Scarecrow Bars | Fun Fall Party Treat!

Scarecrow Bars

It always seems like we go to more events and parties for the kids in the Fall than around Christmas and while I have a few crowd-pleasers in my standard lineup of food to take to parties or church (everyone always goes nuts for my Oreo Truffles as well as my pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and even my white chocolate cheesecake bars (although those are a little messy), I am always looking for something new!

A friend of mine made these scarecrow bars recently and I admit that, when I first saw them, I thought that they were just rice krispie treats with some candy corn and peanuts on them….but they are just so much more! A crust made from cake mix & butter topped with ooey-gooey marshmallows and THEN topped with a sweet and peanut buttery version of rice krispie treats. Everyone (except those with a nut allergy) will love them!

If your kids won’t eat peanuts (mine won’t, although the love the flavor of them…they just won’t eat them whole) you can leave out the peanuts, but you will need to add some more crisped rice cereal to make up for them.

These are best served the same day that you make them. While I like nothing more than an easy recipe that you can make in advance, like traditional rice krispie desserts, they tend to get harder as time passes.

Scroll down for the complete directions!

Scarecrow Bars | Fun Fall Party Treat!

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Scarecrow Bars | Fun Fall Party Treat!

Ingredients

  • 1 box Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 2 cup salted peanuts
  • 1 cup candy corn

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine cake mix and butter completely mixed
  3. Add eggs and beat until incorporated
  4. Press mixture into the bottom of ungreased 13x9 baking pan.
  5. Bake until it sets and the edges are lightly browned (about 15 minutes).
  6. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle marshmallows over hot crust.
  7. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another few minutes until marshmallows puff up.
  8. Remove from oven.
  9. While the crust is baking, combine corn syrup, sugar and brown sugar in a saucepan (use one large enough to also hold the cereal and peanuts).
  10. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  11. Remove from heat and add in the peanut butter and vanilla and stir until smooth.
  12. Stir in cereal and peanuts.
  13. Spoon the mixture over the marshmallow topped base and spread to cover (use wax paper to help you cover the crust evenly).
  14. Sprinkle candy corn over mixture evenly and gently press them in to the topping.
  15. Let cool before cutting in the bars or squares
http://momsneedtoknow.com/scarecrow-bars-fun-fall-party-treat/

Pumpkin Belgian Waffles Recipe

Fluffy Pumpkin Belgian Waffles

Waffles are a favorite in our house…so much so that we will often have them for dinner! Whenever we make waffles (or pancakes, for that matter), I usually end up making a triple or quadruple batch and freeze the leftovers. My kids love to have pancakes or waffles for breakfast before school and by doing this, I can’t even remember the last time I have purchased frozen waffles.

We love all things pumpkin in this house so this is the time of year that we switch over to making pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin Belgian waffles.

The best part about Belgian Waffles is how light and fluffy they stay on the inside, while still being crispy on the outside. This is accomplished in 2 ways:

  1. Having the right waffle maker – you need to have a proper Belgian waffle maker to get the best results. The deep wells just ensure that they will turn out right. If you don’t want or have the space for 2 waffle makers, you will get good results making a “regular” waffle recipe (even from a box mix) in a Belgian waffle maker….so if you have to pick one, get the Belgian!
  2. Pumpkin Belgian Waffles Process

    Whipping the egg whites separately and folding them in before cooking – so many people think that Belgian waffles are all about the waffle iron. That is only half of the equation! You can’t just pour regular waffle batter in to a Belgian waffle maker and call them Belgian waffles (well – you can, but you would be wrong). You need to use a mixer (I use my Kitchen Aid) and beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and then fold the egg whites in to the batter. This is what makes this Belgian waffles recipe turn out perfectly!

These pumpkin Belgian waffles are a favorite in our house and I hope that they will be in yours as well!  Scroll down to the complete directions!

Pumpkin Belgian Waffles Recipe

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Pumpkin Belgian Waffles Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cup Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 3 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 4 tbsp melted Butter

Instructions

  1. Place all dry ingredients to bowl and whisk to mix well.
  2. Separate your eggs.
  3. Place yolks, pumpkin, milk and melted butter in a large bowl and mix to blend.
  4. Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  6. Gently fold egg whites into batter.
  7. Pour batter into heated and oiled waffle maker and bake following the directions for your waffle maker.
  8. Served with whipped butter, pecans and maple syrup.
http://momsneedtoknow.com/pumpkin-belgian-waffles-recipe/

Oreo Stuffed Spider Cupcakes | Fun For Halloween!

Oreo Stuffed Spider Cupcakes

By now you know that I have a serious thing for Oreos, although I rarely eat them plain. I prefer to either make my Oreo Truffles (especially peppermint Oreo Truffles as soon as they peppermint ones come out at Christmas) or coat them in chocolate like for my Oreo Spider Pops. I’ve even been known to spread some peanut butter on them and stuff them in a cupcake!

Apparently, I have  become “known” for my Oreo recipes. Just yesterday at church when I was working the hospitality area, I had a few people ask me if I brought in any Oreo Truffles for the buffet (which I usually do on the Sundays I work Hospitality). I guess I know what I am making for next week!

Anyway – since the peanut butter & Oreo stuffed cupcakes turned out so well, I figured it was time to make another similar recipe! If you don’t want an Oreo Spider on top of the cupcake as well as one baked inside the cupcake (or if, for some strange reason you think it is possible to have too many Oreos), you can just make the cupcakes like normal and then follow the directions to make the Oreo Spiders and use them to decorate!

But seriously – who wouldn’t love to bite in to this?

oreo cupcake open

Ok – let’s get to making them (full directions below)

First things first – mix up the cake mix according to the package directions

cupcake batter

Line your cupcake pan with paper liners and fill them halfway with batter. Place an Oreo in the center of the batter and press down slightly. Spoon more batter over the top of the Oreo to cover it completely. Bake according to package directions and allow to cool.

oreo stuffed cupcakes process

To make the spiders, we are going to use melted chocolate (the kind you buy in the craft stores) as our “glue”. Simply twist open the Oreos and cut your licorice strings in equal lengths (about 4″) and press them in to the icing inside the cookie. Pipe a little bit of melted chocolate on top of the licorice and place the top of the cookie back on top. Grab some M&M’s and attach them (letter side down) on top of your Spider using more melted chocolate to attach them. Use a drop of chocolate to make the center of the eyes.

Oreo Spiders

After you have made your spiders, simply whip up your icing, ice the cupcakes and place a spider on top!

Your kids will love them!

Oreo Stuffed Spider Cupcakes | Fun For Halloween!

Rating: 51

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Serving Size: 24 cupcakes

Oreo Stuffed Spider Cupcakes | Fun For Halloween!

Ingredients

    For the Cupcakes
  • 1 box Chocolate Cake Mix + ingredients listed on box to make them
  • 24 Oreo Cookies
  • For the Icing
  • 1 cup softened Butter
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • For the Spiders
  • 24 Oreo Cookies
  • 24 Rips Whips Candy Strings or other string licorice
  • 48 colored M&M's
  • 1/2 cup Black Candy Melting Chips

Instructions

    To Make the Cupcakes
  1. Prepare cupcakes according to box directions except when filling cupcake liners, fill just halfway with cupcake batter, then place an Oreo in the middle and then fill the rest of the way with the batter.
  2. Bake as directed on the box
  3. Allow to cool.
  4. To Make the Oreo Spiders
  5. Place black candy chips in corner of zippered sandwich bag and heat in microwave for 45 seconds. Gently massage to ensure it is melted and smooth. Clip tiny piece off corner of bag to pipe.
  6. Make a black dot in the center of each M&M to be an eye.
  7. Gently twist apart each Oreo.
  8. Cut each candy string into 4 equal parts.
  9. Press each piece into icing to make 8 legs.
  10. Pipe a little melted candy to act as glue and put top back on cookie.
  11. Pipe a little melted candy on top to glue eyes in place.
  12. Allow to cool and set.
  13. To Make the Icing
  14. Cream butter and vanilla in a large bowl
  15. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, and milk as needed, until everything is incorporated and frosting is right consistency.
  16. Beat for 5 minutes to make sure it is fluffy.
  17. Put It Together
  18. Ice cupcakes then decorate tops with Spiders.
http://momsneedtoknow.com/oreo-stuffed-spider-cupcakes-fun-halloween/

Twinkie Frankenstein Treats | Great For Halloween Parties!

Twinkie Frankenstein Treats

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because it can just be so much fun! Sure, the trend these days is towards more gruesome decorations, but you can still keep some whimsy in Halloween, especially for the younger kids, with these Twinkie Frankenstein treats!

Now before you say “but I don’t want to make them with Twinkies….do you have any idea how many chemicals there are in those?”, keep in mind that, back when Twinkies went out of business temporarily, I came up with a recipe for homemade Twinkies! Just use that recipe to make them from scratch and then follow the directions listed below!

I will say that this is not a “quick & easy project”. Well – it is easy, but it really isn’t quick. Since you are basically layering different colors of chocolate on top of each other, you need to allow some time between each layer for the chocolate to firm up in the refrigerator or freezer. Much like my Oreo Truffles recipe, you also want to make sure that you are starting off with your Twinkies almost frozen solid or else they will fall apart when you are putting that first chocolate layer on them!

Looking for some more Halloween recipes? Try these!

Twinkie Frankenstein Treats | Great For Halloween Parties!

Rating: 41

Total Time: 1 hour

Twinkie Frankenstein Treats | Great For Halloween Parties!

Ingredients

  • 6 Twinkies (store-bought you you can try my homemade Twinkie recipe )
  • 18 mini marshmallows
  • 12 oz Green Melting Chips
  • 4 oz Black Melting Chips
  • 1 Red Melting Chip
  • 12 Candy Eye Decorations (melting chips and eye decorations can be found at your local craft store)

Instructions

  1. Place Twinkies in freezer for at least 30 minutes or until very firm.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet or cutting board by covering with parchment or wax paper.
  3. Melt green candy chips by microwaving 30 seconds then stirring and repeating until melted.
  4. Dip each Twinkie in the green chocolate and roll to completely coat.
  5. Transfer to prepared paper.
  6. Spear a mini marshmallow with a toothpick and dip in green chocolate to cover completely.
  7. Position marshmallow in middle of Twinkie to act as nose. Use another toothpick to loosen marshmallow from first toothpick and to smooth out chocolate.
  8. Using chocolate as "glue", set 2 eyes just above the nose.
  9. Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes to set.
  10. Lift each Twinkie to separate from paper.
  11. Using a knife, carefully trim excess chocolate around the edges.
  12. Melt black candy chips by microwaving 30 seconds then stirring and repeating until melted.
  13. Dip top of each Twinkie in black chocolate to make hair.
  14. Return to prepared paper.
  15. Using the toothpick method, dip 12 mini marshmallows in black chocolate to coat completely and place on prepared paper to use as neck bolts.
  16. Place in refrigerator for 5 minutes to set.
  17. Trim any excess chocolate around the edges of each marshmallow.
  18. Using chocolate as glue attach neck bolts to sides of Twinkies.
  19. Take the one red chip and heat for 30-60 seconds until melted.
  20. Using a toothpick, draw a mouth on each Frankenstein as well as the forehead scar.
  21. Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes to set.
http://momsneedtoknow.com/twinkie-frankenstein-treats-great-halloween-parties/

Apple Rice Krispie Treats | Great For Fall Parties!

Apple Rice Krispie Treats

Most everyone loves Rice Krispie treats but they can get a little boring. Of course, most people won’t complain if you serve them to them the “regular way”, but it is always nice to be able to “fancy them up” for the different seasons. If you remember, we had fun making reindeer rice krispie treats for Christmas, so it was time to make something for Fall. What goes better with Fall than apples?

This recipe should make about 18 Rice Krispie apples and you split the ingredients in half so that you are making 9 green and 9 red apples.  Of course, you can speed up the process by making them all 1 color, but I just think that they look nicer when they are 2 different colors!

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 cup Rice Krispies Cereal
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 1 10.5 oz  bag Marshmallows
  • Red Food Coloring
  • Green Food Coloring
  • 3 Tootsie Roll Midgees
  • Green Fruit Rollups

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut each Tootsie Roll in half. then cut each of the halves into 4 quarters lengthwise (to make at least 18 stems – you will have leftovers).
  2. Unwrap and unroll fruit rollups and cut small leaves out of the rollup (these will be used to decorate the apples).
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over low heat.
  4. Add the half of the marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
  5. Add about 15 drops of red food coloring and mix well.
  6. Add 3 cups cereal and mix well.
  7. Remove from heat and allow to sit about 3 minutes.
  8. Butter your hands or use wax paper to press the mixture firmly into 9 balls.
  9. Insert a “tootsie roll stem” in each ball.
  10. Place rollup leaves next to stem.
  11. Repeat process with remaining ingredients to make green apples.

Deviled Green Eggs and Brains | Halloween Appetizers

halloween appetizers

I love deviled eggs and these are just the perfect Halloween appetizers for any party that you might have. The taste of the eggs is not changed at all by the green dye and making the filling look like brains is really easy. I always use a piping bag anyway when I fill my deviled eggs (makes them look much neater) – this is just a new way to pipe them! Pick up some plastic eyeballs at the dollar store and place them on your serving platter for maximum creep-out factor!

The cheapest way to do this is with just an ordinary sandwich bag, but you can always use a cake decorating tip set and use one of the writing tips to pipe the filling in the to eggs (don’t forget to get decorating bags as well!). This will look the best, but you have to be extra-careful to make your filling with NO lumps or the eggs will get clogged in the tip. If that happens, just stick a pin or toothpick in to the tip to loosen up the clot!

Ok – off the making your Zombie Deviled Eggs! You will need:

  • 6 Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp dill relish
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • Orange Food Coloring
  • Green Food Coloring
  • (Note:  if you have a favorite deviled eggs recipe, you can just make that recipe and

Directions:

  1. Place eggs in a pot with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and cover.
  2. Once water comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, and allow the eggs to cool in the water for 10 minutes.
  4. Run under cold water until they are cool enough to handle. Peel eggs and rinse any shell residue.
  5. Carefully slice eggs in half lengthwise.  Place the yolks in a separate bowl and place the yolks in a bowl of warm water colored with green food coloring. *The darker the green water is, the greener your eggs will be.
  6. Allow egg yolks to soak for 10-15 minutes, until desired color is achieved.
  7. Combine egg yolks with the mayonnaise, relish and mustard until smooth. (or make your own favorite deviled egg recipe)
  8. Slowly add a little orange food coloring into yolk mixture until you get a soft pinkish orange color.
  9. Place yolk mixture into a zip lock bag or piping bag and snip a small hole in the corner. *To make filling the bag easier, place it in a cup and fold the edges down over the rim.
  10. In gentle short line motions, fill your green eggs with the yolk mixture.
  11. Serve and enjoy your Brrraaaiiiinnnnsssss.

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container.

Do you have any favorite Halloween appetizers?

Get more appetizer recipe ideas!

Deviled Green Eggs and Brains | Halloween Appetizers

Deviled Green Eggs and Brains | Halloween Appetizers

Ingredients

  • Orange Food Coloring
  • Green Food Coloring
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp dill relish
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • (or you can just use your favorite deviled egg recipe and the food colorings)

Instructions

  1. Place eggs in a pot with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and cover.
  2. Once water comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, and allow the eggs to cool in the water for 10 minutes.
  4. Run under cold water until they are cool enough to handle. Peel eggs and rinse any shell residue.
  5. Carefully slice eggs in half lengthwise. Place the yolks in a separate bowl and place the yolks in a bowl of warm water colored with green food coloring. *The darker the green water is, the greener your eggs will be.
  6. Allow egg yolks to soak for 10-15 minutes, until desired color is achieved.
  7. Combine egg yolks with the mayonnaise, relish and mustard until smooth.
  8. Slowly add a little orange food coloring into yolk mixture until you get a soft pinkish orange color.
  9. Place yolk mixture into a zip lock bag or piping bag and snip a small hole in the corner. *To make filling the bag easier, place it in a cup and fold the edges down over the rim.
  10. In gentle short line motions, fill your green eggs with the yolk mixture.
  11. Serve and enjoy your Brrraaaiiiinnnnsssss.
  12. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container.
http://momsneedtoknow.com/deviled-green-eggs-brains-halloween-appetizers/

Bonefish Grill Bang Bang Shrimp | Copycat Recipe!

copycat bang bang shrimp recipe

There are just certain dishes that I love to have when I go out to eat and Bonefish Grill Bang Bang Shrimp is one of them! Unfortunately, the nearest Bonefish Grill is not terribly convenient for me and my husband is more of a “meat & potatoes” kind of guy, so we don’t often find ourselves there for meals.

But like most restaurant favorites, if you look and experiment for long enough, you are likely to be able to recreate the same recipe at home and this copycat Bonefish Grill Bang Bang Shrimp recipe is about as close as you are going to get to the “real thing” (and it is much cheaper to make it at home!).

This recipe calls for 2 sauces that may have unfamiliar names to you, but if you look at the picture of the ingredients, you should recognize them and be able to find them in the ethnic food section of your supermarket (definitely the Huy Fong sauce….if you have a problem finding the Mae Ploy sauce, you can always get it on Amazon!).

Unless peanut allergies are an issue in your family, you want to make sure to use peanut oil for the frying. I know that there are cheaper varieties of oil that you can use but trust me when I say that the peanut oil will give the shrimp the flavor it needs to be a true copycat recipe!

Lastly – the Miracle Whip….I know not everyone is a fan of it but, once again, it is a key ingredient that shouldn’t be changed. If you don’t typically keep it in your house, just get the smallest jar possible at the supermarket!

To make it, you will need:

Ingredients:

bang bang shrimp ingredients

  • 10 oz Raw Shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/3 cup Miracle Whip
  • 1/4 cup Mae Ploy Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/2-3/4 cup Cornstarch
  • 3 Green Onions sliced
  • Peanut Oil for frying

Making it is easy!

Mix Miracle Whip and both chili sauces in a medium bowl. Place butttermilk in a small bowl and the cornstarch in a separate small bowl

bang bang shrimp sauce

Pour about 1/2″ – 1″ peanut oil in to a heavy skillet (cast iron is best) and heat oil to 350.

Dip each shrimp in buttermilk, then in the cornstarch and then in to the heated oil.

bang bang shrimp frying

Deep fry the shrimp until lightly brown.

Remove shrimp from the oil and place on plate that has been lined with paper towel to absorb the excess grease.

Toss the shrimp in chili sauce mixture to coat.

Serve the on bed of lettuce and top with chopped sliced green onions.

Enjoy!

copycat bang bang shrimp recipe

Glazed Pumpkin Spice Scones | Copycat Starbucks Recipe!

Glazed Pumpkin Spice Scones

I think we have pretty much well documented by now that I have an intense love of all things pumpkin. I eat it all year long, but there is something about the crisp cool fair air that makes it taste even more delicious! From my pumpkin pancakes recipe to my Pumpkin Parmesan Risotto to my Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe, I can pretty eat or drink pumpkin-flavored dishes and find different ways to use pumpkin every day of the year.

One thing that many Starbucks customers look forward to each year is the return of their pumpkin scones. While I will be the first to admit that they are delicious, they are ridiculously overpriced for what you are getting. For the price of just a single scone, you can make a whole batch of 8 of them, and with ingredients that you probably already have in your house (especially if, like me, you always have a few cans of pumpkin in your cabinets)!

I don’t make these pumpkin spice scones that often….usually for holidays or a special Sunday breakfast. The reason I don’t make them more often? Because I would be too tempted to eat the entire batch myself and that doesn’t bode well for my diet! They are the perfect combination of a crumbly (buy not heavy) base coated with 2 delicious glazes.

The easiest way to mix up the scones is in a food processor but if you don’t have one, you can just cut the butter in to the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or just even 2 knives. I grew up using the “2 knives method” and, while it will take you longer to get the cornmeal texture needed to make these scones, it can be done!

Oh – one last thing – if you want to make these pumpkin spice scones for a party or to take to church, just cut them in to bite-sized pieces before baking and reduce the baking time by about 5 minutes. Just keep an eye on them so that they don’t get overcooked!

And seriously – once you make this copycat version of the Starbucks pumpkin spice scones, you will wonder why you have spent so much money buying them in the past!

Glazed Pumpkin Spice Scones | Copycat Starbucks Recipe!

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Glazed Pumpkin Spice Scones | Copycat Starbucks Recipe!

Ingredients

    For the Scones:
  • 2 1/2 cup Flour
  • 6 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger
  • 1/2 cup cold Butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 3 tbsp Heavy Cream
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • For the Sweet Glaze:
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • For the Spiced Glaze:
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • Pinch of Cloves
  • Pinch of Ginger

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  3. In food processor combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Pulse to combine.
  4. Add cold butter and pulse until blended and it has texture like cornmeal.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, cream, egg and vanilla.
  6. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until a soft dough forms. Do not overmix!
  7. Turn dough out on to a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 4-5 times until it comes together.
  8. Roll the dough into roughly and 8x10" rectangle, about 1" thick.
  9. Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise, then crosswise, making four small rectangles.
  10. Cut each each of these diagonally, making 8 triangles.
  11. Place scones onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 14-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  12. Allow to cool on wire rack.
  13. Slowly whisk milk into powdered sugar until desired thickness is reached for sweet glaze.
  14. Slowly whisk milk into dry ingredients until desired thickness is reached for spiced glaze.
  15. When the scones are cool, spoon the plain glaze on each scone and allow to harden for 10 minutes before drizzling with spiced glaze.
http://momsneedtoknow.com/glazed-pumpkin-spice-scones-copycat-starbucks-recipe/

Baked Potato Skins Recipe

Easy Baked Potato Skins

If there is one snack or appetizer that I always like to order at a restaurant or see on a table at a football party, it’s potato skins. There is just something about the combination of potato, bacon and cheese that just tastes so good! Add a dollop of sour cream and I am in heaven! Put them out on a buffet next to some baked mozzarella sticks and bacon-wrapped smokies and you have the ULTIMATE football spread (although it won’t be the best for your thighs!)

I have tried to make them at home so many times and they just never turned out right. The skin of the potato was never crispy enough and they just were never as good as the ones at the restaurants. Of course, I later figured out that it was because most restaurants, if they don’t buy them pre-made, will deep fry to potato skin before filling it with bacon and cheese.

I am not a fan of deep-fat frying for 2 reasons:

  1. The added fat and calories that it adds to the food
  2. The lingering smell of the grease in my house for days after we use the deep fat fryer.

Of course, we get around the “smell issue” in the warmer months by doing any frying (my husband would deep fry a chocolate bar if he could) out on the back patio…but that isn’t going to help you for the 2nd half of football season when it is 10 degrees outside….and then you still have the issue of all those extra calories!

So how do you get the crispy skin without frying them? The answer is simple: aluminum foil and olive oil…and butter! instead of baking the potatoes plain in the oven on the rack, rub them with some olive oil and salt and then bake them on a foil-lined sheet.  This will start the crisping process.  Then, before you fill them, you want to brush them with butter and stick them back in the oven for a little bit. Doing that will crisp up the skin and give you almost the exact same results as the potato skins restaurants!

My favorite potato skins are the ones from TGI Fridays and considering that they sell them at the supermarket, I must not be alone in the preference! The problem with buying them frozen? Aside from all the extra preservatives and chemicals in them, you end up paying WAY too much for them. Even if you can get them on sale, it ends up being about $2.50 for the equivalent of 2 or 3 potatoes and about 1/4 cup of cheese and a few tablespoons of bacon!

I really do think that this baked potato skins recipe is just as good and WAY cheaper!

Baked Potato Skins Recipe

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Baked Potato Skins Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 Russet Potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp melted Butter
  • 3/4 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Crispy Fried Bacon (you can also use bacon bits, but they won't be as good)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Wash, scrub and dry potatoes.
  4. Pierce each potato multiple times with a fork.
  5. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for 1 hour.
  7. Allow to cool.
  8. Preheat oven to 375.
  9. Cut each potato lengthwise into thirds (if your potatoes aren't that large or you don't mind having a "deep well" in your potato skins, you can skip this step)
  10. Use a spoon to scoop out white potato of each remaining slice, leaving about 1/4" thickness of potato in each.
  11. Brush potato skins with melted butter and bake for 25 minutes until crisp.
  12. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon and return to oven until the cheese is melted.
  13. Serve with sour cream and sliced green onions.
http://momsneedtoknow.com/baked-potato-skins-recipe/

Wedge Salad With Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

homemade blue cheese dressing

There are a few things that, once you make them from scratch, you can’t go back to buying them pre-made. Soup is one of them and blue cheese dressing is another (actually – most salad dressings!). Whenever we go out to dinner, if a wedge salad is on the menu, that is the one I am going to order. It’s one of those salads that is just so simple as to be perfect. It is just the perfect blend of creaminess, saltiness and crispness.

Making it is so simple and this homemade blue cheese dressing will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. If this is one of your favorite dressings, whip up double or triple a batch (this recipe makes enough for 4 salads) every week and never buy it again!

To make it, you will need:

homemade blue cheese dressing ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1 head Iceberg Lettuce
  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/4 lb Crispy Bacon, crumbled
  • Croutons
  • Crumbled Blue Cheese

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/4 Sour Cream
  • dash Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Blue Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

This homemade blue cheese dressing recipe will make enough to cover 1 head of iceberg lettuce (4 servings) but, as I said, can easily keep for a few days so make a double or triple batch if you like blue cheese dressing!

Scroll down for complete directions!

Wedge Salad With Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Wedge Salad With Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

Ingredients

    For the salad:
  • 1 head Iceberg Lettuce
  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/4 lb Crispy Bacon, crumbled
  • Croutons
  • Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/4 Sour Cream
  • dash Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Blue Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream and worcestershire in a bowl, mixing well.
  2. Fold in blue cheese.
  3. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.
  4. Wash and core lettuce; cut into quarters.
  5. Pour dressing over each wedge.
  6. Sprinkle bacon and crumbled blue cheese over wedge.
  7. Dice some tomatoes to top each wedge and slice several to garnish plates.
http://momsneedtoknow.com/wedge-salad-homemade-blue-cheese-dressing/

S’Mores Marshmallow Pops

smores-marshmallow-pops

Ok – after the Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Filling from yesterday, I seriously seem to have issues with chocolate and marshmallows. My children just adore S’Mores, but it is getting a little chilly outside now and these are just so easy to make without buying one of those fancy S’Mores makers (and having one more thing to store in the kitchen). With adequate supervision, this can make for some fun rainy day activities with the kids!

To make these, you will need:

  • 6 Regular Marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup Milk Chocolate Morsels
  • 6 Graham Crackers, crushed (or 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs)
  • 6 Pop or Cookie Sticks

Directions:
1. Heat Chocolate Morsels by microwaving for 30 seconds stirring and repeating until melted. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes.

2. Stick a pop stick in to one end of the marshmallow and use it as a handle as you brown the top of a marshmallow over flame. Be careful to not overcook or you will create a shell that will fall off too easily.

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3. Carefully remove the stick and dip un-browned side of marshmallow in melted chocolate, letting the chocolate come up about 1/3 the height of the marshmallow.

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4. Insert stick back in to marshmallow on the chocolate dipped side.
5. Sprinkle chocolate side of marshmallow with crushed graham crackers and lay on wax paper.
6. Immediately place in refrigerator for 10 minutes to set the chocolate.
Enjoy!

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The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

I think I have pretty well established that I love pumpkin and will always be looking for new ways to use pumpkin!  I love everything about pumpkin and luckily, so do my children (My husband?  Not so much).  From my pumpkin parmesan risotto to pumpkin cheesecake bars, I pretty much try to sneak pumpkin in to anything I can in the Fall and Winter!

So it just makes sense that we should take a favorite recipe in almost any home (chocolate chip cookie) and figure out how to get some pumpkin in to them…right? It actually turns out that it isn’t as difficult as I thought it would be and these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are just delicious.

One important thing about this recipe – you NEED to chill the dough as well as use parchment paper when you are baking them.  I have talked about the importance of using parchment paper before and still I end up getting emails from people who decided to skip that step and then couldn’t figure out why their cookies went completely flat.  Let me assure you – if you skip the parchment paper for these cookies, you will not get good results!

These cookies should quickly become a favorite in your house, so consider making a double or triple batch and freezing the dough.  To do this, just make your cookie dough, make the balls and flatten them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.  Place the cookie sheet in the freezer until the dough is frozen solid.  Once they are frozen, just put the dough in to a freezer bag (don’t forget to label it).  When you are ready to bake them, just pull out as many cookies as you want to make, place them on your (once again, parchment-lined cookie sheet) and let them thaw for a few minutes before baking as usual!

Oh – and one last thing…..don’t even consider making these unless you have some milk in the house!  These cookies are perfect for dunking (maybe even better than “normal” chocolate chip cookies)!

The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Spice
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips

Instructions

  1. Beat together the butter, egg, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla.
  2. Add pumpkin and beat until mixed.
  3. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin spice.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix together.
  5. Add chocolate chips and stir until well distributed.
  6. Chill the dough at least 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 350.
  8. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  9. Form dough into 1 1/2" balls and flatten to about 3/4" thick.
  10. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  11. Press additional chocolate chips into the top of the cookies, if desired.
  12. Allow the cookies to cool for at 10 minutes on the sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
http://momsneedtoknow.com/best-pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies/