Friday, October 28, 2011

The Big Cookie Project: Week 27

I know two wrongs don't make a right, but hopefully in the baking world, two baked goods that both break my "rules" can equal one cookie for the week. My first "rule break" are these Lemon Bars. I made them for a Ladies Night, and gave some extra to Greg's work friends. He came home and said that they would like some more, so I have made two batches of these this week. Even though I said in one of my first blogs that I wasn't going to do any bar-baked goods, I decided that this might equal 1/2 of the cookie for this week. I hope that works for you :)

These Lemon Bars are courtesy of Paula Deen. If you don't know who Paula is, her motto should be, "the more butter, the better." I would have to agree with her, atleast in the baking world. I've never made Lemon Bars before, so I think my first batch was a little over-done because I didn't know they were supposed to be squishy in the center, I just thought they weren't done cooking. My second batch was much squishy-er in the middle, which is more on target of what a Lemon Bar should look like. Here's the recipe:



2 cups flour

1 cup confectioner's sugar

Pinch salt

2 sticks butter


4 eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

6 Tablespoons flour

6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan

2. Make the crust by combining the flour and confectioner's sugar. Cut the butter in tabs and mix in with your hands to make a crumbly mixture.Press the mixture in to the bottom of the pan and bake for 20 minutes.

3. While the crust is baking, make the custard. Combine all the ingredients and whisk until all incorporated. Pour it over the baked crust and bake another 25 minutes longer. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar if desired, when completely cooled.

My next 1/2 of the Big Cookie Project this week was to make my last Fall Cookie. I decided to use a sugar cookie recipe that I have already used (hence this cookie only counting as 1/2 because it broke the rules). The only fall object that I could think of was candy corn, so I made them in to cookie form! I divided my sugar cookie dough in to 3 equal parts. I dyed one part yellow, 1 part orange, and then 1 part I didn't do any thing to it. I rolled them out in to equal lengths. Squished them together and made them stick together with a little water. Then, I rolled them out as one big section.
I then took a big chef knife and started making triangles. The top and bottom colors reverse every cookie, but it doesn't bother me too much.Here is the end product. The yellow turned out more vibrant after baking, which I was glad about, because you could barely see the yellow when I was dying the dough. I think they turned out really cute, and now this gets me off the hook of having to decorate them with icing, which I am super bad at. They taste pretty good too, but they are not the size of real candy corns, so I am having to tell myself that the number of candies in one serving of candy corn candies is not equal to the same number of cookies. I hope their not all gone by morning!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Big Cookie Project: Week 26

Halfway there!! I can't believe I've spent half a year baking cookies on a weekly basis...and eating them just as fast.

I thought a good fall cookie would be great for the cooler temperatures outside. I typed in "fall cookies" on google, and these leaves and acorns popped up that were decorated very intricately. I don't know if I'm that good yet, so I asked my next go-to person, Greg. I told Greg I wanted a cookie that said, "It's fall outside!" I don't know if he got the concept of that, because he chose a Coconut Macaroon Cookie. I don't think they say anything about fall, more like,"Summer is here!" I made them anyways.
They were super easy, only a few ingredients.
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
***If you use SWEETENED shredded coconut, reduce the sugar from 3/4 cup to a 1 tablespoon
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
2. Combine sugar, coconut, egg whites, vanilla and salt in a bowl. Mix well, completely combining ingredients.
3. Use a 1 1/2 tablespoons to form mounds, place on baking sheet, spacing about 1 inch apart.
4. Bake until golden brown, about 16 to 17 minutes

These were very quick and easy. It was also nice because I fit them all on one pan. I knew they weren't going to spread, just bake in the spot I put them, so I put them pretty close together. The two things that I changed from the recipe:
1. I used a little ice cream scoop to do the balls, you could even use a melon baller. It seemed to help pack the balls tighter.
2. I cooked them a lot longer than 17 minutes. I waited until they were brown on top, and they turned out just fine. I think they would have been underdone if I had only cooked them for the allotted time.
I hope you enjoy this "fall" cookie...haha. I'm hoping to pick a better cookie next week that fits with the weather.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Big Cookie Project: Week 25

I have something to work when the 2 year olds eat their lunch, I'm a little jealous. There is a sea of Capri Suns, pb&j sandwiches lovingly cut out in to fun shapes, fruit peeled and sliced and ALWAYS a little treat in there. I remember with clarity that my lunches growing up did not resemble anything like this, my kid's lunches don't even look like that now. This past Thursday, one little girl had a delicious looking Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. I coveted her peanute butter cup, sad to admit, but it looked yummy! It ended up being eaten, but the seed was planted...I went home knowing that my next cookie had to contain Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. After doing a quick google search, I found the perfect recipe: Reeses'-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies! Does such a delicious thing exist? Apparently, yes. This one baker is known for putting things IN TO cookie dough, such as: peanut butter cups, rolos and even oreos (I think that one is definitely on the to-do list soon). After looking over the recipe, I was totally on board. I just had to make a quick run to the grocery store and get the ingredients. The only change I made to the recipe was that they asked for full-size peanut butter cups, but instead I used the fun-size. The recipe was supposed to yield 12 cookies with the full-size cups, but I got 18 cookies using the fun-size. Here are some pictures, step by step and the recipe follows.

This is Step One where you put the chocolate chip cookie dough foundation

Step Two: Add the peanut butter cup. Press securely in to the base

Step Three: Add the top layer of cookie dough. Sorry for this blurry picture, it focused on the back cookies instead of the closest one.

Step Four: Cookies are baked and I cut one in half to show you the middle and how the peanut butter cup cooks down inside the cookie.



1/2 cup butter (1 stick) Room temperature

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips

12 full-sized Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (I used 18 mini cups)


1. Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars. Add egg and add dry ingredients just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips.

2. Scoop out a heaping Tablespoonful of dough and place it on your cookie sheet. Smash it down a bit. Top with a Reese's Peanut Butter cup. Then top with another heaping Tablespoonful of dough. Repeat with remaining dough and PB cups.

3. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 12 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned and almost set.

They were actually fairly easy to do, nothing really complicated about it. The one thing you SHOULDN'T do is add up the calories in this stuffed cookie. By no means are these light cookies, so just enjoy now and worry later.

Enjoy them with a big glass of milk and they are perfect!

PS. This last picture is of Mallory at the playground. She has finally reached the age of playing on the equipment without me hovering. It makes me happy and worried at the same time.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

First Dentist Appointment: Check!

So, since I couldn't remember the last time that I've had my teeth cleaned I thought it might be about time to schedule an appointment. And now since Nolan has quite a few teeth, he got to go to his first dental cleaning! We were lucky enough to go see my sister Jenn. As you can see from the pictures, Nolan had a blast.All gloved up and ready to assist in my teeth cleaning!
He did the "sucker" part, or that's atleast what I call it. It sucks the water out of your mouth.
He liked to also use the water tool. There was a little water squirting going on, but I thought he practiced quite a lot of restraint with the water-squirter.

Nolans' teeth getting checked out...

After we were done, he said it was,"awesome". I think we might have a little

dentist on our hands.

His lollipop from his appointment is eaten, his Transformers sticker is stuck securely to the wall and he even got a lunch out with Jenn for being a great assistant. A great day in my book!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Big Cookie Project: Week 24

Hello, again! This is my first cookie that contains raisins. Let me share with you on what I think about raisins:

I don't know what it is about raisins, but they seem so yucky to me. The premise of a raisin is that you leave a perfectly good grape outside and then let it bake in the sun and shrivel up to a tenth of its size...then you have a raisin! I've never really enjoyed them, maybe because of all their wrinkles and distinct smell. I was trying to think of another fruit that we do that to and couldn't come up with any. When bananas in our house start to shrivel and turn brown, their next home is the trash can. The same goes for all the other fruit that comes in to our refrigerator. I know of their health elements, the kids like them, but I choose not to participate in their grape-eating.
Then, why did I make these cookies? Special request, and since I like her so much I did it! Atleat I won't be sneaking any of these in the middle of the night for a snack.
Am I crazy and the only one who feels this way? I think Greg might think so.
Here's the recipe:



3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup toasted wheat germ

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups raisins


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together oats, flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.

2. Cream butter and sugars together in a mixer. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Mix in oats and raisins by hand

3. Drop dough on to baking sheet spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets.

The one thing I do admit about these cookies is that they make the house smell good with the cinnamon. And the do look very pretty when they are done.

I hope you are a raisin lover!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Attitude is EVERYTHING!

I know this isn't a cookie recipe, but it will be coming in a few days.
I just wanted to take a moment and brag on two people that gave me the best customer service two days in a row!
Scenario #1: We were headed home from Houston and wanted to stop at the outlet mall, but we were tight on time and had only 30 minutes before the store closed. We ran in with both kids, Greg made a straight shot to the shoe that he wanted and ran in to our first customer service guy. Greg started rambling on what he wanted, and the guy said, "Stop, slow down and take a deep breath." I almost had to laugh at this comment because we did look a bit frazzled. He was really quick with Greg and asked me if I needed anything. No, but why not look? He gave me some shoes that fit my requirements "comfy and look good with jeans". When he brought them out I said,"Ok, you're going to be mad, but I think I need a 10 instead of a 9 1/2 (I know, I have huge feet)." Then, he held up a 10 that he had brought...he must have been psychic. His choice was right-on and his upbeat attitude was great even though they should have been closing up. We ended up buying both pairs. It made our day, and even talked on the way home how great it was to receive good service instead of complain about yet another waiter/bagger/checker/etc.
Scenario #2: Let's just start off by saying I LOVE SONIC HAPPY HOUR! Apparently, every one in Bryan does too, because it was packed. It was one of those days where my reward was a drink, and the kids even got one too (don't judge too harshly, it was only powerade). We pulled up, ordered and we got our drink from a guy on rollerskates, LOVE IT! I gave him the money and he was so nice I almost wanted to tip him more for no real reason other than him being cheerful. Then, he asked if I wanted mints, ummm, of course. Instead of just one, he gave me a whole handful. He must have seen it as a small gesture, but I thought, "How nice." I went home with a smile AND a delicious half-off drink. Made my day.
I know these guys will never read this blog, but just wanted to give a positive story in a world of sour moods. It's rare where you find good customer service, even though in the back of my mind I'm thinking, "Your job is to Serve the Customer. Why can't you be nice to me?" I know I have been guilty of this myself, but I am so glad these guys did their job with a smile and a good mood. It really gave ME a better attitude towards my kids at work and at home. I think I'll be doing this more for other people :)

Monday, October 3, 2011


With the weather cooling down for fall, the yarn and crochet hook have been calling my name. I started on Christmas gifts as well hats and stuff around the house. I guess you can call it "Crochet Madness" around the house....much like March Madness, but instead of basketball, there is crocheting. Here are some things that I have completed as well as some things that are on my To-Do list.

Mallory's earflap hat with flower. It's too big for her head, but I'm guessing her head will grow.

Also, have done a monster hat for Nolan

and a dragon hat. Not picture...too lazy to download them to the computer.

Here's a doll that I want to do for Mallory. I think I'll be starting it after I stop typing...can't do both at the same time...haha

A rocket ship for Nolan needs to be done. We have sadly moved on from trains to rocket ships and space. I have not packed up Thomas yet, but Nolan
definitely just picked out a Stars Wars toy without ever seeing
Star Wars, he just liked the space ship.

These are my trio of pumpkins that I made the other night.
Their home is on our kitchen table where Nolan loves to stack them
and play with them. Hopefully they'll last through the fall, have already
found some food remnants stuck to them from my very "clean" eaters...kidding!

Hope you liked what I've done so far and for the preview of what is to come.
If you want to come crochet with me, the more the merrier!