Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cinnamon Chip Oatmeal Raisin Chewies

So this cookie is kind of a combination of oatmeal cookie and regular chocolate chip like cookie (with cinnamon chips instead). The oatmeal gives it a nice chew, but they aren't totally oatmealy, if you know what I mean. Anywho, these cookies are just delicious actually. The raisin/cinnamon chip combination is so yummy. If you can't find cinnamon chips (they usually have them during the holidays and I stock up on them and put a few bags in the freezer) you can substitute butterscotch chips. This recipe makes a lot of cookies, at least 3 dozen, so it's a great idea to bake half the dough and save the other half by freezing portioned out dough balls and putting them in the freezer. The cooking time for frozen dough is just a couple minutes more.

Cinnamon Chip Oatmeal Raisin Chewies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour (plus 2 tablespoons for high altitude)
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cinnamon chips
1/2 - 1 cup raisins (just depends on how you feel about raisins :))

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. In a separate bowl combine flour, oats, kosher salt, and baking soda. Add dry mixture to wet mixture and mix well. Stir in cinnamon chips and raisins. Scoop dough onto cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between cookies. Bake for about 8 minutes or until just lightly golden on edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes before transfering to racks to cool.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My Very Favorite Wheat Bread

I have a new favorite bread recipe. I just love this bread!! It rises so well (a bonus at the high elevation I live at) and it is soft and delicious. This recipe uses half whole wheat and half white bread flour, but I find that is the right combination for my family to really love it. Of course you can adjust the ratio of whole wheat to white bread flour to find out what is right for you and your family. Honestly, my family can't get enough of this bread and whenever I make it I have to freeze 2 of the loaves or they would all be gone the first day. There is nothing better than this bread fresh out of the oven with butter and jam. Oh so good. A great bonus is that this is a great food storage recipe as all the ingredients have long shelf lives. I bet this dough would make great rolls too, I just haven't tried that yet. I got the original recipe from Favorite Family Recipes and modified it to my tastes.

My Very Favorite Wheat Bread
-makes 3 loaves

3 cups really warm water
1 1/2 heaping tablespoons yeast (I use SAF)
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
2 tablespoons dough enhancer
3-4 cups white bread flour

In a heavy duty stand mixer, fitted with dough hook attachment, (I have a Bosch) combine the warm water and yeast and let stand until frothy. Add shortening, honey, salt, 3 cups whole wheat flour, and dough enhancer. Mix until combined. Add white bread flour a cup at a time until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, for me I used just shy of 4 cups of white bread flour. Knead with dough hook on high speed for 5 minutes.

Place dough into large greased bowl and cover with non-stick sprayed plastic wrap. Allow to rise for about 40 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

Punch down dough and turn out onto a greased or floured surface (I often use non-stick spray rather than flour to roll out doughs). Knead a couple of times and then divide into 3 equal pieces. Form each piece into a loaf and place in a greased bread pan. Cover with non-stick sprayed plastic wrap. Allow to rise in pans for about 25 minutes or until the dough has doubled and reaches a little over the tops of the pans, be sure not to let them over raise.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 23-25 minutes or until the loaves are golden on top and bottom. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes. Brush loaves with butter at this point if you desire. Turn out onto racks to cool at least for another 10 minutes to make slicing easier.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Nilla Waffer Pear Crumble

My husband loves cobblers, crisps, and crumbles. His all time favorite dessert is peach cobbler (some day I need to take a picture and put my peach cobbler recipe on this blog!), but for Father's Day last month he asked for a pear crisp for dessert and I just happened to have clipped this recipe out of a Betty Crocker magazine and decided to give it a try. It was so yummy and perfect with vanilla ice cream. Oh man what a wonderful combination. The topping has just the right amount of crunch to go with the softer pears. My husband enjoyed his Father's Day dessert, so mission accomplished.

Nilla Waffer Pear Crumble

2 large cans sliced pears, drained very well (or 6 cup peeled and sliced fresh pears)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cold butter
12 Nilla Waffer cookies, crushed (about 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large bowl combine pears, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, vanilla, and ginger. Spread into a 8x8 square baking dish.

In a medium bowl combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or 2 forks until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in the crushed Nilla Waffers. Sprinkle this mixture over the pear mixture in the baking dish. Bake for about 35 minutes or until top is golden brown. If using fresh pears you will need to bake it for 50-60 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream or a little heavy cream poured over it.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Baked Western Omelet

This is a great baked omelet recipe. I have made it multiple times now for breakfast for dinner nights, because it's so easy to throw together, and my whole family has loved it. If you like salsa on your scrambled eggs/omelets this is the recipe for you (we love salsa on our eggs). I got the recipe from Chef in Training and modified it slightly.

Baked Western Omelet

12 eggs
16 oz sour cream
1 cup salsa (I used Pace picante sauce)
8 oz grated colby jack cheese
1/2 cup crumbled bacon

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl whisk together eggs and sour cream until well blended. Set aside.

Spread salsa in an even layer into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle half the grated cheese over the salsa. Pour the egg mixture over the grated cheese. Sprinkle the bacon over the top of the egg mixture. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until the egg is firm in the center. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then cut into squares and serve.