Monday, May 24, 2010

Snowy White Chocolate Crescents

(Pictured bottom right on plate.)
Submitted by Amy M.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened

1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Yield: About 2 1/2 dozen

• Preheat oven to 325°F.

• In a small bowl, combine flour and cocoa. Mix well with a wire whisk and set aside.

• In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add vanilla and
egg, and beat until light and smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl, then add flour and cocoa mixture. Blend on low speed until fully incorporated. The dough will be dry and crumbly.

• Shape a level tablespoon of dough into a 31/2-inch log. Slightly bend the log to form a crescent shape. Form remaining dough into crescents, and place on ungreased cookie sheets, 1 inch apart. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the outside of cookie is hard but the center remains soft.

• Cool on cookie sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a flat surface to cool a few minutes more. While still warm, roll the cookies in powdered sugar until coated.

Mint Chocolate Chip Brownies

Submitted by Lea McEwan

1 cup mint chocolate chips (or any flavor if you are not a fan of mint chocolate)

½ cup butter or hard margarine

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup flour

2 eggs (slightly beaten)

1 tsp baking powder

Melt chocolate and margarine. Stir in sugar, flour, eggs and baking powder. Mix until smooth. Pour into 8x8 or 9x9 pan, or cupcake tins, and top with remaining chips. Bake at 350oF for 15-30 minutes depending on the size of baking pan or until toothpick comes out clean.

Mom's Chocolate Pie

Submitted by Lea McEwan

This is my mom's really good chocolate pie that we always have for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

2 squares chocolate
2 cups milk
5 T flour
¾ cup sugar
Pinch salt
2 eggs
1 T butter
1 tsp vanilla
Baked pastry shell… see recipe below

Melt chocolate,  add milk gradually stirring constantly until smooth heat in double boiler (I just stir it all the time).  Mix flour, sugar, 7 salt and add to milk.  Stir until thickened and then cook for 15 minutes.  Add butter, cool slightly 7 add vanilla.  Pour into baked crust (see recipe below).Serve cold with homemade whipped cream.

Monica Loosley hot water pie crust recipe

1 c lard (1/2 lb?)

½ boiling water

Cut lard into smaller pieces. Pour boiling water in & whisk until creamy--- Keep going, it will get smooth and creamy.

Mix together:

3 c flour (scant 15 ounces)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Add part of flour to lard/water mixture & mix. Keep adding--- about 3 installments. Shape into ball, wrap with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight or until cold. Cut into as many crusts as need (this will make 3 thin crusts; 2 thick and hearty!) Roll out, using as little flour as possible; do not overwork. It’s a great dough with a very nice consistency that’s super easy to work with.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Attractive Chocolate Chip Cookies

Submitted by Melissa Maxwell

I entered these cookies in the North Carolina State Fair many years ago.  I didn't win any ribbons and the only written comment I received from the judges was "Attractive cookie."  P.S.  They taste good, too!

½ c. butter, softened

¾ c. shortening

1 ½ c. sugar

¾ c. brown sugar

3 eggs

1 T. vanilla

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

3 ½-4 c. flour

1 small package INSTANT vanilla pudding

1 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Variation: Add 11/2 cups milk chocolate chunks and 1/2 cup toffee bits.

Roll dough into balls. Bake at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes. .

Mandarin Orange Cocoa Torte

Submitted by Shauna Hinckley

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. sugar

5 eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup butter softened

1 c. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. unsifted all purpose flour

1/3 c. Hershey's cocoa

1/2 c. chopped nuts

Beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar in small mixer bowl 2 minutes on medium speed. Add 3 eggs, one at a time; beat 5 minutes on medium speed. Set aside. Cream butter, 1 cup sugar and vanilla in small mixer bowl. Add 2 eggs; beat 3 minutes on medium speed. Combine flour and cocoa; gradually blend into creamed mixture until smooth. Stir in nuts. Spread cocoa mixture evenly in two greased and wax paper lined 8 inch layer pans; pour cheese mixture evenly on top of cocoa mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans.


1 can (11 oz.) Mandarin oranges

1/2 c. water

2 tbsp. cornstarch

1 1/2 tbsp. sugar

Drain oranges; reserve 1/2 cup syrup. Add water to syrup. (Set aside 1 cup oranges for torte decorations). In small pan mix together cornstarch and sugar; stir in orange syrup gradually. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Arrange one layer, cheese side up, on serving plate; spread with 1/3 cup orange glaze. Top with second layer, cheese side up, and spread with 1/2 c. glaze. place well drained mandarin oranges on top of torte; brush sides with remaining glaze. Let stand 1/2 hour at room temperature to blend flavors, refrigerate. 10 to 12 servings.

Chocolate Cream Popcorn

Submitted by Mandi Cooper

2 qt popped popcorn

1 c sugar

1/2 c water

1/3 c corn syrup

1/4 tsp. salt

3 T margarine

1/3 c chocolate pieces

1 tsp vanilla

1. Lightly grease large bowl. Put in popcorn.

2. In saucepan, mix sugar, water, corn syrup, and salt.

3. Cook over medium to 240 degrees.

4. Add margarine. When melted, add chocolate.

5. Stir in vanilla. Pour over popcorn, stirring constantly with 2 forks. Continue stirring until syrup loses its gloss.

6. When cool, store in tightly covered containers.

Silky Chocolate Pudding

Submitted by Laura Hintze

Serves 6

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides.  Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. If you like pudding skin, pull plastic wrap over the top of the serving dish before refrigerating. If you dislike pudding skin, place plastic wrap on top of the pudding and smooth it gently against the surface before refrigerating. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.

NOTE: Sorry I forgot to get a picture of this.  (Spoiler Alert!)  It looks like pudding.

Smoothies! Smoothies! Smoothies!

Submitted by Shauna Hinckley

I don’t really have a specific recipe, I just dump stuff in, but here are some basic ratios to work with.

1 ½ cups juice

1 ½ cups frozen fruit (more if you aren’t using any ice creamy stuff)

2 large scoops of sherbet or frozen yogurt

Ice (optional)

The ones that I made that night actually were only fruit and juice. I like to use OJ, or a tropical blend juice, but any works. The bags of mixed frozen fruit taste really good, or you can always go the berry route. You can even use canned peaches, pineapple, etc and freeze them ahead of time. Using peaches or bananas will give you more sweetness, but I usually toss in a bit of sugar too. The main thing is to blend it really well so there are no chunks (think smooth!) and have a good consistency. I just dump and blend until I get the consistency that I like.

I’ll give you a few combinations that are good (don’t tell Jamba Juice!)

Peach juice, soy milk (opt.), strawberries, peaches, vanilla frozen yogurt

Passion fruit juice, strawberries, peaches, orange sherbet

Raspberry juice, blueberries, raspberries, raspberry sherbet

Apple juice, bananas, blueberries, vanilla frozen yogurt

Soy milk, strawberries, bananas (or fro yo), honey

Soy milk, chocolate syrup (or just choc milk), bananas, vanilla frozen yogurt, peanut butter (opt)

Orange juice, strawberries, bananas, orange sherbet

Orange juice, soy milk, orange sherbet, vanilla frozen yogurt, ice

Raspberry juice, strawberries, raspberries, lime sherbet

Mango juice, mangoes, strawberries, pineapple sherbet

I could go on forever! Also, I don’t usually use soy milk, I substitute in real milk.

On to your favorite!

The Spinach Smoothie

2 c. Milk or Soy milk

2 ripe bananas cut up and frozen

Stuff fresh spinach in the blender to the top




Ok, that’s all there is to it!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bacon-Wrapped Jalepeno Appetizers

Submitted by Emily Daniel (from The Pioneer Woman Cooks)


20 whole Fresh Jalapenos, 2-3 Inches In Size

2 cubes Cream Cheese, softened

1 pound Thin(regular) Bacon, Sliced Into Thirds

Preparation Instructions

If you have them, slip on some latex gloves for the pepper prep… Cut jalapenos in half, length-wise. With a spoon, remove the seeds and white membrane (the source of the heat; leave a little if you like things HOT). Smear softened cream cheese into each jalapeno half. Wrap jalapeno with bacon pieces (1/3 slice). Secure by sticking toothpick through the middle. (At this point, you can freeze them, uncooked, in a Ziploc bag for later use).

Bake on a pan with a rack in a 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes. You don’t want the bacon to shrink so much it starts to the squeeze the jalapeno. If, after 20 minutes, the bacon doesn’t look brown enough, just turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes to finish it off. These are best when the jalapeno still has a bit of bite to it.

Serve immediately, or they’re also great at room temperature.

You’ll love these so much, you’re gonna come out of your skin. Or something like that.

NOTE: Emily would like it to be known that The Pioneer Woman assured her readers that when they make these appetizers, people will be begging for their friendship.  Emily says this was not her experience.

Chicken and Almond Soup . . . or Bread Dipping Sauce

Submitted by Lea McEwan

6Tbsp butter
1 medium leek, chopped
½ tsp shredded fresh ginger root
1 c. ground almonds
1 tsp salt
½ tsp crushed black peppercorns
1 fresh green chili, chopped
1 medium carrot, sliced
½ c. frozen peas
¾ c cubed, skinned chicken breast fillet
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
2 c. water
1 c. light cream

Melt the butter in a large pan and sauté the leek with the ginger until softened. Lower the heat and tip in the ground almonds, salt, peppercorns, chili, carrot, peas, and chicken. Fry for 10 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked, stirring constantly. Add the chopped cilantro.

Remove from heat and leave to cool slightly. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and process for about 1 ½ minutes. Pour in the water and blend for another 30 seconds.

Pour back in the pan and bring to a boil, stirring. Lower the heat and gradually stir in the cream. Cook gently for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve garnished with more cilantro. Serves 4 soup bowls.