Sweetly Celebrating the USA

It’s Independence Day and we are celebrating the good ole USA! What’s more American than pie? However, we’re not making your ordinary, run of the mill apple pie. We need a treat so tasty it’s worthy of sending firecrackers to our taste buds. We can’t think of a better way to show our patriotic spirit and honor our country than with our red, white, and blue festive Fourth Of July Chocolate Chip Pie! Time to party!

Cookie Pie

Fourth Of July Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Butter Flavored Crisco
    1 large egg
    3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
    pinch salt,
    1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
    about 1/2 cup M&Ms (We picked out the red, blue, and brown ones)
    about 1/4 cup Mini Rolos

Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch pie dish very well with cooking spray; set aside.
    2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
    3. Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don’t scramble it. Add the egg, sugars, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
    4. Add the flour, optional salt, and stir until just combined; don’t overmix.
    5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
    6. Add about 1/4 cup M&Ms and stir to combine; reserve remainder.
    7. Turn batter out into prepared pie dish, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
    8. Evenly add the remaining M&Ms to the top of the batter, pushing them down slightly to anchor.
    9. Evenly insert the Mini  Rolos into the batter, pushing them down so the top is almost flush with the surface of the dough.
    10. Bake for about 24 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.  If your pie has risen in the center, it will deflate as it cools. Allow pie to cool in dish for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

 

*Recipe adapted from www.averiecooks.com

 

 

Appreciating the Sweet Stuff

I, Trina, have been calling in lots of favors around here lately since my son had his tonsils out a few days ago. We are truly blessed with wonderful family and friends who are very willing to help us out. Now what to do to show our appreciation? Bake treats, of course! I tried a new recipe and I declare Heath Bits Peanut Butter Cookies the perfectly sweet way to say THANKS!

peanut butter heath bar crunch cookies

Heath Bits Peanut Butter Cookies

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup shortening
    • 3/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
    • 1-1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
    • 3 tablespoons milk
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1 egg
    • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1-1/3 cups (8 oz. pkg.) HEATH BITS ‘O BRICKLE Toffee Bits, divided

      Directions

      1. Heat oven to 375°F.

      2. Beat shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add egg; beat just until blended. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. Stir in 1 cup bits; reserve remainder for topping.

      3. Drop by heaping teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet; top each with reserved bits.

      4. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until set. Do not overbake. Cool 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 36 cookies.

      *Recipe: www.hersheys.com

       

      A Sweet to Stick With

      Raise your hand if you love chocolate chip cookies. WE DO! WE DO! This Saturday we tried a new twist on an old favorite: Chocolate Chunk Cookie Sticks. This recipe takes half the time to make than ordinary chocolate chip cookies and their shape screams, “dunk me in milk!”. So grab some  cookie sticks and a glass of the white stuff  to toast the start of a fantastic summer break!’

      Chocolate Chunk Cookie Sticks

      Chocolate Chunk Cookie Sticks

      Ingredients

      1 large egg
      3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
      1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
      1/4 cup granulated sugar
      2 teaspoons vanilla extract
      1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
      1 teaspoon cornstarch
      1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      1/2 cup Heath Bits
      pinch of salt
      about 3/4 cup chocolate chunks

      Directions:

      1.Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil and leave overhang, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
      2.In a large mixing bowl, whisk together first 5 ingredients (through vanilla).
      3.Add the next 4 ingredients (through optional salt), and stir until just combined; don’t overmix.
      4.Turn dough out into prepared pan, using a spatula or fingers to smoosh dough into corners. Smooth top lightly with a spatula.
      5.Arrange chocolate chunks in rows (if desired) or simply sprinkle them evenly over the surface; press chunks is lightly, enough so they’re anchored and bake into the dough or will be prone to falling out of the baked sticks.
      6.Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or just until set in the center; don’t overbake because sticks firm up as they cool. Allow to cool completely in pan before lifting out with foil overhang.
      7.Place the large slab of baked dough on a cutting board and with a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut into sticks. In order to get clean lines and very neat looking sticks as shown in the photos, you must wait for slab of dough to cool completely before slicing.

      *recipe adapted from http://www.averiecooks.com/2013/06/chocolate-chunk-cookie-sticks.html

      The Sweet Side of Nature

      Now that spring has finally sprung, have you thought about heading to the great outdoors for a camping trip? Or better yet, a “glamping” trip?!?! Glamping seems right up our alley: gourmet food, hot water, and air conditioned cabins with hotel style beds. What’s not to love about roughin it in nature when you have those kind of luxuries! Since we have no plans for a glamping trip in our near future we decided to bring a small piece of glamorous camping to our indoor kitchens by making gooey s’mores brownies. A few of these goodies might just turn a couple of girls from surburbia into the outdoorsy kind! (Or at least the outdoorsy pampered kind!)

      smores brownies

      S’mores Brownies

      Ingredients
      •1 (21.5 ounces) package brownie mix
      •2 cups of Golden Grahams Cereal
      •2 to 2 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
      •Mini chocolate bars (12 to 14 ounces total), coarsely chopped or broken into pieces

      Instructions
      1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch glass pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Spread into prepared pan. Bake brownies halfway, approximately 20 minutes. Remove from oven.

      2.In a medium bowl, prepare the topping: toss together the graham crackers pieces, miniature marshmallows, and chopped chocolate.

      3.When brownies are finished baking halfway, sprinkle topping over top. Return to the oven for an addition 15 to 20 minutes, until marshmallows are golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into a non chocolate-covered area comes out clean. Allow brownies to cool completely.
      4.When brownies have cooled, remove from pan by lifting the edges of the foil lining. Invert brownies onto a cutting board. Remove the foil lining. Place brownies right-side up on cutting board and cut into 24 squares. Enjoy!

      *Recipe adapted from Stepable

      Dulce Tratar (Spanish for sweet treat)

      This Saturday we are celebrating Cinco de Mayo a few days early. We’ve come up with a menu so that everyone gets to enjoy their favorite Mexican style foods: tacos, guacamole, homemade chunky salsa, and queso dip. You know we had to throw in a special dessert to finish off a fabulous meal. Enter…congo bars! Sugary, sweet, warm goodness. What’s better than that? No mucho (not much), we say!

      congo bars

      Congo Bars (The Sister Sweetly Way)

      Preheat oven to 350 F

      Grease a 9″x13″ baking pan.
      Ingredients:
      2 cups flour
      2 t. baking powder
      1/4 t. salt
      1 1/2 sticks butter
      2 t. vanilla
      1 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
      3 eggs, large
      1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
      1 cup Heath bits
      1 cup dark chocolate M&Ms
      Directions:
      Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
      Combine the melted butter and brown sugar in a mixer bowl and mix well.
      Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter/sugar mixture, mixing well after each egg.
      Add the vanilla.
      Mix in the flour, salt and baking powder and mix.
      Using a spatula, stir in the chocolate chips, Heath bits, and M&Ms until incorporated. Spread in pan.
      Bake for about 25 minutes – touch the top of the congo bars gently – they should be golden and firm to the touch in the middle.
      Let cool on a baking rack before cutting into squares.

      *Recipe adapted from She’s in the Kitchen

      Sweet Riches

      We have a confession and it’s worth a lot. It is impossible, inconceivable, and darn right unthinkable in our opinion to make cookies without devouring the dough! We’ve tried it and we just can’t resist.  Time and time again (especially by our mom, Nurse Cain) we’ve been told that we shouldn’t eat it, but we simply can’t help ourselves. So when a recipe was recommended (thanks Becky!) that includes eggless cookie dough we couldn’t deny ourselves the opportunity to sample it for ourselves. The name says it all: Billionaire Bars. One bite and we felt like the richest girls around!

      billionaire bars

      Billionaire Bars

      Ingredients
      1 pkg refrigerated sugar cookie crust
      1 jar caramel syrup
      1 cup butter, softened
      ¾ cup brown sugar
      ¼ cup white sugar
      2 tsp vanilla
      2 tsp milk
      1 & ¼ cups all-purpose flour
      1 cup miniature chocolate chips
      Instructions
      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13×9″ baking pan with cooking spray. Unwrap the sugar cookie dough and press it evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
      Bake the sugar cookie crust for approx. 15 minutes or until center appears set and top is lightly golden. Cool completely.
      In a medium saucepan, melt together the caramel until the mixture has melted and is nice and smooth. Pour the mixture over the sugar cookie crust and spread to even out.
      In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the vanilla and milk, beat again. Lastly, gradually add the flour until a soft dough forms. Stir in the chocolate chips.
      Spread the cookie dough mixture evenly on top of the caramel layer. Place in the fridge to set, about 2 hours. Before serving, melt the remaining chocolate chips and drizzle on top of the bars. Cut and eat!

      *recipe adapted from The Domestic Rebel

      Sweet Discovery

      So I was walking down the aisle in Trader Joe’s the other day and I had an “a-ha” moment when I spotted this little beauty: Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter. We’ve never really been into peanut butter treats, but cookie butter, now that ‘s something we’ve got to try. One spoonful and we were both hooked. We knew we had to find a way to use it in this week’s treat. We found a delicious recipe that combined caramel and cookie butter in a blondie bar. We added dark chocolate chips to the mix, making them irresistible. Next time you’re at a Trader Joe’s you’d be crazy not to pick up a jar!

      cookie butter blondie

      Chocolate Caramel Cookie Butter Blondies

      • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
      • 2 cups brown sugar
      • 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter
      • 2 large eggs
      • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
      • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
      • 1 cup Kraft Caramel Bits

      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray a 9×13-inch pan.
      2. Over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan, stirring constantly. Melt until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in cookie butter until incorporated. Pour into a large bowl to cool.
      2. While that is cooling, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
      3. Add one egg at a time into the cooled butter/brown sugar mixture, mixing well. Add vanilla extract and stir until combined. Add in the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
      4. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and caramels over the top, pressing down lightly into the batter.
      5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until set and golden brown. Cool slightly in pan, but cut into squares before caramels harden.

      *recipe adapted from Rachel Cooks

      **Today’s sweet treat was made in memory of Bob Funk to honor his “pure love of life and all things sweet”.

      Sweet Smarts

      Surely we’re not alone when we say the inventor of streusel crumb topping is a GENIUS! You don’t have to be an expert to whip up a batch and add on top of cherry pie filling to make Cherry Crisp, this Saturday’s sweet treat.  Simple and delicious – the perfect combination!

      cherry crisp

      Cherry Crisp

      Ingredients

      1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
      3/4 cup packed brown sugar
      3/4 cup all-purpose flour
      3/4 cup old fashioned oatmeal
      1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
      1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      1/2 cup butter

      Directions:

      1 Spread pie filling into a greased 9-inch square baking dish (or individual ceramic pie pans like we did).
      2  Combine the next six ingredients in a bowl.
      3  Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; sprinkle over filling.
      4  Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
      5  Top with ice cream and whipped cream and dig in!

      *recipe adapted from Food.com

      Good Morning Sweetie

      Although we indulged in two treat cheat days last week, boy are we glad Saturday has come around. This time we’re not monkeying around waiting to treat ourselves in the afternoon. No siree! We’re having our dessert first thing in the morning. What could be easier than make-the-night-before monkey bread!  Seriously, you just throw a few ingredients in a bundt pan, let it rise overnight and pop it in the oven the next morning. It’s the perfect start to your morning.

      monkey bread

      Monkey Bread

      36 frozen yeast rolls, like Rhodes
      1 cup packed light brown sugar
      1 sm. box butterscotch cook and serve pudding mix, not instant!
      2 tsp. cinnamon
      1 cup chopped pecans, optional
      1 cup butter, melted

      In a well-greased non-stick bundt pan, place frozen rolls. Mix sugar, pudding mix, nuts and cinnamon and sprinkle over rolls. Pour butter over top. Cover loosely with foil being sure to grease the side that will touch the cake to prevent sticking. Place on a cookie sheet in a warm area overnight. In the morning, remove foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden. You will need to place a pan or foil under you bundt for drips. Once baked, loosen around the edges with a knife, cover with an inverted plate and very carefully flip over. Spoon any excess sauce from the pan over the cake.

      *recipe adapted from Big Red Kitchen

      Love Me Sweetly

      Wait a minute! It’s not Saturday! It’s not our cheat day! BUT what would Valentine’s Day be without a decadent dessert to share with the ones we love the most? Naturally, the best way to the heart is through the stomach, so we decided to combine a few recipes to make the ultimate Cupid worthy treat. Gooey Butter Red Velvet Poke Cake Brownies will make your taste buds dazzle and your heart smile. We hope you have the sweetest Valentine’s Day!

      Red Velvet Poke Cake Brownies

      Gooey Butter Red Velvet Poke Cake Brownies

      Ingredients

      • 1 box red velvet cake mix
      • 1/2 cup butter, melted
      • 2 eggs
      • 1 package Jell-O instant white chocolate pudding
      • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
      • 1 Box Fudge brownie mix(plus ingredients on the box- egg, oil, water)
      • 1 can (14 oz) Sweetened condensed milk
      • 1 jar (11.75)  hot fudge ice cream topping
      • 1 container (8 ounces) Cool Whip
      • 1 bag of Heath Bits

      Directions

      Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine cake mix, melted butter, eggs, pudding mix, and vegetable oil and mix well until thoroughly combined (2-3 minutes on medium of electric mixer).

      Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Then spread the red velvet cake layer into the pan. It will be VERY thick, so use the back of a spoon (or clean hands) to help spread it into all edges of the pan.

      In a mixing bowl, combine brownie mix with ingredients listed on the box. Mix well until all ingredients are combined. Pour brownie batter over top of red velvet batter.

      Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool for at least 15 minutes.

      When the cake and brownies are baking combine can of sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 jar of hot fudge in a non-stick pot and melt on low on the stove top until well mixed.

      While the cake is still warm, take the end of a wooden spoon or another round object and pok.e holes all over the top of your cake.

      Pour can of sweetened condensed milk/hot fudge mixture over the top of the brownie cake. Sprinkle 1 cup Heath bits on top. Allow it to absorb in the cake until cake is completely cooled.

      When cooled spread Cool Whip on top of the brownie cake. Heat the remaining 1/2 jar of hot fudge in the microwave and swirl on top of the Cool Whip. Finish by sprinkling remaining Heath bits. Pure Indulgence!

      *recipes adapted and combined from The StirBeyond FrostingWhat’s Cooking Love