Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bacon Cheddar Muffins

These muffins are delicious! they have a nice bacon flavor and they are super moist. My two sons mentioned that they couldn't taste the cheese flavor wich I suppose is semi true. You get a hint of it and it also could be because I wasnt useing a true cheddar cheese..I put in whatever shredded dutch cheese I had. So Im betting that if you make it with real cheddar you will taste it more. The muffins are decent sized and semi dense so serving these with eggs or fruit is more than enough.
Bacon Cheddar Muffins..12
2 cups Flour
3/4 cup Sugar
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tspn. Salt
3/4 cup plus 2 TBLSPNS. Milk
1/3 cup Butter,melted
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 cup(4ounces) shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup crumbled crisp-cooked bacon(6 slices)
Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper cups. Combine flour,sugar,aking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Combine milk,egg and butter in small bowl,mix well. Ad milk mixture to flour mixture;stir just until blended. Gently fold in cheese and bacon. Sppon evenly into muffin cups,filling 3/4 full. Bake 15-20 mins or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool muffins in pan for 2-3 mins and then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or room temp with eggs or fruit. Happy New Year Everyone!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

On a recent trip to a german grocery store my husband spotted small boxes of semi sweet chocolate chips. I was super excited because I cant find these in the netherlands. I was a bit miffed about the price but it was something I needed to try incase I needed them in a pinch. Thanks to my Dad and step mom I have a few bags to keep me going for awhile but I can't always expect them to send me baking items. I also found and bought a few cans of evaporated and condensed milk for some recipes I wanted to try. So today while cleaning up around the house I decided to try out these chips. I used a no frills recipe that produces a nice soft cake like cookie. The chips worked perfectly and if I can get over the price I will buy these when needed..why can't they sell peanubutter and mint flavored ones aswell??
Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies..several dozen
1 cup Butter,softened
1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup packed Brown Sugar
1 tspn. Vanilla
2 Eggs
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 tspn. Baking Soda
1 tspn. Salt
2 cups semisweet Chocolate Chips
Preaheat oven to 375 or 190 celcius. In a large bowl cream together the butter,sugars,eggs and vanilla;mix until smooth. Combine the flour,baking soda and salt;stir into batter and mix in chocolate chips by hand using wooden spoon. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 mins or until edges are golden. Make sure to not over bake these. They can go from a pale-ish golden color to dark in a matter of mins. Cool on sheet for 1 min and transfer to wire rack. They will be really soft at first but the longer they set the softer and more firm they become. Best served with one tall glass of ice cold milk.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Homemade Cool Whip & Graham Cracker Crust

If you were at my house earlier today you would have seen me dancing a jig around the house. I was so extremely happy with the fact that I made homemade Cool Whip!!! I have said it a hundred times and will continue to say it for the rest of my life: I took everything I had back home for granted. They don't sell Cool Whip in the netherlands and although I didn't buy alot back home I still had the knowledge of always knowing it was there when I wanted to make a pudding pie with a graham cracker crust. Thats another thing..they dont have those here either. So like anyone else wanting a taste from back home,I set out to find what I wanted on the internet! I found recipes for both and after my Dad and step mom shipped over some wonderful flavored puddings(I can only find one flavor here) and some unflavored gelatin I was set. I hit a panick spot when I didnt think I would beable to find powdered milk..but I did and was so happy.

I followed the directions to the "T" and seriously it's just like cool whip! Some of the recipes call for 1 tsp of Vanilla extract and others don't. I encourage you to use that or like me since I knew I was making a banana pudding I added in 1/2 tsp of banana flavoring. The reason I encourage it is because the recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of oil and I was a bit weirded out by that. I read some reviews that said it was oily tasteing and I didnt want to go threw all that hard work just to have it taste like that. So get creative with the extracts when making it and keep in mind that bolder flavors may only need 1/2 tsp. You need to really beat the mixture until it forms stiff peaks..I think it took me close to 10mins to get it but I was also using a handmixer. You come away with 2 cups wich is just fine when making a pudding pie. The graham cracker crust comes together with 3 ingredients and couldnt be easier. I'm really happy with the total results of what I made and look forward to making it again soon.
Homemade Cool Whip..2 cups
1 tsp. Unflavored Gelatin
2 tsp. Cold Water
3 TBLSPN. Boiling Water
1 tsp. Vanilla extract or other flavoring of your choice
1/2 cup Ice Water
1/2 cup Nonfat Dry Milk
3 TBLSPN. Sugar
3 TBLSPN. Vegetable Oil
Chill a small bowl. Soften gelatin with 2 teaspoons cold water,then add boiling water,stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved; Cool to room temperature. Place 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup dry milk in chilled bowl. Beat on high speed until mixture forms stiff peaks(took me almost 10mins) Add in sugar,still beating,then add in extract,oil and gelatin. Place in freezer for 15mins and then transfer to fridge until ready to use. Stir mixture before using to reatin creamy mixture.

HomeMade Graham Cracker 9 inch pie crust
1 1/2 cups Crushed Graham Crackers
1/3 cup Sugar
6 TBLSPNS. Melted Butter
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon..Optional only
Heat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Mix all ingredients togther and press into desired pie plate. Bake for 8mins:cool and fill with pudding.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lemon Sugar Cookies

These are my most favorite cookie in the whole wide world. I look forward to baking these at certain times of the year. I don't bake them all the time though because of the preperation and the sweetness of the frosting..Im a very plain cookie person but these I always make an exception for. I have been eating these cookies since I was a kid. My mom made them at christmas time and usually at halloween and she would tint the dough orange. What I like most is that unlike the usual sugar cookie that uses vanilla flavoring,this one uses lemon and it makes all the difference in the world in my opinion. This recipe is easily doubled but do NOT increase the lemon flavoring amount. If you do you come away with a greasy dough thats way to overpowering on the flavor(trust me I know) and it doesnt taste good at all. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas. I plan on enjoying the day tomorrow with all the various cookies I froze along the way and will be taking it easy with the family!
Ethel's Sugar Cookies..makes several dozen depending on your cutters
3/4 cup Butter( you can also use part butter flavored shortening)
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp Lemon Flavoring
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
Mix butter,sugar,eggs and flavoring thoroughly. Stir flour,baking powder and salt together and slowly add to wet mixture. Cover and chill for atleast 1 hour.
Heat oven to 400 or 200 celcius. Roll dough to 1/8 of an inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut with cookies cutters,place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 6-8 mins or until a light golden color... do NOT over bake these takes only a short minute for them to go from golden to dark. This recipe produces a nice soft cookie. Cool and frost.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Spritz Cookies

I was sent a very large box from back home from my Dad and step mom and one of the things included was a complete cookie press. There were so many wonderful items in there that I can't get here in the netherlands and it's going to make baking and cooking even better. Thanks you two!! So today I made some spritz cookies. It always takes me a few sheets before I have the press working right but this one was really easy and I was squeezing out the fat little trees in no time. I put away a few in the freezer to enjoy at a later time. I'll be baking Sugar Cookies this week so stay tuned for that!
Spritz Cookies..several dozen
1 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 large Egg
1 TBLSPN. Vanilla or 1 tsp. Almond Extract
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 1/2 Cups Flour
Heat Oven to 350 degrees or 180 celcius. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar with a mixer on high speed for 5 mins or until light and fluffy. Add egg,vanilla or almond and salt,beat until blended. On low speed gradually add flour. Following the directions of your cookie press place dough into press and press out cookies about 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Decorate cookies with sprinkles. Bake fo 10-12 mins or until golden. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Peanut Butter Crinkles

I guess Im on a "crinkle" phase now. I found this recipe on another bloggers site and the second I saw them I knew I had to add it to my christmas baking list. I like anything that doesnt require a mass amount of time in the kitchen. It's not that I don't enjoy being in there but if you had a typical dutch kitchen then you would understand. I have a rather small kitchen with annoying counter tops and it makes rolling anything out a real pain. I am forever trying to invent new places to put items and I officially ran out of space along time ago. I'm going to attempt cinnamon rolls soon wich will be very interesting to say the least.
These peanut butter crinkles have a wonderful flavor to them and they arent over powering in the peanut butter area. You make them very much the same as my other crinkle cookies except here you gently smush the tops with the bottom of a glass. Super simple,great taste and perfect for giving away.
Peanut Butter Crinkles..makes several dozen;perfect for freezing
1 cup Butter
1 cup Peanut Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup White Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 cup Powdered Sugar or more for rolling
In bowl cream butter and peanut butter;add in sugar and brown sugar and mix until blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Whisk together flour,baking powder,soda and salt. Gently add to creamed mixture and mix until almost combined. Chill for 20mins. Heat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll tablespoons full of of dough into balls and roll into powdered sugar;place on baking sheet. Carefully press down on each ball with a glass to flatten tops slightly. Bake 10-12mins or until tops are crinkly and edges are set. Cool for one minute and transfer to wire rack.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chocolate Crinkles

Holiday baking has begun!! I whipped up these cookies this morning,let the dough harden in the fridge and went about my day. I can't say enough positive things about this cookie. If you are wanting a combination between a brownie and a cookie then please make these! They are soft, chewy and oh so yummie. I think next time I will even add some walnuts in there. Over the next few weeks I will be baking alot of cookies and other goodies so please check back often for holiday recipes to try yourself!
The dough can be a little hard to handle..kind of sticky so I dropped the dough into the powdered sugar and then rolled it around and then shaped it into a ball. You could use a small ice cream scoop aswell and skip the sticky hands part.
Chocolate Crinkles..several dozen
1 cup unsweetened Cocoa powder
2 cups White Sugar
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
4 Eggs
2 tspn. Vanilla
2 cups Flour
2 tspn. Baking Powder
1/2 tspn. Salt
1/2 cup Confectioners' Sugar
In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa,white sugar and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time,then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour.baking powder and salt; stir into cocoa mixture. Cover dough and chill for atleast 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees or 175 celcius. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Coat each ball in confectioners sugar and place on cookie sheet.
Bake in oven for 10-12mins. Let stand on the cookie sheet for 1 minute before transfering to wire rack.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cheese,Bacon & Potato Tart

I've been gone for a few days. My husband surprised me with a quick trip to London,England for my birthday and our anniversary. I had the time of my life and hope to go back again someday. I loved the food and the people and it's something I will never forget. We walked the entire time and needless to say I am beat down and having a hard time getting back into the swing of things. This is why this tart is so perfect! It only requires a few ingredients and you can leave it in the oven for an hour while you rest your feet in the morning:) The recipe calls for a 8 inch circle pan but I dont have one yet so I used my 8X8 square and it worked perfectly. Goes great with eggs and fresh fruit!
Cheese,Bacon&Potato Tart...serves 4-6
1 TBLSPN.Butter
1 lb. Bacon
1-1 1/2 lbs potatoes,peeled,sliced and divided
2 cups shredded Cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees or 200 celcius
Spread butter in a 8 inch round pan,place bacon over butter,arranging in a spoke like fashion. Bring bacon up the sides and over the edge of the pan. Top with half the potatoes;sprinkle seasoning and half the cheese. Layer with remaining potatoes,season again and top with second half of cheese. Fold ends of bacon slices across the top; bake for about one hour or until potatoes are tender.