Let's Cook

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ginger Molasses Cookies---Soft & Chew Goodness!

Ginger and Molasses just were meant to be together...they are a perfect couple. Being a texture kind of gal, I personally prefer a crunch ginger snap cookie but I couldn't help but fall in love with this recipe! Oh, the ooey gooey goodness of molasses and spices of ginger, clove and cinnamon....uhmmmm!  My spin on this recipe is that I used sorghum molasses that I bought at the Country View Mennonite store while home in TN during Thanksgiving. I can honestly say that I'm convinced the fresh sorghum made these cookies the divine little chewy gems that they are. So make a batch of these and hide a few for yourself to enjoy with a cup of coffee (or Tea my friend Kathy!) on the porch before everyone else wakes up. It will be a perfect start to your day! Enjoy :)

 Ultimate Ginger Molasses Cookies


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses (I used pure sorghum molasses)
1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups chopped crystallized ginger (6 ounces)
Granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and then combine the mixture with your hands. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, oil, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low speed, add the egg, and beat for 1 minute. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for 1 more minute. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the crystallized ginger and mix until combined.

Scoop the dough with 2 spoons or a small ice cream scoop. With your hands, roll each cookie into a 1 3/4-inch ball and then flatten them lightly with your fingers. Press both sides of each cookie in granulated sugar and place them on the sheet pans. Bake for exactly 13 minutes. The cookies will be crackled on the top and soft inside. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Note: I thought the dough was too soft to roll up by hand so I just dropped the dough by good spoonfuls onto the baking sheet and sprinkled the tops with some sugar before putting into the oven. Turned out great!

Soft Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies :) YUM
***The original recipe for this cookie is from:

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mixed Pepper and Chicken Enchiladas

The company I used to work for contracted with Sanderson Farms to build a feed mill. I met some wonderful folks from Sanderson Farms and am on their mailing list for new recipes they come up with. This is a recipe I received several years ago and it was a hit then and it still is! This is a stick to  your bones kind of meal and great for a cold winter weekend meal. I will say this though...if you think that you'll have enough for left overs, use corn tortillas. The flour tortillas will get soggy on you and well, if you're somewhat of a texture person like I am, you won't appreciate that soggy enchilada even if it does taste awesome!

Saute Red Peppers and a Pablano Pepper in 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Shred chicken that you've cooked the night before in a slow cooker. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, cumin and garlic to taste.

Add cilantro, adobo sauce and corn. Stir til heated throughout.

Spoon 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the chicken/vegetable mix onto the tortilla

Place the rolled tortillas tightly in a 13 x 9 dish and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree heated oven for 20 -25 minutes just until heated and bubbling. Drizzle with Lime Cream.

Mixed Pepper and Chicken Enchiladas w/ Lime Cream

Cook 4 chicken breasts in slow cooker. Season them to taste. I use cumin, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Shred.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Red pepper, diced
1 Poblano pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 tsp cmin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp frozen or canned corn (drain)
Flour or Corn Tortillas
1 1/2 cup grated Mexican cheese blend or Cheddar

Lime Sauce:

Sour Cream and Lime Juice = for 1 cup of sour cream stir in 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

In a saute pan, heat a Tbsp of olive oil. Add red peppers, poblano pepper, onion, cumin, chili powder and salt. Saute until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add cilantro, adobo sauce, and corn. Stir to heat through.

Spray a large oven proof dish (or two medium-sized dishes) with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon about 1/2 cup of chicken mixture onto each tortilla, roll and place in pan. enchiladas should be placed tightly in the pan. Pour enchilada sauce over the tortillas. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Place in heated oven and bake until cheese is melted and Enchiladas are heated through about 20 minutes. Drizzle with Lime Cream when you serve these.

Sweet Potato Biscuits--YUM!

It seems there is an over abundance of sweet potatoes around this time of year but they are so versatile not to mention they are also good for you! Healthy food can taste good! However, some of that nutritional value may be lost in the fat and flour of this recipe but hey, we all need some comfort food once in a while. It's a warm rainy morning here and these little gems fit the bill for a comfort food breakfast.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup of buttermilk
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes

Preheat the oven to 425. Stir together the flour and sugar. Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles corn meal.

Make a "well" in the center of the flour and pour in the mashed sweet potatoes and buttermilk. Stir with a fork, folding in the sweet potatoes and buttermilk until this "glob" makes a soft ball of dough. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and either pat out or roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with biscuit cutter and place on greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. We like these with butter and REAL maple syrup. These are great with ham!

Pastry cutters are so much easier to use than a fork when incorporating butter or shortening into flour. I highly recommend you get one if you don't have one! My girls will attest to the fact that I do like a well equipped kitchen :)

Stir in the buttermilk and sweet potatoes.

Place the soft ball of dough on a lightly floured surface.

Pat or roll out (I just pat these out by hand) and cut with a biscuit cutter.

Place in a lightly greased baking pan and a preheated 400 degree oven.

Bake for about 20 minutes...serve hot with butter and maple syrup. uhmmmm :)

Note: These biscuits are not a "mile high" biscuit but more of a "tea biscuit". If you want a thicker biscuit, then cut them about 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick. Depending on your oven, you might bake them another minute or two because they are thicker.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Chocolate Rum Balls---the Easy Way!

I am not sure that this falls under the category of Southern Food but it does contain rum and chocolate so it definitely should be included!! Somewhere, I have in a stack of cookbooks, my tried and true recipe for chocolate rum balls that is made by crushing vanilla wafers, melting chocolate, mixing in a bit of Karo syrup...etc. You get the picture! BUT...this year, I was in a hurry and well, I guess I got lazy. I found this recipe and tweaked it a bit and I have to say, I may never bother to find that old recipe. This one is just too yummy and too easy!

Chocolate Fudge Rum Balls

1 box of your favorite 13 x 9 size brownie mix
Rum (my fav is coconut rum)

Make the brownies according to the directions except maybe cook them an extra minute or two. We need them to be dry! Once they are cool, cut in large squares and crumble into a mixing bowl. (Again, if they aren't crumbling, just run them through the toaster oven for a minute or two)

Pour about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of your favorite rum over the crumbs and mix with your hands. This is going to be sticky. Chill for about 20 minutes then roll by spoonfuls into balls. Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and chill again for about 20-30 minutes. (So you need a little patience for this but it is so worth it!)

While the chocolate rum balls are chilling in the frig, sift together 2 Tbsp good quality unsweetened cocoa with a cup of confectioner sugar. Pour into a zip lock baggie.

Remove the balls from the frig and drop into the zip lock with the sugar/cocoa mixture and shake a bit to coat. Place the balls back on the cookie sheet and let them set for a bit and then put into an airtight container. I let these "cure" in the frig for about 5 days before serving.

The only picture I don't have here is the empty container! They didn't last long and got rave reviews from my girls!

Golden Pecan Pie

I am just back this week from visiting TN for the Thanksgiving holidays and brrrr, it was much colder than here in South Florida!! BUT, the season continues and I am behind on baking and decorating so I had best get busy!

Today, I am gathering recipes for the weekend ahead of baking and came across this pecan pie recipe that I just made for Thanksgiving. It is by far our favorite and honestly, I only had a small sliver of that pie before it was devoured!! I believe fresh pecans, if you're so lucky to have them, make this pie the best!

Golden Pecan Pie

3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp salt (unless you used salted butter!...then omit this)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup Karo syrup
1 cup chopped pecans
1 9" pie crust

Mix all ingredients except pecans. Mix well. Add pecans. Bake in a 375 preheated oven for 12 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 325 and continue to bake for 30 minutes. If the crust looks like it's getting too brown, just lay a sheet of foil over the top for the last 10 minutes or so.