Category Archives: Cookies and Candies

Sweet Potato Brownies

I have had this recipe saved in my Allrecipes.com recipe box for as long as I can remember, and it finally took the fact that I had two little sweet potatoes that were in dire need of being used up for me to finally make it.

Don’t make the same mistake I did!!

These are sooo good.  The main flavor really isn’t even the sweet potato (not that I would have minded since I love sweet potatoes) but the butterscotch flavor from the brown sugar and butter. And the glaze just puts them over the top.  Sinfully sweet!

Jay wrinkled up his nose at the idea of sweet potato brownies.  He has now learned the error of his ways 😉  He thought they were delicious too.

And I think you’ll agree if you give them a try!  Until next time, Happy Cooking 🙂

Sweet Potato Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups peeled and finely shredded sweet potato
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tb softened butter
  • 2 Tb milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13×9 baking dish.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Stir in vanilla.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir into the batter just until blended.  Fold in the sweet potatoes.  Spread the batter evenly in the baking dish.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Mix together the powedered sugar, butter, and milk until smooth.  Spread over the brownies while they are still warm.

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The Best Granola Bars

I did it, I finally did it!  I finally got my husband to do the dishes and laundry for me, you ask??  Well no, I haven’t quite gotten that lucky yet (I wish!). 

But I did find the perfect granola bar recipe.  I tried making homemade granola bars quite some time ago, but they kept coming out either too crispy or crumbly, or something just wasn’t right.  So I gave up.  Then last weekend, when there weren’t any granola bars on sale for a good price at the store, I decided to give them a try again. 

Jay goes thru a lot of granola bars since he works in construction and needs snacks that he can pick up and eat on the go.  His one stipulation was that they be chewy.  I chose this recipe from Allrecipes since I had all the ingredients and it had gotten really good reviews.  They were sooo good!  I made them for Jay, but I think I ate close to half of them myself.  I guess I’ll just have to make some more!

They had the perfect amount of chewyness.  Jay definitely approved.  And I love that I know exactly what ingredients went into making them.  This recipe is so versatile too, I’m already thinking of different variations I want to make.  I hope you give them a try too and enjoy them as much as we did.

Until next time, happy cooking! 🙂

The Best Granola Bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ (all I had was wheat bran, so I used that)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 13×9 baking pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the oats and next 7 ingredients (flour thru walnuts).  In another bowl whisk together the wet ingredients.  Pour into the oats mixture and stir until everything is well coated.

Spoon into prepared baking pan.  At this point, I found it easiest to wet my hands a little (so they wouldn’t stick to the mixture) and press the mixture firmly into the pan.  This will ensure that the bars stay together nicely and don’t come out crumbly.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until golden around the edges.  Cool completely before turning out and cutting into bars.

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Chocolate Chip Peppermint Snowballs

Christmas is almost here!  Have y’all finished all your shopping??  Today is the start of my three-day holiday weekend, and I’ve got lots of baking and cooking planned! 

Before I go get started on that, though, I wanted to share the second cookies I baked last weekend.  I don’t know why but I’ve been obsessed lately with the combination of chocolate and peppermint.  These cookies originally had crushed peppermints in the dough, and that’s how I made them to take to my office Christmas party recently.  They were so good, I knew I wanted to make a batch for us at home, but I decided to swap out the peppermint in the dough for mini chocolate chips.  Very good call on that one, if I do say so myself. 

Be advised that the dough is pretty crumbly.  You’ll probably have to work on it a bit with your hands to form the balls.  But never fear, it will come together!  These are so addictive, I have not been able to keep my hands off them.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

Have  a wonderful Merry Christmas everyone, and I’ll see y’all after the holidays!

P.S.  I apologize for only having one blurry, crappy picture to share.  Don’t let my picture taking capabilities deter you from making these!

Chocolate Chip Peppermint Snowballs

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies (or candy canes)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

Mix crushed pepermints and 1/4 cup powdered sugar together.  Set aside.

Mix together butter, powdered sugar, mini chocolate chips, and vanilla in a large bowl.  Stir in flour and salt.  Mixture will be fairly crumbly.  Using your hands, shape into 1-inch balls.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 325 degrees for 15-18 minutes until set but not browned.  Remove from cookie sheet onto a wire cooling rack.  Allow to cool slightly, then roll in the crushed peppermint/powdered sugar mixture.  Cool completely, then roll again in the crushed peppermint/powdered sugar mix.

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It’s Holiday Baking Time! Pecan Balls

Goodness, is Christmas really only a week away??  It seems like it was only last week that we put up the tree and decorations.  I’m always sad when Christmas is over because I think January and February are the most depressing months of the year.  By that time I’m sick and tired of the snow and cold weather and just want spring to hurry up and get here.

But enough complaining, because at this moment my Christmas tree is shining brightly, and the whole house smells like cookies!  I’ve seen so many mouthwatering goodies tempting me from all your blogs lately, I could hardly wait for the weekend to get here when I’d have time to do some baking myself.

I made two different cookies today, and they were both very yummy!  I’m going to share both of them, and the first one is these delicious Pecan Balls.  The recipe comes from this very old, slightly battered copy of The Southern Junior League Cookbook.  We love our pecans in the South.

They’re basically like pecan sandies except, well, in ball form and rolled in powdered sugar.  Delicious, I tell ya!  I dare you to try to eat just one!

Pecan Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 Tb sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • powdered sugar

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except for powdered sugar.  Using your hands, roll into 1-inch balls.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.  Allow to cool, then roll in powdered sugar.

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Oatmeal Coconut Chewies

 

As soon as I saw these cookies posted over at My Kitchen Cafe I knew I was going to have to make them.  Resistance was futile.  I lasted two days, then I broke down and made them, and they were every bit as yummy as I thought they would be.  Now it’s just a matter of willpower to pace myself and not scarf them all down right away.  Whew, these cookies are good! 

The most important thing about making these cookies is, Do not overbake, Do not overbake, Do not overbake.  Did ya get that?  Okay, good.  Otherwise you’ll be missing out on the whole “chewy” part of the cookie.  I took them out right at the 10 minute mark, and at that point they were still very soft and under-done looking.  Remember, cookies continue to cook after you remove them from the oven.  I let them sit on the cookie sheets a good 5 minutes then placed them on a cooling rack.  Perfect!

Oatmeal Coconut Chewies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup rolled oats

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix until everything is combined.  Drop by tablespoonfuls on a greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 9-11 minutes.  Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

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Heart-Shaped Cakes, A Treat Any Time of the Year!

Who says heart-shaped goodies can only be made for Valentine’s Day?  Not me! 

Actually, these little cakes were made at Christmas-time by Ma Ingalls and were put into Laura and Mary’s stockings.  The recipe comes from The Little House Cookbook that I checked out from the library a while back.  I really enjoyed reading it, but I wanted to make at least one recipe from it as well.  It’s not the exact recipe Ma would have used, but it’s the author’s closest approximation of it. 

These were so simple and easy to make, and so yummy.  Most of us would probably consider these little cakes (they’re really more like cookies) quite plain and nothing special, but Laura and Mary were thrilled to have their own cake with WHITE sugar and WHITE flour. 

I thought they were just lovely.  Jay and I shared one with a scoop of ice cream on top.  I bet your family would enjoy these heart-shaped cakes too 🙂  Even in the middle of June!

Heart-Shaped Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/3 cup white sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chilled lard, plus extra for pan (I used butter)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F.

In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, and nutmeg.  With cold fingers, rub the cold lard into the dry ingredients until well combined.  Make a well in the center, pour in the buttermilk, and stir or use your hands to bring the dough together into a ball that can be rolled out.

Dust rolling surface with flour.  Roll the dough out into an 8-inch circle.  Cut the circle in half, then the halves into thirds, to produce six equal wedges.  Shape each wedge into a heart.  I found that a pizza cutter works the best for cutting out the wedges and for shaping them into hearts.  Just use the pizza cutter to cut out a triangle in the large end of the wedges and then use your fingers to soften the edges into a heart shape.  Easy!

Grease a baking sheet and place hearts on it so they do not touch.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the hearts have puffed up some and are golden brown.  Remove from oven, and sprinkle the tops immediately with extra sugar.

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