Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Heaven Layer Dip!!

So I was thinking of what kinds of things I like to eat at a New Years party and one of them was seven layer dip. So here is my own version of a dessert seven layer dip. Believe me it is amazing!! It is simple to make and tasty. It is also fun because you can add any favorite treats you like to make it your own! Be sure to leave me a comment and tell me what you think! Also become a member so you can be updated on all the sweetness! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Chocolate Heaven Layer Dip
2 Cups Oreos Crushed (about a row and a half depending on how many you sneak while you crush them)
2 Tbs. Melted butter
1 Cup Cool Whip
1 (8oz) Cream Cheese
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 small package of pudding
1 1/4 Cups Milk
3/4 Mini Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Toffee Bits
1/4 Cup Mini Marshmallows
(You can adjust topping amounts depending on what you like)
First make your pudding so it can be setting up in the fridge. Mix the pudding mix with the 1 1/4 Cups milk and put in the refrigerator. Next you make the crust base by crushing the oreos in a bag and adding the melted butter to that. I just pour it right in the bag, reseal it and mix it around again. Pour a little more that half the mixture in the base of your platter. My bowl is 9 inches across, but if you want a bigger one just crush more cookies. Save some cookie crumbs for the top too. Press into the bottom until the base is fully covered. Set aside. Make the first layer by mixing the cool whip (defrosted), the cream cheese (softened), and the powdered sugar together and spread on top of the crushed cookie layer. Once that layer is on pull out your pudding and spread that over the cream cheese layer.(Pudding should be think and not runny.) Once your pudding layer is on top in cirlcles with chocolate chips, toffee, crushed cookies, and marshmallows. Serve with graham crackers or nilla wafers to dip!

Strawberry Cheesecake Heaven Layer Dip

10 Graham Crackers Crushed
2 Tbs. Sugar
2 Tbs. Melted Butter
Combine and press into bottom of dish reserving some for the top.
1 Cup Cool Whip (defrosted)
1 (8oz.) Cream Cheese (softened)
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
Combine and Spread on Crust
1 Vanilla pudding mix
1 1/4 Cup Milk
Combine, refrigerate until fim and spread on top of cream cheese layer.
1 Can strawberry pie filling (may be replaced with fresh fruit or other pie filling flavor.)
Spread pie filling on top of pudding layer.
Top with extra graham cracker crumbs, and white chocolate chips.
Serve with graham crackers or nilla wafers.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Decievingly Delicious!

Happy New Year All! I thought I would share something new that my awesome Mother introduced me to. On Christmas she had a great spread of food for all of her hungry visitors and this was part of it. At first glance it looks like plain popcorn, but it is sneeky. This recipe is about as easy as it gets, which is perfect for any new years party, or a night in. Give this one a try and be sure to become a follower to get updates of all my new recipes and ideas!!

Sweet and Salty Popcorn
3 bags Orville Redenbacher's NATURAL popcorn, the SIMPLY SALTED variety popped
1 Bag white chocolate chips
Pop your popcorn and let it cool. This popcorn is great because it has great flavor, but not all the buttery mess (not to mention the calories!) Put all the popcorn in a great big bowl, two if needed. I like to stir mine a bit so all the unpopped kernals drop to the bottom, then I disgard them. Once the duds are thrown away it is time to melt your chocolate. White chocolate burns easily so do short time and stir or cook it at 50% temp on your microwave. I did mine at 50% in the microwave and it took about a minute and a half. Once melted, just pour it over your popcorn and get stirring! Once your popcorn is coated spread it out on a cookie sheet to cool. After the chocolate has hardened again you can break it up into bite sizes or larger clusters if you like. Everyone will be surprised when they eat it because it looks like plain popcorn, but it tastes amazing!! Enjoy!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Be a star!!

Hey everyone! Here is a quick tip (no pun intended). When I am in a hurry to frost things I use my basic star decorating tip for everything. It looks a lot cleaner and goes a lot faster than using a regular knife. That way Santa gets his cookies and I still have time to be with my family! Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Almond Heaven

So this is a true love of mine and it is called Almond Puff. It is a pastry and is soooooo delicious you have to try it. Here is the recipe with some pics for reference. Make sure to leave me some comments and become a follower to stay caught up on great recipes and ideas!!

So this recipe has three parts. Part number one is the crust. Combine 1 cube margarine or butter and 1 Cup flour. I just use my hands to crumble it all together until it is a nice crumbly mixture. Then add 2 Tbs. water to make it form a ball. Break this ball in half and spread it very thinly onto a greased cookie sheet into either two rectangles or two circles. It will be spread pretty thin and that is great. This is how it will look!
Set this aside and now we move onto step number two. Melt 1 stick of butter or margarine with one cup water and a pinch of salt on the stove. Once the margarine melts and the mixture is boiling remove it from the heat and add 1 Cup flour. The mixture will ball up like this!

So let this cool for a few minutes and then add 1 tsp. Almond extract. If you have an almond oil use less, this stuff is pretty powerful. Then you mix in three eggs one at a time. Make sure to fully incorperate the egg before you move on to the next one. This can take some muscle, but then you are burning off the calories you are about to eat. Once you get all three eggs in the dough will look sticky which is just what you want.

Now we divide that sticky dough and spread it on top of each of the uncooked crusts. Just use a spoon or knife to evenly spread it over the entire crust. Then pop it into a pre heated 350 degree oven for 30 or so minutes. It should be golden on top.

Now we move on to the last step. Let the puffs cool and make your frosting. Melt 1/2 a stick of margarine or butter and add 1/2 tsp almond extract now add powdered sugar and milk until you have your frosting the consistency you like. I probably used about 1 and a half pounds of powdered sugar which was great for the two puffs. Top with toasted almonds and sprinkles and you are ready to devour. These are always a favorite when I make them for parties and they are the first eaten. Just cut them into pretty strips and serve. Enjoy!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I heart Santa!!!

Hey all! I thought I would post an easy Christmas idea. This cake is actually made with a heart shaped cake pan. I think I was given three when I got married and was thrilled to find another use for it. This adorable santa is easy and simple to make. Just bake your heart cake and cover it with a base coat or crumb coat of frosting. Tint some of the frosting red for his mouth and rosy cheeks. Here is a helpful hint. To get a really good red color use wilton red red and christmas red together or use americolor red. I used two m&m's for his eyes. Then just use a really big star tip to layer on a fun beard and bushy eyebrows!! Your children will love this one!! Enjoy!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Eclair Heaven!

I made a huge batch of eclairs this week for my husband to take to work and for a neighborhood party. These have always been a favorite of mine and they are very festive!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Chocolate Christmas!

There is a pretty sweet present under this tree. These brownies were requested by a boss for her fellow workers. Definately a great way to say thanks for all your hard work.

I topped these brownies with modeling chocolate christmas trees dusted in a pearl dust that was really sparkly. It made them look like they were strung with lights. Beautiful and delicious!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cookie Dough Truffles

Hey all, here is an awesome and amazingly simple recipe. These would be perfect for neighbor presents or to bring to a christmas party. This is also an great recipe to do with kids. Give it a try and leave me a comment to know how it went. Enjoy!
Cookie Dough Truffles
1 pkg oreo cookies ( I also did it with chips ahoy)
1 pkg. cream cheese softened
1 1/2 pk. chocolate chips or wilton chocolate melts
Put the entire container of cookies in a ziploc bag and crush them all to crumbs. (Do not take the frosting off the oreos.) This is a fun thing for the kids to do, or for you if you need to get rid of some pre holiday stress. Once they are fine crumbs mix together with the cream cheese. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Form the dough into small balls and place on a tinfoil lined tray. Melt you chocolate and roll each ball in the chocolate until coated. Store in the refrigerator. These are creamy and delicious and no one will no how easy they were to make.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Marshmallow Mania

So I saw this recipe for homemade marshmallows in the recent Taste of Home magazine ( a must have), anyhow I thought I would give them a try and I love them. I was a little nervous to have to boil sugar to a soft ball stage, but even without a candy thermometer this was easy and awesome. The wonderful thing about these marshmallows is that they are so versital. You can eat them plain, put them in your hot chocolate or decorate them as you wish. Above I flavored these with peppermint and while they were still soft I swirled in some red food coloring to look like a candy cane. You could even dip the edges in candy cane if you wanted to.
Sorry this picture is blurry, but it was all I took before they were gone! These oversized marshmallows were a hit when I had family over for hot chocolate this week. You can roll the edges in anything you like. Some options are, fun sprinkles or sugars, nuts, coconut, chocolate chips. The possibilities are endless. You can also dip them in chocolate or drizzle with carmel. I used them to top a favorite pan of brownies this week. These would be great for anyones holiday party, or as a fun homemade gift for friends and neighbors. Follow below and I will take you step by step through the recipe! Be sure to check in often for new ideas and make sure to become a follower and comment so I know what things you guys like! Happy marshmallow making!!
Homemade Marshmallows
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 Cup cold water divided
2 Cups sugar
1 Cup corn syrup
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp vanilla (or flavoring)
Line a 9x13 pan with tinfoil and spray with non stick spray. Set aside. In a large metal bowl (mixer bowl prefered) sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Set aside. In a large heavy saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining water. Bring to a boil stirring until it comes to a boil. Once sugar comes to a boil cook until candy thermometer reads 240 degrees (soft ball stage). Remove from heat and gradually add to the gelatin with mixer on slow speed with whisk attachment. Once all sugar is in change speed to high and let whisk on high for about 10-15 minutes. The volume will double and the marshmallow will turn white. Once it has doubled add vanilla or other flavoring. Spread in prepared pan (it is marshmallow so it will be sticky, just have fun with it). Cover and let sit for 6 hours or overnight.
Once set remove from pan with the tinfoil and cut with a pizza cutter sprayed with non-stick spray to desired size. These are creamy and delicious. Enjoy!!

Here is how my sugar looked when it was boiling. Don't let it go crazy, you don't want to get burned. This was one reason I used a really deep pot.

This is the softball stage. I let mine boil for about 10 minutes. Then you drizzle some of the boiling sugar in cold water. DON'T TOUCH IT UNTIL IT IS COOL!! If it falls apart it is not ready yet. You should be able to (once cooled which happens quickly)pick it up and squish it together to form a soft ball.

Once you have it to that stage pour it into the mixer and start whipping it. This is how it looked to start.

This is how it looked about 13 minutes later!

Here it is finished and being cut. DELICIOUS!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Oh Snap!

Hey all, I thought I would post a nice fall transitioning into Christmas cookie. This is a Ginger Snap but kicked up a notch. These cookies are the perfect combination of soft and chewy cookie with a sweet sugar crunch and creamy center. Be sure to become a follower so you can keep up on all my new posts. Also please leave comments about the things you see or questions you may have. Have a great Thanksgiving!!

Here are a few tips to help your cookies turn out amazing!
Once you make your cooke dough, use a small ice cream scoop to scoop the dough into balls. Then all of your cookies will be about the same shape and size. This makes it easy to match them up in the end when you put the frosting in the middle. Also, I just put the sugar on top of the the cookie so it won't stick to the pan.

Here is how they looked before they were cooked. All about the same shape and size with sanding sugar on top.

Once they have cooled fill them with your favorite cream cheese frosting. These cookies are soft, so it is easier to put filling in the middle with a pastry bag. I used a star tip for some detail, but you can just as easily cut of the end of a ziploc bag. Top them off with another cookie and your ready to eat!
Ginger Snap Cookies!
1 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/4 Cup Molasses
1 Egg
2 Cups Flour
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Ginger
1/2 tsp. Allspice
1/2 Cup sugar for decoration (I use sanding sugar, can be found at craft stores)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl combine all ingredients until dough is combined and not really sticky. Scoop dough into balls and dip the tops in the sugar. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes. Edges will look firm and starting to brown. The center will still be soft. Cool on a towel or wire rack. Fill the center with your favorite cream cheese frosting and top with another cookie.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No Crust No Fuss!

Hey all if you love pumpkin pie and the flavor of yellow cake this recipe is for you! Don't mess with trying to make the perfect pie crust this thanksgiving, use this recipe instead. It is fast and delicious. I love it straight from the oven with whip cream or ice cream. Enjoy!

Pumkin Crunch Cake
3 Eggs
1 Large (29 oz) Can Pumpkin
1 Can (12 oz) Evaporated Milk
3 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 Stick Butter
Mix together all ingredients except cake mix and butter. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Melt butter and mix with cake mix. Sprinkle cake and butter mixture over the top of the pumpkin mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until middle is set. Serve warm with whip cream or ice cream.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No Crock, Just amazing cake!

Hey all! So I tried this slow cooker chocolate pudding cake this weekend and it was to die for! This recipe comes from the Goose Berry Patch Christmas 2009 magazine and believe me, you want to see the rest of the recipes. This was the perfect mix between a chewy brownie and a moist cake. It made a ton, made my house smell amazing, was easy to throw together and I didn't have to think about it again until I was ready to devour it. One option I would add is to change up the chocolate chips. Mint chocolate chips or peanut butter chips would be amazing. Just top it with whip cream or a favorite ice cream and your are set. Give it a try and tell me what you think!

Crock Pot Pudding Cake
18.25 oz Chocolate cake mix
3.9 oz instant chocolate pudding mix
2 Cups sour cream
4 Eggs
1 Cup water
3/4 Cup Oil
1/4 tsp. Salt
2 Cups chocolate chips

Beat together all ingredients until well combined. Pour into crock pot sprayed with non stick spray. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours or until toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Serves 10-12.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cupcake crazy!

Hey all! Sorry there were not any extra posts this week. I was busy making 400 cupcakes for a wedding today. Here is a peek at what they ordered.
Vanilla cupcakes with a pink vanilla butter cream and white chocolate heart topper.

Carrot cake cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting and orange and white marbled chocolate topper.

Strawberry cupcakes with citrus almond frosting and pink chocolate rosettes.

Chocolate cupcakes with mint frosting and striped chocolate toppers

Lastly a lemon cupcake topped with lemon buttercream and simple but beautiful pearlized sprinkles.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Go Knights!!

These cupcakes were so much fun to make. They were for a local junior high volleyball team that was having their end of season banquet. I love the chocolate volleyballs! Enjoy girls!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mix up your snack mix!

Hey All! Here is a different way to use your halloween snack mix. Rather than having a million hands in one bowl, turn your snack mix into cookies! For these cookies start by making a pan of your favorite rice crispies. When cool and set, cover them in a vanilla frosting. Next drizzle caramel sauce over the vanilla frosting and swirl together with a knife. To finish them off top them with your favorite salty or sweet halloween snacks. I chose m&m's, candy corn, and pretzels, but feel free to add whatever you would like. Have a Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Raising the Cookie bar!

Hey all! Here is a great cookie bar idea. As a Mom I don't always have time to make drop cookies and switch the pans in and out of the oven all day, but I still want to make something cute. Here is a great idea that works for most bar cookies. Make your pan of cookies like chocolate chip or brownies and let them cool completely. Pour desired sprinkles on a plate and cut your cookies the size you want. Then just press each edge into the sprinkles. The great thing about this is you can change the sprinkles for any holiday and your cookies look totally different!
Please comment and let me know what you think of these free ideas and don't forget to become a follower to get updates and new ideas!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Freakin' Cute

Don't be scared of making this halloween treat. I got the idea from Family Circle magazine. Its a chocolate cake with reeses pieces and a milky way stem. You can use a small pyrex bowl to bake the two cirlcle halves or wiltons ball cake pan. This is the kind of pumpkin any child can help make and it's guts are really tasty.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nuts for Doughnuts!!

Hey all! I am starting a new section to my blog of free recipes and ideas. These will be easy and creative, so check back frequently to add to your recipe file and make something fun for friends and family! When I think of fall I always think of doughnuts, but these are beyond easy and have a fun Halloween twist!
This recipe is from Paula Deen on the food network, and the best thing is you use canned biscuit dough so you don't have to make your own!! Just use the lid from a bottled water to cut out your doughnut holes and fry in vegetable oil at 350 degrees until golden brown.

I let my doughnuts drip dry on paper towels and then drizzle the tops with frosting. As you can see I got creative varying the size and color to create fun things like the candy corn, pumpkins and Mommy and Baby ghosts. But they are great just glazed with sprinkles or dipped in powdered sugar or cinnamon and sugar. They are so fast to put together and people will think you have been slaving away for hours! Enjoy!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy Fall

I did this cake for a local service club. They wanted a cake that looked like fall!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cupcake Weekend!

These cupcakes were for a cupcake social following the Relief Society general broadcast for my stake. They turned out pretty cute, and tasty too! Sorry I posted so many pictures, I couldn't decide on just a couple because they were all so fun.