Puffy Sugar Cookies

Puffy Sugar Cookies

Puffy Sugar Cookies

Made some cookies yesterday for some friends.  They came out pretty cute!  Did some flower shaped ones and . . .

Puffy Sugar Cookies

Puffy Sugar Cookies

some mustache ones too!

1 (16 oz) tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough

3/4 cup flour

2 tablespoons real maple syrup

Wilton Cookie Icing

sprinkles

1  Preheat oven to 350. Spray cookie pans with cooking spray for baking.

2  Combine cookie dough, flour and maple syrup in mixer bowl and mix on low until well combined, finish kneading by hand if necessary.

3  Press cookie dough into each well of cookie pan, filling about 3/4 full.

4  Bake 15 – 20 minutes or until edges are just starting to turn brown.  Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes in pan before removing.  Allow to cool completely before icing.

5  I used Wilton Cookie Icing and some sprinkles to decorate the cookies.

recipe adapted from this one here

Churro Cake with Chocolate Sauce

Churro Cake with Chocolate Sauce

Churro Cake with Chocolate Sauce

I hosted book group last week and made this delicious cake for our treat.  (I started slicing pieces and then remembered that I hadn’t taken a picture yet so that’s why you’re only seeing half the cake.)

Churro Cake with Chocolate Sauce

Churro Cake with Chocolate Sauce

It was yummy with or without the chocolate sauce.

Churro Cake with Chocolate Sauce

Churro Cake with Chocolate Sauce

Here you can see that oh so sweet churro cinnamon and sugar on the side which you could really taste better without the chocolate sauce.

cake

2 sticks butter, softened

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

4 eggs plus 2 egg yolks

1/2 cup sour cream

2 3/4 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk

cinnamon sugar topping

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter, melted

chocolate sauce

1 1/4 cups half and half

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt

4 – 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1  For the cake, preheat oven to 350.  Spray 10 cup Bundt pan with cooking spray for baking.

2  Beat butter, sugar and vanilla on medium until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then egg yolks.  Beat in sour cream until combined.  Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a separate bowl.  Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with milk.  Beat until combined.

3  Pour into prepared pan, smoothing top and tapping pan on counter a couple of times to release any bubbles.  Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.  Let cool in pan 10 minutes then invert onto serving platter.

4  For the topping, combine sugar and cinnamon.  Working in sections, brush cake with melted butter then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, pressing to adhere.

5  For the chocolate sauce, combine half and half, brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla and salt in small saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, 2 – 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and add chocolate.  Let stand 2 minutes, the stir until smooth.

recipe from Food Network 

Chocolate Caramel Nut S’more Bars

Chocolate Caramel Nut S'more Bars

Chocolate Caramel Nut S’more Bars

First treats of 2020 and they did not disappoint!

Chocolate Caramel Nut S'more Bars

Chocolate Caramel Nut S’more Bars

Give them a try, they were easy and delicious!

2 cups finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies (36 cookies) or finely crushed graham crackers (2 sleeves of graham crackers)

1/2 – 3/4 cup melted butter

1 (11 oz) package caramel baking bits or 1 (14 oz) package caramels

1/4 cup whipping cream if using caramel baking bits, 1/3 cup whipping cream if using caramels

2 – 2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

1 1/2 cups nuts, I used almonds

1 cup chocolate chips

1  Preheat oven to 325.  Spray 9 x 13″ pan with baking spray.

2  Stir together cookie or cracker crumbs and butter then press firmly into bottom of prepared pan.  Bake for 15 minutes then cool for 5 minutes.

3  Heat caramel bits or caramels and whipping cream over medium heat until melted and smooth.  Pour evenly over crust.  Sprinkle with nuts, chocolate chips and then mini marshmallows.

4  Bake about 12 minutes or until marshmallows are just beginning to brown.  Cool completely before cutting into bars.

recipe from Better Homes and Gardens

Skillet Lasagna

Skillet Lasagna

Skillet Lasagna

This was the easiest and fastest lasagna I’ve ever made and it tasted good too.

8 ounces ground beef

3/4 cup chopped green, red, or yellow sweet pepper

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1 (23.5 oz) jar pasta sauce

1 cup water

3 cups dried wide egg noodles

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1  Spray a large skillet with cooking spray.  Heat over medium heat.  Cook beef, peppers, onion and garlic until meat is browned through.  Drain fat.  Stir in pasta sauce and water and bring to a boil.  Add noodles and stir.  Return to boiling, reduce heat to simmer, cover and simmer 10 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.

2  Stir together ricotta, Parmesan and Italian seasoning.  Drop cheese mixture by spoonfuls into 10 or so mounds, about 1 tablespoon each, on top of pasta mixture. Sprinkle each mound with Parmesan.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 4 – 5 minutes or until cheese is heated and melted.

recipe from Better Homes and Gardens

Easy Tom Kha Gai (Chicken Coconut) Soup

Easy Tom Kha Gai (Chicken Coconut) Soup

Easy Tom Kha Gai (Chicken Coconut) Soup

We have a much beloved and much anticipated tradition in our family for Christmas Eve dinner.  Everyone gets to pick 1 or 2 things that they want for dinner and that’s what we have.  It’s usually a smorgasbord of deliciousness!

Courtney wanted this soup from her favorite Asian restaurant but they were closed so I said I would give it a go.  Honestly the hardest part of making this soup was the trip to the local Asian market and then trying to find all of the ingredients, that took awhile and the hubs even went with me to help.

Everyone loved it, said it was thicker and creamier than the version from their restaurant and also spicier so a win for me!

3 lemon grass stalks, trimmed, cut into segments, and pressed with back of wooden spoon to release oils

6 cups coconut milk

2 cups cold water

3 Thai bird chilies, halved

2″ galangal root

6 Thai lime leaves

6 cloves garlic, smashed

1 teaspoon Thai chili powder (I could not find this at the Asian market so used regular chili powder)

1 pound chicken, cut into strips

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon coconut sugar (couldn’t find this either so used regular sugar)

1 onion, chopped

5 ounces Beech mushrooms

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

salt to taste

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

1  Combine lemon grass, coconut milk, water, chilies, galangal root, lime leaves, garlic, and chili powder in a large stock pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 35 minutes.

2  With a large slotted spoon, remove lemon grass, chilies, galangal root, lime leaves, and garlic from pot.  Add chicken, salt, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and onion to pot.  Simmer for 10 minutes.

3  Add mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro to pot and stir to combine.

recipe from Tasty

Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt Cake AKA Coffee Creamer Cake

Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt Cake AKA Coffee Creamer Cake

Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt Cake AKA Coffee Creamer Cake

I have been working on this cake for awhile, how to get the delicious taste of coffee creamers, especially the seasonal ones, into a cake?  I think I’ve figured it out because this was delicious!  I made it in my castle bundt pan but you can make it in any bundt shaped pan.

Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt Cake AKA Coffee Creamer Cake

Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt Cake AKA Coffee Creamer Cake

Here’s an aerial view looking down on the delicious castle.

cake

1 cake mix, flavor to go along with you choice of coffee creamer, I used chocolate fudge for this cake

1 small box instant pudding mix, flavor to go along with your cake mix, I used chocolate to go with the chocolate cake mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1 cup coffee creamer, I used Salted Caramel Mocha

glaze

2 – 3 cups powdered sugar

2 – 4 tablespoons coffee creamer

1  For the cake, preheat oven to 325.  Spray bundt pan generously with cooking spray for baking.

2  Combine cake ingredients in mixing bowl and beat on medium for 3 – 5 minutes until well combined.  Pour into prepared pan.

3  Bake 45 – 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 – 15 minutes then turn out on serving platter and allow to cool completely.

4  For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and coffee creamer until you have a thick glaze but not so thick that it can’t be poured.  Drizzle generously over the top of the cooled cake.

 

 

Andes Mint Brownies

Andes Mint Brownies

Andes Mint Brownies

I needed some chocolate last night, there were far too many eggnog and gingerbread treats in this house and not enough chocolate so I took care of it!

brownies

1 1/3 cups flour

1 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup canola oil

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 eggs

2/3 cup Andes baking chips

ganache

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 – 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Andes baking pieces for sprinkling

1  Preheat oven to 350.  Spray 9 x 13″ pan with cooking spray for baking.

2  Whisk together flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder.

3  Beat together oil and sugar until blended.  Beat in vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Gradually add flour mixture then stir in Andes baking chips.  Spread into prepared pan.

4  Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan.

5  Microwave chocolate chips and cream at 30 second intervals until melted and smooth.  Spread over cooled brownies then sprinkle with Andes baking chips.

recipe adapted from Taste of Home