Soft Beer Pretzels

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle (12 oz.) amber beer or nonalcoholic beer (we used Dos Equis amber beer)
  • 1 pkg. (¼ oz.) active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt (we used table salt)
  • 4 to 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • Topping
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 Tbsp. water
    • Coarse salt (we used kosher salt)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Pour the beer into a small saucepan, heating it to 110-115 degrees. Once the beer is in that temperature range, take the saucepan off the heat and immediately stir in the yeast, continuing to stir until all of the yeast has dissolved. Add the butter, sugar, 1 ½ tsp. salt, yeast mixture and 3 cups of flour to a large mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer set to medium speed to blend these ingredients together just until smooth. Mix in just enough of the leftover flour to create a soft dough (the dough will be sticky as well).
  2.  Grease* a large mixing bowl, setting it aside for now. Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a floured surface where you’ll knead it for 6-8 minutes or until it becomes soft and elastic. Place the dough in the bowl you greased earlier, flipping the dough over once so the top is greased. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place where the dough can double in size, this will take about an hour to achieve (we put the bowl on the stovetop).
  3. Take the plastic wrap off the bowl and punch the dough down. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, dividing it into 8 portions and shaping each portion in a ball. Roll each portion into a 24-inch rope. Now curve the ends of the rope to form a circle, twisting the ends once and laying them over opposite sides of the circle, pinching the ends to seal.
  4. Pour the water and baking soda into a Dutch oven (the recipe doesn’t say to but we stirred the mixture together), turning the heat up high enough for the water to boil. Place 2 pretzels into the water at the same time for 30 seconds, taking them out using a slotted spoon and placing them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  5. Place the pretzels two inches apart on a greased* baking sheet (we lined our baking sheet with aluminum foil and then greased the foil). Add the egg yolk and water to a bowl, whisking to combine. Brush the yolk mixture over the pretzels, sprinkling salt onto the pretzel afterwards. Bake the pretzels for 10-12 minutes or until they look golden brown. Once you take the sheet out of the oven, take the pretzels off the sheet and place them on a wire rack to finish cooling off.

*We used unsalted butter to grease.

This took a bit of work to make but it was all worth it once we took our first bite ! The pretzel has a little bit of chew to it and you can taste the yeast in the dough. We really enjoyed eating this with some nacho cheese but it’d probably taste just as good being served with mustard.

This recipe came from Taste of Home.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Dos Equis or Taste of Home.

Take care everybody !

Gooey Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened (we used unsalted butter)
  • 1 egg (we used a large egg)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 pkg. (18-¼ oz.) chocolate cake mix (we used a 15.25 oz. pkg. of Pillsbury Moist Supreme Devil’s Food cake mix)

Directions

  1. Take a large mixing bowl out and beat the cream cheese and butter together in it until it is light and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla just until combined. Add the cake mix into the bowl and mix well to combine (the dough should have a sticky consistency after you’re done mixing). Put a lid on the bowl and place it in the fridge for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take rounded tablespoons worth of the dough and roll them into balls, placing them on ungreased* baking sheets afterwards, making sure each ball is spaced 2-inches apart. Place each sheet in the oven for 9-11 minutes or until the tops of the cookies have cracked (we baked our cookies for 9 minutes). Pull the sheet out and let the cookies cool for 2 minutes before taking them off the sheet and letting them finish cooling on wire racks.

*We lined our baking sheets with aluminum foil before placing the balls of dough on them.

Yields 4-½ dozen (we only got 38 cookies out of this)

These were some tasty little cookies. We don’t understand why they described this as being gooey since there was no gooeyness but the cookies were pillowy soft and the chocolate really comes through. If you love chocolate and you love cookies, then you’re sure to love these cookies !

We got this recipe from Taste of Home.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Pillsbury or Taste of Home.

Take care everybody !

Mini Peach Pies with cinnamon roll crusts

Ingredients

  • Crust
    • 2 packages refrigerated cinnamon rolls (such as Pillsbury Grands; 17.5 oz. each), separated, reserve icing (we used Pillsbury Grands)
  • Filling
    • 1 lb. frozen peaches, thawed, chopped, and drained (we chopped ours into roughly ¾-inch pieces)
    • ¼ cup each packed light brown sugar and granulated sugar
    • 2 tsp. cornstarch
    • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
    • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp. each ground nutmeg and kosher salt
  • Topping
    • 3 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar
    • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
    • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
    • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
    • ½ cup all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take a 12-cup muffin pan out and spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Take each cinnamon roll and pat it out on the counter first before pressing it into and up the sides of the muffin cups.
  3. Take a large mixing bowl out and stir the filling ingredients together in it. Divide the filling between the crusts (we used about 1 ½ tablespoons per pie).
  4. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt to a small mixing bowl, stirring to combine. Stir in the melted butter next, followed by the flour. Stir until moist clumps form, sprinkling it over the pies afterwards.
  5. Place the pan in the oven for 13-15 minutes or until the pies are bubbly and the topping looks golden (we cooked ours for 15 minutes). (If your filling is close to the top then it may start to spill over during cook time so we’d suggest laying a sheet of aluminum foil out on the rack below to catch any drippings.) Let the pies rest in the pan for 5 minutes before taking them out of the pan and placing them on a cooling rack.
  6. Heat up the icing in the microwave just enough to make it pourable and drizzle it over the pies afterwards* (we used a fork to drizzle the icing over the pies).

*Drizzling on the icing does make the pies look prettier but we think the pies taste good even without the icing.

The filling is pleasantly sweet and the cinnamon and nutmeg helped give it that extra pop of flavor that makes the filling good enough to eat all on its own. The cinnamon roll was a great substitute for a pie shell. It was pillowy but still firm enough to hold the filling. With the shape formed in the muffin tin, it makes it so easy to carry this peachy treat in your hands. One might be filling for you but you’ll want to eat more than that.

This recipe came from Cuisine At Home.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Pillsbury or Cuisine At Home.

Take care everybody !

Blackberry Crumble Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 (13-oz.) jar blackberry preserves (The original recipe used Bonne Maman brand but all we could find was Wal-Mart’s Great Value that was in an 18-oz. jar. We just scooped out what seemed like 13-oz.)
  • 1 ½ cups blackberries, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take a 13 x 9-inch baking pan out and spray the inside of it using baking spray with flour.
  2. Take a large bowl out and add to it the oats, flour, butter, brown sugar and baking soda. Using a mixer set to medium speed, blend the ingredients in the large bowl together just until combined. Take two-thirds of the oat crumble mixture and press it into the bottom of the baking pan.
  3. Stick the pan in the oven for 20 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Take the blackberry preserves and spread them out across the crust, topping with blackberries and lemon zest afterwards (we put the lemon zest onto the preserves and then added on the blackberries). Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture over the blackberries and stick the pan back in the oven to cook for another 20 minutes. Let the dessert cool completely in the pan. Slice into bars and store in an airtight container (we placed ours in the fridge afterwards).

Makes about 16 bars.

Mommy loves blackberries. We have some woods behind our house that blackberries grow in and they’re ripe for picking around the time of her birthday (unfortunately blackberries aren’t ready to be picked yet so we used blackberries from the store). Once we came across this recipe, we knew we had to try it out and we’re so happy that we did ! There’s a nice contrast of texture between the filling and crumble mixture. The blackberry and lemon were a nice pairing of flavors. That little bit of lemon zest was a wonderful touch to the blackberry filling. A complimentary flavor that brought some brightness to the sweetness of the filling. This was a delicious dessert !

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Bon Maman, Wal-Mart or Great Value.

Take care everybody !

Margarita Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • Cupcakes
    • 1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist lemon cake mix (we used Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme Deliciously Moist Cake Mix)
    • ½ cup water
    • ½ cup gold tequila or water (we used gold tequila)
    • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 box (4-serving size) lime-flavored gelatin (we used a 3 oz. package of Great Value lime gelatin)
  • Frosting
    • 2 containers Betty Crocker Whipped fluffy white frosting
    • 1 teaspoon electric green gel food color*
  • Decoration
    • ¼ cup coarse white sugar or white decorator sugar crystals
    • 24 thin lime slices (about 3 limes)
    • 24 cocktail umbrellas

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (or 325 degrees if you’re using dark or nonstick pans). Place a paper baking cup in each of the 24 regular-size muffin cups.
  2. Take a large mixing bowl out and beat all the cupcake ingredients together using an electric hand mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Turn the speed up to medium and beat the ingredients together for another 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
  3. Stick the trays in the oven and let it bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out looking clean. Pull the trays out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes, taking the cupcakes out of the pans and placing them on cooling racks afterwards. Let the cupcakes cool completely before moving onto the next step.
  4. Take a medium-sized bowl out and mix the frosting and food color together in it until completely blended. Frost all of the cupcakes. Take a small plate out and sprinkle the sugar on it, rolling** the edges of the cupcakes in it afterwards. Cut a small slit in each of the lime slices, twisting them and placing them on the cupcakes afterwards. Poke 1 umbrella into each cupcake and it’s ready to be served ! If you have any leftover cupcakes, store them (loosely covered) in the refrigerator.

*We couldn’t find any “electric green gel food color” so we just added 1 drop of green gel food color to every 5 drops of yellow into the frosting, stirring until combined and repeating until we got our desired color of frosting.

**We found that to be too messy so we just held the cupcakes at an angle and sprinkled the sugar along the edge of the frosting. That way the frosting didn’t get smeared.

These are so freaking cute and delicious ! We were hoping to taste the tequila but we never did. What we did taste though was a really good citrus-y cupcake ! We know the recipe said to roll the rim of the cupcake in sugar but we tried it with some kosher salt and thought it tasted really good. The salt was a nice contrast against the sweet frosting. In the end, it was good with sugar or kosher salt sprinkled along the edges.

We got this recipe from Betty Crocker.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines or Great Value.

Take care everybody !

Key Lime Slab Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Key lime zest
  • 1 ½ cups fresh lime juice (we used Key lime juice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 (8-ounce) containers frozen whipped topping, thawed (we used Cool-Whip)
  • Garnish: lime slices

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Take a large mixing bowl out and mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in it until thoroughly combined. Take a rimmed 15 x 10-inch baking sheet out and press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides.
  3. Stick the sheet in the oven to bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned. Let cool completely.
  4. In another large mixing bowl, whisk together the following ingredients until combined: condensed milk, eggs, lime zest, lime juice, vanilla and salt. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes (it’ll start to thicken during this time). Pour the mixture into the crust, spreading it out evenly.
  5. Stick the pan back in the oven for 10 minutes or until the mixture sets. Let it cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Loosely cover the dish and place it in the fridge so it’ll be cold before serving, anywhere from 4 hours to 3 days. Just before you’re ready to eat, spread the whipped topping on and garnish with a lime if you want.

A great dessert but can’t eat a lot at one time. It’s tart (pucker power !) and sweet at the same time. It’s nice to have the contrasting textures of the smooth filling and crunchy crust. We used Key lime juice to keep the pie true to its name. We never timed it, but by the time we got the juice needed from the Key limes, mommy and I had swimmers fingers, they were so wrinkled up ! We suppose you could use regular limes to speed up the process of getting the juice.

This recipe came from Cooking With Paula Deen.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Cool-Whip or Cooking With Paula Deen.

Take care everybody !