Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Years Traditions

For as long as I can remember on New Year’s Day my family has always eaten black eyed peas, collard greens, and a porkblack eyed peas loin. My mother always told me it was to bring good luck and prosperity. I am not a huge fan of collard greens so once a year is fine by me. The south isn’t the only place that has traditions for the new year; every culture has its own way of celebrating New Year’s.

In Spain and some other countries of Spanish descent eat 12 grapes at midnight; one for each stroke and it is considered necessary to finish the last grape on the final stroke. Each grape is thought to represent the 12 months of the year that is to say if the first grape is especially cold January could be a very cold month.grapes

The eating of steamed or boiled greens is not limited to collard greens. German cultures tend to eat sauerkraut and Danish people eat stewed Kale. kaleIt is thought that cooked greens resemble folded money, and will bring the eater extra money in the coming year. Here in the south I was always told that the more greens you can eat the more prosperous you will be in the New Year. (This explains why I am not rich.... Hmmmm.)

The tradition of eating some type of pork whether it is sausages or in my family’s case the pork loin comes from the belief that pigs represent advancement. Pigs push and move forward with their noses when they root around in the dirt.piggies-2 Chickens on the other hand are considered bad luck to eat on New Year’s because they scratch backwards in the dirt and this can cause you to look back on your life with regret and sadness. In fact eating any poultry or bird is not recommended because the good luck could fly away! Lobster is not recommended as well because of their ability to move backwards.

The world is filled with superstitions regarding the New Year. Do you have any in your family? What are you favorite ways to ring in the New Year? How do you celebrate the holiday? My favorite is fireworks! All of my life I have been fascinated by firework displays. Fireworks

All in all a new year symbolizes a fresh start and promises new beginnings. As we head into 2011 I wish all of my readers a blessed new year and hope that all of you discover a way to embrace your joy! Writing this blog has been such a great way to for me to express my passion of food and writing. Happy New Year to you all!





Wednesday, December 29, 2010

When it works it works: Pear Tart and Ambrosia Bread

Sometimes great recipes just happen. There are times when you are throwing things together in your kitchen and magic just happens. Food miracles… I have these miracles sometimes. Other times, even Queens cannot make fabulous happen. Today was one of those days. I am forever experimenting in the kitchen; trying to find some new flavor that makes people ask for more.magic

Tonight I decided despite suffering from a horrible cold that I would make roasted Cornish game hens. (I am not a glutton for punishment, cooking just makes me happy… and I think I was kind of out of my head.)  I have had game hens in the past, but never cooked them myself. I decided I would prepare them like I prepare my roasted chicken. After all they are just mini chickens, developed in the 50’s to provide a single serving of white meat poultry. When done correctly these little hens can be very impressive; my roasted chicken always gets rave reviews so I thought why not start there. cold-medicine(Ordinarily it takes me several attempts to get a recipe just right, unless it is one of those magical nights….) This evening’s adventure in cooking was not even a good start. I think I will blame the cold medicine… Yeah… It was the cold medicine that caused me to lose my mind.

I decided I would use fresh herbs, which are usually stronger in flavor than my typical dried herbs. So I opted not to add much to the outside of the chicken other than some salt and olive oil.  For some reason I picked up the Thyme instead of the Tarragon. Tarragon goes very well with poultry; Thyme not so much. My thought process was to make a lemony, garlic herb infused hen. Instead I got something that resembled two tiny rubber chickens with lemons and what appeared to be dead weeds shoved in a very rude place.DSCF1552 My images of aromatically infused herb flavoring fell on its tookis. They just did not brown up like I would have liked. The lemon flavor was nice but that’s the only flavor you could taste. Overall very moist and juicy, kind of bland and lemony; next time I attempt these little chickadees; I will go a different route.

I noticed we had some very ripe bananas sitting in the fruit basket and I thought I would try to make banana bread. I remembered that my mother hates, no loathes, warm banana so I thought I would try and make it different and therefore more appealing to everyone. For special occasions my family makes a fruit salad called “Ambrosia” that is a mix of pineapple, banana, orange, coconut, and marshmallows. I say to myself, “Self, I am going to make “ambrosia bread”. What results is not a complete disaster like the chicken. However, the bread seems to be missing something. I am not sure what, yet, maybe just a pat of butter or a caramel sauce. Try the recipe and see what you think, please send suggestions as I continue to play with this one.

Ambrosia Bread



2 eggs

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup butter melted

1 ½ cup mashed RIPE bananas (about 3-4 mid-size bananas)

1 cup chopped pecans

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese (room temperature)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup flaked coconut

½ teaspoon orange extract

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350° and lightly grease 13x9 baking dish

Mix together mash banana and pineapple together in mixing bowl. DSCF1535Add flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, eggs, salt, and orange flavor. Mix until well blended. Add melted butter and cream cheese, mix until well blended again. Fold in pecans and marshmallows. Pour mix into 13x9 dish, it will be full! DSCF1536Place on baking sheet (in case you have any spills).

Bake in preheated oven for 1 ½ hours, or until toothpick stuck in center comes out clean; keep an eye on it as it browns up, you may want to lightly cover with foil to prevent heavy browning.


My success for the evening was the simple pear tart I made. It needs no introduction because it was perfect! I whipped up some whipping cream and served a slice of this tart with a dollop of the cream on top. My family said it more than made up for my rubber looking lemon flavored chickens.

Pear Tart



1 Prepared Pastry Pie Crust (look for it in the refrigerator section)

3-4 Pears, peeled, cored, and slicedDSCF1542

3 tablespoons butter

3-4 tablespoons sugar

Sugar to sprinkle

Preheat oven to 400°

Unroll prepared pie crust and lay over lightly greased tart pan, or if like me no tart pan was available a 9 inch cake pan will work as a substitute. Press dough into greased tart pan with the overlap hanging over the edges.DSCF1545 Lay the pears into the tart pan; I stand mine up because I think it is pretty to look at. Fold overhang of pie crust in on top of pears, around the edge. Melt butter in a sauce pan and mix in sugar. When sugar dissolves brush butter and sugar mix over the pears and over crust. DSCF1548Sprinkle with sugar and place in oven. Bake for about 45 minutes. Keep an eye on the tart so that it does not brown too much on one side. Rotate to prevent this from happening. Let stand for about 20 minutes to cool. ENJOY!DSCF1555

DSCF1556Please try these recipes and leave any suggestions, or comments. Make sure to vote for me with the Picket Fence Blogs button! Are you subscribed and following?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas! Have some Church Supper Salad!

I hope that everyone had an amazing Christmas! My family is very blessed and it was nice to have everyone together. For the first time in my whole life we had a white Christmas; something completely unheard of here in the south! snowy treeIt was so beautiful! Santa brought me a brand new coat which was a shock, warm and cozy! Interestingly enough my father gave me two DVD’s; movies I do want to see however they were Blu-ray DVD’s and I don’t own a Blu-ray player… He owns one though. Bless him; he wants to spend time with me! I love him so much, and I will have to just save up for my own Blu-ray player. Griffin Snow2Until then he and I have some movies to watch together. “Daddee” also got me the greatest set of measuring cups and spoons from Williams Sonoma, which for any Blue Jean Foodie Queen is like Disney World or Mecca. They are simply wonderful! I immediately placed a ban on them; no one is allowed to touch them but me. You might be thinking, “What a selfish twit!” for placing said ban until you realize that without this ban, I would never see these kitchen tools again. Measuring spoons and cups in our house are the kitchen equivalent of the odd missing sock in the laundry room. My mom got her greatest wish this year! She has always wanted a Bose sound wave radio/CD player system. You know the one that is sold on television… Dad/Santa got her one this year and the look on her face made the whole day mean that much more!Misha Especially when she found the pearls he had tucked into her stocking. Overall this Christmas was one of the best in recent memory and I am very thankful and blessed to have such a great family.

Of all the familiar family holiday dishes that I grew up eating the one I am going to share with you now is my very favorite. For me, it is not a special occasion unless this particular dish is served. I even have taken to requesting this dessert instead of birthday cake for my birthday.DSCF1437 Originally it was considered a “salad” because in my grandmother’s day congealed salads were fashionable. Though it is sweet and not at all what I would consider a salad ever... My love for Church Supper Salad is so great that it cannot mingle with other foods on the plate and must have its own plate when possible! It may be borderline obsession level love, but I have no remorse for this. When you read the recipe it sounds kind of crazy, but trust me, give this a chance and you will love it too.Sarah In all my life of serving this dish to people at church gatherings, family gatherings, social functions, and the like I have yet to hear anyone say they don’t care for it. This dish is also so easy to prepare it will soon become a standby for you to take to pot lucks or family meals. So please try it and enjoy it!

Church Supper SaladCompleted CSS


2 packages of Cherry Jell-O (I sometimes use Black Cherry, both are equally good)

1 can cherry pie filling

1 20 oz. can Crushed Pineapple with Juice

2 cups water

½ pint sour cream

8 oz. cream cheese

½ cup granulated sugar

Pecans chopped (or just broken up) approximately 1 cup, you can use more or less depending on your preference for Pecans. (Don’t skip the pecans they add a texture that really makes this dish!)


Dissolve Jell-O with 2 cups of water mix in pie filling and crushed pineapple with the juice. (I literally just dump Congealedeverything in a bowl and mix well until the Jell-O is dissolved) Place mixture into a 13x9 casserole dish; allow to congeal at least 3-4 hours or for best results overnight. (I always make it the night before.)


Mix sour cream, cream cheese, and sugar in mixing bowl. ToppingMix well. Spread evenly over the top of the congealed Jell-O. Sprinkle with pecans. add PecansYou can refrigerate at this point or serve immediately. Keeps well for several days in the refrigerator, but never really lasts that long because people eat it too fast!

Happy Holidays y’all! Grace

Friday, December 24, 2010

Traditional Southern Cheese Straws

When people think of the south they likely have images of lazy summer days where women fan themselves onporch large porches while sharing a tall pitcher of sweet tea; gentlemen talking over cigars and a couple fingers of whiskey. The heady smell of gardenia, honeysuckle, and magnolia waft through thick sultry air and the sounds of cicadas calling surround you. I find that most people assume we either live like Scarlett O’Hara or something out of the Beverly Hillbillies. That just isn’t wild-honeysuckle_49118true on either count. We are just like everyone else; we just talk a bit slower (draw out our vowels) and move at a different pace. Generally we know our neighbors and wave at passing cars. I don’t know that I have ever honked my car’s horn in my life, even when I may have wanted to, southerners just don’t do that. If I have something bad to say about someone I usually follow it up with “Bless her heart”. (Or his heart) I use the word y’all a lot and if I am about to do something I frequently say I am “fixin” to do it.

I am extremely proud of my heritage as a southern scarlettwoman, and the food I learned to make is a huge part of that. There are so many iconic southern foods but feeling festive for the holidays I am going to share a quintessential southern party food. Cheese straws can be found at most any southern affair, from weddings to wakes and from baby showers to cocktail parties. In fact an old friend of our family gave, as her gift, a huge amount of cheese straws to be served at my mother’s wedding reception! The cheese straw is about as traditional as it gets here in the south. They date back to at least the Civil War era, but no one is really sure on when they came to be. Every family tends to have its own recipe but they are all about the same. Please try this recipe with my compliments. Share it with your friends and have a very Merry Christmas!

Southern Cheese Strawsfinished cheese straws


1 stick of butter (room temperature)

3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (room temperature)

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepperfood processor cheese straws

Preheat oven to 300° Fahrenheit.

Lightly grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.

In a food processor, add butter, cheese, flour, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne. Process until a smooth dough is formed. It may seem like it is taking too long sometimes, but trust me it will get smooth. Pat dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap or seal in a chilled cheese straw doughZiploc bag. Chill 30 minutes. Roll out on a lightly floured surface until it is a ¼ inch thick rectangle. Cut into small strips 2 or 3 inches long. Bake 10-15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove to racks to cool. Sprinkle with Paprika if you like. (I don’t but some people like this)

rolled cheese strawscut cheese straws

I prefer to use parchment paper because I can slide them off the pans easily for cooling and start another batch if I want. These delectable treats could not be easier to make and are a HUGE crowd pleaser. You can cut fat by using a butter substitute and low fat cheese. Though my opinion is if it is a party food then use the real stuff, and really enjoy the party!  Trust me when I tell you these are way better than dumping a box of Cheez-Its in a bowl!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kitchen Safety Rules

Most of us spend the rest of our lives trying to forget junior high school. Sure there were some great times, but the majority of it was a long period of awkwardness, growth spurts, braces, bad hair and makeup choices, and relationships that we honestly believed would end in marriage only to end in disastrous heartache two weeks (or sometimes two hours later). I can truthfully say I don’t remember much I learned in my classes during those years, especially the elective classes. I took several versions of Home Ec. and though I know I loved those classes, mostly because it was an opportunity to goof off and cook food and snack on it. There was always some “Johnny Hottie” that I would flirt with the whole time… ah the magic of the wonder years. Home Ec. classes were all about food safety and things that should be basic common sense, but as a good friend of mine recently said “Common sense is not always common knowledge.” Let’s review some basic food safety points and refresh our memory on how to keep ourselves and our families safe.

1.) Wash Your Hands.


 A lot food poisoning incidents could be prevented if someone had just washed their hands. You should always wash your hands before, during, and after preparing any food. (that includes before you eat) Make sure you wash your hands after handling any raw meat or chicken; I even go ahead and wash after handling fish and also vegetables. If you sneeze, or cough while cooking you should wash your hands again. Does your dog follow you around the kitchen like mine? Do you unconsciously pat them on the head, like I sometimes do? Yep, wash your hands again. Sometimes you have to touch the garbage can while cooking, wash your hands after that too! These seem like no brainer things but a lot of time we simply do not think while cooking. When washing your hands you should always use a good soap and warm water.handwashing Rub your hands together to make a good soapy lather. Be sure that you get the backs of your hands and between your fingers and the very commonly missed wrist area! It is recommended that you rub your hands with that soapy lather for at least 20 seconds. (if you need help with that then sing the alphabet to yourself) Rinse your hands and dry with a clean towel or paper towel.

2.) BEFORE cutting vegetables or fruit wash them.

You would be amazed at the number of people I know who do not wash their fruits or veggies! All those pesticides and dirt and bugs…. Ick. Think about the fact that all of those contaminants get onto your knife that is now slicing through the part of the food you intend to eat! Now your food is contaminated with everything that was on the outside of your vegetable or fruit! Even if you plan to peel the vegetable or fruit, wash it first. If you are peeling a potato for example, you are holding the potato and peeling away the skin. You are touching the dirty skin of the potato and when you handle the now peeled potato you are putting all of those germs right back onto the potato!

3.) Make sure you read the bags of your bagged Veggies!

Not all bagged salad greens or other vegetables are washed! We usually assume they all are but they aren’t all prewashed. I prefer to rinse all my bagged veggies just in case there is some cross contamination somewhere. Better safe than sorry. Fight_Bacteria_chart

4.) WASH cutting boards, counters, and utensils with HOT water and soap after working with raw meats.

This is pretty obvious, but worth mentioning. You could use an antibacterial spray on the counters but they are not a good idea for wooden cutting boards or you utensils. Wooden cutting boards are great and I love them. However you should have one that you cut meat on and one that you cut everything else on. Wooden cutting boards have natural grooves from the wood grain and absorb some of those meat juices. Bacteria can grow in the natural grooves and in the grooves caused by cutting on the board! Never wash a wooden cutting board in the dishwasher or leave it to soak in water! (The same goes for wooden spoons) The water will cause the wood’s cellulose to expand and as it dries the wood can crack, ruining the appearance of your board (or spoon) and allowing even more space for bacteria growth. I recommend oiling your board with olive oil every now and then to help seal the wood and keep it looking great. (Oil those wooden spoons too!) Cutting boards not made of wood can be put in the dishwasher. However please remember that glass, marble, or granite boards are hard on your knives!

5.) Keep your prepped food separate.

If you are like me you like to complete all your prep work before you start cooking. This means you should keep your raw meats away from any vegetables or pastas or anything else you are prepping. I read a good tip once that you should have two different colored cutting boards in your kitchen to help you remember; a red cutting board for meats and a green cutting board for vegetables. While I am not that extreme it is a good idea if you have trouble remembering which board you use for which product. This will help you avoid cross contamination!

6.) Refrigerate promptly!

If you don’t plan to use the prepped food right away put it in the refrigerator to keep it chilled and inhibit any bacteria growth. Harmful bacteria can double in number in as little as 20 minutes; avoid the “danger zone” of 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. *Most refrigerators are set at or below 40 degrees* (or they should be) Always remember that raw meat should always be stored on a tray on the lowest shelf; this keeps any juices from contaminating other food products.

7.) Use a Meat Thermometer!

Cooking your food to the proper temperature ensures that all dangerous bacteria is killed. E-coli, salmonella, botulism, and hepatitis are dangerous and potentially deadly. Double check that your food has met the recommended core temperature. (I have included a chart) minimum temperatures

Remembering these simple guidelines can keep you and your family healthy and keep germs and bacteria out of your kitchen!




Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Where does Eggnog come from?

Eggnog is a treat that many people cannot imagine going through a holiday season without. Many anxiously await its arrival on store shelves, sometimes as early as Halloween, because it signals the beginning of Christmas time. This alcoholic beverage has some obscure beginnings. There is some disagreement over how it came to be and why it is called “eggnog”. What we, as Americans, know as eggnog is a descendant of what were once milk and wine punches in Europe. In colonial America milk was more readily available than it was in Europe at that time, which generally made their milk and wine punches something for the upper class only.victorian However, the expensive and over taxed brandy or wine from Europe was cost prohibitive to the colonists; they began using rum. Rum was abundant and cheap, and commonly called “grog”. Many historians argue that the name “Egg Grog” soon became “Eggnog.” Though “nog” is also an old English dialect word used to describe strong ale. A “noggin” was a small, carved, wooden, mug and likely what eggnog would have been served in. Not a large jump to see how an egg drink served in a noggin could become eggnog! No one is really sure how the name came about.

What we do know is that up until around the 19th century it was typically a drink of the upper classes in Europe and fairly common at social gatherings in America.eggnog Traditionally in Baltimore on New Year’s Day young gentlemen would go and visit all of their friends. Eggnog would be offered at all the homes and naturally many of these young men would be very drunk after a few stops. This made it very difficult to finish the visits to everyone!

Few people stop to give any thought to the traditions we have and why we have them. History holds so many keys to who we are and where we are going. I am not a big fan of eggnog myself, but many are. I find it interesting that in nearly every country there is a recipe similar to that frothy little drink, we call eggnog, offered up at social gatherings particularly in the winter time. Everyone has their own recipe and their own preference as to what liquor goes into it. Here in the south it is usually bourbon.southern comfort In Germany they have a version called “Biersuppe” which I think literally translated means beer soup…. Correct me if I am wrong. You guessed it though, they make their version with beer! How great is it that we are all connected? Merry Christmas y’all! Please enjoy this recipe for eggnog passed to me from a friend who asked I not mention her name. As always, feel free to adapt your tastes and make it your own. Let me know how it turns out!





6 eggs, separated

½ to ¾ cup sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)

Dash of salt

3 teaspoons vanilla

2-3 cups Bourbon (depending on how strong you want it, you could also use Brandy or Rum)

1 ½ cups Milk

Nutmeg for garnish


Beat egg yolks, ¼ cup sugar, salt, and vanilla together until very thick and light yellow. (could add 1-2 teaspoons of Nutmeg here too if you like) Slowly beat in bourbon and milk. Cover and chill 6-8 hours or overnight is best. Right before serving beat egg whites to soft peaks, slowly add remaining sugar until creamy; slowly pour the egg white mix into the chilled bourbon mix, folding the egg whites very gently. Serve with a bit of grated nutmeg over the top. ENJOY!


Family Traditions and Apple Stuffed Pork Loin

As Christmas fast approaches and families start to gather to celebrate the season. I start to think about traditions. christmas treeTraditions are so important to the holidays; they remind us who we are and where we came from. In my house a lot of traditions revolve around food and meals together. Of course every year is a new opportunity to start a tradition but it is the ones we have always done that mean the most. Christmas morning at my house is a relaxed affair. Instead of preparing a big breakfast (we favor a large early dinner instead) we have blueberry muffins. Our tradition of muffins started when blueberry muffinswe moved to North Carolina in 1997. I cannot remember how this tradition got started; I make them from a box. It has to be from the box; it has to be Duncan Hines Blueberry Streusel muffins. Do not suggest that we make our Christmas muffins from scratch… or try a different flavor. Sometimes traditions are not to be fully understood just abided.

Christmas is my favorite time of year and I get as giddy as a school girl! I put up all the decorations and love dancing around the house to Christmas music. (Well only for the first week or so, then the repetitive nature of Christmas music on the radio starts to drive me insane.) Hanging the lights and decorating the tree are truly a pleasure. Displaying my snowman collection is a small joy in life that I love.

Traditionally for Christmas Eve dinner we have a pork loin. My favorite recipe for pork loin is the Apple Stuffed Pork Loin. I will also provide you with a Glaze that could be used on a pork loin (as I will show you in the pictures) or could be easily used on a ham. Pork Loins are often avoided by people because they seem complicated. Really they are quite easy it is the prep work that can get complicated. Once prepped you just put the loin in the oven and let it cook. Easy… and then you can prepare other things or hang out with the family.

My Apple Stuffed Pork Loin is another recipe I just threw together one evening. I surprise myself sometimes with the outcome of some of these thrown together meals.

Apple Stuffed Pork Loin

Apple Stuffed Pork Loin

*all measurements are approximate*


1 Pork Loin – butterflied

2 small medium apples, chopped

1 medium onion chopped

1-3 chopped garlic cloves (based on your taste for garlic)

1 ½ cups brown sugar packed

Juice of one lemon

1 cup Panko bread crumbs


Kosher salt

Sage to taste

Paprika to taste

Nutmeg to taste

1 ½ bacon bits

Pre heat oven to 325 degrees; line a roasting pan with foil and lightly grease with Pam spray.

Prep Filling

In large pan sauté the onion until browned, add garlic then apples season with sage, paprika, and nutmeg. Add juice of one lemon cover and let apples soften. Stir in brown sugar and bacon bits let simmer until just starting to caramelize. Stir in Panko bread crumbs; add just enough water to moisten mixture.

Prepare meat

Spread the mixture between the butterflied pork loin halves. Fold the loin together. Make sure that the fatty layer of the loin is on top. Score the fat on top with a knife in a diamond pattern. Tie the loin securely with butcher’s twine and then rub with kosher salt amount you use is based on your taste. Pack any remaining stuffing around the meat. Cook in pre heated oven for 90 minutes until the meat reaches 180 degrees in the middle. Cover loin with foil after the first 30 minutes of cooking to hold the moisture in. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. (Allows the juices to settle) Slice and serve, with extra stuffing on top.

TIP: Always make sure to grease the foiled pan before using and grease the sheet of foil you use to cover the loin.

Brown Sugar Glaze for Ham or for Pork Loins

Below is a picture of when I prepared this using a pork loin

pork loin going in the oven


1 cup (roughly packed) Brown sugar

¼ - ½ cup Dijon mustard (based on your taste)

2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar.

pork loin glazeMix all ingredients in sauce pan. Make sure any lumps of brown sugar are broken up. Heat over medium heat until smooth and bubbles slightly; remove from heat. Let stand five minutes. During that time you can get your meat prepared. Then use glaze over ham or pork loin and follow cooking directions for the meat you are using. Remember to baste! I like to slice apples and cook them with the meat and glaze.plated pork loin

Monday, December 20, 2010

The best Peanut Butter cookies I have ever tasted!


Being a little under the weather, I did not cook today so I decided to share a recipe that is not mine. However, this recipe is one of my favorites! I wish I could take credit for it because it is quite honestly wonderful! These cookies are perfect for those times you are craving peanut butter, need to wow people for a party, or want to give a great peanut buttery cookie gift.290px-PeanutButter

These cookies won Carolyn Gurtz the 43rd Pillsbury Bake Off. I saw coverage of the event on Food Network and decided to try them myself. I call the Million Dollar Peanut Butter Cookies. (Ms. Gurtz, won one million dollars in the Bake Off) The recipe is quick and easy because it uses a prepared roll of Pillsbury peanut butter cookie dough, though if you want to use your own recipe for peanut butter cookie dough you could. To change it up you could use a chocolate cookie dough! I don’t crave peanut butter that often; these cookies hit the spot though.

Million Dollar Peanut Butter Cookies

¼ cup dry roasted peanuts, finely chopped

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup creamy peanut butter (I use Jif)

½ cup powdered sugar

1 roll (16.5 oz.) Pillsbury peanut butter cookie dough, well chilled (you could use your favorite prepared peanut butter cookie dough)

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit


Make filling:

In small bowl, mix chopped nuts, granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside. In another small bowl stir peanut butter and powdered sugar until completely blended. Shape mixture into 24 (1 inch) balls.

Form cookies:

Cut roll of cookie dough into 12 slices. Cut each slice in half to make 24 slices, flatten slightly. Shape one cookie dough piece around 1 ball of filling. Roll each covered ball in peanut, cinnamon, and sugar mixture; pat lightly to secure peanuts. Place balls of dough 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Flatten balls to ½ inch thickness. Bake in preheated oven 7 to 12 minutes, or until edges are browned.

Pour yourself a tall glass of milk, dunk if you like (I love to dunk these cookies!) and enjoy these great cookies! Let me know what you think!