Friday, July 1, 2011

I Feel Like Baking

Ok, I think I've been bit by the bakers bug.  After not a little pressure and some "OH my Gosh those look good!" pictures from my friend's facebook page, I started baking sandwich bread for my family.  It is soooo good and the kids for the most part agree.  Ver2 (my middle daughter) who has to be contrary loves it and then doesn't really like it.  Maybe she'll become a believer.  All my kids love to help in the kitchen, stirring, mixing, measuring, so as I get more adventurous I'm sure I'll find something she loves, for more than 4 days.

Well, the bread wasn't enough to fill my baking bug.  I may not cook often, but I love baking and BC (before children) I used to make all kinds of cookies and candies and treats before Christmas.  My sister and I grew up making cookies for months and putting them in the freezer for the pending "Family Vacation" - in quotes because it meant driving all day to go see relatives in another state.  Always a good time for us kids and sometimes my parents would shake up the route and we swing through National Parks and other scenic fun stuff!  My sister and I even baked so many cookies (and she was a cookie ration-er) that we drove from Crater Lake, OR through the Redwoods, the Sequoias, and into San Diego and back without running out of cookies!  I love baking!

Since the bug wasn't solved with my homemade honey wheat bread (with no eggs or milk - aren't food allergies fun?)  I decided to make cookies.  I don't like overly sugary cookies.  I don't need a coronary just because I made a snack!  I asked on facebook for cookie suggestions, because even though my husband bought me 1001 cookie recipes, when I want cookies it tends to come down to shortbread (which I really want to play with more, but never do) and chocolate chip cookie (typically dough, I don't actually care for chocolate chip once it's been baked).  Nothing posted really struck my fancy, and Ver1 wanted shortbread.  I asked Ver2, who was sick that day, what she wanted while I was thumbing through the cookie book.  She found several things that were right out because they use heavy cream (we can let some milk and eggs slide in small batches for things like cookies).  She picked a recipe called Dainties (I'll post it below), I've never made it and I'm sure she just picked it because the cookies were colored.  Then I ran out of time to bake, and couldn't get back to it until, well now, I started this post while baking the cookies!

You see, here in the USA it's 4th of July weekend, which once upon a time was my favorite holiday of the year.  But this year, because we were going to be driving, we didn't make any plans.  Now we aren't driving, and the friends that we were going with are going later, so we decided to go to my cousin's daughter's birthday party - which is good since we've only missed one in the 11 years since she was born (oh and we share a birthday, but she is having the party early).  So I went all over looking for my star candy mold.  You see the recipe says the cookies can be dropped, rolled and chilled, molded, or pressed in a cookie press (which I should have got one out and done).  Apparently, I don't own a star candy mold.  I have lots of molds I picked up various places and I'm sure I looked at star ones, I guess I never bought.  I don't make candy much anymore, so the molds have been collecting dust.

I couldn't find a star shaped cookie cutter, and I completely spaced about using my cookie presses (yes, plural I have two, long story).  So I looked through my molds and I found the Wilton classic mint mold.  Since I love making mints, this makes sense.  I thought hmmm that kinda looks like fireworks, lets use that.
White molded then you only have to divide in half instead of thirds!

I started with uncolored dough and made 18 firework cookies overfilling the molds just a bit to give it a base under the mold on many of the cookies.  Then I split the batter in half and using Wilton Royal Blue coloring and Wilton "No Taste" Red coloring I colored the two halves of the batter.  I really don't feel like I can ever get a real red, but we got a nice dark pink and called it good.  I then molded the rest of the batter and put it in the oven.

15 mins later I had cookies!  Then I remembered the cookie presses.  The molding "firework" effect was lost, but the cookies still look patriotic in their red white and blue!
Patriotic little dainties sitting in a row

The recipe:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
Food coloring
1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
2.  Combine flour, baking powder, and salt (I usually skip this step and just add them when you put it in the mixer)
3.  In a large bowl (kitchen aid mixer) cream the vegetable shortening and sugar.  Beat in the egg.  Gradually blend in the dry ingrediants.
4-5 we'll skip because it's just dividing dying your dough and dropping cookies and if you don't know how to do that you can ask - and it's way too verbose!
6.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly colored.  Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Yield is estimated at 4-5 dozen for drops (I got probably that with the mold, the cookies are pretty small)
Chilling on a wire rack with a fresh loaf of Honey Wheat

Ok, I abridged the recipe, but it seems pretty good.  Not overly sweet, not a sticky dough.  I may have to put it on my list for fun stuff to bake!  The real test will be tomorrow when I let a bunch of kids taste test them.


  1. Looks absolutely delicious. You've got Dalton baking again!! He wants peanut butter cookies. Beautiful photos!!

  2. Ha! Someone else commented besides me! How cool is that! Guess what? Beth Moore tweeted me twice yesterday! I was thrilled. She must have really liked the tweet I sent her, because she gets thousands every day and rarely responds!! I'm not so totally boring that nobody notices me! A famous bible teacher noticed me! Yay! There might be hope for me yet! Thanks for the cookies and the Epsom Salt! I think you might be becoming my best friend! I love you!

  3. Thanks for all the lovely comments! I do think it is only fair if I link to the blog that inspired me to make a 4th of July food item. Grater Things To Come . I hope you all stop by and say hi to my friend's new blog!


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