Chocolate Chip Cookie Fudge

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Wow ~ I am loving the comments so far on my giveaway.  Everything sounds so yummy!!  If you want to join in see this post ~ My Very FIRST Giveaway

In a word, this fudge is delicious!   I only had a taste since I’m trying not to eat any sweets and it was hard NOT to have more.  I think Mr. Meat Eater ate the rest of the pan.

This recipe is very easy and really not at all difficult like some fudge recipes can be.   I think it would wonderful with homemade chocolate chip cookies.  I used original Chips Ahoy cookies since I am basically lazy.  Don’t skimp on toasting the pecans ~ it really helps to make the recipe.

The fudge would make an excellent gift or treat at Christmas.  I found the recipe in Southern Living’s Cooking for Christmas.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Fudge

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
1 (11.5 ounce) package milk chocolate morsels
1/2 cup evaporated milk (one of those small cans is 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 tsps vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
12 chocolate chip cookies, chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)

To toast the pecans ~ spread on a small baking sheet, place in a preheated to 350º oven and let bake for 10 minutes or so. When you can start smelling them, they are done. Be careful NOT to burn. If they burn, toss and start over.

Line the bottom of an 8×8 baking pan with aluminum foil so the foil hangs over the edges. Lightly grease the foil.

Combine both packages of morsels and the evaporated milk in a large saucepan; cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Rmove from heat and stir in the pecans, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the cookies. Spread in prepared pan.

Let stand for 4 hours or until the fudge is firm.

Lift fudge from the pan using the foil sides as handles. Remove foil and throw away and cut the fudge into squares.

Makes 2 1/4 lbs fudge

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!

Sweet Potato Muffins

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The first time I had sweet potato muffins was in Colonial Williamsburg years ago.  I loved them and when I came across this recipe in a cookbook from Bruton Parish Church   (located in the historic area), I knew I had to try them.  If you don’t tell anyone they are sweet potato, they will think they are pumpkin.  I had to do that with Mr. Meat Eater to get him to even try one and he ended up eating at least 4 or 5 in one sitting.  They are really good!  I did confess later on that he had been eating sweet potato and he was shocked, LOL!

I did, as usual, change them to suit me but really very little.  I used less sugar ~ 1 cup as opposed to 1  1/4 and I used currants instead of raisins because I think they taste better in muffins since they are smaller so there is no need to chop them.  I also used 1 1/4 tsps of cinnamon since I don’t like nutmeg and didn’t have any.  The recipe said it makes 12 but I made 15.

The cookbook is called Beyond Loaves and Fishes and it is one of my favorites.

Sweet Potato Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (I used canned)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shopped raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 400º.

Cream butter and sugar together and add eggs and mix well. Blend in the sweet potatoes.

In another bowl, mix the flour and the rest of the dry ingredients. Add this mixture alternately with the milk to the sweet potato mixture. Be careful not to over mix.

Fold in the pecans and raisins.

Spoon batter into greased muffin cups filling about 2/3rds full. Sprinkle with sugar if desired (I didn’t do this).

Bake for 25 minutes. Cool and remove from tins.

Makes 12-15 muffins.

Happy Cooking!

Raspberry Coffee Cake

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I have another recipe for a raspberry coffee cake that involves my springform pan and while it’s not hard to make it seems more complicated than it needs to be.  This recipe takes all the yumminess of that more complicated recipe and makes it so much easier.  I think it tasted better because it WAS so easy.  Try it and see what you think!

Raspberry Coffee Cake

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened (I used light)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Beat cream cheese, butter, and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla and beating until mixture is smooth.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add this to the cream cheese mixture at low speed until the mixture is well blended.

Spread into a greased 9×13 pan. Spoon preserves over the top and swirl carefully with a knife. I used more than 1/2 cup preserves ~ more like 3/4 cup.

Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until the cake begins to leave the sides of the pan.

Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Cut into squares.

Makes 12 ~ 15 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

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I am still stunned at myself for choosing to make a Sandra Lee recipe as she is not a favorite of mine and I usually don’t watch her show.  For some reason, I had the FN on before the holidays and Sandra made these mushrooms and since I am addicted to mushrooms,  I tried them.  They ARE good!  They take a bit of time to make but are easy to assemble.

The pictures are lousy because I didn’t get a chance to put them on a plate before they were scarfed up!  I had to elbow my way in to grab a couple pictures.

Stuffed Mushrooms

24 large stuffing mushrooms
olive oil
4 links sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 1/2 cups diced leeks
1 cup cornbread stuffing
1/2 cup warmed chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 375º. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

Wipe mushrooms clean and remove stems but save the stems. Brush each cap with some olive oil.

Dice the stems.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tbsps olive oil. Add mushroom stems and cook for 1 minute. Add sausage; breaking up any clumps. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the diced leeks and saute for another 3 minutes or until the sausage is completely cooked through and the leeks are tender. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the stuffing and warmed broth. Let sit for a minute or two until the stuffing softens. Stir in sausage mixture, sage, garlic, and 2 tbsps Parmesan into stuffing.

Fill each mushrooms with some stuffing mixture and place on prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle mushrooms with remaining 2 tbpsp of Parmesan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Creme Brulee French Toast

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I have seen this recipe all over the internet and it’s in many, many cookbooks and for good reason I think.  While it may not taste taste exactly like creme brulee,  it has enough of the flavor to make a very special breakfast.

I like this recipe because it’s put together the night before and baked in the morning ~ which is perfect for us non-morning people!  The recipe called for French bread but I use a loaf of challah and it worked perfectly.  I did not remove the crusts since they were soft.  Oh and please use the Grand Marnier brand of orange liqueur ~ it’s worth it!   There is no need for syrup since the brown sugar mixture will be your syrup.

This is how it looks coming out of the oven:

This is how it looks when you take a piece out and flip it over:

Creme Brulee French Toast

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsps light corn syrup
6 slices French, crusts removed
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half (I used fat free)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Grand Marnier
1/4 tsp salt

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Mix in the brown sugar and corn syrup and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour this mixture into a 9×13 baking dish.

Arrange bread in the baking dish on top of the sugar mixture in a single layer. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla, Grand Marnier, and salt. Pour over the bread in the pan. Cover and put in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350º. I put the dish on the counter while the oven is heating to take off the chill.

Bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes until puffed and lightly browned. Mine gets very puffy but settles down as it cools.

Makes 6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Baby Jesus Birthday Cake

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Really, this is just a chocolate refrigerator roll but when my kids were younger we made this every Christmas Eve and this is what they called it and the name stuck.  So we still make the Baby Jesus birthday cake ~ well, some years we make it and some years, yours truly forgets to make it.

The chocolate wafers have become elusive  recently but I found some and they are EXPENSIVE!  At least to me they are ~ almost $5 for a box of boring cookies.  All that aside, it’s super easy to make and really good.  You do have to let it sit in the refrigerator a bit so the cookies soften up and they will be the same texture as cake.  I make mine first thing in the morning for evening dessert.

Baby Jesus Birthday Cake or Chocolate Refrigerator Roll

1 tsp vanilla (I don’t use this)
2 cups whipping cream, whipped (Cool Whip is fine, too)
1 (9 oz) pkg Nabisco Chocolate Wafers
Sprinkles or chocolate curls for garnish

Stir the vanilla into the whipped cream.

Spread about 1/2 tbsp of whipped cream on one side of a wafer. Continue in this manner, stacking the wafers on their sides.

Frost with the rest of the whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate curls or sprinkles.

Refrigerate for 4-6 hours.

To serve, slice at a 45º angle.

Makes about 12 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Snowy Sunday

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We *rarely* get snow here and when we do, it’s usually just a bit and in the blink of an eye, it’s gone.  As of noon today, we had 9 1/2 inches!  Everything is closed down, including tunnels, and it hasn’t let up a bit.  One thing about this area ~ they have no clue on how to plow roads.  Never mind neighborhoods.  We have to wait until it melts enough to get out of our street.  Crazy!

I decided that I’m not cooking today.  I’m exhausted and I pulled something in my shoulder so I’m taking it easy.  Worst of all ~ I have to ration my diet pepsi since I’m not stocked up and won’t get to the store for a few days.  ACK!

Here are some pics of our snowy Sunday!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a recipe and new snow pictures!   I got a new fancy camera and a telephoto lens so hopefully there will be new fab photos in the not too distant future!

Happy Cooking!

Merry Christmas Eve!

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I can’t believe that it’s Christmas Eve already!   Time goes too fast.

Instead of doing a recipe post, I am taking a break and just posting what we will be eating over the next few days.  Recipes will follow over the next month or so and I’ll link to the ones that are already here.  I don’t eat too much meat anymore so I tend to make lots of veggie dishes to make up for it.

Christmas Eve ~ Mexican Fiesta

Chicken Enchiladas

Mexican Rice (recipe coming)

Mexican Salad

Guacamole (recipe coming)

Pico de Gallo (recipe coming)

Spicy Black Beans (recipe coming)

Baby Jesus Birthday Cake (recipe coming)

My Famous Sangria

 

Christmas Breakfast

Creme Brulee French Toast (recipe coming)

Paula Deen’s Scrambled Eggs

Bacon and Sausage

Winter Fruit Salad

Cinnamon Rolls or Monkey Bread

Mimosas

 

Snacks

Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms (recipe coming)

Spinach Artichoke Dip (recipe coming)

Pigs in Blankets with Spicy Mustard

 

Christmas Dinner

Cranberry Glazed Ham (recipe coming)

Hash Brown Casserole (recipe coming)

Caramelized Butternut Squash

Green Beans

Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad (recipe coming)

Warm Mushroom Salad (recipe coming)

Asiago rolls (recipe coming)

Marble Sheet Cake (recipe coming)

Wine or soda or water

 

And we should NOT have to eat for the next week!!!  Lots of leftovers to go home with DD and I’ll be making my Mom’s ham salad at some point.

With that….

Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!!!

Recipe Rerun ~ Holiday Mashed Potatoes

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I thought I would re-run a very popular recipe on this blog ~ holiday mashed potatoes.  They are so good and easy to make.  I love that I can make them the day before and there is no mashing of potatoes right while I’m trying to get a holiday meal on the table.  My Mom used to make them and now our whole family makes them.

Holiday Mashed Potatoes

5 lbs potatoes, peeled and cooked
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash pepper

Beat hot potatoes until all lumps are removed. Add cream cheese (in small pieces) and the butter. Beat well until cheese and butter are completely melted and mixed. Stir in sour cream. Add eggs and onion to milk and add this to the potatoes with salt and pepper. Beat until light and fluffy.

Place in a greased 9-inch casserole. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until lightly rounded on top (puffy).

Makes 6-8 servings.

Happy Cooking!