Friday, July 25, 2008

Breakfast Cookies

Contrary to the name of these cookies, they are quite far from a nutritionally sound breakfast! These breakfast cookies are formally known as Farm Cookies, a recipe my friends mother Sheila was so kind as to give me once we tried them during vacation at her house in South Carolina. The name has since morphed from her cookies into mine because of one small story that includes my boyfriend thinking that if you add "breakfast" in front of a dessert, it then becomes perfectly good to eat at 4:30 in the morning.
These make a lot, so make sure you share!

1 cup butter (at room temp)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups frosted flakes
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup coconut
1 cup pecans or walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 425 (ovens vary, so test from 400-425)
2. In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until pale in color and totally blended
3. In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder
4. Blend in the dry ingredients in to the wet until fully incorporated
5. Last, carefully mix in the Frosted Flakes, oatmeal, coconut and nuts until just combined (be carful not to crush the cereal)
6. Roll dough into balls (or use a medium size cookie spoon) and press down to slightly flatten the dough
7. Bake for about 7-8 minutes, until golden brown
8. Cool on wire rack and enjoy them as fast as you can!
*Makes 4 1/2 dozen

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Yummy banana bread perfection

When over at my sisters house the other day I noticed three, very brown, bananas sitting on her counter waiting to go out to the trash. Sweeping in to save the day, I grabbed the bananas and ran for my oven thinking, banana bread. Its not very often that I actually make banana bread because I can't be patient enough to wait for perfectly good bananas to go bad! But today I reveled in the rotten bananas and made the yummiest loaf of banana bread out there.

A few secrets to share with you first: 1) Never over mix your batter, that will just lead to tough glue like bread, not goodness. Stir just enough to barely combine (we are talking 8-10 go-rounds here), its fine if there are still lumps or some dry ingredient spots. 2) always tent your bread with foil when 30 minutes remain on the baking time. 3) Fresh nutmeg. I cant stress this enough...any recipe you use that calls for nutmeg, grate it fresh. I just keep a jar in my pantry and zest when needed! 4) REAL vanilla...for any and everything you do. Vanilla extract is the sin of the kitchen. 5) Eat and enjoy.

1 cup pecans (this is optional if your not a nut lover)
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter (melt and cool)
2 large eggs
3 ripe large bananas (mashed up)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and put the oven rack in the middle. Spray a medium loaf pan (around 9x5x3 inch) with non-stick spray.
Coarsely chop up the pecans, mash bananas and melt butter. Set aside.
In a large bowl sift together the following ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and nuts.
In a separate bowl combine the rest of the wet ingredients: melted butter, bananas, eggs and vanilla.
With a spatula, lightly fold (mix from top to bottom in a circle) the wet ingredients into the large bowl containing the dry ingredients (make sure you do not over mix here...again, 8-10 folds if you can). The batter will be thick and chunky, not smooth.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan, don't forget to scrape all the bits out of the bowl!
Bake until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes (but start checking around 45...everyones oven is different).
Let cool in pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack, then remove bread from pan to continue cooling on the rack.
Enjoy warm or at room temp. Makes 1 medium loaf.