Christmas Treats

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It feels like the right time for a few sweet Christmas treats. I’ve got a double batch of these Peanut Butter Chocolate Spirals cooling in the fridge. After I run a few errands, the dough will be ready to roll. We’ll have fresh cookies in time for coffee break ūüôā

PB Chocolate Spirals

Peanut Butter dough

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Cream together butter, sugar and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add slowly to peanut butter mixture, mixing until well combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

Chocolate dough (in the same bowl as the PB dough)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1 egg
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in egg. Add melted chocolate, mixing thoroughly. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add slowly to chocolate mixture, mixing until well combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

Once the dough is chilled, take half of each amount of dough and roll into 1/4″ thick rectangles. Layer the chocolate dough on top of the peanut butter dough. Beginning at the long end of the rectangle, roll doughs together to form a tightly rolled log. Re-wrap the roll and chill for about an hour (or up to 3 days). Repeat with remaining dough. For a more marbled effect in the baked cookies, fold the rectangle into thirds and roll dough into a rectangle again before forming the final log.

When ready to bake, slice the rolls of dough into desired thickness of slices (about 1/4‚Ä≥). Place slices on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350¬į F for about 12 minutes, until the centers of the cookies are firm and bottom is golden brown. Baking time will depend on thickness of slices. Cool on pan for a couple of minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

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Chocolate Swirl Banana Loaf

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Chocolate Swirl Banana Cake

2 cups of flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3 bananas, mashed

¬Ĺ cup canola oil

1/3 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp cocoa

2-3 tbsp hot water

Preheat oven to 375¬įF.¬† In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.¬† In a smaller bowl, stir together eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla.¬† Make a well in the dry ingredients.¬† Pour in wet mixture and add mashed bananas.¬† Combine all ingredients just until moistened.¬†¬† In small bowl, mix cocoa and just enough of the hot water to make a smooth mixture.¬† Add in about 1 1/2 cups of the batter and gently mix to form the chocolate batter.¬†¬† In a 9″x 5″ loaf pan that has been greased and floured, alternate dollops of of white and chocolate batter. ¬† Use a knife to swirl the batters together. ¬† Bake about 55 minutes total, 15 minutes at 375¬įF, then reducing temperature to 350¬įF and baking for an additional 35-40 minutes.¬† Bake until inserted tester comes clean.¬† Let loaf cool 5 minutes in the pan,¬† then invert onto wire rack to cool completely.¬† Once cool, drizzle with chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Glaze:

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp cocoa

1/2 cup icing sugar

2 tbsp very hot water

In a medium size microwave-safe bowl, melt butter.  Stir in cocoa and icing sugar.  Add hot water and mix thoroughly.  If glaze seems too thick to flow, add more hot water a little at a time until desired constituency is reached.  Glaze will set quickly, so once the hot water is added, work quickly.  Drizzle over loaf as desired.

Double Chocolate Marshmallow Krispy Bars

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I tried a new recipe today.¬† Although it’s not generating rave reviews with the fellows, I like it, so am sharing it with you.¬† It cuts into squares very nicely and would look great on a tray of assorted baking.

Double Chocolate Marshmallow Krispy Bars

 1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup flour

2 tbsp cocoa

1/4 tsp baking powder

2 1/2 – 3 cups mini marshmallows

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup peanut butter

1 ¬Ĺ cups rice krispies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. ¬†Spray a 9” x 13” pan with cooking spray and set aside.¬† Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. ¬†Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and stir to combine. In a small bowl mix together flour, cocoa and baking powder. ¬†Spread batter into prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and sprinkle marshmallows evenly over the top. Return to oven and bake 3-4 minutes longer, until marshmallows are puffy and melting. Cool completely.¬† Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter, stirring to combine. Pour in the rice krispies and stir to coat.¬† Spread mixture evenly over the marshmallow layer. ¬†Refrigerate to cool.¬† Cut into squares to serve.

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Marble Cake

 

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Some days call out for a sweet treat and today was such a day.  What better choice than a tender mix of chocolate and vanilla? Perfect as is, or add a taste of soul-satisfying richness with a wee dollop of whipped cream.  Fragrant, fresh brewed coffee on the side, yes please!

Marble Cake

2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2  tsp baking soda

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup melted butter, warm but not hot

2 eggs

3/4 cup 2% milk

1 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp cocoa + 1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp water

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar.  In a smaller bowl, mix eggs, melted butter, milk and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just to combine.  Pour about 3/4 of the batter into a greased and floured  bundt pan.  In a small bowl, mix cocoa and sugar with water till smooth.  Stir the cocoa into the remaining dough.  Drop spoonsful here and there over the vanilla batter and then swirl together with a knife.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then carefully invert onto serving plate.  Let cake cool a further 10 minutes, then glaze.  Serves up 10-12 slices.

Chocolate Glaze

4 tbsp butter

3 tbsp cocoa

1 cup icing sugar

3-4 tbsp very hot water

Melt butter.  Whisk in cocoa and icing sugar.  Add 3 tbsp hot water and mix thoroughly.  If glaze seems too thick to flow, add more hot water a little at a time until desired constituency is reached.  Glaze will set quickly, so once the hot water is added, work quickly to glaze cake.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Spirals

This cookie is a nicely flavored crisp cookie, perfect for dunking in your hot chocolate.  The spirals are a bit more work initially, what with the two doughs and rolling and chilling, but the great thing is that you can make a double batch, clean up the kitchen and then slice and bake at your leisure.

PB Chocolate Spirals

Peanut Butter dough:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 sugar

3 tbsp peanut butter

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 2/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

Cream together butter, sugar and peanut butter until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla.  Stir together flour, baking powder and salt.  Add slowly to peanut butter mixture, mixing until well combined.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

Chocolate dough (in the same bowl as the PB dough):

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

1 egg

1 1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cocoa

1/4 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Mix in egg.  Add melted chocolate, mixing thoroughly.  Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Add slowly to chocolate mixture, mixing until well combined.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

Once the dough is chilled, take half of each amount of dough and roll into 1/4″ thick rectangles.¬† Layer the chocolate dough on top of the peanut butter dough.¬† Beginning at the long end of the rectangle, roll doughs together to form a tightly rolled log.¬† Re-wrap the roll and chill for about an hour (or up to 3 days).¬† Repeat with remaining dough.¬† For a more marbled effect in the baked cookies, fold the rectangle into thirds and roll dough into a rectangle again before forming the final log (which is what I did).

When ready to bake,¬† slice the rolls of dough into desired thickness of slices (about 1/4″).¬† Place slices on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for about 12 minutes, until the centers of the cookies are firm and bottom is golden brown.¬† Baking time will depend of thickness of slices.¬† Cool on pan for a couple of minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Happy Birthday to me…..

Raspberry Trifle Cake

1 cup butter , softened

1 cup white sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and drained

Cream the butter and sugar.¬† Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well.¬† Add vanilla.¬† In a separate bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.¬† Add to creamed butter mixture.¬† Fold in raspberries.¬† Divide¬† batter into two 8″ greased and floured (or use parchment paper circles cut to fit) layer cake pans.¬† Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes.

Cream Cheese Icing

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened (low-fat does not make good icing)

1/3 cup margarine

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla

3-4 cups icing sugar, sift after measuring (amount depends on desired consistency)

2-3 drops of almond extract (helps reduce the sweetness factor)

1/3 tsp glycerine (keeps the icing from getting hard and crusty)

Chocolate Cake recipe here.


Easy and delicious! Praline Crunch Bars

Praline Crunch Bars

1 pkg. refrigerated sugar cookie dough

1/2 cup skor toffee bits, for the crust

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips,

1/3 cup skor toffee bits, for the top

Preheat oven to 350 F.¬† In a large ziploc bag, place cookie dough, 1/2 cup toffee bits and chopped pecans.¬† Close bag and knead the dough with skor bits and pecans.¬† Alternatively, combine cookie dough, toffee bits and pecans in the bowl of¬† your stand mixer and mix. ¬† Empty dough into a 9×13″ ungreased pan and press out evenly.¬† Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until starting to turn golden.¬† Do not overbake. ¬† Sprinkle with chocolate chips immediately after baking; let stand about 5 minutes until chocolate is softened, then spread evenly.¬† Sprinkle with the 1/3 cup toffee bits.¬† Chill in the fridge about 30 minutes to set the chocolate.¬† Cut into squares to serve.

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