Charlotte's Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know I should be in the mood for pumpkin & apple pie and all of the other yummy Fall foods, but lately I keep thinking about Christmas cookies. I have a weakness for cookies. I can resist the Halloween candy...we have loads of it in our pantry...it doesn't even entice me. But cookies, no chance.

I couldn't resist the urge and longer and decided to make my mom's chocolate chip cookies. Everyone has a chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I promise it doesn't compare to this one. My mom used to have neighbors "pop" over to "borrow milk" so they could take a couple home. She has people taking to her about her cookies a decade after they ate them...it's true.

When I was in 5th grade I used to make these cookies and then go door to door in the neighborhood trying to sell them and make some money. Who could say no to a little girl with cookies?! It worked.

Charlotte's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 lb. softened butter
4 eggs
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups sugar
1 Tbs. vanilla
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups oats
6 cups flour
12. oz. chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter, eggs, sugars and vanilla. I know it seems like a lot of each of the ingredients, but don't skimp! My mom used to laugh because people would ask for the recipe after tasting hers and then come back and tell her how different their cookies tasted. After prying, it would always come out that they were trying to skimp and cut-back on the ingredients. Don't do it.

Next, add the soda, oats, flour, chocolate chips and nuts. Drop on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes depending on your oven. I like mine to be a little under-cooked, so I always bake for 12 minutes. If you let them sit on the sheet for a couple minutes they always stiffen up!

Doesn't the dough look good! That can be a problem too...

Enjoy and think of all the great cookies coming next month!!


Apple Bars

I love the fall time when you can start baking with all of the apples and pumpkins! It is not good though, because I love to eat just as much as I love to bake.
I found this recipe so I could make something new with all of the apples we got at "Apple Hill" here in Cali. And oh my... it is perfect. In fact, it is so yummy I think I polished off about 3/4 of it myself. No exaggeration.

Apple Bars

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup peeled and chopped apple
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
2 Tbs. white sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
** Caramel ice-cream topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the butter, and sugars until smooth. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. It should look nice and smooth, like this...

Blend in the flour mixture into the eggs and butter until just combined. Stir in the apples and walnuts. This is the mixture right before I put in the apples - you can see how much thicker the batter is now.

Spread the mixture evenly into the greased pan. In a little bowl, stir together the remaining cinnamon and sugar & then sprinkle over the bars. Doesn't it already look delicious!

Bake for 30 minutes or until the bars spring back when touched. Cool in the pan and then cut into bars. For an extra little sweet I ran some caramel ice-cream topping over the top of mine! Wow, sooo good! I have been wanting to make them again, but am positive my will power will leave me again!


Hawaiian Haystacks

This dinner has been one of my favorites since I was a little girl. Now my children love it just as much! It is a great Sunday dinner- not too hard to prepare, but tastes great! I love it because there is no need for any side dishes, everything is mixed together. It is great for dinner parties also because every plate is custom made & everyone gets exactly what they want!

Hawaiian Haystacks

Layer the following ingredients as you choose...

Steamed rice
Shredded cooked chicken
Cheese, grated
Curry Gravy Sauce (recipe below)
Tomato, sliced
Celery, chopped
Green onion, chopped
Slivered almonds
Crushed pineapple, drained
Shredded coconut
Chinese noodles
Fresh ground pepper

The order of the ingredients is important. Make sure to put the gravy on after the chicken and cheese! It makes the cheese melt and it allows the rest of the ingredients to not get soggy.

Curry gravy sauce

3 cups of chicken broth (you can save this from the chicken you cooked & shredded!)
1 tsp. curry
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup flour

Combine all the ingredients. Wisk until well blended and heat through.