Thursday, December 24, 2009


Happy National Eggnog Day, everyone! Oh yeah, and Happy Christmas Eve too. :-)

Eggnog is one of my favorite beverages ever. So rich and creamy, and perfect for holiday sipping. I wanted to buy some the other day when I went shopping, but was appalled to see that a gallon of eggnog cost over $7! However, whole milk was on sale for $1.66/gallon. So I picked up some milk and eggs and determined to make my own eggnog. I found this recipe on It was simple to make, and turned out so delicious! I won't go so far as to say I'll never buy eggnog again, but I definitely will make this recipe again.

6 eggs
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 quart milk
1/3 pint heavy whipping cream (I cheated and used whipped topping)
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch salt

Beat eggs; mix in condensed milk, vanilla, quart of milk and salt.

Beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold in to egg and milk mixture and sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve chilled.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Brownie Bottom Cheesecake

We had my brother and his girlfriend, and my husband's sister and her family over for dinner on Sunday, a nice big turkey dinner with stuffing and rolls and sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows. For a big dinner like that, you need a super yummy dessert to finish off the meal. This brownie bottom cheesecake is what I made, and it was so good! The brownie layer was chewy and moist, and the cheesecake layer was deliciously creamy. It was a big hit.

Brownie Bottom Cheesecake
4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate (I used 4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 1/4 cups sugar, divided (reduced to 1 3/4 cups because of the chocolate chips)
5 eggs, divided
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add 1-1/2 cups of the sugar (here I used only 1 cup); mix well.

Add 2 of the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Add milk and 1 tsp. of the vanilla; mix well. Combine flour and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture, mixing after each addition just until blended. Spread evenly into greased and floured 9-inch springform pan. Bake 25 min.

Beat cream cheese, remaining 3/4 cup sugar and remaining 1 tsp. vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add remaining 3 eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over brownie layer in pan (Filling will come almost to top of pan.)

Bake 55 min. to 1 hour or until center is almost set. Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature 30 min. before serving. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chewy Coconut Cinnamon Bars

I've had this recipe printed out and sitting on the kitchen counter for almost two weeks now, and I finally got around to making these bars today. They turned out so yummy - chewy and sweet and cinnamon-y! The original recipe called for pecans, but I substituted coconut instead (it's cheaper and we already had it in the pantry). I also added some cinnamon baking chips, which bumped these bars from delicious to fantastically delicious!

Chewy Coconut Cinnamon Bars
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup cinnamon baking chips
Powdered sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg; beat until light and fluffy. Combine flour, cinnamon and salt; add to creamed mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in coconut and cinnamon chips. Spread into a greased 8-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean. Cut into small bars while warm (I cut 16 bars); roll in powdered sugar.

Zaylee waited very patiently for a chance to taste these super yummy bars while I was taking pictures.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Molasses Sugar Cookies

These took a long time to make. With Audrey needing frequent attention and the other kids "helping" in various ways, this little holiday project spanned two days. But I really wanted the experience of making cookies with the kids and getting into the holiday spirit, and they turned out delicious, so I didn't mind all the little delays and mishaps (like when Thomas dumped all the dipping sugar into the cookie dough). :-)

Molasses Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 cups shortening (I substituted part margarine, since I ran out of shortening)
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt

Melt the shortening in a large pan on the stove, and cool. Add sugar, eggs, and molasses, beat well.

In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together and add to the pan. Mix well and chill 3 hours or overnight (at this point life with three kids attacked full force, and the dough had to wait overnight and much of the next day before moving on to the next step).

Form into walnut-size balls. Roll in granulated sugar (or, in Thomas' case, eat the balls of dough before they get a chance to be rolled in sugar). Place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Store in an airtight container to keep from getting overly crisp. If they do lose their softness, an easy way to restore it is to place one slice of fresh bread in the container with the cookies for a couple of hours or overnight and they will be soft again!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Bun's Out of the Oven :-)

Audrey joined our family on Saturday, Nov. 28. She and I are both home and doing well.