Sugar Swings! Serve Some

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Cupcakes Made with Rainbow Carrots



Hey Peeps! Sharing a really easy and yummy cupcake with you guys today.  You know how I love rainbows right?? Well I was at Trader Joe's the other day and found these cool Carrots of Many Colors!  Yup, rainbow carrots!! (Insert huge Squeee!) 


They come in a 2 pound bag for only 2 bucks and they're organic too.  Can't beat that.  AND did I mention the colors?? I roasted them for dinner one nite with a little honey drizzle at the end. So.Darn.Yummy.  

I had to do something with the rest so decided to shred them up and make some carrot cupcakes (or you can call them carrot muffins, whatev you prefer).  I love love (love!) the colors.  Orange, red, yellow, purple.  The purple one is actually yellow inside.  How fun is that?


And the batter for these mixes up so quickly.  You can be done in about 1/2 hour with everything!


Although not needed at all, you can add a little dollop of your fav frosting (I added a little coconut buttercream I had in the fridge).  To add even a little more color to these cupcakes I also added a little shredded green zucchini and some sweetened coconut to the mix.  

See all the fun rainbow specs inside?!


And of course I had to add a little carrot heart on top!


Calling it my first Valentines Day treat! V-Day treats don't always need to be pink and red, right?!  

Have a great week everyone!

Cupcakes Made with Rainbow Carrots (recipe adapted from Epicurious Carrot Cake)

Ingredients: 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 cups of shredded rainbow carrots
  • 1/2 cup of shredded zucchini (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon of shredded sweetened coconut (optional)
For Cupcakes:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Add flour to a bowl and add baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
    3. Add brown sugar to mixing bowl and add/mix in one egg at a time until well incorporated.
    4. Add flour mixture, 1 cup at a time to the sugar/egg mixture until just incorporated.
    5. Stir in the carrot, zucchini, coconut.
    6. Fill cupcake tin/liners 2/3 way full and bake for 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
    7. Eat! (You can also add a dollop of your favorite frosting, but it's really not needed!)

    Sunday, January 11, 2015

    Cereal Snowmen made from Mini Wheats & Marshmallow Trees



    Happy New Year Peeps! Hard to believe it's now 2015, but I can tell its definitely Winter.   How? Well because it's SO.COLD.OUTSIDE!  Commuting into NYC in this weather is not so fun.  It's that painful cold where you can't move your fingers in a few minutes.  I think I'm gonna officially start my countdown to Spring - 67 days!



    But in the meantime I made some snowmen.  A little army of snowmen made from cereal.  Mini Wheat cereal to be more specific and as if mini was not small enough the fun folks at Kelloggs made Little Bites Mini Wheats that are half the size of Mini Wheats! They made mini minis!  Thank you Kelloggs people.  

    OK I know they might look a little like penguins, so feel free to call them Snow Penguins.
    You guys know anything mini works for me so I had to scoop up a box.


    The snowmen are made by "gluing" the mini wheats together with some melted vanilla chips/melting wafers.  To get them to stand, add a blob of melted candy to parchment paper and while still wet, add the snowman.  Once the candy hardens they will be sturdy and stand on their own. 


    Their scarves are made from fruit flavored Tootsie Rolls.  To make them, microwave a Tootsie Roll for 5 seconds (to make it flexible) then roll candy flat.  With a knife or pizza cutter, cut out strips for the scarves.  Trim the ends to make it look more scarf-like!


    Noses are a candy coated sunflower seed.  I use Sunny Seeds because they are so tasty!  Snowman eyes and buttons are different sized black sprinkles.  I also added little marshmallow trees for some extra wintery scenery.  They are just made by stacking star shaped marshmallows on top of each other and adding a yellow star sprinkle (also glued with melted vanilla candy wafers).


    Enjoy them on their own or add them to cupcakes! Hopefully they make enduring this bitter cold a little bit easier.

    Again happy happy New Year and have an awesome week!


    Sunday, January 4, 2015

    Rainbow Candy Cane Topped Sugar Cookie Cake and Cake Bites


    Hello 2015!! Did you have an awesome New Years?? We had a great time away this year on a ski/snowboard vacation up in Maine.  My twins are now 7 and my oldest kiddo is 10 so trips are very much easier now then when they were younger when eating, sleeping, and pooping consumed pretty much everything. We are trying to enjoy every second with them before they don't want to hang out with us all the time.  I still take a moment when they call me mommy - it's so rare these days.   Mostly they yell "MOM" at the top of their lungs because they need or misplaced something, so being called mommy is a little present to me these days.  

    And speaking of little presents, here's another little one for you all.  A sugar cookie cake topped with lots of crushed candy canes!  You know how you are always left with a boatload of candy canes after the holiday season? Well use them up in some fun treats.


    Top a sugar cookie cake with homemade vanilla buttercream frosting and a rainbow of candy cane colors.


    See the How To over at SheKnows here!

    AND

    If you have leftover crushed candy canes (like I did!) you can coat some cake bites with them.


    These are super easy because its just the cake bite/ball mixture (I used chocolate cake for this) rolled into balls then coated in the crushed candy canes.  No dipping in candy melting wafers.  Well you could, but that's my least favorite part of making cake bites so I skipped that step.  The candy cane was plenty to give it a little crunch and additional texture.


    Happy 2015 to you all, thanks for swinging by and can't wait to see what the new year brings!

    Sunday, December 28, 2014

    Gold Fudge for New Years Eve



    Hey everyone! Hope you had a great Christmas or Hanukkah or just time off in general if you don't celebrate.  We had a great Christmas here and now we are heading up to Maine for a snowboarding and ski trip with friends. 


    Since we are going to be away for New Years Eve, I needed something easy and portable to bring along.  And this treat is both of those things.  Easy 2 ingredient fudge (4 cups of chocolate chips - melt in microwave - and add to that 1 can of store bought frosting).  Once its hardened, cut into rectangles and add the year (optional of course) with some extra melted chocolate chips.


    Once the chocolate is dry, spray with some Wilton's gold Color Mist (kinda like edible spray paint) and sprinkle with edible gold glitter.


    So simple and easy to throw together last minute (or you can make it way ahead of time and store in an air tight container until you need it).


    Plus who doesn't like chocolate fudge?!


    Happy New Years to you all, can't wait to see what 2015 brings!

    Sunday, December 21, 2014

    Woodland Christmas Gnome Cupcakes with Edible Moss


    So this whole month I've been thinking Christmas is on Friday - hubby points out yesterday that the 25th is on THURSDAY! Ahhhh, I lost an entire day, what was I thinking?? Well let the mad rush of pre-christmas activity begin.  I was hoping to get a couple treats in before the big day, but I think this will be the last one I get to.

    But it's gnomes AND more specifically Christmas gnomes all in white on top of mounds of edible moss!


    I made candy gnomes awhile back (which was the start of all my little people creations). 


    So when I saw this post on making edible moss by It's the Life I knew more woodsy gnomes had to be done.  Making the moss is so easy.  All you need is graham crackers and some green food coloring.  Mix it up and dip the frosted cupcakes in.  Edible Moss! 


    The process for making candy gnomes can be found below but I've also explained it here.


    I used all white this time to make them a little more whimsical for Christmas and added holly sprinkles.  The other additions are these neat Chococones - I think they are supposed to be pine cones but I think they look like little trees.  They are tiny and taste like a little biscuit dipped in chocolate.  Delish.  (Be aware the package does say they could contain a trace amount of tree nuts, so don't use them if you have nut allergies).  The company also make cute mushrooms too (used in my first gnome post).


    I also added some tiny chocolate rabbits that I had laying around (Don't ask me why I have tiny rabbits laying around!)


    Add more moss as needed, the messier the better.



    To make Candy Gnomes (makes about 6)
    • Hershey Chocolate Bells (I used peppermint bark flavored but they make a few different kinds now - pick your fav flavor)
    • Bugles chips
    • 4 cups of white vanilla candy melting wafers plus + 2 teaspoons of vegetable shortening; 1/2 cup of candy melts for adding detail.  If you want to make your gnomes other colors, you'll need those color candy melts as well.
    • Holly mix sprinkles (or you could substitute other types of red/green sprinkles)
    • Black edible food writer
    Directions:
    1. Melt candy wafers in the microwave with shortening (will allow dipping to be smoother) in a mug/dish tall enough to dip Bugles.
    2. Pick Bugles that have a nice gnome hat shape and insert a skewer into bottom and dip into the melted candy.  The skewer allows you to hold the Bugle without getting your hands messy.  Coat entire Bugle (not inside) and then allow to harden on parchment.
    3. Unwrap Hershey Bells and dip the round part first into candy melt (this will be the head/face).  The candy should not be too hot as that will melt the chocolate.  Allow candy to harden.
    4. Once hardened, hold bell by the round side (that you just dipped) and dip the flat part bottom into the candy melt.  This will be the bottom part of the gnome.  Again the candy should not be too hot or you could melt the chocolate bell.  Allow candy to harden on parchment.
    5. Add about 1/2 cup of the candy melt to a zip lock bag.  Melt in microwave until smooth.  Snip and end of the bag and "pipe" on some gnome "hair".  While it's still wet attach your white gnome hat (the dipped Bugle).  Add more hair as needed to fill in any gaps.  
    6. Pipe on beard and tiny nose.
    7. With food writer add a black belt around waist and tiny eyes.
    8. Attach holly sprinkles with more candy melt.
    To make Edible Moss
    • 8 graham crackers
    • 1-2 drops of green food gel
    Directions:
    1. Crush up graham crackers in a large baggie
    2. Add food gel to bag and mix well (that's it!)
    Decorate as you wish with the gnomes and little chocolates.  I'm loving the way they came out!

    Wishing all of you a very happy holiday season and Merry Christmas to those who celebrate!  Thank you for always stopping by, reading, sharing and leaving such sweet comments over the year! Very much appreciated.  


    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Star Wars Gingerbread Christmas Cookies


    Christmas is next week!!! And I still have quite a bit of shopping to do - definitely getting our monies worth out of Amazon Prime's 2 Day shipping this year.

    I've had so many thoughts and ideas on making holiday and christmas goodies this year alas time is not on my side.  But I did make some time for more gingerbread cookies.  So here is a little mash-up of Star Wars and Christmas for you all.  


    I bought the William Sonoma Star Wars cookie cutters ages ago when they were on sale and never actually made cookies with them until now.  To save some time I used store bought refrigerated gingerbread cookie dough.  Roll out the dough and stamp out the Yoda, Darth Vader, Stormtrooper and Boba Fett heads.


    Use another Santa cookie cutter to cut out Santa hats from the dough and then just attached them to the tops of the character heads.  Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes.  


    Once cooled, use some Wilton Color Mist (kinda like spray paint for food) to tint the Santa hats red and green.


    Then just decorate by filling in the lines/face detail with some melted candy melt (or royal icing could be used too).  Thick royal icing was used for the Santa hat accents topped with some white non-pareils and holly mix sprinkles.



    And you have some relatively simple Christmas cookies for your favorite Star Wars groupies.  We happen to have quite a few in this family!

    Thanks for stopping by and Happy Holidays to you all!


    Friday, December 5, 2014

    Disney's Frozen Characters as Gingerbread Men


    It's that time of year again, that time of year when I make gingerbread cookies. And not just any old gingerbread, gingerbread men in my favorite characters.  I've done them before a few times and it's just so fun to do.  Here are some of my past cookie experiments.  




    And my first attempt in a blog post a long long (LONG!) time ago of Star Wars Clone Troopers and C3PO which started my slight obsession with making fun characters all gingerbreaded up.


    This year was Frozen because 1) My 7 year old now asks me to call her Queen Elsa 2) We must Frozen ALL THE THINGS and 3) I love Frozen as much as my 7 year old (shhhh, don't tell anyone)


    I love how they all came out especially Elsa, Olaf, and Anna!


     See the more including a tutorial here over SheKnows!

    Monday, December 1, 2014

    Rainbow Gingerbread Men Sandwich Cookies


    Christmas is only 24 days away! Time to get myself into the holiday spirit.  


    Do you ever freeze extra dough for goodies and forget about it? I seem to do that a lot so when I was cleaning out the freezer the other day I came across some rainbow cookie dough.


    I thought it would make some fun gingerbread men - kinda Candyland like.


    I also found some frozen vanilla buttercream with rainbow non-pareils mixed in which made a great filling for the cookies.  (Did you know you can freeze frosting? Just thaw it and it's good to go.)


    Add some Skittle candies as buttons and melted white chocolate for face/details and you're done.  These little guys are definitely putting me in the festive holiday spirit!


    Rainbow gingerbread men have to make you smile, right??


    And did I mention it's only 24 days to Christmas?? Time to get decorating, baking, and shopping! The kids have had their Santa lists ready for weeks now.  Thanks for stopping by and Happy Monday!