The 12 Treats of Christmas: #8 Peanut Butter Marshmallow Butterscotch Squares

by , on
Dec 10, 2013

These things need a shorter name. They’re quick to make and don’t hang around long at all. The length of their name is kind of misleading. Though, it does spell out pretty clearly what these guys are. They could also simply call them ‘delicious squares’ and have the same end result.

They remind me of my friend Marilyn’s mom, who used to bake these and keep them in the downstairs freezer… the perfect spot for sneaking from.

Image

Recipe

1 Cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 Cup butter

2 (6 oz) packages butterscotch chips

1 large package miniature coloured marshmallows

Put the peanut butter, butter and butterscotch chips in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over low heat until melted and well combined.

Let cool.

Add marshmallows and press into buttered 8-inch square pan.Store in refrigerator.

The 12 Treats of Christmas: #7 Candy Bar Brownies

by , on
Dec 8, 2013

Chocolate. Peanut butter. These are my favourite brownies in the world. They don’t have any candy bars in them, but taste very much like a frosted candy bar filling. I had other photos, but this one pretty much sums up my feeling on these.

MommyDo Candy Bar Brownies

Recipe – I’d love to give credit for these, but my recipe photocopy has been hanging around since about 1999 and has no indication of where it’s from.

1 1/4 Cups finely crushed graham crackers (about 18 crackers)

1/4 Cup sugar

1/4 Cup finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts

1/2 Cup butter (no substitutes) melted

1/4 Cup butter or margarine

2 Oz unsweetened chocolate (cut up)

1 Cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 Cup all-purpose flour

1/2 Cup chopped peanuts

Peanut Butter Frosting

1/4 Cup butter

2 Tbsp peanut butter

2 Cups sifted powdered sugar

1 Tbsp milk

1/2 Tsp Vanilla

For Crust:

Combine graham crackers, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 finely chopped peanuts in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the 1/2 Cup melted butter. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 11x7x1 and 1/2 inch baking pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. Cool.

For Filling:

Melt the 1/2 Cup butter or margarine and the chocolate in a heavy large saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally remove from heat; stir in the 1 Cup sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir until just combined. Stir in flour and the 1.2 cup chopped peanuts. Spread evenly over crust.

Bake: 20 minutes more. cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Spread with Peanut butter frosting. Cut brownie into small squares. (Or cut into 24 larger bars). Place a few honey roasted peanuts on each square. IF desired, pace each brownie in a small candy cup. Makes 50 to 70 small squares.

Peanut butter Frosting:

Beat 1/4 Cup butter and 2 tbsp peanut butter in a bowl with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 sec. Gradually add 1 Cup sifted powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in 1 Tbsp milk and 1/2 Tsp vanilla. Gradually beat in 1 Cup additional sifted powdered sugar and enough milt to make a frosting of spreading consistency. Carefully spread over the brownies. Refrigerate before cutting.

 

The 12 Treats of Christmas: #6 – Easy Holiday Festive Fudge

by , on
Dec 8, 2013

Shhh, this is ‘my’ secret fudge recipe. The biggest secret is how little time it takes to make something this delicious. Confession: Though I usually make this with walnuts as per the directions, this year, in an effort to make more ‘nut-free’ goodies, I swapped the walnuts for Chippits Holiday Chips. Pretty good! And very festive.

MommyDo Easy Holiday Celebration Fudge

Recipe: (This is a Kraft recipe – One-Bowl Festive Fudge – from the 90’s, but I can’t find it exactly online. There are others that are close…)
10 squares Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1 can (330 ml) sweetened condensed milk
1 chopped pecans or walnuts (optional) (Or 1 cup festive chips)
4 squares Baker’s White Chocolate

LINE 8-inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; grease foil.

Microwave semi-sweet chocolate and 2/3 can condensed milk in medium microwaveable bowl on MEDIUM for 2 min., stirring after 1 min. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Add nuts (or festive chips); mix well. Pour into prepared pan. Refrigerate while preparing the top layer.

PLACE white chocolate and remaining milk in medium microwaveable bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM for 1 min 30 sec., stirring after 1 min. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Pour over fudge layer in pan. (I added extra chips to the top)

REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Cut into squares to serve.

The 12 Treats of Christmas: #5 Chocolate Bark 4 Ways

by , on
Dec 7, 2013

I’m really seeing a lot of chocolate bark this year – everyone from Starbucks to the corner grocer seems to be selling it for Christmas. It warms my heart a little to see it. For as long as I can remember, I’ve received bark in my stocking. As a little girl, the Laura Secord Almond bark was there, year after year. Maybe Santa will remember this and drop some in this Christmas for old times sake.

Even if he doesn’t, the bark tradition continues around here. I find it to be an easy way to add a little something ‘extra’ to holiday treat plates. I make mine very thin, but you can use more chocolate in a smaller pan to create a thicker bark.

MommyDo Chocolate Bark 4 Ways 1 (1)

First is Candy Cane Marble Bark.

MommyDo Chocolate Bark 4 Ways 40

In a microwave save bowl, melt 8 oz roughly chopped semisweet bakers chocolate in microwave at 50% for a min. Stir and continue to heat at 50% for 30 sec more (repeat as necessary) stirring to thoroughly mix and melt the chocolate.

Repeat with 8oz of white chocolate.

Meanwhile, crush candy canes to make about 3/4 c.

When white and dark chocolate are melted, spread in touching stripes on a parchment paper lined baking tray.

MommyDo Chocolate Bark 4 Ways 23

I bang the tray on the counter a few times to try to evenly distribute and thin out the chocolate. Sprinkle candy cane all over.

MommyDo Chocolate Bark 4 Ways 15

Then, drag a butter knife in straight lines across the stripes to ‘pull’ the white chocolate down into the dark.

MommyDo Chocolate Bark 4 Ways 1

Let set in the fridge or on the counter overnight and snap into pieces once the chocolate is well set.

Here are a few variations. The chocolate is melted the same way for each.

MommyDo Chocolate Bark 4 Ways 36

S’mores Bark – with mini-marshmallows and teddy grahams.

For this one, melt 8 oz dark chocolate as above. Stir in 1 Cup mini marshmallows. Completely coating the marshmallows makes this bark WAY better. Then stir in 1/2 Cup teddy grahams and spread onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle another 1/4 Teddy Grahams onto the top and let set.

MommyDo Chocolate Bark 4 Ways 13

Ok – next is Oreo Cookie Bark

MommyDo Chocolate Bark 4 Ways 38

This one is extra easy and kids love it.

Melt 8 oz chocolate as described above. Stir in 1 Cup roughly chopped Oreo cookies. Spread onto parchment paper prepared cookie sheet. Let set.

MommyDo Chocolate Bark 4 Ways 10

Lastly, we have White Chocolate Almond Cranberry Bark

MommyDo Chocolate Bark 4 Ways 35

Melt 8 oz white chocolate as directed above. Stir in 1/2 Cup almonds and 1/2 Cup dried cranberries (in the photos I used 1 Cup and I feel that’s too much. Feel free to find your own perfect amount).

Spread onto parchment paper lined pan and let set.

MommyDo Chocolate Bark 4 Ways 6

And that’s it. Chocolate bark 4 ways. You can easily make all 4 in about 45 min if you need some instant gratification. Of course, you can’t really enjoy them till they set, but the fridge is your friend to make quick work of that!

MommyDo Chocolate Bark 4 Ways 2 (1)

The 12 Treats of Christmas: Santa Magic Bars

by , on
Dec 5, 2013

Magic Bars are an oldie but a goodie. These combine tart cranberries, sweet coconut, gooey marshmallows and crunchy nuts. Delicious and so easy, Magic Bars are a great choice for baking with kids.

MommyDo Santa Magic Bars

You can find the recipe online here.

Prep Time: 10 minutes plus baking time
Preheat To: 350ºF (180ºC)*
Serving: 24 bars

Ingredients:

2 cups (500 mL) graham wafer crumbs
3/4 cup (175 mL) butter, melted
1 can (300 mL) Regular or Low Fat Eagle Brand® sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped pecans
3/4 cup (175 mL) white, semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
1 cup (250 mL) dried cranberries
1 cup (250 mL) flaked coconut
1 cup (250 mL) mini-marshmallows

Preparation:

1.  Combine graham crumbs with butter; press evenly onto parchment-lined 13×9″ (3.5 L) baking pan.
2.  Pour 2/3 Eagle Brand over crumbs.
3.  Sprinkle with pecans, chips, cranberries, coconut and marshmallows; press down firmly. Pour remaining Eagle Brand overtop.
4.  Bake in preheated 350ºF (180ºC) oven* 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool thoroughly and cut into bars. (Store loosely covered at room temperature.)

Notes:

*325ºF (160ºC) for glass dish

The 12 Treats of Christmas: Chocolate-Caramel Thumbprints

by , on
Dec 4, 2013

Ok – now we’re really cookin’. Or baking, or whatever. Yesterday I said I’d give you a little something that would help use up any extra melty chocolate. These little fellas are the #1 cookie in my arsenal. Gooey, chocolatey. And they really look impressive. Again, not a huge batch – about 36 cookies, but so rich and decadent, that seems to be just enough. These also need a little fridge time for the dough so the delayed gratification only serves to make them sweeter.MommyDo Chocolate-Caramel Thumbprints (1)

 

Chocolate-Caramel Thumbprints

Yield: 36 Cookies

Prep 30 mins Chill 2 hrs Bake 350°F 10 mins  per batch

Ingredients

  • 1  egg
  • 1/2  cup  butter, softened
  • 2/3  cup  sugar
  • 2  tablespoons  milk
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla
  • 1  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1/3  cup  unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 16  vanilla caramels, unwrapped
  • 3  tablespoons  whipping cream
  • 1 1/4  cups  finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2  cup  (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1  teaspoon  shortening

Directions

1. Separate egg; place yolk and white in separate bowls. Cover and chill egg white until needed. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat well. Beat in egg yolk, milk, and vanilla.

2. In another bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until well combined. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or until easy to handle.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. In a small saucepan heat and stir caramels and whipping cream over low heat until mixture is smooth. Set aside.

4. Slightly beat reserved egg white. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in egg white, then in pecans to coat. Place balls 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.

5. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are firm. If cookie centers puff during baking, repress with your thumb. Spoon melted caramel mixture into indentations of cookies. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool. (If necessary, reheat caramel mixture to keep it spoonable.)

6. In another saucepan heat and stir chocolate pieces and shortening over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly. Drizzle chocolate mixture over tops of cookies.* Let stand until chocolate is set.

I decided I’d take this delicious dough and invent a cookie of my own. This is one case where the idea was better than the end result. Don’t get me wrong, they are delicious. But the candycane melted and made the cookie part very squishy and sticky. Letting them cool on the parchment greatly improved the outcome.

I give you Chocolate-Peppermint Mushies

MommyDo Chocolate-Peppermint Mushies

I made the dough as above, rolled in crushed candy cane instead of nuts, put a junior mint in the thumbprint and drizzled with white chocolate. Follow my lead at your own risk on these little fellers.

Happy Baking!

The 12 Treats of Chirstmas: Peppermint Patties

by , on
Dec 2, 2013

Ok, one cookie down. Now for something that takes a little more commitment. Homemade Peppermint Patties. I know I posted about these a few months ago, but when looking to the Top 12, you can’t leave these out. They always get tons of compliments – I mean really, who knew you could make your own peppermint patties? So, so good.

MommyDo Peppermint Patties

I usually let the innards sit overnight so they have a little snap. And, I find they take more chocolate than you think. The dipping is a real pain. You’ll want to quit about 10 times. But later, once you’re polishing off the last one, you’ll wish you hadn’t given up and tossed a bunch of undipped middles out. Trust me. Keep on dipping.

Remember to use bakers chocolate or candy coating so the chocolate hardens nicely. And, (like I really need to say this) be sure to save some for guests. I know it’s hard, but you’re not supposed to eat them all yourself. You can find this recipe online here on the Eagle Brand website.

Ingredients:

1 can (300ml) Regular Eagle Brand Sweetened condensed Milk

1tbsp (15ml) peppermint extract (I add a little more to make them extra minty)

6 cups (1.5L) confectioners’ sugar (that’s icing sugar)

1 1/2lbs chocolate candy coating or dark or semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted.

1. Combine Eagle Brand and peppermint extract. Add sugar, beating on low speed until smooth and well blended. Turn mixture onto surface sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar.

2. Knead lightly to form a smooth ball. Shape into 1 inch (2.54cm)  balls. Place 2cm paart o n parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Flatten each ball into a 1 1/2 inch (4cm) patty. (I used the flat bottom of a drinking glass lightly dusted with sugar.)

3. Let dry 1 hour or longer; turn over and let dry at least 1 hour. With fork, dip each patty into warm candy coating (draw fork lightly across rim of pan to remove excess coating). Invert onto wax-paper-lined baking sheets; let stand until firm. Store covered at room temperature or in refrigerator.

4. Try very hard not to eat them all as soon as they’ve hardened.

MommyDo 3 Peppermint Patties

Enjoy!

Tomorrow, we’ll tackle cookies that you can make to use up the leftover chocolate after you dip the patties.

The 12 Treats of Christmas: Whipped Shortbread

by , on
Dec 1, 2013

Are you ready to get baking? I’m digging deep into my legendary Christmas Baking Binder to bring you my top 12 Treats. Cookies, bars, brownies, bark, fudge and candy. We’re gonna make a little of everything.

Mommydo Whipped Shortbread

In my younger days I would make 30 types of treats and give goodie baskets to a rather long list of hungry and happy recipients. Sweet! Now that time is short, I’ve cut it down to my top 12, and bake mostly for family. After all this baking, I’ve learned a thing or two.

Before we begin, here are 10 things you should keep in mind when you set out to do a big bake.

1. If you’re baking on a budget, remember chocolate goodies are spendy. Fill baskets with cookies and just a few chocolate treats to keep the cost down.

2. Read through the recipes you’re planning to make and make a master shopping list. Spots like Bulk Barn have many of the things you’ll need, and if you’ve done your homework you can get your shopping done in no time at all and for much less than multiple late night trips to the grocery store.

3. Read the recipes all the way through before you start. There’s nothing worst than setting out to make a quick batch of cookies and realizing you need to chill the dough overnight.

4. Wear a short sleeved shirt. Trying to take off a sweater when covered in chocolate and flour is the worst.

5. Tie your hair back at the start. Same reason. Pushing your hair back with messy hands is a pain.

6. Parchment paper really is the best to line trays, and can be used more than once.

7. Pay attention to the part in the recipe that talks about cooling and when to transfer the treats. Your cookies will be better looking if you follow the rules.

8. Baking is not a ‘wing it’ sport. Precision delivers the best results. Measure carefully and you’ll find things bake as expected and taste better than if you guesstimate.

9. Sometimes experiments turn out well. Go ahead and try some new things. (You’ll hear about my cookie invention later this week.)

10. Having a few cookie trays on hand makes quick work of big batches of cookies. Borrow some if you only need once a year. Preferably from someone who’ll give you a nice glass of wine when you return them. You can enjoy it with some delicious fresh baked goodies!

MOMMYDO TREAT 1: Whipped Shortbread

This is an easy recipe from The Harrowsmith Cookbook, and credit is given to Shirley Hill of Picton Ontario. It’s quick to make and is always a big hit. I’ve been making it since I was in grade school. It doesn’t go that far, so I often double it. The key to these is to really beat them between ingredients. Don’t stop when the ingredients are mixed, give them a minute or more to beat at each step.

I finish the cookies 2 ways, with a little candied cherry or with a little silver ball.

12days

Recipe:

1/2 lb. Butter

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup icing sugar

1 cup flour

Beat butter until light and add remaining ingredients one at a time, beating well after each addition. Roll into small balls and flatten with a fork (I JUST DROPPED MINE).

Bake at 300F for 30 min.

Makes 3 dozen

Police Themed Birthday Party

by , on
Nov 26, 2013

A few weekends ago we hosted the boy’s Fourth Birthday Party. Given his current obsession with Lego and Police, choosing a theme wasn’t an issue… As I posted a few days ago, the theme started to come to life with these great wanted posters from 733blog.

lilcrook (12)lilcrook (13)lilcrook (11)lilcrook (10) lilcrook (8)

Even the littlest Crook got in the spirit!

lilcrook (4)

But what’s a party without snacks? I created these great Lego head Marshmallow pops that I found the tutorial for here. I used a half mini marshmallow for the head and cake decorator gel for the face.

lilcrook (7)

lilcrook

Now you can’t have a party without cake. And I stole the show by putting actual working lights from the boy’s Playmobil Police car onto the Police Car cake I baked.

lilcrook (3) lilcrook (2)

I used the Wilton car pan, and took some inspiration from here. I used the Durable Chocolate cake recipe found here and it worked very well.

lilcrook (1)

As I can’t seem to decorate a cookie to save my life, I ordered some Lego Cops and Crooks cookies from the amazing Dolce. So cute and so, so delicious.

lilcrook (6)

Then we made these super cute loot bag tags.

cookie (1)

lilcrook (5)

A huge shout out to Oaks n’ Acorns for being a super swell venue and to my brother-in-law who really helped out a ton. All in all, the party was a great success, despite the boy saying he only wanted to have grown up parties from now on. We’ll see if that’s the case when next year’s party time rolls around.

lilcrook (9)

Crispy Waffles

by , on
Nov 13, 2013

Waffles are a Sunday morning fav around here. The boy eats them and I don’t mind whipping up a batch in the early hours. They are dead simple, fairly low on the sweet factor…until the syrup anyway.

MOMMYDO WAFFLE TIP: Cool your waffles on a wire rack instead of in a stack to have a yummy crisp crust on both sides.

waffles

Yes, these are a little ‘homey’ looking, but they taste fab. Super easy too.

My favourite recipe is here, and takes about 5 min plus cooking time. I use a big whisk instead of the hand blender as I often make them with the boy while the husband is still sleeping. And, I usually add a whole teaspoon of vanilla rather than the 1/2 noted in the recipe.

In case you’re thinking “wow, I could really use a waffle maker” I have a Cuisinart like this one and it works great.

Waffles. Wire rack. You’re welcome.

This isn’t a sponsored post. Just a note about stuff I have that I like,

Follow me on Instagram

Don't miss a thing. Follow now!