Tag Archive | sweets

White Cranberry Bar Mix: Oh How Easy It Is

I must have a million recipes for “jar mixes.” You know, the ones where all the dry ingredients are layered in a jar and you just gotta add the wet stuff. I love them because they are easy to do and I can grab and bake, but let me tell you coming across GOOD recipes for jar mixes is not easy.

That is until I figured out DUH. You can just convert your already awesome recipes into jar mixes. BIG FAT DUH!

Say you’ve got a killer chocolate chip cookie recipe. Just layer the dry ingredients in the jar, stuff that won’t go bad, sugar, flour, chocolate chips, and attach a tag (or not if it’s for your own use) for what to add to it to turn it into cookies. DERP! I never thought of that before. I’m an idiot. Mind you you don’t HAVE to make these into jar mixes, but it’s an option.

But, anyway, a few years ago I ran across this recipe for White Chocolate Cranberry Bar Mix. It’s actually REALLY good, not that I can eat it because it’ll send me into, you guessed it, a diabetic coma. But I have taken nibbles and DAMN, it’s good.

Now, traditionally you layer the ingredients in the jar all nice like. Mostly because you are giving them as gifts. But this was for my cabinet. I made it probably about a year ago and totally forgot it was in there until I dug it out of the back. Not so pretty, but still works:

Then grease up your pyrex. I used cooking spray. The picture came out kinda weird, but it’s cool so I’ll show you.

Now you go ahead and dump your mix into a bowl and add the wet ingredients like eggs, vanilla, etc. Whatever the recipe calls for.

Then you mix the hell out of it and pour it into the pan. Well, for this recipe it’s not pouring, it’s more like “pressing” cause the batter is kind of thick.

And now you bake the hell out of it. After you stuck your fingers in the batter and tasted it of course.

As you can see, these don’t last long. At all. Not in my house anyway.

They are REALLY sweet and REALLY rich so be prepared. Even if they didn’t send me to blood sugar hell, I doubt I could eat a whole bar of these because they are so rich. They’re evil. And they are SO worth making!

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White Chocolate Cranberry Bar Mix

Layer in a quart mason jar:

1/4 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1 cup buttermilk biscuit mix

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup regular brown sugar

To Make You’ll Need:

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla

1 large egg

Dump jar mix into a bowl and add the butter, vanilla and egg. Mix well. Spread into a greased 8×8 pan. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

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Joe Brownies

Thanks to the recipe app on my ipad, I’ve been inputting recipes for weeks. I’m not complaining, this actually gives me a chance to try all the recipes I’ve had and didn’t try. It “surprises me” with random recipes, so I’ve been making something different near everyday. I love it.

This time it gave me Coffee N Cream Brownies. Where I got the recipe? I’ve no idea. But it’s an interesting take on brownies using instant coffee. Let’s try this shall we:

First, melt some unsweetened chocolate and butter in a saucepan. I have tons of unsweetened chocolate. Think I went bonkers on a clearance sale. Then I realized not many recipes actually CALL for unsweetened chocolate. Oh well.

I don’t care what anyone says, there is something sexy about melted chocolate

Then put some eggs, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl.

Stir in the melted chocolate goodness.

Now combine flour and baking soda

And add that to all the other stuff


Pour that into a pan and let it bake. Try not to taste it. Ok taste it. Just try not to eat it all.

While that’s baking, go ahead and make the frosting. It’s interesting because it calls for powdered sugar, soft butter, heavy whipping cream and instant coffee. The instant coffee doesn’t dissolve though, it leaves specks through the frosting. It’s SUPPOSED to dissolve mind you, mind didn’t.

And make the glaze. Melting whipping cream and chocolate chips together.

While all that’s going, take out the brownies and cool them on a wire rack. Perhaps maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to maybe perhaps have a little taste of the brownie at this point. Maybe. Perhaps.

Once it’s cool enough, go ahead and frost it with the coffee frosting.

Now dump the chocolate glaze on it.

Stick it in the fridge to cool.

At first check, it didn’t appear the glaze was going to harden. Which is a great tragedy because I love taking half of everything I make and freezing it for lunches or snacks. But sure enough it did harden up quite nicely.

The verdict? Pretty freakin’ good. The coffee adds an interesting, bold taste that holds a little bit of bitter against a background of very sweet and I really liked it. I didn’t have a whole one because, well, there isn’t enough insulin in the world, but my “testers” really liked it. I ask them to judge my recipes not by whether or not they are “good” but whether or not it’s something they’d “request” again. I have literally thousands of recipes and the name of the game is to get RID of the ones that aren’t totally awesome. That is if I live long enough to make all of them.

So I suggest you try this if you love brownies. Course you shouldn’t do this if you are diabetic. Come to think of it, you shouldn’t do this at all because it’s bad for you. But it’s a yummy, yummy bad for you.

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Coffee N Cream Brownies

Brownies:

1/2 cup butter

3 squares, 1 oz each, unsweetened chocolate, chopped

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

Filling:

1 tb heavy whipping cream

1 tsp instant coffee

2 tb butter, softened

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Glaze:

1 cup, 6oz, semi sweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

In a saucepan over low, melt butter and chocolate. Cool slightly.

In a small mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar and vanilla. Stir in the chocolate mixture.

Combine the flour and baking soda, add to chocolate mixture.

Spread into a greased 8×8 pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Do not over bake. Cool on wire rack.

For filling, combine cream and coffee in a small bowl. Stir until coffee is dissolved.

In small mixing bowl, beat butter and confectioner’s sugar. Add coffee mixture. Beat until creamy. Spread on brownies.

In a small saucepan combine chips and cream. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is thickened. Spread over filling. Let stand 30 minutes. Cut into squares and store in refrigerator. 16 brownies.

Snickerdoodles to The Rescue

I was indeed a crafty bitch this holiday season. I went ahead and froze extra cookie dough so I wasn’t slaving making batch after batch after batch of cookies day in day out while they were all being snagged up. Oh no, not me. I froze a bunch of cookie dough.

Including snickerdoodle cookie dough.

Which I proceeded to then completely forget about until now.

Nevertheless, I found it and took it out to thaw and bake. I love having frozen cookie dough at my disposal. It’s great when I’m running low on lunch snacks, like now. Cookies don’t freeze well. Cookie DOUGH on the other hand freezes awesome.

And just for the record, no, freezing is NOT my favorite method of food storage. It’s too sensitive. If the power goes out, or god forbid worse, basically you are screwed. But for non essentials-like cookie dough-it’s GREAT!

The best thing about it is that it’ll thaw out in no time and you can have it out and baked by the time the kids get home, dinner is done, or whatever. And don’t forget to snag half for lunches! That’s becoming increasingly important in my home. I find that if I snag half of them, they aren’t really “missed” nor are they really “searched for” ergo I then have a couple days worth of lunch snacks to throw in there with no effort.

My snickerdoodle recipes calls for them to be rolled in cinnamon and sugar right before baking, which I assume most of them do. So it’s super easy.

Grab the cookie dough out of the freezer. I wrap mine in rolls, in wax paper then in foil.

Once it’s nice and thawed out, roll them into balls.

Don’t forget to test some cookie dough. God wants you to. If you are not diabetic and have perfectly working beta cells, then have two. God said so.

Then roll in cinnamon and sugar. Again, a taste test is a must here. You want to make sure you are giving a high quality product!

Set them out on greased cookie sheets and bake.

And viola! You’ll have cookies, damnit!

There will be no discernable difference between this dough and dough that I made fresh, and it keeps forever. Try it next time you make your favorite cookies. Make a double batch and stick one in the freezer. Then let them think you went through all the trouble of making super special cookies just for them on a whim! Thaw, pop em in, bake em, serve them and demand worship!

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Snickerdoodles

1 cup shortening

1 1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 3/4 cup sifted flour

2 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 TB sugar

2 t cinnamon

Cream shortening and 1 1/2 cup sugar. Add eggs and beat.

Sift together flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Stir into the first mixture.

Roll into balls. Roll balls in mixture of 3 T sugar and 2t of cinnamon. Bake 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Dough can be frozen before rolling in cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Pioneer Woman’s UNREAL Nantucket Cranberry Pie

Very, very few times have I ever made a recipe and gone HOLY CRAP! Maybe it’s because I’m used to eating a primal style diet, so whenever I go “HOLY CRAP” about something it’s an apple, or a steak, or something that runs or grows.

I’m diabetic, so I have a serious limit on anything processed. I’m also a huge fan of Pioneer Woman. If you don’t know who she is, go look her up. She has amazing recipes.

There’s a little app on my IPad that lets me custom import recipes. So I was browsing through her site one day and came across Cranberry Pie. Interesting, I thought, especially since the recipe had no crust whatsoever. No pie crust I mean. It confused me. I asked a fellow PW fan about it, to see if she had made it, because we were both confused about the lack of crust. But ok, I thought, challenge accepted.

I like cranberries. I do. They aren’t my favorite, they are so dry. Most of the time I’ll take something strawberry over something cranberry but it’s the holidays and hell, it’s worth a shot. The recipe seemed fairly easy, which is why I didn’t really take pictures of me making it (sorry!).

As I was making it I was going “this is far too easy.” I expected it would come out “meh” or “good enough.” I was wrong.

This freakin pie made me go “HOLY CRAP.”

There is no way to describe it really except that it’s the perfect blend of sweet and tart. It’s just damn good. Good enough that I had an entire piece of it. A big ole my-vision-is-going-blurry-and-I’m-feeling-hyper-and-boy-do-I-know-the-come-down-from-this-is-gonna-be-hell-but-it’ll-be-worth-it blood sugar sky rocketing diabetic coma inducing piece. And it was worth it.

This recipe reminded me SO MUCH of a cake/pie type thing my Polish grandmother used to make with blueberries. I wouldn’t say it’s a dead ringer, but it’s damn close.

Here’s a pic of the pie half prepared:

Half of that is batter, the white stuff is pure sugar. Sugar. SUGAR I TELL YOU! And more sugar goes on top. But that’s what I love about her, she’s not afraid to half kill you in her recipes.

Here’s a pic of it done:

Yup, that’s more sugar.

This baby was GONE in a flash, didn’t even take a full night. Tex told me it was good with chocolate peppermint ice cream on top, but he’s weird, and I think that sounds gross. I didn’t even try it. But between 3 people, with me only having 1 piece, that bad boy scarce lasted 8 hours in my house.

It’s a new favorite. It’s a new holiday pie, it’s a new “ya’ll done good here’s a treat” pie and it’s one of my favorite sweet desserts now. That says A LOT for me because I generally, for all that I like to cook, tend to like eat simple things. Berries and cream are like top 5 on my list, simple and delicious. So you know it’s gotta be DAMN good for me to say that.

It’s orgasmic. Try it.

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From thepioneerwoman.com site. This is HER recipe not mine, and it’s GOD like. Apparently it’s adapted from a recipe by Laurie Colwin.

Ingredients:

butter for greasing

2 heaping cups of cranberries (I used thawed frozen, hers doesn’t specify)

3/4 cup pecans, chopped (measure, then chop)

2/3 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

2 whole eggs lightly beaten

1 tsp pure almond extract

1/4 tsp salt

1 T sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350.

Generously butter a cake pan or pie pan.  Add cranberries to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle on chopped pecans, then sprinkle on the 2/3 cup of sugar.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 cup sugar, melted butter, eggs, almond extract, and salt. Stir gently to combine.

Pour batter slowly over the top in large ribbons to cover the surface evenly. Spread gently if necessary.

Bake 45-50 minutes. 5 minutes before removing from oven, sprinkle surface with 1 TB sugar for extra crunch.

Cut into wedges and serve with ice cream or freshly whipped cream.

Hershey Kisses Cookies Can Kiss My…

I actually really love Hershey Kisses cookies. My mother made these every year for Christmas as well. Being diabetic however, it’s another coma inducing cookie. But hell, what’s Christmas without a little diabetic coma here and there!

Problem is, Mr. B really likes these too. So, I have to be sneaky with these as well. Make a couple dozen, freeze the rest of the dough. Because if I were stupid enough, AGAIN, to make the 30 or 40 dozes I normally do they’d be all gone by the time Christmas came around and my loved ones would be cookie-gift-less.

Must be nice to be a person to whom sugar is not a poison but a source of fuel…..

Just kidding. It’s a poison to everyone. A yummy, yummy, poison.

There’s nothing about these damn things not to love. It’s chocolate. It’s peanut butter. It’s rolled in sugar. And it has a big ass dollop of chocolate on top. Hmmmmmmm. Coooommmaaaaa.

So let’s do this.

First, put in your sugar. Mind you I make like double batches of everything, the recipe is for a single batch. If you don’t have a stand mixer then you are a lost cause. I’ve been bugging you to get one for the last 10 posts!

Actually, if you don’t have a stand mixer I envy you. You are one of those people who doesn’t have a kitchen gadget habit and you feel like doing things the old fashioned way is really satisfying. So do I actually. I’m just exceptionally lazy.

Right, so, sugar.

Now put in your butter

Blurry butter. The best kind. Ok, now add in your brown sugar.

Now you are going to add your peanut butter. Peanut butter is a BITCH to get out of the measuring cup. So, there’s a trick for that. Line your measuring cup with a nice spray of Pam. Then measure the peanut butter and it’ll slide right out. In a strangely vulgar way actually.

Now you are going to cream all those together until it’s a really disturbing, creamy, lovely consistency. I usually do this with my paddle attachment on speed 2 for about a minute.

Now you need to add your egg and your vanilla.

Mix that together until nice and creamy.

Then you want to add in your flour, salt, and baking soda. Here is where the stand mixer comes in handy. The dough, once you add the flour, gets a little difficult to mix.

But once it incorporates it turns into a lovely, heavenly dough

Now you roll the dough into balls and roll them in sugar. Bake them. Press kisses into them. And bake them again. In just a few minutes, you have coma inducing material that’ll have you singing all the way to your saline drip.

See? Book your passage to the ER now all my diabetic friends.

You can freeze the dough on this too, especially if you live with cookie stealing gluttonous mongrels like I do. Again, it’s a softer cookie dough, so you want to store it in a freeze safe bowl with a lid and wrap it in some foil so it doesn’t get freezer burn. Then just defrost, roll in sugar, etc. etc. It’s that easy. And if those grubby fingers try to sneak cookie dough you’ll know because they will have to thaw it out first! HA! See! You’re smart, you got this…

Here’s the recipe. I sincerely hope you enjoy these. They are a classic and there’s a reason why. They should call them F&*@ ME THESE ARE GOOD cookies…just my opinion.

—–

Hershey Kisses Cookies

(from my mom’s recipe book that she no doubt probably got from the back of a bag of hershey’s kisses or something)

Cream together:

1/2c sugar

1/2c brown sugar, packed

1/2c peanut butter, creamy

1/2c margarine or butter

Then add:

1 egg

1 TB of vanilla

Stir together

Blend in:

1 3/4c flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix until well blended.

Shape into balls, roll in granulated sugar and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven. Press unwrapped hershey kisses into cookies and return to oven for 2-3 minutes.

Amazing Disappearing M&M Cookies

I make lots of Christmas cookies. Every year. Lots. Loads. Tons. No exaggeration, I’ll make nearly 1,000 cookies in any given Christmas season. And they are all gone. How can that be you ask? Well, there’s one simple answer:

I have mostly men in my life. Large ones I live with 3. I am friends with dozens more.

They all have their separate favorites. And I happen to be in the holly jolly spirit at that time of year. Yet, there was that one thing that always pissed me off about the whole enjoying my Christmas cookies thing. They ate them all.

ALL.

BEFORE I was ready to hand them out to OTHER people that weren’t them! I always plan on giving some away as gifts. When my brother was living with me I had made a batch of over 100 M&M cookies (his favorite). I left them on wax sheets to cool overnight, glad to be done with THAT batch of cookies. I woke up the next morning and there were about 15 left. He. Ate. That. Many. Cookies. Over. Night. When I ran to him nearly in tears asking him what had happened to the cookies he replied

“Yeah, sorry about that. I was hungry.”

Mother#$@(er!

Eventually, I got smart. Make some Christmas cookies EARLIER in December and sneakily freeze some of the dough to make LATER in December. This way I can make them and quickly package them up as gifts without having to worry about them going stale or being eaten. That’s right. Genius.

I make a bunch of different cookies every year, including candies and fudge. I try not to do more than one per day because it can get pretty exhausting and after all it’s supposed to be FUN. So here is the M&M cookies I made. The recipe is altered a bit I know, it was my mothers.

First thing before I give you the recipe is my use of margarine. I hate margarine. Margarine is not actually a food. It’s one molecule away from plastic. Don’t believe me? Leave a tub of margarine outside open and leave a tub of butter outside open. Wait a month. The butter will be moldy, sticky and have critters in it. The margarine will not have changed at all, no bugs, no nothing. It’s not good for you. Butter is good for you. The problem of course being that butter is like 10x’s the price of margarine. Now, normally, in everyday life, this diabetic wouldn’t EVER feed her family (or herself) margarine under any circumstances. For Christmas, when you are baking THIS many cookies, margarine is only .79 for 4 sticks as opposed to $4.00 for 4 sticks. You can do that math.

Cookies are super carbed chocolate laden sugary goodness. Not exactly the best thing for you so I kinda figure adding in some franken food ain’t gonna hurt anyway. And in baking, unless it’s something like a pound cake, the use of margarine isn’t usually detectable in taste.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, here is what you are going to need:

1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup butter or margarine

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 large egg

1 12 oz bag holiday m&m’s  (full size, don’t get the wimpy mini ones)

A stand mixer (optional, but if you are lazy and smart you’ll have one)

Before I do anything, I always fill the sink with warm soapy water. This makes kitchen clean up so much easier because you can soak, dunk and rinse and when all is done load up the dishwasher.

Now gather up all your stuff. God my stuff is filthy, gotta wipe those off. Geez.

First thing you are gonna do is cream together the sugars and the margarine until they are kind of fluffy. So add the butter.

Add the sugars

And beat until it’s nice and fluffy.

Then add in the egg and vanilla. Beat that for a minute. I almost never use a measure for the vanilla, it should be noted. I find the cap on the vanilla bottle (small ones) works just fine. 2 capfuls of the tiny bottles, or 1 capful if you have a big bad dog bottle like mine. Just a random side note.

Then you add the soda, salt and flour.

Flour

Soda

Salt. If you don’t have one of these you should. It’s an under the cabinet spice rack with a wheel that clicks, each click is 1/4 teaspoon of spice. I love it. It’s on the “I’ll never regret I bought this” list.

It’ll turn into a kind of very soft, sticky dough. Don’t worry, it’s supposed to be this way. These aren’t typical cut and shape cookies. Mix that until it’s well blended into dough and if you are using a mixer, make sure to scrape the bowl a couple times.

Now you are going to add the M&M’s. If you are using a stand mixer, BE CAREFUL. You may choose to fold them in by hand OR put the setting simply on “stir” because the mixer is powerful enough to break the M&M’s. Turn it on just long enough to fold the candies in. If you are doing this by hand, obviously, this isn’t an issue.

Now you’ve got some nice dough. So grab your cookie sheet.

I prefer to use a cookie scoop. Useless gadget I know and for quite some time I swore at it every time I used it. It was just as easy to use a spoon because the dough stuck to the damn cookie scoop anyway and you had to slide it off your finger. So what was the point? Then, I found a trick.

Coat the cookie scoop with some non stick spray. This makes super quick work of putting cookie dough on the cookie sheets.

If you don’t have a cookie scoop, heaping spoonfuls are just fine. You don’t want these huge, but you don’t want them really small either.

Space them about 2″ apart since they spread on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-13 minutes. That having been said, I don’t care WHAT any cook, expert or guru tells you all ovens are NOT the same. Even your oven isn’t the same most likely from one time of the year to another. They are supposed to be. They are not.

So I suggest you check these at about the 8 minute mark. You don’t want them overcooking. They should be ever so slightly golden on the sides and a lighter golden on the top. You don’t want to overcook these because if you do, once the cookie cools, they’ll turn into marble rocks.

Remove them to cool on cooling racks. I know that this is usually an optional step (well, it is if you are lazy like me) but do this. Sincerely. If you don’t they’ll stick like hell to your cookie sheet.

Now do it ALL again and freeze the dough. Since it’s a soft dough, it won’t freeze in a roll like most doughs. I just use a cheap ziploc bowl container, put the lid on, cover it with foil and stick it in the freezer. Then when I want to make it, I’ll let it thaw overnight and go for it. I freeze it WITH the M&M’s in it, but of course, you don’t have to do that.

Now quickly go over to the cooled, baked cookies and shove as many as you can into your mouth within a five minute span before anyone realizes you’ve made them. This is assuredly the one way you will get ANY cookies at all. By the time they find the single cookie left, you’ll be comfortably in a diabetic coma and you won’t care.