Soft Molasses Cookies

We are close to releasing a new pattern. Alice is working on the pattern layout  and my sister Peg has a fox on her needles right now.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This fox has been knit multiple times. I have churned out 7 hats with tails and 3 large fox toys and a slew of mini fox toys. The mini fox takes only a small amount of yarn so I played with the dimensions and shaping while knitting it.

Short rows are perfect to form the large ears that stand at attention on the fox. A fox is always alert and listening when you see them in the wild. They are ready to pounce at a moments notice. They are very cat like in this regard.

I played with traveling stitches  to define the brows and decreases to make the snout. The way the stitches line up on the face makes the eye placement so easy.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When I found a gingerbread man  button at the local Ben Franklins I knew it had to be part of my fox toy. I am sure every child knows the story of the gingerbread man that ran away from home. He could run faster than anyone except for the clever fox whom he asked to carry him across the river.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo I sewed a gingerbread man to the back of the hat so  you can button and tie the fox tail onto the hat. This way if a child doesn’t want to wear a tail on his hat he or she could take it off. Or maybe somebody would want to tie the tail onto the handlebars of their bike just like in the 50’s teens would tie a raccoon tail to a roadster and when they drove it would flap in the wind.

On the toys I sewed the cookie onto the pocket of the fox because we all know a little fox needs to have a snack in their pocket.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

while waiting for the fox pattern I thought it would be fun to share my family’s favorite gingerbread man cookie. I have tweaked this recipe a bit — the original recipe was printed on a card that accompanied a plate of cookies I bought at my son’s school bake sale.

Occasionally I will substitute sorgum for the dark molasses.If you don’t have buttermilk you can substitute yogurt or make sour milk by adding a little vinegar or lemon juice to milk. You could roll these out and cut them into squares or make drop cookies but cookie cutters are so much fun. I love old cookie cutters and find myself checking the bin of cookie cutters at St Vinnies every time I go there. There is just something about all the cute and unusual cookie cutters that draws me in. Who cares that my family is on a gluten free diet– I still add to my cookie cutter collection when I find an old one I don’t have.

SOFT MOLASSES COOKIES

cream 1 cup butter, 1 1/2 cup sugar, 1 large egg

add one cup molasses(or sorgum)

sift 4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp cloves, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp salt,  2 tsp baking soda

add flour alternately with 1/4 cup buttermilk

refrigerate to chill mixture(about an hour)

roll 1/4″ thick and cutout. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350* for 10-12 minutes.

be prepared for the wonderful spicy aromas that will waft through the kitchen as you bake these. I might have to make some of these even though I can’t eat them so I can enjoy the lovely smells. Maybe I could half the recipe and then give them to my neighbors to get the tempting cookies out of the house.

If you are a fan of spice cookies check out my TRIFECTA GINGERSNAPS for another tasty treat.

Going to town

I went into Milwaukee yesterday and delivered cookie treats to my son’s office. I had so much fun– we went out to lunch at the Comet. He told me it was one of his best hangouts when he was in high school. The things a mom does not know. I guess if he had told me when he was a teenager I might have wanted to take him there to eat and then how could it be his hangout. Or maybe this is where the boys would have lunch when they skipped 5th hour class.

But this is a terrific place for lunch. We split a Cuban sandwich which was delicious- it’s pork and homemade pickles on ciabota bread. Then had an order of brussel sprouts and twice baked cheesy potatoes on the side. The cheesy potatoes were his favorite back in the day so I had to order those. And the brussel sprouts were perfectly braised in beer.  He shared stories with me and we laughed and had a great time. All too quickly it was time to drive  back to work.

Today work is having a potluck lunch and he will share the treats. I laughed when I packed up the treats yesterday thinking how I used to make treats for homeroom when he was in school. All too quickly my children grew up. But I don’t think he minds that I still bring treats for him. I have been doing it several years now starting when he worked at the shelter. Its little things like my trip yesterday that put me in the mood for Christmas. Packing a tin with cookies and brittle and even some coal(wrapped pieces of chocolate) topped with a x-mas pig. I found this funny orange pig with purple polka dots thats has the most realistic oink when you squeeze him and put a big red bow around his neck.

Then I made some mice. You know the whole ‘not a creature was stirring not even a mouse’. Well I had bought a kit for halloween and its to make candy covered pretzels. I love chocolate sweets with some salty crunch but I never got around to making these. So I pulled out the kits and discarded the skull and bat themed molds. But there were also rats and figured I would just call them big mice. Then instead of a pretzel I decided to use peppermint sticks for the tails. It was a last minute thing I wish I had thought of it before because I would have gotten hooked candy canes instead -they would have looked so much cuter. The kit is from Wilton Celebrate With Wilton – Create Beautiful Wilton Cakes, Cookies, Cupcakes & Candy With Wilton Decorating Techniques.

Here is another close up
 What you don’t think it is Christmas-sy?

On the way home I stopped at Popeyes for chicken. We love the fried chicken and red beans and rice.

And if this wasn’t a great day look what Marty worked on while I was gone.A shelf for my room. My room is a small room on the first floor. I have the day bed shown here with lots of yarn stuffed under it. My desk and computer is here and another wall of shelves that is packed full. so now I have a new shelf   and soon there will be a couple of cork boards to pin ideas on.

And last but not least here is a knit that I finished last night. I have been test knitting  this pattern. And I must say I like the shaping and the details. I think the details really finish off a design. And this giraffe is cute and full of personality.

I didn’t hear from the winner of the owl drawing so I am I had my daughter pick a number and the winner this time is Julianne. So Julianne please contact me I have an Howell the Owl pattern for you and a hand dyed yarn kit for an Owlett.

Garam Masala Cookies

I was mailing a package last  week to my daughter and her husband in Tennessee to thank them for the help they gave me writing a pdf file for a knitting pattern I wrote.

I like to send them the goodies that they can’t get down there. Like Wisconsin CHEESE and Mom’s cookies. And when I mail a package I like to share a few with the postmaster.  Now apparently the cookies were enjoyed because I was asked to share the recipe. And now that I have a blog I can share it here.

this is a cookie that I have improvised on a lot over the years. and when my children were little I think we called them kitchen sink cookies because everything but the kitchen sink are in these cookies. As a mom when I bake cookies I like to put some extras in so we can call them healthy and in these I added milk powder. Sometimes I add flax or soy flour too.

I worked for a little while for Penzey Spice and while working there I got a jar of Garam Masala. Now this isn’t something that I had every cooked with and  I didn’t know what to do with it. But the smell of the spice reminded me of spice cookies and it turns out it is the perfect flavoring for these oatmeal cookies.

Garam Masala Cookies

1 1/2 cups of butter

1 cup brown sugar & 1/2 cup of white sugar

1/2 cup of milk powder

1 large egg

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp of salt  &  1/2 tsp of baking soda

2 tsp of garam masala

1 1/2 cups of flour

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oatmeal

1 cup walnuts chopped

1 cup cranberries(or dates or raisins)

beat together butter and sugar and powdered milk.  add egg and vanilla beat till fluffy. add spice, salt and b. soda and flour – mix well. stir in oatmeal ,walnuts and cranberries. form 1 1/2″ balls with a spoon place on cookie sheet flatten slightly. bake for about 10 min in a preheated 375* oven. take out when golden brown around the edges.

if I have orange oil I substitute it for the vanilla.

hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we do. I don’t have a picture of the cookies so instead here is a picture of the pocket pal I knit last nite.

a mini version of the pocket pal that I knit for the toy drive my LYS is hosting.