Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butterscotch chips, finely chopped
1/2 cup milk chocolate English toffee bits

In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, cornstarch and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in butterscotch chips and toffee bits. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 2-in. fluted round cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks. Yield: 4-1/2 dozen.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Triple Tier Brownies

1 package fudge brownie mix (13-inch x 9-inch pan size)
1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups crisp rice cereal
1 can (16 ounces) cream cheese frosting
1 cup salted peanuts, chopped

Prepare and bake brownie mix according to package directions, using a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Cool on a wire rack.
In a large saucepan, combine chocolate chips and peanut butter. Cook over low heat for 4-5 minutes or until blended, stirring occasionally. Stir in cereal; set aside.
Spread frosting over brownies. Sprinkle with peanuts. Spread with peanut butter mixture. Chill for 30 minutes or until set before cutting. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: about 5 dozen.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Award Winning Broccoli Grape and Pasta Salad

1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 (16-oz.) package farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1 pound fresh broccoli
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
2. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
3. Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife. Peel away tough outer layer of stems, and finely chop stems.
4. Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and grapes, and stir to coat. Cover and chill 3 hours. Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Layered Turtle Cheesecake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
6 tablespoons cold butter, chopped

4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/3 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
Optional garnish: pecan halves and additional caramel ice cream topping

Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and pecans; cut in butter until crumbly. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 12-15 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugars until smooth. Beat in 1/4 cup flour, cream and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Remove 1 cup batter to a small bowl; stir in melted chocolate until blended. Spread over crust.
Combine caramel topping and remaining flour; stir in pecans. Drop by tablespoonfuls over chocolate batter. Top with remaining batter. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.
Bake at 325° for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
Place chips in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chips; whisk until smooth. Cool slightly, stirring occasionally.
Spread over cheesecake. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Refrigerate until set. Remove sides of pan. Garnish with pecan halves and additional caramel topping if desired. Yield: 12 servings.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes

2 cups sugar
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
4 eggs
1 cup canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup raisins (optional--I don't like them, Sam I am)

1/3 cup butter, softened
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)

In a large bowl, beat the sugar, pumpkin, eggs and oil until well blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ginger and cloves; gradually beat into pumpkin mixture until blended. Stir in the raisins.
Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 28-32 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.
For frosting, in a small bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add confectioners' sugar. Frost cupcakes; sprinkle with walnuts. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 20 cupcakes.
This picture and recipe are from Tast of Home. They RARELY let you down...