Eclairs with Stupid-Easy Vanilla Bean Custard and Chocolate Ganache

Well, after having a not-fun-at-all Easter thanks to the storms (no power equaled no Easter lunch, and no sleep to boot), we spent most of last week continuing the work-from-home/homeschooling grind.

However, I’ve been in the kitchen more than ever, and if you follow on Instagram, you’ve seen this bit of deliciousness:

I decided to try something new, and boy did it pay off. I started with a basic choux paste, which is a cooked dough that is used to make cream puffs or eclairs. Then, I messed around with what I affectionately call my mom’s “Cheaters Custard” method, incorporating a lone vanilla bean that was hanging out in my pantry, and finally topped the whole mess with chocolate ganache. I swear, the kids went bananas for these, and my neighbor was over the moon. (Don’t worry, we don’t break quarantine, we do contactless meal delivery to her).

Anyway, even though this recipe seems like a lot of steps, the whole process is really easy. I think people new to the choux paste concept might be a little intimidated at first, but once you go through the steps, you will be like, “Oh, ok, that was no big deal.” So, not only can you have an impressive, delicious dessert worthy of a special occasion, but you can also bask in the complements from your lucky eaters.

Eclairs with Stupid-Easy Vanilla Bean Custard and Chocolate Ganache

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Ingredients

Choux Paste

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 7 TBS unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 TBS granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 to 6 large eggs (see method for why)

Stupid-Easy Vanilla Bean Custard

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean (alternatively, you can use 1 TBS good quality vanilla extract OR 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste)

Chocolate Ganache

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 4 ounces heavy whipping cream

Procedure

Choux Paste/Éclair Shells

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Get out a couple of sheet pants and line them with parchment paper or baking mats. In a medium sauce pan, place milk, water, butter, sugar, salt. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring often, ensuring the butter is completely melted. Add the flour all at once, stirring quickly and vigorously until the flour is thoroughly incorporated. Cook about 45 more seconds and remove from heat. Transfer mixture to a bowl (ideally use a stand mixer with paddle attachment or hand mixer for the next step).
  2. While the dough is still hot, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition (start with the 5 eggs only). After you have added all 5 eggs, test to see of the texture is right. If it seems too thick, add the last egg. I only needed 5 eggs. The dough should be a good consistency for piping while maintaining it’s structure.
  3. Transfer dough to a Ziploc bag and cut a corner so that you will get about a 1-inch diameter hole. Pipe the dough onto your prepared pans into logs about 5 inches long. (If you have piping equipment, go for it fancy-pants, but a Ziploc will do, I promise). *note, I did not do it, but if you want to, you can give the eclairs an egg wash before baking*
  4. Bake eclairs for 15 minutes at 400, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for about 10 minutes more until they are golden brown and feel hollow. Keep an eye on them the last 5 minutes of baking. My convection oven cooks hotter than a standard oven, so I had to pull mine out sooner than I expected. Set the pastry shells aside to cook completely.

Stupid-Easy Vanilla Bean Custard 

  1. In a medium saucepan, add milk, butter, flour, sugar, egg yolks. Slice vanilla bean in half and scrape the vanilla caviar from the bean halves into the pot, then toss the scraped pod halves into the pot as well.
  2. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and mix it thoroughly with a whisk. As it heats, it will begin to thicken and bubble. Keep stirring, and once it is bubbling consistently, let it cook for 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat, and using tongs, fish out the vanilla pod halves and discard them. Transfer custard to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the custard surface (this prevents it from getting a “skin” on top). Refrigerate until cold and thick.

Chocolate Ganache

  1. Place chocolate and cream in a heat-safe bowl, then place the bowl over saucepan of simmering water (medium-low heat), making sure the water isn’t touching the bowl directly. Stir frequently until the chocolate is completely melted and incorporated into the cream, and is smooth and shiny.

Assembly

  1. Place custard in a Ziploc bag for piping, and snip a corner to make a 1/2-inch diameter hole. For each éclair, cut a small slit in the side of each pastry, and then pipe the custard into the center making sure you get good coverage on both ends. Finally, dip the top of each éclair into the warm ganache and place on a baking rack to set. Refridgerate until ready to serve!

Chocolate Sheet Cake with Chocolate-Pecan Icing

I was missing Mom yesterday, so I decided to bake her chocolate sheet cake. This recipe is so dang easy, and the rich texture and decadent icing make it the ultimate comfort food when only chocolate will do. I used to inhale this for dessert with a big glass of milk, and it was one of the baking staples in my mom’s cooking routine.  She used to tell me that my grandmother would bake this cake every Friday so that she would have something chocolate for her five kids to snack on over the weekend.

I like it with the pecans, but you can leave them out of the icing or substitute them with another chopped nut of your choice.

Chocolate Sheet Cake with Chocolate-Pecan Icing

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Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 TBS cocoa

Icing

  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 TBS cocoa
  • 1 box of powdered sugar (1 pound)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6 TBS milk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. Place butter, water, shortening, and cocoa in a medium saucepan. Cook mixture over medium-high heat until butter and shortening are melted and mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cocoa mixture into the flour fixture, whisking until combined. Add the buttermilk mixture and whisk until fully incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Prepare icing while cake cooks because you will pour it over cake when it comes out of the oven.
  4. To make icing, melt butter in saucepan on medium-low. Add cocoa and stir until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, stirring well. Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Stir in pecans. Pour evenly over warm cake and it will set as it cools. Enjoy!

Easy Gingerbread Cutout Cookies

School is out, which means we are in the final countdown toward Christmas. I’m making cookies with the kids, which is equal parts fun and frustrating as they argue about who gets to use which cookie cutter first. My kids could fight about what air tastes like if given the opportunity.

We are on to sugar cookies today, but ended up making Gingerbread Cookies last weekend. The recipe I use is pretty easy to work with and forgiving, so it’s great if you really want to get into decorated cutouts. If you need to distract restless kids, I highly recommend baking up a batch, and investing in a few dollar tubes of icing from the store so they can decorate and be distracted from arguing about that whole air thing.

Gingerbread Cutout Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

Procedure

    1. In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add molasses and egg, mixing well to combine.
    2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and making powder, stirring well.
    3. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, mixing to form a soft dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for a couple of hours.
    4. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out cookies with desired cutters and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until edges are firm. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Decorate as desired.

Diet Kryptonite

My husband went on another baking frenzy this weekend, and I will be jogging extra miles all week to undo the damage to my waistline. He found a recipe online that ended up being the best dang cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had. I was all prepared to resist temptation, but alas, I failed.

It started out innocently enough:

But then, it got worse:

And then, he went and did this:

And then, they looked like that:

And then I committed diet suicide…twice. ’nuff said. If you see desperate woman running frantically around the park, that would probably be me.

Want to try the best dang cinnamon rolls ever? You really should, but don’t blame me if you need new pants later.

Cinnabon Copycat Cinnamon Rolls

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Ingredients

    Dough

  • 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup margarine, melted
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

    Filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened

    Icing

  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
  2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

Sunday Dinner & My Husband’s Breadsticks

 

We had a nice weekend, and with the help of my industrious husband, we enjoyed a wonderful Sunday dinner. While I whipped up some Chicken and Sausage Spaghetti, he broke out the bread machine. I love it when we does that…what girl wouldn’t be giddy when her husband bakes for her?

My husband knew his way around a bread machine long before he met me, and his repertoire included homemade cinnamon rolls, oat bread and breadsticks. Our busy schedules have not allowed much time for baking lately, so when I heard he was mixing up a batch of Garlic Breadsticks, I practically swooned.

Want to try ’em? Here’s the recipe:

Garlic Breadsticks

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  • 1 1/8 cups water (70 to 80 degrees F)
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 cups flour (Bread flour is ok too).
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, melted

Directions

  1. In bread machine pan, place the first nine ingredients in order listed. Select dough setting. When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 20 portions. Shape each into a ball; roll each into a 9-in. rope. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubled. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Brush warm breadsticks with butter.

 

Trust me, they are dang tasty.

Slow-Down Sunday and an Unexpected Macaroni Grill Copycat

After several hectic weeks, and an unfortunate tendency to overbook, overdo and overanalyze everything, we slowed things down around our house this weekend. I always seem to forget how fine the line is between “active” and “overwhelmed,” until I’ve jumped past it into the land of Stressville.

Yesterday started with a marathon canning session, because our garden is producing food faster than we can eat it. My husband has managed to keep the garden healthy despite the continuing drought, and I’ve kept my green-thumb-of-death far away from it. The tomatoes, eggplant and cantaloupe aren’t quite ready yet, but we have jalapenos and cucumbers coming out of our ears. After five more jars of jalapeno jelly, I tried my hand at sweet pickles:

That was certainly an adventure, because as a pickling virgin, I was unprepared for the otherwise predictable fact that cucumbers float. How in the heck do people keep them from popping above the rim and contaminating the lip of the jar before they can get the lid on? Am I missing something here? Anyway, these jars will have to cure about four to six weeks before I can taste- test them to see whether my first foray into pickles was epic success or depressing failure. As a relative canning newbie, the odds are split pretty evenly between these possibilities. Meanwhile during my canning sprint, the heathens goofed off, as they are wont to do:

Yes, that was my child wearing gloves, when the temperature outside was roughly 98 degrees. Furthermore, you should note that he cut all the fingers of said gloves off, which apparently occurred WITH MY HUSBAND’S BLESSING. My oldest has since been notified that he should run all scissor-generated wardrobe modifications by ME, before undertaking them…sigh. His brother managed to contain his amusement:

Probably because he was thinking, “better you than me!”

We watched a rare late afternoon storm from the shelter of our front porch:

And then headed inside for dinner.

Perhaps the best part of the day was my surprisingly successful bread experiment. In last month’s Food Network Magazine, I saw a recipe for something similar to Macaroni Grill’s bread. Since my youngest heathen loves this bread and can eat his weight in it, I decided this copycat recipe was worth a try. After all, I was in the need for some cool mom points to start my week off right. I mixed up the dough in my stand mixer, and let it rise in our laundry room, since the heat in humidity in that room cuts our rising time in half:

Forming the loaves was easy, because this dough was very forgiving and not at all sticky:

The finished product was perfect:

So, yes, I did in fact rack up some cool mom credit. The only way I deviated from the recipe was by omitting the additional sprinkling of rosemary over the top of the loaves. Rosemary is a strong enough herb in this recipe that the flavor already comes through well enough, and the additional rosemary garnish probably would have freaked the heathens out anyway. Want to try it? Here’s the recipe I found at Food Network:

Almost Famous Rosemary Bread

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and serving
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Freshly ground pepper

Directions

Stir the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer). Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, the flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons rosemary, the fine salt and 3/4 cup warm water; stir with a wooden spoon (or with the dough hook if using a mixer) until a dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting lightly with flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (Or knead with the dough hook on medium-high speed, adding a little flour if the dough sticks to the bowl, about 8 minutes.)

Brush a large bowl with olive oil. Add the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until more than doubled, about 2 hours.

Brush 2 baking sheets with olive oil. Generously flour a work surface; turn the dough out onto the flour and divide into 4 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, sprinkle some flour on the dough, then fold the top and bottom portions into the middle. Fold in the sides to make a free-form square. Use a spatula to turn the dough over, then tuck the corners under to form a ball. Place seam-side down on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, putting 2 balls on each baking sheet. Let stand, uncovered, until more than doubled, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the loaves 10 minutes; brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with the kosher salt and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon rosemary. Continue baking until golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve with olive oil seasoned with pepper.

Yummers.

Get ready for “Diet Killer–Part 2.”

A couple of weeks ago, I made a new recipe called Pumpkin Spice Bars.

One bite of these, and I knew I had to immediately get them out of my house, lest I eat the entire pan, gain a jeans size, and free-fall into an orgy of Ben and Jerry’s, Fruity Pebbles and Blueberry Poptarts. These bars were so good, that they instantly became my personal Kryptonite.

In an effort to save myself, I sent the pan to my husband’s office. I was unsure what the reception would be, because I’ve been known to have the taste buds of a schizophrenic sometimes.

By the end of the day, the empty pan was returned to my husband, already washed, and with a note that said, “Thanks—More Please.”

I suggest you make these soon, and bask in your newfound popularity.

Pumpkin Spice Bars

  • 1 package spice cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract (the good stuff, no imitation!)
  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (use the imitation, and I’ll haunt you)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white chocolate, or white chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup regular uncooked oats
  • powdered sugar for garnish

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 4 ingredients, mixing well with a fork. Reserve 1 cup of this crumb mixture to make the topping later; place these crumbs in a separate bowl, because you will be adding stuff to it. Press remaining crumbs into a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes, or until puffy and set. Cool pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. It should look something like this:

2) Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer for 30 seconds, or until creamy. Add brown sugar, egg, pumpkin, 1 tsp. vanilla extract; beat until blended. It should look like this:

Pour filling over baked crust.

3) Stir white chocolate, 1 Tbsp. melted butter and oats into the 1 cup of crumbs that you reserved earlier when making the crust:

(clearly, I may have gone overboard on the white chocolate…I’m a freak like that) Sprinkle this mixture over the filling:

4) Bake the bars at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until edges begin to brown and center is set. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. At this point, I like to chill the bars, because it makes them easier to cut into pretty portions, and I think the taste and texture is a little better if they are served on the cool (but not cold) side; After they’ve been refrigerated, I let them sit out about 20-30 minutes before serving. Garnish with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, if you are so inclined:

Make these, and I bet you have a new BFF by the end of the day.

Cool Mom Points…Or How to Turn a Cub Scout Meeting into a Self-Esteem Booster

If there is one thing I’ve learned about kids, it’s that they are visual creatures. Long before food ever hits their taste buds, they’ve already passed significant judgment on its’ appearance, and I honestly believe that their first impression predisposes them to like it or hate it. Hence, instead of disclosing to my boys that I was serving them sweet potato fries last week, I told them that I dyed their fries orange to celebrate Fall. Yep, I’m a liar, but they ate it, didn’t they?

For last night’s Cub Scout meeting, I was charged with bringing the snacks. My boys take a certain pride in the fact that Mom usually brings the homemade snacks, and I was determined to keep up appearances, and collect some Cool-Mom credit. I have to take my Cool-Mom credit when and where I can get it, since my husband is usually monopolizing the Super Parent title with his cool games and potty humor. That sneaky Dad….but I digress….

I found this recipe in Southern Living, and knew it was perfect:

(That’s their photo by the way)

They look exciting, but underneath all that multicolored bling, they are still plain old sugar cookies, and therefore definitely kid friendly. The recipe was very easy, and the end result was some happy Cub Scouts. You should try them next time you need some deceptively easy Cool Mom Points.

Sugar Cookie Pops


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Colored sugars, sparkling sugars, and multicolored jimmies
  • 4″ white craft sticks

Preparation

  1. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; add sugars, beating well. Add eggs, oil, and vanilla, beating until blended.
  2. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, blending well. Cover and chill dough 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Shape dough into 1 1/2″ balls. Roll each ball in colored sugar or jimmies in individual bowls, pressing gently, if necessary, to coat balls. Place 2″ apart on ungreased baking sheets. Insert craft sticks about 1″ into each cookie to resemble a lollipop.
  4. Bake at 350° for 10 to 11 minutes or until set. Let cool 2 minutes on baking sheets; remove cookie pops to wire racks to cool completely.

The Cookie Peace Treaty—aka Forced Disarmament and Some Granny-Style Distractions

As the temperature crept past 100 yesterday, I knew we were in trouble. I tried to get the heathens outside with me to weed the garden, but after fifteen minutes, even I was whimpering in defeat. 100 degrees with 90% humidity drove us back inside, and I think we all had tempers that were noticeably shorter.

Unfortunately, the more bored my children got, the more inclined they were to pick on each other for sheer entertainment. Pretty soon, all-out war erupted, and one bloody nose and some severe punishments later, I knew I needed some methods of distraction…or rather a Plan JJ, since I had already exhausted Plans A through II.

When my mom was my age, our family moved to Los Angeles as a result of my stepdad’s job. This big move was quite the adventure, but it also took my small town Louisiana mother far away from her friends and family, and plopped her into a strange and frightening world. Her driving skills were the first major casualty of the move, as she realized that the freeway was actually an insane asylum moving at 70 miles an hour. To this day, my mom still drives like Andretti, even though we are back in Louisiana… it really is frightening. The second, and more lasting effect of the move was that my mom was often lonely and homesick, and treated this condition in the best way a Southern Lady knows…she cooked, she baked and then she cooked some more. My mom used cooking as the ultimate distraction and Band-Aid for her homesickness. It’s amazing that we did not turn into Weebles, but we did have a gaggle of neighborhood kids who turned up conspicuously around dinner time. My mom rocked, especially when she was a little obsessive around the kitchen.

I am nothing, if not my mother’s daughter. When WWIII erupted yesterday, my first instinct was to drag the heathens into the kitchen and turn on the oven. Cookies are a great distraction for the kids, because they take a while, and the recipes have enough steps to divide up between the two kids, thus keeping them distracted for an hour of blessed peace. Yesterday, we made Cowboy cookies. The original recipe calls for pecans, but I had to leave those out to avoid a picky-eater freak-out. We started with the basics:

cookies 1

And in traditional cookie fashion, creamed the butter and sugars:

cookies 2

While the mixer was accomplishing creamy bliss, we did a quick mix-up of the dry ingredients:

cookies 3

We added the eggs and vanilla to our butter mixture:

cookies 4

After mixing in the dry ingredients, we added the oats and the chocolate chips. I like adding the oats because it stretches the recipe, makes the cookies more filling and makes me feel about 0.01% better about feeding my kids a pile of cookies instead of something healthy.

cookies 5

After baking them up, we had a lovely pile of cookies:

cookies 6

But more importantly, we bought ourselves a little peace, and the boys were distracted from their driving need to annoy each other to death.

Want some peace of your own?

Here it is:

Cowboy Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 (12-ounce) pkg. chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

1. Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until fluffy.

2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Gradually add this to the butter mixture, mixing well after each addition. Stir in oats, chocolate chips and pecans.

3. Drop dough onto a baking sheet in large tablespoon size amounts (use parchment paper if you are smart…easy clean-up). Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, or until cookies are pretty-pretty.

Serve them up and enjoy the blissful silence, at least until the ceasefire ends and they are back to their shenanigans.