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Friday, December 30, 2016


These are from my mom's cookbook and my friend Miquelle.  They are the best sugar cookies and soft!

Cookie Dough:
1 c. shortening (I like to use half cup shortening and half cup butter)
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. cream of tarter
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Cinnamon Sugar Mixture:
1/4 sugar
2 T cinnamon

Cream shortening (and butter) with sugar.  Add eggs.  In a separate bowl mix flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt.  Combine.  

Cover and chill dough at least 1 hour (optional, but if you don't, your dough will be sticky and the cookies will be flatter).

In a small bowl mix 1/4 sugar and 2 T cinnamon.   Roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls and roll in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. **Take care to not over bake the cookies. They will not be brown but will still be gooey when you pull them out of the oven, let them sit on the pan for 1-2 minutes then place on cooling rack. They cook a little more as they cool.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Monkey Bread, Overnight Version

We love the Cook's Country recipe for monkey bread, but wanted an overnight version especially since we usually on make this for Christmas morning.  I found this version that gives instructions for an overnight rise in the fridge--and it was perfect!

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk, warm (about 110 degrees, a bit warmer than body temperature)
  • ⅓ cup water, warm (about 110 degrees, a bit warmer than body temperature)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 2½ teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour , plus extra for work surface* (begin with 2½ c flour, and add up to 3¼c)
Brown Sugar Coating
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk


Prepare a bundt pan by generously coating with softened butter.

Warm milk and water to about 110 degrees - a bit warmer than body temperature.  Add 2 tablespoons of melted butter, sugar, and salt to milk/water mixture. Stir to dissolve.  

In a stand mixer with a flat beater blade, add flour and yeast.  On the mixer's lowest setting, slowly add liquid mixture to flour until combined.  Turn off mixer and switch to dough hook. Slowly increase the speed and gradually add the remaining flour. (May take more or less) The dough should cling to the hook, and clean the sides of the mixing bowl.  Knead dough in mixer for 6-7 minutes until shiny and smooth, but slightly sticky.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in a smooth ball.  Coat a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray, and place ball of dough in bowl, turn to coat with cook spray. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft free place until dough roughly doubles in size (about 50-60 minutes).

Just before dough finishes its first rise, mix brown sugar and cinnamon in one small bowl. Put the 8 tablespoons of melted butter into a second bowl.  Remove dough from bowl and pat into a 8 inch by 8 inch square. Use a knife or bench scraper to cut the square into 4 large pieces, then cut each of those quarters into about 16 pieces.  Gently roll each piece of dough into a ball.  Use one hand to dip the dough pieces into the butter, and allow excess butter to drip off, then place in the sugar mixture. Pick up the sugared pieces with other hand and layer in pan while staggering the seams.  

Cover pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight.

Next morning, remove pan from refrigerator about one hour before baking. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove plastic wrap and bake about 30-35 minutes. The top should be brown, and edges will begin to bubble. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, and turn out on a large platter. Cool about 10 minutes, before glazing.

As bread cools, whisk together confectioner's sugar and milk in a small bowl until lumps disappear. Drizzle glaze over top of warm bread, and let it run down sides.  Serve warm, enjoy!  Excellent hardy breakfast with eggs and sausage/bacon and orange juice.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Gingerbread with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

From Mel's Kitchen cafe who adapted it slightly from Lion House Recipes

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup very hot water

Cinnamon Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9X13-inch baking pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until well blended. Add the eggs and molasses and blend again. Sift the dry ingredients together in a mesh strainer directly into the molasses/butter/sugar mixture and mix. Add the hot water and beat until the batter is smooth. It will be fairly thin. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 32-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don’t overbake or the gingerbread will be dry. Serve the gingerbread warm or cold with cinnamon whipped cream (and sliced bananas, if desired).

For the cinnamon whipped cream: In a medium bowl, begin beating the whipped cream. After it starts to just slightly thicken, add the sugar and cinnamon and beat until medium-stiff peaks form.