THE OUTRAGEOUS OATMEAL COOKIE . . . WITH CHOCOLATE CHUNKS, NUTS AND DRIED CHERRIES

There are those days when you want to bite into an oatmeal cookie that’s a little over the top.   A  superlative chewy cookie with just the right amount of  old fashioned rolled oats, nuts, chocolate and fruit.  A cookie with deep molasses flavor, light and crisp on the outside and chewy, dense and soft in the center. A cookie of such divine decadence that just one cookie is simply not enough.  This may just be the ultimate, outrageous oatmeal cookie.

This is an oatmeal cookie recipe you can claim as your own.  Substitute pecans or hazelnuts for the walnuts or dried cranberries for the cherries.    Quick oats can be substituted for the old-fashion oats, but they will yield a cookie with slightly less chew.   Other than the options be sure to follow the remaining ingredients to the letter.  It is the extra moisture found in brown sugar and the combination of baking powder and baking soda that produces a cookie  that is thin,  light and crisp on the outside, and chewy in the middle.  These cookies really spread so be sure to allow 2 to 2 1/2 inches between cookies.

MRSBUTTERFINGERS has the recipe.  Bon Appetit dear friends.

 

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ULTIMATE BLUE RIBBON BANANA BREAD

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I made my first banana bread  just after the second world war.  Bananas disappeared from the produce shelves during the war.   Rationing, torpedoed cargo ships and ships used for troop transport meant that many food items were simply not available.

My first banana loaf contained no walnuts.  They were still rationed.  The recipe was rather frugal with a limited amount of sugar and butter. However to me the flavour was wonderfully exotic and I pretended those brown specks were nuts.

Through the years I baked many variations of banana bread;  coconut banana, banana prune, banana chocolate chip and so on.  They were all good but not great.  Hundreds of banana breads later I declare this is the Blue Ribbon Winner.  It is rich with butter and eggs.  Deeply flavoured with brown sugar and a smidge of cinnamon.  It is extravagantly studded with walnuts, and has a delicate crumb.  It is the ULTIMATE BLUE RIBBON BANANA BREAD.

BUMBLEBEES AND BLACKBERRY COBBLER

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Blackberries grow wild and unruly steps from my kitchen door. Fat bumblebees hum happily as they flit from delicate white blackberry flower to flower. Wearing  a heavy shirt to protect my arms from attacking thorns I can cheerfully  spend a glorious afternoon plundering the blackberry vines.

I return to the kitchen my lips and fingers stained black from the ripe, warm fruit  and sprinkle blackberries over homemade vanilla ice cream.  Pure heaven!!

Blackberries freeze well and I fill my freezer for baking during the winter months.     Tonight  for dessert I am making a luscious Blackberry Cobbler.  The aroma of baking blackberries will fill my kitchen with the smells of summer.

Just be sure you put your baking dish in a pan or on a cookie sheet when you make BLACKBERRY COBBLER.

 

CHRISTMAS SHORTBREAD FINGERS

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The ultimate shortbread is worth its weight in gold.   It must have just the right amount of butter.  Butter creating a rich flavour and  crumbling texture.  Then there should be a whisper of vanilla.  Not too much sugar.  The perfect measure of flour.   There is a joyful sense of the occasion when you make shortbread.  You generally only make this mouth-watering cookie at Christmas, and it is always worth waiting twelve months to enjoy.

What is so wonderful about baking shortbread –  it contains no exotic ingredients.  It is simply butter, sugar and flour.  There are a few secrets to making the perfect shortbread.  I share them with you when you bake CLASSIC SHORTBREAD FINGERS

THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS DESSERT … LEMON BARS

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Lemons glorious  lemons.

Grate the rind, squeeze the juice, whip together sugar and eggs and you create pure alchemy.

This golden dessert is a creation that is heavenly beyond words.  It has the most decadent puckery lemon flavour.  The base is a delicate combination of just the right amount of butter, sugar and flour to contain the shimmery lemon beyond lemon topping. It is the perfect dessert to serve after your epic Christmas dinner.  Not too rich with a refreshing flavour.  You can embellish it with fresh seasonal fruits.   Make it magnificent with mounds of whipped cream.  Or simply dust it  with icing sugar and serve it in all its pristine glory.

Join me in the kitchen and click on LEMONY LEMON LEMON SQUARES.

CINNAMON COFFEE CAKE … QUICK AND BUDGET WISE.

 

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This is probably one the quickest and easiest coffee cakes on the planet.   It’s from a much loved and tattered Robin Hood Flour Recipe book.  You should have all the ingredients in your pantry, and you can whip it up with just a few minutes notice.  Perfect to have in your apron pocket for unexpected visitors.  This CINNAMON COFFEE CAKE makes a lovely breakfast or brunch treat.  This coffee cake is a thrifty little recipe.  Leave out the walnuts and it costs you almost nothing to whip up.

I have been baking this sweet little coffeecake for fifty years. and I never get tired of it.  For the recipe just click on CINNAMON COFFEE CAKE and let the gorgeous aroma of this cake baking fill your kitchen.

GOOD MORNING CHUNKY BANANA CRANBERRY BRAN MUFFINS

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Years ago I found the perfect muffin recipe printed in our local newspaper.  Several moves and the recipe disappeared.  I tried other recipes but it wasn’t the perfect muffin recipe I knew and loved.

Then I discovered my favorite cookbook writer, Ina Gartner’s muffin recipe; deeply flavoured, gorgeously moist and chock full of good things like chunky bananas, raisins and walnuts.  I’ve adapted her recipe,  and you can vary this recipe by substituting  well drained and diced pineapple chunks and other dried fruits.  This is a generous recipe  – lots of muffins to enjoy now or tuck into your freezer.  You’ll find the recipe by clicking on GOOD MORNING CHUNKY BANANA CRANBERRY MUFFINS