Thursday, January 29, 2009

Peanut Butter KISS Cookies...Perfect for all your little sweethearts!

We love these little treasures at our house, and they don't stick around for very long. We've been making these for years. We left them for Santa this year, and he of course, ate them right up! The Hershey's Kisses are a perfect combination with the peanut butter. We like to use the Caramel Hershey's Kisses. We love the gooey center that melts right in your mouth. If you are looking for a sweet treat for all your little kissable sweethearts this year, this one is perfect. It's simple, cute, and sweet!
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
Beat together:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
Stir in remaining until combined:
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
Roll into balls and roll in sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. You know they are done when the cookie starts cracking, and starts to get a little brown around the edges. Remove from oven and place one Hershey's Kiss in the middle of each cookie and press down so that the cookie comes up around the kiss and the kiss sinks right in. Enjoy!!!
I ran out of brown sugar as I was making these cookies, and because I was baking them for a class I was going to, I had to find a substitute. I found a recipe to make brown sugar. It is ingenious! I'm sure no one else runs out of brown sugar but me, but if you do, there is hope!!! I have an awesome cookbook called Cooking from My Pantry that has great tips and recipes for emergencies and using your food storage. I knew this book could save me.
Brown Sugar recipe:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp molasses
This equals 1 cup packed brown sugar. Stir with a fork. The molasses taste is gone after the item is baked.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Honey Glazed Chicken & Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

My family just got back from spending the weekend in Zion National Park. It was absolutely beautiful! We left the Salt Lake Valley & its yucky air behind to enjoy breathtaking views & clear blue skies. The temperature was 70 on Sunday & 67 on Monday. I'm ready to pack up & move there today! I love Southern Utah. The picture above was the Zion Canyon overlook. Below was the view from our hotel. We had such a fun time!
On to some yummy recipes. This first one is from my sister-in-law. I was at her house one day when she pulled this out of the oven & knew it was a recipe I had to have. Honey Glazed Chicken
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup butter
4 chicken breasts (you could use chicken tenders too! I used about 3 of the frozen chicken breasts from Costco cut up)
Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, salt and cayenne pepper together in a large ziploc bag. Drop chicken in bag and shake to coat. Melt butter and place in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Place flour coated chicken in baking dish and turn to coat both sides with butter. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
Honey Glaze Sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup butter, melted
Combine all ingredients. Pour over chicken until well coated. Bake for an additional 45 minutes. Serve over rice. (Keep your eye on it, mine started to burn a little bit).

This recipe came from one of my favorite cookbooks: The Domestic Art. It is a collection of recipes gathered by Patricia Schocker Wright. They are so good! I wish I had some to eat right now.
Fae's Chocolate-Marshmallow Cookies
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350. Cream shortening and sugar; add egg, milk, and vanilla. Stir in flour, cocoa, soda, baking powder, and salt. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven and top each with 2-3 marshmallows (I cute my marshmallows in half and put about 10 on). Return to oven for 1 minute. While warm, top with chocolate frosting.
Chocolate Frosting
1 square unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup milk
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Melt chocolate, then add margarine and milk. Bring to a boil. Stir while boiling for 1 minute. Sift in powdered sugar, add vanilla. Stir well.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pizza Pockets & a Choo-choo Train Birthday Cake

We had a birthday party for my 3 year old over the weekend. It was a lot of fun. A few months ago I had planned to throw him a Dinosaur party, because he was loving dinosaurs at the time. That soon changed, and I was stumped as to what kind of party to have. Then it came to me. He had never had his own train set. He loves trains, and immediately plays with the trains whenever we go play at his friends'. So we threw him a Choo-choo train birthday party. He was in heaven when he saw his cake, but that didn't even compare to when he opened his birthday present from us of his Thomas & Friends Train set. He was so excited, and was done opening presents after that. It even took some time to get him to come blow out the candles on his birthday cake. My husband finely said "fire", and he came running! He played with his train set the rest of the night, and took them to bed with him. Funny little guy! We served a bunch of finger foods at his party. My sister, (the one that I share this blog with) came to the party. It was fun to be in the same kitchen together. I really can't take the credit for these awesome pizza pockets, because she ended up making them for me while I was building the cake. They were yummy, and easy. They would make a perfect fried appetizer for football watching.

Pizza Pockets

1 pkg Egg Roll Wrappers (these are found in the produce dept., by the authentic foods.)
Spaghetti Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Oil for frying

Lay out your Egg Roll Square so it looks like a diamond and assemble filling in the order listed above right across the center horizontally. Use about 1 Tbsp sauce, 1 handful of cheese, and 2 pepperoni's for each roll. Then fold up the roll just like an envelope bringing the bottom corner to the center first, then the 2 sides folded in, and close the roll bringing the top corner down to close envelope off. Fry at 350 degrees in oil for a total of about 2-3 minutes browning each side. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve with warm marinara sauce.

Yes, I left out the "d" on Birthday! No one even noticed. I didn't even notice until after the party was over. This Choo-choo train birthday cake was super simple, and so kid friendly. All the kids were drooling over all the yummy sweets. I got the idea from Go here to watch a how-to video for this cake: .

I did do mine a little different. I used 4 mini loaf pans for my cars instead of one large loaf pan cut in 4's. This made it a lot easier for frosting, because you don't have to deal with the crumbs mixing with the frosting. I frosted mine with the packaged frostings to make it easier. I colored them to make them even more kid-friendly. I used 2 cake mixes. Milk Chocolate cake mix for the engine cake made in a large loaf pan and one of the minis, then a Rainbow cake mix for the other 3 cars. I actually got 4 minis out of the Rainbow cake, but didn't have room on my track for it. You can pretty much use whatever candy you can imagine. I used colored licorice to outline the cars, and for the front of the engine. Gummy LifeSavers and Tootsie Rolls for the wheels. Reese's PB cups for the smoke stack. Crushed Oreos for the coal on the engine. The cargo was M&M's, Whoppers, Jelly Beans, & Tootsie Rolls. Fun, fun birthday cake for all your Choo-choo train lovers out there!