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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Root Beer Cookies


(Heidi Perry Hardin's recipe)
My sister Heidi has made these cookies for years...she put this recipe in our church cookbook years ago.  My moms' cookbook was so worn, I actually copied the whole cookbook and bound it for myself.  This recipe is amazing, kids and adults love them!  Pile on the frosting too because it makes the cookies delicious!

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup softened butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk or water
  (I like using buttermilk = 1 tsp lemon juice and 1/2 cup milk)
2 tsp Root Beer extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
First mix brown sugar, butter and egg in bowl until fluffy. 
Stir in buttermilk then the root beer extract. 

Add flour, soda, and salt.  Should be smooth and fluffy.
Then refrigerate for at least an hour.  As pictured below... I like to use saran wrap or wax paper, sprinkle with flour, then roll dough up. 

Smaller cookies cook better... about 1-2 tsp of cookie dough, 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet.
When the dough is cold it seems to cook up better.  I have had trouble making these cookies, if the dough isn't cold, they flatten too much.  So if you can see in the pictures, they are done cooking when they look pufffed up and cracked, and the edges are slightly browned. 

 Bake them in oven preheated to 400 degrees.  Bake 6-8 minutes or until almost no impression remains when a cookie is touched lightly.  Let them cool on cookie rack, then frost.

FROSTING (or glaze)
I like them frosted better but it can be made thinner and spooned over warm cookies.

Mix in bowl:
 2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup softened butter
 1 1/2 tsp root beer extract,
 then mix in up to 2 Tbsp hot water. 

More frosting the better!!  Enjoy!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Whole Wheat Donuts

Incredibly good and easy to make cinnamon sugar whole wheat donuts
(my kids named them!)

My kids wanted me to surprise them and make something extra yummy for breakfast today.  I told them to go play for 1/2 hour and I'd see what I could come up with. 
I love to bake, but I like recipes that are simple without wierd ingredients.  I don't like to use cooking thermometers either....and I like to cook from scratch because I always have the basics on me that's sugar, flour, butter, eggs, and yeast!  My dad brought me a jar of 40-year-old whole wheat flour the other day and said he wanted to try whatever I made from it.  So with that I found a basic biscuit recipe and changed it up a bit.

1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup milk

extra cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling on top

about 3/4 to 1 cup peanut oil

Pour peanut oil into a large pan on medium high heat...let heat up while mixing ingredients.

Combine all ingredients and roll out dough into about 1/4 inch thickness.

I then used an IKEA cup and a kids' medicine measuring cup to cut out donuts.
 (I use whatever I have!)

Next, I drop a donut into the hot oil...It's hot enough if it sizzles...

Cook about a minute on each side.  I don't like anything I can tell if they are all the way cooked if you poke with a fork and it seems light and airy not doughy. 
Or take one out and break in half...

Then while hot sprinkle on lots of cinnamon and sugar!

Beware..your kids will want to eat them all!! I did save some for Papa Dean .
.the whole wheat flour is still good after 40 years! 

Berries - blackberry cobbler and strawberry crepes

Berries, Berries, Berries!

My husband thinks I'm crazy because I LOVE our sticker bushes!  Come Summer, he wants to spray them all back...and he's done this and he now knows not to do this!!  Our front yard is just under an acre and the whole length of it lines with an empty lot of sticker bushes (and bunnies, mice, and all kinds of critters...).  Which is awsome come August, and I have a whole bunch of blackberries to pick! And my kids love picking them with me! I love having my freezer full of blackberries for all year long.   I love berries to make muffins, cobblers, and we all love them on greek yogurt!

I have two different cobbler recipes that I love to make...

This one is from The Pioneer Woman.  It is more like a blackberry cake, but it is super easy to make!!


1 stick butter, melted
1 1/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1 cup self-rising flour  (or regular flour and add baking powder)
1 cup milk
2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a baking dish with butter.
Whisk 1 cup sugar with 1 cup milk and 1 cup flour, then add the melted butter. 
Rinse berries and pat to dry. 
Pour batter into the baking dish.  Sprinkle berries on top.  (I like to mash some of the berries and swirl it into the batter.)
Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar all over the top of the berries and batter.
Bake for 45min to 1 hour.  During the last 10 minutes of baking sprinkle the last 2 Tbsp of sugar on top.


I don't actually measure anything in this it was actually kinda nice to write it down, taste it, and make sure it was the right amounts!!

First I make a strawberry sauce:
Wash and cut up about 2 cups strawberries and put in saucepan.
Add 1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup sugar (you can substitute splenda too)
Stir then bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for about 8 minutes. Then mash up the berries.

If you like you go!

Next I make batter for the crepes:

1 cup flour
2 eggs

Then add:
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter

To make crepes:  Pour about 1/4-1/2 cup mixure onto pan.  I smooth/thin them out with a spoon.
Cook about 2 minutes...flipping to cook each side.

Then for the yummy mixture inside:
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Place crepe on plate, smother with some of the cottage cheese mixture, add the strawberry sauce...
 Fold the crepe and sprinkle with powdered sugar and add more sliced berries!


This is one of my 9-year-old, Andrew's, favorite things I make.  When I was trying to get him out of bed for school the other day, I told him I was going to make crepes for dinner.  In his sleepyness, his eyes still closed, he says "YAY!"  I hope he always says this to me!  I love it!

1 cup flour
 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold butter
1/4 cup boiling water

then for the berries.....

2 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup cold water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4 cups berries (I like to combine blackberries
and blueberries)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Dissolve cornstarch in cold water, then mix with the berries, sugar, and lemon juice in a pan.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. 

In another bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  then cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Pour in the boiling water until mixture is moist.

Pour berry mixture into a 9x13 baking pan or large skillet.  Drop dough by spoonfuls over the top of the berries.

Place pan onto a foil covered baking sheet then place in oven and bake about 25 minutes until dough is slightly brown.

Delicious with homemade ice cream!!!!!!!!

My kids have so much fun making homemade ice cream.  My husband and I got this ice cream maker 16 years ago as a wedding gift....we still love it! 

Waiting!!  It takes so long, but so worth it!!  :)


                                 Also delicious with fresh peaches!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Birthday boys

Andrew turned 9 on April 30th

Jacob turned 2 on May 2

Andrew and Jacob have birthdays close together... so the last 2 years we have had a combined big family party for them both together.  I know we can always have the family party combined for both boys, but someday I'm probably going to have to have separate friend parties too...  We lucked out with sunshine the day of our party!  If not, we wouldn't have all been able to squeeze into our home and the kids couldn't have enjoyed the bouncy castle!

We had all 16 cousins, plus 2 married-in cousins, and 2 second-cousins!  So much fun!  Of course, we also had parents, aunt/uncles, grandparents...
No one even got hurt in the bouncy castle or playing their wild games of front yard baseball/kickball!

Playing ball!
Jen Jen and kids - Dawson, Haley, Hunter, and Tanner

My 9-year-old birthday boy, Andrew!
     Birthday boy Jacob - 2!!
Brock helping Jacob build a tower!  This was Jacobs present
and I needed everyone to help put together the 45 "bricks," then
we had 2 Angry birds to knock them over. 

Brian, Cindy, and kids..Sam and Tyler

Jacob and Sam crashing into "brick" towers!

Time for tee-ball! 

Family, family, family...

Newest member...Brooklyn Perry
Our family - Mike, Andrew, Jacob, Holly, and Matthew

Playing Angry birds!!

The boys are all loving to build towers and crash them down!  Nice bed head/fuzzy hair on Jake!

2-year-old Birthday boy!!  And below his many cute faces!!
Already rolls his eyes at us!

That's our crazy, fun family birthday party!!!  So glad we have most of our family living close enough to enjoy these get-togethers!!