For those who don’t like candy corn…

Word on the streets is that some of you out there don’t like candy corn?  How is this possible???  It’s almost as confusing to me as folks who don’t like PEEPS.  Does. not. compute.   But hey, to each his own, right?

Since candy corn is quintessentially Halloween in my book I thought I’d share some candy corn treats that don’t actually contain any candy corn.  You’re welcome haters. 😉

First up – I made some candy corn decorated cookies!  Everybody likes sugar cookies, right?  (If you don’t, please don’t tell me.  My head might explode.)

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies for #HalloweenEverybody loved my mustache Easter bunnies so much that I thought I’d give the  ‘stache a try on my candy corn too.  As I suspected, these were a big hit.

I also made a super easy Halloween bark with Kraft Jet-Puffed Candy Corn Marshmallows and Wilton Halloween sprinkles.

Marshmallow Candy Corn Bark - A super easy treat to make for #Halloween!Marshmallow Candy Corn Bark

Ingredients
2 – 12 oz bags of chocolate melting wafers, any flavor
Bag of Kraft Jet-Puffed Candy Corn Marshmallows
Halloween sprinkles

Directions
1. Melt both bags of chocolate in a double boiler, or follow the instructions on the package for melting in the microwave.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Pour melted chocolate onto parchment paper and spread evenly with a spatula.
*IMPORTANT – if using a double boiler, make sure you dry the bottom of your pan thoroughly before pouring the chocolate onto the parchment paper.  You don’t want any water dripping onto the chocolate.  I just put a dish towel down on the counter and wiped the bottom of the pan across it a few times to dry it off.
4. Immediately top chocolate with marshmallows and sprinkles.
5. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and let the chocolate harden.  If you’re in a hurry you can pop the tray in the refrigerator for about a half an hour, otherwise you can just let the bark rest on the counter top.
6. Once the chocolate has set, cut the bark into randomly sized pieces.

Quick and easy Marshmallow Candy Corn Bark for #Halloween

It really doesn’t get much easier than that, and look at how fun and festive that bark looks!  Plus – chocolate and marshmallow – can’t go wrong there, right?  Right?!

There you go, you despisers of candy corn.  You can still have some candy corn treats this Halloween!  We can all live together in peace and harmony!

You PEEPS hating people on the other hand… I can’t even deal with you. 😉

So, how do you feel about candy corn?  Love it or hate it?  Let me know in the comments, and have a Happy Halloween!

Orange Peepsicle Cookies

I don’t care what Mother Nature says.  So what if there is MORE snow in the forecast this week?!  It is SPRING and I have the cookies to prove it!!

Creamsicle Cookies with Orange Cream PEEPS | Shake Bake and Party

If you know me, you know that I am a PEEPS freak and I am loving all the new flavors I have been finding in the stores lately.  Valentine’s Day brought cherry dipped in chocolate and strawberry creme, and now for Easter I have discovered orange creme PEEPS.  I also found Pillsbury Creamsicle cookie mix, and I thought what would could more fun than an Orange Peepsicle Cookie?

These are so easy to make!  All you need is a box of the Pillsbury Creamsicle cookie mix, one stick of butter, one egg, a tub of Pillsbury Whipped Supreme Vanilla Frosting, Orange Creme PEEPS and sprinkles in lovely spring colors.

Orange Peepsicle Cookie Ingredients

To make: Prepare the cookie mix and bake according to the directions on the box.  Once the cookies have cooled, spread on the frosting, sprinkle on the sprinkles and top with an Orange Creme PEEP! The only problem is that I haven’t been able to find the Orange Creme PEEPS in a package larger than the three pack pictured above.  Since the cookie mix makes about 2 dozen cookies and you might not want to buy 8 packs of PEEPS, you can make cookie sandwiches with any of the leftover cookies!

Orange Peepsicle Cookies | Shake Bake and Party

These are so delicious!  The chewy creamsicle cookie, the fluffy vanilla frosting and the even fluffier PEEP on top – it is the perfect combination of textures and flavors.  Perfect for stuffing into your face during the 16th, (17th? I’m losing track!) winter storm of the year!

Orange Peepsicle Cookies | Shake Bake and Party

These will also be a perfect treat to make for the kids (or grownups like me!) when Easter rolls around!  Hopefully we won’t be doing egg hunts in snow drifts!

Orange Peepsicle Cookies | Shake Bake and Party

BOTW featured

Spiked Irish Potatoes

Hi everyone!  Sorry I have been MIA for the past two months!  In addition to this being the WORST winter weather-wise (seriously, 3rd snowiest winter in Philadelphia – I think I have spent half the past two months just shoveling my driveway!), this has also been a very bad start to 2014 on a personal level.  Hence, my disappearing act.  Things are better now though, and with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner I am hoping a bit of the Luck o’ the Irish will get everyone through the rest of this winter unscathed!  In order to facilitate said luck, I made some Irish Potatoes and added an extra special ingredient – booze (I know, no surprise there right?)!

If you aren’t from around here you may not be aware of these delightful confections. I am obviously not talking about those spuds that grow in the ground.  I am talking cream cheese, powdered sugar, coconut flakes and cinnamon.  They are a traditional Philadelphia candy that look like little potatoes, and are especially popular this time of year.  There is absolutely nothing Irish about them. 🙂

Until last year when I shared my Drunken Irish Potato cocktail recipe, I had no idea that people outside of the Philadelphia area may have never experienced the sweet perfection of these little treats.  So this year I am making it my mission to get everyone acquainted with my little spuddy buddy, the Irish Potato.

Spiked Irish Potatoes | Shake Bake and Party

These couldn’t be any easier to make and the taste payoff is beyond worth the minimal effort!  You just mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, roll the mixture into little balls or potato shapes and then cover them in cinnamon!  And then you spend the rest of the night sneaking into the fridge to grab “just one more” and furtively wiping the traces of cinnamon from your fingers.  Or maybe that’s just me…

Spiked Irish Potatoes (adapted from Irish Potato Candy submitted to Allrecipes.com by Saundra)

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 of an 8 oz. package of cream cheese
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon Malibu Coconut Rum OR 1 tablespoon RumChata OR 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
ground cinnamon

Directions

In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add the liquor of your choice (or vanilla extract if you don’t want to use alcohol) and confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, beating until smooth.  Mix in the coconut flakes – I used my hands! – and then chill the mixture for about 20 minutes in the refrigerator.  Pour a few tablespoons of ground cinnamon into a small bowl.  Once the mixture has chilled, roll into small balls or potato shapes and then coat in the cinnamon.  Place onto a cookie sheet and chill to set.

The addition of the coconut rum just enhances the coconut flavor in the Malibu potatoes, and the RumChata potatoes were slightly creamier with a hint of vanilla.  These aren’t overwhelmingly boozy the way rum balls at Christmastime can be.

Irish Potato Candy spiked with Malibu and RumChata | Shake Bake and Party

These are fun to make, and even more fun to eat!  If you leave out the booze these are definitely an easy St. Patty’s Day treat that kids can help whip up; their little hands are perfect for shaping these bite sized spuds!  If you have never had an Irish Potato before, give these a try and let me know what you think!  I’d love to hear from any first-timers out there!

Spiked Irish Potatoes | Shake Bake and Party

If you agree that the combination of creamy coconut and cinnamon is as awesome as I think it is, try out my liquid version – the Drunken Irish Potato!

Cadbury Dream

 

While scrolling through Pinterest the other day (instead of doing something productive like laundry) I came across a recipe for a jelly bean martini.  With all the delicious varieties or Easter candy available you would think there would be tons of Easter themed cocktails but I have only seen a few.  I thought of all the different types of jelly beans, coconut eggs, peanut butter eggs, Cadbury Creme Eggs…

There had to be a Cadbury Creme Egg Cocktail!  I did a search.  I found a recipe for a Cadbury Caramel Cream Martini.  While that sounds delicious, in my opinion nothing beats the taste of the original Cadbury Creme Egg.

Cadbury eggs, a common Easter candy. One is br...

Since I couldn’t find a recipe I decided to invent my own!  I got some Cadbury Creme Eggs at the drugstore (buy one get one free – yes!) and then headed to the liquor store.  I didn’t really know what type of liquor I wanted to use but came upon the vodka section first.

PB&J vodka, cucumber vodka, bacon vodka (breakfast martini anyone?), a vodka flavor called Dude that is the color of Mountain Dew…there are so many bizarre vodka flavors out there that I was half hoping to spot one called Cadbury Creme Egg.  Alas, I did not, so I headed to the next aisle.  I was considering the Baileys when I saw something called RumChata – a rum cream.

I had never heard of this before but I thought – cream, Creme Egg, sounds good!  I brought it home and as soon as I opened it I knew it wasn’t going to work.  All I could smell was cinnamon.  Definitely not an ingredient I want to mix with my chocolate egg.  Since I opened it, I tried a little nip of the RumChata and it is REALLY GOOD stuff.  I will definitely be experimenting with that in the future, but I had a Cadbury Creme Egg Cocktail to concoct.

I decided to try to use some of the Pinnacle Chocolate Whipped I had on the shelf.  I poured a shot of that into my trusty Magic Bullet, then added a splash of chocolate milk (I used chocolate soy milk since that was all I had).  Next I chopped up a Cadbury Creme Egg (messy!), dumped that in there  with some ice and blended.  I think adding the ice before I blended the creme egg might not have been the best idea because the creme filling got a little hard from the cold and I had to chop at it quite a bit with a spoon to break it down.  So if you want to make this I’d suggest blending the egg and the liquids first, then adding ice and you definitely want to make this because it was AWESOME!  I rimmed my martini glass with some of the leftover yellow sanding sugar I had from making Peeps Bunny Cookies, poured in my mixture and voila!  The Cadbury Dream was born…

 

Cheers to the Easter Bunny!

 

Foghat, Thunderbirds and a First Birthday

In January my friend’s son had his first birthday.  I made the cake, cupcakes and cookie favors.  I will share some pics of those with you shortly, but first some other firsts…

The first time I laid eyes on my all time favorite stuffed animal, my Bedtime Bear Care Bear..

Can you see the love?

I was 4.  I am now 32. I cannot sleep without that bear under my arm.

My first time operating heavy machinery…

My first pet, our dog Britt…

He was awesome.  He loved pizza crusts.  He would beg for one, we would oblige, he would run with it into another room and then run back to beg for another.  We figured he was scarfing them down but he was actually depositing them into a pile behind my dad’s recliner.

My first car was a 1986 Ford Thunderbird.  For some reason it was dubbed the Thunderchicken.  For some other reason, I don’t seem to have any pictures of it.

My first concert…No, it wasn’t New Kids on the Block or Debbie Gibson (although my first ever perfume was Electric Youth).  My first concert was the WDRE Fest – June 2, 1996.  Here was the lineup: No Doubt, 311, Filter, Toadies, Cracker, Fishbone, Gravity Kills, The Nixons, God Lives Underwater and Spin Doctors.  I’d say that was a damn good first concert.  My first “classic rock” show (At the time, this referenced music from the 60’s and 70’s.  Apparently now classic rock includes bands that I grew up listening to, like Bon Jovi, which means I am officially old)  followed two months later.

I was sixteen and I went with my mom.  The bands were Iron Butterfly and Foghat.  I watched women with a good ten years on my mother, women who looked like they could have been my teachers at school, screaming like teenagers and rushing the stage trying to grab the drummer from Foghat’s ass.  It was a good time.

The first time I was a bridesmaid (sharing this one because I LOVED my hair!)…

First time I ever saw the Pacific Ocean…

There are some firsts that thankfully went undocumented… The first time I threw up from drinking too much (Mad Dog 20/20 Orange – it will never again pass my lips),  the first time I was called Ma’am, the first (and only) time I watched the movie Twilight (I still have nightmares about the bad acting…”Your hand, it’s so cold!”).

Then there was the little man’s first birthday.  It was my first time making a crown shaped cake!  They had chosen a prince theme so I also made cupcakes with blue chocolate crowns on top and of course, I made #1 cookies.

AJ has many, many firsts ahead and despite my ever advancing age, hopefully I do too!

Lego My Organic Waffle

So tonight I was sitting around making myself hungry watching Diners Drive-Ins and Dives.  I wandered into the kitchen in search of something tasty for dinner and for some reason decided to make waffles.  Not just any old waffles though – organic blueberry waffles.  Sounded wholesome, smelled great heating up in my toaster, tasted…like cardboard.  I didn’t think it was possible to mess up a frozen waffle.  I was wrong. I won’t name names, but this was just not right.

Back in front of the TV, completely unfulfilled and Guy Fieri is mocking me with some delicious looking pizzas.  I think about the crummy, disappointing waffles.  Then I think “leggo my Eggo!” which then reminds of LEGOS which leads me to today’s post.  LEGO Man cookies!!

My coworker was having a LEGO themed birthday party for her son and she asked me to make cookies for favors.  We decided on a cookie in the shape of the LEGO Man’s head, and chocolate LEGO bricks.  I found a LEGO shaped chocolate mold on eBay (what CAN’T you find on eBay?! ((oh yeah, you can’t find a LEGO Man head shaped cookie cutter, so I made a template out of a coffee can lid using this template from The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle))

Here are my cookies, lined up and ready to decorate.

I knew I wanted a smoother finish on these cookies than I had on my angel cookies so I Googled how to decorate cookies with royal icing.  The short version is that you make the royal icing per the recipe, outline the cookies, then water down the icing to a very runny consistency which you then use to “flood” the cookie.  The outline can be done in the same color you will be using to flood, or it can be done in a different color.  For the look I wanted, I went with black (more on THAT disaster after the pictures!) then flooded with yellow.

 (note my handy mustard squeezy bottle – perfect for dispensing runny icing!)

You may be thinking to yourself, “What disaster?  They look pretty damn good!”  Just as I learned tonight that the word ORGANIC in relation to waffles really means DRYWALL, on that night I learned that it is really hard to make icing black.  I knew that it wouldn’t be as simple as mixing some black gel color into the white icing (because black + white = gray) so I also Googled how to deal with that ahead of time.  All I had to do was make a different color first – blue,brown, dark green, mix of everything?! – and THEN add the black.  Well, I tried that and got gray.  I had also read to try adding cocoa powder so I dumped some of that in there with a little more black gel color.  STILL gray. Finally in desperation I mixed in ALL of the black gel color I had.  Black icing accomplished!!!!

So I outlined and flooded and let them dry overnight, then I piped on the faces the next day.

Once they were dry I started bagging them up with my chocolate LEGO blocks…

….only to discover that apparently dumping an entire pot of black gel color (along with other colors and cocoa powder) into your royal icing can really dry it out.  : /  The faces on my poor LEGO Men started flaking off!!!  I packed them up as carefully as possible, boxed them, took them in to my coworker, apologized and told her not to move the damn things until she was ready to give them away.  Luckily they survived the trip and she was really happy with them (at least that’s what she told me!).  I had two coworkers who saw them ask if they were supposed to be computers, so it would seem that there are people who actually have never seen LEGOs before – who knew?

Anyway, I hope that someone out there can learn from my mistakes.  Organic Blueberry Waffles suck, and don’t over-color your royal icing.  I have since read that Americolor Super Black gel paste does the trick, and I have a bottle of it just waiting to be used next week when I attempt to make Pot of Gold cookies for St. Patrick’s Day!  Stay tuned…