The Eleventh Day of Christmas

On the eleventh day of Christmas, poppy seeds were on my mind

So a recipe for bread I had to find.

When I was 18, I moved out of the comfort of my parents home and into my first apartment. I had no roommate, no boyfriend, no one to share the bills or the chores. Every responsibility rested solely on my shoulders, including the cooking.

Growing up my mother made dinner nearly every night, but my time in the kitchen was quite limited. There were no cooking lessons from mom or afternoons spent learning the basics of cooking from either of my parents. Any cooking lessons I received came from my home economics teacher, Ms. Mazzola, when I was in seventh grade. I remember learning to make zucchini bread, blueberry muffins, and learning the basics of how to use a measuring cup, oven, and reading a recipe. Beyond that, I was self-taught.

Moving out on my own I thought I knew everything, but learned very quickly, I truly knew nothing at all. Beyond budgeting money, keeping my apartment clean, and laundry, there was also the new responsibility of being solely responsible for feeding myself. Money was tight, very tight, with more than half my yearly income going to rent, utilities, and insurance, so eating out was not an option. That first year I ate a lot of toast, eggs, and jelly sandwiches.

By my first anniversary of being on my own, I had changed jobs, increasing my salary substantially, moved into a new apartment where more utilities were included in the rent, and began teaching myself how to cook. During the first year I did learn how to cook a roast, can applesauce, and make cheesecake, but still my cooking skills were in great need of improvement. So, with a little more money to play with, I began collecting cook books.

Four years later I had more than 100 cookbooks, had learned how to cook many exotic dishes along with tons of home-style meals, and had taught myself how to can. It was an exciting and enlightening journey, one I reflect on warmly.

It’s been 28+ years since I moved out on my own and started cooking and a good portion of the cookbooks are gone (I copied the recipes I liked from most) and now I utilize the tried and true books I love and kept. I still have a soft spot for cookbooks, in fact, I think I truly like them better than researching recipes on the internet. Although there are some awesome recipes on the internet, it is terribly frustrating when I try a recipe that has obviously not been tested.  I ran into this when I first started playing around with mixes-in-jars and tried filling mason jars only to find that unless I had a jar that held 6+ cups of dry ingredients, it wasn’t going to work. News Flash! A quart jar only holds 4 cups packed dry ingredients.

There are definitely those recipe sites where all the recipes are tested, but sometimes I like to go rogue and try something that maybe can’t be find on one of those. This is when I really need to be careful and often need to rely on the experience and lessons I’ve learned throughout my years of cooking. I am certainly no expert and have had my share of failures — more than my share probably — but with failure comes a lesson and with a lesson comes knowledge and that knowledge can be far more beneficial than when everything turns out as written.

During the holidays Hubby’s mother used to make an Eastern European rolled poppy-seed bread that Hubby really enjoyed. Now that she is older and not able to really make these types of things anymore I decided to see if I could make something similar for him that he would enjoy just as much. None of my cookbooks had anything like this, so to the internet I went. I found several recipes, all basically the same and set to work.

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After I’d mixed the dough for the bread portion, I found I had something just slightly thicker than soup — nothing like the dough that was described. Rather than throw it out and start from scratch, I increased the amount of flour and after 3+ more cups of flour, had a dough that was ready for proofing. From that point everything went good and in the end, I had a poppy-seed bread that Hubby said was perfect. If you’d like the recipe, check it out on Simply Grateful Cooking, Poppy Seed Bread.

Honestly, having the recipe not work out worked out for the best in the end. Seeing as I had a ton of dough to work with, I decided to try making some fruit, cinnamon, and poppy-seed sticky buns with it. These were even better than the bread and something I could call my own. At first I thought I would cut the recipe in half so I wouldn’t end up with so much dough, but now that I have more than one thing I can use this dough for, I think I’ll keep it as is.

Whether it’s preparer error or creator error, some recipes are just not going to turn out no matter what you do. Being able to salvage a recipe and even expand on it is one of my favorite aspects of cooking, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

 

Christmas Cookies – Let The Baking Begin!

To be completely honest, my Christmas baking began more than a week ago, but the ones I made tonight are the only ones we still have some left in the tins to eat — which isn’t saying much as they are disappearing fast.

So far this holiday season I’ve made Lemon-Cranberry Cookies, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies, and the two cookies I made tonight that you’ll find recipes for on Simply Grateful Cooking: Peanut Butter Blossoms and Dark Chocolate Oatmeal.

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Best part of tonights baking…two new mixes-in-jars for the pantry shelf, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

 

Homemade Hamburger Buns In Time For Dinner

Okay, so you’re probably thinking:  Why would anyone want to make homemade hamburger buns?

Well, for one thing, they are awesome!  They taste better than store-bought, they are “homemade,” and best of all, they come together in less than an hour.  Plus, these babies aren’t about to get soggy and fall apart when topped with the juiciest of burgers.

I love making homemade bread for the family.  Trouble is, most of the time I don’t think about it far enough in advance to get the job done in time for dinner.  This wonderful little recipe is perfect for those days when I’ve got just over an hour to pull dinner together, and everyone thinks I spent hours in the kitchen.

Quick & Easy Hamburger Buns

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2 Tbsp. Active Dry Yeast

1 Cup plus 2 Tbsp. Warm Water (110 to 115 degrees)

1/3 Cup Vegetable or Peanut Oil

1/4 Cup Sugar

1 tsp. Salt

3 to 3 1/2 Cups Flour

1 Tbsp. Melted Butter

  1. In large mixing bowl, make a sponge with the yeast, warm water, sugar and 1 cup of flour.  Combine and let sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Add oil, salt and 1 more cup flour.  With dough hooks mix on low until combined.
  3. Slowly add remaining flour until a soft dough forms.
  4. Knead with mixer for 4 -5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  5. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and divide into 8 pieces.  Shape into balls.  If you want identical size buns, weigh the dough before dividing.
  6. Place balls 3 inches apart on parchment lined insulated baking sheet.  Cover and let rise 30 minutes.
  7. Brush tops with melted butter.  Bake at 425 for 8 – 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

Besides being super tasty, these buns are more substantial than store-bought buns.  Where Hubby is able to eat two burgers on store-bought buns, he was only able to eat one and a half with my buns and then complained he was over-full when he did.

One change I think I’ll try next time I make these is to use 1/3 cup melted butter in place of the oil.  I have no idea if it will affect the recipe, but I’d rather use butter than oil whenever I can. Also, I wonder if I can shape them into hot dog buns?  What an awesome bun this would be for Coney dogs!

I seriously doubt I would spend hours in the kitchen to make hamburger buns for burgers on the grill, but an hour? Why not?  Anytime I can replace something store-bought with homemade I’m thrilled, that’s why for this recipe I am — Simply Grateful.

 

Mixes In Jars #6 – Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Now that Grace can drive, when she comes to me at 7:00 at night and says, “I want something sweet — I want muffins!” I can go to my list of recipes I want to try, bounce them off her until one clicks, and then send her up to the store to pickup anything we might not have on hand.  This is exactly what happened last night when she proclaimed she wanted muffins, except she already knew that she wanted lemon poppy seed muffins.

Thankfully I had a recipe already picked out and waiting for a trial, but there were a few things I didn’t have, so off to the store she went.  While she was gone, I whipped up what I could, then filled in the blanks when she returned.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

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  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • Grated Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Sour Cream or Yogurt
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Melted Butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Poppy Seeds
  • Icing:  1 Cup Powdered Sugar mixed with 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease or butter muffin pan

In large bowl combine sugar, lemon zest, flour, soda, salt and poppy seeds.

In small bowl, whisk sour cream or yogurt, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and melted butter.

Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and stir to combine.  Don’t over mix.

Divide dough among the muffin cups.  Bake 4 minutes at 450 then reduce oven to 350 and continue cooking for another 12 – 17 minutes.

Let cool before icing.

To make a muffin mix in a jar, there are two options.

The first is to combine the dry ingredients in a 1 1/2 pint jar and attach a tag with the remaining instructions.  The second would be to use a quart jar and also include the 1 cup of powdered sugar in a separate plastic bag for the icing.  Either way, the tag would read as follows:

Empty mix into large bowl (removing powdered sugar pack and setting aside). In separate bowl, whisk 3/4 cup sour cream or yogurt, 2 large eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla, 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 1/2 cup melted butter. Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and stir to combine.  Don’t over mix. Divide dough among muffin cups.  Bake 4 minutes at 450 then reduce oven to 350 and continue baking for 12 – 17 minutes more. To make icing, combine 1 cup powdered sugar with 3 Tbsp. lemon juice.

The family loved these and ate six of them before the night was over.  I however thought they needed a little something.  I found the texture a bit dry and not as lemony as I would have liked.  To improve on this next time I plan to make the following changes:

  1. Instead of 2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar, I am going to use 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar and 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar.
  2. I will add 2 Tbsp. additional melted butter.
  3. I am going to decrease the flour by 2 Tbsp.
  4. Instead of the lemon zest, I will use 1 tsp. Pure Lemon Extract.
  5. Also, the original recipe called for large eggs.  My eggs were medium-sized.  I will increase the eggs by 1 if I don’t have large eggs available.
  6. Lastly, I used sour cream when I made these.  Next time I am going to try homemade yogurt.

Even though these muffins were a hit with the family, I know I can make them better.  The more I bake, the more I learn how to make adjustments so recipes can become exactly the way I want them to be, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

A Day Like Today Calls For Chocolate – Double Chocolate Muffins

Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort. ~ Norman Kalpas

Ever have one of those days when nothing is going to make it possible to get through it except possibly, just maybe a heavy dose of chocolate.  Well, today was that type of day for me.  In fact, it has been that type of month, but until this afternoon I didn’t have the time, inclination, or inspiration to quell my insatiable need for luscious, rich chocolate anything.

Although there are several chocolate mixes-in-jars recipes I wanted to try, none of them were the “just right” recipe for today.  So, I did what every recipe loving/collecting homemaker would do, I went to the internet and typed in “How to satisfy my chocolate craving!”  The results were too overwhelming to even begin to explore, so instead I brainstormed what chocolate concoctions in the past have quenched my seemingly unquenchable need for chocolate and decided that a double chocolate muffin was one that always hit the spot.

There are hundreds of recipes out there for double chocolate muffins.  The first 10 I went to were all pretty much the same, but in reading through the comments I learned a lot about what ingredients really make chocolate “pop” and which ones would ensure a moist inside with a crispy top.  Although I have been baking since I was 11 years old, up until the past four or five years this has meant pretty much just following a recipe.  Experimenting with ingredients, proportions, and substitutions was not an option with the fear of failure constantly looming in the background. Wasting money, too, was a huge factor in never veering far from the written word.

In the past several years however, I have learned that in cooking there are really no mistakes. Cooking is one of the most forgiving past times I know of.  About the only thing you can’t fix when cooking is if you burn what you’re making and even then, if the recipe calls for gravy, all is not lost. Obviously there have been some absolutely terrible mishaps in my kitchen when I’ve thrown in the towel and dumped a recipe (or twelve) down the disposal, but when this happens I just chalk it up to experience and as Hubby always tells me, “When you lose, don’t lose the lesson!”

What I have learned is the more I read recipes, the more I learn what makes things rise, fall, set, thicken, tenderize, and moisten.  It isn’t just by chance that a cake rises, white sauce thickens, or the flavors in some recipes are far more intense than others.  It’s science!  Don’t worry though, I’m no scientist, so I’m not going to get into the why, for that you’ll have to Google it yourself.  I will however share some of the wonders of cooking that I have been thrilled to learn, you know those Ahhhh! bits of information that keep reminding me how much I have to learn.

Todays internet searches taught me the following:

  • When you add cocoa to a recipe, milk can be used, but it isn’t the liquid of choice.  Buttermilk, sour cream, or yogurt will really make the cocoa sing.  This combination makes a delicious, moist texture and enhances the bitterness of the cocoa.
  • Typically when cocoa is added to a recipe it is added to an existing recipe.  Therefore, the amount of eggs and fat in a recipe calling for cocoa should be higher.
  • When a recipe calls for cocoa and/or buttermilk, baking powder should replace some of the baking soda.
  • A recipe with cocoa should have a bit more sugar because the cocoa has a tendency to be bitter.
  • One of the surest ways to enhance the chocolate flavor in any recipe is to add instant coffee granules or espresso powder.  These will not be tasted in the final product, but the chocolate flavor will really “Pop!”
  • In order to attain the “bakery look” for muffins, mix the batter as little as possible, just until the ingredients are combined.  The more you mix it, the more of a chance your muffins have to be tough, heavy, and flat.
  • To get the most rise out of your recipe, bake muffins at a high temperature for the first few minutes and then lower the temperature for the remaining time.

That being said, I finally decided on three recipes for double chocolate muffins.  They were all somewhat similar, but all different as well.  One called for brown sugar, one called for yogurt, one called for salt (here I thought all baked goods needed salt), one called for milk chocolate chips, and only one called for instant coffee.  None of the recipes I found utilized all the fun facts I learned about using cocoa in recipes, so you know what that meant?  Yep, time to make my own.

Tilly’s Double Chocolate Muffins

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  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup White Sugar
  • 2/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Espresso Powder or 2 tsp. Instant Coffee
  • 1/2 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 Cup Melted Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Peanut, Canola, or Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat Oven to 450 degrees (very important).  Grease 12 muffin cups.

Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, soda, baking powder, and espresso into a large bowl.  Whisk eggs, vanilla, yogurt, butter, and oil in a separate bowl.  Make a well in center of dry ingredients and pour in liquid mixture.  Stir until just combined. The mixture should be lumpy. Add 1/2 cup semi-sweet and 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips. Mix gently until blended. Fill prepared muffin cups 3/4 full and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.

Bake in preheated oven for 3 minutes.  Turn heat down to 350 and continue baking for 12 to 15 minutes more. Remove from oven when toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing.

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This recipe should make a dozen muffins, but my muffin pan must not be a standard size.  It does seem a bit shallow. I was able to get 12 muffins and 12 mini muffins (which were baked 3 minutes at 450 and 10 minutes at 350).

These muffins are fabulous.  They are super chocolately, crisp on the top, and moist on the inside. They have a dense, tender texture and satisfied my craving for chocolate like nothing else.

I love cooking, baking and canning and do it practically every day, three times a day, but that doesn’t mean I know everything there is to know about any of these.  Being in the kitchen is a constant learning process and I love every minute of it, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Sweet Success of Sweet Potato Pie

This morning I couldn’t wait to head down to the pantry and grab two more jars of my pressure canned sweet potatoes.  All failures aside, I had to find out if these potatoes were pie-worthy or not.

I had a recipe for sweet potato pie that I’d used in the past, but the sweet potato had always been very firm.  Not wanting the pie to come out soupy, I decided to compare my sweet potato pie recipe to my pumpkin pie recipe.  I freeze pumpkin puree in the fall and when I defrost and add it to the other pie ingredients it is super runny, almost like water.  That being the case, there must be something in that recipe that pulls the ingredients together.

There were very few differences between these two recipes except for the amount of eggs and the sweet potato pie called for butter while the pumpkin pie called for evaporated milk.  Aside from adding instant tapioca to pull the ingredients together, I had no idea if eliminating the butter or adding evaporated milk would make any difference, but what could it hurt.  I adjusted the recipe and made the pie.

Deep Dish Sweet Potato Pie

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  • 3 Cups Mashed Sweet Potatoes (this was 2 quarts of mine from the pantry)
  • 1 Cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Whole Milk
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3/4 tsp. each Nutmeg and Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 Unbaked Pie Crust

Drain sweet potatoes and put in large bowl.  Mash slightly.  Add remaining ingredients and whisk until well combined.  Pour mixture into crust-lined deep pie dish.

Bake at 400 for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Hubby had some after dinner tonight and gave me the thumbs up, he’d have said something, but he was too busy shoveling another bite into his mouth.  When he did finally come up for air, when I was cutting his second piece, he told me it was “really good,” the only comment was that it could be colder.  It had been in the fridge all afternoon, but being a deep dish pie, the center was still warm. He said it was not watery in the least.  I knew this already because when I cut his piece, the pie filling didn’t fall in.  It stayed put!

After so many things going wrong with these sweet potatoes, it’s nice to finally be able to check one off as a success, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Christmas Cookie #7 – Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies #1

Making a cookie that has more than one flavor going on, is my favorite type of cookie.  It’s like getting the best of two worlds.  That’s what I found with these chocolate pinwheel cookies.  This particular recipe is not very sweet.  In fact, I would have to say they are rather bland.  Not a bad thing, just not bursting with chocolate flavor.

Hubby likes these with tea and I like them for a change from the deep, rich chocolatey flavor of my Chocolate Cake Mix Crinkles.  I do have another recipe for chocolate pinwheels that I still want to make that uses more of a frosting layer between the vanilla cookie.  I have not tried this one yet, but it is on the list for this holiday season.  For now, if you are looking for something that is more along the lines of a shortbread type cookie, this is the one.

Chocolate Pinwheel Cookie

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  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 4 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp. Milk
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
  • 6 Tbsp. Coco mixed w/2 Tbsp. melted Butter and 2 Tbsp. Milk
  1. Combine coco with melted butter and milk.  Mix well and set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add egg yolks, beating well after addition.  Add vanilla and milk and mix well.
  4. At low-speed gradually add the dry ingredients.  Increase speed until dough pulls away from side of bowl.
  5. Divide dough in half.
  6. To half the dough, mix in the coco mixture.
  7. On wax paper or pastry board, roll out 1/2 of the vanilla dough to make an 8×7 rectangle.  Do the same with half of the chocolate dough.  Place the chocolate rectangle on top of the vanilla and press together lightly.  Roll the dough tightly from the short end and wrap in plastic wrap.
  8. Repeat with remaining vanilla and chocolate dough.
  9. Place wrapped dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  10. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325.  Slice logs to about 1/4 thickness with a sharp knife.
  11. Place cookies on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake 15 to 20 minutes.

I like these cookies as they are when I don’t want something too sweet or want to dip them in milk.  If you wanted to make it more chocolatey, you could always frost with some chocolate butter cream frosting or even better some chocolate bitter-sweet frosting.  I’ll have to post the recipe for that frosting soon, it is awesome.

These cookies are a bit more time-consuming to make than a drop cookie because of the rolling out and the two layers, but well worth the effort.  They look impressive and although not bursting with flavor, they are still a tasty treat, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

 

Christmas Cookie #6 – Soft & Chewy Molasses

So many cookies that are made during the holidays tend to be heavy and sweet.  This particular recipe is neither of those and because of that are one Hubby’s go-to cookies after a day of feasting on holiday treats.

Molasses Cookies

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  • 3/4 Cup Melted Butter
  • 1 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/3 Cup Molasses
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar for rolling

In mixing bowl combine melted butter, 1 cup sugar, and egg.  Beat until smooth

Stir in molasses.

Combine dry ingredients and spices and blend into molasses mixture.

Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375.  Roll dough into walnut size balls and roll in sugar.  Place cookies 2″ apart on parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.

This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies.  I like to bake a dozen at a time, and freeze the remaining balls for later in the season.

The deep flavor of molasses makes these cookies an excellent topper to a heavy meal — not too sweet, soft and chewy.

Half-way done with my goal of 12 different cookies for the holidays, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Christmas Cookie #4 – Quick & Easy Biscotti

A few years ago a girlfriend surprised me with a gift of homemade biscotti when she came over to visit.  I had never eaten this type of cookie before and was pleasantly surprised with both the texture and flavor.  My friend sent me the recipe, but reading the list of ingredients and the laborious instructions, I was somewhat turned off from attempting these on my own.

Sometime later while thumbing through a cookbook at the bookstore, I came across a recipe for lemon biscotti using a cake mix.  I just had to try it.  It turned out perfect!  Of course, lemon was good, but the family wanted chocolate, so I experimented a bit and came up with this.

Triple Chocolate Biscotti

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  • 1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 C. Melted Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Chocolate Syrup
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • Mini Chocolate Chips

Mix cake mix, flour, butter, chocolate syrup, eggs and vanilla in large bowl.  Fold in half a bag of mini chocolate chips.

Divide batter in half and shape into log.  Place halves on parchment lined baking sheet and cover with more mini chips.

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Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes.

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Cut into 1/2″ slices and bake an additional 15 minutes, turning once.

I love the versatility of using a cake mix and having the option of so many different flavors.  Today I made our favorite triple chocolate and then used a Funfetti cake mix.

Funfetti Biscotti

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  • 1 Box Funfetti Cake Mix
  • 1 Stick Butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • Sprinkles

Follow above directions, using sprinkles on top of formed logs prior to baking.

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Today I worked on five different cookies, so with each I froze at least half the batter.  With these I froze one log of each for another day.

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A day of baking and a home filled with freshly baked cookies for the holidays, for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Mini Sweet Potato Pies in Mason Jars

One of Hubby’s favorite types of pie is sweet potato, but he is the only person who eats it in our house.  It’s not that I don’t like sweet potato pie, it’s just that with any pie I eat one slice and then I’m pretty well set until the  next pie comes along.

After I tried making the fruit pies in 4 oz. mason jars, I just had to see how sweet potato pie would turn out.  I used my regular sweet potato pie recipe, but cut it in half.

Sweet Potato Pies in Mason Jars

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  • 1 Pound Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • Pie Crust

Line 4 oz. mason jars with pie crust as directed previously in my post on Mini Fruit Pies in Mason Jars.

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Peel sweet potatoes and boil until tender.

Drain sweet potatoes and place in food processor with remaining ingredients.  Blend until sweet potatoes are pureed and combined with other ingredients.

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Pour sweet potato mixture into prepared jars and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or freeze for later use and bake at 350 frozen for 55 minutes.

The day I made these I baked one fresh and froze the rest.  The fresh pie rose a bit higher than I wanted.

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When I baked frozen pies a few days later, they turned out perfect.

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Again, as with the fruit pies in jars, I think I’ll keep them frozen until ready to use.

Hubby absolutely loved the sweet potato pie and told me that it was just the right amount for a dessert.  Not too much, not too little.

These little pies in jars are the perfect way to keep Hubby’s love for sweet potato pie fulfilled, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.