Tuesday, December 01, 2015

#handcraftededibles ~ White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

In an effort to make all of our holiday gifts this year Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla invited some of her favorite foodie bloggers to share recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones, or things to serve at holiday parties. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule: here.

This week, we are letting out our inner chocolatiers shine, sharing all sorts of recipes with chocolate.

Here's what we're posting this week...
Next week - week 11 - check back for our recipes to inspire you as we let our mad cookie baking skillz show. Don't forget to check out our #handcraftededibles pinterest board.

This is the perfect holiday treat to make and share with your family, friends, coworkers, or a stranger on the street. Share the love! These are creamy little bites infused with just a touch of peppermint flavor, rich with white chocolate, and a touch of crunch and milk chocolate flavor in the cookie crust (I used my Vitamix to make very short work of the Oreo cookies for the crust - I don't know what I would do without that thing)!

I haven't made fudge in a very, very long time but with chocolate being our theme this week - what better excuse to experiment a little and test out a new fudge recipe. I very rarely do anything white chocolate - but I'm pretty sure my son is going to be extra happy that I did when I take him a couple pieces of this. He is a huge white chocolate fan. Apparently my sister is too which I didn't know. I'd bought 4 boxes of the Jell-O white chocolate pudding mix; I knew I needed some but couldn't remember how many plus I'd never seen white chocolate pudding before so I grabbed a handful. It turned out I only needed 1 box for this recipe but my sister was pretty interested in the remaining 4! Hopefully my two white chocolate lovers in the house will help make short work of this yummy, creamy fudge. I've spent so much time baking the past couple days for a few different groups I'm connected too - it's not even December yet and the Holiday Baking has been in full effect in my kitchen! Cake, cookies, fudge, and muffins to name a few. Oh, and Lobster Mac. But that's for another day. (Drool.)

White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge from Love Bakes Good Cakes

For the crust:
2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (about 28 Oreo cookies)
5 TBS butter, melted

For the filling:
3 cups white chocolate chips
2 TBS butter
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 box (3.3 oz.) Jell-O white chocolate flavored instant pudding mix
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow cream
1 tsp. peppermint extract

For the topping:
Assorted red and green sprinkles
2-3 crushed candy cane pieces

  1. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside (I lined only the bottom, but if you can smoothly line the sides as well it will make it easier to remove the entire pan of fudge at one time, which  makes cutting MUCH easier!).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and 5 TBS melted butter. Firmly press the cookie mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.
  3. Place the white chocolate chips, 2 TBS butter and the sweetened condensed milk in a large saucepan. Cook and stir regularly, over medium heat, until the white chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the pudding mix and continue to stir for an additional 1-2 minutes, thoroughly mixing the ingredients until smooth again. Next add in the marshmallow creme along with the peppermint extract. Stir until combined. 
  4. Remove from the heat and immediately pour the white chocolate mixture over the prepared chocolate crust. Quickly top with colored sprinkles and candy cane pieces. Gently press the topping ingredients into the warm fudge to make sure the sprinkles and candy pieces stick and set into the top of the fudge. Refrigerate a few hours, or until firm.
  5. Remove fudge from pan, using a sharp knife cut into small squares to serve. Store covered in the refrigerator. 
(**The original recipe suggests storing for up to a few days at room temperature, but I prefer a firmer texture for my fudge so keep mine in the fridge. You can also store some in the freezer to be enjoyed at a later date, just make sure you wrap it very well and keep as much air away from the stored pieces as possible.)

Monday, November 30, 2015

#MuffinMonday ~ Apple Cinnamon Roll Muffins

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

As usual my 2 year old felt the need to assist with the muffin photography - as soon as they were down on the bench she had to come poke and prod and ask to "hab some".

As you can see - the filling spilled over quite a bit during baking, I ended up doing my baking pretty late at night after a nearly 2 hour crying jag from my baby who is having a VERY hard time going to sleep the past week or so. She is refusing naps and screaming bloody murder at bedtime. We're not sure if the reason has to do with the fact that she's breaking two new molars through, she's upset because new people have been in and out of the house recently to visit, or if the fact that Kylie and I are constantly rotating in and out to be at the hospital too is finally getting to her. We just know any time that is intended to be for sleeping has become a major source of contention around here recently and we're all ready to go back to the days of moderate poor sleep habits on her part. She's also just figured out how to climb out of her crib... sigh. In any event - my point to all that was that I was finishing baking these at around 10:30pm and the gooey sticky yummy filling spilled over onto the bottom of the oven because I didn't have a tray under the pans - this resulted in the smoke alarm going off... right outside Lindsey's door... not 30 minutes after she'd FINALLY fallen asleep after all that crying. To say I had a mild panic attack would be an understatement. Oh, and then it did it again after I thought I'd cleared the smoke out (which wasn't that bad, but the alarm is very sensitive).

Here's your November 2015 Muffin Monday inspiration:

  • Apple Cinnamon Roll Muffins from Making Miracles
  • Bursting Raspberry Muffins from A Day in the Life on the Farm
  • Cinnamon Vanilla Muffins from Kelli's Kitchen
  • Corn Dog Mini Muffins from Karen's Kitchen Stories
  • Cream and Cereal Muffins from Farm Fresh Feasts
  • Mince Pie Muffins from Food Lust People Love

  • These are not exactly "muffins" in the tradition sense - so I hope our lovely hostess Stacy will forgive me. They really are a traditional apple cinnamon roll, stuffed into muffin tins to results in muffin shaped cinnamon rolls. They are a traditional yeast dough that needs to rises. The filling is wonderful, and the glaze topper makes them a perfect treat for breakfast, snack time, or dessert. My sister and I were trying to figure out what they should be called - we came up Apple Cinna-Molls Cinna Ruffins... We're still working on that part. :)

    Apple Cinnamon Roll Muffins from Sweet Little Details by Jen
    Makes 24 Muffin Rolls

    2 cups milk
    1 packet active dry yeast
    1/3 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons salt
    6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
    2 eggs
    1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

    1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup brown sugar
    3 tablespoons cinnamon
    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    1/4 tsp ground cloves
    2 cups finely chopped apples (I used a mix of green and red)

    1. In a small saucepan, heat milk to about 110 degrees.  Add yeast and sugar to bowl of a stand mixer and pour in the milk, stir to dissolve.  Add salt and two cups of flour and beat for two minutes.  Beat in eggs and butter.  Stir in the remaining flour half a cup at a time, beating well after each addition.  Switch to dough hook and knead about five minutes, until smooth and elastic.  Spray a large deep bowl with cooking spray, shape dough into a ball, put it in the bowl, turn once to coat and cover it with a clean towel.  Set in a warm place and allow to rise for about 40 minutes or until doubled in volume.
    2. Meanwhile make the filling by combining the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and apples in a small bowl.  Melt remaining butter in a small dish.
    3. Line muffin tins with 24 liners (or if you're not using liners, spray with cooking spray).  
    4. Dust counter top with flour and roll out dough into a long rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.  Brush with about half of the melted butter.  Top with the apple mixture, sprinkle evenly over the dough, leaving about an inch empty on all sides. Roll dough into a log beginning on the long side of the rectangle.  Trim off both ends to remove the uneven part that doesn't have any filling.  Slice the log into approximately 24 even pieces.  Place each piece in a cupcake liner, folding the ends together to make a “C” shape. The pieces should come to about the top of the liners.  Cover the muffin tins with a clean towel and set in a warm place to rise for another 40 minutes.
    5. Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Brush the tops of the muffins with remaining melted butter.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden.
    1 cup powdered sugar
    About 2 tablespoons milk
    2 Tablespoons butter, softened

    1. In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar and milk and butter until combined.  Start with one tablespoon of milk and add more as necessary until you have a glaze that is thick but runs easily off the spoon.  Drizzle over warm muffins and serve.  
    2. Store in an airtight container and reheat leftover cupcakes in the microwave for about 20 seconds before serving (if desired).

    #SRCHolidayTreats ~ Almond Joy Fudgies

    Welcome to the special Holiday Treats edition of the Secret Recipe Club! I received Grandma Loy's Kitchen blog for this reveal day and was excited to get to know a new-to-me blogger outside of my own fantastic Group D. I didn't go far at all upon reaching the recipe index though. The very FIRST item on the list was it for me. Almond Joy Fudgies. Um... yes please! This recipe was shared by Grandma Loy for Christmas 2011 as part of a 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies and Sweets blog hop. I am so glad she picked this one to share - and so glad it was right there at the top calling out to me!

    I love Almond Joy candy bars - not something I eat more than a few times a year (generally at Halloween when I pick a few out of my kid's "loot"), but that combination of chewy coconut, crunchy almond, and sweet chocolate never fails to hit the spot for me. My two year old kitchen assistant was very curious about these tasty smelling treats!

    These soft, chocolaty fudgy brownies are loaded with a thick core of sweet almond kissed coconut goodness. They are rich and decadent and will satisfy any sweet tooth in no time at all.

    There are a TON of amazing holiday worthy treats linked in the round up below - take a peak, save a few recipes and definitely get baking! Happy Holidays!

    Almond Joy Fudgies from Grandma Loy's Kitchen

    1 1/4 cup butter or margarine
    3/4 cup cocoa
    2 cup sugar
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp vanilla
    3 eggs
    1 cup milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips

    2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (can make your own)
    2 1/2 cup flaked coconut
    1 tsp almond extract
    1/2 cup toasted, sliced almonds

    1. Melt butter and cocoa together in a saucepan over low heat or in a glass bowl in the microwave.  Remove from heat.  Add sugar, eggs, flour, salt, and vanilla.  Mix well.  
    2. Spread half of chocolate mixture in a well-greased 9x13-inch pan.  
    3. Prepare Filling and spoon evenly over the chocolate batter.  Sprinkle sliced almonds evenly over Filling.  Spread remaining chocolate batter evenly over Filling.  
    4. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes.  
    5. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips.  
    6. Place back into oven for 1-2 minutes until chocolate chips soften and begin to melt.  Spread chocolate over the top of the brownies.  Allow to cool completely.  Cut into 36 bars.
    1. Filling:   In mixing bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, coconut, and almond extract.  Mix well.

    Tuesday, November 24, 2015

    #handcraftededibles ~ Honey Roasted Almonds

    In an effort to make all of my holiday gifts this year, we are sharing recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones, or things to serve at holiday parties. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule: here.

    This week, we are "going nuts" and sharing all sorts of recipes with nuts. Think spiced nuts or nutty fruit cake or whatever floats your nutty boat!

    These are sweet, crunchy treats with a cinnamon kissed finish. I love the dusting of cinnamon sugar that goes on after they roast for a little extra touch of flavor and texture. These would be the perfect holiday gift, make a large batch, cool, and package up in mason jars with homemade labels and ribbon. Definitely a winner!

    These would also be the perfect appetizers or munchies to have on hand at any of your upcoming holiday get togethers - or if you have any long road trips coming up for holiday travel, take a tupperware or ziploc of these perfect car snacks!

    Next week - week 10 - check back for our recipes to inspire you as we let our confectioner’s skills shine. Think truffles, barks, anything and everything with chocolate. Don't forget to check out our #handcraftededibles pinterest board.

    Here's what we're posting this week...

    Honey Roasted Almonds adapted from Lifestyle.Beauty.Fashion

    1 - 2 cups whole raw almonds

    Honey Sauce:
    1 TBS honey
    1 TBS water
    1 tsp oil
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/2 tsp salt

    1/2 tsp cinnamon

    2 TBS brown sugar
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp cinnamon


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Combine honey sauce ingredients in a bowl, add almonds (original recipe calls for 1 cup, but I used closer to 2 since I had a lot of sauce) and toss until coated.
    3. Line a baking tray with a sil pat and spread coated almonds on the tray.
    4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, stir and continue baking another 5 - 10 minutes or until golden and roasted / crisp.
    5. Transfer roasted almonds to a bowl and toss with topping ingredients. Spread out on a clean surface to dry.
    6. Serve cooled nuts immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to a week.

    Monday, November 23, 2015

    #SecretRecipeClub ~ Spiced Sugared Nuts

    Welcome to the November, Group D, reveal day for Secret Recipe Club! I hope you will take a moment to visit the Secret Recipe Club if you've never heard of it before - it is a wonderful group of food bloggers who are given a secret assignment of another member's blog each month and our goal is to pick ANYTHING from their blog to make and post about on our designated reveal day.

    I missed out on the month of October's SRC reveal due to some health issues my son is going through right now (if you haven't already heard, or want to see how he's doing you can find lots of updates on the facebook page I started for him: https://www.facebook.com/BlueAndRedForKent). Kent actually turns 17 years old today and will be spending this birthday in the hospital. I promised him an Oreo cake and some pizza from Stonecreek Pizza (his favorite local pizza place)! Happy birthday to my turkey baby.

    This month I was lucky enough to get the chance to visit http://www.foodbabylife.com/ for my assigned blog. How do I pick between Katharine Hepburn Brownies, Chicken Noodle Soup, Best Ever Custard, Raisin Swirl Bread, Caramel Bars, Peanut Sesame Noodles, Roasted Pumpkin and Apple Soup, Easy Pumpkin Soup, Pizza Pasta, Chicken Pie, Peanut Butter Ice Cream, or a Classic Custard Tart...! But, then I was thinking about my Cheese Tray I was working on last week and while I was browsing Susan's recipe index I stumbled over spiced sugared nuts. Bingo! I had been thinking about making a batch of homemade candied nuts to go on my cheese tray, and these - with a touch of spice - sounded just perfect to me.

    The first night I made these I had a hard time stopping myself from eating the whole tray. It's a good thing I did stop, or I might have found myself very ill on the floor not long after. They are very tasty and easy to munch on - perfect to have in a bowl on the counter next to drinks, on a cheese tray, or anywhere else you want to place them for a lovely Holiday (or anytime!) appetizer.

    Spiced Sugared Nuts from Food.Baby.Life

    3/4 cup icing sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cardamom
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    400 grams assorted, unsalted mixed nuts
    1 eggwhite, lightly whisked

    1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350F). Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Place the nuts and eggwhite in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the spice mixture to the nut mixture and mix well.
    2. Line a large baking tray with a sil pat. Spread the nut mixture out in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and cool completely on the tray. Break up any large clusters. 
    3. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for a few days.

    Friday, November 20, 2015

    Best Ever Banana Bread

    For the month of November I was lucky enough to get the chance to do some recipe testing for I Can't Believe It's Not Butter - and am so glad I did! If you check my recipe index, you will find no shortage of banana bread recipes. But like most good things, I believe in more is better! I love banana bread, but love trying new recipes to see if one is better than my last favorite.

    The ICBINB spread works well in this recipe - it blends easily into the batter. I let mine sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before making the recipe and it just whipped right into the wet mixture in no time. I also didn't pre-mash my bananas, but let the Kitchen Aid mix all the wet ingredients together into a banana mush at one time.

    This recipe did not disappoint, and the timing was perfect. My sister and I are both still living in and out of the hospital with Kent (see here if you didn't catch the news as to why), and because of that the food we buy and keep at home is not getting eaten the same way it normally would. We go through a fair amount of bananas in a normal week, mainly for the fruit / veggie smoothies we make for Lindsey and Kent, and because Lindsey likes them for breakfast or snack, Kent has one every morning in his smoothies, and I like them for breakfast or snack sometimes too. However - with Kent in the hospital and us not home as often we're not going through bananas at our normal rate and so there were quite a few VERY ripe bananas sitting on their hanger looking forlorn.

    Thanks to this recipe, three of them were made very good use of, and I was able to bring a couple thick slices with me to the hospital for Kent to enjoy as well! Kent had surgery yesterday afternoon to have his skull defect replaced (from when they did the initial hemi-craniectomy to relieve pressure from all the swelling). He's been asking for homemade food, and banana bread is one of his favorites. So, everything aligned for this delicious bread to make an appearance in my kitchen.

    I love how moist and tender this bread came out. It is packed full of tender bites of banana, and holds together very well. I like the texture a lot. I really like banana nut muffins, and happened to have a canister of "nut topping" we'd bought for sundaes a little while ago - so I decided to toss a good sprinkling of the chopped peanuts atop the batter before baking and it adds a nice texture contrast and a touch of extra flavor. I did find the flavor a little on the mild side, so I wouldn't be opposed to a touch more salt and cinnamon next time, just to play around with the flavor profile a little.

    My fantastic kitchen assistant had to come see what all the fuss was about as soon as she realized I was taking pictures of something food related. Lindsey wasn't a huge fan of the bread, but ate a few bites of it. Who knows what her opinion will be the next day she tries it - since her mind changes about every 5 seconds when it comes to food... at least so it seems!

    Best Ever Banana Bread from I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!(R) on AllRecipes

    3 large ripe bananas, mashed
    1 cup I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!(R) Spread
    3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    optional: 1/4 cup chopped nuts

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with additional I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!(R) Spread; set aside.
    2. Combine mashed banana, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!(R) Spread, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl with wooden spoon. Stir in remaining ingredients until blended. Spoon into prepared pan. (If desired sprinkle batter with chopped nuts.)
    3. Bake 60-70 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes on wire rack; remove from pan and cool completely. 
    I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com.

    Products received from sponsors are only used for experienced-based reviews on Making Miracles. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Rebekah.

    Thursday, November 19, 2015

    #BundtBakers ~ Peppermint Hot Chocolate Bundt Cake

    #BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

    Our hostess this month is Tara from Noshing with the Nolands who selected Hot Chocolate for our theme; and what a perfect theme! The days are getting cooler and warm drinks are often on my mind for a morning pick me up or an afternoon moment of relaxation... not that I get very may of those, but warm drinks sure help some days!

    Check out all the beautiful hot chocolate themed cakes for today's reveal at all the links below:

    This cake was so much fun - to make and to eat! I LOVED the pretty pink drizzle on the dark chocolate cake. It added a beautiful festive touch of color, and would be extra gorgeous sprinkled with crushed peppermints and mini-marshmallows. I didn't have either, so mine was kept pretty plain. I thought about doing a 2-tone drizzle half white and half pink which is another option.

    My 2-year old had a great time "helping" when it was time to frost the cake. She kept reaching up and trying to put her finger in the ribbon of glaze as it came off the spatula.

    She then proceeded to decorate herself with the pink frosting. She is so silly - and I think she's pretty dang adorable too. :)

    The cake is wonderful. The dark chocolate base pairs very nicely with the peppermint flavoring, and I love the addition of the peppermint hot chocolate packets. The texture is very moist and a little crumbly, and the addition of the chocolate chips gives you a little extra texture and rich bites to discover as you enjoy the cake. This one is definitely a keeper, and would be a delicious addition to any holiday dessert table! And don't forget to serve with some delicious, creamy hot chocolate. :)

    Peppermint Hot Chocolate Bundt Cake inspired by Land O Lakes

    1 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
    1 cup heavy whipping cream
    1 (15.25-ounce) package dark chocolate cake mix
    2 packets dry peppermint hot chocolate mix (I used Archer Farms brand)
    4 eggs
    1 teaspoon peppermint extract
    8 ounces milk chocolate chips

    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
    2 to 3 TBS heavy whipping cream
    Optional: few drops red food coloring
    Optional: crushed peppermint candies


    1. Heat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 12-cup Bundt pan (I used a 9-cup and it still fit fine) with cooking spray such as Pam (I used a lot). 
    2. Combine all cake ingredients except chocolate chips in bowl. Beat at low speed 30 seconds. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until well combined and then stir in chocolate chips by hand. 
    3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes and then carefully remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire cooling rack. 
    4. Combine powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract and enough whipping cream for desired glazing consistency in bowl. Beat with a whisk until well combined and creamy. Add a few drops of red food coloring for a peppermint pink color if desired. Drizzle over cake and top with crushed peppermint candies for a festive touch (peppermint candies will get soft after sitting in the glaze, so serve immediately or top with candies right before serving if you prefer them to remain crunchy).