Sunday, October 28, 2012

Peppermint Patty Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Cooking spray
First layer in the pan
1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed down
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 c. chocolate chips
12 oz. bag of York Peppermint Patties (you will use all of them, so don't eat any beforehand like I did; I was short two. Whoops!)

Peppermint patty layer
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray an 11x7 or 11.5x8 inch baking pan* with cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until well combined. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients slowly to the wet ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate chips until combined, but do not overmix.

Out of the oven!
Press down 1/2 of the cookie dough into the prepared pan. Unwrap all the peppermint patties, and layer them on top of the cookie dough layer. Then add the remaining cookie dough over the top of the peppermint patties, pressing down to make a top layer of cookie dough. Bake 35-40 minutes or until the cookie dough is baked through and the edges start to brown.

Allow the cookie bars to cool completely (about 1 hour). If you do not, you will have a gooey mess. After the bars cool completely, cut into bars. You can reheat individual bars in the microwave as you serve them because they taste really good warm. =)

*Using an 8x8 inch pan will cause the bars to overflow. Using 13x9 makes the layers too thin, so don't use those.

And props to Sally who came up with the recipe:

Monday, October 22, 2012

Slow Cooked Pork Ribs in BBQ Sauce

1 c. ketchup
1 c. tomato sauce
1/4 c. water
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
Slow cooking pork
2 Tbsp. vinegar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. chipotle tabasco sauce
1/4 c. canola oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 lbs. boneless pork ribs

Place all the ingredients minus the pork ribs in the crock pot. Stir it all together, then add the ribs, making sure the ribs are coated in the sauce. Cook on high 6-8 hours - until the pork just breaks apart. I served it over white rice with a side of vegetables. Delicious. Very easy recipe.

Here's a link to the recipe I used:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Sauce

3 Tbsp. butter, separated
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz. bag of baby spinach
13-15 oz. artichokes, drained and halved
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 c. milk
Dash or two of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
Several dashes of red pepper flakes
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, grated
12 oz. cooked pasta (like penne)
Seasoned breadcrumbs, for topping

Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a skillet or pan. Add the garlic and spinach. Stir until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Remove spinach and garlic from the pan, set aside.

Add another 1 Tbsp. butter to the same pan, and raise the heat to high. Add the artichokes, and stir around, about 1-2 minutes. Remove the artichokes from the pan, set aside.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the last Tbsp. of butter to the pan. When melted, add in the flour; whisk until combined. Pour in milk, whisk to combine. Let cook 3-5 minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the parmesan, mozzarella, salt, pepper, cayenne, and red pepper flakes. Stir to melt the cheeses.

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Sauce
Add the artichokes to the sauce. Stir. Gently stir in the spinach and garlic. Add your cooked pasta to serving bowls. Pour the sauce on top. Toss to combine. Sprinkle each bowl with the breadcrumbs for crunch. So delicious!

Here's a link to the original recipe I adapted:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Bars:
2 c. flour
1 ½ c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cloves
4 eggs, beaten
15 oz. can pumpkin (or 2 c. pumpkin if you have the large can)
1 c. vegetable oil 

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter, softened
1tsp. vanilla
2 ¾ to 3 ¼ c. confectioners sugar

To make the bars: In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and cloves. Stir in the eggs, pumpkin, and oil until combined. Spread in an ungreased 15x10x1 inch baking pan.

Bake at 350 degree F for 20 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool for 2 hours on a wire rack. Spread with cream cheese frosting. Cut into bars.

To make the frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup of the powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually beat in additional powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency. Cover and store frosted cake in the refrigerator. 

Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Frey

Sunday, October 7, 2012

White Chocolate Macadamia Pumpkin Cookies

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
1/2 c. macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Cream the butter and sugars together in a bowl. Beat in the egg, pumpkin, and vanilla. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix in the oats, chips, and nuts.

Scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet one tablespoon at a time. Bake at 350 F for 8-14 minutes.

Here's a link to the original recipe:

Texas Roadhouse Rolls

Plan ahead... lots of resting and rising for the dough...

2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 c. warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1 c. milk, scalded then cooled to lukewarm
1/4 c. + 1/2 tsp. sugar, divided
3 1/2-4 c. flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter, melted and slightly cooled, more for brushing
1 egg
1 tsp. salt

Dough rising
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with the 1/2 tsp. of sugar. Mix in the scalded milk, remaining sugar,  and about 1 1/2 c. of the flour. Mix thoroughly. Let stand about 10 minutes until light and fluffy.

Add melted butter, egg, and salt. Beat well. Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough out on a slightly floured surface, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

While dough is resting, lightly grease a bowl. Set aside.

Knead dough until smooth, about 5-10 minutes. Place in the prepared bowl and turn over to coat both sides. Cover bowl and set in a warm place to rise until it has doubled in size, about 1-1 1/2 hours.

Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Fold the rectangle in half, the short way, so it's now about 1 inch thick. Lightly roll to seal the sides together.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Rolls ready to bake
Cut the dough into rolls. There should be about 18-21 rolls, depending on how big you cut them. Place rolls on a greased baking sheet. Cover and allow to rise until double in size, about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Brush with melted butter. Serve with Cinnamon Honey Butter.

Here's a link to the original recipe:

Cinnamon Honey Butter

1/2 c. butter, room temperature
1/4 c. confectioners sugar
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon

In a small bowl, cream the butter until lightly whipped, about 30 seconds with a mixer. Add the rest of the ingredients, and beat until smooth on medium high speed, about 2-3 minutes. Serve with rolls or biscuits or toast or...

Try it with Texas Roadhouse Rolls

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chinese Stuffed Jalapenos

10 jalapeno peppers, halved the long way, de-seeded and de-ribbed
Sesame seeds 

1/3 lb. raw ground pork
1 egg
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. bread crumbs

1 Tbsp. corn starch
3/4 c. cold water
1/3 c. soy sauce
2 tsp. oyster sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/8 tsp. garlic powder 

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Dust insides of jalapenos with corn starch.

Mix all the ingredients for the filling together in a bowl. Fill jalapenos with a heaping amount of the filling mixture.

Place on cookie sheet, bake for 20 minutes or until meat is browned on top and cooked through.

To make the sauce: Simmer all ingredients over med-low heat until sauce thickens. Spread sauce over cooked jalapenos. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!