Friday, December 28, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

My Mom made this growing up and she got this recipe from my Aunt Nana!  It's ohhhhh so easy, all you do is melt the butter and peanut butter then pour it over the cocoa,  powder sugar and vanilla! After that you stir until combined, pat it down in a pan place it in the fridge or freezer until it sets!

Seriously so easy! 

The original recipe didn't call for you to melt the butter and peanut butter but one day I found the recipe online when looking for another recipe.  It called for the same exact ingredients but called for the butter and peanut butter to be melted.  The recipe I used before had you use softened butter and then peanut butter, they both work but I do prefer the melted method.

This fudge is so creamy and has just the right balance of peanut butter and chocolate!

Here is what you will need, I had a 1/2 jar and a whole jar so that is why you see 2 jars of peanut butter.  It only takes 1 cup for a single batch!

melt butter in a heavy pan

add peanut butter to the melted butter

after peanut butter melts let it cool for about 10 minutes

pour butter- peanut butter mixture over dry ingredients once it has cool

stir until incorporated

I made a double batch...I used different sizes because I wanted them to be thicker, normally you would use the size on the right for a single batch. 

Peanut Butter Fudge

Easy Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe Creamy Fudge

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup butter

1 pound powdered sugar (3 ¾ cup)
4  T cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Line a 9" square pan with wax paper.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan on low heat, add the peanut butter and stir well making sure to fully blend. Remove from heat and cool.
3. In a large bowl, mix the powdered sugar, cocoa and the vanilla.
4.  When the peanut butter/butter mixture is cooled, add it to the powdered sugar and mix thoroughly until smooth.
5.  Pour the mixture into the square pan. Cover with waxed paper. Refrigerate for 30 mins to an hour or in freezer for about 15 minutes.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Italian Cream Cake

This has been a Drennan family favorite for years!  I can't believe I haven't put this on the blog yet.  I make this pretty often throughout the year.  I have several friends who ask me to make it for their birthday.

This cake has coconut and pecans in the cake with a cream cheese icing.  I add coconut on top and a few chopped pecans. 

The only thing that is different about this cake then most is you add the egg yolks to the main mixture then you whip the egg whites separately and fold them into the main mixture. 

Cream together butter and sugar

add egg yolk and mix well

add dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately then add pecans and coconut

whip your egg whites until they form a peak

this is what they should look like

fold in egg whites to cake mixture by using a spatula

evenly pour into 3 cake pans that have been greased and floured and bake

I ice the cake between the layers and then I ice the sides and top

Ice with the cream cheese icing recipe below and if you like top with coconut and pecans

Italian Cream Cake

1 stick of butter
½ cup of Crisco
2 cups of sugar
5 egg yolks
2 cups of flour
1 tsp soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 small can of coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
5 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease (shortening) and flour 3 9” round pans

Cream butter & shortening add egg yolks and sugar.
Add flour & soda alternately with buttermilk add vanilla, coconut
And pecans.

Whip egg whites until stiff then fold in to mixture above by hand.

Pour into 3 pans using equal parts

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes

Cream Cheese Icing

1 8oz cream cheese softened
2 sticks of butter softened
Powder sugar about 2/3’ of a bag
1 tsp vanilla
Chopped pecans

Cream together softened cream cheese and butter then add powder sugar
A little at a time then add vanilla.

You can add 2 T of milk if it’s too thick.

After cake is completely cooled ice cake and then add coconut to top and
Sides and a few pecans (chopped) on top if you would like.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Southwestern Cheese Appetizer ~ Marinated Cheese

This appetizer is perfect for Christmas with the green and red but can be eaten all year!  I found this recipe in the Southern Living magazine at least 6 or 7 yrs ago!  They actually have two different recipes on their webiste and I have made both, I like this one the most!  The other one has balsamic vinegar in it and so it changes the color of the cheese which I didn't like as much.

Just buy 8 oz bars of cheese and slice them 1/4 inch thick and then in half.  You can see by the picture below the size the cheese should be.  It's kinda amazing how many slices you end up with with just 3 bars of cheese. 

It's very important to let it marinade over night or at least 8 hours.  This will last 3 to 5 days but it's in it's prime the 2nd and 3rd day!

I made this twice last week and didn't take step by step pictures but you can see by the picture below what it should look like.  Just whisk the marinade in a bowl and pour it over the cheese.  I do 3 lines of cheese and place it in a plastic container where the cheese fits snug so that it's not to large of a container, that way the cheese is able to be coated in the marinade.

Here is the plastic container I use and then I just put the lid on it and put it in the fridge!

*also I found the the roasted sweet red peppers at The Dollar Tree!  They are just as good as the ones I buy at the grocery store!

Southwestern Cheese Appetizers

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 (7.5-ounce) jar roasted sweet red peppers, drained and diced
3 green onions, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (8-ounce) block sharp Cheddar cheese, chilled
1 (8-ounce) block Monterey Jack cheese with peppers, chilled
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, chilled

Whisk together first 3 ingredients until mixture is blended; stir in diced red peppers and next 6 ingredients. Set marinade aside.
Cut block of Cheddar cheese in half lengthwise. Cut halves crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Repeat procedure with Monterey Jack cheese and cream cheese.
Arrange cheese slices alternately in a shallow baking dish, standing slices on edge. Pour marinade over cheeses. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Transfer cheese to a serving plate, and spoon remaining marinade over top. Serve with assorted crackers.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hot Turkey and Cheese on a Croissant ~ Hot Ham and Cheese on a Croissant

This is a simple sandwich to make but it is so good!  I should call this the Kirsten sandwich in honor of my niece Kirsten!  This is her sandwich, she has made it for years!  One day I made us both one but didn't eat mine until later and it was still really good so I added it to my menu of sandwiches to some of the teachers I cater lunches for and it is becoming the top seller! 

Heating the croissant in the oven changes it, which is a good thing ;).  It brings out the butter and makes it even more delicious than it is, if that could be possible!!

I like to buy my ham and hickory smoked turkey at Sam's.  I get it over by the bakery, the brand is Castle Wood and I get the thin shaved sliced one.  It's really good and has a great flavor and it's good quality.  My friend Jeanetta told me that Costco has sliced chicken lunch meat that they really like, so I am going to have to try that on this sandwich soon.

I just slice the croissant in half and this sounds weird but I put Hellman's Mayonnaise on both sides.  Hellman's has a buttery taste to it and really goes well on the hot sandwich.  My niece actually like it on there and she doesn't like mayo!  Then just add your turkey (I add 3 slices) then cheese, I use colby jack but you can change it up.  Bake at 350 with the top off until the cheese starts to melt then add the top part of the croissant and bake another 5 minutes or so until the cheese is totally melted.

Sam's has 12 croissants for $5.99 and actually Costco does too.  They freeze very well too!  I find that the croissants at the grocery store are A. expensive, you get 4 for like $4 and they are B. too soft to cut well they kinda crush when you are trying to cut them.  If  am using a croissant out of the freezer I just set it out 30 minutes before I need it  or I pop it in the microwave for less than 30 seconds.

Ham and Cheese

Turkey and Cheese

Sunday, December 2, 2012


I really do love divinity!  My Great Aunt Dot made the best and always had it at my Grandparent's house every Christmas!  It was the first thing I looked for when I would go to visit!

I made Divinity many years ago but haven't in a long time.  I decided I would make it today and see how it would come out.  So often people say it's soooo difficult to make but if you do exactly what the steps say it's actually not that hard.  Just make sure you read the directions twice and have everything ready to go before you start.  It's also actually cheap to make.

I was given a large bag of pecans over the weekend which to me is a goldmine!  Yay

Add sugar, water, corn syrup and salt in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves (becomes clear) and a candy thermometer registers 248 degrees (about 15 minutes).

This is almost at 248 degrees it starts to boil some and the liquid gets clear.  Remove syrup from the heat that this point when it reaches 248 degrees.

Beat egg whites until stiff and then add 1/2 of the hot syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, beating constantly at high speed about 5 minutes. 

While beating on high speed place syrup back on stove stirring occasionally until candy thermometer registers 272 degrees (about 4 to 5 minutes).  Slowly pour hot syrup and vanilla extract over egg white mixture, beating constantly on high speed until mixture holds its shape (5 to 8 minutes). You will hear it change textures in bowl.  I used a kitchenaide and it was done at about 5 minutes.

 Stir in 1 cup chopped pecans or I just simply put 1 pecan on each piece of candy as I did below.

Drop mixture quickly by rounded teaspoonful onto lightly greased wax paper ( i used crisco).

One of my all time favorites!!


2 ½ cups sugar
½ cup water
½ cup light corn syrup
¼ tsp salt
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup toasted pecans (optional can just us 1 for the middle)
Garnish : toasted pecans halves

Cook first 4 ingredients in a heavy 2- quart saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves and a candy thermometer registers 248 degrees (about 15 minutes).  Remove syrup mixture from heat.
Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  Pour half of hot syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, beating constantly at high speed, about 5 minutes.
Cook remaining half of syrup over medium heat, stirring occasionally until a candy thermometer registers 272 degrees (about 4 to 5 minutes).  Slowly pour hot syrup and vanilla extract over egg white mixture, beating constantly at high speed until mixture holds its shape (about 6 to 8 minutes).  Stir in 1 cup chopped pecans.
Drop mixture quickly by rounded teaspoonful onto lightly greased wax paper.  Garnish, if desired.  Cool
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