Hot Chocolate Rice Krispies

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IT’S DECEMBER GUYS!!!!!

Alright, so besides all this snow mumbo-jumbo that comes with thinking about the month of December, we also think about Christmas, Santa, reindeer, Ham dinner, presents, and dropping temperatures.

With dropping temperatures, the first thing that comes to mind is hot chocolate! There is NOTHING like a big ole’ cup of hot chocolate to help get the chills out of your spin on a below Floridian-blood cold day.

Problem is this: Florida is Florida. If anyone knows ANYTHING about Florida, or wants to know anything, it’s this: Florida’s weather is as bipolar as Jessica Lange in American Horror Story.

Here’s what I really mean: one day it can be 27 degrees out with a freeze warning, and within a 24-hour period, it’s back into the 80’s where the humidity literally chokes you.

Just from this sheer fact, it’s kind of hard to really get into a “hot chocolate” mood. You don’t want to burn up, but you want to really enjoy that cup o’chocolate.

I got the perfect solution!

Feast your eyes on this recipe here!

Rice krispies are fool-proof. That is, that they are easily transferred and enjoyed in any type of weather: hot as hell or Frozen cold.

This recipe allows you to enjoy that flavor and feels of hot chocolate without having to sweat your gahones off! Sounds perfect to me!

{Results}: EPIC WIN!

*Trust me when I say this, {you can} make these, too.

 

{Hot Chocolate Rice Krispies}

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of  Cocoa Rice Krispies
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 2 (10 oz.) bags of mini marshmallows
  • 6 tablespoons of hot chocolate mix {Swiss Miss without the mini marshmallows}
  • Parchment or wax paper {Optional}

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Directions

  1. Grab a 9×9 square pan and place parchment paper inside. Set aside. 
  2. Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Once melted, add 1 bag of mini marshmallows and hot chocolate powder into the pan.
  3. Stir while continuing to cook over low heat until marshmallows are melted and chocolate is mixed in. Remove from heat.
  4. Add in your 6 cups Cocoa Krispies. Stir until mixed well.
  5. Now add in 2 cups of mini marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows are evenly distributed throughout the krispie mixture.
  6. Pour into prepared pan. Press evenly into pan with the back of a spoon sprayed with cooking spray
  7. Immediately spread remaining 2 cups mini marshmallows onto the krispies and press into the mix.
  8. Let cool for 30 minutes and cut into squares. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops

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With Thanksgiving this week, my close friends and family members are all pumping up for the return of Carly’s pumpkin cheesecake! One, two, three, four, everybody screams for more!

You would think….

I decided this year to try something different! I know I have 6 other ideas of desserts to bring to Thanksgiving, thanks to my Pumpkin Serious Craze. But, I have three families to visit: my mom’s, my dad’s, and my boyfriend’s. I need to feed a dang army!

The other recipes don’t produce enough product for the amount of mouths to fill, so onto Pinterest I was. Of course, it had to involve pumpkin. Not only do I still have two cans left over from the craze, but what is Thanksgiving without pumpkin?!

I found this recipe that takes the best of both worlds: cheese and cake. Not just a regular cheesecake. It’s a pumpkin cheesecake. And not just a pumpkin cheesecake, it’s in the form of a cake pop!

{Results}: Epic win!!

It seems super tedious, but it’s actually really easy to make! These came out extremely good and they look cute, too. 🙂

*Trust me when I say this, {you can} make this, too.

{Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops}

Ingredients

  • 1 box of Perfectly Pumpkin Pillsbury Cake Mix
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/2 cup of oil
    • 1 cup of water
  • 1 jar of cram cheese frosting {any brand}
  • 1-2 bars of Vanilla almond bark
  • Parchment paper
  • Graham crackers {optional}
  • Bag of lollipop sticks {optional, could just make these truffles}

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Directions

  1. Take the cake mix and bake according to the directions. Let cool.
  2. Once cooled, take a large bowl and shred the cake to crumbs.
  3. Add 1/2 jar of the cream cheese frosting into the cake crumbs. Mix until a smooth consistency.
  4. Take a spoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball. Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the fridge until finished with the next step.
  5. Two ways to do this:
    1. Grab a sauce pan and place both bars of vanilla almond bark in. Melt them on low until a liquid consistency.
    2. Place both bars of vanilla almond bark in a microwaveable bowl. Melt in 30 second increments until liquid consistency.
  6. Grab the baking sheet of pumpkin cheesecake balls. Place lollipop stick into each ball.
  7. Dunk each pop into the vanilla almond bark until completely covered. Place back onto the baking sheet with parchment paper. {Optional: take some graham crackers, crush them up, and sprinkle them over the pops while the chocolate is still warm.}
  8. Stick the pops in the fridge for about 15 minutes to let the chocolate set. Enjoy!

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Lemon Bundt Cake

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Alright, so to that story about my boyfriend, Casey, and I came fast that I anticipated. That’s because my inspiration for finding a {Pinspirational} recipe today came from him.

Here’s a quick low-down: We’ve been dating for a little over 5 years. We were the best of friends for about 3 years before we decided to start dating. I was nervous of losing my best friend, but it was the best decision I ever made. Now, I can have my cake and eat it too.

Without getting too sappy, let’s just say this is a forever thing. Our families love each other, our families can’t wait for us to get married, and our friends support us. It’s not to say it’s all rainbows {as everyone knows}, but we’ve never given up on each other. Those rainy days where most people run for the hills, we grabbed onto each other harder.

ANYWAYS! Back to the food!

His favorite thing is lemon. He loves any dessert that involves lemon: lemon bars, lemon cake, lemon cookies. One could definitely say he’s a bit obsessed. I decided to surprise him and make him this lemon cake from scratch. As you know, I’ve been going off the ideals and like of my coworkers, it was about time I gave a little love and attention to Casey.

Oh, and yes, I am using that bundt cake pan again. I told you guys I needa put that sucker to work!!

{Results}: EPIC EPIC WIN!!

This cake came out SO wonderful. It’s light, airy, and moist! The best part of all? It’s not overwhelmingly lemon-y. You know what I’m talking about… That sour lemon taste where you can only eat a small sliver of the item. This cake? HA! You could practically eat the whole cake and not even get sick of the taste.

Casey even said it was better than the lemon cake that Pepperidge Farm makes in the freezer section, and that it tastes almost like the Starbucks lemon pound cake. Best compliments ever! 

*Trust me when I say this, {you can} make this, too.

{Lemon Bundt Cake}

Ingredients

Lemon Cake
  • 2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons & 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups of whole milk
  • 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter {cubed}
Lemon Glaze
  • 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3-5 tablespoons of lemon juice {based on consistency you’d like}
Lemon Sugar Topping
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar

~You’ll need about 3 lemons in order to get enough zest for the whole recipe~

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan and set aside.
  2. Lightly whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Grab another bowl and beat eggs on low until they are thickened and very pale yellow in color. On low speed, slowly add sugar to eggs, and then beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  4. Slowly pour in dry ingredients on low speed until combined.
  5. In a small saucepan, heat milk until very hot and butter is just melted. Do not boil. Whisk the mixture to help the butter along.
  6. Pour this mixture into batter and mix until smooth. Batter will be very thin. Pour into prepared baking pan.
  7. Bake the bundt cake for 27-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  8. Once done, remove cake from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in pan. Release the sides of the cake with a butter knife to ensure it isn’t going to stick.
  9. Turn cake onto a large round platter, cake stand, or wire rack. Allow cake to finish cooling until warm to the touch.
  10. While cake is cooling, prepare lemon sugar and glaze.
  11. For the lemon sugar, thoroughly mix the lemon zest and sugar together and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  12. For the glaze, whisk powdered sugar and lemon juice, using more or less lemon juice as needed to get desired consistency.
  13. Once cake is cooled down slightly, drizzle glaze over warm cake. Alternately, you can drizzle the glaze over each individual piece being served.
  14. Sprinkle lemon sugar on top and enjoy!

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Red Velvet Cheesecake Bundt Cake

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Back a few months ago, I bought this wicked bundt cake pan. See, the thing is, is that I was using all my step-mother’s baking pans and such back at home. I knew I was moving away to Gainesville soon for school, so I started slowly making my own collection.  I didn’t have a bundt cake in my collection yet {surprisingly}. But, I went online and bought that bundt cake pan for 15$. Do you see the price of it now?! I digress… But, needless to say, I still haven’t broken that pan in yet!

Well, last week my co-workers were the guinea pigs for my Pumpkin Serious series. I got plenty of feedback on the food I brought in. It was as if they all the sudden thought it was okay to “put in orders.” I didn’t mind, though! Well, someone asked for something red velvet in any type of form.

What perfect timing! I had remembered I still hadn’t used that bundt cake pan. So, I hopped on Pinterest, and found a recipe that used red velvet and also put that bundt cake pan to work!

{Results}: EPIC WIN!!

Let me just say, I completely out did myself with this cake. I normally make the red velvet from the Betty Crocker box found on the shelf at Publix. I literally could not answer you why it was red or what the flavor was from; after making this cake, I can tell you it’s from the cocoa powder you get the flavor, and red food coloring you get the color. It was so exhilarating to actually say I made this myself. 🙂

*Trust me when I say this, {you can} make this, too.

Ingredients

Cheesecake Filling
  • 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened {room temperature}
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
Cake
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 3/4 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 oz. of red food color
  • 2 teaspoons of vinegar
Glaze
  • 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar {plus more if needed for thickness}
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles {optional}

*I decided not to use this glaze, but instead take a container of cream cheese frosting from a store bought container. I just heated it in intervals of 30 seconds until it was soupy enough to drizzle. Just had to add my own spin at the last second. 🙂

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 10-inch bundt pan.
  2. Beat the cheesecake filling ingredients together in a large medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, and baking soda together in a large mixer bowl. Set aside.
  4. Whisk together oil, buttermilk, vanilla, eggs, red food coloring, and vinegar in another large bowl.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
  6. Add about 1/3 of the cake batter to the pan.
  7. Spoon half of the cheesecake filling into the pan, trying to keep it in the center of the cake batter {not touching the sides of the pan}.
  8. Spoon another 1/3 of the cake batter on top of the cheesecake filling, starting with the edges.
  9. Add the remaining cheesecake filling, again trying to keep it away from the sides of the pan.
  10. Add remaining 1/3 of the cake batter, beginning with the sides and covering all the cheesecake filling.
  11. Bake for 38-43 minutes {until it springs back at you}.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Then, remove onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  13. When cake is completely cooled, whisk together glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Use a spoon to drizzle it on top of the cake. Top with sprinkles {if desired}.

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Day 6: Pumpkin Roll Cake

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For our 6th and final installment of our Pumpkin Serious Series, I went with a recipe that has a soft spot in my heart: the pumpkin roll cake! This little creation from heaven is well documented within my family. My grandmother used to make this roll cake every single Thanksgiving. I thought it would only be appropriate then to use a {pinspirational} recipe that I found to recreate it. I wanted to see if I could make it just as good as my grandmother could!

After looking through Pinterest, I stumbled upon this pumpkin roll cake recipe that seemed pretty easy to figure out. I’d never attempted to recreate this, only for the fear that I would {epically fail} and make an embarrassment out of my grandmother’s staple Thanksgiving dessert. My family is definitely the type to not let you live down a mistake and keep making you butt of every joke, even though they do it out of “love.” I’d still rather not have to live with that!

I jumped into it with my eyes and nose closed for an {epic disaster} and it really way a…

{Results}: EPIC EPIC WIN!!

Honestly, I don’t know why I was so afraid to make one of these! It’s really not as scary as it seems, it’s rather simple. I think just from the look of the spiral of the cake people make it seem complicated and scary.

The pumpkin cake itself is super soft and melts in your mouth. Pairing that with this immensely creamy, decedent cheesecake-esk of a filling? Pair made in heaven! I’m pretty sure if my grandmother could come up to Gainesville and try this, she would be so proud of me. 🙂

*Trust me when I say this, {you can} make this, too.

{Pumpkin Roll Cake}

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans {Optional, I left out because my grandmother never used them}
  • 1 package {8 oz.} of cream cheese, softened {room temperature}
  • 1/3 cup of butter, softened {room temperature}
  • 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • A few drops of heavy cream
  • Powdered sugar {for dusting}

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Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 15X10 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving about 1 inch of paper hanging on the sides. Set aside. {I didn’t have that big of a pan or parchment paper, so I just used a deep set cookie sheet with foil and sprayed it with cooking oil}
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the eggs and sugar. Using a mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on high speed for 5 minutes or until thickened and pale in color. Lower the speed to medium and beat in the pumpkin puree.
  3. Stir in the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spices and salt on low speed until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly {Optional: sprinkle the chopped pecans on top}.
  5. Place the pan in the oven for 12 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched. While the cake is baking, dust some powder sugar over a clean tea towel. {A tea towel is basically a lien “dish” towel, it’s basically a thin kitchen towel, at least that is what I used}
  6. As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, invert the cake over the clean towel, peel the parchment paper {foil} and roll the cake starting with the short side.
  7. Let the cake cool at cool temperature for al least 1 hour but no more than 5 hours. {You want it to cool in the shape of the spiral}
  8. In the meantime, in a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and butter. Using a mixer, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  9. Lower the speed and gently fold in the powdered sugar. If needed, add few drops of heavy cream to reach the desired consistency. {You want it to be creamy!}
  10. Gently unfold the pumpkin roll cake and spread the cream cheese filling evenly.
  11. Roll the cake again and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  12. When ready to serve, cut into slices and let at room temperature for few minutes. Enjoy!

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Day 5: Pumpkin Cheesecake

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I’m going to start off by tooting my own horn: I’m an expert cheesecake maker. Yes, an expert. Ask anyone at Thanksgiving or Christmas in my family what they look forward to, and the first thing they’ll say is “Carly’s cheesecake!” Specifically, everyone is in love with my pumpkin cheesecake.

I know, I know… “Then why are you using a post to make a pumpkin cheesecake if you’re an expert!?” I actually decided in this case to find a {pinspirational} take on my coined pumpkin cheesecake recipe. I wanted to compare the two and see if there are any real flavor differences, if any at all, or if one was harder to make than the other. We’ll see here after the jump!

{Results}: Epic Win! {I made the cheesecake, yet, I still love my recipe.}

In general, it was definitely a totally different way to make the cheesecake. I’m so used to just mixing it all together and it being a simple “place in the oven and forget about it” approach. With this {pinspirational} recipe, you actually separated the regular cheesecake from the pumpkin cheesecake.

I’d tell you to be super careful with the timing and cooking with this particular cheesecake. I’ve had my fair share of overcooking {curdling} and I came very close to it with this one!

Here’s a compare/contrast of different aspects of the cheesecakes:

  • {Physical appearance}:
    • My recipe: A pale orange with hinted specs of cinnamon and pumpkin spice. It’s a large cheesecake, so one thin slice will do ya’!
    • {Pinspirational} Recipe: Orange with a marbling of white throughout. This cheesecake bakes tiny, so you’d have to use a bigger slice. {What’s so wrong with that?}
  • {Texture}:
    • My recipe: Smooth, creamy, and succulent!
    • {Pinspirational} Recipe: Smooth, but a little tougher, still tastes creamy after initial bite.
  • {Taste}:
    • My recipe: Purely pumpkin.
    • {Pinspirational} Recipe: You can taste the different marbling of regular cheesecake and pumpkin, which make it fun to eat.
  • {Overall baking experience}:
    • My recipe: Super fast and easy; definitely inked in my recipe box.
    • {Pinspirational} Recipe: It was a little more tedious with the extra step to do the marbling, but it definitely makes the cheesecake more physically appealing.

Would I bake this again? I’m sorry guys, but it {epically failed} to take me away from beloved recipe. 🙂

*Trust me when I say this, {you can} make this, too.

{Pumpkin Cheesecake}

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cup of graham crackers and gingersnap crumbs {I just used graham cracker crumbs because I’m not a huge fan of gingersnaps}
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

Pumpkin Cheesecake filling

  • 2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened {room temperature}
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar {I prefer dark brown sugar}
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spices

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Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In small bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the pumpkin spice and melted butter with a fork. {You can use a food processor to make the crumbs, or I just used a soup can and a plastic baggy, same thing!}
  3. With your fingers, press it evenly on the bottom and the sides of a 9″ round spring pan {with removable bottom}. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes.
  4. In a mixing bowl add the cream cheese, sugar and heavy cream. Mix these on low speed until fluffy. Add the egg and blend well. Reserve 2/3 cup of this cream cheese mixture.
  5. Take the remaining cream cheese mixture and add the pumpkin puree, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Blend well.
  6. Pour the pumpkin cheese mixture into the chilled crust. Spread this evenly.
  7. With a spoon, drop dollops of the reserved cream cheese mixture and make some swirls with a fork or knife.
  8. After, bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the center is set.
  9. Turn the oven off and leave the door open. Let the cheesecake cool in there for at least 1 hour. Run a knife around the cheesecake for easy removal of the pan.
  10. Refrigerate for a couple of hours, and then slice and dice to enjoy!

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