Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

When a friend gives you the cutest dessert plates that say The Best Things in Life Have Chocolate Chips, what is a food blogger to do but bake some chocolate chip cookies.   I just could not resist since I thought these dessert plates were just too cute.  The other plates in the box she gave me all have wonderful food sayings as well and I can’t wait to use them during my next dinner party.  My mom used to call this cookie recipe, Cowboy Cookies, not sure where the name came from.  I have since added dried cranberries to her original recipe, therefore the name change to Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies.  Any name you give these cookies, it is hard to eat just one.  I have to think the saying on the plate is pretty correct – The Best Things in Life Have Chocolate Chips!

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Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon hot water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together shortening and sugars.  Add eggs, water and vanilla.  Add flour, baking soda and salt to the creamed mixture, mix well.  Add oats, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and walnuts until well combined.  Drop rounded teaspoons of dough on parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake for 10 - 15 minutes.  Remove and cool on racks.  Yields: 4 dozen cookies

Frozen Key Lime Pie

Frozen Key Lime Pie is the perfect make ahead summer dessert.  This past week, I was traveling out of town and the night I was returning, we were going to a dinner and I was bringing dessert.  I remember my mom had a frozen pie recipe in her recipe card box and thought that would be the perfect pie to make.  This pie recipe is so easy, the only cooking involved is baking the graham cracker crust prior to filling the pie.  I also added a whipped cream topping.  Make it now, freeze for later and just bring out of the freezer thirty minutes prior to serving.  I will also admit that due to time constraints, I used bottled key lime juice and the results were delicious.  There are some shortcuts that just make life easy and bottled 100 percent key lime juice works great in this recipe.

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Frozen Key Lime Pie

Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 9 inch graham cracker crust
  • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime peel
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, whipped
  • thin slices of lime, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Prepare graham cracker crust.  In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth.  Slowly add sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, key lime juice; blend until smooth.  Fold in lime peel.  Pour into prepared graham cracker crust.  Freeze. for 2 hours.  In a medium bowl, whip whipping cream until stiff peaks form, remove pie from the freezer, top with whipped cream.  Return to freezer and freeze until firm.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Remove from freezer 30 minutes prior to serving.  Top with lime slices, if desired.  

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Graham Cracker Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients until blended.  Press into a 9-inch pie plate.  Bake 6 - 8 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool prior to filling.

Strawberry Basil Ice Pops

One of my favorite things to eat when I visit Atlanta, GA is finding a King of Pops stand and having one of their ice pops.  They are not the ice pops you remember as a child in vivid colors and artificial flavors.  Their pops have extremely unique flavors.  One of my favorites is their sea salt chocolate, it is just delicious and really makes your mouth dance!  With the warm weather on the horizon, I thought this year I would try creating a few unique recipes to share and see how I do creating interesting flavors.  I think I have hit a home run with this combination; strawberries, basil and cream.   There are so many great ice pop molds on the market you can make ice pops in any shape you desire from rockets, cylinders and fruit shapes.  These Strawberry Basil Ice Pops would also be terrific made in a smaller mold and placed in a champagne glass and topped with champagne or prosecco.

 

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Strawberry Basil Ice Pops

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces hulled strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 pinch kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the above ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.  Pour into 6 - 3 oz. ice pop molds. Place in freezer and freeze for two hours, insert ice pop sticks in the center of each pop.  Freeze until solid.  Remove from mold and wrap in plastic wrap or in individual resealable bags.  Return to freezer and freeze for an addition 6 - 8 hours.  Serve.

    Freezing the pops for a second time in the plastic wrap will create a firm and icy pop.


Blueberry Crumb Cake

I keep finding blueberry recipes in my recipe stash from my mom.  If there is any time of year perfect for blueberry recipes, I think spring is the one. It also helps that almost every produce department is running a sale on blueberries this time of year.  Blueberry Crumb Cake is quick and easy to assemble cake;  perfect for breakfast with coffee, tea or as a dessert.   

 

 

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Blueberry Crumb Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • Crumb Topping
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour one 9 inch square baking pan.

    Combine Flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg and milk, beat until smooth.  Add flour mixture (reserve 1/4 cup) and beat until well combined.  Toss the blueberries with the remaining 1/4 cup flour mixture and fold into the batter.  To prepare topping, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon, cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle over cake batter in pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes.

Pineapple Balls

I always like to reflect on my childhood and try to remember certain recipes that my mom would make for certain occasions.  I remember every spring and especially on Easter, she would always make something that included pineapple.  Pineapple salads, ham with a pineapple glaze, pineapple cakes, and fresh sliced pineapple is what I associate with spring.  These Pineapple Balls are just perfect when you want a small dessert after a wonderful meal.  They freeze beautifully so you can make them now and serve them over the spring holidays.

 

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Pineapple Balls

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, plus more for dusting, if desired
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons pineapple juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

    Cream the butter and sugars.  Add the egg, pineapple, and nuts.  Combine the dry ingredients, add to the pineapple mixture and mix well.

    Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonsful (or use a one tablespoon ice cream scoop) onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake 9 - 11 minutes.  If desired, drizzle with glaze and dust with additional finely chopped pecans.  Yields 48 balls

  2. Sugar Glaze

    Mix 1 cup confectioners sugar and 1-2 tablespoons pineapple juice, drizzle over cookies.  Sprinkle with pecans, if desired.

Mom’s Rice Pudding

I think everyone has a few recipes that remind them of when they were growing up and the comforts of home and mom’s (or dad’s) cooking.  To me, there are a few favorite recipes, but one recipe that I remember so well is my Mom’s Rice Pudding.  This to me is comfort food.  I distinctly remember when I felt under the weather as a child or the snow was blowing in the winter, Mom’s Rice Pudding would be in the oven.  Rice baked in a wonderful custard with raisins and sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.  As the years go by ….. Mom’s Rice Pudding is still one of my favorites!

Rice Pudding 1

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Jelly Roll

This recipe brings back memories when I was growing up.  Having a Jelly Roll was a holiday staple and I remember my mom rolling the thin cake in a sugar covered towel.  I think kitchen memories are some of the best you can have.  No doubt, whatever kitchen memory you have growing up was a labor of love.   I think the popularity of the basic Jelly Roll has diminished over time; I think it is one of the best desserts you can serve.  It is not too sweet,  easy to prepare and always looks beautiful with every slice.  I like to use red currant jelly, my mom always used red raspberry jam, the choice is yours…..the resutls will be delicious!

jelly-roll

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Frozen Pumpkin Pie

Looking for an easy dessert for Thanksgiving that you can make today and serve on Thanksgiving?  This recipe is a great additional to any Thanksgiving menu.  I have always been one that loves to plan ahead and make ahead when entertaining, so I can relax and enjoy the day.   This Frozen Pumpkin Pie is delicious and so very quick and easy.  You start with a graham cracker crust, pumpkin, spices and ice cream blended together and frozen.  It is in your freezer and ready when you are.

frozen-pumpkin-pie

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Apple Rye Crumble Pie

After another visit to my favorite distillery, Catoctin Creek Distillery in Purcellville, VA , I decided it was time to use their award winning Roundstone Rye Whisky in another recipe.  This time, my target was an apple pie.  First, I let the apples and rye whisky mascerate so each apple slice absorbed the whisky flavor, then tossed the apples with flour and spices, tossed in a few dried cranberries and added a crumb topping.  I must admit, a great combination of flavors.  Delicious served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream – now, that is the way to start the fall season!

apple-rye-crumble-pie

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Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Every other Monday, I head to the local Fisher House and bake cookies.  If you are unaware of the mission of the Fisher House Foundation, the Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment.  It is great to donate my time and my love of cooking to this terrific organization.  When I am finished each time, the house has the smell of fresh baked cookies, a full cookie jar, guests who appreciate a touch of home after a long day and a smile on my face.  It is one of the most rewarding volunteer experiences I have had.  I have been compiling a group of cookie recipes from my Monday cookie baking.  I made these last week – I hope you enjoy them.  

chocolate chocolate chip cookies

 

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