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Sneaky Snickers Cookies

Right about now, if you’re like me, you’re contemplating what to leave for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve and also eyeing that leftover Halloween candy thinking, “What to do with all that chocolate?”  (Disclaimer:  We dole out candy with great restraint which means I have heaps of Halloween candy leftover.  Should you not have this problem, a run to the grocery store might in order…)

Sneaky Snickers Cookies

I have the answer for you – Sneaky Snickers Cookies!  These are really easy to make – the Misses helped me wrap the Snickers in dough and the resulting cookies are yummy, peanut buttery with a surprise in the middle!  My girls love these cookies.  Candy in a cookie?  What’s not to love?

Santa will thank you.  :)

Sneaky Snickers Cookies

Yield:  About 52 cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 tsp. baking soda

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 (11.5 ounce) bags Snickers Miniatures (or use Fun-Size Snickers cut in half)

1.  In food processor, process together butter, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, salt and vanilla extract until fluffy.  Scrape down the bowl as needed.

2.  Add the eggs and baking soda; pulse to combine.

3.  Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add flour and beat until just incorporated without overmixing.

4.  Wrap dough in wax paper and store in covered container.  Refrigerate for 2 hours or more before baking.  [I prepared the dough one evening and baked the cookies the next evening.]

5.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Unwrap 52 mini Snickers bars.

6.  With a standard cookie scoop (size 50, which holds 5/8 ounce or 1 1/4 tablespoons) or a heaping tablespoon, scoop the dough into your hand.

7.  Press the dough together and flatten.

8.  Place a Snickers bar in the center of the dough and push the dough around to seal.

9.  Place about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets and bake for about 12 minutes.

10.  Let cookies rest on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to racks to cool completely.

Note:  If your Snickers are not fresh, try smashing them down a little before pressing in the dough so the candy bar doesn’t show through.

Source:  Houston Chronicle, October 27, 2009

The nutritional information is over on the Chronicle’s website.  Go look if you must, I didn’t want to ruin these for you.

Moji-toes :)

No, not a Friday Cocktail today, but I am being thematic!

I bought this polish right before Halloween and told Miss E that it was “Frankenstein Green.”  She believed me, sweet girl that she is, but it is really “Mojito Madness” by Essie.

Mojito Madness

It totally is not this kelly green.  Really looks just like you think Frankenstein’s face would look! :)

Miss F was my model for this – her toes are much cuter than mine!  And this was her first pedi (done by me, so not a very good one, but she loved it nonetheless…)

Moji-toes

Currently loving the Moji-toes!  :)

Key Lime Pie Tartlets

So, I’ve been AWOL for almost a month now.  I hate that, because I really like sharing things with whomever is “out there” reading this.  Life has gotten in my face lately and I feel like I don’t have time to breathe, much less take time for a me-thing like my little blog.  Holidays, trying to deal with middle school applications and testing, a crushing workload, family drama – all the normal, everyday life things that demand attention RIGHT NOW.

I was also in Houston in early November for the celebration of life we held for my father.  It was a lovely, casual celebration with Mexican food and margaritas at home.  The restaurant that catered the event didn’t bring dessert, so I made these Key Lime Pie Tartlets that were delicious and appropriate.  One of the very few recipes that I remember my dad ever making was a Key lime pie from a restaurant in Houston.  I’m not even sure why he decided to try it, but it is hands down the best Key lime pie recipe that I’ve ever made and the only one that I make.

I didn’t want to make any dessert that required forks or slicing pieces, so I found this recipe for easy (so, so easy!!) and single-serving mini tartlets.

Key Lime Pie Tartlet

The tarlet shells are in the freezer section of your grocery store, near the pie crusts.  No need to defrost – just fill and bake! You could use regular lime juice, but I would try to find Key limes.  I made this recipe for homemade whipped cream and found it to be not-so-sweet, but it works well with the sweet and tart lime filling.  (You could use the squirty can kind too and I wouldn’t tell anyone!)  I doubled the recipe and made 60 tartlets with a full cup of filling left over.

Key Lime Tartlet 2

These have to be made the day of serving, otherwise the crusts get soggy…

Key Lime Tarlets

30 – 45 tartlets

2 – 3 packages frozen mini phyllo tart shells

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup fresh lime juice, plus zest from two limes

2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

4 egg yolks

2 cups whipped cream

About 4 Key limes, thinly sliced and quartered, for garnish

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Arrange tarts on a baking sheet.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks until blended.

3.  Add the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, lime zest, and powdered sugar to yolks.

4.  Whisk ingredients together until smooth and blended.

5.  Spoon batter into the tart shells so that they are nearly overflowing.

6.  Bake for about 12 minutes, or until custard has set.  Remove and let cool to room temperature.

7.  Top with a dollop of whipped cream, or pipe the whipped cream with a pastry bag, and garnish with key lime quarters.

Source:  Adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Okay, the Polar Vortex has finally graced us with its presence!  It is supposed to be a bone-chilling 71 degrees here today.  Ugh.  I really want to wear proper layers (not my current ensemble of a thin sweater with a sleeveless white blouse underneath).  Or boots.  Or long sleeves on a morning run.  Sigh.

Regardless, I’ve lately felt like cooking for a Fall that doesn’t really wholly exist. Enter this soup.

Shrimp Marinara Soup with Crumbled Feta

It sounds like an odd concept – using jarred marinara sauce as a base, but I had faith in the folks at Cooking Light!  (I think I used Newman’s Own, but can’t remember. Sorry! Any good-quality sauce will do.)  The soup turned out to be a really fast and delicious soup that is so easy!  I used sliced green onion rather than parsley for my finishing touch with the feta cheese and it was a really good substitution.   Serve with thick bread to soak up the liquid and enjoy!

Shrimp Marinara Soup with Crumbled Feta

Yield:  Four Servings

2 tsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 cups unsalted chicken stock

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup uncooked orzo

2 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce

12 oz. large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (divided) or thinly sliced green onion

1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup), divided

1.  Heat a large saucepan over medium heat.  When heated, add oil and swirl to coat.

2.  Add oregano,  red pepper, and garlic; sauté 30 seconds.

3.  Add wine and cook for 1 minute.

4.  Add chicken stock and water to pan; bring to a boil.

5.  Stir in orzo and cook 6 minutes or until al dente.

6.  Stir in marinara and shrimp.  Cook about 4 minutes or until shrimp are pink and cooked through.

7.  Place 1 1/2 cups soup in each of four serving bowls; top each serving with 1 1/2 tsp. parsley or green onion and 1 Tbsp. crumbled feta.

Source:  Cooking Light, May 2014, p. 74

Happy Friday!

The reality of this is that I made this one day when I came home on my lunch hour.  I had the plan all laid out, made the drink, photographed it, put it in the fridge, and it tasted it when I got home.  D came home first at asked me if I was drinking at lunch again (ha ha) and I said no, it’s R & D.  :)  The things I do for this little blog…

Electric Raspberry Martini

A nice little sort of sweet, fruity, and yummy martini.  The raspberry in the vodka really comes through.  I used Smirnoff Raspberry Vodka mini bottles that I got at Total Wine (love that place, they have EVERYTHING).

On a crazy Friday, it’s kind of nice knowing you have a delicious, chilled cocktail waiting for you when you walk in the door.

Cheers!

Electric Raspberry Martini

Yield:  1 cocktail

3 fresh raspberries

2 oz. Raspberry Flavored Vodka

1 Tbsp. simple syrup

1/4 oz. Grand Marnier

1.  In the bottom of a chilled martini glass, muddle the fresh raspberries.

2.  Combine remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake vigorously and strain quickly  (note: the vodka mix should pour a milky white from aeration).

3.  Sip and enjoy!

Source:  Houston Chronicle, October 13, 2004

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