Double-Drizzle Pecan Cookies

drizzle cookiesIf I could take credit for these wonderful cookies I would. My friend Lisa has been making large batches of these for our family for a few years now. She has been known to spoil my daughter Courtney, (check out Courtney’s Blog) with special chocolate cakes.  Lisa is a great baker and actually, she should have her own blog. I will have to talk with her about that. I know that she got the recipe from Taste of Home, here is the link. Usually, when she brings a batch by, (usually for an event or a gathering) we’ll find cookies all over the house in little hiding places. I made them today for my hubby’s fishing trip and for a friend that I owed a treat to for a “pay it forward” thing. They came out really good and I also,made a tray without rolling them in nuts, for Courtney. You should definitely try these delights, they are crispy on the outside and chewy in the center. Oh, and did I mention these were a contest winner!

Double-Drizzle Pecan Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans, toasted

CARAMEL DRIZZLE

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE

1 square semisweet chocolate (1 ounce)
1 tablespoon butter

In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in egg and vanilla.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well.
Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the pecans, covering completely.
Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets and flatten slightly.
Bake a 350º for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned.
Let cool on baking pan for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
In a small saucepan, bring brown sugar and whipping cream to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in confectioner’s sugar. Immediately drizzle over cookies.
In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butter until smooth.
Drizzle on top of the caramel on the cookies. Let stand until set.

Molasses Squares

This is a recipe from my moms side of the family. Another request from “The King.” My mom is always the person who makes these and as I said, she doesn’t really use recipe cards. I had fun with this one. I was supposed to be bringing these to her house on Sunday. She was entertaining, and I offered to make dessert, since I needed a picture for this post. Well, needless to say, now the recipe will work. Glad I test recipes. My husband said I should do a Divine foodie Bloopers post. NOT! Really, I haven’t had that many problems, yet! Before I delivered my dessert, Brian and I, of course needed to taste them and make sure they were publish worthy. They are…

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Molasses Squares
Preheat oven to 350 degrees – Bake 40-45 minutes – 13×9″ pan

2 sticks of butter, room temp
1/2 c. molasses
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
beat until creamy
add:
2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. b.powder
1/4 tsp. b. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. raisins or craisins ( I use craisins and I soak them in hot water for 30 minutes before adding to the batter, or you can zap them in microwave to speed it up.)
Mix well and spread into a 13×9″ pan, sides buttered,bottom only lined with parchment paper (or buttered and floured).
Bake and glaze while hot

Glaze
1 c. confectionery sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2-3 tsp. milk or more if necessary. Should be thin enough to spread with the back of a spoon.

Cinnamon Buns

IMG_0321I made cinnamon buns today for the boys at our business and they were really good. I knew they really liked them when they came in for seconds. The first question was, “are these gonna be on your blog.” LOL!  I have always made them from scratch and I usually make a sticky bun version without frosting. I start them the night before. In the morning they have to proof and then be baked. It’s a little bit of a process. This recipe is much easier.  I had a tube of Grands biscuits that I needed to use up. I cut each biscuit into 4 pieces and dipped them in butter, rolled them in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. I dropped them into a buttered baking dish all jumbled up and then crumbled a pecan struesal topping on. Topped with a cream cheese glaze and wow, were they good. Coffee with them is a must, because they are sweet!

butter a 13×9″ baking dish
prepare a 1/2 stick of butter melted in bowl
prepare 1 c. granulated sugar 1 tbsp cinnamon, mix together in a bowl
1 large tube of grands biscuits, cut into 4 pieces each
dip each piece in butter and roll in sugar
drop into the buttered baking dish
you should have a pretty level layer
prepare steusal topping…

Pecan Streusal Topping

1/2 stick butter, melted
1/3 cup flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 c. chopped pecans
mix and crumble over the biscuits

preheat oven and bake on 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes

Cream Cheese Glaze

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick of butter room temp
beat together until smooth
add:
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk or more if needed
Frosting should be a little thinner than regular frosting

When the buns are done, cool 5 minutes and spread frosting on…serve warm!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

This dip is a favorite of pretty much everyone in our family. It’s rich and creamy and hard to stop eating. Serve with crispy tortilla chips and you have a winner.

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Buffalo Dip recipe…

8 oz. cream cheese

1 1/2 c. diced or shredded cooked chicken

1/3 cup Franks red hot sauce

1/3 cup Ranch dressing

1/4 cup diced celery(optional)

Melt all of the above ingredients in a skillet on low stirring constantly until heated through and warm. Remove from heat and fold in the cheddar cheese.

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (freshly shredded is best)

Serve hot with chips!

Rice Weagen

This one is going to cause some eye brows to raise. There is no rice in this recipe. I’m sorry, I didn’t name it. It comes from the French side of our family, and all of us love it, as weird as it seems. It’s comfort food, and the great part is, it’s nearly fat free. I usually make it and eat it for every meal until its gone. It’s really that addicting. I don’t even like tomato soup but in this recipe, it ROCKS! It’s a really great casserole to serve for a dinner with some rolls or with a salad. Really it covers all the food groups, vegetable, protein, and carbohydrate all in one pan. Bring it for a pot luck or just have some in your fridge as a filler. I guarantee it will never go to waste. I don’t recommend adding things or altering this recipe, I have tried to. The recipe stands alone, as it is, and needs absolutely no tweaking!

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Rice Weagen

Bake uncovered 15-20 minutes in a preheated 450 degree oven. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
1 lb. of Spaghetti cooked al dente,drain, rinse with cold water and drain well: set aside
1 lb of ground beef, sprinkle salt and pepper while cooking and drain off all grease: set aside
In a bowl whisk together…
3 cans of tomato soup condensed (classic tomato)
1 1/2 cans of water mixed into the soup. (fill 1/2 the can with water and clean the can, get every drop of soup)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Assemble the casserole in a 10×14 -4 qt baking dish
Layer ground beef on the bottom of the baking dish
Spread cooked spaghetti that has been drained well
Pour evenly over spaghetti all of the soup mixture
Use the back of a wooden spoon to help the soup get in all the cracks
Bake, set and eat.

Breaded Baked Pork Chops

This post is for my brother. Every trip home, my mom diligently makes these chops for him. I think it’s an Italian, male thing because my father loved these also. My brother TJ (or as we call him “THE KING”) asked that this be one of the recipes on the blog. I really never made these for my family. Mainly because I never really cared for Pork Chops. Well, until I had my own pig raised by my good friend, Cindy. Now I kind of like Pork chops. Maybe because my piggy was raised without hormones and antibiotics and nitrate free. I don’t know, maybe because I am getting older and older people seem to eat things younger people don’t, like burnt toast and soup! At any rate, these are good and they seem to stay very moist and make their own natural juices.

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Breaded Baked Pork Chops

preheat oven to 400 degrees, bake 30 minutes

prepare egg-wash, this will coat 6-8 chops
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried parsley

prepare Bread crumbs in a dish for dredging
2 c. bread crumbs (progresso Italian)

prepare a large fry pan with olive oil and heat to med high

Dip each pork chop in egg, then breadcrumbs, and place in hot oil. Brown each side of the chops and transfer to a baking dish.
After all the chops are lightly fried and in the baking dish, pour in 1/2 cup of water. Transfer to the oven, uncovered for 30-35 minutes.
At the same time in another baking dish, peel 1 potato and 2 carrots for each person. Cut the carrots in half and cut the potatoes into 4 wedges. Season well with salt, pepper and olive oil. They will bake for 35 minutes and come out at exactly the same time as your chops. Dinner is served and don’t forget to grab a glass of Dreaming Tree Wine.

Lemon Pie Cookies

These pretty little lemon pies, rock!  They are as easy as pie to make. Two ingredients is all you need. Okay, four if you add coarse sugar to the top and count the egg wash.  These are just so elegant and wonderful. They are tart and sweet and really flaky.

lemon pie cookies

Lemon Pie Cookies
Makes 20 cookies, bake in preheated 400 degree oven 8 – 10 minutes

1 box already Pie crust with 2 rolled pie crusts
1 10 oz jar lemon curd
Coarse white sugar
1 egg, beaten

With a round cutter, unroll 1 pie crust and cut out 20 2″ circles of pie crust. Lay them on the counter. Cut slits in 10 circles for the tops of the cookies. This is for the air to escape while cooking. On the 10 bottoms, place a generous 1/2 tsp. of lemon curd in the center. Brush egg wash around the lemon curd on the edge of the pie crust. This will be the glue that seals the cookies together. Place the tops on the cookies and press the edges together. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 8 minutes. If your oven seems too hot, the filling will spill out while cooking, you may need to lower the oven temp to 375. I recommend a test cookie. Repeat with the second rolled pie crust. Makes 20 cookies. You will have a ball of scraps left over of pie dough, this will need to be rolled out to get the full 20 cookies.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cake

This cake was on the menu at T.J.’s, ummmmm 100% of the time. Customers would actually get mad at me, when we ran out. Haha, I never took it personally, it was a compliment. It started out as a scratch cake, but it became soo much easier to use a box, that’s where it ended up. I’m not ashamed to say that either. Most box cakes are very moist and delicious. If homemade doesn’t shine brighter than the others, than there is no reason to work harder. I always make my cakes in two round pans. I love the look of a round high cake. It can be made into cupcakes too.These days there are so many pans in new mini shapes and sizes for baking. I have to admit every time I see a new shape, I have to buy it. There is just something about a miniature sized food that is so delightful.

reeses cake

Bake your cake according to the directions on the box and cool completely. I like to line the bottom of my cake pans with a piece of parchment and butter the sides for easy removal. For this cake the darker the chocolate cake the better.

Peanut butter frosting

4 heaping tablespoons peanut butter. (Crunchy or smooth)
1 stick of sweet cream salted butter room temperature.
Beat until creamy
Add 3 cups confectionery sugar
4 oz. cream cheese
Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup of heavy cream
Beat until fluffy and spreadable consistency.
Frost the cake, while the frosting is still fresh, top with chopped Reese’s cups. Usually 8 regular size cups will cover the top of the cake. Serve immediately. Serves 12

Broiled Sea Scallops with Lemon-butter and crumbs

This recipe is so simple. You will be able to use this with haddock, scallops, shrimp, and even lobster. It’s just so simple and easy to make that it’s almost embarrassing. I recommend having the crumbs in a container, ready to use whenever you decide to have broiled fish. The crumbs work well with stuffed chicken breast and more. This may seem simple, but I guarantee you, the flavor is big.

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Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Bake for 8 min.

Melt 1 stick of sweet cream salted butter
Add juice of 1/2 lemon
Keep warm…

In the cuisinart…
Grind into fine crumbs, ritz crackers 1/2 box or do the whole box.
1 tbsp. dried Parsley

In a small casserole dish for single serving, add scallops. Large scallops should be cut in half to insure they are all the same size for even cooking. Or use a large casserole dish and serve family style. Spoon the lemon butter onto the scallops 3 to 4 tablespoons on each dish. Stir the butter well while spooning it on. (the butter solids and lemon will settle to the bottom, what floats to the top is the clarified butter, which has very little flavor and is oily). Sprinkle the scallops generously (about 1/4 cup) with the crumbs mixture. Bake for 8 minutes in a preheated 475 degree oven.

Just a note about the cooking evenly. The butter mixture is what conducts the heat and cooks the scallops. Be sure that the scallops are not clumped together. Separate them well and cover thoroughly with butter or you will have undercooked spots. Serve with a glass of Dreaming Tree Chardonnay, Enjoy!

Nachos

Nachos… so many ways to make them. All nachos are delicious, in my opinion. The ones from T.J.’s had an element that I have yet to find on anyone elses nachos, anywhere. Jalapeño cream cheese. We never piled them too high, made sure they were covered with jalapeno cream cheese and then topped with a blend of shredded monteray jack and shredded cheddar cheeses.(the original recipe had diced green chiles mixed in with the cheese, it was piled between wax paper and then rolled into a disc, kept in the fridge until ready for use and placed atop the chips for baking) The result in the oven was cheese, cheese and more cheese melting into the creamy spicy cheese. The toppings are your choice, chicken, ground beef, veggies, or just plain cheese. At home, we have a few other toppings we enjoy. I like refried beans and Brian likes black beans. Using the disposable plastic frosting bags for the cream cheese and refrieds, allows for even distribution, and it keeps well in the fridge. It’s a rare occasion that my fridge doesn’t have a bag of jalapeno cream cheese ready to go. As a side note, I always recommend buying block cheese and shredding it yourself. It is cheaper and you get way more cheese than those bags you buy. But, the biggest reason is, freshly shredded cheese is sticky and it melts completely different than bagged cheese. Freshly shredded has no additives, such as anti-caking agents. These are chemicals that keep the cheese from sticking together and they are really nasty.IMG_0205

Preheat oven and bake at 450 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes. The toppings will decide how long they need to be in the oven. The more toppings the longer they need to cook.

Jalapeño cream Cheese

12 oz jar of sliced jalapenos and their juice, blend into a puree in a blender or a food processor
you will only be using a third of this jar and saving the rest for other batches.

 

8 oz cream cheese
4 oz pureed jalapeños and juice
blend in a food processor or beat with an electric mixer.
The consistency should be like peanut butter. Place in a piping bag. Use an elastic band to close the open end of the bag. Set aside.

If you like refried beans and want them on your nachos, open a can and also put in a piping bag.
when ready cut the tips off the piping bags, enough to squeeze out a small line of cream cheese, you can always cut more off, if it’s not coming out easy enough.

Cover a foil lined pan with Tortilla chips, enough to serve the amount of people you are cooking for. Squirt the cream cheese all over. Now would be the time to squirt on refried beans if you want them.
Cover with the cheese blend. Add cooked seasoned chicken or cooked seasoned ground beef and Bake. Top with fresh diced tomatoes, jalapeños and black olives. Serve with sour cream, salsa, guacamole or whatever you like.