Cookie Dough Truffles

It is New Year’s Eve here in this part of Canada.  For some of you it is already the start of a new year, Happy New Year to you!

We are spending a quiet night at home.  It is our tradition to stay at home, get takeout and watch a movie. This year we are getting Turkish food and watching the Lego Movie.  It doesn’t get any wilder than that for us.  We finally had a little snow, so tomorrow we are sledding before going to a friends for supper.

In the meantime, here is a recipe that we make every year.  Kids love it and they can help by rolling the balls.  There are no eggs, hence the dough is safe to eat.  It is also every easy and no bake.

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In a mixing bowl cream together:

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

Cream until light and fluffy.

Add:

2 cups flour

1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla

Mix well.

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Stir in 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

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chill in fridge for about an hour until firm.  Roll into 1″ balls.

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chill again until ready to dip in chocolate.

Melt a little over 1LB of semisweet candy coating (Merkins Wafers) or you can use straight up chocolate, but probably wont be as shiny and nice unless you are good at tempering chocolate.

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I melted the wafers in the microwave heating and stirring until all melted. As you can see my fancy dipping and drizzling tools are forks.

I get about 1/2LB milk wafers as well for drizzling over the top.

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All done and ready to eat.  Store in fridge.

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Saltine Toffee

I mentioned this quick and easy candy, with only a handful of ingredients, that we made in my IMK post for December.  I followed Sally’s recipe but did not include the peanut butter.  Though I am sure that would be really good, next time I will try that version.  She also made hers pretty by sprinkling M&M’s on top.

Detailed recipe is shown below following the pictures.

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boiling the butter and sugar

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Line a rimmed baking sheet with saltine crackers pour boiling hot sugar over the crackers and bake

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when it is still hot right out of the oven sprinkle with chocolate chips

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With a very light hand, gently spread with a rubber spatula

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Then cool

This is what it looks like from underneath, Evie thought it was cool

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When cool and brittle break it up into pieces.

Ingredients:

  • One sleeve salted Saltine crackers (about 35-40 crackers)
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200g) packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 2 and ½ cups (450g) semi-sweet, (or milk if you prefer)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Generously spray a half-sheet pan with cooking spray or line with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Arrange crackers on top as you can see in  the above picture. Set aside.
  2. Stirring lightly, bring butter and brown sugar to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. As it begins to boil, leave it alone without stirring for 3 minutes. Pour boiling mixture evenly over crackers, then bake for 5 minutes.
  3. Take the pan out of the oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips on top, then return the pan to the oven for 1 minute to help chocolate chips melt. Remove from the oven and spread chocolate chips into one melted chocolate layer.
  4. Refrigerate toffee for 2 hours. Once set, break into pieces.

Sally’s Make ahead tip: This toffee tastes wonderful for up to 2 weeks, so make it ahead and keep it covered tightly in the refrigerator. It did last that long fine.  It freezes well too, up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then enjoy.

Dog Biscuits

We haven’t made any Christmas cookies for humans yet, but yesterday Evie was with a friend to her decorate her tree and they made dog biscuits!

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Here is the recipe (sorry took the picture with my phone and had a little trouble with the orientation:

They used lean ground chicken instead of beef.

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The taste testing.  Max (my Westie) is very picky when it comes to treats and will not eat a dog biscuit to save his life, but he did like these.  Especially since they were still a little warm when they tested them.  He did eat a piece the today also, so he does like them.  It was Lily’s birthday, she loves treats of any kind and gobbled hers up before Max had eaten half of his.

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After the excitement of a car ride and a treat he needed a nap before going home.

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Today we are making human cookies.

 

 

In My Kitchen December 2015

December post, that came up really fast.  I wrote in November that hopefully the December post would have lots of Christmas baking.  Nope failed that one.  I have not baked one single Christmas cookie.

This will be the last post hosted by the lovely Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial  .  Thank you to Celia for hosting these every month and bringing such a nice supportive community together.  Don’t forget if you want to participate you must post and let Celia know before the 10th.  Our new host will be Maureen at The Orgasmic Chef.  I look forward to meeting up in your kitchen Maureen.

In my kitchen is an Advent calendar, which some of you saw in an earlier post last week.

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In my kitchen is an Advent candle.

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In my kitchen window is Snoopy and Woodstock

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In my kitchen is a treat from Uncle Tatsu’s, a Japanese cheesecake, it was soooo good

in my kitchen is some saltine toffee (post to follow);

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and a cranberry orange loaf (post to follow);

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A cookie press, hopefully to assist with the making of some cookies soon;

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Belgian dark chocolate;

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trail mix;

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and a gingerbread house, Santa and chef will not go to the dark side.

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Merry Christmas to all! If you do not celebrate Christmas I hope that you have a wonderful and relaxing end to the year.

See you in January at Maureen’s!

 

Kale & Pumpkin Salad with Candied Pecans and Shallot Dressing

Cranberries, goat cheese and pecans, oh my!  I found this recipe originally on Pinterest and it looked so good I had to try it.  I think I may have tweaked it slightly but it was so long ago I honestly can’t remember.

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The candied pecans were amazing.  So easy to make and they were delicious on the salad and on their own.  I am going to make some more for Christmas snacking.

Here is the link to the website Heather Christo where I found the original recipe.  I have to say thank you to this lady for the recipe for both the salad and the pecans, they are keepers!  I basically recap her recipe here, but for the details and the pecan recipe visit her site.

This was a large bunch of curly kale (6-8 cups), washed, dried and chopped.  I diced (bite sized pieces) and roasted a small pumpkin sprinkled with a little salt and pepper (it was a pie pumpkin), and Evie made the shallot dressing by whisking together a finely minced shallot, 1tbsp Dijon mustard and 1/4 cup of each olive oil and red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

The recipe for the pecans can be found on Heather’s link.  I halved the recipe because I didn’t have that many pecans.  But it is sooo worth it to make the full batch.

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Then I tossed the kale with the dressing, arranged crumbled goat cheese, cranberries, roasted pumpkin and pecans over the top.  It was amazing, one of the best salads that I have ever had and it looked so pretty too.  Perfect for the holidays.

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Advent Calendar

Tomorrow is December 1st!  We have been planning for Advent for a little while now, to make our own homemade advent calendar.  There are many commercial calendars, some just cheap and some very expensive.  Anyway this one isn’t expensive and it isn’t disposable either, we will use it every year and as Evie gets older I can easily tailor what goes into it.

(picture below by Evie)

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I had planned to get this ready and posted before the last hours before the start of Advent, but there is still time.  The kids won’t care if you are a day or two late, they will be so excited for this.

Also doesn’t have to include treats or presents, but maybe a “fortune” type note, or the name of a book to read.  Whatever works for your family.

FYI- This is not an affiliate post, we just used this stuff because it is what worked for us, we were not compensated in any way. We went to Michael’s, in the area where they have the cheap bins and got the little burlap sacks (2 for $1.50), little decorative clothespins (8/$1.50), tags (16pkg for $1.50), baking twine (large spool for $3), the 3M hooks I had on hand and I just had to buy some replacement adhesives.  The treats/small gifts for the bags I got at a few different places, mostly Bulk Barn since I could buy exactly  the amount I needed.  I won’t say anything else about that part since Evie is helping and she cannot know what her advent treats are.

The tags were blank, we just wrote the numbers in marker.  There were 16 in the package so we wrote on both sides of some.

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The twine we put on the wall with the 3M hooks, like a clothesline at child height, and attached the numbered tags to the sacks and then pinned them to the line.

We are doing a week at a time, so there are the first 7 days!  We will just switch out the tags next week.  It really was very simple and it turned out well.   She will be very excited to get up tomorrow to see what is in the first sack.  She also has a little envelope from Mass on Sunday which has actions that she will do for everyday of Advent to remember why we are having Christmas.  That sermon talked about that even though the Grinch stole the feast and all the presents all of the Who’s in Whoville still had Christmas.  I can honestly say that is the first time ever that I have been to a church service involving How the Grinch Stole Christmas, it was very well done.

Let the countdown begin!

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