Saturday, October 25, 2008

Candy Corn Cookies

This is a great fall cookie, thanks to

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 egg
orange food color
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted, cooled

1. Line 8x4-inch loaf pan with waxed paper, extending paper over sides of pan (I didn't have any and used plastic wrap--you will not bake the mixture in the pan). In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, and egg until soft dough forms.

2. On work surface, place 3/4 cup dough. Knead desired amount of food color into dough until color is uniform. Press dough evenly in bottom of pan.
3. Divide remaining dough in half. Gently press one half of remaining dough into pan on top of orange dough. On work surface, knead chocolate into remaining dough until color is uniform. Press over plain dough in pan, pressing gently to edge of pan. Refrigerate 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until firm.

4. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove dough from pan. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice into 5 wedges. On ungreased cookie sheet, place wedges 1 inch apart.

5. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are set and edges are very light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely. Store in tightly covered container.

Paulette's Shortcut Potato Soup

Paulette, my aunt, told me how to make potato soup ages ago. Potato soup (and oyster soup) are a family tradition for brunch on Christmas morning.

Wash, peel (if desired), and dice potatoes. Boil for about 20 minutes and drain. Add 1 can Campbell's condensed cream of potato soup (or season with onions). Add enough milk to cover the mixture. Add a couple tablespoons of margarine. Heat and thicken with potato flakes (I like a thick soup).

Sandwich Maker Oatmeal Bars

This is a very kid-friendly breakfast recipe. The batch makes 16 bars, so I am going to freeze them and get them out as I need them on busy school mornings. I got the recipe from I'll put the food storage ingredients you can use in parentheses. You can also bake them in the oven as muffins at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

1-3/4 Bisquick
3/4 cup quick oats
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg (or 2 TBS. dehydrated egg + 1/4 cup water)
1 cup milk (or 3 TBS. powdered milk + 1 cup water)
1 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix ingredients together until moist. Fill sandwich maker or muffin pans 2/3 full and bake for 2 minutes in sandwich maker or 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven for regular muffins.

The Perfect Sandwich Maker Egg

A couple of years ago, my mother gave me a sandwich maker for Christmas. I'm excited to have new ideas to use it for. This recipe is quick and healthy, which makes it perfect for school mornings. I got the recipe at, a wonderful website. She shows you how to use food storage ingredients in regular recipes.

1. Preheat the sandwich maker.

2. Spray the bottom of the sandwich maker (the eggs don't actually touch the top so if you spray the tops now, it burns off before you flip the machine and the egg ends up sticking to the top).

3. Crack eggs and salt/pepper. You can break the yolk and mix it with the white if you like it better that way.

4. Close lid and cook for 2 minutes.

5. Open and spray top.

6. Close lid and quickly flip entire sandwich maker over.

7. Cook for 1 minute and 45 seconds for what I call a "perfect egg" (runny yolk, but absolutely no runny whites) or cook about 45-60 seconds more for a firm yolk.

Note from Jen: My eggs had a firm yoke at 1 minute and 45 seconds, so you probably need to experiment with your sandwich maker.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Jelly Bean Thumbprint Cookies

This is another recipe I want to try at Christmas. It would be great to make at Easter too with the pastel jelly beans. You could also use other candies, like red and green M&Ms for Christmas. I thought it would be a fun recipe to do with the kids. However, you do need to do it over the course of 2 days because the dough has to be refrigerated for 8 hours. It's from Christmas With Southern Living 2007.

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 TBS. heavy whipping cream
assorted jelly beans
additional powdered sugar

Beat butter at medium speed with mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks and vanilla, beating until blended.

Combine flour and salt; add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Cover and chill dough 8 hours.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Press thumb into each cookie to make an indentation.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 13 minutes. Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; remove to wire racks. Make thumbprint indentations again while cookies are still warm; let cool completely.

Meanwhile, combine powdered sugar and heavy cream in a small bowl; stir with a fork until smooth. Spoon icing into a zip-top freezer bag; cut a tiny hole in the corner of the bag and squirt a small amount of icing into indentation in each cookie. Press jelly beans into center of each cookie. Let set. Dust cookies with powdered sugar. Makes 1 1/2 dozen cookies.

Chocolate-Covered Raisin Clusters

I'm starting to get together a list of new recipes I want to try for the holidays. I'll update this with my opinion of the recipe after I try it. This recipe was in the Fayetteville newspaper, but I have changed the directions. I usually just mix clusters of raisins with melted milk chocolate, but I wanted to see if the following combination would taste better. I would probably at least quadruple the recipe.

3 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 TBS. dark corn syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup raisins, dark or golden

Line baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper.

Melt chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl in 30-second increments (stir each time) until chocolate is melted. Microwave for less if using only 3 ounces of chocolate.

Combine corn syrup and vanilla with melted chocolate and whisk until smooth.

Stir raisins into chocolate, making sure they are well covered. Use a teaspoon to scoop clusters of raisins out of the chocolate and place on baking sheet. Place baking sheet in refrigerator for 10 minutes to allow chocolate to set.

To store, transfer clusters to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 2 weeks. Makes about 30 clusters.