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Quick, Easy Peanut Butter Pie

We haven’t had a homemade dessert around here for, well… at least 24 hours, and today I just happened to be researching the Skippy Peanut Butter deal at Giant Eagle that starts this Thursday and one thing led to another and, well…

I just had to dig out my Easy Peasy Peanut Butter Pie recipe and head into the kitchen.

The littlest mini-couponer says, “We’re so lucky to have a baking-grandma on hand!” Ahhh…out of the mouths of babes!

Easy Peasy Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 – 9-inch prepared graham cracker pie crust
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup Powdered sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed

$.50/1 any Skippy Peanut Butter or Spread products 15 oz. or larger (12/29/2014)

Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons Hershey’s Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
  • 1 Peanut Butter M&M’S 1.63 oz.

 

Directions:

  • In a large bowl combine powdered sugar and cream cheese and mix until creamy.
  • Add peanut butter and mix until well blended.
  • Stir in Cool Whip and mix until light and fluffy.
  • Spoon mixture into prepared pie crust and smooth to edges.
  • Melt Hershey’s Chocolate Hazelnut Spread in microwave for approximately 20 seconds.
  • Drizzle chocolate over top of pie and sprinkle with Peanut Butter M&M’S.
  • Chill until ready to serve.

 

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Our Harry Potter Chocolate Frogs

I never thought I’d fall under the Harry Potter spell, being a huge fan of Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell and Bentley Little and all, but that’s exactly where I’ve found myself.  And now I’m trying to concoct Harry Potter-ish treats for the mini-couponers.  What do you think of my Chocolate Frogs?!

The 8-year old mini-couponer is an avid reader.  He even takes Red Bull magazines into the bathtub!  So for Christmas I decided to stop by the local thrift store and fill a big box with books. They happened to have the first two Harry Potter books.  I almost didn’t pick ’em up because he’s into science and technology and history and trivia, but I thought he could use a little magic and make-believe in his life (the kid is sooooo serious!) so into the cart they went.

When he opened the package on Christmas you coulda knocked me over with a feather! “Cool!  Harry Potter books!  These are awesome!  Thanks, Grandma!”

And then, he gave me perhaps one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever received… “Hey, Grandma – We should read these together!” And so we are 🙂

Every night at 6:45 the TV goes off and everyone gathers ’round for the next chapter of Harry Potter.

Friday night I got the brilliant idea to try to come up with some Harry Potter-themed snacks to have while we’re reading, and that’s how the Chocolate Frogs came to be.  They’re made out of modeling chocolate, which is sooooo easy to make and so easy to work with, and they taste like Tootsie Rolls.

You only need two ingredients to make modeling chocolate – Karo Corn Syrup (the clear one) and chocolate chips (I prefer Hershey’s but as long as it’s a good brand you’ll be fine.) I only made small batch and I had enough for two Chocolate Frogs.  I’ll give you the measurements I used and the original measurements are in parenthesis.

Modeling Chocolate Recipe

1 cup chocolate chips (2 cups) 1/4 Karo syrup (1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons)  

Directions

In the top of a double boiler or in a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips being careful not to scorch or burn the chocolate.

Stir until completely smooth. In a separate, microwave safe bowl or measuring cup, warm the Karo syrup just until it’s warm to the touch.  Do not overheat and definitely don’t let it come to a boil.

Using a wooden spoon, stir the warm Karo syrup into the melted chocolate.  The mixture will be stiff so you’ll want to make sure you don’t use a flimsy rubber spatula.

Mix well. Pour mixture out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and spread it out until it’s about 1/4-inch thick.  Cover with more plastic wrap.

Allow the modeling chocolate to rest for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until it’s completely cool. At this point, if you’re not going to use it right away, seal it up in a ziploc bag and store it in a cool, dry location.  No need to refrigerate.  And it lasts forever.  

How to Use Modeling Chocolate

I’m no sculptor so I’m not even going to try to give you directions to make these frogs.  I used these directions at Polyform.com. To work with your modeling chocolate, just break off a piece and start kneading it in your hands.  The warmth of your hands will soften it up and then you just work with it like you would Play-Do or Sculpy – only it tastes a heck of a lot better 🙂

Good luck with your Chocolate Frogs.  I hope you and your kids have as much fun with them as we did 🙂

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Chocolate Gravy recipe – serve over warm Pillsbury Grands! biscuits for a special breakfast treat

Most everyone is familiar with sausage gravy and a lot of people have even heard of hamburger gravy or coffee gravy or even flour gravy. But you have to have a little bit of Appalachia in you to have heard of Chocolate Gravy and those who have will tell you – it’s about as close to Heaven as you can get.

Sound a little… unusual? Well, a good recipe for Chocolate Gravy is a must for any cook living in Appalachia or the Deep South and here in Berea you’ll find several variations. Prized recipes have been passed down from grandmothers to mothers to daughters for generations and those secrets are hard to come by unless you have connections.

So it’s not surprising that you haven’t heard of this wonderful breakfast gravy. What IS surprising though is that you’re still sitting here reading this when you COULD be in the kitchen whipping up your own batch of this heavenly treat!

Chocolate Gravy Recipe Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  • In small, heavy saucepan combine cocoa, flour and sugar and mix well
  • Add ¼ cup of milk to saucepan and whisk until all lumps are removed
  • Stir in remaining milk
  • Heat over medium heat until mixture starts to boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching
  • Serve immediately over crumbled biscuits
  • Yields approximately 2 ½ cups of chocolate gravy
  • Can be store, refrigerated, and served cold, too

Biscuits For easy preparation on those mornings when everyone is in a hurry, use canned bicuits. Just pop them in the oven and they’ll bake while you’re preparing the gravy.  Get a coupon for Pillsbury Homestyle Buttermilk Grands! here.

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Piping Hot Doughnuts made from Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits

If you’re a donut lover then you know if you want a fresh, hot, melt-in-your-mouth donut for breakfast you’re gonna have to haul your butt outta bed, get yourself dressed, hop in the car and drive somewhere.

You can stop by the local Speedway and get Krispy Kreme donuts that were made sometime within the last 48 hours or so, or you can run into Walmart and get donuts that come in frozen.

But the local selection is nothing compared to a REAL donut, made out of real dough, piping hot out of the fryer and dripping with sugar or glaze.

Since everybody loves donuts – especially when they’re hot and dripping with sugar – and since everybody has a few cans of Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits in their stockpile, we thought we’d give you our favorite recipe for Homemade Doughnuts.  You’ll never get dressed before breakfast again!

 

Homemade Biscuit Dough Donuts

What you’ll need:

Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits

Vegetable oil Large cooking pot

Directions:

While oil is heating, lay out biscuits on counter or cutting board and use a 1 ½ inch cutter to cut out a hole in the middle of each biscuit.

Set “holes” aside to fry for donut holes.

Let donuts rest for about 30 minutes before you start frying. If you fry them as soon as you open the can they’ll be too wet and they’ll absorb oil while they’re frying.

Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in your cooking pot over medium heat until it’s 350 degrees.

Fry donuts in oil until golden brown then turn. Remove when both sides are golden and place on paper towel to drain oil. Don’t forget to fry the donut holes, too.

Toppings: Granulated sugar or Cinnamon and sugar – Toss donuts while they’re still warm in sugar or a cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Powdered sugar – Toss donuts in powdered sugar while they’re still warm and then toss again after they cool.

Vanilla icing – Combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 Tablespoons of milk and ½ teaspoon of vanilla. Ice donuts warm for a glaze or wait until they cool if you want more of a frosting texture to the icing.

Chocolate icing – Combine 1 cup powdered sugar, ¼ cup cocoa powder and 3 Tablespoons milk. Ice donuts warm for a glaze or wait until they cool if you want more of a frosting texture to the icing. Decorate with sprinkles, chopped nuts, coconut – if you can get to it before they’re all gone!

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Devil Dogs with Betty Crocker Cake Mix and Hershey’s Spreads

It’s no secret that The Happy Couponers like their chocolate and cookies and candy and, well, why even bother going on? Let’s just say “sweets” and call it a day, shall we?

We’ve also made no secret of the fact that we have a stockpile of Betty Crocker Cake Mixes (that we got for 25 cents each!) and we’re always looking for fun things to do with ’em.

And let’s not forget about the fact that one of our favorite recipes of all times is our Betty Crocker Cake Mix Donuts recipe. Booya!

Put that all together and whaddya got?

Our world-famous Devil Dogs recipe using… what else? Betty Crocker Cake Mix! (and Hershey’s Chocolate Spread) (Two of our favorite things in the whole wide world, topped only by Miller Lite and Bloody Mary Mix!)

We’re gonna share our recipe with you but first we need to tell you about the pan we used…

We make a lot of donuts here at The Happy Couponer Household and our donut pans weren’t the best quality and if there’s one thing we certain of it’s this:

If you’re gonna make a lot of donuts you need a good pan! Otherwise they stick and they fall apart and they’re all icky-looking.

For this recipe we used the Wilton Donut Twist Pan we picked up at Amazon. Even though it says it’s non-stick we didn’t believe it. Until, that is, we tried it. Voila! Perfect twist donuts every time!

OK. Here’s the recipe: 

Devil Dogs Recipe

The Donuts – Ingredients

  • One Betty Crocker Cake Mix (We used the SuperMoist German Chocolate mix for this recipe)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp melted butter or margarine (slightly cooled)

Directions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spray donut pans with non-stick pan spray.
  • Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix until smooth. (We just mixed by hand but you could use a mixer set on medium speed.)
  • Fill cavities 2/3 full
  • Bake approximately 15 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges and cake is firm to the touch
  • Remove from pans and let cool

Filling Ingredients 

  • 1 cup Crisco shortening
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3-5 tablespoons hot water

Directions

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the Crisco until smooth.
  • Add powdered sugar, salt, and 3 tablespoons of water and mix slowly until moist.
  • Mix at high speed until light and fluffy, adding 1 tablespoon of water at a time until filling reaches desired consistency.

Assembly Directions 

After they’ve cooled, slice each twist in half lengthwise and apply a generous layer of filling and put the tops back on.

Heat Hershey’s Chocolate Spread in microwave for about 30 seconds until melted. Stir well and pour over tops of Devil Dogs, allowing to drip down the sides.

Top with sprinkles for a bit of color.

Yield: 9 Devil Dogs

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Prego Quick and Easy Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

We keep our crockpot within easy reach all year long. There’s nothing like coming home after a long day’s work and having dinner waiting in the crockpot, already cooked and ready to serve, it’s delectable aroma drifting through your house. But sometimes it can take more time to prep a crockpot meal than it does to just cook it on the stove. Not so with this recipe. It’s quick and easy, and it’s one of our favorites!

There are really only three key ingredients to this recipe. The rest of it is all improvisation. 

The first key ingredient is chicken. Cacciatore is a just a catch-all term to mean “throw whatever you have in the pot.” You can use assorted chicken pieces. You can use all legs or all thighs or all breasts. You can use shredded chicken or cubed if you have leftovers you want to use up. You can even make this recipe with chicken tenders, chicken fingers, or chicken wings. Heck, use Chicken McNuggets if you want to. Whatever floats your boat.

The next key ingredient is potatoes and the third is, of course, any flavor of Prego Pasta Sauce.

Get a coupon for $.40 off TWO (2) jars of Prego Pasta Sauce HERE

There are no set measurements for anything. It really just depends on how many people you’re serving and what you’re throwing in the crockpot. See? You really can’t mess up this recipe because the Prego Pasta Sauce does all the work!

As for the rest of the ingredients, anything goes. Diced tomatoes, chopped onions, green peppers, corn, mushrooms, green beans, broccoli, carrots – whatever you have on hand.

Directions

Don’t worry about deboning or cutting up the chicken, just throw it in the pot. You’ll see. It turns out so juicy and tender it just falls off the bone.

Cut your potatoes into 1-inch cubes and toss them in, too.

Now, throw in everything else, including the Prego Pasta Sauce, and mix it all up until everything’s coated with the sauce.

Now for the hard part: Turn on your crockpot and walk away for a few hours. It’s easier said than done. Once this starts heating up you’re going to start smelling the most wonderful aroma coming from your kitchen and you’re going to want to rip off a big chunk of Italian bread and start dipping away!

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Thinking Outside the Box: How to make your own homemade fabric softener

If we’ve said it once we’ve said it a thousand times: You can always save money when you use coupons, but you can save so much more when you start thinking outside the box. If you come across a deal where you can use 12 coupons to get a 12 bottles of conditioner free, why not use 24 coupons and get 24 bottles free – and use the extra bottles to make fabric softener!

Here’s all you need: 

  • 2 cups any cheap  hair conditioner
  • 3 cups any cheap white vinegar
  • 6 cups warm water

Directions

  • Place the 2 cups of hair conditioner into a large mixing bowl.
  • Gradually stir in the vinegar, a little at a time.
  • Add the water and mix well.
  • Store in any bottle, jug, pitcher or spray bottle

(Browse our clipping service for conditioner coupons)

Note: Use a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula to stir. Don’t use a wisk and don’t shake. You don’t want any foam to form because the foam won’t dissipate.

Directions for use 

You can use this the same way you use regular liquid fabric softener – put it in one of those Downy balls or put it in the dispenser in your washing machine. We use about half the amount we’d normally use if we were using store-bought fabric softener.

If you prefer dryer sheets you can put your homemade fabric softener in a spray bottle, spray it on a washcloth and toss it in the dryer with your clothes.

If you have hard water

We have hard water in our area and believe it or not our towels actually come out fluffier when we use our homemade softener and we never have to worry about static cling.

Thinking outside the box 

If you really want to amp up your coupon savings, start thinking outside the box.   

Our family thought we were crazy when we picked up 30 or so Betty Crocker Cake mixes one week but they were on sale and, with a coupon, we got them for 25 cents each. And we knew we could use them to make something other than cakes. For example, we used them to make donuts and German chocolate bars – and that’s just the beginning. Now, for just 25 cents, we’re able to replace a more expensive dessert and save even more money.

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Ring in the New Year with Spinach Dip and King’s Hawaiian Bread

I’m old enough to remember when King’s Hawaiian Bread was only available during the holidays at our local Kroger store. Now, it’s a regularly featured item that has it’s own prominent, permanent display. You’ve come a long way, baby!

Mix up a batch of this dip (in fact, you’ll probably want to mix up a couple of batches) and give this King’s Hawaiian Bread and Spinach dip a prominent position on your holiday snack table. It’ll be the star of the show.

Ingredients  2 round loaves King’s Hawaiian Bread

  • 1 10-oz package frozen spinach – thawed, thoroughly drained and chopped
  • 1 16-oz container sour cream
  • 1 8-oz can water chestnuts – drained and chopped
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch dips mix
  • (Get a coupon for $.50 off 1 Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix here)

Directions 

  • Combine spinach, sour cream, water chestnuts and Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix in large bowl and mix thoroughly
  • Cut top off of King’s Hawaiian Bread and remove bread from center. Reserve the bread you remove to use as dippers. Fill center of hollowed-out loaf with dip
  • Cube second loaf of King’s Hawaiian Bread to use for dippers

Tip: We like to place a small bowl into hollowed-out loaf first, and then place the dip in the bowl. These helps keep the surrounding bread from getting soggy, and when you run out of bread (which you WILL because it’s sooooo yummy!) you can still cube that bread bowl.

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Bourbon Bread Pudding with King’s Hawaiian Bread

This is one of our favorite recipes for any time of year but it’s especially great for Christmas because you can mix it up ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it.  In fact, it tastes even better if you do! You can use any kind of bread for this recipe (except rye bread or savories).

We’ve used dinner rolls, Italian bread, even biscuits.  But you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven when you make it with King’s Hawaiian Bread!

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf King’s Hawaiian Bread cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup Pecan Pieces
  • 1 cup Raisins
  • 4 Eggs
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ cup Melted butter
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • ¼ cup Bourbon (for a stronger bourbon taste, replace some of the milk with bourbon)

Directions

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs well.
  • Combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and add to eggs, mixing well.
  • Add butter, milk, heavy cream, vanilla and bourbon and mix well.
  • Pour liquid ingredients over bread mixture and toss until well coated.
  • Pour into a casserole dish or cake pan sprayed with a non-stick spray.
  • Refrigerate for 3 hours (or overnight is even better).
  • Bake at 325 degrees until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. (Approx. 25 mins.)

Warm Bourbon Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (Or MORE!)
  • 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. (Caution: When this starts to boil it will “grow” so make sure you use a medium saucepan or you’ll end up with a mess.) Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Serve warm. Caution:  Do not boil longer than specified or the ingredients will separate.

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Ring In Prosperity With Peppermint Pig Cookies

This bright pink confection symbolizes prosperity and good fortune, and it just wouldn’t be Christmas in Saratoga Springs without a Peppermint Pig. Start a new tradition around your own holiday table when you serve these Peppermint Pig cookies.

The first Peppermint Pig was created in 1880, a decade before candy canes came on the scene, by Jim Mingay, a candy-maker in Saratoga Springs, New York. No one knows for sure why he chose a pig for his design, but in Victorian times the pig symbolized good luck and prosperity.

Traditionally, the Peppermint Pig is made of hard candy, like candy canes. It comes with a little drawstring bag and a tiny hammer. After the holiday dinner the pig is placed inside the bag and everyone at the table takes a wack at the poor little guy as they share the things they’re grateful for that happened during the year. Then, everyone eats a piece of the Peppermint Pig to ensure good luck and good fortune over the next year.

But maybe you don’t want people swinging a hammer at your dining room table, even if it is just a tiny little thing, especially when the table’s set with your grandmother’s best china.

And what if you don’t want to go all the way to Saratoga Springs for a piece of candy? Try these Peppermint Pig Cookies, instead. They’re a much safer alternative that you can make in your own kitchen.

Ingredients 

  • 1 18-oz. package Pillsbury Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough
  • (Get a coupon for $1 off Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough here)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Red food coloring
  • Prepared white icing
  • Peppermint M&M’s

Directions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
  • Remove cookie dough from wrapper; place in large bols. Let dough stand at room temperature about 15 minutes.
  • Add flour, peppermint extract and food coloring to dough; use electric mixer at medium speed to blend until dough is evenly colored. Divide dought into 20 equal pieces.
  • For each pig, shape 1 dough piece into 1 (1-inch) ball, 1 (1/2-inch) ball and 2 (1/4-inch) balls. Flatten 1-inch ball to 1/4-inch thick round and place on prepared cookie sheet. Flatten 1/2-inch ball into 1/4-inch thick oval and place on top of dough round for snout. Shape 2 (1/4-inch) balls into triangles, fold over, and place at top of round for ears. Make indentations in snout with wooden skewer for nostrils.
  • Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks and cool completely.
  • Use white icing and M&M’s to make eyes.

Makes 20 cookies. 3 Books in 1: Silly Snacks, Classroom Treats, Cookie Dough Fun

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Keep the Kids Busy in the Kitchen with these Mini Pizza Cookies

The days leading up to Christmas can be so stressful – escpecially for kids. They’re getting more and more excited, and they’re trying so hard to be “nice” it’s no wonder they end up being “naughty.” Give yourself a break! Put the kids to work in the kitchen while you go put your feet up and have a nice cup of tea. (Or a Miller Lite if you’re so inclined!)

This recipe uses Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough, and that means you don’t have to worry about the kids getting flour all over the place. Just open up the package, slice and bake.

Oh, yeah… first they have to add their favorite toppings!

Ingredients 

  • 1 tube Pillsbury Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough
  • (Get $1 off Pillsbury Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough with this coupon)
  • 2 cups any pink frosting, chocolate frosting or strawberry jam
  • Topping suggestions: M&M’s Chocolate Mini Baking Bits, mini chocolate chips, shredded coconut, granola, raisins, nuts, pretzel bits, mini marshmallows, sprinkles, Heath baking bits, Reese’s Pieces, licorice laces.

For a healthier treat, substitute sliced strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, bananas and other fruits.

Directions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Divide dough into 8 equal portions. On lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough into a 1/4-inch-thick circle.
  • Place circles 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until golden brown on edges.
  • Cool completely on wire racks.
  • Spread top of each “pizza” with pink frosting and add your choice of toppings.

Makes 8 large cookies

3 Books in 1: Silly Snacks, Classroom Treats, Cookie Dough Fun

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Gingerbread Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

I have to admit, if someone told me a few years ago that I’d one day be buying premade gingerbread cookie dough I would have tipped over laughing. Me? Buy cookie dough that someone else had made? No way! Not when I’ve authored more than a few of my own cookie recipes!

But store-bought cookie dough doesn’t have to turn into a bland, boring cookie. All it takes is a little imagination and you can come up with some truly scrumptious concoctions. And without all that mess in your kitchen!

Add this Gingerbread Turtle Thumbprint Cookies to your holiday cookie jar, courtesy of the folks at Pillsbury. Everyone will think you spent all day baking and only you and I will know how they really came to be.

Ingredients 

  • 1 roll (30 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated gingerbread cookies
  • (Get a coupon for $1 off Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough here)
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 2 cups finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup dulce de leche or caramel dessert topping
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Stir or knead in flour until well blended. Shape dough into 40 balls. Place egg whites in shallow bowl. Place chopped walnuts in another shallow bowl. Dip each ball into egg whites, then roll each ball in chopped walnuts. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Press thumb in center of each cookie to make indentation.
  • Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until cookies are set around edges. Remove cookies to cooling rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes. Place 1 teaspoon dulce de leche in indentation of each cookie.
  • In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate uncovered on High 30 seconds; stir. Continue to microwave in 15-second increments until chocolate is melted and smooth. Drizzle chocolate mixture over cookies.
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Pass the Chocolate Truffle Cookies and Get Outta My Way!

Forget the Gingerbread and who cares about Sugar Cookies? If it’s chocolate – Pass the cookie jar! This is another of our favorite cookie recipes that we make with Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough. It’s quick and easy and Oh! So yummy!

Chocolate Truffle Cookies  Ingredients 

  • 1 18-ounce package Pillsbury Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough
  • (Get a $1 Off coupon for Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough HERE)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 36 Rolo candies – unwrapped
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Sprinkles 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Remove Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough from wrapper and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  • In large mixing bowl, combine cocoa, powdered sugar, vanilla and cookie dough. Beat at medium speed until well blended.
  • Shape about 2 teaspoons of dough into a ball; wrap ball around 1 Rolo candy. Repeat with remaining dough and Rolos.
  • Place filled balls 2 inches apart on lined cookie sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until set. Remove to wire rack and cool completely
  • Place chocolate chips into small microwave safe bowl. Microwave on High 1 minute. Stir and heat for 20 seconds more. Stir until chips are melted and smooth.
  • Ice cookies and top with colored sprinkles. Store in refrigerator.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

And if you think this recipe is yummy, wait til you try our Betty Crocker Cake Mix Donuts!  You’ll never go out for donuts again!

3 Books in 1: Silly Snacks, Classroom Treats, Cookie Dough Fun

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Double Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Ya know those fudgey cookies made by the little elves that live in a tree? These are soooo much better! Homemade sandwich cookies always look so complicated, but when they show up on your holiday cookie tray they make YOU look like a star. This recipe is so easy you’ll want to try all kinds of variations. But first, let’s look at the basics. Ingredients 

  • 1 18-oz. roll Pillsbury Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough
  • (Get a coupon for $1 off Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough HERE)
  • 1 bar (3 1/2 to 4 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Directions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Remove dough from wrapper and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Cut centers out of half the cookies using a 1-inch round cookie cutter.
  • Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand on cookie sheets 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.
  • Place bittersweet chocolate and butter in small heavy saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring frequently, unntil chocolate is melted, stirring constantly.
  • Spread chocolate over flat sides of cookies without holes and immediately top with a cutout cookie.
  • Place milk chocolate chips in resealable food storage bag; seal bag. Microwave on medium 1 minute. Turn bag over and microwave for 30 seconds more. Knead bag until chocolate is smooth.
  • Cut small corner off bag and drizzle chocolate over sandwich cookies. Let stand until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
  • Makes about 16 sandwich cookies

Variations

  • Use Pillsbury Refrigerated Gingerbread Cookie Dough and fill with cream cheese icing
  • Use different colored icings to liven up your cookie tray
  • Use Pillsbury Refrigerated Peanut Butter Cookie Dough and fill with crunchy peanut butter
  • After you drizzle the chocolate, sprinkle on some finely chopped pecans or colorful sprinkles
  • Fill with Nutella

3 Books in 1: Silly Snacks, Classroom Treats, Cookie Dough Fun

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Make a Forest of Hershey's Chocolate Christmas Trees

Hershey's Chocolate Candy TreesThese are so cute and so easy to make and so… chocolate! Use simple royal icing to put them together and then let your imagination run wild with decorating ideas: Colorful sprinkles, edible glitter, little silver or gold dragees, multi-colored nonpariels, even mini M&M’s or chocolate chips. Make a whole forest and use them for a centerpiece for your holiday table. What you’ll need: 

  • 1 eight pack REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups
  • 1 10-ounce bag HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolate
  • 1 12-ounce bag REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup Minitures
  • Thick royal icing
  • Nonpareils or other decorations
  • Parchment paper

Use this coupon to save Save $1 WYB any TWO (2) Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s Miniatures, Hershey’s Miniatures, Hershey’s Nuggets, York Miniatures, Kit Kat Miniatures, or Rolo bags 7.8 oz or larger Directions 

  • Unwrap eight REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups, eight HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates and 16 REESE’S Miniatures.
  • Place one REESE’S Miniature top-down on a sheet of parchment paper. Then use a dab of royal icing to attach the bottom of a REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup to the REESE’S Miniature.
  • Place a dab of royal icing on the top of a second REESE’S Miniature, then press it top-down onto the center of the REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup.
  • Place a dab of royal icing onto the bottom of a HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Chocolate, and attach it to the center of the REESE’S Miniature.
  • Repeat steps two through four to create eight trees. Then, decorate with royal icing and nonpareils.
  • Refrigerate trees until ready to serve. Makes 8 trees.

Celebrate with Hershey’s

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Peanut Butter Blossoms: Melt-in-your-mouth Goodness!

We made these Peanut Butter Blossom cookies just last week and they were gone in a heartbeat! One word of caution: Do NOT eat these when they’re still warm from the oven. The Hershey’s Kiss in the middle is all melty and gooey and … well… that’s probably why they disappeared so fast! This is one of those recipes that has a list of ingredients a mile long, but we’ve made it easier:  We used Pillsbury Refrigerated Peanut Butter Cookie Dough. Ingredients 

  • 1 18-oz. package Pillsbury Refrigerated Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
  • (Get a coupon for $1 off Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough here)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 24 Hershey’s Kisses – unwrapped
  • (Get a coupon for $1 off 2 packages of Hershey’s Kisses here)

Directions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Remove wrapper from cookie dough and let sit at room temperature 15 minutes
  • Place cookie dough and flour in mixing bowl and mix thoroughly
  • Divide dough into 24 equal pieces and shape into balls
  • Roll balls in sugar to coat and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet
  • Bake 11 t0 13 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges
  • Remove cookies from oven and immediately press one unwrapped Hershey’s Kiss into the center
  • Remove cookies to wire rack to cool. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Makes 24 cookies Hershey’s Kitchens

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Hershey's Kisses Christmas Trees and Mistletoe

Every year we see these adorable trees and baubles pop up at craft shows and the church bazaar and this year we’re … turning the kids loose! All you need are a few bags of Hershey’s Kisses, some styrofoam forms and some glue dots. It’ll keep them distracted for a while so we can wrap presents.

You can get styrofoam cones and balls of all different sizes at your local craft store, as well as the glue dots. (The kids are only 6 and 7 so the glue dots are safer than a glue gun and not nearly as messy as a bottle of Elmers.  Plus, they just work better.)

We found this image at KitchenMeetsGirl.com and she used almost 3 bags of Hershey’s Kisses to cover a 9-inch styrofoam cone. (Tip: Here’s a coupon for $1 off on any two bags of Hershey’s Kisses!)

We’re going to cover the forms with foil, first. It’ll makes it easier for the kids to stick on the Hershey’s Kisses and it looks better in those spots where you can’t quite fit in one more Kiss.

Then, just stick a glue dot on the bottom of the Kiss and stick it to the form. (Or have the kids do it while you take a Miller Lite break. Or wrap presents… yeah, that’s what we said earlier, isn’t it?)

Use the trees to decorate your holiday table and add a loop of ribbon to hang the Kiss-letoe balls from any doorway. Then you can get a Christmas kiss and follow it up with a Hershey’s Kiss!

Image credit: KitchenMeetsGirl.com

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Betty Crocker Cake Mix Donuts

A few weeks ago Jessica and I found a fabulous deal on Betty Crocker Cake mixes. They were on sale at our favorite Kroger store on Eakin Rd. in Columbus, Ohio, and when we stacked our manufacturer’s coupon we ended up getting them for 25 cents each.

Jessica’s response when I picked up 30? “What are we gonna do with all this cake mix?!”  Oh, ye of little faith…

Let’s face it, even Marie Antionette didn’t mean for everyone to eat cake 365 days a year. So what ARE we gonna do with all those cake mixes?

Well, first, we’re gonna make donuts!

This recipe works great if you have one of those new-fangled donut makers. We don’t, but we do have a couple of donut baking pans, so that’s what we used. We have one that makes 6 regular size donuts and one that makes 12 mini-donuts and we ended up filling both pans twice. So, our yield was 12 regular size donuts and 24 minis. (And yes, you can freeze them – without icing.)

Ingredients

  • One Betty Crocker Cake Mix (We used the SuperMoist White mix for this recipe)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp melted butter or margarine (slightly cooled)

Directions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spray donut pans with non-stick pan spray.
  • Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix until smooth. (We just mixed by hand but you could use a mixer set on medium speed.)
  • Fill pans 2/3 full
  • Bake approximately 10 minutes for minis and 13 minutes for regular size, or until lightly browned around the edges and cake is firm to the touch
  • Remove from pans

Glazing  You can either glaze these while they’re still warm if you want the glaze to melt over the whole donut or you can wait until they cool and ice them with the icing of your choice. You can also roll them in granulated or powdered sugar. Roll them once while they’re still warm then, after they’ve cooled, roll them again for a second dusting.

For the chocolate donuts – We had a little bit of Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge icing left over from a previous concoction so we microwaved it for a couple of seconds first and then dipped the donuts.

For the vanilla donuts – We mixed about 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons margarine, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and about 3 to 4 tablespoons of hot water to get a glaze consistency.

Variations  The beauty of this recipe is that you can use any flavor cake mix you have on hand. We’re gonna try the Carrot Cake mix next and then the German Chocolate. Yum! It doesn’t take much icing either, so that last little bit of powdered sugar you have hidden in the back of the cupboard will probably be enough to make a glaze or that leftover blue icing you have from your kid’s birthday party will finally be useful.

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German Chocolate Bars made with Betty Crocker Cake Mix

Every loves German Chocolate cake and these bars are always the first thing to disappear from our holiday dessert table. They’re so easy to make, why not bake two so you can keep some for yourself?

We originally tripped over this recipe on the back of a Betty Crocker cake mix box years ago and thanks to modern technology we can now give credit where credit’s due – BettyCrocker.com.

Ingredients 

  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 container Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy coconut pecan frosting
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Get coupons for $.75/2 Betty Crocker Frosting, Supreme Brownie Mix, Dessert Bar Mix, SuperMoist Cake Mix, Cookie Mix Directions 

  • Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Lightly grease or spray bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan
  • In medium bowl, mix butter and cake mix with fork until crumbly; reserve 1 cup. Press remaining mixture in bottom of pan
  • Bake 10 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips over baked layer. Drop frosting by tablespoonfuls over chocolate chips. Stir milk into reserved cake mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto frosting layer
  • Bake 24 to 28 minutes or until cake portion is slightly dry to touch; cool 10 minutes. Carefully loosen edges of bars with knife. Cool completely. Refrigerate until firm. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows. Store loosely covered.
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Easy Two-Ingredient Fudge Recipe Using Betty Crocker Frosting

Whether you’re planning ahead for the holidays or you’re like us and you love fudge no matter what time of year it is, here’s a super-easy recipe that turns out right every single time you make it. Trust me… I’ve made tons of fudge over the years and I know all recipes aren’t reliable.

But this one? This one never fails!

We’ll start with the recipe for Chocolate Fudge and then I’ll tell you how to change it up for a variety of flavors.   Chocolate Fudge Ingredients

  • 1 – 12 ounce can of Betty Crocker Ready-To-Spread Chocolate Frosting (Do not use whipped)
  • 1 – 12 ounce bag chocolate chips

Pour chocolate chips into microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir and microwave 20 seconds more or until chips are melted and stirred smooth. Stir in on 12oz. Can of Betty Crocker Ready-To-Spread Chocolate Frosting Pour mixture into lightly buttered 8X8-inch or 9X9-inch pan and refrigerate until set – approx. 30 minutes. Now that you see how easy it is, you can use your imagination to come up with all sorts of combinations.

  • Chocolate frosting and 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • Cream cheese frosting and 12 oz. chocolate chips
  • Chocolate frosting and 12 oz. Andes Mints
  • Vanilla frosting and 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • Vanilla frosting and 12 oz. butterscotch chips
  • Vanilla frosting and 12 oz. white chocolate chips
  • Cream cheese frosting and Heath Bar chips
  • Cherry frosting, white chocolate chips and candied cherries
  • Lemon frosting and white chocolate chips
  • The possibilities are endless!

And yes – You can make this fudge now and freeze it for the holidays.

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Easy Apple Pie Bites Using Pillsbury Refrigerated Crescent Rolls

We saw this recipe on Facebook and then we took it a step further. First, special thanks to Tammi Hoffman for posting this on Facebook.

Easy Apple Pie Bites

Ingredients 

  • Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, refrigerated
  • Apples
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Melted butter 

Directions

  • Core and slice apple into 8 wedges.
  • Unroll the crescent roll dough and separate into triangles.
  • Lightly brush triangles with melted butter, then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Place apple slice along small end of triangle and roll it all up.
  • Bake 11-13 minutes, until dough is nicely browned. 

Here’s Tammi’s picture so you can see how it’s done…                 As it stands, this is an awesome, easy recipe that anyone can make, and it’s much faster and neater than trying to make an apple pie from scratch. 

But we like to go a step further…  Y

ep. That’s Marzetti Caramal Dip! Drizzle it over your Apple Pie Bites while they’re still warm from the oven and you’ll think you’ve died and gone to Heaven!