Tag Archives: Dough

Christmas Cookies & Holiday Hearts

That’s the way the holidays start…

And I can hear the song playing off of my parent’s record player as my Mom, sisters and I made sugar cookies every Christmas — ending with Goodie, Goodie, Yum, Yum, Yum… A not so typical holiday song from the 1950s — and ever so eclectic when being played on vinyl.

Will’s class at preschool is having a holiday party on Friday and is also baking for the holidays tomorrow as a ‘Tastes of Christmas’ theme, so we had to pull ourselves together to try to find the perfect, non-allergen sugar cookie recipe. Unfortunately, we aren’t quite there yet — although this attempt did leave us with some very yummy cookies, the dough is hard to work with.  So, here’s what where we are now with plans to be perfected by Valentine’s Day! Enjoy!

Please note that this is a 2 day project and will leave you at least 3 cookie sheets of cookies — the exact number depends on the cookies cutters that you decide to use.

Earth Balance Shortening – 1 Cup
Sugar – 2 Cups
Unsweetened Applesauce – 1 Cup
Vanilla Extract – 1 1/2 Teaspoons
Flour – 3 Cups + More for rolling out the dough.
Baking Powder – 1Teaspoon
Salt – 1/2 Teaspoon
Sprinkles or colored sugar for decorating

You will need: 2 mixing bowls; mixer; wire whisk; plastic wrap; rolling pin; parchment paper; cookie sheets; cookie cutters — get creative!

Using your mixer, combine the Earth Balance, Sugar, Applesauce and Vanilla until smooth. In the 2nd bowl, combine the Flour, Baking Powder and Salt and stir with the wire whisk. Add the flour mixture to the shortening combo and then mix on low until the dough is combined and somewhat solid — not too sticky. If you find that it is too sticky, start to add in a little more flour until the consistency allows you to make a dough ball.

Once you have your dough ball complete, wrap it in plastic wrap or place in a covered bowl and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

12 hours later…. Preheat your oven to 375°. Take the chilled dough ball and start to roll it out on a floured surface. Again, if the dough starts to become sticky as it warms up, throw a little more flour on it to prevent it from sticking. Roll out the dough to approximately 1/4″ thickness and then start to cut out your cookies. Place each cookie onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and decorate as you see fit. Of course, you don’t have to garnish if you don’t want, but COME ON, what fun is that?

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until the are a little golden — not too dark though as they become very hard when baked too long.

And the NOSH – Did Will eat it? But of COURSE! AND he’s super excited to bring some dough in to his class so that he can participate in making cookies with his friends…. We’ll supply him with some extra cookies too, just in case the dough finds its way into his tummy before the oven…..

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Going, Going, Gone… Summer Focaccia

With all the fresh, ripe tomatoes and basil, we are racing to use everything up before it spoils…


This is a simple Focaccia Bread combined with almost overly ripe tomatoes and shredded basil. The result is a very sweet bread that takes almost no time to make.

Rapid Rise Highly Active Yeast – 1 package
Warm Water – 1 1/2 Cups
Olive Oil – 4 Tablespoons divided
Basil leaves – 1/2 Cup
Kosher Salt – 1 Tablespoon
Flour – 1 1/4 Cups
Black Pepper – To Taste
Ripe Tomatoes – several

You will need: Measuring Cups & Spoons; 2 small to medium mixing bowls; Wire Whisk; Rubber Spatula; Plastic Wrap; Pizza Pan

Start by emptying the Yeast package into the warm water, whisk and then add in 2 Tablespoons of the Olive Oil — save the other two for later and then set the liquid mixture aside.

Start shredding up the basil — This is where Will comes in with his very dull knife and begins the shredding process. Once the basil is cutup, he starts cutting and mashing the ripe tomatoes…. Since the tomato juices tend to make the Focaccia Bread a little soggy, it is OK for him to crush the fruit… The end result, although not concentric, will have a very rustic look.

While your son and/or daughter is busy with tomatoes, mix together the shredded basil, salt and flour and stir with the wire whisk. Once the dried ingredients are combined, add in the liquid mixture and stir the dough until it forms a ball in the mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (about 45 minutes — a good amount of time to clean up the tomato mess).

After the dough has risen, preheat your oven to 425° and brush one tablespoon of the olive oil onto your pizza pan, and then smooth the dough out onto the pan. Sprinkle a little more salt and the black pepper over the dough and then let it rise again, this time for about 20 minutes. After it has reached a reasonable height (we prefer about 1 1/2 inches) lay out the tomatoes and any extra basil that you may have and then bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges are a golden brown.

And the NOSH – Did Will eat it? No… no he didn’t. But he did say he would try some later… we still seem to be waiting for that.

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Gee’s Wheat Bread

Gee is one of Will’s Grandmothers — pronounced like Glee, but without the ‘l’, although we were filled with Glee once we completed this easy and quick recipe!

Bread is not an easy food to accomplish. Most of our attempts have not only taken too long, trying the 2-year-old’s patience, but in many cases the dough never rose to the occasion — making for hard bricks of flour. This recipe was simple AND we were done with the actual preparation in less than 20 minutes — just enough time to make the experience fun!

Adapted from The Complete Book of Breads by Bernard Clayton, Jr.

For One Loaf:
Whole Wheat Flour – 3 Cups
Sugar – 1/4 Cup
Salt – 1/2 Tablespoon
Dry Wheat Yeast – 2 Packages
Hot Water – 1 1/2 Cups

You will need – Mixing Bowl; Measuring tools; Whisk; Rubber Spatula; 9×5″ Bread Pan, greased; wax paper

In your mixing bowl, whisk together the Wheat Flour, Sugar, Salt and Yeast. Pour in the water and stir 50 Strokes to blend with the spatula and add to the bread pan. Wet your fingers so that the dough doesn’t stick to you and push the batter into the corners and smooth it out. Cover with wax paper and put in a warm place to rise — approximately 30 minutes until the batter has doubled in volume.

Preheat your oven to 400°.
Bake the dough for about 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350° for an additional 20 minutes. Let the bread cool — we added a little Agave to our slices for some sweetness…
And the NOSH – Did Will eat it? Sigh… No. But he was very excited about making it!

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Willie Lump Lumps

Whenever we set out to bake bread or, in this case, biscuits, I can totally hear Ronnie  Cammareri from Moonstruck, “They say bread is life. And I bake bread, bread, *bread*. And I sweat and shovel this stinkin’ dough in and out of this hot hole in the wall, and I should be *so* happy! Huh, sweetie?”

We can only hope that Will should never be so serious.

FLOUR – 2 Cups
BAKING POWDER – 1 Tablespoon
SUGAR – 1 Teaspoon
KOSHER SALT – 1 Tablespoon Divided
SOY MILK – 3/4 Cup
ONION – 3 Tablespoons Diced
GARLIC SALT – 1/2 Teaspoon
OREGANO – 1/2 Teaspoon

You will need: Measuring tools; 1 Mixing Bowl; Wire Whisk; Spatula; Rolling Pin; Plastic Cups or Biscuit Cutter; Pie Plate; Knife for cutting & dicing – keep away from little hands

Preheat your oven to 375°

In your mixing bowl, combine Flour, Baking Powder, Sugar, one teaspoon of the Kosher salt and stir with the wire whisk. Slowly pour the Soy Milk into the mixture, stirring with the spatula until the dough comes together. The dough should not be super sticky. Lightly flour your work area and roll the dough out. Knead (or in Will’s case punch) the dough for about a minute or two until soft and then roll it with your rolling pin until it is approximately 1/4-1/2″ thick. Take your 1/2 stick of margarine and lightly grease the pie plate.

Using your plastic cup or biscuit cutter start to cut out rounds of the dough–We use a plastic cup because the dough is thick and dense and the cup allows us to apply more pressure. Once the rounds are complete, cut them into quarters and add them to the pie plate — a little crowding is okay… even though Will hates elevators.

Melt the Dairy Free Margarine and brush over the plated dough triangles. Add the Onion, Garlic Salt, Oregano and the remaining Kosher Salt and put’em in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until a little golden.

And the NOSH – Did Will eat it? Yes. After I ate about 1/2 the plate he caught on that the lumps were something just shy of heaven… I kid you not.

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Will’s Crazy Crackers

We make this recipe a few times a week. Cheesy tasting, Will calls them “Stars” because when we first started out, the only cookie cutter we had was star shaped. We’ve moved on from there…

SALT – 1 Teaspoon
BLACK PEPPER – 1 Teaspoon
WATER – 1 Cup

You will need: Measuring tools; 1 Mixing Bowl; Wire Whisk; Spatula; Rolling Pin; Parchment Paper; Cookie Sheets; Cookie cutters

Preheat your oven to 350°. Combine all of the dried ingredients except for the All Purpose Flour in the mixing bowl and stir with the wire whisk. With the spatula, stir in the margarine until the batter starts to form into little chunks. Slowly add the water until the batter becomes sticky but pulls away from the bowl and spatula. If it seems too sticky, throw in pinches of the All Purpose Flour until it becomes more solid. Place the dough (in the bowl) into your freezer for a few minutes while you prepare your cookie sheets.

Parchment paper can be a pain in the youknowwhat, but it makes cleaning up much easier. Line each cookie sheet with the paper and then flour up your work area and start to roll out the dough until about 1/4″ thick. Using cookie cutters, cut out the crackers for baking. Add more All Purpose Flour if the dough is still sticky. Bake them for about 15 minutes for chewy (Will’s preference) and no more than 20 minutes for crunchy. Keep them in a plastic bag for a few days – after about a week they will most likely not be edible.

And the NOSH – Did Will eat it? Absolutely!

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