Monday, May 20, 2013

Gooey Almond Coconut Cereal Treat

I've been wanting to share this recipe with everyone for SO long, but just haven't because I could not come up with a name good enough for it!  I got the recipe from my sister-in-law, she's been making it for family get togethers for YEARS, and it is always requested...and devoured!  We just call it Candy's chex mix, but I thought it needed something better, so I asked my kids what they thought we should call it.  I thought my 10 year old Eli's answer described it perfectly...he said we should call it yummy goodness!:)  And that it is!!  But I didn't think that was an actual name, so this long descriptive name is what you get.  

It's perfect to wrap up and give to teachers, neighbors, friends.  Just know that if you give it away you will be hounded by everyone to make them more!  But I guess that's better than eating every last bit yourself! 

Gooey Almond Coconut Cereal Treat

1 box (12 oz.) Rice Chex cereal (off brand works great)
1 box (12 oz.) Golden Grahams cereal (off brand works great here too!:))
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
2 cups corn syrup

Combine both cereals, almonds and coconut in a large bowl.  

In a medium sized sauce pan add butter, sugar and corn syrup.  Cook over medium heat until it reaches the soft ball stage.  That's between 230-240 degrees using a candy thermometer.  Or you can use the method we used growing up (and I still use today).  Get a small cup and fill it with cold water.  Test the syrup by adding a little drop into the cold water.  Use your fingers and if you can mold it into a ball and it will stay formed but is still soft you've got soft ball stage...pretty easy!

Pour syrup over cereal mixture and using a wooden spoon stir until all pieces are well coated.  Dump onto wax paper until cooled.  Pull it apart into chunks and store in bags or any airtight container.

And for your info...the cute little cups I used to put the yummy goodness in I purchased from Pick Your Plum.  I love them!:)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Chicken Bacon Croissant

I love these sandwiches!  They are so perfect for these hectic May days!
May is so unbelievably jam packed with activities, programs, recitals, projects, homework, baseball, track...and I'm sure you all could add plenty to the these are a lifesaver!

One of the best features of these is that you can make them ahead of time.  They are even better the next day, it gives it time for all the flavors to combine & makes them so delicious!  Grab it on the run & have a nice picnic at the baseball park or track meet...or hurry and scarf them down in the car before that special recital/program!  Beats fast food any day!

Chicken Bacon Croissant

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
3 stalks celery, chopped
2-3 green onions, chopped
1/2 package of turkey bacon (you can use regular as well)

Combine milk, mayo and spices and mix until combined.  Add celery and onions.  Stir in the shredded chicken; mix well.  Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours to let the flavors combine.

Serve on croissants.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Chubby Hubby Cupcakes

I come from a family where we had ice cream every single Sunday night.   And when I say every, I mean EVERY!  I honestly don't remember a Sunday growing up where we did not have ice cream.  We would make special trips to the grocery store on Saturday night if we didn't have any in the freezer.  I remember loving it when my Dad would let one of my brothers dish it up...they always gave us big helpings!

As an adult I've noticed that my ice cream taste buds have matured.:)  I now crave the good stuff!  I'm in love with anything Ben & Jerry's and I love Tillamook ice cream as well.  (but just so you know...I don't turn down any ice cream!)  One of my favorite Ben & Jerry's flavors is Chubby Hubby.  If you haven't had the pleasure of eating an entire's vanilla ice cream swirled with fudge with peanut butter filled pretzels.  Oh. My. It's good!!

So to keep this cupcake in harmony with the ice cream we just had to fill it with delicious chocolate ganache & broken pretzel pieces.  And then we had to top it with the MOST RIDICULOUSLY AMAZING peanut butter frosting.  And to top it off...a chocolate drizzled pretzel!

Chubby Hubby Cupcakes

For the Cupcake:
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoons baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup malted milk powder
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

For the filling:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups chopped pretzels

Peanut Butter frosting:
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup peanut butter
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Pretzels drizzled with chocolate, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.

Beat butter in an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the sugar a little at a time beating well in between additions.  Mix in the malted milk powder.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add vanilla.  Alternate adding in the flour and the buttermilk and beat after each addition just until incorporated.

Fill liners 2/3 full with batter.  A large cookie scoop works wonders here!  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted come out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the ganache by placing the chocolate chips in a glass bowl.  Heat the whipping cream in a microwave safe bowl until simmering.  This takes about 2 1/2 minutes in my microwave, but it will vary with each microwave so just watch it.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for a couple of minutes.  Whisk until combined.  Add the butter and stir until butter is melted and incorporated.  Place in the fridge for about 30-45 minutes or until it starts thickening, about the consistency of pudding.  Whisk occasionally throughout the waiting period.

Take a serrated knife and hollow out the middle of the cupcakes.  Add the filling to the middle of the cupcakes about 3/4 the way full.

Place chopped pretzels on top of the ganache.

To make the frosting, combine butter and peanut butter and beat until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and beat until incorporated.  Add in the vanilla and cream and beat on medium high speed until light and fluffy...about 3 minutes.

Place frosting in a pastry bag and pipe onto the top of the cupcakes.  I used a large round tip, Wilton 2A.  Garnish with drizzled pretzel.

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