I have a friend who cut this recipe out of the Journal a hundred years ago. Okay, maybe more like 25 or 30 years ago but she's made so many Truck Stop Reese Pie that she feels like she's been making them for a century. It's blend of chocolate and peanut butter and a favorite among her kids and her nephews who all want one of their own for holiday and birthday gifts. She make three at time with prepared graham cracker crusts for ease.
With a 3 o'clock start for the game, too early for dinner, too late for lunch, maybe pie is football food for today.
TRUCK STOP REESE PIE
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 9-inch baked or graham cracker pie shell
1 (5 1/8 ounce) package chocolate pudding mix
3 cups milk
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped
Chocolate sprinkles, optional
Combine 3/4 cup powdered sugar and peanut butter, mixing well. Spread over bottom of pie shell, reserving 2 tablespoons for topping. If mixture is too stiff to spread, add small amount of warm water.
Prepare chocolate pudding according to package directions, using milk. Pour into pie crust over peanut butter layer and chill in refrigerator.
Sift cocoa into whipped cream and swirl. Spread over cooled pie. Add remaining 3 tablespoons powdered sugar to reserved peanut butter topping and sprinkle over pie. Garnish with chocolate sprinkles. Makes 1 (9-inch) pie.
Seriously Simple Holidays: Recipes and Ideas to Celebrate the Season by Diane Rosen Worthington doesn't just address worries at Thanksgiving. She offers advice on how to organize a home bar or host a lovely brunch. Worthington’s dishes can be used for football parties and who isn’t thinking about that with the playoffs just around the corner. Here are two of her football recipes.
DRIED FRUIT AND CHOCOLATE BAR COOKIES
1 1/4 cups chopped dried apricots
1 1/4 cups dried cranberries
2 cups boiling water
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70 to 75 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
4 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
Place the dried fruit in a medium heat-proof bowl and pour in the boiling water, making sure to cover the fruit. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain well.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 7 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool.
Butter and flour a 12-by-17-by-1-inch jelly-roll pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Add the walnuts and mix with a fork.
In another large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat until very light. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix again. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour mixture along with the dried fruit until just combined. Add the chocolate pieces and carefully blend into the batter with the electric mixer.
Evenly spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out almost clean and the top is golden brown. Let cool for at least 1 hour. Cut into bars and serve.
1/2 cup canola oil or other high-heat cooking oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cups chicken broth or fish stock
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons Cajun creole seasoning blend
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound Andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch slices
2 pounds large shrimp 13 to 15 per pound), peeled and deveined
1 pound lump crabmeat
1 teaspoon file powder
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Hot pepper sauce for serving
Make the roux: In a 4-cup glass measuring cup, stir together the oil and flour until combined, making sure no lumps remain. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Using pot holders to protect your hands, stir the roux with a wooden spoon. Repeat 3 times until the roux is dark brown or almost black (for a total of 8 minutes on high). You may need to microwave the roux for 1 minute longer. Again using pot holders, transfer the roux to a large pot.
Make the base: Place the pot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell peppers, and celery and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, or until softened, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, bay leaves, seasoning blend, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Add the sausage, shrimp, and crabmeat and cook for 3 minutes or until the sausage and shrimp are heated through. Add the file powder and cook for 1 minute. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
To serve, ladle into bowls. Garnish with the parsley and pass the hot sauce at the table.
Those pumpkin spices are so nice when there's a nip in the air. Why not enjoy them in a cake?
MARY LEE’S PUMPKIN SPICE CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
For the cake
2 cups flour, plus more for the pans
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
2 cups pumpkin puree (canned)
1/2 cup (scant) chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup golden raisins
For the frosting
15 tablespoons (1 7/8 sticks) unsalted butter, just softened
2 1/3 cups low-fat cream cheese, just softened (do not use nonfat)
5 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract, or more to taste
For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease three 9-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with wax or parchment paper and flour the sides.
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt on a sheet of wax paper; set aside.
In a measuring cup, melt the butter in the microwave on low, then add the oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs with the pumpkin puree until well combined. Gradually add the oil-butter mixture, whisking until light and fluffy. Gradually whisk in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions, incorporating well after each addition. Add the nuts, if using, and the raisins. Divide the batter evenly among the pans, smoothing the tops and gently shaking the pans to level the batter. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned and a tester inserted into the center of the layer comes out clean. Let the layers cool for 10 minutes in the pans before turning them out on wire racks to cool completely (for about 1 hour).
Meanwhile, make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, combine the butter and cream cheese and beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until well blended. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar; beat for a minute or so until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the mixer as needed. Add the vanilla extract and beat just until incorporated. The frosting should be thick, lightened and creamy. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To assemble: Place the layers top (domed) side down; do not trim. Starting with the bottom cake layer, spread a generous dollop of frosting over it, then add a second cake layer and repeat with more frosting. Top with the third cake layer, then spread a very thin layer of frosting on the sides and top of cake, thus creating a crumb coat. Cover with a cake dome and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate the remaining frosting.
When the crumb coat has chilled, frost the sides and top of the cake, reserving about 3/4 cup of the frosting. To that reserved frosting add sifted confectioners’ sugar as needed (about 1/3 cup total) to create a fairly thick mixture. Transfer to a piping bag or place in a resealable plastic food storage bag and snip off a corner of the bag. Pipe a decorative border of frosting around the base and top edge of the cake. Cover with a cake dome and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serves 16 to 20.
Source: Adapted from Mary Lee’s Desserts of Vienna, Va.
NUTRITION Per serving (based on 20): 519 calories, 6 g protein, 64 g carbohydrates, 28 g fat, 13 g saturated fat, 93 mg cholesterol, 261 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber
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The Steelers' cookies were so good, we're going for greater New York's. In Long Island, where Newsday has a food stylist's slideshow of 'em, including the enticing Chocolate Shortbread (yum) and Stained Glass Cookies (made with Life Savers candy) at right.
Recipes at Sylvia Carter: Cookies make Christmas.
We'd steal the Daily News's Cookies from around the world too, but grinding almonds, frying dough and finding a half-cup of passion fruit puree just looks too hard tonight.
Oops: More intriguing, perhaps, is this New York Times correction, in its entirety:
Recipe: Back Forty
Published: November 28, 2007
Adapted from Back Forty (a restaurant in the East Village)
Time: 5 minutes
4 teaspoons maple syrup
2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce lemon juice
3 to 5 dashes orange bitters
Lime wedge for garnish.
In a cocktail shaker, mix syrup with 2 teaspoons hot water. Add bourbon, lemon juice and bitters. Add ice and shake. Strain drink over ice in glass. Garnish.
Yield: 1 drink.
Correction: December 5, 2007
A recipe with the Pairings column last Wednesday for a Back Forty cocktail misstated the amount of orange bitters that should be used. It is three to five dashes, not three to five ounces.
Try this on pancakes?
These two recipes come from the Dec/Jan issue of the magazine Every Day with Rachael Ray. She suggests them as Edible Gifts but they sound like football snacks for a Sunday afternoon to me.
1 14-oz bag (4 dozen) Soft caramels
1 10-oz bag pretzel nuggets
12 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups natural almonds, toasted and finely chopped
Unwrap the caramels, then, using a rolling pin, roll out each one into 1/8-inch-thick oval. Wrap a caramel around each pretzel nugget, pinching the ends to seal
In a double broiler over simmering water, melt half the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Add the remaining chocolate; remove the top of the double boiler from the sauce pan and stir until smooth.
Place the almonds in a shallow bowl. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Using a fork, dip a caramel-covered pretzel in the chocolate to coat, tapping off any excess chocolate. Transfer the pretzel to the almonds and toss to coat; place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pretzels. Let stand until set, about 3 hours.
For the Presentation:
Roll a piece of square card stock into a cone, seal the edges with tape and fill with pretzel turtles. Cover the cone with wrapping paper and tie closed with a ribbon.
Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 10 min
No trash talk from us before Sunday's game. We'll just steal the Pittsburgh Post Gazette's fans' favorite holiday cookies -- well, the recipes anyway:
Clockwise from the center top cookie, the cookies are Allspice Wafers; Neopolitan Bars; Maple Twists; Whirligigs; Chocolate Fruit Bars; White Chocolate Cherry Biscotti; Triple Chocolate Cookies; Pecan Shortbread; Grandma Carlisano's Orange Cookies; Exquisite Chocolate Mint Sticks; Pecan Shortbread again; Rich Carposy's Nut Rolls; Cream Filled Wafers; Chocolate Walnut Squares; Graham Cracker Nut Cookies; and Date Roll Cookies.
Whirligigs and Mounds Bar Cookies sound especially good.
MOUNDS BAR COOKIES
Mary Kraus of Oakmont says these "taste just like a Mounds candy bar."
* 1 box cake-like brownie mix, family size (makes a 9-by-13-inch pan)
* 2 cups coconut
* 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 2 tablespoons flour
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the brownies following directions on the box. Pour batter into prepared pan; set aside. Mix coconut, cream cheese, sugar, flour and eggs together using an electric mixer. Spread over brownie batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over brownies. Return to oven for about 1 minute or until the chocolate chips melt. Remove from oven and spread over brownies. Cool and cut into bars.
Makes about 36 bars.
Regent Square's Kerry Kelty writes: "This is the first cookie I ever baked (when I was 10 or 11 years old) and it's from the only cookbook that my mother owned, 'The Betty Furness Westinghouse Cookbook.' My mother, Blanche, was a fabulous cook who never actually used a cookbook, but like so many women in the Turtle Creek valley in the '50s and '60s, she was a Westinghouse wife! I suspect the book must have come with one of the Westinghouse appliances that filled our little house in the suburbs and I'm glad it did, for it gave me my signature cookie: The Whirligig. Everyone in my extended, formerly Westinghouse family loves it and requests it for the holidays. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share."
* 1/2 cup shortening (or softened butter for richer texture)
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 cup peanut butter
* 1 egg, unbeaten
* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 6 ounce-package semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream shortening, brown sugar, granulated sugar and peanut butter together thoroughly, add egg and beat until light and fluffy. Sift flour with soda and salt. Add to egg mixture and blend well. Roll dough into oblong shape 1/4 inch thick on a sheet of wax paper. If dough is too sticky to roll, sprinkle with additional flour. Melt chocolate chips in microwave. (The book calls for a double-boiler, but this is no longer necessary -- thankfully!) Spread chocolate on rolled dough with spatula. Roll up like jelly roll and chill. When firm enough (about 1 hour) slice off cookies 1/4 inch thick. Place onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack immediately after baking.
Makes about three dozen cookies.
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A collaboration of three writers -- Linda Lau Anusasananan, Andrew Baker, Christine Weber Hale -- produced the recipes, the thorough explanations of properties and technique, and the very readable Q&A about what makes chocolate chip cookies turn out so differently:
The burning issue is how to make the cookie turn out the way you want, every time. Curiously, most cooks who asked for help use the same recipe--the one on the back of the Nestlé chocolate chip bag. It's a reliable recipe, but subtle changes produce surprising differences. To determine which factors influence the final cookie, we used the wrapper recipe and baked more than 25 variations. Each batch was slightly different, and changes in proportions, mixing methods, and baking were carefully controlled. The goal: to learn how to make the cookie that matches your favorite adjectives....
The flavor of the news to use here:
What makes a cookie crisp or crunchy?
Reducing the amount of ingredients that hold moisture--flour, egg, and brown sugar--makes it easy for liquid to evaporate, producing crisp cookies. The fat, which goes up proportionately when other ingredients are cut back, gets hotter than the water in the dough and drives out the moisture. Fat also makes the dough softer and melts when hot, making the cookies spread. For crispness, bake cookies longer at a lower temperature to give them more time to spread before they firm. Then bake long enough to dry and brown them evenly to develop the maximum toasty flavor and crisp texture throughout.
There are recipes for Thick, Soft, and Chewy (most notably, it has an egg in it) and Thin, Crisp; Thin, Crisp, and Chewy, as well as Thick, Crunchy, vary the amounts of the ingredients in Thin, Crisp.
Here's that one:
Thin, Crisp Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cooking time: About 20 minutes per pan
Prep time: About 10 minutes
Makes: About 32 cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 package (6 oz.) or 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt.
2. With a mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons water, and vanilla until blended. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture, then beat until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
3. Drop batter in 1-tablespoon portions about 2 inches apart on baking sheets.
4. Bake in a 300° oven until an even golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. If using 2 pans in 1 oven, switch places at half-time.
5. Let cookies cool on pan about 3 minutes, then transfer to racks with a spatula. Serve warm or cool. Store airtight up to 1 day, or freeze for longer storage.
Per cookie: 86 cal., 47% (40 cal.) from fat; 0.6 g protein; 4.4 g fat (2.6 g sat.); 12 g carbo.; 77 mg sodium; 7.8 mg chol.
Go see the rest of their fine piece.