Monday, August 1, 2011

Simple Pumpernickel Bread

Simple Pumpernickel Bread

Night before Ingredients:

·         1 cup dark rye flour

·         ¾ cup warm water

·         ¼ teaspoon instant yeast

Combine all of the “night before ingredients” into a bowl and mix until smooth. 

Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest on the counter 12-16 hours.

Baking day:

Pour the night before mixture into mixing bowl


·         1 cup warm water

·         ½ cup bran flakes

·         2 Tablespoons molasses

·         2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

·         1 Tablespoon cocoa powder

·         1 ½ teaspoons salt

·         1 teaspoon instant yeast

·         ½ cup whole wheat flour

Mix the above until smooth and let rest uncovered 10 minutes.


·         2 ½ cups bread flour (1/2 cup at a time)

Knead for 10 minutes (if using stand mixer you can knead with bread hook)

Place sticky but not too sticky dough into oiled bowl. 

Turn over a few times to lightly coat all sides. 

Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 2 hours.

After resting, pour dough out onto a flat surface and cut in half. 

Shape each piece into a log shape.

Take parchment paper, laid on large baking sheet and sprinkle with some cornmeal.  

Place loaves onto the cornmeal, cover with plastic wrap and let rest 1 hour. 

At 45 minutes begin preheating oven at 425 degrees. 

Place cast iron skillet on bottom rack of oven to heat as well.

Sprinkle a little whole wheat flour on top of the bread loaves and score with a sharp knife.

Place the loaves in the oven.

Pour 1 cup of hot water into the cast iron skillet to steam the bread and close the oven door.

Bake 25-35 minutes or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Cool on wire rack.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

EASY White Almond Bark Popcorn

1 regular bag microwave popcorn (unbuttered, light salt if any)
3 squares of white almond bark.

Step 1:
Pop the popcorn according to instructions.
Empty into a colander, bounce a few times to try and get all of the kernels to go to the bottom of the colander or bowl. Scoop handfuls from colander into a LARGE bowl, looking for un-popped kernels to remove.

I use a very large stainless steel bread bowl with slanted sides.

Step 2:

Melt 3 squares of white almond bark in a separate bowl in the microwave. Time varies; mine is about 2 minutes until melted, stir until smooth. Don’t overcook.

Step 3:

Pour white almond bark over popcorn. Gently toss the almond bark and popcorn together with a large rubber spatula until popcorn is coated.

Step 4:

Pour onto a large cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Let set until almond bark is dry.

Step 5:

Place in a cute Christmas container and enjoy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Peanut Butter Buttons

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup additional granulated sugar
Hershey's kisses or semi-sweet chocolate chips* options below


In a large mixing bowl cream together:

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter.

Add and beat until smooth:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat in:
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups flour (beat in as much as you can to form a nice soft dough,
not too dry)
Shape dough:

I use a cookie scoop (small ice-cream type scoop, but you can use a teaspoon or your hands)

Shape dough into 1 inch ball.
Roll ball in a bowl 1/4 cup sugar

Baking options:

Option #1 - Muffin tin which has been sprayed with cooking spray
Place each ball in a mini muffin tin cups.
When cookies are done, remove from oven and place one unwrapped chocolate kiss in the center of each cookie cup. Press down slightly. Let cool and remove from tin.

Option #2-Cookie sheet which has been sprayed with cooking spray or covered with parchment paper.
Place each ball on a cookie sheet about 1-2 inches apart. Press ball down to form flat cookie.
Sprinkle top with semi-sweet chocolate chips, pressing chips down slightly so they don't roll off cookie.

Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees or until bottoms are lightly golden brown. If using the kisses, you will place them in the cookie at this time.
Transfer to wire rack and cool.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Play Dough

I loved making this with my two sons when they were little and will be making it with grandbabies soon.


1 cup colored water (Use as much food coloring in the water to achieve desired color of play dough, realizing it will lighten when mixed with the flour)

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla or lemon extract for scent (I use vanilla)

Mix colored water and then add all ingredients and mix well in heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat 2 - 3 minutes, stirring continually with a wooden spoon. This will form a rubbery ball. Be careful not to overcook.

Store in air-tight container.

It also makes a great gift for little ones to make and give to friends, teaching them the joy of giving.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cindy's Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups solid-packed pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat over to 375 degrees. Lightly coat two 12 cup-standard muffin tins with oil and set aside. (or use cooking spray)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
Set aside
2ND BOWL: Toss ingredients together
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Set aside
3RD BOWL: Lightly mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Set aside
4TH BOWL: Combine in large bowl
  • Remaining 2 cups flour
  • Remaining 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Remaining 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
2. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the well and mix until just thoroughly moistened.
3. Evenly divide half of the batter among the muffin cups. (I use 1 scoop of a small cookie/icecream scoop in each cup)
4. Place two teaspoonfuls of cream cheese filling in the center of each cup.
5. Top off cups equally with the remaining batter. (I use 1 scoop of a small cookie/iccream scoop in each up)
6. Sprinkle pecan mixture over the top of each muffin.
7. Bake until golden and the tester inserted in the muffin center comes out clean; approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
8. Cool on wire racks.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rita's Strawberry-Nut Bread

Shopping List:
  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups frozen, sweetened strawberries
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans

Oven: 350 degrees

Approximate baking time: 1 hour

Mix dry ingredients:

  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp cinnamon (your tastes determines the amount)
  • 2 cups sugar

In separate bowl mix wet ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, beaten well
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups thawed frozen, sweetened strawberries with liquid
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans

Combine dry and wet ingredients. Mix well, but don't overbeat.

Pour into 2 greased loaf pans.

Bake approximately 1 hour at 350 degrees.


Must be eaten with a few days unless refrigerated. The bread is moist and the strawberries will mold if not eaten quickly or refrigerated.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mandarin Orange Cake


Mix well:
1 Butter Recipe Cake Mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 small can mandarin oranges with juice

Bake at 350 degrees.
Cool cake.


Mix well:
1 large container Cool Whip
1 large can crushed pineapple (drained)
1 small package vanilla instant pudding

When cake is frosted, stored in the refrigerator.