Archive for December, 2013

Butter: If the recipe calls for butter, and it does not say “sweet” or “unsalted” you can use either salted or unsalted butter. If the recipe also calls for salt, be aware and don’t over salt your cookies.

I will usually note if it can be butter or margarine, but use your own judgment, taste, and budget. Also, brand name v. store brand.

Also some recipes call for Crisco – it can be either scooped from a can or cut from a Crisco stick. To measure Crisco from the can, use a larger than called for glass or plastic measuring cup. Fill a portion with water, and then scoop the Crisco in to the measuring cup, until the level of the water reaches the amount of the water + Crisco. Then, pour off the water, and go ahead with the Crisco in the recipe.

Now, Crisco comes in baking sticks, in either unflavored or “butter” flavored.

The use of butter, margarine, and Crisco, can or stick, all might make a difference in the texture of the cookies. Unless one is specifically referenced, they can be alternated to try on your own. Look on the box, tub, etc to see if the ingredient can be used for baking. Some types are not recommended for baking.

And, of course, there is “organic”.

Use the best ingredients that you can, but be aware that sometimes it does matter, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Read Full Post »

Notes and Hints:
Double the batch: most of the cookie recipes can be doubled, if desired. That teaches mathematics skills. But do NOT double unless you are skilled at making adjustments. The same goes for making a batch and a half or dividing a batch. Great if you have decent math skills, or for a lesson…but be very aware of what you are doing. Cooking and baking is chemistry…delicious chemistry, but there is definitely math and science to how much adjustment that you can make regarding the baking powder or baking soda, etc.

Egg – break in to a separate bowl. I hate cooking shows where the chef breaks the eggs directly in to the batter. What about a spoilt egg? What about pieces of shell in the bowl? Do yourself a favor and break each egg in to a small bowl prior to adding to the batter.

Mixer: Mixing by hand is certainly possible – either stirring or with a manual egg beater. Preferably: use a stand mixer or a portable hand held mixer.

Plan: Have an idea of which cookies that you will be making, even if you do not do them all, and make sure that you have purchased the ingredients and identified the bowls, pans, and such that you will utilize.

Sifting – I usually do not bother. Flour is fresher and ground smoother than in old times. If grinding your own flour or using small batch milled flour, consider sifting.
If the recipe calls for sifting the dry ingredients together, just add the dry ingredients to each other in a separate measuring cup or bowl and lightly stir to combine.

granulated = regular table sugar
confectioner’s = powdered “candy” sugar
cinnamon sugar = mix ground cinnamon to granulated sugar. Can make the combination as strong or light as desired, and as much or as little. Lasts stored in an airtight container. Can be used to top cookies, and on pancakes or French toast, or on buttered toast.

Read Full Post »

Baking Plan

Are you baking the cookies on your own?  Do you have young helpers? A group of Teenagers?  Little ones and Elderly? Girls and Boys? Women and Men? Physically or mentally challenged? You can adjust to have a fun time, building skills and joyful memories.

Here’s a baking plan for a good variety of memory making Cookies:                                                                   

If Rolled and Cut Out Cookies are an important part of your Cookie Baking Experience:

Depending on the ages of your cookie bakers, you can pre-mix doughs for the rolled and cut out cookies – for instance:  the Sour Cream Cut Out Cookies, the Cut Out Sugar Cookies, and the Gingersnaps, so that the dough will be ready for your bakers.

If starting all the cookies from the beginning with your bakers, have them start with the Drop Cookies, while others mix the dough that needs to chill.

Do Not believe that You have to make rolled and cut out cookies.  A good variety of Drop Cookies and Bar Cookies shows your love and teaches cookie making from scratch to the next generation.

Sour Cream Drop Cookies, Sugar Drop Cookies, Cranberry Drop Cookies, Molasses Drop Cookies, Raisin and Nut Drop Cookies, and a couple Bar Cookies like Jelly Bar Cookies, Seven Layer Bars, Rice Krispies Squares and Brownies make nice presentations and teach “from scratch” cookie baking skills.

If time is restricted – when is it not? the grocery store refrigerated rolls or packaged dry cookies being cooked and baked by you and your ‘bakers’ is easy and quick fun and quick success.

Read Full Post »

It is Holiday Baking time, and we have had requests for some tried and true cookie recipes and helpful hints.

Stay tuned…there will be a flurry of recipes from our 45 years of marriage and ancestors’ recipe collections.

Photos as we bake some of the recipes, or from years past.

I remember “watching to learn” and “helping” my paternal grandmother, Dorothy Grace Wiederhold Oschman, in her small “Cape Cod” style cottage kitchen in Connecticut. Cooking and baking with her formed some of my earliest memories.

We would also visit my maternal grandmother, Margaret Dixon Moss, in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and she would come to visit us in Connecticut.  She was an excellent cook and baker too and taught my mother, her sisters and brother to cook some nourishing family recipes.

More memories along the way…

Here come several posts of cookie recipes and helpful hints.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts