Red, White & Blue No Bake Cheesecake Cups

It’s summer … it’s hot outside … it’s hot inside too … we’re having cheesecake and I’m not turning my oven on today!  My family loves cheesecake … no bake cheesecake too!  So … today I made Red, White & Blue No Bake Cheesecake Cups … cute little paper cups … perfect for a 4th of July celebration at home or on the go!  Red strawberries, blueberries and white chocolate chips add color, texture and decorate the top.

Red White & Blue No Bake Cheesecake Cups

I used paper baking cups … perfect small portions and no dishes to wash or bring home if you take them to a picnic.  No bake cheesecake cups are cool and creamy with a layer of graham cracker crust … the fruit and white chocolate are like the icing on the cake!

No bake cheesecake with berries

Red, White & Blue No Bake Cheesecake Cups

Crust

  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened/room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cup milk (divided)
  • 3.4 ounce pack cheesecake flavored instant pudding
  • 2 cups thawed Cool Whip

Toppings

  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and cut in half
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  1. Make crust – Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar, stir in melted butter and set aside.
  2. Make filling – Place cream cheese in a medium size bowl and beat with an electric mixer or whisk.  Add 1/2 cup of milk and beat well.  Add remaining 1 cup of milk and pudding mix, beat well.  Fold Cool Whip into pudding mixture.
  3. Assemble Cheesecake cups – Divide cracker crust mixture between 12 cups.  Add filling and smooth to edges of cup.  Top with strawberries, blueberries and white chocolate chips.

Makes 12 servings   (filling recipe adapted from Kraft)

Red, white & blue cheesecake cup

I found the paper baking cups (for cupcakes) and all of the paper products at the 99¢ Only store.

No-bake Cheesecake for the 4th of July

 

Do you have plans for July 4th … a picnic at the beach, barbecue with friends … maybe fireworks?

 your comments!

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Patriotic Pops or Uncle Sam Hat Pops?

Summer officially begins Saturday … the 4th of July will be here before we know it!  How about an easy peasy pop to celebrate the occasion?  I decided to make Patriotic Pops or Uncle Sam Hat Pops … some look like hats to me!

Patriotic Pops - SweetSimpleStuff.com

Red, white and blue pops made with chocolate, mint and marshmallows … yummy, easy to make and the York Pieces were the perfect colors!  My original plans were to only draw stripes on the marshmallows to create the Uncle Sam Hat look … got a little artsy and drew stars too!  Now, I want to make more … with polka-dots, fatter stripes, starbursts … ooh, the possibilities are endless ;)

Uncle Sam Hat Pops - SweetSimpleStuff

You can draw whatever you like on the marshmallows … maybe let the kiddos do it!  Speaking of kiddos … our 11-year-old great-niece is visiting from Tennessee … she came with my sister-in-law (her grandma).  My youngest son will turn 30 this year … I’m so out of kid mode and as the mother of three boys … never was in girl kid mode!  I forgot how difficult it is to come up with activities to fill two months of summer fun.  Anyway, my two sister-in-laws, great niece and I went to the beach … her first visit to the Pacific Ocean!  While we were driving, the subject of California’s water shortage came up … the 11 year-old questioned it … after all, California has the whole ocean to drink!  After playing in the water, getting a swimsuit full of sand and mouthful of ocean water, she understands why we don’t drink ocean water!

By the way … when applying sunscreen, don’t forget your feet and ankles … this is the voice of experience speaking ;)  Another tip … don’t ask an 11-year-old to guess your age … I’m not 60 … still in my late 50’s … let’s not push it!

Keep the kiddos busy and make some pops for your July 4th bash …

Patriotic Pops or Uncle Sam Hat Pops

  • Chocolate Wafer Cookies (such as Famous from Nabisco)
  • York Pieces
  • Large Marshmallows
  • White Candy Coating (such as CandiQuik)
  • Blue and Red Edible Markers
  • Blue and Red Paper Straws (or lollipop sticks)

Uncle Sam Hat Pop instructions - SweetSimpleStuff.com

  1. Cut paper straws in half (almost 4″).  You can use full length straws or substitute lollipop sticks.
  2. Use the food safe markers to draw strips, stars or doodle whatever you like.  Hint – you may need to make short strokes with the markers when drawing on marshmallows, if you press too hard they tend to stick to the marshmallow!  Insert straws into flat end of marshmallow.
  3. Melt the candy according to package directions or here.  Smear a small amount of candy on the top of a chocolate cookie.
  4. Place a marshmallow in the center of the cookie and add some York Pieces around it (I used 7 on each pop).  Chill for a few minutes or let stand at room temperature until melted candy has firmed up.  Wasn’t that easy peasy?

Red, white and blue pops - SweetSimpleStuff

You may remember some marshmallow pop hats from the past …

snowman hat pops

like these Snowman Hat Pops or

0081 marshmallow pilgrim hats

Pilgrim Hat Pops !

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4th of July Review

 

 

 

Good Monday morning!

Did everyone enjoy their weekend?  My weekend was slightly hot … like triple digit hot.  Today, I am looking forward to a cool down temp of 96°F !!!

Here is a last minute review because July 4th is just a few days away!

Easy Peasy Party Favors for Independence Day

Easy Party Favors

4th of July Firecracker pops

Firecracker Pops

Licorice candy flag

Licorice Flag

Blast from the past …

Star marshmallow pops

Marshmallow decorated straws

093

Sweet Hamburger Cupcakes

I love this …

American Flag Oreos - a patriotic treat that will be a hit at any 4th of July or Memorial day party!

Oreo Flag from The Pink Flour

For a few more ideas visit my Pinterest page!

I your comments!

 

 

 

Perfectly Imperfect Firecracker Pops

I am not perfect … my Firecracker Pops are not perfect and I’m OK with that!

This is how it started …

My friend, Kathleen, at Step by Step in the Kitchen found this candy at Walgreens …

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and challenged me to make something with it!  I accepted this challenge and drove off to Walgreens to buy the red, white and blue Twizzlers!

I had an idea … a plan … the fun of Twizzlers is pulling them apart … don’t you agree?

Twizzlers will work great as the top of firecrackers … right?

Jumbo marshmallows will make great firecrackers … right?

Then reality set in … marshmallows are not perfectly shaped and Twizzlers are uncontrollable … heck, even the star sprinkles aren’t perfect …

marshmallow firecrackers

Then I remembered what my friend, Dinaz, says “It’s only sugar”.

Does it need to be perfect?  I don’t think so.

Does it need to be fun?  Absolutely!!!

marshmallow firecracker pops

I say these firecrackers are fun, sweet, a little wonky, kind of goofy and they make me smile!

This is what you will need to make 12 imperfect firecrackers …

P1030085

  • 12 Jumbo Mallows (extra-large marshmallows)
  • 1 package Red, white and blue Twizzlers (4.2 oz.)
  • Jumbo Star Sprinkles
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup each red sugar and blue sugar
  • Not pictured – 12 lollipop sticks, 1 cup water
  • Equipment – wax paper lined tray, a toothpick, paper towels, a small serrated knife

4th of july pops

  1. Dip the serrated knife in water and insert it into the center of the marshmallow almost to the other end.
  2. Cut Twizzlers in half and insert a half into the marshmallow.
  3. Water acts as glue for the sugar to stick to the marshmallow.  Dip the marshmallow in the water … getting it wet where you want to apply the sugar.  Use a paper towel to dry off excess water.
  4. Dip the marshmallow into the colored sugar.  Separate the strands of the Twizzler.
  5. Use the toothpick to add a drop of water on the marshmallow to attach stars.  Dip tip of lollipop stick in water and insert into bottom of marshmallow … take care to avoid the Twizzler!

When I started this project, I did not plan on making pops.  In my mind, everything is perfect … in reality, it’s not perfect.   I started taking photos, things were falling … not going as planned … I didn’t want that to happen to you … I improvised … put it on a stick and was much happier!  It’s not perfect … but it worked for me ;)

4th of July Firecracker pops

I your comments!

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4th of July Party Favors

Today is officially the first day of summer … yippee!!!

I have said before and I’m sure that I’ll say it again … where does the time go?  There are not enough hours in the day.  My To Do list is way too long … everyday stuff, crafty things that I want to do, gardening that needs to be done, not to mention blogging and how far I’m behind visiting other blogs … always playing catch-up!

Are you hosting a 4th of July party or attending one?  Either way, these sweet and easy party favors are sure to be appreciated …

4th of July Party Favors

These mini versions of my Licorice Flag happened by accident … a good kind of accident.  I like  Red Vines, but my favorite is the Jumbo Red Twists version … that is what I bought first.  I wanted to use the Jumbos for the flag, but when I laid out 13 Jumbo licorice I discovered the proportions were wrong :(  I ran drove back to the store and bought the thinner size Red Vines.  I made the flag … looked at the Jumbos … thought about eating them, OK I would share … came up with this idea and saved myself a belly ache :)

This is what you will need to make 5 to 6 mini flag favors …

P1030072

  • 8 ounces of Vanilla CandiQuik (or white candy coating) *
  • 3 ounces of blue candy coating *
  • white non-pareils (or any white sprinkles)
  • 8 ounce package of Red Vines Jumbo Red Twists (or any red licorice)

*  You will have leftover candy coating, but need the larger amount for easy dipping.

For step by step directions refer to the Licorice Flag.

Easy Peasy Party Favors for Independence Day

I confess, today I say yippee for summer … when it’s over 100° … I’ll be wishing for fall to arrive!

licorice flag party favors

Iyour comments !

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Licorice Flag

Recently, I was trying to dream up something to make for the 4th of July … I was frustrated … my brain wasn’t working, again!

When I least expected it … and stopped thinking, this came to mind …

Licorice candy flag

The flag could be served just the way it is or maybe to decorate the top of a cake, Rice Kripsie Treats, brownies, etc.

This project also gave me the opportunity to use CandiQuik for the first time.  (Miss CandiQuik was so kind to send me some a few weeks ago.)  I was very pleased with the Vanilla CandiQuik, it has a nice flavor, was easy to melt and comes in its own melting tray … perfect for dipping licorice!

P1030073

This is what you will need to make one flag …

P1030074

  • 8 ounces melted Vanilla CandiQuik (you will have some left)
  • 5 ounce pack Red Vines (or 13 vines)
  • 4 ounces melted blue candy melts (or color CandiQuik with oil based or powder coloring)
  • White non-pareils (or other sprinkles for stars)
  • A tray lined with wax paper or parchment

licorice flag instruction

  1. Work on prepared tray.  Mark 7 pieces of licorice at 3-1/2″ (each licorice piece is about 8″ long).  This is a guide for dipping the blue candy.
  2. Dip the licorice in melted blue candy, shake off excess candy, lay on prepared tray, add a few white sprinkles, chill for a few minutes.
  3. Take 3 of the blue dipped pieces of licorice and dip in white candy, tap off excess, lay on tray, chill.  Dip 3 pieces of plain licorice in white candy, tap off excess, chill.
  4. No matter how hard you to try, sometimes a little puddle of excess candy forms.  After the candy has hardened, use a paring or small knife to trim it up :)

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I look forward to your comments !

 

S’mores in Cones

Do you ever have one of those “why didn’t I think of that” moments?

S’mores in Cones is one those moments for me!  I saw the idea somewhere (can’t remember where) and thought “I want to do that … a little different” …

Ooey Gooey S'mores in Cones

I love S’mores … I hate assembling them in the dark … I love toasty marshmallows … I hate the sticky melted marshmallows all over my hands … making S’mores in chocolate lined cones has got to be the answer!  Now … if I can only find an answer to fix my sentence structure ;)

When we go camping, S’mores will be made … it’s a rule.  After dinner, in the dark, we are trying to unwrap candy bars, open bags of graham crackers and marshmallows … things end up in the dirt!  Make S’mores in the backyard … same story!  I guess we are just messy people ;)

Toasty Marshmallows

Before we leave for a camping trip, I try to do as much food prep as possible at home … anything to make camping a little easier.  Making the chocolate lined cones at home would ease S’mores assembly in the dark!  We do have lanterns, usually not in the right places ;)

It took me a long time to convince my hubby that camping can be fun … I would ask to go camping … he would answer NO!  His excuse was that he did enough camping while he served in the Army.  I finally convinced him that my idea of camping is nothing like what he experienced … it’s close to glamping and I do believe in restrooms with showers!

remove marshmallows

You will need …

  • Sugar Ice Cream Cones
  • Chocolate or candy coating (milk or dark) (1 pound should coat 12-15 cones)
  • Chocolate Sprinkles
  • Large Marshmallows
  • Graham Crackers

Let’s get started …

s'mores cone directions

  1. Line a tray with wax paper or parchment.  Fill an ice cream cone with melted chocolate or candy coating … use milk chocolate or dark, which ever you prefer.
  2. Pour the melted chocolate out of the cone … shake or tap cone to help chocolate out.  You can make the chocolate layer as thin or as thick as you like.
  3. Dip the edge of cone in sprinkles.
  4. Lay on wax paper and chill for a few minutes.

Store in an airtight container until ready to use!

S'mores in cones

I use 2 marshmallows per cone … Son #3 says to use 3 marshmallows!

How many marshmallows do you use for your S’mores ?

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