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Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

For a very long time, I shied away from these wonderful cookies for fear of them not ending up soft and chewy like all of the wonderful ones that I remembered eating.  That and really, who wants to measure molasses.  It’s sticky and messy!  But, I found a hit in a cooking magazine once that said to spray the measuring cup 1st.  I thought why not…and guess what!  It works!!!  Now I use this little trick for measuring honey, molasses, corn syrup…pretty much anything sticky!!!

Ingredients:

3/4 C  Butter – softened

1 C  Sugar

1 Egg

1/4 C  Molasses

2 C  Flour

2 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp Salt

2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Ground Cloves

1/2 tsp Ground Ginger

additional sugar for rolling cookies in

Directions:

Blend butter, sugar and egg until smooth.  Stir in the molasses. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger and stir well.

Cover the dough and allow to chill in the refrigerator 1/2 to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375°.  Roll the cookie dough into small balls (I like use a small cookie scoop.)  Then roll the balls in the additional sugar.  Place on ungreased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake 8 – 10 minutes or until tops are cracked slightly.  Allow to cool 1 minute on cookie sheet, then remove to cooling racks!

Enjoy!!!

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I found a great recipe for mini cheesecakes on bakerlla.com.  While they look great as they are, I just had to make them my own!

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Follow the link above for the original recipe which is for mini cherry cheesecakes.  I’ve listed below what I did!

Ingredients:

2 pkg. (8oz.) cream cheese, softened to room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 Tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp ground cinnamon

48 mini nilla wafers

48 1.25″  diameter baking cups (the mini ones from Wilton)

1 can apple pie filling chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until well blended.  Add sugar, eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice.  Blend well.  Add ground cinnamon to the batter and work just until blended.

Line mini muffin tin with liners.  Drop one mini Nilla wafer into each liner.  Fill with cheesecake batter (note, I used the Pampered Chef small cookie scoop to fill mine and it worked awesome!)  Note most mini muffin tins have 24 cups in them, so you will need to bake twice!  Bake for 20 minutes.  Allow to cool 15 – 20 minutes before removing from pan.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours.  Top with apple pie filling and a sprinkle of additional cinnamon!  Enjoy!

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Apple Pie!!!

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Ok…so I usually don’t bake my pie’s with a crust from scratch.  Frankly, why bother!  The store bought, already rolled out crust are fairly good, and super easy to use, not to mention actually very inexpensive when you start to look at all the ingredients in a crust.  But, I recently purchased a huge bag of pastry flour and just had to give this a try!  I found the recipe for the crust online, but honestly can’t remember where as I printed it out after pasting it into MS Word many months ago.  I have however rewritten the instructions to make them easier to follow!  The filling, that is something that I’ve just done forever!  Think I have my mom to thank for that one!

Crust:

2 1/2 cups pastry flour, plus extra for rolling out the crust

1 cup butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes and well chilled

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

4 – 6 Tbsp ice water

Directions:

Start by cubing the butter.  Stick into freezer and allow to remain there at least 15 minutes.

In food processor, combine flour, salt and sugar.  Pulse to mix.  Add the very well chilled butter pieces and pulse until mixture is crumbly and you can see pea size pieces of butter.  Begin to add the ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing the mixture slightly to incorporate.  Add only enough water to bring the dough together (hint, it should still be crumbly, but if pinched, will hold together nicely.)  You may not need all 6 Tbsp of water, or you may need slightly more.

Remove dough from food processor until a clean and dry surface.  Shape into 2 disks, kneading just enough to bring the dough together.  (Remember, those small bits of butter will be your friend!  Do not knead them into the dough!!!)  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1/2 hour.

Remove dough from refrigerator and place on lightly floured surface.  Roll out with a rolling pin to a 12″ circle with the dough about 1/8″ thick.  Place in pie plate.

Filling:

6 large apples

1 C sugar

3 Tbsp cinnamon (note, I love cinnamon..you may want to tone this down)

1/3 C flour

1 Tbsp butter, very thinly sliced

OK…now is the time to begin to preheat your oven.  400°.  Peel, core, and thinly slice apples.  Toss with sugar, cinnamon, and flour.  Pour into prepared bottom crust.  Top with thin slices of butter.  Roll out remaining crust, place onto of filling and seal the edges of the 2 crust together.  You will need to slit so ventilation!

Beat 1 egg white in small bowl and brush over the top of the crust.  Bake pie 45 minutes to 1 hour, until apples are cooked through and crust is golden brown.

We topped our pie with fresh whipped cream!  There really is no better topping!!!!
Do you bake pies?  From scratch or do you use pre-made crust?


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OK…So I know that I just posted Banana Bread, but you have to understand…I had lots of bananas to use!!!  That, and we just met our 1st grader’s new teacher.  She is requesting only healthy treats.  So I thought I would try a twist on an old favorite or two and see what I can do to make them healthier.  With no butter in the muffin itself and whole wheat flour, I think that they classify as healthy!  If you don’t have whole wheat flour, you can substitute for all purpose flour, but I do encourage you to at least try them with the whole wheat flour.  My family is not a group of health food lovers as you are sure to see by a soup I plan to post later this week.  I chose not to tell anyone that they were “healthy” until after they ate them.  I must say by the reaction I got…all 12 muffins gone in less than 24 hours…they didn’t even notice that these are good for them!!!  Let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

1 egg

1/3 Cup apple sauce

1 tsp vanilla

3 ripe bananas

1/2 cup white sugar

1 1/2 Cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Topping:

1/3 Cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 Tbsp whole wheat flour

1 Tbsp butter – cold

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°.  Grease 12 cup muffin tin.

In a large bowl, beat egg.  Add applesauce, vanilla, bananas, and sugar.  Mix until well blended.  Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.  Stir until dry ingredients are moistened.  Fill muffin tin evenly with batter in all 12 cups.  Bake for 13 minutes.

While muffins are baking, make crumb topping.  Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a small bowl.  Cut in butter.  After the initial 13 minutes, remove muffin tin from oven.  Carefully pat the crumb topping on the muffins.  Return muffins to oven to bake an additional 5 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and allow muffins to cool 10 – 15 minutes before removing from pan.

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As much as we love bananas, we seem to have a few that get beyond what I would eat!  But, they are perfect for banana bread!  This is a recipe that my mom handed down to me at my bridal shower.  The card it is on is smugged with splatters over the years, but it is the recipe that I turn to time and again!  When spread with a great jam, this even makes a simple dessert.

Ingredients:

1/2 c butter

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 large or 4 small ripe bananas

2 C flour

1 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar together.  Add eggs, vanilla and bananas.  Beat until bananas are well broken into the batter.  Add flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix just until blended.  Place into a greased bread pan and bake for 1 hour.  Cool 10 minutes in pan, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Excellent with butter or jam!

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Wow…was having a craving…and remembered that we actually had EVERYTHING in the house to make my all time favorite Cheesecake.  Now, I can’t take credit for this one…I started with the base recipe from the back of a bag of Andes Candies baking chips (also found at http://www.tootsie.com/rec_cheesecake.php).  But as you have learned by now…I never follow any recipe to a T…and have often had to substitute for the baking chips as my local market only carries them during the holidays!  So here goes!

Oh…wait…let me temp you with a picture 1st…

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Ingredients:

1 C. chocolate cookie crumbs (I love oreos for this)

3 T. sugar

3 T. melted butter

4 pkg (8 oz each) cream cheese (yes…you can use reduced fat)

1 C. sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 eggs – room temp

1 pkg (28 candies) Andes Candies – chopped – or 1 C Andes Candies Baking chips

1 jar hot fudge ice cream topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Mix crumbs with 3 T sugar in small bowl.  Add melted butter and mix.  Press onto bottom of a 9″ springform pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 10 mins.  While crust bakes, beat cream cheese and 1 cup sugar in large bowl (I love my Kitchen Aid mixer for making this cheesecake).  Once well blended, add eggs and vanilla.  Mix on low just until blended.  Stir in baking chips.  Pour into baked crust and return to 325 degree oven for 65 minutes or until center is almost set.  Turn off oven and open door.  Allow cheesecake to sit in oven 1/2 hour.  Remove.  Run knife between pan and cheesecake.  Cool at room temp.  Refrigerate overnight.  When ready to serve, heat hot fudge sauce in microwave till able to pour.  Garnish each slice with hot fudge sauce!

This is soooooo yummy.  The original recipe uses more Andes Candies melted to top the cheesecake.  While this is very good as well, it is too rich for most of my family and friends, but the cheesecake is perfect with the hot fudge sauce!

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