bakin' a mess in the kitchen

Admittedly, I'm not much of a baker. Actually, much to the dismay of Hubby, I only bake a couple times a year - if he's lucky! I would much rather spend hours trying our new recipes for savoury appetizers and dinners than make a batch of cookies. These past couple weeks, however, I've been baking up a storm!
It all started when I had a craving for key-lime pie. I knew that finding key limes, however, would be next to impossible; after some googling, I found this recipe for a not-so-key-lime pie, and it was YUMMY!!

  •  1 and 1/2 cup finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted 
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all of the ingredients. Press into the bottom and sides of a 9" pie pan. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool completely before filling.

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (I used 7 limes)
Beat the ingredients until well-blended. Pour into the prepared pie crust. Bake 30 minutes, or until set. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill at least 2 hours. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

After successfully making the pie, I decided I had it in me to whip up a batch of cookies - for a good cause, of course! Every October our firm, like many others in the lower mainland, puts on a HUGE campaign to raise money for the United Way. There are various activities (bowling, raffle tickets, 50/50 draws, etc,) one of which is a bake sale. The bake sale is fun because it is always a competition to see which floor in the office can raise the most money (with 100% of the proceeds going to the United Way). This event inevitably gets all kinds of crazy because, of course, there are lawyers involved. Somebody will always pay a ridiculous amount for some baked treat ($100 for one cookie - no big deal) to help their floor win the coveted "golden glove award". So, in the hopes of an 8th floor to victory, I made a batch of "Grandma's cookies" (they are boiled raisin cookies, but my Grandma used to make them all the time and they are deeeee-licious!)

  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 cups rolled oats
Preheat oven to 350. Boil raisins in water for 5 minutes, let cool. Cream together butter and sugars. Beat in eggs one at a time. Set bowl aside. Stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and rolled oats. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Pour in raisins and juice. Mix well and drop onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes. Makes 6 dozen cookies.

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