A little background:  In 2013, I attended a Wisconsin State Reading Association workshop in Madison, where authors, Cris Tovani and Sam Bennett, facilitated “Adolescent Reading RX.”  After the workshop, I introduced myself to Cris and shared with her my desire to write a book.  I asked if she had any suggestions on how to get started.  Cris encouraged me to start with a blog.  “Get your name out there with a blog, then start on the book” she recommended.  In addition, she suggested I create an “organizing feature,” or gimmick, something that would set my blog apart from the millions already out there.

I decided to use baking as my organizing feature.  Since I had baked for my students (“there’s butter and love in every bite!”) for many years, sharing recipes with visitors to my site made sense.  My new blog was entitled, “Butter and Love: A Teacher’s Guide to Edible Education.” 

Ani’s Apple Crisp



4 medium tart cooking apples, sliced (4 cups)

¾ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup flour

½ cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Ice cream


1) Heat oven to 375ºF.

2) Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.

3) Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.

4) Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork.

5) Serve warm with cream.


Justin’s Sugar Cookies

My DFF (dear friend forever), Judy, bakes these for her son, Justin.  So, appropriately named.  You’ll love them because they are so easy; much less time-consuming than traditional sugar cookies!


1 C sugar, plus sugar to coat cookies

1 C (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

1/2 t vanilla extract

1 t almond extract

1 C powdered sugar

1 C vegetable or canola oil

4 1/2 C flour

1 t baking soda

1 t cream of tartar

2 eggs

1 M&Ms consider the holiday and go crazy!)


1) In medium bowl, cream 1 cup sugar, butter and extracts

2) Beat in powdered sugar, oil and eggs In another bowl, sift flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar.

3) Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate several hours (dough is very sticky).

4) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5) Form dough into walnut size balls and put onto lightly greased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.

6) Dip bottom of a glass tumbler into additional sugar and press cookies down. Press in 4-5 M&Ms into top of cookies.

7) Bake 10 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. (These cookies barely brown at all so don’t overbake).

8) Let cookies sit on cookies sheets about 4 minutes before removing to cooling rack, otherwise they break apart.

Makes about 7 doz. (these freeze well too)


Happy Valentine's Day!!
Happy Valentine’s Day!!



 Substitute Brownies

These are absolutely delicious and easy!  You and your students will love them!


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I’ve also used almond extract – as delish!)

2 eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cocoa

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional.  Be careful about nuts.  Always ask your students if anyone is allergic.) 


1)  Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Grease 9-inch square baking pan.

3) Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl.

4) Add eggs; beat well.

5) Combine flour, cocoa, and baking powder; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well-blended.

6) Stir in nuts, if desired.  Spread into prepared pan.

7)  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan.

While warm, I sprinkle on confectioner’s sugar – as much as you want!!



If we all took care of each other like this, what a wonderful world!!
If we all took care of each other like this, what a wonderful world!!


Everything Cookies/Breakfast Cookies

Call these whatever you want.  They are delicious – chewy, soft and loaded with all sorts of good stuff.  These cookies are loaded with nuts, so always double-check who has the nut allergy in class.  Also, I’m giving you two separate recipes:  one has a bunch of ingredients and makes a bunch of cookies(I used a muffin scoop and got about 60-70 cookies); the other recipe is a little more manageable and makes about 40 cookies.  Please know that while I use the base recipe, I often change up the nuts and the dried fruit.  If I have dried apricots in the house, that’s what I use in place of the papaya or cranberries.   If I have walnuts, I substitute walnuts for the sunflower seeds or slivered almonds.  Be creative!  Finally, when I have time, I use the big cookie recipe and when I’m pressed for time, I use the smaller one.  Your students (and you) will love these!

Ingredients: 2 C whole-wheat flour 2 C all -purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 4 sticks of butter, room temperature 3 C packed brown sugar 4 large eggs 1 T plus 1 t vanilla extract 4 C rolled oats 1 C almonds, coarsely chopped 1/2 C raw pumpkin seeds 1/2 C shredded unsweetened dried coconut 1/2 C raisins or currants 1/2 C finely chopped dried mango 1/4 C finely chopped dried papaya

Directions: 1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Whisk together flours and baking soda. 2)  Beat butter in a large bowl with a mixer until light and fluffy. 3)  Add sugar; beat until well combined. 4)  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. 5)  Add vanilla; beat until just combined. 6)  Slowly add flour mixture, and beat until well combined. 7)  Add oats, almonds, seeds, coconut, raisins or currants, mango and papaya, and beat to combine. 8)  Using a muffin scoop, place dough on cookie sheet.  Depending on your oven, bake for 12-15 minutes.  I suggest placing three scoops on a cookie sheet, bake and adjust time accordingly.

Breakfast Cookies

2 sticks butter, softened 1 C of brown sugar 1/2 C sugar 2 eggs 1 t almond extract 1 t vanilla extract 1 1/2 C flour 1 t baking soda 1 t cinnamon 3 C oats, regular or quick cook 1 C raisins 1 C dried cranberries 1 C flaked baking coconut 1 C slivered almonds, toasted (toast 10 minutes in 350 degree oven) 

Directions: 1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2)  In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars, until fluffy. 3)  Add the eggs and the extracts and beat well. 4)  Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and oats and mix. 5)  Fold in the remaining ingredients and stir until blended.  Drop by the tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes.

While the title "Breakfast Cookies" is deceiving, they aren't just for breakfast!
While the title “Breakfast Cookies” is deceiving, they aren’t just for breakfast!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s