Peachy Keen Bars

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A while back, a good friend of the family gave us a small case of peaches.  “What in the world am I going to do with all those peaches?” I thought to myself.  I already had 2 big cans in my pantry just sitting there; surely I didn’t think I needed any more.  Of course I said, “thank-you,” and it wasn’t until about a week later that I came across this recipe for Peachy Keen Bars.  Now I’m hooked on canned peaches, and this dessert.  It’s quick and very easy to make.

I can’t wait to make it for our friend the next time he’s in town.

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Peachy Keen Bars

Source:  justapinch.com

1 package dry cake mix – white, yellow, or french vanilla

1/3 cup butter, room temperature

2 large eggs, divided

29 oz. can light peach slices, drained

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13″ pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2.  In a large bowl combine cake mix, butter and 1 egg; mix with fork just until crumbly.  Set aside 1-1/2 cup crumbs for topping.

3.  Press the remaining crumbs on bottom of prepared pan; Bake 10 minutes.

4.  Cut peach slices into 1″ pieces; Spoon onto partially-baked crust.

5.  In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, 1 egg and vanilla extract; beat with mixer until creamy.  Spread over top of peaches.

6.  Sprinkle with reserved crumbs; Bake 30 minutes.

7.  Chill at least 30 minutes before serving.  Serves 12.  Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Basic Crustless Pumpkin Pie

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What??!! A pumpkin pie recipe post for March? That’s right!  I’m such a rebel!  All I’ve been seeing lately on Facebook and Pinterest is bunny cookies and grass cupcakes and here I am posting my humble crustless pumpkin pie.  Hmmmm……with good reason.  Read on.

It was time for me to come up with a diabetic friendly recipe for ETR 2013.  Being that it is such a challenge to find good diabetic desserts, I figured no one would raise an eyebrow when presented with this dessert.  Who said there are rules about these things anyway, although I must admit, it would be odd to present Easter basket cupcakes in December.  Ha!

Fall desserts have an all-year-round appeal for me, I guess.  Wouldn’t you agree?  Never mind that it’s diabetic friendly.  This is just plain good; a classic.  Whipped cream optional.  Now just enjoy….and Happy Almost Spring!P1240029(my only pic)

Basic Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Source:  diabeticlivingonline.com

Makes 8 servings

Carbs per serving: 20

1 15 ounce can pumpkin

1/3 cup sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons honey

1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup evaporated fat-free milk

Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly grease an 8-inch springform pan.  In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, honey, and pie spice.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Beat lightly just until combined.  Gradually stir in evaporated milk.  Pour into prepared pan and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.

2.  Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until center appears set when gently shaken.  Cool for 1 hour on a wire rack.  Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours before serving.

3.  To serve, loosen pie from sides of pan by running a thin metal spatula around the edge.  Remove sides of pan.  Cut pie into wedges to serve.  Makes 8 servings (1 slice each).

*Sugar Substitutes:

4.  Choose from Splenda granular or Sweet’N Low bulk or packets.  Follow package directions to use product amount equivalent to 1/3 cup sugar.

Note:  I actually had to double the recipe and used a 10-inch springform pan.  I got a little happy and accidentally poured double the amount of evaporated milk.  The result was a thick pie for a 10-inch springform pan.

Mint Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

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I have another scrumptious cupcake recipe to share with you!!! Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes.  Oh My Goodness!

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If you’re a purist when it comes to baking, I understand, but please read on.  Consider those times when you’re in a hurry and have no time to bake.  There are those times, right? But, like a trooper, you can pull out a recipe from your collection, like this one, and you still come out a hero, and no one will think less of you because you used a mix.  Believe me, I used to shy away from these kinds of recipes, but no more.  In fact, I think I’m all the wiser ;)

This cupcake still delivers that Wow! Factor.

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Mint Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Source: mrs.foxsweetsblogspot.com

Ingredients for Cake:

1 box Dark Chocolate Cake Mix
(eggs, oil, and water according to package directions)

1 cup Andes Crème de Menthe Baking Chips

Ingredients for Icing:

3 cups powdered sugar (sifted)

1 stick butter

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

2 Tbsp. milk

1 tsp. mint extract

green food dye (do one squirt at a time to achieve desired mint color; I used 2 squirts)

For Drizzle: Melt together:

1/2 cup Andes Crème de Menthe Baking Chips

1 Tbsp. milk

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Cherry Kuchen Bars

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I can’t believe it’s already February, can you?  It’s time for me to start baking again (oh joy!), and try some new recipes, like this Cherry Kuchen Bar.  I found this on Pinterest at this site.  I love this cake because you can make in a pinch.  Honestly, I couldn’t stop eating it.  I love the cherries and the subtle flavor of almond.  Not too sweet, but sweet enough.  Great with a cup of coffee in the morning or serve it after dinner with some tea and conversation, and oh it’s so easy to make!  P1230946

Happy Baking!

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Cherry Kuchen Bars

For the Bars:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened

1/2 cup shortening

1-3/4 cup sugar

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3 eggs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 20-oz. can cherry pie filling

For the Glaze:

1-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar (sifted)

1/4 tsp. almond extract

3-4 Tbsp. milk

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Beat together butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 30 seconds.  Add the sugar, baking powder and salt and beat until combined.  Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add in the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.  Reduce speed to medium-low and add the flour half a cup at a time until well combined.  If your mixing bowl is too small, you can stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon.

Set aside about 1-3/4 cups of the dough and press the rest into the bottom of an ungreased 9×12″ baking pan.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Spread the cherry pie filling over the crust evenly  Make sure at least a little syrup covers every bit of crust, but don’t worry that there won’t be a whole cherry in every bite.  The flavor is most important and we’re not going for a gooey bar.  Drop the remaining dough in roughly tablespoon-sized mounds on top of the filling, leaving some gaps between the mounds.

Bake about 30 minutes more until the top is light brown.  Cool the bars in the pan set on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.  While cooking, mix together the sifted confectioner’s sugar, almond extract, and just enough mil to make a thick (but smooth) drizzling consistency.  Pour over the bars.  Cool 10 minutes more, then score the top into the size bars you desire with a serrated knife.  Don’t cut all the way through.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Carefully cut bars along the scored lines.  If necessary, run your knife around the edges of the pan to loosen.

Note:  You may substitute any flavor pie filling and use vanilla extract in the glaze instead of almond.

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No Sugar Oat Drops (Vegan)

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Okay, I had to try these No Sugar Oat Drops from Blueberry Girl via Chef Cru and I’m so glad I did.  Ingenious! No sugar.  No eggs.  No flour. No butter.  Can’t really call them cookies like we’ve been saying around here.  Nothing in this world can replace eggs, sugar and flour and butter and call it a cookie. Sorry. I’m posting this recipe to remember for next year’s Daniel Fast or for a quick healthy breakfast.  It’s a keeper. Now if only my college kid can remember to grab them on the run in the morning.

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1-1/2 cups rolled oats

1 cup coconut flakes

1/2 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. allspice

1/4 cup almond meal

1/2 cup mixed nuts, finely chopped (I used just walnuts)

1 cup dry fruit (I used raisins)

3 ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup canola oil (coconut oil also works)

1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Directions:  In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, almond meal, mixed nuts, and coconut flakes.  Stir in allspice and cinnamon.  Add dried fruit and stir until well and evenly mixed.  Make sure the dried fruit does not stick together in big batches.

In another bowl, combine canola oil, mashed bananas and vanilla extract.  Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until well combined.

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Take a 2-1/2 inch cookie cutter and press a tablespoon of the batter into it.  Remove cookie cutter.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Makes 2 dozen.

Top 5 Recipes of 2012

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On this last day of 2012, I reflect on this past year and my food blog.  I really wasn’t going write a post, but this morning WordPress sent me a summary about my blog for 2012.  Statistics of how many people visited my blog, the top 5 posts that got the most views, how people found me, where they came from, etc.  That’s so nice of them; makes me feel important!

It’s been a year and 3 months now since I started my blogging journey.  I really started it to have a place for my recipes and to be able to remember what I’ve baked – in photographs and text and, to share my recipes for anyone who cared to have them, and maybe even meet a friend or two along the way. It’s often been a lonely place because there is not much interaction between me and my readers.  I bake, I post, I send it to the big “blogosphere” out there and then….nothing…

In reality, I don’t have too many readers, but gaining readership is not my focus.  If that were the case, my blog would look totally different.

There were around 1600 hits on my blog in 2012, and many came from the U.S. as well as the U.K. Many other countries too which is really exciting.

So, here’s my “top posts” for 2012:

1.  Plum Kuchen

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2.  Coconut Layer Cake

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3.  Banana Nut Bread

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4.  Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

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5.  Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

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To those of you who read my blog and/or have commented or liked my blog, I just want to say, thank you, and to those of you who have tried any of the recipes, I thank you.  I don’t know who you are, but it gives me great pleasure to share with you!

My computer is full of pictures of food, church events, food, family, more food, friends, and well, food…lol! There are some treats that I’ve made that never even made it on my blog like these:

My apologies.  I realize there are some things I need to work on in 2013 related to my blog.  It would be nice if I had more readers, but that would mean hours and hours on the computer; not to mention expense and the big question, “Who would eat my treats?”

Those that know me know that I will be starting The Daniel Fast on January 6 for 21 days.  It’s a time of consecration and reflection. I will not do any baking or blogging, but I will post pictures occasionally on my Facebook Page of things that my family will be eating during the Daniel Fast as an encouragement to others.

I thank God for His provisions and the health of my family in 2012, and for all the friends and family he has placed in my life.  I look forward to a great year in 2013, and place all my hope in Jesus, and I wish the same for you all. Happy New Year!!!

Cranberry Orange Cookies

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More cookies, anyone?

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I know!

But I have to share this one with you today. It’s time to reveal my cookie for the second annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap of 2012.

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The way it works is when a food blogger signs up, he/she has to bake and send a dozen cookies to 3 different people.  In return, he/she will receive 3 dozen cookies in the mail from 3 other people.  A great idea…no, a brilliant idea because this year the cookie swap is partnering with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.  There were 576 food bloggers that participated and we raised over $4,400! It also means 576 cookie recipes!

I know! :)

The brains behind all this is Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil, and Julie from The Little Kitchen. Brilliant.  Thank you!

Here are the cookies I received from 3 wonderful ladies:

Decorated Cookies from Amanda at The Fancy Lady Gourmet

Decorated Cookies from Amanda at The Fancy Lady Gourmet

Double Chocolate Cookies from Adam and Joanne at inspiredtaste.net

Double Chocolate Cookies from Adam and Joanne at inspiredtaste.net

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies from Carol at Luckyzucca.com

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies from Carol at Luckyzucca.com

3 dozen cookies mailed to me after I had just finished hosting my own cookie exchange with my friend.  That’s a lot of cookies at my house.

I know! :)

Now for the cookie that I made for the FB cookie swap.

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Cranberry Orange Cookies.  I got the recipe from one of my favorite food bloggers: Yourhomebasedmom.  Leigh Anne has a beautiful blog and her recipes are always a winner.  If you ever need any ideas, she’s the one to turn to.  Seriously.  Check it out.

Cranberry Orange Cookies

Yield: 4 doz. Cookies, tsp. scoop

Cookie:

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 egg

2 cups flour

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel

Sugar Mixture:

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp. freshly grated orange peel

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all sugar mixture ingredients in a small bowl.  Stir until well mixed.  Set aside.

For cookies:  Combine 1 cup sugar, butter, and egg in a bowl.  Beat until creamy.  Reduce speed and add flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Beat until well mixed.  Add remaining ingredients.  Beat until combined.

Shape cookies into one inch balls and roll in sugar mixture.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Flatten with bottom of glass to 1-1/2 inch cookies.

Bake for 7-11 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.  Do not over bake.  Cool 1 minute and remove from cookie sheet.

As of this writing, the only cookies that are left from both cookie swaps are the decorated sugar cookies from The Fancy Lady Gourmet, and I will give the go-ahead when my family can devour them.  They are just too pretty to eat!

I know!……..

Cranberry Bliss Cookies And A Cookie Exchange

There was a revival of sorts that took place on 12/1/2012. It was meaningful only to my friend Erin and I because we brought back our cookie exchange after a 2 year hiatus!   This was our 5th one. But we skipped 2 years.  We started 7 years ago with our first one. Then skipped 2 years. So this was our 5th cookie exchange. Do you follow?! hehe…

A revival of sorts, and a reunion with our fellow bakers, and welcoming new ones…it was all good!

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Our cookie exchange gives us an opportunity to invite a few ladies from our church, have fellowship, kick off the holiday season, and of course, exchange cookies! We even had a contest to see whose cookie was the best tasting, and who had the prettiest presentation and we gave out prizes. Oh, and we served up some yummy appetizers, corn chowder, and hot mulled cider (the best!).  Yummmm!!!!

Erin & I were both excited about the cookie exchange.

We planned (the meeting place was always at Starbucks…love that!).

We shopped (always good!).

We cleaned (okay, I did because it was at my house).

We baked (hurriedly, as always).

And cooked in anticipation of a great afternoon.

Here’s a gallery of yummy appetizers that we served:

How festive!

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And now, about the cookies! All our bakers brought so many yummy cookies! Can you imagine having to try each cookie and then judge which one was the best? (No fierce competition here; all in fun!) It was hard, I tell you! And we were already full from the appetizers! Here’s to all our bakers:

Even the little girls who came had a great time decorating their own cookies!

My cookie was the Cranberry Bliss Cookie.

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When I saw it on Gimme Some Oven’s blog, I knew I had to make them for the exchange. They’re so Christmas-y. They’re everything you want a Christmas cookie to be.  Sweet, chewy, festive looking.  It’s basically a sugar cookie with a cream cheese/white chocolate frosting, topped with dried cranberries and drizzled with white chocolate. Woah! To find the recipe, you will have to go here. If you notice in my picture, I didn’t drizzle the cookie with white chocolate.  That’s because I was having trouble melting the chocolate.  I’m developing a bit of a complex lately because chocolate just seizes up on me when I just look at it.  Ha! not really! My issue, as my friend Gloria pointed out, is that I have been trying to melt chocolate without using a double boiler. It goes without saying, you need the right tools when it comes to baking.

I bet you’re wondering which cookie won best tasting, and which cookie had best presentation, and what did they win, right? Right!!!

It was all good! Can’t wait until next year, God willing! :)

Snickerdoodle Blondies

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Dear Snickerdoodle Blondies: Where have you been all my life? You are so delicious, so irresistible! I get weak at my knees now when I see you.

I will speak volumes about you forevermore!

So simplistic and unassuming. I love you Blondie!

Hurry over to Dozen Flours for the recipe. It is very likely you already have these simple ingredients in your pantry. You could probably make them right now.

And you may thank me later :)

Soft Pretzels

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There was a buzz around my kitchen yesterday afternoon. I made 16 soft pretzels and I didn’t even get to roll one pretzel! My loved ones asked, “What are you making?” and immediately they began roll the dough into pretzels (while I read the directions a few times before they “got it”). It isn’t often that I make things with yeast dough, but there is something intriguing and captivating when you see dough rise. I hesitated to announce what I was doing while I was preparing the pretzel dough because truthfully, I didn’t know if they were going to turn out.

Well, they did! And, they tasted just like pretzels!

Amazing stuff, that yeast! If we can do this, you can too. Thanks, Chow.com

~ Please pass the mustard…

For the link to the recipe, click HERE

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