While on our annual spring break visit to Disney World, we passed many bakery style shops displaying an assortment of carefully prepared baked goods and other sweet treats. Most items were meticulously iced with a thick layer of frosting representing the familiar red, yellow, black, and white colors that Mickey and Minnie traditionally wear. For my family, this thick layer of icing is a bit too much; the “sweet” on top of the “sweet” is more than we can take. Especially when there are so many other treats that entice us throughout the parks.
This year, as we were checking out the shops, my oldest daughter spied a scrumptious square of deliciousness that reminded her of my traditional blondie recipe. Unfortunately, a layer of icing donned the top. In a disappointed tone, she asked if I might bake some blondies when we returned home. She also requested the addition of butterscotch chips. Here is my traditional recipe with a twist of butterscotch and walnut flavors.
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups butterscotch chips
1 cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9″ baking pan.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and water; beat well. In a medium bowl, Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture, mixing well until completely combined. Stir in butterscotch chips and nuts. Batter will be thick. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until top is golden brown and center is set. Cool completely. Cut into 1 1/2″ bars.
I did a kitchen cupboard inventory yesterday. On one of the upper shelves, I found a can of Solo Cake & Pastry Filling. I pulled back the label of the almond flavored can and noticed a recipe for a Bundt cake. Who doesn’t love the aroma of almonds and butter baking in a cake batter? I immediately pulled out a few sticks of butter to soften on the counter and waited in anticipation for a beautiful baking experience. Here’s the recipe:
The cake turned out divine! Just as I had suspected… A moist and flavorful mixture of goodness!
This past holiday weekend was mild and breezy…the perfect opportunity to head up the road to a local farm to purchase some plump, ripe blueberries. The trip was inspired by my niece who had been “baking up a storm” to celebrate her mother’s (my sister’s) birthday. My sister celebrates her birthday on Independence Day so her daughter prepared a few festive goodies for the occasion. After seeing a few pictures of the table setting for the party, I was inspired to uncover our vintage Mustang convertible and take a drive down the country road to pick up a five-pound box of freshly picked berries. This is one of my favorite pie recipes as it is super simple, made with fresh, bright flavors and ingredients. There is nothing like sharing a piece of blueberry pie after dinner on a Sunday evening with the family before starting another busy work week.
Blueberry Pie with Oat Crumble Topping
1 pre-made pie crust
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
5 cups fresh blueberries
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
6 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Press the pie crust into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ pie plate. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and flour, lemon zest and lemon juice. Gently stir in the blueberries. Carefully, pour blueberry mixture into the pie crust.In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar, oats, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix in butter using a pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Spread the crumb topping evenly over the pie filling.
Bake for 40-45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until browned on top. Cover with foil if crust starts to get too dark before baking is complete. Cool before slicing.
I was looking for a refreshing, lite dessert this past Halloween weekend and I remembered this four-ingredient, low-sugar treat that everyone seems to enjoy. I usually store the finished product in the fridge for a grab-and-go snack, but it’s also crazy delicious frozen.
If freezing this treat, dump the mixture into a 13X9 baking dish, spread evenly and freeze. Then, slice it into squares before serving. (I use the sugar-free ingredients to assemble this recipe but using the “regular” ingredients will work just as well.)
Refreshing Whipped Jello Dessert (low-sugar)
1 (8 ounce) container Cool Whip, sugar free
1 (16 ounce) container cottage cheese
2 (3 ounce) packages orange sugar-free Jello
1 can Del Monte Mandarin Oranges (no sugar added), drain well
In the order provided, mix all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
There are very few recipes that I bake where I don’t use oatmeal as an ingredient in some form or another. I often stir a handful of oatmeal into the batter for cakes, cookies, and muffins. Or, I might sprinkle oats over the top of the batter just before popping pans into the oven. I even stir oats into my ground beef when making meatloaf, hamburgers, or meatballs. I’m a big fan of the flavor, texture, and health benefit that oats can bring to many recipes.
This Oatmeal Snack Cake is chocked full of flavor and is great with a cup of coffee, packed in the lunchbox for a mid-day treat, or served with a scoop of ice cream after an evening meal. The sweet glaze drizzled over the top of the cake is optional but it dresses things up a bit. Mostly, I just bake the recipe the way it’s written, slice it after cooling, pack it into a Tupperware container, and wait for it to disappear.
Oatmeal Snack Cake
1 1⁄4 cups boiling water
1 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1⁄3 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13X9″ baking pan, set aside.
Pour boiling water over dry oatmeal; set aside for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the flour, soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, combine sugars and oil until well blended. Add eggs, vanilla, and cooled oatmeal, mix thoroughly. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir in raisins and nuts. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Cool completely before slicing. Drizzle with icing or sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
The next time you’re looking for a sweet treat this one will not disappoint. Great for holiday gatherings, this party mix is completely addicting. Make a quick batch, place it out on the counter and BAM, it’s gone in a flash. You won’t believe how easy it is to make this delicious treat! It’s a sinful mix that will satisfy your sweet tooth this holiday season.
Sweet and Salty White Chocolate Snack Mix
1 (10 oz) package mini twist pretzels
5 cups toasted oat cereal rounds
5 cups crispy rice or corn cereal squares
2 1/2 cups salted peanuts
1 (14 oz) package peanut M&M candies
2 (11 oz) packages white chocolate chips
3 tablespoons canola oil
Line a few (3) jelly roll pans or cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
In a very large bowl, combine first 5 ingredients; set aside. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat white chips and oil for 2 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring once. Microwave on high for 10 seconds and stir until smooth. Pour over cereal mixture and combine well. Spread into prepared pans, cool and break apart. Store in an airtight container.
This weekend, we had the pleasure of visiting my sister and her family for the July 4th holiday. One of the activities that we enjoy most is remaking recipes that have become a tradition in our family. This no-bake cake is a winner. The July 4th weather is usually warm and breezy so the ice cream cake is a refreshing treat after a long day of grilling, baseball, and fireworks. Just pop the finished cake into the freezer at the start of the day and it will be waiting for you when you want to sit down and enjoy time with family and friends. What a great, no fuss, dessert!
Oreo Ice Cream Cake
1 package (20 oz.) Oreo cookies
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
1 package (8 oz.) Cool Whip (thawed)
1 jar (16 oz.) hershey’s hot fudge or chocolate syrup
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup mini Reese’s peanut butter cups or your favorite chocolate candy, optional
Lightly spray, with cooking spray, a 9×13″ pan. Crush cookies in the food processor or put them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Add melted butter and mix thoroughly. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Carefully spread the softened ice cream over the cookies. Evenly layer on the Cool Whip. Warm the fudge or chocolate until pourable in the microwave and drizzle over the Cool Whip. Sprinkle nuts over the entire cake. (Add the mini candies, optional.) Freeze for at least two hours or until firm. Enjoy!