DPP ~ Days Thirteen, Fourteen, and Fifteen

There was a wedding, some Christmas cookies were baked, and spent some time with a precious little newborn. That’s a busy three days but full of such goodness!

Day 13 ~

DPP 2014, wedding details, bridal bouquet, flowers

Day 14 ~
Taken with my cell phone and not nearly as lovely as Saturday or Monday’s picture. But after shooting a large event like a wedding I have to give my eyes a break 🙂

Day 15 ~ But today my eyes weren’t as tired and the thought of lifting my camera didn’t make me wince. Plus I still had the fabulous 35mm 1:4 that I had rented for the wedding and it shoots like a dream and oh my I wish I could keep it forever and ever. And then of course there was this sweetness going on.

newborn portraits

Just so precious. The wedding was beautiful and Emily’s cookies were tasty so I guess we can count these three days as a success.

Test Kitchen and the Gift That Keeps on Giving #16 ~ Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies

My sweet mother-in-law got our second daughter a really neat cookbook, The Maiden’s Menu, for Christmas. It’s published by KBR Ministries and came with a year’s subscription to their magazine which I found to be quite lovely and encouraging. It’s refreshing to see something available for young teenage girls that is feminine without being saccharine and unrealistic, or glammed up and hussified.

Plus it also has some really good recipes that are totally doable. Because our Emily has a bit of a sweet tooth she naturally tried a cookie recipe first. And these shortbread wonders did not disappoint. (This recipe is adapted from the Brown Sugar Shortbread recipe listed under Delicious Desserts.)

What you’ll need:
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
What you’ll do:
Cream butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl
Gradually stir in the flour
Knead until smooth on a lightly floured surface
Roll into balls, place on a cookie sheet and flatten with a fork*
Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes or until the bottoms begin to brown.

The first time my husband tried one he said, and I quote, “These are special.” Which translates to “Make these often.”

And we have. They taste great with a cup of coffee or tea…not to sweet 🙂

Sharing the cookie jar with Melt in Your Mouth Monday, This Gal Cooks, Meal Time Monday, Sweet Sharing Monday and Try a New Recipe Tuesday.

*The original recipe calls for shaping the dough into a rectangle shape before cutting into strips and pricking with a fork. Em found it easier to make them into balls.

Pinterest Test Kitchen #13 ~ Flourless Chocolate Cookies

Six years ago we put our son on a gluten free diet. It was hard. Gluten free food was scarce and very expensive. I found baking from scratch to be very difficult and very precise. I am not a precise kind of cook…I do heaping and pinches and tweaking kind of cooking. But for our son’s sake I persevered and he didn’t waste away and gluten free has been good for him and his autism.

Over the last several years things like celiac disease and just general gluten intolerance has become more common. While it is sad that people have such health issues it has also brought about a much more friendly non gluten community with easier access to gf foods. Walmart and Publix both carry gf items and many restaurants offer gluten free menus. (Hello Mellow Mushroom! You’ve no idea how happy you made one pre-teen boy when you arrived in town with a gf pizza…he ate the whole thing all by himself the first time 😉

Tons of blogs have popped up all over cyber space and while some recipes may be a little more complex than others there is a wide array of recipes to suit even the most undisciplined of chefs such as myself. When I came across this recipe for flourless chocolate cookies I knew they’d be in our cookie jar soon.

gluten free, cookies, chocolate, homemade cookies, gf cookies, flourless cookies

Oh, boy are they some kind of good. A yummy chocolate flavor that is slightly reminiscent of a meringue but a delicious texture that is both chewy and crunchy…they really are so good.

What you’ll need:
3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 to 4 large egg whites at room temperature
1 TBS pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Disclaimer: These cookies are more of a batter than a dough…they like plenty of room to spread while baking.

What you’ll do:
Cover your cookie sheet with parchment paper (This is very important…do not skip!)
Mix the first three ingredients together. Add in the vanilla and egg whites starting with just two. Add more if needed to get a thick brownie batter like consistency. Stir in chocolate chips. Use ½ tablespoon to spoon  mixture onto your parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until the tops are glossy and cracked…about 12 to 14 minutes.

These are some seriously good cookies so if you’re heading to cookie exchange party or just enjoying holiday hoop la you may want to give them a try. You could place inside a white bakers box and tied with pretty string to make a lovely neighbor or teacher gift.

Sharing the good stuff with Sweet Sharing Monday, This Gal Cooks, Show Me Your Plaid, Melt in Your Mouth Mondays, and   Try a New Recipe Tuesday. Whew, that is a whole lot of cooking going on! Be sure to come back and let me know if you try these!