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Company treats

By Staff | Sep 24, 2010

Chocolate-caramel brownies.

(Family Features) Whoever coined the phrase “sleepover” must still be laughing, because, as many of us know, very little sleeping actually goes on.

Many hosts often seek fun ideas and recipes to keep the night-owls happy. These can include:

  • Make a sleepover pillow. Buy and prewash some inexpensive white pillowcases. Then hand out fabric pens so guests can create one-of-a-kind souvenirs to can take home. (By placing a piece of cardboard inside the pillow case, it will keep ink from seeping through to the other side.)
  • Backyard treasure hunt. Hide all the goody bags in one place somewhere in your backyard. Then create some clues to lead guests in search of the treasure. Tape the first clue to the back door. When they reach the next spot, have another clue already there to lead them on, until they get to the prize. You can make the clues like riddles, or give the guests a compass and write directional clues to follow.
  • Mix up great munchies. Part of the fun of a sleepover is munching on some yummy treats. Brownies are always a hit. In fact, chocolate caramel brownies are sure to be party favorites; and they’re super simple, too.

For a fun twist on party mixes, try Toll House Party Mix, a sweet and salty combination for a taste so good one may want to make an extra batch.

For more sleepover treats, go to www.VeryBestBaking.com.

Chocolate caramel brownies

Strawberries and cream sherbet.

Yields: 24 brownies

1 package (18.25 ounces) chocolate cake mix

1cup chopped nuts

1 cup evaporated milk, divided

1 stick butter or margarine, melted

Buckeye candy.

1 10-ounce package caramels, unwrapped.

1 12-ounces package on chocolate morsels.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine cake mix and nuts in large bowl. Stir in 2/3 cup evaporated milk and butter (batter will be thick). Spread half of batter into ungreased 13-by-9-inch baking pan.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Lemon-Raspberry oven pancake.

Heat caramels and remaining evaporated milk in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until caramels are melted. Sprinkle morsels over brownie; drizzle with caramel mixture.

Drop remaining batter by heaping teaspoon over caramel mixture.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into 24 squares.

Party mix

Yields: 8 servings

2 cups toasted cereal squares

2 cups small pretzel twists

1 cup dry-roasted peanuts

1 cup (about 20) caramels, unwrapped and coarsely chopped

1 2/3 to 2 cups of chocolate, white chocolate or butterscotch flavored morsels

Coat 13-by-9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine cereal, pretzels, peanuts and caramels in large bowl.

Microwave morsels in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on medium high 70 percent) power for 1 minute.

Stir. Morsels may retain some of their original shapes. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Pour over cereal mixture; stir to coat evenly.

Spread mixture in prepared baking pan; cool for 30 to 45 minutes or until firm. Break into bite-size pieces. Store in airtight container.

Berried treasure

As the berry seasons wind down, company treats are a great way to use up those mounds of jewel-colored strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and more.

While these fresh gems are fantastic on their own, sharing them in recipes make any occasion extra special.

To discover more delicious berry recipes, visit VeryBestBaking.com.

Strawberries and cream

sherbet

Makes 10 servings, 1/2 cup each

1 16-ounce package frozen strawberries, unsweetened.

1 12-fluid ounce can evaporated milk

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Place frozen strawberries, evaporated milk, sugar and lemon juice in food processor; process until smooth.

Pour into 8-inch-square baking pan. Place in freezer for about 20 minutes, until ice crystals begin to form around edge of dish.

Using fork, stir icy portions into middle of pan. Repeat, stirring edges into center every 20 minutes or until frozen (about 1 hour). Cover tightly. Freeze for up to 2 months.

To serve, scoop into small paper cups, paper cones or martini glasses.

Tip: 3 cups fresh, whole strawberries can be substituted for frozen. Freeze berries before using.

Lemon raspberry oven pancake

Makes 8 servings

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup egg substitute or 3 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1/2 pint (about 1 cup) fresh raspberries

PREHEAT oven to degrees

Spray 9-inch deep-dish pie plate or cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar and salt in medium bowl. Whisk evaporated milk, egg substitute, lemon peel and vanilla extract and egg in another medium bowl until blended.

Add to flour mixture; whisk for 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pie plate.

Arrange raspberries on top of batter. Sprinkle top with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until puffed and light golden brown. Serve warm.

Tip: Substitute other favorite, fresh seasonal berries such as blackberries or blueberries for the raspberries.

Tailgate treats

Coolers and camp chairs and portable grills – it’s time to cheer on the home team with a tailgate party. In many hometowns, football fans love to hit the stadium early to cook out, enjoy each other’s company and celebrate their love of the game.

Whether tailgating at a high school, college or pro game, here are a couple of tips to make the party a winner.

  • Share and share alike. Make it easy on everyone by making the tailgate party a potluck. Bring your own meat to grill, but take turns bringing side dishes, drinks, plates, cups and utensils, and desserts. This lowers the cost for everyone and it’s a great way to try some new dishes.
  • Sweet and simple. Blonde brownies are a terrific blend of that caramely/butterscotchy flavor one gets from brown sugar and chocolate morsels. And they’re a snap to make. For peanut butter and chocolate fans, Buckeye Candy is a sweet solution. This recipe makes about 6 dozen candies, so there should be plenty to go around.

Keep the tailgating team cheering with more easy, portable recipes that you can find at www.VeryBestBaking.com.

Blonde brownies

Makes 3 dozen brownies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar

1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine, softened

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups chocolate morsels.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 15-by-10-inch jelly-roll pan.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Buckeye Candy

Makes 6 dozen candies

2 cups creamy peanut butter, (not all-natural)

1/2 stick butter or margarine, softened

3 3/4 cups powdered sugar

2 cups chocolate morsels

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Line baking sheets with wax paper.

Beat peanut butter and butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in powdered sugar until mixture holds together and is moistened. Shape into 1-inch balls; place on prepared baking sheets. Freeze for 1 hour.

Melt morsels and shortening in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on high (100 percent) power for 1 minute.

Stir. Morsels may retain some of their shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until melted.

Dip peanut butter centers into melted chocolate using a toothpick, leaving a small portion of the center uncovered.

Shake off excess chocolate and scrape bottom of candy on side of bowl. Return to baking sheets; refrigerate until chocolate is set.

Store in covered container in refrigerator. Keep chilled on the way to the game.

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