recipes

Videos 22 December 2021

Make Snack Time Pop

(Family Features) No matter the occasion, nearly every gathering of loved ones is better with snacks.

One opportunity to celebrate this winter, National Popcorn Day on Jan. 19, honors one of America’s oldest and most beloved snack foods. Perfect served by itself or as an ingredient in whole-grain creations like Poppy Chow, a twist on a classic kid’s favorite made with peanut butter, chocolate and popcorn.

With no artificial additives or preservatives, light and airy popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO and gluten free, making it a sensible option to satisfy cravings for something savory, sweet and just about every flavor in-between. Plus, whole-grain popcorn has energy-producing carbohydrates and fiber, which can help keep you satisfied longer.

Visit Popcorn.org for more tasty snack recipes worth celebrating.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Poppy Chow

Yield: 2 quarts

  • 2          quarts popped popcorn
  • 1/4       cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
  • 1/2       cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1          cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1          cup confectioners’ sugar
  1. Place popcorn in large bowl; set aside.
  2. In microwave safe bowl, combine butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips.
  3. Microwave 2 minutes; stir until smooth.
  4. Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn and stir until well coated.
  5. Sprinkle confectioners’ sugar over popcorn and stir until coated.
  6. Cool to room temperature before serving.
  7. Store in airtight container, refrigerated, up to 24 hours.

Source: Popcorn.org

Videos 27 October 2021

Add Grapes to Your Holiday Gatherings

(Family Features) Add a special touch this holiday season with simple yet stunning small plates that add beauty and flavor to gatherings with friends and family.

Available into January, California grapes offer a way to make the season special as an ingredient in your favorite recipes or as decoration for a festive centerpiece. Pops of red, green and black provide a seasonal touch and they’re perfect as an easy, fresh, healthy snack.

Plus, you can dip grapes in nut butter and finish with coatings of coconut, dark chocolate and almonds to make these Peanut Butter Grape Bites for a holiday treat that’s simply divine – without spending hours in the kitchen.

Visit grapesfromcalifornia.com to find more holiday recipe inspiration.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Peanut Butter Grape Bites

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Yield: 12 pieces

12        California grapes, chilled
1/3       cup natural peanut or almond butter
1/4       cup shredded coconut
1/4       cup chopped dark chocolate
1/4       cup chopped almonds

Place sheet of wax paper on baking sheet. Dip each grape in nut butter to coat half then dip in either coconut, dark chocolate or chopped almonds. Transfer to sheet then chill until ready to serve.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 70 calories; 2 g protein; 4 g carbohydrates; 5 g fat (64% calories from fat); 1.5 g saturated fat (19% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 25 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

Snacks 01 October 2021

A Show-Stopping Strawberry Snack

(Culinary.net) When you are craving something sweet, sometimes you just can’t get it off your mind until you have just one bite. You need something small, delicious and something that will ease your cravings. This recipe for Chocolate Coated Strawberry Treats is not only fun to make, but will give you that perfect little snack you have been longing for.

The recipe begins with fresh strawberries and ends with a drizzle of mouthwatering peanut butter sauce. This is a great recipe for little ones looking to help out in the kitchen. These strawberries are fun to dip and even more enjoyable to devour.

This snack can also be perfect for date night, a romantic date or just a picnic in the park with friends. They are easy to transport from place to place and don’t leave a huge mess behind to clean up afterwards.

It’s also simple to just melt, whisk, dip and repeat. The red, ripe berries are bursting with color and the chocolate is glazed right across the top for the perfect bite.

The best part is you can be creative and dip these strawberries into a number of your favorite ingredients you already have in your pantry at home. This includes, sprinkles, small candies, white chocolate drizzle and different kinds of nuts. The possibilities are endless.

Next time you can’t get chocolate off your mind, enjoy something delightful, rich and a show-stopping snack.

Find more snack recipes at Culinary.net.

If you made this recipe at home, use #MyCulinaryConnection on your favorite social network to share your work.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Chocolate Coated Strawberry Treats

Servings: 5

  • 1 1/4    baking chocolate chips
  • 1/2       baking peanut butter chips
  • 3          tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1          pound fresh strawberries
  • shredded coconut
  • crushed almonds
  1. In saucepan, add baking chocolate chips and two tablespoons of coconut oil. Melt on low to medium heat and whisk until smooth.
  2. In a small bowl, add baking peanut butter chips and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Whisk together until smooth.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Dip all strawberries into melted chocolate. Then, dip 1/3 in coconut, 1/3 in almonds and 1/3 just chocolate and lay on tray.
  5. Drizzle the melted peanut butter over the plain chocolate strawberries.
  6. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until strawberry treats are chilled.

Source: Culinary.net

Snacks 24 September 2021

Pop Up a Celebratory Snack

(Family Features) Popcorn lovers rejoice: October is National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, a seasonal celebration of one of America’s oldest and most beloved snack foods.

As farmers head into the fields to harvest crops, families and friends gather to enjoy this ever-popular treat. Whether it’s prepared on the stovetop, in the microwave or ready to eat from the bag, Americans consume 15 billion quarts of this whole grain each year.

Celebrated for its seed-to-snack simplicity, popcorn is also non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free and naturally low in fat and calories, which makes it an easy fit for dietary preferences – and it’s budget-friendly.

Add in popcorn’s irresistible smell, taste and versatility, and it’s easy to understand its popularity. With so many different ways to eat it – plain, buttery or loaded with goodies like these Toffee Almond Chocolate Popcorn or Churro Popcorn versions – popcorn fits many moods and occasions.

Pop up a bowl and join the Popcorn Poppin’ Month celebration with more recipes a popcorn.org.

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Toffee Almond Chocolate Popcorn

Total time: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling time
Servings: 4

  • 4 cups popped popcorn
  • 3/4 cup chopped toasted almonds, divided
  • 6 tablespoons toffee bits, divided
  • 6 ounces milk chocolate, melted
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate, melted
  1. In large bowl, toss popcorn, 1/2 cup almonds and 4 tablespoons toffee bits. Drizzle with melted milk chocolate; toss until well coated.
  2. Transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with dark chocolate; sprinkle with remaining almonds and toffee bits. Refrigerate about 30 minutes, or until set; break into clusters.

Substitution: Use dark chocolate for milk chocolate, if preferred.

Churro Popcorn

Servings: 2-3

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups popped popcorn
  1. In small bowl, mix granulated sugar, powdered sugar and cinnamon.
  2. In small saucepan, melt butter; stir in 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar.
  3. In large bowl, toss popcorn with cinnamon butter until well coated. Sprinkle evenly with remaining cinnamon sugar; toss to coat well.

Tips: For spicy variation, add 1 teaspoon spicy chipotle seasoning. Serve with hot chocolate.

Source: Popcorn Board

Videos 01 September 2021

Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie

(Family Features) Once everyone in the family arrives home from work and school, there just might be a mad dash to the kitchen for a satisfying snack.

This Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie provides a sweet way to refuel after long days on the job or in the classroom. Blending family-favorite ingredients like frozen strawberries, yogurt, chocolate syrup and vanilla makes this a simple treat that allows you to avoid spending an entire evening in the kitchen. Plus, it calls for lactose-free milk, allowing those with lactose intolerance to get in on the fun and flavor.

Some bodies are unable to break down the sugar found in milk, known as lactose, which causes an upset stomach and a heavy, bloated feeling. Rather than avoiding dairy and missing out on beneficial nutrients, people with lactose intolerance can enjoy real dairy products that are naturally low in or don’t contain lactose without the stomachache.

Find more lactose intolerance-friendly recipes at MilkMeansMore.org.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe

Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN, on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1          cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
  • 1          container (5.3 ounces) strawberry Greek yogurt
  • 1/2       cup lactose-free milk (skim, 2% or whole)
  • 2          tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1/4       teaspoon vanilla
  • fresh strawberries (optional)
  1. In blender, blend frozen strawberries, yogurt, lactose-free milk, chocolate syrup and vanilla until nearly smooth.
  2. Pour into 16-18-ounce glass. Garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired.

Source: United Dairy Industry of Michigan

Grilling-Tailgating 30 July 2021

Rally the Crowd with a Masterful Game Day Menu

(Family Features) Scoring big on game day requires championship-level meals and snacks that keep the crowd full and ready for action. You can take your tailgate to the house with these baked dishes that help simplify homegating so you can focus on the big screen.

From a salsa-based dip and chicken wings to kick off the party to sweet brownies for celebrating victory, each of these recipes call for less than an hour in the kitchen. Clock management is key to tackling a tailgate spread, making these delicious dishes the perfect play calls on game day.

To find more tailgate and homegate recipe inspiration, visit Culinary.net.

Just Wing It

Skip the silverware at your next homegate and dive right in with a fan favorite that requires just your hands and a heap of napkins: wings.

Whether you pick through your pieces or clean each wing to the bone, these Game Day Chicken Wings are perfect for eaters of all types. A simple flour-based coating keeps the recipe easy to make and baking in the oven means you can skip the messy fryer or firing up the grill.

Cook until crispy then corral your party’s favorite dipping sauces from ranch and blue cheese to barbecue and more. Once your spread is served, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the game.

Visit Culinary.net to find more touchdown-worthy tailgate recipes.

Game Day Chicken Wings

Total time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/2       cup butter, cubed
  • 1/3       cup flour
  • 2          teaspoons paprika
  • 1          teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon black pepper
  • 10        chicken wingettes, thawed
  • dipping sauces (optional)
  • fresh parsley (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Line baking sheet with foil. Arrange butter cubes on foil.
  3. In medium bowl, combine flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Coat both sides of wings in flour mixture then evenly space among butter cubes on baking sheet.
  5. Bake wings 30 minutes.
  6. Turn wings over and bake 15 minutes, or until crispy and fully cooked.
  7. Serve with dipping sauces and sprinkle with fresh parsley, if desired.

Score Big with a Salsa-Based Dip

Whether your game day celebrations call for a full-blown parking lot party or homegating with your closest friends, the nibbles and noshes you serve set the stage. Building your menu with crowd-pleasing classics – including one tried-and-true favorite that offers a fresh, veggie-forward taste: chilled salsa – makes your guests cheer for more than just the home team.

Healthy game day snacks are important to almost half (48%) of tailgaters and 18% said they’d consider leaving a party if salsa wasn’t served, according to the “Game Day Eats Report” survey from refrigerated salsa brand Fresh Cravings. With its low calorie count packed with high flavor, salsa supports health-conscious goals. Made with ingredients like fresh tomatoes, crisp vegetables, zesty peppers and more, the authentic taste of chilled salsa is a universal favorite among fans.

With a belief that plant-based foods should contain wholesome ingredients and bold flavors worth celebrating, Fresh Cravings refrigerated salsas are available in the produce section, next to dressings and dips, in restaurant-style or chunky mild, medium and hot varieties. Chilled salsa is an affordable and vibrant-tasting alternative to jarred salsa, making it a key ingredient in this Mexican Pizza Dip from celebrity chef George Duran. It’s a simple crowd-pleaser you can make in less than an hour, leaving more time for pregame festivities.

For more information and game day recipe ideas, visit freshcravings.com.

Mexican Pizza Dip

Recipe courtesy of chef George Duran
Servings: 6-8

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1          pound ground beef
  • 1          package taco seasoning mix
  • 8          ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 1          cup Fresh Cravings Chunky Salsa, plus additional for topping
  • 1          cup grated mozzarella
  • 1/2       cup blended Mexican cheese
  • sliced jalapeno (optional)
  • sliced black olives (optional)
  • green onions (optional)
  • tortilla chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spray 8-by-8-inch glass pan or large souffle dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  3. In large saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat and add ground beef, breaking up with flat wooden spatula, until fully cooked. Sprinkle taco seasoning throughout beef and combine.
  4. Place warm beef mixture in large bowl and add cream cheese, sour cream, 1 cup salsa and mozzarella. Mix well until combined and pour into prepared pan. Top with blended cheese and sliced jalapeno, black olives and green onions, if desired.
  5. Bake until fully warmed and cheese is melted, 30-35 minutes.
  6. Top with small spoonfuls of salsa. Serve with tortilla chips.

Cap Off Game Day with an All-Star Combo

Pregame festivities call for salty snacks and meaty morsels, but halftime eating and postgame celebrations are perfect for sweet treats.

You can sweeten up your tailgate or homegate with a shareable option like Marbled Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies made with Domino Golden Sugar, which is made from pure cane sugar and dissolves and measures cup for cup just like white granulated sugar without compromising performance or taste. Featuring an undefeated combination of peanut butter and chocolate, this dessert is ideal for baking a day ahead so you can manage the clock on game day.

Find more tailgating sweets at dominosugar.com.

Marbled Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 24 brownies

Chocolate Brownies:

  • 1/2       cup (1/4 pound) butter
  • 2          ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1          cup Domino Golden Sugar
  • 1/2       teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2          eggs
  • 1/2       cup all-purpose flour

Peanut Butter Marble:

  • 1/4       cup natural (no added sugar) peanut butter
  • 4          tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2       cup Domino Golden Sugar
  • 1          egg
  • 1/4       teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4       cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4       teaspoon baking powder
  • powdered sugar, for topping (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. To make chocolate brownies: In medium saucepot over low heat, melt butter and chocolate. Remove pot from heat; stir in sugar and vanilla until blended.
  3. In small mixing bowl, whisk eggs until frothy then stir into chocolate mixture.
  4. Sift flour into batter and stir just until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing to edges.
  5. To make peanut butter marble: In mixing bowl, cream peanut butter, butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla; beat just until blended. In separate bowl, sift or whisk flour and baking powder then stir into batter just until combined.
  6. Carefully spread peanut butter marble over chocolate batter. Use knife to swirl batters together, first horizontally then diagonally.
  7. Bake 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely on wire rack before cutting. Top with powdered sugar, if desired, before serving.

Source:Fresh Cravings
Domino Sugar

Snacks 17 June 2021

Fun, On-the-Go Health Hacks

(Family Features) As many people start getting back into normal routines, they’re returning to familiar on-the-go lifestyles by heading back to work, traveling to new destinations and enjoying time with loved ones.

While you get out to explore and gather with family and friends again, remember you’ll need fuel for your adventures. According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, most Americans fail to get enough whole grains each day, opting instead for mostly refined grains.

Foods like tasty whole-grain popcorn offer an easy health hack so you can make every bite count. Try getting in the habit of popping 9 cups of popcorn in the morning and dividing it into two containers. Season one container with salt and herbs, the other with a pinch of sugar and cinnamon so you can alternate between sweet and salty throughout the day. Bringing delicious options like these while on the go can help satisfy hunger pangs while adding the fiber your body needs.

Because mouthwatering whole-grain popcorn is versatile and 3 cups is equal to one serving of whole grains, it’s a simple yet flavorful option for meeting dietary recommendations. It can be a breeze to add it to snacks like Blueberry and Pomegranate Power Bars, Crunchy Popcorn Trail Mix or Sweet and Savory Curried Popcorn. You can even satisfy kids’ cravings with Grab and Go Pizza Popcorn, a six-ingredient recipe made in a matter of minutes.

Visit popcorn.org to find more nutritious snack ideas.

Sweet and Savory Curried Popcorn

Yield: 8 cups

  • 8          cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
  • 1/3       cup ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil
  • 2          tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • 1          teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon cumin
  • 2          teaspoons flaked sea salt
  1. Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.
  2. In saucepan over medium heat, melt ghee, brown sugar, honey, curry powder and cumin; stir until dissolved. Bring to light boil; remove from heat.
  3. Toss ghee mixture and salt with popcorn; transfer to serving bowl.

Crunchy Popcorn Trail Mix

Yield: 9 cups

  • 5          cups popped popcorn
  • 3          cups whole-grain oat cereal
  • 1/3       cup raisins
  • 1/3       cup peanuts or other nuts
  • 1/3       cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4       cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
  • 6          tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2          tablespoons light corn syrup
  1. In large, microwavable bowl, stir popcorn, cereal, raisins, nuts and seeds; set aside.
  2. In small saucepan, heat butter, brown sugar and corn syrup until boiling; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour over popcorn mixture, stirring to coat evenly.
  3. Microwave 3-4 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl after each minute.
  4. Spread onto greased cookie sheet; cool. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

Blueberry and Pomegranate Power Bars

Yield: 12 bars

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 8          cups popped popcorn
  • 1 1/2    cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1          cup dried blueberries
  • 1/2       cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2       cup whole natural almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2/3       cup honey
  • 2/3       cup light brown sugar
  • 2          tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 6          ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  1. Line 13-by-9-inch pan with foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, combine popcorn, oats, blueberries, pomegranate seeds and almonds.
  3. In small saucepan over low heat, boil honey, brown sugar and butter 2 minutes. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix thoroughly.
  4. Using damp hands, press mixture firmly into prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Cut into 12 bars.
  5. Dip bottoms of bars into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper-lined pan; refrigerate until ready to serve. Store in tight covered container in refrigerator.

Grab and Go Pizza Popcorn

Yield: 6 quarts

  • 6          quarts popped popcorn
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1          cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2          teaspoons garlic salt
  • 2          teaspoons paprika
  • 1          tablespoon Italian seasoning
  1. Place popcorn in large, sealable plastic container or 2 1/2-gallon plastic sealable bag.
  2. Spray popcorn lightly with olive oil cooking spray.
  3. Sprinkle cheese, garlic salt, paprika and Italian seasoning over popcorn and shake to distribute evenly.
  4. To serve, scoop popcorn into reusable plastic cups.

Source: Popcorn Board

Videos 09 April 2021

Dreamy Chocolate Mousse

Some of the best memories throughout life stick with you forever as you play them over and over in your head and smile, thinking fondly of those times.

A lot of these good memories are centered around laughs, great conversation and irresistible, mouthwatering food. Family events such as wedding showers or Mother’s Day, or the first day of spring after a bitter winter, can be reasons to celebrate and indulge in something out of the ordinary.

This Dreamy Chocolate Mousse can make those special memories just a little bit sweeter. It’s rich, decedent and full of scrumptious chocolate flavor. Topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate, it’s the perfect addition to almost any special occasion.

It works as a dessert after a meal or just a special treat. It can be served at a big event or simply a Sunday afternoon at home.

To start, add chocolate, marshmallows and heavy cream to a mixing bowl. Microwave until melted, about 2 minutes. Let cool for 1 hour.

Pour additional heavy cream into a mixer and whip until soft peaks form. Take 1/2 cup of whipped cream and refrigerate for later.

Fold half of the soft whipped cream mixture into the cooled chocolate. Once combined, add the rest of the whipped cream.

Spoon the mousse into serving bowls or ramekins and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Once chilled, add toppings or reserved whipped cream and shaved chocolate, if desired.

It’s easy and requires minimal ingredients, and the results are something smooth, rich and luscious.

Your sense of taste will take you right back to that happy place once you take a small bite. Memories are some of the greatest gifts you get to keep forever.

Find more sweet treat recipes at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Dreamy Chocolate Mousse

Serves: 4-8

  • 8          ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, plus chocolate shavings (optional)
  • 40        large marshmallows
  • 2 1/4    cups heavy cream, divided
  1. In large bowl, combine chopped chocolate, marshmallows and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Microwave 2 minutes on high, or until marshmallows are melted. Let mixture cool 1 hour.
  2. Using mixer, whip 1 3/4 cups heavy cream until soft peaks form. Reserve and refrigerate 1/2 cup whipped cream for topping.
  3. In cooled chocolate mixture, fold in 2 cups whipped cream until combined. Add remaining whipped cream and mix until combined.
  4. Spoon mousse into ramekins. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  5. To serve, top with 1/2 cup reserved whipped cream and sprinkle with shaved chocolate, if desired.
Videos 15 February 2021

Mint Brownies

(Culinary.net) How lucky you must be to come across this recipe just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. This one is a twisted combination of mint and sweet chocolate that’s sure to have almost anyone’s taste buds screaming “yum.” This dessert might just be the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow this year.

These Mint Brownies have three delicious layers. First, a supreme brownie on bottom. Then a fluffy, green mint layer that’s full of flavor and color. Last, but definitely not least, a chocolate layer on top made with chocolate chips, butter and a little whipping cream.

All of these layers create a smooth, sweet, minty, bite-sized dessert perfect for any occasion but especially St. Patrick’s Day. The green mint color really pops off the plate, giving it some extra flare and an appetizing glow.

To start, create the soft, chocolate filled brownie. Combine brownie mix, vegetable oil, one egg, water and the chocolate syrup pouch. Bake and cool completely.

Then it’s time for some colorful, festive fun. Make the filling with powdered sugar, butter, whipping cream, softened cream cheese, a splash of peppermint extract and a few drops of green food coloring. Beat and pour over the cooled brownie pan.

The last layer is simple. In a saucepan, melt whipping cream, chocolate chips and butter until smooth. When it’s cooled to lukewarm, pour it over the filling for the final layer.

Refrigerate the Mint Brownies for two hours before serving. Cut them into bite-size pieces for small chunks that will melt in your mouth.

Find more seasonal dessert recipes at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

 

Mint Brownies

Servings: 9-12

  •             Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          box supreme brownie mix with chocolate syrup pouch
  • 3          tablespoons water
  • 1/3       cup vegetable oil
  • 1          egg

Filling:

  • 3 1/2    cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4       cup butter, softened
  • 1/4       cup whipping cream
  • 5          ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2       teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 5          drops green food color

Topping:

  • 1/2       cup whipping cream
  • 1          bag (12 ounces) chocolate chips
  • 1/2       cup butter

Heat oven to 350 F.

  1. Spray 8-by-8-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, mix brownie mix, water, oil and egg until combined. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake 35 minutes. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  3. To make filling: In large bowl, beat powdered sugar, butter, whipping cream, cream cheese, peppermint extract and food coloring. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate 1 hour, or until set.
  4. To make topping: In saucepan, melt whipping cream, chocolate chips and butter until smooth. Cool until lukewarm, about 10 minutes. Pour over filling; spread to cover. Refrigerate 2 hours, or until set.
  5. Before serving, let brownies set 10 minutes at room temperature.

Tips: Cut brownies with wet knife for cleaner cuts. Store covered in refrigerator.

Holiday 09 November 2020

Popping Up Festive Holiday Fun

(Family Features) During a holiday season that may not quite feel the same for many families, you can add a magic touch to at-home festivities with activities and treats that get everyone involved. Creating decorative holiday sweets allows little ones and grown-ups alike to take part in the fun, and the end result is delicious desserts for all to enjoy.

Start with a main ingredient like whole-grain, freshly popped popcorn. At 30 calories a cup, it’s naturally low in fat, non-GMO and gluten-free for a nutritious alternative to traditional holiday indulgences. It’s a clever way to create artsy representations of the season at hand that celebrate festive flavors like peppermint, coconut, chocolate and other sweet eats.

For example, Coconut Popcorn Snowballs add fun and flavor to wintertime with a coat of sweetened coconut “snow” and candy cane handle while easy-to-construct Holiday Popcorn Snowmen are sure to be a hit with your children. Add to the holiday spirit throughout your home with wintery Jingle Balls that call for colored sugars to create a magical sparkling effect then take the creativity to the next level by encouraging kids to make their own red-nosed, sleigh-pulling team of Chocolate Popcorn Reindeer.

Discover more decorative dessert recipes at popcorn.org.

Coconut Popcorn Snowballs

Yield: 8 balls (4 inches)

  • 2          cups shredded or flaked sweetened coconut
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 3          quarts popped popcorn
  • 4          tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
  • 3          cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1          teaspoon coconut or vanilla extract
  • 8          candy canes or candy cane sticks (about 3-4 inches)
  1. Place large sheet wax or parchment paper over work surface. Spread coconut on paper.
  2. Spray large mixing bowl lightly with nonstick cooking spray and place popcorn inside.
  3. In medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in marshmallows until melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over popcorn and mix well until coated.
  4. Spray hands with cooking spray and press mixture firmly to form into balls. Place balls on coconut; roll and press coconut to coat. While holding popcorn balls, gently press candy cane into each ball.
  5. Serve immediately or wrap individually in plastic wrap for storage.

Jingle Balls

Yield: 12 cups

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 12        cups popped popcorn
  • 6          tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3          cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/2       teaspoon peppermint extract
  • assorted colored sugars
  1. Spray large mixing bowl lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Add popcorn.
  2. Spread plastic wrap on cookie sheet; set aside.
  3. In medium saucepan, melt butter and marshmallows; stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in peppermint extract. Pour over popcorn, mixing until well coated. Let cool 2 minutes.
  4. Spray hands with nonstick cooking spray and form popcorn mixture into 3-inch balls. Gently press colored sugar onto balls. Let sit on prepared cookie sheet until cool and set.

Chocolate Popcorn Reindeer

Servings: 8

  • 8          cups unsalted, unbuttered, popped popcorn
  • 2 1/2    cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/2       cup chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips
  • 2          tablespoons butter or light olive oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 16        pretzel sticks
  • 16        eyeball candies
  • 8          red candy-coated
  • chocolate candies
  1. Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.
  2. In saucepan over medium heat, heat marshmallows, chocolate, butter and salt, stirring often, until smooth. Toss marshmallow mixture with popcorn until well combined.
  3. Scoop 3/4 cup popcorn mixture into ball. Repeat with remaining mixture to make eight balls. Place each ball in paper muffin cup liner.
  4. Insert one pretzel stick on each side of ball to resemble antlers, attach two eyeball candies for “eyes” and one red chocolate candy for “nose.” Repeat with remaining balls. Let cool completely.

Holiday Popcorn Snowmen

Yield: 5 snowmen

  • 1          package (1 pound) large marshmallows
  • 1/4       cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, plus additional for greasing hands
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla
  • 10        cups popped popcorn
  • sprinkles (optional)
  • licorice (optional)
  • gum drops (optional)
  • cinnamon candies (optional)
  1. In large saucepan, melt marshmallows and 1/4 cup butter. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn and stir. Butter hands well and form into balls.
  3. Decorate with sprinkles, licorice, gum drops and cinnamon candies, if desired.

Popcorn Board

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