Wheatless Peanut Butter Cookies

We are always grateful and encouraged by the donors who support our community and its work. They are a vital part in what we do, making it possible for us to carry on from day to day. Many of them have become loyal friends who call us for prayer for their own needs. A bond of trust has developed between us that goes beyond just their material gift giving to us.

As a token expression of our thanks to them we frequently send out tins of homemade cookies baked by the Sisters. I am always amazed at how much they appreciate this little gesture on our part and am often amused to hear reports of cookies arriving at just the right time to lift recipients’ spirits sometimes totally changing the mood or atmosphere of the entire office by their arrival.

When we include our wheatless peanut butter goodies, the people who have a gluten-free diet tell us that they are moved beyond words.These are amazingly tasty and loved by one and all (whether the eaters are gluten-free or not.) If they are not already in your cookie repertoire they should be!

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Wheatless Peanut Butter Cookies
SERVINGS
12-15
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
10mins
PREP TIME
15mins
READY IN
25mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Mix peanut butter and sugar together by hand until thoroughly combined. Add egg and baking soda. Form dough into balls with your hands.
  2. Dip in sugar and place on baking tray. Use fork to flatten and make crisscross pattern (or simply roll the balls with your hands, roll them in sugar and cook - makes a different look)
  3. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or until light brown and puffy. Let stand for few minutes before removing from the baking sheet

Fluffy Banana Tea Bread

Twenty five years ago, our community collaborated on a cookbook called Recipes that Bear Repeating, which is still one of my favorite cookbooks. The recipes are tried and true, many of which have served our guests and retreatants over the years. One of our founders, Mother Cay, liked to remind us that Jesus loves to meet us in the little jobs that make up everyday life. “Life with Jesus,” she would say, “is in the mundane!” And we have found over and over again that He cares very much about the small things that concern us — what to have for dinner, how to celebrate our holidays, and so on through our daily life.

As we walk through Lent, we are reminded of these words, and pray that you also will meet Jesus in the kitchen, doing the laundry, cleaning the house or whatever your “mundane” might be.

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Fluffy Banana Tea Bread
from Recipes that Bear Repeating
SERVINGS
1loaf
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
loaf
COOK TIME
45mins
PREP TIME
15mins
READY IN
1hr

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside
  2. Cream together in a standing mixer the softened butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla and beat for 2 min. or until light and fluffy
  3. Add banana, sour cream, nuts (optional) and cream together
  4. Slowly add flour mixture slowly, one cup at a time, until just incorporated (do not overbeat or your batter will be tough)
  5. Pour into a well-greased 9x5x3" loaf pan (glass is best) or greased muffin tins.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min. or until a tooth pick comes out partially clean. Bake 10-15 min. for muffins.
  7. Let cool slightly, turn out of pan and enjoy!

Ginger Spice Cookies

My mother used to make the best molasses spice cookies. They were thin and somewhat crispy, buttery and spicy. Many years ago she gave me the recipe, but unfortunately I don’t remember what special place I put it in to save it! But I came across this recipe a couple of years ago. They don’t resemble my mom’s cookies, but I must say the flavor evokes those buttery crispy spicy cookies she used to make.

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Ginger Spice Cookies
SERVINGS
402-3 inch cookies
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
2-3 inch cookies
COOK TIME
13-15minutes
PREP TIME
5-10minutes
READY IN
2-3minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment.
  3. Mix together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Set aside.
  4. Mix butter on medium-low speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
  5. Add shortening and continue to mix until creamy and lightened in color, about a minute longer.
  6. Add 2 cups of the sugar in four additions and continue to mix for another 2 minutes.
  7. Lightly beat eggs and molasses together.
  8. Add to butter mixture and mix until blended.
  9. On low speed, add dry ingredients in three additions, mixing just until combined.
  10. Place reserved cup of sugar in a bowl.
  11. Form a 2 inch ball, roll in sugar and place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 3 inches apart.
  12. Bake cookies for 13-15 minutes, until cracked on top but still soft.
  13. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks.

Apple Cranberry Bread

Today I am looking out on a winter wonderland! We are in the midst of a blizzard that has dumped an amazing amount of snow as far as the eye can see. One of those days to sit by the fire with a hot cup of tea and a slice of warm Apple cranberry bread.

We still have apples in the refrigerator from our fall harvest which are in surprisingly good shape – the one I munched on while making this bread wasn’t fresh from the tree, but still crisp and sweet. We also were given a large quantity of cranberries from a local bog, so it seemed like a good use of the two to put them together in a quick bread. We are always looking for different morning snack ideas to serve at our community work time break.  I tried a couple of different recipes and actually left the peels on the Apple’s to give the breads a little more texture. Here is one variety that I thought the most flavorful and moist.

 

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Apple Cranberry Bread
SERVINGS
1loaf
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
loaf
COOK TIME
45-55minutes
PREP TIME
READY IN
10minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degree F. Grease bottom only of an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan
  2. In large bowl, mix 3/4 cup sugar, the oil and egg.
  3. Stir in apple, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir in cranberries.
  4. Spoon batter into pan.
  5. In small bowl, mix 1 Tablespoon sugar and the cinnamon; sprinkle over batter.
  6. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack before slicing.
Optional Glaze
  1. For glaze, combine confectioners sugar and half and half or milk, drizzle over bread.

White Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Cookie

Today was a beautiful day – it was warm and smelled like spring – do you know what I mean? The daffodils in the orchard had opened up, along with the grape hyacinths. Lots of buds on the apple, peach, pear, plum and nectarine trees. I  just love all that new life waiting to burst forth!

There is nothing like a good cookie, don’t you agree? We serve a lot of them here – for tours and receptions, coffee hours, lunch desserts, to name a few; so I have found the recipes that work well in quantity and that I really like. And actually a lot of other people really like them, too. I have a weakness for white chocolate. I love other chocolate, too, but I really like white chocolate – and yes I know it’s not really even chocolate, but I do really like it!  Anyway, I thought that it would be a great companion to cranberries – which are so Cape Cod – and pecans, so I started experimenting with recipes that would stand up to that threesome. Here is the result:
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White Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Cookie
SERVINGS
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
15mins.
PREP TIME
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine sugars, butter, shortening, salt, baking soda; cream together.
  2. Add eggs slowly.
  3. Add flour.
  4. Mix until just combined; do not over mix.
  5. Add white chocolate chips, cranberries and nuts, mix just enough to combine.
  6. Drop by large tablespoonfuls ( I use a #40 ice cream scoop) onto a parchment lined or greased pan.
  7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown on the edges.

Apple Streusel Pumpkin Muffins

Friday morning is muffin day at the convent.  Walking back from church to the refectory for breakfast I try to guess what kind it will be today. Our muffin baking sisters excel at so many varieties it is hard to predict which type will be next. Last week they surprised us with the best banana nut muffins I have ever tasted. We haven’t had their poppy seed or those wholesome raisin bran ones in a while, both of which are big favorites so we could be having one of those today. But as I open the convent door and get a whiff of fragrant spices I know it is neither of the above. I’ll have to guess again!

We like to do a lot of seasonal decorating in and around the convent, mainly using what is produced on our grounds and in our gardens. Oktoberfest and Thanksgiving always feature an abundance of pumpkins — but now that fall is behind us and it’s decor has been remembered, we have started decorating for Advent. What is going to happen to the leftover pumpkins, many of which were still very robust and healthy? They have been sitting in the back stairwell of the convent kitchen waiting there to find out. Well yesterday some kitchen sisters chopped, cooked and mashed them up to be frozen for future use.
Aha!  Is that what I smell?  Have these pumpkins been turned into a heart warming breakfast for us this morning? Yes!  Indeed they have. Our resourceful muffin baking sisters have just created a prize winner.  Let’s name it “The Spicy Pumpkin Streusel Muffin” — absolutely delicious!  Those chubby pumpkins could not have had a happier ending.Apple Streusel Pumpkin Muffins
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Apple Streusel Pumpkin Muffins
SERVINGS
12muffins
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
muffins
COOK TIME
PREP TIME
READY IN
25 - 30mins.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 375 degrees. Grease muffin tins or line with paper.
  2. In a bowl combine flour, sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Cut in butter; mix until coarse and crumbly.
  4. Set aside.In another bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
  5. Make a well in the center.
  6. In another bowl combine eggs, pumpkin and oil; stir just until blended.
  7. Add apples and blend well.
  8. Add to dry ingredients; stirring just until moist.
  9. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling three-quarters full.
  10. Sprinkle with topping.Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Makes about one dozen.