August 5, 2012

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie Bars

Yield: 24 bars
Prep Time: 1 hour | Bake Time: 50 minutes
For the Pastry Dough:

1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 egg

For the Peanut Butter Filling:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1¾ cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Crumb Topping:
¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup traditional rolled oats
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

For Assembly:
2 cups jelly or preserves
1. Make the Pastry Dough: Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored metal 9×13-inch pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, using enough parchment to hang over the sides of the pans. Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until sandy (about 6 to 10 quick pulses). In a small bowl, whisk the egg and pour into the food processor. Pulse just until the dough begins to hold together.
2. Dump the dough mixture into the prepared pan. Using your fingers, press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and up the sides just a little (maybe a half inch). Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
4. Remove the pan from the freezer, line it with aluminum foil, and fill it three-quarters full with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.
5. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
6. Make the Peanut Butter Filling: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is completely smooth. Add the peanut butter and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again. Turn the mixture out onto the cooled crust and, using an offset spatula, spread it into an even layer. Put the pan in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the crumb topping.
7. Make the Crumb Topping: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the brown sugar and use your hands to rub it in until the mixture is uniform in color. Stir in the oats.
8. Place the dry mix in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and beat on low speed until loose crumbs form.
9. Assemble the Bars: Spread the jelly in an even layer over the peanut butter filling. Sprinkle on the crumb topping, covering the jelly.
10. Bake the bars for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, or until the top is brown.
11. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut the bars and serve.
12. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

June 24, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Yield: 32 brownies
Prep Time: 40 minutes | Bake Time: 25 minutes

For the Brownie:

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the Cookie Dough:
¾ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups mini chocolate chips

1. Prepare the Brownies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with foil, with enough to hang over all four sides. Butter the foil. In a medium glass bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract, scraping the bowl as needed. Mix in the melted chocolate until combined. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour and mix just until combined (don’t over-mix). Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.

2. Prepare the Cookie Dough: In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to combine the butter and both sugars. Add the milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the flour just until combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.
3. Spread the cookie dough over the cooled brownies. Refrigerate until the dough is firm, about an hour. Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter (my favorite way to slice brownies!) to cut the brownies. Store the brownies in an airtight container at cool room temperature or in the refrigerator.

May 5, 2012

Cheesecake Factory Pina Colada Cake Cheesecake

Filling ingredients for Cheesecake Factory cheesecake:

2 lbs. cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 c. sugar
c. sour cream, room temperature
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice

For White Cake

4 egg whites

1 c. milk

3 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. rum flavoring

3 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. confectioners sugar

4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2/3 c. unsalted butter, softened (10 2/3 tbsp.)

For Pineapple-Coconut Frosting

3 3/4 c. confectioners sugar (1 lb. box)

8 tbsp. butter, room temperature

3 to 4 tbsp. milk

3/4 tbsp. coconut flavoring

3/4 tbsp. rum flavoring

1/4 tbsp. pineapple flavoring

8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained

1/2 c. sweetened coconut

For Cream Cheese Frosting

12 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

8 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tsp. vanilla

4 c. confectioners sugar

Cheesecake Factory Pina Colada Cake Cheesecake

Make the Cheesecake Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Place 2 large shallow pans filled with 1/2 inch of water into the oven to create a water bath.
  3. Prepare 2 greased 9-inch springform pans by wrapping aluminum foil around the bottom of them to prevent leakage from the water bath.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on low speed.
  5. Gradually beat in the sugar, eggs, sour cream, flour, vanilla and lemon juice.
  6. Divide batter between the springform pans.
  7. Place one cheesecake pan into each of the water baths in the oven.
  8. After 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees.
  9. Bake for another 35-40 minutes until the sides are set. The center should be slightly jiggly as it will firm up during cooling.
  10. Cover and place in the refrigerator to cool for four hours or more.
Make the White Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round baking pans.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites, 1.4 c. milk, vanilla, and rum.
  3. Mix the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt together in another bowl.
  4. Slowly add the butter and remaining ¾ c. milk to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until well combined.
  5. Add the egg mixture and mix the batter until it is smooth with no lumps.
  6. Pour half the batter into each of the prepared 9-inch pans.
  7. Bake cake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until a pick comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cake layers for about 15 minutes before loosening them from the pan, then remove and cool completely.
  9. Freeze for 4 hours or more.
Make the Pineapple-Coconut Frosting
  1. Combine sugar, butter, milk, and flavorings in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes until creamy.
  2. Add crushed pineapple and sweetened coconut and continue to beat, adding more milk if necessary, until frosting is at the desired consistency.
  3. Place frosting in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Make the Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. #Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.
Assembling the Cake
  1. Remove the chilled cheesecakes from the springfoam pans; Remove the white cake layers from the freezer.
  2. Top each layer of cake with pineapple-coconut frosting.
  3. If the frosting is wet due to the chopped pineapple, you may want to return the cakes to freezer for a few moment so they are easier to layer.
  4. Place one layer of white cake on a plate, then place one cheesecake layer on top of the white cake layer.
  5. Repeat with remaining white cake and cheesecake layers.
  6. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and return it to the freezer for 2-3 hours.
  7. Remove the cake from the freezer and cover the entire cake with a crumb-coat of cream cheese frosting to trap all loose crumbs before adding your final layer of frosting.
  8. Chill and serve with whipped cream.
  • This Cheesecake Factory layered cheesecake requires some “down time” while cake layers freeze before assembly. You’ll want to plan ahead so that you have enough time to fully rest the cake layers otherwise they might slide. Try making the cheesecake and white cake the night before and putting them in the freezer overnight. Then you can make the frostings and assemble the cake the following day.
  • If you are pressed for time, try using a moist white boxed cake in place of the “from scratch” recipe. You could also use purchased white frosting for the middle layers by simply adding the flavorings, coconut and pineapple and letting it chill sufficiently before use.

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April 28, 2012

Yummy Ham Salad

2 cups finely diced ham

3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

1/4 cup dill pickle, minced

2 Tbsp minced red onion

2 Tbsp minced celery 

2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 Tsp Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp lime juice

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Lots of fresh black pepper (to taste)

Salt ( to taste )


Mix ham, eggs, pickle, onion, celery, parsley in a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk the rest of 

the ingredients to make dressing. Add dressing to ham mixture and mix well. 

Taste and add black pepper and maybe salt to taste. Serve chilled.

I love this on some rye bread for a sandwich!

Makes enough for 3 to 4 sandwiches.

April 19, 2012

Apple Rum Cake w/ walnuts

6 apples,  McIntosh apples
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
2 cup walnuts, chopped
5th of RUM, less 1/4 cup..... optional but awesome!!!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.

after get done baking turn oven off. Let stand in oven for 30-35 mins... take out to cool.

( Top picture is Top of Cake, 2nd picture is bottom of cake) it's not burnt, it's golden brown, The flavor will BLOW YOU away!!!

April 6, 2012

Pot Roast with Vegetables

1- 5lb. chuck roast
1 lg. onion chopped
1 lg. can. sliced mushrooms
1 box Lipton soup mix
1 sm. bag baby carrots
1 20 oz. cream of mushroom
1-1/4  cups. water
3 stalks of celery chopped
1 can. greens beans
2 potatoes, chopped n cubed
Pepper to taste.....

 Place meat in bottom of slow cooker, Place carrots, onions,celery,potatoes, green beans and mushrooms on meat.
Mix can of cream of mushrooms, lipton soup mix with 2 cups water. mix / whisk until smooth. Pour over meat.
Cook for 8 to 10 hrs.

April 06, 2012 by: A. Craig Michael

April 1, 2012

Ham With Bourbon, Molasses, and Pecan Glaze

1/2 cup apple juice (preferably fresh unfiltered)
1/4 cup bourbon
1 3/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
1 cup pecans, toasted, cooled, finely ground
1/4 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
3 tablespoons dry mustard
1 whole bone-in 16- to 18-pound ham

Boil juice and bourbon in small saucepan
 until reduced to scant 1/3 cup, about 6 minutes.
Combine sugar, pecans, molasses, and mustard in bowl.

 Add bourbon mixture; stir to form thick paste.
 (Can be made 2 days ahead.
Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before using.)

Position rack in bottom third of oven and
 preheat to 325°F.
 Line large roasting pan with heavy-duty foil,
leaving overhang on all sides.

Trim off skin and all but 1/4 inch fat from ham.
Place ham, fat side up, in prepared pan. Roast ham until thermometer inserted into thickest part registers
 130°F to 135°F, about 10 minutes per pound or 2 hours 40 minutes for 16-pound ham.

Remove ham from oven; increase oven
 temperature to 425°F.
Lightly score fat on ham in diamond pattern.

 Rub glaze thickly over top and sides of ham.
Return ham to oven and roast until glaze is deep brown and bubbling, about 25 minutes. 

Let ham stand at least 20 minutes and up to 45 minutes.

Serve with chutney and spoon bread.

March 18, 2012

Peanut Butter Brownies w/ Cadbury Eggs

8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter.
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped coarse
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
6 Cadbury Eggs, cut in half

1. Place an oven rack in the middle position. Preheat to 350 F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with a foil sling (2 pieces of foil crossed over each other and smoothed down) and grease the foil. Melth the butter and chocolate together in the microwave, stirring often, 1-3 minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until just combined. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated.

3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Plop the peanut butter evenly around the top of the batter. Run a butter knife through the batter to create swirls.

4. Bake brownies 22-27 minutes. Remove 10 minutes before there done, and place 1 half of Cadbury egg on a brownie, use all 12 halves. Place back in Oven for remanding 10 minutes. 
Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Remove from pan using the foil, cut into squares, and enjoy!

This is one of My Favorite Treats!!!!!

Craig Michael 
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