Tag Archives: baking

{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!
Todays Creative Blog

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!

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!

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!

Confetti Cake Pops and Easy Ribbon Box

6 May

Since my first shot at the cake pop, I’ve been busy trying to perfect my technique.  I took my own advice on this attempt and chose white candy melts to make the spring confetti really pop.

The lifesaver this time around:  disposable candy melt bags.  I’m never making cake pops again without this handy dandy device!  You can melt and decorate so easily and with virtually no mess.  The double-boiler method would still probably give you the best results because it keeps the candy melts at an even temperature for a prolonged period of time, but my life is all about shortcuts these days.

For a fun spring birthday theme, I tried three different pastel confetti designs:

(1) all over confetti

(2) confetti dots

and (3) an ice cream look (covering only the top of the pop)

These were a birthday gift for a friend, so I needed a portable presentation.  A beribboned styrofoam block (using colored tacks) worked out perfectly.  A few tied ribbons on the cake pop sticks and a rectangular piece of cardstock used as a gift tag completed the present.

The Rise of Spring: Easter Craft & Baking Recap

28 Apr

I’ve always looked forward to back-to-school sales in early August, which mark the imminent start of the school year ahead.  New academic apparel means Halloween – the first official “holiday” of Fall – is around the corner, with Thanksgiving soon to follow, and Christmas rounding out the holiday season in early Winter.

This trio of festivities continually make Fall my favorite season with all the crafting, baking and planning involved for each occasion.

And of course, Fall wildly surpasses all other fashion seasons.  Autumn collections deliver, with bold classics for the serious fashionista.  Spring and Summer looks, on the other hand, tend to fall short.  They’re so full of – well – frivolous frippery, if you will.  Yes, platform sandals and gauzy blouses get my heart in a tizzy, but after the thrill of neon brights and florals wears off, you’re just left with a few flimsy pieces.

The same it was – I thought – for spring and summer crafting and baking.

I never thought I would say this, but I think Spring may be nudging out Fall as my favorite season.

Maybe having kids has gotten me all soft.  But it seems that my yearning for mellow autumn days of melancholy sunlight and the chill of winter solitude has been replaced by a fondness for chirpy chicks, fuzzy bunnies, bright pastels and the zippity-do-da of Spring.  Could it be that I’m ready to drop my teen angst at the ripe old age of 35?

With peppy springtime projects like candy-filled eggs, confetti cake pops, painted puppet boxes, sprinkled cookies and paper mache eggs, I just might be.

Candy-Filled Easter Eggs

All the cracking, bashing and crunching made these by far and away the most exciting springtime activity for the kids!  They also make a gorgeous hostess gift, too.

Materials:

  • eggs (white eggs will take color better than brown, but you can do a few uncolored, brown eggs for variety – I even did some white uncolored eggs)
  • vinegar
  • hot water
  • McCormick food and egg dye in the regular and neon colors (a fun – and much faster – alternative to dyeing the eggs is simply decorating with markers or stickers)
  • a non-metal container
  • mini cupcake paper/foil baking cups
  • glue

Instructions:

For detailed step-by-step instructions, see not martha‘s excellent tutorial for Easter Surprise Eggs here.

I followed the color recipe exactly because her eggs turned out so strikingly beautiful, but the only recipe that developed into a similar color to hers was the blue – and still it wasn’t quite as robin’s egg/turquoise in color.

The Outlaw Mom’s Tips:

  • If you agitate the eggs, you’ll get splotchy color, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  In fact, Hubby and Grandma’s favorite egg was the one that turned out the most speckly.

  • If you use just-boiled water and highly acidic vinegar (like I did), when you drop your egg into the coloring solution, it will spin and fizz like crazy on its own, which creates the speckled effect.
  • Although most blogs advise not to move your eggs around, I found that dipping the eggs once for an initial coat, and then dipping additional times to increase the color intensity worked better than when I tried the recommended method of letting the eggs sit in the solution and then rotating halfway during the coloring time.  Submerging the entire egg or leaving the egg floating on top of the solution didn’t seem to make a difference (except that if you leave the egg floating on top, you’ll have to rotate four times – quarter turns).

  • When taking the eggs out of the boiling water during sterilization or the just-boiled water for the solution, do not lift the egg out completely vertically so that the boiling hot water drips down on to your finger!  Try a more horizontal angle.
  • Try an eggs inside of eggs look.  I chose Cadbury Mini Eggs as the main candy,  Marich Mint Chip Maltballs to go along with the speckled theme, and Jelly Belly Ice Cream Parlor  jelly beans for more of the speckled egg look.  Sconza Dark Chocolate Raisins finished out the mix.

  • Use mini-cupcake baking cups to seal your eggs.  Stickers don’t fold around the jagged opening as well.  I used polka-dot mini-cupcake paper baking cups for all the colors except the blue eggs, which I sealed with silver foil cups.

  • Present the eggs in a clear tin for a pretty and practical way of transporting this gift.  Alternate the eggs with layers of paper Easter grass.

I think we’ll be making these for other occasions, too.  I see Fourth of July flag eggs, pumpkin eggs, Santa eggs . . . the cracking is irresistible fun!

Confetti Cake Pops & Ribbon Box

Since my first shot at the cake pop, I’ve been busy trying to perfect my technique.  I took my own advice on this attempt and chose white candy melts to make the spring confetti really pop.

The lifesaver this time around:  disposable candy melt bags.  I’m never making cake pops again without this handy dandy device!  You can melt and decorate so easily and with virtually no mess.  The double-boiler method would still probably give you the best results because it keeps the candy melts at an even temperature for a prolonged period of time, but my life is all about shortcuts these days.

For a fun spring birthday theme, I tried three different pastel confetti designs:

(1) all over confetti

(2) confetti dots

and (3) an ice cream look (covering only the top of the pop)

These were a birthday gift for a friend, so I needed a portable presentation.  A beribboned styrofoam block (using colored tacks) worked out perfectly.  A few tied ribbons on the cake pop sticks and a rectangular piece of cardstock used as a gift tag completed the present.

Wooden Spring/Easter Puppet Baskets

To make these springtime baskets – which make great children’s gifts – you’ll need:

  • wooden baskets (ours were $1 from Michael’s)
  • paint suitable for wood surfaces + a paintbrush
  • stickers
  • felt for the puppets (or buy pre-made felt puppets)
  • lollipop sticks (even a pencil will do – you just need something to prop up the puppet)

First, have your toddler paint the undecorated wooden baskets.  Let the paint dry overnight.

Then, decorate the painted boxes with stickers.

Finally, make your felt puppets or take your store bought ones and prop them up on a lollipop stick.  The easiest gift and super cute, too!

Easter Egg Sprinkle Cookies

These hard, cardboard-tasting “Ideal Sugar Cookies” were a total bust!  A little embarrassing because I gifted these to one of my friends, but it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?  And they’re oh-so-pretty to look at.

The recipe was fine, but I doubled the butter and then tried to correct it by adding more of all the other ingredients and it just didn’t work. Of course, I used my favorite buttercream frosting, so licking off the sprinkled frosting was delicious!

“Paper Mache” Plastic Eggs

This is one project I couldn’t finish in time for Easter, but now that we have literally dozens of plastic Easter eggs littering our living room floor, I’m going to continue with the project anyway.  I only got so far as one egg, but the results are very cool.  Check out Sweeter than Sweets’ Tissue Paper Easter Eggs tutorial here.

Happy Spring baking and crafting!

Meyer Madness Part III: Strawberry-Filled Meyer Mint Mini Cakes

25 Apr

. . .  and for the finale . . .

What better way to celebrate the last of our Meyer lemon stash and all of the red, ripe strawberries overflowing on our kitchen countertop than strawberry-filled meyer mint mini cakes?

This time, Jane re-joined the madness from Part I after her brief hiatus in Part II.

First, she mixed the cake (see the flour spray evidence in the photos below).

Then, while the cake was in the oven baking, she removed the strawberry stems from four cups (about 3 baskets) of our organic strawberry stash:

This activity is a great exercise in organization and if your toddler is like mine, he will enjoy the methodical process of picking a strawberry from the first bowl, carefully pulling off the stem, and placing the usable strawberry and discarded stems in their respective bowls.

Next, she squished the ripe strawberries in her fists and poked them silly with her little fingers.  When it was clear the strawberries were definitely dead, we placed them in a pot with 1/2 cup sugar (you could increase to 1 cup) and 2 tbsp butter (you could reduce to 1 tbsp), brought them to a boil, and then kept them on a medium heat simmer until the berry mixture cooked into a nice sauce.  By “nice,” I do not mean a nice “gourmet” strawberry sauce, but a nice “chunky, toddler-chopped” sauce.

Next, she helped mixing my Favorite Buttercream Frosting.  I roughly chopped and added a ridiculous amount of mint leaves:  about 3 to 4 tablespoons (but you could reduce to a dignified amount, like 1 to 2 teaspoons), and added an insane amount of lemon juice and crude lemon zest:  3 to 4 tablespoons juice and 1 to 2 tablespoons rind (you could reduce to 1 to 2 tablespoons juice and 1 to 2 teaspoons zest).  Be aware that if you use as much lemon juice as I did, you’ll probably have to add more confectioner’s sugar to the finished frosting to stiffen it up a bit.

After the mini-cakes cooled, I used a melon baller to hollow out the cakes.  Then I filled them with the cooked strawberry chunks and sauce.  The cake will soak in the sauce, so after the first round of filling, go ahead and top off your cakes a second time.

Finally, I piped the frosting on top of the mini-cakes and Jane helped present them to Grandma for her birthday.

You can skip the frosting completely and still enjoy a very delicious strawberry mini-cake for a head start on a taste of summer.  Enjoy!

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