Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Yields: 24 bars

Crust:
2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c sweet ground chocolate and cocoa
1/2 c butter, melted
2 TBS sugar

Topping:
16 oz. cream cheese
1 c sugar
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
3 TBS flour
4 eggs
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 bar (2 oz.) milk chocolate baking bar, broken into 1″ pieces
1/2 tsp vegetable shortening

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Crust:
1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, ground chocolate, butter, and sugar in a large mixing bowl until well blended.
2. Press the mixture onto the bottom of an ungreased 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
3. Bake 8 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Topping:
1. In large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, peanut butter, and flour until well blended.
2. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixture well after each addition.
3. Blend in the milk and the vanilla extract.
4. Pour the topping into the crust and bake 40 minutes.
5. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack.
6. Melt the chocolate pieces and vegetable shortening in a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water.
7. Stir occasionally until smooth.
8. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the cooled bars.
9. Chill approximately 10 minutes, just until the chocolate layer is partially set.
10. Score the chocolate layer with a sharp knife, forming squares, and return the pan to the refrigerator.
11. Chill 30 minutes, or until firm. Ct through the bars and serve. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator.

Light Alfredo

Ingredients:
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 c skim milk
1/4 c chicken broth
2 1/4 tsp all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 TBS grated parmesan cheese
1/4 lb fettuccini
2 lb broccoli

Directions:
1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and saute until golden brown.
2. In a small saucepan, stir together milk, chicken broth, flour, salt, and pepper over low heat until smooth and thick. Stir into onion mixture. Continue to cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick. Stir in parmesan cheese.
3. Meanwhile, boil broccoli in boiling water. After several minutes, add pasta.
4. Drain the pasta and broccoli, and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with sauce. Serve.

Flaky Dinner Rolls

Servings: 12

Ingredients:
3 TBS sugar
1 package dry yeast
1 c warm milk (100 – 110 F)
3 c all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
3 TBS butter, softened

Directions:
1. Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm milk in a large bowl, let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, level with a knife. Add 2 3/4 cups flour and salt to yeast mixture, stir until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth (about 5 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 TBS at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands. Cover dough with plastic wrap, and let rest for 10 minutes.
2. Roll dough into a 12×10 inch rectangle on a lightly floured baking sheet. Gently spread butter over dough. (A) Working with a long side, fold up bottom third  of dough. (B) Fold top third of dough over the first fold to form a 12×3-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap place in freezer for 10 minutes.
3. Remove dough from freezer; remove plastic wrap. Roll dough, still on baking sheet (sprinkle on a little more flour, if needed), into a 12×10-inch rectangle. Working with a long side, fold up bottom third of dough. Fold top third of dough over the first fold to form a 12×3 inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap; place in freezer for 10 minutes.
4. Remove dough from freezer; remove plastic wrap. Roll dough, still on baking sheet, into a 12×8 inch rectangle. Beginning with a long side, roll up dough jelly-roll fashion, pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). (C) Cut roll into 12 equal slices. Place slices, cut sides up, in muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat tops of dough slices with cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 F), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
5. Preheat oven to 375 F.
6. Bake dough at 375 F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan, and cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Serve rolls warm.

Camembert Mashed Potatoes

Serving: 10

Ingredients:
1 1/2 (8 oz) rounds Camembert cheese
11 c cubed peeled Yukon gold potato (about 4 1/2 pounds)
1/2 c milk
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
chopped chives

Directions:
1. Cut cheese into 6 wedges. Carefully remove rind from cheese; discard rind. Chop cheese; let stand at room temperature while potato cooks.
2. Place potato in a large Dutch oven; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 12 minutes or until tender. Drain in a colander; return potato to pan. Add cheese, milk, salt, and 3/4 tsp pepper; mash with a potato masher until smooth. Garnish with chives and addition pepper, if desired.

Blackberry Upside Down Cake

Ingredients:
topping:
1/4 c brown sugar
2 TBS butter
2 c fresh blackberries
3/4 c white sugar
cake:
1 c white sugar
1/2 c butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Melt brown sugar and 2 tablespoons butter together in a saucepan over medium heat. Add blackberries to brown sugar mixture; cook and stir until mixture bubbles, 1 to 3 minutes. Stir 3/4 cup white sugar into berries, crush berries slightly with a fork, and continue cooking until berries are hot and slightly broken-down, about 5 minutes more; remove from heat and pour into a 9-inch cake pan.
  3. Beat 1 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup butter together in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy; beat in eggs.
  4. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Alternately stir flour and milk into butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix vanilla into batter.
  5. Pour batter over blackberry mixture in the 9-inch cake pan.
  6. Bake cake in the preheated oven until cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cake cool in the pan until warm, but not completely cooled, about 30 minutes. Run a knife along the inside edge of the pan to separate cake from the sides, place a cake plate over the top of the pan, and flip the pan. Lift the pan slowly to release the cake from the pan.

Chai Latte Inspired Cinnamon Rolls

Dough

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
3⁄4 cup milk

Filling

4 tablespoons butter
1 cup brown sugar or 1 cup white sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
ginger
allspice
cardamom

Glaze

1⁄2 cup powdered sugar
1⁄4 cup milk

DIRECTIONS

For the filling, in a small bowl combine softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon to form a crumbly mixture.
Sprinkle 1/2 of the mixture over the bottom of a 9×9 pan.
In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Cut in softened butter (sometimes your hands are the best tools).
Stir in milk to form a soft dough.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
Spread the remaining filling on the rolled out dough.
Roll up the rectangle, with a sharp knife slice into 18 small rolls (12 if you want them a little bigger).
Bake for 20-25 min at 400°F.
For glaze, combine powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl and stir until smooth.
Once rolls are finished, drizzle on glaze and serve warm.

Truffle Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
olive oil
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced 1/2-inch
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced 1/2-inch
3 tablespoons cream sherry
Kosher salt
1 pound pasta such as cavatappi
3 ounces white truffle butter, such as D’Artagnan
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart whole milk, scalded
12 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (4 cups)
8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 1/2 to 3 cups)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan, add the mushrooms, and cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until they are tender. Add the sherry and continue to saute for a few more minutes, until the sherry is absorbed. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Add the pasta and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until al dente. Drain well.

Meanwhile, melt the truffle butter in a large (4-quart) saucepan and whisk in the flour. Cook for 2 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. Slowly whisk in the hot milk and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the white sauce is thickened and creamy. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, the pepper, and nutmeg.

Combine the pasta, sauce, and mushrooms in a large bowl and pour them into a 10 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish.

Place the garlic and parsley in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse until they’re minced. Add the bread crumbs and pulse to combine. Sprinkle the crumbs over the pasta and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the crumbs are golden brown. Serve hot.