Friday, February 5, 2016

Snowstorm Snacks

I don’t know about your family, but on a snowy afternoon my kids love to putter in the kitchen with me. They’re young enough that a) they have a pretty short attention span, and b) they only really care about junk food. So here are half a dozen recipes for sweet treats that are fun (and fast – at least in terms of prep time) to make with kids, and that use ingredients you pretty much always have on hand.

Chocolate Bread Pudding

½ c baking cocoa
1 c sugar
 ¼ tsp salt
½ c water
2 c milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
4 c bread cubes

Blend cocoa, sugar and salt in saucepan; stir in water. Bring to a boil; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir vanilla and eggs into milk then stir into cocoa mixture. Stir in bread cubes. Pour into greased casserole set in pan of hot water (water should be close to the height of the batter in the inner pan). Can also be made in single-serving ramekins (baking time may be less). Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Serve topped with whipped cream or ice cream.


2 c flour
¾ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp ginger
¾ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
½ c Crisco
2/3 c sugar
2 eggs
2/3 c molasses
¾ c boiling water

Combine flour through spices and set aside. Cream together Crisco and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Gradually add molasses, beating constantly. Blend in flour mixture at low speed. Add boiling water and mix till smooth. Pour into well-greased and floured 8 or 9” pan. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.

Microwave Fudge

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
¼ c butter
 1 c chopped nuts (optional)

Place chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter in large microwaveable bowl. Stir. Microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between, for 3-5 minutes until chocolate chips are completely melted and smooth. Stir in nuts, if desired. Pour into greased 8x8” glass baking dish. Refrigerate until set (4-6 hours).

Popcorn Balls

1 (3.5 oz) package plain microwave popcorn
1 (10 oz) bag marshmallows
¼ cup butter
Small candies (optional)

Pop the popcorn and pour it into a large bowl, removing any unpopped or burnt kernels. Melt the butter in a large bowl in the microwave (~30-45 seconds). Add marshmallows, heat in microwave for 1 minute, stir, then 1 additional minute and stir again. Fold popcorn into mixture. (If desired, add in small candies like M&Ms, candy corn, Junior Mints, etc.) Grease your hands well with butter and form into 2” balls.

Peanut Butter Brownie Bites

1 box brownie mix
1 cup peanut butter
4 Tbsp milk

In a medium mixing bowl, combine brownie mix and peanut butter. Stir, then knead until combined. Gradually add the milk to reach desired consistency. Roll 1 tablespoon at a time into balls. Serve immediately; wrap leftovers tightly and store in refrigerator.

Baked Apples

4 large, firm apples
4 Tbsp butter, softened
½ c brown sugar
¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ c chopped pecans or other nuts (optional)
red hot candies (optional)

Wash and core apples, leaving some of the core at the base to hold filling in. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. (Note – you can add nuts or red hots to individual apples if not everyone in the family likes them!) Roll into small cylinder and press into each apple to fill the core. Fill a 2-quart baking dish with enough water to cover the bottom (about ¾ c). Set apples in dish. Bake at 375 for 1 hour, until apples are soft and filling is browned.

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