Category Archives: Candies

Homemade 4th of July Sprinkles

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Author: Cassie Stevens

Sprinkles can get very expensive, especially if you are a big baker like me. I love a confetti cake, or Ice Cream, or sugar cookies with sprinkles! Whatever you like to put sprinkles on here is a easy recipe to cut some of your costs on the fun-fetti sprinkles. You can make any color! You can even make dots if you want (very time consuming). I went with the traditional long skinny sprinkle.

3 cups powdered sugar

3 Tbsp Corn syrup

dab of milk

Mix together, add more corn syrup (or a little milk if you like) if it is too thick.  I like a thicker icing consistency (it makes the dry time faster). I then divide it up. In this case I divided it into three separate bowls. Then colored the ones I wanted with food coloring ( I recommend using the gel food coloring).  Once they are all colored put them each into a piping bag. no tips needed just cut the tip of the bag to make a thin skinny line.

SAM_1567 SAM_1568 SAM_1569I let them dry out over night. Then cut them up and Viola! Homemade sprinkles….

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Shabby Chic Princess Party Treats

This Saturday we celebrated my oldest daughter’s 4th birthday. I had way too many ideas, thanks to Pinterest. I asked Monkey what she wanted as a theme for her party and, of course, my girly-girl said, “Princesses!” As I am not a fan of all the marketing concerning Disney princesses (I like them. I like the movies. I just don’t like all the STUFF.) I decided to make it a Shabby Chic Princess Party. Say that ten times fast. We had pink and white polka dot straws, a fabric tied banner with pink fabric with white dots, roses with a light blue background, pink tulle, and pink balloons. I found shabby chic napkins and cups, and pink plates online. The birthday girl wore a green Tinkerbell dress that her GiGi (what we call her Grandma)  and Pop Pop found at the Disney Store. It was the perfect amount of Disney, and not overloaded.

I made most of the sweets myself, aside from the delicious cupcakes, star of the show. Those were made by the talented Lindsey from Cupcakes and Such. More about those later.

My favorite part of my dessert bar items were the chocolate dipped (and drizzled) pretzel rods… or Fairy Godmother Wands. 🙂

This is how I made my chocolate to dip and drizzle over marshmallows, popcorn, and pretzels:

How to make chocolate-dipped Fairy Godmother Wands for Princes Party :: Shabby Chic Princess Party Treats ::  Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals

I used almond bark as my base. And I used gel food coloring in pink and purple. Because almond bark, like other chocolates, seizes up when you add water-based colorants (gel is water based), I added about a teaspoon of coconut oil after adding my color to bring it back to a more workable consistency. This gave my chocolate a slight coconutty flavor that was very tasty! I kind of wanted it to harden up a little bit because the almond bark chocolate on it’s own (before adding color) was too thin for me to do what I wanted with it. Trial and error here…

You can also use Wilton’s Candy Melts, that come in all sorts of colors. But, you know me; I use what I have.

My process:

1. Melt almond bark in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between until it is all melted. Use a tall jar for dipping pretzel rods.

2. Add gel food coloring a little at a time. If it starts to seize up, add coconut oil as needed, 1 tsp at a time – it doesn’t take much, to return it to a smooth texture.

3. Use your colored chocolate to dip or drizzle. When I dipped things, I used my big bucket of organic popcorn kernels to prop them up while they dried. When I drizzled things, I did it on a piece of parchment paper for easy clean up.

Sprinkles add texture and fun to these treats, so go for it! Magical!

How to make chocolate-drizzled Fairy Godmother Wands for Princes Party :: Shabby Chic Princess Party Treats ::  Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals
Fairy Godmother Wands
How to make chocolate-dipped Princess Pillows for Princes Party :: Shabby Chic Princess Party Treats ::  Pen Pals and Cookin' Gals
Princess Pillows

Both kids and adults had a blast at Monkey’s party! The dessert bar was a big hit, and I had fun making it, with a little help from the birthday girl.

And those cupcakes? They were chocolate chip cup cake with pink butter-cream frosting, adorned with white and dark chocolate tiaras, sprinkled with edible silver glitter. Yeah, they were as awesome as they sound.

Princes Party :: Shabby Chic Princess Party Treats ::  Pen Pals and Cookin' GalsMy little princess is 4! I can’t believe it. It feels like yesterday that I was laboring through the night, knowing that she would be in my arms soon. See my post on my other blog to read more about why I am the woman I am, thanks to having this beautiful little girl in my life. I am so thankful for her.

So tell me, do you do big birthday parties or do you have a cozy family affair? Lots of homemade treats or order pizza. What’s your favorite way to party?

~Veronica

Homemade Bit O’ Honey Candies

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Author: Cassie Stevens

Do you remember Bit O’ Honey? The peanut butter and honey lightly crunchy candies. They were good! I don’t even know if they make them anymore. I rarely visit the candy aisle these days. I used to love them!

My husband loves peanut butter so these are gonna go fast.  I start with one jar of creamy peanut butter, and one cup of honey. Put it in a microwaveable bowl and nuke for one minute.  The peanut butter will become liquid I then added 2 teaspoons almond extract and mixed it in.  I then mixed 4 cups dry milk powder. I thought it was too dry so I added another half cup honey and half a jar of chunky peanut butter. Then I microwaved it all one more time for a minute to make sure the peanut butter was melted again and mixed, and it was perfect.  It will look like this:          YUMMY!SAM_0984

The recipe I found online used 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter 1/2 cup honey and 2 cups dry milk powder, but I wanted to make a lot more so I just winged it! I have made them before so I know about how the consistency should look.

So all in all, my recipe is as follows: Makes about 60 wrapped candies

1 jar (18oz) creamy peanut butter

1/2 jar (18oz) chunky peanut butter

1 1/2 cups honey

4 cups dry milk powder

2 teaspoons almond extract

I then put the mix on a parchment lined sheet pan and evenly spread it out with a spatula.  Place it in the freezer for a few minutes to take the heat out and it will firm up a bit. Then cut it up, and wrap it. That easy for great healthy candy or an energy boosting snack.SAM_0985SAM_0987SAM_0988SAM_0989

Cut parchment paper to fit your candies and wrap. If you have kids they will have so much fun with this step. Mine love to help! Easy and fun and simple! Hope you enjoy making them!bohc

An Easter Story & Treats

Author: Cassie Stevens

I know I’m a little late posting my about my Easter. But with the beginning of every month comes the paying the  bills, running errands and all the other responsibilities that go with that. I hope everyone had a wonderful and memorable Easter.  I know we did.  We almost missed the Easter bunny (funny story).  I looked up on-line when my town was doing their Easter egg hunt this year, and I found out that it was at the county courthouse on the front lawn. The posting I found said March 30, 2013 at  one o’clock for the Easter egg hunt ages 0-12 and the Easter bunny would be there to take pictures for only three dollars.  I was thrilled. I wrote it on the calendar so I wouldn’t forget.  I had already got my one year old an Easter dress, we just needed to find the right shoes to go with her outfit. I went to three different stores and drove all around town before we found the right ones. OK set, ready for the Easter bunny pictures tomorrow.

So Saturday comes and we get ready to go, get all loaded in the car, head on out to the courthouse.  When we get there it’s a ghost town. Nobody is around. I was a little early but I expected a few people to be there already. I had seen a sign in one of the overflow parking lots that said “temporary courthouse parking”.  So then I thought I missed it.  I was so mad. SO MAD! I went through all that trouble for the stupid Easter bunny pictures and got nothing for it. My daughter is too young to know any different, but if she wasn’t… oh would I have a mess on my hands. So I decided to go to the police station just around the corner and ask them they would know what’s going on for sure.  I got there and rang the clerk on duty. She told me that there were three today; one was at 10:30 and another was at 11:00 and the last was at 1:00 but it was in the next town over which was about an hour drive from us.  So again, I left disappointed and upset that I wasn’t more on top of these kind of things.  I should have called to make sure where they were the day before. I shouldn’t have trusted a stupid posting on some web site I knew nothing about. Live and learn.  So I decided to go about my business and get a few items I needed for Easter dinner on Sunday.

On the way to the grocery store I decided I wasn’t going to let the day go totally to waste. After all my daughter looked so gorgeous in her Easter  dress. I decided to take a few pictures of her in front of some really pretty flowers. Just get some good pictures of her in her outfit, and I knew just the place.  I went to the Christmas place (were it’s Christmas all year round). I knew they had some really pretty flowers and backdrops we could photograph and take some great Easter pictures. So we walked around for a bit snapping photos and just having fun in the sun.

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I looked across the street and saw The Inn at The Christmas Place, which is a hotel were it is Christmas all the time. Well, I saw that there was a beautiful waterfall and some ducks and more pretty flowers on the other side of the street. So we loaded up  in the car and drove across the street to take more pictures.  As we were driving past, I noticed Easter eggs all over the front lawn and the side lawn.

Then, I noticed a very small sign that read “Easter egg hunt”.  I thought for a second, we were in luck. So we went to investigate. We took the long way around so we could play with the eggs first. We went around the side lawn and got to snap a few pictures all by ourselves picking up Easter eggs (which we put back) and just having a good ol’ time.

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As we made our way around the front of the hotel, I saw even more egg hunt sites that were sectioned off for different age groups. I asked the manager I saw walking around about the Easter egg hunt.  She told me the Easter egg hunt was at four o’clock (it was three) and it was for the guests of the hotel only and I would have to go to the front desk to get a voucher. She had also mentioned the Easter Bunny would be there to take pictures until about four thirty or so.

YAY!!! I finally found him! I was so excited I was going to wait around for him and take a few more pictures while we waited.  I turned on my camera and it shut off. I turned it back on and it said insufficient battery and shut itself back off.  NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! My battery is dead. I was going to get my pictures if it was going to kill me! Especially since I had the opportunity to do so.  I got us loaded back into the car and raced home (I only lived about ten minutes away).  Charged my camera for about thirty minutes and rushed back. I made it back right at four o’clock. When I am determined I will get it done and on time. We got back there, snapped a few pictures (as quick as we could before she started to cry) and success! I got pictures of my daughter with the Easter bunny. I was happy. Whew!! what a day! Time to go home and get ready for Easter dinner.

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Now for the treats:

I have seen a few ideas on-line for some awesome Easter treats ideas. I liked a few and wanted to try them out on my Family this year and see what the kids thought.

I found a cute idea for deviled Easter eggs that look like chicks from this site

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I found cute Easter Egg Basket cupcakes from this site

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Plus I made a few of my own.  I also made a cake with the leftover cupcake batter. All the icing is homemade.

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I hope you had as much fun as we did! Happy Easter! looking forward to doing it again next year!