May 28, 2014

Carmel Pretzel Bites

2 TBS butter
4 cups pretzel sticks (I used squares)
2-1/2 cups pecan halves, toasted (I use cashews instead)
2-1/4 packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, cubed
1 cup light corn syrup
1 (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pkg. milk chocolate chips
1 TBS plus 1 tsp. shortening, divided
1/3 cup white baking chips

  1. Line a 9x13-in. pan with foil; grease foil with softened butter. Spread pretzels and nuts on bottom of prepared pan.
  2. In a large heavy saucepan, combine brown sugar, cubed butter, corn syrup, milk and salt; cook and stir over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer reads 240°(soft-ball stage). Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour over pretzel mixture.
  3. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon shortening; stir until smooth. Spread over caramel layer. In microwave, melt white baking chips and remaining shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over top. Let stand until set.
  4. Using foil, lift candy out of pan; remove foil. Using a buttered knife, cut candy into bite-size pieces. Yield: 6 dozen. 
From Taste of Home

May 21, 2014

Burrito Pie

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 packet taco seasoning
1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives (or grab a handful of medium black olives and chop them)
2 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1- 1/2 cups corn (either frozen or a 15.5 ounce can of corn, drained)
1 cup enchilada sauce
1 (15.5 ounce) can refried beans (or two cups)
 6 large (burrito-size) tortillas, 3 of them cut in half
12 ounces (3 cups) shredded cheddar, colby jack, or pepperjack cheese (or a combination)

1.  Preheat oven to 350℉.

2.  Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. When the beef is about halfway cooked, add the onion and garlic and cook until the beef is cooked through and the onions and garlic are tender and fragrant.

3.  Add the taco seasoning and stir to coat completely, then add the black olives, chilies, tomatoes, corn, enchilada sauce, and refried beans. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat.

4.  Spread about 1/2 cup of the mixture onto the bottom of a 9×13″ pan. Top with one whole tortilla and one half. Spread 1-1/2 cups of the mixture on top of the tortillas, sprinkle with cheese, then top with another 1-1/2 tortillas. Repeat until you run out of tortillas, topping with a small amount of the meat mixture and another sprinkling of cheese.

5.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serves 12.

Adapted from Our Best Bites

May 14, 2014

Overnight Cinnamon Baked French Toast

1 loaf stale bread
8 whole eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 TBS vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick cold butter, cubed

1.  Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

2.  Tear the bread into chunks and place them in the prepared pan.

3.  Mix together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla.  Pour mixture evenly over the bread and refrigerate overnight.

4.  In another bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together.  Add the butter and mix until batter comes together like little pebbles.  Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.

5.  The next morning preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sprinkle the crumb mixture over top of the bread mixture.

6.  If you like soggier french toast bake for 45 minutes if you like less liquidy french toast bake for 1 hour.

7.  Serve warm with maple syrup and butter, if desired.

From Lovin' From the Oven

May 7, 2014

Salted Carmel and Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1-1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup  cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
3.5 oz  milk or dark chocolate chips
flaky salt/ fleur de sel/ maldon salt, for sprinkling
approx. 1/2 cup (8 TBS) Nutella
15-16 caramel-filled chocolates (like Rolos)

1.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 350℉.

2.  In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Take off the heat and stir in the brown sugar and eggs. Then add the cocoa, salt and baking powder and stir until well combined. Add the flour and stir until no floury patches are left. Lastly stir in the chocolate chips.

3.  Take 1 heaped tbsp of dough, use your finger make a large indentation the center of the dough; fill the indentation with a small blob of Nutella (like 1/2 tsp ish), and top it up with a Rolo. Top with another flattened tablespoon of dough, and seal the edges.

4.  Sprinkle with fleur de sel and bake for 8-10 minutes.