Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oatmeal Cream Cheese Butterscotch Bars

I've missed my blog, so while my kids are being entertained by a dog-themed Disney Christmas movie I figured I'd post my most recent Christmas treat. My search for new Christmas cookie recipes lead me to the Food Network website a few weeks ago and somehow I stumbled upon this recipe from Anne Burrell. I like her a lot. How could you not with her fun, spiky hair?? Plus she's worked with some great chefs at some great restaurants.

Once I saw this recipe I couldn't wait to make them. I made sure I picked up everything I needed for them the next time I was at the store after seeing the recipe. I decided earlier this week that my mom and I needed a normal day doing normal Christmastime stuff so we should make Christmas cookies. Of course we ended up doing a bunch of stuff around the house and with the kids, so it didn't work out exactly as I'd planned, but I did make these and those peanut butter cookies where you put the Hershey Kiss on top of them when they come out of the oven. Since everyone knows that recipe, I figured this one was more worth sharing, even though you could very easily find it yourself on the Food Network website. I'm just enabling I guess...making it easier for everyone to discover these.

Oatmeal Cream Cheese Butterscotch Bars
Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell, from

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pea-sized pieces, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (11-ounce) bag butterscotch chips
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Drape a 9 by 13-inch pan with overlapping pieces of aluminum foil, creating handles for easy removal. Butter the paper, and reserve.

In a food processor add the flour, oats and brown sugar and pulse to combine. Add the 2 sticks of butter, the cinnamon and the butterscotch chips. Pulse, pulse, pulse until the mixture forms clumps when pressed between your fingers. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer, reserve the other half. Bake in the preheated oven just until slightly golden and set, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Beat together the cream cheese, condensed milk, lemon zest and juice and vanilla in an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle, or with an electric hand mixer until no lumps of cream cheese remain. Spread evenly over the baked and cooled oatmeal mixture. Sprinkle the remaining half of the oatmeal mixture over the cream cheese. Bake until the top is golden, about 40 minutes.

Cool and chill before cutting. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and using the foil handles, transfer the bars to a cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares with a sharp knife and serve.

Call yourself a superstar!!!


Now, don't be like me and forget the part about buttering the pan and just assume that since there are two sticks of butter it won't be a problem. Really it wasn't too bad, but I did have to yank on the foil to get them out of the pan. The only thing I changed about this was decreasing the amount of lemon zest. I thought with the juice of a lemon and the zest from a lemon, that would give me more lemon flavor than I wanted. So I juiced the lemon and then zested maybe a quarter of a lemon. I'm not a huge lemon fan, so I didn't want there to be too much lemon flavor, especially since I LOVE butterscotch, so I wanted that to stand out more.

These are AMAZING. I'm having a hard time keeping myself from eating the entire batch. My friend Jen ran to my house yesterday and was kind enough to sample these for me. She approved. As do my kids, the husband, my mom, and me. They were really easy to make too. Dry ingredients in the food processor, wet ingredients in the stand mixer. I skipped putting the dry stuff once blended into a separate bowl--why dirty an extra bowl when I could just grab it out of the food processor bowl? These may in fact be my new favorite Christmas cookie. I'm making the husband's favorite today, then we figure we'll have a taste test in case there's a new favorite to be declared in our house.

Dry ingredients. I forgot to take a picture of the wet ingredients or as I was assembling the bars. Cut me some was 10:00 at night, and I was wrapping Christmas presents.

Mmmmm...container of bars!

Mmmmm...close up of bar!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another Hiatus

I know I've been slacking on posting lately and had a bunch of things I wanted to catch up on, but my dad passed away yesterday morning. My BFF Jen and my friend Jill graciously stepped up and coordinated meal support through two of my mommy groups from now until Christmas basically. What a blessing. My dad had Parkinson's Disease, so it wasn't unexpected that he passed, but it's still difficult. So I have some of my amazing friends bringing dinners for us for the next week while my brother is here and my mom is staying with me. I may try to go back and work on some updates when I have some time with nothing to do, but it's just a weird, weird time.

If you pray, please consider praying for my family that we can get through this very difficult time.

Rest in Peace, Dad! I love you so much!

Me, my brother, and my dad in 2004.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pioneer Woman's Spicy Roasted Chicken Legs

I know I have a ton of posts to go back and catch up on, but I figure it's better to start with the current and then move backwards, otherwise I'll get overwhelmed thinking about it and sit in the corner in the fetal position rocking back and forth. Maybe not quite that severe, but I have put off updating the ol' blog here for awhile because it overwhelmed me to think about what all I wanted to post. Sigh.

I was recently looking at the Pioneer Woman's website and saw this recipe for chicken legs. I had a package of them out in the freezer, so it seemed the stars aligned. Plus I had everything on hand to make them, which was a bonus because I was trying to use up things I had here because my freezer, pantry, and fridge all seemed to be overflowing.

If you want to see all of PW's nice pictures, here's the recipe on her website. I'm a slacker and forgot to take pictures. Oops.

Pioneer Woman's Spicy Roasted Chicken Legs

24 whole Chicken Legs
2 sticks Butter
1 Tablespoon Hot Salt (or You Favorite Seasonings)
½ cups Lemon Juice (or To Taste)

Melt 2 sticks of butter in a saucepan. Pour ½ cup of lemon juice (fresh or bottled). Now add your seasonings. In this case, 1 tablespoon of Morton’s Hot Salt. You can use whatever seasonings makes your skirt fly up, be it minced garlic, salt and Cayenne pepper … let your imagination run wild. Stir it together until combined.

Rinse and pat your chicken legs dry. With metal tongs, transfer them one by one into the butter mixture and place on a baking sheet. Once all of the chicken legs are coated and on the baking rack, take a pastry brush and give them one last coating of the butter mixture. Sprinkle them with some more of your seasonings.

Place them into a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes. If they need a bit more color, turn on the broiler for a couple minutes and watch them closely. Remove them when they are nice and golden brown.


I was going to get the Hot Salt when I went grocery shopping yesterday, but I decided to stay home and hang out with the husband instead of going to the store, so I worked with what I had. I went with Tony Chachere's because everything is better with some Tony's on it. I also added in some garlic powder and Lawry's seasoning salt just for kicks. I kept the Tony's pretty minimal because the boy doesn't dig on spicy. I probably could have stepped it up a little because you couldn't really taste it at all.

This was a super easy chicken recipe, and we all really liked it. My kids love eating drumsticks...God sure got it right when he made that part of the chicken for us to eat, didn't He. It's such a perfect kid food with its built in handle and all. I didn't have 24 drumsticks, I think there were more like 15 in my package. It was quite a lot for my family of four. I only used one stick of butter, which was plenty.

This is something I'll definitely make again. In fact, chicken legs are on sale this week at my grocery, so I may just pick up another package when I'm there today.

Again, sorry there's no picture...but check out PW's website if you want to see better pictures than I take anyway. ;)