Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Snowman Cupcakes

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I made these adorable and easy-to-make snowman cupcakes last year.  I had some leftover carrot cupcake decorations from Easter so I used those as the nose. I added clear sprinkles to the top to make them look more  like snow. 

Snowman Cupcakes

Snowman Cupcakes

Reader Recipe: Caramel Cheesecake

This recipe comes from Carol, the awesomely talented crafter/baker behind the blog Songberries. Check out her blog, I promise you will not be disappointed! This would make an awesome Christmas dessert!!



Easy Caramel Cheesecake


1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 16 crackers)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 can sweetened condensed milk, turned into caramel, find recipe here

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press it into a 9 inch spring-form pan. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool. Reduce oven to 300 degrees.

In a mixer beat the cream cheese for 3 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar, beating until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for 1 more minute. Spoon over graham cracker crust and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour. Sometimes the top will crack, but that's OK. Let cool. When completely cool refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Top with your favorite topping (suggestion, use the caramel recipe link above). Loosen cheesecake with a knife then remove ring and put on a large platter.

Thanks to Carol for sharing! If you would like to have your original recipe or fabulously decorated cookies/cupcakes/cakes featured on Cake Mom, please email me at jamielz@verizon.net.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Reader Recipe: Cinnamon Roll Cake

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This is a yummy recipe from Tomi, blog owner of Three Boys and an Old Lady. I am thinking that it would be delicious on Christmas morning! 

Cinnamon Roll Cake
Yellow Cake Mix
4 eggs
¾ cup oil
1 cup sour cream
Butter and flour 13 x 9 baking pan
Mix ingredients for about 2 minutes on low speed and pour in prepared pan.

1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
Mix and pour over cake batter. Swirl into batter with knife.
Bake @ 325 for 40 minutes. Let cake cool 10 – 15 minutes before icing.

Icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tbsp milk

Pour over warm cake.

This recipe made my mouth water. So, I just had to make it myself. It was SO GOOD!! Everyone loved it and I would highly recommend this delicious and super easy cake!!



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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Cookie Alert: Shortbread Cookie Recipe

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This is a nice and easy recipe for Shortbread Cookies! You can make these a little more festive by dipping them in white chocolate and covering with red and green sprinkles or by dipping them in red or greed tinted white chocolate! 


Shortbread cookies

Ingredients
2 cups butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 bag chocolate chips

Instructions
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in vanilla; add flour and mix well.  Store dough in the refrigerator over night.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Scoop tablespoon full drops onto a cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes and then remove and, with a spatula, press down the dough to make it flatter. 
Push down on the soft baked shortbread cookie with a spatula

Put back into oven for 3-8 minutes or until the bottom and sides are starting to brown.
Allow to cool completely.
Melt chocolate chips in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and add time in 30 second increments until chocolate is smooth.
Dip half of the cookie in the chocolate and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 
Shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate


Place finished shortbread cookies in the refrigerator until chocolate has hardened. 

Enjoy!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Last Chance: Two Giveaways End Sunday!


Sunday is your last chance to enter to win these two high value giveaways! The first is for a Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening system. You can read my full review and learn more about this product here.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway


Plus, you can enter to win a personalized religious gift item from Reed & Barton. Find out more here.



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Christmas Cookie Recipe Alert! Classic M&M Cookies

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M&M Cookie Recipe


No matter how old (or young) you are, M&M cookies made with red and green candies are a delicious holiday cookie and they are so easy to make.  I made a few dozen tonight for my family and they could not get enough of them! 

Recipe: M&M Cookies (recipe makes about 25 cookies)

Ingredients:
1 cup salted butter (room temperature)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1&1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 & 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 large bag of holiday M&Ms (1 & 3/4 cups)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350
In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar until well blended. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking soda. Slowly add the combination into the butter mixture and blend well. 
Fold in M&Ms.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonful onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.



Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Cookie Recipe Alert! Caramel-Filled Chocolate Cookies

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Recipe: Caramel-Filled Chocolate Cookies


Caramel-FIlled Chocolate Cookies


Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon, divided
2 eggs
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 package (13 oz) Rolo candies
4 squares (1 ounce each) white baking chocolate, melted

Directions
In mixing bowl, cream butter, 1 cup sugar and brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa and baking soda; gradually add to the creamed mixture, beating just until combined. 

Shape a tablespoonful of dough around each candy, forming a ball. In a small bowl, combine the remaining sugar; dip each cookie about halfway. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheet. 

Bake at 375 for 7-10 minutes or until tops are slightly cracked. Cool for 3 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle with melted white chocolate. 

Yield: about 4 dozen




Last Chance: Duff Baking Prize Pack Ends Saturday!


Saturday is your last chance to enter to win a baking prize pack from Duff Goldman! You can read my full review and see how my cupcakes turned out here and enter to win below.


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Thursday, December 11, 2014

San-J Review

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Sponsored post*


San-J, known for their premium gluten-free Tamari soy sauce and Asian inspired cooking sauces, wishes you a Happy Gluten-Free holiday season, with their complete new menu of healthy, easy to make, Asian-inspired, gluten-free dishes.  From appetizers to dessert, each unique tasting dish will satisfy all your guests this holiday.

Holiday Recipe Ideas for a Gluten-Free Dinner:

APPETIZER - Cranberry Orange Baked Brie: Baked brie topped with San-J Orange Sauce and cranberry sauce, decorated with chopped pistachios and served with San-J’s gluten-free crackers.
SALAD -  Persimmon Goat Cheese Salad: Tossed green salad with San-J Tamari Ginger Salad Dressing, topped with persimmons, goat cheese, walnuts and pomegranate seeds.
SOUP - Pumpkin Coconut Soup with Thai Peanut: Blended pumpkin with coconut milk simmered with San-J Thai Peanut Sauce.
MAIN - Roasted Cornish Hens with Orange Teriyaki: Cornish hens marinated in San-J Teriyaki Sauce, orange juice, garlic and ginger, roasted to perfection.
SIDE - Szechaun Noodles: Chopped red peppers, onions and cabbage tossed in San-J’s Szechuan Sauce and sesame seeds.
DESSERT - Cherry Chocolate Cake: A delightful dairy free and gluten-free cherry chocolate cake flavored with San-J Tamari Soy Sauce, served with your choice of ice cream.




I was very impressed with the high quality of these sauces. They tasted amazing (strong and rich) and I could not wait to try out a recipe. Of course, I was intrigued to see that they had a recipe for a cake with soy sauce as an ingredient and I knew that I just had to try it out!

 San-J Cherry Chocolate Cake

Ingredients
4 Tablespoons San-J Tamari Soy Sauce, divided
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
Gluten free non-stick cooking spray
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup gluten free almond flour
1 (12 ounce) bag frozen cherries, thawed

Directions
Stir 3 tablespoons of San-J Tamari Soy Sauce into the softened ice cream and re-freeze. Keep in freezer until a few minutes before serving time.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch spring-form pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit and spray the paper. 

Place butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high power 1&1/2-2 minute or until most of the chocolate chips are melted. Stir until all chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. stir in the vanilla and 1 tablespoon San-J Soy Sauce. Let cool.

Beat the egg yolk and sugar together until thick and pale yellow, 2-3 minutes. Add the chocolate mixture, and almond flour. Stir to combine. 

With clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir a large spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mixture and then gently fold in the rest of the whites until the mixture is no longer streaky.  Pour into prepared pan. Top with the thawed cherries and bake for 40 minutes. Let cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before removing. 



Serve slices of cake warm or at room temperature topped with a scoop of ice cream. 


Results:  I felt a little like I was on an episode of "Chopped" on the Food Network using soy sauce in a cake but I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. I was not a huge fan of the ice cream topping and would have preferred using about 1/2 the soy sauce the recipe called for but the cake was so delicious that I found that I did not need a topping at all. It was extremely moist and the bold flavor of the soy sauce helped to balance the sweetness of the cake, bringing our the amazing flavor combos. My kids absolutely loved it and they could not believe it when I told them about the "secret" ingredient! I am looking forward to continuing to use these delicious sauces in more recipes!

Buy it here: You can purchase San-J products from their online store.  They are also available at local Whole Foods Stores. 

*I was provided with the above mentioned products for the purpose of facilitating this review. All opinions expressed are my own.