Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Chocolate Brownie Peanut Butter BOMBS

If this post looks strange click (HERE) for web version.
My daughter's birthday was last week and it was wonderful!

I say wonderful because we didn't have it here at the house! But also because she and all her little friends had a fabulous time bouncing and jumping around for an hour at a blow up bouncy house place and then they all got to stuff their little faces with pizza, apple juice, cupcakes and cookies.

After the party was over, instead of dealing with a weeks worth of cleaning to get everything put away and cleaned up.....we got to go home to a clean or a "I have kids clean" house. I made lots of yummy cute themed stuff I'll share with you soon, but I NEED to share these with you now.

It's important....really important.

Chocolate brownie peanut butter BOMBS....

Now before you roll your eyes in that "Oh, just another cake ball recipe" way. Let me explain to you that cake balls these are NOT.  

These are awesome deliciousness dipped in chocolate...like a sweet nectar of yum from the Gods of dessert.

Several years back, when I worked in a bagel bakery cafe in five towns there was a baker who used to come up with the best desserts. He did all the normal run of the mill stuff, but every once in a while he would bring something up front that we would all run and grab as we knocked customers to the side...seriously.

First come, first serve right!!!

His brownie bites were one of those treats! Now mind you this was years before the cake pop craze had hit, so his little bite of brownies mixed to perfection with frosting and dipped in chocolate was a new taste experience for most of us. It wasn't til' I had a cake pop years later that I realized he had been making the "brownie" version of them. 

I have been wanting to recreate something like it for some time now, but haven't had the opportunity until recently. You see I had about half a batch of my incredible creamy dreamy peanut butter frosting left over from my daughter's birthday and it seemed almost fate that it should pair itself with a lovely chocolate brownie.

It was destiny I tell you.... destiny.

Hence these brownie bombs were born. They look  similar to cake balls and if you want to call them that I won't be mad or anything, but I am pretty positive if you make them, THEN eat one, you will be forced by some inner version of yourself to proclaim that these are not mere cake ball, but cake BOMBS.

Because they are seriously Da Bomb!

This is what you will need to make them.......

I used a good old box of Pillsbury Brownie mix to make these. Please don't shudder in disgust if your a puritan and only bake from scratch, for me box mixes have the ability to make this busy Mom's life easier.

I'm a huge fan of Pillsbury mixes of all sorts, so that is my go to for box mixes of any kind. Prepare the brownies according to the instructions, BUT instead of using the amount of oil it calls for cut it in half and make up the difference in apple sauce. (So 1/2 applesauce and 1/2 oil.) The reasoning behind this is that if you only use oil after it's all mixed up and you dip them they will ooze. This happens a lot with cake pops (to me anyway) if I use only oil. It doesn't affect the flavor at all when using applesauce.

Let the brownie cool completely before you crumble them up in to a big bowl. Add in 2-3 tbsp of creamy dreamy peanut butter frosting and mix with a big spoon. Start with a small amount and add if you need more. You want the mixture to be soft and pliable to the touch after mixed and not a big bowl of mush.

The recipe I have for creamy dreamy peanut butter frosting can be found {{HERE}} I suggest that you use the half recipe, you will not use the full amount of frosting you make, so save the remainder in the freezer, use it for something else or just eat it straight from the bowl with a pink spatula...I won't judge...promise!

After you mixed the brownies and the frosting you can roll them out immediately. I use a Tbsp. measurement and scoop out all the mixture then roll them up.

They don't have to be perfect little rounds, unless you want them to be. :) I think a little blobby and imperfect give them character and  make them more like bombs anyway!

You do not have, let me repeat that, you do not have to refrigerate these, you can begin dipping them in your candy melts immediately. Melt your candy melts in the microwave in 30 second bursts until the it begin to melt and mix, mix, mix. 

Do not overheat them or they will never thin properly, they will be done before you think they are. If you need to you can add in a tsp. or two of oil to thin it out, but if you melt it slow enough and mix it enough you shouldn't have to even add anything. 

I had a handy dandy little candy dipper thing a ma bob, which was cheap and made cheap. Trust when I tell you a fork works just as well. Now bombs away into the candy melts.....let the excess drip away, you can shimmy the fork or candy dipper so all the extra melted chocolate falls away.

Place them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet to set.

Hold on, hold, on your not done yet. Although if you wanted to be you could be. But chances are that you have extra candy melts just sitting there begging to be utilized, well here is you chance to let them shine. Add in a tbsp. of creamy peanut butter to your leftover candy melts and stir to incorporate it into the melted chocolate. 

Now you have peanut butter flavored chocolate to drizzle on top. Pour this into a plastic baggie and snip a small piece of the corner off and go back and forth over each little bomb to give it a little something extra.

Let them set...and then arrange them all sort of cute and take pictures of them to entice people or you could just share them instead. 

Whatever you choose it's entirely up to you!!

If you like this post please stop on by my {{FACEBOOK}} page and please say hello!! I love meeting you all :)

Full recipe can be printed from {{HERE}}

Hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!

Image Map   

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Creamy Dreamy Peanut Butter Frosting

If you want to see me at my finest, find me during a quick I just have to grab ONE item grocery store run, during lunch time, with two toddlers and a baby in tow. I'm awesome. And if you define awesome as a crazed,  harried lady in yoga pants, on the verge of losing her cool repeatedly telling her kids to stop, come back here, don't touch, put that back and no we cannot buy that, sit down as some sort of mantra.

Then awesome I am.

I probably am making myself out to be worse then I am and sometimes "think" my kids are crazier then they really are. But in the grand spectrum of behaviors and retrospect my kids are only......well, kids. I tend to want them to be more then they should even have to be at this point in their life, not because there is some sort of requirement, but because it makes my life AND "quickie"  trips to the grocery store for peanut butter easier.

But parenting is challenging and it has pushed me to the so called "limits'of who I ever thought I would need to be in life, in order to step up to the task of helping guide and direct the lives of these little one day to be big people. Yes, the grocery store has become some sort of training institution for my parenting skills.

The reason for the trip (and my test in patience) was for a jar of creamy peanut butter. Because it has come to that point that I needed to make another batch of frosting, but not just any frosting, but creamy, dreamy peanut butter frosting.

Fluffy, light, smooth, not too overly sweet peanut butter frosting.

Creamy and dreamy is the best description. Take a taste, close your eyes and enjoy the frosting....it is really that good. If you have ever had my Fantabulous Vanilla Frosting, well this is in that category of good.

This is what you will need.....
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 a cup) (softened to room temperature)
  • 1/2 a cup of creamy style peanut butter
  • 2 oz. Cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp. Vanilla extract.
  • 1 lb. confectioners sugar/powdered sugar (approx. 3 1/3-4 cups)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Heavy cream, 1/2 & 1/2 or milk (your preference)
With a mixer mix together the butter, cream cheese, peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk.
Add in vanilla. Make sure it is all creamed together.

Begin adding in the  confectioners sugar a little a time. Keep in mind powdered sugar is very airy and what I may measure as 3 cups, might be more or less to you. So start at 3 3/4 cups and add in more or less as you may need to. The best way to get it exact is measuring, but since this is a butter cream there is room for error in measurement. If it looks too dry add in some heavy cream, 1/2 & 1/2 or milk until it  is smooth and not grainy. If you add too much powder sugar add in some liquid, until it gets to when YOU like it.

Keep mixing the frosting until you get a smooth consistency. It should be fluffy and moist looking with soft peaks. If is seems too overly "wet" add a little powdered sugar into the mix. But keep in mind this is a "butter" based recipe, so as soon as you put the frosting in the fridge it will set up. Some Peanut Butter frosting recipes are very dense and grainy or blobby and greasy.....this is not. It's moist, light, fluffy and pipes wonderfully.

Bake your little cupcakes (chocolate is peanut butters bestie) and after they cool pipe on a generous amount. Garnish with mini chocolate chips, sprinkle or whatever you choose and get lost in the creamy dreamy deliciousness of the peanut butter frosting!

Hope you enjoyed this post, if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below!!

Image Map

Monday, April 22, 2013

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt Bites

Guess what is seriously right around the corner??

No, no, no... Not  Mother's Day or my Birthday (Both of which are on the same day this year..hint, hint!)


That's right the season of sweating through the heat and humidity anxiously awaiting the changing leaves and cooler temps. as you melt in a pool of your own sweat. Sorry, I tend to think ahead sometimes, but in my defense I have gone through my share of Summers pregnant.

All I remember is being hot, hot and hotter and not in the "I look goooooood" type of hot. I'm talking about big, awkward, fat; sweating in all the wrong places, hormonal fueled miserable type of hot.

Pregnant in the summer is just not cool.

But lets get to the point! Summer is coming and my clothes are still too tight. Feels like I've been eating too many of my sugary treats I have posted throughout the winter, although I did give birth 6 month ago (I wonder how long I can cling to that excuse.)

So snacks have been getting smaller and healthier to some degree hence better for my tight clothing dilemma AND something that my kids can/will eat! Chocolate chip peanut butter frozen yogurt bites. I swear with each new thing I make the name of it gets longer and longer.

I've made a few different fun versions of these frozen yogurt bites which you can see here or here. These are so simple to make and my kids eat EVERY. SINGLE. ONE and always ask for more.

To make them this is what you will need....
  • 6 oz container of Plain  GREEK yogurt
  • 2-3 Tbsp of creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp.vanilla extract
  • Handful of mini chocolate chips
  • Sweetener of choice
  • Wax paper
  • Decorating bag and star tip (#18, #21 or your choice) OR Plastic baggie.
In a small bowl mix the yogurt, peanut butter, vanilla and sweetener of choice until creamy. An Electric mixer works wonders here. Now just to clarify a few things I use a Greek yogurt, because it is thicker, creamier and has a higher protein content then regular yogurt. I also use plain yogurt and sweeten it myself using honey because that is how my kids like it.  You can sweeten it anyway you like.

You can also use vanilla flavored yogurt if you prefer, I just prefer making my plain into vanilla because I think it tastes better (Don't even get me started on HOW MUCH better and easy homemade yogurt is, I'll share that in another post.) 

Moving on.....Fill your decorating bag or your plastic baggie (cut a small piece of the corner off) with the mixture and begin piping your yogurt bites onto a sheet of wax paper. I usually pace mine on a cookie shhet or something I can use to transport it to the freezer. Mine look all fancy schmancy because I used a star tip.

After they are all piped add a few chips to each bite. 

Put them in the freezer for about an hour, longer is fine too! When they come out they are ready to eat!!
Trust, when I tell you they won't last long!!

I hope you enjoyed reading along! If you want to say "Hello" please feel free to leave a comment below!

Image Map

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

One Direction Party Cupcakes and Cookies

I have become the party go to person in my family for my nieces and nephews. I guess it's a perk to have an Aunt that likes to make fun themed sweets and treats.

If you remember the party I did for my niece last year,  I made her a whole slew of Monster High themed goodies, you can read about some of them {{HERE} And my nephew was the receiver of those super fun Super Mario Brothers cupcake toppers, which you can read about {{HERE}}

Yeah so basically an Aunt that can decorate a bit and is crafty is a perk. I made a bunch of edible and non-edible themed treats, although this post will just focus on the edible ones.

A lot can and does change in the life of a nine to be ten year old in a year and this year. Dolls are out and cute boy band are in.

Cute boy bands like "One Direction"

Have you seen/heard about them????

Five cute British boys singing sweetness to teenage girls all over the world. I am old(er) and out of the loop, so I had no idea who they were. But now I do and if I were a ten year old girl obsessed with these singing sensations, I would have to say after piping his slightly unkempt, hair and sweet smile numerous times. Louis is my favorite :)

But let's talk cupcakes and cookies shall we????

I created these cupcakes after finding myself inspired by the set of One Direction Cookies that the awesome Sugar Belle created. You can see her version {{HERE}}as well as a kopy kake printable of the characters/members she created.

I realized after the fact that there were a million a one things I would do differently if I make these guys again.  Firstly, the characters/band members all alone on a cookie/cupcake look BORING without a bit of flair. Sugar Belles look so wonderful  because of the variety of cookies and colors in the platter.

That's when I decided to paint the flag onto the cupcake topper. Next time, I know to start painting earlier in the day and not at 11 pm at night as my eyes were beginning to cross. Some are a bit wonky, but it brings a boring topper to life with a splash of color, hence the idea gets across.

For the cookie, I went with black and red dots around the border of the cookie.

Since I knew  that I would be attaching tag and colored ribbons to the cookies I felt as though they did not have to be as fancy, schmancy as the cupcake toppers...oh and did I mention it was 11 pm at night?????

The reaction to them was a lot of  bubbly  praise and amazement from a group of 10 year olds who literally gobbled them down in mere seconds....seconds. Sometimes it saddens me that the only evidence of there brief fabulous existence is the pictures I take.

Anyhoooooo, hope you enjoy! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!

Image Map

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Peanut Butter Yogurt Chocolate Banana Bites

*********If this post looks strange please click here for  web based view 
I do my best to feed my kids a wholesome diet filled with a rainbow of fruits and veggies and quality protein. But regardless of my wonderful parenting intentions, I am not as fortunate as some of those "other"  parents. You know, the ones whose kids eat anything and everything and are open to trying "new" foods. Because here in my world, my kids are all about wrinkled up noses and smooshed faces, groaning and whining....

"NNNNNOOOOOOOOO...I don't wanna!" or better yet "Yuck."

Their picky aversion to mostly anything and everything that isn't crapola, has created an opportunity for me to get creative and experiment in the kitchen. And snack time munchies are the best time for me to make new food combos that they are a little more receptive to eating if they are "fun" leading me to my most recent "winner" of a snack.

In a nutshell they are hollowed out banana pieces, dipped in chocolate, filled with peanut butter yogurt on a stick. Because if you have kids like mine, well then you know anything on a stick is just more interesting to eat. These are easier to make then you would think, as most of the items can probably be found in your fridge.  And YES there is such a thing as peanut butter yogurt, just make it yourself; easy and delicious!

****If you have a peanut aversion, you could also use almond butter in place of peanut butter...just a though.

This is what you will need....
  • Bananas
  • Plain or Vanilla GREEK yogurt
  • Chocolate (I use a dark chocolate 70%)
  • Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Sweetener of choice (if needed)
  • Nuts for garnish
  • Lolly stick or wooden sticks
  • Wax Paper
  • Lolly stick or wooden pop sticks 
 Start by slicing your banana into bite sized pieces. Two inches or so is perfect!!

Hollow them out, you can use a sharp knife to do this, but I found it faster and easier to use a round decorating tip. The one I used was pretty long since it actual use is for fillings and such.

They create a beautiful hollowed out circle!! Perfect for filling with yumminess!! And the little babes got a special mashed banana treat with all of  the middles..total win of a snack!

In  small bowl melt your chocolate  I use a dark chocolate content, because darker is better when it comes to chocolate. I  use a 70%, which might be too bitter for some on its own. But keep in mind that the sweetness in the yogurt and banana lighten up the bitterness. Ultimately use what you like. Dip the bottom of the bananas in the chocolate and set it on a piece of wax paper to set up.

This is when you can start making the deliciousness that is peanut butter yogurt. I use a Greek yogurt and I suggest you do as well, since it is thicker, holds its shape better and is so much better for you than regular yogurt in regards to protein content! I also use plain and flavor/sweeten it to taste, but you could also use a vanilla flavored and go from there.

I mix the yogurt, some honey for sweetness and a splash of vanilla and mix it all up. THEN I add in a nice hearty scoop of creamy peanut butter. You can add more or less to suit your taste but 1-2 tbsp should suffice. Now mix it up! An electric beater does wonders in poofing it up into a billowy, fluffy mix of peanut butter heaven. 

Scoop the yogurt into a decorating bag or a plastic baggie with the corer snipped off and  put it of to the side for a minute. You should still have some chocolate let over from dipping, so make sure it is melted enough and put some in a plastic baggie with the corner cut off. Have your stick ready near by as you need to work fast with the next few steps.

Pipe a small amount of chocolate into the hollow of the banana.

Then pipe the peanut butter yogurt on top of the chocolate and add the pop sticks.

Let them set up in the fridge for a few minutes. You can stop here or go a few extra steps to add another level of yum. With your leftover chocolate add in a scoop of peanut butter and mix it all up. You know have peanut butter flavored chocolate...oh yeah! Pour this into a plastic baggie and cut a small hole in the corner.
If you have peanuts or another nut you like chop them up. Drizzle the chocolaty peanut butter mixture on the banana and sprinkle the nuts on top. Let them set.

Serve them and hoard one or seven for yourself. They won't last!

Hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions, please fee free to leave a comment below!

Image Map

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rapunzel Princess Party Pack

My little mischief maker is obsessed with Rapunzel. But in the land of my two year old  Rapunzel is really Snow White. In real, real reality neither even exist, but who am I to argue with a 2 1/2 year old.

I just let her wear her red, blue and yellow dress with her sparkly red shoes (think Dorothy in Wizard of Oz) and call herself Rapunzel. I smile along as she tells everyone we meet in our adventures at the supermarket that she IS Tabi Rapunzel......whose to say she isn't????

Thing is she knows the difference between the two, but has decided to create her own version. This is fine by me, because I want my girls to be confident in who they choose to be in life from as early on as possible. And if that means letting her be a mixed up version of Rapunzel, Snow White and herself.....well I support her 110% in being the best version of all of them that she can be.

Moving on.......

Since my pregnancy I have been playing around with printables and find myself moving toward them more and more as I just love creating sets of fun party goodies. I created this version of Rapunzel for my little Tabi, because all she can talk about lately is her birthday.......which is in July . So I started designing this set for her!

Since I had so much fun with creating the Snow White Princess Party Pack, I knew I wanted to make another version. I actually had started making all of the more popular princess's, but lost all the info when Tabi aka Little Ms. Mischeif broke my laptop. So slowly but surely as time permits I am recreating them all, plus many new printables.

This is the invitation, the tower portion on the top is cut out to give the invitation more dimension and to have it stand out a bit more.

 I love incorporating this aspect into my printables, I think it makes them more "fun" so to speak!

I also created cupcake wrappers...


And water bottle labels...

I created a few different pattern to mix it up a bit! Since I am feeling generous today I also though I would share some of these printables with you :)

Your Welcome! You can print them out from {{HERE}}

****Full version of this printable pack can be personalized and purchased through my Etsy shop. You can find more information about options {{HERE}}

Hope you enjoyed this. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below! Thanks for reading along!

I offer out these free printables for personal use only. These are copyrighted images and are not meant to be resold or used for anything other than personal use. If you use these image, you must credit me as the source. By printing any of the above graphic images you agree to the abide by the terms I set forth. If you are unsure of any of this, please feel free to contact me
Thanks :) 

Image Map