Ingredients: (I’m embarrassed to say…) Pilsbury Sugar cookie Dough, 16 oz. cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar (or powdered sugar), tsp. vanilla, diced fresh fruit.
Directions: Set cream cheese out for about an hour to soften. Spread the cookie dough (this is 1 1/2 tubes) out on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for approximately 17-20 minutes or until done. Set out to cool. Mix softened cream cheese with sugar and vanilla. Spread on completely cooled sugar cookie crust. Top with fruit.
Tips: I’ve made this with homemade sugar cookie dough and although it is certainly a less processed food choice, you really cannot taste the difference (I believe in shortcuts!) Fruit can be arranged in a stunning display of some sort (not featured above, unfortunately) or just scattered. The pineapple and orange chunks that I used were drained before placement. Good fruits for this include strawberries, blueberries, grapes, sliced stone fruits… don’t use bananas though as they will brown and throw off the whole “impressive” statement you’re going for.
My Mom’s Sugar Cookies (aka: the best sugar cookies in the solar system)
Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter, 1/ cup sugar, 1 egg, 2-2 1/4 cups flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. vanilla (frosting optional–unless you’re making a solar system or something similar, of course.)
Directions: Roll out and cut with cookie-cutters. Place on cookie sheet at bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes (depends on how think your cookies are though–check’m and see. Should be slightly browned on top, but not too much.)
Tip: For optimal dough handling, refrigerate dough for an hour or so before rolling/cutting/baking (I usually skip this step but I’ll share it anyway!)
Cupcakes and Frosting!
Vanilla Cupcakes from Mia in the Mix by Coco Simon
Ingredients: 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 3 large eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 cup whole milk
Directions (as usual, I ignored pretty much all the “do this step first and then do this” type instructions… sorry. I said I would make cupcakes, I didn’t say I liked baking! I still dislike it as much as ever…) So, my directions are: put it all in a bowl and mix it up. Yeah!
Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting
Ingredients (I quartered the amounts and the original quantities would have been enough frosting for 100 cupcakes!) 2 tbsp. room temp. butter, 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. whole milk, dash vanilla. Mix and, uh, put on the cupcakes.
Cheap Fruit Crisp
Ingredients: 3 cups chopped stone fruit (apricots pictured here), 1/4 cup flour, 2-3 tbsp. sugar, few healthy shakes of cinnamon, 1 cup raw oats, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, few pads of butter.
Directions: mix fruit, flour, sugar and cinnamon. Spread out in baking pan. Sprinkle oats then brown sugar over top. Put 6-8 pads of butter on top. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream for BIG smiles.
Rose’s banana bread
Ingredients: 2 cups flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 cup butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs, 2+ cups over ripe bananas (or whatever you have,) nuts optional
Directions: Mix it and pop it in the oven at 350 for about an hour. Serve it warm whenever possible…
Tips: I use only 1/2 cup brown sugar and it works fine. I also use whole wheat flour. Freezes very well to!
Josie’s Pumpkin Bread
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. baking powder, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. each: cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, 1 2/3 cup flour, 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup water, 1 cup pumpkin, 2 eggs
Directions: Mix dry ingredients, add the rest. Grease bottom of two bread pans and pour 1/2 way full. Bake at 350 for 45 mins.
Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie
Ingredients: 2 cups pumpkin, 1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup white sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp: cardamon, cloves, nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. lemon zest, pie crust (and yes, I used a frozen crust.)
Directions: mix, pour into pie crust and bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 50 minutes. Serve with homemade whipped cream for extra yum factor!
To get some of these delicious crumbles… keep reading!
Pioneer Woman Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies
Ingredients: 1 cup salted butter (softened), 2 cups packed dark brown sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 cups flower, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 3 cups old fashioned oats
Michelle’s Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Throw everything in a bowl and mix. Place balls onto cookie sheet for 12 0r so minutes if you want cookies. Put the whole lot on the sheet and bake for, uh… a 45 minutes…? if you want delectable bars.
Ree’s Directions: check out the Pioneer Woman blog. She takes her baking more seriously than I (everyone does) and follows a more methodical step-by-step type situation. If you’re more like Ree we can still be friends!