Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oreo Balls

December is a busy month, but we did find time, however, to make Steven's request for an easy treat - Oreo Balls. We first had these at a ward "chocolate contest" where they were brought by the Cub Scouts. Yes, it's easy enough for 8 year old boys to make.
Crush 25 Oreo cookies and mash in 8 ounces of cream cheese. Roll into balls and chill until firm.
Then melt chocolate and dip them in it. (That step is kind of tedious.) You can drizzle a second color of chocolate over the balls if you want to get fancy. Don't they look delicious?(Actually, this is a great treat to have around our house because the adults - who are counting calories - don't like these - they're too rich - but the kids do!)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chocolate Pecan-Pie Bars

Janette's Pecan Bars

1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 square (1 oz) semisweet chocolate
3 beaten eggs
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons water (or bourbon)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon. Cut in the 1/2 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans. Press into bottom of an ungreased 9x13" pan. Bake in a 350° for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine the 1/4 cup butter and chocolate; heat and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. In a small mixing bowl combine the eggs, brown sugar, water and vanilla. Stir in chocolate mixture until well blended; pour over crust. Return to oven and bake 20 minutes more until set. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 36.

Gingerbread Spice Cookies

Jennifer's Spice Cookies

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
1/4 cup molasses
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda mixed with 2 tablespoons hot water
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped dates

Cream sugars and shortening. Add molasses, eggs and vanilla and mix well. Combine dry ingredients and stir half into the creamed mixture. Add the baking soda mixture and then the remaining dry ingredients. Stir in pecans and dates. Roll into 2 bars and wrap in waxed paper or foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Refrigerate until well chilled. (Can be frozen for later.) Slice in 1/2 inch slices and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 12-14 minutes at 350°.

Peppermint Eggnog Punch

Peppermint Eggnog Punch

1 qt. peppermint ice cream, softened
1 qt. commercial dairy eggnog
4 (12 oz.) bottles ginger ale, chilled
Peppermint sticks

Combine first 3 ingredients in a punch bowl, stirring until blended. Serve immediately with peppermint sticks (or sprinkle crushed candy canes into the punch). Makes 4 1/2 quarts.

This really was delicious. In fact I was so busy tasting it, I forgot to take a picture. However, I searched and found someone else who did take some pictures just in case you want to know what it looks like before you try it.

Chocolate Crinkles

To prepare for a holiday cookie exchange, we've tried a few different types of cookies this week. According to the kids, this was the hands-down favorite, probably because it was the only one with chocolate in it! (Here are the other two kinds: Pistachio No-Bake Cookies and Mexican Wedding Cakes.)Chocolate Crinkles

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup melted butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
powdered sugarCombine the sugar and cocoa powder. Stir in the melted butter, then the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips. Cover and chill for several hours. Form the dough into 1" balls and roll in powdered sugar to coat. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350°. Makes about 2-3 dozen.

A Favorite Recipe from My Sister

There weren't a lot of options in the freezer yesterday when I was trying to choose something to fix for dinner, but I took out a package that I thought was a small beef roast and figured we'd have beef stew. Well, as it thawed I realized it was ground beef. (If I had bothered looking at my label, I would have known that earlier.) We could have had hamburger stew, but my family doesn't think that's very exciting. So, I pulled out a recipe my sister sent to us years ago. It was perfect for last night and went together quite quickly, which was a very good thing seeing as when 5:00 rolled around I still had two days worth of dishes to wash, a carload of groceries to put away, and a batch of cookies to make for Relief Society before we could even think about dinner.Beef-Potato Patties

Combine one pound of ground beef with 1/3 cup chopped onions and 1 1/2 cups grated raw potatoes. Form into 10-12 small patties. (I didn't re-read the directions and made 6 larger ones. Smaller patties are better and easier to work with.) Coat with flour - I skipped that step - and brown in a frying pan. Flip and brown the other side. Combine a can of cream of mushroom soup and a cup of beef broth and pour over the patties. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes until done. Serve over mashed potatoes.

It's not the prettiest entreƩ, at least the way I make it, but it's delicious comfort food. And I'm going to enjoy some leftovers for lunch!