Mandarin Orange Muffins

Mandarin Orange Muffins, may you have a happy sunny morning!

Mandarin Orange Muffins

Mandarin Orange Muffins 2

1¾ cups flour
2½ tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained, reserve 1/2 cup liquid
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 400°. In large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, stir together the 1/2 cup mandarin orange liquid, egg, oil, and sugar. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Fold in oranges. Divide batter evenly into six muffins cups sprayed with non-stick spray and sprinkle tops with sugar. Bake 20 minutes or until golden. Makes 6 large muffins.

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Cinnamon Blondies

A flavorful ribbon of cinnamon sugar running through tender vanilla blondies, frosted with whipped buttercream. A new favorite!

Cinnamon Blondies

          Cinnamon Blondies 1        Cinnamon Blondies 2

Blondies:
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

Filling:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup vanilla chips

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 13″x9″ baking pan with non-stick spray. In large bowl, stirring by hand, mix melted butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Mix in eggs one at a time, and stir in vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; mix just until combined. In small bowl, stir together sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon for the filling. Spread half the batter (about 2 cups) in prepared pan. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar filling over batter. Sprinkle vanilla chips over cinnamon sugar, press down gently. Drop remaining batter by scoopfuls over the top and gently spread (I used my fingers sprayed with nonstick spray, it takes a minute with patience but it works). Bake 28-30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
2-3 Tbl milk

Whip butter with electric mixer until light in color. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 2 Tbl milk. Whip. Add more milk if needed for desired frosting consistency. Spread over completely cool blondies.

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Peanut Butter & Honey Braid

If you’re a bread person like me, make this Peanut Butter & Honey Braid, grab a glass of milk and be happy!

Peanut Butter & Honey Braid

Peanut Butter & Honey Braid 1  Peanut Butter & Honey Braid 2  Peanut Butter & Honey Braid 3

2 ¹/3 cups baking mix (such as Bisquick)
1/2 cup butter, cold
2/3 cup milk, cold
3-4 Tbl peanut butter
2-3 Tbl honey

Preheat oven to 425°.  Cut butter into baking mix until mixture is crumbly. Stir in milk until dough comes together. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead lightly 10 to 12 times. Roll dough into 15″x9″ rectangle.  Spread jam lengthwise down center 1/3 of dough (center 3″ pictured below). Make 3” cuts at 1″ intervals on long sides. Fold strips over filling.  Pick up with two spatulas and move onto Silpat lined baking sheet or sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Glaze with following glaze when slightly cooled.

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla
milk (enough to make drizzle consistency, add a little at a time)

Whisk together until smooth and drizzle over braid.

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Baked Frittata

This is a perfect throw together, use what you’ve got in the fridge and pantry kind of dinner (or breakfast or brunch). Use the basic recipe and add ingredients and spices to taste. It can be meatless or not, make the full recipe for a 13″x9″ pan or half it in a smaller dish for fewer servings, it’s all up to you!

Baked Frittata

12 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 baking powder
1 tsp salt (or season salt)
fresh ground pepper
fresh herbs, chopped or spices (optional)

Some ideas for added ingredients (this is what I did): Sauté onion, peppers, spinach. Browned sausage and/or bacon. Grated Swiss and sharp cheddar cheese. Diced tomato. Chopped green chilies. Sliced or chopped olives.

Preheat oven to 350°. Sauté vegetables if using. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and other herbs or spices. Stir in all other ingredients. Pour into well sprayed 13″x9″ pan. Bake 35-45 minutes, until set in center. Remove from oven and let cool and set up for about 10 minutes. We also like a little salsa on top!

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Chocolate Snack Cake

This is a quick fix recipe for a moist, rich chocolate cake. It’s a great recipe for a 9″x9″ pan for times when you don’t need a full size cake. Throw in some mini chocolate chips and chopped nuts, slather with your favorite frosting, or dive right in and enjoy as is! Another favorite for a 13″x9″ size is Dark Chocolate Snack Cake.

Chocolate Snack Cake

1¾ cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
1 egg
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, optional
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350°. In large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together milk, oil, egg, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and whisk together until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts if using. Pour batter into sprayed 9″x9″ square baking pan (can sprinkle some chocolate chips and nuts on top too). Bake 30-35 minutes until center is done.

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White Chocolate Raspberry Fudge

A flavorful indulgence and easy to make. Not just for the holidays…Eat Fudge All Year!

White Chocolate Raspberry Fudge

1 (11 oz) bag white chocolate chips
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow cream
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups sugar
pinch salt
1/2 cup raspberry jam

Line an 8″x8″ square pan with parchment paper, set aside. Place white chocolate chips, marshmallow cream, and vanilla in a large heat-proof bowl, set aside. In a saucepan over medium high heat, combine butter, cream, sugar, and salt. Bring to rolling boil while stirring constantly. Boil for a full 4 minutes, while continuing to stir. Pour boiling mixture over chips and marshmallow cream in the large bowl. With electric mixer, mix until chips have melted and mixture is smooth. Pour into parchment prepared pan and spread evenly. Working quickly, spoon raspberry preserves over top of fudge and swirl with a knife to marble. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours to set up. Cut into small squares to serve. Recipe from shugarysweets.com.

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Southern Praline Bars

Our son has been in South Carolina serving a mission for our church for two years. He comes home Thursday! In honor of him, I am posting a southern recipe. Southern Praline Bars, they taste like pecan pie in a graham cracker crust, so easy and delicious!

Southern Praline Bars

Whole graham crackers, enough to make a layer in a sheet pan
1½ cups butter
1½ cups brown sugar
2 cups chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a sheet pan with foil, leaving overhang on each end. Place graham crackers in a layer completely covering bottom of pan. You will have to cut some crackers to make them fit, a fun little puzzle. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and whisk in brown sugar. Bring mixture to rolling boil, stir in pecans and boil for 2 minutes; stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla (careful, it will bubble up when you stir in the vanilla). Pour mixture over the graham crackers, working quickly but gently to spread mixture evenly. Bake for 10 minutes. Entire surface will be bubbly. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes. Using foil overhang, remove bars from pan to large cutting board. Gently peel foil down from sides of bars, cut into squares and cool completely. You can also drizzle them with melted chocolate!

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Oatmeal Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

I ate way too many of these this afternoon. An oatmeal shortbread crust with creamy cheesecake and cranberry filling, yummy!

Oatmeal Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

2 cups flour
1¼ cups oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, room temp
12 oz cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 (16 oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce
2 tsp cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350°. In large bowl, stir together flour, oats, and brown sugar. Add softened butter and with electric mixer, mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Measure out 1½ cups of crumb mixture and set aside in separate bowl. Pour remaining crumbs into sprayed 9″x13″ baking pan and press evenly into bottom of pan. Bake 15 minutes.

While crust is baking, cream softened cream cheese and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, lemon juice and vanilla extract; mix well. Also while crust is baking, in small bowl, combine cranberry sauce and cornstarch; mix thoroughly.

When crust is done baking, remove from oven and pour cream cheese mixture evenly over the crust. Spoon cranberry mixture in small amounts evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle reserved oatmeal crumb mixture over top of cranberry mixture. Bake 40 minutes or until completely set and very lightly golden. Cool completely on wire rack. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours until bars firm up. Cut into bars and serve. Recipe found on afamilyfeast.com.

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Sweet Chex Mix

I am revisiting this recipe because it is such a favorite! This time adding a couple more ingredients. Warning, once you start eating, you may not be able to stop.

Sweet Chex Mix

Sweet Chex Mix 2

7 cups Rice Chex cereal
5 cups Golden Grahams cereal
1½ cups sweetened shredded coconut
1½ cups honey roasted peanuts
1 cup sliced almonds
1 (5 oz) can chow mein noodles
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
Colored Sprinkles (optional)
M&M candies (optional)

In large bowl, stir together Rice Chex, Golden Grahams, coconut, peanuts, almonds, and chow mein noodles. In saucepan over medium heat, stir together butter, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring mixture to boil and continue cooking to”soft ball” stage…about 235° on candy thermometer. Pour hot syrup over cereal mixture in thin stream in stages. After each addition of syrup, gently fold and stir until all ingredients are well coated. If you want to add sprinkles, M&Ms, or other candies continue stirring until cooled enough to add and not to melt. Spread mixture out onto silpat lined baking sheet to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

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Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Tagalong Bars

Purchasing Girl Scout Cookies is a good way to support a great organization. But I have had six boxes of Girl Scout Cookies sitting in my kitchen for two weeks now. My husband and I don’t have any desire to eat them. I thought maybe the best use for a box of Tagalongs would be as an ingredient in homemade bars. Excellent! If you don’t have a box of Tagalongs, you still need to make these bars, I promise. Use 2 cups each of the peanut butter and milk chocolate chips, you will be so happy, peanut butter chocolate heaven!

Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Tagalong Bars

2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup peanut butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 box Tagalong Girl Scout Cookies, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°. In large bowl with electric mixer, cream butter, peanut butter, and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. mix in vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix just until combined. Stir in peanut butter chips, milk chocolate chips, and chopped Tagalongs. Spread batter in a well sprayed 9″x13″ baking pan. Bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. I lay a sheet of foil over bars in oven after 20 minutes of baking to keep their light color.

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