Baricat Recipe Reviews (Pg. 13) - Allrecipes.com (131039)

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Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce

Reviewed: Feb. 2, 2009
No one liked this one. For starters, real Alfredo sauce (from Alfredo's in Rome, Italy) does NOT have garlic, let alone garlic powder. Cream cheese also adds a strange, unreal tang. Genuine Alfredo sauce uses only butter, cream and freshly grated Parmesan. Simple and incredibly easy. What's hard to understand is, real Alfredo sauce takes little more time to make than this does. Why not just make the real thing?? This looks like Alfredo, but that's the closest it comes.
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12 users found this review helpful
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Jammin Good Bars

Reviewed: Jan. 28, 2009
Very, very good bar! 4-1/2 stars, since they're delicious, but didn't rock our world or make us crave them. I made easy even easier by combining all ingredients in the food processor. A few pulses and you're done! Good, short texture to the cookie part. Used 1/3 butter and 2/3 margarine in order to give a little more flavor. I multiplied the recipe by 1.5 and made in two 9" square pans, one with raspberry and one with strawberry. Both are tasty. Because eggs don't divide well, I couldn't use 1-1/2 eggs. I used 2 eggs and the dough wasn't crumbly at all. I flattened pieces to lay on top. Both varieties were done at 30 minutes. Sprinkled with powdered sugar for a pretty finish. Note: These bars can be made with fresh berries, too. See Berry Crumb Bars on this website, which is almost identical (with the exception of replacing preserves with fresh fruit.)
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5 users found this review helpful
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Aunt Teen's Creamy Chocolate Fudge

Reviewed: Jan. 26, 2009
NOTE: To those who think it's too sweet so they cut back on the sugar then wonder why it comes out soupy, be aware that sugar is the structural element. It's the process of heating the sugar that makes fudge solidify later on. Fudge, by its very nature, is very, very sweet. If you don't like sweet candy, make something else - don't complain about the recipe. That said...Excellent fudge, smooth as silk. There are some distinct advantages of this recipe, most notably that the cooking is timed, rendering it possible to make without a candy thermometer. No need to watch that thermometer for what seems an interminable length of time while the mercury rises sooo slowly. I had trouble with the result being crumbly the first time I tried it. I couldn't get out of my mind all the glowing reviews praising the creaminess, and figured I must have done something wrong. The only thing that could have accounted for such a big difference was my fluff, which was a store brand. So I tried this again today with the REAL marshmallow fluff. SUCCESS! This time the result was perfectly, unbelievably creamy. For those who had trouble with crumbly, oily, or dry fudge, the most common cause is heating the sugar mixture too rapidly, meaning at too high a temperature. Before you begin, know that fudge is a process. It appreciates patience. Put your burner on medium-low, no higher. It will take a little longer to achieve the rolling boil, where you begin your 5 minute timing. Patience pays off big time!
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72 users found this review helpful

Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken

Reviewed: Jan. 26, 2009
I'm scratching my head over the glowing reviews. To my palate garlic powder tastes nothing at all like garlic! To me, the flavor is plain nasty. I can't understand why anyone would use a fake-tasting product when the real thing is both inexpensive and readily available. If you want to make this dish worlds better, mash 3-4 garlic cloves to a paste. Apply to the chicken with the spices. For the sauce, mash another clove or two of garlic (or to taste) and replace that awful powder. Infinitely superior, fresh, and tasty. Try it this way - you won't believe the difference!
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106 users found this review helpful

Soft Maple Cookies With Brown Butter Maple Glaze

Reviewed: Jan. 22, 2009
Nice and soft, buttery maple glaze makes these extraordinary.
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0 users found this review helpful
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Caramel Date Pinwheels

Reviewed: Jan. 9, 2009
Very good - 4-1/2 stars. The texture is nice and chewy. Tastes better with the addition of 1) 1/2 tsp cinnamon in the dough and 2) 3/4-1 tsp finely grated lemon zest in the filling. Baking for no more than 8 minutes keeps these appealingly chewy. Beware of overbaking. It's true that this dough is very soft and sticky. Roll between sheets of waxed paper and use the paper to help roll the dough. Lift and peel, so that it falls on itself. Continue lifting and peeling to make a compact roll. This way you won't have to use extra flour which will toughen your finished product.
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3 users found this review helpful
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Date Nut Pinwheel Cookies I

Reviewed: Jan. 8, 2009
Wow, wow, and WOW!!!! These manage to be deicate and chewy at the same time. Luscious filling. The lemon offsets the sweetness of the dates to perfection. The only change I made is to add a tsp of cinnamon to the dough, because that's how my mom made them and I knew from experience that the subtle spice showcases the date flavor and lets it shine. Toasted pecans make a tasty substitute for walnuts. A hint to keep the round shape of your rolls. Wrap the rolls tightly in plastic wrap,then put each end into a tall glass (mine are 16 oz) and lay the glasses (with the dough in them) on their sides in the freezer. The rolls will stay perfectly round. Yes, of course it's true that these are a little labor-intensive, but that was pretty clear to me before I even started making them, just from reading the recipe. If I wanted fast and easy, I'd make a drop cookie. These are well worth the time. Besides, the filling can be made one day, the dough made, filled and frozen the next, and then they can be baked anytime afterward, up to a month or even longer if tightly wrapped airtight. Take it in steps if you don't want to make a career out of them. Once you bake them, you'll want to do it again.
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28 users found this review helpful
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Best Cherry Pie

Reviewed: Jan. 8, 2009
This is an old chestnut of a recipe. I've been baking it using this same formula for over 30 years now, with the exception of using 1-2 Tb fresh lemon juice, added along with the cherries and extract. Using the lemon juice avoids the cloying sweetness that some have found objectionable. Those who think it's the same as canned cherry pie filling have to be kidding! That stuff is bright red goo with a few cherries floating around in it. This produces a cherry-packed filling that fits best in an 8" pie pan. For a 10" pie I always double this recipe, and it comes out nice and full. For those who have trouble with the crust browning too much or burning, just crimp a 2" strip of foil (you will need 3-4, depending on the size of pie you're baking. Join the strips end-to-end by folding thinly together to make one long strip) around the crust edges. Remove for the last 15 minutes of baking. Voila! Perfectly baked crusts every time. This filling recipe also works beautifully as a topping for cheesecakes, pound cakes, ice cream, etc. Provided you make a quality crust, this truly does produce the Best Cherry Pie you'll ever eat.
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219 users found this review helpful

Sirloin Steak with Garlic Butter

Reviewed: Jan. 5, 2009
We didn't care for this in the slightest. The overwhelming taste of fake garlic from the garlic powder ruined a perfectly good strip steak. Why not use just fresh garlic for the whole thing, since you're using that ingredient anyway? Dehydrated, polyester ingredient=polyester taste. Never again.
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10 users found this review helpful
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Butter Crunch Cookies

Reviewed: Jan. 4, 2009
Oh my word!! These are absolutely irresistible! Use unsalted butter for depth of flavor. I toasted the pecans (spread in a single layer on a baking sheet, bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 5 minutes, flip the nuts over using a pancake turner, and bake 5 minutes more, or until they become fragrant. Watch so they don't burn.) Also added a slight dash of real almond extract. Both these measures really make the flavor pop! I've made both with all white sugar as written and with half brown sugar, and the consensus here is that the brown sugar flavor is richer. The ingredients might not sound like much, but believe me, the flavor really is all that. They're nice and crunchy, making for an extremely satisfying cookie experience. NOTE: To the reviewer who found her product too salty, I'd guess it's because she used salted butter. I've never had a problem with excess saltiness with this recipe, and I've made it many times. I do, however, always use unsalted butter (as is recommended with any baked product.) If you only have salted butter, I'd recommend cutting the additional salt back to 1/4 tsp (or even 1/8 tsp if you're salt-sensitive.) NOTE: To correct the review dated 12/28/10, baking powder is NOT just baking soda and cornstarch. It's 1) baking soda, 2)acid (like cream of tartar, which she notes she used, but failed to note in the ingredients) and 3) starch to absorb any moisture and prevent it from activating before it's used. Ratio is 1:2:1 in the order given above.
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23 users found this review helpful
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Bacon-Flavored Dog Biscuits

Reviewed: Dec. 28, 2008
I added an extra egg, powdered milk, chicken broth in place of the water, half a jar of peanut butter, and crumbled bacon. I also used 1 cup of rolled oats in place of 3/4 cup of the whole wheat flour. The beauty of this recipe is that you can add in just about anything that can be mixed easily, and it will work. Used part rendered beef fat since I only had 3 strips of bacon. I wasn't up to rolling and cutting, so I just rolled little balls and flattened them to bake. You can pack them closely together on the baking sheet, since they don't expand as they bake. Remember to store in the fridge, as they don't contain preservatives and will get moldy in time. I feel good about giving these out as treats because they're all natural and I know exactly what went into them. My Westie, my daughter's mixed breed and her boyfriend's puggle will do back flips to get their jaws around one of these! Edited to add:No need to buy bacon. Save all trimmings from steak, chicken (plus skin,) pork,etc. in the freezer. When you have a handful or two, render (fry on low for about 15-20 minutes to melt off the fat.) Chop up the pieces left in the rendering pan and put them in the mix with the rendered fat. No expensive bacon needed. That's stuff you'd normally throw in the trash. You're recycling, AND your doggie will go nuts - promise!
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244 users found this review helpful
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Buttery Cranberry Pie

Reviewed: Dec. 25, 2008
This will only be appreciated by fans of a very tart fruit pie. Spectacular cranberry flavor, and sour enough to make you squeal, even with the large amount of sugar. It could have used even more. Even my husband, who adores rhubarb pies and cherry pies because of their tartness had a tough time eating this one. I used orange juice in place of water, and in retrospect, probably should have used it in place of the lemon juice as well. This pie needs no further acid beyond what the cranberries already bring to the table. I increased the butter to 2 tablespoons, as I fail to see how a mere 2 teaspoons could live up to the title of a "buttery" pie (and 2 Tb is not a lot for a 9" pie.) Added 1 tsp grated orange peel and 1/4 tsp mace, which goes perfectly with the flavor of cranberries. The color is a deep crimson, a perfect centerpiece for your holiday table. Just know that the sourness of this pie is so intense that it might not appeal to all.
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36 users found this review helpful
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Cranberry-Pumpkin Cookies

Reviewed: Dec. 22, 2008
This recipe is a real sleeper. The cookies don't look all that impressive, but WOW - what a flavor you can get with a few adjustments! I make a similar pumpkin cookie, and have always added halved cranberries. So when I found this one, I just had to try it to compare. I knew after reading the recipe that this one would be a little too bland to suit our tastes, so I added 2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp cloves and increased the cinnamon to 2 tsp. Also added 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper to give a nice, warm glow. The counterpoint offered by the tang of the cranberries against the sweet spiciness of the cookie was absolutely outstanding! I substituted mashed, cooked sweet potato for the pumpkin, which I do frequently in recipes that call for pumpkin. I find the two vegetables are pretty much interchangeable, but I like using a fresh, newly-cooked vegetable rather than a canned one. The texture of these cookies is decidedly cake-like as others have noted, but we appreciated the soft, moist, spicy little pillows with a cup of tea. Also made a glaze using 1 Tb softened butter, 1-1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and enough orange juice to make it easily spreadable. I brushed it over the slightly warm cookies. The glaze dried with a festive sheen. Be sure to flatten slightly before baking, or they'll come out shaped like golf balls! Obviously, I had to do a lot of tinkering to get this recipe where I wanted it, hence the 4 stars. The additions I made, however, launched it easily into 5 star
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Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Reviewed: Dec. 21, 2008
This is the same recipe as the Peanut Blossoms I've been making for at least 25 years every Christmas. It's my kids' favorite. The cookie is just fabulous - tender and incredibly tasty. The only difference is that this recipe uses peanut butter cups in place of Hershey Kisses. The upside of that is that this version is WAY easier to store in a cookie canister! The tops of the kisses always used to break off when they were stacked, even in off-set rows somehow, in the container. These stay nice and flat and look smashing. I roll the dough in coarse sugar (which you can buy anyplace that sells cake decorating supplies) for added sparkle. After putting the peanut butter cup/Hershey Kiss into the cookie, I always return it to the oven for 2 minutes more, which sets the candy in place so that it doesn't come off the cookie when jostled accidentally on a tray or in the container, and the very slight melting that takes place makes for an attractive sheen - get your cameras ready. A+ for an outstanding new twist on an old favorite!!
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4 users found this review helpful
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Scottish Shortbread IV

Reviewed: Dec. 20, 2008
This is the real deal! My grandmother hailed from Glasgow, and she would have been proud. These have the perfect sable texture. Not crumbly, soft, but with a hint of gentle crunch, with a light, tender, delicate crumb. Everything shortbread should be. Just the right degree of sweetness. I made the dough by pulsing the 3 ingredients (used 4 cups flour) in my new 14-cup Cuisinart, which made easy, fast work of it. They came out perfect in 21 minutes. The edges were just starting to turn a barely light brown, thank heaven! My mom's recipe that I grew up with had less sugar (always brown) and more flour. The dough was always very crumbly and hard to work with. This dough is a dream. My mom's recipe was handed down from my grandmother, direct from Scotland, and this one is actually better. If you have no rolling pin, you can either use a wine bottle, or just pat it to 1/2" thick. Cutting can be accomplished quickly with a pizza cutter. Don't forget to prick the dough with a fork, or the cookies will swell and blister in the oven. Walker's, move over! These are much better than those big bucks numbers in the fancy tin! Makes me want to crack out the haggis and single malt! UPDATE: I substituted 3/4 cup rice flour for 3/4 cup of the flour. The difference was subtle, but lent just a bit more "crisp" without compromising the tenderness. Will do this in the future everytime I make this.
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34 users found this review helpful
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Microwave English Muffin Bread

Reviewed: Dec. 19, 2008
The flavor of this loaf is pretty insipid, even when toasted. The dough was also quite sticky and needed about an extra half cup of flour to be able to be handled easily, while still remaining relatively soft. Generally, the proportion of liquid to 3 cups of flour in a bread recipe is 1 cup, not 1-1/4 cups. The taste is definitely dominated by whole wheat, and as such, it didn't taste to us remotely like English muffins. Flavor-wise, it lacks salt, but adding more might inhibit the dough's ability to rise, so do so judiciously. The grain is too close and fine to resemble English muffins. None of the requisite "nooks and crannies" associated with them. The rising technique was definitely cool, however. I'll remember it when I need to get my yeast breads to rise in a hurry. Since my microwave is pretty powerful, I used 40% power for the rise stage, and even so, only had to give it the 1 minute/10 minute wait twice before it rose to 2" above the pan. Interesting premise, but flavor is decidedly lackluster.
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English Butter Toffee

Reviewed: Dec. 18, 2008
Everyone's favorite!
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Beef Noodle Soup

Reviewed: Dec. 12, 2008
Very good! It needed a bit of work on the taste, however. A bay leaf improved the flavor. Also added about 1/4 tsp each dried marjoram and thyme and two cloves of finely minced garlic, which I sauteed toward the end of frying the onion, carrot and celery. Replaced the water with beef stock, thereby eliminating the need for bouillon cubes, which add too much salt and too-fake a taste. These changes represented big improvements to this basic recipe. Great comfort food!
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