Almond Chocolate Cookie Bars

Almond Chocolate Cookie Bars

Almond Chocolate Cookie Bars

These were amazing!  Love, love, love them.  The almonds get all nice and crunchy in the middle there, it was a tasty surprise.

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 cup sliced almonds

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup toffee bits

1  Preheat oven to 350.  Line 9 x 13″ pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

2  Beat butter for 30 seconds on medium.  Add brown sugar and salt and beat until light and fluffy, scraping bowl as needed.  Beat in egg yolk and vanilla until combined.  Beat in flour gradually until well incorporated.

3  Press dough into bottom of prepared pan.  Sprinkle with almonds.  Using the back of a metal spatula, press the almonds down into the top of the dough.  Bake 20 minutes or until firm and light brown around edges.  Sprinkle with both chocolate and white chips.  Bake for 3 – 5 minutes more or until chips are soft and shiny.

4  Spread softened chips evenly over bars then sprinkle with toffee bits.  Cool completely before cutting.

recipe from Better Homes and Gardens

Christmas Gingerbread Houses

Christmas Gingerbread Houses

Christmas Gingerbread Houses

My daughter Courtney and I decided to give gingerbread houses a try this year.  This one is her creation and . . .

Christmas Gingerbread Houses

Christmas Gingerbread Houses

this one is mine.  Not perfect but not bad either.

The reason we decided to give it a go was because I just recently got some Cookie House Molds from Pampered Chef.

Pampered Chef Cookie House Molds

Pampered Chef Cookie House Molds

These bad boys made it so easy to make the houses.  It came with both a gingerbread recipe and a royal icing recipe which were both very easy to make and then I had a bunch of Christmas sprinkles so we didn’t bother getting any candy.

I also got the Pampered Chef Christmas Cookie Mold

Christmas Cookie Mold

Christmas Cookie Mold

and made a batch of those which mostly got eaten but we did use the Christmas trees, a snowman, a chimney and the wreaths on our houses.

The best part was the fun we had together making them!

Gingerbread House Dough

1 (16 oz) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough

3/4 cup flour

2 tablespoons molasses

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1  Preheat oven to 350.  Brush molds with oil.

2  Using a mixer, combine all ingredients.  Press dough into molds.

3  Place molds on cookie sheets and bake 25 minutes until cookies are light, golden brown.  Allow to cool in molds 12 minutes.  Cool completely before assembling.

Royal Icing

4 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons meringue powder (you can get this at a craft store or Walmart)

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

6 – 7 tablespoons water

1  Combine all ingredients in mixer bowl and beat on medium for 5 – 7 minutes or until icing is glossy and holds peaks.  Keep covered with a damp towel as icing dries out quickly.

2  Fill piping bag fitted with small round tip with icing and assemble houses.

I doubled the gingerbread recipe and it filled the house molds twice and the cookie mold once.  I did not double the icing recipe but still had plenty.

recipe from Pampered Chef 

 

Slow Cooker Italian Meatball Soup

Slow Cooker Italian Meatball Soup

Slow Cooker Italian Meatball Soup

Good, easy, hearty winter soup.  That is all.

1 (16 oz) bag frozen cooked Italian meatballs, thawed

2 cups beef flavored broth

1 cup water

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained

1 (19 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon dried onion

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Parmesan cheese, for topping

1  Combine all ingredients except cheese in slow cooker or crock pot.

2  Cover and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.

3  Top servings with cheese.

recipe from Pillsbury

Almond Toffee Bars

Almond Toffee Bars

Almond Toffee Bars

Delicious and easy, two of my favs in a recipe.

1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats

1/2 cup finely crushed graham crackers

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup toffee bits

1 cup chopped or sliced almonds

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

1  Preheat oven to 325.  Line a 13 x 9″ baking pan with aluminum foil.

2  For the crust, stir together oats, graham cracker crumbs and melted butter.  Press into bottom of pan with the back of a large spoon or spatula.

3  Sprinkle chocolate chips, toffee bits and almonds over crust.  Drizzle with sweetened condensed milk.

4  Bake 25 – 30 minutes or until center is bubbly and almonds are toasted.  Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into bars.

recipe from Better Homes and Gardens

Candy Ganache Tart

Candy Ganache Tart

Candy Ganache Tart

This was the easiest, yummiest, most perfect dessert that I’ve ever made.

12 oz Dark Cocoa Wilton Candy Melts

24 Oreos

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

your choice of candy topping, I used mini chocolate chips and toffee bits

1  Preheat oven to 325.

2  Process Oreos in food processor until fine crumbs form.  Stir together Oreo crumbs and melted butter.  Press mixture into bottom of 9″ removable bottom tart pan.  Bake 8 – 10 minutes or until fragrant.  Remove from oven and cool completely.

3  Melt candy melts and cream in microwave for 1 minute and stir then continue to microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until mixture is smooth.  Pour mixture carefully over crust and smooth with spatula or knife.  Let sit for 30 minutes then top with desired candy.

recipe from Wilton

Mini Peanut Butter Chocolate Bundt Cakes

Mini Peanut Butter Chocolate Bundt Cakes

Mini Peanut Butter Chocolate Bundt Cakes

Look at those little beauties!  And yes, they taste just as good as they look!  I made them in my new Pampered Chef mini bundt pan.

cakes

1 cup water

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

4 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1 yellow cake mix

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut butter chips

ganache

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

chocolate chips and peanut butter chips for sprinkling

1  For the cakes, preheat oven to 350.  Spray mini bundt cake pan with cooking spray for baking.

2  Beat together water, peanut butter, eggs, and sour cream.  Gradually add cake mix in until well blended.

3  Fold in chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.

4  Pour 1/2 batter into wells of mini bundt cake pan.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.

5  Cool cakes for 5 minutes then remove from pan and repeat with remaining batter.

6  For the ganache, when cakes are completely cooled, combined whipping cream and 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until mixture is smooth and silky.

7  Spoon ganache over cakes then sprinkle with more chips as desired.

Makes 12 mini bundt cakes

recipe from Pampered Chef

Butterscotch Toffee Bars

Butterscotch Toffee Bars

Butterscotch Toffee Bars

These were really yummy and really easy.

Butterscotch Toffee Bars

Butterscotch Toffee Bars

1 box yellow cake mix

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 eggs

1 cup cashews or toasted pecans, chopped

1 (8 oz) bag toffee pieces

1  Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides measuring 15 x 10 x 1″).

2 Beat on medium cake mix, brown sugar, butter, and eggs for 1 minute or until combined.  Stir in nuts.

3  Press dough into prepared pan.  Sprinkle with toffee pieces.  Bake 15 – 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely before cutting into bars.

recipe from Better Homes and Gardens