Sarcoxie Creek Sweet and Savory Peanut Butter Cookies

I’m still cooking for our church ladies’ Cookie Walk.  I was looking for something with a kick like a Gossamer Spice Cookie, but I don’t have any ginger or molasses on hand.  Looking through the cupboards, I took stock of what I did have on hand and consulted a few recipes.  The result?  A cookie that is sweet enough to satisfy any sweet-tooth, but not too sweet.  The peppers give it a warm after-glow on your taste buds.  And the dough was so easy to work with…I couldn’t be happier.

Sarcoxie Creek Sweet and Savory Peanut Butter Cookies

Sarcoxie Creek Sweet & Savory Peanut Butter Cookies

Sarcoxie Creek Sweet & Savory Peanut Butter Cookies

Butter – 1 stick

Peanut Butter – 1/2 cup

Brown sugar, packed – 1/2 cup

Maple syrup – 1/3 cup

Egg yolk – 1 large

Pumpkin Pie Spice* – 1 1/2 teaspoons

Ancho chili powder – 1/8 teaspoon plus a pinch

4 Peppercorn Blend, fresh ground – 1/8 teaspoon

Flour, all-purpose – 1 1/2 cups

Salt – 1/2 teaspoon

Baking powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon

Sugar, granulated – 4 tablespoons

Cloves, ground – pinch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar and peanut butter until you have a light, fluffy consistency.  Add egg yolk, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, ground peppercorns and 1/8 teaspoon of ancho chili powder; beat well.  Mix in salt, baking powder, baking soda; finally add flour in slowly and mix on low speed just until well blended.  In a small dish, mix granulated sugar, the pinch of cloves and pinch of ancho chili powder; set aside.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar/spice mixture; place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Flatten the cookies with the bottom of a glass until they are about 1/2 inch thick.  Use remaining sugar/spice mixture to sprinkle on top of cookies before baking.  Bake for 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

*I keep Penzey’s Pumpkin Pie Spice on hand for times just like this.  It is the perfect way to add in flavor without having all of the ingredients in the cupboard (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, mace and cloves).


Frukt Soppa (Fruit Soup)

I inherited my grandmother’s cookbook and found this recipe tucked inside. This fruit soup is good served hot or cold, as a course in a meal or for dessert. Try topping it with whipped cream to make it extra delectable!

Green Apples, 2012.

Green Apples, 2012.

Frukt Soppa

Prunes – 1/2 pound

Raisins – 1 cup

Apricots, dried – 1/4 pound

Orange, fresh – 1 peeled & sliced

Lemon, fresh – 1 peeled & sliced

Tapioca – 4 tablespoons

Sugar – 1 cup

Cinnamon – 1 stick

Apples, fresh – 3 peeled & diced

Cherries, canned – 1


In cooking pan, add prunes, raisins, apricots, orange, lemon, tapioca, sugar & cinnamon.  Add enough water to cover and soak overnight.  In the morning, add diced apples to the soup; add enough water to cover again.  Cook on medium until fruit is soft.  Add canned cherries last and heat through.

Greek Cucumber & Hummus Appetizer

I love hummus.  At the first Christmas party I attended with my co-workers back in 2005 (yikes! has it really been that long?), I brought these appetizers hoping to impress them.  Unfortunately, not everyone is a fan of hummus.  Plus, after sitting a while, the cucumbers began to sweat and the hummus slid right off.  Well, it didn’t impress them, but it was memorable, so I’ve got that going for me.  I love my co-workers!

My famous (or should that be infamous) hummus appetizer.

My famous (or should that be infamous) hummus appetizer.

Chickpeas, drained & rinsed – 1 15oz can
Lemon Juice –  3 TBS
Garlic cloves, chopped –  1
Tahini  – 3 TBS
Olive Oil –  2 TBS
Cumin  – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Cucumber, large seedless – 1
Yogurt, plain or Greek – 1/4 cup
Sesame Seeds, toasted – 2 TBS


Toss the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice,
tahini, olive oil, cumin, salt and 2 TBS water
in a food processor. Process until
the mixture is smooth, scraping down
the sides with a spatula. Wash cucumber
and cut off ends so that it is about the same diameter. Run a peeler down the sides of the cucumber, skipping spaces to create a striped pattern. Slice the cucumber into 1/4 inch slices; pat dry with a paper towel. Spoon a small amount of hummus onto each cucumber slice, flattening the hummus slightly.  Place a smaller amount of yogurt on top of the hummus. Then sprinkle the whole thing with toasted sesame seeds. Plate & serve immediately.

Luella Hollingshead’s Potato Salad

This is my favorite cold potato salad EVER. The recipe was handed down from Grandma Holly (as the grandkids called her). In the photo I had baked the potatoes instead of boiling them, which was handy, but I think the text and moisture is better done as the recipe calls for. Enjoy!

potatosaladLuella Hollingshead’s Potato Salad

Potatoes, peeled 4 lbs
Eggs, boiled & diced 1 doz
Onion, chopped 1 small
Sweet Pickles, chopped 1 cup
Sugar 1 cup
Celery Seed 1 tsp
Cinnamon 1 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Pepper dash
Yellow Mustard 2 TBS
Sweet Pickle Juice 1/2 cup
Miracle Whip 2 cups


Boil the potatoes in salted water. Drain & cool. Boil eggs, peel and cool. In large bowl, combine sugar, celery seed,
cinnamon, salt, pepper, mustard, pickle juice and Miracle Whip (it will look lumpy & brownish). Add in potatoes,
mash slightly but leave larger chunks. Add in eggs, onion and pickles & mix thoroughly.

Cranberry Banana Applesauce Bread

Cranberry Banana Applesauce Bread

Cranberry Banana Applesauce Bread

3 ripe bananas

½ cup fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar

½ cup applesauce

2 eggs

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups flour


Place bananas in a large bowl and mash with an electric mixer.  Finely chop cranberries and add to bananas.  Stir in the sugar, then let mixture rest 15 minutes.  Add the eggs and applesauce; beat well. Add in the baking soda and baking powder, vanilla and salt and beat until mixed.  Gradually beat in the flour until thoroughly mixed.  Pour mixture into a 9×5-inch loaf pan coated with non-stick spray.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the loaf comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Makes 1 loaf.

Italian Tomato Sauce with Shrimp

Fresh is best!

Fresh is best!

Shrimp, peeled & deveined (1/2 lb)
Butter (3/4 stick)
Garlic cloves (2)
Wine (1/4 cup)
Tomatoes, Napoli (2-3)
Oregano (1/2 tsp)
Basil (2 tsp)
Sugar (1/8 cup)
Pasta, cooked to taste
Parmesan or Romano Cheese

Cook shrimp in 1/2 stick butter, garlic, and wine (can add artichokes if desired). Take out shrimp. To liquid, add tomatoes (1 pureed, 1 chopped), oregano, basil, sugar and 1/4 stick butter. Simmer for a few minutes. Add shrimp and simmer a few more minutes. Toss with pasta and sprinkle with cheese.