Candy, Desserts, Recipes

Peppermint Bark Pretzels

Peppermint bark pretzels… a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

Peppermint bark pretzels... a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

In the continuing chronicles of “Sarah makes easy Christmas recipes” we have this winner of a recipe… Peppermint Bark Pretzels. Just like the Sweet and Spicy Pretzel Snack Mix from the other day, this easy recipe comes together in just a few minutes and tastes freakin’ AMAZINGGG. Yup, amazing! It was serious self-control that allowed these little bites to go from baking sheet to gift bag (aren’t they the cutest?! ALDI!) with only sneaking one or two. #scoutshonor

Peppermint bark pretzels... a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

If you love the salty-sweet combo, you’ll love these pretzels! They’re probably a little more on the sweet side since I made them with white chocolate AND peppermint candy cane pieces, but the salty pretzel totally came through too.

Peppermint bark pretzels... a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

I think chocolate dipped pretzels would be a great easy recipe to make with kids because they’re pretty foolproof and don’t require tons of precision to still taste good. Sometimes melting chocolate can be a little hairy BUT if you use either high quality chocolate OR those handy-dandy trays of almond bark, your results will be much improved. My little kitchen helper didn’t really help with these (he was more interested in running around the house with the spray bottle aimed at our naughty cat who cannot. leave. the. Christmas. tree. alone. to. save. her. life.) but he sure was enthralled with mama taking photos on the porch!

Peppermint bark pretzels... a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

If you need a last minute food gift for the teacher/babysitter/coach/neighbor in your life, definitely consider these! We made them for our son’s daycare teachers and paired them with a small gift card and a note. So easy and cute! Hope you enjoy… and MERRY CHRISTMAS, friends!

Peppermint bark pretzels... a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

one year ago: Cranberry Dessert Pizza
two years ago: No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars
three years ago: Orange Spritz
four years ago: Baked Fish Tacos with Cranberry Salsa
five years ago: Cranberry Orange Pancakes with Cranberry Maple Syrup
six years ago: Classic Sugar Cookies
seven years ago: Cranberry Scones

Peppermint Bark Pretzels

  • Servings: 3 cups
  • Print

inspired by Yay for Food

ingredients:

  • 11 ounces good quality white chocolate – I used Ghirardelli white chocolate chips
  • 3 cups mini pretzels
  • 3-4 candy canes, crushed – I used a food processor

Directions:

Line a couple baking sheets with wax paper.

Melt white chocolate chips according to package directions (typically, I use the microwave and heat for 30 seconds on 50% power, stir, then heat for 15 second bursts until melted). When chocolate is melted, dip the pretzels in to coat. Allow excess chocolate to fall off, then place on wax paper. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes, and repeat.

I didn’t worry about fully coating the pretzels, and once I got a good rhythm going I was able to dip a handful of pretzels, lay them out, sprinkle with candy cane pieces, and repeat. I had to reheat the chocolate once for a few seconds towards the end.

Since I used a higher quality chocolate and it’s chilly out, I didn’t have to place these in the refrigerator to set but if it’s warmer, that may be necessary. I forsee trying these in the future with other types of chocolate or even drizzling with a different type of chocolate or nuts. Yum! So many possibilities.

 

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Cookies, Desserts, Recipes

Avalanche Cookies #bookclubcookbookCC

These addictive creamy peanut butter-based no bake cookies are full of fluffy marshmallows, decadent white chocolate, and crunchy Rice Krispies cereal. Believe the hype–these are fabulous!

These addictive creamy peanut butter-based no bake cookies are full of fluffy marshmallows, decadent white chocolate, and crunchy Rice Krispies cereal. Believe the hype--these are fabulous!

Have you ever had Avalanche Cookies before? Or the original Avalanche Bark from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory? If you haven’t, you are missing out! But good thing–these cookies are super simple to make and they are no bake, so perfect for the current heat wave of summer! It’s been about a zillion degrees in Nashville lately, so I haven’t wanted to turn my oven on to bake. And with a newborn, it’s not like I have much time anyways. 🙂 But what I DO have time for is super easy no bake treats like these… or these chocolate peanut butter granola bars. Mmmm!

These addictive creamy peanut butter-based no bake cookies are full of fluffy marshmallows, decadent white chocolate, and crunchy Rice Krispies cereal. Believe the hype--these are fabulous!

I really shouldn’t make these treats very often though, because they are so addictive. Whether you’re eating the “batter” or the cookies themselves, you will want to keep going back for more and more. They have such a rich, distinctive flavor–the perfect blend of caramel-y, butterscotch-y, chocolate-y goodness that arises when you mix together peanut butter and white chocolate. Originally I wasn’t going to share this recipe as my contribution to #BookClubCookbookCC for our June selection, Chocolat, because these treats don’t seem as sophisticated enough to be French… but then I decided, what the heck. They have chocolate in them and they are tasty treats. Who can say no to that? Certainly not the French, haha. I haven’t actually read the book Chocolat or seen the film [yikes] but I would like to, so I will request them from my local library soon. 🙂 Thanks for hosting this month and for pushing me to make something AND write a blog post this week, Sarah! If you would like to win a copy of The Book Club Cook Book, the cookbook that this event is based off of, scroll to the end of this post. This month we are giving away TWO copies so you have a great chance to win! 🙂

These addictive creamy peanut butter-based no bake cookies are full of fluffy marshmallows, decadent white chocolate, and crunchy Rice Krispies cereal. Believe the hype--these are fabulous!

There are many versions of these cookies online–even a few bar cookies variations–but what I did differently was to add additional cereal to the peanut butter/white chocolate mixture. This adds a little bit of extra crunch [and stretches the number of cookies you can make, which is always a plus in my book]. But if you want a richer treat, you can reduce the cereal down to 1 1/2 or 2 cups. We thought they were plenty rich though… and plenty delicious. I added mini chocolate chips to a few and boy was that great! I think sprinkles on top would be wonderful too, but certainly not necessary. No matter how you make these, everyone will love them. Enjoy!

one year ago: Strawberry Ginger Smoothie
two years ago: Tabbouleh 
three years ago: Italian Chicken & Veggie Couscous Bowls
four years ago: Banana Crumb Muffins
five years ago: Creamy Taco Mac

Avalanche Cookies

  • Servings: 4 dozen
  • Print

slightly adapted from Cookies & Cups

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups crispy rice cereal [like Rice Krispies]
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 16 ounces white chocolate [chips or candy coating]
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter

Directions:

In a large bowl, stir together cereal and mini marshmallows. Line two baking sheets with silicone liners or wax/parchment paper.

Melt white chocolate and peanut butter together using your desired method. I used the white chocolate candy coating and melted that for 1 minute in the microwave, then added the peanut butter and melted everything together for about 20 seconds, but your results may vary. You can use a double boiler if you prefer.

Immediately pour white chocolate mixture over cereal mixture, then stir together. Scoop out onto prepared baking sheets in about 1 tablespoon rounded scoops. Refrigerate to for about 20 minutes or so to set, then enjoy!

These are pretty stable at room temperature but if it’s really hot or humid you may want to refrigerate until serving if possible.

Mix ins like mini chocolate chips or sprinkles are always good, but not necessary. 🙂

 

Giveaway
This month Sarah at Thing I Make (for Dinner), this month’s host, is giving away two copies of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!
TWO of our lucky readers – US and Canada only! – can enter to win a copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from June 1st till June 30th at 6 o’clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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*Disclosure: Sarah received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.

 

Desserts, Other, Recipes

Lemon Meringue Pie Puppy Chow #bookclubcookbookcc

Think pie is too complicated? Well, enjoy lemon meringue pie in puppy chow form. All that lemon flavor with minimal effort. #dangerous

Lemon Meringue Pie Puppy Chow  - easier than pie, but just as delicious! #bookclubcookbookCC | thepajamachef.com

Like my #dangerous hashtag? Lately I’ve been finding all sorts of things that are #dangerous. S’mores Oreos, for one. The new coffee shop that is getting REALLY close to being completed in my library, for two. Seriously–I can see it from my office window. It’s like 30 steps away. I won’t even have to walk across campus! I see a lot of $3.80 caramel lattes in my future. [Yes, I have the price of a latte on campus memorized.] And this tasty treat, for three. Cause I love me some lemon meringue pie, but it’s kinda complicated. Crust, filling, meringue… all that jazz. And dishes, dishes, dishes! Now I can have all the taste with almost none of the work. #Dangerous, I say!

Lemon Meringue Pie Puppy Chow  - easier than pie, but just as delicious! #bookclubcookbookCC | thepajamachef.com

Lemon Meringue Pie Puppy Chow is sort of a random recipe to make at the end of August, I realize. This time of year is all about getting the last dose of summer in before pumpkin and apple season hits. But lemons are citrus fruits, and citrus fruits remind me of summer [even though they’re really a winter fruit, right?], and lemons are sunshine-y yellow and happy! Plus, puppy chow is a no-bake treat… the perfect sweet that doesn’t heat up your kitchen. Score! So this puppy chow totally makes sense. And is delicious. Did I say that yet? It’s sweet and tangy and sugary… an always addictive snack mix. This version has white chocolate in it too. Mmmm!

Lemon Meringue Pie Puppy Chow  - easier than pie, but just as delicious! #bookclubcookbookCC | thepajamachef.com

But I must admit that I have a secondary motive [besides summery no-bake deliciousness] for making this treat. Lemon Meringue Pie was also the recipe of choice for this month’s edition of #bookclubcookbookCC, a cooking project I am part of this year. See here for more details! Andrea at Adventures in All Things Food hosted. She invited us to read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson and make a Very Yellow Lemon Meringue Pie with her. I didn’t make a pie… and I didn’t get to reading the book [though I did check it out from the library, so maybe I will soon]. But I hope Andrea, the rest of the cooking group, and all of YOU lovely readers enjoy this lemony puppy chow. Who doesn’t like puppy chow? And this fun lemon twist will make anyone smile! Enjoy, and be sure to scroll down to enter the giveaway to win a copy of The Book Club Cookbook for yourself! 🙂

Lemon Meringue Pie Puppy Chow  - easier than pie, but just as delicious! #bookclubcookbookCC | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Minty Turkey Meatballs with Quinoa
two years ago: Roasted Peach Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel
three years ago: Brown Rice, Feta, and Tomato Salad
four years ago: Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
five years ago: Peanut Butter Fingers

Lemon Meringue Pie Puppy Chow

  • Servings: makes 11 cups
  • Print

adapted from Living Locurto

Ingredients:

  • 9 cups Chex cereal
  • 11.5 ounce bag white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butter or oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2+ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 cups Golden Grahams cereal or equivalent broken graham crackers

Directions:

Place Chex cereal in a large bowl. Combine white chocolate and butter/oil in a medium bowl and microwave on 50% power in 30 second increments until chocolate melts. Stir well between each round in the microwave.

When chocolate is melted, add lemon zest then slowly pour in lemon juice, gently stirring to combine. If juice is too cold then the chocolate can start to seize up, so be careful. When combined, pour over Chex and fold together.

Transfer mixture to a gallon size ziptop bag, then add 1 cup powdered sugar. Seal and shake to combine. Add an additional cup powdered sugar and repeat. If you want more powdered sugar in the mix or you want to fully coat the cereal, you may need to add more–another cup or so. Spread mixture on a large baking sheet or a piece of wax paper to allow chocolate to harden. When chocolate has set, mix in Golden Grahams/graham cracker pieces.

Enjoy!

Note: Unlike regular puppy chow, this is best the day it is made… so it may not be a great recipe for making ahead. It’s definitely still edible [and enjoyable] for 4-5 days but because of the fresh lemon zest and juice you’ll want to eat it quickly.

Giveaway
Andrea at Adventures in all Things Food, this month’s host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!
One of our lucky readers – US and Canada only! – can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from August 1st till August 31st at 6 o’clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.
Enter the giveaway at the link below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: Andrea received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp to use in this year-long project plus the opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.

Breakfast, Muffins, Recipes

SRC: Gingerbread Muffins

The warm, spicy flavor of gingerbread in a muffin, instead of fussy cookies. Perfect for breakfast, teatime, or anytime! 

Gingerbread Muffins | thepajamachef.com

This month for the Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Jessie Weaver, written by Jessie. 🙂 Jessie lives with her family in Tennessee too–in fact, she used to live in Nashville! How fun. Jessie has three little ones and still has time to blog on many subjects, from recipes to faith to family fun. Going to her blog is always a joy and I love seeing what she posts for Secret Recipe Club each month. While Jessie has a lot of great recipes on her blog, two that caught my eye were Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust and Gingerbread Muffins with White Chocolate Chips. I let Ben pick and muffins it was! These muffins are SO seasonally appropriate, huh? 🙂

Gingerbread Muffins | thepajamachef.com

I always love a good muffin, and these were no exception. They come together in just a few minutes in one bowl for easy cleanup… and smell absolutely amazing as they bake! We put up our tree on Friday and let me tell you, I should have made them while we were decorating. These muffins can compete with a gingerbread candle for best smell ever. I actually have a gingerbread candle, so I should do a test run. Haha. But as for taste, I think muffins win over candles any day! They’re perfect to make on a cold afternoon during the holiday season. If you like, you can add white chocolate chips like Jessie did. I’m sure they’re great that way too. Enjoy!

Gingerbread Muffins | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Dark Chocolate Ginger Squares
two years ago: Caramel Apple Dip
three years ago: Honey Yeast Dinner Rolls
four years ago: Pumpkin Pancakes

Gingerbread Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Print

from Jessie Weaver

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil [coconut or canola, or melted butter]
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, optional — I think cinnamon chips could also be yummy too

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or spray well with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, ginger, baking soda, and sugar. In a measuring cup, whisk together oil, molasses, milk, and eggs. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until just mixed. Fold in white chocolate chips, if using, then divide batter between muffin cups, about 2/3 way full.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

For more SRC recipes, check out the link below:

Linked up with Weekend Potluck.

Pumpkin Biscotti | thepajamachef.com #PumpkinWeek
30 Before 30, Cookies, Desserts, Recipes

#PumpkinWeek: Pumpkin Biscotti

Crunchy, pumpkin spiced biscotti make a crisp fall morning extra special!

Pumpkin Biscotti | thepajamachef.com #PumpkinWeek

I first started drinking coffee eight years ago in a little corner café in Nice with ornate velvet chairs, marble tables, and the most divine pastries you have ever seen in your life. Iiiiii know. It’s as idyllic as it sounds–this is France we’re talking about, after all. The cafés in Paris did not even BEGIN to compare. This little spot is a slice of heaven on earth. I remember luxurious mornings on that summer project with Cru, sitting and reading and talking in that café with a big green awning, wishing that summer would never ever end. But it did, and I came home, and US coffee is nothing like that strong French brew, especially when said brew is layered with cream and thick caramel. Mmmmmm! I gradually journeyed from occasional fancy, caramel-y coffee drinks to an everyday coffee habit with a constant rotation of Paramount Coffee in our cupboard [no sponsor or anything, we just really like their coffee]. One thing I never understood was biscotti.

Pumpkin Biscotti | thepajamachef.com #PumpkinWeek

The concept of biscotti–cookies at breakfast–totally makes sense. But a hard cookie? That you dip in coffee? Well, that just sounds weird. I’ve never been a dip-my-Oreos-in-my-milk kinda girl. Crumbs=gross. The only biscotti I’ve ever had just was… boring and tasteless. And let’s face it–I probably tried to bite into it without enough dunking. Ooops?

Pumpkin Biscotti | thepajamachef.com #PumpkinWeek

There’s nothing gross or boring or tasteless about these biscotti! They’re full of real pumpkin, lots of pumpkin spice, and a healthy coating of white chocolate on top. These biscotti taste so good you’ll forget it’s just a normal morning at home, and instead think you’re lounging in a fancy French coffee shop! If only. 🙂

Pumpkin Biscotti | thepajamachef.com #PumpkinWeek

Though I made these biscotti for #PumpkinWeek [it ends tomorrow! Tear!] they also fulfill one of my 30 before 30 goals. Yay! Thanks to Terri from Love and Confections for hosting. You can also find these great recipes and more on Love and Confections’ #PumpkinWeek Pinterest Board!

one year ago: Peanut Butter Apple Oatmeal Cookies
two years ago: 30 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup
three years ago: Pumpkin Biscuits
four years ago: Maize and Blue Cupcakes

Pumpkin Biscotti

  • Servings: 24
  • Print

from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter – optional
  • 1 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped – optional
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate
  • 1/2 tablespoon canola oil

Directions:

If using nuts, melt butter in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add nuts and stir to coat. Cook nuts, stirring constantly, until they brown. Remove from heat and cool completely before proceeding.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

With a mixer, beat together eggs, brown sugar, pumpkin, and vanilla until the mixture thickens. With mixer on low, slowly add flour, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice. Dough will be thick so just mix it in a little with the mixer and then finish up by hand. If using nuts, fold in at the end. Dough will be crumbly.

Divide the dough in half, then shape each half into a 3×10 inch log. Place on prepared baking sheet, then wet hands and smooth logs if necessary.

Bake until the logs are slightly firm to the touch, about 25-30 minutes. I found that without nuts, my logs didn’t firm up at all until about 35-40 minutes, but they do firm up more as they cool so go with your instincts. Cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes, then remove to a cutting board and slice with a serrated bread knife. I got about 12 slices by cutting my pieces about 1/2-3/4 inch thick.

Return cookies to baking sheets, cut sides up. Place in a single layer and bake until firm, about 20 minutes, flipping halfway. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Once biscotti have cooled, melt white chocolate and oil together in a microwave safe bowl, heating on 50% power in 30 second bursts, stirring in between to melt. Drizzle, brush, or dip with white chocolate.

Store biscotti in airtight container. It’s best within the first four days, but will keep for 3-4 weeks.

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies | thepajamachef.com #PumpkinWeek

Check out all the #PumpkinWeek Bloggers and their recipes:
Pumpkin Pie Chia Granola by Love and Confections
Meatloaf-Stuffed Mini Pumpkins by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
White Chocolate Reeses Pumpkin Blondies by The Spiffy Cookie
Pumpkin and Corn Chowder by Curious Cuisiniere
Buttermilk Pumpkin Pancakes by Life Tastes Good
Pumpkin Spice Cookie Blossoms by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Curried Roasted Pumpkin Hummus by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Praline Frosted Pumpkin Brownies by My Catholic Kitchen
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter by Making Miracles
Pumpkin Biscotti by The Pajama Chef
White Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake by Dizzy Busy and Hungry