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Archive for April, 2012

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins

Preparation
Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time Time: 08 min

Variations
Bar Cookies: Press dough onto bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered. 24 BARS.

Stir in 1 cup chopped nuts. Substitute 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or candy-coated chocolate pieces for raisins; omit cinnamon. Substitute 1 cup diced dried mixed fruit.
HIGH ALTITUDE ADJUSTMENT: Increase flour to 1-3/4 cups and bake as directed.

Recipe found here: Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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Shrimp Scampi

Ingredients
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined – tails left on
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
1 small onion, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup shrimp stock, recipe follows
2 tablespoons cold butter
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
Lemon slices, for garnish
Rice, as accompaniment

Directions
Season the shrimp thoroughly with salt and pepper.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat.

When the pan is hot, add enough oil to lightly coat the pan.

Add the shrimp and quickly saute until just starting to turn pink, but not cooked through.

Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the onions and saute just until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds.

Add the lemon juice, white wine, and stock, and reduce by 2/3, about 5 minutes.

Add the shrimp back to the pan and swirl in the butter.

Finish with the parsley and check for seasoning.

Garnish with lemon slices and serve over rice.

Recipe found here: Shrimp Scampi

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Blueberry Pie

Ingredients:
2 rolled-out rounds of basic pie dough (see
related recipe at left)
4 cups blueberries
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, strained
3⁄4 cup sugar
3 Tbs. cornstarch
1⁄2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:
Fold 1 dough round in half and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie dish. Unfold and ease the round into the pan, without stretching it, and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Using kitchen scissors, trim the edge of the dough, leaving 3¿4 inch of overhang. Set the dough-lined pan aside, along with the other dough round, in a cool place until ready to use.

Place the blueberries in a large bowl, sprinkle with the lemon juice and toss to coat evenly. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt and cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the berries and toss to distribute evenly. Immediately transfer to the dough-lined pan. Dot with the butter.

Fold the reserved dough round in half and carefully position it over half of the filled pie. Unfold and trim the edge neatly, leaving 1 inch of overhang, then fold the edge of the top round under the edge of the bottom round and crimp the edges to seal. Using a small, sharp knife, cut an asterisk 4 to 5 inches across in the center of the top to allow steam to escape during baking.

Refrigerate the pie until the dough is firm, 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F.

Bake the pie until the crust is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely to set, 1 to 2 hours. Serve at room temperature or rewarm in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes just before serving. Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8.

Note: If fresh blueberries are unavailable, use frozen blueberries (without thawing them first) and increase the baking time by 10 to 15 minutes.

Recipe found here: Blueberry Pie

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Dreamy Orange Cupcake

Ingredients
1 (18.25 ounce) package orange cake mix
3/4 cup creamy salad dressing (such as Best Foods® or Miracle Whip®)
1 (1.3 ounce) envelope dry whipped topping mix (such as Dream Whip®)
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons grated orange zest

1 (13 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 drops orange paste food coloring, or as desired
4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Beat together the orange cake mix, creamy salad dressing, whipped topping mix, 3/4 cup orange juice, eggs, and 2 tablespoons orange zest in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until mixture is moist, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then increase speed to medium and continue beating until well blended, about 2 minutes more. Fill the prepared cupcake cups about 2/3 full of batter.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

To make cream topping: Beat the marshmallow creme, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, and 1/2 cup shortening in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Top each cooled cupcake with a 1/2-inch thick layer of the cream topping, using a knife to spread the the topping flat. Allow about 1/2 inch of the orange cupcake to show below the white layer.

To make orange butter cream: Beat 1/2 cup unsalted butter and 1/2 cup shortening together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in 1/4 cup orange juice, zest of 1 orange, vanilla extract, and food coloring until well combined. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, and pipe a decorative layer of orange butter cream, ending in a peak, over the cream topping on the cupcakes.

Recipe found here: Dreamy Orange Cupcakes

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Almost-Famous Soft Pretzels

Ingredients
For the Pretzels:
1 cup milk
1 package active dry yeast
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/3 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons coarse salt

For the Sauce:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup dijon mustard
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar

Directions
Make the pretzels: Warm the milk in a saucepan until it’s about 110 degrees; pour into a medium bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let the yeast soften, about 2 minutes; stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon. Dice 2 tablespoons butter and soften; stir into the mix. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour and the fine salt to make a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a large baking sheet. Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. (If the dough seems tight, cover and let rest until it relaxes.) Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.

Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

Prepare the sauce: Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, brown sugar and vinegar in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a shallow dish. Dip the hot pretzels in the butter, turning to coat; place on a wire rack to let excess butter drip off. Serve the pretzels warm with the sweet mustard sauce.

Recipe found here: Almost-Famous Soft Pretzels

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Ingredients:

2 cups shredded raw zucchini
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation:

Put zucchini in strainer and press or squeeze with hands to get some of the excess liquid out.

In a mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar, and oil together.

Stir in the flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and walnuts, mixing just until all ingredients are combined.

Add drained zucchini. Mix well.

our into 2 greased and floured 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes at 350°, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out with very little or no crumbs clinging to it.

Recipe found here: Zucchini Bread

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Pigs In A Blanket

Ingredients
1 tube (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 package (12 ounces) smoked sausage links

Directions
Separate the dough into eight triangles.

Place a sausage on wide end of each triangle and roll up.

Place, tip down, on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Tips
Add cheese or use hot dogs if you don’t have any sausages

Recipe found here: Pigs In A Blanket

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