Thursday, December 27, 2012

Snowman on a Stick

I saw this cute idea on Pinterest, so I bought the supplies and let the kids get creative.  They LOVED it!

Idea from: Dukes and Duchesses

Mini white donuts (3 per snowman)
Candies, we used Christmas M&Ms (buttons)
Mini Chocolate chips (eyes and mouth)
Candy corn (nose)
Fruit roll up (scarf)
Stick Pretzels (arms)
skewer sticks

Caramel Popcorn

My kids love popcorn, so we made a Christmas Caramel Popcorn.  We made enough to give some with gifts, so we made 3 batches and left one caramel colored, colored one batch red and the last batch green. 

12 cups popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup unpopped)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Bring butter, brown sugar and corn syrup to a boil, stirring often to until it reaches a boil.  Stop stirring and boil over medium heat 5 minutes. 

Remove from heat and add baking soda and vanilla.  Stir.  Add food coloring if desired.  Pour over popcorn and mix until all the popcorn is coated.

Bake for 30 minutes at 250, stirring every 10 minutes.  Break apart after removing from oven. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

PB & Jelly Reindeer Sandwich

I made these PB & Jelly reindeer sandwiches for our annual family party.  I let the kids help make them and they were super excited about them.  Plus it is a food that all 4 would eat :)

We used cocoa puffs for the eyes and a red M&M for the nose. 

Idea from: And Everything Sweet

Monday, December 24, 2012

Peppermint Cookies and Cream Muddy Buddies

This is a Christmas version of the Muddy Buddies.  I was not sure if my kids would love this Christmas version of muddy buddies.  Candy Canes can make my kids turn down goodies. Maybe it's because they really couldn't see them...but they gobbled it right up and begged for more!

1/2 lb. white chocolate melty chips

5 cups rice chex
1/2 cup crushed oreos
1 candy cane, crushed
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Mix crushed oreos with curshed candy cane, set aside.

Melt chocolate and pour over rice chex and stir until chex is covered.  Pour oreo and candy cane mixture over chex.  Stir until covered.  Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top and toss until coated.  Allow to cool and serve.  Store in an air tight container.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Raspberry Cheesecake Truffles

John really liked this truffle.  They have a very soft center, making it a little bit of a challenge, but the taste made up for that :)

Recipe from: Cooking Classy

8 oz cream cheese, softened slightly
14 graham cracker sheets, finely ground in a food processor
6 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam 
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted
1/2 tsp raspberry or vanilla extract
6-8 drops red food coloring

Dipping Chocolate

In a mixing bowl, mix together cream cheese, 14 ground graham cracker sheets, raspberry jam, and powdered sugar.  Stir into well combine.  Mix in 1/4 cup melted white chocolate chips, raspberry extract and food coloring.  Blend well.  Cover mixture with plastic wrap and freeze 1 hour, or until firm enough to form mixture into balls.

Remove mixture from freezer and scoop mixture out by tablespoons and form into balls.  Place on a wax or parchment covered baking dish or plate.  Cover truffle balls with plastic wrap and freeze 1 hour, or until firm enough to dip in chocolate.

Melt chocolate in microwave on 50% power in 30 second intervals stirring after each interval until melted and smooth.

Remove truffles from freezer, using a toothpick or fork, dip truffle balls into melted chocolate.   Store truffles in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Egg Nog Truffles

These are a perfect truffle for the holidays.  They taste like egg nog, even though there the recipe does not call for any egg nog.

Recipe from: Mom's Crazy Cooking

1/2 pound white melting chocolate
4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg, extra for sprinkle
1/4 tsp Rum Extract

Melt 8 ounces of the chocolate as directed on package. Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, nutmeg and extract in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed mixer until well blended and smooth. Add melted chocolate; beat until well mixed. Cover. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until firm.

Shape into 24 (about 3/4-inch) balls. Place on wax paper-lined tray. Refrigerate until ready to dip.

 Melt white chocolate in small microwavable bowl for 1-1/2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Using a fork, dip 1 truffle at a time into the melted chocolate. Tap back of fork 2 or 3 times against edge of dish to allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place truffles on wax paper-lined tray. Sprinkle truffles with nutmeg.

 Refrigerate 1 hour or until chocolate is set. Store truffles between layers of wax paper in airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gooey Chocolate Coconut Truffles

I love coconut, John does not.  With the holidays here, I decided to make a batch of these so I could have a few and share the rest.  I loved how moist these were.  They would also be good with an almond on top.  If you like coconut, you are sure to love these.

Recipe from: How Sweet It Is

makes about 24 teaspoon-sized truffles
3 cups sweetened, shredded coconut, chopped fine
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 1/2-2 cups milk chocolate chips, melted

In a large bowl, combined coconut and sugar and mix to combine. Add in milk and coconut oil, mix constantly until a gooey coconut filling results. Scoop using smallest cookie scoop or make teaspoon-sized (or a little larger) balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes, then remove from freeze and roll again between your palms to smooth any coconut edges. Freeze for 10-15 minutes more. While freezing, melt chocolate chips in a double boiled or microwave. Remove coconut balls from freezer and immediately dip.
Refrigerate until ready to serve – at least 15 minutes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Orange Truffles

At first these are a little gritty from the cookie crumbs, but after they sit for an hour or so, they are a nice creamy texture.  The original recipe did not call for cream cheese, but I found the cream cheese was needed  :)  

Recipe adapted from: Melle Cotte

11 oz. vanilla wafer cookies, crushed
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup butter, melted and cooled
½ cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
½ tsp. vanilla extract
4 oz. cream cheese

Combine cookie crumbs and confectioners’ sugar. Stir in butter until the dry ingredients are coated. Some clumps will form. Stir in orange juice concentrate, add vanilla, and cream cheese.

Form into balls.  Freeze for 15 minutes and smooth out rough spots.  Dip in melted chocolate.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cinnamon Almonds

These are a nice crunchy treat.  Sweetened, but not overly sweet.

2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
6 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
4 cups almonds  

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Lightly grease a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan. 

Lightly beat the egg white; add water, and beat until frothy but not stiff. Add the nuts, and stir until well coated. Mix the sugar, salt, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the nuts. Toss to coat, and spread evenly on the prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, stirring every 20 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool, then store nuts in airtight containers.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Avalanche Bars

My kids were wanting to make a treat one night and I picked this recipe to try because it was simple.  They turned out to be a really good treat.  Rich, but good.
John's Rating: 10

Recipe from: Cookies and Cups

12 oz bag of White Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups Rice Krispies
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips + 2 Tbsp for garnish.
Lightly butter a 9x9 pan

In microwave-safe bowl pour in white chips and heat on 50% power for 1 minute. Stir and continue in 30 second increments until chips are melted.  Combine the peanut butter with the melted chips and add the krispies. Add the marshmallows and allow to cool some before adding the mini chocolate chips (so they won't melt) and stir to combine.  Pour mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly, pressing lightly with the back of your spoon, but do not compact too much, otherwise they will get hard.  Press the remaining chocolate chips into the top for garnish.  When the bars are completely cooled cut into squares and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Whipped Cream

I needed some whipped cream for the pie we made, so I made some fresh whipped cream.  Kyla was really impressed we could make our own.  :)   So here is the recipe for the next time I need some whipped cream. 

2 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup whipping cream

Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Place the sugar into the mixing bowl and add the whipping cream. Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks. Store any unused portion in an airtight container for up to 10 hours. When ready to use, rewhisk for 10 to 15 seconds.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Whipped Cream

I let my daughter pick a pie to make and this is the recipe she chose to try.  It was easy to make and the whole family loved it.  

Recipe from: Texas Recipes
for the Crust:
1 1/4 cups salted pretzels
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar

for the Filling:
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whipped cream

for the Chocolate Whipped Cream:
3/4 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate
2 cups whipped cream
Chocolate shavings, optional (Kyla opted for white whipped cream on top instead)

For the crust:

Pulse the pretzels in a food processor until finely ground. In a large bowl, combine the pretzel crumbs, butter and brown sugar. Mix together.  Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Cover and refrigerate.

For the Peanut Butter filling:

Combine the cream cheese, peanut butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Spoon the filling into the pie shell, cover and return to the refrigerator.

For the chocolate whipped cream:

Melt chocolate in the microwave.  Allow to cool a little and mix it in with the whipping cream.  Layer on the Peanut Butter Layer.  
**If your chocolate is too hot and melts the whipped cream, cover and refrigerate it for 2 hours. Once cooled, beat the chocolate cream with a mixer until thick and spreadable (do not overmix).

Cover the pie with the chocolate whipped cream. Garnish with chocolate shavings if using.

Refrigerate for 2 hours and serve.