Posts Tagged 'kids'

Pipe Dream #183: To Single-Serve Splurge – No Bake Nests

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Do you ever buy Mini Cadbury Eggs in single-serve packages even though you know it would be a better deal to buy them in bulk?

Ok, me neither. Phewfta.

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Ok, I can’t carry on like this.

Confession: I bought Mini Cadbury Eggs in single-serve packages. they were like 84 cents! Mini Eggs are my delight. Even more than regular Creme Eggs. Hay-eck, I can make regular Creme eggs from scratch. But I will pay someone to make Mini Eggs.

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Seeing Mini Eggs in-store means that it is Easter time. I thought it would be cute to stick little candies in a classic no bake cookie, making little nests for a themed treat. I thought this was an #lhoriginal thought, but after a quick Google search, I’d been scooped once again.

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No bake cookies are literally the easiest cookie on the earth. And they take no time (exaggeration). And they are high in fiber. And they are so chocolaty peanuty nom nom.

One thing to heed is the amount of time that you boil the sugar/cocoa mixture. Boiling for a short minute will give you soft, shiny cookies. If you boil it for longer than a minute, your cookies will be a little crumbly. I couldn’t tell if the mixture was boiling–it was kind of a slow glurg at the edges of the saucepan–so I think I boiled them for a little too long. This turned out to be good, though, because they set up a little stiffer into their nest shape.

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Happy Easter! Guys, spring is tomorrow today! And don’t forget Jesus!


No Bake Nests

Adapted from Food Network

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups quick oats
Cadbury Mini Eggs or other candies

In a heavy saucepan bring the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk to a boil. Let boil for 1 minute (I let mine go maybe two minutes so they held up better for the nests, but next time I would boil them for just one minute), then add the peanut butter and the vanilla, stirring well until combined. Stir in the oats. Drop the mixture by the tablespoonful onto a sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Let cool for a minute, then use the back of a spoon to make a depression in the center of each cookie so it looks like a bird’s nest. Once the cookies have cooled for about 30 minutes, fill each cookie with a Cadbury egg or two. Makes about 18 cookies.

Pipe Dream #14: To Be Little Debbie, Revisited – Homemade Ding Dong Cupcakes

I don’t know if I’ve told you about my obsession with marshmallow creme. Cream. Whatever. I may have alluded to it with these Oatmeal Creme Pies, the other Little Debbie-esque recipe I posted. If not, let me just tell you.

I am obsessed with marshmallow creme. Slash marshmallows in general. Add marshmallow creme into whatever proposal you are trying to swing, and I’m there.

Some Examples of Proposals That Are 100% More Effective With The Addition of Marshmallow Creme:

– “Lauren, will you peel, core and slice 1000 apples by hand for me? I will spoon feed you marshmallow creme the entire time.”

-“Lauren, will you spend the day wallowing in a pool of self-doubt, despair and misery in order to save the rainforest? I’ll swirl in some marshmallow creme, no charge.

-“Lauren, will you marry me? I am a marshmallow creme maker. I live in a factory of marshmallow creme production.”

Now, you may think I am exaggerating.

And you are right. I am exaggerating. But I do love marshmallow creme. I would eat it with a spoon.

These cupcakes are kind of food blog trendy, so I’ve had the idea in mind for some time. Because they are so trendy, you could google this and come up with 1000 blogs with similar recipes, all of which look prettier than mine. For me, these are more about getting to eat marshmallow creme.

I toyed with the idea of making my own marshmallow creme for them in the form of a 7-minute frosting, hearing that it was “marshmallow frosting.” Given that I was going a bit psycho/lazy on a Saturday baking extravaganza, I tried to make this meringue frosting in a bowl that was, ahem, less than clean, and it didn’t whip up quite the way I wanted. At that point in the day, however, I was too fatigued to care, so really, what you see is what you get with these guys.

I have such issues with meringues. Meringues 3 Lauren 2.

Oh, but did I mention they were delicious?

Oh look! Friends! P.s. Guess it’s Halloween today. Hopefully someone gives you one of those chocolate covered marshmallow deals.


Homemade Ding Dong Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

I used this basic one-bowl chocolate cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart. I’ve used it loads of times, and you can find it on my blog here. My only tip on this is DON’T OVERFILL THE LINERS. Bad news.

For the filling:

7-Minute Frosting

From Martha Stewart Living

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 large egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In the heatproof bowl of a VERY CLEAN electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine sugar, corn syrup, 1/4 cup water, and egg whites. You could use a double boiler for this part, or just a metal bowl, and then transfer the contents to a mixer bowl when ready. Be careful not to get any water from the double boiler in the mixing bowl if you go that route. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes.
Attach bowl to a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat mixture on high speed until glossy, cool and doubled in size, about 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Use immediately.
Alternately, you could use a marshmallow fluff/powdered sugar mixture to fill theses babies. That would be yummy.
For the topping:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter
Melt the butter and chips in the microwave, stirring every twenty seconds or so until melted. Don’t let the stuff burn.
Alternately, you could use chocolate ganache to top these. In retrospect, I should have done that.
To assemble:
Set aside a bit of the 7 minute frosting in a piping bag fitted with a small circle tip. This is for decorating the cupcakes later. A nicer alternative might be a royal icing, but I was too lazy to make some.
Remove cupcakes from liners (or don’t) and cut out a circle of cake from the top of each. They call this “the cone method.” I always reserve the very top of the piece I cut out to put back on top of the filling. Fill each hole with 7 minute frosting and replace the cake piece over the hole. Swirl each top with melted chocolate and let set for a bit. Using the reserved frosting, pipe the classic Hostess swirl on top of each cupcake.

Pipe Dream #135: To Mix All The Paints – Garbage Popcorn

Because I bake as much as I do, I sometimes get overwhelmed with the myriad of delicious flavors and ingredients available to me. Hm. Cinnamon. Love. Marshmallow. Love. Caramel. Love. Fruit. Love. Chocolate. Love.

The list is as broad and deep as the traffic this morning on 100 South. Completely ridiculous.

This recipe is the answer to my state of overwhelmed longing for efrything, all at once.

Just chuck a bunch of yummy things together and amalgamate it with a substance that looks like…

…boiling sewage?

This picture is the baking equivalent of mixing all the paints in your watercolors set. Individually, the shades are great. Together, they just make dull brown. (Or as one pretentious girl in my 7th grade class liked to say, “dun.” She wrote a poem about it. It was as boring as it sounds.)

Luckily, this mixture is neither boring nor unpalatable. In fact, you may have to stop yourself from shoveling handfuls into your mouth before it is all said and done. Don’t feel too awful, though. It might be rainy. Or you might have to sit in traffic tomorrow. Either way, this is popcorn. How bad can it be?

Maybe just this bad.

Guys, this recipe is great. You can feel like a kid in art class again. And then you can eat your work.

Still in traffic, probably,


Garbage Popcorn

Inspired by/Adapted from Our Best Bites

6 cups popped popcorn (I made a 1/2 cup of regular kernels on the stovetop)

6 cups rice or corn Chex

1 cup roughly chopped walnuts

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 t cinnamon

1/4 cup corn syrup (or honey)

1/2 cup butter

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla

3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

salt, if desired

Line a cookie sheet with foil. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Pop your popcorn using whatever method works best for you. I used a saucepan on the stovetop, but if you want to use microwave popcorn, you go right ahead. I would use a low salt/butter popcorn though. Plenty of that goodness will be added later.

Combine popcorn, nuts and Chex in a large bowl (like, a really big bowl). I just had a thought. You could also add mini marshmallows. Or M&Ms. That would be yummy.

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Chunk the butter on top of it, then drizzle on the corn syrup or honey. Microwave for 30 seconds, and then stir to combine. Now microwave for 2 minutes. Stir. Microwave for an additional 2 minutes until it looks like that bubbly picture above. Do not over-bubble the mixture.

Add the vanilla and baking soda and stir to combine. Immediately pour over the popcorn mixture and stir, stir, stir until everything is thoroughly coated. Spread on a foiled lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes in preheated oven, stirring every 10 minutes. Eat a handful. If it is not quite as crunchy as you desire, bake for an additional five minutes. After giving the corn a final stir, melt your chocolate chips in the microwave (30 second intervals, stirring ’til smooth.). Drizzle over the popcorn with a fork and sprinkle with a little salt if you like. I thought it lacked contrast without it.

Let the mixture cool. Once hardened, break it up and consume. This stuff lasts, though, so you could store it for a while, or package it up as little gifties for all of your autumnal and/or garbage-themed parties.

Favorite Shots: Children With All Levels Of Imagination

Continuing in my creepy fascination with children and statues, or children’s propensity to hang around statues in cities, I give you this. I love it.


Favorite Shots: #weallpicksometimes

I like little kids for their littleness. They dance in the streets. They pick their noses. And 75 percent of the time everyone else misses it unless they are looking down.

Also, this dancer was approximately 10 years old.

Walking it out (lame version),


P.S. I have discovered a new obsession with hashtags. A well-placed hashtag makes everything funnier. It’s the punchline to a good tweet. Heaven knows I am rueing the day that social media pop culture has influenced my life so much, but I suppose I cannot remain aloof forever. #wearetheborg

Favorite Shots: Fixed On A Statue

Sometimes, the things that are supposed to be interesting don’t demand my attention.


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