Thursday, March 1, 2012

I've Got Recipes In Unorthodox Places

(To the tune of Garth Brooks's "I've Got Friends in Low Places")

...where the chocolate chips drown and the pumpkin chases...

my blues away...

I've had incredible luck with desserts in the last two days.  And no, the recipes have not come from fancy cookbooks endorsed by any Food Network personality.

Recipe #1: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Location: the side of a box of Oat Wise cereal

Oat Wise cereal?  It's likely you've never heard of Oat Wise cereal...but you probably have heard of its more popular counterpart - Life Cereal.  Who would have thought an amazing recipe for cookies lie on the side of an little known store-brand breakfast cereal?  Huh.  Well, as the late Davy Jones might have said..."I'm a believer..."

2/3 c. sugar (or substitute)
1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. (or stick) butter, softened
1/3 c. peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups Oat Wise (or Life) cereal
1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Beat sugars, butter, and peanut butters until creamy.  Beat egg and vanilla in well.  Combine flour and baking soda and add to butter mixture.  Mix well.  Add cereal and chips, mix well.  Drop by level teaspoon (I use a cookie scoop) onto cookie sheet 1 1/2 inches apart.  Bake 9 to 10 minutes until light golden brown.  Let stand a few minutes for placing on racks to cool.

I apologize for having no photos of the cookies...but honestly, I was so dang excited at how well they turned out and how well they tasted, I forgot about the camera.

Recipe #2 : Pumpkin Crunch Dessert
Location: the top of a styrofoam box of Country Daybreak farm fresh eggs

1 box yellow cake mix
1 15 oz. pureed pumpkin
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar (or substitute)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 c. butter, melted
Cool Whip, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.

Combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl or mixer.  Pour into greased pan.  Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture and top with pecans.  Drizzle melted butter over pecans.  Bake for 50-55 minutes until golden brown.  Cool fully and top with whipped cream, if desired.

Disclaimer: Neither of these recipes are on the heart- and waist-healthy side.  Everything in moderation...moderation is key.  You make three dozens cookies, eat one or two and take the rest to friends or a meeting or such.  Same with the pumpkin dessert (going to my college kids tomorrow before they take their midterm).  Without a doubt, there are healthier substitutions out there, and it's wholly possible to end up with a delicious, less-guilty product.

My advice: when you see a recipe in a most unlikely place (store-brand cereal, off-brand carton of eggs)...try it.  You might have the next heirloom cookie recipe on your hands.

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