Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pecan Sandies

These little cookies go by all sorts of names, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Sand Tarts, Snowballs, but we have always called them Sandies in our house. Another traditional cookie on the Christmas plates each year.

PECAN SANDIES

1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup pecans, chopped fine

Mix all ingredients. Chill dough for 3-4 hours. Roll into 1 inch balls. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until lightly browned. While still warm roll in powdered sugar and let cool. I always roll them a second time before storing.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Almond Joy Cookies

I helped my son make some cookies to take to his coworkers last weekend. This is a cookie he has made for a couple years now and is a staple on his Christmas cookie list.

ALMOND JOY COOKIES

1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 packages semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
2 cups chopped almonds

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray cookie sheets or use parchment paper. Combine dry ingredients, set aside. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugars together. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients until mixed well then stir in chocolate chips, coconut, and almonds. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 10 minutes or until light brown. Cool on a rack.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hidden Valley Oyster Crackers

I went to a boat parade last evening. The boats were so pretty all decorated with lights and Christmas carols playing. My friends who hosted the party have a beautiful home and had a wonderful spread of food but I couldn't go empty-handed so I took these little crackers along. Easy little something to take along.

HIDDEN VALLEY OYSTER CRACKERS

16 ounces plain oyster crackers
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil

You can add any kind of seasonings you like. Dill and lemon pepper are often used. Or you could add anything you like.

Mix all ingredients in a roasting pan and place in a 250 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove and stir and put in for an additional 10 minutes.

German Chocolate Cake

I was asked by a coworker to bake a German Chocolate Cake for her husband's birthday. The edges of my layers were not pretty, so instead of doing the traditional layering of the icing I just covered the whole thing.


GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot coffee or boiling water
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with Pam or butter and line with parchment paper. Melt chocolate and cool to room temperature. In a separate bowl mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl combine the coffee and buttermilk. In another bowl beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and continue beating until fluffy (about 3 to 5 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each. Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine. Add the coffee/buttermilk mixture with the flour in 3 additions beginning and ending with flour. Mix only until ingredients are well combined. Fold in the melted chocolate.

Divide the batter evenly among the three prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for about 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes. Cool the cakes completely before frosting.

COCONUT PECAN FROSTING:

1 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
3 large eggs slightly beaten
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, egg yolks, and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil and thicken. Remove from heat. Add pecans and coconut. Mixture will thicken more as it cools. Spread on cake.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Snickerdoodle Blondies

Time to start making goodies for the office. I have been looking for things to make this year and haven't been really inspired yet. Making snickerdoodles into bars has been an idea floating around for a while so I thought I'd give it a try. These are not too bad, but I think the real deal snickerdoodle cookie is much better.

SNICKERDOODLE BLONDIES

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray and/or line a 9×13 inch pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and set aside. In another bowl beat together the butter, brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time. Add vanilla. Mix until smooth batter. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Spread evening in prepared pan. Combine the granulated sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle on top. Press into the batter a little bit. Bake 25 to 30 minutes at 350 until light brown. Cool and cut into squares.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Coconut Cream Pie




Just getting around to posting this pie I made for Thanksgiving. I also made one for work yesterday for a birthday. When I got ready to make the pie for work I realized my pie plate was still at my son's house. So I made 1-1/2 recipes of this and put the crust in a 9 x 13 pan. Looked different, but tasted the same. I had no complaints. This pie cuts beautifully and goes together in a flash truly. Tastes like something you would get at a restaurant with little or no fuss.

OLD FASHIONED COCONUT CREAM PIE

3 cups half and half or milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour or cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cup sweetened coconut, toasted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (9 inch) pastry, baked
1 16 oz. Cool Whip, thawed.


Prepare your pie dough. Bake crust per usual and set aside. Combine half-and-half, eggs, sugar, flour and salt altogether in a heavy sauce pan. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in 1 cup of the coconut and the vanilla extract. Pour into pie shell and chill 2 to 4 hours, or until firm.

Top with Cool Whip and with remaining 1/4 cup of coconut.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

Another treat for work and pumpkin was the main character. I took some liberty with these muffins and put a dollop of cream cheese in the middle of them. My dedicated taste testers gave their stamp of approval. I only made 12 muffins and time ran out so I poured the remainder of the batter into a loaf pan and called it pumpkin bread.

PUMPKIN MUFFINS

3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/4 cups oil
4 eggs
1 can Libby's pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 cup chopped nuts to sprinkle on top.

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Put a big spoon of batter in each muffin cup. Dollop about a teaspoon of cream cheese. Put another big spoon of batter on top, filling each muffin cup about 2/3 full. Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar/pecan mixture on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Happy Halloween! Hope you have good weather for Trick or Treating and stay safe. We had a Halloween lunch yesterday at work. Homemade chili and all the fixins' -- cornbread, Fritos, pasta, rice, crackers. Something for anyone who likes their chili done up a different way. I looked at several recipes (there are many) and this is my version. It was a good way to start some fall baking. All my taste testers said it was a very moist cake.

PUMPKIN POUND CAKE

1 cup butter, softened
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin (Libby's) -- not filling
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup chopped toasted pecans

For glaze:
1 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bundt or tube pan with Pam. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In mixing bowl beat butter and sugar until fluffy -- about 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time and beat for 1 minute longer. Add pumpkin, buttermilk, and vanilla, add dry ingredients. Beat until smooth. Stir in pecans.

Pour into greased bundt pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until done. Remove from pan and cool on rack.

Stir glaze ingredients together and pour over cake.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chocolate Chunk Coconut Cookies

My youngest grandson turned 2 this week. We had a party on Saturday. Here is a cookie I've had in my files for a long time to try. I know there are 100's of chocolate chip cookie recipes out there. I have my usual standard one I use, but the addition of the coconut in these really made these stand out.

CHOCOLATE CHUNK COCONUT COOKIES


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup chopped pecans
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1 cup shredded coconut

Mix flour, baking soda and salt together and set aside. Cream together the butter, sugars and vanilla. Blend in egg and sour cream. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and fold in nuts, chocolate and coconut. Drop by heaping tablespoon on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Makes about 3 dozen.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Coconut Pecan Bars

We had a small retirement party brunch at work yesterday. I made my Snickerdoodles and these pecan bars to take. It's almost pecan time here in Texas -- I can't wait!

COCONUT/PECAN BARS

Crust:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Filling:
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl combine flour, butter, and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Beat at low speed for 2 minutes until crumbly. Pat into a 9 x 13 pan lined with parchment. Bake for 12-17 minutes until lightly browned. In another bowl combine all filling ingredients and mix well for 1-2 minutes. Pour over hot crust. Bake for an additional 17-22 minutes until golden brown and filling is set. Cool completely and cut into bars.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Oregon Trip

I recently connected with a long ago girlfriend who now lives in the Portland, Oregon area. I've been to Oregon before but not to this area. I think Oregon is one of the most beautiful states we have. I was treated to some sightseeing that was just stunning. Lots of shopping in consignment shops and antique shops looking for treasures. So much fun. Except for one rainy day (but I love rain) the weather was so wonderful. After months of hot and humid Texas weather this was a welcome treat. Here are some pictures from my trip.

SWAN ISLAND DAHLIA FARM





MULTNOMAH FALLS




COLUMBIA GORGE



Saturday, September 11, 2010

Red Velvet Cake

Birthday time at work and I decided to make a Southern tradition -- Red Velvet Cake. I started with the recipe from the back of the Swans Down Cake flour box and made a couple of changes. The cake was moist and really red. I should have taken a picture of it cut. Normally a true red velvet cake calls for the cooked icing with milk and flour and sugar, but I opted for cream cheese frosting instead. It was hard for me not to throw some pecans on here as I think that would taste good, but then I love adding nuts to everything!

RED VELVET CAKE

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup red food coloring
2 teaspoons cocoa powder (I changed to 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups Swans Down cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottoms of two 9 inch cake pans sprayed with Pam and parchment paper. Spray paper also. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl whisk together food coloring and cocoa powder to make a paste. In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour to butter mixture in batches alternately with buttermilk mixture. Beat until well blended. In a small bowl stir together the vinegar and baking soda (this will fizz). Add to batter and stir gently to mix. Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees until toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on racks 10 minutesbefore turning out onto racks. Remove paper from cakes and cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

FROSTING:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons milk
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together until smooth. Frost cake.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Peach Crepes


On a trip to Fredericksburg, Texas last year I went to the Peachtree Tea Room. For dessert they have peach crepes that are filled with a cream cheese mixture topped with delicious Fredericksburg peaches. My friend brought peaches from there recently and we froze them. Crepes are not all that hard to make, but they take a light touch. I think mine turned out more like burritos! They were good, but next time I will go easier on the crepe batter I think.

PEACH TREE CREPES

Crepes:

2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/3 cups milk
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar

Blend eggs, butter, milk, flour, salt and sugar together in order given. Blend or mix on high speed until well incorporated. The batter may be refrigerated at this time or used immediately.
For each crepe, put 2 to 3 tablespoons batter into a medium warm, slightly greased 6-inch to 7-inch skillet. Tilt to spread batter evenly to make a thin crepe. When the crepe is light brown, turn and cook on second side.

Cream filling:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

Blend together until smooth. Refrigerate until time to fill crepes.

Sugared Peaches:

Slice fresh peaches
Add sugar to taste
Macerate to make a sauce

This is easily done if your peaches are frozen as when they defrost they are soft and have quite a bit of liquid on them.

Fill crepes will cream filling. Pour sauce over top.

Cheesy Baked Ziti


One of my best friends moved back into her house after a 2-year recovery from Hurricane Ike. We celebrated this weekend with cooking in her new kitchen.

FOUR-CHEESE BAKED ZITI

1 pound ground beef
1/2 onion chopped fine
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
1 pound ziti
2 jars pasta sauce (I used fire roasted tomato and garlic)
8 ounces mozzarella cheese grated
8 ounces parmesan, asiago, romano mixed grated cheese
8 ounces non-smoked provolone cheese (save for the top)
fresh parsley chopped

Boil ziti according to package instructions. Drain. Saute ground beef with onion until done. Drain. Add pasta sauce. Layer sauce, ziti, cheeses, and parsley. Bake at 375 degrees until brown and bubbly (about 20-25 minutes).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

7-Up Cake

I have had a huge pile of recipes saved for years and for some reason this recipe is at the top of the list and yet I just tried it out. This cake has been around for a very long time. It tastes better than it looks -- thank goodness!

7-Up Cake with Pineapple Coconut Frosting

3 cups cake flour
3 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs
1-1/2 cups butter, softened
3/4 cup 7-Up (poured into a cup first)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon extract

Cream sugar, butter and eggs until creamy. Add flour 1 cup at a time, add vanilla and lemon extract and finally 7-Up. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. This can be simply glazed or use the frosting below. You can also bake this in layers and use the frosting as a filling kind of like a German chocolate cake.

COCONUT PINEAPPLE FROSTING/FILLING

1 large can crushed pineapple
1 stick butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup pecans

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. It will thicken as it cools. Spread on cake.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Easy Chocolate Muffins


I went to visit some friends the other morning and wanted to take a treat. I searched what I had in the pantry and looked at different recipes in my cookbooks and came up with these. I'm not a big fan of chocolate and these are not overly sweet, but my friends were pleased.

EASY CHOCOLATE MUFFINS

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk (I used evaporated)
1/4 cup butter, melted.
1 egg
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Add milk, butter, and egg. Stir just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Fill paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full of batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Going Retro


Back in the 80's when Bisquick was popular (before the whole trans fat mania) Bisquick had a bunch of 'Impossible Pies' that used different ingredients but added a Bisquick batter to them to create a magic crust. I decided to throw one together recently.

IMPOSSIBLE CHICKEN BROCCOLI PIE

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup onion chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms sliced
12-oz. pkg. frozen chopped broccoli, steamed for 5 minutes in microwave
8 oz. shredded cheese (I used Vermont White Cheddar)
1-1/2 cups cooked cubed chicken (I used 2 large boneless chicken breasts)
1-1/3 cups milk
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup baking mix
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 10 inch pie plate with Pam. Saute the onions and mushrooms together in the butter. Add broccoli and chicken and cheese and mix together. Put into pie plate. In a small bowl mix the milk, eggs, and baking mix together until blended well and pour over ingredients in pie plate. Bake for 35 minutes until puffed and set.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oatmeal Coconut Chewies


So once again here I am with a long time between posts. I had a day off and the coworkers have been complaining that I haven't baked anything in a while so I went in search of something that I could make with what I had on hand. I happened upon this recipe that was posted on this blog My Tasty Treasures (disclaimer -- this blogger has a wicked naughty sense of humor) but she has good recipes. She had gotten the recipe from this blog My Kitchen Cafe. So many good blogs out there and such great recipes. I think the coworkers will be pleased with these cookies.

OATMEAL COCONUT CHEWIES

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut (I toasted the coconut)
1 cup quick oats
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans (of course, I have to add these)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl cream together the sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes until cookies are set but not overly brown. (My oven took a bit longer so check your oven). If you bake longer they are a bit crisper.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Simple Classic


I am almost embarassed to post such a simple recipe, but these have just a little twist that I think makes them special. When traveling to Austin, our State Capitol, there is a little town called LaGrange. It is home of the famous 'Chicken Ranch' made famous in the play/movie The Best Little Whore House in Texas (how proud we are?). Anyway, there is a little bakery called the Bon Ton. It is about half way from my house to Austin, so a nice place to stop for a little break. They make theses HUGE, Texas-Sized Rice Krispie treats but they add pecans to them and it makes them really good. The grandboys came for a swim a few weeks ago and I decided to have an after swim treat for them. Something so simple, yet yummy.

RICE KRISPIE TREATS

1/4 cup butter
1 bag marshmallows
6 cups crisp rice cereal
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans

Melt butter and marshmallows together. Add cereal. Add pecans. Stir well. Pour into a well-greased 9 x 13 pan. Cool and cut into squares.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lemon Nut Cake


It has been a while since I posted. Life has just gotten busy and I don't get as much time or reason to bake. This is a recipe I've had in my files for a long time.

LEMON NUT CAKE

3/4 cup softened butter
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup undiluted evaporated milk
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoons grated lemon rind

Icing:
2 tablespoons lemon rind
1 cup powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice

Cream butter, gradually beat in sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir together flour, and baking soda. Combine evaporated milk and lemon juice. Alternately add dry ingredients and evaporated milk mixture to butter mixture; beat until smooth. Stir in nuts and rind. Spoon into lightly buttered 10-inch tube pan. Bake in slow oven, 325 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pan. Remove from pan and cool completely. Drizzle with icing and sprinkle with lemon rind.

Icing: Stir powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over cake, sprinkle lemon rind.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chicken/Roasted Garlic/Mushroom Calzones

Olive oil
Butter
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder
2 heads roasted garlic
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pound fresh mushrooms
1 cup Fontina cheese, shredded
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Alfredo sauce
Pizza dough

This is kind of a thrown together recipe. Roast a couple heads of garlic with olive oil until nice and carmelized. Boil 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts with garlic powder, salt and pepper until tender. Cut into small pieces. Sautee a carton of fresh mushrooms in a little butter and olive oil seasoned with more garlic powder, salt and pepper. Take some pizza dough of your choice and make 4 circles. Brush with olive oil and add Italian seasoning and a spoon of jarred (or fresh) Alfredo sauce. Smear some of the roasted garlic on the dough and add the mushrooms and chicken. Add cheese. Fold over and crimp. Brush with olive oil. Cut a few holes in the dough and bake at 425 degrees for about 20-30 minutes until golden brown. These are large and 1/2 can easily serve one person.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Pecan Praline Pound Cake

Our annual company Spring Fling was held today. As in years past we have a bake-off. This year's category was pound cake. I defended my title for the last 2 years and won first place. It was a fun day. I kind of combined 2 of my recipes from other cakes and came up with this one.

PECAN PRALINE POUND CAKE

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup toasted chopped pecans

Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt. Alternately add the flour and heavy cream to butter and sugar mixture ending with flour. Add vanilla and pecans.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Put into a preheated oven at 325 degrees. Bake for 1 hour and a half. Check for doneness because mine took a little longer. Remove from the oven and cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert cake onto cake plate.

GLAZE
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup toasted pecans

Bring butter, milk, and sugar to a boil. Glaze will thicken as it cools. When cool drizzle over cake and sprinkle pecans.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lemon Nut White Chocolate Cookies

When life gives you lemons they say make lemonade. In this case I went for lemon cookies. Sorry I haven't posted in so long. Life just got a little out of hand for me. Hopefully there will be more occasions for me to post something a little more often. These cookies have only a subtle lemon taste and I don't know if it is because it is humid here today, but they are soft not crispy.




LEMON NUT WHITE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 12 ounce package white chocolate chips (I had a chunk of Ghiardelli white I chopped up)
1 cup walnuts or cashews (of course I used good old Texas pecans)
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in egg and lemon juice; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels, nuts and lemon peel. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake in preheated 375° F oven for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 3 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes 3 dozen.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cinnamon Applesauce Cake


Mardi Gras is a pretty big deal around here. Not quite as big as New Orleans, but Galveston does a fine job with the celebration. To celebrate Fat Tuesday yesterday we had a lunch party at work. Seafood Gumbo was served. Traditionally a King cake is served which has a baby inside and whoever gets the baby has to bring the cake next year but also gets good luck the rest of the year. King cakes are usually a sweet roll type of cake in a wreath or braid, but I decided to just do a bundt cake and use the colors (and I tucked the little baby in the bottom after it was baked). Not the best decorated cake, but my coworkers said it was a good cake. Laissez le bon temps rouler (let the good times roll!)

APPLESAUCE CAKE

Cake:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups applesauce
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons milk
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cake: In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and egg; beat until well combined. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture alternately with applesauce to butter mixture. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into a greased bundt or 13 x 9 inch pan, spreading evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes for 9 x 13 or 40-45 minutes for bundt, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat together the cream cheese, milk and vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Beat until creamy. Spread on cooled cake.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

White Queso Dip


I'm almost embarassed to post this picture, but I think the recipe is worth posting. I took this to a birthday party last week and the picture taking was done in a hurry as an afterthought.

Queso dip around here is usually just a block of Velveeta and a can of Rotel tomatoes. I wanted to try something new and went on a quest to find a new recipe. I never knew that white queso was such a sought after recipe to try and replicate, but I found lots of information about it. So here is my version.

WHITE QUESO DIP

1 pound Land O'Lakes white American cheese (in Wal Mart deli case)
1 to 1-1/2 cups half and half
1/4 cup finely diced white onion
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cans chopped green chiles

In a small frypan saute the onion in the butter until translucent. In the microwave or on top of a double boiler, melt the cheese with the half and half. You can judge how much to use on how thick or thin you like it. Add the onion and chiles and stir until all incorporated. Serve with tortilla chips.