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Pretzel Oreo Cookie Balls | alidaskitchen.com

Pretzel Oreo Cookie Balls

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Pretzel Oreo Cookie Balls | alidaskitchen.com

Pretzel Oreo Cookie Balls are a delicious yet simple chocolate truffle made with only 4 ingredients.  These are one of the easiest desserts you will ever make and also one of the tastiest!

This recipe starts with the classic Oreo Cookie Ball with a pretzel twist.  The pretzels add a subtle salty component to the truffle, giving it the salty-sweet combination that is always so popular.  This recipe makes plenty, which is good because they will disappear quickly.  Pretzel Oreo Cookie Balls will make a wonderful addition to any Holiday treat platter, or for any occasion….

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Chocolate Pretzel Cookies | alidaskitchen.com

Chocolate Pretzel Cookies

Chocolate Pretzel Cookies | alidaskitchen.com

If you love that salty-sweet combination, then you will love these Chocolate Pretzel Cookies.  Studded with chopped pretzels and chocolate chips throughout, these cookies are sure to delight folks of all ages.  Chocolate Pretzel Cookies cookies take minutes to prepare, so they can easily be whipped together any time.   Plus the whole pretzel garnish on top of the cookie is just so cute!…

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Sweet Potato Pie without crust and a brown sugar-oat topping | alidaskitchen.com

Crustless Sweet Potato Pie

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Sweet Potato Pie made without crust | alidaskitchen.com #PAMSmartTips #ad

Crustless Sweet Potato Pie is a delicious pie made with sweet potatoes, a brown sugar-oat crumble topping and without a crust.!  Since there is no crust, this dessert is a healthier alternative and super easy to make!

Every Thanksgiving, I look forward to making Crustless Pumpkin Pie.  It’s always delicious, a bit healthier, and never disappoints.   This year I thought it would be fun to mix things up and try a sweet potato version of this favorite pie.  I love sweet potatoes just as much as I love pumpkin, so why not try a Crustless Sweet Potato Pie!…

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Poppy Seed Cake from Alida's Kitchen

Poppy Seed Cake

Poppy Seed Cake from Alida's Kitchen

This Poppy Seed Cake is a classic buttermilk coffee cake studded with poppy seeds and a cinnamon swirl in the middle.  It is perfect for a dessert, brunch, or even a special breakfast treat.

This Poppy Seed Cake recipe is from my mom.  It is one of my favorite treats that she makes for special occasions.  She got this recipe many years ago (we’re talking decades) from the hostess of a ladies luncheon.  She said everybody at the party was asking for the recipe.  That’s always a good sign!

I made a last minute decision to whip up this cake, and as a result had to make a few changes from the original recipe based on what I had on hand.  I used vanilla extract since I was out of almond extract.  I also used oil in place of butter because I had one stick of butter left that I was planning to use to make cookies!  Feel free to use almond and/or butter in place of what is noted below.  Either way works great!…

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Salted Caramel Brownies....made on the lighter side!

Salted Caramel Brownies

Salted Caramel Brownies

With a fudgy brownie base, a smooth caramel topping,  a drizzle of dark chocolate and a sprinkle of sea salt, you really can’t go wrong with these Salted Caramel Brownies made on the lighter side!

Like most people, I am obsessed with salted caramel anything.  Salted caramel ice cream, candies, straight from a jar perhaps?  Clearly Salted Caramel Brownies were a no brainer!  The brownie layer alone was fudgy and delicious.  The caramel layer was actually very easy to make, which was nice (and dangerous!).  Last,  a little drizzle of bittersweet chocolate (or you could just sprinkle some semi-sweet chocolate chips to simplify things) and a sprinkling of sea salt….

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Pumpkin Baked Doughnuts

Pumpkin Baked Doughnuts

Pumpkin Baked Doughnuts #CMcantwaitCGC

Pumpkin Baked Doughnuts are healthier doughnuts, baked (not fried) made with whole wheat flour and topped with Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Icing.

Clearly we all know what I love best about Fall…pumpkin recipes!   We have gone pumpkin crazy over here this year, with pumpkin cake, muffins, pasta, cake again, and now doughnuts.   After finally acquiring a couple doughnut pans, naturally my first go-to recipe is for Pumpkin Baked Doughnuts….

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Lighter Frosted Pumpkin Cake

Frosted Pumpkin Cake

Frosted Pumpkin Cake

Frosted Pumpkin Cake is a classic pumpkin sheet cake topped with cream cheese frosting.  Delicious and made on the lighter side!

In case you haven’t noticed by now, I love baking with pumpkin!  While it is always fun to get creative, there is something to be said about the classics.  This Frosted Pumpkin Cake is absolutely a classic.   The moist cake is filled with pumpkin and warm spices of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice ~ the epitome of Fall pumpkin baking.  Topped with a cream cheese frosting,  Frosted Pumpkin Cake is a favorite classic combination…and it is made on the lighter side!     …

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Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars have the classic taste of  a buttery, cinnamon-y snickerdoodle cookie in a quick and easy to make bar.    

While I love to make (and eat!) cookies, the simplicity of turning a cookie recipe into a quick and easy to make bar is very attractive.  Especially when life gets busy or you get a last minute request for goodies, it is so nice to be able whip the batter together, pour it into a pan and bake.  No portioning, scooping, rolling  required.   Just bake, cut into squares and serve.

These Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars are a wonderful treat for the holidays, or any time.  They are buttery and cinnamon-y, like their cookie cousins, yet can be made in minutes.  I thought this recipe would be perfect for Week #3 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats.  Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars offer a little variety for your holiday cookie platter and are loved by many!…

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Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake is a rich, moist chocolate cake made with pumpkin and a hint of spice. Pumpkin replaces much of the fat in the cake that is made on the lighter side!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake is a rich, moist chocolate cake made with pumpkin and a hint of spice.  Pumpkin replaces much of the fat in the cake that is made on the lighter side!

Lately I have been enjoying making chocolate desserts a bit healthier using various fruits and vegetables.  The results have been fantastic, with each recipe far exceeding my expectations.   This Chocolate Pumpkin Cake is no exception!  This cake kind of reminds me of a chocolate covered pumpkin truffle, only in cake form…and a little healthier….

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are everything delicious about a chocolate chip cookie in a quick and easy to make bar.   This is the ultimate basic blondie recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookie BarsChocolate Chip Cookie Bars

While I  love cookies, I don’t always have the time (or patience) to portion out each individual cookie for baking.  This is where the cookie bar is genius.  These Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars take only 10 minutes to prepare and then just spread in the pan and bake.  No rolling or cutting or shaping the dough.  And the result is everything delicious about a chocolate chip cookie in a quick and easy to make bar.  There are so many possibilities for variations with this recipe too, which is fun.  …

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12 Weeks of Christmas Treats ~ Round Up

 Each week for the past 11 weeks, I have joined a group of bloggers in sharing a variety of holiday treats as part of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats (I missed week #1).  I can’t believe we started all the way back in September, and here we are less than a week away from Christmas!  In the event you still have some holiday treats to make (or if you’re like me and stockpiling recipes for next year!), below is a round up of the treats I shared.  Just click on the recipe name after the Week # and you’ll be directed to the corresponding post.

I have also selected an “Alida’s Pick” from each week, featuring a link to a recipe by another blogger.  There are so many delicious recipes that were shared over the past weeks, it was hard to choose.

I want to thank Brenda from Meal Planning Magic for hosting the blog event 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, as well as all the other fellow bloggers for participating.  My list of recipes to make has increased exponentially as a result!

Week #2: Grandma’s Lemon Bars

Alida’s pick from Week #2:  Pumpkin Coffee Cake by Baker Street

Week #3: Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Alida’s pick from Week #3: Peppermint Marshmallows by The Redhead Baker

Week #4: Easy Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Alida’s pick from Week #4: Snickersnaps by Cooking to Perfection

Week #5: Mounds Brownies

Alida’s pick from Week #5:  Peppermint Patties by Delicious Melicious

Week #6: Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Alida’s pick from Week #6:  White Hot Fudge Sauce by Baked Bree

Week #7: Sunny Blossoms

Alida’s pick from Week #7:  Candy Cane S’mores by Roxana’s Home Baking

Week #8: Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Alida’s pick from Week #8:  Pretzel S’mores by Books ‘n Cooks

Week #9:  Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes

Alida’s pick from Week #9:  Peppermint Blondies by Kitchen Meets Girl

Week #10:  Grandma’s Caramel Bars

Alida’s pick from Week #10:  Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes by Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Week #11:  Peppermint Twist Kiss Cookies

Alida’s pick from Week #11:  Soft Sugar Cookies from Midwestern Girl

 Week #12:  Chewy Ginger Cookies 

Alida’s pick from Week #12:  Peppermint Cake Roll by Baking and Boys

Chewy Ginger Cookies

Chewy Ginger Cookies

This is my favorite recipe for Chewy Ginger Cookies. They are soft, chewy, with warm flavors of ginger and molasses, plus they take 10 minutes to prepare!

When it comes to holiday baking, I enjoy trying new recipes, but I also like to have some go-to recipes.   Standby recipes that are guaranteed to be crowd pleasers and are easy to make.  For years, I have been trying to find that special recipe for a ginger cookies.  These Chewy Ginger Cookies are the top contender for becoming that special recipe.  They are super soft and chewy with the warm flavors of ginger and molasses in each bite.   The dough takes less than 10 minutes to make, which is always a bonus!

This marks the final week of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats hosted by Meal Planning Mom.  Be sure to check out the thumbnails at the bottom of this post for more delicious holiday treats!

Chewy Ginger Cookies
 
Yields: 30 cookies
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup water
  • Additional sugar, for rolling
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt.
  2. Mix molasses and water in a liquid measuring cup, and stir until combined (Note: you may need to stir again before adding to butter mixture).
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until combined. Beating on low, alternately add flour mixture and molasses mixture to the butter mixture, until fully combined. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  5. Roll a rounded tablespoonful of dough into a ball and then roll the ball in granulated sugar. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are set (be careful not to overbake). Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Slightly adapted from Taste of Home: Best Loved Cookies and Bars

 

We are to Week #12 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats hosted by Meal Planning Magic. Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop.

 

Peppermint Twist Kiss Cookies

 Peppermint Twist Kiss Cookies are a fun variation of the ever-popular “blossom” cookies with a candy kiss in the middle. These light-tasting peppermint cookies have a red and white swirl that are cute and festive for the holidays or any time! 
Peppermint Twist Kiss Cookies are tasty, fun and festive…perfect for this time of year!  The red and white cookie is a light-tasting peppermint butter cookie, and then topped with a chocolate kiss.

Grandma’s Caramel Bars

 My grandma was always impressive in the kitchen, especially with her holiday treats.  This recipe she created for Caramel Bars is no exception!  Most caramel bars I’ve had have been underwhelming and have had a relatively stiff caramel layer in the center.  So is not the case with these Caramel Bars.  The caramel layer is gooey, melty and wonderful.   The oat crust and crumbly topping are simple and delicious, and the chocolate chips add some chocolate and texture.  Her recipe also includes 1 cup walnuts, which I do not use.  No holiday treat platter is complete without caramel bars!

Speaking of holiday treats, we are in Week 10 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats!  This recipe makes a generous amount, so is definitely a good treat to have on hand for your holiday celebrations.

Grandma’s Caramel Bars
 
Yields: 3 to 4 dozen bars, depending on size
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups rolled oats (old-fashioned or quick oats work fine)
  • 1 cup butter, softened (I use light butter)
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 14-ounce package caramels
  • ⅓ cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, put the flour, oats, butter, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Using an electric mixer on low (I use a hand mixer), slowly beat in the butter until combined, moist, and pea-sized crumbs form. Press ½ of mixture into prepared baking dish and bake for 12 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, slowly melt caramels and evaporated milk over a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water), stirring frequently.
  4. Once crust is done, pour caramel mixture over crust. Sprinkle chocolate chips (and walnuts, if using) over caramel. Crumble remaining oat mixture over caramel and chocolate chips. Bake for 12 minutes and move to a wire rack to cool completely.

We are already to week #10 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats hosted by Meal Planning Magic.  Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop. And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us.

 

pumpkin cream cheese filled cupcakes

Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes

So I couldn’t help myself…I had to share one last pumpkin recipe with you.  It’s a good one.  Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes are a moist, delicious pumpkin cake with a cream cheese surprise in the middle.  A little sprinkling of powdered sugar on top is all these cupcakes need before presenting, which makes them ideal for travel or eating at a gathering since they won’t get all messy.  While these cupcakes can hold their own without any frosting, they would also be really good with a little Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting if you want to get fancy.  Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes are an easy, portable and fun little pumpkin alternative to tomorrow’s traditional pie.

 

By the way, can you believe we’re already in Week #9 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats!  Due to the Thanksgiving holiday this Thursday, many of us are posting starting today through the rest of the week, so be sure to check out all of the yummy treats by clicking on the thumbnails at the bottom of this post.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes
 
Yields: 24 cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 ounces light cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Powdered sugar, for topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat pumpkin, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, gently folding until well-blended.
  4. FILLING: In a separate small bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add egg and beat on low until just combined.
  5. Fill muffin cups approximately one-third full. Distribute evenly among cupcakes, dropping a generous tablespoonful in the enter of each cupcake. Cover with remaining batter.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the pumpkin cake portion comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving (or frost as desired).

Source: Taste of Home


Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop. And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars combine pumpkin and cheesecake into a beautiful layered bar that are as delicious as they are simple to make.  First you make a graham cracker crust.  While that cools completely, you make the cheesecake filling, reserving a portion to add in some pumpkin.  Pour the plain cheesecake layer over the crust.  Dollop the pumpkin layer over the cheesecake layer and try for a swirl effect, if you desire, by running a knife through the batter.  I was liking the simple layered look, so left it as is.  Either way, they taste like a decadent cheesecake with a pumpkin twist.

With the holidays coming up, these Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars are a light alternative to those heavier desserts (or in addition to…I don’t judge!!)  You would never guess it, but they are made on the lighter side, coming in around 115 calories per bar.

If you’re looking for other lighter dessert options, this Crustless Pumpkin Pie is my favorite pie of all time!

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
 
Yields: 16 bars
Ingredients
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (approx 9 sheets)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light butter, melted (regular butter would work too)
  • Cooking spray
  • 11 ounces light cream cheese (Neufchatel, ⅓ less fat)
  • ⅓ cup light sour cream
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9" square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. CRUST: In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar; add butter and stir until moistened. Press mixture into prepared baking pan. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until set. Move to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. FILLING: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, flour and vanilla until smooth. Add egg, and beat on low until just combined.
  4. Pour ¾ cup batter into a small bowl. Add pumpkin, brown sugar and cinnamon, stirring until well blended.
  5. Pour plain batter over cooled crust. Drop dollops of pumpkin batter over the plain batter. Cut through batter with knife to swirl.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to overnight.

 

Source:  Taste of Home

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop. And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us.

Sunny Blossoms

Sunny Blossoms are a peanut-free twist on the classic cookie.  While Peanut Blossoms are always a favorite, the need for peanut-free treats are becoming more common.  So in an effort to make a peanut-free alternative, enter Sunny Blossoms, made with sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter.  I used my grandma’s recipe as a base and went from there.  Being the peanut butter diehard that I am, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  While it is obviously not peanut butter, they still taste really good!  Mike loved them as well and noted the next day they tasted almost peanut-y.  Sunflower seed butter is mild enough to not overpower the cookie.  Frankly if you put chocolate with anything, it’s going to be good! 🙂

Time sure flies!  We are to Week 7 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats!  We all know that no holiday cookie platter is complete without some form of a ‘blossom’ cookie.  Not only are they tasty, but they are so darn cute with the Hershey’s Kiss in the middle!  Sunny Blossoms offer a delicious, peanut-free alternative.

Sunny Blossoms
 
Yields: approximately 36 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter (I used light butter)
  • ⅓ cup sunflower seed butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • granulated sugar, for rolling
  • 36 chocolate Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sunflower butter until blended.
  3. Gradually add granulated sugar and brown sugar to sunflower butter mixture - cream well. Add egg and vanilla - beat well.
  4. Blend in dry ingredients gradually (Note: I do this step by hand using a wooden spoon) and mix thoroughly. Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (Note: I typically chill overnight).
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Shape dough into balls using a rounded teaspoonful for each. Roll balls in granulated sugar and place on baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven. Top each cookie with a Hershey's Kiss candy, pressing down firmly so cookie cracks around edge. Return to oven and bake 2 to 5 minutes longer until golden brown. Move cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

 

Pumpkin Bundt Cake from Alida's Kitchen

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

This easy Pumpkin Bundt Cake recipe takes less than 10 minutes to make using simple pantry ingredients! Pumpkin Bundt Cake | alidaskitchen.com

Pumpkin Bundt Cake is a simple and delicious pumpkin pound cake, with warm spices and pumpkin-y goodness throughout.  What attracted me to this recipe, aside from a slight pumpkin obsession, is that the ingredients are simple pantry items that I have on hand at all times.  What made me fall in love with the recipe, aside from it being delicious, was how easy it was to make. The batter took me less than 10 minutes to whip together.  Then bake for about an hour, let it cool, and voila!  You have an elegant and versatile dessert that will happily feed a crowd or, in our case, treat a small family for a week. 🙂

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Not only will this Pumpkin Bundt Cake be excellent served alongside your holiday cookie platter, but it would also be a tasty alternative at Thanksgiving dinner or even served at a brunch.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake
 
Yields: 24 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 2½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • powdered sugar, for dusting
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 10-inch bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and add vanilla with the last egg.
  4. To the egg mixture, alternate adding flour mixture and pumpkin, beating well on medium-low after each addition.
  5. Pour into prepared bundt pan. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a tootpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Let cool completely and then dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Slightly adapted from Taste of Home

Pumpkin Bundt Cake | alidaskitchen.com

Mounds Brownies

With Halloween just around the corner, the excitement is building for fun costumes and candy.  We always somehow end up with more candy than we need to give out (thanks to the person who buys the candy, *ahem* Mike).  While that may be intentional, I’m always happy to try new and tasty recipes using “leftover” candy ~ these Mounds Brownies being one of them!

Mounds Brownies take a basic brownie recipe and dress it up with coconut, simply by adding Mounds candy bars.  It’s amazing how such a simple addition can really transform an otherwise ordinary dessert into something unique and seemingly decadant.  You get a nice-sized chunk of candy bar in each brownie, and fans of chocolate and coconut will enjoy the complementary flavors.

By the way, it’s that time of week again.  We are now in Week 5 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats!  While this recipe is shared in part to use up Halloween candy, these Mounds Brownies would be a super fun addition to your holiday treat platter.  They’re something a little different yet delicious and very easy to make too.

Mounds Brownies
 
Yields: 16 brownies
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 snack-size Mounds candy bars
  • Baking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8-inch square pan with baking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Melt butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or a use double-boiler), stirring frequently until melted. Remove bowl from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until well-blended. Stir in vanilla and chocolate mixture. Fold in flour mixture until combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place Mounds bars on top of batter, pressing down slightly. (I did 3 rows of 4).
  6. Bake until just set, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely on wire rack.

Slightly adapted from All You, October, 2012

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop. And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us.

Easy Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Easy Chocolate Sandwich Cookies are a simplified version of a chewy homemade Oreo cookie.  The chocolate cookies are soft, yet sturdy and the filling is a sweetened cream cheese frosting.  The dough literally took me 5 minutes minutes to whip together.  I feared the dough would be gooey and messy to work with, but it was quite firm and rolled into balls by hand without a huge sticky mess.

These cookies are fun any holiday or celebration because you can color the filling to suit any occasion or simply roll the sides in sprinkles for a cute, colorful decoration.  The recipe yields a generous amount of cookies, which is perfect if you’re looking to share.  It also halves easily, which is what I did…(I still shared though) 🙂

I am sharing these delicious yet super easy cookies as part of Week 4 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, hosted by Meal Planning Magic.  While this recipe makes plenty and these cookies are perfect for any holiday cookie platter, I made them pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Week hosted by Erin of Dinners, Dishes and DessertsTo conclude Breast Cancer Awareness Week, tomorrow Erin is hosting a giveaway, so be sure to visit Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on Friday for a chance to win!

Be sure to check out the thumbnails at the bottom of this post and visit the other bloggers who are posting amazing recipes today in support of Breast Cancer Awareness, and also for the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats!

Easy Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
 
Yields: approximately 4 dozen sandwich cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 packages devil's food cake mix
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened - (I used Neufachtel / ⅓ less fat)
  • 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • food coloring or sprinkles for decorating, if desired
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cake mixes, eggs and oil until combined (Note: I used a hand mixer; batter will be very stiff).
  3. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Using the side of a silicone spatula, press to flatten the balls slightly.
  4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before filling. (Note: I baked the cookies the night before and did the filling the next day).
  5. For the filling: In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Add food coloring, if desired.
  6. Spread filling on bottom of half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies. Finish decorating, as desired.

Source:  Taste of Home: Best Loved Cookies and Bars

Be sure to check out the bloggers who are supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Week for some delicious pink and/or healthy recipes! 

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop. And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies from Alida's Kitchen

Every time I drop Adam off at Preschool, he asks what I’m going to do while he’s at school.  Last week I told him laundry and other boring things.  He told me I should make something…I should make something with pumpkin.  Little did he know, I had these Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies on my list of things to do, so easy enough.  I told him I would make some pumpkin cookies, and he just beamed!  That definitely sounds better than laundry 🙂

These Pumpkin White Chocolate Chips cookies are very soft with a little chewy bite from the oats.  I changed up the sugar ratio a bit from the original recipe because I love what brown sugar does to baked goods.  The original recipe calls for 1 egg, but I initially made a half recipe.  How do you cut an egg in half?  I used the full egg in half, and 2 in a full recipe.  The dough is a little gooey, so it helps to refrigerate it a bit before baking.    Otherwise I don’t know exactly how this impacts the recipe, but I do know these cookies are perfection and would not change a thing.

I am sharing these delightful cookies for week 3 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, hosted by Meal Planning Magic.  While these cookies are perfect for any holiday cookie platter, I do think they would also make an excellent Halloween or Thanksgiving treat, or any time treat for other fellow pumpkin lovers!  

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Yields: approximately 48 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1½ cups white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, cram butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.
  3. Stir in flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with pumpkin. Fold in white chocolate chips.
  4. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes to overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.
  6. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Adapted from Taste of Home

If you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us!

Grandma’s Lemon Bars

For the next 11 weeks, I am excited to join a group, hosted by Meal Planning Magic, called 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats.   I missed last week due to somebody’s pesky 2 year old molars, hence 11 weeks 🙂   So every Thursday, I will be sharing a delicious Holiday-inspired treat.  I know what you’re thinking…Christmas? It’s only October!  It’s never too early to plan.  Time to dust off those holiday cookie platters!

For my first Christmas treat post, it is only fitting that I share a favorite recipe that my Grandma used to make for the Holidays ~ Lemon Bars.  There was always something extra special about her lemon bars.  They had a perfect balance of tangy and sweet, they had the lovely dusting of powdered sugar on top, and they literally melted in your mouth.  Of our favorites she made, my grandma’s lemon bars topped the list of many (and there definitely were many).  To me, no Holiday cookie platter is complete without lemon bars.  I never realized how easy they were to make, which is an added bonus!

Grandma’s Lemon Bars
 
Yields: 16 bars
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • powdered sugar, for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8" square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together butter, 1 cup flour and ¼ cup powdered sugar. Press into prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.
  3. In a large bowl, mix sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and baking powder. Add eggs, juice and zest, folding gently until combined.
  4. Pour lemon mixture over baked crust.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool completely and then dust with powdered sugar.

 

 

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop. And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us!