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.

Mince Meat Cookie Dough

This is just getting shared because it’s utterly comical.

We came home from vacation on Thursday to an empty fridge. Friday picked up necessities but forgot baking stuff (eggs, etc.). I had planned on making Valentine’s cookies with the little ones only to discover upon pulling out my various recipes that we were missing eggs, together with various other necessary ingredients.

In an attempt at improvisation I decided we could just make eggless cookie dough to eat raw. But they REALLY wanted Valentine’s cookies. So I decided to add some red food coloring too…

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Tasted fine, but not pretty. A facebook friend pointed out that it looked like ground meat. Cookie FAIL.

Cake Batter Truffles

Got this recipe from Elise Bakes and was going to file away for some future date, but the 3 year old dictator in our home was demanding a Christmas Party to use the candles that he’d been carrying around in a bag for a week, so we modified to New Year’s Party and decided to have a little celebration of 2013’s birth.

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Recipe as follows:

Ingredients:

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  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup yellow cake mix, dry
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3-5 Tbsp milk
  • 2 Tbsp sprinkles
  • 16 oz white candy melts or vanilla chips [I strongly recommend the latter … see below.]

Instructions:

  1. Beat butter and sugar until combined.

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  1. Add flour, cake mix, vanilla, and salt and beat until combined throughout.

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  1. Add milk by the tablespoon until you reach a dough consistency (Elise said she usually ends up using just 3 tbsp, I think I actually used close to 4.5).  The dough will be sort of crumbly, but you should still be able to form balls out of it.
  2. Mix in sprinkles and form balls out of the dough.

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  1. Chill balls in the freezer for 15 minutes or so.
  2. Melt candy melts according to package directions and using two forks, dip the balls in the melts.  Let harden before moving.

Yeah, so that last step there is where it gets interesting. I started with Candiquick and melted according to package instructions. It seemed like it was getting too thick so I tried to reheat it. Still didn’t work, got thicker, kept trying, etc. and here’s where we ended up:

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Not so much. I guess I overheated and burned it. Classy. Luckily I had a bag of the Hobby Lobby vanilla melts in the cabinet so I used those next and did better. Only issues was it was still thicker than I pictured and hard to smoothly roll the balls in it to get evenly coated. Plus they dried FAST so half were dry before I could sprinkle them so I had to add a bit in top to use the sprinkles. The two different candy melt options explain the color disparity here too, ivory (vanilla melts) v. white (candiquick).

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P.S. – We MAY have had a three year old running around the kitchen yelling “I wanna dip my balls in it” at some point in the course of making these. I plead the fifth.

Cookie Dough Dip

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Ok, my confession. I wasn’t that crazy about this one. But I think it’s just me (although my husband agreed). Maybe our expectations were off because we (or I at least) were expecting true cookie dough and this was too cream cheese-y, but we were both “meh” on it.

Recipe came from about 30 different blogs all with identical recipes so I’ll just reproduce here since I wouldn’t even know which to link back to.

Ingredients:

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3/4 -1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used semisweet, many called for milk)

To Do:

  • Cream butter and cream cheese together.
  • Add everything else and mix until completely combined.

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  • Top with chocolate chips as garnish
  • Serve with various dipables (graham crackers, apples, animal crackers, etc.). We used madeleines from Costco.

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So, wouldn’t make it again. But I might make eggless cookie dough (or make cookie dough with pasteurized eggs) just for eating straight or maybe to be thinned out with cream or something to make more “dip” like, but the cream cheese ruined this 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!

Cake Batter Rice Crispy Treats!!!

Ok, these turned out better than the prior post, and I actually made them while on bedrest in 5 minute increments on my feet.

The recipe was from another blog, which got it from yet ANOTHER blog.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 (10 oz.) bag of mini-marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup yellow cake mix
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 1 (1.75 oz.) container of sprinkles

Method:

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat and add marshmallows. Stir until they begin to melt, adding in cake mix one spoonful at a time so its combined. Stir in cereal so it is completely coated with marshmallow mixture. Sprinkle in half of the sprinkles and mix. Press into a baking dish (any size will do) and top with remaining sprinkles.

Let sit for about 30 minutes before cutting. I [read: whoever wrote this recipe from the blog where I copied it] find spraying a knife with nonstick spray helps to cut them.

As pretty much every blog I found this on advised, I added more than the specified amount of cake batter to my mix to give it more cakey oomph. I may have had as much as 1/2 a cup. I still didn’t think it all tasted that cake batter-y. Certain pieces did, but others didn’t. Next time I might use pink mix so I can see how evenly dispersed it is. I would also use a smaller dish so the bars were thicker. But overall very happy!