We are right on the edge. Pumpkins are every where. We are carving them, decorating them, cooking them, and drinking them if you have an addiction to PSL like I do. There are several items that scream “Fall is here and I’m wearing my favorite boots and sweaters every day.”
Wanted to share a few of my favorite pumpkin creations. All of these goodies are perfect to surprise neighbors or coworkers. Enjoy the cool air and the wonderful smells of fall.
Just Stop It- Pumpkin Oat Filled Chocolate Chip Cookies
Toffee Pumpkin Cookies
Happy National Cereal Day! How do I celebrate cereal?!? I add marshmallows and butter! This is my simple rice krispie treat recipe. Nothing over the top except I think you need to start with large marshmallows and then add smaller ones at the end. Gooey and a complete guarantee that you (and family, if you share) will finish the pan in one day. You will notice in the picture that there are little marshmallow pillows of goodness waiting on you. The secret is adding minis after you have made you initial mixture. Trust me! Happiness in a little square of cereal! Happy National Cereal Day! Celebrate the appropriate way! Looking Forward, Amanda
5 T butter (extra for buttering pan)
8 cups of LARGE marshmallows, plus 2 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispie Cereal
Butter your 12×9 pan, set aside.
On very low heat, in a large pan, melt butter. Once butter in melted add 8 cups of large marshmallows, stirring constantly.
Once the marshmallows are melted, remove from heat and stir in your cereal until coated in marshmallow mixture. Now stir in 2 cups of mini marshmallows.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and press in evenly. I use wax paper to help me press down the mixture so that it does not stick to my hands or spoon.
Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.
We are in the final days preparing for a fun and busy day in the kitchen. I LOVE Thanksgiving! I remember the smells of Thanksgiving waking me up as a little girl and being so excited about a day with family and yummy food.
I wanted to share a yummy pie that you might want to add to your dessert bar. It’s gooey and full of rich favor! Enjoy! -Amanda
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
1 uncooked pie crust (either store bought or make your own)
1 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup light Karo Syrup
1 T Bourbon (I used Willett)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place your prepared pie crust in your favorite pie dish.
In your mixer, beat your eggs, sugar, brown sugar, Karo Syrup and bourbon. Stir in your pecans and chocolate chips. Pour pecan mixture into your prepared pie plate and bake 50 to 60 minutes or until the crust is lightly brown and the center is pretty set.
Remove the pie from oven and allow to cool at least an hour. Slice and serve. Top with a little bourbon infused whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. If serving the next day, you need to refrigerate. In my opinion, let pie come to room temp before serving.
It’s important to me that my boys know their way around the kitchen. They don’t have to be culinary experts (but a mommy can wish). I just want them to be intelligent in a kitchen and around a table. I want them to appreciate the whole experience. I never pressure our oldest in the kitchen. Instead I introduce concepts and ask for his opinions. Naturally he has taken an interest in some aspects of cooking and baking. I love to celebrate and can always find a reason to cook.
With Chinese New Year’s coming, I thought it would be fun to make fortune cookies. I wanted it to be simple. We did not create gourmet cookies. Instead we had fun creating fortunes to hide inside the cookies and spent time learning a few new tricks. This was W’s first time to drizzle chocolate. He was a natural. And he learned a very important rule: Never Waste Chocolate! We took the remaining chocolate and made chocolate covered pretzels.
Let’s be honest. These fortune cookies are made from pie crust. Nothing culinary about it. Instead it is about taking time to be with your kids in the kitchen and making a few memories. They will find pride in creating something and feel loved that you spent time with them. And you might create a love for the kitchen at the same time.
Take time to make the memories! -Amanda
Kid Friendly Fortune Cookies
Refrigerated pie crust or homemade pie crust
Melting chocolate for drizzle
First start by preparing personalized fortunes. Cut strips of paper (2 inches long by 1/2 inch high). We used a thin Sharpie marker to write our messages. You could print your messages using a computer. Double fold all your messages. They need to be little to fit into the cookie.
Unroll pie crust. Using a cookie cutter to cut out circles (about 2-1/4 inches in diameter). Space very closely to get all on one crust. Take the scraps of dough and reroll to make more circles. We got 15 circles out of our one pie crust. Take a pie crust circle and place a folded fortune strip in the center. Fold circle in half with fortune inside, and pinch edges (not center) to seal. Place on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Repeat for remaining circles.
Bake cookies at 450 degrees for 7 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
Melt your selected chocolate in the microwave according to package directions. Remove and stir. Stir until chocolate is smooth. Drizzle chocolate over cookies, or dip edge of cookie into chocolate. Decorate with sprinkles if desired. Allow chocolate to harden completely before serving.
On the mission to make several new treats this holiday season, this was a new one I attempted. Now, have you ever skipped a few steps in baking. It is usually not a wise decision. This recipes begins with a cake mix. I was not sure I was sold on this but it worked. I adapted the recipe a little to make it work for me. But you will see from my notes below that I would definitely create a different drizzle next time. The cookies were good but did not give me that total red velvet taste I love. I think the cream cheese drizzle would take care of that. If you make that change to the recipe, let me know! (and send a picture.) I also update this recipe once I do too. Enjoy the wonderful smells in your kitchen this season.
Merry Christmas! -Amanda
Red Velvet White Chocolate Chips Cookies
1 box Red Velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
1 t baking powder
2 large eggs
1/3 cup + 2 T vegetable oil
1 t vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips (use another 1/2 cup to press in before baking)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 lb white almond bark
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Using a mixer, mix together the cake mix and baking powder. In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, and vanilla together. Add the egg mixture to the cake mixture and stir to form a dough. This is the tricky part, you must make sure all the cake mix is dissolved and there are no “dry pockets.” The dough will be oily. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop 9 rounded balls of dough, about 1 1/2 T of dough each, onto prepared baking sheet. Press in a a few more white chocolate chips on top of the cookie dough balls. This is completely for presentation.
Bake each batch for 9 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle each cookie with confectioners’ sugar. Allow to cool completely on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Melt almond bark in microwave. Stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted. Drizzle melted almond bark over cookies. Allow to dry.
**Now- the next time I make these cookies, I will make a cream cheese drizzle for the cookies.
Something like this:
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 t vanilla extract
3 to 4 T milk
Beat cream cheese until very creamy. Beat in powdered sugar. Stir in vanilla. Add 3 tablespoons milk. Totally combine. Add more milk to get desired consistency for drizzling.