Saturday, January 10, 2009

Holiday Recipes

I made a few new and a few old recipes throughout the holiday season that were enjoyed, so I thought I would share them.

Sweet Caramel Crunch
8 c. chex
8 c. pretzel twists
10 oz. mixed nuts
2 c. brown sugar
1 c. butter
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Combine cereal, pretzels, and nuts in a large bowl. Bring sugar, butter, and syrup to a boil; boil for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda; pour over cereal mix and stir well. Microwave on high for 4 minutes, stirring once each minute. Spread on waxed paper to cool.

But, since I don't follow directions... I used only peanuts, changed the amounts of chex and pretzels each time (the second time I made it I was only allowed to put in less than half the pretzels since my husband won't eat them). And since I didn't have a bowl that would hold all of the mix and fit in the microwave, the first time I used the oven at like 200, stirring it every 5 minutes for 15 minutes, and the second time used the microwave (since my husband was impatiently waiting for the finished product) but did it in smaller batches for only 2 minutes. Basically, you can't mess this up. :)

Herbed Monkey Bread
3-3 1/2 c. flour, divided
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 oz pkg. active dry yeast
1 1/4 c. milk
2 Tbsp. canola oil
4 Tbsp. melted butter, divided
1 egg
2 Tbsp. Parmesan
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. crushed rosemary

Combine 2 c. flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Heat milk, oil, and 2 Tbsp. butter to 120-130 degrees and add to dry ingredients. Beat just until moistened; add egg and beat until smooth. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. (I love the dough hook on my mixer!) Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Combine cheese, seeds, garlic, paprika, parsley, thyme, and rosemary. Punch dough down and divide into 32 balls. Coat pan (it called for a bundt pan, but I just used a 2 qt. casserole dish) with cooking spray and drizzle with 2 tsp. butter and sprinkle 1/3 cheese mix on bottom. Place 16 balls in pan, drizzle 2 tsp. butter, 1/3 cheese mix, and repeat. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes in pan then turn out bread.

Pumpkin Surprise Pie
1 pie crust
Cream Cheese Layer:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
Pumpkin Layer:
1 c. pumpkin (I used a whole can the second time I made this and didn't have a problem)
1/2 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. evaporated milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (I substituted the spices listed in the pie recipe on the can label)
1/4 tsp. salt

Beat cream cheese and sugar; add vanilla and egg until smooth; spread in pie crust.
Beat pumpkin, sugar, milk, eggs, spices, and salt until smooth. Gently pour over cheese layer. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then 350 for 45 minutes. You can cover the edges with foil after the first 15 minutes, but I didn't need to.

A note about cream cheese - I use the naufchatal cheese, usually labeled as the 1/3 less fat cream cheese, for anything that calls for cream cheese. I've heard the fat free cream cheese can cause texture changes, and since I usually don't by fat-free anything, I liked the 1/3 less fat.

And, anytime you make something like a cheese cake, cream the cream cheese (I usually add the sugar too) first. One time while making a cheese cake I dumped the cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in all at once. No matter how long or how hard I beat it using different attachments, I could not make it smooth. Doug and I did not enjoy eating that lumpy cheesecake. :)


Jessica said...

Your herbed monkey bread sounds really good. I'd never heard of that before.

I tried making cream puff dessert and add my ingredients to my cream cheese too early and it was lumpy too. Kind of gross-looking, but still tasted ok.

jill m said...

I have to try the herbed monkey bread! Wish I had a KitchenAid mixer with dough hook, but my breadmaker will have to do. Sounds yummy! of course, I might just mix up my own blend of herbs. :) Recipes are just guidelines!