Monthly Archives: July 2013

Cherries Jubilee Cookies

Cherries Jubilee cookie recipe; This cherry cookie recipe uses tart cherries and rum extract to give the flavor of cherries jubilee.

Cherries-jubileeWhat’s your feeling about life changes?  Love ’em or hate ’em?

I always get excited to make big sweeping changes… right up until the moment I actually begin the changes, and then I’m no longer in love with the idea.

My first weak baby bird steps toward a much needed life change lately have left me feeling… well, it’s hard to describe.  Awful, I guess.  Uncomfortable might be a better word.  Maybe a little embarrassed.  At any rate, I don’t feel much like myself.

I needed a comforting activity to settle my mind, and baking today did the trick.  I chose an old favorite of Robb’s, and went to work.  Watching the butter and sugar turn all white and fluffy brings a sense of normalcy and calm to my life.

Is that weird?

Cherry-cookie-recipe

Robb loves Cherries Jubilee.  He always wants me to make it, but that whole en flambe thing makes me squeamish.  Since I wasn’t going to be earning any amazing-wife points, I figured I would go for pretty-good-wife and turn his Cherries Jubilee into cookies. Continue reading “Cherries Jubilee Cookies” »

Orange Funfetti Cupcakes

Sprinkles turn this orange cake into something special!  This orange cake mix is kicked up with buttermilk, sour cream and sprinkles, for a fun take on the classic funfetti!

sprinklesIt got a little crazy on my Facebook page the other day.  Here’s how it started:

I dropped off a neighborhood kid at his home, and I asked him if he would be able to get into his house, because I knew his parents kept the doors locked and he generally had no key or way to get in.  He said yes, but since his parents work from home, he had to wait a while after ringing the bell for his mom to make it to the door.

I told Robb about this and he was dumbfounded.  “People lock their doors while they’re home?”

“Yes, my love, they do.”  I tried to explain how a mom of young children might want the doors locked, but he comes from a very small town in the middle of a state full of very small towns, and this whole concept was completely foreign to him.

“I hate living in the city,” was his reply.

orange cake

Since I was pretty unsuccessful at convincing him how normal this is, I went to Facebook.  I asked people to weigh in on whether they lock their doors while they are home.  If you want to read the entire thread, you can do it here.

Robb obviously believes “Y’all are CRAZY.”  (This was his comment after I sent him a text message telling him it was heating up and he might want to check out how incredibly right I am.)

He hates when I rub an itoldjaso in his face.  Can’t imagine why. Continue reading “Orange Funfetti Cupcakes” »

Apricot Pineapple Jam

Apricot jam recipe; Many apricot recipes use fresh fruit, this pineapple apricot jam recipe is homemade and delicious!

apricot-recipesMy grandparents have an apricot tree.  We don’t get apricots every year, sometimes they freeze (welcome to Utah, home of roller coaster weather) but this year there were lots of apricots.  Grandma offered them to me, and I told her I would be back the following day with children to climb ladders and buckets to fill.

I’m not going to lie, canning is not my all-time favorite activity, but on the other hand, apricot jam is SO delicious!  Plus, store bought jam is expensive, and not homemade, making it far less appealing.

My grandparents are getting quite elderly.  Grandpa has been confined to a bed for more than a year now, so visiting them always comes with a twinge of pain and sadness.  Sometimes more than a twinge.  Maybe some of you know what that feels like.  I feel this urgency to have my kids there to experience that fairly often,  although it’s not nearly often enough for grandma.

apricot-jam-recipe

Continue reading “Apricot Pineapple Jam” »

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Oatmeal Cookie Recipe; This oatmeal cookie recipe uses both chocolate chips and cinnamon chips.  Bake these oatmeal cookies as bars for a fun twist!

oatmeal-cookie-recipeI love that my nieces and nephews are also some of my kids best friends.  The other day, my niece was over all day, and it was fun watching how the girls entertained themselves.

They are very big on Monster High Dolls.  Have you seen these?  They are dang cute, but I don’t recommend them for little girls, because there are lots of little pieces, and they tend to come apart easily.  For the girls in double-digits, they are perfect.  Both girls dragged their entire (substantial) collections out to the trampoline, and with yard lights and head lamps, they spent hours deep in imagination land.

After a trip to Grandma’s to pick apricots, and a trip to Costco to buy a new vacuum, these girls continued to find ways to entertain themselves.  First, they did their hair and makeup.  Then, they used Hippie Chick’s white board easel to announce that they would be giving makeovers to any willing party.

As it turned out, our oldest son The Lizard and a visiting friend both took advantage of the makeovers.  I thought it was sweet of them to let the girls put makeup on their faces and paint their fingernails.

oatmeal cookie recipe

The boys reward for being patient guinea pigs was cookies.  That fact was settled on in the early stages of negotiations.

The girls and I had fun figuring out what kind of cookie we could make with the ingredients we had on hand.  I found a half bag of chocolate chips and a half bag of cinnamon chips, and The Hippie Chick suggested oatmeal cookies, and voila!  A heavenly concoction was born.

They did all the work, and I sat on the other side of the counter and… uh… supervised.  Yep.  Being a supervisor is the best job ever.

oatmeal cookies

We decided to just bake these up as bars, and we used a quarter sheet pan.  (These pans are about 9.5″ x 13″.)  We baked for about 20 minutes.  They did turn out a touch gooey, which frankly doesn’t bother me at all, but those squeemish about eggs might want a little more baking time, like say 25-30 minutes.  I also gave them a good 30 minutes to cool before cutting.  I would say that is the minimum amount of cooling time, as they were almost ready to cut at that point.

Of course, you could also make a slightly thinner bar by using less of the dough or a larger baking sheet.  You could also just drop them like regular cookies, and give them 8-10 minutes to bake.

I like the idea of the bars, because it leaves you 20-30 minutes of free time to do the really important stuff.

Like applying make-up to nearby males.

Chocolate Oat Cinnamon Chip CookieChocolate Oatmeal
Cinnamon Cookies
oatmeal chocolate chipOatmeal Chocolate
Chip Cookies
birthday cakeOatmeal Chocolate
Chip Cake

Continue reading “Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Bars” »

My Favorite Days

I love summer.  I can’t get enough of it.  The sunlight, the flowers, the swimming, the late evenings, I love it all.

This summer, however, has been particularly crazy.  Did I mention I have teenagers?  I guess I forgot how crazy busy I was as a kid.  Either that or it’s busier for my kids than it was for me.  Both those explanations are 100% plausible.

I thought I would share a few of the things that have been happening in my life, since I have not had any time to bake for you this week.  Please forgive me.

First, the flowers in my yard are blooming.  Robb decided that the flower garden would be the Hippie Chick’s summer project.  Which basically means, she helped pick out and plant a bunch of flowers, and has done next to nothing since then.

The osteospermum have grown quite nicely, despite the neglect.  We take turns dead-heading every now and then, and these cute pink flowers continue to bloom and bloom.  They might be my favorite thing in my yard this year.  And, even though Robb had to cut the clematis way way back, they have continued to grow and climb and bloom these beautiful purple blossoms.

{Sidebar, these photos were shared on Instagram.  I heart Instagram.}

Also, we went camping.

Sort of.

We have this family friend with a little farm, and since the farm house is quite tiny, we camp on the property.  It’s our favorite place to camp… no fees, no restrictions, and there are flush toilets and showers!  Plus, did I mention?, Robb loves the country.  He is a farm boy, and is absolutely in his element when he has plenty of space and privacy.  There are horses on this property, and lots of antique tractors.  It’s pretty cool.

Also, I was asked to contribute to a new blog.  Erin Kennedy, the grand master behind My Thirty Spot, has started up a couple new sites, namely My Crafty Spot and My Cooking Spot.  The latter will feature yours truly, and my first contribution is today.  I’m excited to be working with Erin and the others.  So excited, in fact, I think I should give you a little preview of what I created for My Cooking Spot this month.

kentucky-derby-pie

Yeah, you heard me.  Kentucky Derby Pie.  This stuff is crazy delicious, and I honestly can’t believe I’ve never posted about it before.  It’s basically a chocolate chip cookie in a pie crust.

Lawdy, this stuff is good.

Last but not least, I think you should know that I have created a new page that is all about my most pinned posts.  These are the posts that have at least 1000 pins on Pinterest, and you might be interested to know what’s in there.  Here are just a few recent favorites:

lemon-sugar-cookies-pin fruit-pizza-pin
one-bowl-brownies-pin Strawberry Lemonade Cookies pin

The Strawberry Lemonade Cookies have been extra popular, with more than 9000 pins.  They deserve it.  They are super-duper yummy. Continue reading “My Favorite Days” »

Lemon Cookie Truffles

Truffles recipe; This lemon cookie truffles recipe is simple to make with leftover lemon cookies.

truffles recipeI’m a big fan of treats that don’t require much time or baking.

I also like when a new recipe helps me clean up the flubs from an old one.  Not too long ago, I made these yummy Lemon Sugar Cookies.  But what I didn’t tell you was that the recipe I posted was my second try.  My first try was not that impressive.  Nothing to blog home about, if you know what I mean.

But I kept the leavings of my not-that-lemoney and not-that-soft first batch of lemon cookies, just in case I could put the crumbs to good use.

Carla suggested I make truffles.  Good idea, Carla.  I think I will.

Most of the cookie truffle recipes I’ve seen call for cream cheese.  I decided to rebel, to stick it to the man, and use frosting instead.  Yep, I’m a rebel.  I’ll be going out for a tattoo any minute now.

truffles recipe

The really great thing about using frosting is that you can buy this lemon frosting which kicks up the lemon flavor a notch or two.  The cookies by themselves were just not enough.

And normally I’m a make-your-own-frosting kind of girl, but for an quick and easy treat like this, I couldn’t resist the urge to let someone else make the frosting.

lemon-trufflestruffles recipe

I feel that way about dinner all the time.  Let someone else make it.  I’ll pay you to do it.

Because if I do it, dinner will be just like these truffles… quick, easy, and with no cooking required.

lemon ricotta cookies Lemon Ricotta Cookies no bake dessertsNo Bake PB Bars peanut butter pretzelPB Pretzel Bites

Continue reading “Lemon Cookie Truffles” »

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles!  This snickerdoodles recipe is simple and no-fuss.  This classic snickerdoodles cookie will be a hit with any crowd.

SnickerdoodlesI don’t make Snickerdoodles much.  Truth be told, I’m not a huge fan.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against them, they’ve just never been my favorite.  Maybe {definitely} it’s my chocoholic nature.

Robb loves them, though.  {He’s not a chocoholic.  I’m not sure why I married him.}  And with a family camping trip coming up quick, I figured I had better make a big batch of them to take with us.  They’re great for camping, because they aren’t too messy… no chocolate to get melty or frosting to get all over everything.

Plus, they’re classic.  People understand Snickerdoodles.  They know what they’re getting.  There are no surprises and no wondering if you have to pretend to have an allergy to one of the ingredients.

Snickerdoodles

My grandma has been making Snickerdoodles for years, and I got this recipe from her.  Her version uses a cup of butter, and please understand, there ain’t nothing wrong with that, but sometimes I use shortening instead.

The butter enthusiasts are pulling their hair out right now.

It’s just that they are a little easier to bake when made with shortening.  They hold their shape better.  I don’t have to smash them flat with the bottom of a glass like I do with the butter version.  A quick drop of the baking sheet when the cookies first come out of the oven, and they are flat as a pancake.

Just as they should be.

Snickerdoodles

So, in the interest of full disclosure, here are the changes if you want to make yours with butter:

Use 1 cup of softened butter instead of 1 cup of shortening.
Use 3 3/4 cups flour instead of 3 1/2 cups.
Roll dough into little balls to bake, and use the bottom of a small glass to smash them flat when they first come out of the oven.  Then let them sit on the baking sheet a couple minutes before you move them to a cooling rack.

And voila!  Perfect Snickerdoodles… whichever recipe you choose.

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Snickerdoodles

Classic snickerdoodles, coated in cinnamon and sugar.

Cook Time 9 minutes
Servings 5 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 1/2 cups flour

For Rolling:

  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.

  2. Add cream of tartar, salt, and soda, and mix well. Add flour, and mix just until combined.

  3. In a separate dish, mix sugar and cinnamon.

  4. Roll dough into balls, roll balls in cinnamon mixture to coat. Place on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

  5. Drop baking sheet on the countertop immediately after removing from oven, to flatten cookies. Let cookies sit for 1-2 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Independence Day Treats

4th of July recipes for you; This collection of dessert recipes is perfect for the 4th of July or any summer get together! Try these 4th of July recipes for yourself!

4th of July desertsI love a good holiday.  I love the comradery, the break from the daily grind, and most of all, the food.

Oh, the food!  Holiday food is the best, isn’t it?

Our family will be celebrating with camping, swimming, fireworks, and naturally, snacks.  Popcorn and cookies during fireworks, chips and candy with lunch, fruity beverages to quell the blazing heat.

I thought I would share some of my favorite Independence Day appropriate treats.  These will be either American themed, no-bake {because it’s hot!}, non-melting {because it’s hot!} or generally summery.  Hopefully there will be something here for everyone.

If not, consider finding more ideas by checking out what my friends have done.

Let’s dive in.

red-white-and-blue-trifle-4Berry Trifle lemon sugar cookies square3Lemon Sugar Cookies no bake dessertsNo-bake PB Bars

This Berry Trifle uses white cake, blueberries, and strawberry pudding, very Red, White & Blue
Nothing says summer like lemon, and these Lemon Sugar Cookies have a light flavor and won’t melt.
Need to feed a crowd fast?  Try the No-Bake, 5-ingredient, Peanut Butter No Bake Bars.

Kettle Corn is a perfect treat for snacking on during fireworks!
Root Beer is uniquely American, so these Root Beer Cookies are sure to please.
Use your fresh fruit to make this beautiful Fruit Pizza on a sugar cookie crust.

Coconut Oil Kettle Corn RecipeKettle Corn Root Beer CookiesRoot Beer Cookies fruit-pizza-3Fruit Pizza
oatmeal chocolate chipOatmeal CC Cookies grapefruit soda thumbGrapefruit Soda blueberry-buttermilk-muffins-5Blueberry Muffins

These Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are the quintessential American cookie.
Grapefruit Soda is so refreshing on a warm summer day!
Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins are just classic, the sort of thing to remind you of home.

Whatever your plans this 4th of July, I hope you have fun and have amazing summer foods!

Cheesy Mustard Dip

Mustard Dip with cheddar cheese; Great snack idea! Pretzels and mustard cheese dip.  This recipe for mustard dip is slightly spicy, with lots of sharp cheddar cheese melted in.

cheesy-mustard-dipI remember this one time, my parents took a trip to Europe, and they brought me a jar of English mustard as a souvenir.

Oh, how well they know me.

The stuff was spicy, really spicy, the kind of spicy that clears out your sinuses and makes your eyes tear up.  It’s one of my favorite gifts ever, and, strange as it sounds, I will always remember that jar of mustard.

In the interest of full disclosure, I think I should tell you that the American yellow mustard is a thing which will never touch my lips.  What is in that stuff?  I’m pretty sure that particular shade of yellow is found nowhere in nature.  But brown mustard, spicy mustard, honey mustard, these are the things which I adore.

Especially with pretzels.  Yum.

By the way, this recipe is not going to bring a tear to the eye or clear your sinuses.  It is a touch spicy, but nothing like that English souvenir mustard from years ago.

mustard dip

I’m just going to address this now, because I know you’re going to ask.

Yes, I did put root beer in my mustard dip.  I know it sounds a little weird, but I liked the idea of something sweet with a little bite to it in the mustard dip, and I think it worked nicely.  If you are not into root beer, you could actual beer, something dark like a stout, or you could just skip it and use water.

Your choice.

pretzels and mustard

I love this dip served warm, all the melted cheese and spices make it so comforting and delicious.  I figured I needed a pretzel rod with it, something that could hold up to the strength of the mustard dip.

It makes a pretty small batch.  Small enough for me to eat almost the entire thing by myself.  Feel free to double if you’re serving more than 3 or 4 people.

I think I’ll just keep my batch to myself.

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Cheesy Mustard Dip

A spicy mustard dip with sharp cheddar cheese.

Cook Time 5 minutes
Author Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons grainy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon root beer, or beer, or water
  • 2/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted. Serve warm with pretzels.