Toffee Chocolate Salted Brittle Squares

ToffeeChocolateBrittle

 

These sweet and salty delights are incredibly yummy! Giving friends and family home-made treats really shows love, especially around the holidays. If you’ve got the time to spare, and have some creativity, home-made treats are the way to go! A little money, makes a lot of goodies!

Ingredients:

    • 13 graham crackers
    • 1 bag (8 ounces) toffee bits
    • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped toasted natural almonds
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
    • 3/4 cup (4 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips
    • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty foil. Place graham crackers in a single layer on sheet, edges touching. Sprinkle the toffee bits and almonds over the graham crackers.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and butter to a boil over medium-high. Reduce the heat and cook until you reach a rapid simmer, swirling the pan occasionally, until mixture is syrupy, about 2 minutes. Immediately pour over the graham cracker, toffee and almond mixture. Bake until sugar topping is bubbling, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the chocolate and salt over the graham cracker mixture. With a very sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the block into 2-inch squares. Let cool completely on the foil sheet on a wire rack. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.) You can serve them on a platter, or wrap up chunks to gift to friends and family.

Brownies with Peppermint Frosting

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Brownies with a decadent creamy peppermint frosting is the perfect homemade holiday treat to make and gift to family and friends! It’s a unique treat that will help you and your loved ones get in the holiday spirit! Here’s what you’ll need: (This makes about 54 servings, so about 5 gifting portions)

Brownies

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 squares (1 ounce size) unsweetened chocolate

1 cup sugar 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1 square (1-ounce size) unsweetened chocolate

Peppermint Frosting

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

2 tablespoons whipping cream

1 1/2 teaspoon peppermint flavoring

2 drops red food-coloring directions:

Instructions:

For Brownies: Melt 1/2 cup butter and 2 chocolate squares in a large saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, and let cool 10 minutes. Add sugar and eggs, stirring well. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to chocolate mixture, stirring well. Stir in vanilla and pecans. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 13- x 9- x 2-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool brownies completely on a wire rack.

Spread with Peppermint Frosting. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and 1 chocolate square in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, and let cool. Spoon chocolate mixture into a small heavy-duty, zip-top plastic bag or a decorating bag fitted with tip No.2; seal bag. Snip a tiny hole in one corner of zip-top bag, using scissors; pipe chocolate mixture in a decorative design over Peppermint Frosting. Cover and chill thoroughly. Cut into 2- x 1-inch bars. Store brownies in an airtight container in refrigerator. For Peppermint Frosting: Beat butter at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating well. Add whipping cream, flavoring, and food coloring; beat until frosting is spreading consistency.

Peppermint Bark

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This can be customized in many ways. You can decorate with a variety of chocolate drizzles (white, dark, milk), use a variety of peppermint etc. It’s up to you how you want to make it your own!

Ingredients

  1. 8 ounces high-quality semisweet (dark) chocolate, broken into pieces – if you don’t care for dark chocolate you can use white or milk
  2. 2 teaspoons canola oil, (separate)
  3. 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, (separate)
  4. 8 ounces high-quality white chocolate, broken into pieces – you can also use white chocolate chip morsels
  5. 25 peppermint candies, crushed – any kind (canes, mints, etc.)

Directions

  1. Lightly grease (or spray) a 9×9 inch pan and line with waxed parchment paper.
  2. Place the semisweet chocolate and 1 teaspoon of the canola oil in the top of a double boiler over just barely simmering water, stirring frequently and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching. When the chocolate is melted, stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the peppermint extract. Pour the melted chocolate into the prepared pan, and spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle half of the crushed peppermints over the chocolate layer. Refrigerate until completely hardened, about 1 hour.
  3. Place the white chocolate and the remaining 1 teaspoon canola oil in the top of a double boiler over just barely simmering water, stirring frequently and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching. When the chocolate is melted, stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Pour the white chocolate directly over the semisweet chocolate layer; spread evenly. Sprinkle the remaining crushed candy over the top and gently press in. Drizzle with melted chocolate for decorative effect.
  4. Refrigerate until completely hardened. Remove from pan and break into small uneven pieces to serve.

Santa Claus Christmas Cupcakes

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Kids will be so thrilled to help make these cute Christmas cupcakes!

Prep Time: 40 Min

Total Time: 1 Hr 30 Min

Makes: 24 cupcakes

1 package of cake mix (you can use any flavor)
Water, Oil & Eggs as instructed on the cake mix packaging
1 tub (160z) Vanilla frosting (or any flavor that is white: cream cheese, buttercream etc)
2 tablespoons red decorating sugar
48 chocolate chips
24 red hot candies (or any red cinnamon candies)
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows (about 144)
  • Heat oven to 350°F. Use a cupcake baking tray and place 24 paper baking cups. Prepare and bake cake mix as directed on package for cupcakes, using water, oil and eggs. Cool 45 minutes or until completely cooled.
  • Spread frosting over cupcakes generously to create a beard for Santa.
  • Sprinkle top 1/3 of each cupcake with about 1/8 teaspoon decorating sugar to form Santa’s hat.
  • To make Santa’s face, place chocolate chips for eyes and cinnamon candy for nose.
  • Cut 2 marshmallows in half lengthwise; arrange to form rim of hat.
  • Cut 4 marshmallows in half crosswise; cover lower part of cupcake to form beard.

Christmas Sugar Cookies

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Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  8 minutes

Ingredients

Makes 48 cookies

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients until fully absorbed. Cover dough, and chill for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. On a clean floured surface, roll out small portions of chilled dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are barely brown. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

Snickerdoodle Cookies

snickerdoodle-cookies

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  14 minutes

Servings: 24

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • Directions

    Preheat oven to 375F. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

    In a large bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter and granulated sugar until creamy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Beat in vanilla and egg. At low speed, gradually add flour mixture and beat just until blended, occasionally scraping bowl.

    Working in batches, use the palms of your hands to shape rounded tablespoons of dough into 11/2-inch balls. Roll balls in coarse sugar to coat and place on a large ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.

    Bake until lightly golden and crinkly on top, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet on wire rack 1 minute, then transfer cookies to rack to cool completely.

    Gingerbread Christmas Cookies

    gingerbread-cookies

    Preparation Time:  30 minutes
    Cooking Time:  12 minutes

    Servings: 36

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
    • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 cup margarine, melted
    • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
    • 1 cup unsulfured molasses
    • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3/4 teaspoon lemon extract
    • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheets.
    2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Mix in the melted margarine, evaporated milk, molasses, vanilla, and lemon extracts. Stir in the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. The dough should be stiff enough to handle without sticking to fingers. If necessary, increase flour by up to 1/2 cup to prevent sticking.
    3. When the dough is smooth, roll it out to 1/4 inch thick on a floured surface, and cut into cookies. Place cookies on the prepared cookie sheets.
    4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. The cookies are done when the top springs back when touched. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

    Old Fashioned Gingerbread Squares

    149921

    Preparation Time:  25 minutes
    Cooking Time:  60 minutes

    Servings: 12

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup molasses
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup hot water

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch square pan.
    2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg, and mix in the molasses.
    3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water. Pour into the prepared pan.
    4. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan before serving.

    White Fruit Cake

    white-fruit-cake

    Preparation Time:  35 minutes
    Cooking Time:  120 minutes

    Servings: 36

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 cups candied pineapple chunks
    • 3 cups golden raisins
    • 1 1/2 cups candied cherries
    • 1 cup dried currants
    • 2 ounces candied orange peel
    • 2 ounces candied citron peel
    • 1/2 cup orange juice
    • 2 cups butter
    • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
    • 8 eggs, separated
    • 4 cups pecans, chopped
    • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

    Directions

    1. Chop pineapple, raisins, and cherries. Combine chopped fruit with currants, orange peel, and citron; soak in orange juice overnight.
    2. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Place a small pan of water in the oven. Line one 5×9 inch loaf pan and two 3×8 inch loaf pans with parchment or doubled waxed paper.
    3. In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioner’s sugar. Stir in beaten egg yolks. Stir in fruit, juice, and pecans. Mix in sifted flour.
    4. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites to peaks. Fold into batter. Fill pans 2/3 full.
    5. Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until golden brown, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

    Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

    gingerbread-cupcakes-with-cream-cheese-frosting

    Preparation Time:  25 minutes
    Cooking Time:  20 minutes

    Servings: 12

    Ingredients

    • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
    • 1 egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon Dutch process cocoa powder
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 cup hot milk
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 2/3 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter or line with paper liners a 12-cup muffin tin.
    2. Cream 5 tablespoons of the butter with the white sugar. Add the molasses and the egg and egg yolk.
    3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot milk. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the hot milk mixture. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared tin.
    4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes or until slightly springy to the touch. Allow to cool a few minutes in the pan and remove to a rack to cool.
    5. To Make Frosting: Cream the 2 tablespoons butter and the cream cheese together. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until fluffy. Add the lemon extract and beat. When the cupcakes are cool, frost the tops with the frosting and serve.