Home Cooking Recipes
home cooking recipes                                            home cooking recipes
Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour

Uncommon cookies

Having a stash of cookies hiding out in the freezer is like always having a twenty dollar bill hidden in your purse. You just never know when you are going to have to pull either out for emergency use. Besides the holidays are coming and it is never too early to start baking.

There is nothing difficult about making cookies, it isn't like making cake where chemistry is precise or the cake won't rise. Cookies have a little baking soda or baking powder in them, but it doesn't matter if they decide they don't like being light and fluffy they are perverse and prefer being chewy.

These simple recipes are oldies (you can tell by the spots left on the cards while they were in use). Tried and true they just become more colorful through the years.

A ton of years ago when we were homesick college girls, the head of the art department whose name was Frances Kapazinski, took pity on two homesick freshmen and would invite us to her apartment for a genuine, home-cooked meal now and then. She was a fantastic cook and dear friend until she died. Her many recipes remind me of her kindness each time I come upon one in my files--all of her's are beautifully spotted.

Snickerdoodles--Cookies That Always Come Out Round

Kappie was Hungarian so I don't think that this recipe comes from her homeland. Don't you love the name? If you are not fond of cinnamon, you could roll the cookies in sugar crystals; they would add crunch as well as sparkle. You can make them using half butter and half shortening as called for on Kappie's original card. Makes 6 dozen.

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt


1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 F and butter cookie sheets. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy and then beat in eggs, one by one. Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt together and add to the creamed mixture. Form the dough into balls the size of a walnut and then roll them in the coating made by combining the sugar and cinnamon. Place about 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake about 10 minutes.

Skillet Brownies

While it is true that there are good brownie mixes on the market, making the bars from scratch is less costly and more satisfying, especially if you mix and bake in the same pan. Be certain your skillet has a handle that can take the high heat of the oven. If not, just transfer the batter to greased 9- by 9-inch baking pan. This recipe quickly makes 18 bars.

1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
2 squares baking chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup chopped nuts of any kind
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place butter and chocolate in a 9- or 10-inch teflon coated skillet to melt while the oven is heating. Remove from oven as soon as melted and stir with wooden spoon to combine. Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the eggs. When well combined stir in the eggs one by one. Bake about 30 minutes; be careful not to overcook.

Bars That Taste Like Peanut Brittle

In red ink I've written "good/simple." Don't crush the graham crackers, just break them up a bit. Use either light or dark brown sugar, dark has more flavor. Bake in a greased small square baking pan, about 9- by 9-inches.

1/4 pound graham crackers
1 stick butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease baking pan. Line pan with broken pieces of graham crackers. Place butter and brown sugar in saucepan and melt together, stir to combine well and pour over the graham crackers. Top with peanuts and bake 10 minutes. Cut while warm.

Do Not Bake These Mudpies

This is a great recipe for children and it comes from one of the best grandmothers I know North Dakota's famous Mary Helland. She says, "If you taste the sauce before adding the oatmeal you could almost see it drizzled over ice cream. Some crunchy peanuts or walnuts would be tasty or how about a little wheat germ for that quick boost of energy?"

2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
3 tablespoons peanut butter
3 cups oatmeal
1 teaspoon vanilla

Butter a cookie sheet or just plan to drop onto the kitchen counter. In a saucepan boil the sugar, cocoa and butter; boil hard for 1 minute. Stir in the peanut butter, oatmeal and vanilla. Make the cookies any size you like. The smaller the drop, the faster they will set up.

Cook up cookies and you create smiles!


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