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20 creative ways to use your KitchenAid Mixer

A friend of mine recently said she received a KitchenAid mixer for Christmas, but didn’t know what to use it for. If you too have one of the brightly-colored beauties just sitting on your counter, let me share with you my top 20 favorite ways to use my KitchenAid. I admit, I was a bit slow to take to it at first too, but after eight years together, we’ve whipped up some pretty delicious stuff. 1. Mix meatballs or beef for burgers Whether it’s seasonings for meatballs or burgers, dump all your ingredients into the bowl and mix until combined. Keep an eye out—you don’t want to overmix—but using your KitchenAid to make meatballs means your free to prep other items. 2. Shred chicken, pork, or beef Place your roasted or crock pot chicken in the mixing bowl, attach the dough hook, and run on low for about 20 seconds at a…

How to store a cake and keep it fresh

Nothing beats freshly baked cakes and cupcakes, but eating them all in one sitting certainly isn’t advised. So how do you go about storing leftovers, or handling those times when you have to buy a cake in advance? Here is how to keep your cake fresh as long as possible. The refrigerator is not your friend If you’re in the habit of thinking the fridge magically lengthens the life of any food, think again. Refrigerating cake actually makes it go stale faster. It has to do with how cooling forces moisture to the surface where it evaporates. Since this process happens faster in the fridge, the cake will harden and get stale prematurely. The best thing you can do, is let your cake sit at room temperature—the same goes for breads and other baked goods too. store 1 to 3 days: Cake goes on the counter If you’re planning on…

Old fashioned chewy molasses cookies like grandma used to make

These Molasses Cookies are the old fashioned recipe you’ve been looking for. They’re crispy on the edges but chewy in the middle with a bold, spicy flavor. Molasses cookies might be most popular around the holidays, but as a kid, I can remember my grandma having tins of them around the house all year long. Back then I had no interest in baking them—just eating them—and I can remember tossing back dozens without even thinking twice. Ahhh to be a kid. The plus side? At least it made me drink milk? After trying to recreate those cookies for the past half decade—a pursuit that left me with dozens of delicious molasses cookies, but never THEE recipe—I finally asked my dad. Simple as that. My dad had also made them for years (again, I did my lone part of eating them), so he finally showed me how, and I’m happy to say,…

Everything you need to know about shipping cookies

I’ve made all the mistakes when it comes to shipping cookies. When my fiancé was working in Afghanistan I would experiment using just about every trick recommended, all so he could enjoy his beloved molasses cookies. I might not do it professionally, but if I can get cookies to arrive safe and delicious through international AND military mail one week later to the Middle East, I feel I’ve earned my street cred. So what wisdom can I impart this holiday season for those looking to send cookies overseas or even just to loved ones the next city over? 1. Don’t pack them up if they’re still even slightly warm. Nope. Don’t do it. Not even if you’re in a rush to make it to the Post Office before it closes. While I can totally relate to this predicament, shipping warm cookies is never a good idea. They will cause a…

Easy homemade peppermint patties

Peppermints are always a huge hit this time of year. There’s just something about that cool, zingy flavor that screams winter. This year, let these delicious treats freshen up your holiday dessert table. If you like York Peppermint Patties, you’ll love this homemade version even more. You can customize them to your liking, which is always a plus;  add a little or a lot of peppermint or even spearmint: dip them in dark, milk, or white chocolate: add sprinkles: dye them red and green—whatever sounds good to you! This dough is seriously easy to whip up. It’s just four simple ingredients. These homemade peppermint patties are a great idea for parties, sprucing up cookie trays, or as a last-minute entry into your holiday cookie swap. Or package them up in pretty bags or mason jars and present them as gifts. Note: The instructions will make dozens of little peppermint patties,…

The Best Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

In the holiday wonderland of hundreds of types of Christmas cookies, how does one cookie stand apart? It must be one rich, decadent, and fudgy cookie! These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are seriously the best! They taste just like a brownie only better. They’re lightly crunchy on the outside, yet irresistibly chewy in the center. You’re about to find a new holiday favorite. Tips for baking the Best Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature. Don’t skip Step 4 (chilling the dough). Dough is super sticky and needs to chill or else it will be too difficult to work with. Chilling also helps create thicker cookies with a fudgy flavor. If they’re too warm when they go into the oven, they’ll spread out too thin. Remember to adjust the baking time to your oven. 10-12 minutes is a suggestion. If you bake too long, they’ll lose…

What’s the difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling?

Stop right there! Before you reach for that can opener, make sure you know the difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling. Both are super convenient canned pumpkin products that can save you tons of time and effort, but while they may look alike, you definitely don’t want to use one in place of the other. Adding the wrong product to your pumpkin recipe can spell disaster. Here’s why. pumpkin pie filling The wording is pretty straight forward. Pumpkin pie filling (or pumpkin pie mix) works for pies or other super sweet dishes, as it’s already heavily sweetened. It’s convenient if you don’t want to worry about adding your own sweetener or spices (or if you don’t have common pumpkin pie spices available to you). Check out the 6 biggest mistakes you can make when baking pumpkin pie.  pumpkin puree For just about any other recipe, it’s probably pumpkin puree…

How to make homemade Nutella

I don’t buy Nutella that often because, quite simply, I can’t control myself. That sweet, nutty, chocolatey butter spread beckons me in the middle of the night, and before I know it, I’ve eaten several slices of toast heavily smothered in the stuff. (I could easily kill this 6.6 pound bucket — just hand me the bread!) It’s not super healthy, and it is super expensive (about $5 for a tiny jar!), but when I make my own, it becomes not so bad on either front. Check out this restaurant with an entirely Nutella menu. This homemade Nutella recipe is quick and easy to pull off if you have the right equipment. You’re going to need a high-powered food processor or blender along with a microwave and an oven or a toaster oven. As for ingredients, you’re going to need hazelnuts. They might be a little harder to find than,…

Cheesecake-filled pumpkin bread

If you love fall baked goods but aren’t a fan of super sweets, this cream cheese filled pumpkin bread recipe will satisfy your seasonal cravings. You’ll love this bread-like snack and its slightly sweet center. It’s dense, decadent and the perfect fall treat to make for breakfast, dessert or just about anytime. Also try this Classic Pumpkin Roll recipe. cheesecake-filled pumpkin bread Ingredients Bread 1 cup canned pumpkin puree 1/2 cup canola oil 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup brown sugar 2 eggs 1-1/2 cups flour 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp ground cloves 1/4 tsp ground ginger Filling 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 1/3 cup sugar 2 tbsp flour 1 egg 1 tsp vanilla extract What else you’ll need: 9×5 inch loaf pan electric mixer nonstick cooking spray cooling rack toothpick Directions Preheat oven to…

Classic pumpkin roll recipe

Pumpkin rolls are a classic fall dessert that everyone goes crazy for. This homemade pumpkin roll recipe will give you the most deliciously moist spongey spiced pumpkin cake with dreamy cream cheese filling rolled up inside. These rolls might look difficult, but don’t let that perfect swirl intimidate you. It’s actually quite simple! Just follow these easy directions and you’ll master this must-make dessert in no time. Classic Pumpkin Roll Ingredients For the pumpkin cake: 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground cloves 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp ground ginger 1/4 tsp ground allspice 1/4 tsp salt 3 eggs, room temperature 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (I like to use Libby’s) 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar For the cream cheese frosting: 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature…