Sunday, April 06, 2008

Losing It

Up until now, baking has always been my "thing" - friends have a dinner party, and they know I will bring some kind of tasty dessert (or maybe they were just nice and let me - all this time the joke's been on me!?! or so it feels right now).

Plus, I usually like to stretch - sure, I could just take another one of my mom's incredible recipes and try and make it as well as she does - it might not taste as good or look as pretty - but at least I know that at its heart, the recipe is a winner and should I be lucky enough to make it correctly, then I will come away with something great - but instead, my tendency as of late has been to pick some usually completely random (but delicious looking) recipe on a whim, and apparently that's not one of my strengths.

I can only figure that it's me, the baker... 100% without a doubt me. I tried to blame it on the new oven and then realized that that wasn't fair - I did recently make, go figure, my mom's mint brownies for a friend's baby shower and they turned out perfectly. But otherwise, is this a not-so-subtle way of telling me to lay off baking so I don't gain 100lbs?

Tonight, I'll say I 1/2 conquered this problem. Why only 1/2... because even though the recipe required the use of my KitchenAid, it was 1/2 comprised of a pre-made cookie mix. I'd received one of those great batter/measuring cups with the layered cookie mix as a shower gift and finally put it to use.

The result was, to my surprise (for no other reason than my last 3 weeks in the kitchen being utter failures) and pleasure, a delicious cookie, chock full of Craisins, white chocolate chips, oatmeal, and pecans (of which we will freeze half, to avoid the previously mentioned 100lbs) - and because of the cute batter bowl mix, the whole affair was quite easy!

I can't take credit for the whole process but I will tell you that I'll be making this cookie again, even without the pre-made mix!

Celebration Cookies
Yield: 3 dozen cookies

¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 recipe Celebration Cookie Mix (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, combine butter, eggs and vanilla; mix until well blended. Add cookie mix to butter mixture; mix until well blended. Drop level scoops of dough (about 2 TBSP), 2 inches apart, onto greased baking sheet. (Flatten cookies slightly if so desired - creates a crispier cookie)

Bake 13-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove to cooling rack.

Celebration Cookie Mix
½ c granulated sugar
¾ c sweetened-dried cranberries
½ c white chocolate morsels
¾ c packed brown sugar
1½ c all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 c quick or old-fashioned oats
½ c pecan halves, coarsely chopped

Two things, though: 1. PLEASE send me a link or a recipe for something deliciously unhealthy that you know is a winner... I am dying for new baked goods, and 2. ANY and all tips for baking in a gas oven... I'm not BLAMING my inadequate baking on the oven but I do think it's made a difference and for sure lengthened the baking time.


  1. This apple cake was AWESOME - so much that I've been craving it lately:

    And, when strawberries are in, this cake is delish (and pretty!):

  2. 3.5 months to go.

    Still not cooking.

    Still sick.

    But thanks for asking!

    Don't I sound excited? Blah.

    But I am. To meet my little boy, that is, when the time comes. But the whole pregnancy thing? Over it. Sooooo. Over. It.


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