Sugar Swings! Serve Some: May 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Patriotic flag and graduation pretzel snacks

So how is it almost June already??? I know I complain about the time flying by so fast all the time, but seriously - it's almost summer! My kids are almost out of school and I still need to figure out summer plans for them...sheesh.  And I've had all these grand ideas of a bunch of spring sweets and crafts to do with them, and never got to really any of those I was thinking about doing in April and May and here we are at June.  Oh well, we played Chutes and Ladders and sorted Legos into colors so it's easier for them to rebuild some stuff, and we flew kites this weekend too.  I'm hoping that's more important and they remember that fun stuff when they look back versus me having a few more blog posts! Priorities right?!

Well I did get a chance to make a couple quick treats for a family party.  Some fun and easy flag pretzels and some mini graduation hat pretzel snacks.

The graduation hats are just the hats that you can find here but in mini form - that Bakerella is so smart and fun (shhh, I pretend I know her and we're friends, she's met so many people she probably would be too nice and polite to say otherwise!).  The bases are mini Reese's peanut butter cups (and because my kids have nut allergies) I also found mini Rolo candy.

For the graduation hats, start with a square pretzel base.  Add some white chocolate or candy melt to the pretzel, add the Rolo or peanut butter cup, and then add a small square of chocolate for the top of the graduation hat.  I just melted some chocolate and piped out squares freehand and let harden.  Once hardened, attach with more melted chocolate to the candy base.  

Add a tassel with some yellow candy melt (or whatever color works for your graduate!).  I added the year in black candy melt too.

The flags are also on square pretzel bases.  All the detail is candy melt in red, white and blue.

I didn't have any mini star sprinkles so just used some white nonpareils - which worked pretty well for this and it was quick, just sprinkle them on the blue candy melt while it's still wet.

These really didn't take much time to put together.  Really the longest part was melting the candy in the microwave in intervals to do the red, white and blue parts of the flag.

And you get some sweet and salty snacks that really are so tasty - you can't eat just one! These type of pretzel snacks really are easy and fun to bring to a get together.  I've done other versions here for 4th of July, here for a Super Bowl party, and here for Halloween.  All a little different but fun and best of all, quick and simple.

Congrats to my cousins as well!!! One graduated from 8th grade (a big high schooler now), one from college (dude, time to get a real job) and another from medical school (woohoo free medical advice!).  Very awesome and proud of the bunch of ya!  I'm actually the oldest grandkid in our family, so it really is amazing to see my "little" cousins in Swingers speak "all grows up"!

Hope you are enjoying the last days of May and the beginning of June - here is one thing I pinned ages ago that I am DEFINITELY doing this summer!  Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wonder Woman Cupcakes for the Cupcake Couture Blog Party!

So when Betsy from Java Cupcake and Cupcake Takes the Cake and Carrie from Bella Cupcake Couture said they were hosting a Cupcake Couture Blog Party AND would be sharing some of the cool and unique Bella cupcake wrappers with a bunch of bloggers, I was totally in!  The challenge was to go nuts with a fun cupcake wrapper, create a matching or coordinating cupcake and then to style the cupcakes in a display using items already found at home.  How fun is that??!

For this party I did some Wonder Woman cupcakes! If you follow me on Pinterest, may know I have a thing for Wonder Woman, so it was time to bring some cupcakes to life and this Blog Party was just the thing to get the creative juices flowing!  

I was so excited when my cupcake wrappers came in the mail.  Mine were these fun pink and white stripped ones!

And I used some inspiration from one of my favorite Wonder Woman shirts:

I love the pinky and purpley colors for everything so I went with those colors for the cupcakes.  

Here is a run down of my cupcakes and set-up!

  • Cupcakes-homemade chocolate cupcakes (that I had frozen from a previous project BTW-I always freeze baked cupcakes when I have too many.  Just pop them out of the freezer and then let them thaw on the counter-always as good as the day they are baked!).  
  • Frosting-some homemade buttercream flavored with a packet of Duncan Hines Frosting Creations in White Chocolate Raspberry which gave a nice light purple color.  The frosting is piped with a thin leaf tip using this tutorial from Robin of Bird on a Cake (Thanks Robin, your petals look way better!)
  • Cupcake Toppers-I used candy melts like in this post to make the Wonder Woman logo, but again in colors to match the cupcake design.  Then brushed with some Wilton Shimmer Dust in Pearl and added some white star sprinkles on the icing finish the Wonder Woman look.

  • Some foam craft discs in yellow, blue, purple and pink that we already had in the house for some art projects (I kinda like this look by itself with the cupcakes!)
  • Confetti- that was made from some of the kids' old comic books
  • Comic book bunting - again made from triangles cut from the comic books and cake pop sticks

And that's it! I really love the look of these cupcakes in the wrappers and the added set up (which is a bit different for me, as usually I just go with a white or neutral background to let the treats stand out more).

Please go check out the other bloggers participating in the Cupcake Couture Party!

Link over to their unique cupcake creations!

An American Cupcake in London
Bella Cupcake Couture
Chronicles of a Foodie
Crazy for Crust
Creative Food
Cupcakes Take the Cake
Diary of a Mad Hausfrau
Eat Your Heart Out
Hoosier Homemade
In Katrina's Kitchen
Inside BruCrew Life
Java Cupcake
Love From the Oven
Make Bake Celebrate
Not Just a Mommy
Sugar Daze
Sugar Swings! Serve Some
The Baked Equation
The Baking Cup
The Decorated Cookie

There is also a sweet Prize Pack as part of the party!  Thanks to our amazing sponsors for their generous donations!  Please, visit their websites to see more of their fabulous products!

Bella Cupcake Couture
Cupcake Stand
Java Cupcake
Lil' Punkin Creations
Sweets & Treats Boutique

To enter to WIN this Prize Pack, simply fill out the entry form below.

Contest opens 21May13 at 0700 PST and closes 27May13 at 2359 PST.  One winner will be chosen and announced within 24 hours of the contest ending. Winner will be contacted via email to claim their prize.

This contest is open to residents of the USA and Europe only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This was the first time I've used cupcake wrappers, and can I say how much I love them??! Since I bake a lot of cupcakes, these are a great way to dress them up a little and make them look really nice and professional.  Also since darker cake cupcakes tend to bleed through the cupcake liners, the wrappers are a great way to hide that.  It's really simple to use them too.  There are 3 slits on the side of the wrapper and you select the size that best fits with your cupcakes.  Want to try them?? Enter the giveaway and GOOD LUCK!!

Thanks to Betsy for pulling all of this together and for including me in this super fun party! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Star Wars Mickey Mashup Cookies/Pops

So you guys know I love a good mashup right? I've already talked about that before like here.  When we went to Disney for the first time this year, I totally bought into the whole Mickey Ear obsession.  I mean it's all about the Mickey (or Minnie) Ears and you can spend a gagillion dollars stocking up on them.  Where else can adults wear mouse ears and actually look pretty cool? Well, relatively cool (they still look much cuter on kids!).  AND they pretty much come in any variety you want, plain, fancy, tiny, pirate, and almost any Disney character in ear form too.  

So when we visited last February, we HAD to get some for the kiddos.  That's Buzz Lightyear, a princess (of course), and R2D2 ears!  Long story short, they inspired these Star Wars Mickey Ear cookies.

And the mashup is totally appropriate considering Disney now owns Star Wars.  Still not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing but I'd probably sell too for 4 billion bucks (4 BILLION that's even crazy to type!).  Time will only tell and the new Episode 7 movie slated for 2015 will really make people love the deal or really, really, and I mean really hate it.  

Anyway, back on topic!  I cheated with these cookies and started with store bought ones.  Well 1) because I'm starting to get lazy and 2) there are really good cookies out there waiting to be made into other treats.  To make the ears I used a large icing tip and cut a part of 2 round chocolate chip cookies to make the ears (see pic below).  Attach to a whole cookie with some melted chocolate.

Once hardened decorate with candy melt to make the Star Wars characters. Minimalistic characters because it was much faster that way!

You can also add sticks and make them cookie pops (because all food is way more fun in pop form)

And you get some fun cookies to celebrate May the 4th Be With You (aka Star Wars Day).  Which I know passed already (#blogfail) but I think most Star Wars and Mickey fans are fans the other 364 days of the year too, so hope you enjoy them!

I hope you can recognize all the characters! Leave a comment and let me know your fav!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Trix and Chex Cereal Treats

OK Dads, this is for you.  If you need a super quick mother's day treat (you did remember that Mother's Day is Sunday May 12 right?), that you AND the kids can make on your own, I have it for you!

An easy change up from regular rice krispie treats.  

Made from Trix and Rice Chex cereals.  WHY? I have lots of reasons.

1) Because Moms secretly love sugary cereals even though we won't feed it to the kids for breakfast

2) These are made with only 1/2 of the Trix and 1/2 with a more "healthy" cereal, so we will feel better eating like 1, 2 or 7 of them

3) We love colorful stuff, I mean look at these cute little rainbow swirled crisps of sweetness!

4) It's super simple with no baking needed.  It's pretty much impossible to mess it up.

3 Tablespoons of butter
1-10 ounce bag of marshmallows
1/2 box of Trix
1/2 box of Rice Chex

Directions: Melt butter and marshmallow in a big pot.  Turn off heat once all melty and add the cereals. Mix well.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Wash your and kids hands, then spray your hands with non-stick spray (and enjoy the giggles that come from your kids as you do it!).  Grab some of the mix and roll into a ball.  Pop into a cupcake liner (of you know where those are kept-just make sure not to mess up the super specific order mom has stored them in!)

To be really fancy and to impress mom, you can wrap them in plastic bags and tie with a bow.  But honestly we'd be so happy you made a treat for us from scratch, that would be totally over the top.

Just plopping them on a "nice" plate would be just as awesome!

And 5) You and the kids will love them too!

Happy Mother's Day to all the Wonder Woman moms out there, that do a little bit of everything! I saw a great description of how a moms mind works, it's kinda like having 50 web browsers open at all times.  I totally agree with that! Enjoy your Sunday as well as each and every day. I hope you get some special treats made for you!

Here are more fun Trix treats too!

Trix cereal treats (even cocoa puffs treats too!)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Disney Little Princesses Cupcakes

So my twins turned 6 recently! Hard to believe that they are in big kid territory now, no longer babies or littles, but full on kid mode!  And my Greta (the twins are B/G) is definitely into all that is princess  (as much as we tried not to be point them towards traditional boy or girl toys, they just tended to gravitate toward what appealed to them).  And Disney totally has the market on all that is princess.  You can't get away from it.  

Since I've been making their birthday cakes for years now, this years' cake request had to be a Disney princess one, and her fav is Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  So the request was Belle, with smaller princess cupcakes all around her.  

Clockwise from the top in case you need help!
Snow White, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, Mulan, and Sleeping Beauty
It was kinda natural to do all the little princesses in candy since I've done little candy people a lot before, using Hershey chocolate bells (or you can use Hershey kisses) and vanilla tootsie rolls as the base of the body.  

All the rest of the detail is done in candy melt, with a tiny heart sprinkle as their mouths and an edible food writer to add the eyes.  For more specific info on how to make candy people you can check here or here or here.

They take a little time to make, but always come out really cute for me.  And I love they are not typical princess pretty, but cute and stocky princesses! I added these to some homemade chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream (which just happens to be one of my favorite cake/frosting combinations!)

And the Belle cake came out better than I was thinking too.  It's just a Belle Barbie covered in plastic wrap and shoved down the center of a chocolate cake "dress".   I used my Kitchen Aid mixer bowl for the dress shape (which worked out great).  I did need to add a little cake to build her dress up around her waist.  There is something slightly wrong with icing a naked barbie wrapped up in plastic wrap!

And you get a Princess Belle cake with some little mini princesses to celebrate my princess turning 6! If you can't be totally into princesses when you are six, then I don't know when you can!

Happy Cinco de Mayo to all too! There was just too much going on this weekend, between May the 4th be With You (aka Star Wars Day), the Kentucky Derby, AND Cinco de Mayo, I could not prep enough to get everything I wanted done and posts ready, so you get princesses today instead! Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Star Wars Treats Round Up!

So guess what day it almost is??? May the 4th Be With You or as all Star Wars fans know Star Wars Day!  I'm trying to get my act together for a new post to celebrate, but in the meantime here are some of my favorite Star Wars inspired sweets.

One of the most viewed posts I have to date, a fun mash-up of PEEPS and Star Wars aka PEEPS Trooper Pops.  These are not the PEEPS you are looking for.  Find the post here.

Wampa's anyone?? And instead of them eating you, you can eat them (in cupcake form of course!).  Find them here.

And I love how Star Wars just keeps going and going and going. They've even inspired the Origami Yoda book series (which my kid LOVES!).  Find some Origami Yoda candy pops here.

To celebrate my oldest's birthday one year we did a bunch of Star Wars character cupcakes (General Ackbar is my fav, but Lando is a close second!).  Find them here (including how to's) as well as more on the Star Wars party here.

One year we also did some gingerbread Star Wars characters! Find them here.

I have to say my kids really liked the Star Wars dudes in traditional gingerbread man form better than the real characters!

And of course my biggest kid really started the love of Star Wars around here, so he got some simple lightsaber cupcakes one year.  Find them here.

Are you celebrating May the 4th Be With You?!! I hope so.  My kids love the movies, cartoon series, books, all the stuff, it's never ending! They even made some pics so we can put them up tomorrow.  We have the Star Wars Thumb Doodles book and have been hard at work creating their master pieces! (PS I highly recommend this if you have some Star Wars freaks fans around your house!