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…
This is a perfect summer snack. It’s easy to throw together and it’s cool. Perfect summer snack, as in, if you’re going to make it, summer would be the perfect time to do it. Not everything about the snack is perfect…. the taste and flavor combo is just amazing, BUT the. kids. had. sticky. e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e. I mean, when you’re talking melted caramels and marshmallows, it’s pretty much a given that it’s gonna be sticky.
And it’s also pretty much a given that it’s gonna be yummy.
So, consider the ’sticky’ a warning and the ‘yummy’ a recommendation, and then you decide from there. Maybe the time to serve it would be while the kids are out running thro’ the sprinkler or on the Slip ‘n Slide… think all mess outside and then getting washed off. Now we’re talkin’!
The main thing is that we all kept coming back for more, and they are SO good… which is why I’m posting them and will definitely make them again!
Apple Nachos …recipe taken from Taste of Home Oct/Nov 2010 magazine (and going by the picture they have with it, they only put on about an 1/8 of the topping quantities and their apples aren’t peeled)
1 Tbsp. water
30 large mashmallows
1/3 cup butter, cubed
4 medium tart apples, peeled and cut into 1/4″ slices
1/3 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
1/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. Halloween sprinkles (I skipped this)
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt caramels with water; stir until smooth. You could probably use caramel ice cream topping, but I think melted caramels would taste way better.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt marshmallows and butter. I think next time I’ll do these in the microwave too… I do it in the microwave when I make rice crispy treats, so why not for this? I also want to try just putting a a jar of marshmallow creme in the microwave and see if it melts and becomes pourable.
Arrange apple slices on a large platter.
Drizzle with caramel. Love that phrase, the word ’drizzle’ bumps it up a level. “Put the caramel on” just wouldn’t have the same ring to it.
Top with marshmallow mixture.
Sprinkle with peanuts, chocolate chips, and sprinkles.
Serve immediately. Not kidding about serve immediately… we didn’t eat the entire thing and a couple hours later, it was kind of milky and liquidy between the apples and caramel and the marshmallow stuff firmed up. It was fine, just not as easy to eat because huge chunks of toppings wanted to come along with each bite. Still tasted great, though!
If cooking was basketball, this would be a slam dunk! Seriously, these little things are aWeSOmE!!! (I only put 3 exclamation marks there because I know some people get annoyed when bloggers go wild with exclamation marks, but in my mind, I’m adding about 30 more.) You’ve gotta try them… your taste buds will love you. They won’t take much of your time… 40 min from walking into the kitchen to popping one in your mouth.
What was it that you could be doing 40 minutes from now?
Ok, just wanted to be sure you caught that.
Here’s a little unnecessary tidbit… I made these with one hand. I was going to quickly get them into the oven before putting Megan down for a nap. Well, just as I was ready to start, she got crabby and clingy, it was over, naptime was NOW.
Unless I was holding her.
So, I thought ‘oh well, no age is too young to start training a little cook’. Actually, I didn’t think that, I just thought it right now, but it would’ve been a cool reason to hold her while making these! So, yeah, from measuring the first ingredient to spooning the batter into the pan (including taking pictures), I had a 24-lb 10-month-old on my hip. She was tired enough to just lazily watch and not grab stuff. Then, while they were baking, I put her to sleep. Yep, I rock my babies to sleep. My babies were never trained to just lay down and go to sleep on their own. Not saying it’s for everyone, but it’s definitely for me. It’s 18 months out of each of their little lives that I rock them to sleep and that’s some cozy little moments that I’ll never regret. And it gives me plenty of time to try to memorize the feel of them in my arms in hopes that when they’re all grown up, I can reach in and grab those memories again… and remember.
Ok, where was I? (Yeah, I know this is a cooking blog, but I don’t do a personal blog, so I like to (and my mom likes me to) stir bits of life into here sometimes.)
Donut Muffins …taken from here, but I’d have probably never found and tried them if my friend Diane hadn’t alerted us to them on a message board I frequent. So, Diane, if you’re reading this, thanks a ton!
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup margarine, melted (I used butter)
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup flour
1/4 cup margarine, melted (it’s up to you… you can either add a few Tbsp more right away or you can melt more butter when you’re running out halfway through dipping them )
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375. Grease 24 mini-muffin cups. Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup margarine, and nutmeg in a bowl.
Stir in the milk, then mix in the baking powder and flour until just combined.
Fill the prepared mini muffin cups about half full. Yeah, I know these aren’t all evenly filled, but I was never a perfectionist, and probably never will be. Plus, I was holding a baby and by this time, my left arm was starting to kill me.
Bake until the tops are lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes. During this time, a mouth-watering nutmeggy smell will be wafting throughout your house. While muffins are baking, place 1/4 cup of melted margarine in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon. Remove muffins from their cups, dip each muffin in the melted margarine, and roll in the sugar-cinnamon mixture.
Let cool and serve. I don’t know WHY it says ‘cool and serve’! I say ’serve warm’! I only had one and that was a warm one and it was such incredible melt-in-your-mouth awesomeness that I’d try to serve them warm on purpose, if possible.
I don’t know what category to put these in. They’re so versatile.
– Make them for an after school snack.
– Take them to a ‘bring food’ church function.
– Make them for brunch.
– Serve them for dessert.
– Make them this evening for a bedtime snack.
Coming up next… a Lightning McQueen cake.
Really mini. Not 4″ pie pans.
Not cupcake pans.
These were made in mini muffin pans.
These are perfect for a bring-a-salad-or-dessert church gathering. You know, there are 20 desserts to choose from and you have a hard time narrowing it down to 5 and one of the desserts calling to you is pie cut into 8 pieces. A piece of pie is a complete dessert, so there goes the rest of the selections. I decided to try making little individual pies instead of a couple big lemon meringue pies to take to the Fall Praise Social picnic this past Sunday evening. And it worked! With these little things, you can have a taste of lemon meringue pie without passing up the pecan bars, eclair dessert, monster cookies, and fresh peach delight.
Use your regular lemon meringue pie recipe or use my favorite recipe featured here. Roll the crust a bit thinner than usual, then cut out circles. The tube of my Pampered Chef Measure-All Cup was the perfect size for circle-cutting. Then, press them into the mini muffin pan and bake at 375 for about 10 minutes. Make the filling and spoon into crusts. Make the meringue and spoon on top of filling. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes. Should be easy to remember… everything to bake gets baked at 375 for about 10 minutes.
Here’s the process in pictures:
They tasted exactly like lemon meringue pie. I guess that would make sense, what with using that recipe and all. They’re long gone, and I just feel like snitching one off the picture and inhaling it in 2 bites.
In other news, you may want to stay tuned. I think I might blog live this evening for a couple hours. Lexi is planning to make supper. She’s 6. She feels quite capable and wants me to leave her alone in the kitchen with her cookbooks. Tiffany and I are allowed to help her by setting the table and we also may carry things to the table like bbq sauce and salt & pepper. I think she’s in for a bit of surprise and will end up needing more help than she thinks she will. Here is the menu she picked out (going by pictures in cookbooks): Easy Mac n Cheese, Crunchy Chicken Tenders, Trees with Cheese, and Puddin’ Cones. She gets home from school around 4:15. Supper is scheduled for 6:30.
Oh, and did I mention that she doesn’t know the difference between a teaspoon and a Tablespoon?
Well, it’s that time of the year again. School has started, or is starting soon (unless you’re in Peru, where I just found out that ’summer vacation’ is in the winter).
The kids come home from school,
…and they are STARVING!!!!! Or so they think.
I remember that when I was a schoolgirl too. I NEEDED a snack. I was starving. We lived 1/2 mile from school and half of that distance was our 1/4 mile long lane. We’d often walk to school and sometimes Mom would put the snack on a platter and walk out to meet us, disperse the snacks, and we’d all walk together to the house, munching away. Good memories. My favorite snack of all is when she’d mix peanuts, chocolate chips, and marshmallows and put them in little cups.
Renita was telling me about an after school snack that she makes sometimes for her boys. So, yesterday I stole her idea and made it too. Here it is.
1 can refrigerated biscuits
Oil or shortening for frying
I put about a cup of shortning in a small pan and heated it to about 375 degrees. Take each biscuit and make a hole in the middle with something round.
If you use the Grands biscuits with flaky layers, split them in half (where 2 of the layers meet)… makes so they aren’t doughy in the middle when the outside is done. And it also makes twice as many donuts that way. Is donuts spelled ‘donuts’ or ‘doughnuts’? I’ve seen it both ways, not sure what the difference is except that one way is shorter, so I’ll stick with that one. Fry the donuts in oil for 45 seconds - 1 minute per side.
Drain on paper towel.
Coat with powdered sugar.
Only 3 ingredients.
Other after school snack ideas:
— Apples with peanut butter
— Cookies and milk
— Their leftover lunch
— Nachos with salsa (serving of tortilla chips spread out on plate and sprinkled with shredded cheese and microwaved for about 20 seconds to melt the cheese)
— Graham crackers with milk
— Reeses Puffs
— Salties (chips, pretzels, Cheetos, party mix, etc.)
That’s all that came to my mind right now. What do you give your kids for an after school snack? Or do you say, “Go look in the kitchen, see what you can find.”? Today, I was in the middle of doing laundry, so I said that and they found goldfish crackers and drank chocolate milk.