Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Years Eve Confetti Eggs

I really wanted to do something fun for my kids, for New Years Eve this year. They will NOT be staying up until midnight, but I want them to be part of the celebration, none the less.  I saw tons of cute baked goods with clocks on them, that I knew my daughter would love! But, after all the sweet treats I've made over the last week, I knew making cupcakes probably wasn't the best idea, since I'll end up eating most of them! I always feel obligated to eat things I bake before they get stale...This is not good, since I'm currently trying to lose weight.

I saw these cute Confetti Eggs on Rad Megan. They couldn't be easier to make! I can't wait to break them open with my kids tomorrow night.

To make these eggs, you need....

Raw eggs
Butter knife
Glue stick
Sharpies or other markers
Wrapping paper scraps
Foil Shreds
Tissue Paper

Step 1 : Gently tap on the top of each egg with a butter knife. Chip away at the shells, until you have a hole roughly the size of a quarter. Pour the eggs into a bowl, and save for a later use. 

Step 2 : Rinse the inside of each egg thoroughly under running water. Drain eggs, and set to dry inside egg carton. Place in a warm spot to dry ( or if you're impatient like me, use a hairdryer!)

Step 3 : While eggs are drying, make confetti. Cut wrapping paper scraps into narrow strips. Then, cut strips into tiny squares. There are not exact measurements for this, and they DON'T have to be perfect! Also, if you have foil shreds available (can be purchased at dollar store) snip those into tiny pieces, as well.

Step 4 : After eggs are COMPLETELY dry (can't stress this enough) carefully stuff eggs with confetti.

Step 5 : Cut circles out of tissue paper, big enough to completely cover the hole of each egg. Gently apply glue around the opening of each egg, and cover with tissue paper circle.

Step 6 : Decorate with markers!

I link up at these great parties! Print Friendly and PDF
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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Child's Choice Cookies

Originally, this recipe was going to be my very first post. I was going to make these cookies as my tribute to the Sandy Hook victims, but with Christmas quickly approaching, I couldn't find the time to make them until today.

This recipe comes from a cookbook called Cooking for Kids, which I picked up at ROSS many years ago. ROSS is like a TJ Maxx or Marshall's for those of you who are not familiar with it.

This recipe goes against many things we all know about baking cookies. First of all, the recipe calls for shortening, instead of butter. Then, you beat the shortening into the dry ingredients, instead of creaming it with the sugar. Huh, what? Let's just say, my Keurig Coffee Maker is sitting on my counter right now with a fine coating of flour from the mess that created! And, greasing the cookie sheets? Most cookie recipes call for ungreased, of course. And, last but not least Maple flavoring.... I can honestly say this is a first for me. I've never used this ingredient before. No Vanilla extract to be found in this recipe.

These cookies are quite tasty! My husband and I liked them. They are crunchy on the outside, and chewy on the inside with a very strong Maple flavor. However, they're not my child's choice! My 4 year old daughter didn't care for them. I'm not sure if she didn't like the texture from the oats, or the maple flavor. Oh well, more for me!

Child's Choice Cookies

2 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 butter flavor CRISCO stick or 1 cup butter flavor CRISCO all-vegetable shortening
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. maple flavoring
2 cups oats
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter chips
3/4 cup mini marshmallows
cooking spray to grease baking sheet

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine flour, shortening, baking soda and baking powder in a large bowl. Beat on low speed with an electric mixer until blended. Increase speed to medium. Mix thoroughly. Beat in granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and maple flavor. Add oats, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and mini marshmallows. Mix with a wooden spoon until well blended. Shape into 1 inch balls . Flatten slightly. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Do not overbake. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

The recipe makes appox. 4 1/2 dozen cookies. If you are following Weight Watchers, each cookie is 3 points plus.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Cinnamon French Toast Bake

I was watching Cooking Channel a few days ago, hoping to come up with an idea for Christmas morning breakfast. From The Kitchens of....with Brigitte Nguyen came on with several recipes from Pillsbury. Her special guest was our very own Jenny Flake from Picky Palate, so of course I paid close attention!

This recipe is delicious and super easy! It came together in no time at all. It has all the cinnamon goodness of a cinnamon roll, and the soft custard like texture of the inside of french toast. And, the best of both worlds when it come to toppings, icing and maple syrup. Yum!

I only used 1/2 c of Pecans, sprinkling on only half of the dish because my husband and children don't like nuts. Also, this dish is plenty sweet without the powdered sugar and additional 1/2 c of maple syrup. There's plenty of syrup at the bottom of the dish to spoon over the individual servings.

Here is the link from Cooking Channel.

 Cinnamon French Toast Bake

1/4 cup butter, melted
2 (12.4-ounce) cans Pillsbury refrigerated reduced fat cinnamon rolls with icing
6 eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla 
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cup maple syrup
Icing, from cinnamon rolls package
Powdered sugar, for dusting (Optional)

 Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Pour the melted butter into an ungreased 13 by 9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish.

Separate both cans of dough into 16 rolls and set the icing aside. Cut each roll into 8 pieces and place the pieces over the butter in the dish.

In medium bowl, beat eggs. Beat in the heavy cream, cinnamon, and vanilla until well blended. Gently pour the mixture over the roll pieces. Sprinkle with pecans and drizzle with 1 cup maple syrup.

Bake 20 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove covers from cinnamon bun icing and microwave on Medium
(50-percent), 10 to 15 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle.

Drizzle the icing over top and sprinkle with powdered sugar. If desired, spoon the syrup from the dish over the individual servings. Serve with the remaining 1/2 cup maple syrup, if desired.

The recipe makes 12 servings. If you are following Weight Watchers, each serving with nuts is 11 points plus, and each serving without nuts is 9 points plus. The picture of the plate below shows 2 servings.

Merry Christmas!
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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn

My daughter decorated Gingerbread People in her class this past Friday, and each child was assigned a couple of goodies to contribute. We brought Jet-Puffed Peppermint Mallows, and after all was said and done, came home with over half a bag. Right on the back of the bag there is a recipe for Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn. I altered the recipe slightly, as the original recipe didn't call for the additional Peppermint Mallows you see in the picture. I felt the final product was not "pepperminty" enough, so I added more after the popcorn cooled. The extra mallows add additional texture and color, which I think the original recipe was lacking. I would even go as far as adding some peppermint extract to the melted chocolate. I didn't have any on hand, so I worked with what I had.

Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn

1/2 tsp. salt, divided
12 cups warm air popped popcorn
4 oz. Baker's semi-sweet chocolate (I substituted 4 oz. Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses, about 26)
1/2 cup butter
40 Jet-Puffed Mini Peppermint Mallows
5 oz. Jet-Puffed Mini Peppermint Mallows

Heat oven to 275 degrees. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp. salt over popcorn in a large bowl;toss to coat. Set aside.  

Melt chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan on low heat, stirring frequently. Add 40 marshmallows; stir until completely melted. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 tsp. salt. 

Pour over popcorn; toss to coat. Spread onto greased baking sheets. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until crisp; stirring after 15 minutes. Cool on wax paper. When popcorn is cool, transfer to a large bowl and toss with additional 5 oz. marshmallows. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 24 servings, 1/2 c each. If you are following Weight Watchers each 1/2 c serving is 4 Points Plus. The amount shown in the foil papers below are 1/2 c servings.

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Easy Holiday Eggnog Muffins

Hello Everyone! Welcome to my new blog My Sesame Seed Buns. This is officially my first post, I hope you enjoy it.

I've been on real kick lately to use items I have stored in my pantry, fridge and freezer. Things that have been sitting there FOREVER. With the new year quickly approaching, I want out with the old and in with the new! I love to buy items that are on "Manager's Special," even though I have no specific use for them, and they just sit there unused.

Well, I bought 2 half gallons of eggnog, aka "Christmas Milk" in our household. My 4 year old normally loves eggnog, however these clearanced bottles were Vanilla flavor, so she said she didn't like it?!? My husband went through the first half gallon no problem. But, when it came time to open the second half gallon, it was a couple of days past the "sell by" date. Now, if it were me, I wouldn't hesitate, however my husband is weird about sell by dates and expiration dates, so he wasn't drinking it! Grrr...

I wasn't about to let perfectly good eggnog go to waste, so when I saw this recipe for Easy Holiday Eggnog Muffins on King Arthur Flour, I decided to crack it open and give it the "smell test."  It passed the test, so I made a batch of these delicious muffins. The flavor of the creamy eggnog really comes through, even without using eggnog flavoring. Where do you even buy this? I've never seen it, but have never really looked. I felt my muffins were a little dry, so if I make them again, I pull probably reduce the cooking time by a couple of minutes.

For anyone following Weight Watchers, each muffin is 7 points plus.

Easy Holiday Eggnog Muffins

1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon eggnog flavor or 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups eggnog or half and half                     

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon eggnog flavor, optional
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper or silicone muffin cups, and grease the cups with non-stick vegetable oil spray; this will ensure that they peel off the muffins nicely.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar till smooth. Add the eggs, beating for several minutes and scraping the bowl, till the mixture is smooth and light colored. Beat in the baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and eggnog flavor or vanilla.

Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the eggnog or half and half, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups.

Stir together all of the topping ingredients JUST till crumbly. Stir gently, and don't over mix; you don't want to turn this crumbly topping into a solid mass. Sprinkle the topping over the muffins.

Bake the muffins for 20 minutes, or until they're a pale golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and serve warm, or at room temperature.
Yield: 12 muffins.

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