Wednesday, May 27, 2009

homemade Hostess cupcakes...

1 devil's food cake mix
8 Tbsp butter; room temp
1 1/2 cups marshmallow cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
granulated sugar (to taste)
2 big Hershey bars (or 8 reg size)
1 12oz pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 bar of wax (melt in a rinsed out soup can inside a pan with 1-2 in water)

Make cupcakes according to pkg directions (adding 1/4 tsp vanilla; if desired) and bake in well greased, unlined pans. Let cool completely.
For filling mix butter and marshmallow cream until fluffy. Add vanilla and a little sugar to desired taste. With a piping bag squirt a small amount of filling up into the bottom of each cupcake.
Melt chocolate together. Melt wax separately. Gradually add wax to melted chocolate, stirring constantly.
Dip tops of cupcakes into the chocolate and set aside until firm. With a small piping tip decorate tops of cupcakes with remaining filling.

Oh yes, I did. And I'm glad I did. YUMMY!!
When I made them, however, I did not add the vanilla or granulated sugar to the filling and I think it really needed it. Just make the filling and taste it, then adjust it to your liking. Also, the chocolate icing can be all milk chocolate or any combination of chocolate you prefer.
I have to say they were relatively easy to make. The most time consuming part was the chocolate icing...and the fact that I double dipped them!! I did double the recipe for cupcakes, and even tripled the filling amount so I wouldn't run out and I had exactly enough.
I took these to a Cub Scout event and thought the kids would go crazy over them, which they did...but the adults suddenly turned into a bunch of kids, as well!
(The spray pictured is the one with flour in it. I HIGHLY recommend using it. The tip is the one I used to insert the filling and it is a 1M (Wilton) piping tip.)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

butter chicken...

4 chicken breasts OR 10-12 chicken tenders
2 egg whites, lightly beaten w/1 tsp water
1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs
1/2 tsp garlic salt
pinch of pepper
1/4-1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place egg whites and water in a shallow bowl. Mix cracker crumbs and seasonings and place in another shallow bowl. Dip chicken in egg whites, then in cracker crumbs. Place in a 9x13 lightly greased pan. Cut butter into small pieces and place around chicken. Bake 25 min for chicken tenders, and 40 min for chicken breasts (or until chicken is golden and crisp)

This was so easy and so good it's not even funny. I just happened to have all of the ingredients on hand one night so I gave it a try. Now I buy the crackers specifically for this recipe. In as much as it is breaded kids LOVED it, too.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

sour cream coffee cake muffins...

12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sour cream (I used reduced fat)
2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

For the streusel:
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . Line muffin cups with paper liners.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.
For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the walnuts, if desired.
Spoon half the batter into the cups and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with half of streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the cups, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Let cool for at least 30 minutes.

This is another favorite Barefoot Contessa recipe. Her original recipe calls for making a cake in a tube pan. I don't have a tube pan, so I made muffins instead (I got 24). Next time I will swirl the streusel know, get a little in every single yummy bite! I will be purchasing a tube pan, though for the next time just so I can try it that way, too. The original recipe also called for a glaze made with pure maple syrup drizzled on the top...yum! I omitted this step, but I'm sure it would just have added to the deliciousness of the finished product. Very moist, very, very good. I also LOVE any recipe that can be considered a breakfast food OR a dessert!!!
(24 muffins-5pt each)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

{the BEST} cornbread...

2 1/2 cups Bisquick baking mix
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees .
Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add the eggs, milk and melted butter. Mix with a large wooden spoon or spatula, just until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients.
Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of pan comes out clean.

I absolutely LOVE cornbread. I love, love, love cornbread. This is my favorite recipe ever. I'm sure the melted butter has NOTHING to do with that. Shut up. It's to die for. This is a cross between cake and cornbread. YUM. Next time I will have to cut the recipe in half so I can't keep sticking my fingers into it for the next two days after making it. I am actually surprised it lasted that long. Make it.
Recipe from A Bountiful Kitchen.
(24 servings: 3 pts each)

Monday, May 11, 2009

birthday dinner...

marinated tri tip w/gorgonzola cream sauce:
1 1/4 pounds beef tri tip or flank steak
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
Combine olive oil, vinegar, sugar and garlic in a small bowl and mix to combine. Place beef and marinade in a plastic bag and marinade for at least one hour. Grill over med-med high heat until desired done ness.

gorgonzola cream sauce:
4 oz gorgonzola or blue cheese
1 cup heavy cream

Break up cheese into small pieces and combine with cream in a small sauce pan over med low heat. Stir occasionally while cheese melts. Bring to a simmer. Cook until sauce is reduced to a thick and creamy consistency (about 10 min) Serve over steak.
This was my husbands #1 pick for his Birthday dinner. It was yummy. I serrved it up with carmelized red onions and rosemary roasted potatoes. This is my go to meat marinade. It turns out fabulous every time.