Frosted Rhubarb Cookies

Ah, rhubarb.  Pretty much a summer staple around here.  When most people think of rhubarb, they automatically think of strawberries.  Not me.  I like my rhubarb recipes sans strawberries.  Don't get me wrong; I like a good strawberry rhubarb pie, but it's not a necessity.

As I've mentioned before, once a month I make cookies for my father.  Well, they're specifically for him, but my mother enjoys the occasional cookie as well.  Good for me, because I get her feedback as well.  Most of the cookies I make for him are a "first time" recipe and I want to know if it's a keeper or not.

This cookie is a keeper.

I wish I would have taken a picture.  Alas, laziness prevailed and I have no photographic proof of these delightful cookies.

You're just going to have to make your own to see how yummy they look.  And smell.  And taste...

A side note:  I added about 1/4 cup of ground flax seed.  Gotta sneak the good stuff into Dad's monthly cookies for the folks whether they like it or not...I'm talkin' to you, MOM!

1 c butter
1 1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs
3 c flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c rhubarb, chopped
3/4 c coconut

3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp butter, softened
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly spray.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar.  Beat in the eggs.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Add to the creamed mixture.  Stir in rhubarb and coconut.  Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart.  Bake 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the frosting, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla.  Gradually add confectioners sugar until smooth.  Spread over cooled cookies.  Store cookies in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pretzel Bars

Not following a recipe finally bit me in the butt.  That's not to say these bars aren't fantastic, but they're not what I anticipated they'd be. If you aren't a dunce like I am, and don't leave out key ingredients, these will be just great.

I used all of my chocolate chips a few weeks ago, but I figured I could substitute.  Uh, hello?  Chocolate chip cookie pretzel bars?  What I did have was squares of white baker's chocolate that I had bought when I made the spaghetti and meatball cake for my dad's birthday.  I thought I'd shave some of the white chocolate into the batter and call it good.  At the end of the day, you'd never know it was even in there.  Before tossing it into the oven, I thought, "Ooh!  I'll stir in some of the chocolate peanut butter I have!  That'll make up for not having chocolate chips!"  It didn't.  Probably because I only had about a half of a cup left in the jar.

Please don't think this is something you should pass up.  I just left out a key ingredient.  Lesson learned.  You can find the original recipe with a picture of what it's supposed to look like here.

Cheesy Corn Dog Muffins

When I was a kid, my mom used to buy us corn dogs from the Schwans truck every summer.  Hot, crunchy, slightly greasy outside, soft inside, salty hot dog...I loved them.  And meat on a stick?  What kid doesn't think that's a good idea?  I haven't had a corn dog in many many years, so when I came across this recipe, I first thought of those Schwans corn dogs, then of how my kids would enjoy these.

As with every recipe I make, I do try to incorporate some healthier ingredients without changing the overall idea of the recipe.  So instead of regular hot dogs (which I avoid feeding the kids as much as I can), I used the venison hot dogs my father-in-law had made from one of the deer he shot this past hunting season.  They are really good, and really lean, as deer are not a highly fatty animal.

When these muffins came out of the oven, my 2-year-old son took one look at them and said, " dog!" (which in his words came out "hot dawg")  He inhaled his once it was just barely cool enough to eat, and even my picky daughter gave it her approval.

They really do taste like a corn dog!

1 1/2 c flour (I used white whole wheat)
3 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp sugar
3/4 c cornmeal
2 eggs
1 c buttermilk*
1/4 c butter, melted
4 hot dogs, sliced in half lengthwise and cut small
1 c shredded cheese (I used colby jack)

Preheat oven to 400.  Lightly spray 12-muffin tin (or 24 mini muffin, which is what I used).

In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.  Add cornmeal, mix well.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs, then stir in the buttermilk* and melted butter.  Stir liquid mixture into the dry mixture, stirring just until blended.  Add cheese and hot dogs.  Mix well.

Using a large ice cream scoop, evenly fill the cups.  They will expand!

Bake 18-20 minutes (or 15 minutes for minis) or until lightly browned.  Serve hot.

*If you do not have buttermilk, you can do this:  Place 1 Tbsp vinegar into a measuring cup.  Add just enough milk to reach the 1 cup mark.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Voila.  Buttermilk substitution.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter & Honey Bars

Today I was cleaning up all of the junk I have accumulated on my desk.  It was a lot.  A lot.  I'm a notorious pack rat (don't worry, you won't see me on an episode of "Hoarders").  When I came across a pile of recipes, I wasn't surprised.  Some were torn out of magazines, some were still in magazines, some were printed off the computer, and others were handwritten.  This recipe was one of the handwritten ones. Like most of my recipes, this is a no fuss, small mess, quick and easy bar recipe that uses mostly ingredients you'd have on hand.  I have tweeked it to my (and my family's) liking.  For example, I added the peanut butter and replaced the 1/2 cup of nuts with the seeds.

I just took it out of the oven and it's not yet cool enough to cut, but I'm dying to dive in.  I can't wait for my daughter to get home from school...I hope she loves them.  I'm no nutritionist, but I think as far as after-school-snacks/cookies/bars go, it's fairly healthful.  I can't see how she won't like them, they smell heavenly.  Keep your fingers crossed...

Ready to go into the oven!

Couldn't resist, had to take a bite.
I drizzled with honey for aesthetic purposes...then I had to eat it.  Darn!

2 c oats
1 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp apple pie spice
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c milk
1/4 c honey
1/2 c chunky applesauce
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c dried fruit (I used dried apple)
1 c raisins
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp flax seeds
3 Tbsp natural peanut butter (I used Naturally More)

Preheat oven to 375.

Place first 6 ingredients in a bowl, mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix the milk, applesauce, egg, honey and vanilla.

Combine the two mixtures.  Stir in the fruit and seeds.  Spread into a sprayed 11 x 7 baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and golden.  Cool completely before cutting.