Alligators Coffee Cakes

1/2 package dry yeast
1 cup warm milk (105 to 110 degrees F) , divided
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
60 pecan halves

Alligator Filling
1 cup sugar
1 (7 ounce) package almond paste
3/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups ground pecans

Maple Icing
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup butter
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Alligator Filling: Blend together sugar, almond paste, butter and honey to form smooth paste. Fold in flour, then pecans.

Makes about 2 cups.

Maple Icing: Heat maple syrup and butter in small saucepan until butter melts. Add sugar, blending until smooth. Makes about 1 cup.

Dough: Mix yeast with about 1/2 cup warm milk. Add sugar, salt, 3 tablespoons melted butter, remaining 1/2 cup warm milk and flour. Mix well. Knead to make smooth dough 6 to 8 minutes. Let dough rest 30 minutes.

Roll out on floured board into large rectangle. Spread top with 1/4 cup softened butter. Fold dough into thirds. Repeat 3 more times, using 1/4 cup butter each time, and allowing dough to rest 30 minutes before filling.

Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Using 1 portion at time, roll dough as thinly as possible into 18 x 12-inch rectangle. Spread 1/2 Alligator Filling on entire surface of dough, then fold lengthwise in thirds. Place on lightly greased baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Decorate top with about 30 to 40 pecan halves. Let rest 15 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

While still hot, drizzle top with half of Maple Icing. Repeat with second portion of dough.

Makes 2 alligators.

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Almond Macaroon Slices


Almond Macaroon Slices

Almond Macaroon Slices

7 1/2 ounces (1 1/2 cups) blanched almonds
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites, divided
1/3 cup apricot preserves
Sliced almonds (not blanched)

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Process almonds and sugar until fine and powdery. Add 1 egg white. Beat, and add additional egg white slowly until a paste forms that holds together (may not need all of it). Turn out onto floured surface, form a ball, turn to flour all sides. Shape into an 11-inch long cylinder. Place on cookie sheet, brush off excess flour. Dip finger in water, press a trench into dough, lengthwise. Don’t cut through the ends. Stand uncovered overnight.

Stir preserves well. Place in trench, top with sliced almonds.

Bake 25 to 28 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until macaroon is lightly colored and preserves start to bubble. Cool, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into diagonal slices.

Makes 12 servings.

Blueberry Crisp

Blueberry Crisp

3 cups fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of salt
1/3 cup cold butter
Half-and-half or light cream

Place berries in 2-quart square baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice.

In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle oat mixture over berries. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes or until topping is golden brown and berries are tender. Serve warm with cream, if desired.

Serves 4 to 6.

Per Serving: 427 calories; 16 g total fat (10 g saturated fat); 41 mg cholesterol; 243 mg sodium; 70 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 4 g protein

Dietary Exchanges: 1 starch; 3 fruit; 3 fat

Baked Apricot Chicken

Baked Apricot Chicken


Source: ReaLemon Recipe Collection Cookbook

1 (12 ounce) jar apricot preserves (1 cup) or
peach preserves, as desired
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
3 pounds chicken pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a shallow dish, combine preserves, lemon juice and soy sauce; mix well. Coat chicken with preserves mixture, roll in bread crumbs. Reserve remaining preserves mixture.

In a greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish, arrange chicken; drizzle with margarine or butter. Bake for 1 hour or until tender, In a small saucepan, combine remaining preserves mixture; heat thoroughly. Serve with chicken.

Diablo Shrimp

Diablo Shrimp

Diablo Shrimp

Shared with Recipe Goldmine by Thomas Trottier

1 pound clean shelled shrimp
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (6 ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
8 ounces milk or cream for richer texture

Puree the chipotles in adobo sauce, (sometimes you can buy them that way). Heat oiled skillet to smoking, add garlic, then quickly add shrimp. Just sear shrimp for a few minute. Turn heat to low, simmer add milk and chipotle puree. Serve as soon as it boils.

Great on soft tacos or over rice as well as a stand alone appetizer.

The ABC Sandwich

This was a specialty of the now-closed Pittman House Restaurant in Dallas, Texas.

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup minced scallions
2 tablespoons brandy
1/4 teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper
18 slices toasted whole-wheat bread
Leaf lettuce
12 ounces crabmeat, picked over well
to remove any shells
Tomato slices
12 slices slab bacon, cut in half,
cooked crisp and drained
2 avocados, sliced

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, scallion and brandy, mixing well. For each sandwich, spread three pieces of bread with a portion of the mayonnaise mixture. Cover the first slice of bread with lettuce leaves, 2 ounces of crabmeat, and one or two tomato slices. Add the second slice of bread, and top with the four half-slices of bacon, a layer of avocado slices, another tomato slice or two, and more lettuce. Cover with the third slice of bread, secure the sandwich with wooden picks, if you like, and slice it in half.

Serve the sandwiches immediately.crabmeat bacon recipe

Brandied Chocolate Fondue

Brandied Chocolate Fondue

1/2 pint whipping cream (do not whip)
4 (4 ounce) Hershey bars
1/4 cup brandy
Banana slices, pineapple chunks and
    strawberries, cut into bite-size pieces
Chopped pecans

Melt whipping cream and Hershey bars in a fondue pot until liquid; add brandy and stir until well mixed.

Put fruit in bowls around the fondue pot. Dip fruit into fondue, then into bowl of crushed pecans.

Apple Brownies



Apple Brownies

Apple Brownies

These are delicious, and they keep indefinitely.

1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
3 cups apples, cut fine
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream butter; add sugar and cream again. Beat eggs and add to creamed mixture. Stir in apples.

Sift together flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and salt; add to the mixture and mix well. Fold in walnuts. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees F in a greased and floured 13 x 9-inch pan.

Cool. Cut into bars or cut in squares and serve as a dessert with a dab of whipped cream on top.

Brown Sugar Cheesecake with Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce

Brown Sugar Cheesecake with Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce

Source: Gourmet magazine – February 1998

1/3 cup pecans
16 thin chocolate wafer cookies
4 (5 x 2 1/2-inch) graham crackers
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt

24 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons Bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce

Make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a baking pan toast pecans in one layer in middle of oven until golden, about 10 minutes, and cool.

In a food processor finely grind pecans, wafers, and graham crackers. Add brown sugar, butter, and salt and pulse until combined well. Transfer mixture to a 9 1/2-inch springform pan and press evenly onto bottom and 1 1/2 inches up side.

Make filling: In a bowl with an electric mixer beat cream cheese until fluffy and add eggs, one at a time, beating at low speed until just combined. Beat in Bourbon, vanilla extract and brown sugar until just combined. Pour filling into crust and put springform pan in a baking pan. Bake cheesecake in middle of oven 35 minutes. Leaving oven on, transfer cake in springform pan to a rack and let stand 5 minutes. (Center of cake will set as it cools.)

Make topping: In a bowl stir together sour cream, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Drop spoonsful of topping around edge of cake and spread gently over center, smoothing evenly. Bake cake in baking pan in middle of oven 10 minutes and cool completely in springform pan on rack.

Chill cake, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 4 days.

Run a thin knife around inside edge of pan and remove side of pan. Transfer cake to a serving plate and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Serve cake with sauce.

Serves 12.

Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup bourbon
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

In a dry 3-quart heavy kettle cook sugar over moderately low heat, stirring slowly with a fork (to help sugar melt evenly), until melted and pale golden. Cook caramel, without stirring, swirling kettle, until deep golden. Remove kettle from heat and carefully add water and bourbon down side of kettle (mixture will bubble and steam). Simmer mixture, stirring, until caramel is dissolved. Stir in butter until incorporated and cool sauce to warm. Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce may be made 1 week ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat sauce to warm before serving.

Makes about 1 3/4 cups.

Chocolate Ice Cream Pie

Chocolate Ice Cream Pie

1 (6 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust

Combine chocolate chips, milk and marshmallows in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until marshmallows are melted. Cool.

Layer half each of ice cream and chocolate sauce in graham cracker crust. Repeat layers. Cover and freeze until pie is firm.

Let stand at room temperature 5 minutes before serving, if necessary.

Champagne by the Spoonful

Champagne by the Spoonful

Champagne by the Spoonful


Makes 2 servings.

Fresh berries suspended in champagne gelatin keep well for several days, so prepare this grown-up dessert on a day when you have an hour or two to keep an eye on the gelatin mixture as it chills. Make sure you choose champagne flutes that are wide enough to accommodate a spoon.

1 1/4 cups champagne, chilled, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup fresh raspberries

Rinse and dry two champagne flutes. In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup champagne with sugar and gelatin until sugar and gelatin dissolve and mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour into a heatproof glass measuring cup. Add remaining chilled champagne. Chill until mixture just begins to mound on a spoon, one to two hours.

Drop a couple of berries into each champagne flute. Pour in enough of the gelatin mixture to fill the flutes about halfway, taking care not to dribble down the sides of the glass. Drop in a few more berries. Divide the remaining gelatin mixture between the two glasses, and drop in a couple of more berries.

Using a fork, gently push the berries to varying depths. Place the flutes in the refrigerator until gelatin is completely set, 1 to 2 hours.

Jell-O Lime Margarita Smoothie

1/2 cup boiling water
1 package lime Jell-O gelatin
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pineapple tidbits, drained
(fresh can be substituted)

In a blender, pour in boiling water then gelatin powder. Cover and blend for a couple of seconds; scrape sides of container.

To blender, add the ice cream, milk, and pineapple; also add a few handfuls of crushed ice. Replace cover and blend until smooth; serve immediately.

Chicken Supreme

Chicken Supreme

6 chicken breasts, halved
12 slices bacon
2 cans chicken soup or 1 can each
chicken and mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups sour cream
Curry powder
Poultry seasoning
1 jar dried beef
3 ounces cream cheese
4 cups hot cooked rice

DO NOT SALT. Wrap 1 slice bacon around each half chicken breast.

Place a layer of dried beef in bottom of a baking dish. Arrange bacon-wrapped chicken on beef slices. Combine chicken and mushroom soups, sour cream, cream cheese, pepper, curry powder and poultry seasoning and pour over chicken. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 325 degrees F for 2 hours. When meat is tender, remove foil and let brown slightly.

Serve on a bed of hot rice.

Banana-Peanut Cheesecake

Banana-Peanut Cheesecake

Banana-Peanut Cheesecake

3 cups ground Oreo cookie crumbs, minus filling
2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/4 pounds cream cheese, softened
5 large eggs (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup very ripe banana pur

Butterscotch Popcorn Crunch

Butterscotch Popcorn Crunch
Butterscotch Popcorn Crunch

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups walnuts, toasted

Heat oven to 250 degrees F. Grease a 14 x 10-inch roasting pan.

Pop the popcorn. Put nuts and popcorn in a very large bowl. Bring brown sugar, corn syrup and butter to boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butterscotch chips, vanilla extract, baking soda and salt until blended and smooth. Working quickly and using two wooden spoons pour syrup over popcorn and nuts, stir to coat thoroughly. Pour mixture into pan; bake 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, cool mixture in pan about 15 minutes. Turn mixture out of pan onto foil to cool completely.

Break popcorn into smaller pieces; store in airtight containers in cool dry place up to 2 weeks.

Makes about 4 quarts.

Bailey’s Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

Bailey's Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

1 package Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Baileys Chocolate Mousse Cream Cheese Filling
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 cup Baileys Irish Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Decorative Topping
2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter the side of a 10-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.

For the crust: Combine the cookies, sugar and chocolate chips in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until it is the consistency of powder. Add the melted butter and pulse on/off until well mixed. Transfer the cookie mixture to the pan and pat evenly onto the bottom and up b the side of the pan. Set aside.

For the Baileys chocolate mousse cream cheese filling: Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down as needed. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to mix until smooth. Blend in the Baileys Irish Cream and vanilla extract. Last, add the melted chocolate and mix on low speed until thoroughly blended. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees F for 50 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Remove the side of the springform pan once the cheesecake is cold.

For the topping: Melt 2 ounces chocolate chips in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the cream and stir until well blended. Spoon the topping into a small plastic freezer bag and make a small cut in one of the bottom corners. Squeeze the topping out over the cake.

Adobo Chicken

1 1/2 packages PERDUE® Fresh Chicken Drumsticks
2 scallions, chopped
1/3 cup lite soy sauce (low-sodium)
1 cup water
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 bay leaves
2 slices star fruit
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon sesame oil Adobo Chicken
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
3 tablespoons cilantro, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted peanuts, chopped


Prepare gas or charcoal grill, or preheat broiler.
In medium bowl, combine scallions, soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, bay leaves, star fruit, cloves, sesame oil, brown sugar and hot sauce. Stir to combine.
Pour into large, lidded pan. Place chicken drumsticks in single layer in pan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and gently simmer chicken for 20-25 minutes. (Chicken can be held in the refrigerator, covered in poaching liquid up to two days.)
Remove drumsticks from liquid, place on preheated grill or under broiler, and cook, turning, about 6 minutes per side, until chicken is cooked throughout and skin is crisp and brown.
While chicken cooks, strain poaching liquid into small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook to reduce to about 1 cup of sauce.
Remove chicken from grill, top with cilantro and peanuts, and serve with sauce.

Pink Ribbon Smoothies

1 cup red grapes (which are sweet and a bit spicy) or 1 cup seedless black grapes (which are sweet and a bit spicy)
1 cup strawberry, fresh or frozen
1 slice fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt or 1/2 cup low-fat strawberry yogurt
1 cup ice cube
1 teaspoon bee pollen (my own addition, with thanks to Rita L for getting me back into the habit! I use CC Pollen) (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Wash fresh fruit and place all ingredients in the Vita-Mix container (or blender) in the order listed.
Secure 2-part lid.
Select VARIABLE, speed #1.
Turn on machine and quickly increase speed to #10; then to HIGH.
Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth

Create Pink Ribbon with pink crystal sugar. The froth will hold it in place.

Dijon Shrimp

Dijon Shrimp

Dijon Shrimp

12 to 18 large shrimp
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced

Peel and devein shrimp and place in shallow, rimmed pan. The old-fashioned biscuit pan works well. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over the shrimp. Let marinate for 2 hours, then broil for about 5 minutes or until done.

Serve with salad and French bread.

Coffee Jell-O

coffe jell-o

Coffee Jell-O

1 tablespoon plain gelatine powder
1/4 cup cold water
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
Dash of salt
1 3/4 cup hot strong coffee

Soak gelatine in cold water for five minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Chill until firm.

Serves 4.

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