Tuesday, November 24, 2009

♥Sour Cream Cranberry Oatmeal Bars♥

Click photo to print recipe
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons orange juice
Cooking spray

1 1/3 cups dried cranberries (about 6 ounces)
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. To prepare crust, weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle butter and juice over flour mixture, stirring until moistened (mixture will be crumbly). Reserve 1/2 cup oat mixture. Press remaining oat mixture into the bottom of an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. To prepare filling, combine cranberries, sour cream, granulated sugar, and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well. Spread cranberry mixture over prepared crust; sprinkle reserved oat mixture evenly over filling. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Cherry-Oatmeal Bars: Substitute dried cherries for the dried cranberries and lemon rind for the orange rind in filling.

Monday, November 23, 2009

♥Caramel Pecan Cappuccino Bars♥

Click photo to print

* 3 cups rolled oats
* 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup chopped pecans
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 2 cups packed brown sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder or instant espresso powder
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
* 1/2 cup chopped pecans
* Coffee Glaze (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 15x10x1-inch baking pan; set aside.

2. In a large bowl stir together oats, flour, the 1 cup pecans, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and beat until combined, scraping the sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs, 1 tablespoon coffee powder, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the oat mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining mixture with a wooden spoon. Reserve 2 cups of the mixture for the topping.

3. Using floured hands, press remaining oat mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan. Spread caramel topping evenly over crust to within 1/4 inch of edges. Drop spoonfuls of reserved topping mixture over caramel topping; sprinkle with the 1/2 cup pecans.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are set (do not overbake). Cool in pan on a wire rack. If desired, drizzle with Coffee Glaze. Cut into bars. Makes 48 bars.

Coffee Glaze: In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons very hot milk and 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder; stir until dissolved. Stir in 1 cup sifted powdered sugar until smooth. Drizzle over bars in pan. Let stand 15 minutes to set glaze.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

♥It will be CHECK & MATE when you serve French Vanilla Banana Pudding♥

Click photo to print 
1 12 ounce container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whip cream
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 cups milk
1 5 ounce box instant French vanilla pudding
6 8 bananas, sliced
2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies


Line the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.

In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Yield: 12 servings

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

♥Ultimate Pecan Cranberry Pumpkin Pie♥

Click photo to print

For the crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
5 teaspoons sugar
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the filling and topping
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs, plus 1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup pecans
1 cup fresh cranberries, or frozen, thawed and drained
1 2.3-ounce package amaretti cookies (about 12)


Make the crust: Combine the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Mix in the cold butter with a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Work in 3 tablespoons ice water until the dough holds together without being too sticky. If it's still crumbly, add more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough into an 11- to 12-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Ease into a 9-inch pie pan; press firmly into the bottom and sides. Trim the excess dough, then pinch the edges. Refrigerate until ready to fill.

Place a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack and preheat to 375. Make the filling: Whisk the pumpkin in a bowl with the butter and a pinch of salt. Whisk in 3 eggs and the sugar.

Stir in the cream, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour the mixture into the pie shell. Lightly beat the egg white, then brush onto the pastry edges. Carefully place the pie on the preheated baking sheet, lower the oven temperature to 325 and bake until the pie is set but still jiggles slightly, about 50 minutes. Let cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the topping: Toast the pecans on a baking sheet in the oven for about 10 minutes; cool. With a knife or food processor, coarsely chop the pecans, cranberries and cookies; sprinkle over the cooled pie.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

♥Crockpot Sugar 'n Spice Applesauce with Raisins♥

Click photo to print recipe 
Who says you can't make homemade applesauce and still be a busy mom? This recipe is easy, quick and literally makes itself for you. All you have to do is load your crockpot with the ingredients and walk away! Your home will be filled with the aroma of fall and there will be happy tummies thanking you for all of your hard work and effort☺ This spicy, rich sauce is so delicious you could serve it over ice cream or for dessert in a small pot.


10-12 apples (use several varieties for a more robust flavor)
lemon juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1/4 cup raisins
Replace two apples with pears for a little more spice and variation


Peel and core apples (use Granny Smith and Gala apples)
Cut apples in chunks, douse with lemon juice.
Add to crockpot with water. Add sugar, vanilla, raisins.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Stir lightly for a chunky sauce.
Add spices at end of cooking. Serve warm or cold.
Makes about 2-1/2 cups

Friday, November 6, 2009

♥Pear, Apple and Walnut Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette♥

Click photo to print
Crisp, good for you and delicious, this fall salad not only looks like a piece of art, it tastes like a million bucks! This recipe is for four servings; however, it will easily double for a crowd - or for second helpings!

1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup minced dried cranberries
1 tablespoon minced shallot
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons olive oil
Cracked pepper
1 pear
1 apple
1 lemon, cut in half
1 endive, sliced crosswise
5 cups mixed salad greens
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

1. Combine the rice vinegar, cranberry juice, cranberries, shallot, sugar, rosemary, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Let the dressing stand for the flavors to meld.

2. Meanwhile, cut the pear into quarters then core and slice. Place the slices in a shallow dish filled with water and the juice of half a lemon; the liquid should cover the fruit. Cut the apple into quarters, core and slice. Place the slices in a shallow dish with water and the juice of the remaining lemon half to cover.

3. Just before serving, drain the pears and apples. Toss together in a large bowl with the endive and salad greens. Arrange the salad on a platter and sprinkle with the toasted walnuts. Serve the dressing alongside.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

♥Mile High Pumpkin Cake with a Peanut Britlle Cream Cheese Blanket♥

Click photo to print
Loaded with full bodied Fall aroma and appearance, this pumpkin cake is one of those goodies that people will be talking about long after the last piece has disappeared. The cake is moist, rich, and delicious with crisp pecan brittle providing a crunchy texture. To contrast the rich flavor the creamy frosting is not sugary sweet.


3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups pecans (about 8 ounces)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups packed brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup milk
Grated zest of 1 orange
One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Butter two 8-x-2-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and butter the parchment. Flour the pans.*

2. In a large skillet, melt 2 cups granulated sugar over medium-high heat until light amber, about 7 minutes.

3. Reduce the heat to low, add the pecans and quickly stir to coat. Transfer the pecans to the prepared baking sheet and, using a metal spatula, spread in a single layer to cool completely.

4. Place the praline in a sturdy resealable plastic bag and crush into pieces; set aside.

5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a bowl, sift together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

6. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar and the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

7. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until combined.

8. Beat in the flour mixture in 3 parts alternately with the milk and orange zest on low speed until just combined.

9. Add the pumpkin puree and beat until just combined.

10. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer the cake layers to a rack to cool, about 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans, invert and peel off the parchment paper. Let the cakes cool completely on the rack, about 45 minutes.

11. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Using a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese and cream on medium speed until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.

12. On low speed, gradually beat in the remaining 1 1/2 cups brown sugar and the vanilla until stiff peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

13. Assemble the cake: halve each cake layer horizontally with a serrated knife. Place 1 cake layer on a platter. Spread the whipped cream frosting on top about 1/4 inch thick; sprinkle with about 1/2 cup crushed pecan praline. Repeat with three more layers, saving enough frosting for the cake sides and reserving the last layer of praline. Spread the remaining frosting evenly on the sides of the cake and sprinkle the reserved pecan praline on top. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour before serving.

Monday, November 2, 2009

♥Chocolate Lemon Creme Candies with White Chocolate Stripes♥

Click on photo to print recipe
The holiday season is just around the corner so it's not too early to be thinking about what special goodies you'll be making to tuck into pretty boxes for friends and neighbors. These look difficult to make but, honest, they really aren't and once you get the hang of it - they are a lot of fun! So be creative and have a good time


2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
12 (2 ounce) chocolate candy coating squares
2 (2 ounce) white chocolate squares

  • Beat first 5 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; cover. Freeze 2 hours.
  • Shape cream cheese mixture into 1-inch balls, and place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet; cover and freeze 1 hour. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. A melon baller really works nice for consistently sized candies.
  • Microwave chocolate candy coating in a 1-quart microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes or until melted, stirring twice.
  • Dip balls into coating; place on wax paper. Let stand until firm.
  • Place white chocolate in a zip-top plastic bag. Seal and submerge coating in warm water until melted. Snip a hole in 1 corner of bag, and drizzle coating over chocolates.