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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Valentines Heart Lollipops

OK Valentine's Day - I'm ready! 
I finally put away my Christmas stuff that piled up in the basement hallway and I pulled out my Valentine's decorations. I'm thinking hearts and red and love!

My chocolate lollipops were such a hit, I decided to revisit the idea and make some hearts!

What you need:
Red/ Pink Candy Melts - 1/4 of the bag
Lollipop sticks
Wax paper lined cookie sheets
Sandwich baggies
An eager assistant (optional)

Melt your Candy Melts as directed. I like to use the microwave for 45 seconds at 70% power in a ceramic bowl and allow the heat of the bowl to slowly melt the wafers. Lots of stirring between heating. DO NOT overheat - bad things happen.... 

While the wafers were melting, I prepped my work space with various shaped sprinkle hearts, sugars, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, etc, etc, etc... Pick as many or as little as you like.

When the wafers are melted, pour some into a baggie, press out the air, and seal the top. Snip off a corner of the baggie being careful not to squeeze out the candy.  Premature extrusion is always messy...

Draw the outline of your heart and then fill in. If you don't think you can free hand a good heart, print a template and slide it under the wax paper. These are maybe 2 to 3 inches across. 

Gently shake the cookie tray to even out any lumps that you may see. The heart will flatten out and fill in any gaps. Roll the lollipop stick in the candy and lay flat on the cookie sheet.

Decorate as desired. My Eager Assistant LOVES her sprinkles. The more the better in her opinion. 

For more Valentine's Day Inspiration, Check out this Blog Hop hosted by One Tough Mother

Kristen has 11 great bloggers ready and waiting to share something new every day! 
                 Feb. 1 – One Tough Mother                                Feb. 2 – DIY Dreamer
                 Feb. 3 – Pitter and Glink                                      Feb. 4 – My Amazing Chaos of Life
                 Feb. 5 – Measure Once – Cut Twice                   Feb. 6 – The Brown Eyes Have It
                 Feb. 7 – One Tough Mother                                Feb. 8 – Pint-Sized Baker - Hey, that's ME!!
                 Feb. 9 – J Yipp Photography                               Feb. 10 – Bird & Tree
                 Feb. 11 – Growing Up Gabel                              Feb. 12 – Scrapity Anne
                 Feb. 13 – My Life and Kids                                Feb. 14 – One Tough Mother

I'm bring this treat over to the Dollhouse Bake Shoppe Valentine Party! Jump over to see what other fun Valentine decorations and treats will be there!

Valentine Heart Lollipops
by Pint Sized Baker
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: snack gluten-free soy-free Candy Melts Lollipop
Ingredients (12 lollipops)
  • Red and/or Pink Candy Melts - 1/4 of the bag
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Sprinkles
  • Wax paper lined cookie sheets
  • Sandwich baggies
  • An eager assistant (optional)
1. Melt your Candy Melts as directed.
2. When the wafers are melted, pour some into a baggie, press out the air, and seal the top. Snip off a corner of the baggie being careful not to squeeze out the candy.
3. Draw the outline of your heart and then fill in. If you don't think you can free hand a good heart, print a template and slide it under the wax paper. These are maybe 2 to 3 inches across.
4. Gently shake the cookie tray to even out any lumps that you may see. The heart will flatten out and fill in any gaps. Roll the lollipop stick in the candy and lay flat on the cookie sheet.
5. Decorate as desired.
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Have a Great Day!

I've shared this with the following parties: It's A Blog Party, Sweetology 101, Two Maids a Milking, BruCrew Life, It's Overflowing, Cooking with Karyn, Crazy for Crust, the Kurtz Corner, Creating Your Home, Someday Crafts, Mrs. Fox's Sweets, This Chick Cooks, Lady Behind the Curtain, Thistlewood Farm, Michelle Paige, This Southern Mom Cooks, Something Swanky, Somewhat Simple, Ginger Snaps Alli-N-SonsWhipper BerryTidy MomSimply Sweet HomePetals to Picots, Blissful and Domestic, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Suzie QT PiesLiving Life IntentionallySweet as Sugar CookiesMom to 2 Posh DivasMarvelously Monday . Everyday SistersMrs. Happy HomemakerJust a Pinch,  Sumo's Sweet StuffMaking the World CuterSkip to My Lou, Cupcake Apothecary, I Should be Mopping the Floor, Funky Polkadot GiraffeHouse of Hepworths

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Whiskey Cake

I wanted to bake a special cake for my husband's birthday. He's a lover of chocolate and peanut butter and I was going to plan on making him some sort of Reese's Cake. Until.... I came across a cake in the Cake Doctor book called "Mindy's Jack Cake with Tennessee Drizzle" which is made with Jack Daniels. I knew I found my cake!

I reviewed the recipe and then realize I did not have Jack Daniels and I did not want to bake a sheet cake, so I improvised and came up with my own Whiskey Cake!

I used some of Mr. Pint's Jim Beam in place of the Jack Daniels and placed my cake into two 6 inch pans and the rest of the batter into smaller 2 inch mini cheesecake pans.

I had a "vision" of these awesome cakes with caramel and ganache dripping down the sides of the cake in place of sweet butter cream frosting. I wanted it to be a strong and masculine cake and the vision in my head was just that. 

However, my execution needs some refinement... 

The Recipe according to the Cake Doctor: (My version)
Box of Yellow or Vanilla Cake mix with Pudding (Pillsbury Yellow Cake)
1 1/2 sticks (12 oz.) melted butter
3 eggs
1/2 cup Jack Daniels (1/2 cup Jim Beam)
3/4 cup milk
1 cup pecans (couldn't find in cupboard, must have eaten all of them)
1 cup mini chocolate chips (regular chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix cake, melted butter, milk, eggs, and whiskey in mixer until combined and pour into prepared 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle pecans and chocolate chips and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Drizzle from the book:
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons whiskey
1 tablespoon milk
2 cups powered sugar

Drizzle over cooled cake, wait 10 minutes, cut and serve.

Once they were done, I decided not to add the sugar glaze to the cake that the book had and decided to go with my vision of extreme decadence. 

I took 1/2 - 3/4 cup of caramels and melted them in the microwave with 2 tablespoons of whiskey. I thought I was saving time, effort and energy by using the caramels, but I should have made my own... That's what I get for cutting corners. It just took so long for the caramel to smooth out and for the lumps to go away. Lots and lots of stirring.
Love, love, love the look of this!

When it finally was done, I poured it over the cake and LOVED the look of it just running down the sides.

 With the two tiered cake, my vision called for caramel and ganache on both layers, but how do I do that?? I decided to same time, effort, and energy again, and added some melted Hot Fudge sauce to the first later. I thought I was being smart, turns out I was just cutting corners again and I should have waited until the ganache was made instead. Lesson learned. 

I covered the cake and popped it in the fridge overnight, so I could get a hours of sleep.

The next morning, I made some Whiskey Ganache.

9 oz chopped milk chocolate
1 cup cream
1 tablespoon whiskey

Heat cream to just a boil. Watch it so it doesn't boil over. Pour hot cream over chopped chocolate and let the heat melt the chocolate for 5 minutes.
Stir in the whiskey gently so as to not add excess air to the ganache.
Let cool and thicken. I let mine sit for over 30 minutes. Should have put it into the fridge...

Pour the ganache over the center of the cake and allow it to fall off t he edges and pool around the bottom. Once it stopped dripping, I decorated it with gold sprinkles.

Well, it didn't turn out exactly as I envisioned it, but it sure was delicious! Mr. Pint sure did like it and that is all that matters.

Love ya, Babe! 

I shared this with the following Linky Parties:
Marvelously Messy, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Add a Pinch, Skip to my Lou, It's Overflowing, Crazy for Crust, the Kurtz CornerSomeday CraftsMrs. Fox's SweetsThis Chick CooksLady Behind the Curtain, Tidy Mom

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Naan Bread

Damn.... It's COLD outside!!!
I really don't like the winter. I don't like everything that comes along with the winter. The cold, the wet, the snow, the shoveling, the ice storm we had over the weekend... Yuck!

However, stew just tastes better in the winter. Some hot stew in a bowl to wrap your fingers around and warm up with your family. 
To go with my stew, I made some Naan Bread. 

I have bought Naan Bread from my local grocery store for paninis and pizzas. It also holds up well to dipping into soup in place of crackers. 

I found a lot of recipes online and decided to make this one. I've made it twice now and LOVE it! 
The first time I made it with the garlic and much prefer it with the extra kick of flavor.

Here's what you need:
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat. At grill side, pulling gently around the edges of the ball of dough,  stretch out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill with melted butter. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with melted butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with melted butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.

On the first side. See the bubbles forming around the edges? So Good!!

Flipped over golden yumminess! This is about the size that you see sold in the store.

I also made a bunch of smaller ones.
I used my Griddler to make these.
I did try a few with both sides pressed down like a panini grill, but it did not allow the bread to bubble and rise. The grill marks were too deep and the bread browned a bit more than I wanted it to.

Stay Warm!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Blueberry Jell-O

I am so not ready for Valentine's Day yet. I just don't have oomf to get into it yet. I mean, I still have Christmas stuff sitting in the basement hall waiting to be put back into their "homes" for the next 11 (soon to be 10) months. 

I'm not in a pink or red or hearts and love kind of mood. At least not yet.

However, don't get the wrong impression - I'm not blue either. I just happen to have bought a ton of blueberries at Costco the other day and thought this would be a great way to use some of them up :)

I actually find the blue very calming and makes it makes me happy. I hope it brightens up your day as well :)

Here's what you need:
1 box BLUE Jell-o
1 package Knox gelatin
3/4 cup boiling water

Here's what you do;
boil water
add jell-o and gelatin stir until dissolved
spray pan with Pam
pour into pan
add blueberries
eat with fingers! Enjoy :)

I used my mini bunt pan to make these little babies. You could pour it in to an 8x8 pan and just cut squares or use a cookie cutter for fun shapes.
 These were great to send along to school in my daughter's lunch box. No spoon required! 
She loved them!

Ok, ok... if you want to make them Valentine-y make them with strawberries instead. The kids will love them just as much!

Enjoy some giggle today!

I shared this post with some friends : One Tough Mother, Crazy for Crust, It's A Blog Party, The Kurtz Corner, Sweetology 101, Lady Behind the Curtain, Mrs. Fox's Sweets, Ginger Snap Crafts, Whipper Berry, Tidy Mom, Alli-N-Sons, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Marvelously Messy, Add a Pinch, Skip to my Lou

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rainbow Molasses Cookies

I won't lie to you - these Soft Molasses Cookies were intended for Christmas. I made a TON of them and sent them off with my daughter to school in the beginning of December. We left for vacation on Dec 11 and I never did get the post ready to go. The recipe was in a cookbook at home and I wasn't going to fake a recipe I didn't make. 
I left some of the extras in the freezer and pulled them out the other day when we had a slight freezer defrosting issue.... So, I wanted to transform my Christmas cookies into Happy "Anytime" Cookies! 
And, that is just what I did!
I could have decorated them with Valentine's Sprinkles and hearts, but I'm not ready for that.... 
I wanted happy, joyful, fun for the kid, put-a-smile-on-your-face kinda cookie design! 

Did I succeed? 

I think so :)

Here is what you need for Soft Molasses Cookies:
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup MELTED Shortening
1 Cup Molasses
1 beaten egg
4 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 Cup hot water
1 Tabelspoon Vanilla
5 Cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons  EACH cream of tarter, ginger, cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup canned Vanilla Frosting

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, shortening and molasses then add the egg. 
Disolve baking soda in the hot water and add vanilla; mix and set aside.
Sift together the flour and spices - cream of tarter, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
Combine the water mixture with the flour mixture.
Add to mixing bowl with molasses mixture and combine on low speed. 
Place dough on plastic wrap. Cover and refiedgerate for 3 hours.

Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into desired shapes. I needed to add a lot of extra flour to the counter because the dough was very sticky and not firm like sugar cookie dough.
Bake at 350 for 7 minutes let cool.

When ready, melt vanilla frosting in morcowave at 10 second intervals and stir well. Dip the cookies into the melted frosting and leave "nakkid" or decorate as desired.

I have a ton of sprinkles, and I enjoyed making these Rainbow themed. 

Does your kid know about Roy G. Biv?? Mine does and I had that song playing in my head while I was making these cookies! Just in case you don't know who Roy G. Biv is, "He's a colorful man whose name spells out the whole color spectrum." Red, Orange, Yellow (ROY) Green (G.) Blue, Indigo, Violet (BIV) 

Isn't that cute? 

Only problem is... I don't have Indigo colored sprinkles. So I skipped it. 

See... that's a picture from what would have been my original post. 

My happy daughter so proud of all the cookies we baked together.

Like my instagram picture? You can follow me!

I also LOVE my Grid Lens app on my i-phone.

Hope this makes you happy! It worked for us!

I shared this with : Tidy Mom, Alli-N-Sons, Simply Sweet Home, Blissful and Domestic, Petals to Picots, Living Life Intentionally, Add A Pinch, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Marvelously Messy, Skip to My Lou, One Tough Mother, Crazy for Crust, The Kurtz Corner, Sweetology 101, Lady Behind the Curtain, Mrs. Fox's Sweets, Ginger Snaps Crafts, Inside BruCrew Life

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chocolate Lollipops

While I was on vacation in Hawaii, I learned something new about my Step-dad. He watches a lot of the Food Network - Including the Barefoot Contessa! 
That's right! My Step-dad will watch football one minute and Ina Garten the next minute.

And that's ok with me. If I weren't watching with him, I would not have seen the episode where she made these

I always have a bit of leftover chocolate when I am making my cake pops and I thought this would be a great way to use up those precious few ounces that I am reluctant to throw away, yet it's not really enough to save. 

Here's what you'll need:

Melted Candy Coating (any color or flavor)
lollipop sticks
dried fruit, candy, nuts - basically anything that tastes good coated in chocolate 
wax paper lined cookie sheet
Here is what I used:

Dried Kiwi
Dried Pineapple
Dried Mango
Dried Papaya
Gummi Bears, Sour Patch Kids, and Nerds
Chocolate and White Candy Coating

Here's what you do:

Pour a small amount of melted chocolate on to the wax paper. Not too much, just enough for a 2 inch circle.
Roll 1 inch of the lollipop stick in the chocolate coating and then let lay flat.
Add toppings before it hardens.

I also swirled some white and chocolate for some extra fun!

Aren't these beautiful? The orange and yellow stands out so nicely against the white. Makes me very happy :)

The kids LOVED the gummies and sour patch kids on theirs! So much fun for them to decorate!

Like my instagram picture?? Follow me here. You don't have to have an i-fone to enjoy my posts. 

Enjoy! Have a Scrumptious Day!

I have shared this post on the following blogs - check them out, too :)
Inside the BruCrew Life, Lady Behind the Curtain, Sweetology, This Chick Cooks, Mrs. Fox's Sweets, Two Maids a Milking, It's a Blog Party, Sugar and Dots, Someday Crafts, It's Overflowing, Made Famous By..., Hugs and Cookies XOXO, Fireflies and Jellybeans, Tidy Mom, Alli-N-Sons, Simply Sweet Home, Blissful and Domestic, Petals to Picots, Living Life Intentionally, Add a PinchMarvelously Messy, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Skip to My Lou, Crazy for Crust, One Tough Mother, The Kurtz Corner, Ginger Snap Crafts

Monday, January 16, 2012

Easy Quiche

I miracle happened! My husband went to the grocery store!
I know! And he actually got what I asked him get!
Including Eggs.

Unfortunately, I was at the grocery store the day prior and bought 36 eggs.
He brought home an additional dozen.
What is a girl to do?? 

Make Quiche for Dinner! That's what!

I am all for minimal input and quick dinner recipes. I also NEVER have all the ingredients on hand to make something, but when I can across THIS recipe, I figured I could substitute my ingredients! Brilliant!

Here's what went into my Quiche
4 eggs
1 can (10 3/4 to 11 oz.) Cheddar cheese soup
1/2 cup milk
1 c. shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup diced cooked ham
6 slices bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled 
1 cup spinach, cooked
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
Ground nutmeg

In medium bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Gradually add soup and cream, mixing well.

Sprinkle cheese, meat and vegetable evenly over pie crust. 
Pour  the egg/soup mixture over.
Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 50 minutes or until center is set. 
Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 4-6 servings.

Yummy! Make this for your husband and enjoy!

I shared this post with:
Lady Behind the Curtain, This Chick Cooks, It's a Blog Party

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom!

 Happy, Happy Birthday to my Mom! 

The woman who brought me into this world and the woman who threatened to "take me out" of this world :)

The bestest Mommy in the whole wide world! (When I was 5)

The meanest, cruelest Mother in the world! (When I was 12)

The most out of touch and completely unfair woman, EVER! (When I was 16)

The best person to turn to for advice. (When I was 24)

The woman who taught me how to be a Mom. (When I was 30)

My Mom, my friend, my adviser and my confidant.

Thank you for all that you have done for me since becoming my Mom. 
In celebration, I baked you this Chocolate Cake made with buttercream frosting and topped with white chocolate ganache.
Your Granddaughter knows your favorite color is RED, so that's the color we went with!
Don't worry about your diet - with a virtual cake, there are NO calories involved :) 
See how considerate I am?

Oh... And here are the "Additions" that your Granddaughter made to your slice.
Notice the plethora of sprinkles! Enjoy!

I shared this post with:
Tidy Mom, Whipper Berry, It's Overflowing, Cute and Crafty, Alli N Sons, Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Sweetology
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