Tuesday, August 30, 2011

CREAMY FRUIT SALAD

1 can (8 3/4-oz)fruit cocktail, drained
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
1 small unpeeled apple, diced
1/2 cup seedless green grapes, halved
5 maraschino cherries, halved
1/4 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup whipping cream*, whipped
Fresh strawberries for garnish

In a large bowl, combine the fruit cocktail, bananas, apple, grapes, cherries, and marshmallows. Gently fold in the whipped cream and refrigerate. Just before serving, garnish with the fresh strawberries.

*If desired, you can tint the whipping cream with 1 or 2 teaspoons of the maraschino cherry juice.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Sunday, August 28, 2011

CAPPUCCINO-OREO TRIFLES

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups milk
1 tbsp Kahlua (coffee-flavored liqueur)
16 Oreo cookies
1 1/2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a bowl combine the granulated sugar, cornstarch, instant coffee granules, and egg; stir well with a whisk.

Cook the milk in a heavy saucepan until tiny bubbles form around the edge (do not boil). Gradually add the milk to the sugar mixture, stirring constantly with the whisk. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat until thick, about 3 minutes, while stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and, stir in the Kahlua, and pour into a medium bowl. Place bowl inside a larger bowl of ice water, stirring occasionally until the mixture is cool.

Coarsely chop 8 of the Oreos; fold into the pudding along with the whipped topping.
Spoon about 1/2 cup of the mixture into each of 8 small parfait glasses or 6-oz custard cups. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Before serving, top each with one of the remaining Oreo cookies.

Yield: 8 servings

Saturday, August 27, 2011

GRAM'S APPLE CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
6 cups chopped peeled tart apples
1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, applesauce, oil, and vanilla extract. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed of an electric mixer.

Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl. Add to the above mixture and beat until well combined. Fold in the apples and pecans.

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and transfer batter into the pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Set pan on a wire rack to cool.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
4-oz reduced-fat cream cheese
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

Combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in small mixer bowl. Cream together until smooth. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar (this makes a soft icicng). Spread frosting over the cooled cake, swirling as desired for design.

Yield: 18 servings
Per serving: 241 calories, 42 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein, 8 g (2 sat)fat, 32 mg cholesterol, 283 mg sodium
Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 1/2 fat, 1 fruit

Friday, August 26, 2011

CHOCOLATE PUDDING PIE

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Chocolate Cookie Crumb Crust:
1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted

Mix the cookie crumbs and the melted butter together. Reserve a couple of tablespoonfuls for garnish. Press mixture firmly and evenly against the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate to form a crust. Place in the 350 degree oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Filling:
1 envelope (approx 2-oz) dessert topping mix
1 pkg (4 serving size) instant chocolate pudding and pie filling mix
1 3/4 cups cold milk
6 to 8 nice pecan halves, for garnish

Prepare the dessert topping mix according to the package directions; set aside.

Prepare the pudding mix as directed on the package using 1 3/4 cups of cold milk. Gently fold 1 1/2 cups of the prepared topping into the pudding, blending together well. Pour the pie filling into the cooled crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 4 hours or until set. Before serving, pile the remaining topping into the center of the pie and sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture over the top. Place the pecan halves out from the topping in spoke fashion for garnish, if desired.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE COOKIES

1 1/4 cups butter, softened
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa powder
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chocolate sprinkles

In mixer bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and cocoa until light and fluffy. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Add the flour and mix in well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls; dip in the chocolate sprinkles. Place the balls, dipped side up, on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2-inches apart. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes or until set. Cool 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

Yield: 5 to 6 dozen

NOTE: These make great Fall and/or halloween cookies when you use the chocolate and orange sprinkles.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

SNOWBALL BUNDT CAKE

1 pkg yellow cake mix
3 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups water
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup crystalized ginger, chopped coarse
3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch Bundt* pan; set aside.

In large mixer bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, canola oil, water, and extract. Blend mixture for 2 minutes; fold in the ginger and almonds.

Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Bake 50 minutes or until a a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 25 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

When cake is completely cooled, use a long serrated knife and slice the cake horizontally into 2 layers; the bottom portion should be 2/3 of the cake, the top part only 1/3. Remove the top and set aside. Hollow out the bottom layer leaving about 3/4-inch on the sides and bottom. (Save the hollowed out cake in a baggie for another use such as a small trifle.) Make the following filling and spoon it into the "tunnel". Then replace the top layer.

FILLING:
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in the sour cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until mixture is smooth.

COCONUT ICING:
1 tub creamy vanilla frosting
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup shredded coconut
Combine the frosting and lemon juice until smooth and blended. Spread on the cake and immediately sprinkle the coconut over the cake, pressing lightly into the frosting.

*A tube pan may be used.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

NUTTY MAPLE BARS

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
powdered sugar for garnish, if desired

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix the flours and granulated sugar together in a bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press mixture onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or just until lightly browned.

Beat the egg, brown sugar, syrup, melted butter, and vanilla together until well blended. Stir in the chopped walnuts. Spread evenly over the warm crust. Bake at 375 for 20 to 25 minutes or until the filling is firm around the edges but slightly soft in the center. Cool in the pan. Cut into 18 bars. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Friday, August 19, 2011

MARSHMALLOW VANILLA WAFER PIE

2 cups miniature marshmallows
2 tbsp milk
2 1/2 cups whipped cream
2 cups cold milk
2 pkgs (4-servings size each) Chocolate Instant Pudding and Pie Filling Mix
1 (6-oz)Ready-Made Chocolate Pie Crust
14 vanilla wafer cookies
Chocolate sauce for garnish.

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the marshmallows and 2 tablespoons milk together on high speed for 45 seconds. Stir (marshmallows will be partially melted). Refrigerate for 15 minutes to cool. Stir in a cup of the whipped cream.

In another bowl, add the pudding mixes to the 2 cups of cold milk. Beat the mixture with a wire whisk for 2 minutes. Let stand for a minute until thickened. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of whipped cream. Spoon the mixture into the chocolate crumb crust. Arrange the vanilla wafers over the pudding mixture. Spread the marshmallow mixture over the wafers.

Refrigerate the pie for 4 hours or until set. Drizzle with some chocolate sauce just before serving. Leftovers must be refrigerated.

Yield: 8 servings

NUTTY CHOCOLATE BAR COOKIES

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar, divided
3/4 cup butter, divided
1 pkg (4-oz) German Sweet Chocolate
1 cup corn syrup
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and line it with foil; set aside.

In a small bowl combine the flour with 1/2 cup of the sugar. Cut in 1/2 cup of the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press the mixture firmly into the prepared baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.

Meanwhile, microwave the chocolate with the remaining 1/4 cup of the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl on high until butter is melted, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Stir in the corn syrup, remaining half cup of sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the crust and sprinkle the nuts overall.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the filling is set. Cool completely in the pan then cut into 36 bars.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

PRALINE BANANA PIE

1 baked 9-inch pie shell
2 2/3 cups half and half cream, divided
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
pinch of salt
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp butter
2 medium bananas, sliced

In a large heavy saucepan combine the cornstarch, cream, brown sugar, and salt; lightly stir with a wire whisk until smooth. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly with the whisk. Boil for 1 minute then remove from the heat. In a medium bowl whisk 1 cup of the cooked custard into the egg yolks; return to the saucepan. Cook another two minutes while whisking constantly but do not allow to boil. Remove custard from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and butter. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes.

Arrange the banana slices in the baked pie shell. Pour the custard over the bananas. Cover and refrigerate until set, approximately 3 hours.

TOPPING: 1 cup whipping cream, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp vanilla, 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

In a mixer bowl beat the above ingredients until stiff peaks form. Spread topping over the chilled and set pie.

Monday, August 8, 2011

BERRY SHORTCAKES

This recipe calls for strawberries but is just as good with other berries. Don't limit these little cakes to just strawberries, enjoy them year round with the berry of the season.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut up
1 cup heavy cream, divided

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease a cookie sheet; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butterr until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add all but 1 tablespoon of the cream; toss with a fork until the mixture holds together. On a lightly floured surface, roll or pat the dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter or glass, cut the dough into circles and transfer to the prepared cookie sheet. Reroll the scraps and use to make a total of 8 circles. Brush the tops of the circles with the reserved heavy cream. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

1 quart strawberries (or other berries)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (may need to adjust amount depending on berries used)
2 tablespoons orange liqueur (or orange juice)
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Set aside 8 of the berries for garnish.

Mash the remaining berries with the sugar and orange liqueur. Let stand for one hour, at least.

In a mixer bowl, beat the heavy cream with the powdered sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form.

To assemble: Split the shortcakes in half horizontally. Place the bottom halves on dessert plates and top with the strawberries and 3/4 of the whipped cream. Replace the tops and garnish with the remaining whipped cream and the reserved berries.

Yield: 8 shortcakes

Sunday, August 7, 2011

NO ICE CREAM FREEZER NEEDED CHOCOLATE CHIP ICE CREAM

1/2 + 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cup heavy cream
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup chopped toasted nuts

Using a heavy saucepan over low heat, combine the brown sugar and butter. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

In a blender, combine the eggs, vanilla, and salt; blend at medium speed for half a minute. Add the brown sugar mixture and blend at high speed for a minute. Set mixture aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the cooled mixture, chocolate chips and toasted nuts into the whipped cream. Pour the mixture into a foil-lined 9-inch loaf pan, cover with foil and freeze until firm.

Yield: Approximately 1 1/2-quarts

Friday, August 5, 2011

MR FOOD'S BIRTHDAY CAKE

Mr. Food aka Art doesn't like sweet cakes. This is the cake his test kitchen leader made this year for his birthday. It is an old recipe from his wife.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

» 1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
» 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
» 2 eggs
» 2 cups all-purpose flour
» 1 teaspoon baking powder
» 1 teaspoon baking soda
» 1/8 teaspoon salt
» 1 cup sour cream
» 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
» 1/2 cup chopped pecans
» 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, with a spoon, cream 1 cup of the sugar and the butter; add the eggs one at a time and beat (with the spoon) until well combined. Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the sour cream and vanilla; mix well.

In a small bowl, combine the pecans, cinnamon, and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Pour half the batter into a 10-inch tube pan that has been coated with nonstick spray. Top with half the pecan mixture, then spoon the rest of the batter over the top.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Invert onto a plate to remove the cake from the pan, then invert onto a serving platter so the crumb topping is on top.

Makes 12 – 14 servings.

CANADIAN POPCORN NUT CRUNCH

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 cup almonds, toasted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Lightly spray a 5-quart Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray. Add the popcorn and all the nuts; bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes.

While nuts and popcorn bake, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a saucepan. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 290 degrees (reaches the soft-crack stage). Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla and cinnamon.

Pour the syrup mixture over the nuts/popcorn mixture very slowly while stirring constantly until all the mixture is well coated. Immediately spread onto baking sheets that have been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cool and break into pieces.

When completely cooled, store in airtight containers.

Yield: Approximately 4 quarts.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

APPLESAUCE BROWNIES

This recipe is older than two of my children who have now blessed me with 5 grandchildren, one in college. Will say no more about how old this recipe is!!

1 pkg (22-oz) walnut brownie mix
2/3 cup no-sugar-added applesauce
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan; set aside. (Today I use nonstick cooking spray.)

Mix the brownie mix, applesauce and eggs together until blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Cut into 20 squares. Top with Apple Fluff (below):
1/2 cup chilled whipping cream
2 tbsp confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 tsp cinnamon

In a chilled bowl, with chilled beaters, beat the whipping cream and confectioners' sugar together until fluffy. Fold in the applesauce and cinnamon. Use to top the brownies. Sprinkle fluff with a dash of cinnamon, if desired.