Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ice Cream Pretzel Cake





Our family loved a dessert we had at a local restaurant, so I invented my own version for a birthday party,, It was a big hit. It's simple to make ahead and just pull out of the freezer when you need it.

Ice Cream Pretzel Cake

MAKES: 16 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1-1/4 cups crushed pretzels
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
  • 2 packages (7-1/2 ounces each) chocolate-covered miniature pretzels
  • 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping

Instructions:

Place crushed pretzels in a small bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Press onto the bottom of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Cover and freeze for at least 30 minutes. Spread fudge topping over crust; cover and freeze.

Set aside 16 chocolate-covered pretzels for garnish. Place remaining pretzels in a food processor; cover and process until crumbly. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in ice cream. Spread over fudge topping. Drizzle with caramel topping. Garnish with reserved pretzels. Cover and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight. Yield: 16 servings.

Note: If you are unable to find chocolate-coated pretzels, use 1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips, 4 teaspoons shortening and about 110 miniature pretzel twists. In a microwave, melt chips and shortening; stir until blended. With a fork, dip pretzels into chocolate mixture to evenly coat, reheating chocolate if needed. Let stand on waxed paper until set.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sinful Cinnamon Rolls




The cool thing about this recipe is, that you can make the dough the night before.  Then, all you need to do the next morning, is take it out, let it come to room temp, assemble the rolls and pop them in the oven. 

Sinful Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients:

DOUGH:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt

FILLING:
  • 1 cup melted butter, plus more as needed
  • 1/8 cup ground cinnamon for sprinkling
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more as needed
  •  
Instructions:

Mix milk, vegetable oil, and 1/2 cup of sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point.) Remove from heat and let it cool 45 minutes to 1 hour.

When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in package Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute and then add 4 cups of flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

Next, add 1/2 cup flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir mixture together. From here, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it—overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to rise out of the pan, just punch it down. Or, of course, you can just go ahead and make the rolls.

Sprinkle surface generously with flour and roll the dough into a thin rectangular shape, about 1/4" thick. Brush melted butter on top, then sprinkle sugar over the butter, and finish with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Starting with the wide end, roll the dough tightly towards you in a neat line. Next, pinch the seam to the roll to seal it. Spread 1 tbsp of melted butter in each pan/dish. With a sharp knife, begin cutting the dough into 1 inch slices, and laying them in the pans. Let rest for 20-30 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 13 - 17 minutes, or until golden.


FROSTING:

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. maple flavoring
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 cup melted butter
  • 1/8 cup brewed coffee
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions:

Mix together all ingredients, and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don't skimp on the frosting!


IF MAKING AHEAD FOR CHRISTMAS MORNING:   Instead of popping them into the oven, just put them straight  into the fridge and let them rise for the 2nd time in the fridge overnight (they'll rise VERY slowly in the fridge). Then, in the morning let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, and then pop them in the oven as directed.



Thursday, December 12, 2013

Saltine Toffee





Made these last night w/toasted sliced almonds to take on our tacky light tour. I opened my roll of foil & realized I didn't have enough so used parchment w/spray w/fingers crossed & it worked great. Saw review 2day where someone else used it. Only oddity was my crackers were on the bottom. I'm guessing I simmered too high or too long but it didn't hurt the taste. I used dark brown sugar & it didn't burn as other reviewer. Also I placed in the freezer cuz I was running out of time & they were ready in A snap. They were a big hit--even the driver asked 4 2nds. Ty 4 a yummy, super easy recipe.

Recipe >> Saltine Toffee @ asoutherngrace.blogspot.com

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Lazy Ice Cream Cake





We all love ice cream cake, but who has the time to make it? Thankfully the lazy ice cream cake actually exists, and we can all roll around the neighborhood with happy bellies.

Lazy Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients:
  • 12 ice cream sandwiches, any flavor
  • Ice cream, any flavor- softened
  • Ice cream topping, such as caramel, hot fudge, strawberry, etc.
  • Whipped Topping

Directions:
  1. Line an 8" x 8" pan with saran wrap. Using half the sandwiches, make a single layer.
  2. Cover the ice cream sandwiches with softened ice cream- try to make an even layer. (used about ⅓ of a tub of Cookies 'n Cream.)
  3. Cover the ice cream with a thin layer of hot fudge
  4. Finish the layers off with the remaining ice cream sandwiches.
  5. Throw the pan in the fridge for about an hour so the ice cream can harden.
  6. nce the ice cream has hardened, invert the pan onto the plate you'll serve it from.
  7. "Frost" the cake with the whipped topping.
  8. tried to get fancy and made lines of caramel & chocolate sauce, then dragged a toothpick in alternating directions to create the design.
  9. Return the cake to the freezer until ready to serve.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pecan Pumpkin Pie




Won my work's pumkin pie contest with this one! The Orange Zest is definitley something that sets this one apart!

Pecan Pumpkin Pie

makes 1 - 9 inch pie

Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups solid pack pumpkin puree
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves

Instructions:
  1. Combine eggs, sugars, flour, spices and salt. Blend in pumpkin. Gradually add milk; mix well.
  2. Pour into 9-inch pie shell. Bake in 450 degree F (230 degrees C) oven 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake 40 to 50 minutes longer.
  3. Sprinkle pecan mixture over pie the last 10 minutes before removing from the oven.
  4. To Make Topping: Combine 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon grated orange rind, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 3/4 cup whole pecans.



Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pecan-Pumpkin-Pie-I/Detail.aspx

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Blueberries and Cream Pie With No Roll Pie Crust



I must admit I was a bit hesitant about the no roll crust but, much to my delight, it came out great! Also, the filling is lovely, and the lack of a top crust allows you to thoroughly enjoy the flavorful berries. Also, this pie is not too sweet and relies on the berries for its wonderful taste. This one goes in the permanent recipe box!

Blueberries and Cream Pie With No Roll Pie Crust

Servings: 6


Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, for whipped cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, for whipped cream

Directions:

  1. Put first five ingredients in a 9 inch pie pan.
  2. Mix with a fork until well blended and pat into the pan.
  3. Push the pastry up the sides and form a nice edge with your thumb and finger.
  4. Prick the crust with a fork to prevent bubbling of the pastry during baking.
  5. Preheat oven to 400.
  6. Rinse berries and pick out any undesirable ones.
  7. After the berries have drained pour onto a paper towel to dry somewhat and then pour them into the pastry shell.
  8. In a small bowl combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt.
  9. Stir in the milk and 1/2 cup whipping cream.
  10. Whisk until smooth.
  11. Pour over the berries and bake for 45 minutes.
  12. After about 30 minutes, check the pie.
  13. If the edges are getting very brown, cover with strips of aluminum foil.
  14. Cool on a wire rack and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
  15. To make whipped cream, beat 1/2 cup very cold whipping cream until stiff.
  16. Chill the bowl before whipping the cream to improve the results.
  17. Add vanilla and 2 tbsp sugar.
  18. Serve a dollop of whipped cream on each serving of pie.

Triple-Chocolate Pumpkin Pie





A hidden layer of bittersweet chocolate coats the crumb crust, semisweet imparts a silken smoothness to the customary custard, and a drizzle of milk chocolate on top teases the eye -- and the appetite.


Triple-Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

SERVINGS:12

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (about 16 crackers)
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 61 percent cacao), finely chopped
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (preferably 55 percent cacao), chopped
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Ground cloves
  • 1 ounce milk chocolate, melted

Instructions:

Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugars, salt, and cinnamon in bowl. Firmly press mixture into bottom and up sides of a deep, 9 1/2-inch pie dish. Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from oven, and sprinkle bittersweet chocolate over bottom of crust. Return to oven to melt chocolate, about 1 minute. Spread chocolate in a thin layer on bottom and up sides. Let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.


Make the filling: In a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt semisweet chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.

Mix pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, eggs, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves in a medium bowl. Whisk 1/3 pumpkin mixture into chocolate mixture. Whisk in remaining pumpkin mixture until completely incorporated.

Transfer pie dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and pour pumpkin mixture into crust. Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours (preferably overnight). Before serving, drizzle melted milk chocolate on top. Serve immediately.



Source: http://www.marthastewart.com/312484/triple-chocolate-pumpkin-pie

Strawberry Pretzel Salad





Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Servings: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple
  • 2 cup boiling water
  • 2 10-ounce packages frozen strawberries
  • 2  3-ounce packages strawberry gelatin dessert mix
  • 1  8-ounce container Cool Whip
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1  8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 cup crushed pretzels

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. For the crust, mix the pretzels, butter, and 3 tablespoons of sugar.  Press this mixture into a 9x13-inch pan and bake for 7 minutes.  Set aside and allow to cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar.  Fold in the Cool Whip, and spread over the cooled crust.  Refrigerate until well chilled.
  4. In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, and allow to cool slightly.  Add the strawberries and pineapple, and pour over the cream cheese mixture.  Refrigerate until serving time.
  5. To serve, cut slices and serve with a dollop of Cool Whip.




Source: http://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/recipe_view/strawberry_pretzel_salad/

Dinner Rolls





These warm, buttery rolls only take a little hands-on prep (the yeast does all the work), kids love to help shape them, and they fill the house with a delicious aroma,,

Dinner Rolls

YIELD: Makes 30

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup warm water (115 degrees)
  • 2 packets (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm whole milk (115 degrees)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for bowl and pans
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for work surface

Instructions:

Place water in a small bowl; sprinkle with yeast, and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, butter, sugar, salt, and 2 eggs. Whisk in yeast mixture.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in 6 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, until you have a soft, shaggy dough (if necessary, add up to 1/2 cup more flour). Turn dough out onto a floured work surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. Butter the inside of a large bowl; place dough in bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let stand in a warm spot until dough has doubled in size, about 1 1/4 hours.

Butter two 13-by-9-inch baking pans. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 15-inch rope; cut each rope into 15 1-inch pieces. Press each piece into a disk, then shape into a ball. Arrange dough balls in prepared pans. (To make ahead: Wrap pans well, and freeze, up to 2 months.) Cover pans loosely with plastic; let stand in a warm spot until rolls have doubled in size, about 1 1/4 hours (2 hours more if frozen).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a small bowl, beat remaining egg until blended; brush onto rolls. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through. Let rolls cool 15 minutes before serving.

COOK'S NOTE:
The rolls can be shaped in advance and frozen for up to 2 months. No need to defrost -- just add 2 hours to the second rise.



Source: http://www.marthastewart.com/312832/dinner-rolls

Black Pepper Shrimp




Black Pepper Shrimp

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients:
  • 3 lb fresh shrimp, unpeeled
  • 8 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 4 tablespoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Wash and drain shrimp, and place in a shallow baking pan.  In a saucepan, melt the butter, add the garlic, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes.  Pour butter mixture over shrimp and toss to coat.  Pepper shrimp until shrimp are well covered.  Bake until pink, approximately 5 minutes, turn, bake a few minutes longer, and pepper again.  You must use a heavy hand with the pepper.

Serve shrimp with warm bread and salad.


Vegan Cupcakes





These taste amazing and are quick to make! You can play around and substitute different milks, oils and extracts; just about any will work,,

Vegan Cupcakes

makes 18 cupcakes

Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with 18 paper baking cups.
  2. Measure the apple cider vinegar into a 2 cup measuring cup. Fill with almond milk to make 1 1/2 cups. Let stand until curdled, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk mixture, coconut oil and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter. Frost with desired frosting.


Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Vegan-Cupcakes/Detail.aspx

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts with Chile Cheese Sauce





I love the intense, smoky flavor of chipotle peppers, which are actually dried and smoked jalapeƱos. Use more or less of the peppers depending on how sassy you like your food!

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts with Chile Cheese Sauce
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut in half lengthwise (making 8 long pieces)
  • 1 10.75-ounce can condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon chopped canned chipotle peppers or bottled chipotle hot pepper sauce (or to taste)
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside.

Wrap a slice of bacon around each piece of chicken and place on the baking sheet. Bake about 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove chicken from the oven. Preheat the broiler.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the soup, milk, chipotle pepper, and Worcestershire to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off heat; cover to keep sauce warm.

Broil the chicken 4 to 5 inches from heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until the bacon is really sizzling. Serve chicken topped with the cheese sauce.



Source: http://thedeenbros.com/index.php/recipes/recipe_detail/bacon-wrapped_chicken_breasts_with_chile_cheese_sauce/

Lemon Chicken Piccata





This delicious chicken dish is exquisite and easy to prepare. The light and luscious lemon sauce really pops without being too acidic; it is simply divine. Serve it with herb-roasted potatoes or lemon-rice,,

Lemon Chicken Piccata

makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
  • 3 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1/2-inch medallions
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or as needed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place a serving platter into the oven to warm.

Season the chicken breast pieces with salt and pepper and dredge them in flour. Shake off excess flour. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet; pan-fry the chicken pieces until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Work in batches and do not crowd skillet, adding oil as needed . Place the chicken pieces onto the warmed platter in the oven. When finished with all the chicken, drain most of the oil from the skillet, leaving a thin coating on the surface of the pan.

Cook and stir the minced garlic in the skillet until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Pour in the chicken broth. Scrape and dissolve any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the lemon slices and bring the mixture to a boil. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces to about 2/3 cup, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the lemon juice and capers; simmer until the sauce is reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes more. Drop the butter into the skillet and swirl it into the sauce by tilting the skillet until the butter is melted and incorporated. Add the parsley; remove from heat and set aside.

Arrange the chicken medallions on serving plates and spoon sauce over each portion to serve.





Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Lemon-Chicken-Piccata/Detail.aspxhttp://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Lemon-Chicken-Piccata/Detail.aspx

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cinnamon Rolls





"Here's an easy alternative to buying those famous cinnamon rolls in the mall. They taste exactly the same, and the dough is made in the bread machine,,

Cinnamon Rolls

makes 16 rolls

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons milk

Instructions:
  1. In the pan of your bread machine, combine water, melted butter, vanilla pudding, warm milk, egg, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, bread flour and yeast. Set machine to Dough cycle; press Start.
  2. When Dough cycle has finished, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 17x10 inch rectangle. Spread with softened butter. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over dough.
  3. Roll up dough, beginning with long side. Slice into 16 one inch slices and place in 9x13 buttered pan. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. While rolls bake, stir together cream cheese, softened butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and milk. Remove rolls from oven and top with frosting.


Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Cinnamon-Rolls-III/Detail.aspx

Chewy Peanut Butter Brownies





These brownies have been a favorite in my family since I was a small child. Because they're so popular, I usually double the recipe. Great with chocolate frosting!

Chewy Peanut Butter Brownies

makes 1 9x9 inch pan

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C ). Grease a 9x9 inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together peanut butter and margarine. Gradually blend in the brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla; mix until fluffy. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture until well blended.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in preheated oven, or until the top springs back when touched. Cool, and cut into 16 squares.


Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chewy-Peanut-Butter-Brownies/Detail.aspx

Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie





Ah, Pie. Pie is a weird form of dessert to me. You can throw anything into a pie crust; it seems nothing is off limits. People put weird things in pie, and it makes me nervous. "What's going to happen when I cut into this thing?" is what I'm usually thinking.

I have a thing against cooked fruit. It's weirdly sour and is usually not cooked all the way through (I'm looking at you, apples). However, pumpkin pie is a mainstay at the holidays, and one I enjoy. But, it's a little boring and expected, so at thanksgiving I took this baby out for a spin.

It's rich. It's decadent. It has just enough pumpkin flavor without being just pumpkin, and has a rich, chocolatey, velvety texture and a yummy, perfect graham crust.

It had a tough time at thanksgiving competing with the 4 other desserts we had going on, so I suggest making this as a stand-out dessert, with no competition from all those bars and cookies floating around this time of year.

Oh, and did I mention this thing is pretty easy? Let's get going!

Recipe >> Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie @ Closet Cooking

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Baked Denver Omelet





My family loves omelets, and this is a quick and easy one. These directions are for a Denver omelet, but experiment with other ingredients to make your favorite,,

Baked Denver Omelet

makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cooked ham
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a 10-inch round baking dish.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion and bell pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in ham and continue cooking until heated through, 5 minutes more.
  3. Beat eggs and milk in a large bowl. Stir in Cheddar cheese and ham mixture; season with salt and black pepper. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until eggs are browned and puffy, about 25 minutes. Serve warm.


Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Baked-Denver-Omelet/Detail.aspx

Friday, November 29, 2013

Creamy Chocolate Frosting





I've been using this chocolate frosting recipe forever, and several friends now use it as their 'favorite frosting!' It's smooth, creamy and not-too-dark. I just wanted to share it with chocolate lovers everywhere! It will frost, but not fill, an 8 or 9 inch layer cake,,

Creamy Chocolate Frosting

makes 1 frosting for 1 cake

Ingredients:
  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar.


Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Creamy-Chocolate-Frosting/Detail.aspx

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.


COOK'S 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.




Source: http://www.marthastewart.com/335642/pumpkin-cheesecake

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze





This is my favorite recipe! I make this way too often. It's quick and easy! I serve this with rice and broccoli

Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze

makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 (6 ounce) boneless salmon fillets
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack at about 6 inches from the heat source; prepare the rack of a broiler pan with cooking spray.
  2. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and arrange onto the prepared broiler pan. Whisk together the brown sugar and Dijon mustard in a small bowl; spoon mixture evenly onto top of salmon fillets.
  3. Cook under the preheated broiler until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes.

Creamed Chicken and Biscuits Casserole






This is a wonderful and simple to prepare comfort food using things you probably already have around. Kids love it- but so do adults. At least, in this home. Try it. It is one of my quick and easy favorites,,

Creamed Chicken and Biscuits Casserole

Servings: 6

Ingredients:
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 lbs chopped cooked chicken breasts or 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped pimiento or 1/2 cup sauteed red bell peppers or 1/2 cup jarred roasted red pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • refrigerated biscuit

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease the bottom and sides of an 11x7 inch baking dish or 10 inch quiche dish.
  3. Chop the onion.
  4. Heat butter in a small nonstick skillet and saute until tender.
  5. Combine cooked onion, soup, chicken, milk, pimiento, and mayo in a bowl and then turn into the prepared baking dish.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven.
  7. Sprinkle 1 cup of the cheese over the baked mixture.
  8. Arrange biscuits decoratively in a single layer and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese over them.
  9. Return casserole to oven and bake until biscuits are golden brown and sauce is bubbly, usually about 20 minutes longer.






Source: http://www.food.com/recipe/potsies-creamed-chicken-and-biscuits-casserole-110047

Spicy Pretzels




My sister got this recipe from her friends mom . The small pretzels work the best. And for some reason , the oil definitely makes a difference! We've made them with Crisco, and we've made them with other brands, and they don't taste the same! *** seems to be too hot for a few people , PLEASE ADJUST the cayenne pepper if you don't like HOT***

Spicy Pretzels

Servings: 6

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 lb small pretzels
  • 1/4 cup crisco vegetable oil
  • 1 (1 ounce) package hidden valley ranch dressing mix
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions:
  1. Put pretzels in a roaster pan (or 13x9 pan will work)
  2. Mix together the Crisco oil, dressing mix, salt and cayenne pepper.
  3. Pour over pretzels.
  4. Toss thoroughly!
  5. Bake at 200* for 1 1/2- 2 hours.
  6. Stir about every 20 minutes.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fire Crackers





Seasoned saltine crackers that are simple to make and add a special touch for your dips and spreads at parties

Fire Crackers

Servings: 24

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb unsalted saltine crackers     (4 sleeves)
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 (1 ounce) packet ranch dressing mix
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions:
  1. Line crackers on ends (like dominoes) in an air-tight container.
  2. In a small bowl, mix oil, dressing mix, peppers, and garlic powder.
  3. Stir until all ingredients are well mixed.
  4. Continue to stir to prevent the pepper from settling on the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Spoon mixture evenly over crackers, like drizzling icing on a cake.
  6. Close lid tightly and flip the container over every 5 minutes for about 20 minutes. Lightly shake back and forth to make sure all the crackers are coated.
  7. Store in a ziplock bag. Will keep for about a week -- if they last that long!


Source: http://www.food.com/recipe/fire-crackers-423316

Broccoli Rice Casserole




A creamy side dish that is baked in a delicious cheese sauce. This is the best broccoli rice casserole you will ever eat!

Broccoli Rice Casserole

makes 10 servings

Ingredients:
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli
  • 3 cups instant rice
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 (16 ounce) package processed American cheese, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 bunch celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
  1. Cook broccoli and rice according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, mix cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, and 1 1/4 cups water. Gradually stir in cheese until melted. Be careful that the cheese doesn't burn.
  3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook and stir celery and onion until soft.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, rice, soup and cheese mixture, celery and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, until bubbly and lightly brown.


Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/broccoli-rice-casserole/detail.aspx

Sausage Pinwheels





These where PERFECT for get-n-go breakfast with your favorite jam or jelly on the side,,

Sausage Pinwheels

Servings: 24

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb bulk sausage
  • 1 can crescent roll dough

Instructions:
  1. Take dough out of can in a whole sheet.
  2. Press perforated edges together to form one sheet of dough.
  3. Spread sausage over dough evenly.
  4. Starting with a long edge, roll dough and sausage into a log.
  5. Refrigerate log overnight or until firm.
  6. Slice 1/2 inch pieces from the log and place on baking sheet.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-18 minutes.


Source: http://www.food.com/recipe/sausage-pinwheels-89835

Chocolate Cream Pie





This is the classic Chocolate Cream Pie that you have been searching for. Consistency, depth of chocolate flavor and level of sweetness are perfect

Chocolate Cream Pie

Serves: 6
Yield:1


Ingredients:
  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 (14 ounce) can eagle brand sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (9 inch) baked pastry shells

Instructions:
  1. Mix water and cornstarch and cocoa until smooth.
  2. Sir in Eagle Brand milk and egg yolks.
  3. Cook until thick in saucepan or microwave.
  4. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter.
  5. Add vanilla.
  6. Cool slightly (stirring occasionally).
  7. Pour into baked pie shell.
  8. For meringue: Preheat oven to 400°.
  9. Top with meringue and brown.
  10. Or may top with whipped cream after chilling pie.


Source: http://www.food.com/recipe/chocolate-cream-pie-43100

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mouth-Watering Stuffed Mushrooms





This is the first time I have ever attempted to make stuffed mushrooms and they were great! There was NO leftovers at my house! There easy, fast, and budget friendly. These delicious mushrooms taste just like restaurant-style stuffed mushrooms,,

Mouth-Watering Stuffed Mushrooms

makes 12 large mushrooms

Ingredients:
  • 12 whole fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool.

When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.

Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Mouth-Watering-Stuffed-Mushrooms/detail.aspx

Tomato Zucchini Casserole





"A simple vegetable dish that highlights the summer flavors of fresh tomatoes and zucchini. It goes great with grilled meats or poultry

Tomato Zucchini Casserole

makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced
  • 5 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup fine bread crumbs

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly butter a 9x9-inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine Cheddar, Parmesan, oregano, basil, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  3. Arrange half of the zucchini slices in the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese and herb mixture on top. Arrange half of the tomatoes, and top with another 1/4 of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers.
  4. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions, and cook until soft and translucent. Stir in breadcrumbs; cook until they have absorbed the butter. Sprinkle on top of casserole.
  5. Cover loosely with foil, and bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake until the top is crusty and the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.


Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Tomato-Zucchini-Casserole/Detail.aspx

Grandma's Lemon Meringue Pie



This is a very fun recipe to follow, because Grandma makes it sweet and simple. This pie is thickened with cornstarch and flour in addition to egg yolks, and contains no milk,,

Grandma's Lemon Meringue Pie


makes 1 - 9 inch pie

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
  • 4 egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. To Make Lemon Filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pastry shell.
  3. To Make Meringue: In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add sugar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.


Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Grandmas-Lemon-Meringue-Pie/Detail.aspx

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Balsamic-Glazed Salmon Fillets





A glaze featuring balsamic vinegar, garlic, honey, white wine and Dijon mustard makes baked salmon fillets extraordinary,,

Balsamic-Glazed Salmon Fillets

makes 6 servings
Ingredients:
  • 6 (5 ounce) salmon fillets
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Coat a small saucepan with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium heat, cook and stir garlic until soft, about 3 minutes. Mix in white wine, honey, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for about 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  3. Arrange salmon fillets on foil-lined baking sheet. Brush fillets with balsamic glaze, and sprinkle with oregano.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 14 minutes, or until flesh flakes easily with a fork. Brush fillets with remaining glaze, and season with salt and pepper. Use a spatula to transfer fillets to serving platter, leaving the skin behind on the foil.


Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Balsamic-Glazed-Salmon-Fillets/Detail.aspx

Apple Squares





"Apples, nuts and cinnamon make these bars delicious. They hardly last a day at my house!

Apple Squares

makes 1 9x9-inch pan

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x9 inch pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of white sugar with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture until just combined, then stir in the apples and walnuts. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. In a cup or small bowl, stir together the remaining cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over the top of the bars.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in preheated oven; finished bars should spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan, and cut into squares.



Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Apple-Squares/Detail.aspx

Banana Cream Pie





Banana Cream Pie

makes 1 9-inch pie

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
  • 4 bananas, sliced

Instructions:
  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Add milk in gradually while stirring gently. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly. Keep stirring and cook for about 2 more minutes, and then remove from the burner.
  2. Stir a small quantity of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, and immediately add egg yolk mixture to the rest of the hot mixture. Cook for 2 more minutes; remember to keep stirring. Remove the mixture from the stove, and add butter and vanilla. Stir until the whole thing has a smooth consistency.
  3. Slice bananas into the cooled baked pastry shell. Top with pudding mixture.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 12 to 15 minutes. Chill for an hour.


Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/banana-cream-pie-i/detail.aspx

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Too Much Chocolate Cake





This cake won me First Prize at the county fair last year. It is very chocolaty,,

Too Much Chocolate Cake

makes 1 12 cup Bundt cake

Ingredients:
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
  • 1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well greased 12 cup bundt pan.
  3. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate If desired, dust the cake with powdered sugar.


Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Too-Much-Chocolate-Cake/Detail.aspx


Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake





One really delicious and really unhealthy Sunday coffee cake:D  I have no idea where I got this recipe from but it was about thirty years ago and has been a family favorite since. The bake time is a bit longer if you're using frozen berries,,

Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

makes 1 - 9 inch Bundt cake

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 5/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar for dusting

Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch Bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Fold in blueberries.
  3. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle half of this mixture over the batter in the pan. Spoon remaining batter over the top, and then sprinkle the remaining pecan mixture over. Use a knife or thin spatula to swirl the sugar layer into the cake.
  4. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted into the crown of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack. Invert onto a serving plate, and tap firmly to remove from the pan. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies





Heavy, yummy, and very peanut-buttery. You'll need lots of milk to eat these!

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

makes 1 dozen

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  2. Combine ingredients and drop by teaspoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool. Recipe doesn't make very many, so you could double recipe as you desire.

Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Flourless-Peanut-Butter-Cookies/Detail.aspx

Easy Sugar Cookies





"Quick and easy sugar cookies! They are really good, plain or with candies in them. My friend uses chocolate mints on top, and they're great!

Easy Sugar Cookies

makes 4 dozen

Ingredients:
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.


Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-sugar-cookies/detail.aspx

Easy Key Lime Pie





This is the 1999 American Pie Council 's National Pie Championship's first place winner in the Quick and Easy Category. Garnish each piece with a slice of lime and a dollop of whipped cream or whipped topping if you like,,

Easy Key Lime Pie

makes 1 - 9 inch pie

Ingredients:
  • 5 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Combine the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Mix well. Pour into unbaked graham cracker shell.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Top with whipped topping and garnish with lime slices if desired.


Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-key-lime-pie-i/detail.aspx

Caramel Bars





These are one of my favorite goodies these days! A total crowd pleaser!


Salted Caramel Butter Bars

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
  • 1 lb. salted butter room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbs vanilla OR - I used Princess Cake Emulsion..
  • 4 cups AP flour

For the Filling:
  • 1 bag (14 oz.) caramel candies (about 50 individual caramels), unwrapped
  • ⅓ cup milk or cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • *1 T. coarse sea salt (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Using mixer on medium speed, beat together until creamy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Sift the flour into the butter mixture and beat on low speed until a smooth soft dough forms.
  3. Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Press one-third of the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust. Wrap remaining dough in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator.
  4. Bake crust until firm and the edges are a pale golden brown approx 20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool about 15 minutes.
  5. While the bottom crust is baking and the remaining dough is chilling, make the caramel filling. Place the unwrapped caramels in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the cream. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth. If caramels are not completely melted, microwave on high for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth.
  6. Once the caramel is melted add in your 1/2 tsp vanilla and stir until combined.
  7. Pour the caramel filling over the crust. If you are going to salt the caramel sprinkle it on caramel layer now.
  8. Remove the remaining chilled dough from the refrigerator and crumble it evenly over the caramel.
  9. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is bubbly and the crumbled shortbread topping is firm and lightly golden, about 25 - 30 minutes.
  10. Let cool before cutting into squares.


Source: http://www.frecklesstyle.com/2013/01/caramel-bars.html

New Orleans Praline Brownies





These dangerously good brownies are a recipe from Betty Crocker. I like my brownies extra fudgey, so I always cook for less time than recipes call for. Enjoy!


New Orleans Praline Brownies

Ingredients:

Brownies:
  • 1 box fudge brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli)
  • water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie box
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans 

Praline Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of 9"x13" pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Make brownies as directed on box for fudge brownies (adding water, oil, and eggs). Stir in pecans.
  3. Bake as directed (slightly under cook) then cool for about an hour then lift aluminum foil and brownies from pan leaving the brownies on the foil. I did this, to make the pan easier to clean so the icing could pour down the sides.
  4. In a small-medium sized saucepan, mix whipping cream, butter, and brown sugar.
  5. Remove from heat, then stir in toasted pecans, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
  6. Cool 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Pour and spread frosting over brownies. Allow to set for a few minutes before cutting into squares.


Source: http://615soul.blogspot.com/2013/02/new-orleans-praline-brownies.html


Lemon Cake





This is a wonderful easy recipe that is truly delicious. Lemon sheet cake with a cool lemony cream topping. Everyone who has tried it absolutely loves it,,

Lemon Cake

makes 1 - 10x15 inch pan

Ingredients:
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 (1 ounce) package instant sugar-free vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen light whipped topping, thawed

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 10x15 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together cake mix and pudding mix. Pour in water and egg whites. Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Increase speed to high and beat for 4 minutes. Pour batter into prepared 10x15 inch pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
  4. In a large bowl, combine milk, lemon extract and vanilla pudding mix. Beat on low for 2 minutes. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over cooled cake. Store cake in refrigerator.


Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Lemon-Cake/Detail.aspx

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mrs.Field’s Super Fudge Brownies





They are dense, rich, and almost melt in your mouth. They remind me of a flourless chocolate cake with a truffle-like texture and deep, dark chocolate taste.

Mrs.Field’s Super Fudge Brownies


Yield: 16 brownies (2 inch squares)

Ingredients:
  • 6 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 300F. Grease an 8x8 inch baking pan.
  2. Combine unsweetened baking chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan. Melt over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until pieces are almost melted. Remove from heat and stir until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat eggs until light yellow in color- about 5 minutes. Add sugar and blend on low until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add vanilla and melted chocolate to the egg and sugar mixture. Blend on low speed until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add flour and pinch salt. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour batter into greased pan. Smooth surface with a spatula and spirnkle uniformly with chocolate chips. Bake on the center rack of oven for 45-55 minutes. The batter should be set and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Do not overbake.
  6. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. To cut brownies, dip a sharp knife in hot water and wipe dry. Use warm knife to slice brownies. Serve chilled.


Source: http://frankiesfoods.blogspot.com/2011/02/mrsfields-superfudgebrownies-and.html

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dream Bars





These bars are just wonderful! The crust and topping has a subtle caramel flavor thanks to all that butter and brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar, which intensifies and deepens the caramel flavor). The filling has a nice light peanut butter flavor without being too overpowering or sweet, almost like creamy peanut butter fudge. Infact, I thought the filling would be sweeter than what it turned out, and was pleasantly surprised. The filling is smooth and creamy and compliments the sweetness of the Milk choclate chips and Reese’s Candy bar pieces that I added to the topping.


 Right out of the oven these bars are ooey, gooey and very good. You definately need a spoon to eat and scoop up every last drop of the filling from the dish! I did chill these until set and they are much easier to eat, I can’t decide which way I like them best; warm with melted chocolate and peanut butter all over my spoon and fingers (MMMM, I love to lick my fingers) or chilled and set making the filling seem almost fudge-like (only a bit softer). Either way these are sure to please any Peanut Butter and Chocolate lover, and with the oatmeal, these are almost a health food!

The down side is that I don’t think these will travel well or stand up to summer heat. They are great but messy, but heck, as complaints go, that is a minor one! Next time I might add more chopped Reese’s candy bars because I can’t get enough of those babies!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dream Bars

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar (I used Dark brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups Quick Cooking oatmeal (NOT instant)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 King size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup candy bars, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a 9×13 pan with tin foil and spray lighlty with PAM.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar, soda, oatmeal, flour & salt until it’s crumbly.

Set aside about 1 cup or a little more.
Press the rest of the crust into prepared pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes. May 118
While crust is cooking, in a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk.
Once crust has baked, evenly pour and spread peanut butter filling over the baked crust.Be gentle so you don’t pull up the warm crust while you spread the filling. 
Evenly sprinkle the reserved crumbs on top of the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk mixture. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle the chopped candy bars and chocolate chips evenly over the top. Return to oven to bake for another 5-10 minutes or until topping is light golden brown and candy bars/chips are melting.
Allow to cool to make cutting and serving easier. 






Source: http://bakingblonde.wordpress.com/2009/05/14/peanut-butter-oatmeal-dream-bars/

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Peanut Butter Pie





This is so easy and so delicious! I made this for a family gathering and everyone raved about it. My brother thought he could make a better one so we did a blind taste test. This recipe won hands down, even my brother thought so! This is usually the first pie to disappear during a holiday get together. I followed the recipe exactly, no need to change a thing!

Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients:
  • 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 15 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Instructions:

Mix the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and peanut butter together until smooth. Fold in 1/2 of the whipped topping. Spoon the mixture into the graham cracker crust.

Place the remaining whipped topping over the top of the peanut butter mixture and garnish with the peanut butter cups. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.



Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/peanut-butter-pie/detail.aspx

Paula Deen Sour Cream Pound Cake





Paula Deen Sour Cream Pound Cake

Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 1 hour


Ingredients:
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3   large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated. Sift the baking soda and flour together. Add to the creamed mixture alternating with eggs, beating in each egg 1 at a time. Add vanilla. 
  3. Pour the mixture into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.


Source: http://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/recipe_view/sour_cream_pound_cake/

Cheesy Squash Casserole





Cheesy Squash Casserole

Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Cook Time: 30 min


Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 medium yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 sleeve crackers, crushed medium to fine (recommended: Ritz)

Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the squash, onion, and butter until soft. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan, Cheddar, and sour cream. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Place in the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the cracker crumbs evenly over the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.


Source: http://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/recipe_view/cheesy_squash_casserole/

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bars





Creamy, vanilla-scented bars, perfect with a cup of coffee.

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bars

Yield:    16 servings

Ingredients:

crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, about 8 whole crackers
  • 4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter

batter:
  • 16 ounces (2 large packages) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla extract or Vanilla Bean Crush
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel, optional
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, optional

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

To make the crust: Stir together the crumbs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and melted butter.

Press into the bottom and about 1/2" inch up the sides of an 8" x 8" square pan.

Freeze for 15 minutes if using a metal pan (not necessary if using ceramic or glass). Note: this is to prevent the edges of the crust from slumping. If you're not worried about slumping (and in our testing, it only happened some of the time), you can skip this step.

Bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes, until set; the color won't change much.

Remove the crust from the oven and cool for a few minutes while you lower the oven temperature to 325°F.

To make the batter: Mix the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.

Add the cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice; mix until combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as you mix.

Spoon the batter into the crust.

Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until the filling is set but still soft in the center. An instant-read thermometer, inserted into the filling about 1" in from the edge, will read about 180°F.

Remove the bars from the oven, and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Just before serving, top with fresh berries, fruit pie filling, or whipped cream.

Caramel Popcorn with Marshmallow





Marshmallows make this caramel popcorn stay soft and grand! Leftover caramel can be refrigerated and used later if warmed in the microwave,,

Caramel Popcorn with Marshmallow

makes 8 servings

Ingredients:
  • 23 large marshmallows
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup (such as Karo®)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (3.5 ounce) packages microwave popcorn, popped

Instructions:
  1. Cook and stir the marshmallows, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and vanilla extract together in a pot over medium-low heat until the marshmallows are completely melted, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Put the popcorn in a large bowl; pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn and gently stir with a big spoon to coat.


Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/caramel-popcorn-with-marshmallow/

Cream Cheese P0und Cake





This is the best, most moist pound cake you’ll ever eat. The cream cheese gives this pound cake a wonderful flavor and makes this the perfect dessert for a dinner or a picnic lunch.
This Cream Cheese Pound Cake is awesome delicious,subtle taste of cream cheese, soft and cottony.If you want to dress up this cake, pour some fresh strawberries or raspberries over the slice – yummy!!


Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ cup · Butter -- softened
  • 1 packages · Cream cheese -- softened
  • 3 cup · Sugar
  • 6 large · Eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoon · Vanilla extract
  • 3 cup · All-purpose flour
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon · Salt

Instructions:
  1. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until creamy.
  2. Gradually add sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.
  4. Add vanilla mixing well.
  5. Combine flour and salt, gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition.
  6. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.
  7. Fill a 2-cup, ovenproof measuring cup with water; place in oven with tube pan.
  8. Bake at 300°F for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
  9. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.