Thursday, November 29, 2012

FRUIT LOOPS CANDY

The kids love this one and they can help make it.  But I would recommend it only for special occasions and not a routine treat.

1 pkg (24-oz) vanilla candy coating (white almond bark), broken up into pieces
2 1/2 cups Fruit Loops (or similar cereal)
1 cup thin pretzel sticks, coarsely broken into pieces

Line a lightly greased jelly-roll pan (15 x 10-inches) with waxed or parchement paper.

Melt the candy coating in a large microwave-safe bowl according to the package directions.  Gently stir in the cereal and pretzels.  Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.  Let stand 1 hour or until firm (do not refrigerate to speed setting).

Break candy into pieces and store into an airtight container.

Yield: 1 1/2 to 2 lbs.

Note: The idea for this candy came from an old Southern Living Book.  This is an Oxmoor House picture.

CHOCOLATE!

For those of you who follow my blogs, you know I love chocolate!  And being a diabetic for the past 5 years hasn't changed that one bit.  It warms my heart to know that my blog readers also love chocolate.  Recipes containing chocolate get many more hits on this blog than any other type.  So if you think I post too many chocolate recipes because that is what I like, you are wrong.  I post so many chocolate recipes because that is what my readers demand.  Way to go, readers!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

COCONUT & CHOCOLATE FILLED PASTRIES

1/2 block (8-oz size) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flaked coconut
1 pkg (17.3-oz) frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
5 (1.55-oz) milk chocolate candy bars, broken into sections
1 large egg
1 tbsp water
powdered sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese at medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.  Add the half cup of powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth.  Stir in the coconut.

Roll 1 sheet of the puff pastry into a 12" x 12" sheet; will be thin.  Cut into nine 4-inch squares.  Stack 2 of the chocolate candy squares just off center of each pastry square; top with 1 heaping teaspoon of the coconut mixture.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water.  Lightly brush the edges of the pastry squares with the egg mixture.  Fold squares into triangles, sealing the edges with a fork.

Repeat procedure with the remaining ingredients.  Brush the remaining egg mixture over the tops of the pastries.

Bake the pastries for 12 minutes or until golden brown at 400 degrees.  Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  Sift powdered sugar over the cooled pastries.


Yield: 18 pastries

Monday, November 26, 2012

IMPERIAL HOT CHOCOLATE

1 cup water
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
1/2 tsp vanilla
5 cups hot milk
8 cinnamon sticks for stirring, optional

Combine enough water with cocoa, in a saucepan, to make a smooth mixture; stir in the remaining water and add the salt and sugar.  Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.

To serve, combine the whipped cream and vanilla into the chocolate mixture.  Divide equally into 8 cups and fill each with the hot milk.  Add a cinnamon stick for stirring, if desired.

Variation: For the holidays, substitute a candy cane for the cinnamon stick, if desired.



Yield: 8 servings

Sunday, November 25, 2012

INFO ON VANILLA

Have you ever wondered how to substitute one type of vanilla for another?  If so, here are the substitutions:
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste = 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 whole vanilla bean = 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
You can figure the other variations from there.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES

2/3 cup fresh strawberries, halved
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line 12 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners; set aside.

Puree the strawberries in a food processor.  Combine puree with the milk and vanilla; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy; gradually add in the sugar, beating well.  Add the egg; beat until blended.  Add the egg whites and beat until blended. 

Whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt; add to the butter mixture alternately with the strawberry mixture beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat at low speed after each addition.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and bakeat 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the tops are dry to the touch.  Remove from the pans and allow to cool completely on wire racks.

Frost the completely cooled cupcakes with the following recipe for Strawberry Frosting:

1/2 cup fresh strawberries, halved and pureed in food processor
2 sticks butter
3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Reserve 3 tablespoons of the strawberry puree.  Polk a few tiny holes in the cooled cupcakes and drizzle with the remaining puree, if desired.  Otherwise, reserve for another use.

Beat the butter with electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add the powdered sugar at low speed until blended.  Add the vanilla extract and the 3 tablespoons of the strawberry puree and beat just until blended, thick, creamy, and ready to spread.  Pile the frosting atop the cupcakes for serving.


This is my adaptation of a recipe from Sprinkles cupcakes.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

BROWN SUGAR CAKE WITH PEANUT BUTTERCREAM ICING

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla

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

Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.  Gradually add the brown sugar; beat until fluffy, about 7 minutes.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until the yellow disappears after each.

 Combine the flour and baking powder.

Combine the milk and the vanilla.

Gradually add the flour mixture and the milk mixture alternately to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.  Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.  Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove from pans to the wire rack to cool completely.  Frost with the Peanut Butter Cream Frosting below:

9 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Beat the butter and peanut butter in a large bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. 

Combine the milk and vanilla.

Gradually add the powdered sugar and the milk mixture, one tablespoon at a time, beating until of spreading consistency.

Frost cake and make a chocolate glaze (below) to drizzle around the edges.

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon butter

Place all three in a small microwave-safe bowl;  microwave on high for 1 minute.  Stir until smooth.  Drizzle around edges of cake.

Variation: Crush peanut brittle candy and press onto sides of cake.  Dip the ends of some larger pieces into the chocolate and pile some brittle in center of cake.

Note: This is a recipe I got years ago from an Oxmoor House cookbook.



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

DARK CHOCOLATE BUTTERMILK LAYER CAKE

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 squares (1-oz each) sweet dark chocolate, melted, cooled
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper; set aside.

In large mixer bowl, beat butter and both sugars with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each.  Add the cooled chocolate and the vanilla; beat until blended.

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, soda, and salt; add to the buttermilk alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat at low speed after each addition until blended.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 22 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.  Cool the cakes in the pans on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.


Frost with your favorite frosting.

BAKED HAM WITH A PEACH SAUCE

I know, you are thinking why a baked ham on a sweets blog!  Well this yummy peach sauce gives this ham a sweet taste so I thought I would share it here.  If you are looking for a different ham for Christmas this year, maybe this is the one.  You obviously love a sweet taste, or you wouldn't be on a "sweets" blog.  But don't worry, the next post will go back to desserts!

1 (approx 8-lb) fully cooked shank ham
1 cup peach preserves
1 jar (7.3-oz) coarse-grained Dijon mustard
2 cups peach nectar, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the skin from the ham and discard.  Score the fat 1/8-inch deep in a diamond pattern.

Place the ham, fat side up, on a lightly greased rack in a shallow roasting pan.  Insert a meat thermometer; be sure it does not touch the bone.

In a large bowl, stir the preserves, mustard, and 1 cup of the nectar together; pour over the ham.

Bake ham at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 2 hours and 20 minutes or until the meat thermometer registers 140 degrees; baste with the pan juices every 20 minutes during cooking.

Transfer to serving platter but allow to stand 15 minutes before carving.

Make a sauce to serve with the ham by pouring the pan drippings into a large saucepan.  Add the other can of peach nectar and bring mixture to a boil.  Serve with the ham.


Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

MILE-HIGH TURTLE PIE

Great make-ahead dessert as this pie needs to freeze for at least 6 hours but up to 2 weeks.

2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled

Combine crumbs and butter in a small mixing bowl; mix together well.  Press mixture onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.  Bake crust at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup butter, cut-up
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water; cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat to medium-high and boil gently, without stirring, until syrup turns a deep amber color; occasionally brush down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush and swirl pan (swirling instead of stirring will cause more even cooking).  Gradually add the cream (the sauce will bubble vigorously).  Add the butter and stir gently until smooth.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. 

2 pints dulce de leche ice cream, softened and divided
1 recipe of the caramel sauce (above), divided
1 1/2 cups toasted pecans, divided
1 pint chocolate ice cream, softened
1 can (7-oz) whipped cream such as Redi Whip

Spoon 1 pint of the dulce de leche ice cream onto the cooled chocolate crust; spread evenly.

Drizzle 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce over the ice cream and sprinkle with 3/4 cup of the pecans, chopped.  Freeze for 15 minutes or until ice cream is almost firm. 

Repeat the layers using the chocolate ice cream, 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce, and  remaining pecans; freeze until almost firm.  Top with the remaining ducle de leche ice cream and 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce.  Freeze for at least 6 hours but up to 2 weeks.

To serve; remove sides and bottom of pan, transfer to a serving plate.  Top with the whipped cream.  Place the remaining sauce in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high 1 minute or until warm.  Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the warm sauce over each serving.

Yield: 12 servings

Monday, November 19, 2012

HOMEMADE SPICED TEA MIX

1 cup Country Time lemonade-flavored tea mix
1 cup Tang orange drink powder
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Combine all ingredients together well.  Store in a large zip-top plastic food storage bag for home use or put in a pretty glass jar to give as a gift.  If giving as a gift, don't forget to include the instructions for making a cup of tea (below).

To make a cup of hot tea: Place 2 heaping tablespoonsful of the mixture into a cup or mug.  Add 1 cup boiling water and stir gently.

Yield: 2 cups of mix

Homemade Spiced Tea Ready for Gifting
 
Note: This is my version of an old Southern Living Recipe

Saturday, November 17, 2012

WHITE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

This frosting is so good and it really adds to chocolate cakes!  I have had this recipe for some time.  I believe I got it from a Southern Living Christmas Book years ago.

1 1/2 pkg (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 (4-oz each) white chocolate baking bars, melted & cooled
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

With an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the cream cheese and butter together until fluffy.  Add the cooled chocolate and beat until well blended.  Gradually add the powdered sugar while continuing to beat until smooth.  Add the vanilla and lemon juice; beat until well blended.

Cover icing and refrigerate until of spreading consistency, about 45 minutes.  This makes enough to fill and ice a two layer cake.

Friday, November 16, 2012

PUMPKIN NUT LAYER CAKE WITH GINGER CREAM CHEESE ICING

1 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 cup chopped nuts, toasted (I prefer pecans, walnuts work well, too)
Ginger Cream Cheese Icing, recipe below

Beat the butter and sugar in large mixer bowl with mixer at medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each until blended.  Add the pumpkin and beat until blended.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, vanilla, and ginger; set aside.

Add the flour milk to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat at low speed after each addition until well blended.

Fold the nuts into the batter.  Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.  Cool cakes in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove cakes from pans and allow to cool completely on the wire racks.

To assemble cake, place one layer on the cake plate.  Spread top with icing; place second layer atop the icing.  Spread the top and sides with the remaining icing.  For best results, cover cake and refrigerate overnight.

GINGER CREAM CHEESE ICING:
1 1/2 blocks (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat the cream cheese, butter, and ginger with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until smooth.  Add vanilla and beat until smooth.  Chill for a half hour to reach spreading consistency.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

DELICIOUS CARAMEL CHESS TART

I believe I first got this recipe several years ago from a Southern Living Book

pastry for a 1 crust pie*
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tbsp flour
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
powder sugar for dusting, optional
whipped cream for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Fit the pastry into a 10-inch tart pan with a removeable bottom; bake at 450 degrees for 7 minutes.  Use pie weights or line with aluminum foil and fill with dry beans to keep flat and in place during baking.  Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

In large mixer bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar at medium speed until fluffy; add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.  Stir in the flour and the buttermilk.  Add the vanilla, stirring well then pour mixture into the cooled pastry shell.

Bake tart at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until almost set.  Cool completely on wire rack.  When completely cooled, remove the pan rim and transfer the tart, still on the pan bottom, to a pretty serving plate.  Dust with the powdered sugar, if desired.


Serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

EASY ROYAL ICING

6 tbsp warm water
3 tbsp powdered egg whites or meringue powder
1 pkg (16-oz) confectioners' sugar
paste food colors of your choice

Beat the warm water and powdered egg whites together in a medium-size mixing bowl until frothy.    Gradually add the confectioners' sugar and beat for 8 to 10 minutes or until shiny, smooth and of a good spreading consistency.

Divide icing into small bowls to add colors as desired.

This icing is great for decorating cookies and other decorative purposes.

This cookie picture is from a 12-year-old Good Housekeeping magazine.

STRAWBERRY-RICE PUDDING

3 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen sliced strawberries with syrup, thawed
1 1/4 cups vanilla frozen yogurt, slightly softened

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat milk, rice, sugar, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 50 to 55 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is very tender and mixture is creamy.  Pour rice mixture into large bowl; refrigerate until well chilled.

Meanwhile, drain syrup from strawberries; reserve for use later.  In a blender at medium speed or in a food processor with a knife blade attached, blend strawberries until pureed.  Pour puree into a small bowl. Stir 2 tablespoons of the frozen yogurt into the strawberry puree. 

Stir the remaining frozen yogurt into the rice mixture.  Spoon the strawberry mixture evenly into six 8-ounce dessert glasses or bowls.  Top with the rice pudding mixture. Refrigerate if not serving right away.

BROWNIE BISCOTTI

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter, melted
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
4-oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

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

In a large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat butter, eggs, and vanilla until mixed.  Reduce speed to low; gradually add the flour mixture and just beat until blended.  Using your hands, knead in the almonds and chocolate until combined.

Divide the dough in half.  On a large ungreased cookie sheet, shape each half into a 12-inch by 3-inch log.  Place logs about 3-inches apart.  Bake logs for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.  Remove from oven and cool on the cookie sheet that is placed on wire racks.

When logs are cool, place on cutting boards and cut each log crosswise, using a serrated knife, into 1/2-inch thick diagonal slices.  Using a long metal spatula, place slices, top side up, 1/4-inch apart, on the same cookie sheet.  Bake slices 20 minutes at 325 degrees to dry out.  Remove from oven and cool completely on cookie sheet on wire rack.  The biscotti will harden as it cools.
Yield: 36 cookies
Store the cooled biscotti in a tightly covered container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.  May be kept in the freezer to to 6 months.

I originally got this recipe from an old Good Housekeeping Magazine.  The author said the recipe was an old family favorite her aunt baked for the whole family ever since she could remember.  She said they were dessert cookies at family gatherings and also eaten with morning coffee and afternoon cappuccino.

Monday, November 12, 2012

GLUTEN-FREE ANGEL FOOD CAKE

1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 10 eggs)
3/4 cup + 1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
Assorted fresh berries for garnish, if desired

Place egg whites in a large mixer bowl and let stand at room temperature for half an hour.

Sift the 3/4 cup of sugar, cornstarch, rice flour, tapoica flour, and potato starch together twice; set aside.

Add the cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla to the egg whites and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form.  Gradually add the half cup of sugar, only a couple of spoonfuls at a time, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Gradually fold in the flour mixture, approximately a half cup at a time.

Gently spoon the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan; cut through the batter with a knife to remove any air pockets.  Bake on the lowest oven rack at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until lightly browned and the entire top appears dry.  Immediately invert pan; cool completely.  It will take around an hour to cool.

To remove from pan, run a knife around the side and center of the pan to loosen.  Remove cake to serving plate and top with the fresh fruit if desired.  Also good with a chocolate sauce, etc.

This is an old Healthy Cooking Taste of Home Recipe

Saturday, November 10, 2012

CHUNKY PECAN PIE BARS

Crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan and set aside.

Beat the flour, butter, and brown sugar together in a small mixer bowl until crumbly.  Press into the bottom of the pan.  Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Filling:
3 large eggs
3/4 cup corn syrup
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Beat the eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter, and vanilla together in a medium mixing bowl using a wire whisk.  Stir in the chocolate chunks and the pecans.  Pour evenly over the baked crust.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until set, at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven and set pan on a wire rack to cool.  Cool completely before cutting into 36 bars.



DARK CHOCOLATE CHUNK CHERRY CAKE FROM SOUTHERN LIVING 2006

Unsweetened cocoa
1 box (18 1/4-oz) yellow cake mix with pudding
1/2 cup sugar
1 box (3.8-oz) devil's food instant pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1 carton (8-oz) sour cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
5 bars (3-oz) dark chocolate bars, divided (Ghirardelli works well)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
1 tbsp butter
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan, dust with the unsweetened cocoa and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix, sugar, and pudding mix together; set aside.

With an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the eggs, oil, water, sour cream, and vanilla together until blended.  Gradually add to the cake mix mixture and beat for 2 minutes.

Coarsely chop 3 of the chocolate bars and fold, along with the cherries, into the cake batter.  Pour batter into the prepared Bundt pan.

Bake cake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Remove from pan, cool completely on wire rack.

Coarsely chop 1 chocolate bar; place in a small bowl with the butter.

Bring the whipping cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Remove from heat and immediately pour over the chocolate and butter; whisk until smooth.  Cool for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Drizzle chocolate over the cake. 

Coarsely chop the last chocolate bar and sprinkle over the cake.

Yield: 12 servings

Note: For the holidays, I like to place some well-drained maraschino cherries over the top.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

OLD-FASHION BANANA-HONEY CAKE

This recipe is so old my picture of it is an old black & white.

1 cup honey
1 tsp baking soda, divided
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
1 1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 pkgs (3-oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 firm ripe banana, sliced for garnish, if desired
lemon juice for dipping the banana slices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and line 2 8-inch round cake pans; set aside.

Bring the honey to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.

Pour the oats into a small bowl.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of the baking soda to the honey and pour over the oats.  Stir to blend well, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter adding sugar gradually; beat until light and fluffy.  Blend in the eggs.  Add the oatmeal and bananas and beat until blended well.

Sift the flour into the above mixture, add the salt, baking powder, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda; mix together well.  Divide evenly into the two prepared cake pans.

Bake cakes at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Place pans on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Remove cakes from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.

To make the filling/frosting, beat the cream cheese in a bowl until fluffy; add the confectioners' sugar and bueat until of a spreading consistency. 

To assemble the cake, place 1 layer on a cake plate; top with half the filling/frosting.  Set second layer atop the filling and frost top with the remaining filling/frosting.  If desired, dip banana slices in the lemon juice to keep from discoloring and place in a decorative circle around the top of the cake.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

BUTTERMILK PECAN PIE II

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 tsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a 2-quart mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together unil light and fluffy; add the vanilla.  Add the eggs, one at a time and mix in gently.  Blend in the flour and salt; add the buttermilk slowly mixing gently as you add.  Do not beat hard as this will cause the eggs to toughen. 

Sprinkle the pecans over the bottom of a 9-inch pie crust shell.  Slowly pour the creamy mixture over the pecans.

Place pie in oven and bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done.

Note: File Photo

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

LEMON YOGURT COOKIES

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup lemon yogurt
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon (or vanilla) extract
2 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
decorative sugar for sprinkling, if desired

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

Beat the sugar and butter together in large mixer bowl until light and creamy.  Blend in the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon extract, and eggs.

Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add to the sugar mixture and blend together well.

Drop the cookie dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2-inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.  Sprinkle with decorative sugar, if using.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes or until edges of cookies turn a light golden color.  Remove from cookie sheets to wire racks to cool.

Friday, November 2, 2012

EASY SALTY CARAMEL CRUNCH BARS

90 club crackers
1 cup butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup Nutella

Place a layer of the crackers over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add graham cracker crumbs, both sugars, milk and vanilla.  Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.

Spread half the graham cracker mixture over the layer of crackers in the pan.  Top with another layer of crackers and spread the remaining half of the mixture over the crackers.  Top with a third layer of crackers.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butterscotch chips in the microwave using short bursts of power.  Stir after each burst of power.  Stir in the Nutella until smooth, heating again if necessary to reach spreading consistency.  Spread the mixture over the top of the last layer of crackers.


Refrigerate until set, at least an hour.

To serve, cut into 48 to 54 bars.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

VERNA'S YUMMY CARAMELS

1 cup butter
1 box  (1 lb) light brown sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
dash of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt the butter over low heat in a 5-quart pan.  Add brown sugar.  Stir; blend in white syrup, milk, and salt.  Stir until 245 degrees.  Take off heat.  Add vanilla.  Stir, then pour in greased large loaf pan.  Cool.  Cut into squares and wrap in paper.  Yields 50 squares.