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Sweet treats

By Angie Sutton

www.mothersapronstrings.com

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, these sumptuous treats are sure to wow the sweethearts in your life!


Angie’s Favorite Cut-Out Cookies

I’ve found these to be the most consistent tasting and easy to use cookie cutters with. For the frosting—I dip them in melted candy coating (almond bark). They freeze very well.

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened to room temp.
2 eggs
1 tsp. almond extract

Mix all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. On medium speed, mix in butter, eggs and almond flavoring. Dough will come together in a ball. Roll out dough in small batches on a lightly-floured surface. Use cookie cutters and transfer shapes to parchment paper-covered cookie sheet. Bake at 425 F for 10 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool on wire rack completely before frosting.


Weekend Cinnamon Apple Bake

The kids love this as a warm breakfast treat or as a dessert. I like to add a little scoop of ice cream on top when I serve it. It also works well with cherry pie filling.

3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 (21 oz.) can apple pie filling
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (12 oz.) can refrigerator biscuits
1/2 c. chopped pecans (optional)

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and then stir in brown sugar, pie filling, cinnamon and vanilla. Spread half of this mixture on the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish. Separate biscuits and cut each one into quarters. Place biscuits, points up, evenly across the apple mixture in the dish. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining apple mixture over the top of the biscuits. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes. Remove and let stand about 5 minutes. Serve warm.


Aunt Jewel’s Coffee Cake

My son Cade won a purple ribbon on this several years ago, and it has been one of my favorite coffee cake recipes. I like it because even though it is simple, the texture is moist and the cinnamon just makes the flavor pop. I use Siagon cinnamon.

1 stick butter, softened to room temp.
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 c. sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Beat butter and one cup of sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and then stir in sour cream and vanilla. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly stir the flour mixture into the batter until smooth. Spoon half the batter into the bottom of the baking pan. Combine remaining 1/2 c. sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle 2/3 of this evenly over the batter in the pan. Spread remaining batter in pan and then top with remaining sugar/cinnamon mixture. Bake at 325 F for 50 minutes or until cake tester inserted in middle comes out clean. Serve warm.


Chocolate-Cherry Cookie Balls

There must be an endless list of ingredients you can mix with cream cheese to form cookie balls. This combo is perfect for Valentine’s Day. Keep them stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
36 Oreo cookies, finely crushed
40 maraschino cherries, patted dry, stems removed
12 oz. Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate, melted

Mix the cream cheese and crushed cookies together until well blended. Shape into 40 balls (a little bigger than 1-inch in size). Use the bottom of a glass to evenly flatten the balls. Top with a cherry and wrap the chocolate dough around the cherry to completely enclose the cherry. Roll softly to form a ball. Place in freezer for about 10 minutes. Dip the balls in the melted chocolate and place on waxed paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.


Sky High German Chocolate Cake

My friends in the Mr. Food Test Kitchen shared this one for a trial run. It is simple yet looks (and tastes) amazing! Line the bottom of your cake pans with parchment paper and grease and flour for easy removal of the cakes.

1 (18.5 oz.) package chocolate cake mix, batter prepared according to package directions
2 (14 oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk
6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. chopped pecans
4 c. shredded coconut
Pecan halves for garnish

Bake cake according to package directions for two (8-inch) round cake pans. Let cool and remove cake from pans. Cut each cake in half horizontally to make four layers. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sweetened condensed milk, butter and vanilla. Cook about 5 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in pecans and coconut. Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Spread 1/4 of the coconut mixture on top. Repeat with remaining layers and garnish with pecan halves. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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