Thursday, December 17, 2009

TOFFEE ALMOND BAR COOKIES

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 pkg (10-oz) English Toffee Bits OR Heath Bits 'O Brickle
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sliced natural almonds, divided
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the sides of a 13 x 9 x 2-in baking pan; set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Gradually add the flour, beating util well combined. Press the dough evenly onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Meanwhile, combine the candy bits and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until toffee is melted. This should take about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the almonds and 1/2 cup of the coconut. Spread the mixture to within 1/4-inch of the edges of crust. Sprinkle the remaining almonds and coconut over the top. Bake an additional 15 or until bubbly. Cool completely before cutting into squares or diamonds.

Yield: Approximately 36 cookie bars

Monday, December 14, 2009

FRUITCAKE BARS

1 cup chopped dried pears
1 cup dark raisins
1 cup chopped dried figs
1/2 cup dark rum
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsps grated orange rind
1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts

Rum Buttercream Frosting:

1 lb powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3 tbsp dark rum (or 3 tbsp orange juice)
1/8 tsp salt

Place the pears, raisins, figs, and rum in a plastic zip-top food storage bag; seal. Turn to coat all the fruit. Let stand at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with foil allowing foil to hang over on the short ends. Butter the foil and dust with flour; set aside.

In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, ginger, salt, and nutmeg.

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and brown sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the orange rind. Gradually beat in the flour mixture into the sugar mixture. Stir in the walnuts and the fruit mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool.

To make the frosting: Beat the powdered sugar, butter, rum or orange juice, and salt in a large mixing bowl on low speed of an electric mixer until blended. Increase to medium speed and beat until of spreading consistency, about a couple minutes.

To remove from the pan, lift out by the foil. Spread the frosting over the top of the cooled bars. Cut into 24 bars. Decorate with sugar sprinkles or sqiggles of colored frosting.

Thursday, December 10, 2009



Note: File Photo

Monday, November 30, 2009

CINNAMON STREUSEL COFFEE BUNDT CAKE

1 regular-size yellow cake mix
1 pkg (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix
2 tbsp canola oil
1 1/3 cups water
2 eggs

STREUSEL:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan or a bundt pan; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, blend the cake mix, pudding mix, oil, water, and eggs until well blended. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Spread 3/4of the batter in the prepared pan. Combine the streusel ingredients together well in a small bowl. Sprinkle 2/3 cup of the mixture over the batter in the pan. Spread the remaining batter over the streusel. Sprinkle the remaining streusel over the batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan, right side up, for 25 minutes. Remove cake from the pan and drizzle glaze over the top, if desired.

GLAZE: Blend 3/4 cup of confectioners' sugar with about 1 tablespoon of milk until smooth. Drizzle over the top of the cake allowing to run down sides.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

MS. TAYLOR'S HOMEMADE CARAMELS

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
dash of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tbsps butter

Combine the heavy cream with the milk. In a medium-sized heavy saucepan put 3/4 cup of the combined milk mixture. Add the sugar, brown sugar, salt, and corn syrup to the saucepan. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, over medium to medium-high heat. Cook to the soft ball stage or 235 degrees. At this point, slowly add the remaining milk mixture not allowing the mixture to stop boiling. Continue to cook to the firm ball stage or 244 degrees. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter. Pour into a greased 9 X 5 X 3-inch loaf pan. Cool at room temperature. When completely cooled, turn out of the pan onto a cutting surface. Using a knife dipped in hot water, cut the caramel into squares. Wrap individually in waxed paper or plastic wrap.

Yield 1 1/4 lbs

Monday, November 23, 2009

ROYAL EGG WHITE FROSTING FOR COOKIES

This icing is edible. It does, however, dry hard. It is great for decorating cookies, especially ones you want to use as decorations. This is not an icing recommended for cakes, except for special trims, if desired.

3 egg whites at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Using an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients together at high speed for 7 to 10 minutes. Use immediately. You cannot restore this icing to its original texture by rebeating. This icing dries quickly so work fast and keep your bowl covered with a damp cloth.

Note: If you are going to pipe delicate stringwork add a teaspoon of light corn syrup to 1 cup of icing.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

RICH LEMON CAKE

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 (3-oz) pkg lemon gelatin
3/4 cup low-fat milk
2/3 cup canola oil
2 tbsp lemon lemon extract
4 large eggs, separated

In a mixing bowl, sift together 1 1/4 cups of the sugar, the flour, baking powder, and gelatin. In a smaller bowl, combine the milk, oil, and lemon extract. Beat the liquids into the dry ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Beat the egg yolks, one at a time, into the batter.

In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until stiff but not dry. Fold the egg whites, lightly but thoroughly, into the batter.

Spray a ring pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust lightly with flour. Spoon batter into pan and bake at 325 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes until the cake springs back lightly when gently touched. Immediately turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

NOTE: To make into a pretty Christmas cake to use as a centerpiece on your Christmas table or dessert table, place the cooled cake on a pretty cake plate. Using a thin buttercream or your favorite white icing, drizzle over the top of the cake allowing some to run down the sides. Place 6 or 8 drained and dried Maraschino cherries spaced evenly on the top of the cake. Connect the cherries with a thin green vine line or place frosting leaves around the cherries. Thicken the remaining icing and make a ball or shell border around the bottom of the cake. Position a wide red or green candle in the center of the cake.

To use for a Thanksgiving centerpiece color some of the thickened icing in fall colors and make scattered leaves over the top. Make a bottom border the same color as your fall candle. Insert candle in center.

Monday, November 16, 2009

CREAMY MINTED MOCHA MIX

Note: This mix is great to keep in the pantry for your own use. It also makes a great gift when packaged in a pretty jar or container with the instructions for use attached to a pretty ribbon.

2 hard peppermint candies
1/2 cup non-dairy coffee creamer
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup instant coffee granules
2 tbsps unsweetened baking cocoa

In the food processor or a blender, finely crush the peppermint candies. Add the candies to the remaining ingredients and mix together well. Store in an airtight container or jar.

Instructions for use: Spoon 2 tablespoons of the above mix into a cup. Add 3/4 cup boiling water and stir. Garnish with a candy cane for a stirrer, if desired.

Friday, November 13, 2009

EASY CRUMB CRUSTS FOR PIES

This recipe calls for graham crackers but you can easily substitute chocolate wafers or gingersnaps using the same amount called for in the recipe.

1 1/4 cups fine graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar (or Splenda granular for diabetics)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Combine the crumbs and the sugar; mix in the butter. Press firmly onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. For an unbaked pie crust, chill 1 hour before filling. For a baked crust, bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes and cool thoroughly before filling.

Note: For an 8-inch pie pan, use only 1 cup of crumbs, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and 4 tablespoons of butter.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

APPLE CRISP PUDDING

6 large or 8 medium baking apples, peeled, cored, sliced
Layer apples in a baking dish sprinkling cinnamon and sugar between the layers

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup flour

Mix the sugar, butter, and flour together until well combined. Sprinkle over the apples.

1/2 cup water

Pour the water over the sugar mixture. Sprinkle more cinnamon over the top.

Bake, in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the apples are fork tender and the mixture is bubbly.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

DELICIOUS PINEAPPLE COCONUT PIE

1 unbaked pie crust in a 9-inch deep dish pan
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick butter, melted
2 tbsp flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla
1 can (20-oz) crushed pineapple, drained
1 small can flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the sugar and the flour. Add the melted butter, eggs, vanilla, pineapple, and coconut. Stir the mixture to combine well. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Sorry, Folks

I want to apologize for being so behind on new postings. My mother-in-law became very ill and we left Texas quickly for Indiana. We are part of a 24 hour vigil at her bedside. It has been hard to find time to get to the computer. Hopefully, for her sake, this will all be over soon. I appreciate your patience and will try to do better.

Linda

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

MARSHMALLOW CREME PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE

4 cups sugar
1 tall can evaporated milk
3/4 stick of butter
1 cup marshmallow creme
1 cup peanut butter

In a 2 1/2 to 3-quart saucepan cook the sugar and milk together until they reach the soft ball stage (you can make a soft ball when you drop a couple drops of the mixture into a cup of cold water). Remove from the heat and add the butter, marshmallow creme and peanut butter. Beat until the mixture starts to stiffen and is smooth. Pour into a buttered pan, let set until firm then cut into squares.

GRANDMA'S PUMPKIN GINGERSNAP PIE

1 1/2 cups half & half cream
1 pkg (4-serving size)Vanilla Pudding and Pie Filling Mix
1 carton (8-oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped gingersnap cookies
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 graham cracker crust

In a large mixing bowl, using a wire whisk, beat the half & half cream and the pudding and pie filling mix together for 1 minute. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. Fold in the whipped topping, pecans, gingersnaps, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Spoon the mixture into the graham cracker crust. Freeze until firm. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes to soften before cutting to serve. May be stored in the freezer, so this is a good make-ahead pie for the holidays.

Monday, October 12, 2009

BLUEBERRY ICE CREAM MUFFINS

1 cup vanilla ice cream
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup fresh blueberries

Combine the ice cream and flour, stirring just until moistened. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin pans, filling each 2/3s full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

BAKER'S CHOCOLATE BLISS COOKIES

2 pkgs (8 squares each) semi-sweet baking chocolate, divided
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, slightly softened
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Coarsely chop 8 of the chocolate squares; set aside. Microwave the remaining 8 chocolate squares in a large microwavable bowl on high for 2 minutes; stir after 1 minute. Stir until all the chocolate is completely melted. Add the brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until it is well blended. Add the flour and baking powder; mix well. Stir in the chopped chocolate and the walnuts. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 13 minutes or until puffed and shiny. Cool for a minute before removing from the baking sheets to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: about 30 cookies

NOTE: If you omit the nuts, increase the flour by another 1/4 cup.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

NELLIE'S CHERRY DESSERT

2 cans cherry pie filling
2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup chopped walnuts
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 box white cake mix

In a 9 x 11 x 2-inch baking pan, spread the two cans of cherry pie filling. Squeeze the lemon juice over the pie filling. Sprinkle the cake mix, dry, over the pie filling. Pour melted butter over the cake mix and sprinkle the nuts over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Serve topped with whipped cream.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

JEAN'S RAISIN PIE

Pastry for a 2-crust pie
2 cups raisins
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp vinegar
2 1/2 cups water
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a deep dish pie plate with 1 sheet of pastry; set aside.

In a medium saucepan boil the raisins in 2 cups of the water for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, and salt together. Add the remaining water to the brown sugar mixture and mix together well. Add to the raisins in the saucepan and cook until slightly thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vinegar. Pour into the prepared pie plate. Top with the other pastry sheet, cut air vents or poke with a fork. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

EASY PIE DOUGH

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 tbsp cold water

Mix the flour and salt together with a fork. Add the oil and stir. Stir the cold water into the mixture. Place on plastic wrap; cover with plastic wrap and roll out.
Makes enough for a 2-crust pie.

Friday, October 9, 2009

JEAN'S LEMON SUPREME CAKE

1 pkg (4-serving size) lemon-flavored gelatin
1 pkg (2-layer size) Lemon Supreme Cake Mix
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup hot water
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dissolve the lemon gelatin in the hot water; allow to cool. In a large mixer bowl, combine the gelatin, cake mix, canola oil, and eggs; combine on low speed for a few seconds to blend. Increase speed and beat for 4 minutes. Pour into a 10 x 14-inch baking pan that has been sprayed lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove cake from oven and prick top with a fork. Pour the prepared glaze over the top of cake.

Lemon Glaze:

1 cup sifted powdered sugar
juice of half a lemon
water to make a glaze or drizzle consistency

In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice and enough water to make the glaze of preferred consistency.

NO CRUST COCONUT PIE

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups milk
7-oz flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, butter, flour, vanilla, and milk. Mix together well. Stir in the coconut with a spoon. Pour into 2 9-inch pie pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

CHOCOLATE KISSES MACAROONS

1/3 cup butter, softened
1 pkg (3-oz) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsps orange juice
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 cups sweetened flaked coconut, divided
1 pkg (10-oz) chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, cream cheese, and sugar at medium speed of an electric mixer until blended. Add the egg yolk, orange juice, and almond extract; beat until mixture is blended.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture; beat until blended. Stir in 3 cups of the coconut. Cover mixture and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Shape chilled dough into approximately 1-inch size balls. Place the remaining 2 cups of coconut on waxed paper and roll the balls in the coconut. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes for soft chewy cookies or 13 minutes for crispy cookies. Remove cookies from the oven and press one candy kiss in the center of each cookie while the cookie is warm. Cool for about a minute on the baking sheets then remove to wire racks to continue to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

CHOCOLATE PASSION FOR CHOCOHOLICS

3 cups cold milk
2 pkgs (4-serving size) Chocolate Instant Pudding and Pie Filling Mix
1 container (8-oz) frozen whipped topping, divided
1 9-inch square pan of baked brownie, cooled, cut into cubes
2 cups fresh raspberries

Pour the milk into a large mixing bowl. Add the dry pudding and beat with a wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended and all pudding is dissolved. Gently stir in 1 cup of the thawed whipped topping.

Put half of the brownie cubes in a 2-quart clear glass (if available) serving bowl. Top with half the pudding mixture then half the raspberries and half of the remaining whipped topping. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until serving time. Store leftovers, if there are any, in the refrigerator.

NOTE: This dessert can be made for diabetics by using sugar-free pudding mix, sugar-free whipped topping, and homemade brownies made with Splenda instead of sugar.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

SOUR CREAM RAISIN CAKE & RAISIN TOPPING

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup dairy sour cream
1/3 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 1 cup raisins

Topping:

1/4 cup dairy sour cream
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9 x 9 x 2-inch; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl cream butter, brown sugar, eggs, and sour cream until light and fluffy. Add orange juice, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Using an electric mixer, beat at low speed until blended. Scrape bowl constantly while blending. Beat at medium speed for 1 minute, scraping down the bowl. Stir in the raisins. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Make the topping by combining the sour cream and confectioners' sugar in a small bowl. Beat until smooth. Stir in the raisins and spread over the cooled cake.

BUTTERY ALMOND SHORTBREAD BARS

2/3 cup butter flavored shortening
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg, separated
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp water
1/2 cup (or more)  finely chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 x 2-inch pan; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the shortening, sugar, egg yolk, milk, and almond extract. Add the flour to the mixture and blend together. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Add the water to the egg white in a small mixing bowl. Beat the mixture until until foamy. Brush the egg white mixture over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle with the almonds, pressing them down gently with your fingertips. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting into bars.

Note: File Photo

Monday, October 5, 2009

BUTTERY CARAMEL CORN WITH ALMONDS

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup white corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup coarsely chopped blanched almonds

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Generously grease a baking sheet. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven blend brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and vanilla extract. Cook over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, or until light and foamy. Stir constantly during cooking. Remove from the heat, add the popcorn and stir to coat thoroughly. Stir in the almonds. Spread on the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes, stirring once. Cool. Break into bite-sized pieces. Store in a covered container.

Note: File Photo

Sunday, October 4, 2009

MAPLE APPLE STEAMED PUDDING WITH HARD SAUCE

1/4 cup butter flavored shortening or butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped apples
Hard Sauce (recipe follows)

Grease an ovenproof 6-cup mold or pudding dish. Dust the mold or dish with granulated sugar; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the shortening or butter, brown sugar, egg, and maple syrup. Beat the mixture at low speed of an electric mixer until blended. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger and buttermilk. Beat at medium speed until blended, scraping down the bowl frequently. Stir in the apples. Spoon the mixture into the mold. Cover mold tightly with a double thickness of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Place 1-inch of water in a Dutch oven. Place the mold on a rack in the Dutch oven. Cover. Cook over high heat until the water boils. Reduce the heat and cook at a very slow boil for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the pudding comes out clean. If you need to add more water during cooking, lift the lid and quickly add boiling water. Remove the pudding in the mold from the Dutch oven. Remove the aluminum foil from the pudding. Allow the steam to escape before attempting to remove the pudding from the mold. Serve with the Hard Sauce.

HARD SAUCE:
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp apple juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
dash of ground nutmeg

In a small mixing bowl, combine the butter and apple juice. Beat at low speed of electric mixer for 1 minute. Add the confectioners' sugar and nutmeg; beat at medium speed until smooth. Spoon into a small bowl and refrigerate at least an hour.

Yield: 1 cup

RAISIN WALNUT CLUSTERS

8 oz chocolate candy coating
2 tbsp butter or shortening
1 1/2 cup broken walnuts
1/2 cup raisins

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate candy coating with the butter or shortening, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, when totally melted. Add the walnuts and raisins mixing well to coat. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least a half hour or until set.

Yield: about 2 dozen candy clusters

Saturday, October 3, 2009

BAKED APPLES & CRANBERRIES WITH CRUNCHY STREUSEL TOPPING

Fruit mixture:
5 medium Granny Smith apples
1 can (16-oz) whole berry cranberry sauce
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour

Topping mixture:
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

For the filling: Peel, core, and slice the apples. Place the slices on the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine the cranberry sauce, sugar, and flour; mix until well blended. Pour the cranberry mixture over the apples. Be sure all apples are covered with the cranberry mixture.

For the topping: In a small bowl, combine the chopped pecans, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Pour the melted butter over the mixture and stir to blend together well. Using your fingers, sprinkle the topping mixture over the fruit mixture in the pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until the apples are tender and the topping is golden brown.

Note: This is delicious served warm with vanilla ice cream!

TROPICAL ANGEL FOOD CAKE DESSERT

1 (10-oz) angel food cake
1 container (12-oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 can flaked coconut, toasted
1 jar (6 or 7-oz)maraschino cherries, well drained and chopped
1 can (15-oz) can crushed pineapple

Break the angel food cake into bite-sized pieces. Arrange half of the cake pieces in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch pan. Top with half of the undrained crushed pineapple and half the chopped cherries. Spread half of the whipped topping over the fruit; top with half the toasted coconut. Repeat the layers exactly as before, ending with the topping and coconut. Cover and refrigerate overnight.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

COCONUT THUMBPRINTS

1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, separated
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup thick preserves or jam

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets; set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, cream the shortening with the sugar, egg yolk and vanilla at medium speed of an electric mixer. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder; add to the creamed mixture. Blend together well. Form batter into balls about 1-inch in diameter. Beat egg white until slightly frothy. Dip the dough balls into the egg white then roll in the coconut. Place on the prepared baking sheets. Make a shallow depression in the center of each cookie, using your thumb. Place 1/2 teaspoon of preserves or jam in the depression of each cookie. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 or 9 minutes or until coconut begins to brown. Cool on baking sheets about 1 or 2 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: approximately 2 dozen cookies


AN ULTIMATE CHEESECAKE with DIRECTIONS FOR REGULAR OR DIABETIC

CRUST:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp sugar (Splenda granular for diabetics)
1/4 cup butter, melted

In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar or Splenda. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan; chill for 30 minutes.

FILLING:
5 pkgs (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar (or Splenda granular)
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsps finely grated lemon or orange peel
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large mixer bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese for 2 minutes; add the sugar or Splenda. Gradually add the flour and mix until combined. On low speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat just until blended. Add the sour cream, citrus peel, and vanilla extract. Beat the mixture just until blended. Pour into the crust and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the topping.

TOPPING:
1 egg white
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup raspberry preserves (sugar-free or all fruit for diabetics)
1 cup kiwi fruit, sliced then quartered

Beat the egg white until frothy. Add the sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Fold in the sour cream until blended. Spread on top of the cake. Return the cake to the oven and bake about 20 minutes or until set but not browned. Turn the oven off and let cake sit for 1 hour with the oven door ajar (not wide open). Remove cake to a wire rack to cool completely.

Place the preserves in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high speed until thin, 45 to 60 seconds. Spoon the preserves onto the top of the cake. Spread with the back of the spoon to cover the top. Garnish with the kiwi fruit.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

OOOH SO GOOD WARM BROWNIE PUDDING CAKE

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 3/4 cups boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan or dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the 1/3 cup cocoa. Combine the milk, butter, and vanilla in a measuring cup and stir the mixture into the dry ingredients just until blended. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Combine the brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over the batter in the pan. Pour boiling water over the entire mixture but do not stir! Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Put onto a dessert plate or bowl and top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.

YUMMY ALMOND BRITTLE

1 1/2 cups whole almonds
3 tbsp butter
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp water

Arrange oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet with sides, arranged in a single layer; toast for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Melt the butter in a small skillet. Add the toasted almonds to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from the heat and set aside. Butter a large baking sheet; set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to boil while stirring to dissolve the sugar. Use a small pastry brush that's been dipped in cold water, to wash down sugar crystals that cling to the sides of the pan. Do not stir now! Bring the syrup to a boil until it turns a golden color. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the almonds and butter mixture. Quickly pour the mixture onto the buttered baking dish. Allow to cool and harden. Break into pieces. May be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yield: Approximately 1 pound.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

GYPSY DREAMS CANDY

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp light corn syrup
dash of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pkg (6-oz) chocolate chips
walnut halves for garnish, if desired
candied cherries for garnish, if desired

In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, whipping cream, milk, corn syrup, and salt. Mix together until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Cook until a candy thermometer registers 236 degrees or reaches the soft ball stage (if you don't have a candy thermometer). Remove from the heat. Cool to 110 degrees--which is lukewarm--without stirring. Add the vanilla and beat until the mixture thickens and begins to lose its gloss. Pour into a buttered 8-inch square pan. Do not scrape the the sides or bottom of the saucepan into the square pan. When this mixture is cool, melt the chocolate and spread over the top. When firm, cut into squares. Garnish with the walnuts and candied cherries.

PINEAPPLE CRUMBLE

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
5 cups fresh pineapple chunks OR 2 20-oz cans of pineapple chunks, drained, reserving 1/4 cup of the juice

TOPPING:

1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get out a cookie sheet with sides and a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

Spread the coconut on the baking sheet. Bake, stirring one time, for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly toasted. Allow to cool.

Put the pineapple into the baking dish. If you use the canned pineapple, add the 1/4 cup of juice. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until hot.

While the pineapple bakes, make the topping. Mix the flour, brown sugar, and baking powder in a medium bowl until well mixed. Add the butter and mix in with your fingers until all the flour mixture is moistened. Stir in the toasted coconut and the macadamia nuts. Gather mixture into a large clump; break off small chunks and scatter evenly over the hot fruit.

To catch any drips, place in the oven on a piece of foil. Bake for 35 minutes or until bubbly, the fruit is tender, and the topping is crisp and lightly browned. Delicious served with ice cream or coconut sorbet.

Monday, September 28, 2009

CRANBERRY-MINCEMEAT PIE

pastry for a 2-crust pie
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
2/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
1 jar mincemeat
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a 9 or 10-inch pie plate with a pastry; set aside.

In saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; add water. Over high heat, cook and stir until boiling. Add the cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the mincemeat into the pastry-lined pie plate. Top with the cranberry mixture. Cover with the other pastry, vent, seal the edges and flute. Whip together the egg yolk and 2 tbsp water. Brush the egg mixture over the top pastry. Bake in the lower half of the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown at 425 degrees. Cool before cutting.

PEANUT PATTIES

3 cups raw peanuts
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 cup white corn syrup
1 stick butter
2 tbsp evaporated milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp red food coloring

In a 2-quart heavy saucepan combine the peanuts, sugar, water, and corn syrup. Cook, stirring occasionally, to the hard crack stage or 290 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and add the butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, and food coloring; beat until creamy. Immediately drop by teaspoons onto buttered foil. Candy will quickly become stiff.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

DAVY CROCKETT COOKIES FOR A CROWD

3 cups shortening
3 cups granulated sugar
3 cups brown sugar
9 large eggs
3 tsp vanilla
6 cups flour
1 can coconut
3 tsp salt
3 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
6 cups oats (uncooked)
1/2 cup nuts
1 large pkg chocolate chips or butterscotch chips

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the shortening, granulated sugar, and brown sugar; add the eggs. Beat the mixture until well blended. Stir in the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder; mix into the sugar mixture. Stir in the coconut, oats, nuts, and chips; mix well. Spoon full teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees 8 to 10 minutes until the cookies are light brown. Do not overcook.

Yield: approximately 10 dozen cookies.

PASTRY-FREE APPLE WALNUT PIE

1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced peeled apples
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9-inch glass pie plate with margarine or spray with vegetable oil spray. Combine the egg and sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and vanilla. Stir to mix. Add the walnuts, apples, cinnamon and nutmeg. Using a large wooden spoon, stir to mix well.Spoon into the pie plate and using the back of the spoon, spread evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

This pie is delicious served warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

EDIBLE COOKIE BASKET

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup blanched, slivered almonds, finely ground
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 stick butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 loaf pan, outside covered with foil
1 1/2-inch cookie cutter with round or scalloped edges

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, almonds, and salt.

In a large mixer bowl, with an electric mixer at medium speed, beat together the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the flour mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Turn the foil covered pan upside down and spray the foil covered pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thickness. Using the cookie cutter, cut out the shapes. Cover the pan with the cookies starting at the top of the pan, overlapping one row slightly over the next. Once the sides, ends and bottom of the pan are covered, put into the oven and bake at 350 for about 10 to 12 minutes. Do not over bake. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. When completely cool, gently lift the cook basket off the foil covered pan. Remove the foil if it sticks to the cookies. Arrange other cookies in this cookie basket for gift giving, party presentations, etc. Cover the basket and cookies with plastic wrap for gift giving or until ready to serve.

Note: You can make a round cookie bowl by using the same technique over a round oven-proof bowl.

OH, SO YUMMY, BLUEBERRY QUICK BREAD

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh blueberries (or frozen blueberries without sugar)
1/4 cup cornmeal (yellow preferably)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
5 tbsp + 1 tsp butter, melted
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat the bottom and partway up the sides of a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a medium bowl, put the flour and remove 1 tbsp to toss with the blueberries. (This will keep them from clumping together.) Toss the blueberries and the 1 tablespoon of flour together in a small bowl. Add the cornmeal, baking powder, and salt to the flour in the medium bowl. Mix well.

In another medium bowl, combine the sugar with the eggs, milk, butter, and lemon juice. Whisk with a wire whisk to combine well. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture just until blended; gently fold in the blueberries. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Completely cool on wire rack.

Friday, September 25, 2009

INDIANA FARMER'S APPLE TORTE

2 cups apples, peeled and chopped
1 cup nuts; chopped
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, well beaten
3 tbsp butter, melted
whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the apples and nuts. In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, soda, and salt; add to the apples and nuts. Mix well. In another bowl, combine the egg, butter and vanilla in another bowl and mix well. Add the egg mixture to the apple mixture. Stir until the batter is all moist and well blended. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 to 45 minutes. Serve topped with whipped cream.

BAKED RASPBERRY SWIRL CHEESECAKE PIE

1 chocolate crumb pie crust
1 pkg (8-oz) softened cream cheese
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
3 tbsp + 1 tsp lemon juice, divided
1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves

In a medium mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in the sweetened condensed milk until the mixture is smooth. Add the egg and the 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Mix well. Pour half the batter into the prepared crust. Combine the remaining lemon juice with the preserves in a small bowl. Spoon half the preserves over the batter. Pour the remaining batter over the preserve mixture. Using a knife, swirl the remaining preserves into a decorative pattern. Bake at 300 degrees for 55 minutes. Cool before cutting.

Note: Leftovers need to be refrigerated.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

RAISIN HONEY DROPS

3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups uncooked rolled oats
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
1 cup seedless raisins

In a large bowl, cream honey, sugar, butter, and egg together. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt, and soda; stir into the creamed mixture. Add the oats and raisins. Stir to mix well. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees on the upper oven rack for 12 to 14 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

EASY FRUIT COCKTAIL CONFETTI CAKE

1 box lemon cake mix
3 eggs
1 can (17-oz) fruit cocktail

Preheat 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch tube pan; set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, combine cake mix, undrained fruit cocktail, and the eggs; beat as the cake mix package directs. Turn the batter into the prepared tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until cake is done. Cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan to the wire rack and completely cool. Frost with your favorite frosting.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

APPLE AND PECAN BUCKLE

STREUSEL:

1 1/4 cups pecan halves
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

BATTER:

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 1/2 lb Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch thick wedges
Powdered sugar for garnish, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

STREUSEL: Spread the pecans out on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes to toast. Stir once during the baking. When cooled, chop coarsely. In a medium bowl, using your fingers, mix together the flour, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon until crumbly. Stir in the chopped pecans.

BATTER: Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

In a large mixer bowl, with mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter, sugar, baking powder, and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well blended. Add the flour in three additions alternating with the milk. Beat just to blend.

Spread 2 cups of the batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half the streusel mixture. Top the streusel with the apple wedges; dot with the remaining batter. Sprinkle with the rest of the streusel.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove pan to a wire rack to cool. Serve dusted with powdered sugar, if desired.

SIMPLY PERFECT VANILLA CAKE

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottoms with waxed paper and spray the paper; set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, with electric mixer on high speed, beat the butter, sugar, baking powder, and salt for 1 minute or until well blended. Add the eggs, beat another two minutes or until fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the milk and vanilla (batter may look curdled but that is okay)then beat in the flour just until blended. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Spread batter out evenly and tap on counter to rid any air bubbles.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool the cakes, in the pans, on a wire rack for 10 minutes before attempting to remove. Run a small knife around the edge of the cakes to release them. Invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the waxed papers and cool completely. Frost with your favorite frosting.

Monday, September 21, 2009

PEANUT BUTTER RIPPLE BROWNIES

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 boxed brownie mix with chocolate syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom only of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan; set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat together the sugar, peanut butter, flour, and eggs for a couple of minutes or until blended. Set bowl aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the brownie mix, syrup, water, canola oil, and eggs. Stir until well blended. Spread the brownie mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Drop the peanut butter mixture onto the batter by the tablespoonfuls. Swirl a knife through the batters.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. If desired, frost by adding 1/3 cup peanut butter and approximately 2 teaspoons of milk to a can of vanilla frosting. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts if desired.

Yield: 48 brownies

YUMMY PUMPKIN CUPCAKES

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 can (15-oz) pumpkin
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin cups with paper cupcake liners;set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well combined; set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, with an electric mixer on low speed, beat the sugar, canola oil, buttermilk, pumpkin, and eggs for 2 minutes or until well combined. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and beat another couple of minutes just until well combined. Fill each regular-sized muffin tin about 2/3 full of batter. Bake cakes at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When cooled, frost with the frosting recipe below.

FROSTING:

1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 lb powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp (or more if needed) milk
Orange food coloring

In a large mixer bowl, with electric mixer on high, beat together the cream cheese and butter for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk, beating until smooth and of spreading consistency. Add another drop of milk at a time if frosting is too thick to spread. Add the orange food coloring and blend well. Frost some cakes then add more color if you want to darken the shade so as to have different shades of pumpkins. Decorate by making jack-o-lantern faces or by adding a short pretzel rod in the center, leaning rod slightly, to make the stem.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

BANANA-MANDARIN ORANGE PIE

1 Graham cracker pie crust
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 firm bananas
1 can (15-oz) mandarin oranges, well drained

In a large mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in the sweetened condensed milk until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla extract.

Slice 2 of the bananas and dip in some lemon juice; drain. Line bottom of the graham cracker crust with the sliced bananas and 2/3s of the oranges. Pour the filling over the bananas and oranges. Cover and chill for 3 hours or until set.

Before serving the pie, slice the third banana, dip slices in lemon juice and drain. Garnish the top of the pie with the banana slices and the remaining orange segments.

Be sure to refrigerate any leftover pie.

Yield: 8 pie slices

CHOCOLATE ORANGE FUDGE

3 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
1 pkg (12-oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp grated orange peel
2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

In a 3-quart saucepan combine the sugar, water, and orange juice. Cook, over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Using a candy thermometer, cook the mixture, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 234 degrees or the soft ball stage.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate chips until well blended. Stir in the orange peel and the nuts. Spread the candy in a foil-lined baking pan. Chill until set. Turn out of the pan, peel off foil and cut into squares. Keep candy stored in a cool, dry place.

Friday, September 18, 2009

SAN DIEGO BLUEBERRY BUNDT CAKE

2 cups sifted cake flour
3 tbsp instant non-fat dry milk powder
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup corn oil
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the cake flour, milk powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir in the pecans.

In another bowl, mix together the sugar and yogurt. Beat in the eggs, oil, and lemon extract. Fold in the blueberries. Combine the flour mixture into the blueberry mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

After cake is completely cooled, drizzle with a sugar glaze or frost with a cream cheese frosting, if desired. This cake is fine without any glaze or frosting.

SO EASY MARSHMALLOW TRUFFLES

1 pkg (10-oz) large marshmallows
1 pkg (12-oz) chocolate chips
toasted coconut
various decorative candies (from the cake decorating section)

Arrange the marshmallows on a cookie sheet; freeze for 15 minutes.

Put chocolate chips in a small microwave safe bowl and cook in microwave for about 2 1/2 minutes or until melted. Stir every minute.

Remove marshmallows from freezer and using a wooden skewer dip each marshmallow in the chocolate mixture until the marshmallow is completely coated. Remove the skewer.

Have some toasted coconut in a small bowl, some decorative candies in other small bowls. Roll each chocolate coated marshmallow in one of the bowl to coat. Use a fork to transfer the coated marshmallow to a waxed paper lined cookie sheet or trays. Chill or keep in a cool and dry place.

Yield: 3 to 3 1/2 dozen truffles

Thursday, September 17, 2009

PLUM PLATE CAKE COBBLER

TOPPING:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 lb plums, halved, pitted and each half cut into 4 pieces

BISCUIT:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp freshly grated lemon peel
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
5 tbsp + 2 tsp cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover the bottom of a 9-inch round baking pan with waxed paper; set aside.

To make the topping: Mix the sugar and the nutmeg in a small mixing bowl; add the melted butter. Spread the mixture over the waxed paper in the baking pan. Arrange the plum slices in pinwheel fashion over the sugar mixture.

To make the biscuit: Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar, lemon peel, and baking powder in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse just until coarse crumbs form. The the milk and egg then pulse briefly until a dough forms. Spoon the dough over the plums in the pan. Spread to the edges of the pan so the plums are completely covered.

Bake at 400 degrees for 26 to 28 minutes or until the biscuit is lightly browned and the fruit bubbles up around the edges. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert the serving plate over the cake pan. Protecting your hands with oven mitts or potholders, hold the plate and pan together and invert the cake onto the plate. Remove the pan and waxed paper. Cut the cake and serve warm.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

EASY GERMAN CHOCOLATE SHEET CAKE

1 pkg German Chocolate Cake Mix
1 large egg
2 egg whites
1 3/4 cup water
nonstick cooking spray
1 can (14-oz) fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/3 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 lb powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 to 4 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixer bowl combine cake mix, egg, egg whites, and water. Beat mixture at medium speed of electric mixer 3 to 4 minutes or until creamy. Spray a 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan with the nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

In a small bowl combine the sweetened condensed milk, coconut, and pecans. Spread the mixture over the warm cake. Broil on lowest oven rack about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

In a medium mixer bowl, beat together the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla using medium speed. Beat mixture until blended; gradually adding milk, beating until smooth and spreadable. Spread over the cake.

Yield: 48 servings.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

DECKED OUT STRAWBERRY GELATIN SORBET

1 pkg (4-serving size) strawberry gelatin
3/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups mashed or pureed fresh strawberries
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 egg whites, unbeaten

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water; stir in the strawberries, corn syrup, and egg whites. Pour the mixture into a 13 x 9-inch freezer-proof pan. Freeze about 2 hours until partially frozen. Remove mixture from freezer and spoon into a food processor or blender (doing half the mixture at a time). Process until smooth but not melted. This should take about 30 seconds. Pour into a 1 1/2-quart container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

BLUEBERRY STREUSEL COBBLER

1 pint fresh or frozen sugar-free blueberries
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp grated lemon peel
1 1/2 sticks plus 2 tbsp cold butter, divided
2 cups biscuit baking mix, divided
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Vanilla ice cream, optional
Blueberry sauce (recipe below), optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the blueberries, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon peel.

In a large bowl, cut 3/4 cup of the butter into 1 1/2 cups of the biscuit mix until crumbly. Add the blueberry mixture to the crumbly mixture. Spread batter into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of the biscuit mix with the sugar. Cut in the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter until crumbly. Add the pecans. Sprinkle over the cobbler batter in the pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with the vanilla ice cream and blueberry sauce for the best results. Refrigerate any leftovers.

BLUEBERRY SAUCE:

In a saucepan combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg. Gradually add 1/2 cup water while stirring the mixture. Cook, stirring, over low heat until the mixture is thickened. Stir in 1 pint blueberries; cook, stirring, until hot.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

APRICOT BRUNCH SOUFFLE

1/3 cup butter flavored shortening
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 jar (12-oz) apricot preserves, divided
1/8 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
4 eggs, separated
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup brandy

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 1 1/2-quart souffle dish or casserole dish. Set dish aside.

In a 2-quart saucepan melt the shortening; remove from heat. Stir in the flour until smooth. Slowly blend in the milk. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat. Stir in 1/4 cup of the apricot preserves, the cinnamon and nutmeg. Set mixture aside.

In a small mixing bowl, beat egg yolks at high speed of electric mixer until thick and lemon colored. Blend the yolks into the thickened flour mixture. Fold in the dried apricots and set aside.

Clean mixer beaters thoroughly then run under cold water. Dry completely. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold the thickened mixture into the egg whites. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and a butter knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by combining remaining apricot preserves and brandy in a 1-quart saucepan. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside. Serve with the souffle. Serve the souffle immediately after removing from the oven.

Friday, September 4, 2009

HOOSIER STYLE PERSIMMON PUDDING WITH SAUCE

2 cups persimmon pulp
1 stick butter
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the persimmon pulp, melted butter, milk, sugar, and eggs. Add the baking soda, nutmeg, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well to blend completely. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Meanwhile make the sauce to pour over the hot pudding.

SAUCE:

In a medium saucepan combine the following ingredients:

1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 3/4 cups water
1/2 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla

Cook over medium heat until thickened and smooth. Pour over the pudding after you remove it from the oven.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

FUNNY CARAMEL APPLE PEOPLE

8 wooden sticks
8 medium apples
1 pkg (14-oz) caramels
2 tbsp water
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
gumdrops
lifesavers
narrow licorice strings

Wash and dry apples. Push a wooden stick into the stem end of each apple; set aside.

In a large (4-cup) glass measuring cup combine the caramels and the water. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 2 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula and cook on high another 30 to 60 seconds or more until caramels are completely melted. Stir until smooth.

Put the mini chocolate chips on waxed paper; set aside. Dip each apple into the caramel mixture using a spoon to spread the caramel evenly over each apple. Hold the apple over the caramel while doing this so the excess caramel can drip into the cup. Dip the bottom of the apples into the chocolate chips for hair. Use the gumdrops for eyes, noses, etc. The lifesavers make great ears and/or mouths. Narrow red licorice strings make good mouths, black make a good handlebar mustache.

Note: Candy corn could also be used for eyes, nose, jack-l-lantern mouths, especially for Halloween parties. Chopped nuts would also make good hair. For grandma and grandpa, white chocolate chips could be used for grey hair. Butterscotch chips could be used for blond hair. Use your imagination and have fun.

Monday, August 31, 2009

MIZ IDA'S PINEAPPLE CREAM PIE

1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
6 tbsp flour
1 cup crushed pineapple(drained)
3 egg yolks
3 tbsp butter
1 1/4 cup milk
juice from 1 lemon
1 9-inch baked pie shell

In the top part of a double boiler, mix sugar, salt, and flour together; add the pineapple. Add the beaten egg yolks, butter, and milk. Cook in a double boiler over hot water, until thickened. Add the lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Cool slightly and pour mixture into the baked pie shell. Cover with your favorite meringue or whipped cream.

CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY LAYER CAKE

2 eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry preserves
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled, halved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour two 9-inch cake pans; set aside.

Beat eggs and sugar in a small mixing bowl until thick and light colored. In a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add the vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract to the flour mixture; mix until blended. Fold in the eggs and sugar mixture. Pour batter evenly into the two prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool in the pans on wire racks for about 10 minutes. Remove the cakes to the wire racks and cool completely. Place one layer on a serving plate. Spread the top of that layer with the strawberry preserves; cover preserves with the second layer. Prepare frosting and frost top of cake. Garnish with the strawberries by placing berries in a circle, cut side down, around the top edge of the cake.

FROSTING:

1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat the whipping cream with the cocoa powder, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla extract. Spread the frosting over the top of the cake; cover loosely and refrigerate until serving time. Garnish with the strawberries, as directed above, just before serving.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

FRESH APPLE-WALNUT BUNDT CAKE

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 cups cooking oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 cups fresh apples, peeled and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon together well. Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla, mixing until well blended. Stir in the walnuts and apples. Pour the batter into a greased Bundt pan and bake in a 325 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

CHEWY CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

1 1/4 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups peanut butter chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixer bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the peanut butter chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 9 minutes being careful not to overbake. These cookies will be soft and puffy. They will flatten while cooling. Cool slightly on the pan then remove from the cookie sheets and remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: 4 to 5 dozen cookies

Friday, August 28, 2009

CHRISTMAS MARBLE BARK CANDY

6 squares semisweet baking chocolate
6 squares white baking chocolate
1 cup crushed peppermint candies* (about 50 round peppermint candies)

Put semisweet baking chocolate in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes or until almost melted, stirring after a minute. Stir to melt completely.

Repeat the above process with the white baking chocolate.

Stir 1/2 cup of the crushed peppermint candy into each bowl.

Line a cookie sheet that has sides with waxed paper. Alternately spoon the two bowls of chocolates onto the waxed paper. With a butter knife, swirl chocolates together to marbleize. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces.

This makes about 1 pound of candy.

*To crush peppermint candies, place candies in a zip-top plastic bag. Crush with a rolling pin or meat mallet. Or you could process in a food processor using pulsing action.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE SHEET CAKE

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter
4 oz semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, and milk together. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix until well blended.

Melt the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over gently simmering, not boiling water. Cool slightly. Blend chocolate mixture into the batter. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. After cake is cooled, spread with your favorite frosting.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

INDIVIDUAL CHOCOLATE MALT TART

1 quart ice cream, chocolate or vanilla
3/4 cup crushed malted milk balls, divided
4 (4-inch) graham cracker tart shells
3 tbsp chocolate malted milk powder
3 tbsp marshmallow creme
1 tbsp milk
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Remove ice cream from freezer and allow to stand at room temperature for 5 minutes to soften. Spoon into a bowl and stir until creamy. Add 1/2 cup of the malted milk balls; mix well. Spoon the mixture into the tart shells and smooth the tops. Cover and freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.

In a medium sized bowl, blend the malted milk powder, marshmallow creme, and milk. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Spread this mixture over the frozen tarts, covering completely. Sprinkle the remaining crushed malted milk balls over the top. Freeze until serving time.

WHITE APRICOT ALMOND FUDGE

2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
2/3 cup milk
1/4 butter
12-oz white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup dried apricots
3/4 cup toasted almond slices

Line an 8-inch square pan with foil; grease foil and set aside.

Mix confectioners sugar and milk in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Over medium heat, add butter and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Without stirring, boil for 5 minutes.

Bring heat to low and add chocolate and almond extract. Stir then whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Stir in the dried cherries and toasted almonds. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Refrigerate for two hours or until firm. Invert pan, remove foil, and cut into 36 squares.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

SWISS NUT CAKE

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tsp baking soda
1 can (20-oz) can crushed pineapple
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 12-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flour, pecans, baking soda, and sugar; stir to mix well. Add the crushed pineapple, eggs, and vanilla to the dry mixture. Mix until the ingredients are well blended. Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes.

Cream cheese frosting is recommended for this cake.

PEACH AND GINGER ALE PUNCH

3 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 pkg (3-oz) peach-flavored gelatin
1 can (29-oz) peach slices in light syrup
4 cans (11.3-oz each) peach nectar
1/2 cup lemon juice
8 bottles (10-oz each) ginger ale

In a large saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and peach gelatin. Bring to a boil while stirring to dissolve the sugar and gelatin.

Place the peach slices with syrup in blender container. Cover and blend until smooth. In an extra-large bowl, combine the hot mixture with the pureed peaches, peach nectar and lemon juice. Divide the mixture into four 1-quart freezeable containers and freeze overnight. (May be frozen for up to 3 months.)

At serving time, place one or more of the frozen containers at room temperature for 1 hour. (Each container makes six servings.) Break mixture into chunks with a large fork. Place in a punch bowl and stir in two bottles of ginger ale per container of peach mixture.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

CRAN-APPLE ORANGE BUNDT CAKE

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick oats (uncooked)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup milk
3 eggs
3/4 cup finely chopped peeled apple
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp grated orange peel
1 1/2 cups chopped cranberries
1 cup powdered sugar
4 1/2 tsp orange juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease a 12-cup Bundt baking pan; set aside.

In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, sugar, nuts, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; blend together well. Add the milk, eggs, apple, butter, and orange peel; mix until well blended. Fold in the cranberries. Pour batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Bake in 325 degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until golden brown. Cool cake in the pan for 15 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. After cake has cooled, mix the powdered sugar with the orange juice and drizzle over the top of the cake. Garnish with additional walnuts, if desired.

Yield: 12 servings

M&M Party Cookies

1 cup butter flavored shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups M&M plain chocolate candies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat sugars and shortening in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla extract. Combine the flour, salt, and soda; combine with the sugar mixture. Mix together well. Stir in 1/2 cup of the candies. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Press the remaining candies onto the tops of the cookies. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

Yield: 6 dozen cookies

Monday, August 24, 2009

PISTACHIO DIVINITY

This recipe is from an old Kansas newspaper clipping.

2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pistachios

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water; stir just until the sugar is dissolves. Cook to 260 degrees on a candy thermometer (hard ball stage). While sugar mixture cooks, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. While beating at high speed, gradually pour the sugar mixture over the egg whites. Add the vanilla and beat until the candy loses its gloss and holds its shape. Quickly add the nuts and mix well. Quickly spoon teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper covered cookie sheets.

Yield: about 3 dozen pieces

GRANDSON'S FAVORITE COCA-COLA CAKE

2 1/3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup butter
2 tbsp cocoa
1 cup coke
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and baking soda; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the Coca-Cola, butter, and cocoa to boiling over medium heat. While hot, add to the four mixture; stir just until combined. Add the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla; stir until combined. Gently stir in the marshmallows (they will float to the top). Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Set pan on wire rack. Immediately spread the following topping over the hot cake.

TOPPING:

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup Coca-Cola
2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts

Bring the butter, cocoa, and Coca-Cola to boiling in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix with a wire whisk until combined. Stir in the nuts and spread over the hot cake.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

1 3/4 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
18 marshmallows

In a large mixing bowl, beat the shortening and sugar together until creamy. Add the egg and milk. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa together and add to the mixture. Mix well to blend and stir in the vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees about 10 minutes until partially done. Remove from oven and add 1/2 of a marshmallow, cut side down, to the top of each cookie. Return to the oven and bake another 8 minutes or so until the marshmallows are soft.

Oregon's Blackberry-Apple Crunch

Filling:

4 cups sliced Granny Smith apples
2 cups fresh blackberries (may use frozen but do not thaw)
3/4 cup sugar

Topping:

3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the apples, berries, and sugar. When well combined, pour mixture into a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan or dish.

In another large bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, oats, walnuts, butter and cinnamon; blend together using your fingers. Sprinkle over the top of the fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately an hour or until the top is brown and fruit is bubbly.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

BANANA CREAM CHEESE PIE

1 9-inch graham cracker crumbs pie crust
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup bottled lemon juice concentrate
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 medium bananas

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add in the sweetened condensed milk while whipping until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Slice 2 bananas, dip in some lemon juice to avoid discoloration. Drain bananas and line the bottom of the crust with the bananas. Pour the creamed mixture over the bananas. Cover pie and refrigerate at least 3 hours until set. Before serving, slice remaining bananas, dip in lemon juice, then in graham cracker crumbs and use to garnish the top of the pie. Refrigerate any leftovers.

ORANGE AMBROSIA

4 large seedless oranges
4 slices pineapple, fresh or drained
1 cup shredded coconut
4 maraschino cherries for garnish
4 mint sprigs for garnish

Peel oranges, carefully removing the outer white membranes. Cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices.

Into 4 dessert cups, layer the pineapple slices, topped with 3/4 cup of the coconut. Top coconut with the orange slices. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours. Before serving, remove plastic wrap and garnish with remaining coconut, a maraschino cherry and a mint sprig on each dish.

NOTE: This is good served with cookies, pound cake and/or brownies.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

LEMON COCONUT SQUARES

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
1 carton (12-oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 2/3 cups flaked coconut
9 mint sprigs for garnish, if desired
9 thin lemon slices, if desired

Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch square pan.

In a large bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and rind. Fold in 3 1/2 cups of the whipped topping and 1 1/2 cups of the coconut. Spread the mixture over the crumbs. Sprinkle remaining coconut over the lemon mixture. Chill at least 2 hours to set. Cut into squares. Top squares with the remaining whipped topping. If desired, garnish with lemon slices and mint sprigs.

Yield: 9 bars

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

CARROT-FRUIT BUNDT CAKE

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried apricots, finely diced
1/2 cup dried currants
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
4 cups shredded carrots
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.

In a small bowl, set aside 2 tablespoons of the apricots and 1 tablespoon of the currants.

Combine the remaining apricots, currants, and ginger into flour mixture.

In another large bowl, stir together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, egg whites, applesauce, canola oil, carrots, and vanilla. Stir together well, using the back of the spoon to break up any clumps of brown sugar. Stir the sugar mixture into the flour mixture to blend. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 to 20 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn pan upside down and turn out the cake to cool completely on the wire rack.

GLAZE:

1 can (6-oz) pineapple juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp toasted, chopped pecans

While cake is cooling, combine the juices and honey in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently boil 12 to 15 minutes until glaze has thickened and has reduced down to about a third of a cup. Pour glaze into a small bowl and cool for 15 minutes. Stir the reserved (from the cake recipe) apricots and currants into the glaze mixture. Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake, pressing fruit so it sticks to the cake. Sprinkle the pecans over the top of the cake, pressing lightly to stick.

Yield: 12 servings

NOTE: This cake is even better when baked a day ahead of serving, allowing the flavors to meld.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

PRIZE WINNING TOFFEE CUPCAKES WITH BUTTER FROSTING

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp molasses
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup regular cream soda (do not use diet)
3/4 cup toffee pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place paper baking cups in 1 1/2 dozen muffin cups; set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt. Set mixture aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter on medium speed of mixer for 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar and the brown sugar beating until thoroughly combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, on low speed until combined. Beat in molasses and vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk and cream soda to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed after each addition until combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of the toffee. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake 18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes before removing from pans. Continue to cool completely on the wire racks. Frost with the icing recipe below.

BROWN BUTTERCREAM ICING

1/4 cup butter, browned
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
dash of salt
1 to 2 tbsp buttermilk

To brown butter, heat in a saucepan over medium heat until lightly browned. This should take about 6-8 minutes. Allow butter to cool.

In a mixing bowl, beat remaining butter with mixer at medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the cooled browned butter to the whipped butter, beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg. Beat in buttermilk until of spreadable consistency. Use immediately to frost the above cupcakes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

FRESH PEACH MELBAS

1 pkg (10-oz) frozen red raspberries in syrup, thawed
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp water
2 ripe peaches, halved
1 pint peach sorbet
1/2 pint raspberry sorbet
fresh red raspberries for garnish, if desired

In a blender, puree the package of raspberries. Scrape through a fine sieve into a bowl to remove the seeds.

In a small nonstick skillet, combine the sugar and water and heat over medium heat. When the sugar is dissolved and mixture starts to boil, add peaches, cut side down. Continue to boil until sugar mixture starts to caramelize and turn brown, about 5 to 6 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally. Remove from heat; carefully turn the peaches over and spoon the caramel mixture from the skillet over the cut sides.

Place a scoop of peach sorbet into each of 4 dessert bowls. Nestle a peach half, cut side up, onto the sorbet. Place a mini-scoop of raspberry sorbet in the center of the peach halves. Garnish with fresh raspberries, if desired.

FLAMING CITRUS CREPES

CREPES:

2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp water
2 tsp melted butter

In a blender container combine the eggs, flour, sugar, milk, whipping cream, water and butter. Blend mixture until smooth; cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Brush a small skillet with butter and heat over medium to medium-high heat until hot enough to make butter sizzle. Pour in a scant 1/4 cup of batter, swirling skillet to make about a 6-inch circle. Cook until brown on bottom and flip over to brown other side. Repeat this process until all the batter is used. Spread crepes out on a dish cloth or stack with waxed paper in between. You will need 8 crepes to complete this recipe. (Leftover crepes can be frozen.)

FILLING:

6 tbsp butter, softened
2 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp ground walnuts
3 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon rind

In a medium bowl, combine the butter, sugar, nuts, orange juice, lemon juice and lemon rind. Mix until well combined. Reheat crepes, if necessary, and spread with the mixture. Fold in half then in half again to make a triangle. Place in a heatproof dish.

Warm 2 tablespoons of orange-flavored liqueur over the crepes. Carefully ignite with a long-stemmed match, while shaking the pan back and forth. Spoon flaming liqueur over the crepes until fire dies out. Serve immediately.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

PINA COLADA FLAVORED PIE

1 pkg (3-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 can (8-oz) crushed pineapple, drained
1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 carton (8-oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 9-inch graham cracker crumb crust

Combine cream cheese, sugar, milk, 1/2 cup of the pineapple, and the coconut in blender container. Cover and blend at medium speed for 30 minutes. Fold mixture into the whipped topping and spoon into the crust. Freeze 4 hours or until firm.

To serve: Remove from freezer and allow to stand at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes before cutting. Garnish pieces with the remaining pineapple.

Note: Store leftovers in freezer.

Monday, August 3, 2009

FRUIT PRESERVES BUNDT CAKE

3 3/4 to 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 can (5-oz) evaporated milk
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs at room temperature
1 cup fruit preserves at room temperature
Powdered sugar icing
2 tbsp toasted sliced almonds

In a large mixing bowl, mix 2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt, and undissolved yeast. Heat the milk, water and butter to 120 to 130 degrees. (Butter does not need to be melted.) Add hot mixture to the dry mixture; beat 2 minutes at low speed of electric mixer. Add eggs and beat two minutes at medium speed. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface around 4 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place 45 to 60 minutes until about double in size.

Punch down the dough then divide in half. Roll one of the halves to an 18 x 12-inch rectangle. Spread with half the fruit preserves. Roll up from the long side like a jelly roll. Pinch edges to seal. Place the roll, seam side up, in a greased 12-cup Bundt pan. Seal ends. Repeat the process with the other half of the dough and preserves. Place this roll in the pan, seam side down on top of the other roll; seal ends. Cover pan and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes until about doubled in size.

Bake cake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until done. To prevent over-browning cover with foil after the first 20 minutes of baking. Remove cake from pan for cooling and cool on a wire rack. If desired, pour a powdered sugar glaze over top of cake and sprinkle top with the almonds.

To make a powdered sugar glaze, mix powdered sugar with enough milk to make a drizzling consistency. Add 1/2 to 1 tsp of vanilla extract, lemon extract, or butter extract based on the flavor of preserves you are using. Serve with a fruit butter, if desired.

To Make Fruit Butters:

1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup preserves (same flavor you used in the cake)

Gradually beat the preserves into the butter until blended. Spread on pieces of cake before eating, if desired.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

DAZZLING PEACH TRIFFLE

1 box (16-oz) Angel food cake mix
1 tbsp chopped crystallized ginger
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, divided
3/4 cup peach preserves
1 quart peach slices
1 pint blueberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup prepared lemon curd

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cake batter by preparing the mix according to package directions then stir in the crystallized ginger. Line a jelly roll pan, 11 x 17-inches, with parchment paper. Pour batter into the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the confectioners' sugar and remove the parchment paper. Cut cake lengthwise into 3 equal pieces. Starting with the long side, tightly roll each piece in paper towel. Let cool completely. Unroll cakes and spread each piece with 1/4 cup of the peach preserves. Re-roll the cakes. Cut each roll into 12 slices.

In a bowl, combine the peach slices, blueberries, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar; toss gently to coat.

In medium bowl of electric mixer, beat on high speed the heavy cream and remaining confectioners' sugar. Beat for 2 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Fold in the lemon curd.

To assemble: Place 12 cake slices, spiral side out, along bottom of trifle bowl. Arrange Arrange peach slices above each cake slice. Add another layer of cake spirals above peaches. Place remaining cake slices in the center of bowl. Spoon the blueberries around the cake slices and peaches. Top the berries with the whipped cream mixture. Add a couple of peach slices to the top along with a sprig of fresh mint as garnish, if desired.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

ANGEL PILLOWS

1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
1 pkg (3-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp milk
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Cream shortening, cream cheese, and milk in a medium mixing bowl at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Beat in the brown sugar and the preserves. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix the flour mixture into the creamed mixture. Stir in nuts.Drop two level tablespoonfuls of dough into a mound for each cookie. Place 2-inches apart on baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 14 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 1 minute then removing to wire racks to cool. Cool completely then frost with the frosting recipe below.

FROSTING:

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1 tbsp butter flavored shortening
flaked coconut, chopped

Combine the powdered sugar preserves and shortening in a small mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer until well blended. Frost cooled cookies. Sprinkle with coconut.

Friday, July 31, 2009

DELICIOUS HOMEMADE CUPCAKES and FROSTING

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate liqueur

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line eighteen muffin cups with paper cupcake liners; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, and oil with an electric mixer on medium speed to combine. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Add half the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and blend well. Add 1/4 cup of the sour cream; blend. Add the remaining dry ingredients; blend. Add remaining sour cream and the vanilla; blend.

Fill the paper lined muffin tins 3/4s full. Bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack, in the pan, for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Pour the chocolate liqueur into a shallow bowl. Dip tops of cupcakes into the liqueur. Frost cakes with the white frosting recipe below. Top each cupcake with a fresh berry, if desired.

WHITE FROSTING:

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup chocolate liqueur
2 tbsp whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 lb powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, liqueur, whipping cream, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium-high speed. Beat in powdered sugar until combined.

Yield: 18 cupcakes at 342 calories each

CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOW COOKIE PIE

2 cups miniature marshmallows
2 tbsp milk
2 1/2 cups thawed frozen whipped topping
2 cups cold milk
2 pkgs (4-serving size each) chocolate flavor instant pudding and pie filling mix
1 (6-oz) chocolate crumb ready crust
14 vanilla wafer cookies

In a medium size microwavable bowl, microwave marshmallows in the 2 tablespoons milk on high for 45 seconds. Stir partially melted marshmallows. Refrigerate 15 minutes to cool. Stir in 1 cup of the thawed whipped topping.

Pour the 2 cups of milk into a large bowl. Add the pudding mixes and beat with a wire whisk for 2 minutes. Let stand for a minute or until thickened. Stir in remaining whipped topping. Spoon mixture into the crust. Arrange the vanilla wafers over the mixture. Spread the marshmallow mixture over cookies.

Refrigerate for 4 hours until set. Drizzle with chocolate topping or sprinkle with mini chocolate chips before serving, if desired. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

PEACH PUDDING WITH CANNED PEACHES

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 large can sliced peaches

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Mix sugar, flour, and baking powder together. Stir in the milk with a wire whisk. Pour the flour mixture over the butter in the pan. Do Not Stir! Place the peach slices over all. Pour the peach juice over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

PECAN PENUCHE

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
dash of salt
2 tbsp butter flavored shortening
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Lightly grease an 8-inch loaf pan; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, cream, and salt. Heat to boiling, over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cover and boil for 1 minute. Remove lid. Insert candy thermometer and cook over medium heat, without stirring, until temperature reaches 236 degrees. Remove from heat.

Add the shortening but do not stir. Cool, undisturbed, until temperature is lowered to 120 degrees. Add the vanilla and beat vigorously until mixture starts to thicken and loses its sheen. Stir in pecans. Spread in the prepared pan. Cut into 1-inch squares. Cool until firm.

Note: Make orange-flavored penuche by adding 1 tablespoon grated orange rind when you add the shortening.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

ORANGE COCONUT COOKIES

1 cup shortening
2 tbsp grated orange rind
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cup quick oats
2 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup milk

Cream shortening and orange rind; add sugar gradually and cream thoroughly. Add eggs, 1 at a time; beat well. Blend in coconut and oats. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together. Add alternately with milk to creamed mixture. Drop from teaspoon about 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly; remove from pan.

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

MONKEY BARS

1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 tbsp apple juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
3 tbsp low-fat buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Non-stick cooking spray
1 tbsp powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the raisins and apple juice in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute; set aside.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife. Combine the flour with baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Set flour mixture aside.

Combine the brown sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add the banana, buttermilk, vanilla, and egg whites, beating well. Add the flour mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in the raisin mixture and the walnuts.

Spread the batter into an 8-inch square baking pan that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden. Cool the bars completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Yield: 16 bars at 135 calories, 21 g carbs, 2 g protein, 4.7 g fat

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

CREAMY MOCHA LATTE

3/4 cup water
2 tbsp ground espresso
2 cups milk
1 can (14-oz) Creamy Chocolate Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 pint coffee ice cream, softened

Microwave water and espresso together in a 1 cup glass measuring cup on high power for 1 minute. Let stand 1 minute. Pour through a paper coffee filter, discarding grounds.

Stir together the milk and coffee. Pour mixture into ice cube trays and freeze for 2 hours. Process half the sweetened condensed milk, half of the ice cream, and half of the coffee cubes in a blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides. Repeat the procedure with the other half of the ingredients. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 cups

OREO WHITE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

1 pkg (18-oz) chocolate sandwich cookies with white filling, finely crushed
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 lb white baking chocolate, melted

In a large mixing bowl, combine the crushed cookies with cream cheese. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Form into 1-inch balls. Dip balls in the white chocolate; place on a baking sheet covered with waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. To store, cover and refrigerate.

Yield: 50 truffles. Per truffle: 115 calories, 13 g carbs, 2 g protein, 7 g fat (3 saturated)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

PINEAPPLE BREAD PUDDING

3 slices bread, cubed
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 can crushed pineapple, drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In casserole dish combine bread cubes with melted butter. Mix the sugar, eggs, and pineapple together. Combine the pineapple mixture with the bread cubes in the casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

BLUEBERRY TORTE

CRUST:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter,melted
1/2 cup sugar

Mix the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar. Press the mixture into a glass baking dish.

FILLING:

8-oz cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 can blueberry pie filling

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, eggs, and sugar together. Beat until thoroughly combined. Pour over the crust and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. When cool, spread the blueberry pie filling over the top. Refrigerate.

Note: This recipe is fine to make a day ahead of serving.