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Salted Caramel Brownies....made on the lighter side!

Salted Caramel Brownies

Salted Caramel Brownies

With a fudgy brownie base, a smooth caramel topping,  a drizzle of dark chocolate and a sprinkle of sea salt, you really can’t go wrong with these Salted Caramel Brownies made on the lighter side!

Like most people, I am obsessed with salted caramel anything.  Salted caramel ice cream, candies, straight from a jar perhaps?  Clearly Salted Caramel Brownies were a no brainer!  The brownie layer alone was fudgy and delicious.  The caramel layer was actually very easy to make, which was nice (and dangerous!).  Last,  a little drizzle of bittersweet chocolate (or you could just sprinkle some semi-sweet chocolate chips to simplify things) and a sprinkling of sea salt….

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Pumpkin Pie Alpha-Bits Treats | alidaskitchen.com

Pumpkin Pie Alpha-Bits Treats #alphabits

Alpha-Bits Pumpkin Pie Alpha-Bits Treats

Pumpkin Pie Alpha-Bits Treats put a delicious pumpkin twist on classic marshmallow cereal treats made fun for kids using Alpha-Bits cereal.

Now that Halloween is over, Thanksgiving planning is in full force.   My favorite part of Thanksgiving planning is dessert!   While I absolutely love this crustless pumpkin pie recipe, it can be nice to mix things up a bit and make something new.  Marshmallow cereal treats are always a favorite, especially with kids.  I decided to combine my favorite Thanksgiving dessert (pumpkin pie) with a treat that kids love (marshmallow cereal treats) to create a fun Thanksgiving treat ~ these Pumpkin Pie Alpha-Bits Treats!…

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Candy Corn White Chocolate Pretzels

Candy Corn White Chocolate Pretzels #SundaySupper

Candy Corn White Chocolate Pretzels

Candy Corn White Chocolate Pretzels are a fun, easy, salty-sweet treat that is perfect for Halloween!

With Halloween only a few days away, I thought it would be fun to put a Halloween twist on one of my favorite holiday treats ~ Pretzel Kiss Candies.   These treats are perfect for holidays or special occasions.  They have that sweet-salty thing going on, which is wildly popular, and they can be decorated to coordinate with any occasion.

By using a candy corn instead of an M&M candy for the topping, Candy Corn White Chocolate Pretzels are a Halloween treat that is  adorable, festive and fun for all ages.  They are very quick to make, and so easy that the kids can easily get involved as well.  The result is an easy Halloween treat that is always a crowd favorite!

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Lighter Frosted Pumpkin Cake

Frosted Pumpkin Cake

Frosted Pumpkin Cake

Frosted Pumpkin Cake is a classic pumpkin sheet cake topped with cream cheese frosting.  Delicious and made on the lighter side!

In case you haven’t noticed by now, I love baking with pumpkin!  While it is always fun to get creative, there is something to be said about the classics.  This Frosted Pumpkin Cake is absolutely a classic.   The moist cake is filled with pumpkin and warm spices of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice ~ the epitome of Fall pumpkin baking.  Topped with a cream cheese frosting,  Frosted Pumpkin Cake is a favorite classic combination…and it is made on the lighter side!     …

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Pudding-Filled Cookie Cups from Alida's Kitchen

Pudding Cookie Cups

Pudding Cookie Cups

Pudding Cookie Cups are chocolate chip cookie dough baked in a mini muffin tin and topped with your favorite JELL-O pudding.  These fun treats are easy to make and can be decorated for any holiday or occasion.

With all the decorations, the costumes, the pumpkins and the spooky edibles, Halloween is by far my favorite holiday.  With Halloween only two weeks away, I wanted to share some fun treat ideas that are easy to make and great for kids.  These could be for a Halloween party or simply to treat all those neighbor kids paying your house a visit….

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Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars have the classic taste of  a buttery, cinnamon-y snickerdoodle cookie in a quick and easy to make bar.    

While I love to make (and eat!) cookies, the simplicity of turning a cookie recipe into a quick and easy to make bar is very attractive.  Especially when life gets busy or you get a last minute request for goodies, it is so nice to be able whip the batter together, pour it into a pan and bake.  No portioning, scooping, rolling  required.   Just bake, cut into squares and serve.

These Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars are a wonderful treat for the holidays, or any time.  They are buttery and cinnamon-y, like their cookie cousins, yet can be made in minutes.  I thought this recipe would be perfect for Week #3 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats.  Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars offer a little variety for your holiday cookie platter and are loved by many!…

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Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake is a rich, moist chocolate cake made with pumpkin and a hint of spice. Pumpkin replaces much of the fat in the cake that is made on the lighter side!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake is a rich, moist chocolate cake made with pumpkin and a hint of spice.  Pumpkin replaces much of the fat in the cake that is made on the lighter side!

Lately I have been enjoying making chocolate desserts a bit healthier using various fruits and vegetables.  The results have been fantastic, with each recipe far exceeding my expectations.   This Chocolate Pumpkin Cake is no exception!  This cake kind of reminds me of a chocolate covered pumpkin truffle, only in cake form…and a little healthier….

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are everything delicious about a chocolate chip cookie in a quick and easy to make bar.   This is the ultimate basic blondie recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookie BarsChocolate Chip Cookie Bars

While I  love cookies, I don’t always have the time (or patience) to portion out each individual cookie for baking.  This is where the cookie bar is genius.  These Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars take only 10 minutes to prepare and then just spread in the pan and bake.  No rolling or cutting or shaping the dough.  And the result is everything delicious about a chocolate chip cookie in a quick and easy to make bar.  There are so many possibilities for variations with this recipe too, which is fun.  …

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S'mores Brownies | alidaskitchen.com

S’mores Brownies #SundaySupper

S'mores Brownies | alidaskitchen.com

What do you get when you cross a brownie with a s’more?  This easy recipe for S’mores Brownies!   

As Labor Day marks the unofficial end of Summer, I am looking forward to cooler temperatures, Halloween (!) and, of course, lots of pumpkin recipes.  While Fall baking is my absolute favorite, sometimes nothing hits the spot quite like a s’more.   I have made several s’more-inspired recipes, including muffins, blondies, Golden Graham’s bars, even a cool and creamy pie!  But these S’mores Brownies might be my favorite s’more-inspired treat.  The chocolate brownie base is the perfect vehicle for all of the yummy s’more toppings, plus they take only minutes to prepare….

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Marble Cake with Fudge Frosting

Marble Cake with Fudge Frosting is the perfect party cake!  Enjoy a swirl of yellow cake and chocolate cake in every bite, topped with a fudgy chocolate frosting.  Delicious, a crowd favorite, and easy to make!

marble-cake-with-fudge-frosting-sqc

Recently, we celebrated Mike’s birthday, and as always I asked him to pick his birthday treat.  He usually just tells me to make whatever, but this year he got some advice from our resident 3 year old (who may be a bit opinionated these days).  After consulting a couple of his favorite cookbooks (really!) and a few of my printed recipes, Adam’s decision was made ~ Marble Cake with Fudge Frosting.  While Adam had never had marble cake before, and at the time was not a fan of chocolate, he was sure this was the perfect cake for his daddy.  He was absolutely right!

With yellow cake and chocolate cake in a pretty little swirl, we enjoyed the best of both worlds and the fudge frosting was the perfect icing on the cake (ha!)   And while it looks fancy, this cake is super simple to make.  The frosting was a bit stiff during the stirring process and goes on thick, yet is a thin layer on top of the tasty cake.  Decorate it as you wish, and here is the perfect party cake to celebrate any special occasion.

Marble Cake with Fudge Frosting - Alida's Kitchen

Marble Cake with Fudge Frosting
 
Marble Cake with Fudge Frosting is the perfect party cake! Enjoy a swirl of yellow cake and chocolate cake in every bite, topped with a fudgy chocolate frosting.
Yields: 16-20 servings
Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Cooking spray
  • Frosting:
  • 1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup milk (I used skim)
Instructions
  1. FOR THE CAKE: Preheat oven to 350* F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, combine cocoa, ¼ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup water.
  4. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer (hand or stand) set to medium-high, beat butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, and add eggs, milk and vanilla, beating until smooth. Add flour mixture, continue beating on low until combined.
  5. Pour 2 cups of the vanilla batter into the bowl with the cocoa mixture, and stir until smooth.
  6. Pour vanilla batter into the prepared baking pan. Spoon chocolate batter into six puddles on top of the vanilla batter. Drag a knife through the two batters, creating a swirly marble effect.
  7. Bake 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost once cool.
  8. FOR THE FROSTING: Put chocolate chips in a glass or metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or use a double-boiler), until melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add butter, powdered sugar and milk. Beat on high until frosting comes together. Add more milk or sugar as needed to achieve desired consistency. (If frosting is too stiff, add more milk; if it's too wet, add more powdered sugar)
  9. Spread over cooled cake and decorate as desired.

Source: Real Simple

Marble Cake with Fudge Frosting - Alida's Kitchen

Happy Fourth of July! {easy summer favorites}

Today I am sharing with you some of our favorite recipes that are perfect for your Fourth of July weekend celebration, or for any of your summer festivities.  Now, I had intended to post this much earlier today, but we were without power for a while.  Fortunately these are quick and easy recipes!  There will be a new recipe next week…and it’s a good one! In the meantime, here is a list of some of our easy summertime favorites ~ starting with dessert!

Indoor S’mores: no summer celebration is complete without s’mores, and here is a no-bake, graham, chocolate, and marshmallow bar that is super easy to make.  Click here for the recipe…
Strawberries and Cream Sandwiches: a chilly version of strawberries and cream made into a ‘faux’ ice cream sandwich.  Click here for the recipe…
 
No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie: this takes only 10 minutes to prepare and then is chilled to creamy, peanut butter perfection.  The recipe makes two pies ~ one for now and one for later!  Click here for the recipe…
 
Grilled BBQ Chicken {DIY Barbecue Sauce}: making your own barbecue sauce is so easy.  This version is slightly spicy and is made using common pantry ingredients. Click here for the recipe…

Grilled Peanut Butter Chicken: peanut butter, ginger, and soy sauce give this chicken a Thai-inspired flavor.  This is always a crowd favorite!  Click here for the recipe…
Balsamic Blueberry Salad: peppery arugula topped with blueberries, feta and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette makes this a light and summery salad.  Adding chicken is optional, but tasty!  Click here for the recipe…
Pasta with Grape Tomatoes and Mozzarella: this pasta can be served as a side salad or as an entree.  It’s a great way to use up some of those little tomatoes taking over your garden, as well as fresh herbs.  Click here for the recipe…
Balsamic Portobello Mushroom Burgers: a healthy, flavorful, vegetarian alternative on the grill…even carnivores won’t miss the meat!  Click here for the recipe…
Rosemary Cornbread: each summer we have an abundance of fresh rosemary, and this cornbread is our favorite recipe to use it up.  This was also one of my very first posts, and clearly needs an updated photo 🙂      Click here for the recipe…
Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies | alidaskitchen.com

Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies

 Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies add M&M chocolate candies to the best chewy sugar cookie recipe, resulting in one of my favorite cookies of all time. These are also fun for holidays!
Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies | alidaskitchen.com

When I first saw a recipe for Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies, and realized it used the same base recipe as my Chewy Sugar Cookies I knew they were going to be good.  Since those cookies are one of my favorites of all time, I figured M&Ms could only make them better, right?  Right!  The sugar cookie base is deliciously chewy and the cream cheese adds a little tang. Chocolate bursts of M&Ms are studded throughout. Chewy sugar cookies made with M&Ms. Genius idea.

I love how cute these look and that they can be made festive for any occasion.  Truth be told, I have been trying to make these cookies for months. I have M&Ms for every holiday stocked in my treat drawer that were intended to be used for Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies.  While I used Easter “Bunny Mix” M&Ms, these are made in honor of Spring (since there won’t be any left for Easter…Oops!).

Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies | alidaskitchen.com

Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies
 
Yields: 24 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups sugar, plus ⅓ cup for rolling
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 12 pieces (I used ⅓ less fat cream cheese)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and hot
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk (I used skim)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cup M&M chocolate candies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place ⅓ cup sugar in a shallow bowl and set aside (this will be used for rolling).
  2. In a medium bowl, whick the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add 1½ cups sugar and cream cheese. Pour butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine (some small lumps may remain). Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk and vanilla; continue to whisk until smooth.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula. Add 1 cup of M&Ms and continue mixing until dough forms.
  5. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Using hands, roll dough into balls. Roll balls in reserved sugar to coat and place on prepared baking sheets, 12 balls per sheet. Using bottom of drinking glass, flatten balls until 2 inches in diameter. Using remaining M&Ms, gently press 2-3 candies onto tops of cookies.
  6. Bake 1 tray at a time until edges are set and beginning to brown, about 9 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

Source:  as seen on Carrie’s Sweet Life, originally fromTracey’s Culinary Adventures

Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies | alidaskitchen.com

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats ~ Round Up

 Each week for the past 11 weeks, I have joined a group of bloggers in sharing a variety of holiday treats as part of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats (I missed week #1).  I can’t believe we started all the way back in September, and here we are less than a week away from Christmas!  In the event you still have some holiday treats to make (or if you’re like me and stockpiling recipes for next year!), below is a round up of the treats I shared.  Just click on the recipe name after the Week # and you’ll be directed to the corresponding post.

I have also selected an “Alida’s Pick” from each week, featuring a link to a recipe by another blogger.  There are so many delicious recipes that were shared over the past weeks, it was hard to choose.

I want to thank Brenda from Meal Planning Magic for hosting the blog event 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, as well as all the other fellow bloggers for participating.  My list of recipes to make has increased exponentially as a result!

Week #2: Grandma’s Lemon Bars

Alida’s pick from Week #2:  Pumpkin Coffee Cake by Baker Street

Week #3: Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Alida’s pick from Week #3: Peppermint Marshmallows by The Redhead Baker

Week #4: Easy Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Alida’s pick from Week #4: Snickersnaps by Cooking to Perfection

Week #5: Mounds Brownies

Alida’s pick from Week #5:  Peppermint Patties by Delicious Melicious

Week #6: Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Alida’s pick from Week #6:  White Hot Fudge Sauce by Baked Bree

Week #7: Sunny Blossoms

Alida’s pick from Week #7:  Candy Cane S’mores by Roxana’s Home Baking

Week #8: Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Alida’s pick from Week #8:  Pretzel S’mores by Books ‘n Cooks

Week #9:  Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes

Alida’s pick from Week #9:  Peppermint Blondies by Kitchen Meets Girl

Week #10:  Grandma’s Caramel Bars

Alida’s pick from Week #10:  Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes by Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Week #11:  Peppermint Twist Kiss Cookies

Alida’s pick from Week #11:  Soft Sugar Cookies from Midwestern Girl

 Week #12:  Chewy Ginger Cookies 

Alida’s pick from Week #12:  Peppermint Cake Roll by Baking and Boys

cream cheese cookies with lemon glaze

Cream Cheese Meltaways

cream cheese meltaways with lemon glaze

Cream Cheese Meltaways with Lemon Glaze are little bite-sized cookies that are a light and delicious addition to any holiday cookie platter.  These cookies were a new addition this year, and they were an instant favorite!  The lemon glaze gives just a hint of lemony sweetness to the cream cheesy butter cookies.  The recipe for glaze makes plenty.  You could probably get by with using half the glaze recipe, or better yet – double the cookie recipe…these will go fast!

Cream Cheese Meltaways
 
Yields: 36 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened (I used light butter)
  • 2 ounces block-style Neufachtel cream cheese (1/3 less fat/light)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Glaze:
  • 1¾ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • assorted sprinkles, for decorating (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch and salt until combined.
  3. In a large bowl, add powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese and vanilla and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, stirring until combined. (Note: dough will be dry and crumbly).
  5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls (be careful not to overwork dough) and place on prepared cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes of pan and then move to wire rack to cool completely.
  7. GLAZE: In a medium bowl, whisk powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Dip the tops of cooled cookies into glaze and place on wire rack. Decorate with sprinkles, as desired. Let cookies stand until glaze is set.

Source:  Cooking Light

cream cheese meltaways from Alida's Kitchen

Chewy Ginger Cookies

Chewy Ginger Cookies

This is my favorite recipe for Chewy Ginger Cookies. They are soft, chewy, with warm flavors of ginger and molasses, plus they take 10 minutes to prepare!

When it comes to holiday baking, I enjoy trying new recipes, but I also like to have some go-to recipes.   Standby recipes that are guaranteed to be crowd pleasers and are easy to make.  For years, I have been trying to find that special recipe for a ginger cookies.  These Chewy Ginger Cookies are the top contender for becoming that special recipe.  They are super soft and chewy with the warm flavors of ginger and molasses in each bite.   The dough takes less than 10 minutes to make, which is always a bonus!

This marks the final week of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats hosted by Meal Planning Mom.  Be sure to check out the thumbnails at the bottom of this post for more delicious holiday treats!

Chewy Ginger Cookies
 
Yields: 30 cookies
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup water
  • Additional sugar, for rolling
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt.
  2. Mix molasses and water in a liquid measuring cup, and stir until combined (Note: you may need to stir again before adding to butter mixture).
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until combined. Beating on low, alternately add flour mixture and molasses mixture to the butter mixture, until fully combined. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  5. Roll a rounded tablespoonful of dough into a ball and then roll the ball in granulated sugar. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are set (be careful not to overbake). Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Slightly adapted from Taste of Home: Best Loved Cookies and Bars

 

We are to Week #12 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats hosted by Meal Planning Magic. Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop.

 

Peppermint Twist Kiss Cookies

 Peppermint Twist Kiss Cookies are a fun variation of the ever-popular “blossom” cookies with a candy kiss in the middle. These light-tasting peppermint cookies have a red and white swirl that are cute and festive for the holidays or any time! 
Peppermint Twist Kiss Cookies are tasty, fun and festive…perfect for this time of year!  The red and white cookie is a light-tasting peppermint butter cookie, and then topped with a chocolate kiss.

Grandma’s Caramel Bars

 My grandma was always impressive in the kitchen, especially with her holiday treats.  This recipe she created for Caramel Bars is no exception!  Most caramel bars I’ve had have been underwhelming and have had a relatively stiff caramel layer in the center.  So is not the case with these Caramel Bars.  The caramel layer is gooey, melty and wonderful.   The oat crust and crumbly topping are simple and delicious, and the chocolate chips add some chocolate and texture.  Her recipe also includes 1 cup walnuts, which I do not use.  No holiday treat platter is complete without caramel bars!

Speaking of holiday treats, we are in Week 10 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats!  This recipe makes a generous amount, so is definitely a good treat to have on hand for your holiday celebrations.

Grandma’s Caramel Bars
 
Yields: 3 to 4 dozen bars, depending on size
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups rolled oats (old-fashioned or quick oats work fine)
  • 1 cup butter, softened (I use light butter)
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 14-ounce package caramels
  • ⅓ cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, put the flour, oats, butter, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Using an electric mixer on low (I use a hand mixer), slowly beat in the butter until combined, moist, and pea-sized crumbs form. Press ½ of mixture into prepared baking dish and bake for 12 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, slowly melt caramels and evaporated milk over a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water), stirring frequently.
  4. Once crust is done, pour caramel mixture over crust. Sprinkle chocolate chips (and walnuts, if using) over caramel. Crumble remaining oat mixture over caramel and chocolate chips. Bake for 12 minutes and move to a wire rack to cool completely.

We are already to week #10 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats hosted by Meal Planning Magic.  Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop. And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us.

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars combine pumpkin and cheesecake into a beautiful layered bar that are as delicious as they are simple to make.  First you make a graham cracker crust.  While that cools completely, you make the cheesecake filling, reserving a portion to add in some pumpkin.  Pour the plain cheesecake layer over the crust.  Dollop the pumpkin layer over the cheesecake layer and try for a swirl effect, if you desire, by running a knife through the batter.  I was liking the simple layered look, so left it as is.  Either way, they taste like a decadent cheesecake with a pumpkin twist.

With the holidays coming up, these Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars are a light alternative to those heavier desserts (or in addition to…I don’t judge!!)  You would never guess it, but they are made on the lighter side, coming in around 115 calories per bar.

If you’re looking for other lighter dessert options, this Crustless Pumpkin Pie is my favorite pie of all time!

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
 
Yields: 16 bars
Ingredients
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (approx 9 sheets)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light butter, melted (regular butter would work too)
  • Cooking spray
  • 11 ounces light cream cheese (Neufchatel, ⅓ less fat)
  • ⅓ cup light sour cream
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9" square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. CRUST: In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar; add butter and stir until moistened. Press mixture into prepared baking pan. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until set. Move to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. FILLING: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, flour and vanilla until smooth. Add egg, and beat on low until just combined.
  4. Pour ¾ cup batter into a small bowl. Add pumpkin, brown sugar and cinnamon, stirring until well blended.
  5. Pour plain batter over cooled crust. Drop dollops of pumpkin batter over the plain batter. Cut through batter with knife to swirl.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to overnight.

 

Source:  Taste of Home

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop. And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us.

Cranberry Cornbread

Cranberry Cornbread puts a fun, fall/wintery twist on traditional cornbread.  We have been making chili almost weekly these days, and of course what goes better with chili than cornbread.  I used a cornbread muffin recipe from Cooking Light for the base, making a few adjustments to accommodate the cranberries.  Fresh cranberries add just the right amount of tartness which is balanced nicely with brown sugar.  Buttermilk lends a moist crumb, and the result is a delicious tart-sweet cornbread.  Cranberry Cornbread would make a nice side dish for Thanksgiving, or any holiday, and of course pairs very well with a spicy chili!

Speaking of chili, I am working on a fabulous new chili recipe to share with you soon.  In the meantime, this Three Bean Vegetarian Chili can be made in less than 30 minutes and is our current chili of choice.

Cranberry Cornbread
 
Yields: 16 servings
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, halved
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 8" square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl (or in a liquid measuring cup) combine buttermilk, oil and egg.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, folding until just combined. Gently fold in cranberries.
  5. Pour mixture in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Adapted from Cooking Light, September, 2012

cranberry cornbread

Sunny Blossoms

Sunny Blossoms are a peanut-free twist on the classic cookie.  While Peanut Blossoms are always a favorite, the need for peanut-free treats are becoming more common.  So in an effort to make a peanut-free alternative, enter Sunny Blossoms, made with sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter.  I used my grandma’s recipe as a base and went from there.  Being the peanut butter diehard that I am, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  While it is obviously not peanut butter, they still taste really good!  Mike loved them as well and noted the next day they tasted almost peanut-y.  Sunflower seed butter is mild enough to not overpower the cookie.  Frankly if you put chocolate with anything, it’s going to be good! 🙂

Time sure flies!  We are to Week 7 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats!  We all know that no holiday cookie platter is complete without some form of a ‘blossom’ cookie.  Not only are they tasty, but they are so darn cute with the Hershey’s Kiss in the middle!  Sunny Blossoms offer a delicious, peanut-free alternative.

Sunny Blossoms
 
Yields: approximately 36 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter (I used light butter)
  • ⅓ cup sunflower seed butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • granulated sugar, for rolling
  • 36 chocolate Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sunflower butter until blended.
  3. Gradually add granulated sugar and brown sugar to sunflower butter mixture - cream well. Add egg and vanilla - beat well.
  4. Blend in dry ingredients gradually (Note: I do this step by hand using a wooden spoon) and mix thoroughly. Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (Note: I typically chill overnight).
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Shape dough into balls using a rounded teaspoonful for each. Roll balls in granulated sugar and place on baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven. Top each cookie with a Hershey's Kiss candy, pressing down firmly so cookie cracks around edge. Return to oven and bake 2 to 5 minutes longer until golden brown. Move cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

 

Pumpkin Bundt Cake from Alida's Kitchen

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

This easy Pumpkin Bundt Cake recipe takes less than 10 minutes to make using simple pantry ingredients! Pumpkin Bundt Cake | alidaskitchen.com

Pumpkin Bundt Cake is a simple and delicious pumpkin pound cake, with warm spices and pumpkin-y goodness throughout.  What attracted me to this recipe, aside from a slight pumpkin obsession, is that the ingredients are simple pantry items that I have on hand at all times.  What made me fall in love with the recipe, aside from it being delicious, was how easy it was to make. The batter took me less than 10 minutes to whip together.  Then bake for about an hour, let it cool, and voila!  You have an elegant and versatile dessert that will happily feed a crowd or, in our case, treat a small family for a week. 🙂

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Not only will this Pumpkin Bundt Cake be excellent served alongside your holiday cookie platter, but it would also be a tasty alternative at Thanksgiving dinner or even served at a brunch.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake
 
Yields: 24 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 2½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • powdered sugar, for dusting
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 10-inch bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and add vanilla with the last egg.
  4. To the egg mixture, alternate adding flour mixture and pumpkin, beating well on medium-low after each addition.
  5. Pour into prepared bundt pan. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a tootpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Let cool completely and then dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Slightly adapted from Taste of Home

Pumpkin Bundt Cake | alidaskitchen.com

Mounds Brownies

With Halloween just around the corner, the excitement is building for fun costumes and candy.  We always somehow end up with more candy than we need to give out (thanks to the person who buys the candy, *ahem* Mike).  While that may be intentional, I’m always happy to try new and tasty recipes using “leftover” candy ~ these Mounds Brownies being one of them!

Mounds Brownies take a basic brownie recipe and dress it up with coconut, simply by adding Mounds candy bars.  It’s amazing how such a simple addition can really transform an otherwise ordinary dessert into something unique and seemingly decadant.  You get a nice-sized chunk of candy bar in each brownie, and fans of chocolate and coconut will enjoy the complementary flavors.

By the way, it’s that time of week again.  We are now in Week 5 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats!  While this recipe is shared in part to use up Halloween candy, these Mounds Brownies would be a super fun addition to your holiday treat platter.  They’re something a little different yet delicious and very easy to make too.

Mounds Brownies
 
Yields: 16 brownies
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 snack-size Mounds candy bars
  • Baking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8-inch square pan with baking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Melt butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or a use double-boiler), stirring frequently until melted. Remove bowl from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until well-blended. Stir in vanilla and chocolate mixture. Fold in flour mixture until combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place Mounds bars on top of batter, pressing down slightly. (I did 3 rows of 4).
  6. Bake until just set, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely on wire rack.

Slightly adapted from All You, October, 2012

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop. And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us.

Easy Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Easy Chocolate Sandwich Cookies are a simplified version of a chewy homemade Oreo cookie.  The chocolate cookies are soft, yet sturdy and the filling is a sweetened cream cheese frosting.  The dough literally took me 5 minutes minutes to whip together.  I feared the dough would be gooey and messy to work with, but it was quite firm and rolled into balls by hand without a huge sticky mess.

These cookies are fun any holiday or celebration because you can color the filling to suit any occasion or simply roll the sides in sprinkles for a cute, colorful decoration.  The recipe yields a generous amount of cookies, which is perfect if you’re looking to share.  It also halves easily, which is what I did…(I still shared though) 🙂

I am sharing these delicious yet super easy cookies as part of Week 4 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, hosted by Meal Planning Magic.  While this recipe makes plenty and these cookies are perfect for any holiday cookie platter, I made them pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Week hosted by Erin of Dinners, Dishes and DessertsTo conclude Breast Cancer Awareness Week, tomorrow Erin is hosting a giveaway, so be sure to visit Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on Friday for a chance to win!

Be sure to check out the thumbnails at the bottom of this post and visit the other bloggers who are posting amazing recipes today in support of Breast Cancer Awareness, and also for the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats!

Easy Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
 
Yields: approximately 4 dozen sandwich cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 packages devil's food cake mix
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened - (I used Neufachtel / ⅓ less fat)
  • 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • food coloring or sprinkles for decorating, if desired
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cake mixes, eggs and oil until combined (Note: I used a hand mixer; batter will be very stiff).
  3. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Using the side of a silicone spatula, press to flatten the balls slightly.
  4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before filling. (Note: I baked the cookies the night before and did the filling the next day).
  5. For the filling: In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Add food coloring, if desired.
  6. Spread filling on bottom of half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies. Finish decorating, as desired.

Source:  Taste of Home: Best Loved Cookies and Bars

Be sure to check out the bloggers who are supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Week for some delicious pink and/or healthy recipes! 

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop. And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies from Alida's Kitchen

Every time I drop Adam off at Preschool, he asks what I’m going to do while he’s at school.  Last week I told him laundry and other boring things.  He told me I should make something…I should make something with pumpkin.  Little did he know, I had these Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies on my list of things to do, so easy enough.  I told him I would make some pumpkin cookies, and he just beamed!  That definitely sounds better than laundry 🙂

These Pumpkin White Chocolate Chips cookies are very soft with a little chewy bite from the oats.  I changed up the sugar ratio a bit from the original recipe because I love what brown sugar does to baked goods.  The original recipe calls for 1 egg, but I initially made a half recipe.  How do you cut an egg in half?  I used the full egg in half, and 2 in a full recipe.  The dough is a little gooey, so it helps to refrigerate it a bit before baking.    Otherwise I don’t know exactly how this impacts the recipe, but I do know these cookies are perfection and would not change a thing.

I am sharing these delightful cookies for week 3 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, hosted by Meal Planning Magic.  While these cookies are perfect for any holiday cookie platter, I do think they would also make an excellent Halloween or Thanksgiving treat, or any time treat for other fellow pumpkin lovers!  

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Yields: approximately 48 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1½ cups white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, cram butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.
  3. Stir in flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with pumpkin. Fold in white chocolate chips.
  4. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes to overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.
  6. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Adapted from Taste of Home

If you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us!

Grandma’s Lemon Bars

For the next 11 weeks, I am excited to join a group, hosted by Meal Planning Magic, called 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats.   I missed last week due to somebody’s pesky 2 year old molars, hence 11 weeks 🙂   So every Thursday, I will be sharing a delicious Holiday-inspired treat.  I know what you’re thinking…Christmas? It’s only October!  It’s never too early to plan.  Time to dust off those holiday cookie platters!

For my first Christmas treat post, it is only fitting that I share a favorite recipe that my Grandma used to make for the Holidays ~ Lemon Bars.  There was always something extra special about her lemon bars.  They had a perfect balance of tangy and sweet, they had the lovely dusting of powdered sugar on top, and they literally melted in your mouth.  Of our favorites she made, my grandma’s lemon bars topped the list of many (and there definitely were many).  To me, no Holiday cookie platter is complete without lemon bars.  I never realized how easy they were to make, which is an added bonus!

Grandma’s Lemon Bars
 
Yields: 16 bars
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • powdered sugar, for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8" square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together butter, 1 cup flour and ¼ cup powdered sugar. Press into prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.
  3. In a large bowl, mix sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and baking powder. Add eggs, juice and zest, folding gently until combined.
  4. Pour lemon mixture over baked crust.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool completely and then dust with powdered sugar.

 

 

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop. And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us!

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

I was flipping through one of my holiday cookie publications recently, when I stumbled upon a recipe for Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies.  Made with no flour and only 3 simple ingredients, I was intrigued by how seemingly easy these cookies were.  Not only are these Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies easy to make, they are super tasty too.  I was pleasantly surprised at how something so simple can be so incredible!  The result is a soft and chewy cookie that is perfectly peanut buttery.  While perfect as-is, a cup of chocolate chips or chopped peanuts would be a delicious addition to this recipe.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
 
Yields: 24 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, beat peanut butter, sugar and egg together until blended. Put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm up the dough.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment.
  3. Drop dough by tablespoonful onto prepared cookie sheet and flatten with the tines of a fork, creating a cross-hatch pattern. (Tip: It is helpful to spray fork with cooking spray to keep it from sticking to cookie).
  4. Bake for 8 minutes (Note: Be careful not to overbake, otherwise it will result in a crisper cookie). Let cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from Taste of Home: Holiday Cookies

Easy Creamy S’more Pie

This Easy Creamy S’more Pie is very simple to make and tastes like a chilly, creamy version of a s’more.  It starts with a graham cracker crust, topped with a smooth chocolate layer. It is then topped with a fluffy marshmallow layer, which has a similar consistency to the soft, pillow center of a marshmallow that has been toasted in the fire. The result is a creamy, delicious s’more pie.
This pie is made with only 5 simple ingredients, which can be kept on hand at all times. The hands on time takes less than 10 minutes, making this pie a cinch to make any time.
Easy Creamy S’more Pie pie is a refreshing treat for a hot summer day, a tasty way to end any day or share with family and friends. The recipe is easily doubled, making it perfect for get-togethers or to have one as a spare. Enjoy!

Easy Creamy S’more Pie
 
Yields: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pre-made graham cracker pie crust
  • 1½ cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1¼ cup skim milk, divided
  • 1 (1.4 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding
  • 4 ounces COOL WHIP whipped topping
  • COOL WHIP whipped topping, optional, for garnish
  • graham cracker crumbs, optional for garnish
  • chocolate squares, optional for garnish
Instructions
  1. Stir marshmallows and ¼ cup milk together in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1½ minutes and stir. Continue to microwave and stir in 30 second increments until marshmallows are melted. Refrigerate until cooled (about 40 minutes).
  2. Once marshmallow mixture has cooled, fold in 4 ounces of COOL WHIP whipped topping.
  3. Whisk together the pudding mix and remaining 1 cup of milk for about 2 minutes or until mixture thickens.
  4. Pour pudding mixture into graham cracker pie crust.
  5. Spoon dollops of marshmallow mixture on top of pudding mixture, and then gently spread using a silicone spatula.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to overnight. Decorate with additional COOL WHIP whipped topping, chocolate squares, and graham cracker crumbs, as desired.

 

Adapted from Kraft and allrecipes

Disclaimer: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received coupons for free COOL WHIP Whipped Topping and a stipend. Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content.

What you add makes it. #coolwhipmoms

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

My initial impression of this No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie was that it’s a perfect pie for summer. While I still believe that to be true, let’s be honest. This pie is so amazingly delicious (and easy!) it should not be limited to any single season or occasion.  This pie is the perfect any time pie!

We all know, some of the best desserts are quick and easy.  This No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie is no exception.  It can be whipped together in a matter of minutes, and then just popped in the freezer until time to serve.  The texture is smooth and creamy, almost like an ice cream pie. The peanut butter flavor is nicely balanced with the COOL WHIP whipped topping and cream cheese. I halved the amount sugar from the original recipe, and the result was just the right amount of sweetness.

The recipe makes two pies, one for now, one to share, or to simply make ahead for later.  It’s great for a holiday, potluck or really any day.  The ingredients will soon become pantry staples in my house (thanks to Mike!), so we can enjoy this any time pie…any time!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie
 
Yields: 2 pies, 8-10 servings per pie
Ingredients
  • 1 block (8 ounces) ⅓ less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 can (14 ounces) fat free sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 ounces COOL WHIP Whipped Topping (I used COOL WHIP FREE Whipped Topping)
  • 2 ready made pie crusts (graham cracker or chocolate cookie)
  • additional COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, for topping
  • chocolate syrup, for topping
  • peanut butter cup candies, chopped, for topping
Instructions
  1. Put cream cheese, peanut butter and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Beat on medium for about 3 minutes, or until combined and fluffy. Gradually add milk, beating until well-blended.
  2. Fold in COOL WHIP until combined.
  3. Divided mixture evenly between 2 pie crusts.
  4. Freeze pies until set (at least 2 hours hour to overnight).
  5. Before serving, remove from freezer and (if solid) let sit for 10 minutes before cutting. In the meantime, decorate as desired using COOL WHIP whipped topping, chocolate syrup, peanut butter cup candies or whatever inspires you. Then slice, serve and enjoy!

Adapted from Cooking Light

Disclaimer:  As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received coupons for free COOL WHIP Whipped Topping and a stipend. Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content.

What you add makes it. #coolwhipmoms

Carrot Cake Pancakes | alidaskitchen.com

Carrot Cake Pancakes

 
 Carrot Cake Pancakes taste like carrot cake or breakfast, only healthier and quick and easy to make!  
After the first time I made these, all my little Adam could talk about for days were Carrot Cake Pancakes.  He wanted them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  And I can’t blame him really.  These pancakes taste like having carrot cake for breakfast (or lunch or dinner),…just a whole lot healthier!

These Carrot Cake Pancakes are made using whole wheat flour, buttermilk, and 2 full cups of shredded carrots.  There is a touch of brown sugar to give a little sweetness.  While these pancakes are delicious plain (Adam’s preferred way to eat them), I decided to dress them up a little a cream cheese drizzle.  Either way is excellent.  Pineapple, or whatever your favorite topping, would also be tasty.  Enjoy this little taste of spring!

Carrot Cake Pancakes
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups carrots, finely shredded (about 3 to 4 carrots)
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts or raisins (optional)
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 ounces neufachtel cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons skim milk (suggested amount; adjust to desired consistency)
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla until combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and gently stir until blended. Fold in carrots (and nuts/raisins, if using). Let batter sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat large nonstick skillet or griddle to medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
  5. Pour batter onto griddle (2 tablespoons to ¼ cup, depending on desired size of pancakes). Flip pancakes when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked (about 2-3 minutes). Cook the other side until set (about 2 minutes). Serve warm with Cream Cheese Drizzle (optional).
  6. Cream Cheese Drizzle: beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk until well-blended. Add milk by the tablespoonful, adjusting to desired consistency).

Carrot Cake Pancakes with Cream Cheese Drizzle | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #healthy #carrotcake #breakfast #Easter

This post was sponsored by Frigidaire. When you check out Suzanne Goin’s springtime recipes at www.maketimeforchange.com, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children’s U.S. programs. Plus, you’ll be entered for a chance to win the new Frigidaire Range with SymmetryTM Double Ovens – featuring two large ovens (thatcan each fit up to a 28 pound turkey!), providing the flexibility to cook multiple dishes at the same time at different temperatures, so you can get more on the table at the same time.

easy peanut butter butterfinger cheesecake pie

Butterfinger Cheesecake Pie

Today is March 14th, which means it’s National Pi(e) Day!  So in honor of this day, I am sharing with you Butterfinger Cheesecake Pie.  I am not lying when I tell you this is one of the best desserts I have ever had.  Plus, it is super easy to make, making it an ideal make-ahead dessert for a party, potluck, or simply to celebrate Pi!

The hands-on time takes less than 15 minutes, and the bulk of that time is in chopping the candy.  The pie is baked to set the cheesecake filling and then chilled for several hours (overnight works great).  I used a premade graham cracker pie crust.  A from-scratch crust is pretty easy to make though.  It all works.

The result is a delicious slice of cheesecake filled with chunks of Butterfinger – so good.  I love this recipe because you can easily swap out the Butterfinger for the same amounts of whatever candy or cookie mix-ins strikes you.  You can also mix up the crust, using a chocolate cookie crust, graham cracker, or whatever you like.  The possibilities are endless, though I am quite happy to celebrate this day with a piece of Butterfinger Cheesecake Pie.  Happy Pi Day!

Butterfinger Cheesecake Pie
 
Yields: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 9-inch graham cracker pie crust
  • 2 8-ounce packages Neufchâtel cream cheese (the ⅓ less fat variety), room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2¾ cups Butterfinger candy, chopped - separated (I used an entire 12.5 ounce bag of 'fun size')
  • chocolate syrup (optional)
  • whipped cream (not pictured, optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Using an electric mixer (or hand mixer) set to medium-high, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well-blended.
  3. Fold in 2 cups candy, mixing until combined.
  4. Pour cream cheese mixture into pie crust (it will be very full!). Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until filling has set. Remove from oven and let cool for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining candy over the top (or save some to use as garnish) and chill in the refrigerator for 8 to 10 hours (or overnight).
  5. Garnish with crushed candy, chocolate syrup and/or whipped cream, as desired, before serving.
Notes
Adapted from Real Simple