A’Tempting’ Tuesday: I’m fessing up

I am putting on my big girl Tiara and fessing up.  I’ve lied.  Sort of.  In an earlier post I believe I said I rarely, if ever use cake mixes.  I don’t to make cakes.  However, cookies are a different story.  One of my favorite cookie bar recipes starts with a yellow cake mix.

As I said last week, my son and I are settling into a new routine and I haven’t tried many new recipes in the last couple of weeks.  We’ve been knee-deep in baseball practice and I’ve been just a little lazy.  Quite honestly, my son’s picky, 11-year-old taste buds are quite happy with frozen chicken nuggets or a quick homemade pizza.  So today, for lack of anything new or earth shattering to share, I thought I’d post one of my oldies but goodies.

This recipe for Butterscotch Cashew Scotchies came from one of my favorite cookbooks — The Cake Mix Doctor.  Since I am already married and so is “The Cake Boss,” I think I want to be the author of this book, Anne Byrn, when I grow up.   Why didn’t I come up with this??  I have had this book in my collection for years and can’t remember if I got it as a gift or received it as a review copy years ago.  Either way, I’ve had it a long time so I looked it up to see if it is still available.  It is, along with several other versions of this book by the same author.  I may have to invest in The Cake Mix Doctor Returns or one of the other publications.  There’s a gluten-free Cake Doctor and even a Dinner Doctor, among several others.  I want them all.   As a bonus, she even has a website (linked above) full of recipes and wonderful tidbits.  I don’t know why I never thought to look it up before.

Here’s a link to The Cake Mix Doctor on Amazon.com.

This recipe for Butterscotch Cashew Scotchies  can be made with either butterscotch chips or chocolate chips.  Of course, I have always chosen the latter.  Come on y’all. If chocolate is one of your choices, is there another option?

The recipe combines a cake mix, cashews, brown sugar and butterscotch or chocolate chips to make a wonderful bar cookie that is neither too gooey or crumbly.  It’s just right.  Again, this recipe came straight out of  The Cake Mix Doctor cookbook.  I cannot claim it as my own.  And, to my friends who often request this cookie, you now know my secret!  I have probably misled you, but I was so enjoying basking in  the “glory” and praise I received when I made these.  But now, we’ll move on.

Fotor0311105726

Butterscotch Cashew Scotchies

1 package (18.25 oz) plain yellow cake mix
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) melted butter
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped lightly salted cashews
1 cup butterscotch chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350. Set aside an ungreased 13×9″ baking pan.
Place the cake mix, brown sugar, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape the sides of  the bowl with a rubber spatula. Blend again on low speed for 1 minute. Transfer the batter to the pan, smoothing it out so that it reaches all sides. Sprinkle the cashew pieces and butterscotch or chocolate chips over the batter.
Bake the cake until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 27 to 29 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.
Cut the cake into 24 bars. Remove the bars from the pan with a metal spatula, and serve.

Cook’s Talk

  • This is a personal  preference, but I always very lightly spray my baking dish with baking spray.
  • Again, I used chocolate chips.  And, to be honest, occasionally I probably throw in a little more than a cup, or sometimes a little less.  It depends on what I have on hand.
  • This batter is very thick.  I find it’s easier to spread with the back of a metal spoon lightly coated with baking spray.
  • I lightly “pat” the cashews and chocolate chips into the batter.
  • My oven is crazy, so I start checking the cookies at about 25 minutes, so I don’t dry them out.
  • The recipe says to cut into 24 bars.  It would drive my OCD side crazy trying to measure and get them all the exact same size, so I hold my breath and just cut.  I couldn’t tell you how many cookies I wind up with.  I like to cut them a little on the smaller side.

I hope you enjoy. If you have another of Anne Bryn’s cookbooks, do share.  Now that I’ve discovered there are so many more, it might help me decide which one to purchase next.  (I am a cookbook junkie.)

Until next time….

A’Tempting’ Tuesday: Life Happens (Even While Wearing Your Tiara)!

You know, I wish I was one of those superwomen who always have everything done on time and to a T. I want my house to be clean. I want dinner to always be yummy and on the table before my smiling family gets home.

I also want to get all this done with perfect makeup, perfect hair, beautiful well-fitting clothes and maybe even some “June Clearverish” pearls (I’m not aging myself that much. I watched that show in reruns.) — and yes, all while wearing a TIARA! I deserve that much, right?

Well, unfortunately even when you wear your TIARA, life happens! Jobs get in the way, unexpected projects pop up and you occasionally get sick. All of this happened to me last week.

I had so planned to dig into a lovely cookbook I received as a gift, and share a recipe from it with you this week. My family would have loved that too … but take-out and sandwiches were pretty much on tap all last week. We can chalk this one up to the chaos I call life.

So, instead I thought I’d share an appetizer recipe with you. This might come in handy with the Super Bowl just around the corner.

I took this to a New Year’s Eve party and it was a hit! It’s made with bacon. That should sum it up.

This recipe came courtesy of one of my favorite Facebook pages — $5-10 Dollar Meals- Cheap Eats.

DSC_4966

Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps

1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (1 lb) package sliced bacon
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes.

Cut each bacon slice into thirds. Wrap each chicken cube with bacon and secure with wooden pick inserted on the diagonal, starting where bacon seam overlaps.

Stir together brown sugar and chili powder. Dredge wrapped chicken in mixture.

DSC_4968

Coat a rack and broiler pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken on rack in broiler pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes, or until bacon is crisp.

Cook’s Talk:

  • These were quite yummy, but I think next time I will play with the seasoning a little bit. I might add red pepper flakes to spice it up a bit or maybe marinate the chicken in Tabasco or another hot sauce prior to wrapping in the bacon.
  • I wound up baking closer to 45 minutes as I used thicker-cut bacon.
  • Next time, I will also make MORE. They were gone in about 5 minutes.

I hope you enjoy.

Until next time …. I’m going to wear my tiara and explore my new cookbook.