Saturday, October 28, 2006

My Favorite Pumpkin Cookies

1 C. sugar
1 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. butter
1/3 C. Crisco
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1 15-oz can pureed pumpkin
2 C. flour
2 C. oatmeal
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
a shake or two of nutmeg
chopped nuts, if desired

Beat the first four ingredients together until light and fluffy. Blend in egg, vanilla and pumpkin.

In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Blend them into the wet mixture and add chopped nuts and a touch more flour if the dough seems sticky.

Drop by generous teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Caramel Frosting

Melt 1/2 C. butter, 1 C. brown sugar, 1/8 tsp. salt and 1/4 C. milk. Boil 3 minutes; cool for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1 1/2 C. powdered sugar. Beat until mixed.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Red Red Cake

Our traditional "birthday" cake on Minnesota Mom's side of the family. I have been known to substitute a boxed mix in a pinch (Duncan Hines being the preferred brand), but I always make the frosting from scratch!

1 C. butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 2-oz bottle red food color
2 T. unsweetened cocoa
2 1/2 C. cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 C. buttermilk
1 tsp. vinegar

Cream butter; slowly add sugar and eggs. Add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, make a paste out of the food coloring & cocoa. Blend into the butter mix. Add buttermilk and baking soda to the wet mix. Add vinegar; fold in flour.

Grease and flour one 9 x 13 pan or 2 8" round pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Whisk 1 1/2 C. milk with 1/2 C. all-purpose flour. Cook on low until thick. Cool. In bowl cream 1 C. butter with 1 1/2 C. sugar. Add 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. almond extract and a pinch of salt. Add flour until light & fluffy.

*It is very important that your butter not be too warm when you add the flour. Your frosting will curdle! I like to refrigerate the butter & sugar after blending them for a spell and have much better luck when I do so.

This frosting is well worth the extra effort--it makes the cake!

May all your family birthdays be blessed,


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Monster Cookies! A Fall Favorite

Aptly named because this recipe makes a big huge batch of big huge cookies: half a recipe is good for about 5 dozen. Perfect for sharing with the neighbors!

These are really very good.

4 C. sugar
2 C. (1 lb.) butter or margarine
2 lbs. (4 1/2 C.) brown sugar
3 lbs. crunchy peanut butter
1 dozen eggs (yes, you read that right)
1 T. vanilla
8 tsp. baking soda
18 C. oatmeal (a 2-lb. 10-oz box)
1 lb. M&M's
1 lb. chocolate chips

Combine first 7 ingredients. Mix very well. Add last 3 ingredients; mix well. Make each cookie about the size of a golf ball; flatten slightly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.

*Ed. note: this dough keeps well in the refrigerator, and the cookies freeze beautifully. You may want to make half a batch on your first try.