Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipes in this PostPumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Introduction to Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

When Spane was a toddler, I had him on a reward system and he had been an exceptionally good boy. I took him to the store, and as we were passing by the bakery aisle, he insisted that he wanted the fresh pumpkin cookies. I don’t like pumpkin, but since he was deserving a treat, I bought them for him. When he ate one, he loved it, and made me taste one. Wow! They were great! My only problem was that they had preservatives and GMO pumpkin, I thought I could do better, and I did.

What’s Special about These Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are usually hard after they have cooled off.  I like them when they have not cooled completely and are still bendable. These cookies are like little pillows, nice and soft, and chewy, with just the right amount of chocolate and not overwhelmingly sweet.  They remind me of muffin tops, but are denser.

You can get non-GMO pumpkin puree at your local Whole Foods or other organic food store.  If you don’t care about GMO, then regular pumpkin puree will do fine.  If you want to use fresh pumpkin, you will have to puree it first and adjust the moisture as fresh pumpkin puree has more moisture than canned.

When I made this recipe, I halved it because I had a small can of puree.  Using a small ice cream scoop, I still wound up with 4 dozen cookies.These cookies should be stored covered, with a bit of paper towel over them.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies YouTube Video


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Round Pistachio Baklava

Recipes in this PostRound Pistachio Baklava

A Little History of Round Pistachio Baklava

When I was a little girl, my mother brought me a special dessert.  It was baklava, and I loved it. It wasn’t until I was a lot older and moved to a community that had a large Armenian population that I learned that there were a lot of varieties of the venerable dessert. The history of this pastry is long and contested – some say it originated in Ancient Rome citing a recipe from Cato the Elder in 160 BC, some say the Romans stole the recipe from the Greeks, and Byzantine Turks say it was already theirs – Wikipedia Baklava.

I had no idea how the dessert was made, and when I found out it was made with Filo dough, I thought it being so gossamer that I would never be able to handle it. Of course, I was also convinced that I was unable to make decent rice, and frying completely perplexed me.

I have lately been watching YouTube and found the Heghineh Cooking Show. She demonstrates all kinds of good Armenian food, and one day, it was a round baklava with pistachios.  The way she did it, and explained it, I thought, you know what, I can do that!  I have already conquered rice and mastered frying, so why not Filo, too?  I decided to make it for a small dinner party because I was getting kind of tired of cakes or fruit.

Round Pistachio Baklava

Completed Baklava Taste Test

Working with Filo

If you have already worked with filo dough, then this recipe should be a breeze for you.  If not, and you need to see the method of making these luscious pastries, then head on over to the YouTube video by Heghineh. Please note that you will probably not use the entire roll of dough, some might stick together too much, or get too torn to work with.  I would say I lost about 6 sheets.

There are a couple of things I did differently.  I used Cortas Rose Syrup that I buy at Armenian stores or at Amazon (it makes a fine cocktail with vodka over ice), and I used True Orange that you can also get at Amazon.  I also messed up with the first baklava and forgot to squeeze them together, so I ate those.
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Shortening Peanut Butter Cookies

Shortening Peanut Butter CookiesRecipes in this Post

T’was the night before the night before Christmas, and all through the pantry a lot of peanut butter was found…

As I looked through my Rollout Cookies recipe, I thought that I wanted to make another kind of cookie for Christmas. I had just bought a large container of peanut butter, and that sounded like a really good idea. I also decided it was time to use up some of the shortening I had in my pantry, and I found this lovely recipe for peanut butter cookies from Crisco.

These cookies are nice and soft, different from the crunchy cookies I am used to and really don’t like very much. These melt in your mouth, they are just delicious!

Tonight was special because we got an early Christmas present from my friend Adel. She got us an Amazon Echo Dot. Let me tell you how wonderful it was to be able to say “Alexa, set a timer for 8 minutes”, and she said, “Starting now”. It was perfect because I had dough on my hands that I didn’t want to get on our old-fashioned timer. Alexa is a lot more accurate than the old stand by, too. She will be very helpful in the kitchen indeed.

Shortening Peanut Butter Cookies YouTube Video


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Katherine Hepburn’s Glorious Chocolate Brownies

Recipes in this PostFinished brownies Finished Brownies

What!?! Katherine Hepburn? Yup, if you look around on the Internet, you will truly find this recipe attributed to Katherine Hepburn. No wonder Spencer Tracy loved her so much! Whether this is really true, like anything on the Internet, is open to debate, however, the lusciousness of these brownies in indisputable.

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Ruby Red Grapefruit Squares

Recipes in This PostRuby Red Grapefruit Squares

Cravings

Lately, I have been craving lemon squares. It’s hot at the start of July in California, and I really didn’t want to turn on my oven. One of the markets I occasionally go to has lemon squares, but, of course, when I really wanted them, they’re out. So, I had to make my own. When I made them back in 2011, my lemon squares were just the way I liked them, but I still didn’t want to turn on the oven.

When I went to the local store, they had some lovely ruby red grapefruits on sale, just as you walked in the door. How could I resist? I love grapefruit, and it’s beneficial to your health. As much as I enjoy grapefruit, I decided that even though it was hot, I could turn my oven on to make Ruby Red Grapefruit Squares.

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Fantasy Island Bars

Fantasy Island Bars

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It’s time for me to go to a high school reunion, where we will sit around and talk about all the good things that we remember for that time. One of the things I remember is going to one of my classmates homes over Easter vacation, and her mother had left a pan of Magic Cookie Bars in the refrigerator. As I was perusing the pantry this morning, I realized I had everything I need to make them.

I took out the stuff that I needed, and then it occurred to me that perhaps instead of making something that everyone might remember, I could make something that everyone will remember from here on out. It occurred to me that I could make some kind of tropical bar, considering I have coconut. Tropical bars led me to thinking about Pacific Islands, and the most famous Pacific Island of them all, Fantasy Island!

Fantasy Island was a television series that originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company network from 1977 to 1984. It was on at 10:00 pm on Sunday nights right after Love Boat. It stared Ricardo Montalbán as Mr. Roarke, and Tattoo, played by Hervé Villechaize. Popular film and television personalities guest starred on the show. The premise of the show was that guests would come to the island to live out some kind of fantasy, aided by Mr. Roarke who would often warn them of the danger of some fantasies.

Well, there is no danger in these Fantasy Island Bars, unless you eat too many of them!

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