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Shortbread Christmas Cookies

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shortbread4

These pretty shortbread cookies are delicious all on their own- but topped with a piece of gold-dusted chocolate? Then they are perfect. 

I’d never made shortbread before. Crazy, I know. The inspiration was those AMAZING Starbucks snowmen cookies. You know.. the ones that are soooo cute and topped in chocolate rather than icing?

snowman

I was telling a friend about my love for those little Starbucks cookies and she said, “I know! Shortbread cookies are the best!” and I thought to myself…. “Shortbread? What exactly is a shortbread cookie?” So I investigated and tried a few recipes and FELL IN LOVE with these cookies!!!  Buttery and flakey happiness with every bite!

Shortbread cutout cookies

I wanted to add chocolate on top, and found these ADORABLE silicone molds by Silikomart. (and then I got sucked into the world of Silikomart and all the beautiful things they make that are mostly available only in Italy….) I found these on Amazon though. I dusted them with a little bit of edible gold dust to give them an especially elegant feel.

So. Much. Christmas. Fun.

Here’s the recipe: (printable version here)

INGREDIENTS: (makes 24-30 cookies)

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • About 16 oz of dark chocolate wafers. You can use Wiltons candy melts, but for these cookies I used Ghirardelli Melting Wafers. They cost more- but they are SO good!
  • Edible gold dusting powder (I used this brand)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Place butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and using a mixer, beat until light and fluffy (think buttercream frosting…!)
  • Add vanilla and mix until well combined.
  • Add flour and baking powder to butter/sugar mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated well (don’t over-beat this).
  • Use clean hands to form this mixture into a ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

While dough is chilling, make chocolate toppers.

  • Melt chocolate wafers in the microwave in 30 second increments, mixing in between until melted and smooth.
  • Spoon into a large zip-top bag and seal it well.
  • Place mold on a cookie sheet to keep it flat and easy to move.
  • Carefully pipe chocolate into molds, filling them up to the top and then tap entire cookie sheet on counter to remove bubbles.
  • Freeze for 5-8 minutes until they can be peeled out of the molds. Repeat until you have about 24-30 toppers.
  • Squeeze extra chocolate back into a small bowl and set aside.

Chocolate molds for Christmas

Set toppers aside, and cut/bake cookies.

  • Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  • Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on a floured countertop. Cut into rectangles. I used this cookie cutter set and I needed 2 different sizes because the molds are different in size. Place on a cookie sheet that has parchment paper laid on top. 
  • Bake at 350F degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  • Slide parchment paper (with cookies on top) off baking sheet and onto a clean counter. Cool completely.

Assemble cookies.

  • Re-heat the extra chocolate you set aside from earlier, using instructions given earlier for melting.
  • Use a knife to spread melted chocolate onto the back of a chocolate topper, and gently place it on top of a cooled cookie. (I used gloves to handle the chocolate so I wouldn’t leave fingerprints on it!)
  • Allow topper to harden- sticking it firmly to the top of the cookie.
  • Use a food-grade brush to gently brush gold dusting powder over each chocolate piece. You can skip this step– but the wow factor increases A LOT with this touch of gold glitter!!!
  • Enjoy!!!!

Starbucks cookie recipe

My thoughts: These are SO (soooooooooooo!) yummy! I keep kicking myself for never making shortbread before this! These are a fragile cut-out cookie. The chocolate on top adds much-needed stability, but be gentle with them before that chocolate is added. They are fragile because they are a light, flaky, buttery piece of heaven- but they are fragile nonetheless. I made these in early November- working ahead for Christmas blogging- but I am definitely making these as one of my Christmas cookies this year- this is a do-not-miss recipe!  Hope you and your family enjoy them as much as I did!!!  ~r

Shortbread cutout cookies with chocolate on top.

Need Christmas cookie ideas?? We have SO many here!  Here’s a few to get you started: (click on photo to see recipe)

Decorated bonbonsSnowman Oreo PopsCaramel Ritz CookiesChristmas Card Cookies

Candy Tea Spoons!

Candy Tea Spoons

Delicious little candy spoons make a perfect gift! Stir them into tea or cocoa to add sweet,  fun flavor!

Want a little lemon with your tea? A little peppermint or butterscotch in your cocoa? A fun gift idea? This is your recipe!

Candy spoons for cocoa

Happy Black Friday to you! Just in case you have finished with the lines and crowds and feel the need to hit something hard…

We are here for you!!!….Here you go.

Smash hard candies into bits and pieces that are melted into a cute spoon mold to make these treats! Staple them up in little cello bags with fun gift tags and you’ve let out your frustrations and created fun little gifts. Perfect and perfect. *smile*

Candy Spoon Gifts

Here’s how to do it! (printable recipe here)

INGREDIENTS:

  • Unwrapped hard candies in whatever flavors you want. Note: the harder candies like cinnamon disks and butterscotch disks melted into sturdier spoons than lemon drops and peppermint candies (which are more crumbly than hard). I didn’t have ANY break until I had them all bagged up and I was tossing them into a basket for transport. then I had 2 peppermint and 1 lemon snap.
  • A silicone candy spoon mold. I got mine in the Czech Republic, so I can’t link to the exact one, but these are similar.

DIRECTIONS:

  • Place unwrapped candy into a zip-top bag and using a mallet or hammer, smash those candies up! Make sure to do this on a safe surface that can’t be damages by hammer hits!
  • Preheat oven to 300F degrees
  • Place mold on a cookie sheet
  • Spoon candy pieces into mold and heap them up (as they melt, they settle).
  • Place in oven and watch. In my oven, it took about 8 minutes to melt completely. After about 4-5 minutes, pull them out and sprinkle extra candy into any gaps or openings that might be forming as they melt. Place them back in the oven to finish melting.

*Notes* The “softer” candy melted faster than the “harder”. Also, if you leave them in too long, the lighter candies get a little browned.

Candy Spoonstea-spoons10

  • Remove from oven and tap gently to remove bubbles- you will still have little bubbles on the outer surface of these- you can see this in my photos. Cool completely and peel out of silicone mold.

tea-spoons11

  • Place individually in small cello bags and tie them shut or print and fold these pre-designed tags over the open edge and staple them shut. 
  • Stir into hot beverage and ENJOY!!!

Candy Spoon Gifts

My thoughts: These are really fun little gifts. I personally loved the butterscotch in hot chocolate the best! The peppermint tea was pretty yummy too!!!  When I do this again, I will crush the candy up more finely- maybe use a food processor- it was a little more difficult to “pile up” those bigger pieces. They worked fine- but I feel like it would just be easier with more finely crushed candy. Hope you get a chance to try these!!!  Enjoy!  ~r

Candy spoon gifts

Man, I hate it when my ink runs out mid-print! Used them anyway!🙂

Candy Cocoa Spoon

Candy Cocoa Spoons

Other gift ideas here on Easybaked:

Hot Chocolate Pops!Caramel Corn and other gift ideasSpiced Mocha MixSnowman Oreo Pops

Caramel Pecan Cup of Cake!

caramel-pecan-cupcakes

Take a plain cupcake and turn it into a layered work of art this Thanksgiving!

Everyone loves those beautiful layered trifle desserts. This recipe creates individual layered desserts. Aren’t they fun?? I used butter pecan cupcakes with yummy caramel sauce, pecans and homemade butter cream frosting. They were delicious! You can use this idea with literally ANY combination of flavors though! Get all the flavors of a “filled” cupcake- but SO much easier to assemble!

caramel-pecan-cupcakes

Plus, you can wrap them up in cello bags with pretty fall ribbon and ties for an elegant holiday dessert!

caramel-pecan-cupcakes

Can you tell that I enjoyed taking pictures of these!?!  Here is how we made them (printable recipe here):

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 24 cups of cake!)

Cake:

  • One boxed cake mix (plus oil, water and eggs to make according to package). I used Betty Crocker’s Butter Pecan cake mix. It was AMAZING!!!!!!!

Caramel sauce:

  • 32 unwrapped Kraft caramels
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

Buttercream:

  • 4 sticks of butter (softened)
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • You will also need 4-5 pecan halves per cup- and small clear Solo cups!

DIRECTIONS:

  • Make cake mix according to package and bake in 24 cupcake tins as directed by box (spray the pans with non-stick spray if you don’t use liners!). Cool.
  • Make caramel sauce by placing caramels, butter (1 stick) and sweetened condensed milk into a saucepan.
  • Melt over stove, stirring constantly, until caramels are entirely melted and smooth. 
  • Cool and place in a zip-top bag.
  • Make buttercream by placing 4 sticks of softened butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. 
  • Use hand mixer to beat on high for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. 
  • Place frosting in a zip-top bag that has been fitted with a decorating tip. Set aside.
  • To assemble, cut a cupcake in half. Pipe a little bit of frosting into bottom of cup and press cupcake bottom in cup.
  • Clip a corner off the bag of caramel and pipe along edge of cup on top of cupcake bottom. 

caramel-pecan-cupcakescaramel-pecan-cupcakes

  • Press pecans into caramel along edges
  • Pipe a little frosting between pecans (only use a little- mine had a touch too much icing in the middle- you could even skip this step and just have frosting on the bottom and top)
  • Place top of cupcake on, pipe a little more caramel on top of cupcake, and pipe a swirl of frosting on top. 
  • Add a pecan and decorate as desired. I used cute icing leaves by Wilton that I found at Michael’s.

caramel-pecan-cupcakescaramel-pecan-cupcake

  • You’ll want to wrap these up or put them in an air-tight container to keep them fresh. I chose cello bags and ribbon ties- and they made me smile🙂 These stay fresh for 3-4 days when covered.

caramel-pecan-cupcakes

My thoughts: These got RAVE reviews. Personally, I thought they were a little sweet and I wished I had used less frosting (plus I ran out of frosting with 3 to go!) so use a little less than pictured (or make a little more…if you really like frosting!!) One of my friends HIGHLY recommended crumbled bacon as a layer in these🙂 The GREAT news is that you literally can add anything you want to make these into your family’s favorite dessert!  Enjoy!!  ~r

caramel-pecan-cupcakes

Other yummy pecan and/or caramel treats here on Easybaked! (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Praline Cupcakes1Turtle Bundt CakeMarshmallow Turtle Pops!Turtle Cheesecake

Pumpkin-stuffed Oreos

pumpkin stuffed oreos

Why have plain old pumpkin pie, when you can have these Oreos- filled with pumpkin and dipped in white chocolate?!?

Admission: I don’t like pumpkin pie. I never have and probably never will. I don’t like pumpkin spice anything either. The best way to ruin a Starbucks drink is to add pumpkin spice. Ew.

So I made these for you. All of you lovers of pumpkin out there! I also distributed these to as many pumpkin-addicted friends as possible, to get their thoughts. They LOVED them. I like that they are cute. Cute is always good.

pumpkin filled oreo

Like that photo, pumpkin people???🙂 I bet you do…. If you love pumpkin pie- you will go crazy over these fun little cookies!

Here is how we made them (printable recipe here)

INGREDIENTS: (makes about 20 cookies- but see notes at end of recipe)

  • 1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin
  • 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • 1-2 boxes of Oreo Thins in vanilla (see notes)
  • 1-2 bags of Wilton’s Candy Melts in white (see notes)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
  • Place pumpkin, condensed milk, TWO eggs (save one), pumpkin spice, and salt into a medium mixing bowl and blend well using a whisk.
  • Pour into a baking dish (a pie plate works perfectly!)
  • Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes- until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  • Remove from oven, spoon into a clean mixing bowl and blend until fairly smooth (it’s pumpkin, so it won’t be creamy smooth- but without big lumps).
  • Freeze for 30 minutes- until chilled through.
  • While baking /freezing pumpkin, make pie crust toppers.
  • Unroll pie crust and use a small cookie cutter to cut shapes out. Place these on a parchment paper-covered cookie sheet.
  • Separate remaining egg and keep just the white. Use a brush to coat top of each pie piece with egg-white. (I added a bit of orange and green food coloring in separate bowls to give them a hint of color- but this is optional!)
  • Bake at 375F for 7-8 minutes. Keep an eye on them! Mine got a little too brown.  I just popped these in while my pumpkin was still baking. Cool on counter.
  • Place 1/2 of Oreo Thins on a small cookie sheet. 
  • Scoop cooled pumpkin on top of each and gently press second Oreo on top.

pumpkin pie cookiesimg_0116

  • Freeze for at least 30 minutes (until pumpkin in the center is fairly hard).
  • Melt Candy Melts in a bowl the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring until smooth.
  • Set a pumpkin-stuffed Oreo into candy melts and spoon over the top and sides. 
  • Remove using a fork. Tap against edge of bowl to drain excess away and gently slide onto parchment paper. 
  • Before candy hardens, place a pie piece on top and sprinkle with a little pumpkin spice seasoning. 
  • Allow candy to fully harden ( a couple of hours).
  • Serve in a pie plate- or bag them up in cute cello bags with ribbon. 
  • Enjoy!

Pumpkin pie oreos

My thoughts: Honestly, these take a little time. You bake a pie and then turn it into cookies. Everyone loved the HUGE amount of pie filling in each cookie- but if you haven’t done much dipping in chocolate before, I highly recommend you get a second box of Oreo Thins and put less in between each cookie. The hardest part of this process was coating such a tall cookie in white chocolate. If I made these again I would use less pumpkin filling to make that easier. If you do this, you will need a second bag of candy melts as well.

pumpkin-oreo3

See… half that amount would still be enough! Once these were hardened, I placed them in little cello bags and tied them with ribbon. They were still yummy (to my pumpkin loving friends) several days later. Because of the moist pumpkin filling, I recommend you serve these fairly soon after making them though. Within a few days. Enjoy!!!  ~r

Pumpkin filled oreos

Other fun recipes for Thanksgiving! (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Pecan Pie CupcakesTepee CupcakesHoney cut-out cookiesPeanut butter cup cheesecake

Fall Marshmallow Cakes

Posted on

marshmallow cake

These delicious little chocolate cakes are filled with creamy sweet marshmallow, and decorated to make everyone at your fall table smile!

I’ve been craving HoHos lately. Do they even still make those? Seems like Hostess went out of business awhile back…? Anyway- or those Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls. Both of those desserts remind me of high school lunches. My friends and I would sit at lunch, peel them apart in layers, and talk about boys and such while we ate them.

Anyway… so I started thinking about a way to do a grown-up version of these flavors. My friend Angie gave me SUCH a fun pan- it makes little cakes with a cavity in the center that holds filling. See what I mean HERE. I’ve used these pans before here on Easybaked and they seemed perfect for this idea. Instead of topping cake with cake—- I topped each cake with a thick layer of chocolate glaze that was decorated with chocolate transfers.

I love how they turned out! This was my 1st time using transfers, and they are a little fussy- but the wow factor….!!!!!

marshmallow cake

Mmmm……!! So there is some special equipment to make these exactly like I did (cake pans, silicone molds to make the top chocolate layer). If you hate to purchase the pans and chocolate mold, make these as cupcakes. Fill them with marshmallow and pour the glaze over the top. Or make this as a layer cake maybe- with the marshmallow in the middle and the glaze drizzled over the top?

However you choose to make it, the flavors are wonderful together!

Here’s how we put these together. (Printable recipe here)

Ingredients (makes 8 mini cakes)

Cake:

  • 1 chocolate cake mix (plus water, oil and eggs to make according to package)

Filling:

  • 2 cups marshmallow creme
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Topping:

  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 12 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 large (12″x16″) chocolate transfer sheet (here is where I got mine)

Directions:

  • Start with the chocolate toppers. To add a chocolate transfer on top, cut 8 circles in a 4 inch diameter. I traced the pans with a marker and the cut the transfer just inside the line. Place the smooth side down and the rough side up inside a 4 inch silicone cake mold (I got mine here, in the medium size).
  • Place chocolate chips and 12 tablespoons of butter into a microwave safe dish and melt in 30 second increments, stirring between until smooth.
  • Gently spoon chocolate over the top of each transfer until it is covered completely. 
  • Freeze for about 20 minutes- until completely hard.
  • Gently peel away the silicone mold, leaving the chocolate. Keep this chocolate in the freezer until use.

chocolate transferschocolate transfers

  • Repeat process (re-melt chocolate glaze if needed) until you have 8 toppers in the freezer.
  • Make cake according to mix and bake in 4 pans as directed on box. Only fill the pans 1/2 full, or they will overflow. And grease the pans generously!!! My 1st batch stuck a little.
  • You will need to bake two batches to get your 8 cakes. Cool completely.
  • Make filling by beating together the marshmallow creme and the butter until smooth and light (about 2 minutes).
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar, beating on low until it is fully mixed in, and then increasing to high and beating until light and fluffy (another 2 minutes or so).
  • Place filling into a zip top bag and zip it tightly closed. Clip a corner off and squeeze filling into each open cake cavity. 
  • Gently set a chocolate topper over the filling, pressing it lightly against the filling. As the topper warms to room temperature, it will soften and stick more firmly to the cake. 
  • Gently peel away the plastic from the top of the transfer.

 

marshmallow cakemarshmallow cake

  • Keep at room temperature until serving. Kept covered, these can be stored for two to three days.
  • Enjoy!

marshmallow-cake

My thoughts: If you don’t mind the extra equipment and a little bit of time, these are positively the most elegant and delicious little cakes! I had so much fun serving these as individual desserts- and everyone loved them. If what you are aiming for is extra special- this is your dessert. If you need your chocolate fix right now? Get those Little Debbies!!!😉 ~r

Other fall treats here on Easybaked:

Pecan Pie CupcakesPumpkin Pie Cutout cookies!Honey cookies cut into leaf shapes!Acorn Candy

A Collection of 10 Halloween Treats!

Posted on

halloween dessert collection

toxic slime cupcakes

Mummy Oreo Pops

spider web cookies

Candy Corn Cups

Halloween Cake

halloween swirled cookies

broken glass cupcakes

halloween ginger cookies

spider egg cupcakes

wormy cupcakes

My thoughts: These are some of my favorites!!!! Click on a photo to see each recipe. Enjoy!!!  ~r

Spiderweb Oreo Pops

Posted on

spiderweb-oreo-pops

These web-wrapped Oreos with M&M spiders are not only cute fall treats- but delicious ones!

It’s that time of year again. That time when spiders think it’s too cold outside, and find little cracks around my windows and doors to creep in through. There’s nothing worse than sitting here, innocently blogging about a dessert recipe, only to be shocked by a giant black spider racing out from behind the couch. Seriously- they move so fast!

In any case, I make a lot of spider-themed treats. Maybe because candy spiders are so cute- and they don’t move. These are especially cute little guys- and they are perfect on top of these web-coated Oreos! Plus, as is true with all Oreo pops, you can make them weeks ahead and have them all wrapped in pretty bags and ready for a party. I love recipes like that.

spiderweb-oreo-pops

Here is how we made them: (printable recipe available here)

INGREDIENTS: (makes about 24 pops)

  • One box of Double Stuff Oreos
  • 24 lollipop sticks
  • 2 bags of Wilton’s Candy Melts in white
  • 1/4 cup of Wilton’s candy melts in dark chocolate
  • 36-ish dark brown M&Ms (no worries–you can eat the rest of the bag while you work🙂 )

DIRECTIONS:

  • Make your spiders 1st.
  • Melt dark chocolate melts in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until melted and smooth. Spoon into a small zip-top bag and clip a tiny corner off (or use a decorator tip, if you have one). 
  • Pipe spider legs on parchment paper (see photo) and place an M&M in the center. I make more than 24, because the legs sometimes break when you peel them off.

The photos below are from my recipe for Spider Eggs, and some of them are piped on Lindt truffles. You can see how I piped them on parchment paper though.

Spider eggsSpider Eggs

  • Let spiders harden while you assemble your Oreos.
  • Twist apart all of your Oreos.
  • Melt a small amount of candy melts (<1/4 cup) in the microwave in 3o second increments, stirring between until smooth.
  • Dip the end of a lollipop stick into the melts, and press into white filling of Oreo. Place other half of cookie back on top and press together.
  • Place Oreo and stick on a cookie sheet. Repeat this process with remaining Oreos, and then freeze all Oreos until firm (10-15 minutes).
  • Melt one and a half bags of white Candy Melts using method from above.
  • Once Oreos are chilled, hold with stick and dip into Candy Melts until completely coated.
  • Tap on side of bowl to get excess off, and drag across lip of bowl to scrape excess off back of cookie.
  • Set on parchment paper to harden.
  • Melt remaining white Candy Melts and place in a zip-top bag. Clip the corner off and drizzle over each Oreo to make a messy web-like pattern.
  • Immediately place a “spider” on this melted drizzle and allow everything to harden up for at least a couple of hours. 
  • Once hardened, store in an air-tight container or tie up in little cello bags. 
  • Enjoy!!!

spiderweb-oreo-pops

My thoughts: *Smile*!!! These are fun little treats- and not too difficult to make. I always love my Oreo pops. One of these days I should put all of them in one post since I’m getting such a large collection of them! I hope you get a chance to try these fun little treats! And I hope they are the only spiders you find in your home this fall!!!  ~r

spiderweb-oreo-pops

Other spider-y treats found on Easybaked: (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Spiderweb CookiesSpider Cupcakes!Spider Eggs Cupcakesspiderweb brownie

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