Tag Archive | Holiday Foods

Peanut Butter Brownies

Peanut Butter Brownies

 

For the Brownies:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Peanut Butter Filling:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons milk or whipping cream

Ganache Topping:

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk or heavy whipping cream

 

 

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Using a 9 by 13 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. Spray the parchment with Pam.
  2. Melt butter and add the sugar; stir to combine. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Mix in cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add flour and mix well. Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a cooling rack.  (Note: Don’t over cook.)
  3. While the brownies are cooling, make the peanut butter filling. Combine the ingredients and beat until smooth. Add more milk if necessary to make it spreadable.  Spread in an even layer over the brownies. Place in the refrigerator until filling is set, about 30 minutes.
  4. While the filling is setting, make the ganache, combine the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Melt together and combine. Pour the ganache over the top and spread gently. Return to the fridge until set.
  5. Lift out of pan and cut into pieces.  Store in refrigerator.

 


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Cake Balls

My kids made fun of me last Saturday.  They thought mom had lost her mind.  See I baked a cake, made icing and then mixed it all up again in the mixer.

But they sure ate the results.

Cake Balls

1 Cake Mix, baked according to directions

1 tub icing or one recipe of icing

1 package Almond Bark

I used a fudge cake mix and baked it, then refrigerated the cake over night.  The next day I made chocolate cream cheese frosting and then crumbled the cake into the icing in the mixer.  Mix until crumbly and moist.  Some recipes called for refrigerating the mix but mine was cool and I could easily make balls from the mixture.  I made bite size balls of cake and placed them on wax paper in a baking pan.  Then I froze the cake balls for a couple of hours.

Melt the almond bark (I used chocolate).  I melted a coffee cup full in the microwave at a time.  Now to make the Almond Bark easier to dip into I added about 1/4 tsp of vegetable shortening.  Using a toothpick I dipped the frozen cake balls into the almond bark.  After twirling to smooth the chocolate over the ball place them on wax paper.  They will harden quickly.  The hardest part is removing the tooth pick when hard but not so hard that it cracks the ball.  Dab a drop of almond bark over the toothpick hole.  The cake balls that begin to thaw while dipping the others were hard to dip so I suggest not removing all of the balls from the freezer at once.

The cake balls were crunchy chocolate outside and very very moist inside.  The insides seemed to be more moist then when I started but the effect was nice.  These were really good but it isn’t something I would make regularly due to the time it takes.  One thought I had is that this would be a good use for leftover iced cake that would make the amount of time much less.

This will be a special treat not a regular treat.

After making these I’ve seen them advertised for $14 – $25 dollars.


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Mexican Cornbread Salad

I had an extra pan of Mexican Cornbread that I was looking for an idea of how to use.  My folks all liked it.  Others it depended on which ingredients they ate.  We only brought home a little of the bottom layer of Mexican Cornbread.

Mexican Cornbread Salad

1 pan Mexican Cornbread, cooked and cooled

2 cans Black Beans, rinsed and drained

2 cans Whole Kernel Corn, drained

2 large cans Rotel Tomatoes, drained slightly

16 ounces Sour Cream

2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Salsa

Spicy Ranch Salad Dressing

Other items if available:

Lettuce, shredded

Diced Tomatoes

Diced Bell Peppers

Drained, Sliced Black Olives

 

Starting with 1/2 the Mexican Corn Bread, crumble and layer in the bottom of a large glass dish.  (I used a punch bowl.)  Add each item in layers.  Half way up use the remaining Mexican Cornbread.  Continue to layer with sour cream and cheese being the last items. Seal the salad with the sour cream like icing a cake.  This will keep in the moisture.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover and refrigerate.  Serve with salsa and spicy ranch dressing.


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Watergate Salad

I was trying to recreate the “Green Stuff” salad that my grandmothers used to make. This is one recipe that I found, Watergate Salad, but the ingredients are all so different in each recipe. This is how I’ve been making it. So easy!

Watergate Salad

2 16 ounces Cottage Cheese containers

1 8 ounce Cool Whip

2 pkg Pistachio Pudding Mix

1 small pkg Marshmallows

1 can crushed Pineapple (I don’t bother draining it.)

Mix together all ingredients and refrigerate.


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Marinated Ham and Cheese Rolls

Marinated Ham and Cheese Rolls

(This is what I actually do instead of following a specific recipe. Of course, I still don’t actually measure; that means a new creation every time.)

Sandwiches:

1 Package of Hawaiian Dinner Rolls
1 package Ham or turkey slices
1 package Cheese slices

Marinade:

1/2 stick of butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons Mustard, (Yellow, Spicy, Horseradish)
Garlic powder to taste
Onion powder to taste
Minced Onion
Poppy seeds (I usually don’t bother they really only add to the appearance.)

Heat marinade in sauce pan or microwave until sugar is dissolved. Slice whole package of dinner rolls in half. Brush the cut bottom of rolls with marinade. Cut meat and cheese to fit rolls. Stack up meat and cheese on rolls. Brush the cut top of the rolls with marinade. Replace top portion of rolls. Brush the top and sides with marinade. Pour remainder of marinade over the rolls. Wrap with foil. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Can refrigerate rolls and place directly into oven. Increase baking time for cold rolls. Serve warm.

 


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Green Bean Bundles

This is a way to fancy up green beans for company or special occasions.  As my husband says if it has bacon it can’t be bad.

Green Bean Bundles

Fresh whole green beans

Package of bacon

1/3 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup French Salad Dressing

dash of garlic powder

dash of salt and pepper

 

Fry bacon until just slightly done, it should not be crisp.  Drain.  Take four to six whole green beans and wrap them with a slice of slightly cooked bacon to make a bundle.  Some use toothpicks to hold them closed, I don’t.  Just place loose ends down in a baking dish.  Continue to wrap bundles until all the bacon has been used.

Mix brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, French salad dressing, garlic, salt and pepper.  I always taste and play around with it at this point adding more of this and more of that.  So mine are never exactly the same.  Of course I never measure the ingredients to begin with. 😉

Pour sauce over green bean bundles.  Bake at 350 – 400 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.  You want the bacon to begin to crisp and the green bean to be tender yet not too soft and gooey.

 


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Brr! It Has Been Cold

For some reason we here in Alabama have had cold temperatures for at least a week.  Our temperatures have been highs in the upper 30’s and lows in teens and twenties.  I know that isn’t cold for much of the US but for the Deep South it is rather cold.  Makes little boys more stir crazy also when they can’t run and play outside for hours.  But like normal we have no snow just cold. 🙁

I have made hot drinks the last few days for church / school get togethers.  Most of the children liked the hot drinks although there were a few that didn’t like the chai.  My children all loved both, but then we are tea drinkers.

Hot Spiced Cider

1 Gallon Apple Cider or Apple Juice (Cider is better if you can find it.)

2 oz bottle Cinnamon Red Hots (Often in the cake decorations.)

Cinnamon Stick

5 – 6 Whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Cloves

1/4 teaspoon All Spice

You can heat the cider in the Crock pot for a few hours to get warm.  I cheat though and heat the cider in a large pot and then pour it in the crock pot set on high.  Pour in Cinnamon Red Hots.  Stir well to get them dissolved.  Add Cinnamon Stick to Crock pot.  Combine remaining spices in a cloth tea bag or wrap in a coffee filter and tie.  Simmer cider with spices for a few hours.  Cider will continue to get a stronger flavor the longer you cook it with the spices.

The spices are really just estimates.  Play around with the seasoning and when it is strong enough for you remove the spice bag.

Some recipes call for some added sugar but I don’t add sugar.  We thought it was sweet enough.


Hot Chai Tea

1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk ( I used 1 1/2 cans for my largest crockpot)

10 Tea Bags regular black Tea  (More if you like a stronger tea flavor)

1 stick of Cinnamon

5 – 6 Whole Cloves

1 Tablespoon Vanilla

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Cloves

1/4 teaspoon All Spice

Few Dashes of Ground Cardamon (Warning this is expensive so only use if you have it or really like the taste.  Cardamon gives a unique flavor but it takes very little.)

Heat a crock pot full of water and stir in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.   I heat the water on the stove and then pour it into the crock pot.  Combine spices in a cloth tea bag or wrap and tie in a coffee filter.  Simmer with the spices for a few hours.  I haven’t yet had the tea simmer to the full effect of the spices because it disappears to quickly.  The children like it milder, while personally, I’m a strong tea drinker.  I have added some honey to the crock pot but honey tended to make the bottom of the pot too sweet despite how well we stirred.



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Pumpkin Cheesecake

This is better than the typical pumpkin pie.  I got mixed reviews about it.  Some really liked it and some didn’t.  It still tastes like pumpkin so if someone doesn’t like pumpkin they still won’t like this.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust

2 cups crushed ginger snap cookies

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup melted butter

Filling

4 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2  teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

or in place of the above use 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


Mix together crust ingredients.  You can always use graham cracker crumbs in place of ginger snaps if desired.   Press into bottom of pan.  Can use springform or 11 x 7 pan (this is what I use).  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Cream together the cream cheese and the sugars.  Add in pumpkin and spices.  Play around with the amount of spices, some like lots of spice and some like light spice.  You can taste it at this point since it is before you add the eggs.  Spices tend to be just slightly stronger after the baking.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Don’t beat on high because you don’t want lots of air.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour.  Reduce heat to 300 degrees if browning too quickly on top.  Cook until center is set.  Let cool in turned off and vented oven to decrease chances of cracking.  Refrigerate.

I cook mine in a larger pan half full of water, or you can place a pan of water on the rack under the cheesecake.

Top with whip topping to serve, if desired.



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Grape Ice-cream

Grape Ice-Cream

2 cans sweetened condensed milk

2 cans evaporated milk

2 cans grape cola (Grape Nehi, Grapico, etc.)

Mix in a large mixing bowl.  Mix well to remove carbonation.

Pour into Freezer.  Add whole milk to fill line (shouldn’t be much if any).

Makes 4 quarts.

Freeze according to freezer directions.


3 cans each will make a 5 quart Ice-cream maker.

Of course you can also use Orange or Strawberry colas.

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Potato Candy

I grew up eating this every Christmas.  It takes a little work working in the sugar with the mashed potatoes because at first the more sugar you add the juicier it gets.  But my kids all love it.  I have met a few people that don’t like it but I think it is the name more than anything.  You can also do the same with sweet potatoes.  Makes a lovely orange colored candy but doesn’t taste much differently.

Potato Candy

  • 1 (1 lb.) box powdered sugar (helps to have extra on hand)
  • 1 very small potato, boiled and mashed
  • 1 small jar creamy peanut butter or about a cup

Mix sugar into potatoes a little at a time by hand. (Don’t panic when potatoes get juicy as the first sugar is added. This is what it’s supposed to do. Just keep adding sugar until it is pastry consistency.) Sprinkle wax paper with additional powdered sugar. Take baseball-sized ball of mixture and roll out like pastry. Spread with peanut butter and roll like a jelly roll. Wrap rolls in plastic wrap; chill and slice.


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