I have to tell y’all a secret about bloggers and blogging. We have to work months ahead. It is one of the things I dislike because every year it seems bloggers are pushing things out earlier and earlier. That is why you have been seeing Christmas pins for well over a month now on Pinterest. Here is something about me. I just can’t. I know I need to organize and get my Christmas stuff going but when it is 75+ degrees out, it is hard coming up with 12 things for my Homemade Christmas posts, I’m just not ready to write about Christmas and the holidays. I have been working on new recipes, though. I have an awesome new brownie recipe that my family loves, Caramel and Bacon Brownies.
I’m going to admit something that my family hates. I don’t buy junk food for snacking. It just disappears too quick around here. Luckily, I have very healthy eaters, like my daughter loves to snack on fruit. This said the fact that I don’t have things at home doesn’t stop the families biggest snacker to ask me to please make him something to eat, usually something sweet.
To the rescue I have been experimenting with different mug recipes. My oldest son’s speciality is scrambled eggs in a mug. Then I have made many different great mug recipes from cookies, to pudding to cake. Chocolate mug cake probably gets made almost as much as my son’s scrambled eggs. Usually in the evening after my husband has asked me to make him something sweet.
This mug cake is super easy to make and it makes 2 mug cakes. You can whip it up in less than 10 minutes. Since I am gluten free I came up with a gluten free version that turns out beautifully. I know, your thinking what! Cake in a microwave? There is no way that could be good but it is. It turns out perfectly moist and cake like. It is so good that it doesn’t need frosting too! I’m sure it would be even better with it but i’ve never felt the need. I typically serve it as is or with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
So what do you think? Will you be joining the mug cake bandwagon? Try this gluten free chocolate mug cake and have your mind blown. After all it is cake in the microwave. Who doesn’t like cake?
pinch of salt (a grind or 2 of sea salt works beautifully)
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
¼-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons chocolate chips
Prepare 2 microwave safe coffee mugs with cooking spray.
In a small bowl mix gluten free flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt.
Next stir in wet ingredients: egg, oil, milk and vanilla. Mix well.
Divide batter evenly between 2 prepared coffee cups. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Place cups into microwave oven, one at a time. Microwave each cup on medium for 1 minute. Then for a second minute on medium. Splitting the cook time helps prevent the cake from overflowing. If cakes are not done after 2 minutes cook for 30 second increments until the cake is done.
Cool cake for about 2-3 minutes before serving.
* When serving sprinkle with confectioners sugar if desired. *
So the other day I made brownies in my mini muffin pan and I overfilled the muffin cups. Have you ever done this? The majority of the brownies were ok but a several were overflowing. What’s a girl to do? Then I remembered a suggestion from a friend from many years ago, make a trifle. Easy enough right? I had the brownies, I had strawberries and a really easy recipe for chocolate pudding in a mug. Oh and of course some fancy sherbet dishes that would be perfect for mini trifles. I could totally make Mini Chocolate Covered Berry Trifles and win some awesome wife points at the same time. So I did and it was awesome.
Making a trifle is easy but when done right it can be quite the elegant dish that is perfect for any occasion. For my mini trifles I started with the pudding. I made the chocolate microwave pudding and stirred in one tablespoon of berry jam (use your favorite strawberry, raspberry, etc.) after it was done cooking. I then set it in the fridge to cool. The freezer will also work if you are in a hurry but don’t forget it is in there! Once your pudding is made and cooled it is time to construct your trifle. I start with the brownies. For each trifle I used 2 mini brownies. If you do not have mini brownies, 2 two inch square brownies should work. Take one of the brownies and break it up and place in your serving dish. I have some pretty sherbet dishes I used. On top of your brownie I then layered 2 chopped strawberries. If your strawberries are small you may want to use 3. Raspberries would work well in this trifle also. Cherries would too! When you are done with the strawberry layer add half of the chocolate pudding mixture, about 1/4 cup.Then you add more brownies, then strawberries and finally your chocolate pudding mixture. My trifles were only 2 layers. I then covered and refrigerated my trifles until I was ready to surprise my husband. They were refrigerated 2-4 hours which allowed the flavors to meld. Before serving I topped the trifles with a sliced strawberry and some leftover berry buttercream but whipped cream would work in a pinch, along with a drizzle of melted chocolate. The end result was a very happy husband. So happy that he ate his trifle and ate mine too! Well he was nice and let me taste it before he took it and gobbled it up and then asked if there was more.
I think I will be making mini chocolate covered berry trifles again. How about you? Are you a trifle fan? What are some of your favorite desserts?
All of the recipes I have in my 12 days of Homemade Christmas all have some sort of special memory behind them. Day 9 is no different but it is also something I haven’t made since the summer of 2013. My day 9 of my 12 days of Homemade Christmas is Peppermint Bark. Why was I making this classic treat in the summer? For my grandma. Christmas time 2012 she found she had cancer and during her treatment I would send her care packages and she really like the chocolate and mint combo. Unfortunately she passed away in June of 2013. My grandma was an awesome person and is dearly missed. I am also sure she wouldn’t want me to stop making this delicious treat so it is back in my regular Christmas candy list right next to Buckeyes and Cocoa Can Fudge.
Peppermint bark is among some of the simplest Christmas candies to make. You crush peppermint candies or candy canes, either in the food processor or using a ziploc bag and your favorite crushing tool (mine is a frying pan) and smashing the candy into bits. You then set your crushed candy canes aside and melt your chocolate. You can use the microwave or a double boiler. Just note during this part when you add peppermint oil to not add water-based or alcohol-based flavorings to the melted chocolate. If you do this your chocolate could seize up and become clumpy and hard. After melting your chocolate you pour into a lined baking pan, layering your chocolates and then top with the crushed peppermint and let it cool. After it is cool you break it up and the best part, eat or give away as gifts.
1½ pounds milk or dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1½ pounds white chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon oil-based peppermint flavoring, or to taste
*chocolate chips can be used*
*candy canes can be used*
Line 9x13-inch baking pan with wax paper.
Melt the milk chocolate in the top of a double boiler over just-barely simmering water, stirring frequently and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching, just until melted. Pour the melted chocolate over peppermint candy in the prepared pan. Sprinkle another ⅓ of the candy on top of the milk chocolate. Refrigerate until the chocolate hardens, about 30 minutes.
Melt the white chocolate in the top of a double boiler over just-barely simmering water, stirring frequently and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching. Stir in the oil-based peppermint flavoring. Pour the white chocolate over the milk chocolate, then spread the peppermint candy on top.
Refrigerate until the white chocolate hardens, about 30 minutes. Cut or break into pieces to serve.
Today for my 12 days of Homemade Christmas I want to talk about a classic cookie, the chocolate chip cookie. We love chocolate chip cookies in our house they are something I knew I needed to figure out how to make once I became gluten free. They are comfort food for my family.
I have been making chocolate chip cookies since I was a little girl. I remember making them in Home Ec for our group project and fighting with my partner about how to make them. Those were probably the worst cookies I ever made. Chocolate chip cookies were the first cookie I taught Shortie to make. Chocolate chip cookies and I go way back!
I was the girl that would bring chocolate chip cookies into work that my coworkers would gobble up in minutes. My cookies became must haves for deployment care packages. A world without chocolate chip cookies was not a world I wanted to be in. I had my work cut out for myself. I knew if anyone could do it, I could. I have had random people come up to me at the commissary and ask me for cookie baking tips. Oh and yes, it was random and odd but hey if I can help someone else perfect a chewy cookie, i’ll help. I was ready for my gluten free chocolate chip cookie challenge.
It took a little time but I soon figured out how to make an awesome gluten free chocolate chip cookie. Some gluten free all purpose flour blend, xanthan gum and tweaking my recipe I soon had the perfect cookie. The tips I have included in my recipe came long before Pinterest. They are tried and taste tested by many over 15 years.
Check out my recipe and make them for your family and you will fall in love with them too!
On my second day of Homemade Christmas I have for you chocolate and peppermint treat. Classic flavors of the Christmas season! I have loved peppermint patties for as long as I can remember. When I discovered a recipe to make my own I knew I had to try them. Added bonus is they are less than 5 ingredients and the recipe is super simple. Simply combine the peppermint filling, form into patties and dip into melted chocolate. There is no need for a candy thermometer or any special equipment. The hardest part is melting the chocolate.
These candies are sure to impress and your friends and family will fall in love with them! They will think you spent much more time on them than what you actually did. They are perfect to give as gifts as well at the perfect addition to any holiday cookie and candy platter. Well, that is if they make it out of the kitchen.
An easy to make chocolate and peppermint confection!
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tablespoon peppermint extract
5 cups powdered sugar, plus additional for kneading filling
1 (16oz) bag of dark chocolate chips
In large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and peppermint extract. Add 5 cups sugar; beat on low speed until smooth and well blended. Turn mixture onto surface sprinkled with powdered sugar. Knead lightly to form smooth ball. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on wax paper-lined baking sheets. Flatten each ball into a 1½-inch patty.
Let dry 1 hour or longer; turn over and let dry at least 1 hour. In microwave carefully melt chocolate chips with tablespoon of shortening. With fork, dip each patty into the melted chocolate (draw fork lightly across rim of pan to remove excess coating). Place onto wax paper-lined baking sheets; let stand until firm. Store covered at room temperature or in refrigerator.
The weather is getting cooler and some people have even seen snow, all things that make what I have for my first day of Homemade Christmas perfect. Hot Cocoa Mix is something that is a must have when it gets cold out and especially on snowy days. There is nothing better than coming in from the cold and have a nice, warm mug of Hot Cocoa. Sure you can go to the store and pick up a box but homemade Hot Cocoa Mix is so much better and easy to make. An added bonus is Hot Cocoa Mix makes perfect gifts. You can put it in a jar or for an individual serving size you can use cake decorating bags and make hot cocoa cones. With the jar just layer some of your favorite chocolate and marshmallows on top (Homemade Marshmallows work wonderfully!). Just add some candy canes for stirrers and tie it up with a pretty ribbon and voila you a wonderful homemade gift. That is perfect for family and friends. Being a mom of special needs kiddos who have a ton of teachers and aids this hot cocoa mix has always been perfect for teacher gifts. I know my kid’s teachers have always raved about how good it is.
Try this hot cocoa mix for yourself and see. I am sure you will convert from the store-bought box stuff to homemade. Homemade is always so much better anyways. You will love it and so will your friends and family!
The perfect Hot Cocoa Mix to have on hand for when the weather cools off
10 cups dry milk powder
6 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1¾ cups powdered non-dairy creamer
In a large mixing bowl, combine milk powder, confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, and creamer. Stir till thoroughly combined. Run hot cocoa mix through the food processor to make it powdery fine. Store hot cocoa mixture in an airtight container. Makes about 15 cups mix, or enough for about 45 servings.
For 1 serving, place ⅓ cup cocoa mixture in a coffee cup or mug, and add ¾ cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve. Top with dollop of whipped cream or a few marshmallows, if desired.
*If desired use different flavor creamers for different flavors of hot cocoa mix*
A long time ago, because hard to believe it has been over 20 years I was in middle school and taking home ec class. I really liked my home ec class for the most part. I didn’t really like sewing. The sewing machine and I battled, a lot. I was constantly breaking needles. I couldn’t wait to be done with that segment of the class. When we were done sewing that meant we were moving onto cooking. We started with salads and my group was in charge of cauliflower then moved onto better things like cookies and cake. My group was dysfunctional. Another girl and I were constantly fighting over how to do things. I lost the battle of chocolate chip cookies to her but our crazy cake was perfect. It’s so perfect that just over 20 years later it is still my go to chocolate cake recipe and since it is my birthday I figured I would share it with you!
Crazy cake is a easy to make delicious chocolate cake. The crazy part comes to the ingredients. This cake does not have any eggs or dairy ingredients in it. Yes, it is a cake made without butter or milk. It is a vegan cake that tastes really good. Being that it is made without eggs and dairy it is great for those with food allergies. Plus this version is gluten free!It is made with a all purpose gluten free flour blend and it turns out beautifully. The history of the cake goes back to the depression when certain ingredients were hard to come by. With a bit of creativity and baking science they created one darn good cake that I hope you fall in love with like I have.