day 21: {rum cake}

i have to be honest.  i’m running out of commentary.  i’m beginning to feel like i’m saying the same thing over and over.  so, here’s the recipe for a yummy rum cake.  that’s all.  it’s good!

Rum Cake

cake:

½ cup pecans, chopped

1 Duncan Hines Butter cake mix

1 3-oz. instant vanilla pudding mix

½ cup light rum

½ cup water

½ cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

instructions:

1. mix all ingredients together.

2. pour into greased and sugared bundt pan.

{i used my cakelet pan and I only made 9 little cakes. the truth is i should have. divided the batter 3. to make 12 cakes because the tops poofed up real big.}

4. bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes for large bundt pan or 20-25 minutes for mini cakes.

glaze:

½ cup sugar

½ stick butter

1/8 cup rum

1/8 water

instructions:

1. place all ingredients in microwave safe bowl.

2. heat for 1 minute intervals until boiling, stirring in between.

3. pour glaze over warm cake.

 enjoy!

day 15: {chinese chews}

rich.  chewy.  goodness.

yep, that pretty much sums it up.

these are so scrumptious and delicious.

you’ll want to eat the whole pan at one time.

{however, i strongly suggest you don’t}

they’re just that fantastic!

Chinese Chews

crust:

1 1/3 cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ c butter

½ cup brown sugar

1 cup pecans, chopped

instructions:

1. mix above ingredients together in electric mixer.

2. pat into buttered 8×8 inch pan.

top:

2 eggs, beaten

½ cup coconut

½ cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

instructions:

1. mix together in electric mixer and pour over crust.

2. bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

3. cut when cool.

enjoy!

day 12: {heath bar toffee dip}

one of the girls i work with made this dip a few months ago and it was so good.  and she was kind enough to share the recipe!  it’s so yummy and so easy!  you can serve it with apples, pretzel sticks, or whatever else you think would be yummy to dip in it.

Heath Bar Toffee Dip 

what you’ll need:

1 brick of cream cheese, softened

¾ cup brown sugar

½ cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 bag heath bar toffee bits

instructions:

1. mix cream cheese, brown sugar, and powdered sugar in electric mixer until smooth.

2. add vanilla.

3. fold in toffee bits.

4. chill for 1 hour before serving.

5. store in refrigerator.

enjoy!

day 10: {homemade funfetti cupcakes- christmas style}

ok, i made these homemade funfetti cupcakes from How Sweet It Is back in the fall and they were so much fun.  i figured if they were fun with rainbow sprinkles, surely they would be fun with Christmas colored sprinkles.

so, i tried it. and it was kinda fun.

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

makes 12 cupcakes

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 whole eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup assorted brightly colored sprinkles + more for top of frosting

instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cream butter and sugar in electric mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.

3. Add eggs and vanilla.

4. Combine dry ingredients and sift together in a bowl

{or over a piece of wax paper}.

5. Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add the milk. Once mixed, add remaining dry ingredients.

6. Fold in assorted sprinkles.

7. Scoop batter into cupcake pan and fill 2/3 of the way full.

8. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

9. Let cool, then frost.

 

Buttercream Icing

2 sticks butter, room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

Dash of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon milk

instructions:

1. Beat butter in mixer until silky and shiny.  I usually beat mine for about 7 minutes.

2. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.

3. Add vanilla.

4. If needed add milk for consistency.

enjoy!

day 9: {big soft sugar cookie cakes}

i love sprinkles. now i realize i’ve said i love alot of things. but, i really, really, really like sprinkles.  alot. which i believe, can therefore be translated into a love of sprinkles. i came across the bakers confections on esty awhile back.  they have so many fun baking things.  i’ve order cupcake liners and sprinkles from them before and was pleased.  however, i just received my second order from them and i was ecstatic when it arrived.  i ordered all kinds of fun Christmas sprinkles and cupcake liners and i cannot wait to use them.  and in fact, i didn’t wait.  as soon as the mail came today i busted out to the mailbox for my goodies that were arriving.  and yes, it was all as fantastic as i’d hoped!

so, today, i bring you fun Christmas sprinkled sugar cookies.  i personally am a fan of soft and chewy cookies and these big soft sugar cookie cakes hit the nail on the head.

what you’ll need:

 1 cup butter, softened

2 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

sprinkles

 instructions:

1. In electric mixer, cream butter and sugar, then beat in eggs and vanilla.

2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

3. Add flour mixture to the sugar mixture alternately with the milk.

4. Drop by heaping spoonfuls {or you can use medium size scoop} onto ungreased cookie sheets.

{space at least 3 inches apart so cookies have plenty of room to spread}.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until light brown.

6. Remove from cookies sheets to cool on wire racks.

7. When completely cool, frost cookies and decorate with sprinkles.

{see below for buttercream frosting recipe}

Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks butter, room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

Dash of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon heavy cream or milk

instructions:

Beat butter in electric mixer until fluffly.

Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.

Add vanilla.

Add heavy cream or milk.

Beat on high for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

enjoy!

day 8: {homemade-ish pretzel bites}

i don’t know about you, but typically when i think of Christmas goodies, i tend to think of sweets.  however, while i do love sweets, i also love salty little treats.  a couple of months ago i came across these homemade-ish pretzel bites on {you guessed it} Pinterest.  and, boy, are they yummy.  i personally like a salty pretzel over a sweet pretzel, but you can make these fellas salty or sweet.

what you’ll need:

1 bag frozen Rhodes dinner rolls, thawed

sea salt or garlic salt

or

 cinnamon and sugar

directions:

1. thaw dough and then cut into four pieces

2. place dough bites onto parchment lined cookies sheet and let rise

3. once your dough bites are double in size, bring a large
pot of water to a boil

4. preheat oven to 375 degrees

5. place kitchen towel on cookie sheet and cover with paper towel

6. drop about 10 dough bites into the water for about 45 seconds, toss gently making sure all sides are shocked in the water

{sorry for the crummy photo. it’s hard to get a picture of boiling water when the only thing you know how to take a picture with is your iPhone}

7. remove bites from water with slotted spoon and place on paper towel to drain

8. at this point you dough bites are going to look a little pruney and be kinda sticky.

9. let bites cool on paper towel for about 2-3 minutes or until you can touch them

10. place on greased cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown

11. once out of the oven butter generously with melted butter and sprinkle on some sea salt or garlic salt. or if you want them sweet roll in cinnamon sugar mix.

enjoy!

it’s here! {25 days of Christmas}

oh dear, i’ve done it again.

yes, that’s right, i haven’t blogged since October.  i know it’s not like i have such a big following that i’ve let anybody down, but still October was two months ago.  nonetheless, i’m baaaaack!

so, i’ve decided to do {25 days of Christmas}.

yep, that’s a post a day, everyday, between now and Christmas!

so, day one: gingersnaps, or as the recipe says, the best-ever gingersnaps.  they’re my favorite.  i think i’ve had them every Christmas since before i was born.  i don’t even know if that’s possible, but i think it must be true.  i love them almost as much as i love A Charlie Brown Christmas and Elf, almost as much as i love Christmas music and my willow tree nativity, but not nearly as much as i love celebrating my Savior’s birth.

so, we’ll see if i can do it.

everyday, for {25 days}!

day 1:

Best-Ever Gingersnap Cookies

1 cup sugar

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cloves

¾ cup shortening

¼ cup molasses

1 egg, slightly beaten

instructions:

Combine sugar, flour, salt, soda, & spices; mix together.

Cut in shortening to resemble course crumbs.

Stir in molasses and egg.

Shape into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

{do not, i repeat, do NOT bake for more than 10 minutes.  if you do, your cookies will be very hard and crunchy, when they are supposed to be nice and soft and chewy!  so, even if they don’t look done at 10 minutes, they are!}

Remove from baking sheet immediately.

If you want you can pat down the tops a little to make them extra chewy!

{now i have a confession to make}

 when i made these last night, i got caught up in the excitement of making my first batch of Christmas cookies and totally forgot to add the egg.  this resulted in miniature hockey pucks that looked yummy, but wouldn’t even crumble when thrown angrily at the sidewalk.

so, make sure you ADD the egg!

and yes, last night i was a very angry elf!

enjoy!