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Friday, December 19, 2014
There's something very comforting about the tradition of making Christmas sugar cookies this time of year! The whole family enjoys the cookies, of course, but also the process of decorating them. We love this recipe as it yields perfectly sweet, soft cookies. I think it's the addition of sour cream that makes the texture so wonderful! Get creative and enjoy.
Soft Christmas Sugar Cookies
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
2 cups flour
Cream together sugar and butter. Add egg and vanilla. In separate bowl, combine sour cream, salt and soda. Add flour and sour cream to butter mixture, beat until smooth. Chill dough for several hours. Roll and cut with shaped cutters. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
I was asked to bring brownies to a get-together and had the idea to bake the brownies in a tart pan and add a mint fudge topping. The result came out better than I even planned- it's delicious and looks so much better than ordinary brownies! Baking the brownies in the tart pan made it all so easy too- the pan is incredibly non-stick and the bottom lifts out from the sides so it makes it easy to transfer to another plate and decorate the top.
I used Krusteaz Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Brownie Mix for this recipe. We have a lot of food allergies in our family, so it's great to be able to tell everyone that this treat is gluten-free!
Fudge Mint Brownie Torte
Level of difficulty: Easy!
- 1 box Krusteaz Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Brownie Mix
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup vegetable or coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1- 14 oz can sweeten condensed milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla or mint extract
- Andes Mint baking bits, mint squares for topping
- melted white chocolate, to drizzle
Combine brownie mix, oil, water and 1 egg in a medium bowl and stir. Pour batter into a tart pan that's been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. If you don't have a tart pan, I'd line a cake pan with parchment paper and use that. Bake according to package instructions.
While the brownies are baking, put the chocolate chips and sweeten condensed milk in a small bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes, until melted and smooth when stirred. Set aside.
Once brownies are done baking, cool completely. Pour about 1/3 of the fudge mixture over the top of the brownies, tilting until fudge covers the top and runs a bit down the side here and there. Drizzle white chocolate and sprinkle Andes Mint baking bits over the top.
This recipe is sponsored by Krusteaz Gluten Free Baking Mixes as part of the Krusteaz Blogger Bake Off. I was provided with product to create this post. All opinions are 100% mine.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE ORANGE STICKS
3 Tbsp unflavored gelatin (I used 4 of the little packets)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup cold water
2 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp orange extract
5-6 drops orange food coloring
Soften the gelatin in cold water and set aside. Combine sugar and hot water, stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the gelatin mixture and slowly boil on medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients. Pour into well-greased molds. I purchased this mold from Amazon, but I also used two mini loaf pans for the remainder of the mixture and the loaf pans worked just as well as the silicone mold. Let stand over night and then dip into melted chocolate. I used the Chocoley Milk Chocolate and it was wonderful, but I'm sure that you could use dark chocolate too. I also drizzled a little white chocolate on top just for fun. Enjoy!
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Peppermint Fudge Thumbprint Cookies
Makes about 30 cookies
- ¾ cups butter
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 ¾ cups flour
- ¼ cup crushed candy cane pieces + extra for topping
- ½ tsp mint extract
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg yolk. Add flour. Add crushed candy cane and mint extract. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball in granulated sugar. Line up balls on cookie sheet. Use teaspoon measuring spoon to create a crater in the center of each ball. Bake for 8-10 min at 375.
Chocolate Fudge Filling:
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp butter
Combine cream, butter, and chips in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until melted. Let cool.
Once the fudge has cooled and thickened use your teaspoon to scoop out little balls to fill the center of the peppermint cookies. Use extra crushed candy cane to top the chocolate centers.
Monday, December 15, 2014
Today two of my all-time favorite flavors come together in a fun, festive and delicious holiday candy. Fudge & Mint. Yum. If you've never made fudge before, you've got to set aside an hour of your day and whip up this amazing confection. I've included step-by-step photos but really, it's one of the easiest types of candy to make. It makes a lot too- you'll have plenty to pass around to neighbors, co-workers, friends and anyone else on your "Nice" list. Enjoy!
Layered Mint Fudge
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 cup butter (not margarine!)
- 1, 12-oz can evaporated milk (NOT condensed milk!)
- 4 cups sugar
- 1, 7-oz container marshmallow creme
- 12 oz mint chocolate chips (2 cups)
- 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
- 1 tsp vanilla
1. Prepare a 9x13 pan by lining it with parchment paper or spraying with non-stick cooking spray. I love the new double sided foil parchment because it's so much easier to shape than just regular parchment.
2. Spray the inside of a 3-qt heavy saucepan with cooking spray. On medium heat, begin warming the butter, corn syrup and evaporated milk. Add in the sugar. Stir gently until mixture is combined and sugar begins to dissolve. Continue cooking over medium heat for another 20 minutes- until all the sugar is dissolved.
3. While the fudge is cooking, make sure you have your mint chips and semi sweet chips measured out. To create the two layers, you'll eventually separate the warming candy into 2 parts. I like to put the mint chips in a glass bowl (something that retains heat well.) The semi-sweet chips will go into the pan (after you pour out half of the mixture.)
4. After about 20 minutes the mixture will begin to boil. Boil for about 6-8 minutes, until candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees F. (If you don't have a candy thermometer, it's okay- just set the timer to 7 minutes once the mixture begins boiling.)
5. Remove pan from heat and immediately stir in the marshmallow creme. Stir gently until it's completely incorporated. Now, you're going to divide the mixture into 2 parts- half is going to go into the bowl with the mint chips. The other half will remain in the pan, where you'll add the semi-sweet chips and the vanilla. Pour half in with the mint chips and stir several times- it doesn't have to be completely incorporated- then let it sit while you focus on the semi-sweet part.
6. Add the semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 tsp of vanilla to the remaining candy. Stir gently until the chocolate is completely melted and incorporated into the rest of the candy. The fudge will begin to set, so once it's all incorporated, pour into your prepared pan and press gently to smooth out and extend fudge across the whole pan.
7. Now let's focus on the mint fudge. You'll probably find that it's begin to set up a bit. Stir a few times, then stick it in the microwave for 30 seconds, just to soften it up again so you can melt the chips and combine with the rest of the mixture. Once it's all combined, pour it over the top of the semi-sweet fudge layer, using a rubber scraper to gently press the mint fudge into the pan and smooth it out over the entire layer of semi-sweet.
8. Sprinkle fudge with holiday candies and gently press in with a rubber scraper. Allow fudge to cool for at least an hour before cutting into small squares.
Friday, December 12, 2014
When I was growing up, we always made Chippy Dippy Squares around the holidays. These little goodies are often referred to as 7 Layer Bars, but in my house we always called them Chippy Dippy Squares, which is a little more fun to say anyways! These bars only take a few minutes of prep time and they taste amazing too!
I recently discovered Nestle Toll House DelightFulls and decided to use these instead of regular chocolate chips and they turned out awesome! I included both the Milk Chocolate DelightFulls w/Caramel Filling and the Milk Chocolate DelightFulls with Peanut Butter Filling and had a really hard time not eating all of them before putting them in the recipe. They are so good! I have a feeling I will be using these DelightFulls in most of my recipes that call for chocolate chips. There are 4 different varieties and they really add a unique twist!
CHIPPY DIPPY SQUARES
1 stick butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 pkg. Nestle Toll House DelightFulls Milk Chocolate Morsels with Caramel Filling
1 pkg. Nestle Toll House DelightFulls Milk Chocolate Morsels with Peanut Butter Filling
1 pkg. butterscotch chips
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the butter into a 9X13 pan and place the pan in the oven to melt the butter. As soon as the butter is melted, remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs evenly on top of the melted butter. Evenly distribute the Nestle Toll House DelightFulls on top of the graham cracker crumbs. Next, add the butterscotch chips, then the coconut and then the chopped walnuts. Drizzle the can of sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool before cutting into bars. Enjoy!
*This post is sponsored by Nestle Toll House. All opinions are 100% mine.