Saturday, March 28, 2009

LICK THE PLATTER CLEAN LEMON CAKE

Vegetable oil spray with flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp grated lemon peel
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 10-cup Bundt pan with the vegetable oil spray; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, lemon peel, and lemon juice with medium speed of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until blended. Turn mixer to low and alternately beat in the flour mixture and buttermilk until the batter smooth. Scrape into the prepared pan; level the top with a spatula. Bake in the 325 degree oven 55 to 65 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

Sugar Glaze:

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice

While cake cools, whisk together the sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl just until combined. (Sugar will not be totally dissolved.) Invert cake from the pan onto the rack. Place a baking sheet under the under the rack. Using a pastry brush, brush the glaze all over the hot cake until absorbed (sugar crystals will still be evident.) Transfer to a serving plate and cover. Let rest several hours or overnight before serving. Cake may be kept at room temperature for up to 4 days. Cut into 20 thin slices. Per slice: 282 cal, 44 g carbs, 4 g pro, 1 g fiber

Friday, March 27, 2009

GOLDEN CHOCOLATE TREASURE COOKIES

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Treasures baking pieces
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat sugar, brown sugar and butter until creamy, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla to the sugar mixture; mix well. Gradually blend in flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate treasures and pecans. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool two minutes before removing from cookie sheets. Cool completely on wire racks.

Yield: approx. 20 cookies

Thursday, March 26, 2009

RASPBERRY-ALMOND BARS

1 cup Touch of Butter Spread (by Kraft Foods)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups quick-cook oats, uncooked
1 cup seedless red raspberry preserves
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To toast almonds, spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet and heat in the oven until toasted.

Beat butter spread and sugar together until well blended. Add baking soda to the flour and stir to blend. Add the flour to the sugar mixture, mixing well. Blend in the almond extract. Stir in the oats until mixed well. Spread the mixture onto the bottom of a greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Spread the preserves over the top of the mixture to within 1/2-inch of the edges. Sprinkle the almonds over the preserves. Bake at 375 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes. Cool and cut into 20 bars.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

GHIRARDELLI INDIVIDUAL CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKES

Centers:
1/2 bar (2-oz) 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar
1/4 cup heavy cream

Cakes:
Nonstick cooking spray
1 bar (4-oz) 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar
1 stick unsalted butter
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cake flour

To make centers:
Melt chocolate in cream in the top of a double boiler. Whisk gently to blend well. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Form mixture into 6 balls.

To make cakes:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 6 4-ounce ramekins or custard cups with the nonstick cooking spray. Melt chocolate and butter in top of a double boiler. Whisk the mixture gently to blend. With an electric mixer, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla on high for 5 minutes. Fold the chocolate mixture and flour into the egg mixture until combined. Spoon mixture evenly into the prepared ramekins. Place a chocolate ball center in the center of each ramekin of batter. Bake 15 minutes or until firm to the touch. Let stand 5 minutes before inverting onto dessert plate. Remove ramekin.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

WELCOME SPRING LIME SQUARES

Pastry Crust:
7 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated lime rind
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

Lime Topping:
2/3 cup sugar
5 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 eggs
2 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp grated lime rind
2 tsp grated lemon rind
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 to 2 drops green food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil; allow foil to hang over the edge. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Crust: Beat butter and sugar in bowl until creamy. Beat in vanilla, lime rind, and salt. Beat in flour just until a dough forms. With floured fingers, pat the dough into prepared pan. Prick crust with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Lime Topping: In a medium mixing bowl, stir together sugar, lime juice, eggs, flour, lime rind, lemon rind, baking powder and food coloring until very smooth. Pour mixture over the crust and return to the 350 degree oven. Bake until the filling is set, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely. Lift foil out of the pan, supporting if necessary. Using a sharp knife, cut into squares (or diamonds, if you prefer).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

BREAD PUDDING WITH LEMON SAUCE

2 cups dry bread cubes
4 cups milk, scalded
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
4 slightly beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Soak bread in milk for 5 minutes. Add the butter, salt, and sugar. Pour the bread mixture slowly over the beaten eggs. Add the vanilla and mix well. Pour into a greased baking dish. Bake in a pan of hot water in 350 degree oven until pudding is firm; about 50 minutes. Serve while warm with the Lemon sauce.

Lemon Sauce:

1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup boiling water
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

In a 1-quart saucepan, mix together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and nutmeg. Gradually add in the water and cook over low heat until thick and clear. Add the butter and lemon juice; blend thoroughly. Pour over the bread pudding.

Friday, March 6, 2009

CAPPUCCINO CHEESECAKE

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
6 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/4 cups mini milk chocolate chips, divided
4 pkgs (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cookie crumbs and butter. Press the mixture into bottom and 1-inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan; set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt 1 cup of the mini chips over low heat, stirring constantly. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until well blended using medium speed of an electric mixer. Add eggs, milk, espresso powder, and cinnamon; beat on low speed until well blended. Add melted chips; beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Spoon into the crust. Bake 55 minutes. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool. Cool for 15 minutes then using a knife, loosen cake from the sides of the pan. Cool completely then remove the side of the pan. Cover cake and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. Before serving, garnish with the Espresso Cream, recipe follows, and the remaining mini chips.

Espresso Cream: Beat 1/2 cup cold whipping cream, 2 tbsp powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder until stiff.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

LAYERED PUDDING DELIGHT

14 whole Graham crackers, divided
1 pkg (6-serving size) vanilla pudding mix
2 cups cold milk
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
21-oz can fruit pie filling (ie cherry, strawberry, blueberry, etc)

Line a 9-inch square pan with 1/3 of the Graham crackers, breaking as needed to fit the pan. Prepare the pudding mix with the milk as directed on the package. Let the pudding stand for 5 minutes then blend in the thawed whipped topping. Spread half the pudding mixture over the graham crackers. Add another layer of crackers just like the first layer. Top the crackers with the remaining pudding mix. Layer the remaining crackers over the pudding. Spread pie filling over the Graham crackers. Chill at least 3 hours before serving.

NOTE: This recipe can be made for diabetics by using sugar-free pudding mix and Splenda sweetened pie filling.

PEACH PUDDING CAKE

6 ripe peaches, peeled and halved
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup water
8 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup self-rising flour
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 9-inch round cake pan; set aside.

In a large skillet, place the peaches with the cut side down. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, and water. Simmer mixture for 5 minutes. Allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the butter and sugar until well blended. Add the eggs to the sugar mixture and beat until light and fluffy. Add the flour, salt, and the cooked syrup from the peaches; beat until well blended. Place the peaches, cut side down, in the prepared baking pan. Top the peaches with the batter mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden in color and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. After cake cools, sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

CASHEW MACADAMIA CRUNCH

1 pkg (11 1/2-oz) milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup coarsely chopped cashews
3/4 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup

Line a 9-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter foil. Cover bottom of prepared pan with chocolate chips. Combine the cashews, macadamia nuts, butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a large heavy skillet; cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Turn heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to cling together and turns a medium golden brown color. This will take about 10 minutes. Pour the mixture over the chocolate chips in the pan. Spread the mixture evenly. Cool and refrigerate until the chocolate is firm. Remove from the pan and peel off the foil. Break into serving size pieces. May be stored in a cool, dry place in a tightly covered container.

Yield: About 1 1/2 lbs

Sunday, March 1, 2009

FUDGEY PEANUT BUTTER CHIP MUFFINS

1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup peanut butter baking chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners; set aside.

Stir together the applesauce and oats; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla until well blended. Add the applesauce-oat mixture; blend in well. Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend together well. Stir in the chips. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full with batter.

Bake 22 to 26 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool slightly in the pan on a wire rack. Serve warm.

Note: For an additional touch, sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

OATMEAL BUTTERSCOTCH COOKIES

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1 pkg (10-oz) butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; blend thoroughly. Stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; gradually add to the butter mixture beating until well blended. Stir in the oats and butterscotch chips; mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheets to wire racks. Cool completely.

Yield: Apprx 4 dozen