Sunday, May 22, 2016

Secret Ingredient Cheese Straws

There are two things that I love to make with Rice Krispies - 
Rice Krispy Treats and Cheese Straws! Yes! Cheese Straws!
The Rice Krispies give these Cheese Straws a lovely light 
crunch! They are always a hit at my Southern Tea Parties!

After trying several similar Cheese Straw recipes, I've come up 
with my own version which works every time! Let me show
you how I make them!

This recipe could not be easier! Just combine butter/cheese mixture
with dry ingredients, and you're ready to go! Next scoop tablespoons
of mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. With your hands, roll
into balls then flatten with a fork dipped in flour. 

When you flatten, don't lift up, but slide off. I find that even when
using a flour dipped fork the fork may stick to the dough when 
you lift up. 

Space them about 1 1/2" apart - they don't really expand when
baking.

If you like really CRISPY Cheese Straws, such as you 
might find in the grocery store, pop them back into
the oven as it's cooling and leave them for another
hour, then cool. I did this with the batch you see here
because I love them really crispy!!


SECRET INGREDIENT CHEESE STRAWS

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
8oz pkg sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated (I used Cracker Barrel)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 cups Rice Krispies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Using an electric mixer beat together butter and cheese until combined.
Whisk together flour, salt and red pepper.
With mixer on low speed add flour mixture to cheese mixture until combined.
With a spatula, carefully fold in Rice Krispies.
Using a small cookie scoop or a spoon, place tablespoons of mixture onto
a parchment lined baking sheet.  With your hand roll into balls. Flatten each
ball with a fork dipped in flour.  Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown. 
 Let cool on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  
Makes about 4 dozen. Freezes well!

If you've never tried this version of Cheese Straws, you
should definitely give it a try!! I know your gonna love them!! 
Thanks for visiting!! 



Friday, May 13, 2016

Easy Lemon Tartlets from Tea Time Magazine

Today's recipe for Lemon Tartlets comes from Tea Time Magazine!
I love their gorgeous magazine full of beautiful recipes and Tea Time
inspiration!! These tarts, which use ready made pie dough, are easy to 
make and so delicious!

So first, unroll the pie dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using a
3" round or scalloped cookie cutter, cut 6 rounds from pie dough. 
Press rounds into tartlet pan/s and place tartlet pan/s on a rimmed 
baking sheet.

I used my Williams Sonoma Mini Tarts Baking Set, which I highly
recommend. Another option is their 3 inch Tartlet Pan Set. Mini 
muffin pans can be used, but sometimes it is more difficult to 
remove the baked tarts from them without breaking.

Next, just combine wet ingredients as directed and pour into 
tartlet shells. I use my liquid measuring cup to easily pour 
without spilling.

Bake approximately 15 minutes, then let tartlets completely
 cool in pan. Remove them from the pan to decorate.

To make the Whipped Cream, just combine heavy cream and 
confectioners' sugar and beat at high speed with an electric mixer
(I use my hand held mixer) until stiff peaks form.

Then transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with an open star
tip and pipe in pretty swirls to decorate tarts. You could also just use 
a spoon and place dollops of the whipped cream on top. Garnish
with a lemon curl if desired.

EASY LEMON TARTS

Ingredients:
1/2 (14.1 ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (1 sheet)
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold heavy whipping cream, DIVIDED
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
Garnish: lemon curls

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Unroll pie dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a
3-inch round cutter, cut 6 rounds from pie dough.
Press into 6(2 1/2-inch) tartlet pans. Place tartlet pans
on a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine egg, sugar, lemon zest, lemon
juice, and 1 tablespoon cream, whisking to blend.
Divide egg mixture evenly among prepared tartlet pans.

Bake until filling is set, approximately 15 minutes.
Let tartlets cool completely on a wire rack. Remove
from tartlet pans. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup cream
and confectioners' sugar. Beat at high speed with an
electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

Transfer whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a 
large open-star tip (Wilton #1M). Pipe a decorative 
swirl on top of tartlets. Garnish with a
lemon curl if desired.



These delicious little lemony bites are sure to please!!
Enjoy!!



Sunday, September 13, 2015

Chocolate Chewy Cookies GF



I've been looking for the perfect Chocolate Chewy Cookie recipe
since Gottlieb's Bakery in Savannah, Georgia closed.  They had
a location in the mall and I couldn't pass by without stopping for
a Chocolate Chewy Cookie!! They were the most scrumptious 
extra chewy cookies that I've ever eaten! 

I did buy their cookbook and tried their recipe for Chocolate
Chewy Cookies, but it just wasn't the same! When I see a
recipe with a different twist of ingredients, I always hope
that maybe this is the one!! Today's recipe is an excellent
recipe and the cookies were easy to make and very yummy,
but alas....not "the one." They are chewy.....just not 
extra chewy! However, I still highly recommend that 
you try these!! I would definitely make them again, and
next time I think I'll add some chopped Pecans, like
Gottliebs use to add!!


CHOCOLATE CHEWY COOKIES

3 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 egg white
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted & cooled
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment
paper and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the powdered sugar, cocoa
powder and salt.  Add in the eggs, egg white and butter; mix well.
Fold in chocolate chips.  

Spoon 1 tablespoon of the batter onto the prepared cookie sheet,
leaving about 2 inches in between. Bake 14-16 minutes until the
cookies are puffed and cracked. Remove from the oven and let
cookies cool completely on the pan. Makes approximately 3 dozen.


Enjoy!! xo!!




Friday, September 11, 2015

Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies


Do you have a favorite Peanut Butter Cookie recipe? I didn't, until
I tried this recipe!! It comes from the newest Gooseberry Patch
cookbook "Autumn in a Jiffy." These Peanut Butter Cookies
are so easy to make and are melt in your mouth good!! A
perfect cookie to whip up on the weekend with your kids!!


My daughter and I had so much fun making these!!  Unlike some 
of the more popular recipes on the web,  this cookie dough doesn't 
require chilling (which I love!!) so you'll be enjoying these cookies 
in no time!! They are a little chewy on the outside, soft on the
inside and extremely addictive!!

Just combine your ingredients, then scoop out by tablespoonfuls,
roll into a ball and drop into a bowl with some granulated sugar to 
coat. I used my 1 1/2" cookie scoop which made the process go
even faster.  Then place the sugar coated balls of dough onto a
parchment lined baking sheet and flatten the balls with a fork
in a criss-cross pattern.

The dough is very easy to work with - not sticky at all!!
I love the sugar coating! It gives the cookies a little
sparkle!! We actually added a bit more sugar to the
tops of the cookies before baking!



PERFECT PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy (or crunchy) peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
*1 cup sugar, DIVIDED
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a separate large bowl, combine butter, peanut butter, brown
sugar and *1/2 cup sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium
speed until blended; stir in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture; 
stir until a stiff dough forms. Roll dough into balls by tablespoonfuls.
(I used my 1 1/2" cookie scoop) Roll balls in *remaining sugar; 
place 2 inches apart on parchment lined (or greased) baking 
sheets.  With a fork dipped in sugar, flatten balls in a 
criss-cross pattern. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, 
(mine took 15) until golden. Makes 2-3 dozen (depending on 
how big you make them.)


In the cookbook, these cookies are called "Nanny's
Peanut Butter Goblins." "Nanny" made these every
year for a Halloween Open House. These cookies 
would be perfect for any Holiday Gathering, and would
be the hit of any bake sale!! I highly recommend them!!


Friday, August 28, 2015

Swirly Buttery Melty Mints


I have another fun and easy recipe to share with you today -
BUTTER MINTS! Those pretty little mints that you see at
Showers and Birthday Parties between the peanuts and 
the cucumber sandwiches!! Did you know that they are
crazy easy to make?? Let me show you how I made them!

Into the bowl of a mixer, place the sugar, butter, cream and
extract. Mix until it forms a ball. Easy peasy!! Then divide 
the dough into as many portions as you like and color each
portion. 

One word on the peppermint extract - start with a very small
amount, then increase to taste. The first time I made these I 
used just 1/4 teaspoon, but it was too strong for me. You want
these to be minty but not like Altoids! LOL!! Different brands
of extract will yield different results.
I decided to give my mints a marbled look. I did this using the
same technique as my Fairy Meringues.  Using a toothpick, I 
place lines of gel food coloring on top of one portion of the
dough and folded the dough in half. I kept folding and kneading
until it was pretty and marbled.

Next I rolled each portion of dough into a rope and cut the rope
into mint sized pieces with my dough scraper. Then I placed 
the mints on my parchment lined baking sheet and let them dry
uncovered overnight!



PEPPERMINT MELTY MINTS

4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons (half n half) cream
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
food coloring

Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a bowl
with a paddle attachment combine confectioners
sugar, butter, cream and peppermint extract. Mix
until it forms a ball.

Divide the dough into 3 or 4 portions and form each one 
into a ball. To color mixture add (one drop liquid food
coloring) or a tiny bit of gel color into one portion, 
kneading into dough evenly. Continue adding more
coloring until desired shade.  Repeat using a different color
for each remaining portion. To get the marbled effect,
flatten dough a bit then using a toothpick, place lines
of food coloring on dough. Then fold dough in half and
press down, then fold in half again and press down.
keep kneading until you get the desired effect.

Roll the dough into 1/2 to 1 inch diameter ropes. Cut
each rope into desired size pieces. Arrange the pieces
on the parchment paper and let sit uncovered overnight.
Once dry, store in air tight container. 


I couldn't believe how easy it was to make these buttery, melt 
in your mouth mints!! I also love that you can color coordinate 
them to the colors of your party! They're also great for favors!  
Your friends will be so impressed!! You've got
to try this!! xo!!





Sunday, August 16, 2015

Luscious Lemon Creams


I have a wonderfully light and easy lemon mousse recipe to
 share with you today! These Lemon Creams only take a few
minutes to prepare and are the perfect ending to a light meal!

All you have to do is heat the cream, sugar and lemon zest for
about 5 minutes then strain it into some pretty glasses or even
you favorite tea cups! The Lemon Creams do need a couple of
hours to chill and set. That's the hard part!! 


LEMON CREAMS 

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup minus 1 tbsp sugar
zest and juice of 2 lemons
extra zest to garnish if desired

Method:

Heat the cream, sugar and lemon zest in a pan
over medium heat until it almost boils. Reduce
the heat to low and cook gently for 3 minutes,
until the sugar dissolves.

Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Pour
through a strainer into a pourable container, then
pour into pretty glasses or tea cups. Cool, then chill
for a couple of hours or overnight. Decorate with
lemon zest. Wonderful served with Lemon 
Shortbread.


The recipe says that it serves 4, but I only had enough 
to fill 3 small glass bowls. I suggest that you double
the recipe if you need more.

So easy!! So delicious!! Thanks for visiting!!




Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Magical Marbled Fairy Meringues


I have a fun recipe for you today, especially if you have kids!
I call these Magical Marbled Fairy Meringues. The writer of the 
blog Lick The Spoon called it Forbidden Fairy Foam! The name
 alone draws you in and when you see how crazy easy the recipe is, 
you have to try it!!

Are you curious? Magical Marbled Fairy Meringues are actually a 
sort of microwaveable meringue! The magical thing about these 
faux meringues is that within seconds a marble sized ball of this 
mixture puffs up into billowy clouds of sweetness!  It's like,  and
I quote,  "a scrumptious science experiment!!"

These sweet puffs are much easier to prepare than
regular meringues because you don't whip the egg whites
to stiff peaks, you just stir the mixture together and you're
ready to go!

So let's make some magical marbled fairy meringues!!
First, you beat vanilla extract and one egg white together
just enough to break up the egg white.  I was afraid
that my dark colored vanilla extract would color the mixture 
too much and I was out of the clear vanilla extract so I used 
some coconut extract that I had on hand. I loved the flavor!!

In another bowl, place 3 cups of powdered sugar and make a
well in the center. (I sifted my powdered sugar to make sure that 
there were no lumps.) Pour the egg white mixture into the well and
gradually incorporate it with the powdered sugar. (I actually just 
used my hands!) The recipe said that you may not have to use all the 
egg white mixture, but I did. One (large) egg white worked perfectly 
for me and I made this recipe twice. If you find that your mixture 
is too dry, just grab another egg white and add a bit more.

What you end up with is a stiff dough that you add a bit of
food coloring to for the marbled effect.  What I did was flatten
my dough and using a toothpick, I placed lines of food coloring.
Then I folded the dough in half and pressed down, then folded
in half again and pressed down. I did this until the mixture got
a pretty pink marbled look. 

Then I pinched off marble sized pieces of dough, rolled
them into a ball and placed them in a mini muffin/cupcake cup.
Now we're ready to microwave!! Remember that everyone's
microwave is different, so this part may take a couple of
tries to get it right! The first time I made these I burnt them!
Next time I tried my microwave on 50% power and that
did the trick.  Within a few seconds, the ball of dough
started rising..r i s i n g...R I S I N G! Then it stabilized,
then it rose a bit more and stayed there. At this point I
let the microwave continue for a few more seconds, then
I stopped it. The total time was no more than one minute,
thirty seconds. 
The "meringues" puff up into lots of unusual shapes! Like snowflakes,
no two are alike!! In order to get more uniform shapes, make sure that
you microwave at least 6 at a time.


These are perfect for a girl's tea party and pretty enough for a
ladies tea!  Another great thing about these "meringues" is that
you can keep them out, uncovered for up to 12 hours and they
stay nice and crisp!


MAGICAL MARBLED FAIRY MERINGUES

Ingredients:

1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract (or any other extract you prefer)
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
pink food coloring
edible glitter or edible gold dust (optional)
mini cupcake cups

Place the egg white and extract in a small bowl and
beat briefly just to break up the egg white. Place the
powdered sugar into a medium sized bowl and make
a well in the center.  Pour the egg white mixture into 
the well and gradually work into the powdered sugar.
At this point you can use your hands to finish working the
mixture until it forms a thick dough. If the mixture is too
dry, add a bit more egg white; if too wet, add more
powdered sugar.

Flatten the dough out and dab a little food coloring
onto the dough. Fold in half and press down, then
keep folding and pressing until you get the desired
marbled effect. Roll into marble sized balls and place
in the center of a mini cupcake cup.

If desired, sprinkle the tops of each with edible glitter 
or edible gold dust. (I didn't do this step because I
didn't have any edible glitter!) Place 6 at a time inside
the microwave on the turntable, in a circle. This ensures
that they all cook at an even rate. Set the microwave on
a medium power level and at a setting of approximately
one minute 30 seconds. Start cooking and watch carefully.
After about 20-25 seconds the balls will melt, then start to
billow at a rapid rate. They will stop briefly, then cook for
a further 25-30 seconds. Each microwave is different so 
you just have to try different settings to see which works
for your microwave. The meringues are done when crisp.
If the insides are brown, you have cooked them too long.


MAGICAL!! A perfect activity for a girl's tea party!!