Tag Archives: Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book

Sparkling Snickerdoodles

Another recipe from my old Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book, it is probably much like one you have used. I made only two changes: I used all butter instead of the recommended “part” and I used decorating sugar instead of granulated for a little more sparkle and that interesting crunch the sugar crystals give.

When mixing the cinnamon with decorating sugar, you will find that most of the cinnamon falls to the bottom of the dish, so you will use much more of the sugar than in a typical snickerdoodle recipe. Once your cinnamon coats each crystal, the remaining falls to the bottom. After you have coated many of your cookies, you need to add more sugar and stir it into the remaining cinnamon. I began with about 1/2 cup decorating sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Then I added another 1/4 cup of the sugar when it was depleted.

I’m sure I rolled my balls of dough too large, because the recipe says it makes 5 dozen 2″ cookies, and I got 3 dozen 3-4″ cookies. I have no idea what the suggested  size of a small walnut is, but I would guess mine were more like golf balls. Frankly, I like the larger cookies, because you get more of the chewy center.

Sparkling Snickerdoodles

  • Servings: 3 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 400°; line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt (I used 1/2 teaspoon)
  • For coating: 1/2-3/4 cup crystal decorating sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Preparation
  1. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs until well combined.
  2. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until well combined.
  3. Roll the dough into balls, maybe slightly smaller than a golf ball. Tip: roll all the dough into balls before rolling in sugar-cinnamon mixture for a neater process.
  4. Stir together the decorating sugar and cinnamon until the sugar is coated with cinnamon.
  5. Roll each cookie in the sugar-cinnamon mixture and place on cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart, to allow for the cookies to spread out.
  6. Bake for about 8-10 minutes until lightly browned and crackled. Remove to cooling racks to cool.

I saved my remaining sugar-cinnamon mixture to sprinkle on muffins and coffee cakes—just make sure there aren’t any little pieces of unbaked cookie dough in it.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Oatmeal Cranberry Walnut Muffins

This is a merging of two recipes in my old Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book (1961): “Cranberry-Orange Muffins” (p. 88) and “Oatmeal Muffins” (p. 90). The recipes are so similar in amounts of ingredients, that it didn’t take much to combine them. The only big decision I had to make was whether to use white or brown sugar, so I compromised and used half of each. Oatmeal takes the place of half the flour in the cranberry muffins, a formula you can use to add oatmeal to a variety of muffin recipes.

Oatmeal Cranberry Walnut Muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 400°; line a muffin pan with paper liners or butter the cups.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup almond milk (or any kind of milk, even buttermilk)
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries (thawed, if frozen)
  • 1/2 cup shelled walnuts
  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • orange zest from one large orange
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Preparation
  1. Mix oats and milk; let soak for about 20 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Add cranberries and walnuts to the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 10 times until the ingredients are roughly chopped. Don’t worry about uniformity.
  3. Cream butter, sugars, and egg in the bowl of a mixer until creamy. Mix in orange zest.
  4. Add dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt) and oat/milk mixture. Carefully mix on low speed until combined.
  5. Stir in cranberry/walnut mixture.
  6. Fill muffin cups at least 2/3 full.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove muffins to rack to cool.

What I Don’t Know About Brownies. . . .

What I don’t know or understand about brownies could fill a cookbook. I have no interest in eating one, and I have never received high marks for the ones I’ve made. Looking at a brief comparison of four recipes shows one reason I might be excused for my incompetence:

Brownies

People can’t even agree on the ratio of butter to flour, even when two of the recipes come from the same chef. And moving between those baked in 8″ square or 9″ x 13″ pans, you still can’t figure out how or why the ratios change.

Probably, you just found your favorite recipe once and stuck to it. Me? I have just avoided making brownies. I do have one post on this site that reviews a packaged brownie mix that turned out very well, but I haven’t made any from scratch since then. So, I can’t answer why I’m putting myself through the torture of making brownies from scratch, again, but here I am. The good news is that my husband will eat them even if he thinks they aren’t premium.

To save myself the further headache of trying to create a new recipe from these 4, I’m just going to take the first recipe in the list and double it for a 9″ x 13″ pan, with a few changes:

  • I bought semi-sweet instead of unsweetened chocolate, mostly because I don’t think straight when I buy chocolate
  • I’m leaving out the baking powder—I don’t like it in banana bread, so why would I use it here?
  • Most of the recipes use pecans, but I’m using walnuts
  • And, of course, I added salt

Surprisingly, these brownies were dubbed “Quite a brownie—chewy, fudgy, and with frosting.” Maybe I should save this recipe.

Fudgy Frosted Brownies

  • Servings: 24 2-inch brownies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • The brownies are adapted from The Martha Stewart Cookbook (1995) “Iced Brownies.”
  • The frosting is from Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book (1961) “Creamy Cocoa Icing.”

Preheat oven to 350°; butter a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. I used a dark pan and the edges were pretty dark, but not burned. Stewart suggests a glass dish.

Brownies

2 sticks butter

4 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate

2 cups sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups walnuts, barely chopped

  1. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler, then set aside.
  2. In large bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
  3. Pour in butter and chocolate and mix until combined. I used a hand mixer.
  4. Continue mixing, adding eggs and vanilla, until well combined. It makes a glossy batter.
  5. Stir in nuts.
  6. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick in the center.
  7. Cool in pan, then frost and cut in 24 or more squares.

Creamy Cocoa Icing

2 2/3 cups confectioners sugar (I did not sift mine and it turned out fine)

1/3 cup cocoa

1/3 cup soft butter

4-5 tablespoons milk

Mix all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. I used a large spoon, but I’m sure a mixer would be quicker.

Links to the compared recipes from the web:

Best Ever Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate Brownies

Fudge-Topped Brownies

Martha Stewart’s “Iced Brownies” (not available online, see image below)

IMG_5656

 

Peanut Butter Pecan Cookies

With the addition of coconut oil as the shortening, the cookies have a slight coconut flavor, but they retain the classic texture of a peanut butter cookie—a little sandy, a little crisp, a little chewy. The chopped pecans are a bonus.

I started with the old Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book (1961) recipe for “Peanut Butter Cookies” (p. 206) and made just a few changes, adding the pecans and the semi-solid extra-virgin coconut oil for the shortening. The recipe says it makes 3 dozen cookies, but I only got 2 dozen, so I guess I rolled the balls a little too large, but the cookies seem the right size to me. I thought I was following the “size of large walnuts” direction, but when was the last time I saw  a walnut in a shell?

Peanut Butter Pecan Cookies

  • Servings: 2-3 dozen small cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 375°; line cookie sheets with parchment.

1/2 cup each:

  • extra virgin coconut oil
  • peanut butter
  • granulated sugar
  • brown sugar, packed

1 egg

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Beat the coconut oil, peanut butter, sugars, and egg until creamy.
  2. Stir in the pecans and dry ingredients until well combined.
  3. Form the dough into balls of 1-1 1/2″ in diameter. I found this crumbly but moist dough forms better by squeezing and shaping with the fingers than by rolling. Place the balls on a cookie sheet, then press to flatten with the tines of a fork or the bottom of a glass or think of something creative.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes. I generally err on the side of underbaking cookies, but they seemed to be browned enough after 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.