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Thursday, March 29, 2012

A treat for this gloomy gray day! Easy Turtle Squares

Today here in my neck of the woods - it is Gray, I mean really gray (dark gray), cold, rainy, thunder and lightning as well, and I can't concentrate on my work so I am hitting the kitchen to make some treats, turning on the oven always warms up the house and making something yummy cheers everyone up!
P.S.  I found this recipe in a cookbook I have called the Cake Mix Bible!

I hope you choose to whip up a batch and share with your friends and family as well.

Easy Turtle Squares
1 pkg. chocolate cake mix
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. milk
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. chopped pecans
1 jar (12 oz.) of caramel ice cream topping

Preheat your oven to 350.  Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.  Combine cake mix, butter and milk.  Press 1/2 of this mixture into your pan.  Bake about 8 minutes or until it begins to form a crust.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle chocolate chips and 1/2 the pecans over the crust.  Drizzle the caramel topping over this.  Dollop the remaining cake batter over this and sprinkle with remaining pecans.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.  Cool.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A cookie A day - Maple-Oatmeal Cookies :)

Well, the spring-summer weather we have been experiencing has definately left the area - and I had to turn the heat back on!  BRRRR and take an extra blanky to bed even.  So windy out there too, and gray so figured what better way to spend the day, besides trying to sell lumber than to bake some cookies!

Maple-Oatmeal Cookies
3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats, or you can use the quick cooking kind
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. water

Preheat the oven to 350.  With your mixer beat your butter and sugars together until fluffly - about 3 minutes.  Add the maple syrup, egg, vanilla and water.  Beat until well combined.  Add in your dry ingredients and mix until well combined.  Bake until light golden brown, about 11 minutes.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A cookie (some days) - ha - Lemon Wafers

Yesterday here in my neck of the woods was so sunny and bright, I loved it!  Felt so energetic and got alot of stuff done.  Today - is gray (all day) and gloomy and I just want to shop - not good for me or my checkbook!

Here is a cookie recipe for you to try that will REMIND you of spring - even when the day is not sunny!

Lemon Wafers
1 egg
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, melted
grated zest of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
1 c. + 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
pinch of baking powder

Beat the egg and sugar together, add in the melted buter, lemon zest and salt.  Stir in the dry ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.  Divide the dough in half.  Roll each half between 2 plastic sheets or parchment to about 1/16" thickness  Refrigerate until firm.  Preheat the oven to 400.  Pell the top sheet from the dough and turn upside down.  Peel off the second sheet.  Use a cookie cutter and cut the cookies out.  Place on baking sheets.  Bake for 6-8 minutes.  Cool.  Very light and refreshing - try with a scoop of sherbet!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A cookie a Day - Bar style - Dalmation Bars!

These look good and taste good too, so I just had to share them with you - ok that kind of rhymes!  Sun is here and shining - but only 39 degrees outside - so trying to go for a walk but want it to be a bit warmer first.  Well, that and waiting for the 20 year old daughter, who is on spring break, to wake up and go with me!  In the meantime I am trying to decide what to have for supper, dessert is covered.

Dalmation Bars
5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 c. butter
4 eggs
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. macadamia nuts (chopped)
1 1/2 c. white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375.  Grease a 9 x 13 pan. 
Melt the chocolate and butter together.  Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla and stir into the chocolate mixture.  Stir in the dry ingredients, and then the nuts and chips.  Spoon into the prepared pan, level and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until firm.  Cool and cut into bars!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Coffee Spice Cookies

Beautiful weather here in Minnesota, the little bit of snow we have gotten in the past few weeks is all but gone (which I am not complaining about!).  Yesterday I had some windows open, letting in the fresh air, it was nice, despite the fact it sets my allergies into motion - I am not willing to live with the windows always shut, allergies be damned.  Gearing up for March madness so may as well have some cookies on hand to munch on.

Coffee Spice Cookies
2 tsp. instant coffee crystals
1 tsp. hot water
1/2 c. crisco shortening
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Chocolate decorator bits

Preheat oven to 375.  Dissolve the instant coffe in the hot water.  Beat shortening, brown sugar, egg, vanilla and coffee mixture in large bowl until light and fluffy.  Mix in dry ingredients.  Divide dough into two equal parts.  Shepe each half into a roll about 7" long and 1 1/2" in diameter.  Roll in chocolate bits.  Pressing lightly.  Wrap and refrigerate about 2 hours.  Cut rolls into 1/4" slices.  Place the slices on your baking sheets and bake 6-8 minutes or until set.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A cookie a day ~ (well some days!) - Brown Sugar Cookies!

We had a really nice day here in Minnesota - like on Monday - since then it has been cloudy and breezy and downright chilly - last night I could just NOT get warmed up - went to bed with socks on and an extra fuzzy blanket added for warmth!  That is all on top of having my thermostat set at 72!  I think I need to follow my daughter to San Diego.  Here is a cookie that is sure to warm up the kitchen (while you are baking) and warm the hearts of your friends and loved ones too.

Brown Sugar Cookies
1/2 c. Crisco shortening
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Beat together your ingredients.  Using a cookie scoop place 2" apart on yoru baking sheet.  Bake 12-14 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool.  If desired, dip in melted chocolate or white chocolate and use embellishments as desired - or just eat them plain! So good either way!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Philadelphia Vanilla Mousse Cheesecake

In reading over many food blogs today, I have been made aware that not only is it OREO's 100th birthday today - it is also Vanilla Cheesecake day  :)  So here you go, I have already supplied you with an Oreo recipe and here is a Vanilla cheesecake recipe - courtesy of Philadelphia Cream cheese:

Vanilla Mousse Cheesecake
40 Nilla Wafers, crushed (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 tbsp. butter, melted
4  8 oz. pkgs/ cream cheese, softened, divided
1 c. sugar, divided
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. vanilla, divided
3 ggs
1  8 oz. Cool Whip - thawed

Heat your oven to 325 degrees.  Mix wafer crumbs and butter and press into bottom of springform pan.  Beat 3 pkg. of cream cheese, 3/4 c. sugar and 1 tbsp. vanilla with mixer until well blended, beat in eggs 1 and a time.  Pour over crust.  Bake 50-55 minutes or until center is almost set.  Cool completely in pan.  Beat remaining pkg. cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixter, until well blended.  Stir in the cool whip.  Spread this over the cooled cheesecake.  Chill for 4 hours.  Serve!  Don't forget to invite me over when you make this one!

Oreo Cookie Cheesecakes

In honor or Oreo's 100th birthday today - here is a simple, quick and delicious recipe you can try - that uses the wonderful cookie.  And in case you are wondering do I just eat my Oreos or dissassamle them before I eat them - I take them apart!  I found this recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens!

OREO cookie cheesecakes
12 Oreos with white filling
2 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Split each cookie, keeping filling intact on one half.  Line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners.  Place the cookie half (with frosting) frosting side up in the bottom of each liner.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together until smooth.  Add eggs and beat on low speed until well combined.  Spoon mixture into cups.  Crush the remaining cookie tops and sprinkle over filling in each cup.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until set.  Cool.  Chill at least 1 hour before serving.  Keep refrigerated! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

A cookie a Day - Bar style - Chewy Brownie Turtle Bars

I must admit this recipe is straight from the pages of a Womans Day magazine - but they look and taste so good I had to share.  I worked at Herbergers (my side job) on Friday night and Saturday and then Sunday my hubby and I drove to Bemidji to visit family, and the newest member, Peyton!  It was 5 hours in the car (there and back) but worth it to be able to see and hold her - she is already 7 weeks old - and getting bigger!  My mom and her husband had just gotten back from a 2 week road trip to Florida and back, so she had brought me some beautiful sea shells and also a candy bar from Graceland (one of their pit stops!)

Enjoy these brownies - whip them up for dessert tonight!

Chewy Brownie Turtle Bars
2 1/2 c. pecan pieces, roasted
1/2 c. butter
2   4 oz. bars chocolate, recipe calls for bitersweet, I used semi-sweet
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2   14 oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
20 thin pretzels or whatever pretzels you have

Heat your oven to 350.  Line a 9 x 13 pan with tin foil and spray that foil with non-stick cooking spray. 
Place the butter and half of the chocolate in a saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium heat until melted.  Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and then the eggs.  Add the flour and stir until smooth.  Spread this into your prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean (12-15 minutes).  Meanwhile, place the sweetened condensed milk in a pan, whisking often and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.  Simmer for about 15 -20 minutes until very thick and light golden brown, whisking constantly.    Stir in 1 1/2c.  pecans, spread this over the crust.  Sprinkle with remaining chocolate (chopped in pieces) and pecans.  Place the pretzels on top  Let set at room temp until firm, remove the bars from the ban and cut!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Cookies Today ~ Coconut & Cherry Macaroons

Well, we Minnesotan's have weathered a big storm this week and now today it is SUNNY!  Can't beat that.  We are to have temps in the 40's next week so we can kiss that snow goodbye, which is just fine with me.  As I sit here sipping my chocolate mint hot cocoa I am sifting through cookie recipes and which one to share with you today, I decided to post one that is not what everyone might have at the top of their list but they are good, especially if you love coconut like I do!  Check it out!

Coconut & Cherry Macaroons
2 c. flaked coconut
4 egg whites
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 c. dried cherries (or cranberries)

Preheat your oven to 350.  Combine all of your ingredients except your cherries in a large heat-proof bowl over a large pot of simmering water.  Stir it constantly for 6 minutes, or until the egg whites have started to thicken.  The mixture is ready when it starts to hold shape.  Remove the bowl from the pan and stir in the cherries.  Drop large spoons onto the greased baking sheets.  Bake 15 minutes until the macaroons are golden.  Cool.