Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Treats

This year for our Holiday plates of goodies we decided to make two of our favorite treats and a new treat. Enjoy the pictures and recipes. May you and yours have a most beautiful Christmas and a Happy New Year. Happy Baking!

Oreo Truffles

We made these truffles last year and they were a huge hit! We also made them for Jon's sister's wedding.

  • 1 (16 ounce) package OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided
  • 1 (8 ounce) package PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted (Baker's chocolate really is the ONLY way to go. We've tried other chocolate and this is our favorite!)
  1. Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
  2. Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.) Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.
  3. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.
Gourmet Pretzel Rods

This recipe is SO easy. These were wedding favors at Jon's cousin's wedding and we would just crave them all the time after the wedding... so we decided to re-make them ourselves.

All you need is one of these...

One of these...
One or two of these...

  1. In a microwave safe dish, combine caramels and 1 tablespoon of water. Microwave for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring after each minute.
  2. Dip a pretzel rod into melted caramel. Reserve about an inch at the end to use as a handle.
  3. Let dry on parchment paper.
  4. Dip in melted white chocolate (be sure not to over cook the chocolate).
  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. The cinnamon sugar really makes these delicious!!

These are already on the blog, but I thought I'd re-post because they really are that good! My co-workers can't get enough of these!

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

  • 1 cup butter, softened not melted
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and white sugar until smooth. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Mix in flour until dough comes together. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Make a small hole in the center of each ball, using your thumb and finger, and fill the hole with preserves.
  3. Place the cookie sheet with the cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  4. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Let cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix together the confectioners' sugar, 3/4 teaspoon almond extract, and milk until smooth. Drizzle lightly over warm cookies.
Servings: 36
Prep time: 30 min. Cook time: 18 min. Ready in: 1 hr. 15 min.
Amount per serving: 104 calories, 5.2 grams fat

Simple Salmon Pies

I wish I had a picture of these. They are absolutely beautiful!! Jon and I were watching the Food Network one day and saw THIS. Months later I was craving salmon and I knew this would be the perfect meal. They are SO easy and really melt in your mouth. Below is the recipe. We made a few changes to simplify even more. We used olive oil, regular white onion and mushrooms, dried thyme and no parsley. Enjoy!!

  • 4 (6-ounce) center cut salmon fillets, skin removed
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 cups washed, dried, and loosely packed fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 frozen puff pastry sheets, defrosted
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush both sides of the salmon with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Warm 2 tablespoons oil in 2 separate skillets over medium-high heat. Add half of the onion and half the garlic to each pan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and thyme into 1 pan and the spinach, lemon zest and remain lemon juice in the other pan. Stir the spinach until it wilts, then transfer it to a bowl and set aside. Saute the mushrooms until they are reduced and tender, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream. Set aside.

Trim the thinner ends of the salmon fillet so you have 4 pieces of even thickness. Unroll a pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Pass a rolling pin lightly over 2 or 3 times to seal the seams and lengthen slightly. Cut the pastry sheet into 3 equal strips, using the natural seams as a guide. Roll out the second puff pastry sheet to get 1 more strip. Save remaining puff pastry for another use. Lightly prick the 4 strips with a fork. Put 1 heaping spoonful of mushroom mixture on 1 half of each pastry, top with salmon, then layer with a heaping spoonful of spinach mixture. Wet the edges of the pastry with water and fold over the other half, pressing lightly and folding to seal the edges. Repeat with remaining pastry and filling. Cut 2 vents on the top of each pastry packet and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake until the pastry is golden and fish is just opaque in the center, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Transfer the pies from the oven to serving dishes and garnish with chopped parsley.

Apple Crisp

Picture courtesy of

Hello again everyone! It has been a while since our last post. This perfect winter treat is one of my ultimate favorites. Loaded with scrumptious calories. I made this for my little brother's birthday months back. It's so easy and simply divine. Enjoy!

  • 10 cups all-purpose apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C).
  2. Place the sliced apples in a 9x13 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all.
  3. Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Cut the butter in the mixture. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes.
Serves: 12
Prep time: 30 min. Cook time: 45 min. Ready in: 1hr. 20 min.
Amount per serving: 316 calories 8.4 grams fat

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Triple Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache

I found this pan at Walmart for $18. I can't even count how many times we have used it in the past few weeks. We LOVE this pan. It is so easy to use and when used correctly every cake comes out perfectly. They are beautiful little cakes that never cease to impress. For the final course of our Fall feast we made these mini bundt cakes with a simple Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix. We added more chocolate chips and topped it off with strawberries and this Chocolate Ganache.

  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum if desired.
  2. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake. Start at the center of the cake and work outward. For a fluffy frosting or chocolate filling, allow it to cool until thick, then whip with a whisk until light and fluffy.
We hope you enjoy these easy and yummy recipes for the fall season!!

Baked Spinach & Mozzarella Bites

These delicious bites are great for an appetizer, a side dish for breakfast, or to eat alone just because they are so incredible! Everything about these baked bites is oh so good. They really melt in your mouth. We couldn't stop eating them! We used them as an appetizer for our Fall feast.

  • 1 (10 ounce) package spinach, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 onion, chopped (I omitted the onion, not a huge fan of onions)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Place spinach in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and cook until spinach is limp, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix flour, salt and baking powder. Stir in eggs, milk and butter. Mix in spinach, onion and mozzarella cheese.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool before serving.

Green Bean Casserole

I think I've posted green bean casserole once before on this blog. Not sure if this is the same recipe. We made a few changes. We blanched the green beans after cooking them. The green beans were perfect and crisp. We also omitted the soy sauce and added 1/2 cup of cheese with the soup mixture. This is always a classic fall recipe and we loved it once again.

  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or Campbell's® Condensed 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 cups cooked cut green beans
  • 2 2/3 cups French's® French Fried Onions

1. Stir soup, milk, soy sauce, pepper, beans and 1 1/3 cups onions in dish.
2. Bake @ 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until hot. Stir.
3. Top with remaining onions and bake for 5 more minutes.

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

We are the happy owners of a potato ricer. We used our ricer for the first time this weekend and will NEVER go back to mashing our potatoes. This is Martha Stewart's mashed potato recipe. I think what makes them "perfect" is a combination of the creaminess from the ricer and the fall flavor from the nutmeg. Mmmm....


Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 pounds russet, Yukon gold, or long white potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup milk, or cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  1. Peel and cut potatoes into 1 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water; add 1 tablespoon salt. bring to a simmer. If using a potato ricer, fill another saucepan with water; place over low heat. Keep potatoes at a low simmer until a knife slips in and out easily. Drain potatoes in a colander. Place milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. If using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, proceed to Step 4. If using a potato ricer, place a heat-proof bowl or top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Press hot, drained potatoes through ricer into bowl.
  3. Stir potatoes with a wooden spoon until smooth, about 1 minute. Using a whisk, incorporate butter. Drizzle in hot milk, whisking continuously. Add pepper, nutmeg, and salt to taste; whisk to combine. Serve immediately.
  4. For the electric-mixer method, transfer hot, drained potatoes to bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed, until most lumps have disappeared, about 1 minute. Add butter; mix until blended. On low speed, add hot milk in a slow stream, then add pepper, nutmeg, and salt to taste. Mix to combine.