Decadent Brownie Dessert

Easy to make and so delicious!

Makes about 16 bars

1 box fudge brownie mix
1 egg
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla
21 oz can cherry pie filling

Prepare brownies as directed on box. Meanwhile, combine cream cheese and egg. Whisk in milk and vanilla.

Pour mixture over hot brownies; bake additional 25 minutes. Cool 2 hours; top with pie filling.


Picture Perfect Ginger Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen cookies

2¼ cups flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1¼ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg white
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the 1 cup sugar. Beat until smooth, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and molasses until combined.

In medium bowl stir together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Add flour mixture to molasses mixture and mix until smooth. Refrigerate for about an hour.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Dip balls into ¼ cup sugar and place 1½-inches apart on un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned and tops have puffed up and cracked. Do not overcook! Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.

Peanut Butter Cups or Bars

6 tbsp butter
1 cup peanut butter
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
½ lb powdered sugar
Chocolate frosting or chocolate chips

Cream together butter and peanut butter in medium bowl. Mix in crumbs. Add powdered sugar and mix until combined.

Cups: Roll about ¾ - 1 teaspoon of peanut butter mixture into balls. Melt chocolate chips and pour a bit of chocolate into mini cups. Place a peanut butter ball in each cup. Pour about 1 tbsp of chocolate over each ball. Let cool completely.

Bars: Line a 9”x13” baking pan with foil. Press peanut butter mixture into pan. Frost with chocolate frosting. Remove from pan and cut into bars.


Coconut Cream Cake

I couldn't believe how awesome this cake is! WOW!! The flavors are perfect! The frosting isn't too sweet and with the added coconut flavor it is heavenly. I didn't have the extract, but I didn't miss it. Use the unsweetened coconut so it's not too sugary. If you don't have or can find the unsweetened coconut, I just rinsed the sweetened kind and slightly toasted it to dry it out quickly. It ended up having a nice toasted flavor and slight crunch. It blended nicely with the creaminess of the cake. I then grated some chocolate over the top. Words don't do this justice. You HAVE to try it!!

1 18.25 oz pkg white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
½ tsp coconut extract
1 14 oz can coconut cream milk
1 3.5 oz pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 8 oz container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1½ cups unsweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9” round cake pans.

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, eggs, oil, water and coconut flavoring. Beat for 2 minutes and divide into pans. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

In a medium bowl, combine coconut cream with a few tablespoons of milk and stir until smooth and slightly runny. Let cake cool slightly and remove from pans. Line bottom and sides of cake with foil; poke holes in cake using chopsticks. Pour milk mixture over (reserving about 2 ounces), allowing it to soak into the cake. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix with milk, vanilla and reserved coconut cream. Mix until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping until no streaks remain.

Spread about 1 cup of frosting on top of one cake. Place second cake on frosting. Spread remaining frosting evenly over sides and top of cake. Press coconut onto sides and top of cake.

Buttery Soft Pretzels

I made these for my husband's birthday. They are so good!! Be prepared for an arm workout while rolling out the dough. But it's all worth it!!!

4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp white sugar
1¼ cups warm water (110 degrees F)
5 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup white sugar
1½ tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ cup baking soda
2 cups hot water
¼ cup coarse salt, for topping

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let proof 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, ½ cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450°. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolve baking soda in hot water. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake for 8 minutes, until browned.
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