Peppermint Red Velvet Cookies with Kisses (makes about 3 dozen)
36 Hersheys Peppermint Kisses, Hugs or Milk Chocolate Kisses, frozen*
1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp red food coloring
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp peppermint extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together vegetable oil and sugar on medium speed until mixture is creamy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg.
Add in food coloring, vinegar, vanilla extract and peppermint extract and mix until well blended. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combine. Roll dough into balls about 1 scant Tbsp each and place on Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven about 8 - 9 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool 30 seconds then lightly press 1 chocolate Kiss onto each cookie and immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Allow Kisses on cookies to set at room temperature (or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until chocolate has set then return to room temperature before enjoying or enjoy warm out of the oven and slightly melted). Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
Place in freezer for at least 30 minutes and don’t remove from freezer until removing cookies from oven. If using Hugs or Milk Chocolate Kisses, increase peppermint extract to a full 1 tsp.
Mexican Hot Chocolate(makes 3 servings,1 cup each)
3 cups milk (any kind)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cinnamon stick
3 ounces chili chocolate bars, chopped
1/4 tsp. chili powder, optional
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine milk, cocoa powder, vanilla and cinnamon stick. Whisk until boiling. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate, whisking gently until completely melted. If desired, add chili powder to increase spice.
Pour into 3 cups to serve immediately, or set over low heat, stirring occasionally. To serve with bowls of cinnamon sticks and mini marshmallows for each guest to add to their own cup.
Lightly coat the inside of a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In the prepared cooker stir together pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin pie spice. Spread batter evenly in the bottom of the prepared cooker.
In a medium bowl stir together cake mix, nuts, and the remaining 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice. Sprinkle mixture evenly over pumpkin mixture in cooker. Drizzle melted butter over mixture in cooker.
Cover and cook on high-heat setting for 2 1/2 hours. Remove crockery liner from cooker, if possible, or turn off cooker. Cool, uncovered, for 30 minutes. To serve, spoon warm pudding into dessert dishes. If desired, servings with dessert topping.
Carrot Bread with Cream Cheese Icing (makes 16 servings)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom or nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded carrot
2 beaten eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
For Cream Cheese Icing
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 - 4 teaspoons milk
Whisk together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and a little milk until smooth and glazelike. Drizzle over Carrot Bread.
For Candied Carrots
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup shaved carrots
2 - 3 tablespoons honey
In a skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add shaved carrots and. honey. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until carrots are glazed and tender. Spread on paper towel or waxed paper to cool.
To make Carrot Bread:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of an 8x4x2-inch loaf pan or three 4-3/4x2-1/2x2-inch loaf pan; set aside. In a bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, soda and salt. In another bowl combine carrot, eggs, milk, and oil; add to dry ingredients stirring just until moistened.
Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Bake for 55 to 60 for the 8x4-loaf pan or 30 to 35 minutes for the large loaf pan or 30 to 35 minutes for the small loaf pans or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean (check the loaf 10 to 15 minutes before the end of baking time.
If it is browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil). Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove and cool completely on a rack. Wrap in foil; store overnight before slicing. Store up to 3 days at room temperature or freeze up to 3 months. Glaze with Cream Cheese Icing and top with Candied Carrots just before serving.