Sunday, December 23, 2012

Maple Pecan Sandies

Aka Maple Pecan Refrigerator Cookies by Jo Ann Kurtz and featured in the Parade.  They are really good - Mike's new favorite cookies.  They were really easy to make too!

1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp real maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp maple extract
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (I used walnuts)

Beat butter for 3 minutes or until creamy.  Beat in sugar gradually.  Add syrup, egg yolk, and extracts; beat well.  Stir in flour and pecans.  Divide dough in half and shape into logs 2 inches in diameter.  Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment and refrigerate until firm.  Preheat oven to 350.  Cut logs into 1/2-inch-thick rounds; arrange on greased cookie sheets.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Microwave Peanut Brittle

I have tried makiing peanut brittle a long time ago and successfully burned it.  I gave up on the idea of me ever making it.  I found this receipe at Mel's Kitchen Cafe blog and decided to give it another try since it wasn't going to take a long time.  It was a success and I just might add it to my collection of Christmas goodies.  Every microwave is different so be warned to pay attention and watch carefully the first time and then make adjustments for your microwave.  Enjoy!

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts (I just used roasted unsalted peanuts and they were great)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda

Butter a large baking sheet and set aside.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the sugar and corn syrup and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir. Microwave for another 2 minutes. The mixture should be starting to turn a light yellow/amber color. Stir in the peanuts. Microwave an additional 3-5 minutes, watching carefully, until the mixture turns golden brown (the color of peanut brittle).(I did mine for 4 minutes)
Stir in the butter and vanilla until the butter is completely melted. Microwave for 1 more minute. Stir in the baking soda. The mixture will become very foamy and thick as you stir.
Carefully spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Cool completely. Break into pieces. The brittle can be made ahead and stored covered, at room temperature, for three days.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cereal Candy

I have begun baking and making candy for the season.  Here is one of my favorites.  It comes from my childhood.  My mother always fed us very healthy food and never too much of it.  We had treats but not very often.  I can't believe that she made this for Christmas.  It is very addicting and totally bad for you.  I have continued the tradition.  My children love it and the people I give it too ask for the recipe.  So here it is.  Enjoy the season.

2 cups Trix
2 cups Honeycomb
2 cups Rice Chex
2 cups small colored marshmallows, not white
2 cups slivered almonds (the healthy part)
2 lbs. white almond bark or white chocolate chips

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Melt the almond bark in the microwave very carefully and pour over your dry ingredients.  Combine and then spoon out onto parchment paper.  Be fast because it does set up fast.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Apple Turkey Burgers

Anna Elise made  Apple Turkey burgers at Achievement days a while back.  A friend of mine made them recently and I decided it was time we gave them a try.  However,  I couldn't find the recipe that Anna brought home, so I looked at several recipes on-line and came up with a recipe of my own.  Our whole family really like these.

1.75 pounds ground turkey
1 apple finely diced
3 TBL finely diced onion
1 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste

Make patties and grill or broil until done.  Add cheddar cheese and melt.
Serve on buns with Sweet Chili Sauce.

I discovered that I had about a tsp of Sweet Chili sauce in the bottom of my last bottle. So I quickly looked up several sweet chili recipes online and came up with a homemade sauce that tastes pretty good - almost exactly the same as our bottled sauce!

We made small patties and served them on rolls, my kids like 'sliders'.

Sweet Chili Sauce
1/2 cup vinegar (white, rice or apple will work)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. white sugar
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. fish sauce  (this could probably be optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced or 3/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/4  Tbsp. dried crushed chili (or less if you don't want it so spicey)
1+1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tbsp. cold water

Place all ingredients, except the cornstarch/water mixture, in a sauce pan and bring to a rolling boil.  Reduce heat to medium and let boil for 10 minutes, or until reduced by half.  Reduce heat to low and add the cornstarch-water mixture. Stir to incorporate and continue stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens.