Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cookie Dough Brownies

These are so rich and so yummy! A fudgy brownie is topped with a layer of cookie dough and then covered by a crisp chocolatey topping. Chris once gave this recipe to a co-worker, and she won 2nd place with it at the fair.

Cookie Dough Brownies
1 (21.5 oz. or similar size) pkg. fudge brownie mix
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1 egg
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp. oil
3/4-1 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of 13x9 in. pan; set aside. In a large bowl, combine brownie mix, water, oil, and egg, beat 50 strokes or until blended. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Spread in greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 32-34 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Cool completely. (can put in fridge to cool quicker)
In a large bowl, beat together butter or margarine, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla, beat well. Add flour, mix well. Spread carefully over cooled brownies.
In a small saucepan, melt together chocolate chips and oil over low heat until chocolate chips are conpletely melted. Stir well. Carefully spoon glaze over cookie dough layer, spreading with a spoon to cover all cookie dough. Refrigerate until topping is set. Cut into small bars, store in refrigerator. Makes 24 brownies.

Caramel-Filled Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are extraordinary! I get tons of compliments whenever I make them! Everyone loves the gooey caramel that is hidden inside this chocolatey cookie!

Caramel-filled Chocolate Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup margarine or butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup chopped pecans
48 ROLO milk chocolate caramel candies, unwrapped (1 9oz. pkg.)
1 tbsp. sugar
4 oz. vanilla flavored candy coating, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda; blend well. In large bowl, beat together 1 cup sugar, brown sugar and margarine/butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, beat well. Add flour mixture; mix well. Stir in 1/2 cup of the pecans. For each cookie, shape about 1 tbsp. dough around 1 caramel candy (make sure to cover caramel candy well on all sides). In a small bowl, combine remaining pecans and 1 tbsp. sugar. Press one side of each cookie ball into pecan mixture. Place dough nut side up 2 inches apart onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-10 minutes or until set and top is slightly cracked. Cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet before removing. Cool completely.
If desired, melt candy coating in small saucepan over low heat. Using the tines of a fork, drizzle coating lightly over top of cookies. Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Beef Enchiladas

This is a well-worn favorite family recipe that we all love. It has a wonderful homemade flavor and just enough kick. It takes a little extra time to prepare the from-scratch enchilada sauce, but it is so worth it! You can substitute 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts for the ground beef if you prefer.

Beef Enchiladas
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
2/3 cup water
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
2 tbsp. chopped green chilies, optional
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
8 small to medium sized flour or corn tortillas
additional shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped onions for garnish if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook beef in a large skillet ober medium heat until brown; drain. Stir in onion, sour cream, shredded cheese, parsley, and pepper. Cover and set aside. In a medium sized pot, heat bell pepper, water, chili powder, oregano, cumin, chilies, garlic and tomato sauce to boiling, stirring occasionally; reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Pour into an ungreased pie plate. Dip each tortilla into sauce to coat both sides. Spoon about 1/4 cup of beef mixture into each tortilla; roll tortilla around filling. Place in an ungreased 11X7in. or similar size rectangular baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas. Bake uncovered about 20 minutes or until bubbly. If desired, sprinkle some additional shredded cheese over top of enchiladas and bake just until cheese melts. Garnish enchiladas with additional shredded cheese, sour cream, or chopped onions if desired. Makes 4-6 servings.

Pepperoni Bread

This pizza bread combines the taste of fresh baked bread and pizza, which everyone loves! It sounds complicated, but is actually quite easy to make. You can serve this as an appetizer or entree.

Pepperoni Bread

1 (16 oz) loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
1 egg
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
3-4 oz. pkg. pepperoni slices
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, mild or sharp
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
pizza sauce

On a floured surface, roll out thawed bread dough into a rectangle 1/2 in. thick; set aside. In a small bowl, beat together egg, garlic powder, and oregano; brush half the egg mixture onto dough. Arrange pepperoni edge-to-edge on dough; top with cheeses. Roll up and cut in half; pinch edges to seal and place seam side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush tops with remaining egg mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown. Serve with warmed pizza sauce. Makes 4 entree-sized servings or 12 appetizer-sized servings.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Cornbread Dressing

This recipe is so cheap to make, since it uses up my leftover cornbread and biscuits! Whenever I have leftovers of either one, I put them in a baggy in the freezer. When it's time to make dressing, I just grab that bag and defrost them to make my dressing. Cheap, easy and delicious!

Cornbread Dressing

4 1/2 cups crumbled cornbread (5-6 large pieces)
3 1/2 cups biscuits, crumbled (4-5 large biscuits)
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sage
4 eggs, beaten

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add cream of chicken soup, onion, celery, pepper, salt and sage, whisk ingredients together until combined. Add crumbled cornbread and biscuits, stir until breads are moistened. Spread into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Pour chicken broth over stuffing, do not stir. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until dressing is golden brown on the top and appears set. Makes 12 servings.

The Best Cheesecake

This is the best cheesecake I've ever tasted, courtesy of my friend Jen! It is a luscious true New York Style cheesecake.

The Best Cheesecake
5 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
3 tbsp. flour

15 large squares graham crackers
3 tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

Combine all crust ingredients and press onto bottom of 9 in. springform pan, set aside. In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Beat in vanilla and flour. Add sour cream. Pour into springform pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until top is lightly browned and center is set. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving. Makes 10-12 servings.

* Chocolate chip cheesecake: fold in 1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips into cheesecake batter before pouring cheesecake into springform pan. Bake as directed.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Pear Salad

This was my grandma Graf's specialty. She never showed up at a party without it! I keep her memory alive by making it at every holiday.

Pear Salad
1 can (29 ounces) pears
1 large package (6 oz) lime gelatin
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Drain pears, reserving juice. Chop pears and set aside. Add water to the juice to measure 3 cups. Place in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Whisk in cream cheese until smooth. Refrigerate until slightly thickened. Whisk in whipped topping until smooth. Add chopped pears. Transfer to a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. dish. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours. Cut into squares to serve. Makes 12 servings.

Tracie's Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip

My friend Jen got this from a friend at work, Tracie, and passed it on to me. As Jen would say, "it is delish!" Enjoy!

Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip
1 pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and drained well, then squeezed dry
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated parmesean cheese
1 clove garlic, chopped (or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

Mix all ingredients together and bake in a baking dish at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly. (approximately 20-25 mins.) Serve hot with tortilla chips or crackers.