Category Archives: Breads & Desserts

2018 Christmas – Advent, Day 3, breakfast egg biscuits

December 3:

Luke 1:30 -But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.


Try something new for breakfast. In our home, we like to make a whole breakfast wrapped up into one “sandwich”.  Once made the kids can grab and go. They will also stay good in the fridge and can be reheated in the oven or microwave (We don’t have a microwave, so I don’t know how long to put them in for.)

We start out by adding biscuit dough to the bottom of a muffin pan (I don’t know why my preference is my square brownie pan ( here is the Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2SrnAp0 ), but you can use any non-stick pan that you have. 

Then we add a single egg. I do crack the yoke, you do not have to. 

Top the eggs with cooked ham, sausage or bacon and sprinkle with cheese. 

Into the oven, it goes for about 25 minutes or until the eggs are cooked.

The biscuit dough can be either store-bought or homemade. Many times we will make a batch of freezer dough to have available for mornings like this.  There are great recipes in the 2 books in the “Don’t Panic Dinner’s in the Freezer” series.  I like this series because each recipe shows the x3, x6 and x9 to make multiples of each recipe for later.  The “More” book has a biscuit recipe in it. 

 

 

6

Place biscuit dough in the pan. 

Break one egg on each biscuit

Add Cheese and cooked meat to the top of the egg.

 

Bake for 25 minutes or until eggs are cooked. 🙂

 

Decorating Sugar Cookies

So many of my homeschooling moms amaze me with all of their talents, one of them being my friend JenB. She has been professionally decorating cookies for a while and I CAN SAY WOWWIE! I love looking at her work. They are mini-pieces of art on a glorious little morsel of cookie. Some of them are almost too beautiful to eat. 

I had been researching and researching (not wanting to disturb JenB and her work) on getting the perfect recipe for Cookie Royal Icing. Here is the one that we finally came up with for us to work with. And YES! It worked GREAT! 

We did dye ours with some natural dyes because of El’s allergies… (and why would I want to put those yucky artificial dyes in my body anyway?) We used the Natural Dyes here: https://amzn.to/2KnFpSZ And although they worked, we only added enough to make a “pastel” colored Turkey. 🙂

Our next dilemma was the fact that my turkey cookie cutter was M.I.A. What to do, What to do? I have a large daisy cookie cutter and We made it into a turkey.  

When using your royal icing, outline and then fill. We started with an icing bag and that made a mess. Once we switched to an icing bottle, the designed flowed much better. (ignore the crazy, weird lumps in the start of the icing – it was from the bag – and user error)

*tip – one color at a time and let dry in between

Royal icing

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces, fluid Warm Water
  • 5 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
  • 2-¼ pounds (or 1 Kilogram) Icing Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cream Of Tartar

Preparation

In mixer bowl, pour in the warm water and the meringue powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy and thickened…about 30 seconds.

Add the cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more.

Pour in all the icing sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer.

Using the paddle attachment on the LOWEST speed, mix slowly for a full 10 minutes. Icing will get thick and creamy.

Cover the bowl with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying.

Tint with food colourings or thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.

Have fun decorating!

(*Recipe courtesy of Antonia74 at www.cakecentral.com)

I already had my favorite buttery sugar cookie recipe. It is one that we have been using for years. 

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Instructions

  1. Mix together the flour(minus 1 cup), baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add in the egg and vanilla, then mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir together until you have a thick mixture.
  5. Add the last cup of flour slowly until you get the right consistency, about that of peanut butter. If you add it all at once, yours might be too dry. If it does get too dry, I have found that you can add 1T of milk. 
  6. Wrap the mixture with clear plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.
  7. Roll out half of the dough.
  8. Cut with cutters, then bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottom JUST begins to brown.

Favorite Circus Cookie Recipe

One of my all-time favorite cookies is the Circus cookies. This is a recipe that we have been using for years. LOVE that the kids can help out (and since the littles are getting older, they can even do this one themselves) and make these as well.

I picked up the mini Noah’s Ark cookie cutter set (Here is the link on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2CHh9cH) that is the perfect size for these little cookies. 

Cookies

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Icing

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp half and half,  or 6 Tbsp heavy cream, or 7 Tbsp of milk plus more as needed

Instructions

For the cookies:

  1. In a mixing bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream together butter, granulated sugar and powdered sugar until well combined.
  3. Mix in egg, vanilla extract. With the mixer set on low speed, slowly add in flour mixture and mix until combined. Divide mixture into 2 equal portions.
  4. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill 1 1/2 hours, or until firm. 
  5. Preheat oven to 350. 
  6. Dust a clean work surface with flour then roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into mini animal shapes, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving about 3/4-inch between cookies. Bake in preheated oven about 7 – 11 minutes until set. Remove from oven and cool several minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
  7. For the icing: In a medium mixing bowl whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla and enough half and half or cream to reach a medium consistency (not runny, not thick). Spread over cookies and immediately sprinkle with sprinkles after frosting each one. We dunk cookies into bowl and remove with fork, and let rest on a cookie drying rack until glaze has set.

Favorite time of the year AND Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies

Don’t get me wrong, I love summertime and spending it outside with my family and friends. I love the sound of the cicadas in the trees of Arizona. I love eating freshly picked watermelons from the garden and swimming in the pool with the kiddlings…

But my favorite time of the year is the fall when we start to can (applesauce is my favorite) and bake. Hoodies and apple pies!! Fires in the fire place. I love baking bread and biscuits. I love the smell of cookies coming out of the oven. (My waistline, however, doesn’t love that part! 😉 )

I love the approaching winter season when we celebrate the birth of our savior. 

Every day in the fall, I try something new in my kitchen. I attempt new cookies or bread. I love making dinner in the crockpot. I love creating new soups for my family. 

This morning in my area, we woke up to the first day of frost on our windshields. It was 34 degrees out when I got up at 3:30 for my classes to start. And our high today isn’t supposed to get over 55 degrees. It is a crockpot kind of day!

On the list for the week –

  • Chicken and Dumplings, Biscuits, Crockpot beef stroganoff, homemade noodles, and animal circus cookies.
  • We have beautiful purple cabbage coming out of the freeze dryer this morning and apple slices going in.
  • We plan on having a road trip if it doesn’t rain at the end of the week

Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies

Peanut butter, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-1/4 cups flour

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

PREHEAT oven to 375°F.

COMBINE together butter and peanut butter until well blended. Add sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and soda. Beat until combined. Next, beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Add flour, oats and chocolate chips.

Drop on cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees

*This recipe doubles fantastically – We add 1 bag of chocolate chips to a doubled batch.

 

 

Mini Cheesecakes

My Elwyn made these last night… and added a few slices of strawberries in each mini cake before baking. (We double the recipe and make them in my 12-square brownie pan from Pampered Chef.)

Ingredients 
Crust:

  • 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon margarine, melted

Filling:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and margarine with a fork until combined. Measure a rounded tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup, pressing firmly. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 5 minutes, then remove to cool. Keep the oven on.
  3. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla until fluffy. Mix in the egg.
  4. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the muffin cups, filling each until 3/4 full. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 25 minutes. Cool completely in pan before removing.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Revisiting my favorite bread recipe – Boule French Bread

Boule, from the French for “ball”, is a traditional shape of French bread, resembling a squashed ball. It is a rustic loaf shape that can be made of any type of flour. A boule can be leavened with commercial yeast, chemical leavening, or even wild yeast sourdough. The name of this bread is the reason a bread baker is referred to as a “boulanger” in French, and a bread bakery a “boulangerie.” Boule (bread) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

My Favorite French Bread recipe (formed in Boule shape)

Ingredients:

  • 6-1/2 cups of wheat – plus a small amount of flour to dust bread board) *if you grind your own wheat, you will need to add  a Tablespoon of wheat gluten to get a better rise.
  • 2 Tablespoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cups warm water (not boiling, but warm to touch) plus 4 more cups of water for the bottom of the oven in a metal pan to “steam while cooking
  • 2 teaspoons salt (I only use pink Himalayan in my house)
  • Optional toppings: see below

 

Directions

    1. In a glass bowl, add water, yeast and sugar and let sit for 5 minutes or until bubbly. (OR instead, use 1 cup sour dough starter instead of the yeast mixture plus 1-1/2 cup of water – Sourdough starter recipe here)
    2. In a larger bowl, stir together wheat (and wheat gluten if you are adding extra) and salt.
    3. Slowly stir in yeast mixture(or sour dough starter plus water) into flour with wooden spoon.
    4. Blend well until dough forms.
    5. Place dough ball in clean bowl.
    6. Cover with cloth and let rise on counter for 1 hour.
    7. Divide the dough in half and roll out to form either a boule shape (round) or a baguette  (long and skinny) and let rise again for 1 hour.
    8. Using your bread knife, make slices into the tops of the dough about 1/2 inch deep. (I have always done this… I think that it is just decorative.)

 

  • (OPTIONAL – you can sprinkle with cheese or garlic, fresh or dried herbs before baking… (I have 3 kids who LOVE cheese and fresh jalapenos or garlic saon their bread)
  • Place dough in oven and pour 4 cups of water in a metal pan in the bottom of heated oven… this gives a crunchy outside layer.
  • Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

Making tortillas at home

We love making everything from scratch. Lately, tortillas have been on our mind. I have many different recipes that we have used over the years however, we are trying out a new recipe this week for regular corn tortillas.  We had picked up two tortilla presses from years ago, but they are not necessary if you have a rolling pin (just a lot harder to get even and round tortillas.)IMG_20160818_121915 IMG_20160818_114735885_HDRIMG_20160818_114745408

These are extremely easy and are GLUTEN FREE if you use the masa harina that I have pictured below. 

IMG_20160818_125531957_HDRHere are a few tips to making tortillas…

  • Plastic wrap, Saran wrap or even a gallon sized zipper bag will work GREAT to prevent sticking on the tortilla press.  (TIME SAVER!)
  • If you are using a rolling pin instead of a tortilla press, make sure that you are 100% even on the rolling of the tortilla dough so that it doesn’t cook unevenly.  

The Masa bag says that this makes 18 – 6 inch tortillas – It makes more like 10 or so… and 8 if you counts the ones that kids keep snitching from the plate. We double or triple the recipe below to make enough for our clan. 

Ingredients
2 cups masa harina (we have found this at the local Mercado as well as our local Safeway)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt ( I use pink Himalayan Salt) 
1 1/2 cups hot water 

Instructions:

Prepare the tortilla press: Cut the zip-top bag open along the sides or wrap the base of the tortilla press with plastic wrap. Open the tortilla press and lay the opened bag on top. You will only need to do this ONCE during the process. You can reuse the plastic for all of the tortillas. 
  1. Mix the masa harina and the salt together in a mixing bowl. Pour in the water and stir to combine.
  2. Using your hands, knead the dough for a minute or two in the bowl or you can use a dough hook attachment on your kitchen aide. The dough is ready when it’s smooth, but no longer sticky, and easy forms a ball in your hand. The dough should feel a bit “springy,”. –  If the dough absorbs all the water but is still dry and crumbly, add water a tablespoon at a time. If the dough feels sticky, or gummy, add more masa a tablespoon at a time.
  3. Cover the bowl with a towel and rest the dough for 15 to 30 minutes. 
  4.  Pinch off a few tablespoons of dough and roll it between your hands to form a ball about the size of a ping-pong ball. This will make roughly a 6-inch tortilla. If you want larger tortillas, use more dough. 
  5.  Place the ball of dough on the plastic-covered tortilla press in the middle of the IMG_20160818_114753019press. Fold the other side of the plastic bag over the top of the dough. Bring the top of the press down over the dough, then press with the handle to flatten the dough to about 1/8-inch thick. If the tortilla doesn’t look quite even after pressing or you’d like it a little thinner, rotate the tortilla in the plastic and re-press.
  6.  Peel away the top of the plastic, flip the tortilla over onto your palm, and peel off the back of the plastic. Be careful that you don’t tear the tortilla… Although, they taste the same whole or torn. 
  7. You can either cook the tortillas as you press them, or you can press all the tortillas and then cook them. Keep both the dough and the stack of pressed tortillas covered with clean towels. If you choose to press all the tortillas and then cook them, be careful when peeling each tortilla off the stack — they can stick to each other or break around the edges, especially the ones on the bottom.
  8. Warm a large, flat cast iron griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. 
  9. Gently position as many tortillas in the pan as will fit in a single layer without overlapping. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the edges are starting to curl up and the bottoms look dry and pebbly. Flip and cook another 2 to 3 minutes on the other side. 
  10. Serve Immediately! You can also save these for a few days in the fridge. However, they never last that long in our house. 

 

Basic Muffins (plus a ton of “flavor add-ins”)

ABM_1467402580INGREDIENTS

Makes 12 muffins
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk (we use goat milk in ours)
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted  (yes, you can use homemade butter in this)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Sift, measure and then place the flour in a large bowl.
  2. Add the baking powder, salt and sugar.
  3. Beat the egg well in a small bowl.
  4. Add the milk, vanilla and melted butter to the egg and mix thoroughly.
  5. Put the above wet ingredients into the large bowl of dry ingredients.
  6. Stir just until the flour mixture is moistened.
  7. Fold in any optional add-ins gently
  8. Fill greased muffin tins 1/2 to 2/3 full.
  9. Bake at 400 F  for 20-25 minutes.
  10. The muffins should be golden brown in color and spring back when touched.

Optional Items: 

  • Blueberry Muffins. Use 1/2 cup sugar. Reserve 1/4 cup of the flour, sprinkle it over 1 cup blueberries
  • Pecan Muffins. Use 1/4 cup sugar. Add 1/2 cup chopped pecans to the batter. After filling the cups, sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, and more chopped nuts.
  • Whole-Wheat Muffins. Use 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour and 1 cup white flour.
  • Date or Raisin Muffins. Add 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates or 1/3 cup raisins to the batter.
  • Bacon Muffins. Add 3 strips bacon, fried crisp and crumbled, to the batter.
  • Cherry or cranberry Muffins – 2/3 cup of cherries or cranberries, mixed with 2 Tbsp. of sugar 
  • Dried fruit Muffins – 1/2 cup apricots, currants, peaches, figs, prunes, raisins or dates
  • Nut Muffins.  – 1/3 cup chopped
  • Cheese Muffins.  – 1/2 cup grated cheese and 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • Cornmeal Muffins. – 1 cup cornmeal and 1 cup flour -change in main recipe
  • Banana Nut Muffins. – add 1 cup mashed bananas and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.
  • Pina Colada Muffins. – add 1 small can drained crushed pineapple and 1/2 cup coconut.
  • Apple Spice Muffins. – add 1 peeled chopped apple, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a dash nutmeg.
  • Coffee Walnut Muffins. – add 1 teaspoon coffee extract and 3/4 cup chopped walnuts.
  • Pumpkin Spice Muffins. – add 1 cup canned pumpkin, 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spices, 1/2 c. nuts.
  • Mincemeat Muffins. – add 1 cup canned mincemeat and 1/2 cup chopped nuts.
  • Date Nut Muffins. – add 1 cup chopped dates and 1/2 cup nuts.
  • Cranberry Muffins. – add 1 cup chopped fresh cranberries, 1/2 cup nuts, 1 teaspoon orange rind.
  • Chocolate Chip Muffins. – add 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, nuts if desired.
  • Cherry Almond Muffins. – add 1 cup chopped dried cherries and 1/2 cup toasted flaked almonds.
  • Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins – add 1/4 c. cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 cup (or more) chocolate chips, plus 1/4 additional milk.
  • Chocolate Cinnamon Muffins – add 1/4 c. cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and  1/4 additional milk, 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • Zucchini Muffins – add 3/4 cups grated zucchini and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Easy Boule Bread – A Family Favorite.

eaBoule Artisan Bread - www.krisandlarry.com

This is a GREAT recipe to make bread bowls as well!!! Divide the dough into 4 or 5 smaller rounds, shape and bake!

Ingredients:

  • 6-1/2 cups of wheat (We grind our own, so we add 2T of wheat gluten too) – plus a small amount of flour to dust bread board)
  • 2 Tablespoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 3 cups warm water (not boiling, but warm to touch) plus 4 more cups of water for the bottom of the oven in a metal pan to “steam while cooking
  • 2 teaspoons salt (I only use pink Himalayan in my house)
  • Optional toppings: see belowBoule Artisan Bread - www.krisandlarry.com

Directions

    1. In a glass bowl, add water, yeast and sugar and let sit for 5 minutes or until bubbly. (OR instead, use 1 cup sour dough starter instead of the yeast mixture plus 1-1/2 cup of water – Sourdough starter recipe here)
    2. In a larger bowl, stir together wheat (and wheat gluten if you are adding extra) and salt.
    3. Slowly stir in yeast mixture(or sour dough starter plus water) into flour with wooden spoon.
    4. Blend well until dough forms.
    5. Place dough ball in clean bowl.
    6. Cover with cloth and let rise on counter for 1 hour.
    7. Divide the dough in half and roll out to form either a boule shape (round) or a baguette  (long and skinny) and let rise again for 1 hour.
    8. Using your bread knife, make slices into the tops of the dough about 1/2 inch deep. (I have always done this… I think that it is just decorative.)
    9. (OPTIONAL – you can sprinkle with cheese or garlic, fresh or dried herbs before baking… (I have 3 kids who LOVE cheese and fresh jalapenos on their bread)
    10. Place dough in oven and pour 4 cups of water in a pan in the bottom of heated oven… this gives a crunchy outside layer.
    11. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

I make the dough ahead of time and put in a super large container in my fridge.  I actually triple this recipe and take out enough over the week to make bread daily.

Our Family GO-TO Buttery Biscuit Recipe

Buttery biscuits from scratch - krisandlarry.comNo Refrigerator Biscuits Here!!! Too many weird unpronounceable ingredients in those… and not to mention RED DYE! 🙁

*These biscuits take a little time…. remember that you can flash freeze the cut dough for later use too. 

 When we have extra eggs, we tend to make breakfast for dinner too. These work for all occasions.  Mix some fresh chopped herbs into the batter for an entirely different flavor dinner biscuit.

Here is our family’s GO-TO  biscuit recipe. This was given to me by another homeschooling mom about 7 years ago as her favorite recipe… and guess what? It is ours too. We always tend to go back to this one too… LOVE IT! (We use fresh goats milk and fresh goat’s butter in it as well as fresh ground flour.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1  tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons cold butter (Yes, goats milk butter works GREAT!!)
  • 1 cup whole milk (We use raw whole goats milk) 

We always double our recipe above for our family.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. We use our old KitchenAid bowl.
  3. Using a dough hook, cut butter into pats and add to flour, mix until the mixture resembles rough crumbs. (Add up to 1 Tablespoon of chopped herbs here if you want a dinner biscuits with a new flavor or 1/2 cup of shredded cheese for a cheesy biscuit)
  4. Slowly, add milk and stir with a fork until it forms a rough ball.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and roll into a large rectangle, about one inch thick  and 12 inches by 6 inches. Fold it over in half and gently roll  in into a rectangle again. Repeat 2 more times. Cover the dough loosely with a  damp kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Cut dough into biscuits using a floured glass or biscuit cutter. Press straight down. (it lets the biscuits rise better in the oven if you don’t twist the cutter)
  7. Place biscuits on a cookie sheet  or baking clay.
  8. Bake until golden brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. 

*To freeze your dough make a double batch and cut out all of your dough. Instead of baking the dough, place the cut biscuits on a lined baking tray and place in the freezer for 60 minutes. (Make sure none are touching!!) After that 60 minutes, remove from tray and place in freezer bag. Keep frozen for up to 3 months. (Mine don’t last a week with all of these kids!) When you are ready to eat them, take as many as needed out of the freezer and let thaw completely on a baking pan. Once thawed, bake as above. 

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