Thursday, February 15, 2007

Rocky Road Bars (No Bake)

This recipe will work fine with any generic frosting mix. I changed the recipe to use a graham cracker crust so there's no baking needed.

* 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
* 1/4 cup butter, melted
* 1/3 cup water
* 1/4 cup butter
* 15 oz. pkg.DRY milk chocolate frosting mix
* 1 cup miniature marshmallows
* 1/2 cup chopped pecans
* 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Combine graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup melted butter in a small bowl. Press into bottom of a 9" square pan. Set aside while preparing filling.

In heavy saucepan, combine 1/4 cup butter and water and heat to boiling.

Add the dry frosting mix (Jiffy brand is best - be sure the boxes add up to about 15 ounces) and blend well. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, about 4 minutes. Stir in marshmallows, pecans, and chocolate chips and spoon onto graham cracker crust. Cool completely and cut into pieces to serve. If you can't find the dry frosting mix, you can make this with the canned, or tub frosting. Omit the water, 1/4 cup butter, and the dry frosting mix. Melt a 12 ounce package of chocolate chips in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add a 16 ounce tub of prepared milk chocolate frosting and beat until smooth. Fold in marshmallows, pecans, and chococolate chips and spread over graham cracker crust; let cool completely and cut into pieces. 25 bars

Simple Chocolate Cake

This excellent chocolate cake recipe is moist and delicious, and it's very easy to make. It's a one bowl cake, topped with a simple chocolate frosting.

* 4 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1 cup water
* 2 cups flour
* 2 cups sugar
* pinch of salt
* 1/2 cup buttermilk
* 1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1 tsp. vanilla
* 2 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate
* 1/4 cup butter
* 1/2 cup milk
* 4 cups powdered sugar
* 2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan, melt 4 squares chocolate and 1/2 cup butter in the hot water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add flour, sugar and salt. Mix well with a wire whisk or eggbeater.

Then stir in buttermilk, baking soda, eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Pour into 13x9" pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until the top springs back when touched with a fingertip.

While the cake is baking, make the frosting. In a heavy saucepan, melt 2 squares chocolate and 1/4 cup butter together. Add powdered sugar, milk, and 2 tsp. vanilla and beat well. You may need to add more milk or powdered sugar to reach the desired consistency: the frosting should be pourable. W

hen the cake comes out of the oven, let cool for 15 minutes, then pour the frosting over. Spread if necessary, and let the cake cool. 16 servings

Grilled Pineapple

This extra easy grilled dessert recipe is a real surprise and tastes so wonderful.

* 1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2" slices
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1 Tbsp. lime juice
* 1 Tbsp. lemon juice (or use all lime or all lemon juice)
* 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
* 3 cups orange sorbet (or any flavor)

Combine brown sugar, juices, and cinnamon in a small bowl until smooth. Spread this mixture on each side of each pineapple ring. Grill pineapple 4-5" from medium coals for 5-10 minutes, turning once, until sugar mixture melts and pineapple is heated and tender.

Top each slice with a small scoop of sorbet and serve immediately. Serves 8

Coconut Drops

This easy candy recipe tastes better than the packaged store bought kind!

* 2 cups flaked coconut
* 1 Tbsp. butter, softened
* 1 Tbsp. milk
* 2 cups milk chocolate chips
* 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In small bowl, combine coconut, butter and milk. You may need to add more milk if necessary so mixture holds together, depending on the moisture content in the coconut. Form into 1" balls and place on waxed paper.

Melt chocolate chips in microwave on MEDIUM power, stirring every minute. Let cool slightly. Dip coconut balls in chocolate, place on waxed paper. Refrigerate to harden chocolate. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator. Makes about 24 candies

Chocolate Nut Toffee

This recipe is so easy you won't have the troubles I had trying to make the original Toffee version. It's crispy, sweet, crunchy, smooth and altogether wonderful.

* 2 paper packages of graham crackers
* 1 cup broken pecans
* 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup brown sugar
* pinch of salt
* 12 oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 15x10" jelly roll pan with foil, then grease the foil with unsalted butter. (If you use salted butter, it will stick!!) Cover the pan with the graham crackers, breaking them into pieces to fit if necessary.

Only make one layer. Arrange the pecans evenly over the graham crackers.

Combine the butter, sugars, and salt in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly, until the butter is absorbed and the mixture becomes smooth and thick. Then spoon the cooked syrup over the crackers to coat, spreading evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, until topping is bubbly all over the surface. Immediately sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Let the pan cool, then peel the foil off the toffee, break into pieces, and serve. Be sure to be very careful with that hot sugar syrup - it can burn like the dickens. Makes about 36 pieces

These are also excellent made with salted rectangular crackers as the base. I've also made them without the nuts; in that case, sprinkle a cup of milk chocolate chips over the bars after they are baked.

Cookie Brittle

This wonderful recipe appeared on a chocolate chip cookie package years ago, and I've never seen it since. It's a marvelous twist on the traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe, using tender, melting shortbread as the base.

* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 cups flour
* 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
* 1 cup chopped pecans, OR more chocolate chips

Combine butter, vanilla, salt and sugar and beat together until well blended, using the back of a spoon. Stir in flour until just mixed. Add chocolate chips and nuts. Press cookie dough evenly into a 15x10" jelly roll pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-25 minutes, until light golden brown. Check at the 15 minute bake time, then watch cookies carefully; they go from light brown to burnt around the edges very quicky. Let cool in pan. When cool, break into irregular pieces. Store in airtight container. 16 servings

Caramel Crisp Marshmellows

This super easy recipe is a good one for kids to make for Christmas.

* 24 marshmallows
* 1 cup thick caramel ice cream topping
* 2-3 cups rice krispies cereal

Pierce each marshmallow with a toothpick. Holding the marshmallows by the toothpick, spoon ice cream topping over each, then roll in the cereal to coat. Set on waxed paper and refrigerate to set. Makes 24

Minute Apple Tart

This super simple four ingredient recipe features frozen puff pastry, sliced apple, and apricot jam. That's it! Serve it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

* 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
* 2 Granny smith apples, cored and sliced paper thin
* 1/2 cup apricot jam or preserves
* 3 Tbsp. sugar

Roll pastry onto a well floured surface and cut into twelve 3" squares. Prick the pastry with a fork and coat each with a spoonful of apricot jam. Fan the apple slices over the jam, arranged nicely.

Sprinkle with sugar. Put the tarts on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until the apple slices are crisp-tender and the pastry is golden brown. Try serving these hot, with vanilla ice cream!

Easiest Fudge In The World

This recipe probably came from Eagle Brand or Nestle, I can't remember which one. So I'll give credit to both. It is probably the easiest recipe in the world, thus the name! For an even more indulgent version, use chocolate flavored sweetened condensed milk.


* 12 oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate chips
* 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Place chips and milk in microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium power for 2-3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Microwave, stirring at 1 minutes intervals, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth and thick.

Pour into greased 8" square pan and cool. You can also melt the chips and milk in a heavy saucepan over low heat.

Chocolate Layer Cake

One of the tricks of this recipe is adding sour cream to the cake mix. The sour cream adds fabulous moistness and flavor to the cake recipe

* 1 (18 ounce) package two layer devil's food cake mix
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1 cup water
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 3 eggs
* 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
* 1/3 cup sour cream
* 2 (16 ounce) cans milk chocolate frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, combine cake mix, 1 cup sour cream, water, vegetable oil, and eggs, and mix to combine. Beat well at high speed for 2 minutes. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9" layer cake pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes, until cake springs back when lightly touched with finger and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan.

Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Carefully remove from pans and cool completely.

In small microwave-safe bowl, place chocolate chips. Microwave on 50% power for 1 minute, then remove and stir until smooth. If necessary, microwave at 50% power for 20 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until completely melted. Cool for 10 minutes. Combine with frosting and 1/3 cup sour cream in small bowl and beat well to combine. If necessary, chill frosting until thick enough to spread. Fill layers and frost cake with this frosting. For tips, see How To Frost A Layer Cake.

If you feel this is too much frosting, just use the amount you'd like and make Graham Cracker Sandwiches with the leftovers. Spread 2-3 tablespoons frosting between two graham crackers and let stand until set. It's much easier to frost a cake with a lot of frosting, which is why I doubled the amount usually called for.

White Chocolate Pecan Pie


* 1 9" pie shell
* 2 Tbsp. butter
* 2 cups chopped pecans
* 1-1/2 cups vanilla milk chips
* 1/4 cup milk
* 2 cups heavy whipping cream
* 1/3 cup powdered sugar
* 1 tsp. vanilla

Prepare a pie crust and place it in a 9" pie pan or a 10" tart pan. Blind bake the crust until golden brown.

Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir in pecans and cook until nuts are golden brown, about 6 minutes, stirring constantly. The nuts can burn very quickly, so make sure that you watch carefully. Cool at room temperature for 1 hour.

In small heavy saucepan, melt vanilla milk chips in milk over low heat. Cool at room temperature for 1 hour too.

In large bowl, beat whipping cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Fold in cooled pecans and cooled vanilla milk chip mixture. Spoon into cooled crust and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. May also be frozen and served frozen. Serves 8-10