Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Big Visit

Daddy and Melinda (Mimi as the girls call her) came to see us this weekend!

Unfortunately, Dad got trapped in an evil blanket net set by our two young explorers. Because of his camo pants, he was almost never recovered.

I made Dad a batch of my super amazing , all-time world's greatest chocolate chip cookies. Daddy used to get upset because I would bake dozens of these and tell him he couldn't have any since they were for my friends. So this was a batch all for him. To his credit, he did share.

I take no credit for the genius of this recipe. It was given to Daddy by one of his co-workers when I was in high school and I have been using it ever since. It has apparently won many a blue ribbon. I know I have used them as currency for favors. People will do a lot for these cookies. People hide these cookies from family members. People sometimes call ahead to see if any of the cookies are at my house. They are good.

Now I have futzed with this recipe a little over the years. Instead of 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of brown, I use 1.5 cups brown sugar and 1/2 cup white. And instead of one teaspoon of baking soda, I use 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp baking powder (I think it impoves the texture). I would also like to tell you that there is no place for butter in this here recipe. I don't think chocolate chip cookies should taste like butter. That is for toast. Use plain old greasy, globby shortening. You will thank me for the tip.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (in emergencies, these can be substituted for love)

2 cups + 4 Tblsp. flour

1.5 cups brown sugar

.5 cup white sugar

1 cup shortening

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1tsp. salt

1 cup chocolate chips

preheat oven to 350

Cream your sugars and shortening. Add the eggs. I know this isn't how you are supposed to do it, but I am not a patient baker, so I add the salt, baking soda, baking powder and vanilla to the egg/sugar/shortening mix and then dump in the flour and mix up. After that, just add the chocolate chips (and nuts if you like- my personal favorite is with pecans). I scoop the dough out with an ice cream scoop and then bake until they are the desired browness (your desired browness may differ from mine).


Then I made jelly. I did not use a recipe. I just figured if you mix certain things, you would get something kind of like jelly and it worked. I just boiled a bag of frozen strawberries with 1/2 cup of sugar and a little water. When it was all cooked down and syrupy, I added some unflavored gelatin and let it cool in the fridge. This is not for canning. But it is yummy. My hubby is a strawberry jelly fiend and this passed his test.

We were running out of bread and I was running out of time, so I made a loaf of beer bread. Haven't tasted it yet and I don't recall where I found the recipe. If it turns out to be good, I will try to post it.

And then there were pretzels. Oh, how I love thee soft pretzels. You call to me at the mall with your yeasty and buttery voice. You are the perfect accompaniment to overly sweet lemonade and mall walking. Sweet pretzel. You are divine indeed.

As you can tell from the picture. Miss Z took to making pretzels with much vim and vigor.

This is Miss Z's version of pretzel flower. Mommy sort of "fixed" it before we actually cooked the pretzels.

I decided to make pretzel circles. It wasn't easier, but the small holes in a regular pretzel seemed like they would just fuse into a pretzel blob. Here are the pretzels boiling in a baking soda and water bath.

After boiling, they were laid out on parchment paper for baking.

Et Voila! Delicious golden pretzels. They really are yummy! I got the recipe out of MaryJane's farm magazine. I need to copy it down and add it to this post cuz I couldn't find it online.
Pretzels are also getting crossed off the big list. Happy Monday!


  1. OOH, I remember those cookies! Brings back the memories...

  2. Okay, so wait a minute... No butter? No BUTTER! Well, I will have to take your word for it. I happen to love buttery choc chip cookies. Just saw something on Cooks.com saying that you should brown some of the butter to give it a nuttier flavor and I'm dieing to try it. But those cookies of yours are awesome, too, so maybe cooks.com doesn't know diddley.