Thursday, April 30, 2015

HOMEMADE PECAN SANDIES

2 sticks butter, unsalted (1/2 lb., softened)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar, granulated
1 cup confectioner's sugar (sifted)
2 eggs (large)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups flour, all purpose (500 gr.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecans (chopped)
1/2 cup sugar, granulated (for decoration)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, 1 cup white sugar and confectioners' sugar until smooth.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.
Combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in the pecans.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll each ball in remaining white sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto un~greased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are golden. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

OREO GOODNESS DESSERT

My cousin sent me this recipe. Haven't made it yet but it sounds delicious. Going to let my 10-year-old granddaughter make this soon.

1 bag Oreos, crushed 
8 oz cream cheese, softened 
1/4 cup butter 
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups milk
2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding
1/2 tsp vanilla
12 oz Cool Whip, thawed

Cream together cream cheese, butter & powered sugar & vanilla. In separate bowl mix milk & pudding chill until set. Fold in cool whip after pudding has set. Add cream cheese mixture, layer with Oreos... Chill until ready to serve!



Monday, April 27, 2015

SMALL BATCH ROYAL ICING

This recipe only makes 1 cup of royal icing, perfect for when you only need a little for string work, writing, etc.
  • 2 cups 10x confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
Ensure that all your tools are very clean and grease free before starting.
Combine confectioner’s sugar, meringue powder and cream of tartar  in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Slowly add water until a sticky ball has formed, and then add water by the drop until a glue-like consistency is reached.
Beat on the lowest speed for 7-10 minutes.
For thinner icing, add more water a drop at a time until desired consistency is reached.
For flavored icing, substitute 1 teaspoon of water for a clear flavored extract.


Source: http://www.cakecentral.com

GRILLED PEACH SUNDAES

2 fresh peaches, halved and pitted
1 tsp canola oil
2 scoops nonfat vanilla yogurt
1 tbsp unsweetened coconut, toasted

Preheat grill to high.

Brush peach halves with the canola oil.

Place on grill until tender.

To serve, place 2 halves in a bowl and top with a scoop of the frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with the coconut.



Saturday, April 25, 2015

PRIZE WINNING CHOCOLATY NANAIMO BARS

This recipe won "Cookie of the Fair" at the 2006 Iowa State Fair.

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup flaked coconut, toasted
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Filling:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tbsp Bird's custard powder* or instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tbsp half-and-half cream

Topping
1 oz white baking chocolate, melted
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp shortening

Line bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

In a small heavy saucepan, cook and stir the butter, sugar and cocoa over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg; return all to the pan, whisking constantly. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is just thick enough to coat a metal spoon and a thermometer reads at least 160 degrees, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.

Stir the cracker crumbs, coconut and pecans into the hot mixture. Press into the prepared pan and refrigerate 30 minutes or until cold.

To make filling:
In a large bowl, beat the butter and custard powder until blended. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and cream until smooth. Spread over the crust. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until the filling is firm.

To make topping:
Fill a small resealable bag with the melted white chocolate; set aside, keeping warm.

In a microwave, melt the chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over the filling.

Cut a small hole in one corner of the bag with the white chocolate. Working quickly, pipe parallel lines over chocolate layer, spacing 1/4 to 1/2-inch apart. Working at right angles to the white chocolate lines, pull a toothpick back and forth across the lines, cutting through the piped lines to create a feather design.

Refrigerate 10 minutes or until the topping is just set (do not allow the chocolate to harden completely). Cut into bars.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

*Bird's custard powder is available in some Cost Plus World Market stores or at www.worldmarket.com and at amazon.com




Friday, April 24, 2015

COCONUT-LEMON MELT-AWAY COOKIES

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law. The source shows as addictedtoveggies.com I do not follow the gluten-free craze so I am not sure but think this would probably qualify.

Step 1.
Dry Ingredients
1 & 1/2 cups Almond Flour (you can make this, or buy it – however most store bought Almond flour is not raw)
1 & 1/2 cups dried Shredded Unsweetened Coconut (I used medium shred, but fine shred would also work well)
1/3 c Coconut Flour
2 big pinches of Salt
Mix all of your dry ingredients together – set aside and move onto the next step.
Step 2.
Wet Ingredients
In a small mixing bowl combine the following:
6 Tbsp Agave//or//Grade B Maple Syrup//or//Raw Organic Honey
4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 tsp Vanilla
1 Tbsp Lemon zest (Tip: Zest your Lemon before you juice it)
Mix together all of the above ingredients…
Step 3.
The Thickener
1/4 cup AND 1 Tbsp melted Coconut Oil
While your Mixer is on, stream in your melted Coconut Oil. Your batter will thicken fairly quickly as it mixes with the Oil and the oil cools down.
The final step is up to you.
You can either –
Option 1. (This is the best way to have these cookies in my opinion)
Warm them in either your Dehydrator or Oven (set at it’s lowest heat, leaving the door cracked open).
Warm your Cookies for 1 hour, maybe a bit longer
Your finished Cookie will be dry on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth moist on the inside
Place your cookies in the fridge after they’ve cooled down, letting them chill and set before you eat them.

Option 2. Place your Cookies to set/chill in the fridge for about an hour.
If you opt not to heat/dry your cookies the texture will be soft and moist.

LOW-FAT ORANGE DREAM CHEESECAKE

Note: This is a Philadelpia Cream Cheese recipe therefore it calls for Kraft Products. Feel free to substitute other brands.

1
 graham cracker, crushed
2/3
cup  boiling water
1
pkg.  (.3 oz.) JELL-O Orange Flavor Sugar Free Gelatin
1
cup  BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN 2% Milkfat Low Fat Cottage Cheese
1
tub  (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Fat Free Cream Cheese
2
cups  thawed COOL WHIP FREE Whipped Topping

SPRINKLE crumbs onto bottom of 8- or 9-inch springform pan sprayed with cooking spray.
ADD boiling water to gelatin mix; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Cool 5 min.; pour into blender. Add cottage cheese and cream cheese; blend well. Pour into large bowl. Whisk in COOL WHIP. Pour into prepared pan; smooth top.
REFRIGERATE 4 hours or until firm. When ready to serve, run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; remove rim.
Garnish with fresh mint sprigs and thin orange slices just before serving, if desired.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

FROZEN GREEK YOGURT

3 cups reduced-fat plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp clear vanilla extract
1 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp unflavored gelatin

Line a strainer or colander with four layers of cheesecloth or one coffee filter; place over a bowl. Place the yogurt into the strainer or colander; cover yogurt with the sides of the cheesecloth. Refrigerate 2 to 4 hours.

Remove yogurt from the cheesecloth to a bowl; discard the strained liquid. Add the vanilla and sugar to the yogurt, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the water and lemon juice; sprinkle with the gelatin and let stand 1 minute. Microwave on high 30 seconds.  Stir mixture and let stand 1 minute or until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

Pour mixture into cylinder of ice cream freezer; freeze according to the manufacturer's directions, adding gelatin mixture during the last 10 minutes of the processing.

Transfer frozen yogurt to a freezer container and freeze 2 to 4 hours or until firm enough to scoop.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups/5 servings
Per serving: 225 calories, 3 g (2 g sat) fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 57 mg sodium, 36 g carbs, trace fiber, 14 g protein

Source: TOH Test Kitchen


CITRUS BERRY SHORTCAKE

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp grated orange peel
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line the bottom of a greased 9-inch round baking pan with parchment paper; grease paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, butter, egg, orange juice, orange peel and vanilla extract; stir into the flour mixture just until moistened. Fold in the strawberries. Transfer to the prepared baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the paper from the cake before it cools.

Topping:
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 tsp orange liqueur or orange juice

In a small bowl, toss strawberries with the lemon juice and sugar. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a separate bowl, mix the whipped topping and liqueur or juice; spread over the cake. Drain the berries and arrange over the top.


Source: TOH Cooking School

GEORGIA PECAN PIE

Cream Cheese Crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + extra for dusting
1 pkg (3-oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tbsp sugar

Sift flour into a large bowl. Add cream cheese, butter, and sugar; rub with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Form the dough into a ball then flatten and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour.

Roll pastry out on a lightly floured surface and carefully line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate or a 9-inch tart pan. Crimp edge and refrigerate.

Filling:
3 1/2 cups pecan halves
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
grated peel and juice of 1/2 lemon
4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp vanilla extract

Set 1 cup of the pecan halves aside. Coarsely chopped the remaining pecans.

Whisk together the eggs, and brown sugar until light and foamy. Beat in the corn syrup, lemon peel and juice, butter and vanilla. Stir in the chopped pecans and pour mixture into the pastry crust.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Set the pie on a baking sheet and carefully arrange the reserved whole pecan halves in a decorative pattern on top of the pie filling.

Bake at 350 degrees until the filling has risen and set and the pecans have colored, approximately 45 minutes.

Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.


HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE PIE FILLING

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tsp salt
3 cups milk
3 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
9-inch baked pie shell

Mix the cocoa, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Slowly pour the milk into the cocoa mixture whisking until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute then remove from heat. Whisk in the vanilla and butter. Pour into the prepared pie shell.

Cover pie with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours.

Before serving, top with sweetened whipped cream or frozen whipped topping that has been thawed.

Sprinkle with chocolate shavings for garnish, if desired.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

BERRY APPLE CRUMBLE

8 to 10 tart apples, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 can (12-oz) frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

TOPPING:
2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup canola or coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place apples in a greased 13 X 9 X 2-inch baking pan or dish; set aside.

Combine the cornstarch and apple juice in a saucepan; bring to a boil and cook, stirring, approximately 2 minutes until thickened. Add the butter, cinnamon and lemon juice to the mixture; pour over the apples.

Sprinkle the berries over all. (Save 4 or 5 berries for garnish, if desired.)

To make the topping, combine the oats, flour, and walnuts in a bowl. When well combined, stir in the oil and syrup. Sprinkle the mixture over the berries.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes until bubbly and topping is golden brown.

Yield: 10-12 servings.


Source: 1999 Country Woman Magazine

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIES

1
box (1 lb 2.4 oz) Betty Crocker™ Original Supreme Premium brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box
1/3
cup packed brown sugar
1/3
cup crunchy peanut butter
1
egg

Peanut Butter Frosting

2/3
cup Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting (from 16 oz container)
1/4
cup peanut butter
1
to 2 teaspoons milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease bottom only of a 9-inch square pan; set aside.

Make brownie batter as directed on the box; spread 3/4 of batter in the prepared pan. Set remaining batter aside.

In a small mixing bowl, mix the brown sugar, peanut butter and egg. Spoon mixture by tablespoonfuls evenly over the brownie batter. Top with random tablespoonfuls of the remaining brownie batter. Cut through batter several times with a knife for a marbled effect.

Bake at 325 degrees 40 to 45 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted toward the center comes out clean or almost clean. Do not overbake. Allow to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, mix the frosting ingredients together using a large spoon or silicone spatula until smooth and spreadable. Spread frosting over the cooled brownies.

To serve, cut into 5 rows by 4 rows. Store leftovers in a tightly covered container.
Source: Betty Crocker


FRESH APPLE POUND CAKE

1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
4 large or 5 medium-size eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter flavoring
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup apples, peeled and finely chopped or grated
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease well and flour a 10-inch bundt pan; set aside.

Cream the shortening and sugar; add eggs one at a time. Add the flavorings and mix well.

Sift flour, spices, salt and baking soda together; add to the egg mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Fold the apples and pecans into the batter and blend well.

Pour batter into a 10-inch well-greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake! Remove cake from pan while still hot and brush on icing with a pastry brush, covering top and sides.

ICING:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup apples, peeled, crushed or grated
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp butter flavoring
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil slowly, stirring constantly. Boil 1 1/2 minutes then allow to set for 2 minutes. Brush over top and sides of cake.

Note: File Photo




Monday, April 20, 2015

STRAWBERRY OMBRE CAKE

Note: This is a recipe from Land O Lakes®  2013, thus it uses their name brands.

1 pkg (16-oz) fresh strawberries*, washed and hulled
1 (2-layer size) white cake mix
1/4 cup Land O Lakes®  butter, melted
Land O Lakes®  eggs, whites only
3 tbsp water
Red food coloring

Frosting:
1/2 cup Land O Lakes® butter, softened
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
6 cups powdered sugar

Additional strawberries for garnish, if desired

Repeat with remaining batter adding 9 drops food color to third layer, 12 drops to fourth layer and 15 drops to fifth layer. Bake and cool cakes as directed above.

Combine 1/4 cup prepared strawberries, 1/2 cup butter and cream cheese in bowl; beat at medium speed until well mixed. Add powdered sugar; beat at low speed until smooth.

Assemble cake by placing 1 tablespoon frosting in center of serving plate; place darkest layer, bottom-side up, in center of plate. Spread about 1/2 cup frosting evenly over layer; top with next darkest layer. Continue with cake layers and frosting until all layers are stacked; frost top and sides of cake.

Top with fresh sliced strawberries, if desired. Store refrigerated. 

*Substitute 1 (16-ounce) package frozen strawberries, thawed, drained.

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour 2 (8-inch) round baking pans; set aside. 

Place strawberries into 5-cup blender container. Cover; blend until smooth.

Combine 1 cup prepared strawberries, cake mix, 1/4 cup butter, egg whites, water and 3 drops food color in bowl. Beat at low speed 30 seconds or until mixed. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, 2 minutes or until well mixed. 

Spread about 3/4 cup batter into 1 prepared pan. Add 5 drops red food color to remaining batter; beat until well mixed. Remove about 3/4 cup batter; spread into another prepared pan. 

Bake 9-12 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely.  Clean pans; grease and lightly flour pans.

Repeat with remaining batter adding 9 drops food color to third layer, 12 drops to fourth layer and 15 drops to fifth layer. Bake and cool cakes as directed above.

Combine 1/4 cup prepared strawberries, 1/2 cup butter and cream cheese in bowl; beat at medium speed until well mixed. Add powdered sugar; beat at low speed until smooth.

Assemble cake by placing 1 tablespoon frosting in center of serving plate; place darkest layer, bottom-side up, in center of plate. Spread about 1/2 cup frosting evenly over layer; top with next darkest layer. Continue with cake layers and frosting until all layers are stacked; frost top and sides of cake.

Top with fresh sliced strawberries, if desired. Store refrigerated. 

*Substitute 1 (16-ounce) package frozen strawberries, thawed, drained.


TOASTED MARSHMALLOW MILKSHAKE

8 large marshmallows
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Place marshmallows on a piece of aluminum foil and broil, turning, until browned.

Blend ice cream, milk, vanilla, salt and 6 of the marshmallows until of milkshake consistency.

Pour contents into two glasses and top each with one of the remaining marshmallows.



Friday, April 17, 2015

SWEET TEA AND LEMONADE CAKE

1 1/2 cups boiling water 
family-size tea bags 
1 cup butter, softened 
2 cups granulated sugar 
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
large eggs, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease (with shortening) and flour a 13- x 9-inch pan. Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over tea bags in a heatproof glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and steep 10 minutes. Lift tea bags from liquid, and press against side of bowl, using back of a spoon; discard tea bags. Cool tea 20 minutes.
2. Beat butter in a separate large bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Whisk together cake flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with 1 cup tea, beginning and ending with flour mixture. (Discard any remaining tea.) Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Pour batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 20 minutes). Spread Lemonade Frosting on cake.

Note: We tested with Luzianne Iced Tea tea bags.

LEMONADE FROSTING:

(8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened 
1/4 cup butter, softened 
6 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest 
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating at low speed until blended after each addition. Beat in lemon zest and lemon juice just until blended. Increase speed to high, and beat until light and fluffy.


Source: Southern Living Magazine

Thursday, April 16, 2015

MARSHMALLOW PIE MERINGUE

3 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 jar (7-oz) marshmallow creme

Beat egg whites, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.

Beat a fourth of the marshmallow creme into the egg white mixture, repeat 3 more times with the remaining creme, until smooth. Spread meringue over cooled pie.

Bake at 400 degrees 6 to 7 minutes until meringue is lightly browned.

Enough for 1 9-inch pie.
Note: File Photo



BUTTERY STREUSEL COFFEE CAKE

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
crumb topping (recipe follows)

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

Beat butter and cream cheese together, with an electric mixer at medium speed, until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; add to the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in the extracts.

Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and sprinkle the following crumb topping over the top before baking at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool 20 minutes before cutting to serve.

CRUMB TOPPING:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and pecans. Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut in the butter until mixture resembles small peas. Sprinkle over top of the unbaked cake.

Note: This coffee cake is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert.


Source: An old Southern Living recipe.

WALNUT APPLE DESSERT

8 cups tart peeled and sliced apples (about 6 medium apples)
2 1/4 cups brown sugar, divided
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped walnuts, divided
Vanilla ice cream for serving, optional

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

Place the apples evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan/dish.

Combine the cinnamon with the 1/4 cup of brown sugar and sprinkle over the apples.

In a bowl, cream the butter with the remaining 2 cups of brown sugar; add in the eggs. Stir in the flour and 1/2 cup of the walnuts; spread over the apples. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts over all.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until the apples are tender.

Best when served warm and with ice cream, if desired.


SALTED PUMPKIN CARAMEL THUMBPRINTS

Yesterday I posted a chocolate thumbprint cookie recipe. Today's post is a bit different take on thumbprint cookies. This is a newer recipe I got last fall from my BH&G magazine.

Thumbprints
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and salt; beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in flour. Cover and chill 1 hour or until easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll chilled dough into 1-inch balls and place 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Press thumb into center of each ball.

Bake at 375 degrees 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. If the centers puff back up during baking gently press back using the back of a spoon. Remove from oven to wire racks to cool.

Salted Pumpkin Caramel:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/3 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
Flaked sea salt for garnish

In a medium saucepan bring the sugar, water, and syrup to boiling over medium heat, swirling the pan to stir. Boil gently, uncovered, until browned. Once browned to a medium amber color, about 5 minutes, remove from the heat. Immediately add the cream and butter - note: mixture will boil and foam. Stir well. Add the pie spice and the pumpkin, stirring well to incorporate. Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover and chill at least 4 hours. Spoon into the indentations on the cookies and sprinkle with the sea salt.

Yield: 3 dozen cookies
Per cookie: 92 calories, 5 g fat, 86 mg sodium, 11 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

CHOCOLATE CHERRY THUMBPRINTS

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 can (21-oz) cherry pie filling
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; mix in eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda and baking powder; add to the egg mixture. Mix until combined.

Roll dough into 2-inch balls and place on greased baking sheets or baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press thumb into the center of each cookie ball to make a well. Place cherry pie filling into each cookie well.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave and drizzle over the tops of the cookies. Let chocolate set before serving.

Cookies may be stored in an airtight container after the chocolate drizzle sets.

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Note: File photo

GLUTEN-FREE RHUBARB BARS

Note: I do not do gluten-free as my doctors advise against it. However, for those of you who must and those who want to here is a recipe from an old Country Woman magazine.

2 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter
2 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp 2% milk
5 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed
1 pkg (3-oz) strawberry gelatin

TOPPING:
1 cup sugar
1 cup gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
1/2 cup cold butter


  1. In a large bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in eggs and milk just until moistened. Press onto the bottom of a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Top with rhubarb; sprinkle with gelatin.
  2. For topping, in a small bowl, combine sugar and flour. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over top. Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield: 3 dozen.
Note: Read all ingredient labels for possible gluten content prior to use. Ingredient formulas can change, and production facilities vary among brands. If you’re concerned that your brand may contain gluten, contact the company. If using frozen rhubarb, measure rhubarb while still frozen, then thaw completely. Drain in a colander, but do not press liquid out.



PEACH SODA ICE CREAM

1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
8 to 9 peaches, peeled and cut into wedges
1 cup sugar
36-oz Nehi peach soda

Puree the sweetened condensed milk, peaches and sugar in a blender until the peaches are small chunks; transfer to a large bowl and stir in the soda. Churn in an ice cream maker (in batches if necessary). Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until firm.


Source: An old Food Network magazine.

SOPAPILLA CHEESECAKE PIE SQUARES

2 (8-oz each) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 tsp Mexican vanilla extract
2 (8-oz each) tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with PAM Original cooking spray.

Beat the cream cheese with 1 cup of the sugar and the vanilla extract until smooth.

Unroll crescent toll dough and use a rolling pin to shape each tube into a 9 x13 inch rectangle. Press one rectangle to the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture over the crescent dough. Top cream cheese mixture with the remaining crescent rectangle.

Stir together the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, cinnamon and the butter . Dot this mixture over the top of the cheesecake.

Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes until the dough has puffed and turned golden brown. Remove from oven and drizzle with honey.

Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 12 sqaures for serving.







PUMPKIN PIE WITH PECAN PRALINE TOPPING

Yes, I know talking about pumpkin pie is out of season. However, pumpkin is healthy and should be eaten year-round. If you are going to have pie, why not make one with the heathy ingredients of pumpkin and pecans?

CRUST:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (to make things healthier I always use white whole-wheat flour)
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup cold buttermilk

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers (or a potato masher - remember those?) quickly work the butter into the flour mixture until some butter pieces are the size of oat flakes, some the size of peas. Create a well in the center and pour the buttermilk into the well. Using a fork, bring dough together trying to moisten all the flour bits. Add a tiny bit more buttermilk if needed (mixture should be shaggy and moist but not outwardly wet).

Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead gently into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. This will allow the dough to rest, rechill the butter and distribute the moisture.

On a well floured surface roll the crust to a 1/2-inch thick 12-inch circle. Transfer to pie pan; trim edges almost even with the edge of the pan. Fold edges under and crimp with a fork or your fingers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes but no longer than 3 hours.

Set oven rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees.

FILLING:
2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan cook the pumpkin, sugars, pie spice, and salt over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently until mixture becomes fragrant and some of the water in the pumpkin cooks off. Remove from the heat and transfer to a medium mixing bowl.

Stir the cream into the pumpkin mixture. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Transfer to the prepared crust and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and cook 40 to 50 minutes or until the pie no longer jiggles in the center.

TOPPING:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup very coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped fresh cranberries, optional (adds a holiday look for holiday meals)

While pie is baking, in a medium saucepan combine the sugar, butter, cream, and salt over medium-low heat. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, pecans, and the cranberries, if using. Set aside to rest until pie comes out of the oven.

Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes. The pie will settle and slightly deflate.

Check praline to see if it is still pourable. If not, heat over low heat just long enough to be pourable. Pour over the warm pie. Note: The topping may seem loose but it will thicken and harden as it cools.

Cool pie completely before cutting to serve.

Yield: 8 serving
Per serving: 693 calories, 48 g fat, 62 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 7 g protein


Source: This is a BH&G recipe with my additions.


Monday, April 13, 2015

STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE LUSH

An Indiana friend sent me this recipe. Haven't tried it but it sure looks tasty.

1 package Golden Oreos (36 cookies)
•6 tablespoons butter, melted
•8 ounces softened cream cheese
•1 cup powdered sugar
•1 (16-ounce) container Cool Whip, divided
•2 packages (3.4 ounce each) instant cheesecake pudding mix
•3 cups milk
•3½ cups sliced strawberries

1. Crush the entire package of Oreos. A food processor would work great for this - I don't have one, so I just placed my cookies in a gallon sized Ziplock bag and crushed them with a rolling pin. When the cookies are fine crumbs, transfer them to a large bowl and mix in 6 tablespoons of melted butter. Press the cookie mixture into a 9x13 pan and refrigerate while you prepare the remaining layers.
2. Next, beat together 1 cup of powdered sugar, the cream cheese, and 1 cup of Cool Whip. Spread over your cookie layer.
3. For the next layer, mix together the pudding mix, milk, and another 1 cup of Cool Whip. Spread over the cream cheese layer.
4. Layer the sliced strawberries on top, and spread the remaining Cool Whip on top.
5. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

KEY LIME PIE CUPCAKES

2 packages (14.1 ounces each) refrigerated pie pastry
1 cup butter, softened

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar (use a little more if using regular lime juice instead of key lime)
4 eggs
1/2 cup key lime juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Line 32 muffin cups with foil liners; set aside.

On a floured surface, unroll pastry sheets. Using a floured 2 1/4-inch round cutter, cut 32 circles. Discard remaining pastry or use for something else. (My grandkids like to roll out the scraps, brush with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Roll up, cut into slices and make little cinnamon rolls.) Press each pastry circles into the cupcake liners.

Bake at 350 degrees 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

In mixer bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each one. Beat in the lime juice.

In another bowl, whisk the flours together. Add flours to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating well after each addition.

Pour batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Bake 20-22 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes in the pans before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Frost with the following frosting.

Frosting:
12-oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 to 3 cups powdered sugar
6 tbsp Key lime juice
Fresh raspberries for garnish, optional

In mixer bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until blended. Beat in enough powdered sugar, alternately with the lime juice, to reach the desired consistency. Beat mixture until smooth and creamy. 

Frost cupcakes and top each with a fresh raspberry, if using.

Leftovers should be refrigerated.

Source: TOH 2014