Mary’s Green Hummus

I know it’s Saint Patrick’s Day today, but really that’s not why I made this Green Hummus, I just love to have it around for the week for easy, healthy snacking or for lunch. It tastes so wonderful and zesty! The great part is all the green veggies you’re getting in there along with the beans, garlic and lemon juice; all fantastic for you!

I couldn't resist!

I couldn’t resist!

I went to put parsley on at the end, to make it look fancy and all…and ended up with a smiley face! haha..why not? Seamus McHummus?

Green Hummus (2) (450x338)

Close up of Green Hummus

It’s loaded with fresh spinach, kale, parsley and zucchini (courgette). If I had my garden growing with fresh basil, like I used to, I’d try throwing a bunch of that in and see what it tastes like! (I love fresh basil!)

Green Hummus (4) (450x338)

What a great snack, full of vitamins and antioxidants!

Mary’s Green Hummus (more pictures below showing steps in progress)
1 ½ c (or so) diced Zucchini (Courgette) with peel on, about 1 med sized.
2-3 cloves garlic (try 2 first and taste test!)
Juice from 1 ½ lemons add pulp too (use 1 lemon then taste before you add more)
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp cumin powder
1 c Fresh parsley – just pinch the whole tops off stems, pack in 1c measure.
Big handful of fresh Spinach (2-3 c packed)
Fresh Kale – about 2 c torn up and packed in measuring cup, no stems. (1.6 oz)
1/3 c tahini (ground sesame seeds)
1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas) 15 – 19 oz can, rinse the beans well first.

Use a food processor.

1.    Chop up zucchini and put in food processor.  Chop the garlic in big pieces and toss in along with lemon juice, salt and tahini. Give it a couple of whizzes to get it mixing.
2.    Add Spinach and mix a bit, then Kale and parsley the same. Let it mix quite well now, keep stopping and scraping it down. It tastes pretty good at this stage and you can leave it as a dip without the beans.
3.    Now add beans and mix really well. Keep stopping and scraping the bowl. Taste now and decide if you want more garlic or lemon juice.

Zucchini (Courgette) and lemon juice etc. waiting for whizzing.

Zucchini (Courgette) and lemon juice etc. waiting for whizzing.

What 1 cup of 'packed' parsley looks like when I let go and it 'sproings' up!

What 1 cup of ‘packed’ parsley looks like when I let go and it ‘sproings’ up!

I just quickly pinch the whole tops off the stems of parsley, toss the whole thing in, the small stems near the tops won’t hurt you.

All the veggies mixed up in food processor.

All the veggies mixed up in food processor.

It can vary on how wet it is at this point, last time I made it it was perfect just as is for a dip; this time it was wetter.

Everything all whizzed in food processor, it's soooo easy!

Everything all whizzed in food processor, it’s soooo easy!

This is how it looks when you add the rinsed garbanzo beans, creamy and it makes the taste a bit milder.

  • In traditional hummus you would add some olive oil, so feel free to add some if you want but I don’t in this recipe.
  • Don’t stress about amounts, just chop it up and throw it in…taste a lot to see if it’s strong enough for you. Don’t go too heavy on the Kale it might get bitter, try 1 c first.
  • I like it heavy on the garlic and I know it’s healthy for you, I just wouldn’t eat it right before going out shopping!
  • oh yeah, it’s sort of like eating pesto…if you don’t have a friend to do a “green teeth check” then make sure you look in the mirror if planning on leaving the house! haha 😉
  • ps. I used photos of two different times I made the hummus, so you can see one is a bit greener than the other, that’s ok! Every time it’s a work of art.
Side view of bowl of finished Hummus.

Side view of bowl of finished Hummus.

This is the smallest bowl from my Pyrex three bowl set, just so you see how much it makes.

Green Hummus (1) (450x338)

Enjoy!

I hope you try it, please leave comments if you do any similar recipes, it’s great to get new ideas!

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Golden Oatmeal Honey Cookies – Gluten Free

Golden Oatmeal Honey Cookies

A pile of cookies waiting for tea time!

A pile of cookies waiting for tea time!

These cookies use no processed sugars just honey and no wheat flour, just oats! If you are cutting down on gluten these are perfect, if gluten is a serious issue for you, only use oats that are labeled “Gluten Free”. I don’t have any health issue with gluten, just trying to cut down on it, so I use regular oatmeal.

OOhhh look at all those chocolate chips!

OOhhh look at all those chocolate chips!

Golden Oatmeal Honey Cookies

Preheat oven to 325 F

Ingredients:

¼ c butter (1/2 stick)

¼ c coconut oil

½ c honey

1 c old fashioned rolled oats

½ c quick oats

 

1c oat flour (I grind oatmeal in coffee grinder that I use just for seeds and grains)

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp cinnamon

 

1 c chopped walnuts + pecans (heavier on the walnuts)

½ c chopped almonds

1 ¼ c raisins, dried cranberries, apricots, dry cherries etc.

1 egg

¾ c chocolate chips (if you want)

½ c unsw. Shredded coconut (if you want)

  1. Put first 5 ingredients in a pan and heat on low to melt. Stir often to wet the oats and heat.
  2. Start mixing dry ingredients in a big bowl while the oats and honey heat.
  3. Remove oats from heat, put in glass bowl then in fridge or freezer to cool down just so it’s only warm.
  4. Mix nuts and fruits into dry ingredients. (and chips and coconut if adding)
  5. Mix egg into cooled honey oat mixture then mix into dry ingredients to form sticky dough.
  6. Drop onto lightly greased pans, push down a bit. It is very sticky, try to use spoon to scoop and then just touch with fingers to push into mounds. I do a bunch while waiting for first batch and put them on cutting board, they dry a bit and you can pick them up to put on cookie sheet, press down a bit after.
  7. Bake at 325 F 10 min. then turn pan bake 4 min. more. Let cool a tiny bit on pan then remove.

These taste so buttery and crispy, I’m really happy with them! I put too many chocolate chips in the ones pictured (is that possible?) because they kept wanting to fall apart before they were baked! So keep the chips to 3/4 c if you use them at all. I added the coconut oil to cut down on butter amount, I imagine you could use all coconut oil, but won’t have the same buttery taste. Add whatever dried fruits you want.

  • I also think these may be good baked as bars, I’ll try that next time, it’d be a lot less messy! (The dough is sticky!)
  • I think if you sprinkled little blobs of this dough all over the cookie sheet, and bake for less time, it’d make a wonderful snack to munch on!

 

“The Lightning Bugs”

“The Lightning Bugs”

I peer out my bedroom window
into the darkness
listening to the crickets
and frogs songs caress.

A peaceful end
to a long hot day,
a slight cool dark breeze
brings smells of summer night my way.

My fields and trees
are absolutely alive,
an incessant glittering sea
of the lightning bugs arise.

There is a twinkling of light
so clear
on this warm foggy night
Through and in and on
and around all the trees,
lime yellow lights are upon.

Then it continues
in a glimmering show
of electricity
across the grass of the yard
and out into the dark field it goes.

I long to be flying with them,
these little fairies of the night.
When we meet on stem,
it is them I shall know
as Flicker, Glimmer and Glow.

I’ve seen them before
when I was a child
caught them in my hand,
watched them glow
between my fingers
then let them go.

I shall meet them again
on dewy long nights
wandering quietly through the dark
sparkle of their lights.

(c) Mary McAndrew July 8, 2012

I wrote four stanzas of non rhyming lines in my journal last night after looking out my window at the lightning bugs. But I did keep a pace to it or rhythm.  I always wish to paint a scene with Lightning Bugs but think it’d be rather hard, how would I do it? I guess when I look out at the Lightning Bugs I feel a sort of longing, just like looking at the moon when I’m alone. So the poem, as I developed it above, has a feel of longing for childhood, magical memories. It might have been different if I wasn’t looking at them alone. Also I introduced the names Flicker, Glimmer and Glow. As I wrote the poem I thought of them and how I could create characters of a more light and delightful kind to write a story about.

I’m sharing the poem because I’d really like some feedback. If you could read it aloud, especially to children, and see how it feels? Sounds? When I wrote it I meant for it to be read slowly, deliberately, quietly. This lends to a more somber mood though and I wonder would children find it peaceful? Would they prefer it read more lively? I’d love some feedback, please leave comments!

Mini Party Tarts

Mini Party Tarts with strawberry filling

This is an easy one! Just whip up some homemade pie crust dough first. I hate store bought dough, it has too many weird ingredients in it! Then open a can of pie filling…I know, I know that should be homemade too! But I didn’t have time and I have a couple cans kicking around that need using up. You can use jam too, I did for a bunch too.

Oh yummy, a sea of tarts waiting to be eaten!

You roll out your dough, cut circles, push them into mini muffin tins and fill (not too full!) and bake! Easy! See my directions below with the photos. At the end I included pictures of tarts ‘not so mini’ made with regular size muffin tins too.

Big muffin size tarts!! Oh wow, more yummyness!

The picture above shows larger tarts you can make using a regular muffin tin. This makes nice big tarts that when you put a swirl of whipped cream on top they look really marvelous. Um…yes, I ate one warm from the oven…then later had some vanilla ice cream with one! haha…gotta enjoy what you do!

Mini Party Tarts

Easy Flaky Pastry (my usual pie crust recipe, enough for two crusts)
2 1/4 c flour (I don’t pre-sift, just fluff it up before you measure)
1 t salt
3/4 c shortening
5 T cold water

Filling = one can pie filling or some jam.

1. Mix flour and salt in bowl with whisk.

2. Cut in shortening with hand pastry blender.

3. Sprinkle very cold water on top quickly. Toss lightly with a fork before you start to push it together. Or you can use a bowl scraper and toss it then start to push it together to form dough.

4. Roll it into a ball then on counter cut in half. Pat each out into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

5. When ready to use, roll out one half on floured counter, rolling a few strokes then take edge of dough and give it a twist to turn it…add flour to table and pull dough back onto it. Keep repeating and rolling always making sure you can move the dough on the table. You’ll know it’s about to stick when it doesn’t freely spread as you roll it. OR you can put some between two pieces of plastic wrap and roll it, I tried it when the scraps got smaller, it kept it from getting tough with too much flour.

6. Cut circles, mason jar lid was perfect size, and push into mini muffin pan cups. (ungreased) Pat sides to make even and it helps to use my wooden tart mold thingy to push bottom and sides to make it thinner and even.

7. Put a bit of jelly or canned pie filling in each, fill NO MORE THAN HALF WAY! Maybe even less, it will bubble up and over if too full. I also noticed that if you cut a small decorative piece of pastry to put on top, it seems to make it bubble up over edges worse. Nothing on top and they didn’t boil over, look at the pictures and see what I mean.

8. Bake 425 for 10 or more minutes. Watch them, I forget if it’s more. They won’t really get golden, the filling would get too hot if they do. I could try baking them at 375 and see how it goes too?

A few pictures of my steps and finished tarts.

Lay dough on top then gently push it down into tin with finger tips.

Large muffin tin with some filled and dough waiting to be pushed in.

Use your fingers to press sides and bottom, watch out for tears with your fingernails!

You can use your fingers and if you have a wooden dough press thingy…(I need a picture of mine!)…then that works great at smooshing the dough up the sides and into bottom.

We're getting there!

Experimenting with tops…Don’t overfill them, they bubble up over the edges.

Muffin cup sized tarts...I want one now.

When they were done I sprinkled them with confectioners sugar and they looked a real treat! Sorry no pics of that. I can’t wait to try more varieties.

  • To take with you, just put cooled, sugar dusted tarts on a jelly roll pan or any pan with sides. If sides are low use a sheet of waxed paper on them then cling wrap. They keep really well in the fridge a few days too, just not as crispy.

Chocolate Soda Bread

What a delicious way to start the day! Chocolate Soda Bread with coffee!

I love playing around in the kitchen with recipes and lately it’s been scones and soda breads. I like baking scones to compare the recipes and have one, “Rachel Allen’s soda scones” that I like because they raise up so nice and there’s no butter to rub in so they’re quick, (and lower in fat!). They have a different texture that’s not as tender and crumbly as other scones though, BUT it’s that slight chewyness that makes them excellent cut and toasted with butter! oh yummm, it reminds me of Ciabata bread.

chocolate soda bread baked in a small bowl

You can bake the bread in a small bowl.

Because I’m baking for one or two people, I mix up the dry ingredients for a full recipe, then I put half away in a mason jar to use another day for fresh scones. Just jot down what to add to make the recipe and tape it to the jar, easy!!

Hot from the oven, let it cool 10 minutes in the bowl.

This chocolate soda bread I made using that saved half of dry ingredients. I made scones the other day that were half white flour and half wheat, so that’s what I used to make this bread.

The house smells of warm chocolate, can anything be as nice?

It makes a nice little loaf and I think merits more experimenting on my part! I’ve baked plain soda bread and put it right on the cookie sheet as a loaf and added seeds and nuts; there’s so much you can do with it!

The slits I cut really spread open on this loaf!

The recipe I give here has you mix up the full dry ingredients then divide it. I suggest using all white flour first so you can try the recipe another day and make simple soda scones and see how nice and easy they are. After that try what you like! ps. I always use unbleached white flour and have found no difference in using the cheaper brand from my local supermarket, just make sure it’s unbleached.

Sliced and ready for butter!

Chocolate Soda Bread (by me!)

1. Mix up the first 4  ingredients and measure 2 c + 1 tsp of flour mixture into a jar with a tight lid, put aside to use for another batch of scones.

450g (1 lb) (4 c)  Flour (can use 2 c white 2 c wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp – 1 T sugar (depending on how sweet you like your scones, for dinner or savoury scones I only use 1 tsp)
__________________________________________________________________________
3 T sugar
4 T cocoa powder
1/2 c choc. chips
1 egg
200 ml buttermilk (or add 1 T lemon juice to reg. milk)
1 tsp vanilla

2. To what’s left in the bowl add and mix well:
3 T sugar
4 T cocoa powder – I used my measuring spoon but didn’t level it and if you sift the cocoa in, it won’t have any lumps.

3. Add 1/2 c chocolate chips and mix around.

4. In a glass measuring cup put:
1 egg (beat egg in the cup then measure out 1 T and put in a small dish to use for brushing the top of the loaf)
1 T lemon juice (leave out if you use buttermilk)
add enough milk to make 200 ml total (use buttermilk if you have it)
add 1 tsp vanilla mix well.

5. Now add liquid to flour all at once and stir with fork or spatula to get all ingredients wet. Then use spatula to start to push it together while scraping the sides of bowl clean. Now use your hand to push it together into a ball as you keep turning it in the bowl and picking up flour, use a kneading motion by folding the dough gently too. You can do the whole thing in the bowl if you like. Don’t overwork it, just get it smooth. Now use both hands to form a ball.

6. Put in a small greased (spray) pyrex bowl and cut an X in the top with sharp knife and gently push apart. Brush top with the 1 T of egg, getting into the cracks too.

7. Bake at 420 F for 5 min. then turn down to 375 F for 45 min. Let cool in bowl 10 min. then remove to cool completely on rack.

Don’t forget to read my notes below about the recipe.

Why don't you try making some today?

MY NOTES:

  •  I think next time I’ll just bake it at 375 for 45 minutes, it should be hot enough.
  • For scones bake at 450F / 230C oven 10-12 min. Pat dough out thick, cut, bake on floured pan.
  • I haven’t tried it yet but you should be able to bake loaf right on a pan too, floured…maybe shaped like a log with slit cut down centre, or ball with X cut. I think it would make unbelievable scones! My friends will be begging me to have tea and invite them! 🙂
  • It would be nice with dried cherries or nuts added!
  • Also in this bread I used 1/2 an egg but have since changed it so it’s a bit more egg and you take out a tad for the top. It should help it be moister, it’s such a tiny amount it shouldn’t matter. Even using one whole egg is probably fine!
  • About cutting the X in the dough, Rachel Allen says that’s to ‘release the fairies’! I love that, I’ve always done it because it’s just traditional and I think it helps it open as it raises but I love her poetic and very Irish explanation!
  • Remember this is a soda bread, it smells like cake but isn’t. Though it’s yummy it’s sturdy but the great thing is there’s hardly any fat or sugar in it like a cake. It’s great in the morning with your coffee while you wait for your oatmeal to cook and I bet the kids would love it as a snack with butter. I haven’t tried it toasted yet but if you do, don’t toast it too long and remember those chips will be HOT! (don’t want the little ones burning their mouth)

Click the picture below to see glossy recipe post cards you can send in the mail! You can change and add your own recipe and photo if you want.

And for the UK click picture below!

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Cookies!

I have a good friends who every few months have “Movie Night” at their house.  It’s well organized as he does themes for the year and usually starts with some interesting information about the film that I never knew.  The folks who come are all interesting to talk to as most are interested in culture; there’s a few retired professors from the local University and even some that come down from Canada just to attend!

Glazed and waiting to be eaten

This year it’s Sci-Fi and last night was “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne, a Walt Disney film. I won’t go into the detail of cool things I learned about the movie but just tell you about the cookies I made. They were a real hit and everyone loved them! It took a bit of effort on my part but I’m glad I took the time as everyone had a good time talking about them (and eating them!)

Use waxed paper between layers.

It’s a basic Butter Cookie dough that I’ve used for cut out cookies, and you can too. But you can also play around with the dough as I did and shape them by hand. I’ll give you tips under each photo that will help you make them successfully. I do hope you try them or at least creating something then let me know how it went for you.

Glazed with yellow sugar-milk-vanilla glaze

To glaze the cookies wait until they are totally cool, this insures less breakage when you handle them. Make a drippy glaze in a cup by putting about 1/2 c confectioner’s sugar in then drizzle in some vanilla (I didn’t measure, just don’t overdo it) maybe about 1 tsp or so, and start mixing; now add a drizzle of milk, just a tad! Mix it up and you’ll be surprised at how little milk will make it runny. You want it sort of runny so it glazes easier. Add a drop or so of food coloring and mix. Using  a spoon gently touch the cookie as you let glaze drizzle out, I keep contact with the spoon and it helps to guide the glaze where you want it to go.  Don’t put so much that it runs down the sides only because it’ll make it harder to move them without breaking tentacles later!

Dusted with powdered sugar for something different

Besides glazing you can leave the cookies plain or dust with confectioner’s sugar. With any you can still taste the yummy goodness of this basic butter cookie. My favorite part was nibbling off the tentacles! They are crispy golden and when you pick up a cookie it’s the first thing you want to eat! How fun! If the cookies aren’t too ‘detailed’ you can also brush with egg white and sprinkle with colored sugar then bake; this is usually what I do for cut outs.

whoa...a whole bunch of squid monsters!

These are cooling from the oven…can you see how each one is different? This is what makes them so fun. Now my boyfriend saw them and said if you look at them upside down, they could be a Medusa head! Oh…what a fun idea! Can you picture it?

So, onto the cookies! I’ll put the recipe here then below pictures with detailed explanation and tips.

Butter Cookie Dough (for cut outs or hand shaping):

1 c butter (2 sticks or 8 oz) softened
2/3 c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c sifted flour

1. Preheat oven to 350F / 180C.
2. Cream butter and sugar well.
3. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
4. Sift the flour, measure and add a bit at a time mixing in well each time.
5. On floured surface roll dough out and cut with cookie cutters. Lift the dough and move it around a bit and re-flour if needed before you cut out, this way they don’t stick to the counter as much. Or just follow my directions below to hand shape them.
6. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 8-10 minutes depending on their size, look for edges to get golden . For shaped cookies, let them cool for 3 minutes on the pan before removing them.

I sifted flour right in my flour container

I’m pretty laze about sifting flour first for recipes, especially cookies, but for this one it says ‘sifted flour’ so I just sifted a pile into my container then gently scooped up to measure. I then sifted more and repeated until I had enough, it wasn’t a big deal to do it this way.

Start with a walnut sized ball

Ok, so first step is to start with a walnut sized ball. See how my hands are floury and the ball slightly floury? That’s how you want it, NOT sticky.

With flour dusted hands roll it into a log

Roll the ball into a log with your hands, if it feels at all sticky, just dust your hands with flour again or roll the log on the counter to pick up flour then roll it in your hands and the flour will disappear. It shouldn’t feel sticky is the point.

On a floured counter pat it out into an oblong shape making it wider at one end.

Now place the log on the floured counter and using your finger tips gently pat it out flat. You will coax it into shape by patting flat with fingers of one hand while the other hand will push the edge to make it into a shape. Like here my left hand is keeping the bottom from spreading and the dough will go wider as I press with my right hand (fingers). Of course I’m holding the camera so you can’t see it in action!  You can see it looks a bit squareish on the right, I then used my fingers to push it in and round it.

(I’m sorry if it seems I’m over explaining this to those of you who ‘get it’, I like to give a full description for those who have little experience in the kitchen, I guess it’s the teacher in me!)

Cut in the middle leaving 1/3 uncut.

Lift the piece of dough and lay it near the edge of the ‘floured’ counter like so. It helps to lift with an icing spatula, you can see mine in the picture above showing the ball of dough. Take a sharp knife or use the edge of the spatula to cut the dough up the middle, cut 2/3 up. The top is the head so how ever long your shape is will determine how long the tentacles are.

Cut each side piece into three

You’re going to cut each side into three parts, just keep the dough straight and make two cuts. BUT first! Here is the important tip!! When you cut, the dough will want to stick to your knife. As you lift it out, lift from the handle first in a rocking motion so the dough falls away from the knife and won’t pull on the dough near the tip of the knife. This is important because the trickiest part of making these is not pulling the tentacles off! You don’t want to ever pull the dough at the base of the tentacles, you’ll see what I mean when you do it. Wipe the blade off between cuts and use some flour on it if you want.

Six tentacles for a squid, but I don't think it matters, they are what you tell people they are, squid or octopus!

It’s really not that hard once you start doing them.

Lift gently and lay on cookie sheet

Use your icing spatula to help you lift the head then it’s easy to get your fingers under and lift the whole thing up. Gently lay on an ungreased cookie sheet. I put four on each sheet only because while some were baking I’d be working on them and it’s hard to get more done than that.

Gently pinch tentacles to make them more rounded.

After you lay it on the COOLED sheet, start with the outer legs and gently round each tentacle by lightly pinching with your fingertips then curve them up by the head. Then you do the rest of the legs being careful always not to pull on the legs at all.

Make eye holes with the end of a chop stick.

Use a pointed end of a chopstick or something similar to make holes for eyes. Stick it into the dough then make a circular motion to push the dough aside and create a hole, don’t make it too small or it’ll puff shut when you bake it. I found it helpful to hold the dough in place with the other hand while doing it. Do one cookie start to finish because the dough may get sticky if you let it sit on the cookie sheet waiting.

Put them in the oven for 8-10 minutes, mine took 10. Check to see if they are golden on the tips of the tentacles, give the cookie sheet a turn when you check them for even baking. When you remove them from the oven, set the timer for three minutes and let the cookies cool for that long. I found they were cooled enough to let them slide off easily but still just warm enough that they didn’t want to stick to the pan. Use the icing spatula to lift them off, making sure first that every tentacle etc is loose.

Close up of a scary squid...I'm not afraid, I'll eat his arms off! mmwahahahaha

I hope you’ll try to make something with this dough and let me know! I’ve even used it at Christmas or St. Patrick’s Day by tinting some of the dough then making striped candy canes or shamrocks….hm…I may have to make them again just so I can photograph them and show you. Click the picture below to see the recipe and photos as a glossy note card you can send or keep!

The next movie night is March 31 and it’s Ulysses so my imagination is already having fun thinking of what I can make! Sign up on the left sidebar to follow my posts if you like and leave me comments if you want! Now time to get back to my painting…and eating cookies…

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!

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