Coconut Macaroons

Macaroons My husband is absolutely the easiest guy to cook for – ever. Seriously. He rarely complains, just enjoys what’s put in front of him.

I’m not sure if this is the result of living on his own it for several years before we met and fell in love – or if he has always been so easy going?

But since he seems to like everything I cook 🙂 – when he does compliment a dish, I take notice!

I first tried this recipe a few years ago – never dreaming that he really liked coconut. Surprise! He finished off a tray hot from the oven!

So simple. So yummy. What a great way to make my handsome guy happy!

Coconut Macaroons

Combine:

1/2 cup flour
3-3/4 cup flaked coconut
1/8 tsp. salt

Add:

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix well. The batter will be stiff. Drop by tablespoons about 1 inch apart on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Yield: 2-1/2 doz.

Enjoy!

Pecan Fudge Torte

My parents have been pretty much snowed in the last week, thanks to the “Christmas Blizzard of 2009”. They used their solitary confinement to work on their to-do list, which included sorting through the recipe tub.  Nana shares these thoughts…

Papa and I have been sorting the “collected” recipes in my recipe file (which has grown over the years until it is now a small plastic tub!) What a nostalgic journey!

As we sorted and discarded we discovered:

  • Our tastes changed over the years.
  • We cook with different ingredients.
  • Some of the newly-clipped recipes were identical to old ones in our file, just a different name.
  • We have developed some “cooking habits” over the years that we are not ready to give up!

The picture on a recipe clipped from a 1996 newspaper looked delicious and since it would use up the rest of a can of sweetened condensed milk that was sitting in our refrigerator, we made it.

It does require several steps, but it is as good as the picture!

pecan fudge tortePecan Fudge Torte

Filling:
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cake:
1 pkg Devils Food Cake Mix
1/3 cup oil
1 (15 oz) can sliced pears, drained
2 eggs
1/3 cup chopped pecans
2 tsp water

Sauce:
1 (17 oz) jar caramel ice cream topping
1/3 cup milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9″ or 10″ round layer pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine filling ingredients and microwave for 1 minute or until melted. Stir to combine. Set aside.  In large bowl, combine cake mix and oil; blend at low speed for 20 or 30 seconds or until crumbly. (Mixture will be dry).  Place pears in blender or food processor, cover & blend until smooth.  In another bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of the cake mix mixture, pureed pears and eggs. Beat for 2 minutes. Spread batter evenly in pan.  Drop filling by spoonfuls over batter.  Stir nuts and water into remaining cake mix mixture. Sprinkle over the filling.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in the center.  Cool for 1 1/2 hours before cutting.  Combine sauce ingredients and microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.
To serve: Spoon 2 tablespoons warm sauce on to each serving plate; top with wedge of torte.  Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Wasn’t sure at first glance if this was a “keeper”  – but after tasting it – it will definitely go back in file!

Until next time,

Nana Shirley

Bachelor Bars

Here’s a yummy classic from Nana and my youngest sister – who has spent time at Mom’s while her husband is traveling on business! Sure wish I was there too…

bachelor barsOur daughter was baking a cake and had some sweetened condensed milk left. Rather than put it in the refrigerator, where it would probably get lost & forgotten, she whipped up these Bachelor Bars. They are named because easy to make with few ingredients! They look & taste yummy enough to impress anyone! (She halved the recipe and put them in a 8″x 8″ pan.)

Bachelor Bars

(From Sandy’s Kitchen)

  • 1 packet graham crackers
  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Melt the butter/margarine. Crush the graham crackers and put in bottom of 9”x13” pan. Pour melted butter/margarine over the crackers, mix and pat into bottom of pan. Pour milk over graham crackers. Pat coconut into the milk. Sprinkle chips over ingredients. Bake 350 ° for 20-25 minutes. Let cool. Bars will thicken as they cool. Cut & serve. Leftovers do freeze well.

Till next time!
Nana

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate BarsIn my continuing effort to introduce my children to a more varied diet, I served white bean pizza recently.

But since I have also learned that “a spoonful of sugar helps the white beans go down” , I also served a yummy dessert.

Call if bribery if you will, but it is effective!

So what delicious dessert did I choose to reward my children for eating their white beans? A gooey peanut butter chocolate bar.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

In large bowl mix together 2-1/4 cup oatmeal, 1 -1/4 cups packed brown sugar, 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 cup butter or margarine.

The mixture will be crumbly.

Set aside 2 cups for the topping and press the remaining crumbs into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.

Mix together 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk, 1/4 cup peanut butter, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Pour over the crumb base. Sprinkle with 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over the top, pressing down gently.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. The center will not be set, but it will firm up as it cools.

What a rich and yummy reward- definitely worth eating those beans for!

Chocolate Cherry Dessert

Chocolate Cherry DessertI love church potlucks! Not only are there tables overflowing with good food, but there’s the unique opportunity for a wise cook to try out a new recipe on an unsuspecting crowd.

If it’s a hit, you proudly claim it. If it isn’t, you sneak it quickly out to the car without acknowledging that you made it!

I used a recent potluck to try out a new chocolate dessert, and I’m glad to report that it was a hit. And yes, I claimed it as my own!

Chocolate Cherry Dessert

Crust: Mix 3 cups of crushed Oreo cookies with  2/3 cup of melted butter. Press it into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely.

Filling: Mix together 2 – 14 oz. jars sweetened condensed milk, 2/3 cup lemon juice, 1 teaspoons almond flavoring, and 2 teaspoons vanilla.

Fold in 2 cups of Cool Whip.

Spoon over cookie crust.

Cover with 2 cans of cherry pie filling.

Refrigerate and enjoy!