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.

NERD3

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!

NERD44

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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Working on something new…

Us girls are SO excited to be launching our new and improved blog! We will be working hard to help bring all you bakers and party throwers a fun site where you can get some great tips, recipes, baking and party inspiration! For those that don’t know dessert catering was were we started so we feel like we are now coming full circle by being able to get back in the kitchen and work on some creative projects to share with you. We hope to showcase some of customers creations here too as we love to see what people create using the fun baking and party supplies we carry! There might even be a family spot light here and there too when someone is making something fun and worth sharing!

We have some other exciting things in the works and will have another announcement soon!

Best~
the girls at The Bakers Confections

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