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Sunday, January 25, 2009

A hearty start to the day

I made this breakfast casserole for a pot luck breakfast we were having at the office. It turned out pretty good, so I made another one for me and Victor. It was super easy to make. I forgot to take a picture...sorry!

Breakfast Casserole

3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk (I used fat free organic)
1 can of Cheddar Cheese soup (I used Campbell's)
2 cups frozen shredded hashbrowns
1 package of brown and serve turkey sausage (I used Banquet...also when I made it for the office I used 2 packages to make it more hearty)

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the sausage in a skillet. When done, remove from heat and cut into bite size pieces. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk and cheddar cheese soup. Once mixed thoroughly, add frozen hash brown potatoes and cut up sausage. Pour mixture into suitable sized baking dish. I used a 9 inch glass pie dish. Bake for 1 hr or until center set.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Mexico Biscochos

Per the website that I got my recipe from (, these Biscochos are the New Mexico version of the traditional Mexican cookie. Victor's mom makes Biscochos every year at Christmas and had sent me her recipe last year....but I did not have on hand all of the ingredients that her recipe called for, so I went on the internet to find one that had the ingredients I already had in house.    The below recipe is the one from the website referenced with my own tweaks.  For one thing, I cut the recipe in half as it initially called for 6 cups of flour and lard.  I do not feel comfortable making stuff with lard or shortening these days, so I substituted butter....I also messed up with my adaptation and forgot to cut the OJ in half...but it worked out.   Traditional Biscochos are in the shapes of small hearts, diamonds, or squares.  I could not find mini-cutters in those shapes so I ended with a snow themed mini-cutters which worked out well.   The reason you want to use small cookie cutters for these is that the cookie is tossed in a cinnamon sugar  mixture when you remove it from the oven.   Anyway, here is my version....


3 cups of flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup butter 
1/4 cup orange juice (pineapple juice may also be used)

In large bowl mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, clove, baking powder and salt.  In a separate bowl, cream the butter, eggs and orange juice.

Add dry ingredients to wet.  Mix well.  Knead.  Dust flat surface with flour.  Roll out and cut out  desired shapes.  

Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Toss with cinnamon-sugar mixture as you are removing the cookies from the baking sheet.  

Reverse chocolate chip

I had almost a full bag of white chocolate chips left over from the spider web cake.   On the back of the Toll House White Chips package was a recipe, so I decided to go with that with some minor tweaks.  Also, since most of the cookies I was going to make for Christmas were light in color, I thought the chocolate cookie would add a nice contrast in gift boxes, as presentation comes 2nd only to taste.   As most drop cookies are, this turned out to be a nice hearty cookie that traveled well (I shipped a few boxes of cookies across the country as gifts). 

Reverse Chocolate Chip
2 1/4 cup of flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter (room temp)
3/4 granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.  In a separate bowl, beat butter, both sugars (granulated and brown) and vanilla with electric mixer until creamy.   Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in the white and semi-sweet chips.  Drop by the teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet.   Bake 9-11 minutes.  Makes about 5 dozen cookies. 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Back to the grind....

Happy New Year! Although it's been a while since I last posted, it doesn't mean I haven't been baking! As you can see from the pictures, there was much interest and applause for my creations! The holidays...hell, I don't need to be politically correct here...CHRISTMAS brings with it that annual tradition of baking cookies to give to friends and relatives. I have no idea where the tradition started but I am glad it exists! Christmas also brings with it the tradition of packing too many activities into your life at one time not allowing anytime for blogging about your baking...

The cookies my mom traditionally makes at Christmastime are:
Chocolate Chip
Almond Crescents
I have covered Chocolate Chip cookies to death already, but I will post Almond Crescents and her Snickerdoodle recipes in a few weeks.

As for myself, I really don't have a set list of cookies that I consistently make year after year for the holidays. I like to switch it up and experient...although my list doesn't really look that experimental does it? Here was my Christmas 2008's lineup:
Chocolate cookies with chocolate and white chips
Chocolate Chip
New Mexico Biscochos
Spritz cookies
Orange cutouts

I will be posting the recipes for each of these shortly...Also, I will be resuming my Cookies A through Z effort in 2009. I am STILL on the letter H (think "hazelnut"...) but it is going to happen and I am going to finish the whole alphabet this year. Other baking goals for this year include retrying the flourless chocolate cake and making more pies. Anyhoo....Happy New Year and happy baking!