Black Forest Cheesecake #ChristmasSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

I always feel a little more nostalgic about my German heritage at Christmas. I think it’s a remnant of Opa’s Christmas cookie packages, which were synonymous with Christmas for all of my childhood. Without even thinking about it, I end up planning some German-inspired dessert for our holiday table – like this Black Forest Cheesecake.

Black Forest Cheesecake

This is obviously not traditional, but the flavors are there – and, I’ll be honest, this is going to be easier than your traditional Black Forest Cake.

I love cheesecakes for the holidays because they can be made a few days ahead. And I love topping them off so you can cover any cracks. (Yes, a water bath will prevent the cracking, but it’s an extra step I never take!)

Black Forest Cheesecake 2

This cheesecake is decadent – rich, silky chocolate, topped off with whipped cream and cherries. It’s a showpiece dessert for your table, without putting in a ton of effort.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by holiday prep, this is a great candidate for your menu. Make it the weekend before Christmas and give yourself the gift of one less thing to worry about.

And if you’d like to scoop up a fun, #ChristmasSweetsWeek gift for yourself, make sure you’ve entered the giveaway here:  a Rafflecopter giveaway All of the sponsors for #ChristmasSweetsWeek have been super generous with the prizes they’re offering up to readers!

Black Forest Cheesecake 3

#ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes:

Beverages:

Bourbon Salted Caramel Coffee with Whipped Cream from With Two Spoons
Chocolate Eggnog Pudding Shots from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Cookie Butter Eggnog Cocktail from My Suburban Kitchen
Hazelnut Hot Chocolate Drops from Family Around the Table
Mulled Red Wine Sangria from Platter Talk
Red Velvet Hot Chocolate from Live Love Texas
Salted Caramel Affogato from Tara’s Multicultural Table
Salted Caramel Apple Cider Martini from Sweet Beginnings
Salted Caramel Chocolate Martini from The Crumby Kitchen
Salted Caramel Mocha Smoothie from An Affair from the Heart
Sugar Cookie Martini from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen

Breakfast:

Baked Cranberry Eggnog French Toast from The Spiffy Cookie
Maple Bourbon Old Fashion Bread Pudding from Cheese Curd in Paradise

Candies:

Pecan Butter Rum Toffee from Take Two Tapas
Christmas Grinch Bark from Blogghetti
White Christmas Sugar Cookie Dough Fudge from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Desserts:

Black Forest Cheesecake from Kate’s Recipe Box
Butter Rum Cheesecake from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt
Christmas Cornflake Wreaths from The Mandatory Mooch
Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Cookie Cups from Love and Confections
Cookie Butter Shortbread Bars from Eat Move Make
Fluffernutter Truffles from Mildly Meandering
Frozen Mint Meltaway Pie from Cooking with Carlee
Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Eggnog Frosting from The Baking Fairy
Spiced Eggnog Sugarmen from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes from The Beard and The Baker
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Eggnog Butter Frosting from Lady Behind the Curtain
Slice ‘N’ Bake Grinch Cookies from Big Bear’s Wife
Snowmen Macarons from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Black Forest Cheesecake 4

Black Forest Cheesecake
(adapted from Glorious Treats)
Makes 1 9″ cheesecake

1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (about 16 cookies)
3 tablespoons butter, melted

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 8 oz. packages Cabot Cream Cheese
1 1/4 cups Dixie Crystals Sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup Cabot Sour Cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs

Cabot Whipped Cream
1 can Cherry Pie Filling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix together the crushed cookies and melted butter until thoroughly combined. Press into the bottom of a spring-form pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate chips at half power, in 30 second intervals, until melted. Stir after each 30 second interval. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the sugar until fully incorporated.

Add in the salt, sour cream, and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated. Pour the slightly-cooled melted chocolate into the stand mixer and beat until fully incorporated.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.

Bake for 55-65 minutes, until the center just barely jiggles when the cheesecake is moved. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes, then wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to cool overnight.

When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and cherries.

Black Forest Cheesecake

Thank you ChristmasSweetsWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Lorann Oils & Flavors, Torani, Joyjolt, and Sweets & Treats Boutique for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The ChristmasSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the ChristmasSweetsWeek posts or entry.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts #ChristmasSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

I am all about a festive breakfast for holiday celebrations – and these delicious doughnuts are a perfect treat for Christmas morning!

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts 3

These pack a big punch of flavor thanks to LorAnn Oils Chocolate Hazelnut Flavor. Just a little gives these a great, complex flavor – and it’s balanced nicely by the vanilla icing. Sweets & Treats sprinkles make them extra festive and perfect for the holiday!

These are simple enough that you could even whip them up Christmas morning. Assembling the dry ingredients the day before will help speed up prep, and recruit some extra hands to help with the icing and sprinkles – my kids loved lending a hand! You’ll have a fun, special holiday breakfast in no time!

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts 1

If you want to win your own set of LorAnn Oils and Flavors or a Year of Sprinkles Box from Sweets & Treats, be sure to enter the #ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway! There are so many awesome prizes from all of the sponsors! You can enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

#ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes:

Beverages:

Puerto Rican Coquito from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Frozen Salted Caramel White Russians from Blogghetti
Gingerbread Salted Caramel Coffee Martini from Daily Dish Recipes
Hot Buttered Caramel Apple Cider Mix from Tip Garden
Salted Caramel Martini from April Golightly
Slow Cooker Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate from Cheese Curd in Paradise

Breakfast:

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts from Kate’s Recipe Box
Cranberry Eggnog Quickbread from Jonesin’ For Taste

Cranberry Orange Bread from Juggling Act Mama
Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls from Moore or Less Cooking
Eggnog Cinnamon Roll Donuts from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen

Candies:

Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt
Cranberry Eggnog Fudge from Sweet Beginnings
Snickerdoodle Fudge from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Desserts:

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies from Seduction In The Kitchen
Chocolate Espresso Mousse from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Cranberry Champagne Cupcakes from Our Good Life
Eggnog Gelato from The Redhead Baker
Festive Coconut Macaroons from For the Love of Food
Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream from Love and Confections
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Peppermint Pattie-Stuffed Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies from Platter Talk
Peppermint Red Velvet Macarons from The Crumby Kitchen
Rum Spiked Eggnog Cupcakes from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Salted Caramel German Chocolate Dessert Shooter from Take Two Tapas
White Christmas Cupcakes with White Chocolate Peppermint Buttercream from Family Around the Table
White Chocolate Cranberry Coffee Cake from Who Needs A Cape?

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts 2

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts
(adapted from  Shugary Sweets)
Makes 8-10

For the doughnuts: 
2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dixie Crystals sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. LorAnn Oils Chocolate Hazelnut Flavor
2 tablespoon unsalted Cabot butter, melted

For the icing:
2 cups Dixie Crystals powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla

Sweets & Treats sprinkles for topping – I used the Sleigh Ride mix

Preheat you oven to 325 degrees. Spray a doughnut pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in the eggs, milk, vanilla, chocolate hazelnut flavor, and melted butter. Beat with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes, until well combined and the color has lightened slightly.

Fill the wells of a doughnut pan halfway. Bake for 12-15 minutes – the doughnuts will spring back when pressed lightly or a knife inserted will come out clean when done.

Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the icing. If it’s too thin, add more sugar. If too thick, stir in a little more heavy cream.

Dip cooled doughnuts into the icing, then top with sprinkles.

Let sit until the icing has solidified, about 30 minutes.

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts

Thank you ChristmasSweetsWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Lorann Oils & Flavors, Torani, Joyjolt, and Sweets & Treats Boutique for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The ChristmasSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the ChristmasSweetsWeek posts or entry.

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies #ChristmasSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Fluffy and soft on the inside, but crisp around the edges, these Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies will be your new favorite to leave for Santa!

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 5

Chocolate and orange is a nostalgic Christmas flavor pairing for me, thanks to years of chocolate oranges in our stockings! These cookies taste just like that childhood treat.

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 1

The bright orange flavor in these cookies are thanks to LorAnn Orange Bakery Emulsion. Unlike an alcohol-based extract, their bakery emulsions are water-based, so the flavor won’t bake out.

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 2

The beautiful look of these cookies is thanks to being rolled in Dixie Crystals powdered sugar before baking. They puff up when the bake, giving the distinct “crinkle” effect.  The contrast between the dark chocolate dough and the white powdered sugar makes for a really stunning effect.

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 3

Both LorAnn and Dixie Crystals have fabulous prizes for the ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway! Make sure you take a minute to enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 4

#ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes:

Beverages:

Candy Cane Crunch Milkshake from The Redhead Baker
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Toddy from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
Frozen Blue Hot Chocolate from For the Love of Food
Grumpy Grinch Punch from For the Love of Food
Merry Mistletoe Cocktail from Who Needs A Cape?
Raspberry Thyme Prosecco Punch from Take Two Tapas
Vanilla Milk Punch from Cooking with Carlee

Breakfast:

Cranberry Orange Make Ahead French Toast Bake from With Two Spoons

Candies:

Cookie Butter Balls from The Bitter Side of Sweet
Homemade Peppermint Patties from Everyday Eileen
White Chocolate Bark from Family Around the Table

Desserts:

Apple Cheddar Hand Pies from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Sparkling Wine, Cranberry, and White Chocolate Layer Cake from Cheese Curd in Paradise
Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies from Kate’s Recipe Box
Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Tart from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Cranberry Orange Crinkle Meltawats from Love and Confections
Double Chocolate Mousse Cake from The Crumby Kitchen
Gingerbread Cookie Cups from Moore or Less Cooking
Gingerbread Sprinkle Cookies from Daily Dish Recipes
Grandma’s Chocolate Pie from Tip Garden
Italian Butter Cookies from April Golightly
No Bake Eggnog Pie from Our Good Life
Orange Cranberry White Chocolate Bread from Sweet Beginnings

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 6

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies
(adapted from Little Bits Of)
Makes 3 dozen cookies

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups Dixie Crystals white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. LorAnn Orange Bakery Emulsion
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup Dixie Crystals powdered sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cocoa powder, white sugar, and oil until it comes together.

Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla and Orange Bakery Emulsion.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly mix into the wet ingredients until just combined.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least four hours.

When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1″ balls. Roll each ball in powdered sugar to cover, and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a baking sheet to cool completely.

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies

Thank you ChristmasSweetsWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Lorann Oils & Flavors, Torani, Joyjolt, and Sweets & Treats Boutique for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The ChristmasSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the ChristmasSweetsWeek posts or entry.

Cranberry Orange Muffins #CranberryWeek

Cranberry Orange muffins are my favorite. I love cranberry and orange together, and this time of year always feels like muffin weather. Curl up with one of these and a hot beverage and you’ve got the perfect fall treat.

Cranberry Orange Muffins 1

These are an easy one to mix up and I love that it makes a relatively small batch – great for a small family brunch.

The flavors are bright. Orange juice and orange zest make the batter a sunny color, and the fresh cranberries add a great tart bite to these. I love these fresh out of the oven, but you can also pop them in the oven or toaster to warm up the next day and they’re also fabulous.

Cranberry Orange Muffins 2

I’m excited to be sharing this recipe as part of Cranberry Week – now in it’s third year! See all the tasty cranberry recipes being shared today below and follow #cranberryweek on social media for more ideas all week long.

Cranberry Orange Muffins 3

Cranberry Orange Muffins
(from Joyful Healthy Eats)
Makes 12 Muffins

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup cranberries
1 egg
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp. grated orange zest

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake papers.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in cranberries.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg, orange juice, orange zest, and coconut oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.

Fresh Corn Salsa (8)

Chocolate Banana Bread #Choctoberfest

Note: I received complimentary product for this post. All opinions are my own.

New, inventive recipes are always fun – but sometimes you just want a classic.  We love banana bread around here. Add in lots of chocolate, and you’ve got a treat that barely lasts 24 hours.

ChocolateBananaBread2

 

It was also a great opportunity to showcase another favorite of ours – Barlean’s Butter Flavored Coconut Oil. Whether or not you’re a coconut oil fan, you should give this a try. It’s what converted me! It really does have a fabulous butter flavor – you won’t miss the real thing.

Lots of other chocolate goodness this way, too! —>

ChocolateBananaBread3

Chocolate Banana Bread
(from Chelsea’s Messy Apron)
Makes 1 loaf

1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk

1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/2 cup coconut oil, measured melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup mashed bananas, approx. 2-3 bananas
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup white whole wheat flour or plain white
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips dark chocolate chips for healthier
1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.

Run the oats through a blender or food processor until the consistency of flour.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and yolk. Whisk in the yogurt and coconut oil. Whisk in the vanilla and sugar. Stir in the mashed banana.

To the same bowl, add the oat flour, salt, baking soda, flour, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips. Mix until just combined.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for an hour, until a knife inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool before removing from the pan.

Fresh Corn Salsa (5)

Welcome to #Choctoberfest 2018 with Imperial Sugar

Yay for  #Choctoberfest ! As a chocoholic, I look forward to this week all year and I’m so excited to be participating again this year!

From now until the end of the week, I am joining forces with over 100 other bloggers from around the world to post delicious chocolate recipes. Every day, #Choctoberfest bloggers will be celebrating all things chocolate – milk, dark, white, bittersweet, semi-sweet, and cocoa! I have some really fabulous things planned for this week, so stay tuned!

Choctoberfest-2015-1

We are starting with a #Choctoberfest prize pack from our generous sponsors. Scroll down to learn how you can enter to win. One lucky winner will receive the following:

  • A 100-Piece Cake Decorating Kit from our blog sponsors The PinterTest Kitchen. This set includes a cake turntable, piping bags, piping tips, flower nozzles, scapers, and more.
  • An Instant Pot and a 40-Pound Case of Granulated Sugar from our gold sponsor Imperial Sugar. Imperial Sugar provides high-quality sugar and sweetener products and over 100 years of time-tested recipes. Sweet things happen when people come together in the kitchen, and that’s why Imperial Sugar has been at the heart of family traditions and celebrations for generations.
  • Coconut Oil and Chocolate Silk Greens from our silver sponsor Barlean’s, your trusted source for chocolatey goodness superfood nutrition. Barlean’s has a commitment to staying ahead of the innovation curve in providing the absolute highest quality product.
  • A Chocolate Gift Pack from our silver sponsor Forte Chocolates. You’ll receive 12 of their most popular chocolate bars. With Forte Chocolates, you can celebrate life through chocolate. They also have a line of chocolate developed specifically to use in savory recipes.
  • A Chocolate Gift Pack from our silver sponsor Divine Chocolate. You’ll receive one of each of their baking bars, a white chocolate bar, and their top 5 everyday bars. Divine Chocolate is the only Fairtrade chocolate company in the world that is owned by cocoa farmers. Their baking bars are also a delicious vegan option.
  • A Selection of Sprinkles from our silver sponsor Sprinkle Pop. Sprinkle Pop’s bespoke sprinkle creations are one of a kind, just like you! At Sprinkle Pop, you can also order a custom sprinkle mix; there isn’t a sprinkle mix that you can dream up that they can’t create.

That’s a prize pack worth over $400! Open worldwide, except where prohibited. Must be 18+ to enter (21+ in some locations). See terms and conditions for more details.

To enter, simply follow our sponsors using the widget below. You can gain additional entries by following me and the other participating bloggers. A winner will be drawn on October 21, 2018 and contacted via email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to come back to my blog for more chocolatey goodness between now and October 20.

Check out our participating bloggers:

The PinterTest Kitchen 2 Cookin Mamas 27th and Olive A Day in the Life on the Farm A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures A Little Fish in the Kitchen addicted 2 recipes Amy’s Cooking Adventures An Affair from the Heart April GoLightly At the Table with R and R Baking Sense Blade & Barbell Blogghetti Body Rebooted Books n’ Cooks Bottom Left of the Mitten Canning and Cooking at Home Cheese Curd In Paradise Chef Sarah Elizabeth Cindy’s Recipes and Writings Coconut & Lime Cook With Renu Cook’s Hideout Cookaholic Wife Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt CopyKat.com Daily Dish Recipes Everyday Eileen Fairyburger Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice Family Around the Table Fix Me a Little Lunch Frankly Entertaining Frugal & Fit Get the Good Stuff! Growing Up Gabel Hardly A Goddess Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks Home Sweet Homestead House of Nash Eats Intelligent Domestications jenniferbakes JoAnn’s Food Bites Join Us, Pull up a Chair Jolene’s Recipe Journal Jonesin’ For Taste Karen’s Kitchen Stories Kate’s Recipe Box Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats LeMoine Family Kitchen Life on Food Life, Love, and Good Food Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish Little House Big Alaska Long Distance Baking Maria’s Mixing Bowl Moore or Less Cooking Must Love Home Norine’s Nest Our Good Life Our Sutton Place OVENTales Palatable Pastime Prettysweetblog Red Cottage Chronicles Restless Chipotle Reviews, Chews & How-Tos Sarah Cooks the Books Sarah’s Bake Studio Savory Moments Seasonal and Holiday Recipe Exchange Seasoned Sprinkles Seduction In The Kitchen Simple Family Crazy Life Simply Inspired Meals Snacks and Sips Soulfully Made Stephie The Happy Mom Sumptuous Spoonfuls Sweet Coralice Take Two Tapas Tampa Cake Girl That Recipe The Baking Fairy The Beard and The Baker The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine The Gingered Whisk The Heritage Cook The Mad Scientist’s Kitchen The Olive Blogger The Pajama Chef The Redhead Baker The Saucy Fig The Spiffy Cookie The Weekday Gourmet This is How I Cook Trampling Rose Turnips 2 Tangerines Walking Fruitfully Wendy Polisi Wildflour’s Cottage Kitchen Zesty South Indian Kitchen

Halloween Muddy Buddies

What are you being for Halloween this year? So far, we’ve got a purple dinosaur and Frankenstein’s monster. (And I’m hoping it doesn’t change at this point, since I bought the fabric to make them!)

HalloweenPuppyChow

As much as I love Halloween, it can be a little hectic. Aside from making costumes, we have two trunk or treats to prep for, the preschool costume parade, and classroom party – not to mention Halloween itself. Oh, and all the “real life” stuff happening this month too.

Sometimes, you just need something quick and easy. These muddy buddies are quick and easy. Mix them up in about ten minutes and you’ll be off to your Halloween party in no time.

Need some more Halloween inspiration? Here are some more fun ideas for the holiday:

 

HalloweenPuppyChow2

Halloween Muddy Buddies
(from A Southern Fairytale)
Makes a large bowl – about 13 cups

5 cups corn Chex cereal
5 cups rice Chex cereal
2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 cups Nutella
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup chocolate cake mix
2 cups Autumn Mix M&Ms
1/2 cup candy corn
1/2 cup Indian corn
1/2 cup candy corn pumpkins

Dump all the Chex in a large bowl.

Add the powdered sugar to a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Add the cake mix to another gallon-sized ziplock bag. Set aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and Nutella. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir well, and continue to microwave in 15 second intervals until smooth and creamy.

Pour the melted Nutella over the chex and gently stir to combine until all the cereal is coated. Divide the cereal in half. Add half to the bag with powdered sugar and half to the bag with cake mix.

Seal the bags and shake until everything is well coated. Pour out on paper towels to rest and cool for at least an hour.

Combine coated cereal with candies and serve.

Halloween Muddy Buddies

Caramelized Onion, Bacon, and Spinach Pizza

It’s National Pizza Month – a holiday my kids can really get behind. Even as “good eaters”, they’re not immune to the lures of a good pie, and when tasked with picking dinner, they’ll pick pizza 99% of the time.

OnionBaconSpinachPizza2

But, they rarely want anything other than cheese pizza, which is why I got excited for this linkup – an excuse to make a blog worthy pizza? Sold.

This pie is delicious, but the onions are what really sold me. Hitting them with the balsamic vinegar at the end add such a great depth of flavor – and they pair brilliantly with the bacon and spinach. This is easily one of the best pizzas I’ve ever made!

And if you want more reasons to celebrate this month, here are a few from my fellow blogger friends:

OnionBaconSpinachPizza

Caramelized Onion, Bacon & Spinach Pizza
(adapted from Cooking Classy)
Makes 1 12″ Pizza

1 lb. pizza dough or a prepared crust
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large red onion
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup frozen spinach, thawed and rung out well
2 Tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp. flour
3/4 cup milk
6 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Put your pizza stone in the oven, if you have one.

In a skillet over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Slice the onion thinly and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is soft then stir in the sugar. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, until caramelized. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and cook another minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

Roll out the pizza dough into a 12″ round.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in garlic and flour and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper. While stirring constantly, bring to a boil.

Spread the garlic sauce over the prepared dough. Top with half the mozzarella and half the Parmesan. Sprinkle bacon, onions, and spinach evenly over the pizza. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 8-12 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.

 

Fresh Corn Salsa (1)

Shrunken Head Punch

We are in full Halloween mode here: decorations are up, costumes are in progress, treats have been purchased. And something I’m extra excited about this year: we’re having a trick-or treat party.

ShrunkenHeadPunch2

Every year while growing up, our house was home base for trick or treating friends. We’d all meet up there, my parents would order lots of pizza, and we’d spend Halloween coming and going and eating too much candy.  This year, we’re having some friends over to do the same thing with our kids, and I’m totally geeking out about it.

If you’re hosting a trick or treat party – or other Halloween party – this is the perfect spooky drink to make. Leave it virgin for the kids, or spike it up with caramel vodka, vanilla vodka, or Fireball for the adults.  You can make the apples ahead and mix up the punch in less than five minutes when you’re ready for it.

ShrunkenHeadPunch3

Carving the shrunken apple heads is the most difficult part of this, but the beauty is it’s Halloween – they can be perfectly imperfect. You can also make the faces to match the crowd – scarier faces for an older crowd while silly faces would be perfect for a preschool gathering.

We had a lot of fun with this – the kids especially got a kick out of “the faces floating in there”!

ShrunkenHeadPunch1

Shrunken Head Punch
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Serves 12

3-4 apples
1/4 cup lemon juice

6 cups apple cider
1 1/2 cups pear nectar
4 1/2 cups ginger ale

Optional: Vanilla vodka, caramel vodka, or Fireball, to taste

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Working with one apple at a time, peel and core the apples, then cut in half. Using a paring knife or other tool, carve faces into the apple halves and dunk in the lemon juice.

Lay the carved apples on a rack over a baking sheet. When they are all carved, transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 1-2 hours, until the apples appear shrunken. Remove from the oven and cool.

Combine the apple cider, pear nectar, and ginger ale in a punch bowl or large pitcher. Add the cooled apple heads, and alcohol, if desired.

Fresh Corn Salsa

Looking for more Halloween inspiration? Here you go! And check back on Thursday when we’ll have another round of Halloween goodies ready for you!

Raspberry Chocolate Sweet Rolls

This post is like a love letter shout-out to my moms club friends. Because, oh, do they humor me.

It’s hard to make friends as an adult, and I was super lucky to fall into this group shortly after becoming a mom. Having a local group of women going through the same stage of life has been invaluable for my sanity.

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And, like I said, they humor me. When I come up with something I get excited about, I can count on them to jump in and be excited too. My latest pet project? Monthly potluck dinners. This month’s theme was “Back to School” so everyone brought slow cooker meals and freezer-friendly casseroles. Next month, we’re doing “Fall Favorites”.

Besides the good company and the opportunity to try things I wouldn’t normally make, this also gives me a captive audience for recipe testing. I’ve been making cinnamon rolls for Christmas for the last few years, but I keep eyeing recipes that are variations. This sweet combo is amazing as a decedent breakfast or special dessert.

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Raspberry Chocolate Sweet Rolls
(adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)
Makes 16

For the dough:
1 cup milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:
12-oz. package frozen raspberries
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. heavy cream

To make the dough:

In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the milk until lukewarm. Add the warm milk to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Stir in the sugar and yeast using a spoon. Cover with a towel and let stand 5-10 minutes, until yeast is activated and looks foamy. Add the softened butter, eggs, and salt and mix until combined but the butter will be chunky. Slowly add the flour and beat at medium speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and pliable, about 10 minutes longer.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for about 2 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the dough and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

Line the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper, sprayed with non-stick spray.

Place the dough on a floured work surface. Roll the dough into an even 10×24 inch rectangle.

To make the filling:

In a medium bowl, toss the still-frozen raspberries with the sugar and cornstarch. Gently mash the raspberries so they are small pieces. Spread evenly over the dough. Sprinkle with the mini chocolate chips. Tightly roll up the dough to form a 24-inch-long log. Cut into 15 even pieces. Arrange them in the prepared baking pan, cut sides up. Cover the rolls and let them rise in a warm place until they are puffy, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Cover the rolls with foil and bake for about 25 minutes, until they are golden and the chocolate chips are melted. Transfer the whole pan to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes.

To make the glaze:

Whisk the confectioner’s sugar and heavy cream together in a small bowl until smooth. Add more sugar or cream, depending how thick you want the glaze. Pour glaze over the rolls. Serve warm.

Fresh Corn Salsa (6)