RSS Feed

Author Archives: Ruthanne

Fall Peanut Butter Crisps

Posted on

Fall Peanut Butter Crisps1

These beautiful fall cookies are special– not just because they are salty, sweet, crispy deliciousness– but because they use up your kids’ Halloween candy!!!!

So… Halloween is over, and you are likely in possession of more candy than you know what to do with. The chocolate will be gone in days, and then the name-brand candy will slowly get picked away at. But there are always those candies that sit in the bottom of the plastic pumpkin until Thanksgiving. For me, those candies were always Bit-o-Honey and the bright orange and black-wrapped “Peanut Butter Kisses“. These are a candy that only seems to make an appearance at Halloween. A combination of taffy and peanut butter, they just always seem to make the left-over candy list.

But not any more!!!  Go ahead, dig through all of that Halloween candy and pull these little guys out- they make the best filling for these beautiful cookies!

Fall Peanut Butter Crisps2

You can also grab other candies to fill these cookies with- rolos, kisses, peppermint patties, mini snickers… all work in this recipe! I actually began making these crisp cookies with Rolos about 5 years ago at Christmas.

Fall Peanut Butter Crisps5

Want the recipe? Here it is!! (printable version)

Ingredients: (makes 20 cookies)

  • 40 Ritz crackers
  • 20 Peanut Butter Kisses (or other small candy that melts at a low temperature)
  • 1 bag of Wilton’s dark chocolate candy melts
  • 1 chocolate transfer sheet (I used 12×16″, and I got mine here). 

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. 
  • Place 20 Ritz crackers on a cookie sheet, bottoms up. 
  • Unwrap all 20 peanut butter kisses, and set one on each Ritz cracker. 
  • Place cookie sheet in oven for about 4-5 minutes- check! Candy should be soft but not completely melted. 
  • Remove from oven, and place Ritz cracker, bottom side down, on top of candy and press to spread candy to edge.

 

  • Place entire tray in freezer to chill for a few minutes.
  • Melt chocolate candy melts in a bowl in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes, stirring once every 30 seconds, until completely melted and smooth.
  • Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet (that fits in your freezer!)
  • Cut chocolate transfer sheet into 20 squares.
  • Take a cookie, place it in the melted chocolate and cover it completely. Use a fork to pick it up and tap on the side of the bowl until all excess chocolate drips off the bottom. Slide bottom along edge of bowl, and using fork, slide onto parchment paper.
  • Immediately place chocolate transfer sheet square on top of the melted chocolate (you’ll need to put the rough side down- the smooth side up) and gently press it into contact with the entire top of the cookie. Repeat 20 times.
  • Place entire cookie sheet into the freezer for 5 minutes or so. As soon as you remove it, gently peel off the transfer sheet from each cookie- and enjoy!!!

How-to-crisps8

My thoughts: There are three things that I love about these cookies…

  1. They are EASY to make- they take almost no time but look so fancy!
  2. They are CHEAP to make- the Ritz crackers and peanut butter candies are really inexpensive (I got mine at the Dollar Store), the chocolate isn’t too costly, and the transfer sheet is like $4.40, but SO worth it! (you could use sprinkles instead, to cut the cost even more though!)
  3. They keep for a long time. Put these little guys in cello bags, tie them up, and use them to decorate your place settings at Thanksgiving! 

They also can use a variety of candies up- and you can decorate them so many fun ways! 

Fall Peanut Butter Crisps3

Go – find your kids’ candy and re-purpose it into these beautiful, crunchy, deliciously salty but sweet treats!

Need other ideas for using up that Halloween candy? This is a project we have a few ideas for! Click on a photo to see the recipe.

 

Tie Dye Slime Cake for Halloween!

Posted on

Slime Cake1

This deliciously scary layer cake has all the fun colors of Halloween, with green slime oozing out of the layers!

I think that of all the desserts I create all year long, the October ones are my favorite. There is just something fun about the purples and greens and oranges this time of year- and the “yuck” factor that actually tastes amazing. This cake has all the colors, all the feels, and that slimy green layer? It is actually white chocolate pudding that is absolutely delicious.

This filling is inspired by our Toxic Slime Cupcakes from a few years ago. I loved the flavor of the pudding slime so much that I wanted to use it in something else. The cake-of-many-colors is inspired by our Tie Dye cake recipe from a few years back. Put the two together and you have this Franken-dessert mash-up. Just in time for Halloween!

Slime cake3

Want to know how we made it? Here you go: (printable recipe)

Ingredients: 

  • One white cake mix (plus eggs, oil and water to make according to package)
  • One chocolate cake mix (plus eggs, oil and water to make according to package)
  • Food coloring gels in orange, green, purple and black 
  • Two large boxes of instant White Chocolate pudding mix (plus milk to make according to package)
  • 2 sticks of salted butter
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • Halloween sprinkles 

Directions: 

  • Make two cake mixes according to package.
  • Use black food coloring gel to make chocolate cake a black color
  • Divide white cake batter into three bowls and add color gels to make them orange, green and purple.
  • Spray three 9 inch pans with cooking spray and cut a round piece of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of each. If you don’t have three pans, bake layers one at a time.
  • Starting with black, place a circle of batter in the middle of each pan. Tap it to make it spread out a bit (batter should not be at the edges yet). Add a circle of green in the center of the black, tap until both colors spread a little. Repeat with orange and then start again with black and repeat all colors, ending with black (because you have more batter in that color). 

Tie Dye Method1

  • Place cakes in a 350F degree oven and bake according to package (mine took about 25 min). 
  • Remove from oven, tip out of pan, and cool completely on a cake rack. 
  • Trim the top of each layer so that it is flat. 
  • Make 2 boxes of pudding according to package, and use green food color to tint it a slimy shade of green. 
  • Make frosting by placing the butter (at room temp), powdered sugar and vanilla into a large bowl and beating it on high until light and fluffy. 
  • Divide frosting into 3 bowls- one bowl for the purple should have about 3/4 of the frosting, the other two should have the rest split in two for orange and green. Use food color gels to color these. 

Assembly of the cake: 

  • Place purple icing in a large zip-top bag fitted with a large round (2A) Wilton decorating tip. Pipe icing around the top of a layer to form a “wall” to hold the pudding slime on the cake. 
  • Spoon 1/2 of the green slime pudding on top of the cake, and spread it to the frosting edges. 

  • Gently place a cake layer on top of the pudding and repeat the process once more, ending with the top layer of cake. 
  • Frost the entire cake in purple and then, using a round (2A) Wilton tip, pipe round dots all over the top of the cake in the 3 colors. 
  • Finish with a sprinkle of eyeballs and bones- or any other fun Halloween candy. 
  • Enjoy!

Slime cake4

My thoughts: YUM!!!  This cake is so good with that white chocolate pudding as a filling. Goodness. You could make this recipe easier by doing either one element or the other (make a purple cake with slime- or make a tie-dye cake with regular filling). Also- you will have a little left-over black batter. I went a little heavier on the black layers to make up the difference, but still had a little left. I really hope you get a chance to try this recipe! Enjoy!! ~r

Slime cake2

Other fun Halloween recipes to try:(click on photo to open recipe)

Peanut Butter Spider Cookies!

Posted on

Spider5

These deliciously creepy little spider cookies are special…. because the peanut butter cookies they sit on only take THREE ingredients, and are the best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever tasted!

Spider7

I’ve seen these cute little guys pop up online, and I’ve wanted to make them with my favorite (super-easy!) peanut butter cookies for more than a few years. They are a cute addition to any Halloween party, delicious, and sooooo easy to make. Want to know how? Here you go: (printable recipe)

Ingredients: (makes about 24 cookies)

  • 2 cups peanut butter (creamy)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 24 Lindt chocolates
  • 1 cup of Wilton candy melts in milk or dark chocolate
  • 48 candy eyes

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees
  • Place peanut butter, sugar and eggs into a mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
  • Use a cookie scoop to place 2 inch balls onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. 
  • Bake at 350F degrees for about 12 minutes (cookies will still be soft in the middle). 
  • Remove from oven and use a tart shaper or the rounded back of a measuring spoon to press a small round indentation into the center of the cookie (so the chocolate spider has a place to sit!).
  • Bake another 2-4 minutes and remove from oven. Slide parchment paper off cookie sheet with the cookies still on top and cool completely. 
  • Melt candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between. 
  • Use a toothpick to put a little melted chocolate on the back of your candy eyes and attach them to the Lindt chocolate. Allow these to harden. 
  • Place the rest of the melted chocolate into a zip-top bag. Seal it up and cut a small corner off. Squeeze the bag and pipe legs on the top of each cookie. 
  • Add a bit of chocolate in the center of each cookie and set a Lindt “spider body” on top. 
  • Allow all chocolate to harden and ENJOY!

Spider4

My thoughts: What’s not to like about these?!? A super-easy peanut butter cookie, plus chocolate? SO fun! Too busy for spiders? Just make the cookie part. You could have warm peanut butter cookies in like 20 minutes from RIGHT NOW. Aaaand…. go!

Spider3

Looking for other fun Halloween treats? Here are a few- just click the photo to see the recipe!

Epic Monster Cookies!

Monster1

Every once in awhile I run into a dessert that I simply HAVE to try making. These cookies are that dessert. Recently, my husband and I were invited to be a part of a good friend’s wedding in Georgia. At the rehearsal, the groom’s mom handed out little bags filled with these cookies… and the rest is history. I’ve had monster cookies before… but I’ve never had ones that tasted this good! Thick and full of oats- kind of like the oatmeal no-bake cookies… but better. Seriously– you need to try them!

Monster2

So I got the recipe from Debbie Howard, mom of my recently married friend Josh. It was a really old recipe in one of those church cookbooks where everyone submits recipes. It had alterations scribbled all over the recipe, so it took me three tries, but I finally perfected the recipe. You need to make these exactly as instructed though- or they won’t work as well- and believe me- when they work….? Epic. Cookies.

My biggest mistake was not refrigerating the dough before scooping them out- and they flattened into thin crispy puddles :/ You need to refrigerate- so give yourself at least 2 hours extra time for that. Otherwise, they are fairly easy cookies and worth every bit of effort!!  Want the recipe? Here you go! (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick of butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups of extra crunchy peanut butter
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 5 cups oatmeal (old-fashioned kind- not instant!)
  • ½ cup M&Ms
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars together and add eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
  • Add peanut butter and beat together until well combined.
  • In a separate large bowl, toss salt, baking soda, oats, pecans, M&Ms and chocolate chips together.
  • Add bowl of dry ingredients to wet and mix well.
  • Cover and refrigerate for about two hours (you must do this, or the cookies will spread thin and crunchy when baked). Dough should be just hard enough to still scoop, so test the time a bit, as refrigerators vary in temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 365F degrees.
  • Use a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to place cookie dough on a parchment paper- covered cookie sheet. Roll them smooth with your hands and then flatten them a little bit before baking. Leave room between cookies to allow them to spread a little. 
  • Bake at 365F degrees for 10-12 minutes. They should be just turning brown on top when you remove them. 
  • Slide cookies off sheet, still on parchment paper, and allow them to cool on counter- they will seem fragile until they cool and harden up.
  • Enjoy!

Monster3

My thoughts: Well, I already said this once, but these are really delicious cookies. They are thick and chewy and so peanut-buttery! Store them in an air-tight container and they keep for a long time (we are still eating ours a week later!) Enjoy! ~r

Monster7

We have other epic cookies here- click on a photo to see the recipe!

Chocolate Cake Roll with a Cinnamon Caramel Filling

Posted on

Cake Roll1I love my pumpkin roll recipe. It’s one of my favorite parts of baking in the Fall. I’ve been highly unsuccessful, however, in finding a chocolate cake roll recipe that I love- either it tastes great but cracks like crazy, or it rolls well buts tastes like cardboard. One of my goals over the past 2 years of blog-absence was to create a chocolate cake roll recipe that works AND tastes great.

This is it! It rolls beautifully (I had only one small crack) and tastes like a rich, but not-too-sweet, fudge brownie. Perfect!

Of course you can fill this roll with a multitude of things, but I chose a creamy Dulce de Leche caramel filling with cinnamon.

Cake Roll3

Ready to try this? Here’s the recipe: (printable version)

Ingredients: 

Cake:

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Filling:

  • 3 sticks (1.5 cups) of salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • One can (13.4 oz) Dulce de Leche (I used Nestle’s La Lechera)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder (mix them together in a small dish)

Directions:

Cake:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly spray a 17 x 12 inch jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper with about an inch of extra paper on the 17-inch sides (so you can lift the cake out of the pan easily once it bakes). Note: make sure your paper is nice and flat- the non-stick spray will help hold it down. Mine folded a little and you can see a few bumps on my roll where the batter baked over the fold.
  • Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl stirring gently until just combined.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs and granulated sugar for about 1 minute until thick. Add in the oil and vanilla extract, and beat together until combined.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet, and mix gently until just combined. The batter will be like a runny brownie batter.
  • Spread the batter evenly into prepared pan, and bake for 12-16 minutes, or until top of cake springs back when touched.
  • Carefully lift the parchment paper and cake out onto a flat (and heat-safe) surface. Then slowly, using your hands (careful, it will be hot!), roll the cake  – rolling from one short (12-inch) end to the other— until it is completely rolled up.
  • Wrap tightly in a towel and place in refrigerator until completely cooled (an hour or so).

CakeRoll6Cake Roll5

  • While the cake is cooling, make the caramel and cinnamon filling (see below).
  • Once the cake has cooled completely, place it on a flat surface, remove the towel, and unroll it carefully until it is flat again (it’s ok if the ends curl up a bit).

Filling: (make while cake cools)

  • Place butter in mixing bowl and beat on high until whipped and smooth.
  • Add Dulce de Leche and cinnamon to butter and beat on high for about 2 minutes until smooth and creamy.

Assembly: 

  • Spread the filling evenly over unrolled cake, leaving a small border on all sides (the filling will spread out as you roll it back up).  Then carefully re-roll the cake, gently peeling away the parchment paper as you roll until you can completely remove and discard it. Tightly wrap the chocolate roll in plastic wrap or Press-n-Seal and refrigerate at least one hour until completely set.

Cake Roll8Cake Roll7

  • Lightly dust with cocoa powder and cinnamon mixture (you could also add a chocolate glaze to the top if you have cracks or you want the dessert to be sweeter).
  • To serve, remove and unwrap the chocolate roll, transfer it to your serving dish and slice.
  • Keep leftovers tightly wrapped and refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Cake Roll2

My thoughts: Yum! I loved this cake roll- I almost feel like it should be called a brownie roll because it is so dense and rich. This is not a super sweet dessert- my husband said it would be better with a sweet chocolate glaze on top- but I loved the rich cocoa/cinnamon flavor. If you like a not-so-sweet but rich and cocoa-y dessert, this one’s for you! Enjoy!! ~r

Cake Roll4

I’m MARRIED!!! (plus a great recipe for fondant…)

Posted on

Reception29e

My last post here was two years ago yesterday. I was beginning to feel like creating content for this site was work instead of joy, and a hobby should always bring joy! I’ve just started to feel like I miss creating and sharing recipes though, so I am back, checking in with you all, and hoping to share new things here again- maybe a little less frequently than my usual one time per week though!

So… a lot has happened in these two years! Just after I posted my last recipe here, I began walking every morning with a friend I’d known for about 8 years named Nick. We walked all that fall, winter and spring and became really close friends. Last summer he asked if I’d be interested in dating (which I was!), in December he proposed, and we were married 5 months ago! It is such a wonderful thing to have someone to walk life with. He is an incredible man, and I’m so thankful that God brought us together!

Plus he loves desserts as much (maybe more!) than I do!

58578414_10155950238392513_5197066502976569344_n

So obviously our wedding cake was a really important element of our wedding! My dear friends Megan and Wendy Davis from Happily Ever After Cakes did our cake and it was incredible on several levels.

First: They live almost 10 hours away. They made the cakes, drove them cross-country and assembled them here.

Second: Our wedding theme was confetti, and they matched our colors perfectly in fondant.

Third: It was a 5 layer cake- and each layer was a different flavor with a different filling. And all of the flavors were epic. I tried them all (of course!)

Reception28.2e

Wendy and Megan make delicious cake (top secret recipe) and amazing fillings, but what puts their cakes over the top is their made-from-scratch fondant. I usually want to peel fondant off to get rid of it- but not this. It’s soft, and sweet, and absolutely delicious.

Megan shared their recipe with me on a visit several years ago, and I posted about it here. I thought it was worth a second share though- just in case you missed it the 1st time, so here you go: (printer-friendly recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups mini marshmallows (half of a 16 oz. bag)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar- plus a little for dusting.
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of clear vanilla
  • gel colors to color fondant as desired

DIRECTIONS:

  • Place your mini marshmallows and water into a large mixing bowl and microwave on high for about one minute- until they are puffy and melted.
  • Stir them together with a rubber spatula until they are completely smooth (if not melted completely, put them back in the microwave on high for 5-10 seconds).
  • Add clear vanilla and mix well.
  • Add about 1/4 of the powdered sugar, stir until smooth, add another 1/4 and stir.  It will become difficult to stir and very sticky.
  • Pour the rest of the powdered sugar onto a clean counter or cutting board.
  • Scrape the sticky fondant mixture out of the bowl and onto the powdered sugar and begin to knead it together with clean (powder sugar coated!) hands.  It will gradually become like a smooth clay consistency.  Use a metal scraper to keep it from sticking to the counter/ board.
  • This can now be colored with gel, rolled out and cut, or stored (tightly wrapped) in the fridge for about one week.  
  • Have your cupcakes or cake all made and cooled.
  • Make enough fondant to cover your item(s).  Here is a great chart by Wilton to help you determine how much you’ll need for various projects.
  • Make up some  thick buttercream icing (recipe here) and you are ready to go!

Reception28.1e

My thoughts: YAY! It is fun to be at a place where I can jump back into sharing my ideas here again. I’ve missed you all! Until the next recipe….

Reception27e

Enjoy!

 

 

Dark Chocolate Almond Bites

Posted on

dark-chocolate-almond-bites1

These little clusters of almond, coconut and dark chocolate will satisfy your sweet tooth without wrecking your diet!

I’ve been trying to eat healthier this year, and so far I’m doing really well (even with a baking blog!). My friend Laura and I walk each day and when we do we talk a lot about things we crave that could be made healthier. She was telling me that she craves chocolate so much that she takes a few dark chocolate chips and adds some almonds for a snack each night. I was in the process of making some coconut cut-out cookies and I had extra toasted coconut. We started brainstorming ways to make a cookie with relatively low calories and carbs. This is the result 🙂 They are delicious (!!) and as far as I can tell, they are about 85 calories each and 6 carbs. Which is perfect. Just perfect.

dark-chocolate-almond-bites4

They aren’t very pretty- but who needs pretty when you can have yummy and relatively healthy? 🙂

Here’s how we made them: (printable recipe here)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of toasted coconut (buy it toasted, or toast your own…)
  • 1 cup of lightly salted, roasted almonds
  • 2 plain rice cakes
  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  • Place toasted coconut and almonds in a food chopper and chop to small pieces. Place in a mixing bowl.
  • Crumble up the 2 rice cakes into very small pieces and add to bowl.
  • Melt chocolate chips, and pour them over the top of mixture. 
  • Stir until well-blended and then use a medium cookie scoop to spoon out evenly-sized cookies onto a parchment paper- covered cookie sheet. (My batch made 22, and calories and carbs were calculated accordingly.)
  • Place cookie sheet in refrigerator until cookies harden up. Enjoy! 

dark-chocolate-almond-bites2

My thoughts: These are really, really good. I bagged mine up in individual cello bags and tied them shut with a twist tie. That way, I wasn’t tempted to eat more than one at a time! These are a perfect “gotta have some chocolate” treat. Lots of protein from the nuts, healthy oils from the coconut, and a little bit of crunch from the rice cakes. Enjoy! ~r

dark-chocolate-almond-bites3

Other yummy (slightly less healthy!) cookie recipes here at Easybaked (click on a photo to see the recipe):

%d bloggers like this: