February 27, 2012

Idiot Bars (Magic layer bars)

2 pkg. graham crackers (20 total)
2/3 cup sugar give or take a little
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chocolate chips (more or less to your taste)
1-1/4 cups coconut flakes (more or less to your taste)

1.  Preheat oven to 350℉.  Make graham cracker crust by crushing graham crackers to fine crumbs.  Add sugar and stir together.  Pour in melted butter and mix well.  Press into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.

2.  Gently pour sweetened condensed milk over crust.  Cover completely.

3.   Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.  Top with coconut.  Slightly pat the coconut down.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until slightly browned.

February 23, 2012

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

From My 3 Monsters

4-1/2 to 6-1/2 cups wheat flour, divided
4-1/2 tsp. yeast
3/8 cup wheat gluten
3 cups hot water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
4-1/2 tsp. dough enhancer*
3 tsp. salt

1.  Place 4-1/2 cups wheat flour, yeast, and wheat gluten in mixer.  Mix for 1 minute.  Add hot water and mix for another minute.  Cover and let rise until dough is pretty close to the top of the bowl (about 15 minutes.)

2.  Add olive oil, honey, salt, and dough enhancer.  Turn on mixer.  Add about 1 more cup of flour (a little at a time)  until dough begins to pull away from the sides and it isn't super sticky.  It is better to add less flour than too much.

3.  Knead dough in mixer 7 to 10 minutes.  Turn oven on to 170℉.  Lightly oil your hands and divide into 2 or 3 portions.  Form into loaves and put in greased pans. 

4.  Put into warm oven to raise for 25 minutes.  Then without even touching the pans turn oven up to 350℉ and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more.  Place on wire rack to cool.  Swipe top with butter when hot if desired.

*If you can't find dough enhancer click on the link above for a recipe.

February 20, 2012

Carrot Cake Muffins

From King Arthur Flour


1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 TBS vanilla extract


2-1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup grated carrots, lightly packed; about 2 medium-large carrots
turbino sugar, to sprinkle on top if desired

1.   Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a standard 12-well muffin pan. Or line the pan with paper muffin cups, and grease the cups. 

2.   To make the filling: Place the cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat on low power for 40 seconds. Stir in the sugar and flavor. Set aside.

3.  To make the muffin batter: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.

4.  In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, and oil.

5.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

6.  Fold in the grated carrots, stirring to combine.

7.  Drop about 2 tablespoons of the batter into each muffin cup, spreading it to cover the bottom.

8.  Dollop on a heaping tablespoon of filling; a level tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.

9.  Cover with enough batter to fill the muffin cups quite full. The batter will come to within about 1/4" to 3/8" of the top of each muffin cup. But don't try to use all the batter; unless you have particularly deep cups, you'll have about 1/3 cup batter left over. Bake it in a separate custard cup, if desired. Sprinkle muffins with turbino sugar if desired.

10.  Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted into the cake part of one (not into the cream cheese filling) comes out clean, about 20 minutes. The tops of the muffins will feel firm to the touch.

11.  Remove the muffins from the oven, and as soon as you're able to handle them, transfer them to a rack. If you serve the muffins warm, the filling will be molten. If you wait for them to cool, it'll firm up.

Yield: 12 filled muffins plus 1 unfilled muffin.

February 17, 2012

Chicken Stuffing Roll Ups

From Cooking On Clover Lane

1 package stuffing mix (like Stove Top)
1 cup water
2 eggs-beaten
6 small chicken breasts, pounded (or just sliced thin) to 1/4 thickness
2 cans (10-3/4 oz each) cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp. paprika

1.  Combine stuffing mix and 1 cup of water.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Stir in eggs.

2. Evenly spread stuffing mixture over each piece of chicken.
3. Roll up chicken from short end to enclose stuffing.  Place seam sides down in 9x13 inch baking dish.

4.  Mix soup and milk together and pour over chicken.  Sprinkle with paprika.

5.  Bake uncovered at 400℉ for 30 minutes or until no longer pink.

Serve with mashed potatoes if desired and use sauce as gravy.

February 14, 2012

Yummy Meatballs

from Tara J.

1 bag frozen Swedish pre-cooked meatballs
2 cans chili sauce (buy it by the bbq sauce)
1 (10-12 oz.) jar grape jelly

1.  Mix chili sauce and grape jelly in a crock pot.  Add meatballs and stir.  Cook in crock pot on low for 3-4 hours or until warmed through.

February 12, 2012

Cherry Cordial Bars

From Annette

For Chocolate Layer:
12 oz. ground peanuts
2 lg Hershey chocolate bars
1/2 c peanut butter

For Cherry Layer:
1 cup cherry icing
18 large marshmallows

1.  Melt together 1 chocolate bar and 1/4 cup peanut butter.  Add 6 ounces of chopped peanuts.  Stir well.

2.  Pour the chocolate mixture into 9x13inch pan.  Spread evenly.  Set in freezer to firm up.

3.  For the cherry layer, melt together.  If doing in microwave only melt the marshmallows in the microwave and then add the icing.

4. Spread all of cherry filing on the frozen chocolate layer and return to freezer to set. 

 5.  When set, melt the other large candy bar and 1/4 cup peanut butter together.  Add remaining peanuts and stir well.  Spread the chocolate mixture on the cherry filling evenly and return to freezer until set.  Cut in bars. Store in fridge .

February 11, 2012

Cool Whip Cutouts

1 container cool whip
cookie cutter

1.  Thaw cool whip.  Line a small shallow dish with clear plastic wrap.  Leave overhangs of wrap on each side of dish. Spread cool whip evenly in dish.  Make it as even and smooth as possible. Cover and freeze.  When completely frozen, remove cool whip from dish using handles on plastic wrap.  Cut shapes out using cookie cutters.  Store in freezer until ready to use.

2.  Place on top of hot chocolate, pancakes, or waffles for a fun treat.

February 10, 2012

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies

From Two Peas and Their Pod

For the cookies:

1 box red velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
2 TBS all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the cheesecake filling:

4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the white chocolate drizzle:

1- 1/2 cups white chocolate chips, melted

1. To make cookies, in a large bowl combine cake mix and flour. Whisk until clumps disappear. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake mix, flour, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. The dough will be oily. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

2. To make the cheesecake filling, using a mixer, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Using a teaspoon, scoop out cheesecake filling and place on a plate. Continue scooping out cheesecake filling into teaspoon balls until you have 10. (These cookies are very large.  I made 20 balls instead.)  Place plate in the freezer and freeze for at least two hours.

3. Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. To assemble the cookies, take about 1/4 cup (about 1/8 cup if making 20 cookies) of red velvet cookie dough and flatten in your hands. Place a teaspoon of cheesecake filling in the center and wrap the cookie dough around the filling. Gently roll into a ball and place on prepared baking sheet. Scoop onto lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheets. Only bake 3 cookies at a time. The cookies are large and will spread. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the cookies begin to crackle. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Remove from baking sheet to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

4. Melt the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl or over a double-boiler. Drizzle the white chocolate over the cooled cookies. Let the cookies set until the chocolate hardens. Serve and enjoy!

Note: if you are going to store the cookies for more than a day, you may want to keep them in the refrigerator. You can make the cookies smaller. Just use less dough and filling. You want to make sure you completely wrap the cookie dough around the filling before baking-so it doesn't leak.

February 9, 2012

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

From Fake Ginger
For the cookies:

4 -1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 -1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 -1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 -1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
5 tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:

5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 cup (5-1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 TBS vanilla extract
7-8 TBS milk (plus more, as needed)
Food coloring (optional)
Sprinkles (optional)

  1. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk together to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients mixing just until incorporated and evenly mixed. Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.
  2. When you are ready to bake the cookies preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  Scoop a scant quarter cup of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies at least 2-3 inches apart. Bake about 10-12 minutes or just until set. (Do not overbake! The edges should be no more than very lightly browned if at all.) Let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. To frost the cookies, place the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter, vanilla, and milk to the bowl and whisk until smooth. Whisk in additional milk as necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. Tint with food coloring if desired. Use an offset spatula or spoon to frost the cooled cookies. (If the frosting begins to thicken as you decorate, just continue to whisk in small amounts of milk to keep it workable.) Top with sprinkles if desired. Store in an airtight container.

February 8, 2012

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Recipe and Pictures From Cooking Classy

1 store-bought pre-made oreo crust (save the lid) or make your own

1 TBS  sugar
1- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/3 cup cold water
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

12 oz. cream cheese (1-1/2 pkg.), softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 TBS lemon juice
6 oz. white chocolate, chopped or 1 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream or milk

1.  Preheat oven to 325℉.   If making your own crust press into 8 or 9 inch pie pan.  Bake for 5 minutes to set.

2.  In a small saucepan, whisk together 1 TBS sugar and cornstarch until well blended. Stir in cold water and add raspberries. Cook over medium heat whisking often, until raspberries break down and sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and force sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl to remove seeds.  Set aside.
3.  In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and granulated sugar until fluffy, about 1 minute. Mix in egg and egg white. Add vanilla and lemon juice. Set mixture aside.

4.  Melt white chocolate with cream (or milk)  in a double boiler until melted and smooth, or melt in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave on 50% power in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Add melted chocolate mixture to cream cheese mixture and blend until smooth. 

5.  Pour 2/3 cup cheesecake mixture into the oreo crust and spread evenly over bottom. Drizzle or spoon with 2 TBS raspberry sauce. Slowly ladle remaining cheesecake mixture over the drizzled raspberry sauce, covering all the raspberry sauce (you just don't want it to show through). Carefully jiggle the pan to even out the top. 

6.  Now, fill a clean medicine syringe with raspberry sauce and begin to pipe small circles in a swirl pattern over cheesecake. (I used a piping bag with the end barely cut off).  Take a toothpick or sharp pointy knife and beginning with the center circle, run the toothpick through the center of each heart (don't lift the toothpick out until you finish the last circle).

7.  Bake cheesecake for 40 minutes (Mine only needed 35), then turn oven off and leave cheesecake in the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. 

8.  Cover with saved lid and refrigerate until fully set about 6 hours. Top slices with remaining raspberry sauce and optional sweetened whipped cream if desired.

February 7, 2012

Cupid's Arrow Cupcakes

From Bakerella

Frosted Cupcakes
6 inch lollipop sticks (I used 8 inch)
paper hearts
scotch tape

1.  To make these love struck cupcakes, you just need to insert a 6-inch lollipop stick through the top part of the cupcake papers. You can use a toothpick to pierce through the paper on each side to make it easier to push the stick through. Hold the paper on each side as you push the stick through so the paper doesn’t separate from the cupcake.

2.  Tape hearts to each end of stick to make look like an arrow. One heart should be slightly smaller than the other for the arrow point.  Click here to get a download of the hearts Bakerella used.

February 6, 2012

Chocolate Pretzel Bites

square pretzels
Hershey Kisses, Hugs, Rolos etc
plain M&Ms or nuts

1.  Preheat oven to 175℉.  Place square pretzels on a lined cookie sheet.  Place a kiss on top.

2.  Bake for 5-6 minutes.  Just until kiss is softened.  (Hugs melt faster) Immediately press a M&M or nut on top of kiss and push it down.  Let cool completely.

February 5, 2012

Rice Krispy Pops

2 cups brown sugar
2 cubes butter or margarine (1 cup)
1-3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 box crisp rice cereal (Rice Krispies) (19 oz)
6-8 inch lollipop sticks
candy melts, optional
chocolate chips, optional
sprinkles, optional
clear plastic wrap

1. In large saucepan, over medium heat mix brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Stir together and bring to a boil and boil together for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

2. Add sweetened condensed milk and stir to incorporate. Put back on the heat and bring to a boil. Stir it constantly. Let boil together an additional 3 minutes.

3. Pour carmel mixture over rice krispies that have been poured in a large bowl. Stir well until all cereal is well coated.

4. Pour onto a greased cookie sheet (15 x 10) and firmly press down.  Let sit for about 20 minutes.

5.  Cut out shape using a cookie cutter.  Insert stick from bottom to close to top of shape.  Place on greased cookie sheet or waxed or parchment paper.  Set cookie cutter back on shape and press rice krispy mixture firmly into shape to ensure that stick will stay.  Remove cookie cutter.  Repeat with remaining rice krispy mixture.  Let pops cool completely and set up (a couple of hours).

6.  If desired melt candy melts and decorate.  I put the melts in a piping bag.  If you want to dip them in chocolate melt chocolate chips and thin slightly with vegetable oil if desired.  Dip pops and sprinkle if desired.  Place on a greased cookie sheet or parchment to let chocolate set.  If you thinned your chocolate with oil it will take a few hours to set up.  You will need to flip them over to let chocolate on back set up also.

7.  Wrap with clear plastic wrap and tie at base with a ribbon.

February 4, 2012

Peanut Butter Blossoms

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups flour (may be a little more)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar for decoration

17 oz bag Hersheys chocolate kisses, hugs, or Nestle hearts (butterfinger, crunch, Dove) etc.

1.  In a large bowl, cream together butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and 1 cup sugar.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Stir in the milk and vanilla.

2.  Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt together; stir into the peanut butter mixture until well blended. (Add more flour if dough is too sticky).

3.  Cover and refrigerate dough for about an hour.

4.  Preheat oven to 375℉.  Grease or line cookie sheets.

5.  Make tablespoons of dough into balls.  Roll in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar.  Place cookies on prepared pans 2 inches apart.

6.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately press kiss into each cookie.  Allow to cool completely; the kiss hardens as it cools.

For Valentine's day use heart shaped candies.

February 3, 2012

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Cupcakes

From Annie's Eats

For the crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
4 TBS. unsalted butter, melted
3 TBS. sugar

For the raspberry swirl:
6 oz. fresh raspberries or frozen thawed
2 TBS. sugar

For the filling:
2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature (4---8 oz packages)
1½ cups sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature

1.  Preheat the oven to 325˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  Makes 30-32.

2.  In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar.  Stir together with a fork until well blended and all the dry ingredients are moistened.  Press 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner.  Press down with a small drinking cup.  Bake 5 minutes or until just set  Transfer to a cooling rack.

3.  To make the raspberry puree, combine the raspberries and sugar in a blender or food processor.  Process until smooth, then pour through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.

4.  To make the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy.  Blend in the sugar.  Mix until smooth.  Mix in the salt and vanilla.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

5.  To assemble, spoon 3 tablespoons of the cheesecake batter over the crust in each cupcake liner.  Dot a ½ teaspoon of the raspberry puree in a few dots over the cheesecake filling.  Use a toothpick or a wooden skewer to lightly swirl and create a marbled effect.

6.  Bake until the filling is set, about 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  (They will look quite puffed initially but will return to normal quickly.)  Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.  Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

February 2, 2012

Chili Cheese Dip

From Tara J.

1 (16 oz.) loaf velveeta cheese, cut in chunks
1-2 (15 oz each) cans chili
1-2  (10 oz each) cans Ro*tel (tomatoes and chilies)

1.  Mix all together in a saucepan and heat until warm throughout and cheese is melted.  (If you want the dip a little soupier add 2 cans of chili and rotel; if you want it thicker add only 1 of each)  You can warm in a crock pot if desired.

2.  Serve with tortilla chips, etc.