Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Peppermint Surprise

This is one of my favorite holiday treats.

Peppermint Surprise

1 1/2 c. crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreo's)
1/4 c. butter or margarine, melted

Heat oven to 350. Mix cookie crumbs and melted butter. Press firmly against bottom and side of an ungreased pan or pie plate. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely.

1 pt whipping cream, whip and sweeten with about 1 cup of sugar and 1 tsp vanilla.(or just use cool whip, it is much easier).
Fold the following into cream or cool whip:
2 large peppermint candy canes, crushed
1 c. chopped nuts (optional)
1/4 pkg. miniature marshmallows

Pour mixture on to the chocolate crust. Chill for at least 12 hours.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Scones and Honeybutter (Utah version)


2 teaspoons yeast
Pinch of sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup oil
2 cups water
4 cups, or more, all-purpose flour
Oil for deep frying

In a large bowl, combine yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup water. Let the mixture sit until bubbly. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar, salt, eggs, milk, oil and an additional 2 cups water. Slowly add in enough flour to make a soft, not sticky dough. Cover and let rise until double in size, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

In a large, deep pan or deep fryer, heat 1 to 2 inches of vegetable oil to 375 degrees F. (The oil should be deep enough so the dough will float.) Pull off a chunk of dough and stretch it into a flat disc about 8 inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick. Place dough in hot oil. Deep fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and cook on second side until golden. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Keep warm until ready to serve. Repeat process with remaining dough.

Source: Recipe Goldmine

Fluffy honey butter

1 Small Bottle Marshmallow Cream
1 cup Butter
1 cup Honey
1/4 cup Powdered Sugar

Melt the butter in the microwave and then mix all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

If you are having trouble getting all the ingredients to mix well you can heat the whole thing in the microwave for a bit to make it softer.

Serve as a dip for scones.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Almond Poppyseed Bread

Be warned, this bread is very addictive! The 1 1/8 cup of oil kind of scares me so I thought I would try the ol' bean trick. I replaced the oil with 1 1/8 c. Northern bean puree and had great results.

Almond Poppyseed Bread

3 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt

3 eggs
1 1/8 c. canola oil
2 1/2 c. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. butter flavoring
1 1/2 tsp. almond flavoring

1 1/2 c. milk
2 tsp. poppy seeds

3/4 c. white granulated sugar
1/4 c. orange juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. butter flavoring
1/2 tsp. almond flavoring

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, oil, sugar, and flavorings and beat for 2 minutes.

Alternate adding in flour mixture and milk and then mix until just combined. Add poppyseeds and mix until just combined. Pour into greased pans (I find the nonstick spray that is for baking works best) (5 mini pans or 2 regular loaf pans) and bake 35-40 minutes for mini pans, 1 hour for large pans; keep an eye on them.

When done, place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes and then remove from pans and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. While cooling, prepare glaze by combining all glaze ingredients. Drizzle over loaves and allow to harden.

Source: Our Best Bites


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chewy Chex Cereal Mix

I cannot believe I have not posted this recipe yet!! Probably because it is always gone before I can snap a picture. Be warned though, it is extremely addictive. I usually half the batch if I am just making it for my family. It will be gone before you know it.

Chewy Chex Cereal Mix

6 1/2 c. Rice Chex
4 1/2 c. Golden Grahams
1 c. sliced almonds
2 c. coconut
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) real butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. light Karo syrup
1 tsp. vanilla

In a VERY LARGE bowl, combine cereal, almonds, and coconut. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine butter, Karo syrup, and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for three minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. While the mixture is still hot, pour over the cereal mixture and stir well so the candy mixture coats the cereal.

Recipe Source: Our Best Bites

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing

My son loves the story of the Gingerbread Man. He runs around the house saying "Ah uh, you can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man." I thought it would be fun to make our own Gingerbread Men. He loved it. 

Gingerbread Cookies
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. molasses
1 egg yolk
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Cream butter and sugar. Add molasses and egg yolk. In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Chill for at least an hour. It's a fairly sticky dough so you might need to chill it a little longer.
Preheat oven to 350. Roll dough to 1/4" thick and cut with cookie cutters. Place cookies 2" apart on a baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. If you bake them on the short end they will stay soft and chewy and if you bake them on the longer end they will be nice and crispy. 

Royal Icing 
This recipe makes a TON of frosting so I cut it down to a 1/3 recipe and it was plenty for a single recipe of Gingerbread Men.

3 egg whites
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tarter

1/3 recipe:
1 egg white
1 1/3 c. powdered sugar
1/6 tsp. cream of tarter

Beat all ingredients until stiff peaks form. Dries hard. 

Recipe Source: Our Best Bites

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Caramel Corn

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Caramel Corn
1 3.3 oz. bag Kettle Corn popcorn, popped and all unpopped kernels removed
1 c. Reese's peanut butter chips (you are fine using generic too)
6 Tablespoons butter
3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
1/3 Cup corn syrup
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place popped popcorn into a large bowl.

Place butter, peanut butter chips, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture comes to a light boil. Remove from heat and pour evenly over popcorn. Gently stir to coat. Place popcorn on a baking sheet that has been sprayed lightly with non stick cooking spray. Set aside while making the chocolate popcorn.

Chocolate Caramel Corn
1 3.3oz bag Kettle Corn popcorn, popped and all un-popped kernels removed
1 c. Cup semi sweet chocolate chips (I actually used some leftover Halloween candy. I just chopped up 1 cup of Crunch bars)
6 Tablespoons butter
3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
1/3 Cup corn syrup
¼ teaspoon salt

Place popped popcorn into a large bowl.

Place chocolate chips, butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture comes to a light boil. Remove from heat and pour evenly over popcorn. Gently stir to coat. Bake in 250 oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

You can do both the peanut butter and the chocolate popcorn at the same time. Just don't put them on the same baking sheet.  After 15 minutes of baking switch the baking sheets from top rack to bottom and bottom rack to top.  Be careful not to over cook them. Do not go any longer than 30 minutes or your popcorn with be really tough and hard to chew.
Remove from oven and pour onto wax paper to cool. Break into pieces and serve.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Noodles

I love thick noodles in my chicken noodle soup. None of those tiny shoestring noodles here.

Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Noodles

1 precooked rotisserie chicken
2-3 Bay leaves
3-4 whole peppercorns
1 medium onion, quartered
2-3 Chicken bullion cubes
Carrots to your liking, chopped into small pieces
Celery to your liking, chopped into small pieces
Salt and Pepper

Remove all usable meat from your precooked rotisserie chicken and set aside. Discard any skin or fat. Place the chicken carcass/bones in a large stock pot. Fill pot with water until the whole carcass is covered. Add 1 medium onion that has been quartered, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Simmer for about 2 hours. Add 2-3 bullion cubes and let dissolve. Remove chicken carcass and pull off any usable meat that might still be attached. Strain broth into a large bowl. I strained mine a couple of times just to make sure I got everything out.

In a large skillet, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil or butter and precook your carrots/celery. You will want to get the vegetables to a semi tender stage which takes about 10 minutes. Add the vegetables and the shredded chicken that you removed before cooking the carcass to your pot of broth.  Bring to a simmer. Add noodles and cook until noodles are tender.

Homemade Egg Noodles

2 eggs, beaten
4 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 - 2 cups. flour

Combine egg, milk and salt. Add flour to make a stiff dough. Roll out thin on a lightly floured surface. Cut into strips with a pizza cutter.

Let dry about 2 hours, turning after 1 hour. Don't worry too much about letting them dry the full 2 hours. Just adjust the cooking time of the noodles. The longer they dry the longer they take to cook. Keep in mind that noodles expand and will soak up a lot of your liquid in the soup. Just add more water and a bullion cube or a can of chicken broth to even out the liquid to noodle ratio.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Candy Cane Cookies

My family has been making these cookies for as long as I can remember. They are a great Christmas treat!

Candy Cane Cookies
1/2 c. butter (no substitutes)
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. powdered sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 - 2 t. almond extract
1 t. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
red or green food coloring

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix thoroughly: butter, shortening, powdered sugar, egg, almond extract, and vanilla. Blend in flour and salt. Divide dough in half; blend food coloring into one half.

On an non-floured surface, roll out one strip of white dough and one colored about 1/2 inch thick. Set side by side and twist together. Bend into a candy cane shape.

Bake for 8 to 9 minutes on an ungreased baking sheet. Don't cook any longer than 8-9 minutes unless you want crunchy cookies. If they start to turn brown on the edges they will be crunchy.
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