Sugar Swings! Serve Some

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Marvel's Deadpool No Bake Cookies


Are you ready for the next Marvel X-Men movie installment?! Deadpool - the story of "anti-hero" Wade Wilson opens this month on February 12th and I can't wait to see it.  

At least the trailer looks pretty cool:


I love Deadpool because not only can he heal himself - but is known as the "merc with a mouth" and has a "twisted sense of humor" - cue the jokes and shenanigans.  He's also not pretty.  Well Ryan Reynolds plays him so that could be a stretch, but he is supposed to be disfigured, hence the mask.


lolz!

He also knows he's a comic book character and often talks to the reader (or in the movie he probably talks directly to the camera) - in the geek world this is called breaking the "fourth wall".  Love it.  

Well as usual my way of welcoming some of my fav pop culture icons, I make treats.  

In this case Deadpool Cookies.  


They are really very easy and no bake so you can make them in no time flat.  I'm sure Deadpool would have some snarky comment about them.  Bring 'it Deadpool, bring it!

Pop over and see more here at sheknows.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Gingerbread Heart Cookies with Rainbow Candy Curls


I know I just posted gingerbread cookies for Valentines day last week but I had to share another cookie idea with you all too.

This one also starts with gingerbread cut out cookies. Heart shaped 1) because Valentines Day is this weekend and 2) my kids love gingerbread all year round.  Also I saw these cupcakes topped with rainbow white chocolate curls  awhile back and its been on my to do list forever.  I thought candy curls would be perfect on these cookies.


Start with blocks of colorful candy.  Instead of tinting white chocolate chips, I used candy wafers/melts in various colors.  Melt the wafers in the microwave and then add to a silicon ice cube tray.  I have a tray for big square cubes that worked great for the candy blocks.


Once the candy is hardened again, pop them out of the mold and use a vegetable peeler to make the curls.  Keep peeling until the block is gone.  It takes some time but worth it and I have plenty left for other projects.


Make them in all the colors! Curling the candy was strangely therapeutic for me.  Aren't the rainbow colors so pretty?!


I decided to add the candy curls to cookies.


Add some royal icing and before it dries just sprinkle some of the curls on top. Mix and match as you like - there is really no way to mess this up.


If you follow my Instagram you know I'm a bit obsessed with these candy curls!


I love the fun and whimsical look they give the cookies.   You can use a couple of colors like purple and pink.


Or you can go full on rainbow too!


Super fun and really easy.  I can't wait to make more treats with these rainbow vanilla candy curls. I'll apologize ahead of time for using them in lots of upcoming posts!  

Oh and happy almost Valentines Day! We are headed out to Park City, Utah this weekend so will be spending Valentines Day with some of our oldest friends AND getting the kiddos up on skis/snowboards in Utah snow.  Boarding on powder is way different than on the ice and blown snow here on the East Coast!  Enjoy the cookies and thanks for stopping by!

Oh also sharing some fun printables here - there are labels for Valentines day as well as other holiday labels and stickers too.  Bonus they are all free!


How to Make Valentines Day Gingerbread Cookies with Candy Curls (makes about 2 dozen)
  • 1 roll of refrigerated gingerbread cookie dough or boxed mix (follow directions on mix)
  • 2 cups of royal icing 
  • 1 cup of various colors of candy melts/wafers
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Roll out dough and cut out circle shapes.  Use heart cutter to cut out shapes.
  3. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes or until just slightly browned
  4. Ice cookies with royal icing
  5. While icing is still wet, sprinkle the vanilla candy curls. 
  6. Let icing harden.
  7. Enjoy!
To make candy curls:
  1. Melt 1 cup of candy wafers/melts in microwave safe bowl in 20 second intervals in the microwave until all candy is melted.  Stir in between intervals.
  2. Add candy to silicone ice cube tray.  Tap to remove air bubbles.
  3. Repeat with each color that you want to make curls.
  4. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until entire block is hardened.
  5. Use the peeler and peel long sections (allowing candy to curl as you go). This gets easier as you do more curls.  
  6. Repeat until the block is all curled.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Valentines Day Iced Gingerbread Cookies with dried fruits


Hey there! Valentines Day is just around the corner so I thought I'd share some fun cookies.  They are gingerbread too.  I know gingerbread is usually saved for the holiday season, but why? 

My kiddos all love gingerbread so I make them cookies throughout the year in this flavor.  


These cookies are extra special because they have heart cut outs and are topped with a variety of toppings.  I love all the flavors of freeze dried fruits available and they are simple to sprinkle on top of still wet royal icing.  


The freeze dried fruits crush really easily and give an nice concentrated fruit flavor (and awesome color too!).  


I also added some other fun stuff I had in the cupboard like dried blueberries, candied ginger, goji berries, lavender, and pistachios.The taste was great with all the flavors and the gingerbread together.


I'll admit the kids went for the plain iced gingerbread cookies of course, but they did make super pretty gifts for the past holiday season (and for cookies for Santa!).


What are you making for Valentines Day? Do you go for a special savory dish or something sweet or BOTH? (I'm the later!).  Thanks for swinging by, have a great weekend!

How to Make Valentines Day Gingerbread Cookies (makes 2 dozen)
  • 1 roll of refrigerated gingerbread cookie dough or boxed mix (follow directions on mix)
  • 2 cups of royal icing 
  • 1/2 cup of dried or freeze dried fruit (such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, pineapple, pumpkin, goji berries)
  • 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons dried lavender (food grade)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Roll out dough and cut out circle shapes.  Use smaller heart cutter to cut out shapes in the center of each cookie.
  3. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes or until just slightly browned
  4. Ice cookies with royal icing
  5. While icing is still wet, sprinkle with crushed freeze dried fruits and other toppings.  
  6. Let cookies set until icing is dried to the touch.  
  7. Enjoy!





Sunday, January 31, 2016

Mini Hostess Snack Cake Valentines


One of my guilty pleasures is Hostess Cakes.  They are terrible for you and full of preservatives but oh so tasty - in my opinion of course.  

Hostess cakes: from top clockwise: Ho Ho, Chocolate Cupcake, Fruit Pie, Snoball, Chocolate Donette, Powdered Sugar Donette, Twinkie, Chocolate Cupcake, Raspberry Zinger, Ho Ho, Twinkie, Powdered Sugar Donette, Ding Dong, Honey Bun, Snoball, Orange Cupcake
They also always look so perfectly made - perfectly formed and symmetrical with the same cupcake squiggles or snoball shapes.  They must have a great production line going.  I love the look of all their cakes so I figured I'd try to re-create them in cake bite form and use them as Valentines.


Actually these are made from cheesecake and brownie mixed with a little homemade buttercream instead of the regular cake mix plus frosting cake bite.  I had leftover cheesecake and brownie that I wanted to use up and thought the flavors would be good together - and they were! Once you have the cheesecake and brownie mixture together you form the mini Hostess cakes by hand.  They look more like meatballs versus cake bites at this stage but they will look better soon!


Freeze the bites once formed for about one hour, then dip in or spread candy melt in various colors to get the Hostess cake look.  

For the snoballs, tint some coconut pink then roll the ball into the coconut while candy melt is still melted.


Each cake has its own unique look and most you can re-create pretty easily.


The pink snoballs and cupcakes are probably my favorite of them all.


Although in mini form I wouldn't turn anyone of them down!


Do you have a favorite Hostess cake?


Make one or all of them for your sweetie(s) this Valentines Day!

Thanks for stopping by and have a *sweet* week!

   
How to Make Mini Hostess Cheesecake and Brownie Cake Bites (makes 12- 16)
  • 2 cups of cheesecake (or  about 1/2 of a 9 inch pre-made cheesecake)
  • 2 cups of already prepared brownie 
  • 1/4 cup vanilla frosting or buttercream
  • Candy melts (in various colors, chocolate, yellow, pink, white, tan, red, to match Hostess cake colors)
  • Sweetened coconut flakes (tint 1/2 cup pink with pink food gel)
Directions:
  1. Mix cheesecake and brownie together until well mixed together.
  2. Add frosting, a little at a time until texture is slightly sticky but can be rolled in your hand into forms.
  3. Form mixture into cake shapes - use photos or Hostess website as guide
  4. Melt candy melts in microwave safe bowl in multiple 15 second intervals until just melted.  Stir in between intervals.  Dip cake forms into candy and let set 15-20 minutes.
  5. For Snoballs: Once dipped in pink candy melts, roll in tinted pink coconut flakes until covered. 
  6. For Zinger: once dipped in red candy melts, sprinkle with un-tinted coconut flakes
  7. For Hostess cupcakes: Add 1/4 cup of white candy melts to quart sized freezer bag.  Microwave in 15 second intervals until just melted.  Snip a small corner and pipe the cupcake squiggle on top of chocolate and yellow cupcakes.
  8. For Ho Ho: on end of Ho Ho, pipe swirl with white candy melts.
  9. For powdered sugar Donette: once dipped in white candy melts, sprinkle with powdered sugar until coated.
  10. For Fruit Pie: dip the bit in tan candy melts (white mixed with dab of chocolate candy melts) and while still wet add white candy melt on top and swirl it around with a toothpick.
  11. For Honey Bun: dip bottom of bite in tan candy melt.  Once candy is hardened dip the top in white candy melt and swirl top with toothpick.
  12. Place them into re-used Valentines day boxes as super cute and homemade Valentines day treat

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Kung Fu Panda 3 Decorated Candies


Are you guys Kung Fu Panda fans?? My kiddos love the movies and cartoons so I had to make them some fun themed treats for the latest Kung Fu Panda 3 movie opening this week.  They all start with store bought candy and then is decorated to look like some of the characters.

Po, is the main panda dude - voiced by the great Jack Black, Master Shifu is a red panda and master Kung Fu trainer, and Tigress the tiger Kung Fu expert.  Plus as bonus a few mini pandas from the new movie!


See how to transform store bought candies into these fun treats over here at sheknows!

AND

Were you anywhere near Storm Jonas in the US? We got 23 inches in NJ! Here are some pics of our snowy weekend!

The snow fort the hubby made for the kids.  


They played in it for hours, go figure!


This is our 8 month old chow chow - her first time in snow!


Hope you are having a great week wherever you live! Thanks as always for stopping by.


Friday, January 22, 2016

All Edible Terrarium Pudding Cups


Happy Friday everyone!! Sharing a super fun dessert for when you want to bring a little nature inside.  I love terrariums and all the fun ideas around for them.  BUT I definitely do not have a green thumb.  Most plants die a terrible slow death when I try to keep them alive.  I've tried doing real terrariums many times and it just does not work for me.  

So, instead I made some edible terrariums! Complete with succulents, rocks, mushrooms, dirt, and moss.  


I love the way they came out and I don't have the guilt about killing the plants!  

See the easy how to here at sheknows!

We are getting ready for the first big snow storm of the season.  The latest is calling for 8-12 inches of snow! Can't wait since there is just something about the quiet of newly fallen snow that I love.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Little Eskimo Cupcakes


Hey All! Happy New Year!

Can you believe it's 2016?

2016!

That's more like a science fiction book year than a real life year, right?  Just to make me feel real old these things will be 30 years old this year:

The Olsen twins - really they are 30?? Depressing.
Slippery When Wet by Bon Jovi - Good thing Jon and the boys have aged so well!
Stephen King's It - still the scariest book I've read.  #thatclown
Ferris Bueller's Day Off - My all time fav movie and Ferris has one of my fav quotes: 


Even more true in today's smart device/always connected life.

Well to get over that I made more little candy people.  You guys know I've done different little  people a bunch of times - but this time I wanted something "wintery".  I got some inspiration from cookies I saw awhile back with the cutest little eskimos on them so I had to try to make them.


They always start the same with some vanilla tootsie roll as the head and a Hershey's bell shaped chocolate as the body.  Glue them together with some melted candy wafers and dip in more melted blue candy wafers to add "coat" and "hood".  


The rest of the detail is added by "piping" on melted candy and adding sprinkles for detail on the coat.


The girl and boy Eskimos together are my favs!


And you get a bunch of cute little Eskimo cupcake toppers (or you could say they are little Asian kids in winter coats!) 


Either way they are cute on top of a cupcake!  

I'm wondering what are going to be the food trends of 2016?? More dessert mashups? Rainbow everything? Sriracha Oreos?? Maybe sensors on foods to really see how they make you feel??  I'm ready for whatever 2016 brings!

Happy Happy New Year and Thanks for stopping by!

See the other little candy people cupcake toppers I've made here!  


To make Candy Eskimos (makes about 8)
  • 8 Hershey Chocolate Bells (I used peppermint bark flavored but they make a few different kinds now - pick your fav flavor) - you could also use regular Hershey's kisses (and snip the point off)
  • 8 vanilla tootsie rolls
  • 2 cups of blue candy melting wafers plus + 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup of white candy melts 
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate chips/chocolate candy melts for adding detail  
  • Sprinkles - large white circles for mittens, red hearts for bowtie, brown sprinkles for coat lines, red heart for girl's mouth
  • Black edible food writer
Directions:
  1. Unwrap tootsie roll and microwave for 5-7 seconds until just softened.  Save a tiny piece from each.  Roll the rest into a round ball with your hands.  This will be used as the head. Roll a tiny ball from the saved candy and attach as a nose.  (It will stick on its own to the head)
  2. Unwrap Hershey Bells (this will be the body) 
  3. Add the white candy melt to a zip lock bag.  Melt in microwave in 10-15 second intervals until melted and smooth.  Snip a corner of the bag and "pipe" a dab to attach round tootsie roll to bell (use it like glue).  Let candy harden (about 10 minutes)
  4. Melt blue candy wafers in the microwave with shortening (will allow dipping to be smoother) in a microwave safe bowl.  Use 15-20 second intervals and stir between intervals until candy is melted and smooth.
  5. Hold by the head and coat the bell in blue candy.  The candy should not be too hot as that will melt the chocolate.  Allow candy to harden on parchment paper.
  6. Hold by the now blue body and dip the back of head into blue candy (to make hood part)
  7. Use the melted candy in the bag and add coat details.  Reheat as needed.  Do the same with the chocolate chips/wafers and pipe the hair.   Add more white, brown or blue candy as needed to fill in any gaps and add any other details.  
  8. Attach sprinkles with more candy melt.
  9. Add tiny eyes with edible food writer.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Ambrosia Fudge - vanilla fudge with rainbow marshmallows


Hope everyone had a great Christmas, if you celebrate, and if not happy almost New Years Eve! Hard to believe 2015 is just about done and we're onto 2016.  The years move by so fast.  They seem to pick up speed every year - not much we can do about that except enjoy every moment.

I figured some fun fudge would be appropriate to ring in the new year.  I call it ambrosia fudge, mostly because its got lots and lots of mini rainbow marshmallows.  There's no fruit it in which is the main stay of regular ambrosia salad but I'm going with the other definition of ambrosia - or food/drink of the greek gods! This fudge is pretty and very sweet so I think it fits!


Although now that I think about it, the marshmallows are fruit flavored - orange, strawberry, lemon and lime so I think that actually covers the fruit part for ambrosia salad.


The recipe is really easy with 3 basic ingredients - vanilla chips, frosting, and the marshmallows.


Mix them up and spread into a 9X9 baking pan and sprinkle with lots of pretty sprinkles.


Maybe you could call it just regular marshmallow fudge but I think that's kinda boring.  A friend suggested  mermaid fudge? or bubble fudge? What would you call it??


Whatever you call it they are perfect little bites of decadence for your New Years eve shin-dig!


Easy and so fun to make too.  If you wanted to add dried or freeze dried fruits you could morph it more into the ambrosia "salad" type of fudge.  I've listed that as optional in the directions below.

Are you ready for 2016? Well it's coming whether we like it or not! Thanks so much for reading, sharing, and pinning posts from the year.  Can't wait to share more in the new year!

Have a happy and safe New Years!  See you in 2016!

How to Make Ambrosia Fudge:
  • 2 cups of vanilla chips
  • 1 can of store bought frosting
  • 3 cups of mini rainbow marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup of dried or freeze dried fruit (such as pineapple, oranges) - optional
  • various sprinkles
Directions:

  1. Line 9X9 pan with parchment paper or foil
  2. Melt chips in microwave (in microwave safe bowl) on high. (2-3 30-second intervals)
  3. Stir in frosting
  4. Stir in marshmallows and fruit (if using)
  5. Spread into pan.  Even out with spatula.
  6. Top with sprinkles.  Push sprinkles in slightly with a spatula to ensure they stick to fudge.
  7. Let set for 1 hour at room temperature or refrigerate for 15 minutes (to speed).
  8. Turn fudge out onto cutting board and cut into squares.


Monday, December 21, 2015

Winter themed graham cracker treats


During the holiday season I like to make fun but quick treats for the kids.  Since I work full-time out of the house and have 3 kids in elementary school, things get hectic and busy (as I'm sure it does in every house these days).  The love graham crackers so I use them as "canvases" all the time.  


These are my latest little winter scene graham crackers.  Cute, fun and I think it took me 1/2 to throw them together.  I think they would make great class treats or teacher gifts too.  Use all sorts of flavors graham crackers too :)

See the details here at sheknows!

I'm still recovering from the #12daysofStarWars countdown - 12 treats in 12 days was a lot! It was  fun though so if you missed it you can see the last post and recap here.  And we did see the movie this weekend! I won't give any spoilers but I'm sure all fans (the old and new) will love it.  JJ Abrams did a great job and it has everything you think it should.  


See the recap here!

And a very Merry almost Christmas if you celebrate!