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Tag Archives | Cookies

Cherry Chocolate Cookies

Cherry Chocolate Cookies combine cherries, chocolate and almonds for a sweet valentine treat.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

No red dye

Friends invited me to a cookie exchange for Valentines. Instantly I knew I wanted to pair cherries and chocolate, a classic combination, both are favorites of mine. Made several batches of cookies to develop this seasonal confection. Wanted to get the dough right. Half way between butter and sugar cookies and rolled in a log and sliced. Easy!!

Cooling on RackI’ve long loved maraschinos, fire engine red cherries on ice cream and in drinks. Recently I discovered ‘no red dye’ maraschinos. They’re dusty plum colored with vegetable and fruit juice in place of red dye. I love the more natural taste and happy to leave red dye on the shelf.

These cookies could be made with cherries, chocolate and nuts mixed into the dough. I love the stained glass window effect when the cookies are decorated with eye appeal goodies. Takes an extra couple of minutes per batch but worth every minute. Pretty and fancy, send some love to your Valentine.

You may also enjoy Peanut Butter ChocolateButtons, Chocolate ‘Cinnful’ Cookies, Peanut Butter M&M Cookies, Frosted Maple Spice Cookies and Jam Thumbprints.

2013 AniversaRecipe – Maple Chili Wings
2012 AniversaRecipe – Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese
2011 AniversaRecipe – Cheetah Banana Cake

Recipe: Cherry Chocolate Cookies

Active Time: 40 Minutes | Total Time: 90 Minutes | Yield: 4 Dozen

Cherries, Chocolate Chips, Almonds1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp maraschino cherry juice, ‘no red dye’ recommended
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 13.5 oz jar maraschino cherries, ‘no red dye’ recommended
3/4 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Special Equipment – electric mixer, 11×17 baking sheet

Batter1 Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer. Mix in egg, cherry juice and almond extract. Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Add to dough and mix just until combined.

2 Roll dough into a 2-inch diameter log. Make one long log or 2 to 3 shorter logs. Wrap in plastic and freeze for 30 minutes.

3 Meanwhile chop cherries and almonds. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

4 Cut twelve 1/4-inch slices of dough per batch for an 11×17 baking sheet. Keep the remaining dough in the freezer until ready to slice. Place cookies on a baking Decorate Cookiessheet with plenty of space to spread. Arrange some almonds, chocolate chips and cherries pieces on each cookie.

5 Bake for 12-14 minutes. Let stand on cookie sheet for 2 minutes then place on a rack to cool.

I love to use maraschinos cherries without red dye. The cherries are dusty plum colored rather than fire engine red. Regular maraschino cherry juice will color the dough pinkish.

Cookie Dough LogsFreezing the dough helps it cook evenly and prevents it from spreading to thin.

To avoid the flat bottom sag of the log before the dough freezes, I used my rounded french loaf pan but you could also slide the log into a small length of PVC pipe.

Cherry Chocolate ChristmasApplications
Serve these cookies for a Valentine’s Party. They are also great at Christmastime.


Dish Designer

  • Exchange ‘no red dye’ maraschino cherries for regular maraschino cherries or canned sweet pitted red cherries.

Inspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Cherry Chocolate Cookies
Written by
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: February 14, 2014

Continue Reading · 1

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Old fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies decorated with colorful M&M’s and loaded with chocolate chips and nuts.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Chemistry lesson

Are you a thin and crispy or soft and cakey chocolate chip cookie lover? I drive down the middle of the road on this one, right on the double lines. This cookie is not too thin and crispy and not too thick and cakey.

Chocolate Chip CookiesHere’s a little cookie chemistry. Butter melts more quickly than shortening so all-butter cookies spread thin and bake crispier. All-shortening cookies stay puffy and more rounded. The molasses in brown sugar makes the dough a softer texture so go all brown for cakey. Use one egg per 3 dozen batch for thin and crispy or 2 eggs for more cakelike cookies.

At the end of the day if there’s not enough flour, cookie dough will still spread when baked. The dough should be fairly thick and spoonable no matter how you want your cookies to turn out. My personal fave has some quick oatmeal for flavor and composition. What about yours?

You may also enjoy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter M&M Cookies, Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies, Broiled S’mores, Zucchini Nut Sandwich Rounds, Chocolate ‘Cinnful’ Cookies, Frosted Maple Spice Cookies, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes, Icebox Butter Cookies, Jam Thumbprints and Peanut Butter Chocolate Buttons.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Crockpot Cinnamon Applesauce
2011 AniversaRecipe – Frosted Maple Spice Cookies

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 10-12 Minutes per batch | Yield: 3 Dozen | Level: Easy

Sorting M&M's

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, 6 oz
  • 1 12-oz pkg M&M’s, orange, red and brown candies
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, optional

Special Equipment – mixer, baking sheet

1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat the baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Adding Chocolate Chips2 Combine, flour, oats, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

3 Beat butter, shortening, brown sugar and granulated sugar with a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy.

4 Add eggs and vanilla, then beat to combine.

5 Add 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time beating after each addition. If it gets too thick for the mixer, stir in the last portion.

6 Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if desired.
Decorating Dough
7 Drop dough by 1 rounded tablespoon 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Slightly flatten and place a few M&M’s on the top. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

8 Let stand for a minute or so then remove to a cooling rack.
Cookies Cooling
Use quick oats, not instant oats.

Drop dough with a small ice cream scoop to make even sized cookies.

Eat these warm out of the oven or cool and store in an airtight container and serve the next day.

Sorting M&M'sI love to make these cookies with colorful chocolate covered candies. Choose the color combinations you love or decorate the top with all of them. The photos have a Fall and Halloween theme but you could make other color combinations for different holidays and seasons.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange M&M’s for another cup of chocolate chips.
  • Exchange quick oats for rolled oats.

Inspiration – Helen Horton

Cook with Sauces
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Written by
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: October 27, 2013

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Jam Thumbprints

Part 3 of 3 part series “Christmas Cookies”. Click here for Part 1, click here for Part 2.

Thumb down

One thumb down makes this a two thumbs up confection. Making the little crater for the jam is the most fun part of designing this shortbread cookie. The outside is coarsely covered with nuts for crunchy texture. The egg white glaze yields shellac-like shine that glistens in holiday lights. Vary the colors and flavors with a kaleidoscope of jams or jellies.

Red’s—strawberry, cherry, raspberry
Green’s—jalapeno, kiwi, green tomato
Royal’s—blackberry, boysenberry and blueberry
Golden’s—apricot, pineapple, peach


Jam Thumbprints

Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 15 Minutes per Batch | Yield: 3 Dozen | Level: Easy

The Sauce
2/3 cup Jam or Jelly

The Rest
1 1/3 cups Butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Salt
3 cups Flour
1 ½ cup of finely chopped walnuts.

Preparation Instructions
1. With a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar.

2. In two small bowls, separate the eggs. Slightly beat the egg whites and set aside.

3. Add the vanilla and salt to the egg yolks and combine. Add yolk mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.

4. Add the flour 1 cup at a time beating after each addition.

5. Roll dough in 1-1 ¼ inch balls. Dip each ball in the egg whites, roll in nuts and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Press deeply in center of each ball.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes. Cool on rack. Place 1 teaspoon of jam in the center of each cookie.

Dish Designer
• Use two or three flavors of jam for a festive flourish.
• Exchange walnuts for pecans.
• Exchange sugar for light brown sugar.

Inspiration—Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
sauces over under and through

Continue Reading · 3

Peanut Butter Chocolate Buttons

Part 1 of 3 part series “Christmas Cookies”. Click here for part 2, click here for part 3.


Who can argue with chocolate? I’m not a stasher but people close to me are. I love my chocolate with peanut butter, case in point Chocolate Peanut Clusters, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Chocolate Covered Peanuts. This cookie version is terrific and a real kid pleaser, even grown up kids. I’ve been making these cookies at Christmas time and any old time for decades. Everybody in the fam loves ‘em and never fails on the holiday cookie platter.


Peanut Butter Chocolate Buttons

Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 13 Minutes per Batch | Yield: 6 Dozen | Level: Easy

The Sauce
12-ounces of chocolate buttons or kisses ;)

The Rest
1 cup shortening
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preparation Instructions
1.  Cream shortening, peanut butter, and sugars.

2.  Add eggs, milk and vanilla and stir to combine.

3.  In another bowl, combine flour, soda and salt then add and blend well.

4.  Shape into 1” balls, roll in sugar and line on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 11-13 minutes.

5.  Remove from the oven and immediately press one chocolate button or kiss, point down, into the center of each cookie. Let cool and serve. Freezes well.

;) Chocolate Buttons—Purchase at a cake or candy making shop.

Dish Designer
• Exchange chocolate buttons for Hershey’s Kisses, regular, dark or any other designer version of kisses.
• Use dark or light brown sugar.

Inspiration— Jill Dance
sauces over under and through

More Chocolate Peanut Butter Recipes
Smitten Kitchen—Chocolate Peanut Butter Spread
Bakerella—Peanut Butter Fudge
Brown Eyed Baker—No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Saucy Cuisine—Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Continue Reading · 3

Frosted Maple Spice Cookies

Trunk-or-Treat happens tonight at my church. First there is a party with a pumpkin carving contest, cake walk, dancing, games, costume parade etc… Then the car trunks are lined up around the parking lot trunk open and decorated, or not. The kids trek from car to car in their garb sweeping in a cache of candy. I’m parting with my Frosted Maple Spice Cookies stowed in small cellophane bags. I love trunk-or-treating because I can give

away home baked confections and know they’ll pass the parents’ scrutiny. These marvelous Maple Spice cookies are filled with Fall flavors. The sauce is a creamy maple frosting with an apricot blush in honor of Halloween. I hope the children and grown-ups enjoy these cookie creations.

Prep Time: 25 Minutes | Cook Time: 45 Minutes | Yield: 3 dozen | Difficulty: Easy

The Sauce-Frosting
1 cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Milk
2 tsp Butter, softened
Orange Food Coloring

The Rest-Cookies
1 ½ cups Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp freshly Ground Nutmeg
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, softened
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 egg

Preparation Instructions
1. Whisk together flour, soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves.

2. In a large bowl, beat brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter with a stand or hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp maple syrup and egg then beat until well blended.

3. Gradually add the flour mixture until just combined.

4. Drop 1 rounded tablespoon 2 inches apart onto a lightly sprayed baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes. Cool on pan for 5 minutes then place on a wire rack.

5. Combine powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, milk and butter stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add food coloring and stir. Frost cookies and serve.



Dish Designer
• Exchange milk for Half and Half for a richer frosting.
• Exchange dark brown for light brown sugar.
• Exchange orange food coloring for any desired color.

Inspiration—Cooking Light
sauces over under and through

Continue Reading · 2

Lemon Melt-Aways

Delicate, dainty lemon cookies with lemon glaze.

Fancy melt in your mouth cookies

On a recent trip to Utah I took the opportunity to visit Aunt Lenore. She is the owner and Executive Chef of Seventy Second Street Catering. Aunt Lenore is one of my idols. A gourmet cook and pastry chef, she’s been in the business for decades. Years ago she catered my wedding and besides nuptial occasions, she caters gourmet dinner engagements and other special events. I asked her about some of her favorite recipes hoping she would share a few.

Lemon-Melt-Aways-Lemon-GlazedLemon Melt-Aways is one of the recipes she granted to me. It’s a recipe she uses for weddings, teas and the like. A bite size delicate cookie, it’s covered with a citrusy, saucy, glazy frosting. The cookie melts away when eaten and best consumed in one bite. It’s a little piece of confectionery heaven. This recipe is inspired by her melt-away recipe and can also be made with other citrus fruits like limes or oranges. They freeze well so feel free to make them in advance of a party and then frost on serving day. They are especially fancy served in candy papers or decorated with miniatures. Use a special paper box or tin for a distinctive gift for dinner or wedding guests.

Recipe: Lemon Melt-Aways

Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 15 Minutes | Yield: 4 dozen | Level: Easy


  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 12 Tbsp butter plus 2 Tbsp, room temperature, divided
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 3-4 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2 Stir together cornstarch, flour, and 3/4 cup powdered sugar.

3 Work in 12 Tbsp butter.

4 Roll into 1-inch balls. Chill dough for a few minutes before rolling as needed.
Lemon-Melt-Aways-on-Cooling-Rack5 Place on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Do not brown. Cool on rack.

6 Combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp butter, lemon zest and juice.

7 Frost each cookie in glaze and allow to dry.

Keeping lemons in the kitchen pays off with this is cookie. It’s made with simple ingredients and serves everyday or fancy guests.

Dish Designer

  • Add enough lemon juice to the glaze so the glaze could be dipped on the cookies.
  • Exchange lemon zest and juice for lime or orange.

Inspiration – Aunt Lenore Sumsion, Executive Chef of Seventy Second Street Catering
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: June 12, 2012

Continue Reading · 1

Baking Weekend

My baking weekend

Financiers and Lemon Melt-Aways

Financiers-Lemon-Melt-Aways-Bakery-GoodiesThe weather was triple digit with enough moisture in the air to catapult the ‘feel like’ temps to 120 degrees. Decided to stay in my air conditioned place and do some baking. Here are the lovely edibles. Financiers, Lemon Melt-Aways accompanied by some sliced fresh strawberries. Goodness on a plate, they are some of the ‘delectables’ produced in my kitchen this weekend. Served them to guests today and got rave reviews. Recipes coming soon. Stay tuned.
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: June 2, 2012

Continue Reading · 3

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies with a subtle banana taste.

How to make soft chewy cookies

A classic American cookie with a twist, here is a ‘kill two birds with one stone’ option for chocolate chip cookies. Exercise this option when you have an overripe banana which otherwise would wind up in the wastebasket and create soft and chewy cookies that smack of something unique but almost undetectable. This recipe is adapted from the classic Toll House recipe but you could add some mashed banana to your favorite chocolate chip recipe.

I learned this trick when I was a junior in high school while living in Springville, Utah. My friend Chris Bowles, who lived around the corner, invited me to make chocolate chip cookies in her family’s trailer. I was game. We used the cramped space and the playhouse sized oven to bake off our culinary collaboration. Chris told me she was going to share the secret of soft cookies. I was all ears. Then I found out she’d brought an overripe banana that looked sick and tired. She planned to mash it into the cookie dough. My objections quickly evaporated as this was Chris’ territory. When the first batch of cookies came out of the oven, I was anxious to test out the experiment. Lo and behold, they were really good plus soft and chewy. Really fun friend bonding experience.

Recipe: Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 10 Minutes per Batch | Yield: 2 dozen | Level: Easy


  • 1 cup butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 very ripe Banana, mashed
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

1 Beat butter, sugars and vanilla until creamy.   Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

2 In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.

3 Gradually add to butter/sugar mixture.

4 Stir in banana then the chocolate chips and nuts.

5 Drop by rounded tablespoons on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees until light brown.  Don’t over bake.

6 Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes and then remove to wire rack.

Double this recipe to use a whole very ripe banana.

Try Cheetah Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting to use overripe bananas.

Use any favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and add some mashed banana.

Double this recipe then put 2-4 cookies into sandwich zipper bags and freeze for lunch box desserts or late night snacks on the fly.

Dish Designer

  • Choose walnuts or pecans.
  • Omit nuts.

Inspiration – Chris Bowles and Toll House Cookie recipe
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: May 18, 2012

Continue Reading · 4

Zucchini Nut Sandwich Rounds

Soft zucchini cookies with a sweet cream cheese sandwich filling

Spelling Bee

First let’s just talk about how to spell zucchini.  I can never remember.  Does it have two C’s?   So I dreamed up this mnemonic.  Stay with me.  It’s spelled like broccoli which has two C’s.  Of course, broccoli actually has vitamin C in it so it is easy to remember it has two C’s.  Zucchini is spelled the same way, two C’s.  Actually it’s loaded with potassium and vitamin A.  But don’t let all this chat about ‘good for you’ and ‘spelling bee’ get in the way of trying these amazing soft cake-like cookies with cream cheese filling.  They have just enough nuts for a little crunch against the creamy luxury of the sauce.  It a delicious way to eat your veggies with a hint of cinnamon.  OK, it is a little rich but worth it.

Recipe: Zucchini Nut Sandwich Rounds

Prep Time: 30 Minutes | Cook Time: 48 Minutes | Yield: 1  dozen sandwiches | Level: Easy


  • 1 stick butter, divided and at room temp
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup zucchini, finely grated
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
  • 1 cup powered sugar
    1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    2 In a medium bowl or mixer beat 1 stick butter with the sugars.  Add the egg and vanilla and blend.

    3 Add the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Beat to combine.

    Zucchini-Nut-Sandwich-Rounds-Baking4 Stir in the zucchini, oats and nuts.  Chill for 1 hour.

    5 Drop two tablespoons of dough on a greased cookie sheet with a little room to spare around each.  With the back of the spoon, flatten out a bit in a round circle.

    6 Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes.  Remove to a rack until completely cool.

    7 In the meantime, combine the butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar for the filling.

    8 Frost the bottom side of a cookie with a heaping tablespoon of the sauce and create a sandwich by topping it with the back side of another cookie.

    Brown Sugar – Substitute 1 cup of granulated sugar plus 1 Tbsp of molasses to the mix. It’s not necessary to combine them first.

    Dish Designer

    • Exchange walnuts for pecans.
    • Exchange rolled oats for quick oats.

    Inspiration – Martha Stewart
    Cook with Sauces
    Written by
    Photographs by Helen Horton
    Updated: April 28, 2012

    Continue Reading · 1

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