Vanilla Bean Whoopie Pie Frosting Recipe

WHOOPIE FOR SPRING AND FOR A WHOOPIE PIE FROSTING RECIPE: With Easter right around the corner one of the most popular recipes always comes to mind, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. I love carrot cake, but I am that one person who always scrapes off the frosting. Cream cheese and I will never be friends, unless it’s safely hidden in a chocolate cheese cake! I have an alternative frosting option for others like me, Vanilla Bean Whoopie Pie Frosting to the rescue!

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A CLASSIC MAINE DESSERT: Whoopie pies are a trademark dessert, about as Maine as lobster, moose, blueberry pie and pine trees! There are many different version of whoopie filling and the one I use tastes just like vanilla ice cream, making it perfect for cupcakes of all flavors! The most important ingredient is Fluff. I am sure there are other versions of marshmallow cream out there, but Fluff is the only one I use. The second most important is vanilla bean paste. This really makes the frosting taste like ice cream!

Let the frosting fun begin!

Let the frosting fun begin!

TIME TO GET STARTED: I leave the butter out on the counter for a few hours. You want it soft, but still a bit cool to the touch. If you soften it too much it can make your frosting thin. Once it’s reaches the perfect consistency I cream the butter and one of my most favorite baking ingredients, vanilla bean paste together. You can use a good quality vanilla extract as well; you just won’t have those delightful little vanilla bean specks in your frosting. Next I cream in the fluff and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen and humidity you will use anywhere between 2 and 2 ½ cups of confectioners’ sugar. After you have added two cups, check to see if it is a good consistency for frosting cupcakes and add more sugar if needed at this stage.

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CUPCAKE FROSTING TIME: I always have disposable frosting bags and my jumbo open star tip ready to go! I just snip the end of the frosting bag so it’s wide enough at the end to fit the very end of the frosting tip. You do not need couplers for jumbo frosting tips. I usually place the frosting bag and tip in a large glass to make filling it with much easier. Swirl the desired amount of frosting on the top of your cupcake and add fun spring colored sprinkles if you wish! I always add sprinkles after frosting just 3 or 4 cupcakes at a time so the frosting is still wet allowing them stick. We used our spring butterfly sprinkles and spring mix non pareils that matched our polka dot baking cups and mini dessert shovels really well!

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This frosting is so easy and so delicious it will quickly become one of your favorites! I already have another fun recipe in mind we will share in a future post. In the photos I use jazzed up boxed carrot cake mix to save time. I replaced the oil with melted butter, added a splash of vanilla and more of my favorite carrot cake spices to give it a bit more flavor. If you like nuts some chopped pecans or walnuts would be nice to add to the batter as well.

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Vanilla Bean Whoopie Pie Frosting Recipe
2- 2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
7.5 ounce jar Fluff (Marshmallow Cream)
2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste or vanilla extract

In a large bowl cream the butter and vanilla bean paste together. Add the Fluff and continue beating. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar. Once you have added 2 cups, check the consistency to see if it’s thick enough to pipe onto cupcakes. If not add more confectioners’ sugar a bit at time until it’s just thick enough. Fill a frosting back fitted with the jumbo tip of your choice and pipe the frosting on to your cupcakes.

SHOPPING LIST OF SUPPLIES USED THAT WE CARRY:
jumbo open star frosting tip
disposable frosting bags
polka dot baking cups & mini dessert shovel set
spring butterfly sprinkles
spring dot paper straws

We hope you give this frosting recipe a try and have fun creating your own spring treats and display. We sure had fun with ours! Did you see the cute felt bows on the milk bottles and the jumbo polka dot confetti we used on the backdrop?! Fun confetti’s are coming to our shop soon!

Happy baking!
~the girls

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post written by Shauna and photographed by Esther

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Easter Peeps Ice Cream Cones

We have another cute ice cream cone project for you today! While browsing the seasonal candy aisle I came across some edible Easter grass and thought it would be perfect for making ice cream cone favors this year. This project is nice and simple for an easy last minute Easter Treat!

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What you need:
Malted Milk Chocolate Eggs
Edible Easter Grass
Peeps Dark Chocolate Dipped Chicks
Waffle Cones
Cello Cone Bags
Twist Ties or Bakers Twine

We started by tucking some of the malted milk chocolate eggs in the bottom of the cones for a sweet surprise! You could also use jelly beans or any other small Easter candies you happen to have on hand.

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Next, we placed the edible Easter grass over the eggs, making a little nest for our chick. You just need a little bit of the grass for this part! It took a few tries to get just the right amount.

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Place the chick in the nest to help hide the treats in the cone!

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For the final step place the each Easter cone in a cello cone bag and close with a twist tie or bakers twine bow. Now you have a sweet little Easter treats with a surprise inside to hand out to all your guests!

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Post written by Shauna & photographed by Esther.

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S’mores Doughnut Recipe & Dessert in a Jar

WE HAVE A SWEET RECIPE TO SHARE WITH YOU: Mini s’mores doughnuts that you can make in a Babycakes doughnut maker! We also share a bonus dessert that you can make with your extra doughnuts. How does a s’mores dessert in a jar sound?! The full recipe and tips on how to make the s’mores dessert in a jar are listed below.

WE HAVE A CONFESSION TO MAKE…we had fun last Friday making our first attempt of mini doughnuts in our new doughnut maker but we have to admit they were not edible! This was completely our fault, not the maker. Let’s just say when your baking powder expires it can really affect how baked goods rise and taste. We made them look pretty, but they were very dense and just not up to our standards. I took a trip to the store to get a fresh can of baking powder and a few other fun ingredients. The idea of a “s’mores” doughnut recipe had been floating in my mind. This time they came out great so we now have a fun recipe to share with you! The house filled with the aroma of vanilla and a touch of cinnamon and I had the chance to use my mini dessert torch from the cupboard..fun, fun!

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THINGS WENT SMOOTHER THIS TIME AROUND: We adapted the sour cream doughnut recipe that comes in the instruction book of the Babycakes Doughnut Maker and turned it into a fun “smores” doughnut. It always amazes me how a couple fun ingredients can change or enhance a recipe. We added vanilla bean paste (my mother calls this liquid gold it is SO good, if you are an avid baker and have not used this we suggest getting some…it will change your life!), crushed up teddy grahams, mini chocolate chips and a touch of cinnamon.

With baking you learn from doing. Since the chocolate doughnuts we made the other day were a bit dense (not sure if that was because of the expired baking soda, the homemade buttermilk or over mixing the batter) I decided to mix the batter by hand this time. I added in the extra ingredients that turned the plain sour cream doughnut recipe into something special! The s’mores doughnut was born!

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THE SPECIAL INGREDIENTS: I put 1/2 cup of the teddy grahams into a quart size freezer bag and crushed them up using the bottom of a measuring cup. My thought was to add the crumbs to the batter to give it a little more flavor. NOTE: I would probably leave the crumbs a little more coarse the next time I make this recipe so when you take a bite you can see more of the crumbs inside the doughnut. I added the same amount of mini chocolate chips to the batter (1/2 cup). They worked great and as you can see from the one I took a bite of you can see the chips speckled throughout the doughnut. One tablespoon of vanilla bean paste and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon was also added and took these doughnuts to the next level!

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DESSERT TORCHES ARE GOOD FOR MORE THAN JUST CREME BRULEE: Once the doughnuts were cooled, we drizzled the tops with the same Wilton Chocolate Glaze that we used the other day. I crumbled up more of the teddy grahams to sprinkle on top of the glaze and then added some cute extra mini marshmallows. Toasted marshmallows is one of the things that makes a s’more a s’more. I used my mini dessert torch and it worked perfectly for toasting the extra mini marshmallows that I found at a local Amish store. Be very careful when using the torch, it only took a second or 2 to get them toasted. You need to wave the flame a few inches away from the marshmallows in a back and forth motion. If you get too close they might catch on fire. You may need to practice a bit. See the full recipe below and for another way to use these doughnuts in a dessert.

A mini dessert torch can be used for more than just creme brulee!

A mini dessert torch can be used for more than just creme brulee!

BALL JARS ON THE COUNTER = THE BIRTH OF THE S’MORES IN A JAR: While looking at the pile of doughnuts I had just made I noticed an assortment of ball jars I had sitting on the counter and realized that the mini doughnuts might fit in the jars….and they did! How cute would s’mores doughnut desserts in a jar be! They would be great to use at a bridal shower, rustic wedding, movie night or camp dessert by the fire.

For a single small serving the 4 oz jar worked great. One doughnut fit on the bottom. You could layer on top of the doughnut some chocolate glaze or hot fudge sauce and then a layer of frosting or fluff and top with mini size marshmallows. We used the regular size mini marshmallows that you can easily find at the grocery store for this dessert. For the larger 8 oz jars I was able to fit 3 doughnuts and layered between them is whipped vanilla frosting that I sprinkled with mini chocolate chips. I toasted the marshmallows with the mini dessert torch and viola…you have a cute and yummy dessert in a jar! Tie some bakers twine around the top and add one of our cute wooden dessert spoons to create a pretty presentation!

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MINI S’MORES DOUGHNUT RECIPE

(adapted from the sour cream doughnut recipe in the Babycakes Doughnut Maker instruction book)

        • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
        • 1/3 cup sugar
        • 1 tablespoon baking powder
        • 1/2 teaspoon salt
        • 1/2 cup milk
        • 1/4 cup sour cream
        • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
        • 1 egg
        • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
        • 1/2 – 1  teaspoon cinnamon – optional but makes them oh so good!
        • 1/2 cup teddy graham crackers that you will crush up + more for the garnish
        • 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
        • Wilton chocolate brownie glaze or you can make a chocolate glaze
        • extra mini size marshmallows for the garnish

Directions:

Plug in the doughnut maker so it can preheat while you are preparing the batter.

1. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl including the crushed teddy grahams and mini chips.

2. In a separate bowl combine all of your wet ingredients and whisk together until all is blended.

3. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. I found mixing by hand until all was combined worked better than using a mixer especially since this version has mini chips in it.

4. Fill a plastic disposable frosting bag with the batter and snip off end so you can pipe into the preheated doughnut maker. Filling the bottom half of the cavity worked good for this recipe. Each reservoir holds about 2 tablespoons of batter.

5. Bake for about 4-5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the doughnut comes out clean.

6. Once the doughnuts are cooled you can add the chocolate glaze to the tops. You want to use a glaze that is thick and will set up well. We piped it on the doughnut by putting it in a plastic frosting bag with just the tip snipped off so we could make nice squiggles with the glaze.

7. Sprinkle the glaze with some of the crushed teddy grahams.

8. Add some of the extra mini marshmallows before the glaze set so they will stay in place.

9. If you have a mini dessert torch you can toast the tops of the marshmallows.

BONUS DESSERT – S’MORES DOUGHNUT DESSERT JARS

As mentioned earlier in the post if you are making a big batch of doughnuts and want to create an extra special treat you can use some of the doughnuts to create some yummy desserts in a jar. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the doughnuts fit in the small ball jars. They were the perfect size and would save you from cutting out rounds of cake to make a layered dessert in a jar. I can’t wait to try out some different cake recipes to make some new flavor combinations. The nice part of baking is trying different things out and seeing what works. Sometimes a mistake can turn into the best thing that could have happened!

We hope you enjoyed and give this fun recipe a try!
~the girls

Don’t forget to enter our GIVEAWAY for your chance to win your very own doughnut maker prize pack so you can try out this recipe. Contest ends Sunday 4.6.14 so get your entries in and please share with your friends! We have 2 great prizes to be won! Good luck! Head over to that post to enter our giveaway: http://www.thebakersconfections.com/mini-doughnuts-plus-a-giveaway/

WE’RE CELEBRATING THE OPENING OF OUR NEW PARTY SUPPLY SHOP – all orders made in The Bakers Party Supply shop through 4.6.14 will get a FREE GIFT!

Post written and photographed by Esther

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Mini Doughnuts PLUS a Giveaway!

GRAND OPENING! 

Boy, we have something extra special in store for you this week! We had fun in the kitchen last Friday making mini chocolate doughnuts in the Babycakes Mini Doughnut Maker, so much fun that we bought a second one for a lucky person to win! Whoo-hoo!

We are celebrating the re-launching of our blog AND the GRAND OPENING of THE BAKERS PARTY SUPPLY SHOP, our second online baking and party supply shop!  See below for all the details on how to enter! We have 2 great prizes to be won and ALL ORDERS in our new shop this week will get a FREE SURPRISE GIFT in with their order!

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EASY TO USE AND FAST: The mini doughnut maker was super easy to use! We made the chocolate doughnut recipe from the little instruction-recipe book it comes with. We had to make a few substitutions since I forgot to buy buttermilk. Thankfully the recipe book told how to make some with milk and vinegar. The machine heated up quick and the mini doughnuts baked up really fast (about 4 minutes). Before long we had quite the pile of mini chocolate doughnuts and had to decide how we wanted to decorate them.

TIP FOR THE BATTER:  The recipe book suggested putting the batter in a plastic bag and then snipping off the end so you can easily squeeze the batter in the doughnut cavity on the machine. Well I must have squeezed a bit too hard because I popped a hole in the side of the bag. Shauna had a BRILLIANT idea of using one of our plastic disposable frosting bags since the plastic is a bit thicker and that worked GREAT! We are including a set of our frosting and now doughnut batter bags (lol) in with our grand prize! Scroll down to see how to enter and what fun things you have a chance to win!

Chocolate glaze on a chocolate doughnut...yum, yum!

Chocolate glaze on a chocolate doughnut…yum, yum!

SPRING ARE YOU EVER COMING?: Since we are really trying hard to think SPRING we wanted to showcase some of our fun pastel colored sprinkles on the doughnuts. For the glaze we used Wilton Chocolate Glaze that I had picked up for impromptu baking projects. It is always good to keep a few baking staples in your pantry! You could make one of the glazes listed in the recipe book or make your own. The Wilton chocolate glaze was easy to use and it was nice and thick so it didn’t run down the sides of the doughnuts. We heated it up in the container it came in (following the instructions, making sure not to overheat it) and then transferred some to a quart size freezer bag (or use one of our disposable frosting bags) where we snipped just a little of the tip off so we could apply some squiggles to the top of the doughnut. If the glaze is too hot it can drip so getting it warm enough but not too hot worked best. Decorate the doughnuts one at a time since you don’t want the glaze to set up before you get the pretty sprinkles you are using on them.

ANOTHER USE FOR AN EGG CUP: Egg cups work great to hold sprinkles too! If you are having a doughnut making party they are a fun way to display the toppings you will be using!

All dressed up!

All dressed up!

ALL DRESSED UP AND READY TO GO….GO WHERE YOU SAY?:  What goes better with doughnuts than a glass of milk….or a shot glass of milk since these are mini doughnuts!

When I see a good bargain on something I can use in a future project or photo shoot I grab it. I remembered some pretty shot glasses I had purchased (or had been given to me by my mother who tends to do the same thing) and was lucky enough to remember where I had stashed them. They have a pretty pop of color at the bottom of the glass and were nice wide, short shot glass, almost a mini rocks glass style. So where were the doughnuts going?…on top of the shot glass, of course! This made for a fun display and a cute way to serve them for a brunch, birthday party or snack. We cut down some of our spring polka dot paper straws and that just sealed the deal….mini spring doughnut cuteness!

SHOPPING LIST of the items we carry that were used in our project:
disposable frosting bags – to help get the dough in the maker a little more easily
mini pastel confetti dot quin sprinkles
pastel rainbow non pareil mix sprinkles
pastel mix baby sugar pearls
spring polka dots paper straws

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RECIPE ALERT: Stay tuned! Later this week we will post a fun recipe for another style of mini doughnuts that we are working on!

Don’t forget to see the below details on how you can enter for a chance to win one of our great prizes!! Contest starts Monday 3/31/14!

OUR NEW BAKING AND PARTY SHOP IS OFFICIALLY OPEN!

We have been working very hard getting product listings added to our new shop. We are excited to announce that we are NOW OPEN! We have a great assortment of products available and will be adding more to the shop each week. Fun NEW products are coming soon (balloons, confetti and more)! We have a TON to get listed in our sale section too! Please stop by and shop all the baking and party goodness we have to offer!

REMEMBER: ALL ORDERS MADE IN OUR NEW SHOP, The Bakers Party Supply Shop, FROM 3/30/14 – 4/6/14 (midnight est) WILL GET A FREE SURPRISE GIFT IN YOUR ORDER! We’ve got some fun prizes packed up! Plus orders over $100 always ship for FREE!

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DID SOMEONE SAY GIVEAWAY?!

Help spread the word on our fun little blog and new baking and party supply shop! We have some great prize packs you can enter for a chance to win!

One lucky winner will win our GRAND PRIZE which contains:
Babycakes mini doughnut maker
Pretty baking apron
2 oz jar of pastel non pareil sprinkles
2 oz jar of mini pastel dot quin sprinkles
2 oz jar of pastel mix baby sugar pearls
a set of 10 disposable frosting-doughnut batter plastic bags

2nd place wins this fun prize pack:
18 white tin tie treat bags with window
Lime bakers twine spool
18 assorted pin back buttons in a mix of hearts, stars and “Thank you”

ENTER BELOW:

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

We hope you enjoy and good luck to all that enter!
~the girls

This promotion is open to those 18 years or older with a valid United States shipping address. Void where prohibited.

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Rainbow Party Dessert Display & Tips

RAINBOW PARTY DISPLAY: There is just something about rainbows and that color combination that just seem to make you smile. I love color (who doesn’t!) and it seems to be a big part of whatever project I am working on creative or otherwise. Color = happiness! And for a party, you can’t go wrong with all the colors of the rainbow! It is a classic theme that can be used for kids of all ages and has so many ways that you put your twist on it.

Now that is color for the eyes!

Now that is color for the eyes!

We had such a fun time with our fruity “nerd-y” rice crispy treat recipe that it inspired us to design a fun rainbow party spread. Maybe we can help inspire you on how to put together a dessert display, create layers by using items you may already have and show you fun ways to use some of our party products. Many can be used in multiple ways.

Using old wooden crates to of varying sizes and heights add some interest to the tabletop.

Using old wooden crates to of varying sizes and heights add some interest to the tabletop.

FLEA MARKET FINDS: When the weather is nice and the outdoor flea markets are open on Route 1 along the southern coast of Maine I love to take a day off and see what treasures I might find to use in my product shots or styled displays. Many of the wooden crates used in this display were finds I got last fall. I scored 4 old crates that day. One was an old fish stick box from a company in Portland, Maine. Who knew fish sticks once came packaged in wooden crates…but I digress…the point to all of this is if you like creating fun displays for desserts or a party spread simple wooden crates, boxes or other fun containers that you may already have or collected can be quite helpful. They can also add a bit of charm to your display. Adding some height to the table by using different size containers will not only add some eye appeal but create different platforms for you to display different kinds of treats or types of food.

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DESSERTS AND PARTY FAVORS MINGLING TOGETHER: Depending on the style of dessert or party scape you are creating there are many different ways you go about selecting what to make and offer. A fun idea we used here was to incorporate party favors and take away treats right into the dessert display. Letting the party favors add some of the decoration to the table saves you on coming up with other items to use as decorations and shows off the goodies you have to give out to your guests. Who doesn’t like leaving a party with a little sweet treat to be enjoyed later!

White tin tie treat bags filled with our bite sized fruity nerd-y rice crispy treats.

White tin tie treat bags filled with our bite sized fruity nerd-y rice crispy treats.

TAKE AWAY TREATS: When you think about what to offer as a take home treat or favor think about who might be enjoying them. Having some that are larger if adults or a family is attending is a nice idea. A few could enjoy the white tin tie bags that are filled with bite size rice crispy treats as it is a larger sized favor. Kids would have fun opening the small stripe boxes filled with little candies or a trinket. To make the little favor boxes shown below a little more fun we glued our cute “thank you” flat back buttons to the sides of the boxes. Don’t they look nice!

Small favor boxes with little treats tucked inside.

Small favor boxes with little treats tucked inside.

SWEET & SALTY…YUM YUM: Chocolate drizzled pretzel rods are an easy and fun treat to add to a dessert display and gives you an item that is sweet and salty, who doesn’t love that! When planning a big spread it is nice to have a few items that are quick and easy so you can highlight your homemade goodies and offer a few options that will save you time in the kitchen. Not wanting to fight with getting the full rod dipped in chocolate like I’ve made in the past I thought just drizzling some on and adding fun rainbow sprinkles might be fun. We used our “boys rainbow” non pareil mix and our mini rainbow confetti dot quins. I liked that you could see a little more of the pretzel rod by decorating it this way. This saves you on time, how much chocolate you would need and helps cut down the sugar a bit. We have plenty of sugar used elsewhere on the display!

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DESSERT DISPLAY TIP RECAP:

  • use containers, boxes or vases that you already have to add interest and height to your table top and display
  • offer a variety of desserts and treats in different sizes to add interest and appeal to different taste buds
  • to cut down on extra decorations decorate your display with your take away treats and party favors
  • add easy to make or assemble goodies in with your homemade treats to save you prep time
  • most importantly leave yourself enough time to ENJOY what you have created and capture it by taking a few photos before the party begins and while people are enjoying it!
Little pails with little treats...aren't they just oh so sweet!

Little pails with little treats…aren’t they just oh so sweet!

SHOPPING LIST of some of the fun items used in the display:
thank you flatback buttons used on the small stripe boxes
rainbow party favor pins used on the white tin tie bags
small stripe favor boxes
small rainbow dot cone bags
rainbow cupcake rings
white tin tie bags
mini confetti dot quins
rainbow bakers twine
small ice cream-treat cups
candy favor pails

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We hope you enjoyed looking at our rainbow party display and found some of our tips helpful!
~the girls

Post written and photographed by Esther

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Fruity “Nerd-y” Rice Crispy Treats

Supplies for our colorful & "fruity" project!

Supplies for our colorful & “fruity” project!

This week we thought we would have a little fun with rice crispy treats! We were inspired to spruce up the traditional recipe and came up with Fruity “Nerd-y” Rice Crispy Treats! We just added a few new ingredients for these colorful and flavorful snacks, including Rainbow Nerds candy!

To get started melt the butter over medium heat and add your marshmallows. We opted for mini marshmallows since they melt faster. If you are lucky enough to have a Hannaford Supermarket in your area, their mini marshmallows are simply the best after testing out nearly every brand we could get our hands on over the years! Once you have melted your marshmallows, here is where the fun starts to happen! We used the LorAnn Oils Super Strength Flavors to add a burst of fruity flavor! Add ½ to 1 full dram of the flavor of your choice to the melted marshmallow, we went with Orange Oil since we thought it would pair well with the dark chocolate we would be drizzling on them. BAKING TIP: the super strength flavors and oils pack a flavor punch that is 3x or 4x traditional alcohol-based extracts.

Next is the color! We made two batches using a nice bright yellow for one and electric blue for the other. We just love Americolor brand food coloring for the ease of use with the squeeze bottle and the wonderfully vibrant colors they create! When you are adding food coloring to the marshmallow, make sure to go about 1 or 2 shades brighter than you want since it will lighten a bit when you add the cereal. Once you get the flavor and color completely mixed to the marshmallow add the cereal and stir until it’s all coated. Press into a greased 8×8 or 9×9 inch square baking pan. For easy removal line the pan in tinfoil or parchment paper sprayed with vegetable oil so you can lift the treats out when cooled.

Color time! These are gonna be bright!

Color time! These are gonna be bright!

Once your treats have cooled, it is time to decide how you want to present them. We decided to cut half of the pan into rectangles (about 2”x3”) to make into rice crispy pops and the other half into 1.25” mini bites! If you are making pop, make sure to insert the lollipop or popsicle sticks before you start decorating. Place the pops and/or mini bites on a tray slightly spaced to begin the decorating process.

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Now on to the chocolate! We find that Ghiradelli Melting Wafers or Candiquik work great for chocolate drizzle and the best part is you do not need to know how to temper them! To melt this type of chocolate place it in a heavy-duty 1 quart freezer bag. Chop the chocolate into small pieces if you are using Candiquick. (PERSONAL CAUTIONARY TALE: Do NOT use regular sandwich bags, they explode EVERY TIME when you go to drizzle, trust us!) This is the easiest method of melting chocolate for drizzling that will leave very little clean-up. Microwave in 20-30 second increments until the chocolate is just melted. Make sure not to overheat the chocolate by taking it out of the microwave after each increment and squishing it around to smooth out any chunks and hot spots.

When the chocolate is completely melted, snip the tip of one corner and you are ready to decorate! We typically drizzle the chocolate on a few treats at a time, and then sprinkle on the Nerds. This prevents the chocolate from hardening before you have the chance to decorate them. We picked up a few boxes of Rainbow Nerds to use, then discovered there was no red and hardly any blue. We of course remedied this by buying more individual boxes of nerds (you know the fun single packs and the dual flavor packs) to get all of the rainbow colors!

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After the treats are decorated and chocolate has cooled store them in an airtight container until you are ready to serve. For party favors you can fill our tin tie bags with the mini bites. You can also place a flat wooden popsicle stick in them for rice crispy pops! To make the pops air tight, place them in a clear cello bag and close with a twist tie or bakers twine! With all the color and flavor possibilities these are just the perfect treats for any party!

How fun are these!

How fun are these!

Fruity “Nerdy” Rice Crispy Treats Recipe

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1- 10.5oz bag of mini marshmallows
6 cups rice crispy cereal
1 dram of LorAnn Oils Super Strength Flavors (flavor of your choice)
Americolor Food Coloring of your choice
3-4 oz of chocolate candy coating (Ghiradelli Melting Wafers or Candiquik)
1/2 -3/4 cup Nerds Candy
flat wooden ice cream sticks
tin tie treat bags

Place the butter in a large pan and melt over medium heat. Once the butter is completely melted add your marshmallows. Stir until the marshmallows are smooth and melted, then remove from heat. Add ½ – 1 dram of LorAnn Oils flavor and a few squirts of food coloring to the marshmallow mixture. Once you reach the desired color add the cereal.
Mix until all the cereal is coated, then press into a greased 8×8 or 9×9 inch pan. Cool completely before cutting into desired size & shape. Decorate the treats with the melted chocolate and Nerds Candy. Store in an airtight container until you are ready to serve. This recipe makes one 8×8 or 9×9 pan so if you want more than one color you may need to make another batch.

We hope you enjoy!!
~the girls

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DIY Cotton Candy “Ice Cream Cones”

Doesn't this look like it's going to be fun!

Doesn’t this look like it’s going to be fun!

We’ve gone “cone” crazy! This is the first in a series of fun “cone” projects that we will post over the next few months. As spring approaches here in the northeast we dream of lighter spring colors as we still have a snow covered ground. We spotted some cotton candy in the Easter candy section of the grocery store. A sign that spring is really coming even if it doesn’t look like it yet and we knew we could do something fun with it!

Time to get dippin'

Time to get dippin’

This is an easy project to do for birthday party favors or to tuck into Easter baskets. We used store bought sugar cones, white candy melts, our pastel non pareils, candy to stick down in the cone and cotton candy to make into a “scoop of ice cream”. I was excited to see the “cotton tails” cotton candy but the photo on the bag was misleading implying you would get small cotton candy balls in different colors but that was not the case. What you did get in the bag were a few mounds of pastel mixed colors of cotton candy that you can see in the tray in the first photo. It was still pretty and we were able to make it work for our project.

Pretty pastel non pareils look great on the edge of the cone!

Pretty pastel non pareils look great on the edge of the cone!

Step 1: After you gather all of your supplies the first step is to melt some of the white chocolate candy coating (per directions on the package). Dip the top of the cone in the melted candy coating. Shake off any excess before you dip in the sprinkles of your choice. We used our pretty pastel non pareil sprinkles since we wanted soft spring colors to go with the colors of the cotton candy. Place the dipped cones on some parchment paper or aluminum foil and let set until the chocolate coating hardens (about 10 minutes).

Tuck some little candies inside for an extra surprise!

Tuck some little candies inside for an extra surprise!

Step 2: Once the cones are completely set and the chocolate has hardened you can fill the cones with a few small candies so there is an extra surprise inside the cone. Who doesn’t like a surprise! We used malted egg candies and Cadbury mini chocolate eggs.

Multi colored cotton candy!

Multi colored cotton candy!

Step 3: Cotton candy time! You can lightly squish the cotton candy onto a small mound so it looks like and ice cream scoop that you place on the top of the cone. Different brands of cotton candy will have different looks. To secure the cotton candy to the cone you can brush some of the melted candy coating on the inside edge of the cone before you add the mound of cotton candy to it. To keep the cotton candy from falling off the cone while it sets up place the cone with the cotton candy on it in a glass while it dries.

It's starting to look like spring!

It’s starting to look like spring!

They are starting to come together! The multi colored cotton candy reminded me of rainbow vanilla ice cream I use to get when I was little. Rainbow vanilla was always my favorite since the colors were so pretty! The pink cotton candy from the tubs was a little more fluffy and we were able to shape it into more of the look of a scoop of ice cream. We were happy with the results of both styles of the cotton candy.

Don't they look SWEET! The cone bags help keep everything together!

Don’t they look SWEET! The cone bags help keep everything together!

Step 4: Place the cones in clear cone bags and tie shut with a twist tie or pretty ribbon. This will make them easy to pass out at a birthday party or for you to tuck into an Easter basket! Wouldn’t these make cute party favors for an ice cream party!

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Rainbow Cookie Pop Project

In celebration of the relaunch of our blog we have a fun and easy project to share with you…and lots more to come each week! Check out these no-bake rainbow cookie pops! I just couldn’t resist the sale on some Valentine’s Cookie Pop kits at the craft store. I knew I could transform them into something colorful. Who doesn’t love rainbow colors as we wish for warmer springtime weather…at least us here in the northeast!

Step 1 of rainbow cookie pop project - assemble all of your supplies!

Step 1 of rainbow cookie pop project – assemble all of your supplies!

This was my first attempt at making cookie pops. I liked the idea of not having to bake anything and was curious on how the kit was going to work. If you follow the directions you should get 12 cookie pops, as you can see I only ended up with 8 since I made them a tad big. Now it was time to decide what sprinkles to use on them to give them the burst of color I was looking for. And the winner is…..sanding sugar!

Step 2: time to get a rollin'

Step 2: time to get a rollin’

The kit gave you all you need to make the Valentine’s pops. I made some minor adjustments and changed out the pop sticks it came with to the white plastic ones we carry as they are a little more sturdy. I also didn’t use the hearts sprinkles it came with since I wanted to make some rainbow colored pops. Included in the kit was a bag of vanilla cookie crumbs, a small bag of icing, white candy coating discs and easy to follow directions. I mixed up the cookie crumble mixture per the directions by adding a little water and the icing packet to the cookie crumbles and mixed. I rolled out 8 balls from the mixture to match the amount of sanding sugar colors that I picked out to decorate them. I wish I had made 9 to give myself an extra for an unexpected mistake that of course happened on the last cookie pop! Whoopsie!

Step 3: securing your cookie to the stick.

Step 3: securing your cookie to the stick.

I got side tracked and let the cookie balls set out to dry a bit before I had a chance to insert the pop sticks. They cracked a little but they were pretty easy to shape back in place (except for one). I poked a hole in the top of the cookie ball with the lollipop stick, melted a little of the candy discs and dipped one end of the lollipop stick into the melted candy then inserted into the cookie ball. This step is important as I did find these were a little more finicky to deal with because I let them dry a bit before completing all of the steps. You need the pop stick to be secure so I let them set up in the cookie ball before I dipped them in the rest of the melted white candy coating.

Step 4: chocolate candy coating time!

Step 4: chocolate candy coating time!

Next step…dipping time! The candy coating discs the kit came with melted nicely and was very smooth. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked and that it wasn’t gloppy and too thick. I was hoping for a smooth finish to the pops. I had a back up of candi-quick coating just in case but didn’t end up needing it. I had my bowls of pretty sanding sugar colors all set to go and started to dip one cookie pop at a time.

Step 5: time for some color!

Step 5: time for some color!

It is important to make sure to shake off the excess coating before you sprinkle on the sanding sugar so you don’t end up with a puddle of chocolate at the bottom of the pop. Oh yeah did I mention I was making upside down pops so I could set them on a tray once they were finished and set. This is where they come to life….color!! All went smooth until I got to the very last one…the purple! As mentioned before I wish I had saved a little of the batter and made an extra because an issue did come up. I think by the time I got to the last one I had let them set out to long and the cookie part had dried out. It crumbled into the chocolate coating. I used a leftover cupcake to make an impromptu cake pop just so I could complete my 8 color rainbow set!

The finished results!

The finished results!

This was the burst of color I was going for…don’t they look nice! The sanding sugar looked great once they set up and it gave a nice sparkle to the pops. Even though there is one that is not like the others (Mr. purple) they were fun and pretty easy to make! Just don’t let them dry out too long before you dip them in the candy coating if you are trying out the cookie pop style kits. I’m glad I spotted these on sale and was able to turn a Valentine’s Cookie Pop Kit into some pretty rainbow cookie pops! And the price was so good I have a few extra kits to come up with something else!

One lucky winner gets to choose what prize they want!

One lucky winner gets to choose what prize they want!

As a special promotion for the grand relaunch of our blog we ran a contest on our facebook page Sunday night 3.2.14. Fans had to guess what was the main ingredient used on the inside of the pop. Those that guessed correctly (or the closest answer) had their name entered and one lucky winner was drawn. The winner gets to choose prize pack A OR prize pack B so they can have some of the fun supplies we used to make the rainbow pops plus they get a bonus set of cute rainbow pin back buttons! We had 2 that guessed sugar cookies which was the closest to what the main ingredient was (vanilla cookie crumbles). Congrats to Amanda for being the lucky winner! You get to pick what fun prize pack you want! Thanks for all that played and for all the creative guesses on what might be in the middle! Stay tuned as we will be running fun contests and giveaways often!

Thanks for stopping by! We will have fun projects, recipes and party tips to share with you each week!

~the girls

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