Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

The calendar says that it’s supposed to be spring, but here in Iowa you really don’t know from one day to the next if you need a snowblower or a lawnmower. A few days ago it was close to 70 degrees, and this morning we had both sleet and snow with temperatures hovering around freezing. The old saying is true I guess – What’s the weather like in Iowa? Wait 5 minutes and find out because it will change.

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Since it was a cold and blustery day, I decided to warm up the place by baking cookies. I like a lot of different types of cookies, and both chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies are favorites. Since I like both and didn’t want to decide, I combined them all together into one cookie. These taste great and don’t last long, so if you’re wanting any for an event or function, feel free to double the recipe. That way when your kids (or you!) decide to munch on a few straight out of the oven, you’ll still have some left to take and share.

oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookie


oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies plateful


Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup packed brown sugar (either light or dark – your choice)

1/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon good vanilla

3/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup chocolate chips (semisweet, milk chocolate, dark chocolate – your choice)

Combine the first six ingredients together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, scraping to ensure everything mixes completely. Add the egg and the vanilla, and mix until thoroughly combined.

Gradually add the dry ingredients, and mix until the dough comes together. Fold in the raisins and the chocolate chips.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill the dough for about 30 minutes.

Scoop cookie dough by tablespoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing the cookies about an inch apart. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool for a few minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: About 2 dozen cookies.

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German Chocolate Brownies

I’ve been swamped with work the past few weeks, and I’ve also moved, so I just haven’t had the time to do any real cooking or baking. That said, today I had a lull in work, and I had a really bad craving for chocolate, so I decided to make brownies.

Of course, when I was halfway through getting my ingredients dumped into the bowl, I discovered I didn’t have any cocoa powder in the cupboard. I could have sworn I packed that – darn it! But, when the chocolate fix is on, a girl finds a way to get her chocolate. I did have some German chocolate squares in the cupboard, so I simply modified my coconut oil brownie recipe using the German chocolate – crisis averted πŸ™‚

This recipe does call for a cup of oil – it’s not a typo, I promise! I’ve used both canola oil and liquid coconut oil in this recipe, and it turns out great either way. I will mention that the baking time definitely depends on your oven. With my old oven, these brownies took about 45 minutes, but in my new one, it took closer to an hour. Just bake until they test done when checked with a toothpick or a knife. Enjoy!


german chocolate brownies


German Chocolate Brownies

2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 cup liquid coconut oil (can use vegetable or canola oil)
4 ounces German chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients together until completely combined. Using coconut oil in place of vegetable oil will definitely make the texture thicker. Pour into an 8 x 10-inch greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes, or until they test done. Frost with your favorite frosting/icing when cooled if desired.


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Kitchen Sink Cookies

You’ve probably seen recipes online for cookies that have a little bit of everything in them. Well, this is one of those recipes. I’ve named it Kitchen Sink Cookies because they have pretty much anything you can put in them except for the kitchen sink. While I love a good traditional chocolate chip cookie or a soft oatmeal raisin cookie, these Kitchen Sink Cookies rank right up there with my favorites. This recipe doesn’t make a huge batch, but the recipe can be doubled easily if you want to make a lot. Add in some raisins in you like, or switch out the pecans and substitute chopped walnuts.

kitchen sink cookies

kitchen sink cookies 2

Kitchen Sink Cookies

1 large egg

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (not margarine), softened

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons good vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup old-fashioned oats (not quick cook or instant)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips

3/4 cup cornflakes cereal

3/4 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans


To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the egg, butter, sugars and vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and thoroughly combined, about 5 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, oats, baking soda, salt. Beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Cover mixing bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours (can make the day ahead and refrigerate overnight). This helps keep the dough from spreading when baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Β Drop dough by tablespoons (or use a medium-sized cookie scoop) onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking oil, placing the dough mounds 2 inches apart. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges have set and the tops are set. The cookies will firm up as they cool.

Cookies will keep for about a week at room temperature in an airtight container. These also freeze beautifully, and they can be frozen and used within 6 months.

Yield: About 2 dozen cookies

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Christmas Cookies: Grandma’s Orange Delight Cookies

I remember Grandma Decker making these orange-flavored cookies when I was a kid. They were a real treat, especially since my mom didn’t make these very often. I remember when I was growing up that Mom would make these and then say they didn’t turn out like her mother’s did, not that I could tell any difference, but after a while she didn’t make these any more.

I was talking to her about this recipe the other day, and she said she hadn’t made them in years. I decided that if I could pull off the recipe, it would be a nice surprise for her this Christmas. These are a soft cookie, and the flavors develop nicely after the glaze has time to soak into the cookie. Final verdict after taste testing – they’re just like Grandma used to make πŸ™‚

orange delight cookies

orange delight cookies 2

Grandma’s Orange Delight Cookies

For the Cookie Dough:

3/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon good vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour milk (1/2 tablespoon of either white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to equal 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the Glaze:

1 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/3 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar

Cream together shortening and sugar until combined. Add eggs, vanilla and grated orange rind, and beat until the mixture is smooth. Dissolve the baking soda in the sour milk, and add milk mixture to the batter. Slowly add the flour, baking powder and salt to the batter, and mix until well combined.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes. (Mine took 10 minutes.)

While the cookies are baking, combine all the glaze ingredients and set aside.

Remove the cookies from the oven, and while hot, spread the glaze on the cookies. The glaze makes a thin sugary coating over the cookies and must be put on the cookies as soon as they are removed from the oven.

Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Crinkles

While this isn’t probably considered a traditional Christmas cookie, in my family we always have these chocolate crinkles on the cookie tray during the holidays. I remember a family friend making these when I was a kid, and my mom always included these at Christmastime. They’re my oldest son’s favorite cookie – well, anything with chocolate would probably be his favorite, but he always requests these for Christmas.

chocolate crinkles

chocolate crinkles 2

Chocolate Crinkles

1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons good vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Confectioners’ sugar for rolling

Mix together vegetable oil, melted chocolate and sugar. Add one egg at a time, mixing well between additions. Add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour baking powder and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to the chocolate mixture, and mix until smooth. Chill dough for several hours – overnight is fine too.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into a cereal bowl that contains powdered sugar, and roll the dough balls until completely covered in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets.

Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until almost no imprint remains when you lightly touch the cookie.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Christmas Cookies: Nutmeg Logs

I come from a long line of bakers. My maternal grandmother always had cookies or a freshly baked cake when we’d come to visit. My paternal grandmother baked the most delicious breads, angel food cake and pies, especially mincemeat and cherry. But my mother was queen of Christmas cookies. She’d start baking after Thanksgiving, and by Christmas, she’d have several tins of cookies stored in the freezer just waiting for the holidays. When I moved out on my own, I tended to make candies and fudge for the holidays. I didn’t need to make Christmas cookies because that’s what Mom did. Of course, I’d make roll-out sugar cookies, and the boys and I would decorate batches every year, but I didn’t do what I call Mom’s “specialty” Christmas cookies. This year I decided it was time I did.

One of my favorite cookies that Mom always made was her Nutmeg Logs. I haven’t seen this recipe on the Internet, not that it isn’t out there somewhere. I’m not really sure where this recipe came from, but I’m betting it’s my grandmother’s or some other relative on Mom’s side of the family. It’s tasty, and it makes a lot of bite-sized cookies, and you can store them in the freezer until you need them.

nutmeg logs

nutmeg logs 2

Nutmeg Logs

For Cookie Dough:

1 cup butter, softened (not margarine)
2 teaspoons good vanilla
2 teaspoons rum flavoring (or dark rum if you prefer)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

For Frosting:
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon good vanilla
2 teaspoon rum flavoring
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons light cream

Cream the butter with the vanilla and rum flavoring. Gradually beat in the sugar, and mix until well combined. Beat in the egg. Sift together the flour, nutmeg and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix well.

Shape pieces of dough on a sugared board into long rolls that are 1/2-inch in diameter. Cut dough into 3-inch pieces, and place on a buttered cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool.

For the frosting, cream together the butter, vanilla and rum flavoring. Blend in the confectioners’ sugar and light cream. Beat until smooth and creamy.

After the cookies have cooled, spread the frosting on the top and sides of each cookie. Mark cookies with the tine of a fork to resemble bark. Sprinkle lightly with freshly grated nutmeg.

Makes approximately 72 cookies

One Bowl Brownies–Redux

It’s still too wet in the gardens today to do much of anything, and since Travis, our youngest son, and I were having chocolate craving, I decided to experiment with my favorite one-bowl brownie recipe. I’ve posted the original recipe in an earlier blog post, but I wanted to figure out a way to eliminate the 1 cup of vegetable oil that recipe calls for. Don’t get me wrong…the original recipe is a very good one, but after researching how bad vegetable oils can be to your health, with the exception, of course, of olive oil, I wanted to try the recipe with coconut oil. As it’s nice and warm in my kitchen, my coconut oil was in liquid form, so today was the perfect time to experiment!

One-Bowl Brownies Take 2

2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 cup liquid coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients together until completely combined. Using the coconut oil in place of the vegetable oil will definitely make the texture thicker than the original recipe (see pictures below). Pour into an 8 x 10-inch greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes, or until they test done. Frost with your favorite frosting/icing when cooled.



The texture of this brownie version is definitely more cake-like, not that it bothers me at all! While it did test as done when I checked with a toothpick, the very center still seemed a little softer…definitely needed to be eaten with a fork than with your hands. All in all, though, it was very tasty….the coconut flavor was mild, yet it still reminded me of a Mounds bar without the actual coconut texture.

I Need Chocolate!

You know those days….you have a craving for something sweet, but not for just any old thing. You crave CHOCOLATE!! I had that kind of a day today. Work was tough and long. It was cold outside (although definitely warmer today than it’s been in a while). I needed comfort food, and when I say comfort food, I’m usually talking about dessert! πŸ™‚

So I drag out my recipe box and thumb through it until I find my favorite go-to, stand-by, gotta-to-make-it-now brownie recipe. I’ve made these brownies for so long (since high school, and that’s been a while!) that I’ve forgotten where I even got the recipe. I’m sure it came from someone in my hometown of Lenox, IA…..so many wonderful cooks in that town! Heck, when I was in high school, we actually wanted the recipes that the high school cooks used…seriously! They actually cooked real food, not like the stuff the poor kids in school have to tolerate today. Oh to have that homemade pizza recipe….their chocolate chip cookies…and their chili and vegetable soups (both completely homemade) were used for many a fundraising event.

But…I digress. Today was about chocolate. Ooey, gooey chocolate brownies. So if you’re salivating like I was earlier today when thinking about these, here you go:

Super-Easy One-Bowl Brownies

2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all together until completely combined. Pour into an 8 x 10-inch greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes, or until they test done. Frost with your favorite frosting/icing when cooled.

Don’t let the oil amount fool you…it’s correct. Really a delicious brownie…and if you can’t wait for them to cool long enough to frost, they’re just as delicious unfrosted, right out of the pan while still warm! Pass me the milk please πŸ™‚