Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Honey Mustard Bacon Wrapped Chicken

Chicken, bacon and honey mustard... dang, they go well together. Today I have an easy recipe for you. I like recipes that are hard to mess up and this is definitely one of them. You can easily adjust the quantity to family size too.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

2 boneless chicken breast
8 slices of bacon

Honey Mustard
(makes a little less than 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup mayo
2 1/2 tbsp yellow mustard
1 1/2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper

For a spicy version of the honey mustard check out this post: Grilled Honey Mustard Turkey Sandwich

Cut the chicken breasts in half (making 4 pieces) and fry it until fully cooked. Add any seasonings you wish. I added onion and garlic powder. Fry the bacon just until it's not so limp.

While the chicken and bacon are cooking, mix together all of the ingredients for the mustard.

Preheat oven to 350.

Once everything is cooked, wrap two slices of bacon around one piece of chicken. I inserted a toothpick to keep the bacon in place. Place chicken in a baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes. If you choose, add a slice of swiss cheese and bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Pour honey mustard over chicken and serve.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

I love myself some thumbprint cookies. Like... I really really love them. The texture is just right, they are soft and crumbly. The taste of the cookie is simple yet very delicious. The little bit of almond extract adds a perfect little perk to these delights. Once you add your melted chocolate to the top... hold on to your shorts, toupees, glasses or whatever else you don't want flying off your body. Yes, they are that good.

So here we go...

Cookies (adapted recipe from here):
1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Melted chocolate topping:
1 cup dark chocolate raspberry baking chips
4 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Cream together butter and powdered sugar until the texture is smooth. Add egg yolks, vanilla extract and almond extract. Mix well. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture.

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a cookie sheet by using parchment paper or by spraying the sheet with a light coating of cooking spray.

Roll dough into small balls, about 1 inch. Place on cookie sheet and press a small indent into the dough ball. Use your thumb or the handle of a wooden spoon.

Bake cookies for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let them rest on the pan for a minute or two before moving them to the cooling rack.

For the topping, combine chips and cream together in a microwaveable bowl. Start by microwaving the two ingredients for 1 minute. Remove and stir together. Keep microwaving until the chocolate has a smooth texture.

I let the cookies cool for about 45 minutes before adding the chocolate. I waited 2 seconds, maybe less, to eat one. The chocolate eventually hardens but I can not resist eating at least one cookie with all of its melted chocolate goodness. I used a spoon to drip the chocolate into the indent of the cookie. Another way is to pour the chocolate into a Ziploc bag and cut off a small corner and squeeze the chocolate onto the cookie.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you...Buckeyes!

Well hello there, kind and wonderful followers! It's Cara. Yes, I'm still alive after all this time. I'll spare you the details but just want to say that I've missed posting and hearing from people, particularly on Facebook where we get most of our activity.

As Mel mentioned last year, I host a Christmas Baking Day every year and have done so since college.  I love this tradition, particularly since there are some friends that I unfortunately only see at Baking Day! Mel had to miss it this year which made both of us very sad but we've got plenty of years to make up for it!

A long, long, long time ago, one of my college roommates contributed the recipe for Buckeyes. WTHeck are Buckeyes? Aren't they a college mascot? Ohio's nickname? A nut? All of the above. Oddly enough, the buckeye nut is poisonous in its raw state. I'm not sure who thought this would be a good mascot but what I do know is that this little chocolate and peanut butter treat in honor of the buckeye nut is out of this world. It has become a regular item we make at Baking Day. And of course, any time a group of girls get together and have to form little balls, there are sure to be some comedic exchanges. Oh, and the wine probably comes into play, too.

Enjoy and happy holidays!!! 

Recipe adapted from An Alli Event
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 block paraffin
  • 12 oz chocolate chips (whatever kind suits your taste - semi-sweet, milk, dark)
  1. Mix butter, powdered sugar, peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Form into 1" balls and place on a cookie sheet. Chill balls for about 15 minutes. 
  2. While the balls are chilling, melt paraffin and chocolate chips in a double boiler (I started with the wax first since it takes longer to melt). 
  3. Using a toothpick, dip the balls in the chocolate, coating about 3/4 of the ball. Place them on wax paper until firm. If you are picky like me, I use my fingertip to close the hole the toothpick makes. I personally think they look a little weird with the hole.
  4. Chill and keep refrigerated until ready to serve - the texture is best if you let them warm up a bit prior to serving.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Blossoms

Do love a good chocolate and peppermint candy cane combination? If so, these cookies are exactly what you have been looking for! A chocolate cookie topped with a Candy Cane Hersey's Kiss. They are like little drops of deliciousness.

Don't like mint? No worries, I am not much of a fan either. I make mint goodies because I know my family and friends enjoy it. So if you're not diggin' the mint... try substituting a Hug Hersey's Kiss or maybe a Caramel Hersey's Kiss. Top it anyway you like it. Go ahead and be creative.

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Blossoms

2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar

1 egg
1 1/4 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk

1 bag Candy Cane Hersey's Kisses
Small bowl of powdered sugar

Add flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa together in a medium mixing bowl. Cream together sugar and butter. Add the egg. Mix well. Add vanilla. Mix well. Add about 1/2 of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and mix. Add 1 tbsp of milk as it mixes. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix. Add in last tbsp pf milk as it mixes.

The dough is very easy to play with and doesn't require any refrigeration to firm it up. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Roll balls in powdered sugar and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove cookies while they are still soft and let them rest for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the Candy Cane Kiss and move to a cooling rack.

I also made these cookies without the chocolate. The ingredients and instructions are exactly the same except the addition of cocoa powder and instead of powdered sugar I used red sugar sprinkles. This recipe is on the back of the Candy Cane Kiss bag.