Cooking for a family, while making family time

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Mama’s Goulash

Mama’s Goulash

Food has so much to do with family, even more so than we realize. Different foods and scents can take you places and bring up memories long forgotten. I started this blog in the memory of my late grandmother, and father in law, both of […]

2018 Top Recipes

2018 Top Recipes

I’ve always loved these end of year round-up lists. You know the ones ranking the best movies, books, news stories, trends, and events that happened in the year. I figured why not do one myself? I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed looking back […]

Strawberry Almond Candy Cane Danish

Strawberry Almond Candy Cane Danish

I have to give credit for this creation to my middle daughter. She loves to help me in the kitchen and has recently become very into watching those cooking videos that are so captivating! She loves to look at my news feed with me on weekend mornings and watch video after video. Last weekend she saw one for this candy cane cheese danish and her little eyes lit up. Immediately followed by all the modifications she wanted me to make to it. First up, it had to be strawberries for the red fruit, and texture was a must, can’t imagine where she gets that from. Trial, error and 4 days in a row of candy cane danish making later I feel we have a winner, a final recipe to share with all of you just in time for Christmas.



Ingredients:


1 can original crescent dough
3/4 cup fresh strawberries
3 tablespoons plain cream cheese
3 tablespoons marshmallow fluff
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar, divided
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon orange juice
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon milk
1-2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Supplies needed:
Parchment paper

Serves 5

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Next lay a giant piece of parchment paper directly onto your counter. Slice your fresh strawberries small, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon orange juice stir and set aside, this will help your berries to macerate (become sweeter and softer, releasing their juices to make a light sauce consistency). Now you will open up your dough and cut each triangle crescent roll in half lengthwise. Starting at the bottom of your parchment paper (be sure leave about an inch for when you move this to your baking sheet) layer your half triangles overlapping slightly until you use your whole tube of crescent rolls. Next pinch together and smush your overlapping dough pieces to form a surface for your filling, try to keep your straight end as even as possible so your candy cane doesn’t end up crooked. In a small bowl now mix together the marshmallow fluff and cream cheese until smooth, then spread evenly onto the flat long rectangular dough space you just created. Next evenly pour your berry mixture on top of your cream cheese mixture. Now things get a little tricky, starting again at the bottom fold over your skinny dough pieces one by one, pinching or tucking any remaining dough to the edge of your candy cane structure. Repeat this method until all of your dough pieces are folded over. Ok, time to make this look like a candy cane, I feel with any baking there comes a time for prayer or crossing fingers, this is that time. Slowly and gently, either using just your hands, or a really flat spatula take the top of your candy cane and begin to curve it. A good marker for me is to bend with about 5 sections left at the top for your curved edge of the candy cane. If it all falls apart when you go to move it don’t fret, just try your best to reshape it using the dough on the outsides and connecting those pieces back as best you can. Once you’re happy with your shape candy cane trim your parchments paper with scissors to fit your baking sheet, then place your baking sheet next to the candy cane on the counter. Melt your 1/2 tablespoon of butter in the microwave and brush over all the dough surfaces, tops and sides. Then gently slide your danish onto the baking sheet by pulling on one excess side of the parchment paper. This method works a lot better than trying to pick up your whole candy cane. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes, then place on the stove top or covered counter to cool. A good 5-10 minutes should do it. While the danish cools, make your icing. Mix 1 tablespoon powdered sugar to 1 teaspoon milk. This will make a nice thick icing to top your candy cane, I only drizzle our icing on the dough parts, not the filling, if you want more icing be sure to double the recipe and drizzle away. Once your icing is on layer your sliced almonds over the dough pieces on top of the icing so that they stick. Now it’s time to slice and serve warm. If you have any leftovers seal in air tight container and keep in the fridge, be sure to eat within 3 days.




I hope the loads of pictures I took help to make this process easier. I got the idea for the filling from a fruit dip I make and love, it’s a little more solid than your traditional cream cheese and sugar danish filling. This worked like a charm so that less yummy filling spilled out when cutting into the danish. Now the bending of your dough to get the candy cane shape will be the hardest part, but here’s a secret, even if it doesn’t turn out perfect, or in a candy cane shape at all, it will still taste delicious!

   
2 Ingredient Fruit Dip

2 Ingredient Fruit Dip

We had a holiday open house to attend this afternoon and I borrowed a new recipe from a good friend of mine to bring. It was such a hit with both the kids and adults. Also, you can’t beat it being only 2 ingredients. Ingredients: […]

Apple Cinnamon Monkey Bread

Apple Cinnamon Monkey Bread

This is Christmas morning in our house. I’ve made monkey bread every year for Christmas morning since my husband and I started dating many moons ago. It’s become a really special tradition we’ve gotten to pass onto the kids. Now the kids even request it […]

Edible Gingerbread House “Glue”

Edible Gingerbread House “Glue”

It’s hard to believe Christmas will be here in LESS than two weeks! December is flying by, as it usually does with all of the fun holiday things everyone has going on. One big tradition in our house is gingerbread house building. We usually make our creations Christmas Eve morning so that we can leave them out for Santa to see with his cookies, milk and carrots. Good news for you loyal followers is I just happen to have THE BEST secret tip for gingerbread house making! As much fun as decorating all those houses is, the royal icing that comes in those kits is awful at keeping them together. A few years back I found this little tip that will make your gingerbread house solid as a rock. Burnt sugar. It’s just as it sounds, you pour regular white sugar into a small frying pan on medium high heat until it’s a rich caramel color and has a liquid consistency. Now this stuff is HOT and will burn you so do not let the kids anywhere near it. I usually make the structure and then let the kids go nuts with decorating. You have to work fast as the sugar will dry and harden very quickly (similar to working with hot glue). Also be sure to rinse your pan quickly to avoid a lot of elbow grease and scrubbing later on.

 

 

Ingredients:

Gingerbread house kit
1/4-1/2 cup White sugar

Method:

In a small frying pan pour 1/4 cup white sugar and heat over medium high heat. Stirring occasionally with a metal spoon, 5-10 minutes should do but really go off the color and consistency. A deep caramel color is what you’re looking for, not an actual burnt black. Consistency should be like syrup. Once done, move quickly spooning or dipping the ends of gingerbread pieces into your burnt sugar and placing them together with other pieces to make your house.

    

As I mentioned above this stuff is hot, I burnt my hand a few years back and it was ugly. As anyone who’s in the kitchen a lot knows burns happen, but this stuff is pretty serious so please please be extra careful! Serious food, does mean serious results, so your structure will be very solid. When working with the burnt sugar it will dry very quickly, so you can create the house and in a few minutes let the kids decorate it. Another option is you can create the structure and let it sit until you’re ready to decorate, regardless of if that’s a matter of hours or days. Now this is safe to eat, however it’s very hard, so I don’t recommend it. It’s nice to know it’s safe though, if your kids are anything like mine. For every glob of icing or candy that gets put on the house another goes in their mouth! The really fun thing I’ve noticed the past few years are the different kind of gingerbread kits they offer. We’ve done the gingerbread train a time or two, character themed gingerbread houses, as well as the gingerbread town (this is a hit with multiple kids who all want to make their OWN house) and I even saw a gingerbread ninja kit this year. Be sure to come back and post your creations as you make them, both me and my kiddos would LOVE to see what you make.

   
Snowman Bagel

Snowman Bagel

This little creation came about last winter and quickly became a favorite with my children. We love mini bagels around here, a staple for breakfast or packed in their lunch boxes. I turn them into pizzas, sandwiches or now, snowmen! It’s no surprise I love […]

Peppermint Patty Cookie Cups

Peppermint Patty Cookie Cups

If you’re not a fan of York peppermint patties, feel free to skip this recipe. If you love them like my husband does, then these cookies are for you! I stumbled upon these mini peppermint patties when I grabbed the unwrapped mini Reese’s peanut butter […]

Cookies n’ Creme Cookie Cups

Cookies n’ Creme Cookie Cups

Have you guys tried this candy? Cookies n’ Creme Crunchers? They are awesome!! I was in the candy aisle brain storming for cookie cup ideas, pondering different flavor combinations and these caught my eye. Boy am I glad they did!! These cookie cups are one of my favorite because they pack not only a flavor punch, but they have… you guessed it, texture!

Ingredients:

Refrigerated chocolate cookie dough, the brand I used above I cut into 4 even chunks
1 bag Cookies n’ Creme Crunchers

Supplies needed:

A mini muffin tin
Non-stick cooking spray (this is a MUST)

Makes 48 cookies

Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Very generously spray your muffin tin with non-stick spray. Unwrap your cookie dough and cut into 4 even chunks. Roll each chunk of cookie dough into a ball using the palms of your hands. Drop a cookie dough ball in each mini muffin slot. Bake for 9 minutes. Once the cookies come out of the oven you have to move FAST. Place your cooked cookies on the stove top and quickly press one candy (or a few pieces, the Crunchers come in a variety of sizes) into the center of each cookie. This will create your “cup”. As you gently press down on the candy the cookie will form around the sides of the candy giving it the appearance of the candy sitting inside a cookie cup. Move your cookies to a safe place to set, a dish towel or pot holders on the counter top will do. You want the cookies to have a chance to set before you try to take them out of the muffin tin. As your cookies cool, the candy in the center will begin to melt. If you’re feeling fancy now would be the time to add sprinkles. Let the cookies cool at least 10 minutes in the muffin tin. Then move them to a cookie rack to cool or if you’re short on time, or just anxious to eat, place them in the fridge to set up faster. Store in an air tight container and enjoy within a week.

 

As I mentioned, the candy comes in a variety of different sizes, some bigger pieces I broke down to fit in the middle of the cookie cup better. Towards the end of the bag it was the opposite, a lot of smaller pieces of candy. With the smaller pieces, I would use two or three pieces of candy to fill the center of the cookie cups. What you’re looking for is even cookie to candy ratio, so you can be the judge and do what works for you, I doubt you’ll get any complaints from an over filled candy center! The texture I mentioned above is one reason I love these cookies, another is the color contrast from the dark brown cookie cup and white chocolate Crunchers. You eat with your eyes first and these cookies are immediately intriguing, and even better than that, they’re delicious!

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookie Cups

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookie Cups

It’s no surprise I am a lover of the sweet and salty dessert, so these cookie cups are right up my alley.  Also the crunch of the pretzel not only brings some salt but also adds good texture. And for what it’s worth, according to my […]