Sugar Cookies (aka oil balls)

This sugar cookie variation has 2 distinct characteristics that make it different from most other sugar cookies.

The first is that it is made with vegetable oil, rather than butter, margarine, or shortening.

If you know anyone on a special diet, perhaps for cholesterol reduction, where they need to restrict their consumption of saturated or solid fats, this is something they can generally have. In fact, it's the only such cookie recipe in my collection that uses oil instead of a solid fat.

The second is that it isn't a cut-out sugar cookie. It's rolled into balls and flattened with the bottom of a drinking glass, dipped in granulated sugar. So, you won't need your cookie cutters for this one, nor a tremendous amount of counter space, and clean up will be that much easier.

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla

  1. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon 3 times and set aside.
  2. Combine sugar and oil.
  3. Beat eggs into sugar & oil mixture, one at a time.
  4. Add vanilla.
  5. Stir in dry ingredients, all at once, forming a smooth dough.
  6. Chill for about 2 hours.
  7. Shape into 1/2 inch balls.
  8. Dip tops of balls into granulated sugar.
  9. Place on a greased cookie sheet.
  10. Flatten the balls with the bottom of a drinking glass. Dip drinking glass in granulated sugar between each cookie.
  11. Bake at 375F for 10  minutes.
To turn these into Christmas cookies, I use stencils made from index cards, with cut outs of various holiday shapes, such as gifts, pine trees, candy canes, Christmas balls, etc., and I lay them over the cookies after flattening them, and sprinkle red & green colored sugar on them, before baking the cookies.

Peanut Blossoms (aka Peanut Butter Kisses)

 Peanut Blossom cookies

This was always one of my daughter's favorite cookies. Peanut butter and chocolate combined together. What's not to love?

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 TBS milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg

Combine all above ingredients with an electric mixer at low speed, till a stiff dough forms.

  • Sugar
  • 48 chocolate kisses, unwrapped

  1. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar.
  2. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Immediately top with kisses, pressing down firmly.
  5. Remove from cookie sheet and cool completely before storing.

BBQ Sauce (low carb)

  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 small can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 can (12 oz) diet black cherry soda - Splenda-sweetened preferred*
  • 1/4 cup reduced sugar ketchup (if you can get sugar-free, use that instead)
  • 3 TBS spicy brown mustard
  • 1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 2 TBS Jamaican scotch bonnet pepper sauce (I use Walkerswood)
  • 3 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (not regular paprika)
Combine all ingredients and use as you would normally use BBQ sauce, for your favorite recipes.

You can adjust for taste by adding a bit of vinegar, sugar-free sweetener (Splenda), or more pepper sauce, as desired.

*Don't use Nutrasweet, Equal, or any other sweetener containing aspartame when cooking, as exposure to heat causes it to break down and become bitter tasting.

How to brew loose leaf tea in your drip coffee maker

Equipment & supplies needed:

  • 1 cone style drip coffee maker, 8-cup or larger (flat basket will not work)
  • 1 electric coffee grinder
  • 1 permanent filter, cone style, like this one
  • Loose leaf tea

  1. Grind the tea (a small amount at a time) to the consistency of finely ground coffee, and store it in an airtight container.
  2. Place the permanent filter into the brewing basket of the coffee maker.
  3. Measure 3 teaspoons of ground tea and place it into the permanent filter.
  4. Fill coffee maker's reservoir with water, up to the 8-cup line.
  5. Turn on your coffee maker and allow the tea to brew into the pot.
  6. Enjoy!