Tag Archives: powdered sugar

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

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I know I’m being cliche here, but one of the best food combinations in the whole world is chocolate and peanut butter.  In fact, I have been known to take a square or two of chocolate and dip into a jar of peanut butter.  Lazy,  I’ll admit it, but oh so good.

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This recipe is almost as easy as that, but there are a few special ingredients that make it that much better.  I made these to take over to a friend’s New Year’s Eve party, you know, before all the diets started, and they were gone in seconds.   They’re crunchy and sweet on the inside, and melty and smooth on the outside.  A perfect combination of salty and sweet.  I sprinkled some chopped peanuts on the top of some of them to add a little extra crunch.

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You can make these balls all in one go, or separate it out over a few days.  If you choose to make it in two days, you can make the dough on the first day, separating the dough into 2 large discs, covering it in plastic wrap, and placing in the fridge until you are ready to coat in chocolate.  On the second day you can roll the discs into balls of any size (I like larger so I don’t have to roll 80) and dip into chocolate.  Whatever you do, just give yourself a little bit of time,  as the balls need to chill in the fridge before you dip them in the hot chocolate. Continue reading

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Linzer and Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

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It snowed an inch in Portland yesterday.  For those of you who live in areas where lots of snows is normal in the winter, one inch is probably a dusting to you; but out here, it shuts down the city.  And that is what it did yesterday afternoon, today, and most likely, tomorrow.  As a teacher, they ended school early yesterday, and cancelled school today and tomorrow.  It was nice having a “day off” today, but I am actually quite bummed that I don’t have school tomorrow.  December, as a teacher, is my second favorite month.  (And in case you’re wondering, September is my favorite.  I LOVE the beginning of the school year!)  All the winter festivities, merriment, excitement, and joy that accompanies this month is contagious.  And I just wanted one more day of it with the students before they go on their merry way to Christmas Break.

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Anyway, because today was a snow day, I thought, what better way to spend the afternoon than baking?  I was out of a few ingredients, so Eric and I trekked a mile to the grocery store with kids in tow.  They had so much fun tromping around and kicking up the snow, not one of them complained that it was too far (like they usually do when we take walks).  Grace even made up a song and sang it the whole way there–something about how she was snowboarding.

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The cookies I was making was to take in to co-workers tomorrow, but since I have no school, I guess I’ll have to eat them all myself.  Darn.  The sugar cookie recipe comes from the book Cookie Craft and if you don’t have the book, I highly suggest you do buy it.  It’s chalk-full of great advice on decorating sugar cookies, especially if you’re a newbie.  I use this recipe every time I make decorated sugar cookies, and I used them in these sandwich cookies too.

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Orange Cream Cheese Dip

My son likes sugar.  And cats.  I feel for my two 7-year-old tuxedo cats, because while all my son wants to do is give them some love, it appears that he’s beating on them.  (It’s hard to teach young children to be gentle to pets!)  Usually he follows them around and tries to give them hugs, but on a rare moment when he’s very excited, anything can  happen.  Like this picture, for instance.  Poor Thomas.  He thought he was just going to get a nice hug from Matthew.

Appearances can be deceiving, for sure.  Just like this heavenly dip.  Although it says orange in the title, and there is orange zest and juice in it, technically it isn’t a healthy dip.  Well, it does have cream cheese, which is in the dairy food group, so I guess you could stretch it a bit.  But the marshmallow fluff and powdered sugar?  Yeah, can’t justify that one.  But I will tell you that if you bring this dip somewhere, you’ll be the life of the party, justifying yourself for sure.  Make sure you have lots of fruit for this dip, because I promise, promise you that no one will be able to resist it.  (Just like Matthew trying to hug the cats.) Continue reading

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Texas Sheet Cake {tutorial}

I love chocolate.  It’s hard to go a day without any.  Sometimes I put chocolate chips in the fridge, so they’re nice and cold, and then eat them as a snack.  However, I have never liked chocolate ice cream.  Ever.  Won’t touch the stuff.  And I usually don’t care for chocolate cake (Devil’s Food Cake, German Chocolate Cake, you name it), but every once in a while, I have a hunkering for a small bite.  Weird, I know.  And when I have a craving for chocolate cake, I make this super easy, super simple Texas Sheet Cake.

You will need these ingredients, plus powdered sugar.  (Since I bake a lot, I buy powdered sugar by the 50-pound bags and put it  in plastic bins.  It looked ugly in the picture, so I omitted it.)

Make sure you have good quality vanilla.  Not all pure vanillas are made the same, and it makes a HUGE difference.  And certainly don’t buy imitation vanilla.  (Why they tempt people with this, I don’t know.)

You need 2 sticks of butter, water, and cocoa powder in a saucepan.  Bring it to boil.  (Make sure to stir it occasionally!)

Remove from the heat and allow the chocolate to cool down to room temperature.  You don’t want to cook the eggs before they go into the oven.  Add all the dry ingredients, including the eggs and sour cream, in a separate bowl.

Slowly add the cooled chocolate and mix until it is all moistened.

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Strawberry Pound Cake Ice Box Dessert {tutorial}

Saying the name of this sweet is a mouthful!  But it is such a good, cool, summer dessert, that the long name makes up for it.  This ice box dessert is nice because you can make it as homemade as you like, or as simple or complex as you like.  If you’re running short on time, you can pick up a box of pudding mix and some pound cake at the store and still have this dessert taste yummy.  The other thing I like about this dessert is that you can put it in the fridge overnight.  The pound cake won’t get too soggy.  (I know that because I tested it with my grandma and mom today.  I brought them over a jar and we all had a little bit, and the pound cake was still dense, like a good pound cake should be.)

You will need pound cake, either homemade (my favorite is a cream cheese pound cake from the book Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey–that is the pound cake in the pictures) or store-bought, strawberries, white chocolate chips, and custard (or vanilla pudding).  And some mason jars to layer the treats in.

Take a round cutter and cut down into the pound cake to creat circles close to the circumference of the Mason jars.  Continue reading

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