Ooey-Gooey S’more Brownies

I almost didn’t make this recipe. It was out of Cooking Light, and I just didn’t know how a light brownie could be that good. But I am such a s’mores fanatic and it was recommended so highly that I decided to give it a try. And now it’s a favorite. The original recipe calls for peanut butter chips – substitute those if you must – but I think the toffee chips give it that almost burned taste of a s’more. Delicious!

Ooey-Gooey S’more Brownies

3/4  cup  fat-free sweetened condensed milk, divided

1/4  cup  butter or stick margarine, melted and cooled

1/4  cup  fat-free milk

1  (18.25-ounce) package devil’s food cake mix

1  large egg white, lightly beaten

Cooking spray

1  (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme (about 1 3/4 cups)

1/2  cup  toffee chips (or crush up a Heath bar)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine 1/4 cup condensed milk, butter, and next 3 ingredients (butter through egg white) in a bowl (batter will be very stiff). Coat bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Press two-thirds of batter (NOT ALL THE BATTER – I SAY THIS AS A SERVICE TO YOU.)  into prepared pan using floured hands; pat evenly (layer will be thin).

Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Combine 1/2 cup condensed milk and marshmallow creme in a bowl; stir in morsels. Spread marshmallow mixture evenly over brownie layer. Carefully drop remaining batter by spoonfuls over marshmallow mixture. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

If you must know, there are 176 calories per brownie, but only if you cut it into 24 brownies.

The Best Brittle

Parents that drop off goodies in appreciation for teachers and school staff rank among the best.  I just happend to be working one day in the office at Truman’s school when  a sweet mom, Terri, dropped a plate of this very addicting brittle by for the office staff.  Thanks Terri for introducing me to something so delish that doesn’t have 10 ingredients.  A mix of  salty, sweet, AND  chocolate had me at hello. 

The Best Brittle

 2 sticks butter

1 cup brown sugar

saltine crackers

1 (12 oz.) milk chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line 10X15 cookie sheet with foil. Make sure the foil goes up on each side of the pan a little. Grease foil with butter. Line pan with saltine crackers. Sometimes depending on crackers, I have to cut crackers on the edge into smaller pieces to fully line the pan. Melt butter and b. sugar and  bring to boil. After starts boiling, stir constantly for 3 minutes. Pour over crackers. I usually move mixture around to cover the crackers the best I can. The rest will spread out when in oven. Place in oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately pour chocolate chips on top of caramel mixture. Let them melt and evenly spread. Place pan in refrigerator until brittle gets hard. Pull brittle off of foil and break into pieces. I recommend keeping in refrigerator until you are ready to eat. It is better when it is hard! ENJOY!

Honey Bars

Dorothy Whisenhunt, a dear family friend from Abilene, Texas, made these at Christmas 2003.  We were  addicted. The edge pieces are the best!

Honey Bars

Mix together:
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. honey
1 egg
3/4 c. cooking oil (Crisco vegetable oil)

Sift and add:
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Add:
1 c. chopped pecans

Bake in greased and floured 9″ x 13″ pan @ 350 degrees for 20 to 25 min. DON’T OVERBAKE.

For icing, mix these ingredients and spread while cookies are hot:
1 c. powdered sugar
2 T. Mayonnaise (Light)
1 T. water

Cool and cut into squares or bars. ENJOY!!!

 

Oreo Cookie Balls

These technically aren’t a cookie.  Nonetheless, you can’t have just one.  Simple and yummy!

Oreo Cookie Balls

1 package of Oreo cookies (crushed up very fine)
1 block of cream cheese (melted in the microwave)
1 package of white chocolate bark (melted)
Sprinkles to decorate

Place the Oreos in a plastic bag and crush them very fine with a rolling pin.

Soften the cream cheese in the microwave. Mix the crushed cookies into the cream cheese. Form them into 1″ balls and refrigerate for one hour.

Melt the white chocolate bark and dip the cookie balls into the white chocolate. Decorate with sprinkles.

The Best Sugar Cookies

I had these cookies at a party, and they were life changing. I had to track down the baker, and he graciously sent me this recipe. Now Jon and I will be friends forever.

He served them with pink frosting, all lined up on a red platter, and they were stunning.  Tracy agrees, these are the best sugar cookies! If they are a little crisp, just seal them in an airtight container, and they’ll be perfect the next day.

The Best Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookie Base:

4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside.

Place butter in bowl of electric mixer and beat on medium until smooth. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until well combined and fluffy (whatever that means).

Add each egg one at a time and beat until combined. Add almond and vanilla extracts.

With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture until just combined. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a ball and place in the middle of a sheet of plastic wrap. Press into a rough 8 inch circle. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Roll out each dough piece to approximately 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutter (yield with a round 2 inch cutter is approximately 60 cookies). Place cut-outs on baking sheets 1 inch apart. Refrigerate sheets with cut-outs for 15 minutes (this helps the cookies spread less during baking and retain their shape).

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, rotating front-to-back and top-to-bottom (if using two sheets) halfway through. Let cookies cool completely before frosting.
Tip: If they aren’t soft and moist, you can add a couple of apple slices in an airtight container and they will soften.

Pink frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 oz. butter (3/4 stick), softened
1 tsp. vanilla
A few drops red food coloring
2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar

Beat butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until smooth. Add vanilla and red food coloring and mix until combined.

Gradually add powdered sugar at low speed until fully combined. (Over-mixing will result in a lighter, aerated frosting–not my favorite with these cookies). More powdered sugar results in a stiffer frosting that develops a satisfying outer “crust” once dry (my preference), less results in a creamier texture that remains satiny.

Unbelievably Moist Chocolate Cake

 It sounds so weird, but it is unbelievably moist and yummy. I know if you make this, you’ll wonder if I am SURE I gave the directions right. But trust me on this one.

Unbelievably Moist Chocolate Cake

1 chocolate cake mix
1 container chocolate coconut pecan frosting mix
glaze

Mix together the cake mix, the frosting (yes, the frosting), and the rest of the ingredients called for on the cake mix box.
 
Bake in a bundt pan per directions. When cool, remove from pan and drizzle with any glaze (powdered sugar and water is fine).

 

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding

I love this banana pudding.  It comes from the famous Magnolia Bakery in NYC. Beware – it’s rich, but worth it!

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand)
3 cups heavy cream
1 (12-ounce) box Nabisco Nilla Wafers (no substitutions!)
4 cups sliced ripe bananas

In a small bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more.

Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight, before continuing. It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.

To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably glass) with a 4-5-quart capacity. Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if necessary, then one-third of the bananas and one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or wafer crumbs on the top layer of the pudding.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours – or up to 8 hours, but no longer! – before serving.

I love this banana pudding. Please make it soon!

Mamaw’s Lemon Cake

Everyone has had that special Mamaw with that special recipe. This is from my friend Shelly’s Mamaw. It tastes just like something from your  grandmother’s kitchen……Enjoy.

Mamaw’s Lemon Cake

1 yellow cake mix
3/4 cup oil
1 small packet lemon jello dissolved in 3/4 c. of hot water
4 eggs
2 T. lemon flavoring
Icing
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
4 T. lemon juice

Mix jello in very hot water. Mix first five ingredients for 3-4 minutes.

Bake in bundt pan for 25-30 minutes at 350. Cool and turn onto platter and puncture with a fork. Drizzle with icing.