White Chocolate Cranberry Scones

We are under the two week mark….are you ready?  No?  Me either, but I am one who tends to work best under pressure.  At least that is what I tell myself as justification for my natural love of procrastination.

I don’t have a ton of shopping to do, because except for a few small items for extended family, my shopping was finished back in June when we booked our family vacation.  You see, 7 years ago, we stopped giving our kids “stuff” for Christmas because they don’t need more “stuff”!  We instead switched to taking a week in January to head off somewhere warm.  It was one of the best decisions we have made because those memories are permanent.  The gifts we were wrapping up and putting under the tree were not.

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones

Our kids still have stuff to unwrap on Christmas morning, so don’t think they are missing out on that excitement.  They have gifts from Grandparents, cousins and from each other to unwrap in the wee hours of Christmas morning.  Plus, Santa does a great job of filling up their stockings with their favorite treats as well.  We ask our kids every year if they want to go back to our old system of presents, but the answer is always an emphatic NO!

DSC_0068

If you are lucky enough to have all your shopping done, I know your mind has kicked into panic mode when it comes to the food….which we all know is just as important to this holiday as are the gifts!  If you are in search of a new Christmas breakfast idea, I shall solve your quandary with my killer White Chocolate Cranberry Scones.  Over the 7 years I’ve been blogging, scones have made quite the appearance because I adore them!  I love using my standard scone recipe and have so much fun coming up with different flavor variations:

For this 5th scone version, I used fresh cranberries because they add a perfect little tart bite to the already sweet scone.  Yes, you can substitute Craisins but I really beg you to try them with fresh cranberries first because you will praising my name if you do :)

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones

Yield: 12 large scones

Ingredients

  • 1 C sour cream
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 C flour
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 C cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 C roughly chopped fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 C white chocolate chips
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 1 Tb milk

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and baking soda and allow it to bubble up. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt. Add the cut up pieces of very cold butter and mix on medium low speed until the butter pieces are about the size of large peas. Add the cranberries and chocolate and then the beaten egg and sour cream. Combine together on low just until the dough just begins to come together. Do not overmix this step!
  3. Remove the dough and knead it a few times on a lightly floured surface. Pat it out into a 1" thick circle then use a sharp knife to cut the circle into 12 equal triangles. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, until the edges brown and the top are not soft. Allow to cool.
  4. Mix together the powdered sugar and milk then drizzle the glaze over the cooled scones.
http://www.mykitchenescapades.com/2014/12/white-chocolate-cranberry-scones.html



Cookie Dough Truffles

As a momma to six kiddos, I am sharing my tips, recipes and anecdotes related to bringing out every kid’s culinary potential.

Click HERE to see all the posts in this series!

Kids in the KitchenYesterday after church, my middle daughter asked if she could make some Mrs Fields Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Um….the answer to that question is always YES!

Cookie Dough TrufflesShe used my written recipe card, which makes over 9 dozen cookies so I told her to be sure to only make a half batch because even we can’t eat that many cookies.  About 10 minutes into her cookie adventure, I hear “Uh Oh!” from the kitchen :)  Guess who forgot to half the recipe!

Cookie Dough Truffles

She had SO MUCH cookie dough that even my massive 8 qt commercial mixer had a hard time mixing all that dough together.  She put half the dough in the freezer, baked 1/4 of the dough and decided to keep the last 1/4 of the dough for eating with a spoon.  Have I mentioned how brilliant Jones Child #4 is?

After a few too many spoonfuls of dough, we decided to get creative and cover the dough in some dark chocolate!  Can I just tell you how heavenly these little gems turned out?  We used dark chocolate but feel free to use milk chocolate instead.  I do require however, that you do not use that fake almond bark junk is everywhere this time of year.  Walk down the candy aisle and snag a bag of Dove chocolates for a couple bucks.  Not only does it melt wonderfully, it is a great tasting chocolate.

I know I will get many comments and emails about how dangerous eating raw cookie dough is, but we chose to live on the edge :)  My recipe does offer you an egg free option as well.  If you are brave like me, you could save even more time by buying prepared cookie dough from the store to use.

Cookie Dough Truffles

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe of raw cookie dough **See note below
  • 14 ounce bag Dove dark or milk chocolates

Instructions

  1. Prepare the cookie dough as the original recipe calls for or with the egg substitution listed below. Chill the dough until it is firm. You could also use prepared cookie dough from the store.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and roll the dough into small balls.
  3. In a heatproof bowl over simmering water, melt the unwrapped chocolates completely. Use a fork to dip each dough ball into the chocolate and roll it around. Place it on the wax paper and continue with the remaining dough balls. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, about 15 minutes. You can also add a white chocolate swirl on top if you would like with melted white chocolate.
  4. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Notes

**If the raw eggs in normal cookie dough don't worry you, you can use your favorite cookie dough as normal or even buy prepared dough from the store.

If you do not want to consume the raw eggs, you can substitute milk in your cookie recipe for the eggs to make them completely risk free.

http://www.mykitchenescapades.com/2014/12/cookie-dough-truffles.html



Nutella Pie Cookies

As the Holiday Season rapidly approaches this year, I am thoroughly enjoying how stress free my life is compared to last year.  You see, last year, my oldest married her sweetheart two days after Christmas.  While I was thrilled for the two of them and loved everything that went into my first child getting married, the timing couldn’t have been worse.   Even a year later, it is hard for me to put into words what the holidays were like for me last year.

I was up to my eyeballs in wedding decor, budgets, invites, menus, cakes, dresses, photos, dj’s……. I actually turned some of that madness into an 18 part blog series “Gorgeous Weddings on a Budget.”  If it had been up to me, I would have focused on nothing but the wedding but since I had 5 other children still at home expecting a normal Thanksgiving and Christmas, I did the best I could.  It wasn’t up to par with normal years, but it was still half decent.

Nutella Pie BitesI wish I would have thought of these quick little pie bites last year when I needed some solutions to my standard holiday baking.  I guess all my original thinking skills during that time were taken up in a different venue.
DSC_0016These little gems of decadence make the perfect little bites to toss in your pie hole.   Plus, how can you go wrong with a dessert that only takes TWO ingredients to make???  If you want to make them even more pie-like, don’t hesitate to drop of dollop of whipped cream on top of them first.  I wish I could honestly claim that since they are bite sized, they have no calories.  Let’s just pretend it is true.  I won’t tell anyone if you don’t!

Nutella Pie Bites

For the complete recipe and instructions, please click here to see my guest post on Made From Pinterest!

 



Childhood Hunger….What Can YOU Do?


As a Mom to such a big family, it is crazy how much money we set aside every month for our food.  That line item of our household budget is significantly bigger than anything else.  In fact, it is bigger than our mortgage, utilities and property taxes combined!  If you find that hard to believe, just remember that I am trying to keep very active, very hungry teenage boys fed! IMG_0007 In the 20 years I have been a Mom, there has been countless occasions when money was really tight.  During those times, my go-to meal has always been the inexpensive rice and beans because it was healthy and I could make big pots of it that would last.  In fact, a few of my older kids can’t stand rice and beans today because of those tighter times on the budget. While there have been definite financial struggles for us over the years, there has never been a time when I had to wonder how I was going to feed my beautiful children.  I consider myself a blessed parent that a fear such as that has never had to enter my mind and heart.  Never have my children not known where their next meal was going to come from.  Did you know that in our extraordinarily wealthy country, 1 out of every 5 children do not know where their next meal will come from?  That fact should make us all pause and consider what we can do to change it. IMG_0021As a parent, part of my responsibility lies in helping my children understand how blessed they are to have abundant amounts of food on their plates.  Yes, we could talk and preach and talk some more, but my parenting experiences have taught me that the more I lecture, the less my kids listen :)  However, if my kids can experience something, first hand, I can keep my mouth closed and they learn at a level that touches their souls in a way words cannot. My husband and I work on teaching our kids these lessons by regularly having families in need into our home for dinner.  You see, most Sundays, we break out our china, crystal and silver for a beautiful sit-down dinner of roasted pork loin, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted green beans and homemade rolls.  It is our tradition.  Part of that tradition also includes inviting others into our home to partake of that weekly feast with us.  Often, our dinner guests is a family from our community who is could use a delicious meal and some fellowship time together with us. During the holiday season, our kids become heavily involved when we put together all the special ingredients for a holiday meal and deliver them to families in need.  Their hands come to the store with us and load up the carts with the turkeys, hams, sweet potatoes, pies, vegetables and rolls.  Their feet deliver those many boxes of food into the homes of families who cannot provide these special meals for themselves.  Their eyes behold the gratitude and appreciation on the faces of those parents and children.  Their hearts are forever changed by not only helping someone else, but by fully understanding how truly lucky they are. DSC_0032I know the majority of you are as blessed as I am when it comes to feeding your own little princess.  You don’t have to worry about those adorable little chubby cheeks not getting the nourishment they need.  There is always food in a cabinets, even if your kids complain that “there is nothing to eat in this house!”  You know better and feel privileged because it is true. Unilever Project Sunlight and SheKnows Hatch are working hard to spread the word about their initiatives about childhood hunger and I am happy to do my part as a blogger to help them.  As a result, I am asking each you to do the following two things:

  1. Take a couple minutes to check out these websites (Project Sunlight, #ShareAMeal) and watch this video.

     It will only take a few minutes and what you will learn is humbling.

  2. Do something about what you learned!  What good is knowing all the fact, figures and statistics if it doesn’t result in you DOING something to change them?

If you can’t think of any ideas of how you could help, then be sure you go look at those websites one more time because they have some simple ideas that will make a big impact in the life of a child.  After you have decided what action you will take, please let me know what you are going to do by leaving me a comment below!  We can all find such great inspiration from what others are doing and I would love to be inspired by YOU!

About SheKnows’ Hatch, the Hatch Hunger Project and Unilever Project Sunlight:

SheKnows’ Hatch teamed with Unilever Project Sunlight to help families build awareness and take action around child hunger in America. The facts are startling: 16 million kids living in the United States don’t know where their next meal is coming from. That equates to one in every five children – enough to fill 18,000 school buses and 223 football stadiums. On average, those who live in food-insecure households have only $36.50 to spend on groceries every week. That means that 80 percent of children may not understand the everyday struggle their peers – many of whom could be their own friends or neighbors – confront when there’s not enough food on the table. The Hatch Hunger and Project Sunlight video and workshop aims to create empathy by showing kids what it means to shop for healthy, filling meals for an entire week on a thrifty budget. It teaches important math and teamwork skills. Finally, it is about action, empowering kids to have a positive impact on their community to Share A Meal with a family in need and donating food and canned goods to local food banks.