Easy, Delicious Cracker Bark!

ToffeeBarkMy family never tires of good, old-fashioned cracker bark! This recipe is easy and is always a hit at summer picnics!

Ingredients:

1 sleeve or Saltine crackers – Club crackers may be used

1 package (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 sticks butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts – Heath toffee chips may be substituted for the walnuts

Kosher salt (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil.  Place crackers on the sheet in a single layer.  Break up the crackers where necessary to fit the size cookie sheet you are using.  In a saucepan, melt the butter, mixing in the brown sugar.  Add baking soda and stir.

Pour the mixture over crackers and spread evenly.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the crackers.  Place cookie sheet back into the oven for a few minutes to soften the chocolate chips.  Remove from the oven and spread the melted chocolate chips evenly over the crackers.  Sprinkle the walnuts over the warm chocolate.  If desired, sprinkle a small amount of Kosher salt over the chocolate. 

Place in the refrigerator to set the cracker bark.  I have placed it in the freezer as well to speed up the firming process.  When cooled, break or cut the bark into pieces and place on a platter.  Cracker Bark

4th of July Festive Snacks!

I wish you a Happy Independence Day this Thursday!  For Tummy Tuesday this week, these festive ideas are so easy! 
(Click on the photos for more great ideas and/or the recipes!)
Strawberry, Blueberry & Banana Kabobs courtesy of Jalet Farrell
better one Patriotic Watermelon & Feta Flag courtesy of Wenderlywatermelon flagPatriotic Chocolate Fruit Cones courtesy of seevanessacraft4th-of-JulyRed, White & Blue Parfait courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

 

Drive-In Popcorn Mix!

Drive-In031HotDog

Tummy Tuesday is in honor of going to the Drive-In this weekend!  We are grateful that one, fun, Drive-In remains in our local area.  They recently renovated it to reflect the “old time” traditions and the kids love the experience.  As teenagers, they still think watching the hot dog jump into the bun is the neatest thing! Click the above  image to watch it!

popcorn6Ingredients:

32 ounces of popped popcorn;        1 lb. white or milk chocolate melting wafers;   1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts;      3/4 cup mini Reece’s Pieces;                              1/2 cup of M&Ms;   waxed paper;   Kosher salt

Directions:

Melt chocolate and pour over popcorn in a large mixing bowl. Stir to cover all popcorn.  This amount of chocolate provides a very heavy coating to the popcorn.  Add peanuts, Reece’s Pieces and M&Ms.  Coat all ingredients carefully.  Pour mixture onto waxed paper, spread mixture out into a single layer.  Sprinkle Kosher salt lightly over mix.  Once the chocolate hardens, break up, and place into a covered storage container, gift jars, or zip lock snack bags. Tips: add marshmallows, use peanut M&Ms or any other candy pieces. Delete nuts as needed for allergies.  Use red/green for Christmas; yellow/orange for Halloween (adding candy corn is yummy)!

Tummy Tuesday! Phyllo Mushroom Bites

MushroomFolding-it-up(Since the Easy Chicken Wing Dip came out a day early, let’s enjoy two recipes this week!)

Ingredients:

8 oz. softened garlic-flavored cream cheese

10 oz. fresh mushrooms, chopped into small pieces

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

2 T. chopped fresh or dried chives

2 t. hot sauce

1 t. salt

1 t. pepper

1 roll of Phyllo Pastry Sheets (store brands work fine)

1 stick of melted butter

Flour for counter

1 egg for wash

Parchment paper for lining the pan

Directions:

Mix cream cheese until smooth. Stir in mushrooms, onion, chives, hot sauce, salt, pepper and Parmesan.  Cover bowl, allowing the ingredients to combine for an hour in the fridge or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Beat egg in a small bowl.

Wait to open the phyllo sheets until your butter is melted and you are ready to begin brushing the sheets.  Remember that phyllo dries out fast, making it very difficult to work with if you don’t move quickly.

Sprinkle flour onto counter.  Unroll your phyllo.  Cut the pile of sheets in half.  Wrap the unused sheets in plastic wrap.

Pull first sheet off the pile.  Lay one sheet of phyllo on the floured surface.  Brush with melted butter.  Fold in half.  Brush dry side with melted butter. Fold one more time in half again, brushing the dry side with butter.  You should have a long, narrow rectangle in front of you.   Scoop 1 T. of the cream cheese mixture on one end of the buttered dough and spread toward the edge.

Begin folding the dough into a triangle shape.  Seal edges by dipping fingers in beaten egg and pinch closed.  Repeat steps for remaining filling and phyllo sheets.

Brush the tops of the mushroom bites with beaten egg.  Sprinkle with salt, if desired.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven and the size of your bites (see tip below).

Tip If you’re trying to figure out how to make the “perfect triangle” and it’s not working, just cut and pinch the phyllo sheets into any shape you desire.  The baking time may change due to the size of the shapes, so keep an eye on the oven.  My family could care less about the shape, but the yummy taste is the same!