Vanilla Drops

VanillaDropsTXT

I can’t believe that it’s already December. I feel like as I get older I have a harder time getting into the holiday spirit. And this year isn’t any different. I just can’t get into it. I don’t even want any gifts – there’s nothing that I want; there’s nothing that I need. I tried baking some cookies to see if it helps to get into the holiday spirit, but it just didn’t. So I can’t share that with you, but I can share some awesome cookies! And I’ll do just that.

We’ve been making this recipe for years in my family, and I don’t recall which cookbook it came from. I did not come up with the recipe. I just know that these cookies are super simple to make, and they always taste great. I love to use Penzey’s Double Strength Vanilla for a wonderful vanilla flavor. Make sure you use the real deal – not that imitation stuff. I think it really makes a difference.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream Butter and Sugar.

Add egg and vanilla and blend well.

Stir together the flour and salt. Add to the creamed mixture and blend well.

Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the [greased] cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between each drop.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies should be slightly browned around the edges. The centers may appear to be a bit undercooked, but they will firm up as they cool.

Cool slightly on the cookie sheet and then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.

MY NOTE: The cookies take 8 minutes in my oven. If I leave them in for 10 minutes they are crunchier, which I don’t like. I love a nice chewy cookie, which is how these should be.

GreenAndRedCookieDough

 

OrangeWithSprinkles

VanillaDropsRack

SnoopyPlatePileofCookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites with Cookie Dough Buttercream

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Everyone pretty much knows I’ve got a fierce sweet tooth, so whenever I have to take something to a party or a girl’s night, I’m usually asked to bring dessert. And that’s totally fine by me because then I get to make something new to try! I love being able to make something new, taste it, and get it out of my house so I don’t it all! [Read more...]

Texas Sheet Cake in a Cup

So yesterday you got to see how absolutely wonderful the Texas Sheet Cake was that I made. It was so full of chocolate that you thought you’d died and gone to heaven.

In the original recipe, the Pioneer Woman used an 13×18 sheet cake pan. I used a 10×15 jelly roll pan. So since her pan was bigger than mine, I reserved some of the cake batter so that it didn’t overflow the pan when it baked.

I spooned enough batter to fill up half of this coffee mug.

Then I sprinkled a few chocolate chips on top.

Mug_before

Then I put it in the microwave for about 1 minute and 15 seconds.

I spooned a little bit of the frosting on top (while it was hot).

Mug_after

And then I grabbed a spoon for a taste.

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And that’s all she wrote.

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If that’s not an incentive to use a 10×15 jelly roll pan instead of an 13×18 sheet pan,
than I don’t know what is ;)   Now that’s a cup full of chocolatey goodness!

Texas Sheet Cake

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When I see anything about a Texas Sheet Cake, it makes me think of my Grandmother. When I was younger I remember her making this and I always enjoyed it. I bought a jelly roll pan from Pampered Chef and decided to try making one myself. So I set out to find the perfect recipe. There were a few that I found that I wanted to try, but my grocery delivery wasn’t going to be arriving until later in the afternoon, so this meant that I had to pick a recipe included ingredients I had on hand.  [Read more...]

New York-Style Crumb Cake


I don’t know about you, but I love baked goods. Danishes, Coffee Cake, Crumb Cake, Cinnamon Rolls. You name it, I probably love it. When I find a recipe for something that I love, I hold onto it and it’s always my go-to recipe. Up until now my favorite Coffee Cake recipe was from the Bisquick box. It was a recipe I could always count on and it always came out perfect. When I saw the recipe online for New York-Style Crumb Cake, I had a feeling this was going to be my new love.

I’m a huge fan of Cook’s Illustrated so I think very highly of their recipes. I love how they take the time to explain to you how they came up with the recipe, what didn’t work (and why), why they chose what they used, etc. I used to subscribe to upwards of 20 magazines, but I’ve since cut that down to only a couple magazines, with Cook’s Illustrated being one of them. If you haven’t seen it, check it out the next time you’re at the book store or the grocery store; I think you’ll love it!

This Crumb Cake is absolutely amazing. I can’t think of a bad thing to say about it. The cake was perfect – nice and moist. The topping was plentiful. It’s a great recipe that will be my go-to Crumb Cake recipe from now on. It’s the perfect addition to brunch! I will be taking it for breakfast this week…if it lasts that long!

New York-Style Crumb Cake
Source: saw it on smells like home ~ from Cooks’ Illustrated May 2007

Note: Don’t be tempted to substitute all-purpose flour for the cake flour, as doing so will make a dry, tough cake. If you can’t find buttermilk, you can substitute an equal amount of plain, low-fat yogurt. When topping the cake, take care to not push the crumbs into the batter. This recipe can be easily doubled and baked in a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. If doubling, increase the baking time to about 45 minutes. Cooled leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

For the Crumb Topping:
1/3 cup granulated sugar (2 2/3 ounces)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar (2 2/3 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and still warm
1 3/4 cups cake flour (7 ounces)

For the Cake:
1 1/4 cups cake flour (5 ounces)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 6 pieces, softened but still cool
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

To make the topping: Whisk sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in medium bowl to combine. Add flour and stir with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until mixture resembles thick, cohesive dough; set aside to cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

To make the cake: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 16-inch length parchment paper or aluminum foil and fold lengthwise to 7-inch width. Spray 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and fit parchment into dish, pushing it into corners and up sides; allow excess to overhang edges of dish.

In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed to combine. With mixer running at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping once if necessary.

Transfer batter to baking pan; using rubber spatula, spread batter into even layer.  Break apart crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces between your thumb, pointer, and middle fingers and spread in even layer over batter, beginning with edges and then working toward center. Bake until crumbs are golden and wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan by lifting parchment overhang. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.