By Edie McGinnis
Iâ€™ve been a little jealous of my friends lately. It seems as though they are all off to one retreat or another. As much as I would love to go play, Iâ€™ve been too busy with work to run away from home. So here I am, sitting at my computer, thinking about what treats I could contribute if I went. I know, thatâ€™s just sad, isnâ€™t it?
I have been accused of being a pretty good cook by my friends, so if they arenâ€™t missing me at retreat, maybe they will at least miss my cooking. And please donâ€™t tell anyone the secret Iâ€™m going to share with you here: Iâ€™m really just lazy.
I take treats that are quick and easy. I donâ€™t spend any more time in the kitchen than absolutely necessary. After all, I have fabric to cut, supplies to round up, my sewing machine to pack, as well as all the little things that I canâ€™t live without when Iâ€™m sewing. Oh, and then thereâ€™s clothes. I have to pack them as well.
One of my favorite treats to take is Apple Roll-Ups.Â My grandma made them for me when I was a kid. She used her leftover pie dough. Iâ€™m too lazy to make pie dough, though, so I grab a box of ready-made piecrusts. Hereâ€™s what you need to make these yummy things.
Makes 16 roll-ups
2 apples, peeled, Â cored and sliced into 8 wedges each
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup water
Slice each of the two piecrusts into 8 wedges. Wrap a wedge of dough around each apple slice.Â Place each piece of pastry in a 9â€ x 13â€ cake pan, and make sure the pieces arenâ€™t touching. Brush each with melted butter. Mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the pastries. Pour the water over the pastries. Bake for 25-30 minutes in a 425-degree oven.
I can guarantee that you will not bring any apple roll-ups home. You will be lucky if they last long enough for you to grab some for yourself.
My next favorite dessert to take is a Black Forrest cake. There are people who go to a great deal of trouble to make this kind of cake. I am not one of those people. I opt for the easy out, and it looks like Iâ€™ve gone to a great deal of trouble.
Quick and Easy Black Forrest Cake
1 dark chocolate cake mix
1 tub Cool Whip
1 large can cherry pie filling
Follow the directions on the box of cake mix, and bake the cake in a 9â€ x 13â€ cake pan. Let the cake cool. After it has cooled, ice the top with Cool Whip. Spoon the cherry pie filling on top. Looks impressive, tastes great and itâ€™s done in no time flat.
My third favorite thing to take requires more time, but hardly anyone makes it.
Orange Oatmeal Cookies
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of one orange
1/2 teaspoon orange oil or 1 teaspoon orange flavoring
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup craisins
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. While itâ€™s warming up, cream the butter and sugars until smooth. Add in the eggs, vanilla, orange zest and orange oil and beat well. Stir in the baking soda and salt, and add the flour. Stir in the oats and the craisins, and mix well.
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for a minute or two. Place on wax paper to finish cooling.
Iâ€™m still pouting about not being able to get away and join my friends. Maybe Iâ€™ll just do a little baking this evening, when Iâ€™m done working.
Edie McGinnis is an author and editor for Kansas City Star Quilts. She writes every Friday.