Chocolate Revel Bars

For Sunday afternoon's 8 for $10 Halloween Treats workshop, I had Chocolate Revel Bars here for a snack. There were extras, so I took them to my preschool board meeting that night. Everyone like them, so I thought I'd share the recipe. It can be found in the red and white checkered "Better Homes & Gardens" cook book if you have one--and most people do!
Chocolate Revel Bars

1 c. butter
2 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3 c. quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
2 tsp. vanilla

Set aside 2 T. of the butter. In a large mixing bowl beat the remaining butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and 2 tsp. vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour. Stir in the oats. (I do all of this with my electric stand mixer.)

For filling, in a medium saucepan combine the reserved 2 T. butter, chocolate pieces, and sweetened condensed milk. Cook over low heat until chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in the nuts and 2 tsp. vanilla. (I have never made these with nuts.)

Press two-thirds (approximately) of the rolled oats mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. (To make it easy to get the bars from the pan, I line my pan with parchment paper. After baking and cooling, you can run a knife around the edge and lift the whole pan of bars out easily. Then I use a pizza cutter to cut them into bars. They look great, and cleanup is easy!) Spread filling evenly over the oat mixture. Dot remaining rolled oats mixture on filling.

Bake in a 350F oven about 25 minutes or until top is light brown (chocolate filling will look moist). Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars and serve.

Variation: Substitute 1 c. whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour for the 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour. (I always make these this way.)
For some reason, fall seems like the best time to make these. I guess it's the oatmeal that makes them seem hearty and good cool-weather food. Thanks for stopping by!


Pasta Fagioli, Wheat Rolls & Pumpkin "Dirt"

Pasta Fagioli

2 lb. ground beef
12 oz. chopped onion
14 oz. diced carrots
14 oz. diced celery
48 oz. canned, diced tomatoes
2 c. cooked red kidney beans
2 c. cooked white kidney beans
88 oz. beef stock
3 tsp. oregano
2 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
48 oz. spaghetti sauce
8 oz. dry small shell pasta

This recipe makes nine quarts of soup. I often make half a recipe for us as a family. These amounts do not have to be exact. For instance, when I make half a batch, I don't want two half cans of beans left over, so I go ahead and use a whole 15 oz. can of both types of kidney beans. Spaghetti sauce comes in 26 oz. jars, so I just use a whole one. Beef broth comes in 14.5 oz. cans, so I use four. You get the idea.

Saute beef in a large soup pot until it starts to brown. Add onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse beans and add to the pot. Also add beef stock, oregano, black pepper, parsley, hot pepper sauce, spaghetti sauce, and pasta. Simmer until celery and carrots are tender, about 45 minutes.

You can serve this soup with some grated parmesan cheese sprinkled on top and rolls. Yum! Perfect for a chilly fall or cold winter day!

Another note, I have made this soup in a crock pot. I simply brown the ground beef on the stove first. Then I layer all the ingredients into the crock pot as I would add them into the soup. Cook on low for about 8 hours.

Whole Wheat Rolls

2 1/4 c. bread flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. milk
7/8 c. water
2 T. brown sugar
1 1/2 T. butter
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. yeast

Load the bread pan according to the instructions for your machine. If you are using your machine to bake the dough as well, use your machine's whole wheat cycle if it has one.

I let my bread machine make the dough, then I make the rolls. I quarter the dough, and then cut each quarter into thirds, making twelve. I drop them into a greased rectangular pyrex baking dish and let them rise for about 30 min. Bake in a 350 oven for about 30 min. or until you can see that they are baked and not doughy on the bottom.

Pumpkin "Dirt"

This is the recipe for plain old "Dirt" made with vanilla pudding and Oreo cookies. I tried something different last fall, and we really enjoyed it. Use pumpkin pudding instead of vanilla and ginger snaps instead of Oreos for a pumpkin version of the dessert.

1/4 c. butter
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
3 1/2 c. milk
2 small pkg. vanilla instant pudding
12 oz. Cool Whip
20 oz. pkg. Oreos

Grind the Oreos in a food processor until they are crumbs. Set aside.

Cream together butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar. Gradually add the milk. Whisk in the pudding mixes. Fold in the Cool Whip.

Starting and ending with Oreos, alternate layers of cookies and pudding mixture.

This recipe can be made in other varieties as well. Make "Sand" with vanilla wafers, and try them with butterscotch pudding. I've served this in a clean child's sand bucket with the shovel as a large spoon at summer picnics. I've seen it served in a clean flower pot with an artificial stem of flowers placed in it until serving time. Of course, there's the ever popular way of serving it with gummy worms too. Have fun making this dessert!

Thanks for stopping by!

1-2-3-4 Apple Cake & Iced Coffee Punch

A few of you were interested in the recipe for the apple cake I served at my Open House. I attended kindergarten at a Montessori school in Philadelphia. I have this recipe from my kindergarten class. The 1-2-3-4 in the name was incorporated into a counting and numbers lesson. I added a little more sweetness by making a basic powdered sugar drizzle icing and added some cinnamon. Enjoy!

1-2-3-4 Apple Cake

1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
3 c. flour
4 eggs

1 c. milk
3 tsp. baking powder
6 apples (I
always use Granny Smith for baking.)
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp.

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs and mix just until combined. Add milk and mix again. Add dry ingredients and mix again just till combined.

Peel and slice apples and place in a separate bowl. Toss the sliced apples with the
cinnamon and sugar.

Lightly grease a bundt cake pan. Layer the batter and apples, beginning and ending with a batter layer. Bake for 1 hour.

I also served a beverage called "Iced Coffee Punch" which my upline, Bobbie, served at her open house a few weeks before mine. I liked it so much I asked her for the recipe.

Iced Coffee Punch

Dissolve 1/3 c. instant coffee crystals in 1 c. hot water. (I wanted a little stronger coffee flavor, so I used 1/2 c.)

Mix together with 1 can of sweetened condensed milk. (I used fat free condensed milk just to take a few calories out and make it a little less decadent!)

Mix well.

Add 1 gallon chocolate milk and 1 c. cold water.

Add enough white milk to make 2 gallons.

Chill and serve over ice.

I hope you give these recipes a try the next time you're up for trying something new. I love to bake pumpkin, apple, cranberry and spice recipes this time of year! Thanks for stopping by!