Cook of the Week: Brandy Courson recipes

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com Double-Streusel Coffee Cake, left, and Breanna's Cheesecake Bites

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com
Double-Streusel Coffee Cake, left, and Breanna’s Cheesecake Bites

Cheesy Italian Biscuit Balls

1 can Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers biscuits

1 ball fresh Mozzarella cheese

1⁄4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Open canned biscuits and separate the tops and the bottoms.

Place a pinch of Mozzarella cheese on the bottom layers and put tops back on, pinching edges together to seal.

Brush tops with olive oil, dust with seasoning and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with pasta.

Breanna’s Cheesecake Bites

1 (17-ounce) package Pillsbury gingerbread cookie mix

1⁄4 cup self-rising flour

4 ounces cream cheese, room temp

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

Prepare gingerbread cookie mix according to package directions, adding flour to thicken the dough.

Roll 2 tablespoons dough into balls and place in a mini muffin pan. Make wells in each ball, for filling later.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar and stir in vanilla.

Place mixture in a piping bag and pipe 1 tablespoon or so into the well of each cookie.

Bake for 9 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean when inserted in the cookie part. Let cool completely before removing from pan.

Baked Ziti

1 (36-ounce) jar pasta sauce

11⁄2 pounds ziti pasta, cooked and drained

1 pound hot sausage, cooked and drained

1 pound mild sausage, cooked and drained

2 cups shredded Provolone cheese

1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese, drained

3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

A handful of fresh chopped basil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a deep 9×13-inch baking dish, spoon just enough pasta sauce to cover the bottom of the dish and keep pasta from sticking. Pour half of the pasta in the dish and top with half the cooked sausage, half the Provolone and half of the ricotta (pinch off into small balls).

Top with half the Mozzarella and half of the basil. Cover with sauce. Repeat layers.

Bake until heated through and cheese is golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Double Streusel Coffee Cake

Streusel

2⁄3 cup Bisquick

2⁄3 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons cold butter

Cake

2 cups Bisquick

1⁄2 cup milk (may need more)

2 tablespoons sugar

11⁄2 teaspoons vanilla

1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray bottom and sides of 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix 2⁄3 cup Bisquick mix, the brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until crumbly; set aside.

In medium bowl, stir coffee cake ingredients until blended (you may need to add a bit more milk to make spreading easier). Spread about 1 cup of the batter in pan. Sprinkle with about 3⁄4 cup of the streusel. Drop remaining batter over top of streusel; spread carefully over streusel. Sprinkle remaining streusel over top.

Bake 20 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm or cool.

Ahead-of-Time Mashed Potatoes

3 pounds white potatoes, peeled and chunked

6 ounces cream cheese, cubed

1 cup sour cream

2 to 4 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain.

In a large mixing bowl, beat potatoes until fluffy. Add cream cheese and sour cream and continue to mix until smooth. Pour potatoes into a lightly greased 2-quart covered casserole.

Refrigerate until ready to bake (will keep three days in fridge).

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dot potatoes with butter or margarine. Sprinkle chives over the top. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until heated through.