Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Country Pickins! Taking a break!  Will be back after January 3rd!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Rocky Road Fudge

I love love love love love this stuff.  It's salty, it's sweet, it's totally yummy.  It took three tries to get the salt content to the way I like it and am sooo happy with it now.  Plus, it sure beats paying three bucks a square at a chocolate shop =)





Rocky Road Fudge

Ingredients You'll Need


  • 6 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Guittard discs)
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla 
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1.5 cups roasted salted almonds, whole



Directions


  • Coat bottom and sides of baking pan (I used a 9 x13 pan) with cooking spray and line with a long sheet of parchment paper that overlaps the sides. Or, if you do not have parchment paper, you can line the dish with tin foil and not worry about spraying the sides.  I've done it both ways.  Set dish aside.
  • In a medium sized saucepan, combine the two kinds of chocolate, the condensed milk, and the butter. Set over medium-low heat, and stir until the chocolate is melted. Be patient and wait for the butter to melt.  It's always been the last thing to melt for me.  Add the vanilla and salt, and then take it off the heat and fold in the marshmallows and almonds.
  • Pour the warm mixture into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly. You can use a spatula, spoon, or even your hands to pat the fudge down so it is evenly distributed over the pan.
  • Cover with a sheet of parchment paper and let chill in the ice box for at least 2 hours.
  • Remove from the ice box and lift parchment paper to remove from pan.  Use a knife to cut into whatever sized portions you want before serving. It can be stored in an air-tight container at (cool) room temperature for 7-10 days.   If it is still tacky, leave on the counter uncovered and it should firm up.  That's what I did when mine was tacky to the touch, and it worked.


Enjoy!

Adapted from a recipe found on Always Order Dessert

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are wonderful! They're like a kitchen sink cookie.  They've got everything you'd want in a cookie.  Chocolate, cranberries, raisins, oatmeal...did I mention chocolate?  Oh so delicious.  It was really hard while making Christmas baskets to set some of these aside for my family.  They were that good.




Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Makes about 50 cookies if you do heaping teaspoons.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1 package (12 ounce) white baking chips



Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. 
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture slowly. 
  • Stir in the oats, raisins, cranberries and orange peel. Stir in baking chips.
  • Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. 
  • Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. 




Adapted from a recipe found on Taste of Home

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pecan Delights

This is by far my favorite Chocolate so far that we've made this Christmas season.  It's got homemade dulce de leche, pecans picked by my brother and then unshelled by my parents, and yummy dark and milk chocolate wrapped warmly around them. The result?  Pure delight.  Ahh family, it really brings it all together during the holidays.  











Pecan Delights



Ingredients:


  • 1 cup prepared dulce de leche, firm
  • 2 cups large pecan halves
  • 1/2 lb chocolate candy coating
  • 1/2 lb dark chocolate candy coating


Directions:


  • First, prepare the dulce de leche a day in advance.  You can find my recipe here so be sure to make this a day before you prepare these.  Or you can use the store bought duce de leche. The choice is up to you. 
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F, and place the pecan halves on a baking sheet. Bake until toasted, about 8-10 minutes, stirring several times during the process to avoid burning the nuts. Allow the nuts to cool completely before moving on to the next step.
  • Use a small spoon to scoop up a bit of dulce de leche, and place it on a pecan half. Top the dulce de leche with another pecan half, pressing gently to create a sandwich. Place this on a baking sheet lined with foil, and repeat with remaining pecans and dulce de leche. Refrigerate the sandwiches while you prepare the chocolate.






  • Melt the chocolate candy coating in the microwave. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval to prevent overheating. Stir the chocolate coating until it is completely smooth.
  • Place a pecan sandwich in the melted chocolate and spoon chocolate over the top until it is completely covered. Remove it from the chocolate using a fork or dipping tools, and tap the fork against the bowl several times so excess chocolate drops off. Drag the bottom along the lip of the bowl to remove additional chocolate, then place the dipped pecan sandwich back on the foil-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pecans and chocolate until you have used up both dark and regular chocolates.
  • Refrigerate the tray until the chocolate is set, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately, or store the Pecan Delights in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.





Adapted from a recipe found on About.com



Linked up on Foodie Friends Friday 12/21/2012

Savory French Onion Soup

I found this recipe on the Pioneer Woman.  I had been using another recipe for French onion soup and probably will use it when I don't have the time to lovingly make it, but for all other times, I'm using this recipe.  It is oh so good and I love love love it to pieces.  I also got to use my Dutch Oven! Woooohoo!! I've never found a recipe that needed it so this was a blast. I love my dutch oven <3




I will say one thing.  I never knew what Gruyere Cheese cheese was but thought I'd give it a shot.  I know a lot of foodies will probably gasp in dismay, but I honestly hated the smell and flavor of Gruyere.  I tried to like it but just couldn't.  I guess deep down my palate just couldn't take the earthy flavors.  I prefer mozzarella hands down.  But honestly, this soup doesn't even need cheese.  It can stand on its own two feet without it.  


Savory French Onion Soup

Ingredients:



  • 1 stick Butter
  • 4 Large (or 6 Medium) Yellow Onions, Halved Root To Tip, And Sliced Thin
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 4 cups Beef Broth
  • 2 cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • Several Thick Slices Of French Bread Or Baguette
  • Mozzarella Cheese, Grated (optional)



    Directions:

    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    • Melt butter in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Place soup pot into the oven with the lid slightly ajar to ensure the onions will brown. Allow onions to cook in the oven for 1 hour, stirring at least once during the cooking process so onions won’t stick and burn.
    • Remove pot from oven and place back on stove top over medium heat. Stir, scraping off all the brown, flavorful bits.  Add broths, Worcestershire sauce and minced garlic and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.
    • When soup is ready, ladle into bowl, and then sprinkle generously with grated cheese.



    Adapted from  the Original recipe found at Pioneer Woman

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

    Dulce De Leche

    This is an easy way to make Dulce De Leche at home.  There are many delicious uses for dulce de leche, but the ones I use it for are:  in coffees to flavor, to top ice creams, or to use in baking. The possibilities are really endless.







    Dulce De Leche


    Ingredients You'll Need:

    • 1 (14 oz) Can Condensed Milk
    • 3 1/2 pint jars
    • 1 Crock Pot



    Instructions:

    • Put condensed milk in the 3 1/2 pint jars. Put on metal rings.  
    • Place in Crock Pot and fill with hot water 1 inch above lids.  
    • Put crock pot on low for 10 hours.  
    • After 10 hours take the jars out and sit on a towel to cool to room temperature.  
    • Once cool take the rings off the jars. They store in your refrigerator for up to 2 months.


    Enjoy!

    Source:  Recipe seen on YummyLife

    Pecan Patties

    I had a blast making these and they taste much better than the ones you find at the grocery stores.  I mean, these only last a week or so in an airtight container, and the grocery store pecan logs last what...months? Years?  It really makes a gal wonder what they put in those things.  Maybe I don't want to know...Anyway! These Pecan Patties were fun to make and pretty messy lol but that's what Holiday baking is meant to be right?!  Enjoy!







    Pecan Patties

    Ingredients You'll Need:



    • 2 (7 ounce) Jars marshmallow cream
    • 3.5 cups powdered sugar
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 pound soft caramels
    • 2 tsp heavy whipping cream
    • 2 cups pecans, finely chopped

    Directions:

    • In a large bowl, combine the marshmallow cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir with a spoon until it becomes too difficult, then knead with your hands until all of the sugar is incorporated and you have a smooth, putty-textured ball.
    • Divide the candy into equal parts, rolling them into round balls about 1” in diameter. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with foil or waxed paper, and freeze them until very firm, at least 1 hour.
    • Once the balls are ready, place the unwrapped caramels in a large microwave-safe bowl with the cream. Microwave for one minute, then stir the caramels. If they have not all melted, or if it is still very stiff, microwave for an additional brief period. Stir until the caramel is smooth.
    • Place the chopped pecans in a shallow bowl or pie tin.
    • Remove the balls from the freezer. Using a fork or dipping tools, dip one in the melted caramel until it is completely submerged. Remove it from the caramel, then place it on the chopped pecans, and roll it in the nuts until every surface is covered with nuts. Replace the ball on the baking sheet and quickly repeat with remaining balls. If the caramel gets too thick, microwave it again briefly until it is smooth and liquid.
    • Once all of the pecan balls have been coated in caramel and nuts, return them to the freezer for 30 minutes. Pecan Patties can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Be aware that if it gets too warm, the caramel will soften and may not hold its shape.

    I had trouble with the balls holding form so they turned into patties.  It probably had to do with how humid it was when I was making them, so don't feel bad if they don't turn out perfect.  They'll still taste heavenly.
    Source:  About.com

    Creamy Pizza Dip

    This dip is so creamy and delicious.  You can use bread to dip with it or tortilla chips.  And with pepperoni on it it tastes just like pizza.  Happy sigh.  I'll have to make this again!





    Creamy Pizza Dip



    Ingredients You'll Need:

    • 2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, soft
    • 1 cup of mayonnaise
    • 1 cup of mozzarella cheese + 1.5 cups for topping dip
    • 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
    • 1 cup of pizza sauce 
    • Optional toppings:  pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, bell pepper, bacon, really anything you want.  Just think of it like a pizza and you choose your favorite toppings!

    Directions:


    Preheat oven to 350.




    • In a mixing bowl, combine soft cream cheese, mayonnaise, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, and the Parmesan cheese.  Stir well.
    • Spread the cheese mixture in the bottom of a baking dish.  Just keep in mind a smaller dish will make the sauce thicker which will make the cooking time longer. 
    • Spread the pizza sauce next. Then, the cheese over the sauce.
    • Decide on your toppings and put those on top of the cheese.  I know, choices choices! 
    • Bake your dip for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.
    • Serve with chunks of french bread.
    • This dip is very hot when it comes out of the oven. Please be careful.  The cheese makes it stringy, gooey, and ohhh so good.

    Source:  Adapted from a recipe on Simply Gourmet

    Sunday, December 16, 2012

    Banana Split Truffles

    Wow these were such a labor of love.  My sister and I made these for my families gift baskets this year.  I've never made truffles before but have eaten quite a few from chocolate stores =) So, we set upon a great adventure yesterday.  I love weekends.  So much potential to get things squared away before the week starts anew.  We spent off and on all day doing these, and in the end decided to wait until this morning to finish them because the ganache just did not want to set up.  We were happy with the firmness of them this morning and finished it off.  And they are so cute.  I couldn't be happier.  They look just like a scoop of ice cream with chocolate  sprinkles, and a cherry on top!  





    Banana Split Truffles



    Ingredients:


    • 2 cups white chocolate chips
    • ½ large banana, very ripe
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream
    • 1 tsp banana extract or flavoring (optional)
    • 12 oz white candy coating
    • 4 oz chocolate candy coating
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • Sprinkles
    • Red candies like M&Ms, jelly beans, or red hots(I used cordial cherry M&M's)

    Directions:

    • Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat it until it simmers and small bubbles form all along the edges of the pan, but do not allow it to come to a full boil.
    • While the cream is heating, prepare the white chocolate and banana mixture.  Place the half banana in the food processor and mix until the banana has liquefied.
    • Add the white chocolate chips to the banana and process until the white chocolate is in small pieces. The mixture will clump together, so stop the processor several times to scrape it down. Once the cream is simmering, carefully pour the hot cream in a small stream down into the bowl of the processor and let it run until the white chocolate has melted and the ganache is smooth and free of lumps.
    • When everything is smooth, transfer the ganache into a bowl and whisk in the banana extract. Cover the ganache with cling wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to scoop and roll, between 2-4 hours.
    • Once the ganache is firm, coat your hands with powdered sugar and roll the ganache into small balls, dusting your hands with more powdered sugar to prevent sticking if necessary.  
    • Keep the balls chilling in the refrigerator while you melt the white candy coating. Once melted, use a fork or dipping tools to dip the truffles into the coating, then set them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate the tray to set the white chocolate for 10 minutes.
    • After all the truffles are dipped, it’s time to decorate them! For the chocolate “sauce,” melt the chocolate candy coating in a small bowl. Using a spoon, place a small spoonful of dark chocolate on top of a truffle, and use the tip of the spoon to nudge it off the sides in a thin stream. 
    • What we did, because our chocolate was firming up so fast was spoon a little bit of chocolate on top, then splash the sprinkles and top with the cherry M&M. But, if the chocolate is really wet feel free to top all of them with chocolate then go back and sprinkle and top with your 'cherry'.
    • Refrigerate the tray to set the chocolate coating. Store truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. 






    We had a lot of fun with this.  I hope you do too!

    Adapted from recipe found on : About.com

    Saturday, December 15, 2012

    Key Lime Cupcake

    I love these cupcakes.  They taste just like key lime pie and are so yummy!  I'm glad my sister only made the one batch though, because those things could be fatal to my figure lol







    Key Lime Cupcakes


    Adapted from Second Breakfast's Key Lime Cupcake

    Makes 24 cupcakes


    Ingredients:

    1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    4 tsp baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup plain Greek yogurt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Zest and juice of 8 key limes
    2 cups granulated sugar
    4 large eggs
    Key Lime Frosting (recipe below)
    Graham cracker crumbs, for garnish

    Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup tin with cupcake papers.

    In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, vanilla, and zest and juice. Set aside.

    With an electric mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of yogurt mixture.

    Divide evenly among cupcake cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in tin, then cool completely on a rack.

    Frost the cupcakes.  Crush the graham crackers, then sprinkle over the frosted tops for garnish.



    Key Lime Frosting

    8 oz. cream cheese (1 bar), room temperature

    ½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
    Zest and juice of 2 key limes
    1½ cups confectioners sugar
    ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

    Whip the cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer.  Add the other ingredients, and mix slowly, then faster, until combined.  Scrape into a pastry bag fitted with the tip of your choice, and pipe. 

    Spaghetti with Jumbo Meatballs

    This is one of our favorite dinners.  The meatballs are just delicious and who doesn't love spaghetti?!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!




    Now, I know you're looking at the jar of spaghetti sauce and thinking, why didn't you make your own?  I have made my own in the past, but I just love love love the flavor of the Ragu sauce, so that's what I use.  You can make your own if you like =P



    Spaghetti With Jumbo Meatballs

    Ingredients:

    1 (24 oz) jar of your favorite Spaghetti sauce( Mine is Chunky Ragu Mama's Special Garden Sauce)
    8 oz thin spaghetti noodles
    2 cups chopped green and red bell peppers
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 4 oz can sliced mushrooms
    2 Tablespoons butter


    For the Meatballs:

    1 pound ground venison
    1 pound ground pork sausage
    1/2 cup bread crumbs
    2 eggs
    1/4 cup diced onions
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 Tablespoon dried oregano
    1 Tablespoon dried parsley
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    1 Tablespoon salt
    1/2 Tablespoon pepper

    Directions For the Meatballs:

    • Preheat oven to Broil.
    • In a large bowl combine all the ingredients.  Use a 1/4 cup to measure the size of each meatball.  Roll the meatball loosley in your hands.  Do not pack them. It will make the meatball dry and tough.
    • Place meatballs on a baking sheet and broil until brown.  (about 8 minutes)
    • Then turn your oven down to 300 Degrees F.  Cook throughout 10 minutes.

      

    For the Spaghetti:

    • Put a pot of water on to boil for your spaghetti.  When it is boiling, put  noodles inside and boil to al dente. Drain, set aside until sauce is done.
    • Saute your onions in butter in a medium skillet until they are caramelized.  Set aside, and saute bell peppers and mushrooms in EVOO.   
    • Once done, combine onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, meatballs, and spaghetti sauce in pot and bring to a boil.  When it is boiling, take off the heat and add your noodles.  Combine well.
    Serve with garlic bread =)




    Thursday, December 13, 2012

    Asparagus Soup

    My mom threw this together the other day while trying to use up some of the many  many many, did I say many? packages of asparagus we have left over from our harvest.  And did you know that the asparagus plant turns a beautiful shade of orange/brown/gold in the fall?  Well now you do =)  Anyway, this soup was so good, we'll be having it again. And again =)




    Asparagus Soup

    Ingredients:

    • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds fresh or frozen asparagus (steam till tender)
    • 1 onion chopped (2 cups)
    • 2 cans (14/5 oz ) chicken broth; divided 
    • 6 Tablespoons butter
    • 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 2 Teaspoons salt
    • 2 Pinches ground black pepper
    • 1 Can (12 oz) evaporated milk
    • 2/3 Cup sour cream


    Directions

    • Place asparagus in steamer and steam till tender.
    • Bring onion and 1 can broth to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until onions are tender.
    • Place asparagus and onion broth mixture in an electric blender and puree until smooth.
    • Melt butter in a pan, stir while adding flour, salt and pepper into the butter.  (do not brown the flour mixture). Cook about 2 minutes.  Stir in remaining can of chicken broth and stir until the mixture thickens or comes to a boil.
    • Stir the asparagus, onion puree, and milk into the saucepan.  Add the sour cream, stir until heated through, then ladle into bowls.  Enjoy!


    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

    Mint Chocolate Cookies

    These cookies are so delicious.  I hadn't eaten an Ande's mint in years so when we decided to make these for Christmas baskets, it turned out to be a real treat.  The only downside was it was hard to stop at eating just one cookie!  Our 'taste test' lasted about a dozen lol.  It's a good thing this recipe makes about 4 and half dozen cookies!





    Mint Chocolate Cookies

    Ingredients:


    • 2 3/4 cup flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
    • 1 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon mint extract
    • 3 drops green food coloring (optional)
    • 1 bag of Andes mints (chopped)


    Directions:


    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    • Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt) together and set aside.
    • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.  Beat in egg and mint extract.  Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.  I added 3 drops food coloring to give it a slight green tint, but you don't have to.  I'm not a big fan of food color so just a dab was enough for me.  It's entirely optional.  Mix until evenly colored.
    • Lastly, fold in the chopped Andes mints.
    • Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of the dough into balls, flatten (I used the lid of a mason jar), and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
    • Bake for 8-10 minutes.  After removing from oven, let stand on sheet for about 2 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool.


    Adapted from a recipe found here: Crafty Corner


    Seen On Wicked Good Wednesdays Link Party

    Monday, December 10, 2012

    Frito Chili Pie

    I just sat down to add a new dessert to the blog and realized I've been adding nothing BUT desserts! lol that's Christmas time for you!  I really don't sit around all day eating nothing but sweets.  So, here's a dish I made on Saturday for a Christmas tree ornament decorating party I had.  It was a lot of fun.  But this was the highlight for me. It'd been over a year since I'd had Frito and Chili.




    Ornaments we made at the party =)



    Frito Chili Pie 

    Ingredients:


    • 1 bag frito chips
    • 1 lb hamburger
    • 1 can (14.5 oz) tomato sauce
    • 1 package chili seasoning mix
    • sour cream (optional)


    Instructions


    • Brown 1 pound ground beef, drain excess fat.   Add tomato sauce and 1 package seasoning mix.  Stir and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.  Stir before serving.

    • In a dish, spread a few frito chips on the bottom, then the meat sauce, then chips and cheese on top.  You can also add more chips as you eat, but that's entirely optional.  




    Enjoy!  

    Source: off the back of a package of Great Value Chili seasoning mix.

    Sunday, December 9, 2012

    Oreo Crush

    This delicious cheesecake-like dessert will have you going back for seconds.  My sister makes this dish on special occasions and I'm so happy when she does!  It has Oreo's and cream cheese.  Who could ask for anything more?




    This picture isn't 100% accurate as to how it will turn out.  I was all but finished with making it when I realized I was short 1 8oz tub of coolwhip.  So yours will have more white/height to it.  Even though I didn't have that cool whip it still turned out great =)


    Oreo Crush

    Ingredients:

    • 1 Package Oreos
    • 1 stick butter
    • 1 (8 oz) cream cheese
    • 1 cup Powdered sugar
    • 2 (8oz) cool whip
    • 2 small boxes Instant Chocolate fudge pudding



    Follow the directions in the order they come (by Layer):


    1st Layer: 

    Crush up the entire package of oreos.  Set 1/3 cup aside for later.
    1 stick butter (melt)
    Mix and press oreos and butter into a 9 x 13 pan.  This will be your bottom crust.

    2nd Layer:

    Cream until fluffy in a mixer cream cheese and powdered sugar.  Add 8 oz cool whip.  Once combined, spread on top of oreo crust.

    3rd Layer:

    Following the instructions on the box mix up your Pudding.  Be sure to beat at least 2 minutes.  Spread on top of 2nd Layer.

    4th Layer:

    Spread 8 oz cool whip on top of 3rd layer.


    Sprinkle remaining oreos on top.




    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    As a kid, these were my favorite cookies, and honestly still are.  My Dad makes these and they'll always hold a special place in my heart.  They're so chocolatey and yummy I can't help but smile.  So pull up a chair and be sure to bring a tall glass of milk and share a cookie with me.




    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Makes 60 cookies

    Ingredients:

    • 1 Cup Shortening
    • 1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
    • 1/2 Cup Sugar
    • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
    • 2 Eggs
    • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
    • 2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
    • 1 Teaspoon Salt
    • 2 Cups (12-ounce package) Chocolate Chips


    Directions:

    • Cream shortening, brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and beat well.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add to the creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.  
    • Drop by teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 Degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are light brown.


    Saturday, December 8, 2012

    Meyer Lemon Cupcakes With Blueberry Buttercream Frosting

    Hello everyone!  I'm Stacy and I'll be posting my recipes every now and then here at Country Pickins.  Let me first say I have a monster sweet tooth! I love just about anything sweet as long as it's not mind numbingly sweet that is.  I recently found some Meyer lemons at my local grocery store, if you've never had Meyer lemons before you're in for a treat as they are a slightly sweeter version of your run of the mill sour lemon.  During the making of these cupcakes I ate quite a bit of the batter, well more than a tablespoon at least!  Sooo yummy! O and the frosting is totally addictive! Don't take my word for it though, try it!







    Meyer Lemon Cupcakes With Blueberry Buttercream Frosting


    Ingredients:


    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 cup 2% milk
    • 1 Meyer lemon, juice and zest

      
    Frosting:


    • 1 cup butter, softened
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 1/2 cup Blueberry Spreadable fruit



    Directions:
        
    •      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 
    •      Line muffin cups with paper liners. Mine made 18
    •      Cream sugar and 1/2 cup butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy. Beat in         eggs,   one at a time, and mix 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract into mixture with the second egg.
    •      Beat in flour and baking powder until thoroughly combined; beat in milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest to make a smooth batter.
    •       Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
    •       Bake in the preheated oven until cupcake edges are slightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Mine took 20 minutes but ovens vary. Cool cupcakes completely. 
    •    Now time to make the frosting!  Mix 1 cup butter with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and salt until smooth and creamy. Next beat in confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, to make a creamy frosting. Mix in the Blueberry Spread until nice and creamy! Once cupcakes are completly cool spread on your frosting and enjoy! 



    Adapted from a recipe found on  Allrecipes.com   


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