3 Ingredient Chocolate Caramels – Day 12

Ahh I can’t believe we are already on day 12 of our Christmas Baking Frenzy, where has the time gone?! Today we have a very special and VERY EASY treat, my Chocolate Caramels!!! They are the cutest thing you can make for your tray and the kiddos can even help with these ones, and the best part?? They are only 3 ingredients…yep they are a “cheat” goodie that will save you time and energy as you wind down your Christmas Baking and making.

Chocolate Caramels - Only 3 ingredients for this tasty Holiday Caramel! The chewy caramel is covered in milky chocolate, a perfect flavor combination!

Chocolate Caramels – Only 3 ingredients for this tasty Holiday Caramel! The chewy caramel is covered in milky chocolate, a perfect flavor combination!

Chocolate-covered-Caramels

 

Look at how the chocolate just envelopes the caramel, eee it makes me drool just looking at them!! We add red and green sugar to make them a little more festive but you could easily leave them as is or even drizzle white chocolate over them! Remember how I said they were sooo easy and only 3 ingredients? Bet ya thought I was lying or hiding something…but I didn’t! Follow along and see how incredibly simple these Chocolate Caramels are to make.

3 Ingredient Chocolate Caramels

3 Ingredient Chocolate Caramels

Ingredients

  • 1 package of store bought caramels (you will have to unwrap them, but it's part of the fun!)
  • 1/2 c milk or dark chocolate (you can do both like we did)
  • 1/2 tbsp shortening
  • sprinkles for decorating

Instructions

  1. Unwrap your caramels and set aside. (Aprox 30-35 per package)
  2. Over a double broiler melt chocolate with the shortening, keeping the water to a low simmer beneath so you don't scorch the chocolate.
  3. Once melted remove from heat and dip caramels.
  4. Place coated caramels on a cookie sheet as you go, allow to cool for 5 minutes before adding your sugar so it doesn't melt into the chocolate.
  5. Place in the fridge to harden and then you can place them in little truffle cups before packaging or serving!
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One of the things I love about these caramels is that you can freeze them and pull them out when you need them! We make these a month before we put our trays together and have never had an issue with their quality…they are equally as delicious as the day they are made (yes you need to taste test when you make them…like everything you make from our 13 Days!)! So go ahead and get making, we only have one day left for this years frenzy…but don’t worry I have lots of goodies and tips coming your way between now and Christmas!!

Butter Lemon Snow Drop Cookies – Day 11

Butter Lemon Snow Drop Cookies- A perfect blend of tangy sweetness that compliments any Christmas tray!

Butter Lemon Snow Drop Cookies- A perfect blend of tangy sweetness that compliments any Christmas tray!

These Lemon Snow Drop Cookies are guaranteed to melt in your mouth and combine the perfect mix of tangy lemon with sweetness according Meegan from Meegan Makes who was gracious enough to share this delectable cookie recipe with us for our 13 Day Christmas Baking Frenzy! These are a nice and easy cookie, with basic ingredients that you likely already have on hand, so you can whip them up anytime you are in the mood! I think they will be the perfect addition to our goodie trays this year, and a nice compliment to all the chocolaty goodness that normally fills our tummies!

Butter Lemon Snow Drop Cookies

Butter Lemon Snow Drop Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup powered sugar +more for rolling
  • the juice from 1 whole lemon
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Follow along for all 13 days of Christmas Baking! Find the cooking instructions linked below!
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full cooking instructions at meegan makes: click here! 

Have you checked out the other 10 days yet?! Here are a couple of my favorites so far this year:

Enjoy <3

Homemade Thin Mints – Day 6

Homemade Thin Mint Recipe- A simple, 4-ingredient recipe for everyone's favorite cookie! Part of our 13 Days of Christmas Baking !

Homemade Thin Mint Recipe- A simple, 4-ingredient recipe for everyone’s favorite cookie! Part of our 13 Days of Christmas Baking !

Today’s recipe is another fairly simple “cookie” that uses only 4 ingredients: Thin Mints!! I immediately think of Girl Guide (scout) cookies when someone mentions Thin Mints, taking me back to my childhood days of walking the neighborhood streets selling door-to-door competing with my fellow Guides. So you can imagine my excitement when Carol from Weeknight Dish offered to be a part of our Baking Frenzy and shared with me her recipe for these delicious gems, and I really think you guys are going to love them!

There is something about Christmas and peppermint that goes together so perfectly (maybe it is all the years of candy cane eating I have under my belt) and I am excited to start a new tradition of including these in my yearly bake-fest.

Anyways, enough blabbing, you came here for the Thin Mint Recipe right?!

Homemade Thin Mints

Homemade Thin Mints

Ingredients

  • Ritz crackers
  • 10 oz. semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. oil (I use coconut oil)
  • 3-4 drops Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil

Instructions

  1. See site and follow all 13 days of our Christmas Baking Frenzy!
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full cooking instructions at weeknight dish: Click here!


Classic Whipped Shortbread Cookie – Day 4

Today is a little bit different from our first 3 days! We decided to pull out a classic from our cookie vault and share our Classic Whipped Shortbread Cookie (in case you missed it last year). This was one of our most popular cookie recipes, and continues to see love from everyone who makes it! It is so, soooo easy to make and melts in your mouth with each bite, it has to be one of my favorites, and definitely one I look forward to making every year.

Whipped Shortbread Cookies

 

This recipe is great because it makes a ton of cookies, with little effort (and I don’t know about you, but time is LIMITED  during Christmas in our household!). It makes about 4 dozen cookies, and they freeze wonderfully…which means you can make them ahead of time and pop em in the freezer until you are ready to put your goodie trays together.

CHECK OUT THE RECIPE: WHIPPED SHORTBREAD COOKIES HERE!!!

Be sure to check out the first 3 days of our 2016 Christmas Baking Frenzy and let us know what cookies and treats you’ve made for yourself!

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White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti – Day 3

This White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti cookie recipe is full of so much goodness! It is perfect with a cup of coffee, or as a late night snack...the flavors combine everything we love about the Holidays, and hope you enjoy too!

This White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti cookie recipe is full of so much goodness! It is perfect with a cup of coffee, or as a late night snack…the flavors combine everything we love about the Holidays, and hope you enjoy too!

This is one of our FAVORITE cookies to make at Christmas time!!! It takes a little bit more time than most of our other cookies, but trust me they are more than worth it! These Biscotti are loaded with cranberries and almonds, with a hint of white chocolate and even orange juice (Mmm, I know right?!).

Christmas-Biscotti

Now, like the rest of our Christmas Baking Frenzy cookies, these Biscotti are perfect for adding to a goodie tray for a friend or neighbor, and are even gorgeous on their own in a simple mug as a teachers gift! (Or you could save them all for yourself…we won’t tell!). Be sure to make a double batch, these freeze great and will hold up to 3 months (in a sealed airtight container)!

White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti

White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c Butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 c Sugar
  • 3 lg Eggs
  • 3 squares White Bakers Chocolate (melted and cooled)
  • 2 3/4 c Flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Almond Extract
  • 1/4 c Orange Juice (no pulp)
  • 1/2 c Toasted, chopped Almonds (we use slivered, you can use whole and chop more)
  • 1/2 c Dried Cranberries (rough chopped)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In stand mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. In a small bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt, add to wet mixture and mix well.
  4. Add orange juice and extract, beating until well combined. Stir in chopped almonds and cranberries.
  5. Divide dough in half, place each half on a lightly greased and floured baking sheet and shape into a 9"x 2" "log" (see photos)
  6. Bake 25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool 10 mins. Cut each log into about 12 3/4" slices, place cut side down on baking sheet and bake an additional 15-20 minutes (turn over halfway through) and remove once each side is lightly golden
  7. *Make sure to check halfway through as each oven is different and you do not want them to burn
  8. Once cooled you can drizzle with semi-sweet or white chocolate!
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Here are some photos showing the progression of the delicious Biscotti!

Your Biscotti batter should be thick, and you want to make sure that the cranberries and almonds are mixed evenly throughout

Your Biscotti batter should be thick, and you want to make sure that the cranberries and almonds are mixed evenly throughout

Spread your batter into a "log" shape on your cookie sheet.

Spread your batter into a “log” shape on your cookie sheet.

They are ready when they get a nice golden brown! You want to ensure they look like this before flipping to go back into the oven for the final cook.

They are ready when they get a nice golden brown! You want to ensure they look like this before flipping to go back into the oven for the final cook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffle Bites – Day 1

Peanut-Butter-Truffle-Bite

Okay guys I can’t even pretend to hide my EXCITEMENT that the 13 Days of Christmas Baking is back!!!!! I have literally been thinking up ideas and baking away for the past 365 days in preparation for this years list…and I even have some fellow bloggers along this year to share a cookie or two from their recipe box! Are you excited now!? I know, Christmas is still a few weeks away, but guys so many of these goodies can be made far in advance so you can freeze them and put them away for your Christmas trays (woohoo, anything to save time closer to the holidays and I am one happy girl).

So, be sure to follow along for the next couple of weeks to see all 13 Days of Christmas Baking and let me know which goodies you make!! I will also be sharing a few gift ideas and guides to make your Holiday Season even more stress free (you’re welcome)…and if you are like me, you have a TON of people to make trays for, I will be sharing some VITAL tips for packaging and sending your cookies away for their journey.

 

So, are you ready to get baking?! Today’s goodie is a delicious Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffle Bite (adapted from Restless Chipotle). It is so easy to make, literally it takes 10 minutes to put together (plus chill time) and it will blow your mind! The peanut butter mixes with the pretzels to give a nice crunchy texture and then is covered in a delicious milk chocolate coating, sending your taste buds into Elf Town! Mmm! I tested out the recipe and made enough to bring to a family event, where they were DEVOURED…everyone is still asking me to make them again, but they will have to wait for their Christmas trays!

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffle Bites

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffle Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature.
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 ½ cups chopped pretzels
  • ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening

Instructions

  1. Mix peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, and Confectioner’s sugar in stand mixture until smooth
  2. Slowly pour in the pretzels and graham cracker crumbs and mix until combined
  3. Form small sized balls using your hands (about 1" diameter) and place on a cookie sheet.
  4. Freeze until very firm, about 30 minutes.
  5. Melt the chocolate with shortening in a microwave safe bowl (check every 15-20 seconds and stir to ensure the chocolate doesn't burn)
  6. Dip the balls in the chocolate.
  7. Place back on cookie sheet and into the fridge to firm up.
  8. You can then transfer into truffle cups for a nicer display for gift giving!
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tips and tricks for the perfect “truffle” bites
  • You will have “chunks” from the peanut butter and pretzels (when mixing), but you want to make sure it is evenly mixed throughout
  • Rinse and repeat! You will have to rinse your hands a couple of times while working them into balls, this will prevent them from sticking to the peanut buttery mess on your palms
  • Place the dipped bites into the freezer to firm them up quicker if you are short on time, and then place into decorative truffle cups for gifting!
  • If you aren’t giving (or eating) these right away you can put them in a sealed freezer-safe container for up to 8 weeks and pull them out 30 minutes before serving (this way they can come up to room temperature)

Peanut-Butter-Pretzel-Bite Peanut-Butter-Bites

Peanut-Butter-Truffle-Bites

 

 

 

 

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Crinkle Cookies

Christmas Baking Frenzy

Hey ya’ll!!

There are 43 days until Christmas! Can you believe it? There is no snow on the ground, in fact we are above 5 degrees where I am today, and the stores are now FULL of gift ideas for everyone on your list! I wanted to share with you all that in just a couple of weeks I will be doing my annual Christmas Baking Frenzy with my mom, sister and “second mom” (a great family friend!) and in light of that will be doing my first ever THIRTEEN DAYS OF COOKIES, BARS AND SQUARES to hopefully help get you in the Christmas mood! The picture above is one of our favourite ones, a chocolate crinkle cookie adorned with seasonal chocolate kisses (it will be one of the 13 days!).

Starting November 30 check back everyday for 13 days (a Bakers dozen) to find a new recipe for a delicious treat that we make year after year! They are great for cookie exchanges, teachers gifts, or even just putting yummy trays out for your Christmas guests. Along with each post I will give you a couple of gift ideas for a special someone on your list, and hope that you will share some of your favourite ideas with me as well!

Looking forward to starting this new daily post and inspiring you to change up your Christmas baking!

<3 Every one needs a little more creativity in their lives!