Captain Crunch Bars

Capt. Crunch BarsCan I admit here and now that I am not a sugared cereal person.

Buddy- however – loves it.

So twice a year when we go camping I let him pick out one box to bring along.

This year’s choice for the our July 4th Family Camp-Out was Captain Crunch.

And it came home unopened.

Oh dear – now what to do. An entire box of sugared cereal that only Buddy likes.

I know! I’ll feed it to the youth group! They’ll eat anything!

A quick google search and I had several recipes for Captain Crunch Bars. I picked one.

Dagmar (who shares my disdain for sugared cereal) took one look at the recipe and said, “Gross”.

But she made them anyway – and hasn’t stopped eating them since.

They are really yummy!

Suddenly – sharing them with the youth group no longer seemed like such a good idea. 🙂

Captain Crunch Bars

1/2 cup melted butter
1 box yellow cake mix
3-1/2 cup mini marshmallows
8 ounces chocolate chips
3-1/2 cup Captain Crunch cereal
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Pout the melted butter over the bottom of a jelly roll pan.

Sprinkle the dry cake mix on top, followed by the marshmallows, chocolate chips, and Captain Crunch cereal.

Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over the whole thing and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Run a knife around the edge as soon as you remove it from the oven.

It will set up as it cools. If you can wait that long.

Enjoy!

 

Cream Cheese Cut-Outs

Sugar CookiesIt’s hard to believe that Matt’s high school graduation and party are in less than 2 weeks!

Although if you were hanging around our kitchen lately – you might guess that something is in the works!

The girls and I have been baking up a storm and filling the freezer with cookies for his big day.

We are making our staple cookie – oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip, our family’s favorite gingersnaps, and these cream cheese cut-outs.

We love these sugar cookies! The recipe originally came from my sister-in-law, who got it from her husband’s grandma. (I guess that means I got the recipe from my husband’s sister’s husband’s grandma!)

They are so moist and easy to roll out and the cream cheese adds a great flavor. We did a sprinkle of just white sugar on these – but have used colored sugars in the past and even frosted them.

Cream Cheese Cut-Outs

1 cup butter
2 cup sugar
2 – 3 ounce packages cream cheese
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add  the cream cheese, eggs and vanilla.

Add the flour and baking powder. Mix well.

Chill for at least 2 hours. Roll and cut out.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Makes about 3 dozen 2-1/2 inch cookies.

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up with Mingle Monday at Add a Pinch, Tasty Tuesdays at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff and Tempt my Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace.

Surprise Meringues

Surprise MeringuesSpring on the farm usually means eggs – lots of eggs.

But my chickens have reached the age of retirement (either that or they are still on strike for better working conditions!) and slowed down their egg production drastically.  I’m thankful that our friend Martha has kept us well supplied.

It just wouldn’t be spring without homemade angel food cake, lots of puddings and custards, and of course – meringues!

Since Dagmar is gone for the week at Teen Pact Iowa – I spent some time this morning perusing her new Taste of Home Cookbook. (Shhh! Please don’t tell!)

While I absolutely love my go-to chocolate meringue recipe – I found a new one that sounded promising.

I made one recipe and divided it in half so I could try two variations. The first with chocolate chips and nuts, the second with a hidden chocolate kiss.

Oh my! Both were wonderful!

Surprise Meringues

3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Place egg whites in a large bowl and let stand for 30 minutes. Add vanilla, cream of tartar and salt; beat on medium high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at at time until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved, about 6 minutes.

Fold in chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 250 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes or until firm to the touch. Turn oven off; leave meringues in the oven for 1 – 1/2 hours. Remove to wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

Variation : Meringue Kisses – Omit the chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop the meringues by tablespoonful on parchment lined baking sheets. Press a chocolate kiss into the center of each one and cover with meringue. Bake at 375degress for 30-35 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove immediately to a wire rack.

The original recipe said they would make 4 dozen cookies – but I just made mine bigger and got 2 dozen.

They were still only 57 calories a cookie! 🙂

Now that’s a guilt free cookie!

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up with Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace.

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

 Cookies I will be the first admit that I hadn’t expected much when Dagmar first showed me the recipe for these cookies.

And they sure didn’t look like much sitting there on the cooling racks.

But – oh my – was I wrong! It just took one bite to make them a new favorite!

They are a cross between a meringue and a cookie – crispy on the outside and moist and chewy on the inside.

Heavenly!

And the best news – they are only 143 calories for a nice sized cookie – even with the mini chocolate chips and chopped nuts! 🙂

Chewy Chocolate Cookies
from the Encyclopedia of Baking

4 egg whites
2 -1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup baking cocoa
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 Tablespoon water
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper and spray the paper with cooking spray.

In a large bowl beat the egg whites until frothy.

Sift the sugar, cocoa, flour, and coffee into the egg whites. Add the water and continue beating on low speed to blend, then on high speed for a few minutes until the mixture thickens. With a rubber spatula, fold in the chopped nuts and chocolate chips.

Place generous spoonfuls of the mixture 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.  Bake until firm and cracked on top – but soft inside – about 12-15 minutes.

With a metal spatula, transfer to a rack to cool.

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up with Tasty Tuesday over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff, and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace.

Cranberry Almond White Chocolate Cookies

Cranberry Cookies We had a wonderful Christmas with my husband’s family over the weekend!

The kids loved the time spent with cousins – and I loved my time with my sisters-in-love and my three sweet and very special nieces Katie, Emie and Annie.

My assignment for the weekend was to bring a variety of cookies.  Yes – it was the perfect job for me – and I took it very seriously. 🙂

The girls helped me make several of the traditional favorites – chocolate covered pretzels, gingersnaps, and spritz cookies.

But we also wanted to try something new.

Knowing that my mother-in-law wasn’t big on chocolate, and that one of my sisters-in-law loved cranberries, we went looking for a cranberry cookie.

This is it – and boy – did we pick a winner!

It’s a refrigerator cookie – so you can make up a batch and bake them as needed. We threw in some almonds and a little almond extract for a twist.

Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

1 – 1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3 – 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped

Cream together the butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the extracts, beat well.

Combine the flour, baking powder powder, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl. Gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in the almonds and white chocolate chips.

Carefully stir in the cranberries.

Shape into three rolls and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Cut into 1/4 inch slices and place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Cool on wire racks.

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday over at Blessed With Grace, Tasty Tuesdays at balancing beauty and Bedlam, and with the Christmas Cookie Exchange at Life As Mom.