Monday, December 31, 2012

Champagne Cupcakes for your NYE Celebration!

Happy New Years Eve! I hope everyone has a great New Years Eve!  A night out on the town, or a quiet evening at home, have fun, I wish you the best! To celebrate I made some Spumanti Cupcakes for your celebration. They are quick and easy, and very tasty!

Champagne Cupcakes
(This recipe was adapted from a Martini Asti recipe.
 It makes 24 cupcakes.)
1 cup Spumanti Champagne. (I used Cooks.)
1 box White Cake Mix
8 ounces Butter, melted
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Frosting
1/4 cup Champagne
16 ounces Butter, softened 
1/4 teaspoon Salt
4 cups Confectioner's Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Beat for 2-3 minutes.
Divide the batter between the cups and bake for 18-20 minutes.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then to a rack to cool for 20 more minutes.
Mix the butter, vanilla, and salt together until smooth.
Add the confectioner's sugar and half of the champagne.
Mix on low. Add more champagne according to taste.
Pipe the frosting on the cooled cupcakes. I used a 
Wilton # 1M.
Sprinkle silver sugar on the top of the frosting.
Enjoy your cupcakes, and 
Have a Happy New Year!

Thanks for joining me today.
See you next year! 



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Southwest Crab Rangoon Appetizer

It's almost New Year's Eve! Can you believe it will be 2013?!! One of my favorite foods to serve at New Years Eve parties are appetizers! They are such fun to eat, and I love to get a little creative and design new and unique ones. I always try to serve at least one new one mixed in with some old favorites. One of the new ones I will be serving this year is a Southwest Crab Rangoon. They are baked, not fried, and they have a little bit of a kick. Of course, if you are big on "kick", you can always add more!

Southwest Crab Rangoon
4 imitation ounces Crab
2 ounces Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Red Pepper
1 Green Onion
1 teaspoon Hot Sauce
4-5 leaves Cilantro
Flour Tortillas
1 egg
Water
Cut some squares out of the tortilla with a cookie cutter.
I used a 2 1/2" scalloped edge cookie cutter.
I got 3 squares per tortilla, but if you use a larger one, 
of course you will get more. I used medium Mission
Carb Balance Flour Tortillas, approx.7" in diameter.
Rinse and drain the crab.
Mix the crab and the cream cheese. 
A fork works great for getting the 2 mixed together well.
Add the green onion and ......
the red pepper.
Chop your cilantro and toss it in. Add the hot sauce.
Mix together.
Lay out all your pieces of tortilla.
Place a teaspoon on rangoon mix in the center of
each square.
Create an egg wash by mixing 1 egg and 1 teaspoon water.
The egg wash will help the tortilla stay together.
Brush the edges with the egg wash.
Bring 2 opposite points of the square together.
Bring the 2 open ends to the middle.
Press to keep closed.
Place the appetizer on a baking sheet.
Bake for 10-15 minutes.
Serve with homemade ranch, soy sauce, or tempura.

Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Here's the parties we are attending this week:
Thursday's Treasures
Freedom Friday's

Friday, December 21, 2012

Balloons for Sandy Hook Elementary!

Today I am participating in Cookies and Crafts for Sandy Hook. It is an online community effort to show our support and love for the victims and their families.

I made these balloon cookies because when my son was just a little boy, he loved balloons. He would squeal with delight when he saw one and they were the source of much laughter and lots of smiles.
I hope these balloon cookies can bring a smile to the face
of someone who needs one, if only for a moment.

There are many bloggers participating in this effort today.
Please visit them if you can.
This event is brought to you by: Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks, The Red Headed Baker, Real Housemoms, Crazy for Crust, Something Swanky, Life After Laundry, Two Kids Cooking, Frugal Foodie Mama, The Doctorate Housewife, Heather's French Press, Operation Dinnertime, Lovely Pantry, What's Cooking Love?, Cupcakes and Kale Chips, Occasionally Crafty, Pint Sized Baker, Pineapple and Coconut, Wine & Glue, Lemonsforlulu, A Sweet Baker, Mom On Timeout, The Freshman Cook, Sweet Twist of Blogging, A Family Feast, Julie's Eats & Treats, Eat at Allie's, Here Comes the Sun, The Kitchen is My Playground, Just My Crazy Kitchen, The Sweet Chick, The Tasty Fork, Wholly Delicious Dishes, Chocolate, Chocolate and more , Yours and Mine ARE Ours, Kitchen Meets Girl, Daily Dish Recipes, Sweet Bella Roos, Mom's Test Kitchen Persnickety Plates


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hot Cocoa Cookies ~ It's the Improv Cooking Challenge!

When I discovered that the 2 ingredients for today's Improv Cooking Challenge were chocolate and marshmallows, I was excited! They are two great items and my head was spinning with ideas. But then I saw this recipe for Hot Cocoa Cookies in Food Network Magazine, and I had to make them. I'm so glad I did. You will love them! They just scream "Merry Christmas"!
Hot Cocoa Cookies
2 1/4 cups Cake Flour
1/4 cup unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 sticks Butter, softened
3/4 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 cup Marshmallow Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda,
and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. 
Add the egg and vanilla  and beat until incorporated.
Add the flour mixture, a little at a time until just mixed.
Divide the dough in half, wrap it in plastic and 
refrigerate for at least one hour, up to 1 day.
Take 1 piece of dough out of the fridge at a time.
Dust it generously with flour, and roll it out between
2 sheets of parchment paper. Roll to 1/8" thickness.
Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut out your shapes with cookie cutters.
Refrigerate your cookie cutouts while on the baking sheet
for 30 minutes. Refrigerate the scraps until the dough is
firm again, then reroll and cut out.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Let cool completely.
Sandwich cookies with the marshmallow cream.

Thanks for joining me today.
Check below for all the other great recipes from the Crazy Cooking Challenge.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Holly and Eggnog Tart and a Fun, Fun Giveaway!

 Today, I wanted to make a dessert that would utilize my contributions to the 2012 Deck The Halls Giveaway, and give you a great recipe that would be perfect for Christmas dinner.  Every Christmas I make a special dessert for our special meal. Usually it is a decadent cheesecake topped with chocolate ganache and cherries. This year I wanted to change it up a bit, so I will be making this decadent Holly and Eggnog Tart. Do you notice a theme here? But, no worries! Because it is a special occasion dessert, I don't think there are calories! ;)  My contributions to this fun giveaway include a Wilton Tart Pan, a Wilton Pastry Mat, and some Wilton Mini Cookie Cutters. Here's my recipe, and then the giveaway!!!!!

Holly and Eggnog Tart

Crust
 2 cups Flour
2/3 cup Shortening
2 teaspoon Sugar
2-4 tablespoons Water
1 egg
Red  and Green Food Color

Filling
 (adapted from Pillsbury)
 1 envelope Unflavored Gelatin
1 1/2 cups Eggnog
1 cup Confectioners Sugar
1/4 cup Butter, softened
2 8oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Mix all your crust ingredients except for the water.
I mixed with a food processor, but a fork will work also.
Add the water a tablespoon at a time, and mix well in between.
I ended up using 4 tablespoons. Roll the dough out to the
size of your tart pan.
Pick up the dough and place it into your pan. Press 
the dough close to the sides all around.
Take your rolling pin and roll over the top of the tart pan.
This will release all the dough around the top.
If some of your sides seem thick with dough, 
push the dough into the sides again, and then roll the rolling pin
over the top to remove any excess.
With your extra dough, cut out 12 holly leaves and 
make 12 small round balls of dough~3 for each 
cluster of holly leaves.
Make some egg wash by adding a little water
to a beaten egg. Brush the edge of your crust with the egg wash.
Then brush the bottoms of the leaves and the balls with the egg wash.
and arrange them on the crust.
Now split the egg wash between two small bowls.
Use food color to make one bowl red and one bowl green.
With a small brush, paint the leaves green and the balls 
red. for the berries.
Place parchment paper or foil crumbled up
 under the center leaf to hold it up until
it is done baking.
If you don't use the paper or foil, the leaves will be droopy.
Bake for 9-11 minutes. Cool completely.
Once the crust is cooled remove the paper. There will
be marks in the crust where the paper was, but don't
worry because you will be covering it up.
As your crust cooks and then cools, start on your filling.
Pour 1/2 cup of eggnog into a small sauce pan, 
and sprinkle the unflavored gelatin over it.
Let it stand for 1 minute to soften the gelatin.
After the minute, cook the eggnog on medium until the 
gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the confectioners sugar, 
cream cheese, and butter. Beat until light and fluffy.
Gradually add the nutmeg, vanilla, gelatin mix, and the rest 
of the eggnog. 
Beat on high until smooth. 
Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
You want the filling to to feel thick when you stir it.
 Fill your cooled crust with the filling.
Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.
Cut and enjoy!

and now......
2012 Deck the Blogs Giveaway!!




Welcome to the 2012 Deck the Blogs Giveaway hosted by Dreaming All Day with co-hosts Pint Sized Baker, The Freshman Cook and This Gal Cooks. We have also teamed up with Pick Your Plum to make this giveaway even more awesome with a $75 box worth of PYP goodies!! Needless to say, we are all super excited to offer all of these amazing prizes to 5 lucky winners, and want to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas/Holiday season from our families to yours and more importantly, we sincerely want to thank you for taking the time to visit our blogs, and read/view our social media posts over the past year!!

5 lucky winners will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter to win the following prizes!!

  1. $75 Pick Your Plum Box 2. $25 Williams-Sonoma eGiftcard 3. 1 Dozen Cake Pops made by Pint Sized Baker herself! 4. (1) Wilton Pastry Mat, (1) Wilton Tart Pan, (1) Mini Holiday Cookie Cutter Set 5. (2) Jars of Jam from Stonewall Kitchen


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fudgy Chocolate Surprise Cookies and a Cookie Swap!

 There is just something about a cookie swap that I love!! This cookie swap was put on by Julie of White Lights on Wednesday, and it was so much fun! We were assigned someone to send a recipe to, and we received a recipe from someone else. Then we made the cookies from the recipe we received, and how lucky am I !!! The recipe I received is for cookies called Chocolate Surprise Cookies and it was sent to me by Pam Henderson of Pamela's Heavenly Treats. Stop by and checkout her yummy deserts! These Chocolate Surprise Cookies are incredible and are full of chocolatey goodness! Pam must know I have a slight chocolate addiction! You are going to love them!! They will make the perfect addition to your holiday baking list!!

Chocolate Surprise Cookies
2 1/2 sticks Butter, softened
2 cups Light Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
3/4 cup Cocoa
2 cups Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together your butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix together your cocoa, flour,
and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet
ingredients and mix well. Put your dough in wax
paper and roll it into a log. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Then cut
slices from the log, and roll the slices into balls.
Roll the balls of dough in sugar.
Bake for 10 minutes, then let cool.
Enjoy!

Thanks for joining me today!!