Monday, December 28, 2009

Party ideas...

This is a great snack for parties or road trips. Very much a family favorite. If stored in an airtight container/ziplock bag it is good for up to one week. Feel free to change up the "cereal mixture" if you are not a fan of coconut substitute in some dried cranberries or something else of your liking.

Chex Treats
1/2 box rice chex cereal
1/2 box golden grahams cereal
2 c. coconut
1 c. sliced almonds
1 c. karol syrup
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter

Mix first four ingredients in a bowl. Bring karol syrup, sugar and better to a boil in a small saucepan. Once the mixture boils, pour over the cereal mixture and stir. Spread on a piece of wax paper to cool.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sugar Cookies

(the photo is my kids Santa Cookies)
2 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
5 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla (you can do 1 tsp. vanilla if you don't like lemon)
1/2 tsp. lemon juice (optional, if you add more vanilla)
5 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 - 5 1/2 c. flour (add just enough to make batter stiff, don't add to much or the cookies will be dry)

Cream together sugar and shortening, once mixed add sour cream and then the eggs. Once incorporated add vanilla and lemon. Mix in baking powder and salt. Then add flour 1 cup at a time, the key is to get the dough to the "not too sticky" stage. I stop adding flour when I can touch the dough and have very little/no dough stick to my finger. The amount of flour is adjustable, I add more/less flour depending on altitude and temperature.

If you have time to chill this dough you can add less flour. Chilling is optional - you can mix these up and immediately roll them out.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes depending on pan color and oven.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sweet Cheese Ball

2 packages of cream cheese, softened
1 package of vanilla instant pudding
1 cup powdered sugar
1 can of crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup finely crushed pecans
1/2 package of mini chocolate chips
Graham cracker stix

In a medium bowl, mix together the first four ingredients. Freeze overnight.
After removing from freezer, mold mixture into a ball shape.
Mix the pecans and chocolate chips together. Roll ball in mixture. Serve cheese ball with grahams.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cranberry Crumble Bars

from: goodLife {eats}, SGCC, Smitten Kitchen and My Baking Addiction
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal/flour*
1 cup soft butter (2 sticks)
1 egg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
juice of 1/2 of an orange
4 cups fresh cranberries** (I threw about 1/3 of them in the food pro for a couple spins and left the rest whole)
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs cornstarch

1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9×13 inch pan.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup sugar, flour, almond meal, salt and baking powder. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. The dough will be crumbly. Alternatively, you can pulse the dry ingredients in a food processor with the butter until pebbly, and then mix in the egg until it all comes together. Pat half of the dough into the buttered pan.
3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and orange juice. Mix in the cranberries. Sprinkle the cranberry mixture evenly over the dough in the pan.
4. Add 1/4 tsp cinnamon to the remaining dough, then crumble dough over the berries. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until top is a light golden brown. Cool completely and chill in the refrigerator before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Here are a few helpful hints from Katy's post...
*If you don't have almond meal, just toss some almonds in a food processor until finely ground to make almond meal. (If you are going to do this add some cornstarch to avoid getting almond butter.)
**Stock up while cranberries are abundant in stores. Just toss them in the freezer and use as you need. They'll be good for about a year. If you're using frozen fresh cranberries for this recipe there is no need to thaw them first.


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