Manage your shopping list and search for recipes from across the web at ZipList.com

 
my foodgawker gallery
Wednesday
Dec052012

Apple butter

Happy 34th birthday to my wonderful husband today! I am grateful for him. Maybe it's just the season, but I have been feeling extra gratitude for everything in my life lately. I have much to be thankful for.

I have about 20 spare minutes to get this post written, so I will cut to the chase! I hope you enjoy this one. It can be another great gift for the holidays. Don't be confused by the name! Apple Butter has nothing to do with butter. I considered renaming it Apple Spread, but it doesn't have the same ring.

Here is Day #5 of Twelve Days of Christmas Treats!

In a large crock pot, place the following ingredients:

10 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks (use a variety of apples - I used Granny Smith and Honeycrisp)

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

Juice from 1 lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cloves

Cook on High for 4 hours, or Low for 7 to 8 hours.

It will look like a brown chunky soup when it is finished and it will make your home smell delicious. Yum!

Mash the mixture with a potato masher to give it a smoother consistency. If desired, use an immersion blender for an even smoother texture (I did not do this, as I prefer mine on the slightly chunky side).

In a large saucepan, boil six 1/2-pint mason jars, along with their lids. One at a time, remove one jar and matching lid from the boiling water and fill the jar with the hot apple butter. Tightly seal the lid and store in a cool place. Repeat the process with the remaining jars. The jars will seal on their own.

I have one little boy who loves this stuff and one who doesn't care for it. We spread it on toast, but it would be great on any type of bread. If you have other uses for it, please let me know!

Happy Wednesday to you all! I am off to run errands and finish laundry and wrap a few presents!

Apple Butter

Not to be confused with butter, but feel free to spread it on everything (like butter)!

Serves: Six 1/2-pint mason jars

Total time: 4 hrs

Apple Butter

Ingredients:

  • 10 medium apples, peeled cored and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
Instructions:
  1. Place apples, vinegar, both sugars, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a large crock pot. Cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 7 to 8 hours. Use a potato masher to smooth the mixture. If desired, use an immersion blender for a smoother texture.
  2. Pour mixture into mason jars and seal. Chill and spread on toast or muffins.

 

 

Tuesday
Dec042012

Peanut butter cup brownies

Technically, I am breaking a family rule to bring you Day #4 of Twelve Days of Christmas Treats. Dan and I recently came up with No Technology Tuesdays, when phones, tv and computers are not allowed all day (the exception being work situations). The boys do fine with it, and it gives us time to do non-techy things like read and play games and build racing tracks around the living room and kitchen (happening as I type).

I technologically bring you Day #4 of Twelve Days of Christmas Treats on this No Technology Tuesday!

This isn't a very Christmassy treat, but it is a versatile one that can be made any time so why not Christmas? One thing I will note about these gooey-yummy brownies is that it appears that they might be uncooked in the middle. Uncooked they are not, however. That moistness that you see in the photos is the chocolate that has been incorporated into the batter (drool). 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8x8-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Mix and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine:

1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

1 cup milk chocolate chips

Heat in 30-second intervals in the microwave until creamy, stirring after each interval.

In a large bowl, combine:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add the chocolate mixture (such a fun photo).

Stir until combined. 

Gradually add the flour mixture, stirring after each addition until just combined.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking dish. Top with 12 Reese's peanut butter cups.

Top with the remaining batter.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares.

Back to my sort of technology-free Tuesday!

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Peanut butter cups deliciously nestled inside gooey, chocolatey brownies.

Serves: 12

Total time: 45 min

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 Reese’s peanut butter cups
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8x8-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the butter and chocolate chips. Heat in 30-second intervals in the microwave until creamy, stirring after each interval. In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add the chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, stirring after each addition until just combined.
  3. Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking dish. Top with the peanut butter cups and the remaining batter. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares.

 

 

Monday
Dec032012

Sugared crock pot pecans

It feels strange to be sitting down to write a post for the third day in a row. Imagine how I will feel after Day 12! Maybe I'll just keep on going for the rest of December! Ok, that may be a bit ambitious. I am having so much fun making, eating and sharing all of these yummy holiday treats. Our kitchen is overflowing with goodies, tempting me with every trip I make through the kitchen. Today Dan juiced a bunch of veggies for lunch, which I am sure has my body terribly confused. KALE?! What is this??

Here we go with Day #3 of Christmas Treats! No kale recipes for now.

The thing I love about this recipe, aside from being totally addicting and yummy, is that it is a crock-pot recipe. Crock pot cooking equals easy! These sugared pecans are great to have in a bowl for grazing during holiday gatherings. They are also a perfect gift. Throw some into a mason jar and tie a ribbon around it.

Place the following ingredients into a crock pot:

4 cups pecan halves

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon all-spice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Cook on Low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Pour into a bowl and let cool before serving. Enjoy, friends!

Sugared Crockpot Pecans

These pecans are such an easy, tasty snack. Great for holiday gifts, too!

Serves: 12

Total time: 2 hrs, 30 min

Sugared Crockpot Pecans

Ingredients:

  • 16-oz. bag pecans
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon all-spice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
Instructions:
  1. Place all ingredients into a crockpot. Cook on Low heat for 2 hours, stirring often. Pour into a medium bowl and let cool before serving. Store in a sealed container.

 

 

Sunday
Dec022012

Peanut butter kiss cookies

I am doing my best to type over and around the head and arms of one of my precious monkeys right now, so please forgive me if I make a few mistakes! Sometimes Sammy insists on sitting next to (or on) me and "helping" me while I work. I cannot say no to that. He is in the absolute cutest stage right now. My heart melts into a puddle about 150 times a day.

I am onto Day #2 of Christmas Treats! This is such a staple for holiday baking, but so often these cookies are too crunchy for my taste. This recipe produces a gooey peanut butter cookie that will make you swoon! 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Mix well and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Using a hand-held mixer, mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy. 

Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until combined.

Pour 1/2 cup of coarse sugar into a small bowl. Using your hands, form 1-inch balls with the dough and roll them in the sugar. Place the balls onto the prepared baking sheets. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Immediately place a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie.

This recipe yields 22ish cookies, just so you can plan on how many kisses you have to spare can feed to your children while baking.

Let the cookies cool and store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. 

And now Sammy has something to share with you all: 253337 (our ages, from youngest to oldest). This is something he recites to everyone he meets, so consider yourself introduced!

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

You absolutely cannot leave these cookies off your holiday baking list!

Serves: 22

Total time: 50 min

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coarse sugar
  • 24 Hershey’s kisses chocolate candies
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix well and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Using a hand-held mixer, mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until combined.
  3. Pour the coarse sugar into a small bowl. Using your hands, form 1-inch balls with the dough and roll in the sugar. Place on prepared baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Immediately place a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Let cool. Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.

 

 

Saturday
Dec012012

Homemade caramels

This is the first of twelve Christmas treats I will post about in the next twelve days! Exciting! Or maybe it's just me. Part of the reason I love this season so much is because of the baking and stirring and cutting and wrapping and eating and delivering. This caramel recipe is possibly my favorite of all Christmas treats. I remember the first time I made these, back when I was the only one who lived in my then clean but very boring home. I stood over my stove stirring for what seemed like forever, thinking, THESE BETTER BE GOOD. When they were finished, I vowed to never complain about the cooking and stirring again because they are chewy, buttery, sugary deliciousness at its very best. So here you go, friends..

Day One of Twelve Days of Christmas Treats!

Coat a 9x13 baking dish generously with cooking spray and set aside. You will be needing a candy thermometer for this recipe. Candy thermometers aren't as intimidating as they may seem. You can purchase a decent one for ~$10, and they are easy to use.

In a large, heavy-duty saucepan, combine:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup evaporated milk

1 pint heavy whipping cream

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reads 243 degrees F. 

At first the stirring speed can be fairly slow. You can, say, stir with one hand while perusing Pinterest with your other, if that is your thing. The entire cooking process takes me somewhere around 45-50 minutes. A little over halfway through, the stirring must become a little more vigorous, as you must make sure the mixture does not burn.

Occasionally dip the candy thermometer into the middle, being careful not to touch the bottom of the pan, until you get a reading. 243 degrees is my magic number. Any less and the caramels are too gooey. Any more, and they are too chewy.

When you reach the magic number, immediately remove the pan from the heat and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Stir until combined, then pour the mixture into the prepared 9x13 pan. Allow the caramel to cool completely.

Cut into 1/2-inch x 1-inch pieces and wrap individually in wax paper. 

You will love these! So will your neighbors, friends, children, you get the idea. ENJOY!

Homemade Caramels

My FAVORITE holiday recipe. These are chewy and caramely and sooooooooo good.

Serves: 64 caramels

Total time: 1 hr, plus cooling time

Homemade Caramels

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions:
  1. Coat a 9x13 dish generously with cooking spray and set aside. Combine the butter, sugars, corn syrup, evaporated milk and heavy whipping cream in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until candy thermometer reads 243 degrees F. Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  2. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan and allow mixture to cool completely. Cut into small squares and wrap in wax paper.