Saturday, April 26, 2008

Twinkie Dreamsicle Dessert

This is such a fun and easy dessert and it tastes just like an orange dreamsicle (or even one of those orange baby Bayer aspirin)!

10 Twinkies, halved lengthwise
1 3-oz package orange Jell-O
1/2 cup boiling water
1 small package sf instant vanilla pudding
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup French vanilla liquid coffee creamer
1 large container Cool Whip

Arrange the Twinkies cut side up in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. In a small bowl, stir together the Jell-O and boiling water. When Jell-O is dissolved, put the mixture in the refrigerator to cool for 10 minutes. To hasten the process, drop in an ice cube -the extra liquid won’t hurt anything. In a large bowl, beat together the pudding mix, milk and coffee creamer for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add the orange Jell-O mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until smooth. Fold in two-thirds of the whipped topping. Pour the orange mixture over the cut Twinkies. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 6-8 hours. Before serving, spread the remaining whipped topping over the top.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Ho Ho Cake

This cake is like a giant Ho Ho or Ding Dong! I made it for a school luncheon today and am hoping it's a big hit- I'll let you know!

Edited to add: This was a HUGE hit! It was so good that in fact, a teacher actually licked the plate clean! Now that is the sign of a good cake! :)

1 box chocolate fudge cake mix
1 can dark chocolate or fudge chocolate icing
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening (do NOT substitute butter)
1 t vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1/4 t salt
1 t water
1 cup powdered sugar

Prepare cake as directed on package for two round pans. When cool, "slice" through cakes to make 4 "thin" cakes. (I use a large serrated knife for this and it works perfectly!) Beat sugar, shortening, vanilla, milk, salt and water for 7 minutes. (It's a long time so go and do something else while it's mixing) Add powdered sugar and beat for 5 minutes longer. Lay one layer of cake on cake plate. Spread cream filling on top only, be sure not to go all the way to the edge. Lay another layer of cake on top. Repeat process until you have all four layers on. Microwave icing for about 30 seconds or until it is pourable. Pour slowly over the cake until completely covered.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Raspberry Ripple Crescent Coffee Cake

This is a wonderful and yet easy coffee cake. I made it for our fabulous secretaries today for their breakfast and it was a huge hit! If you don't like raspberry, simply substitute your favorite kind of preserves.

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
3/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup flour
8 oz. can Pillsbury quick crescent dinner rolls
8 t raspberry preserves
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 inch round cake pan or 9 inch pie pan. In small bowl, beat sugar, butter and eggs until smooth. Stir in ground almonds, flour. Add to sugar mixture. Set aside. Separate dough into 8 triangles. Spread 1 t of the preserves on each triangle. Roll up, starting at shortest side of triangle rolling to the opposite point. Place rolls in prepared pan in two circles, arranging 5 rolls around outside edge and 3 in center. Pour and carefully spread almond mixture evenly over rolls; sprinkle with almonds. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until deep golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean. In small bowl blend a glaze of 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon milk. Drizzle over warm coffee cake.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Orange Cream Cookies

I'm trying to drop a few pounds (when am I NOT trying to lose a few pounds?) and have been searching for some yummy WW friendly recipes. This one is definitely perfect for when you need a sweet treat!

8 ounces light cream cheese, divided
3 T skim milk
2 T reduced-calorie margarine
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 T sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 T orange juice, fresh
2 t orange zest
1 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 12-cup miniature muffin pans with cooking spray; set aside. To prepare cookie dough, in a large mixing bowl combine 2 ounces cream cheese, milk and margarine. Beat on low speed until blended. In a small bowl, combine flour and 1 tablespoon sugar. Beat flour mixture into cream cheese mixture on low speed until blended.
Transfer cookie dough to a lightly floured surface and knead gently 4 times. Divide dough into 24 equal portions and press each portion into bottom and up sides of prepared muffin pans; set aside. To prepare filling, in a food processor or large bowl combine remaining 6 ounces cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, egg, orange juice, zest and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
Spoon 2 teaspoons filling into prepared cookie cups. Bake until filling is set and edges are golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks. One cookie cup= 1 WW point

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mexican Chicken

This is an easy and yummy Weight Watchers recipe that is a good dinner served with Spanish rice and a salad.

1 package taco seasoning
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup salsa
1/4 cup fat free sour cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts and taco seasoning in a seal able plastic bag; shake to coat well. Spray casserole dish with cooking spray. Place chicken in casserole dish. Bake 30 minutes. Top with salsa about 5 minutes before breasts are done. Top with sour cream before serving. One serving is 4 points.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


If you have ever hated to boil pasta because it:

a. always boils over and makes a mess
b. takes a sweet forever to boil
c. the pasta sticks to the bottom of the pan and is a pain to scrub off
d. all of the above
then I have the perfect tip for you!

I read this tip for boiling pasta several months ago and was a huge skeptic. I thought that there was NO way it was going to work so I didn't try it for awhile. Then one Sunday I thought.....what the heck.....and gave it a shot. And boy was I shocked and surprised!

Here's how it works...............

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put in more water than you normally would in the pot. When the water starts to boil, add your pasta, turn off the burner, set a timer for 15 minutes and leave it alone. At the end of 15 minutes drain it and you will have pasta that will be perfectly cooked and not stuck to the pot! For smaller pasta or frozen tortellini simply decrease your cooking time.

I promise it works like a charm every time! Try it and see!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fabulous Chocolate Fudge Cake

This is a fabulous chocolate cake- that is perfect for a birthday cake. It's more like fudge than a cake- perfect for true chocolate lovers.

1 cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 ½ cups buttermilk
2 t vanilla
1 t instant coffee granules
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 ½ t baking soda
¾ t salt

1 cup softened butter
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 t vanilla
1 cup cocoa
4 cups powdered sugar

CAKE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottoms of two buttered 9-inch round cake pans with waxed paper. In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar, until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and coffee granules. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add the flour mixture into the creamed mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, in three additions, scraping down the sides of bowl each time. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cake tests done. Turn onto a rack and remove paper. Cool and frost.

FROSTING: Beat butter until creamy in large mixing bowl. Blend in cream and vanilla; beat until very smooth. Add the cocoa and powdered sugar. Beat on high for 45 seconds. Frost cake.

Monday, April 7, 2008

7 Minute Frosting

This was my mothers favorite frosting. It is VERY sweet and although your arm will hurt after making it- it is well worth it! It tastes like marshmallow frosting.

2 cups white sugar
3 egg whites
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In the top of a double boiler, combine the sugar, egg whites, corn syrup, water and vanilla. Place over boiling water and beat with an electric mixer on high speed for 7 minutes, or until frosting forms peaks when beaters are raised. Remove from heat. Use immediately to frost a cooled cake before it hardens.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Perfect Party Cake

This is an amazing and easy white cake- perfect for a birthday party cake!

2 ¼ cup flour
1 T baking powder
½ t salt
1 ¼ cups whole milk or buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 ½ cups sugar
2 t grated lemon zest
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ t pure lemon extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two round cake pans with wax paper and spray with cooking spray. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter, and working with the paddle or whist attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium sped for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is well mixed, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally mix the batter for 2 minutes to ensure it is well mixed. Divide between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch. Cook for 5 minutes, invert on plates and cool completely. Frost with butter cream or 7 minute frosting.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Toasted Pecan Sauce

½ cup margarine
1 ¼ cups brown sugar
2 T corn syrup
½ cup whipping cream
1 cup pecans, toasted

In a saucepan, melt margarine; stir in brown sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in whipping cream; return to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in pecans. Serve warm or cool. Store in refrigerator.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Pound Cake Croutons

If you ever happen to have left over pound cake at your house (ha ha ha) these are fabulous when served with Toasted Pecan Sauce (I'll post that recipe tomorrow!).

4 ½ inch slices pound cake, cut in ½ inch cubes (frozen or homemade)
Butter flavored cooking spray
3 T sugar
½ t cinnamon
Coat pound cake cubes with cooking spray. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over cubes and toss gently to coat. Place on baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 15-30 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Cool and store in air-tight container. Serve with Toasted Pecan Sauce.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Three Flavored Pound Cake

This recipe originally was for Five Flavored Pound Cake but it included lemon and butter flavorings and I just couldn't do that so I adjusted it a bit!

1 cup margarine
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
½ t soda
3 cups flour
½ t salt
2 t almond extract
2 t vanilla extract
3 t coconut extract

1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup margarine, melted
¼ cup lemon juice

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream margarine and sugar together with electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir soda into buttermilk, add alternately with flour and salt. Stir in flavorings. Pour batter into greased and floured 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan and spoon on glaze.