Monday, December 29, 2008

Triple-Layer Mud Pie

Triple-Layer Mud Pie
I made my own Oreo cookie crust: crush 24 Famous Chocolate wafers and mix with 1/2 cup melted butter.  Then press into a 9-inch pie pan and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove and let it sit for a few minutes before topping with chocolate layer and nuts.

3 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
1/4 cup  canned sweetened condensed milk
1 OREO Pie Crust (6 oz.)
1/2 cup  chopped PLANTERS Pecans, toasted
2 cups cold milk
2 pkg.  (3.9 oz. each) JELL-O Chocolate-Fudge Instant Pudding
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided

1. Mix chocolate and condensed milk; pour into crust. Sprinkle with nuts.
2. Beat milk and pudding mixes with whisk 2 min.; spoon 1-1/2 cups over nuts. Stir 1/2 the whipped topping into remaining pudding; spread over pudding layer in crust (I crushed more Famous chocolate wafers and put the crumbles on top of this layer).
3. Top with remaining whipped topping (Here I also crushed more wafers and stir them into the whipped topping). Refrigerate 3 hours. 

Proscuitto and Carmelized Onion Pizza

Proscuitto and Carmelized Onion Pizza
Semi-homemade, using refrigerated pizza crust.

1 pkg. refrigerated pizza crust
1 recipe White Sauce (recipe follows)
1 pkg. shredded mozarella cheese
Proscuitto (as much as desired)
1 large onion
1 Tblsp. brown sugar
3/4 Tblsp. balsamic vinegar

White Sauce
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour 
1 cup milk 
1/4 tsp salt 
1/8 tsp pepper 
1 garlic clove, minced 
2 Tbsp fresh basil, minced 
1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese, shredded

Heat the butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour flour and stir until thoroughly mixed. Slowly whisk in milk, adding gradually. Stir in remaining ingredients. The sauce will thicken upon standing.

Directions for Pizza:
1. Saute onions in pan over medium-high heat.  Add brown sugar and balsamic vinegar when onions appear translucent.  Remove from heat and reserve for pizza toppings.
2. Unroll pizza dough on cookie sheet.  Spread over white sauce and cover with mozzarella cheese.  Top with proscuitto and carmelized onions.  Put in preheated oven set to 400 degrees F for 13-17 minutes.  Remove when edges are golden, let stand, and serve!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Magic Cookie Bars

Magic Cookie Bars 
I decided to make this recipe listed on the can of condensed milk because I had opened the can and barely used any for a cream pie. This recipe was kind of a flub because I made it with 1/4 cup less condensed milk than I should have and didn't really use exact measurements for the rest of the ingredients. But these turned out fine and they smelled extremely sweet when they were baking.

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 (14-ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk) 
2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips 
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut 
1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (325°F for glass dish). In small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; mix well. Press crumb mixture firmly on bottom of 13X9-inch baking pan. 
2. Pour EAGLE BRAND® evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with remaining ingredients; press down firmly with fork. 
3. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars or diamonds. Store leftovers covered at room temperature.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Pear Pie with Streusel Topping

Pear Pie with Streusel Topping

3 ounces all-purpose flour, divided (about 2/3 cup)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
3 Tblsp. fresh lemon juice
6 medium firm pears, peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tblsp. chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Combine 1 1/2 ounces (about 1/3 cup) flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.  Add juice and pears to flour mixture; toss gently to coat.  Roll dough into an 11-inch circle; fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray.  Fold edges under and flute.  Arrange pear mixture in an even layer in prepared crust.
3. Combine remaining 1 1/2 ounces (about 1/3 cup) flour and 1/3 cup brown sugar in a bowl.  Add 3 tablespoons cold butter to brown sugar mixture; cut in with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Sprinkle butter mixture evenly over pears.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 1 hour or until lightly browned.  Let cool on a wire rack 1o minutes.


Pumpkin Pie Bars

Pumpkin Pie Bars
I love the texture of these bars compared to actual pumpkin pie!

1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I used walnuts)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 13x9-inch baking pan with foil; grease foil lining.  Mix flour, brown sugar and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar in medium bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in oats and pecans.  Reserve 1 cup of the oat mixture; press remaining mixture onto bottom of the pan.  Bake 15 min.

Beat cream cheese, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice in small bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.  Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture (I sprinkled some cinnamon over the top of the crumb mixture for added flavor).

Bake 25 min.  Lift from pan using foil handles; cool completely.  Cut into 24 bars.  Store leftover bars in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies
Mine didn't come out quite as round, but they still had good flavor.  It could have been because I let the dough sit in the fridge for more than 3 hours.

1 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts (can use pecans too, I used sliced almonds)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar.  Stir in vanilla and water.  Add the flour and almonds, mix until blended.  Cover and chill for 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Shape dough into balls or crescents.  Place on an unprepared cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven.  Remove from pan to cool on wire racks.  When cookies are cool, roll in confectioners' sugar.  Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
This recipe is supposed to make only 24 muffins but I made about 27; however, 3 of the muffins had a little less muffin batter over the top and appeared mainly cream cheese.  I also accidentally used 3/4 cups of powdered sugar in the filling instead of 1 cup but they still turned out and tasted fine.

For the muffins:
3 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar (my mistake, I used the wrong measuring cup and ended up with only 3/4 cup)

For the streusel topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup and 1 tsp. flour
4 Tbsp. butter, cubed
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer and whip until smooth.  Form into a log on the plastic wrap or foil, making sure the diameter is small enough to fit into the well of a muffin pan.  Wrap the log up tightly and freeze until slightly hardened, 1-2 hours.

To make the muffins, combine the flour, spices, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.  Mix well and set aside.  In the bowl with the electric mixer, combine the eggs, oil, sugar, and pumpkin puree.  Mix until well combined.  Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined.

To make the streusel topping, combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Mix together with a pastry blender or two forks until crumbly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two muffin pans with paper liners.  To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well halfway with batter.  Remove the cream cheese log from the freezer and slice into 24 equal slices.  Place a slice in each muffin well.  Divide the remaining muffin batter evenly among the muffin cups, on top of the cream cheese.  Sprinkle the streusel topping over the top of the batter.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool completely before serving.


Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 egg
2 tbsp. milk
t tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. Hershey Kisses, unwrapped.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine ingredients.  Roll into 1" balls, roll balls in additional sugar.  Bake on cookie sheet for about 10-12 minutes.  Top with chocolate Kiss immediately upon removal from oven (but not too soon because I've had instances where the kiss completely melts into the cookie and does not maintain its shape).

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

Big Soft Ginger Cookies
I didn't think I would like these because I despise the smell of molasses but they turned out to be incredibly delicious.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup margarine (I used butter), softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp. water
1/4 cup molasses
2 Tbsp. white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Sift together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.  Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses.  Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture.  Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.
3. Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

World Peace Cookies

World Peace Cookies
I had a difficult time with these because I used regular chocolate chips instead of mini, so when I cut the log it fell apart and basically had to reshape the cookies.  Only made about 18 cookies instead of the 36 intended.

1 1/4 cup AP flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 t. baking soda
11 T unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 t. fine sea salt
1 t. vanilla
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda together.  In a bowl, beat butter on medium speed until soft and creamy.  Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes.  Turn off mixer.  Add sifted dry ingredients, pulsing at low speed.  Continue to mix until the flour disappears into the dough; dough might be a bit crumbly.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Split dough in half.  Shape each half into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter.  Wrap logs in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 325F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Slice logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick; if rounds crack (or fall apart) reshape and pinch bits back onto each cookie.  Place each round with 1-inch between them on sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes, one sheet at at time.  They won't look done but that is how they're supposed to be.  Transfer baking sheets to cooling rack and let rest.  Makes about 36 cookies (or 18 in my case).

Flavored Marshmallows

Strawberry Rice Krispies
I used the traditional Rice Krispie recipe but added Jet-Puffed strawberry flavored marshmallows instead of regular and topped with Christmas sprinkles.
Cocoa Krispies
In this batch, I used Jet-Puffed Swirled Vanilla/Chocolate flavored marshmallows with Cocoa Krispies in the traditional Rice Krispie recipe.

The Original Rice Krispie
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
4 cups minature marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies

1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.  Remove from heat.
2. Add Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal.  Stir until well coated.
3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into a 13x9x2-inch pan coated with cooking spray.  Cool.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


Adapted from CottageLiving

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups uncooked regular oats
1 (11.5-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup toasted sliced almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.
3. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, stirring well.  Add oats; stir well.  Add to butter mixture; stir until well blended.  Gently stir in morsels and almonds.  Drop by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 min or until brown around edges.  Cool on pan for 2 to 3 minutes or until firm.  Remove cookies from pan; cool on wire racks.

Cinnamon Cappuccino Brownies

Sunny Select Cinnamon Cappuccino Brownies
I decided to do something with the rejected generic cinnamon toast crunch cereal and I found this recipe on the side of the box.  I omitted the cappuccino in the recipe but the end result still had that flavor, and I topped with some extra cinnamon.  They turned out surprisingly good for a recipe on a box of unwanted cereal!

4 cups Sunny Select Cinni-Mini Crunch cereal, finely crunched
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 package (19.5 oz) fudge brownie mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1 to 2 Tbsp instant coffee (optional)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chocolate fudge topping

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, stir together crushed cereal and butter until crumbly.  Firmly press into a 13x9-inch baking pan.  In a medium bowl, stir together brownie mix, oil, water, eggs, instant coffee and cinnamon until well blended.  Spread on top of crust in pan.  Spoon dollops of chocolate fudge topping evenly onto batter.  Gently swirl the tip of the knife through chocolate sauce and batter to create a marbled design.  Bake for 28 to 30 minutes or until toothpick insrted 2 inches from side of pan comes out clean.  Serve slightly warm, or cool completely for easier cutting.