Trick or TREAT!

BOO!

Make these brownies with your favorite type of kisses!

Cutest little helpers ever

Hope y’all have a safe and happy halloween! I had fun making these cute little mini ghost cakes. They are mini Chocolate Cakes filled with Raspberry Filling, Vanilla Buttercream, and topped with a Chocolate Ganache. YUM. I also made some Peanut Butter Rice Krispie “truffles”. Super quick, and yummy! I also tried cookies & cream kisses in the brownie recipe I posted about last week. They were wonderful…i just love that shortbread bottom layer.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie “Truffles”
Ingredients:
3 T Butter
1 bag marshmallows, or 4 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
6 cups Rice Krispies
Directions:
Melt butter over low low heat. Add Marshmallows and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir in Peanut Butter until smooth. Add the Rice Krispies and stir until evenly coated.
Dump the mixture on a piece of parchment paper. Roll into little balls. (I preferred doing this while it was still warm…they were more pliable. Dip in melted chocolate and cover with sprinkles. Enjoy!

Candy Corn Kissed Shortbread Brownies



Here is a fun recipe for you…you get to enjoy brownies with little Candy Corn surprises inside and a shortbread crust. These would be especially great with the pumpkin spice kisses…I was just trying to make something WITHOUT pumpkin for once. I can’t wait until the Christmas candy comes out, so I can make these with peppermint kisses. Hope y’all have a great weekend!

Ingredients:
1 box of your favorite brownie mix
1 stick softened butter
1/4 C granulated sugar
1 Tn packed brown sugar
3/4 C plus 2 T flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 bag Candy Corn Kisses, or any flavor you like, unwrapped

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions, set batter aside. In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars until creamy and light. Slowly add flour and salt until combined. Press shortbread dough into an 8 x 11 inch (or something similar) baking dish lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Top shortbread dough with about 25 kisses then pour brownie batter evenly over top of kisses. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes clean from center. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

2. Place remaining kisses in double broiler or microwave to melt. Spread melted chocolate over brownies and sprinkle for a fun topping!

3. Enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake





This is a recipe I made over the weekend. I have to be honest…if you have tasted the Pecan Pie or Pumpkin Cheesecakes, this is good…but it doesn’t even compare. I cut the recipe in half, and made 2 mini cheesecakes. I loved the gingersnap crust, and the spices in the cheesecake. Stay posted…I am baking up a storm this week. I am sending some baked goodies with my dad to take on his hunting trip up to Wisconsin. I also baked some bread to store in the freezer, so I will post that next time I get a chance!



Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake


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Gingersnap Crust

2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs {about a 14 ounce package of cookies}

2 tablespoons brown sugar

pinch of salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted

Spiced Cheesecake Filling

4 {8 ounce} packages of cream cheese; room temperature

1 ¼ cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs; room temperature

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Apple Topping

1/4 cup unsalted butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

¾ cup apple cider

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Juice of ½ lemon

2 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Tightly wrap a 9 inch springform pan in heavy duty foil. This step prevents leaks when using a water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients {gingersnap cookie crumbs, brown sugar, salt and melted butter} and press into the bottom of the pan and about 1 ½ inches up the sides. Bake for 7 minutes and cool completely on a wire rack.

3. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

4. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and sugar; mix until smooth {about 2 minutes}. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla; combine until thoroughly incorporated and smooth in texture.

5. Pour batter into prepared crust. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan.

6. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, the edges will appear to be set, but the center will still have some jiggle to it. At this point, close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for at least one hour, but up to 3 hours. After the recommended cooling time has passed, carefully remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cake is completely cooled, place it into the refrigerator for at least 5 hours.

7. Three hours before serving, prepare the apple topping.

8. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. In another bowl, sprinkle apples with the juice of ½ lemon and toss.

9. Melt butter over medium heat; whisk in flour and stir for about one minute. Slowly whisk in the apple cider followed by the sugar and spice mixture made in the previous step.

10. Add in the apples and cook until slightly tender {about 5-7 minutes} stirring constantly. Once apples have reached a desired texture and the sauce has thickened, remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Allow apple topping to cool completely before topping the cheesecake. Arrange apples on cheesecake and chill for at least one hour before serving.

"Healthier" Pumpkin Cookies





Thank goodness the pumpkin shortage is over….what would I do with myself without pumpkin puree??? I adapted this cookie recipe, to be a little healthier, without compromising the taste. I love them….very soft and cake-like. Enjoy!

Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips


Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 F.


Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper, set aside. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl and set aside.


In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color. Next, mix in the oil,

pumpkin and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the flour to incorporate. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. (If you want flatter cookies, flatten the tops a little bit with a spatula sprayed with cooking spray) Bake until tops feel firm and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 13 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes



Yes…it is another pumpkin recipe for you. :O) I made these into mini cupcakes…I just love them because they are easier to eat, and the perfect size for my little Brooke! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 large eggs

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract (I prefer clear)
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions:
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixture on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.
Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full. Bake until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely.
To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

White Chocolate & Dried Cranberry Zucchini Cookies





I needed a reason to use up the zucchini I bought last week for Blueberry Zucchini Bread. Instead of eating it like a normal person as a vegetable, I had to turn it into dessert form. This cookie is fabulous. The zucchini keeps it very moist, and the white chocolate and dried cranberries are the perfect compliment to this spiced cookie. I also made half of the cookies with Chocolate chips, which also tasted great. I am not a white chocolate gal…but I really liked it in these particular cookies. They also freeze great, so you can always enjoy a fresh cookie when you have a zucchini craving. :O)

White Chocolate & Dried Cranberry Zucchini Cookies

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 cup shredded zucchini

2 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup white chocolate chips

3/4 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugars, mix until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract. Next, add the shredded zucchini. Mix until combined.

4. Slowly add flour mixture until just combined. Stir in oats, chips, and dried cranberries.

5. Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets that have been lined with parchment paper or Silcone baking mats. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies



Homemade Granola Bars

Pumpkin Granola Bars

S’mores Granola Bars

Here are TWO yummy granola bar recipes. One for me, and one for Landon. He isn’t a fan of the healthy pumpkin stuff. The first is a wonderful pumpkin granola bar recipe. I LOVE these…they taste a lot like the pumpkin granola I posted about a couple weeks ago. These bars are just a great portable version. The second recipe is a great no-bake S’mores Chewy Granola Bar…these taste JUST like the little quaker granola bars. Enjoy!


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Ingredients:

3 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk oats, spices, and salt together. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, honey, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour over oats and stir well, until all of the oats are moist. Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Evenly press oat mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. The pumpkin keeps the bars moist, so make sure they are golden and set-you don’t want them to be under baked. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

5. Using a sharp knife, cut into bars. Remove from pan and let cool completely.

Makes 10-12 granola bars

S’mores Chewy Granola Bars

Ingredients:
  • 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups plain granola – i used Special K low-fat granola
  • 1 cup rice cereal (Rice Krispies, etc.) – I used Chocolate Rice Krispies…that is all we had! Tasted great though!
  • 2 tbsp. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Directions
1. Combine honey and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in brown sugar after butter starts to melt.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
3. Add the granola, rice cereal and graham cracker crumbs into the saucepan and fold them into the sauce until evenly coated. Very gently fold in the marshmallows.
4. Spread the mixture into a 9 x 13 inch ungreased baking pan and press firmly with a spatula to evenly fill. Sprinkle the chocolate chips onto the top of the granola and gently press them down.
5. Put the pan in the refrigerator until cooled and firm, about 15 minutes, then cut into bars.
18 servings