RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Valentines Day dessert

Love Bug Cupcakes

Posted on
These cute little bugs are filled with berry cream and jam. They sit on top of a dense, not-too-sweet brownie base, and are the *perfect* treat for your Valentine!

I feel like I am always on the lookout for something creative to make for Valentine’s Day. January is such a blah, grey month, and I miss having something to celebrate with colors and sprinkles. And along comes Valentine’s Day! Even as a single person (for WAY to many years!) I celebrated the day- just because you need SOMETHING in February to make you smile. In fact, if you are single and these love bugs make you want to roll your eyes, try my cute Frog Prince Oreo Pops instead! 🙂

These treats are a little on the fussy side. Obviously. Anything cute requires a little time. If you want a simple, delicious dessert- without the fuss- you can just pipe some topping on, add some sprinkles, and call it a day.

Want to know how to make these fun treats? Here is the recipe: (printable version)

Ingredients: (makes 24 love bug cupcakes)

Love Bugs: (make these 1st)- you will need a silicone chocolate bomb mold to make these:

  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons strawberry or raspberry extract
  • 1 cup of raspberry jam
  • Food color in pink
  • One bag of Wilton’s Candy melts in pink
  • About 1/2 cup of Wilton’s Candy melts in black
  • 48 candy eyes
  • Candy heart sprinkles

Brownie cups:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 6oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons butter (do not substitute margarine here!)
  • Green jimmies for grass!

DIRECTIONS:

Berry Love Bugs:

  • Melt pink candy melts in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until smooth.
  • Use a clean paint brush to brush melts into a chocolate bomb mold and freeze for a couple minutes until hard.
  • Make berry filling  by adding melted butter to sugar and extract.
  • Mix well, using water to bring it to a thick but spreadable consistency.
  • Add pink food coloring to make it a fun pink color.
  • Place filling into a large zip-top bag and seal tightly.
  • Cut a corner off bag and pipe berry filling into each pink shell- filling them about 1/4 full.
  • Place jam into a small zip-top bag, clip corner and pipe a little bit in the center of each pink shell.
  • Pipe more berry filling over the top until it is level .
  • Use a knife to spread berry filling to edges of shell.
  • Refreeze these for a few minutes before gently popping them out and setting them on a plate. 
  • Repeat this process until you have 24 berry bombs ready.

Brownie cups:

  • 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)
  • Spoon evenly into 24 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.
  • Bake at 350F degrees for 15-18 minutes (don’t over bake- they will start to pull away from the liner)
  • Cool.  

Chocolate Glaze:

  • Melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until completely melted and smooth.
  • Set aside until cupcakes are ready to assemble.
  • Assemble the cupcakes by spooning a little chocolate glaze on top of a brownie and spreading to all edges.
  • Place a berry bomb in the center and sprinkle green jimmies around edge.
  • Allow this all to harden up (refrigerate to speed process up).
  • Melt black candy melts in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until smooth.
  • Use a clean paint brush to paint a black face on the front of each bomb, and immediately place eyes before candy melts harden. Place the rest of the melts in a plastic zip-top bag, cut a corner and pipe the center line down the bug’s back.
  • Melt just a few pink candy melts, and use a paint brush to stick each little candy heart “dot” in place.
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: These are delicious. Think chocolate covered strawberries. I made half of mine with the love bug domes, and half with just the berry icing and chocolate glaze- just to save time. Either way, they are delicious and sure to make YOUR Valentine smile! Enjoy! ~r

Looking for other fun baking ideas for Valentine’s Day? Click on the title to see the recipe:

Blooming Marshmallows for Cocoa! Make your own!

Posted on

blooming marshmallows! DIYHave you seen the latest food fad? A friend sent me this video and I couldn’t stop smiling! Genius!!! These fun little marshmallows, when set into hot chocolate, bloom and reveal fun sprinkles at the center. These are the creation of chef Dominique Ansel (creator of the Cronut, for all you foodies out there) and he serves them up in Tokyo and New York.

So what’s a girl from Indiana to do? Obviously figure out a way to make them herself! And just in time for Valentine’s Day!

It seemed like rule-breaking to use from-scratch marshmallows for this (we are called Easybaked for a reason, you know!). So I melted marshmallows and spread them out to cut. I got REALLY good at this because I made about a billion batches of these before I got them to work well.

DIY Blooming Marshmallows

I learned a few things.

  1. Get the off-brand of marshmallows, they all melt the same.
  2. That marshmallow has to be spread pretty thin (I will tell you how to accomplish this..)
  3. That cocoa has to be as hot as lava to melt away the chocolate cup these sit in.
  4. Use tongs to place the bloom into the hot chocolate so you don’t splash yourself with the lava.

I’m not kidding you- this recipe was a labor of love. But now I can tell you how to do these in SUCH an easy way- and you can surprise your family with these fun treats!

Blooming Marshmallows DIY

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

INGREDIENTS/SUPPLIES: (makes about 10 blooms)

  • 1 bag of regular sized marshmallows
  • 1/4 stick butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 bag of white Wilton’s candy melts (I used pink on some of these so you could see them better).
  • Jimmies or candies to fill the center of the flower
  • Hot (HOT!) chocolate
  • A flower shaped cookie cutter
  • Mini paper nut cups

DIRECTIONS:

  • Liberally butter the bottom and sides of a sheet cake pan
  • In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and cornstarch.
  • Place about 1/2 of this mixture into a sugar shaker or sifter (I love my Pampered Chef one!) and coat entire pan with mixture.
  • Liberally butter the inside of a large mixing bowl
  • Place marshmallows in bowl and melt in microwave for 30 seconds, stir and melt again for 30 seconds- until completely smooth.

melting MarshmallowsMelting marshmallows

  • Pour marshmallow mixture down the center of the pan and sprinkle top with sugar/starch mixture.
  • Coat your hands liberally in the powdered sugar/corn starch mixture and gently press the melted marshmallows flat across the pan. If you hit a sticky spot, sprinkle it with the sugar/starch.
  • Try to get the marshmallow layer as even as possible across the pan. You will have a few holes and maybe not get it all to the edge, but remember that you will be cutting flowers out of this- so you can work around bad spots.

img_0738img_0746

  • Allow this to harden for 30 minutes.
  • Coat cookie cutter in sugar/starch mixture and carefully cut out a flower. Coat cut edges in powder and set aside while the rest are cut.

Cookie cutter marshmallow Cookie cutter marshmallow

  • Have some sprinkles or Sixlets candy ready to place into the center of the flowers- but don’t place them yet.
  • Melt Candy Melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until melted and smooth.
  • Spoon melts into paper cup and spread up sides. Tip cup to drain out excess.
  • Brush excess powder off a flower, add sprinkles/candy to center and pull all petals up to the center, leaving the bottom center open.
  • Place bottom center of flower into candy-coated cup (before it hardens). Allow this to harden with the flower inside.

blooming-mm6blooming-mm5

  • Once this has hardened completely , use a scissors to clip the top edge of the cup, and peel the paper away.

blooming-mm3blooming-mm2

  • Make a cup of HOT hot chocolate. I found that using milk rather than water resulted in the best “openings” of the flowers.
  • Use tongs to carefully set the unopened flower into the cocoa and let it bloom!

blooming-marshmallow3blooming-marshmallow4

blooming-marshmallow

  • I stored my extra marshmallow flowers in an air-tight container and they still bloomed a few days later- but slowly. I think that the more fresh they are, the better they bloom.

Click on the photo below to see my (terribly shot!) video of a not-so perfect bloom. It illustrates the biggest problem I had with this project- getting the flower to bloom without allowing hot chocolate to seep into the center. I’d say about 50% of my flowers had some leakage of chocolate- and, if you watch the “professional” ones, you see this happens to them too.

I think that the key things to reduce this are:

  1. Use HOT chocolate made from milk instead of water.
  2. Marshmallows that aren’t too thick, and that aren’t still sticky on the edges (remember to cover those cut edges with powder early on!)
  3. Placing them into those chocolate cups as evenly as possible. If one side weighs more than the other, the cup will tip when placed in the cocoa, allowing some cocoa into the center.

I have to say though- that even when the centers filled a little with cocoa, people LOVED these! They wanted to drink more than one cup of cocoa to see it bloom again. So-not perfect, but really, really fun.

blooming-mm9

My thoughts: I feel like I’ve made progress toward figuring out a good DIY method for these. AND I’m pretty excited about how easy it is to take store-bought marshmallows and turn them into ANY shape! There are always unexpected things I learn when I experiment. I hope you get a chance to try these- and even improve on them! If any of you come up with a way to keep the cocoa out of the center on MOST of them, let me know! I feel like we could improve on 50%… 🙂 Enjoy! ~r

We love marshmallows here- because money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you marshmallows, and that’s nearly the same thing!!  Try a few more marshmallow-y recipes: (click on photo to see recipe)

Mallow Cupsfrozen s'more cupsMarshmallow Turtle Pops!Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies!!!

 

 

 

Fudge cookies for gender reveal party!

Posted on

So my cousin Erika messaged me this week asking for ideas for a gender-reveal party she’s throwing this spring.  For those of you uninformed folks (as I was a week ago)– a gender reveal party is where you break the “It’s a boy/girl” news to all your friends and family at a fun party.  I say– what better way to deliver good news than in a dessert??!!??  So I went to work and I have several ideas you will likely see here in the coming weeks.

Idea#1— a recycled recipe tweaked for the occasion.  Remember my chocolate bonbons?  Fun little fudge cookies with a hershey kiss inside.   Instead of a kiss, how about colored white chocolate?  Here you go:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 40-50 Wilton candy melt pieces in BLUE or PINK
  • 8 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1 bag (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • Additional Wilton White Candy Melts
    for decorating as desired.

DIRECTIONS:

  • Soften Philadelphia cream cheese in microwave until completely smooth.
  • Melt chocolate chips in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring well in between.
  • Add cream cheese to melted chocolate and blend well.
  • Add flour and vanilla and stir into a thick dough consistency.
  • Flatten about 1 tbs. of dough in your palm, place 2 candy melts (flat sides together) in the center and gently wrap the dough around the melts until they are completely covered.
  • Flatten dough and shape into an Oreo shaped and sized cookie and place on an un-greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove warm cookies from cookie sheet and place on parchment paper (they will be a little greasy on the bottom, the parchment paper helps with this)
  • Decorate as desired- I dipped the entire top of the cookie in melted white candy melts and then piped two small circles on the top.  Dragging the tip of a toothpick through the circles while they are still melted makes them into hearts (aww….)  Easy and fun!

Not expecting a baby?  Make these with pink or red melts inside and pink and red hearts on top for a fun and festive Valentines Day treat!

ENJOY!!

%d bloggers like this: