Friday, December 11, 2009

Single (9-inch) Pie Crust

1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. shortening
3 Tbsp. cold water

1. Combine flour and salt in medium bowl. Cut in shortening with pastry blender (or you can use 2 knives using a cris-cross method) until all flour is blended and pea-sized chunks form.
2. Sprinkle with water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Toss lightly with a fork until dough forms a ball.
3. Press dough between hands to form a 5-6" "pancake." Roll dough into a circle on a lightly-floured surface. Trim circle to 1 inch larger than upside-down pie plate.
4. Fold dough into quarters. Unfold and press into pie plate. Fold edge under and flute.
5. For recipes using a baked crust, heat oven to 425 degrees. Prick bottom and side thoroughly with fork to prevent shrinkage. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. For recipes using an unbaked pie crust, follow directions given for that recipe.

Notes: This a very easy pie crust recipe. I have used others and have frequently been frustrated with trying to get the right consistency. Follow this recipe and you will have a perfect crust. It can be found in the Old-Fashioned Bake Sale cookbook.

Blackberry-apple Pie with Pecan Crumb Topping

1 pastry for a single crust pie
3/4 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 c. fresh blackberries
2 1/2 c. apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 c. pecans, chopped
3 Tbsp. butter

1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add fruit and gently stir until blackberries and apples are well coated. Set aside and allow the fruit to sit for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare pastry dough (if making your own) and roll out on lightly-floured surface. Place in 9-inch pie pan. Set aside.
3. To prepare topping, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add nuts and butter, using a fork or pastry blender to completely incorporate the butter with other ingredients.
4. Once fruit has stood for 20 minutes, spoon filling into pastry-lined pie pan. Place foil around the edge of the pastry to prevent from getting too brown. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Spread topping over filling, being sure to evenly cover the top. Continue baking for another 20-25 minutes, or until crust and top are golden brown and filling begins to bubble. Cool on wire rack. Serve as is, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or with a dollop of whipped topping.

Notes: This is a hybrid of this recipe and this one, along with my own adjustments. I love how it turned out! Very tasty! I like the textural and flavor combination of the apples and blackberries. I would recommend putting the pie pan on a baking sheet to keep your oven clean. The filling will probably bubble over a bit.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cranberry Surprise Loaf

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. apple juice
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 c. chopped fresh cranberries
1/2 c. chopped nuts

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bottom only of 9" x 5" loaf pan. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add one egg and beat well. Set aside.
2. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Stir in apple juice, butter, and beaten egg until well blended. Fold in cranberries and nuts. Spoon half of batter into greased and floured oan. Spoon cream cheese mixture evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 65 to 75 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled. Wrap tightly and store in refrigerator.

Notes: This was very tasty! I think I put a little more than half of the batter on the bottom, so there was a little bit of cream cheese mixture that ended up on top. Very delectable!

Homemade Bread

5 1/4 c. bread flour
1 c. dry instant milk
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 Tbsp. salt
1 1/2 rounded Tbsp. of saf-instant yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp. liquid lecithin
2 c. hot tap water
1/4 c. oil

1. In a stand mixer, mix dry ingredients together. Add lecithin, water, and oil together. After mixing for 1 minutes, check the consistency to make sure the dough is not too dry (it should be very sticky). Mix for 5 minutes.
2. Spray counter and two loaf pans with cooking spray. Divide dough into half. Shape each half into loaves and place in pans. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for 25 minutes. Bake each loaf for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Notes: This recipe is a hybrid of Pantry Secrets' bread recipe and my mother's roll recipe. It only takes an hour to get the dough mixed and the bread baked, so I love it! It can be used for cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, and any other recipe that uses bread dough.

Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting

Cinnamon Rolls
1/2 of bread recipe
Butter spread or melted butter

Maple Frosting
1/2 bag powdered sugar (plus a little for thicker consistency)
1 tsp. maple flavoring
1/4 c. milk
2 Tbsp. melted butter
dash of salt

1. Spray counter and a baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll dough into a long, thin rectangle.
2. Using a butter knife, cover dough with a thin layer of butter spread (or melted butter). Sprinkle with desired amount of sugar and cinnamon. Tightly roll dough toward you to create. Pinch the seam to seal the roll. Cut the rolls to about 3/4-inch thickness.
3. Place rolls on greased baking sheet. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for 25 minutes. Place in preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.
4. To make the frosting, combine all ingredients. Using a whisk, stir until combined well. Pour over cinnamon rolls.

Notes: I found the maple frosting recipe on Pioneer Woman's blog. Realistically, you could use your favorite cinnamon roll frosting and add maple flavoring. I liked the flavor. I think the rolls would be good with brown sugar instead of white to complement the maple flavor. I will definitely be trying this again.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. sugar to roll cookies in

1. Cream together sugars, butter, and peanut butter. Add vanilla and egg and mix well.
2. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
3. Roll into balls and roll balls in sugar.
4. Place on cookie sheet and press flat with fork. Bake at 375 degrees for 6-9 minutes or until slightly brown around edges.

Notes: These are so tasty!! This is my mother's recipe.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 c. sugar
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
8 oz. canned pumpkin
2 eggs

Frosting (frost cake after it is completely cooled)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. margarine
2 c. confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1. In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add egg and pumpkin. Combine well.
2. Pour batter into 9"x13" cake pan (you can double the recipe for a large crowd and place it in a jelly roll pan). Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-25 minutes. Let cool.
3. Once cake is cooled completely, cream softened cream cheese and margarine. Gradually add confectioners sugar until well blended. Stir in vanilla.
4. Frost cake and cut into bars.

Notes: This recipe is adapted from the Frosted Pumpkin Bars recipe found at CDKitchen. I halved the recipe and added some spices for more flavor. We were very satisfied with the results!

Simple Chocolate Cake

2 eggs
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted (you can substitute 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder and 1 Tbsp. oil for each ounce of unsweetened chocolate-this is what I did)
1/4 c. cooking oil
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. all-purpose flour
Sifted powdered sugar

1. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients except for flour, beating with an electric mixer until combined.
2. Gradually beat in the flour. If you are using a stand mixer, you should have no problem getting the four all mixed in. If you are using a hand mixer, you may have to stir in some of the flour by hand.
3. Pour batter into a greased cake pan. Bake at 375 degrees. Time will vary depending on pan size. I am not entirely sure, but I think my cake took about 20-25 minutes to bake. Just be sure to keep an eye on it, and take the cake out once an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
4. Allow cake to cool slightly. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Notes: This is adapted from the Chocolate Crinkles recipe found in the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. I altered it to make it more cake-like. The cake is a little more dense. I think that if I play around with this recipe some more, I could make it a little more light and fluffy. It was still very tasty, though!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wilton Buttercream Icing

{These cupcakes are decorated with Wilton Buttercream Icing using a 32 star tip}
1/2 c. solid vegetable shortening
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 tsp. Wilton Clear Vanilla Extract (I just use regular vanilla-it makes the icing darker)
4 c. sifted confectioners' sugar (approx. 1 lb.)
2 Tbsp. milk

1. Cream butter and shortening with electric mixer. Add vanilla.
2. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides on bottom of bowl often.
3. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Makes about 3 cups.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing:
Add 3 oz. melted unsweetened chocolate* and 1 tablespoon more milk to above recipe.
*3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon oil equals 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate.

Notes: Keep icing covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bow in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerate in an airtight container, this icing can be stored for 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

This recipe is idea for thick consistency icing used for making several flowers. For the majority of decorating, you will want to use a medium consistency icing. To make a medium consistency, add 1/12-2 tablespoons of light corn syrup. Ice cakes using thin consistency icing, which can be made by adding 3-4 tablespoons of light corn syrup.

This recipe is found in the Wilton Cake Decorating Beginner's Guide instruction book that came with my 53-piece cake decorating set.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Blueberry-Raspberry Buckle

2 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. shortening
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
1 c. fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. butter or margerine

1. Grease bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9x9x2-inch or 8x8x2-inch pan. Set aside. In a medium bowl combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a medium mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the 3/4 cup sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to beaten egg mixture, beating until smooth after each addition.
3. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with blueberries and raspberries. In another bowl, combine the 1/2 cup flour, the 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon. using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs; sprinkle over fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Notes: This recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, 12th edition. It calls for 2 cups of blueberries and has a variation for 2 cups of raspberries, but I had one cup of each and thought they would work well together. It is really tasty!! My husband and I couldn't stop eating it!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cake-like Oatmeal Cookies

1 c. raisins (I used dried cranberries)
1 c. water
1 c. butter/shortening (or 1/2 c. of each)
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 c. raisin liquid
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. quick oats
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1 c. chopped nuts (optional)

1. In small saucepan with tight lid, heat raisins (cranberries) and water to boiling. Remove from heat; cool. Measure 1/3 cup liquid and reserve. Drain raisins.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and mix well. Add raisin liquid and mix until combined.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add to wet mixture and mix thoroughly.
4. Add oatmeal, raisins, chocolate chips, and nuts; mix well with a spoon.
5. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls two inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees or until lightly golden.

This is my mother's tried and true recipe.
Notes: As of 12/9/09 I have changed this recipe. There were some wrong amounts and missing ingredients. It should be great now!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Shortbread Cookies

Please excuse the picture. Visit Pioneer Woman's website to see her beautiful pictures of this delectable dessert.

I found this delicious recipe by the Pioneer Woman.

2 sticks + 2 Tbsp. butter
1 c. sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour
Scant 1 c. corn starch (this means a little less than 1 cup)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Cream butter and sugar together. Sift in flour and cornstarch. Combine using a pastry blender until the ingredients are all incorporated. Add one more tablespoon of butter if the dough seems really dry.
3. Form dough into a ball, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
4. Roll onto lightly floured surface and cut into rounds (or whatever shape of cookie cutter you want to use). Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat (I just put the cookies right on the cookie sheet, since I don't have either of these).
5. Bake for 20 minutes. Do not let the cookies brown. The edges should just have a very faint golden tinge.

These taste great just how they are. However, I like them even better drizzled with a little melted chocolate. Again, I got the idea from here.

1. Melt some melting chocolates (I just used semi-sweet chocolate chips).\
2. Put the melted chocolate into a pastry bag with a fine tip (a Ziploc bag with the tip cut off works great, too). Drizzle over the cookies in whatever design you want.
3. Allow them to set at room temperature, or cool them in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
4. Once chocolate is completely set, serve with ice cream. I made ice cream sandwiches out of them. Yum!

Notes: I stored my cookies in the freezer. It kept the chocolate from getting too soft. Also, I like how they taste with a little chill to them. These make a very delicious summer treat!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pineapple Cherry Crisp

2 c. pitted cherries
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
6 tbsp. butter
1 1/8 c. flour
1/2 c. rolled oats
6 tbsp. packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
20 oz. can of crushed pineapple

1. In a medium saucepan, combine cherries and water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes.
2. Mix together sugar and cornstarch and add to cherries. Continue to cook until filling is thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir in oats, flour, brown sugar, and salt until a dry, crumbly dough forms.
4. Pour undrained crushed pineapple into the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish. Layer cherry filling on top. Sprinkle dough on top of the cherry filling. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with whipped topping or vanilla ice cream.

This recipe resulted from a few different recipes. I liked how it turned out, although I think it could have used more cherry pie filling. If you don't have fresh cherries or want to make this easier, use 20 oz. of canned cherry pie filling instead of making your own. I made my own since we had cherries that needed to be eaten up. Also, my oven cooked this in about 20 minutes. I am not sure if my new oven bakes a little on the hot side, but it would be a good idea to keep an eye on the crisp and remove it from the oven once it is golden brown on top and the filling is bubbling around the edges.

Monday, June 29, 2009


1/2 C. shortening
1/2 C. butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 3/4 C. flour
Sugar and Cinnamon Mix
2 Tbs. sugar
1-2 tsp. sugar

1. Mix shortening, butter, and sugar together thoroughly until light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs and mix well.
3. Sift together dry ingredients and add to shortening and sugar mixture.
4. Roll into balls the size of small walnuts.
5. Roll balls in sugar and cinnamon mix.
6. Place on baking sheets and bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Notes: For a tasty, "healthier" variation, try substituting half of the flour with wheat flour. It adds a nice nutty flavor.