Chocolate Saltine Pecan Crunch

chocolatesaltines

Every year for the last 3 years I have made chocolate crunch with different layers of chocolate. This year I wanted to try something new. I thought using chocolate and saltines was the weirdest combination until I tasted it! To my surprise it was awesome! Crunchy, sweet, salty, it has everything you want in a chocolate crunch recipe.  I’ve added a bit more then pecans as you will see in my ingredients. Chocolate saltine pecan crunch is great for the holidays, or any day for that matter. I plan to take mine to my brother’s house for New Years Eve, if it lasts the next few days in my house!

Ingredients

2 sticks butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 bag white chocolate chips

1/2 cup heath bar bits

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 sleeve saltine crackers, about 40

First you’ll want to line up your crackers side by side in a baking tray. Next a medium sized pan, melt your butter and add brown sugar.  When combined and melted, immediately pour on top of crackers. Spread out with a spatula until every cracker is covered in sugar and butter. Next while the mixture is still hot, sprinkle on your chocolate chips. Let them melt for a minute and spread the chocolate out until covering the crackers as well. Next, take your pecans, and heath bar, and add as your topping. Let sit for a few minutes and cool in the refrigerator until firm enough to break into pieces. Once it has cooled enough cut or break off into what ever size crunch you like. Place on a dish or store in Tupperware for safe keeping! Enjoy!

Recommendations

Add chocolate bars on top instead of chips for melting.

Use another type of chocolate completely instead of white.

Add, dried fruits, other nuts, granola, or anything you can think of as a favorite topping.

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies

         So it’s a few days until Christmas so I wanted to make one more type of cookie. This Christmas cut out cookie recipe is light, buttery, and so good you’ll want to eat them all! You know can’t though right, or at least you shouldn’t! The thing I love about these cookies is that they stay soft, and are so simple and quick to prepare. I actually made half of the batch last night, and have some cookie dough leftover in my fridge to make today. You may want to freeze your dough too if you don’t have time to make them all the same day. Let’s get started with how I made them.

            Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

canned frosting

food coloring

sprinkles, edible sugar pearls, French dragees

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in your eggs, and vanilla extract until combined.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to sugar mixture, beating until smooth. Wrap dough in heavy-duty plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour. This makes the dough easier to roll out later on.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.

Next on a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness.  Cut with assorted holiday cookie cutters and place  at least 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are very lightly browned.  Let your cookies cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove from pans with your spatula and cool completely on wire racks.

To ice your cookies, you can use this recipe below, or use frosting from a can and add food coloring. That is what I did. I used cream cheese frosting and added my food coloring. You can make your frosting as light or as dark as you like.

Edible Paint Icing:

  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Food coloring, optional

In a medium bowl, combine water and meringue powder; whisk until foamy. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Add food coloring, if desired. Use immediately.

 

Hershey Peppermint Kiss Cookies

hersheys  kisses chrismas cookies

Back to holiday baking today, and had some Hershey’s peppermint chocolate kisses on hand. These cookies are sweet, minty, and oh so good! They are popular to make at Christmas time, and pretty easy to prepare.  As you can see in my picture, I have bundled them up in a cute cookie tin. I think these make a perfect sweet holiday gift to share with friends and family. Save some for yourself though, after all your the one making them, you must taste them before giving them away! Here’s the Hershey’s Kisses Christmas Cookie recipe I’ve come to love…

Ingredients

1 bag Hershey’s Kisses Candy Cane Kisses
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons milk
Red and Green colored sugar, optional

Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove wrappers from candies (approx. 35)

In a large bowl beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg until well blended. Next blend together flour, baking soda and salt. Add milk to butter mixture . Beat until well blended.

Next, shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in red and green colored sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. (you can make your cookies as small or as large as you wish by the way).

Bake 8 – 1o minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool 2 to 3 minutes. Gently press Hershey’s kiss into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack and let cool completely. Yields approximately 35 cookies depending on size you choose.

You can store them in a tin once the Hershey’s kiss has totally hardened. You may also freeze in an air tight container wrapped with plastic wrap until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Breakfast Pumpkin Scones


breakfastpumpkin scones

I woke up this morning thinking pumpkin! Not pancakes, not muffins, but scones! It’s been awhile since I’ve made scones and being home today I thought it would be nice to have a warm, flaky, buttery scone right out if the oven, YUM! Scones can be bought at coffee shops, bakeries, and markets but there’s nothing like a homemade pumpkin scone, or any scone for that matter. The recipe is super simple, and you can prepare them in a matter of minutes.  Scones also make a  great grab and go breakfast.  I love my scone with a dab of butter, or cream cheese. You may also use jams, marmalades, nut butters, nutella and anything else spreadable you can think of.

Ingredients

2 cups flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons fat free or regular half-and-half
1 egg beaten
confectioner’s sugar for dusting

In a medium sized bowl, add your flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger. Next add your cold butter. Use a pastry cutter to incorporate your butter until it appears crumbly. In another bowl mix your egg, pumpkin, and half and half. Add your wet ingredients to your flour mixture, and knead your dough onto a floured surface. Don’t roll it out too much, it should have a messy texture. Roll into a one inch thickness, and use your pizza cutter to cut triangle scones. Triangles are the typical shape of a scone, but you can make squares, circles etc. You can also make your pumpkin scones as big as you like. I made mini scones which gave me 16. Place your scones on a sprayed cookie sheet or silpat and bake at 425 degrees for about 10-12 minutes, they should appear golden brown on top. Dust your scones with confectioner’s sugar, or homemade icing. Enjoy!

pumpkin scone

breakfastpumpkin scones

Baked Brown Sugar Acorn Squash

acornsquash

Tis the season for warm, acorn squash!

This recipe makes a great side dish on a cool Autumn night…I made this because I love all types of squash. Add a little brown sugar and butter and man this is oh so good! Your family will love it!

Here is what you will need:

1 acorn squash, mine was average size, good for 2 or 3

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter

cinnamon, to taste

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil, for drizzling

Once again, you may use more butter, brown sugar, whatever you like…

Rinse your acorn squash well, and slice in half. Place cut side up on a foil lined baking pan. In a small bowl, mix your brown sugar, and cinnamon, set aside. For the butter make sure it’s room temperature, and spread on top of each acorn squash. Then sprinkle on your brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Use as much as you like. Drizzle with olive oil, and salt and pepper to your liking. Cover with foil and bake at 350F until squash is soft, tender, and butter is bubbly. If your squash needs more or less time, check on it. Mine took about an hour.  You may then serve the acorn squash alone and eat it right in it’s skin, or scoop it out in a bowl, and serve on your table to enjoy with your family!

You may add more toppings like pecans, fresh herbs if you like, but I like mine nicely sweetened with sugar and cinnamon! So does my son ;o) Enjoy!