Thursday, February 14, 2008

Simple Sweets

Sometimes you need cookies in a hurry. Maybe you forgot the bake sale you promised to bake something for, or your child wants to learn to cook. Perhaps company is coming and it's nearly grocery day so you don't have many ingredients to work with. Don't sweat it, cooking is more art than science and there are plenty of simple, quick recipes with minimal ingredients. In fact, I'll get you started with a few recipes I pull out in emergencies. They are really good, too, so you don't have to feel guilty. Of course, immediately you'll see all the possibilities... if I just add this, or that, they'd be so much better, you'll think. Resist the urge. There are plenty of recipes with this and that in them. Enjoy the simplicity of these, they really are better just the way they are. (Yeah, I admit it, I speak from experience. I didn't resist the urge!)

Following are 3-ingredient cookies, quick butter cookies, and 3-minute fudge as a bonus (cook it for only 1 minute and it's icing). Enjoy!

Three-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
Preheat oven to 375
Beat 1 egg in a bowl with a fork.
Beat in 1 cup sugar, with a spoon.
Beat in 1 cup peanut butter.
Drop by spoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
You can probably squeeze about 2 doz. out of this recipe.

Cornmeal Butter Cookies
Preheat oven to 350
3/4 cups margarine (that's 1 1/2 sticks)
3/4 cups sugar
1 egg
1 + 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix margarine and sugar in a large bowl. Add egg, beat well. Add rest of ingredients and beat well.
Drop dough from spoon onto greased baking pan. Bake about 15 minutes until lightly brown.
Makes from 2 - 3 doz. cookies, depending on size of spoon

Three-Ingredient Scotch Shortbread Cookies
Preheat oven to 350
3/4 cups margarine or butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
(Can add 1 - 2 Tblsp. more if dough is too crumbly)
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour (NOT self-rising)
dough about 1/2" thick on light floured board.
You can cut the dough into small shapes with cookie cutters or knife, or just use biscuit cutter to do round ones.
about 1/2" apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake about 20 min. until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheet.

Three Minute Fudge (Or 1 Minute Fudge Icing)
2 Tablespoons Cocoa
4 Tablespoons butter (or margarine)
1/4 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. of salt (important!)
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix all except vanilla in saucepan, cook on high and STIR until it comes to a boil (it won't take long).
Reduce heat to medium and boil (rolling) 3 minutes
Remove from heat, add vanilla, and beat until thicker and less glossy. Pour in small buttered dish.
For ICING, boil for just 1 minute, and don't beat quite so long. Pour over cooled cake while icing is still hot.

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