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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

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

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