Parting is Such SWEET Sorrow: Legendary Cookies


[This post was written before the finale, I promise there are NO SPOILERS of the final episode.]

Robin Sparkles. Slap bet. The Bro Code. If any of this rings a bell, you must be a How I Met Your Mother fan. My husband and I love How I Met Your Mother. Sadly, after 9 hilarious (and occasionally heart-breaking) seasons, the show ends tonight. We've grown accustomed to spending our Monday evenings with Barney, Ted, Lily, and Marshall. It's going to leave a suit-shaped hole in our heart.

For those of you who haven't seen the show before, it follows the lead character Ted's epic journey to meet his future wife.  He is retelling every twist and turn along the way to his children. The show is so well written and just when you think it can't shock you, or tug on your heart strings any more, it somehow finds a way.

Earlier this season, Ted's future wife befriends his friend Lily with some delicious cookies. People magazine recently released a recipe for these amazing cookies filled with peanut butter, chocolate, and caramel. What more could you want? These cookies taste like peanut butter cookies, mixed with chocolate chip cookies, with a caramel surprise. My husband has even declared these his new favorite cookies, he loves them even more than his previous favorite Andes Mint cookies.

These cookies are packed with so much flavor, you will never want to go back to regular peanut butter, or classic chocolate chip again. I can't wait to make these again and share them with friends and family!!

For now though, we are about to enjoy these delicious cookies and watch the finale. Don't worry, we have our tissues ready.

These cookies are legend - wait for it - well...you know the rest.

HIMYM Legendary Cookies ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 bag of chocolate covered caramel candies
HIMYM Legendary cookie instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Chop up chocolate caramel candies
  • Beat softened butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth
  • Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl
  • Mix eggs and vanilla into butter/sugar mixture and beat until fully combined
  • Slowly add in flour mixture and mix until just combined
  • Stir in chopped up chocolate caramel candies (add as many as you would like for the cookies)
  • Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Place tablespoon sized balls of dough on parchment paper
  • Bake 14 mins
  • Cool and enjoy!

March Madness: Round #3


It's March Madness, so I decided to have a little fun on my blog. Last week I kicked off a tournament and have slowly been dwindling the recipes down to determine the best sweet treat! I started with 8 sweet treat recipes, and today I have it down to 2. YOU help determine the winner by sharing, commenting, and viewing the best sounding recipes!

Here's the game set-up and the latest results.

Scoring:

Free Throw (1 pt): Past and present views of recipe on blogger (I'll divide to make a more reasonable score, ex: 100 views = 1 point)

Dunk (2 pts): Vote for the recipe (see polls below)

3 Pointer: Share or shout-out on social media during the game. Can be a pin, Facebook share, tweet, mention on blog, etc. Just make sure and let me know by commenting below!

Game Schedule:

Championship: Starts March 25 and Ends 10 PM EST March 28

Results from the First Round:



Region 1:
Cannoli - 14
Key Lime - 13

Each cupcake scored 6 points from the poll, but Cannoli Cream Cupcakes just barely won the game with a bit more pageviews over Key Lime Pie. It was a super close game!!

Region 2:
Orange Julius - 32
Andes Mint Cookies - 16
There wasn't much competition here, Copycat Orange Julius continues to be the recipe to beat. The pageviews alone gave it a competitive edge over Andes Mint Cookies. Sorry Andes Mint cookies, my husband sure enjoyed you!

Round #3:

So, as you can see from the updated bracket, it is now Cannoli cupcake vs. Copycat Orange Julius.

Remember Orange Julius has the advantage with tons of pageviews. So, if Cannoli cupcakes are your favorite, make sure and vote and share! You can share your favorite recipe on your blog, or social media, just make sure and comment here!

Which is Your Favorite Recipe?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Orange Dreamsicle Cake Redo



It's March Madness - how is your team doing? Better yet, how is your bracket? I'm pretty sure there's not too many people with brackets in tact after all the upsets this year! I'm not much of a sports fan, but I've caught of few of the games on TV with my husband. I'm even celebrating with a March Madness tournament of my own on my blog! I started with 8 of my favorite recipes and am slowly dwindling them down to the top Sweet Treat. Make sure and catch the latest results and vote here.

Yesterday we were watching a particularly stressful game between our alma mater and a #1 seed team. It was so close and down to the wire, definitely a nail biter! At one point I had to just get up and do something else, it was stressing me out. Thankfully our Wildcats are moving on to the Sweet 16 (sorry Wichita State fans!). Go Cats!! But, I couldn't sit and watch towards the end, it was so close. I decided it was the perfect time to try a new recipe I wanted to experiment with - a new (and improved) Dreamsicle cake.

Long time followers of my blog may remember I once made a Dreamsicle-style cake. I really enjoyed the last cake, but it was super rich and very sweet (that's saying a lot for ME to call it very sweet). There are definitely times when I want that kind of dessert, but I decided I wanted to try something a little lighter (and fresher). This cake replaces the orange jello powder, used in the previous cake, with orange juice and zest. The cream cheese/Cool-Whip frosting is gone and a light glaze made with fresh juice, orange zest, and powdered sugar is in its place. The cake may be less rich, but it is not lacking in flavor! It's just the right mix of vanilla and orange to remind you of a Dreamsicle.

Here's the recipe -

Orange Dreamsicle Cake ingredients:
  • Orange cake mix
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 small box vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbs orange zest
  • Glaze:
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 1/2 tbs freshly squeezed orange juice (start with 1 tbs and add as needed)
    • 1/4 tsp grated orange zest
Orange Dreamsicle Cake instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Grate orange
  • Mix together cake mix, oil, eggs, vanilla, pudding, orange juice, water, and orange zest
  • Beat on low 1 min
  • Spray bundt pan with cooking spray
  • Fill pan with batter
  • Bake for 35-38 mins
  • Let the cake cool for 10 mins
  • While cooking, whisk together powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest
  • Turn the cake over onto a cake board or plate
  • Pour glaze over the cake
Below is the Dreamsicle cake recipe card. Make sure and click on the recipe card box on the right hand sidebar to find more recipe cards.


March Recipe Madness: Game #2


It's March Madness, so I decided to have a little fun on my blog. Earlier this week, I kicked off a March Madness themed recipe competition on my blog! I started with 8 sweet treat recipes, and today I have it down to 4. YOU help determine the winner by sharing, commenting, and viewing the best sounding recipes!

Here's the game set-up and the latest results. I decided to extend the game lengths a little longer to leave more time for sharing and voting!!

Scoring:

Free Throw (1 pt): Past and present views of recipe on blogger (I'll divide to make a more reasonable score, ex: 100 views = 1 point)

Dunk (2 pts): Vote for the recipe (see polls below)

3 Pointer: Share or shout-out on social media during the game. Can be a pin, Facebook share, tweet, mention on blog, etc. Just make sure and let me know by commenting below!

Game Schedule:

Final FourStarts now and runs through 10 PM EST March 24
Championship: Starts March 25 and Ends 10 PM EST March 28

Results from the First Round:


Cupcakes:
Cannoli - 12
Andes Mint - 8

Each cupcake scored 4 point from the poll, but Cannoli took the lead with twice the number of pageviews when compared to Andes Mint.

Pies:
Key Lime - 11
Caramel Banana - 6

The pies tied in the voting, so they each got 4 points. Key Lime got a lot of love in pageviews, though, and crushed Banana Caramel

Cookies:
Andes Mint - 12
Strawberry White Chocolate - 9

Andes Mint may have lost the cupcake round, but it held strong in the cookie round against Strawberry White Chocolate.

Sweet Drinks:
Orange Julius - 28
Cinnamon Roll Hot Chocolate - 5

There wasn't much competition here, Copycat Orange Julius is definitely the recipe to beat. The pageviews alone gave it a competitive edge over Cinnamon Roll Hot Chocolate.

Round #2:

So, as you can see from the updated bracket, it is now Cannoli cupcake vs. Key Lime pie and Andes Mint cookies vs Copycat Orange Julius.

Below are the updated polls for you to help determine the winner. Don't forget you can also share your favorite recipe on your blog, or social media. Make sure and comment here if you share something!

Which is Your Favorite Recipe?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Which is Your Favorite Recipe?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

March Recipe Madness - Battle of the Sweet Treats


It's March Madness, so I decided to have a little fun on my blog. During the NCAA basketball tournament, I'm doing a competition of my own to determine the "Sweet Treat Champion"! There will be three rounds of "games" with two recipes competing against each other to determine the winner based on views and social media shares.

Starting now until 10 PM EST March 20, there will be four games going on simultaneously with two cupcakes competing, two pies, two cookies, and two sweet drinks. YOU help determine the winner by sharing, commenting, and viewing the best sounding recipes!

Scoring

Free Throw (1 pt): Past and present views of recipe on blogger (I'll divide to make a more reasonable score, ex: 100 views = 1 point)

Dunk (2 pts): Vote for the recipe (see polls below)

3 Pointer: Share or shout-out on social media during the game. Can be a pin, Facebook share, tweet, mention on blog, etc. Just make sure and let me know by commenting below!

Game Schedule

Round 1: Starts Today and runs through 10 PM EST March 20

Final FourStarts after Round 1 and runs through 10 PM EST March 22

Championship: Starts after the Final Four Games and Ends 10 PM EST March 24

Recipes Competing

So what recipes are competing? There are four regions, each with two recipes. First up, we have the Cupcake Region where Cannoli Cream will be battling it out with Andes Mint.
Which is Your Favorite Cupcake?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Next, from the Pie Region we have Key Lime vs Banana Caramel.
Which is Your Favorite Pie?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

The Cookie Region appears strong with Andes Mint going up against the Strawberry White Chocolate.
Which is Your Favorite Cookie?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Finally we have the Sweet Drinks Region. For this battle, we have Copycat Orange Julius competing with Cinnamon Roll Hot Chocolate.
Which is Your Favorite Sweet Drink?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

So check out the recipes and vote or share/tweet/pin your favorite! Click on the name above to find the original post. Make sure and leave a comment to let me know which recipe scored points! Check back as I keep you up to date on the latest results. Here's my bracket for the tournament:


 Don't forget to leave a comment with your favorite and help determine the Sweet Treat Champion!

It's Sure TASTY Being Green


HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY! 

In honor of the holiday, I decided to share some of my favorite green themed recipes. I actually haven't made a specifically St. Patrick's Day treat before, but I've made plenty of recipes that include green ingredients such as mint, lime, zucchini, and more!

Check out my round-up below, and let me know which is your favorite. I'd love to hear about your favorite green recipes, too.

Reese's Pie


Happy Pi Day! All week I've been sharing pies to celebrate Pi Day. I kicked off the week with my favorite apple pie recipes. Next I shared Pi themed treats and then followed it up with a savory pie recipe - mini chicken pot pies. Yesterday, I shared a round-up of pie recipes. Today, I have a new pie recipe that is my husband's new favorite - Reese's pie!


I wanted to make a new pie recipe, and decided to go with peanut butter pie. But, I didn't want to make just a normal peanut butter pie, I wanted to add a twist to it by making it Reese's themed! I incorporated the chocolate with a ready made chocolate crust and chopped up Reese's on top. The recipe couldn't be easier, but the result is a creamy and rich pie packed with flavor!

I started with the Pioneer Woman's peanut butter pie recipe, and then added the extra Reese's touches. Here's the recipe:

Reese's Pie ingredients:
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 8 oz Cool Whip
  • 1 1/4 powdered sugar
  • 1 chocolate ready-made crust
  • 2-3 Reese, chopped up
Reese's Pie directions:
  • Beat together peanut butter and cream cheese
  • Add in powdered sugar and mix until fully incorporated
  • Beat in Cool Whip until smooth
  • Fill ready made pie crust with pie filling
  • Refrigerate for at least1 hour
  • Top with chopped up Reese's


Here's the recipe card for the pie. Feel free to print, share, or save. Click on the recipe card box on the right hand side at the top to see more recipe cards.


Pies for Pi Day


Pie week is almost over! I hope you've enjoyed reading about pie and Pi. Tomorrow is Pi day and I will be sharing a brand new recipe I made to celebrate the day - Reese's inspired peanut butter pie! Let's recap all the pie treats from the week. I've shared apple pie recipes, nerdy Pi treats, and mini chicken pot pies.

Today I'm sharing a round-up of some of my favorite pie recipes.

Key Lime Pie

The first of my favorite pie recipes is a key lime pie that's the perfect blend of tart and sweet! I used a ready-made crust, and topped it with a delicious key lime filling with a dollop of whipped cream on top. This pie may be simple, but the lime juice and zest packs a punch of flavor! You can find the recipe here.



Kentucky Derby Pie cupcakes

I grew up in KY, and though I never went to the derby, I've had plenty of Derby pies. Whether you call it Derby, Kentucky, "Day in May", or simply chocolate pecan pie - it's delicious! This cupcake recipe is inspired by the pie. The cake is butter pecan with chocolate chips and it's topped with chocolate pecan pie filling and whipped topping. I even decorated the cupcakes with a mini horseshoe and rose!


Simple Pudding Pie with Cookie Crust

This pie was a quick and easy dessert I made to watch the Superbowl. The crust is made from Snickerdoodle cookies, it was inspired by my Snickerdoodle cookie cups with pumpkin cream cheese. The cookie crust is filled with a simple pie filling made from pudding. I used butterscotch pudding and finished it off with whipped topping. There's so many great pudding/cookie combinations to try!


Funny Cake Pie

I used to be involved in a group that did a surprise recipe swap each month. I loved getting matched up with a blogger and learning about their blog and recipes. One month, I tried this Funny cake recipe, it's a PA Dutch dessert. The treat is a hybrid of cake and pie. The batter is a combination of chocolate and cake mix baked in a pie crust. Delicious!! You can get the recipe here.


Caramel Banana Pie

I shared this pie earlier this week as I decorated it for Pi Day. But, today I'm focusing on the delicious flavor! The pie is a caramel banana pie - one of my favorite flavor combos! Check out the recipe here.



Mini Chicken Pot Pies


I'm continuing my week long tribute to pie for Pi Day. Have you checked out my other posts this week? I can't believe I'm already halfway through the week! So far, I've shared my favorite apple pies and some nerdy Pi Day snacks!

Today, I'm taking a break from the sweet, and focusing on the savory side of pies. One of my favorite comfort food meals is chicken pot pie. I love the creamy filling stuffed with veggies and chicken, and the flaky, delicious crust on top. My biggest gripe about chicken pot pie, though? I hate peas.

Now I don't consider myself an extremely picky eater, but there are a few things I really don't like and peas are one of them. The funny thing is I used to eat them when I was younger. In fact, I was the only one in my family that would eat the veggie. Then one Christmas when I was little, my grandma burned them and insisted they were fine to eat and I should enjoy them. That smell...that taste...it was forever engrained in my brain. Now as silly as it sounds, I haven't been able to enjoy them since. It's been a couple decades (yikes!) since that happened, but I've tried them again and again and have the same disdain. So, my chicken pot pie enjoyment is usually interrupted by picking out all the green veggies trying to hide in that delicious, creamy sauce.

It dawned on me recently, though, that I should just make my own chicken pot pie with ingredients I would enjoy. So, that's what I did. I replaced those pesky green veggies with corn and I LOVED it! Now I'm not the first person to add corn to a chicken pot pie, but it was the first time I'd had it in one. I also elevated the chicken broth by adding a packet of ramen chicken seasoning. I'd read about doing this in chicken noodle soup, but decided to see how it would work in chicken pot pie. I've never made one without the seasoning to compare it to, but I think it helped add to the delicious chicken flavor. I also added plenty of shredded chicken, carrots, onions, a little bit of heavy cream, and plenty of pepper!

My final twist on the classic dish was to make mini versions that I could ration out and take for lunch each day. I used ramekins to bake them in, it worked out well. For the pie crust, I just used refrigerated pie crust - it made it quick and easy, but still tasty!

Here's my delicious chicken pot pie recipe.

Mini Chicken Pot Pies ingredients (yield 6 mini pies):
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 2 cups chicken, shredded (you could also use turkey)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ramen noodle chicken seasoning packet
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 premade pie crusts
Mini Chicken Pot Pies instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Set out refrigerated pie crusts to let them get to temperature
  • Melt 4 tbs butter on medium-high heat in a pot
  • Cook onions and carrots until onions are translucent (around 3 mins)
  • Add chicken and then sprinkle on flour and ramen sauce packet
  • Stir and cook for 1 min
  • Add chicken broth, let it cook and thicken for 2-3 mins
  • Add a small dash of salt, and plenty of pepper (I like a lot of pepper in the pies)
  • Pour in heavy cream; let bubble and thicken for 3 mins
  • Add a tad more flour if it is too soupy, or a tad of chicken broth if it is too thick
  • Remove from heat
  • Cut circles from pie crust using a cutter or a knife, cutting it larger than the ramekin to leave around 1/2 in overhang
  • Fill ramekins to 1/2 in below the top of the dish
  • Cover dishes with pie crusts and pinch/crimp to seal up
  • Add 4 slits to the top of each pie
  • Brush on a small amount of melted butter to the tops of the crusts
  • Bake 30-35 mins, until crust is golden brown

Here's the recipe card, feel free to print, share, or save!



Pi Day Snacks


If you are stopping by for the first time this week, I am celebrating the upcoming Pi Day with a week long pie party! So far, I've shared my favorite apple pie recipes. Check back tomorrow as I share a savory pie - mini (and delicious) chicken pot pies.

I've always been quite the nerd, and I love celebrating Pi Day. Pi is an interesting number, so far trillions of digits have been discovered without any repetition! Lots of people are a bit crazy about pi. There's songs, digit memorization contests, and even a cool site where you can find your birthday (or any special date) in the digits of pi. Ok...yes I'm a dork. But if you are like me, then you are gonna love today's treats.

Today is the nerdiest day of my week long party. The treats I'm sharing are all decorated with math and pi, perfect for your favorite nerd. If nerdy isn't your thing, don't forget to check back later this week when I dial back on the geeky and share some new recipes.

Here are five definitely nerdy snacks for you to celebrate Pi Day with:


These graphing calculator snacks are graham crackers covered in milk/white chocolate and topped with mini M&M's. These are my FIRST project I ever made on the blog! You can get the tutorial here. I made this for Engineer's Week, but these snacks would be great for your favorite math lover for Pi Day. 


2. Pi Day Pie filled with...pi! You have to check out this AMAZING pie from A Periodic Table. The pie is filled with apple slices cut out in shape of the digits of pi. How creative is that?!?

3. Pi Themed Cake

I made this cake for my brother-in-law's birthday (he's a calculus teacher), but it would also be perfect for Pi Day! You can read all about the cake here. And yes...that graphing calculator is made from fondant. I spent hours on it, but it was fun to make!!


4. Pi Shaped Pie - This pie, shared on Instructables.com, is not only the shape of pi, but it also has its digits engraved in the lattice crust. You have to check out the pie, it looks delicious and nerdy!

5. Simple Pi Pie

Another one of my treats is this pi pie I made last year. I made a caramel banana pie and topped the whipped cream with banana slices in the shape of pi - of course!


Hope you enjoyed these nerdy treats. Check back tomorrow for a tasty new recipe I can't wait to share. Follow my blog to keep up with all my latest projects. If you tweet out any of my Pi Day ideas, make sure and use hashtag #piday and check out everyone else's ideas!

Apple Pie for Pi Day


If you missed my intro yesterday, I'm having a week long party all about pies this week in celebration of Pi Day this Friday! Each day I'm sharing a different recipe, or round-up, pertaining to pie. I've got some new recipes, including a savory pie to share. Check back each day this week for a new crust covered treat. Make sure and tweet your favorite ideas, with the hashtag #piday. There are already a ton of ideas people have shared on Twitter!

Here is the schedule for the week:


Pi Day is the celebration of the unique number pi. Did you know pi has been calculated out to over 10 trillion decimal places without any repetition? There are even competitions to see how many digits math lovers can memorize. The record? Over 67,000!

The week long celebration starts with America's favorite pie - apple pie! I'm sharing my favorite apple pie recipes I've worked with in the past. My road to pie making started out a bit bumpy, but I've learned and made some progress in the apple pie department.

Here are my favorite three apple pie treats I've made:

Classic Apple Pie with a Disney Twist

My first attempt at making my dad an apple pie didn't go so well, but my next attempt was much better! I made a few changes to the filling and added some delicious finishing touches to the top crust of the pie. I also made one small change to the appearance - I Disney-fied it! Before covering the pie, I cut out Mickey ears to give the pie a cute touch. This is easy to do with cookie cutters and can be customized for whatever theme you want!



What goes better with warm apples than cinnamon? This mini twist on an apple pie uses a cinnamon roll crust that's easy to make with refrigerated pie crust. These pies bake in a cupcake tin, and they are the perfect individual size treat. You can eveb kick then up a notch by adding some ice cream or caramel sauce (or both)!



My last apple pie treat thinks outside the crust. You didn't think I would totally leave out cakes, did you?! These cupcakes are filled with all the delicious flavors of apple pie. The cake batter has apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg - yum! The cupcakes are topped with a delicious cinnamon streusel AND a caramel buttercream. These are a truly delicious treat for those that want a unique apple pie dessert!


Check back tomorrow for a round-up of my favorite pi day treats - both mine, and ones I've found from others! As always, make sure and follow me to keep up with my latest posts. See you tomorrow!


Pie Week for Pi Day


This coming Friday is March 14, which means it's a special holiday - Pi Day! If you aren't familiar with the holiday, it is a day devoted to celebrating the number pi. This constant, symbolized by the Greek letter Pi, represents the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. It's been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point without any repetition or pattern. Pi is approximated to 3.14, which explains why March 14 is the day to celebrate this unique number! 

I've always been quite the math nerd enthusiast. When I was younger and first learned about pi, my teacher told us that mathematicians were trying to determine if pi ever ended or repeated. I somehow got it in my head that I wanted to be the one to discover this, so I had a notebook and started doing long division. Yep, I was a dork...and also a little naive. I soon learned I probably couldn't do division faster than (or as long as) a computer and gave up on the pursuit. But, I still celebrate Pi Day every year with a delicious piece of pie! Thankfully my husband is a nerd too, so it works.

I haven't done a lot of pie in the past, but have tried a few recipes. Most of my sweet recipes tend to revolve around cakes and cupcakes, though I have done a few pie inspired cupcakes. This week I'll be sharing a couple new recipes, as well as some round-ups of ideas/recipes I (and others) have come up with. I'm even including a savory pie in the schedule. Here's the plan for the week:

Repurposing Containers with Chalkboard Paint


As anyone who reads my blog knows, I tend to focus on recipes and cake decorating tutorials. Every once in a while, though, I catch the crafting bug. I started a project last week and discovered a new obsession - chalkboard paint! I realize I'm a bit behind of the trend, but I'm loving it. It's a bit addicting, though... I was literally walking around looking for ideas for new chalkboard paint projects. My husband was convinced he'd come home one day to find everything covered with the paint!

I have a few projects I've started working on, but I'm sharing my first completed project. Obviously with a blog all about sweet treats, I do a lot of baking. Between testing out new recipes and making cakes for others, I fly through baking ingredients. I previously shared some projects for repurposing cocoa containers. Today, though, I'm sharing how I repurposed one (of many) sugar containers I've had laying around.

Daniel Tiger Fondant Topper


Any Daniel Tiger fans out there? Today's cake idea is all about the adorable TV character. I've never seen the show, but it seems to be popular. When I was asked to make a cake topper for that theme, I remembered hearing my nephew talk about it. For those of you who don't know, it is sort of a spin-off of Mr. Rodgers' Neighborhood, I think it's even his nephew who created the show. Isn't that great that such an inspiring man is still touching the lives of children today? Although, I should probably admit I was one of those kids that did not like his show... I know, I was a weird kid.

Thankfully, though, it sounds like a lot of the great qualities from that show are recreated in this new cartoon. I know my nephew really enjoys Daniel Tiger. So does a 2 year old little girl who's mother asked me to make a topper for her birthday cake. I won't be making the cake, but am contributing some fondant pieces for the out of town party.

Most of my cakes have had a theme that wasn't a certain specific character. I get a little nervous when that's the case. It can be daunting to try and recreate a well known character with fondant... It's all in the details! If the eye is off, or the body shape isn't right, the character can be hard to distinguish. Especially when it's an animal. If you don't stick too closely to the character's traits, it will just look like a tiger. Trust me, the final version was about my third version. Hopefully, though, it looked enough like it to fit in with the Daniel Tiger theme!

To make the piece, I started by printing out a picture to the scale I wanted. I worked with the fondant and the cake pan size she was wanting to use. After going back and forth between adding more orange then more brown, then a tad yellow, I finally got the color I was looking for. After that it was just a lot of rolling out fondant and tracing the shapes. I knew I wanted to include his iconic red sweater and red shoes. It was a bit of trial and error, but by using a printed template, I was able to cut the eyes, nose, sweater, watch, shoes, and stripes all to scale. Here was the final version, along with her name. I am going to finish the cake pieces up with some small fondant balls to be used for the border.



Beignets for Mardi Gras


Tuesday is Mardi Gras and we got in the spirit over the weekend by making a New Orleans staple - beignets! Last week when we went on our foodie trip, we found some beignet mix at an international market. They were showcasing various Mardi Gras food, and we got to taste test. I had never had a beignet before, but they were scrumptious! My husband had them down in New Orleans once, and he was impressed with the flavor of the beignets when we tasted them - especially since they were made with a just add water mix. Perhaps that's because the mix is from Cafe Du Monde, the original French market in the New Orlean's French Quarter.


The mix couldn't be easier, like I said you just add water! If you can't find the mix, though, there are a tons of great recipes online, including this one from Southern Living. Whatever you use for the dough, the process should basically be the same. This is a special treat that would be perfect for your Mardi Gras celebration...or just because!

Here's how I made the beignets: