Tuesday, December 27, 2011

White trash snack mix with santa bugel hats!

White trash snack mix with santa bugel hats..whoa! That is a wickedly long name for something that is soo  soo soo easy (and fun) to make! I wanted to bring  a Christmas-y treat for everyone I work with and since I am almost positive that no one, and I mean NO ONE could ever not like white trash chex mix, I figured it was the perfect thing to make.

I was right :)

Perfect thing to make!

Now some of you may ask what white trash chex mix is...well you could really add whatever you like in the mix but here are the ingredients I use. Oh yeah, I don't measure either, I just put in what I think looks good and add more of the stuff that I like more.

Holiday colored M&M's
Corn chex or rice chex cereal..or both!
Honey nut cheerios
White chocolate chips

Alright, so what you do is put all those ingredients together into a big bowl, melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave and pour all over everything in the bowl. It may even be easier to split it up into 2 bowls if you make lots like I do.

Now for the bugel santa hats, you will want to get some bugels and pick out all the nice looking ones that will really resemble a good santa hat :)

(I just want to interupt here and say that if you have not tried the caramel bugels, you have to! This is the first time I have tried them because I figured the caramel would taste the best with the chocolate and they are SO good and addicting!) moving on...
Then, you will want to get some red candy melts, melt them in the microwave and start dipping your "hats". I held onto the top of the bugel and dipped the rest of it into the chocolate, then laid it onto wax paper to dry.
Once that first layer is dry, re-dip the bottom of the "hat" into the red candy melt then immedietly dip into some white sprinkles. Once again, lay onto wax paper to fully dry. They will look something like so...
Alright, now once those all dry, take a mini marshmallow and stick one onto the top of each hat like this..

I just layered some of my white trash mix into little holiday goodie bags and randomly placed my santa hats inside and on top just so they would not get broken as I was mixing everything else up.
So cute/delicious/colorful/& hello, cheap!

Next holiday pick out that colored M&M's and make yourself some white trash chex mix!

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Gingerbread cupcakes

I LOVE gingerbread cookies. Love love love them! So why not make gingerbread cupcakes, duh!

I actually wanted to make a treat to take down to my Christmas that I spend at my grandma's house. I seen some cute gingerbread cupcakes on pinterest that I was dying to make, so I did it!

Here is the recipe that I used.

Ingredients for the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temp!
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tbsp molasses
4 large eggs, room temp!
1 tsp vanilla extract
gingerbread men cookies for decoration!

Ingredients for cinnamon cream cheese frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon

Directions for cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour & spices. Set aside.
3. In a mixer, cream butter & sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
4. Beat in molasses, then eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla.
5. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Do not overmix!
6. Fill cupcake liners and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

Directions for frosting:
1. Combine cream cheese & powdered sugar until smooth.
2. Add cinnamon & vanilla. Beat until smooth. Easy peezy!


Here they are fresh out of the oven. They smelled SO good!

I frosted the top with just a ring of frosting first, and then dipped it in graham cracker crumbs. Then i used the swirly tip (I know, I should be using proper terminology here but bear with me!) to top off the top of the cupcakes.
 Topped with a gingerbread man cookie!
p.s. The "Merry Christmas" sign in the back is a sign that I made my mom. I bought a silver tray for a buck @ a thrift store, painted it, then used a paint pen to paint the letters. :)
The gingerbread people did not want to be eaten!! :)

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The joy of Christmas!

Merry Christmas!!!

Oh wow, it is the day after Christmas and I just cannot believe it goes by that fast. I mean, I feel like I just put up my tree for crying out loud! Went around town today to see if I could find any good deals on Christmas stuff. It was pretty adventurous trying to fight the crowds..people are crazy I tell you. I am all prepared for wrapping paper next year...I wanted to have all my colors jive for next year and I really wanted to find some white and black paper, and guess what? I DID! Success!

So how was everyone else's Christmas? Was Santa good to everyone? I must have been very good this year because I am typing on my brand new Sony laptop. My other computer was getting very slow and I needed to have a mouse plugged in at all times and the battery would always die, so now I can blog in pure happiness.

I have also been crafting here and there (while baking!) Here is what I have been up to...

My cute Christmas bucket for outside decoration. Took me forever to find that bucket! Also, notice how the snowman says "Let It Snow", and there is no snow on the ground. No snow makes for a dull Christmas, but very easy driving!

Mod podged letters for my bathroom :)

& letters for my kitchen! I used an old cookbook for these, I love how it turned out.
Letters that I made for Christmas time.

Homemade hot chocolate mix. I made these for a couple younger cousins and my boyfriends little brothers & sisters. What kid wouldn't be happy to get cocoa!?
Hot chocolate stirrers. They didn't turn out as cute as I had hoped. Honestly, I thought these would be a lot easier to do! But the kiddos loved them! (Don't mind the shotglass holders...it was the only thing I could think of since I didn't have any foam!)
Oh don't mind him, that's just puppy being lazy, or I guess you could say a good boy, as I craft/bake away!
Sweater frame. Background is an old sweater, the deer are ornaments I got @ the dollar store. What a steal. The red will be painted cream once I remember to buy paint :)
My Christmas tree bulbs I made. I used mod podge and an old dictionary and LOTS of glitter, cuz I love glitter and you can never have too much!

Finally, the Christmas tree. Looks so pretty when all lights are off. Didn't have a star yet, was planning on making my own to match the bulbs. Hopefully by next year I will have it made ;)

So that's what was keeping me busy. I hope you enjoy my busy/crafty/glittery time consuming projects!

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chocolate Bailys Cupcakes

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...And I love it!

Nothing screams Christmas more to me than a decorated, lit up tree, wrapping presents and hot cocoa with a little Baily's mixed in. I figured if Baily's Irish Cream tastes good in cocoa, why not a cupcake?

So I searched and found a recipe for a Chocolate Kahlua Cupcake @ Annie's Eats.

They looked good, and I very much wanted to make these with my Baily's so I could sit around my tree and eat a tasty treat as I watched Christmas movie after Christmas movie. Sue me :)

Here is what you will need:
(Makes approximately 20 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp. instant espresso powder
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups sugar
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup warm water
¾ cup buttermilk
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
7-8 tbsp. Baily's Irish Cream
2 tbsp. heavy cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.   Line standard cupcake pans with paper liners.  
2. In a large mixing bowl combine the cocoa powder, espresso powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt; whisk well to blend.  Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract to the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high speed until smooth, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
3. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling about 2/3 full.  Bake until the tops spring back when pressed lightly, about 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. 
4. Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  Poke a few holes in the top of each cupcake with the tines of a fork and brush with Kahlua while still warm.  Allow to cool completely.
To make the frosting:
1. Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. 
2. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated.  Add in the Kahlua and beat on medium speed until well blended. 
3. Add in the heavy cream and beat on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

 Stick a fork in the middles and pour the Baily's on top with a spoon...

Makes them shiny!

YUM! Now time to go indulge. What a wonderful time of the year :)

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Frosty Paws for your doggy!

Is it possible to be too in love with your pet? Let me tell you, my puppy has everything and when I am in the kitchen baking cupcakes and he stares up at me with this little brown eyes, I feel so bad cuz he won't get to enjoy them! I just had to make him something, I mean, I don't think he would ever expect what I am making to actually be for him! I got a recipe for frosty paws, an ice cream like treat for dogs and it was so easy that he might be eating frosty paws for the rest of his life! :)

Waiting ever so patiently while his mama mixes up:
32 ounces of plain yogurt
1 mashed ripe banana
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey

Doesn't sound that bad does it? hmm..

I put all the ingredients in a blender and mixed away. Then pour the "batter" into ice cube trays, or get real crazy and get some molds! Next time I make these I will find some bone molds...if those are even real, and make them in a little more fun shapes than just cubes.

Now put in the freezer and wait until frozen. Then give to your pup and cross your fingers they think its delicious! Let's see how I did...

Looks like I did good! I would advise you to give these treats outside, or on a non-carpeted floor. All though..my pup did drag his cube into the living room and you couldn't even tell he did after he got done with it :) ENJOY!

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Brownie Pie

Hello! I am back. I have not been posting very much due to not baking very much, BUT, I do have a good excuse. I have been doing low carb in order to lose some weight before a Christmas party I attended. I got to wear a cute dress and everything, and I wanted to look smokin'! Therefore I needed to lay off the sweets for awhile, but I am back!

I made a brownie pie over Thanksgiving. Recipe was found over at: Crazy For Crust, which I must thank because this recipe was AWESOME!

I was a little bit nervous, I mean brownie inside of a pie shell, just doesn't seem to jive does it? But let me tell you, oh sooo good together!

Here is what you will need to get you makin' your pie:
½ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 ¼ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ounce red food coloring
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1 pie crust, packaged or from scratch
And here is the low down on how to make this bad boy ;)
1.       Preheat oven to 350°. Unroll your pie crust and place in a 9” pie plate. Chill until ready to fill.
2.       Combine cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and food coloring in a small bowl. Stir to form a paste.
3.       Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer until fluffy. Mix in eggs, one at a time, then add remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add cocoa powder mixture and beat until completely incorporated. Mix in flour and salt. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared crust.
4.       Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely.
Now do not be like me and just assume you have enough red food coloring for this because I assumed, and I was dead wronge, so mine did not turn out as red and pretty as Crazy for Crusts' did, but I bet it still tasted as delicious!
I also took the advice of covering the edges of the pie crust with tinfoil before baking because I also do not like my crust very brown. I'd do anything to protect my crust! :)
You would think that somebody who always takes pictures of their food would have their camera on them at all times right? Yeah, well I don't know if it was the holiday that was getting me all confused or what but I forgot the camera so my pictures are taken with my trusty ol' cell phone. Thank goodness for those smart phones! Hope the pictures are not too terrible to make out!
Gettin' all mixed!

The pie crust with tinfoil, and then the pie all baked

All done! What is that white stuff on top you ask?

It's whipped cream topping! Ta Da!

To make this cream cheese whipped cream topping:
Beat 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream with 1 tablespoon sugar about 5 minutes until soft peaks form. Chill until ready to use. Mix 4 ounces softened cream cheese with ½ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla using a hand-held mixer. Fold into whipped cream.
Very good stuff I tell you, everyone @ Thanksgiving loved this pie. It might have even beaten the french silk...and in my opinion, french silk is the bomb!

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