Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Homemade Turtles

This is my favorite treat in the whole world and I can't believe I'm just now learning how to make it. Not only am I disappointed that it took me this long, but to make it even worse, they're so easy to make! What was I waiting for?!

I must say though, now that I know how easy these things are I'm going to be making them all the time Maybe I'll just keep a stash in the freezer and then I can just have one whenever I want! Yeah, I think that's a good idea :)

So, on to the recipe. If you're looking for a last minute treat to make for the holidays (or any occasion for that matter), you've found it!

1 bag pecan halves
1 bag chocolate chips (I like milk chocolate)
1 bag caramel candies
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Toast the pecans in a pan, watching closely not to burn them.

Cover a cookie sheet in parchment paper. Lay the pecans on the cookie sheet in groups (you can add as many pecans to the group as you want, depending on how big you want your turtles to be)

Pour the caramel candies in a double boiler and add the heavy whipping cream. Once the caramel is melted, spoon it over each group of pecans. 

 Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler, and spoon the melted chocolate over each turtle.

Allow the chocolate to harden and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Blueberry & Raspberry Pound Cake

Here it is! The perfect thing to satisfy your sweet tooth and you don't have to feel guilty for eating it. A blueberry/raspberry pound cake with a lemon that's what I'm talking about!!

It has fresh fruit in it so it's healthy...right? :) According to my standards it is!

This is definitely better in the summer when you can get fresh fruit from the farmer's market, but it's still amazing in any season. Want to know why? Two words...Cream Cheese. Yes, I know, that kind of cancels out the healthiness of the fruit. But it doesn't matter because it makes this pound cake so rich and moist and delicious.

This recipe makes two loaves (or four mini ones) and they'll be gone before you know it. Especially if you eat them right when they come out of the oven..YUM!!

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, but not quite room temperature
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened slightly
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
6 ounces of fresh raspberries
6 ounces of fresh blueberries
lemon glaze (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray two loaf pans (or four mini loaf pans) with non-stick cooking spray. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and cream cheese. Pour in sugar and mix until smooth.

 Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing well until each is incorporated. Mix in vanilla.

While ingredients are mixing, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly add flour mixture to the wet ingredients.

Fold raspberries and blueberries into the batter 
(I folded in the blueberries first and then the raspberries since the raspberries are fragile)

Distribute batter evenly among the pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes (if you're making 4 loaves, the time will be less).

 Remove the loaves from the pans and drizzle with the lemon glaze. Let cool completely. 


Lemon Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
juice of 1 lemon
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Add more juice or cream as necessary to achieve desired consistency.

Inspired by Jamie Richardson

Friday, December 6, 2013

Snowman Jar

I love crafts, and when I saw this on a magazine I was so excited to make it! Seriously, they're so cute! They're a perfect Christmas gift for friends and neighbors, or for your small group (that's what I used mine for =]) And you can fill them with whatever you want; hot cocoa mix, candy, puppy chow...get creative!

Black felt (I used felt pads)
Orange felt
Hot glue gun

Cut circles out of the black felt for eyes (or just use the felt pads like I did), and a triangle shape out of the orange felt for the nose. Glue them to the front of the jar. 

Take the sock and cut it to form a tube (you should be able to get two tubes/hats per sock). 

Tie one end of the tube with the string so that it looks like a hat.

Glue the hat on the lid of the jar using the hot glue gun.

Fill with candy or other treats!