Saturday, November 1, 2014

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Bars



I definitely have a Love / Hate relationship with these cookie bars. They are soft and delicious just like Lofthouse Style Sugar cookies. They are super delicious. The hate part is that they are so yummy and so effortless so easy to make that they can be a little dangerous to have around. I have another Sugar Cookie Bar recipe on this blog but this one from Jamie Cooks it up is definitely the BEST. I trust you will enjoy it as much as we do !

 Sugar Cookie Bars  (print here)

Cookies:
1 1/2 C sugar

1 C butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 t almond extract
1 t vanilla
1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
2 1/2 C flour

Frosting:
1/2 C butter softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 C powdered sugar
3-5 T milk
1 t vanilla
food coloring

1. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer beat the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and egg until nice and frothy. About 4 minutes.
2. Add the vanilla and almond extract and beat for 1 minute more.
3. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix them around so that all ingredients are well incorporated.
4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat for about 2 minutes.
5. Press the dough into a large jelly roll (cookie sheet) pan.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
7. Let the pan cool completely.
8. Time to make the frosting! In a medium sized bowl (or your stand mixer) combine the butter and cream cheese. Beat for about 2 minutes.
9. Add the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and food coloring. Mix for 1-2 minutes or until smooth.
10. Frost your pan of cookies. Cut the cookies into bars and serve!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Texas Sheetcake Cookies

Texas Sheet Cake Cookies


makes 24 cookies
Ingredients
    Cookies
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • Icing
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
How to Make
    Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat, set aside.
  3. In bowl of stand mixer beat butter and sugar together until light, scraping sides frequently.
  4. Add in egg and vanilla and continue mixing until incorporated. Mix in baking powder and salt.
  5. Turn mixer to low and slowly add in flour. Dough will be thick.
  6. In a microwave safe bowl heat chocolate chips on high in 30 second increments until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds.
  7. Mix melted chocolate directly into cookie dough until evenly mixed.
  8. Drop dough by a measured tablespoon sized mounds onto baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes until cookies just appear set. They will still be very soft on the inside. DO NOT overbake!!
  9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  10. Icing
  11. In a medium saucepan combine butter, cocoa powder and milk over medium heat, whisking until melted together. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar.
  12. Pour icing over cookies and allow icing to set before serving.
Notes
store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
*Make sure not to overbake these cookies. The insides will remain soft and dense if baked correctly.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ginger Cookies

 
 
 
 
Ginger Spice Cookies
recipe from Paula Deen
Ingredients:
3/4 C Butter flavored Crisco
1 C sugar, plus more for rolling
1 large egg
1/4 C molasses
2 C flour
2 t baking soda
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 t salt

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.  Or don’t line them at all :)
With an electric mixer, combine shortening and sugar and cream until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the egg and the molasses and beat until completely incorporated.
Sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt
and then add to the mixture. Stir until combined. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar.
Place on cookie sheets.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just set around the edges and you start to see “crackling” on the top.
Don’t overbake! You want to keep them nice and chewy-soft in the middle.
Yield: about 4 dozen

Monday, September 2, 2013

S'more Cups


     This is an amazingly easy recipe that tastes as good as S'mores on the campfire.
The best thing is that they can be made ahead of time. Thank you Pampered Chef YUMM !!

S’more Cups
(printable version)
Yield: 24 cups 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes

Ingredients:


7 whole graham crackers (1 cup), finely crushed
1/4 cup powdered sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 bars (1.55 oz) milk chocolate candy, divided
12 large marshmallows

Directions:Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place graham crackers into a large re-sealable plastic bag. Finely crush into crumbs. Combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and butter into a small bowl. Evenly divide crumb mixture into each cup of a 24 cup mini muffin pan. Press crumbs to form shallow cups. Bake 4-5 minutes or until edges are bubbling. Meanwhile, break two of the candy bars into rectangles. Remove pan from oven; place one rectangle into each cup.
Cut marshmallows in half crosswise using scissors dipped in cold water. Place one marshmallow half, cut-side down, into each cup. Return to oven 1-2 minutes or until marshmallows are just slightly softened. Cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before carefully removing cups from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
Break remaining candy bars in small pieces and place in a small bowl. Microwave on high 1 minute-1 1/2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring every 20 seconds. Dip the top of each marshmallow into the melted chocolate. Turn top-side up and let stand until set.

Recipe Note: Store the cups in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Freezing is not recommended.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ground Beef Tacos

 
This is the best taco meat recipe. My entire family prefers this over the powdered seasoning that contains so much sodium etc.................
Try this you won't be sorry. My husband likes it so well he has been known to "hide" the leftovers.

Ground Beef Taco Filling from Mels Kitchen Cafe

(Printable Version)

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 to 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced fine (alternately, you can add hot pepper sauce to taste or canned jalapenos OR just leave out the heat altogether, although I think the meat really needs a little kick and adding the jalapeno without seeds didn't make the dish overly spicy)
  • Taco shells, Additional taco garnishes
Directions
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil and chopped onion. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up the meat into smaller chunks, until it is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Off the heat, drain the grease.
  2. Fill taco shells and add garnish  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Homemade Marshmallows

Well I finally did it. I made homemade marshmallows. I have been wanting to try these for a while and New Years day seemed like a perfect day. The result was great. Alot better than I had hoped for. I will experiment with flavors and shapes I like but all in all these mint marshmallows were a hit with the kids. They melted nicely in the hot cocoa ..... I found the recipe at our best bites and was confident that if they endorsed them it would be worth a shot.
Homemade Marshmallows
(printable version)
adapted from Alton Brown, variations by Our Best Bites
3 packets unflavored gelatin
1 C ice water, divided
1 1/2 C sugar
1 C light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 C corn starch
1/4 C powdered sugar
9 x 13″ pan
non stick spray
Optional for variations:
cocoa powder
peppermint extract
food coloring
dipping chocolate
crushed candy canes

Place the contents of the gelatin packets into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 1/2 C of the ice water. Stir gently to combine and then set that bowl aside.
In a small saucepan combine: remaining 1/2 C water, corn syrup, granulated sugar, and salt. Stir mixture to combine and bring it to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and then clip a candy thermometer onto the pan.
The sugar mixture needs to remain on a simmer and come to a temperature of 245 degrees F. It may take 20 minutes or so, so just stir the mixture every once and a while and keep an eye on the temp.
After the mixture reaches 245 degrees, remove from heat. Slowly pour the sugar mixture into the bowl with the gelatin. You may want to dirty one more dish and ladle the sugar mixture into something with a pour spout for easier/safer handling.
After you add the entire sugar mixture to the gelatin turn the beater speed up to med-high. Continue to whip for 12-15 minutes, adding the vanilla in the last few minutes of beating.
*Also, immediately put your sticky pan and utensils from the sugar mixture into very hot, soapy water. The quicker you get it soaking the quicker the goo will come off!
While your sugar goo is magically transforming into soft, fluffy marshmallows, prepare your pan. Combine the cornstarch and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Spray a 9 x 13″ pan with non stick spray and coat the bottom and sides with the cornstarch mixture. Tap excess out and save it.
When your marshmallows are done beating the mixture should be thick and white and luke warm.
Scrape the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan. The stuff is sticky and gooey and it might put up a fight. Show it who’s boss. I found it helpful to spray my spatula with non-stick spray. Once the marshmallow mixture is all in the pan you’ll need to spread it out. A lot of recipes tell you to dip an angled knife into cold water first, but I found it much easier to spray the back of a large spoon with non-stick spray and spread it that way. It will be kind of lumpy, but just keep spraying and patting and get it as smooth as you can. (You can read my notes on variations later in the post to see why my marshmallows are two-toned)
Let the pan sit at room temp for about an hour (to form a dry layer on the top) and sprinkle a couple spoonfuls of the corn starch mixture over the top. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and let it sit overnight. Technically, you could cut the marshmallows after 4-5 hours, but I think they work better after sitting overnight.
When they’re ready to cut, just pull the marshmallowy sheet out of the pan. It should pop right out. The bottom side will be much nicer looking than the top side!
At this point you could use cookie cutters if you want some cute little shapes. I think hearts would be adorable for valentines day and stars are darling for Christmas time. If you do use cookie cutters, you can use a pair of kitchen shears to snip the scraps into mini marshmallows so you don’t waste any.
Otherwise, grab a pizza cutter, or a sharp knife if you don’t have a pizza cutter, and cut the marshmallow into cubes. It helps to dust your cutting implement with the cornstarch-sugar mixture. Especially after it gets sticky stuff on it.
Once they are cut, dust each marshmallow lightly with the remaining cornstarch mixture. This makes them easy to handle and keeps them from sticking together.
After cutting you’ll want to keep these in an air tight container or they will dry out just like store-bought ones do. They’ll be good for a couple of weeks if stored well.
variations:
– Add all flavorings and colorings in the last few minutes of beating.
For Cocoa Marshmallows: add in 3-4 tablespoons of unsweetened cococa powder. If you make cocoa marshmallows, add a spoonful or two of cocoa powder to your cornstarch mixture as well.
For Peppermint Marshmallows: add in 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
For Colored Marshmallows: add food coloring in the last few minutes of beating (think colored fruit flavored marshmallows!)
Another fun thing to do is chocolate dipped marshmallows. Melt 1/2 C chocolate chips (I prefer semi-sweet or dark because you’re basically dipping sugar squares into it) with 1/2 tablespoon shortening and combine until smooth. The cornstarch coating on the marshmallows makes it a little hard sometimes to have the chocolate stick, so just work slowly and it should work just fine. I sprinkled crushed candy canes on too for extra Christmas cheer

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Bars

This amazing recipe recipe came from Mels Kitchen Cafe, She always has the best recipes that are mostly from scratch. YUMMY !! I added a drizzle of caramel sauce to mine partly for presentation but the flavors paired nicely.
 
Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Bars
(printable version)
*Makes 16 squares
INGREDIENTS:
Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter, diced
1 cup pecan halves (about 4 ounces)
3/4 cup old-fashioned or quick rolled oats
Filling:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese (light or regular), room temperature
1 1/2 cups canned pure pumpkin (a little less than a full 15-ounce can)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Topping:
2 cups sour cream
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9X13-inch metal baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside. Blend the flour, brown sugar, salt, and butter by pulsing (in a blender or food processor) until the texture is like coarse meal. Add the pecans and pulse until the nuts are chipped. Add the oats, and again pulse until the mixture is moistened by not clumping. Press about 3 cups of the crumbs onto the bottom of the prepared 9X13-inch pan. Transfer the remaining crumbs to the lined baking sheet. Bake the crumbs until golden, stirring once, about 8-10 minutes. Cool crumbs. While they cool, bake the crust until golden, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside while preparing filling. Keep the oven turned on.
For filling, blend all the ingredients in the same blender or food processor (no need to clean it in between) until smooth. Spread the filling over the warm crust and bake until it is slightly firm to the touch and the edges are just slightly risen, about 18-20 minutes. Keep that oven on!
For the topping, whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Spread the topping evenly over the hot, baked filling. Bake until the topping sets and bubbles at the edges, about 5-7 minutes. Cool the bars completely in the pan set on a cooling rack. Once cooled, sprinkle the golden crumbs over the topping and gently press them into the topping. Cover the bars and chill until cold, about 2 hours. Cut into squares and serve. I drizzled caramel syrup over the top as a decorative touch it was a perfect addition not that they needed it .

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken


I decided to try this recipe today since we would be at church for a few hours. It was amazing. It does have a little kick to it so if you don't like a little heat cut down the red pepper flakes . I used salted cashews next time I will use unsalted... other than that I followed the exact recipe using chicken thighs. I will definitely make this again soon. Enjoy
Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken   As seen on Six Sisters Stuff
Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thigh tenders or chicken breast tenders*
 
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup cashews use unsalted if you prefer a lower sodium dish.

Directions:
Combine flour and pepper in large Ziploc bag. Add chicken. Shake to coat with flour mixture. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken about 2 minutes on each side. Place chicken in slow cooker. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in small bowl; pour over chicken. Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours. Add cashews and stir. Serve over rice. Makes 4-6 servings.
If you like sauce and want to have some to pour over the chicken and the rice, double the sauce ingredients. I definitely chose to go this route.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Berry Hand Pies



 These Hand Pies were easy to make ....they will be a great addition to school lunches this fall. I found the recipe on King Arthur's Flour website.. Enjoy !!


Blueberry Hand Pies

(Printable Version)
 
These sweet and fruit-full pastries can be served anytime and anywhere, thanks to their convenient portability.

Pastry
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (16 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup cold sour cream

Filling
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Instant ClearJel
2 teaspoons lemon juiceTopping

1 large egg, beaten
white sparkling sugar, for garnish

Directions
1) To make the dough: Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter, working it in to make a coarse/crumbly mixture. Leave most of the butter in large, pea-sized pieces.
2) Stir in the sour cream; the dough won't be cohesive. Turn it out onto a floured work surface, and bring it together with a few quick kneads.
3) Pat the dough into a rough log, and roll it into an 8" x 10" rectangle. Dust both sides of the dough with flour, and starting with a shorter end, fold it in three like a business letter.
4) Flip the dough over, give it a 90° turn on your work surface, and roll it again into an 8" x 10" rectangle. Fold it in three again.
5) Wrap the dough, and chill for at least 30 minutes before using.
6) To make the filling: Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan set over medium heat. Cook until the mixture starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked berries to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
7) Preheat the oven to 425°F; place a rack on the middle shelf. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
8) To assemble the pies: Roll the dough into a 14" x 14" square. With a straight edge and pastry wheel, or a 3 1/2" square cutter, cut out sixteen 3 1/2" squares.
9) Divide the filling among eight of the squares, using about a heaping tablespoon for each. Brush some of the beaten egg along the edges of each filled square.
10) Cut a vent into the each of the remaining eight squares, using a decorative cutter of your choice.
11) Top each filled square with a vented square, and press along the edges with the tines of a fork or a pie crust crimper to seal.
12) Brush the top of each pie with the remaining beaten egg, and sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Transfer the pies to the prepared baking sheet.
13) Bake the pies for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and let cool for 20 minutes before serving.
Yield: 8 hand pies.



Sunday, July 8, 2012

Raspberry Bread Pudding



I had this yummy treat at a ward relief society function, I begged for the recipe immediately. My  friend Stacy was awesome and shared.

This is a great recipe that you can use with any type of berry.
The picture above I used a mixture of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.
It's a great brunch item as well. Enjoy...............we sure did.

KNEADERS RASPBERRY BREAD PUDDING

  • 1 1/2 loaves aged, white bread ( I used regular french bread)
  • 1 qt. heavy cream
  • 3 C. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 5 C. raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1/2 C. apple juice
In a large bowl mix the cream, sugar, egg and vanilla.
Cut bread into 1 1/2 inch cubes and add to cream mixture, coating the bread well.
Let stand 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to allow cream to absorb.
Mix the raspberries, sugar and apple juice, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Layer a 9x13 inch baking pan 3/4 full with the bread mix and pour fruit filling over the bread mix, spreading evenly.
Top with the remaining bread.
Bake 50 minutes at 375.
Serve warm topped with vanilla cream sauce.
(If you want it to cut into nice squares you can chill it and then cut it into squares, then microwave it for 20-25 seconds per piece and top with sauce.)

Vanilla Cream Sauce
  • 1 1/3 C. butter
  • 5 T. flour
  • 3 C. heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 C. sugar
Melt butter in medium saucepan and add flour. Stir 10 minutes until it has a nutty aroma, do not brown. Add salt, cream and sugar until mix is thick. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve warm over the pudding.