Thursday, March 31, 2016

Springtime Cookies

Note: We did try these again using our regular sugar cookie recipe, and they were delicious! In fact, when they were all gone and it was time to make cookies again, Wyatt wanted to repeat the recipe. We didn't, we tried Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies instead, but some day we'll have these cookies again, and we may just experiment with using different colors. How about red, white and blue for Independence Day?

March 2010 - The other day I felt like making a "special" cookie - one that wasn't a plain old delicious chocolate chip cookie. Yet I also didn't feel like making anything time and labor intensive like frosted sugar cookies. Betty Crocker came to the rescue with "Springtime Slice-and-Bake Confetti Cookies!"
It took about a half hour to mix up the dough, divide and color it, and press it into the loaf pan, including the inevitable interruptions and phone calls. Then, after picking up Michelle I was able to slice and bake!They turned out quite well, festive and colorful, just like I wanted. The taste wasn't "out of this world" delicious, so I think next time we'll try our regular sugar cookie recipe, but that's not stopping us from eating them all up.
Here's the Betty Crocker recipe:

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup butter-flavor shortening
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
10 drops red food color
16 drops yellow food color
9 drops green food color
3 tablespoons pastel-colored confetti candy sprinkles

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line bottom of 9x5" loaf pan with plastic wrap (8x4" worked okay as well). In large bowl, beat sugar, butter and shortening with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt until dough forms.

2. Divide dough into 3 parts. Knead 1 food color into each part of dough. Press one of the colored doughs in bottom of pan. Top with remaining colored doughs, pressing each layer firmly to seal.

3. Turn pan upside down; remove plastic wrap from dough. Cut dough lengthwise into thirds. Cut each third crosswise into 16 slices. On ungreased cookie sheets, place slices about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with candy sprinkles.

4. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until bottoms are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Brown Soda Bread

It's harder to celebrate the holidays when they fall mid-week, but we tried. Rather than brining my own corned beef, this year I just picked up the package at store. I stuck it in the crock-pot (with some red potatoes, carrots and onions, and only a portion of the seasoning packet) before heading out on errands. Once home, I drained off the liquid, added some fresh water and the cabbage, and let it simmer for another hour or so. 

At the last minute I decided we should have some Irish Soda Bread. There wasn't time to make a large loaf, so we went with some mini ones, and they turned out great. 

Brown Soda Bread

1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vinegar
3/4 cup white flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar

Combine the milk and vinegar and let set for a few minutes to sour. Combine the dry ingredients, then stir in the milk. Knead gently and form into 3 mini loaves. Bake at 425° for 12-15 minutes.

Note: I halved the recipe I followed, so if you have a larger family, just double it again!