Marshmallow Brownies

In addition to the midnight muncher bars I posted about a few days ago, I made these marshmallow brownies, so that anyone with a nut allergy would have an option as well.  This came from my mom’s binder of recipes, and from the notes on the page, it looks to be the recipe from the Six Sisters Blog.  I love their blog recipes.  A few of my favorites have come from them.  Again, I’m taking no news as good news from the students.  I should have let the marshmallows cool a little more before I frosted these…next time!

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Marshmallow Brownies

1 c margarine
2 c sugar
1/3 c cocoa
4 eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 package miniature marshmallows

Frosting
1 stick margarine, softened
1/4 c milk
1-2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp cocoa
2-3 c powdered sugar

Soften margarine and blend in sugar and cocoa.  Beat together and add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each one.  Add flour, salt, and vanilla and mix well.

Spread on a large (10x15x1) greased cookie sheet.  Bake 22-25 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven and cover entire top with 1 package of marshmallows.  Return to oven for 3 minutes, until marshallows are soft and puffy.  Cool and frost with chocolate frosting.

For the frosting: Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth.  Add more powdered sugar or milk until you reach the desired consistency and spread on top of bars.

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Midnight Munchers

Last week I was asked to bring in treats for one of the staffs who had won an award earlier in the year.  The students asked for something ooey-gooey-caramel-chocolatey.  I was a little bit befuddled about what to make because I wasn’t feeling inspired.  However, when I was home with my family over Easter, I explored an old standby cookbook: Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran cookbook.  In it, I came across this recipe for the Midnight Munchers, labeled as a Senior Choir favorite.  And, I’m a sucker for anything that’s a favorite, so this recipe looked promising.  The cookie bottom portion was thicker than I expected and the middle frosting layer was thinner than expected, but I think they turned out well.  I haven’t heard negative comments from the students, at least.Midnight Munchers

Midnight Munchers

Bar:

1 1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
Dash salt
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

Filling:

1 can ready-to-spread caramel pecan frosting

Topping:

1 c sugar
5 Tbsp butter
1/3 c milk
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream brown sugar and 1/2 c margarine together.  Blend in vanilla and eggs; mix well.  Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off.  Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt; mix well.  Divide dough into two parts.  Stir chocolate into half of dough.  Drop each dough by large tablespoonfuls randomly into greased 9×13 pan.  Spread evenly.  Bake at 350 degrees for 17 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool.  Spread filling over bars.  Freeze bars for about 30 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, 5 Tbsp margarine and milk.  Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; stir in chips until melted and smooth.  Pour topping over bars.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Store in refrigerator.

Texas Sheet Cake

My mom made our Easter dessert and decided to make a Texas Sheet Cake, a recipe that was provided by a friend of hers and which made its way into our recipe books.  Let me rephrase that, her coveted recipe binder.  Each of my parents have made binders that my sisters and I will undoubtedly fight over some day (or make copies of) that include a ton of different recipes.  One of which is this Texas Sheet Cake recipe.

Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake

1 c butter
1 c water
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 c sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c sour cream
1 tsp almond extract

Bring butter and water to a boil.  Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.  Bake at 375 degrees in a 10×15 greased pan for 20-22 minutes, until golden and the toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 20 minutes, then frost with:

Frosting

1/2 c butter
1/4 c milk
4 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 c nuts

Bring butter and milk to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Add remaining ingredients.  Spread over warm cake.

Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus with Citronette

For this year’s Easter celebration at our house, I was put in charge of the vegetable.  After tossing around a few different ideas about what this vegetable might be, I landed on asparagus.  I’m always one to go a little outside of the box (sometimes a lot outside of the box) and since we served beef for the holiday, I thought I should bring the pork in somewhere.  So, when I was flipping through a cookbook from Food and Wine and came across this recipe for Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus with Citronette, I knew it was the one.  It was a little salty for my taste and I’m unsure whether that was the pancetta I purchased or the salt in the dressing, so in a future edition, I’d likely leave the salt out of the dressing and go with the basics.

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Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus with Citronette

2 pounds medium asparagus
1/2 pound very thinly sliced pancetta
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons chopped thyme

Tightly wrap each asparagus spear in a slice of pancetta and refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a small bowl, stir the orange zest and juice with the mustard and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill the asparagus over moderate heat, turning often, until they are just tender and the pancetta is crisp, about 5 minutes total. Transfer the asparagus to a platter and drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle with the thyme and serve.

Pork Shoulder Roasted with Citrus Mojo

After making some salsas as of late, and pulling out the Twin Cities Chef’s Table cookbook to throw together the Crusher Cookies, I was flipping through it and one recipe caught my eye.  This recipe for Brasa’s Pork Shoulder Roasted with Citrus Mojo looked ideal for a week when I had evening commitments and could eat on this recipe over and over.  The cookbook is a collection of recipes from different restaurants in the Twin Cities, this one from Brasa.  Click on the website and tell me you don’t want to go there today to eat.

Pork Shoulder Roasted with Citrus Mojo

Brasa’s Pork Shoulder Roasted with Citrus Mojo

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 c minced onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 c fresh lemon juice
1 c fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp onion powder
2 Tbsp fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt
5 lb bone-in pork shoulder

In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add the lemon and orange juices and simmer for 2 minutes.  Stir in the vinegar.  Transfer half of the mojo to a blender and let cool.  Refrigerate the remaining mojo.

Meanwhile, in a jar, shake together the garlic and onion powders, pepper, and cumin.  Add 2 tablespoons of this dry rub to the mojo in the blender, reserve the remaining rub.  Add Worcestershire sauce and 1 tablespoon salt to the blender and puree until smooth.

Put the pork in a sealable 1-gallon plastic bag and pour in the marinade.  Press as much air as you can from the bag and seal.  Refrigerate pork for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours, turning occasionally.  Bring the pork to room temperature before roasting.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set a rack in a roasting pan large enough to hold the pork.  Remove the pork from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels.  Rub the meat all over with the remaining dry rub and transfer pork to the rack.  Roast pork for 3 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 150 degrees.  Reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees and roast the meat for approximately 3 hours longer, until very tender and an instant-read thermometer reads 180 degrees.  Remove the roast from the oven and cover with foil; let rest for 30 minutes.

Shred the meat, discarding the bones and excess fat.  Season pork with salt and pepper.  Serve with the remaining mojo.

Broccoli Corn Bake

Sometimes there are recipes from childhood that make no sense in terms of what I love today and what  would be considered a positive intake of food.  For me, one of these items is scalloped corn.  I don’t eat very many casseroles, or corn, or crackers these days, but when I was going through an old recipe box when I came across a recipe for a Broccoli Corn Bake from “Norma” that I knew I wanted to try.

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Broccoli Corn Bake

16 oz can creamed corn
1 package frozen broccoli (cooked and drained)
1 beaten egg
1/2 c saltine cracker crumbs (12 crackers)
1 Tbsp minced onion
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
dash pepper

1/4 c cracker crumbs (6 crackers)
1 Tbsp butter, melted

Combine first eight ingredients — pour into a 1 quart casserole.  Combine the last two ingredients.  Sprinkle over the vegetables.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Thai-Style Broccoli Salad

This is another recipe that has found its way into my recipe folder, but I’m not sure of the origins.  After having done so much baking over the past four or five weeks, I was out of sugar, so I substituted honey in this recipe, and since it’s a primarily savory dish, I don’t think it made a significant impact.  The peanut butter offers a nice sweetness to the broccoli, and I liked it warm and cold as I was reheating it last week.

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Thai-Style Broccoli Salad

1/4 c chunky peanut butter
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp hot water
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp canola oil
3 c fresh broccoli florets
1/2 c red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 c thinly sliced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c chopped peanuts

In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, sugar, water, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, and pepper flakes.  Whisk until blended and set aside.

Heat vegetable oil over medium high in a large skillet or wok.  Add the broccoli, bell pepper, onions, and garlic.  Stir fry for 4 minutes or until vegetables are just tender crisp.

Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter mixture.  Toss well to combine, sprinkle on chopped peanuts and serve hot or at room temperature.