Category

Birthdays

Cake pops that get their colorful toppers right from the pantry! Dried fruits, nuts and cookies make beautiful and tasty decorations for this classic treat.

Cake Pops With Pantry Toppers

By | Baking + Desserts, Birthdays, Cake, Candy, Cookies + Brownies, DIY, Entertaining, Fall, Holidays + Seasons, Kids, Lifestyle, Party Foods, Uncategorized | One Comment

Cake pops that get their colorful toppers right from the pantry! Dried fruits, nuts and cookies make beautiful and tasty decorations for this classic treat.

 

The gooey, soft centers of cake pops are irresistible!  Pretty sure that’s why they are ever-so-popular. They’re pretty fun to make (crumbling up a perfectly good cake into tiny crumbs and mashing it together with frosting!). They’re also very fun to decorate.

Cake Pops With Pantry ToppersThis variation is not claiming to be healthy because of fruit and nuts. But my goodness they make for pretty decorations. I love the pop apricots and cranberries make on the white and brown chocolates. I chopped the dried fruits into tiny little pieces to they look like little jewels on the cake pops.

Any nuts or seeds will do, but the green pepitas are the cutest; and white speckles of coconut are quite tasty. I don’t need to tell you crushed cookies are a great topper. You know that!

 

Cake Pops

Cake Pops

You'll be the coolest mom in your kid's class when you show up with cake pops.

Ingredients

  • 1 boxed cake mix
  • 1¾ cup prepared frosting
  • White-chocolate candy melts
  • Milk-chocolate candy melts
  • Chopped nuts
  • Dried Fruit
  • Sprinkles
  • Lollipop sticks

Instructions

  1. Prepare and bake cake mix and let cool. Grind the cake with your hands or in a food processor to form very fine crumbs.
  2. Mix the crumbs with 1¾ cups prepared frosting in a bowl until it forms a sticky dough. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls and freeze for 15 min.
  3. Dip lollipop sticks in melted chocolate and stick each one into a cake ball. Freeze 20 min more. Dip the pops in melted candy melts and decorate with chopped nuts, dried fruit or sprinkles.
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Recipe Tara Bench
Photograph Lisa Hubbard
Food Stylist Susan Vajaranant
Prop Stylist Penelope Bouklas
Originally published Ladies’ Home Journal September 2011

Apple Cinnamon Popcorn

By | Appetizers + Nibbles, Birthdays, Entertaining, Healthy + Diet, Holidays + Seasons, Kids, Party Foods, Picnics, Snacks, Summertime Favorites, Uncategorized | No Comments

The combination of apple and cinnamon is classic.
Buttered popcorn is classic.
Why not class yourself up a bit with a double whammy: Apple Cinnamon Popcorn.

 

Apple Cinnamon Popcorn

Recipe:

Apple Cinnamon Popcorn
Crispy apple chips are the secret here. Crush them into powder for this classic-flavored seasoning.
Makes 12 tbsp seasoning

1/3 cups (2 oz) freeze-dried apples or apple chips
2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
½ tsp cinnamon

  • Blend together apples, confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon in a blender or food processor until powdery. Toss 6 tbsp mixture with 1 bag microwave popcorn or 8 cups of air-popped buttered popcorn. Store extra apple cinnamon mixture. Keep popcorn airtight up to 3 days.

Chocolate Malt Popcorn

By | Appetizers + Nibbles, Birthdays, Candy, Entertaining, Healthy + Diet, Holidays + Seasons, Kids, Party Foods, Picnics, Snacks, Summertime Favorites, Uncategorized | No Comments

You know how good chocolate malt milkshakes are? How about putting that deliciousness on crunchy, buttery popcorn? Done and done!

Chocolate Malt Popcorn

 

Recipe:

Chocolate Malt Popcorn
Perk up your popcorn by tossing it with this sweet, chocolatey mix.
Makes 15 tbsp

6 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
6 tbsp malted milk powder

•Mix together sugar, cocoa and malted milk powder. Toss 5 tbsp mixture with 1 bag of butter flavor microwave popcorn or 8 cups of hot, buttered air-popped popcorn. Store extra cocoa mixture. Keep popcorn airtight up to 3 days.

Peanut Butter Brownie Cake

By | Baking + Desserts, Birthdays, Cake, Cookies + Brownies, Entertaining, Party Foods, Summertime Favorites, Uncategorized | One Comment

Peanut Butter Brownie Cake came from a request for simple peanut butter brownies.I couldn’t keep well enough alone — so the aka: Can-I-Get-A-Boyfriend Peanut Butter Brownie Cake was born.

Butter Brownie Cake

My darling and sweet friend Camas requested peanut butter frosted brownies for her birthday treat. It started with me just thinking I would make it a little more special than a bar cookie.

I had to go ahead and add cream cheese to my Peanut Butter Frosting (excessive!). And forego the extra few minutes for homemade brownies (resulting in–let’s all admit it–the chewy, dense deliciousness of a brownie mix!). Then, just for kicks, I pulled out a piping bag and fancied that thing up. (Understated. Me? Nope). I called it a cake!

So I’ve already won over my friends, family and willing strangers with this ridiculously easy dessert. My goal is to find a cute guy whose mind is blown by it’s magic and subsequently agrees to be my boyfriend. Wish me luck.

Peanut Butter Brownie Cake

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Peanut Butter Brownie Cake

Cream cheese and peanut butter frosting is layered between rich, chocolate brownies. This is pretty much everything perfect packed into one, beautiful and delicious cake!

Ingredients

  • 1 box brownie mix, batter prepared
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2½ tbsp milk
  • Chopped peanuts for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Line two 8-inch or 7-inch round pans with circles of parchment and spray with cooking spray. (7-inch pans will create thicker layers). Divide brownie batter between the two pans. Bake until just cooked through, about 35 min. Cool brownies completely.
  2. In a mixing bowl beat together the peanut butter, butter, cream cheese and salt. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar, mixture will be stiff, then add the milk and beat until smooth.
  3. If piping, transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a #825 open star tip. Remove parchment from the bottoms of the brownie cakes and place one on a serving platter. Pipe or spread half the frosting on the surface. Place the other brownie cake on top and pipe or spread the remaining frosting on top. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.
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Recipe by Tara Bench

Photo credit Tara Bench