A Cookie A Day Until Christmas: Graham Cracker Marshmallow Fruitcake Bars (No Bake)

I was 'gifted' these fruitcake bars on a plate with various other cookies and candies by a co-worker at my job, years and year (and years) ago.  I would have been about 21 years old at the time and although my husband and I enjoyed tasting the other goodies, neither of us wanted to taste the 'fruitcake' bars because neither of us liked fruitcake.  Finally, I relented and picked it up to smell it and then taste it.  Whoa!  This isn't fruitcake!  This isn't even remotely similar to fruitcake at all.  It was so good that I later had to ask my co-worker, (who became a dear, dear friend) for the recipe.

That was back around 1991 and I've been making this recipe ever since.  That dear friend passed away from breast cancer a few years ago and although I think of her a few times during the year for random reasons, it's without a doubt that she comes to mind every single year when I make these bars.

Not at ALL like fruitcake except they use candied fruit and nuts; it's a graham cracker and marshmallow base and once people get over the 'fruitcake' connotation, these bars fly off the serving plate.

No Bake Fruitcake Bars

1 lb. butter*
1 lb. mini marshmallows
3/4 c evaporated milk
1 lb. pecans
1/2 lb. walnuts
1/2 lb. whole green candied cherries
1/2 lb. whole red candied cherries
1 lb. raisins
1 lb. graham cracker crumbs

Melt the butter, marshmallows and evaporated milk in a pan on the stove over low to medium heat.  In a very large bowl mix the rest of the ingredients.  Add the melted marshmallow mixture.  Stir and mix well.  Press into a greased or foil lined 9X13" pan.  Press flat and freeze or refrigerate overnight.  Thaw a bit before slicing to make it easier.  Slice into 3 long sections or rows and slice each row into thin slices to serve.

**I've been using a little less butter over the past few years (perhaps 3 1/4 sticks instead of 4) and it's been perfectly fine.  Feel free to cut back a bit on the butter if you want to try it that way.  You can also change the amounts of the nuts, raisins and cherries, etc. I've used craisins some years, and doubled the red cherries and halved the green cherries, etc.  You can play with this recipe a bit.  

An easy way to press into the pan is to use a piece of plastic wrap on the top and then press or roll it flat.

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A Cookie a Day Until Christmas: The Best Ginger Molasses Cookies

This is my master mix - a triple batch, that makes 3 dry mixes you can put into a storage container or ziploc, and quickly mix these up when you need them or you could make the whole triple batch in one day of course.  They are such an incredibly delicious cookie!  They're a bit addictive!

Perfect Molasses Cookies

6 c flour
3 c sugar
1 T baking soda
1 T baking powder
1 T ground ginger
1 T ground cinnamon
1 t ground nutmeg
3/4 t ground cloves
1/2 t ground allspice

Mix the above dry ingredients in a very large bowl with a wood spoon or wire whisk. When completely mixed divide the mixture evenly into 3 large ziplock baggies with 3 cups of the mix in each. Make one ziplock at a time.

When you are ready to make cookies;
To one of your dry, 3 cup mixes, add;

3/4 c soft butter (real)
1 egg
1/4 c molasses

Roll into 1 inch balls and roll in plain white granulated sugar. Place on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes until the edge is firm and the top is cracked. Cool on the pan for 1 minute before moving to wire racks.

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Keebler Bars - Angel Bars - Kit Kat Bars (everyone knows them by different names)

I've posted what we call "Angel Bars" and have made regularly since about 1999 or 2000 - but what I'm not sure I've mentioned is that it's not the recipe I originally made.  I made these the first time using butterscotch chips in them as well, and I didn't care for the 'fake' flavor of butterscotch chips (but I'm picky like that), so I ended up tweaking the recipe until it was the one we have loved and used for about 15 years now.  However, I realize many people may like the original version that includes the butterscotch chips.  So this morning, here is the original version of our 'Angel Bars' that some people think tastes similar to a Kit Kat.  I don't.  But these are a FAVORITE bar in our family.

Update to add:  for 2018 I made a huge double batch of these only to have my husband eat two ROWS of bars the first night!  It's a good thing I start to do my holiday baking 'early' because this allows me to make a 3rd batch for the cookie trays before Christmas giving.

Angel Bars - also known as Keebler Bars (or some call Homemade Kit Kat Bars)

80 club crackers
1 cup butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup butterscotch morsels

Line an ungreased 9X13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an extension of foil on either end. Line the foil with 1 layer of club crackers, breaking to fit if necessary.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, milk and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and spread half of butter mixture evenly over crackers. Place another single layer of crackers evenly over butter mixture, cutting to fit if necessary. Spread remaining butter mixture evenly over crackers. Top evenly with remaining crackers.

In a small microwavable dish or in a saucepan, combine peanut butter, chocolate morsels, and butterscotch morsels. Melt in the microwave or over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Spread evenly over top of crackers. Cover, and chill for at least 1 hour. Lift foil overhang and remove bars from pan. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator.

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Homemade Rolls for Thanksgiving, Christmas or just Any Day! (Buns, Rolls, Bread, Pizza Dough, Cinnamon Rolls)

I've posted this recipe on An American Housewife soooo many times.  But I've made it a thousand more than I've posted.  This is the one classic bread dough recipe that always works.  Never fails. Is forgiving on if I want to use a mixture of wheat blends for the flour, want to make it into rolls, buns, cinnamon rolls, garlic bread... anything.

The last time I made bread with it (which was just last week for our houseguests) I was thinking to myself that I've never NOT had this dough turn out.  And I've been making this recipe since around 2000 so... 20+ years now.

I have two classic, wonderful bread dough recipes that I use, but the other one is a little more involved as it uses scalded milk, melted butter, eggs and time for cooling (and 2 risings).  This one is my 'go to' because it's so easy and yet so forgiving and so good.

I typically make this in my KitchenAid stand mixer because it's so easily available (and the bread machine is in a cupboard).  But it comes together even quicker if you make the whole thing in a bread machine start to finish.

Classic White Dough
Can be used for bread, buns, cinnamon rolls, garlic bread, etc.

12 oz. warm water
1 1/2 t salt
2 T butter
4 - 4 1/2 c unbleached bread flour (or use all purpose if that is what you already have)
2 T dry milk powder
2 T sugar
1 3/4 t yeast, dry

Either place this in a bread machine (in the order your machine requires) and run on the dough setting or place into a large KitchenAid style mixer with a bread dough hook and knead/mix for about 5 minutes or use an electric mixer and place the water, salt, sugar and yeast in first;  let it set and proof for about 2 minutes and then add the butter, dry milk and flour.  You can also do this all by hand (if you have really strong arm muscles for the 10 minutes of kneading it will take.)

Typically I make this in my large KitchenAid stand mixer or my old, reliable bread machine.

Let your dough set for about 6-10 minutes after kneading to rest.  

Remove the dough from the machine or the mixer bowl.  FOR BUNS:  Divide it in half.  Then each half into half.  Then each of those halves into half.  This is how you will get fairly equal sized balls.  If making rolls to go with a meal divide them until you have golf ball sized balls.  If using for hamburger buns, stop dividing the dough when they are double that size so they will be large enough for the hamburger patties.  Roll in your floured hands and place on greased or parchment lined baking sheets.

Letting them rise will give you a taller fluffier bun but you can also bake them right away if you are pressed for time and don't mind a dense roll, which works for soups, etc if you really, really need these right away. 

Bake at 375F for approximately 15 minutes but this can be up to 22 minutes depending on the size buns you make, the thickness of your baking sheet and your oven. Bread takes about 27-35 minutes.  When they are golden brown remove them, brush the tops with butter for a softer bun and let cool to warm to serve as rolls or cool completely and serve as hamburger buns.

Because I've made this recipe a thousand times, I've posted it many, many times.  No sense reinventing the wheel, so here are some photos from another post of when it was made into bread. I also had a mixture of home-ground white and red wheat in these, so you can see the little bits of different shades of wheat grain in these.

The first raising

This recipe makes two loaves.  Form and put in a greased pan.

Let raise and then bake until done - about 30-35 minutes.


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Hundreds of Christmas Cookie Recipes - lists and photos and links... oh my!

Older post, re-posting for 2022!

For the past 12 years or so I think the average number of different recipes I make is somewhere around 24-26.  



I've been doing this for SO LONG that I don't really care to re-invent the lists and posts yet AGAIN. Seriously... I think this particular version of my site goes back to 2006.  Instead... I'll just cut and paste of the many lists I've made at some point in the past, as well a few random photos of goodies and links - no particular order or reason.


December 1st:  Molasses Cookies
December 2nd:  Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints
December 3rd:  Peppermint Pinwheels
December 4th:  Candy Striped Cookie Sticks
December 5th:  Peppermint Teacakes
December 6th:  Peanut Butter Patties
December 7th:  Peanut Butter Fudge
December 8th:  Sugar Cookies:  Snowflakes with Edible Glitter
December 9th:  Swedish Rosettes
December 10th:  Cream Wafer Cookies
December 11th:  Cherry Poppy Seed Winks
December 12th:  Peppermint Pretzels
December 13th:  Candy Pretzels
December 14th:  Homemade Truffles
December 15th:  Cream Horns
December 16th:  The Best Brownies
December 17th:  Red Velvet Cake Balls
December 18th:  Glazed Sugar Cookies
December 19th:  Gateau Bon Bons
December 20th:  No Bake Chocolate Bars
December 21st:  Peppermint Meltaways
December 22nd:  Melted Snowman Cookies
December 23rd: No Bake Fruitcake Bars
December 24th:  Mini Peanut Blossom Muffin Cookies


 RANDOM LINKS FROM OVER THE YEARS......... 2006 - 2020


Peppermint Melt-aways

 Christmas Cake Balls

Cream Horns




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Baking Spirits Bright for 2022 - Christmas Cookies and Candies


Cookie Ideas and recipe links:   Baking Spirits Bright in 2022 



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Christmas Goodies for 2022 - PLUS my almond chocolate truffle recipe


ALMOND TRUFFLES - so, my almond truffles have a creamy almond flavored center (no hard nut) and are a staple around our house for years and years.  It's funny that each time I post about them on my site I mention I should take some new photos, as I just usually use the ones I already have - like I did on the post about the truffles from 2018. (Truffle post link here)

But this year I DID take new photos!  OK - so I quickly snapped a couple on my cell phone.. and they suck but this site isn't about pretty photos - it's about the food.  :)

Creamy Almond Truffles

Almond Truffles

1/2 c evaporated milk
1/4 c sugar
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 t almond extract
1 c finely chopped toasted almonds
OR 1 cup melted chocolate almond bark for dipping (or extra chocolate chips)
and melted white almond bark for drizzling

Combine evaporated milk and sugar in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil. Boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in chips and almond extract, stirring gently until smooth. Chill mixture about 45 minutes until it can easily be shaped into balls. Roll into the crushed nuts or dip in melted chocolate. Drizzle or sprinkle with nuts if desired. Chill to harden quickly.

NOTES:  Normally I just do the typical truffle 'ball' shape. It's quick.  It's easy.  It's easy recognizable as a truffle.  But this year I mixed it up a little by making shapes.  Then, I realized I had some leftover royal icing in a decorator bag sitting right there on the counter from another cookie, so I grabbed it and topped them all with a dollop. 

They turned out really pretty and it's nice to do something different with them after all these years.  Same recipe - just played with the shapes. 


 You can see the truffles sitting behind this box of goodies...

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A Cookie A Day Until Christmas! Mexican Wedding Cakes - or Russian Tea Cakes

This cookie is one I've been making for too many years to count.  Originally I made it because it sounded interesting to me due to the use of only a few ingredients; including ground up nuts and very little sugar. After they were made I recognized them!  It was a cookie I had tasted and loved previously, given to me by one of my neighbors in our little cookie exchange baskets.  (Our neighborhood at the time had about 4 or 5 of us that would walk around and deliver goodies to everyone as a Christmas 'hello'). 

It's a small, round cookie that looks like a little snowball.  It's dry, crunchy and isn't too sweet, but just right.  Great with coffee and good for people who like walnuts and/or pecans.  A lot of 'older' folk like this cookie. 

Russian Tea Cakes
Mexican Wedding Cakes

1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 c powdered or confectioner's sugar
1 t vanilla
2 1/4 c flour
3/4 c finely chopped nuts (typically walnuts but also consider pecans or almonds)
1/4 t salt
more powdered sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 375. Mix butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Stir in flour, nuts and salt. Shape into 1 inch balls. Bake 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet for about 10-12 minutes. They should not brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool slightly and then roll in powdered sugar and let cool. Roll a second time. Can freeze for later use. 

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Pink and White Circus Truffles: Frosted Animal Cracker Cookie Truffles

Originally posted in June, 2022
Repost November 2022 to gear up for Christmas baking!

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that I whipped up some quick truffles last week for a mini family reunion we were hosting at our home this weekend. 

I'm a big fan of the actual Mother's brand Circus Animal Cookies (Frosted Animal Crackers) and could eat an entire bag myself, easily.  When I initially decided I wanted to make truffles instead of my typical chocolate chip cookies, I first figured I'd just make the regular almond truffles I know everyone loves, but then thought maybe instead, I should do the Oreo version as well to mix it up a bit.  But... meh

When it comes to quick and easy cookie truffles, a regular 'go to' is the Oreo version but it's just as simple to make them with 'Nilla Wafers, animal crackers or obviously - frosted animal crackers like the original (and best version, in my opinion) Circus Animals.

It's basically just pulverizing the cookie, adding enough frosting or cream cheese to hold it together, forming balls and dipping in candy coating.

And... that's what you do!


Frosted Animal Cracker Truffles

Frosted Animal Crackers (like Mother's Brand Circus Animals) (9 oz)
Cream Cheese or white or pink frosting (2 oz)
Pink candy coating (1 small pkg)
White candy coating (1 small pkg)
Muli-colored sprinkles

To each 9 oz. bag of animal cookies you'll want to use about 2 ounces of either frosting or cream cheese.  The amount you make is up to you.  I used 2 bags of Circus Animal Cookies and about 6-ish ounces cream cheese.   

Separate the pink and white cookies from each bag you are using.  Pulverize the white cookies in a food processor and add about 2-3 ounces white frosting or cream cheese and pulse just until it forms a ball.  Repeat with the pink.  If your dough is a bit too sticky to work with, chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes until you can form balls. The sprinkles in the white tend to turn it a pale 'green' tint.

Using about 1/2 teaspoon, scoop out little bits and roll in tiny balls, both pink and white, placing on parchment paper lined trays.  Freeze for about 20 minutes, and then use a white ball to smash a little and form it around a pink ball and place back on parchment.  Repeat until you've used about half of them and then reverse the process and smoosh a pink one to form around a white center.  If you want skip this step and do single color bites, (faster) just form 3/4" balls out of the white and pink cookie dough as you wish.  

Freeze your balls for about 30 minutes.  Prepare your candy melts by following directions on the packages.  Use a bowl for white and a bowl for pink (separate).  Usually this means microwaving on defrost or 50% power for 1 minute at a time and stirring and mashing between minutes until smooth and melted.

Dip half the balls pink and half white.  Be sure to sprinkle with multi-colored candy sprinkles immediately while they are wet because as they are frozen, they set up very, very quickly.

At the very end you can use the remaining melts to splatter and drizzle across and over the truffles.

You can keep these in the refrigerator for a week easily.  Mine were also out on the counter for 2-3 days, no problem.  

Some are multi color centered (right) and when I ran out of white dough but still had more pink, I did the rest solid pink.  Each are dipped in the opposite color candy coating.









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Basic Yellow Cake with variations


2/3 c sugar
1/4 c shortening
Dash  salt
1 t vanilla
1 egg
1 1/2  c flour
1/2 c milk
2 t baking powder

Cream together shortening and sugar. Add egg and flavoring and beat thoroughly. Sift together dry ingredients and add alternately with milk to sugar mix. Pour into well-greased 2-cake pan and bake at 375ºF for 35 min.

CHOCOLATE CAKE: Add 1 sq of unsweetened chocolate that has been melted over water or 1 T. Cocoa powder to shortening/sugar mixture. 

SPICE CAKE: Add 1 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t nutmeg, 1/4 t cloves, and 1/2 c raisins to cake batter. 

RAISIN CAKE: Add 1/2 c raisins to cake . 

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE: In bottom of cake pan pour 2 T melted butter and 1/2 c brown sugar. Mix. Layer pineapple rings and maraschino cherries in center of rings. Cover with batter and bake as before for 30 min.

QUICK COFFEE CAKE: Add 1 T grated lemon rind to batter. Pour into greased pan. Sprinkle generously with a mixture of 1/2 c sugar 1 T cinnamon. Bake . 

WASHINGTON PIE: Bake in two cake pans. Prepare cream filling. And place between layers. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. 

Shortcake: Bake in a jelly roll pan. Then cut in squares and top with fresh fruit and whipped cream. 

Cup cakes: Fill 2/3 full and bake as for cake.

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Lemon Crumb Topping Muffins


Lemon Crumb Topping Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/2  t salt
1/3 c oil
1 1/2 t lemon extract
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
1 c half and half (cream)
1 T lemon zest

1/4 c flour
1/4 c sugar
2 T butter
1 T lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine the oil, lemon, sugar, egg, milk and lemon zest. Mix well. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Divide the batter among 12 muffin cups that have been lined with a cupcake liner.

In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the topping until you have coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon streusel topping on the top of each muffin.

Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425 degrees, then, without opening the oven, lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 8 minutes.  Makes 12 muffins.

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Lemon Sherbet Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Lemon Sherbet Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

1 c (8 oz.) salted butter, softened
2 1/2 c granulated sugar
6 large eggs
3 c (12 oz.) all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t table salt
1 (8-oz.) sour cream
1 T lemon zest
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 t  vanilla extract
30 paper baking cups

1 c butter, softened
3 T lemon zest
4 c powdered sugar
8 T fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 drops yellow liquid food coloring

Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat 1 cup softened butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty stand mixer until creamy; gradually add granulated sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in 1 tablespoon zest, 1 tablespoon juice, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Place 30 paper baking cups in three 12-cup standard-size muffin pans; spoon 1/4 cup batter into each baking cup.

Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 to 23 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely, about 20 minutes.

Prepare Frosting: Beat 8 ounces softened butter and 3 tablespoons lemon zest at medium speed until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with 8 tablespoons lemon juice, beating at low speed until blended after each addition. Add up to 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, beating until desired consistency is reached. Add food coloring, and beat at high speed until well blended and frosting is light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

Spoon frosting into a ziplock plastic freezer bag. Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole. Pipe about 1 1/2 tablespoons frosting onto each cupcake.

Lime Sherbet Cupcakes: Substitute lime zest for lemon zest and fresh lime juice for lemon juice. For frosting, substitute fresh lime juice for lemon juice, and 1 to 2 drops green liquid food coloring for yellow.

Orange Sherbet Cupcakes: Substitute orange zest for lemon zest and fresh orange juice for lemon juice. For frosting, substitute orange zest for lemon zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 7 to 8 tablespoons fresh orange juice in place of 8 to 9 tablespoons lemon juice. Substitute 1 drop red liquid food coloring for yellow.

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Homemade Beef Jerky - Diving into Dehydrating

This document was extracted from "So Easy to Preserve", 5th ed. 2006. Bulletin 989, Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia, Athens. 

Partially freeze meat to make slicing easier.  Slice meat no thicker than ¼ inch. 

Trim and discard all fat from meat because it becomes rancid quickly. 

If a chewy jerky is desired, slice with the grain. Slice across the grain if a more tender, brittle jerky is preferred. A tenderizer can be used according to package directions, if desired. The meat can be marinated for flavor and tenderness. Marinade recipes may include oil, salt, spices and acid ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice, teriyaki, or soy sauce or wine.

Jerky Marinade

  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds of lean meat (beef, pork or venison)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of black pepper and garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon hickory smoke-flavored salt
Combine all ingredients. Place strips of meat in a shallow pan and cover with marinade. Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours or overnight. Products marinated for several hours may be more salty than some people prefer. If you choose to heat the meat prior to drying to decrease the risk of foodborne illness, do so at the end of the marination time. To heat, bring strips and marinade to a boil and boil for 5 minutes before draining and drying. If strips are more than ¼ inch thick, the length of time may need to be increased. If possible, check the temperature of several strips with a metal stem-type thermometer to determine that 160ºF has been reached.

Drying the Meat

Remove meat strips from the marinade and drain on clean, absorbent towels. Arrange strips on dehydrator trays or cake racks placed on baking sheets for oven drying. Place the slices close together, but not touching or overlapping. Place the racks in a dehydrator or oven preheated to 140ºF. Dry until a test piece cracks but does not break when it is bent (10 to 24 hours for samples not heated in marinade). Samples heated in marinade will dry faster. Begin checking samples after 3 hours. Once drying is completed, pat off any beads of oil with clean, absorbent towels and cool. Remove strips from the racks. Cool. Package in glass jars or heavy plastic food storage bags. Vacuum packaging is also a good option.
If the strips were not heated in marinade prior to drying, they can be heated in an oven after drying as an added safety measure. Place strips on a baking sheet, close together, but not touching or overlapping. For strips originally cut 1/4 inch thick or less, heat 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 275ºF. (Thicker strips may require longer heating to reach 160ºF.)

Making Jerky from Ground Meat

Jerky can be made from ground meat using special presses to form or shape the product. Disease-causing microorganisms are more difficult to eliminate in ground meat than in whole meat strips. (If ground meat is used, follow the general tips for safe handling of meat and poultry, above.) Be sure to follow the dehydrator manufacturer’s directions when heating the product at the end of drying time. Again, an internal temperature of 160ºF is necessary to eliminate disease-causing bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7, if present.

Storing the Jerky

Properly dried jerky will keep at room temperature two weeks in a sealed container. For best results, to increase shelf life and maintain best flavor and quality, refrigerate or freeze jerky.

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Almond Brunch Cake

3/4 c sugar
1 butter, room temperature
1 8-oz can almond paste, broken into pieces
3 large eggs
1 T Amaretto
1/2 t almond extract
1/4 t salt
1/3 c cake flour
1/2 t baking powder
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees 

Butter and flour the bottom and up the sides of an 8 or 9-inch spring form pan. 

Using electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 3/4 cup sugar and butter at medium-high speed until very light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add almond paste, 1 piece at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in Amaretto, almond extract and salt. 

Whisk together flour and baking powder in small bowl; add to batter. Beat just until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly.  Bake cake until top is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool in pan on rack.  Remove sides of pan and dust with powdered sugar and serve.

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Salt River Bar

(Saving for future reference as it's almost exactly like my Angel Bars)


Salt River Bar

90 Club crackers
1 cup butter, salted
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
sea salt for finishing

Prepare a 9 by 13 inch pan by lining it with parchment paper, leaving the two long edges a bit long to remove the bars from the pan later for cutting.

Spray the parchment and sides of the pan with nonstick spray. Cover the bottom of the pan with the first layer of crackers on top of the parchment. Cut the crackers to fit as needed.

In a medium sized heavy bottomed pan, melt butter, brown sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and heavy cream together over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil, continuing to stir, and boil for 7 minutes. Pour half of the caramel mixture over the crackers, spreading it evenly to the edges of the pan. Working quickly, add another layer of crackers over the caramel. Pour the rest of the caramel over the second layer of crackers, and then add a final layer of crackers.

Refrigerate the pan to chill and set the caramel layers while you make the chocolate topping.

To make the chocolate topping, add milk chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and peanut butter to a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30-45 seconds, then stir. Microwave the chocolate in 15 second intervals, stirring in between until smooth. Pour the chocolate topping over the final layer of crackers, spreading it evenly to the edges. Sprinkle sea salt over the chocolate layer to taste.

Chill for 1-2 hours before using a sharp knife to cut into bars.

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