My love for baking has been put on the back burner lately with the new baby. I see all these other bloggers that are still able to bake all the time and I wonder how they do it. I get home so late every day and with all the other things to get done, I do good just to get a decent dinner on the table. But occasionally on my days off, I squeeze in a little time to try a new baking recipe.

I love chocolate and cherries together so I marked this cookie recipe to try in my new Cooking Light magazine. I had some time once my husband got home this afternoon to watch the baby, and I whipped them up. They were really easy. And at only 94 calories per cookie, a couple of them aren’t so bad for an after dinner snack. IF you can only eat a couple that is. These are SO good. The cookie is chewy with all the oats and brown sugar and the cherries are a little tart. And then, THEN the melted chocolate. Mmm, a perfectly delicious cookie. Try them! You will like them. And if you don’t, send them to me! : )

Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies

  • 1.5  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1.5  ounces  whole-wheat flour (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 1/2  cups  old-fashioned rolled oats (I used quick oats and they worked fine)
  • 1  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 6  tablespoons  unsalted butter
  • 3/4  cup  packed light brown sugar
  • 1  cup  dried cherries
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1  large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3  ounces  bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • Cooking spray
  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°.

    2. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.

    3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; add brown sugar, stirring until smooth. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add cherries, vanilla, and egg; beat until combined. Fold in chocolate. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.

    For complete nutrition info: Cooking Light

    *The cookie dough was a bit crumbly so you may have to press the dough together into balls when placing on the cooking sheet. They baked up great though.

    Sweet, Sassy, Southern

    September 21, 2009

    IMG_0723

    Drew with Nana, Sept. 2009

    Sweet, sassy, southern. I think that pretty much describes my grandma. I’ve talked about Nana before on this blog and how I spent all my summers as a child at her house. Many of the memories I have of her involve food whether it’s shelling peas on her porch, eating ice cold watermelon on newspaper at her kitchen table, making pickles, or waking up in the mornings to her cheesy grits (which were my favorite).

    She doesn’t do as much cooking as she used, but she is and will always be one of the main influences for my love of cooking. She could always get in the kitchen and whip up a wonderful meal with anything she had on hand. I always loved her grits, fried corn bread, cobblers, and spaghetti. I hope Drew gets to enjoy some of her cooking one day!

    With the holidays coming up, I wanted to post another of my favorite recipes that she makes every Christmas. I do not like fruitcake in the traditional sense but this recipe is so delicious. Give it a try this holiday season! It’s great with coffee on a cold night.

    Ice Box Fruitcake

    1 box vanilla wafer cookies, crumbled
    1 bag of shredded, sweetened coconut
    1 large box raisins
    1 qt. chopped pecans
    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    1 package candied cherries (maraschino can be used if desired-drain well and cut in half)

    Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. (Using your clean hands to mix works best.) Using a small measuring cup, scoop into quart size freezer bags and press into a 1″ layer. Freeze until hardened. Remove from the freezer and slice into squares when ready to serve. Keep leftovers in freezer.

    Makes about 2 1/2 qt bags full.

    Berry or Cherry Pies

    August 13, 2008

    I have been in such a slump this past week. I’m not sure if it’s the heat or what but food just hasn’t been that appealing to me. Luckily, my husband is perfectly ok with eating cereal and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner. But I on the other hand, can only handle that for so long. So I started checking my google reader and the wheels started turning with ideas. And after not cooking dinner all week, what did I decide to make last night? Well, pie. Don’t worry, I did get dinner ideas for next week. ; )

    I have had such a craving for blueberry pie ever since Summer began, but I still hadn’t gotten around to making it. This is another thing my weirdo husband won’t eat. It’s a texture thing he says. So I was really putting off making a whole pie just for me, but then I got the idea to make little individual pies. Now believe it or not I have never, ever made pie dough. So I set out looking for an easy recipe. I found this dough recipe on Annie’s blog and let me tell you, it’s great! It came together so easy and like most things I’ve never made before, it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. I decided to use both cherries and blueberries for my pies because I only had a little bit of each in the fridge. And not only did I learn to make pie dough last night, but I learned that I must acquire a cherry pitter. Oy! My fingers looked like evidence for a crime scene once I was done pitting those darn cherries! But in the end, it was all worth it. Both the cherry and blueberry pies were terrific!

     

    Berry or Cherry Pies

    Makes 6 individual pies

    3 cups berries or cherries (I used 1 1/2 cups bing cherries (pitted) and 1 1/2 cups blueberries)

    1/2 cup sugar (divided if doing two kinds of pie)

    3 tsp flour (divided if doing two kinds of pie)

    pie dough (recipe follows)

    Place berries (or cherries) into a bowl. Add the sugar and flour and toss to coat the berries.

    *The flour will help the berry juices to thicken as the pie cooks

    For the dough:

    *I doubled this recipe and had a little leftover. I froze it to use later.

    Ingredients:
    1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 tbsp. sugar
    ¼ tsp. salt
    8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
    3 tbsp. very cold water

    Directions:
    To make the dough in a stand mixer, fit the mixer with the paddle attachment, and stir together the flour, sugar and salt in the mixer bowl. Add the butter and toss with a fork to coat with the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with the butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the water and mix on low speed just until the dough pulls together.

    Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. (Although many dough recipes call for chilling the dough at this point, this dough should be rolled out immediately for the best results.) Lightly flour the work surface, then flatten the disk with 6 to 8 gentle taps of the rolling pin. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn. Lightly dust the top of the dough or the rolling pin with flour as needed, then roll out into a round at least 12 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick. Makes enough dough for one 9-inch single-crust pie.

    To make a lattice top: Double the recipe, cut the dough in half and pat one half into a round, flat disk. Roll out the disk into a 12-inch round as directed and line the pan or dish. Trim the edge of the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Press any scraps trimmed from the first round into the bottom of the remaining dough half. Roll out the remaining dough and cut into thin strips to weave a lattice top.

    *Tip: Be sure your work surface is well floured when rolling out the dough. If you have trouble rolling the dough out for a second time, put it in the fridge for about 15 min to chill and try again.

    Preheat the oven to 375 F. After the dough is rolled out, use a glass, ramekin, or biscuit cutter to cut 6 circles. Place the circles of dough in the bottom of the ramekins and press up the sides just a little. It does not matter if it reaches all the way up the side of the ramekins. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake the bottom crust for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

     Form the remaining dough back into a ball and roll it out again. Again, cut 6 circles. Place 1/2 cup of the berries (or cherries) into each ramekin and then place the circles of dough over the top of them. Make two or three slits in the dough. Bake at 375 F for 25-30 minutes, or until the berry juices are bubbling and the dough is golden brown. Allow to cool 20-30 minutes before serving.

    Source for Basic Pie Dough recipe: Williams-Sonoma

     

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