Tuesday, December 23, 2014

FLOURLESS FUDGE COOKIES

This is a recipe from King Arthur Flour.

  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional but good
  • 1 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-process (European-style) preferred*
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
  • *For darker, richer-looking cookies, substitute 1/4 cup black cocoa for 1/4 cup of the Dutch-process cocoa
1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets. Or line with parchment, and grease the parchment.
2) Stir together all of the ingredients till smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and stir again till smooth.
3) Drop the soft, batter-like dough onto the prepared baking sheets in 1 1/2" circles; a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.
4) Bake the cookies for 8 minutes; they should spread, become somewhat shiny, and develop faintly crackly tops.
5) Remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool right on the pan.
6) Yield: 16 large (3") cookies.

tips from our bakers

  • Want to make more, smaller cookies? Drop the dough in 1 1/8" balls (about 2 measuring teaspoonfuls) onto the baking sheets; a level teaspoon cookie scoop works well here. You'll make about forty 2 1/4" cookies.
  • Add up to 2 cups of chocolate chips or diced walnuts to the batter. You'll lose the cookies' "no added fat" attribute, but make some very tasty cookies. With 2 cups of add-ins, you'll make about 24 large cookies, or 48 smaller cookies. Note: For larger cookies with add-ins, increase the baking time by 2 minutes, to a total of 10 minutes.

Friday, December 19, 2014

SIMPLE COOKIE GLAZE

This cookie glaze is from King Arthur Flour.

  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon milk
  • Food coloring (optional)
Mix all of the ingredients together. Stir until smooth; a fork works fine.
2) The glaze should be thick, but soft enough to "settle" when you spread it. If the glaze is too thick, dribble in another teaspoon of milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time.
3) Add food color, if you like; gel paste food colors are preferable, as they yield vibrant color, and don't alter the liquid/sugar ratio as regular food colors might.
Yield: 2/3 cup glaze.

tips from our bakers

  • Be sure you measure accurately here. Too little milk, and the glaze won't spread nicely. Too much milk, and it will be thin, spotty and develop splotches overnight.
  • Once the glaze has hardened, you can color on it with foodsafe markers, or you can pipe another color over the top with Royal Icing. You can sprinkle sugar on top of the wet royal icing for a sparkly effect.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

CHOCO-COCO PECAN CRISPS

This recipe is from a 1993 Tupperware Cookbook. It makes about 6 dozen cookies.

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flaked coconut

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until blended. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and pecans in small bowl until well blended. Add to the creamed mixture, blending until stiff dough is formed.

Sprinkle the coconut on a work surface. Divide dough into 4 parts. Shape each part into a roll, about 1 1/2-inches in diameter; roll in coconut until thickly coated. Wrap tightly; refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 2 weeks. (For longer storage, freeze up to 6 weeks.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or leave ungreased.

Cut rolls into 1/8-inch thick slices and place 2-inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 13 minutes or unti firm but not overly browned.

Remove cookies from cookie sheets and cool completely on wire racks.



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

TRIPLE LAYER COOKIE BARS

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter
2 eggs

TOPPING:
1 pkg (7-oz) flaked coconut
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter


In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Cut in butter until crumbly. Beat in eggs. Spread in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan.
Bake at 350° for 8 minutes. Sprinkle coconut over crust; drizzle with milk. Bake 20-25 minutes longer or until lightly browned.
While brownie layer bakes, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter; stir until smooth. Spread over brownies. Cool on wire rack. Cut into bars. 

Yield: 2-3 dozen.

This is a TOH recipe from 1994.
.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

COCONUT-PUMPKIN CHIFFON PIE

1/2 cup milk
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 can (15-oz) pumpkin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
4 large pasteurized eggs, separated
1 cup + 3 tbsp sugar, divided
1 1/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut, divided
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
5 tbsp butter, melted
2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a 3-quart saucepan, whisk together the milk and gelatin; let stand 1 minute. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in the pumpkin, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, ginger
egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Cook, stirring constatnly, 5 to 7 minutes or until slightly thickened but do not boil.

Transfer mixture from saucepan to a bowl; chill 40 minutes stirring after 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes until golden, stirring occasionally.

Stir the graham cracker crumbs, butter, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and 1 cup of the coconut together. Press mixture into a 10-inch pie plate and freeze 10 minutes or until ready to use.

Beat the egg whites at high speed with a stand mixer using the whisk attachment for 8 minutes or until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar and beat 2 to 3 more minutes or until stiff peaks form.

Gradually fold the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture and pour into the crust.

Chill for 2 hours or until set.

Beat the cream and vanilla extract at medium speed 1 to 2 minutes or until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

Before serving, top pie with the whipped cream and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.


Note: This is a recipe I got from an old Southern Living Magazine.

RED VELVET CHEESECAKE

Here is a recipe for those of you who don't mind putting a little work into your cakes. This yummy recipe is from Grandmother's Kitchen.

For the Cheesecake:
32 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 /4 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Red Velvet Cake:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons red food coloring (liquid)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 cup butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1. Make the Cheesecake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and then tightly wrap the outside with heavy duty foil. Put a pot of water (or a tea kettle) on to boil.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until completely smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute or so after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the heavy cream and vanilla extract, and beat until completely incorporated.
3. Pour the batter into the springform pan; place the springform pan into a larger pan, such as a roasting pan, and pour the boiling water into the larger pan until the water comes about halfway up the side of the springform pan.
4. Bake until the cheesecake edges are set but the middle still jiggles a bit, about 45 to 55 minutes. Turn the oven off, but leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 1 hour. At this point, remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place the springform pan on a cooling rack to cool to room temperature. Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator until well-chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
5. Make the Red Velvet Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with a parchment round, butter the parchment paper, and then flour the pans.
6. On medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to high and add the eggs one at a time, mixing for about a minute after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.
7. In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter and mix on medium speed until completely combined. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color.
8. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining buttermilk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.
9. Again, reduce the mixer speed to low and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Turn to high and beat for another couple of minutes until completely combined and smooth.
10. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a thin knife or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove cakes from the pans and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
11. Make the Frosting: Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese on high speed for about 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until all is incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip for a few minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.
12. Assemble the Cheesecake: If needed, level the tops of the red velvet cake layers with a serrated knife or cake leveler so that the tops are level and not domed. Next, slice the cheesecake in half horizontally to create two layers. Place one layer of the red velvet cake on your serving plate. Spread a very thin layer of the cream cheese frosting over it (it creates a type of glue so that the layers stick together and don’t slide around). Top that with one layer of the cheesecake, and again top with a very thin layer of frosting. Repeat, adding the second red velvet layer, and then placing the second cheesecake layer on top, with a layer of frosting between them. Using the remaining frosting, cover the cake in frosting and decorate as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve, and refrigerate any leftovers.


APPLE-CINNAMON MONKEY BREAD

This is a yummy recipe from Pillsbury.

2
cans (17.5 oz each) Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Flaky Supreme refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
1
medium tart apple, peeled, chopped
1/2
cup sugar
1 1/2
teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4
cup butter, melted

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with shortening or cooking spray.

Set aside icing tubs from cinnamon rolls. Separate each can of dough into 5 rolls; cut into quarters.

Place apple in small bowl. In another small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Add 1/4 cup sugar mixture to apple; toss to coat. Sprinkle half of apple pieces in pan. Roll half of dough pieces in sugar mixture; place on apples in pan.

Sprinkle with remaining apple pieces. Roll remaining dough pieces in sugar mixture; place on apples. Pour melted butter over top.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown across top. Cool 10 minutes; run knife around edge of pan to loosen. Place heatproof serving plate over pan and turn over; remove pan. Cool 10 minutes longer.

Drizzle reserved icing over top of bread, allowing some to drizzle down sides. Pull apart to serve; serve warm.


Monday, December 15, 2014

STUFFED CRUST BLUEBERRY PIE

1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese
1 tsp grated lime peel
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crusts at room temperature (or make your own)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 can (21-oz) blueberry pie filling

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Beat the cream cheese, lime peel, lime juice, sugar and almond extract until creamy; set aside.

Place one of the crusts into a 9-inch pie plate; sprinklw the almonds over the bottom and press lightly into the crust. Top with 3/4 of the cream cheese filling.

Place the second crust over the cream cheese filling; flute edges together to form a double crust. Using a fork, pierce the bottom and sides of the crust. Spread the pie filling over the top crust and top with the remaining cream cheese filling. Swirl cream cheese filling with a spoon.

Bake pie at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake 25-30 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown.

Cool, then refrigerate before serving.

Yield: 8 servings.




CHERRY CHEESE CUPCAKES

3 bricks (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 1/2 tsp vanilla, divided
5 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups cherry pie filling

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Spoon mixture evenly into foil-lined muffin cups. Bake at 300° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream and the remaining sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spoon onto cupcakes. Return to the oven for 6-8 minutes or until set. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
Top with pie filling; garnish with mint if desired. Store in the refrigerator. 

Yield: about 2 dozen.


Note: This is from an old Country Woman Annual Recipes.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

VANILLA WHIPPED CREAM

Make your whipped cream stand out from all the others with this simple recipe.

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
ground cinnamon for garnish, if desired

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract together in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form.

When using on pies, a sprinkle of cinnamon makes this even tastier.


Friday, December 12, 2014

BUTTERSCOTCH CEREAL BARS

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut up
1 bag (10-oz) marshmallows
6 cups round oat cereal (ie Cherrios)
1 cup golden raisins
1 bag (11-oz) butterscotch morsels

Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the marshmallows and cook until melted and smooth. Remove pot from the heat.

Stir the cereal and raisins into the marshmallow mixture and let stand for 2 minutes (no longer as mixture will stick to the pot). Fold in the butterscotch chips until well distributed.

Using greased or buttered hands, gently press mixture into the prepared pan and allow to stand at room temperature until cool.

Cut into bars.

Note: File Photo

Thursday, December 11, 2014

FRESH COCONUT CAKE

1 box white cake mix with pudding in mix
1 1/2 cups coconut milk from fresh coconuts
6 pkgs fresh frozen coconut (thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.

Prepare cake as directed on package and divide batter evenly into the three prepared pans.

Bake cakes at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

When the cakes are cooled, split each cake in half using a thread to make 6 layers.

Spread the 7 Minute Frosting (recipe follows) on each layer and top each with the fresh coconut. Stack layers on a cake plate and frost sides and press remaining coconut on sides of cake.

Once cake is assembled poke holes into the cake and pour the coconut milk over the top.

Cake should be kept refrigerated.

7 MINUTE FROSTING:
3 egg whites
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Place all ingredients into the top part of a double boiler and set aside.

Bring 2 cups of water to a low boil in the bottom of the double boiler; set the top of the boiler over the water and beat the ingredients with a hand mixer on high for 7 minutes until stiff peaks form.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

BLACKBERRY COBBLER

I received this recipe from a facebook friend to share with you. I haven't made it yet but it sure sounds good!

2 1/2 C Fresh blackberries, washed
1 C Sugar
1 C Flour
2 t Baking powder
1/2 t Salt
1 C Milk
1 Stick of unsalted butter, melted

First you should take care of the blackberry and sugar mixture because it needs to sit for a while. Stir together just the berries and sugar in a large bowl and let it sit out for 25-30 minutes. This will coax out the juices of the blackberries so that they can be sweetened up by the sugar, and we can taste the full spectrum of the fruit–this process is called macerating.

After about 20 minutes, you should turn on the oven to about 375ยบ and start preparing your batter.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and milk with a wooden spoon. Next, stir in the melted butter and hand-mix it until the ingredients are well incorporated and you have few clumps.

Pick out a clean baking dish– a smaller one will do– pour in the batter and smooth it out. You can choose to line it with parchment paper or not, but don’t grease the pan (there is enough butter in there already!). Finally, pour the macerated blackberries on top with all the sugar included and evenly distribute it over the batter.

Bake this promising pan of happiness in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how golden you prefer it to be. Let it set up for a good 15 minutes so it will hold its shape. It will be bubbling like crazy and quite hot, so be careful!

This hour goes a little like this: you can hear it bubbling through the vent behind the stove, you can smell the buttery dough caramelizing with the sugar, and you can see the dotted crown of blackberries creating that quintessential golden cobbler crust. It is a marvel to have in your oven, let me tell you!

Serve warm or room temperature with warmed cream or fresh whipped cream. You can store this at room temperature with foil over it for 2-3 days, probably longer in the fridge…but it never lasts that long for me!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

ALMOND JOY BROWNIE BITES

  • Brownie batter (homemade, from a boxed mix, whatever is your favorite. I used Ghirardelli)
  • 4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • About 4 dozen almonds
  • Chocolate candy melts or almond bark
  1. Preheat your oven according to brownie recipe directions and generously spray two mini muffin pans with nonstick spray. Fill cups about 1/2 full with brownie batter and bake according to directions. When brownies are done, place pans on a cooling rack and remove brownies once cooled completely.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine coconut and sweetened condensed milk. With clean hands, roll coconut mixture into balls and press onto tops of brownie bites. Press an almond into the top of each. Place brownies in the freezer to harden for about 15 minutes.
  3. Melt almond bark or candy melts according to directions. Remove brownies from freezer and dip the tops in the chocolate. Place dipped brownies on a wax paper lined baking sheet and refrigerate until chocolate is set.


Note: This recipe and picture are from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

CANDIED POPCORN FOR GIFTING

Of course this is tasty to enjoy yourself but it makes great little gifts when packaged in airtight jars.

2 cups sugar
2 cups light brown sugar, packed firm
2 cups light cream
1 tsp soft butter
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole almonds or pecans
6 cups popped popcorn, with any unpopped kernels removed

Combine the sugars and cream in a saucepan; stir until sugar is dissolved. Boil without stirring, uncovered, until syrup reaches 235-240 degrees on a candy thermometer (soft-ball stage). Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Beat syrup mixture with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until thickened.  Add the vanilla extract, nuts, and popcorn; mix well. Pour onto sheets of parchment paper to cool. Break apart the larger pieces and package in airtight jars.

Tie a pretty ribbon suitable to the gifting occasion around the jar when giving as a gift.


Friday, December 5, 2014

BANANA NUT CHEESECAKE

Crust:
1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine and press onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Filling:
2 bricks (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
2 large eggs
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)

Combine the cream cheese, sugar, and banana; mix with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Stir in the nuts; pour over the prepared crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and run a thin knife around edge of cake to loosen from pan. Cool on a wire rack before removing pan sides.

Topping:
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp cold water

Melt the chocolate and butter with the water over low heat, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over the cheesecake.

Chill before cutting to serve.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings


Thursday, December 4, 2014

LEMON ICEBOX PIE ICE CREAM

This is another great recipe from an old Southern Living magazine.

3 to 4 fresh lemons
2 cups half-and-half cream
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers

Grate zest from lemons to make 1 tablespoonful.

Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice to make 1/2 cup.

Whisk together the half-and-half, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice; pour into the freezer container of a 1 1/2-quart ice cream freezer. Freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Stir in the graham cracker crumbs and lemon zest; transfer to an airtight freeze-proof container. Freeze for 2 hours before serving.

Yield: Approximately 1-quart.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I WANT TO MARRY YOU COOKIES

This cookie recipe has been making the rounds on facebook and I believe they originated on the Food Channel. In case you missed the recipe, here is it.

  • cup butter
  • cup dark brown sugar (may add up to 1/4 cup more if desired)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • egg
  • egg yolk
  • teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • cups flour
  • cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • cup white chocolate chips
  • cup chocolate chips
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until melted. Remove from the heat.
  • 2
    Add the dark brown sugar and granulated sugar and stir until sugars are incorporated and smooth. Chill the mixture for 10 minutes.
  • 3
    Remove from the refrigerator and stir in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
  • 4
    Add the flour, oats, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cinnamon and mix together.
  • 5
    Stir in the white chocolate chips and chocolate chips.
  • 6
    Roll by hand into 24 medium-size balls or use a scoop, and place on a light-colored cookie sheet.
  • 7
    Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • 8
    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Remove the cookies from the refrigerator and bake for 12 to 14 minutes.

ALMOND JOY COOKIES

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups chocolate chips
2 cups sweetened coconut
2 cups chopped almonds

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°F Lightly grease cookie sheets.

Combine dry ingredients, set aside
.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, stir in the vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients until well mixed then stir in the chocolate chips, coconut and almonds. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

FRUIT DROP COOKIES

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
1 cup (8-oz) diced candied pineapple
1 cup (8-oz) red and/or green candied cherries
8-oz chopped pitted dates
1 cup (6-oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup whole hazelnuts
1/2 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Lightly grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together; beat in the egg until light.

Mix the flour, vanilla, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into the egg mixture. Stir in the pineapple, cherries, dates, chips, and nuts.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2-inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake at 325 degrees 15 to 20 minutes until firm and lightly browned around the edges.

Remove from oven and transfer from cookie sheets to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: Approximately 8 dozen cookies



Sunday, November 30, 2014

DING DONG CAKE

1 box (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
1 brick (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 can chocolate frosting
2 tbsp milk

Prepare and bake cake mix according to the package directions. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Turn cake out onto a wire rack.

When cake is cooled, cut in half lengthwise; return bottom half to the pan.

To make the filling, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and butter using an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Fold in the whipped topping. Spread the mixture over the bottom layer in the pan; top with the top half of the cake.

Stir the milk into the chocolate frosting for easier spreading. Spread over the top of the cake.

Keep cake in the refrigerator.