Author Archives: Jenny

Baking Some Love with Holiday Snowball Cookies

Written by Jenny -

Holiday Snowball Cookies Recipe

Chris’s blog about those yummy-looking Easy Ovaltine Sugar Cookies got me thinking about what holiday treats will be made in my kitchen over the next few weeks. I’m sure many of you find this rather odd. Maybe you think I have had my list planned for weeks being that I work in a kitchen or that I started baking awhile ago and froze them (I wish I was that organized!). True confession, some years including this one, I have a very hard time deciding on what to bake- so many recipes to choose from! My head is full of questions right now. What favorites of the family should I make again? Any new recipes to try? What was that recipe that my nephew loved so much? Where is that recipe that my nephew loved so much? Even while writing this, I am jotting down a list of treat contenders. One thing I do know is that these Holiday Snowball Cookies will be made at least once, maybe twice. These bite-size shortbread-style cookies are festive with our Limited Edition Holiday Morsels, a mix of semi-sweet chocolate, red and green morsels which are available at retailers now.  This recipe is wonderful made with made with semi-sweet chocolate mini morsels too.

Holiday Snowball Cookies

Ingredients for 4 1/2 dozen cookies:

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Holiday Morsels
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
  • Powdered sugar

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

BEAT butter, sugar, vanilla extract and salt in large mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour; stir in morsels and nuts. Shape level tablespoons of dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set and lightly browned. Remove from oven. Sift powdered sugar over hot cookies on baking sheets. Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar, if desired. Store in airtight containers.

Oh, and don’t forget the secret ingredient…Love!

Links:

Related recipes:

Holiday Peppermint Bark Recipe Festive Eggnog Cake Recipe
Holiday Peppermint Bark Festive Eggnog Cake

A Pie of another Shape for the Table…

Written by Jenny -

Chocolate Cream Pie Bars Recipe

It goes without saying that Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie will be gracing most tables Thanksgiving Thursday. I know it will be at mine. There was never a time in my life where pumpkin pie did not make an appearance as the Thanksgiving and Christmas dessert! Pumpkin pie even accompanied us on the road to visit my family for the holiday last year. Even making pumpkin pies holds a special place in my heart.

I do plan on bringing pumpkin pie with us again on our travels but I believe it is good to bring something new for others to try. This year I will be showcasing a pie of another shape for my family – Chocolate Cream Pie Bars made with our Carnation Chocolate Cream Pie Kit. Available in your favorite grocer’s baking aisle, this kit contains mixes for the chocolate crumb crust, chocolate cream filling and whipped topping. Carnation Evaporated Milk is used in the filling and topping for rich flavor. All you need to add is some butter, water and of course, love! To make the bar, just layer it in a 13 x 9-inch dish instead of the pie dish. Very easy to put together and no baking needed – so there is room for other yummies in the oven!

Chocolate Cream Pie Bars

Ingredients for 20 servings

Directions

CHOCOLATE CRUST
MELT butter in medium, microwave-safe bowl. Mix in Crust Mix until well blended. Reserve 1 tablespoon of crust-butter mixture for decoration. Lightly press crust mixture onto bottom of 13 x 9-inch dish or pan.

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE FILLING
ADD Filling Mix, 1 cup CARNATION® Evaporated Milk and 1 cup water to large mixer bowl. Mix on LOW speed for 30 seconds. Scrape bowl. Continue mixing on MEDIUM-HIGH speed until thickened, about 1 minute. Pour filling onto crust; spread evenly.

WHIPPED TOPPING
ADD Topping Mix, remaining 1/2 cup CARNATION® Evaporated Milk and 1/2 cup water to small, dry mixer bowl. Mix on LOW speed for 30 seconds. Scrape bowl. Continue mixing on MEDIUM-HIGH speed, about 3 minutes. Topping will thicken and hold peaks. Spoon over pie filling and spread with spatula. Sprinkle reserved crust-butter mixture over whipped topping.

REFRIGERATE for 3 hours or until firm.

TIP: For easier slicing, carefully dip pie plate in very warm water for 30 seconds.

Below are some other pies to grace your table with! Happy Thanksgiving!

Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie Recipe Easy Pumpkin Cream Pie Recipe
Libby’s Famous
Pumpkin Pie
Easy Pumpkin
Cream Pie
Easy Coconut Banana Cream Pie Recipe No-Fail Sweet Potato Pie Recipe
Easy Coconut
Banana Cream Pie
No-Fail Sweet
Potato Pie

Toll House on TV — Tune Into All Mixed Up!

Written by Jenny -

All Mixed Up Cooking Reality Show

One thing about my job here in the Baking Kitchens is that some days you never know where your job will take you. In this case, it was The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Florida where I was a panel judge for the new reality-based cooking series called “All Mixed Up” premiering on Lifetime TV September 7th at 7:30am (ET/PT). This three-part miniseries is hosted by culinary celebrity chef and TV personality Ralph Pagano. The premise of the show is three up and coming aspiring chefs compete before a panel of judges by taking America’s favorite brands, such as Nestlé Toll House Morsels and turning them into three unique three course meals: an appetizer, entrée and dessert in just 30 minutes! Let me tell you…the game, pressure and the heat were on in the kitchen!

I wanted to share some pictures from our filming behind the scenes.

All Mixed Up Cooking Reality Show

Featured above are the three culinary students of the International Culinary School who really delivered some creative, great tasting dishes with our Nestlé Toll House Dark and Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels. Big wows all around! It was a great honor for me to be in their company and I applaud them for their courage, determination and talent. Featured left to right, above: Ashley Gallant, me, Cameron Bevan and Krystal Battle. They took good care of our Nestlé Toll House chocolate!

All Mixed Up Cooking Reality Show

Host Ralph Pagano explaining the rules of the appetizer challenge to Krystal, Ashley and Cameron.

All Mixed Up Cooking Reality Show

Ralph shown above enjoying some semi-sweet chocolate morsels between scenes; he wasn’t the only one!

All Mixed Up Cooking Reality Show

Krystal in action working with our morsels and cocoa. I wish I could tell you what she was making but I can tell you that it had chocolate in it!

All Mixed Up Cooking Reality Show

I had the privilege of judging with Anthony Mongiello, aka “The Big Cheese,” president and CEO of Formaggio Cheese and Anelisa Durham, spokesperson and model for Kozy Shack Pudding. I know that they would agree with me at how impressed they were with all the dishes brought to the judging table.

All Mixed Up Cooking Reality Show

Ashley, Krystal and Cameron facing the judges above…how did they fare? You’ll have to tune in on Friday, September 7th, September 14th and September 21st at 7:30am on Lifetime Television to find out! For more information on the show and pictures, go to All Mixed Up.

Links:

A Pie Bar You Should Definitely Visit: Chunky Pecan Pie Bars

 

Written by Jenny -

Chunky Pecan Pie Bars Recipe

With all the traveling I’ve done, one place I have never stumbled across was a pie bar! If you come across one, please let me know. I envision it would have a long wooden, handcrafted bar with comfortable stools. Standing behind the bar are “pietenders” reaching up for one of the many beautiful homemade pies displayed on lighted glass shelves waiting to be cut. Flavored whipped creams are available on tap. A scoop of ice cream over a warmed slice is also an option. A girl can dream, right?

There is no ending to the kinds of pie you can have out for the choosing. On a day like today, National Pecan Pie Day, I think this spinoff of a traditional pecan pie, Chunky Pecan Pie Bars, would definitely be a top-shelf selection. A shortbread-style crust, a sweet, vanilla flavored filling with crunchy pecans and sumptuous semi-sweet chocolate chunks…all delish and definitely a pie bar to visit! I hope you feel the same.

Chunky Pecan Pie Bars

Ingredients for 36 bars:

CRUST

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

FILLING

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

FOR CRUST:
BEAT flour, butter and brown sugar in small mixer bowl until crumbly. Press into prepared baking pan.

BAKE for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

FOR FILLING:
BEAT eggs, corn syrup, granulated sugar, butter and vanilla extract in medium bowl with wire whisk. Stir in chunks and nuts. Pour evenly over baked crust.

BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Links:

More pecan pie recipes:

Butterscotch Pecan Perfection Pie RecipeButterscotch Pecan Perfection Pie Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie RecipeChocolate Chunk Pecan Pie

 

Let the Sunshine In! Mini Lemon Cup Candies

Written by Jenny -

Mini Lemon Cup Candies recipe

Lemons make me smile! Why? Well, for starters, their color brings brightness to a dreary day and their citrusy aroma relaxes me instantly. Wouldn’t you agree that dusting (not one of my favorite tasks) is made better with lemon-scented furniture polish?

This “pucker up” fruit is packed with flavor inside and out. Lemon juice or zest adds a spark of flavor to many sweet or savory recipes and drinks. Refreshing and simple, just a thin slice of fresh lemon transforms an ordinary glass of water to another level. I would have to say the same for these Mini Lemon Cup Candies, but all you need is some lemon rind. These bite-size candies are perfect for a shower or a day that needs some sunshine!

Mini Lemon Cup Candies

Ingredients for 42 candies:

  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Premier White Morsels, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons  light corn syrup
  • 42 1-inch paper liners
  • Rind of 1 lemon, grated
  • 1 to 2 drops of yellow food coloring (optional)
  • Powdered sugar for kneading
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Yellow decorator sugar

Directions:

Step 1: Mini Lemon Cup Candies recipe

MELT 1 cup morsels in small, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until melted, as shown above.

Step 2: Mini Lemon Cup Candies recipe

Add corn syrup; stir until well combined. Mixture will be a little grainy. Gather up and form a ball as shown above. Wrap with plastic wrap and let stand for at least 1 hour or until cool. Do not skip this step!

PLACE paper liners on baking sheet.

Step 3: Mini Lemon Cup Candies recipe

KNEAD mixture, lemon peel and 1 to 2 drops food coloring on work surface lightly dusted with powdered sugar until zest and color are worked through and mixture is smooth. Plastic gloves can be worn to prevent food coloring from dying hands.

Step 4: Mini Lemon Cup Candies recipe

Shape into forty-two 3/4-inch balls and flatten slightly. Place one in each liner as shown above. Keep covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying.

MELT remaining morsels and vegetable oil in small, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until melted.

Step 5: Mini Lemon Cup Candies recipe

Spoon 1/2 measuring teaspoon of melted morsels onto each filling as shown above.

Step 6: Mini Lemon Cup Candies recipe

Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm. Store in covered container in refrigerator.

Tip: To keep melted morsels warm, place bowl on top of smaller bowl filled with very warm water. Do not allow water to touch bottom of bowl or allow water to get into melted morsels.

Links:

Related Links:

No-Bake Lemon Cloud Pie recipe
No-Bake Lemon Cloud Pie
Lemon Cheesecake Bars recipe
Lemon Cheesecake Bars

May is for Strawberries: A Berry Good Month!

Written by Jenny -

Strawberries and Cream Sherbert Recipe

May is National Strawberry Month and it couldn’t happen at a better time of year! Reason being is my grandparents would come and visit us for Memorial Day weekend, when we would attend a parade in the area (my grandfather was a World War II veteran) and later, have a barbeque. Once the dishes were cleared away, my grandmother, mom or I would start to hull strawberries for my grandfather’s favorite dessert Strawberry Shortcakes. The strawberries were most always bought from the local farmer’s stand. I can still taste those berries from the stand of long ago when I go strawberry picking with my daughter. Like back then, many of the berries never make their way into the bowl!

For some great tips on strawberries, see Chris’ April 2011 post with more strawberry recipes.

There are many recipes to celebrate the bounty of strawberries this month brings. Here are two new strawberry recipes from our kitchens.

Strawberries & Cream Sherbet is the perfect treat for the hotter months approaching or already here for some of you. I love the simplicity of this recipe and the evaporated milk brings the creaminess without all the fat and calories. Plus, no ice cream maker required!

Strawberries & Cream Sherbet (shown above)

Ingredients for 10 servings, 1/2 cup each:

Directions:

PLACE frozen strawberries, evaporated milk, sugar and lemon juice in food processor; process until smooth.

POUR into 8-inch-square baking pan. Place in freezer for about 20 minutes, until ice crystals begin to form around edge of dish. Using fork, stir icy portions into middle of pan. Repeat, stirring edges into center every 20 minutes or until frozen (about 1 hour). Cover tightly. Freeze for up to 2 months. To serve, scoop into small paper cups, paper cones or martini glasses.

TIP: 3 cups fresh, whole strawberries can be substituted for frozen. Freeze berries before using.

Strawberry Wheat Germ Smoothie Recipe

Continuing on the smoothie kick, Strawberry Wheat Germ Smoothie made with nonfat dry milk will have you licking your lips and spoon. It’s loaded with good-for-you nutrients like Vitamin E and C, folic acid and calcium and is “berry good” to boot!

Strawberry Wheat Germ Smoothie

Ingredients for 2 servings, 1 cup each:

Directions:

PLACE frozen strawberries, orange juice, dry milk, ice and wheat germ in blender; cover. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Links:

More strawberry recipes:

Strawberry Shortcakes Recipe
Strawberry Shortcakes
 Strawberry Cheesecake Pie Recipe
Strawberry Cheesecake Pie
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