Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pull Apart Apple Ring

I have been making this recipe for many years.  It is a sticky yummy bite of goodness!

When the original recipe came out back in the 1980's, it called for Hungry Jack Biscuits.  However, I can no longer find those in my grocery store.  Also, it is sometimes difficult to find the Grand Junior Biscuits.  I have noted the variations in my recipe below.

1/2 cup apple jelly
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 large apple, peeled
2 - 16.4 oz cans Pillsbury Grands Original Flaky Biscuits (8 biscuits in each can).You will only need a total of 10 biscuits OR you may use 2 - 12-oz cans Pillsbury Grands Junior Golden Layers refrigerated biscuits (10 biscuits per can)  You will need all 20 biscuits.
6TBS melted butter  

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 12-cup tube cake pan. Spoon apple jelly evenly over bottom of greased pan; sprinkle with nuts.

In small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Cut apple into quarters; remove core. Slice each quarter into 5 slices. 

Separate dough into 20 biscuits (If you use the Original Grands Biscuits, you will need to cut 10 biscuits in 1/2.  If you use the Grands Juniors, you do not have to cut them in 1/2, just use all 20 biscuits); flatten each slightly.

Wrap 1 biscuit around each apple slice; pinch edges to seal and completely cover apple slice. Dip each in butter; roll in brown sugar-cinnamon mixture.

Stand biscuits on end in greased pan. Drizzle with any remaining butter; sprinkle with any remaining brown sugar-cinnamon mixture.

Bake at 350°F. for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool upright in pan 8 minutes; invert onto serving plate. Spoon any additional topping over baked ring. Serve warm.

Source:  Pillsbury - Simply from Scratch


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Oatmeal Lemon Creme Bars

I was looking for an easy quick dessert that didn't make a large pan.  This was perfect.  Delicious, too! 

1 1/2 cups cold butter (1 stick)
1 pouch (1lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker Oatmeal cookie mix
1 egg
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray the bottom and sides of an 8 x 8 pan with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl cut the cold butter into the cookie mix using a fork or pastry blender.

Stir in the egg until the mixture is crumbly.

Press half of the dough into the bottom of the greased pan and bake for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir the sweetened condensed milk, lemon zest and lemon juice until thick.

Spread lemon mixture over baked crust and evenly crumble remaining dough on the top.

Bake another 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Let cool and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set.  Cut into bars and store in refrigerator.



Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs

I made these meatballs and sauce for meatball bombers.  I don't think I will ever buy a jar of spaghetti sauce ever again.  This was so easy and delicious!  I doubled the sauce recipe so I could freeze some for later.  I didn't have to double the meatballs because it made plenty.

3/4 cup chopped onion
1 TBS olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

4 slices white bread, torn into pieces
1/2 cup water
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1 pound lean ground beef or ground chuck
2 tsp olive oil

In a large saucepan, cook onion in oil until tender.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 40-50 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, soak bread in water for 5 minutes.  Squeeze out excess liquid.  In a large bowl, combine the eggs, Parmesan, garlic, basil, parsley, salt and bread.  Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.  (go ahead and use your hands)  Shape into 1 to 1 1/2  inch balls.  Because I was making the meatballs for bombers, I made them about 1 1/2 inches (the meatballs will shrink a little when cooked).  I used a large Pampered Chef scoop (about 3 TBS) and made 20 meatballs. 

In a large nonstick skillet, add 2 tsp of oil.  Brown the meatballs in batches over medium heat. Continue to turn the meatballs so they are browned completely.  Be gentle as the meatballs are very tender.

Remove the meatballs from the skillet.  Drain the fat.  Return meatballs to the skillet.  Cover with the sauce.  Return to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink.  Gently, stir occasionally.  You may need to add a little water if the sauce gets too thick.   However, make sure you don't break up the meatballs.   If all of your sauce does not fit in the skillet with the meatballs, just simmer the remaining sauce in the other saucepan.  (The original recipe said to add the meatballs to the pot of sauce.  However, I modified the recipe and simmered some sauce separately with the meatballs because the meatballs were so tender and I didn't want them to fall apart in a large pot of sauce.)  

You may serve over the top of pasta or serve on toasted bomber buns as I did.  Sprinkle meatballs bombers with shredded Mozzarella cheese.

Source:  Light And Tasty - June/July 2006 (revised)


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Bunny Butt Cake

My Mom and I have been making a bunny cake for years.  However, when I saw this Bunny Butt Cake I thought it was so adorable I just had to make it!   

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist cake mix (I used Dark Chocolate)
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box

1 container Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy vanilla frosting
(I used Betty Crocker Home-Style Fluffy White Frosting - 7.2 oz box.  This frosting is a sticky marshmallow-type frosting similar to the traditional '7 Minute Frosting') 

1-2 large marshmallows, cut in half

3 cups shredded coconout
Green food color

4 strawberry or cherry stretchy and tangy taffy candies (I used Laffy Taffy)

2-4 rolls Betty Crocker Fruit Roll-Ups punch berry chewy fruit snack (punch berry is orange)

Chocolate wafer cookies, crushed (I used chocolate Teddy Graham Cookies)

Green colored sour candies, separated into strips (I used Rips)

Pink construction paper

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease 1 1/2-quart ovenproof bowl (8 inches across top) with shortening; coat with flour (do not use cooking spray). Lightly grease 3 (I made 4) muffin cups in regular-size muffin pan (see note below).

Make cake batter as directed on box. Pour cake batter in 3 (or 4) muffin cups, filling two-thirds full. Pour remaining batter into 1 1/2-quart bowl.

Bake cupcakes 17 to 21 minutes, bowl 47 to 53 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove cakes from muffin cups and bowl; place rounded sides up on cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour. If necessary, cut off rounded tops of cakes.

Place bowl cake on platter cut side down; spread 1/3 cup frosting over cake. Use frosting to adhere cupcakes to bowl cake for feet and bunny tail. Use toothpicks if necessary. Place marshmallow halves, cut sides down, on tops of 2 cupcakes to make heels of feet. (I needed to use two halves per foot) Spread thin layer of frosting over side and top of cake to seal in crumbs. Freeze cake 30 to 45 minutes to set frosting.

Spread remaining frosting over cake. Sprinkle with 2 cups of the coconut; press gently to adhere. Shake 1 cup coconut and 3 drops green food color in tightly covered jar until evenly tinted. Surround bunny with tinted coconut. Use rolling pin to press strawberry candies into 2 large rectangles (I made 4 rectangles). Cut 2 large ovals and 6 small circles out of candy. Press onto bottoms of bunny feet, using frosting if needed.  Sprinkle crushed cookies (dirt) around and on the bunny’s feet.

Cut fringe in the green sour candies.  Place the green candies at the edge of the fruit roll-ups and roll them up together to form a carrot.  Cut ears from construction paper; insert into cake. Remember to remove toothpicks before serving. Store loosely covered.


(this picture is before I added the 2nd marshmallow to the feet)

Note: I know the bunny’s head is supposed to be in the ground, however, I made 4 cupcakes because the poor bunny didn’t have a head at all.  I cut the cupcake in half and placed the halves side-by-side to make it look like the top of his head.  Also…I needed something to attach the ears to! 

The only fruit roll-ups I could find had printed jokes on them.  To remove the black print, I dipped paper towel in vanilla extract and rubbed gently in a circular motion.

To make the pink pads on the bunny's feet, I put the unwrapped pieces of Laffy Taffy onto waxed paper and microwaved for about 4 seconds.  Then I placed the candy between waxed paper and rolled with a rolling pin.  To cut out the 6 small circles, I used the cap from a vanilla extract bottle.  However, I still had to trim them down to make them a bit smaller.

Source:  Betty Crocker