…And Goes Out Like A Lamb Donut

Little Lamb

One last time to use the “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” expression. Ok, I’m done….at least until next year.

Whether you’re looking for an adorable kid’s birthday dessert or an Easter snack, these cute little lamb donuts are sure to bring your guests coming baaaaack for seconds.

 

Lamb Donuts

Ingredients

Serves 6

  • 6 regular sized donuts
  • 1 bag of mini marshmallows
  • 12 mini chocolate chips
  • 9 pink candy chews (like a Starburst)
  • 1 container of vanilla frosting

Preparation

  • Coat the top and sides of each donut with vanilla frosting
  • Place donut on desired serving plate since some marshmallows may fall off if you move the donuts around too much

Frosted Donut

 

 

 

 

  • Then cover the entire donut with mini marshmallows
  • Next put a pink fruit chew in the microwave for 7 seconds (do this one at a time)
  • Then roll it into a ball and flatten it with your fingers to form an oval shape for the head
  • Next take a mini marshmallow and cut it in half
  • Place a chocolate chip into the marshmallow (pointy side facing the marshmallow)
  • You should do this twice to create both eyes
  • Use a small drop of icing to get the eyes to stick to the pink head
  • Put another fruit chew in the microwave for 7 seconds
  • Once removed, rip it into four pieces and roll it into the ear shape below

Lamb Ears

 

 

 

  • Press the ears onto the back of the head
  • You can then press the head onto the front side of the donut with a little extra icing on the back

If you are wondering whether this is basically like serving your guests a bowl of marshmallows, the answer is yes.

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All That Glitters Is Gold

Golden Strawberries

My husband and I were staying at the Trump Hotel in Chicago during our anniversary and were really excited to come back to our room and find golden chocolate covered strawberries in honor of the occasion. While chocolate covered strawberries are pretty awesome to Anniversary Strawberriesbegin with, being a Trump hotel, they knew just how to kick things up a notch. (See picture to the left.) Since we kept talking about them for days after the trip, I decided to recreate my own version at home. They are so easy to make and create a beautiful presentation for any party or event. While you don’t have to add a cupcake to the recipe, I did anyway! Just follow the recipe below and enjoy!

Golden Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Golden Strawberries

Ingredients

  • 7 Strawberries
  • 1 mini cupcake
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1 container of white candy pearls
  • 1 container of edible gold spray paint
  • vanilla frosting

Preparation

  • Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for 45 seconds (time varies by microwave)
  • Remove and stir
  • Individually dip each strawberry into the melted chocolate and let dry on a sheet of wax paper
  • When dry to the touch, spray a thin coat of edible gold spray paint on top of each strawberry
  • Take the centerpiece cupcake and ice with a thin coat of vanilla frosting
  • Scatter candy pearls on top of the frosting and on the serving plate you’re going to use for the strawberries
  • Place one strawberry on top of the cupcake and scatter the rest of the strawberries on the plate

This dessert will definitely earn you golden reviews!

March Comes In Like A Lion…

Lion Cupcakes

March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. How come it’s almost the end of March and it still feels like the lion paPride of Lionsrt of the month outside? Actually, this picture is what it would really feel like if a pride of lions were waiting outside. However, they look a lot warmer than we do in NYC! Either way, these lion cupcakes are a perfect treat to make for a friend’s birthday during March.

Lion Cupcakes

Ingredients

Serves 12

  • 12 mini cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup of coconut
  • yellow food coloring
  • orange food coloring
  • 1 container of vanilla frosting
  • black writing gel
  • 24 Cheerios
  • 24 mini chocolate chips

Preparation

  • Use yellow food coloring to turn the vanilla icing yellow
  • Coat the top of each cupcake with a thin layer of yellow icing
  • Mix orange food coloring with the coconut until each piece of coconut is colored orange
  • Take the orange coconut and line it along the outside of the cupcake (as shown in picture above)
  • Put two mini chocolate chips for the eyes and two Cheerios for the ears
  • Finally, draw the mouth onto the lion’s face with black writing gel

And if your friend doesn’t like them, I have a feeling this hungry lion would gladly finish them up!

Lion King

S’more Reasons to Smile

Smiling S'mores

I don’t know about you, but something about s’mores just makes me happy. Maybe it’s because I love anything with melted chocolate and marshmallows, or maybe it’s because they bring back memories of camping when I was younger. Ok, I’ve never actually gone camping before…it just sounded good.  Either way, this quick and easy recipe is guaranteed to leave your guests asking for s’more and s’more!

Smiling S’mores

Ingredients

Serves 6

  • 6 graham crackers
  • 6 regular sized marshmallows
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

Preparation

  • Break the graham crackers in half to form 12 squares
  • Decorate 6 of the graham cracker squares with chocolate chips forming a smiley face. (This is a great activity to do with children.)

Chocolate Chip Smiley Face

  • Put the chocolate chip covered graham crackers in the microwave for 40 seconds (time may vary depending on microwave)
  • Remove from microwave
  • Put a marshmallow on each of the remaining 6 graham crackers and put them in the microwave for 15 seconds
  • Remove from microwave and place one marshmallow graham cracker and one chocolate chip graham cracker next to each other on each plate
  • Serve the s’mores open face to give everyone a smile

S'more

  • Once served, tell everyone to smush both graham crackers together and enjoy!

Final S'more

We promise that this dessert will leave the young (and young at heart) ready to grin and eat!

In It To Win It

Game Night Cupcakes

From time to time, my friends and I like to get together for game nights.  The nights usually start with a real game like Pictionary, Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity, and end with another game called gossiping and drinking and eating. Basically, the games are just an excuse to get everyone together to hang out and catch up. And of course, the food being served has to match the theme. Here is a simple recipe to follow for one of my favorite game night inspired desserts.

Tic Tac Toe Cupcakes

Ingredients

Serves 9

  • 9 mini cupcakes
  • 36 two inch pieces of red licorice rope such as a Twizzlers Pull “n” Peel (exact length may vary depending on cupcake size)
  • 1 candy necklace
  • 9 caramels
  • 1 container of vanilla frosting

Preparation

  • Ice all 9 cupcakes with vanilla frosting
  • Lay 4 pieces of the licorice rope on top of each cupcake to form the tic tac toe grid shown above
  • Scatter the individual pieces of candy necklace across the different cupcakes to form the “o” part of the tic tac toe game
  • Next, take a caramel and melt it in the microwave for 10 seconds
  • Remove it and roll it into a thin log
  • Cut the log into 1/2 inch pieces and use two pieces to form an “x”
  • Repeat with additional caramels until you have enough “x” pieces for your cupcakes
  • Scatter the “x” pieces within the tic tac toe grids on the cupcakes and serve

You are guaranteed to win with this dessert!

Luck of the Irish

Shamrock Donut

While we aren’t Irish, with a last name that sounds like “Shannon” we decided to join the St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Lucky for you, these shamrock donuts are easy to make and delicious to eat!

Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 12 regular sized donuts
  • one can of store bought vanilla frosting
  • green food coloring
  • green writing icing

Preparation

  • Take each donut and carve away pieces with a knife to form your desired shamrock shape
  • Lay the donuts on a wire rack with wax paper under the rack
  • Add green food coloring to 1/2 cup of vanilla frosting and melt it in the microwave for 30 seconds
  • Pour the green frosting on top of the donuts until they are covered
  • Once they are dry, use green writing icing to outline the outside of the shamrock

Serve and enjoy! These donuts are magically delicious!

Presentation, Presentation, Presentation

Those are our three most important words when it comes to food.Cotton Candy

How many times were you turned off from eating something when the plate before you was boring or unappetizing? Conversely, how impressed were you when your plate was beautiful or comical? In most cases you were so impressed with the appearance that you (almost) didn’t even care how it tasted!

We love food that makes us smile. Whether it’s a whimsical design, a unique presentation or a beautiful masterpiece, we are happy as we dive into our first bite. That pleasant feeling usually lingers as we enjoy our food and describe it to others. (Yes, we are those people who take pictures of food at restaurants.) We share photos to impress or amuse our close foodie friends and for inspiration the next time we entertain.

Making food look good can be as elaborate or as simple as you choose. Over time we have learned that confectioners sugar is a necessary pantry staple. A dusting of confectioners sugar has saved many burned and lopsided desserts, and a paper doily can make a box cake mix look like a special bakery product. And when all else fails there is always room for lots of icing and sprinkles.

Conversely, delicious food that looks bad can be a real turnoff.  After recently ordering a chicken, cheese, sundried tomato and spinach entree at an Italian restaurant, my enthusiasm for the meal deflated when I was served a white meal on a white plate. The vegetables were covered by a layer of white cheese and the accompaniment was white mashed potatoes! It looked so boring and blah. Meanwhile, my dinner companions had white fish plated with sautéed herbed vegetables. I hate fish but I was salivating over the colorful vegetables. A few veggies and pops of color on my dish could have easily changed my mindset and impression of my meal as well as the resThanksgiving Cupcakestaurant.

I’ve noticed the same phenomenon when it comes to desserts. Every Thanksgiving we have a buffet table full of desserts. My Chewy Toffee Bars (recipe below) are a hit when there is no competition. Once friends taste them they are always requested for parties. However, next to turkey cupcakes, oversized layer cakes and fresh fruit salad, my bars sit untouched.Tomato Soup Dumplings

Whether it’s Peter Callahan’s pigs in a blanket 2 ways or beautifully presented grilled cheese and tomato soup dumplings at Beauty & Essex, we love clever food. Join us for a ride as we share our tips and secrets for making food fun.

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Chewy Toffee Bars

Chewy Toffee Bars

Ingredients

  • 1-box butter recipe cake mix
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee pieces (Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits are great)
  • 1 pkg.(12 oz.) milk chocolate chips
  • 1 jar caramel sauce

Preparation

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9-inch pan with oil, butter, or cooking spray
  • In large bowl, combine cake mix, oil, and eggs; blend well.
  • Stir in white chocolate chips,toffee pieces and milk chocolate chips. (Mixture will be thick)
  • Press half of mixture in bottom of greased pan
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes
  • Remove from oven and pour 3/4 of the jar of caramel sauce over the cooked cake
  • Spread or place droplets of the remaining cake mixture as evenly as possible over the caramel sauce
  • Return to oven
  • Bake an additional 20-25 minutes until top is set and edges are golden brown
  • Cool 20 minutes
  • Run knife around edges to loosen bars
  • Let cool and refrigerate for at least 1 hour
  • Cut into bars.
  • Store in refrigerator or in freezer (so you don’t eat them up all at once!)