Cranberry Nut Chocolate Bark

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Something I  made when we had a few friends over before Christmas was this bark.  I saw the recipe on King Arthur Flour and it looked so delicious to me that I had to try it.

It’s easy to make even though it may not look that way.  Just make sure to follow the steps and yours will turn out great, too.

The recipe called for semisweet and white chocolate but I used the packages of chocolate and white bark that you can buy in the grocery store. They melt easily and then harden back up easily and they taste good.

Chocolate, Pecan, Cranberry Bark

Cranberry Nut Chocolate Bark

1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup toasted pecans
1 pkg chocolate bark, melted
1 pkg white chocolate bark, melted

In a small bowl, mix the cranberries and toasted pecans together and set aside.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Melt the chocolate bark according to the pkg directions. Spread into an oval on the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and let set.

Melt the white chocolate according to the pkg directions and carefully spread over the chocolate layer. Before the white chocolate sets, sprinkle the cranberry and nut mixture over the top and press in lightly.

Let the chocolate harden for several hours and then break into chunks. If you are having trouble getting the chocolate to harden, put the pan in the refrigerator until hard.

Makes about 24 pieces.

Happy Cooking!

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Key Lime Fudge

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Mr. Meat Eater loves all things key lime.  I, on the other hand, could cheerfully live without it.  Since he’s such a nice guy, I make something key lime once in awhile.

I had seen a picture of key lime fudge on Pinterest but there was no recipe attached (that makes me crazy, btw) so I hunted around and found this recipe on Real Mom Kitchen.  We had a few friends over and I was tired of making chocolate fudge so I decided to try this fudge.  Much to my surprise, everyone loved it!  I took a bite and found it was not as sweet as I thought it would be and I would have liked more lime taste to it.  Everyone else thought it was perfect as is.

For the crust, I just followed the pie crust recipe on the box of graham cracker crumbs (just like Real Mom Kitchen did) so I am not going to write it out here but if anyone needs it, let me know.

A Key Lime Fudge

Key Lime Fudge

Graham cracker crust following recipe on graham crumbs box
16 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp butter
1 lime, zested
3 tbsps key lime juice or lime juice ~ I use Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice

Preheat oven to 350º and line a 9×9 baking dish with aluminum foil. Butter the foil and set aside.

Place the mixed graham crust ingredients and spread in the pan evenly and press down slightly when even.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges.

Remove from oven and let cool.

Place in a saucepan, the chopped white chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, and 1 tbsp butter. Cook on low heat until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in zest and lime juice.

Carefully pour this mixture over the crumb crust and even out carefully with a spatula.

Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.

Before cutting, sprinkle a few graham crumbs from the box if desired.

Using the foil, remove the fudge from the pan and cut into small squares. Discard foil.

Makes about 24 pieces of fudge depending on how large you cut the squares.

Happy Cooking!

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Pi Day!

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Today is 3.14 which is pi so today is known as pi(e) day in the foodie/blogging world.

Those who follow A Recipe A Day on Facebook know that I have been craving banana cream pie so I thought it would be a perfect post for pi day ~ and it helped that I remembered to buy bananas.  A reader suggested a banana pudding pie and it stuck with me.

I was looking through a bunch of old cooking magazines last week and found one called Our Best-Ever Cakes and Pies by Southern Living.   While everything in it looks so good, I did find a banana pudding pie that used homemade pudding so I gave it a shot.  It wasn’t hard to put together but it did take some time.

As I suspected, one piece satisfied me and now I won’t want banana cream pie for another couple of years since I’m not really a fan of bananas.  Mr. Meat Eater, on the other hand, inhaled 2 pieces ~ he loved it!

Regular readers will know that I can’t cut a pie to save my soul so I will only show pictures of the whole pie before I make a mess of it, LOL!

Banana Pudding Pie

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

1 (11 oz) box Nilla wafers
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 large bananas, sliced ~ I used 3
Vanilla Pudding ~ recipe follows
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350º. Put 30 Nillas aside.

In a food processor, process remaining Nilla wafers. Stir crushed wafers and melted butter together and firmly press on the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate.

Bake crust for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to rack and let cool.

Arrange half of the banana slices over the bottom of the crust.

Prepare the vanilla pudding and put 3/4 cup hot pudding over the bananas and top with 20 of the reserved Nillas. Put 3/4 of the leftover pudding over the top of the Nillas and top with remaining banana slices. Put the rest of the pudding (about 1 cup) over the banana slices.

Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer at high speed until foamy. Add sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Spread meringue over hot filling making sure to seal edges.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Remove from oven and let cool on rack for 1 hour. Crush remaining Nillas and sprinkle over top of pie.

Chill for 4 hours before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Vanilla Pudding

2 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 large eggs
4 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla

Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, for 8-10 minutes or until mixture reaches thickness of chilled pudding. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Use in banana pie immediately.

Happy Cooking!

Granola Bars

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I made these to take to a friend’s brunch on Christmas Eve.  They are super easy to make and are just delicious.  You will never buy granola bars again.

The recipe calls for pumpkin seeds, nuts, etc., but at my local grocery store they sell something called Brain Food.  The one type that I chose was pumpkin seeds, nuts, and raisins mixed together so I used the entire container of this (I think it was 16 oz) instead of each individual ingredients.  I also added a small bag of dried cranberries.  I used fat free sweetened condensed milk to save some calories and this worked perfectly and is how I will make them in the future.

I found the recipe on Allrecipes and it’s a keeper!

Granola Bars

2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup dried cranberries
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free)

Preheat an oven to 350º.

Line a 13×9-inch pan with lightly-greased parchment paper; an inch or so of parchment paper should stick up on 2 sides to form lifting handles.

Mix both oats, pumpkin seeds, both nuts, cranberries, and sweetened condensed milk together in a bowl and spread into the prepared pan, evenly pressing into the corners and out to the sides.

Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden brown, 20-25 minutes, using slightly less time for chewier bars and slightly more time for crunchier bars.  I went longer for crunchier bars.

Let the bars cool for 5 minutes in the pan before using the parchment paper to lift them from the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars. Let the bars cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Makes 24 bars.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

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These are, without a doubt, the best muffins I have ever made.  They are easy to make but take a bit of time to make each part.  They bake up tender and moist.  I brought some to the dog park and sent some to work with Mr. Meat Eater and everyone loved them.

I thought the cream cheese filling was a little runny and I’d have to work on it to make it less so but I wouldn’t hesitate to make these over and over.  In fact, I will be making them for Thanksgiving weekend.

The recipe came from Country Living magazine who says it came from a B&B.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Filling:
1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg
3 tbsps sugar

Topping:
5 tbsps sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans
3 tbsps butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Muffins:
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsps cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 375º. Spray 2 12-cup muffin pans with Pam or use paper liners (I spray the liners, too).

In a medium bowl, mix the filling ingredients together and set aside.

In another medium bowl, mix the topping ingredients together and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.

In another medium bowl, mix the eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla together.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the pumpkin mixture in. Mix with a fork until well moistened.

Evenly divide half the batter between the 24 muffin cups. Place 2 teaspoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture on top and then divide the rest of the batter between the cups covering the cream cheese as best you can. I am not the best at dividing but as long as there was a spoonful on top of the cream cheese, it worked.

Sprinkle some of the pecan mixture over the top of each muffin.

Bake until golden ~ about 20 to 25 minutes. Insert a toothpick in center to check for doneness.

Makes 24 muffins.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Halloween S’Mores Kits

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The other day I was reading through my Facebook wall and saw these kits posted by Mommy’s Kitchen and I thought they were just adorable.  They are super easy to make and she includes a link to print the directions that are stapled to the top of the bag.  I made 18 of the kits and some I will take to the dog park and some I’ll send to work with Mr. Meat Eater since sailors need treats, too.

There really is no recipe ~ all you need are graham crackers, Halloween ghost peeps and Hershey bars.  I would think you could use a couple of the small Hershey bars but I liked the idea of the large bar.

So check out Mommy’s Kitchen for complete directions.  I would think these would be great made with Christmas Peeps and on any holiday!

Happy Cooking!

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!