My Inspiration . . .

Hello, and welcome to KT Made It, where I share my favorite dinners, desserts and more! I love trying out new recipes, and finding ways to make them healthier & happier on the hips.

Hope you find some you can enjoy too!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Biscotti

{ Prep Time: 15 mins / Difficulty: Intermediate / Yields: 30 biscottis }

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Spray baking sheets with cooking spray; set aside.
2. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine oil, extracts and eggs; then add to flour mixture, stirring until well blended (dough will be dry and crumbly). Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 8 times.
3. Divide dough in half. Shape each portion into an 8" long roll. Place rolls 6" apart on a large greased baking sheets; pat each loaf down to 1" thick. (See photo above)
4. Bake at 350º for 35 mins. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Remove rolls from baking sheet and cool for 10 mins on wire rack. Cut each roll diagonally into 15 (1/2" thick) slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Bake 10 mins. Turn cookies over and bake an additional 10 mins. (cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool).
5. Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire rack.

Recipe borrowed from the Cooking Light Cookbook

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Fancy Caramel Corn

{ Prep Time: 15 mins / Difficulty: Easy / Yields: 16 cups }

12 cups popped popcorn (1 regular sized bag of popcorn yields about 9 cups popped, so you will need 1 1/2 bags)
2 1/2 cups gluten free mini pretzels (sticks or twists, broken into pieces)
1 cup lightly salted chopped almonds (or peanuts)
1/2 cup salted butter
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
2 sandwich ziplock baggies, for piping

1. Cover a baking sheet (preferably one with sides) with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Pop popcorn, and pour into a very large bowl. Be sure to remove any unpopped kernels before doing so, so no one breaks a tooth! Measure out the pretzels and break into small pieces with your hands. Add to the bowl. Toss in almonds (or peanuts, whichever you decide to use) into the bowl and gently fold together. Set aside.
3. In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the butter (should only take about 45 seconds or less). Stir in brown sugar, light corn syrup and salt. Mix well. Microwave mixture for 2 minutes, stir; then immediately return to microwave and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from microwave, whisk in the vanilla and baking soda and stir until frothy (about 10-15 seconds). *Note: Even though you're going to do it anyway, try NOT to stick your finger in the caramel sauce to taste it - it's friggin HOT and it WILL burn you!
4. Pour hot caramel sauce over the popcorn mixture and gently stir until it's all evenly coated. Turn the mixture out onto your prepared baking sheet. Spread out in a thin layer.
5. Meanwhile, measure out the milk chocolate into a microwave safe bowl. Cook for 30 seconds, then stir. Repeat, cooking in 30 second intervals (you'd be surprised how easy it is to burn chocolate!) until chocolate is melted and of good spreading consistency. While it's still warm, pour the chocolate into a ziplock baggie, seal, and cut off the tip of the corner of the bag. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the popcorn. Repeat this step with the white chocolate.
6. Place the pan in the fridge for about an hour (or two), or until the chocolate hardens (the harder it is, the easier it will be to break into pieces). Store in an airtight container.

Recipe found on Cooking Classy

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Milk Chocolate Brownies

This is a very simple recipe, but looks like a gourmet dessert!
You could make brownies from scratch if you want, but who has time for that!?
{ Prep Time: 15 mins / Difficulty: Easy / Yields: 8 servings }

1 box Duncan Hines Double Fudge Brownie Mix
1 large egg
1 Tbsp water
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (or 1/3 cup vegetable oil)
butter flavored cooking spray
vanilla frozen yogurt or vanilla ice cream
Hershey's light chocolate syrup
mini chocolate chips, for decoration
light cool whip

1. Preheat oven to 350º for glass or metal pans, 325º for dark pans. Lightly grease 8x8" baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix together brownie mix, egg, water, applesauce and contents of fudge sauce. Stir until well blended (about 50 strokes). Pour into prepared baking dish.
3. Bake for 33 mins - you can always add a few mins if center has not set. (Add 3-5 mins if using a dark pan.) Brownies are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack before cutting and serving.
4. To serve, cut brownies into squares and put on plates. Nuke for 15-20 seconds each, so brownies are hot. Scoop out ice cream and place on top of brownies. If desired, add a spoonful of cool whip on top of ice cream. Drizzle with Hershey's syrup, then sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Serve warm.

You can make brownies up to 2 days in advance. Just cover and store in the refrigerator, once they're completely cooled. Then heat squares in the microwave 30 seconds or so before serving.

Brownie recipe borrowed from Duncan Hines

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Vanilla Buttercream Icing

{ Prep Time: 10 mins / Difficulty: Easy / Yields: 3 cups }

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 3-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
2 tsp vanilla
1 16-oz pkg (2 cups) powdered sugar
3-4 Tbsp milk

1. Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with electric mixer until creamy.
2. Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with 3 Tbsp milk, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition.
3. If desired, beat in remaining 1 Tbsp milk, 1 tsp at a time, until desired consistency.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Delicious Chocolate Cupcakes

These were, BY FAR, the BEST homemade chocolate cupcakes I've ever tasted! This recipe was inspired by Glory from Glorious Treats. Thank you, Glory! You are my newest favorite cupcake baker! I am so excited to share my version, which I tweaked just a teensy bit. She is way more experienced in the cupcake world, so I didn't wanna stray too far away from her original recipe. we go!
{ Prep Time: 10 mins / Cook Time: 22-24 mins / Difficulty: Easy / Yields: 24 cupcakes }

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. Add eggs, milk, applesauce, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 1 min.
4. Stir in the boiling water (this makes the batter runny, but Glory says this is how it's supposed to be!)
5. Fill liners about 3/4 full with the batter. (I went with Glory's suggestion here and it worked wonderfully: pour the batter into a large measuring cup with a pour spout and use that to fill the liners.)
6. Bake cupcakes for about 22-24 mins. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean.
7. Remove tins from oven and place on wire racks to cool. Make sure cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting.

Frost with your favorite frosting . . . a couple to try are: peanut butter frosting, chocolate buttercream frosting, or vanilla buttercream frosting!

Inspired by Glory from Glorious Treats

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Goat Cheese Spread

{Prep Time: 15 mins / Chill Time: 8 hrs / Difficulty: / Yields: 12-14 servings }

2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
8 oz goat cheese, softened
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tsp fresh oregano (or 1 1/4 tsp dried oregano)
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/4-1/2 cup pesto sauce
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
wheat thins, french bread slices, or crackers of your choice

1. Line the bottom of an 8x4" loaf pan with plastic wrap.
2. Place the first 5 ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Spread 1/3 of cheese mixture in bottom of prepared pan. Top with pesto sauce. Then, carefully spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the pesto layer.
3. Top cheese layer with sun-dried tomatoes; then top with remaining cheese mixture. Cover and chill for 8 hours before serving.
4. When ready to serve, invert pan onto a serving plate, then discard plastic wrap. Garnish with fresh oregano leaves and sun-dried tomatoes, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe borrowed from Southern Living Magazine

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chippers

There is an urban legend behind this recipe that can be found here. Whether it's true or not, I'm glad this recipe made it into my hands. This recipe makes a TON of cookie dough (the recipe below has been halved). Dough can be frozen as well. Happy baking!
{ Prep Time: 20 mins / Cooking Time: 10 mins / Difficulty: Easy / Yields: 5 dozen }

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed 
2 large eggs (room temp)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2.5 cups rolled oats (measure out oats, then blend to a fine powder in a food processor or blender)
2 cups (16 oz) chocolate chips
4 oz milk chocolate, grated
1 1/2 chopped nuts (your choice; optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
2. Cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs (one at a time) and vanilla; mix to combine. 
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.
4. Add chocolate chips, grated chocolate (and nuts, if desired).
5. Roll into balls and place 2" apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
6. Bake for 6-8 minutes. Once baking is complete, remove pan from oven, let cookies cool for 2 mins; then transfer to a wire rack for cooling.

Recipe borrowed from

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

{ Prep time: 10 mins / Difficulty: Easy / Yields: frosting for 12 cupcakes }

2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
6 Tbsp butter, softened
5 Tbsp evaporated milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. In a medium bowl, sift together powdered sugar and cocoa; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy
3. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or powdered sugar.

Recipe borrowed from All Recipes

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Carrabba's Bread Dipping Spice

{ Prep Time: 5 mins / Difficulty: Easy / Yields: about 1/2 cup }

1 Tbsp dried basil
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
extra virgin olive oil
french baguette or sourdough bread, cut into 1/4" slices right before serving

1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, except olive oil.
2. Drizzle 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil onto a small appetizer plate and scoop about 3/4-1 tsp of the herbs over the olive oil.
3. Serve with sliced bread.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Mini Vanilla Cupcakes

{ Prep Time: 10 mins / Difficulty: Easy / Yields: 60 mini cupcakes }

1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1" cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
sprinkles for decorating

1. Preheat oven to 325º. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla. With the mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat just until ingredients are incorporated.
3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 17-20 mins, rotating the pan halfway through -- until toothpick inserted in center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
4. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool completely.
5. Once cupcakes are completely cooled, ice with vanilla buttercream frosting or chocolate buttercream frosting.

Recipe borrowed from Martha Stewart

Monday, December 3, 2018

Chicken Bake with Black Beans & Salsa

{ Prep time: 10 mins / Cooking Time: 35-45 / Difficulty: Easy / Yields: 4-6 servings }

4 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in half
1 (16oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 (11oz) can whole kernel corn, drained & rinsed
1 1/2 cups mild or hot Rotel (or 1 1/2 cans tomatoes w/ green chilis), divided
1/4 cup yellow onion, diced (optional)
salt and pepper
spicy chicken seasoning (or Tony Chachere's or seasoning of your choice)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (any cheese will work!)
olive oil cooking spray

1. Heat oven to 350º. Lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Rinse chicken and pat dry. If the chicken breasts are large, cut the chicken into quarters. (This will speed up the cooking time). Season the chicken with salt and pepper and/or spicy chicken seasoning.
3. Combine the drained beans, corn, 1 cup Rotel, onions (optional) and half of the cilantro. Put the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
4. Arrange chicken breasts over the bean and corn mixture, then spoon the remaining Rotel over the chicken.
5. Top evenly with cheese and sprinkle with the remaining cilantro.
6. Cover tightly with foil (shiny side up!) and bake for 25 mins. Remove foil and cook 10-15 more mins, or until chicken is tender.
** Serving suggestions: serve with Mexican rice and/or beans; or couscous. **

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Cream Cheese Icing

8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
1# (3 3/4 cups) powdered sugar

Beat together cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add vanilla. Sift powdered sugar. Gradually beat together powdered sugar and mixture until creamy. You're ready to frost!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Miniature Cheese Blintzes

{ Prep Time: 45 mins / Cook Time: 10-12 mins /
Difficulty: Intermediate - A bit time consuming, but not difficult to actually make /
Yields: about 25-30 blintzes }

1 (8-oz) package light cream cheese, softened
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 loaves Pepperidge Farm sandwich bread
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine
3/4 cup sugar + 2 Tbsp cinnamon

1. Blend cream cheese, egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar; set aside. Place margarine in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave until margarine is melted (about 1-1.5 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, cut off crusts of sandwich bread and roll each slice with a rolling pin until it's almost flattened. Spread about 1 Tbsp of the cream cheese mixture onto each sandwich square (covering about 3/4 of the bread, while leaving about 1/4" from each side ~ When you roll it up, you'll see why!)
3. Preheat oven to 350º.
4. Roll up each piece, and set them aside until you're finished rolling up all the pieces. Using tongs, dip each roll-up into the melted butter; then roll into the cinnamon sugar mixture. **(If you're planning to make these in advance, this is your last step - you can freeze the blintzes until the day before you're ready to bake them.)** IF you're making them right away . . . continue to Step 5!
5. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

** This recipe can be prepared several days ahead of time and frozen until ready to bake. The night before you plan to make them, thaw them out in the fridge. **

Borrowed from mama's cookbook: "From My Kitchen, With Love"

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Double Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies

{Prep Time: 15 mins / Bake Time: 12-14 mins / Difficulty: Easy/ Yields: 60 cookies }

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup walnuts
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup chocolate sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 350º. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
2. Place oats in a blender; cover and process until finely ground. Combine oats flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt: gradually add to creamed mixture; and mix well. Stir in chips, walnuts and sprinkles.
3. Roll into 1 1/2" balls. Place 2" apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with the bottom of a flat round glass. Bake for 12-14 mins or until golden brown. Cool on pan for 1 minute, then remove to wire racks.

Recipe borrowed from Taste of Home Best Loved Cookies Magazine

Monday, November 19, 2018

Mama's 15 Minute Fudge

{ Prep time: 15 mins / Difficulty: Easy / Yields: 3 pounds }

2/3 cup evaporated milk 
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup margarine
1/2 tsp salt
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme
1 tsp vanilla
1 (12 oz) pkg chocolate chips (or 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)

1. Grease a 9x13" pan with cooking spray; set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, sugar and margarine over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes - continue stirring. 
3. Remove from heat, then stir in chocolate pieces until melted. Add marshmallow creme, salt and vanilla (and nuts, if desired). Beat until well blended. Pour into the prepared pan, then refrigerate. Once completely cooled, cut into small pieces.

Recipes borrowed from my mama's cookbook, 'From My Kitchen, With Love"

Sunday, November 18, 2018

ROLO Pretzel Delights

This is the perfect combo of sweet & salty, and the great news is they can be prepared in less than 10 minutes!
{ Prep Time: / Cooking Time: 5 mins / Difficulty: Super Easy! / Yields: about 5 dozen }

Circular or square pretzels
1 bag of Rolos
56 pecan halves

1. Preheat oven to 250º. 
2. Unwrap the entire bag of Rolos, and place unwrapped candies in a bowl. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place pretzels on the baking sheet, then top each with a Rolo candy.
3. Bake for 3-5 minutes, or until Rolo begins to soften (be careful not to let them melt!). Remove pan from oven, and immediately press a pecan half into each Rolo (press down slightly).
4. Cool in the freezer for about 5 minutes. 
5. Store in a Tupperware container.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

S'mores Squares

{ Prep time: 10-15 mins / Difficulty: Easy / Yields: 24 squares }

1 (12oz) box Golden Grahams cereal (9 cups)
3 tbsp butter
3/4 C light corn syrup
1 1/2 cup (12oz) chocolate chips
3 cup miniature marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla
butter flavored cooking spray

1. Spray a 9x13" pan with cooking spray.
2. Pour cereal in a large bowl.
3. Heat corn syrup, butter and chips to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
4. Pour over cereal and toss until coated. Fold in marshmallows, 1 cup at a time. Press into pan using back of buttered spoon. Let stand 1 hour.
5. Cut into 2" squares, store loosely covered at room temp up to 2 days. If longer, refrigerate remaining bars.

Recipe borrowed from Mama's "From My Kitchen, With Love" Cookbook

Friday, November 16, 2018

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies with Blackberry Jam

Giada made these look so damn good..I had to try em out! Not that I'm surprised, but they are delicious!
{ Prep Time: 20 mins / Cooking Time: 15 mins / Difficulty: Easy / Yields: 3 dozen }

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
1/2 packed cup light brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature, slightly beaten 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup blackberry jam

1. Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 375º. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer, beat the butter, peanut butter, 3/4 cup of sugar, and light brown sugar together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, and continue mixing until smooth, for about 30 seconds. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until blended. With the machine running on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until incorporated.
4. Put the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in a small bowl. Form the dough into 1" balls and roll in the sugar. Arrange 5 balls of dough, 2" apart, on each baking sheet. Using the thin end of a wooden spoon, make a hole in the center of each ball of dough, about 1/2"- 3/4" deep. Spoon 1-2 teaspoon of jam into each hole.
5. Bake for 14 minutes until the dough has spread and the surface of the cookies are cracked. Cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes.

Recipe borrowed from Giada De Laurentiis

For more recipes . . .

If you'd like to see more recipes, click on the "older posts" link on the bottom right side of the blog!