Cookies · snack

Biscotti Making!

My morning coffee needs nothing to make it delicious, but if I have a cup in the afternoon, I enjoy having some kind of cookie that will make the perfect plunge into the dark liquid and come out even tastier than it was before!

The perfect solution is Biscotti!  It’s normally a very crispy cookie or biscuit-like treat that is a tad hard to eat, UNLESS it’s dipped in a liquid, and coffee is the perfect choice!

I found a recipe in my Cooking Light cookbook that has a little tartness with dried fruit and a little sweetness with the addition of chocolate chips.  This recipe has a cup of wheat flour, making it a little healthier!  Am I saying, healthy cookie?  Well, pretty much! They’re only 81 calories and taste fantastic!

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Don’t be intimidated about making these. If you can bake a roll of slice and bake cookies, you can make these!  It’s just a simple double-baking process!  First, you roll the dough into logs and bake them, then after they cool ten minutes, you slice them into strips, lay them on the baking sheet and bake them one more time.  That’s it!  Here;’s the recipe from Cooking Light ~

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2/3 cup dried tart cherries – I used Craisins
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flours and salt in a bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Step 3

Beat sugar and eggs with a mixer at high speed until thick and pale (about 4 minutes). Add oil and extracts, beating until well-blended. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in cherries and chocolate chips.

Step 4

Divide dough in half; turn out onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Shape each portion into a 10-inch-long roll, and flatten to 1-inch thickness. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove rolls from the baking sheet; cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

Step 5

Cut each roll diagonally into 20 (1/2-inch) slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Turn cookies over, and bake an additional 10 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool). Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire rack.

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I love having these on hand (they freeze great!) for when a friend stops in for coffee or when my afternoon cup of java needs a little something sweet!

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Enjoy!

denise a

snack

No-Bake Granola Bars

I try to keep granola bars in my pantry for a quick go-to snack.  When my blood sugar drops and I need a little something to keep me going in the mid-morning, I enjoy a small granola bar.  However, I find the ones from the grocery store are often way too sweet.

In my recent issue of Southern Living Magazine, I found a recipe for No-Bake Granola Bars that sounded like the perfect substitute for the purchased variety! These were so delicious and so inexpensive to make.  I found items at Aldi that were helpful in that department! Continue reading “No-Bake Granola Bars”

snack

My Favorite Snack

I don’t typically “pig-out” on anything, but if there’s one thing I might be tempted to eat LOTS of, it would be buttery, slightly salty popcorn! To me it’s the best nighttime snack!

Recently I’ve found that using coconut oil in place of butter is really tasty! It adds a tiny bit of sweetness and the oil does what the butter would do. I’m not sure how it compares, nutrition-wise, but I’m thinking it would be a little better for me.

Here’s how I make it…


  • Pour popcorn kernels into a microwaveable bowl that has a lid, covering the bottom with kernels.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Place lid on bowl.
  • Microwave 4 minutes or so, or until kernels slow down popping.
  • Using hot pads, remove bowl.
  • Add salt. Replace lid and shake.
  • Enjoy!!

I eat popcorn two or three times a month. It’s one little fun thing my husband and I enjoy after prayer meeting on Wednesday night. We’ll pop the corn, turn on Andy Griffith and snuggle together on the sofa and munch and laugh. Sweet times…or maybe salty, but it’s delicious and it’s my favorite snack!

What is your favorite snack?

Denise

entertaining · snack

Sweet & Salty Treat

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With the holidays around the corner, you will probably need a little treat.  If you want to make something that’s super fast and super delicious, I have the perfect suggestion.  I’m not sure you could even call this a “recipe” because it requires no baking or even baking skills!  Melt some chocolate, caramel and pour over pretzels.  That’s pretty much what you do!  Here are the ingredients and the instructions:

Ingredients
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used a chocolate bar I had on hand)
  • 8 ounces mini pretzel twists , half of a regular 16-ounce bag
  • 11 ounce bag Kraft Caramel Bits
  • Sea salt for sprinkling

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Instructions
  1. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt 8 ounces of the chocolate chips gently in the microwave (on low heat, stirring every 15 seconds) until smooth.

  3. Spread the chocolate evenly over the parchment. Immediately add the pretzel twists over the top (it’s fine if they overlap!) and gently press them into the chocolate.

  4. Add caramel bits to a microwave safe bowl with 2 tablespoons water and melt according to package instructions (on high for 2 minutes). Stir well and drizzle the melted caramel over the top of all of the pretzels.
  5. Melt remaining 4 ounces of chocolate and drizzle over the caramel. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  6. Refrigerate until hardened.
  7. Cut into pieces, I found it best to serve them in cupcake liners for individual servings.  It looks better than a pile would!

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These are delicious and so easy.  What event is coming up that you could take these to?!  I took them to the Pinterest Party at our church this past weekend and came home with empty platters!
With love from my country kitchen,
Denise Signature 150 px
entertaining · Fall · hospitality · snack

Bridal Shower & Fun Food

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I love hosting showers – Bridal showers, Baby showers – they’re just so much fun!  It’s great to get a little creative with the display of the food, as well as the decor, but then the food can be a whole mixture of things you wouldn’t normally put on your menu, like snack foods.

I got to host a bridal shower here a couple weekends ago and using the Theme “Fall in Love” I decorated with fall items, and fixed fall-type foods.  Here was the menu:

Chili Bar
Fritos ~Hot Dogs~Crackers
Cheese Ball
Munch & Crunch Mix
Veggie Tray ~ Hummus ~ Ranch Dip
German Chocolate Cupcakes
Cider~Iced Tea~Coffee~Water

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Today I’m going to highlight and share the Crunch & Munch Snack Mix – it was a new recipe to me and I loved it!  From the way it disappeared during the shower, I think everyone else enjoyed it, too!  It’s another Gooseberry Patch recipe. It’s the perfect blend of a little spicy and a little sweet. It mixes up in ten minutes and takes 25 minutes to bake.  I doubled the recipe, and would advise you to do the same.  You have a whole bag or box of each of the ingredients; it only makes sense to use it while it’s fresh!

bridal shower 1a

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mini pretzels
  • 1 cup corn chips
  • 1 cup oyster crackers
  • 1 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seed kernels
  • 1 cup honey-roasted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper – I left this out.  Add if you love spicy foods!

Toss together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; set aside. Whisk together butter and remaining 6 ingredients in another bowl; pour over snack mix, stirring to coat. Spread mix in a roasting pan; bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes, stirring after 12 minutes. Cool completely; store in an airtight container.

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For the decor, I used large, square flannel scarves as “runners” and then used all my fall pumpkins, gourds, bittersweet branches and even some branches from outside.  I filled a tall vase with the real branches and tied cardboard leaves on.  I asked each guest to take a leaf off and write her best piece of marriage advice for the bride-to-be.

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We had a great time honoring the bride and the fellowship we enjoyed around the fall foods was a special blessing!

I hope you’ll try the snack mix – it would be great for any gathering or even movie night at your house!  You might make up small bags-full for your favorite Halloween Trick-or-Treaters!

If I told you the snack mix was my favorite thing I served that wouldn’t quite be true because THE CUPCAKES…Oh my!  You’ll have to wait until next Monday for that recipe, though.  Until then, enjoy Crunching and Munching!!

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px