Friday, December 23, 2016

Eggnog Fudge

It's the most wonderful baking time of the year!  I whipped up some easy eggnog fudge to add something different to my cookie tray this year.

I'm not going to pretend to be a super fan of eggnog, but put the flavors into fudge and it works out nicely.

Eggnog Fudge
From Real Housemoms

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup eggnog
1 tsp nutmeg, plus more for sprinkling
12 oz white chocolate
7 oz marshmallow cream
1 tsp vanilla

1. Grease a 9 inch square pan.**
2. In a medium saucepan combine sugar, butter, eggnog, and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. When it comes to a rolling boil, insert a candy thermometer. Heat to 235 degrees F.  This will take about 10 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat and add white chocolate, vanilla, and marshmallow cream. Stir until mixture is fluffy and has lost its shine.
4. Spread evenly into prepared pan.  Cool completely before cutting into squares.

**I found the fudge difficult to get out of the pan, so I would recommend lining it with parchment paper.

Don't be intimidated by the candy thermometer!  I just used the digital thermometer I use for cooking meats and everything worked out perfectly.

I wish you all a sweet holiday season!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Cranberry Bliss Bars, Starbucks Copycat Recipe

If you have never tried a cranberry bliss bar from Starbucks, I am really quite sorry for you.  However, luck is on your side, because now you can make them in your very own kitchen!

These are going to be a great addition to my Christmas dessert tray. I love a good bar cookie recipe because you don't have to keep rotating cookie sheets all day long.

Cranberry Bliss Bars
From Recipe Girl

1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
6 oz white chocolate chips

8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
6 oz white chocolate, melted
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13x9 inch pan, set aside. Melt butter a small bowl in the microwave, stir in brown sugar. In a large mixing bowl mix butter and sugar mixture with 2 eggs and vanilla.  Gradually add flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
2. Gently stir in cranberries and white chocolate chips. Spread into prepared pan, batter will be thick and almost dough-like. Bake 18-21 minutes. Cool completely.
3. Using a hand mixer, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar. Beat in half of the melted white chocolate.  Spread over cooled bars. Sprinkle with cranberries and drizzle with remaining white chocolate.

I chose to cut mine in triangles because that is what Starbucks does.  Feel free to just make rectangles or just eat the whole pan with a fork while watching Lifetime Christmas movies.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Alton Brown's Triple Cheese Popcorn

I went to see Alton Brown's live show in NYC last weekend.  It was really fantastic.  The best part about it was that the entire second half of the show was all about popcorn! So, yea, it was basically the best day ever.

He shared his favorite way to season popcorn during the show so about twelve hours later I made a trip to the supermarket to find the necessary ingredients.  If Alton loves popcorn as much as I do, I knew I needed to have this seasoning ASAP.

Tripe Cheese Popcorn
From Alton Brown

2 ounces cheddar cheese powder
1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, the cheap stuff they keep next to the pasta sauce
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (it was in the natural food section of my supermarket)
1 tsp buttermilk powder (found in the baking aisle)
1 tsp kosher salt

1. Dump all the ingredients in food processor or use your immersion blender to combine and create a fine powder.
2. Bake a large batch of popcorn and dust with seasoning*

*Note: This is a very large amount of seasoning and while it is delicious, there was just too much of it.  I would suggest making your usual bowl of popcorn and dust the popped kernels to taste.

Here is a little secret: it tastes just like Doritos!! It's incredible.  I am already thinking up other uses for this cheesy blend....