Help From Betty Crocker and Jell-O = French Vanilla Coconut Cupcakes

Every now and then I call upon Betty (Crocker) to lend me a hand in the kitchen.  While I typically bake from scratch, there are times when I just don’t feel like dragging out all of the ingredients to whip up a batch of cupcakes.  Can you say lazy?  Can you relate?

Now, just because I’m a little lazy and decide to use a cake mix doesn’t mean I can’t be creative.  Take these French Vanilla Coconut Cupcakes for example,  I decided they would create a perfect ending to a delicious home cooked Valentine’s Day dinner we have planned for this evening.

And if you’re like me, there are also times when you’re looking for a flavored cake that is nearly impossible to find.  When this happens I find myself in the Jell-O isle at the grocery store.  Cake mix + Jell-O pudding or gelatin = endless possibilities. (This is not a sponsored post.  I just happen to like both of these products.)

To make these cupcakes you will need:

1 Super Moist Betty Crocker French Vanilla Cake Mix

1 Box of Jell-O Coconut Cream Cook & Serve Pudding

A batch of your favorite homemade vanilla buttercream frosting

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line cupcake tins with cupcake papers (makes 24)

In a large bowl, add cake mix, pudding mix, 1 1/4 c. water, 1/4 c. olive oil, and 3 large eggs.  Mix until all ingredients are combined.  Fill cupcake papers about 1/2 full.  Bake for about 19 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.

Remove from oven and let cool before frosting.

I decorated these with some finely grated dark chocolate.

What would your favorite flavor combo be if I asked you to pick a cake mix and a box of Jell-O?

I shared this recipe over at the blog The Country Cook – Weekend Potluck #162.  Check out all of the other great links that shared there with me.

Create and Share! Best of the Weekend Party at littlemisscelebration.com

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Great Cookies For Your Cookie Boxes and Sharing This Holiday Season

Some of you may be scurrying around looking cookie recipes that you can make to help fill your cookie boxes this holiday season.  If so, I’ve got a few suggestions.  All of these cookies are yummy, easy to make, and will give you a nice variety.  There is practically a cookie for every taste here.

Brown Sugar Double Chip Cookies

Hershey’s Peanut Butter Blossoms

Chocolate Cookies

Soft Glazed Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Old-Fashioned Molasses Cookies

Pecan (or Walnut) Cookies

Do you make cookies to share with your neighbors, family, friends, work, or elsewhere?

A gift idea – treats worth sharing

I just picked up Foodgifts magazine, this is a magazine published by Better Homes and Gardens that  focuses on preparing food, and giving it as holiday gifts (you know the holidays aren’t that far away).  The magazine has some clever, food gift wrapping ideas, and  shows you how to replicate each package they’ve photographed.  For a magazine, it was a bit pricey, but I’ve been eyeing it for a while.  Actually, more than eyeing it, every time I went into  the hardware store I’d grab it to look at while  hubby was looking at guy stuff.    I know I’ll  put the magazine to good use, it’ s  packed with lots of great recipes, and the decorating style it right up my alley.

I’m a big fan of giving food as gifts to those who don’t, won’t, or can’t cook, or bake for themselves.  A little over ten years ago I decided rather than waste my time scouring the mall for that perfect Christmas present (that I was never going to find for some of my family members), my time would be better spent grocery shopping, and spending a day cooking and baking gifts in my kitchen.   No crowds, just me and my Christmas tunes.  This has become a tradition, and every Christmas everyone makes sure there is room in their freezer for their highly anticipated packages. 

The entrée’s and side dishes I prepare can be heated, or re-heated with ease.   I also make homemade quick breads, dinner rolls, snack mixes, and desserts to go in everyone’s goody box.   Many of  these can be prepared ahead of time and frozen.  This leaves  time to actually enjoy the holiday festivities.

I decided since I bought the magazine I might as well do a practice run.  You know, check out some of the recipes.   If  I like them, they might go on the “to make this year for Christmas”  list.  I started with a  simple recipe called Pretzel Snack Mix, and made a few adaptations. 

I liked this recipe, and recommend giving this mix as a gift.  A definite add to this years list.  It makes a large batch, tastes delicious, the ingredients are reasonably priced, and the recipe is simple.   Actually,  I netted everything I needed for this project for about five bucks at Wal-Mart.  This would be a great treat to package, and give, with a nice bottle of wine.  I opted to make little fall treat bags on this trial run.  Won’t a few people be surprised when I deliver these?