Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ice Cream Bar Brownies

These Ice Cream Bar Brownies are such a fun little treat for anyone, but especially any hungry puppies that you might have around.  Moist and fudgy brownies dipped in colorful candy melts and topped with sprinkles.  A fun twist on a classic treat.

Ice Cream Bar Brownies

1 13x9 pan brownies (use your favorite, a mix, or this Fudgy Brownie Recipe, just double it)
1 bag colorful candy melts
Rainbow colored sprinkles
popsicle sticks

Cut the brownies into 16 rectangular bars.  Insert a popsicle stick into each brownie.  Melt the candy melts.  Dip each brownie into the melted chocolate and sprinkle with the rainbow sprinkles.  Place dipped brownies on a sheet of wax paper to set up.  Makes about 16 ice cream bar brownies.

Enjoy!  -Cardamommy

Monday, May 28, 2012

Rueben Loaf

Rueben sandwiches are one of my most favorite things to eat. Using her freshly-baked rye bread and homemade sauerkraut, my mom used to cook up these sandwiches and serve them to us fresh off the griddle. The only down side was that the toasted bread would rip up the top of your mouth a little bit. But it was so good that a little pain was definitely worth it. This version of a rueben sandwich is much faster than cooking individual sandwiches, and the outside of the bread stays so you can fully enjoy your meal, injury free! The only thing I will change for next time, is I will use a rye bread dough rather than a plain pizza dough.

1 Recipe Pizza Dough (use your favorite recipe, or this one will work)
8-10 oz Corned Beef, thinly sliced
3 T Thousand Island Dressing
1 C Sauerkraut (drained)
4 oz Swiss Cheese, thinly sliced
1 Egg White
Fennel Seeds

Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray. Roll dough out into a long oval shape on the pan (should cover the majority of the sheet).

Spread dressing over the dough, keeping away from the edges by at least 1.5 inches. Then spread your corned beef on top of the dressing, followed by the sauerkraut, followed by the cheese.

Cut edges of dough diagonally into 1.5 in strips.

Pull the strips of dough up and over the middle of the cheese. The two opposite sides of the dough should overlap.

Brush with egg and sprinkle with fennel seeds.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Brown Sugar Glazed Pecans

I am not a fan of nuts.  I do actually like cashews quite a lot, but other than that, not so much.  This was always a problem for me growing up because my Mom put nuts in everything.  Everything.  Cake, cookies, dinner, name it, it had nuts in it at some point or another.  Needless to say, once I started cooking for myself, the nuts hit the road.  It is incredibly unusual and rare to find nuts in something that I make.  I had a thought, however.  Brown sugar glazed pecans in chocolate chip cookies.  Oh my goodness.  They turned out amazing!  The nuts are not so huge as to be obnoxiously present, but their toasted sweetness is perfect.  I used the BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever? recipe with a couple small changes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Brown Sugar Glazed Pecans

2 1/4cups (10 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon butter

In a small saute pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and brown sugar together.  Add the chopped pecans and stir until evenly coated with the brown sugar mixture.  Continue cooking, stirring often for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the pecans are lightly toasted.  Remove the pan from the heat and let pecans cool completely.

In a small bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.  In a stand mixer and medium-high speed, cream together the butter and sugars for about 5 minutes.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla.  Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the flour mixture until just combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips and glazed pecans.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the dough.  Refrigerate the dough for 24 to 72 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown but still soft in the center.  Let cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Makes about 48 cookies.

Enjoy!  -Cardamommy

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Triple Threat Chex Mix

This over the top chex mix is incredibly delicious and addicting.  I will not disclose the amount that didn't actually make it in the bucket.  Because I'm a little embarrassed about it.  Let's just say that I spent most of today at the gym.  Caramel coated chocolate chex mixed with peanut butter M&Ms, peanut butter cups, and marshmallow bits...drizzled with caramel, white chocolate, and milk chocolate.  Need I say more?  Just be careful or you too will be spending more quality time at the gym.

Triple Threat Chex Mix

1 Box (14.25 ounces) Chocolate Chex cereal (about 8 or 9 cups)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup mini peanut butter cups (or chopped peanut butter cups)
1/2 cup peanut butter M&Ms
1/2 cup marshmallow bits
1/2 cup caramel bits, or chopped caramels
1 Tablespoon cream
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Place a large piece of wax paper on the counter.  Place the cereal into a large microwaveable bowl.  Set aside.  

In a 2 cup pyrex measuring cup, place the brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup.  Microwave for 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute.  Add the baking soda and stir well until completely mixed in.  Pour the caramel mixture over the cereal and toss together until the cereal is evenly coated.  Place the cereal in the microwave and microwave for 3 minutes, stirring after each minute.  

Pour the cereal mixture onto the prepared wax paper and spread evenly.  Let cool, then break into small pieces.  Sprinkle the peanut butter cups, M&Ms, and marshmallow bits evenly over the cereal mixture.  In a small bowl, combine the caramel bits and cream and microwave in 30 second intervals until the caramel is melted and smooth.  Drizzle the caramel over the cereal and candy mixture.  Melt the chocolate chips and drizzle over the cereal mixture.  Melt the white chocolate chips (being careful not to seize the chocolate) and drizzle over the cereal mixture.

Let the Chex mix cool and harden.  Break the mixture apart into small pieces and transfer to a covered container.  Store in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!  -Cardaommy

Monday, May 21, 2012

Triple Chocolate Oreo Chunk Cookies

I love these cookies.  They are amazing.  They are simple to make, rich and fudgy.  Just delicious.  My oldest hungry puppy is not a super fan of chocolate, but every day she asked me for the "brown cookies" to put in her lunch box.  That's about the best testimonial a Mom can get.  My plan for these cookies was actually to make ice cream sundaes with them.  I put a fresh from the oven warm cookie at the bottom of a bowl, topped it with a tiny (or not) bit if cookie dough, topped with a little (or not) scoop of chocolate silk ice cream, topped with a dollop of whipped cream, topped with a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Whoa.  Just stop.  Think about what you just read.  Wipe up the drool, and go make these cookies, huh? Original recipe found here.

Triple Chocolate Oreo Chunk Cookies

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup Jet Puffed marshmallow bits
6 to 8 Oreo cookies, chopped 

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.  In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg.  Add the vanilla and beat until well blended.  Add the flour mixture and gently beat until no streaks of flour remain.  Gently stir in the white chocolate chips, semi sweet chocolate chips, marshmallow bits, and chopped oreos. 

Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Do not overbake, you want these cookies to stay soft and fudgy.  Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes.  Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Makes about 18 cookies.

Enjoy!  -Cardamommy

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cinnamon Raisin Sunflower Seed Bread

I came up with this recipe by using my basic sandwich bread recipe and adding a little bit to it.  The combination of sweet soft raisins and salty crunchy sunflower seeds is wonderful.  Add some 7 grain blend cereal and cinnamon, and you have a hearty and warm sandwich bread.  I always use my bread machine's dough cycle to make the dough, then finish it up by hand, but you can make this bread entirely by hand if desired.

Cinnamon Raisin Sunflower Seed Bread

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 large egg
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dry milk powder
1/2 cup mashed potato flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup 7 grain blend cereal
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds
1 Tablespoon yeast

In the bowl of your bread machine, place all of the ingredients in the order directed by the manufacturer.  Select the dough cycle.

After the dough cycle is complete and the dough has risen, remove dough from the bread machine and divide in half.  Grease 2  8 1/2x4 inch loaf pans.  Form each portion of dough into a loaf and place in a loaf pan.  Cover each loaf loosely with plastic wrap and let rise about 30 minutes, or until the dough comes to about 1 inch over the rim of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 350F.  After the oven has preheated, place the loaves into the oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are golden brown.  Makes 2  8 1/2x4 inch loaves.

Enjoy!  -Cardamommy

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Potato Salad

This potato salad was born from my need to get rid of a few things in my fridge. Mostly my mounds and mounds of potatoes. Although the overall recipe is relatively basic as far as potato salads go, the dijon mustard does add a subtle twist to the flavor. This salad is simple and you can make it in a pinch.

8 Medium Potatoes
6 Eggs
2 Stalks Celery
1 Small Onion
2 Large Dill Pickles
2 T Dill Pickle Juice
1/2 C Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise
2 T Dijon Mustard
3/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Paprika

1. Peel and boil potatoes. Let cool and cube.

2. Hard boil eggs. Let cool and peel. Chop 4 of the eggs and slice the remaining 2.

3. Chop celery, onion, and pickle and combine in a large bowl.

4. Add juice, mustard, miracle whip, salt, and paprika. Mix thoroughly.

5. Add cubed potatoes and chopped egg. Toss. Arrange sliced eggs on top of the salad and sprinkle with paprika.

6. Chill and serve.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

Guess what time it is?!  It is birthday time again!  My youngest hungry puppy is 3!  Where does the time go?  To celebrate this momentous occasion, I would like to share with you some recent one-liners that passed the lips of my little one.  Entering her Aunt's mid-remodel house, "This house is kind of pretty, but it's a little bit broken."  Going down the steep stairs to the basement of the aforementioned house, "I don't want to go down into the spooky old house."  To the pilots as we exited the airplane on a recent trip, "Thanks for the ride!"  And finally, in the middle of our marathon baking day, "Don't worry Mom, I have everything under control!"  Did I mention that I love this kid?  

These cupcakes are a fun and easy project for any occasion, but they are simply adorable for a birthday!  Cupcake batter baked inside colorful ice cream cones, some frosting, sprinkles, and a cherry on top!  Happy Birthday to my Hungry Puppy!

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

24 flat bottom ice cream cones (you can use the traditional or the colorful cones)
1 box cake mix and ingredients to make it
2 to 3 cups of your favorite frosting
Colorful Sprinkles
24 maraschino cherries, with or without stems

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Place the ice cream cones in muffin tin cups.  Prepare the cake mix according to the package instructions, and fill the ice cream cones with the batter, dividing it evenly between all of the cones.

Bake the cupcakes for about 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.  Carefully remove the cupcakes from the oven (they will be top heavy and tip over easily!), and set aside to cool.  

When cupcakes are completely cool, frost with your favorite frosting, sprinkle with sprinkles, and place a cherry on top.  To help keep the cupcakes from tipping over, dab a dot of frosting on the bottom of each cone to secure to the serving plate.  Makes 24 cupcakes.

Enjoy!  -Cardamommy

Friday, May 11, 2012

Rhubarb Custard Pie with Coconut Crumb Topping

I am not a huge rhubarb lover.  I can appreciate rhubarb in a few recipes, though, like Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, or Blueberry Rhubarb Pie.  Oh. My. Goodness.  They are so delicious.  I have another recipe now that sits right up there with the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.  In fact, I think that they may tie for first place.  Yes, this pie is that good.  

Rhubarb Custard Pie with Coconut Crumb Topping

1 9-inch unbaked pie crust

1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 - 4 cups sliced rhubarb, fresh or frozen (I used frozen, simply increase the bake time)

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Roll out the the pie crust and place in a 9 inch pie plate.  Crimp the edges, and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the crumb topping, combine the sugar, flour, coconut,and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Add the melted butter and toss together with a fork until completely combined, breaking up any large chunks.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the custard, whisk together the sugar, flour, butter, eggs, vanilla, and salt until smooth.  pour half of the custard mixture into the prepared pie crust.  Place the sliced rhubarb evenly over the custard.  Pour the remaining custard over the rhubarb.  

Place the pie in the oven and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the center of the pie is almost set.  Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the pie and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.  Remove the pie from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.  Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Enjoy!  -Cardamommy

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Brownie and Blondie Bites with Caramel Swiss Buttercream

I am  so excited to share these amazing little treats with you today!  I made these for my wonderful sister's baby shower.  I found the most delicious caramel swiss buttercream recipe EVER!  I am not an absolute die hard fan of swiss buttercream.  It is a bit to heavy and buttery for me.  This recipe, however is light and fluffy, and the flavor is amazing (I have already made it four times!).  Please don't be afraid to try this out!  The first time I made it, I thought for sure it was a failure and was ready to throw it away.  I decided to keep beating it for a while longer and when I checked on it, it was perfect!  The second time I made it, it went off without a hitch.  The fourth time I made it...was an adventure.  Just a quick note of caution.  If you make this with a Bosch mixer, keep in  mind that the bowl will warm from the bottom, thus melting your buttercream and never allowing it to set up.  Simply place the buttercream in the freezer for several minutes then finish beating with a hand mixer.  It worked for me!  That was (by last count) the 3rd kitchen fail of the day (actually more like hour).  Chewy and fudgy brownies and blondies topped with a luscious caramel buttercream...they are sure to be a hit wherever you serve them!

Brownie and Blondie Bites with Caramel Swiss Buttercream

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup all purpose flour

6 Tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Caramel Swiss Buttercream:
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
Pinch of salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons caramel sauce

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line a 24 cup mini muffin pan with paper liners.  Set aside.

In a medium sized microwave safe bowl, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir well. Return the butter/sugar mixture to the microwave and heat until hot and shiny looking.  Do not boil.  Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla.  Whisk in the eggs.  Add the flour and stir just until no streaks of flour remain.  

Spoon the batter into prepared pan, filling each muffin cup about 2/3 full.  A small amount of batter will remain.  Bake the brownie bites for about 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out with moist crumbs.  Do not overbake.  Remove brownies from pan and let cool completely on a cooling rack.

While the brownies are baking, make the blondie batter.  Line a 24 cup mini muffin pan with paper liners.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar.  Whisk in the egg and vanilla.  Add the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir just until no streaks of flour remain.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, filling each muffin cup about 2/3 full.  Bake the blondie bites for about 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out with moist crumbs.  Do not overbake.  Remove the blondies from the pan and let cool completely on a cooling rack.

For the caramel buttercream, combine the egg whites and sugar in a double boiler, or in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Whisk constantly while heating until the sugar is dissolved, and mixture is about 150F.  Transfer the egg white mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  Beat on high speed until mixture cools slightly and thickens.  While the mixer is running, slowly add the butter a tablespoon at a time until all the butter has been added.  You may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides.  If the mixture appears curdled or broken or if the  mixture looks very runny or liquidy, it is okay.  Just keep beating.  Add the salt, vanilla, and caramel sauce, and beat until the mixture is thick and smooth.

Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.  Pipe a swirl of buttercream on each cooled brownie and blondie.  You will have just enough buttercream to frost all of them.  Makes 24 frosted brownie bites and 24 frosted blondie bites.

Enjoy!  -Cardamommy

Monday, May 7, 2012

Slow Cooker Rice Pudding

This dish is an absolute classic in my family.  My mom made this for breakfast on Fridays when we were growing up.  As such, Fridays had a fabulous and happy start. This rice pudding is simple to put together and cooks in the slow cooker, leaving you free to do other things (like sleep if you make it for breakfast).  The wonderful thing about this rice pudding for breakfast is that it is not too sweet.

Slow Cooker Rice Pudding

3 cups cooked rice
1 can (12 ounces, 1 1/2 cups) evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup raisins

Lightly spray the bowl of your slow cooker with cooking spray.  Combine all of the ingredients in the lightly greased slow cooker.  Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.  Serve warm.

Enjoy!  -Cardamommy

Friday, May 4, 2012

Baby Bootie Party Favors

It's a baby!! A brand new bouncing baby brat will soon be making an appearance and joining our family. To celebrate, Cardamommy and I are threw a baby shower. These baby bootie party favors (original brilliant idea found here) are super cute and super easy. They were really fun to make and they were a big hit at the shower!

1 pkg 3 oz Dixie Cups
1 pkg Taffy (or favorite candy)
1 pkg Napkins (30 count)
Jumbo Cotton balls

1. Glue two cotton balls together.

2. Glue the cotton balls onto the bottom of the cup. The bottoms of the cotton balls and the bottoms of the cups should be flush.

3. Flip the cups over while the glue dries so it doesn't stick to the table.

4. Pull out a napkin.

5. Unfold the napkin and place the middle of the cup slightly behind the middle of the napkin.

6. Fold the front of the napkin over the cotton ball and into the cup. Leave it loose around the cotton balls.

7. Continue folding the napkin up and into the cup.

8. Cut a length of ribbon.

9. Tie ribbon around the middle of the cup and tie. Curl ends of ribbon and stuff with taffy.

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