December 4, 2018

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

Today is National Cookie Day!!  I guess that means it's mandatory to eat a cookie (or five) today, right??

Good thing, because I can't stop eating these cookies.  

They are so soft and chewy and amazing.  They satisfy your sweet tooth and leave your mouth feeling refreshed, thanks to the bright peppermint flavor.
These delicious cookies are similar to a no-roll sugar cookie and they are loaded with chopped Candy Cane Kisses (hello!) and topped with a white chocolate drizzle and festive red sprinkles.  The Candy Cane Kisses add the perfect flavor to this and they are so creamy. 

The white chocolate drizzle and sprinkles on top are optional, but they do look pretty plain without it.  These will jazz up that cookie plate this year and your friends will love getting a new and unique cookie.  They do taste best when eaten within a day or two.  
You might also like:

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies
(Printable Recipe)

1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c. shortening (I use butter-flavored)
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbl. heavy whipping cream
3/4 bag of Candy Cane Kisses, unwrapped and roughly chopped
2-3 squares almond bark
red sugar sprinkles

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl), beat the butter, shortening, sugar and powdered sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy.  Scrape the bowl, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add the vanilla and mix until combined.  In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture.  Add the whipping cream  and chopped Candy Cane Kisses and mix until combined.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray; set aside.  Scoop dough by 1 1/2 - 2 Tablespoons and roll into balls.  Place 2-inches apart on prepared baking sheet; flatten dough balls slightly.  Bake for 10 minutes, the edges should be slightly browned.  Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheet for two minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Makes around 34 cookies.  

For Garnish:  Place almond bark into a bowl and microwave until melted, stirring every 30 seconds.  This should only take about one minute.  Stir until completely smooth and using a fork, drizzle over cooled cookies.  Then, sprinkle with red sugar sprinkles before the almond bark hardens.  Allow to set and serve.  

Base cookie recipe adapted from: Paula Dean

November 23, 2018

Pumpkin Flax Bread (Eggless)

Did anyone go out Black Friday shopping today?  I decided to avoid the crowds and the cold and hang out at home.       

While most of you are probably ready to move onto all things peppermint and eggnog, I'm still over here swooning over this pumpkin bread.  This was definitely our favorite pumpkin bread recipe this year and I made it so many times.

This recipe really intrigued me, because there are no eggs in it, but instead you add ground flaxseed meal.  Flax is said to offer many health benefits and it contains omega-3, fiber and protein.  It can also be used in recipes instead of eggs.    

The texture and flavor of this bread are amazing.  It's not too sweet and it's not overpowered with pumpkin flavor.  It's a delicious hearty bread that tastes great for several days.  This will be one of my go-to recipe for years to come.    
You might also like:

Pumpkin Flax Bread (Eggless)
adapted from: All Recipes
(Printable Recipe)

6 Tbl. water
2 Tbl. ground flaxseed meal
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. canned pumpkin puree
1/2 c. canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 c. mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x5-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, whisk together the water and flaxseed meal.  Stir in the sugar, pumpkin, oil and vanilla and whisk until combined.  In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, along with the mini chocolate chips and stir together until just combined.  

Pour batter into prepared pan and spread out evenly.  Bake in preheated oven for 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  I like to tent mine with foil the last 10 minutes of baking, so the top doesn't get too brown.  Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely.  Slice and serve.  

November 16, 2018

Cinnamon Ripple Sweet Potato Bundt Cake

Happy Friday :) I am so excited to share this absolutely amazing Sweet Potato cake with you that screams Fall.

I have really become a fan of sweet potatoes over the past few years.  As a kid, I wouldn't even touch them.  Now, I look for recipes that I could easily incorporate them in to.  Whether it's in a savory recipe or a sweet recipe, sweet potatoes are delicious.

Today's recipe is a moist and dense bundt cake using mashed sweet potatoes.  This cake has the perfect amount of spice, a cinnamon sugar swirl and it's topped with a tangy cream cheese icing.  It is seriously heavenly.  No one will even know there are sweet potatoes in there.  I shared this cake with the neighbors and didn't tell them what was in it.  At first, they thought it was a pumpkin cake because of the color, then they tasted it and it wasn't pumpkin.  Everyone loved the texture and flavor and went back for seconds.  There wasn't a crumb left.  I later shared with them there were sweet potatoes in there.  A few people that think they "hate" sweet potatoes were in shock.

This amazing bundt cake is a must try recipe for Fall.
You might also like:

Cinnamon Ripple Sweet Potato Bundt Cake
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe)

2 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. canola or vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. cooked mashed sweet potatoes

Cinnamon Sugar Ripple
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. unsalted butter, cold

Cream Cheese Icing
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbl. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a large 12-cup bundt pan; set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and oil until well combined.  Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth.  In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Add dry mixture to wet mixture alternately with mashed sweet potatoes, starting and ending with dry ingredients and beating after each addition until just combined.  Spread half of the batter evenly into the prepared bundt pan, batter is very thick.  

For the Cinnamon Sugar Swirl:  Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon; add the butter and mash together until a crumble mixture forms.  Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the batter in the pan.  Top with remaining cake batter and spread out evenly.  Bake in preheated oven for 60-65 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Cream Cheese Icing:  You want the cream cheese really soft.  If it isn't soft enough, microwave for a few seconds.  Combine softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk and stir together until smooth and creamy.  Drizzle over cooled cake.  Slice and serve.

Recipe Notes:  This recipe was only tested with fresh sweet potatoes, not with canned sweet potatoes.  You will need around 2-3 sweet potatoes for this recipe, depending on the size.  To cook the sweet potatoes, line a sheet pan with foil.  Poke a few holes into the sweet potatoes using a fork.  Place on the lined baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 1 hour or until very soft.  Remove from oven and cool.  Then, peel the sweet potatoes and mash.  This can be done ahead of time and refrigerated overnight.

November 7, 2018

Butternut Squash Chili

What do you like to eat with your chili?  Fritos, bread or just the regular toppings like cheese and sour cream?  I have to have Fritos with my chili.  The corn flavor and crunch it adds is what made me first love chili.  

Despite the usual long list of ingredients, chili is super easy to make.  I have several versions on the blog, but this one is unique, because it has butternut squash in it.  I saw bags of pre-cut butternut squash at Trader Joes the other day and I remembered once seeing a butternut squash chili recipe.  
I grabbed a few bags of the butternut squash and decided to throw it in this chili.  It turned out fantastic.  You can't actually taste it, but I loved having the extra veggies in there.  Some of the butternut squash gets so soft it dissolves into the chili and makes it extra creamy.

This chili has a great flavor and it isn't spicy.  It goes great with all the usual chili toppings.  

Tomorrow night, I plan to serve the leftovers over baked potatoes.  Yum :)
You might also like:

Butternut Squash Chili
(Printable Recipe)
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner

1 Tbl. olive oil or avocado oil
1 Lb. lean ground beef
1 c. diced onion
2 green bell peppers, ribbed, seeded and chopped
2 c.  peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 (14.5 oz.) can low-sodium chicken broth
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15 oz.) can low-sodium pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can low-sodium white beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. cumin, or to taste
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder, or to taste
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, or to taste
1 tsp. paprika (I like to use smoked paprika), or to taste
1 tsp. dried oregano, or to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

For serving:
shredded Cheddar cheese
chopped green onions
sour cream
sliced bread

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the ground beef and cook until browned.  Add the onion and green bell peppers and saute for a few minutes.  Add the butternut squash, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, all the beans, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for at least 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.  

It tastes better the longer it simmers, but if you are in a rush, you can serve it as soon as the butternut squash is tender.  If you want it to be thicker, remove the lid and simmer at the end to thicken.  

Serve with desired toppings.  Serves: around 6.   

October 22, 2018

Ghostly Donuts

It's almost Halloween and I can't wait.  Halloween is one of my absolute favorite holidays.  I have so many fun "Halloween-themed" recipes saved and I don't get around to making many of them, but this Ghostly Donut recipe is so stinking simple that I couldn't resist.  These donuts have an ingredient in them that I have never used before, so I was eager to see what I thought.

This post is sponsored by In the Raw.  However, all opinions expressed herein are my own and do not reflect the opinions of the makers of In the Raw sweeteners.  In the Raw provided me with product samples, a gift card and the below information about Monk Fruit In The Raw.   
Have you ever heard of Monk Fruit In The Raw? 

 Let me give you a few facts about it:
- Monk Fruit In The Raw is a zero calorie sweetener that is certified vegan and naturally gluten-free

- Monk Fruit In The Raw is made from vine-ripened monk fruit, native to Southeast Asia

- It adds deliciously light sweetness to any baked good or beverage, and is available in packets and a Bakers Bag

- Monk Fruit In The Raw is ideal for those looking to cut added sugars and is also recommended to those with or at risk for diabetes seeking sugar substitutes
This is the first recipe I have ever made using any kind of sugar substitute.  Honestly, I had low expectations, but I was impressed by how delicious these donuts are.  The texture and flavor are great.  The cinnamon really adds a great flavor and I highly recommend not leaving that out.  The donuts are soft with a little bit of chewiness to them.  

I was a little nervous about the glaze, because when tasting it on it's own, it was a little different than what I'm used to with regular powdered sugar based glaze.  BUT, once the donuts are all put together with the glaze and unsweetened coconut, they were really good.  I ate two donuts right away :)

I can't wait to test out other recipes using Monk Fruit In The Raw.  

For more information about In The Raw products, check out the below links:

Ghostly Donuts
From: In The Raw

2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. Monk Fruit In The Raw
3/4 c. 2% milk
5 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c. Monk Fruit In The Raw
1 Tbl. cornstarch
3 Tbl. 2% milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
48 googly eye candies or mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a donut pan with cooking spray; set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and Monk Fruit In The Raw.  In a second medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and melted butter, then whisk in the milk and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir together just until combined.  Divide batter between the depressions in the donut pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and top springs back when lightly touched.  Cool in pan for a few minutes, then use a toothpick to loosen from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

For the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together Monk Fruit In The Raw, cornstarch, milk and vanilla.  Place coconut in a separate bowl or plate.  Dip one side of each donut into the glaze and then in the coconut.  Place two googly eyes or chocolate chips onto each donut and allow to dry on a rack.  Makes 12 donuts.  

October 17, 2018

Peanut Butter M&M Cookie Bars

These cookie bars are SOOOO good.  This recipe is my go-to cookie bar recipe that I use all of the time, but I switched things up this time and added Peanut Butter M&M's. 

I think this might have been the first time I have bought Peanut Butter M&M's and it definitely won't be the last. They made these cookie bars outstanding.  The cookie is soft and chewy and then when you bite into the M&M's with the crisp outer shell and creamy peanut butter filling, you will be in heaven.  These come together super fast and taste great for several days.

You might also like:

Peanut Butter M&M Cookie Bars
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner

3/4 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbl. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (18.4oz.) bag Peanut Butter M&M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together the butter and brown sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add the vanilla and mix until combined.  Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined.  Stir in the Peanut Butter M&M's.  Press dough into a greased 9x13-inch cake pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Cool, cut into bars and serve.