Butter, with a side of Bread // Easy family recipes and reviews.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

ALIEN PRETZELS

Alien Pretzels: Butter With A Side of Bread Martian Pretzels, Goblin Pretzels

I was browsing Google+ the other day and saw these darling Alien Pretzels. Only they were called something different and I honestly couldn't ever find the post I originally saw. I tried Googling the heck out of it (Martian pretzels? Cute little green dude pretzels?) and never found it. So I re-created it on my own and they turned out so cute! I would love to credit whoever came up with this idea...Kraft? I can't find it anywhere. At any rate- here are my instructions- make them, they're so easy and so fun. And slightly creepy.

Alien Pretzels: Butter With A Side of Bread Martian Pretzels, Goblin Pretzels


ALIEN PRETZELS

  • 1 bag mini pretzels {you won't use the whole bag, only about 1/4}
  • circular candies- I used these little pearls, but you can use Sixlets or any other type of round decoration
  • green & orange food coloring, I used about 1/8th tsp of Wilton's gel colors
  • 1 bag White Chocolate chips, divided and melted slowly {directions below}
  • 1 TBSP shortening, to thin out chocolate
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips, for decorating the alien eyes (you'll only need about 3-4 TBSP

First step is to melt the chocolate. I put 1/3 of the bag of white chocolate chips into 1 small glass bowl, another third into a separate glass bowl then put about 4 TBSP into a small ziplock bag, to use for decorating later on. Before you even put it in the microwave, add about 1/2 TBSP shortening. You need to thin out the chocolate prior to dunking the pretzels or else the chocolate will be so thick you won't even be able to tell it's a pretzel under there! Shortening is the ONLY thing that will do this- don't add water, butter, etc. 

Go slowly! White chocolate seizes easily, and you don't want to coat your pretzels with grainy chocolate, right? Go slowly and stir minimally. I put mine on for 1 minute, stirred gently, then put it in for an additional 30 seconds. When I took it out, the chocolate still looked solid. It wasn't! I added green food coloring to one bowl of chocolate, then left the other white. Stir gently, until it's nice and smooth. These 2 bowls of chocolate are what you'll use to coat your pretzels. 

I've tested out a few ways to coat pretzels in chocolate and none of them really work as well as simply using your fingers. So that's what I do! As you dip the pretzels, try and have the bottom hole of the pretzel stay empty- this is what makes the mouth of the alien and you want it to be open! I used a toothpick and just sort of poked it in as I was holding the coated pretzel to open it back up (if the chocolate coated it closed.) 



Once you've coated the pretzels, lay them on a sheet of parchment to cool and dry. While they cool, you can start decorating. Put about 3-4 TBSP of the semi-sweet chocolate in a small ziplock bag and melt that in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Do the same for a small amount of the white chocolate. I did even another small bag of the white chocolate and put orange food coloring in it! 

***I'm going to put another shameless plug for Chocoley Chocolate products- the white drizzling chocolate and dark drizzling chocolate in the squeeze bottles works amazing for these treats!  It melts so fast and they taste fabulous. {No I don't work for them but yes they have amazing stuff!} Moderately priced and if you subscribe to their email list, they send out discount coupons all the time!}***


Alien Pretzels: Butter With A Side of Bread Martian Pretzels, Goblin Pretzels

Once you've got your decorating chocolate melted I liked to fill the 2 top holes of the pretzels with either the melted semi-sweet chocolate. Fill them all the way up but not overflowing. Then you can add a pearl candy and even an additional dab of orange chocolate on top to make the eyes look extra creepy. Get creative and have fun with it!


Alien Pretzels: Butter With A Side of Bread Martian Pretzels, Goblin Pretzels

This little guy didn't get coated really well so I put some green chocolate in a baggie and snipped the end and tried to coat him better. It turned out looking cute! 


Alien Pretzels: Butter With A Side of Bread Martian Pretzels, Goblin Pretzels

Monday, September 29, 2014

PUMPKIN SPICE CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

PUMPKIN SPICE CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING: Butter With A Side of Bread



I admit it. I am addicted to pumpkin. This time of year it’s in everything and it is SOOO tasty. These cupcakes are among my favorites and they are quick and easy to make!


Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 yellow cake mix 
  • 1 small box vanilla instant pudding 
  • 1 small can pumpkin
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ginger
Now here comes the easy part. Put it all in a mixing bowl. Beat for 4 minutes. Fill your cupcake liners about 2/3 full and cook at 350°F for about 25 minutes. Test with a toothpick – it should come out clean. I’ve also made this into a large sheet cake on a cookie sheet (bake for 35 min) or into two smaller 9x9 square cakes for stacking and frosting (bake about 35 min). It’s super versatile.

To make them completely irresistible I usually top the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
  • ½ cup butter
  • softened 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar 
  •  ¼ cup milk (use enough to thin to desired consistency)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Beat the softened butter and cream cheese together, add the remaining ingredients and frost. So easy, SO good!

PUMPKIN SPICE CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING: Butter With A Side of Bread

PUMPKIN SPICE CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING: Butter With A Side of Bread
 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

KITCHEN STEALS: Hot Deals on Kitchen Thermometers, Dutch Ovens, Rice Cookers & more!

Post may contain affiliate links. We make a small amount off items purchased through these links.
We're launching another Saturday feature here on Butter- one that I hope you will all enjoy! For years I authored a frugal living blog so getting a great deal is just a part of who I am. I have a good understanding of what specific items cost so when they're heavily discounted, I can recognize it for the steal that it is. So on a bi-weekly basis I'll pass along some current great deals- most, if not all of these are 50-75% off!

We're focusing on Amazon this week since we adore Amazon (great deals delivered right to your door? Sign me up!) Also because we are running a contest for a $25 Amazon gift card later today on our Facebook page. So stop by there and enter- and pick up some of these great deals!


Friday, September 26, 2014

SKINNY ALFREDO PASTA

SKINNY ALFREDO PASTA: Butter With A Side of Bread
  
Everyone loves a good, creamy pasta sauce. Nobody loves the calories and fat that are inevitably part of the deal. How to solve that problem? Most Alfredo recipes call for some very basic ingredients: butter, cream, and Parmesan. That’s what makes it Alfredo. The Parmesan is not negotiable. The butter can be reduced, but it’s still a must. That leaves us with cream. I had been told that evaporated milk is a good substitute for cream in recipes, but I was a little skeptical. Let’s talk numbers first and I think you’ll be willing to try the milk. In a 12 oz can of evaporated milk there are 24 g of fat and 480 calories. In the same 12 oz of cream you will find 83 g of fat and 835 calories. Eye-popping difference, right? 


Skinny Alfredo Pasta
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 2 TBSP grated Parmesan (the kind in the big green canister)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic
  • 1 12-oz can evaporated milk
  • 5 oz shredded Parmesan (I have also used Italian Blend and it’s not bad)


In a saucepan, melt your butter and add the flour, grated Parmesan salt, and garlic. Think of it as making a roux for your sauce. Cook it on medium to medium-high heat until it is bubbly (have to cook that flour!)


Add the can of evaporated milk and stir continuously until it starts to thicken. Add the shredded Parmesan and stir until melted. I serve this over penne or farfalle pasta generally and it will make about five good sized servings. Adding grilled chicken is also a great option to make it stretch a little. It will also work as an alternative to red sauce for making your own pizzas. Who doesn't appreciate versatility?
SKINNY ALFREDO PASTA: Butter With A Side of Bread

SKINNY ALFREDO PASTA: Butter With A Side of Bread

SKINNY ALFREDO PASTA: Butter With A Side of Bread
 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

CHOCOLATE CHERRY COBBLER

Butter With a Side of Bread: Chocolate Cherry Cobbler


I love pretty much anything with cherries in, and have always particularly loved the cherry/chocolate combination, so when I found this recipe I was thrilled!  It is absolutely delicious to eat while warm, especially with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top....sooooo good!

CHOCOLATE CHERRY COBBLER

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
6 oz (3/4 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cups milk
1 egg
21 oz can cherry pie filling

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Cut in the butter with a fork and knife or with a pastry blender.  (I like to just mostly use the back of the fork and smash the butter in.)  

In a separate bowl, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave.  I usually start by microwaving them for about 30 seconds and then I stir them up.  If they need more melting, I do 15-second intervals, stirring in between until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Add milk and egg to melted chocolate and mix well.  Blend the chocolate into the flour mixture and stir until well combined.  The batter will be very thick.  

Spread the cherry pie filling into the bottom of a greased 2-quart dish (could use an 8X8 or 9X9 pan also).  Drop the chocolate batter randomly over the cherries and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.  Enjoy!

Butter With a Side of Bread: Chocolate Cherry Cobbler
Butter With a Side of Bread: Chocolate Cherry Cobbler

Butter With a Side of Bread: Chocolate Cherry Cobbler

Butter With a Side of Bread: Chocolate Cherry CobblerButter With a Side of Bread: Chocolate Cherry Cobbler

Butter With a Side of Bread: Chocolate Cherry Cobbler


Monday, September 22, 2014

CHEESY BACON CRESCENTS

CHEESY BACON CRESCENTS: Butter With A Side of Bread


Pillsbury Crescents can be a lifesaver when you need a quick appetizer or bread to go along with a meal. However variations on the traditional crescent can certainly take them up a notch or twelve! These rolls are so easy to make and they're done, start to finish, in less than 20 minutes!

Cheesy Bacon Crescents
adapted from Kraft Foods


  • 1-can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 2 sliced crisp bacon, crumbled {about 1 TBSP bacon crumbles}
  • 4 oz cream cheese {half a block}
  • 3 TBSP shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp parsley


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray.

Set aside 1 TBSP of Parmesan cheese.

In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, bacon crumbles, 2 TBSP Parmesan, onion powder and parsley.

Lay out the crescent rolls and make sure the perforated edges are cut. Put about 1 TBSP cream cheese mixture into the center of the largest end of crescent. Fold the end over the cream cheese and continue rolling as you would normally. Tuck the edges into the center to create the crescent shape. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top of the rolls.

Space the rolls out on the baking sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes.

Serve warm. ENJOY!

CHEESY BACON CRESCENTS: Butter With A Side of Bread

CHEESY BACON CRESCENTS: Butter With A Side of Bread

CHEESY BACON CRESCENTS: Butter With A Side of Bread

CHEESY BACON CRESCENTS: Butter With A Side of Bread

CHEESY BACON CRESCENTS: Butter With A Side of Bread

CHEESY BACON CRESCENTS: Butter With A Side of Bread

CHEESY BACON CRESCENTS: Butter With A Side of Bread
 
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