Thank you Pam!

Featured

Picture taken and posted by Pam of her Monster cookies

There are several friends that I have known since the beginning of my blogging experience and one of them is Pam over at Catching My Drift.

She weaves words into beautiful scenery that captures every sense. I love her writing and her!

She purchased one of my cookbooks and made monster cookies, again only she can make a recipe come to life!

Please visit her blog and you will feel at home!

Thanks Pam!

Snow Days: Rules of Engagement

Bon Bons

The other day I took out the tattered, hand written cookbook that sits in the book rack near my recliner. Coffee stained pages, marks where spoons were set on it by sticky little hands, a book of the past. I have looked through it many times and checked a recipe or two but have never really thought about what it means to me. Many of the pages are hanging by a thread and others are torn and faded. There is no cover or binding and it is a sad looking example of a cookbook! I left this book behind with everything else in Saudi. It came in a shipment the year after our relocation and stands as a reminder of what was and how far we have come. I found this recipe for Bon Bons which I had not made in many years, they were fantastic!

The book

IMG_1585

 

Ingredients

2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup butter

1 – 14 ounce can  sweetened condensed milk

2 cups flour

Topping

One bag of white kisses

White chocolate for drizzling

powdered sugar for sprinkling

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray

Melt chocolate and butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Move to a bowl and add condensed milk, mix well. Add flour and mix in until well combined.

Place a piece of dough in hand and flatten, place kiss in the middle and wrap up. Roll into a ball and placed on greased baking sheet. Put in oven for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Drizzle with melted white chocolate or roll in powdered sugar.

Tip- Do not over bake or they will be hard. Let cool before rolling in powdered sugar

 

Patty’s cut out cookies

One of my favorite childhood memories is sitting at the kitchen counter frosting and decorating cut out cookies. Mom would separate the dough into several bowls, coloring them blue, yellow and green. We helped her roll and cut out the cookies and then frosted and decorated them with sprinkles. My mom’s favorite sugar cookie dough is a recipe she has used for years from her friend Patty. This past Saturday the kids and I continued with this tradition and made a triple batch of cut out cookies.

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 cups margarine

1 cup butter

3 eggs

7 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2  tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. vanilla

 

Directions

Mix butter, margarine and powdered sugar until fluffy, add eggs and continue mixing, add vanilla. Mix in flour and other dry ingredients until well combined. If you want to color some of the dough, divide it and put in separate bowls. Add desired food coloring and mix.

 

Place each color of dough in a plastic food storage bag, flatten out so that it is easier to roll when chilled. Place bags of dough in the freezer. We left our dough for about 4 hours and then started rolling!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Only take out the bag of dough you will be working with at that time! When dough softens it is very difficult to work with. Lightly flour work surface and start rolling dough. Turn dough over and continue to roll.  Use desired cookie cutter and firmly place on dough pressing down.  Cut out each cookie and place on cookie sheet. You can roll the dough very thin for crispy cookies or thicker for softer texture.

At this point you can sprinkle some of the cookies before placing in the oven and leave some plain for frosting. Place in oven for 10-12 minutes depending on thickness of the cookies. Remove from oven and cool. When cookies are cool, frost and sprinkle. Have fun!

 

To Grandmother’s house

When I was growing up my Dad was the “house mom”. My mother stayed at home while my sister and I were babies. Then when we were older she worked part time on the night shift as a nurse. When I was about age 10 she was asked to fill in for the Director of nursing and then asked to stay on in that position.  She worked all day, came home and drove 30 minutes to campus to work on her M.B.A. Yes, she was super mom for sure!!  Dad, who was a high school English teacher, became the “house mom”. He was in charge of planning the meals, grocery shopping and making sure we were taken care of.  He still worked as a teacher and loved every minute of it, but he also became the household organizer and held it all together. He did these things without complaining and backed mom up until she retired as the Vice president of two hospitals 15 years ago. Dad came to every concert of mine, took me to brownies and girl scouts and in general kept things going.  My dad’s specialties were his spaghetti sauce and tacos. He has also made gingerbread men every Christmas for many years. This past weekend we drove the 2 hours to my parent’s home, hung lights, decorated the tree and helped make the annual gingerbread cookies. Dad made the dough and refrigerated it over night and then in the morning we rolled out the cookies.

IMG_1076

Dad at the Oregon coast back in the 70’s

Each and every year people request these old fashioned Gingerbread cookies and each year Dad is happy to whip up his dough.

 

Gingerbread  cookies

Ingredients

1 1/3 cups butter

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 1/2 cups dark molasses boiled with 2/3 cup honey cool for 10 minutes

3 beaten eggs

2 Tbs.ground cinnamon

2 Tbs. ground ginger

2 tsp. baking soda

2 Tbs. lemon peel

2 Tbs. orange peel

1 tsp. salt

8 cups flour

(1 egg white beaten for glazing cookies)

 

Directions

I asked my Dad to give me the exact directions for his famous cookies. So here it is.

Mix molasses and honey in a pan on the stove until it just boils, turn it off and remove from heat. let this cool about 10-15 minutes but do not let it get hard. Mix together butter and brown sugar, add eggs and mix well. Add molasses mixture, flour and other spices. Mix well. Dad refrigerates this over night or for around 6 hours. This makes the dough easier to work with.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray cookie sheets with baking spray to prevent sticking.

Lightly flour work surface. Scoop out a large piece of dough and form into a ball. Using a rolling pin, roll dough and then turn over, roll out until thin and even. Roll dough to around 1/8 inch thickness, firmly press cookie cutter into dough and remove cookie, place on baking sheet. You can roll the dough thicker if you want softer cookies and thinner to have crispy cookies.

Place cookies on baking tray. When tray is full, beat one egg white in a bowl and spread thinly on each cookie. Decorate cookies as desired. Mom puts a craisin as the mouth and raisins for eyes and buttons. You can have fun with this and put what you want on your gingerbread men.

She also left some plain for the kids to decorate later.

 

Place trays in oven and bake for 10 minutes or until done. Remove trays from oven and let cool. Gently remove each cookie to wax paper to cool further.

_DSC0674

These are the broken cookies that we got to taste test!

_DSC0679

The night we arrived at mom and dad’s, we sat and talked and hung a string of lights in their t.v. room. The next morning I slept in until 5 a.m. and an hour later mom was up preparing to roll the cookies.

_DSC0677

This is the second year mom and dad have been living in their retirement community. For 40 years they lived on 6 acres of land up in the woods in a home with three floors and 3 flights of stairs which became very tiresome! There was a mile long dirt road leading up to the house on the hill and it was isolated.  There were many repairs and a great deal of upkeep needed. We treasure our memories of living in that fantastic house up on the hill, but when dad called to tell me they were thinking of moving I was both relieved and of course sad!

My oldest son lives near mom and dad and each year he brings them a tree. This is the tree in their new place and on this little visit the kids decorated it with a variety of ornaments that have been collected through the years.

1223142001

In the big house they had a large tree that usually had a coordinated theme that changed every few years. In this house mom told the kids to just “have fun” and chose the ornaments they liked.

1213150545

Mom and Dad many years ago

Last year my son, Yusuf, made this  beautiful Advent calendar for mom and dad. This year we picked out their favorite treats and filled it up!

_DSC0652

That afternoon the kids had fun decorating the plain gingerbread men with frosting and sprinkles.

Mom usually turns the craisin into a smile but I made this guy a bit more serious!

_DSC0672

We lived away from my folks for 16 years and now we can pop over to see them any time! It is a great feeling to be nearby! Love you Mom and Dad!

Lynniepooh

_DSC0666

Mamul

IMG_0985Mamul is a traditional Middle Eastern cookie that is made for the Eid holidays twice a year. It has a lovely flour and semolina base and can be filled with spiced nuts or dates. There is a special wooden mold for making these cookies which can be found at Middle Eastern food stores. You can make them without the mold but must be creative.  Traditionally rose water or orange blossom water is used in these cookies but the kids do not care for this so I have omitted it.

Ingredients

3 cups flour

1 cup semolina

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups butter softened

Filling

2 cups chopped walnuts, mixed with 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 Tbs. water

IMG_0998

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour, semolina, sugar and butter in a mixer until well combined. Knead for 2-5 minutes.

Roll some dough into a ball and flatten it out in your hand. A funny little note- the ball is not as large as it might look in this picture. For some reason both Foof’s hand and the ball look enormous. The ball is the same size as an average ball of dough for a cookie! This will also depend on the size of the mold. These cookies do not spread out during baking.

IMG_0977

IMG_0978

Put a large spoon of nuts in the middle of the flattened dough and wrap edges around it, press together into a ball form. Sprinkle a little powdered sugar on mold to prevent sticking. Foof and the girls made these cookies and they said they put a little powdered sugar after doing a few cookies or if they saw them stick to the mold.  Place in the mold and lightly press down. We want to get the imprint of the mold but do not want the cookie to stick in the mold.

IMG_0979

IMG_0980

Turn mold over and tap until cookie comes out.

IMG_0981

Place in oven until light brown approximately 20 minutes.

Let cookies cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

IMG_0995

IMG_0989

Delicious chocolate cookies with a twist!

This is a recipe I put up a few months back. It is our favorite chocolate cookie recipe and now my girls added a new and fantastic twist. I hope you will try this recipe, we loved it!! The girls made the cookie dough but then added these peanut butter chips we found at the grocery store. The cookies turned out really well. Give them a try and let me know what you think! Love, Lynn.

I found this recipe when I was 13 years old in an old cookbook. I was home alone after school and made all kinds of interesting things! One day I came across these chocolate cookies and made them. They were hard as a rock and my dad called them “bullets”. That name stuck for years and I learned not to cook them as long. They became a soft and delicious favorite! The following recipe has been tripled.

_DSC0375

Ingredients

3 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups butter

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups cocoa powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

3 1/2 cups flour–make sure this cup is level, too much flour will make these cookies hard!

1/4 cup sugar for dipping cookies

1 bag of Nestle Delightfulls peanut butter filled morsels- we found them in the holiday baking items.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix butter and sugar until fluffy, add eggs. Mix in cocoa powder until well blended and then add flour, salt and soda, mix well.  Add a bag of these delicious chips and fold in.

 

IMG_0313

Roll into balls, dip in sugar, place on baking sheet and push down. Let cook around 8 minutes. Do not over bake. cookies will crack when done. They will dry out if over baked.

IMG_0317

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies with a bit of peanut butter

This cookie recipe is dedicated to my second oldest son, Yusuf,  who is now grown and married, working as an Engineer, and a fantastic cook. Arabic school starts early and so the kids got up each morning at around 5:30. a.m. I made eggs, cream cheese sandwiches, bought cereal, but the kids could not eat that early. One morning I made cookies and that worked out well. While cookies might not sound like the best breakfast, at least a glass of milk and a cookie was a start. Yusuf liked this and wanted them every morning. I decided to make huge batches, divide the dough into baggies and freeze them. So, each morning I just popped a bag out and made him cookies. This went on until he went off to college! This is the recipe and it has worked well for me! I like the combination of butter and shortening. This makes the cookies soft but firm.

Now that he is grown and makes his own cookies, I have a new fan, my mother! My mother has always loved chocolate! So, when we moved back to the States I started making cookie dough for her. The difference is that she loves walnuts and chocolate. So, the kids laugh and say that Grama has some cookie dough with her nuts and chocolate chips. I make my huge batch, bag it up and off it goes to Grama’s freezer.

_DSC0377

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 cup butter softened

3/4 cup shortening

1/8 cup peanut butter

3 eggs

4 1/4 cups level flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. soda

1 package semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Mix together sugars, butter and shortening. Mix well until fluffy, add eggs, continue mixing. Add peanut butter, mix well. Add salt and soda. Mix very well. Add the flour and finish mixing.

_DSC0281

Using a spoon mix in chocolate chips. I always do a test cookie, or several for my large family haha! So test a couple and see if you need an extra spoon of  flour.

_DSC0286

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place dough by spoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until done

_DSC0291

 

0804152007ayusuf

Yusuf                                Yusuf and Grama (lynz mom)