Monday, December 30, 2013

Chocolate Covered Taquitos with Cool Whip Sour Cream

The new year is right around the corner along with the resolutions that come with it — exercising more, eating healthy, and the like. That means you only have a few more hours to cram as many unhealthy things into your body as possible. It’s a noble quest, and one that I’d like to help you achieve, so I’ve put together a fabulously fast and fattening New Year’s Eve snack that will help you finish 2013 strong: chocolate covered taquitos. Oh, and for dipping: a fabulous concoction of Cool Whip and sour cream.

Chocolate Covered Taquitos with Cool Whip Sour Cream

For all the meaty details, visit Foodbeast.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dark and Stormy Truffles

I like sweet things. Did you know that about me? And one of my joys in life is to take non-desserts and turn them into desserts. Speaking of... I have a fab chocolate-covered appetizer coming your way soon. In the meantime, I thought I'd take one of my favorite drinks and turn it into a sweet treat. Have you ever had a Dark and Stormy? Ginger beer, rum (Kraken preferably), and lime. Yum-mo! Well I've turned this spicy concoction into booze-infused truffles. A perfect treat to take to a New Year's Eve party, by the way.  


Dark and Stormy Truffles
(Adapted from Desserts 4 Today)
Ingredients
  • 6oz. white chocolate 
  • 6T butter
  • 7oz. Ginger Thins (Anna's)
  • 3T KrakenTM Black Spiced Rum
  • 1T Rose's sweetened lime juice
Directions
  1. Process 7 ounces ginger thins in a food processor until crumbs. (Should make about 2 cups).
  2. Heat white chocolate and butter together in microwave until just melted.
  3. Stir rum and lime juice into the chocolate/butter mixture.
  4. Mix 1 ½ cups of processed ginger thins into the chocolate mixture and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes, stirring twice.
  5. Scoop truffle goop into 2t-sized balls and roll each ball in the remaining crushed ginger thins until fully coated.
  6. I'll leave it to your discretion whether you want to put the truffles in the fridge to "set" and for how long. Definitely keep them there for storage, but I think they were best when they were a little soft.
The verdict? Well, I had two people tell me they were the best things I'd ever made. While I wouldn't go that far, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed them. I could taste the ginger and rum without one over powering the other and the bit of lime juice, while not super detectable, gives the truffle a little tangy something.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Snickers and Cheez Doodle Snickerdoodles

Christmas is around the corner, which means it’s cookie exchange season! I think it’s a great concept, but I know it’s a hassle coming up with the perfect recipe, finding the time to actually bake the cookies, and worrying that everyone is going to make the same thing. So I’ve come up with a fast, easy, and fun recipe that I can pretty much guarantee no one else will have (unless they read Foodbeast too). Snickers and Cheez Doodles Snickerdoodles—it’s your basic Snickerdoodle stuffed with Snickers, rolled in Cheez Doodle dust, and baked with love.

Snickers and Cheez Doodle Snickerdoodles 

For the full recipe, which has a good chance of getting you crowned Queen (or King) of the Cookie Exchange, visit Foodbeast

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies with Gingerbread Oreos

Seasonally flavored treats are out in full force right now. In particular, I've been intrigued by all things gingerbread: gingerbread Twix (the gingerbread flavor is in the caramel!), gingerbread M&Ms, and gingerbread Oreos. So I thought I'd take inspiration from them when baking my cookies for this year's Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I decided to use the Oreos as I've used them in cookie recipes before, and the gingerbread ones were quite yummy. 


Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies with Gingerbread Oreosadapted from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book(makes about forty 1 oz. cookies)

Ingredients
  • 15 oz. bread flour
  • 5.25 oz. dark brown sugar
  • 3/4t baking soda
  • 1T cinnamon
  • 1T ground ginger
  • 1/2t ground cloves
  • 1/2t salt
  • 12T (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4c light molasses
  • 2T milk
  • 5 oz. Gingerbread Oreos, chopped
  • sugar for rolling
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheet with parchment.
  2. Process the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt together in a food processor until combined, about 10 seconds. Add the butter and process until the mixture is very fine and sandy, about 15 seconds. 
  3. With the machine running, add the molasses and milk in a steady stream through the feed tube and continue to process until the dough comes together, about 10 seconds.
  4. Transfer dough to a large bowl and stir in chopped gingerbread Oreos.
  5. Roll into 1 oz. balls and place in fridge for 20 minutes to chill.
  6. Roll in sugar and place on cookie sheet, then press down each cookie with the bottom of a glass. 
  7. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time keeping the other cookies in the fridge, 8-11 minutes. (Feel free to underbake these as there are no eggs that need to be cooked to a certain temp. You definitely don't want to overbake them, as that could dry them out.)
  8. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool until you can't wait any longer.
This makes a lot (40 cookies), and they come together very quickly, so I think it makes an ideal recipe for a cookie swap. I would say though, that if you want to maximize the crunchiness of the Oreos, the cookies should be eaten sooner rather than later. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Great Cookie Giveaway Winner

Hot dog! We have a wiener. Fancy-dancy random.org hath declared that the winner of the Great Cookie Giveaway is lucky number 4!



This means you...



Congratulations! Please send your mailing address to thecerealbaker@gmail.com by Monday, December 9th to claim your cookies.

For everyone who's interested, the recipe for the cookies I'll be baking Annie will be posted on Wednesday, December 11th. Until then, here's a picture of the adorbs crocheted cookies she will be getting from Squirrel Picnic



Thanks to everyone who participated! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Great Cookie Giveaway!

The holiday season is up and running and that means Christmas carols, Christmas sweaters, and lots and lots of Christmas cookies. This year I am teaming up with my extremely talented friend Jennifer Olivarez of the adorable Squirrel Picnic to bring you a super fun cookie contest.

Simply answer the following question in the comments below for your chance to win a half-dozen real cookies from me (flavor yet to be decided, but decidedly holiday-based) AND a half-dozen crochet chocolate chip cookies lovingly made by Jennifer. A random number generator will choose the winner.* I'll announce the lucky guy or gal at noon MST on Friday, December 6. (Hey, that's my birthday!)

Here's the question, and it's a toughie:

What is your favorite kind of cookie? 

(Mine are Lofthouse cookies. Yes, they are store bought. And yes, they are amazing.)

Looking forward to your comments and to sending you some tasty and super cute holiday treats!

*Contest limited to US residents only.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Lasagna

When it comes to Thanksgiving, certain things need to be on the table… except when it comes to dessert. I’m not a huge fan of traditional pies (due to the lack of frosting), so this year I took a classic pumpkin pie and threw it together with something I am a fan of: Lasagna.

So for those of wanting to bring a twist to your traditional Thanksgiving feast, try out this Pumpkin Pie Lasagna made with actual pasta noodles. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Lasagna

For the full, fun, and extremely filling recipe, visit Foodbeast!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Reese's Peanut Butter Cookie Stuffed Reese's Cupcakes

In conjunction with Hershey’s, Betty Crocker has come out with all kinds of fun new cupcake mixes, frostings, and cookie mixes. I had plans to make something with their Cookies’n’Crème frosting… but I ate it instead. Judge me. I don’t care. It was that good. So I thought I better try my hand at something with frosting that wasn’t already made. Reese’s Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cupcake Mix seemed to fit the bill, and do you know what I discovered right next to them—Reese’s Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix! Say what? So I figured I’d put the two together to create Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookie Stuffed Reese’s Cupcakes. Yes, please!
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookie Stuffed Reese’s Cupcakes

Ingredients

Cookies
  • 1 box Reese’s Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix
  • 3T butter, softened
  • 2T water
Cupcakes
  • 1 box Reese’s Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cupcake Mix
  • 2/3c water
  • 1/3c oil
  • 2 eggs
Frosting
  • 1 powdered frosting packet (included in cupcake mix)
  • 2T butter
  • 1/2c powdered sugar
  • 3-4T milk
  • 1/3c peanut butter
  • SPRINKLES!
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In medium bowl, stir together cookie mix, butter and water until soft dough forms.
  3. Using your 2t cookie scoop, form 12 cookies and set aside. (There will be dough leftover, feel free to make the cookies as direction or toss it). 
  4. With your handy-dandy Kitchen Aid Mixer, combine cupcake mix, water, oil, and eggs—on low for 30 seconds, and then on medium for about 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. Drop 1.5T of batter into each muffin cup, press a cookie into each, and then top with 2t of batter. (If there is any batter left over, feel free to make more cupcakes in another tin.
  6. Bake for 21 to 26 minutes or until cupcake springs back when lightly pressed.
  7. Meanwhile, clean and ready your electric mixer, and in that, combine all the ingredients for the frosting. Beat on low until all ingredients are combined and then medium-high until frosting is light and fluffy, about two minutes.
  8. Cool cupcakes completely and frost and decorate cupcakes as you see fit.
The frosting directions on the back of the box only call for 2T butter and 4t milk, but that's just if you want to fill the cupcakes. And the cupcakes already full of cookie, so I beefed up the frosting recipe to allow for complete and satisfactory coverage of all cupcake tops.

To be honest, the cookies themselves tasted terrible. TERRIBLE! I don't know what it was about them (Kyle said they were fine), but I didn't like them one bit. Someone else please try them apart from the cupcake and let me know if I'm just crazy.

HOWEVER, that being said, when I put the cookie inside the cupcake, it was on point! Seriously! I don't know what made the cookies not suck once in the cupcake, but I don't look a gift horse in the mouth, so I'll take it. And they were truly good, so I suggest you bake it!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monster Cereal Marshmallow Treats

You’re probably familiar with the big three in monster cereals—Count Chocula, Boo Berry, and Franken Berry—but did you know that there were originally five in total? Luckily, General Mills decided to bring the final two back from the grave this year (albeit slightly modified): Fruit Brute and Fruit Yummy Mummy, my personal favorite.

You have no idea how jazzed I was to hear this! Starting in mid-September, I visited my local Target (the only place where you can purchase all of them) multiple times each week for no other reason than to get my hands on them. However, once I did, I had to figure out which to eat first. You should know my motto by now: WHY CHOOSE? So I created something that would allow me (and you) to enjoy all five monster cereals at once: Monster Cereal Marshmallow Treats.
Monster Cereal Marshmallow Treats

For the full, scary-good recipe, visit FoodBeast.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin Creme Pie with a Spice Cake Crust

I got to take another trip to Duncan Hines! It was a fabulous experience, yet again. Caught up with the original ladies (too much fun!), met some more lovely bakers, learned a lot, and came home with a ton of ideas! One of the tricks Chef Joe taught us this time was turning a cake mix into a pie crust. Seemed easy enough, so I thought I'd give it a go. I was trying to figure out what I'd want to put into my pie crusts (besides my face), when I remembered the frosting/cool whip filling I've made for other pies. Duncan Hines totally has cupcake mixes with frosting included—perfect for not only the crust but the filling as well! Awesome!

Pumpkin Creme Pie with a Spice Cake Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 box Pumpkin Spice Decadent Cupcake Mix (cake mix and frosting mix)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 stick butter
  • 16 ounces non-dairy whipped topping, thawed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and ready two 9-inch pie plates.
  2. Mix together spice cake mix, egg yolk, egg, and softened tablespoon of butter with hands until dough forms.
  3. Split dough in half and roll out each half to fit a 9-inch pie plate.
  4. Bake both crusts at 350 for 15 to 24 minutes until nicely browned. Let crusts cool completely. (You may have to press down some parts that puff up during baking.)
  5. Meanwhile make frosting as directed, then with an electric mixer, beat in 10 ounces non-dairy whipped topping on medium until smooth.
  6. Pour half of the mixture into each pie crust and smooth out tops.
  7. Chill in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours and then top with remaining whipped topping.

Turned out pretty amazing, if I do say so myself, and I do. And aren't you impressed with the piping job? Before this DH trip, I didn't even want to make the effort, but they made it seem so effortless. Yes, I know it's just a couple of circles, but you've seen some of my other stuff (hot mess, right?).

Moving on... I wasn't sure if it was going to be pumpkin-y enough with me adding all of the Cool Whip, but it definitely was—no additional spices needed. Also, make sure the butter for the frosting is super soft; my filling was a little clumpy. But it still tasted great, so I didn't much mind. Going to try this with other DH cupcake mixes to see how it goes. I think the Red Velvet is going to be amaze-balls.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

SpaghettiOs Cupcakes with Velveeta Frosting and Goldfish Sprinkles

During a chat with one of my fabulous coworkers the other day, SpaghettiOs were mentioned, and I thought, “I LOVED SpaghettiOs. And you know what else I love… cake.” Yup, my mind always goes to cake. I’ve made a tomato soup cake before, so I figured I could easily use a can of SpaghettiOs instead. As for the frosting, I used a basic Cream Cheese Frosting recipe from the Cake Mix Doctor and used Velveeta instead of cream cheese, and man, was it on point.


SpaghettiOs Cupcakes with Velveeta Frosting  & Goldfish Sprinkles

Wanna know how it's done? Head to Foodbeast for all the details.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Triple Cookies'n'Creme Marshmallow Treats

When I first saw General Mills Hershey's Cookies'n'Creme cereal, I was skeptical. Cookies'n'creme is a classic flavor, so I really wanted them to get it right. Guess what. They. So. Did. Awesomely accurate is how I would describe every bite. But what's better than cookies'n'creme? Three times the cookies'n'creme, that's what. And that's exactly what you'll get from these Triple Cookies'n'Cream Marshmallow Treats.

Triple Cookies'n'Cream Marshmallow Treats

Ingredients

  • 1 box General Mills Hershey's Cookies'n'Creme cereal
  • 1 bag mini marshmallows
  • 3T butter
  • 1c Oreos, chopped (a generous cup)
  • 1 bag (8oz) Hershey's Drops Cookies'n'Creme, chopped

Directions

  1. Grease a 9x13 pan with shortening.
  2. Mix together cereal, Oreos, and candy in a very large bowl.
  3. Melt together marshmallows and butter over medium heat in a big pot on the stove.
  4. Stir cereal mixture into the marshmallows until the goo is all evenly distributed onto the cereal.
  5. Spread the mixture into the greased pan and smash it all evenly in there.
  6. Let cool, and cut into however many pieces you see fit. (I usually try to get a minimum of 24 pieces out of one batch).

If you are a fan of cookies'n'creme (um, who isn't?), this, my friend, is for you. Crunchy, gooey, chocolaty, creamy—a whole bunch of awesomeness in one convenient bar. Don't know for how much longer this cereal will be available, so don't miss out!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Red Velvet Cake Quesadillas

I love this whole take one thing and make it into something else trend: cronuts, crouton cones, ramen burgers, ice cream bread. It’s both playful and more importantly, tasty. So I thought I’d try my hand at a transformation of my own with one of my favorite desserts: cake. And here’s what I wound up with: Red Velvet Cake Quesadillas. It’s like a quesadilla with a “tortilla” made with cake mix and the filling replaced with frosting. Drool.

Red Velvet Cake Quesadillas
For the complete recipe, visit Foodbeast.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Creamy Fruit and Nut Cinnamon Roll Cups (A Pillsbury Bake-off Contest Contender)

Guess what! I submitted a couple of recipes to the 46th Pillsbury Bake-off Contest and my Creamy Fruit and Nut Cinnamon Roll Cups made it through to the voting round. (If you’d like to vote for me, which I would very much appreciate, you can do so here by Sept 26th).

I had to keep this info under my hat for a couple of weeks, which was extremely difficult to do, but I’m super excited to be sharing it with you now. The recipe is below if you would like to try it out for yourself. I was inspired by crescent wrapped brie. I think that stuff is tasty, and I don’t particularly like to share, so I wanted to find a way to individualize it.

(Pillsbury took the picture. Much better than I could do!)
Creamy Fruit and Nut Cinnamon Roll Cups

Ingredients
  • 1/4c Smucker's® Apricot Preserves
  • 2T golden raisins
  • 2T sweetened dried cranberries
  • 2T finely chopped pecans
  • 1/8t ground nutmeg
  • 1 can Pillsbury® refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
  • 4oz (half of 8-oz package) cream cheese, cut in 8 cubes

Directions
  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8 regular-size muffin cups with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. In medium bowl, mix preserves, golden raisins, dried cranberries, pecans and nutmeg until well blended.
  2. Separate dough into 8 rolls; reserve icing. Place 1 roll, cinnamon side up, in each muffin cup; firmly press dough in bottom and up side of each cup. Spoon apricot mixture into each cup. Top each with cream cheese cube; press in lightly.
  3. Bake 13 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove rolls from pan.
  4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave icing on High 10 seconds. Drizzle over warm rolls.

They are quick, yummy, and perfect for breakfast, dessert, or even an appetizer. (You can switch the cream cheese up to a different kind of soft cheese like brie too, if you feel so inclined).


The top 33 entrants get to move on to the next round, which is a 100-person bake-off in Las Vegas. I would love to be able to participate in the bake-off (and ultimately win the contest), so I would greatly appreciate it if you would head on over to bakeoff.com and vote. Thanks! Thanks! Thanks! I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Gluten-free Pie Holes: Pie's Answer to the Cronut


Despite the fact that I will never give up gluten (and I initially considered adding something gluten-filled to this recipe), gluten-free eaters need love too. So I bring you pie’s GF offering: deep-fried pie holes, because you only ever want the crust anyway.

Pie Holes

(in particular a pie-hole sundae!)

For the full of awesomeness, free of gluten recipe, visit Foodbeast.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Chocolate Bacon Cheetos

The other day, I was asked what was my favorite 30 minutes or less dessert to make, and immediately I thought of chocolate-covered Cheetos. They are always well-received (upon consumption if not upon receipt), and I pretty much always have Cheetos and baking bark in my house, so it's easy for me to whip together. Then someone mentioned chocolate-covered bacon, and I thought... ugh, it's been shamefully long since I've made something with bacon, how about we put them together! Chocolate Bacon Cheetos: certainly a recipe that will take longer than 30 minutes with cooking, cooling, and crumbling the bacon, but they were totally worth the effort.


Chocolate Bacon Cheetos

Ingredients

  • 7-8 strips of bacon
  • 1/3c brown sugar
  • 2 bricks of chocolate baking bark
  • Cheetos

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Prep baking sheet with non-stick foil and lay bacon on baking sheet. 
  2. Coat each side of bacon with brown sugar, and cook until crisp (about 12-15 minutes), flipping once.
  3. Let the bacon cool completely and crumble all the good bits into a bowl.
  4. Melt baking bark in the microwave, and start dipping your Cheetos.
  5. While the chocolate on your Cheetos is still wet, sprinkle bacon crumbles over Cheetos so they are nice and covered (I found this ultimately worked better than rolling the chocolate-covered Cheetos in the bacon). 
  6. Chill Chocolate Bacon Cheetos in the fridge until set, then scarf them down.


Oh. Man. I definitely forgot what I was missing with adding bacon to, well, everything. While regular chocolate-covered Cheetos are still a fabulous option for a quick and easy treat that your friends will love, if you've got the time, and the bacon, make these babies happen.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wasabi Pea Truffles

My visits to the liquor store have become more frequent as the variety of food-flavored alcohol has increased. I just love looking through the mini-bottle section, wondering, “What do I want my booze to taste like today?” (Hint: the answer is never “booze.”) Glazed Donut Vodka Tonic? Yes, please!

So when I found a bottle of wasabi-flavored vodka, I knew I had to try it out. On its own, it was not for me, but luckily, I discovered an even better use for it: wasabi pea truffles.

Wasabi Pea Truffles

For the full, and surprisingly not super spicy recipe, visit Foodbeast.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Deep-Fried Crescent Roll Wrapped Ho Hos®


I try to mix it up on the blog—not give you four fudge recipes in a row, even though I've made them all in a span of 48 hours. But sometimes I get on a kick, and I just have to get it out of my system. Right now, I'm obsessing over, well, lots of stuff, but two things I'll tell you about: cronuts and the return of Hostess® snack cakes. So what better way to express my joy about both than combining the two in to an epic cro-ho of awesomeness?




Deep-Fried Crescent Roll Wrapped Ho Hos


Ingredients
  • 1 can Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
  • 5 Hostess Ho Hos
  • oil for frying
  • powdered sugar for coating
Directions
  1. Heat oil to 375 degrees in your totally worth the purchase Fry Daddy.
  2. Open crescent roll dough, unroll and fold in half to form a long, skinny rectangle. 
  3. Roll the crescent roll dough out slightly to reach a length of 15 inches and then cut into five 3-inch pieces.
  4. Place a Ho Ho on each piece of dough and wrap the snack cake fully, sealing the seams. (I would suggest removing excess dough from the ends for even cooking. Feel free to use that extra dough to make sure the Ho Ho is sealed in there good.)
  5. Fry each cro-ho for two minutes on each side until dark golden brown.
  6. Let cool for 4 minutes, then sprinkle with powdered sugar. 
Ho-ho-ly goodness, it's as if Pillsbury and Hostess had a tasty, tasty baby. These cro-hos are an amazing conglomeration of crispy crescent and warm gooey chocolate (and creme), and they are not to be missed.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Donut-Stuffed Cronut (The Crodo)

Yes, I’m jumping on the DIY cronut bandwagon. You knew it was going to happen sometime. However, you also know I like to give you guys a little something extra, just to keep you on your toes. In this case, that little something extra is... a donut inside. If you aren’t quite ready to make the transition from donut to cronut, these donut-stuffed cronuts (Crodo?) are for you. They have all the cakey goodness of a donut wrapped in the flaky texture of a crescent roll. The whole shebang is then deep-fried and covered in powered sugar, because why not?


For the full and fabulous recipe (although it's really just wrap donut in crescent roll and deep fry), visit Foodbeast.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Kit Kat, Rolo, and Reese's Cup Blondies

Because candy companies are always trying to find new ways of making us eat their products without feeling bad about it, they have cleverly created your favorite chocolaty treats in tiny, tiny form: minis, bites, and pieces are now all the rage. And they're totally good for you because they are small and cute. So feel free to do what I did and stuff them into things that are bad for you, because it makes the bad things better. And by better I mean super tasty.

You'll see the bites and pieces in later posts... once I figure out what I'm going to actually do with them. I knew I wanted to make Blondies with one set, and I thought this group—Kit Kats, Rolos, and Reese's Cups—would be up to the task. Feel free to use your favorite Blondie recipe for this. I'll post the one I used (from America's Test Kitchen) below.

Kit Kat, Rolo, and Reese's Cup Blondies
(I'm showcasing the most important part).

Ingredients

  • 7 1/2oz AP flour
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/2t salt
  • 12T (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 10 1/2 oz brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 1/2t vanilla
  • 14 pieces each, mini Kit Kats, Rolos, and Reese's Cups, chopped in half

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease your brownie pan. (I used my Baker's Edge, but a 9x13 would do in a pinch).
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
  • In a different bowl, whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together until combined.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  • Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined. 
  • Fold in chopped minis.
  • Pour mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.
  • Bake at 350 degrees until the top is shiny and cracked and feels firm to the touch (22 to 25 min).
  • Place the pan on a rack and let cool completely.
If you are looking to ratchet your go-to Blondie recipe up a notch, this is the way to do it. Before they even sink their teeth into these decadent treats, people will be impressed as you rattle off everything you managed to shove inside each fabulous bite.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Pizza Roll Stuffed Cupcakes

In the world of desserts, sweet and savory is still going strong. What’s not to like? I’m all about it, but I tend to take it a little farther than most. This latest sweet and savory confection not only has dual flavors but dual purposes—it could be dinner or dessert (or breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack... you get the picture). Behold: Pizza Roll-Stuffed Cupcakes. Think a tomato soup cupcake stuffed with a Totino’s Pepperoni Pizza Roll and topped with mozzarella frosting and a chocolate-covered pepperoni. Aww, yea.


Pizza Roll Stuffed Cupcakes

For the entire, TMNT-approved recipe, visit Foodbeast.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Red, White, and Blue Swedish Fish

As July 4th approaches, the Internet is being flooded with patriotic recipes to wow your friends at the upcoming 4th of July picnic, so I thought I'd throw my hat into the ring. I took a trip to the grocery in search of red things to cover in white chocolate and blue sugar crystals. Strawberries? Nah. Twizzlers? No thanks. And then I found Swedish Fish. Sold! Huh, would they now be considered Swedish-American Fish? 

Red, White, and Blue Swedish Fish

Ingredients
  • 8oz bag of Swedish Fish
  • 2.25oz container of blue sugar crystals
  • 2 bricks of white chocolate baking bark
Directions
  1. Pour sprinkles into bowl for easy dipping action.
  2. Melt chocolate in a bowl in the microwave.
  3. Dip Swedish Fish (tail first!) about 2/3rds of the way into the white chocolate and then 1/3 into the blue sprinkles.
  4. Place on wax paper to set (fridge is quicker but not necessary).
How cute are these things? Adorbs, I think. And quite tasty too! If you are looking for something a little different to take to an Independence Day bash, these are a quick, easy, and quirky alternative.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Queso Dip (Velveeta and Diced Tomato) Cookies

I’ve decided that there’s not enough Velveeta in your life, and I’d like to remedy that. Sure, sometimes you heat it up as an accompaniment to your chips during sporting events, but what about today? Do you have a reason to eat Velveeta today? I’ll give you one. In fact, I’ll give you a few dozen: Velveeta cookies with caramelized tomatoes and green chilies. (I started with this recipe from Bake or Break and subbed out the cream cheese for Velveeta, and the chocolate chips for the veggies.)

Queso Dip Cookies

For the tasty, cheesy, and slightly spicy recipe, visit Foodbeast

Monday, June 10, 2013

Little Debbie® Oatmeal Creme Pie Brownies

I've been getting this question a lot lately: Do you just walk down grocery store aisles and pick different things to put together? In a word, yes. I've considered this particular combination many times and for some reason or other passed it up. So I'm glad I finally decided to give it a go, because putting a bunch of Little Debbie® Oatmeal Creme Pies into a batch of brownies turned out to be a pretty good idea.

Oatmeal Creme Pie Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 box Duncan Hines® Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix (Family size)
  • necessary eggs, oil, and water to make the "fudge-y" version
  • 1 box (12 count) Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies

Directions

  1. Grease 9x13 glass pan.
  2. Follow directions on back of brownie mix to make the brownie batter.
  3. Spread half of the batter into the bottom of the greased pan.
  4. Layer all 12 Oatmeal Creme Pies on top of the batter. (They will fit).
  5. Spread the rest of the brownie batter on top of the pies so they are completely covered.
  6. Bake as directed (you may wind up having to add a few minutes to finish things up).
  7. Cool, slice, and consume!

It's really as easy as making a brownie mix. The only extra step is taking the Oatmeal Creme Pies out of the plastic and fitting them into the pan. The pies bake nicely into the brownie but still retain all of their distinct, yummy flavor. 

FYI: I'm totally rocking out to some Britney as I write this.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Ice Cream Bread Pudding

I’m sure you guys have seen this the ice cream bread recipe floating around. Totally awesome, right? You know I’m a fan of quick and easy, so I was all over this. But where some people saw an end product, I saw a starting point. So, I asked myself what could I possibly make with a loaf of ice cream bread. Soon enough, it dawned on me. Ice Cream Bread Pudding, duh. Shout out to Simple Sifted on providing details on how to execute this. Check the recipe on Foodbeast to see  how this caloric-ly-glorious recipe came to include an entire half gallon of ice cream. . . and a mere three ingredients more.


Ice Cream Bread Pudding

For all the creamy, dreamy details, visit Foodbeast

Friday, May 24, 2013

Chocolate Covered FRENCH'S® French Fried Onions

I realized I haven't straight up covered something weird in chocolate in a hot minute, so I took a look in my pantry to see what I could find. We had Thanksgiving for Easter, so we had some left over FRENCH'S® French Fried Onions from the green been casserole. Perfect! Then I tasted them... not so perfect. But I didn't let that stop me. Went to the store, snagged another container and voila!


Chocolate Covered FRENCH'S French Fried Onions

Ingredients

  • 1/3c FRENCH'S French Fried Onions
  • 1 block of chocolate baking bark (extrapolate as necessary)

Directions

  1. Melt chocolate.
  2. Dip onions in chocolate to cover.
  3. Let set in fridge.

Sweet, salty, and satisfying. If you happen to have any leftover from Thanksgiving, Easter, or other green bean casserole making occasion, it's definitely worth trying it out.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Oreo Stuffed White Chocolate Covered Strawberries

It's strawberry season! Time to find ways to take a healthy, good-for-you fruit and turn it into something bad (but still oh, so good). I snagged this concept from recipes flying around the Internet in which you stuff things like cake and cheesecake into strawberries. But being lazy, I thought, "Why not use something I already have on hand?" (No, I don't always have a baked cake on hand). So Oreo® cookies it is.

If you've ever made an Oreo truffle, it's just like that except before you cover the truffle in chocolate, you shove it into a hulled-out strawberry. Oh my goodness... it's chocolate-covered strawberry-covered chocolate. Meta-awesomeness!


Oreo Stuffed White Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Ingredients

  • 15 BIG strawberries
  • 15 Double-stuffed Oreos cookies
  • 1to 1.5 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • white chocolate baking bark

Directions

  1. Wash, hull, and dry (inside and out) strawberries.
  2. Process cookies and cream cheese in food processor until combined.
  3. Stuff as much Oreo mix into each strawberry as you can. Be sure to really smash it in there.
  4. Melt your white chocolate (or milk chocolate) bark and coat strawberries, then place in the fridge to set and chill.

It's not a lot of cream cheese in comparison to the cookie crumbs, but you want just enough to kind of keep it all together as the juices of the strawberry will soak into the cookie crumb to goo it up. All in all, this is a great way to make a gussied up (and fattened up) sweet spring treat.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

White Chocolate Margarita Truffles

It was about this time last year that I discovered margaritas. I've been old enough to drink for a minute, but I just assumed tequila wasn't for me and wound up missing out on years of that sticky sweet, boozy goodness. So it has been my goal to consume margaritas as often and in as many ways as possible. These creamy, limey, crumbly truffles are a great “anytime” way to get all the flavor of a refreshing margarita without getting sloshed in the middle of the day (no judgment). I started with a great base recipe of Desserts 4 Today's "Grown Up Chocolate Bourbon Balls" and switched out the ingredients to fit my now favorite drink.




White Chocolate Margarita Truffles

If you want to know how it's done, visit Foodbeast.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Frosting Pie


I’ve come to a realization about myself: I love frosting, and I think it’s highly underutilized. Sure, with the popularity of cake balls and whoopie pies, it gets a lot of love, but it’s not the star of the show.

So I’ve decided to do away with the cake entirely and declare that it’s high time for frosting pie time. Yup. Frosting. Pie.

I used a Chocolate Almond frosting, an Oreo crust, and cherry pie filling for this particular pie, but I encourage you to, well, try this one first because it’s awesome, and then branch out to discover the perfect frosting flavor, pie crust, and mix-ins for you.



Black Forest Frosting Pie

For the full, fast, four ingredient, frosting-filled recipe, visit Foodbeast.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Key Lime Pie Fudge


Spring is here! And with it comes lots of fruity desserts. Last month, Duncan Hines properly readied me for warmer weather by coming out with their springy seasonal Frosting Creations flavors, and I am pumped to try them out. First up: key lime pie frosting. What ever could I make with it? Fudge, duh. If it's not broke... 

So here it is: Key Lime Pie Fudge in all its limey and graham cracker-y glory.


Key Lime Pie Fudge

Ingredients
  • 1 packet of Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Key Lime Pie Flavor Mix 
  • 1 can of Frosting Creations™ Frosting Starter
  • 12oz white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup graham crackers, crushed (It's totally okay if there are bigger pieces among the crumbs)
  • zest of one key lime
Directions
  1. Pour pack of Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Key Lime Pie Flavor Mix into can of Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Frosting Starter. Stir until evenly blended.
  2. Line 9x9 pan with wax paper.
  3. Melt white chocolate chips in microwave.
  4. Heat frosting in microwave for 25 seconds.
  5. Combine melted chocolate and frosting until no streaks are left.
  6. Stir in key lime zest and crushed graham crackers.
  7. Spread fudge into wax paper-lined pan and chill in fridge until set.
  8. Slice into thin and tasty pieces. (I usually do 6x15 to 20).
The key lime zest is an addition after the fact. Taste testers thought it could be even key lime-ier, and I think that's the best way to get in that extra boost of flavor. I would definitely suggest that you crush your own graham as opposed to buying graham cracker crumbs as I really liked the crunch that the larger pieces gave me as I ate my way through this fabulous batch of fudge.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Jelly Bean-Stuffed Peeps Dipped in Cadbury Creme Egg

Between all of  the numerous Easter activities, who has time to truly savor all the yummy candy that the Easter Bunny has to offer? The Cadbury Creme Eggs, the Marshmallow Peeps, the jelly beans? How will you ever have time to eat them all? Well, here’s how you can enjoy all three in a third of the time: Mash them all together to make jelly bean-stuffed Peeps dipped in Cadbury Creme Egg. Yowza.



Jelly Bean-Stuffed Peeps Dipped in Cadbury Creme Egg

For the full and full of sugar recipe, visit Foodbeast.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Triple Carrot Cake Cupcakes

You know how some people try to use the excuse, "Well, it's carrot cake, so it can't be that bad for you"? Ha, not with this recipe. I've stuffed carrot cake cupcakes with carrot cake cookie truffles, and topped them with a cream cheese frosting that is filled with crushed Carrot Cake M&Ms. It's the carrot cake-iest carrot cake that has ever carrot caked. (You know when you look at a word for a certain period of time and then you think "Carrot... surely that's not how it's spelled.")


Triple Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Ingredients

Carrot Cake Truffles

  • 7 Pepperidge Farm Carrot Cake Cookies (yes, there are 8 in the bag, but you should totally just eat one)
  • 3oz cream cheese

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Decadent Classic Carrot Cake Mix
  • 1 1/4c HOT Tap Water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4c oil
  • 4.75oz Carrot Cake M&Ms, crushed

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 8T butter, softened
  • 1T vanilla
  • 3 3/4c powdered sugar
  • 4.75oz Carrot Cake M&Ms, crushed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line two muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Pulverize cookies in food processor, then add in cream cheese and pulse until combined.
  3. Scoop cookie goop into 24 truffles (about 1.5T per truffle) and put in fridge to harden.
  4. Meanwhile, follow the directions on the back of the DH Carrot Cake box to make the batter.
  5. Fold 3.5oz of the crushed Carrot Cake M&Ms into the batter.
  6. Pour 2t of batter into each cupcake liner, smush a truffle into each, and then top each with 1.5T of batter. You will probably have batter left over to make another cupcake or two without a truffle if you so desire.
  7. Bake for about 18 to 22 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth.
  9. Sift in powdered sugar and beat on medium-high until light and fluffy.
  10. Stir in remaining crushed Carrot Cake M&Ms.
  11. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting, put in the fridge for about 20 minutes to give the frosting a chance to set, and forget to mention to your friends that you baked anything at all.
I have to say these Carrot Cake M&Ms are on point. And they are white chocolate! They add a great crunch to the frosting and another element to the overall flavor of the cupcake. I don't really know how prominent the truffle is, but you know it's there, I know it's there and your thighs will definitely know it's there, and it was a fun addition regardless.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Chocolate Guinness Cinnamon Rolls with Baileys & Jameson Cream Cheese Frosting

Beer and booze for breakfast (or anytime, really)? Yes, please! You know I try to avoid baking from scratch when possible, so I let my friend Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix give me a hand with this recipe. Just follow the directions on the box taking into account my modifications, top it off with a Baileys and whiskey frosting, and, well, I mean just look at it...




 Chocolate Guinness Cinnamon Rolls 
with Baileys and Jameson Cream Cheese Frosting


Before we get to the recipe, I'd like to acknowledge that this particular recipe has caused quite a stir, but not at all in the way I had hoped. I apologize for the original name of this recipe and making light of a serious and sad time in history. I am truly sorry to those I offended.

For the full recipe, visit Foodbeast.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Circus Animal Cookies Bark

Looking for something fun, crunchy, and sweet to brighten up your days as you await spring? Look no further. You already know you love Circus Animal Cookies (don't act like you don't put them on your fro-yo every time you get some), and you already know what makes everything better: bacon, yes, but in this instance, I was thinking white chocolate. And sprinkles. Lots and lots of sprinkles.


Circus Animal Cookies Bark

Ingredients

  • 1 bag Circus Animal Cookies
  • 12oz white chocolate chips
  • 3T nonpareil sprinkles

Directions

  1. Line baking sheet with wax paper.
  2. Roughly chop cookies and set aside.
  3. Melt white chocolate (in the microwave... no need to get fancy), and spread chocolate out over wax paper lined baking sheet.
  4. Sprinkle chopped cookies over melted chocolate evenly, and then sprinkle the sprinkles over the still open spaces.
  5. Let chill in fridge until set, then break apart and enjoy.

Yes, yes, and yes. Bite into a piece of this bark and the sun will shine brighter, birds will sing, and flowers will bloom. So get off your seat, and make this treat! (Did you see what I did there?)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Ultimate 3-Layer Girl Scout Cookie

It’s Girl Scout Cookie season! I’d ask you which flavors you think are the best, but I already know your answer: Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tagalongs. Out of those three, I’m fine with you having a favorite; however, my question to you is (say it with me now): “Why choose?” Make these Ultimate Girl Scout Cookies—three chocolaty layers of GS’s finest—and you will never have to make that choice again.

The Ultimate Girl Scout Cookie

Head to FoodBeast for the full recipe and then to the grocery to buy (even more) Girl Scout cookies.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Red Velvet Pop Tart Truffles

Want to make something special for your sweetie for Valentine's Day but don't have the time to make the ever-popular Red Velvet cake balls? Kellogg's Limited Edition Red Velvet Pop Tarts truffles will make a great last-minute Valentine's Day dessert that will impress your better half and still leave you enough time to run out the store and buy a... get ready for a shameless work plug... heartfelt and beautifully made Blue Mountain Arts Valentine's Day card.




Red Velvet Pop Tart Truffles

Ingredients
  • 6  Kellogg's Limited Edition Red Velvet Pop Tarts
  • 6-8 ounces cream cheese frosting from a can
  • Baking bark (white or chocolate, your choice)
Directions
  1. Pulverize tarts in food processor until they are crumbs.
  2. Add cream cheese frosting and mix until combined.
  3. Scoop into balls with your 2t cookie scoop.
  4. Chill in fridge to harden.
  5. Melt chocolate bark, coat truffles, and stick them back in the fridge until set.
The ratio of frosting to pop tart is higher in this recipe than in my previous ones, but there's a reason: the flavor of the pop tarts is strong enough to handle it, and the additional frosting gives the truffle a creamy, cakey consistency. 

The verdict? Yum! Kellogg's did a great job capturing the flavor of the red velvet cake, and when you add in the frosting and white chocolate, you'll want to drop your current honey bunny and ask these Red Velvet Pop Tart truffles to be yours forever.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Chocolate-Drizzled, Deep-Fried, Bacon-Wrapped Conversation Hearts

Valentine’s Day is days away, and you are so ready to whisper sweet nothings into your true love’s ear. If you are looking to tell your honey bunny things like “Ur kind,” “Be Mine,” and “Txt me” say it with conversation hearts. If you want to tell your darling that you will love them forever, no matter how much her hips expand or how high his total cholesterol gets, say it with chocolate-drizzled, deep-fried, bacon-wrapped conversation hearts. Now, that’s love.


Chocolate-drizzled, Deep-Fried, Bacon-Wrapped Conversation Hearts

For details on how to get anyone to agree to be your Valentine, visit Foodbeast.