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Nov 16, 2009

Double Cherry Streusel Bar Cookie

Double Cherry Streusel Bar Cookie

2 cups water
1 cup dried tart cherries or dried cranberries, snipped
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2-teaspoon baking soda
1-cup butter (no substitutes)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped slivered almonds
2 12-ounce jars cherry preserves (2 cups total)
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel

Bring water to boiling in a small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add dried cherries
or cranberries, and let stand for 10 minutes or until softened. Drain fruit and
set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

Bar cookie crust, stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and
baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender cut in butter until
mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mixture. Stir
almonds into the reserved crumb mixture; set aside.

Press remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of an un-greased 15x10x1-inch
baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, bar cookies filling, stir together the drained cherries or
cranberries, cherry preserves, and lemon peel. Spread the filling evenly over
baked crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake bar cookies 20 to 25 minutes more or until top is golden brown. Cool
completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 48 bar cookies.

CORNBREAD DRESSING

SKILLET CORNBREAD

2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar (if using), and the baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg and milk and mix well, but do not beat.

Heat the shortening in a 10-inch cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Pour in the batter and cook until the edges begin to turn golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Coarsely crumble the cornbread and set aside.

FOR THE DRESSING

1 stick butter
2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 pound fresh pork sausage, removed from the casing
Cornbread (from above)
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (or as needed)
Salt and cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a large baking dish and set aside.

Heat the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until golden and soft, about 10 minutes. Add the celery and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside.

Add the sausage to the same pot and cook, breaking up the meat if necessary with a fork, until all pink has disappeared, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the sausage to the onion mixture. Add the cornbread and parsley. Add chicken broth, a little at a time, and mix until the mixture is moist but not soggy. Season with salt and cayenne.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake until hot and golden on top, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve warm.

Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake

Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake

2-layer spice cake mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup water
1 small instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/3 cup chopped pecans, optional

Combine all ingredients except pecans and beat at medium speed of
mixer for 5 full minutes. Fold in pecans. Pour into greased and
floured Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes before
removing. Frost with following if desired: Combine 1/3 cup packed
brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter or margarine; boil for 2 full minutes.
Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 3 tablespoons heavy cream. Return to a
boil. Remove from heat and beat in 1 cup powdered sugar until thick.
This hardens quickly so do not beat too thick.

Caramel Apple Coffeecake

Caramel Apple Coffeecake

1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup dark Karo syrup
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2 peeled, chopped or thinly sliced baking apples
2 packages (8-count) refrigerated cinnamon rolls
Apple juice
3/4 cup white sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine butter, brown sugar and syrup; mix well and spread into
9-by-13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle nuts over butter layer. Scatter
chopped apples or lay apple slices evenly over nut layer. Separate
rolls and dip each roll in apple juice to coat well. Lay over apples.
Sprinkle with sugar mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or
until tests done. Serve warm.

The Union House Peanut Butter Pie

The Union House Peanut Butter Pie
Makes 12 to 16 servings

2 cups crushed Oreo cookies (22 whole cookies)
2 tablespoons melted butter
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 prepared 9-inch chocolate cookie pie crust
Bittersweet chocolate ganache (see recipe)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make crust by mixing cookies with butter. Press onto bottom, and partially
up sides, of a 10-inch springform pan. Bake in preheated oven 7 to 10
minutes or until firm. Set aside to cool.

In large bowl, whip cream with granulated sugar until firm.

In another bowl, combine cream cheese, peanut butter and powdered sugar and
beat until smooth.

Take about 1/3 of the whipped cream and blend it into the cream cheese
mixture; then fold in remaining whipped cream and mix just until filling is
smooth.

Pour mixture into prepared crust and chill several hours before serving.

Prepare ganache. When pie is chilled, remove from refrigerator and pour
ganache over top. Refrigerate again.

Bittersweet chocolate ganache

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy whipping cream

In heavy saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over
chocolate in a bowl. Let sit about 1 minute, then whisk until chocolate is
completely dissolved.

Note: If you prefer a lighter topping, you can reduce the amount of
chocolate by 2 or 3 ounces. If desired, filling mixture can be cut in half
and used in a 9-inch pie plate that has been lined with a cookie crust.

Chocolate Super-Chunk Cookies


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, broken into 3/4-inch pieces

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl.

2. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl at medium speed 1 minute or until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla until blended. At low speed, beat in flour mixture just until blended. Stir in chocolate. Drop scant 2 tablespoons dough per cookie 3 inches apart on baking sheets.

3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned and edges are slightly firm but centers feel soft when lightly touched. Cool completely on wire rack.

2 dozen cookies

Apple Tart with Orange-Marsala Glaze


Dough for 1 (11-inch) pie crust
4 to 5 Golden Delicious apples (about 2 lb.), peeled, sliced (1/4 inch)
1/4 cup sugar
Dash salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons orange marmalade, melted
1 tablespoon sweet Marsala wine, if desired

1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Spray 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom with cooking spray. Roll out dough into 13-inch round; place in pan. Trim dough even with top of pan.

2. Arrange apples close together over dough in 3 concentric circles, starting at outside edges and working into center. Combine sugar and salt; sprinkle over apples. Dot apples with butter.

3. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until apples are tender and browned at tips and crust is golden brown. (Cover edges of crust with foil during last 5 to 10 minutes if browning too quickly.) Cool in pan on wire rack.

4. Combine marmalade and wine; brush over apples.

8 servings

Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Streusel Topping

PIE
Dough for 1 (9-inch) pie crust
1 (17.2-oz.) can sweet potatoes
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

STREUSEL
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup chopped pecans

1. Heat oven to 425ºF. Line 9-inch pie pan with dough; flute edges. Pulse sweet potatoes in food processor or blender until smooth. Add all remaining pie ingredients; process until blended. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine brown sugar and flour in small bowl. Stir in butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in pecans.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF.; sprinkle pie with streusel. Bake 40 minutes or until puffed and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack. Store in refrigerator.

8 servings

Spooky Chocolate Cupcakes


Dress up your Halloween cupcakes with witches' hats, spider webs or tombstones.

CUPCAKES
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk

FROSTING
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in small bowl.

2. Beat 1/2 cup butter, sugar and brown sugar in medium bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. At low speed, beat in flour mixture in three parts alternately with milk just until blended, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

3. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Cool in pans on wire rack 15 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, beat 1/2 cup butter in medium bowl at medium speed until smooth. Slowly beat in powdered sugar. Beat in milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 minutes or until fluffy. Decorate cupcakes with frosting.

24 cupcakes


DECORATIONS


Witch Hats
Beat 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa into 1 1/2 cups of the frosting until combined. (Thin with milk to pipe, if necessary.) Frost cupcakes with remaining vanilla frosting. With pasty bag fitted with plain round tip, pipe circle of chocolate frosting in center of each cupcake to become brim of hat, leaving wide rim of white frosting. Place 1 Hershey’s Kiss in center of chocolate circle. With tube of colored decorating gel, pipe narrow ribbon around base of Kiss.

Spider Webs
Beat 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa into 1 1/2 cups of the frosting until combined. Frost cupcakes with remaining vanilla frosting. With pastry bag fitted with very narrow round tip (or resealable plastic bag with small hole cut in corner), pipe 5 concentric circles on top of each cupcake with chocolate frosting, leaving at least 1/4 inch between circles. Starting at the center of cupcake, use a toothpick to pull outward through chocolate circles at regular intervals around each cupcake to make spider web design. (Wipe icing off tip of toothpick after each pull to keep the design clear.) Press plastic spider into center of each web, if desired.

Tombstones
Beat 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa into frosting to make a dark chocolate frosting. Reserve 1 cup of icing in piping bag with narrow round tip (or resealable plastic bag with small hole cut in corner). Frost cupcakes with remaining frosting, smoothing surface with knife. Put 6 Oreos or other chocolate wafer cookies in resealable plastic bag; crush with rolling pin into fine crumbs.

With reserved frosting, pipe “RIP” on top half of 24 oval cookies, such as Pepperidge Farms Milanos, ladyfingers or rectangular wafer cookies. Press 1 “tombstone” into each cupcake toward back; spoon a bit of the cookie crumb “dirt” in front of each tombstone.

Tip of the Week 11-16-09

Here's a wonderful shortcut for removing vegetables, herbs, garlic cloves, meat and bones from stock:

Place all the stock ingredients in the basket of a pasta cooker, fill the pot with water and place it on the stove. When the stock is ready, simply remove the basket, drain the liquid into the pot and discard the remaining ingredients.

Italian Pasta with Beans


8 oz. mostaccioli (tube-shaped pasta) or rotini (spiral pasta)
4 cups small broccoli florets
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
1 (15-oz.) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding broccoli during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain; return to pot.

2. Meanwhile, cook all remaining ingredients except cheese in large skillet over medium heat 3 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Toss pasta with sauce and 3/4 cup of the cheese; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

4 (generous 2-cup) servings

Chocolate Cream Pie

Chocolate Cream Pie

Servings: 8

3 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided use
1/4 cup butter or margarine
6 tablespoons cocoa
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg yolks beaten
1 baked (9-inch) pie shell
3/4 cup heavy cream
Shaved unsweetened chocolate

In saucepan, scald milk with 1/2 cup sugar and butter. In small bowl,
combine 1/4 cup sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. To cocoa mixture, add
some of hot milk, then vanilla, stirring constantly. Return all to saucepan;
cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and thickened and comes
to a boil.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Into beaten egg yolks, stir some of the hot cocoa mixture; return all to
saucepan. Cook, stirring about 2 minutes. Pour into pie shell. Bake 1 hour,
cool; refrigerate.

At serving time, whip cream and fold in 1 teaspoon sugar; spread on pie.
Sprinkle with shaved chocolate.

Makes 8 servings, each 420 calories (57 percent calories from fat), 27 g
fat, 170 mg cholesterol, 310 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 7 g
protein.

CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS

CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS

Makes 6 servings

Chicken:
4 bone-in chicken breasts
1 small onion, sliced
2 or 3 small carrots, sliced
3 or 4 celery ribs with leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup light cream or milk
Ground pepper to taste
Dumplings:
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening
3/4 cup milk

To make chicken: Combine chicken, onion, carrots, celery and salt in a pot
with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until
chicken is cooked through, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Remove chicken from broth. Strain broth, reserving 4 1/2 to 5 cups (if
needed, add canned broth or reconstituted bouillon to make up the
difference).

When cool enough to handle, remove the chicken from skin and bones; discard
skin and bones. Dice the meat. Melt the butter in a cup. Add flour and
paprika.

Transfer reserved broth to a pot. Bring to a simmer. Gradually stir in flour
paste, stirring well to combine. Cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Add
chicken, cream and pepper.

To make dumpling: Sift dry ingredients together. Blend in shortening with a
pastry blender or fork. Add milk. Mix well (dough will be very thick).

Dip teaspoon into cold water. Scoop dumplings and place atop gently bubbling
chicken mixture. Cover and cook 15 minutes without lifting the lid.

Cookie Jar Nut Cookies

Cookie Jar Nut Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, cream the butter and the brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each addition. Beat in the milk and the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Gradually add to the creamed mixture. Mix well. Stir in the walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Makes 9 dozen

TWIST SANDWICH

TWIST SANDWICH

French dressing
Italian dressing (that doesn't separate)
9-inch circle of pizza dough
Italian ham and salami, cut into squares
Shredded mozzarella
Shredded lettuce
Sliced tomato
Hot peppers (optional)
Butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix equal parts of French and Italian dressing.

Place pizza dough on a pizza pan. Spread dressing over middle of dough.
Arrange ham and salami over dressing. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake until
dough is golden.

Top pizza with lettuce, tomatoes and hot peppers, if desired. Fold edges in,
and flip the pizza onto a plate, so the toppings are on the bottom and it
looks like an inverted sandwich. Brush top with butter.