Sticky Finger Bars

This was the dessert that took all weekend to make!  Savvy and her friend, Jordan, went to see a movie, shopping, then to Olive Garden for a late lunch on Saturday.  After their day out they called and asked me to make a dessert.  I decided it was a perfect time to try a recipe I had seen on Rebecca Crump’s blog, Ezra Pound Cake.  I had the crust in the oven by the time the girls got home but before I could mix the filling ingredients together we had a violent storm and lost power.

Greg’s estimate is that we have at least 50 trees uprooted or tops broken out on the farm.  It was reported that winds were 100 mph.  The wind flipped one of our boats and blew it about 20 feet.

About 16 hours after I had originally started the Sticky Fingers I finally got around to finishing them.  They are layers of goodness.  The first layer is a crust with peanuts in it, then you top that with a layer of Snickers candy bars, (that layer alone got my attention), then you make a filling that reminds me of pecan pie filling except without the nuts.  After you bake that and it cools you spread creamy peanut butter on top, sprinkle with peanuts and drizzle with chocolate.  Doesn’t that sound sinful?  I think everyone thought they were worth the wait.  This will definitely be a dessert that I make again!

 

Sticky Finger Bars
 
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Ingredients
  • Crust Ingredients:
  • 1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 4 (2.07-oz.) Snickers bars
  • Filling Ingredients:
  • 3 lg. eggs
  • 1¼ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. light corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • Topping Ingredients:
  • 1 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 1 c. salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving several inches of overhang on the short ends. Spray foil with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. With a stand mixer, with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and vanilla extract. With mixer on medium-low, add flour & peanuts, mix just until incorporated.
  4. Press dough into prepared pan, bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.
  5. Cut Snickers into ¼" slices and cover crust, leaving about ¼" between slices. (I found that you don't need to be too picky placing the slices on the crust because the filling is going to reposition some of them anyway.)
  6. For Filling: In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, syrup, butter, vanilla & salt. Pour over crust, bake 25 - 30 minutes or until set. The filling should not wiggle when you remove from oven. Cool 20 - 30 minutes.
  7. After baked filling has cooled, spread peanut butter on top. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.
  8. Place chocolate in microwave-safe bowl. Place in microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Drizzle over peanuts.
  9. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove from pan by pulling up on foil. Cut into bars. Store for 5 days at room temperature or 3 weeks frozen.
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Double-Chocolate Sour Cream Mall Muffins

What an eventful day…I had my mother-in-law, Nancy, arrested!!  It was for a worthy cause though 🙂  I filled out a warrant for her arrest for Relay for Life.  Then my friend, Michelle, went to her house, arrested her and put her in jail.  She had to start making phone calls to raise bail money to be released.  My friends couldn’t believe that I would have my mother-in-law arrested, but she was a trooper and tried to raise money the whole time.  At last count, when she was “released”, she had collected over $200!!!

 

 

The first muffin recipe that I made from  A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman were the best muffins in the world.  However, after baking these Double-Chocolate Sour Cream Mall Muffins I’m not sure which is better.  These were absolutely wonderful!!!  This cookbook is off to a great start!

These muffins are moist and delicious and are good for days if kept in a airtight container.  They are great served warm with Aunt Sara’s Chocolate Butter and I’ve included the recipe.

Double-Chocolate Sour Cream Mall Muffins
 
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Ingredients
  • ½ c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1¾ c. sugar
  • 2 lg. eggs
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ c. cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. miniature chocolate chips
  • Confectioners' sugar or dusting tops
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange oven rack to second shelf from top. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Spray top of muffin pan and liners with nonstick cooking spray. Stack two baking sheets together and line top sheet with parchment paper. Place muffin pan on prepared baking sheets.
  2. In a mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar and then add eggs. Blend in sour cream and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Blend gently into batter. Once partially blended, fold in chocolate chips. If batter seems too loose, add a few tablespoons of flour (no more than 4 tablespoons) to make batter a bit stiffer. If batter seems too thick, stir in a bit of milk (up to ¼ cup).
  4. Using a large ice-cream scoop, scoop a generous amount of batter into each muffin cup.
  5. Bake 15 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and finish baking, about 12 - 14 more minutes until muffins spring back when gently pressed with fingertips.
  6. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan. Dust with confectioners' sugar when cool.

 
Aunt Sara's Chocolate Butter
 
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Ingredients
  • ½ c. butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp. confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. Beat ingredients in a small bowl until mixed and smooth.

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Fruit Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing

I’m wondering if you can help me out?  I bought beer for my St. Patrick’s Day corned beef, but still have 5 left (actually 4, I tried some in hush puppies which we didn’t like).  I use beer in my beef stew but that is something that I like in cooler weather.  If you have a recipe or two that have beer in them I’d love for you to send them to me!  My email address is notjustsundaydinner@yahoo.com.

My mom made this fruit salad a lot when I was growing up.  I love the combination of the sweet fruit with the tangy vinaigrette.  You can use any fruit that you like.  In the salad pictured I used strawberries, bananas, oranges and green grapes.

 

Fruit Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing
 
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Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh fruit
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. poppy seeds
Instructions
  1. Wash and cut up fruit, set aside. In a small bowl whisk vinegar, oil, sugar and poppy seeds. Pour over fruit an gently toss. Serve immediately.
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Lemon Buttermilk Cake

This recipe is from my cousin, Brandi.  She is a great cook and just like her mother, grandmothers and great grandmothers before her, she’s passing down the love of cooking to her children.  This is a cake that she’s been making for years and it is now a favorite of my family too.  I remember Greg’s grandmother telling me that a cake made with oil would always be moister than one made with butter or shortening and this cake proves it.

I substituted Lemon Bakery Emulsion for the extract.  I became a fan of Bakery Emulsion after picking up a bottle at a bakery going out of business a few years ago.  It is a professional strength flavoring and can be used the same as extract.  You can find it at Hobby Lobby if you are interested in picking up a bottle.  Don’t forget to bring the eggs and buttermilk to room temperature before mixing.
Also, this juicer is a great kitchen tool!  I’ve tried several different kinds over the past 20 years and I think this one works the best.  They come in a variety of sizes, but I think the larger size would work for lemons, limes and oranges.  I bought mine at TJ Maxx several years ago and it’s too small for really large fruit.
Lemon Buttermilk Cake
 
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Ingredients
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. lemon extract (or lemon bakery emulsion)
  • GLAZE INGREDIENTS:
  • 2½ c. powdered sugar
  • 5 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 5 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • ½ tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a tube pan, set aside.
  3. Measure flour then sift. Remeasure by lightly spooning into cups. Sift flour again, with salt, soda and baking powder, set aside.
  4. Beat sugar, oil, eggs, buttermilk and extract until blended. Add flour mixture slowly, beat 4 minutes.
  5. Pour into prepared tube pan. Bake for 1 hour or until cake tests done.
  6. While cake is baking whisk all glaze ingredients together and set aside.
  7. Remove cake from oven and loosen edges while cake is still hot and in pan. Pour glaze over top of hot cake. Return to oven for 3 minutes. Remove and allow to cool in pan and glaze is set before turning out of pan.
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Mexican Stuffed Shells

For you pasta lovers, here is a new twist on stuffed shells.  Mexican instead of Italian!  I think it’s actually better leftover, so you could definitely make it ahead.
Mexican Stuffed Shells
 
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Ingredients
  • 24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tbsp. taco seasoning (or to taste)
  • 2 c. salsa
  • 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 c. frozen corn
  • ½ c. black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 c. shredded Mexican-blend cheese
  • Toppings suggestions: sour cream, black olives, salsa, green onions
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.
  3. Brown beef, drain. Add taco seasoning, salsa, tomato sauce, corn and beans. Spoon into cooked pasta shells. Place in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle shells with cheese. Spray a piece of foil with cooking spray and cover dish. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until heated through. Serve with toppings of your choice.
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