Categories
Dessert Snack

Love Reese’s eggs? Copy that.

Copycat Reese's Eggs
Copycat Reese’s eggs are a delicious facsimile, making it almost impossible to stop at eating just one.

If you do some looking online about the best version of Reese’s candy, you’ll find quite a few articles that discuss the superiority of Reese’s eggs to the normal peanut butter cups.

Yes, I know. I need to spend my time more wisely, but I ended up down a strange rabbit hole, and I figured I’d share the gist so you don’t have to follow suit.

Apparently, the prevailing thought process is that Reese’s eggs are better than Reese’s cups, because they have a better chocolate-to-peanut-butter ratio.

A 2019 piece by Chloe Bryan explains that the ridges on the cup are the problem.

“The trouble with the ridges: The thick edge they create disrupts the cup’s delicate peanut butter-chocolate balance,” she writes. “A bite including ridges will not contain as much peanut butter as a bite containing exclusively innards—and the latter is superior.”

She goes on to say that the Reese’s eggs (or the trees at Christmas time) are just like biting into those “innards” only, making them the better choice.

If I’m being honest, I’ll eat any Reese’s option without hesitation—eggs, trees, cups, pieces, mini, jumbo, etc. I love them. But I do agree that there’s something special about the seasonal varieties, which is why I was drawn to this week’s recipe to make a copycat version of the classic Reese’s eggs, and I have to say, it’s a pretty good copy.

The recipe I used comes from a post on Facebook from Tabatha Swartz on a group called “Pennsylvania Dutch Recipes.” I added a little extra peanut butter, since it helped me use the whole container, but I also included the original measurement in case you’d rather measure it out.

Copycat Reese's Eggs
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Copycat Reese’s Eggs

Copycat Reese's eggs are a delicious facsimile, making it almost impossible to stop at eating just one.
Course Dessert
Keyword copycat, cream cheese, milk chocolate, peanut butter, powdered sugar, Reese’s

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 28 ounces creamy peanut butter or three cups
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • 2 bags milk chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Beat all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips until well combined. When it comes together, you can turn it out onto your kitchen counter and knead it a bit to finish it out.
  • Form the peanut butter mixture into egg shapes (or whatever shape you like), and place them on a plate or cookie sheet that can fit in your freezer.
  • Freeze for about 30 minutes or until the eggs are completely frozen.
  • Before removing the eggs from the freezer, melt your chocolate by using a double boiler or a by microwaving, 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chips are melted.
  • Lay out sheets of waxed paper on your work surface and then, in batches, dip each egg into the melted chocolate, and then place the coated candy on the waxed paper to harden.
  • Store the finished eggs in the refrigerator or freezer in an air-tight container.

These were amazing. They wouldn’t pass a blindfold taste test, but they were so, so good. And if you’re like the dozens of people who have taken to the Internet to talk about how great Reese’s eggs are in comparison to the cups, this might be just the treat for you now that you have to wait all the way until October for Reese’s pumpkin shapes to be on shelves again.

I would caution that these get melty pretty quickly, so I’d highly recommend keeping them refrigerated or frozen in between enjoying them. Also, the great thing about this recipe is you can make any shape you want. You could easily use cookie cutters to get creative and make all kinds of seasonal peanut butter creations.

And, of course, you could put it into some cupcake liners and get the classic ridges, too. Just don’t post online about messing up the chocolate-to-peanut-butter ratio. You may not like the response.

This piece first appeared in print on May 6, 2021.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Appetizer Side Dish Snack

Dip into something awesome for game day

Cheesy bean dip elevates boring canned ingredients into something truly spectacular for your snack table.

Until the Chiefs became a part of the post-season, the best part of Super Bowl Sunday for me over the years has been the snack table.

From the days when our church youth group would watch the games while playing a football-themed bingo game to ones with friends gathered in our living room, there has always been a fabulous spread of great food to eat along with the fellowship the game brings.

Of course, it goes without saying that this year’s game will be very different than last year’s Chiefs victory. Last year, our house was packed with people, everyone screaming and yelling when the final seconds ticked down on the game clock, and we all realized we were the Super Bowl champs.

This year, there will likely be more yelling and screaming, and hopefully that will come along with another Lombardi Trophy, but it will be a much quieter din without the crowd of friends and family around us.

Despite the lack of a crowd, Joey and I will still be enjoying some favorite snacks, though, and after I test-drove this one for the AFC Championship game, I have to share it with you.

This comes from Lauren Allen over at her blog, “Tastes Better From Scratch.” You can find the original post at https://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/cheesy-bean-dip/. I doubled the seasoning in my version below and substituted refried beans for whole pintos.

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Cheesy Bean Dip

Cheesy bean dip elevates boring canned ingredients into something truly spectacular for your snack table.
Course Appetizer
Keyword bean dip, cheese, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, salsa, sour cream, taco seasoning

Ingredients

  • 2, 15- ounce cans of refried beans
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened (I used fat free)
  • 2/3 cup sour cream or plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 packets 1/4 cup taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup salsa any kind. I used a tomatillo salsa.
  • 1 to 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese divided

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In an eight-by-eight-inch baking dish, combine the refried beans, cream cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning, salsa and about 1/4-cup shredded cheese.
  • Mix it well so that the ingredients are evenly distributed, and then spread it evenly in the dish.
  • Top with as much cheese as you like and bake for 25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and just starting to brown around the edges.
  • Serve with tortilla chips or as part of a taco bar.

This was absolutely amazing. I know it isn’t a health food by any stretch, but by using fat-free refried beans, fat-free cream cheese and non-fat Greek yogurt to make this, I felt a lot better about placing a big scoop on my plate during the game.

And it certainly did not taste low-fat, either. The variety of cheese gave it fantastic flavor, and the leftovers quickly disappeared over the next few days, as we integrated them into tacos for lunch.

It won’t be the same to watch the Super Bowl without a crowd of friends this year, but I’m hoping that a few fun dishes on the coffee table might make up for it. Of course, another Chiefs victory wouldn’t hurt, either.

This piece first appeared in print on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Dessert Microwave Snack

This no-bake recipe is just ‘mint’ to be

Andes mint baking chips are the star of these easy, no-bake bars.

I suspect that one of my New Year’s resolutions this year is not quite compatible with most everyone else’s, mostly because it involves some treat making.

Joey pointed out that our freezer was starting to get a little ridiculously full of random ingredients I planned on using at a later date, so I started digging items out and realized he was definitely correct.

My pantry isn’t much better.

So one of my resolutions will be to actually use up the extra ingredients I have laying around and free up some space in the kitchen.

With that being said, if your resolution is to lose weight or eat better, you might want to avoid my column for a little while.

The first thing I decided to use up was a glut of Andes mint baking chips, and I found a great no-bake recipe to use them in.

I found this recipe on the blog “Inside BruCrew Life.” You can find the original at https://insidebrucrewlife.com/andes-mint-cookie-dough-truffle-bars/. I added extra vanilla in my version.

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Andes Mint Cookie Dough Truffle Bars

Andes mint baking chips are the star of these easy, no-bake bars.
Course Dessert, Snack
Keyword Andes mint, chocolate, cookie dough, no bake, truffle

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2, 10- ounce bags Andes mint baking chips divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons shortening

Instructions

  • Start by greasing an 8-by-8-inch baking dish and set it aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugars, vanilla and milk until the mixture is smooth.
  • Add the flour, cocoa powder and salt and beat until everything is well combined. It takes a little bit to get it completely mixed together. Mine started out looking really dry at first, and I was afraid I messed it up. Just keep mixing.
  • Set aside one cup of the Andes mint chips and fold the rest into the mixture. Press the mixture into your prepared pan.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the cup of mint chips and the shortening and microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until it is melted and smooth.
  • Spread it out over the top of the mixture in the pan and place the bars in the freezer to set up.
  • Once the topping hardens, cut into bars and serve.

The recipe’s author said she used to make this recipe but roll it into balls and dip it in chocolate. Making it in bar form instead made the process go a lot more quickly. I’d recommend putting these in your “I need to make treats but have no time to make treats” section of your recipe box.

These were a huge hit with my family and would be a great recipe for beginning cooks to tackle. I’m a massive fan of Andes mints, so I was extremely fond of these and had to try to stay away from them long enough to share them.

And now my freezer is two bags of baking chips lighter. I figure getting a head start on my New Year’s resolution in December isn’t a bad way to go. I’ll just have to get used to the fitness fanatics in my life avoiding me for a few months.

This piece first appeared in print on Dec. 26, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Dessert Snack

‘Hummus’ give a strange combination a try

Banana bread hummus is a surprising twist on the normally savory dip made with chickpeas.

When I’m searching for recipes, I sometimes stumble across ideas that seem so weird that I’m completely compelled to try them.

This week’s recipe is one of those: banana bread hummus.

I have made hummus quite a number of times, and it’s a favorite for us, especially when we’re setting up a snack table for guests.

Our normal recipe is a traditional one with tahini, olive oil and tons of garlic, served with carrots and pita bread, so the thought of a sweet hummus recipe threw me for a loop, but I also knew I had to give it a try if for no other reason to just say that I did.

So if you’re like me and enjoy trying weird, new ideas, this is the recipe for you.

This comes from the blog “Make the Best of Everything.” You can find the original post at https://makethebestofeverything.com/2015/09/banana-bread-hummus/. I added extra cinnamon and vanilla and left a hint in the recipe to sweeten the hummus up, if necessary.

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Banana Bread Hummus

Banana bread hummus is a surprising twist on the normally savory dip made with chickpeas.
Course Dessert, Snack
Keyword banana, chickpeas, cinnamon, hummus

Ingredients

  • 15.5- ounce can of chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup walnuts roughly chopped, plus more for topping
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

  • Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until it’s smooth. If the mixture isn’t quite smooth enough, add a little more coconut oil to get it to the consistency you like.
  • Also, I’d recommend taste testing this, and if your bananas weren’t quite sweet enough, you might add a little powdered sugar or a sugar substitute to sweeten it to your liking (I wouldn’t recommend regular sugar, since that might make it taste a bit grainy).
  • Top with some more walnuts and serve with vanilla wafers or animal crackers for dipping.

Truth be told, I don’t think banana bread hummus is going to be on my regular rotation for snacks, but we enjoyed it at a game night with friends. Also, any time I can get ahold of a reason to eat more vanilla wafers, I’m in.

It was a bit tough to get past the idea of eating a sweet dip made with chickpeas, I thought.

It also would be a good snack for someone looking for a wheat-free, egg-free option to enjoy the flavors of banana bread, especially if you can find a good gluten-free cookie to go with it.

I won’t be ready to give up on the classic garlic-y hummus any time soon, but it’s fun to go outside of your comfort zone with ingredients and see what you can do.

Sometimes, the results can be surprising.

This piece first appeared in print on Oct. 31, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Dessert Snack

Cherry Garcia brownies makes friends ‘Grateful Fed’

Cherry Garcia brownies are patterned after the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor of the same name.

Over the seven years since I started writing this column, my family has gotten very used to being guinea pigs for new recipes.

So much so, that when I showed up with a dish of still-warm brownies for a board game night with my sister and brother-in-law last weekend, my sister looked at me and said, “I’m going to get quoted about this, aren’t I?”

I just shrugged, but yes, Sis, you are.

As I often do when summer rolls around, I bought a big bag of fresh cherries last week, and these brownies seemed like the perfect candidate to include them. I also might have spent some time sampling cherries while I baked, too. Job hazards.

My sister said she generally hates the taste of cherries and chocolate together (she might be adopted), but she gave two thumbs up for the new recipe.

I found this one by Lauren Miyashiro on the website “Delish.” You can find the original at https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a48932/cherry-garcia-brownies-recipe/. I doubled the vanilla, added more cherries and specified a dark chocolate brownie mix in my version.

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Cherry Garcia Brownies

Cherry Garcia brownies are patterned after the Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor of the same name.
Course Dessert
Keyword brownies, cherry, dark chocolate

Ingredients

  • 1 box dark chocolate brownie mix plus ingredients it calls for
  • 8 ounces cream cheese slightly softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pitted and quartered fresh cherries
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare an 8-by-8-inch baking pan by spraying it with cooking spray.
  • Prepare the brownie mix according to package instructions and dump into the prepared pan. Set it aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, vanilla, egg and sugar until it’s light and fluffy (mine actually ended up mostly soupy, which works, too. Just make sure it’s well combined).
  • Stir in the cherries and chocolate chips and dump the cream cheese mixture over the brownie mix in the pan. Swirl the mixture with a knife to get some of the cream cheese layer into the brownies.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted down into the brownie layer comes up clean (mine took a bit longer than 45 minutes) and the cheesecake layer on top is set up.
  • Let the brownies cool a bit before slicing. I stored mine in an airtight container in the fridge.

I would recommend cutting these on the smaller side, because they’re a bit rich. The top is creamy, and the bottom is dense and chewy. And then there’s a little layer in the middle between the cheesecake and the brownie layer that’s perfectly gooey.

We had a great time playing games and eating brownies together, and we all decided the recipe was a winner, which was the only winning I did all night.

Maybe next time we get together I can earn some victories with the board games in addition to the kitchen.

This piece first appeared in print on June 13, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Appetizer Snack

A good dip recipe can go ‘onion’ and on

Onion and corned beef cream cheese dip is an addictive addition to the snack table and takes almost no time to put together.

When I rented my first house after I graduated from college, I got the experience of regularly mowing my lawn—a chore my dad normally claimed when I was a child.

My first lawnmower was electric, leading to me learning to wrangle an extension cord around the yard and moving it to various outlets as I reached different corners.

I’m proud to note that I never managed to accidentally run over the cord in the process.

Now that I’m married, Joey has lawn mowing duties—something I was all too happy to relinquish with my grass allergies, but I couldn’t help but have flashbacks with all the rain this week to having to clean out a clogged lawnmower when Mother Nature soaked the grass for a few days in a row.

Part of that memory of mowing my first lawn is the distinct smell of onions.

A past owner or renter of the house must’ve had a vegetable garden at some point, and mowing the backyard meant encountering quite a few volunteer green onion plants.

I never minded the aroma, actually preferring it to cut grass, and once I figured out where the patches were, a few onions made their way into my kitchen, too.

I don’t know how those of you who have gardens are faring so far with the floodwaters, but I hope the green onions still manage to make their way into the local grocery stores and farmer’s markets this summer.

My favorite way to use green onion is in a cream cheese dip my mom makes for family get-togethers. I’m sure the recipe exists somewhere online or in a cookbook, but I know this as one of her specialties.

A couple notes: the corned beef it calls for is a small package, sliced for sandwiches. If you can’t find corned beef, another thin-sliced beef can be substituted. The idea is to have little wisps of meat throughout the dip rather than big chunks.

Also, you can form this into a cheese ball rather than keeping it in a bowl for serving once it sits in the fridge over night, but I’m a firm believer in making it easy to store leftovers and not making more dishes than necessary, so I always just serve it straight out of the bowl.

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Onion and Corned Beef Cream Cheese Dip

Onion and corned beef cream cheese dip is an addictive addition to the snack table and takes almost no time to put together.
Course Appetizer, Snack
Keyword corned beef, cream cheese, dip, onion

Ingredients

  • 2, 8- ounce blocks cream cheese
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1, 2- ounce package sliced corned beef
  • 1 box of sturdy crackers

Instructions

  • Slice the green onion into about quarter-inch slices and dice the sliced corned beef into small pieces.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl that also has a lid for storage, add the cream cheese and microwave on half power for about 30 seconds, until it’s soft and easy to stir.
  • Dump the green onion and corned beef into the cream cheese and stir to combine well.
  • Cover and store the dip in the refrigerator over night and serve with your favorite crackers (my recommendations are Wheat Thin or Ritz type crackers).

If you’re not a fan of onions, you won’t be a fan of this dip (if that wasn’t obvious on its own). Our family loves it. My mom will often double this recipe for our get-togethers, because it’s always a huge hit. Make sure to have plenty of crackers on hand to enjoy every last bit of it. Also, definitely let it sit in the fridge overnight. The flavors will meld much better, and the consistency will be perfect.

Since I no longer have free onions out in my backyard, I had to resort to the grocery store for my ingredients this time. Maybe someday I’ll have to try growing my own.

For now, though, with all the moisture, our backyard has begun to resemble a jungle more than a garden. Maybe I’ll have to try growing something tropical instead.

This piece first appeared in print on May 30, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Breakfast Snack

Even granola bars can get into the mix

Trail mix granola bars come together without the oven and with lots of flavor and protein.

I made the cardinal sin of grocery shopping while hungry recently and came home with some awesome trail mix. 

It had raisins and craisins, pepitas, sunflower seeds, peanuts, etc.

Joey saw it and commented that it looked like the perfect mixture to go into some granola bars.

As always, he was right, and I started looking online for the right recipe to use my trail mix in.

The recipe I found comes from the blog “The Chunky Chef.” You can find it at https://www.thechunkychef.com/no-bake-chewy-trail-mix-granola-bars/. If you want to make your own mixture, see her post to get the amounts of each item, or just use your favorite trail mix. This recipe is infinitely customizable. I upped the amount of vanilla and cinnamon in my version, too.

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Trail Mix Granola Bars

Trail mix granola bars come together without the oven and with lots of flavor and protein.
Course Breakfast, Snack
Keyword granola bar, peanut butter, trail mix

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned or quick oats
  • 2 1/2 cups trail mix a combo of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc.
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter crunchy or smooth
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  • Prepare an 8-by-8-inch pan by lining it with waxed paper, hanging the paper out over the edges to easily remove the bars later.
  • Add the oats and trail mix to a large bowl and stir to combine.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the mixture is smooth. (It won’t take long.)
  • Pour the mixture over top of the oats and trail mix and stir until the dry ingredients are well coated.
  • Dump it into the prepared pan and top with another piece of waxed paper. Using a glass or another pan, compact the mixture down as much as possible in the pan so it’s as dense as you can get it.
  • Refrigerate for at least two hours before removing from the pan and slicing into bars. Refrigerate the bars in an airtight container.

The best part about this recipe is you can literally use whatever trail mix ingredients you want. If you’re into the raisins, M&Ms and peanuts mix, that would be delicious, or if you just want to put your favorite kind of nut or dried fruit in, that would work, too.

My bars fell apart a little, which I think was because I cut them long and skinny instead of a little wider and shorter. I also wonder if I didn’t compact them down as much as I should have.

But falling apart or not, they were really good. The honey and vanilla added just the right amount of sweetness, and the cinnamon gave them a warm, homey flavor.

These would be a great summertime snack to have around, especially since you don’t have to heat up the whole house to make them, and it’s nice to have a granola bar that isn’t full of preservatives, too.

I’m always in the mood for a good trail mix. Having some peanut butter and oats tossed in makes it even better.

This piece first appeared in print on April 18, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Appetizer Main Dish Snack

Pizza sticks will make you say, ‘Yes, cheese!’

Cheesy pizza sticks are great for a quick snack an especially good recipe for beginning cooks to try their hand in the kitchen.

While my sister was still pregnant with my now almost 1-1/2-year-old niece, I noticed my shopping habits change.

I was constantly picking up this cute outfit or that cool toy even before our beautiful Emi graced us with her presence.

My only problem has been patience, as I always seem to find toys or outfits that she’s not quite ready for yet.

The other day, it was a child’s apron and baker’s hat. It was adorable, and I nearly shoved it into my cart before I thought through the fact that (1) this outfit was clearly made for someone more the size of a five-year-old and (2) my niece, while smart and sassy, is just now completely conquering solid foods and probably isn’t quite ready to help prepare them with me yet.

That being said, I have, on occasion, gotten to cook with kids over the years, and it’s always fun to watch them learn a life skill and enjoy their creations afterwards.

The recipe I found this week on the blog “I Wash, You Dry” is one I’ll be setting aside for Emi and I to try out when she’s a little older. It’s so simple there isn’t much to adjust, but I decided to change up the spices a bit. You can find the original post at https://iwashyoudry.com/cheesy-pepperoni-pizza-sticks/.

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Cheesy Pizza Sticks

Cheesy pizza sticks are great for a quick snack an especially good recipe for beginning cooks to try their hand in the kitchen.
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Keyword cheese, kid-friendly, pepperoni, pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 tube refrigerated pizza dough
  • 40 slices pepperoni I used turkey pepperoni
  • 10 mozzarella cheese sticks
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with tinfoil and spraying it with cooking spray.
  • Unroll the pizza dough onto the baking sheet (don’t worry about trying to roll it out thinner at this point, just get it flat).
  • Cut the dough into 10 equal rectangles.
  • Place four pepperoni slices and one cheese stick on each rectangle, and then pinch the dough to seal it around the cheese and meat.
  • Lay the pizza sticks, seam side down, about an inch apart on the baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and the oregano, basil, parsley and garlic powder.
  • Brush it onto each pizza stick. (I used a spoon to get the remaining goodies out of the bottom of the bowl and spread them out, too.)
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the dough is golden brown on top.
  • Let the pizza sticks rest for at least 10 minutes before digging in.

I didn’t have a kiddo to share these with, but the adults who sampled them deemed them a success. They’d be great with some marinara dipping sauce, too.

They did have quite a bit of cheese spill out of them, which was OK in my book, since I love some slightly browned, melted cheese, but that also made me very glad I used aluminum foil to make clean up a breeze.

As summer is approaching and some of you are looking for good recipes to try out with the kids in your lives, I’d recommend this one.

And if you need a good lead on a kid-sized apron, let me know. I’ve got you covered.

This piece first appeared in print on April 11, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Appetizer Main Dish Side Dish Snack

You can’t just wing crispy chicken

Cooking nice, crispy chicken wings in the oven takes some time but is well worth the wait.

Although we had big crowds of folks in our house for the NFL playoff games this season, Super Bowl Sunday was a calm evening without company—something Joey and I were both very much in the mood for after a few busy weeks in a row.

Despite the lack of a table full of food, I still decided to make a traditional football snack for the big game: buffalo wings.

Buffalo wings are one of Joey’s favorite foods, and we’ve spent a lot of time over the years trying to figure out how to make some at home that are crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and aren’t the product of lots of deep frying.

In all our attempts, we generally only attained one or two of those criteria, but I finally figured it out this past weekend, thanks to a blog post by “The Cookful.” You can find it at https://thecookful.com/bake-chicken-wings-crispy/. I will warn you that it takes a good amount of time in the oven to accomplish this, but it is mostly hands-off time, and it’s well worth the wait.

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Crispy Chicken Wings

Cooking nice, crispy chicken wings in the oven takes some time but is well worth the wait.
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snacks
Keyword chicken wings

Ingredients

  • 20 wing pieces
  • 1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • sauce or dry rub

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  • Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil and place a rack onto the sheet (I just used my cooling racks).
  • Place the wing pieces into a bowl and dump in the baking powder and salt. Mix them with your hands to distribute the powder and salt. (Don’t expect them to look like they’ve been dipped in flour; you won’t be able to see the coating on the wings when you’re done.)
  • Place the wing pieces in a single layer on the rack, spacing them just slightly. Cook them for 30 minutes.
  • Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees, and cook for another 45 to 50 minutes or until the wings are brown and crispy.
  • Let them rest for a couple minutes, and then toss them in your favorite wing sauce or dry rub and serve immediately.

My favorite way to coat wings is to put them in a bowl with a lid along with the sauce and then just shake them until they’re coated. I’m not coordinated enough to do it without a lid—unless I want to clean sauce off every inch of my kitchen.

These wings were awesome—exactly what we’d been looking for. It was also nice that any fat dripped down onto the foil, and the wings weren’t swimming in it while they cooked.

I’m not sure what the secret of the baking powder is that makes the wings cook so well, but it was just what I was missing in previous attempts.

They also received the Joey stamp of approval, which is a pretty big deal. He has pretty high standards for what makes for a good wing.

Our Super Bowl snack was awesome. The game, on the other hand, well…maybe it could have used some baking powder.

This piece first appeared in print on Feb. 7, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Dessert Snack

Don’t be a goober; make candied peanuts

Candied peanuts are a bit addictive, make the kitchen smell heavenly and are quick to make.

We have a tradition of hosting a number of our friends on the first weekend of the NFL playoffs. We yell at the TV together, share snacks and always have a great time.

This past weekend was especially fun as we watched the Chiefs advance to the next round, and we’re planning on repeating the festivities this weekend for their next game.

No one in our friend group knows how to skimp on the snack table, and I have to admit that I’m as guilty as everyone else of bringing way too much food.

One snack that I tried recently that goes over well is also super easy to accomplish, which is nice for a quick treat.

The recipe author calls these toffee peanuts, but I decided to just refer to them as candied peanuts, since we all agreed that the flavor profile didn’t seem to be what we’d expect in something with “toffee” in the title.

I found this on the blog “Genius Kitchen.” You can find the post at https://www.geniuskitchen.com/amp/recipe/toffee-coated-peanuts-269296. I doubled the spices in my version.

Print

Candied Peanuts

Candied peanuts are a bit addictive, make the kitchen smell heavenly and are quick to make.
Course Dessert, Snacks
Keyword peanuts, toffee

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup I used dark
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  • Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
  • In a bowl, stir together all the ingredients except the peanuts. Add the peanuts and toss to coat.
  • Dump the mixture out onto the baking sheet and spread it into a single layer as much as possible.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Once the peanuts are golden brown and the mixture is bubbling, remove them from the oven.
  • Allow the peanuts to cool completely and then transfer them to an airtight container, breaking the larger clumps into smaller pieces if you desire.

After these were finished, Joey and I both taste tested them and declared them a moderate success. But then we kept going back to the container over and over.

I suddenly realized I should probably upgrade their success level, and they didn’t last very long after several of us got our hands on them.

I have another jar of peanuts sitting in my pantry right now, and I’m thinking they may need to get a nice coating of sugar and spices before Sunday’s game.

There’s no guarantee the game will be a good one, but I know for certain the snack table will be on point.

This piece first appeared in print on Jan. 17, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.