Slow Cooker Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Are you hosting a holiday party?  Caroling with friends and family? Decorating your tree?  This Peppermint Hot Chocolate is for you 🙂  My family likes a little less peppermint so we only use 4 candy canes but if you like more, you can use up to 7.

Author: Little Spice Jar

Prep time:  5 mins
Cook time:  2 hours
Total time:  2 hours 5 mins
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup hot water
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (roughly chopped)
  • 4 cups (1 quart) milk
  • ¼ cup half and half (or replace with additional milk)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4-7 candy canes (pulsed in food processor)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine the hot water and the cocoa powder, stir until smooth.
  2. Add the bittersweet chocolate, milk, half and half, sugar, and candy canes to the slow cooker along with the cocoa paste. Heat on the low setting for 2 hours, stir every 30 minutes or so. If you notice the chocolate is not melting after the first hour, switch to the high heat setting and let cook the remaining 1 hour on high (stirring every 30 minutes).
  3. Serve warm with marshmallows, whipped cream, crushed candy canes, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, or chocolate shavings.

http://littlespicejar.com/cozy-peppermint-hot-chocolate-slow-cooker/

 

 

 

 

Christmas Fudge

Holiday baking season has officially begun and what would it be without some tasty fudge!  This recipe yields a high amount if you cut into small pieces. You can also alter to have just white fudge or all chocolate fudge instead of layering and alter amounts.

 

Yield: 64 small pieces of fudge

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients:

Chocolate Fudge Layer:

  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 of a 14-ounce can full-fat sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons marshmallow creme

White Fudge Layer:

  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 of a 14-ounce can full-fat sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons marshmallow creme
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup red/green sprinkles, plus a few more sprinkles or nonpareils for the top

Directions:

  1. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil (leaving a good overhang on all sides), and spray lightly with nonstick spray.
  2. Prepare the chocolate fudge layer: In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and marshmallow creme and heat over medium heat.  Stir constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon as the chips melt.  Once the mixture is melted and smooth, remove from heat and scrape into the prepared pan- spreading to create an even layer.  Set aside.
  3. Prepare the white fudge layer:  In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the white chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and marshmallow creme and heat over medium heat.   Stir constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon as the chips melt.  Once the mixture is melted and smooth, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Then quickly stir in the 1/3 cup sprinkles.  Don’t stir too much or they will begin to melt into the mixture.  Scrape the mixture on top of the fudge layer- spreading to create an even layer.  Sprinkle a few additional sprinkle or nonpareils on top, if desired.
  4. Refrigerate for 4 hours, or until set.  Once set, remove the fudge from the pan by lifting it out of the pan with the foil overhang and then peeling the foil off and discarding.  Set the fudge on a cutting board and cut into small pieces.  Store at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze in a well-sealed container until ready to munch.
SOURCE:  RecipeBoy.com (adapted from Sally’s Candy Addiction cookbook)
 

Shower Cleaner Wand

You survived one holiday with family but now is the big one…Christmas.  I found the best way to handle to clean the shower is to fill a kitchen dish scrub wand (you can find them at the 99 cent store) with vinegar and dish soap and hang on a hook in the bathroom for ease of cleaning.  Of course, if you have really young kids, maybe keeping the wand in the laundry room or in master bathroom would be better.  It makes cleaning up after a crowd a breeze.

 

 

Flu Flush

Everyone has gone home yet the flu is running from family member to family member.  Try a nice home remedy that will help everyone feel just a little but better.

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 oz filtered water
  • 1/8 tsp organic cinnamon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Boil water.
  2. While water is boiling, mix cinnamon, honey and apple cider vinegar in a cup.
  3. Once the water boils, add to cup and mix ingredients well.

Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Its one of the best times of the year for baking.  Why not start the season of right with these soft & chewy gingerbread cookies.

Ingredients

Cookies

    • 3 cups  all-purpose flour
    •  1 Tbsp ground ginger
    • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
    • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 3/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
    • 10 Tbsp  butter, softened about halfway (it should still hold it’s shape pretty well and be cool)
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
    • 1 – 2 Tbsp milk
Icing
  • 3 (420g) cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (15g) meringue powder
  • 4 – 6 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  • For the cookies:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 20 seconds, set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together sugar and butter until well combined, occasionally stopping and scraping down bowl. Mix egg yolk and vanilla. Mix in molasses and 1 Tbsp milk. With mixer set on low speed slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined, while adding additional milk as needed just to bring dough together. Divide dough into two equal portions then roll each portion out evenly to 1/4-inch thickness (into more of a oblong or rectangular shape so it will fit on a cookie sheet) between two sheets of parchment paper. Chill on a cookie sheet in freezer 10 minutes or until firm then cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Remove from paper using a thin metal spatula or pastry scraper if needed then transfer to a cookie sheet, spacing cookies about 1-inch apart, and bake in preheated oven 8 minutes or until slightly set (they should leave a slight indentation when touched). Repeat process with remaining cookies. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool pipe icing over cookies to decorate and add sprinkles if desired. Let icing set at room temperature and store in an airtight container (note that these cookies are even better and softer the second day).
  • For the icing:
  • Add powdered sugar and meringue powder to the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Fit mixer with paddle attachment, add in 4 Tbsp water and the vanilla them mix on low speed until combined. Add more water to thin as needed and increase speed and whip mixture until it is glossy and thickens up. Tint with food coloring if desired. Transfer to piping bags fitted with tiny round tips.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy

http://www.cookingclassy.com/gingerbread-cookies/

Leftover Turkey Soup

Everyone is either sleeping soundly recovering from their food coma of Thanksgiving or running around battling the crazed crowds of Black Friday.  Why not make something to appease everyone and put those leftovers to good use.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon  butter
4 medium (2 cups) carrots, sliced
2 ribs (1 cup) celery, sliced
1 medium (1/2 cup) onion, chopped
5 cups turkey stock or broth
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups chopped cooked turkey
2 cups uncooked dried wide egg noodles

Directions

  1. Melt butter in 4-quart saucepan over medium heat until sizzling; add carrots, celery and onion. Continue cooking 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are slightly softened.
  2. Add all remaining soup ingredients except noodles. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, uncovered, 12-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add noodles; continue cooking 5-7 minutes or until noodles are tender.

Recipe Tips

– This recipe is a great way to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

– You can substitute chicken stock for turkey broth and cooked chicken for the turkey.