Decisions, Decisions…

Too many recipes, not enough time.  Or in my case, too many post holiday sales on boots and not enough hours in the day to find the right pair.  Alas, that is another story….don’t worry, it has more than one happy ending.
By now some of you have the book.  So, the question is: What are you going to do with it?  Maybe you are going to read all the little quips about why this or that recipe is special.  Maybe you are going to sit with your kids and look at the pictures, playing the game “That Looks Good.”  Maybe you are going to go through the index looking for the “gluten free goodies” section.  Maybe (and I really hope this is what you are doing) you are going to look through the book and find that one recipe that says, “Bake me… bake me right now!”
Maybe you are overwhelmed by the choices, like me with the boots, (by the way, please don’t mention my name to the people in the shoe department of Von Maur, I am pretty sure that I am banished for life for trying on every pair in the store… and of course none of them are now residing in my closet.)  My point is that if you are having trouble choosing – I understand!  But here is the really great part.  You don’t have to choose only one recipe to make.  That’s right!  You just have to get started with one.  See how easy it is?  Yes, so maybe still you are perplexed and thinking, but the trifle has so many parts to it and Santa did not bring me the French bread pans I asked for.  Don’t worry.  Start small.  Focus on just one section, like Cookies, Bars and Truffles (or just shop for black boots that narrows it down, opps, there I go again.)
Once you are in the section that draws you in, take a deep breath and find the one recipe that you keep coming back to.  You know there is one that caught your eye.  Pencil, paper, shopping list.  GO!
Now comes the fun part.  Get in the kitchen and get baking.  And when all is said and done and the cookies have gone from the cooling rack to the cookie jar to the crumbs on the counter; I want to hear about it.  Tell me what you made.  Or, if you have not had time to bake yet, tell me what you want to make.  Nothing in the world (not even the moment when I actually did find the perfect pair of black boots) makes me happier than when I hear someone say “I made your recipe.”  It happened just yesterday; it caught me completely off guard and inspired me to get back to the blog.   I promised that I would blog before the end of the weekend with a new recipe and so, now that I have finished boot shopping for the moment, here is my recipe choice from the book for you.  Hopefully, it will not only satisfy your desire to bake, but also help you use up any leftover ingredients from your holiday.
January Cookies
Soft Molasses Cookies with Crystallized Ginger,
Peanut Butter Cookies and January Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup corn flakes
1 to 1½ cups raisins or dates
1 to 1½ cups chopped walnuts
1 to 1½ cups shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Add melted butter to sugar, add eggs and mix.  Sift flour, soda, salt and nutmeg together and add to the mixture.  Add oatmeal, corn flakes (crush slightly before adding), raisins or chopped dates, nuts and coconut.  Mix together.  Roll into 1½-inch balls and flatten before placing on non-stick cookie sheets.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.  Makes 3 dozen.

This recipe originally comes from my grandma Gert.  I added the walnuts and coconut to it just to use stuff up one year after the holiday cookie marathon.  That is why I renamed them January Cookies.  I will make them this weekend.  If you make them too it will almost be like we are in the kitchen together.  

Happy New Year, Happy Baking and Happy Boot Shopping to All!

You can purchase Baking Pure & Simple on createspace. 

6 thoughts on “Decisions, Decisions…

  1. I baked Cinnamon Stars and they were delicious, and a hit with friends (I took them to a New Year's Eve party). My only problem — well, two problems, really — I didn't make enough of them (biggest problem); and I used two jumbo yolks instead of three regular. The dough was a bit crumbly, harder to manage than it should have been. As my friend who was a baker used to tell me, baking is chemistry, unlike cooking. But the cookies were still delicious.

    Next up: lemon curd, which my grandmother used to make, and was a real treat.



  2. Made the lemon curd (half recipe — I was nervous!) and it's DELICIOUS! I hope my friends like it this evening. I'm going to make some fluffy biscuits to put it on, like strawberry shortcake but with lemon curd. I wonder if buttermilk biscuits, with a little extra sugar, would work, or if I should make just plain ones (I love buttermilk in baking).



  3. I like reading your blog, I like baking..not so much. Maybe I will be inspired to move beyond my standard cooking adventures, and venture forth into baking. Have to find the time….


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