Peppermint Puppy Chow

Ingredients:
5 cups rice chex cereal
1 bag Andes mints (the red and white peppermint kind) melted
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Festive sprinkles

Directions
Measure out rice chex cereal in large bowl.
Melt Andes mint candies until smooth and creamy.
Pour over cereal and mix to coat well.
In a large bag, add powdered sugar and sprinkles.
Add coated cereal in bag and shake to mix/ coat well.
Pour back into large bowl and enjoy!

Happy Holidays :)

xx SSG

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Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Caramel Frosting

Warning- these are amazing! You’ll be glad it makes so many! My sister likes to call these “scookies” because they are thick and moist and she says they are like a cross between a cookie and a really amazing scone. {Yields about 60 or more cookies. Don’t double unless you need more than 5 dozen!}

INGREDIENTS
2 cups sugar
2 cups shortening
2 cups pumpkin (the can should say 100% pure pumpkin…don’t accidentally buy the pumpkin pie filling! You don’t want the sweetened stuff)
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
5 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp. nutmeg
¾ tsp. ground cloves

BROWN SUGAR CARAMEL FROSTING
1 stick melted butter
2 T water
¼ c half and half or whole milk
4 ½ c powdered sugar
1 c brown sugar, packed lightly
2 t vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In an electric mixer, blend shortening and sugar.
Add pumpkin and mix.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each one.
Add vanilla extract and mix.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, and cloves.
Add your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients one cup at a time
Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes (12 seemed to be the magic number).
Meanwhile, make your frosting.
Let cool, frost and sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy!

BROWN SUGAR CARAMEL FROSTING
Prepare pan by spraying with Pam and rubbing down the sides. In the pan, melt the butter and then add the brown sugar and water. Cook and stir until the sugar has melted and isn’t grainy anymore.
Remove from heat and add the half and half and vanilla to cool the mixture. Let stand for 10-15 minutes to cool (don’t skip this step!)
Transfer brown sugar mixture to kitchen aid or bowl, add the powdered sugar, and beat until smooth.

Adapted from pinnedbydani.com.

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Pumpkin Banana Bread with Praline Pecans

It’s about that time of year again- FALL! My absolute favorite :) What would a little pre-fall celebration be without some baking?? Oh the fall baking list is endless. Be prepared for lots of recipes coming your way. The first day of autumn is officially this Sunday, the 22nd, so let the countdown begin!

Pumpkin Banana Bread with Praline Pecans

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all pourpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large over-ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup praline pecans for topping (chopped and optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves together.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, bananas, eggs and yogurt together.
  3. Slowly add in the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and mix until well blended. Add in the chopped pecans if you wish.
  4. Place batter in a lightly greased bread baking pan and then top with the chopped praline pecans and sprinkle with a little brown sugar.
  5. Bake at 350F until golden brown- about 60 minutes.

**Once cool, refrigerate bread (wrap in tin foil) to let the bread gel together and become more moist/ gooey. (Optional- but my preference!)

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Blackberry Bourbon Pie

Since fall is approaching sooner than we think, I decided to make a list of all the summery things I wanted to do before it ends. Mostly it consisted of recipes I wanted to make…. And that is how I got the urge to bake a pie! Fresh blackberries sounded so good so I went with just that. However, as always I like to add a twist on things- spice things up a bit! Hence, the bourbon part. What is great about this is that the alcohol pretty much bakes out of the pie so if you never told anyone you spiked it- they would never know. However, the bourbon does soak into the blackberries making them extra sweet and rustically delicious and the bourbon really makes the lemon zest flavors pop. I mean really, you can’t go wrong here.

Ingredients:

Oh, first, since most do not like to mess with getting a pie crust just right- you can easily use a store bought one. If you do, sometimes I like to shake things up a bit and maybe add sprinkle of vanilla (just slightly) and flour one I put the store-bought crust into the pie dish.

About 5 cups of blackberries (more or less depending on size)

2/3 cups sugar

A dash of salt

The juice of 1/2 lemon freshly squeezed

2 1/2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons Woodford Reserve bourbon

The zest of one lemon

A hint of cinnamon (to your preference)

1 egg (beaten) **used for dusting top layer of crust

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400. Take blackberries, sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt and put them on the stove top at a low simmer for about 10 minutes to let the flavors blend and warm together…stir occasionally.

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While this is simmering, place the pie crust into the dish or pan and lightly dust with flour (maybe a dash of vanilla if you like). Once the berries look warm and blended with the other ingredients, remove from heat and mix in the bourbon. Place berries (with juice- do not drain) into crust in pan. Add your lemon zest.

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Next, cover with second layer of crust. Pinch or fold edges together to your liking and vent how you wish (cuts, slits, cute cut-outs, woven, etc.) Take the beaten egg and dust the pie crust nicely…I sometimes just use my fingers because it is easier- or you can use a brush.

Place in the oven for roughly 30-40 minutes- this you really should just eyeball. You want the crust a golden brown and you should be able to see the juices bubbling before taking out.

From there, just ENJOY! Happy summer lovelies :)

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xxx SSG

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

For this past Thanksgiving, I also made these simple and semi-homemade raspberry cheesecake brownies. These brownies, look so much more complicated than they really are and are soo good! Definitely a good sweet to take if you are not hosting or if you need any type of house warming gift.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 box of your favorite brownie mix (I like to use Ghirardelli dark choclate)
  • 1 cup cheesecake recipe (see below)
  • Fresh raspberries

Cheesecake:

  • 1 block regular cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Create brownie batter and put into pan just as you would regular brownies. Next, take the cheesecake recipe and put a few golf ball size dollops on top. Take a knife and swirl the brownie mix and cheesecake. Bake as directed on brownie package.

For the raspberries, you can either put them on before you bake, or sprinkle on top once fresh out of the oven. You can even make them a little sweeter with a light natural syrup to drizzle on top (this is my favorite way).

For the last option:

Take berries, 1/3 cup sugar and 1-2 tsp water. Mix together and let sit in the fridge while brownies cool. Drizzle on top.

There you have it, a simple, easy, delicious and impressive looking dessert!

xxx SSG

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Merry Berry Glaze

While I was just finishing up my post on my coconut orange glaze, I thought of my mixed berry glaze recipe I also love. This is another easy recipe that goes well with many different cakes and other sweets! This berry glaze is perfect for the holidays too. Simple doughnuts and lemon cakes pair very nicely with this. It is sweet but since it is also a berry glaze, it goes well with cinnamon and even pumpkin. Any ways, no more chatter, you may chose to use it however you wish!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp suagr
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

Over the stove top, cook the frozen berries and the sugar together. Add a couple of teaspoons water as well. Cook over medium heat until the berries are cooked down to a sauce (this takes about 15 minutes). Strain the berries into a bowl to get rid of any excess seeds. Add the powdered sugar and the vanilla. Mix well and viola!

 

xxx SSG

Coconut Orange Glaze

Since it was just Thanksgiving, I obviously was a baking fool! Recently, my parents had brought my sister and I a pumpkin walnut cake mix from Snoqualmie Falls in Washington this past month. So, this recipe is not for a cake or anything big but a glaze that I concocted to pair with the cake. My sister and I decided to make mini bundt cakes with this mix and then glaze them with a coconut orange glaze. This glaze really enhances the pumpkin flavor and the walnuts. This glaze is super easy peasy as well!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbs orange juice (I used fresh squeezed)
  • 1/4 tsp coconut extract
  • Add a little orange zest for extra flavor and presentation- optional

This recipe doesn’t make a ton but it was just enough for about 18 mini bundt cakes.

Hope you enjoy!

xxx SSG

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