We love visitors at the farm, so come on over and swap horse tales, enjoy some fresh  coffee and home baked goodies.  Our kitchen always smells of baked goods and we love to share. Below is some of our favorite farm recipes!

Aunt Recca's Homemade Cinnamon Rolls- The Ultimate Comfort Food!
One of my best childhood memories is going to my Aunt's house in Iowa and having these cinnamon rolls. They were HEAVEN! After all these years I finally got the recipe and thanks to my Aunt Recca and my cousin Becky, I'm sharing it with you. I have always been intimidated by yeast bread recipes...I never could get them to come out right but this recipe makes it easy, fun and oh the memories you will create for your own family!!!!!

2 Tablespoons of lard melted and cooled to lukewarm (100-110 degrees. Not too hot! I use my digital thermometer to make sure and I melt the lard in the microwave in a measuring cup for about a minute)

2 Room temperature beaten eggs ( either set the eggs out the night before or immerse them in a measuring cup of warm water to warm them)

1/4 cup luke warm water (100-110 degrees)
2 pkgs. of active dry yeast (note- not the rapid rise- I tried that- didn't come out as well- also check the date on your yeast first!)
2 cups of luke warm water (100-110 degrees)
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon of salt
7 cups of flour (6 cups for the dough and 1 cup for kneading)
Cinnamon and sugar mixed to your liking. ( I put it in a Ziploc bag and mix it up that way I can store whatever is left for next time!)
A couple of linen dish towels
Vanilla Frosting or Carmel Pecan Topping (see below)

1) In a large warm mixing bowl mix and dissolve the 2 pkgs. of  yeast with the 1/4 cup luke warm water.  To proof the yeast you can add a pinch of sugar to see if it foams. Let sit while you are preparing the rest of  the ingredients.

2) Melt the lard and let it cool to lukewarm. 

3) Beat your room temperature eggs. 

4) Add the 2 cups lukewarm water, the sugar, the lukewarm lard, eggs and the salt into your warm mixing bowl with the yeast mixture and stir.

5) Stir in one at a time the 6 cups of bread flour using the 7th cup for the kneading.

6) Knead the dough on a floured board until it is well blended.

7) Form the dough into a large ball and put into a well greased WARM bowl. (note- I turn my oven on to the lowest temp for about 30-60 seconds and warm my bowls)  You want the bowl to be just large enough to let the dough double in size. Grease the top of the dough ball by turning in over in the greased bowl, brushing it with oil or spraying it with cooking spray. Cover with your linen towel and let rise in a warm draft free place. (I put mine in the turned off oven to rise)

8) Let dough rise till it doubles in size or just a little more. No more than that.

9) When the dough has risen, punch it down and cut it into two dough balls.

10) Roll out each ball on your floured board to aprox. 1" thick.

11) Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on the top of the rolled out dough according to how sweet and cinnamony you like them, then roll the dough up into a log.

12) Slice the logs into aprox. 1" thick pinwheeled rolls.

13) Place the rolls into 4 - WELL GREASED round cake pans - 7 to a pan. 6 around the edges and one in the center.

14) Cover the pans with your linen towels and put in your warm draft free place till they double in size or slightly more.

15) Bake at 350 degrees until light golden brown. Do not over bake to keep them moist!

Meanwhile- you can make up some VANILLA FROSTING by combining some melted butter (I use about 2T) some powdered sugar (about a pound), some real vanilla (a couple of teaspoons) and some milk or cream to make your desired consistency.  Some cream cheese added to the frosting is great on these as well.

Or if you prefer:


2/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar

After you have well greased your round cake pans for your rolls place pecans with the rounded side up in the bottoms of the pans. Mix together the balance of the ingredients and pour the carmel mixture over the nuts in the bottom of the pan. Place your sliced cinnamon dough rolls on top of the carmel nut mixture in the pans and let rise as above.  Bake.  When done, let rolls cool slightly but not until cold and flip the pan upside down on a large plate.  This recipe makes quite a bit of carmel topping. If you find it's too much of you, cut it in half. YUMMMM!

Aaron's Favorite Cookies
1/2 cup softened butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 lg. egg
1/2 teaspoon real vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup corn flakes or wheat, oat, or bran cereal flakes. I use Total
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixer bowl beat the butter on med. speed until creamy. Add the sugars and beat till fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat well. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda. With mixer on low speed gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating till well mixed. With a spatula stir in the corn flakes, chips and coconut. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons about two inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake in 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly brown. Let cool on cookie sheet for 30 secs. then lift cookies onto cooling rack. Makes about 36 cookies.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever! 
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter- not margarine!
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 lg. eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour-
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 & 1/2 twelve ounce bags)
1 1/2 cup nuts (optional) Macadamia nuts are SUPER but walnuts or pecans tastes great too

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla.
3) Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder
4) Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Don't over mix.
5) Stir in the chocolate chips. (and nuts if used)
6) Place golf ball sized round portions 2" apart on an un-greased cookie sheet. I love those insulated cookie sheets.
7) Bake for ten minutes or until edges and highest peaks are light brown.
Note: It's very important that you do not exceed the cooking time by much even if the cookies appear slightly under baked. When the cookies come out of the oven the sugar in them will stay hot and continue the cooking process. The finished cookie should be soft in the middle and crunchy around the edges. If you want a richer cookie use the milk chocolate chips.
This recipe makes about 30 large cookies so you might want to double batch for a horse show. I always do!

Now IF...and this is a big have some cookies left over, here is a real treat.
Hide back 8 cookies for this recipe.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Heaven
8 of the above chocolate chip cookies
5 tablespoons of melted butter
3/4 cup peanut butter (I like crunchy but any kind will work)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1- 12 oz bag of MILK chocolate chips

 1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2) Crumble the chocolate chip cookies in a medium mixing bowl.
3) Add the melted butter to the cookie crumbs until the mixture darkens and the butter is evenly mixed in.
4)Pour the mixture in a 9x9 baking pan.
5) Press this dough down solidly in that pan and bake for ten minutes or until firm around the edges. When done, cool the pan in the refrigerator.
6) Meanwhile, mix the peanut butter and sugar until blended. It should have a doughy texture that allows you to knead it with your hands. Set it aside.
7) Melt the milk chocolate chips in your microwave on high for about 2 minutes, stirring halfway through.
8) When the dough in the fridge is cool, spread half the melted chocolate over the surface.
9) Now cool the pan in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
10) When cool, spread the peanut butter mixture evenly over the chocolate layer.
11) Spread the remaining chocolate over the peanut butter layer covering to the edges of the pan. (I put colored sprinkles on top of that just for pretty.)
12) Cool the finished product in the fridge or let it set a room temp. till hardened.
13) Slice into five even rows and then once crosswise down the middle to make your bars.

Oh So Yummy & Easy Oatie Cookies
We make this recipe every week and freeze logs of the dough for slice and bake for those surprise visitors!

1 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 cup real butter (two sticks)
1 cup peanut butter (I like the crunchy)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 lg. eggs
1 teaspoon real vanilla

Optionals-( but not at our house!)

1 cup nuts- any kind
1 cup raisins OR
1 cup chocolate chips Feel free to add 1 1/2 cups if you are a chocolate addict.

Preheat the oven at 350. In one large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and oats. In another bowl melt the butter in the microwave (aprox. 1 minute) and then stir in the peanut butter till smooth. You might have to throw it back in the micro for a few seconds if that helps. In your mixer blend the sugars, the eggs and the vanilla. Then add the peanut butter mixture. Continue blending. Gradually add the flour mixture blending again. Lastly, put in your optional additions ...the nuts and chips or raisins. Drop by teaspoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Store in an airtight container. Your family will kiss you for these. Trust me.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies
There is something about the heavy frost across the pasture, the crispy fresh air and the smell of fresh ground coffee that calls for an earthy pumpkin spice cookie.
A crisp weather morning is just the morning for it! This recipe is so good, so easy and so fitting that you'll want to make it too! They are a cake-like pumpkin walnut cookie with a soft, moist texture. Top them with a them with a drizzled vanilla glaze and YUM! just the right amount of "sweet!" What could be better for coffee dunking!

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) real butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 sm. can solid-pack pumpkin
1 t. real vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 t. allspice (OR 1 t. ground cinnamon, 1/2 t. ground nutmeg, 1 1/2 t. ground cloves if you like a bit more spice)
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 cup walnuts

Thin powder sugar vanilla glaze

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In your mixing bowl cream together your butter and sugar, then add the eggs, pumpkin and vanilla, blending well. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Add this to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Mix in the oats, coconut and walnuts. (If my guys would let me I'd sure put in raisins. I have a "yeewwww...RAISINS??? crowd. I didn't have any chopped dates or those would have been good too!) Drop by teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will rise and have a lightly golden brown edge. I let them cool on wax paper and when all of them are done, I drizzle ribbons of vanilla glaze across the tops. Store in a loosely covered container to keep them moist.

Best Ever Cornbread!
1 egg
1/4 cup buttermilk (when I don't have buttermilk I substitute sour cream and it still tastes great!)
1/4 cup real mayonnaise (don't use fat free or reduced. It won't work. Trust me)
1 tablespoon melted butter or vegetable oil
1 cup yellow corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Beat the egg, buttermilk, mayonnaise, and butter untill smooth. In a separate bowl combine the corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add to the egg mixture and mix until just combined. Grease a round glass baking dish. (I have a glass casserole I use that's about 7 inches in diameter. Or you can use an old cast iron 6" skillet. Dust the greased dish or skillet with corn meal. Then add your batter and bake at 425 degrees for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. YUMMMMMM.....Have some honey butter whipped up and ready for when it comes out hot and crispy around the edges. This is the stuff memories are made of!

Fresh Blueberry Pie
Follow my recipe for the pie crust below, here on my recipe page. This is my stock pie crust recipe and let me tell you it took me years to perfect it. THERE IS NONE BETTER, more flakey, more forgiving than this recipe and it is absolutely fool proof. Once you have made your crust put it in a generous glass pie plate, prick the bottom and sides with your fork liberally and bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes- till golden brown. Let cool and when cool brush with egg white. The egg white keeps the crust from getting soggy after you add your filling and the pie sits for awhile.

4 cups fresh blueberries
2 T cornstarch
½ cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice, dash salt
Prebaked pie shell, brushed with egg white

NOW measure out 1 cup of fresh blueberries (use the softer ones for this). Place them in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water, cover and simmer to a boil. Meanwhile whisk up 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and set it aside. When your water and blueberries come to a boil, lower the heat and stir constantly for 3 to 4 minutes until the blueberries start to burst and the juices thicken. Then, stirring constantly add the cornstarch mixture, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and a dash of salt. Simmer until the mixture starts to look a bit translucent- whisking in the saucepan all the while so you don't get lumps. Once it's translucent, immediately remove it from the heat and pour it over your big bowl of fresh blueberries (3 cups or 3 cups plus if you feel generous!) Fold together and then spoon into your pre-baked pie shell. Let the pies sit at least two hours at room temp. before you even think of digging in and refrigerate. after those two hours. This will "set" the pie. Trust me, it's not runny. A big dollup of whip cream and believe's the best blueberry pie you have ever eaten...NOW LISTEN...DON'T YOU DARE USE THOSE STORE BOUGHTEN CRUSTS...for shame! Trust me on this...if you are not married yet...this recipe will reel him in.

Rhubarb Cake
Now for those of you that turn your nose up and say..."RHUBARB! THAT'S SOUR!" ..let me tell you I promise you will like this cake.  I use the tender shoots about 1/2" - 3/4" wide for this recipe and when I chop it up I remove the skin with the strings as it strips off so easy.

2 cups flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda & 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon REAL vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup REAL softened butter
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk (you can use 1/2 and 1/2 but buttermilk gives it a little kick.
2 1/2 cups diced rhubarb. (I like them 3/8" square)
1 to 1 1/2 cups walnuts
1/2 cup sugar & 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a 13x9 pan.
Mix the flour, soda, cinnamon and salt and set aside. In your large mixer bowl beat your brown sugar and butter till fluffy.
Then beat in the egg and add flour mixture alternately with milk. Stir in the vanilla, rhubarb and nuts. Put in your 13x9 pan and sprinkle with a mixture of the 1/2 cup sugar and teaspoon of cinnamon and bake for 40 minutes. Great hot or cold. Add whipped cream and you have heaven!

The Absolute Best Brownies Ever
I thought I would share with you the absolute best brownie recipe ever...especially for chocolate addicts like my John. Now I know...I can buy brownies that come in a box and take just a couple of minutes to bake..but let me tell you ...NOTHING is like these homemade brownies. They are indeed a little more involved but your family will LOVE you for them. Just give them a try.

3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teas. baking soda
2/3 cup butter, melted and divided 1/3 cup each
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups white sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cup flour 
1 teas. REAL vanilla
1/4 teas. salt
1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate if you like really rich)
Nuts- optional but not at our house!

Heat oven to 350. Grease your 13x9 baking pan. In your mixing bowl combine the cocoa and baking soda then blend in 1/3 cup of the melted butter. Add boiling water and stir until the mixture thickens. Now add the sugar, eggs and remaining butter. Mix until smooth. Next add the flour, vanilla and salt...blend that completely. Finally stir in the chocolate chips and nuts (if desired). Pour in your greased pan and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely. Since John is a total choco-holic he loves my chocolate glaze on top. It's very simple and goes on quick but sure adds a finishing touch!

Fool Proof Chocolate Glaze

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 to 2 teaspoons of hot water

Heat your chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup till the chips are melted. I do it in the microwave but you can do it over low heat on your stove if you prefer. Add water a bit at a time till you have a pourable or drizzling consistency. That's it! Sometimes I like it thin if I'm going to drizzle over a bundt cake or angel cake. You get that great melted candle wax look. But it hardens nicely with a neat gloss and the taste.

To Die For Sawyer Creek Chocolate Cake
This is by far the best chocolate cake recipe I have ever come across! It is one I adapted from a very old recipe. If you know of a true chocolate lover you will win them over for life with this simple but sinfully rich treat and sooo easy to make you won't mind the constant requests for it.

3oz unsweetened baking chocolate (I use Toll House- Nestle Choco Bake- premelted, it's so easy to mix and saves time.)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup boiling water
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup vanilla flavor yogurt OR real mayonnaise...the yogurt I think makes the recipe a bit sweeter
1 teaspoon vanilla
nuts..if desired

Combine the baking chocolate, butter and boiling water in a small bowl. Stir until the chocolate and butter are melted. Set aside. Combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Gradually add chocolate mixture and blend well. Add eggs, yogurt and vanilla. Beat one minute at medium speed. Add nuts if desired. Pour into a greased and floured 13 x 9 x 2" pan. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until you insert a tooth pick and it comes out clean. NOW here's the catch...If you want when cool top with your favorite frosting. BUT..what I do is 20 minutes into the baking I sprinkle 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips on the top and nuts...then continue baking for the last 15 minutes. THEN..if I want to make a "Turtle Cake" I melt about 16 caramels with a tablespoon of half and half in the micro and drizzle over the cooled cake. This is to die for and if you make it once believe will be making it for the rest of your life!

Sawyer Creek Pecan Pie Squares
These are the BEST! If your family loves pecan pie this simple recipe will make you a definite hero.
3 cups Better For Bread Flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter (yes BUTTER) softened
1/2 teaspoon salt


1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla (the real stuff)
4 eggs slightly beaten
3 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease liberally a jelly roll pan (15 1/2" by 10 1/2" by 1") Beat flour, sugar, butter and salt in a large bowl on low speed until crumbly. (mixture will be dry) Press firmly in your pan bringing it up the edges. Bake 20 minutes until light golden brown. Prepare filling by mixing all ingredients except pecans in a large bowl until well blended. Stir in pecans and then pour mixture over baked layer; spread evenly. Bake about 25 minutes or until filling is set. Cool completely.

Sawyer Creek Pinwheel Pumpkin Roll
YIKES!, company is coming and what do I make? I always HAVE to have something so I thought I would share this with you.  It fools them everytime into either thinking you are a complete culinary artist or you spent all day in the kitchen just for them!  Here goes and enjoy---oh, and it's just as easy to make a couple as you can throw them in the freezer and just pull one out for your next emergency or give one away and be a hero!

2/3 cup canned solid pumpkin (I like Libby's)
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup Flour
1 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Line with aluminum foil a 10" by 15" cookie sheet (the kind with short sides all the way around) and butter completely and generously.  Spread your finely chopped walnuts evenly over the bottom.  Beat the first seven ingredients (everything but the walnuts) till smooth.  Gently spread the pumpkin mixture on top of the walnuts making a thin layer covering the bottom of the pan.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.  Cool in the freezer for at least 25 minutes.

Meanwhile beat until smooth:
1-8 oz pk. of cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons butter

After you have taken your pumpkin layer out of the freezer, gently spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the entire top.  Then roll tightly starting at one end by gently lifting the foil.  When done it will look like a jelly roll! Sprinkle the top with a dusting of more powdered sugar. Wrap up in your same foil and put the completed roll back in the freezer. 1/2 hour before serving, take out of the freezer to lightly thaw.  When ready to eat, slice and serve. You will love the spiral of the white cream cheese and the orange pumpkin!  And it tastes even better than it looks! Bet you can't eat just one slice!

Gonna' Love Me For These Bars
1 package (14 oz) of vanilla caramels- you will probably have to go out and buy them as if your hubby is like mine he can find candies, even the ones for baking, no matter how well you hide them!
1/3 cup half and half
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal- can be regular or quick
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup butter (softened)
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts or pecans chopped
1/2 cup coconut if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the caramels with the half and half either in microwave or low heat in a saucepan on the stove, stirring frequently till smooth and pourable.  Reserve. Mix your flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Stir in your egg and butter until the mixture is crumbly.
Press 1/2 the crumbly mixture in an ungreased 13x9 pan and bake 10 minutes. Immediately remove from the oven and sprinkle evenly with the chocolate chips, walnuts and then coconut if desired. Drizzle with your carmel mixture.  Sprinkle the remaining crumbly mixture on top and then bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  Cool 30 minutes. Loosen the edges from the sides of the pan with a sharp knife, then cool the rest of the way completely.(if you don't do this cooling procedure the bars will be hard to cut).  Needless to say, no calories in these guys! but hey, if they don't love ya cause you're thin they will love ya cause you can cook! 

Sawyer Creek Total Bribery Cake
This is the recipe you want to use as your secret so totally scrumptious, so totally elegant that it you can bribe almost anyone into doing almost anything with one taste!
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons real vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cake flour (MUST BE CAKE FLOUR- I use "Soft As Silk")
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 egg whites from large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
5 crushed bars of Heath Candy bars OR 1 1/2 cups Heath Toffee Chips (can be found with chocolate chips at your grocers)
Carmel Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup carmel ice cream topping
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Move your oven rack to a low position and preheat to 350 degrees.  Stir together the boiling water, vanilla and cocoa and set aside.  Sift together the powdered sugar, cake flour and salt.  Set aside. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl on medium speed and continue beating till soft peaks form. Beat in granulated sugar on high speed one tablespoon at a time until stiff peaks form.   Take out aprox. 1 cup of the egg mixture and stir into your bowl of cocoa mixture.  Now, take 1/4 of your flour mixture and gently stir into you egg mixture.  Repeat till all the flour mixture is folded in with the egg mixture.  Fold in your cocoa mixture.  Gently pour batter into your ungreased Angel Food cake pan or Tube Pan about 10" in diameter by 4" high.  Bake 40-45 minutes until top springs back when touched.  Immediately turn pan upside down onto a heat proof funnel or bottle neck until completely cool.
Make your carmel cream.  Beat whipping cream in large bowl on high speed just until it begins to thicken.  Gradually add carmel ice cream topping and vanilla until soft peaks form.
Split cake horizontally into three layers. (cake must be cool!)  Place each layer on a plate and spread with 1 cup cream.  Sprinkle the top of each layer with aprox. 1/3 cup crushed toffee candy.  Stack the layers back up and frost the sides with remaining carmel cream mixture.  Sprinkle with remaining crushed candy. Store in the refrigerator.

Praline Pumpkin Pie
A new twist on an old classic! This one works great for any kind of bribery you may need.

1- 15 ounce can of pumpkin (I like Libby's, I tried the cheaper stuff and it just wasn't the same)
1 14 ounce can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 large beaten eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 unbaked Pie Crust
(see recipe under my Decadent pie)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cold butter
1/2 cup pecans (for variety you can use walnuts, coconut, almonds or a mixture of all of these!)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl combine all your filling ingredients and mix well. Pour into your prepared pie crust and bake 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes of baking is done, reduce your oven heat to 350 degrees.  Continue baking 30 minutes.  During this time prepare your topping by cutting the butter into the flour and brown sugar.  When crumbly stir in your nuts.  After the pie has baked the 30 minutes at 350 degrees, sprinkle the topping evenly over the pie filling and bake a final 10 minutes.  The pie will be done when a knife  inserted 1" from the edge comes out clean.  Great with whipped cream!

Peanut Butter Balls
This is my modern adaptation of an old Kreider family recipe.  A sure pleasin' treat that no matter how many batches you make they never seem to last more than a day.  They taste very similar to the candy Reese's Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups!

1/4 pound butter
1 pound confectioner's sugar
2 cups extra-crunchy peanut butter
3 cups Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal
12 ounce package of chocolate chips
1/2 a bar (2 ounces) of paraffin wax (this can be found in your baking or canning goods section of your grocery store.  It comes in a one pound box with 4 - 4ounce bars)

Melt the butter and peanut butter together.  Then add sugar and Rice Krispies.  Mix well but do not overly crush the Rice Krispies.  This mixture will be rather dry.  Squeeze tightly into 1" balls and set aside on wax paper.  Melt the paraffin and then add chocolate chips.  (I use the microwave).  With tongs, dip the balls into the chocolate/paraffin mixture.  Cool on waxed paper.  For added color, while still wet I sprinkle on finely chopped nuts or colored candy sprinkles. They harden almost immediately and store well.

Disappearing Soft Gingersnaps
Remember the gingersnaps Grandmother used to make ....the warm spicy smell of ginger and molasses in her kitchen...those pretty dark brown gems with the crackled top you just couldn't get enough of?  This very old recipe will be one of your favorites and makes quite a few, but plan on replacing them often!

4 cups Better for Bread flour
2 tablespoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses (not the black strap- simply too strong!)
granulated sugar (extra)

Mix your sifted flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt together and set aside.  Beat your butter till creamy, add sugar gradually and continue beating.  Next beat in your eggs and molasses.  Add your dry ingredients on top of your molasses mixture aprox. 1/4 at a time till all is added.  Form the resulting dough into small balls and roll in the extra granulated sugar.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350  for 12 minutes or until the tops are slightly rounded and crackly.  Makes about 4 dozen- at our house- one days worth!

Sugar Cookies Sawyer Creek Style
These are the light, fluffy and cake-like sugar cookies with just the tiniest hint of lemon!  The best sugar cookie I have ever made and it took me years to perfect this recipe. Sprinkles give them Appaloosa spots!

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 cups flour
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2

Cream the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy and add the eggs one at a time beating thoroughly after each one.  Add the lemon extract.  In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients- then add to the creamed mixture alternating with the 1/2 and 1/2.  Drop by spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet, sprinkle or sift over the top with white or colored granulated sugar  and bake at 350 for 8-15 minutes .  Just until the centers spring back.  They will be light in color. Remove and sprinkle again with sugar.  These do best if stored under your cake plate or closed container but since they are cake-like, put wax paper between the layers!  Yum Yum!

Company's Coming Fruit Cocktail Cake
Oh my, visitors are coming and I need to whip something good up in a hurry!  This recipe looks like you slaved away but it's so quick and easy you can make it every week.

2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium sized can of Fruit Cocktail with the juice (don't use the cheap stuff if you can help it)
2 eggs
1 cup walnuts or pecans

Sift your flour, sugar, soda and salt together.  Add your Fruit Cocktail with the juice right from the can.  Then add the eggs.  Beat well with the mixer about 4 minutes.  Put in a greased 9X13 cake pan.  Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes or until the center is done.


1 stick butter
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup or plus of walnuts or pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
Boil the first 4 ingredients for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add nuts and vanilla. Mix well. Slowly spread on warm cake.

Fresh Apple Cake
You are going to absolutely LOVE this one.  Another on my very most requested list.  SOOOOOO good, keeps well and makes you look like a pro when it is really quite
easy. I live in New York where apples are primo, but good granny
smiths or any firm slightly tart apple will do.  DON'T YOU DARE
use canned apples.  Three thrashes with the lunge whip if you do.

1 1/4 cups oil (I use a good quality canola)
2 cups white sugar
3 beaten large eggs
3 cups coarsely chopped apples (don't get old or mushy ones!)
1 cup plus of chopped walnuts (or pecans if you are feeling
3 cups flour 
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons real vanilla (the real stuff or for those who are
making the real stuff you know what I mean)

1/2 cup butter (no margarine at my house!)
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon real vanilla
Nuts galore

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine your oil, sugar and eggs.  Add
your apples and nuts.  Then add you flour sifted with salt, soda
and cinnamon,  Add vanilla and mix well.  Bake in a 9 by 13 pain
at 350 for 50-60 minutes (Just kind of watch it as it really
depends on the moisture content of your apples) This is a moist
style cake.

To prepare the topping, bring margarine, sugar and milk to a
full boil for about 4-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool
slightly.  Add vanilla and beat for a few minutes- generously
throw in some nuts and then pour over cooled cake. 

I find this cake actually tastes even better the second day.  I
simply cover with plastic wrap and the flavor and moisture seems
to come together and make it even yummier.  So if you are making
it for company make it at least a half a day or a day in will be tempted to snitch some

Sawyer Creek Bar Cookies
Okay, this is a long time Sawyer Creek secret that I am going to
share with you. WARNING: If you are a single woman, don't make
this recipe unless you want to be proposed to. If you are a mom-
don't make this recipe unless you are prepared to make it often
as once your gang has one of these you they will be requested
constantly by everyone. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! They are a three
layer combination of oatmeal cookie, chocolate brownie and nut
fudge so if you are a choco-holic like my John you will be
hooked. They are rich and ZERO calories....hee hee!

1st Level
1 cup quick rolled oats
1/2 cup flour 
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter- don't cheap out on me here!

Stir together the first five ingredients then add the melted
butter and pat into a 11 x 7 1/2 x 1 1/2 baking dish. I like
glass or those insulated pans. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

2nd Level
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter melted
1 - 1 ounce packet of that paste Nestles Choco-Bake (it's
unsweetened baking chocolate in a paste form)
1 large egg
2/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup (half and half) milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (the real thing- I make my own with beans
and vodka! only alcohol on the whole farm!)
1 cup walnuts or pecans (I like them in big pieces)

Combine sugar, butter and chocolate, add egg. Beat well. Stir
together flour, baking powder and salt then add to chocolate
mixture alternating with the half and half and vanilla. Mix
well. Fold in your nuts and then spread over your baked oatmeal
cookie layer. Continue baking at 3:50 for 25 minutes. Cool.

3rd Level
1- 1 ounce packet of choco-bake (paste baking chocolate-same as
2 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Hot water
Walnuts or Pecans

In a small saucepan melt the choco-bake and your butter over low
heat stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in your
powdered sugar with the vanilla. Add hot water until smooth and
ALMOST a pourable consistency. When your first two levels are
cool, spred this fudge like topping over the top. Finally top
with nuts.
I know this recipe takes some time but believe me, it's worth

Totally Decadent Sawyer Creek Pie
This pie is so totally decadent and so luxuriously rich that it will satisfy the cravings of the most insatiable choco-holics like my John!

First lets start with the best pie-crust!  I found this recipe out of a vintage cookbook years ago. It comes out perfect every time and is the flakiest I have found!
1 cup lard (YES LARD- don't be shy now, this is key to this recipe and if you are on a diet you shouldn't be eating this pie anyway!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 large egg beaten
6 tablespoons water (aprox.)
1 tablespoon vinegar

Cut your lard up into small pieces into your bowl  and add the salt, flour mixture cutting till coarse.  Add the beaten egg, then the vinegar cutting into the coarse mixture.  Add water a tablespoon at a time until the dough is a good rolling consistency.


3 beaten large eggs
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon real vanilla
1/2 plus of chopped pecans or walnuts (pecans are better but walnuts are cheaper!)
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Beat the eggs with the corn syrup and sugar.  Melt the chocolate chips and the butter together and set aside. (microwave works just fine).  Add the vinegar, vanilla and salt to the egg mixture and blend.  Stir in the chocolate/butter, nuts and coconut.  Pour into your prepared unbaked pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes until the filling is set.  Cool on a wire rack.  Slice thin as this is very rich!

Dee's Homemade Real Vanilla Extract
Nothing tastes like the real thing....but the real vanilla extract can be expensive.  No wonder!  Vanilla beans are only produced by the plant every seven years! You can do as I do and make your own.  My dear friend Dee Putnam, our neighbors at the dairy farm down the road, shared her recipe with me on how to make your own flavorful real vanilla extract. I am going to let you in on the secret so you can make it too!  Go to your natural or health food store and buy 6-10 vanilla beans.  You will be surprised at the price (not cheap!) but bear in mind they will last forever!  Now go to your liquor store and buy a quart of cheap vodka.  Nope.  Doesn't have to be the good stuff as it really will make no difference.  Now when you get home put your beans in a quart mason jar or mayo jar and fill with the vodka. Let those beans soak in the vodka and in about a month( if you put in the window- longer in your cupboard) you will have your baking vanilla!  You can decorate the jar or cover the lid in fabric and tie with a ribbon for a cute country kitchen display.  It sure is a conversation starter! Your vanilla will not be quite as dark in color as commercial vanilla.  Commercial vanilla generally has artificial carmel coloring, but your vanilla will taste just as good if not better.  If you prefer the darker color just add some Dark Karo Corn Syrup.  Also, you can adjust the strength of the vanilla by adding more or less beans.  This vanilla jar literally is a perpetual thing and will never go bad.  It will last you the rest of your baking life if you nurse it with additional vodka and beans as you use it down.  DON'T throw out the previous beans.  Leave them in, they will continue to impart that wonderful flavor for years!  Happy baking

Fool Proof Flaky Pie Crust  
(makes 2 generous bottom crusts or a top and bottom)
1 cup lard (YES LARD- don't be shy now, this is key to this recipe and if you are on a diet you shouldn't be eating pie anyway!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 large egg beaten
6 tablespoons ice water (aprox.)
1 tablespoon vinegar

Cut your lard up into small pieces into your bowl  and add the salt, flour mixture cutting till coarse.  Add the beaten egg, then the vinegar cutting into the coarse mixture.  Add water a tablespoon at a time until the dough is a good rolling consistency.  This crust is fool proof...never get's tough and is always flaky.  If your recipe calls for a prebaked crust bake at 425 for about 20 to 25 minutes till golden brown.  If desired, beforehand place foil around the edges.  When done brush with egg white so that your filling does not soak into the crust.

Sawyer Creeks Best Waffles You Ever Ate
3/4 cup Flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp.baking powder
1/4 tsp. soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
6 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 egg separated
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
blueberries or small chopped apple bits, if desired

Heat your oven to 200 degrees.  Mix flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.  Measure buttermilk, milk and vegetable oil in a  two cup measuring cup, mix in egg yolk and set aside.

In another small bowl beat the egg white (with a mixer) to almost soft peaks.  Sprinkle in sugar and continue to beat until white and glossy.  Beat in the vanilla too.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just mixed.   Add the egg white to the batter in dollops.  Fold in with a spatula your blueberries or apple bits just until incorporated.  Cook on the waffle iron to a crisp and nutty brown.   When done, set the waffle DIRECTLY on the wire rack in your preheated oven to keep it warm and crisp. This prevents those heavy soggy waffles!  You should put them in there for at least 5 minutes and no more than 20.  Now, if you really want a 5 star breakfast rating put this with it!

Homemade Brown Sugar Walnut Syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 cups water
3 Tbs. butter
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans or hazelnuts if desired)

Bring all the sugars and corn syrup and water to a boil in a saucepan.  Reduce heat; simmer until thickened (about 10-12 minutes.  Stir in the butter and nuts. Cool slightly and serve.  Can be refrigerated up to one month if you cover it.  Also good on icecream or as a little sauce on the top of a slice of apple pie..Yum..Yum..!

Alligator Pecan Pie
Need a pie that is deliciously sweet but different enough to entice all your guests? This is the one. It combines a luscious cream cheese layer with a pecan filling. The cream cheese layer rises over the pecans as it's baking to make an "alligator" type "skin." Thus the name! This one is sure to be one of your favorites!

1 unbaked 9" deep dish pie shell (see pie crust recipe above)

First Layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temp.
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon salt
Teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups pecan halves or to taste

Second Layer:
3 eggs
1/4 cups sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the cream cheese into chunks and place in bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until smooth. Add sugar and beat 3 minutes at medium speed. Beat in the egg, salt and vanilla. Spread evenly  in the bottom of the pie shell. Place the pecans on top in a single layer.
Make the next layer by beating the 3 eggs with the 1/4 cup of sugar for 2 minutes at medium speed. Beat in the corn syrup and vanilla until well blended. Mixture will not be thick. Pour over pecans.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes. The cream cheese will puff over the pecans will the syrup layer solidifies underneath. Cool on a rack before cutting.

Incredibly Easy Peasy Chocolate-Toffee Brittle 
Need a quick treat that will get asked for over and over again?  Part cookie, part candy, part cookie, this toffee bar has a taste toffee lovers will go crazy for yet it takes less that a half an hour to make. 

Cooking-oil spray or parchment paper
48 individual graham cracker rectangles
1 cup brown sugar
2 sticks butter (1 cup) 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1(11 or 12 ounce) bag of milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts,pecans or almonds (Pecans really work for this recipe)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray a jelly roll pan or rimmed cookie sheet with the cooking oil spray or line with the parchment paper.
Cover the bottom of the pan with a single layer of the graham crackers. Side of the crackers touching
Heat the brown sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring for three minutes. 
Remove from heat and stir in baking soda.
Spoon evenly over the graham crackers, coating each one. 
Bake to 12 to 15 minutes but watch carefully as the edges may burn if left too long
Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over hot crust. Spread with a rubber spatula until a smooth layer forms over the top. Then sprinkle the nuts on evenly. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for 15-20 minutes or refrigerate for an hour. Cut with a sharp knife or break up in pieces like brittle. 

Best Ever Rolled Sugar Cookies (Cut out or slice and bake!)

I know there are a lot of rolled sugar cookie recipes out there but this one will have everyone asking for copies of the recipes. The recipe makes A LOT of cookies so if it's not for the holidays you can easily cut it in half or make the full recipe and take half of the dough, roll it into logs, wrap them well and freeze them for slice and bakes at another time.

1 1/2 cups softened butter 
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl cream together softened butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. (See! Easy Peasy!) Cover and chill dough for at least one hour.  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4" to 1/2" thick.  Cut into shapes with cookie cutter. Place cookies 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 6-8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely. 

Note: If you don't plan on decorating them with frosting or icing you can sprinkle the tops with raw sugar or turbinado sugar before putting them in the oven.