Most women want jewelry as a gift. My family knows I am not like most women. Instead of drooling over a pair of diamond earrings, I'm coveting my neighbor's Cuisinart. So, when I got a new Kitchen Aid stand mixer for Christmas I was so excited! I felt like a kid who got a new bike (or an ipad). I had an old hand-me-down stand mixer (not a Kitchen Aid) that I'd had for many years. But, when I got this shiny new one, I couldn't wait to start using it! I went on a baking rampage. Anything I could think of. Some recipes were good, some not-so-good. Here are the good ones. Not surprisingly, they are classics. Retro desserts never go out of style.
OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated (white) sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cup oats
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugars together until smooth. (if you don't have a stand mixer you can use a hand mixer) Add egg and vanilla. Beat well, until fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. (you don't have to sift them; I just stir them together with a whisk) Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture just until blended. Mix in oats and raisins.
Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet a few inches apart. I use a small scoop so they are all roughly the same size.
Bake at 325 degrees for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
These are so good! Chewy on the inside with a tiny bit of crunch around the edges. A bit of spice from the cinnamon and nutmeg. Yum! Plus, I feel healthier when I eat these (Well, they have oatmeal and raisins in them, after all!)
Another retro dessert that is one of my all-time favorites is Banana Nut Bread. This recipe came from a cook book that belonged to my Maw Maw Fannie. I've tinkered with it a bit over the years and found that this version is moist and delicious. I make this when I have a few bananas that are getting black and soft. They may look bad, but that's when they are the sweetest. Perfect for baking!
BANANA NUT BREAD
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil (or vegetable oil)
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 large bananas, mashed (or 3 small ones)
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray. (grease it well) Cream together sugar, oil and eggs until fluffy. (use a mixer for this) In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt and soda. Set aside. Mix the vanilla into the milk. Set aside. Add the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the creamed mixture. Stir until combined. Gently stir in bananas and nuts. Bake at 350 degrees in greased loaf pan for one hour.
Turn out of pan and cool on a rack.
This bread smells fantastic and tastes just as good. It's great with coffee in the morning or as a dessert. Makes a great gift, too. And again, I feel healthy when I eat this. (bananas are a fruit, ya know. don't judge me.)
So, give these retro recipes a try. Hopefully you'll love them as much as I do. (they are health food after all, sort of)