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Dark Chocolate Almond Bites

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These little clusters of almond, coconut and dark chocolate will satisfy your sweet tooth without wrecking your diet!

I’ve been trying to eat healthier this year, and so far I’m doing really well (even with a baking blog!). My friend Laura and I walk each day and when we do we talk a lot about things we crave that could be made healthier. She was telling me that she craves chocolate so much that she takes a few dark chocolate chips and adds some almonds for a snack each night. I was in the process of making some coconut cut-out cookies and I had extra toasted coconut. We started brainstorming ways to make a cookie with relatively low calories and carbs. This is the result 🙂 They are delicious (!!) and as far as I can tell, they are about 85 calories each and 6 carbs. Which is perfect. Just perfect.

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They aren’t very pretty- but who needs pretty when you can have yummy and relatively healthy? 🙂

Here’s how we made them: (printable recipe here)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of toasted coconut (buy it toasted, or toast your own…)
  • 1 cup of lightly salted, roasted almonds
  • 2 plain rice cakes
  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  • Place toasted coconut and almonds in a food chopper and chop to small pieces. Place in a mixing bowl.
  • Crumble up the 2 rice cakes into very small pieces and add to bowl.
  • Melt chocolate chips, and pour them over the top of mixture. 
  • Stir until well-blended and then use a medium cookie scoop to spoon out evenly-sized cookies onto a parchment paper- covered cookie sheet. (My batch made 22, and calories and carbs were calculated accordingly.)
  • Place cookie sheet in refrigerator until cookies harden up. Enjoy! 

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My thoughts: These are really, really good. I bagged mine up in individual cello bags and tied them shut with a twist tie. That way, I wasn’t tempted to eat more than one at a time! These are a perfect “gotta have some chocolate” treat. Lots of protein from the nuts, healthy oils from the coconut, and a little bit of crunch from the rice cakes. Enjoy! ~r

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Other yummy (slightly less healthy!) cookie recipes here at Easybaked (click on a photo to see the recipe):

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Seashell Oreo Pops!

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Turn your Oreos into a celebration at the beach! Sand Dollars, Sea Scallops and cute little fish. So much delicious fun!

 

There’s just something about the beach that makes my heart happy! Have you ever been to Sanibel Island in Florida? It’s right by Fort Meyers. Growing up, our family spent nearly every Thanksgiving at a little condo on the beach there. They have some of the best seashell hunting in North America. As a little girl, I had a shell identification book and a big pail, and I spent hours and hours combing the beach for shells. Sand dollars were one of my favorites!

This past spring, I used chocolate covered sunflower seeds in several projects, and thought about how much they remind me of the little centers of sand dollars. So I had to try! I also made some sea scallops using…wait for it… Wheat Thin crackers to make those little shell points (and they are a super yummy salty-sweet combo!) 🙂

 

Here is how we made these little Oreo pops:

Fish Oreo Pops are from an earlier recipe here on Easybaked. You can find them by clicking here.

These were featured in our cookbook for kids, Life Is Sweet: 12 Baking Devotions for Kids.

Sand Dollars:

Ingredients: (makes about 24 pops)

  • One package of Double Stuff Oreos
  • 2 (12 oz.) bags of Wiltons Candy Melts in white
  • Chocolate covered sunflower seeds (I used blue)
  • 24 Lollipop sticks
  • Small pearl decorating sprinkles
  • Small treat bags and ribbon, if you want to package them up to give away.

Directions: (Need a little visual help?  Click here.)

  • Carefully twist apart all Oreo cookies.  Do this slowly and gently- and expect that some will break. 
  • Melt about 1/4 cup white candy melts using a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until completely melted and smooth.
  • Use a lollipop stick to make an indentation in the white filling of an Oreo.
  • Dip the end of the stick into the candy melts, spread a little on top of the white filling and then press the stick into the indentation.
  • Place the top of the Oreo back on and allow the candy melts to harden and cement the cookie back together with the stick inside. I like to stick these in the freezer to get nice and hard.
  • While you wait, melt your remaining white candy melts in the same manner as previously.
  • Once the cookies are firmly hardened back together, pick one up (using the stick) and dip it into the bowl of white candy melts. 
  • Spoon candy melts over the top and sides.
  • Gently lift the Oreo out of the candy melts, and tap the stick on the side of the bowl to allow the excess melts to drip off.
  • Slide the bottom of the Oreo against the edge of the bowl to remove excess candy melts.
  • Gently set the coated Oreo on clean parchment or wax paper.
  • Immediately, set the sunflower seeds as shown at the center of the cookie.
  • Place pearl sprinkles as shown, between sunflower seeds.
  • Serve as-is, or package up for giving away by sliding each cookie into a little treat bag and tying with a ribbon.

Scallops: 

Ingredients: (makes about 24 pops)

  • One package of Double Stuff Oreos
  • 3-4 (12 oz.) bags of Wiltons Candy Melts in various colors
  • A few wheat thin crackers
  • 24 Lollipop sticks
  • A toothpick to pull through colors and make design.
  • Small treat bags and ribbon, if you want to package them up to give away.

Directions: (Need a little visual help?  Click here.)

  • Carefully twist apart all Oreo cookies.  Do this slowly and gently- and expect that some will break. 
  • Melt about 1/4 cup candy melts (any color) using a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until completely melted and smooth.
  • Use a lollipop stick to make an indentation in the white filling of an Oreo.
  • Dip the end of the stick into the candy melts, spread a little on top of the white filling and then press the stick into the indentation.
  • Set 1/2 of a Wheat thin cracker on top of candy melts at the top (so just the points poke out when the top is back on).

  

  • Place the top of the Oreo back on and allow the candy melts to harden and cement the cookie back together with the stick inside. I like to stick these in the freezer to get nice and hard.
  • While you wait, pick your “main color” and melt those candy melts in the same manner as previously.
  • Also melt smaller amounts of two to three other colors. Spoon these into zip top bags and seal them up. Wrap them in a warm towel to keep them melted and smooth.
  • Once the cookies are firmly hardened back together (about 10 minutes in a freezer), pick one up (using the stick) and dip it into the bowl of candy melts. 
  • Spoon candy melts over the top and sides.
  • Gently lift the Oreo out of the candy melts, and tap the stick on the side of the bowl to allow the excess melts to drip off.
  • Slide the bottom of the Oreo against the edge of the bowl to remove excess candy melts.
  • Gently set the coated Oreo on clean parchment or wax paper.
  • Immediately, clip a corner off a bag of colored candy melts and pipe a couple curved lines on top of Oreo. 
  • Repeat these lines with other colors and then place bags back inside warm towel. 
  • Use a toothpick to pull lines up from the bottom through these colors (see photos)

  

  • Sprinkle with a little gold sugar and add a candy pearl if you want.
  • Repeat this process with remaining Oreos. You may need to repeat the melting process for the  small bags of colors. If you need to do this, try making one of these colors your “main” color and decorating with the others!
  • Serve as-is, or package up for giving away by sliding each cookie into a little treat bag and tying with a ribbon.
  • ENJOY!

My thoughts: I experimented a little with the sand dollars. I had some butterscotch candy melts that I used with brown sunflower seeds- they are cute too- but I love the white ones best! I was really happy with how these turned out, and they really aren’t too difficult to put together- especially if you have made Oreo pops before. I hope you get a chance to try these for your next beach party! Happy summer to you!!!!  ~r

Other fun beach- themed ideas here at Easybaked (click on a photo to see a recipe):

White Chocolate Lemonade Cups

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Creamy, whipped, lemonade filling spooned into cute little white chocolate cups! A fun, fancy and delicious summer dessert!

Did you know that there are silicone molds for little shot glasses?!? You would think I’d have seen these somewhere along my road of dessert blogging, but I hadn’t. I stumbled on a clearance rack full of them and lightbulbs started going on in my head with ideas for fun ways to use this mold! SUCH a fun idea!

Aren’t they cute?!? I made my cups out of white chocolate and then filled these with a creamy lemonade filling that I use quite a bit here for various desserts. You can eat it straight (I may have sampled a bit as I was filling cups…), pipe it on cupcakes, layer it in cake, ooooorrrr serve it in tasty little chocolate cups! Fun….!!!!!

Here is how we made them (makes 8- 10 filled cups): (printable recipe here)

First of all, you need a Wilton’s shot glass mold (and if you get it from my link on Amazon I will get a small percentage of what you pay, making it possible for me to buy brownie ingredients, which is the next fun project I have in mind for these shot glass molds!)

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 2 bags of Wilton’s Candy Melts in bright white.
  • 1/2 package (4 oz) of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened to room temperature)
  • 1/2 packet of Kool Aid drink mix (any flavor~ if you use a lemonade, add it to taste, as it will be more tart than the other flavors)
  • 1 (7 oz) jar of Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
  • 1 tub (8 oz) of Cool Whip (thawed in refrigerator, divided)
  • Fun sprinkles

DIRECTIONS:

  • Melt Candy Melts in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until melted and smooth.
  • If desired, drop a few sprinkles into each cavity of the mold (that is how I got the colors at the rim of the “glass”).
  • Carefully spoon melted white chocolate into molds (I placed the melts in a zip-top bag, zipped it shut tight, clipped a corner and piped it into the molds to make sure I got it all the way to the bottom without bubbles). 
  • Tap on countertop and set (level!) in freezer for 10-15 minutes until hard.
  • Pop cups out of molds and set aside. 
  • While cups are hardening, make filling by creaming together lemonade/other unsweetened drink mix flavor with cream cheese.
  • Fold in marshmallow and then fold in 1/2 of Cool Whip until smooth.
  • You could spoon this into the little cups, but I piped the filling in (again- to make it easy to get all the way to the bottom of each cup). 

  • Spoon remainder of Cool Whip into a zip-top bag that has been fitted with a large decorating tip. Zip it tightly shut and pipe swirls on top of each cup. 
  • Add sprinkles (and I added a little bit of a straw to each one too, because….soooo cute! 🙂
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: These are such a fun idea for showers and other celebrations that call for something unique and yet yummy! You’ll want to keep these refrigerated (cream cheese and Cool Whip) until you serve them, but pull them out and let them soften up before serving (the chocolate is really yummy to break apart and eat with the cream!!!) Enjoy! ~r

Other mini- desserts that are party-perfect! (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Lemony Ginger Snap Cups

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Creamy lemon pie inside of a chewy gingersnap cookie cup! A perfect summer treat!

I am usually several week to months ahead in this blog. In January I am thinking about Easter, at Halloween I am baking Christmas cookies. But today- I am behind! Goodness, I’ve had such a busy spring and summer. I was 2 months ahead and now I’ve got nothing planned for the coming weeks. All that to say- I needed something SO easy and quick this week. These are a perfect recipe for easy and quick! 🙂

They don’t LOOK easy and quick- but 30 minutes, including baking time, is all you’ll need! Love it!

Here’s how we made them: (printable recipe here)

INGREDIENTS: 

  • One tube of refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • About 3 cups of gingersnaps cookies (you’ll need 2 cups of them crushed)
  • One can of lemon pie filling
  • One container of Cool Whip (or make your own whipped cream if you prefer)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use clean hand to knead together 1 and 1/2 cups of cookie crumbs with the refrigerated cookie dough. 
  • Divide evenly into 12 muffin tins and press into bottom. 
  • Bake for 16- 20 minutes.
  • Use a tart shaper or a wooden spoon to press the centers in, forming a cookie cup (photo below is from an earlier cookie cup recipe, but shows how you should shape the cups. It is easier if you shape them in the tin and allow them to cool, which is not what the photo shows- sorry!).
  • Allow cup to cool completely and use a small knife to pop each cookie cup out of the tin.
  • Spoon or pipe lemon pie filling into each cookie cup.

  

  • Top with cool whip (I used a zip-top bag, fitted with a piping tip, to pipe mine on in swirls). 
  • Sprinkle remaining crumbs on tops. 
  • Keep  covered and refrigerated until serving. 
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: Easy and delicious! The ginger snap crust is a perfect combination with that lemon filling! Delicious summer flavor combination. I hope you get a chance to try these!!  Enjoy! ~r

Other fun summer recipes on Easybaked (click on a photo to see the recipe):

Honeycomb Oreo Pops- with Bees!

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Adorable Honeybee Oreo Pops are sure to make your summer picnics more fun!!!

There is something so fun about using bees and honeycomb as a dessert decoration. I originally wanted to use a chocolate transfer with a honeycomb design on these- but I couldn’t find the transfers available in the states (except for in bulk- which I definitely did NOT need!). I decided to experiment with bubble wrap instead and they turned out SO cute. Goodness- I love these. When I gave them away to friends they all asked how I made the honeycomb. I thought it would be obvious that I’d used bubble wrap, but all they could see was the honeycomb until I explained.

These are maybe one of the easiest Oreo pops I’ve done. You really need to try them!

Here’s how we made them: (printable recipe here)

(If you have never made Oreo Pops before, check out our tutorial here.)

INGREDIENTS: (makes about 24 pops)

  • One package of Double Stuff Oreos
  • 2 bags of Wilton’s candy melts in yellow
  • 1/4 cup of Wilton’s candy melts in white
  • Candy bees (I got mine here)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Gently twist apart all Oreos.
  • Melt white candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until melted and smooth.
  • Dip end of a lollipop stick into the white chocolate, spread a little on the top of the white Oreo filling and then press the stick flat into the center of the filling.
  • Place top of Oreo on, and set on a cookie sheet. When all Oreos have sticks inserted, pop these in the freezer for 15-20 minutes (until they are nice and firmly set).
  • While these chill, cut bubble wrap (try to find a small bubble variety- I used 1/8″ bubbles) into squares just big enough to cover the top of an Oreo.
  • Melt yellow candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until melted and smooth.
  • Spoon yellow melts over the top of each chilled Oreo pop, making sure all sides are completely covered. Tap stick against side of bowl to remove excess candy melts and slide bottom against edge of bowl to take excess off.
  • Set coated pop on a sheet of parchment paper and gently press bubble wrap on top.

  • Repeat this with all Oreo pops and allow candy melts to harden completely (refrigerate to speed process up)
  • Gently peel bubble wrap off top of Oreo (I thought it might pop and leave plastic behind, but it came off perfectly!)
  • Use remaining candy melts to “glue” a bee on top. Simply use a toothpick or small knife to wipe a bit of melted yellow candy on the back of a candy bee, and set it on top. Allow this to harden. 

  • Place each Oreo into a little cello bag, and tie with ribbon for a cute summer treat that will keep for weeks in a cool place! ENJOY!!!!

My thoughts: SO FUN!!!!  Oreo pops are always fun- no matter what they are decorated with- but these Oreo pops are just especially cute! Goodness. I love them! Perfect for the end of a picnic or for a honeybee themed party! I hope you get a chance to try these out! Enjoy! ~r

Like cute bugs? We have a few recipes here for your summer insect enjoyment 🙂 (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Fireworks Tart!

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A dense chocolate brownie topped with creamy mint filling and a layer of rich fudge- these are the perfect finish to your July 4th cookout!

I’ve been sharing recipes on this blog for several years now, and there are just some recipes that I want everyone to try. These mint brownies are a recipe from my mom and I keep re-making them into different forms because they are just SO GOOD! I’ve filled them with mint, caramel, cookie dough, coconut, pralinecandy cane, irish cream, and peanut butter. Just last Halloween I made the recipe into a spiderweb striped tart that was SO fun, and I decided it needed to be remade in patriotic colors for July this year!

Fun- right? And honestly- soooo yummy!

Here is how we made it: (printable recipe is here)

INGREDIENTS:

Brownie:

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons of dark cocoa powder (try to use dark- it makes it easier to color the brownie black)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Food coloring gel in black

Mint filling: (this makes a little more than you need- but makes certain you have enough of each color)

  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons mint extract
  • Food coloring gel in red, white and blue

Chocolate glaze/fireworks:

  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips (again, use dark so it is easier to color black)
  • 6 tablespoon of butter
  • Food coloring gel in black
  • About 1/8 cup of Wilton’s candy melts in each color: red, white, and blue

DIRECTIONS:

NOTE: Throughout this recipe, be careful when moving the tart pan, as holding it from the bottom will cause the edges to slide off. I usually keep tarts on a cookie sheet when I bake and decorate them- I took this one off (very carefully!) so I could photograph the process for you.

Brownie:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Cream butter and sugar together. 
  • Beat in eggs, cocoa, vanilla and salt.
  • Add flour and milk (alternating them and mixing well in between)
  • Add black food coloring gel until batter is a dark almost-black color.
  • Spread evenly in 9 inch tart pan that has been set on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool completely.

Mint filling:

  • Melt butter and add to powdered sugar. 
  • Add extract.
  • Mix well, using water to bring it to a thick but spreadable consistency.
  • Divide filling into three bowls and mix in gel food coloring until you get a desired shade of blue and red. I also added a bit of white coloring to brighten up the natural color of the filling- but you wouldn’t have to do this.
  • As soon as color is mixed in, spoon each filling color into a small and sturdy (use freezer, not sandwich) zip-top bag. Push all the air out and seal tightly. As this filling is exposed to air it begins to harden up- so sealing these up right away prevents this. If you are slow, you can always add a little more water to get it back to the right consistency.
  • Set aside until brownie has cooled.
  • Cut a corner off each bag, and squeeze filling out into a circle at the center. Alternating colors, add rings around this until the entire top of the brownie is covered with filling. 
  • Once the top is covered, set a piece of parchment paper or wax paper on top and gently press the filling down so that it goes all the way to the edges. Try to make it nice and flat. The glaze will cover all the ridges, but you want to be sure that the edges are pushed down enough that the glaze has room to get to the edge of the pan without overflowing.

Chocolate glaze:

  • Melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until completely melted and smooth.
  • Add black gel food coloring until glaze is a dark almost-black (I added quite a bit and never got it completely black- but close!)
  • BEFORE pouring glaze onto tart: melt each color of candy melts and place each in individual zip-top bags (so they are ready as soon as glaze is poured)
  • Pour glaze over top of mint filling, using a spoon or knife to push out to all the edges.
  • Before glaze hardens, cut a small corner on each bag of melted Wilton’s candy melts and pipe circles (like a target shape) in alternating colors on top of the melted glaze.
  • Use a toothpick or skewer to draw lines through the glaze, starting at the center and drawing lines outward- like fireworks!

  • Chill until top layer of glaze is hardened. Do not remove outer ring of tart pan until this has completely hardened. Then, push up on the bottom firmly, until the edges slide out of pan. This takes a little patience- I refrigerated my tart overnight and then let it sit out for about 30 minutes before I was able to push the bottom up and remove that outer ring. If you have a hard time, push up in different spots along the edge, loosening all the edges 1st, before pushing the whole thing out.
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: I love this dessert for so many reasons. It is a little time-consuming, but it’s SO cute!!!  If you want to save time, skip the colors in the mint layer- just make it white- and decorate the top. Or swirl the colors and make these in a sheet cake pan to have a bunch of them (refer to my candy cane brownie recipe here for directions and just add some blue instead of pink!) However you make them, ENJOY!!!  Happy summer to you! ~r

Other patriotic desserts for your 4th of July celebrations: (click on a photo to see the recipe)

 

Smoke Bomb Oreo Pops!

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These adorable smoke bomb Oreos will be the hit of your July 4th parties!

It’s hard to believe that July is just around the corner– but it is! I love summer, and making fun patriotic treats always reminds me of pool parties and days at the beach on Lake Michigan 🙂 I made smoke-bomb brownies last year, and they were such a hit that I decided to turn them into Oreo pops this year!

Cute, yummy and SO easy to make ahead and have ready for all your summer celebrations!

Here’s how we made them: (printable recipe here)

INGREDIENTS: (makes about 30 pops)

  • One package of Double Stuff Oreos
  • 2 bags of Wilton’s candy melts in red
  • 1/4 cup of Wilton’s candy melts in white
  • Twizzlers Pull-n-Peel licorice in red/white/blue (or licorice strings of another variety)
  • Large star sprinkles
  • Tiny star spinkles

DIRECTIONS:

  • Gently twist apart all Oreos.
  • Melt white candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until melted and smooth.
  • Dip end of a lollipop stick into the white chocolate, spread a little on the top of the white Oreo filling and then press the stick flat into the center of the filling.
  • Place top of Oreo on, and set on a cookie sheet. When all Oreos have sticks inserted, pop these in the freezer for 15-20 minutes (until they are nice and firmly set).
  • While these chill, cut licorice strings into about 30 (1 inch) segments.
  • Melt red candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until melted and smooth.
  • Dip the end of a licorice string into the red melts and then set flat against a large star sprinkle and allow this to harden- this will basically “glue” the star onto the end of the licorice. 
  • Gently dip chilled Oreo in red candy melts, using a spoon to cover all sides. Tap stick against side of bowl to drain excess. Set on parchment paper.
  • While candy melts are still soft, set end of licorice into the top of the Oreo and sprinkle with tiny stars.
  • Allow everything to harden up, and then slide each pop into a small cello bag and tie with ribbon (alternatively, store in an airtight container with parchment paper as layers between).
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: These are easy little treats to make- and they have OREOS inside- so they are delicious too! (If you have never made Oreo Pops before, check out our tutorial here.) ENJOY!

Other fun and very patriotic desserts for your July: (click on photo to see recipe)

 

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