Saturday, October 27, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies ~ The Ultimate Peanut Butter Cookie

'almost flourless'
peanut butter cookies


1 cup smooth-type peanut butter* (no oily peanut butters!)
¾ cup dark brown sugar
¼ granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 TB flour
1 ts sea salt
Bittersweet chocolate chips, about ½ cup, optional
Sea salt for sprinkling, optional

In a small bowl add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix, set aside.

In a mixer or by hand, combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined.  Crack egg open in a small bowl and beat.  Add egg to the cookie mixture; add in the flour mixture but by sprinkling it over the cookie dough, not just depositing it in one large dump.  Mix till combined.  Cover bowl and let it sit in fridge for about two hours or more (mine did fine overnight).

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Roll into tablespoon sized balls and place on non-stick cookie sheets or greased cookie sheets.  With a fork gently make a criss-cross pattern with a fork.

Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. As soon as they come out of the oven sprinkle with just a bit of sea salt—this adds a nice peanut depth; this is optional.

(If you want to add in a chocolate topping like I did, don’t make a cross-cross pattern, but rather make a small well.  Bake those half way (about 5 minutes) then add in about 4 chocolate chips and bake remaining 5 minutes or so.  The chocolate part is optional, but luscious.)

Cool on a baking sheet for a while.  Should make about 23 – 25 cookies.
*Please use a creamy/smooth peanut butter, nothing oily. I used whole foods 365 organic creamy peanut butter, has perfect texture for these cookies.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Vintage Cookie Cutters from Around the World

I found a few cookie cutters from around the world that I just have to share with everyone.  There are many here below that are antiques from the USA and Canada, Japan, France, Germany, and Holland. 

These here are antique Japanese cookie cutters.  What a beautiful crane this is... I wish I could find one like this cookie cutter... I really like this one!  The other is an older style cherry blossom (sakura).... I suppose this could be a plumeria also! 

These are real nice vintage French pastry pans and cookie cutters.   

Here is some nice antique cookie cutters from Germany.

Vintage Christmas Cookie Cutter Ring with Cat, Dove, Bird

Here is a few vintage antique cookie cutters from Holland.


Make by EKCO - Tomado Holland

EKCO multi-sided animal cookie cutter from Holland

horse, bunny, elephant, squirrel, bear and chicken

I'm sure if one looked, they could find many more interesting vintage cooking cutters from this by gone era.  I love to see what kind of cooking utensils and baking accessories they used in other parts of the world.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mini Custard Tarts

These no-fuss tarts actually look like you have been slaving over a hot stove all day.

Makes 20

 Now these little Mini Custard Tarts are pretty easy to make and just because the recipe is in milliters will make it any harder to make.  The only difference is that 250 mls is slightly more than 1 cup and 125 mls is slightly moe than a 1/2 cup!   So I really don't think that this is an issue, just use 1 cup and 1/2 cup. 

250ml thickened custard  ~ 250 ml = 1.05668 cup (US)

                                125ml double thick cream ~ 125 ml = 0.528344 cup (US)

1 pkt cocktail pastry cases of assorted fruit to top (such as blueberries, strawberries and kiwi)
Icing sugar, to dust

Gently fold the custard and the cream together, spoon into each pastry case.
Top with small pieces of fruit and dust with icing sugar.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Children's Discovery Toys

Fisher-Price Peek-a-blocks INCREDIBLOCK 

This IncrediBlock with peek-a-blocks IncrediBlock is a great BIG block of fascinating discoveries, with music, motion, lights, and 5 sides of busy play!
Ages: 9 months & up
Measurements: 16" L x 16" W x 15" H.

Developing Motor Skills
Encourages development of balance & gross motor skills as baby learns to stand & cruise around block.
Grasping & stacking blocks enhances fine motor skills.
Sorting blocks & placing them into activity sides encourages eye-hand coordination.
Stimulating the Senses
See-through blocks with bright colors & movement stimulate visual development.
Grasping & feeling textured surfaces enhances sense of touch.
Encouraging Cognitive Abilities
Helps baby understand spatial concepts like in/out, up/down.
Fosters problem-solving skills as baby figures out how to stack & build.
Offers progressive challenges, from simple activities to more complex stacking & sorting. 


Here are some of the Peek-A-Blocks that were sold seperately to go along with the IncrediBlock and other Fisher Price toys. 

Fisher Price - Vehicle Fun                                                                       Fisher Price - Touch Sensations

                                         Fisher Price - Sports Blocks            Fisher Price - Sound Sensations                           

 Fisher Price - Learning Fun Blocks         Fisher Price - Sight Sensations

                                                   Fisher Price - Barnyard Friends Blocks

Here is a set of alphabet and numbers blocks.

Here is a few more toys that children really love too!  Same blocks work in these toys also!

Fosters problem-solving as baby figures out how to activate motion, songs & sounds.
• Helps baby understand the sounds different animals make.
• Listening to fun songs & sounds enhances baby's auditory sense.
• Stimulates visual development with colorful animal friends & lights.
• Enhances eye-hand coordination & motor skills as baby grasps blocks & places in openings.
• Requires 3 "AA" (LR6) alkaline batteries (not included)

 Fisher-Price DROP & ROAR DINOSAUR Roll-a-Rounds (peek-a-blocks)

Color coordinated ball drops and ramps allow baby to follow the rounds down one of 4 paths accompanied by 3 colored lights and lively tunes

• There are busy activities that add to the play, including a twirling butterfly, a rattle bird, and spinning dinosaur
• 10 songs and 5 sound effects encourage and entertain baby
• 4 roll-a-round balls
• It measures 28" x 9.25" x 16".

Curious babies and toddlers who will delight playing with this friendly green guy.

Four balls are included to roll through various openings and watch come out of other openings, teaching cause and effect while delighting curious young minds at the same time.

The dinosaur has a bumpy tail and a mouth that can be made to open and shut. Ten different tunes accompany the action along with gently flashing lights and fun sound effects while a wiggly ladybug and a wiggly fish bounce along on top.

The design of having the dinosaur lie flat while your little one crawls around investigating will also likely be good for motor skill development.

Roll-a-rounds and Peek-a-block family of toys.

There are so many options with these Fisher Price toys, you can mix and match, buy one, two, three or even more.