Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chewy White Chocolate and Cranberry Granola Bars

I've always wanted to make homemade granola bars so I did it today. They turned out fabulous! They tasted so much better than store bought, and I'm sure they were more nutritious too. Change it up with different flavor combinations, anything would be good in these!

White Chocolate and Cranberry Granola Bars

1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. light corn syrup
3 Tbs creamy peanut butter
1 egg white
1 Tbs reduced fat evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 c. old fashioned oats
1 1/2 c. crisp rice cereal (rice krispies)
1/2 c. vanilla or white chocolate chips
1/3 c. craisins
1/4 c. chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, combine first seven ingredients, whisk well. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl, add to sugar mixture. Gently stir in oats, cereal, chips, craisins, and walnuts.

Press into a 13X9 pan, coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 18 minutes, should have puffed up a little and be golden brown. Let cool. Cut into bars and store in airtight container, yields about a dozen.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Coconut Macaroons

I cannot describe how good these are! This is the Barefoot Contessa's recipe for her macaroons, I've seen her make them and I've always wanted to try them. I drizzled chocolate over the tops to make them extra yummy. They are even better the next day! To prevent spreading I removed 1 Tbs of the sweetened condensed milk and refrigerated the batter for 5 minutes before baking.

14 oz. sweetened shredded coconut
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk (minus 1 Tbs)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 extra large egg white, room temp
1/4 tsp kosher salt
parchment paper (must have!)

Preheat oven to 325.

Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed until they form medium firm peaks. Gently fold into coconut mixture. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.

Drop the batter onto a 1/2 sheet pan lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4 inch ice cream scoop or two spoons. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve. Makes about 14.

Sangria Punch

This is my all time favorite punch to make for a party! With the limes and the oranges, it's perfect for a summer BBQ.

Sangria Punch

1 qt. (4 cups) cold reduced calorie cranberry juice cocktail
1 cup cold orange juice
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
3/4 cup COUNTRY TIME Lemonade or Pink Lemonade Flavor Drink Mix
3 cups cold club soda
2 oranges, sliced
2 limes, sliced

ADD cranberry juice cocktail, orange juice and lime juice to lemonade drink mix in large pitcher; stir until mix is dissolved.

REFRIGERATE until ready to serve.

STIR in club soda and fruit. Serve over ice cubes.

Carrot Cupcakes

Thanks King Arthur for another great recipe! This was a very simple, very good carrot cake recipe that I made into cupcakes.

Carrot Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
3 cups finely grated carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 c. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbs milk
about 3 cups powdered sugar (more depending on if you want a thicker consistency)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease one 9 x 13-inch pan, or makes 22 cupcakes.

Beat together the oil, sugar, eggs and spices. Mix the flour with the baking soda, and stir in. Add the carrots and nuts, and mix until just blended.

Pour the prepared pan(s). Bake the cake(s) for 35 to 40 minutes (15 minutes for cupcakes), or until the cake tests done. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting it. (If you're using two 9-inch round pans, remove the cake from the pans after about 15 minutes, and place it in a rack to cool.

For frosting beat together all ingredients, adjust the consistency with more milk or powdered sugar if needed. Frost and sprinkle with cinnamon!

Raspberry Cupcakes

My sister came up with this delicious idea for a raspberry frosting, I love it because it is super easy to make and you can tell there are REAL raspberries in it, not just raspberry flavoring, thanks Becky! I used it on my fudge cupcakes and Becky used it on my coconut cupcakes, both combos were great!

Raspberry Frosting

1 regular size bag frozen raspberries
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 container Betty Crocker Whipped Fluffy white frosting
(it doesn't work with a homemade frosting for some reason, too runny)

Pour the frozen raspberries into a saucepan, turn heat up to medium and let defrost and heat up. Meanwhile, combine small amount of water (1/3 c.) with 2 Tbs cornstarch and whisk together. Add to raspberries. Let raspberries heat up and come to a soft boil, turn heat down and simmer until very, very thick. Let cool completely. At this point it has set up enough that you should be able to cut it with a knife. Stir gently into the frosting and pipe onto cupcakes. Serve same day, these don't really last overnight.