Archive for the 'Cookies, Brownies and Blondies' Category

Recipe: Italian Traditions

|November 8, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

All Soul’s Day

November 2nd is ALL SOUL’S DAY – also know as the “Day of the Dead” – it is the day following All Saint’s Day.

All Soul’s Day is a Roman Catholic Holiday – a day of remembrance for those that have passed on. There are church services and festivals in honor those that have died.

In Italy, they begin selling special cookies starting before November. Ossa dei morti – known as bones of the dead – are cookies that are flavored with cloves (Sicilian), and from other areas they may use almonds, some using hazelnuts. These sweets are to meant to bring cheer, compensating for the sadness of All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day.

Different regions in Italy have different recipes:

And may I remind you – these are what Italian babies teethe on!

These are made with cornmeal:

Bring 2 quarts water to a rolling boil; sift in (about) 1 pound cornmeal, stirring constantly, until you have the consistency of soft mashed potatoes. Stop adding cornmeal at that point. Keep stirring. When done, let it rest a couple hours.

When ready to make the cookies: Whip it, adding salt and pepper (a good dose of pepper); work in wheat flour (a good handful) to give it a good consistency; remove dough from pot.

Form into breadsticks – wider in the middle and tapered at the ends. Place on lightly floured baking sheets. Bake in preheated 360* F. oven until hard and cracked – you’ll see fine cracks.

In some regions, bones of the dead are made from risen bread dough, that has butter and oil added to it, as well as sugar and anise seed. These can also be sweetened with honey. When using bread dough, shape into sticks shaped like fingers. These get baked twice. The first time for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on size), cooled and baked again.

You can also find these cookies made with sweet wine, spices, dried fruits, chocolate and pignoli.

Peel and grind ½ lb. almonds until they are half the size of a grain of rice, adding ½ cup sugar as grinding. Add 1 cup flour; work in 2 tablespoons butter and one large egg. Flavor with some lemon zest, or orange zest, or vanilla along with enough sweet liqueur to make a soft dough. Break dough into pieces the size of a fava bean, brush with egg yolk and place on floured baking sheet. Bake at 375* F. until done. Because of their size they bake quickly.

When Carmella made hers:

Cup* flour, half cup sugar, some pine nuts, blanched, peeled and finely chopped almonds**, lemon zest from half a lemon, cinnamon, and a shot glass of grappa. Pull off small pieces, roll and shape with floured hands, place on greased and floured baking sheets, brush with beaten egg, and bake at 350* F. until done.

**be careful not to grind to the point that the oils come out of the almonds

*Carmella didn’t own measuring cups – she used a cup from the dish set. Just like we all did in the family. No measuring cups, no measuring spoons. Our measuring cups were our tea cups, our measuring spoons are our teaspoons and dessertspoons from our silverware. I still use my hands to measure – it’s easier and it hasn’t failed me yet. I was raised to bake and cook by look and feel.

Like I said – every region has their own recipes for these – there are no set rules – it’s the thought that counts.

Recipe: oh that famous 3 ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe……..

|October 29, 2011|read comments (2)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Several years ago a chef came up with a very simple recipe for peanut butter cookies:

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Combine, mixing well, drop or shape into balls and bake in moderate oven until done (depending on size).

Easily doubles or triples with no problem.

And of course – the tweaking started:

Some added 1 teaspoon vanilla, while others wanted to add a pinch of salt – with or without the vanilla. Not to mention those that use brown sugar or granulated and brown sugar combined.

Which brings me to this:

There are the “blossomers” who like to add the chocolate kiss. But don’t forget the “upside-down blossomers” that want to insert the chocolate kiss upside-down into the cookie.

Of course, there are the “surprise fillers” that place a chocolate kiss or a chocolate wafer into the center of the cookie before baking. Try filling with a Rolo candy, Milk Dud, or other chocolate covered whatever; even chocolate (or regular) marshmallows.

We also have the “candy crazy” that enjoy adding M&M’s to their dough, or peanut M&M’s, or Butterfinger bits, toffee bits, Skittles – whatever satisfies your sweet tooth.

Don’t forget about the “nuts about nuts” that use the crunchy peanut butter, or roll the cookies in chopped nuts of choice before baking, or add a favorite nut to the center for a nice nutty surprise.

Remember the “chippers and chunkers” that add semi-sweet, dark chocolate, white chocolate, cinnamon or butterscotch morsels or chunks to the mix.

Then there are the “true PB lovers” that shape the dough around a mini Reese’s cup.

Even the “rollers” like to shape and roll the cookies in chocolate jimmies, chopped nuts, coconut, Rice Krispies, Cocoa Puffs or any cereal, graham cracker crumbs, or even sugar before baking.

The “healthy alternatives” will add raisins or other dried fruit, oatmeal or even flax seed! Some will use honey.

And there are the “icers” that need to cool the cookies before plunging into a vat of melted chocolate of choice, or drizzling with a chocolate, vanilla, caramel or butterscotch icing or ganache.

Oh what a simple 3-ingredient recipe can turn into!  And the possibilities are endless!

Recipe: Christmas cookie recipes

|October 9, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

 

 
At this time of the year with us being so busy, I' quite sure that sharing some Christmas cookie recipes would be welcomed!

If you are looking for a special recipe – just drop me a line – and I will go through all my recipes for you.

HAPPY BAKING!

These are very good and easy to make – also, great at any time of the year!

Amish Sugar Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup cooking oil
2 eggs
4 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375* F.

Combine sugars, butter and oil, beat well. Add eggs and mix well. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight. Make into small balls and flatten slightly with a fork. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Do not over cook.

Recipe: Butternut Balls

|October 9, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

1 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups mashed pecans (or walnuts)
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 300* F.

Cream butter thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients except powdered sugar. Roll into balls about walnut size. Place on ungreased cookie sheet for 35 minutes preheated oven. Roll in powdered sugar immediately and cool on waxed paper. (Cookies may be made in advance and frozen.)

Recipe: Ginger Balls

|October 9, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

These cookies are absolutely perfect for the holiday season.

I've watched many stand by the cookie platter just popping them in – one right after the other!

Preheat oven to 375* F.

Beat on low speed until well blended:
1 cup butter (not margarine), softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup (yes, at times I've used light)
1/2 cup mild molasses

Gradually beat in:
3 cups flour
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

Have a small bowl of granulated sugar on hand for rolling cookies in – about 1/4 cup

Roll into 1 1/2-inch balls; roll in sugar bowl to coat. Place on ungreased cookie sheets about 2-inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 14 minutes. transfer to wire rack to cool about 2 minutes after removing from oven.

Store air tight.

Recipe: Some really good cookie recipes

|October 9, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

These are a few recipes I shared on my blog back in December 2010 –

This recipe is great for those that need to make cookies for a cookie exchange – or just big batch baking!

I hope you give this a try –

Basic Butter Cookie Dough Recipe with Variations

4 sticks (1 pound) salted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Step 1: In a large bowl, with an electric mixer set on medium-high speed beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Step 2: Beat in egg yolks, one at a time.
Step 3: Beat in vanilla extract.
Step 4: Beat in flour gradually until just combined.

Makes enough dough to do two of the listed recipes below.

This dough can be wrapped and refrigerated for up to 48 hours before using. You can also freeze this dough about 3 weeks ahead of time.

Whenever working with butter dough if it should become to soft and sticky, just place it in the freezer for a few minutes until firm again.

Raspberry Hazelnut Triangles

1/2 prepared basic butter cookie dough
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 2: Roll out dough between two sheets of wax paper into an approximately 14-inch square, about 1/8 inch thick.
Step 3: Remove top sheet of wax paper and spread raspberry jam across dough.
Step 4: Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.
Step 5: With a knife, cut dough into 2-inch squares, and halve each square diagonally to form triangles.
Step 6: Arrange triangles 1/2 inch part on ungreased cookie sheets.
Step 7: Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cookies remain on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling surface.

Makes 96 cookies.

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Sticks

2 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, toasted golden and cooled
1/2 prepared basic butter cookie dough, at room temperature
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Step 1: In a large bowl, mix butter dough and coconut until just combined.
Step 2: Halve dough and on 2 pieces of waxed paper pat into 11 x 2 1/2-inch rectangles. Chill dough wrapped in wax paper for about 30 minutes or until firm.
Step 3: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 4: Working with one rectangle of dough at a time, cut dough crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.
Step 5: Arrange slices 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. With a sharp knife halve each slice lengthwise forming sticks; separating them slightly with knife.
Step 6: Bake for 12 minutes or until slightly golden. Leave cookies on sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling surface.
Step 7: In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate on medium-high setting until smooth.
Step 8: Gently dip one end of stick into bowl, wiping off excess on rim. Reheat chocolate occasionally if needed to keep thin. Place sticks on wax paper to cool.

Makes about 15 dozen cookies.

Orange Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup old fashion rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1/2 prepared basic butter cookie dough, at room temperature
About 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Step 1: In a medium bowl, soak cranberries for 15 minutes in war water. Drain and chop fine; set aside.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 3: In a large bowl, beat cranberries, pats and grated orange peel into basic butter dough until just combined.
Step 4: Place 1/2 cup of granulated sugar in small bowl. Form dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar to coat. Arrange balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten each ball with drinking glass with bottom wrapped in wax paper to prevent sticking.
Step 5: Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Transfer cookies to cooling surface.
Makes 7 dozen cookies.

Spiced Icebox Butter Cookies

1/2 prepared basic butter cookie dough, room temperature
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons anise seeds, crushed lightly
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Step 1: In a large bowl, with an electric mixer combine all cookie ingredients.
Step 2: Halve dough and on sheets of wax paper form each half into 12-inch log. Chill logs, wrapped in wax paper at least 2 hours or overnight.
Step 3: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 4: With sharp knife cut logs into 1/8-inch slices and arrange 1/2-inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Step 5: Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Transfer cookies to cooling surface.

Icing:
Step 1: In a small bowl, whisk together icing ingredients and transfer to a sealable plastic bag. With scissors cut a 1/8-inch opening in corner of bag.
Step 2: Drizzle each cookie with icing and let set to dry.

Makes about 10 dozen cookies.

Recipe: Back to the pantry!

|September 21, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Still checking out the pantry for the upcoming months!

Brownies are always good and I can't think of one person who does not enjoy them.

This is a mix, remember to label and date – store airtight in your pantry.

BROWNIE MIX

6 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder**
4 teaspoons salt
8 cups sugar
1 can (8 ounces) baking cocoa (use a good quality chocolate)
2 cups vegetable shortening

In a large bowl, combine first five ingredients. With a pastry blender,
cut in shortening until evenly distributed. Store in a large airtight
container in cupboard. Keeps 10-12 weeks. Yield: about 17 cups of mix.

When it's time to make brownies:

2 1/2 cups brownie mix
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract**
1/2 cup chopped nuts optional
Confectioners' sugar, optional**

In a mixing bowl, combine first four ingredients. Beat with spoon until
smooth. Spread into a greased 8-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350'F for
20-25 minutes or until top tests done. cut into squares while still
warm. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired. Yield: 9 brownies.

You can easily make mini-muffins or use as a base for a large brownie cookie by spreading thin in a pizza tin. The aluminum pizza tins are nice to use. Adjust cooking time.

Recipe: Tired of Halloween yet???

|August 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

 CREEPY CRAWLER PIE

1 ready-made chocolate cookie pie crust
1 quart orange sherbet
3/4 cup chocolate sauce
10 gummy worms

Soften sherbet slightly and spoon into pie shell. Drizzle with chocolate sauce to form "spider web" design. Freeze for at least one hour. Decorate with "worms".

JACK-O-LANTERN BROWNIES
These are a favorite with everyone!

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract**
3 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder**
1/4 teaspoon salt
Yellow and red food color
2 cups Vanilla Frosting (see recipe posted – continuing-with-halloween – Chocolate Cake recipe)

Garnishes: Mini chocolate kisses baking
pieces, licorice Twizzlers and bits

Preheat oven to 350* F. Grease a 12-inch round pizza pan. If using a disposable pan, place on baking sheet to bake.

Beat melted butter, sugar and vanilla extract with spoon in large bowl; beat in eggs; stir in dry ingredients; beat with spoon until well blended; spread into pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 22 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in center.

Cool completely. Add yellow and red food color to frosting for desired shade of orange. Frost brownie; garnish to resemble jack-o-lantern. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

SKELETON BONE COOKIES

4 egg whites
1 teaspoon grated orange peel**
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder**
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup salted almonds, slivered or chopped

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat egg whites and sugar with orange peel and baking powder until blended. Gradually add nuts and flour, beating until mixture is thoroughly blended. Cover and chill until firm enough to handle, at least an hour or up to a day.

Lightly flour your hands and pinch off a three-tablespoon size piece of dough. On a lightly floured board, use the palms of both hands to evenly roll an 8-inch (20 cm) long rope. Cut rope in half; roll each half out again to 8 inches (20 cm). Fold an inch of each end back onto rope and pinch ends to make bone shapes. Repeat to shape all the dough.

Place bones an inch apart on a buttered and flour-dusted baking sheets.

Bake at 325* F. about 20 minutes until cookies are lightly browned on bottoms.

SPIDER COOKIES

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
3 (1 oz.) squares semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder**
1/4 teaspoon salt
Black licorice whips, black jellybeans, black decorating gel, assorted Halloween candies

Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg and then melted chocolate. Beat in flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt until combined.

Divide dough in half and shape each half into a roll about 8 inches long. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350* F. Cut rolls into 1/4-inch slices and place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until cookies are set when lightly touched, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Combine cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Spread about 1 teaspoon of frosting on half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies and spread additional frosting on top.

Decorate the cookies with "spiders," using jellybeans for bodies and licorice for legs.

To make cobweb cookies, squeeze a small amount of black gel on the middle of the cookie. Use the end of a toothpick to draw gel from the middle of the cookies to edges. Then put gel across to connect the gel lines in a cobweb pattern.

Cookies can also be decorated with a variety of ready-made Halloween candy decorations. Once frosted, keep cookies refrigerated.

Yields 32 servings.

JACK – O – LANTERN TREATS

1/4 c. margarine or butter
1 (10 oz.) pkg. regular marshmallows (about 40) OR 4 c. miniature marshmallows
5 c. Kellogg's Marshmallow Krispies cereal

Melt margarine in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Cook over low heat 3 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add Marshmallow Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated.

To make 5 Jack-O-Lanterns, divide cereal mixture into five equal parts. Form pumpkin-shaped balls and stems. Decorate with frosting and Halloween candies. Makes 5 Jack-O-Lanterns. (For best results use fresh marshmallows.)

BLACK CAT COOKIES

1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup water
2 large eggs
1 boxed chocolate cake mix (use my homemade chocolate cake Just like Duncan Hines Chocolate mix recipe – Kitty Litter Cake recipe – Halloween is coming)

M & M candies
Red hot candies

Beat together peanut butter, eggs and water. Gradually add the dry cake mix. Mix well. Form dough into 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten balls with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Pinch out the dough to form two ears at the top of cookie. Add the M & M's for eyes and the red hots for a nose. Press a fork into the dough to form whiskers. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 4 1/2 dozen.

MUMMY DOGS (HALLOWEEN)

2 tubes refrigerator roll of pizza dough
1 cup grated mozzarella or provolone cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Nonstick spray
4 tablespoons pizza sauce or pasta sauce
8 hot dogs
Optional pizza toppings: onions, green peppers, olives, etc.
1 tablespoon Italian herb seasoning mix

Preheat oven to 300* F. Open package of pizza dough. Grate cheese, and dice vegetables. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Place pizza dough on sheet and cut into 8 squares; press dough thin with fingers. Add pizza sauce to each square. Add hot dogs and other pizza toppings and pizza herbs to taste. "Mummify" the hot dogs by wrapping them completely in the dough and pinching the ends. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until crust begins to brown. Serve with warm pizza sauce or pasta sauce for dip.

Serves 4 to 8

BLACK HALLOWEEN PUNCH

1 (.13 oz.) envelope unsweetened grape soft drink mix
1 (.13-oz.) envelope unsweetened orange soft drink mix
2 cups sugar
3 quarts cold water
1 liter ginger ale
1 frozen hand

To make the frozen hand, wash a disposable glove, fill with water, seal with a rubber band and freeze until hard.

Stir together grape and orange soft drink mix, sugar and water until solids are dissolved. Combine with chilled ginger ale just before serving. Dip the frozen hand briefly in warm water, then peel off the glove. Float the prepared hand in the punch bowl for a ghastly effect.

 

Recipe: Ready for more Halloween recipes?

|August 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Halloween Dinner in a Pumpkin

This is a smashing success, especially if you're hosting a monster bash at your house.

Medium sized pumpkin (4 pounds)
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 can chestnuts
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 4-ounce can mushrooms
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups cooked rice

DECORATION:
Black olives
Steamed carrot
Whole cloves
Fresh parsley

Using a sharp knife, cut lid from pumpkin and scoop out pumpkin seeds and excess membrane with a scraping tool. In a large skillet, combine ground beef, chopped green pepper, chopped celery, chopped onion, and chestnuts. Cook over medium heat until ground beef is browned. Add next seven ingredients to skillet. Mix well and place mixture into pumpkin cavity. Place lid on pumpkin. Place pumpkin on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours.

Just before serving, embellish pumpkin by placing (with toothpicks) black olives to make eyes, a steamed carrot to make a nose, and whole cloves to make a mouth. Use fresh parsley leaves to make hair around like opening. To serve, scoop out part of the baked pumpkin, along with the meat mixture, onto each plate.

If desired, serve with a loaf of warm crusty French or Italian bread.

Yield: 6 Servings

Dinner in a Pumpkin #2

1 medium pumpkin
2 lbs. ground beef, cooked
1 chopped onion
3 sliced carrots
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can sliced mushroom, drained
1 tablespoons garlic salt
1 celery stalk, sliced
2-3 potatoes, diced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Bring all ingredients (except pumpkin) to a boil in a pot. Boil 10 minutes. Place pumpkin in sturdy baking pan. Fill pumpkin with hot mixture. Bake at 350 degrees, for approximately 45 minutes, until pumpkin is tender and brown.

Halloween Snack Mix

6 cups caramel corn
2 cups cashews or Pecans
1-1/2 cups candy corn
1/3 cup raisins

In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix well.
* Great for a Halloween Party or to package in individual goodie
bags for a school party or bake sale.

Do you think I wouldn’t post a recipe for Caramel Corn?

1-1/2 cups popcorn, not popped for 2 batches
OR 2/3 cup for 1 batch
1 cup margarine or butter
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed**
1/2 cup light corn syrup**
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla**
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 250* F degrees. Pop popcorn and set aside (a large roast pan works well, allowing for room to stir).

Bring margarine or butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes. During this period, do not stir AT ALL.

Remove from heat and add the vanilla and baking soda. Mix and pour over popcorn. Put into the oven at 250* F, checking and stirring every 15 minutes for 1 hour.

** Add chopped peanuts, if you want.

Halloween Cookie Pizza

3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup butter flavor shortening
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE (recipe follows)
ORANGE DRIZZLE (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350* F. Lightly grease 12-inch round pizza pan; set aside.

Beat brown sugar and shortening in large bowl on medium speed of mixer until creamy. Add egg, water and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add to sugar mixture, beating on low speed until well blended. Stir in peanut butter chips.

Spread batter into prepared pan to within 1/2 inch of edge.

Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until set. Remove from oven. Sprinkle marshmallows, chocolate chips and pecans over top. Return to oven. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until marshmallows are lightly browned. Cool completely.

Drizzle CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE over top. Drizzle ORANGE DRIZZLE over chocolate. Let stand about 1 hour until drizzles set. Cut into wedges. 16 servings.

CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE:
Combine 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1-1/2 teaspoons butter flavor shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, just until chips are melted when stirred. I melt mine in a double boiler over hot water.

ORANGE DRIZZLE: Combine 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon water, 3 drops yellow food color and 2 drops red food color in small bowl; stir until well blended.

* Cookie pizza can be baked in 13 X 9 X 2-inch baking pan. Bake at 375* F. 15 to 18 minutes or until set.

What is Halloween without Candy Apples?

6 red apples – I like Mac Intosh for these
6 wooden lollypop sticks
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 splash vanilla extract
Food coloring of choice

Wash and dry apples. Remove stems and insert stick pushing halfway into apple.

In deep, heavy saucepan, combine corn syrup, sugar, and water; place over medium heat, stirring, until mixture boils and sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Continue to cook without stirring until you reach the soft crack stage.

Remove from heat, add extract and food coloring and stir only enough to mix. Place pan over boiling water to keep from thickening while you dip apples, winding in a circular motion until thoroughly covered with syrup. Place on buttered pan to allow to cool and harden.

Of course you will need dips and assorted finger foods:

Dracula Dip

2 cups sour cream
1 packet of dry tomato-vegetable soup mix

Combine dry soup mix and sour cream into a bowl. Stir until soup mix is moist. Refrigerate (covered) for at least 2 hours. Serve with chips or vegetables.

Halloween Snack Mix

1/2 cup blood drops (red hots)
1/2 cup cats eyes (blanched almonds) or (gumdrops)
1/2 cup cats claws (sunflower seeds)
1 cup chicken toenails (candy corn)
1 cup colored flies (M & M's)
1 cup butterfly wings (corn chips)
1 cup ants (raisins)
1 cup earthworms (cheese curls)
1 cup cobwebs (Triscuits) or (Golden Grahams)
1 cup snakes eyes (peanuts)
1 cup bats bones (shoestring potatoes)

Mix together in a large bowl. Serve with several pints of blood (cherry punch).

Halloween Punch

Serving: 24 servings

12 oz orange juice concentrate, frozen
12 oz grape juice, white
2 liter 7-Up
1 pint sherbet, lemon or lime
Green food coloring

Mix together orange juice, white grape juice, 7-Up, lemon or lime sherbet, and several drops of green food coloring.

If desired, serve with large, buoyant, and well-washed plastic spiders on the top!

(For adult party: add rum or vodka to taste, optional)

*Get a plastic witch’s cauldron and put a piece of dry ice in it. Pour the brew over the ice and watch the kids’ eyes with delight! (caution should be taken when using dry ice – you should not touch it)

*Take a rubber face mask; cover the eyes, nostrils and mouth with duct tape to seal all openings. Fill a large bowl with ice or have a cookie sheet covered with cornmeal, to cushion the mask. Place the mask in the bowl/sheet, pour water into the mask. Place in freezer for several hours until frozen solid. When you’re ready to serve your punch, take mask out of freezer and dip quickly into hot water to make the ice separate from the mask. Place the piece of ice face-up into the punch bowl. It will look like a face floating in the punch!

Buy some new latex gloves (without powder). Wash two out and fill with water. Fasten the arms closed with a twist-tie or rubber band. Freeze it. When frozen solid, carefully cut away the glove and place one hand on each side of the “ice face” in the punch before serving. Make sure you place the hands downward.

Eyeballs

½ cup graham cracker crumbs
1 ½ cups peanut butter
1 lb. confectioners’ sugar**
2 teaspoons vanilla**
10-12 oz. white chocolate

Cream together the first four ingredients. Roll into 1-inch balls. Place balls on waxed paper for 30 minutes, and refrigerate.

When the balls are cool, melt the chocolate in the microwave or double boiler. Partially dip ball into melted white chocolate; leaving an open area on top of ball where you insert a chocolate chip upside down to make the iris, let harden. You may need to reheat the chocolate until all balls are done.

Place eyeballs in little cupcake liners.

“Mud” Sodas

4 cups chilled chocolate milk
4 cups chilled rootbeer
1 pint chocolate ice cream

In glass combine 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup rootbeer, and top with a scoop of ice cream. Make 8 drinks

Spiderweb Munch

This crispy snack is topped with a layer of chocolate and then decorated with a thin
piping of peanut butter. A candy spider on top would complete the image for a creepy
Halloween treat!

2 cups (12-ounce package) semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 cups toasted rice cereal

Heat morsels and 3/4 cup peanut butter in small, heavy-duty saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth; remove from heat. Add sugar; stir vigorously until smooth.

Place cereal in large bowl. Add 1 cup melted chocolate mixture; stir until evenly coated. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Using small metal spatula, shape into 10-inch circle with slightly raised 1-inch-wide border. Pour remaining chocolate mixture in center of circle; spread to border.

FOR SPIDERWEB:
Place remaining peanut butter in small, heavy-duty plastic bag. Cut tiny corner from bag; squeeze to pipe concentric circles on top of chocolate. Using wooden pick or tip of sharp knife, pull tip through peanut butter from center to border. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. Cut into wedges.

Recipe: Continuing with Halloween –

|August 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

 

Although the Kitty Litter Cake is exceptionally good – there may be some that would prefer to pass on it (although I haven’t had anyone pass it up yet!) and I always make sure I have my traditional “pumpkin” cake ready. Of course it disappears fast too!

I bake a chocolate cake in 8 or 9-inch round tins:

Chocolate Cake

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder**
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter (not margarine)
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla**
1 cup buttermilk**

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour two nine-inch cake pans, line bottoms of pans with parchment paper; butter and flour parchment paper as well.

In bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt; set aside.

In separate bowl, cream butter; gradually add sugar and beat at medium speed for one minute; add eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Gradually add water and vanilla; beat another minute more.

Reduce mixer speed to low and add ¼ dry ingredients, 1/3 buttermilk, another ¼ dry ingredients, another 1/3 buttermilk, until both are completely added. Blend only until the flour no longer shows, then add the next portion of buttermilk.

Pour into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until done – use the toothpick test for doneness. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing by inverting onto wire racks. Allow to cool completely.

Frost and fill as desired. What I do for Halloween I fill with either a pudding or mousse (chocolate) and I frost with a basic white frosting that I have tinted orange with food coloring. I decorate the cake with a Halloween face to look like a pumpkin using candy corn or other candies.

My basic frosting – A stick of softened butter, sifted confectioners’ sugar, a splash of vanilla and enough milk for a nice spreading consistency. No – I don’t measure. Ad a few drops of orange food coloring or red and yellow until your get orange.

A plate of cookies is always nice to have for serving.

This is my Autumn Cutout Cookies recipe:

½ cup butter (not margarine)
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*** recipe below
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 tablespoons canned pumpkin (or fresh – pureed)
1 teaspoon vanilla**
2 cups flour
Orange and green paste food coloring

Cream butter. Add sugar and spices. Beat. Beat in egg, pumpkin and vanilla; beat in as much flour as possible – stir in the rest. Divide into 3 portions; tint. Cover and chill 3 hours or till it’s easy to handle. Roll ¼-inch thick. Place 1-inch apart on ungreased sheets. Bake 375* F. 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on racks.

MARBLED LEAVES: Combine doughs; cut leaf patterns; sprinkle with sugar; bake.

PATCHWORK PUMPKINS: Roll white dough. Roll other colors and cut into strips. Lattice strips over pumpkin loosely. With rolling pin, gently roll over strips to gently press down. Cut pumpkin shapes. Use scraps to make leaves. Bake.

POLKA DOT PUMPKINS: Roll a portion of dough ¼-inch thick. Cut with pumpkin cutter. Place on ungreased sheets. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Using small cutter, make smaller cutouts in chilled cookies. Fill each opening with another color of dough. Bake.

You know by now – I insist on making as much as possible homemade!

Need Pumpkin Pie Spice?

1/2 cup cinnamon
1/4 cup ground ginger
2 tablespoons nutmeg
2 tablespoons ground cloves

Combine all. Use 3 1/4 teaspoon per 1 1/2 cup canned pumpkin.

And speaking of pumpkin –

I think everyone gets pumpkins for Halloween. Many just carve and waste the pumpkins completely. That’s a no-no in my book!

Did you know that you can make your own pumpkin puree to use in your recipes? Simple and cheap! My preference is the sugar pumpkins – but the choice is yours.

Begin by selecting a nice ripe and firm pumpkin. Don’t think that bigger is better – the larger pumpkins get “grainy” the bigger they get.

As with everything (I have this “thing” about cleanliness – almost to the point of OC!) – wash the pumpkin off! Dry with paper towels.

Cut your pumpkin open and remove the seeds and fibrous strings. Cut the pumpkin into 4 to 8 pieces (depending on the size of the pumpkin) and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place in a preheated 375* F. oven for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until the pulp is soft.

Using a spoon, remove the pulp from the rind – discard the rind. Place pulp in a blender or processor and process until smooth. If you want a really thick puree, place the pureed pulp in cheesecloth and twist to squeeze out the excess water.

Use immediately. You can freeze in portions for baking. Label and date. YOU CANNOT CAN PUMPKIN PUREE – it is not recommended by the USDA.

And don’t waste the seeds! As children we used to chomp on pumpkin seeds constantly.

Extract seeds from pumpkin – removing from the fibrous strings. Wash thoroughly in warm water; drain well; dry with paper towels. Transfer seeds to a baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle generously with salt.

Bake in a preheated 350* F. oven for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes and adding more salt to taste. Cool before tasting! If the insides are dry – they are done.
Cool completely before serving.

VARIATIONS:

Cheesy Pumpkin Seeds- sprinkle with Cheesy popcorn seasoning.
Tex-Mex Style- Sprinkle powdered Taco seasoning onto the seeds. This is better mixed in a bowl first. Add more red pepper powder for a really hot seed!
Cajun style- Mix seeds in a bowl with a packet of Cajun seasonings mix. If you like it really spicy, add extra hot sauce.
Garlic Salt- REALLY GOOD!