Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Blue Cheese Burgers

Sorry for the delay in posting this recipe.  Once the weekend got started, I ditched the computer until last night.  Last week I wrote about Bobby Flay's Toasted Marshmallow Milkshakes from his book Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries & Shakes.  Greg had bought some fresh ground beef from the farmer's market and I wanted a recipe that would feature it, so I decided on burgers.  There were about 10 different burgers I wanted to try, but I already had most of the ingredients for this one so I went for it.

Bobby recommends seasoning your meat with a simple dash of salt and pepper and adding additional flavor in the form of toppings and sauces, rather than mixing them into the meat itself.  He suggests forming meat into patties no more than 3/4 inch thick and using your thumb to create an indentation in the center of each patty to prevent "bulging" as your burgers cook.

You can make these burgers with a simple crumble of blue cheese on top, or you can do what I did and kick it up a notch with Bobby's blue cheese sauce.  And if you have any sauce leftover, go ahead and use it as a dipping sauce for some kettle cooked potato chips.  Trust me, you won't regret this decision!
Blue Burgers
from Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries & Shakes
Serves 4

8 slices thick-cut bacon (I used 4 but go for 8 if you want to:)
1 1/2 lb. ground chuck (80 percent lean) (I used 1 lb.)
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 tbsp. canola oil
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled, or blue cheese sauce (recipe below)
Chopped fresh parlety leaves, for garnish (optional)
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted if desired

Cook bacon until golden brown and slightly crisp.  I just read about a new technique for cooking bacon.  Place it on a foil lined baking sheet and put in a cold oven.  Turn the heat on to 400 degrees and let bacon cook for about 20 minutes until crisp.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate.  You can also cook your bacon in a saute pan but I found the oven technique keeps the bacon nice and flat and allows it to cook more evenly since they are spread on a baking sheet. 
Perfectly crisp and flat oven baked bacon.
Divide meat into 4 equal portions.  Form each potion loosely into a 3/4 inch thick burger and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb.  Season both sides with salt and pepper. 

Cook burgers in a cast iron (or regular) skillet, using oil or on the grill.  Mine took about 5 minutes on each side but you can choose how well done you would like yours.  Top with blue cheese crumbles for the last few minutes or top with the blue cheese sauce when you remove them from the pan. 

Place burgers on the bun bottoms and top with bacon and chopped parsley, if using.  Cover with the bun tops and serve immediately. 

Blue Cheese Sauce
makes about 2 cups (I halved the recipe)
2 cups whole milk
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese plus extra for garnish
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives

Pour milk into small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.

Heat butter in a medium saucepan, over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in the warm milk and continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes.  Season with salt and cayenne pepper and continue cooking, whisking occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.  If the sauce is too thick, thin with a little more milk.  Sauce can be prepared 1 day in advance, covered, and refrigerated.  Reheat gently in a double boiler.  Sprinkle with chives.   
I could eat an entire vat of this stuff!
What are your favorite burger recipes?  I think my all-time favorite is a classic burger topped with BBQ sauce and a thick slice of American cheese - delicious!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bobby Flay's Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake


Lactose intolerant readers, turn back now.  Ahead lies a recipe filled with milk, ice cream and toasted marshmallow goodness.  You have been forewarned!
What you are about to witness is one of the best drinks I have ever experienced.  I've been craving a DQ Blizzard for about a month now but never actually go out to get one.  However, I was at the library the other day and as I was checking out their cookbook selection, one title in particular jumped off the shelf:  Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries & Shakes, yes, yes and yes, please!  The library is a great resource for trying out cookbooks to see if they have enough good recipes to invest in a copy for yourself.  This cookbook is great so far - just the fact that his signature burger is topped with potato chips makes my heart go pitter patter.

Anyway, while flipping through the milkshake section, I came across a recipe for Toasted Marshmallow Milkshakes and I was sold.  DQ can wait in line, there's a new milkshake in town.  Bobby recommends throwing in some chocolate and crushed graham crackers if you want the full s'more effect, but I think it tastes fabulous as is.  
Bobby Flay's Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake

makes one 16-ounce milkshake or two 8-ounce milkshakes (I drank a 16-ouncer, no problem)

Nonstick cooking spray
9 large marshmallows (I made a couple extra to plop on top for decoration)
1/4 cup whole milk
11 ounces vanilla ice cream (about 1 3/4 cup packed)

Preheat broiler.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

Arrange the marshmallows on the sheet, leaving space between them.  Place under the broiler until the tops are a deep golden brown color, about 40 seconds.  Remove from oven, carefully turn the marshmallows over, and broil until they are deep golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
I often leave my oven door opened a crack when broiling so I can keep an eye on things.
 Here they are after the first round of broiling.
 Carefully flip them.
Here they are after the round two of broiling - the browner they are, the more "toasty" your shake will taste.

Combine the marshmallows and milk in a blender and blend for 5 seconds.  Add the ice cream and blend until smooth, about 10 seconds.  Garnish with toasted marshmallows if desired.  Serve immediately.  Sip.  Smile!

Would you like a sip? 
What is your all-time favorite milkshake?  This one probably just took the spot for my number one!  Be back tomorrow with one last burger for you to make over Memorial day weekend.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Twice Baked Potatoes

Greg and I like to talk about food.  We often discuss topics such as, what is your all-time favorite fruit (strawberries and pineapple)?  or, what do you think is the most disgusting food in existence (water chestnuts, the texture kills me.  olives, I am willing to try them once a year to see if I change my mind)?  

One of our favorites is, if you had to live on one food for the rest of your life what would it be?  Greg usually answers with bread or cheese, both good options.  I always go with potatoes!  My reasoning is that they are so versatile.  You could probably make a different potato dish every day of the month and still come up with new ways to cook them.  And yes, I realize I'm bending the rules a bit because I would probably need a few other ingredients in order to make some of the potato recipes, thus eating more than one "food," but it's my game and I can do what I want!
People who know me in real life know that I can easily kill a bag of potato chips if left to my own devices.  Add a tub of French onion dip and you will find me a couple of hours later in a food coma on the couch.  It's scary stuff.

Today, I bring you a recipe for twice baked potatoes.  I often forget about this delicious baked/mashed potato combination, but I think it's perfect for cookouts.  You can make them ahead of time and simply reheat when it's time to eat.  I made mine to go with spicy BBQ ribs and coleslaw.
Twice Baked Potatoes

4 large Russet potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 scallions, finely chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place potatoes directly on rack in center of oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Pierce each potato and continue to bake until tender, about 30 minutes.  I skipped the oven and used the microwave instead.  I pierced each potato and wrapped in a damp paper towel.  I microwaved for about 8 minutes and then another 4 minutes.  I only used the oven to reheat once I had refilled them with the potato mixture.
Allow potatoes to cool slightly, trim off the top to make a canoe-like shape.  Carefully scoop out most of the potato into a bowl, making sure to leave the skin intact.  

Mash the potatoes lightly with a fork.  Add the sour cream and buttermilk.  (I might also add a few tablespoons of butter here)  Fold in the scallions (I saved the green portion of the scallion to sprinkle on before serving) and crumbled bacon.  Season with salt and pepper.  Refill the shells with the potato mixture, mounding slightly.  At this point you could probably store them in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to finish.  Sprinkle with the cheese, return to oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes until heated through, serve immediately. 


So if you had only one food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Simple BBQ Ribs

Anyone else getting excited for the long holiday weekend coming up?  We've had quite a few hot days here in St. Louis this spring but I always think Memorial Day marks the official kick-off to summer.  Greg and I will be traveling over the weekend so I decided to cook up a Memorial Day feast last weekend for us to enjoy at home.  I've made these ribs a few times and they always turn out great. 

These ribs start out with a deliciously spicy rub and cook for 3 hours until they are fall-off-the-bone tender.  Then they are smothered in a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce.  And best of all, they are super easy to make, even for someone like me who is afraid of cooking meat!  If you are looking for a recipe that won't keep you in the kitchen when you should be out soaking in the sun and the company of your wonderful friends and family this holiday weekend, try ribs.  Your guests will rave about them and you will keep your sanity, the best of both worlds!   
Simple BBQ Ribs
from Emeril

2 racks baby back ribs
6 tablespoons Emeril's Rustic Rub, recipe follows (Note: I halved the recipe and still had a ton leftover)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon celery salt
Emeril's Bam B Q Sweet Original Barbecue Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet 'n Spicy)
Rustic Rub: 
8 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons cayenne (decrease if you don't want it to be as spicy)
5 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons onion powder
6 tablespoons salt
2 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 1/2 tablespoons dried thyme

Combine all ingredients and store in an air-tight container.

Yield: 2 1/4 cup

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover the pan twice (you will be folding this over the ribs and sealing.)

Place the ribs on the prepared baking sheet in 1 layer. In a small bowl, combine the Rib Rub, salt, pepper, and celery salt and stir to combine. Divide the seasoning evenly among both slabs of ribs, coating well on both sides. Fold the sides of the foil over the ribs and seal tightly on all sides.
I have a "thing" against posting pictures of raw meat to this blog so just envision a slab of ribs covered in a medley of spices tucked inside this foil.

Place the ribs in the oven and bake, undisturbed, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until ribs are very tender.Remove the ribs from the oven and peel back the foil so that the ribs are exposed.
Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, coat the racks lightly on the meaty sides with barbecue sauce. Return to the oven until sauce is thickened and lightly browned, about 20 minutes longer. Remove the ribs from the oven and set aside to cool briefly before cutting between the ribs and serving. Serve with more barbecue sauce, if desired.

 Served with an ice, cold Schlafly brew!
Finger lickin' good!
Be back the tomorrow with my recipe for twice baked potatoes!

I've noticed people get very excited about their rib recipes.  What are your favorite techniques for the ultimate rib experience?  Please share your secrets for success in the comments, I'd love to give them a try!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Make these today!

Happy Monday everyone!  I had another recipe planned for today but after making this sweet treat last night I had to immediately post it.  While browsing blogs a few days ago, I stumbled upon a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars over at Baking Me.  Just as Anne had stated, the minute I saw these bars, I had to make them.  I had all the ingredients, including deliciously sweet strawberries from the famer's market, so I was ready to bake.  These bars pack a triple punch - dense vanilla cake followed with a sweet, tart combination of strawberry and rhubarb, and topped by a crisp, buttery brown sugar crumble.

These bars would be perfect topped with a dollop of whipped cream for dessert or enjoyed with a cup of coffee for a sweet breakfast.  I sent them to work with Greg and he texted me to say they were a hit.  But don't worry, I saved a piece for myself.  Quality control, right? 

This is one of the best desserts I've had in awhile, and that says a lot considering how often I bake!  Here is the recipe.  Bake today and report back to me the feeding frenzy that ensues.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars
from Baking Me via White on Rice Couple and Martha Stewart    

1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, melted
3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar, Packed
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour

Whisk together brown sugar and salt, then stir in the melted butter. Add the flour and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Refrigerate streusel mixture until needed.

Strawberry Rhubarb Mixture
1/2 pound Strawberries
1/2 pound Rhubarb
1 1/2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/3 cup All-Purpose Flour

Hull strawberries then slice into 1/4 inch pieces, place sliced strawberries into a medium sized bowl. Slice rhubarb into 1/2 inch pieces then place them in the bowl with the strawberries. Whisk together the flour and brown sugar then add to the strawberries and rhubarb. Mix well with a wooden spoon until strawberries and rhubarb are coated with flour mixture. Set aside until ready to use.

1 cup All-Purpose Flour, plus more for pan
3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
3/4 cup Unsalted Butter, Softened, plus more for pan
1 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar, plus more for dusting
2 Eggs
3/4 teaspoon Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 inch square pan, (I used a glass pan that was about 11x7 and my cooking time was significantly longer) line with parchment paper, leaving a 2 inch overhang on each side, then butter and flour the parchment. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, then add the vanilla and beat to incorporate. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the sides and bottom as needed. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and spread around evenly.
Distribute strawberry and rhubarb mixture evenly over the top of the batter.
Top with streusel.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool in pan. Once cooled, remove cake from pan using the parchment sides. Slice into squares and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipping cream, or just plain.

Makes 16 squares


What is your favorite "breakfast" sweet?  Please feel free to share your recipes in the comments.  Hope you all have a great week!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Toasted Bulgur Salad with Corn and Tomatoes

In an effort to clear out our pantry and use up all of those random half boxes of food, plus avoid the grocery store for one more day, I decided I wanted to cook a bulgur dish last night.  After a quick search, I found a recipe that I could throw together with ingredients I already had at home.  We ate this salad as our main meal, but in the future, I would love to serve it chilled as a side dish - perfect for a summer picnic!  The toasted bulgur has a great nutty taste and a nice chew while the veggies add and extra burst of color and flavor.  I have included a link to the original recipe (which looks delicious) but I made several changes to account for the ingredients I had on hand.
Toasted Bulgur Salad with Corn and Tomatoes
adapted from Epicurious

Serves 8 (Serves four if using as a main dish)

1 1/2 cups coarse bulgur
2 3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups frozen corn (Use fresh if in season)
1 medium tomato, chopped (I think the cherry tomatoes called for in the original recipe would be even better)
3/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup cilantro chopped, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste

In a large heavy dry skillet toast bulgur over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes, or until it makes popping sounds and is browned lightly (Mine took about 7 minutes and turned brown really fast at that point so keep an eye on it). Transfer bulgur to a bowl and cool.
In a saucepan bring water with salt to a boil and stir in toasted bulgur. Reduce heat and simmer bulgur, covered, about 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove pan from heat and let bulgur stand, covered, 10 minutes. Transfer bulgur to bowl and cool.
While bulgur is cooking, in skillet heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook onions until soft.  Then add corn, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until just tender. Finally add tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. 
Cool veggie mixture and add to bulgur, tossing to combine. Stir in cilantro and squeeze lemon juice over salad.  Garnish with additional cilantro and serve.  I served ours warm but you can also make it ahead of time and serve it at room temperature or chilled. 

What is your favorite picnic side dish?  The season is coming up so let's share ideas!
Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Homemade Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies!

Hope everyone is having a great day!  The sun is shining here and I am hoping to make it over to the Maplewood Farmer's Market tonight to get a few mid-week goodies.  Then, Greg and I have plans to go to the movies tonight.  We haven't been to the movies in months but one of our friends gave us an awesome Groupon for two tickets and a bucket of popcorn.  I can't even remember the last time I had movie theater popcorn - it is the best, mmmm liquid butter!

Anyway, today I bring you a delicious recipe that is sure to stir up childhood memories.  I was an Oatmeal Cream Pie addict while my brother could have lived off of Zebra Cakes.  My mom rarely bought us Little Debbies but I played softball for about 5 years simply for the treats and little blue juice jugs at the end of the game (anyone else remember those?).  I was visiting What the Dog Ate blog a couple days ago when I saw the recipe for these.  After a quick mental scan of my pantry, I knew I already had all the ingredients I would need to make them, yes!

What's not to like about sweet, sugary buttercream sandwiched between two melt-in-your-mouth oat packed cookies?  And they must be healthy because of the oats, right?  They would be perfect wrapped in some wax paper and packed up for a picnic or piled high for an after school snack.  Try these today!
Homemade Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies
from What the Dog Ate


1 1/4 cups butter, unsalted, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups quick oats (the only change I made here was to pulse the oats several times in a food processor so that there were some bigger oats pieces and some finely ground, but I'm sure it would be great either way)

Filling (I am leaving the measurements as listed but I only used about half the recipe so you could easily halve the ingredients and have plenty for filling.  A little bit goes a long way!)
1/2 cup butter, unsalted, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 375.  Line a baking sheet with a Silpat mat or parchment paper.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the 1 1/4 cup butter with the granulated and brown sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. 

With the mixer on low, add in the flour mixture and then the oats.
 I ground up my oats to have some bigger and some smaller.

Use a small cookie scoop to make uniform sized balls for the cookie sheet.  Do not worry about pressing flat as they will spread when they bake.  Refrigerate the scooped cookie dough for about 10 minutes. 

Bake at 375 for 11 minutes.  Remove from oven and leave on cookie sheet for 2 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 48 individual cookies.

Make the filling by beating the 1/2 cup butter with powdered sugar and up to 2 tablespoons of milk.  Transfer to a zip lock type baggie with a corner snipped off.

Assemble the cookies by piping about a teaspoon of filling onto the bottom side of one cookie.  I used about a quarter sized dollop and it was the perfect amount of sweetness.  Top with another cookie.

Enjoy with a tall, cold glass of milk!

Thanks for stopping by!  What is your favorite childhood treat?  In addition to the Oatmeal Cream Pies, I also loved eating the Nutty Bars one layer at a time!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

About a week or so ago, I was reading through the comments on this post (mmmm, brownies...), when I came across Anne's comment telling me she wanted to give me an award over at her blog.  What?  Me?  An award??  I never get awards.  I clicked over to Anne's blog at From My Sweet Heart and was shocked to see myself listed for the Versatile Blogger award among a group of awesome food bloggers, many of whom I read and draw inspiration from on a regular basis.  As Anne stated over on her blog, this blogging stuff is HARD!  I have had this blog since late 2009 but only recently started posting with any consistency.  Between taking pictures, writing up posts, commenting on other's blogs, oh, and of course, the actual baking part, it takes a large chunk of time to continually post quality material.

I was very honored that Anne considered me for this award and it has inspired me to keep going.  At the least, I hope to be able to look back on this blog down the road and see it as my journal through food.  I am passionate about cooking and baking and believe that food (for me anyway) is strongly linked to memories.  For example, I associate a fried avocado salad with a wonderful Easter weekend with my parents or Devil's Food White Out Cake with celebrating my Dad's birthday.  Since keeping a traditional journal never worked out for me, I'm hoping that The Sweet Touch will be a record of all the great moments in life!

So, in keeping with the rules of the award, you must thank the person who awarded you by linking back to their post.  You must tell 7 things about yourself.  And you must pass the award down to 15 other new or newly discovered blogs.  

Here are my seven random facts:

1. I love zumba!  Even though I have no sense of rhythm, I think it's a blast.
2. My mom is my best friend (Hi, Mom!).
3. I could eat potato chips with a spoon.  Step away from the Ruffles and no one gets hurt!
4. My husband is from England, but his accent keeps people guessing now that he's been here for a few years.
5. I love television - soaps, reality, dramas, you name it, I love it!
6. I have two fur babies, Roxy and Jasmine.  They are the sweetest cats in the world.
7. I wish rollerblading would come back into style, loved that back in the day!

Now, here is my list of other awesome bloggers I would like to share this award with:

Presidential Living - bee keeping (!) and gardening with recipes mixed in
Every Little Thing - chocolate chili?  yes, please!
The Sweets Life - I often check out this blog for simple, delicious weeknight meals
FoodSnobStl - healthy eating with a dash of sugar, yum!
What the Dog Ate - planning to make her Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies tonight
Bakergirl - delicious desserts!
Baking Me - my mouth is watering over her shortbread and jam cookies
Eat Laugh Love - I can't wait to try her bacon cheddar quick bread!
Katie's Feast - super creative meals over here
Kitchen Riffs - the Pimm's cup she recently posted reminded me of our trip to England, mmmm!
My Nikon Eats Food - she just got a job at a cupcake shop, awesome!
Sweet Life - check out her blog for yummy margaritas
Little Yellow Kitchen - blood orange and pomegranate mimosas, need I say more?
Baking & Creating with Avril - I bookmarked this blog after I saw her cookies sticks - perfect for dunking!
My Tiny Oven - a delicious mix of dinners and sweet treats

Whew!  What a list.  I warn you in advance, you could get sucked in for hours once you start clicking but it's worth it.  Thank you again to Anne from My Sweet Heart.  Oh, and if you haven't already had enough of a sugar fix, you should check out her Devils Food Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting while you are at it!

Any other new and interesting blogs I need to put on my list?  Please share in the comments.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Share Our Strength Bake Sale

I have to start out this post by saying how much I love the St. Louis blogger scene.  We've lived in St. Louis now for about two months and as many of you who have moved around a lot know, it can be difficult to meet new friends in a new city.  I was lucky enough to stop by Denise's blog at Eat Laugh Love where she did a post to promote the Share Our Strength Blogger Bake Sale.  Share Our Strength is a national nonprofit with the goal to end childhood hunger by the year 2015.  It's scary to think that children in our own neighborhoods aren't getting enough food and nutrients to live a healthy life.  When I heard about the opportunity to contribute, I really wanted to get involved.  I thought I had missed the bake sale but through a couple of comments and emails, I found out I could still get in on it!  I had a great time baking for this event and it was lucky to meet some fabulous ladies (and gents!) in the process.  I'm looking forward to attending future blogger events and getting to know all of these lovely St. Louis bloggers!

The amazing Stef of Cupcake Project, Kimberly of Rhubarb and Honey and Andrew of Andrew Mark Veety (check out his awesome homemade pretzels - people went nuts over these!) organized the event which was held at Sappington Farmers' Market.  Even with the unseasonably cold, dreary weather, the St. Louis foodies came out in full force to support the cause (and feed their sugar cravings!).  All in all, the event raised over $800!!

Since I only had a couple days to prepare for the bake sale, I wanted to make something I had already tried and succeeded at before.  I also wanted to do at least one child friendly treat.  I ended up going with Loaded Rice Krispie Treats and a twist on the classic Ohio State Chocolate Buckeyes Candy - YUM!  Here are the recipes.

Loaded Rice Krispie Treats

2 recipes classic Rice Krispie Treats
2/3 c. M&M's
2/3 c. sprinkles
2/3 c. white chocolate chips
plus a handful of each to put on top
*Choose any candy you would like.  I would like to try crushed pretzels and bits of heath bars next time!

Place rice krispies and candy in a large bowl. 
I would like to go swimming in a pool filled with this!
Follow directions for making a double batch of rice krispie treats.  You can make a single batch but I like mine extra thick.  Once butter and marshmallows are melted, pour mixture over rice krispies and candy and mix together.  Working quickly, press mixture into a greased 9x13 pan and press extra candy into the top. 
 Allow to cool and cut into 12 squares.  Watch kids go crazy when they see them at a bake sale!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

1 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 stick butter, softened
1 lb. powdered sugar
9 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp. Crisco
pretzels (I used the square-shaped "waffle" ones but any small kind will work.)

Mix peanut butter, vanilla, butter and powdered sugar.  Roll into little balls and press between two pretzels.  Put on wax paper or a silpat and freeze until firm. 

Melt chocolate chips and Crisco in a small bowl.  I melted mine in the microwave in 30 second bursts until it was smooth, about a minute.  Dip each peanut butter pretzel bite halfway into the chocolate.  Return to wax paper and freeze until chocolate sets.  Delicious!

I hope you enjoy these super simple, super delicious recipes!  If you would like to give to the cause, you can donate over at Share Our Strength.

What is your favorite bake sale treat?  I'm a sucker for anything with bright colors!