Fool’s Toffee

If you visited our booth at Hollydays, you may have tasted Fool’s Toffee already and should know how awesome it is!! This is a great dessert for the Holidays or really any occasion!

Saltine crackers may seem like an unusual ingredient to use in a toffee recipe, but do not be “fooled” into thinking this is a mistake. This secret ingredient makes the toffee much lighter and crispier than using graham crackers. Teenagers love to make this candy. Makes a great gift for teachers, coaches and friends.

Ingredients:

  • 36 to 40 saltine crackers (1 sleeve)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter
  • 1 cup of packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions:

Line a 10 X 17 inch baking pan with foil and coat the foil with butter. Arrange the saltine crackers in a single layer with sides touching in the prepared pan. Combine 1 cup butter and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring constantly.

Pour the butter mixture over the crackers. Using a wooden spoon, spread the mixture evenly over the crackers. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and let stand for 2 minutes or until chocolate chips soften. Spread the chocolate evenly over the prepared layers using a knife or metal cake spatula. Sprinkle with the pecans and press lightly. Chill for 30 minutes or until set. Break into pieces and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Here are some photos of the finished dessert!

Cheese Straws


Cheese straws are perfect party snacks. My family always makes them for Christmas so I though I would try out the River Road recipe! This was a straight forward, easy snack to bring to a party, tailgate, anything! With school starting soon, you could make this as an after school snack for the kids!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup butter- make sure you get real butter
  • 2 cups hand grated sharp cheddar
  • 2 2/3 cups sifted flour
  • Dash red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Rolling pin, cheese grater, mat – not listed in book

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • First hand grate the cheese. I used Cracker Barrel cheese
  • Mix ingredients together well. I melted the cheese and butter before adding the other ingredients and it made a great dough!
  • Roll thin and cut into narrow strips.
  • Bake in slow oven, 275 degrees, until light brown.
  • 25 minutes in the oven was plenty of time!
  • Makes about 4 dozen

This is what your dough cut up should look like.

Here is the final product!


Paint it Forward Event


River Roads Recipes hosted an event with Painting and Pinot (off Perkins) for a Paint it Forward event a few weeks back. This was a fun event to create some art work for your home and give back to River Roads. Painting and Pinot also allows you to bring your own drinks and food in. Some ladies drank wine and River Roads provided the snacks and a drink too! I hope to see this event come back next year! I have a couple photos courtesy of Ashley Rasco from the event. There were many tasty snacks as well!


Painting before pictures:


Final product for the crawfish painting


Here are pictures of the snacks as well as the full recipes:

This would also be great for Thanksgiving or a fall tailgate!

SPARKING CRANBERRY PUNCH, RRR1, p 11


Ingredients:

  • 1 large can jellied cranberry sauce
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups ginger ale
  • Clove-stuffed lemon slices*
  • Mint

Instructions:

Crush cranberry sauce in can with fork and empty into saucepan. Beat with rotary beater. Add water and beat until sauce is melted. Add sugar and cool. Stir in lemon juice, extract and 1 cup of ginger ale, and serve well iced in frosted glasses. Garnish with mint and clove studded lemon circles. Serves 12 punch cups.

* to make the clove stuffed lemon: purchase a whole lemon and whole cloves. Then press the cloves into the lemon in rows. Lastly, after the lemon is filled with cloves, cut into slices.


COWBOY COOKIES, RRR2, p. 217


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups quick rolled oats
  • One 6-ounce package butterscotch chips or chocolate chips

Instructions:

Sift the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt together. Cream the butter with the sugars. Add eggs to the creamed mixture. Beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture gradually to the creamed ingredients. Now add the vanilla, rolled oats and the chips. Drop by spoonful on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees approximately 15 minutes. Makes four dozen cookies.


BOURBON PECAN TART-LETS, RRR4, p. 61


Ingredients:

  • 36 frozen miniature phyllo pastry shells
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

There is a note that states these can be frozen

Instructions:

Arrange the pastry shells in a single layer on a lightly greased 10 by 15 Inch baking sheet. Spoon the chocolate chips evenly into the shells. Combine the pecans, brown sugar, butter, bourbon, and egg in a bowl and mix well. Spoon the pecan mixture into the prepared shells. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to one month.

Makes 3 dozen tartlets

Sugar and Spice Pecans

Sugar and Spice Pecans, RRR IV, page 255, Photo by Jessica McVea

Here is a quick and easy recipe that you can keep on hand as a snack, to serve to your guests, or give as a gift, too!

Louisiana pecans. We LOVE them! This recipe is a wonderful mix of our beloved pecans, two kinds of sweet sugars, a sass of seasoning blends, and then a kick of curry to top it off. It is just the right blend to excite all your taste buds.

These Sugar and Spice Pecans from River Road Recipes IV: Warm Welcomes, page 255, will make a lovely gift for a hostess, teacher, or neighbor. Be creative with packaging:  mason jars, cello bags with ribbons, pretty tins, or maybe a antique candy dish. Just use your imagination. You could also pair the gift with a pretty tea towel like in the picture below.

Sugar and Spice Pecans, RRR IV, page 255, Photo by Jessica McVea

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (white)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of Morton Nature’s Season’s  Seasoning Blend
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

DIRECTIONS

Toss the pecans with the butter in a bowl. Add the mixture of the sugar,  brown sugar, seasoning blend and curry powder to the pecan mixture and mix well. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast at 275 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring at 15-minute intervals. Remove the pecans to a plate and let stand until cool. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 4 cups

 

 

Red Stick Farmer’s Market

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Members of the River Road Recipes Cookbook Committee will be on hand from 8am-12pm this Saturday sharing cookbook knowledge, offering samples and selling all 4 of our beloved books.

The weather is supposed to be gorgeous this weekend and the Red Stick Farmers Market is a wonderful way to grab a cookbook along with some fresh ingredients to whip up something special for dinner later that evening!

 We hope to see you Saturday! Be sure to stop by our booth and say hello. Keep reading for our featured sample, Cheese Straws.

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Photograph by Don Kadair

Cheese Straws

Cheese straws are a perpetual crowd favorite at parties. The sharp cheddar cheese with the hint of red pepper make them an irresistible, savory snack for any event! They also make great gifts when placed in a decorative bag or tin. While the recipe calls for you to roll the dough thin and cut it into narrow strips, you can also place the dough in a cookie press to give them a decorative shape before baking.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 2/3 cups sifted flour
  • Dash red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Mix ingredients together well. Roll thin and cut in narrow strips. Bake in slow oven, 275°, until light brown. Makes about 4 dozen.

River Road Recipes I, p. 223

Party Mix

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1.5 hours

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 20

KITCHEN TOOLS:

  • Measuring  spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet
  • Aluminum foil (optional)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 package Cheerios
  • 2 packages Rice Chex
  • 1 box “Slim Jim” stick pretzels
  • 3/4 pound butter (3 sticks)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Any kind of salted nuts (such as peanuts) (approximately 3 cups)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gather kitchen tools and ingredients. Preheat oven to  250°. Break the pretzels in half. Using the microwave, melt the butter in a mixing bowl. Watch the butter carefully in the microwave as it can pop and make a mess!
  2. Pour the Cheerios and Rice Chex into a large roaster pan or rimmed cookie sheet and add the broken pretzels. Sprinkle with salt and garlic salt.
  3. Add the red pepper and Worcestershire sauce to the melted butter and mix.
  4. Pour the butter, red pepper, and Worcestershire sauce mixture over the cereals and pretzels.
  5. Cover the roasting pan (or use aluminum foil to cover if using a rimmed cookie sheet or if you do not have a lid) and bake at 250° for one hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 30 minutes longer.
  6. Mix in any kind of salted nuts.
  7. Cool and store in an airtight container until ready to serve!
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Photography by Lauren De Witt

Lemon Drop Cookies

This delicious, lemony dessert is found in River Road Recipes I on page 195. You can find lemon drops on the candy aisle of your grocery store or even at the gas station.

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Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Level of Difficulty: Medium

Servings: 3 dozen cookies

KITCHEN TOOLS:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer (optional)
  • Food processor
  • Mortar and pestle (optional)
  • Sifter
  • Cookie sheet

INGREDIENTS:

lemon-drop-cookies-ingredients-e1474465324371.jpg

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

  • 1/2 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed lemon drops

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gather kitchen tools and ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease cookie sheet. Using a food processor, process the lemon drops as much as possible. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the processed lemon drops further if necessary. Sift the flour.
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Photo by Lauren De Witt.

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Sifting the flour allows you to use less flour overall and makes for a lighter, fluffier cookie! Photo by Lauren De Witt.

2. Cream (mix) butter and sugar together using an electric mixer or by hand.

3. Add egg and lemon juice.

4. In a separate bowl, mix together the sifted flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon drops.

lemon-drop-cookies-dry-ingredients-e1474465304599.jpg

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

5. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix together.

6. Drop by 1/2 teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.

7. Bake about 10 minutes, until sides begin to brown.

8. Cool slightly and remove from pan.

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Photo by Lauren De Witt.

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Photograph by Don Kadair

Rosemary, Raspberry, and Coconut Lime Shortbread Cookies – Oh My!

I’ll admit it, I have never been a fan of Shortbread Cookies. I thought them plain and boring, a little dry and crumbly. That is, until my sister-in-law revolutionized my thinking! This simple cookie actually provides an elegant backdrop for a wide variety of flavors. With a few tricks and a little creativity, the Shortbread Cookie can be dressed up or down to fit any occasion, and might very well become your new favorite!

The Basics- Scotch Shortbread Cookies, River Road Recipes I, p. 199

This recipe from River Road Recipes I is the basic Shortbread Cookie that we are all familiar with.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. Sift flour; cream butter; gradually work in confectioners’ sugar, again creaming thoroughly. Sift in flour a little at a time, mixing quickly and lightly.
  2. Chill dough for thirty minutes in refrigerator.
  3. Roll out dough to thickness of 1/2 inch on lightly floured surface.
  4. Cut shortbread with deep cookie cutter and place cookies on ungreased baking sheet.
  5. Prick surface of cookies with prong of fork.
  6. Bake five minutes at 325°, and then turn oven down to 300° and bake 20-30 minutes longer.
  7. Cookies should be light in color, not brown at all – slightly tan on the bottom.
  8. If seasoned for a week or so in covered tin box and stored in cool spot, they become much better. Will keep indefinitely.

Variations

These variations to the above Scotch Shortbread Cookie recipe will take your shortbread cookies to new heights! I haven’t included specific measurements below as these variations are the result of trial and error, so just use your own judgment on what you think will taste good. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Add a rustic touch to the original Scotch Shortbread Cookie recipe by adding in several tablespoons of fresh chopped rosemary to the dough prior to chilling. Follow the remaining instructions as before.

Raspberry Thumbprint COokies

Make the scotch shortbread recipe as before, but instead of rolling thin and using a cookie cutter to form the cookies, roll the dough into small balls, then press your thumb into the middle of the ball to create an indentation. Spoon raspberry jam into the thumbprints and bake. After removing from the oven, mix a little confectioners’ sugar with water to make an icing and drizzle the icing over the top!

Coconut Lime Shortbread Cookies

This is probably my favorite variation, and the one my sister-in-law introduced me to. Follow the directions as before, but add coconut flakes to the dough prior to chilling. While the cookies are baking, mix confectioners’ sugar, water, and lime juice to taste together to make icing. The icing should be somewhat thick, so add additional confectioners’ sugar as needed in the event the icing becomes too watery. Once the cookies have cooled, spread the icing over the top. Finish by sprinkling lime zest over the tops of the iced cookies!

Party Mix

This easy snack is found in River Road Recipes I on page 227. You can make this ahead of time and store in an airtight container – it will keep indefinitely! It also makes a great and easy gift for new neighbors, teachers, or any kind of little “thank you.” Just pour some of the party mix into a clear bag, tie off with a ribbon, and you are good to go!

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1.5 hours

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 20

KITCHEN TOOLS:

  • Measuring  spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet
  • Aluminum foil (optional)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 package Cheerios
  • 2 packages Rice Chex
  • 1 box “Slim Jim” stick pretzels
  • 3/4 pound butter (3 sticks)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Any kind of salted nuts (such as peanuts) (approximately 3 cups)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gather kitchen tools and ingredients. Preheat oven to  250°. Break the pretzels in half. Using the microwave, melt the butter in a mixing bowl. Watch the butter carefully in the microwave as it can pop and make a mess!
  2. Pour the Cheerios and Rice Chex into a large roaster pan or rimmed cookie sheet and add the broken pretzels. Sprinkle with salt and garlic salt.
  3. Add the red pepper and Worcestershire sauce to the melted butter and mix.
  4. Pour the butter, red pepper, and Worcestershire sauce mixture over the cereals and pretzels.
  5. Cover the roasting pan (or use aluminum foil to cover if using a rimmed cookie sheet or if you do not have a lid) and bake at 250° for one hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 30 minutes longer.
  6. Mix in any kind of salted nuts.
  7. Cool and store in an airtight container until ready to serve!
Photo by Don Kadair.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Gone in a Minute Bean Dip

With Labor Day weekend quickly approaching, look no further than this Gone in a Minute Bean Dip recipe for a quick and healthy appetizer! Try pairing this bean dip with our delicious Fiesta Dip to give guests and family members a variety of options to choose from.

Gone in a Minute Bean Dip

Photo by Jessica McVea.

Gone in a Minute Bean Dip, River Road Recipes III: A Healthy Collection, p. 9

  • One 15-ounce can pinto or great northern beans, no bacon
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup picanté sauce
  • Chopped green onions to garnish

Drain and rinse beans well and blend in food processor along with the garlic, oil, juice, and cumin. Transfer to a medium sized bowl and stir in picanté sauce. Garnish with the green onion tops. Serve with oven-baked chips, pita bread, or raw vegetables, or take it a step further and make your own bagel chips (recipe found in RRR III, page 258)!

Yield: 2 1/2 cups, or 20 servings of 2 tablespoons each

Nutritional Note: This recipe contains 26 calories, 0.9 grams of fat, and 108 mg of sodium per serving. You can reduce the sodium by using freshly cooked beans or simply buying no-salt added canned beans.