Friday, May 4, 2018

Zucchini Cake

It's just the beginning of May and our garden is busting out the zucchinis! We planted yellow squash this year too and since you don't do much baking with those, we are eating them as a veggie and I'm trying to make desserts with the zucchini. This zucchini cake was fabulous! I can't wait to make it again...which I'm sure will be soon since I have a huge zucchini sitting on my counter right now. And yes, since this has a vegetable in it, it's in my healthy category. :)

Zucchini Cake
adapted from
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsps baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups grated zucchini, undrained
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 pan.
2. Combine oil, sugar, egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir well. (It will appear quite dry).
3. Gently stir in the zucchini and spread the mixture into your prepared pan.
4. Bake 25-30 minutes.
5. While cake is cooling, combine butter, milk and sugar in a small pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Allow to boil vigorously for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips. Immediately pour over warm cake. Let cool completely before cutting.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Earth Day Cookies

Celebrate Earth Day with these sugar cookies! You can add food coloring to any sugar cookie dough, or use my recipe below.

Earth Day Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Blue food coloring
Green food coloring

1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla.
2. Gradually blend in dry ingredients. Mix until dough comes together.
3. Divide dough about in half making one half slightly larger than the other. Add blue food coloring to the larger half and green food coloring to the smaller half to get desired color. You can mix it in with the mixer, stir it with a spoon, or even knead it in by hand.
4. Once the food coloring has been mixed in, pull a few small pieces from each color of dough and roll them into a ball with your hands. It should be about tablespoon sized. Place balls on ungreased cookie sheets.
5. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Let stand on cookie sheet 2 minutes before removing to cool on wire rack.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen

Friday, March 9, 2018

Heavenly Rolls

I have been trying to post this recipe to my blog for months, but there was a problem. Every time I made these rolls, we would eat them so fast that I didn't have time to take a picture! I made these yesterday (24 rolls) and these 6 are the only ones left, but I got my picture!! I LOVE that you can make these with no mixer. All you need is a little arm strength. I have been using this recipe to make pigs in a blanket instead of my regular recipe, and I like this one better. Easter is coming up, and you need to try these rolls!

Heavenly Rolls
1 TBSP yeast
¼ cup warm water
½ tsp sugar
1 cup warm milk
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup flour
2 eggs
3-4 cups flour
Butter, melted

1. Mix yeast with warm water and ½ tsp sugar. Let stand until bubbly.
2. In a large bowl whisk together warm milk, oil, ½ cup sugar, and salt. Add 1 cup of flour to mixture, and mix well. Add 2 eggs and beat until smooth (mix vigorously by hand). Add yeast mixture and mix vigorously until smooth (I like to use my whisk again here). With a wooden spoon, stir in 3-4 cups flour to the yeast mixture. Dough should be sticky.
3. Pour the dough into a large bowl. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until it has doubled in size.
3. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch down and divide in half. Roll dough onto a floured surface making a circle about 12 inches round. Dough should be about ⅜" thick. Brush dough with melted butter. Cut circles with a pizza cutter into 12 pieces (like a pizza). Roll from rounded edge to the point to make a crescent roll. Place into a greased pan (11x16 metal pan or cookie sheet and do 3 across and 8 rows down). Cover dough with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise for another hour or until the rolls double in size.
4. Bake at 375 degrees until light lightly browned, which is about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Out of chocolate chips? That's ok. No brown sugar? No problem. You've got everything you need to make snickerdoodles! I have tried a few different recipes for snickerdoodles over the years, and this is my favorite. They don't end up flat like many others I have tried and are chewy. You do need one irregular and interesting ingredient called cream of tarter. It's white and powdery and you can find it with the spices at the grocery store. It gives the cookies their signature tangy flavor and prevents the sugar from crystallizing which makes them chewy. Save a little extra time for refrigerating the dough. Give them a try!

adapted from
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tarter

3 TBSPs sugar
2 tsps cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and 2 cups of sugar on medium speed until well creamed. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
3. In a separate bowl,  whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar. Slowly add into batter and mix until combined and dough forms.
4. Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
5. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.
6. Using a cookie scoop that is about 2 TBSPs, scoop cookie dough into balls. Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on prepared baking sheet.
7. Bake at 350° F 10-12 minutes. Allow cookie to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Cherry Pie Bars

When I keep going back to a recipe, it means it's time to post it to my blog. I've made these a few times and we love them! I haven't tried it with a different filling other than cherry, but I plan on it. They aren't overly sweet, and go great with hot cocoa.

Cherry Pie Bars
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 (21 oz) cans cherry pie filling
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 - 3 Tbsp half and half

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish (for thinner bars use a 15 by 10-inch baking dish).
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time, then blend in vanilla and almond extracts.
4. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Reserve and set aside 1 1/2 cups batter
5. Spread remaining evenly into prepared baking dish. Top with cherry pie filling spreading into an even layer. Dollop small spoonfuls of the remaining batter evenly over top.
6. Bake in preheated oven about 30 - 37 minutes (near lesser time for 15 by 10 baking dish and greater time for 13 by 9).
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the glaze: In a small mixing bowl whisk together all glaze ingredients adding enough half and half to reach desired consistency. Pour into a resealable bag, seal bag and cut a small tip from one corner then drizzle over top of cooled bars. Allow glaze to set (to set it quicker chill in freezer) then cut into squares.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Eggnog Baked French Toast

It snowed last night!! San Antonio hasn't had this much snow for 30 years! While it was snowing we were having a perfect snowy night dinner, this Eggnog Baked French Toast. The powdered sugar on top even looked like snow! I have made a bunch of variations of this dish with different fruit, but it was time for a Christmas upgrade. Instead of half and half and a little syrup like my regular recipe here, I just mixed eggnog with the eggs and you can totally taste the eggnog flavor. I grated a little fresh nutmeg on top before baking too. If you are an eggnog lover, this needs to be in your recipe collection!

Eggnog Baked French Toast
1 16oz loaf french bread (day old bakery bread works great)
8 oz cream cheese
4 TBSP butter or margarine, melted
1 3/4 cups eggnog
10 eggs
Sprinkle of nutmeg
Powdered sugar

1. Cube bread and layer half of it in a 9x13 in. pan. Cut the cream cheese into small pieces and sprinkle evenly across the bread. Cover with remaining bread cubes.
 2. Pour melted butter evenly over the top. Mix eggnog and eggs and pour over evenly. Press down with spatula so that all the liquid is absorbed by the bread. Sprinkle a little nutmeg over the top. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
3. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45-55 min. If it starts to get too brown, lay a sheet of foil on top until it has finished baking. Remove from oven and sift powered sugar over top. Cut into squares. Serve with syrup
Makes 8-12 servings

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Spritz Cookies

I have an old Pampered Chef cookie press tucked away in my pantry, and sometimes I forget it's there! I needed to make a treat for a cub scout pack meeting last week, with practically no ingredients on hand, and I remembered my cookie press. So here's the Pampered Chef Spritz Cookie recipe that I used. It calls for vanilla extract, but I like to use almond. It's an easy dough to work with, not too sticky. I divided it in half and added green food coloring to make some trees and wreaths. I sometimes have a hard time getting the dough to stick to the pan instead of stay on the press. I found that using just the right amount of dough is what makes it work for me (which is 1 and a half clicks of my trigger). A cold pan is supposed to help with that too. Spritz cookies aren't just a Christmas cookie even though that's how I think of them. My press has all different shapes, even a 4 leaf clover and pumpkin. If you don't have a press and want to try these, just roll them into tsp sized balls and press them down a little with your thumb. Happy baking.

Spritz Cookies
Pampered Chef
1½ cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
3½ cups flour
Colored sugar or sprinkles (optional)

1.  Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed of the electric mixer about 3 minutes or until creamy, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add the egg and vanilla; beat well.
3. Add the flour; mix on low speed just until blended, scraping down the sides as necessary. (The dough will be soft; do not refrigerate.)
4. Fit the cookie press with the desired disk and fill it with the dough. Press the dough onto the cookie sheet 1" apart.
5. Decorate the cookies with colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired. Bake 10-12 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown. Cool the cookies 2 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove cooking rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.