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all in the family……

I have very fond memories of a cookie that my mom & grandmother would bake when I was a child. They seemed labor-intensive to me way back when..

my meme…..wasn’t she beautiful?

They only made them around Christmas time & it seemed to me like they took  forever ….

I have never made them or even asked for the recipe.. until last week. I called my mom & asked her if she would like to come to my house & teach me to make these special cookies 🙂

She & my stepdad came down for the day & my mom & I made

date-nut filled cookies…

she brought an old photo copy of my grandmother’s copy..

you will need

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

date filling :

2 cup finely chopped pitted dates

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Start by mixing shortening, ( yes, I actually bought it!) sugar, eggs and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl. Slowly blend in flour, salt & baking soda.; wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour

(perhaps this long hour of waiting in my childs’ mind was all day to me?… remember as a kid just how loooooonnnnnggg December seemed?)

while the dough is chilling you can either jump in the car, get coffee & drive to pick up your children/ grandchildren from their perspective schools… (which we did ) 😉

OR

you can make the filling ( which I had prepped while mom made the dough….)

Add dates, nuts, sugar & water to a saucepan & cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. ( if you want it even smoother, once it is thick you can use an immersion blender to make it smoother, just don’t completely puree it, you will want some texture to the filling)

When said kids are home & have had a snack, preheat oven to 400 degrees and begin to roll dough out on lightly floured board.  Roll dough to 1 /16 inch ( thin)

Using the bottom of a glass ( that’s the way my meme did it…. no fancy cookie cutters back then) cut 3 inch-ish circles from the dough.

Spoon 1 teaspoon of filling on 1/2 of the circle

fold edges over & press edges together.

Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet ( we used parchment paper… hey, I finally bought it!!

Brush the tops of the cookies with a bit of milk & sprinkle with sugar

we were so excited, we completely forgot this step… oops!

Bake 8-10 minutes or until very light brown. Remove from baking sheet & let cool ( filling will be really hot!)

One bite of these cookies & I was 7 years old again…

who am I kidding,  I’ve always been 7!!!

oxoxo enjoy!

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Peanut butter fudge

make that EASY peanut butter fudge………  Here is yet another recipe from my ancient recipe box…. this one hand written by someone other than me… kudos to whomever that may be…

This was a quick-make recipe that I was able to do in the midst of 7,000 other holiday things ( I’m sure you can all imagine what that must feel like)

Anyway, it whipped up quickly, thanks to Mother Nature’s frigid temperatures, I was able to quick chill them on my porch, and just like magic….

Fudge!

Here we go!

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup milk ( I used 1 % because that’s what I  had, the recipe doesn’t clarify what kind)

1 1/3 cup Peanut Butter ( which is the majority of a 16- ounce container of PB)

7-Ounce Marshmallow cream (which I don’t think I have ever purchased in my life and haven’t had it since 1955, so imagine my surprise when I not only FOUND it in the store, but I found a 7 ounce container!! it’s the little things 😉 )

a long spoon

Chocolate chips

Optional: nuts

In a saucepan, bring sugar & milk to a boil; boil for 3 minutes. ( I watched it carefully ; stirring)

Add peanut butter & marshmallow. Mix well (it will get easier after a few minutes as both ingredients begin to melt)

see… I promised!

*the recipe’s directions do not mention what to do with the nuts. I imagine you can either stir them in to the mixture*

OR

Quickly pour into a buttered, cooking spray or parchment-lined pan and sprinkle the to with nuts, pressing gently so that the nuts set in.

( I used parchment…it was very easy to lift the parchment out so that cutting way easy)

Chill until set.

While fudge is chilling, add chocolate chips to remaining peanut butter container, stir with spoon & EAT!

after all…you need your protein…… this is a busy time of year, and I certainly wouldn’t want yo to get run down 😉

when fudge is chilled, cut into squares & enjoy!

this is a hit here at Casa Hagg…. although Alison keeps hinting as to when will I make chocolate fudge…..

I’m getting there…

Exciting day here today…. I have cookie-baking company  🙂

AND…. it’s Farkle’s birthday!!!!

happy birthday to our favorite resident Elf….

looks like he had a bit too much egg nog last night……

oxoxo

sale- inspired cookie

 

Hi all.. me again.  talk about a crazy weekend. I could go into detail, but you wouldn’t believe me

~unless you knew my family~ then you would completely get it. ….

And you could pretend to understand, because that is what I do.

 

I think it’s working 😉

 

anyway… I’m sure that I have mentioned that I am a coupon queen. I just love me a bargain!

Somewhere in my shopping travels a few weeks ago, I came across a too-good to be true sale .. on extracts.

I bought a few of them one being orange.  I set out on the magical world wide web on my ‘home computer device’ and came up with these..

Orange toffee almond sandies

I ♥♥Toffee♥♥  as I pointed out

herehere

 

so when I found this recipe that had Orange AND toffee…. I knew it was made for me….

you will need :

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons orange zest
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 2 cups English toffee bits

(are you wondering why the Heath bar bag is upside down? It’s because Ali decided that she should ‘taste’ them and cut the corner so that if I tried to take the picture with ‘heath’ facing upright, I would have a shower of heath bar crunchies on my countertop)

 

♥♥♥Ali♥♥♥

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F.

 

In a mixing bowl, add the butter, oil and the sugars. Using a hand-held mixer, beat until combined. Beat in the extracts. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in orange zest, almonds and toffee bits.

using a small cookie scoop, scoop cookies  2-inches apart, onto ungreased baking sheets.

 

Bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven to a wire rack .

These cookies were fabulous just as is…. light & airy, sweet & tart, creamy & crunchy all at once, but I had a hankering ot take it to the next level.

 

 

I melted some chocolate with a teaspoon of the orange extract & drizzled

oh. yes. I. did.

 

the drizzle took these 5 star cookies OVER THE TOP!

so much in fact that I had to pull out some of my Aunt’s China for the cookie’s photo shoot.

 

oxooox

~shel

sealed with a kiss

a Hershey’s kiss that is. Today’s recipe comes straight from chocolate-land itself…

When the kids were little we went to Hershey, Pennsylvania on a camping trip. When I saw this cookbook at the end of the tour I just HAD to have it.

It was my one big splurge of the trip. I remember reading it cover to cover for the whole 16 + hour drive home.

*disclousre* most of the family went….. we still owe a certain girl a trip to Hershey…. who’d have figured that SHE would be the biggest chocolate lover of us all?

 

This recipe was one of my favorites.

Peanut Blossoms

Peanut butter & chocolate. In a cookie. as they should be. forever and ever.  Amen.

HOW could you go wrong?

trick question.. you can’t 🙂

You will need

Hershey’s kisses ( and someone to unwrap them for you).. on second thought.. get 2 bags. one for the cookies.. one for the cooks;)

1/2 cup butter; softened  (recipe calls for shortening, but I always use butter)

3/4 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all- purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

granulated sugar

 

begin by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.

then set your helper* ahem* Alison* to take this kisses from this form

to this form

 

 

In a large bowl, beat butter & peanut butter until well blended. Add 1/3 cup sugar & brown sugar; beat until light & fluffy. Add egg, milk & vanilla; beat well.

Stir together flour, baking soda & salt. Gradually add to to peanut butter mixture.

 

Shape dough into 1-inch balls & roll in the remaining sugar. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet or parchment or silpat.

Bake for about 9 minutes; remove cookies from oven

press a kiss down in the center of each cookie. ( the cookie will crack around the kiss)

Remove from baking sheet to wire rack to cool.

 

SWEET peanut butter & chocolate heaven….

 

Oh! Oh! Oh!  Lookie what I found while clipping my coupons ( um.. I’m kind of a self-procailmed coupon queen)

 

PARCHMENT PAPER!!

 

now maybe I’ll actually remember it?  let’s hope!

do any of you have suggestions for a particular kind of cookie that you would either like me to bake or research? I know I put the question out there awhile back, but alot has happened since then and I’m having trouble remembering…….

 

like the parchment paper.

oxox

 

ooey gooey minty bars

That’s what I’m calling them. The official recipe that I found is called midnight mints.. but once I made these & they were on the platter.. I decided hat I would re-mame them ( at least in this house 😉 )

 

Sunday morning, our oldest son, Jason, left  for his 6 month tour of duty in the Persian Gulf… although the emotions around here have been wildly unpredictable& unexplainable , the biggest emotion is by far pride.

We are sooo proud of him…

 

ok.

cookies.

These are a triple layered bar-type cookie with tons of sweetness

you will need:

for layer 1:

1/2 cup butter, softened

5 tablespoons cocoa

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, beaten

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup coconut

for layer 1~

combine butter, cocoa & sugar in a saucepan. slowly bring to a boil. Turn of heat & whisk in egg to thicken & add coconut.

using a spatula, press into the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan

 

Layer 2:

 

1/4 cup butter

3 tablespoons milk

1/4  teaspoon peppermint extract

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 drops green food coloring

Combine all ingredients in a bowl & using a mixer, mix until have bowl full of minty-greeness. Spread over first layer.

layer 3:

2/3 cup chocolate chips ( I used mint chocolate chips)

2 tablespoons butter.

Melt butter & chips in the microwave, then spread or drizzle over lay 2.

Chill 😉

 

Now I had me quite the time cutting these. I suppose if I ever remember to buy parchment paper,  lining the base of the dish first might make it easier. Either way, there were no complaints about these cookies….

they do need to be refrigerated, or they will freeze, so you need to keep that in mind, they aren’t your typical ‘cookie jar’ cookie ( like cookie jars stay full anyway..)

but they were yummy. Mabye next time I’ll serve some with some grasshopper fudge brownie sundae ice cream.

 

or something like that 😉

 

oh.. and I  finally did a little decorating….

 

 

cukoo for coconut

macaroons, that is! And as much as I love them, I can’t remember a time that I’ve actually made them.

until now 😉

I used Ina\’s recipe… which had 5-star reviews.

you will need:

14 ounce sweetened condensed milk

14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 extra large egg whites, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

(and because I wanted them festive)

1 small jar of maraschino cherries; drained.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the coconut, milk& vanilla in a large bowl

*don’t combine those in you mixer bowl, because you need the mixer to beat the egg whites in the next step… or you can so what I did which was extra dishes because I didn’t read the recipe through before I started….. hey, I was excited.. remember.. I’m cuckoo!*

NEXT whip the egg whites & salt on high sped of your mixer until medium-firm peaks form. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Now.. mine didn’t fold very well……  I think the batter should look much lighter than this….

drop batter by 2 teaspoons on parchment -lined cookie sheets or a small cookie scoop.

I opted for the cookie scoop…. although it made fewer cookies, because they are much bigger than they need to be, i thought they would look more festive 😉 .. Plus we have a lot of cookies round these parts these days..

gently place 1 cherry in the center of each cookie.  bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool and enjoy!

ok.. of to get the Christmas tree (s)!!

ssshhhhhhh! Scott will find out when we get there 😉

xoxoox

chocolate butter cookies

So remember when I tempted you yesterday with this cookies dough? I was making yet another recipe from my old stash

Again.. no clue where I got the recipe, but I will tell you that this is quite simple & very versitle

Chocolate Butter Cookies

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cocoa

Here is what you do:

In a large mixer combine sugar& butter; beat at medium speed until creamy ( about 1-2 minutes) .

Add egg & almond extract;continue beating until well mixed.

pause to admire your dough

Reduce speed to low. Gradually add the flour & cocoa scarping the bowl often until well-mixed.

this is where the versatility comes in.

you can

A) use it as is in a cookie press

(I’m not that brave yet)

2) wrap the dough in plastic wrap & allow to chill for at least an hour, then roll out & use cookie cutters

(we may be trying that later this month)

or

III) dump the dough on a long piece of plastic wrap & roll into a long roll

like I did 🙂 and chill for the world’s best slice & bake cookie!

When you re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Remove dough from fridge just when you are ready to bake it.

using a serrated knife, slice into 1/4 inch rounds

place each round on a silpat or parchment paper & bake for 7-9 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven & allow to let cool for 5-10 minutes.

Now these cookies were really yummy just as they were, but since I am trying to get into a festive state of mind, I thought that it would be fun to dip them in white chocolate & put some fun sprinkles on them

sprinkles make everything more fun., dontcha think?

I saw an article in a magazine today on another way to decorate cookies, & I did try on a few cookies, but overall, I think they were a tad pathetic..

I took a square piece of paper the size of the cookie & cut a tiny snowflake *cough* snowflake looking type of shape. Put on top of the cookie & using a tiny sifter, sift powdered sugar on top.. then remove the paper.

This is what I came up with

ok.. so they don’t look exactly like the magazine, but I was kind of rushing..  so we may be giving this another try as well. I did not try it, but I am pretty darn sure that you could make this dough ahead of time, freeze it in the log-form & have slice & bake cookies within1 15 mintues whenever you want them.

I must try that.

and just for you , Kim……. one from the archives…

kinda still looks like him…..

xoxoox

English Toffee Squares

you had me at ‘English’

I love tea…

I love trifle…

I love toffee..

not so sure about Scotch Eggs but Ryan insists that they will be delicious…..  we’ll see.

someday.

maybe.

back to the cookie~ when I came across this recipe,  I knew this HAD  to be my cookie of the day.

English Toffee Squares

you will need :

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup chopped nuts ( I used almonds, because that’s what  I had )

(pesky elf optional)

so remember butterbutt from last year? She did it again.

I pulled out the ingredients to get to room temperature before I went to the gym & when I came home, a stick of butter was missing.

Guess who is  in the doghouse

and guess who learned her lesson about how high to store the butter 😉

Ok.. start by preheating the over to 275 degrees & lining a small cookie sheet  (15 x10 ) with parchment paper ( I was out of parchment paper, so I used aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray)

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter & sugar until creamy; scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Separate the egg

and mix the yolk into the butter mixture.

In another bowl, sir together flour & cinnamon. add to the butter mixture & mix until blended.

Dump the mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet & with oiled hands, press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan. It takes a few minutes to get it all flattened out, but trust me, it will lay out nicely.

Quickly whisk the egg white( I used the flour bowl, one less bowl to wash) then brush the egg white over the dough mixture

sprinkle the chopped nuts on top

and gently press into dough

Bake at 275 for 1 hour. Remove from oven & let cool just a bit, then cut into squares.

*note* using the parchment/ foil makes it easy to lift the entire bar out & trnasfer to a cutting board to make easier cutting. The foil seemed to stick to the back a little, but I was able to peel the part that stuck off. I think that with parchment this wouldn’t have been an issue.

I was astounded at how delicious these are.

when I first read that there was cinnamon in the dough I was a bit unsure, but seriously.. without the cinnamon & nuts & butter, they taste just like Baklava!!!

These will be on my cookie list every year for the rest of my life.

in the meantime, would someone please come over & eat all of these for me? like immediately? So that I don’t

thanks!

xoxoox

just checking……

Does this make you excited?

How about this?

just curious…..

Happy Chanukah!

To my Jewish friends out there… and Happy December to my dear sweet friend spending time in Greece 🙂

Look what Farkle brought us!!!  He is too good to us!!

Ryan ( who really likes bubble wrap ) asked me if I could make him a bubble wrap Advent calendar.

Ok.. so it is a pathetic attempt, but I tried!

For today’s recipe I went waaaay back into my old recipe cards.

wasn’t my handwriting so innocent & sweet back in the early 90s?

I do not remember where I got the recipe from. Back then (way before I had the internet) I used to love Sunday mornings because PBS had cooking shows on all morning. I would curl up on the couch with my tea & a big yellow pad of paper that Scott would have snagged from work & copy down recipe after recipe.

*my* version of today’s Food Network

I remember not know what Mandelbrot was and since we didn’t have the internet, I never actually knew. I remember thinking that I was all trendy when I had actually heard of Biscotti a few years later.. It sounded like my Mandelbrot recipe!!

Well, when I dug it out today I discovered that it is actually a Jewish cookie! How appropriate & ironic that this is the cookie that I chose for today !

The Recipe:

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons Cocoa  powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub a baking sheet with oil ( I use a silpat liner, but still rubbed it with oil).

In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, oil & vanilla for 2 mintues on low speed , stopping to scrape down the side of the bowl with a spatula.

SLowly add the flour, cocoa, baking soda & salt. Mix until incorporated. Mix in the nuts & chips just until the nuts slightly break up.

Spoon the dough onto the oil-lined cookie sheet & divide in half. Using your hands, mold each half into 2 flat logs 12×4.

Bake for 40 mintues.

Remove from oven & let cool for 5 mintues

Carefully transfer strips to a cutting board& using a serrated knife, cut the strips on a diagonal into 1/2 inch slices.

(when you cut them, you will have pieces crumble off, this is to be expected and welcomed)

WHY you ask?

so that you can collect it to sprinkle on ice cream or oatmeal 😉

Place slices cut side down on cookie sheet & bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove & cool.

Store in an airtight container.

 

or  dip & eat right away

~oxox

happy december!

 

 

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