Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday Caramel Chex Mix

I tried this and loved it!! It is sweet, but super yummy and easy!
I found this in Home Cooking the Costco Way that my sister sent me. She got this cookbook from her Costco, they gave them away for free!!

Holiday Caramel Chex Mix
(General Mills)
  • 4 cups popped popcorn
  • 2 cups each of Corn Chex and Rice Chex
  • 1 cup mixed nuts
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Remove and discard any unpopped kernels from the popped popcorn

In an ungreased roasting pan, mix popcorn, cereal and nuts; set aside

In a saucepan, heat butter, brown sugar and corn syrup to boiling over medium heat, stirring frequently. Pour over the cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated.

Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up.

In another saucepan, heat baking chips over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth. Add 3 cups of the cooled cereal mixture to the melted chips; toss gently until evenly coated. Spread on waxed paper or foil. Cool for about 30 minutes, or until set.

In a serving bowl, mix both cereal mixtures and cranberries (I didn't add these the first time around, but did the second. I like them with the mix, my kids are picking around them!). Store in an airtight container. Makes 18 1/2 cup servings!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Bites

I stole this picture from my sister, who has actually tried this recipe. I have been wanting to and was planning on doing it for Christmas, but plans got changed and so I swiped her picture in order to share! Her husband gave these a thumbs up and I just have really like doing things mini these days! Maybe because it feels less guilty when they are little, or the fact you can try a little bit of everything when things come in small sizes! (side note--my little 3 year old nephew helped with the creations on the side!)
The pies on the left are from the pumpkin cutter, the right the circle!

Pumpkin Pie Bites

(found on Bakerella)

  • 2 refrigerated ready to roll pie crusts (or brave your own!!)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temp.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter (my sister used a round one, she thought they looke better)
  • Optional, 1/2 cup chocolate morsels, vegetable oil and re-sealable plasic bags

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Use cookie cutter to cut 12 pumpkins (or circles) from each pie crust. You will need to roll the dough thinner than it comes out of the box.

Press dough shapes into a 24 mini muffin tray. (Make 12 at a time, alternating cups to make sure pie crusts don't overlap each other.)

Apply egg whites from one egg to the top edges of each pie.

Mix cream cheese, sugar, canned pumpkin, remaining 2 eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together until thoroughly combined.

Spoon mixture into each pumpkin (or round) shaped pie crust.

Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Remove pies to cool and repeat with second pie crust. Place the muffin tray in the freezer to cool it quickly for re-use.

Makes 24 pies, keep refrigerated!

To decorate:

Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave on medium. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until melted. Add a little vegetable oil to make the chocolate more fluid. Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and cut the corner off. Drizzle or draw faces on pies.

(You can view a great step by step on

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chocolate Buttercream

I made these cupcakes for Zach's class at school to celebrate his birthday! This frosting is really good. I halved the recipe for the cupcakes. It makes a lot!!!
Chocolate Buttercream
(from the Magnolia Bakery)
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 9 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled to lukewarm
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler on low heat, about 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and cool 5-15 minutes or until lukewarm.

To make buttercream--In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes or until creamy.

Add the milk carefully and beat until smooth.

Add the melted chocolate and beat well for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat for 3 minutes.

Gradually add the sugar and beat on LOW speed until creamy and of desired consistency.

Peppermint Sandies

Again, my sister came to my rescue and gave me this recipe too! They are another fun yummy holiday treat! My kids even helped me roll them into balls!
Peppermint Sandies
(I will find out where she found this!)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely crushed peppermint candies
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 6 ounces white baking chocolate
  • more crushed peppermint candies for dusting

Preheat oven to 325.

In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on high speed for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar and 1/4 cup crushed candies. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in water, vanilla and peppermint extract until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in remaining flour.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 15 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.

Meanwhile, for the glaze...In a medium saucepan, bring whipping cream just to simmer. Remove from heat and add white chocolate, let stand 3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Let stand for 45-60 minutes or until glaze starts to thicken.

Spoon about 1 tsp of the glaze over each cooled cookie. Sprinkle with additional crushed peppermint candies!

Pecan Tassies

My sister rescued me the other day. We had Todd's work Christmas party at our house and I was trying to find some simple desserts to make. She had just made these and I had all the ingredients and had to give them a try. I have made these before I think, but not for a long time! They are just like mini pecan pies, and super simple because you don't have to stress about making the perfect crust! This recipe says it makes 24, but I only got about 16-20 because I ran out of filling. Next time I may need to put a little less filling or use more crust per mini pie!
Pecan Tassies
(I don't know where she found this!)
  • 1/2 cup butter, soft
  • 1, 3 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 325. Make pastry--In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese until combined. Stir in flour. Press 1 rounded teaspoon of pastry evenly into the bottoms and sides of a mini muffin pan. (Use a really rounded tsp.)

For the filling--In a small bowl combine the egg, brown sugar and butter. Stir in pecans. Spoon about 1 heaping tsp into each pastry cup.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling is puffed. Cool slightly in pan on a wire rack. Carefully remove from muffin cups, cool completely on wire rack. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar!

Brownie Bites with Chocolate Mousse

This chocolate mousse is the best, let me repeat, the best chocolate ever! It is definitely worth the time and effort, although it is very simple to make! It is definitely dangerous, I can be caught quite frequently after making it getting a spoon and dipping into the bowl!
I found this idea on Real Mom Kitchen. She did these little brownie bites, but put a different filling on top! I will post her recipe here and you can find the chocolate mousse recipe under desserts, posted about February!
They were a fun simple dessert and we put them on a platter and drizzled chocolate syrup over all of them and then even put some crushed candy canes on top! If you are looking for a simple Christmas dessert (or anytime dessert) look no further and try these!
Brownie Bites
  • 1 package brownie mix (9 x 13 size) or use your favorite brownie recipe
  • 1 (12 oz) package semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup whipping cream
Prepare brownies according to package directions, or make your own recipe.
Put brownie batter into greased mini muffin tins (she recommended using liners. The first time I made these I didn't use liners and they were a pain. The second time I did, but ended up taking the liners off. I also ran out of liners and did some in just greased tins and they came out better the second time letting them cool longer!). Fill tins half way. If you use your cookie scoop they fill up about perfectly.
Cook according to temperature on package or recipe for 12-15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
While brownine bites bake, make your chocolate mousse (found in dessert section) or this ganache. Use a double boiler to melt chocolate chips in the cream to make a ganache frosting.
Allow brownies and ganache to cool (or mousse needs to sit in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes).
Frost brownies with ganache when the ganache cools to the consistency of frosting (or dallop on the mousse). For a holiday touch, sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies.
You can make about 24-30 or so bites!

Saucy Parmesan Chicken

I found this recipe in the Kraft foods magazine! It is super simple and has good flavor. My kids both really liked the chicken, but I put too much garlic on my pasta! Other than that it was really good! I just tossed my cooked pasta with olive oil, parmesan cheese and some garlic and it turned out light and yummy!
Saucy Parmesan Chicken
  • 4 small chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup italian salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Place all ingredients in large ziploc bag. Turn bag over several times to make sure the chicken is coated. Refrigerate chicken for 30 minutes (or longer) to marinate. Preheat oven to 425.

Remove chicken from marinade and arrange chicken on foil covered baking sheet. Bake chicken 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Serve with pasta or even mashed potatoes would be yummy!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Scalloped Potatoes a.k.a. Funeral Potatoes

Everyone probably has a recipe for these, but just in case you don't here is one to try! These are Todd's favorite potatoes and I made them last night for our ward party and he wasn't even here to enjoy them! Marguerite gave me this recipe when we moved here, because I will admit I had never had these before until I moved here! They are super tasty and full of all that yummy stuff you try to use in moderation! So enjoy!!!
Scalloped Potatoes/Funeral Potatoes
  • 24 ounce pkg frozen shredded potaotes (thawed)
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped onions (I often times don't put this in!)
  • 2 cups crushed corn flakes
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Combine thawed potatoes, soup, sour cream, cheese, 1/2 cup butter and onions. Pour into a 9x13 pan. Combine corn flakes and 2 tbsp butter and sprinkle on top.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serves 16.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

This recipe has been added before, but I found it again on and she had it posted as a visiting teaching gift idea! I decided to try it and they really turned out cute and they were fun and dangerous to make! Fun because it was instant cake, dangerous because it was instant cake!!
I added a cookie straw in it and marshmallows like on the everydayfoodstorage site and she even said to put whipped cream on it if you were bringing it right away!
She has a video on her site with how she made it, but it is really simple and turned out really fun!
Minute Chocolate Mug Cake
  • 1 mug
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking cocoa
  • 1 egg (1 Tbsp dry egg powder & 2 Tbsp water)
  • 3 tbsp milk (1/2 tbsp dry powdered milk & 3 tbsp water)
  • 3 tbsp oil (or try applesauce)
  • 3 tbsp chocolate chips (or try peanut butter, butterscotch, mint chips)
  • small splash vanilla

Add dry ingredients to mug and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and vanilla. Mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (it took me about 2 1/2 minutes). The cake will rise over the top of the mug but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, then add cookie straw, marshmallows or whipped cream! Enjoy!! or give away!!

Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes

I got this recipe from Tracy's blog. I was looking at all her recipes and thought it looked really great to try. Not sure where she got it from but as I was mixing up the mix the boys got home from school. They looked at it and said it looked good and asked to have them for dinner. We did and they ALL loved them. I wasn't too sure I would like the texture for a pancake but I really liked it. Now I can't wait for pancake day to come around again. Loved them!


4 c. quick oats

2 c. white flour

2 c. whole wheat flour

1 c. dry milk

1/2 c. sugar

1 T. cinnamon

2 t. salt

3 T. baking powder

1/2t. cream tartar

Can be kept in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

To prepare: add 2 eggs, 3 T. oil, 2 c. mix and 1 c. water. Makes 8 cups of mix.

I added 8T. powdered eggs to the mix and increased water to 1 ¼ cup.


(I didn’t make the syrup but sounds really yummy and really bad for you)

2 cubes butter

2 c. white sugar

1 c. buttermilk

Boil one minute, remove from heat and add 1 t. baking soda and 1 t. sure to add almond and not will love the flavor!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

*Makes about 2 dozen gingerbread men*

3 cups (15 ounces) flour
¾ cup packed (5 ¼ ounces) dark brown sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter softened to room temperature (but not warm!), cut into 12 pieces
¾ cup light or dark molasses
2 tablespoons milk

With an electric mixer, stir together the flour, brown sugar, soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt at low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and add the butter pieces. Mix at medium-low speed until the mixture is sandy and resembles fine meal, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and with the mixer running, gradually add the molasses and milk; mix until the dough is evenly moistened about 20 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and mix until thoroughly combined, about 10 seconds.

Scrape the dough onto a work surface and divide it in half. Working with one portion at a time, roll the dough ¼ inch thick between 2 large sheets of parchment or wax paper. Leaving the dough sandwiched between the parchment or wax paper, stack the dough on a baking sheet and freeze until firm, 15 to 20 minutes. (Alternatively, refrigerate the dough for 2 hours or overnight.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.

Remove one dough sheet from the freezer and place on the counter. Peel off the top parchment or wax paper sheet. Gently cut the dough into 5-inch gingerbread people or 3-inch gingerbread cookies, transferring the shapes to the prepared baking sheets with a wide metal spatula and spacing them ¾ inch apart. Set the scraps aside. Repeat with the remaining dough until the baking sheets are full. Because flour is not added during rolling, dough scraps can be rolled and cut as many times as necessary.

Bake the cookies until set in the centers and the dough barely retains and imprint when touched very gently with fingertip, 8 to 9 minutes. Do not overbake!! Cool the cookies on the sheets 2 minutes, then remove the cookies with a wide metal spatula to a wire rack; cool to room temperature. Gather the scraps; repeat the rolling, cutting and baking. Frost as desired (I used a ziploc bag filled with simple white icing).

Store soft gingerbread in a wide, shallow airtight container or tin with a sheet of parchment paper between the cookie layers. These cookies are best eaten within one week.

Recipe Source: from My Kitchen Cafe ( from The New Best Recipe

Magic Fudge Sauce

I found this recipe on the everyday food storage site! She is so great to give how to use your food storage in cooking too! This was really good and the kids loved it and it was fast! The other fun part is this is like that magic shell stuff that hardens on your ice cream!
Magic Fudge Sauce
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 3 tbsp evaporated milk (1 tbsp dry powdered milk + 3 tbsp water)
  • Vanilla Ice-cream
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

In a heavey saucepan, combine chocolate chips, butter and milk. Cook and stir over low heat until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Serve warm over ice cream (sauce will harden). Sprinkle with almonds. Refrigerate any leftovers. Sauce can be reheated in the microwave.

Yield about 1 cup.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fragrant Cinnamon Ornaments

I found this last year and decided or had the time to try them this year! The boys and I made these last night for family night. They are super simple and the boys helped mix, roll, and cut out the ornaments. They smell really good and were a fun project to do with the kids!
Fragrant Cinnamon Ornaments
  • 6 tbsp applesauce
  • 10 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves

Mix together all ingredients to form a dough. If dough is dry, add more applesauce.

Roll out dough to approximately 1/8" thick on a cinnamon sprinkled surface. Cut dough into desired holiday shapes using cookie cutters. Cut a hole in the top of each shape with a drinking straw or use a toothpick to make a hole large enough to string ribbon through.

Place shapes on a cookie sheet. Place in a 150 degree oven or the lowest setting (my lowest was 170 degrees) for 2 hours. After 2 hours, turn oven off and leave in oven for 5-6 hours or overnight. Tie ribbons through holes and use as ornaments or tie on packages!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Linda's Sprinkle Cake

I found this recipe a long time ago and have never made it! I didn't get a picture of it, and now it is all gone! It is a super simple cake and I always like the look of a bundt cake!
You can add sprinkles or mini chocolate chips! I am all for the chocolate, so I added the chocolate chips! I dusted mine with powdered sugar, but you could also frost this cake too!
Linda's Sprinkle Cake
(sorry I don't remember where I found this one)
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix (3.4 oz box)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (I didn't have any and left them out)
  • 1 container chocolate sprinkles (1/3 cup) or mini chocolate chips (I used about 1/2 bag)

Heat oven to 350 and grease a bundt pan.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Add oil, water and eggs. On low speed, beat 30 seconds until moistened. On medium speed, beat for 2 minutes.

Stir in walnuts, sprinkles or mini chocolate chips.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Cool 5-10 minutes, remove from cake pan and cool on a rack.

Serve and enjoy!

**These are some variations that were added: vanilla pudding and spice cake mix with white chocolate chips.