Archive for October, 2009

Butterfinger Blondies

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

These Butterfinger Brownies were the other treat I brought along to Paw-Paw’s party. As I mentioned last week, we had a party to honor my grandfather a few weeks ago. He’s been gone for a few years now, and we all came together to celebrate his life with memories and games and the foods he loved.

To be truthful, I never knew him to eat much in the way of sweets–he was diabetic for my whole life, and kept himself to a strict diet. But when I tried to think of things foods that reminded me of him, I remembered one of the few times I had him to myself. After all, I have a whole slew of cousins (and that’s okay!) and we all grew up right here near my grandparents (no complaints there either!). It does mean that most of the time I spent with Granny and Paw-Paw when I was young involved the other kids. But when I thought about it, I remembered being on vacation in Buffalo, New York, and he and I going on a walk, just the two of us, to the nearby drugstore. We’d gone to buy Yahtzee score cards, of all things. I don’t remember what we talked about, but I remember feeling pretty special as we talked the whole way there and the whole way back. And I don’t remember much about the trip, but I do remember him buying me a Butterfinger candy bar to snack on.

So like with the Oyster Crackers last week, rather than show up at the party with Butterfinger candy bars, I tried to come up with a recipe using Butterfingers. And so I came across this recipe at www.recipegirl.com. The original recipe called for full-size bars, but I adapted it to fun-size candy bars–and just in time for Halloween. This would really work with any leftover candy bars you have. The vanilla blondie flavor is the perfect backdrop for any candy bar flavor. Heath bars, Snickers, or Reese’s cups would be delicious.

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Butterfinger Blondies

  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 2¼ cups brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 fun-size Butterfinger Candy bars, crushed

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with greased parchment paper

2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, combine butter and brown sugar.

4. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth.

5. Stir in flour mixture and 1 cup of crushed butterfingers.

6. Spread in prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining crushed butterfinger bars over top of batter, reserving a couple of tablespoons of crushed candy.

7. Bake 30 – 35 minutes, or until the bars are a bit firm to the touch. Remove from the oven. While the bars are still warm, sprinkle with the remaining candy. Remove to a wire cooking rack and let cool completely before cutting into bars.

Servings: 12

Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Monday, October 5th, 2009

This one was a nice surprise. Oddly enough, it caught my eye as an advertisement in Real Simple magazine. I picked up the magazine for the recipes on the cover, but all I’ve made from the magazine is this recipe taken from a Campbell’s soup can.

But if you get over that, it was surprisingly good. I like plenty of recipes that start with a can of cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup, but at the end of the day, they tend to taste like recipes that started with a can of soup. This one was different.

The sauce was creamy and delicious, brightened by the flavors of fresh basil and sun-dried tomatoes. I served it with a garlic-basil fettuccine, but regular egg noodles would be fine, I’m sure. Also, I used cream of chicken soup, but technically, the recipe called for cream of mushroom. Use what you like.

Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

3 tablespoon olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast half (about 1 pound)
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup thinly-sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
4 cups cooked pasta (I used a Basil-Garlic flavored fettuccine)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Thinly-sliced fresh basil leaves

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until it’s well browned on both sides.  Remove the chicken from the skillet.

2. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallot and cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir the soup, water, tomatoes, vinegar and chopped basil in the skillet.

3. Return the chicken to the skillet and heat to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low.  Cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.  Serve the chicken and sauce over the noodles.  Sprinkle with the cheese and sliced basil, if desired.