Cookies for Camp Meeting (Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles, Brown Butter Chocolate Chip, Anzac)


Last week my family spent a sweltering, humid, and wet week at an old fashioned Camp Meeting.  I spent quite a bit of time trying to get together food that would travel and potentially last a little while.  I knew that in additional to some banana and zucchini bread I would have to make one (or several) batches cookies. I figured that tall man would need things to grab in between all the meetings.  

I made a family favorite Anzac Cookies from Alice Medrich’s book Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy, Melt-in-your-mouth-cookies. They are really crispy, coconuty and known for being able to last for a while.  

ANZAC Cookies

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut

Place oats in a food processor.  Process just until the oats are coarsely ground but not powdered; set aside.

Combine the butter, sugar, water, and honey in a large saucepan and warm over medium-low heat until the butter is melted.  Remove from the heat and add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, coconut and oats all at once and stir until the flour is completely incorporated.  

Divide the dough in half and form two 8 by 2 inch logs.  Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Put racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.

Remove dough from the refrigerator and slice it into 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick slices with a serrated knife.  Place the slices at least 1 inch apart on lined or greased cookie sheets.  

Bake for 14-17 minutes (rotate the sheets from top to bottom halfway through baking), or until golden brown all over. Transfer cookies to racks an cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

The second type of cookie I brought for the first part of the week were these Brown-Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Joy the Baker.  I made them without the nuts due to the kiddos.  I doubt that I will ever make chocolate chip cookies another way again.  Robert took one bite and said “wow, outstanding! What is different about these?”  Brown-butter baby!

The last batch of cookies I made on a quick trip home mid-week to do some laundry and get some sleep.  I first say these Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles in a Better Homes and Garden Christmas Cookie Publication.  I’ve adapted the recipe more for our tastes (less sugar more cinnamon in different varieties).  

I’ve mentioned in times past that I have 3 varieties in cinnamon in my spice area.  I buy my cinnamons from Penzey’s Spices.  My “general” cinnamon is their China Tung Hing.  It is nice a strong cinnamon without being over-powering.  When I’m cooking any Latin American based dish or dessert with chocolate I use the “Latin American” cinnamon or Ceylon cinnamon.  It has some citrus notes and was the type of cinnamon I had in chocolate dishes while living in Guatemala.  My final cinnamon is a recent addition for that real cinnamon kick which is their Extra Fancy Vietnamese Cinnamon.  It is considered the strongest cinnamon available in the US.  If you don’t have all these varieties of cinnamon use what you have you just may not have the complexity of these (if you were one of those who asked me for the recipe when tasting them).

Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles 

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp China Tung Hing cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon ( I used 1 tsp China, 1 tsp Ceylon, 1/2 tsp Vietnamese)

In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer for 1 minute.  Then add sugars and beat until fluffy.  Add cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and 1/4 tsp China cinnamon and 1/4 tsp Ceylon cinnamon and beat until combined (scraping down bowl as needed).  Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.  Add cocoa powder and flour until combined (try not to overbeat, mix in by hand the last little bit if needed.) Cover dough and chill in refrigerator for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl stir together the 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon (the blend or just one type).  Shape dough into 1 inch to 1 1/4 inch balls.  Roll balls in sugar mixture to coat them.  Place on parchment covered baking sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are set and tops are cracked.  Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

1 note








#brown butter


#make ahead

Pintrest Post #10: Brown-butter Cherry Bars ›

I have another rather lengthy post coming, but I just finished making these bars that have been pinned to my “desserts to make” board for a couple weeks.  Cherries were on sale so I knew that now was the time to jump at making these.  So glad I did (though my summer of trying to lose some weight may not)!  I might cut back on the baking time of the crust by itself in the future, but other than that yummy!  

I have to mention however, that what I wouldn’t give for an automatic cherry pitter right about now!






#brown butter

#make ahead

Random thoughts on cooking and TV

I think that it might be summer in New England.  I’m sneezing, hot one minute as the heat and humidity just suck the life out of me and the next I’m grabbing my fleece pants and wool socks again.  

The last two weeks and the next three weeks are going to be CRAZY! I’ve been cooking a lot and baking plenty of cookies.  I’ll get to the recipes soon, but if you don’t have Alice Medrich’s cookie book get it!

This summer also begin cooking competition time on TV.  I watched America’s Baking Competition tonight.  Interesting so far, though I can’t figure out what Jeff Foxworthy is doing on there.  Now I’m watching Master Chef on DVR.  Really wanted that pastor guy to go through to the next round.  

I’ll get back to recipes soon…




Side Trip Worth Taking: Flour Bakery


There may have been times in the past, like here and here where I’ve obsessed just a bit about recipes from the book Flour based on the recipes from the bakery by that name.  I’ve lived in the Boston area for 9 months and still hadn’t been to one of the Flour bakery + cafe locations until last week.  I was about to take the kiddos to the Children’s Museum (which I’ve been to plenty of times) when I realized that one of the Flour locations was only a couple blocks away.  Usually when I have the kids I make them walk from the train station to the museum which is only 3-4 blocks.  On the way back there is always complaining so I end up carrying at least one of them.  The thought of carrying them and baked goods made me reconsider my original stance on taking the double stroller on the train.  So I was that annoying person who brings two kids and a double stroller on a commuter train.

We went to Flour BEFORE and AFTER the museum.  It was that good people.  I got a “pop tart” for the kids which I managed to inhale half of myself.  YUMMY! In the end I we brought home (or ate on the way) several “pop tarts,” chocolate cupcakes with “magic” frosting, brown-butter rice crispy treats, several types of cookies and a cinnamon-sugar sprinkled brioche-cream type thing.

Basically all the hype is totally justified.  I will be cooking out of this cookbook more.  I will also “conveniently” be making more trips to the “museum”.  





Cherry Almond Muffins from Baking Bites ›

I had some cherries leftover from my Cherry Garcia Bundt Cake and decided to make these muffins.  Nicole (from Baking Bites) is right they look a little strange (purplish…which M1 loved) but they taste wicked good.  I’ve eaten two tonight…





#BundtaMonth: Cherry Garcia Bundt


I’ve wanted to participate in the Bundt-a-Month over at Baker Street for a while, but this is the first month that I’ve actually done it.  The theme for this month was cherries.  I originally wanted to do a chocolate bundt with a cream and cherry filling so the flavors would be like Black Forest Cake.  However, I just couldn’t get excited about it and was quickly running out of time last Friday to get something baked for potluck at church.  

My hubby then asked if there was any ice cream in the house and I remembered the pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia that I had hidden in the chest freezer in the basement.  (And yes, I do need to hide the good stuff around here or it will all be eaten in one sitting by my tall-dark-and-handsome).  At that point I abandoned the chocolate cake base and went for a strong vanilla base with cherry and chocolate chunks throughout. I used the Vanilla Bean Bundt as my starting point.  In my humble opinion I think it turned out great.  And even with all the desserts that were leftover at potluck I only had two small pieces left to bring home. Robert and Eddie quickly took care of those so I’m guessing that it was enjoyed by all. The only change I would make in the future is to put the cherries and chocolate on top instead of the middle as they mostly still sunk to the top even though they were tossed with some flour.

Cherry Garcia Bundt 

10 to 12 servings 

Nonstick Pam with flour Baking Spray

2 teaspoon vanilla

1 TBSP vanilla paste

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks), room temperature

3/4 cup vanilla sugar

1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

1/2 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup chocolate chunks (dark chocolate if you can find them)
3/4 cup Morello cherries drained and cut in half (I got mine from Trader Joe’s)

Standard Bundt pan (10-inch-diameter Bundt pan with 33/4-inch-high sides)

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Butter and flour standard Bundt pan, then spray pan with nonstick spray or spray really well with Pam Baking. 

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Remove 2 tsp of the flour mixture and set aside.

Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and egg yolk 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat vanilla and vanilla paste. Add flour mixture in 2 additions alternately with buttermilk in 1 addition, beating just until blended after each addition.

Mix the chocolate chunks with 1 tsp of reserved flour mixture.  Mix cherries with the remaining 1 tsp of flour mixture.

Spoon 3/4 of the batter into the prepared bundt pan.  Sprinkle cherries and chocolate over the batter and top with remaining batter. Smooth the top.

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 15 minutes. Invert cake onto rack and cool completely.







Southwestern Quinoa Casserole

Quinoa is usually considered a “health” food. This means that kids usually run screaming from anything including quinoa.  I found the original inspiration for this recipe at Cooking Quinoa. I figured with the cross of Mexican flavors and cheese sauce plus the additional toppings that my kids might at least try it.  Turns out it was a hit with the family and our friend Eddie who happened to come over.  I thought it needed some different textual element which is why I served it with chips.  This recipe will become part of our regular rotation of recipes.  

Southwestern Quinoa Casserole

·         Olive oil spray

·         1 onion, chopped

·         1 orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped

·         1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

·         2 cups frozen corn, thawed (frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe’s if available)

·         1 tablespoon minced garlic

·         3 tablespoons butter

·         3 tablespoons whole wheat or all-purpose flour

·         ½  teaspoon chili powder

·         1 teaspoon smoked paprika

·         ¾ teaspoon ground cumin

·         1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

·         1/8 – ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder

·         1 teaspoon sea salt

·         2 cups milk  

·         8 ounces Monterey Jack Cheese (if you want it spicier you can use Pepper Jack)

·         3 cups cooked quinoa

·         1 ½ cups black beans (about 1 can)

·         For serving: Pico De Gallo, Salsa, Avocado, Sour Cream and corn chips


1.        Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13 baking pan with olive oil cooking spray.

2.        Spray a large skilled with olive oil spray and heat to medium. Add onion, red and orange bell peppers and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Add corn and garlic cook for 4 more minutes.

3.        Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour, chili powder, paprika, cumin, Mexican oregano, chipotle chili powder and salt. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add in milk and cook, stirring often, until thick. Add cheese and cook until melted.

4.        Place quinoa and black beans in a large bowl. Add vegetable mixture and toss. Add cheese mixture and stir until well combined. Transfer to prepared baking dish.

5.        Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with corn chips, pico de gallo, salsa, avocado or sour cream if desired.

1 note



#Mexican food

Pintrest Post #9: Baked Quinoa Cheese Wontons with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I’ve been trying to insert more quinoa into our regular rotation of recipes.  I adapted this recipe from Cooking Quinoa. These would make a great appetizer though we ate them as our main dish with some salad.

Baked Quinoa Cheese Wontons with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

  • 6 oz (1/2 a 12 oz package) of wonton wrappers
  • 4 oz of Boursin or Rondele Garlic and Herb Cheese
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan


  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh basil
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a large cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl combine Boursin/Rondele cheese with quinoa, basil and garlic.  

Place 1-2 teaspoons of filling in each wonton wrapper.  Brush edges of wrapper with water and seal close.  Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes (be sure to watch them the last couple minutes.  They are done when they are golden brown).

For the sauce put roasted red peppers, Greek yogurt, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender and process until well combined. 

1 note




Meyer Lemon Tea Cookies

This picture is of the cookies that were left when I went to put them away in the evening once they were cooled.  The original recipe is double this amount.  An additional 18-22 cookies in addition to those picture.  Where are the other cookies you might ask?  My husband ate them in a little over an hour.  How many did I eat during this time?  One…yes, you read that correctly he had 18-21 and I had 1.  In the following day or so those pictured also made there way into his 6’7” body which is still skinny no matter what he eats or in what quantity.  Life is SO NOT FAIR!!!

Granted these cookies are not large.  They are a one (if your shoveling them in) or two bite cookie.  They have a light crumbly texture that is perfect with a cup of tea etc. If you don’t have Meyer lemons use regular and they will still be tasty!

Meyer Lemon Tea Cookies

  • 3/4 cup of butter softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 TBSP packed Meyer Lemon zest
  • 1 TBSP Meyer Lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until smooth.

Add egg yolk, Meyer Lemon zest, juice, and vanilla and beat until combined.

On low speed, gradually add flour until mixture is no longer crumbly and forms a dough.

Using a one-inch cookie scoop, scoop dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets an inch apart.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies puff and start to turn light yellow/golden brown with small cracks form on the surface.  

Shift some powdered sugar over the cookies while they are warm (optional) then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

1 note






#Meyer lemons

Pintrest Post #8: Meyer Lemon "Brownies" ›

I made these today with some Meyer lemons.  My hubby and our friend Eddie ate almost half a pan on their own (I had a little piece as I’m still recovering from a cold).  They are tart and tasty little bites.  I can cross one more recipe off of my “Recipes I want to try” board!


#Meyer lemons



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