Thursday, June 24, 2010

Back to those cookies

Big Soft Ginger Cookies
from the Ugly Binder, from

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly. I used my 1/4 cup scoop and flattened them slightly.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven (I baked these at 325 and I can't remember exactly how long they took to be honest). Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 2 dozen (according to original recipe - I only got about a dozen big ones).

Sorry I have just not been in the mood to blog the rest of the big cookies recipes. It's just not as much fun once the big cookies are long gone!

I was very impressed by the Big Sugar Cookies and then I made these. Wow! These were great. Nice and chewy, perfect amount of spice. Even Nick loved these. As you can see, I almost forgot to get a picture. This leftover piece was tossed in with a sugar cookie, if you're wondering why some of the crumbs look out of place.

I would have prefered them a bit taller, since if they were taller then I would finally have duplicated (to my satisfaction) a molasses cookie I tasted years ago and loved. These were quite flat. I think chilling the dough and baking them at 350 would accomplish that (I baked them at 325).

I've got one more big cookie recipe coming up, sometime in the future. I can't promise exactly when.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More big cookies

Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie
The Ugly Binder, from

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1.Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
2.Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3.In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
4.Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 285 Total Fat: 13.9g Cholesterol: 43mg

What really started me baking cookies for Nick's school was his room aide's obsession with chocolate chip cookies. I'd been meaning to make some for her since I found out about it and since she had so many kids bringing her chocolate chip cookies throughout the year, I decided to be a bit different and go big. And hey, big cookies are just better cookies.

I found this recipe on At first I thought these were just okay but the cookies were still slightly warm when I first tried them and I actually prefer my chocolate chip cookies completely cooled. The next day I appreciated these a lot more but unfortunately the recipe only made about 12 cookies so I couldn't do a lot of sampling.

I don't think these stood out flavor-wise anymore than your usual delicious chocolate chip cookie but I found they spread just about right and had the height and texture I like in a big chocolate chip cookie. This is not my first attempt at large chocolate chip cookies. One recipe came out thinner and chewier than I prefer, another recipe was a bit more dense, less chewier than today's recipe. My favorite recipe for big chocolate chip cookies is the Moosewood version but I could not find the whole wheat pastry flour needed for that recipe locally, at the last minute.

On a related note, just to show you how smart Nick's kindergarten teacher was, she told the students that she loved lobster. Yes, some students actually brought her lobster tails. Nick tried to get me to buy a lobster tail for her but I can't even afford to buy lobster for myself. So she got cookies too.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

BIG, wondeful sugar cookies

Big Sugar Cookies
The Ugly Binder, from somewhere on the internet

2 sticks butter
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and pudding. Mix together dry ingredients and add to egg mixture. I used a 1/4-cup scoop, flattened them slightly (they spread) and added sprinkles. I baked them at 325 for about 15 minutes.

I can't remember but I think I got about 15-20 big cookies, 5 per sheet.

I decided to make cookies for Nick's teachers and the staff at his school last week. I wanted BIG cookies. Big cookies just taste better, if you ask me. Now, I love my cookbooks but when I need specific recipes fast, I turn to the internet. I found this recipe somewhere but I just jotted down the ingredients and didn't save the link. This recipe wasn't specifically for big cookies but I used my large scoop and adjusted the time and temperature. You'll want to raise the temperature and shorten the baking time if you make these average size.

These were excellent sugar cookies - a bit chewy in the middle and light and crunchy around the edges. I am definitely going to make these next time I need something for a bake sale. I will use cuter sprinkles - I really didn't like these sprinkles but I wanted to use them up.

I've been on a bit of a binge, probably brought on my stress. Over the past few weeks I've picked up several cookbooks at yard sales and even snagged a few at the library book sale. They never have cookbooks, and this was day 3 of their latest sale. I wasn't even expecting a sale on a Sunday (they usually run Friday and Saturday). I had some CDs in my trunk that I was going to donate to the sale but I kept dragging my feet since I was holding a grudge against them for never having any cookbooks. After I scored a few nice cookbooks there, I finally donated the CDs. (That's the end of an era for me - I got rid of all of my CDs since I've gone digitial with music. )

Another library tidbit - I discovered there is a second section of cookbooks in the children's area! My library has a decent cookbook section (and regularly adds to it) but I was excited to find this other section.

So I have a lot of recipes I'd love to make but unfortunately I am just not getting around to much cooking these days. Soon, I hope.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Recipes coming soon

I actually baked four new cookie recipes last Sunday (for Nick's teachers and the school staff). They weren't anything unusual but they were all great. Unfortunately this has been a hectic week and I never got around to blogging them but hopefully I'll catch up over the weekend.

There is a townhouse available so keep your fingers crossed for me. I have an application in but I have no idea how great the demand is.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

It doesn't get much better than this

Texas Peach Cobbler
Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2008 Copyright 2007

4 cups sliced peeled ripe peaches (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 5 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash of ground cinnamon
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (I used regular sugar)

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare filling, combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside.

To prepare batter, place butter in an 8-inch square baking dish. Place dish in oven 5 minutes or until butter melts. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through dash of cinnamon) in a medium bowl. Combine milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter over butter, spreading evenly (do not stir). Spoon peach mixture over batter, gently pressing peaches into batter. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar, and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until crust is golden.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutritional Information: Calories:294 (28% from fat) Fat:9.3g (sat 5.7g,mono 2.4,poly 0.5g)Protein:4.2g Carbohydrate:51g Fiber:2.2g Cholesterol:24mg Iron:1.3mg Sodium:235mg Calcium:118mg

I bought the most incredible peaches on Friday. I can't remember the last time I tasted such a good peach. They were so good, I wasn't going to use them in a recipe but as good as they were, I couldn't really eat them all before they were past their prime so I made this. Not only were these peaches flavorful and juicy, they were incredibly well-behaved and let me peel their skins right off of them, making this a cinch to prepare. I served this with Green's Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream, which is one of my favorite vanilla ice creams, outside of Häagen Daz. It was definitely worth using those perfect peaches in this recipe.