Sugar Swings! Serve Some: 2018

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Willy Wonka Gingerbread Men Cookies

It's my fav time of year when all the Christmas and holiday cookies come out!

Every year I do some themed gingerbread men cookies and this year it's

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!

The original 1971 movie is on my all time favorites list so it was just a matter of time before these fun characters showed up in cookie form!

Willy Wonka is also one of my have internet memes!

Start with some cut out gingerbread men.  I use royal icing for faces and some detail that needs a smoother look.

The rest of the detail is done with melted candy wafers/melts

Melt in a microwave safe bowl then add candy to zip lock bags to pipe the detail on.  You can reheat if needed in 5-7 second intervals.

I love all the Willy Wonka characters since they are so unique.  

Even the bad eggs!

In case you needed some help:

Grandpa Joe (with his Fizzy Lifting Drink and Charlie (and his golden ticket)

Violet Beauregarde (plumped up like a blueberry but still blowing bubbles) 
Veruca Salt (She got her golden egg)

Augustus Gloop (eating a Wonka Bar of course) and Mike Teevee (and his mini TV self!)

And of course the iconic Willy Wonka and his Oompa Loompas

I'm bringing them to a party since they make for such a fun cookie platter for grown ups and kids!

Which character is your favorite?

Merry Christmas to all that celebrate and get ready for 2019!

PS I use a gingerbread cookie mix to speed the process and I find the cookie dough rolls out great and the gingerbread men keep their shape when baked!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Mini Apple Rose Tarts


Happy December to All!

Hard to believe we're almost at the end of 2018.  I really think time does speed up once you turn 40. (And that was 7 years ago now!)

This is only my 11th post of 2018 when in previous years I was averaging way more:

How the heck did I post 66 new treats in 2010?? As you can see the number has consistently dropped each year since.  The reason? Life. Just life as a working mom with 3 kids (now twins are 11 and big kid is 14).  I love baking and thinking up new treats but it has taken a backseat for sure this year.  I do still make stuff but many times I don't have the time or energy for pics and blog posts.  I tend to take the easy way out and post a quick pic to Instagram and my Facebook page.  

But that said when I do have time and want to share something new, I do like to set aside some me time for that.  

Like these mini apple rose tarts!

I've seen them on Pinterest a lot and they've been on my to do list forever! Plus I love apples and cinnamon so these are one of my fav flavors.

Start with some apples.  I used a bunch of different types - really to try to get different colors in the final tarts.  Cut in half, remove seeds/core, and slice thinly.  I just used a knife to slice thinly but you could also use a mandolin if you have one handy.

Add 1/4 cup of honey and 1 teaspoon of good cinnamon to a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute.  Brush mixture over outside of apples and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes (until apples are soft but not mushy).  You can even microwave the apples to really speed up the time.  

I used store bought tart shells.  They are small and easy to work with and really speeds the process of making these little tarts.

To hold the apples in I filled the tarts with a mixture of melted caramel chips and a little cream cheese.  Place the apples lengthwise overlapping slightly and roll into rose shape.  

The video above shows how to roll the apples (I left out the puff pastry as I wanted smaller, tighter roses.

Add the rolled roses to the shells and that's pretty much it.  

If you use pre-made shells you can have a bunch of these mini apple rose tarts made in about 30 mins!

Super cute and yummy and it looks like you spent a lot of time putting a tray of these together.  I plan on making more for some holiday parties coming up!

Another reason right now for lack of posts is we are renovating our kitchen! Currently cooking and baking is happening either in a toaster oven, microwave, electric burner or crock pot!

Here's our current kitchen set up!

Wish me luck and here's to hoping 2019 gets back on track treat wise!

Thanks for swinging by!

Mini Apple Rose Tarts

  • Box pre-made fillo tart shells
  • 3 apples (pick you favorite)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup caramel chips
  • 1 Tablespoon cream cheese
  1. For apple roses: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut apples in half and remove core/seeds.  Slice thinly and evenly.  
  2. Mix honey and cinnamon in microwave safe bowl and heat for 1-2 mins until thin.  Brush over outside of apples.  
  3. Bake apples for 15 mins (until pliable but not mushy)
  4. Line up about 4 apple slices lengthwise overlapping ends slightly.  Roll into rose shape (see video above as example)
  5. For filling: Add caramel chips to microwave safe bowl and heat for 3 minutes or until chips are melted.  Add cream cheese to bowl and mix well.  Add about 1 teaspoonful to each tart shell.
  6. Add one apple rose to each filled tart shell.
  7. Serve at room temperature or store in refrigerator until serving.
Prep time: 30 minutes Yield: about 15-20 tarts

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) No Dip Cake Bites

Have you noticed all the Day of the Dead stuff in stores lately? In all transparency I really didn't know much about this holiday except that it was of Mexican origin so I decided to do a little research.  

Day of the Dead aka Día de los Muertos is indeed a Mexican holiday that focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember those who have died and help support their spiritual journey.   

I was curious about all the skulls decorated with bright colors and flowers and according to experts (aka Wikipedia) "people go to cemeteries to be with the souls of the departed and build private altars containing favorite foods and beverages, as well as photos and memorabilia, of the departed. The intent is to encourage visits by the souls, so the souls will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them." 

 "Plans for the day are made throughout the year, including gathering the goods to be offered to the dead. During the 3-day period families usually clean and decorate graves which often include orange Mexican marigolds sometimes called Flor de Muerto (Flower of Dead). These flowers are thought to attract souls of the dead to the offerings. It is also believed the bright petals with a strong scent can guide the souls from cemeteries to their family homes."

"Families will also offer trinkets or the deceased's favorite candies on the grave. Some families have ofrendas in homes, usually with foods such as candied pumpkin, pan de muerto ("bread of dead"), and sugar skulls; and beverages such as atole. The ofrendas are left out in the homes as a welcoming gesture for the deceased."
So now I know and decided to make some of my own sugar skulls! I opted for no dip cake bites.

Dipping treats is my least favorite thing to do so I found a work  around.  I started with some cupcakes.  Crumble and mix with the frosting in a bowl.

Use a skull silicone ice cube tray and outline skull with melted white chocolate or vanilla melting wafers.  Don't fill it all the way with the chocolate - you want to leave space to fill it.  Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes until chocolate is hardened.

Fill mold with cupcake mixture then cover with more melted chocolate.

Refrigerate for another 10 minutes then pop skull out of mold.

Decorate with fun sprinkles and/or more melting wafers.  I added a little edible silver spray to finish them.

Day of the Dead falls is October 31, Nov 1, and 2.  Kinda neat that it coincides with Halloween!

Do you celebrate or decorate for Day of the Dead? If so share what you do! 

Hay más tiempo que vida which means there is more time than life - so very true.  Enjoy each day to its fullest!

Happy days to you and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Pool Inflatable Donut Treats

So I've been a little obsessed with all the trendy bird inflatables that are so popular right now.  I don't even know why (we don't even have a swimming pool - we just mooch off of our good friends) but I just love the way they look.  

I've seen some flamingo donuts that also look like the pool inflatables so wanted to try to recreate them and some others too. I got a bit carried away with my bird theme! 

Can you guess what they are?? And why ostriches and peacocks are in the water I'll never know!

Clockwise from center: Flamingo, Great Crane, Black Swan, Ostrich, Peacock, White Swan, and Canadian Goose
Start with some baked mini vanilla donuts

Glaze them with the colors of your birds (or whatever inflatable you love!)

I made the heads with some melted candy melts in various colors.  Trace them on some parchment paper and let harden. 

Attach them with some toothpicks and more melted candy and decorate the donuts like the birds.  I also attached them to some graham cracker bases to float them in "water" aka dark blue vanilla candy melts.

I thought they needed someone to ride them so gave some teddy grahams sunglasses and swimsuits!

And add a decorated bear to each of your pool float treats!

Super cute for a summer party or to say thank you for letting us use your pool over the summer!

Can you believe it's already mid-August?? 

I say this every single year but time moves even faster than the previous year.  Is that even possible? Well enjoy even the crappy parts of your day as you'll forget about it soon enough!  

Enjoy the edible pool floats and thanks for swinging by!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Cute Animal Madeleine Cookie Pops (a la Trendy Animal Cakes)

Do you love all the trendy animal themed cakes going around the interwebs? 

The most famous is the unicorn cake of course.  

I recently made one for my daughter's 11th birthday along with a Marvel themed cake for her twin!

I really wanted to make all the animals in cake form but then I got realistic and decided on madeleine cookie pops.

I have a madeleine pan that my sister gave me years ago and I love using it.  1) Because the madeleine cookie recipe is so simple and 2) Madeleine cookies are one of my favs because they are more like little cakes!

Once baked and cooled I used various colors of candy melts/chocolates and sprinkles to transform them into cute animals.  

Fox & Bear

Bunny Rabbit & Sheep

Deer & Llama

 And of course a Narwhal & Unicorn!

I love seeing them all together and if I had more time would have loved to add other cute animals to the collection! Don't forget to add those trendy closed eyes with eyelashes!

Wrap them up and bring them to a summer party or use as party gifts.

Which is your fav animal??

Thanks for swinging by - is it summer or winter where you live?