Monday, June 10, 2013

Soft Monster Cookies

Monster cookies. My daughter Ashley found this recipe on Pinterest. 

They are soft and include ingredients such as peanut butter, quick oats, m & m's and peanut butter chips. We found them to be a little crumbly, but delicious! Ashley, thanks for sharing these yummy cookies with us and any time you need taste testers, we're available!

As the recipe recommends, serve with a glass of cold milk.

Soft Monster Cookies
1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup M & M's
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 peanut butter chips 

~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
~ In the large mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Combine the butter, brown and white sugaruntil well blended.   Add the peanut butter, mix well.  Add the egg and vanilla, mixing thoroughly.   
~ Add  flour and baking soda and mix just until combined. Remove bowl from stand mixer and stir in the oats, M and M's, chocolate chips and peanut butter chips, by hand.  
~ Using 2 level tablespoons of cookie dough per cookie, roll dough into ball and place onto a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat mat or parchment paper. Press down gently as they do not spread alot, during baking.  
~ Bake for 9-10 minutes but no longer. Any longer and the cookie will not be soft. Remove from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.  
~ Now pour your family and yourself a cold glass of milk and enjoy! 

     * Recipe Sources: Sally's Baking Addiction
         Mrs. Schwartz Kitchen and Pinterest *

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Blue Ribbon Recipe ~ Strawberry Muffins with Strawberry Butter

Here are the strawberry muffins with the strawberry butter that my twin sister prepared for the 2012 King Arthur Flour Muffin Baking contest at our local fair. She won the first place blue ribbon and a $75 gift card from King Arthur Flour. This recipe comes from Bobby of He was kind enough to allow me to  post this recipe on my blog, using my own photos. Visit his blog, he has some wonderful recipes. Thanks Bobby, for allowing me to share your now, blue ribbon recipe!

Strawberry Muffins with Strawberry Butter
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup milk
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped and lightly tossed in 2 tablespoons of flour
¼ cup chopped toasted pecans
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Strawberry Butter
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup fresh strawberries, chopped
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, powdered sugar
¼ cup toasted pecans, finely chopped

~ Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. and grease the bottom and sides of 18 muffin tin cups. Mix together all ingredients for the streusel and set aside. 
~ For the muffins mix together 1 ¾ cups flour, 2/3 cup sugar, and 2 teaspoons baking powder.
In a separate bowl mix ½ cup milk, ½ cup melted butter, 2 beaten eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Gently mix this mixture into the flour mixture. Do not over mix. Fold in lightly floured chopped strawberries.
~ Pour muffin batter into your tins and top with the streusel mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Test with a toothpick for doneness.
~ Allow muffins to cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the pan or else they will stick. Finish cooling muffins on a wire rack.
For the strawberry butter thoroughly mix ½ cup butter and 1 cup powdered sugar. Fold in chopped strawberries and toasted pecans. Chill until needed and soften before serving. Enjoy the strawberry butter with the warm strawberry muffins. 

               * Recipe Source : Blog Chef *

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Blue Ribbon Recipe ~ Nana's Special Pumpkin Muffins with White Chocolate Vanilla Butternut Icing

Her are the pumpkin muffins that I prepared for the King Arthur Flour Muffin Baking Contest at our 2012 local fair. I won a second place ribbon and a $50 gift card from King Arthur Flour. The recipe is the same recipe used for Nana's Pumpkin Cake. I think it makes wonderful muffins also.

Nana's Special Pumpkin Muffins
In a large bowl, beat :
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
Sift together :
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Beat into creamed mixture and stir in :
2 cups  pure pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla

~Pour muffin batter into paper lined regular size muffin pan.
~Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
~Cool muffins on wire rack completely before frosting them.

Nana's Special White Chocolate Butternut Icing
4-oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 cup white chocolate chips, melted
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1-1/2 -2 teaspoons vanilla butternut flavoring, to taste

In a large bowl combine cream cheese and butter until well blended and creamy.
~ Add melted white chocolate chips, mixing well.
~ Gradually add confectioners' sugar until desired consistency is reached.
~ Add flavoring and mix well.

* Recipe Source: Dana's recipe adapted from Nana's pumpkin cake recipe *

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Delicious Strawberry Pie

My daughter Ashley prepared this strawberry pie. She found the recipe on Pinterest. The original recipe came from Lorraine of With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart (Link Below). Lorraine has a lovely blog with wonderful recipes. Please visit her blog and see for yourself. Everyone really enjoyed this pie. Ashley will be making this pie again soon. Make this pie for your family, it's delicious!

Strawberry Pie
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/2 cups sugar (It is a sweet dessert, you might want to reduce the sugar. We like it 
1-1/2 cups water
3-oz. box strawberry Jell-O 
2 cups sliced strawberries
Pre-bake a 10" pie shell

~ Line bottom with the sliced strawberries.
~ Combine cornstarch, sugar and water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring                           
    constantly, until thickened. Add the Jell-O and stir until dissolved. 
~ Pour over the strawberries and refrigerate until set.
~ Serve with whipped cream (Ashley used a cake decorating bag and open star tip to pipe a  
    border around the outer edge of the pie and a swirl in the center with sliced strawberries as 
                                              Recipe Source:

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Banana Pudding Pie

My daughter Ashley's also made this banana pudding pie. Her husband's family really enjoys sweets. And since she has experience working at a bakery and cupcake shoppe, she always makes the desserts. Her husband really enjoyed the vanilla wafer crust. The original recipe can be found following the recipe source link below this recipe.
This is Ashley's simplified version of the recipe.

Banana Pudding Pie

Vanilla Wafer Crust:

2-1/2 cups (about 30) crushed vanilla wafers
1/2 cup butter

Banana Filling:

2-(3.4 oz.) boxes banana cream instant pudding mix
2 ripe bananas, sliced


1 regular size container frozen whipped topping, thawed

~ In a large bowl crush vanilla wafers and mix with melted butter until evenly moistened.

~ Press mixture into a 9-inch pie pan or pie dish.
~ Mix pudding mix according to package directions for a pie. 
~ Pour 1/2 pudding into pie crust; place whole vanilla wafers, flat side out, around the entire edge of the pie pan or plate. Place sliced bananas on top of the first layer of pudding. Repeat with remaining pudding and bananas.
~ Sprinkle additional vanilla wafer crumbs around the outer edge of the pie. 
~ Using a piping bag fitted with a round decorating tip of your choice and filled with the whipped topping, pipe dollops of the whipped topping evenly around the outer edge of the pie and a larger dollop in the center of the pie. Place a whole vanilla wafer in the center dollop of whipped topping.

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Happy Birthday Cake

My daughter Ashley made this cake for 3 members of her husband's family, who celebrate their birthdays in June. Ann, her husband's aunt, celebrates her birthday on June 2nd, Christy, her husband's mom, celebrates her birthday on June 4th, and Kayla, her husband's sister celebrates her birthday on June 5th.
Happy Birthday Ann, Christy and Kayla! Enjoy your beautiful and delicious birthday cake!

Ashley's Cake Recipe
1 ( 16.25 oz. ) box yellow cake mix (without pudding added) + water, oil and eggs
( 16.25 oz. ) box chocolate cake mix (without pudding added) + water, oil and eggs
1 ( 3.4 oz.) box instant chocolate pudding mix
1 ( 3.4 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk, divided

~ Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. for dark or nonstick pans and 350 degrees F. for shiny metal or glass pans.
~ Spray desired pan(s) size with nonstick and flour baking spray. Set aside.
~ Prepare both cake mixes according to package directions adding chocolate pudding to dry chocolate cake mix and 1/2 milk with wet ingredients. Add vanilla pudding mix to dry yellow cake mix and remaining 1/2 cup milk along with wet ingredients.
~ Pour yellow cake mix evenly into prepared cake pan(s).
~ Add large dollops of the chocolate cake mix on top of the yellow cake mix, and using a butter knife or cake frosting spatula, swirl chocolate cake batter from top to bottom, throughout the yellow cake batter.
~ Bake and cool according to cake package directions.
~ Frost and decorate with Ashley's Almond Buttercream Frosting.

Ashley's Almond Buttercream Frosting
1 cup Crisco                           
1/2 cup butter, room temperature                         
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 teaspoon almond extract                          
1 teaspoon of milk at a time, until desired consistency is reached                           
pinch of salt                           
1 teaspoon meringue powder                            
2 (lb) bag confectioners' sugar                            
Gel food coloring, of desired colors, if desired                              

~ Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, in a large bowl blend together the Crisco and butter until well blended.
~ Add extracts and milk, as needed, mixing until well blended.
~ Add salt, meringue powder and confectioners sugar. Mix until well blended and smooth.
~ Use to frost cake or cupcakes     

                   This picture shows the true colors of the icing and a close-up of the flowers. The lighting was not good in the above picture. I'm still learning. Thank you Ashley for the cake decorating lesson, your time and talent! You did a fantastic job!
                                                                 Recipe Source: Ashley
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