Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Peanut Butter and Pretzel Truffles (12 Weeks of Christmas Treats - Week 5)

Is it just me or does anybody else just love the sweet and salty combination in desserts? And these truffles are the perfect solution to my sweet and salty dessert craving. Plus it has peanut butter and chocolate and what girl can resist that combo? :) Perfect for your holiday trays or gifts for your neighbors and friends. I love giving homemade gifts to the people in our lives, do you?

Peanut Butter and Pretzel Truffles
Recipe Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

  • 1 1/4 cup crushed pretzels
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 cup of Wilton chocolate candy melts or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (I used a hi-ratio shortening because that's what I had on hand)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter, melted
  • In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, and salt. Stir until all ingredients are blended well. 
  • Add the pretzel pieces to the the peanut butter mixture and mix until well blended.
  • Slowly add powdered sugar to peanut butter mixture and mix well.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment or waxed paper.
  • Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the peanut butter mixture and then roll into balls. 
  • Place peanut butter and pretzel balls into the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until the truffles are firm.
  • When the truffles are firm, prepare the chocolate for dipping. Melt the chocolate and vegetable shortening at 30 second intervals until completely melted. Depending on the power of your microwave, you may want to melt the chocolate at half-power so you don't burn it.
  • Working one at a time, dip the truffles into the melted chocolate and use a fork to roll the truffle around to make sure the truffle is completely covered.
  • Let any excess chocolate run off the truffle (I like to use a plastic fork and gently tap it on the side of my bowl to get the excess chocolate off) and then transfer the truffle to the parchment or waxed paper.
  • Repeat with all the truffles.
  • Return the truffles to the refrigerator to chill for another 30 minutes to help the truffles finish setting up.
  • Melt the extra peanut butter in a pastry or ziploc bag and pipe designs on top of the truffles. Top the truffles with a small piece of pretzel or some pretzel crumbs.
  • Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 

It's that time again! Let's see what the other bloggers have baked up for us this week. Check out Brenda @ Meal Planning Magic to see how to join the party!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pie Bites (12 Weeks of Christmas Treats- Week 4)

Ok, I have to admit something to y'all. These pie bites are ah-mazing. And so super easy that I seriously dread telling you the recipe because it is so simple. But I'm a giving girl and you'll thank me later for this awesome recipe, I just know you will.

Chocolate Pudding Pie Bites
Recipe from Food Pusher via Pinterest

  • Refrigerated Pie Crust
  • Instant or Ready to Cook Chocolate Pudding
  • Whipped Cream in a Can

  • Roll out refrigerated pie crust to 1/8" thick and cut into desired shapes (I used a scalloped square cookie cutter).
  • Poke holes into the crust so that the pie crust doesn't bubble over.
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes until golden brown.
  • Make the pudding following the directions on the box and let chill for at least 2 -3 hours.
  • Pipe the pudding onto the crust with a piping or ziploc bag.
  • Add a dollop of whipped cream to the top of the pudding.
  • Add some sprinkles to the top for a bit of color. :)
  • Serve immediately. 
  • If you need to make these ahead of time, wait on the whipped cream (trust me, on this one! :) ) And then put the whipped cream on top just before serving.
Seriously, that is it! And your friends and family will thank you. Enjoy!

Let's see what the other bloggers are baking up this week. Drop by Brenda's @ Meal Planning Magic to find out how to join in on all the fun.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chocolate Amaretto Whoopie Pies (12 Weeks of Christmas Treats)

As we continue our journey with holiday treats, my contribution is a bit different this week. Normally, I would make whoopie pies during summer time but these are so good that I broke my unwritten rule. They would be so pretty drizzled with melted red and green melted chocolate.

I like the contrast of white on dark on these whoopie pies. You could also add some sprinkles on the chocolate before they harden and make it festive that way as well.

One thing I will mention is that these are so good just out of the fridge. I would definitely recommend keeping them in the fridge (if they last more than a few hours!)

Chocolate and Amaretto Whoopie Pies
Recipe Adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp amaretto liquor or extract (I used extract)

Directions for the Cookies:
  • In a medium bowl, sift the flour, salt, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder together.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, roughly about 3-4 minutes. 
  • Add the eggs and beat until just combined. 
  • Mix in the buttermilk and amaretto extract (the batter will look a bit curdled at this point but it will come together in the next step). 
  • With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, beating until just combined. Make sure not to over mix.
  • Chill the dough for 30 minutes. 
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 

 After dough is chilled...
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. 
  • Using a small cookie scoop, portion the batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. (smooth down any rough edges or peaks sticking up with a wet fingertip.)
  • Bake (one sheet at a time) for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies spring back when gently pressed. 
  • Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool for a few minutes then remove the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely. 
  • Repeat with all of the dough, alternating baking sheets.

Marshmallow Creme Frosting
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 7 oz jar of marshmallow fluff
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla extract
  •  Mix all ingredients together with either a hand mixer or stand mixer until smooth and light and fluffy.
Assembling tips:
  • Match the cookies based on size.
  • Transfer the filling to a piping or ziploc bag and pipe a small amount on the flat side of a cookie.
  • Melt some white chocolate in a piping or ziploc bag and drizzle over completed whoopie pies and let set for a few minutes before eating.

Let's see what the other bloggers have on tap this week! Check out Brenda @ meal Planning Magic for details about joining us!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies (12 Weeks of Christmas Treats)

It's another week of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats! I loved seeing all the goodies everyone baked up last week. It's so much fun getting ideas for holiday treats. Each year, we throw a holiday party and I love being able to have new desserts for everyone to try. :)

Check out all the links at the bottom and go make some new bloggy friends! Thanks again to Brenda @ Meal Planning Magic for hosting us this year. :)

Here is my contribution to this week's list of goodies: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies with Almonds. I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate together and these cookies do not disappoint. They taste like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cookie with a little bit of crunch from the almonds. Yum! Comfort cookies for sure.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Almonds
Recipe from Fearless Homemaker (adapted slightly)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1 egg 
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour 
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips 
  • 1/2 cup almonds, diced
  • Cream the butter and sugars together using a hand held mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. 
  • Slowly mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla (in that order). 
  • Gently add in the baking soda, flour, and salt, making sure not to overmix.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips and almonds. 
  • Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. 
  • After chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Drop chilled dough by teaspoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes. 
  • Cookies might not look completely done in the middle but will set up as they cool. 
  • Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes and then enjoy! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

New Look

A couple of new changes to the blog are going on this week. I am excited about the new design, the cupcake header is a picture of my favorite cupcake design. The ruffles are so pretty. :) I'm working on changing the comment section as well. I want to be able to thread comments and have a bit of a cleaner look to the comment section. Plus having the ability to reply to each comment has always been on my wish list.Hopefully, that will be up and running soon. Hope you enjoy the changes!

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