I remember how amazing I thought Magic Cookie Bars were when I first made them years ago and I still think they’re pretty amazing! I first made some Dark Chocolate-Toffee Magic Bars a few years ago, which are really yummy too. When I was looking at Continue reading
I never have enough time to make all the holiday cookies I’m wanting to. Because making those pretty, festive cookies does take up quite a bit of time. That’s where this recipe comes in handy. It’s easy, because cake mix makes up part of the dough, but 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?
You’ve probably heard of cookie exchanges…they happen quite a bit around Christmastime. We’ll, this year at work some of us had a little Valentine cookie exchange. I was kind of short on time, so I needed to make something fairly easy, but still wanted it to be very yummy. I’ve seen lots of recipes for cake mix bars and cookies lately, so I thought I’d come up with my own version of Red Velvet bars made with cake mix. After all, any Red Velvet recipe seems appropriate for Valentine’s Day and using cake mix makes it really easy!
These bars are actually more like brownies than cookies–with lots of M&M’s and semi-sweet mini chocolate chips added in! If you’re looking for a simple Valentine treat to make, with lots of yummy chocolate flavor, you still have a little time to try these out!
RED VELVET VALENTINE BARS by NancyC
Makes a 9×13″ pan
- 1 (16.5-ounce) box of Red Velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines®) Signature Red Velvet Cake Mix)
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup canola oil or light olive oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 (11.4-ounce) bag Valentine M&M’s (about 1 2/3 cups), divided
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or line a 9×13″ baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.
Mix cake mix, egg, oil, milk, and vanilla extract until blended–your batter will be fairly thick, but still stirable. Fold in the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and 3/4 cup of the M&M’s, stirring to distribute evenly in batter (save the rest of the M&M’s for sprinkling on top).
Press batter evenly into your prepared 9×13″ pan and sprinkle with the remaining M&M’s, pressing them into the batter. Bake at 350˚F for 23 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean (the toothpick may have a red tint to it when you pull it out). Cool completely, then cut into bars (if you lined your pan with parchment paper, lift the bars out of your pan with the parchment paper edges, and cut into bars).
These are very rich and chocolatey with all those M&M candies and chocolate chips in there! What kinds of goodies are you making for Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day is just a few days away…if you still need ideas for ways to wrap or package your Valentine gifts, treats, or candy, here are some fresh ideas!
Above, Valentine Present Toppers from Julep look really easy to make–see instructions and downloadable heart shapes here.
Speaking of jars, here’s a pretty way to dress up a jar and put a gift inside…like a food gift or candle. From The Pleated Poppy.
Also at World Label, special treat labels and stickers for coffee or hot cocoa cups, chocolate bars, and goody bags. See instructions and downloadable designs here.
Check out these Candy Huggers…a fun way for kids to give Valentine Candy! See downloads and instructions here at Lia Griffith.
Hope these ideas give you some inspiration for Valentine’s Day! 🙂
Linked to Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner.