Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mall Pretzels

Here's another great recipe I found on Allrecipes. I've made them twice now and was able to figure out all the little quirks this time. They are totally yummy!

With lots of kids in and out of the house all day long, it seems more economical to whip something up from scratch rather than open a box of something, and these are so worth the effort!

Here ya go:

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
2 T brown sugar
1 1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 cups all-purpose flour (more, if needed)

Baking Soda Bath:
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda

2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt

1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in 1 1/2 cups warm water. Stir in flour, and knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. The dough should be soft and workable--if it's totally sticky, add more flour until you can handle it without getting it stuck all over your hands. Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover, and let rise for one hour.

2. Combine 2 cups warm water and baking soda in an 8 inch square pan.

3. After dough has risen, cut into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 3 foot rope, pencil thin or thinner. Twist into a pretzel shape, and dip into the baking soda solution. Place on cookie sheet greased with butter or margarine and let rise 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Bake at 450 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with coarse salt, garlic salt or cinnamon sugar.

My own personal tips: Cutting the dough into 12 pieces (instead of pulling off random chunks, like I did the first time) is important, otherwise some of your pretzels will be too thick, others to thin. I roll mine into ropes on my glass stovetop and I know I've got them thin enough when the rope reaches from one side of the stovetop to the other. Also, I used regular table salt the first time because that's all I had, but then I bought coarse kosher salt to use on the next batch and it made a huge difference.



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Easy Italian Crockpot Chicken

This little beauty came out of the last ward cookbook - cooking with class. Its creamy and delicious, but best of all super easy.

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 c. milk
1 pkg dry italian seasoning
4-5 chicken breasts

Melt the cream cheese, milk, and cream of chicken soup in the microwave. Stir together and mix in the italian seasoning packet. Place 4-5 chicken breasts in the crockpot, pour the mixture on top and cook on low 4-5 hours. Serve over rice or pasta.

Jello Cake with Pudding Frosting

So, I assume everyone has made a jello cake, but then I find some people have never tasted it's deliciousness and its one of my fav's, I just made it for my baby girl who just turned one and she LOVED it- I also found a new recipe for a pudding frosting in the lastest Kraft magazine which gives the classic cool whip topping a kick. Here goes.....

1 bx white cake mix
1pk jello any flavor - I like the 6oz box cause I like a lot of jello in mine, but you could use either
1 pk 3.9 oz Instant Pudding mix - I'd use vanilla here but you can use any flavor
1 cup cold milk
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tub cool whip

First bake the cake mix according to the box directions in a 9x13 pan. A little trick to make your cake more moist is to switch out the water for milk - its optional. After the cake is done let it sit out and cool - about an hour. Then poke it with a fork all over and all the way through in the pan - kids like to help with this part. Then check your package of jello - make the jello using half the normal amount of water listed on the box for standard jello prep. Pour the jello over the cake; yes its o.k. , fill all the holes and just our it everywhere - kids like to help with this part too. Then put your cake in the fridge and let the jello set 3-4 hours. Then take a seperate large bowl and mix / beat the pudding mix, sugar, and milk all together. Stir in cool whip - frost your jello cake and its ready to serve.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Easy Granola Bars

3 1/2 cups Rolled Oats 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup Packed Brown Sugar 1 cup Rice Crispies
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Salt 2 teaspoons Vanilla
2/3 cup Butter (not margarie) softened 3/4 cup Honey
3/4 cup Dried Fruit or Chocolate Chips 1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds or Nuts

Preheat oven to 325 F

Combine all ingredients except Fruit and Nuts. Mix until all ingredients are incorpated. Stir in Nuts and Fruit (or Chocolate)

Press foil in the bottome of a jelly roll pan or a 9X13 pan and spray

Press mixture in pan, press firmly or use rolling pin to pack in tight.

Bake 25 minutes

Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes.

Then lift foil and bars out of pan and cool on top of a cooling rack. This causes the bars to be crunchy on both sidesl.

Store in air tight container or plastic bags.