Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Peanut Butter-Pretzel Truffles (a.k.a. Chubby Hubby Truffles)

Submitted by Cathryn Matheson
From brown-eyed baker

Yield: About 18 truffles

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Chill Time: 1 hour, total

1½ c. pretzel pieces
½ c. creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 c. milk or semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening

1. Put the pretzel pieces into a resealable plastic bag and crush into very small bits (a rolling pin works great for this).

2. In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and salt. Stir until all of the ingredients are completely blended and smooth. Add the pretzel bits to the peanut butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Add the powdered sugar and mix until completely combined.

3. Line a small baking sheet with wax paper. Using a small cookie scoop, or about 2 teaspoons worth of peanut butter mixture, gently shape into a ball with your fingertips. Place the ball on the wax paper-lined cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining peanut butter mixture. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes.

4. When ready to dip the truffles, microwave the chocolate chips and vegetable shortening together in a small bowl at 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth.

5. Working one at a time, dip one peanut butter-pretzel ball into the melted chocolate and use a fork to roll it around, ensuring that it is completely coated with chocolate. Let any extra chocolate drip off and place back on the wax paper-lined sheet. Repeat with all of the peanut butter-pretzel balls.

6. Return the baking sheet to the refrigerator and again chill for at least 30 minutes. Garnish with a drizzle of melted peanut butter and crushed pretzels, if desired. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Bread

Submitted by Rachel Mecham

2 1/2 c. canned pumpkin puree
1/2 c. canola oil
2 2/3 c. sugar
4 eggs
3 to 3 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 to 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 9X5" bread pans. Cream together the pumpkin, oil, sugar and eggs. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add dry with wet ingredients and mix well. Add chocolate chips, if using them. Divide batter between loaf pans. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes. The top of the loaves should spring back when lightly pressed and a toothpick should come out only slightly moist if pricked deeply.

***This recipe can be used for muffins instead of bread if desired. Just decrease baking time to 25 minutes for 24 muffins.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Coconut Chocolate Cake

Submitted by Dayna Jamison

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

1 can (14 ounces) Thai Kitchen® Coconut Milk
1 package (18 1/4 ounces) chocolate fudge or devil’s food cake mix
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze:
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. milk
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. coconut (NOTE: I toasted mine, cuz that’s how I roll)

Stir coconut milk until well blended and smooth. Mix cake mix, coconut milk, eggs and 1 tablespoon vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 3 minutes. Pour into greased and floured 12-cup bundt pan.

Bake in preheated 350°F oven 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert cake onto wire rack. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare glaze by mixing sugar, milk and butter in small saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to boil on medium heat and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon vanilla until chips are melted. Spoon glaze over cooled cake. Sprinkle with (toasted) coconut.

Makes 16 servings

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chocolate Tangerine Bars with Clementine Buttercream

Submitted by Danica Nelson
Recipe and photo from Dana Made It blog: http://www.danamadeit.com/2011/12/day-13-chocolate-tangerine-bars-with-clementine-buttercream.html

Makes approx. 2 dozen
(Recipe can easily be doubled to fit in a 9×13 pan)

Chocolate Tangerine Bars:
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. shortening
1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. tangerine juice
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. semi-sweet choc. chips
1/2 c. white choc. chunks (or chips)
1/2 c. tangerine rinds (about 2-3 tangerines)

Clementine Buttercream Frosting:
1/4 c. butter
3 Tbsp. tangerine juice
1 Tbsp. tangerine zest
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar

First prepare your “treats.” I used a mix of white and semi-sweet chocolate for the bars. But you can use whatever type of chocolate you love (milk, extra-dark, etc). I like Guittard brand semi-sweet chips. And for the white chocolate I like to chop up large bars–sometimes called Almond Bark–so I have big uneven chunks. Make sure you scoop up the tiny shavings from the cutting board too. You want those to infuse the brownie bars.

Next prepare your tangerine rind–do this while the tangerine is whole. Go with the method you prefer. Personally I like a zingy bite in my brownies, so I use a cheese grater to zest the rind into larger bits. You need about 2-3 (*Danica's note: I used 4) tangerines for this recipe, including the frosting. And for the frosting I do smaller-sized zest so that you end up with little specks of rind.

Now let’s make our bars….

In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a mixer or large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugars till combined. Add in the egg, vanilla, and tangerine juice and beat for 2-3 minutes till the mixture is light and fluffy. Add in the cocoa powder mixture and mix till combined. Finally, mix in the chocolate chips, white chunks, and rinds.

Note: If the citrus flavor is too strong for your taste, you might leave the rinds out of the brownie mix and only use them in the frosting.

Spread the mixture evenly into a greased 9×9 baking pan. Bake in a 350 F degree oven for 10-15 minutes (*Danica's note: mine cooked longer than that until my toothpick was clean, probably at least 10 min. longer). That’s a wide range. But each oven is different, so make sure you check them with a
toothpick and once a poke to the center comes out fairly clean, they’re done. When in doubt, I prefer underbaked and chewy bars, rather than overbaked and dry. Let the brownies cool while you prepare the buttercream frosting.

In a small bowl beat together the butter, tangerine juice, and zest. Mix in the powdered (confectioner’s) sugar, adding more sugar or juice as needed till you have a thick consistency. The yellow/orange color is captivating. When the bars are cool, spread a thick layer of frosting over the top.

Then cut them into small squares (a small bite goes a long way–these are rich), and serve. Bars can be stored in the fridge or freezer and taste extra yummy when they’re cold.  Enjoy!

White Chocolate Raspberry Torte

Submitted by Meagan Wade
Recipe from Taste of Home magazine, Dec/Jan 2010

3/4 c. butter
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 c. white baking chips, melted and cooled
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. buttermilk

2 c. fresh or frozen raspberries
3/4 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. corn starch

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 c. vanilla or white chips, melted and cooled
1 carton (12 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed
Fresh raspberries, optional

1. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in melted chips and vanilla.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
2. Transfer to two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans.  Bake at 350 F degrees for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
3.  In a small saucepan, bring raspberries and water to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes.  Strain raspberry mixture; discard seeds.  Cool.  In the same pan, combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in raspberry puree until smooth  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Cool.  Spread between cake layers.
4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Beat in melted chips; fold in whipped topping.  Spread over top and sides of cake.  Pipe frosting over top edge of cake and garnish with berries if desired.  Store in refrigerator.

(Meagan's Note: I don't think whipped topping comes in 12 oz. containers.  I think it's either 8 or 16 oz. containers.  I used an 8 oz. container, and that was PLENTY.)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Rice-A-Roni Salad

Submitted by Laura Hintze

1 family size box of chicken Rice-A-Roni (I only did a normal size box)
1 can of water chestnuts
1 can of chopped or sliced olives (I didn't have any and I liked it fine w/o)
1 jar of chopped pimentos
Chopped green onion (as much as you like)--I did 3 or so
Chopped celery (as much as you like)--I think I did one stalk
Drained sliced marinated artichoke hearts, chopped (I only did half a jar)

Cook the rice-a-roni as directed.  Let cool.  Add other ingredients, except for mayonnaise.  Stir.  Add the mayonnaise to the consistency that you desire.  (It tastes better if you let it sit in the fridge for a few hours to let the ingredients soak in.)  If it is stored in the fridge for a few hours, you may need to add a little mayonnaise before serving.  Enjoy!

Taco Salad

Submitted by Lindsay Staples (from Allrecipes.com: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/taco-salad-i/#)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 (1.25 oz.) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (16 oz.) can chili beans
  • 1 (16 oz.) bottle French dressing
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) package tortilla chips
  • 2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 c. chopped tomatoes
  • 4 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. prepared salsa
  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef and drain excess fat. Stir in the taco seasoning, chili beans and French-style dressing. Fill the dressing bottle 2/3 full of water and add to the skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Crush the bag of chips, open the bag, and toss the broken chips into a large bowl with the lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. When the meat mixture is done, combine it with the lettuce, tomatoes, chips and mix well. Then, add salsa and sour cream.

Frog Eye Salad