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Monday, June 27, 2011

Sugar Cookie Bars

Running out of time? Or are you just feeling a bit lazy? These cookie bars will hit the spot and they taste wonderful! Now you don't have to spend all that time rolling and cutting out cookies.
Sugar Cookie Bars
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1/2 cup softened butter 
1/2 cup margarine
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1Tbsp vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

-In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. Mix in vanilla.
-In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt & baking soda. Add to wet mixture and mix just until combined. Spread on a greased, rimmed baking sheet (use a jelly roll pan). The dough will be a lot like cookie dough- heavy & sticky- so it’s best to spray your hands with a little nonstick spray or just rinse them and leave them a little damp and use them to help mold the dough into the pan.
-Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool completely before frosting.

Frosting (this is what makes or breaks your cookies-- no pressure!)

8 oz cream cheese
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp almond extract or vanilla
Optional-Food coloring and or Sprinkles

Whip all ingredients together, frost the cooled bars. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Frozen Lemonade Pie with Berries

Here's an idea-make a few of these and keep them ready in your freezer for those impromptu pot-lucks or BBQ's! They freeze really well and are quite inexpensive to make. I'll add a picture of mine shortly!
Frozen Lemonade Pie 
1 large-size ready made graham cracker pie crust
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk, chilled
1 (12 oz) container Cool Whip, thawed
1 (6 oz) can frozen lemonade or pink lemonade concentrate
1 1/2-2 cups fresh or frozen berries macerated in 1/4 cup sugar (sliced strawberries, raspberries, black berries, blueberries, marion berries etc. if it has berry as part of it's name it will most likely work here.)
-Method- Combine the chilled sweetened condensed milk and Cool Whip together in a large bowl and gently fold until incorporated. 
Add frozen lemonade concentrate and continue to fold until the mixture is well blended, but not "soupy". 
Pour filling into the pie crust and freeze for at least several hours or overnight is even better. Serve berries over the top and fresh whipped cream if desired. Or leave off the extra cream and just have berries with it!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lemon Meringue Tarts

I adapted this recipe combination for my younger sister's  bridal shower and was really pleased with how they turned out! These cute little tarts were a hit! Her favorite dessert in the whole world is Lemon Meringue Pie so this is my take on that in tart form, because who doesn't love a cute little tasty tart?

Lemon Meringue Tarts
Yield: 36 cupcake sized tarts

1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 ½ cups cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes
3 cups flour
½ tsp Almond extract
In the bowl of a food processor combine all ingredients until it forms a dough. Roll dough into tablespoon sized balls. Press tablespoons into a tart pan or cupcake pan to form a crust.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 mins. Cool completely.
2 large boxes Lemon Jello Pie filling (8 serving size)
ingredients to make jello according to box directions
Make pudding and allow to cool for 8-10 minutes then spoon into the crust while pudding is still hot.
6 egg whites
12 Tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Beat the egg whites until frothy; gradually add sugar. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla or other flavoring. Spoon onto pie, spreading to crust edge to seal: while filling is still warm so that the meringue can cook from the bottom too. Bake it at 325° for 10 to 12 minutes, until nicely browned. But watch it carefully because it’s very easy to burn. Allow to cool and serve them the same day.

***If you plan to serve them another day I suggest that you make the crusts and freeze them. Do not fill them until right before you want to serve them because the crust will start to crumble due to the moisture in the lemon filling.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Creamy Cinnamon Syrup

This recipe is an great occasional alternative to regular maple syrup.

Creamy Cinnamon Syrup
2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup evaporated milk
In a saucepan, combine sugar and cinnamon.  Pour in the corn syrup and water, dissolve sugar completely.  Boil, stirring constantly 2-3 minutes.  Cool 5-7 mins. Stir in the evaporated milk and serve with pancakes, waffles or french toast .  Make sure you refrigerate any leftovers.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Ham and Swiss Quiche

I made this quiche for a play-group at my house a little while back and am just now putting it up on the blog. I guess I'm pretty far behind so stay tuned as I get caught up with things. The quiche turned out super yummy! I actually made it two ways; once as listed below and again with cheddar cheese instead of the swiss because that's what I had on hand. It was fantastic both times. The additional parmesan cheese on top adds a little extra flavor that I really liked! I hope you enjoy it too!

Ham and Swiss Quiche

1- 9" pie pastry
1 cup half and half or whole milk
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp dry mustard powder
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1-1/2 cups cubed, cooked lean ham
1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss or Havarti cheese
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare pie crust and set aside. In medium bowl, mix half and half, eggs, mustard, flour, salt, thyme, and pepper and beat until combined.

Layer ham, Swiss cheese, and spinach in prepared pie crust. Pour egg mixture into pie crust and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 40-50 minutes until crust is golden and filling is set.

***You could substitute 1 cup frozen broccoli florets, thawed, stalks trimmed and drained, for the spinach if you'd like.