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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Cookie a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Cookies are the greatest. Especially when they are chewy and the right blend of flavors. I grew up on some amazing cookies from my grandma and mom, so they are just a part of my life.

As a mom, I enjoy baking ( especially cookies ) not only because it is nice to have a completed project with a high success rate, I love to eat them daily :), and I love to see my kids and husband enjoy them. I especially love to see my babies on the verge of toddlerhood chew. It is one of life's little blessings. I know that when my kids grow up, cookies and baked goods will be a part of their memory like it is a part of mine.

Baking isn't easy for everyone. Not everyone has had the fortune of having a grandmother run a small-scale baking business even at age 90. It is a tough science! Here in Miami, I have yet to figure out my oven and how it works. I think the heat plays a factor, not just the age of the oven. :) So, I will share my favorite recipes with you over time, because half the battle is having good recipes, and give any tips I can to make it turn out just right.

Baking also can be made less time-consuming. Many times we don't bake because it takes too much time. But, somewhere along my years as a mother, I discovered something that made baking a whole lot more accessible. SIFT THE DRY INGREDIENTS, COVER WITH PLASTIC WRAP, AND LET IT SIT UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO BAKE. It can happen a few days later. I am convinced the baked good turns out more moist this way. And when you are actually ready to bake, it takes 2 minutes to finish. It will change your entire outlook!

Baked goods make our homes smell great and pamper the spirits. I think that is just as important as an apple. And for the times in my life when I eat too many cookies, I turn to Tracy Mallet to get me back on track. But that is another blog posting!

**Here is a favorite from my grandma's home town that works out every time and seems to stay moist even when I bake it a little too long.



-I find that all of the batter for any bread mix is too much for a loaf pan. I put about 2/3 in the loaf pan and then make a smaller loaf ( it is amazing how sharing it can be such a pleasant surprise to our friends!). The smaller loaf can take about 30-40 min. The bigger about 45 min. But, the bread should be firm, dark brown ( no wetness peeping out). If you are not a baker, go ahead and use the loaf pan and bake for an hour.

Pre-heat oven to 350.

1 1/2 c sugar
1  3/4 c flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

2 eggs
1 c (half a can of libby's) pumpkin
1/3 c water

grease pans with crisco ( not lathered, but lightly) and dust with flour, banging the pan to shake any excess flour out. Bake for 35-45 minutes ( see tips). 

Happy Baking and Happy Thanksgiving!

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