Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Avalanche Bars

If you have ever been to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and had their Avalanche Bark you will recognize the taste of these bars. They are very easy to make and extremely addictive. 

Avalanche Bars

12 ounces white chocolate chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups Rice Krispies
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Lightly grease a 9×9 pan (or 8×8 if you prefer thicker bars) and set aside. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chips for one minute. Stir. Then continue to microwave in 30 second increments until the chips are completely melted. Add the peanut butter to the melted chocolate and stir to combine. Add the Rice Krispies. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes, stirring now and again. Add the marshmallows and the mini chocolate chips and stir to combine.
Press the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly, pressing lightly with the back of a spoon, taking care not to press too hard or they will be overly compact and it will make the bars dry and tough. Garnish with additional mini chocolate chips, if desired. Let the bars cool completely before serving.

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Oat and Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders

Oat and Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders

1 c. oats
1/2 c. pecans
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp thyme 
1 tsp oregano 
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
6 chicken breast tenderloins, thawed

1. In a food processor grind the oats and pecans. Dump into a bowl and stir in seasonings.  
2. Spray each chicken tender with Pam then roll into the oat-pecan mixture.  
3. Place on a greased baking sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes at 450 degrees. Rotate the chicken once while cooking.

Serve with honey or BBQ sauce for dipping.  

Recipe Source: Sweet Treats and More

Friday, May 27, 2011

Peanut Buttery Twix Bars

This is like a giant Peanut Butter Twix Bar! So good!! The original recipe called for 1 container of Rich and Creamy store bought chocolate frosting...yuck! So I changed the topping to a homemade frosting.

Peanut Buttery Twix Bars

Cookie Base:
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
8 or 9 fun size Twix Bars, sliced in to 1/4 inch pieces

36 caramels (from 14 oz bag)
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 c. sugar
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. milk chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350. Line a 13x9 inch pan with foil and spray bottom and sides with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, and egg until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom of pan. Press Twix pieces into the dough in even rows. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a 2 quart saucepan, heat caramels and sweetened condensed milk over medium heat, stirring constantly until caramels are melted. Stir in peanut butter. Heat to boiling. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Spread over warm cookie base. Cool completely, about 2 hours.

For frosting, combine sugar, butter, and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stir, remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips  and let cool, stirring occasionally. It will thicken as it cools. Spread cooled frosting evenly over filling. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled. Cut into bars and store covered in the refrigerator.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Worlds Best Dinner Rolls

I don't know if I would call these "World's Best" but they are definitely good rolls.The recipe says you will get 24 rolls out of this but I got a lot more than 24 and they were a pretty good size

World’s Best Rolls
2 c. whole milk (if you’re in a pinch, you can use 2%, but whole is best. Don’t use 1% or skim)
½ c. + 1 Tbsp. sugar, divided
1/3 c. (5 1/3 Tbsp.) butter
2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 pkgs. active dry yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp.), preferably bread machine yeast
2/3 c. warm (105-115-degree) water
8-9 c. all-purpose flour
3 beaten eggs

Combine milk, 1/2 c. sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts.
Remove from heat. Allow to cool to lukewarm. This can take a long time so you can rub some ice cubes along the sides of the pan or pop the entire pan in a sink full of ice cubes to cool the mixture down. This step is really important because if the mixture is too hot, it will kill the yeast.

While the milk mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast and 1 Tbsp. sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes. If the yeast hasn’t bubbled, you’ll need to repeat this step.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 c. flour and milk mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Add yeast mixture and beat on high for 3 minutes.

Add beaten eggs.Stir in as much remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. This dough should be very soft–it will be coming away from the sides of the bowl, but it will still stick to your finger when you touch it.

Don’t worry, it will firm up during the rising process. Part of what makes these rolls so good is that they’re so soft and light; if you add too much flour, they will be heavy and dense. Place the bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean towel; allow to rise 1 hour.

Punch down dough. Lightly flour your work surface and turn dough out onto surface. Divide in half.
Spray 2 9×13 glass pans with cooking spray. Roll first portion of dough into a rectangle and then cut it into 12 equal-sized pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough in the second pan.
Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. When dough has about 15-20 minutes to go (depending on your oven), preheat oven to 375.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden-brown.

Recipe Source: Our Best Bites

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sour Cream Poppyseed Streusel Muffins

Sour Cream Poppyseed Streusel Muffins

2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. grated orange rind
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 8-oz. container sour cream (light works great)


1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 c. flour
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 tsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare streusel by combining streusel ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. To prepare muffins, combine sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine buttermilk and remaining muffin ingredients in a small bowl and add to flour mixture, stirring until just moist. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups or 24-36 mini muffin cups, either lined or sprayed. Sprinkle evenly with streusel mixture.Bake at 375 for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove muffins from pan immediately and place on a wire rack to cool.

Recipe and picture source: Our Best Bites

Friday, May 20, 2011

Garlic Knots

If you are a garlic lover, you will love these rolls. Just make sure you have some breath mints handy!

Garlic Knots

10 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 Tbsp.)
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. plus 3/4 c. water, heated to 110 degrees
1 1/8 tsp. rapid rise or instant yeast
2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200, turn it off. Grease a large bowl. Set aside.

Cook garlic, 1 tablespoon butter, and 1 teaspoon water in small nonstick skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is straw colored, 8 to 10 minutes. Add remaining butter, stirring until melted. Let stand 10 minutes off heat. Strain garlic butter through fine mesh strainer into small bowl; reserve garlic solids.

Whisk remaining water, 1 tablespoon garlic butter, reserved garlic solids, and yeast in liquid measuring cup until yeast dissolves. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix flour and salt until combined. With mixer on low, add water mixture in steady stream and mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl, about 6 minutes. Turn dough onto clean work surface and knead briefly to form smooth, cohesive ball. Transfer dough to prepared bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in turned off oven until dough has doubled in size, 40 to 50 minutes.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down dough on floured surface. Roll dough into 12 by 6-inch rectangle and cut into twelve 6-inch strips and roll into ropes. To make the knots, make a 1 1/2 inch loop, tie the rope as in the first step of tying shoelaces. Tuck tail into the center of the loop from the top. Pull the other tail up through the bottom so the end pokes up through the center. Place on prepared baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and return to turned off oven until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.

Remove knots from oven and discard plastic. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Return knots to oven and bake until set, about 5 minutes. Remove knots from oven and brush with 2 tablespoons garlic butter. Rotate pan, return to oven and bake until golden brown, 5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack. Serve warm.

*Shaped knots can be refrigerated, covered, for 24 hours. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 200 degrees and turn off. Put knots in turned off oven until doubled in size, about 20 minutes. Proceed with baking instructions.

Recipe source: Cook's Country Dec/Jan 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread

This bread is so amazingly good!

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Yield: one 9 x 5" loaf

For the dough:
2¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
¼ cup granulated sugar
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
½ tsp. salt
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
For the filling:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. 

Combine the butter and milk in a small saucepan and heat just until the butter is melted.  Set aside and let cool briefly, until the mixture registers 115-125˚ F on an instant-read thermometer.  Add the milk mixture, water, vanilla and eggs to the mixer bowl.  Mix on low speed until a cohesive dough forms.  Continue to knead until smooth and elastic, adding additional flour as needed 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and is tacky but not sticky.  Knead about 3-5 minutes.  Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and cover.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

(After the dough has doubled, it can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.  Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before proceeding.)

While the dough rises, add the butter to a small saucepan and melt until browned.  Set aside.

 Combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and mix well.  
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate.  Roll into a ball, cover with a clean towel and let rest for 5 minutes.  Roll the dough out into an approximately 12 x 20-inch rectangle.  Brush the dough with the browned butter.  Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the dough in an even layer.  (Yes, really, use all of it.)  

Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.  Slice the dough vertically into 6 even strips.  Stack the strips on top of each other and again cut again into 6 equal slices.  Stack all the squares on top of each other and set into the prepared loaf pan.  Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place, 30-45 minutes.  
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Transfer the loaf to the oven and bake 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown.  (If the top seems to be browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil at the end of baking.)  Remove from the oven and let rest in the pan 20-30 minutes.  Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen and carefully turn the loaf out, transferring to a serving plate.  Serve warm.  

Recipe Source: Annie's Eats

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Weeknight Lasagna Roll Ups

A quick weeknight meal that tastes great!

Weeknight Lasagna Roll Ups

8 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced

Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and heat oven to 475. Place noodles in a microwave safe casserole dish or glass 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover noodles with hot tap water. Microwave until noodles are softened 3 to 6 minutes. Discard water and dry dish. Dry noodles on clean kitchen towel.

Meanwhile, combine ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1 cup Parmesan, egg, 1/4 cup basil and salt in bowl. Combine tomatoes, oil garlic and remaining basil in another medium bowl. Spread half of tomatoes mixture in casserole. With short side facing you, dollop 1/4 cup cheese mixture on each noodle, roll, and arrange seam-side down in casserole. Pour remaining tomato mixture over roll ups.

Wrap dish tightly with plastic wrap, poke holes in plastic and microwave on high until roll ups are tender and heated through, 6 to 10 minutes. Remove plastic and sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over roll ups. Bake until cheese is melted and lightly browned about 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve.

*If you have to use dried basil instead of fresh, make sure you use less than what the recipe calls for.

Recipe Source: Cook's Country Aug/Sept 2007

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ultimate Cinnamon Buns

In step 2, after mixing for 10 minutes the dough it still wet and sticky, add up to 1/4 c. flour (a tablespoon at a time) until the dough releases from the bowl. For smaller cinnamon buns, cut the dough into 12 pieces in step 3.

Ultimate Cinnamon Buns

3/4 c. whole milk, heated to 110 degrees
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp.) rapid rise or instant yeast
3 large eggs, room temperature
4 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. corn starch
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
12 Tbsp. unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 12 pieces and softened

1 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. confectioners sugar

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200, shut off. Line 13x9 inch baking pan with foil, allowing excess foil to hang over pan edges. Grease foil and medium bowl.

2. Whisk milk and yeast in liquid measuring cup until yeast dissolves, then whisk in eggs. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt until combined. With mixer on low, add warm milk mixture in steady stream and mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and add butter, one piece at a time, until incorporated. Continue to mix until dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl, about 10 minutes. Turn dough out onto clean surface and knead to form a smooth, round ball. Transfer dough to prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in warm oven. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

3. For the filling, combine brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in small bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Roll dough into an 18-inch square, spread with butter and sprinkle evenly with filling. Starting with the edge nearest you, roll dough into tight cylinder, pinch lightly to seal seam. Cut in to 8 pieces. Transfer pieces, cut side up, to prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

4. Heat oven to 350. Whisk cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and confectioners sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Discard plastic wrap and bake buns until deep golden brown and filling is melted, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and top buns with 1/2 c. glaze; cool 30 minutes. Using foil overhang, lift buns from pan and top with remaining glaze. Serve.

*To make ahead, after transferring pieces to prepared pan in step 3, buns can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 24 hours. When ready to bake, let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Remove plastic wrap and continue with step 4 as directed.

Recipe source: Cook's Country Dec/Jan 09
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