Christmas Buttons

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Christmas Buttons

Hi Everybody! I get to share one of my all-time favorite Christmas treats with you today – Christmas buttons!!

Christmas treats! Kid-friendly process; crunchy, salty & sweet!!

These chocolate treats are ideal for busy moms, because they’re super easy to make! You only need three ingredients to make them, and the hardest part of the process is staying out of the goodies once they’re done. 🙂

This is a great kid-friendly project too, especially if your little people are a little older. Our mom always called us in to help with unwrapping the Hershey’s kisses and squishing the M&M’s onto the melted chocolate. As far as I know, the only trouble she ever had was keeping us from snitching the chocolate…

Have I convinced you yet? You need to make these! The recipe for the easiest (and yummiest!) Christmas treat ever is below!!!

Feeling overwhelmed with the Christmas busyness this year? Me too! The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way – just click here to download a free worksheet with 5 easy questions that really can simplify life!

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~ Christmas Buttons Recipe ~

What You’ll Need

What To Do

  1. Preheat the oven to 200oF.
  2. While the oven preheats, place a piece of parchment paper on your cookie sheet and lay one layer of pretzels on it. Then unwrap the Hershey’s kisses and place one in the center of each pretzel.

NOTE: If you’re doing this project solo, I’d recommend only doing a half-cookie sheet at a time. Otherwise the melted chocolate can firm up before you’ve gotten all your M&Ms on.

  1. Place the cookie sheet in the oven for 3-4 minutes. The chocolate kisses should appear shiny when they’re soft enough.
  2. Once the chocolates are ready, remove the cookie sheet from the oven and gently press one M&M in the center of each kiss. Use the M&M to gently spread the chocolate around inside the pretzel round; you don’t want space between your chocolate and your pretzel!

NOTE: If the kisses aren’t squishing well, the chocolate probably needs more time in the oven. Popping the pan back in the oven for another minute should do the trick!

  1. Place entire pan in the freezer for 2-3 hours; the chocolates should be frozen through when you take them out.
  2. Move the buttons from the cookie sheet to an air-tight container, and freeze or refrigerate them until you’re ready to serve them!

 

Christmas treats! Kid-friendly process; crunchy, salty, and sweet!!

Other Helpful Thoughts:

  1. You might notice I used a few pretzel waffles in my pictures. That was a first for me, but they work just as well as the pretzel rounds. In fact, you don’t need parchment paper if you use the waffle variety!
  2. Try making the buttons with specialty Hershey’s kisses for a fun twist! I tried peppermint kisses this year, and they’re almost as irresistible as the originals, and I’d love to try the caramel kisses sometime too…
  3. These treats would be adorable with pretzel trees; I haven’t tried that, but it should work the same. Come back and let us know if they work for you!!
  4. It doesn’t really matter, but I like to keep the “m’s” on my M&Ms facing down. I think they look a little classier that way. 🙂
  5. I did run into one difficulty in making these this year – my local stores were either bought out of the ingredients when I got to them, or they were charging an arm and a leg if they did still have the supplies in stock. I’m definitely going to stock up in October or November next year, before the Christmas prices hit. 🙂
  6. Watch out when you test taste these! The crunchy, salty chocolate mix is really addicting. Snacking on two or three buttons can turn into eating five or six or half a batch if you’re not careful!
  7. Click here to pin this recipe for later!! 🙂

Christmas treats! Kid-friendly project; crunchy, salty, and sweet!!

Leave a Comment!

That’s all there is to it! Are there any other variations on these out there? How about other easy Christmas treat ideas? I’d love to hear about them! Take a minute to comment and let me know what you think!! 🙂

Sending Christmas Blessings!

Erin

 

Looking for more Christmas resources? Try these!

Best Budget-Friendly Gift List for Sisters in Christ

Budget-Friendly Gift Ideas for Christian Guys

Most of the items in these lists is $15 or less and are easily shipped from Amazon!!!

 

Don’t forget your Christmas freebie!!

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Boston Cream Cupcakes

Hello everybody! Happy Monday!

I’m so excited to post the recipe that I’ve been working on for the last week or so – Boston Cream Cupcakes. They are amazing! I made them for Little Buddy’s birthday last Saturday, and he loved it. Picture cake crumbs and pudding and chocolate everywhere. 🙂

I owe my idea to another blogger friend of mine, Kim at www.thebakingchocolatess.com. Her Easy Boston Cream Poke Cake caught my eye and my imagination as I was brainstorming Little Buddy’s birthday treat. I never dreamed a Boston Cream spin-off could be so easy – just cake mix, pudding, and chocolate frosting. So you’ll understand if I’ve been playing in the kitchen this week!

There was a little experimentation involved… I wasn’t sure how cake mix would do in cupcake form, and I needed to know how much pudding and frosting I’d need. I learned some things along the way. Like you don’t pour runny pudding on cupcakes. It’ll just run off. And you don’t want to boil your chocolate frosting before you put it on. That’ll just run off too…

I really liked Kim’s idea of the poke cake, but with the rest of the pudding and frosting combo being a bit complicated, runny, etc., I thought it would be easier to skip that feature. When one more batch of cupcakes came out of the oven and I tried it, it was official. Definitely better with the poke!

So here’s my spin-off on Boston Cream. I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

 

What You’ll Need…

1 box of yellow cake mix

1 box of instant vanilla pudding

1 jar of chocolate frosting

Miscellaneous ingredients for the cake mix and pudding – I needed 1 cup water, ½ cup vegetable oil, and 3 eggs for the cake, and 2 cups milk for the pudding.

 

What to Do…

  1. Make the cake mix into cupcakes according to the instructions provided on the box and bake.

Note: My normal-sized muffin pan worked well for our birthday cupcakes, but I liked my mini-muffin pan cupcakes for serving as a church snack after Wednesday night Bible study. People are less intimidated by smaller treats, and more likely to have one or two… or three…

  1. After you take the cupcakes out of the oven, use the handle of a kitchen utensil to poke 2-3 holes in each cupcake while they’re still hot. I liked using a large handle – then there’s more pudding in the cupcake. 🙂
  2. Mix the pudding and (carefully!) pour the liquid pudding into the cupcake holes to the brim.
  3. Refrigerate the cupcakes and the extra pudding for about one hour. At least until the extra pudding is solidified.
  4. Once the pudding is set, take the cupcakes out of the fridge and spread about one tablespoon of pudding onto each cupcake as one would a frosting.
  5. Warm the chocolate frosting in the microwave. The tricky part with this is you want the frosting to be soft enough to spread but not soft enough to run. I warmed the chocolate in 5 second increments to make sure it was right.
  6. Spoon about one teaspoon of chocolate frosting onto each cupcake. Spread it carefully with the back of a spoon – try not to swirl with the pudding!
  7. Replace in the refrigerator. Once the chocolate is set, they’re ready to eat! Store the cupcakes in the fridge when you’re not eating them. 🙂

That’s it! Let me know what you think of them, and let me know if you come up with any other spin-offs!

Gourmet Cookies

Just to let you know, these cookies are amazing. Probably not very healthy, but still amazing.

I needed to make a quick batch of cookies this morning, and I wanted to try something new. I took a quick look at Pinterest and it wasn’t very long before I had what I was looking for…

Averie Sunshine is a fellow blogger at www.averiecooks.com, and she created a softbatch chocolate chip cookie by substituting some of the butter for cream cheese.  You can check her idea out here. I saw her cookies and I had to try it!

I used my recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies so I’d have some reference for comparison, and the result really was delectable. (Isn’t that a great word?) These cookies are super soft, a little thicker than the original cookie, and they’re really yummy. I love that I can taste a hint of the cream cheese in the cookie!

So here’s my recipe for Gourmet Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. I hope you try it and let me know what you think!

 

Gourmet Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

What You’ll Need…

¼ cup butter

¼ cup cream cheese

½ cup white sugar

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup peanut butter

1 egg

½ teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ Tablespoon vinegar

¾ cup flour (plus 1/3 cup flour)

1/3 cup chocolate chips (or more to taste!)

Note: Sorry for the weird measurement for the flour. I substituted 1/3 cup flour for 1 cup oatmeal, as I’m out of the latter.

 

What To Do…

  1. Preheat the oven for 350oF.
  2. Using a mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, white sugar, and peanut butter.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla.
  4. Mix together the soda and vinegar (WILL BUBBLE!). Add to the cookie dough.
  5. Blend in the flour with the mixer; then stir the chocolate chips in by hand.
  6. Drop tablespoon-sized scoops of cookie dough on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes. (I found 12-13 minutes worked best with my oven.)

Enjoy!

 

Have any other favorite tweaks to old recipes? I’d love to hear about them!

~ Erin

 

 

Peanut Butter Pie

Delicious Peanut Butter Pie 

My husband loves all things peanut butter and chocolate. Ice cream, cookies, and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups are right up his alley. So when I needed to make a couple pies for a church event, this recipe for No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie caught my eye. I had never had peanut butter pie before, but my husband lit up when I mentioned the option, so that settled it. 🙂

You can find the original recipe comes from Jenn at www.motherthyme.com, so I won’t go into detail about the ingredients necessary here. I also used a homemade Oreo crust recipe from www.crazyforcrust.com. You should go check these recipes out!

The recipe was easy to make and super cheap. The ingredients for one pie crust cost me $1.50, and the ingredients for the filling cost less than $6.00. Well worth the deliciousness once it’s all put together! 🙂

I had some difficulty figuring out the crust at first. Throwing too many Oreos in the blender at once is counter-productive! I found that crushing five Oreos at a time worked pretty well. I was also a little nervous about how well the pie crust would stick together. It turned out fine, but the thought of it falling apart and becoming a great big mess at the church potluck did cross my mind!

The filling was incredibly easy. Just whip it together with an electric blender, and you’re good to go! I licked the spoon after it was said and done, and that’s when I figured out why my husband’s eyes lit up when I mentioned the pie. It was delicious! Finger-licking good!

I sprinkled peanut butter chips and chocolate chips on top of the filling when I was done, and drizzled the pie with chocolate syrup as a garnish.

I had some extra Oreos and pie filling left over after I finished the pies, so I made some mini-pies in a muffin tin as samples for my husband and myself. They turned out really cute, and they were just the right size!

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Any other favorite peanut butter and chocolate recipes out there for me to try? I’d love to hear about them! 🙂

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are my go-to for when I need lots of dessert.  This recipe makes 4 to 5 dozen cookies, depending on the size you make them. They have just the right balance between peanut butter and chocolate, and they are keep great in a sealed container in the cupboard or the freezer. They’re also really gooey coming out of the oven!

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What You’ll Need:

1 cup butter (or oil)

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1 cup peanut butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 Tablespoon vinegar

2 cup oatmeal

1½ cup flour

1½ cup (or more to taste 🙂 ) chocolate chips

 

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What To Do:

  1. Cream together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and peanut butter. Add the eggs and vanilla.
  2. Mix together the baking soda and vinegar. It will bubble! Add to mixture.
  3. Blend in the oatmeal, flour, and chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. (I use a Tablespoon). Bake at 350oF for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Let cool on the pan for about 5 minutes. Then move to finish cooling on a rack or paper towel.

Enjoy!

~ Erin

Strawberry Shortcake

Shortcake Hearts

Our church has a carry-in dinner just about once a month, and it’s my prime time to try out new desserts (Since we really shouldn’t have a 9×13 pan of goodies lying around the house. They would never survive. 🙂 ). This time around it’s our Valentine’s Banquet, and I’m taking dairy free strawberry shortcakes – with a twist!

I followed a Betty Crocker recipe posted on MyLifeandKids.com (you should go see it!), and instead of making them round, I shaped my shortcakes into hearts. (Note to self: Next time just go buy a cookie cutter heart!)

I was a little worried about the hearts losing their shape while they were in the oven, but the heat didn’t seem to change their shape too much. Not too bad for a first time try!

I arranged the shortcakes on a red platter with a bowl of strawberries in the middle. All ready to share!

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What’s your favorite Valentine’s Treat? 🙂

~ Erin