No Bake Trail Mix Bites

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I saw this recipe in the May 2015 Rachael Ray Magazine. I immediately knew this would be something my daughter would love doing with me and I had almost everything I needed to make them. Who doesn’t love a healthy no bake treat!

The original recipe called for peanuts, but I didn’t have them, so I subbed almonds instead. You could also sub a different nut butter or a different dried fruit.

Ruby and her friend had fun helping dump the ingredients into the food processor and rolling them in the coconut. They wouldn’t even look up for a picture!

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You’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 toasted wheat germ (usually found with the cereal at the store)
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined.

Pour into a bowl and stir in the chocolate chips and cranberries.

Roll into balls and then roll the balls in the shredded coconut. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Buon appetito!




Donut Muffins

I love tradition and the holidays. I especially care for the two put together. Every year, my husband and I make some sort of homemade Christmas gift for friends and family. Two years ago, we did a box of baked goods with hazelnut biscotti, brownies, and peanut butter kiss cookies. Last year we made homemade vanilla extract (which I’ll share with you soon!). So when we were walking to check out at the grocery store and I saw a Better Homes and Gardens Food Gifts magazine, I might’ve thrown a fit if my husband wouldn’t let me get it. I think he knew this and actually gave in pretty quickly!

There are some great recipes in this magazine and some very creative ways of wrapping food gifts. I was thumbing through it and saw this recipe for Donut Muffins. My husband loves donuts almost as much as he loves ice cream (he might trade me in for a gallon depending on the day!). I enjoy donuts every once in a while, but am not a huge fan of cooking anything where I have to bring out a huge pot of oil. Granted, there are sometimes that this is necessary, but those are very rare. This is the perfect substitute and they’re very scrumptious! This is a good recipe to have on hand if you happen to have visitors at breakfast, brunch, or snack time and they don’t give you much warning.

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Raspberry Sauce

This recipe will complete the White Chocolate Layer Cake and Vanilla Buttercream Frosting from this week. For those of you who missed it, the cake was for a family birthday dinner complete with some of my favorite foods – breaded chicken, stuffed artichokes, and a gorgeous salad! I brought the cake from this week with this sauce and everyone loved it!

Spoon a bit of this on the bottom a plate and top with a slice of the cake – you’re guests will be in heaven! You can also double the cornstarch in this and it would make a great raspberry filling in between a layer cake or in the middle of some cupcakes!

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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

There’s the big reveal! This is what the final cake turned out looking like. It also tasted great and I bet I could’ve gotten away with not telling them it was from a mix. But hey, like I said on Monday, sometimes shortcuts are worth taking.

This is a pretty simple buttercream frosting – not extremely sweet, but just sweet enough. I’m not a big fan of frostings that come in a can (accidental rhyme!), so this is a good basic recipe to have on hand. This one also came from the Cake Mix Doctor – she rocks!

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White Chocolate Layer Cake

Where to begin? Well, baking has been my favorite part of cooking as long as I can remember. Every holiday or family get together, my name is under some sort of dessert. So when we were getting together for my Aunt and Cousin-in-law’s birthday this past weekend – I was given my marching orders! A simple white chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and a raspberry sauce on the side. I searched high and low for a recipe that would live up to my expectations and was almost at my whits end when it came to me – the Cake Mix Doctor!

I’m all for making things from scratch, but when you’ve got a shortcut sometimes it’s worth taking it. I remember first seeing the Cake Mix Doctor in one of my Mom’s cookbooks and I loved the idea. You can spend the extra time decorating the cake to help with the eye appeal and still lose none of the flavor and goodness! This recipe is from her Cupcakes from the Cake Mix Doctor book, but I scaled the cooking time for a layer cake. In fact, you don’t have to tell anyone this is a cake mix recipe if you don’t want to. Your secret is safe with me!

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Cake Mix Cookies

Want a quick go-to dessert recipe guaranteed to be loved by everyone that’s simple and easy to make? This one’s for you! I get rave reviews every time I make these. They are little puffy clouds of amazing goodness. Just like Pringles, eat one and you won’t be able to stop until they’re gone.

I found this recipe about 6 months ago on Paula’s Home Cooking. The original recipe is chocolate, but immediately my brain began thinking of other kinds to make, spice cake mix with pecans, vanilla, carrot cake cookies…yum!

I’ve made these for baby showers, work parties, family get-togethers and every time at least one person asks for the recipe. The key is letting the cookie batter sit in the fridge for at least an hour before scooping – makes it much easier to work with.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

As fall approaches, I start to crave one thing – pumpkin! Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, pumpkin lattes…well, you get the picture. Pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors. I found this recipe last year on Our Best Bites and there are a lot of similar versions all over the internet. Normally, I’m all for completely homemade stuff, but you can’t beat the ease of these and everyone loves them! I often need something quick and inexpensive to bring to work and these muffins definitely fit the bill.

The recipe also has just three ingredients – yes, that’s right – three! – and it makes about 3 dozen muffins. Or 2 and a half regular sized muffins and 12 mini muffins as I did below. Also, I’d like to point that these are 1 Weight Watchers point a piece (well, before the chocolate chips). A great snack to have around. You can even freeze them and then grab one on the go for breakfast or pack them into lunches.

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Samoa Cookie Bars

We’re going to a football party today, so yesterday I asked my husband what he wanted to bring. I right away thought maybe corn salsa (post coming up later this week!) and some tortilla chips, but his first thoughts are always desserts! I guess that balances us out. He won this time.

He’s wanted me to make Samoa cookies – our favorite Girl Scout Cookie, and America’s #2 to the Thin Mint – as long as I’ve known him. In fact, we usually only allow ourselves 2 boxes of these because they may not make it through the week. Horrible, I know, but oh so good! So I found this recipe – Samoa Cookie Bars by Baking Bites. Same lovely shortbread cookie with chocolate, caramel, and coconut – but in a bar cookie!

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