Joanne Fluke’s Gingerbread Cookies

Joanne Fluke's Gingerbread Men

Joanne Fluke’s Gingerbread Men

Joanne Fluke’s Gingerbread Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) softened, salted butter 

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup hot strong coffee

2/3 cup dark molasses

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2  1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. cinnamon

4 3/4 cups flour (DON’T SIFT IT — pack it down in the cup when you measure it)

In a large bowl, mix the softened butter with the white sugar.

Add the half-cup of hot strong coffee and then stir in the dark molasses.

Mix in the baking soda, salt, salt, ground ginger, ground cloves and cinnamon.  Stir well.

Add the flour in half-cup increments, mixing after each addition.  Give everything a final stir and then cover your bowl with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, rack in the middle position.

Divide the dough into four parts for ease in rolling.  Roll out the first part of the dough on a floured board.  If you plan to use gingerbread men or reindeer-shaped cookie cutters, roll your dough out to 1/4 inch thick. (Arms and legs tend to snap off when you frost them if they’re rolled too thin.)  Otherwise roll your dough out to 1/8 inch thick.

Dip the cookie cutters in flour and cut out cookies, getting as many as you can from the the sheet of dough.  Use a metal spatula to remove the cookies from the rest of dough and place them on an UNGREASED cookie sheet.  Leave at least an inch and a half between cookies.

Once you’ve cut out your cookies, there will be leftover dough.  You can gather it into a ball, re-flour the board, and re-roll it.  (I’ve done this up to 3 times — the 4th time the dough got too stiff to roll well.)

If you want to use colored sugar or sprinkles to decorate, put it on NOW, before baking and press it down just a bit with your fingers or with a spatula.  If you’d rather frost the cookies, wait until they’re baked and completely cooled.

Bake 1/4 inch thick cookies at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.  Leave them on the sheet for a minute or two and then transfer them to a wire rack to complete cooling.

Bake 1/8 inch thick cookies at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.  Leave them on the cookie sheet for a minute or two and then transfer them to a wire rack to complete cooling

Cookie Icing

2 cups sifted confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)

1/8 tea. salt

1/2 tea. vanilla (or other flavoring)

1/4 cup cream

Mix up icing, adding a little more cream if it’s too thick and a little more powdered sugar if it’s too thin.

If you’d like to frost the cookies in different colors, divide the icing and put it in several small bowls.  Add drops of desired food coloring to each bowl.

Use a frosting knife, or use a brush to “paint” the cookies you’ve baked.

Yield: 3 to 4 dozen cookies made with small cutters, 2 to 3 dozen cookies made with large cookie cutters.


Carrot Zucchini Muffins

Carrot Zucchini Muffins

Carrot Zucchini Muffins

These muffins from Becky Von Seggern are super moist and not-too-guilty pleasure with applesauce replacing oil or butter.


Carrot Zucchini Muffins Recipe


Carrot Zucchini Muffins

1 cup flour

½ cup whole-wheat flour

½ cup oatmeal

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon



½ cup raisins

¼ cup chopped pecans

2 eggs


½ cup carrot, grated (1 regular size)

½ cup zucchini (1 small)

1 tsp. orange zest

1 cup applesauce

½ cup crushed pineapple

½ cup coconut



Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease muffin pans.  In a large bowl combine the flours, oatmeal, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, GINGER and CLOVES.  Stir in the raisins and nuts then set aside.

In another bowl beat the eggs until frothy.  Stir in VANILLA, carrots, zucchini, orange zest, applesauce, pineapple and coconut.

Pour the egg mixture into the dry mixture and stir until just combined.  Do NOT OVER-MIX.  Put into greased muffin pans.  Bake at 350 F. for 25 minutes.           21 muffins


(Recipe for Carrot Zucchini Muffins was in Penzeys Spices catalog)


Apple Turkey Picadillo


Apple Turkey Picadillo

Apple Turkey Picadillo

This recipe, Apple Turkey Picadillo, is a twist on the Latin American staple that‘s made healthier with ground grand turkey and crisp apples.  It doubles well.  Try tucking it into whole-wheat tortillas or serve over instant brown rice for a quick and healthy supper.


Apple Turkey Picadillo Recipe


Apple Turkey Picadillo

2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1 garlic clove, minced

8 oz. 99% lean ground turkey

½ tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. dried oregano

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1 Tbsp. cider vinegar

1 medium tart green apple, peeled and chopped

1 cup chopped tomato

3 Tbsp. chopped green olives

½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup sliced scallion greens


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic; cook until soft, stirring often, about 2 minutes.  Add turkey; cook, stirring and breaking up, until lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes.

Stir in cumin, oregano, salt pepper and cloves; cook for 30 seconds.  Stir in vinegar, scraping up any browned bits.  Stir in apple, tomato, olives and Worcestershire sauce.  Reduce heat and gently simmer. Stirring often, until any liquid in the pan has reduced to a syrupy, about 8 minutes.  Stir in scallion greens and serve.           2 serving, 1 ¼ cups each


(Recipe for Apple Turkey Picadillo, Diabetic Connect, 2015)


Sweet & Hot Baked Beans


Sweet & Hot Baked Beans

Sweet & Hot Baked Beans

Recipe provided courtesy of Taste of Home magazine.  Find more great recipes at


Baked beans belong at a barbecue.  They’re sweet with heat when you add pineapple and jalapenos.

             Robin Haas                                                                                        Cranston, Rhode Island


Sweet & Hot Baked Beans Recipe

Sweet & Hot Baked Beans


4 cans (15 oz. each) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

2 cans (8 oz. each) crushed pineapple, undrained

2 large onions, finely chopped

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup ketchup

10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

½ cup molasses

¼ cup canned diced jalapeno peppers

2 Tbsp. white vinegar

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 tsp. ground mustard

¼ tsp. ground cloves


In a 3 or 4 quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients.  Cook, covered, on low 5-6 hours.     12 servings


(Recipe for Sweet & Hot Baked Beans was on, 2014


Fresh Pear Ginger Crisp


Fresh Pear Ginger Crisp

Fresh Pear Ginger Crisp

Recipe provided courtesy of Taste of Home magazine.  Find more great recipes at


Gingersnaps lend crunch to my heartwarming cool weather classic, featuring the season’s juiciest fruit.

           Linda Robertson                                                                               Cozad, Nebraska


Fresh Pear Ginger Crisp Recipe

Fresh Pear Ginger Crisp

1 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (about 20 cookies)

½ cup old-fashioned oats

½ cup packed brown sugar

¼ tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. ground cloves

1/8 tsp. salt

1/3 cup butter, softened

7 medium pears (about 2 ½ lbs.), peeled and thinly sliced

2 Tbsp. flour

Vanilla ice cream, optional

In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients.  With clean hands, work butter into oat mixture until well combined.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Place pears in a small bowl; add flour and toss to coat.  Transfer to a greased 8 inch square baking dish; sprinkle with oat mixture.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 F. for 35-40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and fruit is tender.  Serve warm with ice cream if desired.            9 servings


(Recipe for Fresh Pear Ginger Crisp was on, 2014)