Easter chick cookie pops for Parents magazine

I’ve shared on numerous occasions that my youngest has severe food allergies. Well as you can imagine it breaks my heart when he can’t have something pretty and yummy like the other kids. With that in mind, I made these fun dairy and nut free Easter chick cookie pops for my article with Parents magazine.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sandwich cookies (I used Oreos because they have no milk, egg or nut products), two per chick
  • Icing (I used Pillsbury white icing because it has no milk, egg or nut products)
  • Yellow and orange gel food coloring (liquid thins the icing)
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Orange non-perils
  • Resealable bag, icing connector and #2 and #46 tips

Easy steps:

  1. Open your sandwich cookies and lay a lollipop stick inside, pressing it into the filling
  2. Tint ¾ of your yellow icing in a microwaveable bowl
  3. Spoon out ¼ of the yellow icing, set rest aside, and microwave it for 8 seconds
  4. Spoon melted icing over lollipop stick, replace cookie top and allow them to cool for 5 minutes
  5. Melt remaining icing and spoon over each cookie pop; allow them to cool for a minute and then add eyes and beak
  6. After cookie pop is completely dry, pipe on wings (icing tip #46) and feet (icing tip #2)

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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daisy cupcake cake

I was wandering through the craft store about a week-and-a-half ago and saw these Wilton pleated cupcake liners. They made me immediately think of flower petals. I grabbed them up and this past weekend I whipped up this fun daisy cupcake cake. It would be perfect for Mother’s Day or a garden party!

You’ll need:

  • 16 pleated cupcakes
  • 4 regular cupcakes
  • yellow and orange gel food coloring
  • 3 cups white icing
  • resealable plastic bag
  • yellow, orange and green M&Ms
  • optional: 8 yellow flower petals cut from cardstock
  • Dairy free option: Use yellow Duncan Hines cake mix, white Pillsbury icing and Skittles

And here are a few tips:

  • Fill the pleated cupcake liners about 2 tsps more than you would a normal liner otherwise your cupcake will be short and you’ll have to compensate with a sugar rush of icing
  • For the swirl effect, tint two bowls of icing, one yellow and one orange, and then spoon them side-by-side into a resealable plastic bag (I used a gallon size) making sure both colors come down to one corner, snip the corner and swirl

And when the day was done… only crumbs were left. It’s funny because this little project made me think about when I was a little girl and I would pluck a daisy to see if “he” loved me. You remember… he loves me {pluck}, he loves me not {pluck}. Well I can assure you that my boys loved once I finally released them to snack these up! By the way, I didn’t let them eat them all… I pawn my sweets off on my mom’s office friends on most occasions. What?! Everything I bake can’t stay here! {wink}

Happy Wednesday everyone and so sorry for the mini hiatus! I was actually working like crazy on two new collections, a baby shower and a birthday, plus another mini collection and some fabulous Easter crafts. I’ll share everything very soon!

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iced Moon Pie treats

We’re almost ready to reveal the entire Space collection, but while we wait I thought I would share another simple treat I created for the dessert table. Introducing the iced Moon Pie! I thought it would be fun to take a normal moon pie and ice them to be the various stages of the moon: full moon, half moon, cresent moon. To serve I pierced them with a colored straw and filled the jar with Twizzler bites. They still make me smile and the boys thought they were awesome! 

And the best part is they’re super simple to make. Just unpackage your Moon Pies, pipe an outline on each pie (I used a #4 tip, connector and resealable bag), melt the remaining icing, spoon it in and pull it to the edges with a toothpick. They’ll dry flat.

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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mini space shuttle cakes

I love getting in the kitchen, grabbing everything from the pantry and just creating. I know what you’re thinking… and yes, it is a huge mess when I’m done. But sometimes I come up with fun things like these mini space shuttle cakes for my new Space birthday party collection!

Here’s what you’ll need for each shuttle cake:

  • 1 Hostess cake (select the ones with the flattest tops from the box)
  • 1 Little Debbie cake (you may have to trim the end with a straight edge knife so it stands flat)
  • 1 mini Reese’s Cup
  • 1 Hershey’s Kiss
  • 1 Keebler Grasshopper cookie
  • 2 orange Spree candies
  • 2 tablespoons of icing tinted orange

Assembly is super simple:

  1. Unwrap all of the ingredients
  2. Score a grasshopper cookie (as shown in the image above) for the shuttle’s tail fins using a straight edge knife (don’t use serrated; it will make the cookie splinter)
  3. Tint the icing orange using gel food coloring (liquid will make your icing runny) and melt it in the microwave for 8 seconds
  4. Using the Hostess cake as a base, put a small amount of icing in the center and top it with the Little Debbie cake. Do the same to apply the Reece’s Cup making sure that you don’t use too much or it will leak out the sides
  5. Using the remaining icing, cover the Hershey’s Kiss and the cookie pieces. Allow them to set for at least five minutes
  6. Finally, add the Kiss, tail fins and windows (Spree candies) with another small dot of icing each and serve 

As always, I hope you’re inspired and stay tuned for more from our new Space birthday collection!

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corn flake meteorite candies

As I posted on Tuesday, we’ve been busy styling a new Space birthday party collection this week. And when we style new collections we like to share fun treat ideas, crafts and more to go along with them. For the new Space collection we made these meteorites, or corn flake balls. They are actually a long-time family favorite… okay, my mom is addicted to them, brings them to every family function and refuses to seek treatment, but what can I do because I love them too?!

The best part is, they’re super easy to make, only require a few ingredients and take no time at all. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup Karo syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 6 cups Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
  • wax paper

Easy steps:

  1. Mix sugar and Karo in saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly
  2. When thoroughly combined, bring to a boil for one minute
  3. Remove from heat and quickly stir in vanilla and peanut butter until well blended
  4. Stir in corn flakes
  5. Allow to cool briefly and roll into balls on wax paper (TIP: Dampen hands with cold water so the hot mixture doesn’t stick to your skin… Ouch!)

Check back next week for more ideas and a look at the entire collection. As always, I hope you’re inspired! And stop over at Kellogg’s Snackpicks.com for more of my Kellogg’s treat ideas.

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baby Jesus’ birthday cake

My boys schools celebrated Jesus’ birthday in the last few days before the Christmas break and I signed up to bring the cake for my youngest son’s class party. After I signed up then it hit me what a tall order it was going to be: it had to have meaning to the kids and I couldn’t use anything fancy because let’s face it… what four year old is going to eat a fondant cake… plus that seemed a little over the top for a preschool class. 

So in the end I iced a normal homemade cake and adorned it with the manger scene. I tried to keep it simple so I chose to make the stable from graham crackers with a party mix roof and pretzel posts, the manger from pretzel sticks, the lamb from marshmallows (four for the body and one for the head) and coconut (I wish you could see the coconut ears better!) and the beautiful baby Jesus was made of Cheerios. My son liked that part best!

And of course there had to be a star, so I swiped another ornament from their playroom tree (it’s going to be bald soon if I don’t stop crafting) and I tied it to a piece of floral wire and a lollipop stick, which I stuck in the cake behind the stable, so that it could hang in the sky. Last, but not least, I wanted the little lamb to be looking up in awe of the glorious glow (his little face was drawn on; you can find food dye pens at your craft store or bakery supply shop).

For the stable, cut the back graham cracker on a slant with a serrated knife. If you use a sawing motion they won’t break. Then bond the pieces with icing, allowing dry time before finally assembly. All other items can be assembled with icing as well, just allow dry time. I would recommend 30 minutes just to be confident they won’t break when you pick them up. If you need the process to be quicker, refrigerate.

I hope you’re having a very Merry Christmas season and as always, I hope you’re inspired!

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“allergy-free” Santa pops

I love weekends when I just get to play in the kitchen and the craft room without any looming deadlines. This weekend was a bit of half-and-half, but I still managed to watch a few Christmas movies and make a few goodies with my boys. And for those of you with little ones like mine, that suffer from severe food allergies, this goody is for you. It’s easy, fun and completely dairy and egg allergy-free.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Double Stuff Oreo cookies (Vanilla is best when you’re using light colored icing and Double Stuff makes it much easier to apply the lollipop stick without the cookie breaking)
  • Pillsbury white icing
  • red Starburst candies for the hat
  • sugar crystals/sprinkles for the trim
  • red and blue mini icing tubes (not gels) for the eyes and mouth
  • resealable plastic bag
  • lollipop sticks
  • wax paper
  • cooling rack (very helpful if you have one)
  • optional: #46  icing tip, connector for mustache (or you can just slit the resealable bag)
  • optional: 4″ cello bags for gifting

Here’s how you make the pops:

  1. Open your Oreo cookies and place a lollipop stick, longways, into the filling. Press down so that the lollipop stick is even with the filling.
  2. Place white icing in a small bowl, a heaping tablespoon full for each cookie you plan to dip (I recommend no more than two to three at a time), and microwave it for no more than eight seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir. It should be completely melted. (Don’t overdo it or the icing will dry with a crystallized look and won’t be as yummy.)
  3. Using a spoon, place a small amount of warm icing on the cookie over the lollipop stick and put the top back on. Allow the icing to set for at least 30 seconds.
  4. Tilt your bowl on its side and dip each pop. Again, I recommend only doing two to three at a time because you don’t want your icing to cool and you don’t want to have to reheat it.
  5. Place the cookies on the cooling rack with a piece of wax paper underneath for easy cleanup.
  6. Quickly spoon another tablespoon full of icing over each cookie. If the icing is still warm enough it will coat, drip and dry flat.

Embellishments:

  1. On a sheet of wax paper, gather your goodies: Starburst, sprinkles, tube icing, and a small amount of white icing in a resealable bag. I used the flat side of a #46 icing tip with a connector for the mustache, but you could slit your resealable bag in a straight line. You’ll just want to play with it on the wax paper a few times before applying to the cookie to make sure you have the cut correct.
  2. Heat one red Starburst on a small piece of wax paper in the microwave for eight to 10 seconds. Each one will make one Santa hat. While warm, careful not to burn your fingers, mold the Starburst into a triangle. You can dampen your fingers if you need to work with it a bit.
  3. To apply the sprinkles, lightly dampen the bottom rim and the top point of your triangle with your finger. Add the sprinkles, pushing any that landed on the center section back into place before they dry. 
  4. Pipe on a few drops of red icing for the mouth.
  5. Pipe on the mustache with the resealable bag (if using the icing tip: cut corner of bag, insert connector, attach tip to outside of bag with closure and fill with white icing).
  6. Attach your hat with a small amount of icing. (Tip: Use a flat spatula or butter knife to lift it off the wax paper so the candy doesn’t stretch.)
  7. Pipe on eyes.
  8. Allow Santa to completely dry for at least three hours before inserting into cello bags.

If you’re not up for the Santa pops, my boys loved the simple snowflake sprinkle ones just the same. Just add your sprinkles before your icing dries and you’re all set.

I’m so excited to be able to serve my youngest, who as most of you know has a severe milk allergy, a super fun treat that all the kids will want. Please share with any other moms who have little ones stricken with food allergies and as always, I hope you’re inspired!

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no-bake but must-make cookies

My absolute favorite cookie in the world is the chocolate no-bake cookie. I can’t remember a holiday without them… and to be honest they are the “go to” cookie in my house when we’re craving something sweet and simply don’t want to wait for anything to bake. You can even eat them right out of the saucepan… not that I’ve done that before. {wink} And I know they’re not much to look at, but trust me. You won’t be disappointed!

You’ll need:

½ cup (1 stick) butter (I often add a little less) 
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup milk
4 tablespoons cocoa
½ cup peanut butter (I sometimes add more!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (splurge for the real extract; it’s worth it)
3 cups quick-cooking oats (I sometimes add a little less depending on how much peanut butter I use)

Quick and easy steps:

  1. Mix the sugar and cocoa in a saucepan until smooth.
  2. Add milk and stir.
  3. Lay stick of softened butter on top of the chocolate mixture, turn the stove on low and allow butter to melt.
  4. Bring to a rolling boil, let boil for 1 minute and remove from heat.
  5. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.
  6. Stir first two cups of oats in and then add third a little at a time. (Remember: The heat of the mixture is what cooks the oats so don’t go too slowly. Plus, they set very quickly so spoon them as soon as the oats are in!)
  7. Use tablespoon to drop onto wax paper-lined baking sheets.

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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chocolate chip cookie snowman

chocolate-chip-cookie-snowman-wl

I can honestly say that my boys inspire me constantly. I have a sketch pad of ideas on my desk at all times and it often travels around with me. The boys are always asking “What’s this mommy?” When I share my idea they often give me tips on improving it or get these large excited eyes and give me four more ideas, some of which involve superheroes and construction, but you get the picture.

So the other day when my oldest was playing with his snack, two Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies, and a lollipop stick I really didn’t think much of it. As you can imagine, we play with sweets around my house all the time. After a few minutes he ran to me and said “Look Mommy!” He had carefully twisted and as he put it “lightly pushed at the same time” the lollipop stick through his cookie without breaking it. After I praised his work he went back and made a face, the one you see above. Isn’t it sweet?! He asked if I would put it on my blog and of course I said yes. This is a family business!

So yesterday we set his little creation up for the big debut! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chocolate chip cookies, preferrably something like Chips Ahoy (not too soft)
  • Lollipop sticks
  • White icing
  • Candy corn for the nose
  • Cherry chew and string Twizzlers for the hat

And here’s how:

  1. Top one cookie with white icing
  2. Twist and push the lollipop stick through the second cookie to make the face
  3. Put a little icing on the back side of the cookie with the face and push the icing into the holes a bit so that the face is prominent
  4. Insert the lollipop stick in the icing of the bottom cookie. A reminder from my son: “Tell them to make sure to put the chocolate end of the lollipop stick in the cookie so it doesn’t look dirty.” Or of course you could use one to make all the faces and new ones for the cookies themselves. {wink}
  5. Put a small amount of icing on the end of the candy corn and attach the nose
  6. Cut the cherry chew in half, add a small amount of icing and attach as the hat
  7. Embellish the hat with a tied single string of Twizzler

Ta-da! Chocolate chip cookie snowman as created through the eyes of my six year old. As always, I hope you’re inspired! I know I am! {gushing motherly pride}

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easy peppermint cookie bark

peppermint-cookie-bark-wl

I’ve had several of you ask about the peppermint cookie bark that we made for the Mod Candy Cane collection photo shoot a few weeks ago so I thought I would share the recipe. It’s super easy and oh so very yummy!

Ingredients

  • 8-10 sandwich cookies (+ some for nibbling)
  • 6 oz hard peppermint candies (approximately 32)
  • 1.5 cups white chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Place candy canes in a plastic bag and hammer into 1/4-inch chunks
  2. Place cookies in a plastic bag and break into 1/4-inch chunks
  3. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler
  4. Combine candy cane chunks and cookies with chocolate, saving just a few.
  5. Pour mixture onto a wax covered cookie sheet, add last few cookie and candy cane bits, pressing them gently into the chocolate, and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until firm

This is the perfect recipe for a “sweet” Christmas gift. Stay tuned tomorrow for a few fun free embellishments to help you pretty up the packaging!

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