Saying More with Hershey’s this Holiday Season

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Hershey’s KISSES Deluxe. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

It didn’t take much for me to be excited about reviewing these fun new Hershey’s KISSES Deluxe and sharing them with you.

I knew from the description (and my long-standing love of all things Hershey’s!) that I would love them (and I do!)…  they are creamy and rich with soft milk chocolate and crispy bits surrounding a whole roasted hazelnut, everything we love about regular Hershey’s KISSES only better!

But, I was even more excited about the “Say More” campaign that Hershey’s is introducing this holiday season!

Hershey's Kisses Deluxe

We all know how wonderful technology is and how it has taken our relationships to another level.  We can easily keep in touch with friends who live on the other side of the world, and we can video chat loved ones whenever we miss their faces.  We are in almost constant ‘contact’ with everyone

But how often are we so in contact with everyone that we are really not in contact with anyone?

We share little bits of ourselves (let’s be honest – usually the best bits!) with everyone, but we don’t take the time to get down and deep with people face to face.  It’s just too easy to avoid the hard by pulling out the filters of our electronic devices.  But you know what?

The hard is good.  Because it’s real, and real is good.

Real is alive and throbbing and it’s what keeps us going.  Painful or joyful, real is living.

The knowing that we are not alone, that other people understand our struggles and our joys.  That someone feels our hurts and celebrates our triumphs.  That someone sees past the “I’m fine” of small-talk to the deeper truths lying being our practiced smiles.

The deep soul-searching gazes and heart-healing hugs that can only be handed out face to face…  those are the bits worth living for!

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love technology as much as the next person.  I absolutely love the re-kindled friendships with friends all over the country and the world, but you know what I love more?

Hugs.  Hugs and heart-filling soul-sharing words.

Saying MORE.

Hershey's Kisses Deluxe

Hershey’s wants to give one of you a box of these delicious new chocolates, so enter below.

Plan to share these special new treats with your loved ones…  and SAY MORE this holiday season!

Hershey’s KISSES Deluxe Giveaway

*I-C will randomly select fifty winners from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes.  (The giveaway ends December 14th!)

Hershey's KISSES Deluxe

the best monster cookies

Rich, fun, extra-chewy and naturally gluten-free (if you make sure your oats are not cross-contaminated!), these Monster Cookies are absolutely the best I’ve ever made.  And I have made a lot of Monster Cookies in my time!

The BEST (naturally gluten free!) Monster Cookies!  | Sweet Anna's

I have been baking and tweaking this recipe for years.  It was my grandma’s recipe handed down to my mom and then me, and as you all know – I just can’t help but tinker.  (smile)

Now, I’m absolutely not saying there was anything wrong with the original recipe, but there is always room for improvement and I think I have found a few little tricks to make these even better.  If you’ve ever made Monster Cookies before and thought “these didn’t turn out like I expected”, then this recipe is for you!!

The BEST (naturally gluten free!) Monster Cookies!  | Sweet Anna's

I have included cup measurements, but I have left a few of the original weight measurements also for those of you who use a kitchen scale…  (If you don’t I suggest trying it.  I just love the ease of resetting the scale and adding to one bowl, without dirtying a bunch of dishes!)

You can make these big or small, just adjust the time accordingly and watch carefully to make sure they don’t get overdone.  You just want the edges to be golden so they are not dry.  These cookies are better under-baked then overdone!

The BEST (naturally gluten free!) Monster Cookies!  | Sweet Anna's

Oh, and I just have to share the show-my-insides cookie tip with you guys!  (You may have seen this already, I posted it on Instagram a few weeks ago!)

Scoop out the cookie dough (balls twice as big as you want in the end) closely onto a cookie sheet and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.  When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven and then take each cookie dough ball and break it in half like you are cracking open an egg and place the halves craggily-insides-up onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.  When the cookies bake, they will be nice and chewy and all the yummy insides (chocolate chips, m&ms, etc!) will be showing, instead of hiding inside!

 

the best monster cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups (1lb) creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups (1lb) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 9 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups lightly packed sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2 cups m&ms, divided (1 1/2 cups + 1 cup)

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla & baking soda until well blended.
  2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except 1 cup of the m&ms, until just blended together. (You can transfer this to a very large bowl and mix with your clean hands if your mixer isn't big enough to handle the load!)
  3. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350ºF and line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Scoop the dough onto the parchment lined cookie sheets, and flatten with a fork dipped in water. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are just set and light golden brown around the edges.
  5. Store these (all cookies, really!) in the freezer for the best results. If they don't all disappear the first day, that is! :o)
http://sweetannas.com/2015/11/the-best-monster-cookies.html

The BEST (naturally gluten free!) Monster Cookies!  | Sweet Anna's

new gadgets for the cook who has everything

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for KitchenIQ. I received promotional items to thank me for my participation.”

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We all have someone on our Christmas lists who is an avid kitchen enthusiast, but seems to have every gadget we can think of.  It feels almost impossible to find something fun to give them, that they don’t already have and that also doesn’t break the bank.

Well, look no further, because these 3 little gadgets from KitchenIQ are perfect!  They are different, better, and fun enough to be an exciting gift. And they are inexpensive enough to fill stockings, or buy all 3 and add some goodies to make a fun kitchen gift basket!

This Edge Grip Knife Sharpener is the #1 best selling knife sharpener on Amazon right now, and it’s easy to see why!  It is compact, durable and incredibly easy to use.  With 2 stages of sharpening (coarse for sharpening dull knives, and fine for polishing off knives that just need a little boost!) and a great price, this gift is a no-brainer, for yourself or anyone who owns a knife (so basically everyone!).

#SharpenYourKitchenIQ

This 3-in-1 Potato Tool is so fun and probably my favorite new little kitchen gadget in a long time.  The peeler is sharper than any I’ve ever owned, the scrub brush is wonderful, and the best part…  hiding in the handle is a paring knife!  No more grabbing out 3 different things to get those potatoes washed/peeled and cut.  I just love things that simplify my kitchen, and you probably do too!

#SharpenYourKitchenIQ

And this Better Zester is just perfectly named!  It really is the best zester I have ever seen/owned or used (and I have tried a lot of zesters in my day!).

#SharpenYourKitchenIQ

 

I got to spend some time showing some friends these new fun gadgets recently, and we all had so much fun, especially with this zester.  As you can see, we even grated tangerines we were just having so much fun!

#SharpenYourKitchenIQ

Besides being incredibly sharp, with these neat little v-shaped blades and a non-stick coating, these zesters have a party going on in the back.  We all had never seen anything like this!

#SharpenYourKitchenIQ

After you zest your citrus (or grate your garlic or fresh ginger!), turn over the zester and see the magic…

#SharpenYourKitchenIQ

The cover on the back catches all the beautiful, fragrant zest!  No mess on the counter and bits scattered everywhere!  And then, when you want to get it out…

#SharpenYourKitchenIQ

slide down the cover and it has a cute little scraper that scrapes down all the zest off the back of the blades.  And the back cover also has measurements on it so you can see how much you have!

#SharpenYourKitchenIQ

Like I said, I just love things that simplify my life, and these 3 products are a kitchen game-changer for me.  Seriously, so fun, handy and USEFUL!

You can find all of these gadgets on the KitchenIQ website, or on Amazon (If you have Prime, you can have these here in just 2 days… and all the procrastinators rejoiced!).  ;o)

I just want to remind all of you lovely people who read down here to the bottom of this:  I will never, ever tell you I love a product if I don’t!  I was given these products to review, but I absolutely love them, I am thrilled to share them with you, and I’m already looking forward to sneaking a few of these into some loved ones’ stockings this Christmas!  

#SharpenYourKitchenIQ #IC #sponsored