Tag Archives: recipe

Holiday Peppermint Bark (Recipe!)

8 Dec

We were recently asked if we’d like to be a part of a homemade holiday gifts segment for WGN-TV.  Carol Mackey showed viewers her homemade peppermint bark in our personalized gift boxes … the perfect gift for friends and family!

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Carol was nice enough to share her recipe so we could share it with you.  Just in time for the holidays …

Peppermint Bark

Ingredients:
1 lb chopped bittersweet chocolate
peppermint extract
1 lb chopped white chocolate
crushed peppermint

Directions:
Line a 11×17 baking sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper. Melt bittersweet chocolate over a double boiler, stirring constantly. Stir in four drops peppermint oil or more to taste. Spread chocolate evenly onto the prepared cookie sheet. Chill until just set, about ½ hour. Melt white chocolate over double boiler, stirring constantly, if white chocolate seizes add a little canola oil. Quickly spread white chocolate mixture over chilled dark chocolate, spreading to the edge of the pan, sprinkle with peppermint. Chill until set. To cut, I trim the edges with a chef’s knife and then cut into squares and cut the squares into triangles.

 

I love how Carol tied off the boxes with red and white twine.  So festive and ready to gift!  Her homemade peppermint bark would make a great gift for teachers, friends, neighbors … anyone, really!  Of course, you can fill our boxes with any of your homemade goodies for the holidays.  I’ve even used them to give holiday treats for dogs (I love to bake homemade dog biscuits).

If you give homemade holiday treats, how do you gift them?  Share your creative ideas (and recipes!) with me in the comments below.

xoxo,

Jennifer

Photo courtesy of Carol Mackey.

To learn more about Carol Mackey and her recipes & classes, please visit her site at carolmackey.net

 

 

Yummy Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

9 May

This week I made some delicious carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for teacher appreciation week.  It was the perfect chance for me to try out our new baking cups.  And of course, I like to make almost anything that has cream cheese frosting on it!  I used the following recipe and it turned out great!

For the cupcakes (makes 12):
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups grated carrots (heaping)
  • ⅔ cup oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
For the frosting:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2+ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the grated carrots and the oil. Slowly add the flour mixture, stirring until just mixed. Add the beaten eggs and stir a few times (like 15 or less around the bowl – the fewer the better)!
  2. Scoop batter into baking cups about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way. Bake for 15 minutes, check how they’re doing, and add a few minutes if necessary. I find that the baking time varies greatly with oven, so just check for the right golden brown color and springy tops. Allow the cupcakes to cool.
  3. For the frosting, blend the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Transfer to a plastic bag or similar tool for piping the frosting evenly on the cupcakes.

Lilac Baking Cups I used our Lilac Damask Stripe Large Baking Cups for these cupcakes.  They worked really well and looked beautiful on a serving tray.  While I used these for a teacher appreciation luncheon, I was thinking of different events these would be ideal for and these are a few I came up with:

  • Bridal Shower
  • Graduation Party
  • Baby Shower
  • Ladies Luncheon
  • Mother’s Day Brunch
  • 1st Birthday Party

Of course, there are many more uses, but these were the first to pop in my head.  Let me know what you think of our new baking cups and if you decide to use them for your special event.  I would love to hear what you do with yours! xoxo Jennifer

The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting – Pinch of Yum

 

Recipe: Low Calorie Pumpkin Custard Cups

16 Sep

Whenever the temperature drops, I cannot wait to make pumpkin pie.  The smell of cinnamon and pumpkin baking in the oven just switches my gears into fall mode.  I also love eating all that delicious pumpkin pie, but I really don’t want all the calories.  So I came up with a mish-mash of recipes that I have tried throughout the years that satisfies my pumpkin craving without the guilt.

What you’ll need:

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  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 2/3 cup Truvia (or any no calorie sweetner)
  • 2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 6-8 ramekins (depending on size) with nonstick cooking spray.

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In a blender, start by blending the egg mixture and milk first and then add the remaining ingredients.

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Pour into the ramekins.  I like to have the ramekins on a cookie sheet for ease of taking in and out of the oven.  Bake for approximately 35 – 40 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes.

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Top with whipped cream  (this is where you can splurge a little!) and a sprinkle of Pumpkin Pie Spice.  Let me know if you try these at home!  Enjoy.

xoxo

Jennifer