Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Apple Dumplings


I made these last night despite the fact that I'd never seen this recipe and I didn't believe it. Can I tell you it took less than ten minutes to put together and there are no words? Really. These were fabulous. Like outrageous.

2 Granny Smith apples
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
cinnamon
1 small can Mountain Dew

Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Check out The Pioneer Woman Cooks! blog here

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Almond Bars


You can't believe how good these are. Think of this bar as a plain blondie bar, just one million times better. They are chewy, buttery and full of almond flavor.

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
confectioners' sugar (for dusting)
toffee bits (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until lemon-colored. Add the butter, flour and extract and mix well, adding optional toffee. Spread into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

If you MUST you can add the toffee. My personal preference is plain.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Texas Sheet Cake


I made this cake this afternoon. When I poured the batter into the pan I realized why this recipe has been around for 100 years. It looks exactly the way I remembered, meaning GOOD.

Combine:

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a saucepan, melt:

2 sticks butter
4 T. cocoa. and stir together. Add
1 cup boiling water, boil for 30 seconds, turn off heat.

Pour liquid mixture over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In measuring cup, pour 1/2 cup buttermilk.

Add:

2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.

For icing, in saucepan combine:

1 3/4 sticks melted butter
4 T. cocoa, and stir to combine, then turn off heat.

Add:

6 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
1 lb. box powdered sugar
Stir together and pour over warm cake

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Gilchrist's Almond Macaroons


A childhood memory . . . Gilchrist’s was a Boston-based department store founded in the 1820s. Their flagship store was located near Washington Street and Filene’s, diagonally opposite Jordan Marsh. The Boston store was noted for its macaroons, baked on the premises, and they were a true Boston tradition. They were packaged in individual waxed paper sleeves . . . the right combination of chewy, crispy, crunchy softness. They are turning up everywhere now, packaged mostly as a French-Style Macaroon.

1 7 ozl tube almond paste
1 1/4 cups plus 1 T. sugar
3 egg whites
1/4 cup all purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 325° F.

Process almond paste and egg whites in food processor until smooth. Add 1 1/4 cups of sugar and 1/4 cup of flour and process until mixture is thickened and no lumps remain, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to pastry bag with plain tip and refrigerate until slightly firm, about 30 minutes.

Pipe 2 1/2" rounds on ungreased baking sheets with parchment paper. Sprinkle the cookies with remaining granulated sugar. Bake until light golden for about 25 minutes.

To remove the cookies, slide the parchment paper onto a damp cloth, then gently loosen the cookies with a spatula. Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

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