Sugar Swings! Serve Some: February 2014

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Matryoshka (Russian Nesting Doll) Cookies for the Sochi Olympics

So I finally got around to doing some cookies for the Winter Olympics.  Just in time for closing ceremonies! Well I guess its better late than never.  I was watching the Olympics the other nite and NBC did a short story on Matryoshka dolls, or Russian nesting dolls.  I've always loved them.  Cute little hand crafted dolls that get smaller and smaller and fit neatly inside each other? Heck yeah! They go perfectly with my love of tiny things AND my Type A personality.   Here's another interesting history of the dolls if you are interested.  I don't actually own any of the dolls (hint hint to relatives reading!).

So of course I had to work them into something.  I went with sugar cut out cookies.  Roll out and bake your fav cookie recipe.  I used vanilla tootsie roll for the doll faces.  Microwave the candy about 7 seconds, or until its soft and you can roll the candy flat.  Then cut out the circle shapes with icing tips.  Large to teeny. 

I then "drew" the dolls on with candy melt.  You could use royal icing too, but I find candy melt is easier for me and dries faster when you need to use a few colors like for these dolls. You can get really creative with colors and design like the real dolls, but I kept it pretty simple.  Before the candy melt is dry, attach the candy faces.  Then add rosy checks with flat pink sprinkles, a tiny heart for a mouth, and dabs of black candy melt for eyes.  Oh and add hair with brown or yellow candy melt too.  

I like them because they are kinda hand made and unique like the real dolls.  (NOTE: although I'm sure most are now not actually hand made anymore, but I like to pretend they are).

And of course since these are for the Sochi Winter Olympics, I needed some in the Olympic colors!

I always love watching the Olympics (both Winter and Summer) and have been trying to get the kiddos interested as well.  These cookies helped! Hope you like them too.  Congrats to all the athletes  that competed, you are so amazing and talented.  And thanks to you all as always for stopping by.  

Tidy Mom's I'm Loving It
Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday

Monday, February 17, 2014

Molded Chocolate Surprise Inside Cupcakes

Hey there everyone! I shared these awhile back over at The Southern Institute, but thought I'd share a little more detail on making them.

It seems like surprise inside treats are over the place these days.  Stuff inside cakes, chocolate, cheesecakes, cupcakes, pretzels, etc.  Pretty much anything goes if you can sneak something into another something sweet.  

I had also wanted to use this Wilton Candy 3-D mold.  It's relatively simple to use too.  


  1. Fill to a designated line on the mold with melted chocolate or candy melt. 
  2. Snap the top into place so the candy fills in the mold and also hollows out the cupcake top and bottom. 
  3. Let harden and pop out of the mold.  I put mine in the freezer to let the chocolate harden faster.  Any chocolate or candy melt pops out of molds easier when very cold. 
  4. Fill the bottoms with your candy of choice (I went with Sweetarts Hearts).
  5. Add more melted chocolate around the rim. 
  6. Attach the cupcake tops.

You could really fill with these with any small candies you like for the surprise (great for using up leftover candy from Valentines Day too) but I thought Sweetarts would work well for this.

For the cupcake tops, I added a few different candy melt colors to a zip lock bag and then melted in the microwave.  Once all melty, you can swirl the colors around in the bag before adding to the mold.  Once assembled you can add a large sprinkle on top to finish it off (attached with more melted candy).  You can really design and decorate your cupcakes however you like.  Smaller sprinkles all over a solid color cupcake top would be really pretty and cute too.

They are really festive on their own but the surprise candy inside makes them even better.  Especially since you need to break them open.   If you didn't want to have candy inside you could even write a sweet little note.  A special little something-something to your little one or significant other.  "I love you hon, please put away your clothes when they are folded in the laundry basket." That would work well, right??

These were wrapped up as special Valentines for the kids teachers but I think they would be super cute birthday or shower favors too.  You could totally color coordinate with the the party.

See? Some really colorful "cupcakes" for anyone who may be tired of the real thing (but really is anyone besides my kids tired of cupcakes?). Not me! But for some kids (or adults) that can't eat gluten this also is a great way to give them a cupcake too!

Wishing you all a great President's Day Week.  Here's hoping you get a great deal on an appliance or mattress (ha!).  

Tidy Mom's I'm Loving It
Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cookies

Um, did you know Valentines Day is this Friday? I know right, how the heck is that possible?? I mean there are hearts and red velvet stuff galore all over other blogs and Pinterest, but I still keep thinking that it's a couple weeks away.  Well less than a week away now.  

And the hubster is leaving us for sunny Florida for a trip this week.  I'm just hoping it doesn't snow anymore because I'm so not handy around the house, especially with things like gas powered snow blowers.   Thanks for deserting us hon - Enjoy your dumb sun!  

So to make us feel better I made some cookies.  Shaped like strawberries.  And dipped in chocolate.  Like chocolate covered strawberries.  My blogging friend Sue from Munchkin Munchies has made 3D sugar cookies before like these little apples and these strawberries! So adorable.  I knew I wanted to try making them so decided on doing some strawberries.

I also have a little confession.  I am not a huge fan of chocolate covered strawberries.  I mean I love strawberries on their own, and chocolate on it's own, just not so much put together.  In general I don't really like chocolate with my fruit.  I know some people LOVE it.  There are businesses dedicated to adding chocolate to fruit and fruit to chocolate, which is cool - its just not my favorite.  

But I do like the look of chocolate covered strawberries, and these happen to be really easy to make.  Start with a store bought sugar cookie mix (you could use homemade too of course).  Mix as directed plus 1 tablespoon more flour.  Tint red.  You could even add strawberry flavor/extract if you wanted.  I didn't because I just wanted the look, not taste of strawberries here.  Then shape the dough in tablespoonfuls like strawberries.

Add sesame seeds to look like strawberry seeds.  And the most important part FREEZE them for at least a few hours.  Overnight would probably be great if you have the time.  Then bake the cookies directly from the freezer at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes.  They will flatten too much if you bake for longer or don't freeze them well.  

You can see they still flattened a little once baked 
Once cooled, dip in good dark chocolate.  And add stem/leaves with some melted candy wafers.  I used dark green mixed with a little of the chocolate.  Pipe leaves and stems onto parchment and once hardened add to the cookies with more melted candy wafers.

And you get some pretend chocolate covered strawberries.  For anyone that doesn't like chocolate and fruit (like me!).  Just in time for Valentines Day!

Wishing you all a great week and a special Valentines Day for you and your special ones! 

Tidy Mom's I'm Loving It
Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Lego Movie - Minifig Cookie Pops

So I'm assuming my kids are not the only ones excited for The Lego Movie opening this Friday!  Lego can do no wrong around this house, and I think we've spent a small fortune on Lego sets.  But whatever, the kids love them and they are super creative with them.  Right now both boys want to work at Lego as designers - or as video game testers (yeah, get in line kiddos!).

Well to support their growing obsessions even more, I made them some mini cookie pops for the new movie.  I've posted before about using my mini gingerbread silicone pan here for mini superhero gingerbread men.  So these were done was pretty much the same way, except I used a sugar cookie mix and added a little more detail.  

Here are some of the main characters:

Love Benny the old 70's Lego minifig!
All the detail is done with Wilton candy melts.  I have them in pretty much every color, and then just mix up any colors that Wilton doesn't make.

Here are some of the super heroes! (I'm not sure why Superman is sad and The Flash looks like he just had plastic surgery.  I did them all pretty fast!).  

Wonder Woman and Green Lantern are also in the movie (among others!)
And some of the other characters.  There are so many in the movie that it would be almost impossible to do them all!

Will Ferrell voices President Business (it's gotta be good right?!)
And I threw in a regular minifig dude just for fun.  These are really easy and all you need are the yellow, red, and blue candy melts.

The trailer looks really good.  And some big names as voices.  All the Wills - Will Ferrell, Will Arnett, Will Forte, Morgan Freeman, Jonah Hill (what isn't he in these days?), Liam Neeson, Charlie Day.  Even some Star Wars oldies, Billie Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels!