Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pecan Pie Cheesecake





For years now I have been making a pumpkin cheesecake for feasting day rather than your traditional pumpkin pie, but this year I decided to try something new.  A culinary muse called to me and told me to make a pecan pie cheesecake, but since that muse didn't tell me how to make it, I borrowed one from a site that I frequent.

This cheesecake was phenomenal!  It definitely gave me the festive feel with the rich pecan layer, and you can never go wrong with a cheesecake layer, hehe!  I gave half the cake to my neighbor (who shared an extra pumpkin pie with me for their early Thanksgiving), and they loved it too!  It is going to be an extremely hard tossup deciding whether to go back to pumpkin or not for next year, but I think I'm partial to this one! 

A must try!

Pecan Pie Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Crust:
  • 1 ¾  cups vanilla wafer crumbs
  • ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • Pecan Filling:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup dark corn syrup
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Cheesecake Filling:
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ¼ cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • ⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Instructions:

Crust:

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine wafer crumbs and brown sugar. Stir in melted butter. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9″ springform pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pecan Filling:

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into crust and set aside.

Cheesecake Filling:

Reduce oven to 325°. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add brown sugar and flour and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Stir in cream and vanilla. Pour over pecan filling. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in oven with the door closed for 1 hour. Remove from oven and run a knife along the outside edges to loosen cheesecake from sides of pan. Let cool. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

**Note: I always end up having a mushy crust whenever I try to do a water bath for my cheesecakes - I guess I just don't wrap the pan well enough in foil. This time I had a Pyrex dish filled with very hot water on the bottom rack while the cheesecake baked on the top rack, and I did not have a single crack!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ginger Roasted Salmon





Salmon is full of protein, vitamin A, and omega fatty acids, which are essential to the proper functioning of the heart and brain. This recipe for ginger roasted salmon is both good tasting and extremely good for you,,

Ginger Roasted Salmon

SERVINGS:4

Ingredients:
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 center-cut boneless salmon fillets (6 ounces each), skin on
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a rack and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Place salmon, skin side down, on rack. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, ginger, honey, and oil until well combined. Pour 1 teaspoon of the mixture over each salmon fillet; season with salt and pepper. Roast until just cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes.
  3. Transfer salmon to serving plates and drizzle each with an additional teaspoon of the ginger mixture. Serve immediately.

Ghirardelli® Dark Chocolate Truffles





Dark and rich, these truffles are perfect for any holiday party.

Ghirardelli® Dark Chocolate Truffles

YIELD:Makes 30 truffles

Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cups 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/3 cup Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


Instructions:

In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the chocolate chips. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Remove from theheat and pour into a shallow bowl.

Cool, cover, and refrigerate the mixture until firm, at least 2 hours. Using a melon baller or small spoon, roll the mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in the cocoa. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

NOTE:

The Unsweetened Cocoa can be replaced with 3/4 cup of chopped almonds or pecans.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Apple Harvest Pound Cake with Caramel Glaze

This is a fantastic Bundt cake that my grandmother used to make for Thanksgiving. It has been a family favorite for years!




Apple Harvest Pound Cake with Caramel Glaze

makes 1 - 9 inch Bundt cake

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch Bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Fold in the apples and walnuts using a spoon. Pour into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the crown or the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes then invert on to a wire rack.
  4. Make the glaze by heating the butter, milk and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then remove from the heat. Drizzle over the warm cake. I like to place a sheet of aluminum foil under the cooling rack to catch the drips for easy clean up.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Cake





I stumbled on this recipe in one of my mom's cookbooks last year. My family love pineapple so we gave it a go. Now it's a favorite. Easy to make, easy to eat, easy to put on some extra pounds if you consume too much! :D

Pineapple Cream Cheese Cake

Serves:    15 - 20
Ingredients:

CAKE:
  • 2 c    sugar
  • 3/4 c    vegetable oil
  • 2 large    eggs
  • 1 can(s)    crushed pineapple (20 oz can) in its own juice or heavy syrup
  • 2 c    all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp    baking soda
  • 1 tsp    salt
ICING:
  • 1 pkg    cream cheese, softened (8 oz)
  • 1 stick    margarine or butter, softened
  • 1 tsp    vanilla extract
  • 2 c    powdered sugar

Instructions:

For the cake:
  1. Mix ingredients together by hand and pour into a greased 13x9 baking pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes (cake may appear underdone because it is so moist).
  3. Remove cake from oven and cool completely before adding the icing.

For the icing:
  1. Beat the cream cheese and margarine or butter togehter. Add vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating between each addition until smooth.
  2. Spread on cooled cake. Refrigerate any leftovers or before serving if not serving until later.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Classic Cheesecake




A crumbly graham cracker crust and silky cream cheese filling make this New York-style cheesecake a winner,,

Classic Cheesecake

SERVINGS:12

Ingredients:

FOR CRUST:
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus room-temperature butter for pan
  • 12 graham crackers (3-by-5 inch)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

FOR FILLING:
  • 2 1/2 pounds bar cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make crust: Butter a 9-by-3-inch springform pan. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until fine crumbs form; add melted butter, sugar, and salt, and pulse to combine. Press crumb mixture into bottom and about 1 inch up side of pan. Bake until set, 12 to 15 minutes; let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.

Set a kettle of water to boil. Make filling: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down side of bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in lemon zest and juice, and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream.

Wrap bottom half of pan in foil. Pour in filling; place in a roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up side of springform. Bake until just set in center, about 1 3/4 hours. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes. Run a paring knife around edge; let cool completely. Cover; chill overnight before serving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cranberry Cake





The first time I made this soft, dense, lusciously buttery cake I ended up making it twice more, just for kicks. I couldn't get enough of it. It's sweet with a golden crumb, soft and moist, dense without being heavy, with juicy explosions of tart cranberries. The cranberries are left proudly to their own devices — no sugar bath, no orange zest. Just pops of scarlet sour fruit in buttery cake.

This cake is also a little unusual in its construction, at least for bakers like myself who are most accustomed to cakes leavened with baking powder. This is an old-fashioned butter cake that is leavened instead by whipping the eggs and sugar together for some minutes, until they are lightened and increased in volume. This produces an outrageously moist and tender cake, with the richness of a classic fruitcake. (I like to say this is a fruitcake for those wary of that good old English treat.)

If you have a stand mixer, the process is very easy; it comes together in about 10 minutes. The baking takes longer; depending on the size of the cake pan, this can take well over an hour to bake, but I promise it's worth it.

You can bake it in any size pan you like; I mixed it up last time with a double batch and did one in my usual 10-inch springform, plus some some cupcakes and small loaf pans. The loaves and smaller cupcake sizes make sweet and easy gifts for friends and coworkers; I handed one loaf over to our very deserving contractor.

When serving, I often cover this cake in kirsch-flavored whipped cream, but lately I have been baking it instead with a topping of pecans caramelized in butter and brown sugar. Or try walnuts, or almonds. Just another way to make it yours.

Cranberry Cake

Makes one 10-inch springform cake. Alternately: Four 4-cup loaves or 24 to 30 cupcakes.

Ingredients:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed and softened at room temperature for 1 hour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups cranberries (12-ounce bag)

Optional pecan topping:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, unroasted

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10-inch springform pan (or a collection of smaller pans. This make 10 to 12 cups of batter.)

Use a stand mixer or hand beaters to beat the eggs and sugar until very smooth and increased in volume. If using a stand mixer, beat on medium speed for 4 to 7 minutes, using the whip attachment. If using hand beaters, beat on high speed for 6 to 8 minutes. The egg and sugar mixture will double in volume and turn very pale yellow, leaving ribbons on top of the batter when you lift the beaters.

Beat in the butter, vanilla, and almond extract, if using. Beat for 2 minutes or until the butter is smoothly incorporated.

Use a spatula to fold in the flour, salt, and cranberries. The batter will be quite thick. Spread gently into the prepared pan.

To prepare the optional pecan topping, heat the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir. Add the pecans and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring, until the butter and sugar mixture is shiny and smooth and the nuts are well-coated with the butter and sugar. Spread over the cake batter.

Bake 60 to 80 minutes for the springform. For smaller pans, start checking after 30 minutes, but expect small loaves to take at least 40 minutes. Tent the cake with foil in the last 30 minutes of baking to keep the top from browning (this is especially important for the pecan topping).

Cool for 20 minutes then run a knife around the inside edge of the pan and remove the cake. Cool for an hour before serving.

The cake keeps and freezes well. To store, wrap the fully cooled cake tightly in plastic wrap and leave in a dry, cool place for up to 1 week.

To freeze, wrap the fully cooled cake in plastic wrap and then foil. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature, still wrapped.





Gifting Cranberry Cake

For packaging cakes like these, I like to bake them in disposable but pretty loaf pans or cupcake liners. Then I use cellophane treat bags (find them at Michael's or other craft stores), plain kraft paper tags, and some pretty ribbon to wrap them up. The cellophane keeps the cake fresh, and the ribbons and tags are so easy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Carrot Cake





People that claimed they did not like carrot cake LOVED this recipe. You can cut down on the sweetness by reducing the amount of sugar in the frosting or not using all the frosting the recipe makes. I've tried many carrot cakes, and this is my favorite recipe. If you don't like pecans, feel free to leave them out.

Carrot Cake

makes 1 - 9x13 inch cake

Ingredients:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. 
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan. 
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. 
  4. To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost the cooled cake.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake





To prevent the top from cracking, be careful not to overmix the batter, and do not open the oven door while the cake is baking or cooling inside the oven.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

SERVINGS:12

Ingredients:

FOR THE CRUST:
  • 1 1/4 cups graham-cracker crumbs (from 10 whole crackers)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

FOR THE FILLING:
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) bar cream cheese, very soft
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. Assemble a 9-inch nonstick springform pan, with the raised side of the bottom part facing up.

Make the crust: In a medium bowl, mix cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until moistened; press firmly into bottom of pan. Bake until golden around edges, 10 to 12 minutes.

Make the filling: With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth; mix in flour (do not overmix). Add pumpkin puree, pie spice, vanilla, and salt; mix just until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated before adding the next.

Place springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour filling into springform, and gently smooth top. Transfer to oven; reduce oven heat to 300 degrees. Bake 45 minutes. Turn off oven; let cheesecake stay in oven 2 hours more (without opening).

Remove from oven; cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours. Unmold before serving.


NOTE:
To make the crumbs for the crust, pulse graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Or, if you prefer, substitute the same amount of packaged graham-cracker crumbs.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Coconut Oil Roasted Sweet Potatoes





Using virgin coconut oil in this recipe enhances the flavor of the sweet potatoes, while infusing a subtle perfume of coconut to them. Virgin coconut oil is found in most health food stores.

Coconut Oil Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1 3/4 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil over low heat.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together, the potatoes, coconut oil, sugar, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  4. In a large baking dish, spread the potatoes out evenly and roast, tossing occasionally, until softened and caramelized, about an hour.

Cabbage Rolls





Cabbage leaves stuffed with ground beef, onion and rice, covered in a sweet and tangy tomato sauce and cooked in a slow cooker,,

Cabbage Rolls

makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
  • 12 leaves cabbage
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Instructions:
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil cabbage leaves 2 minutes; drain.
  2. In large bowl, combine 1 cup cooked rice, egg, milk, onion, ground beef, salt, and pepper. Place about 1/4 cup of meat mixture in center of each cabbage leaf, and roll up, tucking in ends. Place rolls in slow cooker.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over cabbage rolls.
  4. Cover, and cook on Low 8 to 9 hours.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mom's Zucchini Bread





Really, really good and moist- my kids eat it as quickly as I can make it. Bread will freeze well, and keep in refrigerator for weeks,,

Mom's Zucchini Bread

makes 2 loaves

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions:
  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Soft, Moist and Gooey Cinnamon Buns





I tried long and hard to find the ultimate cinnamon bun recipe for bread machines...this is it. They are so soft and yummy!

Soft, Moist and Gooey Cinnamon Buns

makes 2 dozen buns

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. In a bread machine pan, place the milk, beaten egg, melted butter, water, vanilla pudding mix, bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select the Dough cycle.
  2. When cycle is finished, remove the dough, and knead for 3 to 5 minutes. Roll out to a large rectangle.
  3. Mix together the softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread over dough. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and raisins, if desired. Starting with the widest end, roll the dough into a log. Pinch to seal seams. Cut into 1/2 inch to 1 inch slices, and place in a greased 9x13 inch pan. Place in a draft-free space, and allow to rise until doubled.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. To make frosting, mix the milk, confectioners sugar, softened butter and vanilla in a small bowl. Spread over warm cinnamon rolls.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Only Chocolate Cake Recipe You'll Ever Need!





This chocolate cake is absolutely thee best we have ever had. It is so moist and rich, I never make anything else (unless I am short on time :) The frosting recipe included goes perfectly with this cake, but you can use any frosting you like. Try this once and you'll see why I call it "The Only Chocolate Cake Recipe You'll Ever Need"!!


The Only Chocolate Cake Recipe You'll Ever Need! (Devil's Food)

Servings: 16


Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Frosting:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add oil, coffee and milk and mix at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat 2 more minutes. Expect batter to be thin.

Pour into a 9" x 13" greased and floured pan or 2- 9" round pans. Bake 9 x 13 pan for about 45 minutes or 9" pans for about 30 minutes. Cool in pans for about 15 minutes and then cool completely on racks.

While cake is cooling make the icing: Combine the milk and flour in a saucepan and cook over low heat until thick, whisking constantly. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

In a medium bowl, beat butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add chilled milk and flour mixture and beat for 10 minutes. Frost cooled cake and enjoy! The frosting sounds intimidating, but it is worth it! By the way, for some reason, we prefer this cake chilled, right out of the refrigerator. The rich chocolate and cool frosting just seem to taste best this way.

Chicken Parmesan





This was perfect for a busy weeknight supper. Hungry 13-year-old and picky 7-year-old ate it up :D

Chicken Parmesan

makes 4 servings
Ingredients:
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, or more if needed
  • 1 cup olive oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup prepared tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup grated provolone cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions:
  1. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Place chicken breasts between two sheets of heavy plastic (resealable freezer bags work well) on a solid, level surface. Firmly pound chicken with the smooth side of a meat mallet to a thickness of 1/2-inch. Season chicken thoroughly with salt and pepper.
  3. Beat eggs in a shallow bowl and set aside.
  4. Mix bread crumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan in a separate bowl, set aside.
  5. Place flour in a sifter or strainer; sprinkle over chicken breasts, evenly coating both sides.
  6. Dip flour coated chicken breast in beaten eggs. Transfer breast to breadcrumb mixture, pressing the crumbs into both sides. Repeat for each breast. Set aside breaded chicken breasts for about 15 minutes.
  7. Heat 1 cup olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Cook chicken until golden, about 2 minutes on each side. The chicken will finish cooking in the oven.
  8. Place chicken in a baking dish and top each breast with about 1/3 cup of tomato sauce. Layer each chicken breast with equal amounts of mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and provolone cheese. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese on top and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is browned and bubbly, and chicken breasts are no longer pink in the center, 15 to 20 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Turtle Pumpkin Pie





This recipe takes pumpkin pie to a whole new level, with drizzled caramel, chopped pecans and airy COOL WHIP Whipped Topping. Cue the applause.

Turtle Pumpkin Pie


10 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup  plus 2 Tbsp. caramel ice cream topping, divided
  • 1  HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup   plus 2 Tbsp. chopped PLANTERS Pecans, divided
  • 2 pkg.  (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
  • 1 cup  cold milk
  • 1 cup  canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp.  ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp.  ground nutmeg
  • 1 tub   (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided

Instructions:

POUR 1/4 cup caramel topping onto bottom of pie crust; sprinkle with 1/2 cup nuts.

BEAT next 5 ingredients in large bowl with whisk until blended. Stir in 1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP; spoon into crust.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour. Top with remaining COOL WHIP, caramel topping and nuts just before serving.


Tips:

SIZE-WISE
At 10 servings, this tasty pie is a perfect dessert to feed a crowd.

HOW TO STORE
Refrigerate any leftovers.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Holiday Fruit Salad





I got this recipe while shopping at Sams Club on a day when food demos were taking place. Wow! Quick, easy and yummy for the holidays. A family favorite now

Holiday Fruit Salad

Servings: 10-12

Ingredients:
  • 16 ounces plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 -8 Red Delicious apples, cored and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup green grape

Instructions:
  1. Combine yogurt, nutmeg, sugar and vanilla, mixing well.
  2. Pour over prepared fruit, tossing to cover the apples and grapes.
  3. Chill.
  4. Before serving, dust with a little extra nutmeg.

Baked Parmesan Fish





Healthier and tastier way to serve fish. I have used flounder, catfish, grouper, perch and tilapia with great results.If your fish is not getting crispy try broiling it for a minute or so to get it crispy. Oh and parmesan from a can is ok but treat yourself and use freshly grated. You will be oh so happy you did.

Baked Parmesan Fish

Servings: 4

Ingredients:
  • 16 ounces fish fillets
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Breading
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Instructions:
  1. Beat egg and milk in a shallow bowl and set aside. In a zipper bag combine breading ingredients.
  2. One at a time dip fillets in egg, shake off excess and turn or shake in breading in bag.
  3. Bake uncovered on an oiled baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  4. Can be served with lemon wedges if desired.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas Trifle





Using store-bought pound cake and lemon curd for this dish is a guaranteed time-saver. This trifle can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator until it's ready to be served

Christmas Trifle

YIELD:Makes 1 trifle

Ingredients:
  • 3 pints raspberries
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large or 2 small store-bought pound cakes, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups lemon curd
  • 24 ounces frozen sliced peaches, thawed

Instructions:

In a food processor, puree 1 pint of raspberries and strain through a fine mesh sieve, discarding the pulp.

Whip heavy cream and slowly add sugar until the cream is silken. Add vanilla extract and raspberry puree and continue whipping, just until combined and soft peaks form.

Layer half of the pound cake in the bottom of a large trifle dish. Spread half of the lemon curd over the pound cake. Top the lemon curd with half of the peaches and one pint of raspberries. Dollop half of the whipped cream over the fruit and spread gently.

Repeat layers, reserving a few peaches and raspberries for garnish. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.



Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chicken Enchilada Casserole




This recipe appears by special request. Creamy chicken and green chilies I use the regular sized tortillas.. not the large ones.I overlap the tortillas to make the layer. I make it up in an oblong serving dish, I think it is about a 9 1/2 inch by 11 inch pan. But any size you would put 1 full cake mix into will work well . I love this recipe.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:
  • 3 -4 chicken breasts (or 6 Halves)
  • 1 (10 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (10 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (8 ounce) can diced green chilies (hot or mild, or a small can of each)
  • 1 (10 ounce) package cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • oregano
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 16 ounces sour cream

Instructions:
  1. Place Chicken in large saucepan and cover with water.
  2. Sprinkle in a handful of oregano,add garlic powder and salt.
  3. Boil about 20 minutes and shred from bones.
  4. Save broth.
  5. Mix soups, sour cream & chiles in large pan.
  6. Add only enough broth to slightly thin.
  7. Re-season as needed.
  8. Simmer on low 15 minutes.
  9. Add chicken and diced onion.
  10. In casserole dish, arrange 6 Tortillas flat across bottom, spoon in 1/2 the sauce, sprinkle 1/2 the cheese.
  11. Repeat- Tortillas, sauce and cheese.
  12. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Crustless Spinach Quiche





A wonderful base for any kind of crustless quiche,,I serve this in the summer for brunch with a side of sausage links and a fresh fruit bowl!

Crustless Spinach Quiche

makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups shredded Muenster cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9 inch pie pan.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft. Stir in spinach and continue cooking until excess moisture has evaporated.
  3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. Add spinach mixture and stir to blend. Scoop into prepared pie pan.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until eggs have set, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon Buns





These buns are sooo good hot from the oven when they're gooey and warm,, This is my all time weakness. Nothing says perfection better than a fresh sticky bun right out of the oven,

Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon Buns

makes 15 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, divided
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar and yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter and salt; stir until melted. Let cool until lukewarm.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture, milk mixture, eggs and 1 1/2 cup flour; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  4. While dough is rising, melt 3/4 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 3/4 cup brown sugar, whisking until smooth. Pour into greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Sprinkle bottom of pan with 1/2 cup pecans; set aside. Melt remaining butter; set aside. Combine remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup pecans, and cinnamon; set aside.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, roll into an 18x14 inch rectangle. Brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter, leaving 1/2 inch border uncovered; sprinkle with brown sugar cinnamon mixture. Starting at long side, tightly roll up, pinching seam to seal. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. With serrated knife, cut into 15 pieces; place cut side down, in prepared pan. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in volume. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool in pan for 3 minutes, then invert onto serving platter. Scrape remaining filling from the pan onto the rolls.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Elvis Presley's Favorite Whipping Cream Pound Cake





The recipe comes from an old lady who was a dear friend of Elvis. She made this cake for him every Christmas and on special occasions. She made the paper promise to keep her name anonymous for fear that people would deluge her Tupelo Mississippi home with requests by fans to make her cakes for them.

Elvis Presley's Favorite Whipping Cream Pound Cake

Serves: 8-12

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 lb butter, softened
  • 7 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups cake flour, sifted twice
  • 1 cup whipping cream     (heavy cream)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions:
  1. Butter and flour a 10 inch tube or bundt pan.
  2. Thoroughly cream together sugar and butter.
  3. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Mix in half the flour, then the whipping cream, then the other half of the flour.
  5. Add Vanilla.
  6. Pour into prepared pan.
  7. Set in COLD oven and turn heat to 350ºF.
  8. Bake 1 hour to 70 minutes, until a sharp knife inserted in cake turns out clean.
  9. Cool in pan 5 minutes.
  10. Remove from pan and cool thoroughly.
  11. Wrapped well, this cake will keep for several days.

Note:  
 while the original recipe did not suggest this, when I'm in the mood for something different I will add a teaspoon or two of orange or lemon extract for a lemon or orange pound cake.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Strawberry Pretzel Salad





My daughter gave me this strawberry pretzel salad recipe. It is a favorite of her in-laws. I tried it and it is delicious!

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Servings: 12

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen strawberries

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Stir together crushed pretzels, melted butter and 3 tablespoons white sugar; mix well and press mixture into bottom of 9x13-inch baking dish.
  3. Bake 8-10 minutes, until set; set aside to cool.
  4. In a large mixing bowl cream together cream cheese and white sugar.
  5. Fold in whipped topping.
  6. Spread mixture onto cooled crust.
  7. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water.
  8. Stir in frozen strawberries and allow to set briefly.
  9. When mixture is about the consistency of egg whites, pour and spread over cream cheese layer.
  10. Refrigerate until set.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Peach & Pecan Oat Crumble Bars





I made these last night and brought them to work this morning and they are almost all gone in just 30 minutes time. These are delicious, especially the contrast between the tart, ripe peaches and sweet crust and crumb topping. I bet they would taste even more delicious with some vanilla ice cream on top!

Peach & Pecan Oat Crumble Bars

makes 9x13" pan
Ingredients:

Base Dough:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for 1 hour
  • 1/2 packed cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Peach Filling:
  • 2 pounds peaches, unpeeled (about 8 peaches)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Pecan Oat Topping:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for 1 hour, divided
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Glaze:
  • Juice of 1 lemon, about 3 tablespoons
  • 1/2 to 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions:

Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, using a hand mixer) cream the butter with the brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Turn off the mixer and add in the flour, salt, ginger, and cinnamon. Mix dry ingredients in just until the dough is soft and pulled together. Press the dough firmly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and refrigerate while preparing the filling and topping.

Roughly chop the peaches into 1/2-inch pieces and toss with the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.

Wipe out the mixer bowl and mix 1/4 cup softened butter with the oats, flour, pecans, cinnamon, and salt until soft and crumbly. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter and set aside to cool.

Spread the chopped peaches over the chilled dough base. Evenly crumble the topping over the peaches, and drizzle with the melted butter.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned.

Whisk together the lemon juice with enough powdered sugar to make a thin glaze. Drizzle over the bars.

Cool (or chill) for at least an hour before slicing and serving. I do recommend chilling these; they will stay fresh (and slice more cleanly) for about 5 days when stored well-covered in the fridge.




Monday, November 8, 2010

Lemon Meringue Bars





It's as easy as pie to make bars from smooth, tangy lemon filling and fluffy meringue atop a buttery zest-flecked crust.

Lemon Meringue Bars

YIELD:Makes 12

Ingredients:
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 6 large eggs, plus 4 large egg whites
  • 2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. Make crust: Put butter, flour, confectioners sugar, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, and the salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until well blended.

Transfer mixture to a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet. Press batter evenly into baking sheet. Chill in freezer 10 minutes. Bake until golden, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Make filling: Whisk together whole eggs, 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, the lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lemon zest. Pour over crust. Bake until filling is set, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Keep oven at 350.

Make meringue topping: Put egg whites and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk
attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.

Using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread meringue over filling, swirling to create soft peaks. Bake until meringue begins to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Cut into bars. Bars can be refrigerated in an airtight container, up to 1 day.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars





A great way to use up odds of gourmet chocolate bars! These are a must for a dinner party or a simple get together. My colleague at work loved them too,,

Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars

YIELD:Makes 16

Ingredients:

FOR THE CRUST:
  • 4 1/2 ounces (9 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for parchment
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt

FOR THE CHOCOLATE CARAMEL:
  • 10 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, preferably fleur de sel

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the crust: Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides; butter parchment, excluding overhang. Beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour and table salt, and beat until just combined.

Press dough evenly into pan, and bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Make the chocolate caramel: Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, washing sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, until amber, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter, cream, and table salt. Bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Pour over chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes. Stir to combine, and let stand until cool, about 10 minutes.

Pour mixture over crust. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight. Run a knife around edges; lift parchment to remove whole bar from pan. Sprinkle with sea salt. Trim edges, and cut into 16 bars.


COOK'S NOTE:
Bars can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Chocolate Trifle





LOVE THIS RECIPE! Once you make it, be prepared to make it AGAIN and AGAIN! I've made this trifle at least 20 times - it's requested at each and every church function. This was really wonderful! Very rich and delicious!


Chocolate Trifle

makes 12 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 (19.8 ounce) package brownie mix
  • 1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (1.5 ounce) bar chocolate candy

Instructions:
  1. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and cool completely. Cut into 1 inch squares.
  2. In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, water and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth, then fold in 8 ounces whipped topping until no streaks remain.
  3. In a trifle bowl or glass serving dish, place half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture and half of the 12 ounce container of whipped topping. Repeat layers. Shave chocolate onto top layer for garnish. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

Chocolate Mint Candy (Fudge)





I love this recipe because it is so easy to make and yet it always gets 'oohs' when people see the candies and 'aahs' when they taste them! I've gotten several z-mails asking about the candy coating. They are wafers that you melt to then dip candies into to coat them. They are usually sold in the candy section of craft or baking stores. I've seen them in the candy making section of Wal-Mart also,,

Chocolate Mint Candy (Fudge)

Servings: 64

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips     (12 ounces)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces white candy coating
  • 2 -3 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 3 drops green food coloring

Instructions:
  1. In a heavy saucepan, melt chocolate chips with 1 cup milk.
  2. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.
  3. Spread half into a waxed paper-lined 8-in. square pan; (I personally prefer to line the pan with foil and grease the foil with butter) chill for 10 minutes or until firm.
  4. Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan over low heat, cook and stir candy coating with remaining milk until coating is melted and mixture is smooth.
  5. Stir in peppermint extract and food coloring.
  6. Spread over bottom layer; chill for 10 minutes or until firm.
  7. Warm remaining chocolate mixture if necessary; spread over mint layer.
  8. Chill for 2 hours or until firm.
  9. Remove from pan; cut into 1-in. squares.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cherry Mash Bars





This recipe makes delicious little fudge squares that would be excellent on a holiday cookie tray. They are SWEET but really flavorful. Perfect as small squares. If you like Chocolate and Cherries this recipe is for you. The candy bar was originally called Cherry Chase, and then Cherry Chaser, before becoming known as Cherry Mash. It can be found throughout the Midwest in most grocery and convenience stores and mass-merchandise outlets.

Cherry Mash Bars

Servings: 40-60

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter (I used butter) or 2 tablespoons margarine (I used butter)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half (I used 1/2 and 1/2 mixed with whole milk) or 1/3 cup undiluted evaporated milk (I used 1/2 and 1/2 mixed with whole milk)
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallow
  • 1 cup cherry chips
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate about 3 1/2 ounces) or 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate about 3 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup salted peanuts

Instructions:

Combine sugar, butter or margarine, salt and half and half in saucepan. Boil on high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in marshmallows and cherry chips.

Spread in 8 or 9" square pan which has been lined with parchment or wax paper.

Melt chocolate with peanut butter in a small pan over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Stir in peanuts. Spread evenly over cherry layer.

Let set in refrigerator. Cut into 1" squares with warm sharp knife (hold under hot water and then dry before cutting).

Monday, November 1, 2010

Iced Oatmeal-Applesauce Cookies





Once the maple icing is set, these can be stored in single layers in airtight containers for up to three days.

Iced Oatmeal-Applesauce Cookies

YIELD:Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

Ingredients:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup chunky-style applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Instructions:

Make cookies: Preheat oven to 350. Put butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until combined. Add egg and applesauce, mix until well blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix in raisins.

Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake cookies until golden and just set, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack set over parchment paper; let cool completely.

Make icing: Whisk confectioners' sugar, syrup, and 3 tablespoons water until smooth. Drizzle over cookies, let set.

Banana Cake





This cake was first made for me by a friend while I was visiting her after she had delivered her 11th child. I told her, 'I should have baked for you!

Banana Cake

makes 1 - 9x13 inch pan

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 1/8 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. In a small bowl, mix mashed bananas with lemon juice, set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in banana mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place directly into freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake very moist.
  4. For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream 1/2 cup butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add confectioners sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth. Spread on cooled cake.