Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Quick, Cheap Cookie Tray

When my husband walked in the door an hour early, I gave him a blank stare. Had I forgotten something?

Oh, no...the cookie tray I volunteered for a meeting last night!

He offered to pick something up, but I raced to the pantry. With basic ingredients, I can pull together these cocoa powder brownies and sugar cookies with 15 minutes of measuring and mixing.

While the brownies baked, I polished a silver tray and piled the last of our strawberries in a bowl for color.

Pepperidge Farm might have tasted better, but I'm always glad to save our family (and our wallet) from a last minute trip to Kroger!

44 comments:

celina from canada said...

i think these would be better than the store....i like the combo of rich brownie vs sugar cookies..both will be added to my list

Brenda said...

You are a problem solver! And a fast one at that! Like the above comment, I'm sure it tasted better than store bought anyway!
Brenda

Roxie700 said...

Meredith, once again you amaze me. I am sure your husband appreciates your efforts very much. He must be very proud. Your cookie tray looked anything but 'cheap' by the way. I think a better title would be "quick, frugal, and beautiful desert tray" With a cup of coffee I would be in heaven with that tray of goodies. Blessings Roxie

Lana said...

How can you pull them together within 15 minutes if the brownies take 20-25 to bake?

Soon, Then said...

dude, whatever! These beat Pepperidge farm anyday!

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

right after I typed that I amended it to read mix and measure. Sorry for any confusion initially!

It takes less than 15 minutes to pull both batters together.

Preheat the oven while you are mixing the batters.

Bake 2 cookie sheets' worth for 8 to 10 minutes.

Then slide the brownie pan in and bake for 20 minutes.

Musings of a Housewife said...

It's gorgeous! And so much more lovely (and tasty I'm sure!) than Pepperidge Farm.

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

Just another quick note: I ended up using the last of a bag of brown sugar rather than open a new bag of white, so if my sugar cookies look browner than the Allrecipes version, that's why!

Deborah said...

Your tray looks fabulous - and I agree with everyone else - I'm sure they were way better than store bought - including Pepperidge Farm. You never fail to amaze me, Meredith! I've bookmarked both of these recipes and plan to make them over the weekend, that way I'll be ready the next time I need something sweet in a hurry! So much better - and you're right - so much more frugal - than running to the store! Thanks for sharing.

Mrs. Mordecai said...

Way to go! I've used a similar brownie recipe for last-minute occasions, too. I'm off to check out the cookie recipe now.

Ann said...

I love how you work together as a team! That looks so yummy!

Nancy said...

I would bet that yours tasted better than Pepperidge Farm. As usual, you inspire me.

Amiyrah said...

Wow! You just saved me from a baking dilemma I have for this saturday. These recipes look so easy, it will be a snap to get them done for my saturday morning meeting. Thanks a bunch, Meredith! I love the new layout, btw :o)

Jennifer said...

I doubt pepperidge farms would have tasted better. I hate it when I forget stuff.

Workin' MAMA! said...

See, this is the very reason why I love your blog -

You are truly extraordinary!

Printing recipes nowWWWW!

Lovely becomes you... It's your "Footprint"...

latrice

Christi said...

Looks absolutely like a million bucks! Your ability to think under pressure {and come up with something beautiful} is such an inspiration to me!

Heather - CROQZine.com - Dollarstorecrafts.com said...

Everyone likes homemade more than store bought... even Pepperidge Farm!!

Tracy said...

I seriously doubt that Pepperidge Farm tasted better! Great jo, and it looks pretty, too!

Jennifer said...

Once again, you manage to pull off cheap and classy at the same time. And delicious, to boot, I'm sure!

Bonita said...

I never cease to be amazed at the things you can throw together at the last moment. It has to be gift from God! Such a tasty, elegant tray. I guarantee nobody was wishing for Pepperidge Farm!

Sandy said...

Is that picture the actualy tray you sent? It is beautiful and I have no doubt it taseted FAR better than anything you could buy at Kroger. Good for you for going the extra mile!

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

Y'all think too much of my cooking skills! These weren't the best cookie recipes in the world, but they are quick and inexpensive.

If anyone makes the sugar cookie recipe, SIFT the flour FIRSt, then measure, otherwise the cookies will end up way too dry.

Yes, this is the actual tray I sent. I couldn't get a good shot of the whole tray but I split the brownies on each side of the cookies to alternate the light and dark.

Trust me when I say that everything i make looks better than it tastes!

Nancy said...

Excellent! I don't know why, but everytime I make cookies, I'm amazed at how fast they come together (usually - depends on the recipe, of course). It's usually a fraction of the time it would take for me to get to a store and back and they taste fresher, with the personal satisfaction that *I* made them. :)

Mastering Simplicity said...

I am amazed...not just by the beautiful tray you have, or the quick way you "fixed" a problem, but the love and trust and beauty of your relationship with your husband that shows through on your post about cookies. It makes me smile to read your blog.....simply beautiful.

Brenda said...

Way better than Pepperidge Farm. Give me homemade any day! Way to go!

Christina said...

Such a pretty tray. I'm sure everyone enjoyed the home baked goodies. I'm amazed how quickly you can pull something like that together. I can't get my mind in gear that fast.

Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

OK, my friend - beautiful and now to go look at the recipe. :)

Rhonda Parker said...

Wow, that's fabulous that you came up with that in such a short time. And I'm 100% positive that everyone enjoyed home made over store bought any day! :) Way to go.

Tubo Family said...

Thanks for the inspiration on making an effort to cook instead of shop AND the recipe links Meredith. I lost my good cocoa powder brownie recipe a while back and have been wanting a replacement.
P.S. I know you consider yourself not a natural cook but y'know not all store cookies taste so natural,and baking is more of a science than a art.

Sandy Toes said...

Looks wonderful!!!
sandy toe

Kimberly said...

I'm going to have to disagree with you for once.

NO--PepFarm would NOT be as good as these!!!

Mama Squirrel said...

I took you up on the challenge, and baked the same cookies and brownies this afternoon--my whole tray was ready in an hour, and both recipes were delicious. I posted about it here: http://deweystreehouse.blogspot.com/2009/05/speed-baking-we-did-it.html .

The Frugal Shrink said...

You are amazing!!!!! :)

FishMama said...

You are an inspiration. Love the new look, btw.

Manuela@Pleasures of Homemaking said...

Besides I'm people always like homemade better, and they're fresh. You're so smart! That was a good way to solve that problem!

Manuela

An Adventurer in the World said...

I made the brownies yesterday after discovering nothing ready-made for the afternoon carpool kids: only 30 minutes, mix to bake.

REALLLLLY good recipe. Took the hot pan of brownies to cool during 25-min drive; adequate time needed to develop fabulous chewy edge.

keeper!

Deb Meyers

Sandy said...

you've got to do what you've got to do!

we have to take brownies tonight so abby will make them - 99 cents a box! :)

love the new look Meredith! perfect, clean and YOU :)

congrats.

Empty Nest Full Life said...

Hooray for you. You are alway prepared for the unexpected. What a blessing for your family! Jackie

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

My daughter and I were just talking about the value of being an experienced baker.

You are the poster child for this. :)

Great job!

I recently found a very pretty shortbread "pan" (stonewear) at Goodwill. I've been using it a lot to justify the $7.99 cost at Goodwill.

Since I can bake nine square shortbread cookies in it each time (with pretty imprints) and then dip each in dark chocolate, I'm saving the $3.99 price for a box of similar European cookies at the store.

I'm always looking for interesting baking pans at Goodwill and garage sales. They have such a "wow" factor and no one has to know you were only using butter, sugar, flour, eggs, and a little vanilla.

I love learning how to be classy on a budget form you. :)

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

You go girl!

:)

Michele said...

And the best part about baking last minute is that they were probably warm out of the oven! Yum. For other quick cookies - look up vinegar cookies on allrecipes.com. They are super quick to make with no egg! And they taste good, too.

annkroeker said...

Oh, boy! I'm inspired (as usual) and am going to check out that brownie recipe right away!

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

One thing about the brownie recipe--it doesn't make all that much.

If you are doing a tray for anyone other than your family, you will want to double this and bake it in a 9 x 13 pan, or double it, baking it in a smaller pan for thicker brownies.

Chief Family Officer said...

Meredith, you are amazing. And thank you for linking to the recipes - they'll become part of my repertoire now too!