Recipe Sub Cat

Pinterest + Cupcakes = A Marriage Made in Sweet, Frosting Heaven

We all have our go-to locations for a number of things – places that we know we can rely on to deliver time and again, without fail. When I need new flip-flops, I always go to Kohl’s. And every time they have exactly what I want. Craving Chinese food? There’s a place close to my house that has the best chicken and broccoli with garlic sauce that has ever been created. When I want a good, hearty belly laugh, I call my friend John, and when I’m feeling extra frazzled and need to create order in my mind, I always go to the same out-of-the-way car wash to clean my car. There are trees there, it’s never crowded, and cleaning my car relaxes me. All of these things work every time! And you know what also works every time when I want a new cupcake recipe, or just want to drool over pictures of cupcakes? Pinterest!

Pinterest is exactly the social media hotspot that cupcakes needed all along. Sure, an occasional cupcake recipe pops up on Twitter or Facebook. And yeah, I’ve seen some pretty tempting cupcakes on Tumblr and Instagram, too. But if you want an unstoppable array of eye-catching, unique, tempting, beautiful, and just plain awesome cupcake inspiration, save yourself some trouble and just go straight to Pinterest. Type ‘cupcakes’ in that little search bar and get ready to feel pangs of sweet desire in your belly.

While candy isn’t an absolutely essential element for a good cupcake, it certainly doesn’t hurt! And with that in mind, here are a few cupcake recipes I’ve got set aside that incorporate candy into the mix in a most marvelous way…

Rolo Cupcakes

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/391109548860909327/

Dirt Cupcakes

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/204491639304177775/

Kit Kat Cupcakes

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/167548048611946429/

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/409827634812603736/

DIY Ice Cream Sandwiches!

DIY Ice Cream Sandwiches

Image courtesy of TecheBlog.com

The majority of the year, I am not what would be considered an ‘ice cream person.’ Don’t get me wrong – I like ice cream! But I don’t buy it every time I go to the store, keep it on-hand at all times, or count it as my favorite dessert. I’m more of a cupcakes and candy kinda gal for the most part. However, when I do have an ice cream craving, nothing else but the real deal will quench it. I don’t want a Frosty from Wendy’s, I don’t want a milkshake, and I don’t want frozen yogurt. I want ICE CREAM. And if it’s sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies, even better!

When the ice cream craving comes knockin’, as it is known to do much more often during the summer months, I usually opt for chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream or the Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches I hinted at above. However, today as I was poking around Pinterest, I discovered something so simple that I’m a little shocked I never thought of it before – I could be making my own cookie ice cream sandwiches! And let me tell you, there is countless inspiration on the internet for how to do just that. And it’s all so easy that it just makes me want to scream. For ice cream, that is.

Pick a Size, Any Size!

The flexibility of size is what has me most excited. Trying to cut back a bit on sweets, or just want a little something after dinner? Make miniature cookie ice cream sandwiches! Or perhaps it’s not little you’re after at all, and you want a giant ice cream sandwich that eats like a meal? I think you know what to do here – bake up some giant cookies and add some ice cream between two of them. Push them together, and voila!

Tricks and Tips

If you want your ice cream sandwiches to be delicious and attractive, I came across multiple sites offering the same tip on getting the ice cream center neat and even. Holding a pint of ice cream (whatever flavor you wish!) steady with one hand, carefully cut right through the carton with a sharp knife (see image for details). Once you’ve created all your ice cream slices, sandwich them between two cookies and peel away the carton.

Wait… There’s More!

Want to make them even more tempting? Roll the exposed ice cream sides in your favorite candy or topping! Think chocolate chips, chopped nuts, coconut flakes, crushed candy bars, dried fruit – whatever sounds good to you. Your ice cream sandwich options are limited at the grocery store, but when you DIY your ICS you can get creative!

Want some more flavor inspiration? Check out 19 Amazing Ice Cream Sandwich Hacks Geeks Would Love!

The Cutest Turtle Cupcakes I Ever Did See!

Turtle CupcakesI have recently discovered The Galapagos Islands. Now, I haven’t discovered them in the way that I just found out about them, mind you. I have, naturally, heard of them before, and in a very general way I thought they sounded nice. But this week a friend sent me a link to a site that hosts tours of the Islands as she is considering a vacation, and the more I read the more I wanted to go as well!

The beaches are beautiful, the weather is wonderfully warm, the landscape is breathtaking, and the water – oh, the water! But of all the things I’ve read, what interests me the most is the giant tortoises. They just look so cool and interesting, and I want to meet at least one of them before I leave this Earth! In the meantime, I’ll be making do with something sweet. Namely, turtle cupcakes!

I came across these captivatingly cute cupcakes on Pinterest, and traced that recipe on back to Spoonful.com. Here’s what you’ll need to decorate your cupcakes…

  • Miniature Chocolate Chips
  • Frosting
  • Red and Green Gumdrops
  • Sour Peach Gummi Rings
  • Spearmint Leaves
  • Kitchen Skewer or Toothpick

You’ll need to make some cupcakes as well, or you can buy them already made. We won’t tell. 😉

For step-by-step directions on making your turtle cupcakes the best they can be, check out the recipe at Spoonful.com. And once you’ve satisfied your sweet tooth, browse the internet for pictures and information about The Galapagos Islands. Maybe one day we can make the trip together!

It’s Time to Bake an Easter Cake!

Easter Peeps Cake

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Well, folks – we can’t claim that we weren’t given enough time to make something nice. Easter 2014 is 3 weeks later than it was last year, with everyone’s favorite bunny hopping through town April 20th. Could we whip up a quick dessert last year and claim that Easter snuck up on us? Sure! But can we pull that same stunt this year? Not a chance.

This year, it’s time to pull out the big guns. It’s time to set aside all those 10 minute recipes and get down to business baking a real, from scratch, cake. The kind our grandmothers and mothers baked. The kind that don’t come in a box. The kind that every single time we take a bite, we remember why they’re worth the extra time!

We all have our own favorite cake recipes, be they lemon, chocolate, vanilla, or any of a million other varieties. I’m not even going to search for a cake recipe as there are countless options, and you probably have one in mind already, anyway! That said, I did find a decorating idea that I had to share. The effect is charming and fun, and it doesn’t require you to be a master cake decorator to pull it off.

The cake in the photograph is round, but I imagine just about any traditional shape would work. I also love that you can easily adjust the design for smaller or larger cakes simply by creating more or fewer flowers. I couldn’t find an ingredients list, but here’s all that it looks like you’ll need (in addition to supplies for the cake itself, of course!)…

  • Frosting (or the ingredients to make your own)
  • Food Coloring or Colored Icing (for the flower stems and leaves)
  • Marshmallow Peeps
  • Jelly Beans
  • Green Icing (for the grass along the outside)

What do you all think of this Easter cake? Is it something you’ll consider making for Easter dessert? What other recipes do you have in your baking basket? Please share in the comments!

This Lucky Leprechaun Bark is St. Patrick’s Day Perfection!

Can you believe St. Patrick’s Day is just a few days away? I certainly can’t! Holidays have been sneaking up on me this year more than ever, though I have to admit they’ve always had a habit of doing that. I haven’t got my holiday plans set in stone just yet, but I will be having some friends over this weekend to kick back and catch up over a few beers and cocktails. I always like to have a special sweet on hand to share, and I made a stop by Pinterest today to see what it had to offer. After sorting through quite a few tempting St. Patrick’s Day candy recipes, the one shining brightest at the end of the rainbow came to light! And that recipe is for colorful, fun, and crunchy Lucky Leprechaun Bark.

The Pin for this mint chocolate bark recipe led me to CouponingNCooking.com, and if the ingredients didn’t sound delicious enough on their own (they do!), the additional pictures would have been enough to make my decision for me. The one I saw on Pinterest was enticing enough, but looking at several in a row from different angles had my sweet tooth sending up a cheer! One of my favorite things about barks is that they look like they took forever to make, but actually can be quite quick. This recipe seems like it can be achieved in a short window of time, but the effect is perfect. All you’ll need as far as ingredients go is melting chocolate, melting white chocolate, green food coloring, Mint M&M’s, Andes Mint baking chips, and some green colored sugar. Check out the site for a step-by-step and some inspiration on other occasions for which this bark makes a great choice!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

Lego Dude Valentines: They’re as Cool as They Sound

Image courtesy of SugarSwings.blogspot.com

Can you believe that Lego has been creating some of the most fun toys EVER since 1949? I couldn’t! I was doing a little research today as I was curious about how long they’ve been around, and was surprised to find it’s longer than 60 years. Having purchased Legos for many years, I can say with certainty that my personal favorites are the Legos that allow you to make whatever you can dream up. I understand the appeal of the specific Lego sets, but I love even more watching what kids can come up with themselves! But I digress.

Perhaps what had Legos on my mind today was that I recently saw a commercial for The Lego Movie. If you haven’t seen the commercial yourself, it is actually a preview of a new Lego movie set for release this February 7. Given how much I love Legos, I think I’ll volunteer to take some of the kiddos in my family to check it out. No one has to know I secretly want to see it just as much as them, or more! I think I’ll also be making some Lego-themed Valentine’s Day treats this year. To be honest, the idea never even occurred to me until I stumbled on the cutest Lego candy I ever did see at Sugar Swings!

Sugar Swings has recipes for some of the most unique creations you can imagine, and the blogger/baker/awesome lady who authors the blog has imagined up so many Lego recipes, they have their own category. As for the ones I’ll be trying my hand at for Valentine’s Day? Lego Dude Valentines, of course!

The recipe is simple enough, requiring just candy melts, a sprinkle mix with hearts, and the trickiest ingredient of all – patience! You will need to purchase a Lego ice cube tray, but I think it’s worth the investment as you can use it time and again for any occasion.

What do you all think? Are these Lego Valentine’s candies something you or your kids would love?

A Last Minute Thanksgiving Dessert Everyone Will Love!

Image courtesy of ComfyInTheKitchen.com

I’m just going to assume I’m not the only lady who isn’t anywhere close to ready for Thanksgiving. Yes, I am keenly aware that it is tomorrow. Yes, I know it’s foolish to wait until the last minute and deal with the crowds and empty shelves. No, I didn’t let that stop me from procrastinating! Luckily, I’m not in charge of the really big stuff this year, like the turkey and the stuffing and the zucchini casserole. But I am in charge of a few little whatnots and a dessert the adults AND the kids will love. Guess my family knows I’m still about 7 years old at heart!

If you’re in the same boat I am and need a cute, clever, colorful, kid-friendly dessert in a flash, save yourself from searching, because I already did and I got it! Presenting… Turkey Pops! (Don’t worry – they don’t taste like turkey, they look like turkeys.)

Here’s what you’ll need to make these easy, adorable little fellas for yourself:

  • Double Stuff Oreos
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Drops (or substitute)
  • Black Gel Icing
  • Red Icing
  • White Icing
  • Small Pretzel Sticks
  • Candy Corn (great way to use some leftovers up!)
  • Lollipop Sticks

Turkey Pops take just about 30 minutes to make, and are all assembly – no baking! That means you can get the kids in on the craft and be done in no time. Simply follow the instructions at Comfy in the Kitchen, and you’ll be gobbling up gobblers soon!

♥♥♥ Wishing you all the tastiest, Happiest Thanksgiving! ♥♥♥

Tasty Just Got a Terrifying Twist!

Image courtesy of blog.hwtm.com

I may have mentioned this before a few times – OK, I’m sure I did – but golly gosh I sure do love Halloween! And I love all the sweet and spooky treats you can make for Halloween that are great for parties, sharing with coworkers, or enjoying with friends and family during a horror movie marathon. My imagination often outpaces my skills in the kitchen, so I’ve been digging the depths of the internet for a Halloween treat that is both impressive and possible for me to make look like the picture. These two don’t always go hand-in-hand, so when I find one, I get pretty excited! And today I found one that is adorable and do-able – and the recipe sounds awesomely appetizing as well.

There are few animals more Halloween-y than the spider, and while I don’t normally associate them with the word ‘appetizing’, Spooky Scotcheroo Spiders aren’t your average arachnid. These creepy critters are packed with peanut butter and your choice of white or semi-sweet chocolate chips. I’m a big fan of white chocolate, so I’m leaning toward that variation, but I might cut the white chocolate chips in half and add in a cup of butterscotch chips. Then again, if I do that, I might also eat all 36 of these Halloween treats myself and end up with quite the bellyache, so we’ll see!

If you want to give Spooky Scotcheroo Spiders a try, check out the recipe at the Hostess with the Mostess blog. There are tons of other spooktacular recipes and ideas as well, including everything in their Monster’s Ball Halloween Party post!

Candy Corn Goes Back to the Cob!

Image courtesy of alaskantomboy at instructables.com

Summer flew by faster than ever this year, and I’m still struggling to wrap my head around the days ending so soon and the chill that creeps in at night. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was standing as physically close to the air conditioner as possible, wishing the roads were a lazy river and I could hop on a tube to get around instead of jumping in a car. OK, to be fair, that lazy river fantasy is one I’ve had for years throughout all seasons, but I digress! Fall is just around the corner, and as much as I love summer, I love fall even more. And I especially love fall’s coolest, ghoul-est holiday – Halloween!

I’ve adored Halloween as long as I can remember, and not just because of the candy. I love the decorations, the costumes, the excitement with which many adults greet trick-or-treaters and seem to enjoy themselves just as much as the kids. It’s the one night that I don’t mind how early it gets dark as it adds to the ambiance of an evening that isn’t really scary or spooky, but definitely has an air of something. I love seeing the little princesses, ghosts, football players, pop stars, and entirely unique costumes shuffle down the street in groups of giddy, sugar-fueled fun. I love answering the door knowing that on the other side is a smiling, adorable bunch of youngsters with bursting bags of treats and songs to sing. I mean, really – does it get any cuter than that?!

And, of course, while it is far from everything I love, I DO love the candy! While it’s as controversial a candy as they come – a love-it-or-hate-it sort of candy – I am very much a supporter of candy corn. I love the texture, the shape, the honey-ish flavor. I love the way it looks in the candy bowl, and the way it shines in my hand before I pop a few pieces into my mouth. I love that it tastes the same as it always has, and it’s cheap enough that you don’t even have to wait for a sale to stock up. And this year I’ll be stocking up not only to snack with wild abandon, but also to try my hand at a cool Halloween project I came across for making Candy Corn on the Cob!

The recipe for this delicious, amazingly cool project is as simple as they come. All you’ll need is candy corn and sugar cookie dough. And – naturally – some degree of precision! The creator of the recipe, alaskantomboy, put a lot of thought into what material would work best as the cob base, and while she lists other options to consider, I think I’ll be trying mine with the cookie dough as well. How about you? Would you try your candy corn on the cob with cookie dough, chocolate, caramel, marzipan, icing, or something else entirely?

Mixing Up Some Marvelous Candy Bar Milkshakes!

Image courtesy of SpoonForkBacon.com

In the summer months, many of us find ourselves getting away from cooking or baking anything that requires the stove or oven being on for more than 20 minutes. When the sun is beating down well into the evening, and the humidity levels seem as though they must have climbed past 100%, we don’t want to be near the kitchen! Instead of cakes and pies, we often favor frozen desserts, like ice cream, milkshakes, and Popsicles. And on occasions where we venture out for tasty treats, we can sometimes find ourselves in shock when we get the bill.

There are seemingly more places than ever to ‘create your own ice cream’, whether it’s a sundae or creation where everything gets mixed into the middle. I consider these mixed-up treats to be somewhat of a hybrid between a sundae and a milkshake, but for this post I’ll be referring to them as a milkshake.

I can honestly say that most of these summery treats that I’ve tried have been downright delicious. My favorite ingredients to include are Reese’s Cups, Reese’s Pieces and Oreos, though I’ll veer off-course from time to time. But for as tasty as they are, they are also expensive, with many places charging a small fee that adds up quickly for each candy. Not to mention, sometimes I simply don’t want to have to drive to the ice cream shop, dealing with traffic and a line, or simply be left craving when I decide I want one at midnight! So I did something recently that I should have been doing for years. I started making my own!

You’ll just need a few simple ingredients to make your own ice cream shop at home:

  • Ice Cream (I prefer the staples – chocolate and vanilla)
  • A Blender or Similar Appliance
  • Milk (If you prefer a thinner consistency)
  • Chocolate Sauce, Hot Fudge and/or Caramel Topping (optional and variable)
  • Whipped Cream (optional)
  • Your Favorite Candy Bars (I usually work with mini ‘fun’ sizes)

I don’t follow an exact recipe for my candy bar milkshakes, usually including about 2 scoops of ice cream, a splash of milk, a quick squirt of chocolate sauce, and the equivalent of 2 chopped miniature candy bars in the blender. I don’t like the candy completely pulverized, nor do I like my treat too smooth, so a few blender bursts and I’m ready! If you like yours smoother, you might want to add the candy after blending about halfway if you don’t want it to break up too much. It’s all trial and error, and even the ‘errors’ taste delicious, so it’s a no-lose situation!

For garnish, I add a bit of whipped cream and some additional chopped candy bar pieces. I then grab a long spoon, dig in, and thoroughly enjoy each and every bite.

If you want some more inspiration, do a quick Google search for ‘candy bar milkshake’, or check out this tasty number to get started: Snickers Milkshakes.