Wednesday, August 31, 2011

QUICK AND EASY APPLE CRUMBLE

Apple Filling:
4 large Granny Smith or Jonathan apples
2 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Crumb Topping:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup rolled oats
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 stick butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Peel, core, and slice the apples; layer in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over the apples. Make the topping and sprinkle over the apples.

To make the topping, place all the topping ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix together well (works best when you use your hands!). Sprinkle over apples. Place in the 425 degree oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes until the apples are softened and the crumble is lightly browned. Best served warm (with a little ice cream, if desired).

Variation: You can use this same recipe to make a berry crumble by using your favorite berries. Toss a tablespoon of flour with the berries before placing in the baking dish. This keeps the crumble from becoming soggy.

NOTE TO DIABETICS: You can make this a diabetic dish by replacing the 2 tablespoons brown sugar with 1 1/2 tablespoons Splenda brown sugar blend and the 3 tablespoons of sugar with 3 tablespoons Splenda Granulated.

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

PEACHES NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE

2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
6 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup sugar, divided
4 pkgs (8-oz each)
Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
1 pkg (4-serving size) peach flavored gelatin mix
2 to 3 (depending on size) fresh peaches, chopped*
1 container (8-oz) whipped topping, thawed

Mix the Graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1/4 cup of the sugar well. Press the mixture onto the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan. Refrigerate.

In large bowl of electric mixer, beat the Neufchatel cheese and the remaining 34 cup of sugar together with mixer until well blended and smooth. Add the peach gelatin in and mix well. Gently stir in the peaches and whipped topping.

Remove crust from refrigerator and spoon the peach mixture over the crust. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before cutting to serve. Cut into 16 pieces to serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.

*If fresh peaches are not available, use a 15-oz can of peaches that are drained and chopped.

Monday, August 29, 2011

PEANUT BUTTER BREAD

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan; set aside.

In a 2-quart bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the peanut butter until crumbly. Combine the egg, milk, and vanilla; stir into the flour mixture just until moistened.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes to an hour or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

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

BANANA WALNUT BROWNIE PIE

1 (9-in) unbaked pastry shell
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup biscuit baking mix
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 ripe bananas

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Using a fork lghtly puncture the bottom and sides of the unbaked pastry shell; bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Remove crust from oven.

In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt the butter wiwth the chocolate chips.

In a large mixer bowl, beat the melted chocolate with the the sweetened condensed milk, baking mix, eggs, and vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in the walnuts.

Slice the bananas onto the bottom of the prepared crust. Pour the chocolate mixture over the bananas. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the center is set. If the edges of the crust start to get too brown, cover crust with strips of foil. Cool pie. Garnish with whipped cream, banana slices, and/or chocolate shavings, if desired.

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

APPLESAUCE BAKED APPLE CRISP

8 cups unpeeled apples, thinly sliced
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
4 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1 1/2 cups applesauce
1 cup uncooked oats
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 cup vanilla fat-free yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the apple slices with the granulated sugar, lemon juice and half the cinnamon. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and spoon the mixture into the dish. Spread the applesauce over the apple mixture.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine th oats, brown sugar, flour, both milks and other half of the cinnamon. Spread this mixture over the applesauce.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm with the yogurt.

Yield: 12 servings

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.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

AMISH SOUR CREAM CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 carton (8-oz) sour cream
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 pkg (12-oz) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease two cookie sheets; set aside.

Combine the ingredients in a large bowl in the following order: Mix the brown and granulated sugars, add the vegetable oil and sour cream. Add the eggs and mix in well.

Combine the baking soda and salt with the flour. Gradually mix into the sugar mixture until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees approximately 15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden browned.

Yield: Approximately 3 dozen cookies.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookies

1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder (preferably Dutch processed)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the confectioners' sugar with the cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually add in the egg whites, stirring with a spoon until mixture forms into a dough. The mixture should be thick enough that you can form it into small balls; if not add a little more confectioners' sugar and cocoa. Add the nuts and mix in well.

Form the dough into 15 equal size balls. Place balls on the parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake 15 to 19 minutes until balls are glossy and have a crackled appearance. Cool completely.

Per cookie: 110 calories, 16 g carbs, 1 g protein, 7 g fat, 45 mg sodium

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.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

CHOCOLATE CHIP MERINGUE COOKIE BARS

1/2 cup solid shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar, divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup ground salted peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the shortening, butter, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, and the sugar. Add the egg yolks and mix well.

Combine the cold water with the vanilla extract.

In a bowl combine the flours, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture alternatley with the water vanilla mixture to the creamed mixture. Mix well.

Spray a 15 x 10-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and spread the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over all.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks (tops fold over) form. Add the remaining cup of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until stiff peaks form (peaks stand firm and do not fold over). Spread the egg whites over the chocolate chips. Top with the ground peanuts.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Allow to cool in pan before cutting into bars.

Yield: 36 bars

Monday, August 15, 2011

TEXAS BLITZ TORTE

1 box yellow cake mix
5 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Filling (see recipe below)

Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions and pour the batter into two 8-inch round pans that have been greased and lightly floured.

Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff. Add the 3/4 cup of sugar very slowly while continuously beating; beat until very stiff. Spread each of the unbaked cake layers with half the egg white mixture.

Combine the 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar with the walnuts and cinnamon; sprinkle over the egg white layers.

Bake cakes at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. When cool enough to remoe from the pans, place 1 layer on serving plate with the meringue side up. Spread with the filling and place the second layer over the filling, meringue side up.

FILLING:
2 egg yolks
1 cup milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon extract
pinch of salt

Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until thick.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

BUTTERSCOTCH PUMPKIN BUNDT CAKE

1 cup butterscotch morsels
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
powdered sugar for dusting, if desired

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

Microwave the butterscotch morsels in a small microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute; stir. Microwave in additional 15 second intervals until smooth when stirred. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.

In a large mixing bowl, using a wire whisk, combine the melted butterscotch morsels, pumpkin, canola oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture until well combined. Spoon or pour batter evenly into the prepared Bundt pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center of cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Yield: 24 servings.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

WHIPPED TOPPING COOKIES

1 box cake mix, your choice of flavor
2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 egg
powdered sugar for rolling cookies

Mix the dry cake mix, thawed whipped topping, and egg. Refrigerate mixture for an hour. Remove from the refrigerator and taking a teaspoonful at a time, roll them in the powdered sugar. Place rolled dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Yield: Approximately 4 dozen cookies

Friday, August 12, 2011

APPLE CUSTARD PIE

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 9-inch pie shell, unbaked
2 tbsp chopped walnuts, optional

In a medium bowl combine the sugar and corn starch; whisk in the eggs. Stir in the butter, corn syrup, and vanilla extract. Fold in half the apple slices. Pour into the prepared pie shell.

Place the remaining in an overlapping circle design on top of the pie. Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts, if using.

Bake the pie at 375 degrees for 50 minutes or until the center of the pie is set. Cool completely on a wire rack.

If using a frozen pie shell, do not thaw. Place pie in a preheated oven on a preheated cookie sheet and bake as above.

Yield: 8 servings

Thursday, August 11, 2011

LOVE-TO-YOU CARROT CAKE & CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups canola oil
3 cups grated carrots

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

Mix the cinnamon, baking powder, salt, baking soda, flour, and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla, and canola oil. Blend together well. Mix in the grated carrots. Divide the mixture evenly between the three prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Allow cakes to cool in the pans for a few minutes then carefully turn out onto wire racks to cool completely. Frost with the Cream Cheese Frosting Recipes that follows.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Cream the butter and cream cheese together. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla; blend well. Add the chopped nuts. Use to fill between the layers and frost cake.

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

Saturday, August 6, 2011

FRESH LEMON CAKE

Note: This is a cake that takes some time and effort. But believe me, the results are worth it!

2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.

Onto a sheet of waxed paper, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine the milk and vanilla in a cup.

In a large mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Turn mixer to low speed and the flour mixture alternately with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

GLAZE:
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp sugar
In a small saucepan heat the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool then using a pastry brush, brush glaze over the tops of the cake layers.

FILLING:
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp unsalted butter
4 egg yolks
2 tsp grated lemon peel
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
In a medium saucepan combine the cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Stir in the water until mixture is smooth. Over medium heat, bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the butter until melted.

In a small bowl, using a wire whisk, whisk together the eggs with a third cup of the cornstarch mixture. Add egg mixture to the pan and add the lemon peel and lemon juice. Boil gently for 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate.

BUTTERCREAM:
1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar, divided
1/4 cup water
5 egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, combine the 1 cup of the sugar with the water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until syrup reaches the soft-ball stage (240 to 245 degrees on a candy thermometer.)

While syrup cooks, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form (soft peaks curl when beaters are removed). Gradually add the 2 tablespoons of sugar to the egg whites and beat until stiff peaks (peaks stand up when beaters are removed) form. Add the hot syrup in a thin steady line while beating constantly. Beat at high speed for 8 to 10 minutes more until the meringue is completely cool and soft peaks form.

In a large ixer bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. With mixer at medium speed, add the meringue 1/4 cup at a time, blending well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon peel.

To assemble the cake, Place 1 layer on the cake plate and spread half the filling mixture over the cake top. Add another layer and spread the remaining filling over the top. Top with the third layer and refrigerate for a half hour.

Reserve 1 cup of the buttercream. Spread the top and sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream. Fill a pastry bag that has been fitted with a star tip with the 1 cup of reserved buttercream. Pipe rosettes around cake as decoration.

Yield: 12 servings

MAMIE EISENHOWER'S FUDGE

This recipe has long been credited to former First Lady Mamie Eisenhower. This fudge recipe she shared during that time was very popular during her husband's term in the 1950s.

4 1/2 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 can (13-oz) evaporated milk, undiluted
1 package (12-oz) semi-sweet chocolate pieces (2 cups)
3 packages (4-oz each) sweet baking chocolate, cut into pieces
2 jars (7-oz each)) marshmallow creme
2 cups coarsely chopped nuts

In a 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, bring the sugar, salt, butter, and evaporated milk to a full boil. Boil for 6 minutes, stirring constantly. Off heat, add chocolates and marshmallow creme, stirring vigorously and speedily until the chocolate is melted and mixture is a uniform color. Immediately stir in the nuts and pour into a buttered 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Refrigerate until firm enough to cut into large squares or bars; wrap each individually. Keep stored in the refrigerator. Makes about 5 pounds.

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.

REFRESHING STRAWBERRY RHUBARB TART

PASTRY:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
pinch salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut up
1 egg yolk
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water

In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, and salt. With a pastry blender or 2 knifes, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk and water; stir into the flour mixture until the pastry forms a ball. Wrap ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.

On a lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll the ball into a 14-inch circle. Fit into the bottom of a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Prick the bottom and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line the pastry with foil and fill with dry beans or uncooked rice and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and its contents. Bake the crust another 12 minutes or until golden brown.

FILLING:
4 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 pints strawberries, sliced into thirds
3 tbsp red currant jelly, melted in microwave
Sweetened whipped cream or frozen whipped topping, thawed, for garnish

In a medium saucepan combine the rhubarb and sugar; let stand 30 minutes.

Cover the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. (Note: If using frozen rhubarb, cook without a lid.) Transfer the rhubard to a medium bowl; cool. Spread the rhubarb mixture into the tart shell.

Arrange the strawberries in a decorative pattern over the rhubarb mixture. Brush top of the strawberries with the melted currant jelly. Refrigerate up to two hours before serving.

Serve with the whipped cream for whipped topping. Decorate with a strawberry half if desired.

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.

LEMON NUT CRESCENT TART

1 can (8-oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tsp grated lemon peel
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 cup coconut
1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
2 tbsp powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease or spray with nonstick cooking spray, a 10-inch tart pan. Separate the crescent dough into 8 triangles. Place the dough into the prepared tart pan and gently press over the bottom and up the sides of the pan to form a crust. Seal edges together well when making the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then gently press sides of the warm crust to the top of the pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, lemon peel, lemon juice, vanilla, and eggs together; beat for 3 minutes on medium speed of electric mixer. Stir in the coconut and hazenuts. Pour the filling into the cooled crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown. Cool. Sprinkle with the powdered sugar then store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 8 to 12 servings, depending on size of servings.

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.

Monday, August 1, 2011

LOW-FAT BANANA SHERBET

1 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup low-fat evaporated milk
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 medium banana, chunked

Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved and set aside to cool.

Put the evaporated milk, orange juice, lemon juice, and the banana in a blender container. Add the cooled sugary syrup. Add the cover and process until smooth.

Place the mixture into the freezer cylinder of an ice cream freezer. Follow the manufacturer's directions to make the sherbet. Transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze about 4 hours until firm before serving.