Baking

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_9852This is the final recipe in the FREEZER MEAL Marathon.  I am sure there will be several batches of these going into the freezer before we start back to school in September.  On those homeschooling days when it is taking longer then I want it to my freezer is my best friend, it has saved my sanity many times!

A little side story about our summer has to do with chocolate chip cookies.  My oldest, Camden is 8 years old and has lots of energy.  Sometimes mothering him requires more then I want to give.  He is very aware of his surroundings, the calender and what we are doing ‘next’.  Most times his ‘next thing’ and my ‘next thing’ are oceans apart.  The reality of laundry, blackberries that need picked,  and hungry mouths take priority over all the fun things on his agenda.  I was praying over this one morning a couple of weeks ago and it was like the Lord showed me that today was the day to teach him how to bake cookies.  So that afternoon we did it.  The next morning was Saturday and I had errands to run. I was in and out all day and he asked me if he could bake cookies,  I kinda muttered, “Sure, you are aware I won’t be here much to help?”.   By his own initiative he took that same recipe and baked perfect cookies.  The rest is history.  He has been baking a lot of cookies this summer.  God is such a creative God. I am so grateful for that prompting. It has helped keep him busy and it has helped me in the kitchen.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

3 cups butter, softened

3 cups brown sugar (sometimes I only add 2 cups of brown sugar and then just bump the flour to 1/2 cup more because I think this is too much sugar)

3 cups white sugar, I use sucanat sugar here instead of white

6 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla

9 cups all purpose flour

(do not pack the flour in the measuring cup, if you spoon it in vs scoop your cup full I think you will find you like your end product so much better  )

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp baking soda

2 tbsp hot water

6 cups chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars together until fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla.

Dissolve soda in water.

Add flour, salt and soda mixture. Mix well.  Add chocolate chips.

Make cookie balls.

I freeze 12 cookie balls in quart sized freezer bags.  It’s a perfect amount for us to enjoy a fresh chocolate chip cookie.  Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes.

IMG_9750Cheers!

Dawn

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
180 cookies
Servings
180 cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
180 cookies
Servings
180 cookies
Ingredients
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Dissolve soda in water. Add flour, soda mixture and salt to dough. Mix until combined. Add chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes, depending on your oven. We like them on the just done side so it is 8 minutes for us.
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A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS!

Today I want to share a few of my favorite kitchen items (they aren’t your normal kitchen tools, or maybe they are?!?!) These items are probably the two things that I get the most comments on when I host. My all time favorite is the whip cream charger. We use this thing for EVERYTHING, for hot chocolate, for waffles with fruit, for desserts and simply for bowls of whipped cream :-).  Kate is very fond of a bowl of whipped cream and the boys just told me last night they sneak it straight, no surprise there!! You do need to purchase chargers to make this machine work. AND YOU ALWAYS WANT TO MAKE SURE THE DISPENSER IS COMPLETELY PUT TOGETHER BEFORE YOU PUT THE CHARGER ON.  I have wasted several chargers because the gas all escaped from not having the dispenser fully closed.  Sigh!  Buying the 50 pack is the cheapest way to go.

Whip-It! Brand Professional 1/2-Liter Anodized Whipped Cream Dispenser with High Impact Head, White

It’s simple. You need 1 ½ -2 cups of whipping cream, 1-2 tbsp of vanilla simple syrup (think clear coffee flavoring found in the coffee aisle at your grocery store) or you can use 1-2 tbsp of powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. For assembling the dispenser, make sure your plastic washer is in place and screw on the lid. Give it several shakes to blend the sweetener and then add your CO cartridge; presto you have super fun whipped cream!

My other favorite item is my rice cooker. I use this machine several times a week. It is so easy to put 2 cups of jasmine (our absolute favorite) rice, rinse it 3 times,  add 1 tbsp coconut oil, a swish of salt and 3 cups of water. I can have rice in 45 minutes or I can have rice holding in the cooker for 12 hours. If we leave the house early in the morning and we will need to eat right when we get home it sure saves me a lot of scurry to get dinner on.

Both of these items make great gifts so if you have a birthday coming up you could always ask for a whip cream charger?? Your family will love you forever!!  Plus I always tell my kids that whipping cream (real fat) is good for their brain. All the more reason to put healthy doses of whipped cream on our sugar free sour dough waffles! I am getting ready to experiment with stevia (THM stevia is clearly my stevia of choice, I have tried others but this is the best!) in the charger. I think it will probably be a bit of adjustment for my 8 year old but the littles won’t even notice it.

Cheers to a lovely day!

Dawn

Angel Food Cake Roll

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This is one of our favorite desserts and with fresh berry season just around the corner I thought I would share this recipe with you.  It’s so simple!  You can use any variety of berries that are in season or that you prefer.

For this recipe, I just used a box mix of angel food cake that I picked up at the grocery store. I followed the recipe as stated on the box but baked it in a jelly roll pan.  I lined the jelly roll pan with parchment paper before I baked it.  I baked the cake for 25 minutes.  While the cake is still warm, flip the cake out on to a clean tea  towel that has been sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Roll the cake up as if you already have your filling in it.  If you fail to do this it will be more difficult to roll up once it is completely cooled.

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Fresh Fruit:

I used 1 cup fresh strawberries

1/2 – 3/4 cup each of blueberries and red raspberries

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Cream Filling:

1 1/2 cup whipping cream, it will whip up to 2 1/2 cups

1/2 cup powdered sugar

12 oz cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla extract

I whip the whipping cream just until soft peaks form, add the powder sugar and mix again lightly.  Side note: when working with whipping cream it is very important to not over beat it or you will have butter.  Once powdered sugar and whipping cream are mixed remove the whipping cream mixture  from the bowl.   If you don’t remove the whipping cream and just add the cream cheese you will not get a smooth consistency.  Then place the cream cheese in the bowl and beat until creamy.  Add vanilla extract.  Once the cream cheese and vanilla are smooth, add the whipping cream back into the cream cheese mixture and lightly mix together until well blended.

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When you are ready to fill your Angel Food Cake Roll, unroll your cooled cake and spread  the whipping cream mixture all over it.  Place your fresh fruit and start to roll up the cake roll, starting on the long side.  If you start at the short side you will have a super fat cake roll.

IMG_0906This was our special dessert for Valentine’s Day this past year but we enjoy these often throughout the year!  With summer and all it’s berry goodness just around the corner, I am sure we will be eating this often.  In a few years we hope to have all our own berries come from our land.  We have 100 blueberry plants waiting to go in the ground this spring and we already have 20 red raspberry plants  and 100 blackberry plants planted.

ENJOY!!!

Dawn

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Homemade Soft Pretzels

IMG_1353This winter it has been fun to introduce my boys to soft pretzels.  If we have a Sunday night at home, it has become the thing to do; make some homemade pretzels. We love ours with cheese sauce, pure and simple, oh wait that’s a boat load of carbs isn’t it?  Not quite as simple as I had hoped.  But cheers to great memories and a recipe!

SOFT PRETZELS

1- 1/2 cup warm water

1 heaping tbsp yeast

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

2 cups bread flour (you don’t have to use bread flour or white wheat, you can use all purpose for the whole recipe if you want)

1- 1/2 – 2 cups white wheat flour

1 tbsp baking soda dissolved in 1 cup warm water

coarse pretzel salt

2 tbsp melted butter

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water.  Mix in the salt, baking powder and flour.  Knead until smooth and elastic, not more then 5 minutes.  Let rise 30-45 minutes.  Prepare the soda and water.  After the dough has risen, divide into 7 or 8 pieces.  Using both hands roll the dough out to a 1/2″ rope.  Place the rope in a U shape and then twist the ends and seal at the bottom of the U.  Pinch the ends at the bottom of the pretzel.  Dip in soda water.  Arrange on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with pretzel salt.   Allow the pretzels to rise 15-20 minutes and then bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden on top.  Drizzle with melted butter.

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Cheese sauce:

1/4 lb white American cheese

2+ tbsp milk or half and half

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Heat cheese and milk on low heat, stirring often so it won’t burn. If it is too thick for your liking, add more milk.  Serve with warm pretzels.

Cheers to a great weekend, loving well the ones in your

sphere of influence!  Spring is coming! Dawn