Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

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Oh my ~ these are delicious!  I know red velvet everything is big right now and I don’t usually follow trends but this recipe sucked me in.   I actually made them around Valentine’s Day and I put the recipe aside and forgot about it until I downloaded the pictures and there they were.

I chose to try this recipe because it made the brownies from scratch ~ no boxed brownie mix was involved.  I am trying to stay away from boxed mixes especially since it’s so easy to bake from scratch without all the preservatives.  I also liked that it didn’t use a whole bottle of red food coloring like so may recipes do.  Be careful when using it because it turns everything red.  The only thing I did different from the recipe was to leave out the nuts.

Brownies 1

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

Brownies:
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp white vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup toasted almonds

Cream Cheese Layer:
8 ozs cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350º. Butter an 8×8 baking pan and set aside.

Brownie layer: Melt the butter either on the stove top or in the microwave and pour into a large mixing bowl. In order, add the sugar, vanilla, cocoa, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, mixing between additions. In an small bowl, whisk the eggs and stir into the cocoa mixture. Fold in the flour until combined. Stir in the walnuts if using. Save 1/4 cup of this mixture and set aside. Pour what’s left into the prepared pan.

Cream cheese layer: Blend the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Gently spread this mixture on top of the brownies mixture in the prepared pan.

Using a spoon, drop the remaining cocoa batter over the top of the cream cheese layer. Using the tip of a knife or a skewer, drag it through the cream cheese layer and the dropped batter to create a swirl effect.  Try not to mix in the brownie layer on the bottom as much as you can.

Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool completely before cutting.

Makes 8 servings

Adapted from Food Network

Brownies 2

Brownies 3

Happy Cooking!

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Brownie, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cup Treats

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Today, my recipe for Slow Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes is the recipe of the week at Gooseberry Patch.  I don’t think I’ve posted this recipe here so grab it over there.  It’s really good and can sit in the slow cooker for a bit if the rest of your meal isn’t ready.

This recipe is all over Pinterest and it looked really good and easy to me.  Once I made it, I thought it was just OK while the rest of the family thought it was great and ate them all up.

Now this recipe uses lots of packaged products so if you want to make them from scratch I think it would work fine.

I happened to have a square muffin pan but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use a regular muffin pan.  Just make sure you grease the pan ~ the recipe didn’t call for it but it’s super hard to get them out of the pan if you don’t.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Brownie, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cup Treats

1 box brownie mix (milk chocolate or fudge or use your favorite)
1 pkg miniature peanut butter cups
1 pkg Nestle Chocolate Chips (they are in squares in the pkg)

Generously grease a square muffin pan.

Take one chocolate chip cookie and press in the pan to cover bottom as in the picture above. Place one unwrapped peanut butter cup upside down on top of the cookie dough. Spoon some brownie dough over the peanut butter cup, covering it.

Bake at 350º for 18-20 minutes or until brownies are done.

Makes 12 treats.

Happy Cooking!

Sunshine State Citrus Cupcakes and a Gooseberry Patch GIVEAWAY!!

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Time for another giveaway for a great  Gooseberry Patch cookbook!

This giveaway is for ONE copy of the NEW Simple Shortcut Recipes generously donated by Gooseberry Patch.   This cookbook is perfect if you don’t have loads of time to spend in the kitchen.  The recipes are delicious, easy, and you probably have many of the ingredients in your pantry already.  Giveaway rules will follow after the recipe!

For the next 10 days, look for a recipe every day from this cookbook!

I chose to make these cupcakes because I LOVE citrus.  It’s one of my favorite ingredients to cook with.  Everything always tastes so fresh and citrus can be found all year long so I don’t have to wait for a certain time of year to use it.

One of the things I liked about this particular recipe, is that you can use it for a dessert, for breakfast, or for an afternoon snack with a cup of tea.  Plus I love Florida so anything that says Sunshine State is right up my alley!

Three of the four dogs got into them and enjoyed them as well!

Sunshine State Citrus Cupcakes
submitted by Bunny Palmertree of Carrollton, MS

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

1 pkg yellow cake mix
2 small boxes Instant Lemon Pudding ~ I used sugar-free
3/4 cup oil
1 cup orange juice
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Beat for one minute on low and then 3 minutes on high.

Fill paper lined muffin tins about 1/2 full.

Bake at 350º for 25 minutes or until golden.

While cupcakes are still warm, pierce with a fork.

Spoon glaze evenly over the top of all the cupcakes, using up all the glaze. It’s easier if you put wax paper under the cooking rack to catch all the drips.

Glaze:
1/3 cup orange juice
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and boil and stir for 2 minutes. Use immediately.

Makes 2 dozen.

FOR THE GIVEAWAY ~ all you have to do is just reply on this post telling me you want to be entered.  Very easy!  The giveaway will run  until April 3.  I will pick a winner using random.org.  If you have any questions, just email me at a_recipe_a_day at yahoo dot com.

Happy Cooking!

Peanut Clusters

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Peanuts covered in chocolate and butterscotch ~ what could be better?  I found this recipe on Food.com posted by mollypie and it looked great so I decided to try it for Christmas gift giving.  It is beyond EASY!!!!  Now, I am NOT that big a fan of butterscotch ~ a little goes a long way as far as I am concerned but this recipe says it’s a two for one for the chocolate/butterscotch coating so I switched it up to 2 bags of chocolate chips to one bag of butterscotch instead of the other way around and it worked great.   Of course you can make it whichever way you prefer.

Peanut Clusters

1 (12 ounce) pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 (12 ounce) pkgs butterscotch chips
2 cups of salted peanuts with no skin

Melt the chocolate/butterscotch in a microwave safe bowl at 50% power for 30 seconds at a time until completely melted. You can also melt on the stovetop in a double boiler if you prefer.

Add peanuts to the melted chips and stir until all the peanuts are coated.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper and let cool until they harden up ~ they are not rock hard but firm and are soft to bite into.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes about 3 dozen clusters.

Happy Cooking!

Candy Corn Cookies

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These cookies are just so adorable and I knew I had to try them when I saw them on the Betty Crocker site.  They take some time to make so be prepared for that but they are not in the least bit hard to make.

If the directions aren’t clear ~ there is a Youtube video that shows how to make them and I’ll link it at the end.

Candy Corn Cookies

1 pouch sugar cookie mix
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 egg
orange gel food coloring
1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted and cooled

Line an 8×4 loaf pan with parchment or waxed paper, making sure it extends over the sides of the pan.

In a medium bowl, stir the cookie mix, butter and egg together until a soft mix forms.

Place dough on work surface and divide into thirds. Take 1/3 and sort of shape it into the shape of the pan and place it in the pan; patting so that it covers the entire bottom of the pan as evenly as possible.

Take 1/3 of the dough and work the cooled chocolate  into it with your hands, making sure the color is as even as possible. Shape into the shape of the pan and place on top of the white layer already in the pan, smoothing as much as you can.

Take the last 1/3 of the dough and work the orange gel coloring into it, shape into the shape of the pan and put on top of the chocolate layer, making as smooth as possible.

Cover the pan and place in the refrigerator for about 2 hours or until the dough is firm to the touch.

Heat oven to 375º.

Remove dough from pan and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slice. Cut each slice into 5 wedges. Place on ungreased cookies sheet about 1 inch apart.

Bake 7-9 minutes or until set and lightly golden brown. Cool on pan for 1 minute then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes about 9 dozen small cookies.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

King Arthur Flour’s Chunk Wild Cookies

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I’ve gone on and on about how much I love King Arthur Flour before so I won’t bore you with that again BUT I will post this really delicious cookie recipe I found on their site.

It’s a little more involved because of having to drag out the food processor but well worth any extra effort.  All the flavors come together to make one great cookie!  Thanks, King Arthur!

Chunk Wild Cookies
King Arthur Flour

1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsps salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups oats (I used Old Fashioned)
2/3 cup white chocolate, chunks or chips (I used chips)
2 cups flour
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375°. Line your cookie sheets with parchment or you can lightly grease.

Beat together the butter, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Using a food processor, process the oats with the white chocolate until the oats are finely ground, and the chocolate is mostly ground; a few small chunks are fine. Add the oats and flour to the butter mixture, then stir in the peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, and chopped walnuts.

Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls, 2″ apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, until they’re set. They may be barely starting to brown around the edges, but the tops won’t be brown at all.

Cool cookies on a rack.

Makes about 5 dozen.

Happy Cooking!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

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I made these for dessert for our Super Bowl munch fest yesterday.  I really am not a fan of peanut butter but I took a taste and they are quite good ~ even if they are peanut butter.  I cut up a whole bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups miniatures (9oz, 12 oz?)  and only used 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

1 cup butter, soft
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsps vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet choclate chips
2 cups chopped peanut butter cups

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, peanut, and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and the vanilla. Add in the flour, baking soda and salt and mix well. Stir in the chips and peanut butter cups.

Drop by tbspfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350º for 10-12 minnutes or until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned.

Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes about 6 dozen.

Happy Cooking!

Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups

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This recipe is so simple to make and can be used for an appetizer or it would make a great roll-up for lunch.  It’s super easy to make and can be made a day ahead and left in the fridge until you are ready to eat them.  I found the recipe in one of my community cookbooks.

Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups

1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, room temperature (I used light)
16 ounces sour cream (I used light)
1 (1 ounce) packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip dry mix
1 pound deli ham sliced thin (I used Lite Virginia baked ham)
1 pkg flour tortillas (burrito size ~ you need 8 or so)

Mix the cream cheese, sour cream and dry ranch together in a bowl and mix until there are no big lumps of cream cheese.

Put a thin layer of cream cheese mixture on a tortilla, leaving about a 1/2 inch space around the entire tortilla. Fit some of the sliced ham on top (you can cut it to fit).

Roll up tightly and then place in a piece of saran wrap and roll up the saran wrap tightly around the rolled up tortilla.

Repeat until all ingredients are used.

To serve as an appetizer, take off the saran wrap, cut the unsightly ends off and throw away and then cup up the tortilla into about 1 inch pieces. For sandwiches, cut the ends off and then cut in half.

Makes 10-12 servings as an appetizer or 8 as sandwiches.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Halloween Sugar Cookies

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I found this recipe in Everyday Food magazine and found it to be a super easy recipe and one that doesn’t make a ton of cookies.  I doubled the recipe and got 3 dozen ~ which is perfect for us.  The version I am putting here is the DOUBLED version.

Halloween Sugar Cookies

Halloween Sugar Cookies

8 tbsps butter, very soft
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
about 36 candy corns

Preheat oven to 350º.

In a medium bowl, mix butter and sugar until well combined. Add yolks, vanilla,  baking powder and salt. Add flour and mix until dough forms.

Scoop out level tbsps of dough and roll into balls in your hands. Place balls on ungreased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake until edges are  firm and just beginning to turn light brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove from the oven and gently press a candy corn into the center of each cookie. Cool cookies on sheets for 1 minute and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Makes about 36 cookies.

Happy Halloween!

My Signature

Halloween Krispie Treats

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This recipe is just a take-off on standard rice krispie treats.  You can’t tell in the picture but I tinted the marshmallows orange.  I think these would work for Thanksgiving, too, by leaving off the candy corn.  I found the recipe on the Land O’Lakes website and adapted it to suit me.

Halloween Rice Krispie Treats

Halloween Rice Krispie Treats

1/2 cup butter, melted
2 (10 oz. pkgs.) large marshmallows
3 drops orange food coloring or 2 drops read and 3 drops yellow
10 cups rice krispie cereal
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp shortening (Crisco)

Lightly grease a 15×10 jelly roll pan and set aside.

In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add both pkgs. of marshmallows and continue to heat over low heat until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat and stir in food coloring. Mix until the coloring is spread out evenly throughout the melted marshmallow mixture.

Add the cereal and mix until well combined.

Pat cereal mixture into prepared pan. Use greased wax paper to even it out so it won’t stick to your hands.

Melt chocolate chips and shortening in microwave and stir to combine. Place chocolat emixture in a sandwich bag, cut a bit of the bag’s corner off, squeeze chocolate in the bag and decorate the treats. Add candy corn if desired.

Let the treats sit for about 30 minutes before cutting so the chocolate can set up.

Makes about 40 bars depending on how large you cut them.

Happy Halloween!

My Signature