Wednesday, April 18, 2018

My Take On The Take 5 Candy Bar

Y'all!! These little, peanut buttery caramelicious, chocolate covered, salty pretzel bites!

They are my take on the Take 5 candy bar, and they are so yummy! πŸ˜‹

For me, it doesn't get much better than Peanut Butter Caramels.
But when you add pretzels, peanuts and chocolate, well let's just say, it got better!
Try them and I think you'll agree!

At the core of these magic little squares are the aforementioned Peanut Butter Caramels. Yes they do take a little more time, but the taste far outweighs the extra least it does in my sweet book!

Wanna make some candy?

Instead of spreading peanut butter on the pretzels, we are incorporating it into the caramel.

Let's get crackin'!
 Prepare a 13x9 pan for our Peanut Butter Caramels. Spray with cooking spray, line it with parchment paper, and spray this as well.

Have your peanuts ready to sprinkle on top of the caramel.
 To make the Peanut Butter Caramelsclick on my link for the recipe.
Pour up this beautiful candy and resist the urge to lick the spoon.
I've done it! Ouch!😳
Sprinkle peanuts over candy. Let caramels cool for a few hours till set. I usually let mine sit loosely covered overnight.
Now we're ready to unmold our candy. Remove from pan by lifting from the edges of parchment paper and set onto a cutting surface lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
Cut caramels with a long, sharp, lightly oiled knife. I thought I was cutting mine into one inch squares, but when I counted them, I only had 95 pieces.
And I'm okay with that!πŸ˜‰
You will need 95 pretzel squares..or more if you're a better caramel cutter than me!😜

Gently press caramels onto pretzels.
Oh my, but I'm ready to try one now!

No! I can wait! I think I can! I think I can!
Dip candies in melted chocolate and place on parchment lined pan to set.

Don't they look irresistible?!!
This cross-section is just plain eye candy!
My Take On The Take 5 Candy Bar Recipe

You will need:
One batch of Peanut Butter Caramels
95 (or so) pretzel snaps
One heaping cup of your favorite peanuts
1 1/2 pounds chocolate (I used Ghirardelli dark melting wafers)

Prepare caramel, sprinkle with peanuts and let cool to set.

Cut caramels with long, sharp, lightly oiled knife into approximately 95 pieces, then gently press onto pretzels.

Melt chocolate, dip candies and place on parchment lined pan.

And there you have it! My take on the Take 5 bars! I hope y'all like 'em!

Have a sweet day, Karen 😊

Friday, April 6, 2018

Banana Bread Muffins

Do you like Banana Bread..'cause I am convinced that I have the best Banana Bread recipe ever!

It all started many years ago at Calvary Heights Baptist Church. The church is long since gone, and the pastor and his wife live back home in Alabama now. 

We sure did make some sweet memories with some sweet folks there, and here is one of my favorites!  Our dear, sweet pastor's wife, Martha Sue Harralson, would bring in a freshly baked Banana Bread to church nearly every Sunday morning. And while we didn't fight over it, we also didn't waste any time getting in line for a slice. It was heavenly I tell ya! She also brought them to our many "covered dish" dinner get-togethers. Let me say, there was never a crumb left. No, nary a one!

So, how thrilled was I when she shared her recipe with me!

There is no way I could ever count how many loaves of this yummy bread I have made over the years. We love it so much, that recently I decided to try turning them into muffins! My husband absolutely loves them. Plus they were a huge hit at our Easter family picnic. And now, I'm sharing this golden recipe with you!
This easy banana bread contains nine ingredients.
Flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and overripe bananas.
Combine all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
I measure my oil in a liquid measuring cup. 
Next, I add my buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla, and stir it all together.
 Add wet ingredients to the dry.
Stir to combine.
Mash bananas with a fork until creamy.
Add bananas to mixture stirring to combine.
 Prepare 18 regular size muffin tins with baking spray.
Fill tins 3/4 full. I use a cookie scoop to get uniform sized muffins.

Bake @ 350 for 28 minutes.
Don't everbake!
You can do the toothpick test. Just insert toothpick into the cake center, if it comes out clean it's done.

When these start baking, the smell is crazy wonderful!

I know you're gonna love them!
Banana Bread Muffins 

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 
1 1/2 cups sugar               
1/2 teaspoon salt              
1 teaspoon baking soda     
1/2 cup canola oil             
2 slightly beaten eggs       
             1/4 cup plus 1 Tbls buttermilk        
   1 teaspoon vanilla               
          3 bananas-very ripe                   

Stir together all dry ingredients in large bowl.
      In a separate bowl, add oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla, stirring to combine. Incorporate the wet mixture into the dry, and stir in mashed bananas.

Spray muffin tins with Pam baking spray. Fill tins 3/4 full with batter.  

Bake @ 350 for 28 minutes. 
If a toothpick comes out clean, they are done.
Don't overbake.  

Below is a page from the first family cookbook that my baby sister put together for Christmas 2004. Since then, she has created two more. As an avid lifetime cookbook collector, I treasure these more every day. πŸ’—  

This is the original recipe for Banana Bread that my sweet friend gave to me back in 1994. 
Have a sweet day, Karen 😊

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

He Is Risen!~Easter Cross Cookies

Easter, He Is Risen!

One of my favorite songs that our choir sings is, "Love Grew Where the Blood Fell".

It's a beautiful song and it begins like this:
"See my Jesus on the cross, the people crying.
Looking on, a man would think it tragedy.
But what the world could not see,
Was when they nailed Him to that tree.
It broke the chains of sin and set men free!

Love grew where the blood fell.
Flowers of Hope sprang up for men in misery.
Sin died where the blood fell.
And I'm so glad his precious blood covers me!"

God's Word says in John 3:16→
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Also in Romans 10:9→
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

I am so thankful for God's Love, Mercy and Grace.
He has extended them all to every soul on this earth.

Today would be a great day to invite Him into your heart!πŸ’—

Here are my Happy Easter Cross Cookies celebrating His love for us.
To make and decorate these cookies you will need:
Chocolate cookie dough
Chocolate fondant
Green candy melts
Cross cutters-(I used a 4 inch and a 2 inch)
Disposable decorating bags
Corn syrup
I also used green cake sparkles
I made my cookies using Georganne's yummy chocolate cookie dough recipe.
 Click here for the link! 
Roll out dough, cut and bake cookies.
To make the wood grain crosses, roll out fondant, place in folder and press. Remove fondant and cut out with clean cross cutters. 
Jesus built a bridge with two pieces of wood and three nails.
 Attach fondant to cookie with a little corn syrup. Place candy melts in decorator bag and melt in 30 second increments in microwave stopping to knead bag at each interval. Mine took 90 seconds.
 Snip off just the small tip from bag.
Pipe green stems for flowers.
 Place flowers and sprinkle on the green sparkles or green sprinkles if you like.
I love these old rugged crosses and plan to make them for our Sunday School class. 😊
Wishing you all a very Happy Easter, KarenπŸ’Ÿ

Thursday, February 22, 2018

3D Alligator in the Swamp Cookies

So last September, we went alligator huntin' in the Louisiana bayou. 

Actually, we went on a swamp tour that nearly wasn't. I tell ya, over the years my hubby and I have had quite a few adventures. 

We have flipped our kayak in Kauai, nearly drowned when our whitewater raft hit a rock and tipped us out into the Nantahala, hubby's air tank sprang a bad leak on an underwater Bahamas get the idea.

So when we boarded our boat I should not have been surprised when a few minutes later as we were winding our way through the wetlands, our motor began smoking! And then when our--really he was a wonderful--guide couldn't get a signal out on his cell phone, I had visions of us going down in that swamp in flames! Whew!

But alas, we were saved. Another tour came by, helped us tie our boat to theirs, and towed us back to the dock where we boarded a new boat. And we live to see another day.πŸ˜…
These 3D alligator cookies were inspired by both the real alligators we saw as well as the adorable cookie cutters I found in one of the cute gift shops.

My oldest grandson--I love you, Jojo--is a huge fan of alligators. His goal is to wrestle and tame them! Be still my heart! Maybe I'll just give him these cookies and we can forget all about that craziness! Yes..that sounds good to me!

Cookie time!

I think I'll go ahead and take a bite out of mine before it takes a bite out of me!
Make your favorite cookie dough, or use this one as you scroll to the end of the post.

Separate the dough in two parts and tint half of it green.
 I used my rectangle 4 1/2 x 3 inch cookie cutter for the base. You can find it here.

You can also find the alligator cutter here.
Roll out your pretty green cookie dough on a lightly floured surface.
Cut cookies, and place on a parchment lined pan.
While cookies are already on the pan, use the rectangle cutter (or a knife) to cut off a bottom portion from gator. 

Be quick about it as gators don't like this much.😜
 Cut out, bake, and cool cookie bases.
We are using canned frosting, food color, candy eyes, and green and blue candy melts to decorate our cookies.
With a drop or two of blue, stir into canned frosting to tint. Spread a thin layer of frosting onto rectangle cookie bases.
I don't know what took me so long to start melting my candy melts in piping bags. So much easier, quicker and way less messy.

Just pop a few melts into bag, melt at 50% power in 30 second increments stopping to squeeze bag each time until melted smooth.

Snip off the tip of bag and you're ready to, pipe!
I piped these freehand. It's just swamp grass, so there is no wrong way to do it.
Ohhh! Let's put these together.

Use the green melts to attach the candy eyes to the alligator faces.

Melt blue candy melts as we did the green and pipe "water" onto the cookie base. You can smooth it with an offset spatula.
Place alligators and swamp grass on cookies.

Look how fun these turned out!
Here we have an aerial view of our swamp.
If you've never been to Louisiana, I say hightail it on down and take a tour. And if you find yourself near New Orleans, stop in at Cafe Du Monde and enjoy the most amazing beignets and coffee you've ever tasted!

Later, gator..KarenπŸ’—