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Spiced Holiday Pralines

Pralines are a perfect stocking stuffer or little gift 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 1/4 cups blanched slivered almonds 1/4 cup potato starch 3 large egg whites Pinch fine sea salt 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract. 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. Combine sugar and almonds in food processor fitted with metal blade. Process 3 minutes to grind into a fine powder. If mixture is sticking, scrape down sides of bowl. Add starch and process 1 minute more. 2. In another bowl or a mixer, whip egg whites, salt and extract together at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Working in 3 additions, fold almond mixture into egg whites, turning over and over until incorporated. Batter will be sticky and thick. Set aside to rest 20 minutes. 3. Spoon batter by tablespoons onto prepared pans; cookies will spread to about 3-inch rounds, so leave plenty of room. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are puffed, golden and shiny, 18 to 20 minutes. As soon as cookies come out of oven, remove paper (with cookies on it) from baking sheet. Let cookies cool completely before removing from paper; use a thin metal spatula or knife blade if cookies stick. Yield: 24 large cookies.
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Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bites ♥ – Sally's Baking Addiction
Oh my goodness gracious I need these in front of me RIGHT NOW. I'm obsessed. Those adorably tiny chocolate chips? And sweet caramel goodness? And Oreo cookie crust?! And CHEESECAKE, for Pete's sake?!? It just really couldn't be any better, dessert-wise. Sally's Baking Addiction, I salute you for creating this incredible little treat that's sure to be the reason I gain 300 pounds over the next month. ♥ To make your own batch of these decadent little treats, you will need: 18 whole Oreos (Double Stuf or regular) 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted 16 oz (448g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar 1/4 cup (60g) yogurt (you can also substitute sour cream) 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup (180g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips homemade salted caramel sauce (you can find the recipe here!) Here's what you do! 1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line two cupcake pans with 18 paper or aluminum cupcake liners. 2. Make the crust: Use a food processor to reduce Oreos into a fine, crumbly texture. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine cookie crumbs and melted butter. Spoon one heaping tablespoon of the mixture into each liner, then press down firmly and uniformly with fingers. You should have enough for 16-18 liners. Bake for 5 minutes and allow to cool while you make the filling. 3. Make the filling: In a large mixing bowl, use an electric beater to beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar and yogurt, and beat to combined. Turn mixer down to low speed and add eggs one at a time. Finally, beat in vanilla and mini chocolate chips. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed! 4. Use a spoon to fill cupcake molds with batter until almost full. Bake for 20-23 minutes. When you remove the cheesecakes from the oven, their centers will still be slightly jiggly and they may have inflated a bit. That's all perfectly normal. Allow to cool at room temperature for an hour. 5. After they've cooled at room temp, place the cheesecakes in the fridge and allow to chill another two hours. Top with salted caramel and additional mini-chips just before serving. Note: You can store cheesecakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Store cheesecakes (without caramel) in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Let me know if you make these!! :D I know they're top priority on my To Bake list. Thanks again to Sally's Baking Addiction – all photos and ideas are hers! Happy baking, Vinglers :) Update: Super-awesome Vingler @PikaPixie made a great card showing her experience making these delicious treats! Check it out here for photos :)
The Christmas Latte to Rule Them All
I've talked about this cafe before, and I'll talk about it again. All That Sweets is hands down my favorite dessert cafe on Earth. Watch my video review here or read below^^ Today I went alone so I passed on a slice of the strawberry shortcake but look how adorable is it! Their cakes are always light and creamy, though the flavors change daily! I've seen chocolate, vanilla, and even kiwi cakes. Instead I opted for one of their amazing macarons. Because I came late in the day, my only option was the chocolate raspberry "merry xmas" heart macaron, but I probably would have chosen that anyway. These flavors also vary with the season but every single one I've ever tried has been absolutely delicious. But of course, the star of the show is my Christmas Tree Latte <3 Their lattes are amazingly intricate, and they have a dozen of them on the menu at all times. The homemade (delicious) whipped cream is covered in melted chocolate, sprinkles, and meringue cookies. I seriously thought I hated meringue until I tried these babies. Now I can't get enough! They sell these for the month of December, and then usually move on to make snowflake or other winter themed lattes. All year 'round they offer rose, raincloud, and even coral styled lattes! This year they also introduced a gingerbread man latte that I was tempted to get, but I had to stick to my traditional tree :) You can also find me here: Tumblr Instagram Twitter Facebook SnapChat: cari.cakez
14 Mind-blowing Dessert Lasagnas!
I guess these people never got the memo about lasagna being a dinner food – and oh man, am I glad they didn't. These innovative kitchen wizards have turned a saucy Italian cheesefest into a gourmet dessert. This is a food trend that I have NO doubt we'll be seeing soon on upscale dessert menus around the world. It's hip, it's totally different, and it's just the right amount of weird to tickle the imagination. See what you think – which one of these fantastical desserts would you most like to try? (I've tried to give credit where credit is due. All the recipes are linked below; just click on the word "Recipe." Photos belong to respective owners.) :) Chocolate Lasagna Brownies, chocolate pudding, and Oreos – oh my! Add some whipped cream, and you've got a lasagna. (I never, ever thought I would EVER say that sentence.) Recipe by Rachel Schultz, A Household Almanac Apple Pie Lasagna Let me be clear: this is not your grandmother's apple pie. Oh sure, it's got apples, cinnamon, and sugar – but it's also got caramel cream cheese filling, Heath bar toffee bites, and a touch of maple syrup. I have only one word: WANT. Recipe by Beyond Frosting Pumpkin Pie Dessert Lasagna I don't know if they necessarily needed to specify that this was a "dessert lasagna" – I think that's pretty clear from the whole "pumpkin pie" part. But I digress. We're talking pumpkin, Cool Whip, pumpkin spice chips (which exist, apparently!?) and chopped pecans. It might be 91 degrees out today, but suddenly I'm feeling a little autumnal! Recipe by The Cookie Rookie, inspired by Beyond Frosting (who is apparently our dessert lasagna MVP!) S'mores Lasagna And speaking of Beyond Frosting, she's also responsible for this dare-I-say GORGEOUS creation topped with gooey toasted marshmallows. S'mores Lasagna may be an improvement on the already impossibly wonderful campfire dessert, because it's got two types of graham cracker (original AND chocolate), marshmallow fluff, whipped cream, and – for the mess-haters among us – you can eat it with a fork. Recipe by Julianne Bayer of Beyond Frosting (the dessert lasagna goddess herself. soon we'll all be wearing t-shirts with her face on it.) Brownie Brittle Strawberry Lasagna Before we get too carried away in our decadence, Julianne (yep, we're on a first name basis now) has whipped up a lighter version of dessert lasagna featuring a cheesecake filling, dark chocolate pudding, and plenty of strawberries. See? It's got fruit! It's obviously healthy. Yet again, recipe by my idol, Julianne Bayer of Beyond Frosting Nutella Cheesecake Lasagna Okay, so maybe the photography skills are a little lacking on this one, but the concept is so flawless that I had to include it. Nutella and cheesecake, married into one perfect lasagna that is then dusted with brownie mix and chocolate chips. I can't really explain how much I'm salivating right now. (Sorry for that wonderful image.) Recipe by Modern Christian Homemaker Paleo Chocolate Lasagna Eating clean? Don't worry! We've still found the perfect dessert lasagna for you. Interesting ingredients in this one include coconut palm sugar, almond butter, apple cider vinegar, and shredded zucchini. I won't pretend to understand how it all works, but I will trust the author when she says it's delicious. Maybe. Recipe by Vanessa Barejas of Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind (which is an awesome name for a blog) Fabulous Fruit Lasagna Whoa, a dessert lasagna that actually uses noodles! I bet you were wondering when one of these was gonna show up. This lasagna is a delightful conglomeration of fresh berries, mascarpone and ricotta cheeses, brown sugar, nutmeg, cloves, and a pinch of chili powder. Not what I was expecting! It can also be made, the author suggests, with chocolate pasta. Recipe by F.H. Browne, posted on Just a Pinch Chocolate Toast Crunch Lasagna Did you know that Cinnamon Toast Crunch has a chocolaty cousin? Chocolate Toast Crunch adds a special, well, crunchiness to this dessert lasagna. Its creamy filling has a hint of almond flavor. Mmm. Recipe by Cheeky Kitchen, posted on Tablespoon Frozen Snickers Peanut Butter Lasagna It's been pretty hot out, so why not stick your dessert lasagna in the freezer? Dry roasted peanuts, caramel sauce, and little pieces of Snickers? This is exactly what I want to be eating right now. Recipe by Not Your Momma's Cookie Oreo Pumpkin Lasagna Maybe you can't get enough of dessert lasagnas. Maybe you want to try more than one of them. Why not do it at the same time? This recipe is a combination of pumpkin pie and Oreo dessert lasagnas – and I can't think of a single reason it wouldn't be delicious. Recipe by Kitchen Nostalgia Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Lasagna But come on guys, let's be real: this is the dessert lasagna you've been waiting for. Layers of creamy and chocolatey deliciousness topped with mini Reese's cups? Game over. Recipe by Marty's Musings Chocolate Candy Lasagna This take on chocolate lasagna tops it off with yummy and colorful crushed M&Ms! And then you have your choice between caramel and hot fudge drizzle toppings. But I say, Vinglers... why not both? Recipe by Princess Pinky Girl (yes, that is her real name) Chocolate Lasagna 2.0 And finally, we've got one last spin on chocolate lasagna from Center Cut Cook. It features a thick Oreo crust, a sweet whipped cream cheese filling, chocolate pudding, and lots of tiny chocolate chips. I think the width of the crust layer and the crunchiness of the mini-chips set it apart from other versions! Recipe by Center Cut Cook Which one of these crazy creations are you trying first? For more recipes, dessert and otherwise, be sure to follow my Cooking collection :) @jlee37 @buddyesd @danidee @TerrecaRiley @LizArnone @alywoah – can you BELIEVE these?!?!?
Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies
I can't tell if how much I love caramel should be cause for concern, or if everyone loves that sweet gooey goodness as much as I do. *shrug* What can I say? I know I posted a caramel-stuffed cookie recipe not so long ago, but I saw this one on Sally's Baking Addiction and simply could not resist. Dark chocolate cookies stuffed with caramel, sprinkled with large flake sea salt? Yes please. Oh, and these don't have just any old caramel on the inside. They're ROLOs. Isn't that ingenious?? What you'll need: 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar 1/2 cup (100g) packed dark brown sugar (or light brown sugar) 1 large egg, room temperature preferred 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly) 2/3 cup (58g) unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk 1 and 1/2 cups (270g) Nestlé® Toll House® Dark Chocolate Morsels 16-17 chocolate coated caramels, such as Rolos coarse sea salt 1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter on medium speed for about 20 seconds. Add sugars and cream together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. 2. In another medium-size mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to wet ingredients until combined. Stir in milk, and fold in dark chocolate morsels. Let dough chill for 1-2 hours. 3. Preheat oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. To form cookies, take 2 tablespoons of dough, split in half, and stick a caramel in the middle. Roll into a ball, making sure caramel is sealed completely inside. Sprinkle with sea salt before baking. Repeat 16-18 times. 4. Bake for 12-13 minutes. Cookies will still appear somewhat raw, but they will continue cooking after you remove them from oven. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before carefully removing to wire rack to cool completely. Bake for 12-13 minutes. Cookies will appear undone and very soft. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. I am making these the SECOND I have some baking time in my schedule. I can't wait. For someone who loves to eat healthy and exercise, I sure can eat a lot of chocolate and caramel... Hope you guys enjoyed the recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction! :) Be sure to check out her blog for more awesome recipes.
Holiday Cheesecake Cookies
Cookie dough: 400 g all purpose flour 125 g confectioners’ sugar 200 g butter 1 egg pinch of salt Filling: 100 g sour cream 200 g cream cheese, room temperature 100 g sweetened condensed milk 2 tbs lemon juice strawberry jam To decorate: Red and green food colouring, and wooden skewers Instructions: 1. Let’s start preparing cookie dough. In a medium mixing-bowl, mix together all ingredientes to form a ball. 2. Divide the dough in two, and gather each portion into a slightly flattened ball. 3. Working with one ball of dough at a time, roll it out between two baking papers to a thickness of maximum 0,5 cm. 4. Using a beveled cookie cutter, cut out circles and drape one circle over each bowl cavity of pan, pressing to form smooth surface. (I used a mini cupcake pan) 5. Chill whilst preheating oven to 350º F (180 ºC) 6. Slip cookies into the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and let them cool on the pan for about 10 minutes 7. Let them cool completely on a wire rack 8. When cold, prepare cheese filling. Mix sweetened condensed milk, sour cream (or whip cream) and cream cheese on a medium bowl, until combined. Add lemon juice and mix well. 9. Place two tablespoons cheese cream on a small bowl, and another two tablespoons on a separate small bowl. Tint one of the bowls with red food colouring, and the other one with green food colouring. 10. Place 1 teaspoon strawberry jam on every cookie bowl. Fill with cheese cream. Use wooden skewers and red and green mixes to decorate 11. Keep in the fridge until set (about 4 hours if using sour cream, at least 24 hours if using whipping cream). They are better the next day. Can be stored several days on the fridge
Homemade Pop-Tarts? Oh Hells Yeah!
I never want to eat a store bought Pop-Tart again. Not after looking at this recipe, which uses real, flaky butter pastry (instead of crumbly cardboard dough) and your favorite fruit preserves (instead of sugar mixed with red dye 40). The homemade frosting and cheerful rainbow sprinkles are the icing on the cake! Photo and recipe credit go to Jaclyn over at Cooking Classy, an awesome cooking and baking blog that you need to check out! For now, here's the recipe for your new favorite breakfast (or anytime) treat. Homemade Pop-Tarts Prep Time: 20 mins. Chill Time: 3 hours. Cook Time: 30 mins. Difficulty: Medium Makes 8 pop-tarts What You'll Need For the pastry: 2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling 1 tsp salt 1 tsp granulated sugar 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1/2-inch cubes 4 - 5 Tbsp ice water 3/4 cup strawberry preserves, divided (or other preserve of choice) For the icing: 1 cup powdered sugar 2 Tbsp half and half, plus more as needed 1/4 tsp vanilla extract What To Do 1. Make the pastry dough: Pulse together flour, salt and granulated sugar in a food processor. Add butter and continue to pulse until the butter is broken up, and the mixture has a mealy texture. Add 4 tablespoons of water and pulse a few times until it comes together into dough; if it fails to come together, add another tablespoon of water and pulse again. 2. On a clean surface, divide dough into two portions. Shape each into a 5-inch dish, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. Meanwhile, line two rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper. 3. Remove one disk from the fridge; leave the other one to chill. Roll out the dough disk into a rectangle measuring approximately 13 inches by 11 inches. If edges crack, just stick them back together and keep rolling. Trim edges just so, so you have a 12"x10" perfect rectangle. Cut this into 8 5"x3" rectangles. 4. Arrange 4 rectangles evenly spaced on the parchment-lined cookie sheet; spread 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of jam evenly down the center of each rectangle. Seal edges with fingertips, then reseal with a fork. Use a tooth pick to poke the top of each tart 4 times. Let chill in the freezer for at least 2 hours, or up to one week. 5. Repeat process with second disk of dough. 6. Preheat oven to 375°F. With one rack in the upper third of the oven and one in the bottom third, bake frozen tarts until golden, rotating racks halfway through baking. It will take about 25-30 minutes in all. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for several minutes, then transfer to wire rack. 7. Make the icing: Whisk together all ingredients, then add additional half and half a 1/2 teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Spread over cooled pop-tarts, then dust with rainbow sprinkles. Allow to set at room temperature. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy! A little bit of a process, but totally worth it, don't you think? I can't wait to try these sweet treats in my own kitchen! :D
Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
These look simply incredible. Two of my favorite things, chocolate chip cookies and caramel, combined into one heavenly cookie creation. I was looking for more caramel recipes (because that's what I do in my spare time, duh) when I found this recipe from Table for Two. I mean, can you even imagine anything more perfect?!? Look at that gooey, warm caramel. Those molten chocolate chunks. That perfectly chewy cookie. Imagine how good these are fresh out of the oven. Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies Prep Time: 10 min. Cook Time: 13 min. Difficulty: Easy Recipe adapted from Table for Two Ingredients 3 sticks (1½ cup) unsalted butter, softened 1½ cup dark brown sugar, packed ½ cup granulated sugar 2 eggs 4 tsp. vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups bread flour (you may use all-purpose flour instead if you don't have it on hand) 4 tsp. cornstarch 2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. salt 1½ cups chocolate chunks ½ cup dark chocolate, finely chopped 18 caramel candies, cut in half to give you 36 Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. In another mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy (about 2 mins). Add eggs and vanilla. Beat 2 more mins. 2. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until fully incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula. To form the cookies, take a spoonful of dough, and use your thumb to make a small hole and press the caramel into the center. Re-roll the ball to cover the caramel candy. 3. Bake for 11-13 minutes. They may look quite soft at this point, but remember they will continue to cook after you remove them from the oven. Allow them to cool completely on baking sheet, or else they'll break and caramel will ooze everywhere. Enjoy, my fellow cookie monsters!! This one's for @JPBenedetto – maybe you could find a way to work in some oatmeal here, for a little extra chew? :D <3 @Luci546 @MooshieBay @InPlainSight You guys might like this one as well :)
You Won't Believe These Gift Wrapping Skills.
So, without fail, the holiday season always reminds me how absolutely horrible I am at wrapping gifts. I try, every year, to wrap them thoughtfully, with brand new wrapping paper boasting Christmas trees or stars or tiny penguins. However, it all ends up crumpled up into large balls of frustration around my living room, so whatever gift-wrapping inspiration you were hoping to get from me is just not going to happen any time soon. Not this millennium. However, check out the packaging handiwork of Sheila, a 27-year-old graphic designer from the San Francisco Bay who put the rest of us to some serious gift wrapping shame. Swipe left to each of these presents to see how they were wrapped - and prepare to be amazed. With a handy Xacto and some graphic design know-how, she transformed this small set of Gundams into a huge stick of butter. And what could she be doing with this copy of 'Falling Up'? Wrapping it up like a sirloin steak, of course. She actually designed her own fake butcher shop labels to pull this one off. I like this one because it (somewhat morbidly) stuck with the ocean theme. Okay, maybe it's just me, but I'd much rather have the giant candy bar. And the doughnuts. I mean, fairies are great, but check out all those sprinkles! It's crazy how realistic this sushi looks - even in photographs! And, last but not least, one man's Nintendo cartridge-inspired flask is another man's, uh... cheese? So what did you guys think? Could you pull this wrapping job off, or do you have a better, more signature strategy of your own?
Chocolate Chip Cookie Shot Glasses
In honor of National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, here is a deliciously fun way to get your chocolate chip cookie fix during happy hour: Chocolate Chip Cookie Shot Glasses! And in case you think I am making this holiday up, you can find it , and a ton of other national holidays that will blow your mind at National Day Calendar online. This 4 1/2 star recipe comes from All Recipes user, Nicole Faust Hunt, called "Absolutely The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies." To make the shot glasses, you will need a 'popover' pan. Otherwise, you can make these using small cupcake pans. However, the shape of the glass will not look like a shot glass. Ingredients: 1 cup butter flavored shortening (not butter) 3/4 cup white sugar 3/4 cup brown sugar 2 eggs 2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla extrac t2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups milk chocolate chips Chocolate candy melts (for later) Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the pan. In a large bowl, cream together the butter flavored shortening, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla .Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Press the cookie dough into the popover pan bottom and sides. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until light brown. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Separately, melt the chocolate candy melts in a microwave or a double boiler. Once the cookie shot glasses have cooled, spoon in the candy melts, covering the bottom and inside cookie walls. This will harden relatively quick, or you can put it in the fridge. This coating will prevent liquids from being absorbed into the cookie. After this is all done, fill these with milk for the 20 and younger crowd or click here for imbibery goodness that you can fill your chocolate chip cookie shot glasses with!
Santa Sushi Is A Thing.
So every Christmas, there's the eggnog, the gingerbread, the candy canes, and even that generic variety tin of three different popcorns, but maybe this 'Santa sushi' roll will become a new holiday staple food. (Okay, maybe not because I think the country's still polarized when it comes to raw seafood, but hey, guys! Check this out!) The good YouTubers of How To Make Sushi created a really awesome tutorial of how to make your own Santa sushi rolls at home. And while it's definitely too advanced for a beginner chef like me, it still doesn't stop me from watching the video the whole way through. For those of you who don't feel like watching a 10 minute video of some dude carving fish, I gifed up my favorite parts. Let's watch together, shall we? First, the sushi chef shaves the salmon down to make a perfectly red Santa hat. Boom. Add crab stick and a carrot and the hat is complete. Then, the beard is thrown together with fluffy sushi rice and some seaweed to create Santa's trademark jolly smile. Raspberry juice-stained rice is used to add color to his skin. (Am I the only one who thinks it looks a bit more like Kraang from 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' right now?) Put it all together, and what do you get? Et voila! The Santa sushi roll is complete! So what do you guys think? Is this not the coolest thing ever? Am I the only one excited about this? Would you eat Santa's face too? Let me know I'm not the only easily amused one around here, okay?