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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

♥ Pineapple-Pecan Cheese Spread ♥

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

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 ♥

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

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

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 ♥

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

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 ♥

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

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

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 ♥

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

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

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 ♥

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

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 ♥

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

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.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

♥ Sweet Hubbard Squash Custard Pie ♥

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

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 ♥

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

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 ♥

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

• 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~~