Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mini Pumpkin Pie Bites

 
The Inspiration.....

Mmmmmmm...... With Thanksgiving over, once those leftovers are gone, you might still be craving that last piece of pumpkin pie that someone beat you to. These little treats are so easy that you wont even feel like you are baking! I'm serious, it takes more time to unwrap the Hershey's Kisses than it does to make the actual dessert!

These Thanksgiving Treats use a special ingredient that are seasonal, so stock up when the store has them. Pumpkin Spice Hershey's Kisses. They sound a little odd, but when you use them in this treat, they are more than delicious!! These come out around Halloween time.
The Recipe... 
Ingredients:
  • 1 bag of Pumpkin Spice Hershey's Kisses
  • 1 bag of Bite-sized Pretzel Twists
  • 1 bag of Pecan Halves
Directions:
 
Step 1: Unwrap all of your Hershey's Kisses
 
 
 
Step 2: Line a cookie sheet with pretzels
 
 
 
Step 3: Place one kiss on each pretzel
 
 
Step 4: Place the cookie sheet in a 350* oven for 2-3 minutes, until the kisses look shiny and squishy. Don't leave them in there long enough that they completely melt.
 
 
 
Step 5: Immediatley after the Kisses come out, gently press a pecan half to the top of each Kiss
 
 
 
Step 6: Place in the freezer until ready to serve so the Kisses cool and harden. (Plus they taste better cold, since pumpkin pie is cold) :0)
 
 
 

Mini Pumpkin Pie Bites

 
Ingredients:
  • 1 bag of Pumpkin Spice Hershey's Kisses
  • 1 bag of Bite-sized Pretzel Twists
  • 1 bag of Pecan Halves
Directions:

Step 1: Unwrap all of your Hershey's Kisses

Step 2: Line a cookie sheet with pretzels
 
Step 3: Place one kiss on each pretzel
 
Step 4: Place the cookie sheet in a 350* oven for 2-3 minutes, until the kisses look shiny and squishy. Don't leave them in there long enough that they completely melt.
 
Step 5: Immediatley after the Kisses come out, gently press a pecan half to the top of each Kiss
 
Step 6: Place in the freezer until ready to serve so the Kisses cool and harden. (Plus they taste better cold, since pumpkin pie is cold) :0)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Chocolate Toffee Munchies

The Inspiration...


      Fall Break is here, which means all the family vacations are on their way too :0) What is a better way to spend the long hours in the car then with a big handful of delicious munchies? :0) Well I have the munchie snack for you!!!

     This inspiration all started when my sister was given a snack calendar, and the snack she needed to bring in to here class was Chocolate Chex cereal and milk. I had never tried Chocolate Chex, and it had been a while since I tasted a Chex cereal at all. Let me just say, if you haven't tried Chocolate Chex cereal... you are missing out! This isn't like Cocoa Puffs cereal, where it is overly chocolaty and sweet. It is mixed with some regular Chex cereal so that the cereal isn't overly coated with chocolate. I love this cereal dry, like a snack rather than an actual cereal.

     Want to know a fun fact about Cupcake Carina? I like to read cereal boxes from top to bottom, and cover to cover (And usually more than once) :0). As you can imagine, I naturally read the Chocolate Chex cereal box. While deep into cereal box land, I cam across one of the 15 minute trail mix recipes that seemed to look absolutely DELICIOUS!!! I got super excited and wanted to try it out as soon as a could. Sadly, I wasn't on Fall Break when I discovered the recipe, and had to wait until my schedule gave me some free time, so in other words, I had to wait until I was on Fall Break :0)

    I tried out the recipe, and let me warn you... this is one of those recipes you keep coming back for more! It is very easy to make, but I felt that the recipe wasn't very descriptive in what they were asking, so I adjusted some of the steps of the recipe for you. Hope you enjoy it!

The Recipe...

Note: This recipe isn't one you can leave alone halfway through, it goes by fast! Like when ever working with melted chocolate, you need to pick up the pace before it hardens :0)

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups of Chocolate Chex Cereal
  • 2 cups of Cinnamon Chex Cereal
  • 1 cup of Bite-Size Pretzel Twists
  • 1 cup of Pecan Halves
  • 1/2 cup of Toffee Bits (I used Heath Bar Bits)
  • 1 Tbsp. Instant Coffee Granules
  • 1 tsp. Hot Water
  • 1 cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 cup of Butter
  • 1 cup of Powdered Sugar
Directions:

Step 1: In a large bowl, mix cereals, pretzels, and pecans.



Step 2: Sprinkle Toffee Bits on top of the cereal mixture.



Step 3: In a small microwaveable-safe bowl, stir coffee granules and water until coffee is dissolved.
 

 
Step 4: Add chocolate chips and butter to the coffee mixture. Microwave uncovered on high for a minute, and stir. Then microwave another 30 seconds until the mixture is smooth.
 
Step 5: Pour chocolate mixture over the cereal mixture, and stir until evenly coated.



Step 6: Add powdered sugar to mixture and toss with your hands until the mixture until evenly coated.
 
 
 
Step 7: Spread mixture onto wax paper, parchment paper, or a Silpat to cool. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!



Chocolate Toffee Munchies


Ingredients:
  • 4 cups of Chocolate Chex Cereal
  • 2 cups of Cinnamon Chex Cereal
  • 1 cup of Bite-Size Pretzel Twists
  • 1 cup of Pecan Halves
  • 1/2 cup of Toffee Bits (I used Heath Bar Bits)
  • 1 Tbsp. Instant Coffee Granules
  • 1 tsp. Hot Water
  • 1 cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 cup of Butter
  • 1 cup of Powdered Sugar
Directions:
 
Step 1: In a large bowl, mix cereals, pretzels, and pecans.

Step 2: Sprinkle Toffee Bits on top of the cereal mixture. 
Step 3: In a small microwaveable-safe bowl, stir coffee granules and water until coffee is dissolved.
Step 4: Add chocolate chips and butter to the coffee mixture. Microwave uncovered on high for a minute, and stir. Then microwave another 30 seconds until the mixture is smooth.
Step 5: Pour mixture over the cereal mixture, and stir until evenly coated.
Step 6: Add powdered sugar to mixture and toss with your hands until the mixture until evenly coated.
Step 7: Spread mixture onto wax paper, parchment paper, or a Silpat to cool. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Monday, September 30, 2013

The BEST Cream Cheese Frosting ever!


The Inspiration...

        Cupcakes. They are my best friends :0) After all, I am Cupcake Carina! They have to taste their best at all times. Here is my rubric for Cupcakes, it is very hard to get an A+ in all areas:

Batter
  • Flavor
  • Moistness (And the ability to keep it over a period of days)
  • Fluffy
  • Clinging to the wrapper
  • Coloring
  • Ect.
Frosting
  • Flavor (The perfect match to the Cupcake's flavor)
  • Sweetness (Not like liquid sugar, but not too buttery)
  • Fluffy
  • Light
  • Airy
  • Texture
  • Spreadable (not too stiff, not too liquidy)
  • Ect.
       When it comes to a Red Velvet Cupcake, the perfect match for frosting is Cream Cheese frosting. Some put on Vanilla Buttercream, but in my opinion, a Red Velvet Cupcake isn't complete without a perfect Cream Cheese Frosting! This Cream Cheese Frosting recipe gets an A+ in all of the Frosting Rubric Criteria.

       It took a lot of hunting to find the perfect recipe, but this one is my favorite out of all that I have tried, and trust me, with all of the cupcakes I make, I have tried ALOT of cream cheese frosting recipes :0) I love this one because it is the perfect ratio of powdered sugar to cream cheese. This recipe is by far the greatest of all times!

    Hopefully you like it as much as I do!!

    As always, I have typed the recipe down at the bottom :0)

The Recipe...

      NOTE: The more you mix this frosting, the more warm it will get, leading to a looser, more liquidy frosting. Make sure that you mix so the ingredients are blended, but don't over mix this frosting :0)

Ingredients:
  • 2~8 oz. packages of Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of room temperature Butter
  • 1 Tbsp. of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/2 cups of Powdered Sugar
Directions:

Step 1: Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. (Unsalted butter works best, that way you can control the amount of salt to your frosting)
 
I took this picture before I added the 2nd package of Cream Cheese
 
Step 2: Beat in the Vanilla Extract
 

 
Step 3: Add in powdered sugar and beat until smooth
 

 
Step 4: Frost on top of a perfect dessert and ENJOY!!
 

 
The Best Cream Cheese Frosting!
 
Ingredients:
 
  • 2~8 oz. packages of Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of room temperature Butter
  • 1 Tbsp. of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/2 cups of Powdered Sugar
  •  
    Directions:

    Step 1: Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. (Unsalted butter works best, that way you can control the amount of salt to your frosting)
    Step 2: Beat in the Vanilla Extract
    Step 3: Add in powdered sugar and beat until smooth
    Step 4: Frost on top of a perfect dessert and ENJOY!!

    Recipe courtesy of Bon App├Ętit Magazine

    Saturday, August 24, 2013

    Granola Balls

     
    The Inspiration...
     
            I don't know about you, but I'm ready for some cooler weather... I'm counting down the days until the first day of fall... which is in 29 days :0) Fall doesn't start that early over here, but it is nice to know that it is on its way. Anyways, back to the cutest little dessert ever, Granola Balls!! This treat is what I think of when I think of fall, well, besides Pumpkin Pie :0) The colors that you will find in one bite are found the perfect Autumn Rainbow: Golden Honey, Cranberry Red, Chocolate Brown, Walnut tan, Peanut Butter Perfection... But since these are so easy and simple to make, you can make them any time of the year!!

            If you have been reading my blog, you would have seen that this is the second Granola-type recipe on here, so it is safe for you to say that I am a fan of oat filled treats :0) This isn't like that Granola Bar recipe though, this is more of a desserty-type treat, YUMMO! I will warn you though, it is impossible to just stop at one... or two... or three :0) These are a MUST try if I do say so myself :0)

           As always, if you are looking to print this recipe, I have put all of the directions and ingredients all together toward the bottom of the post, without all of the pictures so that it is easier to print :0)

    The Recipe...

           For this recipe you will need to have some extra time set aside for rolling out the balls and chilling them in the fridge. I got this recipe from my grandma, thank you Nanny :0)

           NOTE: Some of my steps say not to stir yet, I have a method to my madness :0) If you stir everything over and over again, you could result in crushing or mushing ingredients, which could result in a different textured mixture.

    Ingredients:
    • 1 cup of smooth Peanut Butter
    • 1 cup of Honey
    • 3 cups of Old-Fashioned Oats
    • 1/2 cup of Ground Flaxseed
    • 1 cup of Chocolate Chips
    • 1/2 cup of Dried Cranberries (or any other small dried fruit)
    • 1/2 cup of Chopped Walnuts (or any other kind of nut)
    Directions:

    Step 1: Mix Peanut Butter and Honey together until smooth
     
     
    Step 2: Add Old Fashioned Oats to Mixture, don't stir yet
     
     
    Step 3: Add in Ground Flaxseed (I buy unground Flaxseed and just grind it in a coffee grinder) and mix the ingredients together
     

    Step 4: Add in Chocolate Chips to the mixture, don't mix yet

     
    Step 5: Add in the dried cranberries and walnuts
     
     
    Step 6: Mix everything together until it creates a nice, even batter
     

    Step 7: Roll them into tablespoon size balls
     

    Step 8: Chill for at least and hour and enjoy!!
     
     
    Granola Balls
     
    Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of smooth Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup of Honey
  • 3 cups of Old-Fashioned Oats
  • 1/2 cup of Ground Flaxseed
  • 1 cup of Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup of Dried Cranberries (or any other small dried fruit)
  • 1/2 cup of Chopped Walnuts (or any other kind of nut)

  • Directions
    
    Step 1: Mix Peanut Butter and Honey together until smooth
    Step 2: Add Old Fashioned Oats to Mixture, don't stir yet
    Step 3: Add in Ground Flaxseed (I buy unground Flaxseed and just grind it in a coffee grinder) and mix the ingredients together
    Step 4: Add in Chocolate Chips to the mixture, don't mix yet
    Step 5: Add in the dried cranberries and walnuts 
    Step 6: Mix everything together until it creates a nice, even batter
    Step 7: Roll them into tablespoon size balls
    Step 8: Chill for at least and hour and enjoy!!

    Monday, July 15, 2013

    Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    When Life gives you Lemons, Make Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars!!


    The Inspiration…
              Summer time… Sunny, bright skies; vacations to amazing places; cannon balls in the pool; lathering up the sunscreen; sunglasses everywhere… What is the one part of summer I forgot to mention?
              A tall glass of Lemonade!!! I LOVE lemonade, it is my all-time favorite drink! But, as we all know, lemonade isn’t a dessert, but a wonderful refreshing drink, right? Well, I have a fantastic dessert that will fulfill your lemony needs :0)
              Lemon  Sugar Cookie Bars! These cuties are the golden summer time treat, but I recommend eating them after they have chilled, because it really brings out the flavor of the lemon! Plus, anything tastes better cold in the crazy hot summer months! :0) Who could go wrong with a delicious lemon cookie topped with a refreshing lemon frosting? Can you say “YYYYYUUUUUMMMMM!!!!” :0)
              If you are looking to print this recipe, I have put all of the directions and ingredients all together toward the way bottom of the blog, without all of the pictures so it is more easy to print :0) Hope it helps!

    The Recipe…
    After hunting around Pinterest, I found a recipe from Chocolate, Chocolate and More and gave it a twist, hope you LOVE it!!
    Ingredients:
    For the cookie dough-
    ·        1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    ·        1 cups granulated sugar
    ·        2 large eggs
    ·        The juice of ½ a lemon
    ·        2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    ·        1/2 teaspoon salt
    ·        1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    For the frosting-
    ·        1/4 cup butter
    ·        1/4 cup shortening
    ·        Juice of the other half a lemon
    ·        Pinch of salt
    ·        2 cups powdered sugar
    ·        1-3 tablespoons of milk
    ·        yellow food coloring
    Directions:

    For the Cookie...

    Step 1: In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
     
    Step 2: Add in eggs, one at a time, and lemon zest and juice
     
    Step 3: In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda.
     
     
    Step 4:  Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture, (I did mine in 3 batches) just until combined.

     
    Step 5: Spread dough into a greased 9x13 pan, using your hands to completely cover pan evenly with dough.

     
    Step 6: Bake for 10-15 minutes in a 375* oven, until just starting to turn golden. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.

    For the Frosting...

    Step 7: Combine butter and shortening, beating until smooth.
     
    Step 8: Add in lemon juice and salt, beat again
      Step 9: Slowly add in powdered sugar until smooth.
     
    Step 10: Add in a few drops of yellow food coloring to give it a "Lemony Look"
     
    Step 11: Once the cookie has baked and COOLED, frost the cookie with your lemon-frosting. Then place in the refrigerator for a few hours to let it set. ENJOY!!!
     

    Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars

    Ingredients:
    For the cookie dough-
    ·        1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    ·        1 cups granulated sugar
    ·        2 large eggs
    ·        The juice of ½ a lemon
    ·        2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    ·        1/2 teaspoon salt
    ·        1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    For the frosting-
    ·        1/4 cup butter
    ·        1/4 cup shortening
    ·        Juice of the other half a lemon
    ·        Pinch of salt
    ·        2 cups powdered sugar
    ·        1-3 tablespoons of milk
    ·        yellow food coloring
    Directions:

    For the Cookie...

    Step 1: In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
    Step 2: Add in eggs, one at a time, and lemon zest and juice
    Step 3: In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda.
    Step 4:  Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture, (I did mine in 3 batches) just until combined.

    Step 5: Spread dough into a greased 9x13 pan, using your hands to completely cover pan evenly with dough.
    Step 6: Bake for 10-15 minutes in a 375* oven, until just starting to turn golden. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.

    For the Frosting...

    Step 7: Combine butter and shortening, beating until smooth.
    Step 8: Add in lemon juice and salt, beat again
    Step 9: Slowly add in powdered sugar until smooth.
    Step 10: Add in a few drops of yellow food coloring to give it a "Lemony Look"
    Step 11: Once the cookie has baked and COOLED, frost the cookie with your lemon-frosting. Then place in the refrigerator for a few hours to let it set. ENJOY!!