leap year frog cookies

Did you know that 2012 is a leap year?! Well it is and how better to leap into a little fun than with a yummy treat! Try my super easy cookie for the special day. The kiddos will love assembling him and then you can help them gobble him up!

You’ll need:

  • Body & Head ~ 4 Oreo cookies
  • Feet ~ 2 Keebler Vienna Wafer cookies
  • Eyes ~ sugar gummies (I used an icing tip bottom to cut them out in a perfect circle) and two green candies from a candy necklace (I wanted the holes, but you could use tons of things)
  • Tongue ~ red Chicklet

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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simple Rudolph cookies

I love to bake with my boys, especially at the holidays. After seeing these fun and super simple Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer cookies on pinterest via Meet The Dubiens, I knew the boys would love being able to make cute cookies without a ton of icing work. See, they love the flour, the rolling, the cutting and eating the icing… but not necessarily piping the icing. {wink}

We prepped our area (I typically just flour our granite countertop) and pulled out a ton of cookie cutters.

Then my little one remembered to grab his apron… or maybe I reminded him as his cute stripe pjs from Target were getting slightly floured. I have pics of flour all over his cheeks too. He was trying to get low enough to see the thickness of his dough (so his cookies would bake evenly) and he put his face on his rolling pin!

Next we cut out all the shapes.

Then I reminded the boys that we had to chill the dough or our pretty shapes would come out of the oven as blobs. They understood and waited patiently… okay… they tried. Let’s face it, it’s not easy with the smell of gingerbread in the air.{grin} 

For the reindeer cookies we used chocolate (melted in 8 second intervals in a resealable bag and the tip snipped off) and Red Hots. A few lines and a few dots and we had adorable Christmas cookies!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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milk & cookies Christmas party

For my most recent Kellogg’s Snackpicks.com article I created a simple milk and cookies party idea inspired by “the big guy” himself, Santa of course!

And the best part, I didn’t bake a thing! I let the elves handle that part, the Keebler® Elves that is! {wink}

The table was packed with all of your family favorites with fun holiday names: Keebler Fudge StripesTM {wreaths}, Vienna Fingers® {sleighs}, Fudge Sticks {North Poles}, E.L. Fudge® Elves {elves} and Chips Deluxe® {ornaments}.

Hop over to Snackpicks.com for ideas on how to easily embellish your cookie wreaths and North Poles, ideas on how to style your dessert table…

plus a DIY tutorial for my coffee filter cookie sleeves! 

You can also find my complete Santa printable party collection in the shoppe including beverage wrappers, dessert tags, cupcake wrappers and dessert table mat. As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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cherry chocolate cake cobbler

I was recently asked to come up with a fun dessert for the holidays using my favorite Duncan Hines mix and Comstock fruit fillings. This was such an easy yes! I use Duncan Hines all the time because most of their mixes are dairy-free and as you know, I have a little one with severe dairy allergies. 

This recipe is so easy. I call it a cherry cake cobbler, but it tastes a bit like a cherry cordial brownie. No matter what you call it, you’ll say BAKE ON!

You’ll need three things: Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix, Comstock Country Cherry filling and butter. (I used vegan butter for my little guy.) 

Grease the bottom of the pan with butter and spread 3/4 of the can of cherries on the bottom.

Crush up (or sift) 1/3 of the Duncan Hines dark chocolate fudge cake mix in the bag and spread over the cherries. (Save the rest for cupcakes or your next cobbler.) 

Put pats of butter all over the top of your cobbler and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. The cherries will bubble up and the butter will melt cooking the cake mix.

Dish the cobbler, topped with the remaining cherries, AND maybe a scoop of ice cream. My family loved it!

You can visit Duncan Hines’ website www.duncanhines.com to find other great recipes for your holiday get-together! You can also find Duncan Hines on facebook and twitter. As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!  

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snowmouse ice cream treat

When I was a little girl my brother called me mouse… I won’t go into why… but let’s just say he said I squeaked. Ha! I guess that’s a big brother for you. {smirky grin}

This weekend I was playing around with the boys’ ice cream and instead of making the typical snowman, we came up with the snowmouse. Isn’t he cute!

We used a rainbow Twizzler for his scarf (tip: get it cold and it will stay in position), mini M&Ms for the eyes and nose, small black sprinkles for the mouth and the new Keebler Dark Chocolate Fudge Stripe Cookies for the ears.

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create. Happy Monday!

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DIY snowman cello bag treats

I’m a bit excited to share my snowman cello bag treat craft with you this morning! I’m just in love with him and he will absolutely be making an appearance at school this season, at my Snowman party in January (the kids keep wanting to have a snow related party so they can have a snowball fight off the new tree house with friends) and maybe even at my annual Christmas cookie decorating party… I plan to use my Santa collection… hmmm… {note to self: make a Santa version! Update! Made Santa version!}. 

Here’s what you’ll need: white powdered donut holes, pretzel cello bags (I picked mine up at JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores), orange and black ultra thin point Sharpies, craft paper (the designs shown are from my Ice Cream Social collection) and tape.

Start by putting three donut holes in a cello to measure approximate height. Cut a strip of paper that length and insert it into your pretzel cello bag as a guide. Draw on your snowman’s carrot nose with the orange Sharpie and the eyes, mouth and buttons with the black Sharpie.

Punch a 1″ circle and a 2″ circle (my Fiskar punches came from JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores) for the hat brim and top. Cut a 1″x3.5″ strip for the hat and a 1/4″ wide strip for the scarf.

Assemble the hat with tape. (Note: Use your 1″ circle to make sure the diameter of your hat is correct. I allowed for overlap in the 1″x3.5″ strip.)

Trim fringe on the end of the scarf and attach just below the first donut with a touch of glue or tape. 

And if you like my snowman cello bag treats, make sure you hop over and check out my Halloween monster cello bag treats and my Thanksgiving turkey cello bag treats for next year!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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peppermint no-bake cookies

For the holiday savings article in All You magazine this month (download the free gift tags and recipe cards, learn how to craft the inexpensive holiday packagingI made my families favorite no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies with a twist. Peppermint!

Let’s start with ingredients. You’ll need:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter (I often add a little less)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  •  ½ cup 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)
  • soft peppermint to taste (I used six, crushed into small pieces, for the batch and I got them at Cracker Barrel)

Quick and easy steps: Mix the sugar and cocoa together and blend until the mixture is smooth. You don’t want lumps of sugar in your cookies! 

Crush your soft peppermint in a resealable bag with a rolling pin. My kids like doing this part for me! And set aside until the end.

Move the mixture to a saucepan and add milk. Stir again until you have the consistency of chocolate syrup.

The rest of this process is very fast, so make sure you have all your ingredients and greased pan ready (or wax paper if you prefer to drop them with a spoon). Add low heat and butter. Allow butter to melt slowly and then bring mixture to a rolling boil for one minute, stirring it constantly (you want it hot enough to melt the peanut butter and cook the one minute oats, but not so hot that it burns).

Add vanilla and add peanut butter. Whip it quickly so that it melts completely.

Stir first two cups of oats in and mix well. Add third cup 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 into a dish or drop them on wax paper as soon as the oats are mixed!) Fold in or layer your peppermint. And I like to sprinkle a bit on top.

Enjoy! And as always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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Thanksgiving turkey treats

This weekend my boys and I made a test run of the Thanksgiving turkey treats that will grace our kid table this year.

They’re super simple to make. I have an entire box of Rice Krispies Treats left over from my oldest son’s robot birthday party treats, so we started there. Next we rooted through our Halloween candy and came up with just the right color Starbursts and mini REESE’S cups.

For my youngest son, with dairy and egg allergies, I’ll make the Rice Krispies Treats from scratch using Smart Balance Original Light Butter, the Original Light part is important because some of the others have dairy, and substitute the REESE’S cup for another Starburst. And I always use Pillsbury white frosting.

Ever heated and molded Starbursts before?! I have! And you can make so many fun things in a ton of colors. So first, heat each individual square in the microwave (on its wrapper) for eight seconds. Lightly (you don’t want it wet because it will take the candy forever to dry) dampen your wax paper and your roller with water so that the candy doesn’t stick, then roll the candy out. 

I used one of my snowflake cookie cutter tips to make the feathers.

 Now assemble:

  • Insert a lollipop stick in your Rice Krispies Treats,
  • Attach your turkey’s face (aka REESE’S cup) with a dot of icing,
  • Add two dots of icing and two black sprinkle dots (from my Halloween mix) for the eyes,
  • Pipe on a triangle for the beak and little feet,
  • Attach the Starburst feathers and
  • Twist a small piece of the leftover Starburst to make the turkey’s gobbler

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create! Happy Monday!

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chocolate chip REESE’s cookies

So yesterday I just didn’t feel like working… you know those days right. I had tons to do, but I just wanted to bake. I kept peeking in my son’s trick-or-treat bag at all the goodies that he didn’t eat (and likely never will). The REESE’s cups kept staring back at me! 

I only had an hour so instead of breaking out my pretty Kitchen Aid mixer and starting from scratch, I grabbed some Chocolate Chip Pillsbury Cookie dough from the fridge and in four simple steps baked at 350 for 9 minutes I had the ooey, gooiest, yummiest Chocolate Chip REESE’S Cookie ever. It honestly was amazing! My son… the one whose Halloween stash I raided… was so giddy over them he didn’t even care I stole his loot. {grin} 

I hope you all have a wonderful and fun filled weekend! I personally am planning to craft. I have a list of fun things to try and with Christmas just around the bend I need to get busy! 

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easy crashing witch cake

A few years ago I made crashing witch cupcakes (just her legs and icing for her skirt) and this year I took it one step farther and made a crashing witch cake!

I used a Keebler sugar cone cut in half for the hat and skirt. The hat has a Keebler Grasshopper cookie as the base and then the bottom of the cone makes up the skirt. Just melt a bit of purple chocolate (available this time of year at craft stores and baking supply stores) and paint it on the hat with a kitchen basting brush, then add a few sprinkles before it dries. For the skirt, roll the edges in chocolate and add a few sprinkles.

For her hair, I cut open a green rainbow Twizzler and spread it out under the hat.

Her legs are orange candy sticks and her boots are Starburst. I just heated two squares for eight seconds each and molded them into the shape of high healed boots. Then I drew on the laces with a food marker. 

By the way, the cake is just a flat iced buttercream cake from Kroger ($5.99 per layer) and the border is alternating orange and black sixlet candies. Super easy and no baking required! {wink}

As always, I hope your inspired!

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