Welcome! :-) Whatever brought you here today wasn't an accident, and I'm so glad you stopped by. I'm always glad to have folks drop in my kitchen for a visit and hope you'll feel right at home. We always have an ample supply of fresh lemonade, sweet tea, and a pot of coffee brewing along with a sideboard full of baked treats for you to enJOY while you're here. Relax and take your time as we visit and catch up on the latest news. Don't forget to email and let me know what's going on in your world, as well. And, come back soon!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Synopsis of "Nanna Week in the Kitchen"

Well, "Nanna Week" has come and gone, and so has July. I can't believe we're heading on the downhill side of summer---FINALLY! I'm sooooo ready. With 3-digit temps every day, it's been a challenge to even want to be in the kitchen, let alone cook anything that requires using an oven and burners on the stove. (Translation: We've enJOYed Subway and Quiznos sandwiches for a change, until the weather decides to cool!)

I think the grands had a good time last week, as each one had their own special "Nanna Day" (and night!). I allowed each child to choose a recipe and be as creative (within reason!---no worms or bugs for filler!) as they wanted in sprucing up the final product. Jacob invented "Molasses Vanilla Chip Cookies," which were oh so yummy, and he got carried away and kept adding those vanilla chips to his second dish--"Nieman Marcus Vanilla Chip Brownies." Madison took a "Brown Sugar Crisps" cookie recipe and created a whole new cookie that I think has to be the blue-ribbon winner. We named it "Snickers Crisps." Madie is a big fan of Snickers candy bars, so this was a perfect cookie for her. She also made "Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing." (Would you believe we grated/chopped 3 CUPS OF CARROTS for those babies?!... but they were well worth every grate/chop!) Emma's contributions, "Molasses Cookies" and "Devil's Food Cupcakes," were our first creations, on Monday, and I have already posted (see last week's posts) the recipe she used for the cookies. Actually, if you want to make Jacob's version of the "Molasses Vanilla Chip Cookies," (see photo below), you can use last week's recipe for Emma's "Molasses and Memories Cookies" and just add 1 cup of vanilla (white chocolate) chips to the dough after everything else has been added. Bake as directed on the recipe. I plan to post the other recipes over the next couple of days, so watch for these, if you're interested. If you don't try any others, you have to try the Snickers Crisps---and eat them when they are just warm out of the oven! I think I have a new favorite cookie! Thanks, Madison! :-)

Here are some photo highlights from the week:

Jacob has a sweet-tooth like his Nanna, and his "Molasses Vanilla Chip Cookies" definitely served as the cure for both our "sweet-teeth"! :-)

Madison did a great job icing her "Carrot Cupcakes" and was rewarded with getting to lick the beaters and spatula after she finished.

These were so yummy! I think Madie and I could have just had the icing all by itself, too!

Although the carrot cupcakes were winners, I think the "Snickers Crisps" won the prize!

My new "favorite cookie"! :-)

Although Samuel didn't invent any "new" recipes, he cooked his little heart out!

and of course, his dish was yummy, too!

After we cooked all week, Samuel finally got to spend the night and help me clean up my messy kitchen...
He loves the old kitchen sweeper! (even if it isn't plugged in :-)....

Vacuuming is "HARD WORK"! :-)

All in all, we had a wonderful week, and I made it to Friday without being totally exhausted.... But, I don't think I'll be doing two "Nanna weeks" back-to-back any time soon! :-)

Here is Madison's creative cookie recipe for the week:



Makes 3 1/2 dozen

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

• 1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar

• 3/4 cup granulated sugar

• 1 large egg

• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

• 1 cup salted whole peanuts

• 1 cup milk chocolate chips

• 1 cup KRAFT Premium Caramel Bits


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together flour, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

2. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture; mix until combined. Stir in peanuts, milk chocolate chips, and caramel bits.

3. Use a cookie dipper to drop balls of dough on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 3 inches apart. These will flatten to 2 ½ or 3 inches in diameter as they cook. Bake cookies, until edges are just golden, about 12 minutes. Do not overbake or the caramel will stick to the pans (You want it just melted.) Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.

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