Wednesday, October 18, 2017

ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

I love finding cookbooks at estate sales from restaurants and diners. I can't help but think about who went there to eat and liked the food so much that they bought a cookbook on their way out. This recipe for Zucchini Muffins came from a restaurant called The Dinner Horn Country Inn. Don't you just love that name? 

Well, imagine my surprise when I opened up the cookbook (Recipes from the Dinner Horn Country Inn by Bonnie Kellenberg and Marge Hagerty) and saw the restaurant was practically in my back yard, less than half a mile away. The beautiful house (I can't really call it a building still stands but is no longer a restaurant. (I think it has been the "home" of several businesses since the restaurant closed.) I was unable to discover when the restaurant closed but it opened in 1979 when the area was just a wooded area 15 minutes from downtown Kansas City. The two-story house is in the Pennsylvania Dutch architectural tradition. The name Dinner Horn came from Winslow Homer's 1873 painting depicting the lady of the house standing on her porch blowing a trumpet-like horn to call her men in from the fields for lunch. The restaurant had three large dining rooms and the Country Tavern and living quarters upstairs for Bonnie Kellenberg and family.

This is what Bonnie had to say about the Inn, "Our menu is based on the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of seven sours and seven sweets at each meal. It takes about five courses to accomplish this. We have one price for dinner because if people ordered a la carte they might not get the seven sours and seven sweets." The Dutch relish cupboard, where customers help themselves, provides at least four of these sour and sweet tastes. The salad, hot muffins and choice of eight or nine entrees combined with dessert gives more than ample opportunity to complete the delicious task."  

I would have loved to have experienced this dining pleasure. Every time I drive by there now, I think about what it once was.

I was attracted to this recipe because it didn't use much sugar. I love zucchini bread and cakes but it is hard to find a recipe that doesn't call for 2 cups of sugar. I just can't (knowingly) eat something with that much sugar anymore. If I did, I would probably not eat much of it because it would be too sweet for me. I considered using half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat pastry flour, but decided to go on and use all whole wheat pastry flour. (I prefer the pastry flour because it is ground more fine and doesn't have as strong a taste as just whole wheat flour.) I like this muffin so much I think I will find myself making it instead of bread or cake.




ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

1-1/2       cups flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2          teaspoon ground allspice
1/4          teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2          teaspoon salt
1             teaspoon baking powder
1/2          cup brown sugar
1/2          cup oil (I used canola oil)
1             beaten egg
2             tablespoons milk (I used skim milk)
1-1/2       cups grated zucchini

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 12 - cup regular sized muffin pan.


Sift the flour, spices, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.


Combine sugar, oil, egg, milk, and zucchini in a large mixing bowl.


Add flour mixture and
mix only to moisten dry ingredients.


Spoon into muffin pan.


Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. (I baked mine for 25 but the pan I used takes a while to heat up.)


Cool in pan for 10 minutes.


Remove and finish cooling on wire rack.







You can heat a muffin in the microwave for 10 seconds to heat up if you want to enjoy it warm. Add a slab of butter and enjoy.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

FUDGE NUT COOKIES

Mondays are usually bake day/sewing/quilting day for me. Yesterday was a basically a bake day with one exception. I got up and decided it was time to start that exercise program I have been talking about for quite a while. Our church has a group called Over 50 Aerobics that meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9:00. I have thought about going and checking them out ever since we moved to Kansas City nine years ago, just never have. This morning I decided I was through talking and ready to take action.

The tape was about 30 to 35 minutes long. I did the whole thing which may not have been a good idea as by 4:00 in the afternoon I was feeling it in the muscles especially in my lower back. Will see how I manage today. I am off to Hillcrest Thrift Shop and then choir practice in the afternoon so I won't be just sitting around.

As I was saying, I ended up spending most of the rest of the day baking and never made it to my sewing room. I finished sewing on the binding on my latest Blanket of Hope Sunday afternoon so I was going to have to start a new blanket which I wasn't really ready to do. There's always Wednesday - my other bake and sew day.

I found a recipe for an apple cake to make and take to Hillcrest, but I also wanted to make a small batch of cookies for us to have at the house. The recipe I found for the cookies required the batter to be refrigerated for 2 hours so I decided to mix them up first and during the 2 hours I could make the apple cake. I will be sharing the cake with you on another day.

Since I didn't want to make a lot of cookies, I cut the recipe in half. I will share the full recipe with my amounts in parentheses. (You might notice the sugar is a little less than half. I wanted to see if I could get by with less sugar in the cookies.) The recipe said to drop and roll the cookie (ball) in powdered sugar or granulated sugar. I did both because I wanted to see what they would look like with the granulated sugar. I knew what they were going to look like with the powdered sugar. The recipe made a soft cake-like cookie.

I also forgot to five credit to Phyllis Pellman Good and Rachel Thomas Pellman and their cookbook, From Amish and Mennonite Kitchens. They do not give individual credit on the recipes. The full recipe makes about 5-1/2 dozen cookies. I had one more cookie than exactly 1-1/2 dozen.



FUDGE NUT COOKIES

1-2/3       cups sugar (2/3 cup) (I did reduce the sugar a little)
2/3          cup butter (1/3 cup) (I always use unsalted butter)
2             eggs (1 )
1             cup cottage cheese (1/2 cup)
2             teaspoons vanilla (1 teaspoon)
2-3/4       cups flour (1-1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)
1/2          cup cocoa (1/4 cup)
1             teaspoon baking powder (1/2 teaspoon)
1/2          teaspoon baking soda (1/4 teaspoon)
1/2          teaspoon salt (1/4 teaspoon)
1/2          cup chopped nuts (1/4 cup) (I used walnuts)


Cream together the sugar, butter, egg, and cottage cheese.


Add vanilla and dry ingredients. (I combined the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together first.)


Stir in nuts.







Chill dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


I used my cookie scoop to make "balls" that were about the "size of a walnut".
Dip in powdered sugar or granulated sugar.









Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.







Bake 8 to 10 minutes. (I baked mine 9 minutes.) Cookies will puff up.


Leave on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before removing the cookies to cool on a wire rack.

Monday, October 16, 2017

CARROT CAKE COOKIES

When we were visiting our older son and his family a few weeks ago in CO, I asked my DIL Sara if she had any quick and easy recipes I could make to take to Hillcrest Thrift Shop. She asked me if I had heard about Carrot Cake Cookies. She said they were the latest thing. 

When I needed something to take last Wednesday, I thought about those cookies. (I know I usually go on Tuesdays but the second week of the month I meet with Blankets of Hope at church.) When I asked Sara how long did she cook them, she told me 8 minutes and then she left them on the cookie sheet for a bit before removing them. Well, at 10 minutes, I didn't think the cookies had cooked long enough. We finally decided the difference might be in the higher elevation they are at in CO and then I also used a larger cake mix than she did. She also said they like soft cookies and not crunchy ones. Guess there may be many reasons why we cooked them for different lengths of time. I would suggest you experiment with a few initially to see which time you prefer.

I did use a larger size cake mix. The one I used was 18.25 ounces; the one she used was 15.25 ounces. The cookies should still be puffy when you remove them and lightly browned around the edges. Cool slightly on pan before you remove them to finish cooling on wire racks.

They were really good. The volunteers raved about them at the thrift shop. I told one volunteer I used dried cranberries instead of raisins (because I didn't have any raisins) and she said she preferred the cranberries. (I do also.)



CARROT CAKE COOKIES

1       carrot cake mix 
2       eggs
1       stick of butter, at room temperature
1       cup dried cranberries or raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine mix, eggs, and butter and beat with electric mixer until smooth.

Stir in cranberries.
Using a small cookie scoop, drop cookies no more than 12 on a cookie sheet at a time. They will spread slightly when baking.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes for soft cookie. Bake 12 - 14 minutes for a soft, but crunchier cookie. Allow to cook slightly on cookie sheet. Cookies will be puffy when you remove them from oven, but should be browning around edges. (I thought I took a picture of them when I first took them out of the oven so you could see they were puffy, but I didn't.)

Finish cooling on wire rack. (I did bake mine for the 14 minutes.)







Store in airtight container.

Friday, October 13, 2017

JALAPENO POPPERS

Friends couldn't stop raving about these Jalapeno Poppers that Friend Sharon made and served for the canasta group when we met at her house last week. She made a platter full and when we left there were only a few left.

There was quite a discussion about the general lack of heat (although Friend Janice ate one that she said had some heat; she wasn't complaining because she likes a little heat). Sharon says the secret is to hard boil the peppers after you "gut" the peppers of the seeds. 

I am sure my husband would have enjoyed them. I will have to make them when we have friends over the next time.



JALAPENO POPPERS

Jalapeno peppers
cream cheese, at room temperature
bacon, cut strips in fourths

Butterfly the peppers - cut down one side and open the pepper up to "gut" it of the seeds.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add peppers and bring water back to boil. Remove, drain, and cool.

Fill the peppers with cream cheese.

Place a piece of bacon on top.  

Broil until bacon is crisp.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

PUMPKIN-CRANBERRY MUFFINS

I know I have been making lots of muffins lately, but they are so easy and I like them. Another fantastic reason is that they don't usually have as much sugar as breads and cakes do. Everything you see and read now is taking about how sugar is "killing" us. I'm not as strong as my DIL Sara who has completely eliminated sugar from her diet. I just try to stay under the 25 grams of sugar a day which is what the recommended standards say now for women.

I saw the original recipe in one of those little Betty Crocker fall baking cookbooks. They certainly looked like a winner to me and then with my changes, the results were not disappointing. 

I made them Sunday morning before going to Sunday school so my husband and I could enjoy them for breakfast. (I sing in a choir that sings once a month at the Saturday night worship service and we sang Saturday night. It feels strange not going to church on Sunday morning, but guess I will get used to it.) Later that afternoon our MO grandchildren came by to visit us while our son and his wife went grocery shopping. Seven year old Madison wanted one (She saw the basket on the kitchen counter where I had placed them after breakfast.) I cut it in half thinking she might not want the whole thing and I didn't want to waste it. Well, she ate the half and then ate the other half. She said she really liked the raisins. I told her it was dried cranberries, not raisins. She said she really like them so I gave her a small package of dried cranberries when they left. 



PUMPKIN-CRANBERRY MUFFINS

2       cups flour (I used 1 cup all-purpose flour + 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour)
1/3    cup stevia/sugar blend (or 2/3 cup sugar)
3       teaspoons baking powder
1       teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2    teaspoon ground ginger
1/4    teaspoon salt
1       cup canned pumpkin
1/2    cup oil
2       eggs
1       cup dried cranberries
1/2    cup chopped pecans
Coarse sugar, if desired (I just used granulated sugar)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 12 regular-size muffin cups with shortening or line with paper baking cups.

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt with a whisk.

Stir in pumpkin, oil, eggs, cranberries, and pecans just until moistened.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

Sprinkle sugar evenly over batter in each cup.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.






Remove muffins from pan to cooling rack.

Serve warm. (Fabulous with a little dab of butter.)



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

DRUMSTICK BROWNIE ICE CREAM DESSERT

I love dessert dishes that combine a brownie and ice cream. I have shared several on here. All a little different. Friend Jan made this delicious Drumstick Brownie Ice Cream Dessert for the Bridge Couples Group last month. You can use your favorite brownie recipe and also your favorite ice cream flavor. Sure to be a favorite! It was delicious!




DRUMSTICK BROWNIE ICE CREAM DESSERT

Brownies
Box of 12 waffle cones
Ice cream, slightly softened
Chopped nuts (Jan used peanuts but recommends pecans)
Caramel ice cream syrup
Hot fudge ice cream syrup

Make your favorite brownies in a 9 x 13 - inch pan. Cool.

Crush waffle cones. Six at a time and keep separated.

Sprinkle 6 crushed waffle cones over the top of the cooled brownies.

Spread the ice cream over the crushed cones.

Top ice cream with chopped nuts.

Sprinkle the other 6 crushed cones over nuts. (If you want to leave this layer out, you may. I think Jan did.)

Drizzle the caramel sauce over top.

Drizzle the hot fudge sauce over that.

Freeze dessert.

Remove for 20 to 30 minutes before you are ready to serve it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CHIP COOKIES

While we were gone to CO Springs for the weekend, the boys (Jeff said Wyatt got the mail) next store picked up our mail and kept a eye out on our place. I thought I would make them these Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies as a thank you. (Actually I don't need a reason to make them treats and often give them "leftovers" if we don't want to be tempted in our house.)

This recipe comes from Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Cookbook also. Charlotte credited it to Justine Gunderson at 6 Rainier Drive and the Victorian Tea Room.

These cookies are nice and fudgy if you don't overbake them. The peanut butter chips give it a lighter peanut butter taste than if you used peanut butter. The recipe also was intended to make large cookies - 1/3 cup measured cookie dough/cookie. I made six large cookies for me using a smaller ice cream scoop I have. It holds 3 tablespoons of water. It made a large enough cookie for me. I adjusted the cooking time by a few minutes. After the first pan, I decided to use my cookie scoop that holds 1 tablespoon of water. Once again I adjusted the cooking time even more. I offered one to my husband after I was finished and he picked up two of the smaller ones and left the room before I could say anything.


CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CHIP COOKIES

1         cup butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
1         cup sugar
2         large eggs
1/2      cup cocoa powder
2-1/2   cups flour
1/4      teaspoon salt
1         teaspoon baking powder
1/2      cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used 60% cacao chips)
1         10 - ounce bag peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and sugar on High until blended.

Add eggs;
beat until blended.
Beat in chocolate powder.
(start on low before increasing the speed and scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.)


Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder together with a whisk and then add to mixture.
Beat in until just combined. (It doesn't have to be completely combined because as you add the chips, it will.)

Fold in the chips.









You can make the cookies any size you like. Macomber's recipe used 1/3 cup of dough.

I used a smaller ice cream scoop that holds 3 tablespoons water and
also a smaller cookie scoop that holds 1 tablespoon of water.


Flatten the cookie dough slightly with your fingers.







Bake 16 - 18 minutes for the largest size (1/3 cup dough)
(16 minutes will yield a very fudgy cookie)

Bake 13 - 14 minutes for the smaller ice cream scoop.

Bake 9 minutes for the cookie scoop.








Let cool on pan for 5 minutes for large cookies and 2 minutes for smallest cookie before removing to finish cooling on wire rack.

You want to remove the cookies from the oven when they are a bit underbaked and soft in the middle.