Friday, December 28, 2012

How to make Homemade Chocolate Syrup

I have some people in my life that are obsessed – well maybe that’s not the word – but they insist on only eating all natural foods. They will not eat things unless they are all natural. I have read tons of blogs that are the same way too – the whole “I don’t feed my kids junk, I only give them homemade all natural items. Well good for you, but not all of us care. Want to know someone else who did not care? My great grandmother – the second she could buy anything in the store and avoid making it she did. Guess what it came with high fructose corn syrup and all those other things people don’t like. Now if you are one of those people who hate the HFCS that’s fine but, I just really don’t care if I ingest it or not. Now that being said this next recipe is for you. It is homemade chocolate syrup. It is all natural and the only reason I made it was because of the following:

1. I wanted chocolate milk

2. It was cold out

3. There was a giant blizzard

4. I did not want to walk to the store

5. Because it was more expensive at the store any way

Note that this may not have been in the order I decided to make this but one and two did happen right after one another.

Yes I have made this before but I liked this recipe more than the other one I tried so I figured might as well share it. What you will need:

3/4 c. sugar

3/4 c. brown sugar

1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder – just plain ol’ use it for baking type (I did use dark thanks for noticing!)

1 c. Water

1/4 tsp. Salt

1 tsp Vanilla Pure extract – if you want to keep this all natural use only pure – although I did use my homemade!

In a medium saucepan combine sugars, salt, and Cocoa Powder just whisk it together. Then add the water whisk it until combined then turn on the stove and bring this to a boil whisking frequently. Once it boils reduce heat to medium low and simmer until it thickens a little and slightly reduces. Basically about 2 minutes stirring a lot – don’t want it to burn! When turn off heat and remove from heat source if using anything other than a gas stove (they instantly shut off heat…oh how I miss my gas stove…) and add vanilla whisk one last time, pour hot mixture into a mason jar or any other glass jar you have let it come to room temp and then lid it and put it in the fridge or add a shot or two to some milk and enjoy just keep the jar in the fridge when not in use. Again I did make a dark chocolate version of this but I like it like that. Mmmm hope you make some today I will tell you this – it tastes better than store bought – maybe because I didn’t have to walk to the store to get it…meh oh well – bottoms up! Add it to milk, coffee, ice cream, or whatever you think needs chocolate. Which could be anything....Click HERE to find a printable version - by the way do you all like the printable version? Having issues commenting? It's because you need an account but feel free to comment away on my facebook page for me or the blog! Let me know what you think - oh and sorry for the absence been busy!

The Plot Thickens - or in this case the chocolate sauce


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How to make Lemon Icebox Cookies

Ever since I can remember my Grandmother (mom’s side) has always had Archway cookies in a little drawer where she keeps her snacks, she’s not much of a baker. But my other Grandmother has always had the best cookies ever – chocolate chip, sugar ones, molasses, you name it she had it in her freezer just give her ten minutes and you can have some. However, for some reason I always craved Grandma Gephart’s (mom’s side) store bought cookies. I guess it’s kind of like how I only like boxed macaroni and cheese. I know what you all are thinking. How could anyone prefer store bought over those other cookies – well I was spoiled and store bought were a treat, if you’d only had homemade the store bought is much better. Case in point – my Dad’s Mom – Twila (Grandma Thacker) does not like homemade white bread. She likes store bought much better. She is tired of the homemade – me on the other hand I prefer homemade it’s tasty! See what I mean? Anyway I had to make some lemon cookies. As you all know I am not a lemon person. Pretty sure I am not really a citrus person. I have made the shortbread lemon cookies before and just never really liked them. So I needed some that I could freeze and slice and bake so I could do it at a later date – it’s a little bit of a secret why I am doing all this baking but if you guessed it has something to do with Christmas you’d be correct. Anyway I found this recipe and tweaked it of course but I always at least attempt to taste my food – unless I am allergic – i.e.: Avocado’s and Banana’s anyway so I made these – Icebox Lemon Cookies. They are a roll up into a log freeze then slice and bake kind of cookie. Here is my recipe:

3/4 c of butter – or margarine, which is what I used

1/2 c light brown sugar

1/2 c, white sugar

1 egg

2 tbsp of honey

1 tbsp of grated lemon zest – or one whole lemon zested

1 tbsp of pure lemon extract

The juice of the lemon or 3 tbsp of lemon juice

2 cups flour (you may need up to a 1/4 cup extra flour)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

Okay so cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy, add egg, honey, zest, juice, and extract then beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients. Now I upped the lemon in this it needed it so I had to add some extra flour pretty sure it was 1/4 a cup I did two heaping scoops of my measuring cup. The dough will be sticky but that is fine. So put it on some plastic wrap form a log and freeze for up to a month. Now I had to slice mine right out of the freezer there was no need for me to let mine warm up – I think it’s because my freezer is not as cold as I would like it to be. But basically you slice not too thick and bake at 325 for 11 – 13 minutes. If you want you can sprinkle with powdered sugar. Now here is the deal. I pulled these out of the oven and thought what the heck I’ll taste them. They tasted like the lemon iced archway cookies I had always loved from my grandma. They were the lemon cookies I had grown up loving – lemon with sweet and citrus. Almost like my favorite lemon Girl Scout cookies they used to sell. So go make those cookies!
click here for a printable version.

This is what mine looked like no this is not my photo - I forgot to take them!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How to make Chocolate Sugar Cookies

I am such a bad blogger…I’ve neglected you all. Please don’t cry it’ll all be okay! I’ve had zero drive to cook here recently – probably because my arm is killing me still from my surgery. However, I do have a new recipe for you this week. It is on Chocolate Roll out Sugar cookies. Okay so they are chocolate sugar cookies. I have only made the dough so far – it’s sitting in the freezer awaiting me to roll it out and bake I’ve been a little busy so it’s been hard to bake them so far. However, the dough tasted super yummy…not that I ate raw dough….don’t judge! They have been baked - super tasty!

So here is what you’ll need:

1 c. butter

1 c. plus 2 tbsp of white sugar

1 egg

1 tsp of Vanilla
2 c. plus 1 tbsp of flour

Slightly less than 1 full cup of cocoa powder (it say’s scant which means not quite one cup)

A pinch of salt

Okay so I doubled my recipe I am making it for something so I needed a lot…but here is what you do.

Take a large mixing bowl (btw if anyone wants to get me a kitchen aid mixer a stand one I’d love you forever I like my kitchen aid hand mixer but it’s not the same…) add your sugar and butter together and mix until just together – not creaming. Add egg and Vanilla Extract – I am almost out of my homemade this makes me sad. Mix those two things on a low speed until combined.

In a different bowl add together the flour, salt, and cocoa and whisk it together. This part is fun and the reason I wish I had a standing mixer- add the flour and crap to it and continue to mix until your dough is sticking to your beaters…yeah tons of fun anyway it’s a super thick batter, so after that place it into a plastic bag and toss it in the fridge to chill. Then pull it out and like a sugar cookie, roll it to a ¼ - ½ inch thick and then cut out some shapes bake at 350 for 15 – 20 minutes and cool then decorate. Yes that is it! Enjoy!! Click here for a printabel copy!
I know my photos suck this time. Please forgive I forgot about photos then people called then yada yada - take what you get people! I will have photos when I bake them though!!! They taste great people!! I love them!!! Thanks Sailor Mars for the help!!! Test subject Tiffany aka Sailor Mars helped me bake and and decorate! Test subject Sara also tasted them and enjoyed it.

Sailor mars made the following cookie it is my favorite although the north stars were my other favorites!!