4-Ingredient Cracker Candy

 

Also known as Christmas Crack because it’s so difficult to stop eating, I’m sure this confection has crossed your lips at some point. My mom has made it every December for years, whether to include in a cookie swap, gift to coworkers, or just have on hand at home for guests. I asked her to show me how she makes it and was completely surprised that so little went into something so delicious – there are only four ingredients!

 

 

Ingredients
• 1 tube of Saltines, about 40 crackers
• 1 C butter, salted or unsalted but not margarine
• 1 C + 2 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar (we used light)
• 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 1/2 – 3/4 C toasted chopped pecans or toasted chopped almonds (optional)

 

 

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Cover a standard sized cookie sheet with foil, then spray with non-stick cooking spray. Line crackers end-to-end, breaking to fit the ends and sides if necessary.

 

 

In a saucepan melt the butter on low heat, then add brown sugar and crank it up to medium. Continue stirring until boiling, then boil for 3 minutes. Pour over crackers, spreading evenly and working quickly before it begins to set.

 

 

Place cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until crackers look like they’re jumping up and down and bubbles appear on the surface. Remove and spread chocolate chips as evenly as possible over the top, then place a sheet of foil over the pan and allow to melt for about 3 minutes. (Or you can pop it back in the oven for 1 minute.)

 

 

Spread melted chocolate over the top evenly. Add nuts to top if you prefer, then replace foil and refrigerate until set. Once ready break into snack-sized pieces – the individual crackers act as a great guide. If you’re feeling adventurous try replacing the Saltines with graham crackers or adding something festive on top, like sprinkles or edible gold stars. They look great packaged up in glassine bags and will keep in an airtight container for several weeks.

 

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24 Homemade Gifts + Foods to Give

Homemade gifts are so thoughtful, and they’re also great to have on hand for some other reasons. Unexpected guests, coworkers, and stockings to name a few! I’ve pulled together twelve simple DIY projects and twelve recipes that would make for great give, I’ve also shared what to pair them with to create and extra sweet and thoughtful gift!

 

 

PAIR WITH a bottle of wine or new book

 

PAIR WITH a set of vintage candleholders

 

PAIR WITH a bottle of lavender pillow spray (see below)

 

PAIR WITH a simple soap dish

 

PAIR WITH a pair of linen pillowcases

 

PAIR WITH a package of your favorite pasta and a jar of sauce

 

PAIR WITH a nice box of matches

 

PAIR WITH a bouquet of fresh eucalyptus

 

PAIR WITH a pretty candlesnuffer

 

PAIR WITH a tray to arrange them in

 

PAIR WITH a pottery dish to set it in

 

PAIR WITH a few tiny baskets to set them in drawers, closets, etc

 

 

PAIR WITH toothpicks and a large bowl

 

PAIR WITH a loaf of fresh local bread

 

PAIR WITH the recipe!

 

PAIR WITH quality hot chocolate mix

 

PAIR WITH a pair of small glass tumblers

 

PAIR WITH a wooden cutting board

 

PAIR WITH a nice candy dish

 

PAIR WITH a linen dish towel – tie them up in a bundle

 

PAIR WITH a small dish or cake stand that can be used year-round

 

PAIR WITH a recipe for English muffins or crumpets and a spreader

 

PAIR WITH a pair of new mugs and tea strainer

 

PAIR WITH an air-tight tin that can be reused again and again for storage

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Mega Christmas Sweets Roundup

1/ Almond Buckwheat Chocolate Brittle
2/ Apple Walnut Oatmeal Cookies
3/ Belgium Waffle Maple Fudge
4/ Caramel and Cardamom Kisses
5/ Cardamom Cake Mix Cookies with Saffron Sugar
6/ Caramel Apple Spice Thumbprints
7/ Cashew Filled Baklava Rolls
8/ Carrot Cake Cookies
9/ Chai Spiced Salted Caramel Macarons
10/ Cherry & Lime Macaroons

 

11/ Cherry Chestnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
12/ Chocolate Flecked Slice and Bake Cookies
13/ Chocolate Graham Crackers (GF)
14/ Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookies
15/ Chocolate Tahini Fudge
16/ Chocolate-Peanut Butter Marbled Biscotti
17/ Cinnamon Sugar Pie Crust Cookies
18/ Cranberry and Almond Oatmeal Cookies
19/ Cranberry Cherry Ribbon Cookies
20/ Cranberry Wafer Cookies

 

21/ Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies
22/ Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars
23/ Easy No-Bake White Chocolate Thin Mints
24/ Espresso Caramel Shortbread Bites
25/ Fluffy Vanilla Nougat
26/ Frosted Soft Sugar Cookie Bars
27/ Gingerbread and Honey Jumbles
28/ Gluten-Free Chocolate Dipped Gingersnaps
29/ Hazelnut & Caramel Cookies
30/ Healthy Almond and Cinnamon Christmas Stars

 

31/ Homemade Chocolate Bars
32/ Lemon Cranberry Biscotti
33/ Malted Hazelnut & Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies
34/ Christmas Maple Sugar Cookies
35/ Matcha Oreos
36/ Lemon Shortbread Cookies
37/ Meyer Lemon Pizzelle
38/ Middle Eastern Millionaire’s Shortbread
39/ Nutter Butters
40/ Oatmeal Chewies

 

41/ Orange Chocolate Cantucci Biscuits
42/ Pecan Praline Cookies
43/ Pumpkin Ginger Sandwich Cookies
44/ Rosemary Chocolate Biscotti
45/ S’mores Bites
46/ Salted Caramel Cookies + Coffee Chocolate Drizzle
47/ Salted Dark Chocolate Chip and Roasted Pecan Cookies
48/ Peppermint Bark Cannoli
49/ Chewy Gingerbread Cookies
50/ Walnut Mushroom Cookies

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Pie 15 Ways

If you’re lucky, you’ve been tasked with making a dessert for Thanksgiving rather than the green bean casserole. There may no sweet more closely associated with the holiday than pumpkin pie, but we’re taking a broader approach. Have a look at these fifteen pie recipes your friends and family would be lucky to have on their dining table next Thursday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You’re Invited: Thanksgiving Dinner

 

If I had a gigantic studio I’d like to think that I could invite you all over for a meal. One that says thank you for hanging around and keeping Design Crush afloat for over ten years, for your kind words and encouragement, and just for being an incredible group of human beings. After all, Thanksgiving is about being grateful and saying it out loud. So go get dressed in your favorite outfit – sparkly dress or sweatpants, there’s no judgement here – and join me for a delicious time. (Thanksgivings past: 2012, 2013, 20142015, 2016)

 

Apple Cinnamon Whiskey Sour // Basil Fig Vodka Smash // Chilled Spiced Apple Beer Punch // Harvest Berry Sangria // Honey Crisp Spiced Hard Cider // Persimmon Mojito

 

Easy Goat Cheese + Honey Bites // Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Bacon Aioli // Super Simple Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Bites // Sweet Potato Tahini Crostini // Toasted Red Chili Salsa // White Bean Buffalo Hummus

 

Eucalyptus Bundle Doormat // Live Olive Eucalyptus Wreath // Modern Brass Candleholders // Various Sticks // Twinkle Leaf Garland // Sheafs of Wheat

 

Animal Placecard Holder Set // Stoneware Metallic Vase // X Pattern Napkins // Emma Salt & Pepper Shakers // Velvet Table Runner // Farmhouse Trivet // Gold Metal Taper Candleholders // Hipped Glassware // Kaloh Mugs // Neona Flatware // Bistro Dinner Plates // Pink Pampas Grass

 

Arlo Smoke Glass Ice Bucket // Copper Punch Bowl with Ladle // Curved Handle Pitcher // Dobra Carafe // Hammered Gold 2-Piece Carving Set // Melrose Gold Serving Bowl // Marble & Dark Wood Servers // New England Ash Bread Board // Pie Set // Serving Platter // Tondo 12″ Round Platter // Stoneware Serving Dish

 

Apple Cider Green Beans // Brussels Sprout Chopped Salad with Pears, Gorgonzola + Vinaigrette // Buttery Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls // Caramelised Onion, Mushroom & Hard Cider Soup // Crispy, Cheesy, Tahini-Roasted Cauliflower // Hasselback Butternut Squash with Bay Leaves // Honey Brined Turkey // Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese // Roasted Potatoes with Thyme // Roasted Sweet Potato Stacks // Rustic Bourbon Spice Applesauce // Turnips with Garlicky Breadcrumbs and Parmesan

 

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake // Italian Apple and Fig Polenta Torta // Maple Pumpkin Cake Roll // Orange Cranberry Torte // Pumpkin Flan Cake // Simple Chocolate Mousse

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Home for the Holidays with Homemade Pet Treats

 

You simply can’t have a festive holiday season without including your furry friends in the celebrations. It’s not hard to guess what their favorite part of any holiday, from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Yuletide, might be — the treats. All the treats. And conveniently some of the same ingredients you use to create all kinds of holiday goodness are also healthy and delicious for your pets (hint: these yummy ideas share your fruit bowl’s bounty). Check out these three festive treat recipes for your four-pawed pals!

 

 

Minty Applesauce Dog Bones

Ingredients
• 1½ C whole wheat flour
• 1 C unbleached all purpose flour
• 1½ C old fashioned rolled oats
• ⅓ C oat bran
• 2 Tbsp milk powder
• 1½ tsp dry baking yeast
• 2 Tbsp chopped spearmint leaves
• 1½ C applesauce
• 2 tsp green food coloring
• ⅞ C water

You can use either your mixer with the bread hook attachment or a bread machine. If using a mixer, combine all ingredients and combine. If using a bread machine, place everything together on the dough cycle. When ready, roll dough out to ¼-inch thick. Cut into shapes using a bone or holiday shaped cookie cutter. Bake at 250ºF for one hour, checking from 50 minutes on to make sure they don’t over bake. Allow treats to dry completely in the oven, overnight is preferable.

 

 

Apple-Peanut Butter Cat Treats

Ingredients
• ½ C wheat flour
• ½ C quinoa flour
• ¼ tsp baking soda
• ½ C creamy peanut butter
• ½ C unsweetened applesauce

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Stir together flours and baking soda. Combine peanut butter and applesauce and add to flour mixture. Stir until it becomes difficult, then knead dough to incorporate any remaining flour. Roll dough ¼-inch thick, then transfer to a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes then immediately transfer to cutting board. Slice into small cat-sized treats. Spread cut up treats over the cookie sheet and bake for another two minutes.

Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, freeze any remaining leftovers.

 

 

Bacon Cheddar Apple Dog Treats

Ingredients
• 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 egg
• 1 C milk
• 1 peeled and grated apple, cored
• 1½ C whole wheat flour
• 1½ C white flour
• 1½ C shredded cheddar cheese
• ¼ C chopped cooked bacon
• 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together butter, olive oil, and egg. Incorporate milk and grated apple, then mix in flours until just combined. Add in most of the cheddar, bacon, and parsley, leaving some aside to top. Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth – for about 30 seconds – the roll into a ½-inch thick 10-inch circle. Sprinkle the rest of the cheddar, bacon, and parsley onto the dough, gently pressing down. Cut out the treats using the shape of your choice, then place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until biscuits are a light golden brown.

This post sponsored by Rover.com. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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Hearty Molasses Beef Stew

 

Even though the weather is still (oddly) in the 70s, I’m so happy to shift back over to heartier recipes in the kitchen. More Sundays than not I get together with my mom and stepdad for dinner and this is one of my favorite dishes – a thick beef stew with the a touch of unexpected sweetness care of molasses and golden raisins.

Hearty Molasses Beef Stew
• 1/3 C all-purpose flour
• 2 tsp salt, divided
• 1 1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
• 2 lb beef roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 5 Tbsp oil, divided
• 1 medium onion, sliced
• 15 oz diced tomatoes, drained
• 1 C beef broth, plus more to keep moist
• 3 Tbsp molasses
• 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tsp dried thyme
• 1 tsp celery salt
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
• 2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 1/2 C golden raisins

Combine flour, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp black pepper in a large bowl. Toss cut beef in flour mixture. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in large saucepan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of beef and brown on all sides, remove from pan and repeat with 2 Tbsp oil and remaining beef. Remove beef and add remaining 1 Tbsp oil, add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, molasses, vinegar, garlic, thyme, celery salt, bay leaves, and remaining 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Bring to a boil, then add beef and boil for one additional minute. Transfer to crockpot, cover and cook on low for 5 hours or high for 2 1/2 hours. Add frozen vegetables, potatoes, and raisins and cook for an additional 1 to 2 hours, or until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaves and enjoy! Serves 6 to 8.

 

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Coffee Cake 15 Ways

To me autumn really harkens in the season of the coffee cake and indoor entertaining, and whether it’s Entenmann’s or from scratch I love a good one. Preferably with a near equal ratio of cake to crumbly topping, the kind that’s so messy you need to eat it over the sink or a napkin. These fifteen recipes look like solid contenders!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on each image to go to the recipe.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.

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44 Halloweeny Things

Apple Cider Crullers // Black Branch Wreath // Brown Butter Bourbon Caramel Apples // DIY Colorful Halloween Wreath

 

Death Eater Negroni Cocktail // DIY Boo Halloween Treat Bags // DIY Eames Print Pumpkins // DIY Modern Painted Pumpkins

 

DIY Gold Botanical Pattern Pumpkins // DIY Pastel Pumpkin Faces // DIY Witch Silhouette Decor // Skull Ring

 

Gilded Insect Cookies // Glass Orb with Brass Base // Sugar Skull Plates // Marie Coupe Smoke Grey Cocktail Glass

 

DIY Miniature Haunted Houses // Moon Garland // Palmistry Brooch // Red Velvet Skeleton Cake

 

Gold Skull Figurine // Spooky Black-and-White Russian Cocktails // The Eel Charmer Cocktail // Carved Wood Raven

 

Apple Spice + Bourbon Flip Cocktail // Dark Purple Edison Bulb String Lights // DIY Black Flower Halloween Wreath // Black Widow Berry Cocktail

 

DIY Concrete Pumpkins // DIY Monster Pinatas // DIY Jade Pumpkins // DIY Paper Bag Portrait Luminaries

 

DIY Sassy Trick or Treat Bags // Easy Pumpkin Bread Rolls // Eyeball Orbs // Gilded Skeleton Canister

 

Brushed Gold Skull Punch Bowl // Lantern Candle Holder // Melting Monster Halloween Punch (Non-Alcoholic) // Monster Eye-Scream Cookies

 

DIY Painted Party Pumpkins // Pomegranate + Blackberry Lemon Drop Cocktail // Sketched Skull Plates // Slow-Cooker Spiked Mulled Cider

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Quick Picks

 

I’m always looking for opportunities to share more of my favorite affordable finds with you, so today we’re debuting a new series called Quick Picks where I’ll do just that. Ten things that I’m crushing on from the last week or so that I don’t own but wouldn’t mind having in my home. No art, no designer anything, only things that are within reach. (If you see something you want to check out further just click on the image!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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