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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bake Sale Recipes and Instructions

Recipes & Baking Instructions
Snickerdoodle Cookies
(yields about 3 dozen 3 1/2 inch cookies)
These are some of Andre’s favorite cookies and an author friend wrote a great book about the missing snickerdoodles (ask Andre about it one day).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and use a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper on the middle rack of the oven.
Sift together:
·         2C all-purpose flour (we like unbleached)
·         2 teaspoons cream of tartar
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         ¼ teaspoon salt (optional if you are following a low sodium diet)
Beat on medium speed until very fluffy and well blended:
·         2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (1/2 pound)
·         1 1/2 C sugar
Add and beat until well combined:
·         2 large eggs
·         1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well blended and smooth. Pull off pieces of the dough and roll between your palms to form balls. Roll in a mixture of:
·         ¼C sugar
·         4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Space about 2 ¾ inches apart on the sheets and give a little ‘smoosh’ with the bottom of a drinking glass. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are light golden brown at the edges, 8-11 minutes; rotate the sheet halfway through baking for even browning. Remove the sheet to a rack and let stand until the cookies firm slightly. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool. Let cookies sheets cool between batches or the cookies may spread too much.

Peanut Butter Balls
(yields about 18-24 balls, depending on size)
These are a favorite at Christmas or any time of year. We have  a hard time keeping them from disappearing at our house!
Combine:
·         2C crushed graham crackers
·         2C powdered sugar
·         2C peanut butter (we like creamy, but you can use creamy or crunchy)
·         1/2C melted butter
Mix the above ingredients and roll into balls. Place balls on a tray and chill until firm. If you have trouble rolling them, sometimes chilling your dough prior to rolling is a good trick.
Melt: 2C chocolate chips and 2T peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl. Stir often and completely. Do not remove balls from fridge until chocolate is melted and you are ready to coat. Use a fork or tongs to cover balls with chocolate. Place covered balls on a wax paper lined tray and refrigerate until chocolate has hardened. Once hard, you can move the balls to whatever containers you wish – covered…then place them back in the fridge or a cool place until ready for serving or gift-giving (but don’t tell your husband where you’ve hidden them or you may not have any left)

Chocolate Chip Cookies
(yields about 3 dozen 3 1/2 inch cookies)
Ingredients:
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar (I like dark)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour (I like unbleached)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2) Start at the top of the list (with the butter) and add the ingredients together. Stir thoroughly after each ingredient is added.

3) Using 2 table spoons, place your dough on the cookie sheet (I like an airbake cookie sheet - ungreased) and do not roll, form, or worry about any of that. Just 'plop' them on there. I can only fit 9 cookies on a sheet, but of course the size of your 'plop' is going to determine that.

4) Bake on the center rack (this may mean for optimal cookie goodness that you can only bake 1 sheet at a time) for 10 minutes. Set a timer ... 10 minutes means, 10 minutes!


5) Remove from oven promptly and allow to 'rest' for 1 minute before using a spatula to move from the cookie sheet to a grocery bag for drying/cooling.
note**** I cut the bottom and handles off my grocery bag, and then slit the bag down the side so it opens to about the length of 2 cookie sheets and then I lay it out on my counter top. It's a little messy when you clean up the mess and there will be some grease on the counter top, but pulling the grease away from the cookies helps keep them soft and moist.

6) After fully cooled, place cookies in an air tight container. I keep my Folgers coffee containers, they are plastic with a tight fitting cover and they work fabulously. Resist the urge to keep your cookies in a cookie jar that is not air tight - they'll get dried out and lose some softness

7) Enjoy and Share!


Peanut Butter Cookies
(yields about 3 dozen 3 1/2 inch cookies)
Have all ingredients room temperature and preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle of the oven.
In a large bowl, beat on medium speed until very fluffy and well blended:
·         ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
·         1C sugar
·         ½ teaspoon salt
·         2/3 C Peanut Butter
Add and beat until well blended:
·         1 Large egg yolk
Add and beat until well combined:
·         1 Large egg
·         2 teaspoons vanilla
Reduce the sped to low and beat in just until combined:
·         2 ½ C all-purpose flour
Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or it can be double wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month.)
To bake, position a rack in the middle of the oven. Scoop cookie dough into 1 Tablespoon balls. Place dough balls on parchment-lined cookie sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Using a fork, flatten cookies and bake 6-8 minutes…OR…bake as balls and after 7 minutes remove and add a bit of chocolate (rolo, kiss, etc…) to the center.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
(yields about 3 dozen 3 1/2 inch cookies)
Position rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together thoroughly:
·         1 ¾ C all-purpose flour
·         ¾ teaspoon baking soda
·         ¾ teaspoon baking powder
·         ½ teaspoon salt
·         ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
·         ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Beat on medium speed until well blended:
·         ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
·         1 2/3 C packed light or dark brown sugar
·         1/2 C sugar
·         2 large eggs
·         2 ½ teaspoons vanilla
Stir the flour mixture into butter mixture until well blended and smooth.
Stir in:
·         1 C raisins
·         3 ½ C old-fashioned rolled oats
Drop the dough by heaping measuring tablespoonful’s onto the sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. With lightly greased hands, lightly press the cookies down for form ½ inch thick rounds. Bake one sheet at a time on parchment-lined cookie sheets; bake 6-9 minutes rotating sheet halfway through baking for even browning. Remove and allow to cool on racks.

Oatmeal Raisin Dough
(yields about 2 dozen 3 1/2 inch cookies)
Your dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or it can be frozen for up to 1 month. Your dough was prepared the afternoon of January 24th; if you will not be using before the afternoon of the 26th, please freeze as this mixture contains raw eggs and your health is important to us!
Please thaw in the refrigerator prior to baking (4-6 hours)
To bake, position a rack in the upper third of an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Drop the dough by heaping measuring tablespoonful’s onto the sheets, spacing about 3 inches apart. With lightly greased hands, lightly press the cookies down for form ½ inch thick rounds. Bake one sheet at a time on parchment-lined cookie sheets; bake 6-9 minutes rotating sheet halfway through baking for even browning. Remove and allow to cool on racks.

Peanut Butter Dough
(yields about 2 dozen 3 1/2 inch cookies)
Your dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or it can be frozen for up to 1 month. Your dough was prepared the afternoon of January 24th; if you will not be using before the afternoon of the 26th, please freeze as this mixture contains raw eggs and your health is important to us!
Please thaw in the refrigerator prior to baking (4-6 hours)
To bake, position a rack in the middle of an oven that has been preheated to 375 degrees Farenheit. Scoop cookie dough into 1 Tablespoon balls. Place dough balls on parchment-lined cookie sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Using a fork, flatten cookies and bake 6-8 minutes…OR…bake as balls and after 7 minutes remove and add a bit of chocolate (rolo, kiss, etc…) to the center. Remove and allow to cool on racks.


Chocolate Chip Dough
(yields about 2 dozen 3 1/2 inch cookies)
Your dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or it can be frozen for up to 1 month. Your dough was prepared the afternoon of January 24th; if you will not be using before the afternoon of the 26th, please freeze as this mixture contains raw eggs and your health is important to us!
Please thaw in the refrigerator prior to baking (4-6 hours)
To bake, position a rack in the middle of an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees Farenheit. Scoop cookie dough into 1 Tablespoon balls. Place dough balls on parchment-lined cookie sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake for 9 minutes, remove and allow to cool on racks.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Lending Library Now Open!

I've decided to start a lending library for my local friends. I'll lend you a book (a physical book) and you have 4 weeks to read it, leave an Amazon review, and then return it. You'll have the following titles to chose from:
The Missing Link by Julia Asel Thomas
Any Road Will Take You There by David W David W. Berner - Writer
Your Dreams are Too Small by Joe Tye
Falling for Leigh by Jennifer Snow Books
Leaving the Hall Light On by Madeline Tasky Sharples
Betty's Child by Donald Dempsey
Seeing Red Cars by Seeing Red Cars with Laura Goodrich
The Goodbye Year by Toni Toni Bassaro Piccinini
Wink by Eric Trant
Skeleton's Key by Stacy Green Whisenand
A Southern Place by Elaine Drennon Little
Tell 'Em by Liysa Croll Callsen
Every Faithful to His Lead by Kathleen Pooler
and
The Fourth Wall by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo
*****Most of these books are signed by the authors, so if you fail to return my book I may have to hunt you down...and if you fail to post an honest Amazon review, you likely will not be welcome to borrow books in the future. Sign up by commenting below with the title you would like to read first and then email me to arrange for pick up (crystal@wow-womenonwriting.com or crystaljotto@gmail.com !
GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Announcing Another GREAT WOW! Women on Writing Book Blog Tour

It's a wee bit chilly here in Wisconsin today, which might explain why I am looking ahead to March. Or it could be I am just incredibly excited about the March tour for Karen Jones Gowen and Afraid of Everything.

Karen is looking for Amazon reviews as well as review type blog stops. I have ecopies available today for anyone interested, and we could mail out physical copies next week. There are also 12 copies available for bloggers to give away as part of the tour. This tour launches 3/2, so reserve your spot early by emailing me: crystal@wow-womenonwriting.com

Amazon Link


Book Summary: Afraid of Everything

Helena Carr is afraid of everything. After a crisis at work, she quits her job and feels lost. It’s time for a serious change, to beat the extreme anxiety that has plagued her since childhood. Something different, unplanned and radical. Sell her house, move to a foreign location, turn her life upside down in an effort to end the emotionally paralyzing fear.

Before Helena can act on her options, however, she has a terrible accident on a Southern California freeway. Instead of going on an exotic vacation, she is in a hospital, in a coma, traveling to strange worlds in another dimension, meeting people who seem to know more about her than she knows about herself.

As Helena explores this intriguing new world, she realizes the truth about her past and the purpose of her future. And she is no longer afraid. She is at last ready to live. But first, she must wake up from the coma.

http://www.amazon.com/Afraid-Everything-Karen-Jones-Gowen-ebook/dp/B00OAC0N6U


More about Karen:

Born and raised in central Illinois, Karen Jones Gowen attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb and the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. She transferred to Brigham Young University, where she met her husband Bruce, and there graduated with a degree in English and American Literature.

Karen and Bruce have lived in Utah, Illinois, California and Washington, currently residing in Panajachel, Guatemala. They are the parents of ten children. Not surprisingly, family relationships are a recurring theme in Gowen's writing.