Archive for October, 2010

Learn something new every day

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Do you desire the financial freedom and  independence of  owning a  business, or know someone else who might? Would you like to represent a company known for honesty and integrity?  Email me, or click here to learn more about Watkins; a pioneer in natural living since 1868.

The areas of knowledge that matter most to me are natural health, nutrition, entrepreneurship, and of course baking cookies!  Some things I learn may seem trivial, but they make life worth living.  I stumbled across a very informative website,;  it explains the baking process, tools, techniques and ingredients.  Wow, what more can you ask for!

James Beard said “I am still convinced that a good, simple, homemade cookie is preferable to all the store-bought cookies one can find.” How true, I couldn’t have said it better myself!  Baking gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling – everyone loves walking into a house filled with the aroma of spices and sweets that makes you follow your nose to the kitchen.  Here are three of my favorite recipes:

Cinnamon – Sugar Crackle Cookies

1 cup shortening

1 ¾ cups sugar, divided

2 eggs

2 ¾ cups all purpose flour

2 tsp Watkins Cream of Tartar

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

4 tsp Watkins Cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and 1 ½ cups sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.  Cover and chill for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.  In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and remaining sugar; set aside.  Shape dough into 1 inch balls; roll in cinnamon/sugar.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks.  Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Molasses Cookies

3/4 cup softened butter

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1 egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp Watkins Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Watkins Cloves

1/2 tsp Watkins Ginger

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Beat in molasses and egg.  Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture.  Chill one hour or until firm.  Shape into 1 inch balls;  place on greased baking sheets.  Press flat with a glass dipped in sugar.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on wire racks.  Makes 6 dozen cookies.

Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup water

1 tsp Watkins Vanilla

3 cups regular or quick-cooking oats

1 cup flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

Beat together shortening, sugars, egg, water and vanilla until creamy.  Add combined remaining ingredients; mix well. Half cup chopped nuts, raisins, chocolate chips or coconut may be added.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

Have a heavenly day!



Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

So many recipes, so little time!  The cool months are not long enough to use all my cookie recipes, but I’ll try. Here is a recipe for everyone’s favorite cookie –  chocolate chip.  This variation is from the cookbook I grew up with;  Better Homes & Gardens “New Cookbook” 1962 revised edition! According to,  Americans eat seven billion chocolate chip cookies annually and half of the cookies baked in homes are chocolate chip.

Chocolate Chippers

½ cup shortening

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

1 6 ounce package semisweet chocolate chips

½ cup chopped nuts

Cream together shortening, sugars, egg and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Sift together dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture, blending well.  Add chocolate chips and nuts.  Drop from teaspoon 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet.  Bake in 375 degree oven 10 to 12 minutes.  Makes about 3 ½ dozen.

Watkins offers Shortbread and Snickerdoodle mixes. Everybody loves homemade buttery cookies—now you can make them at home easily! Enjoy them made by the basic recipe on the package; just add butter, roll out, cut and bake! You can dip them in melted chocolate, cinnamon and sugar, or flavor them with one of our fantastic extracts.  They’re so easy.  Click here to order from our online store.

Happy baking!


Caramel Popcorn

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Happy October, it’s officially cookie-baking season! This is my favorite time of year; leaves are changing colors, and swirling and floating to the ground.  The weather is finally cooling off; apple orchards,  pumpkin patches and of course Halloween, wow!   According to, the best source for silly, crazy and untraditional holidays,  it’s also National Caramel Month – what better time  to make Caramel Popcorn?

Caramel Popcorn

14 cups popped popcorn

2 cups brown sugar, packed

1 cup butter

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

Place popped corn in buttered oven-proof pan and keep warm in 200 degree oven.   Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt in large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Boil, without stirring 5 minutes.  Remove mixture from heat and add baking soda (candy will foam).  Stir well.  One cup peanuts can be added to mixture, then  pour mixture over popped corn and toss with buttered forks to distribute evenly.  Spread onto two ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 200 degrees  one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Cool completely, break into clusters and store tightly covered.  Enjoy!

This month is also a  good time to clean out your spice rack and baking shelf;  take a sniff of each jar or container.  The fragrance should be strong and the color bright,  if not,  replace it.  Most herbs, spices and baking staples (baking powder, baking soda, corn starch) last about one year.  Watkins is America’s pioneer in the field of all-natural and organic products.  Their premium herbs and spices are USDA Certified 100% Organic, made with the best quality raw materials and packed in Watkins Trademark Gold Medal Tins. Click here to read more  or purchase items.

Here are some fun things to do with your old spices:

Sachets – cheesecloth filled with herbs, then tied with a ribbon.

Cinnamon-Applesauce Ornaments – mix 1/2 cup cinnamon with 1/2 cup purchased applesauce, roll out dough 1/8 ‘” thick with a rollling pin floured with cinnamon, cut shapes with cookie-cutters,  cut hole near top with a straw, let air dry on cooling rack for 24 hours.

And an easy Pomander from

1 lemon OR 1 orange

5-6 ounces cloves (whole)


2 tbsp orris root



Lemon or orange oil

Push the cloves into the rind of your lemon or orange. Try to cover the whole surface. Mix together orris root, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon or orange oil in a small bowl or plate. Roll the fruit around in the mixture. Cut a piece of ribbon, 34-38″ long. Place the middle of the ribbon at the top of the fruit, and draw the ends down to the bottom. Cross and twist the ribbon and draw it back up to the top, just like you were tying a package. Tie it into a bow at the top.

Have a great day!