2013-06-06 / Lifestyles

Recipes Made Easy

STUFFED STRAWBERRIES

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 -1/2 tsp almond extract
1 lb fresh strawberries (16 0z. container), washed

In mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese, sugar and extract and beat with hand mixer until creamy. Place mixture in pastry bag with star-tip and set aside. Wash strawberries and dry with paper towel. Slice green tops off so berry can sit flat on plate. Slice pointed end of berry into quarters, (about 3/4 down) careful to not slice completely through. Place tip of pastry bag into center of “X” and pipe cream cheese mixture. Arrange on plate and serve.

HOMEMADE TWIX BARS

1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cups caramel, cut into small chunks
3 Tbsp. heavy cream
3 cups chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening (Optional)

For the crust:

Preheat oven to 300 degree. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add the flour – at first the mixture may seem dry, but will come together quickly. Take the dough and press it evenly into the pan. (Lightly flouring your fingertips will help with any sticking.)

Prick the crust all over with a fork – this allows steam to escape so the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles.

Bake until lightly golden brown on top and edges – about 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set aside to cool completely.

For the caramel layer:

Melt the caramel and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up.

For the chocolate layer:

Melt the chocolate in the microwave using 10 second increments – stirring every time.

If the chocolate seems too thick, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin it. (Just know that this will leave your end-resulting chocolate a little softer than normal.) Pour evenly over the chilled caramel layer and spread until it covers the entire surface. Return to the refrigerator (or freezer) until the chocolate is well set.Cut and serve.

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