Monthly Archives: October 2012

Scarecrow Crunch

Need a little snack to get you through the marathon of scary movies on TV tonight?  Or maybe just something to snack on in between rings of the doorbell as you hand out candy to the ghosts and goblins at your door?  Check out this Scarecrow Crunch.

Oatmeal squares cereal, pretzels, candy corn mix, Reese’s pieces, chocolate grahams, and caramel corn are mixed together to make for a sweet and salty snack perfect for autumn.  Put some of this into baggies for your kids or just take it to work for people who need an afternoon pick me up.  This made a big batch so you’ll have plenty to share.  My friends and I noshed on handfuls of this while we were hunkered down during the hurricane.  And leftovers should last for a while if you keep them in an airtight container.  Turn off the outside light, hunker down in the dark with a blanket, light a candle to cast eerie shadows, and munch on a bowl of this for tonight’s Halloween marathon on AMC.  If you have power, that is.  If you don’t, try not to get freaked out by the fact that you have to spend every second of Halloween in the dark.

The ingredients:

Combine all ingredients into a large bowl.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Just Make Stuff

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

As I’m sure you’ve heard, the northeast is getting pummeled by Hurricane Sandy right now.  This is the second hurricane that has hit the Philadelphia area in a little more than a year and for those of us not used to it, it is two too many.  As I write this, I still have power but considering I lost power for days last year with Hurricane Irene, I’m fully expecting to lose power again.  I’m a little more prepared this year though: I’ve loaded my kitchen table with my emergency necessities (which you can see here – and yes, that includes bourbon) and I have a flashlight this time which will prevent me from using my iPhone to see in the dark (and hopefully reduce my risk of dropping said iPhone into the toilet à la last year).  Because losing power is inevitable, I had to make food this past weekend that wouldn’t require refrigeration.  Which means I’ll be eating these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins for days.

Canned pumpkin and mini chocolate chips are mixed into a simple muffin batter to create a moist, light, flavorful treat.  These muffins have a lot of butter and sugar so they are not low-fat but given my circumstances of enduring the hurricane, I’ve got more to worry about right now than calories.  The recipe calls for 3 to 4 cups of flour but I only used 3 cups and it was plenty.  This batter is thick and makes puffy muffins like the kind you see in bakeries – yum.  I used mini chocolate chips which I’ve come to love more than regular chocolate chips.  These muffins are really, really good.  I just hope I’m not sick of them by Wednesday.

The ingredients:

Blend the pumpkin, brown sugar, butter, and eggs in a large bowl mix until creamy.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour through nutmeg).  Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until combined when batter is moist and thick.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Scoop or spoon the batter into greased muffin tins or muffin liners.

Bake in an oven preheated to 350ºF for 20 to 25 minutes.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  The Idea Room

Puffy Vanilla and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

When it comes to sweets, I tend to make desserts in waves.  When I’m craving brownies, I’ll make brownies non-stop for months.  My cupcake period lasted about 2 years.  But I’m going back to my roots and I’m falling in love with making cookies all over again.  I don’t know what it is about cookies but watching the dough come together, dipping a finger or two into the dough to make sure it’s just right, and dropping the scoops onto the baking sheet and waiting, waiting, waiting impatiently for them to bake…it’s bliss for me.  I bake cookies one sheet at a time so for a dough that makes a lot of cookies, this means I might be baking cookies all night.  But that’s okay with me.  I dare say I like a cookie-scented kitchen just as much (if not more) than a bread-scented kitchen.  Although that’s a really tough call.  Anyway, I made some cookies a few weeks ago and they were such a hit at work that I decided to make another batch of cookies I found on Pinterest: Puffy Vanilla and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies.  Vanilla and peanut butter?  Yum and yum.  I’m sold.

These cookies are made with vegetable shortening (à la Crisco) instead of butter which helps to make these cookies puffy.  And a healthy 2 teaspoons of vanilla really keep the vanilla from getting lost behind the peanut butter chips.  It’s rare that I don’t like a cookie, especially one with any kind of peanut butter, and this is no exception.  Although, I’ve become pretty particular and I’ve decided I like good ol’ butter in my cookies.  There is that flavor that butter has that just cannot be captured with vegetable shortening.  These cookies are great and if you are willing to sacrifice a little bit of puff for a little bit of flavor, make these with butter.  You won’t be disappointed.  Of course this is coming from someone who could eat peanut butter chips by the spoonful.

The ingredients:

In a large mixing bowl, combine vegetable shortening, sugars, egg, water, and vanilla until batter is creamy.

Add the cinnamon, salt, baking soda, flour and mix until just combined.

Fold in peanut butter chips by hand. Cover and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheets lined with silicone mats or parchment paper.

 Bake in a preheated 375ºF oven for 8-10 minutes.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Averie Cooks

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