Archive | Baking RSS feed for this section

{The Friday Yum} Chocolate Drizzled Rice Krispies Circles

26 Aug

There are so many ways to do Rice Krispie Treats (like these Shamrock Rice Krispies Treats we made for St. Patrick’s Day).

As a last minute birthday offering for two of my favorite twins, I made these easy Chocolate Drizzled Rice Krispies Circles:

Here’s how you can jazz up the super simple childhood favorite:

Ingredients:

  • Rice Krispies Treats
  • circle (or other shape) cookie cutter
  • baking pan
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips (or try white chocolate or peanut butter chips)
  • candy melts (optional)

Step 1 (optional)

Follow the Original Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats recipe.  As the final step before pressing the Treats into your baking pan, add any color food coloring of your choosing to the Rice Krispies Treats (like we did for the Shamrock Rice Krispies Treats).  Tip:  Use Wilton’s gel food coloring in Aster Mauve from the Garden Tone set for a pinkish tint like the one you see here.

Step 2

Instead of making the traditionally thick squares called for by the Kellogg’s recipe, press your Rice Krispies Treats into a baking pan to form a thin sheet.

Step 3

After the Rice Krispies Treats have cooled and set, use your cookie cutter to cut out circles (or whatever other shape you desire).  Tip:  Twist the cutter ever-so-slightly back and forth to pull the shapes out in one piece without tearing or distorting them.

Step 4

Melt your chocolate chips in the microwave or a double boiler and drizzle lightly over the Rice Krispies Treats.  You can also coat the entire bottoms of the circles with the melted chocolate.  For variety – and because I had them on hand – I coated some of the circle bottoms with candy melts.

Happy Baking!

Advertisements

{The Friday Yum} The Outlaw Mom(TM)’s No Bake Oreo Truffle Cake

19 Aug

For J’s birthday, I wanted to create something Oreo-ish since we were having dinner at a restaurant famed – at least in our circle – for its Oreo dessert.  I also wanted to incorporate cream cheese since J had mentioned my Gingerbread Sweeheart Mini Cakes would have been tastier with a cream cheese frosting.  With no extra time on hand and two little munchkins wrapped around my ankles, the easiest thing to do:  mix the two ingredients to make a No Bake Oreo Truffle Cake!

Ingredients

  • 1 – 3 row package of Oreo cookies
  • 1 – 8 ounce package of room temperature cream cheese
  • baking pan (or other mould) lined with cling wrap
  • chocolate chips
  • candy melts (optional)

Step 1

Throw your Oreos into the food processor and grind into a smooth, fine cookie sand.  Tip:  You can put the cookies into a ziploc bag first and pound away at them with your fist to shorten the food processing time and to work out any stress or frustration you might be harboring.

Step 2

Pour the cookie sand into a large bowl and mix the cream cheese in with a spoon until everything is well-blended.  Press the mixture into your lined baking pan (or any mould of your choosing) to form the cake.  Make sure to leave some extra cling wrap hanging over the sides.  Roll balls out of any remaining mixture to make stand-alone truffles.  Refrigerate.

Step 3

While the Oreo mixture is setting, melt your candy melts in the microwave or double boiler.

Step 4

Remove your Oreo cake from the pan by lifting it out with the cling wrap.  Line the side facing up with a layer of candy melts to form a sturdy base.  I chose white to mimic the colors of an Oreo.

Step 5

Melt your chocolate chips, then coat your cake and truffles.  Tip:  To jazz things up a bit, use chocolate or candy melts to decorate the individual truffles.  I also used heart-shaped edible gold accents.

Happy Baking!
Todays Creative Blog

The Outlaw Mom’s Gingerbread Sweetheart Mini Cakes and Cake Balls

21 Jul

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

E & C are getting married!

To celebrate, Jane and I made them Gingerbread Sweetheart Cakes.

These sweet little cakes would be perfect for celebrating Valentine’s Day, a birthday or an anniversary, too!

Ingredients

  • gingerbread cake (from scratch or mix)
  • almond buttercream frosting (or cream cheese frosting)
  • fondant
  • candy melts (or white chocolate)
  • heart-shaped cookie cutter

Step 1

Follow my cake pop tutorial to combine your gingerbread cake and my favorite buttercream frosting (or any vanilla frosting) into cake pop mix.  Instead of using all of the mix to create cake balls, form and flatten three or four palm-sized balls of the mix and use a cookie cutter to cut out heart-shaped cakes.  With the remainder of the mix, form your standard cake balls used for making cake pops.

Step 2

While your mini cakes and cake balls are chilling in the refrigerator, roll out and cut your fondant using the same cookie cutter from Step 1.  (If you dislike the taste of fondant, you could substitute the fondant with marzipan or leave it out completely and stick with the buttercream or cream cheese frosting).  You can also cut out any other decorative shapes now.

Step 3

Attach the fondant heart cutouts to the mini cakes with a generous layer of frosting.  I used my favorite buttercream frosting, but substituted the vanilla extract with almond extract for a more exciting flavor against the warm and spicy gingerbread.

Step 4

Turn your cakes upside down and spread a layer of melted candy melts to the entire base of each cake.  This will give the cake a more solid surface to sit on and also add another sugar kick to the overall taste of the cakes.  You could always substitute white chocolate for the candy melts, but keep in mind that if the weather is warm, the chocolate will melt or sweat, while the candy melt will stay put longer.

Step 5

After your cakes have been chilled and the candy melt bases have dried, start decorating!  For fun, I decorated the cake balls with Xs and Os, attached with a candy melt base.  Again, you could substitute chocolate for the candy melts.

Happy Baking!  And Long Live Love!

The Outlaw Mom’s Red, White and Blue Cake Balls

4 Jul

Happy 4th of July!  This year we’ll be celebrating with these red velvet, white chocolate and blue sprinkle cake balls:

I thought we’d be showing up empty handed to today’s Fourth of July party since we’ve been so busy lately, but luckily I remembered that a nicely decorated cake ball is such an easy – and equally delicious – alternative to the more time-consuming cake pop!

If you’re headed to or hosting a barbecue this evening, you still have time to bake this patriotically pretty party treat – just follow my cake pop tutorial using red velvet cake, substitute white chocolate for the candy melts, and add some electric blue sprinkles.

For a little extra flair, download free flag and circle toppers from The Sweetest Occasion and Paper and Pigtails.

Don’t have time to bake today?  Try The Outlaw Mom’s Coconut Sprinkle Strawberries or check out these other great patriotic treat ideas.  Now, get  to it!

CRAVE IT. COVET. LOVE IT. This Week: Love Patriotic Treats for the Fourth of July

29 Jun

This week I’m loving all the fabulous patriotic treats for celebrating the Fourth of July:

{Image via Martha Stewart}

You need to serve or bring these amazing goodies to all of your July 4th barbecues this weekend:

Happy Birthday, America!

The Outlaw Mom’s Truffle Brownie S’More Pops

24 Jun

For Father’s Day this year, I wanted to come up with a dessert that incorporated a few of Hubby’s favorite things:  chocolate, marshmallows and camping.

After rolling these elements around in my head, I decided to roll them together for my latest cake pop creation and voila! . . . the Truffle Brownie S’More Pop was born:

For variety, I also made my Choco Marshmallow Brownie Pops since – as I mentioned – Hubby loves chocolate.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 batch brownies (try using truffle brownies for a richly decadent pop)
  • 1/2 cup buttercream frosting to start – add more if necessary (try my favorite buttercream frosting recipe)
  • candy melts
  • lollipop sticks (or coffee stir stix in a pinch!)
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • graham crackers (plain or cinnamon, depending on your preference)

Step 1

Follow my cake pop tutorial here to form your cake balls and attach them to a lollipop stick, substituting the cake for brownies.  Remember to use my tip here for working with the candy melts.

Step 2

While your pops are chilling in the refrigerator, melt the butter over low heat.  Then stir in the marshmallows, making sure to stir frequently, until completely melted.

Step 3

Gently hand crush your graham crackers (or place them in a plastic baggie and smash lightly with a pestle).  Avoid over crushing the pieces until they turn to cracker sand.  For the Choco Marshmallow Brownie Pops, shave your favorite chocolate instead.  Tip:  Use refrigerated chocolate and move quickly.  Refrigerate the shavings before topping your pops if necessary.

Step 4

Coat your refrigerated pops with a thin layer of the melted marshmallow mixture.  If your layer is too thick, the marshmallow will slide down the pop (see photo below).  Once the marshmallow dries, you can attempt to either twist the marshmallow “goo” around the stick to keep it in place or pinch it off completely.

{You can see here where the marshmallow has dripped down the stick}

Step 5

Roll your marshmallow-coated pop in the crushed graham crackers (or chocolate).  Re-refrigerate before displaying and serving.

For a finishing touch, I gave these cute little pops collars using the free “Tie-riffic” printables from Shindig Parties TO GO by simply punching a hole in the tops of the ties and sliding them up the sticks.  The stickiness of the marshmallow keeps the collars in place.

We also made this fun banner and incorporated smaller versions of the printed Shindig Parties TO GO ties as decorative tags for Hubby’s presents:

{Note our favorite wrapping paper:  kraft paper!}

Happy baking!

CRAVE IT. COVET. LOVE IT. This Week: Crave Homemade Pop Tarts

22 Jun

This week I’m craving homemade pop tarts, like these Nutella-filled ones from Buns In My Oven:

I’ve always been a sucker for Kellogg’s artificially flavored, sickeningly sugary, less healthy version, but it’s time to grow up!

For more recipe inspiration, check out the brown sugar and cinnamon pop tarts from Ciao Bella, lovely pink strawberry pop tarts from Sweet Kiera, and kid palate-friendly peanut butter and jelly flavored pop tarts from weelicious.  Now, stop drooling and get baking!

Pirate Themed Birthday Party

12 Jun

Ahoy there, Mateys!

You’ve read about my inspiration for Sam’s pirate themed first birthday party and how to make your own pirate party invitation – now here’s how our party turned out and some ideas for your buccaneer bash.

The Pirate Ship

From the second I came up with the idea for the pirate theme, I became obsessed with building a life-sized pirate ship for our partygoers to play in.

If you’ve been following on Facebook, you know that I even resorted to the extreme of dumpster diving in the parking lot of Michael’s for cardboard boxes.

After harassing every shipping department from Sears to Safeway for refrigerator or washer/dryer sized boxes, I ended up purchasing 5 grand wardrobe boxes from U-Haul.  The plans I downloaded from Mr. McGroovy called for 7 boxes, but it was hassle enough for me to maneuver the five I had, so I figured we could make do and be creative about it.

The $23 I spent on the plans and Mr. McGroovy’s rivet project kit were so worth it.  The plans were easy to follow and the rivets made building and taking down the ship – literally – a snap.  The great thing about the rivets is that you can re-use and rebuild your project over and over again.

We cut the cardboard pieces for the ship walls at home two days before the party and decorated the cardboard cutouts the evening before and the morning of the party when Hubby and Uncle B set up the ship at the park.

Jane had a blast painting and setting up the ship:

Hubby and Uncle B (dressed as a pirate) finished building the ship just as the guests began to arrive:

We spray painted the outer hull of the ship with black chalkboard paint with the idea that the kids could draw on the ship as a party activity.  For the inside, we kept it bright and cheery in playful preschool colors.  We also added some chalkboard contact paper to a few inside walls for the children to draw on.

The finished ship:

The net and bamboo pole masts with pirate flags – Grandma’s ideas – were the finishing touches.  I couldn’t find any starfish or other sea creatures to attach to the net, so we ended up using those toy animals that soak in water for 72 hours and grow 6 times their original size.  Of course, after Pirates of the Caribbean:  On Stranger Tides was released, pirate party paraphernalia showed up everywhere!

The Treasure Chest Cake

What I really wanted to do was this amazing cake by The Willow Blog.  But since we designed, created and decorated the cake the night before the party, we changed the concept to an old sea-weathered treasure chest.  I say “we,” because this cake was truly a family effort with Grandma, Granny, Hubby, and Uncle B all involved into the wee hours of the evening.

Here’s how we did it:

Construction

After stacking two rectangles of sheet cake, I did a crumb coat using my favorite buttercream frosting.  Then Grandma fashioned the top lid of the chest with a curved piece of cardboard and not-to-be-overlooked outstanding architectural and design direction from Hubby and Uncle B.  We covered the lid with aluminum foil and placed a few squares of leftover sheet cake under the lid at the back of the rectangular base to prop it up.  Another layer of buttercream frosting over the lid and back of the cake sealed the lid to the base.

Decoration

Using Wilton gel icing color in brown, I mixed a dark brown frosting to cover the entire base of the cake.  To cover the lid, I pressed on dark brown fondant, and then placed light brown fondant around the base for a decorative trim that would help outline the shape of the treasure chest.  Silver, gold and white Wilton shimmer dust added a pearlized, dusty effect proper for a glistening treasure chest washed ashore.

The fun part came next:  I rolled several small fondant balls of varying sizes to make pearls and then covered them with pink Wilton pearl dust and the white Wilton shimmer dust.  If you’re wondering about the difference between pearl and shimmer dust, the pearl dust is much sparklier – so of course I preferred it!  I placed the glistening pearls in strands along the two sides of the chest so they would appear to be spilling out.  Note:  the homemade marshmallow fondant from The Frosted Cake and Cookie that I was so excited to work with didn’t work out so I opted for pre-made fondant.  (I might try it again because of the rave reviews, including praise from SugarBelle, and because it was the most fun to mold and shape).

Finally, I stuffed the cake with as many chocolate gold coins (correctly pointed out to me as “doubloons” by Jane) as I could fit to achieve a stuffed, overflowing look.

We carried the cake to the park the next morning on a homemade cake board (cardboard covered with aluminum foil) and decorated it during the party.  To create the beach, I poured light brown sugar around the sides of the cake and added some blue frosting for a bit of “ocean.”  Then I added a sea of gold coins in the remaining space in front of the bit of ocean and on the sand.

We ended up never cutting the cake at the party!  (See The Birthday Boy below).  But the kids were treated to cupcakes decorated with buttercream frosting, M&Ms and cute pirate cupcake toppers from Meri Meri.

The Fare

We offered a pared down version of the menu for Jane’s Special Agent Oso themed birthday party:  bagels, cream cheese coffee and juice.  We also offered personal organic watermelons, carved out with a melon baller and re-filled with watermelon balls, strawberries and grapes.

Inspired by all the beautiful dessert tables showcased around the blogosphere lately, we topped the tables with glass containers filled with rainbow Goldfish crackers, black and red M&Ms, Swedish Fish and  RedVines to go along with the black and red pirate theme.

{What I wouldn’t give for a beautiful “blog worthy” shot of a lineup of our yummy containers!}

These Swedish Fish in blue jello technically were edible, but we just used them as decoration.

We followed Chica and Jo’s advice on mixing the blue Jello with clear gelatin, which worked, but the “water” was still a bit dark.  If you’re going to make these, be aware that the Swedish Fish will blow up into Swedish whales if you make them too far in advance!

The Favors

Jane helped make these jewel encrusted treasure chests out of styrofoam boxes we picked up for pennies at a nearby pharmacy’s going out of business sale:

We simply painted the chests and then glued on jewels.  A word of advice:  don’t use Gorilla Glue!  I had it on hand and was too lazy to search for our other kid safe glue and it foams and poofs up, which makes for a tight, but funny looking, bond.

We had planned to put foam pirate swords (similar to this), bubble wands and pirate teddy bears in the decorated chests for our toddler guests to find on a treasure hunt, but you know toddlers . . . the second they saw the treasure there was no keeping them away!  It was much better this way, though – the kids enjoyed sword fights and blowing bubbles from the get go.

Jane also made these great homemade telescopes that we passed out as another pirate prop to play with.

We planned to give out these little pirate booty bags with sticker, chocolate coin and temporary tattoo loot that Granny put together, but never got around to it:

The Birthday Boy

Did Sam enjoy his party, you ask?  So much so that he snoozed under the trees.

Since he was sleeping during the party, we took the uncut treasure chest cake home and saved it for a celebration at home later the next evening.

Hope your pirate party turns out to be a swashbuckling success!

Before The Rainbow: Striped Cake Experiment

20 May

It’s raining, it’s pouring, and we’re busy baking!

If you’ve been reading, you know that Jane loves to mix and stir and bake, so it’s no surprise that baking experiments are one of our favorite rainy day activities (along with Jane’s homemade Twister game).

Sam’s birthday party is a few days away and I was inspired by this incredible Leprechaun Trap Rainbow Cake from not martha for the idea to hide a secret rainbow inside Sam’s treasure chest cake.  Unfortunately, the angel food cake pan I ordered online didn’t arrive in time, so instead of practicing the rainbow cake, we came up with the idea for a striped cake.

Here’s what we did:

1) Color the cake batter with liquid food coloring.

2) Pour in a first layer of one color so that the next striped layers have something to hold onto.

3) Slowly pour on the stripes.

It comes out an ugly brown on the outside,

but inside is bright and beautiful:

We did this on “toddler time,” which means in a hurry without thinking it through first, but here’s what I would do next time:

  • Layer the colors on top of each other instead of in stripes so that each piece is multi-colored
  • Use uncolored cake batter for the bottom layer if going with our original experiment’s method

I’m not sure if you’d have the problem of the colors running together in uneven proportions pointed out by Omnomicon and not martha since this cake is made in a 9 x 13 rectangular pan, not an angel food cake pan, but something to keep in mind for your experiment.

If you need more inspiration for your own rainbow or striped cake experiment besides not martha’s fab rainbow cake and Omnomicon’s rainbow cake, check out Whisk Kid’s gorgeous layered rainbow cake and Sweetapolita’s Rainbow Doodle Birthday Cake (a rainbow layer cake covered in cute doodled fondant).

Hope it keeps raining so we can ramp up from the striped cake to the rainbow cake!

Delphinium Dollop Chocolate Cake Balls

13 May

Sometimes cake pops can be too time-consuming and labor intensive.  Sometimes a treat on a stick – no matter how trendy – is not the right dessert for your mood or your occasion.  Sometimes simple is best.

Save yourself time and effort and create a delicious bite-sized dessert with minimal effort by following my cake pop tutorial and tips here and here and simply topping your chilled cake balls with a dollop of my favorite buttercream frosting tinted a beautiful spring-into-summer delphinium blue.

Enjoy!

%d bloggers like this: