Saturday, July 30, 2011

CHOCOLATE CHIP-PEANUT BUTTER WHOOPIE PIES

1 pkg (12-oz) chocolate chips
2 tbsp milk
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup baking cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
Filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Measure out 1/4 cup of the chocolae chips and set aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine 1 cup of the chocolate pieces and the 2 tablespoons of milk. Microwave on medium power for a minute or so until melted; stir once to blend and set aside.

In mixer bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter with electric mixer until combined. Add sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; beat to combine. Add eggs, the half cup of milk, vanilla extract, and the melted chocolate. Beat mixture until combined. Beat in the cocoa and flours until combined. Stir in the rest of the chocolate chips.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle the reserved chocolate chips over the cookies. Bake 9 minutes or until the tops are set; do not overbake. Allow to cool on the cookie sheets for 1 minute then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

To assemble, spread filling on the flat side of half the cookies then top with the other half of cookies.

FILLING:
1 cup softened butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup marshmallow cream
2 cups powdered sugar

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until combined. Add up to 2 tablespoons milk to thin to spreading consistency, if needed. Use to fill the cookies above.

Friday, July 29, 2011

OH-SO-WORTH-IT CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE

1 1/2 chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine the graham crackers, butter, and sugar and press into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan; set aside.

2 bars (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, divided
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chopped peanuts for garnish, optional

In a mixing bowl beat 1 package of the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the peanut butter and sugar until combined. Fold in 1 of the eggs that has been slightly beaten. Set bowl aside.

In a saucepan, over low heat, stir the chocolate chips until melted. Remove from heat and stir to smooth. Cute the remaining block of cream cheese into small pieces and add to the chocolate; stir to combine. Stir in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth. Slightly beat the two remaining eggs and add to the chocolate mixture. Spread half of the mixture into the pan. Carefully spread the peanut butter mixture over the chocolate layer. Evenly spread the remaining chocolate over the peanut butter layer.

Bake the cake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes or until the top is set when lightly shaken. The outer edges of the top will be slightly puffed up and dry looking while the center will look darker and wet.

Set the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool for around 15 minutes. Run a thin sharp knife around sides to loosen cake and allow to cool another half hour. Remove the sides of the pan; cool cake completely on the wire rack. Cover cake and refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.

Remove from the refrigeator and let set at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.

Yield: 16 servings

Thursday, July 28, 2011

FRUIT FILLED COOKIES

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup solid shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the butter, shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and eggs.

Combine the all-purpose flour and whole-wheat flour in a small bowl. Stir in the baking soda and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined. Shape the dough into a couple of rolls of about 1 1/2-inch diameter. Wrap the rolls in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Before time to remove dough rolls from refrigerator, make the following FRUIT FILLING*:
1 cup dried apricots, cut-up
1 tbsp raisins, optional
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup chopped walnuts

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan; cook and stir over low heat, about 5 minutes or until thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped walnuts.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To Assemble Cookies:
Cut one of the dough rolls into 1/8-inch slices. Place slices slightly apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of the fruit filling onto each slice then top with another slice from the other roll. Using a fork, seal the edges together to hold the filling in. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown.

Yield: 5 dozen cookies

*Optional Mincemeat Filling instead of fruit filling: 1/2 cup prepared mincemeat, 1/4 cup chopped pecans, and 2 tablespoons maraschino cherries that have been chopped.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WAFER SALAD CAKE

2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar
6 eggs
4 cups (1 large box) vanilla wafer cookies
1/2 cup milk
1 pkg (7.5-oz) flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Crush the vanilla wafers into fine crumbs using a food processor or rolling pin.

In mixing bowl, cream the butter; add sugar and beat until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, to butter and sugar while continuing to beat. Add the vanilla wafer crumbs and milk alternately to the egg mixture. Fold in the coconut and pecans.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured tube pan. Bake at 275 degrees for 1 hour and 15 or until cake tests done when a toothpick insrted into the cake comes out clean.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

BEWARE OF SUGAR

Always remember to consider the sugar in many items you may not have thought about. Always read the nutritional label on foods to see if they contain sugar. Be especially cautious about frozen breakfast treats, mayonnaise, salad dressings, canned soups, crackers, breads, stuffing mixes, tomato and/or pasta sauces. You may be surprised at the sugar you are consuming while unaware. And I am not talking about the natural sugar in fruits and some vegetables. I'm talking about "added sugar." Read all your labels for one week; I imagine you will be surprised at the sugar you are eating!

KENTUCKY DEEP-DISH PEACH PIE

1 crust pie pastry
4 large fresh peaches, halved
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 stick butter
3 eggs, beaten

Line a deep dish pie pan with the pastry dough. Place the peaches over the pastry dough, cut side up. Sprinkle 1 cup of the sugar over the peaches. Bake at 400 degrees until peaches are tender.

Cream the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, brown sugar, and the butter in a small bowl. Add the eggs and mix well. Pour the mixture over the peaches and bake until set.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

FLUFFY FROSTING WITH COCONUT

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 egg whites
2 tbsp water
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
Coconut

Combine the above ingredients, except vanilla and coconut, in the top of a double boiler over boiling water. Cook, beating constantly, until the mixture stands in peaks. Remove from the heat. Add the vanilla; beating until of spreading consistency. Use to frost cake and cover with coconut, if desired.

Friday, July 22, 2011

PINEAPPLE BERRY SMOOTHIE

1 can (20-oz) crushe pineapple in juice
1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1 banana
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries or strawberries
1/2 cup ice cubes

Combine the above ingredients in a food processor or blender; blend until smooth.

Yield: 4 (8-oz) servings

Per serving: (with fresh strawberries)180 calories

Thursday, July 21, 2011

DONNA'S FRESH PEAR CAKE

2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups canola oil
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups fresh pears, chopped
1 cup pecans, chopped (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, and canola oil; beat until creamy and fluffy.

Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the dry mixture to the creamy mixture one cup at a time, beating constantly.

Add the vanilla, pears, and nuts, if using. Mix thoroughly.

Bake cake at 350 degrees for 1 hour in a lightly greased tube pan.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

EASY GOLDEN VELVET CRUMB CAKE

1 1/2 biscuit baking mix
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup cold water*
2 tablespoons butter-flavored shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Broiled Topping, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray an 8-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, blend all ingredients (except topping) using an electric mixer on low speed for less than a minute to blend, scraping bowl often. Beat on medium speed 3 to 4 minutes.

Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until cake top springs back when lightly touched with fingers. While cake is still warm, spread top with the broiled topping.

BROILED TOPPING:
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons light cream
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Combine the topping ingredients in a small saucepan and heat to melt butter and brown sugar. Set oven to broil. Spread the topping over the cake and broil 3 inches from the heat 3 minutes or until the topping is browned. Watch carefully or topping will burn!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

BUTTERSCOTCH NUT ROLLS

1 pkg frozen round roll dough
1 box (4-serving size) butterscotch cook and serve pudding mix
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted
coarsely chopped pecans

The night before serving for breakfast: Drop the frozen rolls around the bottom of a Bundt pan (not a tube pan). In a small bowl combine the pudding mix, cinnamon, and brown sugar; sprinkle over the rolls. Pour the melted butter over the rolls and the pudding mixture. Sprinkle with amount of chopped pecans you prefer. Cover the pan with foil and a moist towel. Let set overnight.

Next morning: Bake the rolls at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Monday, July 18, 2011

CHOCOLATE FROSTING FROM CHOCOLATE CHIPS

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar

Combine the chocolate chips and butter. Melt in the microwave until chips are melted enough to make mixture smooth when stirred. (Or cook over hot water until melted.) Remove from heat or microwave. Mix in the vanilla and add the salt. Beat in the sifted (important to eliminate lumps) powdered sugar alternately with the milk until of a spreading consistency.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

DELICIOUS CHOCOLATE-CINNAMON DIP

8-oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp light-colored corn syrup
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Milk, if needed to reach dipping consistency
Favorite plain cookies for dipping

In a medium saucepan melt chopped chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and the the corn syrup until combined well. Stir in the vanilla extract and the cinnamon. Serve sauce warm, stirring in the additional milk if needed. Serve with the cookies. Or serve over ice cream for a sundae, if desired.

Yield: 2 cups

Friday, July 15, 2011

LEMON PECAN PIE WITH CREAM CHEESE PASTRY

CREAM CHEESE PASTRY:
1 block (3-oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

Blend the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together. Work in the flour to form a dough. Chill until dough is easy to handle. Remove from refrigerator and press into a 9-inch pie plate to form crust. Trim and flute the edge.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

FILLING:
3 eggs
1 cup light brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup white corn syrup
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon extract
1 tsp butter flavoring
1 heaping cup of pecan halves

Slightly beat eggs in medium-size bowl. Blend in the sugar, salt, corn syrup, and butter. Add the vanilla, lemon extract, and butter flavoring. Arrange the pecans on the bottom of the pie crust. Slowly pour the filling over the pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes until the center of the pie is almost set but still slightly soft. Do not overbake as the filling will continue to set as it cools. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before cutting to serve.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

CHOCOLATE/PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE

4 cups granulated sugar
1 stick butter
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tall can evaporated milk
1 pkg (12-oz) chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, butter, and milk; bring to a roiling boil. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter, chocolate chips, and vanilla. Pour into a lightly buttered pan immediately. When cooled and set, cut into squares.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

SWEDISH TEA RING

1 packet active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 egg
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups biscuit baking mix
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup raisins
2 tsp cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Stir in egg, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and the baking mix; beat vigorously. Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth, about 20 times. Combine the brown sugar, raisins, and cinnamon. Roll into a rectangle, 16x9-inches; spread with butter and sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture.

Roll up, beginning at wide side. Pinch edge of dough into the roll to seal. With seam side down, shape dough into ring on greaed baking sheet; pinch ends together. With kitchen scissors, make cuts 2/3 of the way through the ring at 1-inch intervals. Turn each section on its side. Let rise in warm place until double. This will take about an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bake tea ring at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Quick Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons warm water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients together in a small bowl. Stir until well blended. Frost tea ring. Decorate top with chopped nuts and/or maraschino cherries, if desired.

BANANA CRUMB PIE CRUST

1/2 ripe banana
6 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the ingredients together until well mixed, using your hands. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Fill with your favorite banana pie filling recipe.

FRESH BERRY COMPOTE

This berry compote is great served over pound cake or angel food cake for a light dessert.

1/4 cup maple syrup
1 quart strawberries
1 pint raspberries
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

In a large bowl, gently stir all the ingredients together (a large silicone spatula works well for this.) Serve over slices of cake.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

YUM-YUM COCONUT MACAROONS

3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
2 2/3 cups shredded coconut
2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to 300 degrees.
Spray two large cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed of electric mixer until foamy. Beat in the sugar slowly, one tablespoon at a time, and continue beating until egg whites are stiff and glossy. Fold in the shredded coconut and the vanilla extract.

Drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheets by teaspoonfuls approximately 1-inch apart. Bake until the macaroons are golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Yield: approximately 65-70 macaroons

Monday, July 11, 2011

POPCORN NUT CRUNCH MIX

2 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup blanched whole almonds, toasted
1 cup pecan halves, toasted
1 cup cashews, toasted
1 cup Brazil nuts, toasted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Place the popcorn and nuts in a lightly greased 5-quart Dutch oven. Bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and butter; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 290 degrees (the soft crack stage). Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon.

Pour a small amount at a time of the syrup mixture over the popcorn mixture, stirring constantly until the mixture is well coated. Immediately spread mixture on greased baking sheets; cook and break into pieces. Store in airtight containers.

Yield: Approximately 4 quarts

DELIGHTFUL LEMON POKE CAKE AND FLUFFY LEMON FROSTING

1 box white cake mix, prepared as directed and baked in two 9-inch round layers.
2 cups boiling water
1 large pkg (8-serving size) lemon gelatin
Frosting recipe below

Place the baked and cooled cake layers top side up in two clean9-inch cake pans. Using a large fork, pierce cake at 1/2-inch intervals.

Empty the lemon gelatin into a medium mixing bowl. Add the boiling water and stir until all gelatin is dissolved. Carefully pour half of the liquid gelatin over one of the cake layers. Repeat the process with the remaining layer and gelatin. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

Dip one of the layers into a pan of warm water for 10-12 seconds; unmold onto the cake plate. Spread a cup of the frosting (recipe follows) on top of the layer. Dip the second layer into warm water and unmold atop the frosted layer. Use remaining frosting to frost top and sides of cake. Refrigerate at least an hour before cutting to serve. Cake should be stored in refrigerator.

FLUFFY LEMON PUDDING FROSTING
1 cup cold milk
1 small pkg (4-seving size)lemon flavor instant pudding and pie filling mix
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tub (8-oz) whipped topping, thawed

Pour the milk into a large bowl; add the pudding mix and powdered sugar. Beat the mixture for 2 minutes with a wire whisk. Gently stir in the whipped topping. Frost cake.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

LEMON PUDDING CAKE

2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
3 tbsp flour
1 3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tsp grated lemon peel
powdered sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixer bowl, beat butter and sugar until well blended. Beat in the egg yolks until blended. Using low speed, blend in the flour. Add the milk, lemon juice, and lemon peel.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form when the beaters are raised. Soft peaks will curl on the ends. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the lemon mixture. Turn the batter out into an 8 12-inch baking dish. Set the dish in a larger pan and pour boiling water 1-inch deep in the pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand at least 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Before serving, garnish by sprinkling top with powdered sugar.

Yield: 6 servings

Friday, July 8, 2011

NO-FAIL DARK CHOCOLATE FUDGE

1 can (14-oz)Sweetened condensed milk
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
dash of salt, optional
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a heavy saucepan melt the chocolate chips with the sweetened condensed milk and salt, over low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans and vanilla extract. Spread the candy into an aluminum foil lined 8-inch square pan. Chill until firm, approximately 2 hours. Turn the fudge out onto a cutting surface, peel off the foil and cut into squares. Cover loosely and store at room temperature.

Yield: Approximately 2 lbs

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

RASPBERRY MOUSSE

2 pkgs (10-oz each) frozen red raspberries in syrup, thawed
2 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp lemon juice from concentrate
red food coloring, optional
2 cups whipping cream, stiffly whipped

In a small saucepan, combine 1 package undrained raspberries and cornstarch; cook and stir until thickened and clear. Chill thoroughly.

In a blender, combine remaining 1 package undrained raspberries, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice; blend until smooth. Place in a large bowl; stir in food coloring, if desired. Fold in whipped cream.

Spoon half the mousse mixture into dessert dishes; top with equal portion of the raspberry sauce then the remaining mousse mixture. Chill thoroughly. Garnish with whipped cream or fresh raspberries, if desired.