Monthly Archives: December 2008

Molasses Sandwich Cookies

Okay, between Ginger Chewies, and now this recipe, I am going through molasses just as fast as sugar!  No, mine aren’t as pretty as Martha Stewart’s (but really, is that even possible?), but all I had was dark, bold molasses and not the “Light” molasses that the recipe called for.  I added just a little bit of vanilla to cut into the molasses flavor just a bit, and mine only took 8 minutes to bake in the oven, not the 12-15 as the recipe states.  When making the frosting, I had to add a little milk to mine as I mixed it to make it a bit creamier – and I wouldn’t suggest using a whisk if you are following the recipe, it turned into a bit of a pain when the butter clumped with the sugar inside the whisk – just use an electric mixer.  In the end, they tasted, well, incredible!  I love it when I try a new recipe and upon sharing them, people go ballistic over them.  The same thing happened with the Ginger Chewies.  Which makes me wonder – you really don’t see that many cookies or recipes with molasses anymore.  It certainly isn’t as “hip” as Green Tea or Candied Ginger, but there is definitely something comforting and welcoming about it – a hug for your tummy.

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Posted by on December 30, 2008 in Uncategorized


Almost Spring?

Honestly, how much snow can one state possibly need, really?!  

I really think we are already almost up to the amount of snow we had all last winter – and we still have at least two more months to go!  While shoveling every two days is keeping my arms in better shape, it certainly isn’t very much fun!  And before the snow plow comes through the alley, I pray pray pray that the blade is facing the opposite direction of our driveway, so we won’t have to shovel out another couple of feet!  Today God chose to bless our neighbors, 

but at least it came through early and we were able to shovel it right away before it froze into a solid mass of evil ice-snow.  But really, it is incredibly pretty at certain moments.
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Posted by on December 29, 2008 in Uncategorized


Time with Family

I hope you are enjoyed a very Merry Christmas.  
We certainly had a great time visiting with many of our family members.

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Posted by on December 27, 2008 in Uncategorized


Oooh Baby…

What is it about cinnamon rolls?  Warm from the oven, covered in icing, that sweet spicy smell in the air that has the power to cause men to swoon cinnamon rolls.  I have tried several cinnamon rolls recipes in the past, and they never quite turn out.  The filling is awesome, but the dough leaves something to be desired, or vice versa, or the dough fails to rise (it is so hard to throw away what seems to be a perfectly good jar of yeast, just because it is getting up in age…).  But I think I’ve finally got it.  These are amazing.  And I have to admit, I didn’t even make the icing Ree does, I just did a vanilla icing, rather than the maple.  Still.  They rock.  And even after I made a ridiculously messy mess while rolling them up (every spill a cup of melted butter on the floor?), I still promise to make these again.  I made half the recipe, and got three round pans out of it.  One was made the next morning, and the other two are being saved for Christmas morning.  Family, Presents, and Cinnamon Rolls.  Can life get better?  I submit that it cannot!

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Posted by on December 24, 2008 in Uncategorized


Help Wanted

One thing about baking so much lately, is that I feel like I am almost constantly washing, drying, and putting away dishes, only to take them out and make them dirty again (and again and again).  Even right now, at 9:43 pm, there are dirty dishes to be done, mainly because I have reached my limit of doing dishes today and couldn’t stand to put my hands in that scalding hot water again.  But honestly, the amount of dishes that today’s recipe produced was worth it.  This is definitely a great recipe to have on hand, and I know I will make it again.  I love using vanilla beans.  Splitting them open and scraping out the tiny black seed paste inside is somehow satisfying – and the wonderful fragrance that fills the workspace is one that makes you close your eyes, lean forward, and breath in as deeply as your lungs allow.  I loved seeing the bits of vanilla throughout the sugar, and then mixed into the cake dough.  There is something exotic about using vanilla beans in a recipe – and one of the few times that “black stuff” is okay in a cake!  I would have certainly offered up some of this ridiculously good Cranberry Vanilla Coffeecake as payment for someone willing to do some dishes!


Posted by on December 23, 2008 in Uncategorized



Finally, a new jar of yeast, and properly risen dough!  The little critters acted exactly as they should have, and the recipe for Dinner Rolls by the Pioneer Woman came out wonderfully.  I only made half a batch (which still made 20 rolls), and I will soon enough be making them again.  Very easy, no kneading and yummy, fresh, buttery rolls coming out of the oven for dinner.  Before I put the pans in the oven, I brushed the tops of the rolls with a little melted butter, and then sprinkled just a bit of kosher salt over each.  Yum Yum Yum… I think I need to go eat another one, just to make sure they’re still good!

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Posted by on December 20, 2008 in Uncategorized


Two New Cakes

Two recipes for the price of one today, and two good ones, for that matter!  Via a link on Joy’s blog, I felt an urgency to make this Butterscotch Banana Chocolate Swirl Cake.  I threatened Justin and Trav away from the last of the bananas on our counter, and had all of the other ingredients on hand.  As you’ll notice if you follow the link to the recipe, it only calls for half of the recipe for the yellow cake.  As I didn’t threaten hard or fast enough, by the time I got to the bananas there was only one left, so I couldn’t just double the recipe.  Instead I took Peabody’s advice and made the Pecan Pie Cake with the other half (I had all the ingredients for that on hand as well).  To make them perty, I drizzled some butterscotch and chocolate ganache over the banana one, and poured the remaining chocolate ganache over the pecan one.  Both turned out great, though Justin declared that the Butterscotch Banana one as his favorite, and requested four layers of it for his birthday.  

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Posted by on December 20, 2008 in Uncategorized