Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cotton Candy Cake

4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1½ cups sugar
6 large egg whites
Red food coloring
One 9-inch round, 3-inch-deep yellow cake, made from 1 box cake mix
One 6- or 7-inch round, 3-inch-deep yellow cake, from 1 box cake mix
One 8- to 10-ounce jar raspberry preserves
Cotton candy and assorted round pink and red candy or gumballs, for

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and vanilla.
In a separate heatproof bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg whites.
Place over a pan of barely simmering water, whisking, just until the
sugar dissolves.
Remove from the heat and beat with clean mixer blades on high speed
until the mixture cools to room temperature and forms stiff peaks, about
5 minutes.
Lower the speed and add the creamed butter a few tablespoons at a time
(the mixture will look broken and curdled).
Slowly mix in the rest of the butter until combined.
Beat on high until smooth, about 10 minutes.
Add a drop of red food coloring and beat until uniform in color.
Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
Using a long serrated knife, slice each cake horizontally into 2 even
Dab a bit of the preserves onto each cardboard round and place one
corresponding cake layer on top.
Spread the remaining preserves on the 2 bottom layers, then spread about
½ cup frosting over the preserves.
Top with the remaining 2 cake layers.
Apply a thin layer of frosting to each double-layer cake to seal in the
Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set slightly.
Cover the tops and sides of each cake with the remaining frosting, then
place the small cake and its cardboard on top of the large cake.
Top with cotton candy and decorate with the candies

French Chocolate Candies

12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
1 c. chopped walnuts
3/4 c. condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
2 or 3 bottles chocolate sprinkles

Melt chocolate chips over medium heat, stir in nuts, milk, vanilla and
salt. Cool 5 minutes and shape into 2 inch balls and roll in chocolate
sprinkles. Makes about 50 pieces of candy

French Chocolate Christmas Candies

12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
1 c. chopped walnuts
3/4 c. condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
2 or 3 bottles chocolate sprinkles

Melt chocolate chips over medium heat, stir in nuts, milk, vanilla and
salt. Cool 5 minutes and shape into 2 inch balls and roll in chocolate
sprinkles. Makes about 50 pieces of candy

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Golden Lemon Bread

Golden Lemon Bread

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well After each addition. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture Alternately with milk.
Pour into a greased 8-in. X 4-in. X 2-in.
Loaf pan. Bake at 350� for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center Comes out clean. Place pan on a wire rack.
Combine the glaze Ingredients; immediately pour over warm bread. Cool completely before removing from pan.

Yield: 1 loaf.

Christmas Peppermint Candy Pie

1/2 c. peppermint stick candy
1/4 c. sugar
1 env. unflavored gelatin
1 1/4 c. milk
3 slightly beaten egg yolks
1/4 tsp. salt
Red food coloring
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. heavy cream, whipped
1 1/3 flaked toasted coconut

Mix candy and next five ingredients together.
Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin dissolves, and candy melts.
Tint with red coloring.
Chill until partly set.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, beating to stiff peaks.
Fold into gelatin mixture.
Fold in whipped cream.
Chill until mixture mounds lightly when spooned; pile into toasted
coconut crust.
Chill until firm.
If desired, whip some more cream.
Add enough sugar to sweeten.
Put near the edge of the pie shell to make a wreath.
Sprinkle with pistachio or other nuts or toasted coconut flakes and
crushed peppermint candy.

Peppermint Bark


1 (7.5-ounce) package hard peppermint candies
1 pound white chocolate, chopped (do not use chips)
2 cups puffed rice cereal

Coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; line with wax
Place candies in a doubled resealable plastic bag; seal, and wrap in a
kitchen towel.
Using a rolling pin or skillet, crush candies into tiny pieces.
Sift to separate crushed candy from fine powder, reserving fine powder
for another use; set crushed candy aside.
Place white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan
of simmering water.
Heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 4 to 6 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in rice cereal.
Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet; using a spatula, spread evenly
to a ¼ -inch thickness.
Sprinkle with crushed candy; with a piece of wax paper covering entire
surface, press in gently.
Chill until firm, 20 to 30 minutes (no longer, as candy will begin to
get moist).
Peel wax paper off.
Break bark into 2-inch pieces.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container up to 1 week.

Makes 36 pieces.

Chicken Alfredo Crockpot Stew

1 jar (16 ounce size) alfredo pasta sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups refrigerated cooked diced potatoes with onions
1 1/4 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs -- cut into 1-inch-wide strips
1 bag (1 pound size) frozen mixed vegetables

In small bowl, mix pasta sauce, water, basil and salt.

Spray 3- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In cooker, layer half each of the potatoes, chicken strips, frozen vegetables and pasta sauce. Repeat layers ending with pasta sauce.

Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 to 8 hours.

Serves/Makes: 6

HIGH ALTITUDE (3500-6500 FT): No change.

KITCHEN TIPS: Unbreaded chicken breast tenders can be used instead of the cutup chicken thighs.

If you like garlic, try using garlic-flavored Alfredo pasta sauce.

Beef Stew Italiano

2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat -- cut into 1" cubes
4 carrots -- cut into 1/2" pieces
1 large onion, thinly sliced, separated into rings
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes -- cut up
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons instant beef bouillon
1 cup uncooked mostaccioli or other pasta

Brown meat in slow cooker (or in skillet is easier) on top of range or skillet on medium heat. Transfer pot to base or meat to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients except pasta to cooking pot. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low setting for 7 - 9 hours (OR high for 3 - 4 hours). Increase heat to high. Add pasta and stir to blend. Cover and continue cooking for 30 minutes until pasta is done.

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