Lemon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lemon Chocolate Chip Cookies

I think lemon and chocolate is an interesting and delicious flavor combination. These cookies showcase that combination without being overly tart. These cookies do not tend to get golden brown, but they still have a nice crunch while maintaining a soft center.

Lemon Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
zest from one whole lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325º degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Blend in the eggs, lemon zest, lemon extract, and vanilla extract. Set aside. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Gradually mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls (about 1 tablespoon) onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool the cookies on baking sheet for a few minutes, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.


Raspberry Muffins

Raspberry Muffins

These are easy enough to whip up for a weekend morning breakfast or brunch. Feel free to substitute blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, or a combination of berries for the raspberries in this recipe.

Raspberry Muffins

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (you do not have to defrost the frozen berries)
extra sugar for sprinkling on top of muffins

Preheat oven to 400º F. Spray muffin pans lightly with cooking spray (or use paper baking cups) and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.  Combine the milk, oil, vanilla, and egg together and then add to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened, but do not over mix. Gently mix in the raspberries.  Fill muffin pans about half full with batter. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a little bit of sugar.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes approximately 12 large muffins or 24 mini muffins.


Drop Biscuits

Drop Biscuits are super-easy and quick to make. Plus, because they don’t require buttermilk, I always have the ingredients on hand.

Drop Biscuits make a great side to a meal, but they really shine at breakfast. Smeared with butter and drizzled with honey (or eaten with cherry preserves), Drop Biscuits are a treat. They are also amazing covered in white gravy. They can also serve as the bread component of a breakfast sandwich (think ham or bacon, fried egg, and cheese).

Drop Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking power
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450° F.

Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter and milk. Stir until just combined. Drop 12 equal portions on to a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.


Whoopie Pies

Whoopie Pies

Move over Chocolate Gobs and make room for these Whoopie Pies.  They are much easier to make and taste better (which is saying something….I love the Chocolate Gobs).  The filling for these treats contain marshmallow cream.  Marshmallows are not vegetarian, but marshmallow cream does not contain gelatin, so it is fine for vegetarians.  Marshmallow cream is also great for making vegetarian s’mores.

Whoopie Pies

Batter
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup milk
2 cups flour

Filling
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup marshmallow cream (Fluff)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat baking sheet(s) with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.

Batter:  Beat butter, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla, then cocoa powder until blended.  With mixer on low speed, slowly beat in milk until blended.  By hand, stir in flour. Drop level tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet(s).

Bake 8 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly pressed.  Cool on baking sheet 1 minute befoe removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat with remaining batter.

Filling:  With a wooden spoon, vigorously mix all ingredients untl blended and smooth.

Spread 2 teaspoons onto flat side of half the cookies; top each with another cookie, pressing to adhere.

Storage:  Refrigerate in an airtight container with wax paper between layers up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.


Fuyu Persimmon Crumble

fuyu-persimmon-crumble2

Recently, one of my customers gave me a bunch of Fuyu persimmons from her tree. Best tip ever. Fuyu Persimmons are delicious!

There are basically two types of persimmons, astringent and non-astringent. Astringent persimmons must be very, very ripe before they can be consumed. Non-astringent persimmons can be eaten when firm. Fuyu persimmons are non-astringent. They have a taste and texture similar to pears and apples. They are  great eaten raw, in salads, and in salsas. They are also delicious baked into pies or crumbles.  

persimmons

Cinnamon and pistachios compliment the flavor of persimmons, so I wanted to incorporate them into this recipe. The persimmons I had were very sweet, so I didn’t have to add much sugar. Feel free to adjust the sweetness level based on how your fruit tastes. I served this crumble with some whipped cream. So good.

fuyu-persimmon-crumble

Fuyu Persimmon Crumble

6 Fuyu persimmons,
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Crumble Topping
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cut off the stem end of the persimmons. Peel and cut each in half. Slice each half and place pieces in a bowl. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the persimmons and mix well. Place in a small oiled baking dish.

In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, chopped pistachios, and brown sugar. Work the butter into the mixture with a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands. Spread evenly over the fruit in the baking dish. Bake at 350° for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Hard Root Beer Bread

Hard Root Beer Bread 2

I bought some hard root beer not too long ago and wasn’t crazy about it. I still had some left over and didn’t want it to go to waste. I had success making a quick bread with hard apple cider, so I thought I would give making bread with the hard root beer a try. It turned out great! It smelled and tasted just like root beer and didn’t have the funky beer aftertaste. It was a big hit with the family.

Root Beer Bread

Hard Root Beer Bread

3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1  12 oz. bottle hard root beer (I used Not Your Father’s Root Beer) at room temperature

Preheat oven to 375º F.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add the hard root beer and stir until just combined.

Spray a bread loaf pan with cooking spray, then pour the batter into the pan. Bake at 375º for 45 minutes. Cool completely before removing the loaf from the bread pan to slice.

Hard Root Beer Bread 3


Easy Dinner Rolls

Easy Dinner Rolls

Many years ago, I got some free samples of Easy to Bake, Easy to Make recipe cards in the mail and this recipe was included. I have been making these rolls ever since.

These rolls are super easy to make, especially since you don’t have to knead the dough. You can keep the dough in the fridge for up to 4 days, so it is easy enough to bake just enough for the night’s dinner and use the remaining dough to bake fresh rolls for the next few nights.

Easy Dinner Rolls

1 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
2 packages active dry yeast (do not use quick rising yeast)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

Combine the warm water and yeast in a large bowl. Let the mixture stand until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes.

Stir in melted butter, sugar, eggs, and salt. Mix in flour one cup at a time, until dough is too stiff to mix (some flour may not be used). Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 days.

Grease a 13 X 9-inch baking pan. Turn the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured board. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth round ball; place balls in even rows in the prepared pan. Cover and let dough balls rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Easy Dinner Rolls Rising 2

Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake until rolls are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.