Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Storytime!

I sometimes shout that when I or Mom or Dad have something to share.  It’s a fun exclamation to express my interest in sharing or hearing, which is almost always high.

I love talking and listening, connecting with people I love by sharing about our days and ourselves.  Plus, life is sometimes isolating and boring sitting at a computer and typing away all day, so storytime is something special.  Something to be savored.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

But I can’t take credit for the exclamation.

In my freshman year of high school, we were all required to take health.  The teacher was a down to earth woman who tried to relate to us as equals more than treat us as inferiors.  She was a pretty decent teacher, but the school didn’t appreciate her and let her go after that year, as opposed to some of the other teachers, like the old lady who never moved from her desk and formed coherent sentences only some of the time.  But I digress.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Health wasn’t a super difficult, heavy class like many of the others.  It was a fun, interactive way for us to learn about ourselves and how to make life the best it could be.  So she wanted to make it fun as much of the time as possible.

She would tell the class stories, to which the girls, most of whom were very popular and didn’t much care for me, would exclaim “storytime!”

In the moment, I probably found it annoying and rolled my eyes, just waiting for the day to be over.  But all these years later, more than I care to think about, I like it.  It brings me joy, as it did them then.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Storytime is always a good thing.  So are any desserts with melty marshmallows.  Like these Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars.  These take smores to a whole new level with an oatmeal cookie base that is soft and chewy.  In the middle are tons of peppermint marshmallows that add a fun, subtle flavor, though vanilla will work just fine, and carob in my case, or dark chocolate, in your case, chips.

Serve these warm out of the oven or heat them in the microwave for a few seconds to enhance the smores experience.  Gather the family, have smores bars, and storytime.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 9 large bars

Ingredients

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 heaping cups mini peppermint marshmallows
1 ½ cups carob or dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang for easy removal later.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work as well. Beat in the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla.
  3. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Stir until a soft dough is formed. Press about half the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with the marshmallows and chips. Spread clumps of the remaining dough on top, covering as much of the filling as possible.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbling. Cool in pan at least 30 minutes before serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Reheat or thaw in the microwave 30 – 60 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon

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Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

You can tell what day of the week it is by looking in our refrigerator.

We stock up on food one day of the week, typically Saturday or Sunday, unless we’re feeling wild and crazy and head to the grocery store on Tuesday or Wednesday.  I know, we’re major risk takers.

After that grocery store trip, okay, sometimes multiple grocery stores, the refrigerator is basically overflowing.  I try to organize it, but that’s hard when there is so much stuff.

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

There are the basics: water, milk, almond milk, cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese, sliced cheese, eggs, egg beaters, butter, coffee drinks.  From there we move to coconut, chia seeds, and almond meal and onto washed fruit and vegetables.

Then there is the mess of produce bags with too much air because my dad and I haven’t learned the skills of tying the bags without adding enough air to fill five balloons.  The bags are stuffed into the crispers, the shelves, and even the doors when necessary.  Add to this maze of puffy bags the meat and fish and giant containers of lettuce and spinach, and immediately following the grocery store trips, the refrigerator is a take your life in your own hands adventure of finding that one thing you are looking for that inevitably is lurking in the very back, buried under and behind bag after bag after bag.

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

As the week wears on, the contents dwindle.  Since we eat the vast majority of our meals at home, food goes rather quickly.  By the end of the week, a slam of the refrigerator door reverberates a hollow noise as I know it is time to stock up once again.

Though I try to run a tight ship in the refrigerator, sometimes things get away from me.  I realized my bag of coconut was about to expire and I couldn’t live with that, so I made cookies.  Obviously.

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

These Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies are sooooo easy to make and have such a great texture.  All the oatmeal and big coconut flakes make these cookies super interesting.  But then there are the melty chips and gooey undercooked center that add that decadence we all love about cookies.

The coconut oil may be my favorite thing about these cookies.  It’s not something I bake with a lot, but I should totally start.  The cookies aren’t super coconutty but have a rich flavor and texture that I don’t think butter brings to cookies.

My freezer is stocked up with of goodies like these cookies, and yours should be too!

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 12 cookies

Ingredients

1 ¼ cup quick oats
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup melted coconut oil (be sure to measure it once it is melted – it’s about 1 cup solid)
¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 cup carob or dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Add oats, flour, baking soda, and salt, mixing until just combined.
  3. Mix in the coconut and chips until well distributed. You may need to us your hands as the dough is very thick.
  4. Divide the dough into golf ball sized portions. Roll into balls and place on the baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown and beginning to set. Serve warm or cool completely on the tray. Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour or in the microwave about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

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Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Don’t drink your calories.  That’s kind of one of my mottos.  My aunt said she thought about it the other day when tempted to order a fancy drink at a coffee shop.

I used to drink my calories like a champion.  Gatorade, orange juice, milkshakes, Frappuccinos, soda.  And my body paid for it.  I stopped pretty much cold turkey and reaped the rewards.  Plus I didn’t really miss any of those things.

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

But every once in awhile rules are meant to be broken.  Especially around the holidays (and when you need a super easy blog post 🙂 ).  I made Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate and it is kind of the best thing since sliced bread or at least regular hot chocolate.  Because what’s better than peanut butter and marshmallow melted into drinkable heaven?

It is rich and rather sweet, so I swapped it for dessert instead of dessert and caloric drink like old me would have and really you definitely do not need dessert after this, nor do you need a large portion.

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

It’s easy to make, gluten free, and perfect for these super chilly winter days.  I’m thinking this is a must for Christmas morning present opening.

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Super warm and comforting, it is extra creamy from the marshmallow fluff melted right into the beverage.  the peanut butter flavor is prominent with a hint of vanilla.  My favorite might just be the topping of more fluff and peanut butter.  I loved to get the topping and the beverage all in one drink.

You will absolutely love the peanut butter and marshmallow drink!

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 4 drinks

Ingredients

4 cups milk (I used almond, use what you love!)
¾ cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup marshmallow fluff, plus more for serving
¼ cup creamy peanut butter, melted, plus more for serving
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

Instructions

  1. In a small sauce pan, stir together milk, white chocolate chips, marshmallow fluff, and peanut butter that has been melted in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
  2. Place over medium heat, and cook, stirring frequently, until everything has melted together and the mixture is steaming hot. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla bean paste.
  3. Divide evenly among mugs. Tip: if your mugs are microwave safe, warm them for about 1 minute before filling with hot chocolate.
  4. Top each mug with a dollop of fluff and a drizzle of melted peanut butter. Serve immediately.
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Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark #SundaySupper

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

I like to challenge myself.  I mean clearly since I’ve chosen to be a writer and try to break into Hollywood.  Now that’s a challenge.

But sometimes I like challenges that I feel like I am much more able to accomplish.  Things that are under my control.  It keeps my brain and my body going to be challenged and it’s a very rewarding feeling to complete a challenge no matter how big or small.

Potato Chips and Pretzels

Like upping the speed or resistance on the elliptical or trying a new workout DVD.  Sure, there are moments when I think I won’t be able to finish, but then I do, and I feel ah-mazing!  I pushed through something I thought I might not be able to, and that shows me how strong I really am.

Then there are the batters I whip up by hand.  Unless I absolutely positively have to bring out the hand or stand mixer, it is by sheer force of will that I beat butter and sugar into shape.  I even whipped cream by hand recently.  There were definitely a few moments when it seemed unlikely the soupy cream would turn into fluffy, luscious whipped cream but it did and it was amazing.  What’s next?  Egg whites???

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

I have even challenged myself to write a screenplay in 30 days and done it.  I probably couldn’t write a novel in the same time span, but a screenplay is a bit easier for me to write.  Now selling it in 30 days, that is another story.

Do you like to challenge yourself?  How do you challenge yourself?

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

It is definitely a challenge not to eat all of this Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark because it is crazy addictively good.  And it’s so easy to make and gluten free since I used gluten free pretzels which are definitely as good as the real thing.

The goo of the toffee.  The crunch of the pretzels and potato chips.  The snap of the chocolate.  The pop of color from the sprinkles.  This is the ultimate snack or dessert.  It is perfect to whip up as a last minute gift or party treat because it makes a bunch.  This is one challenge you have to take on!

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

3 cups pretzels (gluten free, if necessary)
3 cups plain potato chips
1 ¼ cups packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (not the fake stuff)
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces white chocolate chips
12 ounces dark chocolate or carob chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, divided
Brightly colored sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spread pretzels and chips on foil.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring sugars, syrup, and butter to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Boil for 2 minutes while stirring. Immediately and carefully pour over pretzels and chips on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. After the tray comes out of the oven, allow to cool briefly while you melt the chocolate. Place white chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted. Set aside while you repeat the process with the dark chocolate or carob chips and the remaining tablespoon of shortening.
  4. Swirl both white and carob/dark chocolate on the pretzel and potato chip base, ensuring to leave streaks of both chocolates. Sprinkle with sprinkles of your choice and allow to set for at least two hours at room temperature. Break into pieces and serve. Toffee bark may be stored in an air tight container for up to 1 week.

Notes

Additional cooling time is necessary

Recipe adapted from The Cookies and Cups Cookbook via Brown Eyed Baker

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes! Thanks to Caroline from Caroline’s Cooking for hosting!

APPETIZERS

BEVERAGES

DESSERTS

FINGER FOODS

MAINS

 

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispies Treats

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispies Treats

Have you ever stared at a word so long it starts to look strange?  Maybe this is just a writer thing, but I have a feeling it’s not.  I have a feeling it’s something we can all relate to.

Whether you are typing an email or blog post or reading a book or magazine, it happens out of nowhere.  A perfectly normal word will catch your eye.  Perhaps you are tired or distracted, your mind racing with ideas and thoughts and worries, staring at something instead or really reading or typing it.

If you stare just long enough, a common word, something you’ve seen a million times, starts to stand out.  It practically morphs right in front of your eyes.  It changes from that innocent little word to a menacing term toying with you.

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispies Treats

First it tries to convince you it’s spelled wrong.  And then the spelling no longer matters.  Spelled right or wrong, it just looks weird.  It’s like how is this a word, a common word, something I say and write all the time?  It looks like a jumble of letters that doesn’t make sense in the least.  Except it really does.

It’s our brain’s way of showing us who is boss, who is in control, who can turn our worlds upside down whenever it feels like it by turning our words, our lives, into a messy jumble.

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispies Treats

This happened to me this morning when writing “krispies.”  It’s a word we have all grown up with.  Though it was only truly made a word by Kellogg’s sometimes that’s how things go.  Words become words out of labels and trends and shorthand.  It’s a word as far as most of us are concerned in our daily lives, but this morning, I swore I was staring at another language.  It’s the snow getting to me, clearly.

There is nothing strange about these Peppermint Bark Rice Krispies Treats.  I love putting the flavors of peppermint bark into different treat and these are even better because they are super easy to make.  The chewy treat in all its minty glory is perfectly matched by the snap of the chocolate (or carob in my case, which I promise is actually really tasty!).  These are an awesome Christmas treat!

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispies Treats

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispies Treats

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 minutes

Total Time: 14 minutes

Yield: 12 treats

Ingredients

1 10-ounce bag mini marshmallows
½ stick unsalted butter, cubed
4-5 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup coarsely chopped Peppermint Crunch Andes Mints
2 cups carob or dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening or oil

Instructions

  1. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the marshmallows and butter. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted. Stir in the cereal, one cup at a time, until the mixture is firm but still super sticky. I love gooey cereal treats!
  3. Stir in the mints and pour into the prepared pan. Press very firmly into the pan. Allow to set completely, about 2 hours. Once firm, cut into squares.
  4. In a small microwave safe bowl, place the chocolate or carob chips and the shortening or oil. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted. Dip the bottom and part of the side of each of the cereal treat squares into the chocolate. Place on parchment paper to set.
  5. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Treats may also be wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour.

Notes

Additional cooling time is necessary.

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Homemade Twix Bars #SundaySupper

Homemade Twix Bars

Lots of people have Thanksgiving traditions and many of them are the same.  Travel.  Family.  Cooking.  Baking.  Turkey.  Pie.  Football.  Leftovers.  Shopping.  More leftovers.  More shopping.  More travel.  Lots of crowds.

And I think all those traditions and whatever others you may have are great.

Homemade Twix Bars

But I bet you aren’t surprised to know those aren’t my traditions for the most part.  My Thanksgivings are quiet days, just Mom and Dad and me.  We actually have started this new tradition where we go shopping the day before Thanksgiving.  It’s my favorite!

There aren’t any crowds and a lot of the sales have already begun.  This year I picked up an awesome dress at Saks I can’t wait to show all of you!!  It’s fun, low key, and this year was a great way to get out on a rainy, yucky day.

Homemade Twix Bars

On Thanksgiving, the only traditional food we have is cranberry sauce (not out of the can).  Otherwise we have steaks or tacos and it’s just the three of us.  No pressure.  Not too much work.  No drama.  There aren’t many leftovers and save for a little shopping by Dad on Black Friday, we leave the crowds to everyone else.

That’s my Thanksgiving and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  For me it is perfect.  For you something else may be and I hope that is exactly what you had over the holidays 🙂

Homemade Twix Bars

For dessert, we skipped pies and pumpkin and all that and had homemade Twix Bars.  These are everything I remember a Twix to before my allergy and oh so much more.

The shortbread base is the star here.  It is thick and crumbly and practically melts in your mouth.  Then there is the gooey caramel that stretches when you bite into the bar.  It all finishes with the slightly bitter carob (in my case) or chocolate coating, snapping as you take a bite.  Make sure these are a part of your holiday season!

Homemade Twix Bars

Homemade Twix Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: About 24 bars

Ingredients

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely ground cornmeal
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 batch homemade caramel or store bought
18 ounces carob or dark or milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Instructions

  1. Make the shortbread. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang for easy removal later.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla bean paste until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add the flour, cornmeal, and salt and mix until a stiff dough is formed. Spread into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer.
  3. Bake shortbread 20-25 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and mostly set.
  4. While the shortbread bakes, make the caramel or warm the store-bought caramel. Pour the hot caramel over the slightly cooled shortbread. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight until completely chilled.
  5. Once the caramel and shortbread are chilled, cut into long, thin bars. Melt the carob or chocolate with the shortening in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. I recommend doing this in two batches.
  6. Carefully dip each of the bars in the chocolate and use a spoon or your fingers to coat completely. Set on a parchment lined baking sheet to set. Once all bars are set, serve or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

Shortbread base adapted from Ashley Rodriguez via Craftsy

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting!

Baked Goods

Candy

Chocolate

Jams, Syrups, Drinks

Mixes and Spices

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Under the Sea Snack Mix #SundaySupper

Under the Sea Snack Mix

As a rule, I don’t like sitcoms.  Sure some of the half hour, family friendly shows of my youth were great.  Home improvement.  Friends.  Sabrina the Teenage Witch.  Those shows were my jam and I sometimes still watch them unabashedly.

But the typical fare that airs on the networks these days trying to pass as comedy when they are nothing more than a laugh track and some unfunny jokes?  Those aren’t for me.

Under the Sea Snack Mix

That is until I turned on The Good Place.  I wanted to try it because fantasy elements fascinate me and often find their way into my writing.  Basically I wanted to try it because I wish I had written it.  Plus, who doesn’t love Kristen Bell?

So I tried it and I laughed.  Out loud.  This doesn’t happen.  Ever.  And I kept laughing.  I look forward to this show every week because it’s fresh, funny, and doesn’t rely on those sitcom conventions like a laugh track.  I can decide when to laugh for myself.

Under the Sea Snack Mix

While the basic premise may be a bad girl who gets into the good place, the characters are all likeable and the message of the show is stellar.  Life is about doing the best we can when we can.  It’s never too late to change who we are into who we want to be.

And while I watch my new favorite show and the only sitcom on my TiVo, I need a snack.  Enter Under the Sea Snack Mix.  This versatile, sweet and salty, totally addictive treat is perfect for a party or just chilling in front of the TV.  Plus, it will technically last a good week … not that I think it will hang around that long.

Under the Sea Snack Mix

We’re all about using up Halloween candy this Sunday Supper, so I added Reese’s Pieces, some white peanut butter cups (which have no chocolate – hooray!), and some white chocolate candy corn candy bars (again no actual chocolate), but add whatever it is you have on hand.  I think candy corn or any chocolate candy bar would be great.

Then I took a bag of Goldfish to add that salty vibe and a box of Finding Dory cereal and added them to the party.  They are the real stars here.  I had never made a Puppy Chow style mix with a cereal with marshmallows but it certainly won’t be my last.  Those marshmallows stay a little crunchy and totally bring the flavor.

I don’t know about you, but I think we could all use some more laughter and snack mix in our lives.

Under the Sea Snack Mix

Under the Sea Snack Mix

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 7 minutes

Ingredients

1 box Finding Dory cereal
1 bag Cheddar Goldfish
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup white chocolate chips
¾ cup Reese’s Pieces
1 ½ cups assorted candy
3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

  1. Place peanut butter and white chocolate chips in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir and microwave an additional 30 seconds. Stir until all the chips are fully melted. Add the cereal and Goldfish and stir until fully coated. Add the candy, Reese’s Pieces, and confectioners’ sugar. Stir until fully coated.
  2. Allow snack mix to set for about 30 minutes. Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to T.R. Crumbly from Gluten Free Crumbly for hosting!

BARS

BROWNIES

CAKES

CONFECTIONS

COOKIES

SNACKS

SUPPER

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sandwiches

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sandwiches

Choices are good.  It’s nice to be able to choose which movie to watch, what to wear, or what to have for dinner.  Our lives are based on the choices we make, both big and small.  Good and bad.

Think of all the choices we make in a day.  Some come naturally but others cause debate whether within ourselves or among those around us, even if they seem like simple decisions.  And all those choices and decisions build and build to make our lives, sometimes for better sometimes for worse.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sandwiches

It’s easy to look back on the past and see where we might have chosen a different path.  But that’s not fair to ourselves because a different decision may have led to exactly the same place, no matter how hard we wish this wasn’t the case.

That is a difficult fate to face for me.  All those options and the ones I chose.  The ones that led me here.  What could have been, might have been, should have been.  It’s a lot to consider.  But now there is nothing I can do about it, so I have to embrace those choices and try to make better ones in the future, knowing years from now, I’ll have some of the same regrets.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sandwiches

The best thing about choices is that there is always another one to make, another chance to do better.

When it comes to these Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sandwiches, I don’t want to make choices, but I have to because I made them several ways, although I do recommend trying each variety.

These are a breeze and a blast to make, almost therapeutic.  The base is a salty, crunchy pretzel, which I topped with either salted caramel peanut butter (I know!) or pumpkin pie cookie butter (oh yeah!), followed by another pretzel.  I also hid a mini marshmallow in the center of some for a nice surprise.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sandwiches

Then half of this sweet and salty dessert sandwich is dipped in chocolate (or carob in my case) and drizzled in white chocolate.

These are great to serve at a Halloween party.  Making these is an easy choice!

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sandwiches

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sandwiches

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 17 minutes

Ingredients

½ bag mini pretzel twists
1 cup pumpkin spice cookie butter
1 cup salted caramel peanut butter
½ cup mini marshmallows
3 cups dark chocolate or carob chips
½ cup white chocolate chips
2 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

Instructions

  1. Spread the pretzel twists on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread 1 tablespoon of either the pumpkin spice cookie butter or salted caramel peanut butter onto a pretzel. Top with a couple mini marshmallows if desired, followed by another pretzel. Press together gently so the butter forms a seal. Repeat with remaining pretzels and butters.
  2. Once all the pretzels are filled, melt the chocolate or carob chips with 2 tablespoons of vegetable in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. Dip half of each pretzel sandwich into the mixture and place back on the parchment to set.
  3. Melt the white chocolate chips with the remaining ½ tablespoon vegetable oil in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring in between. Using a fork or spoon, drizzle the white chocolate over the pretzel sandwiches.
  4. Allow to set completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
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Coconut Macaroon Pizza #SundaySupper

Coconut Macaroon Pizza

I loved pizza as a kid.  Probably as much as any other kid.  It’s comforting and easy to eat and can be delivered on a whim.  It was served at birthday parties and as part of our school’s Book It program.  We ate it at the mall and at home.  Pizza.  Who doesn’t like pizza.

While, in most cases me.  Your confused now, as you should be.  See, I don’t like tomato sauce.  At all.  I can’t eat anything with tomato sauce on it.  Pasta.  Pizza.  Mozzarella sticks.  Nothing.

Coconut Macaroon Pizza

Coconut Macaroon Pizza

So I required special pizzas made with no sauce (I was onto the white pizza trend before it was a trend) or in certain circumstances calzones, which almost never have sauce on, or rather in, them.

I haven’t had pizza in a long time, though I have had a craving for it, and there are plenty of awesome pizza places popping up everywhere.  While I could have crossed homemade pizza off my cooking bucket list, I took a different route this pizza themed Sunday Supper.

Coconut Macaroon Pizza

I made dessert pizza.  Coconut Macaroon Pizza.  I wasn’t sure how this would turn out, but upon one bite I realized it was pretty much everything and blows savory pizza out of the water.

It all starts with a giant coconut macaroon base.  Who doesn’t love coconut macaroons?  Okay, people who don’t like coconut, but for the rest of us, this is an awesome start.  Then I topped it with apricot jam and popped it back into the oven to get all caramelized.  Some homemade hot fudge, dried cherries and toasted pecans round everything out.

Coconut Macaroon Pizza

I was surprised at how awesome the apricot and fudge worked together- this awesome sweet, tart, bitter combo that is only enhanced by the chewy cherries, crunchy pecans and coconut macaroon that goes from crispy to chewy as you work your way from crust to center.

Plus, this just happens to be gluten free and totally serves a crowd.  The next party you have, this needs to be on the menu.

Coconut Macaroon Pizza

Coconut Macaroon Pizza #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients

3 ½ cups shredded unsweetened coconut
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup hot fudge, homemade or store bought
1 cup apricot jam
½ cup toasted pecans
½ cup dried cherries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together coconut, sugar, egg whites, and vanilla. Pour onto the baking sheet and form into a disc about ¾ inch thick, pressing it down slightly. Bake for 12 minutes.
  3. Spread apricot jam in a thin layer on the pizza and return to the oven for about 5 minutes, until just starting to caramelize. Drizzle with warm hot fudge and sprinkle with pecans and cherries.
  4. Serve warm or cool completely on pan. Cookie may be store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen in pieces, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour or in the microwave 30-60 seconds.
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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Colleen of The Red Headed Baker for hosting!

Appetizers

Breakfast

Condiments

Desserts

Mains

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Coca-Cola Cupcakes with RITZ Crust

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #GameDayGreats #CollectiveBias

Coca-Cola Cupcakes with RITZ Crust

Great memories are really important to me.  They make bad times better and good times great.  They help connect me to those that are no longer a part of my life.  Being able to reflect upon some of my favorite moments over the past years, is a delight.

I’m always thinking of fun and new exciting things to do to make new memories, because, while those old memories are great, new ones are always welcome.

Coca-Cola Cupcakes with RITZ Crust

I have a list of restaurants I want to go to.  I am always looking for the next concert or event to attend.  And even at home, I love cooking and baking new recipes, especially with Mom, that I can share with my family and friends.  In fact, food memories are some of the best and strongest ones upon which to rely.

When fall rolls around and we spend more time indoors and in the kitchen, I love coming up with new recipes.  These Coca-Cola Cupcakes with a RITZ crust, Coca-Cola buttercream, and a Wheat Thin crumble, they are sure to create lasting memories.

Every Sunday, football filled the TV from the moment the pregame comes on at 10 am to 8 pm or so when the afternoon games wrap up.  I may not be the world’s biggest football fan, I leave that to Mom, but it’s fun to watch the games and cheer my team on.  They even got a win this week!

Coca-Cola Cupcakes with RITZ Crust

If you are a football fan, or even if you aren’t, you know food and football go hand in hand.  And while all those classic game day foods like chili and nachos and pizza are great, there’s nothing like a sweet treat while I watch.

And if you aren’t a football fan, these cupcakes are perfect for any event, party, or just to share with a couple friends.  Whatever you love to do that brings you together with the people you love to make new memories will only be better with these cupcakes.

Coca-Cola Cupcakes with RITZ Crust

What makes these cupcakes so special is that they take the classic chocolatey Coca-Cola cake and take it up a few notches with the buttery, crispy RITZ crust and the crunchy crumb topping that you’ll want to steal off all the cupcakes.  Oh and that buttercream!  It is silky smooth and I love the hint of Coca-Cola flavor that comes through.  While some cupcakes are one note, these have different textures as well as sweet and salty flavors to satisfy everyone.

Shopping at Kroger

Stock up on Coca-Cola and Mondelez treats at your local Kroger, like I did, so #GameDayGreats are on the way for you and your family and friends!

Coca-Cola Cupcakes with RITZ Crust

Coca-Cola Cupcakes with RITZ Crust

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 12 cupcakes + a mini cake

Ingredients

Cupcakes
2 cups Coca-Cola
1 cup carob or cocoa powder
1 stick unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
Crust
1 ½ cups crushed RITZ crackers
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup granulated sugar
Frosting
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar
½ cup Coca-Cola
Wheat Thin Crumble
½ cup flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ crushed Wheat Thin Crackers
4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. If you have it, prep another small cake pan for extra batter.
  2. Make the cupcakes. In a large bowl, melt the Coca-Cola, carob or cocoa powder, and butter in the microwave in 30 second increments until fully melted. Whisk in the sugars and allow to cool briefly before whisking in the eggs, followed by the flour, baking soda, and salt. There will still be some lumps in the batter – this is okay.
  3. Make the crust. In a small bowl, stir together the RITZ, butter, and sugar. Press about a tablespoon of the crust mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Press the remaining mixture into the small cake pan.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, filling just about to the top. Pour the remaining batter into the cake pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes and cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan.
  5. Make the crumble. In a small bowl, stir together flour, sugar, Wheat Thins, and oil until clumps form. Spread onto a parchment lined baking tray and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely.
  6. Make the frosting, in a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed using a hand or stand mixer. Slowly add 3 cups of the sugar and mix in. add the Coca-Cola, followed by the rest of the sugar and beat until smooth, light, and fluffy.
  7. Assemble the cupcakes. Spread a heaping amount of frosting on each cupcake. Sprinkle with the crumble, pressing it into the frosting gently. Cupcakes may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, of frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil, and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour.

Notes

Cupcakes adapted from A Cozy Kitchen

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