Chocolate Rum Raisin Cookies

Have a lovely holiday weekend, everyone!Image

Chocolate Rum Raisin Cookies

Soft chocolate cookies flavored with rum.

 Makes about 26 cookies

3/4 c. raisins

1/3 c. golden or dark rum

2 T.  water

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. Dutch process cocoa

1/2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. baking soda

1/4 t. salt

3/4 c. + 2 T. granulated white sugar

1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened

1 lg. egg

2 t. rum extract

1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips or  2 1/2 oz. chopped semi-sweet chocolate

  1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring raisins, rum and water to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for about 12 minutes or until the raisins are well-plumped and the liquid has mostly evaporated. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In large bowl, beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and rum extract. On lowest mixer speed, beat in dry ingredients until well combined. Fold in raisins and chocolate.
  5. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 9 to 11 minutes or until just set and lightly browned on the bottom. Place baking sheets on wire rack and allow cookies to cool.

Serving Suggestion: Drizzle with Sweet Chocolate Glaze and then with White Cookie Icing. (Recipes below.)

Sweet Chocolate Glaze

1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar

1 1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted (still warm)

4 to 5 T. half-and-half or heavy cream, divided

1 – 2 t. dark or light rum, optional

  1. Place confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl. Set aside
  2. Heat half-and-half or cream until just at a simmer. Stir 3 T. of it into sugar until perfectly smooth.Then stir chocolate into sugar mixture. If needed, slowly stir in just enough more warm half-and-half or cream to make a perfectly smooth glaze. Stir in optional rum, if desired.
  3. Drizzle over baked goods right away.

Pure White Cookie Icing

1 c. confectioner’s sugar

1 T. milk

2 t. light corn syrup

  1. Place confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl. Stir in milk and light corn syrup until perfectly smooth. The mixture will be a little on the thick side, but should pour from a spoon in a slow, smooth stream.
  2. Drizzle or pipe onto cooled baked goods right away. (This is thick enough to pipe thin lines but not thick enough to pipe firm shapes.)

Crape Myrtle Tonto

The Tonto Crape Myrtle growing in front of the Bed & Breakfast is my favorite of our shrubs. It has been blooming with wonderfully vibrant flowers for about 7-8 weeks so far and is still looking great even this late in the summer.




A Word A Week Challenge: Pink


I thought that these Queen Elizabeth roses from City Park were just beautiful and so perfect for this week’s challenge from A Word in Your Ear.  Thanks for the pink challenge! For more pink from me, see yesterday’s post A Dainty Little Cake.

A Dainty Little Cake

A couple who will be getting married at The Morning Star in October really wanted to preview their cake beforehand. So, I made two miniatures for them to taste, working with a few of the elements that I will be incorporating into the actual wedding cake which will be blush pink, ivory, and steel-gray.


Old-Fashioned Cocktail and Brandied Cherries

Recently, several people have asked me to post another cocktail recipe. So, friends, if anyone is planning to host a cocktail party, here is a classic …


Old-Fashioned Cocktail

• 1 cube of sugar

• 3 – 4 drops Angostura bitters (traditional in this cocktail) or Fee Brothers West Indian Orange Bitters (also very good)

• 1 – 2 brandied cherries

• 1 orange slice or lemon slice

• ice

• 2 oz. good bourbon (such as Woodford Reserve)

• 1 oz. cold water, optional

Place sugar cube in the bottom of an old-fashioned glass and then splash with bitters. Add 1 cherry and orange or lemon slice. Muddle ingredients together in bottom of glass.  Fill glass halfway with ice.  Add bourbon and, if a  lighter drink is desired, water.  Stir before serving to mix and chill drink and to make sure that sugar is dissolved. If desired, plop another cherry in the cocktail. Cheers!

Brandied Cherries

• 1 1/4 c. fresh cherries that have been washed and pitted (or frozen dark sweet cherries if fresh aren’t available)

• 1/4 c. granulated white sugar

• 1/4 c. water

• 1/2 t. fresh lemon or lime zest

• dash of ground cinnamon

• pinch of ground nutmeg

• pinch of ground cardamom

1/4 c. good brandy

Place all of the ingredients, except the brandy,  in a medium-sized saucepan. Gently stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 7 minutes or until liquid is thick and syrupy. Remove from heat. Stir in brandy. Transfer to a clean glass jar. Refrigerate uncovered until cool, then tightly seal jar. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Beautiful Kansas

A  certain organization has recently published a poll in which Kansas was voted the least scenic state in the Union, prompting the Kansas Tourism Division to request assistance in dispelling this claim. Here is a photo that I took one morning shortly after sunrise.  I hope that you enjoy the beautiful Kansas scenery! Have a lovely day!

A Surprise Wedding!

One of the weddings that we had at the Bed & Breakfast recently was actually a surprise – for the guests, that is. The bride and groom had invited everyone to a 1920’s-themed cocktail party and asked the guests to dress appropriately, but made no mention of a wedding on the invitations. About 45 minutes into the party, the groom called for everyone’s attention and thanked the surprised party goers for coming to the wedding and sharing in the special day. As you can imagine, the announcement that the ceremony was about to begin was of course was met by cries of delight. What a fun and unique wedding! We at The Morning Star wish Patrick and Jo great joy together!