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Crockpot Christmas Crack

Have you ever dreamed of being one of those people who hands out homemade candy at Christmas, but secretly loathe those with that much time on their hands during the holidays? Well my friend, this recipe is for you. I’ve been making cookies, candies, treats and tasty things at Christmas time for two decades (sheesh I’m old), and never have I found a goodie that takes less time and effort than this Crockpot Christmas Crack.

Crockpot Christmas Crack

This stuff is the easiest Christmas candy ever. EVER. You literally throw all the ingredients in a crockpot, wait a bit, stir, then drop blobs out onto wax paper to cool. Boom. Done. For the super fancy, you can drop the candy blobs into mini cupcake liners. Ooooooh, so very Martha, Betty, Paula, Ina of you!

Crockpot Christmas Crack

Bonus. It tastes incredible. Peanuty chocolatey goodness. You’d swear it came from an upscale sweet shop. Double bonus. It makes a TON. You’ll be able to gift a bag to your neighbors, your co-workers, church small group, kids sports team, cashiers at the corner store, postman, hairdresser, in-laws, out-laws, the butcher, baker and the candlestick maker. Plus still have enough to leave some for Santa, and make yourself sick off what’s left.

Crockpot Christmas Crack

Print Recipe for Crockpot Christmas Crack

Crockpot Christmas Crack
adapted from Just a Pinch

1 – 16 oz jar(s)unsalted peanuts

1 – 16 oz. jar(s)salted peanuts
1 – 12 oz bag(s)semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 – 12 oz bag(s)milk chocolate chips
2 – 10 oz bag(s)peanut butter chips
1 lb pkg white almond bark or vanilla candy coating (I used candy coating)
Layer all ingredients in a large crockpot (starting with peanuts). Turn the pot on low, cover with lid, and leave sitting for 30 minutes. Then, remove lid and stir to combine. Replace lid and leave sitting for another 15-30 minutes. Stir again and then spoon mixture on to wax paper, or if you are feeling SUPER fancy, drop into mini-cupcake liners. Allow to harden for at least 1 hour. Enjoy!
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Happy Pi Day!

It’s March 14th! That means math rules the day and we get to celebrate by eating pie! Yes, the third month, the fourteenth day is very special around here. For it is the glorious day we celebrate the tool that helps us calculate all circular things. 3.14 = pi. March 14th = pie. Here are some of my favorites to make for this special day.

Pi Day - Bakerlady [Read more…]

Easy Irish Soda Bread

No Corned Beef Dinner would be truly complete without delicious Irish Soda Bread to accompany it. I am absolutely required to bring a still-warm loaf (or two) of this soda bread to my mom’s each year for St. Patrick’s Day dinner. It is pillowy soft inside with a gorgeous crusty exterior. This bread is also incredibly easy to make!

Easy Irish Soda Bread - Bakerlady

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American Girl Tea Party Birthday

After begging for an American Girl doll the past three years, my daughter’s greatest desire was granted her last birthday with the gift of a green-eyed, curly blonde haired mini-me. She promptly named her doll “Maddie” and they’ve been inseparable ever since. The gratification of at last owning an American Girl doll all of her own could only be topped by celebrating her birthday this year with a themed American Girl tea party extravaganza. She wanted all her friends to come over and play dolls with her, while enjoying a delightful (and very grown up) tea. So here’s my great big American Girl Tea Party Birthday post, complete with free printable invitations, menus, name tags and all the food and craft ideas you could hope for!

American Girl Tea Party Ideas and Printables - Bakerlady [Read more…]

Oatmeal to Go Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

As a homeschooling family, I only have to cram breakfast in while packing lunches and getting out the door on time once a week. We have a weekly co-op, and every Tuesday, amid the scramble, I marvel at all you moms and dads who run the gauntlet of morning activity every day. “Where are my shoes?” “I forgot my water bottle!” “No, you cannot wear flip-flops! It’s pouring down rain and 40 degrees!” It’s pure insanity. Getting some food in the kid’s bellies is the worst part. Breakfast is just not a meal that you can finish in the car easily. You either chow down at the table, or get to enjoy the smell of stale milk wafting from the back of the van for weeks on end after your precious 6 year-old dumped his cereal all over. Yeah. Breakfast is an in-the-house meal. Unless you make up a batch of these delicious Oatmeal to Go Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins. They are completely portable and absolutely scrumptious.

Oatmeal to go Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins - Bakerlady

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Red, White and Blue Berry Trifle

I have no clue why it’s called a trifle. The word means something of little importance or value. This dessert isn’t anywhere in that neighborhood. It is gorgeous, fresh and delicious. My first experience with trifle was during a visit to Victoria during tea at Butchart Gardens. I devoured layers of soaked sponge-cake, fruit and custard all the while knowing the little dish of it wasn’t going to be enough. I’d have to recreate it at home.

Red White and Blue Berry Trifle - Bakerlady

Generally trifle is made with a sponge or pound cake, but for this slightly lightened version I used angel food cake. Since the light white cake has a delicate texture, I didn’t soak it in juice or liqour, choosing to simply brush a little Cointreau over each layer instead. You could use Triple-Sec or (for non-alcohol people) some orange juice.

Red White and Blue Berry Trifle - Bakerlady

I used a cookie cutter to make some angel food cake stars to make this a very patriotic dessert. It just seemed right with all those beautiful red and blue berries. It would be PERFECT for any 4th of July celebration.

Red White and Blue Berry Trifle - Bakerlady

The star of this show (ha-ha) is most certainly the homemade vanilla custard. Thick and creamy with the perfect sweetness. It is absolutely marvelous. You have to stir it constantly when making it, but it isn’t hard – or really all that time-consuming. Don’t be tempted by instant pudding in a box. Seriously. You have no idea how much more delicious homemade is. It shouldn’t be called the same food. Give it a whirl. You’ll be so glad you did! Look at it pushing thru all those beautiful berries. (happy sigh)

Red White and Blue Berry Trifle - Bakerlady

The topper for this berry delight is a delicious rich mascarpone cream. You’ll want to just eat it out of the bowl (confession on that in a sec). Whipped cream combined with creamy sweet mascarpone cheese and some sugar has the perfect sweet richness for this dessert.

Red White and Blue Berry Trifle - Bakerlady

Get ready for the confession. Here it comes. You are going to be so ashamed of me. I had the “butt” of the angel food cake and some of the mascarpone cream left over. And, I couldn’t help myself – I made a sandwich out of it. Slapped some berries in there. Mmmmm. Yeah. I have a problem with delicious food. I feel better now that I’ve gotten that off my chest. Thanks.

Red White and Blue Berry Trifle - Bakerlady

Bottom line. Make this. As soon as you can. Invite some people over, have a BBQ and let them all marvel at how gorgeous dessert is. They’ll be blown away when they realize it tastes even better than it looks!

Red White and Blue Berry Trifle - Bakerlady

 

Print Recipe for Red White and Blue Berry Trifle

Red, White and Blue Berry Trifle

One batch Vanilla Custard (recipe below)
1 package loaf angel food cake
1/2 cup Cointreau (or OJ)
3-4 cups mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
1 batch Mascarpone Cream (recipe below)

Directions

1. Make the Vanilla Custard and allow to cool 15 minutes. Begin assembling the angel food cake and the preparing the berries as the custard cools.
2. Cut angel food cake into slices (or shapes) and layer 1/3 in the bottom of a trifle dish.
3. Brush with Cointreau until just moistened.
4. Layer 1/4 of the berries over the cake.
5. Top with 1/3 of the custard.
6. Repeat layers twice. Angel food cake, Cointreau, berries and custard.
7. Finish with a layer of berries done in a design (or just load them on there).
8. Whip Maxcarpone Cream and layer (or pipe using a Ziploc bag) on top of the berries.
9. Refrigerate until ready to eat. This keeps very well overnight.


Vanilla Custard

from Allrecipes

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups  milk (I used non-fat, but you can use anything up to 2%)
4 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir constantly 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.
  2. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in butter and vanilla.
  3. Cool for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to dessert dishes. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Mascarpone Cream
from Joy of Baking

1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
2/3 cup Mascarpone Cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Place the heavy whipping cream, mascarpone, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl.  Whip until soft peaks form.

Fourth of July Flag Bean Dip

Independence Day is coming this weekend! Break out your stars and stripes, fireworks and booze! Because we’re celebrating “Merica”! Whip up this festive bean dip and you’ll be the hero of the day!

Festive 4th of July Flag Bean Dip - Bakerlady

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Alton Brown’s Baked Eggs

Perfect hard-boiled eggs require very specific boiling time, and the max you can boil at a time (perfectly) is about 12. My hard-boiled eggs recipe has served me well for many years. But there’s a new sheriff in town. Alton Brown. More specifically, his gloriously creamy, perfectly cooked, dozens at a time baked eggs.

Alton Brown's Baked Eggs
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Saint Patrick’s Day Deliciousness

Here’s a round-up of a few of my favorite dishes for Saint Patrick’s Day! Click on the titles to be brought to the details on how to make each deliciously Irish item, or just head to the bottom of this post to print out all the recipes and get cooking!

Bread Pudding with Bailey's Custard [Read more…]

The “Everything is Awesome” Totally Amazing Lego Party!

If you have a child between the ages of 3 and 13, chances are, you’ve seen The Lego Movie and have endured enjoyed endless hours of “Everything is Awesome” being sung, hummed, whistled and generally trapped in your subconscious. My little rugrats can be found most days sprawled on the floor singing as they create masterful designs with their Legos. For my son’s 6th birthday, we went all out Lego awesomeness.

Everything Is Awesome Lego Cake - Bakerlady

Here’s the great big Lego party post including great (well, I think so anyway) free printables from me, the best cake and frosting recipe ever, and a round-up of the amazing things others have created that helped me pull of a party enjoyed by folks from ages 3-87.

Everything Is Awesome Lego Party Ideas

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