Snickerdoodle Cookies

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Sometimes you can tell how well liked a recipe is by the number of sugar, flour, and butter stains that are worn into it. This is certainly the case with these snickerdoodle cookies. Soft and light, made with sugar and cinnamon, these cookies are the perfect snack. They taste best freshly made, when they are warm and soft, but that’s not usually a problem because they disappear faster than you can bake them.

Cinnamon and Sugar, The Perfect Pair

These cookies were so much fun to make as a child. The dough comes together very quickly, but the best part is rolling the cookie dough balls in cinnamon-sugar to coat. The sweet outer layer of these cookies adds the perfect amount of flavor to these melt in your mouth cookies.

Start by sifting your flour. You need 2 3/4 cup sifted Flour, mixed with 2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar and 1 teaspoon Baking Soda. Add in ½ teaspoon Salt and 1 ½  cups Sugar. Stir together dry ingredients before adding in 1 cup Shortening and 2 Eggs. Blend well with a mixer.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and prepare your dough for baking by rolling into balls. Mix together Sugar and Cinnamon to taste in a small sealable plastic bag. Drop the cookie dough balls into the bag, one or two at a time. Seal the bag and shake gently to coat the dough with cinnamon-sugar.

Place each prepared cookie dough ball on a grease baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes. Be careful not to over bake, or the cookies will be dry and hard instead of soft and moist. Got leftover crumbs? Try making this delicious cookie crumb dip!

Snickerdoodle Cookies

2 ¾ cup Flour, sifted

2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

½ teaspoon Salt

1 ½ cup Sugar

1 cup Shortening

2 Eggs

Cinnamon and Sugar combined to taste

Sift Flour. Mix together all dry ingredients. Beat in Eggs and Shortening with a mixer. Roll the dough into balls. Place Cinnamon-Sugar in a small plastic sandwich bag. Shake the balls of cookie dough in the bag to coat, a few at a time. You can also roll the balls of cookie dough in a bowl of cinnamon-sugar. Place cookie dough on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 5 – 8 minutes. Enjoy!

Chocolate Pecan Pie from the Something Sweet Series

Chocolate Pecan Pie

This chocolate pecan pie was one of the classics at my grandma’s every Thanksgiving. The warm melted chocolate emphasized the rich and creamy texture of this filling, while the pecans contrast it nicely with a slight crunch. Together they make a delicious dessert that is both decadent and comforting.

Smooth, Crunchy, and Rich

This recipe is fun to make and can be thrown together very quickly! Start out with an uncooked Pie Crust, as always I recommend trying this delicious homemade pie crust recipe. Store bought crusts can be used if you’re pressed for time, but nothing beats the taste of homemade.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine 3 beaten Eggs with 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract and 2 tablespoons melted Butter. Next, mix in ½ cup Sugar and 1 cup Corn Syrup. This will make the mixture very thick, be sure to mix in all of the sugar, and not let it settle on the bottom. Then, add in ½ cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips. You can substitute dark chocolate if you like, but for me semi-sweet is just right. Finally, mix 1 ½ cup Pecan halves and stir to combine all ingredients evenly.

The filling for this is an interesting texture. The pecans and chocolate chips will basically be suspended in a thick, semi-fluid mixture. Pour this into to unbaked pie crust and remember to cover the edges of the crust with tin foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 – 50 minutes, removing the foil for the last 5 – 10 minutes to let the edges brown.

Let the pie cool for at least an hour. Because of the eggs, the center of the pie will be raised up towards the end of baking, but it will settle as the pie cools.

Keep an eye on it towards the end. With all the chocolate mixed in it’s easy to get a very dark looking top on this recipe. As you can see in the picture, I left mine in for a minute or so too long. If you’d like, melt a little extra chocolate to drizzle across the top of the pie or over individual slices.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

3 Eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon Vanilla

2 tablespoons Butter, melted

½ cup Sugar

1 cup Corn Syrup

½ cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

1 ½ cup Pecan Halves

1 unbaked Pie Crust

Combine beaten Eggs, Vanilla, and melted butter in a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir in Sugar and Corn Syrup, mixing until well combined. Add in Chocolate Chips and Pecan Halves, stirring until the pieces are evenly suspended. Pour mixture into an unbaked Pie Crust and bake at 350 degrees for 40 – 50 minutes. Let cool 1 hour.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

This cake is so much fun to make! It is Grandma June’s special recipe for all the birthdays, and for good reason. This cake is so moist and delicious it doesn’t even need frosting (although who can resist adding some anyway?) This chocolate mayonnaise cake was rich and delicious, I can’t wait to try a batch with different flavorings as well. The batter comes together so quickly you will never bother with a boxed cake mix again.

Mayonnaise in Cake!?

Crazy right? I had never heard of a cake made with mayonnaise before. I defiantly wouldn’t have thought those two things could go together. But in this delicious cake recipe, they fit perfectly. Mayonnaise is basically just eggs and oil, so using it in a cake replaces the eggs and makes the cake creamy and delicious. This will be the go to recipe for birthday cakes in my house this year!

In a large mixing bowl sift together 3 cups Flour and 3 tablespoons Baking Cocoa. This breaks up the clumps so you won’t get a big bite cocoa powder, making a nice smooth batter. Stir in 1-1/2 cup Sugar and 1 tablespoon Baking Soda. Then add 1-1/2 cup Mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon Vanilla, and 1-1/2 cup Water. Mix these into the dry ingredients all at once, to keep the batter from clumping. Grease and flour a cake pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Pour the batter into the pan evenly, then drop the pan lightly on the table a few times to force out any air bubbles. Smooth out the top, then place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Grandma June’s Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

3 cups Flour

3 tablespoons Baking Cocoa

1-1/2 cup Sugar

1 tablespoon Baking Soda

1-1/2 cup Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1-1/2 cup Water

Sift together Flour and Baking Cocoa. Add in Sugar and Baking Soda. Mix Mayonnaise, Vanilla, and Water into the dry ingredients all at once. Pour into a greased and floured cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Enjoy!

Egg Noodles

Egg Noodles

When I think back to holidays as a child, there are certain traditions that stand out above the rest. These things made our holiday gatherings special and unique. Thanksgiving, in my family includes turkey as more of a side dish. The real reason for having turkey on thanksgiving is to use the broth and drippings to flavor Grandma Walker’s Egg Noodles. Egg noodles were the main dish in our family’s Thanksgiving. When the whole family got together, there would be a table full of egg noodles drying. My cousins and I would take turns stirring the pots of noodles, cooking and thickening them on the stove. Sometimes all four burners would have pots filled with egg noodles! To this day I always make some for my family at Thanksgiving, but they are also a favorite of ours year round.

The Family Tradition

The recipe for egg noodles is actually very simple. It’s the process of making them that is special. With a few simple ingredients, you can have a delicious homemade meal for your family. Egg noodles can be cooked on their own in any flavor broth, or used in a recipe like Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.

To make the egg noodles, start with the beaten eggs. When I would ask grandma how many eggs to use she would say, “well, it depends on how many noodles you want to make.” This recipe can easily be adjusted up or down depending on the size of your family, but I recommend starting with 4 Eggs. Beat them together, then add 1 teaspoon Salt and 1 cup Flour. Mix this together, then slowly start adding 1 additional cup Flour, a little at a time until you cannot mix more in with a fork. Spread the remaining flour out on a clean surface and turn the dough onto it. Work more of the remaining flour into the dough with your hands, then roll out the dough until it is very thin, turning and flouring it occasionally so it doesn’t stick.

Drying and Cutting

Let the dough dry for about a half hour. Sprinkle more flour on top of the dough and roll it up lightly into a log, like a jelly roll. Make sure you add enough extra flour when rolling so the noodles don’t stick together when cut. Cut the dough roll into thin slices to make little pinwheels. Once your pinwheels are all sliced, toss them up a little and run your fingers through to separate them. Some pinwheels might stick together and have to be unrolled by hand. When all the spirals are unwound, spread them out across the surface to dry.

Let dry about an hour, then transfer to a pot with 4 cups boiling stock or broth. Reduce to a simmer and cook the noodles about 15 minutes until the broth is thickened into a sauce. If you would like to save your noodles for later, freeze them after the drying process, but before cooking. Then when ready, simply drop the frozen noodles into boiling stock to cook.

Grandma Walker’s Egg Noodles

4 Eggs

1 teaspoon Salt

2 cups Flour

6 cups Stock or Broth

 

Mix beaten Eggs, Salt, and Flour together. Roll out dough on a heavily floured surface. Let dry 30 minutes. Roll dough up into a log and cut into thin slices. Unroll spirals of dough and let dry 1 hour. Boil 4 cups Stock or Broth and add in noodles. Reduce to a simmer and cook about 15 minutes, until broth has thickened into a sauce.

Pie Crust

Pie Crust

For generations cooking and recipes have been handed down through the family. The recipes you knew by heart were the ones taught to you by your mother, grandmother, neighbors, or friends. Now, with all the fast and convenient alternatives available, we sometimes miss out on learning these basic recipes and skills. In my family we all would like to preserve these special recipes from my grandmother, but our busy lives and the distances between us make it hard to keep these traditions alive. So in honor of this, I’ve decided to share with everyone a special recipe taught to me by my grandmother, handed down from her mother before her. This is Great Grandma Stuckey’s Homemade Pie Crust.

Less of a recipe, and more of an Art

I always remember the pies that grandma would make for Thanksgiving. I wish now that I had learned more from her, but I will always treasure her teaching me this special pie crust recipe. Grandma’s cooking can only be described as an art. You could write the recipe down and measure it out, but her cooking was always more of a process and a feeling than an actual recipe. That is where the fun comes in, and you can appreciate cooking as more than just numbers and measurements, but as a beautiful and simple act of creating.

Start with 3 cups Flour and 1 teaspoon Salt.

Mix in 1-¼ cup of Lard with your hands.

That’s right, with your hands. For the perfect pie crust you want to pay attention to the unique texture as you mix it. Mix the lard in lightly, breaking it into small, pea sized bits. Don’t over-mix; it should still be very lumpy with a consistency similar to wet sand.

Grandma’s Secret Ingredient

Grandma always used lard, not shortening in her pie crust. You can substitute shortening, but the effect is not quite the same as when you use real lard.

Next, beat 1 Egg and add it to the flour mixture along with 1 teaspoon Vinegar. Add 5 to 6 tablespoons Cold Water.

I recommend starting with 5 tablespoons cold water and adding just a little more if you need it. Again, don’t over-mix! You want to combine the liquid just enough to make a dough that mostly sticks together. It should still be slightly flaky and a few bits may break off.

Roll out the Dough

Sprinkle some flour over your counter top, so the dough doesn’t stick, and turn it out. Divide the dough in half and pat the first half down into a flattened circle before rolling out. As you roll out the dough, frequently flour and turn it, very gently to keep it from tearing. Once the dough is about an inch wider than your pie pan on all sides, gently lift the edges and slide your pan underneath.

If the dough tears in a few places, just patch it in at the end with an extra piece from the edges. Gently press the dough into the pan and poke holes in the bottom to prevent air bubbles underneath. Cut away the excess around the pan with a knife.

Filling and Baking

You can pre-bake the crust now at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes and use the second half of dough for another pie. Or you can add a filling of your choice, and then roll out the second half of dough to cover it. This homemade apple pie filling is one of my favorites, and ready in minutes.

When the filling is covered by the second sheet of dough, press all around the edges with your thumbs to seal and cut slits in the top to vent. For apple pie bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake another 40 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Don’t Forget!

Whether you bake the crust plain or filled, always remember to cover the edges in tin foil first then remove the foil for the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking. This will keep them from browning too quickly.

Homemade pie crust can add such a meaningful addition to special holiday events or just as an extra treat. It can also be wrapped and frozen to bake later. This is a fairly simple recipe that is easy to master, with a great effect. You can try all different types of filling or use the scrap dough to create decorative shapes on the edges. Have fun, get creative, and share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

 

Pie Crust

3 cups Flour

1 teaspoon Salt

1-¼ cup Lard

1 Egg, beaten

1 teaspoon Vinegar

5-½ tablespoons Cold Water

Mix the Flour, Salt and Lard until it “crumbles” then add the beaten egg, vinegar and cold water. Mix lightly until just combined and roll out on floured surface. Press lightly into a pie pan and poke holes in the bottom with a fork. Always cover the edges in foil before baking and remove for the last 5 to 10 minutes until it browns. Baking time will vary based on the filling used. For an empty pie crust, bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. For an apple pie, bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees for another 40 minutes or until top is golden brown.