October 31, 2011

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

from Our Best Bites

1 batch sugar cookie dough (I used this dough)
yellow and orange food coloring

Sugar, sanding sugar, coarse raw sugar, or sprinkles
almond bark or white chocolate, melted

1.  Divide prepared sugar cookie dough into three equal portions.  Leave one as is and color one other portion yellow and another portion orange.

2.  Line a standard loaf pan with plastic wrap.  Gently press layer of uncolored dough into bottom of pan and smooth flat, keeping it at least 1/2-3/4 inches high (you don’t have to use the whole pan if you have a small batch of dough) or larger if desired.  Layer orange dough on top of previous layer and smooth.  Finally layer yellow dough and smooth on top.  (It helps to use plastic wrap to push the layers in the pan.)  Wrap plastic over dough and chill until firm, 30-60 minutes in freezer or 1-2 hours in fridge.  Or you can store the dough in fridge for 2-3 days before baking.

 3.  Remove plastic and slice loaf into 1/4 inch slices. Trim top of slice to make straight line.  Cut each slice into triangle shape and dip top side in sugar if desired.  Bake according to sugar cookie directions.  Cool completely and then if desired, dip ends in almond bark, white chocolate or frosting and decorate with sprinkles.

These cookies are small and cute.  Make loaf taller and shorter if you want the cookies to be bigger.

October 30, 2011

Melted Witch Puddles

1 tsp water
4 drops yellow food coloring
1-1/2 cups flaked coconut (we only needed half)
2 cups (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips (we only needed half)
6 TBS shortening divided
36 chocolate cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (like Oreos)
36 Bugles
4 cups vanilla or white chips**
36 pretzel sticks

1.  In a large resealable plastic bag, combine water and food coloring; add coconut. Seal bag and shake to tint coconut; set aside. 

2.  In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons shortening; stir until smooth.

3.  For witches' hats, place about 1/3 cup chocolate mixture in a resealable plastic bag; cut a small hole in a corner of bag. Pipe a small amount of chocolate on a cookie. Dip a Bugle in some of the remaining chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Position over chocolate on cookie, forming a witch's hat. Set on waxed paper to dry. Repeat with remaining chocolate, Bugles and cookies.

4.  For puddles, melt vanilla chips and the remaining shortening; stir until smooth. Place mixture in a large heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; cut a small hole in a corner of bag. Pipe mixture into the shape of a puddle onto waxed paper-lined baking sheets. (We didn't use a bag we just used two spoons to make a puddle.)

5.  Immediately place a witch's hat on the puddle. Place a pretzel stick alongside the hat; sprinkle reserved tinted coconut at the end of the pretzel stick. Repeat with remaining puddles, hats and brooms. Chill for 15 minutes or Let set up at room temperature. Store in an airtight container. 

Yield 3 dozen

 **purple or green candy melts would be cute also to look like colored witches 

October 27, 2011

Monster Caramel Apples

Monster Caramel Apples Recipe
Photo by Taste of Home
Monster Caramel Apples Rec 

8 to 10 medium apples
8 to 10 wooden sticks
1 cup butter, cubed
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
32 cream-filled sandwich cookies, coarsely chopped (optional)
8 oz white or chocolate candy coating, coarsely chopped (optional)
toffee chips, toasted coconut, mini M&Ms, mini marshmallows, sprinkles etc.

1.  Wash and thoroughly dry apples; insert a wooden stick into each.  Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet; chill.  Place cookie crumbs in a shallow dish; set aside (if using).

2.  In a heavy 3 quart saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, milk and corn syrup; bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook and stir until mixture reaches 248˚ (firm-ball stage) on a candy thermometer.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.**

3.  Dip each apple into hot caramel mixture to completely coat, then dip the bottom in cookie crumbs, and sprinkle or press in other toppings pressing lightly to adhere.  Return to baking sheet to cool.

4.  In microwave, melt candy coating; stir until smooth.  Transfer to a small plastic bag; cut off corner and drizzle coating over apples. (If using)

**Make sure to test the accuracy of your candy thermometer beforehand so the caramel doesn't get too hot.

October 25, 2011

French Dip Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker

from Recipe Shoebox

2-1/2-3 lb beef roast
2 (14.5 oz each) cans beef broth
2 cups water
2 pkgs (1 oz each) dry onion soup mix (like Lipton's)
salt and pepper
2 TBS. oil
Crusty rolls
cheese slices

1.  In a skillet on medium high heat add oil.  While it is heating, salt and pepper roast on all sides.  In the skillet sear meat on all sides (Don't try to cook the roast just brown each side a little).

2.  Transfer the roast to a crockpot.  Pour onion soup mix on top of roast.  Add beef broth and water.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Or cook on high for 4-6 hours .  When meet shreds easily with a fork, shred the entire roast .

3.  Serve on sliced crusty rolls and melt cheese on top if desired.  Use juice from meat as au jus for dipping.

October 20, 2011

Butterfinger Brownies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
2 cups brown sugar
6 TBS cocoa
1 cup flour
16 (.65 each) butterfinger candy bars, crushed in big pieces

1.  Preheat oven to 325℉. Grease a 9x13 inch pan.  Cream butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar together in a mixing bowl.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.

2.  Add cocoa and flour and mix until combined.  Gently fold in all but 3/4 cup of the crushed candy bar.  Pour into prepared pan.  Spread evenly.  Sprinkle remaining butterfinger on top.  Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.  (Mine took 30 minutes)  Cool completely.  Cut in bars and enjoy.

October 13, 2011

Buttermilk Syrup

from Tasty Kitchen

1/2 cup butter (1 cube)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 TBS Karo Syrup
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

1.  In a large saucepan (about 4 quarts)  add butter, sugar, buttermilk, and Karo syrup together.  Stir and bring to a boil.  Let boil for 2-3 minutes.

2.  Add baking soda and vanilla.  The mixture will bubble up and double in size.  Remove from heat.  Let sit to thicken, stirring occasionally.  Serve over pancakes, waffles, french toast etc.

October 8, 2011

Symphony Brownies

from Paula Deen

1 (17.6 oz) Brownie mix or make your favorite brownie recipe for a 9x13 inch pan
3 (6 oz) Symphony candy bars with toffee and almonds

1.  Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions.  Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2.  Spread half the dough in the prepared pan.  Place the candy bars side by side on top of the batter.  Cover with the remaining batter.  Spread evenly.  Bake according to package directions.  (about 30 minutes.)  Let cool completely.  Lift foil lined brownies out of pan and cut into squares.

October 4, 2011

Streusel Topped Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

from Our Best Bites

1 spice cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (12 oz) bag chocolate chips

Streusel Topping
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3 TBS butter

1.  Preheat oven to 350℉.  Line 24 muffin cups or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl combine cake mix, sour cream, pumpkin, oil, eggs, and vanilla.  Mix until smooth.  (a couple of minutes)  Add chocolate chips and mix well.

3.  Divide dough evenly among muffin cups.

4.  Make streusel topping by combining sugar, flour and pumpkin pie spice.  Add butter and cut in with 2 knives or a pastry cutter until you get course crumbs.  Sprinkle on top of muffins.

5.  Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with no crumbs on it.  Cool on a wire rack before serving.