If you”ve been around here for a while you know that I like to keep homemade baking mix on hand in my fridge at all times. It makes last minute cooking/baking so much easier. The other day I was wanting to whip up some cookies real quick so I could go back to relaxing and spending time with my hubby. When I first saw this recipe I was drawn to the word cashews but when I saw that it also used Bisquick mix my mind was made up. I love finding new recipes to use my baking mix!
I was a tad bit skeptical at first. I knew the baking mix made great pancakes but I was afraid the cookies would be.. well.. pancakey. But they weren”t. They were nice and chewy and cookie-y. And, ginormous. These are the kind of cookies I like to eat for breakfast. Not too sweet and full of oats.
Now that my son is almost three years old I”ve been cooking with him a lot more in the kitchen. It has been so much fun and he is learning so much! Like, that raw potatoes don”t taste very good. And, Mommy has been learning lots to. Like, keep your eyes on him at all times or he”ll put pepper in your cookies. I”ve been letting him dig his hands in and get dirty. And, surprisingly there haven”t been too many mishaps as long as I”m careful about the jobs I give him.
This is the type of cookie that a little older kids could conquer all on there own. Or at least with very little help from mom. They”ll have fun shaping the dough and watching them grow to gargantuan size.
If you don”t like cashews I think they would be equally delicious with peanuts. Or, if you want a sweeter cookie you could add a cup of white chocolate chips. I think I”m gonna try that next time, but I also love them just the way they are.
I got the sudden urge to decorate sugar cookies last week. As you can see I got as far as making the cookies. :) But that was fun in and of itself. I did make one batch of the glaze and got approximately five cookies done before Max had already decorated (read: eaten) three cookies and Alli woke up wanting some attention. So I put that idea behind me and decided to freeze the rest in case the time ever came that I was able to decorate again (I am in no way a super mom and I’m ok with that).
help roll out dough
cut out shapes
older kids can decorate with icing bags
younger kids can spread the glaze on the cookies and decorate with sprinkles
I’m not usually a fan of sugar cookies. But these I can actually eat on their own without icing. I’m really into tea lately and these cookies are a perfect accompaniment to that.
These are the easiest sugar cookies I have ever made. Sugar cookies aren’t all that hard to make but there’s generally a lot of waiting time for the dough to chill before rolling, then trying to roll out a stiff dough or wait for it to soften before you roll it out. Simple enough really but it’s enough to stop me from making them on a whim. These cookies on the other hand were whipped up and baked in the time it took for James and Max to go grocery shopping. They left. I got the urge to bake. They came back. Half the cookies were baked and cooling on the counter while the remainder were in the fridge awaiting their turn in the oven.
The key to these cookies being able to be made so last minute is the fact that you don’t have to soften the butter. Cold butter means there’s no chill time before rolling it out which cuts the prep time down considerably. Plus they roll out like a dream. I made the original cookies at Christmas this year and knew they would be my sugar cookie of choice from then on.
I wanted the flavours to suite Easter so I opted to add some grated lemon zest to the dough. Delish!
Tips to Perfect Sugar Cookies
I’m no expert on sugar cookies but I do know a couple tricks to get them nearly perfect every time. At least it works for me!
Roll Out on Parchment Paper. Rolling the dough out on a floured piece of parchment paper means less flour is used (meaning softer cookies) and easier transportation to the baking sheet (which means less stretching and breaking).
Refrigerate Before Baking. Since this recipe is not refrigerated before rolling out you want to be sure to refrigerate it once the shapes are cut. That way it keeps it’s form and doesn’t spread.
Chill Before Cutting Out Delicate Pieces. If you’re wanting to make smaller cutouts in the cookie (like I did with the flowers) do so after they have chilled in the fridge, just before baking. This way you don’t have to worry about any delicate parts breaking when you transfer it to the baking sheet and it will hold it’s shape better.
The glaze for these cookies is lemony and sweet. Much sweeter then royal icing. You can’t really compare the two but it is much easier to make and decorates beautifully (just look at Amanda’s cookies). But, as I said it is very sweet so if you’re worried about that you may want to stick with royal icing.
Easy Lemon Sugar Cookies
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup cold salted butter, cubed
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest of one lemon
Combine flour and baking powder.
In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg, vanilla and zest. Mix until incorporated.
Add flour in three additions, scraping down as you go. Beat until combined (will be crumbly).
Divide dough in half to roll out. Knead each piece on counter top until smooth. Roll out on floured parchment paper. Cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for 5 minutes (or refrigerate for 15 minutes) to firm up.
Bake @ 350 for 10-12 minutes. Let sit for 2 minutes before removing to wire rack or paper towel to cool.
Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies
Lemony Sugar Cookie Glaze
1 cup icing sugar
1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon corn syrup
Sift sugar into a bowl. Mix in lemon juice and corn syrup. Spread or pipe onto cookies.
Tip: If piping onto cookies check the consistency by doing the 10 second ribbon test. Drag a knife through the glaze and lift to make a ribbon. It should smooth out in 5-10 seconds. If the icing comes together before 5 seconds add more sugar. If the glaze comes together after 10 seconds add more liquid. This will ensure that it is firm enough to pipe but still loose enough to flood the cookie.
I’ve been dreaming about this ice cream for a long time. I’ve seen the idea of pureeing frozen bananas and turning them into ice cream quite a bit around the web and I had to give it a try to see if it was actually true. Could pureed frozen bananas really have the same texture and feel of ice cream?
In one word. Yes!
“It is amazing what happens to a banana once it is frozen and pureed. It becomes, remarkably, a lot like ice cream. Your kids will feel like they’re getting an extra special treat in the middle of the day, but really they’ll be eating fruit. Even when I’m eating this I have to remind myself that it’s not ice cream. The texture of the banana as it “melts” in your mouth is not unlike the silky texture of custard.”
Remember how I told you I like to scarf down granola bars in the middle of the night but since I haven”t been able to find any here yet I”ve been eating spoonfuls of peanut butter instead? Well, it was just too much for me to bear so I decided to create my own. I may have a problem. Not that I mind because these granola bars are even better then the ones at the store and they are so simple to make. Simple is key these days.
Life has been hectic here lately and I”m starting to realize that my once quick and simple recipes aren”t so quick and simple when you have a baby on the breast and a toddler clinging to your leg. (These two things do happen simultaneously but not while I”m cooking. I am no wonder mommy!) For the next couple of months my time in the kitchen is going to have to simplify even more. That”s when I”m thankful for recipes like this.
These No-Bake Granola Bars are fast and easy enough that I can have a half decent snack lying around without getting stressed out in the process. I know this phase will go by quickly and in no time Alli will be having proper naps and I”ll better be able to plan my time. But for now, I”ll stick to the simple things and enjoy the little people while I have them.
The fact that these are no bake makes them perfect to make with kids because it eliminates any guess work. Most homemade granola bars I”ve had end up dry and crumbly. With these you don”t need to wonder whether they”re under or over baked. You just put them in the fridge for half and hour and then slice and serve. They”re also great for kids with short attention spans since they”re whipped up in jiffy. :)
If you have a teenager in the house they could even tackle this recipe on there own. It would be a great “first” recipe to try.
stir toasting nuts
toss mixture together
line pan with plastic wrap
press mixture into pan
wrap individual bars
They”re packed full of toasted oats, nuts, coconut and raisins and have a nice chewy texture. The cinnamon and molasses add a great depth of flavour and make them very addicting. Don”t say I didn”t warn you!
Toast oats, nuts and coconut in a large skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, stirring often. Remove to a large bowl and toss with raisins.
Place butter, sugar, cinnamon, honey and molasses in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir into oat mixture until evenly coated. Let sit just until cool enough to handle.
In the meantime, line a 7×11 inch pan with plastic wrap. Spoon mixture into pan, pressing down to compact. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. Remove from pan, peel away plastic wrap and slice into 16 bars (half lengthwise and then into 8). Wrap individually in plastic wrap or parchment paper, if desired. Store covered at room temperature.
Makes: 16 servings
* If making gluten free make sure that the oats are gluten free
On another note I am honored to say that I”ve been included in Babble”s Top 100 Mom Food Bloggers. Ranking #8 for Best Recipes. I”m tickled pink and hope that I can live up to the “title”. If you have time time I”d appreciate a click through and a like on facebook or a tweet on flickr. You can see my profile here. Thanks guys. Your the best! :)
I think it was about this time last year that I shared with you my dire need to find healthier snacks. Well, I’m at it again except this time I’m serious! ;) Especially at Christmas time, I found myself reaching all too often for the sweets sitting on the counter when my stomach (or my son) started grumbling. This week a bunch of us are sharing our food resolutions on Smithfield and I knew that I had to bring this one to the forefront again.
“Snacks have got to be one of the hardest meals to keep healthy. You get the urge to have a quick nibble in the middle of the day and usually it’s so last minute your willing to grab whatever’s in front of you. I’d love to blame my need for midday snacks on my eight month pregnant body, or my two year old son who eats all day long, but the fact is I’ve always needed lot’s of snacks and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon.”
Christmas is almost here. Ahh! I can’t believe it. Why does it seem to sneak up so fast? I’ve been putting off my Christmas “chores” thinking I’ve got tons of time and am just now realizing that I have to get it all done in less then a week. Overload! My procrastination has gotten the better of me.
When we were little it took forever for Christmas to come and now it feels like you just start getting into the holiday spirit and it’s over already. I guess the saying’s true, ‘time flies when you’re having fun’. Or when you’re stressed out. But, hopefully it’s because you’re having fun. :) I’m trying to put it at the forefront of my mind to enjoy the holiday and not worry about everything being perfect. Simple recipes like this one definitely help.
Peanut butter. Popcorn. Chocolate cover peanuts. Pretzels. All four drool worthy on there own, but when combined they make one deliciously fast and easy snack or last minute food gift. I like to think that this is a little healthier then caramel popcorn since it has some protein in the peanuts and peanut butter. That always makes things healthier right? ;)
All the aspects are here for a perfectly balanced and addicting snack. Sweet and salty, crunchy and contains chocolate. Perfect for curling up on the couch in your pj’s and munching away while you watch your favourite holiday flick. Hmm… I think I’m going to go take my own advice right now.