Archive | June, 2012

Pretzel Hugs

30 Jun

Another sweet and salty treat that I learned from one of my Patterson friends. ๐Ÿ™‚ She made these for a Valentine’s party at school and I loved the taste andย how easy they seemed! I looked it up on Pinterest before I got started (where else would you find a recipe these days?) ๐Ÿ™‚ just to make sure I set the oven at the right temperature. Didn’t want to burn any perfectly good chocolate!

You only need 3 things for these yummy treats. Square pretzels, Hershey’s Hugs, and m&m’s. You could also use Hershey’s Kisses, but I like that the Hugs have an extra flavor added in.

And they are so simple that the hardest party of the entire process is not eating all of the Hugs and m&m’s as you go. Seriously. If you manage to get them onto the pretzels instead of into your mouth, the rest of it is super easy.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. (I’ve noticed that most yummy recipes start this way. If a recipe starts with “Wash and dry all of the vegetables,” then I’m just not interested.)

Line your cookie sheet with aluminum fil or parchment paper and lay out the pretzels.

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Then unwrap the Hugs and place them on top of the pretzels. Put them into the oven just until the Hugs start to melt. This only takes 2-5 minutes. The Hugs should still be standing up and retaining their shape.

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Working quickly, gently place one m&m on top of eachย Hug. The Hug will fall down as you do this, since it is partially melted. A few of them will end up looking somewhat ugly if you drop the m&m on sideways and then the whole thing kind of falls apart. Just eat these quickly so that no one sees them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Let them sit until the chocolate is dried again. When I looked it up on Pinterest, the post said it will be set in about an hour. I found that it took much longer than that. I used red and blue m&m’s for these since the 4th of July is coming up.

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That’sย another great thing about these treats, in addition to them being yummy and simple. You can kind of customize the colors for whatever holiday is coming up.

Now, after I made these and tested out one of them (Or maybe 5 of them. Same difference) I started thinking…

They are good just like this. But I like even more salty goodness in ratio to the chocolately goodness. So next time (and there WILL be a next time) I may try making a pretzel hug sandwich. ๐Ÿ™‚ I could melt them just like I did before, with one Hug on top of each pretzel. But then, instead of placing an m&m on top I could place one more pretzel on top.

What do you think about that? I think there’s only one way to find out. And I think I’m going to find out very soon. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Up Next: Probably nothing for a little while. Next weekend my best friend is coming to visit me. (Actually, she’s coming to see Abigail. I can only pretend she still wants to see me.) And then the following weekend I’m going to South Carolina to see my other best friend, my sister! YAY! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ So, I won’t be around the blog for a bit.

Random Thought of the Day: Do youย have a favorite 4th of July memory? I think all of the good memories I have about the 4th involve watermelon. Maybe I’ll get some next week. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sweet and Saltines

23 Jun

A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine told me that she was trying a new recipe she’d seen Trisha Yearwood make on TV. Now, if you’ve known me for any length of time, you know that I love country music. ๐Ÿ™‚ This recipe was from Trisha’s new cookbook AND it involved chocolate. Nothing more needed to be said. I knew I’d be trying it out very soon.

It’s called “Sweet and Saltines” but my friend said when Trisha was making it on the TV show she was watching, she mentioned that Garth often just calls it “chocolate crack.” This sounded promising. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t actually have her cookbook yet (and WHY NOT???) so I googled the recipe and found it here: http://www.anniebakes.net/2010/05/sweet-saltines-from-trisha-yearwood.html. I also followed the tips that this blogger wrote about. She mentioned using parchment paper instead of aluminum foil to line the cookie sheet with. There are very few things that will stick to parchment paper, and I always have some on hand so I thought I’d go with it. She also mentioned that she cut in half the amount of butter and brown sugar that Trisha used in her original recipe. I decided to do this, too.

Why would I do this?

Think about it for a second.

Have you thought of an idea yet?
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If you thought….to make this recipe *slightly* healthier, you lose. (And clearlyย  haven’t been reading my blog long enough.)

Just kidding.

(kind of)

If you thought….so that I wouldn’t use up all of the butter in my fridge, and I’d have some left to bake something else….You get a gold star! ๐Ÿ˜€

I also used slightly more chocolate chips than the recipe called for. It said to use 1 1/3 cup. But I decided I’d rather measure my chocolate chips in 1/2 cup increments. Just seems much better that way. But I didn’t want to go DOWN to 1 cup. Ugh. That seemed like a terrible idea. So I went up to 1 1/2 cups. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s how simple this “Sweet and Saltines” recipe is:

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray it with PAM (just for good measure). Then line it with 40 saltine crackers.

Go ahead and preheat your oven at this point, 425 degrees. Melt brown sugar and butter in a saucepan. (Decide for yourself if you want to useย 2 sticks of butter and 1 cup of brown sugar, or 1 stick of butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar. I went with the second option.) Boil it for 5 minutes. I didn’t see anything in the original recipe about stirring it constantly, but I decided it was a good idea to do so. I didn’t want any scorched butter or sugar. That’s just sad.

Now pour this over the crackers and put it in the oven. You want to leave it in there just long enough for the butter/sugar mixture to get bubbly. This only took about 3-5 minutes. So watch it closely! Don’t get distracted by Words with Friends like I almost did. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now put the chocolate chips on top of the crackers. Let them get hot enough to start melting, and then use a knife to gently spread them evenly.

Put the whole pan into the freezer for 15-20 minutes so that it gets cold. Then break apart into pieces. With the parchment paper and PAM, I had no trouble whatsoever getting it unstuck from the pan. Then try to eat only a reasonable amount of it so that there is still some left to take to your inย laws the next day. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you really can’t help it, just make another batch. (I did save that butter, afterall.)

My husband says on a scale of 1-10, these areย  “definitely a 7, maybe an 8.”

Upย  Next: Don’t know yet. ๐Ÿ™‚ Although I have a good idea for a “Very hungry Caterpillar” cake! Just not sure when I’ll actually have a chance to make it.

Random Thought of the Day: I picked fresh blueberries this week and it was lots of fun! I need to find some recipes that require blueberries now. ๐Ÿ™‚

Strawberry Pretzel “Salad”

3 Jun

For my first post in a long time, I’m writing about a salad. Except that I’d hardly call it a salad. ๐Ÿ˜‰ This recipe was found on allrecipes.com, but I first had the dessert almost 3 years ago. When I got my very first teaching job the teacher next door to me made this and brought it to school for a special lunch of some kind (who knows what it was for…teachers will use any excuse to get together and eat!). I managed to get some of it….but about 15 minutes into the lunch it was gone!ย  Apparently she’d made the dish several times before, so everyone knew how good it was and scooped it up before it was too late. This isn’t the exact recipe as my co-worker’s, but it’s pretty close.

The pretzel crust is my FAVORITE part. Well, it’s my favorite because it’s combined with the sweetness of the strawberries and cream cheese. I love a good salty/sweet combination. It’s made of crushed pretzels, a spoonful of sugar, and some melted butter. (This is very easy to do. You can even crush theย  pretzels in a ziploc bag with one hand, while bouncing a baby in the other hand. Trust me.)

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I like the salty addition to this dessert so much that next time I make it, I might just double the pretzel portion. The second layer is a mixture of cream cheese, sugar, and cool whip. (For best results, put the baby down in a bouncer to spread this layer on top. You might wind up with a mess if you don’t.)

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The very top is a box of strawberry jello dissolved in boiling water, plus some frozen strawberries. (Do not attempt to boil anything until Daddy comes home from work and is watching the baby.) ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Once all three layers are spread into the pan, it needs to be refrigerated until cool. Then just scoop out and enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

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I should note that if you follow the actual recipe, http://allrecipes.com/recipe/strawberry-pretzel-salad-2/detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=strawberry%20salad&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page, you will get a full 9 x13 pan of this. I halved it which is why it made a smaller batch.

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If you like strawberry cheesecake and you like sweet and salty duos, this is something you should try! And with the Fourth of July coming up, it would be a good dessert to bring to a cookout. Cool and refreshing during the summer, plus it has patriotic colors. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Up Next: I have no idea, and I have no idea how long it will be before I post something else. I’ll let you know when I figure it out. ๐Ÿ˜‰