Category Archives: Baking

Time for Summer Fruit Pie

Just a few years ago I started making fruit pies with fresh fruit when it is in season.  For me, what an amazing difference – the pies just seem to turn out perfect.  I am sure having the fruit at its peak is one factor.  Also frozen fruit always seems to have so much liquid and it is hard to know how much to keep and how much thickener to add.

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Peanut Butter Cookies

A number of years ago I made these cookies for a family reunion and found out that they were one of my Aunt Louise’s favorite cookies….so every time I  go to her house I bake them just for her…..and every one else also gets to enjoy them.  This year my cousin Elaine said you need to put these on your blog….so I am feeling the pressure 🙂

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French Rolls

Many years ago I was in Key West sitting by a pool reading a magazine when I came across a recipe for French Rolls.  When I got home I tried them a few times and then made them for our family Thanksgiving dinner.  From that moment forward, by popular demand, I make them for every family event as well as many other occasions.  They are a hit with family and friends.

These are a crusty roll with a soft center.

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Cinny Buns with Peaches and Pecans

I love fresh fruit in season and right now I am enjoying peaches.  Last year I bought a new cookbook by Rosie Daykin called Butter, which is also the name of her bakery.  So far I have only tried one recipe in the book which are her cinnamon buns made with peaches and pecans.  They are so yummy that I have made them at least a half a dozen times.  I like them with fresh peaches but they are also good with canned or frozen peaches if you are craving them in the off-season.

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Pretzel Rolls

My mother had made soft pretzels when we were young and they were always a treat so a few years ago I started making soft pretzels and pretzel rolls.  The nice thing about the rolls is you can eat them as a pretzel treat, a sandwich roll or as a dinner roll.  This recipe makes 8 rolls so I always quadruple the recipe, then you can share some and freeze some for later.  The original recipe I found in the Food Network magazine.

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My Best Posts so far…

One of the blogs that I follow is Jennifer Rizzo and she is looking for monthly contributors for recipes, crafting and home decorating.  To find out more about the contest go to her blog post Jennifer Rizzo Contributor Call-Out

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To enter you have to do a post showing your three best posts.  Since I do all three, I will show my three best post for each.

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Aunt Sid’s Orange Cookies

Every year my Aunt Sid would make her orange cookies for a man at her church.  The last year she made them for him he actually died on that very day.  How very unfortunate for him.  It just happen that I visited my Aunt that very day and she sent all the cookies home with me, how very fortunate for me.  I loved them and have been making them ever since.  This is probably one of the favorite cookies with my family and friends.

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Wonderful Fudgy, Chewy, Cakey Brownies

One of my favorite treats are these brownies, they have crunchy edges with a rich fudgy chocolate middle and lots and lots of nuts.   The original recipe is from “The Perfect Recipe” by Pam Anderson.  I have changed a couple things to make them even more perfect to me.

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Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.  Whisk flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl; set aside.

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

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Chocolate Chip Cookies – always a favorite

With the cooler weather I love the smell of baking in the house.  Chocolate Chip cookies seem to be a favorite of everyone….at least it is with my family and friends.  At almost every  function this is one of the things that I am always expected to bring…..and usually one of the first things gone.

imageSince I like to be the queen of ease I use an electric mixer for mixing up the cookies.  I follow the basic directions for mixing them up.  (See recipe below) I do prefer dark brown sugar over light brown sugar and I always like to add a few extra chocolate chips.  I don’t add the nuts, I find more people like them without, that is a personal preference. Continue reading

Baking Day

picture of Emily using pastry board to roll dough

Emily rolling cookie dough on pastry board

Covering your tables with plastic table clothes and using parchment paper on trays will also make cleanup a lot easier.

Keeping pastry cloth and rolling pin cover lightly floured will make rolling dough out a lot easier.

When baking put the first pan in the lower shelf of your oven. Bake half of the time then turn pan and place on top shelf of oven. Place another pan on the lower shelf. Continue rotating pans through the oven this way. The lower shelf helps brown the bottom of the cookies and the top shelf helps brown the top of the cookies. Don’t rely on the suggested times for baking, you will need to watch to make sure everything is baking properly. Continue reading

Mixing Cookie Dough

Picture of mounds of cookie dough

A mound of chocolate chip cookie dough

I always start about a week ahead mixing up my cookie dough. I place it in food storage bags and write on the bags the type of dough.

You will need to decide how many cookies of each kind each person will take home. I would suggest at least 1 to 2 dozen of each. You will also have to decide how large you are going to make your cookies. I like to make mine small for cookie trays. I usually double the yield of a batch since I make my cookies about half the size I would normally. Then you will need to calculate how many batches of each you will need to mix up. Even though we made 28 kinds the last time, I think we mixed up over 60 batches.

This is a good time to ask others to help mix up some of the dough. Continue reading

Getting Started

It is not too early to start planning your cookie baking party. Think about who you would like to invite and pick a date. Since I want my cookies to be fresh (and still have some left) I usually pick the weekend before Christmas for my party. I keep the date consistent every year so that people can plan on it.

You probably will have some favorite recipes that you have made over the years, so start with those. Gather additional recipes from friends, cook books and magazines. Select recipes so that you have a variety of flavors choosing cookies that will also make a nice presentation.

You will find that there will be certain recipes that you will want to make every year. These make it easier because people know what to do.

So start contacting your friends and family so they can reserve the date. Remember to start small with the number of people you invite and the number of cookies you will bake.

Picture of Cookie Baking Crew

Happy Cookie Baking Crew after 7,000 Cookies