Tag Archives: food

Peppermint Frosting

Peppermint Frosting | Revamperate Peppermint Frosting | RevamperateI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love peppermint and chocolate. It reminds me of Christmas, so of course, I couldn’t resist making a few peppermint chocolate sweets this month. In fact, I’m sure I will make several more this month to celebrate while I can.

Anyway, I’ll get down to the point. I kept it pretty easy with this peppermint frosting recipe by adding it atop chocolate cupcakes made from box mix. It really is so much easier and a big time saver. Plus, the frosting is the real focal point here. The cake just complements it!Peppermint Frosting | RevamperateTo frost about 14 cupcakes, you need:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup finely crushed peppermint candy
  • 1 drop of pink or red food coloring (optional)

First, mix together the softened butter and powdered sugar. Then add the extracts, beating well before adding one drop of food coloring. The color just brightens it up a bit, so one drop will do.

Frosting tip: always add liquid ingredients after the butter and sugar have been well combined, otherwise your frosting may not achieve the right texture. I’ve made this mistake before and it really does make a difference.

Place a handful of peppermint candies into a plastic bag and use a hard object (I use a rolling pin) to break them into pieces. Then use the rolling pin to crush them as fine as you possibly can. You can also use a food processor if you have a good enough one – mine would break if I tried to crush hard candy.Peppermint Frosting | Revamperate Peppermint Frosting | RevamperateMix in the crushed peppermint, setting aside the larger pieces for topping. Then top chocolate cupcakes with this colored peppermint frosting and garnish with crushed candy for a perfect yet simple holiday cupcake. Enjoy!

Peppermint Bark: Two Ways

Peppermint Bark | RevamperateI’m all about the peppermint, guys. Mint and chocolate are a heavenly combination for me, so I really take advantage of all of the treats this time of year. In honor of my strong bond with peppermint, I made some peppermint bark, but I tried a new way of doing things. See, the easiest way, as you may know, is to spread out the chocolate on a piece of wax paper and break off pieces.

Instead of doing things the easy way this time (still a big advocate of the “easy way”), I tried to use cookie cutters to make fun shapes out of the chocolate. It kind of works and kind of doesn’t so here are two different ways you can make shaped peppermint bark as well as two different sets of ingredients you can use. I’m totally bias here – I’ll tell you what I liked best and what worked for me, but figure out what works best for YOU. I still love the look of the shaped ones because they look really pretty as a gift.Peppermint Bark | Revamperate Peppermint Bark | Revamperate The first set of ingredients:

  • Chocolate chips or cocoa candy melts
  • White chocolate chips
  • Peppermint candy

The second set of ingredients:

  • Chocolate chips or cocoa candy melts
  • Peppermint candy melts

As you can see, you can either use peppermint candy melts (the easiest way) or you can use white chocolate and sprinkle it with crushed peppermint (the slightly harder way). Personally, I still prefer using white chocolate and crushing the peppermint topping myself, but the candy melts still do taste great. You can crush the candy by placing unwrapped pieces into a zip-lock bag and using something heavy (I use the end of a rolling pin) to break them into smaller pieces. Then I use a rolling pin to further crush small pieces. Like I said, this just my opinion. They both taste like peppermint bark!

Now, moving on to the different ways to fill the stencil with chocolate. First, lay multiple cookie cutters on a parchment lined baking sheet. Melt the milk or dark chocolate first – melt on defrost mode in 20 second increments until smooth. You can either use a spoon to pour the chocolate into the mold, or you can move the chocolate to a piping bag to distribute it into the mold.

Pros: It’s easier and a little faster to use a spoon, but the piping bag makes it easier to reach corners of the mold.

Cons: Using a piping bag tends to take longer, but using a spoon means you have to use something else (like a knife or toothpick) to move the chocolate into small crevices.

Once the dark chocolate has hardened (which takes longer for chocolate chips than candy melts), you have two more options. You can either leave the the candy in the mold or you can gently remove it. It is difficult to remove the peppermint bark without breaking it, which is why it can help to remove it before you add the next layer.

Pros: The chocolate is much easier to remove when you only have one layer, but leaving it inside the mold keeps the next layer looking significantly cleaner.

Cons: The thicker the bark, the more difficult it is to remove from the mold, but if you remove it early, the peppermint layers won’t look very clean.

Personally, for the aesthetic aspect of it, I preferred to leave it in the mold because it looks much better. If you gift it with it still in the mold, you don’t have to worry about accidentally breaking it.Peppermint Bark | Revamperate Peppermint Bark | Revamperate Next, repeat the process with either the white chocolate or the peppermint candy. Before it dries, sprinkle the crushed peppermint on top of the white chocolate. Then let the chocolate harden. If it is still in the mold, you can use a spoon or piping bag to fill it in. If you’ve removed it from the mold, you would need to use a piping bag to shape the candy as best you can, which is quite difficult to do. I wasn’t pleased with the final look of this technique, but it did keep my bark from breaking.

In summary, I actually think the best choice is to leave the peppermint bark inside of the mold until you are ready to eat it or gift it. After all, it’s pretty heartbreaking when it breaks after you’ve worked so hard to make it look nice. However, if you grease the sides of the cookie cutter with some oil, it can be easier to slip the chocolate out of the mold. I also preferred the white chocolate with crushed peppermint over the candy melts because of the crunch and look – it’s easier to hide imperfections with candy topping.Peppermint Bark | RevamperateNow, get out there and make some beautiful and delicious peppermint bark! Enjoy!

Christmas Pinwheel Sugar Cookies

Christmas Pinwheel Sugar Cookies | Revamperate Christmas Pinwheel Sugar Cookies | RevamperateWhat treats come to mind when you think of Christmas? Eggnog? Peppermint? Pie? Well, I just think of cookies. Sometimes even pie cookies and cookies with peppermint or eggnog. Yeah, those are real things I’m planning. I’m actually really excited because this is the only time of year it’s social acceptable to share eggnog recipes.

Anyway, this cookie is a classic one with a Christmas spin. These classic sugar cookies feature red and green spirals (aka pinwheel cookies) to get you in the holiday mood. You can also see how I used this recipe to make autumn themed sugar cookies with royal icing a while back.

To make 20-25 cookies, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 egg
  • Red and green food coloring

First, beat together the softened butter and sugar until creamy. Add in the vanilla and egg and beat until combined. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder, and slowly add to the wet mixture. It will become very thick and difficult to mix. If that happens, pull the dough onto a piece of wax paper and continue to massage with your hands until the flour is completely mixed.

Separate the dough into two large balls and use your knuckle to push a small hole in each piece. In one, add about 4 drops of red food coloring, and in the other add about 4 drops of green (note, this can get messy so wear gloves if you prefer). Use your hands to close the opening and, one at a time, massage the food coloring into the dough until it is not longer streaky. Add more food coloring until you reach you desired color. I kind of looked like I’d beat someone after I finished kneading the red dough because my hands were covered in red coloring…but luckily it’s washable!

Sprinkle some flour on the waxed paper and on a rolling pin, and roll out each piece of dough separately until it is about 1/4 inch thick. If you can, try to maintain the same shape between the two colors. Then peel one piece off of the paper and place it on top of the other, evening it out as much as you can. If needed, use the rolling pin to gently roll over the dough to maintain shape. Christmas Pinwheel Sugar Cookies | Revamperate Christmas Pinwheel Sugar Cookies | RevamperateStarting at one end, roll the dough into a log as tightly as you can without tearing it. Leave it on a cookie sheet and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Once chilled, it should be a little stiffer and easier to cut. Using a sharp non-cerated knife, cut off a 1/2 wide slide at the end of the dough (set aside if the dough didn’t match up). Reshape into a circle with your hands if needed and continue to cut until you have used the entire log. Christmas Pinwheel Sugar Cookies | Revamperate Christmas Pinwheel Sugar Cookies | RevamperateBake on 350 degrees for 12-16 minutes until the edges begin to lightly brown. Baking times will vary depending on the thickness of the cookies. Let them cool on a cooling rack before devouring, and enjoy! These holiday cookies make a nice holiday party item for your friends, family or coworkers. For an added touch, you can also roll the sides in sprinkles before baking if you’re a sprinkle fanatic (yeah, that’s a real thing). Now get baking!

Homemade Twix Bars

Homemade Twix Bars | Revamperate Homemade Twix Bars | Revamperate Homemade Twix Bars | RevamperateRecently, I made these homemade butterfingers bars, and they were so popular that I thought it would be fun to make more candy. These Twix candy bars can be as easy or as difficult as you want them to be, depending on whether or not you make everything from scratch, and they make a nice last minute gift for someone! Plus, you know, they taste pretty good. Parts of this recipe you can make from scratch or purchase as a time-saver, such as the shortbread and caramel.

First, you’ll need to make shortbread with these ingredients (or you can buy shortbread cookies):

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

You’ll also need:

  • 1 bag of caramel candies (I used Kraft brand)
  • 1 bag chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon of water

Start out by making the shortbread by creaming together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Once it’s completed mixed, slowly mix in the flour. It may begin to get really thick and hard to turn. If so, pull it onto a piece of wax paper and kneed with your hands until it’s soft and combined. With a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough onto the wax paper until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Using a ruler and a sharp knife, cut the dough into rectangles. You should be able to get 20-24 3×1 inch pieces out of the dough. Leave the pieces on a cookie sheet in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Bake on 325 degrees for about 25 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Remove immediately and cool on a cooling rack.

Turning to the caramel middle of the candy – melt the caramel candy on low heat with 1 tablespoon of water, stirring constantly with a spatula so it doesn’t burn. When all of the pieces are melted remove the pan from heat, and use the spatula to spread caramel onto the shortbread while it’s hot. The caramel will harden on top if the cookies shortbread pretty quickly.

In a separate bowl, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave on defrost mode for 30 seconds, removing it to stir and continuing to microwave and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. If it’s too thick, add a small amount of vegetable oil.Homemade Twix Bars | Revamperate Homemade Twix Bars | RevamperateUse a fork to carefully dip the caramel-covered cookies and chocolate and let them dry on a sheet of wax paper. Then they’re ready to eat! Store the Twix bars in an airtight container on the counter or in the fridge for several days. Note, the caramel hardens in the fridge, so let them sit out for a few minutes before eating so the caramel has time to soften slightly. Enjoy!

You can also see this shortbread recipe in my sweet and salty pretzel shortbread bars.

I’ll be going off the grid for the rest of the week to celebrate Thanksgiving in Northern California with Andrew’s family. When I come back, you can expect to see lots of lots of Christmas ideas. I’m honestly so excited!

This is the first Thanksgiving I’ve been able to enjoy in at least five years because I always worked in retail during the holidays, and before that, my sister worked in retail, so my family got used to not really celebrating Thanksgiving. We’ve always been more into celebrating Christmas, so it’s really wonderful to be able to spend this week around family. Happy Thanksgiving!

Salted Pretzel Almond Bark

Pretzel Almond Bark | Revamperate Pretzel Almond Bark | Revamperate Pretzel Almond Bark | RevamperateFor the days your sweet tooth needs some satisfaction but your mind keeps talking you out of it, you can still find a way to compromise. With this incredibly easy salted pretzel almond chocolate bark, you not only get a nice combination of sweet and salty but can snack without feeling super guilty. This sweet and salty bark makes a nice gift or just a good midnight snack.Pretzel Almond Bark | RevamperateTo make a small batch (about 10 pieces), you’ll need:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 handful of small pretzels
  • 1 handful of sliced almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt (optional)

First, lay out a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet. In a small bowl, microwave the chocolate chips on defrost mode for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until the chocolate is completely melted. Pour the chocolate onto the wax paper and use the back of a spoon to spread it out until it’s about 1/4 inch thick, if not a little bit thicker.

Take a handful of pretzels and use your hands to crunch them into smaller pieces. Spread over the chocolate and gently press the pieces down. Do the same with the almond slices, pushing down slightly to press them into the chocolate. Place the salt in your hands and evenly sprinkle it around the chocolate. It adds a little extra salt if you want it. Otherwise, the pretzels also give it a saltiness.Pretzel Almond Bark | Revamperate Pretzel Almond Bark | Revamperate Pretzel Almond Bark | RevamperateLet the chocolate sit for a while, or put the sheet in the fridge to speed up the hardening of the chocolate. When it’s hard enough, use your hands to break it into pieces.

That’s all there is to it. Pretty easy, right? Package it up for a cute holiday gift or snack on it yourself. Enjoy!

Pretzel Shortbread Bars

Pretzel Shortbread Bars | Revamperate Pretzel Shortbread Bars | Revamperate It’s been a rough week for me, but that doesn’t completely stop me from baking (even if it probably should). I have a pretty bad sinus infection keeping me down, so I’ve been watching a lot of Friends and scrolling through a lot of Pins in between planning out recipes and trying to cuddle with my cat. Oliver pretty excited to have someone to play with during the week, so he’s more interested in playing than sleeping. Now, onto the shortbread!

If you’re a regular reader, you probably know I bake a lot of sweets. There’s usually lots of sugar and chocolate involved. Sometimes it’s nice to change it up a little bit by adding some salt into the mix. The right combination of sweet and salty can be just what you need sometimes, and these incredibly easy pretzel shortbread bars are the perfect compromise.

Do you have any idea how easy it is to make shortbread? I don’t know why I always thought it was so intimidating. It’s literally three key ingredients. Not even any eggs. So easy.

Here’s what you need to make about 20 bars:

  • 30-40 pretzels
  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

First, beat together the butter, vanilla and sugar until creamy. Slowly add in the flour and continue to beat until well combined. It’ll be pretty tough at this point.

Grind up about 15 pretzels in a food processor until very fine, and beat into the dough. If it’s too thick mix in with a large spoon or your hands.

Move the dough to a sheet of wax paper and kneed with your hands. Remember, your hands can do things your mixer just can’t! Place a piece of wax paper inside of a 13X9 inch (or similar) pan and push the dough into the pan, moving it into the corners and flattening the top. It should be about 1/2 inch thick.Pretzel Shortbread Bars | Revamperate Pretzel Shortbread Bars | Revamperate Grind up additional pretzels in the food processor just enough to break them into small pieces and lightly press them into the top of the dough. Bake on 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes until the edges are slightly brown and the middle is a little tough. Cool on a rack for about 30 minutes, remove from the pan by lifting the wax paper, and cut the shortbread into pieces with a sharp knife.

These are the perfect quick snack for sweet and salty lovers! Beware; they are quite crumbly, so be prepared to clean up some crumbs. It’s so worth it, I promise. Enjoy!

Chocolate Coffee Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze

Chocolate Coffee Cake with Caramel Glaze | Revamperate Chocolate Coffee Cake with Caramel Glaze | Revamperate I’ve never really thought of myself as a great baker, but recently I’ve found food to be the most inspiring thing around me. Although my blog is about so much more than recipes, you can see that I’ve picked up my baking game lately. I also never had a knack for homemade cakes – I’m all about boxed cake mix, but I’ve definitely hit a turning point in my baking. With this chocolate coffee bundt cake with carmel glaze, topped with butterscotch candy, I learned that I truly can make cake that beats up your average boxed cake mix. That’s not to say it’s not tough to make a good cake, but this cake is chocolate, coffee and caramel heaven.

For the cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 baking cocoa powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Butterscotch candy, chopped (optional, for topping)

For the caramel glaze:

  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

First, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Cream together the sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, milk, coffee and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and continue to beat until completely mixed. Pour into a greased cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter on low heat. Slowly add the brown sugar and milk, and turn up the heat to medium-to-high until the mixture begins to boil, stirring constantly with a spatula. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let the mixture sit for several minutes before adding the powdered sugar a little bit at a time. Continue to stir until the powdered sugar has completely dissolved. If it’s too thick, add milk one teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

Let the cake cool on a cooling rack until you can remove it from the pan. Bundt cakes can be difficult to remove cleanly, but there are some tips here. Otherwise, you can certainly try this recipe with other pans. As you can see above, I also made several cupcakes out of this batch because I use a smaller than average bundt pan. Chocolate Coffee Cake with Caramel Glaze | Revamperate Chocolate Coffee Cake with Caramel Glaze | RevamperateWhen the frosting reaches a glaze consistency, drizzle it over the cake and sprinkle butterscotch candy on the top. For best results, serve warm and with a side of coffee or milk. I made this for Andrew’s coworkers, and it was quite a hit. Despite not having a lot of experience with from-scratch cakes, this chocolate coffee cake came out perfectly moist and rich, just the way it should be. Enjoy!