Sugar Swings! Serve Some

Friday, December 9, 2016

Winter Bird on Mini Chairs & Trees Cupcakes


Hey all! I'm trying to get myself into the holiday spirit since we're only about 2 weeks away from Christmas (and Hanukkah too!)

I've used jelly bean birds a bunch of times (scroll down to see more!) so I thought I'd try some little winter birds this time around.


I also love love LOVE mini things so thought they'd be cute on some mini chairs or trees.

The chairs are made from pretzel sticks "glued" together with some chocolate.


The chairs have a nice rustic look and are perfect perches for these little birdies!


I love Jelly Belly jelly beans because they have great colors and some look almost mottled and very much like bird colorings already.  Add some little details - super easy with some melted candy - and you get some cute little winter birds.  Don't forget to add simple eyes with a black food writer!


The trees are made from Hershey's Bells and Kisses stacked on top of each other.  Use whatever flavor you like since it gets covered in green melted candy wafers.  I used peppermint to go along with the winter theme.


Use your favorite cupcake recipe and white frosting as snow.


Put all of it together to make a fun little winter scene.


And don't worry about being perfect with you candy melt "piping"! Small details are needed and it doesn't take a lot of skill.  Once you practice on one or 2 birds it gets easy and the results are super cute!  


Making these cupcakes really did help to get me in the winter holiday spirit!

Thank you for swinging by and have an AMAZING weekend!  Take time to enjoy the moments and don't forget to spread some kindness in the world!


Little Birds on Pretzel Chairs and Tree Cupcake Toppers
Ingredients
  • Pretzel sticks
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chocolate candy melts 
  • Assorted color jelly belly beans
  • 1/4 cup of black, blue, red, and yellow candy melts
  • Black food writer
  • Hershey's Kisses and Hershey's Bells chocolate candy
  • 1 cup of green candy melts
  • Star sprinkles
  • White non-pareil sprinkles
  • 12 of your favorite cupcakes with white icing
Instructions:
  1. To make chairs.  Break or cut pretzel sticks into sizes (2 long and 9 smaller pieces) 
  2. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and add to a freezer bag.  Snip and end and add some chocolate to pretzel stick and attach as in picture to "glue" chair together.  Let harden at least 15 minutes before moving. Repeat for as many chairs as you need.
  3. For birds: Select jelly beans colors you like.  I like Jelly Belly as they are a little mottled which make great birds! Melt each color wafer in a microwave safe bowl and add to a small freezer bag.  Snip and end and add some details to birds (beak, wings, top feathers) as in pictures or use your creativity!  Let harden at least 5-10 minutes or until candy is dry. 
  4. For trees: Melt green wafers in a microwave safe bowl and add to a small freezer bag.  Snip and attach Kiss to Bell to make tree shape.  Add more candy to outside of chocolate to make green trees.  Before candy dries, add either bird or star sprinkle on top (candy must be starting to harden to easily attach or you can hold it in place until candy is firm enough to hold it in place).  Before candy dries also add some white non-pareil sprinkles on outside of trees.
  5. Once chairs are ready, use more melted candy and attach birds to chairs randomly.
  6. Add trees, birds, and chairs to iced cupcakes as toppers.
Prep time: 60Yield: 12 cupcakes

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Autumn Tree Graham Cracker Treats


So I was driving with my kid the other day and we both noted to each other how pretty the day was outside.  A perfect autumn day with leaves all sorts of colors with a pretty blue sky.  Some leaves were still on the trees and some already had fallen to the ground.  It was so nice to not only to take the time to pause and really enjoy the moment - something many of use don't do anymore - but it was also great because I shared that moment with my kid, my baby - who is now 12.


I often get inspired by nature and I wanted to make something that was all autumn.  I've used graham crackers as "canvases" before so thought they would be great as a background for some fall trees.

Start with popcorn! 


I used Skinny Pop popcorn and sprayed it with some Wilton color mist.  Again I love this stuff.  It makes coloring stuff so easy.


Mix it up and you have some fun rainbow popcorn.  


Use some melted chocolate to attach the popcorn to the graham crackers and use pretzel sticks as the tree trunks.  I added some fall leaf sprinkles as fallen leaves.


They definitely remind me of the fall trees we were admiring the other day!

I plan on giving them to some kids that we will be spending time with as part of a Girl Scout volunteer activity.  There is a temple that is hosting some families that are in transit and without a home until they get back on their feet.  I figure some fun treats may brighten their day and make them smile.  With so much anger and unrest these days I'm making it a point to do more to help or make a difference in the world.  Even small things matter.  


Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!


Autumn Tree Graham Cracker Cookies
Ingredients
  • Popcorn (I used Skinny Pop Popcorn)
  • Wilton Color Mist spray in green, yellow, and red
  • 8-10 graham crackers
  • Pretzel sticks
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • Leaf shaped sprinkles
Instructions:
  1. Spread popcorn in baking pan and spray with Color mist (to have a mix of
    "leaf" colors)
  2. Melt chips in a microwave safe bowl and add to a freezer bag.  Snip and end and add some chocolate to pretzel stick and attach to a graham cracker as the tree trunk.
  3. Use more melted chocolate to attach popcorn to cracker as the leaves.
  4. Outline the edges of the graham cracker and attach leaf sprinkles along bottom as fallen leaves.
Prep time: 30Yield: 8-10 graham cracker cookies

Other Graham Cracker Cookies and Treats you may like!

Back to School Graham Cracker Snacks




Xylophone Graham Cracker and Twizzler Treats


Birds on a Wire Graham Cracker Cookies



Sunday, November 6, 2016

Wonder Woman & Aquaman Candy Hearts



Did you know Wonder Woman turned 75???

Still going strong for 75 if you ask me.   As so many do, I have a thing for Wonder Woman as a strong and powerful role model.  I know a lot of people probably have issues with her outfit these days, but I think you can kick some butt and still look good because you want to (not because dudes like it).  

Anywhoo, in additon to WW turning 75, I made some candy hearts for both Wonder Woman AND Aquaman since they both have their own movies coming out next year.  They both showed up in Batman Vs Superman so we got a preview of what they're up to.  Aquaman is no longer the blond hair blue eyed comic book hero who has the power of talking to fish.  He looks like a bad a$$ and is played by Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones fans will recognize him as Khal Drogo) and probably the furthest you can get from the traditional Aquaman look!


I know, right??

Although I love the new look, I still love the old orange and green colors as well.  


For these candies, start with heart shaped peppermint patties (scooped up on sale after Valentines day - freeze them and they are as good as the day you bought them!)


Dip each top and bottom in some candy wafers/melts in the coordinated colors of Wonder Woman and Aquaman.  

 

I know I just complained about hating to dip stuff here BUT these are really easy to dip and no expertise needed at all.


Dip one side then dip the other and add your accents while the candy is still wet.

Easy peasy.


Aren't they super cute?!


And I would totally ship a Wonder Woman/Aquaman romance.  I don't think that's in the stars but it would be an interesting movie cross over angle!

Now go vote for your favorite Wonder Woman running for president! 


Wonder Woman and Aquaman Candy Hearts
Ingredients
  • 18 heart shaped mini Peppermint Patty (or other heart shaped candy will work too)
  • 4 cups of candy melts/wafers (1 cup of red, blue, green, orange)
  • 1/2 cup of candy melts/wafers (1/4 cup of black and 1/4 cup of yellow)
  • white non-pariel sprinkles
  • green sugar sprinkles
Instructions:
  1. Melt the candy wafers in microwave safe bowl in 10-20 second intervals until candy is melted.  Stir in between intervals.   Do one color at a time when you need to use them or candy hardens quickly.
  2. Dip 1/2 of heart shaped chocolate in each of coordinating super hero colors.  Let candy harden 10 minutes in between dippings.  
  3. While candy is still wet add sprinkles for accents (as in pictures)
  4. Add some yellow melted candy to plastic freezer bag, snip a small corner and "pipe" A (Aquaman logo) onto parchment.  Let harden 10 minutes.
  5. Using same yellow melted candy in freezer bag, add detail to Wonder Woman heart (see pictures).
  6. Add some black melted candy to plastic freezer bag, snip a small corner and "pipe" blag band across Aquaman heart (for belt).  While still wet add the hardened "A" onto middle of heart.
  7. Let dry 10 minutes.
Prep time: 1 hourYield: 18 candy hearts

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Halloween Skull Cake Bites (no dipping required!)


Less than a week to Halloween peeps! Halloween treats have been showing up across the interwebs since the beginning of September (or earlier!) so I figured I'd add some colorful skull cake bites to the mix. 

I do have to admit that although I love cake bites and cake pops, I loathe dipping them in melted candy wafers or chocolate. 


Maybe I just don't have the patience, but I really really REALLY don't like the dipping process. It's messy, you have to be quick and you need to get the melted candy just right (not too think or thin).  And since mine never come out perfect, I just decide I don't like to make them.  (I also don't like dipping or coating petit fours!)

But I found a solution!  

Use a candy mold (or in this case a dollar store ice cube tray) in whatever form or shape you like. Mix up your cake and icing like you would for regular cake bites but instead of dipping the cake mixture into melted candy - melt the candy and outline the mold.  Once it hardens add your cake mixture to the cavity, then add more melted candy to cover it.  Refrigerate (or freeze) for 10 minutes then pop out of the mold.

Voila! No dip cake bites!


I sprayed my cake bite skulls with some pearl color mist in pearl to give the cake bites a shimmery shine.  

This is my favorite stuff of all times (and I don't even get any free product from Wilton!).  


Wilton makes it in many colors and it's a quick way to color your treats - like edible spray paint.  
SO fun.


And of course the cake inside makes these little skulls so tasty.  I tinted the cake mixture red because they are little skulls and well, it's Halloween!


I have like a gagillion candy molds and ice cube trays so I'm going to have to use this technique for more cake bites.  It could be tricky making cake pops - but depending on the mold it could work too or you can add a little more melted candy to the back of the cake bite to attach a stick.   


These little guys are a Halloween gift for a special friend. How cute are they in a re-purposed little box?!  Add Halloween stickers and some spooky candies and you have a gift that's way better than any store-bought candy box.  Since the cake bites are easy to put together (and no dipping needed!) make a bunch for your friends or this year's Halloween party!


No Dip Skull Cake Bites
Ingredients
  • 5 cups of candy melts/wafers (1 cup of black, white, lime green, purple, orange)
  • 2 cups of crumbled cake
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of frosting
  • Red food color/gel
  • Pearl Wilton Color Mist 
  • Skull ice cube tray or mold
Instructions:
  1. Mix cake crumbles with frosting and 2-3 drops of red food gel until well mixed.  Set aside.
  2. Melt each color of candy wafer in microwave safe bowl in 10-20 second intervals until candy is melted.  Add to quart sized freezer bag.  Snip an end and coat skull mold with candy (ensure thick enough to coat all sides of mold but leave a space to allow for filling).  Tap mold to remove air bubbles and to make sure all parts of mold are coated well.  Reheat candy as needed.  Freeze mold for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove mold from freezer and fill cavities with small ball of the cake mixture.  Press to cake fills mold cavity (see photos).  Cover with more melted candy.  Tap to cover evenly.  Freeze for 10-15 minutes.  
  4. Pop cake bite out of mold.  
  5. Spray with color mist.  Let dry 10 minutes.
  6. Repeat with other colors.
Prep time: 1 and 1/2 hoursYield: 25-30 cake bites 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Harry Potter Patronus Cupcakes



Do you ever have one of those ideas that hits you when you are about to fall asleep and then forget to write it down and then wake up in the morning going "Dang, I know I had an awesome idea but what was it??" You know because your mind forgets?? Well I do that All.The.Time but this time I managed to wake up a little to write it down - and hence you get Harry Potter patronus cupcakes!


You guys probably know I am a huge HP fan.  Every time one of the channels plays the movies all weekend I pretty much have to leave it on as a loop playing in the background.  

I love that all the wizards and witches have a patronus.  A patronus is protection or guardian charm that takes the form of an animal that the caster has deep affinity.  You can also find your own patronus on the Pottermore site.  I love that mine is a dolphin!


The patronus cupcake toppers start with vanilla candy melts/wafers.  


Once vanilla candy is dry, outline with black candy melts/wafers.  


       Since a patronus is very ethereal and seem to glow I sprayed mine with Wilton pearl color mist. 
                                                Color mist is kinda like edible spray paint.



I made the animals for Harry and his friends but you can use your favorite animals too.


I thought homemade blueberry cupcakes would be a neat flavor since blueberry cupcakes seems pretty rare (like a patronus!)


The cupcakes and cream cheese frosting are flavored with freeze dried blueberries.


Also made my own sprinkle mix using a bunch of sprinkles I have in the cupboard.  

I am calling this mix "Expecto Patronum!"


And in case you can't recognize the animals and don't know who has what patronus, you can see them below!


Harry's stag is one of my favs


Although the hands down the winner is Snape and Lily's doe of course! 


AND 

To get ready for the next JK Rollings movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (can't wait! please be good, please be good, please be good), the original HP movies are playing in IMAX theaters though October 20th!  Go check Harry and the rest of Dumbledores army out in theaters again!

Harry Potter Patronus Cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 1 box vanilla or white cake mix
  • 1 can of cream cheese frosting
  • 1 cup of freeze dried blueberries (powdered)
  • 1 cup black melts/wafers
  • 2 cups vanilla candy melts/wafers
  • Various blue/pearl sprinkles
  • dark blue/black food gel (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Prepare cupcakes as per box directions adding 1/2 cup of powdered blueberries into batter before baking.
  2. Mix 1/2 cup of blueberry powder into frosting.  Tint with blue/black food gel if desired.
  3. Pipe cooled cupcakes with frosting and top with sprinkles.
  4. Print animals into 1 and 1/2 - 2 inch sizes.  Cover will parchment paper.
  5. Melt each color of candy wafers in quart sized freezer bag in 15 second intervals in microwave until just melted just before using.  
  6. Snip an end of the bag with vanilla candy and trace the animals.  Let harden 10 minutes.  
  7. Spray animals with color mist.  Let dry 10 minutes.
  8. Snip an end of the bag with black candy and outline animals.  Let harden 10 minutes.
  9. Spray entire candy with color mist.  Let dry 10 minutes.
  10. Stand up patronus candies in cupcake as toppers.
Prep time: 1 and 1/2 hoursYield: 12 - 18 cupcakes