Category: entertaining

Chocolate-Covered Goodness

I had this past Friday off work and decided to use the day to tackle some holiday baking. I always like to make something yummy and pretty to give to friends and co-workers during the holidays. This year, I decided to stick with a classic but try some new flavor combinations. Enter delish chocolate-covered pretzels:

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Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 1.00.05 PMI laid all the pretzels out on a cookie sheet so I could sort out all the broken ones. Then I got all my toppings prepared. I used mini M&Ms, crushed candy cane pieces, crushed oreos, and some holiday sprinkles. Next, I melted down the different chocolates, white chocolate and milk chocolate. I dipped each pretzel, covered with topping, and laid them on wax paper to set. Here are the different combinations I came up with:

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 1.00.18 PM1. White Chocolate with Oreo

2. White Chocolate with Holiday Sprinkles

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 1.00.27 PM3. Milk Chocolate with mini M&Ms

4. White Chocolate with Crushed Candy Canes

The great thing about this dessert, is that it stores well in the freezer. So I popped these all into gallon size freezer bags and they will be ready for the holidays.

Of course, no baking can be done without a trusty assistant and mine was full of smiles:

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Have you started your holiday baking yet? Do you have any easy desserts you bake each year?

 

 

 

lovely lemon

Over the weekend I was looking for something different to bake and came across a recipe that sounded perfect.

These lemon brownies were definitely a hit, Nick loved them! Here is how I made them:

One thing that was nice, is that I had all the necessary ingredients already in the kitchen.

I cut one stick of unsalted butter into small slices to help bring it to room temperature quickly. Then I added it to the sugar, flour, and salt and begin to mix.

I whisked the lemon juice and eggs together and then added them to the mixer. I mixed for about two minutes until everything was combined nicely.

In the mean time, I worked on the icing which was just a mix of powdered sugar and lemon juice. I opted to use bottled lemon juice since I did not have fresh lemons on hand.

Now back to the brownie mix… Once it was combined I spread it evenly into a non-stick baking pan (The recipe called for a square pan but I went for an 8×8 circle since I didn’t have the other size.).

I then baked the brownies and let them cool. After I placed them on the other side of the pan to make it easier to ice and added the icing. Then it was into the fridge to cool and set the lemon icing.

Once the brownies had completely cooled, I cut them into small bite-sized squares. They turned out great and will definitely be added to our recipe book!

Did you bake something new recently? What was it?

piña colada cupcakes

Today is my family’s annual luau party and I knew I wanted to bake fun cupcakes. I came across this recipe for piña colada cupcakes on Pinterest and was excited to try them out. I did make some modifications though…

Here are the ingredients I needed to make both the cupcakes and the pineapple frosting. I did take a shortcut and use a vanilla cake mix for the cupcakes to save some time (and mess!) in the kitchen:

Then I began baking the cupcakes:

1. I lined my cupcakes pans so they were ready to go when the batter was mixed.

2. I mixed everything up following the instructions on the box.

3. Filled all the liners and waiting for them to bake (about 23 minutes).

4. Let them cool and began working on the frosting.

The frosting isn’t the healthiest (made with two packages of cream cheese and three sticks of butter!) and needed about 4 minutes of mixing to combine the ingredients before I added the powdered sugar and pineapple.

Then I began to frost the cupcakes:

After I frosted the cupcakes, I added shredded sweetened coconut to the tops of each one:

Next I cut up some pineapple rings that would become garnish on top of each along with a cherry:

Lastly, I topped all of the cupcakes with my fruit topping and used toothpicks to hold it all together:

And that is how the piña colada cupcakes turned out! I made Nick do a taste test for me (not that he minded) and he loved them. I am sure they will be a hit on this hot summer day at the luau party.

Have you ever tried a fun spin on traditional cupcakes? What did you make?