Monday, August 29, 2011

Back to School Snacks

School starts the day after Labor Day in Michigan so we've started buying supplies while they are on sale. (I love those .20 notebook sales!) Things are a bit different this year at our house. My oldest moved into his dorm last week, my middle son is a senior in high school, and my daughter is going into 6th grade. I'm also considering getting a part time job in addition to my freelance writing to help out with expenses. There are a lot of changes this year, so I'm trying to prepare. Today I was going through my recipes for after school snacks, and treats I can make to send with my oldest to the dorm. Yes, he has room and board, but we know my homemade snacks are MUCH better.

Today's recipes are the ones I pulled out to make once school starts. Though the popcorn recipe at the end is calling to me to make much sooner:)

Lemon Fruit Dip
1 cup lemon pie filling
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice

Stir together and serve with fruit.

Notes: You could use other pie filling but lemon is smooth which is why it works with this recipe. Plain yogurt is used because the filling and the juice adds the sweetness.

Molasses Cookies
3/4 cup margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 ground cloves
3/4 ground ginger

Mix the moist ingredients, then combine with the dry ingredients that have been sifted together into a bowl. Once dough is mixed form it into balls about 1 inch in size. Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes in 375 degree F. oven. Sprinkle with granulated sugar while still warm.

3/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup molasses
3 cups sifted flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger

Cream shortening and brown sugar. Add egg and molasses; beat well. Add flour, salt, soda and spices. (I like to sift them all together first). Mix well and chill for an hour or so. Form into small balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes. Makes 9-10 dozen.

Notes: You can use dark molasses for a spicier gingersnap. I also use parchment paper on the baking sheets and spray them with cooking spray. These are the perfect cookie jar cookie!

Snack Cracker Mix
2 cups oyster crackers
1 cup mini pretzels
1 cup square cheese crackers like Cheeze-Its
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 (1 ounce) package dry Ranch-style dressing mix
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Whisk together the oil, dressing mix, lemon pepper and garlic powder. Pour over the crackers in a large bowl, and stir until coated. Place the crackers evenly on a large baking sheet or two if needed. Bake in the preheated 275 degrees F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool before storing in a resealable plastic bag.

Notes: I often use garlic pepper in place of the lemon pepper and garlic powder-- using 1/2-1 tsp. to spice this up. Another variation is to use garlic powder AND 1/2 tsp. of Cajun seasoning. The cracker mixture can vary depending on your family's tastes.

Popcorn Crunch
2 quarts popped corn
1 1/3 cup peanuts or other nuts
1 cup melted butter or margarine
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup corn syrup (Karo or store brand)

Cook the butter, sugar, vanilla and syrup for 10 minutes until golden brown. Pour over the popcorn and the nuts. Toss and press onto greased cookie sheet. Cool. Break up and store til eaten.

On OFL I have some great apple recipes that would make nice snacks as well:

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