Friday, February 22, 2008

Butterfinger cookies......

Monday was a new holiday here called Family Day, it was also President's day so we decided to take off for a few days of eating out and shopping in Ann Arbor, MI. We like to visit Target a lot so we made it a point to check out 4 different Target stores on our trip. We hit the motherload of clearance sales when we found all the remaining Valentine candy for 90% off. As long as the chocolate is decent, I can chop it up and use it for baking. We ended up buying about 10 packages of butterfinger hearts. The reason I love these is because unlike a butterfinger candy bar, this is real chocolate. The butterfinger candy bars are mockolate!! I found this cookie recipe and I'm happy to report they're fabulous. I only made one change which was to use 1/4c. of brown sugar instead of all the white sugar. Next time, I'll use an even amount of both brown and white. The recipe does call for butterfinger candy bars, use them if you want, but they wont taste the same.

Butterfinger Cookies

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened (we recommend LAND O LAKES® Butter)
1 large egg
1 cup (about three 2.1-ounce bars) coarsely chopped NESTLɮ BUTTERFINGER® Candy Bars

PREHEAT oven to 375°F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat sugar
and butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg;
gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in Butterfinger pieces.
Drop by slightly rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on
baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lazy Daisy cake(TOH)........

I whipped this cake up in litterally 5 minutes the other night. It was a cinch and it had a great flavor. This is an old-fashioned recipe that has been around for awhile so I decided I'm going to make it for the seniors when I cook for them next Thursday. The cake is basically a hot milk sponge cake with a broiled coconut topping. I love coconut so I loved the toping!! Robin isnt a super huge coconut fan, but she enjoyed it. I cut the recipe in half and made it in a 9inch square pan.

Here is the full recipe for a 9 x 13
4 eggs
2 c. sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 c. milk( I used skim with no ill effects)
1/4 c. butter

1 1/2 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. butter( I actually will cut down the butter next time I make it)
1/2 c. half and half
2 cups coconut.

In mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla for 4 minutes. Add flour, baking powder and salt. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter to a boil, stiring constantly. Add to batter, mix until combined. Pour into greased pan and bake at 350 for 30-45 min.

Combine topping ingredients, spread over warm cake. Broil until light brown 3-4 minutes.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lawsuit muffins......

Last week I checked 2 books out from our town's libary. A Passion for Baking and The best of Both of these book are by Marcy Goldman. I have her other book, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking as well. I loved that book so much, I ended up buying a copy for my mom. Its rare that I pick up a book and want to make EVERYTHING in them. Thats how I feel about these two books. I spotted this recipe for lawsuit muffins and of course loved the name and the story behind them. I whipped them up this morning as like Marcy suggested, I quadrupeled the topping to stash in my freezer. The muffins lend themselves to all types of fruit combinations. I used blackberries and lemon zest. You could also use blueberries, apples, cranberries, banana's, etc.

The muffins are oil based with a nice dose of buttermilk. They were very tender and flavorful. Leave me a comment with your email address if you want the recipe.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie( CI)......

I cooked for the Seniors yesterday morning( got home at 2pm) so I wanted to make something easy for dinner. Robin loves chicken pot pie, but I'm not crazy about making pie dough. I saw this a few weeks ago on America's Test Kitchen and filed it away in my memory. The recipe came together pretty quickly. I made the biscuits first and to make it even faster, I just cut them into wedges rather than use a biscuit cutter. I've never made cream biscuits before, we were impressed. I did use White Lily flour and they rose nice and high.

The only changes I made to the recipe were to use fresh cooked( microwave) carrots instead of a frozen carrot/pea blend. I usually always have frozen peas on hand but not frozen carrots and peas. I also use a fine herb blend( penzey's) because I didnt have any thyme. I added some leftover red potatoes too.

You can find the recipe Here.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

90 minute cinnamon rolls.....

I woke up this morning with a sudden urge to bake some cinnamon rolls for Robin. I used this recipe, except I did make a few modifications. I used all butter because margarine is vile!! I also use 1/2 cup of white whole wheat flour and baked the rolls in a rectangular pan instead of muffin tins. I let them set up before I flipped them over. I also mixed up a quick glaze of powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Pretty good for only 90 minutes of work!! I made up a plate to take to my neighbors house as a thank you for plowing our driveway.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies......

I love making a trip to Port Huron, MI the day after a major candy holiday( ya know the day after Halloween, Xmas, Vday or Easter). I fill my cart with half price candy for baking, because chocolate is so much more expensive over here( and I can't find mini reeces pb cups in my town). I was perusing Anna's blog and came across this recipe. She got it from Lara who got it from Allrecipes. Like Anna, I probably wouldnt have come across it on my own. This recipe came at a perfect time because I'm donating some refreshments for a charity event on Friday. I took the advice of some of the reviewers and used half butter and half shortening. I used to be anti shortening anything, but I've come to find out that I prefer it in some recipes. I dont think this is one of them though!! Some of the reviews said " This is the best cookie I've ever had". Me, I didnt think that. Maybe because I always prefer cake!! I didnt think the cocoa added anything to the mix. I also didnt have enough PB chips, nor did I have any reeces pieces. Robin loved them however!! I'll try them again when I have all the proper ingredients and with all butter.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Pancake day........

In honor of Shrove Tuesday, we had ricotta pancakes for dinner. These were very light and fluffy with a nice flavor. I had half a container of ricotta left over from some calzones I made last weekend. If you didnt have any ricotta, I think pureed cottage cheese would work as well. I used this recipe and the only change I made was to cut the syrup recipe in half and use half buttermilk and half skim milk in the pancakes. I also used half sugar free syrup and half maple( I mix it myself and keep it in a bottle in the fridge). We really enjoyed them.

Here is a bonus pancake that I made a few weeks ago. In a nearby beach town, there is a restaurant that serves wonderful plate sized gingerbread pancakes year round. I found a recipe on Homesick Texan's blog and whipped them up. We liked them a lot too, although I wouldnt call them light and fluffy. They were pretty heavy. I served them to my 9yr old niece and she didnt care for them at all.