Squares of Happiness

It would not be the holidays if you didn’t try a new recipe. This year my mom whipped up these little treats. The recipe comes from Trisha Yearwood. Trisha has become known as a sassy little thing in the kitchen.  These little chocolate and peanut butter treats are dreamy and the pretzel bottom gives a complete tasty finish.  And come on- no baking needed.  Enjoy!- Amanda

Squares of Happiness

Squares of Happiness (No-Bake Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares)

1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
2 cups pretzel rods or sticks, crushed into crumbs
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup plus 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, add the melted butter, pretzel crumbs, confectioners’ sugar and 1 cup of the peanut butter and stir together until well combined. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish.
Combine the chocolate chips and the remaining 1/4 cup peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate and peanut butter are melted and smooth; two times should be enough. Mix to blend, then spread over the peanut butter-pretzel layer. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting into squares.

Merry Christmas Cobbler

Seriously, Cobbler is just happiness.  And top it with ice cream- enough said.  Merry Christmas Cobbler is a holiday favorite in this house.  Basically if you want to taste Christmas- here you go!  Perfect to pop in the oven as you sit down to dinner and it’s ready for dessert.  Serve in fun individual containers.  (This is such a favorite that Chris requested it for his birthday in March!  And we still called it Merry Christmas Cobbler.)
Happy Christmas Eve! -Amanda


Merry Christmas Cobbler

2 sticks of butter, softened

1 box yellow cake mix

1 t nutmeg

1/2 pecans, chopped

1 can peach pie filling

1 can whole berry cranberry

Cut butter into cake mix using a pastry blender.  Make sure the butter is thoroughly mixed into cake mix.  Add nutmeg and pecans.  Mix well.  Put peach pie filling and cranberries into lightly greased greased glass pan.  Crumble cake mixture over filling.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Serve warm topped with vanilla bean ice cream.

Pretzel M&M Hugs

Yes, they are simple!  Requiring no thought at all.  But for some reason these little no-brainers are quickly gobbled up at holiday gatherings.  Of course these have a little Christmas flair.  You can see how easily they can be used at any holiday just change out the M&M color.  Perfect treat to have the little ones help out on.  Get those little fingers busy unwrapping Hugs and arranging them on pretzels.  This time of year it’s nice to have a simple kitchen treat!- Amanda


Pretzel M&M Hugs

60 square pretzels

60 Hershey’s Hugs chocolates (almost a full bag- 12 oz package), unwrapped

60 Milk Chocolate M&M’s (for Christmas use the red and green)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Arrange pretzels on cookie sheet in a single layer then top each pretzel with one Hershey’s Hug chocolate. Bake for 5 minutes, until the chocolate is shiny and soft. The Hug will still have its shape.

Remove from oven and carefully place one M&M in the center of each soft Hug and press down on M&M to spread the chocolate. Place in refrigerator and allow to rest until chocolate has set, about 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Ball

Christmas time is here!  I’m always looking for a fun dessert to share at gatherings.  Every time I bring my Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Ball, friends are asking for the recipe.  It’s easy and makes a great presetation on your plate.  Perfect for making early and serving when it’s time for dessert.  Enjoy!- Amanda


Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Ball

8 oz package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 t vanilla

3/4 cup powdered sugar

6 oz. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup finely chopped and lightly toasted pecans

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beat just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove and shape into a ball. Roll cheese ball in nuts.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  Serve with chocolate graham crackers.  (Regular graham crackers work too!)