Sunday, August 10, 2014

Snickerdoodle Blondies-Secret Recipe Club

Secret Recipe Club

Being the cookie lover that I am, how could I not love a blog called Secrets from the Cookie Princess, my assignment for August's Secret Recipe Club.  Colleen started her blog in 2010 when she baked 163 dozen (163 dozen, yes that is correct) cookies for Christmas gifts.  I often make cookies for Christmas gifts, but I have never baked 163 dozen.  When I started my blog, I was making 18 dozen cookies for a church fund raiser, and my first few blog posts were cookie recipes so Colleen and I have that in common.  Colleen's posts have very helpful step-by-step photos.

Although Colleen has branched out some and posted other delicious sounding recipes like her Crockpot Pork Tenderloin (Which I made for dinner today by the way.  It was moist and wonderful and a great dinner to make on a hot day.), Mom’s Picnic Potato Salad, Enchilada Casserole and Mexican Rice, her emphasis is on cookies and other baked goods.  That really pleases me, and I have added many new recipes to my ""must make" list.  The great sounding cookie recipes are just too numerous to mention by name, but besides the recipes I am posting today, I have also made the Avalanche Bars.  Delicious.  I must also soon make the Glazed Donut Muffins.

It has been very hot here, and I really wanted to bake, so I wanted to make a recipe that was quick, easy and didn’t need a lot of time in the oven.  I love Snickerdoodles so decided that the Snickerdoodle Blondie recipe filled the bill.
The only change I made was that I used the microwave and my large two-quart glass measuring bowl to melt the butter and mix in the sugar, eggs and vanilla.  This does make a very thick dough that is best mixed with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon.  I turned the dough into a foil-lined baking pan and spread and patted it out with my clean hands.  I cut my bars smaller, and got 40 bars from the pan.  I transferred the bars to a zip-top plastic bag when they were cooled to keep them soft.

The brown sugar/cinnamon flavor really came through and the bars were soft, chewy and wonderful.  I am sure I ate too many.  If you like cinnamon, be sure to make these.  Colleen, thanks for a great recipe.

If you like cookies or bake for someone who does, be sure to visit Secrets from the Cookie Princess.

Snickerdoodle Blondies
from Secrets from the Cookie Princess
2 2/3 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. butter
2 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. white sugar
2 t. cinnamon

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and mix well.  Place butter in a large microwaveable bowl, cover and melt for 3 minutes at 50 percent power.  Stir to finish melting the butter, if necessary.  Add brown sugar to butter and beat well.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Add flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until well blended.  Mixture will be very thick.  Transfer to a foil-lined 9x13-in. baking pan and spread and pat out to fill pan with clean hands.  Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix well.  Sprinkle evenly over the top of the dough.  Bake at 350 for 23-28 minutes.  Allow to cool until just warm.  Cut into bars.  Makes 24 to 40 bars depending on the size you cut.  Cool completely and transfer to a zip-top bag or other sealed container for storage.

If you would like to join in the fun, you can find all the necessary information on the Join SRC Page.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Baked Egg Rolls, Regular and Mini-Secret Recipe Club

Secret Recipe Club

Amy’s Cooking Adventures was my assignment for this month’s Secret Recipe Club post.  Amy has been blogging here since 2010 and has another blog, Amy's Confectionery Adventures which she started in 2012.  The are both filled with wonderful recipes.

Recently, Amy, had been bravely and eloquently sharing her thoughts and feelings concerning the stillbirth of her daughter, Sarah Catherine, last December.  I have been touched reading them and know that the posts will be of help to others who are experiencing similar heartache.

A bunch of recipes have been added to my ever expanding “to-make” list.  Since I like to make homemade seasoning mixes, the Homemade “Lawry’s” Seasoning Salt is right at the top.  The list is long, but just a few of the others are Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower with Bacon, Easy Thai Noodles; and since I am a cookie junkie, The Best Cookie Ever!

I have actually made two recipes.  The egg rolls I am posting today and the Sweet and Sticky Baked Chicken.  I made the chicken for dinner last Sunday.  (I used legs and wings.)  The chicken with potato salad and baked beans made a delicious summer meal.

I knew when I saw the Baked Egg Roll recipe that it was what I wanted to make and post for Secret Recipe Club.  I like to occasionally make a Chinese-inspired meal at home.  I have never made egg rolls because I am lazy and don’t like to do the deep frying.  I also think that the deep frying overshadows the flavor of the filling. When I read that the egg rolls could be frozen and baked later, I was sold.  I could make the egg rolls ahead and add them to any meal that I wanted.

Since I don’t like hand shredding and was too lazy to get out my large food processor, I cut the carrots into chunks and cut them up into tiny pieces in my Ninja chopper/blender.  This worked really well.

The day that I made the filling, I had used up all my green onion, so I added dried, minced onion to the soy sauce mixture and used that instead.  That was OK, but I would use the green onion if I had it.  Next time I make these I may add some finely chopped celery and red pepper.  The filling can be made a day or two ahead and refrigerated.

In her post, Amy, links to Steamy Kitchen for the photos on how to roll an egg roll.  When I was there I noticed that Jaden uses a mixture of 1 T. cornstarch or flour mixed with 1/4 c. water to seal the egg rolls wrappers instead of the beaten egg.  I think that is a good tip to know if you are low on eggs or making egg rolls for someone who cannot have egg.

I apparently did not put as much filling in the egg roll wrappers as I should have, as I had an whole sour cream container of filling left over when I had used the entire package of egg roll wrappers.  Since I had a package of wonton wrappers on hand, I decide to make mini egg rolls.  I was able to get about 35 mini egg rolls with the filling that was left over, so one recipe of filling would easily do two packages of wonton wrappers.  I think they turned out cute and would be great of make and have on hand for a party.

I still had a bit of filling left over when I got tired of rolling mini egg rolls, so I zapped the filling in the microwave and wrapped it in a lettuce leaf to eat it.  I was very good that way, too

Make this filling (used ground chiciken or turkey if you are not a pork person), then make egg rolls, mini egg rolls, or lettuce wraps.  You won’t be sorry.  Thanks, Amy, for sharing a great recipes that I will be trying to make and keep in my freezer at all times.

Baked Egg Rolls
from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
1/4 c. reduced sodium soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 T. ground ginger or 1 T. grated fresh ginger (don’t be afraid of this amount, I thought that it might be too spicy, but it was just right)
2 T. vegetable oil
1 small nappa cabbage, shredded, about 4 cups (I used all the cabbage I bought which was about 6 cups)
2 medium carrots, peeled and shreaded (about 1 c.)
salt and pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1/2 T.)
1 lb. ground pork
5-6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 to 2 pkgs. egg roll wrappers or wonton wrappers
1 large egg, beaten

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and ginger in a small bowl.  Mix well to dissolve brown sugar.  Set aside.  Heat the vegetable oil in a medium frying pan until hot.  Add cabbage and carrots.  Season lightly with the salt and pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, pork and soy sauce mixture.  Cook, breaking up the pork, until the pork is cooked through and the liquid has reduced.  (I cooked mine until there was only about 2 T. of liquid remaining when I moved the pork mixture to one side of the frying pan.)  Stir in the green onions.  Spread mixture in a 10x15-inch baking pan or a cookie sheet.  Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.  Once cool, press the mixture with paper towels to eliminate any excess moisture.  Place 2 to 3 T. of pork mixture slightly off center and toward the corner  of an egg roll wrapper or a wonton.  Tuck the nearest corner over the filling and make half a turn.  Bring the two side corners toward the center.  Brush the remaining corner with the beaten egg, roll tight toward the corner and seal.  Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers.  To freeze, place on a foil-lined baking sheet and freeze.  When frozen, transfer to a freezer bag.  Cook from frozen state, no need to thaw.  To bake immediately, brush egg rolls with the beaten egg.  Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven 10 minutes for mini egg rolls and 15 for regular egg rolls.  Increase time to 15 and 20 minutes if egg rolls are frozen.  Serve with you choice of sauce and/or hot mustard.

You can find the details for joining in the fun of Secret Recipe Club here.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cream Cheese Stuffed, Raspberry Glazed Chicken Breasts

The ingredient for the Improv Challenge for June are raspberries and cream.  When you think of raspberries and cream, the mind automatically goes to something sweet.  When Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker mentioned in her facebook post that the cream could be cream cheese, and she was excited to see if anyone would make a savory raspberry and cream dish; I thought why not.

I remembered that I had seen many recipes for cream cheese stuffed chicken breast, so maybe I could take that idea and go with a raspberry sauce/glaze to top the chicken.  This post is what I came up with, and we have had it for dinner twice now. 

I added garlic powder and sliced green onion to the cream cheese filling and made a sort of sweet/sour sauce/glaze for topping the chicken.  This wasn’t all that hard to make, and I think that it would make a nice dish to serve to guests.

The chicken breasts that I purchased were quite large, and some of them included the tenderloin like the one above.  I sliced off the tenderloin and cut the remaining piece in half so got three pieces from one chicken breast.  This does make it a little hard to specify exactly how many chicken breasts are needed for this recipe so I am going to say 4 small chicken breast halves.

You can soften the cream cheese quickly by putting in a zip top bag and placing it in very warm water for about 10 minutes.

Cream Cheese Stuffed Raspberry Glazed Chicken Breasts
1 3-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened (see tip above)
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 green onion, thinly sliced
4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg beaten with 1 T. water
1/3 c. panko crumbs
3/4 t. seasoned salt
1/4 c. butter
Raspberry Sweet/Sour Sauce (see recipe below)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  In a small bowl combine softened cream cheese, garlic powder and sliced green onion.  Mix well.  Set aside.  Pound chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thickness.  Spread each breast with 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture.  Roll up and secure with toothpicks.  Combine egg and water in a shallow pie pan.  Place panko crumbs in another shallow pie pan.  Add seasoned salt and mix well.  Slice butter and place in a foil-lined 10x13-inch baking pan.  Place pan in oven to melt butter.  Coat a chicken breast with the egg mixture, roll in the panko mixture and place on a sheet of waxed paper.  Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.  Remove pan from oven and place chicken breasts in the melted butter.  Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Turn chicken breasts over and bake for another 20-25 minutes until done.  Meanwhile prepare Raspberry Sauce.  Spread some of the sauce over the chicken breasts and bake another 5 minutes.  Serve remaining sauce to spoon over the breasts at the table.  Makes 4 servings.

Raspberry Sweet/Sour Sauce
1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen raspberries
1 t. minced garlic
3 T. brown sugar
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. molasses
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 t. Dijon mustard
2 T. ketchup
1 T. lemon juice
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper

Heat raspberries and garlic together in a small saucepan.  When hot, add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 10 minutes until thickened. Strain, if desired.  (I don’t.)  Makes about 1 cup.

All the details for joining in this fun challenge are included in Kristen's Improv Page.

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