- Posts for baking tag
Confetti Cake Batter Cookies | Our Prairie Nest
Cookies This Week

While the pretzels I tried to do two weeks ago turned out to be far more work than I’d anticipated, this week’s baking was a breeze. We tried these super easy Confetti Cake Batter Cookies. This is an easy recipe that you can knock out quickly. Since you’re using a box of cake mix instead of flour, sugar, and all that jazz, it’s not messy, either.

It took 3 cookie sheets to do all the cookies and the recipe is correct that the yield is about 30. They’re soft and fluffy, like grocery store bakery cookies. This was my first time using cake mix for a cookie recipe and I’ll do it again.

These cookies are from last Monday, because yesterday we went to the zoo with a friend. And, yes, that was fun, too! Though I think the cookies lasted longer than the zoo trip. 😉

Tasty Tuesday - Not Pretzels | Our Prairie Nest
Pretzel Fail

Since I’ve implemented this baking-every-Monday idea, I’ve had approximately one success and one failure. For fans of baseball in Boston in the mid-90s, this is about the time we’d accept that the Red Sox had hit that mid-season slump from which there was no return. In fact, when we went to games, I’d sit there and say, “Look – Stonehenge!” from an old joke that goes like this:

Defensively the Red Sox are a lot like Stonehenge. They are old, they don’t move, and no one is certain why they are positioned the way they are. — Dan Shaughnessy

Where was I? Oh yeah pretzels.

I decided to try baking them and let me tell you – it’s hard! I kneaded the heck out of the dough (we don’t own a mixer) and it rose really well. But when it came to rolling it out into long ropes, the dough kept pulling back. It didn’t want to stay ropey and tying the actual shape was tricky. So I gave up, rolled all the dough back together, and made peasant bread.

On the upside, the bread came out great and went perfectly with some homemade creamy tomato soup my husband made for dinner.

Do I recommend making pretzels? Maybe.  The dough might come out less springy if you knead or longer or have a mixer to do the work. Will I try it again? No. The kids weren’t jazzed enough about them, anyway. But they’re excited about the idea of making cookies next week…

Basic Farmhouse Crackers | Our Prairie Nest
Baking Crackers

Now that school is in full swing, I’ve decided that every Monday is a baking day. There was a recipe for Basic Farmhouse Crackers n the June-July 2018 issue of Mary Jane’s Farm Magazine (also previously published in their October-November 2009 issue).

I just love, love, love this magazine. When there are so many websites and books out there to tell us how to do whatever we could possibly want to learn, it’s the aesthetic of Mary Jane’s Farm Magazine that keeps me subscribing.

When I saw this recipe, I thought it would be so much fun to bake, but not during the summer. Not when my oven would heat up the whole house and compete with the AC to keep things cool. I decided back-to-school was the time to begin. Mondays during the school year also seem like a good idea, because the kids can participate, if they want. Plus, this gives us snacks, desserts, or sides for meals for the week.

The funny thing is, I don’t care for baking. I feel like it’s a lot of work and waiting for what I want. That’s something I’m trying to get over this year, so I think having a weekly baking day will be good for me.

Yesterday, my daughter and I gave it a go – our first time baking crackers! We had so much fun. The recipe is basic and easier than you might think:

Basic Farmhouse Crackers

{as seen in Mary Jane’s Farm Magazine}

1 ½ cups flour

1 ½ tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp salt

¾ tsp baking soda

¼ cup oil

½ cup water

1 egg

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

¼ cup sesame seeds {toasted, though we didn’t toast them}

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray or wipe two baking sheets with oil.
    2. Mix first four ingredients together in medium bowl.
    3. Add oil and stir until mixture resembles coarse meal. This is where you can add spices or seasonings, if desired. We tried a very light sprinkling of rosemary, since this was an experiment, and it turned out wonderful!
    4. Add water and stir until dough forms.
    5. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, and vinegar.
    6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out very thin. Brush with egg mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut, tear into strips, or use cookie cutters to make any cracker shape you like. Transfer to baking sheets. I used a pizza cutter, which worked perfectly.
    7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes depending on thickness and size. Allow to cool on cooling rack and serve.

That’s all there is to it! The crackers are easy to make, tasty, and are the perfect side to complement a bowl of soup, especially veggie or tomato.