Monday, June 20, 2011

Birthday Cake Fudge

Yes, you read that right. Birthday-cake Fudge. Fudge that looks and tastes like... birthday cake. Tasty and fun; which is just the sort of thing that we love around here. I found the recipe right here. Obviously, I used pink candy-coloring, rather than blue, and all the recipients thought this was fan-tabulous.
Thank you to Becky at Mrs. Bettie Rocker for the great idea and for posting the recipe! Here's the recipe to print:

Birthday Cake Fudge
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 sticks margarine (yes, I did use margarine - which I'd not purchased in many years... but candy is fickle and so I stuck to the recipe for once!)
5 oz can (2/3 cup) evaporated milk
12 oz chopped white chocolate chips
7oz jar marshmallow creme
3 or 4 Tablespoons yellow cake mix (just the powdered MIX, not batter)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Blue (or red, pink, orange, yellow...) candy coloring (oil-based color, not regular food color)
Rainbow sprinkles

Line an 8 or 9 inch square pan with foil, leaving the ends hanging over the edges of the pan. Spray foil thoroughly with nonstick spray. Place the sugar, margarine, and evaporated milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly, and let boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, and cake mix, stirring until chocolate chips are melted. Add vanilla and mix well. Working quickly, pour about 1/3 of the fudge in a bowl and add a few drops of blue candy coloring, mixing and adding until you achieve the desired shade. Pour white fudge into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Spoon colored fudge over the top, spacing it out. Using a sharp knife, draw swirls through the blue and white to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle the top generously with rainbow sprinkles before the top sets up.

Let sit at room temperature until cool, then place in the refrigerator until firm.
Recipe via Confessions Of A Cookbook Queen

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Madeline Cookies

So, when your parents name you Madeline, it comes with all sorts of great perks. Like, you just might have three hardback copies (and one paperback) of the original "Madeline" storybook. Plus, all the other Madeline tales by Ludwig Bemelmans.

And, there are also these great cookies called Madelines! Well, some people spell it Madeleine, but really, tuh-may-toe/toe-ma-toe! If you are little, and there is a cookie the bears your name, it must be named after you, so it's a Madeline Cookie, or "Madelines Cookies." And, it's a very handy end-of-the-school-year Thank You gift!

Which is why we baked up a batch this evening, and Miss Madeline herself wrote out as much of the recipe as her little Kindergartner-hand could take, before bedtime. Really, you must get yourself some sweet Madeleine pans and get baking, because these are fabulous.

(continued from 1st page) Add flour to whipped egg mixture 1/3 at a time, gently folding to combine. Then, add lemon zest (or orange zest), and pour melted (cooled to room temp) butter to batter and fold.

Spray Madeline pans with Pam Baking Spray (with added flour), and spoon batter into molds (mini molds = slightly more than a heaping Tablespoon). Bake 8-10 mins. for mini Madelines, and 12-14 for regular-sized Madelines, or until cakes are golden and the tops spring back when touched.

Invert onto cooling rack and immediately sprinkle with some of the 2/3 cup sugar (for decorating – ingredient # 8).

You don't need to know how to store them, because they'll disappear almost immediately.

***We have mini Madeline pans, and this recipe makes 30 of those. There are standard-sized Madeleines (you'd likely get more like 17 cookies...) and ultra-mini sized (so, you'd maybe get 4-dozen of those). You can get Madeline pans at most specialty kitchen-supply shops.

Other variations:
Chocolate: increase the sugar to 1 cup, and instead of 1 cup of flour; use ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder + ¾ cup flour. Leave lemon zest out as well, but dust with powdered sugar when mostly cool.

Cinnamon: Add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon to batter with the flour.
Lemon: Replace vanilla extract with lemon, and drizzle with lemon icing (powdered sugar and lemon juice) when cool.
Fancy: Dip 1/2 of each cookie (the top of the shell) in melted chocolate or candy-melts and then sprinkles or colored sanding sugar.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Orange Delicious

A delicious and refreshing accompaniment to a Summer Brunch get-together, from Jamie's sister-in-law, Anne... Enjoy!

Anne's Orange Yogurt

2 pints plain yogurt (strained for 3 hours or overnight) = 4 cups
1/4 c. raisins
1/4 c. chopped, toasted walnuts
1.5 t. vanilla
1/4 c. good honey
1 orange, zested
1/2 to 1 c. freshly squeezed OJ

Mix everything into the thickened yogurt, thinning with OJ until desired consistency. Garnish with orange sections, orange zest, raisins or walnuts if desired.

Long, lost recipes...

I do not understand the desire to hoard recipes. In my opinion, not sharing a fabulous recipe is just wrong. And, just to prove that their is Karma in such things, I recently recovered three recipes that I'd lost track of over the years. How did I get them back? Well, from the good friend I shared them with of course! Thanks Jamie...

This one is a very tasty salad dressing, and I recently discovered that while Benihana serves it with green onion and carrot on lettuce, the sweet and sourness of this recipe goes amazingly well with strawberries and mandarin oranges!

Oh, and if you're going to go to the trouble of chopping, peeling, and then whizzing this up in your food processor, triple the recipe below (like I do) and make three cups instead of one, then give some away to friends (with the recipe of course!)

Benihana of Tokyo's Sweet & Sour Salad Dressing

1/4 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. peanut oil
2 T. rice vinegar
2 T. water
1 T. chopped ginger
1 T. chopped celery
1 T. soy sauce
1 t. tomato paste
1.5 t. sugar
1 t. lemon juice

Blend all ingredients together with salt and pepper to taste, until smooth. Makes 1 cup.

Now, this is one that I was thinking about a few years ago and wishing I had the recipe again... I'd totally forgotten that I'd put it in Jamie's bridal-shower cookbook that we gave her. Jen and I used to whip up this dough when we (and Jamie) roomed together up at Western in the Cambridge Square Apartments. It's a super-speedy and tasty dough.

Cambridge Square Pizza Crust

1 pkg. yeast
1 c. warm water
2.5 c. flour
2 T. oil
1 t. sugar
1 t. salt

Dissolve yeast in water, stir in remaining ingredients and beat vigorously for about 20 strokes. Let rest for 5 minutes. Top and cook at 450-degrees F.

And, last, but not least... the punch that Jamie served at my bridal shower, and we served at the wedding. And, countless weddings and showers (baby and bridal) ever since. Technically, this one wasn't lost, since I posted it to years ago, but still, it was fun to see it and have it here.

Tart & Bubbly Wedding (and Shower) Punch

2 cans frozen cranberry juice (or 1 gallon in bottle)
2 cans frozen pink lemonade
1 large can pineapple juice (or 2 cans frozen pineapple juice - Hawaii's Own)
2 liters ginger ale (and cranberry ginger ale is great too)

In a large punch bowl, mix concentrates and juices. Add ice and slowly pour in the ginger ale.

From Kathy, With Love...

John's mom makes some of the very best food ever, and has many famous treat recipes... luckily, she (and Jamie, who I got these recipes from) are willing to share their recipes! Enjoy!

Kathy's Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Sift together:
2.5 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
2.5 t. baking powder
1.5 b. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon

Cream together:
3/4 c. softened butter
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
2 t. vanilla
2 t. orange zest

2 c. shredded zucchini
1/2 c. milk
1 c. chopped nuts

Alternate dry ingredients with milk. Add zucchini last, and fold in nuts (if adding). Bake in a greased and floured bundt or loaf pan/s at 350-degrees F for one hour. Cool in pan for 15 mintues, then turn out on plate.

Drizzle with glaze if desired: 2 c. powdered sugar mixed with 3T. milk and 1 t. vanilla.

Kathy's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
4 c. flour
1 c. quick oats
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
2 c. chocolate chips

Cook at 375-degrees F for about 8 mins. Underbake, as they still cook as they are cooling.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pear-y Cute Bear Muffins

Fun little critter muffins, very appropriate since the class's Zoo field trip is coming up soon...
I made these muffins (from Parent's magazine) last night for Madeline's Kindergarten class's snack. Being me, I altered them slightly (pineapple juice rather than OJ, and I added about an 1/8 tsp. ground cardamom too). Even though the pear slice "ears" sunk down into the muffins, Miss M still thought they were dandy, "That's OK, Mom, they can still be bears, or even gophers or walruses or something."

M's teacher emailed me to tell me that the snack was a hit today, and sent me a direct quote from one of the students, "If I grow up and end up being a storekeeper I would definitely put these in stock!" Adorable. And, Madeline tells me that her friend Drew needs me to print the recipe for his mom.

They really are as tasty as they are cute. And, of course, now that I've made them once, I know how I'd do the ears next time... I also added the faces right out of the oven, and put them back in for a minute or so, then tapped the melty chocolate-chip nose to "set" the almond mouth on the muffin. None of the faces came off before snack time either!


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