Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cotton Candy Cupcakes

These sweet treats would be delicious for your next birthday party! The butter cream contains small pieces of cotton candy throughout it, and then they are garnished with the wonderful, sweet spun sugar. (Just remember, garnish at the last minute, so it doesn't melt off.) They are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Monster Cookies

Making Monster Cookies is always a family affair in our house. Once each winter Eric decides that he HAS to have some, and he is my strong arm to stir the mix! Quite a crazy recipe. If you have time on your hands they are fun to make. Tonight we will be visiting some of the neighbors with treats! (I think we made about 140 out of this batch today.)

Monster Cookies

12 eggs
4 cups brown sugar
4 cups granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon corn syrup
8 teaspoons baking soda
1 pound butter
6 cups peanut butter
18 cups oatmeal
2 cups chocolate chips
2 cups M & M's

In a VERY large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the remaining ingredients in the order given. Mix thoroughly, then drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Cool on pans a few minutes before transferring to wire racks.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

White Chocolate Coconut Cookies

1/2 C butter, softened
1 C brown sugar
1 egg
1 T milk
1 t vanilla
1 3/4 C flour
1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 C white chocolate chips
1/2 C shredded coconut

1. In a mixer or in a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Let it mix for about 3 minutes.
2. Add your egg, milk and vanilla and mix for 2 more minutes.
3. In a separate small mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar and mix for 1 minute.
5. Pour in your white chocolate chips and coconut. Mix just until combined.
6. Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a sprayed cookie sheet. Press the balls down just a bit and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

Try making your muffins in parchment next time. I think they are adorable this way!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

5,000th Visitor ~ Congratulations Ariel!

Congratulations to Ariel! She was the 5000th visitor to my blog. Thanks to her for being a loyal reader, and to all of you:)

I decided to make her popcorn. Popcorn LolliCakes, that is . . . .

A Movie (about food and cooking of course!) and popcorn . . . . .

Sprinkles for Sweet Valentine's Cupcakes . . .

Homemade Grapefruit Gumdrops . . .

Thanks again to all of my loyal visitors . . . . watch for more contests in the future! xo

5000th Visitor

Come back in a few hours to see who our 5000th visitor was, and the prize that she got!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Goodie, Goodie Gumdrops!

Today I made homemade grapefruit gumdrops. They were very easy to make, and they literally melt in your mouth. They are incredibly soft and actually very pretty!

Boiling . . .

Pour mixture into a greased, foil lined pan. Let Sit for a few hours to set.

Cut into squares.

Place gumdrops into sugar and coat thoroughly.


Little Cherry Pies

The boys requested breakfast pasty today, and I had some leftover pie crust, so I made these little cherry pies. Happy Boys!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Maple Oatmeal Bread

I have been looking for a Maple Oatmeal bread recipe and found this one today. It was delicious. A VERY tender, light texture, and only a faint hint of maple. I think it would develop a stronger taste on the second day, but we have to try it fresh out of the oven.
A perfect recipe to try on one of these cold winter days! If you try it, let me know your thoughts!

Maple Oatmeal Bread

3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup hot brewed coffee
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
5-1/2 to 6 cups bread flour
In a large bowl, pour boiling water over cereal. Add the coffee, syrup, oil and salt. Let stand until mixture cools to 110°-115°, stirring occasionally.
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the oat mixture, eggs, sugar and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape into loaves. Place in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).

*** I always butter the tops of my loaves.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 slice) equals 129 calories, 3 g fat (trace saturated fat), 13 mg cholesterol, 152 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fudge Brownies

Just one word needed to describe these brownies . . . . AMAZING.

Scrumptious Fudge Brownies

1 cup butter ~melted
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsifted flour
2/3 cup good cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup walnuts chopped

12 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
14 oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In large mixer bowl, combine butter, sugar, flour, cocoa,
baking powder, eggs, milk and 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla; beat well.
Stir in nuts. Spread in greased 9x13" baking pan.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until edges are coming away from the pan.
In heavy sauce pan, over low heat, melt chocolate chips with
sweetened condensed milk and remaining 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla.
Remove from heat. Immediately spread over hot brownies.
Cool. Cut into bars & serve plain or with
Vanilla Ice Cream and drizzle with Chocolate Sauce.

Black Bottom Banana Bars

Black Bottom Banana Bars

(I make my own cream cheese icing to go on top, but the recipe leaves them un-iced.)

1/2 cup soft margarine or butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3 ripe, mashed bananas
1~1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa (baking)

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Beat until thoroughly combined. Blend in the bananas. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide batter in half and add cocoa to half. Spread into a greased 13x9x2 pan. Spoon remaining batter on top and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until it tests done.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Soft Baked Pretzels

Another snowy day today . . . perfect for new recipes. I made soft pretzels once when the kids were little, but found this recipe and decided to try them again. They were easy and very tasty.

First step is to proof your Yeast

Mix dough in stand mixer.

Place dough into a greased bowl and let it rise about an hour.

This is after the dough has risen.

Divide the dough into 12-15 pieces.

Shape into pretzels.

Place the formed pretzels onto a greased cookie sheet.

Boil the pretzels in your water/baking soda mixture, for about 30 seconds each.

Beat together your egg yolk and water for your egg wash.

Brush each boiled pretzels with your egg wash and top with pretzel salt. (I used kosher salt.)

Bake for 12-14 minutes, then cool on baking rack.

Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce. We tried mustard and a few flavored mustards today. Very tasty!

Soft Pretzels

1~1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package of active dry yeast
4~1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Vegetable oil for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt for kosher salt for pretzel tops

Combine warm water, sugar and kosher salt in bowl of stand mixer and sprinkle yeast on top. Allow to sit for five minutes or until mixture begins to foam. Add flour and butter, and using the dough hook attachment mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until dough is smooth and pulls away from side of bowl, approximately four to five minutes.

Remove dough from bowl, clean bowl, then oil with vegetable oil, return dough to bowl and cover with plastic. Let sit in warm place for approximately 50-55 minutes. (Or until dough has doubled in size.)

Heat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit. Lightly brush two cookies sheets with vegetable oil and set aside.

Bring ten cups water and baking soda to rolling boil in 8 quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn dough out onto work surface and divide into 12-15 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a long thin rope. Make a U shape with rope, holding ends of rope cross over each other and press onto bottom of the U in order to form shape of pretzel. Place onto cookie sheet.

Place pretzels into boiling water, one or two at a time for about 30 seconds. Remove from water using large flat spatula and place on cookie sheet. Brush top of each pretzel with beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with pretzel salt.

Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12-15 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack for at least five minutes before serving.
(Taken from "Guide to Homemade Bread".)