Baking: 1 Recipe 3 Ways

Friday, December 9, 2011

Baking: 1 Recipe 3 Ways

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This week was our BIG BAKING WEEK! In 3 days the kids & I made 14 different kinds of cookies. Crazy, I know – but I like to have a good assortment to take to my neighbors & what-not =)
Baking Tips:
Anyone ever try to make great-grandma’s favorite recipe and become completely frustrated when it doesn’t turn out? Guess what – it’s not your fault! Believe it or not, companies change the recipe for their ingredients constantly so you are not using the same ingredients as she did so you do have to ‘tweak’  the recipe to get the same results. Don’t believe me, call Toll House, Land o Lakes and more and ask for yourself, the ‘recipes’ even change from year to year.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that not all brands / generics work well in my baking. And this year I found a couple more that I will NEVER again use in my baking- they just don’t turn out right.
  • NO Land O Lakes Butter (it always produces extra liquid in my casseroles & baked goods). I prefer Target brand!
  • NO Meijer Vanilla (it leaves a terrible after taste by itself & so do the cookies – YUCK)
  • NO Natural Peanut butter (it is too liquidy and you will need to compensate by adding about 3/4 cup more flour). I stick to non-natural Jiffy or Skippy (I haven’t had great luck with Target’s brand either – in baking only)
So what ingredients are on your don’t use list?
TIP for soft cookies: Leave your cookies in for the minimum about of time (or even a minute less) and then let them cool/harden on cookie sheet before removing. This will give you soft cookies! I think hard cookies are the #1 complaint I here; we don’t like hard cookies either =-)
Okay… back to my 1 Recipe 3 Ways
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You can make all three of these unique, fun looking cookies from one recipe! I got the inspiration for the ‘checkerboard’ cookies form my mother-in-law Retha – aren’t they cute! But my family likes soft cookies (not that there is anything wrong with crunchy ones) so I had to find a recipe that would produce the same result, but be soft. So after tweaking around I came up with this one (my secret ingredient is cream cheese – don’t worry you can’t taste it!)
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To make these cookies mix 3 TAB cocoa in 1/2 of the dough only. Roll  out each color to be about 8” x 12”. Put the rolled out rectangles on top of each other. Roll dough together leaving 12” of length. Chill 1-2 hours. Slice cookies to make pretty Pinwheels!
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To make these festive colored pinwheels divide the dough in thirds. Mix red food coloring in 1/3, green food coloring in another 1/3, and leave the last 1/3 plain. Roll  out each color to be about 8” x 12”. Put the rolled out rectangles on top of each other. Roll dough together leaving 12” of length. If you like roll loaf in sprinkles. Chill 1-2 hours. Slice cookies to make pretty Pinwheels!
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To make these cute checkerboard cookies cookies mix 3 TAB cocoa in 1/2 of the dough only. Divide each color in 4-5 pieces. Christmas Cookie RecipesRoll each piece into a 12” long rope. Stack the roped on top of each other in the pattern seen above (bottom row chocolate, plain, chocolate; next row plain, chocolate, plain, final row chocolate, plain, chocolate). Roll up in parchment paper and press slightly in all directions to get the ropes to bind together & created your rectangular loaf.  Chill 1-2 hours. Slice cookies to make pretty Checkerboard cookies!
Have you entered our Christmas Cookie Linky Yet? I’d love to see what you’ve been baking too!
(Don’t worry – the linkies are linked together! You can enter either linky and they will appear on both!)

This is just one of all recipes I've shared on this blog of our family tested recipes!


  1. Baking of my favorite, very favorite, happenings of this season... I enjoyed seeing your baked creations and the others that have linked up here. -heather

  2. These look neat, I love how you made the checkerboard cookie! 14 kinds of cookies in a week...not crazy...amazing! I would love if you would share this at Mrs Foxs Sweet Party!

  3. Hi Beth -- I called in to say hello and thanks for joining my blog, and now I feel a baking session coming on!! Thanks for sharing these YUMMY looking recipes :)

  4. We made swirly cookies this week too. I love yours and especially the checkerboard ones. My one tip is getting my baking sheets cold before putting the dough on it. It seems to help keep the shape of the cookie better.

  5. Great tips. I find I can only bake with real butter actually I never buy margarine. I think it makes everything taste bad. I am a butter purist I guess. Thanks for sharing with us at Monday Madness.

  6. I always loved baking with my kids at Christmastime! We still love baking together even though they're adults now! Thanks for the cookie tips - and it's great to see the ideas in the link up. I pinned your post to my Kids' Christmas Activities Pinterest board at

  7. WOW! 14 different cookies in 3 days! Go SUPERMOM! LOL This is a great idea. We are going to have to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing and I always enjoy your linky parties. Merry Christmas!