Monday, November 26, 2007

Feta Parmesan Appetizer



"Tender crescent bites hold a warm, cheesy filling in a crowd-pleasing appetizer."

PREP TIME 20 Min
READY IN 35 Min
SERVINGS & SCALING
Original recipe yield: 24 appetizers


INGREDIENTS
4 ounces tomato-basil feta cheese, finely crumbled
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1 egg, well beaten
1 (8 ounce) can Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In small bowl, mix feta cheese, green onions and 3 tablespoons of the beaten egg.
Do not unroll dough; separate long roll into 2 shorter rolls at center perforations. Unroll 1 roll until 1 rectangle can be separated from roll. Refrigerate remaining dough. Press dough into 7 1/2x5-inch rectangle, pressing diagonal perforations to seal. Cut rectangle into 6 (2 1/2-inch) squares.
Top each dough square with slightly rounded measuring teaspoon feta cheese mixture. Fold dough over filling, forming triangle; press edges to seal. On ungreased cookie sheets, place triangles 2 inches apart. Repeat with remaining 3 dough rectangles and feta cheese mixture.
Brush tops with remaining beaten egg. Sprinkle lightly with Parmesan cheese.
Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

The Ultimate Sugar Cookie


3/4 cup Golden Crisco or Butter-flavored Crisco (shortening)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Coloured decorations or icing

Cream Crisco, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large mixer bowl at medium speed of electric mixer until light and creamy. Cmbine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture, mixing on low speed until well blended. Cover dough and chill 1 hour, if desired, for easy rolling. Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll half of dough at a time. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut in desired shapes. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Roll leftover pieces. Sprinkle with coloured decorations or leave plain to decorate when cool. Bake at 375°F for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are light brown. (Time will vary with cookie size.) Cool slightly, then remove to cooling rack.

Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar



Makes about 48
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix the salt and baking soda in with the flour, then layer the ingredients a large jar in the order listed, with the chocolate chips on top. Use scissors to cut a 9 inch-diameter circle from calico. Place over lid and secure with rubber band. Tie on a raffia or ribbon bow to cover rubber band.

Enclose a card with the following mixing and baking directions:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Note: Store this jar in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months before using.

contents of this jar
1 cup unsalted butter or margarine
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Sift dry ingredients through a colander to separate the chocolate chips from other ingredients. Beat butter in a medium bowl until creamy. Beat sifted ingredients into butter until blended. In a small bowl, beat egg with vanilla. Mix beaten egg mixture into butter mixture until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop teaspoonfuls of batter, spaced well apart, onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Makes 4 dozen.

Fantasy Fudge


Fantasy Fudge
Yes, this is the original Fantasy Fudge recipe from the back of the Kraft Marshmallow Creme jar. We'll never know why they changed the recipe on us, but we've preserved the recipe for you right here.


3 cups sugar
3/4 cup margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 12-oz. (340 g) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 7-oz. (198 g) jar Kraft Marshmallow creme
1 cup chopped nuts
1 tablespoon vanilla

Traditional method:
Combine sugar, margarine and milk in heavy 2-1/2 quart saucepan; bring to full rolling bail, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate till melted. Add marshmallow creme, nuts & vanilla beat till blended. Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Let cool and cut into 1-inch squares.

Microwave method:
Microwave margarine in 4-quart microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) 1 minute or until melted. Add sugar and milk; mix well. Microwave on HIGH 5 minutes or until mixture begins to boil, stirring after 3 minutes. Mix well; scrape bowl. Continue microwaving on HIGH 5-1/2 minutes; stir after 3 minutes. Stir in chips until melted. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Cool at room temperature; cut into squares. Makes 3 pounds.

Note: Can be made in a smaller pan for thicker squares (yield will be reduced).

New Orleans Pralines


1- 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cups light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup + 2 T. Half and Half cream

1/2 stick butter

1 1/2 cups pecans

1 teaspoon vanilla



Combine all ingredients except the pecans and vanilla in a heavy saucepan.

Mixture will be thick. Stir until it comes to a boil, then turn heat down to a low boil. Stir occasionally; spoon mixture up on sides of pan to melt any sugar that hasn't melted.

Cook until the mixture reaches 239 degrees with a candy thermometer. If you don't have a candy thermometer, bring it to the soft ball stage.

Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla and the pecans. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken and becomes creamy and cloudy. Spoon onto waxed paper to harden.

What usually happens is that by the time the mixture turns cloudy, signaling that it is time to drop onto the waxed paper, it starts hardening too fast to drop correctly. You should then stir in about 1 - 2 tablespoons of warm water to thin the mixture. Don't add too much - just enough to make the spoonfuls drop and settle in a "puddle". You don't want them to look like chunks of rocks.

If cooked to the correct temperature, it won't take a minute to harden by stirring. If you don't cook them long enough, they remain "sticky" and never become firm. They should be firm, yet creamy. If you don't eat them all the first day , wrap them individually and store them in an airtight container.

Cream Cheese Mints


INGREDIENTS
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
2 drops peppermint oil
any color food coloring paste (optional)


DIRECTIONS
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, and confectioner's sugar. Mix in peppermint oil. Color as desired with food coloring paste, or leave white.
Roll mixture into small balls, and place on waxed paper. Flatten with a fork dipped in confectioners' sugar. Let dry for about 2 hours on waxed paper, then freeze or refrigerate.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Peppermint Pie


INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1 cup crushed hard peppermint candy
Red food coloring (optional)
1 (8 ounce) tub frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed


DIRECTIONS
Spray 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle cookie crumbs on sides and bottom of plate.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in EAGLE BRAND® until smooth. Stir in candy and food coloring (optional).
Fold in whipped topping. Pour into prepared plate. Cover; freeze 6 hours or until firm. Garnish as desired. Freeze leftovers.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Artichoke and Herb Tarts


Ingredients1 pkg. (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (2 sheets)
1 pkg. (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 can (14 ounces) artichoke heart, drained and chopped
1/2 cup diced roasted sweet red pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley DirectionsThaw the pastry sheets at room temperature for 40 minutes or until they're easy to handle. Heat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with vegetable cooking spray.

Stir the cream cheese, mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese until the ingredients are mixed. Stir in the artichokes, red pepper and parsley. Season to taste.

Unfold 1 pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the sheet into a 12-inch square. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the edges of the pastry with water. Fold over the edges 1/2 inch on all sides, pressing firmly with a fork to form a rim. Prick the pastry thoroughly with a fork. Repeat with the remaining pastry.

Divide the cheese mixture between the pastry crusts and spread to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Sprinkle each with the remaining cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Let cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm.

Time-Saving Tip: Use 1/2 cup of shelf-stable grated Parmesan cheese for the fresh cheese.

Spinach Cheese Wheels

Ingredients1/2 pkg. Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet)
1 egg
1 tbsp. water
1/2 cup shredded Muenster cheese OR Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 green onion, chopped
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 pkg. (about 10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained DirectionsTHAW pastry sheet at room temperature 40 min. Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix egg and water. Set aside. Mix Muenster cheese, Parmesan cheese, onion and garlic powder.

UNFOLD pastry on lightly floured surface. Brush with egg mixture. Top with cheese mixture and spinach. Starting at short side, roll up like a jelly roll. Cut into 20 (1/2") slices. Place on baking sheet. Brush with egg mixture.

BAKE 15 min. or until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 20 appetizers.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar, plus 3/4 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 (8-ounce) container whipped topping
2 (3-ounce) packages strawberry gelatin dessert mix
2 cups boiling water
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen strawberries
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple
Whipped topping or whipped cream, to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
For the crust, mix the pretzels, butter, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Press this mixture into a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake for 7 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar. Fold in the whipped topping, and spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well chilled.
In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, and allow to cool slightly. Add the strawberries and pineapple, and pour over the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until serving time.
To serve, cut slices and serve with a dollop of whipped topping.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Carmel Pie

INGREDIENTS
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed

DIRECTIONS
Pour the condensed milk into a heatproof bowl. Set over a pan or pot of simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 2 hours, replacing water as needed. (It is extremely important not to let the water run out!) When ready, the milk should be deep golden brown and thick.
Pour the caramelized milk into graham cracker crust and allow to cool. Top with whipped topping before serving.

Buttermilk Chess Pie


INGREDIENTS
2 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust




DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.)
In a large bowl, combine sugar and flour. Beat in the eggs and buttermilk until blended. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla. Pour filling into the pie crust.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until filling is set.

Brown Sugar Pie


INGREDIENTS
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup melted butter




DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C.)
In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, white sugar, flour, eggs, milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Mix in the melted butter. Pour filling into pie crust.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until filling is set.

Better than Sex Cake



INGREDIENTS
1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
1/2 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
6 ounces caramel ice cream topping
3 (1.4 ounce) bars chocolate covered toffee, chopped
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed


DIRECTIONS
Bake cake according to package directions for a 9x13 inch pan; cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Make slits across the top of the cake, making sure not to go through to the bottom.
In a saucepan over low heat, combine sweetened condensed milk and caramel topping, stirring until smooth and blended. Slowly pour the warm topping mixture over the top of the warm cake, letting it sink into the slits; then sprinkle the crushed chocolate toffee bars liberally across the entire cake while still warm. (Hint: I crush my candy bars into small chunks as opposed to crumbs - I like to have pieces I can chew on!)
Let cake cool completely, then top with whipped topping. Decorate the top of the cake with some more chocolate toffee bar chunks and swirls of caramel topping. Refrigerate and serve right from the pan!