Sugar Swings! Serve Some

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Piped Heart Shaped Butter Cookies - filled with rainbow jams

One of my favorite cookies are butter cookies.  So simple, delicate, and delish.  I even love those mass produced ones that come in the tins that your mom or grandma keeps thread and sewing stuff in!

I had the great idea of making butter cookies but in the shape of hearts for valentines day.

Mix up a simple butter cookie recipe, add it to a piping bag, and pipe some pretty hearts.  

Sounds easy enough right??

Can I tell you how HARD it is to pipe butter cookie dough?? Piping these hearts took like an hour and much forearm strength!

But if you can persevere through it you can fill them with a lot of jellies and jams in fun colors.

or use marmalade - what's the difference between jelly, jam, and marmalade? I'm too lazy to google it today.

I must be getting old because I love butter cookies ESPECIALLY with a thin layer of fruit flavor.  It kinda goes along with my love of bundt cakes as well.  Welcome to middle age!

The hearts were supposed to look like rose shaped icing that is super popular.  However, my kids saw these and asked me if these cookies were supposed to look messy.  I of course said yes because I was just happy to have gotten through the batch without throwing the entire thing in the garbage.

They tasted awesome no matter how they looked.  Tender butter cookie sandwiches made with real vanilla beans with a layer of jelly inside - SO YUM! And I love using the contrasting colors of the jams - even the mint - I've always wanted to try mint jelly!

Although they take a little muscle your Valentine will definitely appreciate the effort - and did I  mention they are super tasty?!

Piped Heart Shaped Butter Sandwich Cookies
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • Variety of jelly/jam/marmalades (blueberry, cranberry, mint, orange, lingonberry)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.
  4. Add in egg and scraped vanilla bead seeds.
  5. Add flour mixture 1 cup at a time until just mixed.
  6. Pump some iron to build up arm strength then add dough to pastry bag and pipe heart shapes.
  7. Bake until edges are just golden about 10-12 minutes.
  8. Once cooled spread flat side of cookie with jelly and top with another cookie.
Prep time: 45 minutes Yield: about 2 dozen cookies

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Candy Valentines on Chocolate Graham Crackers

Hey all, it's February and time for all that is pink and red and heart shaped!

I love decorating graham crackers so decided to make some really simple edible valentine day treats made with lots of fun candies of the season.

If you head down the candy aisle you can't miss all the Valentine's Day goodies overflowing.  My kiddos also love chocolate graham crackers so decided decorate them with some of their fav candy.

Marshmallows Peeps, Mike and Ike, and Hot Tamales

And my oldest loves loves LOVES conversation hearts.  As with Peeps you kinda either love them or hate them.  I love Peeps but I'm not into those chalky hearts.  He on the other hand finished off a big bag in a week! Sheesh.  

Putting them together is really simple.  You basically ice a graham cracker with royal icing, add the candy in fun ways - like these flowers or add marshmallow heart Peeps, then let the icing dry.

Have them for a fun valentines day dessert or wrap them up for handing to your Valentines day sweeties!

Chocolate, icing, and candy with some cute sayings - So fun!

Since I can't watch the news these days without getting a headache I think I'll get my motivation from these conversation hearts! They make a lot of sense to me in this seemingly intolerant time we all are living in.

Be kind and empathetic to each other - remember try not to judge unless you've walked a day in someone else's shoes.  Have a great week!

Chocolate Graham Crackers Decorated for Valentines Day

  • Chocolate graham crackers (or you can use your favorite flavor)
  • 1 cup of royal icing
  • Assorted candy like Mike and Ike's, Hot Tamales, Valentines Peeps, and Conversation Hearts
  • Non-pareil sprinkles
  1. Spread royal icing across tops of graham crackers.
  2. Add candies to while icing is still wet.  Use Mike and Ike's or Hot Tamales to make flower shapes. I cut them in half but you could leave whole as well.  Add conversation hearts or Valentines Peeps to the centers.  Decorate with more candies as desired.
  3. Sprinkle with non-pareil sprinkles.
  4. Let dry for at least 2 hours.  
  5. Wrap in treat bags or store in airtight container for 1 week.
Prep time: 30Yield: 12-15 square graham crackers

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Lego Minifigure Healthy Energy Snacks - No nuts or refined sugar

One of my new years resolutions this year was to eat healthier - as I'm sure many of you are trying to do in 2017.  The problem is, I have a major sweet tooth (hence the blog) and I especially need a little sweety sweet at the end of the nite after dinner.

After doing some googling and a lot of pinterest searching, I found my latest obsession. 

Energy balls!

I know it sounds weird and funny at the same time, heck I don't even like calling cake balls - cake balls.  It just sounds wrong to me - but semantics aside, I love me some energy balls! They are perfect little sweet snacks.  Usually bite sized for some on the go healthy treats or post-workout energy boosters and made with all sorts of combos of the good stuffs for you - protein, no refined sugars or preservatives.  And many recipes have all the trendy foods like chia seeds, spirulina, flax seeds, hemp - pretty much whatever the current healthy food of the day is - you can toss into an energy ball.

I've made so many batches over the past couple of weeks.  They are just perfect bite sized little treats and I love the recipe I use especially when rolled in a variety of coatings to mix the flavors up a bit.  Many of them use nuts or nut butters but since 2 of my kids are allergic to nuts the recipe I have below is nut free.

I found a way to make them even more fun! Add the mixture to silicone ice cube trays.  Here I used one of my favorites - a Lego minifigure ice cube tray mold. 
I left some apricot energy ball mixture plain then tinted some with powdered freeze dried raspberries and blueberries to give the Lego men colors. 

You can also use an energy ball recipe and not bother with the tinting.  You still get super cute little snacks!

Or use any silicone ice cube mold.  Once you pack the molds, freeze them for about an hour then pop the energy bites out for some super fun sized snacks! I bring them to work with me for an after lunch treat.

I've used the ice cube trays a bunch of times before when making sweet treats and I'm always looking for new ways to use them.  And although my hubby told me these guys looked a little like Dead Pool after his experiment to rid him of his cancer - I still think they look super cute!

Like I said I cannot get enough of these energy bites and I've been making a batch a week to bring with me to work and for after dinner.  I actually do think they make cute treats too.  Pack a bunch up for your next party or get together. 

 See perfect little sweet and healthy treats. And just maybe in fun forms you can get your kiddos to try them too!

Lego Minifigure Energy Snacks
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup freeze dried raspberries
  • 1/4 cup freeze dried blueberries
  • Lego minifigure ice cube tray
  1. Add 1st 4 ingredients to a food processor.  Blend until ingredients are well chopped, moist  and sticks together (you can roll it into a ball with your hands).  If too dry add a little more coconut oil until its the right consistency.
  2. Divide mixture into 3 bowls.
  3. Crush raspberries into powder and add to one of the bowls.  Mix well.  If the mixture seems too dry add a tad more coconut oil.
  4. Crush blueberries into powder and add to one of the bowls.  Mix well.  If the mixture seems too dry add a tad more coconut oil.
  5. Add the yellow mixture to the head section of the ice cube tray.
  6. Add the red mixture to the body section of the ice cube tray.
  7. Add the blue mixture to the leg section of the ice cube tray.
  8. Once all colors are added - add additional as needed to make sure the sections are packed well.
  9. Freeze tray for an hour then pop energy bites out of the mold.
  10. Refrigerate if not eating immediately - you can also freeze them and take with you as needed.
Prep time: 45 minutes Yield: about 20-25 energy bites

See these other ice cube tray ideas!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Star Wars Valentines Day Chocolate Boxes

Star Wars Valentines - no dip chocolates

Happy 2017 all! Can you believe it's officially 2017? 

We celebrated the new year away from home and up in Maine on a snowboarding and ski trip with some good friends.  It was so nice to get away and detach from the usual routine.  It was also really cool to come down a mountain as a family! My hubster, oldest kiddo, and I all snowboard and the twins ski.  The kids can all get down most blues and greens and I have to say one of my favs from the trip was looking around and seeing my kids coming down on their own with us next to them.  It was really amazing.  One of my new years resolutions is to make sure I take time to enjoy these special moments many that happen everyday.

OK enough of the mushy reflectiveness, onto the treats! 

As you know we are huge SW fans so we went to see Star Wars Rogue One recently.  Can I say I loved this movie without sounding biased?  I mean I think I loved it more than The Force Awakens.  Rogue One is the story in between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.  It basically tells the story that depicts the infamous opening movie crawl and provides context on how A New Hope (the first Star Wars movie) came about.  My oldest kiddo, a self proclaimed Star Wars nerd, also loved it as much as I did.

And what do you get a Star Wars nerd for Valentine's Day?

Star Wars Chocolates from ice cube tray mold

Star Wars chocolates of course!

Star Wars Chocolates from ice cube tray mold

I seem to have collected a plethora of shaped ice cube trays and that includes many Star Wars themed ones.  Great for jazzing up your drinks with fun cubes but even better as molds for treats.

make star wars chocolates from ice cube tray mold

Since one of my least favorite things to do is dip cake bites/pops into melted chocolate, I use these molds to make no dip cake bites too.  It's pretty simple.  Add melted chocolate or candy melts to coat the mold, let candy harden, add some cake bite mixture, cover with more melted candy and let harden.  

make star wars chocolates from ice cube tray mold

Pop the candy out of the molds spray with some color mist or similar spray food colorant to add some silver accents.  Darth Vader is done with milk chocolate, stormtroopers with vanilla candy melts, and Han Solo in carbonite (no cake mix in center) with dark chocolate.  Add the trooper detail with a black edible food writer.

Use Pearl or Silver spray!

If you have some heart shaped boxes you can add them and make some super special Valentine's for your favorite Star Wars fan!

Star Wars Valentines boxes

Aww don't they make a cute couple?

Star Wars Valentines chocolates

Who can say no to Vader??

darth vader Valentine chocolate

Happy 2017 everyone and I hope you are off to a great start to your year!

Star Wars No Dip Cake Bites
  • 2 cups of chocolate chips
  • 1 cup vanilla chips or melting wafers
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of cake mixture (1 and 1/2 cups of crumbled cake and 1-2 Tablespoons of frosting)
  • Black food writer
  • Silver Color Mist spray
  1. Melt each flavor of chips/wafers in microwave safe bowl in 10-20 second intervals until candy is melted.  Add to quart sized freezer bag.  Snip an end and coat 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.
  2. 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.  
  3. Pop cake bite out of mold.  
  4. Add detail to Stormtroopers with black edible food writer.
  5. Spray with color mist.  Let dry 10 minutes.
  6. Add to Valentine's day boxes.
Prep time: 1 and 1/2 hoursYield: about 20-25 cake bites 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Super Hero Villain Gingerbread Men Cookies

Super Hero Villain Gingerbread Men Cookies

Hey all, it's only 5 days to Christmas! My kids are already so excited that they already are too excited to go to sleep and feel like everyday is taking forever.  I miss that feeling - I'm in a bit of a panic as I still feel like I have a bunch of stuff to run around and get.  The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas flies by faster and faster every year.  I guess I'm just old now!

That said, I did make time for gingerbread men as that's always a request from my kiddos this time of year.

I do them every year with a new theme, this year is:

Super Hero Villains!

Super Hero Villain Cookies

I've done super heroes before here so figured it was time to give their arch enemies some equal blog time.

I started with my favorite blank canvas - gingerbread men cut outs.  I used a gingerbread cookie mix to speed up the process, but of course you can use your favorite homemade recipe as well.

Do some prep work with royal icing and then add detail with melted candy wafers (I have almost every color they come in) and various sprinkles and edible food writers for more detail.

I just googled pictures for all my favorite villains - like the rebooted duo of Harley Quinn and Joker from Suicide Squad!

Harley Quinn and Joker cookies

Mystique from X-Men is one of my favs too - escorted by Thanos and Magneto of course.

Thanos Mystique Magneto cookies

It's actually hard to pick a favorite villain.  I mean who would you pick? Cat Woman, Poison Ivy, or the Riddler?? They are all so unique and fun.  I was only going to do a handful but then had a hard time narrowing them down!  Go figure.

Poison Ivy Cat Women The Riddler Cookies

Ultron got a little funky but I love Venom's red tongue!  I don't know Red Skull as well but one of my kids said he was a must - he's the archenemy of Captain America, apparently.

Ultron Red Skull Venom cookies

And of course the trio from Batman.  (The Penguin's umbrella is a candy coated pretzel stick!)

Mr. Freeze The Penguin Two-Face cookies

A couple of docs (as in Doom and Octopus) and Loki - Thor's evil brother - is he really evil or just misunderstood?? Don't really care and I love him regardless!

Doctor Doom Doc Ock Loki cookies

And for those of you that can't blend comic book universes (you know who you are!), here they are with their own "kind"!

Marvel Villains

Marvel villain cookies


DC Villains

DC Villain cookies

I've been making gingerbread men over the past few years so it's kind of a tradition now.  Who would you do next in gingerbread form?

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great week!

P.S. Take a look at past themed gingerbread men and ladies!

Super Hero Gingerbread Cookies

Peanuts Gang gingerbread men cookies

Star Wars Trooper Gingerbread Men Cookies

Rainbow Gingerbread Men Cookies

Star Wars christmas gingerbread cookies

Disney Frozen gingerbread men cookies

Disney Princess gingerbread cookies

Father's Day gingerbread men cookies

mint chocolate chip men cookies