Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Excuses, Excuses...

Sorry I didn't stop by and chat on Friday, but the computer had the early morning doldrums and I didn't conquer until after 8:00am (If you look, you'll see I typically blog by 7:00am). I had a Dr. appt. in Louisville, and the blogging fell by the wayside. I wanted to mourn the WSJ article regarding Waterford-Wedgwood and their buyer problems. They are up for sale and no one is looking to buy. Yeow. All of our dishes and crystal are by this iconic company. David flipped out when I told him about the situation. All the plates, bowls, and crystal that were broken flashed before his eyes. "Order everything you need tomorrow before it's too late," he commanded. Alrighty then. I took inventory and order I did, plus more. I mean, the company could go under and what would we do? I took advantage, yes, I did. The boxes have arrived over the past 2 days. All is well in Wedgwood land, and the village of Waterford too. Yes, I ordered a bit of crystal to tide us over. Then yesterday happened, and I overslept. I couldn't blog because I was rushing to get to the office to do invoicing. The reason I'm blogging after 7 am today, is because I made several invoicing errors and got called to the office early to figure out the problems. I was bound and determined to blog today, so you're getting it now. Plus, does it really matter? No one reads this blog anyway.
The other thing I read last week on the Cooking Contests Central site was the announcement of my favorite contests: Betty Crocker, Martha White, and URS, season 3. I have great ideas for all, but I can't blog about them or post recipes yet. If I do, the recipes will be considered "published" and will be disqualified. However, I will give you a delicious cookie recipe from last year called Sticky Figgy Pudding Bars. Eat the bars warm while they are gooey. If you refrigerate them, don't worry, just pop in the microwave until warm. And, do as we did, take a large spoon and just scoop out big helpings and top with vanilla ice cream. Ridiculously delicious!
Sticky Figgy Pudding Bars
Serves: 8-10
1 17.5 oz pkg Betty Crocker "Sugar Cookie" cookie mix
1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
2 large eggs
2/3 cup hot water
1 TB instant coffee granules
1 cup dried mission figs, stems removed, chopped
1/2 cup chopped dried dates
1/2 cup chopped dried plums
OR, nix the dates and plums and add a cup more chopped figs
Sticky Sauce, recipe follows.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour hot water into a small bowl and add coffee granules; stir until dissolved. Add the figs, dates, and plums, stir. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Place butter in a medium bowl and beat with a hand-held mixer until fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs and beat well (mixture will look curdled).
On low speed, mix in Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix. Add fruit and any remaining liquid. Stir until combined.
Pour mixture into an ungreased 9 x 13 x 2 glass baking dish. Using a spatula, spread evenly in pan. Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until top is puffed and a rich golden brown. While cookie bakes, prepare the sticky sauce. Remove dish from oven and using a skewer, poke holes evenly all over the top of the hot cookie. Brush the hot sticky sauce over the top until it seems the cookie no longer absorbs the sauce. Let cookie set for about 10 minutes before scooping out with a large spoon into an ice cream-lined dessert dish (scoop a couple balls of softened ice cream into a dessert dish. Depress ice cream all around the walls of the dish. Scoop warm cookie into the middle) Yummy.
Sticky Sauce:
6 TB (1/3 cup) softened butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Melt butter and sugar in a heavy small saucepan. Stir until sugar is dissolved and butter is bubbling. Stir in heavy cream and cinnamon. Raise heat to medium and bring to a boil. Stir well. Turn heat back to low and brush over hot cookie until cookie cannot absorb any additional sauce (I actually pour all the sauce over the top and let the cookie deal with it!).

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