Cowboy Cookies

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I have no idea why these cookies are called “Cowboy” cookies, maybe they taste their best out on the trail, or after a long hard day of wrangling cattle, but even if you’re not a range rider/cowboy, the cookies are still a delicious treat.  A hint of cinnamon adds a nice depth of flavor.    If I remember correctly, I think the original recipe called for chopped pecans, but I’ve substituted almonds.

Cowboy CookiesIMG_2201

1 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla (extract or paste)

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 cup chocolate chips

3/4 cup sliced almonds or chopped pecans

3/4 cup shredded coconut

Cream butter and sugars till mixture is light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly, then add vanilla.   In a separate bowl stir together flour, baking powder, soda and cinnamon.  Add flour mixture to creamed mixture in two orIMG_2211a three additions.  Then stir in oats, chocolate chips, almonds and coconut.  Roll dough into 1 1/2 ” balls, place on ungreased cookie sheets and flatten.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 9-10 minutes, being careful not to overbake.  Makes about 3 dozen.

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Hummingbird Birthday Cake

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An upcoming birthday is always a good excuse for some  cake-making.  My elder sister will be celebrating her birthday this week, so we had tea and cake with her this afternoon in anticipation of the event.  This is a recipe that was published years ago in a Martha Stewart magazine.  I’ve had the clipping in my files for so long, the time had come to either do the deed or get rid of the clipping.  I did the deed 🙂

Hummingbird cake is a southern classic and there are lots of variations.  Check out the original Southern Living recipe here.

I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit for personal taste, reducing both the sugar and oil.  Much to my chagrin, I somehow missed adding the cinnamon into the cake batter, so instead  I added it into the icing and that was just fine.  If you don’t have inclination to decorate using the pineapple “flowers”,  a sprinkle of chopped pecans on the top of the icing would be a classic finish.

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Hummingbird Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp  cinnamon

pinch of salt

2/3 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/3 cups sugar

3 large eggs

3 large bananas, mashed

3/4 cup canned pineapple tidbits,  well-drained and chopped

1 cup chopped  pecans

1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray two round layer cake pans (8″ or 9″) with non-stick spray.  Line bottoms of pans with parchment.  In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.  In mixer bowl, stir together sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until mixture is light and fluffy.  Stir in mashed bananas, chopped pineapple, pecans and coconut.  Add flour and gently mix just until all ingredients are combined.  Divide batter between cake pans and bake for about 35 minutes, until cakes are golden brown.  Invert baked cakes onto wire racks to cool.  While cakes are cooling, prepare pineapple decorations (see below).  When cakes are completely cooled, ice with cream cheese icing.

Cream Cheese Icing

1 250g pkg cream cheese (NOT low fat)

½ cup  butter or margarine

3-4 cups icing sugar, sifted

1 ½ tsp vanilla

2 drops almond extract

Beat the cream cheese and butter till smooth.  Add flavorings and mix well.  Stir in icing sugar in several additions.   Avoid overmixing as icing will become too grainy to spread smoothly.

 Pineapple “Flower” DecorationsIMG_2164

Preheat oven to 225 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment.   Peel pineapple and remove eyes with a small melon baller or paring knife.  Slice pineapple into thin slices, 1/8″ or less if possible.  Lay slices in a single layer on baking sheets and bake for about 30 minutes, until tops feel dry.  Flip slices and bake 30 minutes more, till slices are completely dry.  Thicker slices will need more drying time.

Pineapple Flowers

Remains of the day

Remains of the day

Morning Glory Muffins

More carroty goodness today,  in Morning Glory Muffins.  There are all sorts of additions you could make to these muffins, including pineapple and walnuts, but we like them like this:

 

Morning Glory Muffins

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 cups peeled, grated carrots

3/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 apple, peeled and grated

3 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup canola oil

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Blend together eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla in a separate bowl.  Add to dry ingredients, gently mixing just until moistened.  Divide batter into muffin tins, bake at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes.  Makes 18 large muffins, using cupcake liners.

 

Carrot Cake

Fall is a good time for carroty goodness in your cakes and muffins.  I wish it were still fall here in our neck of the woods.  It feels like we went right from late summer to winter.  Maybe all the more reason to turn the oven on and fill the house with delicious aromas.

Carrot Cake

2 cups flour

1 cup white sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup shredded coconut

3 cups grated carrot

3 eggs

1/2 cup canola oil

1/3 – 1/2 cup milk

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.   In a separate smaller bowl, stir together eggs, oil and milk.    Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, stirring (use a folding technique) just to combine.  Pour batter into greased and floured pans and bake at 350 degrees F  for about 30  minutes till golden brown.  This recipe will make  two 8″ layers, OR about 18 large cupcakes.

Toffee Cornflake Cookies

Here’s a quick and easy sweet treat.   McIntosh’s Toffee doesn’t come in bars anymore, so you have to count out the single candies from a larger bag, but that’s no big deal.  Don’t make too many at once, it’s hard to eat just one 🙂

Toffee Cornflake Cookies

28 individual toffee pieces (224 g in total)

3 tbsp butter

1 tbsp cream

2 1/2 – 3 cups cornflakes

1/2 cup coconut

Melt together toffee, butter and cream.  The microwave works well for this.  Stir to combine.  Add cornflakes and coconut and mix.  On parchment paper, shape mixture into small cookies.  Let cool.

Ranger Macaroon Cookies

This is a nice sturdy cookie, perfect for packing in lunches and having on hand in the freezer.

Ranger Macaroons

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 cups cereal (corn flakes or rice krispies or shredded wheat)

1 cup chocolate chips  (1 1/2 cups  for chocolate lovers)

1 cup coconut

1 cup chopped nuts (we like sliced almonds)

Beat butter till soft and creamy.  Add sugars and vanilla and beat again until mixture is lightened in color and fluffy.  Add eggs.  In another bowl stir together remaining dry ingredients, then slowly begin incorporating dry mixture to the sugar batter.  Once dough is thoroughly mixed, shape dough into slightly larger than walnut-sized balls, place on ungreased cookie sheets, flattening slightly, and bake about 10 minutes, at 350 degrees F till very lightly golden.  Remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

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