Tag Archives: yummy

The Perfect Treat for Backyard Campfires (Happy Birthday, Laci)

It’s getting pretty late and it’s been a long day, but I just wanted to share a quick post in celebration of my beautiful sister. Today was her 23rd birthday–where has the time gone?

My sister has always been so very special to me. I’m lucky because I’ve never had to live a day without her! Ever since I was born, she has always been my best friend. She was the only person who could ever convince me to wear a dress, go “pee on the potty”, help with the dishes, and pose for all of Grandma’s photo-ops. Sure, most of these things were agreed upon over a promise to sleep with her favourite stuffed animal or for an additional loonie to add to my piggy bank (from her own allowance, might I add), but the point is that she has always known me so very well. She is a compassionate young lady with a heart of an angel (too much?). She has taught and done so much for me in my lifetime, and so the least I could do was show her a little bit of love on her 23rd birthday.

So what did I do? I did what any dessert-obsessed individual would do–I baked her some cupcakes!

My sister loves everything about Disney, so Mini Mouse inspired cupcakes seemed like a logical solution. She found me a picture of some that were very similar to this, so I baked up one of my favourite cupcake recipes and gave it a shot. This is the result.

I made Coca-Cola Cupcakes (but with Cherry Coke to add the extra flavour). This is my favourite cupcake recipe to date because they are so moist and delicious (I talked about them a little bit more in this post). I then topped them with a Salted Chocolate-Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting, sprinkled a little salt, and added some Cadbury (Fair-Trade Certified) Chocolate “Buttons” to create the ears. They were easy to make and turned out great! She loved them too, which is obviously a bonus.

However, since we were having a low-key backyard campfire to celebrate her special day, I also decided to tackle some “S’mores Brownies”. Turns out that these were easier than pie to make as well. I didn’t get around to actually trying one, but my special taste-testers said they were delicious. To make them, all you need to do is bake a batch of your favourite brownie recipe, switch the oven to “Broil”, sprinkle the fully baked brownies with marshmallows and crushed graham crackers, “toast” under the broiler for 30 seconds, remove, and sprinkle with chocolate chips. They are quick and easy to make and are perfect for snacking on at backyard campfire gatherings.

Well, Lace, I hope that you enjoyed your special day today. You truly are the best sister and deserve way more than just some Mini Mouse Inspired Cupcakes or S’mores Brownies. I am truly blessed to have you not only as a sister, but as a best friend. Thank you for all you do. I love you so very much!

Thanks for reading, everyone! I hope you are all having an incredibly blessed week with lots of beautiful sunshine–perfect for night time campfires. I think that it’s safe to say that summer is here!

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A Quick and Easy Sweet Treat: Chocolate Pretzel Bites

As I mentioned in the previous post, I have had a fairly busy weekend. One of the things that took a lot of my attention and time was a Coffee House/Open Mic Night/Bake Sale fundraiser event that I helped to organize. I love a good cup of java, I love great music and time spent with friends, but, perhaps most of all, I love baking delicious treats (well…and eating them too)! Earlier in the week, I made a brief list of a few recipes that I have been dying to try. I decided that I would bake quite a few treats from my list to be sold on the special evening.

One of the things that I was eager to try was Chocolate Pretzel Bites. I didn’t actually have a recipe for them, but I had seen an image on Pinterest. One of my favourite flavour combinations is “salty” and “sweet” so chocolate pretzels have always been a favourite treat of mine. I liked this version because it could be customized for personal preferences. They were so easy to make which is good because they don’t last long (at least not in my house).

Perhaps this is not the way that the original “inventor” created these easy treats. But this is what I did and it worked very well. There is not a set amount of ingredients needed. Simply put, you will need the same number of Hershey Kisses as you will need pretzels. I purchased my ingredients in bulk (Bulk Barn=treat-lover’s heaven) but you could just as easily buy a bag of pretzels and a bag or two of Hershey Kisses.

You will need: pretzels, Hershey Kisses, and peanuts.

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the pretzels out in a single layer.

Unwrap all of your “kisses” and place one on top of each individual pretzel. Do your best to ensure that they are in the center of the pretzel (otherwise the melt slightly off the edge). Carefully place the baking sheet on the center rack in the oven and “bake” for 5 minutes. In the meantime, crush up some peanuts.

When the 5 minutes are up, remove the pretzels from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the crushed peanuts. Quickly sprinkle with a little salt as well. Allow to cool for half an hour and then transfer the tray to the fridge. Re-fridgerate for at least one hour. Remove from the tray and place in a container. Store in the fridge.

That’s it! You can definitely experiment with different variations. The original photo from Pinterest had an M&M pressed into the chocolate instead of peanuts. You could try different types of nuts, toffee bits, dried cranberries, or coconut. There are also a variety of different Hershey Kiss flavours to experiment with as well. Try different kinds and see what combinations you can come up with. I made another batch with Hershey Hugs (a white and milk chocolate mix) and sprinkled with chopped pistachios. Those were delicious as well! What combinations do you think would be worth trying?

To finish off, I thought I would share a few of the photos from the Coffee House/Open Mic/Bake Sale night. Thanks for reading and I hope you try this deliciously sweet and salty treat. Let me know if you come up with any unique combinations that are worth trying!

These are a couple young ladies practicing some songs.

These are a couple of the first prints purchased from a series created by Landon Wideman. He is an incredibly talented graphic artist and even has a rockin’ blog going. If you are interested in checking out his work (and I strongly suggest that you do), you should check out The Seam. Trust me…you won’t regret it.

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Bake Night Bliss: holy baby cakes!

Tonight, my sister and I embarked on a slightly unexpected adventure. Tomorrow we are hosting a get-together at our house so we decided that we were going to bake a few treats. Our parents went out for the night, so it was just the two of us. What began as a couple treats turned into a huge explosion of baked goods and chocolate all over the kitchen! I’m pretty sure that every single thing we made either contained chocolate, got dipped in chocolate, or was drizzled with chocolate. Not complaining.

At first, I intended on making Raspberry Macaroons (which are absolutely deliciously-to-die-for, by the way) and my sister intended on making some Butterscotch Squares (a family classic). Those two recipes didn’t take long and we had them whipped up in no time. Then, for some reason, I suggested that we should take on some cake balls. My sister has an awesome little machine called a Baby Cake that makes adorable little balls of cake in a breeze. So we decided to pull it out!

But then we realized that we needed to decorate the balls. I began to melt some chocolate but much to my dismay, it got way too thick and was useless. My quick problem solving skills suggested adding a can of sweetened condensed milk to turn the (what would have been) wasted chocolate into fudge. Note that we now have four desserts instead of the initial two.

My sister found a few lolly sticks so we decided to make a dozen cake pops instead of just plain cake balls. These made me pretty angry but we’re hoping they taste great. They got a bit messy (as I’m sure you can tell), beginning the crazy mess that became our kitchen. With the cake pops, we now had five different desserts instead of the intended two.

After all the cake balls and pops were covered in their chocolate coating, we had quite a bit melted chocolate left over. I suggested that we dip some of the fresh blackberries we just got at the store in it. But we found something better in the fridge–strawberries! So of course we had to dip them as well. Now we had Butterscotch Squares, Raspberry Macaroons, Chocolate Fudge, Cake Balls, Cake Pops, Chocolate-Covered Blackberries, and Chocolate-Covered Strawberries. You heard it right…seven desserts instead of the initial two!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m complaining. I just think it is a wonderful example of what results when my sister and I get together with some delicious treats in mind and some Jukebox Oldies playing in the background. We had such a blast preparing the treats for tomorrow’s party and can’t wait to serve them up to our friends and family. We hope they enjoy them as much as we enjoyed creating them!

Our parents haven’t made it home yet. My mom is probably going to be pretty shocked and will most likely say “What are we going to do with all these treats!?”. As for my dad, well, he’s the answer to my mom’s question. He will be in treat heaven (and will surely “taste-test” for us). Thanks for stopping by and reading!

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Tested and Tried: Coca-Cola Cupcakes with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting

Holy cow. That is all I can say. I just died and went to heaven after eating one of these babies.

I’ve never really been a “cake” person. But I have recently discovered why. What I have been considering “cake” are those dried out Costco-bakery cakes or ready-in-a-flash-powder-in-a-box-just-add-eggs cake mixes. But now that I have been exposed to home-baked-from-scratch cakes, I am proud and excited to say that I am a cake person.

I’ve been on a major craze for making “from-scratch” baked goods. Sure, it’s convenient to grab a box of cake mix and whip up some cupcakes in a flash. But the reality (which I have come to discover) is that home-baked cupcakes are fantastic. A week or two ago, I quickly posted about my experience making Triple-Salted Caramel Cupcakes. I could have sworn that those would forever be my new favourite kind of cupcake. But today, I took on a new recipe and I think those caramel ones are beat out of the park.

These, my friends, are no dry Costco or box-mix cupcakes. These are incredibly delicious, moist, chocolatey, sweet, and fan-cakin’-tastic Coca-Cola Cupcakes with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting.

A while back, I came across a fantastic blog called Sprinkle Bakes. If you read my post, you may remember that I used the Triple Salted Caramel Cupcake recipe from this blog. As soon as I made those, I started following the blog because Heather’s creations are truly unique looking and delicious sounding. Just the other day, she posted this recipe and the unique and almost un-heard of (at least in my neck of the woods) combination was captivating. I decided that these were the next cupcakes on my “to-try” list. My sister and I spontaneously planned a movie night tonight with some of our girlfriends, so I decided that it would be the perfect opportunity to test it out!

The cupcakes are chocolate cupcakes made with one of my brother’s favourite things–Coke! You heat the Coca-Cola in a saucepan, add the cocoa, butter, and sugars until all of the ingredients melt into a chocolatey syrup. Then, a small amount of flour and other dry ingredients are added, along with one egg. It really doesn’t take very long to make them. They are then topped with a fantastically delicious peanut-butter buttercream frosting. Honestly, what is better than peanut butter and chocolate? Heather suggests topping the cupcakes with chopped peanuts and chocolate sprinkles but I had neither in my cupboards so I improvised with some chopped cashews, chopped chocolate, and a sprinkling of salt.

I give full credit to Heather from Sprinkle Bakes on these ones. If you are interested in trying the recipe, you can access it by CLICKING HERE. Even if you aren’t interested in making them, head over that way to check out some of the awesome photographs and adorable story that goes along with them.

I’m off to enter another treat-coma. Thanks for stopping by and reading. What are your thoughts? Coca-Cola, chocolate, and peanut butter–good or gross? You might want to bite your tongue until you try these ones…

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Top Five Friday: Sugar Cookie Edition

I know I haven’t been very active on my blog over the last week, but I can assure you that I have been a very busy girl. Although most of my time was spent doing mandatory things (like those pesky papers that never seem to end), I also spent some time doing a few baking orders. Four to be exact. It was a bit overwhelming, of course, but it was also time well spent. I have decided that in lieu of my many orders, I would end the work week (and start the weekend) with a top five list of my all time favourite sugar cookies that I have had the privilege of making.

Let’s count down, friends.

NUMBER FIVE

Black on white is one of my favourite combinations. From paisley designs to zebra print, black and white patterns get me every time! I experimented with some of the extra cookies that I had from an order and tried to use up some of the icing I had left. These mis-matched cookies are the result.

NUMBER FOUR

I decorated these little heart cookies only a month or two ago. They were the first cookies I did where I used a paintbrush to get the feathery finish. I absolutely adore flowers so I just had to test it out. I think my favourite part is the metallic “dusting powder”. They give these cookies the sheen that they need (I posted about the new techniques I tried not too long ago. CLICK HERE to read that post)!

NUMBER THREE

These cookies were done for a baby shower. They turned out “beary” cute. They were accompanied by some little tangerine coloured baby carriages. I personally loved the bears the most though!

NUMBER TWO

Last summer, my sister and I hosted a tea party for our grandmother. I made these cookies to go along with all of the sandwiches, crackers and cheese, fruits and veggies, and of course, tea. I love pastel, muted colours so I had fun doing these.

And finally…

NUMBER ONE

These are definitely my favourite cookies to date…there’s no doubt “a-boot” it! I created these cookies in celebration of the life of a young lady who passed away last summer. She loved country music and cowboy boots. I’m not a country girl myself, but I did enjoy creating these!

There you have it! If you haven’t already realized from reading my blog, I am a sugar cookie-enthusiast. I don’t always post about them on here, but if you are interested in some of my other baking creations, you can make your way over to my exclusively-baking blog DIARY OF A COOKIE CUTTER. I post pictures and recipes of the baked goods I have tested and tried.

Thanks for reading. As usual, I hope you have a wonderfully blessed weekend. And if you’re up for it, pull out your hand beaters and decorating bags. Nothing beats a good cookie!

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