Friday, December 2, 2011


1 ¾ cups white sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water
1 cup toasted finely chopped almonds
melted chocolate
chopped almonds

Slowly heat sugar, corn syrup and water in heavy pot. Boil and add butter. Cook to 154C (300F) hard crack on candy thermometer. Remove from heat and add almonds. Pour out on buttered foil and mark pieces. When cool, spread top with melted chocolate and sprinkle with chopped almonds. When cool, flip over and do other side if desired.

Five Minute Chocolate Fudge

1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 tbsp butter
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Boil 4-5 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, marshmallows, chocolate chips and nuts. Stir until marshmallows melt and blend. Pour into a PAM sprayed 8” square pan. Chill. Cut into squares.

Walnut Greek Shortbread (Kourambiethes)

2 cups butter
½ cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup very finely chopped walnuts (toast walnuts first)
approximately 4 cups all purpose flour
Icing sugar

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla with mixer until very light and fluffy (at least 10 minutes). Stir in nuts and most of the flour. Add enough remaining flour to make soft not sticky (but not dry) dough. Shape into ovals or balls. Bake at 300 degrees F until golden on bottom, 18-20 minutes.
Put immediately onto a pan or bowl very heavily covered with icing sugar. Toss gently in icing sugar IMMEDIATELY OVER HOT COOKIES to cover cookies. Let cool. Roll balls again in remaining icing sugar.

Place in red/green mini-muffin papers for a pretty Christmas presentation.

Nut Crackle Corn

½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp baking soda
10 cups popcorn
1 cup peanuts (or mixed nuts)

Mix together popcorn and peanuts in large bowl. Melt butter, stir in sugar & corn syrup. Bring to boil, then cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla and baking soda. Pour over popcorn & nuts. Spread on a foil covered baking pan and bake at 250F for 1 hour, stirring once or twice. Cool and peel off foil. Can easily double recipe, but use big bowl.

Date Squares—Matrimonial Squares

2 cups oatmeal
2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup butter

Date Filling
½ lb dates, pitted
2/3 cup Water
1 tsp Lemon juice

Base: In a large bowl, combine oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Spread 3/4 of the crumbs in a 9 x 13 inch cake pan.

Date Filling: Mix dates and water together in a saucepan. Cook until thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Allow to cool before using. Spread over the crumbs in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over top of the filling.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes.

Chocolate-dipped Almond-Pistachio Macaroons

4½ cups icing sugar
1 cup almond pieces, coarsely ground
½ cup all purpose flour
1 cup unsalted pistachios, finely chopped
¾ cup egg whites (about 6 large)
¼ tsp corn starch
12 oz semisweet chocolate, for dipping or white chocolate.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, blend together sugar and almonds until well blended. Add flour; blend until uniform. Add pistachios; blend well.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and ¼ tsp corn starch in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold nut mixture into whites in 4 additions (batter will be thick).

Spoon batter by generous tbsp onto prepared sheets, spacing mounds 1½ inches apart. Bake cookies until dry and cracked on top, about 10 minutes. Bottoms will be slightly brown. Slide parchment with cookies onto another surface to cool.

Dip one half of the macaroon in melted chocolate, if desired.

(Can be made 3 days ahead. Store between sheets of waxed paper. These freeze well).

Skor Toffee Chocolate Bars

¾ cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups flour
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp. margarine
1 cup coconut
1 ½  milk chocolate chips (300g)
1 pkg. Skor Toffee Bits

Cream first 3 ingredients and press evenly in 13 X 9 pan. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes until light golden. Cool while preparing filling. Heat sweetened condensed milk with 2 tbsp butter in 2 cup measure in microwave for 3-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. Stir in coconut and spread mixture over cookie base. Bake for 10-12 minutes longer until golden.

Sprinkle milk chocolate chips evenly over top. Bake 2 minutes more until chocolate melts. Remove from oven. Spread chocolate evenly. Sprinkle Skor Toffee Bits on top pressing lightly into chocolate (with back of spoon) Cool completely. If necessary, chill just to set chocolate before cutting into bars. Store at room temperature. For easier removal, line pan with parchment paper.

Alternate Topping: melt 1 ½ cups chocolate chips with ½ cup creamy peanut butter and spread over coconut layer.

Chocolate Kiddie Chow

Melt together:
¼ cup margarine
1-½ cups chocolate chips
½ cup peanut butter

6-½ - 7 cups ( ½ box) Krispix Cereal. 

In bag or large lidded bowl, shake above in icing sugar (in 2-3 batches) until thoroughly coated. Looks like Puppy Chow! Easily doubles.

Chocolate Chewy Bars

½ cup melted butter
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 ½ cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine melted butter and brown sugar. Add vanilla and eggs, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Spread in a greased 9 X 13 pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over surface and press down lightly. Bake at 350F for 25-35 minutes or until browned. Nice and Chewy.

Cashew Chocolate Tarts

24 tart shells
1/3 cup corn syrup
2 tbsp firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
½ cup unsalted cashew pieces (or pecans)
2/3 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate baking wafers
¼ cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate baking wafers
white & chocolate wafers for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spread tart shells onto a baking sheet. Mix together the corn syrup, light brown or yellow sugar, melted butter and vanilla extract. Add the egg and mix smooth. Stir in the nuts and chopped chocolate (but not the whole wafers for garnishing). Spread evenly in the tart shells. The filling will be about 1/4-inch from the top. Don’t over fill. Bake about 25 minutes on the middle rack. The filling will puff as it bakes (it will flatten again during cooling) and turn lightly golden. Remove from oven. Wait until the filling subsides (about 2 minutes) and while the tart is still warm, decorate the top of each tart – if you like –with one chocolate wafer of each colour; slightly overlap the two in the center of each tart. The wafers will melt slightly and stick to the tops. Cool the tarts completely (the chocolate wafers will harden again) before transporting. Keeps well for up to two days ahead in a sealed container.

Yorkshire Pudding

7/8 cup flour
½ tsp salt
½ cup milk
2 eggs beaten til fluffy
½ cup water

*All ingredients must be at room temperature before mixing or they won’t puff.

Sift together flour and salt. Combine milk, water and beaten eggs. Make a well in center and pour in milk mixture. Beat until large air bubbles surface. Spray muffin tin with PAM. Divide mixture. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes then gradually reduce heat to 350F for 15-20 minutes more. Should be lightly brown and puffed.

Carrot Cake

2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
3 c. shredded carrots
2 tsp baking soda
½ c. vegetable oil
½ c. apple sauce (2 small snack containers)
4 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla

Mix dry ingredients. Blend in oil, eggs, carrots and vanilla. Bake in greased Bundt pan or 9x14 pan at 350F for 35 minutes.

If desired cover with icing (butter, icing sugar, vanilla, milk).

Original Recipe from Food that Really Schmecks (Mennonite recipe) which called for 1 1/4 cups of oil. Replaced much of the oil with applesauce and tastes mighty fine.

Coffee Cake

½ c. butter or hard margarine
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c. light sour cream
1 ½ c. flour (half wholewheat)
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp cinnamon
¼ c. chopped nuts (pecans)
¼ c. sugar

Cream butter, add sugar gradually. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until light after each. Mix sour cream and baking soda. Sift together flour and baking powder. Add sour cream and flour mixtures alternately to the creamed mixture, beating well. Stir in vanilla.

Topping: mix together sugar, cinnamon and nuts. Sprinkle half the topping into the bottom of a greased Bundt pan. Spoon half the batter over. Sprinkle with remaining topping and remaining batter. Bake at 350o for 45 minutes. (can easily make muffins).

Boston Cream Pie

Sponge Cake Batter
1 cup a.p. flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup hot milk

Cream Filling
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 ½ cups cold milk

Chocolate Glaze
2 tbsp butter
1 sq unsweetened chocolate
2 tbsp milk
1 cup sifted icing sugar
¼ tsp vanilla

Spoon flour into measuring cup. Mix with baking powder and salt. Beat eggs until thick (~5 minutes). Gradually add sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients, ¼ at a time, in egg mixture. Add hot milk all at once and mix in quickly. Line 9” round pan with waxed paper. Do not grease. Spread in batter. Bake 375F for 20-25 min. Cool and remove from pan.

Cream Filling: Prepare and let stand 5 minutes. Split cake in half and fill with pudding.

Chocolate Glaze: Melt butter and chocolate. Add milk. Stir in icing sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Spread over top of cake. Refrigerate.

Apple Crisp

4 cups sliced apples
2/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup flour
½ cup oatmeal
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup butter, softened

Place sliced apples in 8 X 11 pan. Combine remaining ingredients and sprinkle over apples. Bake at 375F for 30 minutes.

Swiss Fried Potatoes (Rosti)

2 lbs. potatoes
3 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
1 lg. onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp. milk

Potatoes must be cooked at least 1 day before hand. Rosti must not be stirred, otherwise they will not form a crust. Boil the unpeeled potatoes until semi-tender the day before preparation. Peel; grate coarsely and salt. Heat butter in a large skillet. Saute onion until translucent; add potatoes and mix. Flatten with pancake turner to form a cake; cover, cook about 15 minutes until heated through. (Do not stir, but occasionally shake pan. Reshape, if necessary.) Should be moist; if not, sprinkle with additional cooking oil. Flip. Uncover, cook 15 minutes more. Turn out onto a platter, golden crust side up. Serves 6 to 8.

A number of additional ingredients are often added, such as bacon, onions, cheese, apples or fresh herbs—rosemary, thyme. Potatoes: yellow-fleshed potatoes, such as Yukon Gold (low water content) or Sweet-potato. Let your imagination run wild!

Fettucine with Shrimp in Garlic Sauce

¼ c butter
2 cloves garlic, smashed & chopped
pinch crushed red chili pepper
1 tsp dried basil
½ cup onion, finely chopped
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 lb scallops or shrimp
¼ cup dry white wine
1 cup half and half cream
salt & pepper to taste
fresh fettucine for 4
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Saute onion, garlic and chili pepper in butter (very lightly). Add basil and worchestershire sauce and saute this mixture until the moisture is out of the onions. Add scallops or shrimp and white wine, mix together and saute until the scallops are slightly underdone. Add the cream and bring the contents to a boil. Strain all the solids from the cream sauce and set them aside in a heated bowl. Reduce the cream remaining in the pan until it lightly coats the back of a spoon. Cook the fettucine as directed. Pour the scallop mixture back into the cream sauce and leave on stove just to heat through. Spoon the sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with parsley.

Hamburger Chowder

½ lb ground beef, cooked
2 med carrots, diced
1 med onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
28-oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
4 cups beef broth
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni

Cooked hamburger and drain. Sauté onion, carrots and garlic. Add remaining ingredients except macaroni. Bring to boil and simmer for 1/2 hour. Add macaroni and cook for another 15 minutes. Serve with crusty bread and cheese.

Broccoli Salad

Mix together:
1 bunch broccoli, cut small
1 small onion, finely chopped
6 slices crisp bacon
¼ cup toasted almonds or pine nuts

½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vinegar

Cheese and Spinach Appetizer

1 pkg. Pillsbury crescent rolls
3 eggs, beaten
½ pkg frozen spinach, thawed, drained and finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Pat crescent rolls into a 9 X 15 cookie sheet, smoothing out the seams. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over dough. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes until set. Cool and cut in squares. Freezes well. Reheat for 8-10 minutes.

Apricot-Ginger Chutney

6 cups apples, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 cups dried apricots, chopped (packed in cup, not loosely packed)
3 cups white wine vinegar
1 cup golden raisins
½ cup fresh ginger, grated (or finely chopped)
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. hot red pepper flakes
4 cups sugar

Mix apples, apricots, vinegar, raisins, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes in a large heavy pot (not aluminum). Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Let simmer for 10 minutes or until apricots are plumped up. Add sugar and mix. Bring to a boil again. cook, stirring constantly, for 20 minutes or until thickened. Pour the hot chutney into sterilized jars, cover with sterilized lids and rings, then process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Curried Chicken and Almond Rolls

1 cup cooked chicken, finely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
¾ cup sharp cheese, grated
1/3 cup finely chopped almonds
1 tbsp parsley
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp each salt & pepper
18 slices bread (white or whole wheat)
¼ cup melted butter

Combine all ingredients except bread and butter in bowl. Remove crusts from bread and flatten each slice with a rolling pin. Spread ~2 tbsp. chicken mixture on each slice and roll up. Cut into 3 or 4 pieces. Brush with melted butter and bake at 375F for 15 minutes. Easily frozen. Reheat frozen rolls at 400F for 10 minutes. Serve with Apricot-Ginger Chutney.

White Fudge (Microwave)

2 cups brown sugar
¾ cup softened butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups icing sugar (sift first then measure)
½ cup Toasted pecans (chopped & optional)

Mix the brown sugar, butter and condensed milk in a microwavable bowl. Microwave on high, mixing every 2 minutes, for 8 minutes. Mix in vanilla and let stand for 5 minutes. Mix in icing sugar with an electric beater/hand mixer until combined. Stir in pecans and pour into a square cake pan sprayed with PAM. Cut before completely solid.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup icing sugar
½ cup finely chopped pecans
½ cup Rice Krispies

Melted chocolate coating for dipping (*Use Merckens “milk chocolate” melts that you can buy at a bulk food store for candy-making).

Mix first 4 ingredients and chill. Roll into small balls and dip each, one at a time, into melted chocolate coating. Set each onto waxed paper until coating sets. Store in fridge.


2 cups of butter
1 1/4 cup of icing sugar
4 cups of flour

Cream until fluffy. Roll out and cut shapes. Bake at 275 for 15 minutes. They can be dipped in chocolate (white or chocolate), decorated with icing or eaten plain.

4 Cheese Spinach Dip

Not sure where the 4th cheese comes in, but this is similar to the one served at a local roadhouse restaurant.

2 packages cream cheese
1 box frozen spinach, chopped
3/4 cup alfredo sauce
1 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 cup red pepper, finely diced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Cajun spice
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp hot sauce
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
Grated cheddar cheese

Soften cream cheese and blend with alfredo sauce with a hand mixer. Chop spinach into fine pieces. Squeeze out water from spinach and pat dry with a paper towel. Incorporate spinach and remaining ingredients with cream cheese mixture. Separate into small 5" diameter, air tight containers covering the bottom and filling up 1" deep. Sprinkle tops of dip with grated cheddar. Warm in microwave till top layer of cheese is melted (approx 30 seconds). 

Serve with nacho chips or warm baked pita slices (spray with pam and bake in oven for 3-4 minutes - till toasted).

Dips can be frozen, however it is recommended to thaw at room temperature prior to heating.

Fig Crostini

1 c. chopped figs (Mission figs)
1/2 cup port
2 tbsp white sugar
5 thin slices fresh ginger
1/2 tsp rosemary dried or fresh chopped
1 pear, peeled and chopped

Baguette, sliced and toasted
Goat cheese or Boursin cheese

Heat first 5 ingredients to a boil and simmer 3 minutes. Add pear and simmer until liquid absorbed 5-10 minutes. Remove ginger. 

Spread cheese on baguette and top with fig mixture.