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…]

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.

Easter Foods That Are Easier Than You’d Expect!

Easter is coming! Here’s a round-up of some of my favorite springtime breakfasts, sides and desserts, perfect for your family get-together this week! Just click on the recipe title to be taken to the full recipe! Enjoy and Happy Easter!Hard Boiled Eggs

[Read more…]

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…]

Honeycrisp Dutch Apple Pie

A mournful thick rain is pelting my office classroom playroom window tonight as I sit typing with a belly that is full and happy. Full because it’s stuffed with layers of perfectly spiced apple, buttery flaky crust and crunchy crumble topping. Happy basking in the glow of warm friendship and thankfulness. My girlfriend Rachel brought me a 15 pound box of honeycrisp apples this week fresh from the orchards of Eastern Washington – because she’s amazing and knows I love to bake with them. Just a day later, my “I-want-to-be-just-like-her” friend Jen popped by with a basket full of honeycrisps, caramels and a note of encouragement. Seriously, I completely fail in the doing-nice-things-just-because portion of friendship. These gals are rock stars who I’m incredibly blessed to know. Of course, as always happens, Jen came by as we were doing school in our PJs and I still hadn’t managed a shower. It’s good to have friends who love you in spite of your flaws. [Read more…]

The World’s Greatest Cinnamon Rolls

You know what’s great? The little lip balms that look like mini eggs. Piano music on a blustery day. Smiley face stickers. Finding a ten-dollar bill in an old purse. Laughing so hard you cry a little. And most of all…cinnamon rolls. Specifically, these cinnamon rolls. The best EVER. No, I’m not kidding. They are perfection.

The World's Greatest Cinnamon Rolls - Bakerlady

[Read more…]

Pumpkin Spice Deathcakes (Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting)

 

Spice cupcakes have been a Halloween tradition for me since childhood. These “deathcakes” are full of cinnamon and pumpkin topped with a glorious cream cheese frosting. Delicious.

Pumpkin Spice Deathcakes - Bakerlady

Love this recipe idea? Check out more Halloween party food on my Fabulously Freaky Halloween Fodder post. It’s full of devilish and delicious ideas!

Print Recipe for Pumpkin Spice Deathcakes

Pumpkin Spice Deathcakes
from Cake Central

1 box spice cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup water
1 cup sour cream
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Whisk together dry ingredients then add wet and beat on low speed for 2 minutes.
Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes. Makes about 36 cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup of shortening
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter @ room temp
1 8oz bar cream cheese @ room temp
1 T vanilla extract
2 lbs shifted powder sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Directions

Cream together shortening, butter, and cream cheese until nice and smooth. Add vanilla into mixture and combine. Sift together sugar and salt, and slowly add to shortening, butter & cheese mixture. Make sure that all sugar is incorporated.

Mom’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake Perfection

My mother has been making this cake as long as I can remember. As a child, the thought of a vegetable baked into a cake was just supremely odd. Now I know that little flecks of zucchini melt into the chocolate batter making the texture and richness just perfect.

Mom's Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake Perfection - Bakerlady

[Read more…]

Plum Cake Bread

Great neighbors are hard to come by. I know someone (who shall remain nameless) who lives next to a family where the kids play a game called “Am I Being Murdered?”. An activity that’s such fun, it has to be enjoyed during every single hour of every single day. A jolly good time for the whole housing development I’m sure. On the other end of the spectrum are the good folks who reside just over the fence from me. Specifically the very talented gardener of the family, who delivers just picked fruit and vegetables to my greedy doorstep all summer long. I get nature’s bounty freely given with zero effort on my part. It’s simply divine. Just this week I’ve received zucchini, cucumber, apples (two kinds), and most delicious of all, plums. They arrive in bags and buckets. Fragrant, juicy, mildly tart and perfect.

Plum Cake Bread - Bakerlady

It didn’t take much convincing for my children to believe that plums are far better than candy. They have free reign to enjoy a succulent treat from the plum basket whenever they want. Both munchkins are now consistently a sticky mess of dribbly plum juice and I don’t even care.

Plum Cake Bread - Bakerlady
This recipe is a quick bread that tastes dangerously close to a cake. It’s sweetness and light with a hint of tart sprinkled throughout from the plums. Delicious. It would be perfect for a brunch, ladies tea, afternoon snack, or dessert. Basically, whenever you want to eat it, do.

Plum Cake Bread - Bakerlady

You can use yogurt instead of sour cream if that’s what you have handy. The batter is nice and thick so all those beautiful plum pieces won’t sink to the bottom of your bread. I also baked this in mini loaf pans as well as a 9-inch square cake pan. Both turned out with a perfect texture and golden crust. Just adjust your bake time accordingly. I started by baking about 30 minutes then checked on my cake bread every 5 minutes or so until it was done.

Plum Cake Bread - Bakerlady

Print Recipe For Plum Cake Bread

Plum Cake Bread
adapted from Allrecipes.com

1 cup pitted, chopped plums
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup brown sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.
2. Sprinkle chopped plums with 1 tablespoon of flour in a bowl, and toss to coat. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter, white sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. In another bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cup of flour with salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, alternating with sour cream until the mixture forms a smooth batter. Lightly stir in the flour-coated plums, and pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the top of the batter with brown sugar.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool in the pan 10 to 15 minutes before removing from pan for slicing.

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