Cereal Bars

This super easy bar recipe requires no dishes, no mixing, very little measuring, and was easy to throw together while I was making some other items in the kitchen one evening.  I found the recipe in the American Association of University Women Cedar Rapids cookbook from 1978 and have zero complaints about it.  It is similar to a seven layer bar or other recipes, but nice and easy and a great way to use up a number of items you might have remaining after any holiday baking.

Cereal Bars

Cereal Bars

1/2 c butter
1 pkg yellow cake mix
2 c miniature marshmallows
3 c Cheerios
1 pkg chocolate or butterscotch chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In oven, melt butter in a cookie sheet with sides (11×15 inches) and spread over bottom.  Sprinkle cake mix (dry) over butter, sprinkle marshmallows, chips, and cereal over cake mix.  Pour milk evenly over the top and bake 25 minutes.  Slice while warm.


Chocolate Chip and Candied Ginger Blondies

I was taking some snacks to colleagues at work and had some candied ginger in my cupboards I wanted to use.  This combination in with chocolate chips in a bar was very intriguing.  The ginger added a great background flavor that I might not have placed otherwise, but that was tasty when I tasted the bars.  I think they went over well — at least I received an empty container back a few weeks later.  The recipe originally came from The Good Neighbor Cookbook.  They were easy to throw together and I’d recommend for something slightly outside the norm.

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Chocolate Chip and Candied Ginger Blondies

2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c butter
1 1/2 c dark brown sugar
1 1/4 c sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 c chocolate chips
1 c loosely packed candied ginger, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter or spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer with a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, sugar, on medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips and ginger.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake until a  toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.  Let cool for at least 1 hour on a wire rack before slicing.

Monster Cookies

In addition to the six-in-one oatmeal cookies I made a few days ago, I found this monster batch of monster cookies and it seemed like a great way to use up a lot of things in my house — brown sugar, eggs, m & ms, etc. — and it seemed like a great recipe to keep ready to bake.  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a monster cookie — unless they have a peanut allergy.  This monster batch of monster cookies also came from the Moss Heaven cookbook.

Monster Cookies

Monster Cookies

2 lbs brown sugar
4 c sugar
1 lb butter or margarine
12 eggs
8 tsp baking soda
1/4 c vanilla

Cream the above together in a large roaster pan.

1 lb M&Ms
1 lb chocolate chips
3 lb peanut butter

Mix in, with a wooden spoon.  Add:

18 c oatmeal

Mix in with your hands.  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees.  To make monster cookies, drop with an ice cream scoop and bake for 15-20 minutes.  To make normal size cookies, drop from a tablespoon and bake 10-12 minutes.


Chocolate Chip Blizzards

Despite a lack of snow on the ground this winter — we had tornado warnings in Iowa on March 6 — this recipe for Chocolate Chip Blizzards looked intriguing when I found it in a community cookbook (Trail Blazers: Favorite Recipes of the Sierra Cedar-Wapsie Group) a few weeks ago.  What makes this recipe different?  There is a can of condensed cheddar cheese soup in the cookies.  Seriously.  Did that used to be a thing people did?  I don’t see recipes that call for this frequently.  But, I had to try it.  My first question was, did two recipes get stuck together, and therefore I was mixing up a recipe that should never have been?  But, the recipe ingredients AND the directions gave mention to the soup, so it had to be planned.  I wondered…will I be able to taste the cheese?  How does that affect the consistency?  When I take them into work, will people notice?  And the answer is, for the most part, folks didn’t notice.  These are a moister and chewier cookie than most.  But, nothing that raised the red flag in terms of tasting cheese in them.  I don’t know that they were so over the top that I’ll make them again, but I enjoy being able to talk about that one time I made cookies with cheese in them and nobody knew…

Chocolate Chip Blizzards

Chocolate Chip Blizzards

2 c dark brown sugar (packed)
1 c shortening
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
11 oz can cheddar cheese soup
2 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 c oatmeal
1 c chocolate chips
1 c chopped walnuts

Cream sugar, shortening, eggs, and vanilla.  Stir in soup.  Add dry ingredients sifted together.  Mix in oatmeal.  Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.  Drop by tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

S’more Chippers

I was looking for a really easy cookie recipe a few weeks ago that I could make without having to put in a lot of effort.  I didn’t really feel like making a mess and measuring out a bunch of ingredients.  Some days I’m just not about the cooking.  I imagine most folks, even professional chefs and bakers, have a day or two when they want to slow down and enjoy life a little differently.  I began flipping through some different cookbooks, looking for an easy recipe and came across this one for s’mores cookies in the Pillsbury Best-Loved Holiday cookbook.  While I’m sure people could be more complicated and use their homemade cookie recipe, in this instance, I went for full-on ease.  I bought the packaged chocolate chip cookie dough and put the cookies together.  They look complicated, but were easy to assemble and easy to eat afterwards!

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S’mores Chippers

1 roll refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
18 large marshmallows
Chocolate candy wafers

Heat oven to 350°F. Shape cookie dough into 36 (1-inch) balls; on ungreased cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart.  Bake 9 to 13 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Meanwhile, with kitchen scissors, cut each marshmallow in half crosswise. Immediately place 1 marshmallow half, cut side down, on top of each hot cookie.  Bake 1 to 2 minutes longer or just until marshmallows begin to puff. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets. With fingers, gently flatten marshmallows.  Melt candy coating as directed on package. Spoon about 1 teaspoon candy coating over marshmallow on each cookie, swirling with back of spoon to nearly cover marshmallow. Let stand until candy coating is set, about 30 minutes. Store between sheets of waxed paper in tightly covered container.

Honey, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies

I was walking through a used bookstore and came across a cookbook from the Amana Colonies.  Since the Amanas are a local delight, I had to pick it up.  Oma’s (Grandma’s) Family Secrets: Generations of Amana Cooking was a cookbook I needed in my collection.  There are a number of recipes in here which look delightful, and a few that I’m not sure I need to make (like one for squirrel), but part of what is great about the recipes in this book is that they are all handwritten.

I knew I needed to make these cookies because I had all of the ingredients for them, and I was thinking about the holidays coming up and wanted to try a few more recipes out in preparation for the days.  These were nice because they were super chewy cookies, and they weren’t overly sweet.


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Never Fail Cookies

Every once in awhile, I find a cookbook that makes me believe that I will find a gazillion recipes within it.  The Bachman Employee Club Cookbook, entitled “A Family A-Fare” was easily one of these.  How could you not love this cookbook:

Bachman Cookbook

The pages are color-coded orange, yellow, and tan, and put together very simply.  And yet, each of these recipes look like something that should be brought to a potluck or made when company comes over.

For today’s recipe, I knew I had to make a recipe that was called Never Fail Cookies.  I was intrigued by the name, intrigued by the ingredients, and decided it was time to make them to help us start the academic year.  I don’t think I’ve made a recipe that used butter and shortening ever.  What impressed me about these is how well they held their shape.  I ended up baking a batch of them and then freezing the rest so that when guests come over or someone wants a cookie, I can quickly bake a couple of them at a time.

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