Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

Herbal Gardening Bits and Baking

Spring is here, but I can’t really tell by the weather. It snowed the first day of spring and it’s been cold all this week. When it was warm a few days a couple of weeks ago, I started working on the small herb bed. Many of the perennial herbs are already coming back : catnip, peppermint, oregano, sage, chives, thyme, and rosemary.

The sage looks like it needs some trimming, but I wasn’t real sure how to do it properly. Of course, the quick and easy way for an answer is to look it up online. I found an article at¬† Jim Long’s Garden with an explanation and pictures of how to trim sage plants. I’m going to try to do this soon, but while it’s cold I’ve been spending more time baking.

I’ve found a chocolate chip cookie recipe I LOVE over at apple a day blog. In fact she calls it Best-ever chewy chocolate chip cookies and I’d have to agree. I’ve now made the recipe 3 times and it’s never failed. The recipe doesn’t call for chilling the dough and I really wouldn’t as these cookies hardly flatten out. It’s that simple, mix ingredients and start baking cookies. ūüôā

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I usually end up changing recipes a bit, but this one I’ve truly just left alone. There are only two things I’ve done a little different in the process. After using my scoop and putting the cookies on the cookie sheet(I always use a stoneware pan), I lightly flatten the tops a bit with my fingers, because I wanted my cookies a littler flatter than they were coming out.

The only other thing I did, was bake the cookies between 11-12 minutes, which is probably just a difference between ovens. The recipe calls for not baking over 10 minutes and at 10 minutes my cookies were still too gooey. These cookies are so delicious that the only hard thing will be trying not to eat too many. ūüôā

Every now and then I have to make something none chocolate as not everyone in the house likes chocolate as much as I do, so the other day I made lemon crinkle cookies. These turned out great! They have a light buttery lemon taste and are a nice chewy cookie. It was from a recipe I found online at LDS Magazine(no reflection on my faith beliefs).

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Maybe it will warm up soon and I can get to gardening. Till then I’ll work on baking and some crochet projects. I’ll leave you with a picture of some of my tomato seedlings…roma and beefsteak, which I’ve already transplanted to some bigger pots. I started them out in one of those little seedling cell trays. These are proof you can often use older seeds with good results.

Tomato Seedlings

Tomato Seedlings

Share any thoughts or projects you’re working on or maybe your favorite thing to bake on a cold day?… ūüôā

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Catching Up and Chocolate Oatmeal Drop Cookies…

It has been a busy couple of weeks, so I’ve been a little lax in my blogging and my gardening.¬† I’m back from a good trip to my mother’s.¬† My daughter and I went for her retirement ceremony.¬† She’s retiring after teaching school for about 12 years.¬† We had a good visit and it was nice it was just us girls.¬† No guys.

Now I’m playing catch up, which seems something I’m always busy doing.¬† I was very happy to find out this blog was nominated for a blog award from a fellow blogger.¬† I will try to do another post for it later today.¬† It’s on my ever growing¬†“To Do” list.¬†

This morning I got busy with the hoe and weeded four rows in the garden while it was still cool.  The big garden is coming along nicely with a minimum of deer damage.  The little shade bed has some beautiful bright pink impatients, which are in bloom.  The smaller herb bed, with a few vegetables mixed in, is doing nicely and needs some care.

As the weather continues to warm up some, hopefully there will be more fresh produce soon.  The small amount of peas I had planted are done and I need to plant some more.  We continue to have some lettuce and of course lots of fresh herbs.  I used some fresh chives the other day to make scalloped potatoes.   

Making Cookies

Making Cookies

Here is a picture from last week I had wanted to share.¬† It’s my daughter finishing up making some chocolate oatmeal drop cookies.¬† It’s a cookie more like a candy that we love.¬† Most of the time they set up, but sometimes they end up being spoon cookies(meaning so soft you have to eat them with a spoon).¬† The cookies did good this time.

It’s a good quick cookie, which can be made in a hurry.¬† We usually always have these ingredients on hand in our house.¬† Make sure to gather your ingredients before starting.¬† The peanut butter and oats should be measured out and sitting on counter ready to add when needed.¬† Prepare a flat surface (counter or kitchen table) with at least 3 feet of wax paper rolled out for cookies.

Put 1 stick (1/2 c.) butter in a pot and melt over medium heat.¬† Add in 2 1/2 c. sugar, 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder, and 1/2 c. milk.¬† I stir this continuously, bring to a boil.¬† After it’s boiled for 1 minute (often I do just a bit over a minute), take it off the burner.¬† Quickly stir in 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter, and 3 c. whole oats (uncooked).¬†¬†Quickly drop¬†by¬†tablespoon onto waxed paper.¬† Makes about¬†3 dozen.

I say quickly a couple of times, because if the cookies are doing properly, they will set up¬†rapidly.¬† If the cookies start to harden up, the¬†ones you do towards the end will not be as glossy looking and will be harder to drop from the spoon.¬† It does not take long for the cookies to cool down and they should peel up easily from the waxed paper.¬† Love to eat a couple while still slightly warm with a glass of cold milk.¬† Yum…¬†

 

 

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

I was in a baking mood again today so I made some cookies.  This was from a Martha Stewart recipe which can be found at http://www.food.com/recipe/Chewy-Chocolate-Gingerbread-Cookies-145285 .  I found it while searching online for a chewy cookie which was chocolate and used fresh grated raw ginger root. 

I made a few changes.¬† I substituted semi-sweet chocolate chips for the chocolate cut into chunks.¬† I had no squares of semi-sweet chocolate, but plenty of chocolate chips.¬† I had bought two big bags of them at a¬†good sale during the christmas season.¬† Also, I figure pouring chocolate chips in a recipe is a whole lot easier than trying to chop chocolate up into chunks.¬† Either way you get the important part—the chocolate!

There were only two other changes I did to the ingredients.  I only put 1 teaspoon of ground ginger instead of 1 1/4 teaspoons.  The other thing I did was used dark cocoa powder instead of regular cocoa powder.  I had regular cocoa powder, just thought the dark cocoa might add better flavor. 

There were two other changes I did towards the end of making the cookies.  The first change was after the recipe was mixed, I omitted the step to pat out the dough and seal with plastic wrap.  I simply put a piece of plastic wrap over the mixing bowl and stuck it in the fridge to firm.  The other modification I ended up having to make, was to bake the cookies longer than called for in the recipe.  This could have simply been a difference in ovens.  I baked mine for 15 minutes instead of the 10-12 minutes stated in the recipe.

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

These were really tasty cookies, especially with a glass of ice cold milk.  The combination of chocolate with the spices was a nice flavor.  It was a good soft chewy cookie, which I will definitely make again and may even try a batch without the chocolate chips.