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Peanut Butter Bars I

Reviewed: Jul. 16, 2014
Amazingly, this is almost exactly the same as my grandma's recipe for "Peanut Butter Dream Bars"! I honestly haven't tried this version, but hers says to mix 1 3/4 C graham cracker crumbs, 1 C PB, 2 1/2 C powdered sugar, and 2 sticks of melted butter (or margarine). Pat into a 9x13 well-greased pan, then melt a bag of chocolate chips (16 oz or 8 oz - my grandma's recipe says both, although I would go for more for a thicker layer of chocolate) and spread it on top. Refrigerate for one hour, then cut into pieces. I've made this with darker chocolate chips, and it's delicious! Definitely just like a Reese's, but better!
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Honey Limeade

Reviewed: Jul. 5, 2014
Made this with the exact ingredients listed, although I, like others, made a syrup with the sugar and some of the water (1 C.) first in a pan on the stove, then I put the lime juice in a pitcher and poured the warm sugar syrup in there with the other four cups of cold water. I would recommend pouring it over ice, not only to chill, but maybe to dilute a bit. I tried some with some grenadine, and it was yummy, too. We still have some in the fridge, and I'm thinking of trying some with vodka...oh, the possibilities! :)
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Guinness® Corned Beef

Reviewed: Apr. 19, 2013
I've made this several times and it's not only delicious and attractive (usually a rich reddish color instead of the pale brown of some traditional corned beefs), it's pretty fool-proof, as well. You can play pretty loose with the ingredient amounts, and as long as you cook it long enough, it's tender corned beef goodness. When I make this, I generally rub the spice mix from the corned beef and enough brown sugar to cover the top onto the meat, then pour a bottle of Guinness over/around it, fill the bottle with water, and dump that in. You may have to add extra water, depending on how much of the meat is uncovered. If you want a stronger beer taste, feel free to put two bottles in, instead. Once I made this for a meeting and had to cook it the night before. Even though it was a bit tough the next day, by cooking it for another hour or so at a high temp (and adding more beer, because I lost a bunch of liquid in transport), it still turned out amazing and got raves...hence the "fool-proof." I usually make this in a Nesco with the temp set at 250 - 300F for several hours (at least 3-4). If you get antsy towards the end (like I usually do) and the beef still seems tough, crank the temp up a bit to speed up cooking. Just make sure to flip the meat every half hour or so to make sure each side soaks up the delicious liquid. Overall, this is an awesome way to make corned beef.
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Overnight Blueberry French Toast

Reviewed: Apr. 19, 2013
I've made this three different times, once with the blueberries, once with apples, and once with savory ingredients (spinach and mushrooms with feta cheese instead of cream cheese). When you make it with the fruity ingredients, this is reminiscent of a blintz. The savory version of this is a little heartier; if you aren't big on sweets for breakfast (there must be someone like that, right?), this option might be something to try instead. Overall, this recipe is really delicious, fairly easy to prepare (ahead of time!), and by simply throwing in anything that sounds good to you, it can also be easily customized...thus the 5 stars. :)
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Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes

Reviewed: Apr. 19, 2013
I made these for Easter this year to mixed reviews. Most people's responses were something along the lines of "interesting." My 11-year-old (male) cousin really liked them. I followed the suggestion of baking the bacon instead of frying it to get it crisper, but it still was a bit "chewy" in the final product. Overall, this recipe is a really great chocolate cupcake recipe...just with bits of "stuff" inside (the bacon doesn't taste like bacon when it's in the middle of the cupcake). The bacon taste came through only via the bits I put on top. By the way, so that people could just try a bite, I made these into mini-cupcakes. It made over 80 of those, so if you're looking for a recipe that will make a large amount, this is the one for you! P.S. I used the frosting recipe from the back of the (Hershey's) cocoa powder, which I use all the time (usually with the cupcake recipe also found there), and it worked well here, as well.
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Cinnabon® Cupcakes

Reviewed: Apr. 9, 2013
These were very well-received when I made them at Easter. The cupcake doesn't become anything tasting like a Cinnabon until you add the cinnamon syrup and cream cheese frosting (of course). The advantage to this is that I suppose you could leave those items out and still use this for a decent basic "blank canvas" cupcake recipe. I made one batch and only got 23 cupcakes, but I also overfilled several cups. I expect that when (not if!) I make this again, I will be better about using my "disher" for consistent amounts in each cup. I made one batch of frosting, which turned out to be pretty much exactly enough when you spread it on the cupcakes with a knife. One thing I should mention: the papers pulled away from pretty much every cupcake when they were baked; between this and the fact that they were a little crumbly, eating these cupcakes is a messy (yet still enjoyable) experience. This might be helped if you stir the syrup into the batter instead of just pouring it on top, like I did (lesson learned for next time!). Overall, this is a very delicious cupcake that's just a bit messy - like its inspiration! Definitely will be looking for an excuse to bring these to work soon...
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Real Strawberry Cupcakes

Reviewed: Apr. 9, 2012
Yes, these are more muffins than cupcakes. HOWEVER, they are still delicious and were a big hit with my family…as in “double batch was gone in under half an hour” good! I made a few changes, based on other reviews. I used cake flour instead of AP, although the resulting product was still not what I would call “light” (more like apple/spice muffins than pound cake, w/ a sticky, not crispy top); I used the pudding mix, so that could be why. For a double batch (~33 cupcakes), I pureed enough strawberries to fill to the 3.5 C mark on my blender, then pushed the puree through a strainer as recommended in the recipe. I didn’t add any food coloring or strawberry flavoring; the cakes were pale grey/pink in color (which didn’t bother me) and had plenty of natural strawberry flavor. I did attempt to inject strawberry “spread” (not jam, which would have been too lumpy) into the cakes after they were cool, though. I was unsure how to convert the frosting recipe (others’ suggestions, double batch, etc.), so I used: (2) 8-oz cream cheese pkgs, (1) stick butter, 2C powdered sugar, & 2 tsp vanilla (clear so it wouldn’t color the frosting). I chopped up and gently stirred in enough strawberries to get a good distribution of flavor and color, then I topped off each cupcake with a slice of strawberry. The result was tasty & adorable. Make sure to keep the frosted cakes as cool as possible, or the frosting will melt! My Easter guests & I really enjoyed these; they’re worth the 5 stars! :)
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