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{The Friday Yum} The Outlaw Mom (TM)’s Easy Frozen Berry Summer Smoothie

2 Sep

It still feels like summer around here, so we’re still outside concocting refreshing ways to beat the heat.

Unlike the White Wine Summer Fruit Sangria, this cool down beverage is toddler-friendly.  Jane had fun mixing, stirring and pouring our drinks!

The best thing about this no-fail, never-forget recipe?  It’s as easy as one.  One cup of each ingredient.  One step.  One perfect Frozen Berry Summer Smoothie every time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nonfat French Vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 cup frozen berry medley (try Trader Joe’s Fancy Berry Medley)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks (try Trader Joe’s Pineapple Tidbits
  • apple juice to taste (optional –  use only if you need extra sweetness)

Step 1

Pour all the ingredients into your blender and crush, mix and stir until the smoothie reaches your desired level of smooth.  (I like mine chunky, so stop a little sooner than traditional smoothie texture).

That’s it.

Now, enjoy!

{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!

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

21 Jul

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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!

White Wine Summer Fruit Sangria

9 Jul

A refreshing alternative to sweet, syrupy red wine sangria:

{Auntie C’s White Wine Summer Fruit Sangria}

Over the July 4th weekend, Auntie C and Uncle B came for a visit bearing a bounty of fresh summer fruit, Pinot Grigio and Cointreau.  We sat around the table on the deck, tasting and chopping and tasting some more.

The result:  a lighter, crisper version of your typical sangria that was not too cloyingly sweet and helped us beat the heat sipping in style.

Ingredients

  • 2 bottles white wine (Pinot Grigio or Rioja)
  • 1/2 cup Cointreau
  • Raspberries, peaches, strawberries and any other summer fruit on hand
  • 2 limes
  • 2-3 cups peach nectar juice (if you can’t find peach nectar, add sugar to taste)
  • Club soda

Step 1

Pour the wine into your pitcher.

Step 2

Add the washed and chopped fruit to the wine.

Step 3

Squeeze in lime juice.

Step 4

Add the Cointreau and peach nectar juice (or sugar).

Step 6

Let sit and chill for at least 2 hours.

Step 7

Pour individual glasses and top off with club soda.

Salud!

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!

The Outlaw Mom’s Coconut Sprinkle Strawberries {Fourth of July}

2 Jul

It’s already the first day of the three-day Fourth of July weekend, and I’ve only gotten to my Coconut Sprinkle Strawberries, but none of the other sweet patriotic treats on my list.

It’s not too late for you to try this fun twist on the traditional red, white and blue strawberry before the weekend’s through!

Here’s how to scrub, dip, roll and press your way to these sweet fuzzy berry treats.

Ingredients

Red

White

Blue

Step 1

Scrub your strawberries clean and chill.

Step 2

Dip your clean, chilled strawberries in melted white chocolate.

Step 3

Roll the bottom of your dipped strawberries in the sprinkles.

Step 4

Press the shredded coconut onto the undipped portion of the strawberries.

Voila!

The color possibilities are endless.

Try:

  • white chocolate and pink sprinkles for a girl’s baby shower or milk chocolate and blue sprinkles for a boy’s baby shower;
  •  dark chocolate and just the coconut for a dramatic effect; or
  • pastel sprinkles over white chocolate for colorful springtime berries.

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!

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!

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