Thursday, October 29, 2015

Candy Corn Rice Krispies Treats

I didn’t realize it until this year, but candy corn is a very divisive treat. People either love it or they hate it.

Regardless, it’s an iconic Halloween candy. So when I saw these candy corn Rice Krispies treats on the cereal box, I new I had to try them out! They’re so cute and festive, and everyone loves Rice Krispies treats!

I made these for my church life group this week and the girls loved them!

Candy Corn Rice Krispies Treats

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 9 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 12 cups miniature marshmallows, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 9 cups Rice Krispies or any other puffed rice cereal, divided
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • Yellow and red food coloring
  1. Lightly coat a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat.
  3. Add 4 cups miniature marshmallows and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir until melted.
  4. Stir in 3 cups crisp Rice Krispies cereal and when it’s completely combined transfer to pan.
  5. Use wax paper to firmly press mixture into an even layer.
  6. Rinse saucepan.
  7. Repeat step 1 twice: To second batch, add orange zest and yellow and red food coloring to tint marshmallow mixture orange before adding cereal, then press into pan on top of the first layer. (Even though you’re adding orange zest, the mixture won’t be “orange enough” for the effect you’re looking for which is why you have to also add food coloring.)
  8. Rinse saucepan again.
  9. To third batch, add lemon zest and enough yellow food coloring to tint marshmallow mixture yellow before adding cereal. Press third batch into pan.
  10. Let Rice Krispies set 2 hours (or overnight).
  11. Run a dull knife around edges of pan and invert loaf onto a cutting board.
  12. With a serrated knife, cut loaf into 10 slices.
  13. Cut each slice into triangles with the white layer being the smallest point at the bottom and the yellow layer being on top so that it looks like a candy corn. 

Recipe adapted from Kraft and Martha Stewart.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Skinny No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

By now you should all know I’m a big fan of no-bake desserts! Remember the No-Bake Mason Jar Cheesecakes I made for the Fourth of July? Or what about the No-Bake Snicker’s Bar Pie I made for Pi Day?

So it’s almost mandatory that I make No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake for National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day!

I love this recipe because it’s really creamy and light. And I like to use low-fat cream cheese and cool-whip to make it super low in calories in fat. So not only is it delicious, but it’s also guilt-free!

And even better -- it takes less than 10 minutes to put together!

Also, if you decide you want to make it into an appetizer, you can serve it as a dip in a bowl with graham crackers or vanilla wafers.

You could also layer the filling in a mason jar with graham cracker crumbs and make cute little personalized mason jar cheesecakes.

Bottom line: This is a very quick, low fat, and versatile dessert that would make a great addition to your next fall dinner.

Skinny No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • 8 ounces 1/3 low fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (51 grams)
  • 4 ounces reduced fat Cool Whip, thawed
  • 9-inch reduced-fat graham cracker crust
  1. In a large bowl, whip cream cheese, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar together until fluffy.
  2. Add Cool Whip and stir until combined.
  3. Spoon mixture into pie crust and chill until firm, or about 3 hours.
Recipe adapted from Gina's Skinny Recipes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

October 14th is pretty much the sweetest day ever – it’s National Dessert Day! America has spoken, and their favorite dessert is CUPCAKES! Or at least that’s what over half of FOX59 viewers say their favorite dessert is. And I’d have to agree with them. Cupcakes are cute and portable and of course delicious!

So I thought it was only appropriate that I share my favorite cupcake recipe ever – Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting.  The pumpkin puree in the recipe makes the cupcakes extremely moist. And cinnamon buttercream may very well be my favorite frosting.

Additionally, if you’re going to take the time to make homemade cupcakes I highly suggest taking the time to pipe the frosting on the cupcake to make it look extra professional and pretty. Piping frosting is VERY VERY easy.

All you need is a disposable decorating bag and a frosting tip (my favorite is a Wilton 1M No. 2110 Open Star Decorating Tip).

Cut a small hole at the point of the bag. Slide the decorating tip into the decorating bag so that it’s sticking out of the hole you just cut. But you don’t want a hole so big that the tip clips out the other end.

Once you get that situated, fill the bag with frosting. Hold the decorating tip approximately ½ inch above cupcake at a 90° angle to the cupcake surface. Squeeze out the frosting to form a star.

Without releasing pressure, raise tip slightly as you circle around the original star in a tight, complete rotation.

After completing the first rotation, move the tip toward the center and up and make a second spiral around the inside edge of the first spiral.

Once you reach the center, release pressure to end spiral at center of cupcake.

Final step: Admire your beautiful cupcakes and show them off to everyone!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 12 cupcakes

For the Pumpkin Cupcakes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (125 grams)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ]1 cup pumpkin puree (269 grams)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100.5 grams)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed (103.5 grams)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (99 grams)
  • 2 large eggs
For the Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 cup (or 2 sticks) salted or unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 to 4 cups (360-480g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
For the Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl combine pumpkin puree, sugars, vegetable oil, and eggs.
  4. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  5. Scoop the batter evenly into a cupcake tin.
  6. Bake for 15-17 minutes, and cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting
  1. Beat softened butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla extract.
  3. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes.
  4. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if frosting is too thick.
  5. Add salt if frosting is too sweet (1/4 teaspoon).
  6. Frost cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles.
  7. Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days and in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Making festive, fall versions of your favorite cookies

I think we can all agree that fall is probably the best time of the year. Crisp air. Colorful leaves. Cozy sweaters. And most importantly – fall food! Cinnamon, apple, pumpkin, chai, oh my!

So in honor of the first day of October, National Homemade Cookies Day, AND fall I’m sharing my favorite cookie recipes falsified!!!

Wait. No, that’s not right. Do no correct me, spell-check. I meant to say FALL-ified!

First off, make Incredibly Soft M&M Cookies festive by adding autumn M&Ms instead of the regular colored M&Ms. Easy as that!

Secondly, put a fall-spin on snickerdoodle cookies by replacing cinnamon with pumpkin pie spice. And before baking the cookies, roll the dough in pumpkin pie spice and sugar instead of cinnamon and sugar. Same measurements!

Lastly, add pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice to the cream in oatmeal cream pies and fill the oatmeal sandwich with pumpkin buttercream!

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