on parental leave has been such a great thing for us.  Spending every day as a whole family, sometimes is a bit crazy, but is nonetheless wonderful.  Daddy gets to play outside with the boys, while Mommy feeds Briar.  It works great.

Here's that cookie dough I was talking about...  Sooooo good.

The cookie dough I’m talking about… Sooooo good.

Back to the food ordeal.  I stumbled on this recipe in an old church cookbook.  It’s pretty great, because it’s a shortbread-oatmeal cookie cross.  So, it’s basically fantastic.  If you decide to eat most of the cookies raw, there will be no judging from me.  (I may or may not have done the same thing.)  They are nice and  chewy from the oatmeal, and the perfect sweet from the brown sugar shortbread base.

Cael approved the cookies.

Cael approved the cookies.

Have I ever mentioned that brown sugar, butter, and oats are my greatest weakness?  Because they are.  And I do love them ever so much.

Canadian Oatmeal Shortbread 

Taken from Canadian Lutheran Ladies, Family Favourites Cookbook

1 cup margarine, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup flour

Cream margarine and sugars.  Add vanilla, and beat until fluffy.  (Or use a wooden spoon, like me!)  Stir in flour, baking soda and oats.  Chill in fridge.  Roll into balls, and flatten with a fork.  Bake at 350 for 9-11 mins.

NOTE:  If you’re like me and don’t have the time/patience to chill anything in the fridge [ever], use a cookie scoop and dollop those cookies on the pan.  That way they won’t stick to your fingers – which is the purpose of chilling.  

Of course, no post is complete without more kid photos.

Siblings.  All at different stages of happy.

Siblings. All at different stages of happy.

This guy requested a hair cut this week!  What a little man, eh?

This guy requested a haircut this week! What a little man, eh?

The coolest little Jude dude, learning how to drive the scooter.

The coolest little Jude dude, learning how to drive the scooter.

Little Miss Briar

Little Miss Briar

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013

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The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013

So I stumbled onto this cookie exchange while browsing through blogs. You make a donation to ‘Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’, which help with research, etc., so it’s really a great cause, and a great way to get in touch with other bloggers in your country! (Not to mention new ideas and COOKIES!) At this point, I’ve received one package of cookies, and two are at the Post office, just calling my name. But of course, due to kids, one vehicle, snow, and other circumstances…. I haven’t gotten to them yet! But I’m itching to get my hands on them to find out what they are!
Biscotti dough

For my cookies, well, I didn’t know what to do. I was really going to do a traditional family recipe, but I scratched that and did the total opposite. Though, I’m not sure why. Anyhow. I’ve been wanting to try out biscotti for quite some time now, and it just seemed like a good chance to try it out. I didn’t know much about it, other than that it’s twice baked, and awesome dipped in tea/coffee/hot chocolate. I also know that I love cinnamon and coffee/tea/hot chocolate. So, 1 + 2 = cinnamon sugar biscotti. Or some such thing.
Circle?

Here goes! Next time, I think I’d omit the coffee chocolate chips, and make pour some cinnamon and sugar on top of the cookies as well, but hey – first try, eh? Also, sorry for the non-natural-light-photos… I was crunching for time, and had to make them at night. 🙂
Ready for glaze & cinnamon sugar!

Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti

1/4 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Pinch salt
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 3/4 cup flour
Coffee flavoured chocolate chips (optional)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Glaze:
3 tsp milk
1 cup icing sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream together margarine, and sugars. Add salt, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in flour and baking powder until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips (if desired). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide dough into 4 even balls. shape each into an 8 inch log, slightly flatten. Place two on the baking sheet. Mix together cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar onto the two flattened logs. Cover with remaining logs and pinch together on the sides. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, or until middle is set and slightly golden. Let cool on a rack for 1 hour. Slice diagonally into 3/4 inch strips. Place on cookie sheet, and bake at 350F for 8 minutes. Flip cookies, and bake for another 8 minutes. They should be dry to the touch. Let cool on a wire rack.

Mix together glaze until smooth. Coat ends of biscotti with glaze, dip in second amount of cinnamon sugar.
Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti

Ta da! Enjoy those biscotti!

And a teaser of the boys and one of their uncles… Just have to do it!  I painted my kitchen [again!] too!
Les gars

Have I mentioned CRAZY lately?

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**Just a warning – this is going to be a llloooonggg post.  But I hope you enjoy it enough to read it all!  :)**

Okay, here’s just how crazy I am.  At the moment, I’m FINALLY uploading my wedding pictures (from June 2010) to be developed…  I don’t have any printed off.  And I’m dead serious.  (Have I mentioned I am the queen of procrastination?  Because that’s true too.)  Not to mention baby pictures.  We have a baby?  You’d never know by my empty photo frames.

Anyhow.  We had a great, crazy, busy weekend.  My grandmother’s party was a hit.  I survived the 5K run.  Mother’s Day has come and gone.  All that in 2 days.  And it just hasn’t seemed to have slowed down very much.  I’ve had time to post, I won’t deny, but I’ve chosen to chillax instead.  Right now, I’m really still chillaxing.

I have to share this picture with you.  I just stumbled on it in choosing what pictures to get printed (this is a most certainly…).

You see, my brother Caleb got the brilliant idea of a turban for Cael a few months ago.  And now I do variations.  How do you like Biker-Cael-with-the-Cheesies?  I think he’s pretty darn cute, to tell the truth.

So!  I thought I’d  let you in on the 75th Birthday Bash.  The cake turned out pretty good (gave me a huge headache, but worth it… right?).  Along with my pan of squares, orange vanilla scones, two batches of shortbread cookies, AND 20 roast beef wraps.  I was flying on Saturday.  Literally, flying.  And slightly scared of crash landing in my mess of an icing-filled kitchen.  Mother’s Day, we went out for breakfast, and then we went for ice cream that evening too.  🙂

How do you like my grandmother’s cake?

Doesn’t she look great for 75?  If I didn’t know it, I would have guessed 65, seriously.

AND NOW…  I’ll share some food with you.

I made and photographed these awhile ago.  They are a standard in every household, but I like to believe that these are the BEST of their kind.  Give it up for Chococlate Chip Cookies!

*Warning – this makes a big batch.  But they go fast, so don’t even worry about it!*

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is from a family friend.  The recipe says that the oatmeal is “optional”, but I would say that it is actually quite MANDATORY.  You choose in the end, but I’d advise adding oatmeal over not.  🙂

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

3 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup oatmeal (I use almost a cup most of the time)

2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix together oil, margarine and sugars.  Cream.  Add eggs and beat well.

The batter will look something like this:

Doesn’t it make you want to lick the beaters?

Next, add the salt, flour and baking soda, and beat until smooth.  Add the oatmeal and chocolate chips.

Bake for about 10 minutes (or until slightly browned).  They are awesome RIGHT out of the oven.  And almost equally awesome days later.

Please enjoy these on this nice spring Victoria Day LONG WEEKEND!  Woot.  Do it up.

Now if you would be so kind as to not fall asleep while reading these 30 ‘interesting’ things about me!  🙂

30 Day Challenge

Day 6 – Write 30 interesting facts about yourself.

(This could be hard…  But here goes!)

1)  I love baking, but never follow a recipe exactly

2)  I work best under pressure (ie – ‘Queen of Procrastination’)

3)  I took Tourism and Hospitality Management at university

4)  I love doing cross words (but usually end up cheating for a word or two)

5)  Puzzles are awesome

6)  I study best at Starbucks

7)  My favourite thing to drink at Starbucks is a Skinny Caramel Macchiato

8)  There are three books I have read about 10 times each (and would still re-read) – they are all by Eva Ibbotson

9)  I have read through the entire Bible once, and am currently trying to do it again

10)  I married my high school sweetheart

11)  I am so glad I did

12)  I have the cutest little boy in the world, who laughs when he burps or farts (quite a boy, huh?)

13)  This summer will be the first time I’ve ever stood in a wedding other than my own

14)  I have an addiction to mustard coloured things

15)  I love my middle name

16)  I love wearing dresses, but I also love jeans – it’s a toss-up

17)  I love reasons to dress up

18)  I love kissing my hubby

19)  I love taking university courses (it makes me feel successful)

20)  I haven’t weighed myself since the day before I gave birth to my son

21)  I own a TON of Coke Cola memorabilia, but rarely drink the beverage

22)  I no longer have an appendix

23)  I was born with a cleft palate in my soft palate

24)  I have had the same group of 4 friends since grade 5

25)  I love to drive.  Like, I REALLY love to drive.

26)  Road trips are my dream vacation (well, other than touring France, England, and Italy)

27)  One of my favourite foods are Ribbits (Which are really bad for you, and you’ve probably never heard of them, but you should really try to find them, BBQ them, and eat them.)

28)  I love superhero movies

29)  Ice cream is one of many of my all-time favourites

30)  I am a firm believer in the death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  He is my Saviour.

There you have it guys.  You should know me a lot better now.  If I’m ever sad, or grumpy, buy me some ice cream or a Skinny Caramel Macchiato, and I’m good to go.

What do you think?  What did you find ‘interesting’?  Whatcha doin’ for the long weekend?

[I’m] CRAZY! About peanut butter?

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Can I just say that I have a lot on my mind?  Because I completely forgot to do the 30 day challenge on my last post.  So I figured I’d better post sooner to make up for it (and to share more food because, you know, I bake WAYY too much and am WAYY behind in my posting, so I’ve given up taking photos of a lot because there’s just so much!)  Wow.  That was a mouthful.  Or an eyeful…  whatever.

30 Day Challenge

Day 5 – A time you thought about ending your own life.

I’ll have to give you the truth.  This is not life shattering, and not interesting in the least…  But I can’t say I’ve ever thought about that.  Ever.  Honestly.  Life is great.  Even when it’s not, I don’t think it’s smart to ‘play God’, if you know what I mean.  It’s not really our choice to end our lives.  Yes, they are our lives, but God has given them to us, and He’ll take them away soon enough, when He deems the time is right.

And now I’ll get to the rest of the crazy.  First of all, it’s 10:30pm and I’m still baking.  A cake to be precise.  A cake with 8 eggs and 8 cups of flour (ie – a BIG cake!).  The reason for this cake, is that my grandmother is turning 75.  And we’re throwing a party for her.  A big party.  That’s right, the cake needs to be bigger, so onto the chocolate layer I go.  (Well, after this post.)

Second of all, I have a zillion other things to bake tomorrow, plus decorate the cake.  Decorating cakes for me, is a time when everyone should probably stay out of the house kitchen.  I get kind of tense.  I hate to admit it, but it’s true.  Like, don’t look at me, don’t watch me, don’t speak to me, don’t even breathe around me.  Please.  (My poor, poor hubby…)

Thirdly, on Saturday, there is a 5k run/walk, and I’m registering… right now for it.  Kicking myself in the head, really a race?  Man.  I need to get back in shape.  I’m petrified…  But hopefully I’m still alive afterwards, because that’s also the day of the party for my grandmother, AND I have to make sandwich-type food that day too.  Hopefully there’s an urn of strong coffee somewhere in my travels that day.  An urn.  Not a mug.  Not a cup.  A 20 cup urn.  And chocolate.  And ice cream.  Okay, I’m getting in way over my head now (or I’m just over-tired and actually sharing with you what’s going through my brain).

Okay, and now, I’ve just spent half and hour trying to find a recipe that I made (I DID make it…  it DID exist at some point, somewhere) without success.

Nix that!!  I just found it!  Okay folks.  Let the recipe sharing begin.  I found this recipe on the Novice Chef, and made a few changes.

Peanut Butter Cream’wiches  (The EGG-LESS version – not on purpose)

1 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup water

3 cups flour

2.5 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream together shortening, and sugars.  Mix in vanilla, peanut butter and water.  Add flour, and baking soda and mix until well combined.

Roll into 1 inch balls and then roll into white sugar.  Place on cookie sheet and press with a fork.

Bake for about 8 minutes.  Cool, and then fill with Peanut Butter Filling!

Peanut Butter Filling

1 1/2 cups peanut butter

1/2 cup margarine, softened

1 cup icing sugar

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

Cream all ingredients together, until smooth.

Fill those cookie cream’wiches!  (Remember – wait until they are cooled first, or you’ll have peanut butter soup between two cookies.)

**NOTE:  The first thing I baked in my own house, and I was pumped to make them.  New house, peanut butter cookies with PEANUT BUTTER FILLING?!  Who wouldn’t be pumped?  Anyhow, I started putting things together in a mixing bowl, and discovered there were no eggs.  Devastated, or what?  I decided to improvise…  So that’s how the recipe changes came about.  If you want your cookies too look as pretty as the Novice Chefs, use eggs.  Just thought you should know.

In ending this post tonight, I just wanted to share a passage with you guys.  I read it yesterday, and I found it really encouraging.  You’ll find it in the Psalms.

“Make me to know your ways, O LORD;  teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”
Psalm 25:4-5 ESV

The whole chapter is really great, but these two verses just really stood out to me the other morning.  Teach me, lead me.  That is what I want.

Have a great Friday, and weekend following!

Date Oatmeal-Goodness Cookie Sandwiches

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Ever had one of those weeks?  You know, the ones where you feel like PMS is a permanent illness?  Because that’s just about how I felt this week.  Man.  It was bad.  Talk about mood swings, and chocolate cravings…  haha.

I did a ton of baking and cooking the last of the week, but have no pictures to prove it.  I WILL take pictures.  I WILL get the camera out.  I WILL.  I WILL.  (I’m going to keep chanting that until it happens, okay?)

Thursday was baking day, for the most part, and Friday cooking.  Jeudi consisted of raisin bran muffins, Nanny’s Cinnamon Rolls, garlic croutons, and cooked chicken.  Vendredi was stuffed potatoes (best kind ever – I vow to share this recipe with you in due time), chicken quesadillas, garden salad, and blueberry pie.  Whew.

{I just HAD to include this photo – he’s being such a goose here, and he’s just TOO cute!}

By the time Friday was over, all I wanted to do was eat and sit down, and eat, and sleep, and… eat.  So eat I did.  And do I ever feel gross today.  Totally worth it though, I must say.

And!  Kudos to Second Cup.  They have new Maple Lattes out, and they are all kinds of amazing!  I could have had about 5 today.  I remained slightly not content with one…

So in my first post on cookies, I mentioned these as one of the kinds of cookies that I really enjoy.

Date Oatmeal Cookie Sandwich

1/2 cup margarine, softened

1/2 cup lard

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

Pinch salt

3 cups quick cooking oatmeal

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Cream together margarine, lard, and brown sugar.  Blend in  eggs and vanilla.  Add in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix in oatmeal, until combined.

Next, roll the dough out, about a 1/4 inch thick.  Cut with a circle cookie-cutter.

WARNING – Cookie cutters are dangerous!  Mine broke on me, and give me a nice little cut on my finger.  Ow.

But I kept at it.  Bake these cookies for about 10 -12 minutes.  Give or take a little.

Let the cookies cool, then they’re ready for some filling.  As you may have noticed, I didn’t stick to date filling for all of these.  My brothers are averse to dates, or so it seems.  So I did them a favour, and filled half of my sandwiches with white buttercream icing.  I’d much rather the dates, but hey, that’s preference for you.

Date Filling

2 cups chopped dates

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup water

1/4 cup orange juice

Cook about 10 minutes, until thickened.  Cool.  Easy peasy,

*Just a note – You will have dates leftover.  I would just use them in a second batch (you can refrigerate them for quite awhile), or eat them on your oatmeal for breakfast – they are SO good.*

30 Day Challenge

Day 3 – Your views on drugs and alcohol

Now for me, this one is pretty easy.  No, and… no!  🙂

I’m not your average 20-something year old gal.  I avoid both of these entirely, unless you count the alcohol in vanilla extract that I use in baking.

I see no point in destroying my body, or losing control to a substance.  I can also have plenty of fun – sober.  I don’t believe that we should let things control us.

“And do not get drunk on wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.”  Ephesians 5:18 (ESV)

I think it would be much more constructive to pray, read the Bible, and live the life described there – to be filled with the Holy Spirit – than to be filled with spirits and not able to control myself.  I want to know what I’m doing, not forget whole evenings.  I don’t enjoy being sick either, so count me out of being hung over.  Please.

I know many people will not agree with me on this topic.  But these are my views, I’m just sharing.  Think it over.  🙂

What is your favourite kind of cookie?

Breakdown – and more DOUGH

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Okay, so have you ever reached that point where you just don’t know what to do?  I have.  Many times.  And today was a perfect example.  Imagine moving into a house, but only moving half of you belongings.  The house is completely full, and very neat.  All of a sudden, the rest of your belongings arrive (with no prior notice).  You have nowhere to put them, and your neat, new house is going to be in shambles and busting at the seams.

Sigh.

This actually happened.

Except it really wasn’t all bad, just completely overwhelming at the time.  My house is coming together!  I love it.  (The top floor anyways, as the other half of my belongings – plus much of the first half – are down in the basement thrown everywhere.  I’m surprised there is room to move!)  Apparently, I am was a packrat.  I have changed, I promise!  My mother will never believe me after everything she found in my bedroom, but give me a break.  I’ve been in the same room my whole life.  Of course there is going to be a lot of junk stuff.  🙂  Right?

And these rolls make me feel better either way.

Anyhow.  That was how my afternoon went.  The rest of the day was great.  Awesome sunshine, walks, a big brunch with my family, BBQ hamburgers for supper…  Can’t complain about that.

But.  You guys can complain.  I’ve relapsed into my ‘no posting syndrome’ from a few months ago.  Thing is, I just didn’t have the umption in my gumption (as some older lady in my family would say..)  But I’m trying to overcome this awful disease.  I would have you know that I baked the first thing ever in OUR house Thursday.  It was great.  Until I remembered I had no eggs.  And the recipe called for 3.  I had already started…  *Sigh, AGAIN.  But it turned out okay.  I’ll post those soon.  (Keep your eye out for Peanut Butter Cream-wiches – super yummy, especially if you’re a sucker for peanut butter anything, like moi.)  You know.  There are too many things I really want to post, and too little time (especially when I’m not posting… haha.  I’ll get my act together, okay?)

So.  This recipe.  I hope it’s going to BLOW.  Your.  Socks.  OFF!  🙂  I thought they turned out really good anyways.  Coulda eaten the whole lot of em.  My brother Caleb even said that they were a keeper (so they must have been good…)!

A few weeks ago, I posted my grandmother’s awesome recipe for Cinnamon Rolls.  This is my twist.  They are still rolls, but less the cinnamon, and add many other yummy, wonderful ingredients.  Like tea.  And jelly.  Mmmmm…

Apple Jelly Tea Rolls

(Or Absolutely Divine Yummyness – whichever you prefer)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup margarine, softened

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk, warmed

4 tea bags (I used breakfast tea, but really any black tea will work great)

1 tsp vanilla

Salt

3 cups flour

3 1/2 tsp baking powder

Before you do anything else, but your tea bags in the warmed milk to steep.  You want to get as much flavour out of them as possible.

(Do it.  Seriously – the more tea, the more awesome.)  Then preheat your oven to 350 and get baking!  Beat together sugar and margarine.  Mix in eggs, vanilla, and salt.  Discard tea bags, and add the milk to your mixture.  Mix until combined.  Add flour and baking powder, gradually.  The dough should look something like this:

Next, roll out your dough into a rectangle.  Spread on 1 cup of apple jelly, evenly.

I used homemade apple jelly from our very own apple trees.  It is so good.  If I make some this summer, I’ll most definitely share the recipe!

Sprinkle with brown sugar, and a slight dusting of cloves.  I was so proud of my addition of the cloves.  They add a wonderful aroma, and it just goes so well!

Next, roll the dough along the long edge.  Cut into 12 rolls.  Place on a greased baking sheet, and bake for about 20 minutes.

While they are baking, you can make the glaze.  (I know, it just gets better and better all the time, eh?)

You will need to steep 3 more tea bags in a 1/2 cup of warmed evaporated milk.  After they have steep for a good while (at least 10 minutes), mix in a pinch of salt and cloves, and 3 cups of icing sugar.  Mix until smooth.  Drizzle over cooled tea rolls, generously.

*Note – You will definitely have leftover icing.  Save it.  You will want to dunk every piece into it.  Even after you’ve drowned them in drizzle…

{I may have made a slight mess…}

And you will love them.

Again, please forgive my tardiness for posting.  I’m ashamed of myself.  Disgusted really.  But, it happens.  So.  There you have it.  A post.  Long awaited by many…  I hope.  🙂

Will this picture make up for it?

Hope so.

Have a great rest-of-your-weekend!

What is your favourite kind of tea?  (I love too many kinds to make a decision… but anything vanilla, or peach… )

Little Helpers!

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This post is going to be fun.

It will be fun, you see, because it was a fun baking experience – because I got to bake with three precious little girls.

Now you see, if you knew me in my kitchen (ask my hubby for verification!), you would never think that I would be able to handle this.  When I bake, I’m flying.  Well actually, when I live (which is well, always) I fly.  For some reason, it’s a go, goooo, GO for me all the time.  I can be seen literally running through the house at times if nobody is around, and perhaps at times when people are present.  SO – baking with others is normally a task for me.  I just don’t have time!  Well, I just don’t take the time…  But this day, I did.  And I’m so glad for it.  It was a great time with these three, and they even said that they had fun!  I was super happy about that.

This recipe is super easy.  It was one that my grandmother would set me to making, because it has few ingredients and it’s pretty hard to mess up (which I HAVE done, but they taste good no matter what anyhow).  For these, I always use a wooden spoon.  Also because of Nannie.  She liked using wooden spoons for quite a few things, and it stuck.  These squares are so easy to stir by hand that it’s really and truly a waste of time to get a mixer out and messed up.

Chocolate Chip Squares

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2/3 cup oil

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Stir together eggs, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla.  Add baking powder, salt and flour.

Stir until combined.

Add chocolate chips.

Pour into a greased 9×9 pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Lick dough off of spoon.

They’re really nice and gooey…. and chocolaty too.

Enjoy.

We also made homemade old-fashioned strawberry ice cream later on that day.  With a crank outside in the snow.  It’s really quite cool.  It takes awhile, but it’s most definitely worth it.  (But it’s not low-calorie by ANY mean!  Haha.)

It.

Is.

SO.

GOOD!

So, that was my really great day with these three great little ladies.  Hope you enjoy the squares.

Do you take your time to bake?   Or do you fly, like I seem to?

Must be Peanut Butter Time Again!

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Guess what?  This past weekend was really great.  I got some things done.  Hung out a bit.  Y’know.

But it was also….  Well, let’s just say you are about to see how clumsy I am/how a LOT of my days turn out in the end.  I took most of the afternoon on Saturday to make some baby food.  Cael is an eater.  I mean, he eats.  And eats.  And eats….  Get the picture?  (But still no teeth!)  Anyway.  I had to make him some food.  And I was feeling really good about it.  A real domestic thing to do.  Get the picture?  La-ti-da, cooking and blending away.  I made him some date oatmeal, carrots, and corn.  They looked SO pretty – the colours are great.

Nice, right?  Not for long…

And then, I went to put them in the freezer.  If you’ve ever been in our home, you might understand.  For those of you who haven’t, let me explain.  The freezer is like a time bomb.  It ticks, and the trigger is someone who’s in a hurry (ME?!), trying to shove something in the zero space that remains.  It’s like trying to fit a 13th muffin in a 12-cup muffin tin.  Or maybe a 13th AND 14th.    Either way.  This is what happens.  Regularly.

Except normally, things aren’t still runny.  And don’t spill all over the floor.

Sigh.  All my work.  Oh well, I suppose.  Ever had these moments?

Back to the baking…  So, I got another request.  This time – Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies “that stay nice and moist”.  Now I must say, I LOVE the peanut butter/chocolate combo.  But.  When it comes to cookies, they need to be strictly peanut butter.  So I always use peanut butter chips.  Chocolate chips can be substituted easily though.  Definitely.  (Really though,  I guess I could do chocolate chip peanut butter cookies… 😉  )

Anyhow…  I love peanut butter cookies.  But the thing is – I hardly ever get to make them BECAUSE of silly allergy rules in the schools.  Cookies are such a great snack in lunches.  My brothers take cookies to school all the time (SOMEBODY’S gotta eat all those cookies we’re making!), but they can’t take peanut butter cookies.  So.  Solution is to bake them on weekends, or extended breaks.  This week is March break, problem solved.  (Not that I don’t eat a ton of them too, I’m addicted.)  Again, they don’t look perfect.  I don’t use a proportioned scoop (I have that gripe… remember?), but you totally could if you want (I know some people just can’t help it, I understand…).  🙂

Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup margarine, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 1/4 cup flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

Pinch salt

1 bag peanut butter chips (or chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix together the margarine, peanut butter, and sugars.

Add egg and salt, mix.  Mix in flour, and baking soda.  Should look something like this:

Now’s the time to add the peanut butter (chocolate) chips!  I drop these cookies by the spoonful, but they can be rolled into balls too and pressed with a fork if you want.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes (they should be just brown around the edges).

These cookies stay awesomely chewy [and yummy] stored in an airtight container.

Hope you enjoy!  Bon appetit!

How was your weekend?

Dad’s Cookies

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My dad eats almost anything.  Actually, he WILL eat anything.  But there are a few things he doesn’t like.  One of those things is celery – weird eh?  But there are many things that he does like.  And one of those things is Molasses Cookies.  When I was little, he was a stay-at-home dad for a few years.  And this was one of his specialties.  Surprised?  My dad can cook, AND bake.  He’s really good at it, actually.  Anyways, he used to make these for me all the time.  He even wrote by the recipe, “Kayleigh likes these”, to help him remember which recipe it was he used.  Now, he runs his own business, and doesn’t have near as much time on his hands to bake.  So, I make them.  For him.  I love baking when people love to eat my food.  🙂

Anyhow.  These cookies are the perfect cookie.  They are nice and moist and chewy, and stay that way for about a week (not that they last that long normally…).  I used to hate to make these (when I was 12 or so), because they are rolled cookies, and I though they took too long.  But now, I really don’t mind making them.  They are so good, and really don’t take that long [at all].  We found the recipe in an old hospital cookbook, but we made some changes to it (and they’re wayyy better now).

Dad’s Molasses Cookies

3/4 cup shortening

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup molasses

2 1/4 cup flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ginger

1 tsp cloves

Pinch salt

So – First, preheat oven to 350 F.  Then mix together the shortening, molasses, and brown sugar.

And now, add that egg and beat it in.  Then, add your flour, baking soda, and spices.  Mix well.

Then comes the rolling part that I used to hate so bad (but really, truly thoroughly enjoy now).  Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls (or smaller if you like smaller cookies).  After you roll them into balls, roll them into white sugar so that they’re evenly coated.

So yummy.

Next, press with a fork, and throw into the oven for about 10 minutes (truthfully, I put mine in for 11, and they are perfect, but it depends on the oven).

You will know they are done when they look dry.  Not dry but not wet… get what I mean?  This is about what they look like:

Yummy.

Cael can pull himself up to standing now – all by himself.  I turned around the other day, and he was using the laundry basket as a stabilizer, just standing there.  He scared me half to death.  I can’t believe he’s doing that already.  He just started crawling this past week!  Ohmydear.  How fast they do grow… !  I really have to keep a close eye on him now.

Keep checking, because soon I’ll be posting a red velvet adventure, and some peanut butter love too.  🙂  Oh!  And linzer cookies too!  My mother-in-law bought me some heart cutters to make some (as I’ve never tried), and I really want to try them out!

Oh.  And I have joined Facebook too.  Check me out at www.facebook.com/foreverfaithandfood/  !!

(Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.  They just looked SO good.  And it was.)

Are there any foods that always remind you of your childhood?  Fond memories?  

Peanut Butter Calvin

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So surprisingly, I’m going to post again.  For my THIRD time in 2 weeks!  Wohoo.  I’m on a roll.

Does anybody else have a love for Calvin and Hobbes?  I sure do.  Growing up with all brothers greatly aids my appreciation of them.  For instance, this cartoon fits all of my brothers at about age 8 (which is how old my youngest brother is at the moment).

My youngest little bro was reading to Cael the other day.  It was so sweet, I just had to catch a few shots of them.

It was Cael’s first time to read Calvin.  He really seemed to enjoy it.  Well, he tried to eat the book anyway.

Pretty cute, eh?

So, now that we’ve covered Calvin, let’s get to the peanut butter part of this post.

I have this addiction, my husband shares it.  It’s called…  Peanut butter and chocolate.  It has got to be one of the BEST combinations ever thought up.  Somehow, there are those who don’t enjoy this mix, but I call them crazy and deprived.

My hubby isn’t into many of my baked goods, but these squares I’m about to share with you….  Let’s just say he’s more than into them, he’s all over them!  These things are so simple to make to – no bake.  And delectable.  Company always asks for more and the recipe too.  Simple and delicious.  What more could you ask for in a dessert?  Except for maybe a chocolate-peanut butter combo…  But wait!  It’s got that too!

This recipe is also a family recipe, thanks to my aunt.  🙂

Reeses Pieces Squares

Bottom:

1 1/4 cup graham crackers

3/4 cup margarine (softened)

1 tsp vanilla

3  cups icing sugar

1 cup peanut butter (I use smooth, but crunchy could definitely work as well!)

Simply mix it all together and pat into an ungreased 9×9 pan.

Then, you make the top…

1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (we use semi-sweet)

2 tsp water

Reeses pieces candy, crushed

Melt the chocolate chips and water in the microwave.  Stir until smooth.  sprinkle with crushed candy pieces.  And… Tada!

So, craving yet?  I sure am…  My hubby is too apparently.  He’s looking over my shoulder while I’m writing this and asked if there were any left.  🙂  There is something to say about baking for your husband and him enjoying it.

Hope you enjoy those squares!  They are pretty darn good if I do say so myself.  PB and chocolate anyone?