Cooking Cookies with the Kiddo

Cooking Cookies_11 Cooking Cookies_4 Cooking Cookies_1 Cooking Cookies_3 Cooking Cookies_5 Cooking Cookies_6 Cooking Cookies_7 Cooking Cookies_10 Cooking Cookies_8 Cooking Cookies_14 Cooking Cookies_13 Cooking Cookies_12 Cooking Cookies_9 Earrings: vintage | Sweater: J. Crew, old color, similar | Necklace: came in a Stitch Fix box | Jeans: Mother, old, love this and this | Nail polish: Essie Forever Yummy (#488) Cooking cookies with a toddler is a special kind of adventure full of fun, excitement, and a few messes. My little man's favorite part of cooking cookies? Whirling the ingredients. In case you aren't sure what this means, whirling = stirring in his dialect. Somehow we managed to whirl and bake the cookies, clean the kitchen, and eat a couple of the yummy treats without spilling on our clothes - though the risk was totally worth it! This particular recipe is a family favorite - banana, oatmeal, chocolate chip - and have never let me down. I added extra banana this time so the cooking time was a bit longer than usual. All in all, they were the perfect treat for a long weekend.

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles We all know that the sense of smell is a powerful tool in the making and remembering of events. A whiff of a familiar scent has the power to transport us through time reminding us of childhood soccer games (fresh cut grass) or a lost love (perfume or cologne). It can bring up not so pleasant times as well (I won't add those here)....

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Mini Pumpkin Pies

Mini Pumpkin Pies_plated Growing up, there were several dishes that only made the menu on certain holidays. Honey baked ham at Easter, monkey bread on Christmas morning, and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. That was it. If you were absent, sick, or just forgot to grab a bite, you had 365 days until you got another shot. You can probably imagine the chaos that filled the home with 18 - 50 people all vying for the same piece of bread or slice of pie at the same time. Let's not forget about the "her slice is bigger" or "he got more monkey bread than me" argument. Cue the "it's not fair" whining and you have a fantastic start to the day. The way we'd cry and argue, you would think we were starved the rest of the year or that there wasn't plenty to go around. We weren't and there was. We simply understood just how special these dishes were and wanted to get our fill. If that meant a sister or cousin didn't get his or hers, then so be it. Survival of the fittest. We do better now. To avoid such chaos and mayhem at my son's daycare (they have a Thanksgiving lunch and every family brings something), I opted for individual pumpkin pies (we were signed up for pumpkin pie). This way, each serving was identical and, big bonus for the caregivers, no knife cutting or messy serving. In fact, these are most definitely finger food so no forks needed! As you can see, I opted against the traditional dallop of whipped cream per my husband's suggestion. I guess he felt that a bunch of kids under the age of 5 probably didn't need the extra sugar right before nap time. With or without the whipped cream, these mini pumpkin pies are delicious. Just be careful, they go down way too easily! Mini Pumpkin Pies_stacked We have taken these to several parties and get-togethers this season and they have always been a hit with kids and adults alike. It's a bonus that they are so easy, if a bit time consuming. Though, if you use store bought, ready to go mini shells, your workload will be cut by 3/4. I don't think the ready-made shells taste quite as good - they tend to be tougher and crispier - but that is just my humble opinion. I am thinking of capitalizing upon the success of these mini pumpkin pies and giving a boxed assortment to friends, family, colleagues this holiday season. What do you think?

Mini Pumpkin Pies

  • 1 1/2 batches pastry dough (store bought or homemade)
  • Pumpkin pie filling (I use the Libby's recipe on the back of the can)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place a rack in the middle.

Prepare the pumpkin pie filling according to the recipe on the back on the can or using your favorite. Set aside.

Roll the pastry dough to about 1/8" thick. Using a small circle cookie cutter (or a glass prep bowl, like I did. Not super efficient or easy, but it gets the job done), cut as many circles as you can fit. Pull up the excess dough. Place each circle into one of the mini muffin tins.

Note: To prevent the dough from getting too warm, a good practice is to cut it in half. Work with one half while leaving the other wrapped in saran wrap in the fridge.

Repeat the roll, cut, pick up, & place process until you have filled the entire tray.

Using a tablespoon, fill each mini pie crust.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until done.

Allow them to cool in the tin for 5 - 10 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack until they reach room temperature.

I have found that 1 batch of dough makes about 30 mini pies, but there is always leftover filling. You can either dump the filling or get the second batch of dough and do another round (hence the extra 1/2 dough in the ingredient list).

If you do this, you will have about 1/2 of the second dough leftover. You can use mini cookie cutters to cut leaves or other seasonal shapes to place on top of the mini pies while baking for an extra festive kick.

Serve with whipped cream.

Childhood Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies Growing up my best friend lived across the street. We looked like we could be sisters, but were incredibly different in just about every other way - girl scouts vs. sports, dolls vs. running, chocolate anything vs. not a sugar fan, hockey vs. football, listener vs. talker, 1 brother vs. 3 sisters. Somehow we still managed to spend most afternoons laughing until our sides hurt and getting into mischief ...

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Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies I love carbs, especially when they come in the form of really good bread. You know, a fresh baked baguette with thinly sliced radishes, a smattering of butter, and a sprinkle of sea salt. Combine that with a glass of Sancerre and you have a little bite of Katie dessert heaven....

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The Only Banana Bread Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Banana Bread Slices 2 You know that dish (or dishes) that takes you back to your childhood. I mean, the minute you see the recipe, get a whiff of its familiar scent, or take that first bite, you are instantly transported back to eight years old and life suddenly gets just a little bit simpler? I have several of these dishes, of course, but this banana bread is one of my favorites....

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Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Lemon Poppyseed Bread_2 Some things just scream Spring. You know, like pumpkins in Fall and cinnamon in Winter. Well, Spring always has me dreaming of and craving all things yellow and green, especially lemons and cucumbers. From fish and salads to infused water and muffins, these items make their way into just about everything in my home (including the linen - check out these fantastic dish towels! There's a matching table runner and tablecloth, if you're so inclined.) But when we want something on the sweeter side, it's all about the lemon poppy seed bread. This stuff is magic. Incredibly rich (thank you, buttermilk), each bite melts in your mouth. We call it bread, but it is probably more closely related to cake. For a treat, try nuking a slice in the microwave for a few seconds and then layering on a good helping of cream cheese. I believe this is called heaven. I've never been so I can neither confirm nor deny, but it's gotta be close. I can usually only manage one slice before the sweetness overwhelms, but it is a fantastic treat. After a long day, a slice of this and a glass of bubbly makes sliding out of "work mode" and into "summer days mode" a piece of cake (pun intended). The best part about this whole endeavor is that all I have to do is toss all the ingredients into my trusty bread machine and a few hours later - lemon poppy seed bread. No joke. It's like a slow cooker that caters to my carb addiction. Brilliant. *** Sips champagne, eats lemon poppy seed bread, and licks fingers. *** Lemon Poppyseed Bread_1 Lemon Poppyseed Bread_5 Lemon Poppyseed Bread_3