Archive for December, 2012

New Year’s Eve, 2012




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I thought I would do a recap this year, and show you what recipes you looked at the most. I want to thank all of you for reading along and checking out the recipes!

10. Cinnamon Lover’s Scones
Cinnamon Lover's Scones

9. Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

8. Biscoff Truffles
Biscoff Truffles

7. Kolachi Cookies
Kolachi Cookies/ Bake, Run, Live

6. Coconut Filled Brownie Cookies
Coconut Filled Brownie Cookies/Bake, Run, Live

5. Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting/ Bake, Run, Live

4. Krave Puppy Chow
Krave Puppy Chow/Bake, Run, Live

3. Daring Bakers’ Banana, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Chip Bread
 Banana, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Chip Bread/ Bake, Run, Live

2. Brownie Filled Chocolate Chip Cookies
Brownie Filled Chocolate Chip Cookies/Bake, Run, Live

1. Purple Ombre Cake
Purple Ombre Cake/ Bake, Run, Live

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The December 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by the talented Marcellina of Marcellina in Cucina. Marcellina challenged us to create our own custom Panettone, a traditional Italian holiday bread!

Chocolate and Orange Panettone

“Panettone is a type of sweet bread loaf originally from Milan (in Milanese it is called “paneton” Milanese dialect (pronunciation IPA: /paneˈtuŋ/)),[2] usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year in Italy,southeastern FranceBrazilPeruMaltaGermany and Switzerland, and is one of the symbols of the city of Milan. In South America, especially in BrazilArgentinaUruguayVenezuelaColombiaPeru and Chile, it is a Christmas dinner staple and in some places replaces roscón de reyes/bolo rei (King cake).” (Source)

What a fun challenge to end the year! Despite my best intentions to complete the challenge earlier in the month, I procrastinated and just finished making my panettone a few days ago (though I made the candied orange peel a few weeks ago- that counts for something, right?!).    However, I’m going to say that it ended up being perfect timing, as I was able to share some of it with Nick’s parents on Christmas Eve, and wth my parents on Christmas morning.

If you have a baking to-do list like I do (it’s currently 107 items long!), and panettone is on that list, I highly recommend the recipe that Marcellina gave us to use. I used the panettone recipe and the recipe for candied orange peel. Both recipes are easy to follow, however, I will say that both recipes take time. This just means that you need to plan a little more when making them! Marcellina let us choose our own “add-ins” for the panettone, so I went with candied orange peel (yup, already mentioned that!) and 70% dark chocolate. If you visit Daring Bakers‘, you will see what the rest of the participants used to flavor their panettone!

For the recipes, please visit the Daring Bakers’ link, as Marcellina has some really great detailed information (and pictures). For the panettone papers, I found mine on Amazon, as my local cake/candy store doesn’t carry them.

Chocolate and Orange Panettone

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December 26th is National Candy Cane Day!

Ok, I’m deviating a little on the food item today. Instead of using candy canes, I am using Andes peppermint crunch baking chips. They look and taste like candy canes, so I’m going with it!

While the cookies are not a true shortbread cookie (there is an egg in this recipe), they still have a similar texture. They are also loaded with peppermint chips, which makes them very festive looking! If you can’t find the peppermint chips, you could always use the regular Andes mint chips. It’s a different mint, but still tasty! Oh, not a mint person? You could try adding chocolate covered toffee pieces…yum!

One year ago: Cinnamon Lover’s Scones

Peppermint Crunch Cookies
Adapted from Mr. Food

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1- 10 oz. bag Andes peppermint crunch baking chips
1 tablespoon sugar to sprinkle on cookies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar. Add in the egg, vanilla bean paste, and salt. Stir in the flour until well combined (this will take a couple of minutes). Mix in the peppermint baking chips.

Using a medium-sized ice cream scoop, scoop out the dough and place the cookies onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Space the cookies about 2 inches apart and gently flatten with the palm of your hand. Sprinkle a little sugar on top of each cookie. Bake in a preheated oven for 14-15 minutes, or until the tops are set and the cookies are a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, move the cookies onto cooling racks and let cool completely. Enjoy!

Made with love, not calories!

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Merry Christmas, 2012

http://techjost.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Merry_Christmas_2012-Wallpapers-650x520.jpg (Source)

I wish all of you a wonderful holiday- filled with happiness and joy, and surrounded by loved ones.

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Christmas Eve, 2012


Cookies are ready for Santa’s arrival!

002 Cookies for Santa

Cookies pictured for Santa: World Peace Cookies, Red & Green Swirl Cookies, Nut Ball Cookies.

Nick will be checking NORAD (they have an app!!!) tonight, to keep me updated on Santa!

Does anyone else check on Santa’s flight?

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I mentioned recently that I was on the lookout for White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s.

Well, I found them!

I have to admit that I am not a big fan of white chocolate. It’s ok, and I’ll eat it, but it isn’t my first choice.

That said, the M&M’s have a really nice flavor and I think it actually works well with the white chocolate.

Chocolate bark is a favorite holiday candy. It’s easy to make and can be made with a lot of flavor combinations. I thought that the peppermint M&M’s would be a nice addition to peppermint bark, by adding crunch, color, and of course, additional peppermint flavor!

007 Peppermint M&M Bark

Peppermint Bark

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon peppermint extract (do not use peppermint oil)
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 bag White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s, chopped

Line a jelly-roll pan or sheet pan with silpat or wax paper. Set aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips in 30 second intervals (stirring after each one), until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract. Evenly spread the chocolate onto the prepared pan. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate chips, using the same process as before. Once the chocolate is smooth, evenly spread this over the semi-sweet chocolate layer. Sprinkle on the chopped White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until the chocolate is set. Break into pieces and enjoy!

008 Peppermint M&M Bark

Made with love, not calories!

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