Saturday, December 10, 2011


A friend asked me for a cookie recipe today and I wanted to give her my oatmeal raisin chocolate chips w/walnuts cookie recipe but she thought that sounded too healthy.  (That's a good one!)  So my next favorite recipe for cookies is the tried and true Peanut Butter Blossoms.  You know the ones....little peanut butter nougats topped with a big Hershey's Kiss.  They are delicious and so easy.  The recipe is no secret, it is right on the bag of Kisses, with a few modifications.

48 Hershey's Kisses Brand Milk Chocolates, unwrapped
1/2 cup shortening (Crisco)
3/4 cup of Peanut Butter (cannot be reduced fat)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 Tbl milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1  1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup granulated white sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl beat with an electric mixer the shortening, peanut butter, 1/2 cup white and 1/2 cup  brown sugar until creamy; beat in the egg, milk and vanilla.  Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat this into the peanut butter mixture.  Place the 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in a small bowl.  Roll the dough into 1 inch balls, then roll in the sugar to coat.  Place the balls about 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes; make sure all the kisses have been removed from their wrappers.  Remove the cookies from the oven and quickly top each with a kiss, pressing down until the cookie cracks around the edges.  Return the cookies to the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes more; remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Transfer to racks and let cool completely.  Store air tight.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Bolton Fair AND Zentangle!

I have a young neighbor who lives up the street that asked me 2 years ago if I would teach her how to bake a pie.  This was the request I dreamed my own daughter would ask of me for the past 29 years.  Unfortunately, my daughter has never really wanted to bake a pie.  She actually told me she doesn't even like pie.  Go figure.  I learned how to bake my first pie, lemon meringue, when I was 12 years old and have been hooked on baking pies ever since.  Well, Kristina S. and I did our annual pie baking marathon on Wednesday.  We do the baking on Wednesday to enter pies for the Fair which starts on Thursday.  I make my pie and Kristina does what I do, I never do anything on her pie, she does it all herself. 
This year Kristina chose to learn how to bake a traditional New England Apple pie.  You may think apple pie sounds, well, as "easy as pie", but it is not.  The first year I submitted one I got an Honorable Mention ribbon.  Translation:   Recipe sucks, try again.  That for me was the beginning of  a quest for the perfect apple pie recipe!
It has been a bumpy road over the past 9 years.  There were a couple of 2nd place ribbons, some honorable mentions, and a few no ribbon at all years.  However in 2009 that all changed.  I finally got not only a blue ribbon but also BEST OF SHOW!  WooHoo!!!
Kristina of course got Best of Show in the Junior Division the first year she entered...oh yeah, also the second year she entered.  But keep in mind that was in the fruit pie division.  At 11 and 12 years of age this expert child baker has already perfected Blueberry Pie and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.  Amazing!  This year Kristina began her quest for the perfect apple pie.
We both used the following recipe: