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These are wonderful little gems.  What I love about them is that they aren’t too sweet and work well with any jam or jelly I have tried. Most recently I even used some of my Jalapeno Jelly.  They were delicious and a crowd pleaser for sure.  They are quick and easy to make too, which I really love.   Warning! You won’t be able to eat just one.   Enjoy.

Ingredients

1 cup of butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces), room temperature (I have also used shortening when I didn’t have enough butter and they were still delicious)
1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 cups of flour
1 cup of chopped nuts (optional)
3/4 cup of your favorite jam

1. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, (2-3 minutes).

2. Separate the eggs. Add the yolks and vanilla extract to the butter mixture.

(If using nuts place the egg whites in a shallow dish on the side and whisk them until bubbly and frothy.  The egg whites will be used to keep the nuts on the cookies).

3. Add the flour and salt. Mix until just combined.

4. Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 350F.

5. Roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. If using nuts, dip the balls into the egg whites then roll them into the nuts until covered. Place the balls on parchment lined cookie sheets.

6. Press down with your thumb to make a small well in the center of the cookie. Do not press too hard or the cookie will fall apart. Fill with 1/2 teaspoon of jam.

7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until slightly firm. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet to firm up before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

 

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes

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Meg’s Ginger Cookies

These are the best ginger cookies I have ever had.  My friend Meg was nice enough to share her recipe with me and I can not hold back sharing it with everyone else.  They are wonderful!

Meg’s Ginger Cookies

¾ c. Butter
2 c. Sugar
2 Eggs, beaten
½ c. Molasses
2 TSP White Vinegar
3 ¾ c. Flour
1 ½ TSP Baking Soda
2-3 TSP Ground Ginger
½ TSP Cinnamon
¼ TSP Ground Cloves

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.

Cream together butter and sugar

Stir in eggs, molasses and vinegar

Add flour mixture to wet ingredients

Stir until well blended.

Make ¾” balls with dough and place about 2 inches apart on well greased cookie sheet.

Bake for about 12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. (If you want them softer then 10 minutes seemed to be about perfect)

*I also tried these using Splenda Baking mix.  They still taste great but they will not spread as they bake.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

I hope you love them as much as I do!

Banana Nut Bread (by special request)

My best-friend made a special request for some of my Banana Nut Bread with Chocolate Chips.  And not being one to disappoint, and because it sounded delicious to me also, I was happy to oblige.
This is such an easy and quick bread to make.  It’s based on an old Amish recipe and is absolutely delicious.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar (you can half this if you don’t want the bread very sweet)
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas (mashed)
2 cups flour
1 TSPbaking powder
1/2 TSP baking soda
1/2 – 1 cup pecans (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional, but wonderful)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients together
3. Cream together sugar & butter
4. Add eggs and blend well
5. Add bananas and blend well
6. Pour into prepared loaf pan
7. Bake for 50-60 minutes or a toothpick comes out of the center clean

*I have also made this bread with Splenda and it works and tastes just as good

 

This is great for breakfast, dessert or a snack.  Enjoy!

 

Jalapeno Jelly

I had a special request for some Jalapeno Jelly this week.  It’s so easy to make and so good that I wanted to share it with anyone else who might want to give it a go.  Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

3 Jalapeno peppers
Half of a green bell pepper
Half of a sweet red pepper
1  1/2 cups of vinegar (apple cider or white works well)
5 cups of sugar
1 pouch of liquid pectin, 6 oz  (Powder will not work)

1. Half Jalapeno peppers and remove the seeds of two of the peppers (for hotter jelly leave seeds from two or all three of the peppers).
2. Cut the green and red peppers into small pieces.
3. Place all the peppers into a blender and chop.
4. Place pepper mixture, vinegar and sugar into a 5 quart pan and bring to a boil.
5. Boil rapidly for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Then remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
6. Add pectin and stir until it is well mixed, then allow to cool for 2 minutes.
7. Stir well again for about a minute to ensure that the pectin is well mixed.  Then pour into prepared jars and into the water bath for 10 minutes.
This recipe makes about 5 half pint jars.

 

It is so easy and so good.
One of my favorite ways to eat it is with a little bit of cream cheese on wheat crackers.
My brother loves it on a turkey sandwich.

Try lots of different things and see what you love it with.

Wild Texas Plum Jelly

I can’t begin to say how good this jelly is.  I love plum jelly but I REALLY loved this one.  I was lucky enough to have two plum trees that were ripe and full of plums. I could have all I wanted to come and pick.  And I am very grateful.

 

Wild Texas Plum Jelly

 

Igredients:

5 pds plums
4 cups of water
1 packet of Pectin (1.75 oz)
7 cups of sugar

1. Place plums and water in a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
2. Once boiling reduce heat to simmer.
3. Allow to simmer for 30 mins.
4. Line a strainer with 4 layers of cheesecloth.
5. Place plum mixture in strainer for 30 mins or until there is 5 1/2 cups of liquid.
6. Return liquid to pan.
7. Add pectin to liquid and bring to a boil.
8. Add sugar and bring to a rolling boil.
9. Boil for 1 minute stirring constantly.
10. Remove from heat and skim off any foam.
11. Process as you would any jams or jellies.

Yields about 8 half-pints

 

Hope you enjoy!

Pears,Pears and more Pears!

It’s pear season! A friend down the road has a pear tree with an abundant supply and I have gone pear crazy.

I decided to start with Pear Butter.  If it works with apples why not pears.  I found some recipes and adapted them into a Red Wine Pear Butter that is delicious.  If you like pears poached in red wine you will love this.

Ingredients

5 lbs of pears
(cut into 2 in pieces, if using a food mill it is not necessary to core them,
if not using a food mill I suggest coring)
1 cup red wine
2 cups water

4 slices of orange
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean split
1/2 Tsp cardemon
1 & 1/2 cup of sugar
Dash of salt

 

1. Place cut pears, wine and water into a large pot and bring to a boil.

2.  Once boiling reduce heat to medium/low and let cook until pears are soft
(the average for me was about 1 hour.  The softer the pears the easier to put through the mill or sieve)

3.  Once pears are cooked press through the food mill or push through a sieve.
Discard any hard parts left from the pears

4.  Return pear puree to large pot and add remaining ingredients.

5.  Bring to a boil.

6.  Once boiling reduce heat to low/simmer for 1 to 2 hours depending on batch.

7.  You can test your mixture to see if it is done by placing a small amount on a chilled plate.
There should me not liquid on around the edges.

8.  If canning place finished mixture into sterilized jars and place in a water bath.
Leave in water bath 10 mins then remove and let cool completely before storing.

Hope you enjoy!

Pictures from the kitchen below.