How many times do I hear myself say, "where is that big orange binder?" or "has anyone seen that big orange binder?" The big orange binder has been accumulating recipes, kinspiration & original recipe cards tucked into plastic sleeves for my entire-almost-forty year existence. "The Big Orange Binder" is an organization attempt. It's a recipe with a story neatly packaged in a place where I'll always be able to find the ever-elusive . . . Big Orange Binder.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ultimate Sugar Cookies

1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup, or 1 stick of butter flavored Crisco
2 eggs
1/4 cup light corn syrup or pancake syrup
1 tbsp vanilla
3 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1.  Heat oven to 375.
2.  Combine sugar and crisco in large bowl.  Beat at medium speed until creamy & smooth.  Add eggs, syrup and vanilla.  Beat until fluffy.
3.  Add dry ingredients slowly, while continuing to mix on low speed.  Blend thoroughly.  Divide dough into four parts.  Wrap each in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for an hour, at least.
4.  On floured surface, take one refrigerated disk.  Unwrap & flatten.  Use a floured rolling pin to roll and cut.  Place cut cookies on baking sheet.  Sprinkle or roll in sugar, if desired or leave them plain (for your picky husband) or to frost when cool.
5. Bake at 375 for 5 to 9 minutes.  Do not overbake.  Brown = burned, so take them out early so they are soft in the center.  Cool for a couple of minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Perfect Pie Crust

Makes one-nine inch pie crust.

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
2-3 tbsp ice cold water

Comine flour and salt in a medium bowl.  Cut in shortening.  You want crumbles.  Sprinkle in water until mixture just holds together.  Shape into a ball.  Roll on floured surface and roll to 1/8 inch thickness.  Use in whatever recipe calls for crust.

Monkey Bread -- from Marilyn

She made this once for our family when the big girls were about 2 and 4.  Since then, it's a Christmas or holiday morning favorite.

For the bread: 
4 tubes of biscuits
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

1 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl or ziploc baggie.  Cut each biscuit into quarters and roll it or shake it in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Put it in an angel food or bundt pan that has been sprayed well.

Mix together topping ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a rolling boil.  Pour this over the biscuits.  Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes.  Invert onto a platter.  Serve warm.

** My family loves this with lots of broken pecan bits in the bottom of the bundt pan!!  Delish!

Snowman Cookies

Christmas Cupcake Platter

Ninja Pizza Dough

1/4 ounce pkg of yeast . . . . PS . . . 1 pkg or envelope of yeast = 2 1/4 tsp of yeast.  I use 2 1/2 because we are at high altitude
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2/3 cup water, warm
1/4 cup of canola oil
2 cups all purpose flour

Place yeast, water, salt & sugar in the bowl.  Pulse for about 10-15 seconds.  Add the oil and flour, 1 cup at a time and continue to pulse until the dough is smooth and rounds into a ball.  Transfer to a greased bowl and allow to raise for about 1 hour.

** Because we live at altitude, I punch this down and let it rise again (if time allows), for about 45 minutes.

We use this dough for pizza, calzones and all things Italian . . . . it makes a great breadstick, too!

Marilyn's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 cup raisins, boiled in 1/2 cup of water & set to cool
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter flavored crisco
2 eggs
5 tbsp raisin water
1 tsp soda
2 cups oatmeal
2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Bake at 350 until they spring back to touch and edges are just barely turning brown.

Frosting, if you want . . . just mix up butter, half and half & powdered sugar.  Add a little glob to the top of the cooled cookies.

Marilyn's Pumpkin Bars

I get quite a few recipes from my old friend and the best neighbor in the world, Marilyn.  Here's one of her fall favorites . . . .

Pumpkin Bars

1 cup oil
4 eggs
2 cups pumpkin
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cloves
2 tsp cinnamon

Make batter.  Pour into greased bar pan & bake at 350 for appox 30 minutes.

3 oz package of cream cheese (but cream cheese comes in 8 oz bars, so I just use half)
1 stick margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

When pumpkin bars are completely cool, frost with this lovely stuff.  This is a fun project for little bakers . . . then can pipe frosting onto a sheet cake in all different styles.  In the end, it all cuts the same and looks and tastes delicious.

Basic White Bread-- Bread Machine

Throw (gently) all the ingredients in the order listed, into the machine.  Your machine will be different than mine, but I prefer medium loaf, light crust IF I'm letting the machine do the baking OR the dough function . . .

Large 2 lbs. 
1 1/2 cups water, room temp
3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 3/4 tsp yeast, active dry, instant dry, or bread machine

Medium 1 1/2 lbs.  
1 1/8 cup water, room temp
2 tbsp +1 tsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (that's a pain to measure, so I pretty much guess)
2 1/4 tsp granulated sugar
1 1/8 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour (I like 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat flour)
3 tbsp nonfat dry milk
1 3/4 yeast, active dry, instant dry, or bread machine

Small 1 lb.
3/4 cups water, room temp
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups bread flour
2 tbsp nonfat dry milk
1 1/4 tsp yeast, active dry, instant dry, or bread machine

Cheddar Fondue

* notes:  from Mastercook II

1 pound shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk (this is crossed out and BEER is added) 
1 tsp grated onion
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt to taste 

Mix shredded cheese and flour until the cheese is well coated.  In a fondue pot, heat milk and onion, not quite to boiling.  Stir in the cheese a little at a time, continuing to heat and stir until all the cheese is melted.  Add worcestershire sauce and cayenne.  Salt to taste.  Keep hot over alcohol burner.  Serve with french bread cubes. 

Swiss Chicken Casserole

From an nurse I used to work with at SCFW in the NICU.  She make it in the crock pot.  Just make the necessary adjustments & leave it on all day.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
6 slices of swiss cheese
1 can of cream of chicken soup
3 tbsp dry cooking sherry (in with the soup)
1/4 cup milk
1 package of dry stuffing mixi
1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease a baking dish.  Arrange the chicken placing one slice of swiss cheese on top of each breast.  Combine cream of chicken soup, sherry & milk in a medium bowl and pour it over the chicken breasts.  Sprinkle with stuffing mix.  Pour melted butter over the top, drizzle butter.  Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

Yea.  Found this recipe under the silverware drawer with notes "yum" and "oh yes" on it.  I vaguely remember.  In the spirit of organization, I'm putting it here . . . with "cookies" . . . where it belongs.  Not under the silver ware drawer.

Original notes say it's from Amy Sacha.  Give credit where credit is due . . . but I don't know Amy and I have no other source.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Makes:  24 cookies

2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup margarine, soft
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp water
1/4 molasses
2 tsp white sugar (for rolling)

1. Preheat to 350
2.  Sift together: flour, ginger, soda, cinnamon, cloves & salt.  Set aside.
3.  In a large bowl, cream together:  margarine & sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg. Stir in water and molasses.  Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients & mix completely.
4.  Shape into balls.  Roll in sugar.
5.  Place on cookie sheet, 2" apart.  Flatten slightly.
6.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Allow to cool just slightly then remove to a wire rack or towel to cool.