Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Minnie Mouse Caramel Chocolate Apples






I have never made caramel apples before.  And if you can believe it - I had never even tried one before!    And obviously I have never photographed one before.  That bottom photo isn't even in focus!!  But it was one of my favorites anyway (so - no, you don't need glasses!)  I don't know why I never had one.  I guess because they seem messy and I would always see them when I was out - not when I wanted to get messy.  And they seemed hard to make so I never made them before.

But I saw these cuties on the Patty Cakes Bakery Blog and had to make them for Rachel's birthday.  I am so glad I did.  They were not that hard, much to my amazement.  A lot of steps but definitely doable!


First - I inserted wooden sticks into the apples.  I didn't find any "apple sticks".  So I used a just a regular stick.  The Popsicle sticks seemed so wide - I liked these skinny ones better.  I was surprised how great they stuck in the apples.




Then I boiled water and then quickly dipped my apples, one at a time, into the boiling water. Then I wiped the apple dry with a paper towel to remove the wax on the apple. This step is to make it easier for the caramel to stick to the apple.

I used store bought caramel in an effort to reduce my steps.  It is a lot of unwrapping!  I used two bags and followed the package directions for melting in a double boiler.  Once it was completely melted and smooth I dipped my apples.  I let the excess caramel drip off and then set the apple on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

While the caramel was still wet and sticky I inserted 2 toothpicks into the apple and added marshmallows to create Minnie's ears.



I let the apples chill in the fridge for an hour and then dipped them in my chocolate.  I melted over two pounds of chocolate and I still didn't have enough to dip the apples.  So I held the apple over my double boiler and spooned the chocolate over the apples.

After the chocolate set I melted some white candy melts in my Wilton melter.  I dipped the bottom half of the apple in the white chocolate and immediately put on my white candy for Minnie's polka dots.  I had to do it immediately or the candy would start to set.  I used the white York Peppermint Pattie Bites.  As soon as I had the polka dots on I poured pink sanding sugar over the apple and let it stick to the white candy for Minnie's skirt.  Then I put them back on the parchment paper lined baking sheet and into the fridge until we were ready to serve them.

They were actually easy to eat because we cut them into slices.  They were absolutely delicious.  Just wish I had taken better pictures!



This post may be shared with: Flour Me With Love - Mix It Up Monday, Alderberry Hill - Make The Scene Monday, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms - Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Clairejustineoxox - Creative Mondays, Skip To My Lou - Made by You Monday, Sweetology - Tea Party Tuesday, Crazy for Crust - Crazy Sweet Tuesday, Uncommon - Uncommonly Yours, Mandy's Recipe Box - Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Reason To Skip The Housework - Tuesday Timeout, Inside Bru Crew Life - Trick or Treat Tuesday, Mrs Fox's Sweets - Sweet Party, Made Famous By - Famous Linkz Party, Junk In Their Trunk - Link It Up Wednesday, The Kings Court 4 - What's Cooking Wednesday, Hugs and Cookies XO - Wonka Wednesday, Food Corner - Midweek Fiesta, Something Swanky - Sweet Treat Thursday, These Peas Taste Funny - Link It Up Thursday, Talking Dollars and Cents - Sweet Temptations, Happy Hour Projects - Freestyle Friday, Tidy Mom - I'm Lovin' It Friday, Susie QT Pies - Happy Friday Link Up, Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons - Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday Link Party, Dwell On Joy - Dwell On Friday, Toys In The Dryer - Fun Stuff Fridays, Alli-n-Son - Sweet Tooth Friday, Crumbs and Chaos - Seasonal Inspiration, The Country Cook - Weekend Potluck, Mama Mias Heart 2 Heart - Sharing Saturday, Sweet As Sugar Cookies - Sweets for a Saturday, Randee's Organized Chaos - Sleepy Sunday, Country Momma Cooks - Saturday Link & Greet, Well Seasoned Life - Sweet Indulgences Sunday, Bacon Time With The Hungry Hypo - Crafting Cooking From The Heart Contest, Southern Mom Cooks - Valentine Party, Cupcake Apothecary - A Themed Baker's Sunday, Addicted To Recipes - Scrumptious Sunday Link Party

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rachel's 2nd Birthday Cake

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My baby girl turned 2!!  Wow - the last two years have flown by and I still think of her as my baby.  But now I know I have to admit she isn't a baby anymore.  You would have thought I would have figured that out when she started climbing to the top of stools and stairs, but it takes me awhile.

We had a small family party for her and it was a Minnie Mouse theme.  I made the cake!  The bottom tier was eight inch chocolate.  I used Bakerella's Chocolate Cake recipe.  The top tier was a six inch Lemon Cake recipe I have used before.  Both were delicious!

After I baked my cakes, I let them cool and then level them and stack them.  Both were filled with buttercream.  On the chocolate cake I mixed in mini chocolate chips with the buttercream.  It was so good - reminded me of cookie dough!

After I stack them I make sure they are level.  I have a special level I only use in the kitchen.  Cheap at Lowe's - I think it was three dollars.  And it has a magnet and I just keep it on my fridge! 


Then I crumb coat them with buttercream frosting.  I used a new recipe that I got from my neighbor, Brenda.  It is not as sweet as the buttercream I usually use and I really liked it.  I will put the recipe below.

I made marshmallow fondant which I dyed white and pink.  I used Americolor hot pink for the pink.  And I used a Chocolate Marshmallow Fondant recipe I found for the black.  It was super easy to get really black and it tasted yummy!  I used the black fondant for the ears.  I cut the ears out using circle cutters.  Then I "glued" Popsicle sticks to the back of them with Karo Syrup.  Then inserted them into the top of the cake. 



 I used the same bow tutorial that I have used before and made my bow. Attached polka dots to bow and cake.  Lastly I used tip #12 to pipe dots around the border of my cakes. 


Done!  It was a little stressful because we had bad storms here, so Friday night before her party when I should have been working on the cake I was in the basement hiding out.  But we were lucky and no tornadoes.  Better safe than sorry.  Her party was a hit and she loved her cake.  So I am happy! 






Nanny Burke's Buttercream (not sure where it came from!)
-1 1/2 cups of salted butter
-1/2 cup Crisco
-1lb confectioner sugar
-1tsp vanilla

1.  Cream the butter and Crisco together until smooth.
2.  Add vanilla and confectioners sugar and mix until combined.

This post may be shared with: Flour Me With Love - Mix It Up Monday, Alderberry Hill - Make The Scene Monday, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms - Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Clairejustineoxox - Creative Mondays, Skip To My Lou - Made by You Monday, Sweetology - Tea Party Tuesday, Crazy for Crust - Crazy Sweet Tuesday, Uncommon - Uncommonly Yours, Mandy's Recipe Box - Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Reason To Skip The Housework - Tuesday Timeout, Inside Bru Crew Life - Trick or Treat Tuesday, Mrs Fox's Sweets - Sweet Party, Made Famous By - Famous Linkz Party, Junk In Their Trunk - Link It Up Wednesday, The Kings Court 4 - What's Cooking Wednesday, Hugs and Cookies XO - Wonka Wednesday, Food Corner - Midweek Fiesta, Something Swanky - Sweet Treat Thursday, These Peas Taste Funny - Link It Up Thursday, Talking Dollars and Cents - Sweet Temptations, Happy Hour Projects - Freestyle Friday, Tidy Mom - I'm Lovin' It Friday, Susie QT Pies - Happy Friday Link Up, Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons - Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday Link Party, Dwell On Joy - Dwell On Friday, Toys In The Dryer - Fun Stuff Fridays, Alli-n-Son - Sweet Tooth Friday, Crumbs and Chaos - Seasonal Inspiration, The Country Cook - Weekend Potluck, Mama Mias Heart 2 Heart - Sharing Saturday, Sweet As Sugar Cookies - Sweets for a Saturday, Randee's Organized Chaos - Sleepy Sunday, Country Momma Cooks - Saturday Link & Greet, Well Seasoned Life - Sweet Indulgences Sunday, Bacon Time With The Hungry Hypo - Crafting Cooking From The Heart Contest, Southern Mom Cooks - Valentine Party, Cupcake Apothecary - A Themed Baker's Sunday, Addicted To Recipes - Scrumptious Sunday Link Party

Monday, February 27, 2012

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Ahh - I haven't posted anything in over a week!  How did that happen?  I have been baking, but we have been so busy.  The time just flies by. 

What do I always make time for?  My favorite chocolate chip cookie of course!  Do you have a favorite cookie?   I do and it is chocolate chip.  But not any chocolate chip cookie, it has to be this one.  I have loved this cookie for as long as I can remember.  It is the only chocolate chip cookie my Mom ever made.  I have tried other recipes and they are good but for me not as good as this one!  I always come back to this recipe. 

It was in an old Better Homes and Garden cookbook of my Mom's and that cookbook fell apart so we bought a new one.  You know what?  In the new cookbook they changed the cookie recipe!!  How could they?  The new recipe is not as good as the old.  Lucky for you and me I had written the old one down!

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie (By Better Home and Garden)

- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet)

1.  Preheat oven to 375F.
2.  Cream shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until light and fluffy.
3.  Combine dry ingredients and add a little at a time to creamed mixture until well blended.
4.  Stir in chocolate chips.
5.  Drop by rounded tablespoons on to baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
6.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from baking sheet immediately to cool.

This recipe makes about 3 dozen.

I have more to post and hope to get them out this week!  Have a great week.  Can't believe March is around the corner!!


This post may be shared with: Flour Me With Love - Mix It Up Monday, Alderberry Hill - Make The Scene Monday, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms - Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Clairejustineoxox - Creative Mondays, Skip To My Lou - Made by You Monday, Sweetology - Tea Party Tuesday, Crazy for Crust - Crazy Sweet Tuesday, Uncommon - Uncommonly Yours, Mandy's Recipe Box - Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Reason To Skip The Housework - Tuesday Timeout, Inside Bru Crew Life - Trick or Treat Tuesday, Mrs Fox's Sweets - Sweet Party, Made Famous By - Famous Linkz Party, Junk In Their Trunk - Link It Up Wednesday, The Kings Court 4 - What's Cooking Wednesday, Hugs and Cookies XO - Wonka Wednesday, Food Corner - Midweek Fiesta, Something Swanky - Sweet Treat Thursday, These Peas Taste Funny - Link It Up Thursday, Talking Dollars and Cents - Sweet Temptations, Happy Hour Projects - Freestyle Friday, Tidy Mom - I'm Lovin' It Friday, Susie QT Pies - Happy Friday Link Up, Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons - Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday Link Party, Dwell On Joy - Dwell On Friday, Toys In The Dryer - Fun Stuff Fridays, Alli-n-Son - Sweet Tooth Friday, Crumbs and Chaos - Seasonal Inspiration, The Country Cook - Weekend Potluck, Mama Mias Heart 2 Heart - Sharing Saturday, Sweet As Sugar Cookies - Sweets for a Saturday, Randee's Organized Chaos - Sleepy Sunday, Country Momma Cooks - Saturday Link & Greet, Well Seasoned Life - Sweet Indulgences Sunday, Bacon Time With The Hungry Hypo - Crafting Cooking From The Heart Contest, Southern Mom Cooks - Valentine Party, Cupcake Apothecary - A Themed Baker's Sunday

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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So, have I  told you that my son doesn't like chocolate?  What you say?  A child of two chocoholics that doesn't like chocolate?  How can that be?  I know.  It drives me crazy too.  Actually, he won't eat anything brown.  No cookies, no cakes or cupcakes.  Nothing, nada, zilch.

So in an effort to entice him to eat a cookie, I made these.  I know - all the parents out there think I am lucky.  Don't worry, he gets his fill of sugar through hard candy.  That he loves!!  And I thought he would love these cookies.  You see, red is his favorite color.  Of course red - that is the color of Lightning McQueen.  Duh!!  And the chips are white so no icky brown factor for him.  I thought it would be a shoe in.  How could he refuse right?  I mean the cookies were screaming at me "eat me, eat me, EAT ME".  He refused.  Another cookie failure in his book. 

But no failure to me or my husband.  We like them.  A lot!  And they are easy to make.  So make them, enjoy.  And ponder life without anything brown.  I think it would really suck!!  If I didn't have chocolate I would go crazy.  FOR REAL!!

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies

- 1 box of red velvet cake mix
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 cup white chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.
2.  Mix the cake mix, eggs and oil until well combined.
3.  Stir in white chocolate chips
4.  Drop by large tablespoons onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
5.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until done.





This post may be shared with: Flour Me With Love - Mix It Up Monday, Alderberry Hill - Make The Scene Monday, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms - Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Clairejustineoxox - Creative Mondays, Skip To My Lou - Made by You Monday, Sweetology - Tea Party Tuesday, Crazy for Crust - Crazy Sweet Tuesday, Uncommon - Uncommonly Yours, Mandy's Recipe Box - Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Reason To Skip The Housework - Tuesday Timeout, Inside Bru Crew Life - Trick or Treat Tuesday, Mrs Fox's Sweets - Sweet Party, Made Famous By - Famous Linkz Party, Junk In Their Trunk - Link It Up Wednesday, The Kings Court 4 - What's Cooking Wednesday, Hugs and Cookies XO - Wonka Wednesday, Food Corner - Midweek Fiesta, Something Swanky - Sweet Treat Thursday, These Peas Taste Funny - Link It Up Thursday, Talking Dollars and Cents - Sweet Temptations, Happy Hour Projects - Freestyle Friday, Tidy Mom - I'm Lovin' It Friday, Susie QT Pies - Happy Friday Link Up, Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons - Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday Link Party, Dwell On Joy - Dwell On Friday, Toys In The Dryer - Fun Stuff Fridays, Alli-n-Son - Sweet Tooth Friday, Crumbs and Chaos - Seasonal Inspiration, The Country Cook - Weekend Potluck, Mama Mias Heart 2 Heart - Sharing Saturday, Sweet As Sugar Cookies - Sweets for a Saturday, Randee's Organized Chaos - Sleepy Sunday, Country Momma Cooks - Saturday Link & Greet, Well Seasoned Life - Sweet Indulgences Sunday, Bacon Time With The Hungry Hypo - Crafting Cooking From The Heart Contest, Southern Mom Cooks - Valentine Party, Cupcake Apothecary - A Themed Baker's Sunday

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cake Balls and Awards

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I love trying new things when it comes to sweets, surprised?  Ha - well I don't always love trying new things.  I just know what I like.  If I know how to do something and I like the result why change it?  I've been told change is good - but I am not so sure.  


Anyway - if you read my blog you know that I don't love dipping desserts.  It seems tedious and messy and it takes me FOREVER!  But I got a new Christmas present and have been using it a lot.


The Wilton Chocolate Melter.  It is awesome!  (No - they aren't paying me - wish they were :))  It melts my chocolate without burning it and it stays warm.  Staying warm is a huge plus for me because I am really, really slow and usually my chocolate gets cold.  So I enjoyed making these cake balls much more than I thought I would.  One of my favorite blogs, Mrs. Fox's Sweets, just made very similar cake balls.  Of course hers look fantastic!!  You should check out her post.  Her cake balls look gorgeous and next time I am going to do better.  I think mine were a little lopsided and I love the candy liner idea.

Next order of business!

I was awarded two awards this week!
 
                                                        
First I was given the Liebster award for the second time (wow!) from Crunchy Creamy Sweet.  If you haven't seen Anna's blog yet you need to fly over there!  She has so many great recipes and a baking chart page that is so cool.  It gives you all of the conversions you need.  I can never remember that 3 teaspoons equal one tablespoon. Should be easy right?  Not for me! 

A Liebster Blog Award is given to talented and loved bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

Just a few rules:
-Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
-Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
-Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.
-Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed.
-Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog.


I have given the Liebster Blog award to these five blogs that I love:

Angie's - Angie's Sweet Natured Treats
Heather's - Made Famous By....
Hayley's - The Domestic Rebel
Sarah's - Dwell On Joy


Then I found out that Randee over at Randee's Organized Chaos awarded me The Versatile Blogger award!  I am speechless!  I love Randee's blog.  She is a Mom like me and knows life can get a little chaotic.  I always relate to her posts and she makes me laugh.  Now I get to give this award to seven of my fellow bloggers and I have to tell you seven facts about myself (you guys are learning a lot about me this week!)


1.  I stay up way too late every night.  My husband and I always say we are going to go to bed early, but we don't.
2.  I love to bake but I hate to clean up! - Surprises you I know :)
3.  I have a cat named Caly, she is 15 1/2 years old.  She has been with me for a long time.  I have known her longer than my husband!
4.  I love to swim.  When we go to the pool I could spend hours (literally) in the water.  I don't mind laying in the sun - but I prefer to be in the water.
5.  I absolutely HATE to run.  No offense to the runners out there.  It just kills my shins.
6.  I was a certified step aerobics instructor and used to teach (that was a lifetime ago!)
7.  I grew up with horses and used to ride competitively.  I miss it horribly!

Whew - OK.  Now that we are best friends let me tell you who I passed on this beauty too:

Elizabeth at Act Fast Chef
Joan at Chocolate, Chocolate and More
Bridget at Flour N' Friends
Hilary at My Blog Review
Chrissy at The Taylor House
Terry at These Peas Taste Funny
Robin at Bird on a Cake

I hope all the bloggers I awarded tonight enjoy their awards!  Go check out their blogs and show them some love!  You won't be disappointed.   I love reading what everyone writes and I enjoy the blogging communtiy so much.  I am so honored to receive these awards and it make me happy to be able to share the love!

This post may be shared with: Flour Me With Love - Mix It Up Monday, Alderberry Hill - Make The Scene Monday, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms - Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Clairejustineoxox - Creative Mondays, Skip To My Lou - Made by You Monday, Sweetology - Tea Party Tuesday, Crazy for Crust - Crazy Sweet Tuesday, Uncommon - Uncommonly Yours, Mandy's Recipe Box - Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Reason To Skip The Housework - Tuesday Timeout, Inside Bru Crew Life - Trick or Treat Tuesday, Mrs Fox's Sweets - Sweet Party, Made Famous By - Famous Linkz Party, Junk In Their Trunk - Link It Up Wednesday, The Kings Court 4 - What's Cooking Wednesday, Hugs and Cookies XO - Wonka Wednesday, Food Corner - Midweek Fiesta, Something Swanky - Sweet Treat Thursday, These Peas Taste Funny - Link It Up Thursday, Talking Dollars and Cents - Sweet Temptations, Happy Hour Projects - Freestyle Friday, Tidy Mom - I'm Lovin' It Friday, Susie QT Pies - Happy Friday Link UpKitchen Fun With My 3 Sons - Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday Link Party, Dwell On Joy - Dwell On Friday, Toys In The Dryer - Fun Stuff Fridays, Alli-n-Son - Sweet Tooth Friday, Crumbs and Chaos - Seasonal Inspiration, The Country Cook - Weekend Potluck, Mama Mias Heart 2 Heart - Sharing Saturday, Sweet As Sugar Cookies - Sweets for a Saturday, Randee's Organized Chaos - Sleepy Sunday, Country Momma Cooks - Saturday Link & Greet, Well Seasoned Life - Sweet Indulgences Sunday, Bacon Time With The Hungry Hypo - Crafting Cooking From The Heart Contest, Southern Mom Cooks - Valentine Party, Cupcake Apothecary - A Themed Baker's Sunday

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chocolate Sweet Heart Cupcakes

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Before I tell you about these super cute, super EASY cupcakes we need to go over some other things!

First - Have you heard Google Friend Connect is going away?  Not really sure why.  That is how I keep up with all of the blogs I am following.  I have installed the new Linky Followers tool and Networked Blogs tool you can use to follow me if you like.  They are on the sidebar.

Second -  just wanted to say how much I appreciate every feature I have gotten on other blogs.  It really makes my day.  I absolutely love knowing that someone else enjoyed what I baked and wants to share it with their readers.  I have a page that shows all of the blogs I have been featured on.  Thanks again!

Third - Bridger from Flour n' Friends has tagged me in this fun questionnaire!  Bridget's blog is great and I love having her as one of my blog friends.  She very supportive of me and I love supporting her back!  So here I go:
12 Facts About Me:
1. I have two great kids.  Alex who is 3 1/2 and Rachel who is almost 2.  They are the best part of me!
2. I am totally a type A personality.  Very competitive, which comes out all the time.  Especially if you are playing cards with me - or any other game!
3. I have 1 sister who lives in Chicago.  Hi Kimmy!!  I want her to move to Georgia - but so far no luck.
4. I graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S. in accounting.  And I am a CPA.  I still hold my license and keep it up just in case I need it again someday!
5. I'm trying to work out more.  I can't say more because I haven't been at all!  I still have baby weight from Rachel and really would love to get back into my old clothes.  You know - great move baking all the time :)!
6.   I live in a great neighborhood with a bunch of stay at home mom's and I love when my kids play outside because it is like happy hour for me - minus the alcohol!
7.   I said I would NEVER drive a minivan because I hate the way they look and I am now secretly totally CRAVING one!  I think sliding doors would make my life so much easier!!
8.   I met my husband at work.  He is British and yes, he does speak with an accent.  But I really don't hear it anymore.
9. I don't think I am a very good writer.  After all I am a math geek, CPA.  But I think this blog is helping me become better and I hope you will put up with me.
10.  Every time one of my sweets is featured on another blog I am amazed.  I can't believe that someone else likes what I have baked.
11. I don't think I am that creative!  I am good at getting inspiration from other people and trying to make it my own.
12. I think I am pretty laid back, calm and nice.  But don't mess with my kids.  Remember that movie - The Hand That Rocks The Cradle - ?  The one with Rebecca De Mornay?  I am her - breaking kids arms on the playground if they mess with my babies!

Bridget's Questions for Me:
1. Whose your role model?  Hmmm - that is a hard one.  I have to say my Mom.  She is the kind of Mom I want to be and she is a strong woman.
2. Savory or Sweet? SWEET!!!  Although - I do like savory too!
3. Besides blogging..what's your next go to hobby?  I love to scrapbook also.
4. Goals for 2012?  Finish Rachel's baby book (she's almost 2) and lose those baby pounds :0!
5. Favorite thing to eat?  Chocolate
6. What's your guilty pleasure? Time alone, a.k.a. peace and quiet!
7. Favorite T.V show?  NCIS, The Mentalist, Person of Interest, Modern Family and Parenthood.  I couldn't pick just one!
8. Favorite thing to bake/cook?  Cupcakes.
9. How did you get into blogging?  I took a Wilton cake class and decided to bake something every week to practice my skills and get better.  Blogging was a way for me to keep track of what I had done and for my friends to see.  It has become a much bigger part of my life that I thought it would and I had no idea such a great community was out there.
10. What's your favorite thing to do on a weekend?  Relax and actually spend time with my husband.
11. If you could go on vacation anywhere, where would you go? There are so many places I haven't been.  But I have been to Australia for 3 weeks and it was so great.  I would love to go back - 3 weeks was not enough!
12. What's your favorite website? PINTEREST!  I could waste spend months there!



OH MY!!!  Back to the cupcakes: 


I first saw these cupcakes on Glorious Treats and I fell in love with them.  They are so cute and sooooo easy to make.  Bake your favorite cupcakes and make your favorite buttercream.  Once the cupcakes are cooled use serrated knife to cut the top off.


Then use a cookie cutter of your choice, I chose a heart.  The cookie cutter should be about 1" in size.  If you aren't sure just make sure that it would fit on top of a cupcake leaving a cupcake rim around the edge of the cutout.


Then frost the cupcake.  Carefully put the top of the cupcake back on over the frosting and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  That's it!!  Easy peasy.  I love these cupcakes and will be making them for every holiday :)







This post may be shared with: Flour Me With Love - Mix It Up Monday, Alderberry Hill - Make The Scene Monday, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms - Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Clairejustineoxox - Creative Mondays, Skip To My Lou - Made by You Monday, Sweetology - Tea Party Tuesday, Crazy for Crust - Crazy Sweet Tuesday, Uncommon - Uncommonly Yours, Mandy's Recipe Box - Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Reason To Skip The Housework - Tuesday Timeout, Inside Bru Crew Life - Trick or Treat Tuesday, Mrs Fox's Sweets - Sweet Party, Made Famous By - Famous Linkz Party, Junk In Their Trunk - Link It Up Wednesday, The Kings Court 4 - What's Cooking Wednesday, Hugs and Cookies XO - Wonka Wednesday, Food Corner - Midweek Fiesta, Something Swanky - Sweet Treat Thursday, These Peas Taste Funny - Link It Up Thursday, Talking Dollars and Cents - Sweet Temptations, Happy Hour Projects - Freestyle Friday, Tidy Mom - I'm Lovin' It Friday, Susie QT Pies - Happy Friday Link Up, Dwell On Joy - Dwell On Friday, Toys In The Dryer - Fun Stuff Fridays, Alli-n-Son - Sweet Tooth Friday, Crumbs and Chaos - Seasonal Inspiration, The Country Cook - Weekend Potluck, Mama Mias Heart 2 Heart - Sharing Saturday, Sweet As Sugar Cookies - Sweets for a Saturday, Randee's Organized Chaos - Sleepy Sunday, Country Momma Cooks - Saturday Link & Greet, Well Seasoned Life - Sweet Indulgences Sunday, Bacon Time With The Hungry Hypo - Crafting Cooking From The Heart Contest, Southern Mom Cooks - Valentine Party

Monday, January 30, 2012

Box of Chocolates

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"Life was like a box of chocolates...you never know what you' re gonna get"  a famous line by Forrest Gump.  Did you know he said that in 1994?  Not trying to make you feel old - or make myself feel old.  I just can't believe how long it has been.  I think that quote is so true!  No matter what you get you have got to make the best of it and decide to be happy!

I'll tell you what I got.  One of my Christmas presents was the Hello Cupcake cookbook.


I love it!  So many cool ideas of how to decorate cupcakes.  I want to make them all.  I am amazed at how creative the authors are and am hoping some of it will rub off on me!  So you will see many designs from their book - I plan on eventually working my way through the whole thing - can't believe I put that in print :). 



The Box of Chocolates was my first recipe from the book.  It uses sixteen mini cupcakes, although the chocolate box I was using only fit fourteen. 

I frosted ten of the mini cupcakes with chocolate buttercream.  I put chocolate jimmies (my favorite sprinkle in the WHOLE world) and Valentine nonpareils in two separate plates.  Then I rolled the edges of the frosted cupcakes in the sprinkles and set them aside.

I used store bought frosting for the remaining four cupcakes.  I put one cup of the frosting in the microwave for about 15 seconds until it has the texture of light whipped cream.  Then I dipped the cupcakes into the frosting.  I gave them a super smooth, darker look.  To finish them off I decorated them with different Valentine candy. I found the Valentine candy corn at Walmart. Surprisingly my candy store didn't have it - but good old Walmart did!

For the chocolate candy looking pieces that adorn some of the cupcakes I used marshmallows. I cut the marshmallows in half and then dipped them in the microwaved frosting.  I chilled them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes so the frosting could harden.  Once they were chilled I piped on a candy looking design using the buttercream in a piping bag with no tip.  Then I used a toothpick (that I cut in half) to attach them to the cupcakes.

Arranged them all in my chocolate box and then filled the empty spaces in the box with more candy.  Happy Valentine's Day - just a few weeks early!!
 


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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Candy Cane Heart Lollipops

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I'm all about not wasting any candy or junk food.  We even try not to waste any healthy food either.  We do try to use what we have and eat our leftovers.  I buy a lot of sweets and sometimes I don't use them all in a recipe so I love to find another recipe to use up my leftovers, or eat them.  We had just a few leftover candy canes from Christmas.  All over the Internet I kept seeing cute candy cane lollipops.

The candy canes that I had were full size.  I think most of the suckers are made with mini candy canes.  I had to cut my candy canes so they would make a decent looking heart.  I used a serrated knife and just did a rough measurement.

Then I positioned them in the shape of a heart on my cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and stuck them in the oven.  I baked them for 5 minutes at 300 degrees or just until they begin to melt.  Pull them out of the oven and right away put the lollipop stick in place.  You have to squeeze the melted candy cane around the stick.  Be careful they are hot! 

Make sure, before you bake them, when you are lining them up on your cookie sheet, that you leave enough room for the sticks.  I used 4.5" sticks and you can see in one spot I didn't leave myself enough room!  It was really hard to get the stick into that one.


Then I melted a few white candy melts in a disposable bag in the microwave and piped the candy into the center of the heart.  While the candy was still wet I added sprinkles.  Because everything is better with sprinkles!!






This post may be shared with: Flour Me With Love - Mix It Up Monday, Alderberry Hill - Make The Scene Monday, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms - Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Clairejustineoxox - Creative Mondays, Skip To My Lou - Made by You Monday, Sweetology - Tea Party Tuesday, Crazy for Crust - Crazy Sweet Tuesday, Uncommon - Uncommonly Yours, Reason To Skip The Housework - Tuesday Timeout, Inside Bru Crew Life - Trick or Treat Tuesday, Mrs Fox's Sweets - Sweet Party, Made Famous By - Famous Linkz Party, Junk In Their Trunk - Link It Up Wednesday, The Kings Court 4 - What's Cooking Wednesday, Hugs and Cookies XO - Wonka Wednesday, Food Corner - Midweek Fiesta, Something Swanky - Sweet Treat Thursday, These Peas Taste Funny - Link It Up Thursday, Talking Dollars and Cents - Sweet Temptations, Happy Hour Projects - Freestyle Friday, Tidy Mom - I'm Lovin' It Friday, Susie QT Pies - Happy Friday Link Up, Dwell On Joy - Dwell On Friday, Toys In The Dryer - Fun Stuff Fridays, Alli-n-Son - Sweet Tooth Friday, Crumbs and Chaos - Seasonal Inspiration, The Country Cook - Weekend Potluck, Mama Mias Heart 2 Heart - Sharing Saturday, Sweet As Sugar Cookies - Sweets for a Saturday, Randee's Organized Chaos - Sleepy Sunday, Country Momma Cooks - Saturday Link & Greet, Well Seasoned Life - Sweet Indulgences Sunday, Bacon Time With The Hungry Hypo - Crafting Cooking From The Heart Contest