Sunday, 16 August 2015

Yellow Cake

I used to use cake mixes when my children were young if I needed something quick.  If it was a special occasion, nothing but a scratch cake would do.  Since my children have grown and gone, I have never used a boxed mix since.  Box mixes have their time and place, but absolutely nothing beats a scratch cake for flavor, texture and old fashioned goodness. 


This cake is so moist and delicious.  Once you try it, you will come back to this recipe, time and again.  I will change the flavoring in it depending on my mood.  I love using LorAnn Oils Bakery Emulsions. 



2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup of milk



Preheat oven to 350°F; grease and flour a 9" x 13" or 2 - 8" or 9" round cake pans.  In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter.  Add the eggs and beat until light yellow.  Add the sour cream and vanilla; mix well.  

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, alternating with milk, until thoroughly combined.  

Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s).  Bake for approximately 24 minutes for the 9" pans or 30 minutes for the 9" x 13" or until done.  If you insert a toothpick or cake tester in the cake and it comes out clean, the cake is done. Cool completely before icing.  Frost as desired.   Vanilla icing is nice and so is a rich chocolate frosting.  

Makes 12 servings. 



Thursday, 23 April 2015

Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cookies

I seem to have a lot of cookie recipes, don't I?  While my kids were growing up, I was always making cookies.  I still love to bake cookies even though they are grown and gone.  I have tried hundreds of recipes over the years.  It isn't just because I love to eat them, I truly enjoy making them.  I find it therapeutic, it's relaxing and it brings me back to simpler times.


If someone pops in for a visit, there is nothing nicer than making a pot of coffee or tea and sitting chatting while enjoying a homemade cookie or two.  Such a simple thing brings such pleasure to people.  I love to bake for those I love.  

On with this recipe!  This is another one of my family's favorites.  I have shared it with several people over the years, I am happy to share it with you too.  




1 1/4 cups butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pkg (300g) peanut butter chips



Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Unless a recipe specifically calls for an electric mixer, I always do it by hand.  Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.  Combine dry ingredients, blend into creamed mixture.  Stir in chips.   Drop by teaspoons onto an ungreased (I always use a parchment lined) cookie sheet.  Bake at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes. I like the edges to be a bit crispy and the centers soft, so I leave them in for the full 12 minutes.   They will puff while baking and flatten while they cool.  Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.  

Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies.  They freeze well. 


My youngest daughter's first word after "mommy" and "daddy"  was "cookie".  :)

Friday, 17 April 2015

Oatmeal Shortbread

This recipe is at least 80 years old.  It was given to me by my mother-in-law and it was her mother's recipe.  This is one of those amazing recipes that has only a few ingredients and they simply taste wonderful together.  Light, crispy, buttery and oaty.  Is that even a word?  Well it is now!


You can make these one of two ways, either as a drop cookie or slice and bake them.  They are heavenly either way!  



1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups oatmeal, any variety


Cream softened butter with vanilla and brown sugar.  Add remaining ingredients, mixing well.  Roll into balls and press with a wet fork.  

Let me talk about that for a minute.  When I was a little girl I used to bake cookies with my maternal grandmother.  Oh, the days we spent in the kitchen together.  She taught me that instead of a floured fork, (which added a bit more flour the cookie) she would use a small bowl of water and a fork.  Dip the fork into the bowl, knock off the excess and press down the cookie.  I never used a floured fork again.  I even do my peanut butter cookie hatch marks that way.  Boy I miss those days in the kitchen with my grandmother, she was the sweetest woman I think I have ever met. 

Anyway, back to the recipe.  You can roll and flatten the cookies, or roll them into a log, then wrap them in waxed paper and put them in the fridge for several hours, or over night.  Then when you are ready to bake, simply slice into 1/4" slices.  Bake them on a parchment lined baking sheet, about 2" apart in a 325° F oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool slightly, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.  

Makes 2 dozen 3" cookies.