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Category Archives: Seasonal dessert

Fall Peanut Butter Crisps

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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.

 

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Tie Dye Slime Cake for Halloween!

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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!

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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!

Sparkling Glass Christmas Cookies!

Stained glass Christmas Cookie

Buttery cut-out tree cookies with sparkling candy-glass ornaments! Not only beautiful Christmas treats- but delicious ones!

These fun candy-filled cookies are not an original idea- just an idea I’ve seen around for years and always wanted to try. These turned out great. You need a cut-out recipe that holds it’s shape and size well- otherwise when the cookie bakes, those little holes will expand shut and you won’t have any room to put candy. You also need a cookie that tastes AWESOME without icing. I think these accomplished both goals!!! These were just delicious 🙂

stained glass cookies

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

 INGREDIENTS: (makes about 24 cookies- depending on the size cutter you use)

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon of butter flavoring
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Green food coloring
  • 1 large bag of Jolly Rancher candies
  • Star sprinkles (if desired- plus a tiny bit of melted chocolate to attach them)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Unwrap candy and divide into colors.
  • Use a hammer on a solid surface (one that can’t be damaged by a hammer) to crush the candy. Crush it very finely- mine was a little big still, and it made it harder to spoon into the openings. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth.
  • Add eggs, vanilla and butter flavoring and mix well.
  • Add all dry ingredients and mix until able to knead into a firm ball of dough (add additional flour if necessary).
  • Add green food coloring and knead with hands until dough reaches desired shade. 
  • Roll out on a floured counter with a flour coated rolling pin to desired thickness (I made them fairly thick)
  • Cut into Christmas tree shapes
  • Place on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet.
  • Use a straw to poke “ornament” holes. I used a small straw and a jumbo one to give different sizes. 
  • Bake at 350F degrees for 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and use a small spoon (I used a tiny little appetizer spoon) to spoon candy colors into each hole.

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  • Bake at 350F degrees for an additional 4-5 minutes until candy is entirely melted. Check after 2-3 minutes and add a little candy if needed, as the pieces melt and settle. 
  • Remove cookies from oven and slide the parchment papers off the cookie sheet onto a counter to cool. 
  • Use a bit of melted chocolate to attach a star on top (if desired).
  • Enjoy!

sparkling-christmas-tree-cookies

My thoughts: These were fun to make and they are just so cute and yummy! A few changes I will make the next time: I’d use bigger straws. The larger size was fine, but the mini size holes were hard to fill. I would also crush the candy to a sugar consistency. I had a few bigger pieces that made it harder to fill those tiny holes. I loved the flavor of those buttery cookies with the sweet fruity candy bits- I will definitely make these again!  Enjoy! ~r

Other fun treats for Christmas: (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Opera Cream CandyPeppermint Hot Chocolate CupcakesChocolate Bon-bonsHot Chocolate Pops!

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.

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  • 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

A Collection of 10 Halloween Treats!

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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

Fourth of July Dessert Ideas!

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Bomb Pop Cupcakes!!!

 

Bomb Pop Cupcakes!

Oh my, I love the fourth of July! I love the picnics, and pool parties, and cookouts, and fireworks…and the time with family!

My parents have always (like always, for as long as I can remember!) had a giant pool party for the fourth and invited our entire extended family for burgers and brats and volleyball and sunshine….and for a competitive display of our best “at home” fireworks we could find, later in the evening. I have so many fun memories of chasing fireflies and waving sparklers with my cousins (that are all grown with kids of their own now!). This year is different. For starters, mom isn’t here to orchestrate the complexities of the celebration. The house is in boxes and bags- ready to show to whomever might be interested in buying, and the pool and yard are immaculately kept. Pool toys and floats are all deflated and either sold or put away. Sometimes I sit on the back porch and watch the fireflies and remember all the laughter and fun.

I know that these times are not forever over. This year is different, but once dad settles into his new place there will be other celebrations and family times over the fourth. This year though…my heart wasn’t in the “create something new and fun” place. So instead, I thought you might enjoy a collection of some of my previous red-white-and-blue recipes. You can click on the photo or the title, to be taken to the recipe.

American Flag Oreo Pops!!!!

American Flag Oreo Pops

Patriotic Polka Dot Cake!!!!

Patriotic Polka Dot Cake!!!

Patriotic Flip Flop Cookies!!!!

Flip Flop Cookies for the Fourth!

Patriotic Tie-Dye Cake!!!!

Patriotic Tie-Dye Cake!

Stars!!

Stars and Stripes Brownies!

Patriotic Bundt Cake!!!!

Red White and Blue Bundt Cake!

And if you are grilling out for the Fourth, you might need these…

BBQ Grill Cupcakes!!

BBQ Grill Cupcakes!

Hamburger Cookie!

Grilled Burger Cupcakes!

However you celebrate this summer, I hope you have fun making memories with your friends and family~ and I hope you enjoy trying fun, new recipes that become a part of your family traditions! ~r

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