Tuesday, January 29, 2008

White Chocolate Island Brownies

I fully intend to try new recipes, make old favorites and post pictures, but this last week has been too hectic to think about starting.
Plus I have to figure out how to get the pictures taken without my husband, Mark, thinking I have totally gone 'round the bend. I mentioned to him last week when I made these cookies -White Chip Island Blondies from the Nestles website-that I wanted to take a picture before they were all gone so I could post it on a my new blog to keep track of things and he looked at me like I just walked in the door with purple hair.
Anyway, the cookies were great.
And my mother in law was right- don't ask before you make a new recipe- just make it. I ran this recipe past Mark a few months ago and he wasn't thrilled. But this time I just made it without asking and he really DID like it. I figured he would- he likes everything in it.
So from now on that is my strategy- no asking!

White Chip Island Blondies

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup (6 oz.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Premier White Morsels
1/2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup toasted coconut

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.

COMBINE flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar, butter and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels, nuts and coconut. Press into prepared baking pan.

BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Gorilla Bread

I love to look for recipes - this stemming from my longtime addiction to cookbooks. Luckily for me and my wallet, my local library is just a block away. At the moment I have in my possession Paula Deen's Kitchen Classics which actually contains 2 cookbooks-The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook and The Lady & Sons Too. I like some of her recipes for baked goods, but not so much for the entrees I've tried.
I guess the reason I like Paula is that she seems to take some shortcuts or quick changes, and sometimes we are all pressed for time but still wanna make something. I made her Gorilla Bread before Christmas one morning when everyone was home. The recipe says to put the cream cheese inside and wrap the roll around it- I found it even easier to just pry the flaky layers apart, slap the cream cheese on, put the rolls back together, then complete the recipe. I also cut back a little on the sugar and used pecans instead of walnuts. It was a good and quick (last minute) special breakfast when served with fresh fruit alongside.

Gorilla Bread Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside. Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan. Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of nuts. Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert.

Monday, January 14, 2008

On Probation

Oh, I am so new to this, hence the probation part. Well actually - not to the cooking part so much, but totally new to blogging.

I grew up with Italian parents, but my mother was not much of a cook and rarely made any dessert or cookies, save for a prune whip. My Grandma did a little, but I had no interest. The few family recipes I have come from my Aunts.

But, I have through the years occasionally tried baking and lately find I am enjoying it more and more. Reading other baking blogs has really given me inspiration. I decided I may as well post also, only because I figured it would force me to bake a little more!

We shall see.....