Tag Archives: My Soup for You

A Your Tray or Mine Recipe and an Online Cookie Swap: Chocolate Buttersweets

17 Dec
Chocolate Buttersweets

These are my other top favorite cookie from our trays!

ORIGINALLY POSTED DECEMBER 19, 2014

This week I was invited to participate in such a fun activity: a digital cookie exchange! Now, you know how much I love cookies, and what a fun idea to do an online recipe swap! I was invited by Patience Brewster, a company that offers a unique line of handmade, hand painted ornaments and gifts for holiday and every day decor.  Their products are so beautiful! Every piece in the collection is based on original artwork by artist/designer Patience Brewster and is filled with intricate details and fanciful designs. You can read more about the company here.

As I was going through my favorite cookie recipes, trying to decide which one to choose for today’s online cookie exchange with Patience Brewster, I had such a hard time deciding! Not just any cookie would do. Ultimately I decided to run the recipe for one of my top two favorite Christmas cookies, the Chocolate Buttersweets. These cookies were the ultimate equivalent of a beautiful Patience Brewster ornament, in a cookie. Hand-glazed, multi-step, multi-layer, delectable cookies, beautiful confections….it’s a perfect fit.

Below you’ll find the step-by-step instructions for this cookie. I hope you’ll give it a try, and I certainly hope that you’ll go on over to the Patience Brewster site and and take a look at their beautiful creations.

In the meantime, I’d like to tag my friend Paula over at My Soup for You and invite her to join in on our online cookie exchange! Paula is a wonderful cook and baker, and I know she’ll be doing some baking this weekend, too! In fact, I’d like to challenge all of my readers and fellow bloggers. Link up a great cookie recipe in the comments here, blog about a good cookie recipe on your own blog, or share a cookie recipe wherever you share, and tag us all!

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ORIGINALLY POSTED DECEMBER 19, 2011

When I first began the Your Tray or Mine series of recipes earlier this month, I began with the Chocolate Thumbprints, which I said were one of my top two favorite cookie recipes from the trays my mom and I do. Today’s cookie, the Chocolate Buttersweets, are my other top favorite cookie on the tray.

This recipe is not complicated, although it does have three distinct steps: the cookie, the filling and the frosting. Because the cookie should be frosted when it’s warm (but not hot) I recommend prepping the filling first, so that it’s ready. Then make your cookies, and after they are filled, make your frosting and frost the filled cookies.

INGREDIENTS

Cookie base for chocolate buttersweets

If you have a wooden spoon with a round handle, you can use it to poke the holes in the tops of the cookies before baking.

Cookies:
1 cup margarine or butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour (we also make these gluten free, using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 flour)

**Filling:
6 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners sugar
4 TBL flour
2 tsp vanilla

Frosting:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 TBL butter or margarine
4 TBL water
1 cup confectioners sugar

DIRECTIONS:
**Prepare the filling first. The cookies, when done, need to be filled while warm. Have the filling ready to go.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

FOR COOKIES:
1) In large bowl cream together butter, confectioners sugar, salt and vanilla.
2) Gradually add flour to creamed mixture, mix well.
3) Roll dough into 1″ balls, placing them 2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
4) Press hole in center of each cookie with finger or the handle end of wooden spoon (if handle is round, not flat.)
5) Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes until edges are lightly brown.
6) Fill while warm
7) Frost

Filled Chocolate Buttersweets

Step two: fill the cookies while warm.

FOR FILLING:
Soften cream cheese. Blend in sugar, flour, vanilla. Cream well. Fill cookies.

FOR FROSTING:
In small saucepan melt chocolate chips, butter, and water over low heat. Stir constantly. Stir in confectioners sugar and mix well. Will be lumpy at first until the sugar melts. Spoon a little frosting onto each cookie.

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Fun Friday: Chocolate Raspberry Brownies from My Soup for You

12 Feb

1Happy Friday!

It’s very cold here and today’s recipe will warm your heart. It’s from my friend Paula’s blog, My Soup for You, and it’s a delicious fudgy brownie with a hint of raspberry.

To me, there’s nothing more decadent than chocolate and raspberry together. I have always loved it. I love it in chocolate raspberry chip yogurt, in a big box of chocolates and pretty much any other way I can get it.

So on Superbowl Sunday night when this link appeared on my Facebook timeline, I gasped out loud. I don’t like football, but I love my friend Paula’s blog, I love a great brownie recipe and I love the addition of raspberry jam in the recipe. I examined the ingredients and I had them all, as long as I substituted the same amount of brown sugar for the turbinado sugar, and as long as I used the Pillsbury Gluten Free flour blend that I’ve been using in most of my baking so that everyone could eat them. In fact, as luck would have it, I’d just bought a new jar of raspberry jam that very afternoon, so I was in business.

2The new recipe gave me the opportunity to use a new cooking tool from my Pampered Chef hostess gifts, the small micro-cooker. I had decided to start small and order the small one first and if I felt I needed the next size, I could order the large one at a later date.

I really loved this new tool! I was able to melt my chocolate, butter, brown sugar, white sugar and jam all in this one small cooker in the microwave. It made making these brownies very easy and with minimal cleanup afterwards since I used so few bowls. I am someone who has burned chocolate chips in the microwave in the past, so this was a great addition to my cookware and I was relieved not to see any smoke or charred chocolate this time around.

I also used another little Pampered Chef tool that I got from my hostess benefits: the test and release tool. It’s a cake tester on one side and a tool that allows you to go all around the edges of your baked goods to easily release them from the edge of the baking dish. It’s curved just enough to get underneath the baked goods a bit. I’ve used it with cupcakes, banana bread, and now brownies, and I love it every time. Pampered Chef always seems to know what we need and creates it for us. This was such a simple concept and yet, so helpful.

Our brownies were a huge hit on Superbowl Sunday and throughout the rest of this week as we munched away on the leftovers. I’d most definitely make them again. Making them gluten free did not seem to change the recipe at all. The consistency of the brownies was great, and the taste was perfect.

3I’m also sharing a tip with you today. I shared it on Facebook on Sunday night as I was posting about my brownies and some people had heard it before, while some people had not, so I thought I’d add it in here as well. Last year I was cutting still-warm brownies at some event or other and they were getting all gunked up on the knife that I was using. My Grandma Grello, (who happens to be a die-hard Patriots fan, by the way) was watching and she said to me, “You need to use a plastic knife. If you use a plastic knife, the brownies won’t do that.” I suddenly remembered her advice when I was getting ready to cut the brownies last week, which were in fact, still warm. I went into my pantry closet and got a plastic knife. Sure enough, they were very easy to cut, with the knife sliding right on through each and every row. Grandma Grello has 95 years of experience under her belt and she’s been cooking and baking with the best of them throughout those years. I take anything she says as pretty solid advice. I wouldn’t pass it along to you if I didn’t!

With Valentine’s Day coming up this weekend, this would make a great treat for you or your loved ones and it’s certainly cold enough here to enjoy a warm treat, just make sure you use a plastic knife when you cut it!

Have a great weekend!

 

Get your pumpkin on and Go Orange for No Kid Hungry!

1 Oct
Thanks to Paula over at My Soup For You for teaming up with me today to bring you some great pumpkin recipes, and for bringing even more awareness to No Kid Hungry!

Thanks to Paula over at My Soup For You for teaming up with me today to bring you some great pumpkin recipes, and for bringing even more awareness to No Kid Hungry!

It’s October! It’s fall. It’s the season of beautiful leaves, fun autumn events like apple picking, hay rides and pumpkin carving.

Pumpkin….mmmmm…..does it make you think of pumpkin spiced coffee, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin pie?!

Me too!!

We’re a lucky bunch, most of us. We can run through the drive through at the local donut shop and get this month’s pumpkin flavored muffin or drink, without too much of a struggle. We can pop a recipe for my good friend Paula’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread or her Pumpkin Soup right into the oven and enjoy it without too much trouble. All those warm, orange flavors warm our bellies and our thoughts all throughout the fall.

We’re very lucky.

Not everyone is so lucky, however. According to the No Kid Hungry statistics for our local area, as of June 2013 (more than a year ago), 22% of kids in our little state were struggling with hunger. Fifty-five percent of them were eligible for free or reduced lunch at school, and only 51% of those students were eating school breakfast.

At a recent school event I covered for the newspaper earlier this month, when a room full of young students were asked what the most important thing was that they’d miss if they were late to school, their answer wasn’t attendance, or morning math, or reading, it was breakfast. Every student who raised their hand was worried that if they were late to school in the morning, they’d go hungry until lunchtime.

Childhood hunger across our nation is a growing problem, but we can do something to help.

Last year, you may remember that our own family started a local Go Orange Day for No Kid Hungry after seeing a television commercial about the nationwide effort to help end childhood hunger. Nationally, the official Go Orange Day for No Kid Hungry is at the end of September, but we opted to do ours just a little bit later at the start of October. It was a big success. We rallied our large school district, the superintendent’s offices and City Hall all to Go Orange for No Kid Hungry, and raised over $1000 in monetary donations as well as bringing in hundreds of pounds of non-perishable food items for our local food pantry. We were helping to put food on the tables of families all around us, and it was a great feeling.  All around us, local restaurants and other establishments went Orange as well, donating portions of their proceeds to the No Kid Hungry effort, and wearing orange to show their spirit.

This year, we’re doing it again. We’ve pushed our date out slightly further, and this year on Friday, October 31, Halloween Day we’ll be getting our pumpkin on, going Orange for No Kid Hungry again. We’ve rallied our school district, our superintendent’s office, City Hall, and even our church to help us put an end to childhood hunger again this year. So far we’ve had TEN local responses for going Orange on Halloween Day. Even more exciting, we’ve had some inquiries from local folks wanting to spread this year’s local Go Orange day to their communities and schools within our state and neighboring areas. All around our city, people will be showing their Halloween spirit, dressing in orange, donating money and/or non-perishable food items on Halloween Day and helping out their neighbors all in a day’s work.

We are thrilled. Wouldn’t it be great if we could really make a difference EVERY YEAR?

Wouldn’t it be great if just by spreading awareness and spreading the word, we could help feed other families?

We are foodies, we are blessed, we are thankful to be able to cook and bake and eat our fun pumpkin flavors in the spirit of the season, all month long.

So I ask you: will you get your pumpkin on this Halloween Day too? Will you spread the awareness of childhood hunger in your area and continue the good work of No Kid Hungry and their Go Orange efforts in your city or town, at your school or church or temple? Will you help?

Get your pumpkin on. Visit Paula’s blog over at My Soup for You and help her spread the word too. Make some Pumpkin Soup. Grab some Pilgrim Pies, eat some pumpkin spiced Chex snack mix, and be thoughtful, be thankful that you can help another family in such a simple way.

 

 

Fun Friday: Paula’s Whole Bag of Chips Bars

24 Jan
These were delicious, especially when topped with ice cream!

These were delicious, especially when topped with ice cream!

If you’re a longtime reader, you know that I often reference my friend Paula’s blog, My Soup for You. It’s a great blog and it’s so much more than soup!

Most recently I was honored when I saw that Paula had posted a new dessert recipe on her blog, and lo and behold, she named it after my blog! When I saw the post for The Whole Bag of Chips Bars, I was so flattered, and of course I had to make Paula’s recipe right away!

The recipe is a healthier dessert treat, but it includes of course, The Whole Bag of Chips! It also uses I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, an ingredient I now use instead of butter in all of my baking, and white wheat flour, another staple in our pantry here at home.

I hope you’ll head on over to My Soup for You and take a look at all of Paula’s recipes, but most especially The Whole Bag of Chips Bars! She wrote up the nicest post, you’ll want to read it!

Here is her recipe, just as she has it on her blog.

Enjoy!

Whole Bag of Chips Bars
1 cup I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups white wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
splash of milk
A twelve ounce bag of baking chips of your choice – I used semi-sweet chocolate

1. Combine butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla and mix until nice and velvety and smooth
2. Add the salt and baking soda to the flour, and add that to the sugar etc a little bit at a time because you probably will still have the mixer on and you don’t want to make a mess.
3. Add in a splash of milk and mix thoroughly.
4. Stir in the WHOLE BAG OF CHIPS!
5. Transfer batter to a 9×13 baking pan sprayed well with cooking spray.
6. Bake at 350 for at least 40 minutes. These are very thick bars and take a long time to bake.

What’s For Dinner Wednesday: Cream of Broccoli Soup

20 Feb
This soup is perfect for a cold winter day!

This soup is perfect for a cold winter day!

We have had some pretty chilly days this winter. Some days there’s nothing that hits the spot like a hot bowl of soup, and I’m a huge fan of creamy soups, which is why today’s post is a favorite of mine.

The other reason it’s a favorite is that it brings back memories, and I love recipes that remind me of the past.

This recipe is from my college roommate Karen, from the cookbook she made for me when we graduated.  The thing is, I can distinctly remember a time when we were roommates that I had a terrible sore throat and laryngitis.

Karen made me this soup. I can picture myself sitting at our kitchen table that day, eating her soup. Every time I eat broccoli soup actually, I think of that day.

And a few weeks ago when I made the soup, I thought once again, of that day.

This was the first time I actually made the soup. I’ve never been very brave with soups before, I’ve mostly left them to Don other than a basic chicken soup. But since my friend Paula’s My Soup For You blog has been in existence, I’ve gotten very brave and I’ve since made several soups. In fact, she and I each made a version of a cream of broccoli soup within a day of each other and we didn’t even know it.

As far as my family goes, Caroline and I loved this soup the most. Between the two of us, we enjoyed it over several days’ time, and she liked coming home and having a mug of it after school on cold afternoons.

Here is the recipe for Karen’s Cream of Broccoli Soup. I hope it warms you up on a cold winter’s day!

I used fresh broccoli for my soup.

I used fresh broccoli for my soup.

CREAM OF BROCCOLI SOUP
INGREDIENTS

6 cups chopped broccoli

3 and 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup flour

2 cups skim milk

1 tsp. butter

8 oz. cheddar cheese, cubed (I used fat free cheddar, shredded.)

Although I used a blender for this, it was definitely more of a food processor recipe, and I didn't use ours!

Although I used a blender for this, it was definitely more of a food processor recipe, and I didn’t use ours!

DIRECTIONS

Simmer broccoli in chicken broth until tender.

Remove bulk of broccoli and in blender or food processor, process the broccoli, onion and celery until smooth. Set aside.

Combine milk and flour in a separate container until dissolved.

Slowly add to broth, stirring until it begins to thicken.

Add puree, butter, salt and pepper to taste.

Stir until it begins to simmer.

Add cheese and stir until melted.

What now?

15 Dec
The angels are crying right along with us today.

The angels are crying right along with us today.

Yesterday was another one of those days that will be burned into our memories as a horrible, horrible day.

I’m pretty sure I am not the only one who woke up this morning and opened my eyes trying to think for a moment of what that awful thing was that I was trying to remember. What had happened yesterday? Oh yes, then I remembered.

A massacre happened.

Again.

I wondered exactly how to go about my day. On the one hand, you want to stay hunkered down in the safety of your own home with your own babies and never let them go, not even to school on Monday.

But then you think of all the other parents and families  out there who are in the midst of the worst nightmare of their lives who would give anything to take their kids to the most mundane of tasks this weekend.

And you wonder, do you keep going about your normal events of your days, of Christmas for them? For those who cannot ever again?

My friend Paula has a new soup blog, all soup recipes, and her new post for today is perfect. It’s a perfect answer for what we do today.

I hope you’ll read it and I hope you too, will put on a pot of Sandy Hook Soup in honor of all those who are living this nightmare.