2 Easy and Crowd Pleasing Snacks

I mentioned on Friday that I was up late waiting for my spiced nuts to be finished.  Man, they were worth the wait!  I used a crockpot liner to make easy clean up and these sweet pecans and cashews came together with very little effort.  I think I’ve been eating these nuts for every meal since I made them, and they were a huge hit at the party.  I recommend them for your next get together (make them the same day and your house will smell wonderful) or they make the perfect eatable hostess or holiday gift.

 

Bad news is that someone I never got a picture of these nuts and now they are all gone!

 

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However, I did remember to take a few pre party pictures of this next recipe.  Everyone loves a snack mix, and this Hot Chocolate Mix is really creative and fun!

 

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This recipe makes a HUGE amount of deliciousness, so I had to bust out my biggest soup pot to mix everything together!

 

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I will point out that I tend to like a little more chocolate coating on my cereal snacks, so I would highly recommend using MORE chocolate to fully coat every single chex and golden graham.

 

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Both of these recipes are worth liking/saving/pinning as they will make perfect Superbowl Snacks!

 

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And the best way to burn them off…

Try this interval workout that I did yesterday around the indoor track.  To get the best results, have your push be faster than your easy long run pace and your recovery be faster than your warm up pace.

3-5 minute warm up

5 minute push/5 minute recovery

4 minute push/4 minute recovery

3 minute push/3 minute recovery

2 minute push/2 minute recovery

1 minute push/ 1 minute recovery

3-5 minute cool down

 

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Plus the best part of getting up extra early for a sweat session…

 

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The stunning pictures at sunrise!

 

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What is your favorite easy snack to make?

 

 

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Pecans

From The Recipe Critic

 

Ingredients

1¼ C. Sugar

1¼ C. Brown Sugar

2 Tbsp. Cinnamon

⅛ tsp. Salt

1 Egg White

2 tsp. vanilla

3 Cups Pecans (and I used some cashews)

¼ C. Water

 

Directions

Mix together in a large bowl  the sugars, cinnamon, and salt.

In another bowl with a whisk, mix together the egg white and vanilla until it is frothy. Add the pecans and coat thoroughly. This will help the mixture stick to the pecans during the cooking process.

Prepare your slow cooker by spraying it with cooking spray or use a liner.  Add the cinnamon mixture and the pecans and turn it to low. Stir until the nuts are well coated.

Cook for about 3-4 hours.  Stirring every 30 minutes. In the very last hour, add ¼ cup water and stir well. This will ensure a crunchy coating and help the mixture to harden.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the pecans onto the sheet to cool. The pecans should be pretty sticky so be sure to separate them the best that you can and let them cool!

 

NOTE: I think there is more than enough cinnamon sugar mixture for 4 cups of nuts.

 

 

Hot Chocolate Snack Mix

From Butter with a Side of Bread

Ingredients

8 cups Rice Chex cereal

16 ounce bag miniature marshmallows

2 cups mini graham crackers (I just used Golden Grahams cereal, but you could probably break up graham crackers into small pieces instead)

5 Tbsp instant hot chocolate mix, divided

1 tsp hot water

1/2 cup butter

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 tsp cinnamon

3 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup baking cocoa

 

Directions

Combine Rice Chex, marshmallows and graham crackers/cereal in a large bowl and mix together. 

In a different microwave-safe bowl, stir 1 Tbsp of the hot chocolate mix with the water until the mix is dissolved.  Stir in the chocolate chips, butter and cinnamon.  Microwave for 1 minute and stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds until mixture is melted and smooth.  Pour the mixture over the cereal and stir until well coated. 

In a different bowl, combine the powdered sugar, the remaining 4 Tbsp of hot cocoa mix and the baking cocoa.  Once this has been well mixed, pour it over the chocolate-coated cereal and stir until the cereal is well coated.

Store in an airtight container.  If making ahead, store in the freezer.

 

NOTE: I would increase the chips to 3-4 cups…trust me on this one!

Crunchy Cookies IV

Just when you thought you couldn’t handle one more cookie or chocolately sweet recipe before the holidays, I have another installment of Crunchy Cookies to share.

 

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This recipe is similar to one you’ve seen on the blog before, but the toffee adds enough of a twist that I thought it was worth sharing.

 

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The other reason I just HAD to share this recipe is because everywhere I bring it, people rave about it.

 

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Plus, these cookies are loaded with chocolate, pecans, and toffee, a beautiful combination…especially in this crispy cookie bark.

 

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And if you are looking for a last minute dessert to make for the holidays, here it is.  If you really want to make cookies, but aren’t in the mood to scoop lumps of dough onto cookie sheet after cookie sheet, this one slab recipe bakes up quickly and once cooled, you just have to break it into dozens of pieces of crunchy cookies.

 

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So simple…right?  You can save all of the little crumbles to snack on before hitting your holiday party!

Happy December 24th Ya’ll!

 

As we speak this posts, I will be high above the clouds flying home to celebrate the holidays and enjoy the rest of my winter vacation.  I don’t have to be back at work until January (Hooray!).  It was a special treat to be in Florida with my Dad, Aunt, and Grandpa.  There were so many exciting things to do that the 5 days just flew by!  I’m looking forward to my next trip down south!

 

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In case you were wondering, this is my 100 year old grandpa and I dancing outside the diner after lunch today!

 

 

Toffee Cookie Brittle

From Big Fat Cookies by Elinor Klivans

 

Ingredients

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1½ sticks (12 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2  cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup crushed toffee (ie Heath or Skor)
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

 

Directions:

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

-In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

-In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown and granulated sugars and vanilla extract until smooth, about 30 seconds. Using a large spoon, slowly add the flour mixture and stir just until incorporated. The dough should appear to be smooth. Stir in the toffee and pecans.

-Spoon the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch of empty space on all sides. Use the palms of your hands to pat the dough into an even layer about 1/2 inch thick and 13 by 9 inches. The dough should be patted out slightly thinner at the edges.

-Bake the brittle until it turns golden and the edges turn light brown, about 19 minutes. The brittle may be fairly soft when warm but will crisp as it cools. Let the brittle cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.

-Using a large metal spatula to guide it, slide the large cookie onto a wire rack to cool completely. Don’t worry if the cookie breaks; it will be broken into irregular pieces, anyway. Break the cooled cookie into 2- to 3-inch pieces. The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.  Freezes well.

 

 

Love the Crunch?

Crunchy Cookies

Crunchy Cookies Part II

Crunchy Cookies Part III

I Dream of Chocolate {Cake Batter Fudge}

I know I wet your appetite with this post yesterday…did you guess the last recipe yet???

I have been dreaming about this recipe forever!

 

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Ok, that is an exaggeration, but I have been thinking about it, planning for it, and talking about it since I first discovered Cake Batter Fudge in June.

 

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I had a whole bunch of leftover chips (and nuts) to choose from to stir into my cake batter fudge.  Decisions…Decisions…

 

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Not really tough when the answer is all of the above!  I threw in some chocolate chips, caramel chips, and pecans and then topped the fudge with some white chocolate chips and a few more caramel chips (because you can never have too much caramel…right?).

 

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I considered adding in some sea salt, which I think might have been amazing!  It is definitely on the list for next time!

 

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The only bad thing was that I used parchment paper instead of foil, so my fudge couldn’t spread out evenly along the bottom of the pan.

 

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As long as you don’t mind the uneven margins, the fudge looks amazing!

 

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And it tastes just as good as you think it should!

 

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I brought the fudge to work where everyone LOVED it! I can’t say I’m surprised because what is not to love about chocolate cake batter, caramel, and pecans? It tastes like you’re licking the bowl of your favorite cake recipe (or just diving in head first)!

 

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The BOY is also a huge fan, and I’m hoping to make another batch to take up to Wisconsin this weekend!

 

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Maybe I will even add in some sea salt!  Yummmmm!

 

 

Chocolate Cake Batter Caramel and Pecan Fudge

Adapted from Cake Batter Fudge

 

2 cups chocolate cake mix

2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup caramel chips

1/2 cup sliced pecans

 

Place cake mix and powdered sugar in a large bowl and combine. Pour in the milk, top with stick of butter, and microwave for 2:15 minutes. Immediately begin mixing everything together – the butter may not be fully melted but will as you continue mixing. Mix in the chocolate chips, caramel chips and pecans.  Don’t over stir or chips will start to melt.  Pour fudge into a greased cake pan (or pan lined with foil and cooking spray). Pour white chocolate chips and any extras that you have over the top and gently press them in to the batter.  Chill for at least 2 hours before cutting. Store in the refrigerator.