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  1. Peppermint Bark

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    December 14, 2013 by Emily

    The Christmas season always makes me flashback to my junior year of college when I was working at a store… that rhymes with Silliams-wanoma (I’m a master of concealing names right?!) I loved being surrounded by kitchen gadgests I couldn’t really afford, and the candles that smelled like pine tree.. and the room in the back full of samples! Being a clean freak that I am I actually volunteered to work in the kitchen that was in the store room, cleaning all the dishes and machines we used for demonstrations… but I also got to prep all the samples.

    Peppermint-bark2

    Including the peppermint chocolate bark. Good gravy, I wasn’t even a chocolate fan and I HATED peppermint…but it was SO.DAMN.GOOD.

    Peppermint-bark3

    I wanted to recreate the peppermint bark at home so I could bring it in as a gift for my coworkers, the recipe is super simple (and quick!) I was able to find everything I needed in the baking aisle and whipped this up in just a few minutes.

    What You’ll Need:

    1 pound of dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 10 ounce bag of white chocolate chips
    1/4 teaspoon peppermint candy flavoring OR 1 teaspoons peppermint extract
    15-20 crushed peppermint candies (I used the little round starlight mints, if your using candy cane 5-6 should work)

    Method:

    Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper

    Melt 3/4 of the dark chocolate in a double boiler over low heat, when the chocolate is melted remove from the heat and stir in the remaining dark chocolate until its melted (this will help the chocolate keep its temper) stir in the peppermint extract and spread evenly on the lined cookie sheet.

    Allow the chocolate to set for at least 1 hour.

    Repeat the melting process with the white chocolate chips then spread evenly over the dark chocolate layer, immediately top with the crushed peppermint candies, pressing gently to make sure they stick.

    Allow the chocolate bark to set at room temperature for about 1 hour before breaking into jagged chunks, and then try not to eat them all.


  2. Spicy Ginger Bread Cookies

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    December 9, 2013 by Emily

    This weekend my older sister came to visit and help me decorate my christmas tree. Our day consisted of the pandora christmas stations, watching The Nightmare Before Christmas and drinking a little — ok a lot– of wine. But we also needed nibbles! So before the decorating extravaganza started we made some roll out cookies , and since the season demands it… they were gingerbread!

    gingerbread2

    This recipe is a good balance between a firm roll out cookie and a chewy gingerbread cookie… just the way I like ‘em!

    What you’ll need to make about 3 dozen 4 inch cookies:

    5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/2 teaspoon salt
    5 teaspoons ground ginger
    5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
    1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 cup packed dark brown sugar
    2 medium eggs
    12 oz molasses
    Royal Icing

    Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices together in a large bowl. set aside.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar together at medium speed with the paddle attachment until fluffy. Add the eggs and molasses, mixing until combined.

    Lower your mixers speed and add the flour and spice mixture mixing until combined. Make sure to stop and scrape the bowl down every so often to ensure everything is getting mixed nicely.

    Divide dough in 2, flatten into disks, wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.

    When you’re ready for cookies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

    Roll your dough on a heavily floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out your cookies and place onto the baking sheet, leaving 1/2 inch between each cookie. Bake 12-14 minutes until firm, remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

    gingerbread

    I used royal icing to add some decoration and expression to my gingerbread men, but if you don’t have the patience for that, don’t worry! They’re super yummy sans icing too!


  3. Happy Halloween!!!!

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    October 31, 2013 by Jenn

    My favorite holiday is finally here!!!! I’ve made some delicious spooky snacks fro friends who are coming over tonight.

    First off is the cheese. This is an idea I got from Martha. Just add a few spiders to blue cheese and boom. Moldy cheese.
    cheese

    A while back I found a pan with bone shapes inside at target. I simply used my best sugar cookie recipe in the pan and then sprinkled them with powdered sugar.
    bonecookies

    I’ve seen folks do mummy cupcakes before but I decided to do mummy cookies. I purchased the eyeballs in the cake decorating department at Michael’s. I made pumpkin cookies and used a flat icing tip to make the mummy bandages.
    mummycookies

    These pretzels are a staple of any party because they’re easy to make an accessible for your guests. I bought the black candy melts, dipped the pretzels in the chocolate, and then sprinkled them with Halloween sprinkles.
    pretzels

    I usually like to have a special cocktail for parties but this year I decided to do a mimosa bar. I poured 3 bottles of champagne into my dispenser with a few drops of green food coloring and plastic eyeballs (for the spooky). On my table I had blood orange juice, cranberry juice, and pink lemonade so folks could make their own drinks.
    mimosa

    Lots of spoooooky.
    table

    Here is Emily as Axl and me as Slash.
    Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 11.22.35 PM

    ps. ITCHIEST. WIG. EVER.


  4. Chocolate Caramel Cracker Toffee

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    October 26, 2013 by Emily

    Recently my dad gifted me a giant box of matzo crackers… and by giant box I mean a large box containing 30 regular sized boxes of matzo. And after gobbling up all of my hummus, cheese and peanut butter with the crackers i still have 29 boxes to deal with and started to noodle around with other ways to use them up.And then I remembered cracker toffee…

    toffee

    My roommate from freshman year in college would make this toffee with saltines in our dorm rooms toaster oven and we would devour sheets of it during last-minute all nighters. While our loving friendship didn’t last, my love for these candies did.

    This candy is super easy to make and a real crowd pleaser, I put this out at my husbands birthday party and it was gone in a flash. I also plan to make a large batch of these to bring to my co-workers around the holidays(I have scads of matzo, I should share the wealth right?)

    What You’ll Need:

    5 to 6 sheets matzo (or about 50 saltine crackers)
    2 sticks unsalted butter
    1 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 cup slivered almonds

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11×17 baking sheet completely with foil and lightly grease with butter.

    Line the bottom of the baking sheet with matzos, filling all the spaces.

    In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, stirring over medium heat until it begins to boil.

    Let the caramel boil and bubble for about three minutes to allow it to thicken, stir in the vanilla and sea salt then pour evenly over the matzo.

    Bake the sugar covered crackers for 10 minutes, watching carefully to ensure they don’t burn.

    Remove from the oven and immediately cover the surface with the chocolate chips, let the heat from the caramel to melt the chocolate for about 5 minutes before spreading with a spatula.

    Top with the almonds and use your spatula to gently press the almonds into the chocolate to ensure they are stuck in there!

    Allow to cool completely until the chocolate it set, remove from the baking sheet and break into bite sized pieces.

    It should keep a week, but mine was gone in a day!


We are a collective based out of Baltimore, MD dedicated to showing you how to live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. We believe in the power of creativity and fun. We believe that anything is possible and we would like to inspire you to do the same. Thanks for stopping by!

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