Blueberry-Raspberry Muffins

Fruit filled muffins! This is using the basic muffin recipe from my mom’s (Grandma McAndrew) old black book.

A dozen fruit filled muffins...not for long!

This is an old black binder that she put together when first married, my sister said some of the recipes were written in her mother’s hand (my Grandma Judge). I just love that and am so happy that I inherited it. Many of the recipes I share here are old favorites of our family and I hope my own boys or nieces and nephews will find the instructions and recipes here helpful. My mom and grandma would like knowing there recipes were being passed down as it were.

ahmm...need I say more? Let me at it!

This recipe is an old favorite but I added the fruit, which was great!

Cooling cinnamon + sugar topped muffins

You can sprinkle the tops with cinnamon and sugar.

Split fruit filled muffin, waiting to be eaten.

Mom’s Plain Muffins                     400 F    20-25 minutes

2c Flour
1/2 c sugar
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 c shortening
1 large egg
1c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c frozen or fresh blueberries, raspberries

1. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl then give it a good mix with a whisk to make sure it’s blended. You can store it in a jar at this point for when you need it.

2. Cut the shortening into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender, till it’s all crumbly looking.

3. Measure out 1 c milk and  into a glass measuring cup, then add egg and vanilla and mix well. (TIP: I take a wire whisk and stand it up in the glass; by holding the handle between your hands (like your praying) rub your hands back and forth and the whisk will twirl without splashing, like a mini mixer!)

4. Add wet to dry and mix only a little, DON’T mix lumps out, you want it lumpyish. Now fold in the fruit gently. If your fruit has icy frost chunks on them put in a small bowl and run some water on them and drain quickly, repeat until the ice is gone. Now pat them relatively dry before adding to batter. (I had to do this, I guess I have neglected my frozen fruit stash! But they all tasted just fine.)

5. Have oven pre-heated and spray or grease a 12 muffin pan. Fill cups dividing batter up between them. If you want add a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar to the top before baking, I did on half to see if I liked it; I liked both ways. Bake 20-25 minutes, mine took 23. When done and after cooling a bit, take a knife and gently go around each muffin while they’re warm. Then gently turn each one a bit in the pan to make sure they’re loose. Remove from pan while a bit warm to finish cooling on a rack.

Here’s some pictures of the muffins being prepared for baking and after.

Batter in the cups and ready for baking.

The batter fills the cups right up when there’s fruit in it. The ones on the right have the cinnamon and sugar on top.

Blueberry - Raspberry muffins hot from the oven!

Oh the house smelled wonderful when these came out!

Blueberry - Raspberry Muffins without cinnamon and sugar.

Loosen muffins with a knife while they are warm.

Take a knife and gently go around each muffin while they’re warm. Then gently turn each one a bit in the pan to make sure they’re loose. Remove from pan while a bit warm to finish cooling on a rack.

Here’s some old notes I had on the recipe:

Take peeled, chopped apple and put some batter in a cup, then liberal amount of apple topped with more batter. Put liberal sprinkling of cinnamon on top and sugar on top. YUM.

Try other add in ideas:
raspberry or strawberry jelly -1 tsp on top before baking.
maybe coconut (try combining with raspberry jelly?)
1 1/2 c frozen or fresh blueberries, raspberries
1 T cinnamon + 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 c (or more?) chopped apples and more sugar
1 c shredded cheese
1 T savory spices or herbs of your choice.

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One Dough, Many Cookies!

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a great recipe using my favorite Peanut Butter Cookie dough that was my Grandma Judge’s. It’s perfect for busy mom’s or artists!  You use the basic dough without the peanut butter and make several kinds all in the same baking. All very nice, crispy cookies!

Here’s the ingredients for basic dough:

1 c shortening (6.7 oz)

1 c sugar (7.1 oz)

1 c brown sugar (8.9 oz)

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 c flour (13 oz)

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

1. Cream the shortening and sugars well, then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Wow when I was in England I missed this baby! Had to do everything by hand.

Creaming with my stand electric mixer

2. In another medium size bowl sift the flour, baking soda and salt.

Sifting dry ingredients

You can sift it first then use a whisk to mix it together well.

Mix dry ingredients well with a whisk

Now add it to the creamed mixture a little at a time and mix well, if using an electric stand mixer stop once or twice to scrape the beaters and bottom of the bowl, try to resist licking your fingers!

Depending on how many kinds of cookies you want to make will depend on how you divide the dough up.

Golden Crunch (Butterscotch): 

Just using the dough as is makes a nice crispy cookie. Make balls on ungreased cookie sheet, press with the fork in two directions to create a criss cross pattern. If it starts to stick to the dough, dip in water between squishes. Try baking just a few, let them cool and see if you like them. These may spread a little more than when you add the peanut butter.

*My mom told me that when my Grandma Judge made Peanut Butter cookies she’d mark them with the fork in one direction (like my pictures) but she’d criss cross the fork to make Butterscotch cookies and they were Grandpa Judge’s favorite! I never ever had a recipe for these Butterscotch cookies but because I like to experiment in the kitchen, I tried baking some of the dough without the peanut butter, thinking maybe that’s what Grandma did…well I was excited to discover that it worked and I think it’s just what she did! I love learning about that kind of family history and I think about them every time I make these butterscotch cookies, making the criss cross. I never knew my Grandpa but I think of him all the same when I bake these.

Peanut Butter:

Ohhh Yummy Peanut Butter Cookies!

For every 1 cup of dough (9 oz), you add 1/4 c of peanut butter; just scoop out 1 or 2 cups of dough and put in a small dish for now.

Use measuring cup or weigh the dough

After I mixed the chocolate chip cookies, I used the mixer bowl and just put this measured dough back in, added the peanut butter and mixed well. I used 2 cups of dough so I added ½ c peanut butter. Make balls on ungreased cookie sheet and squish gently with a fork. If it starts to stick to the dough, dip in water between squishes.

Use fork to squish in one direction

*Try whatever nut butter you want. I experimented once with ground sunflower butter, almond butter, and I think tahini (sesame seed), all as separate cookies. The sunflower one was strong flavored, I think the almond was nice…a good thing to know if you have someone allergic to peanuts!

Chocolate Chip:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hey it’s not rocket science! Whatever you have left in the mixer bowl you can throw nuts and chips in till it ‘looks’ right to you.  If you want to make other types of cookies take some dough out now and put in another little bowl. If you took 2 cups of dough out for the peanut butter or other cookies then add 1/3 c chopped nuts and ½ c chocolate chips. (both were heaped a bit). You can use walnuts or pecans.

You don’t have to make balls, just pick up blobs of dough with your fingers and pinch off rounded pieces that ‘feel’ about right. Put on ungreased cookie sheet.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough....oh tasty all by itself!

You can make them any size you want, just make them all the same so they bake the same amount of time. Forget scooping with spoons, this way you get to nibble on bits as you go! Whoops I didn’t say that did I??  😉

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip:

(00ps! no picture, I ate the ones I experimented with before taking a picture! Sorry, guess I’ll have to make them again, they were really good though!)

Ok, so if you’re like me you know that every cookie is better with chocolate chips in it! You can make these without the chips if you want but think of how easy it is to use half the chocolate chip dough, add some more stuff and you have another type of cookie! When I bake again I’ll do some measuring so you’ll know exactly how much spice and oats to add per 1 c of dough. For now just bake a bunch of chocolate chip cookies then with the dough left in the bowl, throw in some oatmeal flakes, raisins, a good shake of cinnamon and a little shake of nutmeg. Look at the amount of dough you have and add about ½ that in oats, ¼ that in raisins. Really just do it till it looks right, but if you add too much the dough won’t hold together.  Not to confuse you but if you also want to add peanut butter to these, leave out the spice and ohhh they’re yummy!  Form balls with your fingers and hands, pinching off same size pieces and pressing together if it’s crumbly. Put on ungreased cookie sheet.

For ALL Cookies:

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

*After the first 10 minutes I turn the cookie sheet around to help front and back bake evenly, then finish baking till golden. Don’t overbake. Remove from oven, pop next sheet of cookies in that you have ready and waiting, then remove them from the hot sheet. This way you keep things moving along.

Yum, waiting for company!

Grandma Judge’s Peanut Butter Cookies

Nothing like stacks of home made peanut butter cookies!

This has to be one of my favorite recipes, these cookies come out light and crispy and you’ll be grabbing a glass of cold milk to dunk them in before long.

Here’s the ingredients:

1 c shortening

1 c sugar

1 c brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 c flour

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

1 c peanut butter

1. Cream the shortening and sugars well, then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.

2. In another medium size bowl, put the flour, baking soda and salt and mix. I use a whisk to mix it together. Now add it to the creamed mixture.

3. Add the peanut butter and mix well.

4. Put balls on ungreased cookie sheet and squish gently with a fork.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

cookie dough in the mixer

make balls of dough with your hands

If the dough is a little dry, just kind of push the dough together more than roll it. Sometimes I put dough in the refrigerator to bake the next day, these will get just a bit dry but still work fine.

pressing with a fork

Gently press with a fork after putting on the cookie sheet. If the dough is a bit dry (see above) then you can use your fingers to gently press the sides of the dough in as you squish.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Ahh…excuse me while I go pour that glass of cold milk! Click on the note card I created below, it has the recipe printed on it so you can cut it off and have a glossy photo recipe card! In my Zazzle shop.

Grandma Judge’s Oatmeal Cookies

stacks of cookies...yummm

This is a recipe my mom made every year at Christmas and sometimes during the year because they were so popular with us; it was from her mom, my Grandma Judge. They are a light and crispy cookie that have several spices in them. My mom used the Quaker 5 minute oats but because I buy the whole rolled oats, I use that, they have a bit more texture but the same great taste. I also add chocolate chips to half of the dough because, well you know…gotta love chocolate chips!
Here’s the ingredients list first:
1  1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c shortening (crisco or other brand of vegetable solid white short.)
2 Tbsp milk
2 eggs
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2  1/2 c oatmeal (uncooked!)
1 c raisins
1 c nuts (we use walnuts but you can use pecans or whatever floats your boat)
1 c chocolate chips…optional, I add this but then just throw in more until it looks well saturated with chips..hee hee…
Here’s the easy instructions with some photos following, have fun!  (ALWAYS  WASH your hands first!!)
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
2. Put the sugars and shortening in mixer bowl and cream until fluffy.
3. Set your flour sifter in a medium bowl, put the flour followed by the spices and powders into it and sift into the bowl.
4. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture using a small measuring cup, add some then let it mix in, add more, let it mix. Scrape down the dough sometimes from the sides of the bowl. Oh yes, do it on low so it doesn’t ‘puff’ out all over!
5. With mixer still on low, add oatmeal and mix well.
6. Add nuts and raisins and mix well. It’s a stiff dough and will climb up the bowl, tame the beast by pushing it back into the bowl. You can add those chips now, or wait and bake half this dough, then mix in some by hand to the remaining dough.
7. Use a teaspoon to scoop up a bit of dough and put on a lightly greased cookie sheet. I can fit 12 on one sheet and just spray a bit of vegetable oil spray on it then rub it around with your hand. If you don’t have that you can use the solid shortening and rub it on with your hand or a paper towel. (Don’t be afraid to use your hands, you’ll be washing them a lot and the oil is good for them!)
8. Bake 10-12 minutes. In my oven it takes 12 minutes. Then remove them with a spatula/pancake turner to cool on a rack.
Click on any picture to see enlargement.
mixing the dough

mixing the dough

Add a little at a time and let it mix well after each addition.

smashing the nuts

I don’t ever chop nuts anymore, I put them in a ziplock bag (the heavy freezer bags are best) and then I gently whack them with the side of a meat tenderizer. Can you gently whack something? It’s great, no mess, no flying nuts onto the floor, just smash then pour them into your measuring cup. (no need to seal the bag, just don’t overfill it)

oatmeal cookie dough filled with goodies!

cooling on the rack

cookies close up

stacks of cookies...yummm

Time to call the munchkins in to eat ’em! Oops, they smelled them a long time ago and are already snitching some!

Click on the picture below to see a Note Card I created with the recipe printed on the back of the photo, you can cut it off and have a recipe card with a glossy photo! Great idea to send someone who loves to bake.

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