Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, Santa’s Snack Mix & ‘Twas…Before Christmas!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Glad and M&M;’S®. All opinions are 100% mine.

‘Twas the days before Christmas when all through the store, the moms were all busy buying more, moRE, MORE!! When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a display full of Christmas candy that I raced to get near! Red ones, greens, big ones and small….I just knew I had to have them all, aLL, ALL!
They had dark chocolate, pretzel, and mini’s too…and when I saw M&M;’S® White Chocolate Peppermint I thought it was too good to be true!

So I grabbed them all up and raced towards the door, I had cookies to bake and egg nog to pour! I would take cookies to neighbors so they wouldn’t be sad, but just then I spotted Holiday Storage products by GLAD!
These would be perfect for the cookies I bake, making it easy and convenient for the goodies I take. I grabbed a few and checked out with a swipe of my card, got home and searched Pinterest long and hard. 

Found the perfect recipe, it was out of sight! And when the cookies were all done I exclaimed “Happy Christmas to all…and to all a goodnight!”

Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used 1/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark and 1/4 cup regular Hershey’s cocoa)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals
1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup White Chocolate Peppermint M&M;’s (available at Target)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used the red and green holiday ones)

  • Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and coffee crystals together in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar until well mixed, add vanilla.
  • Slowly add in flour mixture to the butter/sugar (I say slowly since I use my stand mixer and everything will be covered in a flour cloud if you pour it all in too quickly). Batter will be thick.
  • Fold in candy and chocolate chips.
  • Chill in refrigerator for 30 mins.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  • After dough has chilled, scoop about a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball.
  • Place on cookie sheet approx. 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 9-10 minutes. (The inside will seem slightly underdone.)
  • Allow to cool on wire rack and then consume several. Or package in your Holiday Glad containers and get them over to the neighbors ASAP!

Recipe Source: Bakerella

Not only are the Glad Holiday Storage containers great for gifting, they also include recipes on the back! Each recipe will fit in the container it comes with. Of course, I just had to try out the Santa’s Snack Mix. The sweet and salty combo is always a favorite around here.

How yummy does that look?!

Santa’s Snack Mix from Glad

  • 8-10 cups Popped popcorn
  • 2-3 cups Holiday shaped pretzels
  • 1 cup red and green Holiday sprinkles
  • 1 package DOVE® Dark Chocolate candies *I used white chocolate drizzle 
  • 2 cups Peanuts *I omitted due to my son’s peanut allergies and used Cheerios instead
  • 3/4 c. Corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. Sugar
  • 1/2 c. Butter (1 stick)
  • 1 package M&M;’S® Holiday Baking Mini’s and/or M&M;’S® Holiday Mint candies
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a bowl combine the popcorn, pretzels, and peanuts Cheerios. Set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, melt butter, vanilla, sugar, and corn syrup over low heat until melted and smooth, stirring constantly.
4. Pour over the ingredients in the bowl. Toss until all covered.
5. Spread the popcorn mix on a baking tray or cake pan (may want to use two pans). Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with 1/2 cup Holiday sprinkles, stir. Sprinkle with M&M;’S ® candies, stir again.
6. Place DOVE® chocolates (or white chocolate) in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat until melted and smooth. Drizzle over the popcorn. Sprinkle with remaining sprinkles. Let cool approximately 10-20 minutes (may put in refrigerator so chocolate hardens more quickly. Once cool, break into chunks.
Tip: Store in a perfectly sized GLAD® storage container for up to 7 days.
Perfect 🙂
M&M;’S® White Chocolate Peppermint and Glad Holiday Storage products are ONLY available at Target. Just another reason for me to love them so!
 

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Christmas Decorating & ‘Must Haves’ for Christmas Morning

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Duracell. All opinions are my own.

In addition to egg nog, sausage balls and old-fashioned fudge, there are a few other things that are a requirement for Christmas at my house. Can you tell me what all of these things have in common?

If you said bourbon BATTERIES, you get an extra piece of fudge. Just kidding, I’m sure I have eaten all of that. Yes, all of these Christmas decorations, plus a few more, require batteries. Multiple batteries.
With three kids, I can’t even tell you the multitude of batteries we go through…Wii remotes, remote controlled cars, things that makes LOTS of noise…it’s a long list. Therefore, I am very familiar with bourbon Duracell. We’re practically BFFs. But seriously, if you’re house is anything like mine,
and you want to hear the Hallmark angels sing (in unison!) this Christmas season…better stock up on those batteries. And yeah, and those angels…we have a set for each child. Thanks Grandma. Where is that egg nog?!
Avoid the Christmas morning meltdown caused by not being able to play with new toys by stuffing those stockings with batteries. Duracell (as most of us probably know as the “copper top” battery), is a dependable brand with a 10-year guarantee in storage with Duralock Power Preserve Technology – which is great because I got smart last year and stored our Polar Express Train WITH all of it’s batteries (they were removed and placed in a paper bag, but stored in the same container with the train. Do not keep batteries in an item that is in storage.) That way, when time to set it up this year, we had everything we needed. Nothing like getting a 6 year old all excited about the train, just to say, ‘nope, can’t play with it yet, gotta go get batteries!’. 
 
Full disclosure: storing the batteries with the train may have been my husband’s idea..but I’m going to take credit for it since it worked out so well. *wink*
 
Check out Duracell on Facebook, and give a shout out on Twitter to Duracell and Walmart, letting them know how you will use Duracell to #PowerTheHolidays! 
 
What’s your favorite Christmas decoration? Do you have any really loud ones that drive you a little crazy when your child insists on playing it over and over again? Okay, maybe that’s just me…
But this guy’s batteries might get “lost”.

Huggable Christmas Cupcakes

My middle child needed a treat to take to cheerleading the other evening, so we decided to make mini cupcakes. We used this ‘souped up’ cake mix recipe, and wanted them to look festive. This is what I we came up with! I thought they turned out really cute, and they were so simple, so I thought I would share in case anyone needs something quick and easy this week. Since I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one running around like a crazy person…

The Hershey’s Hugs were the perfect size for the mini cupcakes, and we added Christmas sprinkles. Done and done! Miss Two got lots of compliments!

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.