Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cheeseball Recipe for a Party!

Cheeseball easy appetizer recipe for a party crowd

Are you looking for easy appetizer recipes for a party? I have the perfect one for you! I haven't made a Cheeseball in YEARS.  I found my moms old recipe since my husband loves snacking on cheese and crackers and spreads.  We decided for New Years Eve we would do a bunch of finger foods and cold appetizers instead of a dinner. You will love how easy this cheeseball recipe is!

The recipe makes 2 cheese balls.  I made the recipe, scooped out half and made the first cheese ball, then added a few ingredients to what was left and now you have two different ones and its SO simple.

8 oz cream cheese softened
8 oz sharp cheese grated
8 oz mild chedder grated
1/2 cup of mayo or miracle whip
Chopped pecans for garnish

Optional: Green Onion and 2 ounces fresh or 1/2 can of tiny shrimp or crab

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a mixer until completely blended.  I added 1/2 a Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and some garlic salt at this point until it tastes the way you like it. Scoop out half and form a ball (I use wax paper and plot it in the middle to form my ball as I hate getting my hands goopy.)  You can put in the fridge to firm up if its too soft and then it will mold easier.  Roll in nuts.

The second half I add 2 ounces fresh or 1/2 can of tiny shrimp or crab and a thinly sliced green onion. Form into a ball and roll in nuts.  You're done!  Easy right?

This recipe is great to make ahead so you can get ready for the party!

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Christmas Cookie You've Never Tried but Should! Napoleons.


This easy bar dessert recipe with chocolate and vanilla cream is so delicious it will make your heart race! I make sure and make a special batch for my mother-in-law as this is HER favorite of the treats I make. It's mine too! A wonderful dessert for the holidays!


1/2 cup of butter
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 of cocoa
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Melt in a double boiler until butter is melted. Add 1 egg and stir continuously until thickened, about 3 minutes.
2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1 cup of coconut flakes
Press into a 9x9 pan

Cream 1/2 cup of butter
1 small package of vanilla pudding
2 cups of powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons of milk
Whip until fluffy.
Spread onto the crust and chill

Chocolate topping:
6 oz of semi-sweet chocolate ships
2 Tablespoons of margarine
Melt in a double boiler and spread on the filling, chill in the fridge.  Cut into squares and keep in the fridge.

So rich and delicious! Its a new holiday cookie that you haven't tried yet for those cookie swaps!

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Best Cut-Out Cookies Recipe EVER!


The BEST Cut-Out cookie recipe you will ever taste! Finished my baking this weekend! Lots of cookies for plates and kids, its my favorite thing to do!  I have the perfect Christmas cookie recipe and royal icing that is fast and easy.

Sugar Cookie Ingredients
  • 1 c. {two sticks} of REAL unsalted BUTTER, softened
  • 1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 tsp flavoring {pick what you like, I prefer almond}
  • 2 1/2-2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  1. Cream together softened butter and confectioner’s sugar. Crack the egg into a separate bowl, and add the flavoring. I use emulsions, but extract also works well. Add that to the butter sugar mixture and mix until the egg is thoroughly incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add little by little to the mixture. I can tell the dough is ready when most of it sticks to the paddle. When I touch it, it has a little give, but does not stick to my fingers.
  2. Roll out on parchment to about 1/4 an inch thick, use flour for dusting as necessary. Then, cut and bake at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes. This version makes 2-2 1/2 dozen, doubled, it makes 4-5 dozen.

Royal Icing Ingredients
  • 2 pounds {one bag} confectioner's sugar {907 grams}
  • 5 tablespoons meringue powder {approximately 53 grams}
  • 2-3 teaspoons oil-free extract or emulsion
  • 1/2-3/4 cups warm water
  1. Begin by stirring the flavoring into half the water.
  2. Using a paddle attachment, gently mix the sugar and meringue powder. It's not necessary to sift the sugar beforehand, but you can if you like.
  3. With the mixer on it's lowest setting slowly add the water/flavoring mix to the dry ingredients. As the water is added, the icing will become thick and lumpy.
  4. Continue to add the remaining water {this may or may not be the entire amount} until the mixture reaches a thick, honey like consistency. At this point, turn the mixer to medium speed and whip 2-4 minutes until this icing is thick and fluffy. Mixing time can vary greatly so watch carefully and stop mixing when the icing is this enough to form a soft peak.

If you're new to royal icing make sure to visit Sweet Sugar Belle's site with lots of tips and tutorials!

Hope you enjoy this easy cut-out cookie recipe!

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

MOUTH Watering Peanut Butter Crisp Balls!

My husband has FINALLY convinced me to release my family recipe for these amazing Peanut Butter Balls.  I will always remember the first time I took them to my husband's family Christmas... the men actually got into a physical tug-o-war over the balls.  Seriously... It was almost my LAST Christmas with that family! Hahaha.


  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 cups rice crispy cereal
  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Mix room temperature butter with the peanut butter until blended.  Add the powdered sugar and blend. Then add the rice crispy cereal and mix well. 

  2. Form into 1 inch balls, place on cookie sheets, chill till firm in refrigerator (over night is okay). *Tip: I spray my hands every so often with Pam cooking spray so it doesn't stick because it will!

  3. Melt chocolate in double boiler.  I add 2 ounces of food grade paraffin wax that has been grated finely to melt faster, this gives the chocolate coating a gorgeous shiny look. Dip them and place on cookie sheet. As you dip them place them back on cookie sheet and chill until set.  I store these in the refrigerator.

There you have it.  My Pride and Joy... Take care of her.

Don't forget the Almond Raspberry Shortbread cookies that are to die for and the SUPER simple Peppermint Bark!

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Monday, December 12, 2016

DIY Stocking Hanger!

I've been searching everywhere for the PERFECT stocking hangers... I just never found them.  So I created my own!

I got a board at the hardware store and stained it to match my fireplace. Then I attached a curtain rod to the board to hang the stockings on.  I did weight it down JUST to be sure it wasn't coming down when the stockings were loaded.

That beautiful garland I saw in a store for $89.  RIGHT?  Guess where I found it for $39?  Rite Aid Online of all places.  Decorating on a budget for the win!

I LOVE the look and I can change the spinals next year to something different if I want!  Maybe dress it up a bit more glamorous... what do you think?

I also found this red lantern in the closet that we had and added a wreath around it for a festive look. We can always light it too!

What creative things are you coming up with?

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Almond Raspberry Shortbread Cookies!

These cookies MELT in your mouth, they are so yummy.  I make these every year for my husband. So very easy and so good.  What I also love is that my daughter can help in the process.  I used to be a perfectionist with everything I did.  But I will tell you those cookies that my daughter did... they are the priceless perfect ones.

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and white sugar until smooth. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Mix in flour until dough comes together. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Make a small hole in the center of each ball, using your thumb and finger, and fill the hole with preserves.

  3. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Let cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet.

  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the confectioners' sugar, 3/4 teaspoon almond extract, and milk until smooth. Drizzle lightly over warm cookies.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark is SO easy to make.  And it's chocolate... and peppermint... how can you resist?

Get a 9x9 pan and line it with parchment paper.

Melt 12 oz of Ghirardelli dark chocolate and pour in the pan, stick it in the freezer while you do the next step.

Melt 12 oz of Ghirardelli white chocolate (I put in half a teaspoon of peppermint extract at this point but you don't have too).  Pour on top of the dark. Spread carefully as the white will start to melt the dark and swirl.  You can tap the pan on the counter to get it settled.  Then sprinkle a 1/2 cup of crushed candy canes on top!  Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

I keep mine in the fridge for the holidays... and away from my husband's eyes!


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Monday, December 5, 2016

Best Cookies from our Childhood!

When I think of Christmas as a little girl many images come to mind.  My mother always made chocolate crinkle cookies. This cookie defines Christmas for me, it takes me back to those worry free days of counting down to Christmas.  Dad was a firefighter so we celebrated Christmas either on the Eve or Christmas morning depending on which 24 hour shift he was gone. We always left these cookies with milk for Santa and put out a bowl of ice cream for the reindeer because dad convinced us it was there favorite!

On thing I love most about this cookies is the kids can feel like they are participating.  Rolling the balls is something any child can do!

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into one inch balls. I like to use a number 50 size scoop. Coat each ball in confectioners' sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

What's better than glorious chocolate moist cake cookies with a cream cheese filling?  Coloring it RED!  Man, these whoopie pies by Sally's Baking Addiction are to DIE for.  I'm pretty sure they'll be gone before you read this.

This will be a new holiday tradition for us.  It's different then a basic holiday cookie and so easy and delicious.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Sally's Baking Addiction


  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 3 Tablespoons (15g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • gel red food coloring

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 6 ounces (170g) block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick; 60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) confectioners' sugar, sifted (plus more for topping)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (highly recommended for best nonstick cookie baking surface!). Set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium-high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and combined. Beat in egg on high speed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Once egg is full combined, beat in the vanilla and buttermilk. Mixture may look curdled; that's ok.
  4. On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Add enough food coloring to achieve a deep red hue (usually about 1 teaspoon gel). Spoon mounds of batter, about 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons each, onto prepared baking sheets-- about 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until centers appear set. Mine usually take 11 minutes. Allow to cool completely before sandwiching.
  6. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese for 1 minute on high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Beat in the butter until combined. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until combined and creamy.
  7. Pair the cookies up based on their size. Spread cream cheese filling onto the flat side of one cookie and sandwich with the other. Repeat with remaining. Sprinkle confectioners' sugar on top of each if desired. Cover leftover whoopie pies and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Make ahead tip: You can prepare the batter, cover it tightly, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Let it come to room temperature and bake as directed. You can freeze the baked whoopie pies for up to 3 months. Wrap them individually. Before enjoying, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Poinsettia Sparkle Cocktail with a Version Just for Kids!

This beautifully festive drink is so easy Santa could make it!

Pour Apple Cranberry juice into a chilled champagne glass and fill with your favorite Champagne or Prosecco. You can also add a splash of Elderberry Liquor or Cointreau for an extra kick.

Add a festive garnish of fresh cranberries speared on Sage or frozen cranberries at the bottom to keep the drink nice and chilled.


Pour Apple Cranberry Juice into a glass and top off with Sparkling Apple Cider! Make sure to add a fun garnish to their drink as well!

We've been busy testing recipes in the kitchen this week so we'll have alot to show you over the holiday season, stay tuned!

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