Tag Archives: cooking

Baking Day

toffee close up

Today was the beginning of holiday baking. I’ve been wanting to make candy and treats since the first day of December, but it just has not happened.

2010 found me not only going back to work part-time after being a stay-at-home mom for almost fifteen years, but it’s also the year that I turned Sewhooked from humble blog and website into my own pattern publishing business. It’s been a crazy, exciting and very busy year!

The new (and exciting!) demands on my time have kept me out of the kitchen. With Linus over for the year and my kids out of school, I decided today was going to be The Day.

I broke out my favorite old cookbooks and hand-scribbled recipes and started cooking. These are today’s accomplishments.

english toffee

Toffee, adapted from a recipe found in and old church cookbook.

Chocolatey Butter Toffee

  • 1 c butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c pecans

Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet, sprinkle pecans on the paper.

Cook butter and sugar in a heavy saucepan until it reaches 300 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and pour over pecans. Spread the mixture with a non-stick spatula. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of hot toffee. All to sit for several minutes and then spread with the spatula. Move cookie sheet into the refrigerator for 1 hour to set chocolate. Remove, break into pieces and store in an air-tight container at room temp.

drying mints

Holiday Mints, from a company cookbook found at a thrift store. This is a new-to-me recipe.

No-bake Holiday Mints

  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbs room-temp butter
  • 3 1/2 Tbs evaporated milk or 1/2 & 1/2
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • a few drops of food coloring

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl (I have upright mixer – it worked a treat!); knead mixture in bowl until smooth. Shape mints in candy molds placed on a baking sheet. Cover with a towel and allow to air dry.* Remove from molds and store in an airtight container.

*note – there is no time listed for how long these take to dry. I’m going to try overnight and I’ll get back to you!

ETA – These tasted like toothpaste…I even tried dipping them in chocolate to save the batch, but then it tasted like chocolate-covered toothpaste! If I did this again, I would omit the almond extract.

cracked ginger cookies 2

Cracked Ginger Cookies from Reader’s Digest Cookies – 1001 Mouthwatering Recipes from Around The World, another new-to-me recipe!

peanut brittle

Jennifer’s Best Peanut Brittle – Yes, I did name this after myself. Follow the link and you’ll see why!


Fantasy Fudge, right off the back of Kraft’s Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme. I’ve been making fudge my entire adult life and this always, always gives me the best results!

Am I done for the holidays, you ask? Not by a long shot! I still have bon-bons and cookies for Santa to make!

Add your Sewhooked-related photos to my flickr group and you might be featured in a future post.



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Have a sewhooked little Christmas

A little Christmas Cheer from the sewhooked flickr group!

Christmas Hanging

by sewtobed on flickr

Ms. Santa
by ramblequeen on flickr


by Jennifer T.

Santa's Elf Little Wonky Christmas Tree Lil St. Nick Mrs. Claus

by liljabs on flickr

Lots more great quilts in the flickr Christmas quilts group!

Holly Jolly Christmas

More Christmas cheer from sewhooked:

If you make a Sew Awesome Craft or any pattern, craft or recipe from sewhooked,  I’d love to see a photo.  Email me or add it to the sewhooked flickr group.

A Personal Update and Some Challenges

Wow, can it really be so long since I last posted?  I’m somewhat ashamed to realize how long it’s been since a new craft or pattern has graced the sewhooked blog.

I have been having a lot of Real Life lately, which I will be talking about here fairly soon.

In the meantime, I’d like to pimp two craft challenges, both for LiveJournal groups that I moderate or help moderate.


Twilight Crafts Challenge #5

There are new tutorials and a new paper pieced pattern in the works.  Until then, I remain yours craftily,

Chocolate Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

Chocolate Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

This recipe was created by my son and I while trying to work out what we were going to do with half a bag of leftover marshmallows. We started with an existing cookie recipe, but altered this and tweaked that until we came up with what you see here.

I can definitely live with it. Yum!

1/2 c. shortening

1 c. sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. milk
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. vanilla

Miniature Marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cream together shortening, sugar, milk and egg. In another bowl, combine dry ingredients. Combine with wet ingredients, add vanilla.

Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet or a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake 8 minutes. Remove from oven. Push three to four miniature marshmallows into each warm cookie. Place pan back in oven for up to two minutes. Allow cookies to rest on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a rack for cooling.

2 c. powdered sugar
4 tbsp. cocoa
1/4 c. butter
2 tbs. half and half or milk

Place butter in microwave for 15 seconds. Add sugar, cocoa and half and half. Whip with a fork or whisk. Spoon onto cooled cookies.

Hint – Place cooling rack over a cookie sheet for this step to catch any drips.

Add your Sewhooked-related photos to my flickr group and you might be featured in a future post.


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Recipe: Chocolate Saucepan Cookies, a.k.a. Cow Patties

Cow Pattie Cookies

This is one of my mom’s recipes. I can’t even guess how many times she made these chocolatey wonders for my brother, sister and I when we were growing up.

They are amazingly simple, yummy and cheap to make and I love making them for my own family.

One caution for those that like to change recipes and use what you have (as I do!) – you can’t substitute anything for the instant oats or the cookies won’t set properly and you’ll have a gooey mess.

Chocolate Saucepan Cookies
better known as “Cow Patties” or “Mud Cookies”
by my mom, Leona

8 tbs (one stick) butter
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
4 tbs bakers cocoa
3 cups quick-cooking oats (also called instant oats)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter (optional…extra yummy with crunchy!)

In a medium saucepan, bring butter, milk, sugar and coca to a boil. Boil for two minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and immediately add oats, vanilla and peanut butter. Stir well. Drop by 1/4 cup-fulls on to wax paper (an ice cream scoop works well).

Allow to cool completely. The cookies will get firm and lose their shine as they cool.

Store in an airtight container. Try not to eat too many…or you’ll get a tummy ache!

Cow Pattie Cookies - made in a saucepan
boiling in the saucepan


Recipe: Autumn Apple Cookies

Apple Cookies

Sometimes, the best treats are the ones that you never planned to make.

My kids have been under the weather and everyone has been feeling a little low. I wanted to make a treat to bring up the general household spirit, but a quick rummage through the kitchen (and the knowledge that tomorrow is my grocery day!) determined that I had precious little to work with. Among other things, I found a couple of apples and some nuts. Throw that together with some basic baking supplies and Autumn Apple Cookies were born.

Sweet and a little bit fluffy, they hit the spot and made everyone feel just a tiny bit better!

Autumn Apple Cookies
by Jennifer Ofenstein

3/4 cup shortening
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup whole oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup apples, peeled, cored & finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Cream shortening and sugar, add milk. Blend in eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl, mix flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to creamed mixture. Stir in vanilla. Fold in apples and nuts.

Drop by teaspoonfuls (or with a cookie scoop) onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool two minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

also posted on cut out + keep

Quilty Tie-In…

While we’re talking apples, how about an apple paper pieced block? It’s zero calories and just as fun to make!

For more patterns, visit Paper Piecing on sewhooked.

Recipe: Brown Banana Recon

Banana Bread

I’ve been making this banana bread for years. The fun part about it being that it started as a “real” recipe, but I’ve modified it so much over the years that I eventually gave up on the penciled-over version and typed up my own. My family loves this bread and I hope you’ll like it, too.

My Best Banana Bread
by Jennifer Ofenstein

1/2 c. or 1 stick of butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
3 ripe bananas (the riper, the better!)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Spray or grease one loaf pan. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Cream sugar and butter together. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. In another bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Stir into sugar/butter mixture. Stir in ripe bananas, gently mashing them into the bread mixture as you go. If using a mixer, briefly use the lowest setting, making sure not to over-mix; the bananas should be a little lumpy. Stir in nuts.

Bake for 90 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Eat warm, room temp or toasted with butter. Cool completely before storing.

also posted on the LiveJournal Community myflistcooks and cut out + keep