Saturday, June 26, 2010

Stars Stripes and Cupcakes Forever!!

Ok, I told you the 4th was one of my very favorite holidays, so here is a festive cupcake to celebrate in style. It is simple but will stand out at any gathering!! Also stay posted this week because I have a few more simple but awesome tricks up my sleeve for the 4th and any other summer party!!

These cupcakes are red white and blue, but you don't know it until you bite into them!

Here is what you need. Make sure you use a good red food coloring ( I used Americolor) so you are not pink white and blue.

I made the mix as directed and then divided the batter in half and tinted on half red and left the other half white. I put them in these Wilton squirt bottles because it makes it easier to control the batter. Feel free to use spoons or an ice cream scoop.

I just squirted a layer of one color and then the other and the baking process did the swirling for me. You can also put your batter in and give it a swirl with a tooth pick or a knife.

Bake and frost and this is how they look before you bite...

This is how they look after, a burst of color to surprise the eater. Enjoy!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hazelnut Heath Bar Brownies

Ok, so I must tell you that the 4th of July is one of my very favorite holidays ever. I love everything about it from honoring my country to cheesy parades to family barbeques and fireworks. I will say though, that a lot of those memories are attached to some type of food. That being said I want to share some treats that will make memories and also be a big hit for the summer. This is one of my latest creations, and I must say it is TASTY!! If you love a fudgy brownie or hazelnut, or toffee, basically you will think you have died and gone to heaven. Take a peek and then try it out for me!!
Here are your basic needs, a great brownie recipe (I'll share one with you!), a small container of Nutella (YUM) and 4 Heath bars (YUM AGAIN!).
2 Cubes margarine
10 TBS. Cocoa
2 Cups Sugar
4 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Flour
Dash of Salt
1 Small container Nutella
4 Small Heath bars crushed
Melt the margarine and mix in your cocoa. Then add your sugar and eggs. Beat well. Lastly add your flour and salt. Spread into a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Pull your brownies out of the oven. They will only be half cooked at this point. Open the Nutella and drop spoonfuls all over your brownies. I used the whole jar, but you can use less if you want them less fudgy. Next take a butter knife and swirl the Nutell into the uncooked brownie batter. Be careful not to go all the way to the bottom of the pan. Stay in the uncooked batter on top. Now put back into the oven for another 15 minutes or until the brownie batter is cooked through. The Nutella will stay soft and fudgy. Remove from the oven and immediately top with your Heath bar pieces pressing them gently into the top of the brownie so they don't fall off when you bite into them. Cool completely. These are great hot with ice cream, but if you want to cut them into bars I would suggest refrigerating them for a cleaner cut. Happy Baking!!!

Here they are with the Nutella just dropped on them. You can see that the edges of the brownie are baked but the center is still raw.

Here they are once the Nutella is swirled in ensuring that chocolate hazelnut fudge in every bite!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Wonderland Cake!

This is my Alice in Wonderland cake. Other than my frosting not liking the humidity it turned out really cute. This was also the first time I have made a topsy turvy cake, but definitely will not be my last. I thought topsy turvy was appropriate for a Wonderland cake. Take a peek at the characters up close!

The Mad Hatter and the Hare!

My favorite, the Cheshire Cat!

Of course Miss Alice and the talking flowers!

And Mr. Rabbit! He was not late for this special birthday party!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

S'more Crispie Treats!

Ok, I told you I would put those giant marshmallows to good use. I have been thinking about Fathers day coming up, and I thought that these would be and awesome Dad's day treat. It's all the great things about camping, but Dad doesn't have to set up the tent. I will try to get you another fathers day recipe in the next week, but give this one a try because it is a definite winner. Oh, and don't worry, those ants in the picture were painted on my serving tray!!

S'more Crispie Treats
1 Stick margarine or butter
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Corn Syrup
Bring slowly to a boil and boil for 3 minutes stirring constantly.
Add 1/2 a 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk and boil for another 3 minutes.
Stir in 14 cups of graham cracker cereal.
Press half of the mixture into a 9x13 greased pan. Press it in firmly. This is where the marshmallows come into play. I will admit I used the XL marshmallows but I broke them in half and layered them on top so regular large marshmallows should be perfect. Then I stuck them under the broiler for a minute. Watch them because they toast fast.

Here are my marshmallows toasted. I loooooooove that smell.

Top them with the other half of the cereal mixture and press in so they stick together good.

Now melt chocolate and spread over the top. To be authentic I melted 6 Hershey bars. Use whatever you like.

Then just slice them up and enjoy. One helpful hint. Spray your knife or cutting spatula with non stick spray before you cut these then you won't get stuck in the marshmallow and your pieces will come out clean. Enjoy!!!