Sunday, October 19, 2014

Scary Toss it All in Halloween Fudge


Less than 2 weeks to Halloween! Let the fun begin! Woooo! Let's start with some scary toss everything in fudge.  OK - it might not be scary or have everything in it, but it is fun.


For this fudge I used the basic 2 ingredient method (frosting and chips) and then just added a bunch of fun stuff to get the look/taste.


There are lots of posts (here's one) out there for 2 ingredient fudge.  So simple and easy.  

The basic ingredients:
1 bag (11.5 ounces) of white chocolate chips
1 can (16 ounces) of vanilla frosting

Melt the chips in a microwave safe bowl until smooth.  Add the can of frosting.  Add in all your fav stuff.  I used crushed up mini vanilla wafers, candy coated sunflower seeds (Sunny Seeds), Halloween pumpkin Peeps, chocolate chips, skeleton head/spider candies, black sugar sprinkles, and a little purple food gel.  Spread the fudge mixture into a 9X9 pan.


And add more fun-ness on top!


Cut into squares and you've got yourself a little scary halloween party in fudge form!


You could make fudge for any holiday season, just mix and match colors.  So easy to throw together.  I may have 1 or 2 more Halloween posts coming too - but I really LOVE seeing all the other fun and Halloweeny treats being thought up out there.  There is an amazing amount of creativity in the big wide world! Have an awesomely awesome week!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Healthy Candy Corn Striped Smoothies


I think it's officially safe to call it Candy Corn season! It's chilly in the morning and night hear in the Northeast, and all the Halloween candy is out in full force everywhere.  I'm not a huge fan of candy corn (but my kiddos are) so I'm trying to trick them today with some candy corn striped smoothies.


There is no actual candy corn in these - so you could call it false advertising, but whatever anything to get them to try it.  These smoothies are made from greek yogurt, pineapple and tangerines.


In a blender, add 1 peeled tangerine with 1/2 cup of yogurt and about 1/4 cup of milk.  And blend it up until all smoothie-like.  If it's too liquid-y add a little more yogurt.


Do the same with the pineapple.  I used 1 cup of frozen pineapple with 1/2 cup of yogurt and 1/4 cup of milk.  The "white" layer is just the yogurt and milk with about 2 tablespoonful of honey.  You can also add honey to the orange and pineapple layers if you like your smoothie sweeter.  Then just layer the colors one on top of the other.  Easy.


If you want deeper candy corn colors you can add a little orange or yellow food coloring but I was trying to keep it pretty simple.  Top with a little pineapple and freeze dried orange.  If you don't drink right away, pop them in the freezer until served.  (You'll need to thaw them a little if you freeze for too long obvi).


 I thought they were super yummy. A fast and healthy "candy corn" treat! Here's hoping I fool the kids into eating these today!


What is your favorite Halloween treat? And what are you whipping up this Halloween?

Monday, October 6, 2014

2 Kinds of Black and White Cookies - Chocolate & Vanilla AND PB&J


Do you guys like mashups as much as I do?? I could spend all day on Pinterest checking out all the mashed up things.  So I made mashup cookies.  Peanut Butter and Jelly + Black and White Cookies aka Half n' Half Cookies.  

If you read the blog at all, you may know my kiddos have peanut and tree nut allergies.  Well 2 out  of 3 have allergies so we've really avoided nut treats around here.  Fortunately, my 2 kids are not so allergic that they can't be near peanut butter or have stuff manufactured in a facility that handles nuts.  

Since 2 kids are allergic, we almost treat the 3rd like he's allergic too - it was always way easier that way, but recently he's been asking to try peanut stuff and surprise - we found out he does like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  


The kids also love Black and White Cookies - the popular cookies in NYC (which is only about 30 mins from our house so these cookies are available everywhere around us).  And if you've never had Black and Whites, immediately go buy some or better yet make them.  They are part cake/part cookie with chocolate and vanilla icing on top.  Seriously good stuff so I thought I'd make them some homemade Black and Whites but also make the un-allergic kid a PB and J version.  


I used this cookie recipe from Martha Stewart Living - which was really simple to make.  The base cookie is the same for each version.  


Once cookies are cooled, spread 1/2 with the grape jelly icing and 1/2 with the peanut butter icing and/or 1/2 with the white icing and 1/2 with chocolate icing.  Ice the flat side of the cookie.  A note about icing consistency, it should be thick enough to stay on the cookie without dripping off (see the white icing pic above? That's too runny and needs to be thicker - add more confectioners sugar if that happens!).  The icing should also be nicely spreadable without lines (see the peanut butter side on pic below?  That's too thick.  Add a 1/2 teaspoonful of water or corn syrup if that happens!).


My icing technique is far from what it's supposed to look like.  Here's what most Black and White cookies you can buy look like:


See how nice and perfect they look? Mine are homemade but messy! The recipe was easy and tasted great (can't go wrong with a Martha recipe right?)

Cookie base recipe can be found here.

For the Icings:

1 cup of confectioners sugar for each flavor
1 Tablespoon of light corn syrup for each flavor
1 Tablespoon of creamy peanut butter
1 Tablespoon of grape jelly
1 ounce of your favorite melted chocolate

Directions:
  • Add 1 cup of confectioners sugar to 4 separate bowls (if making both kinds of cookies)
  • Add 1 tablespoonful of light corn syrup to each bowl.  Mix well.
  • Add peanut butter to one bowl, jelly to a bowl, and melted chocolate to 3rd bowl.  Mix well.
  • Add more confectioners sugar as needed until icing spreads without being too runny.
  • Add water by 1/2 teaspoonfuls if the icing is too thick.   
  • Ice each half of a cookie with the icings.  Allow to sit out until icings are hard to the touch.  

If you like peanut butter and jelly sammiches, you'll love these PB and J Half n' Half cookies.  Eat one with a glass of milk and your'e good to go.  And if you have nut allergies like my other 2 kids, make the traditional Black and White ones (also a big hit) or you could use soy nut butter too in place of peanut butter!).  

Hope you like them! And speaking of mashups, check out my bloggy friend Dorothy aka Crazy for Crust.  Her new book, Dessert Mash-Ups, just dropped and its totally up my alley.  I think I HAVE to make the sconuts or strawberry pie cupcakes! 


Check it out here on Amazon!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sugar Wafer Monster Halloween Treats


It's monster season people! Halloween always brings out all the monster'd up food and treats.  I love it!  This year I made some easy sugar wafer monsters.  Sugar wafers - you see them in almost every convenience store for like a buck a pack.


Dress them up and make them into cute little Halloween monsters.  


Normally you can get them in the traditional vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavors (my favorite is strawberry - plus it's pink!) but Voortman also makes lemon and cookies 'n creme and a bunch more.  


To make the monsters, just use whatever edible accessories you have around.  I used royal icing eyes, mini m and m's, candy corn, and Sunny Seeds.


The awesome peeps over at the Sunflower Food Company make chocolate covered sunflower seeds (aka Sunny Seeds) and they sent me a bunch to try out.  So many colors and variations.  I LOL'd when I saw the Lobster Poop!  They also makes a bunch of other fun products too like Snack Mixes, Chocolate Rocks, Popcorn Cobs, and Mini Gum Squares

Just attach them (and the other candy) with some melted chocolate or candy wafers.  Add more to decorate any old way you can imagine.  So easy and fun.


My kiddos actually really liked this treat (they are my worse critic these days!).  I think I may bring them in for their school Halloween party too.


If you have a second check out the fun products over at The Sunflower Food Company.  I use their Sunny Seeds all the time! Here are some other treats I've used them in: 







And can you believe it's the end of September? What fun things are you planning for this fall season? Get ready for pumpkin and apple picking pics galore!  Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome week!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Colorful Chocolate Chip Cookies for Halloween


Can you believe it's almost the end of September already?? Since all the Halloween stuff is in stores, I think it's officially ok to start Halloween treats.  So I made some chocolate chip cookies, well because almost everyone loves CCCs, but Halloweened them up.  No pumpkin spice or other seasonal flavors added, they are just plained old chocolate chip cookies with some fun color added.

To make these really fast, I just bought some store bought pre-mixed chocolate chip cookie dough.  Divide the dough into equal sections and tint with your favorite Halloween colors.  Knead until the color is uniform.


Then add a little of each color to form your cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet.


Add a few more chocolate chips on top.   You can never have too many chocolate chips.


Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until just starting to brown on the edges.  


See, fun Hallowen Chocolate Chip cookies.


My kiddos asked for these again, so I think they were a hit!  What are you baking up this Halloween season? 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Colorful Cupcake Pops Made from Madeleine Cookies


Is the cupcake craze over yet? I'm starting to get a little worried with cupcake companies going out of business and all.  Whatever, I still love them but sometimes you need to mix things up a bit.  

This time I mashed up two of my favs.  Cupcakes and Madeleine cookies.  You guys know I've made madeleines a million times.  Ok maybe not a million - but close!  Here's a few of my favs:











And this time Cupcake Pop Madeleines!


See more on how to make them here at SheKnows.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Minecraft Creeper Cake and Character Peeps Pops


Is Minecraft still a favorite game of your older kiddos?? It still seems the soup de jour for my 10 year old.  Last year I did a Minecraft Cake and Rice Krispie Treats and Minecraft was requested again this year as a birthday cake.   And because I can't resist a good mash-up, I threw in some Minecraft characters in Marshmallow Peeps form!


For the Peeps pops, coat bunny Peeps in some white chocolate or vanilla candy melt.  Once hardened add the color with some food gels in various colors.  I add a little gel to an art tray (only used for food).  To make "paint" add about 1/2 teaspoons of flavoring extract.  I used lemon extract.  


Then just paint on the colors to make the characters.  Minecraft characters are easy because they look pixelated so you don't even need to be an artist, just color in blocks!


Once you have the base colors on, you can add any accents (like eyes) with candy melt.


The Creeper cake is really easy.  Just bake up a square cake in your favorite flavor.  Add a crumb coat and using a ruler make even squares across the cake.  I used a knife to draw on squares (well as even as I could get them.)


Tint icing in varying shades of green, and just fill in the squares.  You can google a Creeper face to see where to add the colors.  Use black icing to do the features of the face (eyes and mouth, well I think they are eyes and a mouth!).  It really was very quick to put this together.  Buy black icing though, it's so hard to tint icing a deep black!


And there you go, a pretty simple Creeper cake and some Peeps Pops for your biggest Minecraft gamer.


What games are your kiddos into? We're always trying to find neat ones that also teach a little.  Minecraft is pretty cool as they do create some really interesting structures in the world.  A little bit like a 3D lego creation, but all pixelated.

Here is last year's Minecraft Cake.  Which is your fav?


I'm adding these to my Peeps Treats collection.  I've done a ton of these in the past and they are always lots of fun!