Popcorn Bars

This is a repost from 5 years ago! Wow time flies! Still loved making these and they were oh so good!!

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Popcorn, popcorn, popcorn! I LOVE popcorn. If there was a popcorn diet I’d be on it for sure. The smell of freshly popped buttery goodness has to be the best smell in the world. I can’t walk past a movie theater without taking a huge deep inhaling breath! Aaahhh….The only type of popcorn I don’t usually like is popcorn balls. I don’t know why but for some reason they just don’t appeal to me at all. But these popcorn bars are something entirely different. They have salty peanuts, pretzels chocolate chips and candy! What’s not to like!  The candy coated pieces can be in red and green for Christmas! Kids large and small will love them! I know I do!

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 package microwave popcorn, popped (about 9-10 cups)

1 cup salted peanuts

1 cup coarsely crumbled pretzels

1 cup light corn syrup

¼ cup butter or margarine

1 package (11 ounces) butterscotch OR white chocolate chips

1 cup candy coated chocolate pieces (like M&Ms)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Add the popcorn, peanuts and pretzels.


2. Cook the corn syrup and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, bring to a full boil for 1 minute.


3. Remove from the heat and add butterscotch chips, stirring until melted. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix well. Stir in candy coated chocolate pieces.


4. Press into a greased 13×9-inch pan. Cool at least one hour. Cool in the refrigerator also. It makes cutting them into bars much easier. Cut into bars.


Makes about 24 bars

Brownie Holi-Pops

Well tomorrow is Christmas Eve! Wow where did the time go to? As a kid Christmas could not get here fast enough and now many years later, ok decades later, Christmas appears as if out of nowhere! It was just Halloween! My house is decked out, inside and out, and it is certainly festive looking! The weather is cooler, in the 50s and 60s so it’s not so hot that we do forget it’s winter here in south Florida. And I am still sticking with my no dieting till after the New Year. Weight Watchers can wait a little longer for me!

So here I am putting together the last “cookie” blog for the  year. These cookies are actually brownies, but also a lollipop. But hey, I’m using it anyway. I am not really a big brownie fan. Never was. Love making them but not eating them. The only ones I truly LOVE are my friend Debbie’s. They are little bitty ones and she puts frosting on them! I swear they must also have some kind of booze in them or something. They are so moist and just down right addicting! I could eat a dozen no problem! But these are not those. Sorry. I will have to get her recipe another time! These are just too cute not to include them and the kids will love them also. I have not actually made these as of yet but I think I will soon!

I actually got this recipe from Land-o-Lakes. Aren’t they just adorable!

BROWNIE MIXTURE:
¾ cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, divided

3 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, divided

1 cup sugar

¾ cup all-purpose flour

2  eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup powdered sugar
COATING:
16 ounces vanilla or chocolate flavored candy coating (almond bark)
40 lollipop sticks
DECORATIONS:
Holiday nonpareils, jimmies, sprinkles and/or decorator candies. Your choice!

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 350°F.

2. Combine ½ cup butter and 2 ounces chocolate in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until melted (3 to 5 minutes). Add sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla and salt; mix well.

3. Spread batter evenly into greased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake for 23 to 27 minutes or until brownies just begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely.

4. Melt remaining ¼ cup butter and 1 ounce chocolate as above.

5. Finely crumble cooled brownie into large bowl. Add butter mixture and powdered sugar; mix well.

6. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls; place onto waxed paper-lined jelly roll pan. Cover with plastic food wrap; refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours or overnight).

7. Melt candy coating according to package directions; keep warm.

8. Remove 1/3 of balls from refrigerator; insert lollipop sticks. Dip balls into melted coating, swirling or tapping off excess; press coated balls into desired decorations. Push lollipop stick into craft foam or place coated balls onto waxed paper. Repeat with remaining balls. Let stand until coating is set.

Makes 40 pops

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

I really love lemon cookies. You don’t usually see too many out there either and this recipe was too good not to include. I think most people may have these around Easter or springtime but who says you must have certain cookies certain times of the year? The cookie police? I don’t think so. These little delights are just so tasty and very addicting! I rationalize that cookies are better than cake because they are smaller. 🙂 This way I can eat more! These are also a sort of drop cookie so they are pretty simple. No cutting or pressing involved. They are also topped with a wonderful lemon glaze to make them even more enticing! Like I need an excuse as it is!

INGREDIENTS:

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 (15 oz) container whole milk ricotta cheese

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 lemon, zested (this is probably the hardest part of the recipe and it’s not even that hard!)

GLAZE:

1½ cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 lemon, zested

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until mixed in. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice and lemon zest. Beat till combined and stir in the dry ingredients.

4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. (Trust me, using parchment paper will make your cookie experience so much better!) Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets.

5. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden on edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the cookie sheets for about 20 minutes. (Don’t get anxious and try to take them off earlier! You’ll be sorry! :P)

6. GLAZE: Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about ½ teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread it. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. NOW you can take them off the cookie sheets and pack them in decorative containers. Enjoy!

Makes about 44 cookies

Christmas Baking Humor

Ok so it’s after midnight and I forgot to get the blog done for Monday. So now I am early for Tuesday! A friend just sent me this Holiday Cake recipe that I’ve gotten pretty much every year. I chuckled and then thought “Why don’t I put it on the blog as a nice stress reliever for the week!” So here it is. I know many of you have probably heard this but it’s a good one either way. And yes I know it’s straying from my cookie recipes but I promise to add one later today!  Enjoy!


INGREDIENTS:
2 cups flour                                            1 stick butter
1 cup water                                            1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar                                            1 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar                                 Lemon juice
4 large eggs
Nuts
2 bottles wine
2 cups dried fruit


DIRECTIONS:

Sample the wine to check quality.  Take a large bowl, check the wine again – to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.  Repeat.  Turn on the electric mixer.  Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.  Add one teaspoon of sugar.  Beat again.  At this point it is best to make sure the wine is still OK.  Try another cup ….. just in case.  Turn off the mixerer thingy.  Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging fruit up off the floor.  Mix on the turner …. if the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver …. Sample the wine to check for tonsisticity.  Next sift two cups of salt …. or something.  Check the wine.  Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.  Add one table.  Add a spoon of sugar or some fink.  Whatever you can find.  Greash the oven.  Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.  Don’t forget to beat off the turner.  Finally throw the bowl through the window.  Finish the wine and wipe the counter with the cat.  Go to Walmart and buy a frigging cake.
Bingle Jells !!!!!!

Festive Cherry Drops

I found another really tasty cookie from the great people at Land O Lakes. This recipe uses maraschino cherries, and yes, I can hear some of you saying how bad they are for us. Yes I know. But we’re not eating the whole jar and it just makes these cookies burst with flavor! For one time of the year just enjoy them. Sometimes I think we’d all be better off not knowing “what is bad for us”. Life is short. Enjoy!

This recipe also has a chocolate drizzle on it. So cool looking! If you prefer you can change the chocolate morsels for the drizzle to white chocolate and make it a white drizzle instead. Still really delicious! Remember no calorie counting till next year!! (Though I did look at the calorie content for one of these delicious bites and it’s a scary 160 calories PER COOKIE!) Like I said, no calorie counting till next year. This is also a pretty easy recipe to make. Drop cookies are always pretty simple.

Photo is courtesy of Land O Lakes.

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup sugar

½ cup butter, softened

1 egg

½ teaspoon vanilla

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 (6 ounce) jar (½ cup) maraschino cherries, well-drained, chopped

DRIZZLE:

2/3 cup real semi-sweet chocolate chips (or white chocolate)

2 teaspoons shortening

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350º.

2. Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add egg and vanilla, continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low, add flour and baking powder. Beat, scraping the bowl often, until well mixed. Add the cherries and stir into dough.

3. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls (use a regular teaspoon not a measuring spoon) onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire cooling rack. Cool completely.

4. Place chocolate chips and shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH, stirring occasionally, until melted. (30-45 seconds). Drizzle cooled cookies with melted chocolate. Let stand until chocolate is set.

Makes about 3½ dozen cookies

Butter Cookies

Christmas cookies wouldn’t be complete without the usual butter cookie. Some cookies are formed using a cookie gun or cookie cutters. This recipe mainly uses cookie cutters but if you want to use your smaller cookie maker go right ahead. These cookies are also frosted! They are easy to cut out and easy to make. Win win! Decorate them with colored sugars, sprinkles or anything you wish to make them festive!

I remember when we were kids there was a wonderful lady on our street who used to make the most incredible butter cookies. We’ve tried to recreate them over the years but they were just never the same. I will always think of her though when I make or eat butter cookies. Why is it when we try and recreate a recipe from childhood it just never quite tastes the same.

I found this recipe from Land O Lakes Butter. They called for “all-natural” eggs in the recipe but just use a regular egg. No big deal. Unless you don’t have to worry about money and can afford those fancy “all-natural” eggs. Also remember to make the dough ahead of time. It should be refrigerated 2-3 hours at least before cutting into cookie shapes.

COOKIE INGREDIENTS:

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons orange juice

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

FROSTING INGREDIENTS:

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup butter softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-2 tablespoons milk

food coloring if desired

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine 1 cup butter, sugar and egg in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until it is creamy.

2. Add the orange juice and vanilla and mix well. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and baking powder. Beat until well mixed.

3. Divide dough into thirds. Wrap each in plastic food wrap and flatten slightly. Refrigerate until firm, about 2-3 hours.

4. Heat oven to 400º. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface, one-third at a time, to 1/8-1/4-inch thickness. Keep remaining dough refrigerated. Cut with 3-inch cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookies sheets. Sprinkle with colored sugar if desired.

5. Bake for 6-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

6. If using the frosting combine powdered sugar, 1/3 cup butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla in small bowl. Beat at low-speed, scraping bowl often and gradually adding enough milk for desired spreading consistency. Tint with food color, if desired. Frost and decorate cooled cookies as you wish!

– If you use a 4 to 5-inch cookie cutter the recipe will make about 2 dozen cookies

Macaroons in Paradise

Well here it is again, almost 7pm and my blog is still not ready for today. But here we go. I found this recipe on Food Network back in 2008. It is one of Alton Brown’s recipes and it is full of calories and downright deliciousness. The cookies are definitely NOT on the diet list. But like I’ve said before it’s the holidays and no calorie counting till the new year. The cookies are also very rich and sweet so be careful eating them. They are very addicting. Not only are they addicting but they are really easy to make also.  Easy and decadent!


INGREDIENTS:

2 (7 to 8 ounce) packages sweetened shredded coconut

2 ounces sweetened condensed milk

Pinch kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large egg whites at room temperature

5 ounces granulated sugar

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1 ounce vegetable shortening

2 ounces finely chopped dry-roasted macadamia nuts

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Combine the coconut with the sweetened condensed milk, salt and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a hand mixer) with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to whip the whites until medium peaks form, 6 to 7
minutes.

4. Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture. Scoop tablespoon-sized mounds onto a parchment-lined half sheet pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately transfer the parchment with the macaroons to a cooling rack. Cool completely before topping.

5. Fill a 4-quart pot with enough water to come 2 inches up the side, set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Combine the chocolate chips and shortening in a small metal or glass mixing bowl and set over the simmering pot. Stir occasionally until melted, then remove from the heat.

6. Dip the cooled cookies in the chocolate mixture, sprinkle with the chopped macadamia nuts and place on parchment paper to set, about 30 minutes.

Makes about 42 cookies