Monday, April 8, 2013

Pudding Mix Chocolate Chip Cookies

I finally got around to trying this recipe, which has been all over Pinterest and on lots of cooking blogs, and I'm so happy I did! These little cookies are delightful in every way. They are soft, pillowy, and incredibly tasty! These cookies are firmly in the cakey chocolate chip cookie camp, so if that's your style you must give them a try. My kids absolutely loved them. Fabulous cookies! A big bonus was that they stayed soft and tasty for 2 days (maybe even longer, but they were all gobbled up within 2 days!).

Pudding Mix Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 sticks (or 3/4 cup) butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1, 3.4 oz package instant vanilla pudding
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour (plus 1 1/2 tablespoons for high altitude)
*Only for high altitude: 1/2 tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl stir together flour and baking soda. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer (or you can use a hand mixer) cream together butter and sugars. Add in the instant pudding mix and beat until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. At this point if you live at a high altitude also add the 1/2 tablespoon of water and mix. Add flour mixture slowly until well incorporated. Add chocolate chips and stir in well by hand. Using a small cookie scoop or 2 teaspoons drop dough onto greased cookie sheets (makes about 4 dozen small cookies). Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool.
See the soft, moist center - YUM!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Pineapple Glazed Ham with Gravy

This really is the perfect glazed ham in my opinion. I love pineapple with ham; they are the perfect compliment to each other. I got the ham glaze recipe from Pinterest. originally from the blog "The Life of Faith". The gravy is slightly sweet because it's made from the ham and glaze drippings and I thought it turned out great. I made this ham for our Easter dinner and everyone loved it. Our Easter dinner was nice and simple this year: glazed ham, gravy, this cheesy potato casserole, and green beans. Easy and delicious.

Pineapple Glazed Ham with Gravy

Ham & Glaze:
7-10 lb spiral sliced ham
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1, 20 oz can crushed pineapple, undrained
3 tablespoons lemon juice (bottled works fine)
1 tablespoon Dijon or spicy brown mustard

1/3 - 1/2 cup strained juices from baked ham
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 - 1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Place ham flat side down in a large baking dish or roasting pan. Cook uncovered at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile in a sauce pan combine brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, crushed pineapple with juices, lemon juice, and mustard. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for about a minute stirring constantly until thickened. Once ham has baked for 45 minutes pour this glaze over the ham and use a basting brush to coat the ham well with the glaze. Return to oven and bake an additional 45 minutes or until ham is heated completely through.

To Make Gravy:
Place ham on a serving platter. Strain all juices and bits from the baking dish into a saucepan. You should end up with about 1/3 - 1/2 cup of juices. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the juices in saucepan and heat until butter is melted. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk well. Slowly add 1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken broth depending on how thick you like your gravy and heat until boiling whisking constantly. Remove from heat and serve with ham.