Monthly Archives: December 2017

5 Last-Minute Holiday Gifts You Can Make in Your Microwave! (WITH RECIPES!)

Last minute gifts from your kitchen? I’ve got you, boo!

Ok, so the holiday season is here and if you’re anything like me, there are still plenty of people for whom I need to get gifts. But I don’t have a lot of time, and don’t want to spend hours in the malls, spending, spending, spending. What to do? Give gifts from your kitchen! After all, who doesn’t love food?

Here are 5 Last Minute Holiday Gifs that YOU can make in the microwave! (just click on the title to be brought to the recipe post)

  1. Personalized Candy Bars – Who wouldn’t love a candy bar made out of their favourite chocolate, and stuffed full of all of the yummy candy that they love? Wrap it nicely, tuck it in a stocking, and be ready for oohs and ahhhs and mmmms!
  2. Chocolate Non-Pareils – So embarrassingly easy, but I’ll give you the recipe below.
  3. Healthier Peanut butter Cups – Got a relative or friend who is a bit more health conscious? Made these for them. They can eat them and feel virtuous, and totally show them off on Instagram!
  4. Choc-Dipped Potato Chips – Got a relative or friend who is a bit of a foodie? Or a couch potato? These hand-dipped chocolate-dipped potato chips will hit the spot. But, fair warning, you can’t eat just one! These are so easy, that you don’t even need a recipe. Just melt 1 c. chocolate chips in the microwave in a bowl, along with a tablespoon of veg oil. Stir til mixed, then dip individual chips in the mixture, and refrigerate dipped chips on parchment-covered cookie trays until set. Bam, done!
  5. Candy Cane Bark – This is a staple at my annual holiday party, and also a staple of the cookie tins that I give to friends each year. Easy, delicious, and a great way to use up last year’s candy canes!

Have I inspired you to made some gifts? I encourage to jump in and try them! They’re really, truly easy to make, they all taste FAN-TAS-TIC and just think how impressed everyone will be when you tell them that you made it yourself!

Oh, and here’s the recipe for 1-Minute Easy-Peasy Non-Pareils

Platter of pareils! Technically, these are non-pareils: little discs of chocolate covered in teeny tiny candy balls. Yummy!

1-MINUTE EASY-PEASY NON-PAREILS

  • 1/2 c. multi-coloured non-pareils (those teeny tiny multi-coloured little candy balls you often find on cakes or cookies)
  • 1/4 c. chocolate wafers (white chocolate, dark choc, milk choc — you do you!)

Take the chocolate wafers and place them on a piece of parchment paper in a small microwave safe glass tray, about an inch apart. Zap for 60 secs, or until the chocolate is slightly soft and melty, but not runny. Remove from microwave and pour the non-pareils over them. They’ll run everywhere, but that’s ok as they’re in a container; you just want to make sure that they stick to the softened wafers. Stick the tray into the fridge until the chocolate is set. Then pop the candy-ball covered chocolates off the parchment paper, and…you’re done! Seriously, they’re that easy. You can pour the leftover little candy balls back into their original container, and use them again for the next batch.  

Isn’t it fun making gifts from your kitchen? I’ve made a whole bunch so far this season, and packed some up in cellophane and fabric bags for gifting. If you make some, let me know in the comments how you package your gifts!

Next Post: Cappuccino Cupcakes! I thought I had previously posted a recipe for them, but can’t seem to find it on the blog, so…either you’re getting the same recipe twice, or it’s a new recipe! Eh, either way, it’s delicious!

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday!

Marshmallow Snowman Pops: An Easy Holiday Giftable

Easy, pretty, and waiting to be eaten!

The holidays are approaching, and I LOVE making and giving gifts from my kitchen! I’ve been working on a whole bunch of giftables, and will be posting lists (with recipes) of all those delicious things soon, so that you can also get your kitchen gifting on! This week’s recipe is one of those giftables: Marshmallow Snowman Pops!

Marshmallow Snowman Pops are a simple last-minute gift that you can pull together to hand out to children, or to tie on to a holiday gift. I made several of these last week and gave them to the children who were at a holiday party I was attended. They ate them right away, which flattered me no end!

Want to make some too? Let’s!

MARSHMALLOW SNOWMAN POPS

For each pop, you will need:

  • 3 regular-size marshmallows
  • 1 orange coloured candy-covered sunflower seed (or similar-sized orange candy)
  • 3 silver dragees
  • 1/4 of white chocolate candy wafers
  • 1 cake pop stick (or similar)
  • food colouring markers
  • 1 small candy cane

Take two marshmallows and stick them on the cake pop stick, pushing down, until about 1 cm of stick shows above the top of the top marshmallow. Then stick the third marshmallow on top and remove it (that’s right, take it back off again. We just want to make sure that there’s a hole in it.)

Take the white chocolate wafers and melt them in a bowl in the microwave. Dip the stick (with the two marshmallows on it) in the melted chocolate, turning to coat, until the marshmallows are all covered in chocolate. Then dip the top of the stick in the melted chocolate, and stick the third marshmallow on top. (The chocolate functions as a sort of glue to keep the top marshmallow on.) FYI, it’s easier to cover the marshmallows in chocolate when you’re melting the wafers for several marshmallows. Take another cake pop stick (or chopstick, which is what I used), and push it through the centre marshmallow where you want the snowman’s arms to be, then remove it.

Place the marshmallow and chocolate stick on a plate and stick it in the fridge until the chocolate is mostly set. Take the candy cane, and snap off the curved part, so that you’re only left with a straight stick of candy cane. Push this straight stick through the hole that you previously made for the arms. Place the silver dragees on the centre marshmallow where you want the buttons to be. Place snowman in fridge until chocolate is completely set.

Using another cake pop stick, pop a hole in the top marshmallow, where you want the nose to be. Stick the orange candy-covered sunflower seed (or other orange candy resembling a carrot) in the hole. Using your food colouring markers, draw on eyes and a mouth.

And voila! An adorable and easy gift! I wrapped mine up in cellophane bags and used curling ribbon to tie them shut. Gift them to others and wait for the oohs and aaahs!

Next Post: I know I promised last time to give you a recipe for Super-Easy Strawberry Cranberry Jam, but that’ll have to wait a bit, because the next post is Five Easy Holiday Gifts that You Can Make in the Kitchen!

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday and Happiness is Homemade!

Super-Easy Cream Cheese Icing When You Don’t Have Any Cream Cheese

Layers of cream cheese icing goodness! Except that there’s no cream cheese in it. Um, say what?

Cream Cheese Icing is a MUST when making carrot cake, and a HIGHLY RECOMMEND when making pumpkin cake. Last week I baked a pumpkin cake, and went to make the cream cheese icing; however, after looking in the fridge, I realized…there was no cream cheese! Egads! What to do? Well, this was a case for…THE QUEEN OF SUBSTITUTIONS!

The solution? Lebneh, also known as yoghurt cheese! I make my own yoghurt, and grew up eating homemade lebneh (drained yoghurt so thick it functions as cream cheese), so it was an easy thing to pull out some yoghurt cheese as a cream cheese substitute.

The verdict? Yum-city! I was trying to take a photo of the finished cake and the DH was hovering impatiently so that he could have a slice. I asked him just now for his opinion. He said, and this is a direct quote, “It’s very bad; don’t eat it, leave it all for me!” So yeah, it was a hit.

The tanginess of the yoghurt subs in perfectly for the tanginess of cream cheese, and the maple syrup adds a touch of sweetness without being cloying. The cinnamon is a perfect foil to carrot OR pumpkin cake, or frankly, anything you want to serve it with.

And since it’s the holidays, you can feel better about eating this icing, since you know it has the calcium-rich goodness of yoghurt in it!

Let’s get to making some!

SUPER-EASY CREAM CHEESE ICING without CREAM CHEESE

(adapted from The Novice Chef)

  • 8 oz. lebneh/yoghurt cheese (about the size of a standard cream cheese packet) (recipe in this post)
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 3 1/3 c. icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together until fully blended. Spread on a cooled slab cake, or serve as a dip with cookies. Enjoy the compliments coming your way!

The only downside to this icing? This is more of a slab cake icing than a traditional round layer cake icing. This is due to the yoghurt cheese — if left for several days, some of the whey will continue to drain and cause the icing to be a bit weepy.  So bake your cake in a lasagna pan, and ice it once cool. Serve and enjoy!

Or, use it as a dip. I’m planning on bringing a bowl of this icing to a dinner party tonight, along with some homemade graham crackers. How’s that for an appetizer? Naturally, I’ve done some taste-testing with this combo. *can’t talk, mouth too full* *shouldn’t be typing, fingers too sticky*

Next Post: Five Holidays Gifts from the Kitchen and Four Ingredient Strawberry Cranberry Jam

Linking Up at Full Plate Thursday!