Sugar Swings! Serve Some

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Candy Chicks in Sugar Cookie Nests

Happy Spring peeps!

After the Christmas holiday I scooped up a box of Ferraro Collection chocolate on sale.  I've been meaning to try this brand of chocolates forever so half price was as good a reason as any.   In general I don't buy them because they are made with nuts and 2 out of 3 of mine have peanut and tree nut allergies.

But they are very tasty and I love they make a few different versions and of course I had to make something with them.  So bring on the chicks!

I thought the chocolates would make cute little spring chicks sitting in little cookie cup nests - and they do! Adding the detail to the chocolate was super simple.  Candy coated sunflower seeds are used for beak and comb and small dabs of black and white candy melts used for the eyes.

I love the way they look - the dark chocolate one's look especially no nonsense! My own version of angry birds.

And if you want to see what the chocolates look like inside (I always do) you can take a peak below. The coconut ones are my favs and they don't have any nuts in them.

Here's the official company description:

  • ROCHER - tempting combination of luscious, creamy, chocolaty filling surrounding a whole hazelnut, within a delicate, crisp wafer all enveloped in milk chocolate and finely chopped hazelnuts.
  • RONDOIR- fine dark chocolates are a unique combination of a creamy dark chocolate surrounding a hazelnut within a delicate, crisp wafer topped with crunchy dark chocolate morsels.
  • RAFFAELLO - confections are a unique blend of select ingredients: an almond surrounded by a fine milk cream, then covered with a crisp, delicate wafer and sprinkled with tender shredded coconut.
The nests are made from store bought refrigerated cookie dough.  Add some to mini muffin pans with flaked coconut on top.  Bake until just golden.

I also toasted some coconut and added some more on top of the cookie nests after adding a generous squirt of melted chocolate on top of each one.

Then add your chicks

Sprinkle with extra toasted coconut to look like nesting material.

Pretend you didn't notice that I added the chicks the wrong way (red comb was supposed to be on top!)
Ok thats better! Combs on top again!

Now if the weather would cooperate and stay warm instead of flip flopping cold one day and warm the next.  

Although I do love the winter season - I'm very ready for Spring to stay around.

Lot's of birds in the yard today like robins and blue jays searching for worms and a couple flower buds even starting to poke through the dirt so I'm taking that as a good sign!  Happy Spring to you and have an awesomely awesome week! 

Candy Chicks in Cookie Nests

  • Box of Ferrero Collection (includes Ferrero Rocher, Ferrero Raffaelo, and Ferrero Rondnoir)
  • Red and Yellow candy coated sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips
  • 1 roll of refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes
  1. For birds: Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and add to a freezer bag.  Snip an end and pipe small amount onto end of sunflower seeds.  Attach as nose and feather to the Ferrero candies. Pipe small eyes.  Use white chocolate chips for the Raffaelo candy.
  2. For nests: Spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick spray.  Add about 2 Tablespoons of cookie dough to each section, pressing down to make a nest shape.  Bake at 350 degrees until just lightly brown.  Let cool and pop out of muffin tin.
  3. Add coconut to non stick pan.  Toast on medium heat until coconut is just browned.
  4. Using leftover melted chocolate chips, add some melted chocolate to each nest and sprinkle toasted coconut on top.
  5. Add more melted chocolate to bottom of "bird" and attach to nest.
Prep time: 45 minutes Yield: about 12-15 cookie nests

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Game of Thrones Dragon Egg Energy Bites (for Easter!)

Well there's good news and bad news for Game of Thrones fans.

The good news is that HBO *finally* released the date of the season 7 premiere!

The bad news is that it's not JULY 16th.  JULY 16th.  JULY 16th!  Let that sink in 'cause usually we get it back in the Springtime AND there are less episodes - normally there are 10 episodes per season.  Instead of the normal 10, there are likely to be only 7.  BOO!

Here's the teaser video released by HBO (not that there is much new info in it)

That said, everyone has plenty of time to get excited (well GoT fans have been ready and waiting since the end of Season 6!) so I made some GoT treats to hold myself over in the meantime.

Dragon Eggs for Easter!

And they are my kind of Easter eggs - energy bites in dragon egg form! I call them energy bites but whatever you like to call them energy balls, power balls or healthy bites/balls.

Regardless of what you call them, energy bites are made with all natural stuff like dried fruits and coconut and no processed sugars.  I've been on an energy ball/bite kick lately in an effort to eat less processed sugars but also to satisfy my sweet tooth.  And these type of mixtures do just that for me.

They are tasty enough on their own but then you roll them in some more fun stuff.

Not only does it give more flavor kick but it let me also give the "eggs" the infamous Game of Thrones dragon egg colors.

Except for a couple of quick spritz's of green or gold color spray (especially for the green eggs) - there are no artificial colors.  You can skip that part too if you'd rather keep them totally natural.

I love the look and I'm almost convinced little Drogon (red), Rhaegal (green), and Viserion (white) will hatch from them.  (Don't judge my geekiness here)

Close enough to dragon eggs in my book!

Ok, no dragons are hatching from these eggs but they are super tasty and will give you that energy boost that you need in the afternoon or if you're like me, for that night time sweet tooth.

HBO is keeping Season 7 pretty hush hush but they did release a teaser poster too. 

Although it doesn't say much I read it like there will be an "Ice" and "Fire" showdown at some point.  Which makes total sense since the original book series by George R.R. Martin is called 
"A Song of Ice and Fire"!  

Personally I like the fan art poster (below) that's out on the interwebs!

That's an Ice Dragon! I hope it comes true as I am so ready for a Fire Dragon versus Ice Dragon show down!

I'll just have to wait patiently and partake in these sweet treats to keep my energy going to get to July!

Are you a Game of Thrones fan too?? I'm listening to the audio books (again!) just because I can and I missed a lot the first time around.  The HBO series has passed the books - please George R.R. Martin, let's get going and release Winds of Winter! 

Game of Thrones Dragon Egg Energy Bites (Power Balls)

Ingredients and Instructions:

White Eggs

1/4 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/8 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons of coconut oil 
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Color spray in gold
  1. Add first 5 ingredients to food processor and pulse until all is chopped into very small pieces.
  2. Scoop about 2 tablespoonfuls into egg shape.
  3. Coat in 1/2 cup hemp seeds mixed with 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes. 
  4. Spray lightly with color spray (optional).
Green Eggs

1/2 cup pitted mejool dates 
1 tablespoon matcha powder
1/4 cup pepitas
1/8 cup unsweetened coconut flakes 
2 teaspoons of coconut oil 
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
1 tablespoon matcha
2 teaspoons green tea
Color spray in green (optional)

  1. Add first 5 ingredients to food processor and pulse until all is chopped into very small pieces.
  2. Scoop about 2 tablespoonfuls into egg shape.
  3. Coat in 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios and 1 tablespoon matcha and 2 teaspoons green tea
  4. Spray lightly with Wilton's Color Spray in green (optional)
Red Eggs

1/4 cup pitted mejool dates 
1/4 cup dried cranberries 
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/8 cup unsweetened coconut flakes 
2 teaspoons of coconut oil 
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 tablespoon powdered freeze dried raspberries
Color spray in gold (optional)

  1. Add first 5 ingredients to food processor and pulse until all is chopped into very small pieces.
  2. Scoop about 2 tablespoonfuls into egg shape.
  3. Coat in 1/2 cup chia seeds mixed with 1 tablespoon powdered freeze dried raspberries 
  4. Spray lightly with Wilton's Color Spray in gold (optional)
Prep time: 60 minutes Yield: about 20-24 energy bite eggs.  Stores 1 week at room temperature (or 2 weeks refrigerated)

Other Game of Thrones Treats you may like:

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Narwhal and Unicorn Sweet & Salty Pretzel Snacks

Narwhal versus Unicorns!! Which would you choose?

I know the popular choice would be unicorns. Duh, they are like everywhere.  Those awesome unicorn cakes are on all my social feeds.  I can't get away from them. But I don't want to - they are so cute and creative, love them all!

BUT I am probably leaning toward the narwhal - aka unicorn of the sea

Whales with unicorn horns.  What's not to love?  It's like a long lost cousin - you don't really look alike except for that one weird family trait that gets passed along.  And bonus - they are real! As much as I love unicorn stuff, they are unfortunately not real.  Sorry to burst any bubbles out there.

And my unicorns and narwhals are pretty easy to make.  They start with a candy melt/wafer on top of a pretzel square. 

Their horns are candy coated sunflower seeds (which are one of my favorite pseudo candies to decorate with!)

And I know my narwhals look a bit like fish with party hats AND the unicorns look like girls with curly rainbow hair but please let's suspend judgement and play along!

And BTW both are fun sweet and salty treats!
But which would you choose??

And happy almost Saint Patrick's Day! I've been away from my fam all week on a work trip so instead of celebrating out at the parades - I'll toast to all that is green and Irish from the comfort of my cozy couch snuggling my 3 kiddos and hubby!! Miss them!
Narwhal and Unicorn Pretzel Snacks
  • 24 pretzel squares
  • 18 light blue candy wafers plus 1/4 additional blue candy wafers
  • 12 vanilla/white candy wafers 1/4 additional white candy wafers
  • 12 white candy coated sunflower seeds
  • 12 pink candy coated sunflower seeds
  • Rainbow sprinkles
  • Rainbow candy curls (or use other rainbow sprinkles)
  • 24 white confetti sprinkles (for unicorn ears)
  • Pink edible food marker
  • Black edible food marker
For Unicorns:
  1. Melt white wafers in a microwave safe bowl and add to a freezer bag.  Snip an end and attach white wafer to pretzel square.  
  2. Pipe more melted candy over edges of wafer and attach rainbow candy curls as mane.
  3. Pipe more melted candy and attach pink candy coated sunflower seed as horn. 
  4. Pipe more melted candy and white confetti sprinkles as ears.
  5. Add additional detail (eyes, nose, rosy cheeks, ear color, stripes on horn) with edible writers.
For Narwhals:
  1. Melt blue wafers in a microwave safe bowl and add to a freezer bag.  Snip an end and attach blue wafer to pretzel square.  
  2. Cut blue wafer into quarters and use 1/4 as narwhal tail.  Attach with more melted blue candy.
  3. Add some melted candy on top of tail and sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles.
  4. Pipe more melted candy and attach white candy coated sunflower seed as horn.
  5. Before candy dries add sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles around horn.
  6. Add additional detail (eyes, nose, rosy cheeks, stripes on horn) with edible writers.
Prep time: 45 minutes Yield: about 24 pretzel snacks

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Beauty & The Beast Decorated Pretzel Squares

Are you guys as excited as I am for the new Beauty and the Beast movie opening on March 17th??

Belle has been my daughter's fav princess since she was tiny so we are totally making it a girl's nite out to see the movie.  So fun.

And although I love that Emma Watson (aka Hermione Granger) is Belle, I'm really excited to hear some of my favs as the infamous furniture and stuff in Beast's castle.  In case you hadn't heard, the voice line-up is pretty sweet:

Ian McKellen is Cogsworth the Clock
Emma Thompson is Mrs. Potts the teapot
Ewan McGregor is Lumiere the candlestick
Stanley Tucci is Forte the piano

And some of the other peeps are neat too:

Kevin Kline is Maurice (Belle's dad)
Josh Gad is LaFou (Gaston's lackey - he was also Frozen's Olaf!)

So in prep for the movie I made some pretzels decorated as Belle, Beast, and their time sensitive rose.

In general they are pretty easy to make.  I have a ton of candy melts in various colors and sprinkles hanging around the house so it was easy to pull these together on a Friday nite.

You could make your own little candy roses in place of these cereal roses, but I just happened to have some Moana cereal in the house (the cereal marketers get me every time!) so it worked out well.  Spray them with some edible food spray and you have some quick roses that actually are pretty tasty on pretzels snacks.

My kiddos love sweet and salty so decorated pretzel snacks are an easy win for me (see below I've made them a bunch of times).  

Plus that kinda represents Belle and the Beast to me with the sweet and salty theme - although not sure anyone would call the Beast "salty" - let's just go with opposites then!

I may have to save a few and smuggle them into the theater opening weekend when we go see it.  Can't wait!

Beauty and The Beast Movie Pretzel Snacks

  • 36 pretzel squares
  • 12 white or egg nog candy wafers
  • 12 chocolate candy wafers
  • 1 cup of white candy wafers
  • 1/4 cup extra chocolate candy wafers
  • 1/4 cup dark blue candy wafers
  • 1/2 cup yellow candy wafers
  • 1/4 cup tan candy wafers (or use white and add 1/2 chocolate disc to make tan)
  • 36 chocolate candy coated sunflower seeds
  • 24 blue confetti sprinkles
  • 36 yellow pearl large non-pareil sprinkles
  • white mini non-pareil sprinkles
  • 12 mini heart shaped sprinkles
  • Black edible food marker
  • Green licorice candy laces
  • Red color spray
  • 12 cereal shaped like rose (found using Moana cereal)

For Belle:
  1. Melt yellow wafers in a microwave safe bowl and add to a freezer bag.  Snip an end and pipe to cover pretzel square.  
  2. Sprinkle with white non-pareils and add white or egg nog wafer to center.
  3. Melt chocolate wafers in a microwave safe bowl and add to a freezer bag.  Snip an end and pipe Belle's hair.  While still wet add yellow pearl non-pareils to hair.  
  4. Add 2 black eyes with edible food marker.
  5. Add heart sprinkle as mouth (attach with white melted candy).
For Beast:
  1. Melt blue wafers in a microwave safe bowl and add to a freezer bag.  Snip an end and pipe to cover pretzel square.  
  2. Add chocolate wafer to center. 
  3. Outline edge with yellow melted candy (use same bag as Belle - if needed reheat candy for 5-10 second intervals until re-melted).
  4. Melt tan wafers in a microwave safe bowl and add to a freezer bag.  Snip an end and pipe Beast's mane and fur.  
  5. Add candy coated sunflower seeds as horns and nose.
  6. Attach blue confetti sprinkles as eyes.
  7. Pipe teeth with melted white candy.
For Rose Flowers:
  1. Cut 3 small pieces of green licorice strings for rose stems and leaves.
  2. Spray cereal shapes with red color spray.  Let dry 10 minutes.
  3. Melt white wafers in a microwave safe bowl and add to a freezer bag.  Snip an end and pipe to cover pretzel square.  
  4. Add green licorice in shape of stem/leaves.  Add tinted cereal as rose.
Prep time: 60-90 minutes Yield: about 36 pretzel snacks

You may like to other decorated sweet and salty pretzel snacks too!