12/20/13

0 Caramel Corn Puffs


I'm in trouble.

Deep trouble.

Again, like the White Texas Sheet Cake, I was introduced to this crispy, caramel-ly, melt-in-your-mouth puff goodness at a church gathering. It is like the best, caramel corn, EVER.
You don't have to pop the corn and you don't get popcorn hulls stuck in your gums...No seeds, no hulls!

It only took a quick search around the room to find the lady that so generously brought this addictive sweet snack and ask her for the recipe.

"Well, it's on the bag," she said.

What bag? I ask.

"Ummmm, the bag of corn puffs that I bought at Harmons grocery store."

The very next day, I went to Harmons and found the bag of corn puffs and immediately made this recipe...


Sure enough, the recipe is on the back!  Here we go ...

Butter and light corn syrup.  The base of most candy recipes...


Light brown sugar ...


are mixed and cooked for two minutes or till bubbly around the edges.  The pan is removed from the heat and baking soda is added. This lightens the color of the mixture, foams, and allows the coating to stick to the corn puffs.

The caramel-ly goodness is poured evenly over the puffs ...


mixed, and placed into a low oven, stirring every 10 minutes for 45 minutes.


Yes, you need to stir every 10 minutes or you will have a large blob of caramel corn.


Don't worry, it's SO worth every crispy, buttery, caramel-y, sweet bite!

You can find these corn puffs at:

Harmons Grocery
Walmart
Amazon

Caramel Corn Puffs
(4x6 recipe download)    (full page printable recipe)

12/18/13

0 Gingerbread Men



Just like sugar cookies, there are two camps: crispy or soft.  One group loves the crispy, buttery sugar cookies or the crispy, chewy gingersnaps. The other group loves soft, light sugar cookies or gingerbread cookies.

These cookies are made with butter, which give it a soft texture.  They have the perfect blend of spices, which remind me of the holidays.

With this great tip for rolling out 1/4" thick cookies every time, making these gingerbread men are a breeze.

I found this cookie cutter at Joann's Craft store for only .99 cents. 


These cookies need very little decorating.  You want their flavor to shine through.  Check out this great frosting trick that saves waste and clean up! (works great for filling Deviled Eggs, too!)

Ooops.

This is the Dracula we decorated for Halloween.  I'm sure you can come up with your own decorating ideas for the holidays!

Enjoy!

Print Friendly and PDF
Soft Gingerbread Cookies
Ingredients
½ c. butter
½ c. sugar
1 egg
½ c. molasses
2 ¼ c. sifted all purpose flour
½ t. salt
½ t. baking powder
1 t. ginger
1 ½ t. cinnamon
½ t. cloves
½ t. nutmeg

Instructions
Cream butter and sugar, then blend in egg and molasses.  Sift together dry ingredients and add.  
Chill dough 2 hours.  
Roll out 1/3 inch thick on lightly floured board.  Cut with cookie cutter or use sharp knife to cut around cardboard patterns.  
Bake on lightly greased cookie sheet 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees.  Makes 15 large cookies.  If rolled thinner, decrease cooking time.

Makes 20 – 3.5” cookies 


12/16/13

0 Carton Smart!

This post brought to you by Carton Smart. All opinions are 100% mine.
I love square containers. They stack well and nest easily and don't suck up wasted space like round containers.  Square cartons are easy to ship, stack, and store! Ever tried to get cranberry jelly out of a can? This box makes it much easier!
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These new Smart cartons are much lighter than the heavy metal cans and have no need for can openers.  They are made of 70% recyclable paper, from selectively harvested, re-grown trees. Very smart.  Easy to open. Easy to pour. Reclosable. (Is that a new word?) I use what I need and save the rest for later.
 I love the space saving design that makes storing in my pantry and fridge more user friendly.
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The ingredients?  No weird, unpronouncable stuff here ~ Chicken stock is simply "water, chicken, carrots, celery and onions."  Jellied Cranberry sauce is simply "organic cranberries, organic cane sugar, & water."  The pumpkin puree?  "100% Organic Pumpkin."  100% organic, non-gmo and no preservatives!  Simple.  The way nature intended.
With the holidays, using these smart cartons make everyday baking so much easier! Here's to eating a luscious pumpkin pie...
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Be #cartonsmart this holiday season with recipes that use ingredients that taste great with little waste!

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12/13/13

0 Christmas Sugar Cookies!






It has been a family tradition for many years to make our favorite Soft Sugar Cookie recipe every year.  It is so fun to listen to Christmas music and watch the kids frost, decorate and gobble up these cookies!

I keep my shapes simple and easy to decorate and what you see in the photo above are my favorites. Over the years, I have found some TIPS that will make your sugar cookie making experience more enjoyable!

Tip for rolling PERFECTLY EVEN 1/4" cookies: 



How to make changing frosting colors, EASY, hassle free, with less waste and clean up!
(this works great for filling Deviled Eggs, too!)





See my Kitchen Tip for additional Sugar Cookie Secrets and have fun making these yummy cookies!

12/7/13

0 Crescent Dinner Roll Shape Secret!




After making 21 dozen dinner rolls for Thanksgiving and making 32 dozen last night for a church Christmas party, a helpful tip came to my mind that makes these rolls even prettier!

Although there are many beautiful roll shapes to choose from, I like the crescent shape as it is quick, easy to roll, and looks elegant.

I can't remember where I saw this tip, Martha Stewart or on the King Arthur baking website, but it does make a difference!

After letting your dough rest (for easier rolling!), cut into 12 wedges and make a 1/4" notch at the base of each wedge...


 Stretch out the base of the wedge and begin rolling...




 As you are rolling, hold the base with one hand and gently stretch the middle of the dough with the other hand, making it slightly longer.  This will create more "swirls" on your crescent roll...


When you are done rolling, make sure the "point" is under the roll.  Curl the tips of the roll toward the center.

See the difference?

The top roll did not have the notch.  The bottom roll had the notch.

You will also notice the bottom roll has an extra layer ... swirl ... due to stretching during the rolling process. 


Pretty, huh?

Happy Baking!
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