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Country Cooking

March 27, 2013

by Dorothy Bloemendaal
Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

2 cups crushed vanilla wafers

6 tablespoons butter, melted

l-14 oz. package vanilla caramels (about 48 caramels)

l-5 oz. can evaporated milk

l cup chopped pecans, toasted

l-8 oz. package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

l teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces, melted and slightly cooled.

Optional: Caramel ice cream topping, whipped cream and chocolate curls

Preheat oven to 350. Combine crushed vanilla wafers and melted butter. Press onto the bottom and up about 2 inches on a springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool and set aside.

In a saucepan, combine unwrapped caramels and evaporated milk. Cook and stir over low heat until smooth. Pour into prepared crust. Top with the l cup pecans. Chill.

For filling, combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add eggs, beating on low speed just until combined (do not overbeat). Stir in melted chocolate. Pour over caramel-nut layer in pan. Bake about 40 minutes or until a 2 1/2 inch area around the outside edge appears set when gently shaken. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen from side of pan; cool completely on wire rack. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. To serve, let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Garnish with caramel topping, whipped cream, and chocolate curls. Makes 12 servings.

Home-Style Green Bean Bake

l can condensed cream of celery soup or cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese or American cheese

l 2-oz. jar diced pimiento, drained (optional)

2- 9-oz. packages frozen cut green beans, thawed and drained

l -16-oz. can cut wax beans, drained

1/2 can (3/4 cup) french-fried onions

Preheat oven to 350. Combine soup, cheese, and pimiento. Stir in green beans and wax beans. Transfer to an ungreased 1 1/2 quart casserole. Bake for 35 minutes.

Remove from oven; stir. Sprinkle with onions. Bake about 5 minutes more or until heated through. Serves 6.

Breakfast Casserole

l pound sliced bacon, diced

l medium sweet onion, chopped

6 eggs, lightly beaten

4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) small curd cottage cheese

1-1/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese

In a large skillet, cook bacon and onion until bacon is crisp; drain. Combine the remaining ingredients; stir in bacon mixture. Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until set and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Yield: 12 servings.

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