January 25, 2010

Fruit Cobbler

1 can of pie filling (I usually use peach, but any will work)

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 cake mix (dry) (I usually use vanilla or yellow)

1 cup melted butter

In a 9x13 pan, layer ingredients in the order above. Bake 325 for 45 minutes. The original recipe calls for cherry pie filling with white cake mix. You can mix and match to make different creations.

Watermelon Cake

I thought this was a cute summery cake for fun, a party, whatever! It is super easy.
1 box cake mix (i used strawberry for the pink, but you can use vanilla with food coloring).
frosting (I used vanilla and colored half pink, half green
mini chocolate chips

Mix up the cake mix according to directions on the box. Stir in the mini chocolate chips. Bake in the two 9" circle pans also according to directions on box. Cool completely and frost top with pink frosting and sides with green frosting. Sprinkle some mini chocolate chips on top.

Cheesecake Cookies

I found this recipe at My Kitchen Cafe. They are very yummy. However, the original recipe calls for cherries, and I am not a huge cherry fan, so I also made some with hot fudge and caramel, and some strawberry ones. The strawberry ones were by far the most popular (just FYI). Anyway, you really could be creative and do whatever with these.

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup graham cracker crumbs

i can cherry pie filling
Hot fudge and Caramel
Strawberry jam and fresh sliced strawberries

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In another bowl with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Refrigerate dough until firm, at least 30 minutes (very important, needs to be chilled in order to roll into balls; otherwise it's too sticky).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners. Place graham cracker crumbs in a shallow dish ( I crushed the graham crackers in a food processor and I think they were too finely crushed. Then I tried putting the graham crackers in a ziplock bag and crushing them with a rolling pin and this worked really well.)

Roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, then roll the balls in graham cracker crumbs. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using a tablespoon measure, make an indentation in the center of each ball. Place 3 cherries in the dimple; or put a Tab. or so of hot fudge, or a Tab. or so of strawberry jam. Bake until golden brown around the edges, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool for five minutes on the sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. After they are baked and cooled, top the hot fudge ones with a few lines of caramel, and the strawberry jam ones with a couple slices of fresh strawberries.

This recipe made about 4 dozen cookies.

Orange Julius

6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
12 ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in blender, add ice cubes one at a time.

January 23, 2010

Amazing Lemon Bars

I love lemon bars and my whole life I had stuck to one recipe in one of my mom's cookbooks; but one day I decided to venture out and see if I could find a recipe that would make even better lemon bars, amazing ones, the best; and I found one. It is Ina Garten's (Barefoot Contessa) recipe also found here, that I just changed a little, so good, so try this one out:

For the crust:

  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

  • 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 lemons about)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (6 lemons)
  • 1 cup flour
  • I added a little orange zest and fresh squeezed orange juice from one of those cutie oranges
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet. Chill for a half hour or so.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust (I poured it over the crust while it was still hot) and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set.

*I think there is a huge taste difference if you chill these in the fridge for at least an hour once they are done. They taste better a little cold (to me anyway). The crust is so good, like a shortbread type cookie, and the filling is delicious. It's the perfect crust to filling ratio. The original recipe calls for 3 cups of sugar in the filling but many of the reviews said that was way too much. I have a huge sugar tooth, and thought that 2 1/3 was perfect.

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