A Sweet Review

Anyone else beeline to the “new items” end cap at Trader Joe’s? We salivate as we admire the recently added yumminess. And without a doubt we find a treasure. On a recent trip, we found an irresistible container of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Mix. We knew we had to give them a try. Of course, we had to change the recipe slightly – Sister Sweetly style. We added butterscotch chips and toffee to the mix and once cooled we topped the cookies with cream cheese frosting. Delish! Run! Don’t walk to your nearest Trader Joe’s before supplies run out!

Crack Me Up Sweetly

Doctors say laughter is the best medicine. And refueling with sugar every now and then can sure help fight the winter blues! This Saturday we’re getting happy with Valentine Cracker Toffee. We can already hear our Valentine’s chuckling through their smiles!

Valentine Cracker Toffee

 
Ingredients:

30­-40  graham crackers

1 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup chocolate chips 

1 cup Hershey’s Hugs 

1/2 cup M&M’s

Directions:
1. Pre­heat oven to 350°F.
2. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment. Line the pan with graham crackers.
3. Place the butter and sugar in a medium sized pot over low medium­-low heat. Stir until the butter is melted. Once the butter has melted, bring to a boil. Stir constantly. Turn down the heat and simmer for 3­-5 minutes until thickened.
4. Once it’s nice and bubbly, remove pan from heat and pour evenly over graham crackers. Spread mixture with a knife.
5. Place pan in the oven and bake for 5­-7 minutes.
6. Remove pan from oven and then sprinkle the chocolate chips and Hugs on top of the toffee while it’s still hot. Let the chocolate melt for a few minutes and then spread all over the toffee with a spatula. Let the crackers and toffee cool. 
7. Sprinkle M&M’s on top and then place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Once chocolate has hardened break into pieces and store in a container.

Holiday Sweet Swap

Ready-Set-Swap! It’s a cookie exchange kind of Saturday! We’re sharing our favorite goodies of the season and spreading some cheer to others less fortunate. The rules are simple: Bring a dozen holiday treats and a box of cereal to donate. Leave with a plate of cookies like you’ve been baking in the kitchen for months! 

  
 

We will be sharing Espresso Dark Chocolate Cookies and White Chocolare Toffee Cookies

Espresso Dark Chocolate Cookies

  
Ingredients

3/4 cup Crisco Butter Sticks
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup dark chocolate chips 

1 teaspoon instant coffee granuals 

Directions

HEAT oven to 375ºF.
COMBINE shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Beat in egg. Combine flour, salt, instant coffee granuals, and baking soda. Mix into shortening mixture until just blended. Stir in dark chocolate chips. 

DROP by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.

BAKE 8 to 10 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet on a cooling rack. Remove cookies to rack to cool completely.
White Chocolate Toffee Cookies

  
Ingredients
3/4 stick Crisco Butter Stick

1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1  cup white chocolate chips

1 cup Heath Bits

Directions

HEAT oven to 375ºF.
COMBINE shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Beat in egg. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into shortening mixture until just blended. Stir in white chocolate chips and toffee.

DROP by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.

BAKE 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies, or 11 to 13 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet on a cooling rack. Remove cookies to rack to cool completely.

* basic dough recipe adapted from Crisco

All A”Bundt” The Sweets

This weekend is Father’s Day and like usual we’re all a”Bundt” the sweet, the sweets, the sweets! Give dad a break from his role as Mr. Fix-It and assemble these yummy Toffee Crunch Mini Bundt Cakes. You are sure to make his taste buds “pop”. Happy Father’s Day!

Toffee Crunch Mini Bundt Cakes

  
1 cbox of yellow cake mix

2 small boxes of instant vanilla pudding

1/2 cup of veggie oil

1 1/4 cups of water

4 eggs

2 cups Heath toffee pieces (right on the chocolate chip aisle), divided

1 can vanilla frosting

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Regular size Heath bars for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease (I use Pam) a 10 inch bundt pan or 12 mini bundt pans.

In mixing bowl, combine cake mix, puddings, oil, water and eggs with electric mixer. Stir in one cup of Heath pieces. Pour into prepared bundt pan.

Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean for a regular sized bundt pan and 16-18 minutes for a mini bundt pan.

Let cake rest on counter in pan 10 minutes. Then, invert cake onto serving plate to finish cooling.

To make the frosting, stir brown sugar into store bought vanilla frosting. Add one cup of Heath pieces to frosting. Frost each cake with icing. Top cake with chopped up pieces of a regular size Heath bar.

*recipe from Mix and Match Mama

Super Spesh Sweet 

It’s Saturday and we’re here to let you in on a little secret. We found a real treasure worth every calorie – Trader Joe’s Cookie and Cream Cookie Butter! The regular cookie butter is already to die for, but the cookies and cream version is straight out of this world super spesh! Now you can eat it straight out of the jar by the spoonful, make Deep Dish Cookies and Cream Cookie Butter Oatmeal Toffee Cookies, or you can do both! We know it’s hard to believe that we did just that! Kidding! Take it from us -RUN, don’t walk, and get yourself a jar!

 Deep Dish Cookies and Cream Cookie Butter Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

  
 Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 cup Gold Medal all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup Crisco, at room temperature

1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Cookies & Cream Cookie Butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup toffee bits

Ice cream, for serving, optional
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease ramekins (6 oz size) with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a different bowl  add the Crisco, cookie butter, sugar, and brown sugar and beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extrat and beat until smooth.
4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, beating only until blended. Stir in the toffee bits.
5. Take about 1/4 cup cookie dough and press it into a ramekin. Continue with the rest of the dough. Place the ramekins on a large baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center. You want them to be a little under baked. Remove from the oven and cool for 2 minutes. Top the deep dish cookies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and serve warm.

• recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Sweet Times Remembered

Do you remember where you were at this time in 1985? If so, it’s happening all over again! We have to admit that we can clearly remember what we were doing back then, but our memories have little recollection of the significance that surrounds all of the excitement around our city. You see, our local major league baseball team, the Kansas City Royals, have not been in the playoffs for the World Series in 29 years and this year they made it in and are doing spectacular! . We may not remember the baseball hype of the 80’s, but we definitely remember the snack bar! We thought this was the perfect time to make a popcorn treat. And what could be sweeter than one that tastes like grown up Cracker Jacks (prizes optional). This Saturday calls for munching on Vanilla Toffee Popcorn while being loyal and rooting for the Royals! Go KC!

popcorn

Vanilla Toffee Popcorn

Ingredients

8 cups of popped popcorn
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 300F
Place 8 cups of popcorn in a large deep bowl.  Make sure that no unpopped kernels fall into the bowl!
Add the vanilla extract to the brown sugar and mix it in with your fingers, to break-up the clumps of vanilla.
Cook over a medium heat while stirring:
1 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of light corn syrup in a pot over medium heat.
* Hold the baking soda until later…
Bring the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup to a boil. Keep stirring!
Let it sit for 5 minutes WITHOUT stirring.
Remove from the heat and add your 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.
Stir until you get a creamy looking color.
Pour that heavenly stuff onto your popcorn. Stir until the popcorn is evenly coated.
Place the popcorn on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Bake for 30 minutes at 300F.
After 30 minutes, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool.
The toffee should harden in 5-10 minutes.
Once it has cooled off, break the popcorn into bite-size pieces and enjoy!
*recipe found on A Bit of Bees Knees