Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cleveland Browns Bars

Edit- I posted this on Sunday- but in the middle of Hurricane Ike so it didn't post. Sorry 'bout the crappy pics! (See last post about Ike)
Uhhh the Browns lost.... But the cookies were a winner!!!! Here is the post.....

I could have sworn I made this recipe from Jennifer of Bake or Break and posted on it a few months ago. I KNOW I made the cookies, but I guess I didn't post on it. Loved the recipe! Not many cookies feature cashews and teamed with butterscotch you can't lose! Even so, when I made the original recipe, I knew I would change it up a bit the next time I made it, because we love pecans!
Tonight is the famous football matchup- Cleveland Browns vs. PITTSburg Steelers. So in honor of my Browns, I have named my changed up recipe Cleveland Browns Bars. They are pretty dang delicious! The crust is like buttery shortbread; and the bscotch caramel- mmmmm!
Here's the play by play...

Cleveland Browns Bars (aka Butterscotch Pecan Bars)
1/2 pound (2 sticks, or 1 cup) butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 & 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
11 ounces butterscotch chips (I used Merckens Butterscotch Wafers this time)
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon
2 cups pecans (toasted lightly in the oven while the crust is baking)
dash salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9″x 13″ pan with parchment paper (line the pan’s width and length, creating a parchment “sling'). Spray parchment paper with cooking spray.
Using an mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, and salt for 1 to 1 & 1/2 minutes. Decrease mixer speed to low and add the flour. Mix just until combined. Lightly press dough evenly into the prepared pan. Poke holes in the dough with a fork. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the crust is a golden color. Remove to wire rack to cool-pretty much completely.
In a saucepan over low heat, stir together butterscotch chips, corn syrup, and water. Stir until mixture comes to a simmer and butterscotch chips are melted. Pour over crust.
Sprinkle toasted pecans over the butterscotch. Bake for 5 minutes. Salt top very lightly. Cool completely on a wire rack. After cooling, remove from pan and use a very sharp knife to cut into bars.


Hurricane Ike Visits OHIO!

I'm not complaining, cuz we really don't have it anywhere near as bad as the folks in the great state of Texas.
But Ike was pretty wicked, even to Ohio. The storm hit Sunday at 7 PM and knocked down a large tree in our back yard that fell on our fence. Then a few minutes later, the front yard started exploding! Two trees in front and the telephone pole went across, blocking the street.
Our power should be on by next Sunday.
Edited to add- Friday morning- they started putting up the telephone/power pole at 1:45AM! and power was restored at 6AM. Our phone and internet were reconnected at 7pm (after much cajoling by me).

Monday, September 15, 2008

Operation Baking Gals Team 10th Mountain

A few months ago, I had been talking with online friends about troops overseas, and wouldn't we love to be able to find a soldier and send him/her a goodie box, just as a show of support and thanks. Just a little morale boost and a taste of home. But we weren't sure how we would find the soldiers, not knowing any personally.
Just days later, I saw a post on the Daring Bakers website from Susan of She's Becoming DoughMessTic. She had just sent cookies to a soldier oversees, and because of the feedback, came up with a brilliant idea to find soldiers, then to invite the blogging community to bake for them and send the goodies directly to the soldiers. Is that fate, or what?! The effort is called Operation Baking Gals.
I immediately signed on and sent my package to a LT. aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. I know he was able to share his packages with many on the ship. And it was pretty easy! Ok -come next round, no question I would help out again! It's the least I can do to show my appreciation.
Susan's mission is growing by leaps and bounds. Bakers are signing up and soldiers names are coming in. This month, for Round 3, it's my turn to be a host.
So, Could YOU help me bake this time? Our soldier is Richard Martin and he is a member of the 10th Mountain Division- Army Light Infantry based out of Fort Drum NY. I have been told he has LOTS of soldiers he will be sharing with. I have been told these heroes could really use a morale boost - and an unexpected shipment of goodies could really be the ticket.
Will it bring them home? No it won't. But it will remind them of it...and that's a really positive thing in such a negative place. Capt. Ballard (our Round One soldier) told Susan in an email that "I just hope these ladies know that they are doing a good thing. Even if it is 'just' baking cookies...". These guys are protecting our rights, our liberty, our freedom. The least we can do in return is share a few homemade cookies with them. If you are up for helping me support this group of soldiers stationed in Iraq, please send an email to When I receive your email, I will respond with all the info you will need to ship to our guy Richard in Iraq.
We will all ship our boxes at the same time - Beginning the week of Sept. 27th. If you get a free special APO Military Flat Rate box from the Post Office, the shipping should be very low for 1 large box. (Approx $12.95 or less).
Please join the effort to support our troops!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Operation Baking Gals Round 3 Host!

I will be hosting in Round 3 for a soldier (to be named)! We will each bake and send off our goodies the week of September 27. I hope you will join me in this effort to supply homebaked goods to our troops overseas.
Please email me at (in the subject line type "I want on your team") and I will add you to the list of bakers. Please include your city and state in your email if you wish.
For more info on Operation Baking Gals click here.
Also,FYI- if you are planning to bake for this effort or to send anything to an APO or FPO address, USPS will send you free flat rate boxes that can be used to ship to military addresses at a reduced rate.
More info will be added as I receive it. Thanks!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Coconut Cupcakes

Those little pillows are Coconut Cupcakes filled and topped with coconut cream. I used the wedding cake recipe and added coconut flavoring instead and made a Mock Whipped Topping and added coconut pudding to it. So dang good!

Wedding Cake

1 box white cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teas. salt
2 eggs or 4 egg whites
1 1/3cups water
2 Tbls. vegetable oil
1 cup (8oz carton) sour cream
1 teaspoon clear vanilla flavor

1 teaspoon almond extract ( I used coconut)

Mix all dry ingredients by hand using a whisk in a very large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Bake at 325 degrees until done (approx 10 min for cupcakes)

Mock Whipped Cream

3/4 c. milk
3 tbsp. flour
6 tbsp. butter
6 tbsp. shortening
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
(Added 1 box Coconut Cream pudding and another 3/4 c milk at the end to give coconut flavoring)
Cook milk and flour until thick. Make sure there are no lumps. Cool. Beat butter, shortening, and sugar for 4 minutes in a bowl. Add flour and milk mixture. Beat 4 minutes. Add vanilla and salt.

Top with coconut!

Friday, September 5, 2008

DC Visiting

Last weekend, we visited our daughter in Arlington VA. The weekend was beautiful, we had a few really good meals and got to go to our favorite bakery there- Heidelberg Bakery . If you ever are in the area, be sure to stop, you will find just about anything you want there! This has to be one of the biggest bakeries I have been in. I had a cheese danish both days- so good! Be sure to visit their website and drool over all the items!

We also walked about 5 miles on the Mt Vernon Trail along the Potomac River on Saturday. Had to walk off those breakfast calories! The trail is very nice and we crossed the footbridge to Teddy Roosevelt Island and saw a few deer in the woods. It was a perfect day weather-wise!