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.

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