Peppermint Bark

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Peppermint Bark makes a lovely hostess gift. These adorable elf tags are available as a free printable from Jenny Harris’s Allsorts blog.

Ingredients:

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Directions:

  • Microwave white chocolate chips in a large bowl for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until almost melted.
  • Add extract and stir until chips are completely melted and mixture is smooth.
  • Spread on a baking sheet covered with foil, parchmnent or freezer paper.
  • Evenly sprinkle crushed candy canes on top of chocolate.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes, until firm.
  • Break into pieces.

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“Santa’s Suicide” Bars

The holidays can be exhausting with all that decorating, caroling and cooking.  Keep your energy up with a big batch of these easy-to-make bars!

Spritz a 9×13 pan with non-stick buttery spray. Press your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough into the bottom.
Layer Oreos, or another creme-filled cookie, over the dough.
Whip up a batch of your favorite brownie recipe and pour on top of the Oreos and cookie dough.  (I like to use Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate brownie mix when I’m in a hurry.)
Bake according to brownie recipe instructions.
Let cool completely and cut into squares.
Feel free to change this up with a sugar cookie bottom, Reese’s Peanut Butter cups for the middle layer, and blondie batter on top. The possibilities are endless.
Happy Holidays!

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

You can’t go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter, and these yummies couldn’t be easier.  Perfect for a party or office potluck.  Believe it or not, I forgot to pick up peanut butter, so I just melted some white almond bark and peanut butter chips together.  Worked beautifully!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of your favorite brownie mix (or your favorite brownie recipe)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy, your choice)  (You can also melt white almond bark and peanut butter chips together in place of peanut butter.)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  • Prepare boxed brownie mix as directed (or your own brownie recipe).
  • Spoon batter evenly into the cupcake liners.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the top is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out slightly wet.
  • As the brownies cool, their centers will fall, leaving a dip.
  • Melt the peanut butter (or white almond bark and peanut butter chips) in a microwave-safe bowl and stir.
  • Spoon about a 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter into the center of each brownie.
  • Top with peanut butter and chocolate chips.
  • Cool completely and keep chilled in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Bloody Brownie Bites

Ghoulishly Good!

Deadlicious!

Spooktacular!

No matter how you desscribe them, these scary Halloween sweets are mummy-yummy and terrifyingly easily to make.

All you need is package of store-bought brownie bites, a bag of candy corn and some red cookie icing.

Use the cookie icing to attach the candy corn to each brownie, drizzle with more icing, and enjoy the creepy kudos!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Pie

This recipe came together based on the ingredients I had in the pantry and fridge.  It’s kind of like “cheesecake lite”.  The taste is reminiscent of cheesecake, but it’s less rich with a more delicate flavor.  I made it for an office party we recently had for a retiring colleague.  Everyone commented appreciatively on how light it was.

You can ‘healthify’ this more by using light cream cheese and Cool Whip, and fat-free sweetened condensed milk.

I recommend keeping it covered in the freezer until just before serving to make slicing easier.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Thaw Cool Whip.
  • Pre-bake pie crust according to package instructions, allowing it to cool completely before filling.
  • With a mixer or food processor, blend the pudding, condensed milk, and cream cheese until smooth.
  • Fold in Cool Whip until fully combined.
  • Freeze until ready to serve.

Note: Depending on how high you like to pile your filling, you may have some left over.  Use it to fill some pre-made individual graham cracker crusts and top each one with a Hershey’s kiss.

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Heart

Messy food is fun food!

This recipe whips up fast and tastes decadent. Feel free to lick your fingers!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tube refrigerated reduced-fat buttermilk biscuits
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee

Directions:

  • Preheat oven according to biscuit package instructions.
  • Layer 4 biscuits, making a rough square, so their edges touch.
  • Roll out to about a 1/2-inch thick, into a rough rectangle, ensuring there are no gaps in the dough.
  • Repeat with remaining 4 biscuits.
  • Mix instant coffee with a little bit of water.
  • Heat bittersweet chocolate chips and coffee in microwave, stirring after 30 seconds each time until fully melted.
  • Spread a thin layer of chocolate on top of rolled-out biscuits, leaving about a 1/2-inch border of dough.
  • Repeat on second rectangle of rolled-out biscuits.
  • Roll up each biscuit rectangle, and twist the two rolls to make a heart shape.
  • Press the edges of the rolls together as tightly as possible to connect each side.
  • Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until dough is golden brown.
  • Drizzle with remaining chocolate.
  • Allow to cool slightly before slicing.

Tutorial: Chocolate Leaves

A little touch can transform the simplest baked good into an elegant finale.  These chocolate leaves bring a lot of appeal for a little effort.

Begin with a candy mold in a leaf shape.  Melt two colors of green candy melts.  I used Vibrant Green and Dark Green.  You can use any microwave-safe dish to melt the chocolate, but I like Wilton’s Mini Ceramic Candy Melting Set.  It includes six very small cups and six paintbrushes.  The small cups ensure that you’re not wasting chocolate, and the paintbrushes make it easy to fill the intricate molds.

Paint a little bit of the Vibrant Green chocolate onto the bottom fo the mold.

Add a dollop of Dark Green chocolate.

Fill in the mold with a paintbrush.

Place the mold in the freezer for several minutes to solidify the chocolate.

Gently pop the leaves out of the mold onto a plate.

Store the finished leaves in the frigerator until you’re ready to garnish.

Voila!  A “plain Jane” icing-drizzled bundt cake becomes a showstopping centerpiece for dessert!