Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gingerbread Cupcakes w/ Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

These are fun for Christmas parties - bite-sized and delicious! I got this recipe from another food blog that I follow. Check out the original recipe HERE.

You'll need:

For the cupcakes:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
3/4 cup water

For the frosting:
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. milk

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

Cream together sugar and softened butter.

Add molasses.

Beat in eggs one at a time.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and allspice.

Stir in water. The mixture will look a little like dough.

Gradually blend the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, one cup at a time, until all the clumps are gone.

Line cupcake pan with paper liners, and fill 2/3 full with batter. I used a mini-cupcake pan for this batch, and baked them about 12-14 minutes. If you make regular-sized cupcakes, bake for 16-18 minutes.

Now time for frosting!

Blend together the cream cheese, butter, lemon zest, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. When you're done adding the sugar, blend in the couple teaspoons of milk.

Be sure to cool the cupcakes completely before frosting. Piping frosting makes me happy...

So do sprinkles...


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Pretzel Candy

These are so easy to make! And the sweet/salty pairing is delicious!

You'll need:
Hugs Hershey Kisses (and/or Rolos)
Pretzel Snaps (I call these waffle pretzels.)
Red/Green M&Ms

Center each Kiss on a pretzel.

Bake on 200 degrees for 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven, and gently press an M&M in the center of each Kiss.

Let these cool for a few minutes and then carefully place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened. Both the Rolos and Hugs were delicious!

Sending you lots of love and Christmas spirit from my kitchen! :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sweet Potato Casserole

My roommate got this recipe from a friend and made it for a dinner party last week. It was so delicious, I knew I had to add it to the menu for my family's Thanksgiving dinner a few weeks ago, with a few minor tweaks. It was a hit!! Pretty sure we'll be seeing it again this Christmas!

You'll need:

4 cups sweet potato
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
3 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Wash potatoes and wrap in foil. Bake the potatoes at 300 degrees for about 2 hours or until a knife easily slides through them. The cooking time will depend on how big the potatoes are.

Unwrap potatoes and slice in half when done. Let them hang out about 10 minutes or until they're cool enough to handle

Scoop out the potato filling, and whisk along with all casserole ingredients until blended and creamy.

Transfer the mixture into a glass dish that's been sprayed with cooking spray.

Combine brown sugar and flour with butter.

Use a fork to cut up the butter.

Add chopped walnuts.

 Sprinkle topping evenly over the top of the casserole. Bake this for 20-25 minutes on 350 degrees.

Crispy, crunchy top. Sweet, creamy center. Yum!