Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Peppermint Bark

Every Christmas, for as long as I can remember, my family (mom, sister and dad) made cookies and treats every year: press cookies, sugar cookies, butter cookies, molasses cookies, dipped pretzels, pecan balls, etc. My sister, Katie, and I would stand on chairs next to my mom and help her make the dough, lay the cookies on the sheet and then later frost them or cover them in copious amounts of sprinkles.

Well the tradition continues, my mom still makes all the cookies each year. I had to start making new cookies because no one really needs two batches of press cookies, molasses cookies, and sugar cookies, right? This year I decided I would try to make peppermint bark! I always loved Lammes Candies' version, but I wanted to add chocolate! I made this last night with the fudge! I think it's a winner and maybe a new Christmas tradition - for me!

Love my Christmas plates!

I hope you and yours have a very safe and Merry Christmas!!

Fantasy Fudge

My Dad always makes the most delicious fudge! Honestly, everyone loved it and no matter where I had fudge it just wasn't as good as my dad's. =) I am not sure if that was a younger mentality of "everything my dad does is better than your dad" or if his really was better. When I got married and moved into our house I decided I wanted all the recipes my parents made and that fudge recipe was the first one I wanted. So I copied it down and went home to make it. Guess what I noticed! That delicious fudge recipe is on the back of the jar of marshmallow creme! I guess it really was in my head, or Kraft has the best recipe!

Fantasy Fudge
3 cups Sugar
a 5oz can of evaporated milk
3/4 cup of butter
1 jar of Kraft Jet Puffed- marshmallow creme
1.5 boxes of Bakers Semi Sweet chocolate - chopped (12 squares)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts of your choice (i, personally, leave out the nuts)

1. prepare a 9x13 pan (if you like it thin) or a 9x9 (if you like it thick). My dad never lined the pan with anything, but I decided to use foil this time
2. chop all the chocolate into pieces, so it melts faster
3. Melt the butter, sugar, and milk in a saucepan stirring constantly
4. Bring it to a full boil for 4 minutes or until your candy thermometer says 234* and remove from heat
5. Stir in the marshmallow creme and the chocolate pieces. (Be VERY careful not to splatter because it is HOT!)
6. Pour mix into your prepared pan and spread it out evenly
7. After letting it cool for about 10-15 minutes (maybe longer, i didn't time this) cut the fudge; it makes it easier to cut it again once it's hardened. (I did not do this last year and I had to give everyone crumbles and broken fudge)
8. let is cool and you are ready to serve! mmmm...enjoy!

I didn't take a picture of it ready to go, maybe I will add that in later!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Google Challenge

Challenge: On Dec 16th send us (Google Nexus) a pic of your best gingerbread creation.

12/21/10 Update: We didn't win. =(
Here are the winners:
Husband wanted to do this challenge and tweet a pic to them of our "gingerbread creation." He wanted to do something original and settled on re-creating the Android sculptures on the Google campus, out of gingerbread. He drew out all of the shapes by hand and then cut them. Sunday night, Husband and I both made the dough and stuck it in the fridge for the next day! I cut the dough with the shapes he made and baked the cookies Monday night and frosted some of them and finished Tuesday evening! Below are the actual sculptures in the display we sent in! Yes, he's a geek and yes, I am a geek's wife who is willing to make these for him! =D

The real thing... We tried to proportion everything, but the gingerbread man is never in the same pic with the others, so we don't know just how big he actually is .
Our printed background and strategically placed gingerbread cookies! ;-)
Donut...Andy the Android (with his Nexus One)... Cupcake...Eclair...Froyo...Gingerbread

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hi Everyone!

I have decided to change my blog name! I have no real reason, but I just wasn't satisfied with my old name! I thought of something I like better! So, please follow this blogspot!
Thanks, Christine

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Cookies

I was not able to make my (re-vamped) turkey cookies this year because I ended up getting sick. The next week Michael and I went on vacation, so I will just have to wait until next year. That being said, I was very excited to do my Christmas cookies. I decided to make a few different kinds and shapes. I made an android ornament for Michael, lol! I think my favorites are either the zebra with holly, the poinsettia or the little Santa belts (which turned out cuter than I thought they would be).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Nursing Scrub Cookies

Katie is finishing up her first semester at UT nursing school; hopefully these cookies were able to provide her with a yummy studying break! =D

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Moose Munch

My sister introduced me to this delicious treat! She calls it Puppy Chow, I have heard monkey munch used as well. I prefer Moose munch because I love alliteration! =D This recipe has become a favorite and now I always make it when I travel. So I whipped up a batch for Michael and I tomorrow and some for Katie who is also flying out tomorrow!

Moose Munch
9 cups Chex Cereal (I use original, but you can mix it up with a different flavor)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar (just add as needed, I never measure)
1-2 tsp vanilla

1. Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a glass bowl int he microwave for 1 minute
2. Stir, if still lumpy, microwave in 30-second increments
3. Once completely melted, stir in vanilla
4. Pour chocolate mixture into large bowl with cereal and mix under well covered. Be gentle so you don't crush the chex.
5. Once covered, put chocolate covered cereal in a ziplock bag with powdered sugar and shake until covered.
6. Then layout on wax paper to dry. (I did it this time, but I've never done it before. You would be fine if you put it right into a Tupperware or plastic baggy).
mmm... enjoy!

Panel Score: 5 out of 5 stars! Winner!
Baker Notes: It's very quick to make, but it's pretty messy! I had a lot of dishes to clean up at the end, fully of sticky peanut butter and hardened chocolate. It's well worth it though!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lost Birthday Cookies

These cookies were made for Diana's birthday last December and I just now found them (the picture, not the cookies!).

Foundation for the Homeless Cookies

For over 20 years, Foundation for the Homeless, Inc. (FFH), has worked to organize resources from the faith communities to alleviate the suffering of homeless people in Austin, Texas.

FFH assists people in their work toward a self-sufficient lifestyle. FFH carries out its work by building relationships between thousands of volunteers from local faith communities and homeless families with children.

The cookies below were made for an event to help support this wonderful cause! Unfortunately I do not have a final picture of them packaged!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chocolate Birthday Cake

This is a devil food chocolate cake with ganache filling and covered in a rich chocolate butter cream frosting! Topped with dark chocolate ghirardelli squares and chocolate filled raspberries.
Do you think he likes chocolate?

Happy Birthday Dad!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Avalanche Bark

This recipe is wonderful if you are in a hurry! It's quick. No bake. Delicious. These ingredients (or most of them) are usually in my house at all times, so this could be easy to come up with on the fly! I can train myself to always keep rice krispies around! =)

Avalanche Bars Recipe Source
12 oz bag of white chocolate chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups Rice Krispies
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
lightly greased 9x9 pan

1. Grease a 9x9 pan lightly with cooking spray
2. In a microwave safe bowl melt white chocolate chips, stirring in 30 second intervals (to avoid burning) until melted
3. Add peanut butter to melted chips
4. Pour in the krispies, mix and then let cool until room temperature (approx 15-20 mins).
Don't rush! Wait!
5. Once it has reached room temperature (or you just cannot wait any longer) add the mini chocolate chips and marshmallows. stir to combine.
6. Dump mixture into the greased bowl and pressed lightly with the back of your spatula. (if you press too hard, the bars will come out on the harder side).
7. Cut into squares once cooled, serve, and enjoy! (you can place pan in fridge to speed along cooling process)

Panel Score: 5 out of 5 stars! Winner!
Baker Notes: VERY sweet, but still yummy! Extraordinarily simple to make! Moderate clean up!

Texas Wedding Favors

Congratulations Monika & Carmen!
Monika emailed me requesting 4 dozen Texas shaped cookies colored like the Texas flag! I made over 100 Texas cookies between Monika and Katie! Honestly, cookie sheets were everywhere! Her cookies are also for her out of town guests! I wish I had thought of something like that for my wedding!

All 50 were bagged, but only 15 are shown below

Texas Wedding Favors

Congratulations to Katie and Justin!
Katie requested Texas shaped cookies with the Texas flag design! I really enjoyed making these! These are going in her out of town guest bags for all the visiting wedding guests! Such a cute idea!
packaged and ready to go

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bridal Shower Cookies

Congratulations to Anne & Brandon!
My friend, Sarah is hosting a bridal shower for Anne at Driftwood Vineyards this Saturday and requested 30 wine bottles, to be handed out as favors, with ANB monogrammed with the year 2011!
(I apologize for the weird camera angle, a little trippy!)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Birthday Cake

Happy 18th Birthday Kristina!

This is a vanilla cake with chocolate ganache filling and butter cream frosting made for my co-worker's daughter!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Giant Daiquiri Glass

Happy 21st Birthday Katie!
Katie got a giant daiquiri glass filled with birthday necessities; a flashing birthday star necklace, a flashing pin if she cannot wear the necklace to the hospital tomorrow, and a pink, cliché, flashing shot glass! Also included are some of her favorite candies!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More Bachelorette Cookies

red and black lingerie cookies for Lauren's bachelorette party in Dallas! Have fun girls!

Wrapped and ready to go to Dallas!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Your Turn!
Cookies 'n Cream Pudding

I am going to try something new. I will find a recipe to make for dessert (be that from a magazine, website, cookbook, or blog) and show you how to make it and give you a rating on it from my panel. Who will be my panel, you ask?

Well, to answer that you need some back ground! Michael and I moved into our new house June of 2009. Guess who moved in next door 3 months later!? Not one, but TWO Aggies! Justin & Katie (c/o '09)! Well, we immediately became friends and started doing weekly dinners. One week they make dinner and I make the dessert and the next week vice versa! We now have been doing this for over a year! In March we added a new couple to our weekly dinner, Ashley and Cory.

There ya go! Every 3 weeks, when it's my turn to make dessert, I will put on my blog a new recipe, directions, hopefully a few pictures and the overall rating from my panel of 5 judges!

So, here's to a first of many! Recipe Source

Cookies n' Cream Pudding
8 Oreo Cookies
2 cups of milk
1 pkg (4 servings) Jell-O Vanilla (I used chocolate) flavor pudding and pie filling
3/4 cup cool whip (I used light)

1. In a medium bowl mix together the milk and jell-o packet until thick (approx 2 minutes)
2. stir in 8 crushed oreos (I did this quickly with a zip lock bag and a rolling pin)
3. stir in 1/2 cup of cool whip, the rest can be used later
4. spoon into 4 dessert bowls (I had enough for 6)
5. Garnish with cool whip or oreo. (I used cool whip with some chocolate sprinkles, in a homemade chocolate bowl).

Panel Score: 4 out of 5 stars!
Baker Notes: Very, quick and easy to make. Maybe 10 minutes - total! Quick clean up!

Happy Baking!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bachelorette Cookies

purple and black lingerie cookies for Katie's bachelorette party!
(The colors are a little off, they are actually purple!)

Bagged, and ready to go!