Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Monday, December 10, 2018

Hot Cocoa Fudge

Isn't this the cutest fudge you've ever seen?? I knew as soon as I spied it on Pinterest that I would have to make it. And those teeny, tiny marshmallows - they are almost too cute to eat. But I bet you can get over that pretty quickly because this candy is delicious.

I had never bought those mallow bits before but I easily found them at Target. They come in a little plastic jar-like container in the marshmallow section. I can't wait to find more uses for these little marshmallows.

Chocolate, white chocolate, and marshmallows - what a perfect little fudge this is!

Hot Cocoa Fudge

2 cups chocolate chips
1 - 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk, divided
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mallow bits

Line a 9x9 or 8x8 pan with foil, and then grease the foil.

In a microwave safe bowl combine white chocolate chips with 5 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk.

In a separate bowl combine chocolate chips with remaining sweetened condensed milk.

Microwave chocolate chips for 30 seconds, then stir. Heat for another 15 seconds then stir vigorously until chocolate is smooth. Transfer mixture into the pan and spread into an even layer.

Microwave white chocolate 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Spread mixture on top of dark chocolate layer.

Top with mini marshmallows then gently press down. Refrigerate at least 6 hours to set.

Remove fudge and foil from pan. Carefully peel all foil from fudge. Cut fudge into bite sized pieces and serve.

Recipe Source: Wonky Wonderful

Monday, December 3, 2018

Frosted Gingerbread Bars

This is a fun, and slightly different, take on a holiday cookie. If you love gingerbread, you will love these bars. All the goodness of a gingerbread cookie covered in cream cheese frosting and sprinkled to look appropriately festive...

I really prefer bars to cookies - they're just easier! But besides eating them, I like serving them too - and they add a nice variety to a cookie tray or gifting box at this time of year.

I hope you'll try these if you need a new Christmas sweet!

Frosted Gingerbread Bars

1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup molasses
1 egg
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and molasses. Add the egg and stir until completely incorporated. Add baking soda, flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt and mix until well combined. Spread dough evenly into a greased 9x13 pan, pressing all the way to the edges.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (Do not over cook). Remove from the oven and let cool.

For the frosting, beat butter and cream cheese together then add vanilla. While mixing, gradually add in powdered sugar. Mix until creamy & well-combined.

Once the bars have cooled, frost the tops. Garnish with holiday sprinkles or a pinch of cinnamon. Cut into squares and serve.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Candy Cane Kiss Cheesecake Cookies

It's time for Christmas cookies! Every year I like to make a few new cookies as well as making tried and true, or my favorites from past years. I've made several versions of these "kiss" cookies, and all of them are so good: triple peppermint cookies, cherry kisses, chocolate peppermint swirl cookies, chocolate kissed gingerbread, and macaroon kisses.

These have a delightful bit of cream cheese in the batter which makes them so soft and so flavorful! Like the other kiss cookies, they're a snap to make, but the dough does need time to chill, so factor that into your planning. If you want to get fancy, you can drizzle these with white chocolate or decorating sugar, but I actually thought they were fine just as is!

Happy Baking!

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Busy Monday, Inspire Me, Hearth and Soul.

Candy Cane Kiss Cheesecake Cookies

1/2 cup butter, soft
6 oz cream cheese, soft
1 cup sugar (plus extra for rolling cookies in)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
24 candy cane kisses, unwrapped
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted or decorating sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Mix in sugar, egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and peppermint extract and beat until creamy.

In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until combined well.

Chill dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Scoop into one-inch round balls and roll in sugar. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Let cool for a couple of minutes then press a candy cane kiss into the center of each cookie. Let cool for a couple more minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Drizzle tops of cookies with melted white chocolate or sprinkle with decorating sugar.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Crispy Tiger Fudge

Ooh, this fudge. I love everything about it - peanut butter and chocolate together, a creamy layer, a crispy layer... beautiful on a tray, hard to resist.

You probably have all of these ingredients on hand, so you can whip some up yet this week! (Am I the only one who still has A LOT of baking to do this year???)

Find more holiday cheer at Inspiration Monday, Busy Monday, Inspire Me, Inspire Me2, Show and Share.

Crispy Tiger Fudge

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 (11 ounce) package white chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup crispy rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)
1/2 cup peanut butter

Place semisweet chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl; heat in microwave at 50% power for 30-45 second intervals until melted, stirring between each interval. Stir chocolate until smooth.

Combine white chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in a separate microwave-safe bowl; heat in microwave at 50% power for 30-45 second intervals until melted, stirring between each interval. Stir mixture until smooth.

Stir cereal and peanut butter into white chocolate-butterscotch mixture; pour into a 9x13 baking dish lined with foil or parchment paper.

Spoon semisweet chocolate in lines across the peanut butter mixture. Run a knife in the opposite direction of the chocolate lines to achieve a swirled, tiger-stripe pattern. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 10 minutes. Cut into small squares.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake

I have said it before and I'll say it again. I love Christmas cookies, but sometimes you just need CAKE. I have a few fun Christmas cakes here on the blog to choose from, including Egg Nog Cake , Peppermint Poke Cake and Candy Cane Bundt Cake, and now I am happy to share this great recipe with you, too.

This chocolate cake starts with a mix, and then gets doctored up with extra ingredients like pudding, sour cream and peppermint extract. It's topped with a cream cheese frosting and then sprinkled with crushed candy canes. It is beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. It will look great on a Christmas buffet and be a great addition to the ubiquitous cookie tray!

Find more holiday cheer at Inspiration Monday, Busy Monday, Inspire Me, Create Link Inspire, Fabulous, Show and Share, Wow Me, Wow Us, Whisk It, Hearth and Soul, Wonderful Wednesday, Full Plate, Foodie Friday, Weekend Potluck, Awesome Friday.

Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake

1 box devils food cake mix
1 3.9 oz pkg. instant chocolate pudding
1 cup sour cream (low fat is ok)
4 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips

For the frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 candy canes, crushed

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding, sour cream, eggs, water, oil and peppermint extract. Mix with an electric mixer until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into a well-greased bundt cake pan. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Allow to cool in the pan for 15-20 mins. Carefully invert onto a wire rack and let cool completely. If you aren't frosting and serving immediately, wrap the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate it.

To make the frosting, in a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla. Gradually stir in the powdered sugar. Spread or pipe onto the cake. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Serves 12-16

Recipe Source: Tastes Better From Scratch

Monday, December 4, 2017

Mocha Peppermint Cookies

Coffee and peppermint together in a cookie. And also, chocolate. This was a brilliant idea. Not only that, but they're dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candy canes. Beautiful, festive, delicious. These would be perfect for a cookie exchange, for giving as gifts, or for eating all to yourself. You choose. Really.

Quick note: the dough here needs ample time to chill, preferably overnight. So whip up the dough one evening, and you can bake the cookies the next day. Chilling the dough helps prevent the cookies from getting too flat in the oven. If you have a convection oven, you may want to use that setting, too. (I made these before I had the convection option, but I'll be making them again soon as an "experiment." Cookies are the best to experiment with, don't you agree?)

Find more great holiday ideas at Inspiration Monday, Busy Monday, Inspire Me, Inspire Me2, Create Link Inspire, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, Wow Me, Wow Us, Whisk It, Home Matters, Full Plate, Foodie Friday, Weekend Potluck, Awesome Friday.

Mocha Peppermint Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. instant coffee granules
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 large candy canes, crushed

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in egg, vanilla and peppermint extracts on high speed.

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, instant coffee, and salt together until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours and preferably overnight.

Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes or until the dough is easy to scoop and roll.

Scoop and roll balls of dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each, into balls and place on parchment or silicon mat-lined baking sheets.

Bake the cookies at 350 for 8-9 minutes. The baked cookies will look extremely soft in the centers when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. They will slightly deflate as you let them cool. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Melt the chopped white chocolate in a glass bowl at 50% power in the microwave. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Dip each completely cooled cookie halfway into the white chocolate and place onto a parchment or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle crushed candy canes on top of the chocolate. Repeat with the rest of the cooled cookies. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator to help the chocolate set.

Recipe Source: Sally's Baking Addiction

Monday, November 27, 2017

Eggnog Donuts

It's time to start baking! And planning holiday menus! And adding elastic to all your clothes! Seriously, though, this is such a fun time of the year to try new things and show love for family and friends by baking delicious treats. And these eggnog donuts are just the thing.

And really, donuts aren't so bad if they're BAKED, am I right? These have eggnog in both the batter and the glaze, and they are a delicious thing to wake up to, or to have mid-morning or mid-afternoon coffee with, or for a bedtime snack with a big glass of milk. The possibilities are nearly endless!

These are wonderful as an addition to brunch. I served them with an egg bake and they were both a big hit. But nothing beats homemade donuts. If you don't have a donut tin, I'm sure you could find one easily and have it delivered to your house within the week. I'm just sayin'. No excuses. Make these donuts.

Find more holiday inspiration at Inspiration Monday, Busy Monday, Inspire Me, Inspire Me 2, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, Wow Me, Wow Us, Whisk It, Wonderful Wednesday, Full Plate.

Eggnog Donuts

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup Eggnog


1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup Eggnog
Nutmeg for sprinkling

For the donuts, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream sugar and butter until smooth. Add egg and eggnog and mix well. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Pour batter into greased donut tins, filling each mold about 2/3 full. Bake at 325 for 12-13 minutes. Transfer donuts to a cooling rack and cool completely.

For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar and eggnog until no lumps remain. Dip donuts into glaze and return, right side up, to rack. Grate fresh nutmeg over the top, or sprinkle dried nutmeg on top. Makes 12 donuts.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Scandinavian Almond Bars

I am not exaggerating when I say these are one of my favorite cookies of all time. They are SO good. And SO addictive. And also, so attractive. Thin, crispy but also chewy, topped with an almond-extract laced icing, you will not be able to eat just one.

I also love that they are a different shape from other cookies. They look great on a cookie tray, and even though they're not "technically" a Christmas cookie, I tend to make them around Christmas because of that reason. They're also not fussy at all; so in a season when you want a great cookie that's not a lot of work, you can turn to these beauties!

If you're planning your Christmas cookie baking fiesta, be sure to add these lovely and delicious Scandinavian Almond Bars to the list!

For more great ideas, visit Inspire Me, Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Busy Monday, Inspire Me 2, Create Link Inspire, Fabulous, Show and Share.

Scandinavian Almond Bars

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 Tbsp. milk

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup milk

In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg and almond extract; mix until fluffy. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt; mix well.

Divide dough into 4 pieces, and roll each one into a log about 12 inches long. Place 2 logs per cookie sheet 4 to 5 inches apart. Flatten each roll by hand until it is about 3 inches wide. Brush flattened roll with milk and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Bake at 325 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.

Meanwhile, prepare icing: in a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, almond extract, and milk until smooth.

While the cookies are still warm, cut them crosswise at a diagonal, into slices about 1 inch wide. Cool slices on a wire rack. When cool, drizzle with almond icing.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Chocolate Peppermint Poke Cake

Christmas cookies are the bomb, but I really like having a festive dessert to serve around Christmas time. This cake, which is super easy to prepare, is also super delicious to eat, and looks beautiful to boot!

This cake is modeled after all the "better than" cakes... there are so many varieties now! So let them eat cake. And have a Merry Christmas!

Find more Christmas ideas at Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, Full Plate.

Chocolate Peppermint Poke Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix, plus eggs and oil needed for mix
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup hot fudge sauce, warmed
8 ounces Cool Whip
1 package Andes Peppermint Bits
1 cup crushed Candy Cane Oreos

Bake cake according to package directions. While cake is still warm, poke holes all over the top of the cake using the handle of a wooden mixing spoon.

Combine the sweetened condensed milk and hot fudge sauce and whisk well. Pour over the cake, aiming to fill the holes as best as possible. Cover and chill for about an hour. Spread Cool Whip on top and sprinkle the peppermint bits and cookie crumbs over the Cool Whip. Cover and chill for an additional 3 hours (or longer).

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Hot Cocoa Cookies

I think these will be the definite winner for best Christmas cookie this year. I may have to make another batch to take to Christmas gatherings as they are disappearing rather quickly around here.

And what's not to love? A decadent chocolate cookie base, a marshmallow middle, and delectable chocolate frosting. And sprinkles!

Seriously, these are SO good and SO pretty on a Christmas cookie tray. I hope you'll add them to your plans for Christmas this year. You won't be sorry. Until your pants don't fit. Then we can join a support group together.
Sprinkles make everything better.

Find more great stuff at Hearth and Soul, What's Cookin', Wow Me, Wow Us, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, Full Plate, Foodie Friday, Friday Frenzy.

Hot Cocoa Cookies

1/2 cup butter
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
25 or so large marshmallow

2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a microwave safe bowl melt the butter and chocolate, at 50% power at one minute intervals, stirring between each interval. Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed until well combined. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and blend until just combined. While mixing, add the flour mixture gradually and blend until just combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat liner. Use a tablespoon (or a tablespoon sized cookie scoop) to scoop the dough, then roll the dough in your hands to create balls. Arrange the balls about 2 inches apart on baking sheets, then flatten slightly. Bake cookies at 325 for about 12 minutes.

While the cookies bake, cut the large marshmallows in half crosswise. When the cookies have baked, remove from oven and press one marshmallow half (cut side down) into the center of each cookie. Return the cookies to the oven and bake another 2-3 minutes. Allow the pan of cookies to cool a few minutes, then transfer cookies to cooling rack.

For the icing, combine melted butter, powdered sugar, cocoa, water and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix together with a whisk. Place wire cooling rack (with cookies on it) over a baking sheet (to catch any excess icing). Spoon a small amount of icing onto the top of each marshmallow, and use the back of the spoon to spread it a bit. After icing just a couple cookies, top with sprinkles before the icing dries.

Allow icing to set up about 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe Source: Glorious Treats

Monday, November 28, 2016

Gingerbread Muffins

I love the flavor of gingerbread, especially at this time of year. This past weekend, I made pumpkin gingerbread, and ginger cookies remain one of my favorites. When I saw this recipe, I knew I wanted to try it. Although the original recipe made mini muffins, I made regular muffins and served them for brunch.

These have just the right amount of spice and are topped with a lovely cinnamon sugar. To change things up a bit, I also frosted some of these with a simple powdered sugar frosting - both varieties are absolutely delicious. Stay tuned for a wonderful breakfast casserole to serve alongside these muffins...

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us, Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday, Food on Friday, Friday Frenzy.

Gingerbread Muffins

2 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup plus brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/3 cup water

For topping:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter, melted

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Whisk to blend. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the molasses.

With the mixer on low speed, stir in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add in the second half, again mixing just until incorporated. Mix in the water on medium-low speed, just until evenly mixed and no lumps remain.

Divide the batter between the paper lined muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds of the way full. Bake at 350 until the tops are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and whisk until evenly combined. Dip the top of a muffin in the melted butter, then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat with a thin layer. Repeat with the remaining muffins.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Annie's Eats

Monday, October 3, 2016

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Oh, these cookies. Filled with so many good things - oatmeal, craisins, white chocolate chips, macadamia nuts. I swoon just thinking about them. I knew my waistline would be in trouble if I made these, but I did it anyway. And I'm glad I did. Even if I did eat five in one day. (True story.) I quickly packaged the rest of them up for kids' lunches. And they loved them too.

These are close to cookie perfection in my book. They'd be beautiful at Christmas time too, studded with red and white. But definitely do not wait until Christmas to make these. Make them now. And again. I know I will be...

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us, Full Plate, Foodie Friday.

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

Add flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and beat until just combined. Stir in the white chocolate chips, dried cranberries and chopped macadamia nuts. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Arrange on parchment or silpat-lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake AT 350 until golden on the bottom, 12-15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Gold Medal Flour

Monday, December 21, 2015

Samoa Fudge

I know I'm not the only one who thinks Somoas are the best Girl Scout cookies HANDS DOWN. That combo of coconut, caramel, chocolate... I do not buy them anymore cause I can eat the whole box in a day. And that is not a good idea for my health or my waistline.

So I was was thrilled to see this recipe for Samoa Fudge - all the great flavors of my fave cookie in a bite sized morsel, perfect for eating AND sharing at Christmastime! This makes a 9x13 pan of fudge, which is a lot, but I like that there's plenty to take to various family gatherings, parties etc., and there are still enough pieces for me to sneak one (or two) out of the fridge after dinner. HA! (True confessions.)

I just love how nice this fudge looks, too - the waves of caramel and the crunchy toasted coconut on top really make this a great addition to a cookie/candy tray.

Find more great Christmas cheer at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Clever Chicks, Show and Share, Fabulous, Create Link Inspire.

Samoa Fudge

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
1 package (12oz) white chocolate chips
1 package (3oz) coconut cream pudding mix
1 jar (7oz) marshmallow fluff
1 package Kraft caramel bits
1 tsp. heavy cream
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Note: if you can't find coconut cream pudding, sub vanilla pudding + 1 tsp. coconut flavoring

Spread coconut on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven at 375 for 5-8 minutes, checking after 5 minutes, and shaking the sheet to redistribute the coconut for even toasting.

In a large saucepan, heat butter, cream, sugar and salt on medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 5 minutes then remove from heat. Combine pudding, white chocolate chips and marshmallow fluff in a large mixing bowl. Pour butter and sugar mixture into the bowl, and mix, using an electric mixer, until combined and chocolate is smooth. Immediately pour into a parchment paper lined 13x9 baking dish.

Melt caramel bits with 1 tsp. heavy cream in microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Pour caramel over top of fudge. Use a knife to spread and swirl it into the fudge. Refrigerate fudge for 2-3 hours until set.

Melt semi sweet morsels in a small bowl in the microwave at 50% power, stirring after every 30 second interval. Spread over set fudge and sprinkle generously with toasted coconut. Lightly press the coconut down into the chocolate to be sure it sticks.

Store in covered container in refrigerator.

Recipe Source: Shugary Sweets

Monday, December 14, 2015

Triple Peppermint Cookies

If I had to choose, the candy cane "flavor" of Hershey's kisses would be my favorite. I'm one of the few people who wouldn't pick chocolate, I know, but these candy cane kisses are SO addicting. I cannot eat just one. A few years ago, I found a recipe incorporating them into a chocolate cookie, and they were amazing. Those Chocolate Peppermint Swirl Cookies have become a part of my regular Christmas-cookie rotation now! But I love those kisses so much, I thought I needed another way to use them in a cookie.

So here's another variety - a traditional dough is peppermint-ified with crushed candy canes, chopped candy cane kisses, and then a candy cane kiss on top. These are just what you need for an after dinner treat, and besides being oh so tasty, they are oh so pretty.

And if you can't depart from the traditional Hershey's kiss, you can use them in Chocolate Kissed Gingerbread or Macaroon Kisses!

Find more great stuff at Inspiration Monday, Inspire Me, Mix it Up, Show and Share, Fabulous, Tasty Tuesday, Clever Chicks, Create Link Inspire, Favorite Things, Showcase Your Talent, Foodie Friday.

Triple Peppermint Cookies

1½ cup Powdered Sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Egg
3 cups flour
3 candy canes
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Sugar (about 1/4 cup, to roll cookies in)
1 bag Candy Cane Hershey Kisses

Place candy canes in food processor and pulse until they are completely crushed.

Combine powdered sugar and butterin large bowl. Beat until fluffy at medium speed. Add in eggs, vanilla and peppermint extract and beat until incorporated.

Combine flour, crushed candy canes, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and beat until well blended (mixture will be kind of dry). Finely chop about 12 of the candy kisses; then stir them into the batter.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls; roll in sugar. Place 1-inch apart on a parchment paper or silpat-lined cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes until set. Remove from oven and immediately press a Candy Cane Kiss in the center of each cookie. Let rest on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 4 dozen.

Recipe Source: Saving Cents with Sense

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Eggnog Cake with Eggnog Frosting

I know I just posted a festive bundt cake that would be perfect for any Christmas celebration, but I couldn't resist - here is another. This cake won rave reviews at both a party and a family gathering. The three year old wolfed down his piece and exclaimed, "more cake PLEASE!"

This cake is super easy to put together - just doctor up a cake mix with all kinds of great ingredients - eggnog, nutmeg, sour cream - bake it in a pan coated with cinnamon sugar and then frost it with more eggnog flavored goodness. And if you have more eggnog to "use up" just make these muffins!

As I said before, sometimes you just need a piece of cake. Or two. It is Christmastime after all...

Find more great stuff at Tasty Tuesday, Hearth and Soul, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, Foodie Friday, Friday Frenzy.

Eggnog Cake with Eggnog Frosting

1 box (15 oz.) yellow cake mix
1 box (3 oz.) white chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup eggnog
1/2 cup sour cream (light is ok!)
4 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup water

Pan Coating:
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup eggnog, room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. sea salt
2 cups powdered sugar

For pan coating, combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; mix. Grease a bundt pan well, then evenly coat pan with mixture; reserve any excess.

In a large mixing bowl combine cake mix, pudding, nutmeg; stir to combine. Add eggnog, sour cream, eggs, canola oil and water; mix until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan, then top with the leftover cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center removes clean. Rest cake on rack for 10 minutes.
Carefully turn out cake onto cooling rack and let cool completely.

For the frosting, cream butter, vanilla, and eggnog. Add nutmeg, salt, and powdered sugar one cup at a time. Mix until smooth and a pourable consistency; adjust as necessary with more eggnog or powdered sugar.

Place cake on serving platter, spoon frosting around the top of cake and allow to drizzle down the sides. Serves 16.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Cooking with Ruthie

Monday, November 30, 2015

Candy Cane Bundt Cake

It's the 5th Monday of November, so that means it's time for the Secret Recipe Club Holiday Treats Edition!

I've been thinking about seasonal treats for quite some time now, and have made my list of what I'm going to make and bake in December. This lovely Candy Cane Bundt Cake was a perfect way to start off my holiday baking!

Lauren, from Sew You Think You Can Cook, was involved in a bundt cake challenge a while back and this cake was one of the ones she made. I knew it was the right choice - a pound cake laced with peppermint extract, and beautifully colored white and pink (you should make yours more red, I certainly regret that mine is not redder!) with a white chocolate icing and crushed candy canes for decoration - rings in the Christmas season wonderfully. I shared this with family and with church friends and it was a big hit with every audience.

I adore Christmas cookies, but sometimes, you just need a CAKE, am I right? This is the cake you need. Happy baking!

Find more great stuff at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Inspire Me.

Candy Cane Bundt Cake

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. peppermint extract
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
6-8 drops red food coloring

3/4 cup white chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. heavy cream (milk is ok)
3/4 cups powdered sugar (may need more or less)
2 candy canes, crushed

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the oil and sugar and beat until well mixed. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Mix in vanilla and peppermint extracts.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Mix 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Mix in 1/2 of the buttermilk. Repeat with another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, the last of the buttermilk, and ending with the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients.

Put 2 C of the batter into a separate bowl and add the red food coloring, then stir well.

Pour half of the white batter into a greased bundt pan, top with the red batter, and finish with the rest of the white batter.

Bake at 350 for 60-65 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out cleanly. Allow cake to cool in bundt pan before removing to a cooling rack.

For the icing, melt white chocolate with heavy cream in the microwave at 50% power. Stir until smooth. Whisk in powdered sugar until it has the consistency you desire. Glaze cake. Top cake with crushed candy canes.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Cranberry Eggnog Muffins

Do you have some leftover eggnog languishing in your fridge? If you do, you should make these muffins. And if you don't, you should go buy more. I love baking with cranberries, too, and I seem to always have a bag in the freezer. So, combine cranberries with eggnog, top it all off with a delicious streusel, and you have a great muffin for breakfast, coffee break, brunch, or any time of the day.

Cranberry Eggnog Muffins

Streusel Topping:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

1 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
2/3 cup eggnog
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cranberries

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, melted butter, egg, eggnog and vanilla. Stir until well combined.

Add flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg to the wet ingredients and stir just until incorporated. Fold the chopped cranberries into the batter, but do not overmix. Divide the batter evenly between the paper-lined muffin cups, filling them about two thirds of the way full.

To make the crumb topping, in a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; stir to combine. Using your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until a coarse, sandy mixture forms. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly on top of the muffin batter.

Bake at 400 for about 18-20 minutes, or a until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 20-22 muffins

Recipe Source: Adapted from Lick the Bowl Good

Monday, December 22, 2014

Chocolate-Dipped Spumoni Cookies

I always like to try a few new cookie recipes each Christmas season, and as soon as I saw these, I knew they would make the list. Some of my favorite things - pistachios and cherries - are embedded in a CHEWY chocolate cookie! And then to make them even better (possible?), you dip them in chocolate and add more pistachios and cherries...

I should have asked for elastic-waisted pants for Christmas...

Find more great stuff at Inspiration Monday, Mix it up.

Chocolate-Dipped Spumoni Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups finely chopped pistachios, divided
1 1/3 cups finely chopped dried cherries, divided
1 3/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. shortening

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in 1 cup each pistachios and cherries.

Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Dip each cookie halfway into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off; sprinkle with remaining pistachios and cherries. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set.

Makes about 6 dozen.

Recipe Source: Taste of Home
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