Friday, December 28, 2012

Making Dessert Moments with Kraft Canada

When Christmas comes, I can't help but hit the kitchen and create all kinds of treats for friends and family to enjoy. This Christmas I had a great opportunity to partner up with Kraft Canada and make a whole bunch of fantastic treats to share. Kevin and John even got involved (well, with the eating, anyway).

We had so many people we wanted to gift goodies to. Firstly, our friends who have so kindly let John stay in their suite on the Sunshine Coast while we waited for him to finally get transferred to Chilliwack. Then our realtor turned friend Jackie, who helped us find our beautiful house!

Lastly, the staff over at Valley Toyota, who went so far above and beyond helping us get our new car while we were literally in the middle of moving. Honestly-we were unloading the truck at some crazy hour and one of their staff drove to our house to get us to sign a paper. Who does that? Obviously only those who offer you amazing service.

One weekend in December, we were like little kitchen elves and baked up a whole bunch of treats with Kraft products, turning our holiday into some fun #dessertmoments. Photographer Kim Mallory dropped by and took all kinds of pictures of the treats, us, and my new kitchen!

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Kraft has a whole bunch of great recipes for gift giving that are really quick and easy to make. Christmas has passed, but these would make a great hostess gift or addition to a cookie tray for New Year's Eve. We easily whipped up all three of these treats in record time!

Recipe #1 was Oatmeal Caramel Chocolate Squares.  If you love Kraft Caramels like we do, you'll love this recipe. An oatmeal base with chocolate chips, a caramel sauce drizzled over top, and more oatmeal sprinkled on top, then baked.  They were a bit crumbly when I cut them up, but chocolate and caramel are one of my favourite flavour combinations.

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Recipe #2 was my family's favourite and honestly, I wasn't sure there would be any left to give away once the photos were taken and I was packaging it up. Rocky Ridge bark is so easy and has everything you'd love in it; Oreo cookies, chocolate, marshmallows, and peanuts. Chocolate barks have to be the easiest and yet most tasty gift of all to give. The only work is making yourself wait while it hardens.

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You can even switch around the ingredients. If you are allergic to nuts, change the peanuts to dried cherries or cranberries, or even crushed candy cane instead!

Recipe #3 brought back a lot of childhood memories for me. When I was a kid my mom used to make peanut butter balls and these ones, peanut butter snowballs,  were very similar. Mix up some peanut butter with graham crumbs and a few other things, chill, roll, and dip in chocolate. A little messy, yes, but totally worth it.

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John wandered in the kitchen and chose to get in on the sampling. He really isn't a cook but when it comes to chocolate, he usually wanders by and has a taste. See, I know his weakness.

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Kevin, on the other hand, was all over it. Teenagers usually have hollow legs anyway, and keeping this one from inhaling most of the treats was some work! He hovered and nibbled, and pretty much watched, wide eyed, until I finally just shoved a piece of rocky ridge bark in his direction.

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As for me, putting up these treats was just as much fun as having my family around nibbling the end result, and finally packing them up and seeing the faces of the people we gifted them to.  Even the photographer was thrilled when I sent her home with peanut butter balls. Gifts from a store are fun, but taking a little time and giving a gift from the kitchen?

Priceless.

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Notes From the Cookie Jar was compensated for this post by being given a basket of ingredients to make the recipes, and products to pack them up in, such as containers, ribbon, and tissue. Photos were by Kim Mallory.

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