Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Congo Bars

These came from Bakerella.com!

Congo Bars

2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 lb. light brown sugar (Oh my and thank you!)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
11.5 ounce package milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

By mixer:

Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Combine butter and sugar using a mixer until blended.
Add eggs, one at a time to sugar mixture, mixing on low in between each addition.
Add vanilla and mix.
Add flour and mix until combined.
Stir in chips and then pecans.

By hand:

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Set aside.
Stir brown sugar into softened (not melted) butter in another large bowl until butter disappears. You can use the back of your spoon to help incorporate the two together.
Add eggs one at a time to butter mixture and stir well after each egg.
Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts. Mix well.
Add dry flour mixture and stir until well combined.

Coat a 13 X 9 pan with non-stick spray and spread batter evenly into dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Make sure you don’t over bake.

Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

UPDATE: Hey guys. Seems some of you are having mixed results. Most find these awesome, but some say they’re not done at 30 minutes. I’m starting to think my oven runs hotter than most. So, if the bars aren’t done at 30 minutes and the tops feel like they are getting too brown, then place a sheet of aluminum foil on top and bake a little longer. Use a toothpick to insert and check for doneness before removing from the oven. Also make sure you sifted the dry ingredients and used room temp butter, not melted. The batter should be thick like the photo above.

You can add in anything you can think of- I was thinking chocolate chips, coconut, oatmeal- make them oatmeal cookie bars etc.... possibilities are endless!!! :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Beignets ( Pronounced-Benyays)

I heard about these tasty little treats while watching the Princess and the Frog with my kids. I thought it would be fun to make some!

1 pack dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 + cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of warm water
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup evaporated milk, undiluted
1/4 soft shortening
Oil for frying
Confectioners Sugar (Powdered Sugar)

In a large bowl sprinkle yeast over water and stir to dissolve. Let it sit for a few minutes so the yeast will get nice and warm and happy! (You want your yeast to be warm and happy so it doesn't die) Add the sugar, salt, eggs and milk. Blend with a rotary beater. Add four cups of flour.

Cover and chill overnight.

Roll out on floured board to 1/8 inch thickness (if you want to skip the floured part- get your board wet and then roll your dough out on it- the wetness will keep the dough from sticking- same goes for your hands- run them under the water before touching the dough and the dough won't stick to your hands) Cut in to 2 1/2 inch squares.

Deep fry at 360 degrees 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels.

Sprinkle heavily wit confectioners sugar.

Makes about 5 dozen.
Dough keeps well in refrigerator for several days. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (to keep the dough from sticking to the plastic wrap I spray mine with cooking spray) and punch down occaisionally.

These are just like scones! Delicious!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Strawberry Cream Cupcake Desserts

This recipe came from The Pampered Chef!

Crust and Cake

1 1/2 cups mini pretzel twists (about 3/4 Cup crushed)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tbsp sugar
1 small pkg white cake mix (9 oz)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla

Filling and Garnish

2 1/2 cup thawed frozen whipped topping, divided
2/3 cup strawberry ice cream topping, divided
1 cup sliced strawberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place liners in the wells of the muffin an. For crust place pretzels into a large resealable plastic bag and finely crush. Combine pretzel crubs, butter and sugar nd mix well. Put pretzel crumbs in the bottom of each liner and press in to the liners.

2. Combine cake mix, sour cream, egg, water and vanilla and mix until smooth. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely.

3. Meanwhile combine 1 up of the whipped topping and 3 tbsp of the strawberry ice cream topping; mix well. Gently toss strawberries with 1 1/2 tbsp. of the strawberry ice cream topping.

4. When ready to serve, remove paper liners from cupcakes. Slice off tops of cupcakes. For each serving place bottom of cupcake on serving plate- scoop filling over center of the cupcake. Spoon rounded tablespoon of strawberries and juice over filling: top with cupcake top. Pipe whipped topping over desserts and drizzle with about 1 tsp slightly warmed remaining ice cream topping. Serve immediately.