Archive for February 2010

Peanut Butter Cups – Fancy Version and Simple Version!   Leave a comment

I made some peanut butter cups on Sunday with the help of Jonathan and some of the Blessings. They were very simple and imperfect. And wonderfully yummy.

If it weren’t for Jonathan, I would have not gotten any pictures taken, and I don’t have pictures of all the steps. But this will give you the basic idea.

Mini-muffin tin and mini-muffin-tin-sized paper cups.
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c peanut butter
1/2 pound powdered sugar
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 t salt

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or a double boiler.
Place the paper cups in the muffin tin.

Drop a bit of melted chocolate into each paper cup and use a small paint brush to spread it out along the bottom and up the sides. At first, I tried to get it all the way to the top, but I had to hold the cup to do so and that’s difficult for arthritic hands. I decided to hold the paper cups in with two fingers on my left hand while I painted chocolate with my right. I didn’t go all the way up the edge, figuring that the top layer of chocolate would meet the bottom layer and seal things up. It worked!

Place the chocolate cups in the freezer to harden while you mix up the peanut butter filling.

Cream together 1 c peanut butter, 1/2 pound powdered sugar, 1/2 stick softened butter, and 1/2 t salt.

When the chocolate cups are hardened, remove from freezer (aren’t you glad I mentioned that?!) and place a small amount of peanut butter mixture in each. The pictures below give you an idea of proportions. And show off the fact that we didn’t do them perfectly!

It would make doing the top layer of chocolate easier if you placed the cups back in the freezer for a bit first. We were too impatient for this step, but it really would be helpful.

Reheat chocolate as needed place some on top of each cup, spreading the chocolate to the edges.

If you’re imperfect folks like us, you might have some peanut butter cups with peanut butter sticking out the edges. And guess what? They’re still scrumptious!

You also might not have quite enough chocolate to finish all the cups. The topless ones are fabulous also!

Even the scrapings from the bowls and spoons are terrific!

Ta-da! Peanut Butter Cups!

And if you like the idea, but you don’t feel like making individual cups, here is a terrific recipe that I got from my friend Tonya many moons ago. These are wonderful!

Tonya’s Peanut Butter Cups in a Pan
1 c peanut butter
1 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 pound butter
1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t salt
12 oz. chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients except choc. chips with mixer. Press into buttered 9×13 pan. Put in refrigerator for 2 hours to chill. Melt choc. chips, spread over peanut butter mixture. Cut into pieces before putting back into refrigerator. Chill until firm. Yum!


Posted February 16, 2010 by smithlaurel in Treats

Sugar Cookies   Leave a comment

I don’t have a sugar cookie recipe of “my own.” Honestly, the sugar cookie recipe in my Betty Crocker cookbook is one of the few recipes I faithfully use just as it is written. As far as I can recall, it is much like the recipe we used when I was growing up, and I love these cookies. I thought it would be fun to take some pictures of the process as we prepared for Cookie Day and to share my favorite sugar cookies with you.

First gather your ingredients with the help of some lovely ladies, if any are available. I doubled the recipe that you’ll find at the bottom of the page, so the quantities in my pictures will likely seem large:
softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, egg(s), flour, baking soda, cream of tartar

Then have a “keepin’ it real” moment and take a picture of the three partially used bags of powdered sugar you’re going to try to finish off:

At the wise suggestion of your husband, gather your tools:
Mixer, measuring spoon(s), broken measuring cup with handy 1/2 c mark, pitiful but still favored spatula with the melted handle, rolling pin, pastry cloth (these last two will be waiting a while, but I thought I’d include them).

Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy:

Remember you’re doubling the recipe and add the second half of the sugar and cream until light and fluffy again:

Add your egg(s), vanilla, and almond:

Dump in about half your flour and get the mixer going on low:

Mix the baking soda and cream of tartar with some of the flour:

And gradually finish adding the flour to the mixer:

Once it’s all mixed up…
… pop it in the refrigerator for a couple hours or until you’re ready to roll it out and cut some cookies. I transferred it another bowl so that I could mix up some Big Soft Ginger Cookies, but you could also leave it in the mixing bowl.

When your dough has chilled, roll it out to about a 1/4″ thick and cut your cookies. We went for simple circles and hearts this time.

Take a picture of your adorable 2 year old, if applicable.

Bake the cookies at 375′ for 7-8 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden.
Let cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes, then move them to a cooling rack. Frost or ice as desired.

I wanted to be sure that our frosting would be nice and firm so the cookies could be packaged for Cookie Day. I did some research and found that icing hardens, frosting doesn’t. This is the recipe I used for icing our cookies, and it worked wonderfully.

The Summary – for your copying and pasting pleasure:

Sugar Cookies (from Betty Crocker’s 40th Anniversary Edition Cookbook)
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
1 c butter, softened
1 t vanilla
1/2 t almond extract
1 egg
2 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t cream of tartar

Chill, roll out, cut.
Bake the cookies at 375′ for 7-8 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden.
Cool on rack, then frost.

Posted February 14, 2010 by smithlaurel in Treats