Ghost Brownies

Here is a super fun and easy dessert to make for Halloween! It’s so easy you don’t even really need a recipe. Just make a 9 x 13 pan of your favorite brownies (boxed or homemade it doesn’t matter). Cut them into squares, unless you have a brownie pan like me and then it does that for you (thanks dad I love my brownie pan)! Place a large marshmallow on top of each square. Get a container of vanilla frosting, take the tops off and microwave for 20 seconds. This makes the frosting looser so that you can drizzle it over the marshmallow. Drizzle about a tablespoon of frosting over the marshmallow. Allow frosting to set for about 10 minutes and then with black decorating gel pipe on eyes and mouth. That’s it, nothing fancy. The kids were so excited when I brought these over to dinner the other night. they loved them!

 

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Apple Pie Bars

I made these yummy Apple Pie Bars the other night when the family came over for dinner. I found the recipe in an old Taste Of Home magazine. It won the grand prize for their Dessert bar contest and I definitely now know why. These Apple Pie Bars had all of the delicious goodness of a home-made apple pie in the form of a bar cookie. This is a very good way to serve apple pie to a larger crowd. My very bad picture-taking skills does these no justice, (to dark) sorry! Anyway……. Here’s the recipe..

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 8 to 10 Tablespoons cold water

Filling:

  • 7 cups finely chopped peeled apples
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • dash ground nutmeg

Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  1. In a bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks, lemon juice and water; gradually add to flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide in half. Chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Roll out one portion of dough between two large sheets of waxed paper into a 17-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Transfer to an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Press pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of pan; trim pastry even with top edge.
  3. In a bowl, toss the apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; spread over crust. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pan; place over filling. Trim edges; brush edges between pastry with water or milk; pinch to seal. Cut slits in top. Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients until smooth; drizzle over bars before cutting.

One-Bowl Brownies

 

 

 

I was searching for a lactose free dessert when I came across this recipe for One-Bowl Brownies in my Taste of Home 30-Minute Cookbook. Not only were these brownies delicious, they were so easy to make. Just as easy as a boxed mix, and these my grandma could eat since they are lactose free. This brownie recipe is the perfect recipe to have on hand, you could add to it for different flavor combinations. My mom made them and added marshmallows, I just sprinkled powdered sugar on the tops of these ones. I think next time I might try a peanut butter or caramel combo.

The ingredients are:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add oil, eggs and vanilla; stir just until moistened. Do not overmix.
  2. Spread in a greased 13×9 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Yield: 2 to 2-1/2 dozen

This is the same recipe with marshmellows!

 

 

No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake

No-bake Strawberry Cheesecake, the perfect summer dessert! Easy, delicious, and I didn’t have to turn on my oven! This is the dessert I made for our kick off the summer family BBQ and we all loved it. Garnish with some blueberries and this would make a perfect red, white, and blue fourth of July dessert! I found the recipe in an old Food & Family magazine (summer 2008).

After a couple small changes from me,the ingredients are:

  • 12 Honey Grahams, finely crushed (about 2 cups crumbs)
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 Cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 4 Pkgs. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 Cup strawberry preserves
  • 2 Cups fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip whipped Topping, thawed
  1. Mix graham crumbs, butter and 1/4 cup of the sugar; press onto bottom of 13×9-inch pan. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
  2. Beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup of the sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Add preserves; mix well. Place strawberries and remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar in small bowl; mash with fork. Stir strawberry mixture and whipped topping into cheese mixture. Spoon over crust; cover. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Store in refrigerator.

Makes 16 servings

Cream Cheese Sheet Cake

The family got together for a wonderful Mothers Day BBQ to honor all of our wonderful Mommies. My grandmother being the first, my mother and aunts being next and then me! It was a great day with lots of delicious food (of course)! I woke up mothers day morning wanting to bake, so I made three desserts to take to the BBQ. This Cream Cheese Sheet Cake was one of them. The cake was so moist and the thin layer of chocolate frosting was perfect! I got the recipe out of my Taste of Home’s Contest Winning Annual Recipes 2006.

The ingredients are:

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2-1/4 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-1/4 cups cake flour

Frosting:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter, cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour; mix well. Pour into a greased 15-in. x 11-in. baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  2. For frosting, combine sugar and milk in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and cook for 3 minutes (do not stir). Stir in butter and chocolate chips until melted. Cool slightly. Stir; spread over cake.

Yield: 24-30 servings

Cinnamon Cheesecake Bars

 

I’m going to start this post off by saying everyone should have this dessert recipe in their files! I have had this recipe for Cinnamon Cheesecake Bars for around 10 years now. I have brought them to numerous gatherings, Bunco night, fundraisers, BBQ’s, Birthday Parties, Brunches. Wherever you need to go and bring a dessert or whenever, these bars will be loved! What also makes this recipe so great is that I can prepare it in only a few minutes, and I normally have all of the ingredients on hand. Without fail if I bring these somewhere I am asked for the recipe. So here it is just click and print! They are not super fancy but they are delicious and sooo easy to make!

The ingredients are:

  • 2 tubes of crescent rolls
  • 2 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar plus 1/2 cup sugar for the topping
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Flatten one tube of crescent rolls in bottom of ungreased 9×13″ pan.
  3. Mix cream cheese with 1 cup sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Spread mixture evenly on dough. Place the remaining tube of rolls over filling and with fingers press perforations together.Drizzle melted butter over top layer of dough.
  4. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of melted butter.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool. Refrigerate well before serving.
  6. Enjoy!

 

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Here is another great dessert I served on Superbowl Sunday along with the Football Cupcakes. This recipe for Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies is very good. I found it in an Allyou magazine. The brownies are moist with a nice peanut butter flavor. Everyone enjoyed them! The ingredients are:

  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used 4oz. semisweet chocolate chips)
  • 20 Tbsp. (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use all natural)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with foil; mist foil with cooking spray. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate with 2 sticks butter, stirring until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature.
  2. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, cream peanut butter, brown sugar, cream cheese and remaining 1/2 stick butter until well combined, about 3 minutes. Beat in 1 egg.
  3. Whisk 4 eggs, sugar and vanilla into bowl with melted chocolate; mix well. Stir in flour and salt. Pour batter into baking pan. Spoon reserved peanut-butter mixture on top and use a sharp knife to swirl mixtures together. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 50 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut and serve.

Pumpkin Bars

We had a get together Friday night with some family and friends and as always we had lots of yummy food to eat. I’m going to share a couple of the recipes that we had that night with you. First off, the Pumpkin Bars. This was a favorite of the night. These bars are the moistest cake like bars I have ever had. The perfect pumpkin taste with a thin layer of yummy cream cheese frosting. This is the perfect dessert to make if you have to serve a lot of people, as it makes a large sheet cake. The ingredients are:

  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 t. Baking powder
  • 1 t. Baking soda
  • 2 t. Cinnamon
  • 1 Cup oil
  • 1 Can (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • 2 Eggs

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 1 stick Butter (softened)
  • 1 T. Milk
  • 1 t. Vanilla
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease an 18×12″ sheet cake pan.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients.
  4. Add the oil, pumpkin, and eggs and mix until all combined.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool and then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

For frosting

  1. Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Add milk and vanilla and mix,
  3. Then add powdered sugar and combine until smooth.

(Note: If you don’t have an 18×12″ sheet pan you can use a 15×10″ pan and then increase baking time to 20 minutes. It will turn out more like a sheet cake than bars but it will still be delicious.)

Apple-Raisin Bars

The women in my family love to cook. It is a passion and a bond that we share. We all try to get together once a week for family cook night. On this night we all bring a new recipe to share. One that we’ve either created ourselves or tried from a cookbook or magazine. Sometimes the recipes are great (we call those keepers), sometimes they are just OK (good enough to eat for the night but probably wouldn’t make it again), and then sometimes they are just plain Yukky (bummer but when you are trying new recipes that happens).

This last week we got together and all in all the recipes were pretty good. My mom made a Beef and Broccoli dish (the recipe was from an Everyday Food magazine) that was good but not as good as the Beef and Broccoli recipe she already has (I’ll have to share that recipe another day). I made a Paula Deen recipe for shrimp and vegetable tempura that was not good at all. It was not light and crunchy like tempura should be. After some doctoring up it was edible but I definitely won’t be sharing that recipe either. The star of the night was the Apple-Raisin Bars that my Aunt made. She found the recipe in a Family Circle magazine. We all really enjoyed these bars! The apples and raisins with the spice of the cinnamon was perfect. This recipe was definitely a keeper, so I’ll share this one with you.

The ingredients are:

  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups diced Golden Delicious apple
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Liberally coat a 13×9″ baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, blend together sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla for 3 minutes or until smooth.
  5. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture; mix for 2 minutes or until just incorporated. Stir in diced apples and raisins and spread into prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting into bars and serving.

Enjoy!