Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

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These Buffalo Cauliflower Bites taste so much like traditional chicken wings, but are a healthy vegetarian version perfect for a light snack.

These Buffalo Cauliflower Bites taste so much like traditional chicken wings, but are a healthy vegetarian version perfect for a light snack.I’ll admit, cauliflower has not been one of my favorite foods, but much like beets, broccoli, and squash, I have grown to like it throughout my adult years. After I made this recipe, I would actually dare to say that I loved it.

These Buffalo Cauliflower Bites taste so much like traditional chicken wings, but are a healthy vegetarian version perfect for a light snack.I really wasn’t sure how this recipe was going to taste but I found myself having to hold back because I just wanted to keep eating more!

These Buffalo Cauliflower Bites taste so much like traditional chicken wings, but are a healthy vegetarian version perfect for a light snack.I paired my spicy and flavorful buffalo cauliflower bites with a rich and creamy blue cheese dressing as well as some cool, crisp celery sticks that helped mellow the heat from the hot sauce.  Overall, it made a healthy snack. I’m not going to lie – I love a good chicken wing. But, when you think about all that delicious skin that makes the chicken wing so wonderful, replacing it with something like cauliflower is often a good choice.

These Buffalo Cauliflower Bites taste so much like traditional chicken wings, but are a healthy vegetarian version perfect for a light snack.This snack would be a huge hit at any game day celebration.  

These Buffalo Cauliflower Bites taste so much like traditional chicken wings, but are a healthy vegetarian version perfect for a light snack.I prefer them to be served slightly warm, however I had some after they cooled to room temperature and they were still super tasty. Even if you don’t like cauliflower (like, for example, my husband), you might be surprised to find how much you love this recipe!

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
 
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These Buffalo Cauliflower Bites taste so much like traditional chicken wings, but are a healthy vegetarian version perfect for a light snack.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup (5ml jar) hot sauce (I prefer Frank's Red Hot)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Heavily grease baking sheet with butter. Divide cauliflower into bite sized chunks.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, water, olive oil, garlic powder and salt until well combined. Add cauliflower and gently toss to coat each piece evenly. Transfer coated cauliflower to prepared baking and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven.
  3. In large bowl, combine hot sauce and melted butter. Add partially cooked cauliflower and gently toss to evenly coat. Return cauliflower to baking sheet and continue cooking for an additional 20-25 minutes, turning once, until pieces start to turn golden brown.
  4. Remove from oven and serve warm with blue cheese dressing and fresh celery sticks.

These Buffalo Cauliflower Bites taste so much like traditional chicken wings, but are a healthy vegetarian version perfect for a light snack.
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Smoked Salmon Crostini

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This post first appeared over at Real Housemoms where I’m a contributor.

If you’re looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!

If you're looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!

I adore salmon. In fact, I hadn’t realized how many salmon recipes I actually had on my own blog until I did a quick search. I suppose living in Portland, Oregon, has spoiled me. I also love little appetizers that can be enjoyed in two attractive bites or shoved entirely in my mouth when no one is looking. I love these little crostinis because they really couldn’t be easier to make, but they’re just so darn pretty! Doesn’t garnish make everything better?

If you're looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!

I modeled this recipe after my smoked salmon dip which is the food equivalent to crack, in my opinion. Seriously, don’t put that stuff in front of me because I will shock and awe everyone around me when they see how much salmon dip I can consume.

If you're looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!

Similar to my dip, this recipe has cream cheese, fresh dill, a little kick from fresh jalapeno, and lemon juice. If you’re eating salmon, you must have lemon and dill. That’s just a fact. Don’t even try arguing with me. I also do love me some capers with fish. All the flavors blend together oh-so-perfectly.

If you're looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!

Aren’t they pretty? Now imagine yourself walking around your holiday party passing these out. I guarantee your guests will be fighting over them.

If you're looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!

Wanna know a secret?  As soon as I finished photographing these, I ate every single last one of them. Not ashamed. Not one bit. In fact, its been a few hours since I devoured them and I’m starting to crave more. That’s how wonderful they are.

If you're looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!

If you love smoked salmon and need a recipe for a party, a game day feast, or just to satisfy your cravings, you’ll love my Smoked Salmon Dip:

smoked-salmon-dip-ig

And my childhood favorite which quickly became my kids’ favorite dinner time recipe, my famous Salmon Patties:salmon-patties-ig

Smoked Salmon Crostini
 
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If you're looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!
Author:
Recipe type: appetizer
Yields: 2 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1 baguette, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 ounces wild smoked salmon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh dill, stems removed and minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Garnish with capers and more fresh dill
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat both sides of bread slices with olive oil. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, turning after about 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
  2. Arrange toasts on a platter with a piece of salmon on top of each one.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, jalapeno, dill, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Either spoon a small amount on top of each crostini or squeeze out of a plastic bag with the corner snipped off.
  4. Top with capers and additional dill.
If you're looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!
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Cranberry Fizz

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Fruity, tart, and sparkling cocktails are always so refreshing and this Cranberry Fizz, spiked with vodka, is an easy drink you’re sure to love.

Fruity, tart, and sparkling cocktails are always so refreshing and this Cranberry Fizz, spiked with vodka, is an easy drink you’re sure to love.I’m a huge fan of easy cocktails. When I go to a fancy bar and look at the amazing combinations of flavors and bizarre concoctions they come up with, I realize the drinks I make at home simply can’t compare. What I do make, however, are simple drinks that taste good. What more do you need, really?

Fruity, tart, and sparkling cocktails are always so refreshing and this Cranberry Fizz, spiked with vodka, is an easy drink you’re sure to love. If you want a fancy drink with black walnut bitters and habanero infused absinthe, you’re best bet is to visit any of the trendy bars in Portland, Oregon. You’ll never see me come up with something crazy like that. What you will see are drinks like this Cranberry Fizz.

Fruity, tart, and sparkling cocktails are always so refreshing and this Cranberry Fizz, spiked with vodka, is an easy drink you’re sure to love.This tart and tasty cocktail starts with 100% cranberry juice, fresh orange juice, and sugar. I basically make a simple syrup by cooking these things together, but I take it a step farther and continue cooking until I end up with a thick ruby red syrup.

Fruity, tart, and sparkling cocktails are always so refreshing and this Cranberry Fizz, spiked with vodka, is an easy drink you’re sure to love.You can turn this into a non-alcoholic mocktail like I did for my kids by just mixing this syrup with sparkling water, or in my case sparkling cranberry lime water. That, all by itself, is downright delicious. If you’re looking to make a cocktail, however, an ice cold shot of vodka does the trick.

Fruity, tart, and sparkling cocktails are always so refreshing and this Cranberry Fizz, spiked with vodka, is an easy drink you’re sure to love.Just to make this drink extra pretty, I love freezing fresh cranberries in ice cubes. When you add a few cranberries and only fill the ice cubes wells half way up and let them freeze, you can top them with more water and freeze in order to get the cranberries to get frozen in the middle. Enjoy!

Fruity, tart, and sparkling cocktails are always so refreshing and this Cranberry Fizz, spiked with vodka, is an easy drink you’re sure to love.

Cranberry Fizz
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Fruity, tart, and sparkling cocktails are always so refreshing and this Cranberry Fizz, spiked with vodka, is an easy drink you’re sure to love.
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Yields: 2 drinks
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • juice from one orange
  • 2 shots vodka
  • 12 ounces sparkling water
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cranberry juice, sugar, and orange juice and cook until reduced by half while swirling occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  2. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
  3. To make cocktail, combine sweetened cranberry syrup with vodka. Mix well. Divide between two ice filled glasses. Top with sparkling water.

Fruity, tart, and sparkling cocktails are always so refreshing and this Cranberry Fizz, spiked with vodka, is an easy drink you’re sure to love.
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Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup

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When the weather is cold and dark outside, few meals satisfy better than this comforting Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup topped with crisp bacon.

When the weather is cold and dark outside, few meals satisfy better than this comforting Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup topped with crisp bacon.

Baby, I don’t know about where you live, but it’s cold outside. At least, its been cold for the last week or so here in Portland. Allow me to use this opportunity to explain what happens when the weather goes bad in this fantastic city of mine. Don’t let the sarcasm fool you – I probably couldn’t love Portland more. But the weather + city’s reaction thing simply blows. my. mind.  Here we are last Wednesday evening. The forecast was saying that we were going to get between 1″ and 3″ of snow on Thursday. It takes me 20 minutes to gas up my car and 45 minutes to pick up my kids (normally a 15 minute drive). This is all because everyone is worried about the pending “snowpocalypse“. They even canceled school based on the forecast. The forecast, people! It finally did begin to snow at noon on the dot on Thursday, but seriously? Anyway, before I started my rant, the point was that the weather was cold. And when the weather is cold, all I want is soup. Not so much a brothy healthy soup. No. I want a creamy healthy but kinda naughty comforting soup. This one fits the bill. Healthy? Leek, onion, broth – check. Naughty? Potatoes, bacon, heavy cream – CHECK!

When the weather is cold and dark outside, few meals satisfy better than this comforting Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup topped with crisp bacon.

Now, if you ever tell me to make a soup with bacon and then proceed to tell me to add the cooked bacon to the soup and simmer I just might take that dirty spoon you’ve been stirring said soup with and knock you right upside the head. I cannot stand soup with bacon floating in it. Do you know why? Its because when you take perfectly crisp cooked bacon and soak it in hot liquid, not-so-good things happen. That wonderful chewy fat gets all white and floppy. Gross. No, the only time I ever put bacon IN my soup is when I plan to blend it up like I did with this soup. Then, the rest of that wonderful bacon gets sprinkled on top at the end. Don’t soak your bacon, friends.

When the weather is cold and dark outside, few meals satisfy better than this comforting Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup topped with crisp bacon.

I have to tell you, every time I tell my kids what I’m making for dinner I get an astounding and whiny “Nooooooo, grossssss!”. Then they eat it. And they love it. This soup was one of those recipes. I love cooking meals in my electric pressure cooker. Whether you have an instapot or one like mine, its a lifesaver on busy weeknights and is quickly kicking the old crockpot to the curb (in my house anyway). Enjoy!

When the weather is cold and dark outside, few meals satisfy better than this comforting Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup topped with crisp bacon.

I used bacon ends and pieces for this soup. Check out the most perfect way to cook these little morsels below:

 

3.0 from 1 reviews
Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup
 
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When the weather is cold and dark outside, few meals satisfy better than this comforting Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup topped with crisp bacon.
Author:
Recipe type: soup, main dish
Yields: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 very large leek, white portion only, sliced and washed well
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a heavy bottom pot, cook the bacon starting over high heat and then gradually reducing to low as it browns. Transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Discard excess grease but do not wash pot out.
  2. Add the oil to the pressure cooker and heat on your sautee or browning setting. Add the leeks and onion, and stir for 4 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes and chicken broth. Close and lock the lid. Cook for 5 minutes at high pressure. Release pressure using the quick release method - be careful, there will be a lot of steam.
  4. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Place into the pot where you cooked the bacon. Add the cream and herbs and then season with salt and pepper. It will need a fair amount of salt, but taste as you go.
  5. To serve, ladle soup into a bowl and then top with a handful of crisp bacon pieces.

When the weather is cold and dark outside, few meals satisfy better than this comforting Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup topped with crisp bacon.
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Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows

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Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows are downright delicious and quite easy to make. Your hot chocolate and s’mores will never be the same!

Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows are downright delicious and quite easy to make. Your hot chocolate and s'mores will never be the same!

Welcome to day 10 of 12!

12 Days of Holiday Treats | Self Proclaimed Foodie

I couldn’t NOT make marshmallows, right?  I mean, I made peppermint marshmallows last Christmas and strawberry marshmallows over the summer, so I’ve started my own personal trend and anticipate making at least a couple different kinds of marshmallows each year going forward. It’s kinda my thing now.

Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows are downright delicious and quite easy to make. Your hot chocolate and s'mores will never be the same!

I never quite know if my marshmallows are going to turn out when I deviate from my original recipe. For example, I pretty much took my original recipe and added melted dark chocolate to the mix for this version. I really wasn’t sure if that would completely ruin these marshmallows by changing the consistency, but I’m beginning to realize that marshmallows are incredibly forgiving. These were absolutely wonderful!

Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows are downright delicious and quite easy to make. Your hot chocolate and s'mores will never be the same!

Can you imagine how good these would be melted on a graham cracker or floating in a piping hot cup of homemade hot chocolate? I don’t have to imagine it, I’m able to remember it, because I did both!

Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows are downright delicious and quite easy to make. Your hot chocolate and s'mores will never be the same!

And since I was dipping all sorts of things in chocolate this year, I figured I might as well dip some of these marshmallows in chocolate. Yeah, that was a good decision.

Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows are downright delicious and quite easy to make. Your hot chocolate and s'mores will never be the same!

If you’re looking for a new treat to make and have never tried making marshmallows, they’re not only fun to make but they’re really fun to eat!

Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows are downright delicious and quite easy to make. Your hot chocolate and s'mores will never be the same!

Chocolate Marshmallows
 
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Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows are downright delicious and quite easy to make. Your hot chocolate and s'mores will never be the same!
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Yields: 100 marshmallows
Ingredients
  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup ice cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (I used ultra fine baking sugar)
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, melted
  • Nonstick spray
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the gelatin with the ice cold water and give it a swirl to ensure the gelatin doesn't clump. Let sit.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water. Heat on medium high with the lid on for a few minutes to bring it to a boil. Then, remove the lid and heat on high heat until a candy thermometer reads exactly 240 degrees F. As soon as it reaches temperature, remove it from the heat.
  3. With the whisk attached to the stand mixer, start mixing the gelatin and water on low speed. Slowly pour the hot sugar mixture into the bowl. Once all of the hot sugar mixture has been added, turn the speed to high and continue to mix until you get a beautiful white marshmallow mixture that is just warm to the touch, about 8-12 minutes. While this is mixing, melt chocolate in microwave at half power in one minute increments, stirring after each minute. With the mixer still running, add melted chocolate and mix for one more minute.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine corn starch, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar. Spray 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray as well as a rubber spatula. Add about 1/3 of the corn starch blend, then shake the pan to evenly coat the bottom and sides. Use spatula to transfer the marshmallow mixture from the bowl to the baking dish and spread into an even layer. Top with half of the remaining corn starch mixture, and spread it across the top to cover. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered 4-10 hours.
  5. Lift the marshmallows out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into desired shapes and then roll each individual marshmallow in remaining corn starch mixture to coat all sticky sides.
  6. Store in air tight container. They can also be frozen, if needed.

Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows are downright delicious and quite easy to make. Your hot chocolate and s'mores will never be the same!

To see all of 2014’s holiday treats, click the links below:

2014 Holiday Treats | Self Proclaimed Foodie

Five Minute Fudge | Holiday Sugar Cookies | Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies

Peppermint Chocolate Pie | Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprints | Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

Chewy Molasses Sugar Cookies | Easy Petite Palmiers | Triple Threat Peppermint Brownie Bites

Toasted Coconut Cookies | Walnut Spiced Rum Balls | Mexican Chocolate Truffles

To see all of 2015’s holiday treats, click the links below:

Holiday Recipes | Self Proclaimed Foodie

Easy Candy Cane Chocolate Truffles |  Cherry Almond Thumbprints  | Easy Brown Butter Pecan Fudge

Toasted Macadamia Nut Cookies  |  Salted Vanilla Bean Caramels  |  Chocolate Peppermint Swirl Cookies

Lynne’s Cream Wafers  |  Mini Pecan Pie Bites  |  Eggnog Poundcake

Christmas Tree Corn Flake Treats  |  Devil’s Food Crinkles  |  Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

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Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies

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Super soft Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies with a brown sugar frosting are an easy to make treat perfect year round, or for the holidays, that everyone will love!

Super soft Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies with a brown sugar frosting are an easy to make treat perfect year round, or for the holidays, that everyone will love!

Welcome to day 7 of my 12 Days of Holiday Treats series!

12 Days of Holiday Treats | Self Proclaimed Foodie

That means we’re more than half way done and I’m happy to say that I have actually completed all twelve of the recipes. I have yet to edit all the photos and write the posts, but at least everything is made and is ready to be packaged up and shipped off to my relatives. Christmas cards? Check. Cookies? Check. And its not even December. Woohoo!

Super soft Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies with a brown sugar frosting are an easy to make treat perfect year round, or for the holidays, that everyone will love!

Today I’m sharing with you these amazing cookies. The most important thing that I can tell you about these cookies other than about how incredibly good they taste, is that they flatten out when cooking. Beware! There is something you can do to prevent this, however. I cooked these in three different batches so I know exactly what works best. First, I love to bake on stone but also have a very large metal baking sheet and often use both when I cook so I can determine which works best with either recipe. The metal sheet works best with this recipe because it gets hot faster. With a stone, it heats up at the same rate as your cookie. that’s perfect if you want a golden cookie top and bottom, but not if you want your cookie in and out of the oven as quick as possible.

Super soft Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies with a brown sugar frosting are an easy to make treat perfect year round, or for the holidays, that everyone will love!

Second, you want your dough COLD. The colder it is, the less it will spread. The batch that I put in the oven after the dough had come to room temperature completely flattened out. You may even want to consider rolling your balls and popping them in the freezer for 5 minutes prior to cooking. I did this and it worked great!

Super soft Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies with a brown sugar frosting are an easy to make treat perfect year round, or for the holidays, that everyone will love!

One of the things I really love about these cookies is that the cookies, themselves, aren’t very sweet. In fact, they’re rather boring except for being incredibly soft. But, when you top them with that warm brown sugar frosting that immediately sets with a beautiful sheen, everything instantly becomes right in the world. The final product is a gorgeous simple and classic cookie that everyone will love!

Super soft Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies with a brown sugar frosting are an easy to make treat perfect year round, or for the holidays, that everyone will love!

This recipe uses pure vanilla extract. Did you know you can make your own homemade vanilla extract? It makes the perfect gift too. Watch how in the video below.

 

Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Super soft Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies with a brown sugar frosting are an easy to make treat perfect year round, or for the holidays, that everyone will love!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Yields: 3 dozen
Ingredients
Cookies:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Brown Sugar Frosting
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
Pecan halves or chopped pecans for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (several minutes). Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
  3. Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in the chopped pecans. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  4. Once the dough is chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cookies will flatten out while cooking if the dough isn't VERY cold. You may also choose to create your dough balls and freeze 5 minutes prior to baking. These also cook best on a metal baking sheet as opposed to stone. Bake for 10 minutes or until set. The cookies should just start to lightly brown. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare your frosting. In a pot over medium heat, combine the brown sugar and milk. Bring to a boil and boil for about 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt.
  7. Then, stir in the confectioner's sugar. Whisk or beat with an electric mixer until smooth. The frosting will firm up as it cools.
  8. Add about 1 tablespoon of frosting to each cookie. You must work quickly while the frosting is hot as it will immediately set. If it starts to not look so pretty when you add it to the cookies, heat it slightly to bring it back to the consistency you like. Top with a pecan half.
  9. Store the cookies in an air tight container once fully cooled and the frosting has set.

Recipe adapted from Southern Living.

Super soft Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies with a brown sugar frosting are an easy to make treat perfect year round, or for the holidays, that everyone will love!

To see all of 2014’s holiday treats, click the links below:

2014 Holiday Treats | Self Proclaimed Foodie

Five Minute Fudge | Holiday Sugar Cookies | Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies

Peppermint Chocolate Pie | Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprints | Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

Chewy Molasses Sugar Cookies | Easy Petite Palmiers | Triple Threat Peppermint Brownie Bites

Toasted Coconut Cookies | Walnut Spiced Rum Balls | Mexican Chocolate Truffles

To see all of 2015’s holiday treats, click the links below:

Holiday Recipes | Self Proclaimed Foodie

Easy Candy Cane Chocolate Truffles |  Cherry Almond Thumbprints  | Easy Brown Butter Pecan Fudge

Toasted Macadamia Nut Cookies  |  Salted Vanilla Bean Caramels  |  Chocolate Peppermint Swirl Cookies

Lynne’s Cream Wafers  |  Mini Pecan Pie Bites  |  Eggnog Poundcake

Christmas Tree Corn Flake Treats  |  Devil’s Food Crinkles  |  Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

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Two Ingredient Wrapped Kielbasa Bites

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Taking just minutes to prepare, Two Ingredient Wrapped Kielbasa Bites, made with puff pastry, are the easiest and tastiest party appetizer you’ll find.

Taking just minutes to prepare, Two Ingredient Wrapped Kielbasa Bites, made with puff pastry, are the easiest and tastiest party appetizer you'll find.

Party appetizers are the best, don’t you think? The final three months of the year are always loaded with so many fun events with friends and family. From the costume required Halloween parties to the sweet and savory pumpkin potlucks in October, to Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving dinners in November, all the way through the Ugly Sweater Christmas parties, appetizers are abound.

Taking just minutes to prepare, Two Ingredient Wrapped Kielbasa Bites, made with puff pastry, are the easiest and tastiest party appetizer you'll find.

Each year, its a given that we’re either hosting at least one of these events, or we attend one where its requested that we bring a crowd friendly appetizer. Let me tell you, nothing gets eaten quite faster than warm roasted pieces of delicious kielbasa sausage wrapped in flaky puff pastry dough.

Taking just minutes to prepare, Two Ingredient Wrapped Kielbasa Bites, made with puff pastry, are the easiest and tastiest party appetizer you'll find.

Even I couldn’t resist when I was making this. I made a very poor decision to make them when I was pretty hungry, and the result was me burning the roof of my mouth because I shoved one in my face a few minutes before I should have because I simply couldn’t wait.

Taking just minutes to prepare, Two Ingredient Wrapped Kielbasa Bites, made with puff pastry, are the easiest and tastiest party appetizer you'll find.

Let’s just talk about how easy these are to make for a minute. All you have to do is cut the kielbasa into equal sized pieces. I always welcome math and geometry challenges in the kitchen when I’m cooking. Same thing with the dough, and there’s just something satisfying about cutting puff pastry with a pizza cutter. Call me crazy, but that was my favorite part.

Taking just minutes to prepare, Two Ingredient Wrapped Kielbasa Bites, made with puff pastry, are the easiest and tastiest party appetizer you'll find.

Then you wrap each little piece of meat up with a strip of dough and bake. I don’t even bother with an egg wash. How else could I have called these two ingredient wrapped kielbasa bites, after all?

Taking just minutes to prepare, Two Ingredient Wrapped Kielbasa Bites, made with puff pastry, are the easiest and tastiest party appetizer you'll find.

Serve them up warm with toothpicks for grabbing and a nice stone ground mustard for dipping and I guarantee your guests will call these their favorite appetizer on the table!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Two Ingredient Wrapped Kielbasa Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Taking just minutes to prepare, Two Ingredient Wrapped Kielbasa Bites, made with puff pastry, are the easiest and tastiest party appetizer you'll find.
Author:
Recipe type: appetizer
Yields: 18 pieces
Ingredients
  • 1 (12 ounce) kielbasa
  • 1 pre-made puff pastry sheet
Instructions
  1. Cut kielbasa into 18 even sized pieces. Start by dividing in half, then each half into thirds, then each chunk into thirds.
  2. Cut puff pastry into 18 even sized strips. Do this by first rolling out puff pastry to flatten a bit but still maintain the square shape. Then, cut the square into three long strips, then cut each strip into thirds, and finally cut the length of each of those strips in half.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Wrap each piece of kielbasa with a strip of dough. If dough is not sticky enough to seal on its own, you may wet your fingers with water to help it seal. Put each piece, seal side down, on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Serve warm with stone ground mustard. Any remaining appetizers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Taking just minutes to prepare, Two Ingredient Wrapped Kielbasa Bites, made with puff pastry, are the easiest and tastiest party appetizer you'll find.
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Eggnog Fudge

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The holidays just aren’t the same without homemade fudge, and this Eggnog Fudge made from a traditional recipe is a sweet and easy Christmas dessert.

The holidays just aren't the same without homemade fudge, and this Eggnog Fudge made from a traditional recipe is a sweet and easy Christmas dessert.

Day 6 of my 12 Days of Holiday treats already? Its not even December yet! Trust me, I’m not normally this prepared. Except when it comes to food. Food rules my life in the best way possible.

12 Days of Holiday Treats | Self Proclaimed Foodie

Every year I make some kind of fudge during the holidays. First year was my five minute fudge that was wildly popular and even mentioned on The Tonight Show! Next year was my Easy Brown Butter Pecan Fudge which arguably may have been the best thing I’ve ever made. I was all about browned butter that year. This year I present to you eggnog fudge. Kinda perfect for Christmas, dontcha think?

The holidays just aren't the same without homemade fudge, and this Eggnog Fudge made from a traditional recipe is a sweet and easy Christmas dessert.

You ever look on the back of a marshmallow creme jar and there’s a fudge recipe?  Its a very popular recipe that has been around for years and years that basically tells you how to make fudge with sweetened condensed milk, marshmallow creme, and chocolate. This recipe basically uses that one as a starting point but I also referred to my friend Jaime Lyn of I Heart Naptime because she made a beautiful Eggnog Fudge. The end result was this rather easy to make holiday calorie cube, as I like to call it!

The holidays just aren't the same without homemade fudge, and this Eggnog Fudge made from a traditional recipe is a sweet and easy Christmas dessert.The holidays just aren't the same without homemade fudge, and this Eggnog Fudge made from a traditional recipe is a sweet and easy Christmas dessert.

Besure to scroll past the recipe below to see all of my holiday treats from 2014 and 2015. Warning – very high sugar and fat content below!

This recipe uses pure vanilla extract. Did you know you can make your own homemade vanilla extract? It makes the perfect gift too. Watch how in the video below.

 

Eggnog Fudge
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The holidays just aren't the same without homemade fudge, and this Eggnog Fudge made from a traditional recipe is a sweet and easy Christmas dessert.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Yields: 100 pieces
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup eggnog
  • 11 ounces white chocolate chips
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized pot over medium high heat, combine sugar, butter, and eggnog. Allow to come to a full boil while stirring to avoid scorching until the mixture reaches 234 degrees F. As soon as the mixture hits temperature, remove it from heat and stir in the white chocolate until it has fully melted. Add the marshmallow creme, vanilla extract, and nutmeg and stir until smooth.
  3. Immediately pour into prepared pan and allow to fully cool at room temperature. When ready to cut, transfer to a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut into 10x10 rows. You can soak the knife in a glass of hot water and wipe clean in between cuts, if desired.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freeze. Best if eaten within three weeks.

The holidays just aren't the same without homemade fudge, and this Eggnog Fudge made from a traditional recipe is a sweet and easy Christmas dessert.

To see all of 2014’s holiday treats, click the links below:

2014 Holiday Treats | Self Proclaimed Foodie

Five Minute Fudge | Holiday Sugar Cookies | Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies

Peppermint Chocolate Pie | Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprints | Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

Chewy Molasses Sugar Cookies | Easy Petite Palmiers | Triple Threat Peppermint Brownie Bites

Toasted Coconut Cookies | Walnut Spiced Rum Balls | Mexican Chocolate Truffles

To see all of 2015’s holiday treats, click the links below:

Holiday Recipes | Self Proclaimed Foodie

Easy Candy Cane Chocolate Truffles |  Cherry Almond Thumbprints  | Easy Brown Butter Pecan Fudge

Toasted Macadamia Nut Cookies  |  Salted Vanilla Bean Caramels  |  Chocolate Peppermint Swirl Cookies

Lynne’s Cream Wafers  |  Mini Pecan Pie Bites  |  Eggnog Poundcake

Christmas Tree Corn Flake Treats  |  Devil’s Food Crinkles  |  Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

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Shortbread Cookie Bites

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Shortbread Cookie Bites are a fun bite sized sweet treat that can be made for any birthday or holiday by customizing the fun sprinkles you choose!

Shortbread Cookie Bites are a fun bite sized sweet treat that can be made for any birthday or holiday by customizing the fun sprinkles you choose!

Welcome to day 2 of my 12 days of Holiday Treats series!

12 Days of Holiday Treats | Self Proclaimed Foodie

I know. I know. Christmas is still over a month away and here I am posting Christmas cookies! Wanna know what’s even more weird? When you have a food blog, you make your Christmas cookies in October (if you’re organized) because you have to allow yourself time to edit the photos, write the post, and get it posted in time for people to actually see it before Christmas. Gone are the days when I do my Christmas baking the week before Christmas, while smelling my tree under the twinkle of the lights. Now, I just think of myself as being unusually proactive!

Shortbread Cookie Bites are a fun bite sized sweet treat that can be made for any birthday or holiday by customizing the fun sprinkles you choose!

These little shortbread cookie bits are super fun for a few reasons. First, you get sprinkles throughout the dough as well as on top. Who wouldn’t love that? Second, you get a TON of cookies out of this one batch. Third, they’re small, so that mean’s they’re pretty much guilt free {sarcasm}. And lastly, you can change out the color of the sprinkles so that you can make these for any occasion! Think pink or blue or a combination of both for a baby shower, or just colorful sprinkles for a birthday.

Shortbread Cookie Bites are a fun bite sized sweet treat that can be made for any birthday or holiday by customizing the fun sprinkles you choose!

This is what the little cubes of dough looks like. I prefer to cook on a stone and by the time they’re done cooking, they are evenly browned all around, not just on the bottoms.

Shortbread Cookie Bites are a fun bite sized sweet treat that can be made for any birthday or holiday by customizing the fun sprinkles you choose!

Don’t they just make you want to get out the decorations and blast the Christmas tunes? Can you tell I love this time of year??

Shortbread Cookie Bites are a fun bite sized sweet treat that can be made for any birthday or holiday by customizing the fun sprinkles you choose!

The almond extract gives these little cookies the perfect flavor and the fact that they are eggless means you can eat the batter. Who am I kidding? I never let the egg in cookie, cake or brownie batter stop me!  Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post to see all of holiday recipes from 2014 and 2015.

Shortbread Cookie Bites are a fun bite sized sweet treat that can be made for any birthday or holiday by customizing the fun sprinkles you choose!

This recipe uses pure vanilla extract. Did you know you can make your own homemade vanilla extract? It makes the perfect gift too. Watch how in the video below.
Shortbread Cookie Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Shortbread Cookie Bites are a fun bite sized sweet treat that can be made for any birthday or holiday by customizing the fun sprinkles you choose!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Yields: 100 cookie bites
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons sprinkles, divided
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together butter and sugar until well combined. Mix in almond extract and vanilla. With mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour and salt and mix until combined. Add in half of the sprinkles (set remaining half in small bowl) and stir to combine.
  3. Press dough into a half inch thick layer on prepared baking sheet. Cover surface of dough with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least an hour (can be overnight).
  4. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Cut dough into 1/2-inch squares using a large sharp knife. Gently press each cube into the bowl of sprinkles to get more to stick to the top. Set cubes on ungreased baking sheet (note: they won't spread much if the dough is cold so you can squeeze a lot on). Bake in preheated oven 8 - 12 minutes and cool baking sheet.
  6. Store completely cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
Shortbread Cookie Bites are a fun bite sized sweet treat that can be made for any birthday or holiday by customizing the fun sprinkles you choose!

To see all of 2014’s holiday treats, click the links below:

2014 Holiday Treats | Self Proclaimed Foodie

Five Minute Fudge | Holiday Sugar Cookies | Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies

Peppermint Chocolate Pie | Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprints | Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

Chewy Molasses Sugar Cookies | Easy Petite Palmiers | Triple Threat Peppermint Brownie Bites

Toasted Coconut Cookies | Walnut Spiced Rum Balls | Mexican Chocolate Truffles

To see all of 2015’s holiday treats, click the links below:

Holiday Recipes | Self Proclaimed Foodie

Easy Candy Cane Chocolate Truffles |  Cherry Almond Thumbprints  | Easy Brown Butter Pecan Fudge

Toasted Macadamia Nut Cookies  |  Salted Vanilla Bean Caramels  |  Chocolate Peppermint Swirl Cookies

Lynne’s Cream Wafers  |  Mini Pecan Pie Bites  |  Eggnog Poundcake

Christmas Tree Corn Flake Treats  |  Devil’s Food Crinkles  |  Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

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Buckeye Balls

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Buckeye Balls are a classic no bake peanut butter and chocolate sweet treat that the kids can help make and are perfect for the holidays!

Buckeye Balls are a classic no bake peanut butter and chocolate sweet treat that the kids can help make and are perfect for the holidays!

The time has come!!!  This is the time of year where I share 12 Days of Holiday Treats, and this is Day 1 of 12!

12 Days of Holiday Treats | Self Proclaimed Foodie

I started doing this 12 Days series two years ago when I started my blog. It wasn’t too difficult back then because every year, I made at least 6 different kinds of holiday treats to package up and send to family. So, all I had to do was come up with a few more recipes and, BAM!, there’s my series. Every year I made the same exact recipes to send out. It was my thing. But, when you have a recipe food blog, you can’t really do that, so last year I came up with 12 new recipes to make. Some became new favorites, and all received a thorough critical review from my opinionated little sister. This year has been especially challenging mostly because of, well… life. I became the newly appointed PTO president this year, have had a steady flow of family portrait sessions even though my goal was to back away from people photography almost entirely, etc. You get the picture. But I started this thing a couple years ago and I will continue doing my marathon holiday treat making if it darn near kills me!  All of the recipes this year won’t be able to come out without a few savory recipes popping in, so I’ll be interupting your sugar overload train of thought occasionally until completion. Okay, onto the recipe!

Buckeye Balls are a classic no bake peanut butter and chocolate sweet treat that the kids can help make and are perfect for the holidays!

Did you know… The National Peanut Board estimates it takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter. That’s approximately 45 peanuts per ounce of peanut butter. If your family buys peanut butter in those large 40-ounce mega-jars, each one of those jars takes a whopping 1,800 peanuts to make! That’s your fun fact for the day! As you well know, I make a lot of food. Like, a lot. So much that my family rarely even goes out to eat. That’s why I found it especially funny when the first time I had heard of Buckeye Balls was when my sister-in-law told me that she made them. I guess they’re wildly popular and I’m not really sharing anything original today – just my version. Funny, because we used to eat something like this when we were kids. We called it “peanut butter in a cup” and it was basically peanut butter mixed with an obscene amount of sugar. We used to put sugar on everything (cereal, grapefruit – you name it). That probably explains my serious addiction I’ve been trying to kick for the last three and a half decades. Anyway, these peanut-y treats took me back to my youth and who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate?

Buckeye Balls are a classic no bake peanut butter and chocolate sweet treat that the kids can help make and are perfect for the holidays!

This is definitely one of those recipes you can have your kids help with, even if you’re an overbearing kitchen control freak like myself. Let them have fun and then you can fix their odd shaped creations once they go wash their hands!  Be sure to check out the video of me and my son making these Buckeye Balls. Also, you’ll want to scroll all the way down past the recipe to see a visual guide to all of my holiday treats from the past two years.

Watch me and my son make these Buckeye Balls here:

This recipe uses pure vanilla extract. Did you know you can make your own homemade vanilla extract? It makes the perfect gift too. Watch how in the video below.
5.0 from 1 reviews
Buckeye Balls
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Buckeye Balls are a classic no bake peanut butter and chocolate sweet treat that the kids can help make and are perfect for the holidays!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Yields: 40 balls
Ingredients
filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounce jar) peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 cube) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
chocolate shell:
  • 9 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together peanut butter, butter, and vanilla until completely smooth.
  2. One cup at a time, add powdered sugar. Start by mixing with a spoon and then mix with hands to form a thick dough. For the last cup of powdered sugar, be sure to add it slowly one heaping spoonful at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
  3. Shape tablespoon sized balls and roll them smooth in between your hands. Set on parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for two hours for freeze for at least 15 minutes.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, combine chocolate and remaining butter and microwave at half power in one minute increments, stirring each time, until everything has melted and is completely smooth.
  5. Dip each peanut butter ball in the chocolate. You make use one or two toothpicks to help and then just smooth over any holes the toothpick leaves in the ball. Return the dipped peanut butter balls back to the parchment lined sheet and allow to set.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freeze until you devour them.
Buckeye Balls are a classic no bake peanut butter and chocolate sweet treat that the kids can help make and are perfect for the holidays!

To see all of 2014’s holiday treats, click the links below:

2014 Holiday Treats | Self Proclaimed Foodie

Five Minute Fudge | Holiday Sugar Cookies | Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies

Peppermint Chocolate Pie | Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprints | Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

Chewy Molasses Sugar Cookies | Easy Petite Palmiers | Triple Threat Peppermint Brownie Bites

Toasted Coconut Cookies | Walnut Spiced Rum Balls | Mexican Chocolate Truffles

To see all of 2015’s holiday treats, click the links below:

Holiday Recipes | Self Proclaimed Foodie

Easy Candy Cane Chocolate Truffles |  Cherry Almond Thumbprints  | Easy Brown Butter Pecan Fudge

Toasted Macadamia Nut Cookies  |  Salted Vanilla Bean Caramels  |  Chocolate Peppermint Swirl Cookies

Lynne’s Cream Wafers  |  Mini Pecan Pie Bites  |  Eggnog Poundcake

Christmas Tree Corn Flake Treats  |  Devil’s Food Crinkles  |  Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

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