Posted in Candy, Christmas, Cooking, Foodie, Holidays, Instant Pot, Recipes, Winter

Multi-Cooker Monday – Christmas Candy

Just 8 days until Christmas, but don’t panic! There’s still time to knock out some gifts from your kitchen (check out this post  and  this post for other ideas too…)! I found the Instant Pot that I purchased, is really helpful when making Christmas Candy! Here’s a couple of ways I found to use it…..

To use as a double-boiler, put 4 cups of water into the Multi-cooker (mine is an Instant Pot, but there are lots of other brands too), Place a glass or stainless steel bowl into the opening, set the dial to “Saute” . Adjust to medium. Once your almond bark or chips are melted, set to “Keep Warm” setting and it keeps the candy at the perfect consistency for dipping.

Once your pretzels (cookies, dried fruit, nuts, or whatever else you want to dip….) are coated, remove to a parchment covered sheet pan. Sprinkle with crushed candies (like peppermint….), coarse sugar, finely chopped nuts or sprinkles if desired.

You can also pour your melted almond bark (or chips…..) over popcorn (with mix-ins like pretzels, dried fruit nuts, etc….). Check out this Popcorn Crunch Bark recipe to get some ideas! YUM!

Of course, you can also make Bark with your melted candy. Here’s a few recipes to try….

Another way I found to use the Multi-Cooker, is by using the “Slow-Cooker” feature. This Crock-Pot Fudge is very easy to make (okay, I actually made my fudge in my old Slow-Cooker, that way I could make fudge at the same time as I was dipping the pretzels…..multitasking at it’s finest!). I made one batch out of these Sea Salt Caramels (and no….no-one paid me to say this, it’s just what I decided to do. Although, if someone wants to pay me, I’d be open to negotiations…. 😉  )

When I poured the fudge into the prepared pan, I sprinkled with some course Sea Salt (it just seemed like the thing to do….you can’t go wrong with Sea Salt and Caramel! ).

It tastes AMAZING!!!

The final way to use your Multi-Cooker for candy making is by using the “Saute” setting to melt/cook your ingredients. I found this Instant Pot Rice Krispy Treats recipe and she uses the Multi-Cooker to melt the butter/marshmallow mixture.

Make sure your “Saute” setting is adjusted to the normal setting.

Stir until marshmallows are melted.

I mixed in red & green M&Ms (since I had some on hand…..) with the Rice Krispies. Christmas Candy doesn’t have to be complicated! 😉

Need some other recipe ideas that the “Saute” setting could be used on (just a note – not all of the following recipes have instructions for using a Multi-Cooker, you’ll just be using your Multi-cooker and it’s “Saute: setting in place of the stovetop)..….

Oh! I almost forgot! Your Multi-Cooker’s “Saute” setting is also a great way to clean up the whole sticky mess too! When you’re ready for clean-up, fill the pot 3/4 full of water and a little dish soap. Set on “Saute” and as the water gets hot, stir to dissolve all of the stickiness…..

Let the water cool and finish the cleaning! YAY! ANOTHER reason to LOVE your Multi-Cooker!

What Candy are you making first?

Happy Candy making!

Lori

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Posted in Baking, Christmas, Cookies, Recipes

Cake Mix Cookies

Just 5 days until Christmas and I’m still baking. I found a couple of Cake Mix Cookie recipes from Betty Crocker that are really fast (and good!). The first one is this Cake Mix Fudge Crinkle Cookies. I swapped out a Red Velvet Cake Mix for the Devil’s Food Cake Mix because I thought the red color was a little more festive. The second one was this Cake Mix Snickerdoodle Cookies.  I used red and green sugar sprinkles in place of the sugar/cinnamon mixture to make them a little more Christmas-y. If you need Christmas cookies in a hurry, I highly recommend Cake Mix Cookies. If the recipes above don’t appeal to you, there are a ton more on Betty Crocker’s website.  Just type “Cake Mix Cookies” in the search bar to find your favorite. If you try baking any of these Cake Mix Cookies, I’d Love to hear what you think of them!

Posted in Baking, Christmas, Cookies, Desserts

Last Minute Holiday Baking Hacks

 

My hubby and I like to give out goodie trays to friends and neighbors at Christmas. Sometime in November, my oven decided it no longer wanted to heat. At all. That makes baking a little difficult. Last Friday, hubby surprised me with a new stove and oven! WHOOHOO! Let the baking begin!

With just a week until Christmas, I’ll have to make the most of my baking time if I want to get any goodies made. Luckily, I have some time-saving tricks up my sleeve! I thought I’d share some of them with you.

  1. Use store bought mixes. Sure, if you have time, homemade is ALWAYS better. BUT. There’s less than a week until Christmas and if you can save time using a mix…..do it! The gift recipient will not be able to tell whether you measured out every ingredient.  I promise.2. Think small. Mini cupcakes, mini cakes and mini bread loaves. Baking the full-size version takes the same amount of time, but, by baking smaller sizes you have more goodies for more people. Besides the smaller sizes are just so darn cute!3. Almond bark. This stuff is FABULOUS! Melt it in the microwave (or stovetop if you prefer, but the microwave is MUCH faster!) and drizzle over breads, cookies, cupcakes and popcorn (that’s right, popcorn is great for gifts, check out this recipe!) You can also use it to make barks like this one. 4. Holiday mix-ins and extracts. Add some seasonal flavor to your (store-bought) mixes with extract flavors like orange, mint and almond. For mix-ins, think crushed candy canes, cranberries (fresh or dried), nuts and coated chocolate.

There you have it….my quick holiday baking tips. I hope you found some tips you can use to speed up your holiday baking! What are you waiting for…..get baking!