Archive for December 25, 2014

Monster Cookies

Monster Cookies

Monster cookies are a Christmas classic that everyone loves. It is a family recipe that makes so many cookies at once that it pretty much takes care of all gift, parties and dessert you need for the entire month of December. It does make a lot and it does take a while but it’s a fairly simple recipe and process. Be prepared to spend a couple hours in the kitchen though. I can place to cookie sheets in the oven at the same time and it still takes about 3 hours just to make all the cookies. That doesn’t factor in clean up and packaging.

Ingredients:

12 Eggs

2 Pounds Brown Sugar

4 Cups White Sugar

1 Tablespoon White Corn Syrup

8 Teaspoons Baking Soda

1 Pound Butter

3 Cups Peanut Butted

18 Cups Quick Oatmeal (1 Large and 1 Small container)

12 Ounces Chocolate Chips

12 Ounces M&M’s

12 Ounces Butterscotch Chips

12 Ounces Heath Toffee Bits

Yeah I know lots of stuff. Can you see all the cookies already? So making the dough is super easy and actually pretty fun. First your going to toss all your dry ingredients into a large (very large) stew pot.

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Oatmeal

Oatmeal

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Brown Sugar

Brown Sugar

White Sugar

White Sugar

Baking Soda

Baking Soda

Then you are going to start adding in your wet ingredients.

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Eggs

Eggs

Butter

Butter

Corn Syrup

Corn Syrup

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

Now you get to add in the candies. My local grocery store was out of the toffee bits to I substituted in peanut butter chips. You really can substitute in any four candies you want these are just the traditional four that my family has been using for eons. You might want to quality control sample your candies as they go in because this is one cookie dough you don’t want to eat 😉

M&M's

M&M’s

Butterscotch Chips

Butterscotch Chips

Chocolate Chips

Chocolate Chips

Peanut Butter Chips

Peanut Butter Chips

Once everything is in the fun part comes. Mixing time! So wash your hands really, really well and then stick them straight down into the dough. Yes you get to play with your food! We usually put the pot on the floor so we can get the leverage to mix the dough. The reason we started mixing by hand is because when we have used metal spoons to mix they have bent and wooden spoons have snapped. Plus mixing by hand you can make sure that all the butter is totally mixed in and that there aren’t any chunks hiding anywhere. Once the dough is mixed it’ll look like this.

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We like to use a cookie scoop to portion out the cookies. We do about a 1 ounce dough ball.

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A good trick for this recipe is to tape wax paper to a large portion of your counter before you start cooking so that you don’t have a huge mess to clean later.

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Heat the oven to 350 and place cookies on a cookie sheet. You want to cook them for around 11 minutes until they have spread flat and are just starting to get brown on the edges. If you wait for the middle of a cookie to get brown the edges will burn when you take them out of the oven. The cookies will finish cooking on the cookie sheet out of the oven because they will be too soft to transfer directly to a cooling rack.

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Once the cookies are cool enough to transfer place them on the cooling rack and then after about five minutes you can then move them to the wax paper. The best way to enjoy these is when you have just moved them off of the cookie sheet and onto the cooling rack. They will still be warm and melty, gooey but not scorching.

1/4 of the way through :)

1/4 of the way through 🙂

Made 209 Cookies

Serving 1 Cookie

Calories 123

Total Fat 5.7 g

Sat Fat 2.5 g

Cholest 17 mg

Sodium 69.7 mg

Carb 16.6 g

Fiber 1.1 g

Sugar 11.3 g

Protein 2.6 g

Apple Crumble Pie

Apple Crumble Pie

The humble apple pie, a timeless classic. This is a pie that is reserved for special occasions like the holidays. I helped my friend D make this to celebrate with her family and she can tell you how easy it is.

Ingredients:

2 Refrigerator Pie crusts

or

Buttermilk Pie Crusts

Filling:

3 1/2 Large Green Apples or 6 1/2 Small Green Apples

3/4 Cup Sugar

1 Tablespoon Flour

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Pinch of Salt

16 Ounces Applesauce

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons Butter COLD

Topping:

3 Tablespoons Flour

1 Tablespoon Sugar

Pinch of Salt

1 Tablespoon Butter Softened

So first things first. You peel and chop all the apples. D and I used small green apples.

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In another small bowl mix together sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt.

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This is D. She’s mixing the dry ingredients for the filling 🙂

Add the applesauce and the lemon juice to the apples and then mix in the cinnamon sugar mix. We used a fresh lemon to get our lemon juice but the bottled stuff works just fine.

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Next you want to pour the filling into one of the pie crusts. Once its in you want to top the filling with the two tablespoons of cold butter. You want to chop that butter up into small cubes that you can spread over the top of the pie.

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Lay the second pie round on a piece of parchment paper and cut it into strips. D and I used a pizza cutter to slice the dough. Our strips didn’t turn out even or straight at all. Once you have those lay them in a lattice pattern on top of the pie.

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We cut the edges of the strips off of the pie and pressed the edges together. Once that’s done you want to combine all the ingredients for the crumble in a bowl and use a fork to mix the butter into the sugar, flour and salt. Then crumble it over the top of the pie.

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Bake the pie at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 5 minutes before taking the pie out to cool. Eat it warm, cold, by itself, or a la mode with some vanilla ice cream but anyway you have it you’ll enjoy it.

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Serves 8

Calories 404

Fat 15.4 g

Sat Fat 7.3 g

Cholest 11.2 mg

Sodium 54.9 mg

Carb 51.8 g

Fiber .9 g

Sugar 25.4 g

Protein 2.7 g

Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle

Peanut Brittle

This is a great treat for around the holidays. It makes two pounds of candy so its great for holiday gift bags and I’ve found that is just gets devoured. It’s also my Dad’s favorite candy so he loves when I make it.

Ingredients:

2 Cups Sugar

1 Cup Light Corn Syrup

1/2 Cup Water

1/4 Cup Butter

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

16 Ounces Peanuts (Shelled either Plain or Roasted and Salted)

1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

So you are going to need a candy thermometer for this because candy is super easy to mess up if you don’t get the temperatures right. You also need a larger lip lined baking sheet and an optional piece of equipment is a silpat. A silpat is a silicon baking sheet that is great because it keeps things from sticking without the use of a nonstick spray. I like my brittle thicker so I only use one baking sheet, if you want thinner brittle use two baking sheets.

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In a heavy sauce pan you want to combine the butter, sugar, water, corn syrup, and salt. Make sure the candy thermometer is in the sauce pan and in the ingredients but not touching the bottom of the pan.

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You want to heat this on a medium heat until well combine stirring constantly.

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Once it’s completely combined it will start to bubble around the edges. Turn the heat down to a low heat and stir frequently. The mixture will quickly come to a boil. Let the mixture boil away making sure to stir so that the sugar doesn’t stick to the bottom or burn. It will cook until the soft crack stage which is 275 degrees Fahrenheit. For me it took around 15 and 1/2 minutes. This would be the time to either line the baking pan with the silpat or to grease it very liberally.

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Once it reaches 275 you want to add in your peanuts. The temperature will drop back down but that’s fine. Once the peanuts are in you want to continuously stir until the temperature reaches 295 degrees Fahrenheit or the hard crack stage. It will almost seem like the mixture is going to seize up when the peanuts go in but as it heats and you stir it becomes more liquid.

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Now comes the part where you have to move fast. If you want thicker brittle have one greased baking sheet on stand by if you want thinner brittle have two ready. Remove the candy thermometer and quickly mix in the baking powder. It will start to bubble vigorously so mix quickly and then dump into your waiting pan or pans. Use your spatula to spread the mixture as thin as you want and then leave it to cool.

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I like to have the baking sheet on top of a wire cooling rack so that it will cool faster but once it’s cooled crack it into pieces and enjoy.

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Makes 16 servings

Serving Size 2 ounces

Calories 341

Fat 16.6 g

Sat Fat 3.8 g

Cholest 7.6 mg

Sodium 191.6 mg

Carb 46.2 g

Fiber 1.7 g

Sugar 31 g

Protein 7.5 g

Red Salsa

Red Salsa

Everybody loves chips and salsa. Since I already have a green salsa I thought I would give you guys a red salsa to go with it. Especially at this time of year where red and green prevail.

Ingredients:

2 Lbs Tomatoes or 7 medium sized tomatoes

1/2 Yellow Onion

1/2 Green Bell Pepper

1 1/2 Jalapenos

1/2 Anaheim Pepper

1/2 Garlic Bulb

1/3 Bundle Cilantro

1/2 Tablespoon and 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Tablespoon and 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice

Pepper to taste

So it’s super simple super easy. You want to put a rough chop on all the ingredients and toss them all into a food processor. For a more mild flavor you’ll want to de-seed the peppers. If you want a spicier flavor you can leave some or all of the seeds from the jalapeno and anahiem peppers in.

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Once everything is in pulse to combine to your desired consistency and chunky-ness. After you want to taste test to see if you want to add any more salt or pepper. If you’re satisfied with the taste then just refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. It goes great with tortilla chips too.

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Makes about 3 Cups

Serves 12

Serving Size 1/4 Cup

Calories 23

Fat 0.2 g

Sat Fat 0 g

Cholest 0 mg

Sodium 413.2 mg

Carb 5.2 g

Fiber 1.7

Sugar 3 g

Protein 0.9 g

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