Recipe: Sweet and Savory Cornbread Muffins

Mrs. Fields Secrets Sweet and Savory Cornbread Muffins

Soup season is officially here, and we’ve got the ideal side dish to enjoy with your favorite steaming bowl. This recipe is delicious and easily adapted to be savory or sweet or (our favorite) both! A couple of tablespoons of jalapeño hot sauce in the batter gives the perfect subtle heat and spice to these sweet, soft, cakey muffins. Leave the hot sauce out for a traditional honey sweet corn muffin.

Sweet and Savory Cornbread Muffins

1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup creamed corn
2 tablespoons jalapeño green hot sauce

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare a muffin tin with paper liners or nonstick spray. In a bowl, combine: cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and honey and whip until creamy. Slowly add in dry ingredients, then stir in buttermilk, creamed corn and hot sauce until just combined. Spoon equal amounts into muffin tins, filling mostly full. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Serve warm with butter, honey and your favorite soup.

Easy DIY Fall Decorations

Mrs. Fields Secrets DIY Fall Decor

Ready to deck your halls with all things fall? We’ve rounded up some fabulous fall decor that is so simple, you can put them together in a jiffy. How long is a jiffy, you ask? Not long at all! From top left to bottom right:

  • Raking leaves and pruning trees? Save a substantial branch and use a drill to make room for tea lights. Brilliant!
  • Keep that drill out, because this hole-y pumpkin lets of a beautiful glow.
  • Wrap candles with burlap, ribbon, or even colorful leaves to give your everyday decorations a seasonal look.
  • Fill your antique pots and pitchers with tiny bunches of branches and berries. Rustic and ravishing.
  • Use glow in the dark foam to create eyes for your tree trunks. Fun, but not too spooky!
  • Fill a vase with candy corns in a vase and nestle a small candle inside for a darling decoration.
  • Tiny gourds on top of your regular candlesticks give height and presence to a little decoration.
  • Stark branches and small orange pumpkins fill a large vase and a large space.

Cold Weather Pantry Staples

When the weather changes, so should our pantries. A well-stocked seasonal pantry makes it easy to make homemade meals, even at the end of a long day. Stock up on these essentials and stay cozy and full all through the winter.

  • onions, carrots, and celery: these three are known as the trinity in cooking and are absolute staples for your pantry. Together, they are the foundation of soups and sauces, not to mention the ideal accompaniment to roasted meats.
  • potatoes: bake them, boil them, mash them or smash them, potatoes are hearty and delicious and strong enough to stand alone as the main course.
  • sweet potatoes: not yams, but actual sweet potatoes are delicious diced into soups, hash, even paired with spicy seasoning for tacos.
  • canned pumpkin: our favorite gourd that can be used in a savory or sweet manner for sauces, soups, pies, and cookies.
  • chicken broth: whether you make your own or buy it in cans, chicken broth can be used in beef, poultry or veggie dishes adding depth of flavor, and an extra can can turn last night’s leftovers into enough for dinner again tonight.
  • pasta: for a side dish or a main course, pasta is a favorite comfort food in cool weather.
  • beans: dry or canned, beans are a hearty ingredient in soups, chills, and wraps.
  • canned or jarred tomatoes: for a sauce, a soup, or a quick salsa, your favorite summer fruit is one that tastes just as good in its preserved form.

Those are our cold weather staples. What are yours?

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It’s Your Chance to Win Cookies For a Year!

October is National Cookie Month, and we’re beyond excited to celebrate with you! In fact, if it were up to us, we’d celebrate cookies all year round. (Wait a minute, WE DO!) But now you can, too, with our amazing new giveaway: one lucky reader will win free cookies for an ENTIRE YEAR!

This prize is valued at over $350 and will be the envy of everyone you know. To enter to win, you must answer one simple question:

What is your favorite secret ingredient in cookies? 

Is it macadamia nuts? An extra teaspoon of baking soda? Toasted coconut? We have our own favorites (fresh butter, eggs, and high quality vanilla), but what makes your batch unique? Share your secrets and enter to win big!

Contest details:
Entrants must be 18 years or older and a resident of the continental United States. One entry per person. Entries accepted until midnight, Tuesday October 8, 2014. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified via email. 

Fall Catalog Preview + Discount

Mrs. Fields Secrets Fall 2014

Our fall catalog is hitting mailboxes, and oh what tricky treats it entails! As usual, we’ve gathered a few of our favorites from this year’s lineup to make you drool, but check out the entire catalog and order your own copy if you don’t get it already. And don’t forget to check out the exclusive discount for blog readers at the bottom of this post!

Autumn Splendor Box

The Autumn Splendor Box is an incredible combination of our original cookies, brownies, and frosted cookies. It makes an ideal hostess gift for any fall occasion!

Savor the Season Box

Our bestselling box full of bite-sized treats is dressed up in fall colors for any of your gift-giving needs. It’s an ideal thank you, even if the person who needs thanks is yourself!

Festive Fall Basket

How do we keep topping our world-famous gift baskets? With gifts like our Festive Fall Basket, that’s how! You’ll love every bite of our freshly baked cookies, and the sturdy, keepsake basket can find use after use around the house.

 

Candy Corn Caryalls

For your favorite trick-or-treater, nothing beats our Candy Corn Carryalls. They arrived filled with our favorite bite-sized cookies, and the carryall is ready for Halloween night!

 

Book of Spells

Sure to sell out, our Book of Spells is an enchanting treat and perfect party favor for your annual costume contest. Loaded with our favorite brownies and cookies, it’s bound to have everybody under its spell.

Check out the entire catalog to find your own favorites, and use code 14GTD at checkout for an exclusive discount:
10% off your purchase of $50
20% off your purchase of $75
30% off your purchase of $100.

5 Ways to Enjoy Caramel Apples Without the Mess

Mrs. Fields Caramel Apple Hacks
You love caramel apples. You hate the sticky mess. Now you can have your caramel apple and eat it too (without the need for soap and water). Check out these five brilliant caramel apple hacks for the sticky-averse!

1. If you love the original, maybe you just need a crash course in how to properly cut and serve caramel apples. Serve individual slices with a toothpick.
2. One-bite mini caramel apples on a stick are great for kids or those who want just a taste.
3. Make an inside-out caramel apple by hollowing an apple half and filling it with caramel sunday syrup. Chill until caramel is firm, then slice into wedges!
4. A caramel apple martini is a delicious, no-stick grownup spin on this favorite treat.
5. Caramel apple trifles are ooey-gooey delicious, but served with a spoon!

Do you have a favorite way to enjoy caramel apples?

Recipe: Nutella Turnovers

Mrs. Fields Secrets Nutella Turnover
Today’s recipe is for all you Nutella lovers out there. (And we know you’re out there.) You’ve tried Nutella on toast, on fruit, on sandwiches, on ice cream, and sometimes when no one is looking, on your finger straight out of the jar. Now it’s time to kick it up a notch with this easy, delicious recipe that puts your favorite spread inside a puffy, flaky turnover. Serve these for breakfast, brunch, dessert, or mid-afternoon snack. Throw some sliced banana, mini marshmallows, or your favorite Nutella sidekick inside and then pat yourself on the back for being a genius.

Nutella Turnovers

1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup Nutella spread
1 cup mini marshmallows (optional)
1 banana, sliced (optional)
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons white sugar

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk egg white and water, then set aside. On a baking sheet or parchment paper, roll a sheet of puff pastry with a rolling pin until smooth and slightly spread. Use a pizza cutter to divide the sheet into six even squares. Spread a dollop of Nutella in the center of each square, leaving a generous perimeter, and top with a few marshmallows or slices of banana. Use a pastry brush to paint a thin layer of egg wash around the perimeter of the square, then fold into a triangle and use the tines of a fork to press the outer edges together. Brush the outside of each turnover with a thin layer of egg wash and sprinkle sugar over the top before baking for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and puffy. Repeat with remaining puff pastry sheet.

No-Sew Closet Sachets

Mrs. Fields Secrets Closet Sachet
It’s that time of year to box up the tank tops and shorts and transition your closet into cool weather wear, and we’ve got a great little trick to keep your clothes fresh and smelling great all season through. This no-sew sachet will cost pennies compared to store-bought alternatives and is easy to refresh every time you transition your closet. Make a handful of these sachets and tuck them into drawers and closet shelves. Your clothes will smell amazing, and you’ll keep pesky moths away too.

No-Sew Closet Sachet

9 x 9 inch piece of fabric
10 inch strip of ribbon
1/3 cup dried lavender flowers

Directions
Place the lavender flowers in the center of the wrong side of your fabric. Pull the corners in and tie the ribbon around tightly to secure. Place in dresser drawers or closet shelves for up to 6 months of freshness. After 6 months, untie the ribbon and replace the lavender flowers.

HINT: Use cloth napkins, scraps of fabric, or old clothing to up-cycle for this project.
HINT: Cedar chips, rosemary and pine needles are other great sachet-fillers that will give a lasting scent and deter moths.

Glow in the Dark Party Ideas

Looking for a great party idea? A glow in the dark party is fun, creative, and easy to put together for kids or adults. It’s also a great alternative to a traditional Halloween costume party. The key to a glow in the dark party is a dark space, so arrange your party to start after dark or, if you need an earlier start time, opt for a basement space and darken the windows with black paper. And, of course, you’ll need to exchange regular lightbulbs with black lights (available at most box and home improvement stores). Invite guests to wear white or neon colors. Everything from the decorations to the food itself can be absolutely glowing, with these simple ideas…

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Glow rings underneath plastic plates and cups make a brilliant display for a dining table, and great ambient light during a meal.

Glow sticks inside of helium balloons make impromptu lighting. A bouquet of balloons makes a great party chandelier.

Wrap cotton candy around glow sticks for perfect party fair.

Use non-toxic neon paints and allow guests to decorate themselves and each other.

Prepare your favorite drink mix with tonic water for a delicious glowing concoction. (The quinine in the tonic water is what makes it glow – perfectly safe!)

Speaking of tonic water, use it to make glow in the dark frosting for your favorite cupcakes.

Glow in the dark duct tape (available at most craft stores) is not only great for decoration, but a good idea for outlining doors or stairs.

Make a glow in the dark Twister mat, or check out other glowing party games here.

Do you have a great glow in the dark party idea? Let us know!

Recipe: Flavored Butters

Mrs. Fields Secrets Flavored Butters

Here’s an easy peasy recipe idea that will make you feel like a gourmet chef of a ritzy restaurant. Flavored butters are a great way to infuse fresh flavors (sweet or savory) into butter for a memorable condiment and a delicious ingredient in your cooking. Take the recipe idea and adjust it however you like, trying it with your favorite fresh herbs or fruits and preserves. Serve it with fresh breads and muffins at your next brunch or dinner party and watch everyone swoon.

Bing Cherry Honey Butter

1 cup softened unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Bing cherry jam
1 tablespoon honey
pinch of salt

Directions
In a stand mixer, whip the ingredients together for about 20 seconds, or until color is mostly even. (Some marbling looks great.) Use a spatula to scoop the butter onto a large rectangle of plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic around the butter, forming it into a sausage shape. Place the butter in the freezer until solid. Use an ice cream scoop to create pretty curls, or serve in pats on a butter dish with your favorite muffins and breads.

 

Lemon Basil Garlic Butter

1 cup softened unsalted butter
1 clove fresh garlic
1 handful (about 12 leaves) fresh basil
zest of 1 lemon
pinch of salt

Directions
Take the fresh garlic and rub it all around the bowl of a stand mixer, then discard. Chop basil into small pieces, then add it to the mixing bowl with the softened butter, lemon zest and salt. Whip the ingredients together for about 20 seconds, or until herbs are evenly dispersed. Use a spatula to scoop the butter onto a large rectangle of plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic around the butter, forming it into a sausage shape. Place the butter in the freezer until solid. Use an ice cream scoop to create pretty curls, or serve in pats on a butter dish with your favorite muffins and breads.

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