Quick Chocolate and Caramel Fudge and Quick Chocolate and Peanut Butter Fudge

I love a quick chocolate fudge! You know the kind – made with chocolate chips, a can of sweetened condensed milk and a little butter. Combine all in a large bowl and microwave until melted and smooth. Pour out, allow to cool and enjoy. But what could be better than this? Adding caramel or peanut butter to the mix! How? Do this –

Quick Chocolate and Caramel Fudge

Combine 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips in a large microwave safe bowl and add one can of sweetened condensed milk and 2 tablespoons butter. Place in microwave and microwave on high for 60 seconds. Remove and stir before microwaving another 30 seconds. Stir mixture until combined and smooth and glossy. Pour into a non-stick cooking spray sprayed foil lined 9×9-inch square pan and smooth out the top. Place about 1 cup baking caramels into a microwaveable safe bowl and add a splash of milk. Microwave about 60 seconds and remove and stir until smooth and glossy. Dollop blobs of the melted caramel on top of the fudge and swirl into the fudge using a knife. Place into the refrigerator until firm. Cut and serve. Enjoy!

Quick Chocolate and Peanut Butter Fudge

Combine 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips in a large microwave safe bowl and add one can of sweetened condensed milk and 2 tablespoons butter. Place in microwave and microwave on high for 60 seconds. Remove and stir before microwaving another 30 seconds. Stir mixture until combined and smooth and glossy. Pour into a non-stick cooking spray sprayed foil lined 9×9-inch square pan and smooth out the top. Place about 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter into a microwaveable safe bowl along with 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar. Microwave about 30 seconds and remove and stir until smooth and glossy. Dollop blobs of the melted peanut butter on top of the fudge and swirl into the fudge using a knife. Place into the refrigerator until firm. Cut and serve. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Brownies with Maple Frosting

I have been on a brownie kick lately and have been experimenting with different flavor combinations. A few days ago I made my orange brownies and topped them with a new orange cream cheese frosting I had developed and everyone loved them! Awhile back I made some pumpkin brownies that people went wild for too and I decided to revisit those with a maple cream cheese frosting. These are fabulous! Save this recipe for your Fall and Thanksgiving tables but go ahead and whip up a batch now since the brownies are only 2 ingredients!

Pumpkin Brownies with Maple Frosting

For the brownies…
1 box yellow cake mix
1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin

For the frosting…
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 cups confectioner’s sugar

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl beat together the dry cake mix with the pure pumpkin until both are combined together. Pour this mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool before frosting.

To make the frosting combine the cream cheese with the unsalted butter. Beat in the pure maple syrup followed by the confectioners sugar.

Frost brownies evenly. Cut and serve.

Enjoy!

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Chew This! Cindy’s Colossal Cookies

Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY to check out my newest “CHEW THIS!” column featuring my friend Cindy and the recipe for “Cindy’s Colossal Cookies”! Also my “Ask and Answer” features my answer to your questions about my peanut butter brownies! Thank you all for your continuous support and dedication! Enjoy!

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Chew This! Chocolate Banana Bread Bars

Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY to check out my newest “CHEW THIS!” column and recipe for my “Chocolate Banana Bread Bars”! They are deliciously simple, effortlessly easy and unbelievably scrumptious! My taste testers went wild for these – and I think you will too! Enjoy!

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Foolproof Chocolate Truffles

I love truffles and this made from scratch version can be transformed into hundreds of different flavors! Stir in different extracts, roll in different sugars, roll in a variety of nuts or simply use different types of good quality chocolate. Fabulous!

Foolproof Chocolate Truffles

14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Desired mix-ins, dippers and roll-ons

Start by lining a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the sweetened condensed milk, bittersweet chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips and pure vanilla extract in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 90 seconds. Stir and microwave again 30 seconds. Stir this mixture until smooth and combined. Microwave an additional 30 seconds if needed, watching not to burn the chocolate.

Once combined, wrap bowl in plastic wrap and refrigerate 40 minutes. Remove and roll firm chocolate mixture into small ball the size of two teaspoons. Place on prepared baking sheet.

Once all rolled, formed and placed, place baking sheet in freezer for 40 minutes.

Remove and decorate accordingly. Dip in melted chocolate, melted almond bark, roll in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, nuts etc. Let your imagination soar with this one!

Eat and serve immediately. Leave these truffles at room temperature.

Enjoy!

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Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

Recipe testing “Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies”! These are delicious and very versatile. Add a little lemon juice or almond extract to the cookie dough for an extra pop of flavor. Add any color of food coloring to the frosting – I added a few drops of red to create a light pink hue.

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

For the cookies…
1 stick unsalted butter, soft
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the frosting…
1 stick unsalted butter, soft
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Splash of whole milk
Food coloring, if desired

Start first by making the cookies, by combining the soft unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the large egg and pure vanilla extract.

Beat in the white all-purpose flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt until just combined.

Roll this dough into balls the size of two tablespoons and place on a greased plate. Once the balls have all been rolled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate them overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking pans with parchment paper. Place the balls evenly between the two pans, allowing some space between for the cookies to spread.

Place, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, remove and flatten each ball slightly with the bottom of a drinking glass. Return the cookies to the preheated oven for 4 more minutes to continue baking through. Once baked, remove and allow to cool before frosting.

To make the frosting combine the soft unsalted butter with the powdered sugar using a whisk. Add in the pure vanilla extract and salt. Gently whisk in the whole milk until you get your desired frosting consistency. The frosting should be thick but spreadable. Add in food coloring if desired. Frost cookies and serve.

Enjoy!

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Apple Pie Bars

It seems that every once in awhile there is a “food trend” that really sweeps the food world and just so happens, this time, it is one I am interested in – apple pie bars! I developed a recipe awhile back for pecan pie bars and they were a hit, so I figured, why not dabble in the apple pie bar world? I love my apple pies with streusel on the top, so naturally my apple pie bars have a lot of streusel! These are best made the night before serving because they need to be chilled in the refrigerator for several hours. Use whatever apple variety you wish but, for these, I did Macintosh. They are flavorful, firm and crisp.

Apple Pie Bars

For the crust…
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white all-purpose flour

For the apple pie filling…
2 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
2 tablespoons white all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

For the topping…
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup white all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Start by preheating your oven to 300 degrees F. Line a 9×9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Make the crust. In a large bowl combine the melted unsalted butter, white granulated sugar, pure vanilla extract and salt. Combine well. Add in the white all-purpose flour and stir until a dough forms. Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan and bake in preheated oven for 18 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool slightly.

Make the filling by combining the prepared apples, white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon and salt. Sit aside for a few minutes while you prepare the topping.

To make the topping, combine the quick oats, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon and white all-purpose flour. Cut the cold butter into cubes and add to the mixture. Using clean hands, combine together until the mixture resembles rocky sand.

Place the apple pie mixture evenly into the prepared crust. Try to place the apples into a single layer. This will take a little time but can easily be accomplished.

Next, top evenly with the topping mixture. Drizzle over the melted butter.

Place in preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove and allow to cool at room temperature. Once cool, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. When ready to serve, lift bars out of the pan using the aluminum foil and cut.

Enjoy!

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Parchment Roasted Chicken

I am so excited to share my “new” method of roasting chicken! My “old” method is detailed step by step in my cookbook and goes something like this –

“Take two large chicken breasts – bone in, skin on – and place on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in preheated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reads 170 degrees F. Allow to cool and then remove skin and discard the bones, carefully. Use meat accordingly.”

However, I heard from so many of you who said the process was just too difficult, too messy, etc. Several people wrote to me saying the combination of the olive oil and the heat from inside the oven created a lot of smoke, which would set off their smoke alarms – not to mention make a mess on the inside of their ovens.

So, I told myself I would find a better way and I really think I have! After a lot of research I found that you can actually use boneless, skinless chicken breasts – therefore not having the hassle of removing the skin and discarding the bones – and roast them underneath parchment paper – therefore not having the splatter mess of the olive oil!

I have tried this method several times and I have to say, it is easier than my previous method! I will include this note and recipe in an upcoming column piece as well as another project I have been working on for awhile. The chicken roasted this way is juicy and succulent and makes perfect chicken salad! Highly recommend that you try my “Parchment Roasted Chicken”! And – if you want, throw in some lemons and herbs to this recipe and take the flavors of your chicken up a notch! I have even made this chicken and served alongside fresh vegetables for a delicious and healthy meal.

Parchment Roasted Chicken

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Take a 9×13-inch baking pan and grease well with butter. Take out a large sheet of parchment paper and grease well with butter one side. Place two large boneless skinless chicken breasts into the prepared pan and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place the buttered side of the parchment paper down on top of the chicken breasts and push down slightly to adhere contact with the chicken. Tuck the parchment around the chicken breasts lightly. Place in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reads 170 degrees F. Remove and allow to cool slightly. Use meat accordingly.

Enjoy!

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Chew This! Sweet Surprise Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Happy “CHEW THIS!” Sunday! I am SO EXCITED to share this recipe with everyone today! My “Sweet Surprise Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake” may not be what you expect! Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think! My Grandma Deloris LOVES this cake and I think you will too! Also my “Ask and Answer” feature, features some answers to your questions about my baked spaghetti! Enjoy!

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Chilled Bittersweet Brownies

I am constantly developing, testing and researching recipes. Some of my finished recipes appear on my blog, while some of them appear in my “CHEW THIS!” column for “The Courier-Times”. Other recipes appear on my Facebook page, Instagram page, Snapchat or in my cookbook. I developed this recipe but could not wait for it to appear anywhere – so I am sharing it here and now! If you love more of a fudge brownie opposed to a cake like brownie and if you like your brownies dense and chilled, this recipe is for you!

Chilled Bittersweet Brownies

2 sticks unsalted butter
10 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
4 large eggs
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup white all-purpose flour

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and spray again.

In a large microwave safe bowl combine the unsalted butter and bittersweet chocolate chips. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove and stir until smooth and glossy. Sit aside to cool.

In another bowl combine the large beaten eggs with the dark brown sugar, white granulated sugar, salt and pure vanilla extract. Once combined, add in the melted butter and chocolate mixture and beat together well.

Finally, fold in the white all-purpose flour until just combined. Pour into the prepared baking pan and smooth and even out the top.

Place in preheated oven for 37 minutes exactly. Remove and allow to cool, in the pan, at room temperature.

Once cooled, wrap tightly and place into the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. When ready to cut, serve and eat, remove brownies from pan using the parchment paper and cut into small pieces.

Leftovers should be kept chilled in an airtight container. Will last 4 days.

Enjoy!

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