16 December 2009


I got this recipe from my mom, who got it on the internet. It's ridiculously simple, and everyone who takes a bite immediately says, "Wow, I need this recipe!" It's been my contribution to three different Christmas get-togethers so far!

1 tube saltine crackers
1 lb salted butter (don't substitute)
1 C brown sugar
12 oz. pkg chocolate chips
5 Heath bars chopped up, or 1 bag Heath bits

Preheat the oven to 350.

Get a cookie sheet with a rim and line it with tin foil. BEFORE you finish this recipe, check to make sure it will fit in your freezer! (My biggest mistake...)

Then, lay the crackers out on the foil. They should pretty much cover it perfectly, but you may need a few more. Don't overlap; lay them all flat.

Melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the brown sugar. When the mixture starts to bubble, turn the heat to medium-low and stir constantly for three minutes. The mixture will be runny, but definitely caramel. Pour the caramel over the crackers.

Put the crackers with caramel in the oven for about ten minutes, or until the caramel is well-spread and bubbly.

Take out the pan and sprinkle the chocolate chips over it. Leave it alone for about five minutes until the chocolate chips melt. Then get a spatula and spread the chocolate out evenly.

Sprinkle the Heath bits on top of the chocolate.

Put the pan in the freezer and leave it for 4+ hours.

When you're ready to eat it, peel the tin foil off the back of the brickle. Then break the brickle into irregular pieces. (I used the edge of a plate for this.) Enjoy! FYI: This keeps best in the fridge or freezer so it doesn't get sticky.

14 December 2009

peppermint cupcakes

Number 42 of 50 ... I'm closing in on the end, and it's a darn good thing because we're pretty much at the end of the year! We're going out of town in a week, and I still have 8 recipes to go!

Peppermint cupcakes

I made these as a test-run for Mindy's wedding on the 29th. The only change I made was that I put in 3/4 tsp of peppermint extract instead of 1/2. The flavor was barely there with the lesser amount, and I liked it a bit stronger. I took them to playgroup, and the whole batch was eaten right up. The other moms gave this a thumb's up and wanted the recipe too.

10 December 2009

chocolate pretzels

This isn't in my count because we've made them before, but I thought this recipe would be fun for others who might want to try it for Christmas. We put them also in the box to Adam's brother. They're SO GOOD, especially with egg nog! Note that they're not chocolate-covered regular pretzels ... but soft-dough pretzels that are chocolate and sprinkled with sugar.

Oh, these are from a cookie cookbook that just has the title, "Cookies."

1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup superfine sugar (put regular granulated sugar in the blender, then pulse it so you don't burn out your motor, until the sugar is like dust. It's different from powdered sugar, and really makes a difference in the texture.)
1 egg

1 egg white
raw sugar sprinkles

1. Sift together flour, salt, cocoa powder.
2. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and egg. Add the flour mix and combine.
3. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap in wax paper, chill for 1 hour or freeze for 30 min.
4. Grease cookie sheets, preheat oven to 375.
5. When the dough is chilled, roll into small balls. (Recipe estimate is 28 - when we make bigger pretzels, it makes only about a dozen.)
6. Roll out each ball into a rope, then loop around to make a pretzel shape. Put on greased cookie sheets.
7. Brush the pretzels with the egg white and sprinkle with the raw sugar.
8. Bake 10-12 minutes, cool on wire rack.

The first time we made these, it was to give them away. We had to make a 2nd batch, because we ate the entire first batch within 30 minutes of them coming out of the oven.

09 December 2009

Doomsday cookies

Number 41 ... we made these to go in a Christmas box sent to Adam's brother in Iraq. I overcooked them a bit because they were pretty hard at first, but they got better after they'd been in the cookie jar with other cookies for a day or two.

The recipe is in the book Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook, and called "doomsday cookies" because the story that goes with it says that the author's mom said that she would make enough "to last until Doomsday."

1 1/4 cup canola oil
1 3/4 brown sugar, packed firmly
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour (the recipe says whole wheat, I used white)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
chocolate chips
chopped pecans or walnuts (I used pecans)
3 cups rolled oats oatmeal

Cream together oil, brown sugar, and egg
Add vanilla, then flour, salt, soda, and powder.

Add chocolate chips and pecans.

Add oatmeal - the recipe calls for 3 cups. I added one at a time and mixed as I went, and stopped at 2 cups. I think they'd be WAY too dry with that 3rd cup. If necessary, add a little bit of water to moisten after the oatmeal is added.

Spray a cookie sheet with no-stick spray, and drop batter in mounds - I used a large soup spoon for this. They'll spread to be pretty flat so leave some room between them.

Bake at 350 for 10 to 13 minutes. Do NOT leave them in the oven past 13 minutes, even if they seem like they're not done. Any longer will strip what's left of the moisture, and you'll have nothing but crumbs when you try to move them to a cooling rack with a spatula. Yes, I learned that the hard way.

03 December 2009

banana cream pie from scratch

Number 40 was a banana cream pie from scratch. Last year, I got pretty turned off by the "banana cream pie" made from a box of vanilla instant pudding so I wanted to try it from scratch this year for Thanksgiving. I actually did this as a test-run a couple of weeks before for a couple of the missionaries who were transferring the next day. It turned out great! We're never going back to the boxed instant pudding junk for this!

Old fashioned banana cream pie

Some notes ...

1. The recipe says to scald the milk - I looked it up and basically, you heat the milk in a saucepan stirring constantly until just before it boils, and immediately remove it from the stove.

2. I mixed an entire banana mashed into the filling before pouring it over the sliced bananas in the crust. This was suggested in the comments, and it added to the banana flavor.

3. I put it in a regular pie crust. We think it would be better in a graham cracker crust.

4. If you have shallow pie plates, this makes enough filling for 2 pies.

02 December 2009

chocolate zucchini bread

We had the missionaries over for dinner for Thanksgiving, and they came over the day before to help with some of the prep work. Elder Davies had apparently never cooked anything at all before (how is he surviving out here?), so we made him make the chocolate zucchini bread. With heavy supervision ... he almost added a tablespoon of salt instead of teaspoon. Eeww!

He used this recipe. He forgot the chocolate chips, which made the bread REALLY dark tasting. It wasn't too good straight out of the oven, but it was much better after it sat for a day. Then it reminded me of the Hershey's special dark chocolate bars - if you like those, this recipe would be good for you.

01 December 2009

My Mother's Turkey Stuffing

Use Pepperidge Farm dry stuffing--8 oz. equals approximately 4 cups (a large turkey uses about 24 oz. stuffing). Empty into large bowl. Melt 1/4 lb margarine or butter in 1 cup of hot water. Add 1/4 cup finely chopped onion, Bell's Poultry Seasoning (sage), 1 tsp. salt, pepper, and 2 Tbsp chopped celery to stuffing mix.

Mix thoroughly; add water and melted butter and mix again. Let cool somewhat for the next step. Add 1 beaten egg to mix and stir again (if the stuffing is too warm during this step the egg will cook into lumps). Stuff turkey (after cleaning it of course).