Posts filed under ‘Recipes’

4 Things I Learned By Making Peanut Butter Cookies with Spiders on Top

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My Best Advice: Read the Directions WELL!!!

Several years ago I read this recipe for peanut butter spider cookies that Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen came up with. There were so adorable I HAD to make them.

I made these at my sister’s house where my nieces, sista, and brother-in-law got into the baking action. Lots of fun ensued and I learned four things.

1. Read the Directions. By not fully reading the directions I bought the wrong size Reece’s Peanut butter cups. This recipe called for the mini-sized dudes. While the chocolate fix is greater with the regular-sized peanut butter cups, the cookie also needs to be bigger.

So instead of using a tablespoon as my scoop, I used an ice cream scoop in order to make the cookies big enough to hold the bigger chocolate body. I also needed to bake the cookies at least 15 minutes instead of the original 10 minutes.

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Even though this auntie was unprepared because of NOT reading the directions ahead of  time, there were still plenty of smiles. And the cookies were delish!

2. Read the directions. By not fully reading the directions I bought the wrong kind of licorice. I foolishly thought that you could peel apart the strands from chocolate-flavored Twizzlers. Nope.

We ended up slicing 3 inch pieces in half – length-wise  –  and then in half again. They weren’t perfect legs, but good enough. Of course this took way more work and time than if I had bought  the correct licorice (as suggested by this recipe).

Because of the extra work involved, we decided that our spiders would have only 6 legs.

3. Read the directions. By not fully reading the directions I did not have the necessary “cementing” tools. I thought the licorice was poked into the peanut butter bodies. You can do that, which is what we did. BUT…. It takes longer and doesn’t always look that great.

We finally thought of using peanut butter to cement the candy eyeballs to the peanut butter cup. Chocolate candy melts or melted chocolate chips were suggested in the recipe.

It is a little messy to use peanut butter. And on our cookies you can see some peanut butter cement leaking out the side.

4. Read the Directions. By not fully reading the directions, the peanut butter cups melted. We put the peanut butter cups on the hot/warm cookie and the peanut butter cups melted. Still looked cool, but not as cool as when the bodies are more distinct.

They turned out cute. But to make quality ones, the work involved was too much. So we made 6 BIG cookies for the youth bake sale. And then the family members each made some for personal consumption. We decorated our cookies with our own ideas of what looked spooky.

By the end of the night everyone was happy with their creations. And it was fun. One of the teens said, “We should do this more often.”

NOTE. This is an old post that I forgot to publish. I am cleaning out my old drafts and came upon this.

Your Turn . . .

  • Have you ever had a mishap because of not reading the directions well before cooking/baking/crafting???
  • What festive Halloween recipe are you serving up this year?

Related Posts . . . 

Note: These cookies were made and photographed in 2012. Somehow this post got lost in my draft archives. But since they are still a great cookie to make for the Fall, I am posting this today.

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Once a Month Cookie – January – Lemon Marshmallow Snowdrifts

My friend Marsha had this idea to bake a new cookie each month. I liked the idea so much I invited myself to be part of her adventure.

These cookies are pikled high with frosting. This is a very sweet frosting so you could get away with piping on less and it will still taste great.

These cookies are piled high with frosting, to look like a snowdrift. This is a very sweet frosting. So you could get away with piping on less and they will still taste great.

2014’s first (January) cookie is Lemon Marshmallow Snowdrifts by Pillsbury.

  • We didn’t use a store-bought roll of cookie dough. Instead we made a drop sugar cookie.
  • This recipe made 48 instead of the 24 that come from a cookie roll.
  • We used the smallest cookie dough baller to scoop out the dough. The cookies were about 2 1/2 inches after they baked.
  • There is enough marshmallow frosting for this many cookies.
  • This frosting is so delish, you may never use another frosting again.
  • We really liked it best when some of the lemon curd peeps through the frosting.
  • We didn’t put zest in the dough. This did not negatively impact the flavour – especially on the second day.
  • These cookies tasted just fine after freezing.

NOTE 2.8.2014: I just made these cookies with the Pillsbury Ready to Bake Sugar Cookies that you get in the refrigerated section at the store.

  • There are 24 “pillows” of dough. I cut each one in half.
  • I formed these into balls.
  • Roll the balls in sugar. I used red sugar on some and White Sparkling Sugar on others.
  • Put on cookie sheet (2 inches apart) and bake for 10-11 minutes at 350 F.
  • Each cookie is a decent size: about 1 ¾ths inches.
  • You will have lemon curd and frosting left over.
  • Either double the batch or use both delish items on something else.
  • Or EAT from a spoon as desired.

Go here for the easy cookie recipe we used.

These marshmallow lemon snowdrift cookies are so delicious esp since we made the sugar cookies from scratch.

These Marshmallow Lemon cookies can’t be called snowdrifts since we only piped on a ring of frosting. . . . They are delicious with a cup of tea or coffee.

 Ingredients  for the Frosting

  • 7 oz jar of  marshmallow creme
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Milk to thin out frosting to pipeable consistency
  • Sanding sugar

Directions for Making the Frosting

  1. Beat marshmallow creme, butter, and vanilla until mixed.
  2. Add powdered sugar.
  3. If this mixture is too stiff to pipe, add some milk until it is of a spreadable consistency.
  4. Fill decorating bag no more than half full of the frosting.
  5. Sprinkle sanding sugar on top.
Instead of a ring, you could pipe the frosting in a figure eight.

Instead of a ring, you could pipe the frosting in a figure eight. These look cute and taste as great.

 Marsha and I are going to bake a batch for the Annual Women’s Tea. But we will make them bite-sized.

NOTE: Because of health concerns (diabetes) I decided to not concentrate on making foods that hinder my health.

Your Turn . . .

  • What is the newest cookie you have baked?
  • Want to bake along with us? Let us know and post your tips, questions, and photos.

Related Posts . . .

 

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3 Teacup Cupcake Recipes You Need to Try for Your Next Tea Party

This past week I baked five different cake recipes trying to figure out which was the tastiest. I ate them all myself! Good thing each recipe only made one cake. And an even better thing is that a teacup was the “pan” for the “cake.”

Here I am having a mini  cinnamon cake and tea in matching tea cups.

Here I am having a mini vanilla cake and Sweet & Spicy Tea in matching tea cups.

I got this idea after reading that cupcakes might have originated in the 19th century (in America) when folks used actual teacups for “pans.” I am doing a series on tea and so thought this would be a good project for me to do. As I mentioned I tried four different recipes. This recipe is the winner according to my taste-buds.  This vanilla cake is tender, moist, light, and tasty even without frosting. This recipe also has the best tasting butter-cream frosting.

This pink flower is attached to an "excavating" tube that is 1 7/8th's inches. Just the perfect defrom a cup that is 3 inches deep.

This pink flower is attached to an “excavating” tube that is 1 7/8th’s inches long. This is the perfect length in which to take cake from a cup that is 3 inches deep.

This chocolate teacup-cake came in second.

  • I think this is largely due to my preference for vanilla cake.
  • Make sure that the cake is cooked all the way to the bottom.
  • This cake rose the highest of any of the cakes.
  • The chocolate frosting with this recipe is a tasty one.
  • Because I like frosting with my cake I used a nifty cake hole-digger (aka excavating tube) to remove some cake from its center. Of course I filled the center with frosting.
I baked all 5 cakes in this same teacup. This boxed mix cake was tasty - even without the egg.

I baked all 5 cakes in this same teacup. This boxed mix cake was tasty – even without the egg.

This was the easiest teacup-cake to bake.

  • You need three ingredients: cake mix, water, and oil. It was surprisingly tasty.
  • I know you could bake this in the microwave, but don’t do it. There is a night and day difference to the texture. Think rubbery versus light, moist, and tender.

General tips . . . 

  • One site said to use a liner. In my experience, the one without the liner rose higher. Both slid out of the cup just fine.
  • Once site said to not grease the cups because it would inhibit the cupcake from rising. I greased the cups each time and all rose just fine.
  • Buy a set of measuring spoons that has a 1/16th measure. Or else just double the recipe and bake 2 teacup-cakes.

Your Turn . . .  Have you ever made teacup cupcakes? Eaten one?

Crafts and Food Made for the 21 Days of Tea Series . . . 

Related Internet Posts . . .

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Cream Cheese Mints – Great Party Nibbles

My mom used to make these at Christmastime. I loved them. She always made them green and minty. Today I wanted to make something that was fast, easy, tasty, and bite-sized. These cream cheese mints fit that description.

Thankfully I had the 5 ingredients. These lemony discs are a tasty 1 1/4th inches

Thankfully I had the 5 ingredients. These lemony discs are a tasty 1 1/4th inches

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon extract (I used lemon extract.)
  • Few drops of food coloring (I used 2 drops of yellow.)
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
  •  Granulated sugar

Directions

  • Stir in extract and food colouring into cream cheese until it is smooth, soft, and colour is uniform.
  •  Incorporate sifted powdered sugar, stirring in one cup at a time.
  • If mixture is sticky, put it into the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Scoop out 3/4 tsp of mixture.
  • Shape into a ball.
  • Roll ball in sugar and place on wax paper.

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    Until you chill the discs on each side, they are sticky. I will freeze these for the Women’s Tea on February 8th. I will let you know how they taste.

  • Flatten each ball with the bottom of a juice glass.
  • Let it sit 90 minutes in refrigerator and then turn over.
  • Let it chill for another 90 minutes.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freeze up to 1 month.
  • I made 60 pieces.

Your Turn . . .  

  • Have you made cream cheese mints before?
  • What is your go to, quick nibble to make?

Related Internet Mint Posts . . .

Related Fruitfulwords Food Posts . . . 

Crafts and Food Made for the 21 Days of Tea Series . . . 

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Mexican Cornbread

IMG_8931I was asked to bring Mexican Cornbread to a party. The below recipe is the one I made.

This recipe is easy. It is moist. And the kiddos even liked it because the chile taste is not overpowering.

Ingredients

  • 1-8.5 oz. package Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (You can also use buttermilk or regular milk.)
  •  1-4 oz. can diced green chile peppers
  •  1/2 cup sharp cheese, shredded
  • Splash of milk – use this if batter is too stiff. I like the batter to pour like a cake batter.

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Grease an 8”x8” pan. (You could opt to make 6-8 muffins instead.)
  3. Whisk together muffin mix, egg, sour cream, and green chiles. Fold in cheese. Batter will be slightly lumpy.
  4. Pour into pan.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

NOTES

  1. To double the recipe, double the above ingredients and put into a 9”x12” greased pan. Mine took 25 minutes to cook.
  2.  I tweaked this recipe by Paula Deen.

Related Post . . . Recipe Index

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Sweet Potato Burritos

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The filling for the enchiladas is versatile. You can subtract or add ingredients according to your own tastes. This is meat-free, but you could any meat you prefer.

I like to make several batches of these yummy burritos at one time. I foil wrap them to keep in the freezer. Besides a dinner entrée, these are great for a snack or even breakfast.

I made a batch for my daughter-in-love’s freezer after the baby was born.

Ingredients

  •  5 sweet potatoes or jewel yams[1]
  • 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 Tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced into crescents
  • 1 medium yellow or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • ½ teaspoon ground oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • Dash salt & pepper
  • Dash crushed red peppers
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • 1 (14 ½ ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 12- 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (Can use as little as 1 cup.)
  • Non-stick spray

DIRECTIONS FOR SWEET POTATOES  

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I foil wrapped these and then covered them with brown paper. As you see I wrote a few messages.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Put whole oil rubbed sweet potatoes into a shallow baking pan. Use 2 Tablespoons of oil. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes or until done.

When they are done, skin and then mash them.

 THE FILLING

While potatoes are baking, prepare the filling.

In a large skillet, heat remaining cooking oil (1 Tablespoon) over medium heat. Add onion, cook and stir for 3 minutes.

Add bell pepper, cook and stir 5 minutes more.

Add corn, garlic, oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and red peppers. Stir and cook for one more minute. Add black beans, undrained tomatoes, and mashed sweet potatoes. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. . Cool down. Add cheese.

MAKING THE BURRITO

Soften the tortillas according to the package.Fill the tortilla with 2/3rd cup of filling, roll up burrito style.

Place in a greased 12” x 9” baking dish.

Spray enchiladas with non-stick spray.

Bake in a 375 oven for 20-30 minutes or until crisp.


[1] You can use a 29-ounce can of sweet potatoes packed in light syrup or water. Drain and rinse thoroughly before mashing and proceeding with the recipe.

Your Turn . . .  Do you have a vegetarian burrito recipe to share?

Related Posts . . .

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FYI. During April I participated in the A-Z Challenge. Most of the posts were from drafts that are at least a year old. I want to clear out my draft pile (193 as of May 15, 2013). So I am continuing to make a special effort to finish those. This is one such post although it is only several months old.

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U: UPSIDE DOWN German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake was a favoutite cake for birthdays when I was growing up. Ahhhh, that home made frosting is by FAR 1000% better than what you buy in a can today. But, alas, it seems that making this cake is time intensive and so I don’t make it.

I like my cake with cream, but it would be just as yummy with ice cream or whipped cream.

I like my cake with cream, but it would be just as yummy with ice cream or whipped cream.

BUT. I came across this UPSIDE DOWN German Chocolate Cake which uses a box mix and I had to try it. I made it for a late Father’s Day celebration for my brother-in-law.

The pecans and coconut go on the bottom  underneath the cake batter. The “frosting” is made of melted butter, softened cream cheese, and powdered sugar which is swirled through the cake batter.

I scooped the first piece upside down into my bowl and saturated it with cream. This is a yummy version of a classic cake. The original is not much better. My spoonful after spoonful after spoonful was devine which makes this recipe a keeper.

Comments from family members (aka testers) . . . 

  • “This is fantastic.”
  • “I want this cake for my birthday.”
  • “I ate tooooo much cake.”
  • “This is as good as the regular version.”

Tips and Observations

  • My cake was done at 45 minutes and not the suggested 60 minutes. I tested this by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the cake and it came out clean. Be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t over bake.
  • The instructions state to not over bake this recipe. If you do I believe that the yummy swirls of frosting (which fall to the bottom of the pan) will become baked instead of staying gooey. You definitely want gooey.
  • Some recipes call for margarine  for the frosting – you’ll definitely want to use butter.
  • Some recipes call for 1 cup of pecans. In this recipe you’ll want to use the full 2 cups.
  • Pecans are always used in a German chocolate cake. However, walnuts would be a cheaper alternative and would not impact the taste.
  • 1 pound powdered sugar = 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar or 4 cups sifted powdered sugar.

Your Turn . . . Try it and let me know your opinion. . . . What would you add to the Tips and Observations?

Related Posts . . . 

Hat Tip to Rachelle Underwood of To. Die. For. Recipes for this DELISH cake.

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NOTE: This post is written for the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. There are 22 categories and my category is MI = Miscellaneous. I am a little late in posting it. But it sure is a yummmmmmy late post. 🙂 For a list of all the posts go to the A-Z button on my header.

Today’s letter is U. The topic is Upside Down German Chocolate Cake

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