No-Bake Cake Batter Truffles

Cake Batter TrufflesI can’t tell you how many times I am tempted to leave out the eggs in a cookie recipe and just eat the dough.  No, I mean it; I can’t tell you because it would be impossible to count…it happens every time I make cookies.  These little cake batter truffles are perfect to satisfy that dough/batter craving! Cake Batter Truffles

Depending on what size you make them, you can get anywhere from 30-40 truffles.  I’ve used this recipe four or five times now; it’s perfect!  I used them to make Cupcake-shaped cake pops!Cake Batter Truffles

No-Bake Cake Batter Truffles (from Chef-in-Training)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup yellow cake mix, dry
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3-4 Tbsp milk
  • 2 Tbsp sprinkles
  • 16 oz white candy melts or vanilla chips
  1. Beat butter and sugar until combined.
  2. Add flour, cake mix, vanilla, and salt and beat until combined throughout.
  3. Add milk by the tablespoon until you reach a dough consistency (I usually end up using just 3 tbsp).  The dough will be sort of crumbly, but you should still be able to form balls out of it.
  4. Mix in sprinkles and form balls out of the dough.
  5. Chill balls in the freezer for 15 minutes or so.
  6. Melt candy melts according to package directions and using two forks, dip the balls in the melts.  Let harden before moving.Cake Batter Truffles

English Toffee

English Toffee via elisebakesNothing says Christmas like homemade toffee.  Okay, maybe there are a few things that say Christmas better than toffee BUT it’s still delicious!  We’ll let that logic be – gimme a break, it’s the day after Christmas :)  I have been baking and cooking up a storm this past week and am pretty exhausted!

I have to be honest: I screwed this recipe up when I was making it.  I hesitated before cranking the heat up to medium-high, but I did it anyway and overcooked my butter-sugar mixture.  I kept on trucking.  It separated into two layers, so I just poured off the liquid ‘butter’ layer and added the vanilla to the bottom.  It foamed, I poured off the liquid again, mixed up the caramel like layer and spread it out and did everything else as listed.  And hey, it turned out great!  Tasted like toffee, looked like toffee, crunched like toffee – I’d say it’s still toffee.

What you should do is listed below:

English Toffee via elisebakesEnglish Toffee (from in-la-la-land.com)

  • 1/2 cup sugarEnglish Toffee via elisebakes
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • Dash salt
  • 1/2  tsp vanilla
  • 1/2  cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3  cup finely chopped nuts
  1. Cover a baking dish with foil.
  2. Melt butter and sugar over low heat a couple (4-5) drops of water.  When combined, turn heat up to medium (/medium-high), stirring constantly. It will foam rapidly while the water boils out.  Continue to stir as the mixture collapses and thickens – don’t stop until you reach a dark caramel color.
  3. Remove from heat and add vanilla; the mixture will foam again then collapse.
  4. Pour over foil and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  5. When the chocolate chips have melted enough, spread them evenly across the toffee and sprinkle with nuts.

Peppermint Marshmallows and Chocolate Covered Candy Canes

    Homemade Peppermint MarshmallowsThese peppermint marshmallows and chocolate covered candy canes make perfect Christmas gifts with a jar of hot chocolate mix! Chocolate-Dipped Candy CanesHomemade Peppermint Marshmallows

I was a little hesitant about making homemade marshmallows, but it was actually very easy – a little time consuming, but easy!  It got a little messy because I used a hand mixer as opposed to a stand mixer, but my mixer came clean with some warm water and soap.  Definitely something I will do again!Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

Peppermint Marshmallows (from Betty Crocker)

  • Butter for greasing
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp pure peppermint extract
  • 8 to 10 drops red food colorHomemade Peppermint Marshmallows
  1. Generously grease bottom and sides of 11×7-inch (2-quart) glass baking ish with butter; dust with 1 tablespoon of the powdered sugar. In bowl of stand mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water to soften; set aside.
  2. In 2-quart saucepan, heat granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Heat to boiling [it was taking a long time for it to get to boiling, so I turned the heat up to medium, stirring constantly – when it started boiling, I turned it back down]; cook without stirring about 30 minutes to 240°F on candy thermometer or until small amount of mixture dropped into cup of very cold water forms a ball that holds its shape but is pliable; remove from heat. [It took longer than 30 minutes on low, and I stopped mine at 235°F or so and it worked fine.  I was concerned because mine had taken on a slightly yellow color, but once I started beating it, it was completely white.]
  3. Slowly pour syrup into softened gelatin while beating on low speed. Increase speed to high; beat 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is white and has almost tripled in volume. Add peppermint extract; beat on high speed 1 minute. Pour into baking dish, patting lightly with wet hands. Drop food color randomly onto top of marshmallow mixture. Pull table knife through food color to create swirl pattern over top. Let stand uncovered at least 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Dust cutting board with about 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. Place remaining powdered sugar in small bowl. To remove marshmallow mixture, loosen sides from dish and gently lift in one piece onto cutting board. Using sharp knife greased with butter, cut into squares of desired size (1 inch by 1 inch works well). Dust bottom and sides of each marshmallow by dipping into bowl of powdered sugar. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 weeks.Chocolate-Dipped Candy Canes

Chocolate-Dipped Candy CanesShaped Candy Canes dipped in Chocolate

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.  Cover a baking pan with parchment paper.  Lay out candy canes on parchment paper leaving 1/2 – 1 inch between each.  It is easier to work with a couple at a time.
  2. Heat for 5-10 minutes and remove pan from oven.  Keep an eye on them; if you overheat, they will melt and flatten!
  3. Pick up a candy cane and gently pull to shape it with your hands.  If you don’t pick it up, it may stick to the parchment paper and stretch the swirls/stripes on the back side.  If it becomes to hard to shape, just place it back in the oven for a couple minutes.  I found it helpful to heat for a smaller amount of time, shape a little, heat again and continue to shape.
  4. Allow to cool completely before handling.
  5. Dip in melted chocolate if you’d like to.

 

Christmas Spritz Cookies

Christmas Spritz Cookies via elisebakesI came across this recipe on Never Skip Dessert and thought it would give me the perfect opportunity to use the cookie press I’ve had stashed in my closet for over a year.  They turned out wonderfully!  They were light and airy with a sweet and mild flavor.  My Betty Crocker Cookie Press soo easy to use – I’ll definitely be adding this to my list of Christmas cookie keepers!
Spritz Cookies (makes 7-8 dozen)Christmas Spritz Cookies via elisebakes
  • 1 ½ cups butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Optional: sprinkles, food coloring
  1. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until well combined.
  2. Add egg, milk, vanilla and almond extract; beat well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture, making a smooth dough.  Do not chill.
  4. Place dough into cookie press and press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sprinkles.
  5. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned around edges [baked 8-10 for me].  Remove cookies from sheet; cool on rack.Christmas Spritz Cookies via elisebakes

Holiday Russian

Holiday Russian via elisebakesNothing speaks to me during the holidays better than a comforting, creamy drink.  So I give you a festive way to ease your holiday stress – the Holiday Russian.  I’m betting there’s probably a name for a White Russian made with Eggnog, but I couldn’t really find anything other than ‘Eggnog Russian ‘ (okay, I didn’t look that hard) and that’s boring, so I’m dubbing it the Holiday Russian.Holiday Russian via elisebakes

  • 1 oz Caramel Vodka
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 2 oz Eggnog

Pour in a shaker with ice, shake, and pour in a small tumbler or rocks glass over ice.  Easy peasy!

Eggnog French Toast

Egg Nog French Toast via elisebakesBreakfast is my favorite meal of the day…well, I should say breakfast food is my favorite type of food because I have no shame in eating breakfast at any hour.  Honestly, I’m usually in such a zombie-like state in the morning that I just have a piece of fruit…it’s not until after a cup of coffee that I can actually get myself to cook something.  But, a midday egg burrito?  You betcha!  Pancakes for dinner? Yes, please!  Late Night Waffles? Say no more.

This eggnog French toast is festive and delicious!  I made is using homemade bread and it had a wonderful, rich flavor.  This serves one or two but you can double or triple the recipe as needed!

Egg Nog French Toast via elisebakesEggnog French ToastEgg Nog French Toast via elisebakes

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup  eggnog
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 2-3 pieces of bread
  1. With a fork, whisk the egg, eggnog, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl big enough for dipping.
  2. Dip the bread in the egg mixture and allow it to soak for a couple minutes.
  3. Butter a hot pan or griddle and place bread on it.
  4. Cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown.

Egg Nog French Toast via elisebakes

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Spiced Sugar Cookies

Spiced Sugar Cookie via elisebakes

Christmas is closing in on us; time to start getting cookie recipes organized and stock up on butter and sugar!  These spiced sugar cookies are a great twist on the traditional rolled sugar cookie.  The spice was mild but added something interesting to the cookie.  Before they were iced, these cookies were a little dry – but once they were iced they softened up a little and were much better!

Spiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakes

Spiced Sugar CookiesSpiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakes (adapted from Bake at 350)

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and spices together.
  3. Cream the sugar and butter until incorporated.   Add the egg and vanilla and mix until blended together
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined.  If the dough becomes too thick, you can use your hands to knead in bits of flour from the sides or bottom of the bowl.
  5. Roll the dough out and cut with a cookie cutter.
  6. Place cut dough on a greased baking pan and bake at 350 for 10-13 minutes.Spiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakes

IcingSpiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakes

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup (or honey)
  • 1-3 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. In a bowl, whisk powdered sugar, corn syrup,  vanilla and 1 Tbsp of milk together.
  2. Add food coloring until you reach your desired color.
  3. Add milk until you have a consistency that is thick enough for outlining your cookie (see picture below).  Then transfer to a piping bag or sandwich bag and pipe around outline of the cookie shape.
  4. When all cookies are outlined, add a Tbsp or so of milk to the icing to thin it out enough to flood cookie.
  5. Spread with a toothpick to flood the icing outward toward the outline.
  6. Decorate with sprinkles right away if you plan on doing so and then let them harden.Spiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakesLinking up to Show me What Ya Got!

Peppermint Mocha Cake Pops

While I would have had the Christmas tree up weeks ago, my husband is not so eager to begin the holiday season…so I patiently waited until after Thanksgiving dinner to take on the task.  That said, the Christmas music has been blaring ever since Continue reading