Monday, July 23, 2012

Baking Monday - S'mores Whoopie Pies

Dora asked if she could bake something last week. She went through the Whoopie Pie cookbook and picked these. She made the shopping list, mixed, baked, and filled them almost all by herself. We learned about graham flour - that it's named for Sylvester Graham! - and most importantly that if it can't be found at the grocery store, that whole wheat flour is an acceptable substitute.

I've had the best luck with making pies the day before filling them. Storing them covered overnight makes them nice and soft the next day.

We opted for a marshmallow buttercream vs. the shortening-based recipe in the book. (1 stick softened butter, 1.25 cups confectioners sugar, 2 cups marshmallow cream, 1 tsp vanilla.) This recipe plus the chocolate ganache made exactly enough for 24 pies.

Everyone loved the final product. A terrific substitute for the real thing! From my sis: "I never could figure out which your family has the bigger affinity for: s'mores or whoopie pies." Best of both worlds!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Shrinky Dink Flower Charms

Look at me! I made a necklace! 

I've had this tutorial bookmarked for a long time. I'd like to tackle some craft projects this summer, and this one was first on the list. (Tackle is probably not the right word, because this is something I'll look forward to doing.) It's very easy to let days (weeks, months) go by without doing something fun just for myself. I bought the supplies for this project (pins and jump rings) right after first seeing the original post. I love, love these charms and couldn't wait to try it out.

Success! This project was so fun, easy, and very satisfying. Dora couldn't believe I made the charms. Lots of thanks to Cathe for the always inspiring projects!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Baking Monday - Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

This is just a doctored up box cake, which Dora declared: "The most delicious cupcake she's ever had." So, there you go! Make a white cake mix according to directions, but dissolve 4 tbsp of lemonade mix* into the water before combining. I also added a drop of pink food coloring. You may want to give the batter a taste and add more lemonade mix if you think it needs more tartness. 

* I do need to clarify that this means lemonade mix that can be made by the glass. The first time I made these, I used one of those packets meant for flavoring a gallon of water ... WAAAAY too tart!!

For the frosting: combine 3 tbsp of softened butter with 2 cups confectioner's sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 tbsp lemonade mix, and a drop of yellow food coloring. Add milk slowly until the frosting is at the consistency you would like ... start with 2 tbsp and add more as needed. Dora and I prefer a light coat of frosting, but you can also pipe it high!

Very yummy and very summery! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Baking Monday - Reeses Krispies

Because I wasn't paying attention, I made these as bars instead of drops, but either would work equally as well. Not sure if they need the pb cups - chocolate chips alone would probably be fine. The kids loved these, I will probably be making them again soon since I still have half a box of Krispies left. Yum!