Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Salted Peanut Cookies

I almost did it again – I made a recipe for Salted Peanut Cookies that I thought I had already made for Plenty Sweet Life, except that what I was thinking about was a recipe I made for Peanut Cookies – very close, but not exactly the same. This recipe for Salted Peanut Cookies has the addition of milk and only 1 cup of Corn Flakes cereal, and the recipe for Peanut Cookies has no milk and has 3 cups of Corn Flakes cereal in it. This recipe for Salted Peanut Cookies comes from one of Grandma’s sisters, and it looks like a very old one by the looks of the fountain pen writing. I hope this isn’t too confusing, but the original recipe I made for Peanut Cookies came from the tiny book I found at my sister’s house. It was a book put together by the “Svea Circle in Willmar”, which is a group from the little town where Grandma and her sisters grew up, and the somewhat larger town that two of her sisters had moved to. There was no name on the recipe for Peanut Cookies, but I bet this sister was the one who submitted that recipe to the book. Somewhere along the line, someone (maybe this sister) decided to alter this Salted Peanut Cookie recipe a bit, and that’s why these two recipes are so similar. Who knows? Maybe that’s not even how this happened, maybe there are just two recipes for a similar kind of cookie. Maybe these sisters just liked peanut cookies! However this happened really doesn’t matter. We have both of these recipes, so try both of them – they’re delicious!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Salted Peanut Cookies

Cream together:

1 cup lard or butter (I used butter)

2 cups brown sugar

Add:

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla

1/2 cup milk

Stir in:

2 cups flour

2 cups oatmeal

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup salted peanuts

1 cup Corn Flakes cereal (I added this last so the flakes wouldn’t be totally obliterated)

There was no time and temperature with this one, so I baked them at 350 degrees 13-15 minutes.

I used my trusty scoop to make these all approximately the same size.

I just love cookies. All kinds of cookies.

These cookies are perfect for an afternoon snack with a glass of milk. I think kids would really like these cookies. Um – so would husbands. I know mine sure did.

These cookies are just delicious. They taste like they have peanut butter in them, even though it’s just peanuts. There are some fairly healthy ingredients in them: oatmeal, Corn Flakes cereal, peanuts. Make up a batch of these Salted Peanut Cookies for your next afternoon snack.

 

 

 

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French Cherry Dessert

This recipe for French Cherry Dessert is somewhat like a Pavlova, but the quick and easy version, and a little bit different. Because this dessert is so amazingly delicious, I can imagine Grandma being served this at some gathering and immediately asking for the recipe. I’m sure she couldn’t wait to share it with HER family and friends. She loved to make an impression, and I’m sure she would have liked to try out this dessert on Grandpa’s brothers. In honor of Major League Baseball’s Opening Day on Thursday, I’m sharing a photo of a couple of Grandpa’s brothers who are in this photo of their town’s (a very small town) baseball team. I love this photo so much. Grandpa’s brothers are the second and third from the right in the back row – at least those are the only two that I know of on the picture. It cracks me up how serious the whole team is – looking so tough. They’ve got the game-face on.

The uniforms are just the best, and I love the little guy in his best outfit. I bet he was someone’s little brother and couldn’t wait until he could play on the team. As far as I know, I don’t think Grandpa ever played on that team. You sure can tell those two brothers are brothers – they look exactly alike – and they aren’t even twins!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

French Cherry Dessert

Crust:

Bear until foamy:

3 egg whites

Beat in until stiff peaks form:

1 cup sugar

Combine and fold in carefully:

20 saltine crackers, crushed

1 teaspoon baking powder

Fold in:

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Spread in a well-greased 9″ x 13″ pan and bake 20 minutes at 325 degrees.

Filling:

Combine and beat until smooth:

8 ounces cream cheese

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Spread on top of the baked crust.

Top with:

8 ounce Cool Whip

Then:

21 ounce can cherry pie filling (Grandma says here that you can also use another flavor of pie filling)

Store in refrigerator.

I had to use my offset spatula to spread out the meringue. It doesn’t make a very thick crust.

After baking, the crust sunk a bit and was even thinner.

There was barely enough of the filling mixture to cover the whole crust. Good thing it’s covered up with Cool Whip and no one will see it!

Top it with cherry pie filling and that’s it!

I had to get a shot of my store-bought tulips in there – they’re not coming up in the yard yet.

The dessert did firm up after being in the refrigerator overnight, but who cares? This is one of my new favorites – again! The crust is delicious and the filling, Cool Whip, and cherries make it a great dessert to serve for any occasion. Try this French Cherry Dessert, and maybe serve it for Opening Day!

 

 

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Banana Chips

I saw the idea for Banana Chips on Valerie Bertinelli’s Food Network show “Valerie’s Home Cooking”, so I went online and did some research on how to make them. I thought it would be a perfect snack in my quest for caring for and nurturing Ebenezer (my pancreas). He’s had mostly good days, but also some bad days, and I want to make sure he stays happy and healthy. I have loved Banana Chips since buying them as snacks for my kids years ago. Why not try to make them myself? I don’t know why I never thought of that over the years, except that these do take some time to make, and that is something you’re kind of short on when raising three incredibly busy and active kids. Oh well, better late than never. Wanna see how these turned out? Here we go. . .

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Banana Chips

I used bananas that were ripe, but still fairly firm. Slice them between 1/8 and 1/16 of an inch thick. Making them the same thickness will help with them being baked evenly. The thinner the slices are, the faster they crisp up. Lay them out in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Brush them with lemon or lime juice (I happened to have a lime in my frig) so they don’t turn brown.

Into the oven at 225 degrees for about 90 minutes (this seems to be the consensus online) and check to see if they’re firm enough. I gave them another bake in increments of 15 minutes (mine needed about an extra 45 minutes) until they felt fairly firm, let them cool 5 minutes, and checked again. I did this once and they went back into the oven for another 15 minutes, so it totaled about 2 1/2 hours all together.

I flipped them after the first 45 minutes, just to help with the drying out process. When you feel they’re dried enough and firm, let them cool on the parchment paper. At this point, I had already decided that if I’m going to go through this much work – and I will – I’ll make two pans next time!

After the banana slices are cool, carefully peel them off the parchment paper and store them in an airtight container. These don’t have any preservatives, so don’t wait too long before enjoying these, or you might have the same problem I had with the Roasted Chickpeas.

Actually, you won’t have the problem of trying to save these for any length of time. This batch didn’t last more than one afternoon. They’re sweet and crunchy and absolutely delicious. There isn’t any weird overly sweet flavor or extra banana flavor or preservative taste that you get with some store-bought kinds. These Banana Chips are totally worth the work – you’re gonna love them!

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Date-Nut Muffins

This recipe for Date-Nut Muffins is a variation of the all-purpose recipe for Muffins in Grandma’s old church cookbook. I have said before – and you all know how I feel about those old church cookbooks – those recipes are just the best. This all-purpose recipe for Muffins in Grandma’s old church cookbook has 13 different variations along with it! 13! It just shows you how recipes can be modified to suit YOUR favorite flavors and tastes. I just love that. I intend to try ALL the variations, because I’m sure they’re absolutely delicious, like these Date-Nut Muffins and the Cinnamon-Sugar Muffins I’ve already made. You really could and SHOULD play around with this recipe – add YOUR favorite flavors and let me know how it goes! So let’s get on with THIS variation.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Date-Nut Muffins

Put in a mixing bowl:

2 cups flour

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Here’s where the variation comes in: Add to the dry ingredients 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup chopped dates, and 1 Tablespoon grated lemon rind.

Mix well with a fork.

Combine:

1 egg

1 cup milk

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Add all at once to flour mixture, stirring only until moistened.

Fill 12 greased muffin cups 2/3 full and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

These muffins are made from very basic ingredients – it what you add to them that makes them special!

Get the dry and wet ingredients ready before mixing – only until moistened.

You can put the muffin batter into greased muffin tins, but I like to use papers.

All ready for the oven!

Baked to perfection. Too much browning and I think they get a bit dry.

You just have to eat them warm – with lots of butter melting everywhere – and running down your arm. Just sayin’.

This muffin recipe is one to keep in your arsenal, just because it can be modified so easily – for a specific flavor, for a specific holiday, for a specific taste. The flavor of date, walnuts, and that little bit of lemon rind in these – amazing. I love these muffins and so will you. Make up a batch of these Date-Nut Muffins – right now – and see how easy it is to make them just the way you like them!

 

 

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, dear readers!

Have a wee bit o’ fun, and don’t forget to wear green!

 

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6 Sham-rockin’ Treats for Your Favorite Leprechaun

Today I’m sharing 6 Sham-rockin’ Treats for Your Favorite Leprechaun! We all like to join in on the shenanigans and wear green on that special day, so why shouldn’t we all eat a wee bit o’ green on St. Patrick’s Day, too! Green treats, that is! Here are some delicious green treats you can rock for your favorite leprechaun!

Leprechaun Bark

 

St. Patrick’s Day Bundt Cake

 

Salad #2

 

Green Meringues

 

Irish Soda Bread

 

Pistachio Salad

 

 

 

 

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Danish Sugar Cookies

We’re making another sugar cookie today – Danish Sugar Cookies! I have made so many different kinds of sugar cookies here on Plenty Sweet Life, maybe they should have their own category! Because the name of these cookies is Danish Sugar Cookies, it makes me think about Grandpa and his dad, who was Danish. I had to share this photo of Grandpa when he was about 2 years old. I can’t tell you how much I love this one! Just look at him! That little jacket and those boots!! This kid looks like trouble with a capital “T”!!! He had that twinkle in his eye his whole life, and he used it to his advantage! Ha!

I was remembering when I wasn’t very old, maybe 4-5 years or so, and Grandpa fell from the lay loft in the barn through the opening where you would come up into the loft (I think that was how it happened). Just a mis-step and down he went. He didn’t get seriously hurt, but was laid up for a while with sore ribs. We visited him and I remember tip-toeing past the door of their bedroom so I wouldn’t disturb him – he was kind of cranky because he had to lay around in bed. I have to say it was kind of scary seeing him laying in the darkened bedroom and being so quiet. He was always teasing, laughing, and playing games with me. Grandpa was always on the go, and he didn’t handle lying around too well! It wasn’t too long and he was back to his old self, puttering around and working on things and finding something to do. I’m sure he did take it easy for a couple of weeks, until he couldn’t stand it anymore and had to get moving. Boy, I sure do miss him.

Anyway, I’m not sure why these sugar cookies are called Danish, but I’m willing to try them and see. I have to get all my ancestry in here and make recipes representing ALL of the countries of my ancestors. This recipe came from one of Grandma’s sisters who got it from a friend of hers – it isn’t a recipe from Grandpa’s dad or even his mother (I wish I did have some of hers – she was Norwegian)!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Danish Sugar Cookies

Cream well:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup Crisco (I used all butter)

1/2 cup butter

1 egg

Add:

2 cups sifted flour

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Chill.

Form into balls.

Roll in sugar.

Flatten with a glass.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until light brown.

The recipe says that she rolls the dough into logs after chilling and put them into freezer for use another time.

Slice into 1/4″ slices, roll in sugar, and bake.

I love that this is another recipe that you can freeze and use again another time when you feel the need for cookies – or need to take some to a gathering – or you need a hostess gift.

Mix the dough, chill it, and start rolling the dough balls. Roll the balls in sugar and flatten them. I find that it helps to use my greasy hands (from rolling the dough balls) to coat the bottom of the glass so it doesn’t stick to the dough.

I think they used part shortening in this recipe to make the cookies more melt-in-your-mouth, but I still found these to be melt-in-your-mouth even though I used all butter.

I did use my trusty scoop and it did help to make the cookies all one size, although, as usual, I’m sure they’re bigger than they should have been. I guess we just like them bigger these days.

These cookies are absolutely delicious and mouth-watering. I don’t think the Danish name has anything to do with it, and then there’s the awesome benefit of the freezer part. These are another great cookie to have with your afternoon coffee – or ANYTIME! Call some friends to come on over for coffee, make a batch of these delicious Danish Sugar Cookies (don’t forget to put half of the dough in the freezer for another time), and enjoy each other’s company!

 

 

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Swedish Pancakes

Today we’re going to make Swedish Pancakes! Guess what?!! We’re getting 5-10 more inches of snow this weekend here where I live in Minnesota, so what better time to try a new recipe? This is an especially delicious and cozy recipe, and even though Grandma was the one who submitted this for her church’s cookbook, the original recipe came from my sister (whose family is VERY big on pancakes of all kinds, especially my nephew). Grandma loved these, I’m sure, initially because they’re Swedish, but then I’m sure she saw how amazingly good they are! Plus, Grandma was a big one for the breakfast for dinner thing – especially on Sunday nights. She knew what she was doing there – I love that, too!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Swedish Pancakes

Mix:

1 1/2 cups flour

3 Tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat until very thick and light:

3 eggs

Beat in:

2 cups milk

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

Combine wet and dry ingredients.

Heat griddle (or pan) over low heat.

Brush with butter.

Cook over medium heat.

These ingredients are so simple and basic, you probably have everything in your kitchen that you’d need to make these pancakes this weekend!

After adding the wet ingredients to the dry, I used a whisk to make the batter nice and smooth.

I used my big cast iron pan, and that maybe wasn’t a great idea. It’s too heavy to pick up and swirl the batter around. My sister does this with a smaller pan and makes these more like crepes. Yeah – these aren’t nice and thick and fluffy like Sweet Milk Griddle Cakes. I started by using a 1/4 cup measure to pour the batter into the pan – that was too thick. Then I used a ladle to pour the batter into the pan and then used the ladle to swirl around the batter and that made it thinner – that was a bit better. I got the hang of it by the time I was frying the last two pancakes. I’d use a smaller pan next time.

I mean, how pretty are these?!!! You can serve them with fruit and whipped cream or the obligatory maple syrup – or even lingonberry syrup, as long as we’re being Swedish.

I am not even kidding – these are so delicious, you’re gonna love them! Serve them with sausage or bacon, and you have an amazingly delicious breakfast or breakfast for dinner. Seriously, if you live in Minnesota, you won’t have anything else to do this weekend – make a batch of these Swedish Pancakes and just don’t even look outside! đŸ™‚

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Lemon Bars

This recipe for Lemon Bars comes from one of Grandma’s sisters, who got it from her daughter (my mom’s cousin and my godmother). I just love how these family recipes were passed around from family member to family member. Mainly that’s because they’re so amazingly GOOD! Grandma and her sisters loved their lemon. I have done so many different recipes for lemon bars on Plenty Sweet Life like Lemon Cheese Bars, Lem-O-Nut Bars, Lemon Love Notes, and Lemon Squares.

Speaking of family, I had to share this photo today of my mom (on the right) and her cousin (the one this recipe is from – on the left). This looks like they were about 3 years old, and don’t they look like they’re having fun?!!! Ha! I LOVE the look on their faces! They look like they don’t really understand how this sledding thing is supposed to be fun.

It’s just too cute – both of them with the snow pants, coats, hats, and scarves! This is how long they have been best friends, and still are!

Back to the bars – I seriously don’t know whether to put this into the Bars category or the Cake category – they could go either way. And let me say that either way – these are amazingly delicious. This recipe is also one of the easiest EVER! You’re not gonna believe this – but they’re my new favorite!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Lemon Bars

Mix together:

2 eggs

1 can lemon pie filling

1 lemon cake mix

Put in jelly roll pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Cool and then spread on the frosting.

Frosting:

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

3 ounce cream cheese (or about half of an 8 ounce package), softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice, or enough to make the frosting spreadable

After mixing the batter, I put it into my lovely (and quite beat up) jelly roll pan.

It was easier to spread by using my little off set spatula.

After baking, the bars are tender and delicious.

The simple ingredients for both the bars and the frosting makes it a simple recipe to pull together.

The frosting make a nice, thin layer, but that’s all you need. It’s delicious!

These bars were a breath of springtime in the middle of this never-ending winter! Love that lemon!

Yes, these bars are one of my new favorites – again! No kidding, these are so ridiculously easy to make and are so ridiculously delicious – it’s just amazing! You’re going to want to call up your bestie and make up a batch of these tart and lemony Lemon Bars – do it today!

 

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Coconut Bars

The recipe for today is Coconut Bars and comes from Grandma’s church cookbook. In fact, it was submitted by one of her good friends. I won’t leave her name on here, but I remember hearing Grandma say her name often. That’s just another thing that I love about those old church cookbooks – they were put together by friends, neighbors, and fellow congregation members sending in their best and favorite recipes. I’m sure these recipes were the best ones made for years for different gatherings, afternoon coffee get-together, or church functions. I like to think there was a friendly (or maybe not so friendly) competition amongst these friends and neighbors, to see who could submit the best and tastiest recipes around! They didn’t disappoint! These recipes usually really are the best around – all of them!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Coconut Bars

Combine:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup margarine (I used butter)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

Pat into an 8″ or 9″ square pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Beat until thick and foamy:

2 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Add:

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 cups coconut

Mix well and spread on top of baked crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes (I baked it for an extra 10 minutes because it was still jiggly in the middle).

This is another recipe where most of the ingredients are ones that you probably already have in your cupboard. So simple.

Mix up the crust ingredients first . . .

. . . pat the crust out into the bottom of the pan and bake it.

Next mix together the ingredients for the topping . . .

and pour the topping onto the baked crust and bake it again.

I love this simple and delicious recipe!

This really isn’t a recipe for bars – it’s a recipe for more of a candy. These bars are so rich and yummy, that you really don’t need a very big one (I know, I can’t believe I’m saying that, either). I cut the square pan into 12 bars, but next time I’d go ahead and cut them into 16 bars. They’re SO GOOD!!! Next time you need to satisfy a sweet tooth craving, you’ll want to give these Coconut Bars a try!

 

 

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