Raspberry Hug, Pretzel and an M

Doing a twist on this recipe for Valentine’s Day.

Raspberry Hugs Pretzels and an M 6

Hershey’s released a raspberry hug for the holiday and I happen to love raspberry. This is such a simple recipe, and it lasts a while.

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Ingredients: raspberry hugs, Valentine’s Day M&Ms and the Snaps Pretzels in the waffle pattern (or pretzel Os if you can find those)

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Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. On a baking sheet, layout a bunch of pretzels.

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Unwrap the hugs and place them on top of the pretzels. I think I had six hugs left from the bag and used the rest.

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Stick the baking sheet into the oven. These seem to have a lower melting point than the peppermint and regular Kisses. So at 3 minutes, look at them. These were at 4 minutes and it’s almost too melted.

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Quickly, put an M on each of the hugs/pretzels. Stick them in the fridge for a bit, so make sure they cool stay in their right form. Then enjoy!



Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Please tell me I’m not the only person who sees mozzarella sticks on a menu and considers eating a plate or basket full of them for their main meal. It’s pretty simple to make some of your own with the help of good ol’ string cheese.

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I’ve used string cheese before to add cheese to a meal, like with the pizza crescent rolls. A nice melty cheese.

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Start by chopping up a bunch of mozzarella sticks in half. Take the sticks and put them into the freezer. I left them in there for a few hours. This helps keep the cheese from becoming a big cheese puddle.

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I took bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and a packet of Italian salad dressing mix and stirred it all together. I would play with this mixture until you find the right breading combo. This ended up a bit on the salty side. I’d probably cut the dressing mix and the cheese down and add more breading.

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Set up your station. One bowl needs some flour. The second bowl needs at least one beaten egg, depending on how many mozzarella sticks you will be making, you may need one more. Third bowl is your breading. And then you need your baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees before you pull the string cheese out of the freezer.

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Coat the stick with flour.

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Then coat it in the egg.

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Then cover it with breading.

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Lay all your sticks out on the baking sheet. My sticks were really frozen. So I ended up baking them for 10 minutes, then flipping them and baking them for another 4 minutes. But if yours aren’t that frozen, they may only need 10 minutess total. You’ll need to watch them.

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There we go. Nicely browned mozzarella sticks! Not too melty. Serve with some marinara sauce.

Chocolate covered Oreos

Chocolate covered Oreos? Yes please! A few festive sprinkles? Why sure! So here’s the deal, I tried to make chocolate covered Oreo pops, but I ended up with half pops and half regular chocolate covered Oreos. Doesn’t really matter, still super cute and tasty!

Also, welcome to my 100th post! Wow, it’s hard to believe I’ve posted that much here! But I want to thank you for coming and reading as well as trying anything I’ve made here at Crafting and Cooking. To stay up to date on what I’m working on, make sure you head over to the Crafting and Cooking Facebook page and like it!

Let’s get to the Oreos.

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Ingredients: double stuf Oreos, candy melts, lollipop sticks and sprinkles

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Start by sticking the lollipop sticks into your Oreos. There are a couple ways to do this. I just stuck them in. But in the process, I cracked the cookies a bit, which I think led to some instability when I was dipping them. You can also separate one side of the cookie from the stuf, put the lollipop stick in and then use a little bit of the candy melt to reattach the cookie.

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Melt your candy melts. 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat. Until the melts are smooth. Then dip the Oreos. I used the spoon to cover the Oreo entirely. If the Oreo fell into the candy melts, I just scooped it out and put it onto the pan to dry.

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I used a baking sheet with aluminum foil to let the candy melts set up. Before they dried, I sprinkled on some sprinkles. A tasty treat and, I think, a great gift idea. Takes no time at all though. Just don’t get frustrated if your Oreo pops end up being just chocolate covered Oreos.

Check out the Christmas ideas board on Pinterest.

Somewhat Simple Katie's Nesting Spot

Peppermint Popcorn

I’m in a peppermint sort of mood. I made those two kinds of sweet popcorn a while back and decided to try it again but with a holiday twist.

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This is peppermint popcorn! Not overpowering, but you can still taste the peppermint.

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– Lightly buttered popcorn, popped
– White candy melts
– 1 tablespoon peppermint extract or oil
– Some candy canes
– Sprinkles

You need to crush the candy canes into a fine powder. Set up your popcorn station. I use two baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Put the popcorn onto the sheets spread out. Make sure you weed out any unpopped kernels.

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Melt your candy melts in the microwave. 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat. Until they’re all melted. Add in your tablespoon of extract. Now, if you’re using extract, the candy melts will start to seize up. It’s ok. Stir quickly and then dump onto the popcorn. Using your hands, coat all the popcorn as best you can. Toss the popcorn around on the baking sheets.

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While the popcorn is still wet, add sprinkles! So festive. Let it sit and harden for awhile. You can package this up for gifts or it’s a great snack at a party. If it’s in a bowl, I suggest sprinkling more sprinkles on top. They won’t stick, but it makes it prettier.

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Mandy‘s Recipe Box

Pretzel, M&M and Candy Cane Kisses

Updated, see the note below

I’ve seen these little treats before, but made with the Hershey’s Hugs, the kisses that have white and milk chocolate. But I just picked up a bag of Candy Cane Kisses at the store on sale. If you’ve never had these ones before, omg they are so good! I love peppermint flavored anything and peppermint chocolate? Yes please! There’s also chips of candy cane in there I think.

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So I made a Christmas version of these snacks using the Candy Cane Kisses and Christmas colored M&Ms.

Pretzel M&M Candy Cane Kisses 1

Ingredients: bag of M&Ms, pretzels and the Candy Cane Kisses.

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Start by preheating your oven to 200 degrees. Lay your square pretzels out on a baking sheet with parchment paper underneath. You can stuff the pan more than I did.

Make sure if you get the square pretzels, you get the plain snaps and not the butter snaps. Those won’t taste as good. You could also get circle pretzels that’ll fit the bottom of your chocolate. I’d avoid the regular pretzel shape though.

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Stick the Candy Cane Kisses on top of the pretzels. This is probably the most laborious part of the task! As is the problem with anything involving individually wrapped candies. I suggest getting a helper (little kids are definitely up to the task) and have a garbage bowl a la Rachael Ray nearby.

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Stick the pan into the oven for about 4 minutes. If you compare the kisses in the two photos above, you can see the second photo (with the messy pretzel placement) the Kisses are sorta saggy, a bit more shiny. This means they’re melty in the middle. To avoid the pretzels moving around on the pan, I would definitely add more pretzels.

Note: If you use milk chocolate kisses, you may need to bake them a minute longer. They don’t melt as quickly as the candy cane versions. I don’t know how Hugs melt, so I’d put them in at 4 minutes, and then see if they need a little longer.

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Then, work quickly and place one M&M on top of the Kiss and push down. Once you’re done, stick the pan into the fridge for at least 15 minutes to help the chocolate set up. I’d say leave it in there longer just to be sure the chocolate isn’t still melty and gooey.

Now, if you want to give it an extra minty kick, you could use mint M&Ms. But I used the milk chocolate ones. These treats were seriously yummy and it’s a great little thing to bring to a party.

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making monday marvelous linky party DIY Show Off Mandy‘s Recipe Box

Christmas music playlist

Besides reconnecting with loved ones, the cookies, the gifts and the decorations, I love the music of the Christmas season. I have more than 300 Christmas songs that I flip through each year. Although, I do gravitate to the non-traditional Christmas songs. Meaning old songs, but done by modern artists. Plus original songs.

I must say, “Home for Christmas” by *NSync and “My Kind of Christmas” by Christina Aguilera are the two full Christmas albums I love the most. Blame it on growing up during the whole boy band, teenybopper late-’90s and early 2000s.

My three favorite Christmas songs are “Carol of the Bells,” “O Holy Night” and “All I Want For Christmas.” I have almost 20 different versions of each one. I could probably listen to just a playlist of those songs all Christmas season long. But I try to mix it up. Which is why I bring you this playlist!

Christmas music playlist

“Christmas / Sarajevo 12/24” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
“O Holy Night” by Kelly Clarkson
“What Christmas Means to Me” by Cee-lo Green
“All I Want For Christmas” by Dave Melillo
“Baby it’s Cold Outside” by Leon Redbone and Zooey Deschanel
“Deck the Halls” by SheDaisy
“Sleigh Ride” by Relient K
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by Rascal Flatts
“Holly Jolly Christmas” by the Format
“Carol of the Bells” by Pentatonix
“Let’s Be Naughty (And Save Santa the Trip)” by Elliot Yamin
“Last Christmas” by the Glee Cast
“River” by Robert Downey Jr.
“Winter Wonderland” by Jason Mraz
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Christina Aguilera
“Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” by *NSync
“Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” by Maroon 5
“Silver Bells” by Gavin DeGraw

And I’ve made a YouTube playlist for you:

Hope you enjoy and it gets you in the Christmas mood! If you have any fave Christmas songs, share them with me!

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S’mores bark

I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of s’mores. However, I am a big fan of marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers. Just not together, really. Go figure. But, I saw this pin on Pinterest and was like, wow, I must try that! It seemed like a pretty awesome gift idea and a very interesting sweet bark idea.

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It took no time at all too. Within half an hour, I was munching on a piece of the bark.

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Supplies: graham crackers, mini-marshmallows and 1-2 bags of chocolate chips

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I opened one package of the graham crackers and laid it out on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.

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Put mini-marshmallows on top of the graham crackers. I was trying to figure out how full of marshmallows I needed to make this. I left gaps so the chocolate would get down to the graham crackers but you can fill it up more I think.

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Melt your chocolate in the microwave. 30 seconds. stir. repeat until melted.

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I used a spoon to get the chocolate onto the marshmallows and graham crackers.

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I realized I just didn’t have enough chocolate to cover it all. But it sure looked good and gooey.

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I had some white chocolate chips left over from making peppermint bark, so I melted it up.

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Oh yes. Gooey and chocolatey. It became marbled as I tried spreading the chocolate over everything.

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Stick the pan in the freezer for about 10 minutes to help the chocolate set up before you break it up. It was really good. My sweet tooth was immensely satisfied.

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Ladybird Ln Thirty Handmade Days