Friday, February 24, 2012

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

1 package (21.6 ounces) Old-Fashioned Yellow Cake Mix
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped pecans
For the batter:
1 cup sour cream
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup water
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk

1.Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt pan, and set the pan aside.
2.For the filling, measure out 2 tablespoons of the cake mix and place in a small bowl. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Set the filling aside.
3.For the batter, place the remaining cake mix, sour cream, oil, water, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl, and blend on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the mixer speed to medium and blend until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
4.Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Scatter the filling over the top of the batter. Pour the remaining batter over the filling. Place the pan in the oven.
5.Bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed with a finger, and it is golden brown, 50 to 55 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven, and let it cool in the pan 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, and invert it onto a rack to cool completely, 45 minutes.
6.Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by stirring the milk into the confectioners’ sugar. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake and let rest 15 minutes to let the glaze set. Place the cake on a platter, slice and serve.

**recipe and picture from The Cake Mix Doctor

Caramel Chocolate & Almond Gooey Butter Cake

1 box caramel cake mix
1 can dulce de leche [13.4 oz.]**
16 oz. powdered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 sticks melted butter, divided
4 large eggs
1/3 c. slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 c. toffee bits
1/3 c. mini chocolate chips
1 t. vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Toast the almonds at 350 degrees for 8 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool.

2 In a mixing bowl mix together the cake mix, one stick of melted butter and one egg until combined. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. On top of the crust sprinkle the mini chocolate chips, toffee bits and toasted almonds.

3 In the same mixing bowl, mix together the softened cream cheese and the Dulce de Leche until combined.

4 Beat in the remaining 3 eggs, vanilla, powdered sugar and melted butter. Whip on medium high speed so that all of the ingredients come together nicely. Pour the filling over the crust and place into the oven.

5 Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. When you remove it from the oven, the cake will still appear a little "jiggly." This means you did a great job not over baking the cake!

Chocolate Glaze

1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
1 T. heavy cream

Melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream in the microwave. Stir until completely smooth then drizzle over the cake before serving.

Serving suggestion: Whipped cream, chocolate glaze and a few toffee bits

**Dulce de Leche is a luscious thick caramel. It comes in a 13.4 oz. can that resembles condensed milk but, it's quite different. In some stores, it might be the Hispanic foods section and marketed by Nestles.

If you cannot find caramel cake mix, try a butter flavored or yellow cake mix instead. It will still be delicious! Enjoy!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chess Squares

1 box of butter yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 stick of butter, melted
1/2 or 1 cup chopped pecans

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick of butter, melted
1 16 oz. box powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 13x9 Pyrex pan.

Combine the cake mix, 1 egg, and 1 stick of softened butter with a mixer or whisk. Mix well and then pat the mixture into the bottom of the greased pan. Sprinkle the pecans across the top of the crust.

Mix the the cream cheese until smooth with mixer, then add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together. Then add the powdered sugar and mix very well. Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 40 or 50 minutes. Do not over bake; the center should be gooey.

Let cool and cut into bars.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mediterranean Layered Dip

2-1/2 cups roasted garlic hummus
3/4 cup chopped roasted sweet red peppers
1 cup fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup Greek olives, sliced
1/4 cup chopped red onion
Assorted fresh vegetables or baked pita chips
Spread hummus onto a 12-in. round serving platter; top with roasted peppers.
In a small bowl, combine the spinach, lemon juice, oil, basil and mint. Using a slotted spoon, spoon spinach mixture over peppers. Top with cheese, olives and onion. Serve with vegetables or pita chips.

from Taste of Home

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pretzel and chocolate snack

Put a hershey kiss on top of pretzel.
Heat oven 275 for 3 min
As soon as they come out put M & M on top.
Refrigerate for 10 min
Serve & enjoy!

For variety, instead of the chocolate kiss you can use a Rollo or Mini-peanut butter cup.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Almond Granola

4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces milk chocolate(or semi-sweet or bittersweet),coarsely chopped
1 cup dried cherries

Preheat to 325° F.

In a large bowl, combine oats, whole almonds, sliced almonds, sweetened coconut cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine butter, oil, honey and brown sugar together and cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to boil. Carefully whisk together so it’s well incorporated. Add the vanilla extract. Pour the warm mixture over the oat mixture and toss together with a wooden spoon, ensuring that all of the oat mixture is moistened by the liquids.

Spread mixture onto a large stoneware bar pan or large rimmed cookie sheet (lined with either parchment paper or a silpat liner to keep granola from sticking) and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, stir twice during baking to ensure even browning. Remove from the oven, sprinkle coarsely chopped chocolate on top of the granola. As the chocolate begins to melt stir the mixture so that the chocolate is coating the granola. After the chocolate has been stirred into the granola let the granola cool. Add the dried cherries and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
From Dinah's Dishes

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Mini Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
about 42 miniature peanut butter-chocolate cups
In a bowl, combine the butter, sugars, egg, peanut butter and vanilla; beat until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
Roll into walnut-sized balls; place in greased miniature muffin cups. Bake at 375° for 8-9 minutes.
Remove from oven; gently press one peanut butter cup into each cookie, forming a depression. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: about 3-1/2 dozen.

**You can use a Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie Mix instead of making the cookie dough from scratch if you need/want a shortcut. This will make about 22-24 cookies.**

Mexican Dip

1 can Refried Beans
1 can black beans, drained
Tabasco Sauce, To Taste
1 can Diced Green Chilies
Ground Cumin, to taste
1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Sour Cream
1 can Black Olives, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/3 c. chopped green onions
chopped lettuce

Preparation Instructions:
Begin by putting the refried beans into a small pan over medium-low heat. Add several dashes of Tabasco sauce and a small can of (undrained) diced green chilies. Stir well. Next, sprinkle a little bit of ground Cumin.
Spread the beans on the bottom of a glass bowl or high-sided dish. Over this layer sprinkle the black beans. Next, sprinkle the sharp cheddar. Next, put on the sour cream. And spread it into a single layer, being careful not to disturb the cheese underneath.Next layer on a nice sprinkling of sliced black olives.
Lastly, place a generous layer of chopped tomatoes. You can also, if desired, sprinkle some diced jalapenos over top. Lastly, layer on the green onions.
Garnish with chopped lettuce.