Red Velvet Cupcakes

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Red Velvet Cake or Cupcakes

1 ½ cups sugar

½ cup shortening

1 stick butter, room temperature

2 eggs

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1  1-oz bottle red food coloring

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream sugar, shortening and butter, beat in eggs.  Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.  Add to sugar mixture, alternating with buttermilk.  Add food coloring and vanilla.  Pour into three greased and floured 9-inch cake pans.  Bake 20 minutes or until cake pulls from edges of pans and center springs back when lightly touched.  Or, pour into cupcake papers and bake about 15 minutes.  Cool on wire racks and frost.

 

Frosting:

1 stick butter, room temperature

1 8-oz package cream cheese, room temperature

1 1-pound box powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix butter and cream cheese until well-blended.  Slowly stir in sugar, add vanilla.  Beat until fluffy.  If making cupcakes, you may have to make more frosting if you want piled high decorated frosting.

 

Julie Murphy served at Christmas Brunch

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Cheese Straws

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Cheese Straws

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Dash of salt

17 ½ ounce (2 sheets) puff pastry

2 tablespoons softened butter

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Mix together cheeses, pepper and salt.  Spread one puff pastry sheet with butter.  Spread with cheese mixture.  Place second pastry sheet on top.  Mash together ends of pastry. With rolling pin, roll out to ¼ inch thickness, about 15X15 inches.  Cut across in 1 inch wide robbons.  Cut in half again.  Twist each piece.  Bake for 3-5 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

 

Janet Wachsler via Rich’s Tearoom

 

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Cheese Straws II

cheese straws

Cheese Straws II

2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

2 sticks butter, softened

3 cups flour

Dash of cayenne pepper (to taste)

 

Mix above ingredients together with mixer.  Use star attachment on cookie press to form cheese straws.  Place on ungreased baking sheet at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Let cool and place in airtight container.

 

Kristin Habowski

 

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Praline Cheesecake

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2 cups crushed shortbread cookies (about 28 cookies)

3 tablespoons butter, melted

4 pralines, coarsely crumbled

5 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 ¾ cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

4 large eggs

2 egg yolks

1/3 cup whipping cream

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

2  8-ounce containers sour cream

1/3 cup sugar

Garnish: crumbled pralines

Combine cookie crumbs and butter.  Press into bottom and up sides of a greased 10-inch springform pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.  Sprinkle coarsely crumbled pralines over crust.  Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add 1 ¾ cups sugar, flour, and vanilla; beating until smooth.  Add eggs and egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.  Stir in whipping cream and lemon rind.  Pour in crust.  Place on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees on lower oven rack 10 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake 1 hour and 20 minutes or until almost set.  Cool on wire rack 1 hour.  Stir together sour cream and 1/3 cup sugar; spread over cheesecake.  Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.  Cover and chill 8 hours.  Remove sides of pan.  Garnish with pralines, if desired.

 

Pralines:

¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup half-and –half

3 tablespoons butter

1 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Butter bottom of a heavy 3-quart saucepan.  Cook brown sugar and next 3 ingredients in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugars dissolve; stir in pecans.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, cook, stirring occasionally, 6-8 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 238 degrees (soft ball stage).  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla; let stand 3 minutes.  Beat with a wooden spoon 3 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.  Working rapidly, drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper.  Let stand until form.

Gina Tiedemann

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