Gingerbread Pancakes with Molasses Butter

gingerbread pancakes

gingerbread pancakes (Photo credit: emdot)

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups pancake mix
1.25 cups (10-oz bottle) sparkling apple cider
1/4 cup dark molasses
2 tsp Gingerbread Spice Mix

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl Pour 1/4 cup batter per pancake into a lightly buttered skillet.
  2. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, flip and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  3. Serve warm with Molasses Butter.

Molasses Butter

Stir all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined and dollop on top of pancakes.

 

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Candy Brandy Pecans

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INGREDIENTS:

6 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
5 tbs brandy
2 tbsp Gingerbread Spice Mix
10 oz-bag whole shelled pecans

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 

Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non stick spray.

Melt butter in sauce pot on medium heat.

Add brown sugar, brandy and Gingerbread Spice Mix, cook for 1 minute until bubbly stirring constantly.

Add pecans and stir until all coated.

Spread out in an even layer on cookie sheet with rubber spatula and bake for 20-25 minutes stirring several times throughout.

Remove from oven to cool and in medium bowl combine:

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp Gingerbread Spice Mix

Pour pecans in bowl and stir until all coated with sugar mixture. 

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Let cool completely and store in airtight container. I put mine in decorative mason jars for Christmas gifts. This would also be good for birthday gifts, hostess gifts, parties, baby showers, Thanksgiving snacks, mother’s day gifts, and father’s day gifts

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This recipe is being shared at Foodie Friends Friday

 

No Santa Cookies This Year…Eggnog Rum Bread

Eggnog Rum Bread

 

So this year we will not be making Santa cookies, nope this is not a joke nor is it us protesting against Christmas. THIS year we will be making dear old Santa some  delicious, decadent, sweet, moist Eggnog Rum Bread. Crazy you say? Read this recipe I found from an awesome blogger named Robin over at Knead To Cook and you will know the only one crazy is YOU for still reading this and not checking to see if you have all the ingredients in your pantry 😀 by the way make sure to visit Robin’s page, she has a TON of great recipes to share.

I URGE you to try this recipe and leave Santa a new treat this year, he will be happy you did! 

I doubled this recipe and both loaves were gone within 3 days…just sayin, if you have a large family you might want to invest in 2 loaves! Breakfast, snack, dessert, anytime is a great time for this bread. It shows well, it maintains it’s structure and glaze really well for traveling. As Robin did, she made mini loaves for gifts, be careful with this…the people you give this to will never leave you alone again!!

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INGREDIENTS:

2 eggs
1 and 1/2 cups of regular eggnog (not low fat)
2 tsp Spiced Rum
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter @ room temperature
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 (3.4 ounces of powdered) package of instant French vanilla pudding mix
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Spray your loaf, muffin etc. pan with non stick spray with flour. 

In your stand mixer use your paddle attachment and mix together the eggs, eggnog, rum, sugar, vanilla and butter. The butter will remain clumpy but that is just fine.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, pudding mix, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

Add the dry mixture to the wet and blend until incorporated. Avoid over mixing. The butter will remain clumpy and this is how the batter should look, the butter will melt when cooking.

Pour into your prepared choice of pan(s). Bake mini loaves for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. A regular loaf pan will take about 45-55 minutes. A double batch using 2 loaf pans take about 80 minutes. Just be sure to check, check and check you don’t want this over done. All your hard work put into this decadent bread you won’t want it ruined, especially after you smell the batter alone, you can imagine how scrumptious the actual cooked bread will turn out.

Lemon Rum Glaze:

1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
2 teaspoon eggnog
2 tablespoon Spiced Rum
1/8 tsp of ground nutmeg
Lemon zest, about 1/4 of a lemon ( I added this to the original recipe, you can omit)

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Whisk together and pour over your cooled eggnog bread. (If you can wait until it’s cooled)

The glaze recipe yields enough for both loaves with a lot left over, don’t be worried about really drizzling until your heart’s content! I wish I had used more…NEXT TIME, NEXT TIME!

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Cranberry Rosemary Dip – EASY & QUICK

 

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 tablespoons dried sweetened cranberries ( I course chop them, but you could leave them whole)
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary ( I used the spice grinder)
  • fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt (to taste)

Place all ingredients in bowl and using a spoon smooth, smash and stir together all ingredients until well combined. Taste it with a cracker and see if you want to add more of any of the ingredients! Place back in refrigerator covered for about 1 hour before serving with crackers. Garnish with a few whole cranberries and a sprig of Rosemary. Super easy, beautiful in color and a HUGE hit! Enjoy 😀

 

 

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake – Perfect for the holidays!

Have a holly jolly Christmas, it’s the best time of the year….Oh sorry I have these Christmas jingles in my head  this time of year and yes I know it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet. 😀  I’m hopeless when this time of year comes around! Just imagine your friends and families face when you break out this beauty for desert! I think this is truly one of the best cheesecakes I have ever had.

As you know I am not the best baker around, so when I make a cheesecake that comes out looking at gorgeous as this one..I am a happy camper! You know what it means? It means YOU can do this too!! LOL

My mom gave me a ton of fresh cranberries and I was trying to figure out what the heck to do with them, when of course cheesecake comes to mind. The cinnamony chocolatey graham cracker crust paired with the creamy cheesecake and tartness of cranberries is like a bite of heaven in each mouthful. The cranberry compote is a MUST to save even after the cheesecake is gone. It is great on crackers with a sharp cheddar cheese or to add into your mixed cocktails! YUM

Cranberry Compote:

  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • zest of one lemon or orange
  • 4 tsp vanilla

Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 2 3/4 cups of graham crackers
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened Cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 4 – 8 ounces packages cream cheese, room temperature (I used 2 full fat and 2 reduced fat cream cheese and this is crazy rich)
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream or half and half
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • cranberry compote

Make cranberry compote:
Combine all ingredients except vanilla in large saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 5-10 minutes. Cool slightly. Transfer to food processor and add vanilla. Puree until smooth. Strain into a bowl and cover  Refrigerate at least 6 hours or freeze for 3.

Make crust:
Spray 10-inch-diameter Springform pan (I used 2 pie dishes) with nonstick spray. If using a Springform pan, wrap outside of pan with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil. Blend all ingredients except butter in food processor. Add butter; blend until moist clumps form. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up sides of pan. Chill crust while preparing filling.

Make filling:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in sugar. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in sour cream, half and half and vanilla.

Transfer 1/3 of filling to prepared crust. Dollop 1/3 of cranberry puree atop filling. Repeat layering of filling and puree 2 more times. Using knife, skewer or toothpick, swirl puree through filling, creating marbled design.

Place springform pan or pie dish in large baking dish or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan or baking dish to come halfway up sides of springform pan or pie dish. Bake until cheesecake puffs around edges, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn off oven. Let cake stand in oven 1 hour, leaving oven door ajar.

If using  springform pan: Transfer cake to rack. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Cool completely. Remove foil from pan sides. Cover cake and chill overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.) Remove pan sides.

If using a pie dish: Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 6 hours or 3 hours in freezer.

Serve cake with Cranberry Compote either on top or on the side for dipping each tart bite into!

This recipe is was shared over at:

Thursday’s Treasures

Wicked Good Wednesdays

Creamy Chicken Veggie and Rice Soup – Warm the Heart, Warm the Soul!

Don’t let the sunny picture fool you…well ok I’m not even going to go there. Living in California sure its fun in the sun. But when my favorite time of year comes, FALL, I am saddened that the weather is not cool enough to reflect that. I love making soup and bread and warm you up goodies, but when the temperature reaches 80 in November, well sometimes it just isn’t that easy to get my family to eat hot soup! Luckily in between these warm days are a few hit or miss cool and even rainy ones. Leaving me to explore the world of Fall cooking.

Today I made a creamy, warm, stick to your ribs with a hearty healthy kick soup. This soup is almost too hearty to have a second bowl…I did say ALMOST! Filled with vegetables for great nutrition and a little creaminess to round it out, you will surely want to accompany it with a carb filled side! For me I have been making this Focaccia Bread that is just delicious and pairs perfectly with any soup or is fabulous on its own. Take a weekend, get your ingredients together you will want to make both of these delights this weekend!

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 c. Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2 Stalks Celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 Red  Onion, diced
  • 1/2 c. Carrots, I used the shredded ones
  • 1 head of broccoli, washed and cut up in small pieces (reserve 1/2 of the florets)
  • 1 bunch of Asparagus, washed and trimmed; reserve the stems
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp. All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 c. Cream of Chicken Soup (could substitute in heavy cream, I just had this left over so I wanted to use it)
  • 1/4 c. 2% Milk
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Kosher Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 3 cooked Chicken Breasts, diced

DIRECTIONS:

In a large stockpot, drizzle olive oil on the bottom and add your diced chicken. Season with salt/pepper and cook until browned and cooked through.

Remove from pot and add 1 tbs of olive oil, add; carrots, celery, onion, broccoli, stems of your asparagus and saute for 5 minutes.

*NOTE* Using the stems to the asparagus:

  1. Cut the very bottoms off, discard and do not use
  2. Bend the bottom of one the asparagus spears until it snaps, this will be your guide for cutting the rest of the bunch
  3. Cut the remaining spears and cut the stems into 1/2″ dices, add these to your stockpot.

Add flour and saute for 2 minutes to get the flour taste out of it.

Add chicken broth slowly stirring as you add to avoid clumps. Once all broth is incorporated, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to just at a boil for about 20 minutes, or until all veggies are super soft.

Remove from heat and using an immersion blender (these things ROCK!) start blending until you get the desired consistency you like.

Return pot to stove and reduce heat to low. Add rice stir to combine.

Take a microwave safe bowl and add your milk and cream of chicken soup and combine. Add cheese if using.

Add this to your stockpot along with your reserved chicken and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.

While simmering place your asparagus spears & broccoli florets in a microwave safe bowl and add about 2 tbs water. Cover with Saran wrap and cook for 1 minute. Immediately add to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

When soup is finished garnish with a few of your steamed broccoli florets and asparagus spears.

Cornbread Casserole – Easy Weeknight Dinner!

This recipe is being shown over at Thursday’s Treasures!

Just in time for Fall! I have been down with a cold that won’t quit! My kids enjoyed every moment as I lost my voice for the entire week! This is a quick throw together type of meal that is perfect when your fam is on the go, just like Halloween, no one wants to sit around eating “good” food, they want that dang candy! You can feel good about having this ready in the oven and the little gobblins can have something yummy in their tummy before trick-or-treating.

Dressing

  • 1/2 c ranch dressing ( I use the packet kind)
  • 1/2 cup verde salsa
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves

Topping

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 lb ground turkey meat
  • 1/4 cup taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 3 tbs cilantro, chopped
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can diced roasted tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded

Crust

  • 7  to 16 oz size – 1 package cornbread mix, i used a 16 oz package, we love cornbread (make as directed on package)
  • 3/4 cup crushed corn tortilla chips (i used these colorful orange and black for Halloween)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Make ranch dressing and combine, ranch, verde salsa and cilantro in food processor until well combined. Cover and chill in refrigerator.
  3. Heat olive oil and garlic. Heat until garlic is just fragrant, then add ground turkey. Cook until browned.
  4. Combine taco seasoning and hot water, add to pan. Heat through on medium high for about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add canned tomatoes & cilantro and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Drain all juices out of pan and set mixture aside.
  7. Combine cornbread mix as directed on package.
  8. Get a baking dish, should be around 9″ x 9″ size or use a pie dish will work. I used a circular baking dish. Spray with non stick cooking spray, crush up your chips and line the bottom of the dish with your chips. You can add more or less depending on the size of your dish.
  9. Then add 1/4 cup of your corn and sprinkle on top of chip layer.
  10. Pour your cornbread mixture over the top of that, and top the cornbread with your meat mixture.
  11. On the very top add your cheese.
  12. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly golden brown on top. Everything is cooked you are just heating through and browning the cheeses!
  13. Allow to sit for 5-7 minutes after removing from the oven. This gives the casserole a chance to pull back and tighten up so when you cut it, it is not falling apart all over the plate.
  14. Drizzle over the top, or if you are like me, drench the top with your ranch verde salsa dressing, top with more cilantro and avocado.

Mini Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts + BONUS Recipe

DOUGHNUTS…anyone else feel like Homer Simpson when thinking of doughnuts? I do! And for that reason I stay my distance from the beasts that like to make my thighs bigger! My mom recently gave me a mini doughnut pan and I was like, REALLY mom? Are ya kidding me? This is the LAST thing I need.

After several hours of research online and seeing that there were some good recipes out there for them, I decided to give it a go. I mean they can’t be to bad, 1) they are baked, 2) they are tiny! Well, and after all it is: “All Things Pumpkin” here at Sweet Heat Chefs this week, so why not go for the gusto and make them Pumpkin doughnuts right?! Ok, let’s not be silly, we all know I can’t make much without chocolate being in it (yes that is the sweet tooth jabbering away at my inner self). So with regard to that I have included a BONUS recipe for that very inner self!

INGREDIENTS

1.5 cups canned pumpkin pie mix
1.5 cups granulated sugar, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature and scrambled
1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature (make sure it is in liquid form)
1/4 cup applesauce, room temperature OR sour cream OR non fat greek yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 teaspoon baking powder
1 3/4 cups flour + 2 tablespoons

Topping

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, combine everything except the flour, and beat until smooth.

Add the flour and mix until combined.
Pipe batter into mini-doughnut pans. Fill them just a little over half full. Aren’t they super cute?
Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. When touched they should spring back and not be doughy. The smell is heavenly!
Remove from pans and place on baking rack to cool. While still warm, but not hot, place a few at a time in bowl with your cinnamon & sugar mixture and coat lightly. Yes this step is needed. I saw lots of recipes with a more refined topping and drizzle, this is the best option. It give a little sweetness and changes the entire flavor in lieu of leaving the doughnut plain. Try it, eat one without first, then toss in this mixture…YOU’LL SEE!!
Makes approximate 4 dozen depending on size AND how quickly you devour the baby doughnuts before anyone notices because they are school and work…wait what?
A little plug for my favorite coffee maker Keurig my hubby Mr. Sweet Heat Chefs, my mom and mom-in law bought me for my birthday this year. This Coconut Mocha coffee is the BOMB with these doughnuts! WINK
Alternative ideas for the doughnuts are:
Add mini chocolate chips on top of batter after filling and drizzle with melted chocolate chips for topping
Add 1/2 teaspoon chopped pecans/walnuts to batter and drizzle with this:
Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (mix together until sugar is dissolved) and top that with crushed pecans/walnuts.

Woah, wait a minute…SECOND RECIPE DOUBLE

TAKE FOR FRIDAY MADNESS!!

Mini Chocolate Espresso Doughnuts

INGREDIENTS

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp plain yogurt
¼ cup milk
1 egg
3 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ tsp vanilla extract
2 tblsp instant espresso, in hot water

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl and wet ingredients in another mixing bowl.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet slowly stirring to incorporate evenly.
  4. Fill doughnut pan with batter almost full and not overflowing
  5. Bake for about 7 minutes. When touched they should spring back and not be doughy.
  6. Melt 1/4 cup chocolate chips in a baggie (30 seconds) with 1 teaspoon of shortening and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. OPTIONAL: You could add espresso in with the chocolate chips while melting. Just make sure you dissolve it in hot water first.
  7. Cut tip off end of baggie and drizzle over doughnuts

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake

Cheesecake you might as well know now…is a serious weakness for me. This time of year with pumpkin all around, I decided to add it to my cheesecake recipe. Talk about some exquisite delectability! This cheesecake has a really creamy center with a semi sweet gingerbread crust and is topped with a tangy sour cream yogurt mixture that rounds out this delicious dessert that is great for after your Thanksgiving meal or even a date night for 2 with a glass of Port. *Thank you to a reader who found some errors, this recipe has been updated!*

Foodie Friends Friday

INGREDIENTS

1.5 cups gingersnaps or gingerbread cookies, crumbs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2.5 packages cream cheese, softened
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin pie mixture (or canned pumpkin if you prefer, just add 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice to it)
1/2 cup of granulated sugar if using pumpkin pie; if using canned pumpkin use 1 cup sugar (can also use brown sugar)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place cookies in food processor and pulverized until fine consistency.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Melt butter and add to cookie crumbs, place in a pie dish or tart pan and press firmly covering the bottom of the pan.
  4. Bake in oven for 7 minutes.
  5. In a bowl, cream together; cream cheese, vanilla, and pumpkin. Add beaten egg and continue mixing for 1 minute on low speed.
  6. Pour mixture into tart pan or pie dish and bake for 45-50 minutes, until no longer “jiggly” or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

  1. In a small bowl combine yogurt, sour cream and sugar, stir until well combined.
  2. Pour over top of cheesecake and return to oven for 5 minutes.

Let cool for about 20 minutes and begin to loosen edges with knife. Continue to let cool for 30 more minutes. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours before serving.

Featured at: Foodie Friends Friday!

Broccoflower Fritters

Normally when you hear the word “fritter” you, or at least I, think of a nice warm gooey apple fritter! Sadly not much nutrients in one of those, but in my veggie fritter, you will get a ton of them. From cancer fighting agents to helping fight those nasty cold buggies searching your immune system for a place to live. There is no end to the wonderful benefits of broccoli. You can make this recipe with just broccoli, or just cauliflower, I used a combination of broccoli and a broccoflower I found at the store that looked beautiful. This cross-breed between broccoli and cauliflower is it’s sweeter counterpart. You can eat it raw as is, or cook how you would broccoli or cauliflower. I love the taste of both so I decided to have the best of both worlds 😀

The crispy exterior of these fritters mixed with the tender interior with the nutty parmesan cheese and rosemary flavors really blend well together. Bringing a well-rounded side dish to your meal or just to eat as a snack.

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 stalks rosemary, toasted and chopped
1/2 c flour
2 stalks brocoli
1/2 broccoflower
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt/pepper to taste
rosemary oil to cook in

DIRECTIONS

Steam your broccoli or broccoflower until fork tender.

In a medium sized bowl combine; eggs, parmesan cheese, cornmeal, rosemary, flour, red pepper flakes, salt/pepper (if using).

Add steamed broccoli or broccoflower and mash away. Using a potato masher works wonders for this process. You don’t want the consistency of mashed potatoes, you want a chunkier mixture with pieces of the vegetable throughout. 

In a skillet heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1 sprig of rosemary. Heat on medium low to infuse the oil with the rosemary flavors. About 5-7 minutes.

Using a tablespoon, scoop 1 tablespoon of fritter batter into the hot rosemary oil and flatten with spatula.

Cook until brown on edges about 3-4 minutes, then flip over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.

Remove from oil and place on paper towel and give a light dusting of parmesean cheese & salt (optional). I omit the salt from the recipe and use it here instead.

Recipe makes approximately 15 fritters depending on the size you make them. They can be stored in an airtight ziplock or container in fridge for 3-4 days and in the freezer for 2 weeks.

Best served warm.  If re-heating, warm oven to 375 degrees F. Take a cookie sheet with a wire rack and place on cookie sheet, place fritters on rack and bake for 20 minutes or until warmed through. 

Featured at: Foodie Friends Friday