Monday, February 22, 2010


Sweet Swap: 1) friends, old and new, gathering together to exchange something that denotes the characteristic taste of sugar

Sweet Swap Index ~ so you don't have to scan every single recipe to find the one you're looking for . . .
The guidelines:
  1. All treats should be HOMEMADE. No mixes. The more unique the better
  2. RSVP as soon as you can
  3. Let me know what type of sweet you are planning on bringing - no duplicate recipes are allowed; first come first serve
  4. Email a copy of your recipe before the party or bring 25 copies to the party
  5. Bring 3 dozen sweets
  6. Arrange sweets in a basket or platter to serve. Be creative!
  7. Bring a large container to carry away your sweets. We won't be eating them at the party
  8. Girl's only party - - - no husbands or children allowed. Hope this doesn't cramp anyone's day but this is a time to getaway and relax and socialize
  9. It is suggested that you make your treats a day or two in advance so you aren't scrambling last minute. If you don't have time to bake, or have burnt your cookies, you can run to a real bakery and buy 3 dozen yummy cookies OR just come for the lunch, recipes and socializing.
  10. Lunch will be served
Thanks for the photos Jen!

Monday, February 15, 2010

from Lana

3 3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 c light corn syrup
1 c water

Boil to 310 F. Add 2 drams flavoring. I like to use 2 different flavors per recipe, dividing the candy mixture into two separate pyrex measuring cups (2 cups size). Mix in desired color and pour into prepared lollipop molds! Be careful and HAVE FUN!!!

Ranch Pasta Salad
from BLISS Cookbook
1 16 ounce package pasta shells
1 avocado
2 tomatoes
2 stalks celery
1 c marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 c freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 envelope Hidden Valley DIPS mix
1 c prepared ranch dressing (see recipe below)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until tender. Drain well and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a large bowl.

Dice the avocado, tomatoes, celery and artichoke hearts; add to pasta. Sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese, DIPS mix and prepared ranch dressing. Stir until all ingredients are mixed in. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 - 4 hours. This is best when made and served on the same day. If you need to make it ahead, add the avocado and tomato right before you serve it.

Ranch Dressing
1 c buttermilk
1 c mayonnaise
1 envelope Hidden Valley DIPS mix

Whisk together the buttermilk and DIPS mix. Add the mayonnaise and blend until smooth. Store in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks.

Buttery Rosemary Rolls
Recipe and Photo from Ree, the Pioneer Woman
I made these for the Sweet Swap - 4 dozen, so I put them on cookie sheets since I didn't have that many cast iron skillets. They turned out just as yummy. However, my sister-in-law made these for us the following Sunday and she used the cast iron pan. It kept the rolls warm the entire meal.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
from Raelene

Since there really isn't a RECIPE for these, I am posting a couple of videos on how to create these very yummy treats . . .

Hey - Raelene, if you see this, tell us what type of chocolate you used . . .

Macadamia Cashew Roca
from Carrie

For a cookie sheet amount:

5 cups or 2.5 bags milk chocolate chips
8.5 oz can smashed cashews
8.5 oz can smashed macadamia nuts
1 1/2 c butter (3 sticks)
1 1/2 c sugar
6 Tbsp corn syrup

1. Spray cookie sheet with non stick spray. Lay a piece of parchment onto sprayed pan and spray with non stick or use butter, again. This will guarantee the candy to pop right out.
2. Cover bottom of pan with chocolate chips.
3. Combine nuts, sugar, butter and corn syrup in a large skillet or non stick pot; cook over low heat until melted.
4. Increase heat to medium and stir until golden brown. For those of you with candy thermometers - 260 F = chewy OR 280 F crunchy
5. Pour hot sugar nut goo over chocolate, let cool.
6. Refrigerate until solid. Break and serve.

from Jen

Preheat oven to 350 F. Position rack in the middle of the oven.

2 c flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Blend a separate bowl:
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs

Sugar mixture:
1/4 c sugar
4 tsp cinnamon

Stir the flour mixture and the butter mixture until smooth. Pull pieces of dough and roll in hands, forming a 1 1/4 inch ball. Roll balls in sugar mixture. Place on cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cookie rack to cool completely.

Mint Brownies
from AmyLou

1 1/2 c butter
3/4 c cocoa
6 eggs
2 1/2 c sugar
1/4 c flour
1 c chopped nuts (optional)

In a saucepan, melt butter and mix in cocoa. Transfer to a mixing bowl and beat in sugar, add eggs one at a time. Add flour, salt and nuts. Spread evenly on a greased, rimmed cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 F. Cool.

Mint Frosting:
1 stick butter
4 c powdered sugar
5-6 Tbsp light cream or milk
1 1/4 tsp mint extract
2 drops of green or red food coloring

Beat ingredients together until creamy. Spread on cooled brownies. Place in freezer while you prepare chocolate frosting.

Chocolate Frosting:

1 stick butter
1/2 c cocoa
3 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 - 5 Tbsp milk

Melt butter. Add cocoa. Mix in powdered sugar and vanilla. Add milk until smooth. Frosting is thin but gets thicker when it sets. Spread over mint frosting.
Mini Cheesecakes
from Erin

1 box vanilla wafers, crushed.
2 sticks butter, melted.

Mix together and press into bottom of mini muffin cups.

8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz cool whip
1/4 c sugar

Beat until fluffy. Top each muffin cup with cream mixture. Top with cherry from 1 cup cherry pie filling.

from Erika

Chocolate Dipped Cinnamon Bears
Cutest display, EVER!!!
see Jen Fritz' photos

Chocolate Butterscotch Crunch
from Sharla but Carrie made them

1 bag butterscotch chips
1 bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 large bag Lay's potato chips, smashed to death

Pour potato chips into large bowl. Melt both chips together and stir until mixed. Pour over potato chips and stir until thoroughly coated. Form in round balls and put on waxed cookie sheet. Chill in fridge until solid.

Very healthy, I'm sure.

Caramel Chex Cookies
from Carol

40 caramels
3 Tbsp water
5 c Corn Chex
2 tsp vegetable shortening
1 Hershey chocolate bar

Melt caramels with water in large covered saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally. When smooth, remove from heat. Stir in Chex until evenly coated. Spoon cookies onto wax paper.

In small sauce pan melt shortening over low heat. Add chocolate bar (watch closely). Drizzle chocolate over top of cookies. Let cool until set. Makes 30.

Caramel Corn (Crunchy Kind)
from Bonnie

5 quarts popped corn

Melt over medium heat:
1 c butter
2 c brown sugar
1/2 c light corn syrup
1 tsp salt
Cook until 245 F or soft ball stage. Remove from heat. Add 1/2 tsp baking soda. Drizzle over popcorn and toss well. Cook in a 250 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes stirring every 10 to 15 minutes. Cool.
Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
from Jen

mini pretzels or pretzel sticks
white chocolate
milk chocolate
holiday sprinkles (smaller the better)

Slightly warm chocolate in microwave. You will start to see the chocolate turn shiny. This will take about 1 minute. DO NOT overheat the chocolate, this will cause the chocolate to harden or the milk chocolate to turn white.

Stir chocolate until all is melted. You are now ready to dip your pretzels. Place the pretzels in the bowl, dip with fork and slightly tap on side of bowl with fork. Place on a waxed cookie sheet. Add sprinkles and wait to cool and harden.
Strawberry/Raspberry Trifle
from Carrie

Angel food cake - Cut up in squares

2 pints whipping cream, prepared
2 small boxes instant cheesecake pudding, prepared
Fold the two together.

Fresh strawberries and/or raspberries, sprinkled with sugar

Layer in a glass bowl just before serving.
Puffed Hearts
or Strawberry Heart Pillows
from Michelle

1 pkg frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed
1/3 c strawberry jam
1 c thawed cool whip
4 large strawberries, each cut into 4 slices
1 square Baker's semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unfold pastry. Cut into 16 hearts with heart shaped cookie cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

Cut each heart horizontally in half. Spread on a teaspoon of the jam onto bottom half of each heart. Top with one Tbsp cool whip and a strawberry slice. Cover with tops of heart pastries. Drizzle with chocolate. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to one hour.

FYI - those of you at the Sweet Swap - Michelle used an extra small cookie cutter. Normally you would use a regular size.

Almond Squares
from Sharla

2/3 c butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c sugar
2 1/2 c flour

Mix together. Grease sides of 11 x 17 cookie sheet. Press mixture in bottom of cookie sheet.

2 cubes butter
6 Tbsp sugar
2/3 c honey
2/3 c brown sugar

Cook to boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1/4 c canned or regular milk. Put back on heat and boil. Stir in 3 to 3 1/2 c sliced almonds. Pour over cookie sheet crust. Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool. Cut into diamond shapes.

Stuck Up Brownies
from Amy

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla
4 eggs
¾ cup cocoa
1 cup flour
½ tsp. Baking powder
¼ tsp. Salt

Mix, spread into a 9x13 pan. Bake 350 for 25-30 min.


Chocolate Frosting

¾ cube butter (soft)

¼ to 1/3 cup cocoa

2 cups powdered sugar

1 egg (wash and dry the egg before using)

1 tsp. Vanilla

Stuck up Brownies

  1. Using a 1 –1 ½ cookie scoop, scoop out a level scoop of frosted brownies.
  2. Place on parchment covered cookies sheet. (Very close together)
  3. Insert sucker stick or wooden skewer into the brownie ball.
  4. Place into freezer for 1-3 hours.
  5. Melt milk chocolate in a deep glass bowl.
  6. Remove brownies from freezer, dip one at a time and place back on cookie sheet.
  7. When all are dipped, melt and drizzle dark chocolate or color of your choice.

Tie colored ribbon around stick.

Lemon-Raspberry Cupcakes
from Mindi

1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 c all-purpose flour, sifted
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 c granulated sugar
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 c buttermilk
zest and juice of 2 lemons

1. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside
2. Cream butter on low speed to fully soften; increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy and light in color
3. Continue beating and gradually add the sugar until fluffy, about three minutes
4. Gradually drizzle in eggs, beating between additions until batter is no longer slick
5. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk on low speed, a little at a time, starting and ending with the flour
6. Beat in lemon juice and lemon zest
7. Divide batter between cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes at 350F

Once cooled, cut out a cone from the top of each cupcake and fill it with all fruit raspberry preserves (not overly watery).

Replace each cone and top with a basic raspberry buttercream.

Raspberry Buttercream
2 sticks room temperature butter
2-3 c powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp raspberry preserves

1. Cream butter until fluffy
2. Gradually add powdered sugar until frosting consistency
3. Beat in raspberry preserves until a pinkish hue and light raspberry flavor is achieved

Pipe over top (this won't work to spread with a knife all that well with the whole cone cut out deal) and pop a raspberry into each center.

Mindi got this recipe from "Things Alauna Makes". Check out this website for more mini cupcake recipes. Also, the first recipe Mindi was going to make looks rather delish, too!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Buttery Jewels
from Jo

1 c soft butter
1/3 c whipping cream
2 c flour
granulated sugar
creamy filling (below)

Mix butter, cream and flour thoroughly. Cover and chill.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll about 1/3 of dough at a time, 1/8 inch thick (keep remaining dough refrigerated until ready to roll.) Cut into 1 1/2 inch rounds. (Jo used a medicine cap.)

Transfer rounds with spatula to piece of waxed paper that is heavily covered with granulated sugar; turn each round so that both sides are coated with sugar. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Prick rounds with fork about four times.

Bake 7 - 9 minutes or just until set but not brown. Cool. Put cookies together in pairs with creamy filling. About 5 dozen cookies.

Creamy Filling
1/4 c soft butter
3/4 c confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla
until smooth and fluffy. Tint with a few drops food color. Add few drops water if necessary for proper spreading consistency.

Triple Chocolate Brownies
from D'dree

1 1/4 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c cold margarine or butter
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1/4 c cocoa
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
8 oz milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line 9 x 13 pan with foil. Combine 1 c flour and sugar in a medium size bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press on bottom of pan. Bake for 15 minutes. In medium size bowl beat together milk, cocoa, egg, remaining flour, vanilla & baking powder. Mix in chocolate chunks. Spread over crust and bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely. Use foil to lift out of pan. Cut into bars or shapes with cutters. Store tightly covered.

Glazed Lemon Scones
from Ronna
2 cups flour
1/3 c sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
zest of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp cold unsalted butter (cut into 1/4" pieces
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 c whipping cream or half and half (reserve 2 Tbsp for brushing tops)

Lemon Glaze
1 c powdered sugar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp whipping cream or half and half

Heat oven to 400. Grease heavy baking sheet, set aside. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into large mixing bowl. Add lemon zest and stir. Using fingers, add butter and rub into dry ingredients and mix slightly together, then pour into dry ingredients all at once. Stir just until mixture holds together. Pour dough onto floured surface and using floured hands, knead 3-4 times only, form a ball and flatten to a disc about 3/4" thick. Cut into pie wedges. Transfer pieces onto cooking sheet, separating at least 1/4" apart. Brush tops with reserved cream. Bake 16 - 18 minutes until golden brown. Cool for minutes then transfer to cooling rack. While cooling, mix well. Drizzle over scones, using all glaze (the more the better!) Cool completely and enjoy.

Great for breakfast or after school snack.
Makes 8 large or 32 mini bites.

Cherry Chocolate Rice Crispy Hearts
from Melinda
1/2 c salted butter
1 pkg cherry kool-aid
1 10 oz bag marshmallows
1 c white chocolate chips
5 c rice crispies
Dipping Chocolate

Melt butter in a large bowl in microwave. Add Kool-aid to melted butter and stir to dissolve. Add marshmallows. Cook on high for 1 minute. Add 1/2 c white chocolate chips then stir. Cook 30 more seconds then add the rest of the white chocolate chips. Stir until very smooth. Add rice crispies and stir until well coated. Spread mixture onto a greased cookie sheet to desired thickness. Let cool. Cut desired shapes then dip in chocolate melted according to directions on package.

Oreo Truffles
from Debbie
1 bag Oreo Cookies, ground up in blender or food processor
1 1/2 8oz cream cheese, softened
2 c white chocolate chips or 1 pkg almond bark
1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips or 1 square Chocolate bark for drizzling

1. Combine ground Oreos and cream cheese in mixer using paddle attachment until well mixed. Roll into 1 inch balls (makes about 30) and place onto baking sheet or tray. Refrigerate overnight or until very firm.

2. Melt white chocolate in microwave for 1-2 minutes on 70% power. Using 2 little spoons, dip balls into chocolate and place onto parchment paper to harden. Once dry, melt dark chocolate and spoon into the corner of a ziplock baggie. Snip a small corner and drizzle back and forth over the truffles. Let dry.

Cherry Chocolate Kiss Cookies
from Angie
1 cup powdered o' suga
1 cup o' butta
2 tsp (I use about 4-5) maraschino cherry juice
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cherries drained and chopped small
bag o' kisses
Cream butta and suga add all other ingredients and add flour/ salt mixture at end
{combine flour and salt}
Cook 350 for 8 -10 on a rack for a few minutes and then add kiss. Obviously not right out of over or you will have a pile chocolate :)
Let the cookie set up for a bit so the choc is firm again.

Cream Cheese Filled Cupcakes
from Mailee
1 Chocolate Cake Mix (or own recipe)
1 8oz Cream Cheese
1/3 C sugar
1 Egg
Dash of salt
6 oz Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

Prepare cake mix according to directions for high altitude. Fill paper liners 2/3 full with cake mix batter. Beat cream cheese, sugar, and egg and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop 1 rounded teaspoon of cheese mixture onto each. Bake 375 for 25 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz softened cream cheese
1 cube softened butter
1 lb (half bag) powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix cream cheese and butter. Slowly add powdered sugar, mix well. Add milk until creamy frosting texture. Add vanilla

These cupcakes are best when served cold.