Sunday, December 29, 2019

Easy Refrigerator Peanut Butter Pie

Well, the girls were here for nine days and we had the best time. Mom was here for about a week too....and we enjoyed eating too much, shopping, playing games, movies and just hanging out.  I love that we raised independent girls who are enjoying their lives in Austin and DC but it’s also very hard to see them drive away or take them to the airport.  I just have to be thankful for our time together and look forward to the next!

We always enjoy playing games over the holidays. This year we played Progressive, a rummy type card game. We also used our television, our cell phones and an Amazon Firestick and went to and played Fibbage. Fibbage is so fun and hysterical and anyone who has a cell phone or iPad can play.  We also played Codenames and we even brought out an oldie-Scattergories. John-Mark sent us Secret Hitler to play, which is one of Jenna‘s very favorite games but we just ran out of time with packing and last-minute details. Next time!

I tried a few new recipes over the holidays. Most of us love peanut butter and chocolate and my friend at church, Michelle, makes this quick and easy refrigerator pie. I LOVE IT. I also love how quick and easy it is and it doesn’t have to be baked.  This is one of those recipes you could just keep the ingredients on hand.   Enjoy!

Easy Refrigerator Peanut Butter Pie

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 heaping cup peanut butter
1 1/2cups powdered sugar (more if needed for texture)
8 oz Cool Whip, thawed
Hershey’s chocolate for drizzle (optional)
Oreo cookie pie crust

Using a large bowl and a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.  Gently fold in the Cool Whip until all is totally combined. Pour this into an Oreo cookie pie crust. Top with chocolate syrup. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Mixed Up - Strawberry Pretzel Salad

I LOVE Strawberry Pecan Pretzel Salad.  I have always made the one where you layer it pretty in a glass dish.  it is amazing but it does take some time since it is a few steps.

I was at my friend Shelley's pool this summer and she made this mixed up version.  I couldn't stop eating it.  I know it is more like dessert than a salad but I love it.  If you haven't made this, you totally need to make it for your next gathering.  I just made it Thanksgiving for our family gathering in East Texas.  It was ALL gone after lunch!

Mixed-Up Strawberry Pecan Pretzel Salad

1 cup crushed pretzels
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 cups diced strawberries
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar ( I used powdered sugar but either will work)
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups Cool Whip ( I use two 8 oz containers)

Mix together the crushed pretzels, chopped pecans, brown sugar and melted butter.  Bake on a jelly roll pan with sides.... at 400 for 7 minutes. Allow mixture to cool, break into pieces and set aside (I did this step two days early and stored in a zip lock bag)

Using an hand mixer, beat together the softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla... until combined.  Fold in the Cool Whip.  Cover and store in the refrigerator.  Just before serving, gently fold in the diced strawberries and pretzel mix.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Snickerdoodle Party Cookies

I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving!   We enjoyed being in East Texas and seeing family and friends!

I was going through old Christmas magazines and ran across this recipe for Snickerdoodle Party Cookies.  I have never made a Snickerdoodle cookie that I just loved so I thought I would give it a try.  The recipe was in the Dec 2018/Jan 2019 edition of Bon Appetit.  I followed the recipe almost exact except.... I didn't put any of the 2 1/2 tsp of cardamom the recipe called for.  I don't love cardamom and wanted just the cinnamon flavor.  The cookies were fabulous - so much flavor and texture.  I didn't have the gold luster dust for an additional touch but that would be so fun.

Try these - your family will love them!  Feel free to visit the Bon Appetit  - their pictures are much better.  I baked the cookies late at night and couldn't get a good pic!  Enjoy!

Snickerdoodle Party Cookies (adapted from Bon Appetit)

1 cup (2 sticks) butter (browned - see instructions below)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
2 1/2 tsp ground cardamom ( I didn't use)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Skor bars, chopped (I used an 8 oz bag of the Heath milk chocolate/toffee pieces)
3 cups cornflakes, lightly crushed

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until it foams, then browns, 5 - 8 minutes.  It will start to smell nutty.  Scrape the foamy butter and all of the browned bits into a bowl or a stand mixer.  Allow butter to cool in fridge for about 1 1/2 hours or on the counter - just until it is soft but not runny.

Meanwhile, whisk flour, baking soda, salt (1 1/2 tsp cardamom if you choose - I didn't) and 1 tsp of cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Add brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar to browned butter.  Beat at medium speed for 1 minute.  Add eggs one at a time - beating after each addition.  Continue to mix just until smooth, about one minute longer.  Beat in vanilla.  Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients and beat until nearly combined.  Add toffee bits and beat just long enough to bring dough together.  Cover and let rest 5 - 10 minutes to allow to thicken.

Place cornflakes in a small bowl.  Mix remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar (1 tsp cardamom if you choose - I didn't) and 1 tsp cinnamon in another small bowl.  Scoop out large dough balls or the size you would like....roll in cornflakes to coat well, squeeze lightly to adhere.  Move to bowl of spiced sugar and toss to coat.  Bake 3 inches apart for about 10 minutes.  Let cook on baking sheet and move to a cooling rack.  Brush with gold dust if desired.

Do ahead - cookies can be baked 5 days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

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