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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

{ Easy Cheese Balls & Dips }

I'm digging back in my archives for this post. WAY back for some of them. You'll notice the difference in photography alone.

Who cares what the pics look like though, because the recipes are still YUM.

I've rounded up some quick, easy, and tasty dips and cheese balls for your party tonight.

I've yet to decide which we will have tonight. I should probably figure that out soon.

1.2.3. Cheese Ball


This is my mother-in-law's recipe and it is a HUGE favorite around here. So, so easy.

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball


This recipe is from my mom and is equally loved.

Buckeye Cheese Ball


The idea for this recipe started with the above Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball and ended up here, in Deliciousland.

Ranch Cheese Ball


This recipe came from a reader named Donna.

Now on to the dips!

Holy Moses Dip


This recipe came from my friend Lori, but the name is all me ;)

Reuben Dip


My recipe for Reuben Dip.  Sauerkraut is our "lucky" food for New Year's in Ohio.

And finally-

The Big Cheesy Dip


My Bean's favorite dip!

Wishing you a dippy, cheesy new year with many memories, blessings, and good things.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

{ Christmas Sugar Scrubs }

Whoa! SIX days til Christmas!

WHAT??? I know, right? SIX days!

What I've got for you here is a quick and easy last minute gift. You know you've forgotten someone!

These are inexpensive and oh so lucious. Good enough to eat, but don't. I mean, you COULD, it's all foodstuffs, but...

I've made you 5 different versions of sugar scrub.

All start with the same basic recipe: 1/4 cup of (solid) coconut oil to 1 cup of sugar. After that, the sky is the limit!

These all smell AH-MAZ-ING. I'm not messing around here. Delicious.

So, make some to give away. You can get a lot out of a jar of coconut oil! A lot!

Or... make some for yourself. Or both ;)

So, the scrubs I made today are:

Candy Cane

Hot Cocoa

Pumpkin Pie



Gingerbread Cookie

All of the scrubs make approx  1/2 pint. (I got slightly over 2 of these adorable 1/4 pint jars per recipe). You can easily double, triple, etc. any of the recipes.

Please note when using scrubs in the bathtub/shower, that it can get a little slick. The same applies when using on feet. Be careful!

Always test in a small spot of your skin for sensitivity. That said, I have extremely sensitive skin and have never had an issue. Everyone is different though!

To use, scoop a bit of scrub into your palm, then rub on arms, legs, etc in a circular motion. Rinse and pat to dry. You'll feel soft and smooth and smell like Christmas!

Note on the Cocoa Scrub. While this is my favorite smelling scrub here, it is also the messiest. Be prepared for chocolate everywhere ;)

I've also made you some sweet little tags. To use, right click on the file below and 'save image as'.

Just jar up your scrub, add a tag, and bam, you've got a great gift!

Happy Christmas!


Christmas Sugar Scrubs

by Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers

Candy Cane:
1 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup solid coconut oil
1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Beat coconut oil on high until softened (30 seconds-1 min), add in sugar and peppermint. Store in airtight container.

Hot Cocoa:
1 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup solid coconut oil
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat coconut oil on high until softened (30 seconds-1 min), add in sugar, cocoa, and vanilla. Store in airtight container.

Pumpkin Pie:
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup solid coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat coconut oil on high until softened (30 seconds-1 min), add in sugar, spices, and vanilla. Store in airtight container.

Snickerdoodle:1 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup solid coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Beat coconut oil on high until softened (30 seconds-1 min), add in sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Store in airtight container.

Gingerbread Cookie:
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup solid coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat coconut oil on high until softened (30 seconds-1 min), add in sugar, spices, and vanilla. Store in airtight container.

Monday, December 15, 2014

{ Sweet, Simple Christmas Tree Cupcakes }

As the Christmas holiday closes in, we all begin to panic, if even just a little.

There's just SO much to do. Every year I tell myself I'm NOT GOING TO DO ALL OF THAT, and yet, every year I still do it.

Case in point, Gingerbread Houses. Now, I do it the 'easy' way (see here), but I said I wasn't doing them this year. Yet, what did I find myself doing at 9 pm the night  prior to the party? Making Gingerbread Houses. Christmas comes but once a year. What's an hour of my time and a few dollars in candy? It's a tradition, after all!

I often think about how calm Christmas would be if I didn't host & attend parties. If I didn't bake, and bake, and bake, and candy make. If I didn't do gift boxes of treats, etc. It would be so calm. So peaceful. So... BORING, and SO not me.

So, I go. I do.

It's Christmastime, after all, and I love a good tradition!

One of my favorite traditions at Christmas is watching the Harry Potter movies with the best Christmas scenes. No, I don't watch the whole series at Christmas, I pick and choose. Goblet of Fire for the Yule Ball, Order of the Phoenix for Christmas at Grimmauld Place, Half Blood Prince for Christmas at The Burrow (until those dang D.E. ruined it!). The best of the best, is, of course Sorcerer's Stone. It makes me feel oh, so merry! I love all of the trees in the Great Hall. After watching the other day, I decided to make these cupcakes.

They are the sweetest little Christmas tree cupcakes evah. Totally cute and way easy. Don't tell though. What people don't know won't hurt them.

You just bake up any cupcake flavor of your choosing, frost with a little white, sprinkle on a little sanding sugar, pipe on a little green swirly tree, decorate, and... done!

You can make the trees any shade of green you choose (or, hey, get funky with some colored trees!), but I made mine a more 'natural' shade of green. To achieve this color I used (Wilton Gel food coloring) Leaf Green, Kelly Green, and wee bit of black.

Me gusta.

Hagrid would approve.

So, be it calm or be it hectic, I hope your Christmas is classically YOU.


Christmas Tree Cupcakes


Cupcakes, baked and cooled
Green food coloring
piping bag
Wilton 1M tip
White sanding sugar

Make sure your buttercream is sort of stiff. You may want to add a little more powdered sugar to your normal recipe.

Scoop out some white and set aside.

Tint the rest to the shade of green you prefer.

Frost cupcakes with the white buttercream. Sprinkle the edges with white sanding sugar.

Using your green icing, in the center of the cupcake, pipe your tree. Make 3 swirls, then lift up. Look! A tree! <3

Decorate as desired. Sprinkle with more white sanding sugar or powdered sugar, add silver dragees
or colored nonpareils,or other sprinkles, etc! Leave top plain, or add a star, snowflake, sixlet, etc.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

{ Peppermint Crunch Bark }

Hello Decemeber, hello Christmas!

I'm SO excited to see you.

Yeah, I have eleventy million things to do, but I loooooooooooove you, and you are finally here!

One of my favorite things to do at Christmas is bake with my awesome friend, Lori and also with my boy. Lori and I make trays of treats for teachers, neighbors, family members, and other friends. It's always an exhausting but great day. Together we make what could be a chore into a great time! Love me some Lori time!  Bean loves to make Buckeyes and Cake Balls, so we always do that together. Also, rolled and decorated sugar cookies because what is more Christmas than that? The boy LOVES traditions, and I love that.

I know that Peppermint Bark has been done and done again, but this is just a wee bit different.

This adds a layer of Andes Peppermint Crunch chips in the middle. I love the flavor it gives, but even more, I love the color. It makes a classic, lovely Christmas treat just that much better.

Isn't the red festive? I'm pretty smitten.

These are totally going on the Christmas trays this year!

Delicious, easy, and inexpensive to pack little boxes up as gifts for friends, family, co-workers, etc!


Peppermint Crunch Bark
by Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers

6 ounces white chocolate*
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate*
6 ounces Andes Peppermint Crunch chips
2 candy canes, crushed
1 Tablespoon white sanding sugar
1 Tablespoon red sanding sugar

*Chips work great, but for even better flavor, use a higher quality chocolate, chopped into small pieces

Add crushed candy canes & sanding sugars to a small bowl and set aside.

For instructions on melting chocolate, follow this link: How to Melt Chocolate.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Melt semi-sweet chocolate. Pour onto pan and spread out. Tap on counter to remove any bubbles. Allow to harden by placing in the fridge (about 20 mins) or freezer (about 10 minutes).

Melt Peppermint Crunch. Pour on top of the hardened chocolate layer. Tap to remove bubbles. Return to fridge/freezer to harden.

Melt white chocolate layer. Spread on top of Peppermint Crunch layer. Tap to remove bubbles. Immediately top with crushed candy cane/sugar mixture.

Allow to fully harden. Cut or break into pieces. Store in airtight container.

Makes approx 1 1/2 pounds

This can be made in any quantity as long as the chocolate/Peppermint Crunch portions are even (adjust candy canes accordingly).

You can add a bit of peppermint extract if you wish, if you prefer it a bit more pepperminty. I like the mild peppermint flavor that the Peppermint Crunch adds.


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