Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Creamy Pumpkin Tart...

 



So, I helped out at my daughter's Middle School today... selling Pumpkin Grams.

I know I mentioned a few months back about putting my daughter into an on-line charter school...

... well, she's back in regular school. She just wasn't getting enough socialization, so my husband and I made the decision to place her at the middle school in our district.

Now we have a much happier tween... and believe me, that makes our lives much easier.

Although she is happier, she's still a typical 12 year old.

You know... typical meaning she's embarrassed about anything and everything my husband and I say or do.

Anyway, as I'm helping sell Pumpkin Grams, she discreetly waves hi to me in the cafeteria, and then avoids me. Not even a goodbye as she leaves the cafeteria.

I thought I was one of the cool moms! Geesh.

I guess it's payback for my being embarrassed of my mom at that age. But that's different, okay. She WORKED at my middle school... as the Physical Education aide. I saw her every... single... day, my entire 7th and 8th grade years.

So, I decided to make a tart to help soothe my hurt feelings.

A pumpkin tart... you know, since I have all that canned pumpkin in my pantry.

It made it all better...


Creamy Pumpkin Tart

For the crust:

  • 24 Ginger Snap Cookies
  • 2 Tablespoons of Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Butter, Melted

For the filling:

  • 1 Block (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Can (15 Oz.) Pumpkin
  • 1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Cool Whip

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (F.)

Place the cookies in a large zip lock bag and finely crush them with a rolling pin. You can also use a food processor for this step. Next, pour the crumbs into a medium bowl. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Then stir in the melted butter, coating the crumb mixture well. 

Press the crust into a 10 inch spring form pan. Bake for 9 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese and sugar together. Then blend in the sour cream, canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. Gently fold in the cool whip. Pour the pumpkin filling over the cooled crust. Refrigerate covered overnight. Run a butter knife around the inside of the spring form pan to loosen the filling before removing the tart from the pan. Makes 8 servings.

Enjoy!

I'm linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Frankenstein Rice Crispy Treats...



I've been wanting to make something out of rice crispy treats for a while now.

I though I was all creative in thinking of a Frankenstein monster.

Well, there are other Frankenstein crispy treats out there. I guess I'm not as original as I thought. Oh, well...

... I decided to make them anyway. I'm glad I did... they were a lot of fun!




So, you'll need a whole bunch of goodies! You can use whatever candies you choose for decoration. I just thought jellybeans, sprinkles, an edible color marker, and decorating gel would work great for Frankenstein's face.

I chose to color white candy melts with food coloring made especially for candy making, instead of buying green candy melts. Wilton doesn't always cover well for me, so when I make cake pops or candy coated treats, I like using Guittard Melt 'n Mold. It's the brand available at my local craft store.

You can totally buy green candy melts. It does save some time.




So, I bet you'd like to know how to make these little monsters, right?

Right.

Frankenstein Rice Crispy Treats

  • 8-10 Rice Krispies Treats
  • 1-1/2 Bags (12 OZ.) White Vanilla Flavor Melting Chocolate OR Green Vanilla Flavor Melting Chocolate
  • Blue and Yellow Candy Coloring, Optional 
  • 8-10 Wood Sticks
  • 2-4 Black Decorating Gel Tubes
  • Black Food Writer Marker
  • Confetti Sprinkles
  • Assorted Jellybeans
  • Foam Board, For Placing Treats To Dry On
Begin by refrigerating your rice krispies treats for about an hour, so they are easier to work with. Pre-puncture your foam board with a wooden stick, about 2 inches apart, so your treats don't touch when drying. 

Mark black dots on 16-20 confetti sprinkles with the food marker to make eyes. Next, cut your jellybeans in half, to make the bolts for Frankenstein's neck.

In a 2 cup measuring cup, melt your candy melts in the microwave, according to the package instructions. If coloring the melts, add the blue and yellow coloring, stirring to blend. Add the coloring until you get the desired color of green. Dip about half an inch of the wood stick in the melted candy melts. Then insert it about half way into the krispies treat. Carefully dip the treat into the melted candy melts, coating completely. Gently tap the excess off. Place your coated treat into the pre-punctured foam board to dry. You can stick them in the refrigerator to speed up the drying process; about 20 minutes.

Once you have coated all the treats and they have dried, you can start decorating! Using the black decorating gel, draw Frankenstein's hair on the front of the treat. Then draw his face. Place two confetti sprinkles on the gel eyes. Lastly, place a dot of black gel on the cut side of the jellybeans and place on each side of the treat for the bolts. Place the treats flat on parchment paper to dry, just so the gel can set and not drip off.  Makes 8-10 treats. 


Enjoy!

I'm linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies...




So, you know how I've been trying to get my hands on some pumpkin?

Well, I finally found some on-island.

As my daughter and I were shopping at Target in the baking aisle, I happened to look on the top shelf and staring right back at me was some canned pumpkin.

Needless to say, I was overjoyed. So much so that I could not contain myself.

Right smack dab, in the middle of the aisle, I threw my hands up shouting, "Thank you, Lord!"

I think my daughter was a wee bit embarrassed at that point.

This, my friends, is what food does to me.

I then proceeded to stock up on canned pumpkin like no one's business. You'd have thought I was a contestant on Supermarket Sweep, for crying out loud!

Well, now that I've scored on some pumpkin, I think I'll share with you one of my favorite cookies.



Oh, one more thing...

Head over to Act Fast Chef and check out Elizabeth's Yummy Finds Friday, where she's featured my Candy Corn Sugar Cookies.

I'm also linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It.

Pumpkin Cookies

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Cup Shortening
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin
  • 1 Whole Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F.)

Begin by sifting the first 5 ingredients together in a medium-sized mixing bowl; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl cream the sugar and shortening, then add the pumpkin; blend well. Add the egg and beat well. Next, gently stir in the dry ingredients, a little at a time, to form a smooth batter. Finally, add the vanilla and stir to combine. 

Drop by tablespoonfuls into a cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Once cookies are done, cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 30-40 cookies. 

Enjoy!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies...

 

A wondrous thing has occurred...... I found out that Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen and Shelly from Cookies and Cups have launched a new site together called That's What We Said:


They talk about all sorts of fun, non-food related topics, like TV shows, books, and beauty finds and likes.

I'll definitely be stalking reading their site frequently.

As I am doing this, I may or may not be snacking on these sugar cookies.

And yes, I'm still trying to eat healthy foods. It's just that every once in a while I need something sweet. These are perfect for that!

When making these, I used my Great-Grandma Berry's sugar cookie recipe, but you can use whatever recipe you enjoy. The candy corn method is posted below the recipe.

Happy Baking!

Great-Grandma Berry's Sugar Cookies

  • 3 Cups All-purpose Flour, Plus Some If Rolling Out
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Shortening
  • 2 Whole Eggs, At Room Temperature
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tablespoons Ice Cold Water
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F.)

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and set aside. In another large bowl, mix the sugar and shortening until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Starting with the flour mixture, alternate the flour mixture and ice cold water to the sugar mixture. Mix until just combined. 

If scooping, use an 18/10 sized ice cream scoop to scoop out your sugar cookie dough. Gently roll into balls and place about 2 inches apart on your baking sheet. Gently press the balls with the bottom of a small glass to flatten a bit. You may choose to dip the bottom of the glass in flour or sugar so they won't stick to the dough. Place in the oven and bake for 10-13 minutes. 

If rolling the dough out, cover and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, so it is easier to work with. Sprinkle your working surface with flour, roll out, and cut with your decorative cookie cutters. Place in the oven and bake for 10-13 minutes. 

Candy Corn Method:

You will need:
  • Orange Gel Food Coloring
  • Yellow Gel Food Coloring
  • White, Orange, And Yellow Sugar Sprinkles, If Desired
Divide your prepared sugar cookie dough in half, set aside one of the halves into a small bowl. Divide the other half into 2/3 and 1/3 portions. Set aside the 1/3 portion and place the 2/3 portion into another small bowl. 

Pat the 1/3 portion of cookie dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill. Place a few small dollops of the orange gel food coloring into the bowl with 1/2 of the cookie dough. Mix well, incorporating the coloring through out the cookie dough with a spoon. Pat into a ball, cover in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill. Do the same with the 2/3 portion of cookie dough, only using the yellow gel food coloring.

After all three portions of dough have chilled about an hour in the refrigerator, unwrap them and roll each ball into 12 inch logs. On a cookie sheet, stack the logs on top of one another with the yellow on the bottom, the orange in the middle, and the non-colored dough on the very top. Begin shaping into a triangle shape by gently pushing the sides in and pointing the top.

Cover the entire triangular log with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill about 30 minutes to an hour. Once your dough is chilled and easy to work with, begin slicing it into 1/2 inch pieces. Place the triangular pieces about 2 inches apart on baking sheets. You may want to further shape the slices in a triangle while on the baking sheet, as the slicing may distort the shape a little. Sprinkle the white sugar on the top, the orange sugar in the middle, and the yellow sugar on the bottom of each cookie. Bake for 10-13 minutes. Makes 2 dozen candy corn sugar cookies.

Enjoy!

I'm linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Monster Munch Popcorn Balls...

 


So, who has their kids Halloween costumes yet?

This little lady right here does...

... and I bought them mid-September.

I know, way too early. Let me explain.

If I didn't buy them, there would be the chance that everything would be picked over. Last year I did just that...... waited too long. I have know idea why. I'm the crazy buying Christmas wrap, decor, candy three months too early.

Anyway, because I waited a little longer than I should have last year, it was a complete nightmare to find my then 11 year old a costume. Plus, it is way too costly to have pretty much anything mailed to the island from a costume company.

So, I decided mid-September was as good a time as any to buy them. I'm glad I did. Now I don't have to deal with all the people shopping for a Halloween costume.

A very good thing.

Why?

Because it gave me time to make these sugar loaded beauties.


Monster Munch Popcorn Balls

  • 1 Bag (2.7 Oz.) Microwaveable Popcorn, Light Butter
  • 1 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1-1/2 Cups Candy Corn, Plus Some For Garnish
  • 14 Whole Oreo Cookies, Roughly Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Salted Peanuts, Optional
  • 1/2 Stick Butter
  • 1 Bag (10.5 Oz.) Miniature Marshmallows
Begin by popping your bag of popcorn according to the directions on the box. Then line two cupcake/muffin pans with plastic wrap and set aside. Place your popped popcorn in a very large bowl, making sure to discard any unpopped kernels. Add the chocolate chips, candy corn, chopped Oreos, and peanuts if using; set aside. 

In a medium sized heat proof bowl, melt the butter in the microwave for 45 seconds. Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and add the marshmallows. Stir to coat, then place the bowl back into the microwave for a few more intervals of 45 seconds until the marshmallows are melted, stirring between each interval. 

Pour the melted marshmallow mixture into the popcorn mixture and with a greased spatula or wooden spoon, stir and coat well. You may need to grease your hands to mix everything evenly. Be very careful not to burn yourself. Next, working quickly, spoon the popcorn mixture into the lined cupcake/muffin pans. Garnish with an extra candy corn. Place in the refrigerator up to 30 minutes to set. Store covered in the refrigerator. Makes 20-24 baseball sized popcorn balls.

Enjoy!

I'm linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It.


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