Monday, February 8, 2016

Valentine's Day Citrus Shortbread Bites

Valentine's Day...the day of love!

Memories of being a kid and writing out those little Valentine's cards to pass out to everyone at school, run through my head.  Do you remember those?  I wonder if they still sell those cards...

I also love the little candy hearts with the remembrance sayings on them like "Hug Me"  "Be Mine" and "Love".  We would always get a little box of those and love looking at the sayings.  I've also used those recently to sprinkle on our dining table for a cute tablescape for Valentine's dinner.

I think that the colors of valentines are what really attract me. The reds, pinks, and whites for balloons, heart candies...and I can honestly say that a lot of my valentine's dresses over the years have been one or a combination of these colors.

These colors lead me to today's creation.  Dessert is always big on valentine's Day and I wanted to make something with a little cuteness to it.  Something with red, white, and pink sprinkles to remind me of my childhood.  

I've always loved shortbread and saw a post on Pinterest of some shortbread cut into little "bites".  I immediately thought Valentine's Days with pretty colored sprinkles.  Those would be so cute...and they are!

Aren't these just adorable??  I think they are too cute, and because they are so small you won't feel guilty eating 1 or 7!

Oh, and did I mention that these little bites have a hint of citrus?  They do, so they are lightly flavored with orange.  I used an orange extract, however, you can use orange zest and they will come out perfect!  That orange flavor just brightens these up just a bit and make you go Mmmmnn!

They are just perfect to share with the kids, neighbors, co-workers, or your loved ones.  These are wonderful cookies that are easy to make, and everyone is sure to love.  

Enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day Citrus Shortbread Bites

makes 110 1/2" cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp orange extract or 1 tsp orange zest
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp valentine sprinkles (red, white, and pink), divided 

Place a sheet of parchment paper in a 8x8 inch square baking dish, allowing the ends to hang over by about 2 inches.  

In a medium bowl using an stand or hand held electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until well blended.  Add orange extract and mix to combine.  Slowly add the flour and mix until combined.  Fold in 1 Tablespoon of sprinkles.  

Dump the dough in the prepared pan and pat out to fill the entire pan.  Using the back of a measuring cup, press the dough so it smooths out the rough top and fills all the corners.  Add the other 1 Tablespoon of sprinkles on the top and press into dough.  Chill dough for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake 8 - 12 minutes. They are done when they are set but still soft and very lightly browned.  They will harden when they cool.  Cool for 15 minutes in the pan.  Lift dough out of the pan using the overhanging parchment paper.   Using a serrated knife cut into 1/2-inch strips down the length.  Then cut 1/2 inch strips the opposite way to make squares.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Game Date Eats: Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Are you working on your Super bowl menu?  It's almost time for the big game!

We always make a spread which can include dip, chili, pizza, nachos, or loaded fries.  This is what I call pub food.  It's easy to grab and dig in and goes great with beer.  Haha!  Can't forget the libations!

I'm thinking that these Buffalo Chicken Sliders need to be on the menu this year. They are super easy to make and everyone loves them.  It's a riff off of the buffalo wings everyone love and what's better than baby sandwiches?  not much!

Using the slow cooker to make the chicken filling makes this dish easy and hands free!  Chicken breasts cook in a buffalo sauce mixture to create some succulent filing for your sandwiches. Use a good buffalo sauce (bottled) like Frank's Wing Sauce, (Buffalo) or Sweet Baby Ray's Buffalo Wing Sauce. 

The filling can also be used on lettuce cups, nachos, as a salad topping, or on large hamburger buns. 

But for today, we're using slider buns. I like my buns toasted to give it a little crunch, but you can leave them plain if you want.  Top the buffalo chicken filling with a little blue cheese dressing and you have one tasty meal.  Yum! 

I guarantee that everyone will love it!

Buffalo Chicken Sliders

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 c Frank's Wing Sauce, Buffalo or Sweet Baby Ray's
12 slider buns, toasted
Blue Cheese Dressing

Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker.  Cover with the buffalo sauce. Place the lid on and cook on high for 4 hours.  

Remove chicken and shred with two forks.  Return to the slow cooker and stir to cover with the sauce.

Serve on toasted slider buns with blue cheese dressing.  

Monday, February 1, 2016

Bakery Style Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ah chocolate.....!

I've always loved chocolate and over the years my taste has changed to really favor dark chocolate.  The deep bittersweet taste just does it for me.

So what's better than chocolate?  Hot, melted, gooey chocolate!

I have a craving that needs fixing for melted, gooey chocolate.  So I grabbed my muffin pan and created a Bakery Style (big) Dark Chocolate Chip Muffin.  Oh my, these are soooo good!

Bursting with dark chocolate gooeyness, these moist and tender muffins are pure heaven!  Plus, they are big, bakery style muffins, so you really only need one.  Oh, go ahead and eat two if you can't help yourself.  

Perfect for a brunch, snack, or weekend breakfast.  These muffins will having you saying ahhhh!


Bakery Style Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

serve 6

1 egg
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup canola Oil
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a 6 cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl whisk egg.  Add the milk, and canola oil to the egg and whisk to combine.  Add your flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Stir until just combined. Do not over mix. Fold in dark chocolate chips.  

Scoop batter into the muffin pan filling almost to the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  Serve.


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