Sunday, February 27, 2011

Apple Bundt Cake

3/4 c sugar
3 tsp orange flavored instant drink mix (like tang)
2 tsp cinnamon

3 c all purpose flour
2 c sugar
3 tsp baking powder
3 tsp orange flavored instant drink mix
1/2 tsp salt
1 c vegetable oil
1/2 c water
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 lg eggs
4 c apples, peeled and thinly sliced

2 c powdered sugar
1 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp apple pie spice or a combination of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
2 - 4 Tbsp milk
1Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan
2Combine streusel ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
3In a large bowl, combine all cake ingredients except apples. Pour 1/3 of batter (about 1 2/3 C) into Bundt pan. Layer 2 cups of apples over batter; sprinkle with half the streusel. Repeat layers with another 1/3 of batter, remaining apples and remaining streusel. End with remaining 1/3 of cake batter.
4Bake for 65-75 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when tested. Cool in pan for 3 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate to cool completely.
5When cake is cool, prepare glaze. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, butter and spice. Add milk one tbsp at a time until smooth and of drizzling consistency. Drizzle glaze over cooled cake.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mini Peanut Butter Cheesecakes

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
12 bite-size peanut butter cups

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or almond extract
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a paper cupcake liner in each cup of a standard muffin pan.

To make crust, in a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until crumbs are moistened. Press crust into bottom of each muffin cup. Put 1 peanut butter cup into the center of each crust.

Beat cream cheese with a handheld electric mixer until fluffy. Add sugar, flour, and vanilla, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Spoon cream cheese mixture over peanut butter cups and graham cracker crusts. Bake until just set, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Raspberry Chocolate Cake

3 cups sugar
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup canola oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups strong brewed coffee, room temperature

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons milk
6 tablespoons shortening
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur, optional
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 drops red food coloring, optional
4 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam, melted

1 package (8 ounces) cold cream cheese
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 tablespoon raspberry liqueur, optional
4 cups confectioners' sugar
Line three greased 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper and grease paper; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Combine the buttermilk, oil and vanilla; add to the dry ingredients. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; beat for 2 minutes. Gradually add coffee (batter will be thin).
Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely; discard waxed paper.
For filling, in a small saucepan, whisk together flour and milk until smooth. Cook over medium heat for 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and let stand until cool.
In a large bowl, cream shortening and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and mix well. Gradually add cooled milk mixture; beat for 4 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in liqueur, salt and food coloring if desired.
Level tops of cakes if necessary. Place one layer on a serving plate; spread with about 2 tablespoons jam. Place remaining layers on waxed paper; spread one of the remaining layers with remaining jam. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Spread 1/2 cup filling over cake on the plate to within 1/4 in. of edges. Top with jam-covered cake, then spread with remaining filling. Top with remaining cake layer.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add beat in cocoa and liqueur. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Frost top and sides of cake. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 16 servings.

Creamy Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
1 cup ranch salad dressing
3 cans (4-1/2 ounces each) chunk white chicken, drained and shredded
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Corn or tortilla chips
Thinly sliced green onions, optional
In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, hot pepper sauce and salad dressing. Stir in chicken.
Spread into an ungreased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-22 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with green onions if desired. Serve with chips. Yield: 5 cups.

Hot Chocolate

2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups half-and-half
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chocolate chips
4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped or chocolate chips
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder
4 to 5 vanilla beans or cinnamon sticks, for garnish
Heat the milk and half-and-half in a saucepan on medium heat to just below the simmering point. Remove the pan from the heat and add both chocolates. When the chocolates are melted, add the sugar, vanilla extract, and espresso and whisk vigorously. Reheat gently and serve immediately. Use a vanilla bean or cinnamon stick to garnish each serving. You can also top with whipped cream.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hearty Greens Soup with Bowtie Pasta and Tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
4 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
8 cups water
1 bunch Swiss chard (about 3/4 pound), roughly chopped
1/2 bunch escarole (about 1/2 pound), stemmed and roughly chopped
1/2 pound dried bowtie (farfalle) pasta
1 (3-inch) Parmigiano Reggiano rind, plus grated Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish
1/4 pound baby spinach

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, bay leaf, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until most of the liquid is released and absorbed, about 5 minutes more. Add carrots and water and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

Stir in Swiss chard, escarole, pasta and Parmigiano Reggiano rind, reduce heat, cover and simmer until broth is flavorful and greens and pasta are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in spinach and season with salt and pepper.

Remove and discard bay leaf and rind from soup then ladle into bowls, garnish with grated cheese and serve.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cake with Butterscotch filling

2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/4 cup milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Butterscotch Filling
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon water

Chocolate Chip Glaze
1/2 cup semisweet or milk chocolate pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 2 round layer pans. Measure all the ingredients except the filling, walnuts, and glaze into a large mixer bowl. Blend 30 seconds on low speed, scraping the bowl constantly.

Beat three minutes on high speed scraping bowl often. Pour into pans. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool. Fill the layers with Butterscotch Filling, sprinkling with nuts over filling. Spread with Chocolate Chip Glaze over top of cake.

For Filling: Stir together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Blend in butter. Cool

For Glaze: Heat all the ingredients over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted. Cool slightly. Spread over top of cake allowing some of the glaze to trickle down the sides.

Monday, February 21, 2011

New England Clam Chowder

4 center-cut bacon strips
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup water
1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice
3 teaspoons reduced-sodium chicken bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups fat-free half-and-half, divided
2 cans (6-1/2 ounces each) chopped clams, undrained
In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain; set aside. Saute celery and onion in the drippings until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the potatoes, water, clam juice, bouillon, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
In a small bowl, combine flour and 1 cup half-and-half until smooth. Gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
Stir in clams and remaining half-and-half; heat through (do not boil). Crumble the reserved bacon; sprinkle over each serving. Yield: 5 servings.

Brioche Hamburger Buns

3 tablespoons warm milk
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons yeast
2½ tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
1 large egg
3 cups bread flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

For topping:
1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water, for egg wash
Sesame seeds

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the milk, water, yeast, sugar, salt and egg. Mix briefly to combine. Switch to the dough hook. Add the both kinds of flour to the bowl, and mix until incorporated and kneading on low speed for about 6 minutes (until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will be somewhat tacky, but you want to avoid adding too much extra flour which will create tough buns.

Transfer the dough to a large bowl sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Using a dough scraper, divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each portion of dough into a ball and place on the baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. (I was able to fit all 8 on a large sheet pan with three on each side and two spaced in the center.) Cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise again, 1-2 hours, until puffed up and nearly doubled.

Set a large metal pan of water on the lowest rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake the buns on the center rack of the oven (above the metal pan of water) about 15 minutes rotating halfway through baking, until the tops are golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely

Caramel Pecan Monkey Bread

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/4 cup water (110° to 115°)
1-1/4 cups warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, butter, sugar, eggs, salt and 3 cups flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
For caramel, in a small saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter and cream to a boil. Cook and stir for 3 minutes. Pour half into a greased 10-in. fluted tube pan; sprinkle with half of the pecans.
Punch dough down; shape into 40 balls (about 1-1/4-in. diameter). In a shallow bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Place melted butter in another bowl. Dip balls in butter, then roll in sugar mixture.
Place 20 balls in the tube pan; top with remaining caramel and pecans. Top with remaining balls. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. (Cover loosely with foil if top browns too quickly.) Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Serve warm. Yield: 1 loaf (20 servings).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Monkey Bread

3/4cup granulated sugar
2teaspoons ground cinnamon
4cans (7.5 oz each) refrigerated biscuits
1/2cup butter, melted
3/4cup packed brown sugar

Grease or spray 12-cup Bundt cake pan.
Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon in 1-gallon bag. Separate dough into 10 biscuits; cut each in quarters. Shake quarters in bag to coat; place in pan. Mix butter and brown sugar; pour over biscuit pieces.
Bake at 350°F for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Turn upside down; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.

Jam Cookies

2 1/2 c. AP flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 sticks of butter, softened (no margarine)

Combine and mix well together.
Divide dough into 3 equal parts, roll into log shapes, lenght of a cookie sheed. Pat down lightly, forming into 3 logs of equal size. Gently make "ditch" in middle of each log. Fill ditch with 1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly brown.

Take 1/2 c. powdered sugar and 1 T. of water; mix together to make glaze. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven spread the glaze over them. Let cool for 15 minutes, slice diagonally and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

This is from my friend and neighbor, JoAnne Rexroth. They are addictive and wonderful.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kentucky Chocolate Pecan Pie

3 eggs
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash salt
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
•In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks, brown sugar, corn syrup,
butter, bourbon if desired, vanilla and salt. Stir in pecans.

•Brush pastry shell with egg white. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Pour filling over chips. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until
set. Cool on a wire rack.

•In a small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add
confectioners' sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Dollop on pie
just before serving. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Chocolate Raspberry Torte

16 Servings
Prep: 30 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 packages (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
Fresh raspberries, mint sprigs and additional confectioners' sugar, optional
In a large bowl, beat the sugar, water, buttermilk, eggs, applesauce, oil and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda; gradually beat into sugar mixture until blended.
Transfer to two 8-in. round baking pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and jam until blended. Split each cake into two horizontal layers. Place a bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with a third of the filling. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining cake layer. Garnish with raspberries, mint and additional confectioners' sugar if desired. Yield: 16 servings.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Our Favorite Skillet Cornbread

2 c. buttermilk
2 c. white cornmeal (not cornmeal mix or self-rising cornmeal)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 T. melted butter
1 t. soda
1 t. baking powder
3/4 c. AP flour
1/2 t. salt
1 T. sugar

Preheat oven to 450. Place a small amount of canola oil in a 10 1/2 inch cast-iron skillet and heat in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the cornmeal, salt, baking soda, sugar, and baking powder. Set aside. In a large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Stir in the melted butter.

Remove the heated skillet from the oven and pour the batter into the hot skillet. Place skillet on the hot stove top burner and cook for 1 minute, then bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

for cast iron cornstick pan--Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup raisins (optional) I DISLIKE raisins :-)

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon cold butter
•In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Combine the egg,
pumpkin, milk and oil; add to the dry ingredients just until
moistened. Stir in oats and raisins.

•Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. In a small
bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and pie spice; cut in butter
until crumbly. Sprinkle 1 rounded teaspoonful over each muffin. Bake
at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

•Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve
warm. Yield: 1 dozen.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Oreo Truffles

1 pkg oreos
1 pkg cream cheese (8 oz)
36 oz almond bark
1/2 cup choc. chips
1/2 tsp veg. oil

Line 2 cookie sheets w/waxed paper. Place cookies in large food processer. Cover; process until consistency of fine crumbs. In large bowl, stir cookie crumbs and cream cheese until well blended and mixture forms a dough like consistency.
Chop 8 oz of the almond bark, stir into dough mixture. Roll dough into 1" balls; place on cookie sheets. Freeze for 30 minutes or until very firm.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave half of remaining 28 oz almond bark on high 1 minute 30 seconds; stir. Continue microwaving and stirring in 15 second intervals until melted and smooth.
Remove half of the balls from freezer. Using 2 forks, dip and roll each ball in coating; return to cookie sheet. Melt remaining almond bark; dip remaining balls.
In 1 quart resealable freezer bag, place choc. chips and oil; seal bag. Microwave on high 35 to 50 seconds, squeezing chips in bag every 15 seconds, until chips are melted and smooth. Cut small tip from bottom corner of bag. Drizzle choc over truffles. If desired, sprinkle w/cocoa. Refridgerate 30-45 min. or until chocolate is set.
Store in refrigerator.