Crispy Chocolate Chunk Cookies!

crispy cruncy


For people who crave cookies from the middle of the night to the middle of the day, this cookbook is a “I gotta’ have a copy of this” type of book. No matter what type of cookie that you like…trust me…it is in this book.

Evidently I am a cookbook junkie…a nonstop collector. My mother was also a collector…so, I was just born this way! When I found this cookbook several years ago, I decided that buying one more could not hurt anything. Right?

What helped seal the deal on the cookbook purchase was the crispy chocolate chunk cookies. They are truly ultra-thin and brittle…the best that I have ever tasted! A decadent recipe…but remember…they are thin!!


ultra-thin chocolate chunk cookies recipe.png


Ultra-Thin Chocolate Chunk Cookies



1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon light corn syrup

2 tablespoons whole milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped into chunks, or 1 generously heaping cup chocolate chips or chunks


Combine the flour and baking soda in a small bowl, mixing them thoroughly with a whisk or fork. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, oats granulated sugar and dark brown sugars, corn syrup, milk and salt. Whisk in the flour mixture. If the batter is still warm from the butter, let it cool to room temperature before adding the chocolate. Stir in the chocolate chunks. If possible, let the dough rest for at least several hours at room temperature or covered overnight in the fridge. (The resting time makes for an especially crisp and extra-flavored cookie. If you refrigerate the dough, you may need to warm it to room temperature before you’re able to portion it into cookies.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven . (These cookies will not spread as they should in a convection oven, so make them only if you have a conventional oven.) Have ready three baking sheets.

Place three large sheets of aluminum foil, cut to fit your baking sheets, on the counter. Divide the dough into 15 equal blobs of about 2 tablespoons each. Arrange 5 blobs of dough well apart on each sheet of foil, situating 4 in a square and 1 in the center. Flatten each piece of dough until it is about 3 inches in diameter. Slide two of the sheets of foil onto baking sheets.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cookies are thin and very brown, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. If the finished cookies are too pale, they will not be crisp, although watch the cookies carefully as they turn brown quickly. Slide the cookies and foil onto wire racks to cool completely before removing the cookies from the foil. Repeat with the third batch—you can slide the last sheet of foil and cookie dough onto a hot baking sheet as long as you put the sheet in the oven immediately. Cool the cookies completely before stacking or storing. The cookies can be kept in an airtight container for at least 3 days.





A Painted Village in Poland.




Zalipie, Poland might possibly be epitome of  the word “quaint”.   Every building and the majority of items in the town are painted by hand in the quintessential folk art style of Polish artists. Flowers are really the chosen subject and the results are a very pretty showcase of Polish culture.

There is a long-standing legend that says the village residents noticed that soot and smoke smudges were taking over their cottages. The culprit was all of the village wood-burning stoves!


What to do? What to do? Paint over the smudges, of course!





The painters took a hint from the colors in their gardens and followed suit. They didn’t stop with the houses once the painting started. Everything imaginable is painted…water wells, dog houses, chicken coops, bridges, churches and kitchens! Flowers and more flowers are everywhere!

Ten Places I NEED To See…Ten Of Many Places!


Let’s just go ahead and blame Barnes & Noble for my new travel obsessions. Honestly, I was innocently looking for a log cabin house plan magazine. I love log cabins. Are we going to build a log cabin? Highly doubtful. I just like to look at the outside pictures, the inside pictures and the house plans…just in case someone decides that he indeed likes them. Notice that I did not name any names. One problem with finding the magazine that I wanted…


I saw the National Geographic titled “100 Best Destinations…Around the World in Four Seasons”! I suddenly realized how much I might be missing around the world. I quickly forgot the log cabin. I mean…how can we afford a really cool log cabin when we have so many natty and wonderful places to visit?


So…I have studied the National Geographic for hours and determined the top ten places that I HAVE to see. I found it practically impossible to choose only ten, but it is very necessary for me to visit the following places…


1. Edinburgh, Scotland…to go to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the world’s largest arts festival!



2. Alberta, Canada…for the Calgary Stampede, one of the biggest rodeos in the world!




3. French Polynesia…to Moorea…ah!!! the South Pacific!




4.  Copenhagen, Denmark…to Tivoli Gardens…especially in November or December.




5. Vilnius, Lithuania…at Christmas…when the lights and the snow make the scenery resemble a snow globe.


Winter in Vilnius, Lithuania


6. Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand…to walk on the skyline trails!


New Zealand trails


7. Western Cape, South Africa…to visit Cape Town’s Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.


Cape Town Kirstenbosch


8. Acadia National Park, Maine…to see Cadillac Mountain and join the Acadia Night Sky Festival.

Acadia National Park

9. Cornwall, England…to walk the Cornish Coast that winds past Celtic ruins and small villages.




10. Kassel, Germany…to see the place where the Brothers Grimm documented many folktales from the area…such as Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella and Snow White! Visitors can travel the Fairy Tale Route from Hanau to Bremen!


Kassel, Germany




***And…so many more fascinating places to visit! Another post may be extremely necessary!***

A Friend Who Made Such A Difference.

A Friend Who Made Such A Difference. crystalCrystal (in the center) and her two children.


I will never forget when I first met Crystal before the school year started in 2002. She came to visit my school and meet me when we were on the first day of our teacher workdays. Over the loudspeaker in my classroom, the office clerk said…

“Mrs. Davis! Mrs. Davis! Are you there? You have a parent who wants to talk to you for one minute. I’m sending her to your room right now.”

Click, click…loudspeaker off. Oh no, I thought! My room was still in shambles with some furniture still stacked halfway to the ceiling. There were papers everywhere. There were manipulatives piled on the floor that truly needed sorting. I looked like a nutcase with my very disheveled hair pulled back, a too big shirt with another school’s name on it,  jeans splattered with yellow paint and to top the look off…I was sporting my just about torn-up, most comfortable sandals. I was a sight to behold and my room was totally (if at all possible) worse…maybe that statement is backwards.

Besides…how in the world did this parent know that I would be her child’s teacher? The class lists were not even out yet. Not even the teachers had any earthly idea about who would be in their class.

However, Crystal had been able to find out. Crystal evidently knew everyone in the office and they surely understood that she was concerned about her baby boy starting Kindergarten. So…someone placed him quickly on my class list and told her the room number. Within a minute or two, there was a knock on my classroom door and in Crystal walked holding a bouquet of flowers.

“Hello Mrs. Davis! I’m Crystal and you have been chosen to teach my son! Don’t worry! You are bound to like him a lot because everyone likes him a lot! Let’s have a little talk!”

And so began my friendship with the dynamic Crystal. She was outgoing, confident, smart, funny, a bit loud, sometimes a bit quiet, pretty and dressed like she was going to church. Actually, I felt like I was really in church with every subsequent conversation. I found that her faith was at the core of her family’s life. She had grown up in Pasadena, California and she had moved to Texas after she was an adult. She simply wanted every possible opportunity for her children, their dad, her relatives. They were a close family…then and now. She stayed for a long while that afternoon and helped me with my classroom. I was thrilled! What a great parent! And…I had not even met her child yet.

On the first day of school, her son was the first to arrive. O’Shea…the sweetest and the most handsome child imaginable. He shook my hand and told me that he was glad to meet me. He found his name on a locker and put his backpack away. He was able to find his name on a table and then quietly sat down. Amazing! I remember thinking…”Wow! I can’t believe that this is a five year old!”

We had a wonderful year…a fun class who were eager to learn. Crystal continued to help every chance that she had…she was at school for every event, for every party, for every program. O’Shea turned out to be a born leader…just like his mother. He was already athletic beyond reason. The physical education teacher said that he was clearly the fastest runner that he had ever had in elementary school. I would have a difficult time getting O’Shea to line up from the playground. He would always tell me…

“Wait a minute, Mrs. Davis! I am having a race with myself! All that I had to do was to mention LUNCH and he would run over to the sidewalk immediately!” 

After O’Shea graduated from Kindergarten, I would talk to his mom from time to time. The family moved to a new house and no longer were in our attendance zone. Oh goodness…it is so rewarding to keep up with a very special family. When Facebook came along, I was able to know more about what was going on in their lives. Crystal and O’Shea are one of the reasons that I like Facebook so much.

O’Shea was a star football player in a large Texas high school, made good grades and was given a “full ride” athletic scholarship to Colorado State University. Crystal asked me to write a letter of recommendation to the football coach about O’Shea. I was so honored!

Colorado State is very distant from Texas and his parents missed him so very much, but their pride in his achievement was enormous. They have attended many of the football games…no matter how far. Some parents are incredibly supportive of their children and perhaps should teach classes in parenting skills. I have always thought that Crystal should be a teacher or perhaps a psychologist. Indeed, she has been working on finishing  a college degree. She talked about going on to graduate school.

I write “talked” in the past tense because Crystal lost her life last Sunday in a tragic motorcycle accident. She and O’Shea’s dad rode Harley motorcycles and had been in Houston for the weekend. They often rode to other cities to gather with fellow Harley owners, so she was very accustomed to riding on the highway. Unfortunately, her tire had a blowout and she lost control. Her motorcycle rolled over several times.

I was heartbroken to hear the news as were her countless numbers of friends. She touched so many lives and helped so many of her friends through difficult times. And yet…she knew how to fully celebrate life…how to find joy in a child’s smile…how to love with all of her heart.

To O’Shea…I want to tell you how much your mother loved you, how proud she was of you and how she would want you to try your very best in every obstacle that you face…for life is inevitably full of obstacles. She would want you to find your smile again…remember her beautiful smile? She smiled so freely and so sincerely and she smiled so often! Look for your smile, O’Shea…your smile is still with you…and so is your Momma!

Love from your Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Davis

How To Make Cracker Candy…Post #2!!



Well!!! I know that my last post was also for Cracker Candy…but, it just did not turn out correctly! The video says “not available” even though it worked on the original post. Cracker Candy is really  fun to make and equally as delicious!

I was trying to complete a “Press This” and the process just did not work for me! So…this proves that I am totally confused tonight and evidently do not know what I am doing!!  In order to redeem myself…the video is shown above and the recipe is below! 



cracker candy





***Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Next, place crackers from one tube of Saltines in neat rows on the cookie sheet.

***Now for the tasty part!

***Melt 1 cup or 2 sticks of butter in a saucepan on low heat. When the butter is melted, mix in 1 cup and 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar and turn the heat to medium. Continue stirring until the mixture begins to boil. Allow it to boil for 3 minutes.

***Pour the mixture over crackers, being sure to fully coat every bit of the salty surface. Use a rubber spatula to spread evenly and then put the tray in the oven to bake for just 5 minutes.

***You’re not done yet. The sweet goodness keeps getting better and better!

***Remove the pan from the oven, and pour one bag of chocolate chips over the bubbling caramel sauce. Cover the pan with aluminum foil for 3 minutes so the chocolate melts. Use a rubber spatula to spread the chocolate evenly.

***If nuts are to your liking, top the Cracker Candy with your favorites.

***In the final step, cover the pan once more with aluminum foil and freeze for 20 minutes. Break up the pieces and try not to eat the whole batch in one sitting!




***Thank you to my friend…Loretta Saunders…for posting this super good recipe on Facebook!!***

The Brass Ring and the Merry-Go-Round.


grab the brass ring quote

  “It’s not enough to reach for the brass ring. You must also enjoy the merry-go-round.                                         

…Julie Andrews



brass ring one

J. D. Salinger wrote about the brass ring and a carousel (merry-go-round) in his 1951 novel…


The Catcher in the Rye


Carousels typically had a small brass or iron ring that was located close to the edge of the revolving ride. The ring was attached to a dispenser and could be grabbed by a carousel rider. On most carousels, there was just one valuable brass ring. The brass ring could then be exchanged for a prize such as a free ride or a perhaps a stuffed animal.



brass ring three


Therefore…the term “grab the brass ring” became a popular phrase. The phrase was also used in the late 19th century. Even than, when most people heard “grabbing the brass ring”, they believed that the words meant to go out for the very best possible solution for any situation…to live a full and successful life without fear.

In Catcher in the Rye, Salinger evidently was under assumption that “grabbing the brass ring” represented a hope for a bright future and possibly the dream for a bright future. He insinuated that to grab a brass ring might be dangerous and that people would be taking a chance to try to get it. Many adults might be afraid to put out the effort to “grab the brass ring”. Would you be afraid?


Salinger asserted that children would most assuredly want to take a chance on grabbing the ring…without fear and that they would be anxious to take on the challenge. An interpretation of Salinger’s words…


Adults must allow children to try for the brass ring…whatever the results might be. Taking chances is an important part of life and more directly…an  important part of growing up. Do you agree?


brass ring six