Category: Cutie Patooties!


Strawberry Confetti CookiesCookies so easy a 6-year-old can make them? You betcha!

My daughter, the grandkids and I had a cookie-making extravaganza this weekend. I cheated and made some of my cookies in advance, since my daughter had to take Cutie Patootie #1 to a dance recital and we were tight on time. I chose two cookies to make with the kids that I thought they would enjoy. One was this Strawberry Confetti Cookie, the other was the traditional Spritz recipe, which I’ll post later.

These are quick, have only a few ingredients, and they don’t even require a mixer! The munchkins will build up some bicep muscles with the stirring, since the dough gets thick, and you might have to help them out a little.

Strawberry Confetti Cookies

Cutie Patootie #1 adding lots of sprinkles to our cookies!

Choose whatever cake flavor / color you like, and then choose a contrasting color or mixture of sprinkles. We chose a strawberry cake mix because we thought the pink (red) color would be a nice addition to holiday cookie trays. If you want a darker color, add a couple drops of food coloring.

Make sure you’re using sprinkles and non-pareils, not anything that’s classified as sugar. Sugar will dissolve and you won’t get the effect you want. We used a combination of holiday-shaped sprinkles and teeny white non-pareils.

The cookies are cake-like and moist, and hold well so you can make them in advance. A co-worker and I think they’d be great using lemon cake mix or even pineapple. Make some with your Cutie Patooties and let me know what you think!

Strawberry Confetti Cookies

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Stuff you need:
1 box (18.25 oz) cake mix, any flavor [Strawberry, lemon, orange, white/yellow…]
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sprinkles

Now what?

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray pan or grease and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix and baking powder. Set aside.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and vanilla by hand.

Add the egg mixture to the cake mixture and stir well (by hand – no mixer needed) until all the dry ingredients have been moistened. Do not overmix – it’s OK if there are some small lumps in the batter, just not large lumps. This is where the munchkins will build their muscles, and may need your help!

Gently mix in the sprinkles until they are just distributed. Again, don’t overmix, so don’t add them in the previous step with the dry ingredients.

Use a cookie scoop or drop rounded 1-inch balls of dough onto prepared baking sheet. Ours did not spread, so they can be put fairly close together, but leave room for air to circulate between the cookies.

Bake for 9 minutes – do not let the cookies brown. If baking 2 pans at once, bake for 5 minutes then switch the racks and bake another 4 minutes.

Allow to cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes; they will  be very soft at first. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Advertisements
Cutie Patootie #3

Cora’s 1st birthday!

Two of my grandkids just had birthdays. Yea! Cutie Patootie #3 turned 1 and the little Chunky Monkey turned 2 within a few days of each other. My daughter planned a creative double-party for the kids, with one side being decorated for Cora and the other for Corbin. She asked for a pink cheesecake for Cora’s table, and I had the perfect strawberry cheesecake recipe for it! Click for recipe.

Only part of this got eaten at the party, which wasn’t a problem, because it kept nicely in the refrigerator for the second party a couple of days later.  Cutie Patootie #1, who is 6 and was very busy at the party, slowed down long enough to taste it for me and declared it “OK.” Her mother, who has eaten my cheesecakes for years, said it was delicious. Pink Cheesecake, Strawberry Cheesecake

I liked it but it was a bit more subtly flavored than I’d like. Then again, I had a piece less than 24 hours after it was baked, so the flavor might have intensified a bit with time. If you want a really intense strawberry flavor, top it with more strawberries or spread a high-quality strawberry jam on the top of the cheesecake before you serve it.

I got this recipe from Junior’s Cheesecake Cookbook, a collection of 50 recipes from the owners of Junior’s restaurant in New York. I love cheesecake, so when this cookbook came out, I added it to my collection. I had never used cornstarch in a cheesecake until I made this recipe. I think it helps balance all the liquid from the whipping cream and the berries in the recipe; at least I assume that’s the purpose of it. It also may be the reason this cheesecake sliced up so beautifully. None of my other cheesecake recipes have ever sliced so cleanly!

If you need a dessert for a pink-themed party, this is it! If you just want a good cheesecake with the strawberries built-in, this is also it! Eat up!

Boy, it’s been a crazy-busy family weekend. I loved it, but I’m tired!

Mixed Nut PieFriday night I went up to Leavenworth, KS to spend some time with my Karate Family. On the way home I stopped at the store to pick up ingredients for Saturday’s baking and made it home around 11:30 pm. Saturday morning it was up and at ’em! The oven was on, the mixer was going, and my house started filling up with the most wonderful scents.

I baked this Mixed Nut Pie (click for recipe), a Sweet Apple Pie, and Alex’s Cake – a pumpkin butterscotch fall treat for my favorite son-in-law. Then the pies and I were off to a Wiffle Ball Tournament hosted by Friends Who Are Family in Peculiar, MO. Sadly, my team lost again this year, but that’s OK because there was pulled pork and home made potato chips to console me. Even though my team went down in flames, it was still a great day!

After the fun, it was back home where I fired up the oven once again and baked a Pink (Strawberry) Cheesecake for Cutie Patootie #3’s first birthday celebration this afternoon in Liberty, MO.Mixed Nut Pie

Whew! Can you see why I say it’s been crazy-busy? I’ve been all over town, with a bunch of baking and shopping in between trips. Tonight I’m trying to unwind and prepare for the upcoming week by sitting in front of the TV. And blogging. I wanted to get at least one of the recipes up tonight; I’ll get the others up as I find time.

This pie is a lot like a pecan pie. The recipe calls for mixed nuts and I took that to mean a can of mixed nuts, but then I realized you really could use whatever combination of nuts you like. Personally, I like the combination in the mixed nuts can so I’d use them again.

This isn’t a hard pie to make. The most difficult step, I think, was boiling the syrup and sugar to make sure the sugar dissolves completely. I used a refrigerated pie crust, but you might have more patience than I do and choose to make your crust from scratch. If that’s the case, don’t pre-bake the crust, and don’t prick the crust with a fork before adding the filling! If you do, the filling will seep under the crust, stick to the pan, and make a mess.

The pan will be very full, so you may want to pour most of the filling in the crust, put the pie in the oven, then add the rest of the filling until the crust is full.

Nuts are a great addition to fall and holiday menus. I think you’ll enjoy the change – especially if you’re not particularly a pecan fan.

When my daughter was small she used to “help” me in the kitchen. She needed to see everything I was doing, and get right in the middle of it all. She loved making food as much as I did.

Tish was especially helpful with fruit bowls – 2 pieces in the bowl, 1 in her mouth, 2 in the bowl…  She’s grown now but we still share that love, and almost every meeting includes food of some sort. Tish has blessed me with grandchildren and now I have the opportunity to share my love of food with them!

Cooking and baking with children should be fun and stress free. Simple things are best, as depending on the age of the child, their motor skills and attention span are limited.

Today we made Ham & Cheese Breadstick Focaccia and Frosted Cakes. Both recipes were perfect for splitting into two portions, allowing the Cutie Patooties — Liela, 5, and Lily, 4 — to each make their own.

I suggested strawberry cake, but the girls vetoed that and asked for chocolate. Almost brought a tear to my eye, I was so proud of their decision! We made a basic boxed mix, and the girls had fun adding ingredients and turning the mixer on and off. The highlight of the cake was the decorating — I had a lot of frosting and a house full of sprinkles, so I put those on the table and let the girls loose. Every type of sprinkle was used on each cake, much to the delight of the girls. They proudly took their sugar masterpieces home and ate them for dinner! 

For the focaccia, I modified a recipe from the Pillsbury.com website: http://bit.ly/uuX4HN. This recipe has very few ingredients and is difficult to mess up, so it’s perfect for small hands or inexperienced cooks. Liela likes ham, so I cut deli ham into thin strips to use in place of the bacon called for in the recipe. Each girl got a can of breadstick dough. I helped them unroll it and spiral it around, with ham between the dough strips. We topped it with Italian seasonings and shredded cheddar/ Monterey jack cheese and popped them into the oven. We dipped the finished focaccia in honey mustard sauce, but BBQ sauce would have been equally good. Liela didn’t like it much but couldn’t really say why; Lily, Tish and I enjoyed it. 

This is a great recipe for feeding a crowd. We used about 2/3 of the dough and still had two good portions. It’s quite good for how simple it is, and can be modified to suit any taste. I think it would be delish with pepperoni in the bread, garlic powder and shredded mozzarella on top, and warmed pizza sauce for dipping.

Our choices were a success! Here’s to many years of sprinkles and smiles shared with the Cutie Patooties!