s’more brownie bars

Over the holidays I attended a little New Year’s Eve soiree and took s’ more brownie bars as a sweet little treat. Super easy to make and completely kid and adult approved.

Channeling my best Sandra Lee, here’s the semi-homemade recipe:

  • Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Brownie mix (I used this one because it’s dairy-free for my little guy) + ingredients on the box (egg, oil, water)
  • Graham crackers
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Chocolate chips (I used Trader Joes chocolate chips because again, dairy-free for my little guy)

Simple baking steps:

  • Prepare brownie mix as recommended on the box.
  • Line a shallow baking pan with graham crackers.
  • Spoon brownie mixture about 1/2 inch deep over entire cracker base, leaving a bit of a lip between the brownie and the edge of the pan. It will rise and fill that space.
  • Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes, or until toothpick pulls out wet but lumpy. Don’t over-bake!
  • Add mini marshmallows to cover entire top of brownie and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  • Bake for another 4-5 minutes at 350.
  • Allow to cool and cut into squares with a  damp knife.

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

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homemade oreo pudding pops

It looks really yummy doesn’t it?! Well it is! What if I told you it is dairy, nut and egg free? Still think it’s yummy? I promise, it still is!

My little one has severe food allergies and as you can imagine that makes it tough to buy… make… plan dinners, much less sweets. It never fails we go to the grocery and he sees some new cookie or ice cream and wants to give it a try. I get so very tired of telling my sweet baby boy no. For any mom that has experienced this, you know what I mean.

So I’ve started making up my own recipes and altering other people’s recipes to be dairy, nut and raw egg free.

Today I’m sharing a Oreo fudge pudding pop and I made it with my little guy. I know it can be messy, but cooking with kids can also be a ton of fun! If you’ve not done it much, do it more! They learn so much and you will too. {wink} 

I edited this recipe from kraftfoods.com. If you don’t have to worry about food allergies, give thier version a try! For those of you like me and need allergy free recipes, here’s what you need:

  • 1 package of JELL-O fudge chocolate instant pudding
  • 2 cups of soy milk (replacing 2%)
  • 10 Oreos, broken into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup French Vanilla Soy Dream Ice Cream (replacing 1/2 cup Cool Whip)

Beat pudding and milk with a whisk for 2 minutes. Add broken Oreos ad 1/2 cup softened soy ice cream.Spoon mixture into 9 (3-oz.) paper or plastic cups. Insert a wooden lollipop stick or plastic spoon into each for handle. Freeze 5 hours or until firm.

When you pull them out of the freezer, just rip the cup off and you’re ready to go! Both of my boys really like them and I do too.

That is something else a mom of kids with food allergies will tell you. It’s not only important that your child loves the treat, it’s important that he or she can share it with their friends and they will love it too! Even though we parents try to encourage our children that being different can be wonderful, it definately doesn’t feel that way to a six year old at a birthday party… nope… not one bit!

So the next time your kiddo wants a treat, or you’re hosting a gathering and one of the little ones has a food allergy, consider making these. You won’t be disappointed and neither will your guests!

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

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dairy free Oreo pudding sundae

Last week I posted about my son’s food allergies and about this pudding sundae idea I saw in Kraft Foods most recent issue of Food & Family. Well that one was a chocolate chunk & marshmallow sundae.

Today, I’m sharing the same idea, but as an Oreo sundae. Did you guys know that Oreos have no dairy, no egg, and no nut?! They are the number one cookie in my house just for that reason!

So here’s how you make these dairy free sundaes:

  • 2 pkgs Jell-O Oreo Instant Pudding
  • 2 1/2 cups cold soy milk (less than what the packaging recommends because you want the pudding to be a thicker consistency)
  • 10 -12 Oreos (not crushed, but broken into small chunks)
  • cones

Whisk your pudding and milk until smooth, add the additional Oreos and then freeze for 4 hours and serve. (Tip: Freeze the pudding in a ZipLock Freezer Bag for easy cleanup.) 

Not only is this treat yummy, but it doesn’t melt as quickly as traditional ice cream so you could actually scoop an entire tray of them for your guests all at once and not worry that the first few will be messy before you serve!

I hope your loved ones with food allergies like these little treats! My youngest loved them and as you can see here, his big brother, who can have ice cream all day long, loved them too!

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

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chocolate & marshmallow sundae

My readers know that my youngest has severe food allergies: nut, dairy and egg (unless baked into recipes). He’s such a sweet little boy and rarely complains, but I can’t stand for him to feel left out so I’m always looking for ways to adapt recipes so that he can enjoy them too.

My latest is this fabulous Chocolate Chunk & Marshmallow Sundae recipe in Kraft Foods most recent issue of Food & Family.

We’ve only found one soy ice cream that he really likes and a small pint costs $6 so when I saw this pudding based sundae idea I was ecstatic to give it a try! You can hop over to Kraft to see the original recipe and the how to details, but here’s my twist to make it dairy free:

  • 2 pkgs Jell-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 2 1/2 cups cold soy milk
  • 1 cup Jet-Puffed Miniature Marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips (I used Divvies)
  • Waffle cone cups

Whisk your pudding and milk until smooth, add the marshmallows and chocolate and then freeze for 4 hours. Serve in waffle cone cups. 

 It was a huge hit for a little boy that typically only gets vanilla ice cream.

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

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s’more brownie & marshmallow whip

I’ve had a sweet tooth all week. I’m not sure what’s up with me, but of course my kiddos love it. So yesterday we were debating over whether or not to have s’mores or brownies for dessert… so we compromised and the outcome was incredible!

AND I was able to make it dairy-free so that my little guy could enjoy them too!

Here’s what you’ll need:  Duncan Hines Chewy Brownie Mix, Chocolate Graham Crackers, Butter (I used Smart Balance Lite, vegan, for my little guy) and Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme.

And here are the simple steps:

  1. Make your crust ~ crush one bag (1/3 box) of graham crackers and mix with 1/4 cup softened butter 
  2. Prepare the mix ~ with eggs, oil and water as directed
  3. Layer ~ place thick layer of your graham cracker crust in a 8×8″ pan and top with brownie mix
  4. Bake ~ according to box instructions
  5. Serve ~ with a dollup of marshmallow creme

And with summer, BBQs and tons of outdoor fun just around the corner, why not make them brownie bites! They’re easy to serve, easy for guests to manage while mingling and the perfect portion size.

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

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chocolate chip cookie bars

Many of you know my youngest has severe food allergies. He’s allergic to all dairy products and nuts. Needless to say, it’s challenging. Every school snack, every birthday party, every sports snack… he always looks to me with that face and those big blue eyes… “Can I have it mommy?” It’s heart breaking because 90% of the time I have to say “I’m sorry baby!”

I of course carry snacks with me, but it’s just not the same when he can’t have what all the other kids are having, especially when it’s something chocolate. That’s just a treat he doesn’t get very often.

So I’ve been working on some recipes that I can make for him and that other moms who have little ones suffering from food allergies can eat too! And with that in mind, if you know of a great website, resource, recipe, etc. I’d love to hear about it. My biggest challenge is finding dairy-free chocolate easily. The chocolate featured in this post is from a local bakery, but it only comes in small chips. I want large blocks and chips for melting and baking.

So this weekend I whipped up dairy-free chocolate chip cookie bars. Both of my boys loved them and my oldest does’t have food allergies. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 1/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup softened butter (I use Smart Balance Light, make sure you look for the “vegan” language on the front as there are a few “light” versions)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • tsp. vanilla
  • 1 12 0z package semi-sweet dairy-free chocolate chips (as I mentioned above, these are from a local bakery, but I’d love a resource for large chips and blocks if you know one)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs

Preheat to 375 and in small bowl combine butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla, beat until creamy. Beat in eggs and then gradually add flour, mixing well. Finally stir/fold in the chocolate chips. Bake in a 8″ pan for 16 min and cut into 2″ squares.

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!  

Join us on facebookfollow us on twitter and pinterest. Thanks to Duncan Hines for sponsoring my writing. Sponsorship selection by the Clever Girls Collective.

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pirate treasure map cookies

I recently hosted a pirate party for my youngest son’s fifth birthday. It was so much fun and I have tons of DIY, along with a new pirate party printables collection (available in the shoppe soon), that I can’t wait to share with you over the next few weeks. To start off I thought I would share a super simple cookie idea.

I baked round gingerbread cookies (if you’re in a hurry pick up a bag of Kellogg’s Shortbread Cookies or sugar cookies from the bakery), and flooded them with white icing. It’s actually much easier than it sounds. Here are some tips on flooding from my contributor at Sweet Sugar Belle.

I just let the icing dry overnight and then took a black food coloring pen (I picked mine up in a pack of five colors at JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores) and drew on an X and dash marks. Just make sure you don’t press down too hard on the icing and remember to make each one a bit different. Oh, and if you want them to be dairy free, and I did of course, use Pillsbury white icing and Pillsbury gingerbread cookie dough.

I have to tell you, these were the first things to disappear off my dessert table! As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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Easter cross krispies



I was in charge of the Easter celebration “sweet” snack for my son’s preschool class yesterday (there were also healthy snacks… but for some reason I’m never asked to bring those… hmm… ) and I chose to make these fun cross krispie treats

I was going to pipe a purple ribbon of icing, but then decided that I would be nice to his teacher and not add another shot of pure sugar to each child just before circle time. I should get a gold star or something for being so considerate! {grin}

You can whip these, or any other shape, up with a bit of butter (since my guy has food allergies we used Kellogg’s Rice Krispie cereal and Smart Balance Light Butter to make these dairy free) on your cookie cutter and maybe a touch on your hands.

As always, I hope you’re inspired and HAPPY EASTER!

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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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