Monday, May 23, 2011

Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookies

These cookies were kind of a "what do I have at home that might make a good cookie" type of recipe. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 small package (3.9 oz.) chocolate or chocolate fudge instant pudding
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup Craisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer. Add pudding and beat again. Add eggs, baking soda, salt and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour.

Stir in Craisins, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets covered with parchment paper. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire rack.

Yields: about four dozen cookies

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Savory Monkey Bread

I made this for a co-worker's birthday last week, and it disappeared pretty quickly from the faculty lounge. Unfortunately, I was in such a hurry when I took it out of the oven that morning that I forgot to snap a photo of the finished product. I guess that means I'll just have to make it again some time. :)

I recommend serving this with some warm marinara sauce for dipping. It makes a great appetizer or side dish to go with a pasta meal.

Warning: Your house will smell like garlic! When I transported this to work, my car smelled like garlic for the rest of the day!

Savory Monkey Bread

2 loaves of Rhodes frozen bread
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

About 16 hours before you want to make this, take the two loaves of frozen Rhodes bread and place them on a plate in the fridge so they can thaw.
When the dough has thawed, grease a Bundt or tube pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together the green onion, parsley, minced garlic, salt, melted butter and eggs until well blended.
Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut the bread into small pieces and dip each piece into the egg mixture.
Place coated dough balls into the Bundt pan. When you have a layer of bread at the bottom, sprinkle with 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Add another layer of coated dough balls and sprinkle with another 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese. Add your last set of coated dough balls and sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese on top.
Cover the pan loosely with Saran wrap and let rise at least 45 minutes. (I put the pan in the fridge overnight and then baked the next morning.)

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Then bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Then invert onto serving plate. Monkey bread can be pulled off into sections and dipped in marinara sauce. (However, my co-workers decided to be very neat and used a knife to cut the bread into slices.)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Citrus Cream Cake

If you are seeing this blog post before 7:00 P.M. on May 8, 2011, you are seeing my mother's "Mother's Day" cake before she does. :)

The recipe comes from the Kraft food website. I made no real alterations to it. In place of the orange zest, I did use some fancy dried orange peel that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas. Based on the directions on the orange peel, I used 1/3 of the recipe's original amount.

Citrus Cream Cake

1 yellow cake mix
1 small package (3.4 oz) Lemon Instant Pudding
1 1/3 cups sour cream, divided
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup oil
3 eggs
2 tablespoons orange zest (or 2 teaspoons orange peel)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour two 9-inch cake pans.

Beat cake mix, dry pudding mix, 1 cup of sour cream, water, oil, eggs, and orange zest/peel in large mixer bowl for one minute on low speed. Then beat on medium speed for two minutes.

Pour into prepared pans and bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then remove to wire racks to cool cakes completely.

Beat remaining sour cream (1/3 cup) and powdered sugar in large bowl with whisk until thoroughly blended. Stir in Cool Whip.

Place one layer of cake on cake plate or cake board. Spread half of Cool Whip mixture on top. Spread a little less than half of mandarin oranges on top.
Then place second layer on top and repeat with remaining Cool Whip mixture and mandarin oranges.

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Peanut Butter Chip and Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are rather crisp but have a chewy center. Although I made them with peanut butter chips and chocolate chips, you could really substitute any chip and/or nut combination you like. I've also made them with white chocolate chips and chopped hazelnuts.

Peanut Butter Chip and Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg yolk
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
2/3 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter.

In a larger mixer bowl, beat the melted butter with the brown sugar and white sugar. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Beat again.

Slowly add the flour mixture and mix on low. Then stir in the chocolate chips and peanut butter chips by hand.

Using a small cookie scooper, drop the dough onto the parchment paper. Bake 13-15 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes before removing to cooling rack.

Yields: about 3 dozen cookies.