October Cookie of the Month: Cookie Dough 101

October’s cookie of the month took a fantastic turn towards teaching, encouragement and fun.  A group of young ladies and their children assembled in the Exile’s Kitchen for Cookie Dough 101. The premise for the get together was to fill the freezer of each family represented with rolls of cookie dough, so Holiday preparations would be easier. To make things light and fun (as if these ladies and girls needed help doing so) we all wore froofroo aprons, with a prize of bakeware for the most June Cleaver-like apron.

20181027_112654 The little girls and boy held in there for the first batch of cookie dough making (August Cookie of the Month: Cranberry Pecan Shortbread), but then the front porch and sunshine and woods called them outside, so the mamas finished the other two recipes. The little girls didn’t want cranberries and pecans in their shortbread and opted for sprinkles. They named their creation: Funfetti Shortbread.

The second cookie dough was a Brown Sugar Cookie, which is good base for any add-in you may want.  The lone teenager of the class added Heath candy pieces and milk chocolate chips to her bowl, calling her mix up Heath Chocolate Bar Cookies.

The third cookie dough was a basic sugar cookie, rolled up in parchment paper and ready for slicing and baking later in the Holiday season.

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Cookie Dough Rolls

Some of the comments today:

“I never think to put on an apron, but I’m digging this.”

“Aprons are handy. They keep your outfit clean and you can dry dishes with it.”

“Is that just a ruffle on yours or pockets too?”

“Yes, pockets. For a recipe card or gathering eggs or holding my loaded pistol..!” Just kidding.

Plans have been made for more gathering in the Exile’s Kitchen for simple beginner classes.

Here’s the Brown Sugar Cookie recipe: cream together 1 cup softened butter and 1 1/2 cups of firmly packed brown sugar. Add 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk, and 1 tablespoon vanilla to butter and sugar. In another bowl, combine 3 cups all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Then slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture. Then fold in your favorite add-in- chocolate chips, toffee pieces, nuts, whatever, it’s your cookie dough. Bob Ross would agree with me. It Started With A Happy Little Cloud

With a cookie scoop, drop onto parchment lined cookie sheet, two inches apart and bake  at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool slightly on cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Cookie and Froofroo Apron Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

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September Cookie of the Month: Failure

Chocolate Shortbread… it seemed so promising. The Pinterest pictures looked so pretty. I followed the directions and the eggless dough tasted good, before baking. The recipe said to bake for 25 minutes. Well, that was just wrong. The edges came out too dark; burnt chocolate ain’t good. I’m trying to think of a way to save these.

I’ve cut the overbrowned edges off and cooled the shortbread on a wire wrack, still on the parchment. The pretty little marks, imprinted before baking all but disappeared when baked. Frowny face. Hmmmm. Still thinking.

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Okay, this is what I came up with, and it’s not great either, but here goes. I mixed up powdered sugar, butter, milk and a little cocoa, to make a sandwich cookie filling. It came out runny.

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Oh, well. I’ll try again another time. Community Coffee did help, a little.

Story of life. Even easy recipes can be screwed up. Things that should turn out perfectly sometimes don’t. Cut the burnt edges off, smile and smear some sugar on it. And try again. Nothing is really a failure, if you don’t give up.

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

August Cookie of the Month: Cranberry Pecan Shortbread

This recipe incorporates two of my favorites: dried cranberries and pecans. Shortbread has a minimal amount of ingredients. Easy. Great with hot or cold tea, afternoon coffee.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup of Land-O-Lakes butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

2 1/4 all-purpose flour

4 oz chopped dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped pecans

A couple tablespoons of granulated sugar and powdered sugar in separate bowls

What to do:

Cream butter and powdered sugar till fluffy. A 1/4 cup at a time, add the flour; Mixer on low, so not to flour up your kitchen. Then add in the dried cranberries and pecans. This dough is stiff.

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Divide the shortbread into thirds, form  two logs, wrapped in parchment paper and label it. Placed in the freezer, it will be ready for gatherings this fall.

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Roll the last part of the shortbread into 1 inch balls and place an inch apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. With a little glass dipped in granulated sugar, flatten the shortbread.

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Bake in a preheated 325° degree oven for about 15 minutes, depending on your oven. Don’t over brown these cookies. Shortbread is light in color.

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Cool the shortbread slightly on the cookie sheet, then roll in the extra powdered sugar. Next, cool completely on a wired wrack.

These shortbread cookies are light and buttery. I can’t wait for afternoon coffee.

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Shortbread Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

June Cookie of the Month

File this one under super easy coffee dunker. And cheap? My yes! Made with flour tortillas, you can make many, many for pennies.

Cut four,  8 inch flour tortillas into six triangles each and place them in a single layer, on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Lightly spritz tortillas with vegetable spray. Dust with cinnamon sugar snd bake till crisp in 350° oven. While they baked, I cut up a handful of Hershey Kisses into small chunks.. I had them on hand, but you could use regular chocolate morsels and skip the chopping. After the cinnamon tortillas have baked, sprinkle the chocolate on top of the hot triangles. The chocolate will melt slightly. I took a butter knife and smeared the kisses chunks around a little.

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This vase is my favorite, bought at a Virginia Beach farmer’s market years ago. The flowers I grew myself. Autumn Beauty sunflowers, mixed zinnias, and brilliant white cosmos. The cosmos is the front runner this year and the Viceroy of butterflies adore it, too,

 

So good with a cup of afternoon coffee.

 

 

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This week, I’ve also made two kinds of pickles: Bread and Butter and Spicy Dill. The slide show is of the first batch Bread and Butter. They remind me of my daddy’s sister, Aunt Louise. She was a fantastic cook and had a pantry full of homemade goodness, including Bread and Butter pickles. On a visit to her home in Homer, Louisiana way back in the late 80’s, Aunt Louise gifted me with a jar. They were so good! I guess I make pickles because, yes they’re tasty, but they connect me to fond memories of Aunt Louise.

Garden Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

April Cookie of the Month: Cake Mix Cookies

I said back in December, when I unpacked my cookie jar collection, that I would do a cookie of the month. Well, here goes the first recipe four months late:

Cake Mix Cookies

1 yellow cake mix ($1 aisle

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup Greek yogurt (all I had on hand was flavored)

1/4 cup corn oil

8 Hershey’s Miniatures broken up into small pieces

What to do:

Preheat your oven to 350°. Spray muffin top pans with vegetable spray and set aside.

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In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients. Form dough into balls (about 1 inch or so) and place one in each muffin space.

 

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With a fork, make a crisscross pattern

Place in your preheated oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

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Cool cookies in the pan for a couple of minutes, so they set up. These cookies are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Cool completely on wire wracks and then place in your favorite cookie jar. This recipe makes 2 1/2 dozen.

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I filled the jar that my oldest granddaughter Parker will get when she grows up and gets her first kitchen. The big strawberry came from Jeanie’s Antiques that was once in Osyka, Mississippi.

Parker is having a baby sister in June. I have been sewing every spare minute I can scrape together. Wednesday evening my 32 year old Dial and Sew sewing machine bit the dust. A trip to the store with the W on it, netted me a new Singer. Wow! is all I can say. Such a difference. I love the new machine and won’t miss the old one.

 

The see through bobbin cover is great; no more sewing nothing, when you’ve run out of bobbin thread,  but didn’t know it. It also has many decorative and monograming stitches to play with. The price was around $200. I am very pleased with it.

Grandmotherly blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.