Thursday, February 3, 2011

Irene's $250,000 Cookies


Irene's $250,000 Cookies
(Also known as Neiman Marcus)

5 cups powdered oatmeal
4 cups flour
2 tsps. baking powder
2 tsps. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 ounces Hershey Bar candy, grated
3 cups chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
2 cups butter (1 pound), softened
2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

Place oatmeal in a blender or food processor and grind to a powder~measure out 5 cups and place into a large bowl. Add flour, baking powder, soda, and salt to the oatmeal powder and mix well; set aside.
Grate the chocolate bar and combine with the chocolate chips and nuts in a separate bowl, set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugars till light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well to incorporate. Add vanilla and mix. Mix in flour mixture until well blended. Stir in chocolate and nut mixture and blend well. Form into balls the size of walnuts and place 2" apart onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 6 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Makes about 112 cookies.
Cookies can be frozen. Recipe can be halved.

Irene's Amish Friendshp Starter and Bread Recipe


Renie sent me this recipe which is different from most as it allows natural yeasts to grow the starter and does not require the addition of yeast as some recipes do.
Many people get overwhelmed with Friendship Starter as they think they must continue to make bread all the time without a break and so they get frustrated and toss the starter down the drain or in the trash. This is unnecessary as this starter, like all starters, can be put in deep-freeze and saved for a few months before being pulled out and allowing to 'start' again by being fed and sitting at room temperature.
You can also use this starter in any way you would use a traditional starter and make a variety of foods from pancakes to rustic loaves of bread. Here I will post the traditional recipe that came with Reinney's list but get creative and find other recipes you can use this starter in to give you more variety.

Starter Batter

1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk

Day 1: Pour ingredients in a quart jar or in a plastic bag; cover loosely, do not refrigerate and keep on the counter in an out of the way place.
Days 2,3 & 4: Stir.
Day 5: Add 1 cup each: flour, sugar, milk; stir.
Day 6, 7 & 8: Add 1 cup each flour, sugar, milk; stir.
Day 9: Pour 1 cup out and divide into three 1/3 cup portions. Place each portion in a Ziploc container or small glass jar and give away to three friends. Use the remaining batter for your own use. Either refrigerate or feed the batter again with 1 cup each of flour, sugar, and milk and let sit a day before using or chilling for one week. Each week take out starter and set on counter and add 1 cup each flour, sugar, and milk and let ferment for 8-12 hours before use. Remove 1 cup for use or to give away and refrigerate what's left. Freeze this when you want to stop using it for awhile. When you take it out of the freezer, add one cup each flour, sugar, and milk and let set on counter for a day before use.

Amish Friendship Bread

1 cup starter batter
3 eggs
2/3 cup oil
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsps. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Combine all ingredients, blending well. Pour into well-greased and sugared loaf pan (or 3 small mini loaf pans). Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or till tests done with a toothpick. Begin to check at 45 minutes. Turn out onto wire rack to cool. Can be frozen.