Sugar Swings! Serve Some: January 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Mini Hostess Snack Cake Bite 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)
  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!


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?


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
  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.