Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cherry Crumble Pie Bars

Cub Scouts is my brilliant excuse to bake, now that the holidays are over. I'd been eyeing this recipe in my Christmas Cookie book, but didn't think that it would hold up in a gift box, so didn't try it in December. I was right, it wouldn't hold up very well in a gift box, but they worked very well for serving at the Den Meeting Friday night!

Cherry Crumble Pie Bars

2 c flour
1 1/2 c finely ground pecans
3/4 c brown sugar
1 c butter, cut up
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 T cornstarch
1/2 tsp finely grated orange peel
4 c pitted cherries (if frozen, thaw and drain)
1 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350. Line 9x13" pan with foil, so the foil extends over the edge.

For crust, stir together flour, pecans, and brown sugar. With a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Reserve 1 1/2 c of mixture in another bowl for the topping. Press remaining mixture evenly into the bottom of the foil-lined pan. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.

For filling, combine granulated sugar, cornstarch and orange peel. Add cherries and almond extract. Toss gently to combine. Spoon cherry mixture over hot crust, spreading evenly. Spoon remaining crumb mixture on top of filling.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and topping is lightly browned. Cool pan on wire rack. Using the edges of the foil, lift bar out of the pan. Invert onto baking sheet, remove foil. Invert again onto cutting board. Cut into bars.

Freshly ground pecans

A pastry blender - my least favorite kitchen utensil

Sugar coated cherry yumminess

Into the oven


Cut and ready to eat

Friday, December 31, 2010

Mister D ~ A New Year Brew ~ Part One

Three and a half years ago, Brendan made his first batch of mead with our friend Nate. Since then, we've completed eleven other batches. We have one brewing in the carboy. And tonight, we got started on our next batch, called Mister D (A nod to Dionysus, the Greek God of Wine, particularly his incarnation from The Percy Jackson Series), which will have a grape flavor.

Tonight we took three gallon ziploc bags full of grapes from our friend Penny, two cans of grape juice concentrate, and two campden tablets and used the following process:

Wash children's stinky feet in sink with lots of soap.

Place children in bowl to stomp on grapes. They provided a variety of sound effects, including, "Ewwww." "It's sqidgy." and "There are grapes between my toes!"

After the juice was stomped out, we used our trusty bag to strain out peels, pulp and pits, leaving us with a gallon and a half of juice mix.

Pitched two campden tablets to kill any unwanted bugs, either from the grapes or the feet.

Let sit overnight in food grade plastic bucket.

Project Life

Tomorrow it begins. January 1, 2011. I will begin using Project Life by Becky Higgins.

Everyday a picture.

Everyday journaling.

A chronicle of the year. Our lives. Can't wait to get started.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chocolate-Dipped Butterscotch Logs

Chocolate-Dipped Butterscotch Logs

1 c butter
1 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/3 c flour
1 c butterscotch baking pieces
1 bag bittersweet chocolate chips for dipping

Beat butter for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in flour, and stir in butterscotch chips. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into 9" long log. Flatten so logs are about 2 1/2" wide. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hrs. Preheat oven to 350. Slice chilled dough into 1/4" slices, place on cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely. When cool, melt chocolate and dip one half of each cookie. Set on waxed paper and leave until the chocolate sets up.

Cranberry Drops

Cranberry Drops

1 c butter
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 c dried cranberries
12 oz bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Beat butter with brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Once well combined, beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour. Add cranberries and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes until tops are lightly browned.

Lemony Bonbon Cookies

Lemony Bonbon Cookies

1/2 c butter
1/3 c powdered sugar
1 T lemon juice
3/4 c flour
1/3 c cornstarch
24 pecan halves

1 1/4 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp softened butter
3-4 tsp lemon juice

Cream the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in lemon juice. Combine flour and cornstarch; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and chill 2 hrs. Shape dough into 1" balls. Place the pecan halves on two ungreased cookie sheets. Top each pecan half with a ball of dough; flatten with the bottom of a glass. Bake at 350 for 14-16 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool completely. For icing, combine powdered sugar, butter and enough lemon juice to achieve spreading consistancy. Spread over cookies. Let stand until set.

Hidden pecans

Iced and ready to go



1 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tblps white sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400. Cream together butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.