Cherry Oatmeal Muffins

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Muffins are so good ~ they can be used for breakfast, brunch, snack, whenever!  I don’t bake them nearly enough.

These muffins are so good.  They use dried cherries ~ I used tart ones to cut the sweetness of the sugar and it was the right choice!  The package was 5 ounces and I used the whole thing. The recipe made 12 smallish muffins ~ perfect for Mr. Meat Eater and me.

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Cherry Oatmeal Muffins

1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt ~ I always use kosher salt but regular is fine
1 cup dried tart cherries
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400º.

In a large bowl, mix well the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the dried cherries.

In another bowl, mix the buttermilk, egg, oil, and vanilla until well combined.

Add the buttermilk mixture to the oat mixture and stir until it is just blended. Too much stirring will make the muffins tough.

Fill muffin cup 2/3rds full. Bake at 400º for 15-20 minutes. Mine took 20 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins.

Source: Popovers to Panache

Cherry Oatmeal Muffins

Happy Cooking!

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Cherry Turnovers

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A very easy and delicious recipe from Gooseberry Patch’s new cookbook.  If you would like a chance to WIN a copy of this cookbook, please see THIS POST and comment with your favorite thing to have for breakfast!

This recipe was really easy.  I made them for dessert after dinner instead of for breakfast but Mr. Meat Eater had the leftovers the next day for breakfast.

I am not the greatest working with puff pastry.  I must do something wrong because it always looks so easy when others work with it.  Eventually I get it but I struggle with it.

Cherry Turnovers
Submitted by Lynda Robson of Boston, MA

1 (17 1/4 oz) pkg puff pastry, thawed
21 oz can cherry pie filling
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp water ~ I used milk which I prefer

Unfold each puff pastry sheet and cut each sheet into four squares.

Divide pie filling among the 8 squares. I used a couple of tbsps for each turnover and had filling left over which I froze.

Brush edges of pastry with water and fold into triangles. Crimp edges with a fork. I didn’t brush the edges with water but I did crimp with a fork. Cut a small slit in the tops of the pastries with a sharp knife if desired.

Place the pastries on ungreased baking sheets and bake at 400º for 15 to 18 minutes until puffed and golden.

Let cool slightly.

Blend together the powdered sugar and water and drizzle over the tops of the warm turnovers.

Makes 8 turnovers.

Happy Cooking!

Black Forest Cupcakes

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Before I go any further, Black Forest Cherry Cake is my all-time favorite cake.  In fact, we had one for our wedding cake.  That’s how much I love it.

A few weeks ago, I was reading The Disney Food Blog (one of my very favorite blogs) and came across this post ~ Black Forest Cupcake.  I could NOT stop thinking about it and since I won’t be going back to WDW for a few months, I sent my son (who lives in Orlando) to check it out.  He ate at the Contempo and said the cupcake was one of the best things he had ever eaten.

That was all it took to send me on a mission to recreate it.  As luck would have it, I did a google search and came up with a copycat recipe for regular sized cupcakes.  Being diabetic, I should NOT be eating these at all so I saved up some carbs so I could try it.  I wish I hadn’t.  They are VERY good.  I am looking forward to trying the real thing when I get back to the World.   And I ate more than one.

Black Forest Cherry Cupcakes

1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened (I used lite)
1 egg
2 tablespoons sugar
1 (19 ounce) can cherry pie filling (I used lite)
1 1/2 cups thawed Cool Whip  (I used sugar free)

Heat oven to 350º. Prepare cake batter as directed on package and set aside.

Mix cream cheese, egg and sugar until well blended.

Remove 3/4 cup of the cherry pie filling for garnish; set aside.

Spoon 2 tablespoons cake batter into each of 24 paper-lined medium muffin cups. Top each with 1 tablespoon each of the cream cheese mixture and the remaining cherry pie filling. Cover evenly with remaining cake batter.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan to wire racks. Cool completely.

Top with whipped topping and reserved cherry pie filling just before serving.  Keep in refrigerator.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Happy Cooking!

Chocolate Dipped Cherries

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This very simple treat was a big hit at our Christmas party this past weekend.  They are so simple to make but really taste like it took some work ~ which is my favorite kind of recipe.

The cherries would be excellent for a gift but they may not be the best choice for young kids…you’ll see what I mean!

Chocolate Dipped Cherries

1 cup maraschino cherries, WITH stems
1 cup brandy
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, Ghiradelli’s is best

Put the cherries in a smallish bowl and cover with the brandy. Let the bowl sit on your counter for 8-10 hours ~ I did about 8. Drain the cherries and place on a parchment (or wax paper) lined cookie sheet and freeze. I let mine go overnight.

Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or double boiler being very careful not to let it burn. Wipe each frozen cherry of excess moisture. Dip in the chocolate and place back on the lined cookie sheet and let them stand until the choclate firms up. If it doesn’t seem to be firming up, stick in the fridge for a bit. Mine worked just sitting on the counter.

I did have extra melted chocolate so I could have probably gotten about 2 cups of cherries dipped.

Store cherries in the refrigerator.

Makes about 18-20 cherries.

Happy Cooking!

Super Easy Cheesecake

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This is more like a cheese pie than it is like a traditional cheesecake but it’s so delicious and so easy to make.  This is one of DS’s favorites.

You can top it with any kind of pie filling ~ we just like cherry.  I use light cream cheese and light sour cream instead of the regular and light pie filling.

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Super Easy Cheesecake

Cheesecake
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping
1 cup sour cream
5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Grease 9″ pie plate.

Cream the cheese and sugar, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add the vanilla, pour into the pan and bake at 350º for 25 minutes.   The cheesecake will puff up and then settle down.  Cool the cheesecake 20 minutes, then add the topping.

Mix topping ingredients together and pour on cheesecake. Bake an additional 7 minutes at 350º to set the top. Cool, chill and, before serving, top with a can of pie filling.

8 servings.

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Happy Cooking!

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Christmas Party Recipes ~ Sweets

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I made a couple of sweets for our party and there weren’t any left at the end of the night.

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Charleston Cherry Bars

2 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1 10 ounce bottle maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350º and coat a 13×9 pan with butter.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar about 2 minutes. Add 1 of the eggs and 1 egg yolk, reserving the egg white. Mix well. Add both extracts. Blend in flour mixture until smooth.

Place dough in prepared pan and pat down evenly. Set aside.

Beat reserved egg white to stiff in a medium bowl. Pat cherries dry with a paper towel. Stir cherries and brown sugar into beaten egg white until well combined. Spread over dough in pan. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Cool completely on rack before cutting into squares and serving.

Makes 24 bars.

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Mini Turtle Cheesecakes

1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on package
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsps caramel topping
1 egg
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsps finely chopped pecans

Heat oven to 450º. Remove 1 crust from pouch and unroll on work surface. Roll lightly with a rolling pin. Cut 12 rounds from crust with a 2 1/2 inch to 2 3/4 inch cookie cutter. Press rounds into 12 mini muffin cups. Repeat with remaining pie crust. Place about 5 chocolate chips in each crust.

Bake 6 minutes. Leave crusts in pan and reduce oven temperature to 375º.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, brown sugar, caramel topping and egg with electric mixer until well combined and creamy. Spoon about 1 1/2 tsps into each crust covering chocolate chips.

Bake at 375º for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheesecake is set. Cool 10 minutes. Remove tarts from pan to cooling rack.

In a small microwaveable bowl, place remaining chocolate chips and vegetable oil. Microwave 30 seconds on HIGH and stir. Continue to microwave on HIGH at 30 second intervals until melted. Stir to smooth out. Drizzle over each cheesecake and immediately sprinkle chopped pecans over the top.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Cover and refrigerate any remaining tartlets.

Makes 24 mini cheesecakes.

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Famous Fudge

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk (one of those little cans is 2/3 cup)
1 package semisweet chocolate chips
1 7 ounce jar marshmallow cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

Grease a 13×9 pan and set aside.

Mix butter, sugar, and evaporated milk in a saucepan.

Bring to a rolling boil and boil, stirring constantly, for exactly 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Add marshmallow cream and vanilla and nuts (if using). Stir until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and cool to room temperature. Cut into small squares.

Makes 3 pounds.

Happy Cooking!

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Cherry Garcia Ice Cream and Grilled Chicken Wings

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What a combo ~ right?

I found some gorgeous cherries at the grocery yesterday and decided to make the Cherry Garcia Ice Cream on The Farmer’s Wife Blog and it is delicious! I could not find cherry extract so I left that out and I added my chocolate chips with the cherries. You HAVE to try this one!

Before we had the ice cream, I made horseradish glazed chicken wings on the grill. I was a little iffy about these because of the heat factor ~ I can’t always tolerate spicy foods but I knew DH would love them so I made them anyway. I cheated a little and just put barbecue sauce on a couple in case I couldn’t eat the others. I was pleasantly surprised because while they did pack some heat, it was not overpowering and very flavorful. There was no afterburn either. These are definitely going into my party cookbook. The original recipe came from a book called Championship Barbecue.

Horseradish Glazed Grilled Chicken Wings

2 tbsps garlic salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
2 tbsps Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
2 tsps freshly ground black pepper
4 lbs. chicken wings

Combine all the ingredients except the wings in a small pan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When it comes to a boil, remove from heat and set aside.

Place wings over a medium-hot grill and grill for about 15 minutes. Turn, and begin basting with the sauce every 10 minutes for about another 20 minutes or until the chicken is nicely glazed on both sides, cooked through and no pink remains.

Serves 6-8

Happy Cooking!