It's unusual…

..what started out as an IVF journey and ended up being about life

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies February 20, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — gertyrae @ 12:06 pm

Two posts in two days! It could be a record for me. But, these cookies came out so good I need to get my recipe down before I forget.

Wanted to try something different and I had a bag of Heath Toffee Bits in the pantry. No single recipe grabbed me so I opted to experiment a bit. The end result is pretty darn good, thank goodness.


So, here goes:


2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup vegetable shortening (1 Crisco Baking Stick, had these in the pantry also)
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Heath Toffee Bits
1 1/2 cups Nestle SemiSweet Chocolate Chips

1/4 cup granulated light brown sugar for rolling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Using an electric stand mixer bowl, beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl with a spatula periodically.

Turn mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips and toffee bits by hand until well blended. Should look something like this:


Using a small cookie scoop, form balls of dough. Roll balls in granulated sugar and place on lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Press down with heel of hand lightly to flatten. Bake cookies for about 12 minutes or until very lightly browned on edges. Let cool for 2-5 minutes before removing from parchment. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.



special thanks to and for the initial idea




Snow Day Projects February 19, 2014

Filed under: Do It Yourself!!,Life,Parenting — gertyrae @ 12:53 pm
Tags: , , , , ,


We have had a bevy of snow this winter and I have spent the bulk of my days figuring out what we can do

We’ve done puzzles, played Legos, watched movies and even broken down and purchased Disney Infinity….

But, it all comes back to baking and yesterday we decided to make pretzels. Great project for C and they were delishly yummy. Shout out to Jessica Fischer for the basic recipe on good cheap eats.

Here is our version:

Homemade Pretzels


1/2 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk (microwave for 1 minute)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon rapid rise yeast

Whisk all above together in stand mixer bowl until blended. Let sit for approximately five minutes to get a bit foamy.


With dough attachment on mixer, add the following:

1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups bread flour

And mix together. Remove dough from mixer and knead for approximately 10 minutes. You can take turns 😉


Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean dish towel and place in a warm location to rise. Allow to rise about 1 hour, dough should double.



When dough has doubled, flatten it out and divide into equal pieces approximately golf ball sized. I put them back into the bowl and let them sit as we shaped each pretzel. For each pretzel, roll dough into a rope about 15″ long, lay dough on counter and make a “U” shape


Now take the open ends and twist them around each other twice.


Turn twisted ends back to the “U” part and press together. Set aside. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Now you need to make a soda bath, in a 6 quart pot boil 8 cups water. When water is boiling add 1/4 cup baking soda…very slowly!. We had a volcanic eruption cuz we added it too quickly. When the mixture is at a rolling boil add pretzels one at a time and let boil for about 30 seconds. Remove each pretzel and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.


Once your cookie sheet is full, salt pretzels with coarse salt (or leave as is for cinnamon/sugar pretzels) place in oven and bake until browned, 8-10 minutes.


Remove, allow to cool and Walla!! You have pretzels. If you opt for cinnamon/sugar brush the pretzels with melted butter while warm and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.


Yummy delishness!!!!


Oh, and enjoy the snow!!