Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Paula Deen's Cookie Dough Truffles

When I saw this recipe on Paula Deen's show earlier last month, I though it would be a great dessert for Thanksgiving. So I made them and then...I promptly hid them. There was no way it could compete with my mother's pumpkin roll. This recipe needed some tweaking. Bad. I didn't want to just scrap the whole thing. I mean, cookie dough that won't send you to the hospital with high fever and severe abdominal cramps? This was a recipe worth salvaging!

First, I went out and got a cookie scoop. Paula suggests using your hands, coated in flour, to roll the dough into balls. That turned out to be a big, sticky, floury mess. Get a cookie scoop. Trust me. Second, use salted butter. And third, use a container of dipping chocolate to coat the truffles. I originally used almond bark but I thought it was way to thick and masked the flavor of the dough. Actually, I made half of them with just a little drizzle of white chocolate on top and they were my favorite. Look out, pumpkin roll!

Cookie Dough Truffles (Paula Deen's unaltered recipe can be found here.)

1/2 cup salted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
2 containers of Baker's dipping chocolate (1 milk chocolate and 1 white chocolate)

In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla. Gradually beat in flour and add milk. Add chocolate chips and mix well. Using a cookie scoop, place balls of cookie dough onto waxed paper. Place in freezer.
After 2 hours, shape into more round balls with your hands. Using 2 forks, dip into melted chocolate and place onto wax paper. Refrigerate for an hour to set.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Egg Nog Pound Cake

Okay, hold on to your Santa hats, I have a confession. I don't like egg nog.

I don't know why because cream AND sugar? Together? What's not to like about that? Maybe it's the texture. It's like a milkshake that's been left out for awhile. Or maybe the idea of drinking raw eggs gives me the willies. I just don't like it.

My husband, WD, on the other hand, LOVES it. So I knew just what kind of cake to fix for his birthday earlier this week. An Egg Nog Pound Cake. The whole family enjoyed this cake. Even my 6 year old, the pickiest eater in the world. WD thought that the cake itself didn't have a very strong egg nog flavor so I made an egg nog glaze to pour over it. And the birthday boy was happy. Despite the 'Over the Hill' candle I put on top of the cake.

Egg Nog Pound Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 small package instant vanilla pudding mix
3/4 cup egg nog
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup powdered sugar (for glaze)
1/4-1/2 cup egg nog (for glaze)

Combine first 4 ingredients; mix on low speed in mixer until moistened. Add eggs and nutmeg. Beat for 4 minutes on high speed. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan or tube pan. Bake at 350 F. for 40 to 45 minutes until a toothpick insterted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with an egg nog glaze.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Toscana Soup

Have you been to Olive Garden lately? I haven't. The nearest one is over an hour away. And although gas prices have dropped considerably ($1.55!) that's still way too far to drive to eat. Even if it's for WD's favorite soup--Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana. So a couple of weeks ago when WD was craving this hearty sausage and potato soup, I bravely opened up my messy cookbook and found my own recipe.

3 Italian sausage links
3 large potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite size pieces
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cans chicken broth
4 cups water
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 TBS salt
3 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups kale
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Remove casings from sausage and brown in skillet. Add onion, potatoes, broth, water, garlic and salt to a large pot. Cook until potatoes are tender. Add sausage, bacon, kale and cream. Heat through and serve.