Friday, May 25, 2012


my Mom's recipe

Ahhh... the Snickerdoodle.  What a name.  What a cookie.  I have been craving these for awhile.  They somehow take me right back to my childhood.  They are so delicious and buttery with a slight tang from the Cream of Tartar.  Perfect with a glass of milk.  Yummy.  I'm sure most people have some rendition of the Snickerdoodle recipe, but if you have never tried them, you really should. They are delicious.

1 cup shortening (I used unsalted butter), but I have seen some recipes that say they get better results with 1/2 cup vegetable shortening and 1/2 cup butter.
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon of salt (if using salted butter, you do not need to add this ingredient)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 Tablespoons sugar

Beat shortening, sugar and eggs in mixer until light and fluffy.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.  Stir flour mixture into shortening mixture until well combined.  This dough is very soft, so resist the temptation to add more flour.  Cover dough and chill for 1 hour. 
Mix the cinnamon and 4 Tablespoons of sugar together in a small bowl.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Roll dough into 2 inch balls and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture until well coated.  Place on greased cookie sheet and press down on dough ball with
fork to make a criss-cross pattern.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Watch carefully.  You will lose the delicious chewiness of these cookies if they are over-baked.  They will puff up in the oven quite a bit.  When the edges have set and are slightly golden, remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet.  They will fall when removed from oven, but that is what they are supposed to do.  

Note:  In my effort to try to justify eating way too many of these cookies in one sitting, I did tweak the amount of butter and sugar and found that they still turned out beautifully.  So, if you would like to decrease the butter and sugar, I did have success with about 3/4 cup unsalted butter and  1 cup sugar.  Those are the only changes I made, and the cookies were still wonderful, but they were slightly puffier and not quite as chewy. The picture above was a batch with the reduced amounts to give you an idea of how they will look.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

recipe slightly adapted from The Food Network

This is quite possibly the most delicious homemade pizza I have ever made.  I followed this recipe for the crust preparation and used this recipe for the alfredo sauce recipe and topping ideas.  It was soooo good!

1 boneless skinless chicken breast
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I tamed this a little and just did a couple of sprinkles, but if you like a kick, add the whole teaspoon)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk or heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 cups spinach, well washed and dried, and chopped.
1 roma tomato, sliced
1-2 cups grated mozzarella
olive oil, for brushing crust

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Put chicken on a grill pan and grill until cooked through, or bake seasoned chicken breast until internal temperature of 170 degrees and juices run clear. Let rest for 5 minutes and then dice and set aside.
2.  Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant.  Add the flour and cook until light blonde in color.  Whisk in the cream or milk, reduce the heat to low, and let simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes.  Stir in Parmesan and season lightly with salt and pepper, to taste. 
3. Prepare crust as indicated in this post.
4. Ladle sauce to cover bottom of the pizza.  Evenly top with the spinach, tomato slices, grilled chicken and mozzarella.  Brush the edge of the crust with olive oil.  Bake pizza until crisp and golden and cheese is melted and bubbly.  Remove from oven and immediately top with another handful of spinach.

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

recipe adapted from Alexandra Cooks via Pinterest

Serves 6-8 .... or 1-2 depending on your self control!

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
zest from 1 large lemon  (approx. 2 tsp)
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar*  *for sprinkling on top of cake before baking 
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries (I used frozen and thawed them out in warm water)
1/2 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter with lemon zest and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy.  
2.  Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with 1/4 cup of flour, then whisk remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
3.  Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk.  Fold in the blueberries.
4.  Grease a 9 inch square baking pan or something similar with butter or coat with non-stick cooking spray.  Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes.  Check with toothpick.  If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple more minutes.  Note: baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.  Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

The original recipe called for 3/4 cup sugar.  I reduced to 1/2 cup and it still tasted wonderful.  Also, I do like blueberries, but 2 cups seemed like a lot to me, so I only put in 1 cup and it was just the right amount for me, but if you love blueberries.... load it up! I think more blueberries would tend to result in a little bit moister cake if that is what you would like.