REINDEER NIBBLES

REINDEER NIBBLES
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
4 cups regular oats (uncooked)
1 cup unsalted peanuts, slightly chopped
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups melted CandyQuick

  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Whisk together the honey, peanut butter and cinnamon in a small sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until thoroughly heated through. DO NOT BOIL.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • In a large bowl pour peanut butter mixture over the oatmeal, stir to combine.
  • Spread oats in a jelly roll pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Return oats to large mixing bowl and stir in peanuts, chocolate chips and raisins.
  • Spread oat mixture back into jelly roll pan and return to oven.
  • Turn oven off and let cool in oven for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally and keeping the door closed.
  • Remove from oven.
  • Melt CandyQuick in 30 second increments until pourable.  Stir after each 30 seconds.
  • Pour CandQuick over oat mixture and freeze for 1 hour.
  • Break apart into pieces.
  • Store in an airtight container.

NOTE: The pieces that are at the bottom make a great granola!

CORN FLAKE HOLLY WREATHS

Christmas is right around the corner so I thought I’d share one of my favorite holiday recipes. My great aunt who I only got to see a couple times a year used to make these every year special for me and I would wait out on the front steps for her arrive just to see them and know they were there. She always made them soooooooooo pretty and perfect!  They are delicious and they are a quick, easy, no bake treat and they’re so pretty to add to the cookie & candy tray selections.

CORN FLAKE HOLLY WREATHS
(these are better when they are made a few days ahead)

30 large marshmallows (or 3 cups mini marshmallows or 1 jar marshmallow cream)
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon green food color
3 1/2-4 cups cornflakes
Red Hots or sprinkles for decorating
  • Combine marshmallows, butter, vanilla and food color in top of double boiler.
  • Heat and stir frequently until well blended.
  • Gradually stir in cornflakes until well blended.
  • Drop onto wax paper and arrange into wreath shapes. I plop them onto the wax paper and then push out from the center to form the wreaths.
  • Decorate with red hots.
  • Let cool.
  • If your house is warm – chill in refrigerator until set.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

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GOOEY CARAMEL TOPPED GINGERSNAPS

Whether you use homemade or store bought these cookies turn out swoon worthy of any holiday goodie platter. They are sooooo simple, but look and taste sooooo decadent.

GOOEY CARAMEL TOPPED GINGERSNAPS
42 gingersnap cookies, (homemade or store bought)
14 ounces KRAFT caramels
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup + 1/4 cup finely chopped honey roasted peanuts
12 ounces combination of white and dark chocolate
Sprinkles of choice (I like chocolate for the holidays)

  • Arrange cookies on cooling rack line baking sheet.**
  • In a microwave melt the caramels with the heavy cream, stirring until smooth.
  • Stir in peanuts.
  • Spoon about a teaspoon over each cookie.
  • Refrigerate until set.

 

  • Alternately melt white and dark chocolates.
  • Coat each cookie halfway with one of the chocolates, return to the rack allowing the excess to drip off.
  • Sprinkle with sprinkles and/or crushed peanuts.
  • Refrigerate until set.

NOTE** Was paper or parchment paper works well also.

GINGERSNAPS
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup CRISCO
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoons ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
sugar for rolling

  • Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg and ground cloves. Set aside.
  • Cream butter and crisco together until smooth.
  • Add sugar and molasses, blending until smooth.
  • Add flour mixture gradually until well blended.
  • Chill dough for at least 1 hour.

 

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Roll dough into small balls
  • Roll balls in sugar and place on cookie sheet.
  • Bake 8 minutes for soft chewy cookies and 12 minutes for crisp cookies.

CARAMEL STUFFED AUTUMN SNICKERDOODLES

Another fun find on facebook that I altered to out taste. I mean who doesn’t like a snickerdoodle? and caramel? and cinnamon sugar? Put them all together and you have something really special for the fall season.

CARAMEL STUFFED AUTUMN SNICKERDOODLES yields 12 cookies adapted from DELISH
3/4 cup spiced apple cider
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
Cinnamon sugar, for rolling
12 unwrapped caramel candies, cut into 4 pieces each

  • Preheat oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
  • In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the apple cider to a simmer, cooking until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Let cool.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together butter and brown sugar.
  • Add egg, vanilla, molasses and apple cider mixing until well blended.
  • Add flour and mix JUST until combined.
  • Scoop about 2 tablespoons of cookie dough into a ball then flatten it slightly with your hand.
  • Press 4 caramel pieces into the center of the dough, covering and sealing the caramel entirely with dough.
  • Reshape it into a ball and roll in cinnamon-sugar.
  • Place on cookie sheet and repeat with remaining dough and caramels.
  • Freeze for 20 minutes.
  • Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges and set in the middle, 10-14 minutes.
  • Let cool for on pan for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

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PB BANANA BITES

These are so SIMPLE and relatively healthy too.
PB BANANA BITES makes 12 – 16 pieces
2 bananas, sliced 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick (size is based on your desire)
1/4 cup peanut butter
4-6 squares Candiquick
Sea Salt

  • Place a dollop of peanut butter on half the banana slices.
  • Top with the other half of the banana slices.
  • Microwave candiquick at 30 second intervals until melted.
  • Using a fork to support a stack dip it into the chocolate and place on a sheet of waxed paper to harden.
  • While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle with seas salt.
  • Keep refrigerated.

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HOT CHOCOLATE BARS

HOT CHOCOLATE BARS
3 envelopes of powdered hot chocolate
2 1/4 cups AP flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 LARGE eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

•    Preheat oven to 350°.
•    Grease 9 x 13 pan and set aside.
•    Combine flour, salt, baking powder and hot chocolate mixes, stirring until combined.
•    Beat butter and sugars mixing until each is combined.
•    Add flour mixture to butter mixture, 1/2 cup at a time.
•    Once well combined, add vanilla.
•    Stir in chocolate chips and marshmallows.
•    Pour into prepared pan.
•    Bake for about 35 minutes or until inserted toothpick returns clean.

NOTE: If you want to make these more like Rocky Road use the maximum marshmallows and add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

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COUNTRY BOB’S FUDGE & MEATLOAF

Back in 2009 I was contacted by a nice man from Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce and asked if I would be interested in doing a product review. I said I’d love to. In just 2 days time a box was on my stoop with bottles of sauce and recipe brochures. I had this little niggling in my brain though. I could not figure out why the name of this sauce sounded so familiar. I tried to find the sauce locally and failed until I finally found it at a Walmart store 30 miles away. You have to remember I lived rurally at the moment. That is when it occurred to me where I had heard the name before. I had won a cookbook awhile back over at Forgetfulone, but was never able to prepare any of the recipes because I couldn’t find the sauce. I had marked a multitude of recipes to try and now I finally can. I found 2 meatloaf recipes, 1 from the brochure which is extremely similar to hubby’s favorite one that I have made for years and years and a sour cream recipe from the book that I decided to try. In the end the recipe I made was a combination of both recipes and hubby all but licked his plate. He kept telling me to find out where to get more of this sauce. He even put it on his mashed potatoes and thought that was just scrumptious. Normally he would use ketchup on his meatloaf, but tonight he used Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce. He decided Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce is our new ketchup.

All I can say is that I was sooooooooooooooooo pleasantly surprised by the flavor. Hubby can’t say anything, he’s too busy licking the bowl. You have to try Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce and start with this fudge recipe. One of the greatest things about this recipe besides the awesome flavor is the consistency. How many times have you made fudge and weren’t sure it would set up okay or it turned out dry? That will never happen with this recipe. This recipe is truly foolproof.

COUNTRY BOB’S INCREDIBLE FUDGE
12 ounces Velveeta cheese*
2 sticks butter
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce
2 pounds powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (optional)**

  • In a microwave safe bowl combine the Velveeta, butter, Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce and chocolate. Microwave on high 2-4 minutes, stirring every minute until mixture is smooth and well blended.
  • Pour the powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add the chocolate mixture gradaully while beating with an electric mixture until well blended.
  • Beat in the vanilla.
  • Stir in the nuts.
  • Pour into a greased 9×13 pan.
  • Cover and chill until firm.
  • Store in the refrigerator.

*When I made a second batch of this recipe. it worked better cubed before microwaving
**I exchanged this for Heath Bar bits and loved it

COUNTRY BOB’S SOUR CREAM MEATLOAF ala TAMY
3 pounds ground beef
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup + Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon white pepper

  • Mix all together.
  • Pour additional sauce over the top.
  • Bake 1 1/2 hours.
  • Pour off any excess moisture.
  • Let stand 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve.
  • Makes wonderful sandwiches with the leftovers.

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CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRIES

I wanted to make something special to take to my nieces house for Superbowl Sunday a few years ago so thought I’d try Chocolate Covered Cherries. I found the recipe in an old Taste of Home magazine. This recipe is sooooooooooooooooo simple, but messy! Have fun making them. They are quite rich though – be forewarned!

CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRIES
1 cup butter, melted
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 pounds confectioners sugar (about 8 cups)
3-10 ounce jars maraschino cherries (about 120 cherries), really well drained
1-2 pounds milk chocolate candy coating, chopped (I used almond bark)

  • Combine butter and milk until smooth.
  • Gradually add in confectioner’s sugar until a soft dough forms.
  • Roll into 1 inch balls and flatten into 2 inch circles.
  • Place a cherry in the center of each one.
  • Wrap sides around cherry until cherry is completely covered and roll into a smooth ball.
  • Melt chocolate until smooth and dip each ball into the chocolate.
  • Place on wax paper until cool and sprinkle with sprinkles.
  • Cool well.
  • The centers will liquefy over the 24-48 hours.
I made these for superbowl but aren’t they just perfect for Valentines?  Join me Saturday afternoon 2/12 for our annual Valentine’s Day “Weekend of Romance” Foods.

PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE DROPS

PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE DROPS

2/3 cup Hot water
10 ounces Land of Lakes cocoa mix
2 cups JIF creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 cups C&H powdered sugar, divided 2cups + 1 cup
2 cups crushed vanilla wafers
2 cups crushed ginger snaps
72 Hershey Kisses (I like the cherry cordials)

  • Whisk together the hot water and cocoa mix until smooth.
  • Add peanut butter and corn syrup. Blend until smooth.
  • Add 2 cups powdered sugar and stir until well blended.
  • Stir in cookie crumbs until well blended.
  • Spray wax paper with PURE (these will be sticky so don’t forget this step).
  • Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of dough onto the wax paper.
  • Place the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar in a shallow bowl.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a ball and dredge in powdered sugar.
  • Press your thumb into the center and fill with a Hershey’s kiss.  I used cherry cordial kisses.


CHOCOLATE BLISS BROWNIES

This is another recipe I originally found over at Two Peas & Their Pod. Ironically she found the recipe for these decadent Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lover’s Brownies from Jessica of Delish’s new cookbook, Seriously Delish which is sitting in my bookshelf. You mean to tell me this recipe was here the entire time and I didn’t know it? Shhh, don’t tell hubby, he’ll be mad I haven’t made them before now! He is a chocolate and peanut butter fanatic – “You got chocolate in my peanut butter, no you got peanut butter on my chocolate”… from this vintage 80’s Reese’s TV commercial.

This is a Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lover’s dream come true – fudgy brownies with a layer of peanut butter, a layer of chocolate ganache AND peanut butter cups on top! These brownies are too good to be true!  PURE BLISS! If you love chocolate and peanut butter, you will go CRAZY for these brownies! They are truly to die for – pure cloud floating heaven! BUT, even better is that you can change up this recipe just by changing which candy bars or combinations of candy bars you chop up for the top of the ganache. I’ve tried the original recipe with Reese’s as is and have tried it also with ROLOS, KIT KATS and MOUNDS.  They are ALL good and have a distinct flavor despite the rest of the recipe being exactly the same each time.

Do yourself a serious favor and make these brownies SOON! They are a new favorite here at our house and I know they will be for you too!

CHOCOLATE BLISS BROWNIES
Yield: Serves 10-12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

BROWNIES
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup chocolate chips

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Add the butter and chopped chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, 30-60 seconds. Once the chocolate is semi-melted, stir constantly to melt the rest. Set aside and allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter-chocolate mixture and granulated sugar.
  • Whisk in the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla extract, stirring until a smooth batter forms.
  • With a large spoon, mix in the dry ingredients JUST until combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Add the batter to the baking dish.
  • Bake until the brownies are set and no longer jiggly in the middle, 25-30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let them cool for 30 minutes.

FILLING
1 cup creamy peanut butter, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • Stir together the melted peanut butter, powdered sugar, and coconut oil until smooth. The warm peanut butter will melt the coconut oil as you stir until well blended.
  • Pour the filling over the brownies, using a spatula to spread it around the top.
  • Let cool completely and firm up, about 20 minutes.

TOPPING
8 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups chopped peanut butter cups

  • Add the chocolate to a large bowl.
  • Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat just until it bubbles around the edges. Remove the cream from the heat and pour it over the chocolate.
  • Let the mixture stand for 30 seconds, then stir until the chocolate melts and a smooth ganache comes together, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour it over the top of the brownies, then cover with the chopped peanut butter cups.
  • Let the brownies sit for 30 minutes to set up before cutting.

NOTE: The brownies will stay fresh for 2 to 3 days at room temperature if covered or kept in an airtight container. You can also keep them in the fridge, they will last a few days longer.

CHOCOLATE CARAMEL APPLE CHEESECAKE BARS

CHOCOLATE CARAMEL APPLE CHEESECAKE BARS

CRUST
2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 sticks butter, softened and cubed
FILLING
2-8 ounce bars cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 JUMBO eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
FRUIT LAYER
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
STREUSEL
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 stick butter, melted
TOPPING
12 KRAFT caramels, melted in double boiler
4 ounces milk chocolate chips, melted in double boiler

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a 9×13 pan with heavy duty foil.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar.  Cut in butter with pastry blender until crumbly.
  • Press firmly and evenly into pan.
  • Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until blended.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, on medium speed until smooth.
  • Add vanilla. Stir to combine.
  • Pour over crust.
  • In a small bowl combine the apples, 3 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Toss to coat.
  • Spoon evenly over cream cheese layer.
  • In a medium mixing bowl toss together the streusel ingredients until well blended.
  • Sprinkle over apple layer.
  • Bake 30 minutes or until filling is set.
  • Drizzle with caramel and chocolate.
  • Cool completely!
  • After cooling lift the foil out of the pan.  Fold foil out flat to cut the bars.
  • Store bars covered in the refrigerator.

COCONUT WALNUT BITES (MOUNDS BALLS)

The original recipe called for making the balls the size of walnuts, but we found they were too sweet to eat that much all at once so I began making them the size of cherries and we are much happier, PLUS as a bonus you get more chocolate! I took pictures of both sizes for you to see. These are like a cross between a See’s Cream center Easter egg, a Mound’s bar and finely ground walnuts.

COCONUT WALNUT BITES (MOUNDS BALLS)
makes 8 dozen cherry sized bites

1 pound sweet butter
2 pounds flaked coconut
2 pound bag powdered sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup walnuts, chopped fine
2 packages candy bark
toothpicks (optional)
sprinkles (optional)

  • Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add coconut, milk, walnuts, and vanilla, blending well.
  • Chill several hours until just about firm.
  • Using gloves sprayed with non-stick cooking spray roll into cherry sized balls.
  • Place on wax paper coated cookie sheet.
  • Freeze for an hour or so.

  • Using a double boiler, melt candy bark, one half package at a time.
  • Use toothpicks to dip each ball into the chocolate and then place on wax paper to dry and harden. If you are decorating, do it as you go. Candy Bark hardens relatively quickly.
  • Keep chilled until serving. They also freeze well if you want to make them in advance for the holidays.

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