Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies

For the life of me, I can’t make brownies – from scratch or even with a mix!  The edges are dry and hard.  The center of the pan is gooey.  I’d given up until I came across this recipe.  As with all cookies, I bake the minimum time and let them finish cooking on the cookie sheet a couple minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°.
1 ¼ cup butter flavored Crisco001
2 cups white granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cup chocolate chips (12 oz.)

Cream shortening and sugar together until fluffy. Stir in vanilla; then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.

Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. [or put the dry ingredients directly in the mixing bowl and you have one less bowl to wash.] Add to creamed mixture. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonfuls about 2” apart on cookie sheet. Don’t 004flatten.

Bake 8 to 9 minutes in 350° oven.

Makes a soft, brownie-like cookie.

Crusty Pizza Dough – Thick & Chewy

*Original recipe courtesy of Instructions and Recipes for your Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, 9709785 rev.D

Ready to prebake for 3 minutes
Ready to prebake for 3 minutes

1 package active dry yeast
(2 ¼ teaspoons) room temperature
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (105° F to 115° F)
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 ½ to 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.  Let rest 5-10 minutes to allow the yeast bloom.  [Bloomed yeast looks frothy.]  Add salt, olive oil and 2 ½ cups flour.  Mix with dough hook on speed 2 about a minute.

Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, and mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes.  Knead on speed 2 about 2 minutes longer.

Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Cover with lightweight dish towel.  Let rise in warm place free from draft about an hour or until doubled in bulk.  (I set the oven on the lowest setting a few minutes to warm up, then turn off & put dough in.)  Check after 45 minutes if using rapid rising yeast.

Punch dough down.

Brush large pizza pan with shortening. Press dough across bottom of pan, forming a collar around edge to hold toppings.  [Dough can be divided evenly between two smaller pans.  Freeze one pan after prebaking for a quick pizza at another time.]

Prebake crust for 3 minutes.  Add toppings as desired.  Bake at 450° for 15 to 20 minutes.  (Check after 12 minutes.)

Crust after prebaking
Crust after prebaking

Granny’s Changes
For stuffed crust, cut cheese sticks in half and place around perimeter, covering with the excess dough around the edges.

Use leftover spaghetti sauce in place of tomato sauce.

Cut ham lunchmeat in half and use as a topping, too.

Italian Flavored Crust
Add with first flour addition,
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon basil
2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic


Okay.  I’ve tried everything to get the Amazon links to line up.  Arrgg.  I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, so you have to scroll down to see them.




Spicy/Sweet Meatballs

This is another quick and easy recipe. When I first looked at it, I saw cranberry jell and went yuck.  The chili sauce caught my attention, so I gave it a try.  It’s a keeper.  I waited until after my grandson said he liked them before I told him what was in it.  (He’s not a fan of cranberry jell either.)  I put my little scoop to use on these to make mini-meatballs that fit perfectly on a cracker. We like these with garlic Ritz crackers and cheddar slices.

Out of oven, ready for saucepan
Out of oven, ready for saucepan

2 lbs. lean hamburger
1 cup dried bread crumbs
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup catsup

Spicy/Sweet Meatballs
Spicy/Sweet Meatballs

1 can jellied cranberry sauce (16 oz.)
1 bottle chili sauce (12 oz.)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix together hamburger, bread crumbs, eggs, soy sauce, pepper, garlic powder and catsup.  Form into small balls and bake on rack on cookies sheet for 30 minutes.

In saucepan over low heat, combine cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar and lemon juice.  Simmer and stir until smooth.  Add meatballs and simmer for 1 hour or put meatballs on plate and pour warm sauce over them.

Serve fresh or freeze these on a cookie sheet.  When frozen, put in bag for quick meatballs anytime.  I’m a huge fan of making your own frozen meals.

1 lb. hamburger
½ cup dried bread crumbs
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon soy sauce
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons catsup

Make all of sauce recipe and freeze half for next time.

Canning jars are your friend, even if you don’t can…

After spending hundreds of dollars throughout the years on Rubbermaid, Gladware and Tupperware, it finally dawned on me to use canning jars for storing and freezing foods.   I’m basically lazy, so I find the most efficient way to do everything.  I like to cook once and eat many times. I make a big pot, 6-8 qts. of chili or soup, then freeze the rest.  If it’s been one of those days, I take out a pint or two of soup and make cornbread or baking powder biscuits for a quick and easy supper. 

My favorite size for freezing is the wide mouth pint.  This size thaws quickly in the microwave and is about right to allow a pint per person.  I freeze broth, soup and cowboy beans.  Be sure to leave at least 1″ head space to allow for expansion when freezing.  A while back, I worked too far away to eat lunch at home.  I used the smaller 8 oz. size for a perfect lunch portion.  The soup would be pretty well thawed by lunchtime, so heating in the microwave was a breeze.  Be sure to remove the cap and band before nuking. 

I use the half gallon size to store dry beans, rice, noodles, peanuts, everything else.  My Foodsaver has the attachment that vacuum seals the canning jars.  It’s quick and easy, but my Foodsaver is a subject for another day.  

I use the regular mouth pint size for drinking glasses. I bought some of the blue ones a couple years ago.  Last year green was the color.  This year, I’ve seen purple, too.  I bought the lid/straw sets, too.  They make an instant skippy cup for the young ones you don’t quite trust with an open glass and ideal for the patio since they keep the flies out. Check out the links below to get yours.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

This easy recipe turns two chicken breasts into enough to feed a family of four.  I like it because you can use raw chicken breasts or leftover chicken.  It’s really good if you have leftover grilled chicken, too.  It’s mild enough the kids will eat it, yet has enough flavor to satisfy the adults, too.  If you want it hotter, just add jalapeños to the meat while you’re cooking it.  My secret ingredient is a splash or two of mesquite smoke flavoring added to the chicken.  For just my husband and I, I divide this into two square baking pans and freeze one.  Be sure to let it thaw in the frig the day you plan on baking it.  If you put it directly in the oven from the freezer, you’d probably end up with petrified tortillas on the bottom.  


Enhilada Filling
Enhilada Filling

1      10.75 oz can cream of chicken soup
16    oz sour cream
¼    teaspoon cumin
¼    teaspoon cilantro leaf
½    teaspoon garlic, minced
Dash  cayenne pepper
2      tablespoons olive oil
2      chicken breasts, chopped in ¼” – ½” cubes
1      medium onion, chopped

1      tablespoon mesquite liquid smoke
½    tablespoon chili powder

Ready to Roll
Ready to Roll

1      teaspoon garlic, minced
½    teaspoon cilantro leaf
¼    teaspoon cumin
¼    teaspoon salt
1      4 oz can green chili peppers,
chopped or diced
10     soft taco size flour tortillas
10     cheddar cheese slices or about 2½ cups shredded cheddar
½    cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Ready to Sprinkle with Cheese
Ready to Sprinkle with Cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine 1st six  ingredients in 1 qt. bowl.  Set aside.
Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat.  Add chicken.  Saute a few minutes.  Add onion, chili powder, garlic, cilantro, cumin and salt.  Continue cooking until onion is tender and chicken is cooked.  Add green chilis.  Cook and stir until heated through.

Lightly grease the baking pan.  Thinly spread about ½ cup of the soup mixture in 13x9x2 baking pan.  Place cheese slices or shredded cheese on tortillas.  Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the meat mixture on each tortilla.  Roll up tortillas and place, seam-side down, in the baking dish.  Spoon remaining soup mixture on top and sprinkle with ½ cup shredded cheese.

Cover with tin foil.  Bake 30 minutes.  Remove foil, continue baking until bubbly and lightly browned.

Shhhh! I must confess…

Granny JJI’m having an affair and my husband doesn’t mind.  My love is medium stature, quiet, classy with a little bling…it’s my KitchenAid mixer.  I absolutely love it!  So hard to ignore it’s subtle presence as it beckons me to use it.  Although it’s got some age (as do I), it still lives on my countertop as it has since the first day I welcomed it into my home.

Saturdays are my baking days.  I’m disgusted with the prepackaged baked goods available. When I read the ingredients and can’t even pronounce them, it can’t be good for my family.  I’d read somewhere that margarine is one chemical molecule away from plastic.  That sent me back to using what I know – butter, olive oil, lard, coconut oil, and occasionally butter-flavored Crisco.  Okay, Crisco probably isn’t good for you either, but it makes the best cookies.  Yum. Yum.  So yesterday, I made Honey Rolls and Chocolate Chip Cookies. 

I’m not a fan of hard, thin cookies. I like mine plump. This one is delectable – soft on the inside, slightly crisp edges. My mouth waters as I type about it. Better head to the kitchen and grab a few.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/3 cups butter-flavored Crisco
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon backing soda
2 cups chocolate chips or 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped walnuts or 1 cup white chocolate chips and 1 cup Craisins.

Preheat oven to 375°.  Cream together shortening with brown and white sugars until fluffy.  Mix in vanilla; then add eggs, one at a time, beating slightly after each addition.  Do not over beat.

Add flour, salt and baking soda to the creamed mixture. [If you want, combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl first. I don’t waste my time with this step. I sprinkle the salt and baking soda, then dump the flour and call it good.] Mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by teaspoonfuls about 2” apart on non-stick baking sheet. [I actually use a small scoop instead of spoons.] Flatten slightly with a fork.

Bake in 375° oven for 7 minutes.  Remove cookie sheet from oven and let the cookies finish on the sheet until it’s cool.  Transfer cookies to racks to finish cooling.


Granny JJI’m new to this blogging thing and here’s how it came about…I’m over 50 and one day when I was feeling particularly tired, I said to my 14 year-old grandson, “I’m getting old, aren’t I?”  Without missing a beat, he said, “You’re not old.  My Granny rocks!”  Well, that planted the seed and here I am.

My favorite quote is from Earl Nightingale, “Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it.  The time will pass anyway.”   I was raised in a time where my dream was to get married, be happy and have a nice family.  That was it.  I never thought about much more than that.  Now, I let my mind wander to the possibilities and it’s like, yeah.  I can do this.

Another quote I really like came from my sister-in-law, Barbie.  She said, “I don’t like to start on yesterday tomorrow.”   Starting on yesterday tomorrow applies to so many things.  Every day, do as much as you can whether at work or on your own personal goals.  If I’ve got something to do, I get it done.  It’s really simple.  Do it now; then you don’t have to worry about finding time to do it later.

Both are powerful statements I live by daily.

At work, if your boss needs something by say 3:00 pm.  Respond as quickly as you can.  Boom!  It’s off your plate and you can continue on working.  I often make the mistake of thinking that everyone thinks like me.  When I ask my grandson to take out the trash.  It means DO IT NOW.  If I wanted it done later, I’d ask later.  Simple, huh?

Around the house, avoiding yesterday tomorrow may mean doing the dishes at night instead of letting them pile up in the sink to do tomorrow.  Really, what’s it take?  All of fifteen minutes to wash and dry or maybe five minutes to load the dishwasher?  Come on folks, no excuses.

As I’ve grown older, I realized everyone has something to contribute to the younger generations, regardless of whether they’re 50 or 90.  There are so many things younger people don’t know.  This is my way of sharing the knowledge I’ve gained and I hope you find it useful.

©2016, My Granny Rocks | Janette Thornton. All rights reserved.