Pumpkin Truffles

These were good – we broke in the fall season with these as our first pumpkin based treats. Easy to make and yummy!

 

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Recipe via Pinterest/Blog “Simply Designing”. Not much to even repeat (and specific amounts, instructions, at source site, ingredients as follows:

  • white chocolate chips (or white Candiquik which we used and worked just fine).
  • canned pumpkin puree
  • cream cheese, softened
  • gingersnap cookie crumbs (I beat the crap out of them in a ziploc).
  • graham cracker crumbs (see note above re: crap, beating out of)
  • powdered sugar
  • orange zest (I skipped this – not worth the effort)
  • ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Pretty much melt a bit of the white chocolate mix that melted portion with everything else other than a small amount of graham cracker crumbs set aside, put in fridge to set, roll into balls, dip in remaining melted white chocolate and sprinkle remaining crumbs atop.

YUM!

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Chocolate Banana Truffles

It pains me to say this, but the fact that we made these 5 days ago and there are still some in the fridge doesn’t bode well for how this recipe fared in our home.

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Recipe from Domestic Rebel: http://thedomesticrebel.com/2013/05/06/chunky-monkey-truffles-ben-jerrys-week/

After a prior issue with Candiquik they very nicely offered to send me some free to try again, so I searched for some truffle recipes to try. This sounded great, but I think maybe the inside was just not interesting enough?

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Essentially, it’s banana pudding mix plus butter, plus powdered sugar. Roll into balls, freeze, dip in chocolate, top with a nut.

Ingredients in full:

  • 1 pkg. banana instant pudding mix
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 & ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ pkg chocolate almond bark or Candiquik
  • About 15 halved walnut pieces

More specific instructions at source. I will say that the mixture was WAY too soft to make into balls so I had to refrigerate for a while first. THen made these:

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Then I melted the Candiquik, with MUCH better results than prior attempts, and poured into a bowl so it was deeper for dipping.

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Had better luck dipping than my prior truffles at least, and hubby to help with putting the nuts on top for each one. They came out well, I think, but just missing something and wasn’t too excited about end result.

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Next attempt will be Pumpkin Truffles with the white Candiquik!!!

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

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Oh my dear lord. These are one of my FAVORITE things I have made. Recipe from Annie’s Eats: http://www.annies-eats.com/2013/04/12/peanut-butter-pretzel-truffles/ There are others on the web but this was the one I’d pinned and it was amazing.

Pretty easy to make , too, although mine never look as nice as the source.

Ingredients:
creamy peanut butter
confectioners’ sugar
unsalted butter, at room temperature
crushed pretzels
bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (i used Ghirardelli chips actually)
milk

Specific amounts at Annie’s link. Pretty easy to make – mix PB, sugar, butter and pretzels together. I had to use my hands though to kind of massage it, just mixing didn’t work that well. Then roll into balls and freeze for a bit. You can see here where 90% of the butter is embedded in that one ball up front/right.

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Meanwhile, melt the chocolate.

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Dip the balls in the chocolate (I don’t think it’s possible for me to post about making truffles without saying – “I wanna dip my balls in it“). Yes, I’m (a) old, for remembering the State, and (b) immature).

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Then make the drizzle from PB, sugar and milk, and drizzle atop it. Eat. Repeat (the last step, that is). Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. You get the picture.

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YUM. I could not stop eating them.

Easter Bark

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This was so freaking easy AND looks pretty. My main 2 criteria for baking (admittedly, if it doesn’t look pretty I’m far less likely to want to make it since I have an unhealthy focus on aesthetics). From “Butter, with a side of Bread” blog and all over Pinterest this spring: http://www.butterwithasideofbread.com/2013/02/easter-marshmallow-bark.html

I’ll leave the specifics to the source site, but pretty much melt white chocolate with a bit of shortening, stir in mini marshmallows, press into a pan and sprinkle with candy sprinkles, and once dry/cool, cut into egg shapes (or bars or whatever) with a cookie cutter.

S’mores Bars

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Had a hankering for s’mores lately and was trying to decide between bars and brownies. The husband chose the bars, and they were SUPER easy, and AMAZINGLY delicious. Amazing. LOVED. I always like what I bake because I like food and sweets, but usually it doesn’t go past a bite or two and then I’m done. I could have eaten 30 of these.

Recipe from sugar cooking and link back for specific instructions so I don’t inadvertently take her traffic.

Ingredients = super easy.  Pretty much stuff you have around anyways plus s’mores makings. (Hershey bars, marshmallow fluff and graham cracker).

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PS – If you compare my recipe pic above to the actual listing in the recipe you may note I inadvertently forgot the white sugar and used only brown. WHOOPS! Funny thing is, they still came out ok!

Process was also super easy. Prepare batter as instructed in original recipe linkback.

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I had no issues notwithstanding my failure to include the sugar. Put half the batter in the bottom of a greased 8×8 pan, lay Hershey’s bars on it, spread with marshmallow fluff, lay remaining batter atop that layer (they recommend creating “shingles” and laying side by side) and bake 30-35 minutes at 350.

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Then cool, and cut into bars.

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HEAVEN.

They’re not as pretty as the originals but I don’t even care.

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You can reheat in microwave after they’ve cooled to re-goo. Enjoy!

Christmas Crack!

This is apparently an old standard that I’d never heard of until this year. It was fine, but again, lots of other things I think I’d prefer to spend my time making…

Super easy, at least.

Ingredients:

  •              1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
  •             3/4 cup brown sugar
  •            About 40 Saltines.
  •             1 bag of chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet).
  •             Toppings as desired. I used m&ms, wasn’t crazy about it, too much competing chocolate. If I made it again, I’d use almonds or something.

Preheat oven to 400. Line a jelly roll pan (or cookie sheet with sides) with saltines along the bottom.

Toss butter and brown sugar into a pot and bring to a boil.  STIR CONSTANTLY until completely blended and then keep stirring once it is boiling. When it easily pulls away from side of pan it’s done. Remove and immediately pour over crackers and spread to cover entirely before it cools and gets too sticky. Then bake this in the oven for 5-6 minutes.

After you remove from oven, cool for a few minutes, then pour chocolate chips over the top and when they start to melt spread around to cover the toffee. If they don’t melt quickly enough you can put back in the oven for a minute or two. Then top with toppings and let set in refrigerator for a few hours (or freezer for about 45 minutes).

My only picture:

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Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Cookie Bars (with Candy Corn)

These WERE as good as they sounded. And I may or may not have a salted caramel problem…

Recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod blog. And again, only reproduced in part here so you have to visit the blog (that’s going to be my new rule for unique recipes from other blogs).

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I made them a long time ago (in October) so don’t remember it all that well. Step 1…you put your ____ in a box.

Oh wait, that’s not step 1. Step 1 is making chocolate chip cookie dough.

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Step 2 -Squish half the dough into a greased pan.

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Step 3 – melt yummy caramel and pour over the cookie dough.

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Step 4  – put remaining cookie dough on top and sprinkle with sea salt. BAKE!

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Step 5 – make a last minute decision to squish a bunch of candy corn on top as soon as you pull it out of the oven in an attempt to festivize it for the Halloween party you’re attending.

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Step 6: “CUT” it (and by cut, I mean hack at it like a serial killer until you can extricate a piece, rinse, repeat, then try to use your hands to squish enough pieces back together into a semblance of what looks like a bar).

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They ain’t pretty, but they were DELICIOUS. Would definitely make again.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread (aka Homemade Twix).

Quick and dirty post because I don’t have much energy for blogging lately (in case you hadn’t surmised from the complete dearth of posts). Got this one from Annie’s Eats. Link back for full recipe.
My first time making caramel – came out pretty decently.

Dark chocolate pre-melting.

Caramel layered over shortbread (forgot a pic of that one).

All layered and ready to set in the fridge. I was very generous with the sea salt.

Finished product. They were delicious, but soooo rich and much messier/gooey-er than intended (would have liked firmer caramel). Still happy though.

As you can see, mine are so much messier than Annie’s.

Hoping for more posts soon as it’s fall which means baking season for me!

Frozen Peppermint Cheesecake

I wanted to make something festive for our Christmas get together this weekend with my mom, brother and family. Original plan was brownie peppermint pie but then I decided to save that one for Christmas Eve (and may skip it anyways in favor of multiple types of Christmas cookies). Went to my trusty pinterest and found an awesome no bake peppermint cheesecake courtesy of Smuckers, of all places!

Frozen Peppermint Cheesecake

Ingredients:

2 cups chocolate wafer cookie or sandwich cookie crumbs [I assumed Oreos, except then we had to scrape the cream filling out ourselves and my sous chef (aka husband) took it upon himself to create the world’s creepiest mutant Oreo]

(pardon the bottle of breastmilk in the background, LOL – I swear none went into this or any other baked good.)

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk [Per usual I intentionally get a different brand when they do this]
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
2 cups heavy cream, whipped
Red food coloring (optional)
Smucker’s® Chocolate Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping (optional) [I just used regular old chocolate syrup from a squirt bottle]

Directions:

1 LINE 9-inch round cake or springform pan with foil.
2 COMBINE cookie crumbs and sugar in medium bowl. Add butter; mix well. Press 2 cups crumbs firmly onto bottom and partway up sides of prepared pan. Chill.

So it looks ok here, but honestly I think the recipe should have called for significantly more butter. Even when fully mixed it still was very dry and crumbly, and when we ate it the crust just fell apart as crumbs all over the place with each slice we cut.

3 BEAT cream cheese until fluffy in large bowl. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Stir in peppermint extract and food coloring, if desired; mix well. Fold in whipped cream. Pour filling into pan.

The cream cheese and milk mixture, with just one drop of red food coloring gel. Amazing stuff!

Whipping our cream. I’d never done this before and it was really cool!

…and “folding” it in. I don’t actually know what that means so I just mixed it in.

In the pan and ready to freeze.

…with a little pre-freezing decoration:

 

4 COVER; freeze 6 hours or until firm. Garnish with fudge topping, if desired.After freezing, and decorated with chocolate syrup. You can see in the sliced pic how the crust fell apart. It was delicious though! Tasted like ice cream actually.

No Bake Halloween Treats!

After the melted frosting mess last Halloween and dealing with an infant and two year old, I decided to take an easy route this year and go for no bake goodies. Also, what I really wanted to make was this pumpkin cake…

…but since my sister in law was bringing birthday cake I thought that would be overkill.

So, I made Witch’s Hat Cookies, Peanut Butter Ghosts, and a fun candy jar, all courtesy of Pinterest.

None of these really require a recipe but you can check out the links for instructions if needed.

For the Witch’s Hats, ingredients are:

1 Package Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies
1 Bag Hershey’s Kisses
Orange frosting in a tube (I used the Wilton orange sparkly kind).

Then you just put frosting on the bottom of a Hershey’s kiss as “glue” to stick it to the upside down cookie…

and encircle it for the ribbon around the hat.

Now, the ghosts should have been easy enough. Ingredients:

1 Package Nutter Butter cookies
12 ounces “vanilla flavored candy coating” (this is important)
1 bag mini chocolate chips

Except, I couldn’t find that candy coating crap anywhere, and figured it must be the same as white chocolate, so I got a couple bags of white chocolate chips. I tried to melt them in a saucepan as the recipe directed, but guess what? White chocolate doesn’t melt into a liquid like regular chocolate. No, it gets mushy, and coagulated, until it’s one giant clump of fat and goo, and then it starts burning and caramelizing and turning brown, until it ruins not 1, but 2 of your pots, as you try with the second bag because you mistakenly assumed that the first try didn’t work because the pot was the wrong size.

Yeah, not so much. 😦

My trusty facebook friends schooled me on vanilla flavored candy coating and directed me to Hobby Lobby (which I’d never been to before but it was AWESOME). So candy coating in hand I tried again. Instead of melting it over the stove as directed, I followed the directions on the bag and just microwaved in 30 second increments, stirring between nuke sessions, until we had some nice creamy melted coating:

Then we dipped the nutter butters in the coating (top and sides only, not the entire cookie). Recipe said to use tongs but we (hubs helped and did much of the dipping, even with a baby on his shoulder!) found it far more efficient to dip by hand.

Then you just place two mini chocolate chips near the top of each cookie for the ghosts’ eyes, and you have some spooky little treats! You’re supposed to let them set for like 10 minutes but I gave them (and the witch’s hats) overnight.

The last thing I made was just a bunch of candy in a jar, layered to make a nice looking decoration. Mine (second pic below) wasn’t as pretty as the inspiration (first pic below) but still cute!

I couldn’t find regular black licorice so I used nibs which weren’t nearly as neat looking, and no gumballs or pretty suckers, just the crap I could find at Target. It was still a big hit though!