Sunday, January 18, 2015

Best ever Maple Bars

I experimented with my own recipes yesterday... I love my baked maple bars, but yesterday I thought I would try my favorite Scone recipe and ice them with the maple icing from my maple bar recipe.... oh my goodness! these are better than any maple bar bought at a bakery ever! Especially when you eat them warm with a glass of milk for breakfast! Enjoy!

The Best Scone Recipe
1 Tablespoon yeast (1 envelope)
1/4 cup warm water
1 Cup Warm water 
1/4 cup shortening 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
2 1/2 cups flour 
1/3 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten 

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water ( I added 1 Tablespoon of the 1/4 c. sugar.) Mix dry ingredients together then cut in shortening. Add egg, water, & yeast mixture until you have a smooth dough. Add more flour if needed ( I add about 1/2 cup or so more flour. You need to be able to handle it.)
Place in an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour). Heat oil in a dutch oven and roll out dough to 1/4" thick. Cut into pieces and fry on both sides until done. Top with Honey butter or jam! YUM! :o)

For maple bars ice with them maple icing and top with chopped cooked bacon if desired. 

Maple Icing
1/3 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 teaspoons mapleine (found by the flavor extracts and seasonings) or maple extract ( I used 3 teaspoons)
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a small saucepan mix butter, brown sugar and milk. Bring to boil for medium heat and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes. Add the mapleine, salt and powdered sugar and blend well with a hand mixer. Add a little more powdered sugar if needed (I added about 1/4 cup more)

Dip the maple bars in the warm frosting until coated on the top, sprinkle with chopped cooked bacon and enjoy!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Giant, Chewy, Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

I LOVE this recipe! It makes the best crunchy, chewy chocolate chip cookies ever. At first you will think they won't turn out because when I made them the dough was on the crumbly side especially after I got all the yummy chips and nuts in there. But press the dough into a large golf ball size ball and slightly flatten with your hands and bake like it says. Delicious!!! Enjoy!

Giant, Chewy, Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 1 dozen or two

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips 
  • 1 cup Heath toffee bits
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, corn starch) and sift together.
Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. The butter will start to foam and then start browning. You will be able to smell a nutty aroma when it's ready. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Do not burn!
Cream butter with sugars together in a large mixing bowl. (this doesn't really cream with melted butter but whip it for a couple of minutes anyway)
Beat in the vanilla and then add in the eggs and continue beating until the mixture is light and creamy. (again, it won't be really light and creamy like a usual cookies dough)
Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
Stir in the chocolate chips and toffee bits, (and pecans if you are using them)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Drop cookie dough ¼ cup at a time onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Space cookies about 3 inches apart and bake for 12-14 minutes. If you like you can bake a batch and store the rest of the dough in the fridge in a tupperware container. Just take out and bring to room temperature when baking another batch.
The cookies are done when the edges are golden. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire racks to finish cooling. Store in Zip loc bag!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Cinnamon Nuts

I Love candied nuts... almonds, pecans, peanuts you name it. My favorite Dairy Queen blizzard is the butterfinger blizzard and one time when I lived in Albuquerque I got one and they had candied peanuts in it... LOVED it. But since I have been unable to find a Dairy Queen that makes it like that. But that's beside the point. Don't you love walking in the mall during the Christmas season and you smell those cinnamon nuts cooking?? This recipe is like that. I always wondered how they did those and this recipe was it! I found it on You tube... you can watch the video Here and then I have written the recipe down for you. So easy and your home will smell YUMMO!

Cinnamon Nuts
2 cups raw nuts (almonds, pecans or peanuts are all good)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water

Vanilla extract
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Place the nuts, sugar and water in a large heavy duty skillet. Heat over medium high heat and stir, bringing to a boil. Keep stirring and letting boil until it crystallizes. You want this to crystallize so keep stirring. Now you will think you are ruining the nuts, but keep stirring after about 5 or so minutes you will see the sugar start to melt again, this means it's caramelizing. Keep cooking and stirring, if you think the nuts are burning lift off the heat once in a while. After the nuts look glazed with the caramelized sugar, remove from heat. Add a couple of splashes of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon or so cinnamon. Stir to coat. Pour the nuts out onto the prepare cookie sheet and separate with your wooden spoon or spoon you stirred the nuts with.
Let cool and enjoy! Can be stored in a zip lock baggie in a cool dry cupboard.

I did dry roasted peanuts with just vanilla and they were delicious just like the candied peanuts in that Dairy Queen blizzard.  My favorite nuts are a mix of almonds and pecans with the vanilla and cinnamon. These are better than the ones you get in the mall at Christmas time.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

Ok, if you like anything chocolate you have to try this recipe out. It's my niece's recipe, which you can find here. I tweaked a bit, I found I could make 14 cookies rather than 12 easy. I also added mini chocolate chips since I thought regular would be too bulky to wrap around the marshmallow. LOVE them. These are a rich dark chocolate cookie that is amazing. I think Santa would even enjoy these cookies. YUMMO!

Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies
Adapted slightly from  Home Sweet Spice
Makes 12 to 14 Cookies 

1/2 cup softened butter
6 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used a Dutch dark chocolate cocoa powder)

1 cup Mini chocolate chips
6 or 7  marshmallows (cut in half)

Pre-heat oven to 350 F (176 C)
Cream together the butter and sugars.
Add in the egg and vanilla. Mix well.

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Add dry ingredients slowly to wet.
Add chips.

Once chips are mixed, make cookies balls about 2 tbsp in size.
Press 1/2 a marshmallow into the center and make sure to wrapped the dough all the way around. You don't want the marshmallow "leaking" out.
Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will crack open, but that's ok.

These things are amazing :) Enjoy!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cranberry Pear Pie

I have a pear tree in my yard and to this day I have never used my pears... I didn't realize pears don't ripen on the tree! I think of the past years I threw my pears away and feel way sad. But this year I figured out how to pick them and let them ripen. So of course when I found this recipe in my Food Network magazine I had to give it a try. It's amazing!! I did tweak it just a bit and I used a prepared refrigerated crust. For some reason I just can't seem to make a very good pie crust and it's quicker to use the prepared ones and they are good if you ask me. I added a few more pears and less cranberries than the original recipe too. It was awesome served warm with vanilla bean ice cream . Enjoy!

Cranberry Pear Pie
recipe adapted from Food Network magazine
For the filling:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 ripe but firm medium Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled and diced (about 8 cups)
1 (12 -ounce) bag fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
Grated zest of 1 orange (about 2 teaspoons) (I had dried orange peel and used that and it was good)
Prepared pie crust dough (enough for a double crust pie)
1 egg, slightly beaten

Make the filling: 
Heat a medium skillet over high heat until it begins to smoke lightly. Remove the pan from the heat, add the butter and toss in the pears and cranberries. Return to high heat and cook until the fruit is slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup,  ground cloves, lemon juice and orange zest. Mix to blend and cook over high heat until the syrup thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and scoop into a bowl; refrigerate until cool. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Assemble the pie: Place your bottom crust into a deep dish pie plate. Pour the filling into the crust. Brush the edge of the crust with the beaten egg; cover with the top crust. Pinch around the edge to seal the top and bottom crusts together, removing the excess dough with a paring knife. Use a paring knife to cut an X opening, 1 1/2 to 2 inches across, in the center of the crust; fold back the dough. Put the pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the top of the pie with more of the beaten egg or a little milk. Sprinkle the top with sugar.

Bake the pie, 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375 degrees F and continue baking until the crust is light golden brown, 30 more minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. 
Serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Jamaican Red Beans and Rice

I wasn't sure what to make for dinner one day after work, so I typed in something different with chicken into the search engine on google and this recipe popped up. I tweaked it a bit to what I had on hand and it was delicious!! I love recipes like this. Just plan ahead so you have enough time to let the chicken marinade, at least an hour ! The longer it marinades the more flavor it gets. I also like to stab my chicken breasts all over with a fork, lets the marinade seep into the meat. The recipe below for the Jamaican rice was amazing! I like it a bit better than the copy cat recipe for Rumbi rice. It has more flavor with the thyme and green onion added. Enjoy!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Serves 4

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 Tablespoon allspice
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground sage
  • 1/4 (heaping) teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 (heaping) teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  1. Combine the first 8 ingredients (the seasonings) into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the vinegar, orange juice, olive oil, soy sauce, and lime juice.
  1. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth. Mix in onions, and garlic cloves, then add the chicken breasts into the bowl, turning over to cover completely in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, and up to overnight.
  1. Grill or broil chicken for 4-5 minutes a side, brushing the marinade over while grilling. When no longer pink in the middle, remove to a plate, and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve with your favorite BBQ or hot sauce. I like to make the rice and slice the chicken and put on top of the rice with a drizzle of BBQ sauce then a drizzle of Frank's hot sauce.  See pic above. Enjoy!

Jamaican Red Beans and Rice
Serves 4

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil (or canola oil)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add garlic, green onion, and thyme, and sauté for 2 minutes.
  1. Add beans, water, and coconut milk to the pan, then stir and bring to a boil. Add in rice and salt, then place a lid on top, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until all the liquid as been absorbed, and rice is tender.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I'm not a really big fan of cinnamon rolls, my hubby is though. I do like them warm from the oven but the leftover ones are not my favorite. One of my favorite things to do is lay in bed on Sat. mornings with my hubby and watch cooking shows (yes we are old, not in that honeymoon stage anymore) that's how I decide what I'm cooking for the weekend! This recipe was featured on the Pioneer woman and it looked soooooo good I had to try it out. The original recipe makes 24 rolls and there was no way we could ever eat them all so I cut the recipe in half which I will post here. But if you want to make the full recipe go the the Pionneer woman's recipe here. These cinnamon rolls were absolutely Yummo! They practically melt in your mouth! I recommend making these for a Saturday or Sunday brunch when you can simple sit down with one and enjoy the deliciousness of them in peace and quiet! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll

  • Dough:
  • 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use Grapeseed oil)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1- 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring, sprinkling and rolling
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Melted butter, for buttering pans

  • Filling:
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

  • Frosting:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cups to 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 cup whole milk, plus more if needed
  • 1 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • Dash of salt

For the dough: In a large saucepan, combine the milk, vegetable oil and granulated sugar. Heat until hot but not boiling, then remove the pan from the stove and allow it to cool until the mixture is warm to the touch but not too hot. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the liquid and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree until combined.

Combine 4 cups of the flour with the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Sprinkle it into the saucepan and stir until it just comes together. Cover the saucepan with a dish towel and set in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, the mixture should be very puffy and at least doubled in size. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining 1/2 cup flour until totally combined.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Drizzle butter into 3 pie pans (or a larger baking dish) and smear it all over the bottom of the pans.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and press it into a rectangular shape. If it is overly sticky, sprinkle generously with flour until easier to handle. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough into a large rectangle about 18 inches by 24 inches.

For the filling: Drizzle the melted butter over the dough and smear it all over the surface with your fingers. Mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Sprinkle this mixture all over the surface of the dough, covering all the melted butter. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup chopped pecans.

Starting at the top, roll the dough toward you into a large log, moving back and forth down the line of dough (in a "typewriter" motion) and always rolling toward you. Roll it tightly as you go so the rolls with be nice and neat. When it's all rolled, pinch the seam closed and turn the roll over so that the seam is facing down. Slice into 1/2- to 3/4-inch slices and place the slices in the buttered pan(s). Allow to rise for 20 minutes.

Bake until the rolls are nice and golden brown around the edges, 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting: While the rolls are baking, make the frosting by combining the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, butter and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until fluffy, adding more milk if you'd like a thinner frosting.

Frost the rolls the second they come out of the oven. Sprinkle the extra pecans over the frosting, then allow them to sit for 15 minutes before serving.

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