Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake

I actually made this for Thanksgiving, but just ran across the picture I took. The recipe came from the Hershey's website and I followed it exactly, only adding a few mini chocolate chips on top.


2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

I added about 1/2 a cup of mini chocolate chips on top.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Zucchini Cakes

This recipe is a combination of receipes from The Pioneer Woman Cooks and Paula Deen. I took what I liked best about both of the receips and combined them.

3 medium zucchini
1 1/2 of bread crumbs (I used homeade bread crumbs seasoned with lots of fresh rosemary, basil, parsley and oregano)
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup parmesean cheese
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for frying

Shred zucchini, leaving skin on. I used my food processor and it worked great. Squeeze in a paper towel to get out extra moisture. Mix zucchini, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, cheese, egg and salt and pepper together. Heat olive oil in a skillet and form small balls with the mixture. Fry for about 2 minutes on each side, until brown. Drain on paper towels.
I served with ranch dressing, yum. The homemade bread crumbs had a lot of flavor with the fresh herbs.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Apple Dip

I had this dish at a wedding shower a few months ago and though it was so pretty! We had a surprise baby shower for a co-worker yesterday, so I created my own version. I've had many requests for this receipe so far this morning, so I think it was a hit!

Apple Dip

5 Granny Smith apples
2 blocks of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup of brown sugar
3 tablespoons of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of chopped peanuts
1 can of Sprite

Mix together the softened cream cheese, brown sugar, powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread evenly on your serving dish, leaving enough room around the edges to stack the apples. Sprinkle with peanuts. Slice apples and dip into Sprite to keep from browning. Stack/arrange around the dip and serve!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fried Chicken

Homemade fried chicken is one of my favorite meals. I don't make it often because we try not to eat too much fried food. I like using bread flour, I find it to be crispier than regular flour.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded even
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 egg
1 cup of milk
seasonings to taste
oil for frying

Season the bread flour as you like, I used Tony's Chacheres, garlic powder and fresh parsley.
Beat the egg and milk together, also seasoning as you like.
Dip chicken in egg mixture, then in flour, making sure to coat evenly.
Fry in heated oil until brown on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup peanut butter- crunchy or smooth, but not natural
1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips, whatever kind you have on hand
1/2 cup granulated sugar for rolling cookies

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat to 350 degrees F . Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for a minute or two, until smooth and creamy. Add the peanut butter and beat for another minute. Add the sugars and beat for 3 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and, on low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they just disappear. Mix in the chocolate chips. You’ll have a soft a pliable dough.
Pour the 1/2 cup sugar into a small bowl. Working with a level tablespoonful of dough for each cookie, roll the dough between your palms into balls and drop the balls, a couple at a time, into the sugar. Roll the balls around in the sugar to coat them, then place on the backing sheet, leaving 2 inches between them. Dip the tines of the fork in the sugar and press the tines against each ball first in one direction and then in a perpendicular direction- you should have a flattened rough of dough with crisscross indentations.

Bake the dough for 12 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and from front to back at the midway point. When done, the cookies will be lightly colored and still be a little soft. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a minute before transferring them to a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature.
Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure to cool the baking sheets between batches.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Crash Hot Potatos

I saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman Cooks and had to try it. They were delicious!
Original recipe here: Pioneer Woman's Crash Hot Potatos

Red boiling potatos (I used some Russett potatos)
olive oil
herbs (I used chives and parsley)

Boil potatos until tender. Generously drizzle pan with olive oil. Using a potato masher, flatten potatos. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, herbs and garlic. Bake in a 450 degree oven until nice and browned.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Overstuffed, Twice-Baked Potatos

What goes better with steak than baked potatos? Overstuffed twice-baked potatos! I love making these, they are so filling and yummy.

2 large baking potatos, plus two smaller potatos
1 cup of colby monterrey jack cheese
1 stalk of green onion, chopped
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Cook potatos and let cool completely (I just throw them in the microwave). Cut in half longways and remove the inside, being careful not to puncture the skin. I discard the two smaller potato skins, I just use the for the potato part.
In a large bowl, combine potato, milk and butter. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add green onion, sour cream and seasonings. All of my measurements are just approximate, so you may have to adjust based on how creamy you want the mixture.
Scoop mixture back into potato skins, over-stuffing the potato. Sprinkle with a little more cheese and broil at 500 until cheese is melted.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Crawfish Fettucine

We had our annual Good Friday crawfish boil yesterday. We had a few leftovers, maybe about 2 pounds peeled. So I froze one pound and made this fettucine with the other pound. I can't stand a dry fettucine, so I made quite a few alterations to this recipe, which I have tried before. I also don't like it when it tastes like mac and cheese, so I cut back on the cheese too. It was delish!
Original Source: Good Louisiana Eatin' cookbook

1 pound crawfish tails
1 small onion, diced
1 heaping tablespoon chopped garlic
1 stick of butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 stalks green onion, chopped
2 5 ounce cans of evaporated milk
1 can of Rotel tomatos (I only used 1/2 of the can)
8 ounces of Velvetta Cheese, cubed
1/2 bag of cooked egg noodles

Saute onions and garlic in butter until soft. Add flour and stir until well blended. Add crawfish, green onions, evaporated milk and rotel tomatos. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. Slowly add cheese and continue to stir until mixed well. Stir in cooked noodles. Bake in covered casserole dish at 350 for 30 minutes.

Chicken Parmesean

This was so good and so easy to make. It was actually my first time making Chicken Parmesean and I was surprised at how quick it was.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
2 cups italian style bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesean cheese (grated)
4 tablespoons melted butter
seasonings to taste
marinara sauce
mozarella cheese
linguine noodles, cooked and drained

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray well. Mix bread crumbs, parmesean cheese and seasonings together and set aside. Dip chicken in melted butter, then in bread crumb mixture, shaking off any excess. Place on baking sheet. Cook 15 minutes, then turn over. Continue to cook until chicken is done and add a small bit of marinara sauce and top with cheese. Put back in oven for a few minutes until cheese is melted and browned.
Serve with pasta.

Blueberry Bread

This was another great breakfast item that I made on a Sunday and we ate off of all week. I used fresh blueberries, but I think it would be just as good with frozen. Souce: All Recipes
Original recipe here.

2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup fresh blueberries (I used 2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I didn't use any)

Mix together beaten eggs with the sugar. Add milk and melted shortening or vegetable oil.
Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Combine mixtures, stirring only until blended. Carefully fold in fresh or frozen blueberries and broken walnut pieces.
Pour into greased 5 x 12 inch loaf pan. (I made 4 mini loaves) Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50-60 minutes. Cool in pan but try to turn it out of pan before it is totally cool. It will be easier to remove. Can also be made in a normal size loaf pan or can be made into 2 pans.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Chewy

I love these cookies. They always come out so soft and chewy (hence the name!). I doubled the recipe because I wanted to send some to daycare with my daughter to share with her friends. I think it's important to use real butter and not margarine. I tried using margarine once and it just wasn't the same. Source: Alton Brown

2 sticks unsalted butter (I used salted)
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt (I cut back to 1/2 teaspoons since my butter was salted)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of mini Reeses Pieces)

Hardware: Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact) (I didn't use this, just regular spoons)
Parchment paper
Baking sheets

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside. Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Since I did a double batch, I always put the dough back in the fridge between batches.

Mini Meatloaf

Sorry for the bad photos. DH took it and didn't do a very good job!

I don't eat ground meat, but DH loves it. I don't mind cooking it for him and I like trying new dishes on him since he isn't picky. This is the first time I have ever made meatloaf. Looked and smelled tasty and DH loved it. Source: All Recipes

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used almost 2 pounds)
1 egg
1 onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup milk
1 cup dried bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1/3 cup ketchup

**Note: Because I used more meat than the recipe called for, I added a tad bit more of all the ingredients**

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, combine the beef, egg, onion, milk and bread OR cracker crumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and place in a lightly greased 5x9 inch loaf pan, OR form into a loaf and place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
In a separate small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and ketchup. Mix well and pour over the meatloaf.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour.

This made 4 perfect mini-meatloves!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cauliflower Augratin

A simple and quick side dish. I wanted to mix with broccoli, but didn't have any. This was a small serving, but it can easily be doubled. Souce: me.

1 package of frozen cauliflower
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of flour
3/4 cup of milk
1 cup of shredded cheese (I used colby and monterrey jack blend)
salt and pepper
Steam cauliflower until barely tender. I think I steamed it too long and it fell apart.
For the bechamel sauce, melt butter in a pot and add flour. Whisk until incorporated and add milk. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until smooth.
Grease bottom of casserole dish and add cauliflower (I also put salt and pepper on the veggies). Toss with a little bit of the cheese and cover with the bechamel sauce. Top with the rest of the cheese and cook on 400 for 20 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbly.

Crispy Fried Pork Chops

Last time I made fried pork chops, all of the batter came off. In an attempt to keep that from happening again, I tried two new things. I used bread flour and I double dipped them. They came out wonderfully and were really crispy! Souce: me

4 bone-in pork chops
2 cups of bread flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
seasonings to taste
vegetable oil

Heat vegetable oil in dutch oven. Trim the fat from the pork chops. Mix eggs and milk together and add desired seasonings (I used salt, pepper, Tony Chachere's and parsley).
Mix flour with desired seasonings, I used the same ones as the egg and milk mixture.
Dip pork chops in egg mixture, then lightly dredge in flour mixture. Dip in egg mixture again and back in flour mixture, making sure to pack the flour on the pork chop. Shake off any access flour.
Fry in hot vegetable oil until brown and crispy, about 4-6 minutes on each side.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Different Spinach and Artichoke Dip

We are going to a crawfish boil this afternoon and I knew I wanted to bring a dip. I have another recipe for spin and artichoke dip, but it's really cheesy. It's always a crowd pleaser, but I wanted something different. I made this once before and I think in this one you can taste the flavors of the spinach and artichoke more. Source: myself

1 can of artichoke hearts, quartered (not marinated)
1 package of frozen, chopped spinach, cooked and drained well
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 jalapeno slices, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded mozarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar/monterrey jack blend cheese
grated parmesean cheese

Sautee onions in butter over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno slices. Sautee until tender. Add artichokes, spinach and heavy whipping cream. Stir until well combined. Add salt and pepper. Stir well.
Remove from heat and add mozarella and cheddar/monterray jack cheeses. Stir until well blended.
Place in a casserole dish and top with grated parmesean cheese. Cook on 450 until the top is browned.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Chicken and Veggie Pasta

This was an interesting creation made with leftover veggies from our grill-out last night and the three chicken breasts I had in the freezer. It was pretty good.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/4 cup olive oil
red pepper flakes
1 pound of vermicelli pasta, cooked and drained
2 cups of cooked broccoli (I roasted it in the oven at 450 for 15 minutes)
leftover roasted zucchini, squash and mushrooms

Season chicken with parsley, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Saute in olive until nice and browned. Add veggies. I roasted the broccoli in the oven for a few minutes to keep it somewhat firm, I hate mushy broccoli. Last night we grilled zucchini, squash and mushrooms, so I threw the leftovers in there as well. I drained out a little bit of the olive oil, didn't want it to be too oily.
I just let this simmer for a little while until the veggies were heated.

I served over cooked pasta with a little bit of the lemon butter sauce I made a few weeks ago (and froze) to go along with my Shrimp Portofino.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I wanted to make something that I could bring for breakfast this week, and this is what I came across. It was super easy to make and I think I will enjoy eating it all week! Source:

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (I used one cup of milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of vinegar)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, 1 cup sugar and egg until blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to egg mixture alternately with buttermilk. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and remaining sugar.
Pour a third of the batter into a greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pan; sprinkle with a third of the cinnamon-sugar. Repeat layers twice. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Shrimp Portofino

It's lent! And that means seafood on Friday's. We love seafood, of course we do, we live in Louisiana. But for some reason, I don't cook much of it. I'm trying to venture out a little bit, so thought I would try my favorite shrimp dish from Macaroni Grill. I found this recipe online at work, but now that I'm home, I can't find the link to include it here. If you google it, you will find several recipes that call for artichoke hearts, and that is not the one I used. So I'm sorry I can't link to the original source.

This dish was very good. I especially loved the butter sauce. I will make that again and pour over pasta and served with grilled chicken. It has a very distinct flavor.

24 large shrimp (peeled and deveined) (I used one pound of shrimp)
3 cups sliced mushrooms (washed and sliced ( 1/4 inch thick)
1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts (couldn't find these, so used slivered almonds)
6 cups fresh spinach leaves (only used about 4 cups)
6 cups cooked vermicelli
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh garlic (minced, up to 4)

Lemon Butter Sauce:
1 tablespoon shallots (minced) (used yellow onion)
1 tablespoon fresh garlic , minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed) (only used about 1/4 a cup, per many reviews)
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 lb lightly-salted butter (cut into tablespoons)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread pine nuts over bottom of sheet pan and place pan in oven on top rack. Roast until golden brown, approximately 2 to 4 minutes.

For the Lemon Butter Sauce:
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté shallots and garlic until translucent. Add white wine and reduce slightly more than 1/2, whisking occasionally. Add cream and reduce by 1/2. Add lemon juice and reduce by 1/2. Add white pepper. Reduce heat to low. Add remaining butter 2 tablespoons at a time, whisking continuously after each addition to completely incorporate butter. Continue to simmer, whisking until sauce just coats spoon.

In separate large skillet over medium-high heat melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Add garlic and sauté until garlic is translucent. Stir in mushrooms, shrimp, and pine nuts. Sauté several minutes or until shrimp are done and show color. Remove skillet from heat and gently stir in spinach. Place warm pasta on plate with shrimp mixture to the side. Pour lemon sauce over cooked pasta, permitting a bit of sauce onto shrimp.

Monkey Bread

Mmmm, Monkey Bread. I put this together Saturday night for breakfast Sunday morning. So quick and easy and yummy. Source:

3 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional) (I didn't use any)
1/2 cup raisins (I didn't use any)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube pan.
Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in pan. If using nuts and raisins, arrange them in and among the biscuit pieces as you go along.
In a small saucepan, melt the margarine with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monkey Munch

One of my favorite show is Jon and Kate Plus 8, a reality show about a couple that has a set of twins and sextuplets. She served this to her kids recently and it sounded delicious! It was easy to make and is goooddd!

The recipe came from the Chex website. They call it Muddy Buddies, but I like Kate's name of Monkey Munch better.

9 cups Chex® cereal (any variety) (I used rice)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla (totally forgot to add this)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preparation Directions:
1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, stir together chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Microwave uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. (forgot the vanilla, but it was still good) Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
3. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Stove-Top Directions: Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside. In 1-quart saucepan, heat chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Smothered Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon dark roux
1/2 teaspoon sugar
desired seasonings

Season chicken as desired and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar on each side. Coat non-stick skillet (could also use a cast iron pot or dutch oven) with vegetable oil. Cook chicken until really browned on each side. I let the pan run out of water several times and add just a little bit of water and turn the chicken.
Remove the chicken and add onions, let them cook down a few minutes. Add about a cup of water and the dark roux. Slowly simmer until roux has dissolved. Add chicken back and enough water to cover the chicken about halfway up. Let simmer until chicken gets tender, you may have to add a little more seasoning.

I served over white rice with green beans. So simple, but so yummy! This is the way my mom used to make it, so I don't have a "recipe".

Sunday, January 6, 2008

HERSHEY'S Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie

This was not the best chocolate chip cookie we've ever had. I didn't have a lot of special ingredients on hand, so this was what I was able to make. I added the m&m's on my own. It was ok, but I think I will be looking for a new recipe next time I want to make something like this again.

That hasn't stopped DH from eating half of it though....

HERSHEY'S Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-2/3 cups HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips, HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, HERSHEY'S Mini Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolate or HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate Chips
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 12-inch metal pizza pan with foil.

2. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in medium bowl until fluffy; add egg, beating well. Stir together flour and baking soda; stir into mixture with chocolate chips. (This is where I added one small bag of m&m's) Spread batter evenly in prepared pan, spreading to 1-inch from edge.

3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly brown and set. (20 minutes is WAY too long, I cooked it for 13 before taking it out) Cool completely; carefully lift cookie from pan and remove foil. Decorate as desired; cut into wedges to serve. 8 to 10 servings.

Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce

OMG, this stuff was so good. I had a loaf of regular white bread that was about to go bad in the pantry, and I knew I wanted to make bread pudding with it. I had to search for a while to find a recipe that used just plain white bread, but this one was a winner. Recipe from

6 slices day-old bread
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup raisins (optional) (I didn't use any)
4 eggs, beaten (I will probably just use 3 next time)
2 cups milk (I used one cup of milk and one cup of half-and-half)
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Break bread into small pieces into an 8 inch square baking pan. Drizzle melted butter or margarine over bread. (I accidently added the butter with all of the other ingredients, but it still turned out well) If desired, sprinkle with raisins. (no raisins for me)
In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.

The only liquor we have is Amaretto and Crown Royal. I found this recipe for Amaretto sauce and it was divine. It has quite a bit of sugar in the sauce alone, but you really don't need much of the sauce. Even after it sat for a little while, I was able to whisk it for a minute and it came back together nicely.

Amaretto sauce

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 egg well beaten
1/4 cup amaretto Liqueur

Stir the sugar and butter on top of double boiler, set over simmering water, until butter melts, sugar dissolves and mixture is very hot. remove from over water and whisk in the egg. Continue whisking until cooled to room temperature. Mix in the Amaretto. Serve as a top for the Bread Pudding.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

I made these to bring to our annual New Years Day lunch with my in-laws. They were delicious and so easy to make. I found the recipe in Good Eats 'n Sweet Treats, and she got it from Kyla's blog.

1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of Nestle mini chocolate chips

For dipping:
1/2 bag of milk chocolate chips (I used 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 tsp shortening)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Beat all ingredients together, except chocolate chips. Stir in chips.
Shape heaping tablespoons of dough into 3" think logs. Place on non-stick or lightly greased cookie sheets.

Bake until the bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet and place on waxed paper, carefully, to cool. Freeze overnight or longer. (This confused me a bit, so I just threw them in the freezer for about 20 minutes to help them "set".)

Melt a half bag of milk chocolate chips in a double boiler. If you do not have a double boiler, melt the chocolate in your microwave on high heat for 1 minute, at 30 seconds intervals, stirring well between each interval. If the chocolate is not completely melted, continue heating it in your microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring well between each interval, and being careful not to burn the chocolate. (I had to add a little bit of milk to my chocolate to make it smooth enough to dip in)

Dip each stick into the chocolate about 1/3 the way up. Immediately place on waxed paper.
Chill to solidify chocolate.
Yield: Approximately 24 cookies.