Monday, April 18, 2016

Curious George Cake Pops

Curious George Cake Pops

I’ve been monkeying around this weekend and made the sweetest little cake pops in partnership with Hulu to share with you guys. I’m working with them to help celebrate that all nine seasons of Curious George are now streaming only on Hulu and of course I had to explore how my favorite mischievous little monkey would look in cake pop form.

Okay …Who’s curious to find out how to make George and make people smile.

Making Cake Balls

First, we need to mix up some cake and frosting and roll the mixture into balls. You can reference my basic cake pop instructions here for the full how-to and then follow along below to make them into mini monkeys.

Shaping Faces

Once you have all your balls rolled out, begin to shape the heads. Use a paper lollipop stick to make indentions on the front of the face and then roll it along the sides and surface to help smooth it out.

After shaping, chill the balls until firm.

Butterscotch Morsels

Have some butterscotch or peanut butter morsels handy because they will be our ears.

Moon and Star Sprinkles

Okay, first let me say… I really wanted to try and get George’s hair to curl like his cartoon. That said, you can skip this step and then just use a toothpick to swirl on little curls of melted chocolate on top of his head at the end of decorating.

But, if you are up for it… These are Moon and Star Sprinkles and the moons made perfectly proportioned hair. Let’s see.

Adding Hair

Dip the ends of three moon sprinkles (one at a time) into melted chocolate candy coating and attach to the top and side of George’s head. You can help secure them by adding a little more coating around the base where they are attached. Just smooth it into the surface of the pop. Place shaped balls back in the fridge to chill again before dipping.

Insert a lollipop stick into the shaped ball and carefully dip the entire pop into chocolate candy coating. Remove and gently tap off any excess. Before the coating sets, attach two butterscotch or peanut butter morsels to the side of the head with the bottoms facing forward for ears. Let dry completely.

Monkey Cake Pops

Voila… now we’re ready to fill in these blank faces.

Dipping George

For the fronts of the faces, you can use peanut butter or butterscotch candy wafers. If you can’t find those flavors, then you can also just make your chocolate candy coating lighter by mixing in white candy coating. Here I placed some peanut butter flavored candy coating in a small container and dipped the front of George’s mouth area into it. Remove and then apply more coating to his eye area using a toothpick. Gently use the toothpick to coerce the coating where you want it. You can also place the melted candy coating in a small squeeze bottle and pipe it quickly on the front.

Curious George Faces

When dry, draw on a nose using a toothpick dipped in melted candy coating and attach the eyes.

Confetti Sprinkles

The eyes are white confetti sprinkles.

When completely dry, draw on the eyes, ears and a big grin with a black edible-ink writing pen. For the final finish, dot the eyes with melted white candy coating.

Curious George Cake Pops

Super cute.

Curious George Balloons

But I think we need some balloons.

Balloon Pops

Just dip round cake pops in red, yellow and blue candy coating and let dry. Then use a toothpick to apply coating around the base of the stick for the knot.

Curious George Cake Pops

Now it’s a party and I think Curious George agrees.

Enjoy!

Green Rule

hulu IMG_37212

Curious George is swinging into your home. Hulu has all 9 seasons (108 episodes) of the animated TV series, as well as the animated film Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey. Hulu is THE streaming destination for the best of TV, and a great selection of films! Plus, you can stream almost anywhere, on any device, including gaming consoles, set-top boxes, tablets, mobile phones, and more. Visit Hulu.com to start a free 1-month trial, for a limited time.
This post is in partnership with Hulu.

Green Rule

Monday, April 11, 2016

Chocolate Chip Cookie Candy Buttons

Chocolate Chip Cookie Candy Buttons

I was playing in the kitchen this weekend and made these super fun candy buttons.

And instead of sugary pink, blue and yellow dots, I made them into these soooo super tiny chocolate chip cookies. Eeek!

Making Tiny Cookies

Here’s what you’ll need:

Royal Icing (see recipe below)
Chocolate brown icing color
Black non-pareils
Toothpicks
Small squeeze bottle
3 X 4 inch plastic treat bags
Double-sided tape
Template and tags (download here and print out on letter size paper)

Candy Buttons

Piping Dots

Use the printables provided above to pipe dots of brown royal icing onto paper. (Note: I tried using parchment paper and wax paper to pipe on, but the buttons fell off way too easily). Pipe one sheet at a time using a small squeeze bottle. If the dots have peaks on top from piping then, gently coerce them down with the tip of a toothpick until it blends into the dome of the dot.

Royal Icing
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons meringue powder
3 tablespoons water

  • Sift confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add water. Then, using the paddle attachment, increase speed to high and beat for 5-8 minutes until glossy and stiff peaks form.
  • Tint icing with brown icing color. (I used chocolate brown from AmericaColor.) Check consistency before filling your squeeze bottle. If the royal icing is too thick, add a teaspoon of water at a time. (Note: I only added one extra teaspoon) Alternatively, if the icing is too thin, you can mix in more confectioner’s sugar to thicken it up.
  • Recipe will make enough for 40 sheets of 15 dots each or 600 dots. : )

Sprinkling Chips

As soon as you finish piping each sheet, go ahead and pinch a few nonpareils at a time and drop them on the tops of each dot of sugar. If you try to sprinkle too many at a time, they will fall in between the dots and attach to the sides making the cookies look kinda weird.

I kept a small amount in the cap of the bottle they came in so they would be handy and to avoid making a mess.

Sprinkle Chips

If any of the nonpareils are sitting too high on the sugary “cookie” then just use a clean toothpick to gently press them down a bit.

Tiny Cookies

Now just let them dry! Let them sit out for several hours or overnight before packaging them.

Easy peasy!

Treat Tags

I made the tags for these little treats in the iconic happy colors you usually associate with candy buttons. Just a little subliminal association to help since my treat bags weren’t the normal long and skinny size they usually come in.

Candy Button Packaging

When the cookie candy buttons are completely dry, place each sheet in a treat bag and use double-sided tape to attach the tags to the tops.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Candy Buttons

Super cute.

Cookie Candy Buttons

I can’t help but thing how fun the blue ones would be as party favors from Cookie Monster at a Sesame Street birthday party.

Candy Buttons

But really, they’d be fun to give to out anytime.

Cookie Candy Buttons

Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Cookies and Cups

Brownie Sandwich Cookies

I can’t stop eating these cookies. They’re Peanut Butter Cup-Filled Brownie Cookie Sandwiches from my sweet friend Shelly of Cookies and Cups. Her brand new cookbook (The Cookies and Cups Cookbook) is coming out April 12th and when I saw her recipe for these, I knew I had to try them first. I mean brownie cookies and melty peanut butter cups … I’m so there.

Cookie Ingredients

Plus, I like recipes where I have everything on hand. And in this case I just happened to have a bunch of Reese’s on the ready for Easter … they’re a staple in my house for just about any holiday, you know.

Melted Chocolate

Melted chocolate and butter means we’re off to a delicious start.

Brownie Batter

I used a small cookie scoop for the brownie batter. As the batter rests, it thickens a bit to make it easier to scoop onto your baking sheet.

Cookies and Cups

Cookies. And. Cups.

Sandwich Cookies

Sandwich them while they’re still warm and watch the middles melt… along with my heart.

Brownie Sandwich Cookies

Peanut Butter Cup-Filled Brownie Cookie Sandwiches
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
16 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 regular-size peanut butter cups

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring frequently until the ingredients are just melted. Remove from the heat and let the chocolate-butter mixture cool for about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Then set aside.
  • In another larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add the chocolate and butter mixture to the egg mixture slowly, stirring as you go. Then stir in the flour mixture until combined.
  • Scoop brownie mixture using a 1 1/2 inch scoop and place on baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for about 9 minutes until cookies are set in the middle.
  • Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes. Flip half the cookies over and carefully place a peanut butter cup on each flipped cookie. Place the remaining cookies on top while they are still warm. The heat from the cookies will melt the peanut butter cups enough to hold the sandwiches together when cooled completely.
  • Makes 12 – 16 sandwich cookies.

Brownie Cookies

I enjoyed every last bite of these babies! Hope you do, too. Just make sure to have a big glass of milk ready when you do.

Here’s a little peek at more of the yumminess from The Cookies & Cups Cookbook. Check it out, you can pre-order now! So proud for you Shelly!

The Cookies and Cups Cookbook

Cookies and Cups Recipes

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Bunny Bum Bons

Bunny Bum Bons

These little cuties are really cake balls but I couldn’t resist calling them Bunny Bum Bons. Actually I think I made them just so I could type those words. Bum Bons. It’s the little things that make me smile.

Bunny Bum Cake Balls

You can use my Basic Cake Pop instructions for the cake ball base.

Now, I usually dip cake balls using a spoon, but I used toothpicks for these to make it easier and also because I knew I could cover up the pinhole with a tiny tail.

Bunny Tails

Speaking of tiny tails… Mini marshmallows for the win. To make them look more fluffy, I pressed the marshmallows together a little and then made a few cross hatch marks with kitchen scissors.

When done, you can attach them to the cake balls with a bit of melted candy coating.

Cake Balls

See… Sweet Bunny Bums.

Cake Ball Bunny Bums

Now for the feet.

Chocolate Feet

Just pour melted white candy coating in a small squeeze bottle and pipe pairs of paws. Use a toothpick to help smooth and perfect the shape.

Here’s a template for reference if you need it. I think it helps to get pairs of feet the same size more quickly.

Making Bunny Feet

When dry, you can dot / draw on the paws with melted pink candy coating.

Bunny Bum Cake Balls

Enjoy and Hoppy Easter!!!

P.S. The green candy shred grass and candy coatings are from my Bakerella for Make’n Mold line if you want to check it out.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Toffee Bit Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies

Toffee Bit Butterscotch Choc Chip Cookies

These cookies are just as tasty as they look. I made them a couple of weeks ago and I wish I had about a dozen of them right now. I think they’d do just the trick to cure me of this cold/cough/grossness that I’ve had for the last several days. I’m super tired of feeling under the weather, but I’m getting better… at least good enough to get on the computer to finally post these yummies.

Mix ins

Chips and bits. A tiny ton of chocolate, toffee and butterscotch goodness, baby.

Butterscotch Choc Chip Cookie Cookie Dough

This cookie dough totally makes me want to grab the biggest spoon I can find.

Toffee Bit Butterscotch Cookie Dough

Just don’t get carried away tasting… gotta make sure to save enough spoonfuls to bake, you know.

Toffee Bit Butterscotch Cookies

Toffee Bit Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup toffee bits
1 cup butterscotch chips
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Beat butter and both sugars in mixer for several minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  • Add flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Stir in chocolate chips, toffee bits and butterscotch chips.
  • Place spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 9-12 minutes.

Makes about 36 cookies.

Melty Chocolate Chips

Enjoy all the bits and chips in every warm and melty bite.

Random Sweetness
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