Category Archives: Food

Spring cookies

These Slice of Orange Cookies seemed the perfect ending for Easter brunch at our house Sunday — not too sweet, but incredibly flavorful.  (Yes, you had them at Spring Super Saturday, too!)  When we are in orange eating season, I will grate the orange rinds (before peeling) and make the dough for the freezer.

This is an old recipe; I haven’t yet found it on the Web.  I’ll give you the original version, with my notes.  I’ve never liked to make slice-and-bake cookies (I can’t seem to cut an even slice), so I make drop cookies.  And I always double this recipe, but only use one recipe of icing to drizzle over the cookies.

Slice-of-Orange Cookies (5 dozen)

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
2 Tablespoons orange juice
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy, then beat in egg, orange peel, and orange juice until combined.  Beat in flour, baking powder, and salt.  Shape dough into two rolls 7″ long and about 1-3/4″ in diameter.  Wrap in plastic wrap; chill or freeze till firm.  Cut into 1/4″ slices; place on ungreased baking sheet.  Back at 375° F 10-12 minutes or till  lightly browned.  Frost when cool.  Frosting:  2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon orange extract, about 2 Tablespoons milk.

Notes: I drop these cookies from a small cookie scoop onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.  I spoon frosting into a quart freezer bag, snip off corner, and squiggle onto cookies.  Allow frosting to dry before storing cookies.

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Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

By request, you will find the recipe for the Stampin’ Divas’ cookie treats yesterday here, at the Land O’ Lakes site.  These are so easy and fast to make — foolproof!  Try apricot jam for a spring variation.

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Gingerbread cookies

By request, here is the recipe for the Gingerbread Cookies that I shared at last week’s cookie exchange:

Gingerbread Cookies — Debra Burgin

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 eggs
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

In saucepan, melt together sugar, butter, spices, and molasses.  Bring to boil, stirring constantly.  Pour into mixing bowl and allow to cool.  When lukewarm, beat in vinegar and eggs.  Gradually mix dry ingredients into molasses mixture.  Chill until needed, but bring to room temperature for easier rolling.  Roll on floured board to 1/8″ thickness and cut out shapes.  Re-roll scraps.  Bake on ungreased sheet for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Frost with Royal Icing when cool.

Makes about 100 3″ stars

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Stampin’ and snackin’

This evening is the Third Annual Scrappin’ Cookie Exchange at my house.  Each stamper brings one dozen cookies for each of the other participants, as well as some to pass, and a 6″ x 6″ scrapbook page with the recipe.  This page is shared in “shoebox” style, with all elements — stamps, ink, paper, tools — passed around to each person until we each have made a page for each cookie.  In addition, we share appetizers.  Good thing we are starting early!

I couldn’t decide on my cookies this year, but finally settled on my classic Gingerbread Cookies, a recipe that came from my father’s aunt, I think.  There are many Christmas traditions that could be put aside without damaging my holiday experience too much, but these cookies are essential!  Nothing is better with a cup of coffee.  Call it breakfast!

Click on the image above to see the texture on the stamped panel.  I need to do this more often — it’s a very cool effect!

Stamps:  Sweet Season (p. 29)

Ink:  Real Red, Stampin’ Write Markers (Close to Cocoa, Real Red)

Paper:  Real Red, Creamy Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla

Other:  Big Shot and Stampin’ Up! Perfect Details Texturz Plate, Round Tab Punch, Scallop Edge Punch, 5/16″ Neutrals Jumbo Brads (Chocolate Chip), Sleigh Bells Ribbon (only available until January 4 in the Holiday Mini!)

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Kitchen days

This week has seen lots of time in the kitchen, working ahead on my holiday baking.  Next Sunday and Monday I have three events that need treats, so I must plan accordingly.  Dough is standing by, the big mixer is out, and recipes are spread on the counter for review.  My apron is ever at the ready.

Tuesday I made — and counted! — 593 Pretzel Buttons!  About half will go to our county’s Hospice, where volunteers will combine the donations of dozens of bakers into festive bags and deliver them to people under Hospice care.  I’ve been involved in the B.U.N.S. (Baking Up Nice Surprises) for probably 20 years.  It’s something I can do.

But all that bending over and meticulous work is hard on the back and shoulders!  DH helped a bit, but he is already under care for a back problem.  A Tylenol PM (and a lavish application of hand cream) helped later!

There’s really no point in making only a few of these.  If you’re making 200, might as well make 600.  So December campers, you’ll probably see them later this month.  If they last …

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The end of picnic season

Brownies 1

Wednesday was the last picnic of the season, with the DeKalb County Historical and Genealogical Society.  (We just call it “the historical.”)  DH is treasurer, so he attends every meeting; I’m there only when there’s a meal or a trip!  We met at one of the county’s forest preserves.  Distressingly, the mosquitoes were out for … blood.  So we didn’t get the full presentation by former biology instructor Terry Martin.  Still, it’s always fun to hear him talk with boundless enthusiasm about the natural world; when an insect scurried across the floor of the building we were picnicking in, he gleefully jumped at the chance to educate us (and quiz us) about the beast.

On Tuesday I woke up with a cold, darn it, so I didn’t feel much like creating something fabulous for the potluck.  I counted on my favorite, perfect Chewy Cocoa Brownies to wow the crowd, and they would have if the only place on the counter for them hadn’t been next to a big box of glorious offerings from Sweet Dreams.

Still, I’m not sorry to have leftovers (and an extra cup of coffee this morning).  Is it wrong to consider these a vegetable, in light of the cocoa beans?

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Contemplating beans

Beans again?

Yes, I was taking pictures of my leftover baked beans.  DH doesn’t even question it.  How goofy is that?

Two weeks ago, I made my sister’s Stampede Beans for our birthday picnic here.  I’ve made Calico Beans for years and like them, but they’re pretty sweet.  I’ve always wanted beans that have a little heat to them.

Truly, these are the best beans I’ve ever had.  I did have to call my sister to clarify the amount of beans.  First I read “10 oz.,” which seemed pretty scant for the amount of bacon!  Lacking a 110-ounce can of beans, I scrounged up every can of Bush’s beans in the house, and added drained and rinsed black and kidney beans to make up the difference.

Even though we were a pretty big crowd, there was plenty to eat, and so we ended up with quite a quantity of leftover beans.  Now, I love these — warm or cold — but I was not the only one in the household who was tired of them twice a day.  Consider yourself warned.

Please try these for your Labor Day picnic!

Stampede Baked Beans

1 pound bacon, cut into small pieces
2 large onions, chopped
One 110-ounce can baked beans (yes!)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 cups (16 oz.) chunky salsa (as hot as you prefer)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cumin

Fry bacon; remove from pan and drain on paper towels.  Drain most of grease from pan and sauté onions.  Combine all ingredients in big crock pot and cook on low all day.

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