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Monday, January 31, 2011

Butterfinger Bars

These bars do not have butterfinger candy bars in them. However they have a peanut butter/ chocolate topping and are crunchy so you could say they are reminiscent of them.

They are pretty quick to make.


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease a 9"x13" baking pan.

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
4 cups oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter

Cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Mix in the oatmeal.
Spread in the baking pan.

Bake 20-25 minutes til set but not dark.
Cool.

Melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter in the microwave.
Heat them for 30 seconds and stir. Heat another 30 seconds and stir until smooth.
Spread over the cooled bars and refrigerate until the topping is firm.
Cut into bars.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Basic White Bread

This is my basic white bread recipe. If you are nervous about baking with yeast here are some tips.

This is how my mother makes bread. A full batch will make four loaves or 3 loaves and some buns.
You can halve most of the ingredients for a half batch. In that case the yeast and salt amount remain the same.


Ingredients:

1 package dried yeast(2-1/4 teaspoons)
4 cups warm water or milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cooking oil, shortening, or butter
1 teaspoon salt
11-12 cups flour

In a very large bowl, add the yeast and water or milk.
Add a small amount of the sugar.
Let sit for about 5-10 minutes until the mixtures gets all foamy.
Add the rest of the sugar and oil.
Stir and add a few cups of flour.
Stir well and keep adding flour and mixing in.
The dough will get so you need to mix the last of the flour in with your hands.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Grease your bowl.
Put the bread dough into the bowl and turn over so the the top of the dough is greased.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise until double.
It will take an hour or two.
Punch down the dough.
Now, you can either put it in pans to rise again or you can just let it rise again in the bowl.
If you let the dough rise a second time in the bowl, the bread seems a little lighter than if it only rises one time in the bowl and another in the pan.
After the dough has risen a second time in the bowl, punch down and let rest while you ready your pans.
Grease the pans. Either 8x4 or 9x5.
Shape the bread into loaves or balls for buns and put into pan.
Cover with towel and let rise.
This will take another 30-45 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Put loaves into oven and bake for 30 minutes.
It is done if the bread is golden brown and has a hollow sound when thumped.
Turn out the bread onto a wire rack to cool.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles are simple sugar cookies, rolled in balls and coated with cinnamon and sugar before baking.
Yummy!

These cookies need to be chilled before rolling and baking.


Ingredients:

1/2 cup(1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups flour

For rolling-
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


In a mixing bowl, beat the butter til creamy.
Add the 1 cup sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
Beat that well.
Scrape sides of bowl, if needed.
Mix in the vanilla extract and egg.
Blend in the flour.
Cover and chill for an hour.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Get out some cookie sheets.

In a small bowl, mix the 2 Tablespoons sugar and cinnamon.
Take the cookie dough out of the fridge and roll it into balls. About 1 inch or so.
Roll the balls into the sugar/cinnamon mixture and put on cookie sheets.
Bake for 10-11 minutes until set and edges are golden.

You will get about 36 cookies.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Oatmeal Whoopie Pies

I never met a whoopie pie I didn't like and the oatmeal variety is no exception.
Just one will do you, as it is pretty filling.
Filling and very yummy!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease a few cookie sheets.

Ingredients:


Cookies-

1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup(1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 Tablespoons milk
2-1/2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal


Filling-

1 egg white
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar, divided
3/4 cup shortening


First you need to assemble the cookies.
In a bowl, cream together the brown sugar, shortening, butter, salt,cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla extract.
Beat in the eggs and milk until the batter is smooth.
Stir in the flour and oatmeal.
Drop the batter by tablespoon onto the greased cookie sheets. Make sure you get an even number.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until set.
Remove from oven and leave on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before putting on a baking rack to cool.
While the cookies cool, make the filling.

In a large bowl, beat the egg white, flour, milk, vanilla extract, shortening, and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar.
When that is well blended, beat in the remaining 3/4 cup shortening.

To assemble, spread cookie with filling and top with another cookie.
You should end up with about 20 oatmeal whoopie pies.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

When you can't decide what type of dessert you want. It's cheesecake and a brownie.
Marvelous!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lightly grease a 9"x13" baking pan.


Cream cheese swirl-

16 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract- optional
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs


Brownie batter-

1 cup(2 sticks) butter
2-1/4 cups sugar
1-1/4 cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups flour


Make the cream cheese swirl first.
In a bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract and blend until smooth.
Stir in the sour cream and the eggs, mixing until everything is combined.
Set to the side while you make the brownie batter.
Put the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave.
Add the sugar to the butter and stir.
Reheat slightly in the microwave to dissolve more of the sugar. Not long enough to let the mixture bubble though.
Stir in the cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and vanilla extract.
Whisk in the eggs until smooth.
Add the flour and stir until smooth.
Spread 3/4 of the brownie batter in the greased pan.
Spread the cream cheese swirl over the brownie batter in the pan.
With a spoon, drop the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese swirl.
With a knife, make swirls through the top layer of brownie batter and the cream cheese swirl.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is set and puffy. Check a few minutes before the first time given to see if it is done.

Let cool on a wire rack.
Cover and refrigerate til serving.
Refrigerate for storage.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chicken Bacon Alfredo Pizza

I love this pizza. I first had this variety as a frozen pizza. I decided to see if I could make my own version and this is it.
Just as the name says it has chicken, bacon, and Alfredo sauce.

You will need a greased 11"x15" baking pan.
Bake in a preheated 425 degree Fahrenheit oven.


Ingredients:

Pizza crust

Topping-

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1-1/2 cups cooked and cubed chicken breast
2 or 3 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
dried basil

Alfredo sauce-

1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
dash of pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook your chicken and bacon and set aside.
Make your pizza crust and pat it out into your greased pan.
Set aside.
To make the sauce, you need a small saucepan.
Melt the butter and add the garlic powder, salt, pepper, and flour.
Stir and cook until bubbly.
Quickly add the milk and stir constantly until the sauce thickens and bubbles.
Cook and stir for a minute.
Turn off heat and add the Parmesan cheese.
Blend in well til as smooth as you can get it.
Spread the sauce over the crust.
Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
Add the chicken and bacon.
Sprinkle basil over everything.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15- 20 minutes until the crust is just starting to brown and the cheese is melted.

Serves 4.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Potato Soup

Potato soup is very comforting. Most people have had it growing up.
This isn't my mother's potato soup and probably not yours either.
Potato soup is a frugal meal. It is also great on a cold night.

You will need a medium saucepan.
You will also need a blender, food processor, or you could even use a hand mixer.

Ingredients:

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
large pinch salt
dash pepper
1 cup milk

Cook the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain.
Combine the cooked potatoes and half of the broth in a blender or food processor.
Puree.
Or add to bowl and blend up with a mixer.
Set aside.
In your pan, melt the butter.
Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and dill weed.
Add milk.
Stir and cook until mixture is bubbling and slightly thickened.
Cook for an additional minute.
Add the potatoes and rest of the broth.
Heat through.
Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Chili Chicken and Cilantro Dumplings

This is so good! My daughter says it tastes like eating chicken fajitas.
It's a great dish to warm you up and fill you up.

You will need a large pan. Like a dutch oven. It needs a lid.

Ingredients:

Chicken-

4 chicken breast halves
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups water


Dumplings-

2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro(1/4 cup dried if you can't find fresh)
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped finely
3/4 cup milk


Combine the chicken breasts, water, chili powder, salt, and onion in your pot.
Bring to a boil
, cover, and turn the heat down to medium low.
Once in a while turn the chicken.
Simmer for about an hour.
Take out the chicken breast halves, let cool slightly, and chop.
Return to pan.

While the chicken is simmering, make the dumpling dough.
In a large bowl mix the flour, cumin, salt, and baking powder.
Cut in the shortening.
Stir in the cilantro and pepper.
Pour in the milk and stir until just moist.
Work the dough with you hands until it is like biscuit dough.

When you have added the chicken back to the pot, bring back to a boil.
With your hands, break off handfuls of dough.
You will get about 12.
Smooth the dough slightly into a ball shape and drop gently into the pot.
Cook uncovered 10 minutes.
Cover and cook another 10 minutes.
Dumplings are done when you poke them with a toothpick and the toothpick comes out clean.

Serves 4-6.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cocoa Banana Muffins

A good muffin with the heartiness of oatmeal and the yumminess of chocolate and bananas.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease 12 muffin cups.


Ingredients:

1-1/4 cups flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mashed banana(2 or 3)
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, oatmeal, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix the bananas, milk, butter, egg, and vanilla extract.
Add the flour mixture and stir until moistened.
Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups.
The cups will be pretty full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the muffins test done when checked with a toothpick.
Cool in pan for 5 minutes.
Turn out to finish cooling.

12 muffins.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

If you love pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, you are going to love these.
Most people think of whoopie pies as being chocolate.
But, these as a fantastic change of pace.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lightly grease 2 or 3 cookie sheets.


Ingredients:

COOKIES-

1-1/2 cups pureed pumpkin(15 oz. can)
2 large eggs
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup cooking oil
2 Tbs molasses
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups flour

In a large bowl, beat together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, oil, and molasses.
Add the salt, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda.
Beat in the flour.
Using a medium cookie scoop, drop dough onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until they feel firm to the tough.
Take out and put on a cooling rack to cool while you make the filling.

FILLING-

1 Tbs unflavored gelatin
2 Tbs water
1/2 cup(1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup(4 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2-1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs finely chopped crystallized ginger-optional, but highly recommended

Add the water and gelatin to a microwave safe bowl.
Heat in the microwave briefly on low power to dissolve the gelatin. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
Add half of the powdered sugar and beat.
Add the gelatin and mix in.
Add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix til creamy.
Stir in the ginger, if using.

Spread the filling on the bottom side of half of the cookies.
Top with other half.
To store, separate layers with paper towels or wrap each whoopie pie in plastic wrap. Otherwise they will stick to each other.

You will get about 2 dozen whoopie pies.

The gelatin can be found with the jello or in the baking aisle.
It seems to help stabilize the filling.