Eggnog Bread

I guess this is it for the holiday baking this year. I had fun, hope you did too following along. We gave this bread away for a gift so I can’t tell you how it tasted but it smelled great! I baked it in my Nordic Ware Loaf Pan and if you look closely you can see Santa and a reindeer pulling his sleigh. I just love Nordic Ware products!

1 cup eggnog

2 teaspoons rum extract

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Preheat oven to 350. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray for baking.

2 Beat together eggnog, rum extract, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and butter until well blended.

3 Add in flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt and mix just until combined.

4 Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 – 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

5 Let cool in pan 10 minutes before removing.

recipe from Smashed Peas and Carrots

Cheesy Pesto Crescent Christmas Tree

You know I love the pesto and this did not disappoint! And it’s so cute. If I’d thought of it ahead of time, I would have made “ornaments” out of grape tomatoes.

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup refrigerated basil pesto

2 cans (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent dough sheets (I used crescent roll dough because I already had some in the fridge and they worked but the dough sheets would have made it easier, no seams to deal with)

1 cup (4 oz) shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

1 red bell pepper (take a cookie cutter and cut out a star with the pepper for the top of the tree), if desired

grape tomatoes (for ornaments for the tree) , if desired

marinara sauce for dipping, if desired

1 Heat oven to 350. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2 Mix together cream cheese and pesto until well blended.

3 Unroll 1 can of dough onto one of the cookie sheets. Shape dough into a 13 x 8″ rectangle. Spread pesto mixture evenly over the dough. Sprinkle with Mozzarella.

4 Unroll 2nd can of dough and place on top of cheese layer, stretching slightly to cover. With a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, trim 2 triangle sections from each of the top sides to form a tree shape. Set dough scraps aside. (After cutting, dough shape should be about 2 1/2″ wide at the top and 8″ across at the bottom.)

5 With a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut dough horizontally completely across in 1″ strips. Twist each strip a few times then place on cookie sheet in tree formation. Cut 2 small sections of dough from the scraps to for a tree trunk at the bottom. Cut remaining dough into about 4 pieces, twist them into bread sticks, and place on second cookie sheet.

6 Brush tree and bread sticks with melted butter and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bread sticks will bake for about 10 – 12 minutes and the tree will bake for about 16 – 21 minutes or until dough is golden brown and cooked all the way through.

The link below to the original recipe has detailed pictures if you need any additional help making the tree.

recipe from Pillsbury

Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake

This is the 4th time I’ve made this cake this month. I gave away the other three and decided that we needed one to try to!

It’s a cake recipe that I’ve been working on over the year and I think I’ve got it dialed in. The original recipe is here. This one looks so pretty for Christmas that I had to share the recipe again.

CAKE

1 chocolate fudge cake mix

1 small box chocolate instant pudding mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1 cup International Delight Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer (for my non coffee and non caffeine friends – this coffee creamer does not contain any coffee or caffeine, it is all just flavoring)

GLAZE AND TOPPING

2 – 3 cups powdered sugar

2 – 4 tablespoons peppermint mocha coffee creamer

crushed candy canes or peppermint candies

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

2 Combine all cake ingredients and beat on medium for 3 – 5 minutes. Pour into prepared pan.

3 Bake 45 – 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in deepest part of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 – 15 minutes in pan before removing to serving platter to cool completely.

4 For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and coffee creamer until you have a nice thick, but still pourable glaze. Drizzle over cake and sprinkled with crushed peppermints.

Santa’s Trash Cookies

These are so good! I just ate two! The sweet and salty combo is to die for.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup crushed potato chips

3/4 cup crushed pretzels

1 1/4 cups chocolate chips (I did 1/2 cup red and green M&M’s and 3/4 cup chocolate chips)

flaky sea salt for garnish

1 Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment.

2 Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 – 4 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.

3 Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt then add dry ingredients to wet and mix just until combined.

4 Gently fold in potato chips, pretzels, and chocolate chips (and M&M’s if using).

5 Scoop onto cookie sheets and press down lightly on each cookie to flatten then sprinkle with salt.

6 Bake until edges are just starting to get golden, about 14 minutes.

7 Let cool 2 – 3 minutes before removing from cookie sheets.

Yield: I doubled the recipe and it made 6 1/2 dozen

recipe from Delish

Christmas Light Cupcakes

Cute right? And pretty easy too. My friend Sondra asked if I would make some cupcakes for her granddaughter’s birthday and these are the ones she chose. Sondra said she thinks it reminded her of “Stranger Things”!

1 box cupcake mix plus ingredients to make cupcakes (I did a batch of chocolate cupcakes and a batch of Christmas Funfetti cupcakes)

1 can of frosting or a batch of homemade frosting, I used this one here.

1 pouch of black cookie icing

1 bag mini M&Ms

1 Bake cupcakes according to package directions and allow to cool.

2 Prepare frosting and then frost all cupcakes.

3 Take cookie icing and pipe a circular pattern on top of each cupcake to look like the cord of a string of lights.

4 Place mini M&Ms along the icing cord to mimic Christmas lights.

recipe from Delish

Sweet and Salty Holiday Toffee

I’ve heard and read about making toffee with Saltine crackers for years but this year I finally decided to give it a go and it did not disappoint! It was surprisingly good and pretty easy to make.

In this picture you can see the Saltine layer at the bottom of the toffee. It soaks up all the butter and brown sugar to make a yummy base layer. If you’re looking for an easy holiday treat with a little bit of wow, this is it.

35 or so Saltine crackers

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 bag red and green Holiday M&M’s

1 jar holiday sprinkles

1 Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet or jelly roll pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Line the foil lined baking sheet with Saltines.

2 Melt butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously, and let cook until bubbling, about 2 minutes. Pour mixture over crackers in an even layer and bake 12 – 15 minutes.

3 Top immediately with chocolate chips and let melt. If they aren’t melting, place cookie sheet back in warm oven for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Smooth chocolate into an even layer and then top with M&M’s and sprinkles. Let set then cut into bars.

recipe from Delish

Chocolate Peppermint Bread

Look at that beauty, who wouldn’t want that for Christmas? It is so yummy and so easy to make.

I also made some smaller loaves in my Nordic Ware Mini Holiday Loaf Pan for our annual Book Group book exchange (which we held outside with masks on). I had those cute little trays to put the mini loaves in but there was still room in the tray so I made some chocolate dipped Oreos but then there was still room left in the tray so I added some Christmas chocolates and then a gold fork and the tray was complete!

If you’re looking for an easy neighbor gift, this is a great option!

BREAD

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 3/4 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

GLAZE

1 1/3 cups chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup butter

1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

2 crushed candy canes or you can buy crushed peppermint in bags at Michaels or Gygis because crushing candy canes is a pain in the neck

1 For the bread, preheat oven to 350. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray for baking.

2 Cream butter and sugar together. Add in eggs and sour cream and beat until smooth and creamy. Add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and peppermint extract.

3 Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake 50 – 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

4 Let bread rest in pan for 20 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely.

5 For the glaze, pour chocolate chips into a medium size bowl.

6 Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add in cream when butter is just about melted. Increase heat slightly and using a whisk, stir constantly, but gently. Heat until mixture just barely comes to a boil. Pour over chocolate in bowl. Stir gently until smooth. Stir in extract. Let cool then drizzle over bread and top with crushed peppermints.

Yield: 1 loaf (I doubled the recipe and ended up with 1 regular size loaf, 8 mini loaves, and 6 mini cakes, doughnut in size.)

recipe from Butter with a Side of Bread

Utah Taste Off – Chocolate Desserts

Utah Taste Off does it again and provided us with another fun night of food, this time Chocolate Desserts which I’m sure you all know by now is my favorite food in the world so I was in heaven!

Chocolate Mini Bundt Cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes

Chocolate Donut from Dunford Bakers

Chocolate Brownie from Taste

Hot Chocolate Cookie from Crumbl Cookies

Chocolate Pie from The Pie Tin Bakery

I loved the Hot Chocolate Cookie from Crumbl and the Chocolate Mini Bundt Cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes but that Chocolate Donut from Dunford Bakers was right up there too!

Treat yourself to an early Christmas present and give Utah Taste Off a try. It will be a Merry Christmas for sure!

Chocolate Covered Oreo Reindeers and Snowmen

Don’t mind me over here just playing with my food and having a great time! This is another Christmas treat that you could make with the kids. So easy and so cute.

REINDEERS

1 bag Light Cocoa or Dark Cocoa Wilton Candy Melts

1 package Oreos

1 bag tiny twist pretzels

1 package candy eyes

1 box Red Hots candies

1 Melt candy melts according to package directions.

2 Line cookie sheets with wax paper or parchment paper.

3 Place two pretzels next to each other on the lined cookie sheet. Dip an Oreo in the melted candy melts, tap gently to remove excess, then place carefully on top of the pretzels, placing to form antlers. Add two candy eyes and a Red Hot nose. Allow chocolate to set before handling.

SNOWMEN

1 bag white Wilton Candy Melts

1 package Oreos

1 package candy eyes

1 package Wilton Cookie Ball Decorations for Snowmen (found these at WalMart, they contain the tiny carrot noses and the little black balls for the mouth)

1 Melt candy melts according to package instructions.

2 Line cookie sheets with wax paper or parchment paper.

3 Dip Oreo in melted candy melts, tap gently to remove excess then set carefully on lined cookie sheet. Place two candy eyes, a carrot nose, and about 5 of the tiny black balls to form a mouth. Allow chocolate to set before handling.

Easy Christmas Tree Cookie Bars

These were really very easy and so cute and bonus, tasty too! I took them to our “borrowed” grandkids and they loved them!

1 (17.5 oz) pouch sugar cookie mix

1/2 cup butter, softened

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1 egg

around 54 pretzel sticks

1 tub green frosting

various sprinkles

around 27 gold star sprinkles or yellow M&M minis

1 Heat oven to 350. Line 9 x 13″ pan with foil, leaving foil overhanging on 2 opposite sides of the pan. Spray with cooking spray.

2 Mix together cookie mix, butter, cream cheese, and egg until soft dough forms. Spread dough in bottom of pan evenly. Bake 20 – 23 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

3 Remove bars from pan by lifting foil up then carefully peel foil away. Cut into 27 triangles by first cutting into three horizontal rows. Then cut each row into 9 triangles so each triangle has a 2″ wide base. (There is a video in the recipe link below that shows how to do this.) Set aside end pieces or just eat them as you go.

4 Insert a pretzel stick carefully into the wider base of each cookie tree. Spoon frosting into a piping bag and pipe over cookies. Sprinkle with sprinkles and top with a sprinkle star or M&M.

recipe from Betty Crocker