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Red, White & Blue Cake Batter Muddy Buddies

Cake Batter Muddy Buddies {Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts}

Cake Batter Muddy Buddies - so down right addicting!

Are you ready for the 4th of July?  Only a few days away!!  I am so ready for a couple days off from work, relaxing, grilling out, and fireworks.  One of my best friends is going to be in town for a couple days, so it will be great to be able to spend time with her as well.  If you need a few recipes ideas, be sure to check out my Summer Barrbeque Round Up!  Everything from burgers to dips to fun summer drinks all in one place for you.

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White Chocolate Almond Butter & Blendtec Giveaway

White Chocolate Almond Butter

White Chocolate Almond Butter

I am beyond excited to bring you this post today.  Not only is the recipe a really good one, but it has a giveaway for one of my favorite things in the world.  I have a friend to thank for the recipe idea.  Last summer when we went to WI to visit family, we spent some time in IA as well, seeing friends.  A friend was telling me about these special nut butters she found at a local shop.  She was obsessed with it, and wanted to be able to make it at home.  I said I would come up with a recipe and get back to her.  Well 8 months later, here you go!  Yes, I am a great friend, why do you ask?

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White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies


It is time for the #ChocolateParty!  Do you know what the #ChocolateParty is?  The first Monday of each month we post a recipe that uses chocolate, and a themed ingredient we are given.  For November Roxana challenged us with cranberries.  Last month it was pumpkin.  If you are interested in joining, just let Roxana know!

I am not a huge fan of cranberries, so I wasn’t sure what to do for this month.  But then I remembered dried cranberries, those I do like.  I was in the mood for chocolate chip cookies, so I figured this was the time to play with cranberries to see what I could come up with.  These cookies are based on the Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe I have been making for ever.  I swapped out the regular chocolate chips for white chocolate.  I added in the cranberries, and decided to change up the extract to almond extract.  I love almond extract, but have never used it in cookies like this before.

These were a huge hit.  I brought them to my sons school, and the teachers loved them.  They were soft, chewy, and the almond extract worked really well with the white chocolate and cranberries.  They definitely were a fun twist on the regular chocolate chip cookie.  Don’t miss all the other great recipes the group made below.  Next month we will be back with chocolate and mint for the holidays!

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Strawberry Hot Chocolate

Strawberry Hot Chocolate 3 square

As I am sure you know October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  I think that most people out there have been touched by this disease in one way or another.   I recently had a friend diagnosed with breast cancer, and I became even more aware of it.  According to BreastCancer.Org 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their life.  About 85% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease.  To me, the moral of the story is it can affect just about any one!  And the best way to find it – self exams.  Please, take the 1 minute a month and do this test on yourself!

So Cassie, from Bake Your Day and I are teaming up this week.  We rallied the tro0ps and are bringing you a full week of pink recipes, or recipes that are helpful in fighting cancer.  Each day at the bottom of our posts you will see links to the other blogs who are helping us raise awareness.  Check out what they make, we have some seriously talented people involved! And the end of the week we will even have a fun giveaway.

Today I went with pink.  I made a strawberry hot chocolate.  You could go the quick route and use Nesquik strawberry powder, but I used actual fresh strawberries.  So maybe it is a little on the healthier side too :)  The fresh strawberries give it a not too sweet, and real strawberry flavor.  Great way to warm up on these cooler days.

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Butterscotch M&M Bars

butterscotch bars 2 thumb

Last night we went to my son’s first grade musical, Dinostars.  He played a Pterodactyl, and had a speaking part.  He did a great job!  All the kids did a great job, they were all so cute dressed up like dinosaurs, singing their songs. Amazing how grown up he is getting.  He turns 7 next month.  While he was at school yesterday, I went out and bought him a new pair of shoes.  They were the same size as mine!  Seriously?!  My 6 year old has the same size feet as me?  I am really not sure how I feel about this.

Despite how big he is getting, I can still win him over with treats .  Hopefully that will never change.  He was a big fan of these bars.  He doesn’t always like white chocolate, but he did in here!  I had seen these White Chocolate M&M’s all over the place, I just had pick up a bag, and try them myself.  My husband loves butterscotch, so I thought I would mix the two together.  He loved these Blondies I made, but I wanted the butterscotch flavor to go all throughout, instead of just chips.  So I melted the chips down, and stirred it into the batter.  Brilliant!  I am seeing this technique working out well with other recipes too.

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Chocolate Banana White Chocolate Chip Muffins

Today is my husband’s 35th birthday!  Luckily he has the day off from work, and my son has the day off from school.  So a nice long weekend to celebrate for us!  And in case you missed it over the weekend, we celebrated by buying a house!  It is official now, we are under contract to purchase a home in the neighborhood we want.  It will be a couple months before we can move in, but that is ok we have a plan!  The house wasn’t on the market yet, and I completely forgot when we were in there, so I don’t have any pictures to share :(

I have another muffin recipe for you today.  I found this one over at For the Love of Cooking.  If you haven’t checked out Pam’s site, you really should.  There are hundreds of amazing recipes on her site.  This was no exception.  There is a hint of banana flavor, they are chocolatey, moist, and delicious.  I used white/semi-sweet chocolate swirl chips, because that is what I had on hand.  The original recipe calls for plain white chocolate, so feel free to use whatever you have available.

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Red Velvet Muffins

Can you believe that of all the red velvet treats out there, I could not find a recipe for Red Velvet Muffins!  I figured if anyone was going to post a recipe for it, it may  as well be me, the self proclaimed Queen of the Muffin!  The only problem here is, I do not have any real experience with red velvet cake.  I have had it a handful of times, but all in the north, so I do not know if it is authentic.  So I am making no claims that these are true red velvet.  They are red, moist, and have a hint of cocoa.  These would make a fun breakfast treat for Valentine’s Day.  Although, I personally would eat these any day of the year :)

Don’t mind the pictures, I went against all of my instincts, and did not adjust fully for the altitude.  From my experience everything tastes the same when you don’t adjust, it just doesn’t look pretty.  So these  sunk in the middle, very disappointing.  I loved these muffins though, and I will be making them again soon (with the proper adjustments).  The stash is already gone from the freezer, that is how good these were.  I used a white/semi sweet swirl chocolate chip, because that is what I had on hand.  But either white or semi sweet would be wonderful in here.

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White Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

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White Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

I am excited to be a part of The Holiday Recipe Club Blog Hop that Erin at Big Fat Baker has been putting together.  We were all given 3 flavors (peppermint, eggnog, and gingerbread) for this round.  Our job is to then make something using one of those 3 flavors.  I had a hard time picking!  I love chocolate and peppermint together this time of year.  But, in the end I decided to go with Gingerbread.  It is fairly new to me.  I mean I have had a Ginger Snap before, and a Gingerbread Man Cookie, but I have never baked it myself.  It is a very classic Christmas flavor to me, just not something I crave.  That was until I saw this recipe by Hanging on by a Needle and Thread.  I knew immediately I had to make these!

White Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

I had to make adjustments for the altitude, so I was nervous how they would turn out.  But they were thick and chewy, exactly how I like my cookies!  I may have figured out this high altitude baking thing.  I say that, and the next thing I bake is not going to turn out!  That, and I haven’t tried cake yet, I hear that is the hardest to get to turn out! Note that my altitude adjustments are in parenthesis in the recipe below.

These cookies are full of the gingerbread flavor with plenty of sweetness from the white chocolate chips.  Perfect to leave out for Santa!

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Hershey's Peppermint Macadamia Nut Oatmeal Cookies

My house is Christmafied!  Yes, that is a word!  We got our Christmas tree on Saturday, and boy was that an adventure.  My husband and I both grew up going to a Christmas Tree Farm, and cutting down our own tree.  Since we have been married though, we have never lived near a place where that was economical or easily accessible.  Well that all changed this year.  We live near the mountains, and the mountains have trees!  Saturday morning we were doing our research to see where we should go.  My husband came across information about a National Forest that allowed you to cut down trees.  You could buy a permit and trek into the forest to get your tree (snow shoes recommended).  One little problem, you needed a 4wd vehicle.  After calling around we found a place that had a 4wd vehicle available to rent for the afternoon.  So we got all of our stuff together and set out on our National Lampoon Adventure.  We had to drive about an hour to get there, but once there it was amazing.  We were surprised  by how many people were there (a couple hundred at least).  Smokey the Bear was there to greet everyone and take pictures.  We got on our snow shoes and trekked through the National Forest to find a tree!  In the end we cut down one small tree for our 6 year old to decorate, and then went to a local place to get a big family tree.  As much fun as it was, the trees were all very much Charlie Brown trees.  It was a “Forest” afterall.  I do think this will become a tradition though, it was something we could have never done living in the Midwest.

Ok, onto the food!

Oh! Nuts contacted me to see if I would like to try some of their nuts for my Holiday baking.  Of course I would!!  I wanted to do a holiday version of a White Chocolate Macadamian Nut Cookie.  I love the Candy Cane Hershey’s Kisses, and knew they would be a major player in my recipe.  Then, I saw these White Chocolate Peppermint cookies over at Love from the Oven, and knew this was along the lines of what I was looking for.   I was very nervous about baking cookies in the altitude, but it worked!!  They came out thick and chewy.  You can see my alterations in blue below if you are baking at anything over 3500 feet.

These would make the perfect addition to your holiday cookie tray.  They are soft, chewy, full of peppermint, and have the crunch from the nuts.

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M&M Candy Corn Blondies

Happy Halloween!  We carved our pumpkins and roasted the seeds yesterday; my son has his costume and is ready to go!  It should be a fun night for all the kids.  We had a great weekend as a family.  My husband was supposed to get here around lunch time on Saturday, but he surprised me and showed up at 10:00 on Friday night!  I was just getting ready to go upstairs and I heard the garage door open.  One of the best surprises ever! 
I found these bars awhile ago on Pinterest, and I was instantly in love.  I am obsessed with Blondies recently, after just discovering what they are.  It is a little late in the season to make them, but you could substitute white chocolate chips if you can’t find the M&M’s.  But I suspect if you go to the store first thing tomorrow morning, you will find them on clearance :)   You really should make a special trip tomorrow to find them, these Blondies were insanely good! 
M&M Candy Corn Blondies
Adapted from The Little Kitchen
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
½ cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup M&M white chocolate candy corn, chopped
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare an 8 inch pan or line with foil.
Cream brown sugar and egg until it’s light and fluffy. Add in vanilla and melted butter, mix well
In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and incorporate with a spatula. Stir in M&Ms by hand. Do not over mix.
Pour batter to the prepared pan. Bake for about 25-28 minutes. The top will be dry.  Cool completely before cutting.