Monday, December 30, 2013

Fresh Herb and Cheese Pinwheels

I have embraced the beauty and simplicity of keeping crescent roll dough on hand for emergency appetizers.  How else would I have been able to whip up these pinwheels in a few minutes on Christmas Day when the people were getting nibbly and the lasagna was taking longer than usual to cook through?  The genius in these is using whatever you have on hand.

I'll be doing quite a few variations on this recipe - I'm already planning to make a twist on these for our New Years Eve bash.  Super simple, 3 step recipes are amazing and if you want to make these for a party, you can whip up the filling mixture up to a week ahead of time and just let it soften enough to spread before using it.

1 package of crescent roll dough ($2.00)
2 oz. cream cheese ($.15)
1/2 C. shredded cheese, I used gouda, cheddar, provolone, and swiss ($.20)
1 T. parmesan ($.05)
1 tsp. fresh thyme ($.10)
1/2 tsp. dried basil ($.05)
1 T. each mayo and garlic butter ($.10)

Heat oven to 375.
Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Blend well all ingredients except crescent rolls.  Roll out crescent roll dough and pinch perforations to seal tightly.  Spread evenly the cheese mixture over the crescent roll dough and roll up tightly.  Slice dough into pinwheels, should yield 16 pinwheels.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until dough is lightly golden at the edges.

Yields: 16 pinwheels
Cost: $2.65
Cost per pinwheel: $.16

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Jumbo Peanut Butter Cups

Found this awesome recipe on Pinterest and had to give it a try - I did make a few tweaks to this recipe to help match up with the ingredients I happened to have on hand.
Since I come from a family of chocolate lovers, this is the perfect time of year to give this tasty treat a try and this recipe does not disappoint.  The best peanut butter cups I've ever had!!
1 C. creamy peanut butter, divided ($.30)
1 T. butter, softened ($.10)
2/3 C. powdered sugar ($.20)
1/8 tsp. salt, optional ($.05)
2 1/4 C. milk chocolate chips ($1.25)
1/2 C. dark chocolate chips (optional) ($.30)
2 T. chopped peanuts or colored sprinkles (for garnish), optional ($.10)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract ($.10)
Fill muffin tin with cupcake liners.
In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar. and salt until smooth, set aside.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips with the 1/2 cup of remaining peanut butter, stir until smooth. Microwave in 30-45 second intervals, stirring well between each cycle.  (This usually takes about 2-3 minutes).  Stir in vanilla extract once chocolate mixture is melted.
Spoon 1 tablespoonful of chocolate mixture into cupcake liners.
Top with a 1/2 tablespoonful of peanut butter mixture.
Cover with chocolate mixture to completely top peanut butter.  Approximately 1/2 T. of chocolate per cup. 
Garnish with chopped peanuts or candy sprinkles if desired.
Refrigerate until set.  Keep chilled before serving.
Yields: 12 jumbo peanut butter cups
Cost: $1.40
Cost per cup: $.12
For a variation on this recipe, use a mini muffin tin filled with candy cup or mini muffin liners to get smaller peanut buttercups.