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Posts tagged “recipe

My Sugar Cookie Adventure: From Monstrosity to Perfection

I learned something really important from my mom the other day.  There is no way to make sugar cookies “healthy.”  Duh, right?  Ok, let me clarify.  I knew that you can’t make them healthy.  I wanted to use less butter for both lactose intolerance sake and for healthiness sake.  So, I used this recipe (be sure to look at how cute their cookies are!) and substituted 1/2 the butter for apple sauce and half the flour for whole wheat flour.   And then I got this monstrosity:

Are those not the ugliest, most deformed sugar cookies you have ever seen?!  You can click on the photo to get a clearer view, giant air bubbles and all, if you dare.  Apparently, you can’t use applesauce in sugar cookies because it bakes them into a strange bread-like texture.  In addition to that, it creates a sticky mess that makes it almost impossible to roll out or cut. Trust me on this, you don’t EVER want to put applesauce in your sugar cookies!  I spent a ridiculous amount of time on these, only to get the above sad result. 

I asked mom for her recipe and tried again.  (Side note- I bet the recipe above works just fine too . . . if you follow the directions.)

Viola!  I don’t mean to brag, but these cookies came out perfect.  Here is her recipe if you would like to try it yourself:

Ethel’s Sugar Cookies (with mom’s revisions)

3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon flavoring. I have used strawberry, orange peppermint, vanilla anything works.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (in date, newer the better)

Mix butter, sugar, eggs and flavoring thoroughly.

Add flour and baking powder slowly. Chill at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 400. Roll dough to 1/4 ( it calls for 1/8 but I roll mine thicker) on lightly floured board. Cut out cookies, place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 6-8 minutes It says until they are a light golden color, sometimes they are over baked then. Just try one to see. That’s it!

This time I followed the directions exactly except that I used 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup shortening (soy free).  Our oven cooks at the speed of light so I only left them in there for 5-6 minutes.  And then I made homemade soy free vanilla frosting.  I’d give you a link to the recipe, but I didn’t follow it.  Basically I just put in a chunk of shortening and then started adding vanilla extract, salt, warm water, and powdered sugar until the taste and consistency was to my liking. After frosting the cookies, I dusted them with some sprinkles, of course. And here is the final product, just like mom used to make them: 

We enjoyed these cookies Christmas evening with some hot cocoa after a brisk, but lovely stroll down Christmas Card Lane. And boy were they yummy.  Hope you all had a merry and blessed Christmas too! 🙂


Turtle Bread

Last night I tried to make turtle bread. See Betty Crocker’s recipe HERE.  Noticed how cute her turtle is? Mine didn’t exactly turn out like that, lol. I’m going to tell you about this turtle baking adventure so you can try the recipe too, but without making my mistakes.

This was my first time baking with yeast and didn’t really know the difference between the different kinds. Realizing that I had active dry yeast instead of quick active dry yeast, I followed the directions for active dry yeast. Do any of you know if that makes a difference? And does using wheat instead of white flour make a difference?

I decided to make two smaller turtles instead of one big one. Everything seemed to be going fine but after letting the turtles rise, their eyes fell off. If you decide to give this a try, you really have to stick them in there good… and before the bread rises. After sticking the eyes back in their heads deflated and deformed and had to be reshaped.

Next I tried to make the shell as instructed in the recipe. As soon as I touched it the shell started sinking a bit. I’m thinking if I had made the full sized turtle this part might have been a little easier. Instead of cutting into the dough as directed, I found it easier to take a table knife and make a ridge by gently pushing into the bread dough all the way around the turtle. I covered them back up and let it sit a little longer hoping they would rise up again, but they didn’t so in the oven they went.

I started to walk out of the kitchen. BANG! I jumped, the cats jumped… and the turtles jumped. Uh-oh. Note to self: don’t by cheap baking pans. Running back to the oven I immediately saw two very flat turtles and a contorted pan. I should have taken a picture. It was impressively contorted. It jumped one more time after this, but it didn’t seem like anything else could be done so I just left the turtles in there hoping they would at least taste good.

Betty Crocker recommends that you bake for 20-25 minutes. I took the turtles out after 12 minutes and they were a little well done. However, it should be noted that our oven tends to bake a little willy-nilly. Some things take 3 times as long and others take ½ as long. I’m not quite sure why but I have gotten in the habit of checking about half way through just to be safe. 

The turtles were a little dense, but tasted ok especially with honey. On the back of the flour bag there’s a recipe for honey wheat bread. I think I’ll try that next time.

Spiced Peach Puffs

Last night I made spiced peach puffs for dessert.  They aren’t really the kind of dessert we would normally choose, but they were really good!  You can find the recipe HERE.  I’ve actually wanted to try them for quite awhile but the filling calls for heavy whipping cream and I’m lactose intolerant.  I’m also allergic to soy so I wasn’t sure I’d find whipped cream that we could use… until the glorious day we stumbled upon Safeway brand whipped topping.  Free of soy and not a significant source of lactose. Hurray!

Substitutions and recommendations: 

  • This recipe makes more puffs than we could ever eat so I made half a batch and made the puffs twice as big.  I’ll probably make them the correct size next time as they rose up and then sunk back down just a little. 
  • Do make sure you scoop out the inside while they are still warm.  As they cool the inside becomes a little mushy making it harder to get out.  
  • I of course substituted the heavy cream for the whipped topping.   
  • The recipe doesn’t call for this but I sprinkled cinnamon over the top. Yum!

Note: If we were unable to find whipped cream, we were planning to use Breyer’s Lactose Free Vanilla ice cream.  I’m pretty sure this is the best vanilla ice cream ever made.  If you know me you know I’m not a big fan of vanilla, especially in ice cream, but I could eat this all day.  James even prefers it to regular ice cream!