The Blind Pig Holiday Goody Basket Ideas

Blind Pig Friends!  Let us apologize for our recent absence.  We made a mad dash trip to New York to visit Piglet #1 last weekend.  We thought we would have time to get things together to send out a post this past week, but as you noticed– it never happened!  We will fill you in on our New York trip later.  Today you are getting the low down on some super Christmas baking treats!

One of  The Blind Pig’s Family favorite holiday traditions is baking and putting together our holiday goody baskets for friends and family.  It is a big event that takes days of baking and decorating to pull together. Whether you are baking for an army of baskets to be delivered to family and friends or just want one special treat to take to Grandma’s house on Christmas day, The Blind Pig Blog has you covered with lots of special treats.  Who needs sugarplums dancing in your head, when you can try one of The Blind Pig’s confections instead?

Here are our ideas that work well in a basket or for a special gift of sweetness and love.

Borghetti  Brownie Caramel Bites

We shared this delicious easy recipe with you in the fall.  Even if you are not a pro baker, you can easily pull this recipe off without a hitch!

Golden Mint Crinkles

This gem of a recipe was our number one post for 2018 and when you taste these, you will see why!  This recipe is a little time intensive, so make sure you have a few hours of time blocked out to pull this off.

Love You More Cookies

This recipe was shared with you in our Valentine post last February.  However, we have been using this for our Christmas cookies for years.  You get excellent sugar cookies for decorating everytime. Don’t forget the Irish cream in the recipe, it gives the cookies a yummy hint of chocolate.

Menta Truffles

These easy to make truffles are so rich and yummy. Your friends and family will think you purchased them from an expensive chocolatier!

Salted Whiskey Caramel Corn

This treat is great around Halloween, but we make again around the holidays.  It is great for placing in a decorative bag and handing out as a special gift.

Spiked Pecan Bars

We shared this with you right before Thanksgiving.  It would make a wonderful addition to a dessert plate for guests to nibble on after a big holiday meal.

Spirited  Chocolate Orange Bars

These versatile bars are great any time of the year.  These would work well on a dessert plate passed around for guests to pick and choose.  The flavor of chocolate paired with a hint of zesty citrus makes the dessert feel light and refreshing.

Thin Mentas

These cookies are time intensive, but a wonderful combination of mint and chocolate for any holiday celebration.

Yum Rum Balls

Our rum balls are easy to make and are an eye catching addition to any goody basket.

Espresso Fudge

If your family likes coffee and chocolate, then this easy recipe is a must to try for your holiday giving.

Whiskey Spiced Pecans

We shared this recipe with you this fall.  We made the recipe again and placed the nuts in decorative baggies to share with our goody boxes.

Do you have your holiday baking complete?  What treats do you usually make for the holidays?  We would love to hear about your ideas and preferences!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our Blind Pig Friends!  We wish you safe travels and the happiest of Christmas memories.

 

 

 

Christmas Morning Bread

Christmas Morning Bread

One of the best things about Christmas is jumping out of bed early in the morning in anticipation of unwrapping presents under the tree.  Since our family usually has a big meal planned for Christmas, we don’t tend to eat a huge breakfast.  If you have guests staying with you, it’s nice to put your best foot forward at breakfast — especially on Christmas morning.  We are sharing an easy, tasty and fresh recipe with you that will delight all of the members of your family on that joyous holiday morning.  Your house guests will think that you went all out just for them.  You can smile graciously.  No need to tell them how easy this delectable breakfast was to make.

This recipe was a combination of a few recipes that we had found over the years.  One recipe was from Taste of Home December 2017 issue and the other was from Southern Living December 2009, and then we added in a little twist of our own. This great recipe can be prepped a day ahead and baked fresh in the morning or warmed in the oven.  To make Christmas Morning Bread you will need, sugar, cinnamon, frozen bread roll dough, Kerrygold butter, chopped pecans, brown sugar, Templeton Rye whiskey and semisweet baking chocolate bar.

First we started to thaw out our frozen rolls.  They were not completely thawed by the time we started to work with the dough, but we think it helped to have the dough slightly thawed.  You can make your bread from scratch like Grandma Ruth likes to do, but we opted for the frozen dough which was easier.

Next we combined the sugar and cinnamon.  We melted our Kerrygold butter in the microwave.  We sprinkled a few of our chopped pecans in the bottom of a sprayed bunt pan.  Next we made our whiskey caramel sauce.  We placed brown sugar, butter, and whiskey in a small saucepan; brought it to a boil;  cooked and stirred for 3 minutes. Then removed from heat to cool.

After about 5 minutes,  we poured about 1/3 of caramel in the bottom of the bundt pan with the pecans.  This gave the top of our bread a nice sweet glaze.

We prepped our area by having the rolls handy, along with the butter, sugar cinnamon mixture and bundt pan.  Next we took a roll.  Dipped it in the butter, and then rolled the top 1/2 of the roll in the sugar-cinnamon mixture.  We placed the roll in the bottom of the pan.  We continued until we had a fairly even layer of rolls on the bottom of the pan.  We drizzled caramel mixture and pecans over the first layer of rolls.  Then we continued layering the rolls and adding pecans and caramel drizzle over each layer until we had 3-4 layers. Our package of rolls was 3 lbs.  We thought, “What the heck.  The more the merrier, right?”  Wrong.  It was too much dough and our rolls overflowed in the oven.  Stop at about 2 pounds of dough. (wink)

Next we covered with plastic wrap and placed in a warm toasty spot in our kitchen to rise for about 45 minutes.  If you want to bake these Christmas morning, you can cover and chill them in the fridge.  We would suggest taking them out and letting them rise slightly before placing in the oven.

When you are ready to bake, place them in an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees.  Make sure to place a baking sheet covered in foil on the bottom oven rack. (Believe us, you do not want to skip this part.  We saved ourselves from cleaning up a huge mess by doing this!) Bake bread for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes, and then invert on a serving plate.

To make the chocolate whiskey glaze you will need to melt the chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl.  We melted ours in small bursts of 30 seconds, so we didn’t over cook.  When chocolate is melted, stir in 1/4 cup of whiskey and stir until smooth.  Drizzle the chocolate whiskey glaze over the top of the bread.

If you are viewing this post in your email, visit us at http://www.theblindpig.blog for a full printable recipe of Christmas Morning Bread.

When we made our bread in our test kitchen, it did not last long.  Blind Piglets #2 and #3 and their friends finished it off pretty quickly.  We had a few left overs for the next day, and we think it tasted better on day 2.

Are you going to treat your family Christmas morning?  Do you need to impress your mother-in-law?  Whether you are staying in or headed out, Christmas Morning Bread will be sure to become one of your family’s holiday favs.  Let us know if you try it out.  We love hearing what you think!

   

Yum Rum Balls

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Cheers, Friends!  You know how we told you that if you get one of our holiday goody bags from us that you were going to get some Golden Mint Crinkles?  Well… we kind of ate all of them.  Rhonda made an effort.  She quickly scooped up extras and put them in the freezer for safe keeping.  Unfortunately, the Blind Piglets, and both of us kept sneaking one here and two there, so now there are none left.  We told you that was a winning recipe!  No worries.  We will make more and try to get them in the goody bags before we inhale all of them again.

Today we are sharing another great holiday goody bag treat.  Yum Rum Balls! (stop snickering)  We’ve made rum balls before, but this recipe seems to have more flavor and flair than other rum ball recipes we’ve tried.  We hope that you like it as much as we do.  This recipe requires some prep on collecting the ingredients, but is easy to pull together once you are ready to get started.

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There are a couple tricky ingredients.  The first tricky ingredient is Nabisco Wafer Cookies.  We first introduced these to you with the Spirited Chocolate Orange Bars.  You don’t find these on the cookie aisle. They are usually placed with the ice cream toppings.  The second tricky ingredient is almond paste.  We had not used almond paste before, but the cashier at Whole Foods told us that it was baking’s best kept secret.  So apparently the secret is now out!  Use almond paste for cookies and pie crusts.  You can find it on the baking aisle. We bought ours from Whole Foods.  When we googled it, we noticed that other grocery stores carry it.

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Other ingredients that you need for Yum Rum Balls are: dark chocolate chips, sour cream, vanilla wafer cookies, powdered sugar, cocoa, Zaya Rum, melted butter and lots of sprinkles!

Place chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl, and cook in short bursts of no more than 45 seconds at a time.  In between cooking stir until chips are melted with a creamy consistency.  It is better to be patient and take this step slow instead of overcooking the chips.

Place the whole box of vanilla wafers in a food processor or blender and blend until you have fine crumbs.  Do the same for the box of chocolate wafer cookies.

In a mixer combine the melted chocolate with sour cream and almond paste.  Mix on medium until well combined.

In a large bowl combine both cookie crumbs, powdered sugar, cocoa, rum and melted butter.  Stir with a large spoon until well combined.

Next add the crumb mixture to the chocolate chip mixture in the mixer.  Mix on medium until all ingredients are well blended.  The mixture will have a paste-like texture.

Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of an hour and up to 24 hours.

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Place sprinkles in a bowl.  Using a small scoop, scoop balls of mixture.  Remember our trick from our Thin Mentas and Golden Mint Crinkles?  Spray your hands with cooking spray to make the handling of the dough easy.  Roll dough in your hands to smooth out edges.

Drop balls into the sprinkles.  Roll in sprinkles to cover completely.  Use hands to press sprinkles into dough and to make sure balls are coated.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Makes approximately 4 dozen.

If you want to get creative, you can coat the Yum Rum Balls in different colored sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, Heath Bar Crumbs, nuts and more!

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If you are viewing this post in email, visit us at http://www.theblindpig.blog for the full  printable recipe.

The flavor of the rum rings through in these rum balls that are sweet, but not overly rich.  They make a great addition to a holiday tray at a holiday party or added to a goody basket.  We promise to save some of these for our goody basket friends.  Christmas needs to come quick!

 

Share this recipe and more with your friends, by telling them about our blog and following us on Instagram and Pinterest!

We are just getting started with the holiday fun around here!  Check in with us next week for more great holiday and entertaining ideas.

YumRumBalls

Yum Rum Balls are a fun and festive way to kick off the holiday season.