Brown Sugar Syrup

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 c light corn syrup
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 T unsalted butter
  1. In medium saucepan bring sugars, water and corn syrup to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer vigorously for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Stir in butter.
  4. Will thicken slightly as it cools.

Grandpa’s Peanut Butter Fudge

DadI found this recipe among some of my Dad’s old files (he passed away in 2013). This was a special family treat that he often made around the holidays. I think he wrote the document I found for my niece, and he even included his picture in the title 🙂 . I’ve left the wording just as he wrote it. A great way to remember him…

To a 2 qt. sauce pan1 place the following:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 gobs of peanut butter2  
  • ¼  teaspoon of salt.

Mull the sugar, peanut butter and salt thoroughly until the two are completely mixed.

Add the following to the saucepan and stir together3.

  • ½ cup of milk
  • ⅓ cup of Karo syrup.

Cook the mixture over light heat until it starts to boil and then continue until the soft ball stage is reached. (238º F).  Occasional stirring is okay but shouldn’t be required.  (A pan with poor heat distribution will require stirring in  order to minimize the amount of charring.)

Remove the sauce pan from the heat and start to cool by submerging the  lower portion in a sink previously filled with cold water.

Add the following to the saucepan:

  • ¼ stick of butter
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract.

Continue cooling by submerging the  lower portion in the sink previously filled with cold water with continued beating.  Do not stop beating until the fudge starts to thicken but don’t wait too long.  Then pour the fudge into a previously buttered pan large enough to hold the fudge at the desired thickness.

Set aside to cool.  After it becomes cool it can be cut to appropriate sized squares.  Cleaning the saucepan with the spoon is best left for the kids to enjoy, but adults have been known to join the fun.  Give everybody their own spoon.

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1 – The saucepan needs to be heavy aluminum or have a bottom which has good heat conduction.  Otherwise the fudge will form a char while cooking (which also tastes good).

2 – A gob of peanut butter is a variable quantity and is about as  much peanut butter as it will scoop up (probably a little over a quarter cup).

3 – It’ s easiest to first add the milk to a measuring cup, then fill the cup almost to the seven ounce line with the syrup and, then stir together before adding to the mix.

Rocky Road Fudge Bars

Base:

  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, cut up
  • 1/2 cup butter
  1. Heat oven to 350F. Grease and flour 13×9 inch pan.
  2. In large saucepan, melt butter and unsweetened chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth.
  3. Stir in flour, then remaining base ingredients; mix well.
  4. Spread in pan.

Filling:

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. In small ball, combine all filling ingredients except nuts and chocolate chips.
  2. Beat until smooth and fluffy.
  3. Stir in nuts.
  4. Spread over chocolate mixture in pan and then sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Immediately sprinkle marshmallows over top and bake for an additional two minutes.

Frosting: (prepare right before base comes out of the oven)

  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, cut up
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. In a large saucepan over low heat, combine butter, milk, unsweetened chocolate and cream cheese. Stir until well blended.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla.
  3. Immediately pour frosting over marshmallows and lightly swirl with knife to marble.
  4. Refrigerate until firm; cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

Sugar Cookies II

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking power
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Molasses Crinkles

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup mild-flavor molasses or full-flavor molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Granulated sugar (for tops)
  1. Mix shortening, sugar, molasses and egg.
  2. Combine dry ingredients and stir in thoroughly.
  3. Refrigerate at least one hour.
  4. Roll into 1″ balls. Dip tops in granulated sugar. Touch with a drop of water. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes.

Chocolate Pie

Make sure to have all ingredients at room temperature or this just turns into a big mess. All the usual warnings about consuming raw eggs…

  • 8″ pie shell, already baked
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 3/4 c granulated white sugar
  • 1 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs – must be fresh!
  1. Cream butter and sugar in electric mixer.
  2. Stir in melted, cooled chocolate.
  3. Add vanilla and one egg; Beat for 5 minutes. Add second egg and beat again for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn into baked pie shell. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Swiss Cheese and Grape Salsa

Looks pretty good! See http://www.snackpicks.com/en_US/recipes/details/swiss-cheese-and-grape-salsa.html.

  • 2 cups finely shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 cups chopped green seedless grapes
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted*
  • 3 tablespoons honey mustard salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or basil
  1. Mix together and serve on crackers.

English Toffee

Need to try this:

Gifting From Your Kitchen: An English Toffee Tutorial

Reduced Fat Lemon Squares

This was recently on the MSNBC website.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8-inch-square baking pan with aluminum foil to hang over pan edges. Spray foil lightly with vegetable oil spray.

For the crust:

  • 3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/3 ounces) confectioners sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  1. Process flour, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, baking powder and salt in food processor until combined. Add butter and milk and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and press into even layer. Bake until edges are lightly browned, 16 to 20 minutes. Cool crust on wire rack for 15 minutes.

For the lemon topping:

  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg white lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest plus 6 tablespoons juice (2 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
  1. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Whisk granulated sugar, egg, egg white, flour and salt together in bowl until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and zest until combined. Pour filling over cooled crust and bake until filling is set, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack, about 1 hour. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Using foil overhang, lift lemon squares from pan and cut into 9 squares. Serve.

Makes 9 lemon squares

Easter Story Cookies

We used to make these the night before Easter.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is important, don’t wait till you’re half done with the recipe!)

  • 1 cup whole pecans
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 3 egg whites
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • zipper baggie
  • wooden spoon
  • tape
  • Bible

Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces.  Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was Beaten by the Roman soldiers.  Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar.  Put 1tsp vinegar into mixing bowl.  Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink.  Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar.  Eggs represent life.  Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.  Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand.  Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.  Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.  Read Luke 23:27.

So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing.  Add 1 cup sugar.

Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us.  He wants us to know and belong to Him.  Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.  Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.  Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts.  Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet.  Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid.  Read Matthew 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.  Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.  Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed.  Read Matthew 27:65-66.

GO TO BED!  Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.  Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.  Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.  Notice the cracked surface and take a bite.  The cookies are hollow!  On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.  Read Matthew 28:1-9.