Friday, June 29, 2012

Ice Cream Safari 2012

It's back! Time for Ice Cream Safari 2012! We're running short on places that we haven't yet tried, so we may be doing some double dipping this summer. There's one shop that keep trying to get to, but their operating hours are a mystery ... they were closed again yesterday (but open the day before!), so we went to one of our old favorites instead.

I keep our kids passports (plus a stash of extras for friends) in a plastic box along with some pencils, an  eraser, an ink pad, and a rubber stamp that we change out each week.

Would you like to go on your own ice cream safari? Here you go!
Download passports here
Download passport cover for 2012 here

Random Baking

I've had a bunch of cookie pics hanging out unposted from the last couple of months, plus have been busy with graduation cookie orders over the last two weeks. My last order was picked up this morning, so I finally have time to post some pictures!

First birthday cake and cupcakes for our friend's little guy.

Wedding shower cookies.

Stars for class party.

Girl Scout trefoils for end of the year picnic.

Graduation cookies #1 and ...

... graduation cookies #2.

Cake pops, vanilla and chocolate. 

Now that my orders are done, I'm looking forward to getting back to baking for fun!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Looking Ahead

Times like these,

when the big kids wake up and decide to make their own version of Monopoly,

then spend two mornings designing and producing,

and another morning teaching their little brother how to play,

make me really look forward to summer vacation!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Baking Monday - Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Ah, made it just under the wire for Baking Monday today. These bar cookies are made from a doctored-up cake mix. They are the peanut butter version of caramel brownies - quite delicious.

This is what they look like out of the oven. No adjustments needed for this recipe (except omit the coconut of course - bleck!)

Mmmm - super rich. Definitely a keeper.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Candy Chip Cookies in a Jar

For Mother's Day story time, we made cookies in a jar. I needed a recipe for pint sized jars (as that's what we had in our supply stash) and also wanted to include some kind of candy, because it looks pretty. This recipe fit the bill! 

Since we were doing this with preschoolers, I took the advice to line the jar before pouring. Cut a large chunk out of the corner, and a plastic bag makes a great funnel. 

The ingredients were pre-measured into plastic cups for easy pouring.

We split up the flour mix so the candy would be in the middle of the jar...

... and doesn't get hidden by the fabric cover.

Okay, so the cookies don't look the prettiest when baked - probably because of the way the ingredients are combined - but all my testers were in agreement: they actually taste very good! 

Candy Chip Cookies in a Pint Jar

3/4 cup flour (rounded)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup M&Ms
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup brown sugar

• Combine flour and baking soda. Pour half into the bottom of a pint sized jar.
• Then add in order: white sugar, chocolate chips, M&Ms, shaking slightly to level each layer.
• Add brown sugar and pack down with a spoon.
• Add the rest of the flour - should go right up to the top of the jar.

Place lid on top, twist metal ring to close. Cover with 7" round of fabric, trimmed with pinking shears. Use a rubber band to hold the fabric under the jar ring and tie ribbon and tag over the rubber band.

Directions for tag: 
cookie mix
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
5 tbsp butter, softened

Preheat oven to 375. Combine butter, egg, and vanilla and mix well. Combine with contents of the jar. Drop by tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 6 to 10 minutes.

I made tags to go on the jars with instructions on the back. They can be cut with a 2.125 round punch. My color printer happens to be down right now, so I printed the tags in b&w and let the kids color them in. 

Would you like the tags? Here you go!

Download b&w tags here.
Download color tags here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Baking Monday - Cars Cookies

These cutters were a super deal at the Williams-Sonoma Outlet store. I wish they were from the first Cars - I'd prefer Sally and Flo to Finn and Francesco - but am still very happy with my $6 purchase! I made Almond Butter Cookies (same recipe I used for the Star Wars cookies) because they are delicious without frosting ... and these cookies are way cuter naked. (Seriously, check out the pics on the WS website ... they look creepy frosted and I'd never be able to pipe that much detail.)

I tinted the dough to match the color of the cutters.

Mater and Francesco got the tie-dye treatment with the leftover dough.

(And those were the first ones eaten!)

Kids loved the shapes, I loved the cookies. (Some cars may not have made it to school dismissal time.)