Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Covered Cake Balls

Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Covered Cake Balls recipe | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats Blog Hop | from MealPlanningMagic.com

Double peanut butter chocolate covered cake balls. Need I say more?

If you ask me, peanut butter and chocolate is a match made in heaven. It’s a flavor combination I’ve loved for as long as I can remember. And ever since cake balls have come on the scene, I have enjoyed those tasty little treats. But what I haven’t loved is the fact that most recipes I’ve seen use a boxed cake mix and canned frosting. I wanted something I could make from scratch so when I came across this cookbook at the library a couple of weeks ago, I knew it was perfect for me to get the best of both worlds. And you may ask why it’s called Double Peanut Butter? Because not only is the cake peanut butter cake but the frosting is peanut butter frosting too (super yum!)

And, boy, was it worth the wait! My daughter helped me make these. They are so easy for kids to help with. The actual cake baking was not too bad but she especially liked the crumbling of the cake and the rolling of the balls—even your younger kids can help with those.

Other than the little bit of extra time it takes to make the cake and frosting from scratch, it really is a simple recipe. The only bad news is that they are so tasty, it’s hard to enjoy just one or two at a time! The good news is that they do freeze well which means you can not only make them ahead of time for your holiday treat trays, but maybe if they’re in the freezer, they are out of sight and out of mind and you might forget they are there so you’ll be less likely to indulge in more than you should!

That said, if you are a fan of the peanut butter and chocolate combination too, then these are a must make!

Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Covered Cake Balls recipe | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats Blog Hop | from MealPlanningMagic.com

Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Covered Cake Balls recipe | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats Blog Hop | from MealPlanningMagic.com

Just a few simple ingredients is all it takes to bake the peanut butter cake from scratch.

Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Covered Cake Balls recipe | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats Blog Hop | from MealPlanningMagic.com

The frosting comes together quickly and is ready to combine in the crumbled cake. Using a scoop helps ensure the cake balls are of mostly even size.

Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Covered Cake Balls recipe | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats Blog Hop | from MealPlanningMagic.com

When dipping the cake balls in the chocolate, I used these dipping tools I got a Michael’s a long time ago. They are not necessary but sure are handy! If you don’t have them, two forks will get the job done too.

Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Covered Cake Balls recipe | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats Blog Hop | from MealPlanningMagic.com

This is the book from which I got this recipe. There are so many yummy ideas in here…I’m glad I found it!

I hope you’ll give these double peanut butter chocolate covered cake balls a try! If you’re a fan of that flavor combination, you won’t be disappointed!

Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Covered Cake Balls {Week 3 of 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats}

Ingredients

  • Peanut Butter Cake
  • 1 1/3 cups self-rising flour, plus more for the cake pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 4 ½ tablespoons smooth peanut butter (I used the natural grind-your-own kind)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup milk
  • Peanut Butter Frosting
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 ½ tablespoon smooth peanut butter (I used the natural kind again)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • For Cake Balls Chocolate Coating
  • 1 package chocolate candy melts (these can be found at craft stores)
  • 1 tablespoon shortening (not oil)
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions

    For the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. With butter, lightly great and flour a 10-inch round cake pan or an 8-inch square cake pan.
  2. Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and peanut butter until combined. Add the sugar and coitnue to cream until pale and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Starting with the flour mixture, add half of it to the peanut butter mixture, then half the milk and alternate until done. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Once baked, leave to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
  4. For the frosting:
  5. Cream the butter and peanut butter together. Gradually add the sugar, then continue to cream until light and fluffy. Finally, mix in the milk. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.
  6. To make the cake balls:
  7. Crumble your cake completely in a large mixing bowl. You can do this by hand as it tends to give a finer crumb, or may use your food processor.
  8. Once you have crumbled the cake as finely as possible, take the frosting, one heaping tablespoon at a time, and begin mixing it in with the crumbs (I used my mixer for this). Keep mixing until you have a fudge-like texture. To test if it’s read, take a little of the mixture in your and squeeze---it shouldn’t crumble and should be pliable. If you add too much frosting, your balls will be soggy.
  9. Using a tablespoon scoop (or spoon), roll into a ball. Place each ball on a tray lined with wax or parchment paper. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes, or until they are firm.
  10. Dipping the cake balls:
  11. Melt the chocolate according to package instructions. You want the chocolate to be a smooth and liquid like. Dip cake balls in melted candy. Gently tap the cake ball over the bowl to remove any excess candy. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. It should take only 1-2 minutes for the chocolate to set.
  12. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to three months (if they last that long!)

Notes

Recipe adapted from Crazy for Cake Pops

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Be sure to check out our Pinterest board for all the great ideas too—it’s a great way to keep track of your favorites.

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to CLICK HERE so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly meal planning inspiration in you inbox!

And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes this week! If you’re a blogger and want to join in the hop, you can find more details and SIGN UP HERE.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com



Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars  | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com

I was cleaning out my recipe collection recently and came across this recipe for Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars.  If you ask me, chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven. You might remember a couple of years ago, I shared the Buckeye Delights during the first year that I hosted the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats. This is actually a recipe I received from a cookie exchange party years ago. I call these a bit of a ‘cheater’ recipe because usually I go all out and make things totally from scratch, but sometimes you need to have something quick and easy up your sleeve.  These fit the bill just fine! And they are delicious too. I do love a good cookie bar type treat. When I’m in a time crunch, bar cookies are the way to go because they are easy to make up in a hurry so you don’t have to spend a ton of time in the kitchen waiting for different batches to bake.  These are no exception. They’d be a great addition to any holiday treat table!

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumb
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips, divided
  • 3/4 up peanut butter baking chips, divided
  • 2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Combine baking chips in a bowl and set aside. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, butter and ¼ cup sugar in medium bowl. Remove 1 cup mixture and reserve for topping. Press remaining mixture on t bottom of ungreased 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Sprinkle ¼ cup morsels over crust.
  3. Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, flour and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Pour over crust and morsels in pan. Sprinkle with reserved crumb topping and remaining morsels.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minute or until set. Cool complete in pan on wire rack. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator for up to a week.
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars  | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars  | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Just a few ingredients is all it takes. Sprinkle baking chips on crust then add remaining ingredients, bake and you’re done!

Be sure to check out our Pinterest board for all the great ideas too—it’s a great way to keep track of your favorites.

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to  CLICK HERE  so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly meal planning inspiration in you inbox!

And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes this week! If you’re a blogger and want to join in the hop, you can find more details and SIGN UP HERE.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com



Cocoa Peppermint Pretzel Cookies

Cocoa Peppermint Prtezel Cookies | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com

These tasty little Cocoa Peppermint Pretzel cookies are a delicious way to kick off this year’s 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop! Yes, I know, I know. It IS only September but  before you know it, the holidays will be here.  Over 20 other bloggers and I (and counting) will be joining up each week to share with you delicious recipes for our favorite sweet treats. The idea is that not only will you get a lot more recipe ideas but ideally you can make up these treats ahead of time and freeze so that you will have goodies ready to go for gift-giving, hostess gifts and even your own holiday tables.

I discovered this recipe when flipping through The Cookie Party Cookbook that I had picked up from the library. Not only are there a ton of terrific looking cookie recipes in this book, the author also gives all kinds of tips on how to host a cookie exchange party. These cookies may look difficult but they’re really not and even kids will have fun rolling out the dough, crushing the peppermint and making the pretzel shapes. These will be a fun addition to any holiday cookie tray. I hope you’ll give them a try!

Cocoa Peppermint Prtezel Cookies | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Cocoa Peppermint Pretzel Cookies | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com

The ingredients might seem too dry at first but they will come together to form a soft dough. My cutting board has a built-in ruler that makes it easy to see how long my dough ropes are!

Cocoa Peppermint Pretzel Cookies | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com

I melted the candy melts in the microwave and dipped the cookies first in that then in the crushed peppermint. Easy!

Cocoa Peppermint Pretzels

Adapted from "The Cookie Party Cookbook" by Robin Olson.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate candy melts (or white chocolate chips)
  • 1 teaspoon shortening
  • 1/3 cup crushed peppermint candy

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat on low speed until a soft dough forms. Cover the dough in the bowl with plastic wrap. Chill for 2 to 3 hours, or until firm.
  3. Using about a tablespoon of dough, roll into 9-inch ropes about 1/2-inch in diameter. Shape each rope into an upside-down U. Bring the ends together and twist in the middle. Take the ends to the top of the pretzel and press the dough to secure. Place the pretzels 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until set. Cool completely on baking sheets.
  4. Melt the candy melts according to the package directions. Use shortening, if needed, to make smoother dipping consistency. Dip one side of pretzel into the melted chips, then roll the dipped side into the crushed candy. Place the pretzels on wax-lined baking sheets and let dry completely before serving.
  5. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Layer in container with wax paper between layers to prevent breakage.

Notes

Recipe printed from www.mealplanningmagic.com

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Be sure to check out our Pinterest board for all the great ideas too—it’s a great way to keep track of your favorites.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to  CLICK HERE  so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly inspiration in you inbox!

And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes this week! If you’re a blogger and want to join in the hop, you can find more details and SIGN UP HERE.



12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop – Christmas In July!

Fudgy Ginger Shortbread | 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop hosted by Meal Planning Magic

This is one of the treats I made for last year’s blog hop.

If you’re thinking I’m crazy for thinking about Christmas cooking in the middle of summer, you’re probably right. Well, partly. You see, it’s about this time of year that I start thinking about the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop. This year will mark the 3rd year that I’ve hosted this blog hop and it is always lots of fun and SO many great recipes are shared by bloggers from all over.

But it’s about this time of year that I pull out my Holiday Notebook in an attempt to be a bit more organized for the holidays. They always seem to come up fast! I created my Holiday Notebook a few years ago and it’s become a great resource to help me streamline our preparations. It’s probably no surprise that I’ve gotten my meal preparation, planning and cookie/sweet baking down to a virtual science. I am a meal planner you know! As for the rest, some years are better than others.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com
So in the spirit of planning and being that it IS Christmas in July (you know, the 25th), I’m announcing the 3rd Annual 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop. Each week, 25-30 bloggers link up their recipes and share some delicious inspiration for all those holiday gatherings. We start at the end of September and continue each week for 12 weeks. I’ll admit, I was a bit on the fence about continuing this challenge because it is a lot of baking! But I do enjoy it and since my daughter has gotten into baking this summer (and doing a very fine job of it I might add), she has assured me she will be helping. So be looking for a recipe or two (or more) from her that I’ll be sharing.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop

Want to join the fun? Read on for details:

BLOGGERS

Fill out the form below and I’ll send you more details in late August/early September with all the link codes, graphic, etc. But the guidelines are simple: –Each week, on Wednesdays (starting September 25th), make a different Christmas treat and blog about it. It can be a cookie or perhaps something (like spiced nuts) that you might serve at a holiday gathering.
–Put them in the freezer (most cookies freeze well for up to three months)
–Link up each week using the link code I’ll provide via email (look for emails the first week of September).
–Link back to my blog and use the Blog Hop graphic I’ll provide.
–Interested but not sure you can commit to ALL 12 Weeks? That’s ok. Go ahead and fill out the form anyway so you’re in the loop on the weeks you CAN participate! Try to do a minimum of six weeks though!
–That’s it!
Oh and don’t forget to have fun too! At the end, you’ll be able to breathe easy knowing you’ll be prepared for all those parties, cookie exchanges and hostess gifts you’ll need treats for throughout the holiday season.

READERS AND FOLLOWERS

Bake along with us! Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration to get some baking done early and in the freezer. And I’ve set up a 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Pinterest board to follow just for many of the treats you’ll find on the hop! Or you can subscribe to receive emails or blog reader updates by clicking here, following my page on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter (use the hashtag #12wksxmastreats). Hope you’ll join in the fun!

Here’s the form!
(EDITED TO ADD: When filling out the Google Doc, after you click “Continue” it will say “Thank You!” and you might think you’re done. But you’re not! You have to click “Submit” too, otherwise the info. will not be saved. Looking forward to your participation!)

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Round Up

Christmas is just a few days away and I know many of you are busy taking care of last minute details like shopping, wrapping presents and baking! I wanted to do a little roundup of all the cookies and sweet treats I’ve shared over the last twelve weeks for the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats! I hope you’ve enjoyed baking right along with me and the rest of the bloggers that participated. You’ll find links to TONS more recipes when you click on my recipe links below. Happy Baking!

Week 1-Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites


Week 2-Easy Toffee Almond Bars


Week 3-Goat Cheese & Honey Brownies


Week 4-Peppermint Fudge Cups


Week 5-Chocolate Covered Cherry Delights


Week 6-Apple Cinnamon Streusel Bars


Week 7-Cranberry Amaretto Chutney with Cream Cheese


Week 8-Fudgy Brownie Cake Balls


Week 9-Peanut Butter Fudge


Week 10-Pecan Tassies

Week 11-Fudgy Ginger Shortbread


Week 12: Chocolate Truffle Cookies

Crinkled Fudge Truffle Cookies

This is our last week of the 12 Weeks Of Christmas Treats! Can you believe Christmas is less than two weeks away? Wow, the time sure has flown by! I hope you’ve enjoyed the recipes I’ve shared over the weeks as well as those from the other participating bloggers. Next week I’ll do a wrap up post of all the cookies and you can always find the recipes by visiting my Recipe Index Page or the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Pinterest board!

My very first job as a teenager was in the bakery of a local grocery store. I don’t remember getting to actually bake much (they had bakers that did that) but I do remember I got to write on cakes. And I remember that one of the most popular cookies we sold were these double chocolate cookies. They were super soft gooey chocolate cookies and I made sure to sample them as often as I got the chance (I would buy them to eat on my break!)

Flash forward to last year and I received one of those mailers from Better Homes & Gardens for their annual holiday ideas and recipe book. I didn’t end up purchasing the book but I did hold on to the free recipe that came with the advertising. These Crinkled Fudge Truffle Cookies looked EXACTLY like those cookies that I used to sell at the bakery. So I HAD to try them!
The good news: these look and taste just like those cookies from the bakery. The bad news: they are so gooey that they can be somewhat tricky to work with. My first batch was somewhat of a flop. I tried to substitute chocolate chips for the baking chocolate and that was a bad move because my dough was way too melty. So I added more flour and baking soda (so they would rise a bit) and while the cookies actually turned out ok taste and texture-wise, they were a little difficult to get off the baking sheet without destroying their shape.

So with my second attempt, I followed the recipe exactly and used the right ingredients. One note: the batter looks a lot like brownie batter instead of thicker cookie batter but it actually kind of sets up as it sits. Also, these cookies do flatten out so be sure to let them sit on the baking sheet the couple of minutes that the recipe suggests so that they can set up a bit more. I also got interrupted during my baking session and had to put some of the batter in the refrigerator. That seemed to help a bit with the spread and “setting-up” of the cookies while they baked so my tip is to refrigerate the dough if you’re having trouble with spread.
All in all these cookies were a hit—both with my family and with my friends when I brought them for a cookie exchange party. hey were so full of fudgy chocolate-ness, it brought me back to my bakery job days. Yum!

Crinkled Fudge Truffle Cookies {12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies}

Ingredients

  • 3 4-ounce bars sweet baking chocolate, chopped
  • 2 T butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ¼ C granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 C chopped pecans
  • 6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Nonstick spray coating
  • Pecan halves (optional)
  • Powdered Sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small saucepan over very low heat, heat and stir chocolate and shortening until chocolate begins to melt and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Add coffee. Stir until combined. Cool.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium to high speed, beat eggs and sugar until light and lemon colored (3 or 4 minutes). Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla. On low speed beat in chopped pecans, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt until combined.
  4. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray (do not skip this step or your cookies will stick to the pan!) Drop teaspoons of dough 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. I used a cookie scoop to make them even. If using, place a pecan half atop each cookie. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until just set on surface (do not over bake). Cool for 2 minutes on pan then transfer to racks. Cool completely. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes about 4 ½ dozen cookies.

Notes

My suggestion: Do not substitute chocolate chips for the bar chocolate. The ratio is just not the same. I hope to try this with butter instead of shortening but am not sure how that will change things.

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All the ingredients ready to go!

I used my Pampered Chef chopper to chop the chocolate easily!

I like the bars of shortening–makes it so much easier to measure what I need!

Use low heat to melt the chocolate and shortening slowly to avoid burning.

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop… you’ll have no excuse of “I don’t know what to make!” And be sure to check follow our Pinterest board.


Fudgy Ginger Shortbread


This week I was short on time—in just about every direction! So I knew I wanted a recipe for the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats that I could whip up in a jiffy! I made most of my wait time at the orthodontist’s office while waiting for my daughter and thumbed through the many holiday magazine/books that I have and came upon this yummy sounding recipe for Fudgy Gingerbread Shortbread by Land O’ Lakes. I do love a good shortbread (like this chocolate peppermint shortbread I made last year). The ingredients looked simple enough and the time to make and bake easy too. I had a winner!

I ended up substituting the powdered ginger for the crystallized because that’s what I had on hand. Actually I *thought* I had crystallized ginger but I think I must have used it up because it had gone missing in my spice rack.

These delicate little cookies did not disappoint. With just a few ingredients–all of which I already had on hand–they went together quickly. Plus they have a terrific chocolatey flavor with just a hint of ginger. I think they would be great paired with a cup of tea or coffee. I hope you enjoy them too!

Fudgy Ginger Shortbread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger*
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • *Substitute 1 teaspoon ground ginger.
  • Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Line 2 (9-inch) round pie or cake pans with aluminum foil, extending foil over edges. Set aside.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa, ginger and salt in medium bowl until well mixed; set aside.
  3. Combine butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Reduce speed to low. Beat, gradually adding flour mixture and scraping bowl often, until soft dough forms.
  4. Divide dough in half. Press each half into bottom only of prepared pans. Prick all over with fork.
  5. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until firm and set. (Center will be slightly soft.) Cool 10 minutes. Lift shortbread out of pans using foil; cut each shortbread into 16 wedges. Cool completely.
  6. Combine powdered sugar and vanilla in small bowl. Stir in enough water for desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle glaze over shortbread wedges.
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Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop… you’ll have no excuse of “I don’t know what to make!” 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!

Pecan Tassies

When I was a young girl, I remember my grandmother making these Pecan Tassies and bringing them to our house for Christmas. I also remember that I did not really like them at all! But now I’m a huge fan. Blame it on the 30+ years of living in Texas and my taste for native pecans and there’s not a whole lot that I’ll refuse if it includes pecans. Now I will say I’m still a little bit picky about pecan pie. It can’t have too many pecans nor, have too much of the filling. I like it to have a balance. So I dug out my recipe for grandma’s Tassies and I’m glad I did. (Remember, last week I posted a Peanut Butter Fudge recipe from my grandmother? That was from my grandma on the other side of the family).

These little gems offer just the right balance of pecans to filling to crust. I’d venture to guess that they freeze well although I’m not a great judge since I’ve probably eating half a pecan pie’s worth since I made them! That the downside, they’re just so darn easy to pop into your mouth and enjoy. I’m pretty sure it’s been awhile since my mom and dad have had these so I may just need to make up an extra batch to share with them this Christmas!

Pecan Tassies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: PT25-27M

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 32-40 tassies

Serving Size: 1 tassie

Ingredients

  • Shell:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 6 oz. of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Filling:
  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 T melted butter
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • Dash of salt

Instructions

  1. For crust:
  2. Combine butter and cream cheese until creamy and smooth (original recipe suggested just using spoons but I used my stand mixer). Add flour, ½ cup at a time, blending thoroughly until smooth dough forms.
  3. Pinch off small pieces of dough and shape into balls (I used my small scoop to make this easier). The original recipe said you would get 48 balls. I got about 32 but probably could have gotten 40 if I was a bit more conscious about it. Place balls in mini-muffin cup pan. Shape in pan with fingers to make it into a cup. Or you can use a mini-tart shaper tool like I did.
  4. For filling:
  5. Beat eggs only enough to combine white part with yolk. Add brown sugar. Beat well after each addition. Add melted butter, salt and vanilla.
  6. Sprinkle half of chopped nuts in unbaked cups. Add about a scant tablespoon of the liquid filling over the pecans. Top with remaining nuts. Bake at 350° for 15-17 minutes or until filling is almost set. Reduce heat to 250° and bake an additional 10 minutes longer until firm.
  7. Remove to cooling racks until fully cooled.
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Just a few simple ingredients are all you need to make these tassies.

Add the flour a little at a time.

You can use your fingers to press the dough into the cups. This neat mini-tart shaper tool that I have makes it a bit easier!

Tassie cups waiting–first step to fill–use half the pecans.

This is what it looks like with the pecans on the bottom and the filling but before the final pecan topping.

I used a butter knife to help me pop the tassies out of the pan.

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop… you’ll have no excuse of “I don’t know what to make!” 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!


Peanut Butter Fudge


I’m just going to come right out and say it but this fudge recipe is in no way healthy. Nope, not one bit. But it sure is delicious and simple to make! We’re in the 9th week of the 12 weeks of Christmas Treats (can you believe it?!?) and I’m bringing my recipe to you one day early because of Thanksgiving being on our normal Thursday posting.

Many years ago, my grandmother used to make Mexican fudge. It was like a praline fudge and it was so delicious. But I could never seem to duplicate it myself. Then she gave me the recipe for peanut butter fudge. Now, the planets seem to have to align and the humidity needs to be low here in Texas (kind of a rare thing) for the fudge to come out. I blame candy making on the humidity!

But this time I timed it right and chose a day that was a bit cooler AND I had the time to make it. This fudge has just the right hint of peanut butter to that sweet fudge taste making them perfect little bites for any holiday sweets table spread.

Having a candy thermometer is a must so that you can keep an eye on the sugar mixture for it to come to soft ball stage. And it seems as though it stays stuck on 220°F FOREVER! I think it was about 30-40 minutes for me. But once it makes it to the soft ball stage it is quick to mix up and spread in a pan. Easy.  Now I will say that this batch turned out a little more crumbly than I would like but my family thought it was delicious! I think it’s because of the disparity in my candy thermometers and I let it get a little too far into the soft ball stage (see my pictures below for explanation). It does freeze well though. Just put it in a freezer safe container separated by wax paper. I know I’ll have plenty for gift-giving and holiday sweets trays and tables!

I hope you’ll give it a try!

Peanut Butter Fudge

Ingredients

  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 4 C granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  • 1 20 oz. jar crunchy peanut butter*
  • 1 7 oz. jar marshmallow cream

Instructions

  1. Combine evaporated milk, sugar and butter/margarine. Cook and stir constantly over low heat until candy reaches soft ball stage. To test for soft ball stage, either use a candy thermometer (temperature at 235º-240º--seems like it is “stuck” at 220º forever!). Or use a cup of cold water and drop a teaspoon of mixture into water and if it makes a soft ball it is ready.
  2. In large bowl, put in crunchy peanut butter and marshmallow cream. Pour candy mixture over peanut butter mixture and beat until candy loses its gloss. Turn into a buttered 13” x 9” pan and cut into 1” squares when cool. Store in refrigerator.

Notes

*Since this recipe was my grandmother's the size of the peanut butter jars has changed from the 20 oz. jar called for to 18 oz. So I added an extra tablespoon or so to give it the boost of peanut butter flavor I wanted it to have.

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Just five simple ingredients is all it takes. And a whole lot of sugar–yikes! Eat a big salad the day you make these so you can indulge a bit!

The sugar milk butter mixture will boil and get really foamy and big. Just keep an eye on it and keep stirring!

It seems to stay at 220 degrees for a really long time!

I lined the pan with foil and greased it so it makes it easier to pull out and cut.

This is the mixture after about a half hour of it coming to the soft ball stage temperature.

This is what the soft ball stage looks like in the cold water. I like how the drizzling made a pattern–kind of makes me think of a dancer!

This one shows it at the soft ball stage but I think it was a little too high in reality.

This was my grandmother’s candy thermometer. It read a little higher than mine. And I think this one was really the one I should have followed.

Just dump the mixture out of the bowl into the pan–then spread!

I used the back of a metal spoon to smooth the mixture in the pan.

I used my giant pizza cutter to make cutting the fudge into squares so much easier!


You can find all sort of sweet treats inspiration and much more on my Pinterest boards. And be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop… you’ll have no excuse of “I don’t know what to make!” 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!



Fudgy Brownie Cake Balls


It’s the 8th week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats! Next week is Thanksgiving so be on the lookout on WEDNESDAY for my next recipe.

So, now on to this week’s recipe! Fudgy Brownie Cake Balls. This past summer I picked up this fun Nordicware cake pop pan at Target. I’d been eyeing it for a while and decided to splurge. It’s about $15. But since I don’t really like the regular cake pops that are so popular these days with the cake mix and frosting, I wanted something that would give me a similar treat without those ingredients. (By the way, I’ve read on the Nordicware Facebook page that they are coming out with a cookbook for more pop recipes! That’s the one downside to this pan–I don’t think you can use a regular cake mix recipe.)

These are SO easy to make. I didn’t even need to get the mixer out! And my son helped me too. Now I will say these cake balls never really fill the whole sphere but still make a nice truffle-like shape. I dipped them in baking chocolate, added a few sprinkles (which you can change up the color of if you like) and voila! Easy dessert. I made these recently for a luncheon at school and they were a big hit!

Fudgy Brownie Cake Balls

Yield: Makes about 24 cake balls.

Ingredients

  • ¾ semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 24 lollipop sticks
  • 12 oz. white or chocolate bark coating

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325F. Grease and flour pan. In medium saucepan, over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate chips together. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and pour into a medium bowl. Add sugar and cocoa. Stir until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add flour and salt. Mix until blended. Spoon batter into bottom half of pan (without holes) filling each well so it mounds over the top of the pan. I used a medium scoop for this—so easy!
  2. Place top half of pan on top and secure with keys. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out almost clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then remove cake pops from pan to cool completely.
  3. Melt white chocolate or chocolate bark according to package directions. Dip cake ball in melted chocolate. Dip cake pop in melted chocolate, spinning to let excess chocolate drip off. Decorate with sprinkles as desired. Repeat with all balls. Place on cooling rack or parchment paper to set.
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Simple ingredients!

The pans come in all sorts of fun colors!

The instructions call for spraying the pans. Although I found that there is enough butter in the batter that I didn’t have a problem with them sticking.

No mixer required–easy!

Batter is mounded slightly in each well.

I used a knife to poke the balls and dip into the melted chocolate.

For me, the cake balls really don’t mound too much but still have the nice round shape from the pan on one side at least.

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop… you’ll have no excuse of “I don’t know what to make!” 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!