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.

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    Sweet, Sassy, Southern

    September 21, 2009

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    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.

    Late Post

    May 26, 2009

    I am a little late on this post but better late than never huh? I saw this recipe for shortbread cookies in my Cooking Light magazine and made it to take to my mom on Mother’s Day. As you can see from my lack of pictures, they were all eaten before I even thought to take a picture! You have to try this recipe if you like shortbread. It’s so easy and very, very good!

    Vanilla Bean Shortbread

    • Cooking spray
    • 9  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
    • 1/4  cup  cornstarch
    • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
    • 1/2  cup  butter, softened
    • 1/2  cup  canola oil
    • 1/2  cup  sugar
    • 1  vanilla bean, split lengthwise (you can use 2-3 tsp of vanilla extract if you don’t have a vanilla bean)

    1. Preheat oven to 350°.

    2. Line bottom and sides of a 13 x 9–inch baking pan with foil; coat foil with cooking spray, and set aside.

    3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.

    4. Place butter in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add oil; beat with a mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until well blended. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean, and add seeds to butter mixture; discard bean. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Spoon dough into prepared pan. Place a sheet of heavy-duty plastic wrap over dough; press to an even thickness. Discard plastic wrap. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack; cut into 32 pieces. Carefully lift foil from pan; cool squares completely on a wire rack.

    Source: Cooking Light

    Frosty Snowball Cookies

    December 21, 2008

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    I really haven’t done much cooking or baking this holiday season. The main reason being…I’m pregnant! 11 weeks today. And while I’m very excited about it, I haven’t had the desire to cook or bake anything in the past few weeks. We’ve been eating a lot of sandwiches and quick meals because I’m just too tired and nothing really sounds good anyway. But I did want to bake some treats for some friends of ours so I mustered up the energy the other night. One of the things I baked were these snowball cookies. I’ve had the recipe saved for a while and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to bake them. It’s an easy recipe and they’re really good!

    Frosty Snowballs

    Ingredients:
    1 cup butter, softened
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon water
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 cup chopped pecans
    1 cup sifted powdered sugar
    Green, pink, and purple edible cake sparkles or colored sugar
    Directions:
    1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar; beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in water and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour and the chopped pecans.

    2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

    3. Bake in a 325 degree F oven 20 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool completely.

    4. In each of three bowls place 1/3 cup of the sifted powdered sugar. Add a different color of edible cake sparkles or colored sugar to each bowl. Gently roll and shake cooled cookies in desired powdered sugar mixture. Makes 36.

    *I didn’t have any colored sugar so I just used confectioner’s.

    Source: Unknown


    The Search is Over

    July 4, 2008

    I think I’ve found it! The PERFECT chocolate chip cookie. I have tried several other recipes but this one takes the cake, or cookie rather. I came across this recipe on Sugar & Spice  and they just looked too perfect not to try. I was asked to bring a dessert for the 4th of July cookout we were having at work so I decided I’d give them a go. Now, I’m known as the resident baker where I work so I was a little nervous about how these would turn out. I have to keep up my good reputation and all you know. Thankfully, they were beyond perfect. One of my co-workers even stated, “they are big, perfectly round, soft and chewy cookies! Like you would get from a bakery.” That, along with the fact that everyone’s hand was in my cookie basket as soon as I walked in the door with them equals a baking success. If you are still in search for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe, try these. I think you will be very happy with the results!

    Oh, and sorry about the lack of a picture. I was so tired last night after baking and cleaning my house for my 4th of July get-together that I didn’t have time to take a pic. And now they are all gone so there will be no pic in this post. : P But take a look at Michelle’s post. They looked just like that!

    Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
    (Source: Baking Illustrated, page 434)

    Makes about 18 large cookies.

    These oversized cookies are chewy and thick, like many of the chocolate chip cookies sold in gourmet shops and cookie stores. They rely on melted butter and an extra egg yolk to keep their texture soft. These cookies are best served warm from the oven but will retain their texture even when cooled. To ensure the proper texture, cool the cookies on the baking sheet. Oversized baking sheets allow you to get all the dough into the oven at one time. If you’re using smaller baking sheets, put fewer cookies on each sheet and bake them in batches.

    2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 5/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
    1 cup packed (7 ounces) light or dark brown sugar
    1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
    1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1-1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

    1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

    2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

    3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips to taste.

    4. Roll a scant 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough’s uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart.

    5. Bake until the cookies are light golden grown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a side metal spatula.

    *Copied from Sugar & Spice

    Another one on the list

    April 29, 2008

    Please excuse my cell phone photo. A friend of ours is borrowing our camera so I was forced to be resourceful and use my cell phone to take pictures tonight. But these cookies were just too good not to be posted. I came across this recipe on Loves to Eat a couple weeks ago and instantly knew I wanted to try them. You can check out her photo to see how good these cookies really look. I’m normally not really big on butterscotch flavored desserts, but I do love it in oatmeal scotchies. And these definitely didn’t disappoint. In fact I think I’m adding these to my list of favorite cookie recipes. They are perfectly chewy which is always a good cookie in my book.

    Oatmeal Scotchies with Chocolate Chips

    Ingredients:

    1 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour

    1 tsp. baking soda

    1/2 tsp. gr. cinnamon

    1/2 tsp. salt

    1 cup (2 sticks) butter

    3/4 cups granulated sugar

    3/4 cup packed brown sugar

    2 large eggs

    1 tsp. vanilla

    3 cups quick or old fashioned oats

    1 bag butterscotch chips (I used 1/2 bag)

    1 bag chocolate chips semi-sweet (I used 1/2 bag)

    Directions:

    Pre-heat oven to 375

    Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixer bow. Gradually beat in flour mixture, Sire in oats and chips. Drop a rounded, full tbsp. onto an ungreased baking sheet.

    Bake for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies. Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Remove and cool on wire racks. Serve with a cold glass of milk!

    Back to Baking, Sort Of

    February 4, 2008


    Ahh the no bake cookie. These yummy little chocolate bites take me back to my childhood. My mom didn’t bake very much, but I do remember her making these cookies from time to time. I also remember my sister and me inhaling them as soon as they had set and sometimes before! Last night my best friend was over and I thought we needed a little chocolate dessert. Well I didn’t want to spend my whole night in the kitchen standing by the hot oven waiting on cookies to bake so then I remembered these and how fast they are to make. It was actually the first time I’ve ever made them on my own. The important thing to remember about this recipe is to have all your ingredients measured out and ready to mix together or you could end up with a big ol’ mess. These are not pretty cookies, but they sure are delicious. And yes, I still inhaled a couple as soon as they had set. Some things never change I guess. ; )

    No Bake Cookies

    • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
    • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in peanut butter, oats, and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool until hardened.

    Source: All Recipes

    So I skipped dinner tonight

    January 13, 2008


    It’s been a while since I’ve baked anything. Actually, I guess it was before Christmas. Needless to say, I was having baking withdrawals. I’ve been eating so much better and really making conscious decisions about the foods I eat. I’ve also been working out 4 days a week. So I decided I deserved a reward. I figured I would bake some cookies tonight to eat for dessert. But as soon as I got home from work, I was itching to bake. So I got started right away. By the time all the cookies were done, I had eaten 3, warm out of the oven and didn’t want any dinner. So I just skipped it altogether But I think I’m ok with that. My great-grandmother (Maw Maw) always told me to eat the best first, and that’s exactly what I did tonight. (Maw Maw was one smart lady ; ) ) These cookies are some of the best chocolate cookies I’ve ever had. They have a very chewy texture which I think makes a perfect cookie. I got the idea to make these tonight from Kayte of Kayte’s Kitchen. I am sure glad I decided to make these!

    Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

    2 1/4 cups flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 sticks butter, softened
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    2 large eggs, beaten
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    1/2 cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa (I used Hershey’s regular cocoa)
    2 cups white chocolate chips (I used 1 cup white chocolate chips and 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips)

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. In another large bowl stir together butter, both sugars, eggs, vanilla and cocoa. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture and mix until combined. Add white chocolate chips and stir to distribute evenly.
    For cookies: Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets and bake about 10 minutes. Cool on a baking rack.
    For bars: Pat dough into a greased 9 inch square baking pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into squares when cooled

    More Holiday Baking

    December 22, 2007

    As if my holiday baking list wasn’t long enough already, it got even longer yesterday. My sister-in-law called to see if I would be willing to help her do some baskets for a couple people. I said I would, but in my mind I was thinking “how in the world am I going to get this all done??” I still had some last minute Christmas shopping to do last night, I have several gifts that need to be wrapped, not to mention we still have guests staying with us. But I’m a trooper and the kind of person that hardly ever says no, so I figured I would find a way to do it. After I got home from my last minute shopping, which wasn’t quite the nightmare I invisioned, I got right to baking. My contributions to the baskets are mini pumpkin bread loaves and these cranberry, white chocolate chip, oatmeal cookies that I saw on Annie’s Eats. Well, three hours later my mini loaves were done and I had cookies, cookies everywhere! Seriously, this recipe makes a lot of cookies, but they are so delicious. If I hadn’t needed so many cookies I probably would have frozen half the dough. These might just be my new favorite cookie!
    Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
    Ingredients:
    3 eggs, well beaten
    1 cup dried cranberries
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 cup butter
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup white sugar
    2 ½ cup flour
    ½ tsp salt
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    2 tsp. baking soda
    2 cups oatmeal
    1 cup white chocolate chips
    Directions:
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine eggs, dried cranberries and vanilla and let stand for 1 hour, covered with plastic wrap.Cream together butter and sugars. Add flour, salt, cinnamon and soda to sugar mixture. Mix well. Blend in egg-cranberry mixture and oatmeal. Dough will be stiff. Fold in the white chocolate chips. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheet or roll in small balls and flatten slightly on cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until
    lightly browned.
    Source: Unknown

    It’s the Holiday Season!

    December 21, 2007

    The holiday baking has begun. Yes, I am getting started very late this year. I’ve been so busy running around trying to get my house ready for guests, Christmas shopping, gift wrapping, holiday partying, etc etc. I just realized a couple days ago, I have so much baking to do!! I’m running out of time and fast! So anyway, I did a little bit of it tonight. As soon as I saw this recipe on Annie’s Eats, I knew I wanted to give these a try. I made the dough on Tuesday, covered it and put it in the fridge until I had time to roll it out tonight. I let it sit out for about an hour before working with it. These turned out so great! I used a frosting recipe I’ve used before and made a few different colors with food coloring. The decorating was made easier with this decorating set that my friend Elly sent me for Christmas. I love it and I love this recipe!

    Ella’s White Sugar Cookies
    Ingredients:
    1 cup butter
    1 cup powdered sugar
    1 egg, beaten
    1 ½ t. almond extract
    1 t. vanilla
    1 t. salt
    2 ½ c. sifted flour

    Directions:
    Cream butter. Add powdered sugar. Blend in egg, almond extract, vanilla, salt and flour. Chill dough until firm. Roll to ¼” thickness on well-floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 min. Cookies should not brown. Frost and decorate when cool. Yields ~40 cookies.

    Source: a family friend of Annie’s (Donna)

    FROSTING
    
    1 teaspoon real vanilla1 stick real butter4 cups powdered sugar1 Tablespoon cream or whole milk
    
    Cream butter, milk and vanilla together.Slowly add powdered sugar to butter until desired consistency. Ifyou'dlike, add liquid food coloring for festive cookiesWhen cookies are cooled, slather this heavenly frosting. For moretexture and color, press the top of the cookie in sprinkles, coloredsugaror just eat plain!
    
    Source: Joelen from Joelen's Culinary Adventures (I believe this came from a co-worker of hers)