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Monday, December 26, 2011

♥ Cranberry Orange Scones ♥

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
10 teaspoons sugar, divided
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup cold butter
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup half-and-half cream
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk

GLAZE (optional):
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice

ORANGE BUTTER:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 to 3 tablespoons orange marmalade

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the flour, 7 teaspoons sugar, orange peel, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, orange juice, cream and egg. Add to flour mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.

On a floured surface, gently knead 6-8 times. Pat dough into an 8-in. circle. Cut into 10 wedges. Separate wedges and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with milk; sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack.
Combine glaze ingredients if desired; drizzle over scones. Combine orange butter ingredients; serve with warm scones.

Yield: 10 scones.

~~Taste of Home December/January 2000~~

Thursday, December 22, 2011

♥ Traditional Stollen ♥

Ingredients:
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water (110° to 115°)
1 cup warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
4-3/4 to 5-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup mixed candied fruit
1/2 cup chopped almonds

GLAZE:
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons 2% milk

Directions:
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, butter, sugar, eggs, lemon peel, salt and 3 cups flour. Add the raisins, candied fruit and almonds. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

Punch dough down and divide in half; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll or press each half into a 12-in. x 7-in. oval. Fold a long side over to within 1-in. of opposite side; press edge lightly to seal. Place on greased baking sheets; curve ends slightly. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 1 hour.

Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Combine confectioners' sugar and enough milk to achieve desired consistency; spread over stollen.

Yield: 2 loaves.

~~Quick Cooking November/December 1998~~

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

♥ Peppermint Biscotti ♥

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup crushed peppermint candies

FROSTING:
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies

Directions:
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extract. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir in peppermint candy. Gradually add to creamed mixture, beating until blended (dough will be stiff).

Divide dough in half. On an ungreased baking sheet, shape each portion into a 12-in. x 2-1/2-in. rectangle. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove to wire racks; cool for 15 minutes.

Transfer to a cutting board; cut diagonally with a sharp knife into 1/2-in. slices. Place cut side down on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until firm. Remove to wire racks to cool.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over biscotti; sprinkle with candy. Place on waxed paper until set. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: about 3-1/2 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 121 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 24 mg cholesterol, 63 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.

~~Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2003~~

Sunday, December 18, 2011

♥ Candy Christmas Tree ♥

Ingredients:
1 cup vanilla frosting
Green liquid or paste food coloring
Styrofoam cone (12 inches high)
15 hard peppermint candies
15 hard spearmint candies
19 large red gumdrops
19 large green gumdrops
25 to 35 pieces crimped ribbon candy
23 pieces cut rock candy

Directions:
Tint frosting green. Place cone on a 9-in. plate; frost the sides and top of cone.

Starting at the bottom, alternate peppermint and spearmint candies around the cone in a single row. Alternate red and green gumdrops in a row above candies.

Arrange remaining candies in rows around the cone until reaching the top.

Position a mint candy on the tip of the cone; top with a gumdrop.

Yield: 1 tree.

~~Country Woman November/December 2001~~

Friday, December 16, 2011

♥ Snickerdoodles ♥

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:
In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar.
Shape dough into 1-in. balls; roll in cinnamon-sugar. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 81 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 15 mg cholesterol, 44 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein.

~~Complete Guide to Baking~~

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

♥ Salted Peanut Squares ♥

Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
4 cups dry-roasted or honey-roasted peanuts
1/2 cup butter
1 10 1/2 ounce package tiny marshmallows
1 12 ounce package peanut butter-flavored pieces (2 cups)
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk (1-1/4 cups)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter


Directions:
1. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with heavy foil. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Cover evenly with half of the peanuts. Set aside.

2. In a 3-quart saucepan, melt butter with marshmallows over low heat. Add peanut butter-flavored pieces, sweetened condensed milk, and peanut butter. Stir until smooth. Quickly pour over peanut layer. Sprinkle remaining peanuts on top.

3. Cool or chill in the refrigerator, if necessary; cut into squares. Store candy in refrigerator.

Makes about 4 pounds candy.

~~Midwest Living~~

Monday, December 12, 2011

♥ Spinach and Goat Cheese Tartlets ♥

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Vegetable oil, for brushing
1 large shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 1/2 ounces mild goat cheese, softened
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 large eggs, separated
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Chopped chives, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoon butter. Place 1 phyllo sheet on a clean surface (cover the other sheets with a damp towel), brush with melted butter and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon parmesan. Cover with another phyllo sheet, brush with more butter and sprinkle with another teaspoon parmesan. Top with the remaining phyllo sheet and brush with butter. Cut the phyllo stack into 24 squares, about 3 inches each. Brush a 24-cup mini muffin tin with oil, then firmly press a phyllo square, buttered-side down, into each cup. Bake until golden, 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until translucent. Stir in the flour, then add the milk and stir until the mixture is smooth, 1 minute. Add the nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Stir in the goat cheese, lemon zest and vinegar until the cheese melts. Remove from the heat and mix in the egg yolks, then the spinach.

Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold into the spinach filling. Spoon about 1 tablespoon filling into each phyllo cup and top with the remaining parmesan. Bake until the filling is set, 15 minutes. Cool slightly in the pan; remove and top with the chives.

Makes 24 tartlets.

~~Food Network Magazine~~

Saturday, December 10, 2011

♥ Tea Cakes with Earl Grey Icing ♥


Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Icing:
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
2 bags Earl Grey tea

Directions:

Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 24-cup mini muffin pans with paper liners. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water). Whisk until smooth, then remove the bowl; keep the water simmering in the saucepan. In another bowl, whisk the sugar, flour and salt; mix into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs, one at a time, then whisk in the vanilla until smooth.

Divide the batter among the prepared cups, filling each three-quarters of the way. Bake until the cakes spring back when touched, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool on a rack.

Meanwhile, make the icing: Whisk the sugar, egg whites, lemon juice and salt by hand in the bowl of a stand mixer. Empty the tea bags and add the loose tea to the bowl, then set the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water and whisk until the mixture is hot and the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and beat with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until the mixture holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large resealable plastic bag, snip the corner and pipe the icing onto the cupcakes.

Makes 48 mini-cupcakes.

~~Food Network Magazine~~

Thursday, December 8, 2011

♥ Raspberry Truffles ♥

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1-1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
7-1/2 teaspoons seedless raspberry jam
6 ounces white candy coating or dark chocolate candy coating, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons shortening

Directions:
In a small heavy saucepan, combine butter, cream and chocolate chips. Cook over low heat for 4-5 minutes or until chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat; stir in jam until combined. Transfer to a small freezer container; cover and freeze for 20 minutes.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes. Roll into balls; freeze until very firm.

Place a wire rack over a large sheet of waxed paper.

In a microwave, melt candy coating and shortening; stir until smooth. Cool slightly; spoon over balls. Place on the prepared wire rack. Let stand for 15 minutes or until set.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Yield: 4 dozen.

~~Country Woman November/December 1999~~

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

♥ Almond Cheddar Appetizers ♥

Ingredients:
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 cup slivered almonds, chopped
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 loaf (1 pound) French bread

Directions:
In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce; stir in cheese, onion, almonds and bacon.

Cut bread into 1/2-in. slices; spread with cheese mixture.

Cut slices in half; place on a greased baking sheet.

Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes or until bubbly.

Yield: about 4 dozen.

Editor's Note: Unbaked appetizers may be frozen. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet; freeze for 1 hour. Remove from the baking sheet and store in an airtight container for up to 2 months. When ready to use, place unthawed appetizers on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until bubbly.

~~Country Woman November/December 1997~~

Sunday, December 4, 2011

♥ Lime Meltaway Spritz ♥

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon grated lime peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Green food coloring, optional

LIME GLAZE:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
4 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel

Directions:
In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Combine flour and cornstarch; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in lime peel and vanilla. Tint half of the dough green if desired.

Using a cookie press fitted with a ribbon disk, press dough into 12-in.-long strips 2-in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Cut each strip into 3-in. pieces (do not separate pieces).

Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks.

Combine glaze ingredients; brush over cooled cookies. Let stand until set.

Yield: about 3 dozen.

~~Home December/January 2005~~

Friday, December 2, 2011

♥ Eggnog Cake Roll ♥

Ingredients:
4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
3/4 cup sifted cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, divided
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1-1/2 cups eggnog
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, well drained
2/3 cup quartered maraschino cherries
1/4 cup flaked coconut
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Green food coloring
Additional maraschino cherries, optional

Directions:
In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of sugar; beat 2 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla; mix well.

In another bowl, beat egg whites until foamy; gradually add remaining sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Fold into yolk mixture Combine cake flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Fold into egg mixture until no flour streaks remaining.

Spread batter evenly in a greased and floured 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 375° for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Turn out onto a linen towel dusted with 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar. Roll cake up in towel, starting with a short end. Cool on wire rack.

Meanwhile, for filling, combine cornstarch and a small amount of eggnog in a saucepan; mix until smooth. stir in remaining eggnog; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; stir in remaining vanilla. Cool.

Unroll cake; spread with filling. Sprinkle with pineapple, cherries and coconut; roll up again.

Whip cream with remaining confectioners' sugar; tint green. Spread over outside of cake roll.

Chill 3-4 hours. Garnish with cherries if desired.

Yield: 10-12 servings.

~~Country Woman Christmas~~

Thursday, December 1, 2011

♥ It's that time of year! ♥

Busy, busy, busy! OMGoodness! My Etsy sales have soared with the holidays! I am not complaining though. ;) I'm quite happy to be shipping out so much, but I've had to restock alot, especially my tea ball infusers. I seriously need some elves right about now! ;)

I can't believe it's December already! I'm trying to get more teaballs made and in my shop for the holidays. I even have some Christmas-themed ones that I love, love, love! :) I hope to be adding more as soon as my next bead shipment comes in with more charms. So here's a few I've listed for the holidays!
How's your December starting out?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

♥ Pineapple-Pecan Cheese Spread ♥

Ingredients:
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted, divided
3/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
2 tablespoons chopped roasted sweet red pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Assorted fresh vegetables

Directions:
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add the cheddar cheese, 3/4 cup pecans, pineapple, chilies, red pepper and garlic powder; beat until combined.

Transfer to a serving dish. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Sprinkle with remaining pecans just before serving. Serve with vegetables.

Yield: 3-3/4 cups.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (2 tablespoons) equals 100 calories, 9 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 94 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.

~~ Simple & Delicious January/February 2007~~

Monday, November 28, 2011

♥ Chocolate Marshmallow Meltaways ♥

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup 2% milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
18 large marshmallows, halved

FROSTING:
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 to 6 tablespoons 2% milk

Directions:
In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes. Press a marshmallow half, cut side down, onto each cookie; bake 2 minutes longer. Remove to wire racks to cool.

In a small bowl, beat the butter, confectioners' sugar, cocoa and salt until smooth. Add enough milk to achieve a spreading consistency. Frost cookies.

Yield: 3 dozen.

~~Best of Country Cookies~~

Saturday, November 26, 2011

♥ Viennese Cookies ♥

Ingredients:
1-1/4 cups butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-2/3 cups ground almonds
1 cup apricot jam
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening

Directions:
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Combine flour and ground almonds; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 2-1/4-in. round cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake at 350° for 7-9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Spread jam on the bottoms of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies.

In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Dip half of each sandwich cookie into chocolate mixture; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper until set.

Store in an airtight container.

Yield: about 3 dozen.

~~Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2009~~

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

♥ Sweet Potato Praline Pie ♥

Ingredients:
Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
2 eggs
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

TOPPING:
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 jar (3 ounces) macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

Directions:
Line a 9-in. pie plate with pastry. Trim pastry to 1/2 in. beyond edge of plate; flute edges.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sweet potatoes, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Pour into pastry. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°; bake 25 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the brown sugar, corn syrup and butter to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.

Sprinkle nuts over pie; drizzle with caramel. Place a foil-lined baking sheet on a rack below the pie to catch any spills. Bake the pie 10-15 minutes longer or until caramel starts to bubble. Cover edges with foil to prevent overbrowning if necessary. Cool on a wire rack.

Garnish pie with whipped cream. Refrigerate leftovers.

Yield: 8 servings.


~~Taste of Home December/January 2011~~

Monday, November 21, 2011

♥ Pretty Pumpkin Wontons ♥

Ingredients:
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon salt
40 wonton wrappers
Oil for deep-fat frying

DIP:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin, cheese and salt. Place 1 tablespoonful in the center of a wonton wrapper. (Keep remaining wrappers covered with a damp paper towel until ready to use.) Moisten edges with water; bring corners to center over filling and press edges together to seal. Repeat.

In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry wontons in batches for 30-60 seconds on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine dip ingredients. Serve with wontons.

Yield: 40 wontons (1-1/2 cups dip).

Nutrition Facts: 1 wonton with 2 teaspoons dip equals 81 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 111 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.

~~Taste of Home October/November 2010~~

Sunday, November 20, 2011

♥ Pecan Pie Bars ♥

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease the sides and bottom of one 15x10 inch pan.

2. In a large bowl combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, margarine or butter and salt until the mixture resemble coarse crumbs. Press firmly into the prepared pan.

3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes.

4. In a large bowl stir the eggs, corn syrup 1 1/2 cups white sugar, melted margarine and vanilla until blended. Stir in the chopped pecans.

5. Spread the filling evenly over the hot crust. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 minutes or until set. Let cool before slicing.

Makes 48 bars.

Friday, November 18, 2011

♥ Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake ♥

Ingredients:
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.

3. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.

Serves 8.

~~Allrecipes~~

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

♥ Sweet Hubbard Squash Custard Pie ♥

Ingredients:
2 1/2 pounds hubbard squash - cut into chunks and seeds removed**
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream (or evaporated milk)
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons salted butter, softened
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Arrange squash on lined baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven until the skin is browned and flesh is tender, about 45 minutes; allow to cool before handling. Remove flesh from squash using a spoon.

3. Reduce temperature setting on oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

4. Place 2 cups of squash in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the brown sugar, eggs, cream, apple pie spice, salt, and butter; process until smooth.

5. Pour the squash mixture into the pie crust. Bake until the filling rises, about 1 hour.

Serves 8.

**You can also substitute butternut squash in this!

Monday, November 14, 2011

♥ Old Fashioned Raisin Pie ♥

Ingredients:
2 cups raisins
2 cups water
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar (OR lemon juice)
1 tablespoon butter
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie

Directions:
1. Combine raisins and water in a small saucepan. Boil 5 minutes. Blend brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt together; add to hot raisins. Cook and stir until syrup is clear. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar and butter or margarine. Cool slightly.

2. Turn filling into a pastry lined pan. Cover with top crust. Seal edges, and cut slits in the top crust.

3. Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 30 to 35 minutes.

Serves 8.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

♥ Pumpkin Risotto Bites ♥

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped green onion, divided
1 cup Arborio rice*
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup sour cream
Garnish: 24 thin slices green onion


Directions:
• In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the chopped green onion, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice, and cook, stirring frequently, until rice grains are translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.

• In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat broth until gently simmering. Add 1/2 cup warm broth to the rice, and stir until most of broth is absorbed. Each time rice begins to look dry, add broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well and allowing each addition to be mostly absorbed before adding more. Cook, using all remaining broth, until rice is creamy and thick, 30 to 35 minutes.

• Add the pumpkin puree and cheese to rice, stirring until cheese is melted. Set aside to cool, and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until cold.

• Shape risotto into 24 (1- to 1 1/2-inch) patties. Set aside.

• In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites and water.

• In a shallow dish, combine the panko, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.

• Dip the risotto patties in the egg mixture, then roll in panko, dusting off excess crumbs. Set aside.

• In a large skillet, add oil to a depth of 2 inches. Heat oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 375°.

• Fry patties, 3 to 4 at a time, until golden brown. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

• Top each with 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons sour cream. Garnish with a green onion slice, if desired. Serve immediately.


*Arborio rice is a high-starch Italian rice. It can be found at most grocery stores and at specialty-foods shops.

Makes 24.

~~from September/October 2009 TeaTime Magazine~~

Saturday, October 29, 2011

♥ Pumpkin Ice Cream ♥

I love pumpkin! And it doesn't get any easier than this! :)

Ingredients:
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
Gingersnaps, optional

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin and pie spice until well blended. Stir in ice cream. Freeze until serving. Garnish with gingersnaps if desired.

Yield: 4-6 servings.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

♥ Caramel Apples ♥

Ingredients:
12 crisp apples
1 1/3 cups dark corn syrup
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups light brown sugar
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
(Optional) sprinkles, nuts, nonpareils, chocolate, etc.

Directions:

Ribbon handles: Wrap colored ribbon or raffia around wooden candy apple sticks and tie in a bow. Use two colors to create a striped effect. Secure with glue at the blunt end that won't be inserted into the apple.

Line a baking pan with a generously oiled sheet of parchment paper.

Push a candy apple stick into the core of each apple.

Combine the syrup, sugars, heavy cream, and salt in a large saucepan over medium0high heat. Simmer until the mixture reaches 270°F – about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the butter and vanilla. Let cool for 6 to 8 minuets, until caramel thickens to a toffee-like consistency.

Dip and gently swirl the apples into the caramel and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Decorating: Dip apples in melted nonpareils. Or roll caramel-covered apples in pumpkin seeds or chopped roasted nuts, or drizzle with melted chocolate.


You can add nuts, sprinkles, or whatever you like to the apples. Let cool completely.


~~Country Living~~

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

♥ Halloween Cat Cookies ♥

Ingredients:
1 tube (18 ounces) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
54 pieces candy corn
1 can (16 ounces) chocolate frosting
Red shoestring licorice, cut into 1-3/8-inch pieces
9 thin chocolate wafer (2-1/4 inch diameter), quartered

Directions:
Bake cookies according to package directions. Cool on a wire racks.

Cut off yellow tips from 18 pieces of candy corn (discard orange and white portion or save for another use). Frost cookies with chocolate frosting.

Immediately decorate with two whole candy corns for eyes, a yellow candy corn tip for nose, six licorice pieces for whiskers and two wafer quarters for ears.

Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.

~~Taste of Home~~

Sunday, October 23, 2011

♥ Holiday Crafts: Halloween Pops Wreath ♥

What you need: Orange spray-paint, foam wreath form, unwrapped lollipops, glue gun, clear semigloss lacquer, orange bow, florist wire

How to:
1. Use orange spray-paint to cover foam wreath form. Let dry.

2. Trim sticks of unwrapped lollipops and attach to foam with glue gun. 3. Let dry for about 20 minutes.

4. Spray lollipop wreath with clear semigloss lacquer 3-4 times, letting dry between coats. Do not overspray, as the lollipops will melt if they are too wet.

5. When dry, attach orange bow to wreath. Hang with florist wire.

~~Taste of Home~~

Friday, October 21, 2011

♥ Almond Apple Cheesecake ♥

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold butter,cubed
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam

FILLING:
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

TOPPING:
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine the flour and sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Press onto the bottom and 1-1/2 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan; prick with a fork. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until soft but set. Cool on a wire rack.

Carefully spread jam over crust. For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; beat just until blended. Spread over jam. For topping, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add apples and toss to coat. Spoon over filling. Sprinkle with almonds.

Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

Yield: 10 servings.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

♥ Butternut Squash Layer Cake ♥

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed cooked butternut squash
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
3 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts

BROWN SUGAR FROSTING:
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3 eggs whites
6 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in squash and maple flavoring. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir in walnuts. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans.

Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

For frosting, in a heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, egg whites, water, cream of tartar and salt. With a portable mixer, beat on low speed for 1 minute. Continue beating over low heat until a thermometer reads 160°, about 8-10 minutes.

Pour into the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer; add vanilla. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake.

Yield: 10-12 servings.

Monday, October 17, 2011

♥ Did you miss me? :) ♥

I was temporarily out of service here. Not my computer, but just me in general. I think I was getting a bit burnt out on working, and blogging, and everything. :( But we just came back from a beautiful week in Tennessee and I feel much better now. I have lots to catch up on with my blogging and I feel inspired again to get busy with beading jewelry & tea balls too!

Monday, September 19, 2011

♥ Apple Pockets ♥

Ingredients:
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 package (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup butter

FILLING:
4 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (about 2-3 medium)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

TOPPING:
1/4 cup milk
4 teaspoons sugar

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt. In a saucepan, heat the water and butter to 120°-130°. Add to the dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Divide dough into four portions. Roll each portion into an 8-in. square. Cut into four 4-in. squares. Cut apple slices into thirds; toss with sugar, flour and cinnamon. Place 1/4 cup filling on each square; bring up the corners up over the filling and pinch to seal. Secure with a toothpick if needed. Place 3 in. apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Brush with milk; sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375° for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Discard toothpicks.

Yield: 16 servings.

Nutritional Analysis: One pocket equals 136 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 8 mg cholesterol, 105 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1/2 fat.

~~Light & Tasty August/September 2002~~

Saturday, September 17, 2011

♥ Pumpkin Bread Ring ♥

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
3 cups biscuit/baking mix
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup milk

GLAZE:
1/3 cup butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 to 6 tablespoons water

Directions:
In a bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin; mix well. Combine the biscuit mix, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk. Pour into a greased 10-in. fluted tube pan.

Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

For glaze, in a saucepan, cook and stir butter over medium heat for 6-7 minutes or until golden brown. Pour into a bowl; beat in confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough water to achieve drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled bread.

Yield: 12-16 servings.

~~Reminisce September/October 2002~~

Thursday, September 15, 2011

♥ Apple Brown Betty ♥

Ingredients:
4 to 5 slices white sandwich bread (about 4 ounces total), torn into large pieces
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 pounds Gala apples (about 6), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup packed light- or dark-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for serving (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor, pulse bread until coarse crumbs form (you should have about 2 cups). Spread breadcrumbs on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Transfer to a bowl, add butter, and toss until coated.

Meanwhile, place apples in a large bowl, and toss with lemon juice. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and half the breadcrumbs. Transfer mixture to an 8-inch square (or other shallow 2-quart) baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining breadcrumbs. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake until fruit mixture is bubbling, about 40 minutes. Then remove foil, and continue baking until breadcrumbs have browned and apples are easily pierced with a paring knife, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Top, if desired, with vanilla ice cream sprinkled with cinnamon.

Serves 6.

~~MarthaStewart.com~~

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

♥ Snickers Cheesecake ♥

Ingredients:
Crust:
24 chocolate sandwich cookies (such as Oreos)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 regular-size Snickers bars, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup caramel sauce, optional
1/4 cup chopped roasted and salted peanuts, optional

Preparation:
1. Make crust: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mist a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Wrap bottom and sides with 2 large foil pieces. Pulse cookies in a food processor until crushed. Pulse in butter. Press into an even layer in pan. Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

2. Make filling: Place a roasting pan filled with 1 inch hot water on oven's center rack. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar; beat for 1 minute. Beat in eggs. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Beat in vanilla, lemon juice and cornstarch.

3. Sprinkle Snickers over crust. Pour batter into pan; place in water bath. Bake until cake is set around edges but still jiggles in center, about 55 minutes.

4. Remove cake from roasting pan; remove foil. Place cake on a rack to cool. Cover and chill until firm, 4 hours or up to 1 day. When ready to serve, drizzle top with caramel sauce and top with chopped peanuts, if desired.

Serves 10.

~~All You, SEPTEMBER 2011~~

Sunday, September 11, 2011

♥ Warm Apple-Buttermilk Custard Pie ♥

The key to both a flaky piecrust and crisp streusel topping is to keep them as cold as possible before putting them into the oven.

Ingredients:
Crust:
1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
Cooking spray
Streusel:
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

Filling:
5 cups sliced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 2 pounds)
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 3/4 cups fat-free buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 325º.

To prepare crust, roll dough into a 14-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate coated with cookig spray. Fold edges under; flute. Place pie plate in refrigerator until ready to use.

To prepare streusel, lightly spoon 1/3 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 1/3 cup flour, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Place streusel in refrigerator.

To prepare the filling, heat a large nonstrick skillet coated with cookig spray over medium heat. Add sliced apple, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; cook 10 minutes or until the apple is tender, sitrring mixture occasionally. Spoon the apple mixture into prepared crust.

Combine remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, salt, and eggs, stirring with a whisk. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Pour over apple mixture. Bake at 325º for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300º (do not remove pie from oven); sprinkle streusel over pie. Bake at 300º for 40 minutes or until set. Let stand 1 hour before serving.

Yield 10 servings.

~~Health.com~~

Friday, September 9, 2011

♥ Coconut-Pineapple Bars ♥

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup or 1 (6-ounce) can pineapple juice
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Powdered sugar
Garnish: toasted coconut

Preparation:
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Beat just until a smooth dough is formed.

Press into a lightly greased, foil-lined 13- x 9-inch baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, remaining 1/3 cup flour, sugar, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; pour over baked crust.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until set. Let cool completely in pan; chill, if desired. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, and cut into bars. Garnish, if desired.

~~Coastal Living, DECEMBER 2010~~

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

♥ Coconut Pudding with Caramel Sauce ♥

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
3 cups freshly grated coconut
3 cups heavy cream, whipped
1 cup fresh shaved coconut
Caramel Sauce

Directions:
Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup water, and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Spray a 10-inch round nonstick springform pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Bring half-and-half to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add gelatin mixture and sugar and cook, stirring, until gelatin and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Stir in almond extract and grated coconut; stir in whipped cream. Transfer pudding to prepared springform pan and transfer to refrigerator until chilled and set, 2 to 3 hours.

Unmold pudding onto a serving platter and sprinkle with shaved coconut. Serve with caramel sauce.

Yields: 8 to 10 servings.

~~MarthaStewart.com~~

Monday, September 5, 2011

♥ Light Chocolate Fudge Pie ♥

Ingredients:
1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1/3 cup light-colored corn syrup
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 cup frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa (optional)

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350°.

Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Fold edges under; flute. Place pie plate in freezer until ready to use.

Combine brown sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, and flour in a large bowl. Combine milk and next 5 ingredients (milk through egg whites); stir with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to brown sugar mixture; stir until combined.

Pour mixture into crust. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until just set. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Cover; chill at least 4 hours. Spread whipped topping evenly over filling; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon cocoa, if desired.

Serves 10.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 272
Calories from fat: 28%
Fat: 8.6g( Sat. 4g, Mono 2.7g, Poly 1.4g)
Protein: 4.3g
Carbohydrates: 46.5g
Fiber: 1.5g
Cholesterol: 51mg
Iron: 1.2mg
Sodium: 150mg
Calcium: 53mg

~~Health.com~~

Saturday, September 3, 2011

♥ Apple-Ginger Snack Cake ♥

Ingredients:
Cake:
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large Granny Smith apples (about 2 lb.), peeled, cored and chopped

Frosting:
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Preparation:

1. Make cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Mist a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Spread nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet; bake until lightly toasted, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring halfway through. In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt.

2. In a large bowl, whisk butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture. Fold in apples and walnuts. (Batter will be very thick.) Spread batter in pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Place on a wire rack and let cake cool completely.

3. Make frosting: In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and butter. Beat in lemon juice. Reduce speed to low, then add confectioners' sugar gradually. Fold in zest. Spread frosting on cake; sprinkle with ginger.

Serves 12.

~~All You, SEPTEMBER 2011~~

Thursday, September 1, 2011

♥ Mango Cheesecake ♥

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 large ripe mangoes, cubed
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
Garnishes: fresh mango slices, fresh berries, fresh mint

Preparation:
Stir together first 3 ingredients in a bowl; press into bottom and 1-inch up sides of a buttered, 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 325º for 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside.

Process mangoes in food processor until pureed.

With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, mixing just until yellow disappears after each addition. Stir in mango puree.

Pour batter into prepared crust. Bake at 325º for 1 hour and 25 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 1 hour.

Cover and chill 8 hours. Garnish, if desired.

Yields 12 servings.

~~Coastal Living, OCTOBER 2005~~

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

♥ Hummingbird Cupcakes ♥

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (from about 3 large bananas)
1 tablespoon clover honey
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup hot water

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting**
1 (24-ounce) package white fondant
Blue gel paste food coloring
Edible luster dust (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; set aside.

Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium speed until fluffy. Add sugar, and cream together until well combined, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating slowly after each addition. Add banana and honey and mix on low until well combined. Add pineapple; mix on low until combined. Add 1/2 cup pecans; mix on low until well combined.

With the mixer on low, slowly add one-third of the flour mixture, followed by one-third of the hot water. Repeat process twice, alternating flour mixture and hot water, and ending with hot water. Mix until just combined.

Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full with batter. Transfer to oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 24 to 26 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cupcakes cool completely.

Transfer frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a large 5/8-inch round tip (such as Ateco #808). Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and set aside.

Meanwhile, press your thumb into the center of the fondant to make a well. Place a small amount of food coloring in the well and knead fondant until color is well blended. Continue to add more food coloring to fondant until desired color is achieved. Roll out into a 1/16-inch-thick sheet. Cut out 12 hummingbirds using a small bird-shaped cutter; sprinkle with luster dust, if using.

Sprinkle cupcakes with remaining 1/2 cup pecans and top each with a fondant bird shape; serve.

Yield 1 dozen.


**Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

Directions:

Place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until well combined. Continue mixing until frosting is light and fluffy, about 1 minute more.

~~MarthaStewart.com~~

Saturday, August 27, 2011

♥ Balsamic-Plum Preserves ♥

Ingredients:
4 1/2 cups unpeeled and diced plums (about 2 1/2 lb.)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 (1.75-oz.) package powdered fruit pectin
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Preparation:
1. Stir together all ingredients except basil in a 4-qt. microwave-safe glass bowl.

2. Microwave at HIGH 8 minutes (mixture will boil). Stir mixture, and microwave at HIGH 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened. (You're going for the viscosity of pancake syrup here. The mixture will thicken to soft-set preserves after it cools and chills.) Stir basil into warm preserves. Cool mixture completely (about 2 hours).

Serve immediately, or cover and chill preserves in an airtight container until ready to serve. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.

~~Southern Living, AUGUST 2011~~

Thursday, August 25, 2011

♥ Lemonade Layer Cake ♥

Ingredients:
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1-1/3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons thawed lemonade concentrate
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 egg whites
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups buttermilk

FROSTING:
1 package (8 ounces) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons thawed lemonade concentrate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions:
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add the lemonade concentrate, lemon peel and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs and egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.

Coat two 9-in. round baking pans coated with cooking spray and dusted with flour. Pour batter to prepared pans.

Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to a wire rack to cool completely.

For frosting, in a small bowl, combine cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the lemon peel, lemonade concentrate and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

Yield: 16 servings.

~~Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2007~~