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Potato Packets

Potato Packets

(I use 6 medium potatoes for my crew)

You’ll need:
4 medium potatoes, washed
1 small/medium onion
1 tsp kosher salt
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed (optional, but very yummy)
1/4 tsp dill (optional, but nice for something different)
olive oil or butter
olive oil spray
aluminum foil
Wash and dice potatoes. Dice onion. Add to a bowl, sprinkle with salt, drizzle with oil if desired…maybe a couple tablespoons.
Tear off a few squares of foil. I use the shorter rolls and tear off a piece as long as it is wide.
I like to give the foil a quick spray. Then scoop some of the potato mixture onto the middle of each square. (you can plan on probably a square per potato….or you can do this in bigger batches too….I have done 6+ potatoes in 2 large packets on the grill) If you want butter, now’s the time to put a pat on top.
Grab the front and back of the foil square and pull it up around the potato mound. Meet the ends and fold down *almost* to the potatoes, leave a little space. Then fold in the ends. Crimping well. If you have thinner foil it would be a good idea to repeat this wrapping process, especially if using the grill.
Now, the preferred method of cooking here is on the grill, or even in a fire, but they can be baked in the oven too at about 350* for 45 minutes. It takes about that long on a grill too, I think. I never time it. I just guess…based on the knowledge that it takes 20 minutes to adequately boil, 20-30 to fry…
There ya go. Experiment with herbs/spices, have fun. Enjoy!
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Chocolate Crinkles

A friend of mine makes something like this all the time. I finally asked for the recipe.  My daughter made them and it was failure, to say the least. I don’t know what happened. But what we were looking at were NOT my friend’s cookies.

This year, I found another recipe to try it. And, *I* tried it, not my daughter. So, between the two changes, we have success. They’re bigger and puffier than my friend’s, but they are still wonderfully delicious!

What you need:

1 c baking cocoa powder

2 c sugar

1/2 c vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

2 c unbleached flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 c powdered sugar

What you do:

You’ll need two bowls.  One for your mixer and one for dry ingredients.

In the smaller bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the mixing bowl, combine cocoa and sugar.

I used my paddle attachment, mixer on “2”, then steadily pour in the oil.

Next add in your eggs, one at a time.

Add in vanilla.

Then you gradually add in the flour mixture. Before you know it, you will have something like this in your bowl:

Now you cover that and put it in the fridge to chill a few hours.

When ready, preheat your oven to 350*. Lightly spray cookie sheets with cooking spray.

Put powdered sugar into a deep bowl.

I like to use the two spoon method for cookie formation.  Oh sure, if I had a nifty little scoop, I’d use it.  But I don’t, so I didn’t, so, I like 2 spoons.

I scoop a bit of dough onto my tablespoon.  You know, a regular ‘table’ spoon, not a measuring one. Then use a smaller spoon to coax it off and into the mound of sugar.

Give the bowl a little toss to fully coat the dough ball.  You could actually use your hands and roll the dough into a nice neat ball and then carefully roll it around in the sugar, if you desired. But, I like to keep my hands OUT of the mess when possible.  Especially when y’all expect me to take progress pictures!

Place the balls on your prepared cookie sheet, about 2″ apart.

Pop ’em in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

Let cool on the sheet for a minute before removing to cooling rack.

Aren’t they pretty?

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Potato Candy

I know, it looks blurry. I am so sorry.  I will get better pics as soon as I can.  If I make another batch myself I will post progress and finished product pics.  Until then, you’ll have to tilt your head and squint your eyes just right and deal with this one.  My 10 yr old made these.

What you need:

1 medium sized potato

at least 3 c powdered sugar

peanut butter

 

What you do:

Boil the potato..my original recipe says to boil the potato until fork tender then peel quickly…I don’t see why you couldn’t peel then cut and boil

Mash it up, then add in powdered sugar until it form a stiff, kneadable dough. You’re probably going to use 3 cups, depending on the size of your potato.

Once you have a dough formed, one that you can handle, give it a few kneads, then carefully roll it out to about 1/4″ thickness on wax paper sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Smear it with peanut butter. Now, roll it up, like a jelly roll.  Start at a short end and just roll to the other end.

Next, cut into about 1/4 – 1/2″ slices. You’d be better off using the dental floss method here, as opposed to a knife.  If you use a knife, you get a smooshed product, shown above. The cuts will likely come out neater if you use the floss.  Simply take a length of floss (not minted, mind you), slide it under the log, bring both sides to the top, gently cross and pull.  It will slice right through the dough.  Cool huh?

Place your slices on wax paper, chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.

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Buttercream Frosting

Honest to goodness BUTTERcream frosting.

Yeah, rich, creamy, sweet, smooth, divine!

Use it for your cakes or rolled sugar cookies.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, ever so slightly softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 cups powdered sugar

2 TBSP milk

 

Grab your favorite Kitchen Aid stand mixer with paddle attachment…everyone has one, right?😉  Ok, well, grab your mixer.  Cream the butter on medium just until smooth.  Add vanilla and whip that around a couple times.

Now carefully add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, scraping down the bowl (and bottom) occasionally. Beware of sugar dust if your mixer is going too fast as you add the powdered sugar.😉 The kids think it’s a riot (and I am certain do this every time they do this recipe themselves, by the looks of my kitchen afterward they do anyway), me, not so much.

Your icing, frosting, whichever you want to call it, what’s the big difference anyway?? Anywho, it will begin to look dry.  Not as in crumbly, just ‘dry’.

That’s when you add in your milk and crank up the mixer. Magically, right before your eyes, your icing will become fluffy and luscious!

You are ready to separate and color with gel colors as desired.

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Royal Icing

Royal icing used as mortar for gingerbread houses or for decorating sugar cookies.

Take it one step further, turn it into flooding icing for that smooth, shiny finish.

Like this:

Only you’re probably more artistic than I am and yours will look much neater.  But anyway.😉

All you need is:

2 egg whites

3 cups powdered sugar

some water

 

Beat your egg whites on medium-high/high until nice and foamy. I mean, really foamy.  Then gradually add in the powdered sugar.

Voila! Royal icing.

Now, you want to flood it?

Just thin it down with water.  Add a teaspoon at a time to your already separated and colored royal icing. Get it to a nice runny consistency.  Not ‘watery’ mind you, but thin.

To make cookies like above (only prettier) first pipe your border with the royal icing and allow that to dry and set. Then, flood the interior.  Flooding is fun. You can drop colors onto the wet flood and swirl and drag and all kinds of neat stuff I’ve yet to get the hang of. hehe but it sure LOOKS neat.

Now you have the recipe, go out and make some beautiful cookies!

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Chocolate Covered Bacon

Oh yes I did!

(sorry the pics aren't great)

I kept saying I was going to do it. Everyone, but my husband, thought I had lost my mind. Come on! It’s bacon! Bacon makes everything better. Bacon is awesome! And chocolate? Chocolate is dreamy and fixes what ails ya. A combo made in heaven I tell ya!

What you need:

(please forgive sloppy pics, I'll replace as I get better shots)

 

How easy is this?

Line a jelly roll pan (aka cookie sheet with sides) with foil, top that with a couple wire cooling racks. Then place your bacon across the grids and bake at 425* for 20-25 minutes.  You want it nice ‘n’ crispy.  No soggy, floppy bacon, here. Fully cooked, crispy, melt in your mouth bacon.

While that’s cooling, fire up your double boiler.  Remember the makeshift version from the last recipe? Bowl over a pan of water. Gently melt your chocolate.

Then dip.

And place on wax paper to cool and harden.

Sprinkle with a little coarse salt if desired.  Drizzle with some white chocolate if you want. Squirt some caramel on there.  It’s all good!

Go ahead, enjoy. I dare you not to.😉

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Princess Cake Balls

I’m sorry, I do not have step by step photos. I had the idea and little time to pull it all together.  Amongst my normal household duties and seven children.  I hope you understand and forgive me.

Y’all have heard of cake balls, right?  I posted them here, not my original idea, but I’ve shared Cake Balls here before.

These are just BIGGER cake balls.

You’ll need:

1 box cake mix

1 can frosting

1 pkg almond bark

food coloring

ice cream cones

fruit leather, cut into strips fitting for princess hat tassels and/or brims

sprinkles optional

whatever else you think would nicely decorate a princess head :~p

 

What you do:

Bake cake according to package directions. Cool slightly then crumble and mix with a can of frosting.

Now you’ll need to line a pan with waxed paper. Shape the cake mix into balls that will fit the cones ‘just right’. I didn’t use a fancy scoop to measure them out evenly. I’m not so organized. :p You eye it and figure it out, then try to be consistent.  I ended up with 16 cake balls from one box of cake mix, to give you an idea.

Once you have all the balls made and placed on the wax paper lined cookie sheet, put the sheet into the freezer for a couple of hours. I only had room in my deep freeze and then life happened so mine stayed there overnight.  No biggy.

When the cake balls have had a chance to freeze a bit, you want them firm to the touch, try not to rush the freezing, you’ll thank me later.😉 Then you gently melt your almond bark.  I much prefer the double boiler method. (pot of just simmering water on the stove, pop a bowl over that so that just the steam is heating the bowl, melt chocolate in that heat safe bowl)

I started by simply dipping the open end of the cones into the almond bark and attaching it to the cake balls at an angle that seemed proper for a princess wearing her hat.  Tilted to the back, ever so slightly.

By the time I got to the last cone, the first one had dried enough that I felt comfortable holding it by the cone. Though never relying on it to fully support the weight of the cake ball.  Always cautious!  Then, dip, swirl, coat and set it back on the waxed paper to dry.  Repeat for each cone/cake ball combo.

Next you can color portions of the almond bark and make faces.  And decorate the brim of the hat. Just mix a little food coloring into small portions of melted almond bark then put that into a piping bag, or sandwich bag (works in a pinch, just snip off a tiny bit at the corner, voila, piping bag! just be careful, that melted almond bark is hot and you FEEL it through the sandwich bag, I’m just sayin’😉 )For some I just used the almond bark. For others I added sprinkles immediately after laying on some almond bark. And for yet others, I used strips of fruit leather (fruit by the foot, specifically…each roll came in a different pattern..that was … interesting, but we made it work).

For the tassel, that was the messiest part.  Dip the tip of the cone into the melted almond bark, held a couple small strips of fruit leather to it just long enough for it to adhere.  Then I came back once that had dried more and dipped again, encasing the fruit leather tip.

Let it all cool and harden.  You’re done.

Enjoy!

(and please don’t be hatin’ on my less than stellar decorating skills, I just *have* the ideas, I never perfect them)