Wednesday, February 29, 2012

BLACK CHERRY JUBILEE PARFAIT

1 cup boiling water
1 pkg (4-serving) black cherry gelatin
1 cup cold water
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Pour the dry gelatin mix into a medium mixing bowl.  Stir the boiling water into the gelatin stirring for a couple of minutes until the gelatin is completely dissolved.  Stir in the cold water.

Pour the mixture into a 9-inch square baking dish and refrigerate at least 4 hours or until firm.

Cut the set gelatin into small cubes.  Set aside half the whipped topping.  Into 4 dessert dishes or glasses, place a layer of gelatin cubes, a layer of whipped topping, and another layer of gelatin cubes.  Top each with a dollop of the remaining whipped topping to serve.


NOTE:  This is a good diabetic dessert if you use sugar-free gelatin and sugar-free whipped topping.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE WITH WALNUT FILLING

CAKE:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cold black coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs

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

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  With an electric mixer on low speed beat in the shortening and applesauce.  Beat in the milk, coffee, and vanilla extract until combined.  Increase the speed of the mixer to high and beat for another 2 minutes.  Add the eggs and beat an additional 2 minutes.

Pour the batter evenly divided into the prepared pans.  Smooth tops with a rubber spatula and tap gently on counter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing from pans to cool completely on wire racks.  Fill and frost with the frosting recipe below.

FROSTING:
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup warm water
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts, divided

In a large bowl combine the cocoa, butter, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add the warm water and mix well.  Beat in the powdered sugar in two batches and beat until smooth.

Place one layer of the cake on a serving plate.  Spread with 1 cup of the frosting and sprinkle with 2/3 cup of the walnuts.  Top with the remaining cake layer, top side up.  Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake.  Use a small spatula to make decorative swirls in the frosting.  Garnish with the remaining walnuts.


Yield: 12 servings

Saturday, February 25, 2012

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CHIPPERS WITH WALNUTS

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pkg (12-oz) white chocolate chips
1 pkg (12-oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 pkg (11 1/2-oz) milk chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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

In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter and sugars.  Beat mixture, with an electric mixer on high speed, until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time; stir in the vanilla.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.  Beat well after each addition.  Fold in the chips and the walnuts. 

Drop the dough onto ungreased baking sheets by rounded tablespoonfuls, 2-inches apart.  Flatten dough slightly.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes until light golden brown.  Allow to cool on baking sheets for 4 to 5 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely.


Yield: Approximately 5 dozen cookies.

Friday, February 24, 2012

VERY EASY SUGAR COOKIES

3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp colored sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl beat the 3/4 cup sugar, butter, oil, milk, almond extract and egg until light and fluffy.

Lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level off.  Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt into the sugar mixture; blend together well.

Evenly spread the dough onto a 15 X 10 X 1-inch bakng pan and sprinkle with the colored sugar.

Bake cookies at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown; do not overbake.  Cool for 5 minutes before cutting diagonally into bars.


Approximately 4 dozen cookies.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

INDIVIDUAL PEANUTTY CHEESECAKES

2/3 cup Graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Line 12 (2 1/2-inch) muffin cups with paper liners; set aside.

In a small bowl mix the cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.  Press 1 level tablespoonful of the mixture into the bottom of each of the prepared muffin cups; set aside.

11 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs

In a mixer bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy.  Add the milk and eggs beating just until blended; set aside.

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over hot water. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups of the cream cheese mixture, mixing until smooth.

1/4 cup peanut butter

Add the peanut butter to the remaining cream cheese mixture and beat at low speed just until blended.

Layer the peanut butter mixture and the chocolate mixture in the muffin cups over the crust.  Till the cups almost full.

Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until set.  Remove to wire rack to cool then chill in refrigerator.

To serve, peel of the paper and place cheesecakes onto serving plates.  Garnish with whipped cream and chopped peanuts, if desired.



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

BREAKFAST ROLL WREATH

Today is the birthday of our first president who is known for the story of the cherry tree.  This breakfast roll wreath is decorated with cherries, both red and green.

1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 3/4 cups baking mix (I use Bisquick)
2 tbsp sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
3 to 4 tsp milk
red and green colored cherries for garnish, if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the pecans, 2 tablespoons sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside.

In a mixer bowl combine the baking mix, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 2/3 cup milk.  Beat mixture for 30 seconds to form a soft dough.  On a surface that has been dusted with additional baking mix, for the mixture into a ball and coat well.  Knead dough 10 times.

Roll the dough into a rectangle 9 x 15-inches in size.  Spread the butter over the dough and sprinkle with the pecan mixture.  Roll up jelly roll style from the long side and seal the edge.   Cut roll into 12 equal slices.  Placein a circle around the edge of the prepared baking pan, pressing in gently to make fit.

Bake ring for approximately 25 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown.  Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove to a serving plate.

Mix the powdered sugar, alsmond extract and 3 tablespoons of milk in a small bowl.  Add more of the milk as needed to make of drizzle consistency.  Drizzle over the warm rolls.  Garnish with the cherries, if desired.


Best served warm and fresh.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

CHOCOLATE PUDDING-PECAN COOKIES

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 pkg (5 1/8-oz) chocolate fudge pudding and pie filling mix (NOT instant)
1 carton (8-oz) sour cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups chopped pecans
1 pkg (12-oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly spray cookie sheets; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, vanilla, egg, and pudding mix, and sour cream at low speed until moistened.  Beat for two minutes at medium speed. Add the flour, eats, baking soda and salt; mix at low speed until blended.  Stir in the pecans and chocolate chips by hand using a large silicone spatula or wooden spoon.

Drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2-inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.  Bake at 375 degrees for 6 to 7 minutes or until set; do not overbake.  Allow to cool on pans for 1 minute then gently remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: 5 to 6 dozen cookies.
1 cookie contains approximately 100 calories



Saturday, February 18, 2012

MOCHA CAPPUCCINO PUDDING CAKE

CAKE:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup skim milk
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
whipped cream for garnish, if desired

PUDDING:
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk heated to 120 to 130 degrees

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa,  1 tablespooon espresso powder, baking powder, and salt.  Add the milk, butter, and vanilla, mixing until well blended.  Spread the mixture over the bottom of an ungreased 9-inch square baking pan.

In a small bowl combine all the pudding ingredients except the milk and mix well.  Sprinkle evenly over cake batter then pour the hot milk over the sugar mixture.

Bake cake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until center is set and firm to the touch.  Place a cookie sheet or foil on the lower oven rack to cake any spills. 

To serve, spoon the warm cake into dessert dishes.  Add a dollop of whipped cream for garnish, if desired.


Yield: 9 servings

Thursday, February 16, 2012

CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CRUNCH BARS

1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 quick cooking oats
1/2 cup Grape-Nuts cereal
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil leaving enough on ends to use later to life bars out of the pan.  Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the sugar and butter; blend well.  Add the flour, oats, and cereal mixing together well.  Press mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking pan.  Drizzle the caramel topping over mixture to within 1/2-inch of the edges.

Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or until the edges are a light golden brown.  Immediately remove from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the hot bars.  Let stand for a minute or two for the chocolate to melt.  Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the bars.  Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

Remove the bars from the pan by lifting out the foil.  Cool down in the freezer for 15 minutes before cutting into 16 bars.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

CARROT-ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup skim milk
3 tbsp canola oil
2 egg whites
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1/2 cup shredded unpeeled zucchini

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or line cups with paper baking cups lightly sprayed with the nonstick spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt mixing together well.

In a small bowl, combine the milk, oil, and egg whites; blend well.  Add to the dry ingredients all at once and stir just until moistened.  Stir in the carrots and zucchini just until blended.  Spoon batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake the muffins at 400 degrees for 16 to 21 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from the pan immediately and serve while still warm.

Monday, February 13, 2012

CHOCOLATE AND SALTED CARAMEL TARTLETS

CHOCOLATE PASTRY
2/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tbsp cocoa
1/2 stick butter
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 egg yolk

Sift the flour and cocoa into a mixing bowl; rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Add the sugar and egg yolk and ,using your fingers, mix together into a soft dough; add a little cold water if mixture is too dry.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for one hour.

Preheat ven to 350 degrees.
12 mini tartlet tins, greased; set aside.
On a flour-dusted surface, roll out the pastry to a thickness of 1/8-inch.  Use a sharp knife to cut out 12 squares slightly larger than the tartlet baking pans and press one into each pan, trimming away any excess pastry.  Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Line each tartlet pan with baking parchment and fill with baking beans.  Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until crisp.  Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.  Remove the beans and parchment.

SALTED CARAMEL
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp water
1/2 stick butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp heavy cream

Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan set over gentle heat.  Remove the pan from the heat as soon as the mixture stars to turn golden brown.  Add the butter, salt, and cream and return to the heat, until the butter has melted.  Pour a little of the mixture into the base of each cooled tartlet case.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE
3 half ounces dark chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp light corn syrup
12 silver gragees, to decorate if desired

Place the chocolate, cream, and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or use a double-boiler).  Take care not to let the base of the bowl touch the water.  Stir until the chocolate and butter have melted and blended.  Remove from the heat and beat in the syrup.  Pour a little into each tartlet case.  Leave to partially set, then top each with a silver dragee.  Let set completely before serving.

May be kept for 3 days in an airtight container.




EARL GREY PEACH PRESERVES

5 lb ripe peaches
4 cups sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
5 Earl Grey tea bags, divided

Cut a small shallow X in the bottom of each peach.  Working in batches, blanch in a large pot of boiling water until skin lossens (about 1 minute).  Transfer to a large bowl of ice water and let cool.  Peel, halve, and pit.  Cut into 1/3-inch slices.  Combine with sugar and juice in a large bowl.  Let stand for 30 minutes.

Place a small plate in freezer.  Transfer fruit mixture and 4 tea bags to a large heavy pot.  Open the remaining tea bag; crumble leaves slightly; add to pot.  Bring to a boil, stirring gently, and cook 15 to 20 minutes.  Test doneness by scooping a small spoonful onto chilled plate and tilting plate.  The preserves are ready when they don't run.  Remove the tea bags.  Skim foam from the surface of the jam.  Ladle into two clean, hot pint jars or 1 quart jar.  Wipe rims, seal, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

FRESH PINEAPPLE TART With Macaroon Crust

6 soft coconut macaroon cookies (approximately 5 oz)
1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
3 cups chopped fresh pineapple (1 1/2 pineapples)*
1 tbsp lemon juice

*or use drained canned crushed pineapple in its own juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Using nonstick cooking spray, spray a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom; set aside.

Place cookies in a food processor and process 10 to 15 seconds or until fine crumbs form.  You should end up with about 1 1/3 cups of crumbs.  Add the bread crumbs and process until mixed.  Add the egg white and mix well.  Press the mixture in the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan to form a crust.

Bake crust at 400 degrees for 7 to 9 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and place in refrigerator until cooled.

While crust cools, combine the sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan and mix well.  Add the pineapple and lemon juice, blending well.  Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly.  Place the saucepan in a pan of cold water; stir 2 to 3 minutes or until cooled.  Pour the cooled mixture into the cooled crust and place in the freezer for 15 minutes or until set.  Store in refrigerator until serving time.  Also store any leftovers in the refrigerator.


Yield: 8 servings

Friday, February 10, 2012

CHERRY TOP-OVER DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 cans (21-oz each)
1 box (2-layer size) devil's food cake mix
Whipped cream for garnish, if desired

Pour the pie filling and spread evenly in an ungreased 9 x 13-inch baking pan.  Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.

Make the cake mix according to the package directions.  Remove the cherry pie filling from the oven and pour the cake mix batter evenly over the cherries.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  While still warm, cut into squares and turn upside down to serve.  Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

NOTE:  You can easily make this a diabetic dessert by using a sugar-free cake mix, pie filling with Splenda, and sugar-free whipped cream.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

DEVIL'S FOOD DATE CAKE

1 box (2-layer size) Devil's Food cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup canola oil
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans; set aside.

In a large mixer bowl combine the cake mix, water, oil, and eggs and mix at low mixer speed until moistened.  Beat mixture at high speed for 2 minutes.  Divide batter evenly between the two prepared pans.  Bake at 350 degrees 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 15 minutes then remove from pans to cool completely on wire rack.  Allow to cool completely.

Filling:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
dash of salt
1 cup milk
2/3 cup chopped dates
1/2 tsp vanilla flavoring

While cakes cool, combine the sugar, flour, salt, milk, dates, and vanilla in a small saucepan.  Cook mixture over medium heat until the mixture boils and thickens.  Remove filling from the heat and cool completely.

Frosting:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp water
2 egg whites
1 jar (7-oz) marshmallow creme
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium saucepan over low heat, beat the sugar, water, and egg whites until soft peaks form.  Add the marshmallow creme and beat until stiff peaks form.  Remove saucepan from the heat; stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.

To assemble: Place one layer of the cake upside down in the center of a cake plate; spread the filling over the top.  Top filling with the other cake layer, top side up.  Use the frosting to cover the top and sides of cake.  Refrigerate cake until serving time and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.


Yield: 12 servings

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

CHILLED LEMON CHEESECAKE BARS

CRUST:
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, salt and nutmeg together until smooth.  Add the flour, beating at low speed until blended. 

Spray an 8-inch square pan with the nonstick cooking spray.  Press the crust mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
While the crust bakes, prepare the filling.

FILLING:
1 cup low-fat (1%) cottage cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp lemon zest
3 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 large egg
1 large egg white

Process cottage cheese in food processor for a minute or until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.  Add the sugar, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, baking powder, egg, and egg white; process 30 seconds or until well blended.  Pour over the baked crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until set.  Cool 30 minutes.  Cover and chill for at least 8 hours.  Cut into bars.

To serve cut into 9 squares and garnish with thin lemon slices or thin strips of lemon rind that has been curled, if desired.


Monday, February 6, 2012

EASY PEACH COBBLER

1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
6 cups fresh peach slices (or unsweetened frozen, thawed)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon zest and salt.  Add the peaches and the lemon juice.  Toss together until well combined.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake at 425 degrees  until bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile make the following topping:

2 cups all-purpose flour (or go healthier with 1 cup all-purpose and 1 cup whole-wheat)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp sugar

In a medium bowl place the flour/s 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix together well.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until coarse crumbs form.  Add the water, stirring just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

After the filling is bubbly, remove from the oven and drop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the hot filling.  Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar over the dough.  Bake another 20 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.

Yield: 6 servings

Saturday, February 4, 2012

LEMON BUTTER COOKIES

1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp lemon zest
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Using a heavy-duty mixer, beat the butter with the lemon zest at medium speed until creamy.  Gradually add the sugar, beating well.

Combine the flour and salt together and gradually add to the above mixture, beating until blended.  Shape the dough into a disc.

Roll out to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured smooth surface.  Cut with cookie cutters and place cookies a half inch apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets.

Bake cookies at 325 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes or until the edges are very lightly browned.  Allow to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.  Decorate as desired using the Royal Icing and Colorful Glaze (both recipes follow).

ROYAL ICING:
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp meringue powder
1/4 cup cold water
Food coloring paste, colors of your choice

Beat the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and cold water at high speed with electric mixer (use whisk attachment if you have one) until glossy and stiff peaks form.  Put in food coloring to tint to color desired (Remember food coloring goes a long way!); beat until blended in.  Place a damp tea towel directly over the surface of the icing to prevent a crust from forming while you use.

COLORFUL GLAZE:
1 pkg (1-lb) powdered sugar
6 tbsp water
food coloring paste

Stir the water into the powdered sugar and add food coloring as desired.  Stir mixture until well blended.  Use to frost the cookies.

Note:  The glaze is best for frosting and the royal icing is best for the piping and decorating.

Yield: 2 to 4 dozen cookies depending on the size of the cookie cutters you use.

Friday, February 3, 2012

BANANA BREAD COBBLER

1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 medium-size ripe bananas, sliced
streusel topping, recipe below
vanilla ice cream, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly grease a an 11 x 7-inch baking dish; set aside.

In a medium to large bowl whisk the flour, sugar, and milk together just until blended.  Whisk in the melted butter.  Pour into the prepared baking dish.  Cover with the banana slices and sprinkle the struesel topping over all. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Serve with the ice cream, if desired.  (I suggest it!)

STRUESEL TOPPING:
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup uncooked regular oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Using a fork, stir the brown sugar, flour, and butter together until crumbly.  Stir in the oats and the pecans.  Use as directed above.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings                                                          
This is a North Carolina recipe.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

SIMPLE BUTTER COOKIES

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp grated lemon or orange rind

May be made with mixer or in a food processor.

Cream the butter; add sugar gradually.  Blend together until light and creamy, beat in the eggs.  Add the flour and greated citrus rind.  Stir until blended. 

For molded cookies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Press the dough into ungreased cookie mold/s and bake for 10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are just light brown.  Remove from the molds while still hot.

For pastry bag or cut-out cookies:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove from cookie sheets immediately and cool on wire racks.

Note: To make the cut-out cookies, chill dough until chilled enough to roll out.



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

4-INGREDIENT CHOCOLATE FUDGE PIE

1 baked 9-inch pie shell
6 squares (1-oz each) unsweetend chocolate
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk (fat-free would be a good idea!)
1 carton (8-oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
fresh berries or chocolate curls for garnish, if desired

Microwave chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until melted and smooth (stir after every 30 seconds). 

Whisk the sweetened condensed milk into the chocolate until smooth; let stand 2 minutes.  Fold half the thawed whipped topping into the chocolate mixture.  Pour into the prepared crust.

Cover and chill for 4 to 8 hours. 

Before serving, spread the remaining whipped topping over the top of the pie.  Garnish with fresh raspberries, blueberries, etc, if desired.  May also garnish with chocolate curls, if preferred.