Bake Me A Memory…

To me, Christmas just isn’t complete without doing my traditional baking and candy making. It started way back when I was a little girl. Our small kitchen would be full of melted chocolate, laughter, and my sister belting out Christmas tunes. It was glorious! (Ok, maybe not the incessant singing…but for nostalgia’s sake we’ll go with it :) )

Now as a mother, I still continue the tradition. The key to baking with a 3-year-old is to have something they can do independently. Whether it is spraying non-stick cooking spray on a cookie sheet or handing you ingredients—they NEED a job.

Is is stressful? At times.

Does it take longer? Yes.

Do they love to help? Absolutely!

After finishing all of my Christmas orders and taking them to the post office, I was ready to get down to making memories with Jonah. We made some of our favorites and a few new things based on the ingredients stockpiled in my cabinets from my coupon adventures.

What? Doesn't everyone bake in their Mickey Mouse Ears?

Jonah helped me spread peanut butter on Saltine crackers. I gave him a small spreader from one of my entertaining pieces and a small bowl with a scoop of peanut butter. I also gave him a separate plate for his finished crackers….because he’s not the most sanitary chef. He kept licking his fingers, the bowl, and even the spreader.

After we finished spreading the peanut butter on our Saltine crackers, I dipped them in melted White Chocolate. I placed them on some wax paper and a cookie sheet to cool in the refrigerator. Once the chocolate is hardened and “set”, we packaged some of the goodies up and took them to our neighbors.

Now I know what your thinking…….Peanut Butter crackers dipped in chocolate? Oh, it is sooooo good! Trust me.

**I wish I had a picture of the final project for you, but the lighting has been terrible in my kitchen the past few gloomy days. Luckily, I think you’re pretty smart and can figure it out—just picture a white square :)

Butterfinger Cake Recipe & Tutorial

Butterfinger Cake is one of my favorite cakes. It’s one of those cakes that people will swoon over everywhere you go. I keep all the ingredients on hand so that I can whip one up when needed. It’s really easy! If you don’t like Butterfingers you can substitute your favorite candy bar for the topping. (I’ve heard a Heath Bar is really good, too.)
 
Butterfinger Cake
You will need:
-Devil’s Food Cake Mix
-Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT Evaporated Milk–THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!)
-Caramel Ice Cream Topping
-Cool Whip/Whipped Topping
-Butterfinger Candy Bars (or your favorite substitution)
1.  Bake the Devil’s Food Cake Mix as directed.
2.  As soon as you take the cake out of the oven, poke holes in the cake with the handle of your spatula, spoon, or anything else you can get your hands on. Make lots of holes!

3.  Immediately pour the Sweetened Condensed Milk over the cake. Spread it with your spatula, making sure to direct it into the holes you poked in the cake.

4.  Pour the Caramel Ice Cream Topping on next. Spread the topping into the holes of the cake and around the edge.
5.  Let the cake cool. I usually make the cake the night before and place the cake in the refrigerator overnight.
6. Spread Cool Whip over the cake.
7.  Crumble the Butterfinger candy bar and spread over the top of the cake. I usually take a meat tenderizing mallet and gently pound the candy bar to break it into pieces, but not break the packaging and make a mess.
8.  Enjoy! Mmmmmmm!
(This cake should be refrigerated and is best when chilled.)

New York Cheesecake Tutorial

I made this cheesecake on New Year’s Eve in honor of my sister that lives in New York….where you can get the best cheesecake ever! I love this recipe! It is seriously one of those recipes that make your eyes roll back when you take a bite. (I’m now making myself hungry as I write about it!Must.have.cheesecake.mmm…)

Crust:
1-1/2 cups  (1/2 box) graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
Mix for crust, press in spring form pan.
(You may want to double this depending on if you want your crust to go up the sides of the pan.)
Cheesecake Filling:
3 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Beat together and pour into crust.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
When your cheese cake is almost done, make the topping.
Topping:
1 pint sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pour on topping and bake at 475 degrees for 10 minutes.
Chill overnight.
Enjoy!
A few notes:
  • Don’t worry about the browning on the cheesecake since it will be covered by the topping.
  • Crust recipe can be doubled if you want your crust to go up the sides. I didn’t have enough graham cracker crumbs to do this….plus we love the filling so much…who needs crust?
  • You can top it with whatever you like, but really I think it’s perfect without it! I have a friend who had a cherry sauce topping she would pour over it, but I don’t have her recipe for it.
  • I made this for Mr. Happy Brown House when we were dating….he proposed soon after :)

Poor Man’s Turtles Tutorial

I have a few goodies I like to make every Christmas. One of these is “Poor Man’s Turtles” My friend Dee taught me how to make these and since she doesn’t blog, I’m sharing it with you. These are super quick to make and are always a hit at gatherings! This recipe is perfect for kids to help with!
You will need:
Pretzel minis or snaps (the pretzel squares pictured)
Caramel Hershey’s Kisses
Pecan Halves
Spread your pretzels on a cookie pan in a single layer.
Unwrap Caramel Hershey’s Kisses and place on top of the pretzels. (This is by far the most tedious part. You could let your kids help with this part if they are able to unwrap the candy.)
Place the pan in a preheated oven for less than a minute. (Mine was preheated to 400 degrees from dinner, so I only had to place my pan in for around 30 seconds.) Watch the chocolate closely. If it looks like it is starting to get soft take the pan out and test it.
Place the pecans onto the Hershey’s Kisses. Don’t push too hard–you don’t want the caramel to squeeze out and make a mess.
Let the turtles cool. Enjoy!
Yum!

Easiest Fudge Recipe and Tutorial

This is seriously the easiest fudge recipe ever. You only need 2 ingredients! Ready to get to work?

You will need:
1 can of icing (I get lots of these for free with coupons!)
1 cup of peanut butter
(NOTE: I made a double batch. That’s why there are 2 cans of icing in the picture.)
Place all of your ingredients in the sauce pan on High heat. Mix and Melt.
Continue to Mix and Melt…
When melted, pour into a pan that has been lined with wax paper
Let cool. (I stick mine in the refrigerator overnight)
Cut and serve.
Enjoy!!
Note: I was in a hurry when I cut the fudge and gave it away…I forgot to take a picture for you!
I’m sure you’ll be ok. You’ve seen fudge before.