Category Archives: Dessert

ALMOND JOY ULTIMATE POPCORN

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I Remember the first time I had chocolate covered popcorn. I thought itwas a disgusting idea. But I gave it a try and boy was I wrong! Whenever I make it The Boy calls it Ultimate Popcorn and I rather like it. And because sometimes you feel like a nut, I came up with this.

INGREDIENTS
8 c Popped Popcorn
8 oz Melted Chocolate
1/2 c Almond
1/2 c Coconut

Line a cookie sheet with either wax paper, parchment paper or a silicone mat. Spread the popcorn out in a layer. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the popcorn and gently but quickly begin to toss it. Add the nuts and coconut and toss a little more. Allow to cool an hour till the chocolate is hard and eat.

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You can see by the photo I don’t drench it in the chocolate.  If you want every kernel totally covered you will need to double up on the chocolate.  Use whatever kind you like best, I used milk chocolate today.

S for the almoss I left them whole but slivered and chopped work too.

This time I used shredded coconut but flake definitely offers more pop.

Store in a Ziploc bag.

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Mow see if you can Headed it without singing “Almond Joy’s got nuts, Mounds don’t …..”

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T-SHIRT SCARF

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If you are on Pintrest you have probably seen a few versions of a scarf made form an old t-shirt. They are all pretty simple and I decided to give it a go at a Girl Scout meeting.

SUPPLIES:
Cotton T-shirt
Ruler
Pencil
Sharp scissors

Each girl was asked to bring an old t-shirts. They needed to be plain (no patterns) as the stretching process would mess that up. The larger the shirt, the better as it would just make a longer scarf. I brought several pairs of sewing scissors. You absolutely MUST have sharp scissors to properly cut through the fabric. It is good to have a pair that nobody uses on paper around the house. I hide mine so that they will stay that way. 🙂

Using the ruler, a pencil made a line under the armpits straight across the shirt. This left a tube. The hem was cut right above the seam. Leaving the hem would mess up how well the shirt stretches. Once all the girls were done cutting, they paired up for some fun.

OPTION 1

Pull on the shirt to stretch it as much as you can. If you do not have a buddy, hold it to the floor with your foot and pull upwards.

It was funny when the smaller girls were pulled all around the floor by their partner.

OPTION 2: A second option is to make fringes. Once you have the tube, cut up on one end (front and back of the shirt) but do NOT stretch it. You do not have to cut off the hem this time as the shirt will not be stretched.

OPTION 3: After you have cut the fringes, pull each one down to stretch them. Once you have stretched all the fringes you can stretch the scarf itself. If doing this option and you have left the hem on, the fringes MUST be cut on the end with the hem.

My girls all brought white but any color works.

You can certainly use a new shirt, but an old one makes this a free craft. If there is a small stain on the shirt it can easily be hidden when wearing the scarf by being careful how it is worn or by placing a pin on it.

TURKEY CAKE

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TURKEY CAKE

What does everyone look forward to on Thanksgiving? The turkey of course! How would you like to serve up 2 this year, one for dinner and the second for dessert. We created this turkey from a cake mix and Rice Krispy Treats.

INGREDIENTS:
1 Chocolate cake mix + oil and eggs per directions
6c Rice Krispy Cereal
10 oz Marshmallows
3 Tb Butter
Frosting

Toothpicks

CAKE:
Use whatever cake mix you like or make one from scratch. All that matters is the shape you bake it into. While you could use 2 round pieces and carve them, it is easier and you waste less cake to just start off with a dome shape from the very beginning. I used the pan that came with my Barbie Doll cake set. I did have to trim the top a bit but save those pieces for later. If you want a filling that is not a problem, just slice the cake in half and put in frosting or the filling of your choice. You can even use a bunt cake and fill the hollow with more frosting. Another option is the Pampered Chef measuring bowl that is oven safe. There you plan on placing the drumsticks, you need to carve off a little cake to make it flat. The toothpicks will hold it on, but it looks more natural is you do a little trimming. you will also need to carve a little from the cavity area. Since you will be piling stuffing there, it won’t need to be perfect but it will make it look more natural once again.

DRUMSTICKS:
Meanwhile, make a batch of Rice Krispy Treats per the directions. You have two ways to go here. I smoothed them into a pan and then cut out the turkey legs, but they ended up very flat. Next time I am going to mold them instead so they look a bit more realistic. I wanted thick drumsticks so I did not use the regular sized pan but an 8 inch square pan. The ricks is that you must work fast when molding the treats. Personally, I always reduce the cereal by a cup so that it is stickier. DOn’t be afraid to really squeeze the treats together. If they are a bit too hot for your hands, slip sandwich bags on and it will help keep the marshmallow off your fingers. Once they are ready, use toothpicks to attach to the body of your bird.

FROSTING:
I wanted the turnkey to look roasted and that color was a little hard to get. I went with a basic white frosting and added cocoa till it got a color we liked. Frost the cake first and then the side of the drumstick that you are going to attach. I used a couple toothpicks to make sure it would stay in place. After they are attached, frost the rest of the drumstick.

DRESSING: Using the pieces of cake that were carved off earlier, cut them into cube shapes and place between the legs. A little frosting will hold it in place.

One thing that they don’t tell you on all the cake decorating shows today, is the the Rice Krispies will get soggy after several days so be sure to eat those quickly. Otherwise, it was a simple cake to make and lots of fun.

APPLE DESERT PIZZA

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If you have ever made homemade pizza you might find yourself with a little extra dough on hand. The easiest thing to do would be to just toss it, after all it is very cheap to make. However, you should try using it to make a dessert instead. And this one only takes a few minutes to toss together.

INGREDIENTS:
Pizza Dough
1 Tbs Corn Meal
20 oz Can Apple pie Filling
2 Tb Brown Sugar
1/4 c Powdered Sugar
1+ Tbs Milk

I make my own pizza dough as it is very cheap, but it becoming much easier to find in the grocery store. Some pizzerias will even sell a batch of their dough if you have a favorite. I never measure how much dough I need, I use whatever is left from making dinner. A batch of my dough will make about 9 individual pizzas and 2 large regular pizzas. If you are going to make a smaller dessert pizza you can use the small cans of apple pie filling just as easily.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you are making a pizza right now, you just leave the oven temp where it is. Roll the pizza dough out to fit on a cookie sheet. Even if you like thin crust pizza you don’t want this crust to be so thin you can see light through it. Sprinkle the corn meal onto the pan and lay the pizza dough flat. The easiest way to transport it after being rolled out is to fold the dough in half and then move it. Par bake the crust for 5 minutes on the middle rack. This means you begin the cooking process but it is not quite finished before starting the next step.

While the dough is cooking, use a fork or pastry knife to cut up the apple pie filling. You do not want to create mush, but small pieces. I use a no sugar added variety as the apples provide enough natural sweetness I believe.

Remove the pizza dough and pour the filling on top. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and bake an additional 3 minutes or the crust is a golden brown.

Meanwhile, combine the confectioners sugar and milk until you have a consistency that will drizzle. Remove the pizza from the oven and drizzle the sugar frosting on top and serve.

GRADUATION CUPCAKES

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It all began way back in 1997, my oldest was headed off to kindergarten and I began my life as a parent volunteer. In June of 2012 I could not believe that my youngest was finishing up in 5th grade. For 14 years I had been driving a child to elementary school and attending PTO meetings and it was finally coming to an end. In the past the older kids had graduation ceremonies complete with caps they made themselves. Boo had transferred to a new school last year due to redistricting and they did not have a graduation ceremony, so I decided to do something for them myself.

INGREDIENTS:
Cupcakes
Frosting
Flat Cookies
Rolo Candy
Melted Chocolate
Twizzlers

You can make this work for whatever school colors you like by changing the frosting and Twizzler candy. If you really want to be adventurous, melt white chocolate and use food coloring to get it the color of your school. Paint the cookies and Rolos with the chocolate for a perfect match.

To make the tassels, separate the Twizzlers into strands of 3 still stuck together. Cut to the desired length. This will depend on the size of your cupcake and cookies so cut one and see how it looks. Once they are to the correct size, slowly pull the strands apart being sure NOT to rip all the way to the end. They adhere easier is they are still together.

I did not use Reses Peanut Butter Cups because of allergies. However, Wal Mart does sell their own version of that product in a bag. When I saw them I noticed they also sell a version filled with caramel instead of peanut butter and used those instead. Make sure when you place them on the cupcake the wide end goes down and the narrow end faces up.


In this photo you can see I used frosting to attach the cookie and the white sticks out. Using melted chocolate gives a nicer finish. Because there was so much candy going on, I used a cooked frosting that is not as sweet as a buttercream.

Make cupcakes with your favorite recipe and allow to cool. Frost and begin assembly. Lay the Rolo first, and use melted chocolate to adhere the cookie to the top.In the middle of the cookie place a dab of melted chocolate to stick the Twizzler candy to. I tried using frosting and not only did it not work, but a big glob of white looked awful.

To transport them I used small, clear plastic cups. That prevented the cupcakes from losing their caps.

Next I placed each cup into a clear candy bag and tied with a ribbon. Since I was running late I forgot to take a picture.

I made enough for all 3 classrooms. While it was not a difficult project, I think the tassels took me the most time until I fugured out how to make the tassels look correct.

Chocolate Covered Shortbread Bars

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I enjoy a good cookie, however I prefer not to make them. Somehow I always seem to over bake at least 1 batch. Give me a bar cookie any day and somehow it comes out perfectly. The added benefit is they take less time to throw together. These are a light shortbread cookie with chocolate on top and a breeze to make.

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 c softened Butter
1 1/2 c Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
3 c Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 to 2 cups of chopped Chocolate
1/2 c Nuts or Toffee bits (optional)

Cream butter and sugar till fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla. Combine the flour and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture.

Grease and flour a 10×15 inch pan. Spread the dough on the cookie sheet as evenly as possible. I find it is easiest to use my fingers and then smooth it with an offset spatula. Use a fork to pierce the dough periodically. This prevents it from puffing up as it bakes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until the dough is golden brown.

While it is still hot, sprinkle the chocolate on top of the cookies. As it begins to melt, spread it over the entire pan. If you are using chocolate chips, they are designed to hold their shape and will take a little more work to spread around. I prefer milk chocolate but you really can use whichever type you like the best. If you want nuts or toffee on top, sprinkle it now while the chocolate is still warm. I have used almonds, walnuts as well as pecans. It just depends on the mood you are in. Candied nuts really put these bar cookies over the top.

Chocolate Biscotti

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Several years ago I participated in a cookie exchange. The lady in charge needed to know what everyone was bringing so that there was a good variety. When I said biscotti she was concerned that it would be so much work for the 10 dozen I needed to bring. This is such a common misconception I hope I can persuade you to try making your own.

INGREDIENTS:
1 stick Butter softened
3/4 c Sugar
2 Eggs room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla or Rum
2 c Flour
1/2 c Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
4 oz chopped Chocolate
4 oz melted Milk Chocolate for dipping – optional

Prep time 10 minutes Total Bake Time: 35 min Cool Time 5 min

These are not a sweet cookie because of the chocolate I choose to use. Regular cocoa powder has no sugar added. Another option is to use Ghiradeli which is a combination of cocoa and ground chocolate. This will produce a sweeter biscotti. The chocolate you mix into the dough is personal preference as well and can be as sweet as you like.

Allow the eggs and butter to sit on the counter for at least 15 minutes. The butter should be softened but not room temperature. If you can easily smash it with your hands it is ready to beat.

Place the butter into a mixing bowl and whip until it is nice and fluffy.

Slowly add the sugar and continue beating. At first it will look very crumbly, then it will smooth out but look very grainy. It is ready when it again looks very fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, thoroughly incorporating into the butter. Whip in the vanilla or rum flavoring.

Sift together all the dry ingredients. Slowly add to the butter. If you add it all at once you will end up with lumps of dry ingredients. Mix on low and the powder won’t fly all over the place. If you are concerned about that happening, a tip is to place a towel over the bowl when you first turn it on. Just double-check that it is not in the bowl or it will catch the beaters!

One way to prevent splatters of dry and liquids from the mixer is to lay a towel over the bowl till the ingredients have been mixed together.

Mix until completely mixed and no further. Scrape down the sides and give it another quick pulse. Add the chopped chocolate and pulse just until it has been evenly distributed in the dough. Don’t try to chop the chocolate into the same sizes, it is nice to have a variety in your biscotti. In this case I use unsweetened chocolate but you can use whatever you prefer.

Divide the dough in half and form into logs. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or lightly browned. You can use a silicone mat, parchment paper or a well seasoned stone to bake on. If the dough sticks to the pan you will have a crumbly mess. If yo do not have any of those items lightly grease and flour the pan before placing the dough on it.

Remove to a cutting board (you may have to slide it off if you don’t have a large spatula) and cool for 5 minutes. If you leave the logs on the pan they will continue baking and we need to cool them down.

You must use a serrated knife or this won’t work. A bread knife works the best. Once the dough has cooled down carefully slice the logs on the diagonal about 3/4 inches thick. This version makes about 18 cookies. If you prefer smaller cookies, make the logs longer and more narrow and you can double that amount.

Places the slices upright onto the cookie sheet 1/2 inch apart and bake for another 10 minutes, or slightly dry. Cool on wire racks. I find that an offset spatula or pie server works well to transfer the longer pieces.

Once they have cooled they can be dipped in even more chocolate. I used milk chocolate but white chocolate is nice and provides a contrast in color as well.

Drizzle with chocolate.

Coat the bottom with chocolate.

Sprinkle candy, coconut or chopped nuts on the chocolate while it is still wet.

Dip one end.

Store in a glass jar next to your coffee pot.