Cookies · dessert · Fast dessert

White Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

What makes a cookie a “Christmas” cookie? In my opinion, it’s simply the tradition of making it only at Christmastime. I have many recipes like that. It just wouldn’t feel right to make them in July! Aurey Nutballs, and Raspberry Jam Shortbreads are two such cookies. We love them and we eat them at Christmas. Period.

But then there are cookies that you make for Christmas and you realize that there’s no way and no reason to relegate these only to holiday baking.

Say hello to my White Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats.

I didn’t realize how much I like Rice Krispie treats until I made these. Oh my goodness! I just kept dreaming about them inside the cookie tin in the pantry!

Okay, these have red and green sprinkles, but during the other 11 months of the year, you could either use sprinkles that would be non-holiday, suited to the current holiday (Valentine’s, Easter, patriotic, etc), or you could leave the sprinkles out. What makes these a notch above all other Rice Krispie Treats is the addition of white chocolate! These are just heavenly. Here’s the simple recipe:

White Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats
Ingredients

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 10 oz marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 6 cups Rice Krispie Cereal
  • Sprinkles

Instructions:
Melt the butter in a large saucepan

Once the butter is melted add in the marshmallows and white chocolate, mix on medium-low heat until fully melted.

Remove the melted marshmallow mixture from the heat and add in the cereal and sprinkles.

Mix until fully combined.

Run your hands under water and leave them a little damp before rolling out the treats. This will help them not stick to your hands! Spoon some of the mixture onto a spoon then roll into balls. Place on waxed paper to cool and set up.

We all found these to be absolutely addictive. Get your Valentine sprinkles out in a couple weeks and make some of these with your children or grandchildren. They make a lot and trust me, you will be so happy about that!

Any other Rice Krispie fans out there? Have you tried them with white chocolate?

Make every day a holiday with these yummy treats!

cakes · dessert

Gingerbread Cake with Fresh Whipping Cream

Oh, the flavors of Christmas! Can we get enough? Surely gingerbread would be one smell and taste associated with Christmas baking. However, you don’t need to go to all the fuss of gingerbread houses or decorated gingerbread men to get that delicious, reminiscent flavor.

When I was growing up, we usually always had dessert with supper, and one treat I loved was Gingerbread Cake. I can still see the metal pan, filled with the gingery goodness. My mom would serve it topped with a dollop of whipping cream. Yum; it made the house smell so good, and it tasted even better.

I was glad to find a recipe from Cooking light for a Gingerbread cake that took me back to my childhood. This recipe has a Lemon Glaze to pour over it, if you wish. I’ve made that and love it, but for December, I’m sticking to whipping cream as the garnish! It only takes a few minutes to whip this together!

Gingerbread Cake
1/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup hot water
1 cup light or dark molasses
1 large egg
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
 Cooking spray
Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed
Ground cinnamon (optional)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine butter and hot water in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until the butter melts. Add molasses and egg, and stir with a whisk until blended. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Add flour mixture to the molasses mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spoon batter into a 9 x 9-inch cake pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool gingerbread in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

For Glaze: Combine sugar and lemon juice, stirring until well blended. Pierce top of gingerbread liberally with a wooden skewer. Pour glaze over gingerbread. Cool completely.

Top each serving with the whipped topping. Sprinkle gingerbread with cinnamon and garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

I love serving this warm and then topping it with fresh whipping cream and a dusting of cinnamon. This would make a great weeknight dessert to serve to your family. Why not put it on your menu for this week and add some Christmas-y smells and tastes to your supper meal? It would make a great memory recipe for your family!

What recipe evokes memories from your childhood?

breakfast · dessert

Tart, Delicious Cranberries!

If you have fresh cranberries left from Thanksgiving, or you see them in the produce section in the store, I have two great ways for you to use them!

The first use is to put them in your morning oatmeal during the last few minutes of the cooking time. I use Old Fashioned Oats, so I boil equal parts of water, milk and oatmeal, then simmer for a few minutes to thicken it up. While it’s simmering I throw in a good handful of fresh cranberries. Oh, that tartness is the perfect fruity addition!

I also add some chopped walnuts and a sprinkling of brown sugar for the perfect winter-y breakfast! You won’t be satisfied with Corn Flakes every again after enjoying this variety of warm, nutty oatmeal!

Now for another perfect combination – cranberries, apples and orange juice for a winning recipe that is from Cooking Light, let’s talk dessert.

Apple Cranberry Crumble

Ingredients:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
6 cups sliced peeled Braeburn apple
1 cup fresh cranberries – I used 1/2 dried and 1/2 fresh
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Preparation
Preheat oven to 375°.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Combine apple and cranberries in a large bowl. Combine juice and remaining ingredients; pour over apple mixture. Toss well. Spoon apple mixture into a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with flour mixture. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve warm.

The crumbly topping!
Ready for the oven

I love this dessert. I added a small scoop of ice cream for a special finishing touch!

If you need another idea for your cranberries, please try this muffin. I share this recipe every year because it’s too good to live without! Also, if you have canned Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce, use it to make this coffee cake that is to die for!! When I had my baking business, these were so popular, and for good reason!

You’ll be (cran)berry happy you tried any of these recipes! Sorry, I couldn’t resist!

With love from my country kitchen,

Comfort Food · dessert · Fall · pumpkin · soup · sweet breads

Roll Call of Fall Favorite Foods

Tomorrow is the first day of fall and aren’t we all thinking about comforting casseroles, warm soups, and pumpkin everything?  I thought I’d gather together some of my favorites in those categories and highlight them all in one post for you today!  My recipe index here on my blog could be overwhelming, so maybe this list of a few favorites will help your autumn to be delicious!

meat loaf meal
I’m not a mac and cheese fan, but this recipe is fabulous!!!  I’d eat it every day if I could!

Casseroles
Mexican Chicken Casserole
Countryside Chicken Bake
The Best Ever Mac and Cheese
Taco Casserole
Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes and Cheese

Breads
Nutty Orange Coffee Cake – Perfect for breakfast or brunch!
French Breakfast Puffs – Breakfast or brunch
Butter Dips – Delicious with supper!
Low-Fat Baking Powder Biscuits – Any time you need a biscuit – breakfast or supper!

Soups
Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder
Sausage Corn ChowderThis is an all-star recipe that always gets rave reviews!!
Butternut Squash Soup – Panera Bread has a similar soup…heavenly!
Taco Soup
Baked Potato Soup

Oh, this cake!!!!  Love it.

Pumpkin
Pumpkin Muffins – Great addition to breakfast or a fall supper!
Pumpkin Roll Step by step instructions in my post!  You can make this!
Pumpkin Crunch Cake – Fast and incredible!
Pumpkin Bread – Make small loaves to share.
Pumpkin Scones with Berry Butter – Oh my goodness, these are fantastic!!

Pumpkin Scones with Berry Butter Recipe
Picture credit:  Taste of Home

If you’ll be hosting any fall event, having guests over, or cooking supper for your own family and want to try something new and delicious, here’s a great list to pull from!  These are some of my favorite fall foods that are tried and true!

If you need suggestions for other categories – salad, easy bread, breakfast, etc., just leave a comment.  I’ll be happy to help you!

Which recipe will you try first?!

With love from my country kitchen,

dessert · Fourth of July · Main dish. · summertime

Fourth of July Favorite Foods

With Fourth of July coming up next weekend,  I thought I’d pull some of my favorite menu items from my blog and make a few suggestions for your cookout, just in case you’re looking for some new ideas!

Let’s start with the main course:

You can’t beat a hamburger on the grill, and this Herb and Cheese Stuffed Burger is one of the best!  It takes the term “Cheeseburger” to a whole new level!  The cheese is inside the burger, and it’s not just some cheese-flavored slab, this is an herb cream cheese, friends!

Herb & Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Ingredients
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
I1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried sage leaves
1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
4 rolls, split

Directions
In a small bowl, combine the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, parsley and 1 teaspoon mustard; set aside.
In another bowl, combine the onions, bread crumbs, ketchup, salt, rosemary, sage and remaining mustard. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.
Shape into eight thin patties. Spoon cheese mixture onto center of four patties; top with remaining patties and press edges firmly to seal.
Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160° and juices run clear. Serve on rolls with lettuce and tomato if desired. Yield: 4 servings.
Lettuce leaves and tomato slices, optional

If you’re going to grill steaks, use a great marinade to make them even more flavorful!  Here’s my go-to recipe:

Teriyaki Sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup salad oil
2 tbl molasses
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp dry mustard
3 cloves, garlic, minced

Mix well, then marinate meat at least one hour.

Oh, and if you need a side for either the burgers or the steak, the Onion Rings pictured above are some of the best!

Golden Onion Rings
Combine 1 cup plus 2 tbl all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 slightly beaten egg, 1 cup milk, and 2 tbl salad oil. Beat together just till dry ingredients are well moistened. Coat onion rings with batter. (I prefer a vidalia onion) Fry a few at a time in deep hot oil (375 degrees), stirring once to separate rings. when onions are golden, drain on paper towels. Just before serving, sprinkle with salt.

Now, let’s finish with a refreshing dessert!

Strawberry Pizza
Ingredients

Crust:
1 C flour
1/4 C powdered sugar
1/2 C butter

Filling:
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Topping;
1 C fresh strawberries, mashed
4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
8 – 10 strawberries sliced.
Instructions

Crust:
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar and butter.
Form into a ball with hands and press into a 14 inch ungreased pizza pan (I used my Pampered Chef pizza stone) I floured my fingertips to keep it from sticking and I pressed it out with my hands.
Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool.

Filling:
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and lemon juice.
Spread on cooled crust.
Topping:
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine strawberries, sugar and cornstarch.
Simmer until thick and glossy. Cool.

Spread on top of cream cheese filling.  Cut fresh strawberries crosswise to make rounds that resemble pepperoni, place on pizza and serve.

I hope that inspires you to plan ahead for a fun and delicious 4th Of July menu!  

Anyone have a traditional recipe that you always fix for your family cook-outs?

Happy Independence Day!