Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cadbury Egg Cookie Nests...



I know I haven't had a blog post in about a week...... sorry about that.

I've been quite busy around here lately with PTA, appointments, and preparing for our move in a few months......

Yep, that's right..... I said move!

We are preparing for our move off island a year earlier than expected. It's bittersweet, as I've come to enjoy our time here in Hawaii...... but we will be moving closer to family. More about where we are moving in another blog post, soon!

This will be our 5th move in the 12 years my husband has been in the U.S. Coast Guard. I guess it's not too bad. We've experienced west coast living, New England, the Pacific North West, and island life.

With everything going on, I hadn't realized that Easter is just around the corner! So, I thought I'd make some cute little nests for the holiday! They are easy and don't take up too much time to make...... perfect if you feel like you're in a jam and need a cute, quick treat for a party.

I originally did not use cupcake liners, but found the cookies to stick to the muffin pans, even though I did grease them a bit. So, I incorporated them into the recipe, because when I make them again, I will definitely use them!

So, stay tuned to find out where the military is sending us next...


Cadbury Egg Cookie Nests

  • 2 Packages (12 Count) Pillsbury Big Deluxe Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 1/2 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 12 OZ. Semi-Sweet Or Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 2 Cups Shredded Coconut
  • 1 Cup Plain Corn Flakes, Crushed
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract 
  • 72 Mini Cadbury Eggs, Multiple Colors
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).

Line two muffin pans with cupcake liners and gently press each piece of refrigerated cookie dough into the liners, covering the bottom and up the sides, slightly. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the cookies are a golden brown around the edges. The cookies should deflate a little when removed from the oven. If not, use the back of a spoon to indent them some. Cool completely.

For the cookie filling:

Heat the whipping cream on medium/low heat until steaming. Turn the heat off and add the chips and butter. Whisk or stir until the chocolate and butter has completely melted and is smooth. Remove from the stove and stir in the coconut, corn flakes, and vanilla. Divide the chocolate mixture evenly between the 24 cooled cookie cups. Arrange three Mini Cadbury Eggs in the middle of the chocolate mixture. Chill in the refrigerator until the filling is set. Makes 24 cookie nests. 

Enjoy!

I'm linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It and Hippity Hop Easter Party.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mango Cream Cheese Bars from Hammock Tracks...



After Ms. Savannah over at Hammock Tracks contacted me about a recipe exchange on one another's blogs, I simply couldn't refuse... she has so many wonderful recipes to choose from!

Once I saw the Mango Cream Cheese Bars, I knew I had to try them!

Not only does Savannah have great recipes on her blog compiled in a section titled Savannah's Savory Bites, she also has many other categories within her blog... including a family forum, a home schooling section, and tales chronicling life at her home.

As for the bars... they turned out fabulous! I followed the recipe pretty much to the tee, but I couldn't find fresh mangos! Go figure... I live on a tropical island and couldn't find the suckers! Anyway, I adapted by using some jarred mangos in a light syrup. Also, I did execute the method of preparation a bit differently.

I hope you'll head over to Hammock Tracks and browse Savannah's site! With Spring approaching and Summer soon after, I am excited to try another one of her recipes... Watermelon Lemonade!

Mango Cream Cheese Bars
Slightly adapted from Savannah's Savory Bites

For the Crust:

  • 1-1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut
  • 3/4 Cup Cold Butter, Cubed
For the Cream Cheese Mango Filling:

  • 2 Blocks (8 OZ.) Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 3/4 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Whole Eggs, Room Temperature
  • 1/3 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1 Jar (1LB, 4 OZ) Mangos- Drained And Cubed Or 2 Fresh Mangos- Peeled And Cubed
For the Crust:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar, and coconut. With a pastry cutter, cut in the cold butter. You can also use clean hands cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Even easier, use a food processor and pulse the ingredients until they are incorporated. 

Lightly grease or line (bottom and at least two sides for lifting) with parchment paper, a 13 x 9 baking dish. Press the crust evenly into the bottom of the dish. Bake for 18 minutes in the oven. 

For the Filling:

While the crust bakes, in a large bowl, cream the softened cream cheese and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time, until mixed in. Add the lemon juice, then the milk until combined. 

Assembly:

Once the crust has baked for 18 minutes, remove from the oven and pour the filling over top. Place the drained and cubed mangos in the filling, making sure to cover the entire surface of the filling. Bake an additional 30-40 minutes or until the filling is slightly jiggly. Remove and cool completely, then chill in the refrigerator. Slice into squares. Makes 20 bars. 


Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Reuben Mini's



I know I'm a little late on posting leftovers for corned beef... but I couldn't pass up sharing this recipe with you.

Corned beef has got to be one of the best things about St. Patrick's Day... well, besides green beer.

Growing up we always had corned beef with cabbage for St. Patrick's, then made sandwiches with the leftovers the next few days or so.

My husband likes sandwiches the day of, so that's pretty much the way we roll in our household. Whatever day you choose to have corned beef sandwiches, these little delights are the way to go.

They are great as appetizers, also. So how do you use up all that leftover corned beef?


Reuben Mini's

  • 1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon Creamy Deli Style Horseradish, Or To Taste 
  • 2 Cups Left-over Corned Beef, Warmed Up
  • 4 Slices Sandwich Bread, Any Kind
  • 4 Slices Pepper Jack Cheese Or Provolone Cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, Or As Needed
Heat a large griddle or pan on low heat. 

In a prep bowl, mix the mayonnaise and horseradish. Slather some of the horseradish sauce on one side of each piece of bread. Place a slice of cheese on each piece of slathered bread. Divide the warm corned beef and place half on one piece of bread and one half on another piece of bread. Take the other slice of bread with the sauce and cheese and top the piece with corned beef. Do the same for the remaining sandwich. There should be two completed sandwiches.

Place a few tablespoons of butter on the heated griddle or pan to melt. Place the sandwiches on the griddle or pan, cover with a lid or foil for a minute or so. Watch carefully, so not to burn. Once crisp and golden brown, remove the sandwiches and add another couple tablespoons of butter to melt. Flip the sandwiches and brown on the opposite side. 

Once the bread is nice and browned on both sides and the cheese has melted, remove to a cutting board and cut the sandwiches in eighths. Makes 16 Reuben Mini sandwiches.

Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rainbow Splash Sugar Cookies...



Rainbows always seem to remind me of St. Patrick's Day. Then I'm reminded of the massive pot of gold that's supposedly at the end of the rainbow (now wouldn't that rock!?!). The next thing that comes to mind are leprechauns......

I'm really not sure what to think about leprechauns. On one hand, they are fun little mystical creatures that I would love to have help me pull pranks on family and friends.

On the other hand...... they kinda creep me out. Evidence here.

Have you seen that movie!?!

But then I watch this, and all is well again. I think to myself... "Hey, wouldn't that be cool to hang with some leprechauns?"

And really, who could pass up an early Sean Connery film?

Not me.

Something else you don't want to pass up are these sugar cookies. For sure. Using sugar cookie dough from the store totally saved time. If you wanted to make a recipe from scratch, you might be interested in my family recipe for sugar cookies.

Whatever you decide, just make sure you make these... but hold off on watching this or this or this... I guarantee you won't look at leprechauns the same. Ever......again.


Rainbow Splash Sugar Cookies

  • 2 Tubes (16.5 OZ) Prepared Sugar Cookie Dough
  • 6 Colors Of Food Coloring Gel
Begin by separating each tube of cookie dough into six equal parts, making twelve pieces. Next, pair the cookie dough up, making six pieces. Place each piece into its own bowl. Color each piece a different color with the food coloring gel. You will not need very much gel. Mix the colors into the dough with a fork. Once the gel is fully incorporated into the dough, pat each colorful dough piece into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Place all six cookie dough balls into the refrigerator to chill at least 30 minutes.

Unwrap the dough and take a small piece of cookie dough from each color to form a multi-colored 1-inch ball. Gently roll into a ball and place in a large baking dish. Finish rolling all of the cookie dough balls and place them in the baking dish, then the refrigerator to chill 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).

Remove the chilled multi-colored cookie dough balls from the refrigerator. Place about eight cookie dough balls 2-inches apart on a cookie sheet and, using the bottom of a glass, press down to flatten the cookie dough a bit. If you find the glass sticking to the dough, try dipping the bottom of the glass in a bit of flour.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool 5-8 minutes on the sheet then remove to cool completely on cooling racks. Keep stored in an airtight container. Makes around 32 sugar cookies.

Enjoy!



I'm linking this to Crazy Sweet Tuesday.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Berry Bruschetta...

 



Well, the kids are officially on Spring Break here on island. I have got to figure out what we are going to do the entire week!!!

It's also our rainy season, so beach trips are most likely a no go while my girlies are home. Yeah... FYI... if you are planning a trip to Hawaii... it's best to avoid the islands from February to April. The best time to vacation here are the summer months, even though it is a bit crowded.

Just thought I'd help a tourist out.

Anyway, one thing that I have definitely figured out... that fruit on top of toasted bread is delicious. It doesn't hurt to add a little cream cheese to that equation, either.

I am really liking this whole bruschetta thing. I think it's safe to say that you'll be seeing more bruschetta recipes in the future!


Berry Bruschetta

  • 12 Ounces Raspberries, Rinsed And Drained
  • 12 Ounces Blueberries, Rinsed And Drained
  • 1-1/2 Pounds Strawberries, Rinsed And Drained
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 Block Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1 Container (7 OZ.) Marshmallow Fluff
  • 1 Parisian Baguette (14 Inches Or So)
  • 6-8 Tablespoons Salted Butter, Or As Needed
  • 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar, Optional
Begin by cutting the tops off of the strawberries and roughly chopping or slicing them. Place the strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries in a medium bowl. Zest and juice 1-1/2 lemons. Save the other half of the lemon for a later use. Reserve about a teaspoon of zest and a tablespoon of the juice and set aside. Add the remaining zest, juice, and the sugar to the berries and gently stir, then refrigerate to chill. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and marshmallow fluff. Add the reserved lemon zest and juice and whisk to combine. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

Cut the baguette diagonally in 1/2-inch pieces. Heat a few tablespoons of butter in a large pan on medium/low heat. Once the butter is heated, add some of the baguette slices to the pan and brown them on each side. Continue browning the baguette slices in batches and adding the butter as needed to the pan. Allow the browned baguette slices to cool.

To assemble the bruschetta, add a small dollop of the cream cheese mixture on top of the baguette, then some of the berry mixture. Dust with powdered sugar for a little more sweetness if desired. Serve immediately. Makes about 32 bruschetta.

Enjoy!



Monday, March 5, 2012

Pear Galette with Lemon Cream Cheese Filling...

 



I've decided that I like making galettes. You don't have to worry about how the pie crust rolls out and if it looks pretty or not.

Not so pretty pie crust = rustic pie crust

It's kinda a baking rule that if it turns out looking not so pretty...... just say it's rustic. Well, it's my baking rule anyway.

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy making pies, even though I usually have some trouble getting the rolled out dough into the pie plate. Sometimes though, I just don't want to fiddle with making a pie.

Solution... make a galette!

I love pears, pie, and cheese danishes, so I thought I would bring all of them together in a recipe. So glad I did. This galette is perfect as a breakfast sweet or as dessert.

The pie crust is one that my sister-in-law bakes with, except she uses butter Crisco. I didn't have any, so I substituted butter and it turned out wonderful. The butter Crisco gives the pie crust an extra flakiness and does make it a little more delicate to work with.... but totally worth it in the end. So if you are comfortable with working with pie dough, try the butter Crisco in the recipe.

Now to come up with more yummy galette fillings! The wheels are turning.


Pear Galette with Lemon Cream Cheese Filling


For the crust:

  • 2 Cups Flour, Plus Some For Dusting
  • 1 Cup Cold Butter, Cubed
  • 6 Tablespoons Ice Cold Water
  • Saved Egg White (Below)
  • 2 Tablespoons Sanding Sugar (Optional)
For the filling:

  • 1 Block Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1/2 Cup Light Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Lemon, Zested and Juiced
  • 2 Whole Pears, Peeled, Cored, and Sliced
  • 1 Whole Egg, Plus One Yolk (Save The Egg White)
For the crust:

In a large bowl, cut the 2 cups of flour and butter with a pastry cutter or in a food processor until it resembles large granules of sand. Add the water a few tablespoons at a time, all the while cutting or processing it into the butter and flour mixture. Don't over cut the dough. Once it starts sticking together it is ready. Pat it into a ball and cut it in half. Wrap each half separately and place in the refrigerator to chill for 20-30 minutes.

For the filling:

In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and juice, egg and egg yolk until well combined. Place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use. 

Assembly:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).

Dust a large piece of parchment paper with four. Roll out one of the balls of dough out into a 13 x 9 oval, approximately. Carefully slide the parchment paper with the rolled out dough onto a large cookie sheet. Save the other ball of dough for a later use.

Peel, core, and slice the pears. Place into a small bowl, then set aside. 

Spread as much as the filling into the center of the rolled out dough, leaving an inch to an inch and a half border all around. Arrange the sliced pears on to the filling. Fold the border in, over some of the filling and pears. Brush the folded border with some of the saved egg white for an egg wash and sprinkle with the sanding sugar.  

Bake for 28-32 minutes, until the crust is done and the filling is slightly jiggly in the middle. Remove from the oven and cool completely on the cookie sheet. Place into the refrigerator to chill, a few hours.

Slice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream on top. 


Enjoy!


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