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!