Friday, December 19, 2008

Dark Chocolate Chunk and Dried Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

This recipe came again from bakeorbreak--I love this blog. I'm not a huge fan of cherries, but I would imagine that the dried cherries would add a good counter balance of tart to the sweet of the chocolate.

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup dried cherries
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chunks (I recommend using dark chocolate)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and brown sugar together until smooth.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.  Add vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Gradually add to the butter mixture just until combined.  Do not overmix.  
Drop by tablespoonfulls onto lightly greased baking sheets.  Bake for 10-12 min., or until bottom edges are lightly browned.  Cool on pans for a few min., then remove to wire racks to cool completely.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chocolate Billionaires

These very similar to a 100 Grand candy bar. If you want to make these extra special toast the pecans!

1 (14 ounce) package caramels
3 tbsp. water
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup crisp rice cereal
3 cups milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp. shortening

Line two baking sheets with waxed paper; grease the paper and set aside.  In a large saucepan combine the caramels and water; cook and stir over low heat until smooth.  Stir in pecans and cereal until coated.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared pan.  Refrigerate for 10 min. or until firm.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips and shortening over low heat; stir until smooth.  Dip candy into chocolate, coating all sides.  Place on prepared pans.  Refrigerate until set and store in an airtight container. 

Holiday Pecan Log

This came from These taste just like the ones you can buy.  If you want you can add piece of cherry like some pecan logs have, but mine are just the plain ones. 

1/2 cup + 2 tsp. butter, softened and divided
3 3/4 cups confictioners' sugar
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 package (14 ounce) caramels
1 tbsp. milk or half-and-half cream
2 cups chopped pecans

Butter an 8-inch square pan with 2 tsp. butter; set aside.  Combine confectioners' sugar and milk powder; set aside.  In a heavy saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter, sugar, and corn syrup; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Stir in confectioners' sugar mixture, about a third at a time, until blended.
Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.  Continue stirring until the mixture mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon.  Spread into prepared pan and cool.  Cut candy in 4 strips; cut each strip in half.  Shape each into a log; wrap in waxed paper and twist ends.  Freeze or refrigerate until form.
Meanwhile, in a microwave, melt caramels with milk, stirring often.  Roll logs in caramel mixture, then in pecans.  Wrap in waxed paper.  Store at room temperature in airtight containers.  Cut into slices with a serrated knife. 

Corn Flake Bars

This came from one of my favorite blog spots, bakeorbreak.
These combine my favorites: cereal and peanut butter. They're a quick dessert if you need something in a hurry.

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups crushed corn flakes

Combine the brown sugar and corn syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and peanut butter.  Fold in corn flakes until well mixed.  Spread into a 9x13 inch pan.  Chill until set and cut into squares. 

Sweet Sorghum Cookies

These cookies are extremely moist, but not so much that they fall to pieces. They are the best-shaped cookies I've ever made.  I'm not a huge fan of sorghum, but these taste like a lighter version of gingerbread cookies.

 1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 Sorghum syrup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, cream margarine, shortening, and sugar  Beat in sorghum and eggs; set mixture aside.  In another large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.  Blend thoroughly with a wire whisk.  Gradually mix flour mixture into creamed ingredients until dough is blended and smooth.  Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls.  Dip tops in granulated sugar; place 2 1/2-inches apart on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 11 min.  Do not overbake.  Cool on wire rack.  Store in tightly-covered container to maintain softness. Yields about 3 dozen cookies.  These cookies are soft ad chewy and freeze well. 

Candy Cane Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These cookies are obviously very festive.  The only problem I encountered was taking the cookies off the baking sheet.  Once the peppermint pieces melt, they attach to the pan making it very hard to remove them. Be sure to spray your cookie sheets with a nonstick cooking spray. I got this recipe from (

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cream of  tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (5 ounce) milk chocolate candy bar, chopped (I actually used a package of Andes mint chocolate candies instead and it added a stronger mint flavor)
1 cup coarsely chopped peppermint candy canes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and peppermint extracts.  Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.  Stir into the creamed mixture until all of the dry ingredients have been absorbed.  Mix in the chocolate chunks and chopped candy cane.  Form spoonfuls of dough into balls, and place them 2 inches apart onto a GREASED baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 min. in the preheated oven. 

White Chocolate Holiday Bark

This easy candy came from the Food Network Channel, so you know it must be good. It has the sweet and salty taste embedded with the smooth white chocolate. I added a few roasted peanuts to mine because I didn't have enough pistachios. 

1 pound finely chopped white chocolate
1 1/2 tsp. nut or plain oil
1/2 cup cranberries
1 1/4 cups shelled pistachio nuts, toasted and papery coating peeled

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, simmering the water on a low heat.  You can use a candy thermometer to keep a check on it; it should read between 82 to 86 degrees.  Once melted, stir in the oil, cranberries, and nuts.  Spread wax or parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Pour the mixture on it the cookie sheet and refrigerate until the mixture hardens. Break into pieces. 

Puppy Chow/Dog Food/Reindeer Poop

There's quite an assortment of names for this, but I find puppy chow the most appealing and least disgusting.  I'm sure everyone has eaten this at some point in their life so there's no need for me to tell you how wonderfully addicting it.

9 cups Rice Chex cereal
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 to 3 cups confectioners' sugar (It really depends on how much you want. I tend to use half a bag or so)

Melt the butter, chocolate, and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl for about 1 1/2 min. Add vanilla.  Pour the cereal into a large bowl and pour the chocolate mixture, coating the cereal thoroughly. Place the mixture in a large plastic bag if you don't have a lid for your large bowl; add the confectioners' sugar and shake until all the cereal is evenly coated. You can add any extras to this if you want; I added peanut butter M&M's to mine, though I like it without anything added the best.

Pink Lady Cake

I got this recipe from smittenkitchen. Here's the link to the original recipe with much better pictures than I can provide:
The cake is gigantic! It filled up my entire KitchenAid bowl.  I'm not a huge fan of cream cheese icing, but those who were seemed to like's definitely a lot of cake, but very pretty. :)

For the cake:
4 1/2 cups cake flour
3 cups sugar
5 1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 
1 1/2 cups pureed frozen strawberries
8 egg whites
2/3 cup milk
1 to 2 drops red food dye

For the cream cheese frosting:
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese. softened (You can use low-fat too)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch or 8-inch round baking pans. Line with parchment paper and butter the paper. 
Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl.  With the electric mixer (I'd use a KitchenAid, not a handheld electric mixer) on low speed, blend for 30 seconds.  Add the butter and strawberry puree and mix to blend the ingredients.  Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 min.; the batter will resemble strawberry ice cream at this point. 
In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk, and red food dye to blend.  Add the whites to the batter in 2 or 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well and mixing only to incorporate after each addition.  Divide the batter among the 3 prepared pans.
Bake the cakes for 30-35 min. or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow the layers to cool in the pans for 10-15 min.  Invert and turn out onto wire racks and peel off the paper liners.  Let stand until completely cooled before assembling the cake, at least one hour.

For the frosting:
In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy.  Mix in the vanilla, then gradually  stir in the confectioners' sugar.  Store in the refrigerator after use. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Upcoming Recipes

It's been awhile since my lasting posting I know, but I have good reasons. This Christmas I'm giving away tins full of various sweets I've been making this past week. Due to the number of items I've been making I haven't had the time to post them all on here. So one night soon after I finish all my baking for the gifts I'll post them on here so keep checking!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

White Chocolate Grapes

I found this recipe on (here's the link This is definitely something everyone should try once. We had some grapes in the refrigerator which I knew would go bad soon, so I found this recipe. Obviously if you aren't a huge fan of grapes I don't recommend this recipe, but I found the white chocolate/peanut combination with the grapes to be excellent! Just a tip: make sure your hands and the grapes are DRY. Water and chocolate are not friends. The original recipe called for shortening, but we don't use shortening in our house to I substituted margarine. This made the chocolate mixture much more thick, but in my opinion it made it easier to coat the grapes with it. It's your call though, shortening or margarine. 

2 cups white chocolate chips
2 tsp. shortening (or margarine)
1 pound seedless grapes
1 cup finely chopped salted peanuts

Combine the white chocolate chips and shortening/margarine in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Spread the chopped peanuts out on a piece of waxed paper. Dip clean, dry grapes into the chocolate, then roll in the peanuts. Set of a wax paper until dry. Warm chocolate as needed in the microwave to keep it liquid. 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pomegranate Pistachio and Banana Bread

This bread is my favorite bread ever...hands down. I'm not a huge bread person in general, but oh my goodness this bread is so marvelous. The mashed bananas keep it moist, but the buttery pistachios add a nutty flavor and the darling little pomegranates add a citricy burst. Not only does this taste so wonderful, but when you open your oven door, the kitchen is filled with this overwhelming bread aroma. I had to look online how to score and de-seed a pomegranate. You chop off the tip of the pomegranate, score it in four sections (slide your knife down four sections), and put it in water where the membrane will float to the top and the seeds are easily pulled off. Here's a link just in case my instructions didn't make sense. Each slice of bread has around 162, depending on how small or large you cut it. 

1 cup arils (the pomegranate seeds. I used two pomegranates)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 & 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2-3 bananas, mashed (1 cup)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl stir together bananas, oil, milk, and egg; stir into flour mixture with the arils and chopped pistachios just until moistened; do not over-mix. Spoon batter into prepared pan. If desired, sprinkle a few whole shelled pistachios and a few additional arils over the batter for garnish. Bake for 50-60 min. until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 min.; remove loaf from pan and cool on wire racks. Store bread tightly covered; or wrap tightly in foil and freeze for up to 1 month.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pistachio White Chocolate Cheesecake

This is a recipe from the Pilsbury website. It has one of my most favorite flavoring and scents in the world--almond extract! There's something oddly invigorating in watching the cheesecake turn a light shade of green when you add the pistachio pudding mix to the cream cheese mixture. 

1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (I used Oreos)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. butter, melted
20 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup sour cream (I used light)
1/2 tsp. almond extract
4 eggs
1 (3.4-0z) package instant pistachio pudding and pie filling mix
2 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped shelled pistachios

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine cookie crumbs and 1/4 cup sugar; mix well. Stir in butter. Press crumb mixture in bottom of ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 min. Cool 10 min. Wrap outside of pan, bottom and sides,with heavy duty foil. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Beat cream cheese in large bowl at medium speed until creamy. Beat in 3/4 cup sugar until very soft and creamy. Add sour cream and almond extract; beat well. Reduce  speed to low; add eggs one at a time, beating just until combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
With a whisk, beat in pudding mix until well-mixed. Stir in white chocolate chips. Pour into crust-lined pan. Sprinkle pistachios over top. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 min or 1 hour and 20 min., or until sides of cheesecake are set and slightly puffed but center still moves when pan is tapped. Cool cheesecake in pan on wire rack 1 hour. Cover; refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving. To serve, remove sides of pan. Cut cheesecake into wedges. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chocaroon Cake

This is a chocolate bundt cake with coconut creme filling. I drizzled a Dove Chocolate fudge sauce on mine, but you can sprinkle confectioner's sugar or melt chocolate chips and spread as an icing over the cake. Just in case you were curious, a slice of cake is about 373 calories. 

2 egg whites
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 & 3/4 cups flaked coconut
1 (18.35 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1 (3.9 ounce) package chocolate instant pudding mix
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 & 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Beat egg white with salt until foamy. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until mixture forms stiff shiny peaks. Blend in flour and coconut. Combine cake mix, instant pudding mix, eggs, yolks, water, and oil in a large boil. Blend, then beat with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 min. Pour 1/3 of the batter into a greased and floured bundt pan. Spoon in coconut mixture and top with the remaining batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 min. Remove to wire rack and cool thoroughly.  

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Peanut Blossoms

This is simply a traditional recipe that everybody knows and loves. Now this is a great case of how I am directionally challenged. I keep telling myself that I should read through the recipe entirely before I make something, but that never happens. Consequently while I following the directions I get so excited and do what I think is next in the recipe. So in this recipe as I put them dough balls on the baking sheets I went ahead and put the kisses in please don't be like me and do that. I'm not sure it'll make a big difference, but who knows. 

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup of shortening (I used Canola oil instead)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
Granulated sugar for coating
Hershey's kisses (I used about 38)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat peanut butter and shortening (or oil) in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well mixed. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat well. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to peanut butter mixture, beating until blended. Shape into 1 inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 5-6 min. or until set. Immediately press Kisses into the center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheets to wire rack.  

Friday, November 7, 2008

Peanut Butter Candy Bar Squares

I got this recipe from a website called Bake or Break, a wonderful blog of delicious food. Here is the original website:  These bars are like a nostalgic visit of all your childhood favorites: Nutter Butters, Reeses cups, and Butterfingeres. These are super simple and are a crowd pleaser of any age!

1 16-ounce package Nutter Butter cookies, crushed
1/2 cup butter, melted
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
7 & 1/2 ounces Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (about 25 miniature cups), coarsely chopped
4 ounces Butterfinger candy bars (about 7 small candy bars or 2 regular size ones)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup honey-roasted peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 in. pan with aluminum foil, allowing it to extend over edges of pa. Grease/spray foil. Combine crushed cookies and butter. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 6-8 min. Combine condensed milk, peanut butter, and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Set aside. Sprinkle chopped candy bars, chocolate morsels, and peanuts over crust. Drizzle condensed milk mixture over toppings. Bake for 25-27 min. or until lightly browned. Cool in pan on wire rack. Using foil, lift out of pan. Peel foil away and cut into bars. Makes 28 small or 18 large bars. 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cranberry Whole-Grain Muffins

The tender muffins, studded with cranberries and nuts and scented with orange are 100% whole-grain. This traditional Thanksgiving flavor combination, in muffin form, make a delicious and healthy start to your day of feasting. Pair this with the cider and you've got a great combination!

For Muffins:
1 & 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup fresh, frozen, or dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts *(I toasted mine and sprinkled them with cinnamon when they were still hot. Toasting the nuts always enhance their flavor and make a huge difference)
1 tbsp. finely grated fresh orange zest
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil

For glaze:
2 tbsp. orange juice
3 tbsp. sugar

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin  cups or line muffin cups with liners. Whisk together flour, oats, powdered milk, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Add cranberries and nuts. Whisk together orange zest, eggs, ilk, and oil. Stir into dry ingredients until just combined. Divide batter among muffin cups and bake for 18-20 min., or until they are golden brown. Cool in pan on rack for 5 min., then turn out onto rack. 
To make glaze:
Stir together orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Brush the tops of the muffins with the mixture while still warm. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Orange-Kissed Brownies

So the website for this recipe was messing up and not loading everything on the page, hence the reason there is a picture without a recipe. If you would like the recipe feel free to e-mail me and I'll do what I can to get it or fix the website error. I'll warn you and say these brownies have a LOT of butter in 3 and 1/2 sticks worth...I know. It didn't group all the ingredients in one amount; it would say how much butter was needed in the brownies, then down the ingredients list it would say how much it required for the frosting. Though the brownies do have a lot of butter, which you could omit at your discretion but I'm not sure how it will affect the baking, they are rich so you don't eat a huge brownie anyways. These received wonderful reviews!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chocolate Scotchies



1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups Rice Krispy cereal
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips

Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and corn syrup and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and rice cereal. Press the mixture into the prepared pan. In a microwavable bowl melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips until well smooth and blended. Spread over the top of the bars. Chill until set and then cut into bars.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cookies & Cream Fudge

This fudge is really sweet, and this coming from me says a lot. I would recommend lowering the amount of sugar if I were you. Mine weren't cut very smoothly in the picture b/c I cut them before setting all the way, but you can at least get the general idea about what they look like. 

3 cups granulated sugar (you might try 2 cups instead)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 jar marshmallow creme (or just melt half a 10.5 ounce bag of mini marshmallows)
1/2 cup finely crushed Oreos
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
1 cup crumbled Oreos

Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil. Combine sugar, butter, and evaporated milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 3 min., still stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Stir in white chocolate, marshmallow creme, finely crushed cookies, and vanilla extract. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle crumbed cookies on top. Gently swirl the cookies into fudge using a knife without touching the bottom of the pan.
Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil Cut into 48 pieces.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

This was an award-winning recipe so I thought I'd see what the fuss was about. With the addition of pudding mix, which you can't taste by the way, the cookies stay really soft. I thought of my sister who loves cookies when I made these so hopefully she'll try it!

2  cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 tbsp. white sugar
1 package of vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips. Bake for 10-12 min. in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown. *Be sure not to overcook these cookies. 

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Spiced Cranberry Sauce

So now that you have all these leftover, soggy, strained cranberries, it would be a waste to simply throw them away. Instead make cranberry sauce with them! I'm not a huge fan of cranberry sauce to be honest...all I think of when I hear it is that horrible canned, jellyish substance that wiggles. This sauce is actually really good. I added cinnamon and a little lemon juice to mine and it's superb! Here is a link to a website if you need some ideas of ways to use cranberry sauce.

3/4 lb. of frozen or fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Put all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a paper towel. Cook for 3 min. Stir, then cook for another 3 min. Add cinnamon and lemon juice. 

Fresh Cranberry Spiced Tea

Yes I soon as I change the title to "Just Desserts" I put a recipe for cider/tea on here, but it's sweet enough to be a dessert. Not only does it make your kitchen fragrant with a nice spicy aroma, but it also tastes incredible. Just make sure and remember that the cranberries have to sit in the water for until cold, which takes a while. I recommend letting them sit overnight. 

3/4 lb. fresh or frozen cranberries (I actually used dried cranberries)
9 cups cold water
2 cups orange juice
2 & 1/2 cups pineapple juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups white sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. whole allspice

Place the cranberries and water into a large pot. Bring to a boil and cook just until the berries pop, about 5 min. Remove from heat and let stand at room temperature until cold, several hours. (I let mine sit overnight).
Strain out the cranberries and stir the orange juice, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and sugar into the liquid. Add the cinnamon stick, whole cloves, and allspice. Bring to a low boil. It's ready to serve at this point, but it's even better if you allow it to sit overnight. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

Imagine a light chocolate cake with a marshmallow creme filling, topped with crunchy chocolate-peanut buttery rice cereal. These base of these bars isn't too heavy so it keeps these from being overpowered by chocolate. The reason the ingredient amounts are so weird is that I adjusted the serving size from 36 to 22, which is enough to fit in a 12 X 8 pan (a little small than the usual cake pan, though the original recipe calls for a 15 x 10 x 1).

1/3 cup + 2 tbsp. margarine or  butter, softened
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp. & 2 tsp. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup + 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. + 2 and 1/2 tsp. baking cocoa (I added a little more, plus a little bit of Hershey's syrup b/c I  didn't think it tasted chocolatey enough)
2 and 1/3 cups + 2 tbsp. mini marshmallows
3/4 cup + 1 tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp. + 2 and 1/2 tsp. butter or margarine
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp. +2 tsp. peanut butter
1 and 1/4 cups crisp rice cereal

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa; add to creamed mixture. Spread in a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x -in. pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 min. (Mine took an extra 10 min.) Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over cake; return to oven for 2 to 3 min. Using a knife dipped in water, spread the melted marshmallows even only the cake. Cool. For topping, combine chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and well blended. Remove from heat; stir in cereal. Spread over bars immediately. Chill. 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Brickle Candy

 This candy is good b/c it's salty, sweet, and not really hard. It almost has a toffee-like flavor in the caramel. I actually used whole wheat saltines in mine, but you can use graham crackers too.

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 package saltine crackers
1 12 ounce package milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Lay out crackers on the cookie sheet. Melt the butter, brown sugar, and baking soda on a low heat. Stir constantly so it won't foam. Boil until a light brown/caramel color. Pour mixture over the crackers. Scatter the chocolate chips over the mixture. Cook for 10 min. When it comes out use a spatula to spread out the melted chocolate chips to form a coating. Put in the freezer for a few min. Remove and break into pieces.

Friday, October 24, 2008

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake


2 cups Oreo cookies, finely ground
3 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
10 ounces raspberries, thawed
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup water
2 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup half-in-half
24 ounces cream cheese, softened (3 packages)
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place a large baking sheet with edges into oven w/ 1/2 inch water in it. In a medium bowl combine cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the bottom of pan w/ aluminum foil.
In a medium saucepan combine raspberries, 2 tbsp. sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until sauce thickens, approximately 5 min. Strain sauce to remove seeds.
In a double boiler (or microwave oven) melt the white chocolate chips and half-in-half, stirring until smooth.
In a large boil mix together the cream cheese and 2 tbsp. of sugar until smooth. Add eggs on at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and melted chocolate. Pour half of mixture over crust. Spoon 3 tbsp. of raspberry sauce over the top. Pour the remaining cream cheese mixture into the pan. Spoon 4 more tbsp. of raspberry sauce over the top (you can use the remaining sauce to serve).
Place springform pan in water in the oven. Bake for 60 min. or until filling is set. Turn oven off, open door halfway, and let sit for 30 min. Remove from oven and cool. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours. Serve with remaining raspberry sauce. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Chocolate Covered Chocolate Chip Cookies

I randomly thought of this recipe last night. It looks like a truffle or bon bon, but it's actually a chocolate chip cookie.

Chocolate Covered Chocolate Chip Cookies

Refrigerated cookie dough (you can make your own)
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips (I combine both)
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

Cook the dough in little round balls and take them out as soon as they're about to turn brown. Once you get them out of the oven mold the each dough piece into a round ball (you might want to use latex gloves). Set in freezer for a few minutes.
Melt the chocolate and evenly coat the dough balls. Decorate with whatever sprinkles or candies you have on hand.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Snickers Candy Bar

This recipe actually came from a diet recipe blog. Each bar/serving has 200 calories just in case you wanted to know, but you'd think it had so much more. These literally taste like a cold Snickers candy bar.

Snickers Candy Bar

3/4 cup crunchy of creamy peanut butter (I used crunchy)
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme
1/4 cup butter
1 (14 ounce) package caramels
1 1/2 cups salted or unsalted peanuts, chopped
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt together 1 cup milk chocolate chips, 1/4 cup butterscotch chips, and 1/4 cup peanut butter. Spread this mixture on the bottom of a 9  x 13 cake pan and put in the refrigerator or freezer to set up while the next layer is prepared.
Boil together the butter, sugar, and evaporated milk for about 5 min. Take off the stove add the marshmallow creme, 1/4 cup peanut butter, vanilla, and peanuts. Pour over the first layer that was chilling, then place back in the freezer.
Melt the caramels with the whipping cream until smooth, then pour over the second layer that is chilling; place back in the freezer. 
Melt together the remaining peanut butter, milk chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips, then spread on the top of the third layer in the pan. Return to chill until set up. Refrigerator them after.