Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Saltine Toffee Bars

4 oz saltine crackers
1 c butter
1 c dark brown sugar
2 c semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 c chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 450. Line a cookie sheet with crackers in a single layer. In a saucepan combine butter and brown sugar, boil 3 minutes and immediately pour over crackers. Bake at 450 for  5 minutes.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over and let sit for 5 min. spread melted chips evenly over cracker mixture and top with nuts, cool completely and break into pieces. Store in airtight container.

Grits Breakfast Casserole

2 c water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c uncooked grits - quick cook or regular, NOT INSTANT*
4 c shredded cheddar cheese
4 eggs beaten
1 c milk
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 lb. cooked, drained and crumbled sausage

Cook grits in water and salt according to package directions.
Combine cooked grits and cheese in large bowl, until cheese is melted. In a small bowel mix eggs, milk, thyme, garlic and stir in a small amount of grits, continue incorporating grits until mixed well. Add in sausage. Pour into 9 x 13 sprayed pan. Refrigerate over night, let stand 15 min and bake at 350 for 50-55 min.
*Instant grits will not work, they will become over cooked. There is a difference between quick cooking and instant grits so be sure and check your package carefully.

Baked French Toast

From the historic Worley Bed and Breakfast  Dahlonega, Georgia (c1845)

2 Tbs corn syrup
1/2 c butter
1 c brown sugar
1 loaf of French bread
5 lg eggs
1 1/2 c milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
cinnamon to taste

Grease 9 x 13 pan. In med sauce pan over medium, heat up corn syrup, butter and brown sugar until melted and smooth, pour over bottom of pan. Slice bread into 1/2 to 3/4 inslices and layer over carmel sauce, overlapping. In large bowl whisk eggs, milk, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Pour over bread, cover and refrigerate over night. Bake at 350 for 35 min.
If you love the sauce and you will, go ahead and make a double batch and drizzle it warm over the toast.

My step mother Rachel makes this and everyone wants the recipe. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sushi (California Rolls)

 Seaweed, rice wine vinegar and Sticky rice are all available at an Asian market. Many grocery stores will also carry them in the Oriental aisle. NOTE: You must use sticky rice or sushi rice, regular or quick rice will not work!

cook 1 c sticky rice according to package directions
Place in bowl and toss with 1/8 c rice wine vinegar

slice and prepare vegetables and crab.
I use imitation crab sticks, English cucumbers, peeled, seeded and sliced into long strips.
You can slice avocado, asparagus, etc. make it vegan with no meat.

You can also make your sushi with raw fish, shrimp, sliced salmon, tuna etc.
Use a sushi mat, also available at an Asian market, however this is not needed, it just makes rolling a little easier.

Place seaweed onto mat

Spread cooked rice evenly over seaweed and place filling inside, and roll up.
Wrap in plastic and let sit an hour in fridge. Slice when ready to serve.
Use horseradish, sweet and sour or Thai dipping sauce


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rolled Sugar Cookies

2 c flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder
6 Tbs butter
1/3 c shortening
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 Tbs vanilla
1 Tbs milk
Preheat oven to 375
Stir together flour, b powder and a dash salt. In another bowl beat butter and shortening* for 30 sec. add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla, mix well. Add dry ingredients until well combined. Cover and chill 3 hours. Roll out a part of the dough at a time onto a floured surface to about 1/8 in thickness. Cut into shapes and bake on ungreased cookie sheet bake at 375 for 8 min. or until edges are lightly browned.
* I have used butter only (a total of 11 1/3 Tbs.)
Beat 1/2 c butter and 1 Tbs vanilla and 1 Tbs milk, add enough powdered sugar to make a nice spreading consistency. Top with sprinkles, or colored sugar.
Serve with coffee, milk, cocoa, heck serve with anything!

Taco Ring

On a round pan, I use stone wear from Pampered Chef (also where this recipe originated)
place 2 pkgs of ready to use crescent rolls in a circle, overlapping large ends and leaving points hanging out.

Brown 1 lb ground beef, drain and add 1 pkg taco seasoning, and 1/4 c salsa. Place a bit on each roll, see photo above. Fold over tips and tuck under.
Bake at 350 until crescents are golden brown, about 15-18 min.

Slice apart and top with shredded cheese, lettuce, onion, black olives, sour cream and whatever else you like!

Blueberry Scones

1 Tbs lemon juice
1 c whipping cream
3 1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 c butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 -1 1/2 c blueberries, fresh or frozen
 Put lemon juice in a 1 cup measuring cup, fill to cup mark with cream. let stand a few minutes to make soured cream.
Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange oven rack to upper third of oven.
Mix flour, soda, powder,sugar,and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Make a well and add egg, vanilla and enough of the soured cream to make a soft but firm dough. Fold in berries. Knead on a floured surface, form into 1 inch thick brick and cut into wedges (12 approx). Place on parchment and brush each with a little cream. Bake 16-19 min. serve warm or cold.
 this is from one of my favorite cookbooks A passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman

Cookie Exchange

If you have never had a cookie exchange now's the time. Invite some friends, decide on an amount of cookies and get together.
I recently hosted one, we had egg bake, spiced fruit and scones. Played a few games and all went home with 12 different types of cookies!

Deb's Pretzle Drops

My friend Deb liked a treat she saw at a local coffee shop, so she made her own, I love it because it is easy to adjust to your personal taste.

1 16oz bag pretzels, slightly broken

2 lb chocolate, (almond bark or candy quick, a good melting chocolate)
1 pkg Kraft caramel bits
1/2 pkg  mini marshmallows
Melt chocolate in double boiler, when smooth pour over the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and place by large spoonfuls onto waxed paper, let set, store in airtight container.

I used left over pretzels from a couple bags, some were the traditional shape and others were broken rod pieces. Use what you have, if you like nuts, throw some in, don't like marshmallows leave them out, use white chocolate or reg. or dark. YUM!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cream De Menth Cookies

these came at the recent cookie exchange from my friend Karissa

1/2 c salted softened butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 (10oz) pkg Andes mints baking chips
2 2/3 c flour
Blend butter, sugars, soda, powder,vanilla and eggs, Stir in mint chips and then flour, Chill dough 1 hour. Form 1 in balls, lightly flatten, bake at 350 8-10 min. cool 2 min. before removing from cookie sheet.  4 dozen

Fudge Puddles

1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c peanut butter                             
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Cream butter and peanut butter and sugars, add egg and vanilla. Stir flour, soda and salt and add to creamed mixture. Mix well, chill 1 hour.
Shape into 1 inch balls and place into lightly greased mini muffin tin. Bake at 325 for 14 min. Remove and make wells in center, using a melon baller,spoon, or wooden utensil (used with mini muffin tins). Sometimes they will fall and make a natural well. Let cool in pan and remove to wire cooling rack.
In double boiler, melt 2 c chocolate chips, 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk until smooth, stir in 1 tsp vanilla, spoon into centers of cookies and top with chopped peanuts.

 Double boiler for melting chocolate

Left over filling is wonderful reheated and used for hot fudge topping with ice cream.
If you don't have a mini muffin tin, you can find them in most stores, if you can I recommend the silicone one over the traditional metal pan.

Pineapple Pinwheels

1 c butter
1 8 oz cream cheese
2 c flour
3/4 c sugar
4 1/2 tsp flour
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, drained
1 c powdered sugar
2 Tbs melted butter
2 Tbs milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c finely chopped walnuts

Cream butter and cream cheese, add flour, mix well, chill covered for 2 hours.
Heat filling ingredients in saucepan over low until thickened. cover and refrigerate.

Using small amounts of dough at a time, roll out on floured surface to 1/8 in thickness. Cut into 3 in squares. Place onto ungreased cookie sheets an inch apart. Cut corners toward center, leaving an area about 1/2 inch for filling. In center place 1/4 tsp filling, fold up every other corner toward center, pinch together well, Bake at 375 for 8-10 min. Cool on wire racks.
Combine sugar, butter, milk and vanilla, drizzle over cooled cookies, and sprinkle with walnuts.  5 dozen
Hints: This dough is wonderful, like a pastry almost. Really pinch the centers, even if it looks ugly it will recover when it rises in the oven. I baked these at 350 and kept a close eye on them, a couple minutes in, I checked and poked a couple centers down so they would not come undone. They were a little work but I think they are worth it.

coffee stir sticks

1 c sugar

1/3 c strong brewed coffee
1 T corn syrup
1/4 tsp baking cocoa
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
 12 lollipop sticks
lollipop candy mold
cellophane or candy wrappers

In large pot, combine sugar, coffee, syrup, cocoa and cinnamon. Cook until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Stop stirring and continue to cook over med heat until candy thermometer reaches 290. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into sprayed molds. work quickly. Place stick into mold, when cooled and set, remove and wrap. (you can do these without a mold, by free forming circles onto greased cookie sheets, or line sheets with parchment paper and grease it. They may not be as pretty but they will work.)

Warm Spiced Fruit

1 20 oz can of pineapple chunks, save juice
1 29  oz can slice peaches, drained
1 29 oz can pear halves, drained
1 or 2 can mandarine oranges, drained
3/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c butter
1 or 2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Drain and quarter peach and pear peices. Mix all fruit in a 3 1/2 qt casserole dish.
Heat pineapple juice, butter, brown sugar and spices, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 min, discard cinnamon sticks. Pour over fruit and bake at 350 for 30 min. or until heated through.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chocolate Cherry Cake Roll

1 c sifted powdered sugar
1/4 c sifted cake flour
1/4 c cocoa powder
5 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs white sugar

1/2 c sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 c heavy cream, whipped

1 can cherry pie filling

Prepare a large clean dishtowel with about 1/4 to 1/2 powdered sugar sprinkled on it, set aside.

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 15 X 10 X 1 jelly roll pan and line with wax paper, grease again.

In large bowl beat egg yolks and vanilla about 5 min, until thick and pale yellow. Sift together powdered sugar, flour and cocoa, gradually add to egg mix, beat until combined. In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2 Tbs sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Stir in 1/4 of the egg whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites.
Spread batter evenly over prepared pan. Bake 10 min. Remove from oven and turn cake out to a towel generously sprinkled with powdered sugar. Roll up starting at short side, let cool completely in towel on a cooling rack.

Before serving, prepare cream filling
Beat heavy cream until spreading consistency (soft peaks). Fold in powdered sugar and vanilla. Unroll cake and spread cream evenly, place some of the cherry pie filling in center. Roll cake back up carefully and place on serving dish, spread remaining pie filling on top, garnish with whip cream and chocolate covered cherries.
Tip- do not fill cake until 2 hours before serving to avoid breakdown of cream. Keep chilled for easier cutting.
Dipping cherries- melt almond bark or chocolate over a double boiler, drain cherries for 1 hour on paper towels, dip in chocolate and let set on wax paper. Do not refrigerate cherries, it will cause chocolate to sweat.

melting chocolate

Monday, December 7, 2009

Molasses Cookies

                                                                                                         Cream together

1 c shortening, (1/2 butter 1/2 Crisco)
1 c white sugar
1 c brown sugar

Add 2 eggs, one at a time
Stir 1 tsp baking soda in 1 c dark molasses and add to mixture.
Mix 1 tsp nutmeg and 1 tsp cinnamon into 2 c flour and stir into mixture.
Add another 2 1/2 c flour. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness, using scant amount of flour, cut into shape and bake at 35-350 for 8-10 min. Glaze with powdered sugar icing.

Marshmallow Snow Men

Place 3 large marshmallows on a skewer (approx 24 skewers)
Melt 1 pound of white chocolate over a double boiler

coat marshmallows with chocolate, place mini chocolate chips for eyes, for a nose use a caramel bit or a mini orange m&m.
 Use fruit roll ups for scarves, melted chocolate will keep decorations in place
tip: a great way to keep snowmen upright while the chocolate sets is to use a glass or plastic frog, inverted colander or cake pop stand. 
here is a photo of a glass frog

Pretzel rods

Use 2 packages of pretzel rods
1 package of caramels, the caramel bits work great
2 packages of mini M&M's
 In a double boiler, melt caramel, dip in pretzel rods for a thin coating, roll in M&M's. Place on waxed paper to set. Very easy and very good. 
Variations, roll in nuts, coconut, crushed Heath bars etc, keep in mind, caramel is hot so chocolate will  take longer to set and will continue to melt. If you let the caramel set first then redip in chocolate you will have better results.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Double Decker Fudge

1 c peanut butter chips
1 c semi sweet chocolate chips
2 1/4 c sugar
1 7oz jar marshmallow creme
3/4 c evaporated milk
1/4 c butter

1 tsp vanilla

Separate chips into two bowls, Butter an 8"pan.Combine sugar, marshmallow creme, milk and butter, cook over med. heat until boiling, continue to boil 5 min, stirring constantly, you may get a little scorching effect, small brown spots may appear- this is ok, lower your heat a little and keep stirring! Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, pour half mix over chocolate chips and half over peanut butter. Quickly stir both until melted . Pour in peanut layer, top with chocolate, let set 2-3 hours before cutting. Store in airtight container or freeze.
This is a wonderful fudge, it is creamy and usually will not crystallize like some recipes will. You can sub different varieties of chips.

Popcorn Cake

approx. 12 cups popped corn,not microwave packs- remove unpopped kernels  (air popping or popping in microwave popper works best)
1/2 pound gumdrops
1/4 pound salted peanuts
1/4 c butter or margarine
1 pound mini marshmallows
1/4 oil
Place popped corn, candy and peanuts in large bowl. Spray an angel food pan, set aside. Melt butter, marshmallows and oil and pour over popcorn mix. Press into pan, let set about 2 hours, remove, cover with plastic wrap.
My husband would eat one of these a day if I let him.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sugar Cookies

1 c white sugar
1 c powdered sugar
3/4 c oil
1 c butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
4 c flour
Mix sugars, oil and butter. add eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add dry ingredients. Chill 1-3 hours. Roll into 1 inch balls, press with glass dipped in sugar. Bake 8-10 min at 400 degrees
You may think of lightening up this recipe but it won't be the same. These are crispy, old fashioned real sugar cookies, they melt in your mouth, another one of my grandma's special treats.

Monster Cookies

Cream in a very large bowl
1  pound butter, softened
1  3pound jar peanut butter
2  pounds brown sugar
4 c white sugar
12 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp dark corn syrup
8 tsp baking soda
Stir in 18 c quick oatmeal,
1 pound chocolate chips
1 pound M&M's

 (garlic press shown for size comparison)
Drop by ice cream scoops onto cookie sheet, flatten slightly, fit about 6 on a sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 min.
Yes you can make them smaller and yes you can cut the recipe down but what fun would that be?

Pumpkin Pie

This is the traditional pumpkin pie recipe found on Libby's canned pumpkin.
3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
2 large eggs
1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz)
1 unbaked pie crust or see Never Fail Pie Crusts 

Mix sugar, salt  and spices, beat in eggs. Stir in pumpkin and milk, pour into pie shell. Bake at 425 for 15 min then reduce oven temp to 350 and bake another 40-50 min until center is set.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my favorite choc chip cookie recipe by far!

1 c butter flavored shortening
1 c white sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp hot water
1/2 tsp salt
2 c chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350
Cream shortening, sugars until smooth, add eggs and vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in water add to creamed mixture. Add salt and flour,stir in chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 min or until browned.

Hint- always do a test cookie, if cookie is too flat you may add up to another 1/2 c flour.
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