A Simple Holiday Dessert

 

Are you planning your holiday festivities yet?  Or are you playing the role of the Grinch this season?  I’ve been thinking ahead and I’ve come up with a few delicious dessert ideas.  The tough part is picking just one sinful dessert to make and share on Christmas.

For those of you that are pressed for time, or don’t consider yourself very proficient at baking from scratch, I have a great alternative for you. 

This cake is made from a box mix but know one will ever know – unless you tell them!  And when it’s topped with peppermint ice cream it can only get better. 

Chocolate Bundt Cake

1 chocolate cake mix

4 large eggs

1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt

1/4 c. warm water

1/2 c. hot coffee

1/4 c. olive oil

1 package of instant chocolate pudding/pie filling

1/2 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heavily grease a Bundt cake pan.

In a large bowl, add all ingredients except chocolate chips and beat with electric mixer until all ingredients are completely blended.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake for about 50 minutes.  Check for to make sure the cake is done by inserting a toothpick into it in several places before removing from the oven.  Allow cake to cool for 30 minutes before removing it from the pan.

Once cooled, store in an airtight container.  When ready to serve, top with your favorite ice cream, whipped cream, toppings, etc.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that there are only 17 days left until Christmas?  I thought so…

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Peppermint Meltaway Cookies and Merry Christmas!

My daughter just  introduced me to a cookie that I’ve never had before.  I can’t imagine how this one slipped past me in all the years that I’ve been baking!  This little shortbread cookie has now made it’s way to the top of my “favorites” list .

These cookies have probably garnered their name from the fact that they are so tender and will melt in your mouth.  Yep, one right after another!

We got the recipe from Taste of Home’s website.  If you’d like the recipe to these delicious little gems please follow the link I just provided.

mint cookies 013

Happy baking, and Merry Christmas!

Retro Christmas Cards–DIY

I’m not a big Christmas card sender.  Yes, I like receiving them, and chances are, if you send me one you will get one back – but don’t bank on it.  This last weekend I was in one of my retro moods and decided to make a few cards to send out.

When I started this project I knew how I wanted my cards to look but I wasn’t sure if I could find the type of images I had in mind.  After searching on-line for a few minutes I found just what I was looking for.

For this project you will need:  printed images you wish to use, some blank cards, scissors, a glue stick, and a little rick rack.  Easy peasy!

 

So, my cards are made and sent out and I still have a lot to do before I’m ready for Christmas – eek!

Are you ready for the Christmas?  What’s left on your list of things to do?

Peanut Butter Fudge and Bah Humbug?

Bah humbug?

So far, I haven’t won a single pair of (the most beautiful) cowboy boots (that I’ve ever seen) that The Pioneer Woman is giving away this holiday season. The last winner hasn’t been announced yet but I’m fairly certain as my luck runs, it won’t be my name that’s picked from that Oklahoman’s hat. 

Like a lot of other hard working folks in this country, we are feeling it’s economic collapse.  So no, there won’t be a sleigh full of presents parked under our tree come Christmas morning.

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I forgot to add the butter to the one and only (favorite) batch of frosted sugar cookies I made for the holidays.  Please don’t ask…

As I sat sipping my nice warm cup of coffee and writing this post  the picture became very clear.  Sometimes we need a few bah humbugs to remind us that a good life is not  just about pretty boots, money, and perfect cookies – it’s about so much more than that.

If you know of someone who is having a bah humbug holiday make them a batch of this fudge to help sweeten their day.

Peanut Butter Fudge

1/2 c. margarine

2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. milk

1 c. peanut butter (I prefer crunchy)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 c. powdered sugar

Lightly spray a 8×8 pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.

In a medium sized saucepan, melt margarine; stir in brown sugar and milk.  Bring to full boil for 2 minutes – stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, stir in peanut butter and vanilla.  Once completely mixed, add powdered sugar one cup at a time.  Beat with electric mixer until smooth.  Pour into prepared pan.  Refrigerate until firm.  Cut and serve.

Wishing everyone a joyful holiday!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisp Bars

These bars remind me of a Butterfinger candy bar.  They are crunchy, peanut buttery, and chocolaty. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisp Bars

And did I mention that they go great with a cup of coffee?  I love serving them on the Villeroy and Boch  Mariefleur cup and saucer.  It makes them seem like such a special treat. 

If you are looking for beautiful Christmas gifts for the foodies in your life then I would highly suggest you take a look at Villeroy and Boch’s website.  In my opinion, you can’t go wrong giving one of their beautiful cup and saucers with a pound of coffee, box of tea, and/or homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisp Bars.  If you’re considering this, then please add me to your Christmas list!

This Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisps recipe came  from Kraft Food & Family Holiday 2006 issue.  I  like them because there is no baking involved.  Here is my slightly adapted version.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisps

1/3 c. brown sugar

3 tbsp. corn syrup

2 tbsp.  creamy peanut butter

2 c. Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal

Topping

1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/3 c. creamy peanut butter

1/4 c. cocktail peanuts, chopped

Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil.  Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, microwave brown sugar, corn syrup, 2 tbsp. and peanut butter on high for 1 minute and stir.  Cook for 1 additional minute, or until melted.    Add cereal; mix until cereal is coated.  Press into bottom of prepared pan.

In small bowl, microwave chocolate chips and peanut butter on high until melted.  Spread over cereal mixture and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.  Cut into triangles.  Store in refrigerator in airtight container.

Makes about 16 triangle bars.

Have you started your Christmas Shopping?  What are you hoping Santa brings you this year? 

*Villeroy and Boch sent me this cup and saucer as a product sample.  I was not compensated for this post, and my opinion is all mine Smile

 

Making Gifts to Give

Yes, it’s almost that time of year, and yes, they have already started playing holiday music in the stores.  I prefer to skip the chaos in the stores this time of year, and spend my time in my craft room and kitchen instead. 

Personal and homemade gifts are perfect for just about anyone on your list, but they are especially nice for the teachers, bus drivers, neighbors, co-workers, hairdressers, mail persons, and the paper boys on your list.

I picked up these plastic containers at a dollar store – 3 for $1.00.  With a little scrapbooking paper, embellishments, and a rubber stamp, I made these cute little paper bows and gift tags to decorate them with.  Very inexpensive to make, yet bright and festive.

And of course you need to fill the little boxes, so I  found a perfect recipe for that too.  I made these Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisp Bars from a recipe in the Kraft Food & Family Holiday 2006 Magazine.  I will be sharing the recipe with you in a later post, so make sure you don’t miss it.

The secret to making your own gifts to give, is giving yourself enough time to make them.  Start your projects now so that you won’t be overwhelmed trying to do it at the last minute. 

Do you like to shop till ya drop, or do you like spending time making your own gifts to give?  Or, do you like to do a little of both?