Sugar Cookie Bars

My husband and I have an on going tradition. Every Christmas we try to out do one another on stocking stuffers. Which usually leaves us eating Christmas candy until May. This year we went way overboard and I kept thinking “What am I going to do with all this candy?” After a month of thinking I finally decided to make Sugar Cookie Bar to get rid of most of if. Today I’m going to show you how to make your very own sugar cookie bar using left over chocolate from the holidays.

IMG_0128

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 1/2 Cups (3 Sticks) of Butter

1 1/2 Cups of Sugar

2 Eggs

1 1/2 Teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

3 1/2 Cups of All Purpose Flower

1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon of Salt

3/4 Cup of Rolled Oats (Optional)

1-2 Cups of Random Chocolate Pieces Chopped

1/2 Cup of Milk Chocolate Chopped

IMG_0144

Using a hand or stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar, until it’s creamy. Add in the eggs and the pure vanilla extract.  Mix well.

IMG_0153

Then in a separate bowl pour the all purpose flower, baking powder, and salt together. Making sure it’s well combined.

Slowly add the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until completely combined. Chill dough for 3 hours.

IMG_0192

While waiting for the dough to chill, cut up the random pieces of  holiday chocolate into chunks. Also cut up the milk chocolate.

IMG_0170

 

After the 3 hours, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9x2 inch pan with aluminam foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray.

IMG_0207

In a large bowl break up the cookie dough. Stir in the oats, random chocolate pieces and the milk chocolate pieces.

IMG_0216

Pat mixture into prepared baking pan. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the edges start pulling away from the sides.

IMG_0240

Cool in the pan, on a wire rack. Once it’s cool cut into bars and enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Candied Pecans

I spent a semester in Chicago, while in college and I absolutely loved it! Chicago is the greatest city and you can’t connivence me otherwise. Even thought my time there was brief, I made memories and friendships I know will last me a lifetime.

One of my favorite memories was when my friend, Angel, and I visited Navy Pier for the 2nd time. The first time we visited, it was still winter and Lake Michigan was frozen over. It was like a winter wonderland, absolutely beautiful. The second time we went was in the spring, and I needed to buy souvenirs. While walking around talking we were suddenly hit with the most amazing smell. This older gentleman was making candied pecans at his cart. We walked up to the man and started a conversation. He told us about his journey to America and how he just lost his wife but that he knew he’d see her again someday. We bought some of his freshly made candied pecans. He had a ton of different flavors but we went with the cinnamon. I’ve had candied pecans before and I don’t know if it was the conversation we had with this man or what but these were absolutely the best!!

Last year my husband, Shae, and I were at a local festival. There a booth was selling freshly made candied pecans. As ridiculous as it may seem, I was extremely excited. That was until I tried them and the excitement soon faded. They were okay but paled in comparison to the ones that I’d had at Navy Pier. After seeing my disappointment, Shae, said to me, “I bet you could make them”. This lead me on the hunt for the perfect candied pecan recipe. What kind of terrible person would I be if I didn’t share it with y’all?! Today I’m going to show you how to make the best candied pecans.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

2 Egg Whites

4 Teaspoons of Water

4 Teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

2lbs Pecans Halves

2 Cups of Sugar

2 Tablespoons of Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon of Salt

*This recipe makes a ton of Candied Pecans which is perfect for sharing 😀

IMG_9798.JPGFirst you’ll want to preheat your oven to 250 degrees. In a gallon ziplock bag mix the sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

IMG_9803 Then in an extra large bowl whisk the egg white, water, and vanilla until it’s frothy.IMG_9804.JPG Add the pecans to the egg white mixture and stir until all the pecans are coated.

IMG_9807  Once that’s finished place the coated pecans into the ziplock bag with the sugar mixture. Next you with shake it up until the pecans are fully covered. *Dancing while doing this will only bring you more happiness. Spray the baking sheets with cooking spray.IMG_9808  Then spread the pecans out on the baking sheets. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.  IMG_9815.JPG

You will not regret making these!! Well, you might if you can’t stop eating them. Enjoy!!!

 

Recipe Source:FireFlyTales

 

 

 

Peppermint Muddy Buddies

I wanted to give my neighbors something in addition to the Hot Chocolate Mix. I decided to make them Muddy Buddies for two reasons. The first being because they are inexpensive to make and secondly because they taste absolutely wonderful.  However, with me being me I couldn’t just make regular Muddy Buddies. I had to add my own little twist to make them more Christmas-ie. (Ok that’s not a real thing but you know what I mean.) I  decided to make Peppermint Muddy Buddies. This is a great recipe to involve your little ones. It’s easy and doesn’t create a huge mess. Let’s get started.  IMG_9832

Here’s what you’ll need:

9 Cups Rice Chex

1 Cup of Semisweet Chocolate Chips or Mint Chocolate Chips

1/2 Cup of Peanut Butter

1/4 Cup of Butter

1 Tsp of Vanilla

1/2 Cup of Crushed Peppermint Candy

1 1/2 Cup of Powdered Sugar

 

In a large bowl measure out 9 Cups of Rice Chex and set it aside. Next in  a medium sized, microwaveable bowl add the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter. Place in the Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir. Continue to microwave the chocolate mixture in 15 second intervals until it’s smooth. IMG_9828

Stir in the vanilla and crushed peppermint. IMG_9833

Then pour it over the cereal and stir until the Chex are covered.IMG_9834IMG_6820

Place the coated Chex in a gallon bag and add the powdered sugar. Close the bag and shake it, until they are covered. IMG_9839 IMG_9840

Next you’ll spread them out on a baking pan to cool.

Then store them in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Enjoy but be warned these are addictive.