Sunday, December 26, 2010

Anyone need a sugar fix?

On the 15th of December I doubted shopping would be completed in time for Christmas, much less anything else being done. Somehow the shopping and wrapping came together in record time, leaving me time to bake a little. And a little more. And then some more on top of that.
I made sugar cookies. I made Snickerdoodles. I made peanut butter cookies. I made cranberry biscotti. I made chocolate-peanut butter bars. I made candy cane cookies. I made a devil's food pound cake. I made a pumpkin roll. And then I made Toll House cookies, three times.

What was I thinking????

I'll skip commenting about the items most are familiar with and talk about the new recipes (new to me and my relatives anyway) that were such hits. The best part is that they were all easy to make.

Here is the devil's food pound cake recipe. It uses a boxed cake mix and instant pudding mix. I used Duncan Hines glaze on it. Not bad, but I think I prefer making my own. It was convenient though.

The pumpkin roll recipe is from my good friend and fellow blogger Kelli. If you've never made a rolled cake because they intimidated you, try this. It is easy and delicious.

The chewy chocolate-peanut butter bars are a Pillsbury recipe.  Sinful. Lip smacking. Not at all low fat. Yum!

Pillsbury was also the recipe source for the cranberry biscotti. The recipe was on the box of cranberry quick bread. The back of the box directions called for melting additional white chocolate chips and drizzling them over the completed and cooled biscotti. Another yum, for sure. I'm wondering if other quick bread mixes couldn't become biscotti too?

Why did I make Toll House cookies three times? It began with an internet discussion on butter. Has butter changed recently? Several of my friends have had unsatisfactory baking results and have wondered if the butter is at fault. Land o' Lakes brand was mentioned several times but not exclusively. My Toll House cookies haven't been right by me for the last year or so. I had stopped using margarine and was using butter. Hmmmm, maybe something is going on. Kelli mentioned having good luck with butter flavored Crisco in place of the butter called for in the Toll House recipe.
The batch made with butter flavored Crisco was definitely better than the batches I've made this past year, but it wasn't quite what I remember as being like my mom's. Thinking back to what mom used, she used half Crisco and half margarine, Blue Bonnet to be exact. I made a second batch with one stick of Blue Bonnet and 1/2 cup of butter flavored Crisco. Almost perfect! The third batch was made this way also but had chopped pecans added.

The next time I make them I will use regular Crisco and Blue Bonnet and see if the result is what I am remembering. If not, I will try again with 3/4 Crisco and 1/4 Blue Bonnet. This might not happen any time soon since we have so many cookies here right now.

Two other goodies that I didn't mention were intended for my nieces' kids, again super simple ideas that I've seen repeatedly online. One is made from Pillsbury refrigerated cookie dough decorated for the holidays, baked with a layer of canned frosting between two cookies to create a sandwich; the other is marshmallows on a lollipop stick. The face is done with edible markers, the hat is an mini-Oreo and a Rolo candy with frosting holding them onto the snowman's head.

The 5-8 year olds loved them. I can't wait for Colton to be old enough to enjoy some of these creations!

You'll have to excuse me now as I have someone coming over to help me get rid of eat the cookies and cakes that I didn't pawn off give to my relatives yesterday. He's big, blue and has the biggest sweet tooth of anyone I know.
Feel free to stop by for a cookie or two or maybe six. Even Cookie Monster can't eat all of these in one afternoon!


artis1111 said...

Try a French butter at Krogers. It has a higher fat content. A friend uses it and just spreds the dough out on a cookie sheet then cuts squares. Wonderful

Chatty Crone said...

Those cookies look pretty good to me! Thanks for sharing the recipes.

Just stopping by to say hello, Merry Christmas, and thank you for your prayers.