Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Praline Cookies

Not too sweet and so delicious! These cookies never fail to please!

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Melt butter in a large microwave safe bowl by microwaving about 45 seconds. Add sugars, vanilla and egg to butter. Mix well and then add flour and chopped pecans. Drop small amount of dough onto baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes. Cool slightly and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Mom's Golden Nuget Meat Loaf

Growing up, I would always look forward to meat loaf night. I didn't even know that there were other types of meat loaf out there. Now, after tasting other meat loafs, I know why my mom stuck with this one. It is just so good! I always make mashed potatoes with meat loaf because they taste great with a little of the meat loaf sauce on them. I make 4 mini loafs with this recipe and my mom used to make two medium loafs. We don't cook half of the loafs and then put it in the freezer with half the sauce and it makes for an easy dinner latter that you can just throw in the oven.

2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 cup oats
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 cup grated cheese
1 lb hamburger

1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup molasses
2 Tbsp mustard

Preheat oven to 350. Mix first 8 ingredients together in a large bowl. Form into loafs and set aside. Combine ketchup, molasses and mustard and pour over loafs. Bake for 1 hour.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Butter Fingers

This is our family's classic easy bread stick that we eat with any dinner. We also love having left overs and then have them with strawberry jam for breakfast.

1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk

Heat oven to 450. In a square 9x9 baking dish melt butter in oven

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl. Add milk. Stir just until dough forms (about 30 strokes).

Turn dough onto well-floured surface. Roll dough around to coat with flour. Kneed lightly about 10 times. Shape into an 8 inch square (same size as bottom of baking dish). With floured knife, cud dough in half, then cut each half into 9 strips. Dip each strip into melted butter, coating both sides. Arrange strips close together in 2 rows in pan. Bake 15-20 min or until golden brown.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Nanaimo Bars

I have tried quite a few different recipes for this Canadian favorite because I occasionally loose the one my mom wrote out for me when I left home. This is my mom's recipe and let me assure you, it is the BEST! It turns out great every time and I always get asked for the recipe. They take a while to prepare but nothing tastes more like home then some good old Naniamo Bars. Let me assure you, they are worth the trouble so I usually double the recipe :)  

Bottom Layer:
½ cup butter
3 Tbsp cocoa
¼ cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cups chopped nuts
½ cup coconut

In double boiler melt butter. Add cocoa and sugar. Stir until smooth. Take off heat and beat it egg and vanilla. Add graham cracker crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press mixture evenly into a lightly greased 9 x 9 baking pan. Refrigerate until firm (about 30 min).

¼ cup butter
2 Tbsp custard powder*
2 cups icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp milk

Cream butter and vanilla. Add icing sugar and custard powder. Slowly add milk and adjust as needed so the mixture is still thick but able to spread. Spread filling over bottom layer and refrigerate again until firm (about 30 min). 

* I have had a hard time finding custard powder in the US. I have found it at occasionally in grocery stores and usually at the World Market. If you really just can’t find custard powder I have heard that you can substitute the same about of vanilla pudding powder but I have never tried it.

Top Layer:
4 oz or ½ cup bitter sweet chocolate
1 Tbsp butter
2-3 Tbsp milk (if using chocolate chips instead of baking chocolate)

In double boiler melt chocolate and butter. Add milk if needed to make mixture smooth. Poor over filling and refrigerate. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

White Chocolate Mint Truffles

Today I got together with a few friends and we tried our hand at chocolate dipping. I made two types of centers to dip. One was a simple marzipan (long chocolate in picture) and the other was a white chocolate mint truffle. The latter was a big hit and lots of the girls asked for the recipes so I thought that I would share it on my web site. 

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tbsp butter
2 cups white chocolate (I just used white chocolate chips but you could also use pistoles or a bar)
1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (to taste - I didn't really measure)

Line 9 x 13 baking sheet with parchment paper or plastic wrap.

Combine cream and corn syrup in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Do not over boil!
Remove from heat and add the butter and chocolate. Stir until smooth and then stir in peppermint extract.

Poor onto the baking pan and spread into a thin layer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. It can also be left overnight. 

Put mixture into a bowl and mix with paddle attachment for 30 seconds. You can also mix by hand but make sure you have a sturdy spatula or spoon because I broke two. Allow mixture to rest 5 minutes.

Use a teaspoon to scoop out balls and place them on plastic wrap. When all the mixture has been scooped, roll each portion by hand into a round ball.

Dip in melted and tempered chocolate and allow shell to harden.