I had such a fun Mother's Day weekend. Gerhardt and I went to Leavenworth, which is the inspiration for my "Life in Icicle Falls" series. In addition to meeting readers and signing books, we had some girl time on Saturday afternoon and made these darling high heel cupcakes that my daughter found and displayed on her Facebook page. I tried to find the original source for this recipe but it's all over the Internet and I'm not sure who originally came up with the idea. In fact, you can see a lot more complex and fancy versions if you poke around. I just love the idea and think these are perfect for a b
This is such a simple yet adorable recipe. All you need is cupcakes (make your favorite flavor!), Milano cookies, Pepperidge Farm Pirouette rolled wafers, and frosting. As you can probably see we had some frosting issues. This was because we were traveling and my daughter had to buy canned frosting. Best bet is to make your own frosting and make it thick and sturdy enough to hold up your cookies. (Actually for my glue, I would use royal icing and then ice the cupcake with butter cream frosting). To assemble, cut off the rolled wafer to the desired heel length. Put frosting on each end. One to anchor it and the other to glue it to the cookie. Stick your cookie into the cupcake at a slight angle and then balance and glue it onto the rolled wafer "heel". Then secure your heel to your cake plate. One assembled decorate with frosting.
So, you may be wondering where the pretty picture of the dessert is. Well, I'll tell you... it went down the gullet of the man in the picture. I made this yesterday when some of my girlfriends were out for lunch - it's perfect for St. Patty's day, pretty and easy to make! I had three pieces left and I thought, oh I'll take a picture of one so everybody can see just how pretty it is. But, by the time I returned from my local RWA meeting SOMEONE had eaten it all! All three big pieces. Oink, oink! And you can see how ashamed he is. He did look very guilty when I asked where it went, but obviously Gerhardt has learned that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Anyway, here's the recipe. BTW, you can make half the recipe if you have a small group coming and put it in a 9 X 9 square baking pan. (Which is what I did yesterday. Obviously, I should have made the entire amount!)
1 cup flour
1 cube of butter
1 Tb. sugar
Directions: Mix the above and press into a 9 X 13 inch baking pan. (BTW, this last time I made this I didn't butter the pan. I think next time I will since my crust stuck.) Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. (Of course, the sticking crust could have had something to do with the fact that I baked the crust longer than 10 minutes.)
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cool whip
Blend the above ingredients and spread over the cooled crust.
2 packages instant pistachio pudding mix
3 cups milk
Directions: Mix according to package directions and then pour over cream cheese mixture. Chill until firm. Spread with cool whip. (I actually whip up about a cup and a half of real whipped cream and top with that.)
If you want you can make your crust the day/night before your party. Once the crust is made, you're done making this dessert in a snap.
What a great month February is! We get to celebrate love with Valentine's Day and our history with Presidents' Day. And I get to celebrate my birthday. With chocolate. Speaking of chocolate, I have a wonderful recipe I'm going to try this month. This is courtesy of Gail, one of my fabulous friends on my Facebook Like page. I think these sound yummy, don't you?
BLACK FOREST BROWNIES
One 21.5 ounce brownie mix
One can cherry pie filling
1/4 cup oil
Directions: Mix together brownie mix, cherry pie filling, oil and eggs. Grease the bottom of a 13 X 9 inch pan and pour in mix. Bake at 350 for 30 - 35 minutes. Remove from oven. Spread with your favorite frosting (Gail recommends chocolate - so do I!) Spread when melted. Cool and cut into squares. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum!
I got this recipe years ago from a good friend. She swore me to secrecy and I kept her secret for years and years. Then one year I saw the top secret recipe in an issue of PREVENTION MAGAZINE and figured, okay, the secret is out. So I put the recipe in my novel ON STRIKE FOR CHRISTMAS. If you read my blog you know that I just finished making these with my daughter and granddaughters. Next to those iced sugar cookies these are my all-time favorite. And if you make them I bet they'll be yours, too. Here's the recipe.
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (recipe calls for dark brown but I use light)
2 Tbsp water
2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 boxes (actually, I use 3) Andes mints (or 2 bags)
In a large, heavy saucepan over low heat, melt butter, sugar and water until butter is melted. Add chocolate chips and stir until partially melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted. Pour into large mixing bowl and let stand 10 minutes to cool slightly. With mixer at high speed, beat in eggs, one at a time. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients, beating just until blended. Chill dough 1 hour for easier handling. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 cooky sheets with foil. Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake 12- 13 minutes. No longer. (Cookies will crisp as they cool.) Remove from oven and immediately place a mint on top of each cooky. Allow to soften, then swirl over top. If desired, decorate with chocolate sprinkles. REmove from cooky sheets and cool
Makes about 80. (90 calories each. Don't be planning to diet when you eat these!)
We'll be giving this recipe out at my book signing parties in November. But since we're all scattered across the country I thought those of you who can't be part of the fun would enjoy having the recipe. Sooo, here is my Gingerbread Cupcake recipe.
2 3/4 cups cake flour 1/4 cup molasses
2 tsp baking powder 1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ginger 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1/2 tsp cinnamon 2 eggs
1/2 tsp ground cloves 1 cup milk
Using mixer, cream together sugars, butter and molasses, then add in eggs. Once these are mixed, put dry ingredients in a sifter and add, alternating with milk, until everything is well mixed. Pour into lined cupcake tins and back at 350 for 20 minutes. Frost with lemon butter cream or cream cheese frosting.
Makes 20-22 medium sized cupcakes.
If you were to visit the town of Icicle Falls, where all my favorite characters hang out, you'd want to stop in at Zelda's and try the Huckleberry Martini. Charlene Albach (Charley to her friends) offered to share the recipe. And here it is!
1/4 cup huckleberry syrup (you can make this by blending huckleberries in your blender and then heating them on the stove top with some sugar until the sugar dissolves.)
1 shot grenadine
1 shot cream
1 shot vodka
(By the way, if you don't live in an area where you can get your hands on these lovely berries, try substituting blueberries.)
Here's something yummy you can make with your garden zucchini. It's quick and easy and perfect for summer.
2 zucchini (normal size - not the out of control gigantor ones)
2 cups sliced Crimini mushrooms
1/2 onion coarsely chopped
handful of fresh basil leaves, snipped
Stir fry in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until just tender. When almost done sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
The Easter Bunny will be hopping by for a bite of this cake, I guarantee it. A simple cake, but people love it.
1 1/2 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp soda
2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Mix oil, sugar and eggs then sift in dry ingredients and beat. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Frost with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
8 oz cream cheese
3/4 stick butter, room temp
2 tsp vanilla
1 box powdered sugar
1/2 cup nuts
I know you're going to love this recipe contributed by Susan Meeks
CHERRY CHEESE PIE
1 ready made graham cracker pie crust
1 8 oz package of softened cream cheese
1 8 oz container of whipped topping
1/2 cup powdered sugar
canned pie cherry filling
Mix cream cheese, whipped topping and powdered sugar and pour into pie crust. Top with cherry pie filling and refrigerate.
Now, how easy is that! Thanks Susan. I'm sure gonna make this. Yum!
Ambrose the cat, hero of THE NINE LIVES OF CHRISTMAS, thinks we should have a recipe up here in honor of him. (He already has a contest and now he wants a recipe, too. Sheesh.) To keep him happy, here is one I think you will all enjoy. I must give credit to DeeDee, who entered a fabulous recipe when we were searching for ones for next year's book. DeeDee, you inspired me. This is similar to yours... only not quite as much work :)
Mix the following Ingredients together in a large bowl, then store in an airtight container:
2 cups Corn Chex cereal
2 cups roasted peanuts
2 cups broken pretzels
2 cups Reese's Pieces
2 cups white chocolate chips
This stuff is deadly. I probably gained a pound from all the sampling I did. Thanks a lot, Ambrose.