Monday, February 21, 2011

Baby Rattle Pops



A precious baby is soon to come,
soft and sweet and oh so fun!

I've been to (and had, for that matter) my fair share of baby showers. As far as favors go, if you've gotta do them, may as well make them edible. 'Cause let's be honest... who really needs another dust collector that you feel obligated to display due to the off chance that your distant cousin's wife might pop in one day for a cup of tea?! Thus, the marshmallow baby rattle pop.

Knocking out 2 dozen marshmallow pops, no problem, right? Wrong! 2 dozen became 4 due to a tempering issue with the blue melting discs, uggh. (Marshmallow pop with funky white spots anyone?)

Once I overcame the botched batch of melted candy, and adding a simple twist to the basic marshmallow pop, I created 24 adorable baby shower favors.


It's a boy!


Marshmallow Baby Rattle Pops
Cut sticks to approximately 3.5 - 4". Place one large marshmallow on the end of each lollipop stick. Melt chocolate in microwave (30 second increments on defrost setting), stirring until smooth. Dip marshmallows in melted chocolate, turning to coat. Allow excess chocolate to drip off. Sprinkle with topping of choice (sprinkles, candy, nuts, etc) Let pops dry by placing bottoms of sticks into a styrofoam block, or egg carton. Once large marshmallow is completely set, place mini marshmallow on opposite end and dip. Set rattle upside down, resting on end of large marshmallow, on a wax paper lined cookie sheet allowing minis to dry. Tie a bow under large marshmallow and package.


Enjoy!


"A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for." ~ Author unknown

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Krispie Pops


Happy Valentine's Day!




Be mine!


Valentine Krispie Pops
Rice Krispie Treats
lollipop sticks
candy wafers (melting discs)
sprinkles

Make Rice Krispie Treats according to directions, cut out hearts with cookie cutter. Place on sticks and dip into melted candy wafers (melt in microwave in 20-30 second increments until smooth). Allow excess candy to drip off, add sprinkles and place on wax-paper lined cookie sheet to set. 

Enjoy!
XOXO

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Love Girl Scout Cookies...

but I REALLY love cupcakes!!


When it comes to Girl Scout Cookies, it's Peanut Butter Patties for my hubby, Thin Mints for my oldest daughter, and Thanks-A-Lot for the rest of the kids. As for me, well I don't discriminate, I like them ALL. But the Caramel deLite (or Samoa, if you so choose), across the board, is a family favorite.


The Caramel deLite cupcake has been done in many delicious ways. With my version, I wanted to keep the flavor combination as close to the real thing as possible. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And the flavor combo of the Caramel deLite most certainly ain't broke!

I made a vanilla cupcake (with a twist), caramel-coconut frosting, topped with golden coconut and a chocolate ganache drizzle. The caramel-coconut frosting took some research. I adapted the recipe from a few recipes on cooks.com, and borrowed a tip of adding confectioner's sugar from a gluten free recipe on newdiets.com.

And now for the twist...

What you can't see is that this is actually a cookie topped cupcake. I baked a vanilla sugar cookie right in to the top of the cupcake. Being my first attempt at combining the two, I wasn't quite sure where to start. Should I use raw cookie dough or partially baked? Cookie on top or on the bottom? Only one way to find out, I had to try them all.


Drumroll please...





And the winner is...partially baked cookie on top.


Cookies and cupcakes? This won't be the last!


Vanilla Sugar Cookies 
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
5 cups all-purpose flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time and add vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients. Soft dough will form. Wrap and chill for at least one hour.

Roll out dough on floured surface to approx 1/4 " thick, cut with cookie cutter shape of choice. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for approximately 8-10 minutes. (To top the cupcakes, I removed the cookies before completely baked to allow additional baking time with the cupcake batter)

*I halved the cookie recipe and still had plenty of extra dough to make a couple of dozen superbowl cut outs.


Vanilla Cupcakes
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 heaping tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup COCONUT milk (substituted coconut milk for the usual regular milk)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add cubed butter, mixing until coated with flour. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until combined. Slowly add in milk and vanilla.

Fill cupcake liners between 1/2 and 1/3 full. Bake 17-20 minutes. Cool on wire rack.


Caramel-Coconut Frosting
1/2 cup butter 
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 milk
1 to 1 1/2 cups coconut
1 cup confectioners sugar

Melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat, add coconut stirring until golden brown. Set aside approximately 1/2 cup of golden coconut for topping. Add remaining butter and brown sugar to the remainder of the golden coconut. Heat through allowing sugar and butter to melt together with coconut. Add milk and bring to a simmer, remove from heat and cool. Stir in confectioner's sugar until desired consistency (spreadable) is reached. Spread frosting on top of cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with golden coconut. 


Chocolate Ganache
8 oz chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream

Finely chop chocolate and set aside in medium bowl. Bring heavy cream to a near boil (will begin to rise up in pot). Pour heated cream over chopped chocolate whisking until smooth. Allow ganache to cool slightly before drizzling over cupcakes.

Enjoy!







Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blueberry-Cherry Crisp

Did you check out the Blueberry Cheesecake Bites? They were a hit!

For self-preservation purposes, I only made half a batch, leaving me with an excess of canned pie filling and oat crumbleLeftovers, hmm?

Leftovers are typically frowned upon by my gang. But, we do what we have to do. Waste not, want not! They've come to be known as "a smorgasbord of deliciousness" in our house. What can I say? It lightens the mood, replacing groans with giggles. Works for me!

Today's "smorgasbord of deliciousness" = blueberry crisp! (so much for self-preservation)




I usually start with fresh fruit when making pies and crisps, but like I said...waste not, want not! So in went the blueberry pie filling...




followed by some pitted fresh cherries (my fresh factor)...




topped with the crumble and baked at 350 degrees for approximately 30-40 minutes.




Leftovers, hmm?

Maybe they're not so bad after all!


Enjoy!