Utah Weather and Treats – Thankful Thursday

So we always pray and hope for rain and snow and today, we got both. It was raining all night and for most of the morning before it switched over to snow. It’ll likely warm back up to rain at some point because it’s really wet snow out there, but it’s all much needed water all the same.

So today I am grateful for weird Utah weather.

And the cookies we made today.

Check out the original Thankful Thursday.

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Delicious Smelling – Thankful Thursday

Today I am grateful for the no-bake cookies that my mom’s Visiting Teaching Companion brought us when she came to pick Mom up for their Visiting Teaching appointments today. They look so delicious while I wait for the children to come back from the neighbors’ house to eat them. (I can’t start eating mine without the others for fear that they will be too delicious to withstand eating more. That and I don’t want to watch them eat their own without having one of my own to eat at the same time because they are just too delicious smelling to eat alone.)

(I tried to get the picture to transfer from my phone to my laptop, but I can’t get them to cooperate for me.)

Check out the original Thankful Thursday. (Will update when able.)

Memories to Make Together – Eclectic Corner #8

image: from martha0stout's phone

image: from martha0stout’s phone

Walk with me through life

It will certainly be sweet

Together we’ll grow.


This was how my newest brother-in-law asked my youngest sister to marry him almost a year and a half ago. He took her to where they met, our elementary school, and they walked around it reminiscing while his sister quickly set this up on a chair near where we would all leave the school to walk home together.

He had promised her a cookie a few weeks earlier when she’d been craving them.

After opening the box and seeing this, she turned around to find him down on one knee.

This is the picture that caught my eye when I went looking through my pictures for Eclectic Corner #8: Splash of Colour.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I would like to file a complaint.

This complaint is about cookies. The last two different batches of the same recipe (different changes) have failed utterly. They were delicious and good for you (sort of), but absolute failures as cookies.

My mother has informed me that they weren’t just failures. She insists that they were, in fact, EPIC failures.

On further attempts with this same recipe I have on a third attempt succeeded masterfully, but failed the fourth attempt. (Though they did make strangely good granola bars after prying them from the pan.)

This recipe:

 Cream – 1/2 c. white sugar, 1 c. brown sugar packed, 3/4 tsp. salt, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 c. peanut butter

Add – 1 c. oatmeal, 1 (12 oz.) chocolate chips, 1 c. nuts

Mix well. Drop on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 Degrees until lightly browned about 10 to 12 minutes. If too dry add a few drops of milk.

That is the extent of the instructions. I have learned that the peanut butter, oatmeal, nuts and chocolate chips can be optional if you want and that the length of cooking time can vary as well. This recipe is able to be turned into a low sugar recipe, though it is easier to do so if you have doubled or tripled the batch recipe and then substituted some of the white sugar for Splenda (or your equivalent). (Don’t mess with the brown sugar too much or it will change the cookies a lot; that’s why it’s good to convert to low sugar and not no sugar added. I have tried this, it makes weird biscuit/bread cookies that are good, but still strange.)

One of my sisters compiled a recipe based off of the previous one.

It goes as follows:

Ingredients –
1/2 cup Splenda/Sugar Substitute
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup margarine/butter
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup oatmeal
1 bag chocolate chips
1 cup chunky peanut butter

Mix: Splenda, brown sugar, salt, baking soda.

Add: Peanut butter and margarine to sugar mix. Cream together.

Mix in eggs and vanilla.

lastly, stir in oats and chocolate chips.

Drop cookie dough by spoonfuls on cookies sheet.

Bake cookies in a preheated 350° until lightly browned, approx. 9 1/2 mins.

Once again, the amount of time in the oven varies and the chocolate chips and oatmeal and even peanut butter can be optional.

The second recipe is the one I usually use as it has slightly better instructions and I like to switch out the butter/margarine and some of the peanut butter (if needed, you don’t always have enough peanut butter when you quadruple the batch. There are a lot of people in my family…) with applesauce or some other fruit that has been turned into a sauce (or mashed up). The amount of applesauce (or other fruit) I haven’t really measured (which might be the cause of some of my problems now that I think about it…) but have added using how much I think I need. (If it looks like it needs more, I add more.)

On further thought, it occurs to me that this letter might be better used should I actually measure the amount of mashed fruit/applesauce I put in and record the results.

Either way, the ‘epic failures’ were still mostly edible and some of them were even delicious.

As such, please disregard this letter, Editor and I thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Martha Stout

This Morning

Fingers hardly moving, too stiff with frost it seems.
Renders me unable to do more than get ready for the day
Only to spend several hours huddled beneath blankets.
Zipping through the day, everyone else is fine; they’re not cold!
Eventually I get up and move about the kitchen with the oven on.
Now that I’ve made cookies to eat with tea, I’m warm as can be.

Spent my morning like this until my younger brother came over and used cookie making as an excuse to get me warmed up. It wasn’t for the cookies because he knew he wouldn’t be able to stay long enough for them to finish cooking. Now I’m warm and I have cookies!

One Recipe For All

Several years ago (I forget how many), my sister and I acquired a new cookie recipe that was little more than a list of ingredients as well as what temperature to cook them at. Nothing else. It was a fairly easy recipe to follow and through some trial and error we found a way to make them low-sugar without sacrificing any taste or even how the cookies look. (They are delicious crisp looking/tasting cookies.) Still we like to make little changes to different batches now and then, which is a given for us most of the time. grins

My favorite way is to switch out the butter for some applesauce. It tastes soooo good.

I recently ran out of applesauce and wasn’t able to get to the store, but had heard that you could use mashed bananas and/or mashed peaches instead of butter as well. I tried the bananas first because, let’s face it, they’re easier to mash. The batter was too liquid-y to actually hold its shape as a cookie after being baked. When I tried to move the baked cookie off the cookie sheet, it crumbled into banana flavored granola. It didn’t taste bad per say, but they were horrible cookies, structurally.

I eventually added flour and baked it all at once in a cake pan. My eldest niece dubbed it ‘cookie cake’ and most everyone enjoyed it quite well. I didn’t and my eldest nephew didn’t, but we both have problems with things that taste and/or smell very strongly. The smell of lavender, for example, will completely knock me out and give my nephew a headache.

Today I tried using peaches instead of the butter. It wasn’t quite as liquid-y as when I used the bananas, but it still wasn’t quite right. After baking they stayed stuck to the sheet; with a lot of scraping I was able to get them off and they didn’t crumble. Instead they crumpled up into a cookie cluster (as my mom called them). They were also quite delicious and chewy, but the effort to get them off the cookie sheet was not worth it. (I’m weak, it’s kind of a running joke/truth in my family.) Trying to use wax paper was a complete failure and we didn’t have any parchment paper or cookie sheet liners other than the wax paper. (I couldn’t get the cookies off the wax paper at all. It made an interesting taste to the ‘lace cookies.’)

I added some flour, once again, and baked it in a bigger cake pan as there was more dough this time around. After it was done, it looked an awful lot like brownies and tasted so incredibly rich and delicious. (I am aware that I’m using that word a lot, but it definitely applies.)

I’ve made crisps, cookies, cake and brownies all from the same recipe with only slight adjustments. It’s a very interesting thing for me as I am not the cook or the baker in my family. I’m just the manager.