Good morning! I hope you are having a great week so far. If you live in the Tampa area then you know that Gasparilla is right around the corner and these brownies happen to be from the Gasparilla cookbook!
It is a super easy recipe and they are quite delicious. Perfect for your pirate festivities or a casual ladies night in! Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 1 ounce chocolate squares unsweetened
- 1 stick margarine
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 well beaten eggs
- 1 cup sifted all purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Melt the chocolate and margarine over hot water and blend. Gradually add sugar then eggs and beat well. Add flour gradually, mixing just until it disappears. Add nuts and vanilla. Pour into two 8 x 8 2 inch pans which have been greased and paper lined. Cook 25 to 30 minutes at 350. Cut each pan into 16 squares. Let stand for 5 minutes before turning out to cool. Makes 32.
This is an easy bread to make that is great for breakfast, but really can be enjoyed anytime! It’s a perfect thing to make in the winter when strawberries are in season, but I have made it throughout the year and it’s always been delicious.
Here’s what you’ll need:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
1 1/4 cups pecans (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Add the eggs and oil and mix until moistened. Stir in the strawberries and pecans. Pour into two greased 5×7-inch loaf pans or one 9×13-inch baking pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack.
Yield: 20 servings
Happy Saturday! Hope you all are enjoying your weekend. As we are approaching summertime, I thought what better snack to have around then pina colada muffins! Super easy to make and delicious.
I know I’ll be bringing some to the pool with friends along with real pina coladas 😉
Here is what you’ll need:
1 (2 layer) package yellow cake mix
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon rum flavoring
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (macadamia or pecans)
1 cup of drained pineapple
Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions. Stir in the coconut extract, rum flavoring, coconut, nuts and pineapple; do not overmix. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups 3/4 full. You can also bake it in mini muffin pans. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
Yield: 30 regular muffins or 8 dozen mini muffins
It’s that time of year again, when the birds start chirping and the smell of summer lingers in the air. This is personally my favorite time of year because the weather is perfect and there are plenty of birthdays and events to celebrate. My Birthday is in May and since it is around the corner I want to share this amazingly fun and easy recipe with you.
Now I don’t know about you, but I often have great intentions of channeling my inner ‘Martha Stewart’ and making a fabulous dish, only to find myself in the checkout lane 5 minutes before the party. Well, if you can relate, then this is the perfect recipe for you. It is super fun and easy. Plus kids love to help make it and everyone enjoys diving in to devour it. So the next time you need to whip up a quick snack, try this party favorite. You can find this recipe in the Tampa Bay Junior League’s very own, Capture the Coast cookbook, on page 47. Enjoy!
Capture the Coast, pg 47
5 cups crispy corn and rice cereal, such as Chex
3 cups Cheerios
4 cups fish-shaped cheese crackers
2 cups fish-shaped pretzel nuggets
2 cups “M & M’s” Chocolate Candies
1 cup peanuts 1 ½ cups pecan halves or pieces
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Combine the cereals, crackers, pretzel nuggets, peanuts and pecan halves in a large bowl and mix it well. Bring the butter and brown sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Boil until frothy, stirring constantly. Pour over the cereal mixture and toss to coat. Spread evenly in a large roasting pan. Bake for 10 minutes and stir. Continue baking for 45 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Add the chocolate candies and toss well. Store in an airtight container.
The Gasparilla Cookbook
Cream Cheese Cookies
I signed up to make these thinking all cookies are easy to make. Boy was I wrong. You definitely need something more advanced than a hand mixer and don’t try to pull a short cut (like I did) by not going out a buying a pastry cloth. Honestly, I had never heard of a pastry cloth until I read this recipe and I had no idea how important of a step that was going to be. They tasted great, but they weren’t the prettiest cookies I’ve ever made (haha).
½ pound butter or margarine
6 ounces cream cheese
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
Cream butter and cheese until light. Add flour, baking powder and sugar. Mix until smooth. Roll out about ¼ inch thick onto a floured pastry cloth and cut with 1 ½ – inch cookie cutter. Make a slight depression in the center and fill it with ½ teaspoon of jam. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool and sift powdered sugar over the cookies. Makes about 60 cookies.
Melon Manchego Wraps
Do you need a quick appetizer that is both delicious and impressive? Melon and prosciutto is a classic Italian treat, but add in some Manchego and its even more delicious.
This recipe is easy and there’s no cooking involved! Simply cut the fruit and cheese to size and wrap with the prosciutto. A couple tips, however: I found that the Manchego cut to ½” slices was still overpowering the melon, so I’d suggest thinner slices if your knife skills can handle it. Additionally, I’d suggest wrapping just the middle of the melon/cheese with prosciutto, which means you need a skinny piece of ham. I used larger pieces, which covered the whole melon slice, and it would look much prettier if the other layers are visible. Personally, I don’t enjoy dates, so I left the dates out of some of my wraps and they were especially delicious with just the ham, melon and cheese.
This recipe is a great option if you need a quick appetizer- and it would travel well! It would also be ok to assemble ahead and leave at room temperature for a couple hours. Try them and enjoy!
Melon Manchego Wraps
Savor the Seasons, page 32
“This refreshing summer treat brings together savory prosciutto and manchego cheese with sweet melons. Substitute the melon with sliced dates and apples or other seasonal fruits of your choosing.”
8 dried pitted dates
3oz Manchego cheese, cut into 16 ½” inch thick slices
16 cantaloupe slices
8 slices prosciutto, cut into halves lengthwise
Cut the dates into haves lengthwise. Place a date half and a slice of Manchego cheese on each cantaloupe slice. Wrap with a slice of prosciutto, securing with wooden picks. You may substitute 2 Granny Smith apples for the cantaloupe, if desired. Slice the apples into 16 wedges and sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.
Yield: 16 servings
White Chocolate Party Mix
This is a great dessert for a party favor. Change the coloring of your packaging and M&M’s to reflect the season you are celebrating.
1 pound white chocolate
3 cups rice Chex cereal
3 cups corn Chex cereal
3 cups Cheerios cereal
2 cups pretzel sticks
2 cups dry-roasted peanuts
1 (12-ounce) package “M&M’s” Chocolate Candies
Melt the white chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, stirring frequently. Combine the cereals, pretzels, peanuts and chocolate candies in a large bowl. Pour the white chocolate over the mixture slowly and stir gently until evenly coated. Spread the mixture on waxed paper and let stand until cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bread
This recipe was a hit at a friends baby shower recently! It has just the right amount of sugar and pumpkin to leave you wanting another bite! I love the miniature loaves for sharing with family and friends! This versatile recipe can be served at breakfast or dessert.
What you’ll need:
3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups canned pumpkin
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 10oz package peanut butter chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a medium bowl. Combine the pumpkin, water, oil and eggs in a mixing bowl and beat until blended. Add the flour mixture gradually, beating constantly until blended. Stir in the peanut butter chips. Pour into three greased and floured 5 by 9 inch loaf pans or seven greased and floured miniature loaf pans. Bake 55 to 70 minutes for the standard loaf pans or 45 to 65 for the miniature loaf pans. You will know they are done when you can insert a tooth pick and the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
Yield: 3 large loaves or 7 miniature loaves
The Life of the Party, p.117
Looking for a delicious brownie recipe? Look no further because The Junior League of Tampa’s, The Life of the Party cookbook (p.117) has you covered. If you don’t own this cookbook, become friends with someone who does or go online and buy it! This recipe is quick, easy and doesn’t call for a lot of tricky ingredients. Other than the unsweetened chocolate, many of the ingredients are items you probably have on hand! The recipe also has options to modify the recipe. I enjoy the basic brownie recipe but if you want to have a caramel brownie or an espresso chocolate brownie, those are options too with this recipe.
Basic brownie batter:
31/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (baker’s chocolate)
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
For basic brownie batter, melt the chocolate (break into small pieces or squares) in a double broiler; cool. I use a metal bowl that fits into one of my sauce pans because I couldn’t find my double broiler and it worked perfectly. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until well blended. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour and salt and beat on low until well blended. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans (optional). I just like some on top of the brownies, so again, this is an optional step. Spread the batter into a greased 8×8 inch baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons pecans on the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. Because of the consistency of the brownie you may initially think it needs a lot more baking time- be careful increasing the time too much because it may over bake them.
Cool 1 hour before cutting. For the best flavor, serve the next day. Makes about 20 small brownies despite the recipe which indicates 2-3 dozen small brownies. If you bake in a larger pan you may yield more but be sure to watch your baking time if you are adjusting the pan size.
For directions on the caramel brownie or the espresso chocolate chunk brownies check out the cookbook.