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Twix Bars

Twix Bars

Ingredients

  • BASE:
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • FILLING:
  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 (4 pz) can sweetened condesed milk
  • TOPPING:
  • 3 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 3 1/2oz milk chocolate
  • 2 oz white chocolate


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line and lightly grease a 19 x 9 jelly roll pan.
  3. Mix flour and sugar, rub in buter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Work with your hands until the mixture forms a dough.
  4. Put the ough into the prepared pa and press it out wih your hand to cover the base. Then use the back of a tablespoon to smooth it venly into the pan. Prick all over with a fork and bake fore about 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch and very light brown. Set aside and leave in pan to cool.
  5. Filling: put butter, brown sugar and milk into a pan and heat gently, sirring, unti the sugar has dissolved. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture very gently, stirring constantly, for about 5 – 10 minutes, or until it has thickened and has turned a caramel color. DO NOT BURN
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Pour thfilling mixture over the cookie base, spread evenly, then leave until cold.
  8. TOPPING:
  9. Melt each type of chocolate separately in a micorave or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of hot water. Spoon lines of plain and mil chocolate over the set caramel filling.
  10. Add small spoonfuls of white chocolate. Use a skewer to for a marbled effect on the topping.
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Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

Earlier this summer my mom visited me in Bismarck for a whole week!  She had a class that she needed to take for her teaching degree.  How wonderful it is to cook with mom in her kitchen…but in my kitchen?!  Well it’s a little tight for space, but I was very happy to have company.

We made shrimp with sweet-and-sour sauce.  Mom said she liked it alot and would have to make it from the following recipe again.

Ingrediants:

  • 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons conrstarch
  • 1/2 C. chicken broth
  • 1/3 C. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 C. finely chopped green or red sweet pepper
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspons grated gingerroot
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

In a small saucepan combine brown sugar and cornstarch.  Stir in chicken broth, vinegar, sweet pepper, corn syrup, soy sauce, gingerroot and garlic.  Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes more.  Serve warm.  Makes about 1 1/3 cups of sauce.

Monster Cookies

 

Monster Cookies

Monster Cookies

 

Ingredients:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups creamy peanut butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon corn syrup
4 large eggs
2 cups semisweet or dark chocolate chips
2 cups M&M’s

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter cookie sheets.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk in oats until combined.

In a VERY large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar, until creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in vanilla, corn syrup and eggs, until well combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in flour-oat mixture until combined. Beat in chocolate chips and M&M’s until well combined.

At this point, I chilled my dough, but I don’t think it was necessary. I probably chilled it for 20 minutes in the freezer.

Measure out dough into equal, round balls, and place on prepared sheet pan, spacing fairly far apart (they spread quite a bit). Flatten balls using the palms of your hand, or the bottom of a drinking glass. Use 1/4 cup measure for big cookies. Bake at 350 degrees F, for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown and set. Cool for 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Makes a ton of cookies.
Let’s say 5 dozen

Carrot, Dill and White Bean Salad

Finally, I am getting a new recipe on here.  This morning in the mist and fog, I biked to the farmers market in Bismarck.  Since it is a short growing season this year, there are not a lot of veggies for sale.  However, I have been waiting to try a recipe from 101 Cookbooks blog.  With carrots, dill, lemon, and brown sugar, the flavors are amazing.

I used canned beans for the recipe, but you can cook some up if you’d like. 

I like to buy young carrots at the farmers’ market – slice them slightly thicker than a banana chip for this salad.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots

more olive oil (or ghee) for cooking
2 cups sliced carrots, cut 1/4-inch thick on deep bias
3 cups cooked white beans
scant 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons brown sugar (or honey)
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and shallots in a small bowl. Stir and set aside.

In your largest skillet over medium high heat, toss the carrots with a splash of olive oil or a spoonful of ghee (I love ghee with carrots). Let them cook in a single layer – they’ll give off a bit of water at first. Keep cooking, tossing gently every three or four minutes until the carrots are deeply browned. All told, about twelve minutes.

Add the beans and dill to the skillet and cook for another five minutes, or until the beans as well heated through. If you are using beans that weren’t canned you can allow them to brown a bit as well (just cook a bit longer, and stir less frequently) – they can handle this in a way that most canned beans can’t. If you need to add a bit more olive oil to the pan – do so.

Place the contents of the skillet in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with the brown sugar and pour the 3/4 of the lemon-olive oil mixture over the top. Toss gently. Let sit for ten minutes. Toss gently once again, taste and adjust with more salt or sugar or lemon juice if needed to balance the flavors. Serve warm or at room temperature and finish by sprinkling with the almonds just before serving.

Serves 6 – 8 as a side.

Lemon mustard rosemary chicken

Lemon mustard rosemary chicken

My mom and I love the healthy lemon-rosemary chicken meal at Johnny Carinos.  After hanging out with mom this past weekend not only did I come home with a new table runner, but also a new twist on my chicken recipe.

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • Juice of 1 lemon plus zest or 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 t dried rosemary
  • 1 T brown mustard
  • 1/2 cup sweet pepper
  • Dash of pepper

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients and marinate for 30 minutes.  Cook in frying pan at medium to high heat with remaining marinate.  Serve with couscous or rice.

Crepe Cake

Cream Cheese Crepe Cake

Cream Cheese Crepe Cake

Cream cheese crepe cake is like a cheesecake mixed in with a creme brulee/custard.  Next time however, I would add almond or vanilla extract to the crepe batter.  I noticed on other recipes they burned the top of the cake with sugar for a caramelized flavor.  I love making crepes for a meal as well; stuffing them with sauted turkey, peppers, onions and cheese…amazing!  Don’t be afraid to make a few crepes and eatting them plain either.

Crepes:

  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt OR, FOR SWEETER CREPES, 2 tbsp. sugar

Filling:

  • 1 – 8 oz pkg cream cheese (reduced fat works too)
  • 1 – 3.4 oz vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp almond extract

Preparation:

  1. Combine all of the crepe ingredients and beat until well mixed with electric beater/whisk.
  2. Heat a heavily greased skillet (I used 8″ pan); remove from heat. Spoon in 2 tbsp. batter  Swirl around in pan so that batter is evenly distributed and very thin. 
  3. Return to heat; brown on 1 side only.
  4. Continue making the crepes until the batter is used up. Invert over paper towels or wax paper.
  5. Beat cream cheese, pudding mix, 1/2 cup milk and almond extract until smooth.
  6. Place a crepe on cake stand and spread a thin layer of custard over the entire crepe.
  7. Continue to layer crepes and thin custard layers.
  8. Place cake in refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving to allow custard to set up. 

Soft Pretzels

Fresh Soft Pretzel from the oven

Fresh Soft Pretzel from the oven

 When Kyle and I were in Germany, we ate pretzels and beer almost everyday!  I knew I had to make my own when I returned home.  Luckily I found a this recipe, which is so easy and quick that anyone can and should make these delightful treats!  Bring them along tailgating or to a party where people can enjoy them with a drink. 

  • 2 cups warm water (100°F to 110°F)
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons canola or other neutral oil
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • Coarse or pretzel salt

1. Pour warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar into bowl of electric mixer fitted with a dough hook* and stir to combine. Sprinkle with yeast, and let sit 10 minutes; yeast should be foamy.

2. Add 1 cup flour to yeast, and mix on low until combined. Add salt and 4 cups more flour, and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Beat on medium-low until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup flour, and knead on low 1 minute more. If dough is still wet and sticky, add 1/2 cup more flour (this will depend on weather conditions); knead until combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a lightly floured board, and knead about ten times, or until smooth.

3. Spray large bowl to coat sides. Transfer dough to bowl, turning dough to completely cover all sides. Cover with a kitchen towel, and leave in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.

4. Heat oven to 450°F. Lightly spray two baking sheets with cooking spray (parchment paper, ungreased, also works). Set aside. Punch down dough to remove bubbles. Transfer to a lightly floured board. Knead once or twice, divide into 16 pieces (about 2 1/2 ounces each) or 32 if making miniature pretzels, and wrap in plastic.

5. Roll one piece of dough at a time into an 18-inch-long strip. [I find the pretzels much easier to roll on an unfloured board, oddly enough, but see what works for you.] Twist into pretzel shape; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel. Continue to form pretzels; eight will fit on each sheet (you may need a third sheet if making miniatures). Let pretzels rest until they rise slightly, about 15 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, fill large, shallow pot with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add baking soda (and step back, it foams up quickly) and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Reduce to a simmer; transfer three to four pretzels to water. Poach 1 minute on each side. Use slotted spoon to transfer pretzels to baking sheet. Continue until all pretzels are poached.

7. Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush pretzels with egg glaze. Sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack, or eat warm. Pretzels are best when eaten the same day, but will keep at room temperature, uncovered, for two days. Do not store in covered container or they will become soggy.

Pretzels after poaching

Pretzels after poaching