Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Snickerdoodle Muffins

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/4 cup sour cream
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar and 1 TBSP cinnamon mixed together for rolling*

1.Cream the butter and sugar until soft about 3 to 5 minutes. Add in the vanilla. Add in the eggs one at a time and mix until each is incorporated.

2.In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar and nutmeg.

3.Add the flour mixture and the sour cream alternately to the egg-butter mixture in the additions. Start with the flour and end with the flour. Scrape the bowl occasionally.

4. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out muffin batter one at a time and drop into a shallow bowl filled with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll the muffin around in the mixture until it is covered completely in cinnamon sugar. Place muffin into muffin tin. Depending on the size of your tins, you should get about 12 to 14 muffins. Bake them for approx. 20-22 minutes in a 350F oven or until they are golden brown.

*The original recipe calls for 1 cup sugar and 2 tbsp cinnamon, but this was way way too much for me. I ended up dumping maybe more than half of it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Garden Eggplant Pizza

  • large eggplant, peeled
  • medium tomato 
  • red bell pepper
  • onion 
  • small zucchini 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • (16-ounce) package prebaked Italian pizza crust
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Chop eggplant and next 4 ingredients coarsely; sauté in 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until tender.
  2. Layer pizza crust evenly with cheese and eggplant mixture; sprinkle with basil and next 5 ingredients. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
  3. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until golden.
  4. Note: For testing purposes only, we used a Boboli pizza crust.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chewy Caramel-Brownie Pie

1 (14 ounce) bag caramels
1/3 c. evaporated milk
2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. AP flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. semisweet or milk chocolate morsels
1/2 c. pecan halves

Combine caramels and evaporated milk in saucepan.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until caramels melt.  Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.

Melt chocolate squares and butter in saucepan over low heat.  Remove from heat.  Stir in sugar, flour, eggs, and vanilla; mix well.  Stir in 1/2 c. chopped pecans.  Pour half of batter into greased and floured 9-inch pie plate.  Spread half of caramel mixture over chocolate batter.  Top with remaining chocolate batter.  Set remaining melted caramel mixture aside, and keep warm.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Top pie with remaining half of caramel mixture.  Sprinkle with chocolate morsels.  Let stand 1 minute to soften morsels.  Swirl top of pie with knife.  Garnish top with pecan halves.  Bake an additional 4 minutes.  Let pie cool completely on wire rack; chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Paula Deen's Turtle Trifle


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups toasted whole pecans, (1 cup chopped, 1 cup whole) divided, plus more for garnish
  • Brownies, recipe follows
  • Whipped Cream, recipe follows
  • Caramel syrup


In a large saucepan, add the sugar, corn syrup, salt and melted butter. Stir to combine well. Add the eggs and 1 cup chopped pecans. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat, and simmer stirring frequently for 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and remove from the heat to cool completely. Set aside.


  • 3 sticks butter, melted
  • 5 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs, whisked
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup milk chocolate morsels
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil.
In a saucepan, over low heat, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate, constantly stirring to incorporate. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add the sugar and the eggs. Using a hand-held mixer, beat together until well combined. Add the flour, vanilla, and the salt. Fold in the milk chocolate morsels.
Add the butter and chocolate mixture that was set aside. Mix together with a spatula while folding in 1 cup of whole toasted pecans. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until the brownies are done, about 35 minutes Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before assembling.

Whipped Cream:

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
In a large bowl add the cream and the sugar and whisk together until soft peaks form.
In a trifle dish, layer the brownies, pecan mixture, whipped cream, caramel syrup, and toasted whole pecans, as desired.
 It is recommended that the trifle be chilled for 2 hours before serving.

another healthy recipe from Paula Deen

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Creamy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes


  • 3 pounds potatoes (about 9 medium), peeled and cubed
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 bacon strips, chopped
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 green onions, chopped


  • Place potatoes in a Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain; mash potatoes with cream cheese, sour cream and butter. Stir in milk and seasonings.
  • In a small skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon; drain.
  • Transfer potato mixture to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish; sprinkle with cheese, onions and bacon. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40-50 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 10 servings.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Cracker Bars


  • 1 teaspoon plus 3/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 45 Club crackers (2-1/2-inches x 1-inch)
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips


  • Line a 9-in. square baking pan with foil and grease the foil with 1 teaspoon butter. Arrange a single layer of crackers in the pan.
  • In a large saucepan, combine the milk, brown sugar, corn syrup and remaining butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to maintain a low boil; cook and stir for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Evenly spread a third of the mixture over the crackers. Repeat cracker and caramel layers twice.
  • Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over caramel; let stand 3-5 minutes or until glossy. Spread over top. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until chocolate is set. Using foil, lift layers out of pan; cut into 3-in. x 1-in. bars. Yield: 27 bars.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Praline Key Lime Pie

  • 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. jarred caramel topping
  • (14-oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons Key lime or lime zest 
  • 1 cup fresh Key lime or lime juice
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
  2. 2. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, next 2 ingredients, and 1/2 cup toasted pecans until blended. Press crumb mixture on bottom, up sides, and onto lip of a lightly greased 10-inch deep-dish pie plate.
  3. 3. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 45 minutes).
  4. 4. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup toasted pecans over bottom of crust; drizzle caramel topping over pecans.
  5. 5. Whisk together sweetened condensed milk and next 3 ingredients. Gently pour into prepared crust.
  6. 6. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until almost set. (The center will not be firm but will set up as it chills.) Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 4 hours.
  7. 7. Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Dollop or spread over pie.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Peach-Oat Muffins

  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 3/4 cups uncooked regular oats
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup peach nectar
  • 1 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 5 cups wheat bran cereal (i.e. Post Premium Bran Flake or your choice)
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried peaches 


  1. 1. Heat pecans in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, 2 to 4 minutes or until toasted.
  2. 2. Process oats in a food processor or blender, about 45 seconds or until finely ground.
  3. 3. Beat sugar and oil at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. (Mixture will be light yellow.)
  4. 4. Combine ground oats, flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Stir together peach nectar and buttermilk in a small bowl. Add oat mixture to sugar mixture alternately with peach mixture, beginning and ending with oat mixture. Stir until blended after each addition. Gently stir in bran flakes, dried peaches, and toasted pecans. Spoon batter evenly into lightly greased muffin cups, filling three-fourths full.
  5. 5. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Note: Muffins may be frozen for up to 1 month. Heat in toaster oven or microwave at HIGH 30 seconds. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Peach Tart

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough (half a 17.3-ounce package), thawed 20 minutes
  • 2 cups fresh sliced peaches (from 6 to 8 medium-size peaches)
  • 1/3 cup sugar, reserve 1 tablespoon of sugar for the topping
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving
  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the puff pastry sheet on an ungreased baking sheet and set aside.
  3. Peel and slice the peaches. Place the sliced peaches, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir to combine. Spoon the peaches into the center of the puff pastry, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Dot the top of the peaches with butter. Gently fold the edges of the puff pastry up around the peaches. Sprinkle the pastry and peaches with the reserved 1 tablespoon sugar.
  4. Bake the tart until the pastry puffs up around the edges and is well browned, 28 to 32 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Slice the tart into rectangular pieces. Serve the tart in shallow bowls with ice cream.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Too Much Chocolate Cake

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
  • 1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well greased 12 cup bundt pan.
  3. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate If desired, dust the cake with powdered sugar.