Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Snickerdoodles

Shishyboo from Australia wrote to ask what Snickerdoodles are and if they have something to do with the Snickers candy bar. Well, sadly no, Snickerdoodles have no chocolate, but are very delicious just the same. They are a cinnamon and sugar cookie created by the Dutch and German communities (like so many of our best desserts here in America, lol). The recipe is a very easy one and oftentimes is the first cookie that little bakers make on their own.

Snickerdoodles
(from Allrecipes)
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup shortening (non hydrogenated), soft
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and shortening, gradually adding the sugar until mixture is fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Gradually mix in the flour at low speed until a dough is formed.
In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Roll 1-inch balls of dough in the mixture and place on baking sheet. Cookies will spread, so leave about 2-inches between cookies.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until set.
Remove to a wire cooling rack immediately.
Store in an airtight container when cool.
Makes about 4-dozen.

But...

I do have a couple favorite recipes involving Snickers Bars.

One that is rather involved but worth the work:

Snickers Pie

Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Fudge Layer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (about 8 1/2 ounces) 1/2-inch pieces
of Snickers bars

Cream Cheese Layer:
10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:
2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons heavy cream

For the crust: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch deep-dish glass pie pan.

Combine crumbs and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Add melted butter, stirring until well incorporated. Press mixture evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of prepared pan. Bake for 5 minutes, until crust is set. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Keep the oven temperature at 350 degrees F.

For the fudge layer: Combine butter, semisweet and unsweetened chocolates in the top of a double boiler; set over simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Remove top insert and cool slightly.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl.

Using an electric mixer, beat together sugar, egg and egg yolk in a large bowl for 1 minute, until slightly thickened. Add vanilla and cooled chocolate mixture and mix until well blended. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour into crust.

Bake for about 15 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with moist batter still attached. If crust browns too quickly, cover with foil.

Transfer pan to a rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Evenly arrange Snickers bars over the top.

For the cream cheese layer: Using an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Carefully spread mixture over the Snickers bars. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cream cheese is set. Transfer to a rack to cool.

For the topping: Combine chocolate and cream in the top of a double boiler. Set over simmering water and stir until chocolate is just melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Dip a spoon into mixture and drizzle decoratively over the pie.

Refrigerate until well chilled. Serve cold. The pie may be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Cover loosely with foil and keep refrigerated.

Serves 12 to 16.


And one that is easy and a little bit different:

Snickers Salad recipe

6 Granny Smith apples (or any tart apple)
6 large Snickers bars
12 ounces Frozen Whipped Topping
Chocolate sprinkles

Chop the apples and Snickers bars into small bite-size pieces. Mix thoroughly into the whipped topping. Use the sprinkles for garnish over the top. For best flavor, refrigerate for several hours.


Needless to say, neither of these is low fat, but they are both oh-so-good!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The comic fangirl rears her ugly, nearsighted head

I'm going to interrupt the usual housewifely tone of this blog to geek out a little bit. I have always been a nerd. I did well in school, I dig comic books, I tend to salivate over good sci-fi/fantasy, I have very questionable fashion sense, etc. And throughout my marriage I have been slowly dragging my ultra-cool-guy husband over to the dark side, introducing him to the joys of graphic novels, Harry Potter fandom, and entertainment that doesn't involve cars, horses, or heavy metal. Now my husband is the one who tells me what happens on the TV shows that I miss and who drags me to every Marvel movie that is released. Which leads us to the actual topic of this post.

We went to see 'Ghost Rider' this weekend.


Squeeeeeeeee!

Can I just say that Nicholas Cage's eyebrows deserve their own credit at the end? I LOVED this movie! So well done. The shots and effects we're beautiful. The story was quick-paced and enjoyable. The characters well cast and developed. I couldn't have loved this movie more if I had written, directed, and produced it.

Admittedly, this isn't a book that I have more than a general knowledge of, so I'm not sure how well it stays true to the original story, but that hasn't effected my enjoyment of most other comic movies and definitely not this one. The story line is a bit scary for little ones, so no one under thirteen, but everyone else, go see it this weekend!

And now we return to posts about aprons and the funny things that kids say.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Snow

Finally, we received enough snow to sate even Peanut's desires for winter fun!





Sunday, February 11, 2007

Housekeeping Meme

I was tapped by the lovely thicketdweller over at Today's Lessons for this fun housekeeping meme. Read and be appalled at my daily habits, lol.


Aprons - Y/N? If yes, what does your favorite look like?

Yes. I tend to collect aprons at the same rate as dust bunnies. I had my husband install a coat hook on the wall next to the fridge, just so there was somewhere to keep them close by. My favorite is a small purple half apron that my grandmother made when she was a new bride. It has a large burn down the front that has a great story to go with it and I smile every time I see it. My everyday apron is a voluminous yellow striped affair that I made with leftover fabric from my sister's baby shower tableclothes.

Baking - Favorite thing to bake: Pies and cookies. Especially Apple Crumble and Snickerdoodles.

Clothesline - Y/N? NO! And I have been begging for nine years now. My husband always has some excuse as to why we can't have one. I've even drawn up plans for a removable version that we could attach to our deck so that he wouldn't have to mow around it and we could put it away when we were not using it, but still no dice.

Donuts - Have you ever made them? Not since I was a girl. My husband is diabetic, and that sort of thing is just too much temptation. But when I was little, I used to help my dad make them. He has this great bread dough recipe that has been passed down through the men in our family. There are no measurements, only a handful of this or that, and he has adapted it for other uses such as doughnuts and sweet rolls.

Every day - One homemaking thing you do every day: Put away mountains of toys and books.

Freezer - Do you have a separate deep freeze? Yes, and it is indispensable. I would have several more if I had the room.

Garbage Disposal - Y/N? Yes, but I don't use it very often.

Handbook - Home Comforts, which has info on anything housekeeperly that you could ever need and my Betty Crocker Cookbook which reads like a textbook on basic cooking and has helped innumerable times.

Ironing - Love it or Hate it? I love ironing but there are so few things in our everyday wardrobe that need it. I do get excited when it's time to press napkins (sad,sad,sad)

Junk Drawer - Y/N? No, my husband has a thing about jumbled drawers, so our drawers are neatly organized and labeled with containers for every little screw, nail, and twist tie.

Kitchen - Color and decorating scheme? Light oak cabinets with darker floors and periwinkle walls. I had the color made to exactly match the shade of twilight sky that we stood under when my husband first told me that he loved me. (I know, sickly romantic) It's a color that makes me feel so happy! There are lots of bottles and pitchers and cobalt glass sitting around. I like my decor to also be functional.

Love - What is your favorite part of homemaking? I love organizing all of our household stuff and researching the best way to do something. I don't know why I don't do it more often.

Mop - Y/N? No, but I wish. With a three year old in the house, the old rag and knees is the only way to get all of the grime and miscellaneous food that gets scattered around.

Nylons - Maybe three time a year. I'm a long skirt and knee socks kinda gal.

Oven - Do you use the window or open the door to check?- I open the door due to the fact that there is a disgusting layer of burnt grime on the window that I inherited with the house and have never been able to remove.

Pizza - What do you put on yours?- We put on whatever happens to be in the fridge, but the favorite around here is the old mozzarella, pepperoni, bell peppers combo.

Quiet - Read, read, read and think.

Recipe card box - Y/N? Y What does it look like? I have three stacks of cookbooks on the kitchen shelves that I use most often, plus two large three ring binders of loose recipes and a small photo album to hold my hand-written recipe cards, AND two small index boxes of cards, one of which was a home-eco project in high school and I still use it to this day (thank you Ms. Stealle!). I also have half a shelf of what I call "fun, but not on a weekday" cookbooks in the livingroom.

Style of house - What is the style of your house? Eensy-weensy 1950's cookie-cutter Ranch.

Tablecloths and napkins - Y/N? Yes, which my husband fought me on at first ("Can't we just use paper?") but I notice that now he can not eat without a napkin, even when he's eating in front of the television.

Under the kitchen sink - Organized or toxic wasteland? The front row of things that I use on a daily basis is beautiful, but behind that, scary.

Vacuum - Not much, most of our floors are wood.

Wash - How many loads of laundry do you do per week? 4 0r 5

X's - Do you keep a list of things to do that you cross off?Always! Lists make me feel like I am accomplishing things.

Yard - Y/N? Who does what? My husband does the mowing and the heavy work, I do the planting, weeding, and planning.

Zzz's - What is your last homemaking task before going to bed? Making sure that the timer on the dishwasher is set and choosing what to thaw out for the next day's meal.