With the holiday season quickly bearing down on us I’ve been thinking about all the ingredients I need to buy get my kitchen well stocked for lots of baking and entertaining!
I usually keep pretty well stocked with baking essentials (and yes, 5 bags of chocolate chips counts as “essentials”), but during November and December it seems I go through ingredients twice as fast!
Today I’m teaming up with my friends at Challenge Butter to help you prepare for a busy baking season!
The Challenge Butter website is a great resource for holiday recipes, from sweet to savory! Here are a few of my favorites from their site…
Cocoa and Cranberry Biscotti
Cranberry Pecan Tart
Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper Stuffed Mushrooms
Now here’s the extra fun part…
Challenge Butter has a $50 Visa Giftcard and 5 pounds of their new butter spreads ready to send to one lucky Glorious Treats reader!
To enter to win..
Simply leave a comment below (on this blog post) telling me what baking ingredients you stock up on around the holidays.
And remember to keep up with Glorious Treats on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Details – One entry per person. Giveaway open to U.S. residents. Giveaway ends Tuesday, November 12th, 2013, 9pm Pacific. Winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be contacted within 2 days of the giveaway close. Giveaway sponsored by Challenge Butter. All text and opinions are my own.
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Winner - #323 Joy A.
Simple ingredients come together to create these fun Bubbling Cauldron Treats, perfect for a Halloween party!
I was recently sent a box of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Cups and given the challenge to create a Halloween themed treat. Puff pastry is such a versitale ingredient because it can be used to make sweet or savory dishes.
When I saw the cute shape of these little pastries, I thought they would be perfect to turn into mini witches cauldrons. I always have lots of ideas when it comes to creating desserts, but I’m still pleasantly surprised when an idea actually works!
These chocolate and marshmallow filled pastry shells make a fun and creative treat for Halloween!
Ready to make some?
One box of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Cups
Black food coloring spray
1. Bake Puff Pastry Cups according to box directions.
2. Prepare pudding (or use store bought prepared pudding).
3. When the Puff Pastry Cups are baked and cooled, spray the cups with black spray food coloring (take the cups outside to spray). Allow to dry (15 minutes or so). Note, if you do not want to color the pastry, feel free to skip this step, and continue below.
4. Fill the prepared (black) cups with chocolate pudding. This may be easiest if you fill a small ziplock type bag with pudding, then snip off one corner and squeeze the pudding into the little cups. Fill to just below the edge of the pastry cup.
5. Add a pretzel stick (I broke the sticks and used about 2/3 of a stick), then top the pudding with mini marshmallows. I found it best to tear each mini marshmallow in half, and press them together in a little heap, over the pudding.
6. Place the cauldrons on a baking sheet and broil in the oven for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the marshmallows are puffy and golden brown. The marshmallows will shrink down a bit as they cool.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to 1 hour.
These fun little Bubbling Cauldron Treats would be perfect as a bite-sized Halloween party sweet!
Now before you run off to make these I have a few more fun things to mention…
Do you have a fun, unique and delicious idea for using Puff Pastry?
Share your own original idea for using Puff Pastry for a chance to win a trip to the Pepperidge Farm Headquarters (and I might just join you!). I’ll be collecting your ideas over the next few months (as I share my ideas too), and each month I’ll share my “top picks” from your submissions. Next spring, I will chose a winner for the grand prize trip from those highlighted ”top picks”. Share your ideas in the comment section below. I can’t wait to read what you come up with!
Disclosure- I was compensated for my time with products and/or payment from Pepperidge Farm, as part of the “Puff is Spark” panel. I only share products on this site that I use and love. All images, text and opinions are my own.
Few treats are more closely connected to fall than caramel apples! These Caramel Apple Decorated Cookies are a fun twist on the classic. These delicious sugar cookies don’t taste anything like an actual caramel apple… but they wont rip off your dental work either, so I guess there is a trade off! =)
If you are looking to make “real” caramel apples, I have a full post on How to Make Gourmet Caramel Apples.
I’ve seen quite a few variations on this cute cookie concept, including this post from The Decorated Cookie (who can make almost any food into a cute cookie!).
For these cookies you’ll need…
Sprinkles (of your choice)
How to decorate Caramel Apple Cookies…
Prepare red, “apple” green and “caramel” brown royal icing and thin to a medium/flood consistency (about the consistency of shampoo). Reserve some of the green icing before thinning, and add the thick icing to a piping bag fitted with a leaf tip (such as a Wilton #68).
1.) As pictured above, outline then flood (with the same icing) the portion of the cookie that looks like exposed apple. Allow this portion to set (about 1 hour).
2.) Fill in the bottom ”caramel” portion of the apple with brown icing. While the “caramel” is still wet, sprinkle some seasonal sprinkles on the ”caramel”. If the top portion of the cookie (the red or green) is still wet, be sure to not get sprinkles on that area.
3.) When the red or green “apple” portion of the cookie is dry or set, add the green leaf with thick icing and a leaf tip (as noted above).
4.) Add the apple stem either before or after the rest of the cookie is decorated.
Optional- Certainly this cookie design would look cute with a wooden popsicle stick added. You can add the stick to the cookies before baking (insert into the dough), or simply “glue” the stick on the backs of the finished cookies with a bit of royal icing.
Here are the fun caramel apple decorated cookies, along with some simple pumpkins. If you follow me on Instagram (and you totally should!) you’ll recognize these as the cookies I took to a party this weekend.
Below is a cute little set of cookies I made a few weeks ago for the winner of a recent blog giveaway…
Happy candy corn cookies from a couple years ago…
And one of my favorite cookie creations, 3D Pumpkin Cookies…
Happy fall cookie decorating!
Last month, when I share my favorite Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe I knew I wanted to “play” with the recipe and see how it would work as a base for lots of other yummy cookies. I’m happy to report that by simply swapping out the chocolate chips I was able to make delicious White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies! The dough is rich and flavorful and has just the right balance of textures (slightly crisp edges, chewy center). It worked perfectly with the classic combo of white chocolate and macadamia nuts! I was tempted to add some dried cranberries as well, and I think I will another time.
If you love White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies, then you’ll need to make these soon! I sent them off to work with hubby and he said it took about 5.3 seconds for his co-workers to empty the plate! =)
Usually, if I’m photographing treats with a placemat I wouldn’t include the full placemat in the photo… but this one is so pretty I had to include it! I love collecting props from all over, but I especially love using props that hold a special memory (such as purchased on a trip), or things that are special gifts from friends. This placemat (part of a set of four) was a recent gift from a friend I’ve know since I was 11 =)
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
This recipe produces delicious, chewy cookies with a classic flavor combo!
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) Challenge unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg PLUS 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts (unsalted)
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
In one large bowl add flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
Melt the butter, then add to another large bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer.
Blend melted butter with both sugars, and beat (or stir vigorously by hand) until the butter and sugars are well combined and the mixture is smooth and shiny.
Add the egg, then the egg yolk, and continue to beat until fully incorporated.
Add vanilla and blend well.
Pour flour mixture slowly into the mixer, then add the nuts and white chocolate chips and blend just until all the flour is incorporated.
Preheat oven to 350*F and move the bowl of cookie dough to the fridge for 10 minutes (while the oven heats up).
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop the batter (using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop) onto the parchment paper lined baking sheets.
Bake cookies, one baking sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes (I usually bake mine for 10 minutes).
Remove the cookies from the oven when the edges of the cookies are just BEGINING to get golden brown, and the centers of the cookies appear slightly under-baked.
Allow the cookies to cool about 5 minutes on the baking sheets, and they will continue to cook, and firm up. Once partially cooled, carefully transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
Keep the remainder of the dough in the fridge while you are baking the others. Keeping the dough cool will help the cookies keep their shape while baking.
Recipe source - Glorious Treats
I used unsalted macadamia nuts (as listed), but feel free to use salted nuts and then reduce the additional salt in the dough to 1/4 teaspoon.
I really like to bake these cookies on parchment paper, as noted. Feel free to use Silpat lined baking sheets, or lightly greased baking sheets, but your results may not be identical to mine.
Be careful not to over bake the cookies, or they will not have the soft, chewy texture I've described. Be sure to remove the cookies from the oven while they still appear to be slightly under-baked.
Do you love cookies?
Here are a few more of my favorites…
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
One of my favorite parts of baking is sharing the treats I make with family and friends. And a bit of pretty packaging is the perfect way to elevate a simple treat into a sweet gift.
Bakers twine is one of my ”go to” items to add the finishing touch to little gifts. If you been reading here on Glorious Treats long at all, I’m sure you’ve noticed my love for bakers twine!
I used some orange and black twine on my recent Halloween Marshmallow Pops (pictured above) and it was easy to find several other posts (pictured above) where I added some bakers twine to dress up my project… Pumpkin Spice Cutout Cookies, Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes in a Jar, Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes in a Jar, Apple Pie in a Jar.
Today I have a great giveaway sponsored by Bakers Stock for 5 spools of bakers twine in YOUR choice of colors!! And it’s double the fun because there will be TWO winners!
Bakers Stock has long been my favorite place to buy cupcake liners (especially the brown ones I use the most!), but they have a great selection of other baking and party supplies too… including bakers twine!
Just look at all of these amazing color choices…
Ready to win?
Simply use the Rafflecopter form below (there is a simple, one time sign in if you’ve never used Rafflecopter before).
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Details – Giveaway open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. Giveaway ends Tuesday, October 17th (2013) 9pm Pacific. Giveaway sponsored by Bakers Stock. Winner will be chosen at random (by Rafflecopter).
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(Winners posted in the Rafflecopter form above)
Bakers Stock is offering a very generous discount code for 50% off your order of bakers twine!!
The discount code is TWINE50 and is valid thru November 1st, 2013