Tuesday, October 25, 2011

No Bake Desserts

The following are two of the most popular desserts I make. I make them a lot for families with kids. I used to be embarrassed because they don't actually involve cooking, but no one seems to mind! The Mock Eclair is a graham cracker and pudding dessert that is unbelievably good. The pudding is just a good banana pudding recipe. Enjoy!

Mock Éclair
Category: Desserts
Sub Category:

2 (3.4 oz) pkgs instant vanilla pudding mix
8 oz cook whip
3 c milk
1 (16 oz) box graham crackers
1 (16 oz) tub chocolate frosting

1. In medium bowl, mix 1st 3 ingredients w/electric mixer for 2 minutes.
2. Place single layer of graham cracker squares in 13x9 in pan. Evenly spread ½ of the pudding mixture over crackers. Top w/another layer of crackers & remaining pudding mixture. Top w/final layer of crackers.
3. Heat tub of frosting 35 seconds in microwave. Pour over top layer of crackers. Spread to the pan’s edges.
4. Cover and chill at least 4 hours. Best if prepared 24 hours in advance.

Banana Pudding*
Category: Desserts
Sub Category:

1 large box instant vanilla pudding
1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
1 box Vanilla Wafers
3-4 bananas, sliced

1. Prepare pudding as directed. Refrigerate for approximately 5 minutes.

2. Mix together Cool Whip, Eagle Brand milk and sour cream. Mix into pudding.

3. Arrange a layer of Vanilla Wafers on bottom of 13x9 baking dish. Arrange a layer of banana slices on top of the cookies. Pour ½ of pudding mixture over bananas. Repeat. Top with more cookies.

4. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More of the Recipe Project

I am very slowly working my way through the entrees posted by readers of Kelly's Korner as their favorites. I continue to not be wowed. I tried Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese and would have thought this was mis-posted as an entree, but recently had someone bring me a casserole dish of Macaroni and Cheese as a meal. I did not make it as an entree, though. I made it as a side dish for a group dinner. It was fine, but it tasted like macaroni and cheese. Nothing made this dish special.

I did make Pasta Weesie as a meal and was confused by this on multiple levels. It is basically Fettuccine Alfredo with shrimp and mushrooms. And I did get it made and it was fine, but it didn't blow our socks off and I probably wouldn't make it again.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Some of my new favorites

I have been way behind on Blogging, but I am caught up on cooking and here are some new recipes I am loving right now:

Blueberry Muffins
Category: Baked Goods
Sub Category: Muffins
Source: Self – Gwyneth Paltrow

½ c butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 eggs
½ c whole milk
2 c flour
¾ c plus 1 t sugar, divided
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 ½ c blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line 12 muffin cups with liners.

2. Whisk butter, eggs and milk. Combine flour, ¾ c sugar, baking powder and salt in another bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry. Fold in berries.

3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle with remaining 1 t sugar. Bake 25-30 min until golden and a knife comes out clean.

Coconut Layer Cake
Category: Desserts
Sub Category: Cake
Source: More

3 ¼ sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 c cake flour
1 ¼ c sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ t vanilla
2 ½ t baking powder
3/4 t salt
3 c shredded sweetened coconut
¾ c milk
1 lb box powdered sugar
2-4 T coconut milk

1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare two 9-in cake pans

2. Cream 1 ¼ sticks butter with the sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add 1 t vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, ¼ t salt and ½ c coconut. Add to mixer alternating with the milk just until combined. Do not over mix.

3. Divide batter among pans. Bake 25 min until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool.

4. Cream remaining 2 sticks of butter with powdered sugar, ½ t salt and ½ t vanilla until creamy. Gradually add enough coconut milk to reach spreadable consistency.

5. When cake is cool, spread 1/3 of the frosting on one layer all the way to edges and sprinkle with ½ c coconut. Top with other layer. Spread on 1/3 of the frosting and use the rest to cover the sides. Press 2 c coconut onto top and sides of cake.

Note: I don't do well with layer cakes, so I did this in a 9 x 13 pan and it worked great. I baked it an extra five minutes.

German Chocolate Cake
Category: Desserts
Sub Category: Cake
Source: Food and Wine

2 ½ c cake flour
1/8 t cinnamon
1/8 t nutmeg
¼ t salt
1 c buttermilk
1 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 c sugar
4 eggs, separated
6 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 c pecans, coarsely chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 lb confectioners’ sugar
1 ½ T cocoa
1 t vanilla
¼ c hot coffee
½ c packed sweetened shredded coconut

1. Preheat oven to 325. Prepare two 9-in cake pans. In small bowl, whisk flour w/cinnamon, nutmeg & salt. In a cup, stir buttermilk w/vanilla and baking soda until combined. In stand mixer, beat butter & sugar until fluffy. Add egg yolks; beat until incorporated; beat in chocolate. Beat in dry and wet ingredients in three alternating batches.

2. Transfer batter to a large bowl and wash out mixing bowl. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold beaten whites into batter until no streaks remain.

3. Divide batter b/w pans and bake 45-50 min, until toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool completely.

4. Beat softened butter w/powdered sugar and cocoa until combined. Add vanilla & coffee; beat until fluffy. Fold in coconut and pecans. Frost layers and sides of cake.

Note: Don't make this if you are looking for style points. It is SO good, but it did not look very pretty. At first I thought it was because I have bad luck with layer cakes, but I tried it in a 9 x 13 and it still baked up weird. Again, it was very, very good, but not very pretty. I noticed that the magazine didn't have a picture, either, so I don't think it is just me.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Recipe Project

I have been working my way through the main dish recipes on Kelly's Blog. I have to say that I haven't been wowed by anything yet. I did do a remake on Kelly's Chicken Supreme. I turned it into a healthy casserole and it was really good. All three of us loved it and it was easy. I have to tweak it a little bit to get a better consistency, but I have high hopes. You can read about the original recipe here.

Here is the run down of the other recipes I have tried. Like I said, I have not been won over, but these have all been easy and inexpensive and probably things most kids would eat. That is likely the criteria in a lot of households, so these may work for you if you have similar standards.

Girl Scout Casserole - This was okay. My friend's 10 year old daughter was staying with us and she loved it - she took several servings home for her family. And Aaron enjoyed it, as well. My husband and I thought it was okay. It is definitely something kids will eat, but the top two layers are store bought biscuits and American Cheese slices. So I'm not sure if it's what you want your kids to eat. Being that the bottom layer is ground beef (no big servings of vegetables hidden in there) there just aren't a lot of redeeming qualities to this dish. If I did make it again I would make homemade drop biscuits and spread the dough on top of the casserole instead of using the store bought biscuits. The way this recipe comes out each serving has a big biscuit and a slice of cheese on top. I would probably also use shredded cheddar instead of American Slices.

Mexican Tortilla Stack - This recipe was posted by the same person who posted the Girl Scout Casserole. It was very underwhelming, but it was cheap and easy. There's nothing very healthy about it, but it's not horrible - it is beef, beans, cheese and tortillas. The only flavor comes from chili powder which I thought was a strange choice. It over powered the dish a bit. I cared very little for this and my husband thought it was okay, but dumping salsa on it helped tremendously.

Crescent Ring - Wow. This was posted as an entree and the recipe indicates that it serves 6. That means that each person is eating almost three store bought crescent rolls and three slices of bacon for dinner. That's just not dinner in the boring Allen household, so I made this as an appetizer for a group and turned it into 14 servings. It was popular, but I still wouldn't consider it an option for a meal.

Hawaiian Meatloaf - This was different. The recipe does indicate that this can be made into meat balls and I could see that as an appetizer at a party - a bit like Sweet and Sour Meatballs. But for dinner, it was a little strange. This is beef baked with pineapples and covered in a very sweet sauce. It was okay, but not something we would have again.

Pizza Bites - This is another one that seemed like an odd choice for an entree for me. It is basically pizza muffins. I made them for an appetizer for a group. They were alright, but no one asked for the recipe.

That's where I am so far. Hopefully soon I'll have some recipes I can recommend!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Smores Bars

YUM! I got this recipe from Jennifer's blog and she had gotten it from someone else's blog. It is SO good. I wasn't sure it would live up to my hopes, but it did.

Smores Cookie Bars
Category: Desserts
Sub Category:
Source: Jennifer Francis

½ c butter, room temperature
¼ c brown sugar
½ c sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 1/3 c flour
¾ c graham cracker crumbs
1 t baking powder
¼ t salt
2 king size Hershey’s bars
1 ½ c marshmallow crème

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8-in square baking dish.

2. In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at low speed until combined.

3. Divide dough in half and press half into an even layer in pan. Place chocolate bars over dough in single layer. Spread chocolate with marshmallow crème. Place remaining dough in single layer on top.

4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

My Husband's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

My husband is a bit of a chocolate chip cookie connoisseur. This recipe has been his favorite for years. It is funny because it is from Cooking Light and for the longest time he did not believe me when I told him that. They're still cookies, but maybe they are a little better for you? I will say they don't have a ton of chocolate chips in them which is a plus for Jory but maybe not for everyone.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Category: Desserts
Sub Category:
Source: Cooking Light

2 ¼ c flour
1 t baking soda
¼ t salt
1 c packed brown sugar
¾ c sugar
½ c butter, softened
1 t vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
¾ c semisweet chocolate chips
Cooking Spray

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt, stirring with a whisk.

3. Combine sugars and butter in a large bowl, beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add vanilla and egg whites; beat one minute. Add flour mixture and chips; beat until blended.

4. Drop dough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Coon on pans for two minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Chicken Lasagna

This is one of my most popular recipes and I always mean to take a picture of it because it is so pretty, but I always forget, so I am posting the recipe without it. I made it recently for a dinner party and had so many people ask for the recipe. One woman said it was the best thing she had eaten in a long time!

Chicken Spinach Lasagna Casserole
Category: Main Dishes
Sub Category: Chicken
Source: Redbook - Trisha Yearwood

1 (10 oz) package frozen spinach, thawed
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 c grated cheddar cheese
1/3 c chopped onion
1 T cornstarch
½ t salt
¼ t pepper
1T soy sauce
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 c sour cream
1 (4 ½ oz) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1/3 c mayonnaise
6 lasagna noodles, cooked
1 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 c chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. In a large bowl, combine 1st 12 ingredients. Put a layer of noodles in the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Spread half of the spinach mixture over noodles. Place another layer of noodles on top and cover with the remaining mixture. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese, then pecans on top and bake for 1 hour.

Notes: 1. I use frozen chopped onions.

2. I have used canned chicken and couldn't tell the difference

3. I have used light sour cream and/or light mayo and couldn't tell the difference

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sweet Potato Cobbler

I made Jory Sweet Potato Cobbler last weekend. It is his favorite food in the world. That is not a lie. You should have seen the look on his face when I told him I was going to make it!

Sweet Potato Cobbler
Category: Desserts
Sub Category:
Source: GSTSPQ

2 c boiled, peeled sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
1 stick butter
2 c water
2 c sugar
1 ½ c self-rising flour
½ c shortening
1/3 c milk
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg

1. Melt butter in 13x9 pan.

2. Heat water and sugar until sugar melts.

3. Make dough with next three ingredients. Roll into a ¼ in thick rectangle. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.

4. Put sweet potatoes on dough, roll it up and pinch ends to seal. Slice roll into 15-20 pieces and put them in pan of butter.

5. Pour sugar syrup over pieces and bake 45 minutes at 350.

Notes: 1. This generally takes one very large sweet potato. I boil it for 5-10 minutes to make the skin easy to peel off and it a little easier to cut. Then I peel it, dice it and boil the chunck a little longer until they are tender.

2. The crust is a little hard to work with. I put about half of it in the pan, top it with the potatoes and then with the other half of the dough. Then I just mash it down real good. It bakes up fine.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Recipe Project has begun

This is Chicken Breast Supreme. It is the first dish I tried as I am making my way through the hundreds of main dishes posted on Kelly's blog. This dish is from Kelly. The first four I am trying are her recipes then I will proceed through the posted contributions. This is chicken breasts wrapped in bacon and baked in a sour cream and mushroom sauce. I had actually decided before I even made it that it was not going to be a keeper. That was partially because it is really high in fat, but mostly because it required me to buy meat in a jar. I didn't even know you could buy such a thing and Kelly's helpful hint that it is found near the Spam did not give me a warm fuzzy feeling. But as it was baking it smelled SO good. I thought I would reconsider.

Kelly suggested serving it over rice and I really liked the sauce in the rice. But when it came to the chicken I picked off the bacon and dried beef which took most of the sauce and I was just eating a chicken breast. Also, when we got done with the chicken there was SO much sauce left. And we didn't get that many meals out of the chicken.

VERDICT...I won't make this again, but I am going to try to make a slightly healthier version of the sauce and pour it over shredded chicken and rice and make a casserole out of it. Stay tuned for that. If you want the original recipe for Chicken Breast Supreme it is here.

King Ranch Chicken
I didn't take a picture of this one, but I should have because it looked really nice. I have been wanting a good King Ranch recipe. This one was different than what I'm used to because it had a soup base versus a sour cream base. Aaron loved it which was bonus, but it was a little bland for me.

VERDICT...This was fine...nothing wrong with it at all, but it didn't win me over and I'm still looking for a King Ranch Chicken recipe. If you want this one, it is here.

Poppyseed Chicken
This is another recipe I have been wanting a good version of. Kelly didn't say where this originated, but based on the two cups of sour cream and the stick of butter I am guessing Paula Deen! This was good, but it was a little runny to me and I wish it was a little more calorie conscious.

VERDICT...This was good, but I think I'm still in search of a Poppyseed Chicken recipe. If you want this one, it is here.

I will say that one of my favorite recipes came from Kelly's blog. It is Swiss Stuffing Chicken and I have blogged about it before. I think it actually did come for Paula Deen and it is good!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chocolate Cobbler

I don't think the picture is all that enticing, but this is a yummy dessert. And it is SO bad for you. When I make it for people I hold my breath hoping they won't ask for the recipe. I'm afraid once I give it to them the response will be You made this for us? Are you trying to kill us? I thought we were friends!. But this is quite a gooey fun concoction. I got the recipe from the Tyler newspaper a few years ago. I was intrigued by the idea of a chocolate cobbler.

Chocolate Cobbler
Category: Desserts
Sub Category:

2 sticks butter
1 ½ c sugar
1 ½ c self rising flour
1 t vanilla
¾ c milk
1 c sugar
5-6 T cocoa

1. Melt butter in 9x13 glass baking dish

2. Mix next four ingredients in bowl

3. Pour batter over melted butter

4. Mix 1 cup sugar and cocoa together and sprinkle on top of batter

5. Pour 2 c boiling water over everything

6. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes

Note: The original recipe states in no uncertain terms that you should not stir when you pour the batter over the butter and you should not stir when you sprinkle the sugar/cocoa over the batter. This is printed in bold, capitalized letters and repeated. Can I tell you how much that makes me want to stir? Every time I make this I have to fight the urge to stir and cause the ultimate recipe calamity. But I do spread and that kind of stirs things up a bit. It makes me feel better anyway.

Enchilada Casserole

I got this recipe from an advertisement for Carnation Evaporated Milk, believe it or not. The recipe was actually cleverly named Enchilada-Zagna, but that's just a little too catchy for me. Besides, it is not even lasagna-like because you don't cut the tortillas into strips. I was confused on how to layer the round tortillas in the rectangular pan - will it be too hard to cut where the tortillas overlap, will there be places with no tortillas that will just fall apart? But it all baked up fine. This was a really good recipe and very easy.

Enchilada Casserole
Category: Main Dishes
Sub Category:

3 c cooked, chopped chicken breasts
28 oz mild red enchilada sauce
8 oz sour cream
12 oz evaporated milk
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz can chopped green chiles
12 (7 in) corn tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 13x9 in baking dish

2. Combine enchilada sauce and sour cream in med bowl.

3. Combine evaporated milk, cheese and chiles in med saucepan. Cook over med heat, stirring, until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.

4. Spread 1 c enchilada sauce mixture on bottom of baking dish. Layer with 4 tortillas, 1 c enchilada sauce mixture, 1 ½ c chicken and 1 c cheese sauce. Repeat layer starting with tortillas. Top w/remaining tortillas, sauce mixture and cheese sauce. Cover with foil.

5. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Uncover. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Notes: 1. I used two large cans of chicken instead of cooking and chopping chicken breasts. It worked great.

2. I used Light Sour Cream and, again, it worked well.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Recipe Project

I feel like I've been in a recipe rut lately. For the past month we ate meals that I had made and frozen while I was pregnant. They were good, but they were old standbys and nothing exciting. When the frozen food ran out I went back to trying new recipes - I had collected lots over the past two months. And I was so disappointed. I probably had my worst recipe-trying week ever last week. So I was super excited when Kelly did a post today letting people share their favorite recipes. There are already hundreds posted! I decided that I will start working my way through those recipes. That should keep me busy for a while and I'll be trying the tried and true favorites of others. I am optimistic.

Up first are the five recipes that Kelly posted herself. Of those, I've already made one (and posted it on this blog). It is her Swiss Stuffing Chicken. She got the recipe when she was pregnant with Harper and made it and froze it. When she had it after Harper was born she posted the recipe. I am always looking for recipes that freeze well so I tried it and it has definitely become a stand by.

Here is where I blogged about this recipe. Next I am anxious to try her Poppyseed Chicken and King Ranch Chicken. Both of those are dishes I love but do not have good recipes for. Look for my results in the next week or so.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A fabulous egg casserole

I made a wonderful egg casserole this weekend. The recipe was in an ad for Hilshire Farms smoked sausage. Since there was also a coupon for the sausage I thought I'd try it. We were so impressed. What made it great is how fluffy the eggs are. The casserole itself was light and probably my favorite egg casserole. It would have been just fine without the sausage. So if you don't eat sausage I think you could substitute any other meat or vegetable or just do eggs and cheese. I plan to try several variations.

Crustless Quiche
Category: Eggs and Cheese
Sub Category:

1 package smoked sausage
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ c heavy whipping cream
1 ½ t dry mustard
¼ t salt
1/8 t pepper
1 ½ c shredded cheddar, divided
½ c chopped green bell pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Cut sausage into ½” cubes, set aside. Place eggs, cream, dry mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl, whisk until smooth.

3. Stir in sausage, 1 c cheese and green pepper. Pour into greased 9x13 pan.

4. Bake 40-45 minutes or until eggs are set. Sprinkle with remaining ½ c cheese. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Notes: 1. I did not include the bell pepper.

2. Instead of a 9x13 pan I made this in two smaller pans and froze one.

Easter Dishes

Here are a couple of things I made for Easter. This is Carrot Souffle, though no one who has ever tried it believes there are carrots in it. I know for a fact that I make desserts that are healthier than this 'vegetable' side dish, but it sure is good! Carrot Souffle
Category: Sides
Sub Category:
Source: Ann

3 lbs carrots
3 c sugar
1 T baking powder
1 T vanilla
¾ c flour
1 ½ sticks butter
6 eggs

1. Boil carrots, drain.

2. Mix carrots with all other ingredients with mixer until smooth.

3. Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan.

4. Bake 1 hour at 350.

Note: I boil the carrots a REALLY long time so they are mushy by the time I put them in the stand mixer. It makes mixing them until smooth easier.

These are what I call embarrassingly easy biscuits. I was skeptical the first time I made them because good biscuits should be much harder than these to make. They take about five minutes to whip up and Jory loves them.

Drop Biscuits
Category: Baked Goods
Sub Category:
Source: Real Simple

2 c flour, leveled
Stick cold unsalted butter in small pieces
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
1 c whole milk

1. Heat oven to 400. In a food processor, combine everything except milk and pulse until pea-size clumps form. Add the milk and pulse just until moistened.

2. Drop six large mounds of the dough (about ½ c each) onto a baking sheet. Bake until golden, 18-20 min

Note: I don't add the milk to the food processor. I put the flour mixture in a large bowl and stir in the milk.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Over the past two months, I have not needed to make dinner. For a full month after Abby was born we had meals brought to us! After that, I had one month's worth of dinners frozen that I had made while I was pregnant with Abby. So my recipe trying has been limited to desserts - and I found some good ones! This is Key Lime Pound Cake from Southern Living. The picture is obviously from Southern Living's website and not from my kitchen, but the pound cake was excellent. It was VERY moist and both Jory (who likes his key lime stuff tart) and I (who doesn't) liked it very much.

Key Lime Pound Cake
Category: Desserts
Sub Category: Cake
Source: Southern Living

1 c butter, softened
½ c shortening
3 c sugar
6 eggs
3 c flour
½ t baking powder
1/8 t salt
1 c milk
1 t vanilla
1 t lime zest
¼ c key lime juice

Key Lime Glaze

1 c powdered sugar
2 T key lime juice
1/2 t vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325. Beat butter and shortening at med until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Add eggs beating just until blended after each.

2. Stir together flour, powder and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk. Beat at low just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla, lime zest and lime juice. Pour into greased/floured 10-inch tube pan.

3. Bake 75-80 min or until pick comes out clean. Cool 10-15 min then remove from pan.

4. Whisk glaze ingredients. Brush over top and sides of cake. Then allow to cool completely.

These are the orange flavored cupcakes I wrote about on my blog.

Orange Cupcakes
Category: Desserts
Sub Category: Cupcakes

2 ½ c flour
1 t baking soda
¼ t salt
½ c buttermilk
½ c sour cream
1 c unsalted butter, softened
2 c sugar
4 eggs
1 T orange extract

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line tins for 24 cupcakes.

2. In large bowl, whisk 1st 3 ingredients. In small bowl, combine next 2 ingredients.

3. Beat butter until smooth. Add sugar, beat until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time. Add extract; mix well.

4. Add flour mixture alternating w/milk mixture until well combined.

5. Pour into baking cups to ¾ full. Bake 30-40 minutes.

Orange Buttercream Frosting

1 c unsalted butter, softened
2 c powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
1-2 T water
½ t orange extract

1. Combine all ingredients and then mix at high speed 5 min.

Note: One time when I made this I substituted almond extract for the orange extract in the frosting. I liked it very much.

These are black bottoms and I pulled the picture from a Google search. Mine don't look that pretty and even, but they sure tasted good!

Black Bottoms
Category: Desserts
Sub Category: Cupcakes
Source: Woman’s Day

8 oz cream cheese
1 egg
1 1/3 c sugar, divided
¾ t salt, divided
1 c mini chocolate chips
1 ½ c flour
¼ c unsweetened cocoa
1 t baking soda
½ c canola oil
1 t white vinegar
1 t vanilla

1. Heat oven to 350. Line mini muffin tins with paper liners. Beat the cream cheese, egg, 1/3 c sugar and ¼ t salt until creamy. Stir in the chocolate chips.

2. In a second large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, 1 c sugar and ½ t salt. Add the oil, vinegar, vanilla and 1 c water. Mix well.

3. Spoon chocolate batter into each cup to fill halfway. Gently spread cream cheese evenly over chocolate to bring each cup to ¾ full. Bake until the cupcakes are puffed and barely golden, 15-20 min.

Notes: 1. I used regular muffin tins, not mini. So I used regular-sized chocolate chips and I baked them for 25-30 minutes until they were puffed and barely golden.

2. I was in poor shape on the ingredient list for this one. I ran out of chocolate chips so I used a half cup of regular chocolate chips and a half cup of white chocolate chips - very good! I also used vegetable oil and white balsamic vinegar and they tasted fine.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bread Pudding

We love bread pudding in our house! I tried this recipe this week and we were so impressed. I was skeptical because it doesn't have a sauce. I was all set to make my own, but decided to try it as directed first. It does not need a sauce. This is really good and SIMPLE. I have made some labor-intensive bread puddings, so this was a pleasant surprise. Jory loved it. A little goes a long way with this, it really fills you up.

Cranberry Bread Pudding
Category: Desserts
Sub Category:
Source: Woman’s Day

2 c heavy cream
4 eggs
¼ c pure maple syrup
2 t vanilla
½ c brown sugar
¼ t cinnamon
6 large croissants (1 lb)
1 c dried cranberries
1 c white chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350. Butter an 8 in square baking dish

2. In a large bowl, whisk cream, eggs, syrup and vanilla. Add sugar and cinnamon; mix well.

3. Tear croissants into 2 in pieces. Add to cream mixture and toss to coat. Fold in cranberries and chips.

4. Transfer mixture to baking dish. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, 50-55 minutes. May need to cover with foil if it is browning too quickly.
Note: Our store bakery didn't have any croissants, so I bought a container of Pillsbury crescent rolls. This made 8 small
'croissants' and I am sure is no where near what the chef whose mother created this recipe intended. However, it worked great and was really good.