Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I love Christmas - Day 21

Does your husband tell you the night before that he needs to bring something for his work's holiday carry-in?  Mine does.  Every couple of months.  Because of this I have developed a few go-to recipes to use in these last-minute situations.  They are very few ingredients and they taste great.  And the ingredients are either ones we usually have on-hand or they can be picked up quickly for very little moolah.  Those are my favorite kinds. 
I hope these can help keep the peace in your house when your hubby expects you to dazzle his coworkers with your culinary skills.  The only reason I know that he has a carry-in on Friday is because I asked him if he had something coming up at work.  Good stuff, huh?
Here are my suggestions...

Super, Super, Super Simple Fudge
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (what is this stuff anyway???)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (12 ounces)
1 cup milk chocolate chips (6 ounces)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional (I don't use this, so add them at your own will)

Lightly grease a 9 inch square pan; line with w piece of plastic wrap about 18-24 inches, leaving the ends out to cover the finished fudge.  The ends will also serve as "handles" which will help you lift the fudge out of the pan.

Heat the condensed milk, chocolate chips, butter, and vanilla in a double boiler over simmering water.  Stir until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. 

Condensed milk is so weird.  What the H is it?? 

I used Hershey's milk chocolate squares instead of chips.  If you are going to do the same, I suggest chopping them in half at least to get them to melt quicker.

Do we all know how to do the double-boiler??  It's super easy, but for some reason it seems to worry people.  You just need 2 sauce pans, one larger than the other.  Put the water in the bottom one and only fill it up a small amount.  The water is not supposed to touch the bottom of the smaller pan.  You don't need the water to be super hot.  It just needs to be simmering.  Keep stirring to keep it from burning or sticking to the pan. 

Stir in nuts, if using; pour into the prepared pan. Spread gently then cover lightly with the ends of the plastic wrap. Chill until firm. Lift out of the pan and cut into small squares.

I like mine a little lumpy.  Sounds weird, I know.  But you get whole chunks of chocolate in some bites.  You can not do this with yours by just leaving it over the double boiler until it is completely smooth.  Your call.

That is it.  Can you tell that I am ALL about easy, tasty, fattening dishes?  This is good.  One piece is pretty rich, so this is something you cut into very small pieces and serve individually. 

Mama Strickland's Cheesecake Squares
1.5 cups sugar, separated
2- 8 ounce packages of cream cheese (standard brick size)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick of butter
2 cans of crescent rolls (standard size)

Use a hand mixer to blend 1 cup of sugar with the cream cheese and vanilla.  Mix until smooth.

In a 9x13 inch baking dish, spray the bottom with Pam.  Unroll one can of crescent rolls into the pan and pinch the seams together. 

Spread the cream cheese on top of the crescent rolls. 

Then unroll the second can on top of the mixture and pinch the seams together.
Melt the stick of butter and pour over the top. 
Mix the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.  The sprinkle over top of the butter. 

Melt the stick of butter and pour over the top.

This is where it gets super healthy.

Mix the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. The sprinkle over top of the butter.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.  Place in the fridge to cool.  Then cut into squares and serve.  Try to eat just one.  I dare you.  Double dog dare you!  Betcha can't do it.  These are crack. 

Full disclosure on these... my old boss gave me this recipe.  His mama is Mama Strickland.  I really like her.  She makes good stuff.  And I have been bound by contract not to bring these to any event that he is also attending.  This is his go-to recipe.  So, if you are also going to be at the same event as my old boss, please refrain from making this.  But at your own work's function, go ahead and bring this!  :)

Lastly, this recipe is reminiscent of the UFO cookies I made a while ago.  This is the first time I have made these, but they are SUPER easy!  I had a small taste (or two) and they are wicked good!

Brownie/Oreo/Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (surely there has to be a better name for these, but I just don't have the energy to be creative tonight after working and baking).
1 tube pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough
1 package Oreos (you will only use part of them, but you deserve to eat a few because you are making these for your husband to take to work)
1 package brownie mix
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a glass baking dish, roll out parchment paper or wax paper to lay over the sides.  Spray this lightly with Pam.  Spread the cookie dough out on the bottom of the pan in a thin layer.  Place a layer of Oreos on top of this.

Make the brownie batter according to the package.

Pour this over the Oreos.  Put in the oven for 50-55 minutes at 350°.  Allow it to cool.  Then cut these into smallish squares (because they are basically 3 cookies in one).  Super yummo. 

Do you guys have any recipes that you use whenever you have a last-minute party to attend?  I have a few non-desert things as well, but I cannot give you everything in one post... that, I will save for another time!

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