If you’re wanting to make an easy treat for Valentine’s Day, this Chocolate Valentine Granola may be just what you’re looking for! It has some healthy ingredients like chia seeds, chopped nuts, honey, and dried cranberries (or cherries). The chocolate chips and heart sprinkles aren’t quite so healthy, but they make this granola such a yummy treat! Continue reading
I first tasted Saltine Cracker Toffee a few years ago when a friend gave me some during the holidays. I could not believe this toffee was made with saltine crackers—I never would have guessed! Continue reading
Part of the recipe calls for heating sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan and this works best with a nonstick saucepan (it helps prevent the sweetened condensed milk Continue reading
I love the taste of peppermint and mint–flavored sweets. If you like minty sweets too, you need to try these easy homemade Cream Cheese Mints—but watch out, because they’re kind of addicting! They have a rich, creamy, minty flavor and I like them more than I thought I would—which makes them dangerous for me to have around! So I’ve been sharing them with friends and everyone really likes them.
You can make these yummy mints for any special occasion—birthday celebrations, wedding and baby showers, wedding receptions, and of course, the holidays! I tinted mine red (or I guess you could say pink) and green for Christmas, but you can tint them any color you want. Or don’t use any food coloring and leave them a soft creamy white. This recipe makes about 175 small mints, which is a lot, but you’ll need a lot if you’re making them for holiday parties or any other event!
CREAM CHEESE MINTS by NancyC, adapted from BettyCrocker.com
Makes about 175 small mints
- 2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (or use 6 ounces from an 8-ounce block)
- 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
- 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon mint or peppermint extract
- Red and green food coloring, optional
In large bowl, cream the softened butter and cream cheese together, then add the confectioner’s sugar, 3 cups at a time, and blend until smooth. Mix in mint extract. The mixture gets pretty thick, so you may need to work everything in with your hands. Or, you can mix all the ingredients with a food processor (use on-and-off pulses until mixture comes together in a ball).
If you’re wanting to tint your dough red and green (or any 2 other colors), divide dough into 2 equal portions and place on wax paper or parchment paper; add a few drops of red food coloring to 1 mound of dough and a few drops of green food coloring to the other mound of dough; work in or “knead” food coloring into each mound until the coloring is evenly tinted to your desired shade. If you’re just making one color, you won’t need to divide the dough, and if you want your mints to be creamy white, you can skip this whole step–just leave out the food coloring.
Roll dough mixture into small balls (I rolled mine into balls that were between 1/2″ and 5/8″ in diameter-I wouldn’t go any larger than that or they will take forever to set–smaller is better!). Place on waxed paper or parchment paper–lined cookie sheets and flatten each ball with a fork. Let stand about 2 hours or until dry (If the mints are still a little soft after a few hours, go ahead and put them in the refrigerator to finish drying). When mints are set and dry, cover with another sheet of wax paper and refrigerate until ready to serve.
These mints are perfect for parties or sweet little food gifts! And this recipe makes plenty of them, so you’ll have extra for yourself! 🙂 Besides mint, what other flavors do you enjoy around the holidays?
I can’t believe Easter is almost here! If you haven’t had a chance to make any Easter treats yet, here’s a really easy recipe you can put together quickly–and no baking required! It’s so fun and colorful, too. I based this Easter Egg Bark on my Candy Corn Bark recipe I had posted a few years ago. It’s really yummy, packed with those super-good Cadbury candy-coated mini milk chocolate eggs and Easter M&M’s, along with a colorful dash of sprinkles!
This is a thicker bark, compared to some others I’ve made; if you like thinner barks, you could spread the melted white chocolate base in a thinner layer on a 10 x 15″ baking sheet instead of a 9 x 13″ pan. One important tip: It helps if you have the mini eggs and M&M’s pre-measured so you can sprinkle them on quickly before the white chocolate starts to set!
EASTER EGG BARK by NancyC
Makes a 9 x 13″ pan
- 2 (12-ounce) packages white chocolate (vanilla) baking chips
- 1 cup Cadbury milk chocolate Mini Eggs
- 2/3 cup milk chocolate Easter M&M’s
- Colorful Sprinkles
Line a 9 x 13 ” pan with parchment paper, going up the sides and leaving 2 extra inches of paper on each side (so you can lift the bark out of the pan later); set aside.
In a medium microwaveable bowl or container, microwave the white chocolate chips for one minute, then stop and stir. Continue melting the chocolate in the microwave, stopping and stirring every 30 seconds, until all the chips are melted and smooth, for a total of about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes (be careful not to overheat, or the white chocolate will become clumpy!).
Spread the melted white chocolate evenly in a thin layer in the parchment-lined pan with a large spoon or spatula. Sprinkle the Cadbury mini eggs over the melted chocolate, pressing eggs about halfway into the chocolate as you’re placing them. Then do the same with the Easter M&M’s (it helps if you have all these ingredients pre-measured so you can sprinkle them on quickly before the chocolate starts to set). Last of all, top with colorful sprinkles, pressing lightly into the white chocolate if necessary. Note: Make sure all ingredients are pressed into the melted chocolate, or they will just fall off when you are breaking up the bark later.
Let bark set about 1 hour, or until completely firm (you can chill the bark in the refrigerator to help it set quicker). Lift bark from the pan (with the sides of the parchment paper) and place on kitchen counter. Peel parchment paper from bottom side of bark, breaking bark into pieces as you peel. Serve on a platter or in a bowl, or package into treat bags. Store any extra bark covered in an airtight container at room temperature.
That’s all there is to it! What fun sweets and treats are you making for Easter?