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Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake | alidaskitchen.com

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake is a simple vanilla buttermilk-based cake studded with cranberries and fresh orange zest throughout. Perfect for holiday gatherings, afternoon tea, or any time! Thank you to Lipton for sponsoring this post.

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake | alidaskitchen.com

It is no secret that I love a good bundt cake recipe, especially for entertaining during the holiday season. They are easy to make (usually prepared in minutes!), look pretty right out of the pan, and can get away with a simple dusting of powdered sugar over the top.  …

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S'mores Blondies | alidaskitchen.com

S’mores Blondies #SundaySupper

S’mores Blondies are an easy-to-make layered bar cookie with a graham cracker cookie base topped with chocolate and marshmallow creme resulting in wonderful s’more dessert ~ perfect for a party, potluck or any time!

S'mores Blondies | alidaskitchen.com

S’mores are one of my favorite treats, so various s’more-inspired goodies are always popping up in our kitchen.   These S’mores Blondies have all the yummy goodness of a s’more in a delicious, easy-to-make layered bar cookie.  …

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Apple Cranberry Baked French Toast | alidaskitchen.com

Apple Cranberry Baked French Toast

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of DairyPure Milk. All opinions are 100% mine.

Apple Cranberry Baked French Toast is an easy overnight breakfast casserole made with caramelized brown sugar apples, dried cranberries and cinnamon bread baked in an applesauce custard. Quick to make ahead, perfect for a holiday breakfast!

Apple Cranberry Baked French Toast | alidaskitchen.com On the night before Christmas and all through my kitchen, I will be sauteing and stirring a quick and easy breakfast casserole to bake for eager mouths the next morning. Even with how busy this time of year can be, an easy recipe like this Apple Cranberry Baked French Toast is perfect. It is effortless, made in about 15 minutes and then chills overnight,…all ready to bake into deliciousness the next morning! …

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Easy M&M Fudge | alidaskitchen.com

Easy M&M Fudge

This Easy M&M Fudge recipe is a delicious chocolate fudge studded with M&M candies made in minutes using only three ingredients.

Thank you to CansGetYouCooking.com through the Mom It Forward Blogger Network for sponsoring this post.

Easy M&M Fudge | alidaskitchen.com

During the holidays, I like to have a handful of easy, go-to recipes on hand to make life simpler. While this usually pertains to quick and easy weeknight meals, I have found that dessert recipes that can be made in minutes are very handy for last minute parties, gifts, or to help balance the baking workload during this busy time of year. This Easy M&M Fudge is so simple and foolproof, anybody can make it. …

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Mocha Truffle Cookies | alidaskitchen.com

Mocha Truffle Cookies

Mocha Truffle Cookies combine the classic chocolate and coffee pairing into a tasty little cookie.  Easy to make, perfect for any occasion!​ 

Whenever I think about my grandma, aside from her baking prowess, two things come to mind.  Wherever we went, we were always together, like joined at the hip together.  I thought she was always following me, and I overheard her say how she thought it was cute how I always followed her.  One thing for certain was how much we both loved coffee!  After dinner, she and I would often enjoy a little cup of decaf together.  I remember one of the last Christmases with her, we were sitting at the table, holding our dainty cups of coffee.  She looked at me and not so subtly whispered ‘you know what we need with coffee?  chocolaaaaaaate!’  It makes me smile just to think about it.  She was so funny and so right on!  The combination of chocolate and coffee is up there with chocolate and peanut butter or chocolate and milk (or chocolate and chocolate!)    …

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Red Wine Chocolate Cake | alidaskitchen.com

Red Wine Chocolate Cake #SundaySupper

Red Wine Chocolate Cake | alidaskitchen.com

Red Wine Chocolate Cake is a decadent chocolate bundt cake that is as delicious as it is easy to make.   The red wine in the batter gives this cake a sophisticated flair, making it a wonderful finale to your Holiday meal, or any special occasion.

This week Sunday Supper partnered with Gallo Family Vineyards to share Memorable Holiday Meals: Holiday Traditions and Recipes using wine in the recipe.  When it comes to memorable Holiday recipes, a cake always stands out as something special.  So when we received two bottles of wine from them – Moscato and Cabernet Sauvignon – this Red Wine Chocolate Cake came to mind immediately.  Their full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon has tastes of rich black fruit and spice, which I thought would complement the chocolate perfectly….

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Easy Ice Cream Pie #recipe uses only 3 ingredients, so good! | alidaskitchen.com

Easy Ice Cream Pie

CBIAS Disclosure Easy Ice Cream Pie | alidaskitchen.com #PlanAhead

Easy Ice Cream Pie is a delicious, creamy pie that can be made in minutes and chilled to perfection.  With this dessert, some family size meals and more, you have an instant dinner party in your freezer!  

In preparation for holiday celebrations and entertaining, it’s that time of year when you’re making your lists and checking them twice.  If you’re like me, you have it all planned out…or so you think.  Then your kids take a short 20 minute nap, have extra activities for the holidays, they need you to play trains, need help put on socks, or just neeeeeeeed something! Sound familiar?  (please say yes!)   Life happens, right?   That’s why I have found some tricks to help make meals and entertaining easier during this busy holiday season….

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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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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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Pudding-Filled Cookie Cups from Alida's Kitchen

Pudding Cookie Cups

Pudding Cookie Cups

Pudding Cookie Cups are chocolate chip cookie dough baked in a mini muffin tin and topped with your favorite JELL-O pudding.  These fun treats are easy to make and can be decorated for any holiday or occasion.

With all the decorations, the costumes, the pumpkins and the spooky edibles, Halloween is by far my favorite holiday.  With Halloween only two weeks away, I wanted to share some fun treat ideas that are easy to make and great for kids.  These could be for a Halloween party or simply to treat all those neighbor kids paying your house a visit….

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12+weeks+christmas-9

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

cream cheese cookies with lemon glaze

Cream Cheese Meltaways

cream cheese meltaways with lemon glaze

Cream Cheese Meltaways with Lemon Glaze are little bite-sized cookies that are a light and delicious addition to any holiday cookie platter.  These cookies were a new addition this year, and they were an instant favorite!  The lemon glaze gives just a hint of lemony sweetness to the cream cheesy butter cookies.  The recipe for glaze makes plenty.  You could probably get by with using half the glaze recipe, or better yet – double the cookie recipe…these will go fast!

Cream Cheese Meltaways
 
Yields: 36 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened (I used light butter)
  • 2 ounces block-style Neufachtel cream cheese (1/3 less fat/light)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Glaze:
  • 1¾ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • assorted sprinkles, for decorating (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch and salt until combined.
  3. In a large bowl, add powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese and vanilla and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, stirring until combined. (Note: dough will be dry and crumbly).
  5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls (be careful not to overwork dough) and place on prepared cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes of pan and then move to wire rack to cool completely.
  7. GLAZE: In a medium bowl, whisk powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Dip the tops of cooled cookies into glaze and place on wire rack. Decorate with sprinkles, as desired. Let cookies stand until glaze is set.

Source:  Cooking Light

cream cheese meltaways from Alida's Kitchen

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 from Alida's Kitchen

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 from Alida's Kitchen

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...made on the lighter side!  from Alida's Kitchen

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.

cranberry cornbread from Alida's Kitchen

Cranberry Cornbread

Cranberry Cornbread puts a fun, fall/wintery twist on traditional cornbread.  We have been making chili almost weekly these days, and of course what goes better with chili than cornbread.  I used a cornbread muffin recipe from Cooking Light for the base, making a few adjustments to accommodate the cranberries.  Fresh cranberries add just the right amount of tartness which is balanced nicely with brown sugar.  Buttermilk lends a moist crumb, and the result is a delicious tart-sweet cornbread.  Cranberry Cornbread would make a nice side dish for Thanksgiving, or any holiday, and of course pairs very well with a spicy chili!

Speaking of chili, I am working on a fabulous new chili recipe to share with you soon.  In the meantime, this Three Bean Vegetarian Chili can be made in less than 30 minutes and is our current chili of choice.

Cranberry Cornbread
 
Yields: 16 servings
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, halved
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 8" square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl (or in a liquid measuring cup) combine buttermilk, oil and egg.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, folding until just combined. Gently fold in cranberries.
  5. Pour mixture in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Adapted from Cooking Light, September, 2012

cranberry cornbread

sunbutter blossoms

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

easy chocolate sandwich cookies from Alida's Kitchen

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

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!

lemon bars

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!

no-bake peanut butter pie

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

My initial impression of this No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie was that it’s a perfect pie for summer. While I still believe that to be true, let’s be honest. This pie is so amazingly delicious (and easy!) it should not be limited to any single season or occasion.  This pie is the perfect any time pie!

We all know, some of the best desserts are quick and easy.  This No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie is no exception.  It can be whipped together in a matter of minutes, and then just popped in the freezer until time to serve.  The texture is smooth and creamy, almost like an ice cream pie. The peanut butter flavor is nicely balanced with the COOL WHIP whipped topping and cream cheese. I halved the amount sugar from the original recipe, and the result was just the right amount of sweetness.

The recipe makes two pies, one for now, one to share, or to simply make ahead for later.  It’s great for a holiday, potluck or really any day.  The ingredients will soon become pantry staples in my house (thanks to Mike!), so we can enjoy this any time pie…any time!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie
 
Yields: 2 pies, 8-10 servings per pie
Ingredients
  • 1 block (8 ounces) ⅓ less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 can (14 ounces) fat free sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 ounces COOL WHIP Whipped Topping (I used COOL WHIP FREE Whipped Topping)
  • 2 ready made pie crusts (graham cracker or chocolate cookie)
  • additional COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, for topping
  • chocolate syrup, for topping
  • peanut butter cup candies, chopped, for topping
Instructions
  1. Put cream cheese, peanut butter and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Beat on medium for about 3 minutes, or until combined and fluffy. Gradually add milk, beating until well-blended.
  2. Fold in COOL WHIP until combined.
  3. Divided mixture evenly between 2 pie crusts.
  4. Freeze pies until set (at least 2 hours hour to overnight).
  5. Before serving, remove from freezer and (if solid) let sit for 10 minutes before cutting. In the meantime, decorate as desired using COOL WHIP whipped topping, chocolate syrup, peanut butter cup candies or whatever inspires you. Then slice, serve and enjoy!

Adapted from Cooking Light

Disclaimer:  As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received coupons for free COOL WHIP Whipped Topping and a stipend. Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content.

What you add makes it. #coolwhipmoms

DSC08468-2

Grandma’s Peanut Blossoms

Peanut Blossoms are a holiday cookie staple around our house, as well as many others.  This popular peanut butter cookie topped with a Hershey’s Kiss is not only delicious, but it is such a cute addition to the cookie plate.  There are countless versions of this type of cookie, but today I have a special treat for you.  Today I am sharing with you this recipe from my grandma!  When she was alive, one of her favorite things to do was to make dozens of types of cookies, bars, candies, cakes, etc. for the holidays.  She put such care in the execution of each recipe she made.  It was impressive, to say the least.  She was always so excited and proud to show us the vast array of goodies she made for us each year.  So as I sit here right now, sharing one of my favorite Grandma recipes,…I know she would be excited and proud to share it with you as well.

Happy Holidays!

Grandma’s Peanut Blossoms
Yields 3 dozen cookies

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) light butter (or regular butter, per the original recipe)
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
granulated sugar, for rolling
36 chocolate Hershey’s Kisses candies, unwrapped

  1. In a small bowl, sift flour, baking and salt.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream together butter and peanut butter until blended. 
  3. Gradually add granulated sugar and brown sugar to peanut butter mixture – cream well.  Add unbeaten 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.
DSC08419-2

Reindeer Snack Mix

What happens when you cross peanuts with pretzels and Reese’s peanut butter puffs cereal? This Reindeer Snack Mix, that’s what! Each ingredient on its own is fabulous, of course. When mixed together with some melted white chocolate, you have a snack mix that is really too good for words. Yes folks, I am speechless. Or maybe I am just too busy stuffing my face with more snack mix. 🙂 Either way, I will simply leave you with this. It’s the holidays. You are bound to have guests or to be a guest. Here is a fun and easy little snack that will leave everybody singing your praises this holiday season!

Reindeer Snack Mix
 
Yields: about 3 quarts
Ingredients
  • 4½ cups Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs
  • 4 cups miniature pretzels
  • 12 ounces lightly salted peanuts
  • 12 ounces white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine cereal, pretzels and peanuts.
  2. In a microwave, melt the white chocolate chips; stir until smooth.
  3. Pour melted white chocolate over cereal mixture and toss to coat.
  4. Immediately spread onto waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Let stand until set, about 20 minutes. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

Source: Taste of Home: Cookies and more!

chocolate mint crackle cookies {Alida's Kitchen}

Chocolate Mint Crackle Cookies

How fun are crackle cookies ~  they are delicious and so festive!  The powdered sugar looks like a lovely dusting of snow on top of the cookies, putting me in a holiday frame of mind.  Considering we have no snow on the ground, a little winter reminder is very welcome.  (We live in Minnesota, it’s winter, where is our snow???)  So this year, at least for now, we all can enjoy our snow vicariously through these crackle cookies.  I could definitely get used to the powdered sugar variety of snow…especially on top of chocolate cookies.  Even better…on top of mint chocolate cookies.  These Chocolate Mint Crackle Cookies are perfectly chewy without being cakey.  They are chocolate with a hint of mint.  They are classic holidays cookies at their finest.  This winter is looking better already!

Chocolate Mint Crackle Cookies
 
Yields: 24 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) light butter, melted
  • ¾ teaspoon pure mint extract
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
Instructions
  1. Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water (or using a double boiler), stirring frequently.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and cocoa.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and butter. Gradually whisk in melted chocolate and mint extract, until smooth. Fold in flour mixture until combined. Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours to overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls, then roll in confectioners' sugar to coat. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing each 1 inch apart. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until slightly firm in center.
  5. Let cool slightly on cookie sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December, 2011

pretzel hershey's kiss and m&ms

Pretzel Kiss Candies

Pretzel Kiss Candies are the ultimate salty sweet treat made using only three ingredients. Colors can be customized for holidays and events, making these a go-to for any party! Make a lot, because they disappear quickly!!
Pretzel Kiss Candies | alidaskitchen.com

Pretzel Kiss Candies are a fun and easy treat for the holidays. These candies have been circulating around the web for some time now, and with good reason. They are easy and SO good! You have the salty-sweet thing going on, plus they are a cute addition to your holiday treat plate.  Use your favorite M&Ms for the topper, choosing whatever goes with your celebration.  The white chocolate Hershey’s Hugs tend to melt faster and smoother than their milk chocolate counterparts, but they are both equally delicious.

Simple to make, Pretzel Kiss Candies are perfect for a last minute get together, or simply because they mood strikes you. Whatever the reason, Pretzel Kiss Candies are a must-make for the holidays!

More easy pretzel treats:

Pretzel Kiss Candies | alidaskitchen.com

Pretzel Kiss Candies
 
Yields: varies
Ingredients
  • Square waffle-shaped pretzels
  • Hershey's Hugs or Kisses
  • M&Ms candy, any variety
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Set pretzels on lined cookie sheet. Place an unwrapped Hershey's Hug or Kiss on top of pretzel.
  3. Bake oven for 4-6 minutes until softened (note: Hugs will soften quicker than Kisses). Remove from oven and press an M&M candy into the center of each Hug/Kiss.
  4. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then place in refrigerator to harden for 15 minutes to overnight.

Pretzel Kiss Candies | alidaskitchen.com