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What's New...

... and what are your plans for Valentine's Day?!

Topper (Linda)
aka ThyroGeek
February 4, 2011

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Yep I'm guilty, I love sweets - candies, cookies, pies and cakes. I love baking treats for folks on holidays and special occasions - even just for everyday!

Topper (Linda)
aka ThyroGeek

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Table of Contents

Bars
    Apricot Crumble Bars
    Cocoa Brownies
    Oatmeal Brownies
    Peppermint Patty Brownies
Cakes
    Peanut Butter Cheesecake
    Apricot Blueberry Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Crumb Topping
    Hazelnut Cake
    Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
            Icing for Carrot Cake
    Crazy for Coconut Cake
            Golden Coconut Frosting
    Big Red Soda Cake
    Death By Chocolate
    Black Cherry Tart
    Lickety Split Cocoa Cake
    Spice Cake
    Kentucky Stack Cake
Candies
 
Rum Balls (2)
    Rum Truffles
Cookies
    Meringues (Fat Free Sugar Cookies)
    Bourbon Balls
    No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
    Sparkly Ginger Cookies
    Half Moon Cookies
    Snickerdoodles
    Toll House Cookies
    White Chocolate Pretzels 
Dessert Sauces
    Chocolate Sauce
    Chocolate Mint Sundae
    Warm Blueberry Sauce
Donuts
    Baked Donuts
    Golden Puffs
    Jelly Donuts
Frostings
    Chocolate Buttercream
    Peanut Butter Buttercream
Fruits
   Shortcake 
    Apple Crisp
    Strawberries With Pound Cake
    Strawberry Baked Meringue Sundae
    Chocolate Covered Strawberries
    Baked Apples
    Summer Melon Mix
    Apple Pandowdy
Fondue
    Chocolate Dessert Fondue
Muffins and Quick Breads
(are with the other breads and rolls)
Pies
    Peach Pie – with Honey not Sugar
    Chocolate Silk Pie
    Decadent Chocolate Raspberry Cream Pie
    Almond Joy Chocolate Pie
    Banana Chocolate Cream Pie
    Classic Pecan Pie
Puddings
    Raspberry Summer Pudding
Rolls

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Bars

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Apricot Crumble Bars

3/4 cup walnuts
1 cup  flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 stick cold butter, cut into bits
1/3 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1/3 cup diced dried apricots

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 9" square pan with foil, letting ends extend over edge and grease bottom and sides well.

In food processor, coarsely chop ¼ cup walnuts; place in bowl.  In processor, pulse remaining walnuts, flour, sugar, and butter until dough clumps.  Mix ½ cup dough, coconut, and reserved walnuts together.  Pat remaining dough into bottom of prepared pan.

In small bowl, mix preserves and apricots; spread over dough.  Sprinkle with reserved dough/coconut mixture.  Bake 35 - 40 minutes until top is brown.  Let cool and lift by ends of foil to cutting board; cut into squares.

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Cocoa Brownies   Makes about 18 brownies

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 eggs
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Grease square pan, 9X9X2. Mix sugar, shortening, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients (except nuts) Stir in nuts. Spread batter in pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean... Cool completely, then frost, if you want.

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Oatmeal Brownies makes about 18 brownies

Oatmeal Brownies (oatmeal layer)

2 1/2 cups rolled oats (quick oats will work, but rolled oats have more fiber)
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar (works okay with white sugar too)
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup melted butter


Preheat oven to 350 
Grease 9 X 13 pan

Mix together dry ingredients. Add melted butter and mix till all is moistened.

Save 3/4 cup of mixture and set aside, press the remaining into the bottom of the greased pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for five.

Spread Brownie batter (I used cocoa brownies - recipe below) on top of baked layer. Crumble the reserved oatmeal mixture over the top of the batter. Bake according to instructions for brownies.

Cool thoroughly

Cocoa Brownies

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

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Peppermint Patty Brownies   Makes about 36 brownies.
There's a secret layer of peppermint patties in these! They're amazing!

24 small peppermint patties, chopped
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, melted
3 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
5 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Hershey's cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (or 325 if using a glass dish). Grease a 9" x 13" baking pan. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add the eggs. Beat until well blended. Stir in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; blend well. Reserve 2 cups batter.

Spread the remaining batter in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the patties in a single layer on top of the in the pan. Spread the reserved 2 cups of batter over the patties.

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares.

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Cakes

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Peanut Butter Cheesecake   1 Servings

1 10" graham cracker crust in - springform pan
2 cups Peanut butter
1 lb Cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. Butter, melted
1/2 cup  Heavy cream, whipped
2 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
1 cup Chocolate chips, melted
1 cup Heavy cream, whipped

Beat cream cheese until smooth with paddle. Add peanut butter and sugar and blend well. Add vanilla and butter an continue to blend well. Fold in 1/2 cup whipped cream. Place mixture into graham cracker crust. Refrigerate overnight. After refrigeration, pour chocolate chips evenly over top and let cool for 2 hours. Garnish with remaining whipped cream.

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Apricot Blueberry Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Crumb Topping

Streusel

Mix and set aside:
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon

Batter:

3/4 cup dried apricots
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 c. fresh blueberries
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 cup flour
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 c. sour cream (low fat is OK)
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. confectioner's sugar (optional)

Coarsely chop apricots.  Combine with blueberries. Grease and lightly flour 10 inch tube or bundt pan; heat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and b. soda. Set aside.

Place butter in mixer bowl, beat until fluffy.  Beat in sugar, then eggs one at a time.  Beat about 3 minutes. Add vanilla.

Add flour and sour cream alternately in 4 parts.  Beat about 1 minute until just combined.  Gently fold in fruit with a spatula. Turn 1/3 of batter into pan, add 1/3 of streusel, repeat twice. 

Bake 55-60 minutes until tester comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack 20 minutes.  Carefully loosen edge from pan, remove to serving plate.  Sift confectioner's sugar over the top if desired.  Serve warm if possible.

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Hazelnut Cake

8 eggs
200 g (8 oz) sugar
grated lemon rind from 1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
250 g (8 oz) ground hazelnuts
2 Tbsp. flour
20 g (3/4 oz) butter
1/21(1 pint) whipping cream
2 packages vanilla sugar
browned sliced almonds.

Cream egg yolks with sugar until smooth. Add lemon rind, lemon juice, nuts and flour. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into well-greased cake tin, bake for about 60 minutes. When cake is cool split into 2 layers. Fill with half of the whipped cream with vanilla sugar, cover with remaining whipped cream and decorate with sliced almonds.

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Pound Cake   Serves 6-8
Sour cream adds a nice kick to this old favorite.

4 ounces Butter, softened
3 cups Sugar
4 Eggs
2 cups Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 cup Sour cream
1 tsp. Vanilla extract

Place the butter and sugar in a mixer. Cream until smooth. Add the eggs - one at a time with the mixer running. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Blend well into the mixture. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix until blended. Pre-heat the oven to 325. Grease and flour a bread pan. Pour in the batter. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

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Basic Cheesecake   Serves 8-10
Create new variations by topping this recipe with your favorite fruit.

1 Tbsp. Butter
3/4 cup Graham cracker crumbs
1 cup Sugar
2 1/2 tsp. Cornstarch
1 1/2 lb. cream cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup Cream
1 tsp. Vanilla

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Butter a medium spring-form pan. Press the graham cracker crumbs into the bottom. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Whip the cream cheese in a mixer. With the mixture running slowly, sprinkle in the sugar and cornstarch, then add in the eggs and vanilla. Slowly add the cream until all ingredients are well mixed. Pour into the spring-form pan. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes (or until the top begins to brown and the cake is firm). Cool at room temperature. Refrigerate. Serve well chilled.

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Cassata Trifle   Serves 6-8
This recipe is a cross between the Italian Cassata and the English Trifle.

6 ounces Cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. Milk
1 1/4 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 lb. loaf Pound cake
1/4 cup Marsala
2 1/2 cups Peaches, sliced

Whip the cream cheese until light. Add the sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Blend well. Slice the cake and brush the tops with the Marsala. In an attractive glass serving bowl, layer first the cake, then the cream cheese mix, and finally the fruit. Repeat, finishing with a final topping of the cream cheese mix. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

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Pineapple-Upside Down Cake   Serves 6-8

8 Tbsp. Butter
1/2 cup Dark brown sugar
5 slices Pineapple slices, canned, drained
1/2 cup Milk
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups Flour
2 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375. Melt 1/2 of the butter in a heavy cast iron skillet. Add the brown sugar and stir well. Whisk in 2 teaspoons of water. Remove from the heat and add a single layer of pineapple slices. Set aside. Melt the rest of the butter. Whisk in the milk, egg, and vanilla. Combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a separate mixing bowl. Beat the milk mixture into your flour mixture until a smooth batter forms. Pour over the pineapple in the skillet. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the center is firm. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Invert the pan onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Apple Cream Cheese Tort
The crust is as light and flaky as ever, but you get a decadent layer of cream cheese filling below the apples in this one.

Crust

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Filling

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 cups peeled and sliced tart apples
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Directions for the Crust

Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Blend in the flour. Pat dough into the bottom and 1" up the sides of a 10" spring-form pan.

Directions for the Filling

Combine the cream cheese and 1/4 cup of sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Pour into the pan.

In a large bowl, combine the 1/3 cup of sugar and the cinnamon. Add the apples and toss to coat. Arrange the apples over the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the almonds.

Bake for 10 minutes in a pre-heated 450 degree F oven. Reduce the heat to 400 degree F and bake for an additional 35 minutes or until the apples are tender.

Optional: Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top and a dash of nutmeg.

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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Carrot cake is one of those foods that everyone loves to order in restaurants but no one ever makes at home, until now!

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs, beaten
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple (with juice)
1 1/4 cups oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
3 cups carrots, grated
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup flaked coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt into a bowl.  In a larger bowl, mix the eggs, crushed pineapple, oil, vanilla, coconut, carrots, and pecans. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture. Bake in a well-greased and floured 9" * 13" inch pan for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool for 1 hour.

Icing for Carrot Cake

6 oz. cream cheese softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. lemon juice
dash of salt

With a mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add the salt and lemon juice. Slowly add in the powdered sugar. Mix until smooth. Spread on the cake after it has cooled.

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Crazy for Coconut Cake
I'll bet that the first time you make this great recipe won't be the last.

1 3/4 cups cake flour
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Cream the butter. Gradually add the 1 cup of sugar. Cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk, beating after each addition until smooth. Stir in vanilla and coconut. Pour batter into two greased and floured 8-inch layer pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then, remove and finish cooling on racks.

Golden Coconut Frosting:

1/2 cup butter, divided
1 1/3 cups shredded coconut
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
chopped pecans

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a skillet. Add coconut and stir until golden brown. Remove about half the coconut and set aside. Melt the remaining butter in skillet with coconut. Add brown sugar. Cook and stir over low heat 2 minutes, or until blended. Then add milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Cool. Gradually add confectioners' sugar until it's the right consistency to spread, beating well after each addition. Spread on cake. Sprinkle with remaining coconut. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top if desired. Makes 2 cups frosting or enough to cover tops and sides of two 8-inch layers, one 9-inch square or 24 cupcakes.

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Big Red Soda Cake
A picnic classic that you can make a day in advance, just keep it in the refrigerator until you're ready to eat. Then watch it disappear!

2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 can Big Red Soda*
1 {3oz} box strawberry gelatin
1 {3oz} box vanilla instant pudding
1 {9oz} container whipped topping

* Any kind of strawberry soda would work

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place first 9 ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Beat on low speed until well combined. Beat on high speed for approximately 3 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees, for 40 to 45 minutes, in a greased and floured 9" x 13" cake pan.

Remove the cake from oven. Poke holes throughout the cake with the handle end of a wooden spoon. Mix package of gelatin with Big Red Soda and pour over hot cake. Refrigerate.

Prepare vanilla pudding, using ONLY 1 cup of milk. Mix with whipped topping; spoon over cooled cake. Keep refrigerated and covered.

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Death By Chocolate
This is SO good. If you truly love chocolate, rich, deep and dark, this is it! Do NOT make it unless you're having friends over - to help you eat it.. trust me on this one!  (Topper)

1 lb. Butter
1 lb. Semi-sweet Baker's choc.
1 cup Sugar
8 eggs
1 tsp instant coffee
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt ingredients (everything except eggs) to smooth. Lightly beat eggs.  Blend all ingredients together.  Put in "spring form" pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove and cool.  Serve 1/8 slices, optional of course here.

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Black Cherry Tart
A low-fuss recipe with a short baking time for an easy dessert

For the Filling

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp. honey
1 can (15 oz.) Bing cherries, drained, liquid reserved
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. red currant jelly
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

For the Crust

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp. ground almonds
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp. melted butter, softened

To prepare the crust

Combine the cracker crumbs, almonds and cinnamon. Stir in the butter. Evenly press the mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool.

To prepare the filling

Beat together the cream cheese and honey. Spread evenly over the crust. Cut the cherries in half. Arrange, cut side down, on cheese layer.

In a saucepan, combine 8 tablespoons of the reserved cherry liquid with the cornstarch. Stir in the jelly and lemon juice until well combined. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat. Simmer 2 minutes longer or until thickened. Spoon the hot glaze over the cherries to cover completely.

Chill for 2 to 4 hours before serving.

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Lickety Split Cocoa Cake
This is the most simple and easy to fix cake ever, makes a single layer or a dozen cup cakes. Very easy to double for two layers or a dozen jumbo sized cupcakes.

1 1/2 cups un-sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup water
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in large mixing bowl. Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla; stir with spoon or wire whisk just until batter is smooth and ingredients are well blended.  Pour into greased and floured 10-inch round pan, 9-inch square pan or standard 12 muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes for cake or 20 minutes for cup cakes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan; frost as desired.

Hint: Want a two layer cake? Cut the layer in half and stack or double the recipe and bake two layers.

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Spice Cake
You can frost this cake with a white icing or simply serve it as is.

1 Egg, beaten
1 cup Sugar
1 3/4 cups Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 cup Oil
1 cup Water
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1 tsp. Allspice
1.2 tsp. Cloves, ground
1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 375. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and mix well. Pour into a buttered 9x12 pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes (or until firm in the middle). Cool on a rack before cutting.

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Kentucky Stack Cake
Thickened applesauce holds together the layers of this classic dessert.

2 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Salt
4 cups Flour
1 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Butter
1 cup Molasses
3 Eggs
1 cup Milk
3 cups Applesauce

Sift the dry ingredients twice. Cream the sugar and butter. Add to an electric mixer bowl. With the mixer running on now, slowly add the molasses and eggs. With the mixer still running, alternate adding the dry mix and milk. Blend well. Flour and butter four 9-inch cake pans. Add about 1/2 inch of batter and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Repeat until all batter is used (should yield 4-6 layers). Cool. Reduce the applesauce until it is spreadable. Create the stack using the applesauce between the layers. Slice into wedges for serving.

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Candies

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Rum Balls (2)

100 g (4 oz) butter
1 egg
100 g (4 oz) powder sugar
50 g (2 oz) chopped almonds
50 g (2 oz) chopped hazelnuts
150 g (6 oz) biscuit crumbs
50 g (2 oz) rum raisins
1 tsp. rum
50 g (2 oz) ground almonds
cherries soaked in rum
1 tsp. cocoa.

Mix soft butter with egg and sugar. Add chopped almonds, nuts, rum raisins, biscuit crumbs and cocoa. Add rum to taste. Shape small rounds, wrap a cherry in each. Roll in ground almonds.

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Rum Truffles

4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 stick of butter
2 1/3 cup sifted powder sugar
2 tsp. or more if you like of RUM
chocolate sprinkles

Slowly melt chocolate in saucepan, add butter, stir constantly until blended. Remove from heat stir in powder sugar and add rum. Make into 1" balls and roll in chocolate sprinkles. Let cool for 5 hours

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Chocolate Truffles   Makes about 3 dozen truffles

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/3 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Centers

Pecans, walnuts, whole almonds or after-dinner mints

Coatings

Coconut, crushed nuts, confectioners sugar

Cream butter in large mixer bowl. Combine 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar and the cocoa; add alternately with cream and vanilla to butter. Blend well. Chill until firm.
Shape small amount of mixture around desired center; roll into 1 inch balls. Drop into desired coating and turn until well covered. Chill until firm. 

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Orange Sticks

125 g (5 oz) butter
100 g (4 oz) powder sugar
100 g (4 oz) marzipan (almond paste)
1 egg
1 orange
150 g (6 oz) flour
100 g (4 oz) potato flour
100 g (4 oz) orange marmalade
100 g (4 oz) cocoa icing

Mix soft butter, sugar, crumbled almond paste, egg and grated orange peel. Add flour and potato flour, mix well. Fill pastry bag with dough and squeeze onto greased baking sheet in shape of sticks, bake for 10 minutes. Cool. Join two sticks with marmalade, dipping one end in cocoa icing.

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Cookies

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Meringues (Fat Free Sugar Cookies)
Used to make these with my mom all the time.. they're yummy!

6 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar

Cover cookie sheet with brown paper (from paper bag). Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until stiff and glossy. Bake 45 minutes at 250 degrees. Turn oven off. Leave in oven 1 hour. Cool at room temperature.

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Bourbon Balls   Makes about 3 dozen
It's no surprise that these no-cook holiday favorites come from Kentucky. They are sometimes dipped in chocolate rather than rolled in powdered sugar.

1 cup Vanilla wafers
1 cup Pecans
1 cup Powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. Cocoa
2 ounces Bourbon
2 ounces Corn syrup, white

Place the wafers in a food processor and grind until fine. Place in a bowl. Add the pecans into the food processor and grind until fine. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Form into balls, roll in additional powdered sugar, and refrigerate.

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No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Fast and easy and no oven! 

2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine the sugar, milk, butter and cocoa in a saucepan and bring to a boil, cooking 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients. Stir and mix well. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper, letting them stand for 30 minutes before serving.

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Sparkly Ginger Cookies
One batch is never enough but luckily for you this recipe is easy to double.

3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses (dark)
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar - set aside

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two cookie sheets. Cream together the butter, 1 cup sugar, molasses and egg. Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture. If the dough is very soft, refrigerate for about 1/2 hour.  Roll the dough into small balls, about 1.5" in diameter. Roll the balls in the sugar that has been set aside. Place the cookie dough balls on one of the cookie sheets and place in the oven. Save the other sheet for the next batch that you bake so that you will always be using a cool cookie sheet. Baking times will vary with the size of the balls. Check them after about 10 minutes. They flatten out and look crackled on top when done.  I like to take mine out a little early so that they are chewy. They will be more like ginger snaps and are great for dunking in a glass of milk if you leave them in a little longer.

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Half Moon Cookies
These cookies can be customized, half moon cookies don't have to be black and white anymore!

1 cup milk plus 1 tsp. vinegar*
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla

Optional: 2 Tbsp. of baking cocoa to make chocolate cookies instead of vanilla flavored.

 * Mix the milk and vinegar together first and then set aside while you get the rest of the ingredients together.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and the baking cocoa (optional). Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the shortening and the eggs. Add the vanilla and then slowly add in the sugar. Mix well. Slowly (and carefully) add in about 1/3 of the flour mixture. Next, add in the milk. Continue adding the flour mixture and mix well.

The cookie dough should be placed on the cookie sheet in about 1-2 Tbsp. rounded amounts. I like to use a large ice cream scoop for these cookies. You then get perfect circles and equal amounts every time. Place at least 4 inches apart as the cookies will spread. Use either a non-stick cookie sheet or grease a baking pan to bake the cookies on.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them set for 5 minutes on the cookie sheets. Then, remove the cookies from the cookie sheets and place, inverted, on a cooling rack.

After they are completely cool, frost the flat bottoms of the cookies with half of one color and half of another. Do not overlap the colors. Instead let the two colors meet in the middle of the cookie.

Ingredients for the frosting

4 cups of confectionary sugar
1 cup of shortening
2 tsp. of vanilla
dash of salt
water
icing colors

Note: If you will not be needing white frosting you can use 1/2 cup of shortening and 1/2 cup of butter. By doing so, the frosting will be slightly yellow in color.

Cream together the shortening, vanilla, and about 2 Tbsp. of water in a large mixing bowl. Add in the confectionary sugar slowly. Add water, a teaspoon at a time, to reach desired consistency. The frosting should be thinned just enough to make it easy to spread. Allow to mix at medium speed for 5 minutes. This will ensure a smooth, creamy frosting that will rival any frosting that you might taste in a bakery. Place half of the frosting in a second bowl and then color the two frostings the needed colors.

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Snickerdoodles

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix 1 1/2 cups sugar, the margarine, shortening and eggs. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls. Mix 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon: roll balls in mixture to coat. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until set, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet.

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Toll House Cookies

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup margarine or butter, softened
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts or oatmeal
1 package (6 ounces or 1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix sugars, margarine, shortening, egg and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until light brown., 8 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet.

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White Chocolate Pretzels   Makes 3-4 dozen
The salty flavor of pretzels is complimented by the sweetness of white chocolate.

10 ounces Pretzels
12 ounces White chocolate chips

Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl over steaming water. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Using tongs, dip the pretzels (one by one) into the chocolate. Shake off the excess chocolate and place on the waxed paper. Chill for 10 minutes to set the coating. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

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Dessert Sauces

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Chocolate Sauce
Serve this basic dessert sauce over cake or fruit.

2 ounces unsweetened Chocolate
2 Tbsp. Butter
1 cup Water
2 cups Sugar
6 Tbsp. Corn syrup (light)

In a bowl over steaming water, melt the chocolate and butter. In a saucepan, bring the water, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil. Slowly whisk in the chocolate mixture. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate.

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Chocolate Mint Sundae   Serves 3-4
Chocolate mint sauce transforms basic ice cream into something special.

1 1/2 ounces Chocolate, unsweetened
2 Tbsp. Water
1/2 cup Granulated sugar
1/4 cup Light corn syrup
1/3 cup Cream
1/4 tsp. Peppermint extract
1 pint Vanilla ice cream
Whipped cream
Toasted almonds

Heat the chocolate and water in a metal bowl over simmering water on the stove. When the chocolate is melted, add the sugar and syrup. Continue to heat, stirring often, until beginning to thicken (about 20 minutes). Whisk in the cream and peppermint extract. Heat for 5 minutes longer. Allow to cool. Place the ice cream in individual bowls. Top with the sauce, whipped cream, and almonds.

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Warm Blueberry Sauce   Makes about 1 cup
Serve this dessert sauce on waffles, pancakes or ice cream.

1 1/2 cups Blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

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Donuts

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Baked Donuts

2 Pk Dry yeast (two tablespoons instant yeast)
1/3 C Warm water
1 1/2 C Milk
1/3 C Vegetable shortening
1/4 C Sugar
2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Nutmeg
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
4 1/2 C Flour
1/2 C Melted butter
1 C Sugar mixed w/1 tsp cinnamon

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a small bowl and let it dissolve for 5 minutes

Put the milk and shortening in a saucepan and heat until the shortening is melted. Cool to lukewarm.

Pour the yeast mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the milk mix. Stiff in the 1/4 cup sugar, salt, nutmeg, eggs and 2 cups flour. Beat briskly until well blended. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups flour and beat until smooth. Cover the bowl and let double in bulk, about 1 hour.

Dust a board generously with flour and turn the dough mass onto it. This dough is soft and needs enough flour on the board to prevent sticking, but is easy to handle. Pat the dough into a round about 1/2 inch thick. Use a 3 inch doughnut cutter and cut out the doughnuts, placing them (and the doughnut holes) on greased baking sheets, 1 inch apart. These don't spread much; they rise. Preheat oven to 450F. Let the doughnuts rest and rise for 20 minutes uncovered. Bake about 10 minutes or a little longer, until they have a touch of golden brown. Remove from the oven.

Have ready the melted butter and a brush. On a sheet of wax paper, spread the cinnamon sugar. Brush each doughnut and doughnut hole with butter and roll in the cinnamon sugar. Serve hot.

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Golden Puffs
These are delicious for a morning coffee and if there should be any leftover they freeze great, just pop them into the microwave to warm them up!

2 C. sifted flour
1/4 C. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg or mace
1/4 C. vegetable oil
3/4 C. milk
1 egg

Mix all dry ingredients together. Then add cooking oil, milk and egg. Mix thoroughly. Drop by small teaspoonful (too large does not cook thoroughly) into deep hot oil (375ºF). Fry about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper. Roll warm puffs in cinnamon-sugar or confectioners' sugar. Makes about three dozen. The batter may be kept in refrigerator several days.

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Jelly Donuts

3 to 4 cups flour
TWO - ¼ ounce packages active dry yeast and ¼ cup tepid water OR, TWO 3/5 ounce cakes yeast
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup tepid milk
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 ½ cups jam
Fat for deep frying
Vanilla sugar

If dry yeast is used, mix it with the tepid water and the sugar, and let it stand for 10 minutes. If fresh yeast is used, cream it with the sugar to make a syrup. Add to the yeast the milk, egg, egg yolks and lemon peel. Mix well. Add the salt and enough flour to make a medium-firm dough, working in the softened butter at the same time. Knead well until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a bowl. Dust the dough lightly with flour. Cover the bowl. Place it in a draft-free place until the dough doubles in bulk. 

After the dough has risen, punch it down. Cover the bowl. Let the dough rise a second time. Shape doughnuts by pinching off egg-sized pieces of dough and forming each into a smooth, slightly flattened ball. Place the balls on a floured towel. Let the balls rise until all are doubled in size.  While the doughnuts are rising, heat the fat to 375 degrees. Drop the doughnuts into the fat, 2 or 3 at a time. Fry until the undersides are a deep golden brown; then turn and fry until the second sides are also well browned, about 5 minutes in all.  Remove the doughnuts from the fat with a skimmer. Drain them on paper towels or brown paper.  When the doughnuts are thoroughly cool, fill them by squirting jam into their centers with a pastry bag fitted with a long, narrow tube. Dust the doughnuts with vanilla sugar.  Makes about 36 doughnuts 

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Frostings

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Chocolate Buttercream
This is a quick frosting that you can whip up in a small bowl to top some cupcakes or brownies a few at a time.

2 cups Powder Sugar
4 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
3 tsp. Soft Butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. flavor - optional: rum, walnut, mint, etc
1 to 3 Tbsp. warm water

Put sugar in small bowl. Add butter, vanilla and optional flavor. Add a Tbsp of the warm water. Begin mixing in the area where you added the liquids. It takes a little bit but it will start to 'mud'. Add just a few drops of water at a time as you need it. You don't want the frosting to get too liquid (if it does, add a bit more sugar to thicken). When you have about the right consistency whip it, by hand with a spoon, for a minute or two. This little extra attention will give you a creamier, fluffier texture. You can keep this in a covered container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

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Peanut Butter Buttercream
This is a quick frosting that you can whip up in a small bowl to top some cupcakes or brownies a few at a time. Goes great in combination with the chocolate version above to give a layered chocolate peanut butter flavor on brownies.

2 cups Powder Sugar
2 Tbsp Peanut Butter (creamy or crunchy)
2 tsp. Soft Butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 to 3 Tbsp. warm water

Put sugar in small bowl. Add butter, vanilla and Peanut Butter. Add a Tbsp of the warm water. Begin mixing in the area where you added the liquids. It takes a little bit but it will start to 'mud'. Add just a few drops of water at a time as you need it. You don't want the frosting to get too liquid (if it does, add a bit more sugar to thicken). When you have about the right consistency whip it, by hand with a spoon, for a minute or two. This little extra attention will give you a creamier, fluffier texture. You can keep this in a covered container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

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Fruits

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Shortcake    Makes about 10
Add sliced strawberries and whipped cream to create a classic summertime dessert. 

2 cups Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking powder
3 Tbsp. Sugar
1/3 cup Butter
1 Egg
1 cup Milk

Pre-heat the oven to 450. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Mix in the  sugar. Cut in the butter with a fork until meal-like crumbs form. Lightly beat the egg

In a separate bowl. Add the milk. Add to the flour mixture. Briefly knead on a floured board. Roll out to 1/2 –inch thick. Cut into 2" squares. Place on a greased baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes (or until golden brown).

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Apple Crisp

5 granny smith apples, sliced
4 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
3/4 cup flour

In one bowl, mix apples, sugar and cinnamon. Place fruit into ungreased baking dish. In another bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together. Add the oatmeal and flour. Mix until the texture is course crumbs. Sprinkle the oatmeal mixture over the fruit. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. The topping should be golden brown when done. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.

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Strawberries With Pound Cake      Serves 3-4
This classic combination is the perfect summer dessert.

1 pint Strawberries, fresh
3 Tbsp. Sugar
4 slices Pound cake
1 cup Whipped (or Chantilly) cream
Mint leaf

Remove the tops from the berries. Cut them into large slices. Place them in a bowl and toss them with the sugar. Allow to rest for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Spoon the berries and juice onto the sliced pound cake. Top with the whipped cream. Garnish with the mint leaf.

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Strawberry Baked Meringue Sundae   Makes 4-6
This light baked meringue provides a great base for a simple dessert of ice cream and fruit.

8 Egg whites
1 1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 pint Strawberries, sliced
Vanilla ice cream

Place the egg whites and salt in the mixer's bowl. Whip until it begins to thicken. With the mixer running, slowly add the sugar and vanilla. Beat until firm. Pre-heat the oven to 250. Cover a cookie sheet with baker's parchment paper. Place mounds of approximately two tablespoons of the mixture a few inches apart. Cook for about 1 hour (or until the meringues are firm). Cool. Use immediately or store, covered, at room temperature. Top with ice cream and sliced strawberries.

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Chocolate Covered Strawberries   Makes about 18
This simple dessert is great on a buffet.

1 quart Strawberries, fresh
8 ounces Sweet chocolate
1 1/2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier (optional)

Rinse the strawberries. Keep the stems on. Allow to dry. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (a pan over a steaming pan of water). Whisk in the Grand Marnier if used. Dip each strawberry in the chocolate. Allow any excess chocolate to drip off. Place on a sheet of wax paper. Allow to cool before serving.

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Baked Apples   Serves 4
Serve these delicious apples with ice cream.

4 Apples, cored
1/4 cup Raisins
4 Tbsp. Brown sugar
2 ounces Butter
1 tsp. Cinnamon

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Mix together the raisins, sugar, butter and cinnamon. Stuff 1/4 of the mixture into each apple. Wrap in aluminum foil. Place on a cookie sheet (with the stuffing on top) and bake for one hour.

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Summer Melon Mix   Makes 6 side dishes
More than just plain old fruit salad this is drizzled with a delectable, honey-sweetened dressing. The recipe is as simple as can be, yet it never fails to please.

1/2 small cantaloupe
1/2 small honeydew melon
1/2 small watermelon
2 pints strawberries

Peel and seed the melons. Cut into chunks. Hull and quarter the strawberries. Gently toss together. Place in serving bowls and then drizzle the berry-honey dressing (recipe below) over top.

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Apple Pandowdy   Serves 4
Finish this classic dessert with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

4 Red apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup Brown sugar
2 tsp. Cinnamon
10 ounces Butter
3/4 cup Granulated sugar
1 Egg
2 1/3 cups Flour
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 cup Milk

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Lightly oil a 9-inch baking dish. Add the apples. Sprinkle them with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Cream the butter and granulated sugar together. Add the egg and mix well. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Alternately add the flour mix and milk to the butter/sugar blend. Spread the mixture over the apples. Bake for 45-50 minutes (or until lightly browned).

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Fondue

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Chocolate Dessert Fondue   Serves 4
Serve this easy dessert at the end of your next dinner party.

1 lb. Dark, sweetened chocolate
1 cup Whipping cream
Fruit (strawberries, mandarin orange slices, bananas, pears)
Pound cake

Slowly melt the chocolate in a fondue pan or crock-pot. Whisk in the cream. Prepare a platter of the cut up fruit and cake. Using skewers, have your guests dip the items in the warm chocolate

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Pies

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Peach Pie – Honey not Sugar
A GREAT peach pie recipe that uses honey and apple juice instead of sugar!

2 ( 9-inch) Deep Dish Pie Crust, unbaked
4 cups Fresh Peaches, peeled and sliced (approx. 4 large)
1/2 cup Honey
1/2 cup Frozen Apple Juice Concentrate
3-1/2 Tbsp. Tapioca
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Butter

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

Mix all filling ingredients together except for the butter. Make your crust or buy one. Let the filling sit for 15 minutes while you either make your crust or thaw the top part of the crust.

Pour into prepared pie crust and brush the edges of the crust with milk and seal. I didn't have to do that, the filling was so juicy that I had to pour some of the liquid off just to keep it from overflowing. It all depends on how ripe your peaches are. I bet this recipe would be GREAT with apricots. Place the pie onto a foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 60 minutes, or until the top is brown and pie is bubbly.

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Chocolate Silk Pie   Serves 6-8
Be sure to thoroughly chill this no-bake pie before attempting to slice it.

1 cup Sugar
6 ounces Butter
6 ounces Chocolate, bittersweet (unsweetened)
4 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 Tbsp. Kahlua (optional) (note: This is coffee-flavored liquor.)
1 Pie shell (9-inch), pre-baked
Whipped cream

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Set aside and allow to cool slightly. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the chocolate, vanilla and Kahlua (if used) and blend. With the mixer running, add 1 egg and beat for 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining 3 eggs (mixing each for 5 minutes). Pre-bake the pie shell and allow to cool. Pour the mixture into the shell. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (overnight is best). Serve cold, topped with whipped cream.

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Decadent Chocolate Raspberry Cream Pie
A wonderfully creamy pie recipe that uses cream cheese as its major ingredient and it always comes out a success!

2 (3 oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened
14 oz. can of condensed milk
1 egg
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pie crust (graham or regular)
1 cup raspberries
2 (1 oz.) squares of semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup whipping cream
raspberries for garnish
whipped cream for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in one 14-ounce can of condensed milk until smooth. Add egg, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Mix well.

Arrange 1 cup fresh raspberries on bottom of pie crust. Pour cream cheese mixture over the fruit. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the center is almost set. Cool.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt squares of chocolate with whipping cream. Cook, stirring, until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat and spread mixture evenly over top of cooled pie. Chill in refrigerator.  If desired, garnish with raspberries and additional whipped cream.

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Almond Joy Chocolate Pie   Serves 6 – 8
The recipe takes a bit of effort but it is well worth it.

For the crust

20  Almond Joy candy bar Miniatures or 10 Almond Joy Snack Size bars
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter a 9" pie plate.

Place ingredients in a food processor. Process until mix is thoroughly blended. Press onto bottom & up the sides of a prepared pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a rack.

For the filling

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
16 Almond Joy candy bar Miniatures or 8 Almond Joy Snack Size bars, cut in 1/2" pieces. (Candy will cut easier if placed in freezer 15 min before cutting.) sweetened whipped cream or whipped topping (optional)

In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, starch, cocoa & salt. Blend in the milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until it boils. Boil and stir for 1 minute. (Mix will be very thick.) Remove from heat; blend in vanilla. Add candy pieces and stir until melted.

Pour into prepared crust; press plastic wrap onto surface. Refrigerate. Top with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

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Banana Chocolate Cream Pie   Servings: 6
What a treat!

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 bananas, sliced, divided
1 prepared (8-inch) graham cracker pie crust
1/2 cup whipping cream

Mix the sugar, cornstarch, 1/4 cup cocoa and salt in top of a double boiler. Blend in 1/2 cup milk and yolks; stir until smooth. Stir in the remaining milk. Cook cocoa mixture over boiling water, stirring continually, until thickened (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool slightly.

Arrange a third of banana slices in piecrust. Spoon half the chocolate mixture over bananas. Repeat layering; cover loosely. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Beat the cream with an electric mixer set at high speed until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Top each serving with whipped cream. Garnish with remaining banana slices and cocoa.

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Classic Pecan Pie   Serves 6-8
Serve this Southern dessert anywhere, anytime.

1 cup Brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Butter, melted
1 cup Dark corn syrup
3 Eggs, beaten
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup Pecan pieces
1 Pie shell, regular depth

Pre-heat the oven to 375. Beat together the sugar, syrup and melted butter. Add the eggs and pecans. Pour into the pie shell. Place on cookie sheet. Bake for 45 minutes or until firm in the middle.

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Puddings

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Raspberry Summer Pudding (English Style)   Serves 3
Make this dessert the day before your next cookout.

3 cups Raspberries, fresh
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 Tbsp. Water
6 slices Bread
Whipped cream

Place the berries, sugar, and water in a saucepan. Slowly cook, while stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Line a one-quart bowl with the bread (saving one piece for the top). Add the cooked berries to the bowl and top with the last bread slice. Loosely cover with plastic wrap. Place a weight (canned goods work well) on the pudding and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled by inverting on a plate. Top with whipped cream.

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Rolls

( Still need to collect my recipes and get them typed in! )

Topper (Linda)
aka ThyroGeek

 

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