Sugar Swings! Serve Some

Friday, September 16, 2016

Fruit (Fig & Strawberry) Halloween Monster Pops


I'm adding to all the fun monster themed foods that will be showing up from now until Halloween!

How about some fruit pops. Meaning fruit on sticks!  

I've been on a fig kick lately.  I know that most people (KIDS) don't gravitate toward figs but I'm trying because I love them.  Aside from a fig newton my kiddos haven't really ever had fresh figs. Let's be honest they don't always look so yummy.  You don't peel them and you have to get past eating the skin.  And inside, they actually did remind me of a monster face.  Hence the monster pops. 

But how fun do these guys look??!  

Add some spooky eyes and a little melted candy and you've got a simple sweet treat.


I did also use strawberries too as I knew they would eat these guys.


You can find fresh figs so much easier now in grocery stores or you may find other varieties at your local farmer's market.


My favs are the black mission but I love the kadota too. 


They don't store for long so make them the day you plan to eat them.  They are so quick to put together so that's easy to do.


Create your own gang of fruit monster pops this Halloween 


AND they'd also be great as an after school healthy treat! 

My kids did try them but still preferred the strawberry pops - but it was at least a first step!

Thanks for stopping by and have great weekend!

Fig and Strawberry Monster Pops
Ingredients
  • 6 strawberries; 6 figs 
  • candy coated chocolate candy (like m and m's)
  • candy eyes
  • 1/2 cup vanilla/orange candy melts/wafers
  • 24 pop sticks or straws
Instructions:
  1. Wash and dry fruit.  Cut each into 1/2 lengthwise (as in photos)
  2. Insert pop stick into bottom of fruit 
  3. Melt candy wafers in quart sized freezer bag in 15 second intervals in microwave.  Snip an end and add some candy to pop stick to adhere to fruit.
  4. Attach candy eyes with melted candy.
  5. Add more detail with melted candy.  Let harden 10 minutes.
  6. Serve the day the pops are made.
Prep time: 15Yield: 24 monster pops

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Mini Cereal Bowl Cookies & Cupcakes


I have a problem that I love cereal way too much.  There, it feels good to come clean with that.  I wonder if you can be addicted to cereal? And by cereal I mean pretty much all of them.  The junkie and the so called good for you cereals too.  I don't care what kind it is - add some to milk to a bowl of any kind and I'm a happy camper.  The cereal marketers love me because I'm a sucker for any new cereal or retro cereal box.  

There's just something about the crunchy cereal and milk together and then you get that awesome cereal milk at the end.  

And for those of you who dump your cereal milk - we can't be friends.  You are wasting the best part!


If you are similar to me then you'll love these treats.

Mini cereal cookie bowls - filled with all my fav cereals!


Start with some sugar cookie bowls.  

When I made these mini strawberry and grape cookie cups this summer I thought the base looked a lot like a little mini bowl, which then sparked the idea for these little all edible cereal bowls.


They don't even need to be perfect


Fill them with some "milk" aka cream cheese frosting and top with all your favorite cereals.

You can pretend you don't scarf a bowl of your fav junkie cereal standing up in the kitchen but we all know we've been there done that!


Tiny spoons are made from melted candy wafers sprayed with some silver edible color spray.


Cute on their own... 


or add them to cupcakes as a super special treat! 


And seriously who can resist a mini bowl of fruity pebbles??! I know not me.  

(Please let me know that I'm not the only cereal addict out there!)

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.  Can't wait to see ALL of the Fall and Halloween treats this year!

Mini Cereal Bowl Cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 package of refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 can of cream cheese frosting or vanilla frosting
  • Various types of cereals
  • Vanilla candy melts/wafers
  • Silver color spray
  • Mini bundt cake pan (you can also use a mini cupcake pan)
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray mini bundt pan with non stick spray.
  3. Add cookie dough to each section of a mini bundt pan and spread dough slightly to fill bundt section.
  4. Bake for 8 minutes or until cookies just start to brown.  Let cool.
  5. Pop out of pan (freeze for 10 minutes to make this easier)
  6. Spread cookie with frosting.
  7. Add some cereal to each bowl 
  8. Add 10-12 candy wafers to a zip lock freezer bag.  Microwave in 10 second intervals until candy is just melted.  Snip a small corner and pipe spoon shape onto parchment paper.  Let harden 10 minutes.  Spray hardened spoons with silver spray.  Let dry 10 minutes.  Add a spoon to each bowl.
  9. Serve as is or add as cupcake toppers.
Prep time: 40Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 - 15 mini cereal bowls

Monday, September 5, 2016

Beet Zucchini & Carrot Naked Layer Cake



If you add veggies to cake then that makes it healthy - right? 

If so I have the healthiest cake ever for you.  Its got all these cool vegetables in it: 

beets, carrots AND zucchini


It's pretty much like carrot cake but swap out the carrots and add in either shredded zucchini or beets.  You could add them all into the same layer cake too - but I wanted separate layers.


Why you ask?!! Well since you asked:

1) I wanted to see if you can taste a difference in the veggie layers (you can!)

and 

2) I wanted to have distinct layers and colors when you slice into the cake (because I thought it would look pretty and it does!)


Also I wanted to do one of those minimally frosted naked cakes so you could see some of the layers through the frosting.  I used my new Russian piping tips to add some cream cheese frosting flowers on top.  Nice and simple.


I love these tips!! 

I did another post on them here raving about how easy it is to pipe flowers with them.


I love how the layers came out and that you can see the different veggie layers.  The cake was also so dang tasty.  I made it as a birthday cake for my sister - you know a much more grown up cake now that we're both 40+, I mean 29).  And it's healthy because duh, veggies! 

At least that's what we told ourselves as we ate another slice or 3.  And since its September its a great way to use up all your overflowing zucchini if you grow them - or they are super cheap right now in food stores locally.  


I'm not going to moan about how I can't believe summer is over already since I do that every year but I guess bring on the pumpkin! Actually pumpkin may be another neat layer to add to this cake too!

Beet Zucchini and Carrot Layer Cake
Ingredients
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded beets
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1-2 drops of orange and green food gel (optional to give the carrot and zucchini layers a little more color)
  • 2-3 cups cream cheese frosting
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat sugar, oil, and eggs in mixer.
  3. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, vanilla, and salt.
  4. Separate equal amounts of batter into 3 separate bowls.
  5. Stir in shredded vegetables into each of the bowls and mix until just combined.  Add any extra food color to each bowl (optional).
  6. Spray 6 inch baking pans with floured non-stick spray and pour batter into each pan.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool.
  8. Trim layers until they are even and same sized layers.
  9. Frost with cream cheese icing.
  10. Pipe flowers on top with icing.
Prep time: 30Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 - 3 layer 6 inch cake

Friday, August 26, 2016

Watermelon Angel Food Bundt Cake Plus more Bundts!


Is it really almost the end of summer??? I've been seeing lots of back to school pics on my Facebook feed so it must be that time again.  But as usual I'm not ready.  I've been crazy busy at my regular day job and feel like I haven't even started summer yet.  

And on top of that my oldest kiddo just turned 12 this month.  12!!! And my twins (the babies) are now 9.  9!!!!! Nine is big kid territory so I'm trying to really just enjoy time with them as much as possible (which usually means trying to pry them away from their electronic devices - although its been so hot its really hard to do anything outside these days).

Anyhoo, I'm finally back into baking again.  I took some time off this summer because I was just not into it, but I think I'm finally getting back into a groove.  

Since it feels like summer just got here, I thought something watermelony was needed.  This recipe is super simple and uses an angel food box cake to start it off.  A little dark green icing gives great contrast and a watermelon like look!


It's a light and airy cake with watermelon flavor - perfect for these hot August days.  

Well hot if you are in this area!

See more details here at sheknows

And if you like bundt cakes (like me!) here are some others that you may like!






Halloween Bundt Cake (also made with natural food colors)





Thanks for swinging by! Have an AWESOME WEEKEND!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich Sliders


Hey all! In the east coast we're still in the middle of a heat wave with 90+ temps for the past couple of weeks.  I don't mind the heat and humidity but the rest of my clan seem to be melting so I thought they could use a nice cold treat.  

And since ice cream sandwiches are one of my favorite ice cream treats of all time I thought I'd try a twist on them.  Ice cream on brioche or as I'm calling them:

ICE CREAM SLIDERS!


And did you know Breyers Ice Cream turns 150 this year??  150?? It's amazing they've been around so long but I guess it makes sense since I can remember my mom buying Breyers when my sister and I were little.  She always said they had the best vanilla ice cream because you can see the little vanilla specks in it.  She's right.  Breyers is always my go to brand.  

The super cool folks that work with Breyers were able to provide me with some ice cream to re-create a recipe they have on the Breyers site.  There are fun recipes for every month developed by Chef Curtis Stone and Lindsay Price Stone.  

I just *had* to make the Italian Ice Cream Sandwiches - well not exactly the same recipe but made with these flavors: black raspberry chocolate, vanilla caramel gelato, and french vanilla.

All delish!


And see, you can see the vanilla flecks in the french vanilla!


These sliders come together really quickly.  Warm and slice your brioche buns. Remove some of the interior bread. (Try to resist shoving the extra warm brioche bread directly into your mouth as to not waste it!).  

Find some fun extras to chop up and roll the sides in like almonds, pistachios, and freeze dried raspberries.


Spread your favorite ice cream onto one side of the bun.  Make your ice cream layer about 1 to 1 and 1/2 inches or so in thickness.  This gave the perfect ice cream to brioche ratio.


Mix and match your favorite flavors! You really can't go wrong.


And I know you are probably thinking "ice cream on bread? what the heck, that sounds odd" - well in Italy they have been doing this for years - maybe eons - ok maybe not eons but for a long long time. 

 The sweet brioche matches so nicely with creamy ice cream and you know the Italians don't mess around with their food so trust me on this one.  The warm brioche makes this one of my current fav desserts!

You can find the recipe here out the other fun Breyers recipes too.  Hope you are enjoying August because very soon we'll be all up to our necks in pumpkin spice'd things!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Pokemon Go Sweet & Salty Snack Mix - with Pikachu and Mini Pokeballs


Are you into the Pokemon craze like we are? The kids and I have such a fun time playing it.  What's not to love - super cute Pokemon characters, augmented reality, gamification and exercise!


We walk around catching Pokemon, hitting Pokestops, and battling in gyms - and bonus - we talk to each other about neat topics while doing all this.  It's actually a great way to do something fun with the kids (and something they like just as much).  

If you have kiddos all into Pokemon Go, then this cereal snack mix will be a hit.  It's sweet and salty and seriously addicting.

The Pokeballs are made from yogurt covered pretzel balls.  


Dip half into melted red candy wafers 


Add the rest of the detail with melted black candy wafers and use a round white sprinkle as the center


The tiny Pikachu heads are made with Corn Pops cereal, red and black sprinkles.  Yellow melted candy wafer was used to attach everything together and black edible marker for ear, nose, and mouth.


And because regular Pokeballs were not enough - I also made Great Pokeballs. 

You know just in case you have a really tough Pokemon to catch!


You can throw it all into a bowl and let everyone dive in....


OR serve in individual cups!


This sweet and salty cereal mix would make a great addition to any Pokemon party or if you need to restore your energy after a long afternoon of pokemoning!

PS In case you are wondering I'm currently Level 15 - 105410 XP and Team Mystic!

Pokemon Go Cereal Snack Mix
Ingredients
  • 5 cups of Crispix cereal
  • 1 cup of Corn Pops cereal
  • 2 cups of pretzels
  • 1 cup of raisins and/or dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For pokeballs: yogurt coated pretzel balls, red, blue, and black candy wafers, round pearl sprinkles
  • For pikachu: Corn pop cereal, red and black round sprinkles, yellow candy wafers, black edible writing marker
Instructions:
  1. Combine 1st 4 ingredients in large bowl.
  2. Combine butter, syrup, brown sugar, salt in bowl and microwave 1 minute until melted.  
  3. Add baking soda and vanilla and microwave another 30 seconds.
  4. Add to bowl with cereal and mix well.  Spread onto backing sheet to dry.
  5. For Pokeballs: Melt some red or blue candy melts in small bowl in microwave in 20 second intervals until candy is just melted.  Insert toothpick into bottom of pretzel ball and dip 1/2 into candy.  Let harden 10 minutes. Melt black candy melt in microwave and add to a freezer bag.  Snip one small corner and pipe the black detail onto ball (use picture of pokeball as guide).  While black candy is still wet attach white ball sprinkle to center.  Do the same for blue great balls except use blue melted candy wafers and add 2 red lines on top of ball with melted red candy wafers.
  6. For Pikachu: Find the right sized Corn pop cereral for the head.  Cut 2 small ears out of the cereal for each head.  Melt yellow candy melt in microwave and add to a freezer bag. Snip one small corner and use it to attach the ears to the head. Let harden.  Use more melted yellow candy to attach red and black sprinkles.  Add mouth, nose, and ear detail with black edible writing marker.
  7. Add pokeballs and pikachus to snack mix before serving.  Store in airtight container.
Prep time: 60Assemble time: Total time: Yield: 8 cups of cereal mix

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Star Trek Fudge Bites


The new Star Trek movie opened this weekend - Star Trek Beyond!  

I'm not a trekkie per se but I do kinda remember watching the old show when I was little and I definitely watched the older movies and really did love the Next Generation series.  That said, I'm going nuts over all the stuff- like I do with other shows/movies/books.
***gestures broadly to Star Wars, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones***


But I do love the latest movies as I think they are done very well, the stories are great and I love seeing some of the beginning stories of the old characters.  So of course treats had to be made for the latest movie.  


And if anything remains consistent, its the shirts with red, blue, and yellow/gold the most common.


So Star Trek shirt fudge had to be made


This was really simple and used only 2 ingredients for the fudge plus the food gels to color.


Cut up the fudge into rectangles and add a little black melted candy wafer to add shirt colors.


Use vanilla candy melt to make little Star Trek insignias - I also colored them silver with some spray food color.


Attach with more melted candy and you have the cutest little edible Star Trek shirts.


And although it's a common belief that if you are a redshirt then you're pretty much dead on arrival on any new world however there is some data that shows yellow shirts are the winners in this category! 

Go figure!


I didn't get to see the movie yet because we are so behind on movies (we just watched Batman Vs. Superman last nite!) but the trailer looks awesome.  And there's new alien characters of course - Idris Elba as Krall so it's got to be good right??

And speaking of trailers did you see the new Wonder Woman and Justice League trailers?!??! 2017 is going to be a great year.  And yeah you can expect way more DC comics treats!

Thanks for coming by - have a great week!

Star Trek Fudge
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of vanilla or white chocolate chips
  • 1 can cream cheese frosting
  • Yellow, red, and blue food gel
  • 1/4 cup black candy wafers
  • 1/4 cup vanilla melting wafers
  • Wilton color mist in silver
Instructions:

  1. Add chips to microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until chips are melted.  Stir in between intervals.
  2. Stir in can of frosting until well combined.
  3. Separate mixture into 3 bowls.  Add 2-3 drops of food color into each bowl (add color until you get the color desired).
  4. Add each color in a long rectangle (like photo) to a lined square baking pan.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until fudge sets.
  5. Cut each color into rectangles.
  6. Melt black candy wafers in freezer bag in 10-15 second intervals until just melted.  Snip a small corner of bag and pipe collars onto fudge.
  7. Melt white candy wafers in freezer bag in 10-15 second intervals until just melted.  Snip a small corner of bag and pipe Star Trek insignia logo onto parchment paper.  Let harden 5 minutes.  Spray with silver spray.  Let dry 5 minutes.
  8. Using a small dab of melted candy attach insignia to fudge.  Let harden 5 minutes.

Prep time: 30Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12