Thursday, September 29, 2016


When I was making cookies for the Gathering that my husband and I hosted at the church Monday afternoon, I wanted to have some cookies that were sugar free to offer in case any of our "guests" were diabetic. I made the Applesauce Cookies (Sugar Free) using a recipe from my dil Sara, but I wanted to have one more choice for them. 

The recipe came from a cookbook I bought at an estate sale called Favorite Brand Names 3 Books in 1: Cookies, Bars, and Muffins. The recipe Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies were in the Cookie Jar Favorites section. They were not sugar free and they were not chocolate chocolate chip, but I knew I could make them so and that is what I did. (You see since I had made a chocolate chip cookies full of sugar, I wanted to have a different look to the sugar free ones. That was easy to do by just using a chocolate cake mix instead of a yellow cake mix. By using a sugar free cake mix, I could make the cookies sugar free. I did have to go buy some sugar free chocolate chips, but that was okay.)


1       package sugar free chocolate cake mix (use a yellow cake mix if you do not want the cookies to be chocolate)
1       teaspoon baking powder
3/4  cup oil
2      eggs
1       teaspoon vanilla
1       cup old-fashioned oats
3/4  cup sugar-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper. ( I did the latter.)

Stir together the cake mix and baking powder in a large bowl.
(I used a whisk.)

Add oil, eggs, and vanilla.
Beat by hand until well blended.
Stir in oats and chocolate chips.

Drop dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets. (I used my cookie scoop but didn't round the dough.)

Bake 10 minutes. Do not overbake.

Let cookies stand on cookie sheets 5 minutes.
Remove and finish cooling on wire racks.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


These Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, or as Friend Fran prefers Pumpkindoodles, were probably the most talked about and eaten of the cookies I baked to share at the Gathering my husband and I hosted at the church on Monday afternoon. (I do have to admit they were really, really good.)

I saw the recipe from a while back. I was just waiting until autumn had gotten here to bake them.

For once, I followed a recipe as it was written. Next time, if I am making them mainly for us, I think I would like to make them smaller. I am just not used to eating a bigger cookie.  If you made them smaller (only one tablespoon of dough), I would check them after 8 minutes and see if they were ready.


3-1/4       cups all-purpose flour
3-1/2       teaspoons cornstarch
1               teaspoon cream of tartar
1               teaspoon baking soda
1/2           teaspoon baking powder
1/2 + 1/8  teaspoon salt
3/4          teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2           teaspoon ground ginger
1/4           teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4           teaspoon ground allspice
1               cup granulated sugar
3/4          cup packed light brown sugar
1               cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1               large egg yolk
3/4          cup canned pumpkin puree
1-1/2        teaspoon vanilla extract 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice using a whisk. Set aside.

Cream together in a mixing bowl the butter and sugars just until combined.
Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Mix in egg yolk,
then add the pumpkin and vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix until combined.
Again scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Divide dough in half and place in smaller bowls
covered with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for about 45 minutes.

Just before you are ready to bake the cookies,preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Combine the 1/4 cup of sugar and 1-1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon in a smaller bowl. You will roll the cookie balls in this to coat before baking the cookies.

Using a cookie scoop (mine holds 1 tablespoon of water), scoop out two scoops of dough
to form 1 big ball.
(Make sure you flatten the dough on the top of the scoop.)

Coat ball in cinnamon sugar and
place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets covered with parchment paper.

Bake for 12-14 minutes until cookie is browning but still raised in the center. (I cooked mine 13 minutes.)

Leave cookies on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing them to finish cooling on wire racks.
(They will "drop" during this 5 minutes on the cookie sheets and then remove nicely to the wire racks.)


I removed a bowl from the refrigerator when I was ready to make a cookie sheet full. Then I recovered the bowl with the plastic wrap and placed it back in the refrigerator while the cookies were baking. A few minutes before the 13 minutes were up, I removed the other bowl from the refrigerator and prepared the next cookie sheet of cookies from the colder dough. I kept alternating the two bowls in this fashion and so my dough was always good and chilled to work with.

Make sure you read my ramblings before the recipe if you want to make the cookies smaller in size.

Another one of the treats I prepared for our "guests" wasn't a cookie, but the Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread I shared with you last week. Fran did such a nice job arranging the pieces on the cake stand.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


My husband and I were asked to host one of the gatherings that our church was having to better inform the congregation about the upcoming capital campaign drive to finish paying for the construction of our new sanctuary, gathering area, and youth area. Each gathering started with a social time when we were to have "finger foods" for everyone to enjoy. Since our gathering was in the middle of the afternoon and mainly for retirees, I decided they would probably enjoy having a variety of cookies to choose from. 

When trying to choose a variety of cookies to make, I knew I wanted to have some sugar-free or limited sugar ones for any diabetics, a few that were glutton-free, and then of course some regular ones. 

I had a recipe for some applesauce cookies that my dil Sara once made that I had shared that I knew would be good for those people needing little sugar. Sara called them Sugar Free Applesauce Cookies. A reader commented that they were not sugar free and I should try again. Technically they aren't sugar free because apples have natural sugar in them. But that little bit of natural sugar is the only sugar in them as I substituted an artificial sweetener for the cup of sugar. You can use Splenda or stevia as they both work well in baking. I prefer the stevia but either one works. I guess the correct title should be No Sugar Added Applesauce Cookies.   

I had shared another recipe for some cookies that I called Less Cookies because they were Eggless, Dairyless, Flourless, with No Sugar Added Cookies. I knew it would be easy to make glutton-free if I used glutton-free oats for the oats. I didn't have the almond milk so mine wouldn't be dairyless. There is plenty of natural sugar in the cookies from the applesauce and the raisins. Since my focus was on glutton-free, I didn't worry about the dairy or natural sugar.

I made a loaf of my Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread to share also so I wanted to make sure I had some non-chocolate cookies. (chocolate chips are okay. tee-hee) The statement at the bottom of the recipe for these Soft & Chewy Cookies Chocolate Chip Cookies that the cookies were softer the second day appealed to me as I was spending my Sunday afternoon baking most of the cookies.  I found the recipe in one of my Favorite Brand Name Cookbook - Bake Sale. They included a picture of them on the next page and they looked yummy.


1          cup (2 sticks) butter (no substitutes)
3/4     cup packed light brown sugar
1/2      cup granulated sugar
1/4      cup light corn syrup
1          egg
2         teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/2  cups all-purpose flour
1          teaspoon baking soda
1/4      teaspoon salt
1          package (10 or 12 ounces) Chocolate Chips or Baking Bits (any flavor) (I used a 12 ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. (I admit I didn't read the recipe carefully and add the corn syrup with the butter and other sugars.

Add the corn syrup, egg, and vanilla,
beat well.

Stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture,
beating until well blended.

Stir in chips or bits.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. (I always use my cookie scoop which hold 1 tablespoon of water.)

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned and almost set. (In my new gas oven, I cooked mine the full 10 minutes.)

Cool slightly on cookie sheet;

remove from cookie sheet and finish cooling on wire rack.

Cookies will be softer the second day.

I used my 9 x 13 - inch baking pan that has a plastic cover and layered the cookies (a dozen on each layer) separating them with wax paper.

Here is a picture of Sara's Sugar Free Applesauce Cookies I baked.

and a picture of my Glutton-Free version of the Eggless, Dairyless, Flourless with No Sugar Added Cookies I baked.

Monday, September 26, 2016


When our bridge couples group met this month, just about everyone was busy or sick. The "group" ended up being just 3 couples. If you play bridge, you know that means we were short a couple. Jan and Byron said they would just watch and eat and let Linda and Mitch and my husband and me play, but we didn't like that idea. Instead I came up with an idea so we could all play (at least off and on). 

We started off by each drawing a card. The two highest in rank cards were partners against the two middle cards (people) and the two people with the lowest cards in rank sat out. After the hand was finished, the couple who had sat out (and ate) switched with the losing partners and played the next hand. So that no one played with the same person two hands in a row, the winners of the hand split up. The two who had sat out the previous hand, just sat in either one of the empty chairs. We didn't keep score and had so much fun. By the end of the evening everyone had partnered with everyone and equally important.... everyone had ample opportunity to eat (Jan and Byron had plenty for us to eat) and visit.

For dessert Jan had made the layered dessert many call "Sex in a Pan". It was so delicious! I managed to get a good picture of one of the servings. 

(If you want to reduce some of the sugar calories, you can use the sugar-free instant pudding mixes.)



1       cup flour
1/2   cup butter, melted
2      tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2   cup pecans, chopped

Combine and press in the bottom of a 9 x 13 - inch pan and bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes.

Let cool before adding the following layers.

Layer 1:

1       8 - ounce package of cream cheese
1       cup powdered sugar
1/2 - 3/4 of an 8 - ounce carton of whipped topping

Beat this with mixer until creamy.

Spread over the cooled crust.

Layer 2:

3       cups cold milk
1        (4 - serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix
1        (4 - serving size) instant chocolate pudding mix
1        teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth and thick.

Carefully spread over the first layer.

Layer 3:

Spread the rest of the whipped topping over the pudding layer.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

List of ingredients:

1        cup flour
1/2    cup butter
1        cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2    cup pecans, chopped
1        8 - ounce cream cheese
1        8 - ounce whipped topping
3       cups cold milk
1        4 - serving size instant vanilla pudding mix
1        4 - serving size instant chocolate pudding mix
1        teaspoon vanilla extract

Byron outdid himself with the appetizers. I have several recipes to share with you later of some of them.

Friday, September 23, 2016


I know I have been sharing a lot of cookie recipes lately, but I just think it's unforgivable if a cookie jar is empty. A cookie is just perfect sometimes when you just want a little bite of sweet. So many fewer calories than eating a piece of cake or pie. You know?!

My husband loves oatmeal cookies. Well, I do too. Anyway I was looking through a cookbook I have had since the early 90s called Recipes From Hope, Arkansas Birthplace of Bill Clinton. (I am from Arkansas also, just not Hope.) The recipe for Oatmeal Cookies was in the front section of family recipes, specifically Hillary Rodham Clinton's Favorite Recipes. I substituted craisins for the raisins.


1-1/4      cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4         teaspoon baking soda
1/2         teaspoon cinnamon
1/2         teaspoon salt
1/2         cup soft butter or margarine (1 stick)
1             cup firmly packed (dark) brown sugar (I haven't seen dark brown sugar in the stores in a long time.)
1             egg
1/2         teaspoon vanilla
1             cup rolled oats
1/4         cup buttermilk
3/4        cup seedless raisins, chopped (I used craisins)
1/2         cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I did use walnuts this time.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 2 cookie sheets.

Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. 

Cream butter with sugar thoroughly. 

Add egg and vanilla, beating until light.

Add flour and buttermilk alternately, beating until smooth. (I start and end with the flour mixture.)

Add oats. Mix well.

Add raisins and nuts.

Drop by teaspoonful and space about 2 inches apart. (I used my cookie scoop.)

Bake for about 12 minutes or until edges are brown. (10 minutes might be long enough.)

Cool on wire rack.