There. I did 2 posts with meat in, so let’s get back to the fun stuff! 😉 No, really, I am planning to keep it a little more balanced… I think anyway. Sometimes I think I should’ve named this site something like “Chocolate Dipped Tidbits” or “Living for Chocolate, Dying for Some More” and do sweets only, what with that being my passion and all.
Speaking of which, I totally get Tiffany (my 5-yr-old) in this little conversation that happened one day last week:
Her: “May I have an ice cream cone?”
Me: “No, you already had one today.”
Her: “Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease? I REALLY need one.”
Me, feeling sorry for her, but sticking to my guns: “No.”
Her, pulling out the trump card in desperation: “I’ll give you all my money if you let me have one.”
If we run out of cones and ice cream around here, my girls think it’s a real crisis. Currently, we have sugar cones (the pointy ones that sorta look like waffle cones) and regular cones in 2 sizes (the ones that are flat on the bottom and taste like newspaper just plain). These cone cake pops use the mini size of the regular cones.
Awwww, aren’t they adorable?
You really do need to see these in real life. The cuteness factor doubles from a picture to real life.
I know you can’t really tell the exact size because there’s nothing to compare it to. So, here’s one in a 13-month-old pudgy hand, if you know what size they are in real life. This is a real ice cream cone, but the same size cone.
Yeah, we’re getting Megan hooked on ice cream cones already. This size is so perfect for her because she’s done eating it by the time it starts melting and dripping.
I got this Ice Cream Cone Cake Pops idea from Bakerella’s website and her Cake Pops cookbook (which my friend Ruthie gave to me for my birthday last year… it was on my wish list, and I never told her, how cool is that?!) Bakerella used sawed-off sugar cones, but I decided to just use mini regular cones so I wouldn’t have to do all that cutting.
So here’s what you do. Take a baked cake and crumble it up and add a bought can of frosting and mix it together.
Get the leftover cake out of the freezer from a graduation cake you made earlier, thaw it, crumble it, mix up some frosting and mix a few dollops into the cake crumbs. That’s what I did. So, these cake pops were white cake mixed with cinnamon cake.
By the way, next time you’re buying cake mixes and you’re undecided on the kind, please buy a cinnamon one. This is the first time I tried it and it was SO good! You’d think I would’ve already thought to try that, what with having married into a we-love-cinnamon family. I want to make one sometime with cream cheese frosting. Mmmm mmmm mmm!!! You can use cream cheese frosting in these cake pops, but then you should refrigerate them, which is why I used regular frosting.
Here are the cake crumbs and dollops of frosting. I forgot to take a picture after it was mixed…
Roll the cake mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball, maybe a little smaller. Don’t make all those little dents in it like a golf ball has, though. Put the cake balls in the freezer for 15 minutes, then transfer them to the fridge if you’re not ready to dip yet. They should be chilled, but not frozen.
Here is when I was just ready to start. Those bowls are both melted white chocolate, but the one has pink food coloring in it. The melted milk chocolate is missed on the picture. I put some M&Ms in the bottom of the cones just for a fun surprise.
Dip a skewer in the melted chocolate, then into a cake ball. You can take a spoon and spoon some chocolate over to get it fully covered if the chocolate isn’t deep enough to fully immerse the cake ball, but don’t spin or stir or twist it around in the chocolate because crumbs may fall off or it might come apart. Then, put the drippy chocolate covered cake ball on one of these mini cones and pull the skewer out. It will kind of start to drip over the sides to make a melty look. That is a good thing.
After the cake pops are dipped and put on the cones, take another color of melted chocolate and put on top, letting it start going down the sides a bit. Put on sprinkles if you want to. Put a red M&M or peanut M&M on top for a cherry.
To make tipped over ones, put the cake ball on a flat surface instead of on a cone, then put the cone slanted on top of it. Bakerella calls this a “happy accident on purpose”. I love that term!
Now, we leave Bakerella and go on to an extra tip and idea for these from me:
1. These little things are top-heavy. So if you’re taking them somewhere, put a little bit of melted white chocolate on the bottom of the cone, then set it on the plate. In no time, it is hardened and you can move the plate around at will… without ice cream cones landing on the floor.
2. Pipe thick chocolate letters on plastic wrap or wax paper, put them in the fridge till they’re hard, and stick them to the top with a dollop or two of melted chocolate… and you’ve just personalized your cake pops to the season/event/occasion!
Here are some specific ideas:
— Write “Welcome Home” on them and put them on the counter, ready for someone coming home. That’s actually the very thing that made me think of putting letters on top of these… around the time I was making these for a church picnic, some friends of ours were coming home from a trip and I had intentions of doing that with the extra ones, but with a combo of a change of plans in my day and procrastination, they got home before I got it done. But at least I’m glad for the idea now, to use in other ways.
— Use them for the cake at a birthday party and write “Happy Birthday (insert birthday person’s name)”
— Write your kids’ names.
— Make the entire alphabet, with extra A’s, E’s, T’s, M’s, S’s, and whatever other letters are used more often. Then, let your kids play with them, writing words and phrases or even complete sentences.
And last but not least, if you love someone, do this…
You bake cookies. You could do it on autopilot. Your kids even know the drill… one time, Tiffany came out to the kitchen as I was starting cookie baking and said, “Can I help you bake cookies?”
“How did you know I’m gonna bake cookies?”, I asked.
“Because I saw you open the mixer and get that *pointing to the shortening* and the sugar out of the cupboard, and that’s how you always start baking cookies.”, she confidently said.
Sometimes I feel in such a rut with cooking and baking. When we have cookies around, 90% of the time they’re either monster or chocolate chip. When we have cake around, 90% of the time, it’s chocolate with peanut butter icing. When we have pie around, 90% of the time it’s either peanut butter or lemon meringue. And it looks like when I get into a percentage rut, it’s usually 90%. Seriously, though, if I make something other than the things listed above, you pretty much always see it on here. Sometimes I feel too predictable and want to change things up a bit…
We can still have our favorites, but in a different way.
Take chocolate chip cookies, for example. I was making some for an after school snack, so you know, for kids. Instead of using the same ol’ Pampered Chef cookie scoop, I just used a spoon and made teeny little scoops. The teeny little scoops turned into adorable 1-and-a-half-inch-in-diameter cookies. The adorable cookies, placed in a little bucket, turned into an after school snack that was a huge hit… little cookies, huge hit. They thought it was great that they could have TEN cookies for after school snack! 😉
And now, not to wreck the fun I’m-SOOOOOO-gonna-bake-cookies-this-afternoon-and-do-that-cuz-the-kids’ll-love-it mood or anything, but just let me warn you: the dough goes down v.e.r.y slowly, it takes way longer to put them on and get them off the cookie sheet, and the yield is dozens and dozens, do not even try to count.
We’re now going to switch from baking dozens of little time-consuming mini cookies to 1 pan of bars.
Let’s say you’re baking cookies and you mix the dough up and while the first panful is in the oven, you realize you’re not really in the mood to bake cookies after all… not in the mood to drop them onto the cookie sheet every 10 minutes, not in the mood to be setting your laptop down and jumping up 5 times an hour.
But, you’ve got a batch of dough sitting there.
No problem. Just spread the dough in a sheet cake pan and bake it for 25 minutes… and ta-da, bars made from your favorite cookie recipe. I just tried this for the first time about 3 weeks ago and thought it was really great that I thought to do this on my own UNTIL some of my friends said, “Oh, yeah, I do that all the time.”
Side note here: that’s my chocolate chip cookie recipe, except that I substituted FUDGE + 1 cup of flour for the chocolate chips. I had about 5 cups of fudge on hand from when I made this cake.
I was going to use the fudge in the middle layer between the 2 cakes, but then when I started spreading it on, I was afraid it would be too soft and squish out from the weight of the cake plus car on top of it (I used melted-then-hardened chocolate instead). So, I used the fudge up in those cooki— uh, I mean bars.
Another way to change up chocolate chip cookies is to mix them up and bake them, leaving out the chocolate chips. Then, melt the chocolate chips, spread them on something metal to harden and make cutouts. Or just drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies. After they’re baked, you can cut out some of the baked cookies into heart shapes… the girls (and I) did these 2 years ago for Valentines Day and we shipped them to WI to their 2 grandmas.
For cake: sometimes I do chocolate cake with peanut butter icing in a 9×13, sometimes I do it in a sheet cake pan, and once in a great while, into cupcakes. I know, exciting. 😆 Next time, I’m going to do mini ones. I made mini cupcakes for the first time last week. If you ever want to do this, one cake mix made exactly 6 dozen… I filled the wells about 3/4 full with batter. And it takes double the frosting. 😉 Pile it up even more than this… it’s part of what makes minis fun. I only made a single batch, so I couldn’t put as much on as I wanted to AND I ran out.
For pie… if you want lemon meringue pie, but not in big piece form, do this: make pie crust, cut 3″ circles, press them into mini muffin pans, and bake. Make your regular lemon pie filling and fill the crusts. Make regular meringue and pipe or dollop it on, brown it in the oven, and you’ve got these sweet li’l thangs…
You could do that with probably any kind of pie. It’s great for potlucks or snacks.
And now, still on the pie subject, the grand finale to this whole ‘switching things up’ thing… how about calorie-free… 😉
I ran across this website (April Cottage Ramblings) one day as I was surfing and immediately saved the link. Absolutely amazing!!! Seriously, this lady is talented… she KNITTED a piece of pie and a donut!!! She knits and crochets other stuff too… I fell in love with a little short-sleeved ruffly purple sweater that she made for her granddaughter. I don’t know her, and I don’t knit, but I’m very impressed. And it sounds like she’s going to knit more cakes, so I’m going to stay tuned.
Coming up next… Lately, I’ve been hungry for lettuce salad with craisins and pecans in it, so I’m going to look for a recipe like that. I don’t have one in mind, so if you have a slam good one that you’re bursting to share, let me know!
When you saw ‘Watermelon Cake’ in the title, did you think it would be a cake that tastes like watermelon or a cake that looks like watermelon? Well, whichever you thought, you were right. It’s both.
I was going back thro’ some pictures the other day and found the making of this cake from last summer. I had totally forgotten about it! So, here it is now, a year later.
These pictures are dated July 4. Uh, wait, July 4?! July 4?!!!! I’m just wondering WHY in the world was I making watermelon cake on July 4th?! It’s a holiday! I shoulda been out on a pontoon on Round Lake or at the grocery store buying burgers and brats or something! But the watermelon cake was right in among the USA jello and the flag fruit pizza and the fireworks pictures (all featured here), so… I guess it was the 4th. No wonder I forgot about it!
Watermelon Cake …from the 2002 Quick Cooking annual cookbook
1 pkg. (18 1/4 oz) white cake mix
1 pkg. (3 oz) watermelon gelatin …If you can’t find watermelon flavored, just use strawberry or something else red or pink. That’s what I did.
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups vanilla or cream cheese frosting …I used cream cheese.
Red and green food coloring
In a mixing bowl, combine dry cake mix, gelatin, eggs, water, and oil. Beat on low speed just until moistened. Beat on high for 2 minutes or until well blended. Pour into 2 greased and floured round 9″ cake pans.
Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Set aside 2 Tbsp. of frosting. Place 1 1/4 cups of frosting into a bowl; tint red. Tint remaining frosting green. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1/2 cup red frosting to within 1/4″ of edges.
Top with second cake. Frost top with remaining red frosting to within 3/4″ of egdes. Frost sides and top edge with green frosting.
Place reserved white frosting in a resealable plastic bag; cut a 1/4″ hole in one corner. Pipe around top edge of cake where red and green frosting meets.
For seeds, insert chocolate chips upside-down into cake top. Yield: 12 servings.
Ok, it’s about time to feature something sweet again, wouldn’t you say? I would! I have to force myself to try to keep this site balanced… would be more fun to have all desserts. But maybe the reason for that is because that’s the type of stuff that I
‘m addicted to get cravings for the most. So, of course it’s more fun to post about it. That’s probably why I haven’t posted the crunchy-baked fish yet that I made awhile ago.
This recipe is hand-written in my ‘blank’ cookbook. It’s my mother-in-law’s recipe. I’d never had it or even heard of it until she made it one time when my family went over to their house for a meal one time many years ago, before I even dreamed she’d be my mother-in-law someday. Ok, I’d better take that back… it may have been in my dreams for the future… 😉
I think this cake is meant to be a knock-off of the TastyKakes Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes, which are (in my opinion) the BEST in the entire TastyKake line. It does actually taste a lot like them, except those have chocolate on all 4 sides instead of just the top. Hmmmm, never thought of it till right now, but I could cut them out in circles after the peanut butter is on and dip them in chocolate. Given the choice of chocolate on 1 side or chocolate on ALL sides… that’s a no-brainer.
Peanut Butter Candy Cake
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup peanut butter
8 oz. milk chocolate chips (I used most of a 12 oz. bag)
Beat and beat the eggs. Gradually add the sugar, milk, and vanilla.
Then add the flour, salt, and baking powder. Pour into a greased jelly roll pan.
Bake 15-20 min at 350.
When you get the cake out of the oven, put dollops of peanut butter all over the cake. When it softens and melts a bit, start spreading it out until the entire cake is evenly covered. I didn’t actually measure out 1 cup for this (and probably put on over 1 cup), so don’t hold yourself to 1 cup if it seems like more would be better. Same with the chocolate.
Let the cake cool, then put it in the freezer for awhile until the peanut butter firms up. Melt the chocolate and spread on top of peanut butter. It’ll harden because the peanut butter underneath is cold.
Cut into squares. Some of my pictures got blurry, and I don’t have a good one of the cake all covered with chocolate. I really should check my pictures before eating the food!
I don’t think I need to sell the idea that this is good stuff! The cake part is kind of like a moist pound cake. Moist cake with peanut butter and chocolate… nothin’ wrong with that combo!
Tired of looking at roses? Me too! Time to dust off this site again and put something fresh on here.
I’m going to feature a full meal today, a napkin folding post soon, and hopefully some inspiration will come by the weekend for some Thanksgiving ideas!
This meal is taken out of the 2003 Quick Cooking Annual Cookbook on pages 8 & 9… I know, I’m like a broken record, Quick Cooking cookbook this, Quick Cooking cookbook that. I just love those cookbooks, and you know why? Because they have PICTURES!!!!
Pepper Jack Meat Loaf
1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute (I used an egg)
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 cup (4 oz) shredded pepperjack or monterey jack cheese, divided (I used all pepperjack cheese.)
In a lg bowl, combine the egg, bread crumbs, onion, salt, and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Press half of the beef mixture onto the bottom and halfway up the sides of a greased 8″x4″x2″ loaf pan. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese over meat to within 1/2″ of sides.
Pat remaining beef mixture over cheese.
Bake uncovered at 350 for 50 – 55 minutes until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5 min longer or until cheese is melted.
Let stand for 10 min before slicing.
Yield: 6 servings. We really liked this! It was good for something different, although I still prefer meatloaf with ketchup stuff on top. That pepperjack cheese really gave it some kick. Lexi (who is 4 and a picky eater) said it’s too spicy. Tiffany (who is 19 mos and eats anything) chowed it right down. We ate it with ketchup.
Potato Chip Potatoes
6 medium potaoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
3/4 cup crushed potato chips, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
In a bowl, combine everything, except 1/4 cup of potato chips; toss to combine.Transfer to a greased shallow 2 qt baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining potato chips. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 40 – 50 min or until potatoes are tender.
Yield: 6 – 8 servings. This was good, but nothing special. We ate it with ketchup because it was kinda blah without anything. It’s a good way to use up those last broken up chips at the bottom of the bag.
Creamy Pea Salad
2 pkgs (16 oz each) frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup diced cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced mozzarella cheese
1 medium onion, chopped (onion AGAIN!)
1 cup mayo or salad dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
In a bowl, combine everything except the bacon; mix well. Refrigerate until serving. Sprinkle with bacon.
Yield: 6 – 8 servings. Ok, I’m not even gonna pretend… this was NOT at all good! I don’t like cold peas or raw onions, but I decided to be open-minded and give it a shot, thinking maybe the other ingredients would make it good. None of the others liked it either. I ended up fishing out and eating the cheese and bacon and threw the rest away.
Chocolate Cherry Angel Cake
1 pkg (16 oz) angel food cake mix
1/3 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries, well drained
1 square (1 oz) semisweet chocolate, grated I put an ounce (at least an ounce ) of milk choc chips in a food chopper.
2 Tbsp. butter (no substitutes)
1 square (1 oz) semisweet chocolate Again, I used milk choc… I try to stick to the recipe, but with chocolate, whenever I use semisweet like the recipe says, I always end up saying ‘next time I’ll use milk chocolate’. So I’m just going to start always using milk choc the 1st time.
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 to 5 tsp. maraschino cherry juice
Maraschino cherries and fresh mint, optional
Prepare cake mix according to directions. Fold cherries and chocolate into the batter. Pour into an ungreased 10″ tube pan.
Bake at 350 for 40 – 45 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan; cool completely. Run a knife around sides of cake and remove from pan. In a saucepan, combine butter, chocolate, and corn syrup. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and cherry juice until glaze reaches desired consistency. Drizzle over cake.
Garnish with cherries and mint if desired.
Yield: 12 servings. YUM!!!! This tasted as good as it looked! If you like chocolate covered cherries, you’ll like this! Shannon doesn’t like cherries and he even kinda liked it. It would be GREAT for around Christmas time too… doesn’t it look sorta Christmas-y?