Category Archives: Misc

2016 Monthly Challenge: Granola Bars

So this one time I made a fakey New Years resolution to push myself to try 1 new thing a month on this blog.

Month 1 – I made Funnel Cakes on January 31st. Barely squeaked by on that one.

Then it got worse.

February. Wanna guess what day I made these Granola bars? You guessed it, the last day of the month. BUT. It’s a leap year. So it’s even that much worse. I made these on February 29th. Commence eye roll. I’m ridiculous.

Then. THEN. I waited 3 weeks to type it up to tell you all about it.

Anyway.

Granola Bars.

As usual, I didn’t follow directions very well. I used the cool infographic on this blog post to make homemade granola bars. If I would have actually read the blog post I would have learned you have to do 1/2 rolled oats and 1/2 quick oats, otherwise the granola bars are too soft and crumbly and don’t even stay together well enough to cut. Oh well. They were for my kiddo and he LOVED them. I bought quick oats so that I can make these again and hopefully they will be more “bar” like. Don’t be like me. Use 1/2 and 1/2. 🙂

This is a SUPER adaptable recipe. You can substitute in any kind of nuts (or leave them out if you are a nut-free home), any kinds of fruits, even chocolate chips or other small goodies. Maybe it’s my crazy postpartum nursing mom brain, but I totally see lactation potential here. Just sayin’.

The following is the version that I made and my kiddo loved.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars

Ingredients:

5 cups oats (I used all rolled. It would be better to use 1/2 rolled and 1/2 quick)

1/2 tsp baking soda

2/3 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup honey

2 tbsp almond milk

1 1/2 cups raspberry jam

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350*.

2. Mix together oats and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.

3. Mix together the rest of the ingredients. It will be a wet sloshy sticky mess.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

5. Combine all ingredients and pour into prepared pan.

 

6. Spread as evenly and flat as possible.

7. Bake for 20 minutes then let cool completely in pan. I actually left mine overnight.

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8. Lift out of pan with parchment paper and cut. (Mine was so crumbly it wasn’t even solid enough to lift out. I had to cut it in the pan.)

I thought I took pictures of them cut buuuuuut guess I didn’t. Oh well.

Next time! 😀

The recipe made a lot. If you have multiple kiddos it may not last long, but for us it was a lot. I froze some for later.

 

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2016 Monthly Challenge: Funnel Cakes

I don’t make New Years resolutions. Not because I don’t keep them, I just believe that if you want to make a change it should happen when you want it to happen!

That being said, I’ve set myself a goal for 2016. Which is kind of like a resolution I guess. I have had so many new “techniques” I’ve wanted to try but never have. Some because I just don’t typically have those ingredients. Some because they seem too hard or scary. 😜 But since life is crazy with 2 little ones, I’ve challenged myself to do only 1 a month. 

I realized Friday that January was quickly coming to an end and immediately started brainstorming on what I could make that night without a trip to the store. 

I picked Funnel Cakes! I very rarely get them since they’re only available at fairs or amusement parks. I’d never even seen a homemade funnel cake recipe, but I figured it couldn’t be too hard right?

Searching Pinterest I quickly found a few and they were more or less all the same. I ended up going with this recipe because I liked her technique with the cookie cutter. So here we go!

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Funnel Cakes – adapted from here

makes about 15 4.5″ cakes

Ingredients:

1 egg

1 1/3 cup milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 cup flour

Oil for frying (I used vegetable oil)

Directions:

1. Set up your fry station. Pour about 1/2 inch of oil into a pan. Place a brown paper bag on a cookie sheet next to the stove. Have a plate handy to hold the cookie cutter when not in use. Clip a thermometer onto the pan with the tip in the oil (make sure it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan). 

2. Beat egg, milk, and vanilla. With mixer running, add salt, baking powder, then powdered sugar. Slowly add flour last. 
3. Scrape the bowl then pour mixture into a squeeze bottle. I used one like this and had to fill 3 times total. I got 5 cakes out of each full bottle. 

4. When the oil reaches 350* it’s time to go! Use the tongs to place the cookie cutter in the center of the pan. 

  
5. Squeeze the batter into the center of the cutter. If you make a circle first then fill it in in a squiggly/crisscross pattern it will stay together better. Keep going until there’s a good amount of batter coverage. (Took me a few times to get it right.)

  
6. Once the batter is solid you can remove the cookie cutter and let it float. Flip it and let the other side get golden brown, then remove from the oil to the brown paper bag to drain.   

   
  
  
The entire cooking process takes about 1-2 minutes. It’s very fast. That’s why you want to have everything set up ahead of time, because if you have to stop to do anything, the cake will burn. 

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If you want to top the funnel cakes in powdered sugar it has to be done right away or the powdered sugar won’t stick. 

  
You can also top with chocolate syrup, fruit, or ice cream!

 

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Peanut Butter Rice Krsipie Roll

 A coworker requested peanut butter krispie treats. With chocolate. I played with the idea before when I made these, but I wanted to do it in a fun different way. 

I followed the recipe on the cereal box (1/4 cup butter, 1 bag mini mallows, 6 cups cereal), and added 1 cup of creamy peanut butter to the pot with the butter and mallows. 

  
Once it was all melted I poured it on top of the cereal and stirred it all up. It was actually easier to stir than normal because of all that peanut butter. 

 I pressed it into a sheet pan with greased up hands, then topped it with chocolate chips. 
I put the pan under the broiler for maaaybe like a minute or 2. Just enough to soften the chocolate.   

Then I spread the chocolate with a spreader…

 
Definitely doesn’t need to be perfect here. 

   
Cuz then I rolled it up into a log!

 
Carter likes to watch in the kitchen from atop his kitchen stool my dad built him. 

   
Once I had it all rolled up I wrapped it in wax paper so that it would stay together, and let it cool/harden overnight. 

 
The next morning I sliced it up! 

   
Gorgeousness golden peanut buttery krispies with a perfect chocolate swirl. 

 
I brought these to work with me and they were a hit!

  
These are seriously so good. Personally it was a tad to much chocolate for me, but everyone else disagreed and said they were perfect!

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Caramel Brownies

Dude guys. I made caramel. If you haven’t seen my caramel post, check it out here

So then I made some brownies. Just boxed brownies cuz I was in a hurry. Then I dumped a bunch of that caramel into the batter. Mixed it up well, then poured it into these cute little baking cups. I bought these a while back and never got a chance to use them. I thought they were perfect for individual sized brownies!

Since the caramel was IN the brownie batter and they were not standard sized, I had no idea how much to fill them or how long to cook them so I kind of had to just wing it. 

I went about 1/2 way up, and baked at 325 for 38 minutes (I started at 30 and checked them, then added a little time as necessary). When the toothpick came out clean I pulled them out to cool. I definitely didn’t want to over bake them and dry them out.   
  

Gorgeous. 

  

Topped each with a little dollop of vanilla ice cream and a dribble of warm caramel… 

 
Perfection. 

I made these for a wine tasting party we had. They paired nicely and they were perfect little proportions!

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Homemade (Microwave!) Caramel

Dude guys. I made caramel. From scratch. In like 5 minutes. And it’s amazing!

(Insert obligatory caramel-in-mason-jar photo here.)  

I used this recipe from Cookies and Cups. You cook it in the microwave! There are only 5 ingredients, most of which you will already have on hand. And did I mention it only took like 5 minutes?! 

 

This would be perfect for dipping apples, marshmallows, fingers… 😜

 Later this week I will share a recipe I used with the caramel!

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Spring Rice Krispies

I made these Spring Rice Krispies last week for work. Instead of using my normal 13×9 pan I pressed them into a sheet pan. Once they cooled I used a butterfly cutter to cut them cute for Spring/Easter. One major advantage of doing this is lots of scraps to munch on. 😊

I added about 1/3 cup of dry funfetti cake mix to these Rice Krispie treats. (Add right into the melted mallows before pouring on the cereal.) They were super yummy but didn’t really taste “cakey” enough for me. I’ll probably add more next time. Of course I also had to top them with extra sprinkles, cuz… Duh. 

Hope everyone had a wonderful  holiday weekend! 

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Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs

I made these for a good friend of mine for his birthday. He is sweets obsessed. Like, I couldn’t even get his wife to tell me what his favorite thing is, because he just likes everything! We work together, so naturally everyone at work got to enjoy them too.

The idea came from a fellow (local) blogger, Hayley. You may have heard of or seen her blog Domestic Rebel. She comes up with desserts you would see in your Candyland dreams. She is known for her brownie bombs, and they’ve been on my to-make list for awhile. They were the perfect treat for my sweet-a-holic friend.

Basically you start with a ball of cookie dough. I made my Pregnant Lady Cookie Dough (which is eggless), and added mini M&M’s. Freeze them so they’re nice and hard and cold.

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The next step is to make brownies. I used a regular fudgey brownie box mix.

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You cut the brownies, then smoosh them between your fingers…

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…then wrap the smooshed brownie around a frozen cookie dough ball. Keep smooshing until the whole ball is covered.

Next you dip the ball (which is now HUGE from the brownie) into chocolate.

I got all the way to this step before realizing I had no chocolate chips. Excuse me WHAT?! How does a baker run out of chocolate chips?

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I had some leftover candy melts on hand, so I decided to just use those instead. It actually worked out okay, they kinda looked like birthday balloons! I topped them with a little sprinkles, just to help hide any imperfections from using old candy melts.

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Because of the cookie dough, these need to be kept in the refrigerator.

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OMG these are yummy. I have this thing against chocolate (and brownies), so they were a little too rich for me to eat a whole one. Did I mention they were huge? My husband loved them, as did all of my coworkers. I think my brother (who is far away in the Navy) cried a little when he saw me post a picture of these. I will definitely have to make them for him when he comes home!

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Oreo Pops

These are SO easy to make. And who doesn’t love Oreos? I’ve been buying a lot of Oreos lately. You’ll see what I mean later this week.

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Twist Oreos open, and push sticks into the Double Stuft filling. Add a dab of candy melts, then top with the twisted off cookie.

Pop them into the fridge to set up. This only takes a couple minutes.

Then dip the Oreos into the candy melts, making sure to fully cover.

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I melted a second color to add a little drizzle, but sprinkles would look great too!

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I covered the regular Oreos in purple and the Golden Oreos in orange. Obviously these were for Halloween, but they are so easy to make that they could be any color and perfect for any party!

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Birthday Cake Golden Oreo Truffles

These are a twist on the Cookies & Cream Truffles I made a while back. This time I used Birthday Cake Golden Oreos.

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1 full pack of Oreos crushed + 1 brick of cream cheese (I use the 1/3 less fat kind). Mix it into a dough, chill, roll, chill, dip, sprinkle. Then chill until it’s time to enjoy!

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These are pretty rich, I could only handle 1 at a sitting.

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So pretty!

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Chocolate White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie Dough Truffles

What a mouthful!!

You’ll forgive the ridiculous name once you try these. I promise.

I’ve made Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles, Funfetti Cookie Dough Truffles, and M&M Cookie Dough Truffles.

These are a twist on the common white chocolate macadamia nut cookies… Which happen to be my husband’s favorite cookie of all time. His birthday was a couple weeks ago so I made these for him. They’re lumpy and not the prettiest, but OH SO GOOD.

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Chocolate White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie Dough Truffles

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 sticks butter (1 cup)
6 tbsp milk (or milk substitute)
2 tbsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts, divided
Candy coating (I used CandiQuik)

Directions:
1. Beat butter and sugars. Add vanilla and milk.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add to wet mixture.
3. Stir in chips and nuts by hand.
4. Let dough chill for at least 2 hours.
5. Scoop into small balls on a waxed lined baking sheet and place in freezer to harden up. I did this the night before.
6. Melt the candy coating and dip each ball, tapping off the excess with a fork. Quickly top with chopped nuts.
7. Store in the fridge.

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Even though I made these for my husband, I actually took most of them to work. We don’t need THAT much sweets around the house! There was a good portion of cookie dough left that hadn’t been dipped so I let him finish that off. 🙂

My coworkers LOVED these. One even proclaimed that if he could have any dessert ever in the world that he would choose these. Maybe it was because he was currently holding one, I don’t know… 🙂

I liked them because they weren’t overly chocolatey.. you know, because I don’t like chocolate all that much. But they were still chocolatey enough for the major chocolate lovers too!

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