Saturday, December 31, 2011

STRAWBERRY COCONUT PECAN CAKE

1 pkg (3-oz) strawberry gelatin
1 pkg (2-layer size) white cake mix
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs, separated
1 cup  shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups strawberry halves
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 lb powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour two round cake pans; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl stir the gelatin and cake mix together; add the oil, milk, egg yolks and mix just until moistened.

In a separate bowl, combine the coconut, pecans, and strawberries.  Fold half this mixture into the cake batter.  Reserve the other half of the strawberry mixture.

In a mixer bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry; fold into the batter.  Pour the batter evenly into two prepared pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers come out clean.  Allow to cool in pans on wire rack for just a few minutes then remove from pans to the wire racks to cool completely.

In a mixer bowl cream the butter until light.  Add the powdered sugar, mixing until fluffy.  Add the remaining strawberry mixture and mix in well.  Place one layer on cake plate and spread some of the frosting over the top.  Top with the second layer.  Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake.

Yield: 12 servings.



Friday, December 30, 2011

CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY MINI CAKES

1/2 cup seedless red raspberry preserves
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
vanilla glaze (if desired)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt the preserves while stirring constantly; remove from heat and set aside.

In mixer bowl, using electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.

In a small bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add this mixture of dry ingredients into the egg mixture alternately with the buttermilk.  Mix well after each addition is added.  After all is added, beat for 2 minutes.  Beat in the preserves.

Spray 3 loaf pans (3 x 5-inches) with nonstick cooking spray.  Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely in the pans.  Drizzle vanilla glaze (recipe below) over the cooled cakes, if desired.

Vanilla glaze:
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tbsp hot water

In the microwave, melt the butter in mixing bowl.  Stir in the vanilla and powdered sugar to the butter with enough of the hot water to make desired consistency.

If you prefer, you can use one 9-inch loaf pan.  Adjust baking time as needed until done.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

DANE'S RICE PUDDING

3 cups cooked rice
2 pkgs (4-oz size) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/4 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups whipped topping

Rice the rice with cold water and drain well.

Combine the pudding mix, milk, ice cream, and cinnamon in a mixer bowl.  Beat the mixture for 1 minute.  Fold in the rice.  Chill until serving time.  Before serving, fold in the whipped topping.  Spoon pudding into serving dishes.

OLD-STYLE GERMAN APPLE PANCAKE

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
4 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp olive or canola oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 cup thin-sliced Granny Smith apple

1 tbsp powdered sugar for garnish

Using the first section of ingredients above, lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup and level off with your finger or a knife.  Combine the flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl and stir with a whisk.  Combine the egg, milk, butter, and vanilla together in a small bowl and stir with a whisk.  Stirring with a whisk combine the egg mixture into the flour mixture.  Allow to stand for half an hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Using the next section of ingredients, coat the bottom and sides of a heavy (preferably cast-iron) skillet with the oil.  In a cup or small bowl combine half the sugar, the cinnamon, and the nutmeg; sprinkle evenly over the bottom and sides of the prepared skillet.  Arrange the apple in a spoke-like design layer in bottom of skillet.  Sprinkle the remaining half of the sugar over the apple.  Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes until the mixture bubbles.  Slowly pour the batter over the apple.

Bake the pancake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Reduce temperature to 375 degrees without removing pancake from the oven.  Bake another 13 to 15 minutes until the center is set.  Carefully loosen the pancake from the pan with a spatula; carefully slide onto a serving platter.  Sprinkle the powdered sugar over the top.

To serve, cut pancake into 6 wedges.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

BABY RUTH CANDY BAR KNOCK-OFF

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 jar (7-oz) marshmallow creme
1 cup chopped salted peanuts

In the top of a double-boiler over hot water, melt the chocolate chips and the peanut butter together, stirring occasionally.  When melted, remove from the heat; add the marshmallow creme and peanuts.  Beat until mixed together well.  Pour into a foil-lined 8-inch square baking dish.  Allow to cool completely then cut into 36 squares.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

CAPTAIN'S HASH

4 cups Cap'n Crunch Crunch Berries cereal
2 cups dry-roasted peanuts
2 cups slivered almonds
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 lb white almond bark

In a large bowl combine the cereal, peanuts, almonds, and marshmallows, mixing well.

Melt the almond bark in the microwave for 1 minute; remove and stir.  Continue to microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each time, until the coating is all melted.  Pour the melted coating over the cereal mixture in the bowl; mix well to coat all the cereal, etc.

Spread the mixture out on a waxed paper covered baking sheet.  Let stand until firm then break into small pieces.  Store in an airtight container.



Monday, December 26, 2011

AMBROSIA BUNDT CAKE

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup drained pineapple tidbits
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained well and coarsely chopped
2 tbsp grated orange peel
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan and set aside.

In a mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt.  Add the pecans, pineapple, coconut, cherries, orange peel; mix well.

In a separate bowl combine the eggs, buttermilk and oil; mix well.  Add the egg mixture to the dry mixture, mixing until well blended.  Pour or spoon the mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake cake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until a thin wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: File photo

Saturday, December 24, 2011

CHOCOLATE PINEAPPLE SQUARES

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
2 1/2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans
cocoa frosting, recipe below

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In mixer bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the softened butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy; beat in the eggs.

In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together; add to the creamed mixture and mix together well.

In another bowl, combine the pineapple with 1 3/4 cups of the batter, mixing together well.  Into the remaining batter, blend the cocoa and melted butter; stir in the pecans.

Spread the chocolate mixture into the prepared baking pan.  Spread the pineapple mixture over the top.  Bake for 25 minutes until the edges pull from the sides of the pan.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes.  Frost the warm brownies with the following cocoa frosting then cut into 30 squares.

Cocoa Frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp cocoa
1 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp milk

Combine the powdered sugar, cocoa, butter, vanilla, and milk in a mixing bowl.  Beat well until smooth.

Makes 1 cup of frosting.

Friday, December 23, 2011

CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CAKE

3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole-milk
3 oz dark chocolate, grated

Set eggs out at room temperature for half an hour. 

Grease and lightly flour 3 8-inch round cake pans; set aside.

In a medium bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixer bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter for 30 seconds.  Gradually add the sugar, small amounts at a time, beating after each addition until well combined.  Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for another 2 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; beat in the vanilla extract.

Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk to the butter/egg mixture, beating on low after each addition but just until combined.  Beat on high for an additional 20 seconds.  Stir in the grated dark chocolate.  Equally divide the batter between the three pans.

Bake cake layers for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool completely on the wire racks.  Fill and frost with your favorite frosting recipe.

Yield: 16 servings.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS

I want to wish all my members a very Merry Christmas and share this picture with you.  This is two of my granddaughters who baked with me today.  The oldest one in this photo is lovingly referred to as Grandma's Ladybug.  She also loves baking, so this site is named in her honor!

YUMMY CHRISTMAS PIE

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 tsp salt

Stir the above ingredients together in a medium saucepan.  Gradually stir in:

1 3/4 cups milk

Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat while stirring constantly.  Cook for 1 minute.

Remove pan from the heat and place in a pan of cold water.  Cool until the mixture mounds when dropped from a spoon.  Stir in the following:

3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract

3 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Beat the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar together in a mixer bowl, using electric mixer, until stiff peaks form.  Fold the egg whites into the cooled mixture.  Stir in:

1 cup flaked coconut
2 cups whipped topping

Pour the filling into a 9-inch prebaked pie shell.  Chill pie until serving time.

1/2 cup flaked coconut
drops of green food coloring
red maraschino cherries

Tint the coconut with the green food coloring.  Sprinkle around the outer edges of the pie.  Garnish with the red cherries.

Yield: 8 servings

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

COWBOY BROWNIE MIX IN A JAR

2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Layer the ingredients, in order listed, in a quart jar.

Place a square of banana cloth and place over the jar lid.  Tie with a piece of jute or twine, attaching the instructions below.

Instructions to attach to the jar:
1 jar cowboy brownie mix
1 cup butter
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease and flour a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Add the brownie mix and then beat by hand until smooth.  Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

CANDIED FRUIT BARS

2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
3 tbsp granulated sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup red candied cherry halves
1/2 cup green candied cherry halves
1/2 cup chopped dates
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl combine the cookie crumbs, cocoa, and sugar.  Using a pastry blender or two knifes, cut in the butter.  Press the mixture over the bottom and about half an inch up the sides of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.  Sprinkle with the peanut butter chips, both cherries, and dates.

Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the fruit.  Sprinkle the pecans over the milk pressing them down slightly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until the edges of the filling are lightly browned and the center is bubbly.  Cool; cover with foil.  Set aside for 8 hours to cool completely before cutting into 36 bars.

Monday, December 19, 2011

CHOCOLATE CHUNK PISTACHIO SHORTBREAD

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup pistachios, chopped, divided
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1 beaten egg white

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Grease a cookie sheet and set aside.

In mixer bowl, with electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy; blend in the vanilla.  Gradually add the flour; mix well.  Fold in the half cup of pistachios and the chocolate chunks.

Using your hands, pat the dough into an 8 x 10-inch rectangle.  Brush with the egg white and sprinkle the third cup of pistachios over the top.  Bake at 300 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until the shortbread is lightly browned.  Cool completely before cutting into 20 squares.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

FRUIT BREAD

1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 can (11-oz) mandarin oranges,drained and chopped
1 1/2 tsp grated orange rind
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease and lightly flour a 9-inch loaf pan; set aside.

In a mixer bowl combine the canola oil and sugar beating until smooth.  Add the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each one.  Add th almond extract, mashed banana, mandarin oranges, and the orange rind mixing well.

With a wooden spoon stir in the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and coconut.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove to a wire rack to cook.  Loosen from pan and remove.  Cool completely on the wire rack.

Note: File photo

A PERFECT BUFFET CAKE WITH FILLING AND GLAZE


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup + 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs, separated
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate Filling (recipe below)
Chocolate Glaze (recipe below)
Whipped cream, for garnish
Maraschino cherries, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 15 x 10-inch baking pan with foil; grease and lightly flour the foil.  Set prepared pan aside.

In a large mixer bowl mix the flour, 1 cup of the granulated sugar, baking cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  Add the canola oil, egg yolks, buttermilk, and vanilla extract; beat mixture until smooth.

In another mixer bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy.  Gradually add the remaining half cup of sugar and beat until sugar is dissolved and whites are stiff.  Fold the whites into chocolate batter.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center.  Cool in the pan for three minutes.  Invert the cake onto a large cooling rack and carefully remove the foil.  Allow cake to cool completely.

While cake cools, make the Chocolate Filling.

Cut the cooled cake in half crosswise making two equal layers.  Place 1 layer on the serving platter.  Spread the chocolate filling over the cake layer.  Top with the remaining layer.  Refrigerate to chill while you make the Chocolate Glaze.

Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake and chill for about 2 hours to set the glaze.

To serve, garnish with swirls of whipped cream.  Top each whipped cream swirl with a maraschino cherry.

Yield: 12 servings.

CHOCOLATE FILLING:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract (use rum extract, if desired)
1/2 cup whipping cream

In a mixer bowl combine the softened butter, granulated sugar, egg, cocoa, and extract; beat until smooth.

In a separate bowl beat the whipping cream to stiff peaks.  Gently fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture.

CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp unsweetened baking cocoa
3 tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.  Stir in the cocoa and water.  Cook mixture until thickened while stirring constantly; do NOT boil.  Remove from the heat.

Add the vanilla extract and the powdered sugar (start with 1 1/4 cups and increase if too thin), beating until smooth.




Friday, December 16, 2011

OOOHY-GOOEY VANILLA WAFER BAR COOKIES

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup vanilla wafer cookie crumbs
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Set out a 9 x 13-inch baking dish or pan.

Combine the butter, vanilla wafer crumbs, chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans in a mixing bowl; mix together well.  Spread the mixture over the bottom of the baking dish or pan.  Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top of the mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Cool completely and cut into 36 bars.

Note: This is a file photo.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

FROZEN COCONUT-PECAN CARAMEL PIE

1 baked 9-inch pie shell
1 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/8 cup butter
1/2 cup + 1/8 cup sweetened condensed milk
4 oz cream cheese, softened
8-oz whipped topping
1/2 (12-oz size) jar caramel ice cream topping

Melt the butter over medium heat in a skillet; add coconut and pecans and saute until lightly browned.  Set aside.

In a mixer bowl combine the sweetened condensed milk with the cream cheese; beat until smooth.  Fold in the whipped topping.

Spread half the cream cheese mixture into the baked pie shell and layer with half the caramel topping.  Top with half the pecan and coconut mixture; repeat the layers.

Freeze pie until firm.  Remove from freezer and let stand for 10 minutes before cutting to serve.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

TURN A PACKAGED BROWNIE MIX INTO EASY MINT BROWNIES

1 pkg (23-oz) brownie mix
1 large egg
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1 can cream cheese frosting
2 tsp peppermint extract
several drops of green food coloring
3 squares (1-oz each) semisweet chocolate
2 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 10 x 15-inch baking pan; set aside.

Prepare the brownie mix according to the package directions using the egg.  Stir the chocolate chips and the pecans into the brownie mix.  Transfer mix to the prepared pan.

Bake brownies for 15 to 20 minutes just until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Do not overbake.  Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Place the cream cheese frosting into a mixing bowl.  Stir in the peppermint extract and the food coloring until well blended.  Spread frosting over the cooled brownies.  Put into the refrigerator to chill.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate with the butter in a small saucepan over low heat stirring constantly.  Drizzle the chocolate over the minty frosting.  Chill until the chocolate has firmed up.  Cut into 48 squares.


Monday, December 12, 2011

KIDS FAVORITE PARTY PUNCH

1 can (46-oz) red Hawaiian Punch
1 can (6-oz) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 can (6-oz) orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 can (6-oz) grape juice concentrate, thawed
3 1/2 cups Sprite or other lemon-lime soda pop, chilled
6 cups chilled water
ice
orange slices, for garnish
maraschino cherries, for garnish

In a large punch bowl combine the punch, lemonade concentrate, orange juice concentrate, and grape juice concentrate.  Stir in the chilled water.  Add ice ring (directions below).  Float some orange slices on top.  When serving, place a maraschino cherry in each cup. 

Ice Ring instructions.
Take a ring mold that fits easily into the punch bowl.  Fill halfway with water and put some maraschino cherries and  well drained mandarin orange slices into the water and place in freezer.  Freeze until solid.  Remove from mold and place in the punch bowl to keep punch chilled and add color.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CHIP BARS

1 pkg (14-oz) caramels, unwrapped
1/3 cup cream
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
2 cups oats
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a saucepan over low heat, combine the caramels and cream; cook, stirring constantly until the caramels are melted completely.  Set caramel mixture aside.

In a mixing bowl combine the two flours with the oats, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and egg; mix together well.  Add the butter and cut in until the mixture is crumbly.  Press half the crumbly mixture into the bottom of 9 x 13-inch baking pan or dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top.  Drizzle the caramel mixture over the chocolate chips.  Top with the remaining crumbly mixture.  Return to oven and bake another 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Set on a wire rack and cool for half an hour.  Run a thin knife around the edges to loosen and allow to cool completely before cutting into 56 1 x 2-inch bars.


Friday, December 9, 2011

PECAN SPRINKLED PUMPKIN CHIFFON PIE

Another great recipe for enjoying pumpkin pie even on hot summer days. Pumpkin is for more than just the holidays!


1/4 cup water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3 to 5 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp butter
5 egg whites
4 tbsp granulated sugar
1 9-inch baked pie shell
whipped cream for garnish
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (depending on how much you like nuts), for garnish

In a measuring cup sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for several minutes to soften.

Combine the 3 to 5 tablespoons (depending on how sweet you prefer)sugar with the cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a saucepan, mixing well.  Stir in the pumpkin and whipping cream.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth.  Add the butter and gelatin; mix well.  Allow to cool, stirring occasionally.

Beat the egg whites in a mixer bowl for a minute.  Gradually add the 4 tablespoons of sugar, beating until sugar is dissolved and egg whites are stiff.  Gently fold egg whites into the pumpkin mixture.  Spoon into the pie shell.  Cover and chill until serving time.

To serve, garnish with the whipped cream and sprinkle with the chopped pecans or walnuts.





Thursday, December 8, 2011

CARAMEL DRIZZLED BROWNIES

1 box (20-oz) brownie mix
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
20 unwrapped milk caramels
3 tbsp milk

Prepare the brownie mix according to the box directions.  Spread the mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and pecans .  Bake according to the box directions.

Combine the caramels and milk in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir to mix well.  Drizzle the caramel over the hot brownies.  Cool before cutting into squares.

Cut into 24 to 36 pieces.

Note: Stock photo

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

DEVIL'S FOOD CHIP BAR COOKIES

1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
1 box (2-layer size) devil's food cake mix
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the cake mix until crumbly.  Press the mixture onto the bottom of a 15 x 10-inch baking pan.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, and pecans over the cake mixture.  Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown and puffed up in the center.  Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool.  Cut into 48 bars.

EASY MARSHMALLOWS POPCORN BALLS

1 cup packed light brown sugar
8 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup butter
3 quarts popped popcorn

In a saucepan combine the brown sugar, marshmallows, and butter.  Cook (stirring constantly)
the mixture over low heat until the marshmallows are melted.

Place the popped corn in a large heat-proof bowl and pour the hot mixture over the corn.  With buttered or greased hands, shape the popcorn into 20 balls.  Place the popcorn balls on waxed paper and let stand until firm.  Store in an airtight container or containers.

Note: I have never taken a picture of these popcorn balls. This is a stock photo.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

ALMOND ORANGE COOKIES WITH CHOCOLATE FILLING

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 large egg yolks
3/4 tsp baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp grated orange rind
1 cup ground toasted almonds
Creamy chocolate filling (recipe follows)

In large mixer bowl combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg yolks beating until creamy.

In a bowl combine the baking powder, flour, and salt.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, mixing well.  Stir in the orange rind.  Cover and chill for an hour or until dough is easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the ground almonds.  Place balls 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Press a thumb into the center of each cookie making a well for the chocolate filling.  Put 1/4 teaspoon of the filling into the well of each cookie.

Bake cookies at 325 degrees for 11 to 13 minutes until set.  Allow to cool slightly on the cookie sheets then remove to a wire rack to cook completely.

CREAMY CHOCOLATE FILLING:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a small saucepan combine the sugar, cocoa, and flour.  Gradually stir in the whipping or heavy cream.  Over low heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.  Stir a small amount of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolk then stir egg mixture into the chocolate mixture.  Cook for a minute while stirring constantly.  Remove the chocolate from the heat; stir in the butter and vanilla until butter is melted and mixture is smooth.  Chill until ready to use.



Saturday, December 3, 2011

CRANBERRY ICE

4 cups cranberry juice
2 tsps grated orange rind
2 cups unsweetened orange juice

In a bowl combine the three ingredients.  Spoon or pour the mixture into a 13 x 9-inch freeze-proof dish or pan.  Freeze for several hours, stirring every 15 minutes or so, until firm.

To serve, scoop into individual compote dishes.

Yield: 10 servings.

By serving this ice instead of cranberry sauce, you can reduce calories by up to 75%.

Friday, December 2, 2011

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup milk
2 tbsp butter, melted
3 tbsp Amaretto*
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease and flour a Bundt pan; set aside.

In a bowl combine the flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the 1 cup of butter and the granulated sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in the almond extract.  Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Mix well after each addition.

Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack for a few minutes.  Carefully remove cake and cool completely on the wire rack.

*If you do not want to use Amaretto, substitute almond extract to suit your taste.

To make glaze:  Combine the melted butter, Amaretto, and powdered sugar in a bowl and mix well until smooth.  Drizzle glaze over the cake allowing to drip down the sides.  Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the top.