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Candy Corn Cookies

1 pkg. sugar cookie dough
Orange paste food color
2 oz semisweet chocolate, melted, cooled

1. Line 8×4-inch loaf pan with waxed paper, extending paper over sides of pan.
2. On work surface, place 3/4 cup dough. Knead desired amount of food color into dough until color is uniform. Press dough evenly in bottom of pan.
3. Divide remaining dough in half. On work surface, knead chocolate into one half remaining dough until color is uniform. Press over orange dough in pan, pressing gently to edge of pan. Gently press remaining plain dough into pan on top of chocolate dough. Refrigerate 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until firm.
4. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove dough from pan. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice into 5 wedges. On ungreased cookie sheet, place wedges 1 inch apart.
5. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are set and edges are very light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely. Store in tightly covered container.
Makes About 9 1/2 dozen cookies

Surprise Use for Cream Cheese Frosting

I was going to take my favorite apple dip to work for a special occasion. It is so simple to make, that I waited until the last minute to put it together. Guess what? No brown sugar in the house! I can’t believe I let myself run out of something that is such an important staple in my kitchen.

Well, I started thinking about what I could use instead of brown sugar. Then I remembered I had some cream cheese frosting left over from the spice cupcakes I had made the day before. So, here’s what I did:

I creamed together 8 oz. cream cheese, 2 Tbsp. butter, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Then I added 1 cup of powdered sugar and beat the mixture until smooth. Then, I added the leftover cream cheese frosting. I put it in a bowl and surrounded it with slices of green apples, red apples, and pears.

Everyone loved it at work, and never guessed it was a re-use of cake frosting!

– Deb

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. Cream Cheese
8 Tbsp. Butter (unsalted butter is best, but margarine works okay)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup Powdered Sugar

Using mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter.* Add vanilla and powdered sugar and continue beating with mixer until smooth and creamy.

*If your cream cheese and/or butter is cold, you can put it in the microwave for a few seconds (start with 15 seconds) until it is warmed up enough to blend well.

Cheeseburger Bites

1 egg yolk, beaten
1/2 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons grated onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
6 slices bread
24 cubes Cheddar cheese (1/2-inch cubes)

In a bowl, combine egg yolk, ground beef, onion, salt and pepper. Shape mixture by teaspoonfuls into 24 balls. Remove crusts from bread; roll flat and cut into 1-1/2-in. rounds. Place meatballs on bread rounds; make a depression in each ball and fill with a cube of cheese, making sure bread is covered with meat mixture. Place on a baking sheet. Broil in preheated oven about 6 in. from heat for 3-5 minutes or until no pink remains. Garnish with ketchup, mustard, sliced green onions or sliced dill pickles if desired. Yield: 2 dozen.

Grilled Cheese Burgers

1 egg
1/2 cup quick oats
1/3 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup tbsp shredded Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
4 hamburger buns
2 large tomatoes, sliced
1 avocado, sliced

In a large bowl, beat the egg. Add the next six ingredients and blend well with your hands. Form four patties. Place them on a grill and cook for 6 minutes on each side or to your desired level of doneness.

Place the burgers on buns and top with tomato and avocado slices.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin w/ Peach Honey Mustard Sauce

1/2 medium peach, peeled
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pork tenderloin (3/4 pound)
small amount of oil for grill

Place the peach, mustard and honey in a blender; cover and process until blended. Set aside.

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the brown sugar, salt, pepper and cayenne. Add the pork tenerloin and shake to coat.

Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Prepare grill for indirect heat using a drip pan. Place pork over drip pan and grill, covered, over indirect medium-hot heat for 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160°. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with peach sauce. Yield: 2 servings.

Berry Pie

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash salt
1/3 cup water
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh strawberries, halved (or sliced, if large)
1 cup fresh raspberries
3/4 cup fresh blackberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
Pastry for a double-crust pie (9 inches)

Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom crust; trim pastry even with edge.

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon desired, salt and water; stir until smooth. Add the blueberries and bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Set aside to cool slightly.

Gently fold the strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and lemon juice into the blueberry mixture. Pour into pastry; dot with butter. Roll out remaining pastry; make a lattice crust. Trim, seal and flute edges.

Bake pie at 400° for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°; bake for 45-50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 8 servings.

Sweet & Spicy Grilled Chicken

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons onion powder
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)

Combine the first five ingredients; rub over chicken. Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack.

Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 170°.

To test for doneness, pierce one of the chicken breasts in the thinkest part. If juice runs clear, it is done. If the juice has any pink in it, cook a little longer.

Yield: 6 servings.

Frito Pie

1 can (15 ounces) chili with or without beans
2 individual packages (1-1/2 ounces each) Fritos corn chips
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1-1/2 cups chopped lettuce
1 small tomato, chopped
1/2 cup salsa
2 tablespoons sliced ripe olives
2 tablespoons sour cream

Heat chili – either on the stove or in the microwave. Divide corn chips between two plates; top with chili. Layer with cheese, lettuce, tomato, salsa, olives and sour cream. Serve immediately. Yield: 2 servings.