Thursday, December 18, 2014

Easy Chocolate Crackled Cookies

This cookie is easy and delicious. Want to give out something people will love - this is the one.

Check out the ingredients- easy right?

I was talking to Carol when I was making these. The first sheet of cookies when baked were not covered with the confectionery sugar. The confectionery sugar soaked into the cookie- not what I wanted it to look like.

A comment on Allrecipes, where I found the cookie recipe mentioned she sprinkled more confectionery sugar on before taking them out of the oven.

I want LESS work not more! Carol who is a master baker suggested I roll them in sugar and then the confectionery sugar. 

That's what I did and don't they look great and the taste is sure to please any sweet tooth.

This is going to be my go to Christmas cookie this year.

 Marie- you are getting them before Christmas and on our way to the auction you and Ted  get to sample a few and tell me if you think Amanda would like them. I know Leta will !

1 (18.25 ounce) package Duncan Hines  Devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening ( used 1/2 cup margarine)
1 tablespoon water
2 eggs
1 cup confectioners' sugar- ( I used 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup granulated sugar or raw sugar--- to roll the cookies BEFORE rolling in the confectionery sugar


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets or use parchment paper.

 Beat together the shortening, water, and eggs in a large bowl. Add the cake mix, and mix until smooth. The dough is going to be very sticky and it easier to roll if you put the bowl with the dough in the refrigerator for an hour.

Roll the dough into walnut sized balls, and roll the balls in the confectioners' sugar*. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes in the 375 preheated oven.

Remove from the oven and place on a cooking rack.

Store in a air tight container.

* just a suggestion to roll in the granulated sugar before the confectionery sugar.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Thank you Paddi for adding your recipes to the blog! You are always a welcomed guest poster <3

 Paddi posted a wonderful Rum Raisin Bread recipe awhile ago  and if you missed it I hope you check it out.

On to Paddi's post.............

I made some Molasses Spice cookies the other day. They were a Martha Stewart recipe and the only thing odd was they had no ginger in them, just nutmeg and cinnamon. They turned out exactly like they were said to. They were good and I thought I would try another recipe that was exactly like this one except for the spices. The new one had ginger cloves nutmeg and cinnamon. Every single other ingredient was the same. Well they were flat and spread out all over the pan and looked like.... use your imagination. LOL They were however quite tasty and they didn't get hard and weird. So .... I have often jokingly thought to myself WWELD or What would Emeril Lagasse do? This has helped in the past with saves...I decided to cut the cookies with my smallest biscuit cutter and they then fit perfectly in the bottom of a standard size muffin tin. I first lined the muffin tins with cupcake liners and then added the cookies. I got out my Juniors Cheesecake cook book and turned to the chapters on Little Fellas. I have made even tinier little cheesecakes but this seemed a good size. The recipe said it would make 13. I put the first muffin tin into a pan filled with a bit of water to steam them and added water to the extra unused muffin tins. I also added some cranberry glaze to each and some strawberry Port Wine sauce to the others and swirled them with two toothpicks. I baked them and then after they cooled I froze them in the muffin tins that were put into a 2 gallon freezer baggy. Because I had 3 extra the first time I had to try on and OMG they are heavenly and a wonderful way to have dessert at a moments notice. Nothing will go to waste this way and I get to have a bite a cheesecake once in a while. I love cheese cake! 

Martha Stewart's Molasses Spice Cookies:

2 Cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar separated
3/4 cup butter softened 
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses

**** (the other recipe calls for 1 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 tea cloves and 1/2 tea nutmeg and 1 tea cinnamon)

Old Fashion Gingersnaps from my Taste of Home  Best Holiday recipes 2004 It called for a whole teaspoon of cloves but I halved it and added nutmeg.

1. In med bowl whisk flour, soda, cinnamon, and salt and nutmeg and set aside  .Put 1/2  cup sugar in a small bowl and set aside too. 

2. beat butter 1 cup sugar until combined. Beat in egg and molasses then slow down speed and add dry ingredients.

3. Roll into one inch balls and coat with sugar. Place 3 inches apart on ungreased  cookie sheet. Bake one sheet at a time @ 350 degrees for 10-13 minutes.

When the cookies are cool, use a small round cutter and cut some of the cookies into a round that will fit into the bottom of a regular muffin cup.

Line 13-16 regular size muffin cups with paper liners-the amount of cheesecakes you get depends on the size of your muffin pan. Add water to any unused muffin cups.  

Place a cut out cookie round in the bottom of each lined cup.  Set the pans aside.

Juniors Cheesecake cookbook

Basic Little fella (regular Muffin tin size)

2 8 oz cream cheese packages- softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
2 extra large eggs
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Oven 350

Cream one creamed cheese with 1/3 cup sugar. Add 2nd pkgs and 1/3 more sugar. Then add eggs, vanilla and whipping cream. don't overmix.

Fill each lined muffin tin with batter to the top. Add topping and swirl with two tooth picks. ( I have used choke cherry syrup, strawberry port wine Jelly, cranberry glaze, etc.)

Place muffin tin in a larger pan and fill with a bit of water. Bake 45 minutes.

Place the muffin tin in a larger pan and add a bit of water to come about 1" up the side of the muffin cups.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the cheesecakes are set. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 2 hours.  Remove from the pans and chill thoroughly.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Southern Style Granola

4 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dried cranberries or cherries( used cranberries)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon ( used Saigon cinnamon) 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
3/4 cup cane syrup, maple syrup, or honey ( used the wonderful cane syrup from Everett Phillips)
1/4 cup canola oil, olive oil, or a mix of the two ( used canola oil)


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

 Mix together the oats, pecans, dried berries, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. 

Whisk  the cane syrup and canola oil and pour over the oat mixture, mixing thoroughly. 

Spread the granola mixture onto a large rimmed baking sheet.  Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 -15 minutes to allow for even cooking.

 Remove from the  oven and allow the granola to  cool to room temperature. (The granola may seem sticky at first but will harden as it cools, yielding a crunchy texture.) Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

recipe adapted from Dixie Caviar

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Penguin, Mad Hatter, or Beetlejuice?

This was taken a few days ago on the NY Subway.

Evvvviiiiiiil knitting! LOL

I love how non-chalant the people next to him look. It's NYC. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thai Chickpea Collard Wraps with Peanut Sauce

Since I don't have a garden I planted a few things in large pots. My plants are doing great and I enjoyed the collards in this unique recipe.

Recipe adapted from Eat Spin Run Repeat



4 large collard leaves, washed and patted dry
1/2 cup carrots- shredded or cut into julienne strips
1/4 of a ripe mango, remove the peel and cut into julienne strips
1/2 cups seedless cucumber- julienne
2 tablespoon Thai basil or cilantro ( Thai basil is growing in my little greenhouse and I used it. The cilantro does not taste like  the Thai basil but is a good substitute )
1 finely minced Thai Birds eye chili ( used one seeded habanero)

chickpea mixture:

1 clove garlic- minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon green curry paste ( didn't use- I used chili garlic sauce)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1  cup cooked chickpeas- rinsed and drained ( I used low sodium chickpeas)

peanut sauce:

2 tablespoons natural peanut butter ( used Skippy peanut butter)
pinch of chili flakes
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
water to thin if needed


Cut the carrot, mango, cucumber, Thai basil (or cilantro), and bird's eye chili ( I used haberano).

Wash the  collard greens and dry. Use a knife and carefully cut out if the leaf has a large stem. Don't cut the leaves in half - only remove as much as you need to remove the stem. 

 Over medium heat cook the minced garlic and curry paste until fragrant in a large frying pan. Add to the pan the rice vinegar, ginger and chickpeas, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until chickpeas are warm and coated in sauce. Mash some of the chickpeas with the back of a fork, you don't want it smooth mash so it's crumbly. Stir the ingredients until all liquid is absorbed, then add the chickpeas to a bowl.

To make the sauce: Place all ingredients in a small bowl and stir together until smooth.

Take 2 collard green leaves and place one over the other so that that the parts where the stems were removed do not show. This will also help to reinforce the wrap.

Begin layering half of the fillings into the leaves in a horizontal line. (You can add the sauce here, or use it as a dipping sauce later). Be careful not to over-stuff the leaves or it will be difficult to roll.

Fold the outer edges inward and start to roll with the end of the leaves nearest to you. Then just roll up your wrap.

Place it steam side down and cut the wrap in half.

The dipping sauce can be added to the wrap when preparing it or placed in a small bowl which the wraps can be dipped.