For years any time I baked M&M cookies I just used my regular chocolate chip cookie recipe and added M&M’s instead of chocolate chips. They were good, but just good. Then I started looking around and trying other recipes and found this recipe which is great! This recipe uses shortening as opposed to butter, which I must say makes quite a difference.
These cookies stay plump and soft, which has to do with the shortening. I have been so used to recipes containing butter, but often times they cook too thin for my liking. I am not sure where I found this recipe, but it has been a favorite ever since I did.
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 tsps. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (plus more) M&Ms
Combine sugars, shortening, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl, then add to large bowl and mix well. Add 1 cup M&Ms.
Drop by teaspoonfuls (I like to use cookie scoop) onto baking sheet. Gently add a few M&Ms onto the top of each cookie.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes at 350 degrees.
The thing that’s fun about M&Ms is that you can use their Holiday colors, or whatever colors you choose. Except when you take out all of the reds and blues for the 4th of July, make sure you tell your peanut allergic son because he may think the leftovers are Reese’s Pieces and get a little nervous 😦
In my opinion, coconut and chocolate are one of the world’s best combinations. When I was younger I used to love Mounds and Almond Joy bars. Do you remember the commercial “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. Almond Joy’s got nuts, Mounds don’t”? I might be dating myself a little, regardless I still love the combination.
These macaroons not only combine coconut and chocolate, but are one of the easiest things to put together. If you are looking for an impressive and delicious dessert, here it is!
2 (7 oz) packages of flaked coconut
1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
2 tsps. vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sweetened condensed milk and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add coconut and combine well. Add 1 cup of mini chocolate chips and mix well.
I use a cookie scoop and drop onto a very well greased aluminum foil lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned around edges.
Once cooked these are very difficult to remove from the cookie sheet without falling apart. I try to at least loosen them from the aluminum foil with a spatula until I can transfer them to a cooling rack.
Some will fall apart, which of course means you have to eat them!
I can vividly remember getting so excited for these candy cane cookies as a child. My mother would make them every year out of her Betty Crocker cookbook, and they were such a treat! Years ago I decided to make my own and found a Betty Crocker recipe on-line that I assumed were the cookies of my childhood, well they weren’t. It appears that Betty has made a few versions over the years, but the ones I remember as a child are still my favorite.
The original recipe calls for almond extract, which due to nut allergies I no longer use in any recipes. I have made these with just using more vanilla, and I have also made these with substituting peppermint extract for the almond. While they are both very good, my family is down the middle with which version they prefer, so I alternate the versions I make so that it is fair to everyone.
Candy Cane Cookie Recipe:
1/2 cup butter softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tsps. almond extract (I either use peppermint or vanilla)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red food color
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy
1/2 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine butter, shortening, confectioners sugar, egg, and flavoring. Blend in flour and salt. Divide dough in half and mix red food coloring into one half.
Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and then roll on a floured board into 4 inch ropes. Place a white and a red rope side by side and twist together.
Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and curve top to form a cane. Bake for 9 minutes or until set and very light brown.
Mix peppermint candy and sugar and immediately sprinkle on cookies when out of the oven. Let cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks.
I love that my fond childhood memories have now become my children’s memories!
Ho Ho Ho! It’s December, which means it’s time to start thinking about Holiday baking! I love to bake around the holidays, and it has been a tradition for years and years. I change things around some years, but I have my favorites and this is one of them. They are adorable, and so delicious! You need a round brownie, some cream cheese frosting, strawberries, and that’s it! The three flavors go so well together.
If you don’t have a small muffin pan, you could bake them in a rectangular pan and cut them into circles. Personally, this way is much easier and worth the money for the pan. When I try to cut anything into circles I always end up with hexagons, octagons, basically some kind of “gon” but not a circle. I must have been too busy chatting that day in Kindergarten.
My “go to” brownie recipe is the One Bowl Brownie recipe that comes inside the Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate Box. It is one of the best that I have found, and it only uses one bowl. It’s a win win. You could use store bought brownies or a brownie mix, but this recipe is so easy that it really is worth making homemade.
Once the brownies are done and cooled, you pipe some cream cheese frosting onto the tops to look like the fur trim on Santa’s hat. If you have a frosting bag, you can choose a fancier tip if you prefer. One of these days I will invest in a frosting bag, but until then I just use a sandwich bag with one edge cut off. It makes an absolute mess this way, and if you are like me you will be covered in frosting. However, I can definitely think of worse things to be covered in than cream cheese frosting.
I have shared my cream cheese frosting recipe before, but here it is again. I can pretty much guarantee you will not be upset that you might have to lick some of this frosting off of your hands.
Cream Cheese Frosting – Beat 1/2 cup softened butter with 8 oz. softened block cream cheese with electric mixer. Beat in about 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. Add 1 1/2 tsps. vanilla and beat until creamy. Taste for sweetness, add more sugar if not sweet enough.
Once the brownies are frosted, you cut the tops off of the strawberries and stick one on each brownie. Add a little bit of frosting on the tip to make the fur pom pom, and you are done.
One thing to be aware of, the red juice from the strawberries might run into the frosting the longer they are kept refrigerated. They look best if made soon before serving.
I can’t wait to make these this year, and I just might ask Santa for a frosting bag 🙂
I grew up in a very urban town where wild blueberries weren’t something I ever came across. Dandelions, sure, but not any type of wild berry. So when I realized there were blueberries and raspberries growing in our yard in Maine, I was basically beside myself with joy.
Every summer I will painstakingly bend over to pick every blueberry I possibly can. Then I will limp back to the house with my tiny crop which never yields enough to make a pie, but there are enough to make muffins. One day as I came back hunched over moaning in pain and covered in mosquito bites, my husband said “you know they sell blueberries at the store right?” Ha ha, yes I know that, but for me there is just some happiness associated with picking my own berries. However, I am putting a blueberry rake on my Christmas list because that happiness is starting to deplete with every year older I become.
Before I owned a “farm” I was never a big muffin baker. Every recipe I tried always seemed to be dry, or the edges were just too brown. Since my blueberry crop wasn’t large enough to make a pie, I decided to give muffins another shot and look for a good recipe. Well, here it is. They are moist, and almost seem too easy to make. I can see why they were named Too Die For Blueberry Muffins.
Sometimes when I have enough raspberries to pick, I have added them to the recipe as well. I have made these with no topping, with just some sugar sprinkled on top, or with a brown sugar crumb topping. Either way is just absolutely delicious!
I will admit I have also made them with blueberries from the store, and they are just as good 🙂
When we moved into our home 13 years ago, our neighbor baked us a bundt cake. I don’t remember what frosting it had on it, I only remember the cake was fantastic. Come to find out it is the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa container. Believe me when I say, this cake, really takes the cake!
It is the only chocolate cake I will make, and have made since then. I usually make it as a bundt cake, but have made cupcakes and a sheet cake over the years as well. It has been the only cake my daughter requests on her birthday for I don’t even know how long. And since her birthday was 4 days ago, I just made one!
When the cake is for my daughter, I just use Betty Crocker’s Vanilla Glaze recipe. When it’s for someone else, I put Betty Crocker’s Chocolate Glaze on top of the vanilla glaze. My daughter isn’t a big fan of chocolate glaze, that’s why I don’t make it for her, not because I don’t think she’s worthy lol.
** A few tips, first make sure to sift the dry ingredients, especially when using cocoa powder. Also, I use water from the tap because mine gets really hot. I have used it when it didn’t get quite as hot, and the recipe doesn’t work well.
Here is the cake recipe, or you can take it right off of the container.
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cups cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan (or whichever pans you prefer).
Sift all of the dry ingredients together. As I stated earlier, it is really important to sift the ingredients and not just mix.
Add the eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for two minutes while scraping the sides constantly.
Add the water into the batter and mix well with a spoon or spatula, the batter will be very loose. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 – 35 minutes until a toothpick or knife comes out clean.
This cake is so moist it doesn’t even need glaze, but why not add a little butter right? Yum.
The glaze recipes are from Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook, which I received as a wedding shower gift in 1998. It’s always been my “go to” cookbook. I don’t believe these recipes are on-line, so here they are.
1/3 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 to 4 tbsp. hot water
Melt the butter in a saucepan and remove from the heat.
Stir in the vanilla, then stir in the powdered sugar and add hot water 1 tbsp. at a time until the glaze is smooth and consistency of thick syrup.
Then you can just drizzle the glaze how ever you would like over the cake.
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. corn syrup
1 to 2 tsp. hot water
Heat the chocolate chips, butter, and corn syrup in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until the chocolate chips are melted. Cool slightly.
Stir in the hot water 1 tsp. at a time until the consistency of thick syrup.
Drizzle over the cake just as I have the vanilla glaze. As I mentioned previously, the chocolate glaze is amazing on top of the vanilla glaze. Yum!