Sunday, December 26, 2010

christmas...and candy cane bark

It was a wonderful Christmas.  My sister who had been stuck in Europe because of all the flight cancellations finally made it here with her fiance.  Although time with them will be short, we are so lucky to be spending the next few days with them. 

Around here, a fave of ours during the holidays is candy cane bark.  With two layers of chocolate topped with crunchy candy canes, it's a winning combination. 

Hope everyone's Christmas was as sweet as ours!

Candy Cane Bark

1 cup dark chocolate
1 cup white chocolate
5 candy canes, crushed

Melt the dark chocolate and spread a layer on parchment placed on a cookie sheet.  Refrigerate until cooled.  Melt the white chocolate and place on top of the dark chocolate.  While still warm, sprinkle with crushed candy canes.  Once hardened, break into pieces.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

sinful chocolate squares

When we were younger, my sister and I loved it when my mom made desserts with condensed milk.  We couldn't wait to get our share of the sweet liquid.  Sometimes we would open up a can and eat it like pudding.  One of my favorite things to do with condensed milk is to make these squares.  Very similar to Eagle Brand's Magic Cookie Bars, these are even more sinful with a chocolate crust.


Sinful Chocolate Squares

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (plus a little more for licking!)
1 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup almonds

Combine the crumbs and margarine and and press into the bottom of an 8" x 8" dish.  Pour the condensed milk over the crumbs followed by the chocolate, coconut and almonds.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

whipped shortbread

Baking continues with one of my favorites, whipped shortbread cookies. I've been making this recipe for years and can't remember where it comes from.  It's a simple recipe with only 3 ingredients!  Whipping the dough for 10 minutes makes it light and fluffy and the buttery cookies just melt in your mouth.  These cookies went fast and I know we'll be making a couple more batches before the year is done.



Whipped Shortbread

1 cup butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 cup flour

Cream the butter and icing sugar together.  Add the flour and beat for 10 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  Makes 3 dozen small cookies.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

palmiers

Well, it's that time of year.  Time for Christmas parties and tons of baked good.  We may not celebrate Christmas religiously but we do celebrate the holiday season with close friends and family.

Baking this year started off with the simplest of cookies.  Made with only 2 ingredients, Palmiers are puffs of buttery sugary dough baked until golden.  They look quite fancy, people will never guess they take only minutes to prepare.


Palmiers

1 box of puff pastry
Sugar

Unroll one sheet of puff pastry. Sprinkle generously with sugar. Roll the pastry from the horizontal ends into the middle. Refrigerate for 10 minutes and then cut the roll into pieces.  Sprinkle each piece with sugar and place on parchment paper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.

Monday, December 6, 2010

kale chips

After reading about it on blogs, twitter and even watching it on television, I had to see what all the fuss was about.  People seemed to be raving about kale chips. I couldn't understand how so many could get excited about greens.  Well, I understand it now!  I made a batch last week and hubby and I polished it off in minutes.  I made a couple more batches on the weekend for family and everyone loved it.  The tough greens when tossed in oil and seasoning and baked turn into paper-thin morsels that just melt in your mouth.  Check out recipes on the following blogs: Backseat Gourmet, Dinner with Julie, Gluten Free Girl as well as Giada's recipe on Food Network.  Great served with Basil Mayo (mayo, basil, 1 clove garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper).

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