Valentine’s Day Fluffernutter

Did you know that STRAWBERRY Marshmallow Fluff existed?  I had no idea until I saw it in the World Market section at Bed Bath and Beyond the other day.  I immediately grabbed a jar off the shelf.

I wish I hadn’t.

I wish….

…that I had grabbed three or four!  It’s SO GOOD!!  You know the first thing I had to do was make a fluffernutter sandwich, right?  Did you grow up on these things too?  Gooey marshmallow and peanut butter slathered onto good old white bread.  I could have eaten one every day for lunch and never gotten tired of it.

Of course, I had to take it up a notch.  We are talking about STRAWBERRY Fluff, people.  And what goes with strawberry??  That’s right – chocolate!

This strawberry and chocolate Fluffernutter is a fun and easy treat to make with the kids for Valentine's Day! It’s Monday morning, and I’m pretty sure that you know how to make a sandwich so I am going to spare you the directions.  Strawberry Fluff, your favorite chocolate nut spread (I used Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams but I am thinking Nutella would be AWESOME with this) and white bread are all you need to make this fun Valentine’s Day treat.

Strawberry and Chocolate come together in this fun sandwhich for Valentine's Day!The kids will love this and so will you because strawberry and chocolate, that’s why.  Now pardon me while I go continue eating this Strawberry Fluff straight out of the jar.

Yes, Strawberry Fluff exists and it's AWESOME!

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Mounds Cake Mix Cookies

It’s been a while since I shared any cake mix cookies with you, hasn’t it?  Never fear though, I whipped up a batch that is perfect for Easter!  I found Mounds flavored pudding at the store a few weeks ago; chocolate and coconut – one of my favorite flavor combinations!  I thought that cake mix cookies made with the Mounds pudding would go wonderfully with the Coconut M&M’s I couldn’t resist when I was at Target last week!

Mounds Cake Mix Cookies | Shake Bake and Party

 

Mounds Cake Mix Cookies
(adapted from Funfetti Cheesecake Cookies by Kitchen Meets Girl)

Ingredients

1 box white cake mix
1 box Mounds instant pudding mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/3 cup spring colored sprinkles
Coconut M&M’s

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2.  Combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil and eggs in a medium bowl until a dough forms.  Mix in the spring sprinkles.
3.  Roll dough into small balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.  Flatten the cookie balls slightly with your palm.
4.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately press two (or three) coconut M&M’s into the top of each cookie. Let cool for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Mounds Cake Mix Cookies | Shake Bake and Party

These are chewy and delicious, and perfect for those of us who still want some chocolate with our spring-time treats!

Mounds Cake Mix Cookies | Shake Bake and Party

The 12 Daze of Christmas

Today I got a little break from the pre-Christmas running around madness.  Presents are all wrapped, cookies are baked, make-ahead mashed potatoes for Christmas Eve dinner are made…ahead.  What better way to enjoy some downtime than with a cocktail?

chocolate caramallow cocktail

This drink was inspired by those chocolate covered marshmallow and caramel santas that you can buy at the drugstore this time of year.  I love those things!

While I was whipping this up, I thought of a Christmas song called The 12 Daze of Christmas by Fay McKay.  It’s not something they ever play on the radio – I’m not even sure how I ever heard it in the first place – but they should, because it’s freaking hilarious.

So if you too could use a little drink and some music to unwind this evening, play that and make this:

Chocolate Caramallow 2

Chocolate Caramallow Cocktail

1 oz Pinnacle Marshmallow Vodka
2 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
splash of half & half
ice
caramel sundae syrup, chocolate syrup and marshmallows for garnish (optional)

Combine marhsmallow vodka, chocolate liqueur, half & half, and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake until frosty.  Drizzle caramel sundae syrup inside martini glass, then pour in drink.  Garnish with marshmallows and chocolate syrup.

 

Holiday Wanderings

I’ve been doing quite a bit of Christmas-y stuff the past week.  First, I put together gift tins full of goodies for my coworkers.  I made chocolate covered Oreos (Double Stuff, of course), cute little candy cane striped cups full of Christmas gummies, personalized stocking cookies, and a treat I found on Pinterest – Cinnamon Sugar White Chocolate Pretzels (or what I now refer to as Christmas Crack – it’s THAT good)!

Chocolate Covered Oreos

Cute Christmas tin I got at the dollar store!
Filled Tin
No calories there!

Stocking Cookies

I also went with a bunch of friends to see the Holiday Pops show.   Before the concert we had lunch at Max Brenner, where I had this lovely concoction:

Yummy drinks at Max Brenner!

This wasn’t the first time I got to have this drink, called Satisfaction Guaranteed, and it was every bit as good as I remembered!

After lunch we headed over to the Kimmel Center to see Peter Nero and the Philly Pops!

Holiday Pops Concert
Love the architecture at the Kimmel Center!

Once the show was over, we wandered around the city quite a bit.  We went to Love Park to check out the Christmas Village and the tree at City Hall (which was not actually at City Hall this year due to some construction mess).

Lights on Broad Street
City Hall tree, at Love PArk

All the walking made us hungry again and we ended up a my favorite restaurant, Jones, where I had some excellent baked mac and cheese.

Jones Restaurant, 7th and Chestnut

The next night I baked cookies with this candy cane sugar cookie dough made by Pillsbury.  I found it with the refrigerated doughs.  I dipped some of the cookies in melted dark chocolate, and drizzled the chocolate on others.  I also made some chocolate covered marshmallows and put it all together on a tray to take to work.

cookie tray

The cookies were really good, so I went looking for another package of the dough at the grocery store this morning but couldn’t find any. 😦  Bah humbug!

Last but not least, I headed over to Christmas Madness Central with my brother to take some pictures.

IMG_2206
Insanity!

I could hear their electric meters whirring from across the street, and I swear as you round the corner onto the street where these two houses are the air actually feels warmer.  I wonder if they can been seen from outer space…

So there’s a sample of what’s been keeping me busy the past few days!  Since the world didn’t end this morning I’ll probably be baking some more cookies today!  Hope everyone is enjoying all the fun this time of year has to offer!

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!

 

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…