Christmas Kit Kat Cake with Eggland’s Best {GIVEAWAY}

One of my family’s favorite cakes is what is commonly referred to now as the “Kit Kat Cake” or the “Candy Cake”. I made my first one for my daughter’s 10th birthday and it was a huge success. And delicious! I have wanted to make a Christmas version and the 2013 Eggland’s Best Holiday Dessert Recipe Exchange gave me the perfect opportunity! Plus, my husband needed a cake to take to work, so I could make the cake, and pass the calories on to other people. I’m thoughtful like that 🙂 

You may have seen that I often use Eggland’s Best eggs in my recipes…like this Biscuit Breakfast Casserole or these Baked Bacon and Eggs. They are my brand of choice because they have 25% less saturated fat than ordinary eggs and contain more vitamins D, E, and B12, and more nutrients like omega-3 and lutein. 

And I’ve never done a side by side comparison to other brands, but look how yellow and pretty they are! (Okay, that’s not really a reason to use them, but hey, it’s an observation!)
Speaking of pretty, does anything scream the holidays like red and green?! I’ve changed the cake recipe up a bit, and from what my husband’s coworkers said…it was delicious! (and the batter was amazing)
Those spatulas work great at getting every last bit of batter out of the bowl. And into the cake pans. Absolutely not into my mouth. *ahem*

Chocolate Vanilla Christmas Cake

1 package devil’s food cake mix (without pudding in the mix)
1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix (sugar free/fat free is fine)
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup canola oil
4 Eggland’s Best eggs, beaten
1/2 cup coffee

1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

For decorating – 
frosting of choice
10 regular size Kit Kat bars
Red and Green M and M’s (regular and mini’s)
    *any candy you like…I think the peanut butter M and M’s or the Mint would be really good too!
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake and pudding mixes, yogurt, oil, beaten eggs and coffee.
  • Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Pour batter into two greased and floured cake pans. (or pan of choice)
  • Bake for suggested time on back of cake mix box for the size pan you are using, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Allow cake to cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack to cool completely before icing.

Once the layers are cooled, ice with desired icing. I like to use chocolate, so that you do not get a different color peeking through the Kit Kat bars, but use what you like. For this particular cake, I used Hershey’s Special Dark canned frosting, (however, I’ve since discovered this frosting and it is amazing.) After frosting the cake, place Kit Kat sticks all around the outside of the cake. It works best to break the bars into doubles or triple sticks instead of using singles. The bars will stick to the frosting, and you can place a ribbon around the outside to reinforce the bars and just ensure they don’t fall. I haven’t had this happen, but it could if your icing started to melt. Once the Kit Kat bars are in place, pour your candy over the top, lightly pressing down. I like to use regular M&M’s and mini’s to fill in any gaps. SO MUCH CHOCOLATE, but OH SO GOOD!

{Disclaimer right here!} Eggland’s Best was oh so awesome to send me this great package of goodies (minus the 18 count carton of EB eggs. I buy those at Sam’s Club!)
GIVEAWAY INFO – They are also graciously supplying one Makin’ it Mo’Betta reader with an EB goody bag including an EB spatula, tote, whisk, bowl scraper, plush egg, and coupon for a free dozen of Eggland’s Best eggs! (shipping only available to U.S. residents). Just leave me a comment letting me know you would like to be entered into the giveaway. And if you would like to share your favorite recipe using eggs, that would be awesome too…leave it as a separate comment and you will have an extra entry into the giveaway! Giveaway ends midnight 12/18/13 EST. 

Egg & Nut Free Holiday Treats – Round Up

The holidays are a little tough when you or someone in your family has food allergies. My son was diagnosed with egg, peanut and tree nut allergies at a very young age. He is now 5 and has outgrown the egg allergy, so things have gotten easier. However, this time of year, with food pretty much everywhere, I have to be diligent in monitoring what my son eats.

Here is a collection of things I have made in the past that are egg and nut free, and make tasty treats for everyone, food allergic or not! (Just click on the title and it will take you to the recipe) First up –

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
These were really good, and I don’t think anyone would realize they are egg free. You could also add some colorful sprinkles or candies on top to make them more festive.


Reindeer Mix, affectionately known by some as ‘White Trash’ Mix, is a sweet and salty combo that is always a hit. Whatever you call it, I call it good!


Oreo Truffles  Oreos, cream cheese and chocolate are all that makes up these delicious little treats.


Egg free gingerbread men Fun to decorate and have a good flavor too!


Faux Toffee‘ Sorry for the blurry pic, I will try to update this one very soon. The treat however…there is a reason it’s called Christmas Crack. So good, so addictive!


DIY Twix Bars with Biscoff  Ohmigosh…I absolutely love these tihings!


Egg free Sugar Cookies  This is a good egg free cookie recipe for cut out cookies. They are great for decorating with the kids and hold up well to cutting out and frosting.

Pretzel Turtles Super easy and yummy treat. You can tell we like the sweet and salty thing.


Old Fashioned Fudge  Fudge is my all time favorite Christmas treat. I only make it at Christmas, and you do need a candy thermometer for this one, but it is ohhhh so worth it! This one has nuts, but it is delicious without. I usually make a batch of both. This is the only “real” fudge in my book!


Rolo Brownies  An easy brownie recipe starting with a mix and using yogurt instead of eggs.


Monster Magic Bars  These are another holiday favorite, and no eggs or nuts needed to have one fabulous treat. OR this version –

Not Your Mama’s Magic Bars (just leave off the nuts)


No Peanut Butter Blossoms These are a delicious version of a Christmas classic using a peanut butter substitute. SunButter is my favorite, but SoyNut Butter is cheaper and easier to find around here. I’d like to try these using Biscoff one day too. Hmmm, sounds like a plan for later in the week!

NOTE: It is very important to always check your labels on all ingredients used when baking for someone with food allergies (even if you have checked them before, b/c sometimes manufacturers change things without warning!) You would be surprised how many “hidden” allergens can be in foods. Also, my advice is that if you are baking for someone else, and trying to be allergy friendly, it is still best to let that person or parent look at the labels of the products used. I have been really touched by the extra efforts some people have made to accommodate my son’s allergies, even though I always say – do whatever you have planned and I will make accommodations for him. Of course, I’ve also gotten pretty pissed off irritated at some people’s insensitivity or deliberate ignorance. But that’s a story for another day. Right now, let’s go
EAT DRINK AND BE MERRY 🙂 Safely!

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!Huckleberry LoveThe Newlyweds PilgrimageSowdering About in SeattleCraft and Repeat (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeSarah Lynn’s SweetsBeBetsy and VMG206Twinkling Trees , Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeThe Real Thing with The Coake FamilyTessa the Domestic Diva  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,   Lamberts Lately (Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage Chic (Saturday)  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ StuffIt’s Overflowing, (Sunday) Made from Pinterest

Italian Meatball Sliders & GIVEAWAY!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of McCormick & Company for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
When I think of meatballs, I think of labor intensive and time-consuming. However, that’s not the case at all wtih this Herbed Turkey Meatballs recipe from McCormick.com. They came together quickly, baked up in less than 20 minutes, and tasted delicious!

I decided to make meatball sliders as a quick meal before heading out for my girls’ volleyball games. My middle child loved these! I loved the fact that they were simple to prepare, flavorful, had a great texture (sometimes meatballs have a weird texture that I don’t like), and they weren’t greasy in the least…

See…almost no grease! I used a very lean ground beef (90/10) but the original recipe calls for ground turkey, which would also work great as I use turkey quite often. Even though the meat was very low in fat, the meatballs had a great flavor from the blend of spices.

I threw in some red pepper flakes for a few of the meatballs (not all, since I knew my kids would not like any heat!) The Herbed Turkey Meatballs have a blend of basil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper; combined with bread crumbs. I used plain Japanese Panko bread crumbs and spices by McCormick. I think next time I may reduce the garlic just a little, but that’s just a personal preference – we aren’t huge garlic fans. Meatballs can be used for any number of dishes, but since we were so short on time, I thought sliders would be a good option. I took a roll, split it, added a little pizza sauce, topped it with the meatballs and reduced fat mozzarella cheese, and baked for a few minutes – until the cheese was nice and melted.

YUM! I am definitely adding these to my “make again” list – I can see meatball subs, spaghetti and meatballs, meatball sub casserole, meatballs in sauce….all in our future. We enjoyed them so much, I made a video…I’m calling it the original ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’. haha, enjoy my “movie”!

Now, onto the giveaway! How would you like to win this McCormick Gift Set?

Nice right?! I would personally love to win this myself! All you need to do to qualify is answer the question “What’s your favorite McCormick Spice?” in the comment section of this post!
For additional entries, you can also “like” McCormickSpice on Facebook; @Spices4Health on Twitter and @mccormickspices on Pinterest. Just leave a seperate comment for each additional thing you do.  (Shipping is only available within the US.)  *GIVEAWAY ENDS 10/20/13 at midnight EST*
Visit Sponsor's Site

Pizza Puffs & Cookbook Review + GIVEAWAY!

One of my favorite food bloggers is Nicole of Prevention RD. I’ve been reading her blog for years now, and she has inspired me to try many new things…like tofu! Yes, my family wasn’t thrilled with that, but I discovered tofu isn’t so bad 🙂 We share the desire to take our favorite foods and lighten them up, and that healthy eating can be delicious! I was very excited for her when she announced she was writing a cookbook, and I was even more excited when I was contacted by the publisher to review the book! Not only that, they are offering a free copy to one of you!!

You know when you start looking over a cookbook, and immediately start bookmarking pages that it’s a good one. One of the first recipes in the book is for Pizza Puffs, and I knew they had to be made immediately. My kids and I love all things pizza!

Pizza Puffs from Prevention RD’s Everyday Healthy Cooking Cookbook

3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 cup fat free milk
1 egg, lightly beaten (I used Egg Beaters since I was out of eggs)
4 oz. (1 cup) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
34 slices turkey pepperoni, quartered (I used about 20)
1/2 cup pizza sauce (homemade or store-bought; I used this easy version)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and oregano; whisk in milk and egg. Stir in mozzarella and pepperoni; let stand 10 minutes.
Stir batter, and divide among mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20-25 minutes.
Warm pizza sauce, then stir in 1 tablespoon basil. Sprinkle puffs with remaining 1 tablespoon basil. (I omitted) Serve puffs with pizza sauce for dipping. (if desired, my kids didn’t want sauce.)
Yield:
24 pizza puffs
Nutrition Information (per pizza puff):
38 calories; 1.4 g fat; 14 mg cholesterol; 123 mg sodium; 3.5 g carbohydrate; 0.1 g fiber; 3.0 g protein (stats per book)
*using the above stats, I calculated these as 1 Weight Watchers Point Plus (per puff)!
These made a great portable meal for the kids the other evening when we they had an insane schedule and had to actually eat dinner between volleyball games. I preferred them at room temp, so they will be great to pack for lunches at school, to have as appetizers, you name it! (When hot they are puffy and airy with melty cheese; when cooled they are more dense like actual pizza bites – they are good both ways!)
The cookbook is like Nicole’s blog, it has a wide variety of recipes with amazing pictures of each dish. The next on my list to make is the Greek Orzo and the Chocolate Dutch Baby. I’ve also already made Oven Fried Pickles from the book! It’s also the perfect time of year to try the Lightened-Apple Crisp, and the Carrot Cake Pancakes with Cream Cheese Glaze looks absolutely amazing!
So who’s interested in Prevention RD’s Everyday Healthy Cooking Cookbook with 100 Light and Delicious Recipes?! Just enter via the rafflecopter form!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure – As stated in the post, I was given a copy of the cookbook for review. All opinions are my own.

Southern Iced Fruit Tea

Southern Iced Fruit Tea

2 family-size iced tea bags
6 cups boiling water
1 cinnamon stick
1 can (48 ounces) pineapple juice
1 can (12 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 can (12 ounces) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
optional: fruit slices and/or mint, for garnish (I omitted)
  • Bring water just to a boil, remove from heat, then add tea bags and the cinnamon stick.
  • Steep for at least 15 minutes (longer for stronger tea).
  • After steeping, remove tea bags and cinnamon stick. Pour tea in a large pitcher (I used a sun tea pitcher).
  •  Stir in the thawed orange juice and lemonade.  Stir until blended.
  •  Add the pineapple juice, stir well.
  •  Refrigerate until fully chilled, and stir before serving (the juice tends to settle, so you will need to stir every so often,)

I think you could add in some rum for a delish grown up beverage too!

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaHolly’s Stamping AddictionThe Dedicated HouseHomemaker on a DimeSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!Huckleberry LoveThe Newlyweds Pilgrimage (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxBlessed with GraceLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeSarah Lynn’s SweetsBeBetsy and VMG206The Real Thing with The Coake Family (Wednesday) Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsHungry Little GirlNaptime is My Time, Cherished Handmade Treasures, The Wilderness Wife  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,  The Busy Bee’s, Lamberts Lately (Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on Sunshine(Saturday) Lemons for Lulu,  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ Stuff (Sunday) Mommy’s Sweet Confessions 

Yay! This recipe was featured at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

 

© copyright 2013 – All rights reserved

Makin’ it Mo’Betta

Not your average Strawberry Shortcake

Did you know today is National Strawberry Shortcake Day? I know right?! I’m learning that there is a day for pretty much everything. Luckily, I have just the thing to share with you on this special day. Actually, I made it to take to a family celebration of a VERY special day. June 10th marked the 3 year anniversary of my Dad’s life saving stem cell transplant!!! My Dad was diagnosed with Leukemia in October 2009 and his only hope of survival was a transplant. You can read more here and here if interested. Each year that passes is a miracle and we make sure that we get together and celebrate.

Notice the heart shaped strawberries? And of course, the number 3. Made with love, baby 🙂
This is like a strawberry shortcake, but made about 10 times better with the addition of cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk. Sweetened. Condensed. Milk. It bears repeating. I could drink the stuff. I knew when I saw this over at The Better Baker, I had to give it a try.

Strawberry Spectacular 

1 Angel Food Cake {prepared} I used Duncan Hines
1 (8 oz) box of Cream Cheese (I used the reduced fat)
1 (14 oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (I used fat free)
1 (16 oz) container Cool Whip (large container) (any variety is fine: light, fat-free, SF, or homemade)
2 (10 oz) containers frozen strawberries in their juice, thawed*
fresh strawberries for garnish (if desired)
*I could only find the Food Lion brand strawberries, and they came sweetened with sugar or with Splenda. I used the ones sweetened with sugar. I think you could use fresh strawberries as well. Just slice fresh strawberries, sprinkle with sugar, and let hang out in the fridge overnight so they will produce some juice, then proceed with the recipe. However, I haven’t tried this, so I can’t speak from experience.

Break angel food cake into bite size pieces into a 9″ x 13″ dish. Fill the pan about 2/3-3/4 full…you want to have room for your strawberries and Cool Whip. I used almost my entire cake, minus about a 2 or 3 inch slice that *accidentally* got eaten while I was making this.

  • Cream together cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until smooth and pour over the cake.
  • Pour both containers of thawed strawberries evenly over the cream cheese/milk mixture – juice and all!
  • Evenly spread Cool Whip over strawberries.
  • Let chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours, then top with fresh strawberries if desired before serving.
I made my cake, topped it with the cream cheese mixture, and stuck it in the fridge overnight. The next morning I completed the assembly and it sat for a few hours until time to enjoy. I think I could have made the whole thing the night before without any problem. I was worried about the cake getting too soggy, but it wasn’t soggy at all. The Angel Food Cake holds up well to the toppings.
I recommend making this for National Strawberry Shortcake Day…or any day for that matter!

I’m linking up at (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaHolly’s Stamping AddictionThe Dedicated HouseHomemaker on a DimeSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!Huckleberry LoveThe Newlyweds Pilgrimage (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxBlessed with GraceLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeSarah Lynn’s Sweets, BeBetsy and VMG206The Real Thing with The Coake Family (Wednesday) Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsHungry Little GirlNaptime is My Time, Cherished Handmade Treasures, The Wilderness Wife  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,  The Busy Bee’s, Lamberts Lately (Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on Sunshine(Saturday) Lemons for Lulu,  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ Stuff (Sunday) Mommy’s Sweet Confessions , Finding Joy In My Kitchen and Gooseberry Patch

This recipe was featured at BeBetsyNap Time Creations, Mandy’s Recipe Box


nap-time creations
Mandy's Recipe Box

White Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Walnut Cookies

I’ve been sitting here trying to come up with a name for these cookies…something short, but encompasses all the yumminess they contain. I failed. So, I guess I’ll just show them to you.

I love cookies. And I really love chocolate chip cookies.  I like this cookie recipe because it makes a nice fat cookie, that is soft but firm, and crisp yet chewy. Know what I mean? No? Wellll, make them and you will see what I mean!
These were some of the cookies we included in the teacher gifts I posted the other day.

White Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Walnut Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • In a bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy
  • Mix in egg, then flour and baking soda.
  • Stir in white and semi sweet chocolate chips, and nuts.
  • Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough (approx 1-1/2 inch balls), about 2 inches apart, onto greased cookie sheets or silicone mats.
  • Bake 13-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  • Cool 2-3 minutes on cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool thoroughly.
These are A+ material in my book 🙂
Linking up at –

Foodie Friends Friday    

And they were chosen as a Host Favorite over at Foodie Friends Friday!!

Daily Dish Magazine

Brownie Graduation Hats

For Mr. Three’s pre-school graduation party last week, I made little graduation hats. (I can’t believe my baby is going to Kindergarten in the Fall!)
 (You may have seen this pic on Instagram already.)  I got the idea from Pinterest (of course), but most used a Reese Cup as the base.  Mine needed to be peanut free, since my son and another classmate are allergic.  So, I decided on brownies, baked in a mini muffin pan. (You could buy pre-made brownie bites making these a quick, no-bake treat!)
 I thought they turned out pretty cute for my first attempt, and the kids & parents alike enjoyed them. {Yes, I was *that* mom who brought in something cutesy off Pinterest. But hey, sometimes I’m that “crap! I forgot to buy something for the party, let me grab some Little Debbie snacks” mom too. It’s called balance. Can’t be on top of my game all the time. lol}
Since these were for preschoolers, the mini brownies made the perfect size snack!
Brownie Graduation Hats
 
1 box brownie mix, plus ingredients on box
1 package chocolate covered graham cookies
candy for ‘tassels’*
mini M and M candies
melted chocolate for ‘gluing’ everything together
  • Mix brownies according to directions on package (or try this egg free, lower fat version!).
  • Bake brownies in a mini muffin pan until done (they will not take as long to bake as directed on package since they are minis. Do I really need to point that out? probably not)
  • Once cool, carefully cut rounded tops off brownies so they will sit flat (if needed)
  • Flip brownies over, so the widest side is down.
  • Use some melted chocolate to attach a graham cookie to the now upside down brownie.
  • Use more melted chocolate to attach candy tassels to top of cookie, and the mini M candy on top of tassel.
*The candy that I used for the tassels was some rope candy I had never seen before (and don’t remember the name of). It is similar to the pull-apart Twizzlers in shape. The problem I had with this candy is that it was kind of hard and round, and it was a little difficult to get the round rope pieces to sit on top of the cookie, and they were a little too big. I ended up cutting each rope piece in half (vertically), and then cut them to the desired length.  My recommendation, and what I will do in the future, is use something that is flat…like a fruit roll up, or maybe a flattened Tootsie roll? And cut it into strips. I think that would be much easier to work with.
Other tips: You could use cookie icing to “glue” your pieces together, b/c it hardens pretty quickly and comes in a handy little squeezable pouch. The only color I had on hand was red…so I ended up using melted chocolate. You don’t need that much…I might have used 1/4 cup?
I may be linking up at any of these places – 

(Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaHolly’s Stamping AddictionThe Dedicated HouseHomemaker on a DimeSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!Huckleberry Love, The Newlyweds Pilgrimage (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxBlessed with GraceLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew Life, Sarah Lynn’s Sweets, VMG206, The Real Thing with The Coake Family (Wednesday) Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsHungry Little GirlNaptime is My Time, Cherished Handmade Treasures, The Wilderness Wife  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,  The Busy Bee’s, Lamberts Lately (Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home, 30 Handmade Days, A Peek Into My Paradise, The Jenny Evolution , Walking on Sunshine(Saturday) Lemons for Lulu,  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ Stuff (Sunday) Mommy’s Sweet Confessions 

Memories by the Mile   HungryLittleGirl

saving4six
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Homemade Peanut Butter Eggs

Somehow, Easter is right around the corner.  Like, this weekend around the corner! Things have been quite hectic around here.  Between volleyball for my 2 girls, and a nasty virus/strep going around the house, things have been out of sorts.  Everything was kind of on hold last week, b/c my 4 y/o was sick, and when you have a little one that is sick (high fever, headache, feeling miserable) he/she only wants their mommy!  Thankfully, towards the end of the week, he started feeling better.  Just in time for dentists appointments and Number One’s 12th birthday!  Yikes…I have a child that is almost a teenager!! (and the tween years are proving to be challenging as well.)  So, I feel stretched a little thin right now.  So much to catch up on, and so much to do this week.  BUT, I definitely wanted to share these homemade peanut butter eggs asap!
Homemade better-than-Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs!!
I kid you not, these things are SO.GOOD.  And better yet, they are EASY.  Except for the whole dipping in chocolate thing.  I really suck at that.  Ever since the allergy doctor told me that I had a false positive on my peanut allergy test…I’ve been a little peanut butter obsessed.  (He said that adults can NOT develop a peanut allergy, but you can to all other nuts. I’ve been testing the theory out, and I have had no problems eating peanut butter.  I may need stretchier pants due to peanut butter cup consumption, but no rash, itching or hives!)  So…enough rambling, on with the copycat recipe!  I’ve played around with ingredients and combos, and this is my favorite ratio.

Homemade Peanut Butter Eggs

1/2 cup peanut butter* (your favorite brand, but I don’t recommend the kind that has to be stirred)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs (I ground my own in a food processor)
a good pinch of salt (this amount will vary depending on your preference, and peanut butter used. Start with a small pinch, mix, taste, and add more if needed.)
chocolate chips (about a cup)
coconut oil/butter/crisco if needed to thin out chocolate, I used about a teaspoon of coconut oil
*I think these would still be delicious with Sunbutter or WowButter if you need to avoid nuts.  They won’t taste exactly the same, but still good! I made a version with soynut butter that was quickly devoured.
  • Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix, mix, mix.  It’s thick and difficult to incorporate, but keep at it and it will come together.  Or, use a mixer/food processor. I didn’t try this, since I was working with a fairly small quantity.  However, it only makes a few, so feel free to double the recipe. I wish I had!
  • After mixing the ingredients together, form into ‘egg’ shapes, place on wax paper, and place in freezer to get nice and firm.  I didn’t time this, but maybe 20-30 minutes?  While the eggs are in the freezer, melt your chocolate (and oil/butter if needed) in a microwave safe bowl.  (Place in microwave for 1 minute, stir well, continue heating in 30 second intervals until completely melted)
  • When chocolate is melted, remove peanut butter eggs from freezer. Dip peanut butter into chocolate, one at a time, to coat.  When peanut butter is completely covered in chocolate, place on wax paper to cool and harden.  If the peanut butter starts to soften too much, put back in freezer.
Other than me not being much of a chocolatier, these were pretty easy to make, and they tasted great.  My girls and I loved them, and I just had to compare them to a real Reese egg, and I have to say, I thought mine were better!  I think it’s because the homemade version had more filling and a thicker layer of chocolate.  I also used a semi-sweet chocolate instead of milk.  YUM.
This made about 6 good size eggs…but I also did some taste testing of the filling 😉  Research people. Research!
This recipe was featured at Watch Out, Martha!
Watch Out Martha

Chocolate Candy Cake

I gave a little overview of my middle child’s 10th birthday last week, with a pic of her Pinterest inspired over-the-top cake. I mean a cake surrounded in Kit Kat candy bars and covered with M&M’s…every kids dream right?! (and me being the chocoholic that I am was secretly super excited to have an excuse to make it!)  Her friends were quite impressed, and deemed me the best baker ever. hahaha, candy will win them over every time!
However, the outside wasn’t the only yummy part of this cake.  The inside was also delicious.  It was chocolate cake and chocolate icing…per Miss Two’s request.  The inside was moist and chocolate-y and the icing was the new Cool Whip frosting, which was light and the perfect match for this cake.
 This cake is adapted from this one. I’ve been making it for years, but usually make it as a bundt cake.  Since I wanted this cake to be a layer cake, I changed the recipe a little to have a cake that was a little less dense and heavy. The result was ‘fluffier’, but not dry.

Chocolate Layer Cake

1 package devil’s food cake mix (without pudding in the mix)
1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup plain non-fat yogurt (or sour cream)
1/2 cup canola oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm coffee
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, yogurt, oil, beaten eggs and coffee. 
  • Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into two greased and floured cake pans. (or pan of choice!)
  • Bake for suggested time on back of cake mix box, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
  • Allow cake to cool in pan for about 20 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack to cool completely before icing. 
  • To assemble “Kit Kat” cake – frost cake as desired, then place full size Kit Kat bars all around the outside of the cake.  My cake used 3 “king size” Kit Kats plus one “regular size”.  I just broke the bars into singles (but I think leaving them as double sticks would be better) and stick them to the frosting on the cake.
  • Once the cake is covered all around the sides with Kit Kat bars, you can cover the top in whatever you like. We used pretzel M&M’s and mini M&M’s.  You could make this cake match whatever theme you are using, or Holiday, based on the color candy you use on top. It makes for such a cool presentation.  I added ribbon around the cake, b/c that is what I had seen on Pinterest.  I thought maybe the ribbon was needed to keep the Kit Kats from falling off, but we didn’t have any issue with that (it might happen if the frosting started to melt however).
This is definitely a “special occasion” cake, with all that candy on top makes quite an impression on kids and adults alike!