Hand Stirred Peppermint Candy Ice Cream Shakes

This is so simple, but way better than purchased peppermint candy ice cream! You can either serve as a shake or soft serve, really if you love peppermint candy ice cream, you must give this a try. It is my favorite!!~Amy

Hand Stirred Peppermint Candy Ice Cream Shakes

1/2 Gallon your favorite vanilla ice cream

Crushed peppermint

Remove ice cream from the freezer and let stand for about 10 minutes.
In a large stainless steel bowl place softened ice cream. With a large spoon or spatula stir ice cream until smooth. Add desired amount of crushed peppermint, stirring lightly to mix.

Pour into glasses and garnish with a sprinkle of peppermint.

Recipe by Amy Richardson


Thick Dark Chocolate Chestnut Praline Hot Cocoa

Thick Dark Chocolate Chestnut Praline Hot Cocoa

4 cups milk, whole or 2%
3 tbsp Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla

1-2 tbsp Torani Chestnut Praline Syrup

*Vanilla Whipped Cream

In a large measuring cup or bowl, whisk together 1 cup if the milk and the cornstarch until it dissolves. Set aside.

In a medium sized saucepan, whisk together remaining milk, sugar, and cocoa. Over medium high heat bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Using a thin stream, slowly whisk in milk cornstarch mixture. Bring to a low simmer and cook while stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in Praline syrup and vanilla. Stir to cool slightly. Pour into cups and serve with a spoonful of cream.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe by Amy Richardson

*Recipe can be found on http://www.greattastebuds.wordpress.com

Sweet Clementine Breakfast Rolls

The first time I tasted a clementine was at Christmastime. My Dad’s secretary brought our family a box back from the Philippines, and it was the most delicious orange I had ever had! Now they are available everywhere, and aren’t the just the best. So sweet, and charming, they make this breakfast roll a Christmas time classic! ~Amy

Sweet Clementine Breakfast Rolls
1/2 cup + 1 cup very warm water

1 tbsp yeast

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted 

1 tsp salt

5 cups flour

Melted butter
In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over 1/2 cup or warm water, stir to soften. Add additional water and eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on high, until frothy.

Add sugar, butter, and salt. Repeat.

With dough attachment, add about 2 1/2 cups of the flour. Stir until it forms a smooth elastic dough. Add the rest of the flour. Mix until the dough starts to pull away from the sides. 

Grease bowl, turn the dough to coat. Cover and let rise until double in size.
On a lightly floured board, divide dough in half. Using a rolling pin roll dough into rectangle. Spread half of the filling on top in a thin layer. Shape into a roll and slice into 2 inch pieces, and place on buttered cookie sheet. Repeat with other half of dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes.
Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes, then spread tops with frosting. 
Clementine Filling:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 tbs Clementine juice

Zest from two clementines
In a small saucepan melt butter, add sugar, juice and zest. Cook until it just starts to bubble up, quickly spread over dough. 
Clementine Frosting:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk

2 tsp Clementine juice

Zest from one Clementine 
With an electric mixer, beat butter and 2 cups of the sugar, milk and juice until smooth. Add remaining sugar and zest, beat until light and fluffy.
To ice, thin if desired with a teaspoon or so of milk, or water to desired consistency.

Recipe by Amy Richardson 

Roll recipe adapted from Karin Holmgren

Gingerbread Vanilla Cream Frappe


This festive family friendly frappe, is a sweet little Christmas treat! Topped with vanilla whipped cream and a gingerbread cookie crunch, this icy treat is sure to warm up your holiday heart!~Amy

Gingerbread Vanilla Cream Frappe

2 cups ice
3/4 cup Torani, Real Cream Plain Frappe
1 tbsp Torani Gingerbread Syrup
1/8 tsp orange zest

*Vanilla Whipped Cream
Gingerbread cookies

Place ice, frappe mix, and syrup, and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and garnish with whipped cream and crushed cookies.

Makes 1-2 servings

Recipe by Amy Richardson

*recipe found on http://www.greattastebuds.wordpress.com

Feliz Navidad! Dulce de Leche Caramel Coconut Layer Bars


Feliz Navidad! The flavors of Mexico are a Christmas tradition at our house, from Christmas Eve dinner to holiday parties. Here is my Mexican twist on a favorite classic cookie! ~Amy

Dulce de Leche Caramel Coconut Bars

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 14oz can Dulce de leche
Sea salt
1/2 cup Cinnamon Honey Almonds, chopped *Blue Diamond
1 cup, good quality white chocolate pieces
1 1/3 cups sweetened flaked coconut

Heat 350

Spray an 8×8 square pan, with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, toss together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press firmly into prepared pan.
Heat Dulce de leche in microwave until warm and pourable. Stir until smooth. Pour over crust. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Top evenly with white chocolate, nuts, and end with the coconut.
Place in oven and bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.
Cool completely, and cut into even pieces.

Recipe by Amy Richardson

Sea Salt, White Chocolate, Almond Toffee


Homemade toffee is a Christmas tradition at our house. I make it really thin, with an equal layer of chocolate and a dusting of nuts. Here is my twist on this holiday favorite! ~Amy

Sea Salt, White Chocolate, Almond Toffee

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp corn syrup
1/4 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 -2 cups good quality white chocolate pieces, Callebaut
1/4 cup finely chopped dry roasted almonds
Flake sea salt

Butter a large cookie sheet. Set aside.
Butter the sides of a medium sized saucepan.
Melt butter over medium heat. Stir in sugar, water and corn syrup. Cook stirring constantly until it reaches soft crack* 280 degrees. Tip*
Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour hot candy into prepared baking sheet. Spread quickly with metal spatula, pulling edges to make a nice thin layer. Immediately sprinkle chocolate over the top. Let it sit a couple of minutes, then spread chocolate evenly to coat. Sprinkle lightly nuts. Sprinkle lightly with crushed sea salt flakes And refrigerate to cool completely.

Recipe by Amy Richardson

*Grandma’s Tip
For perfect candy, cook the candy until it reaches the exact color of peanut butter.

Peppermint Bark Brownies


Peppermint Bark is a holiday favorite our house. What could be better than topping a rich, homemade brownie with this holiday confectionery?!?~Amy

Peppermint Bark Brownies

4 oz unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup good quality white chocolate pieces
Crushed peppermint candy canes

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Line a 8×8 square pan or 9×13 with parchment

In a medium bowl, melt butter and chocolate in the microwave. Stir together until smooth. Add sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and stir until smooth. Stir in flour and spread evenly in prepared pan.

Bake for 30-35 for 9×13, 40-45 minutes for 8×8, or until cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and evenly sprinkle white chocolate pieces over the top, let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Spread chocolate across the top and let it slightly set. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint and cool for several hours, or overnight.
*Cut evenly with a warm dry knife.

Recipe by Amy Richardson

*to warm knife, run under hot water, wipe with cloth to dry.