Friday, October 31, 2008

#6, Haystacks,& A Birthday!

Okay, here is #6. They are really simple to make and the caramel topping on top is my favorite part. For you pecan lovers this is another cookie for you. On a side note, the fall weather we are having here is so gorgeous! Have a great weekend!
"Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints"
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg, separated
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans
12 to 14 caramels
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk, milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa and salt; add to the creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle. Roll into 1-in. balls. Beat egg white. Dip balls into egg white and coat with nuts. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make a 3/8-to 1/2-in. indentation in the center of each ball. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool. Meanwhile, in a large heavy saucepan, melt caramels with cream over low heat; stir until smooth. Using about 1/2 teaspoon caramel mixture, fill each cookie. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening. Drizzle over cookies. Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen.

These are so good and really easy to make, the M&M's are so cute on top!
3/4 cup Butterscotch chips
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
3 cup Chow Mein Noodles
Blue M&M's (optional for nests)*
Melt buttterscotch chips and peanut butter. (Microwave works fabulous for this)! Add noodles. Mix. Drop with a fork on waxed paper to form haystacks. *Double size of haystacks to form nests and top with blue m&m's.*

Bridgett over at La Bella Cook gave me this award. Thank you so much Bridgett, I was so excited to get this! Bridgett always has delicious looking food/desserts and I can't wait to try her "Enchilada Chicken" - yummo! I am going to pass this on to:

  1. Jessica at Turkey Cookies
  2. Rae over at Made By Rae
  3. Rebekah over at Don't Call Me Becky
  4. Allie over at Finding Inspiration In Food
  5. Tina over at Mommy's Kitchen

Okay, so yesterday was my brothers 19th birthday. It is rare that we get pics of all 6 of us together. It is actually only 5 of us, since my little sister Anna doesn't like to get in pictures - *if you are a friend or family reading this - tell Anna to let us post pics of her.!*

L to R: Lisa, me, Joe, Steven, & Andrew

Steven obviously thinks there is something so much more interesting to look at over there....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What do you think of #7?

So far, one of the things I've learned during this Top 10 list is that you guys think Pecan Balls aka Mexican Wedding Cookies should be #1 or in the top 5. But, once you see the top 5 - I know you guys will quickly chang your minds (I think). I 've also learned that I enjoy keeping you in suspense. Until #6, enjoy Butter Pecan is as good as it sounds!
"Butter Pecan Fudge"
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup pecan halves, toasted and coarsely chopped
In a large heavy saucepan, combine the butter, sugars, cream and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 6 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Stir in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Fold in pecans. Spread into a buttered 8-in. square dish. Cool to room temperature. Cut into 1-in. squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Yield: 1-1/4 pounds.

This dip is so easy and if you love Mexican food, this is for you. It is yummy and the layers are so pretty.
"7 Layer Dip"
1 16 oz. can refried beans
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 cup each sour cream, guacamole, salsa, lettuce, cheddar chese
4 oz. black olives, sliced
1 cup tomatoes
Layer in this order:
Sour cream mixed w/taco seasoning

Monday, October 27, 2008

#8 & Brownies!

#8. So, Pecan Balls are #8. Depending on who you ask in my family - others would rank these higher. But since I am doing the ranking here, they come in at #8 (did I say 8 too many times)??:) With a cup of coffee or tea and these - your breakfast will be oh-so yummy!

"Pecan Balls"
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter in large mixing bowl with elctric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 sec. Add granulated sugar & salt, beat until combined. Beat in vanilla. Beat in as much flour as you can with mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Stir in pecans. Shape slightly rounded tsp. of dough into balls size of large grapes. Place 1-in. apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until bottoms just begin to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Roll in powdered sugar.
These brownies are really good, just look at the pictures....need I say more???

"Favorite Frosted Brownies"
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
3 cups confectioners' sugar
Decorating sprinkles, optional
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. For frosting, in a mixing bowl, beat the butter, milk and vanilla; add cocoa. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over cooled brownies. Decorate with sprinkles if desired. Yield: 12-15 servings.
My brother waiting with you guys for #7 too.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

#9 Is Here!

Okay, my #9 favorite dessert on the "Top 10". Anybody who likes mint will love these. We make them every year during the holidays and they have become a hot cookie around here. My favorite part of the cookie is the bright green frosting - I love colored frosting!
"Chocolate Mint Dreams"
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 to 2 drops green food coloring
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon shortening
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar. Beat in chocolate and mint extract. Gradually add flour. Stir in chocolate chips. (Dough will be soft.) Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 6-8 minutes or until firm. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Meanwhile, combine icing ingredients; spread over cooled cookies. Let set. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over cookies. Yield: 4 dozen.
I made this today too - on a rating of 1-10....this from me would get a 3. I found out it tastes much better on buttered toast!
"Pumpkin Harvest Dip"
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Apple and pear slices
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Gradually add the pumpkin, pie spice, vanilla and ginger; beat until smooth. Serve with fruit. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 3-1/2 cups.
See you with #8 next!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Something New Here!

So, I am starting to do something called: "My Top 10 Favorite Holiday Desserts". My next 9 posts after this one will conclude my top 10 Holiday Desserts. Lets start off with #10.
We have been making this sheet cake for years. Fall thru winter, this recipe would have to be the #1 most "made" recipe here. I know there are lots of Pumpkin Sheet Cake recipes out there but this one takes the cake! So easy too - which is a plus.

"Pumpkin Sheet Cake"

1 15 oz. can pumpkin
2 cup sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cup flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
In a large bowl, beat pumpkin, sugar, and oil. Add beaten eggs; mix well. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix. Add to pumpkin mixture and beat until well blended. Pour cake batter into a greased 10x15 in. cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool. Frost when cooled.

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
10 tbsp. butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cup powdered sugar
6-8 tsp. milk
Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add sugar, mix well. Add 3-4 tsp. milk until frosting reaches spreading consistency.
My little sister obviously thinks I am so amusing. Don't you Anna??

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ah-Mazing Cookies & Easy Too!

When you feel like having a dessert that is really quick, easy, and tastes delicious....try these! They are soo good. They were gone in about 15 minutes - but I guess that isn't hard with 8 people!
Thank you everyone for answering my questions in my last post. I get so excited when new people leave comments or when you guys try my recipes and say you like 'em! On my next post, I will tell you what I found out about Stumble Upon.

Big Brownie Cookies

1 (19.5 to 21.5-ounce size) box fudge brownie mix
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup oil
3 tablespoons water
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir until all dry ingredients are incorporated, but do not overmix. Drop by rounded tablespoons (I use a #40 scoop) onto the greased baking sheet. Leave at least 2 inches between cookies as these will spread.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, (I baked mine for 8-9 minutes) until cookies appear set and do not look “wet” in the middle. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool. To serve, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes about 2 dozen cookies

*If desired, you can stir in 1 cup of white chocolate, semisweet chocolate, or peanut butter chips; 1 cup of chopped almonds or pecans; or 1 cup of M&MS or Reese’s Pieces before scooping and dropping onto cookie sheet.*
My brothers playing their daily game of baseball - Steven on the left and Joe on the right.
At at one point they were like this on the ground...results from going after the same ball. Don't worry - they were fine. :)
I had to stop taking pictures of them so I could get this gorgeous sunset! I am so glad God gave me eyes to see this!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Cookies & Questions!

Yummy. I heart these cookies. The secret to these is not overbaking them. They taste so good soft with frosting inbetween.
I have a question for my readers......I have been getting traffic off of stumbleupon but I can't find the link to my blog - could someone give me that link? Or, how do you find your baked goods on stumbleupon?
And one more question...I am wondering who all my readers are & have any of you guys tried my recipes?

"Chocolate Sandwich Cookies"

2 devils food cake mix
4 eggs
2/3 cup oil
In a bowl, lightly beat eggs and oil together. Combine into cake mixes in large bowl. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Flatten softly with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Leave on pan for 3-4 minutes before removing to wire rack. Cook completely before frosting with cream cheese frosting between two cookies.
"Homemade Buttercream Frosting"
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioners sugar
2 tbsp. milk
Beat butter. Add confectioners sugar and milk.
***You may need more powdered sugar or more milk to reach the consistency or taste you like**

Friday, October 17, 2008

One Of The Best Fried Desserts Ever!

Churros are one of the best fried desserts ever. IMHO, Knotts Berry Farm or Green Burito have the best ones. Out here in Iowa, there are no places that sell Churros. So if you want one - you have to make 'em. Boy, these are yummy! My Dad and sister were saying "these are just as good as the ones at Knotts or Green Burito"!!

"Spanish Fritters aka Churros"
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup mlk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1/4 tsp. grated lemon peel
Additional oil for frying
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
In a large saucepan, combine the water, milk, oil and salt. Bring to a boil over medum-high heat. Add flour all at once. Reduce heat to low; beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a stiff ball. Transfer to a large mixing bowl; let stand for 5 minutes.
Beat on medium-high speed for 1 minute or until the dough softens. Add egg and lemon peel; beat for 1-2 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a deep skillet, heat 1 in. of oil to 375 degrees. Insert a large star tip in a pastry bag and fill with dough. Holding the bag perpendicular to a baking sheet, pipe dough into 4-in. strips. Transfer strips to skillet and fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Combine the sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over fritters. Serve warm.
Yield: about 1 dozen.
***When I piped the dough onto the baking sheets - I did "2" 4-in. strips for one fritter. I also had trouble with my star tip falling off...need to work on that***
Yeah, I need help with football.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mounds Bars!!

Wow. This has to be one of the best recipes ever made. The chocolate topping, coconut mixture, and the graham cracker crust make it all soooo good. I doubled this recipe so I would get bigger bars, while they came out good for pictures - one big bar was making my heart burn. My brothers didn't seem to mind how big they were!
"Mounds Bars"

2 cups graham crackers, crushed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
14 oz. condensed milk, sweetened
1 cup shredded coconut
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tbsp. peanut butter
Mix together first three ingredients. Pack in a greased 9x13 in. pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Combine milk and coconut and spread over graham cracker mixture. Bake for 15 minutes more or until golden brown. Melt chips and peanut butter and spread over cooled coconut and graham cracker mixture. Refrigerate. Serve.
***It is amazing how easy it is to melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in the microwave....I used to do it on the stove and had terrible results***

Ahh, this baseball life is so hard.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Favorite Cheeseball & Another Award!

Another appetizer on our "Top 10" list. I haven't had many cheeseballs in my life but this one is my favorite. The trick to this recipe is having fairly soft cream cheese and very well drained crushed pineapple - otherwise the mixture will be so runny! Yup, that has happened to me one too many times!
"Pineapple Cheeseball"

1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained well

8 oz. cream cheese, softened (not too softened or the cheeseball will be too liquidy)

1 tsp. Lawrys Seasoning Salt

1 tsp. Onion Salt


1 stem of a green onion

1/2 cup red or green pepepr, chopped


Mix all ingredients together. Roll in chopped pecans. Chill 2 hours.

Now, for the award!
Marisa over at What's For Dinner....And Dessert gave me this award! Thanks so much Marisa! I was hoping I was getting this award! Anyway, I am passing it on to:
  • Pam over at For The Love Of Cooking. Pam has great-looking and yummy recipes. I always enjoy reading her blog and she has super food pictures.
  • Cristine over at Cristine Cooks. I recently found Cristine's blog and she has some yummy looking recipes!
  • Jessica over at Turkey Cookies. A great blog and Jessica always has such fun posts to read!
  • Bridgett over at La Bella Cook. A Californian shares her favorite yummy looking recipes along with pics of her kids!
  • Brooke over at Dessert First. I enjoy visiting Brooke's blog and seeing all her yummy food creations!