Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Leprechaun Bark

Today we’re going to make another one of those recipes that can be tweaked for any holiday or anyone’s favorites. Leprechaun Bark is a fast and easy way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or any other holiday. I’ve made Easter Bark and Halloween Bark, and I decided it’s time to celebrate spring with this green and very delightful treat. Why not celebrate absolutely EVERY holiday?!! There really isn’t too much of a recipe for this, you just melt chocolate or almond bark or candy melts and decorate like crazy. I think kids would really have fun with this, even though you may end up with sprinkles or candies all over your kitchen. Well, that can happen even when there aren’t any kids helping you make this.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Leprechaun Bark

Put a sheet of parchment paper onto the tray you want to use for making your bark.

Top the tray with pretzels, if desired.

Melt:

1 package dark chocolate chips

Pour over top of pretzels, or just onto the parchment paper.

Drizzle on:

1/2 package of white chocolate chips, melted

Sprinkle on:

Appropriate colored candies

Sprinkles

Chopped cookie bits (I used Oreo Mint Thins for this batch)

Nuts (I didn’t use any nuts on this batch)

Let cool (I put the pan into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes).

Break into pieces.

I like a bit of the sweet and salty thing, so I always add pretzels when I make bark. I’m not sure if you can tell what I did wrong here. I broke the number one rule of making bark. I forgot to put a sheet of parchment paper under the pretzels. In this case, I used a baking sheet that is almost non-stick, so it worked out all right, but please – DON’T FORGET TO USE PARCHMENT PAPER!! I had to put the baking sheet into the freezer so it got really hard and came off the sheet just fine. Whew.

I like a bit of mint, but not a lot, so I used thin mint cookies, green candies, green sugar, white jimmies, and crystal sugar (for some sparkle).

Before cooling the chocolate is glossy.  You can see a bit of a difference once it’s cooled.

So festive!

You can cut this into pieces if you want to, but when you use pretzels for the bottom, it breaks apart very easily.

Here it is – the perfect St. Patty’s snack.

Try making this very festive holiday treat! It’s so easy to do and fun to make. You’ll be hooked. I’m telling ya. You’ll want to make this for every holiday!

 

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American Krispies Cookies

(Note: I didn’t realize that I made a mistake on yesterday’s post until last evening.

Please take a moment to also take a look at that post if you missed it!

I’m still learning this blogging stuff!!!

Thanks!)

 

My dad was in the Army and stationed in Turkey when I was born.

He kept pictures of me and my mom in his locker while he was there.

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This picture of him looking longingly at us was taken because he had just gotten a new camera and he and his friends were playing around with it and figuring out how to use it.

I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for him to be so far away and not to be able to be here when I was born.

We didn’t meet until I was 6 months old.

My mom recently gave me two of the first letters that he wrote when I was born.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

They’re pretty special and I’m so grateful to have them.

I’m sure he missed good old American food when he was there (some of that army food had choice names) because his mother, his mother-in-law, and his wife were all good cooks and bakers.

I’m not sure why these cookies are called “American”.

They have Corn Flakes Cereal in them and of course, Corn Flakes are very American.

I couldn’t find any cookies online that has the name “krispies” in the label without having Rice Krispies Cereal in them.

These American Krispies Cookies are very good, no matter what they’re called.

I added the “Cookies” label so you’ll know exactly what they are.

American Krispies Cookies

American Krispies Cookies 2

There are a lot of ingredients and this recipe made about 6 dozen.

Here is the recipe as I made them:

American Krispies Cookies

Mix:

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup oil (I used canola)

1 cup butter

1 egg

Add:

1 cup crushed Corn Flakes Cereal

1 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 cup nuts, chopped (I used pecans)

1 rounded Tablespoon sour cream

3 1/2 cups sifted – flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped raisins (I don’t know why she has to add to just half of the batter. I added them to the whole thing.)

There are  no baking instructions again here.

I baked them at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes.

I did use my ice cream scoop to make the balls – the dough seemed a bit soft to try to roll into balls.

Before baking, I did flatten the balls with a glass dipped in sugar, but not powdered sugar.

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This is my shiny new ice cream scoop – works great!

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I did one pan of the cookies without flattening and they were just fine.

I flattened the rest and they were just fine also, but maybe a bit more krispy.

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LOVE the scoop – they’re all the same size.

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The cookies come out krispie and delicious!

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I had a little problem staying away from these.

It was necessary to put them into the freezer FAST!!!!

They’re VERY good!

 

 

 

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Graham Cracker Cookies

I’m not so sure that these can really be called cookies.

They might be more of a candy.

Either way, they’re really good, really simple to make, and one that ANYONE can do.

I don’t remember Grandma making these Graham Cracker Cookies, but maybe that’s a good thing.

Maybe she knew what would happen once I tried these.

There would be no going back.

These are really good.

Graham Cracker Cookies

This one came from one of Grandma’s sisters, but it looks like Grandma gave the recipe to her.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Graham Cracker Cookies

Line a cookie sheet (jelly roll pan) with graham crackers, as close together as possible.

Melt 1/2 cup butter and add 1/2 cup brown sugar.

Stir together until it comes together – whisking helps do this faster.

Spoon over crackers.

Sprinkle with nuts (I used pecans).

Bake in 350 degree oven for 12 minutes.

Let cool and then break apart.

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Before and after baking, you can see how easy these are to make.

It’s magical.

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The nuts roast on top and become more nutty and the caramel becomes even more caramel-ly.

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It wouldn’t be bad to drizzle some melted chocolate on top.

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This recipe is another one where I’m REALLY not sure if it’s really cookies or if it’s actually candy.

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It’s a very fast, very easy recipe that would be great for an afternoon snack.

Or an evening snack.

Or a midnight snack.

Anytime.

 

 

 

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Oatmeal Cookies

I’m sure there are a million different recipes for oatmeal cookies, but this recipe is really good!

This recipe looks like it originally came from the newspaper, and you know it had to be good if Grandma kept a recipe from the newspaper and made a note on it.

Note the “Very Good” connotation again here.

Oatmeal Cookies

You could make a lot of different combinations using the suggested additions.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup butter

2 eggs

Pinch of salt

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

2 1/4 cup oatmeal

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

Combine sugars, butter, and eggs.

Blend well.

Add vanilla.

Sift dry ingredients together and add to sugar mixture.

Add oatmeal and ONE of the following:

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup coconut

1 cup raisins

1 cup salted peanuts

(I added white chocolate chips.)

Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown (about 14 minutes in my oven).

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I have retired my old red ice cream scoop in favor of a brand new shiny one!

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The recipe says only ONE addition, but I think you could add a couple of things at a time if you wanted to.

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This was the perfect snack for the rainy spring afternoon when I made them.

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Warm and chewy at first out of the oven.

Crispy and delicious later when cooled.

These are REALLY good!

 

 

 

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Snickerdoodles

Happy April, everybody!

I just had to share this pic of my latest attempt at MAKING spring happen in my house!!!

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These lilies are so beautiful – they almost don’t look real!

No fragrance but wow, what a show!

The recipe for today is for my husband’s favorite cookie.

That’s hard to understand in this chocolate-crazed family, but nevertheless, his favorite cookie is Snickerdoodles.

Because it’s his favorite, I’ve tried a lot of different Snickerdoodle recipes and this is his favorite so far.

This is one of the classics.

Snicker Doodles

Snicker Doodles 2

One by-product of this recipe – your house smells GREAT from all of the cinnamon!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Snickerdoodles

Mix thoroughly:

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

Sift together and stir in:

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Chill dough for about 1 hour.

Roll dough into balls about the size of a small walnut.

Roll in a mixture of 2 Tablespoons white sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.

Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake until lightly brown and still soft.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 8-10 minutes.

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I wrap the dough in plastic wrap to chill it in the frig before baking.

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It’s a bit tricky to get all the rolled balls of dough to be the same size.

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They really do puff up a bit right out of the oven.

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Once cooled, they flatten somewhat and they’re good to go!

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These don’t last long at our house.

Certain people in the family can’t keep their hands off them!

 

 

 

 

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No-Roll Sugar Cookies

We need some spring time fun after this horrible and VERY long winter!

Nothing says fun like pulling your dress up over your head.

I’m not sure what the deal is with me always pulling my dress/shirt up, but there are a lot of pictures of me like this!

This picture says I was 4 months old, so that puts it in April and I’m sure it was Easter time.

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I LOVE that I’m sitting on the old green couch of Grandma and Grandpa’s.

I took a lot of naps on that old couch!

It had a certain smell and feel to it and I LOVED it!!!

Is that weird?

The recipe today isn’t really a spring time recipe but we’re going to make it one!

No-Roll Sugar Cookies is a pretty basic sugar cookie recipe.

No Roll Sugar Cookies

No Roll Sugar Cookies 2

Note that there are no baking time or temperature again – you should know this!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

No-Roll Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

3 cups + 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream butter and sugar together.

Add eggs.

Add flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda and mix well.

Chill for about 1 hour.

Shape into balls, press with a fork, and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

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I’ve shown you three different ways to do these sugar cookies here.

The flat one on the left is dough rolled into a ball, rolled in sugar, and then flattened with a glass.

The round one in the back is dough rolled into a ball, rolled in sugar, and left that way.

The one on the right is dough rolled into a ball, flattened with a fork, and sprinkled with sugar.

I wanted to show you the before and after pictures so you can decide for yourself how you want to do it – take your pick.

I chose to stick with the recipe instructions and do it the way it said on the card – with a fork.

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I used spring colored sugars so we could get in the mood!

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These cookies are very tasty!

Try this recipe – you’ll love it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Green Meringues

Today’s recipe comes from one of Grandma’s sisters.

Like most families who have a lot of children (they had 8), these 4 sisters were called by the collective name, the “Johnson Girls”.

I LOVE THIS PICTURE!!!!

They look like they’re having so much fun – even in the snowbank!

Gma Great, Laijla, Goldie (2)

They were lucky enough to live fairly close to each other while raising their families.

They shared recipes, swapped stories and were very close to each other and to their brothers (sisters-in-law included)!

They were true sisters, teasing, arguing and loving until the very end.

They were so dear to our family – we miss them all.

Green Meringues

Green Meringues 2

These cookies are so appropriate for springtime.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Green Meringues

2 egg whites

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cream of tartar

2/3 cup white sugar

Few drops of green food coloring

Bag of mint chocolate chips

Beat egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar until frothy.

Gradually add sugar, beating continuously.

Add food coloring.

Mix in chips.

Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Place in 350 degree oven.

Turn off oven and let cookies sit in oven for 6 to 8 hours.

Resist the temptation to peek or they wont dry correctly!

Remove from cookie sheet immediately.

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The egg whites deflate a bit when adding all of the sugar.

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My store didn’t have mint chocolate chips so I used Andes chopped mint bits.

I did use the whole bag but I think half of the bag would have been enough.

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Use a small spoon when making the cookies – they’ll dry better.

You also need to make sure all of your cookie sheets fit in the oven at the same time.

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Remove the cookies immediately as they do stick a bit.

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I made this pedestal plate in an earlier blog post.

You can find the instructions to make it here.

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Springtime green cookies.

So easy.

So minty.

So good.

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Liza’s Swedish Cookies

The recipe today is one that I never remember Grandma making.

I can’t ask her questions and my mom didn’t remember having these very often, so I was on my own about how to make these and what they should look like.

Liza’s Swedish Cookies is one I hadn’t heard of before seeing the recipe in her file.

I have been known to look up some of these recipes online in case I don’t know what they should look like or can’t figure out how to do them, but I couldn’t find anything close to these anywhere.

Liza's Swedish Cookies

Liza's Swedish Cookies 2

I read this through about 20 times before starting to make the cookies.

It just wasn’t making sense to me – but I think I figured it out.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Liza’s Swedish Cookies

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup butter

1 egg yolk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups plus 1 Tablespoon sifted all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Form into long ropes in thickness and length you desire – 2 to 4 lengths according to the length of cookie sheet.

Brush with egg white (I whipped it up a bit with a fork) down the center and top with chopped nuts.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from cookie sheet and cut diagonally into cookies.

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When I was done mixing the ingredients, it looked somewhat like graham cracker crumbs.

How were these supposed to stick together?

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I used my hands to mix the crumb like dough together and the warmth of my hands helped it stick together.

It still didn’t hold together until I just put the first log onto the cookie sheet and LIGHTLY rolled it into a log.

If you do this too hard, it will just keep falling apart.

Keep trying – it will work!

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I used sliced almonds but you could use any chopped nuts.

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I cut them diagonally and they look great.

They’re a very different kind of cookie.

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They were a bit of work, but so worth it.

I would say they’re a cross between a biscotti and a shortbread.

Another great cookie to have with that afternoon coffee or tea.

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Valentine (Sugar ) Cookies

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

dutch girl

This is a valentine that Grandma got when she was a girl.

She’s so cute!

The recipe today is more of a tip than a Grandma recipe.

My tip is this:

We’re all trying to cut down on the sweets around here so at Christmastime we decided to make less cookies.

I made a half batch of cut out sugar cookies and there still seemed like a LOT of dough.

So I made half of the cookies into hearts and put them in the freezer.

I think this is a great time saving tip.

I didn’t have to do anything this week but frost them.

I use a recipe from my original Betty Crocker cookbook that I got from my mom and dad for Christmas 1982.

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This is the seventh printing – copyright 1982 – of this wonderful and very well used book.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Valentine (Sugar) Cookies

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup butter

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Mix powdered sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, and almond extract.

Mix in flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar.

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Divide dough into halves.

Roll each half 3/16 thick on lightly floured cloth-covered board.

Cut into shapes.

Sprinkle with white sugar, colored sugar, or leave plain to frost later; place on lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake until edges are light brown, 7 to 8 minutes.

The recipe I use for frosting is so old I don’t even know who to thank for it.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Royal Icing

3 Tablespoons meringue powder

1 pound powdered sugar

1/2 cup minus 1 Tablespoon lukewarm water

3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Combine all, mix together at slow speed.

Beat at medium speed until very stiff peaks form.

Add a bit of glycerin if you want it to stay soft.

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I didn’t even spend a lot of time on frosting these.

No piping bag – just spread the icing on.

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Follow this time saving tip and have an easy, ready to go treat for valentine’s day.

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Make these cookies for your valentine!

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Butter Pecan Cookies

Today’s recipe is something a little different.

It seems like a lot of the goodies in Grandma’s file have chocolate chips in them.

These cookies are full of pecans.

Butter Pecan Cookies are a shortbread type of cookie.

They’re tender and crumbly and they melt in your mouth.

Butter Pecan Cookies

Butter Pecan Cookies 2

You’ll notice that there are no baking instructions on the card.

Again – we should know this stuff. Ha.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Butter Pecan Cookies

1 cup butter

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cream butter and sugar.

Add egg and vanilla.

Sift flour with cream of tartar and baking soda and add to creamed mixture.

Shape into balls and place a pecan half on top of each ball.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

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I used my trusty ice cream scoop again to try and get the balls all the same size.

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I let them get just a little bit brown around the edges.

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These really do melt in your mouth.

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So tender.

So crumbly.

So good with that afternoon coffee or tea.

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