The Easiest Christmas Tree

Today … the day before Christmas Eve … I am sharing another Christmas idea!!!  I wasn’t going to do it … couldn’t help myself … have no willpower!  I have issues … one of them is I want to do everything … even though I don’t have time!   I really was restraining myself, until this morning when I saw that new Christmas ideas were popping up all over … I caved and broke out the chocolate!  I really should be cleaning my house  ;)

christmas tree pretzels Ovation sticks

 

I am not kidding when I say that I want to do everything, like yesterday … I was in my front yard building an igloo out of milk jugs … my lighted penguin needed a home! ;)  I’ve been talking about doing it for over a year (and saving empty milk jugs) … the hubby and sons didn’t believe that I really would do it … so, I HAD TO DO IT or I would never hear the end of it.   Bad news is … I couldn’t finish … need about 50 more jugs … about 150 total for a small igloo!  My penguin has an igloo with a skylight :)

easiest christmas tree to make

 

While I was glue gunning milk cartons and talking to neighbors, one neighbor brought me a tray of cookies … so sweet and they are leaving town for a few days!  I assumed that I would distribute goodies to my neighbors tomorrow … wrong!  I quickly ran in the house, threw together some cookies and stole candy from my hubby’s supply for coworkers and delivered it.   Now, I have to replenish … these trees will help … they’re so quick and easy to make ;)

To make 16 trees – you will need …

  • 1 package of Ovation Sticks (I used Irish Cream) from SweetWorks
  • 1/2 to 1 pound candy coating/candy melts (such as CandiQuik)
  • 16 pretzel sticks
  • sprinkles (non-pariels, sugar, etc.)
  • star sprinkles

P1030487 ed

Cover a tray with parchment or wax paper.  Melt the candy coating according to directions on the package and place in squeeze bottles or disposable pastry bags.

  1. Make a tree shape using a pretzel stick as the trunk and 2 Ovation Sticks.
  2. This is like coloring within the lines … only using chocolate and squiggling within the lines.  You may want to do it twice if the squiggles are too far apart.
  3. Add some sprinkles.
  4. Add a star.  Chill for a few minutes or let sit at room temperature until hardened.  DONE!

Ovation stick trees

Just a few of these trees could dress up any cookie platter!

christmas tree pretzels chocolate

 

Do you have everything ready?  Are you one of those organized people (not like me)?  I love your comments!

Merry Christmas to you and your family!  

Santa Is Coming Down Your Chimney Tonight … Pops!

To post or not to post another Christmas idea … it’s been my dilemma!  I decided that this project is so easy … thought you might appreciate it ;)

Santa is coming down your chimney tonight pops

I’m going to make short and sweet … Christmas is around the corner!

santa rice krispie chimney

This is what you will need to make 8 pops …

P1030477 ed

  • Rice Krispie Treats (or you could make your own)
  • Vanilla CandiQuik (you will use about 1/2 package)
  • 1 box Hot Tamales
  • 8 sticks
  • 8 foil wrapped Santa chocolate (from SweetWorks)
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows (oops! forgot photo)

santa chimney pop instructions

  1. Line a tray with parchment or wax paper.  Melt CandiQuik according to package directions.  Dip the tip of the stick in melted candy and insert into Rice Krispie Treat.
  2. Place 5 or 6 mini marshmallows along top edge and smash a little to make snow.  Use Hot Tamales to make bricks on chimney and press a little.  If you are not a fan of Hot Tamales, I saw Mike & Ike’s in holiday colors or use red licorice pieces.
  3. Put about 1/2 cup melted candy in squeeze bottle or pastry bag.  This will be the mortar for the bricks.  Fill the areas between the bricks.
  4. Attach Santa to the stick.  I used just a dot of glue (from a glue gun) on the foil.  Tape may be another option.
  5. Dip the bottom of the Rice Krispie Treat in melted candy and stand on prepared tray.  Let candy harden at room temperature or chill for a few minutes.

santa chimney pops

I always look forward to your comments!

♦  I share my stuff with these fun parties  ♦

Christmas Tree Cake … not so perfect!

Hello cake makers!  Today I am sharing a 3-D Christmas Tree Cake ;)   I can’t show you a picture of it, until I share an explanation …

Have you seen the site Cake Wrecks?  Well, there is a strong possibility that this cake belongs there.  This is what happened … after frosting the cake, there was some frosting leftover … decided to use it up … didn’t realize how unevenly I applied the extra frosting … took photos … still did see what I did … cut the cake and served some … later that night while editing photos … saw my not so handy work!  I swear that I am not blind, nor was I  consuming alcoholic beverages … guess I was paying more attention to getting the photos taken before the light went away, than what the cake looked like!  That’s what happens when I’m in a rush and not wearing my glasses!  There was no fixing it … it was cut and consumed!  I thought about not sharing this cake at all … then decided what the heck … it’s cake … it’s not perfect and I’m not perfect ;)  Do you remember Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree?

Christmas Tree Cake 3-d

Go ahead and laugh if you want … I did!  I am not happy about the appearance of my cake, but I love the tree stump, chocolate nutcracker, Santa and rocking horse :)

I made the back side of the cake all white … except for that one red pearl that wasn’t supposed to show in the photo …

Christmas Tree Cake Wreck

So … today is one of those days … I strongly encourage you to do as I say, not as I do!

The concept of creating a 3-d cake was pretty easy …

  • Use a yellow cake mix, add the eggs and oil called for on the box, substitute 1 cup buttermilk for the water … add green food coloring … pour batter into greased and floured glass measuring containers …P1030460 ed
  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Fill a custard cup with 2/3 cups of batter (honestly, I would use a cupcake next time) Bake for 15-20 minutes
  • 1-1/2 cups batter in the 2 cup measuring cup.  Bake about 30 minutes
  • Remaining batter in the 4 cup measuring cup.  Bake about 35 minutes
  • Remove from oven, cool 10 minutes, remove from glass and let cool completely.  Level cakes.Tree cake 3-d
  • You will also need a container of white ready-made icing and large marshmallow (I put it on a pretzel stick to secure it in the cake)
  • Place the largest cake (cut side down) on the plate.Christmas cake 3-d
  • I heated the frosting in the microwave for about 20-25 seconds and spread the icing with the back of a spoon.  Continue building the cake.P1030464 ed
  • Now that I look back at my photos, I can see where the problems started.  I should have used a cupcake (not custard cup)(it would have been a better size) and marshmallow for the top.  What can I say … live and learn ;)  You have the benefit of learning from my mistakes!
  • Decorate your tree with small candies … I used pearls (from SweetWorks).
  • I was very excited about finding this piece of birch tree at Michael’s … it was level, clean and I didn’t have to bug my hubby to cut a piece of wood for me!christmas tree cake on stump
  • I put some double-sided tape on the wood  and placed my finished cake on it.  Please note that it’s not secure … the tape just helped the plate not slide around.Green Tree cake 3-d
  • The hubby and Son #3 convinced me to color the cake green … because they believe all Christmas trees should be green.Christmas Tree Shaped Cake
  • I think the cake looked better after it was cut ;)
  • Last night, I finally got around to reading Sunday’s newspaper and found a nice Christmas Tree Cake in the Parade Magazine by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson.  They used an ice cream cone in place of the cupcake and marshmallow … another option!

Thank you to SweetWorks for the pearls and cute christmas chocolates!

So … did you learn from my mistakes?  I’m sure that you can make a great looking tree cake!  If you make one … please email me a photo at sweetsimplestuff@hotmail.com … I will share if it’s OK with you :)

I hope you got a good laugh and learned how (or not how) to build a Christmas tree cake.  I ♥ your comments!

 

 

Peppermint Oreo Brownie Cupcakes

A few weeks ago, I went to the mall with my niece … I call her The Cupcake Girl … she loves cupcakes!  I drug her into Williams-Sonoma … she wasn’t exactly kicking and screaming.  We waited in a short line to pay … short line, but took a long time.  It was lunch time, she was hungry and there were Peppermint Brownie samples on the counter!  The Cupcake Girl enjoyed those brownie samples and inspired me to make these …

Peppermint Brownie Oreos

I had Peppermint Oreos and Nestle Holiday Morsels just waiting to be used!  These brownies are the result of wanting peppermint, chocolate, Christmas colors and cupcakes for The Cupcake Girl.  They taste as fudgy and pepperminty as they look …

Peppermint Brownie cupcakes

This is what you will need …

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Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

  • 24 Peppermint Oreos (or your favorite flavor)
  • 1 bag Nestle Holiday Chips (10 ounces)
  • 1 Brownie mix & the ingredients called for on the box (eggs, water, oil) (or your favorite recipe for a 9″ x 13″ pan)
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy (about 10 small candy canes, crushed)
  • 1/2 cup melted chocolate
  • 24 paper cupcake paper liners
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  Place 1 cookie in the bottom of each cupcake cavity.
  2. Make brownie batter according to package directions.  Add Holiday chips to batter and stir.  Scoop batter into cupcake pans on top of cookies.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely.
  4. Drizzle melted chocolate on brownie cupcakes (I used a plastic squeeze bottle) and add crushed peppermint candy immediately.  Makes 24 yummy peppermint brownie cupcakes!

What are you baking this holiday season?  I look forward to hearing from you :)

 ♦  I share my stuff at these fun parties  ♦

 

Christmas Tic-Tac-Toe a.k.a. Tree-Tac-Toe

Need a quick easy Christmas party favor, classroom treat or just a fun little gift for kids?  I have got an idea for you!  It’s an easy to make fun game that young and old are sure to enjoy … it involves candy too!

The supplies can be found at many craft stores and dollar stores … so it’s pretty cheap inexpensive to make!

This is what you will need …

Christmas tic tack toe

  • Christmas trees shapes made from foam sheets (I found these trees at Michael’s)
  • 8 Candies in 2 different designs for each game (from SweetWorks)
  • Black permanent marker (Sharpie)
  • A ruler or straight edge

The directions …

Tree tac toe

  1. Trim or cut foam (I had to trim the star from its hanger)
  2. Draw a tic tac toe grid on each tree
  3. Place 1 tree and 8 candies in a bag (from a dollar store) and tie up with a bow

In the game below, we have Santa vs. Reindeer … the reindeer are winning!

Christmas Tree Tac Toe

 

When the kiddos are tired of playing … they can just eat their chocolate game pieces!  This is a game and snack all in one ;)

I ♥ your comments!

♦  I share my stuff with these fun parties  ♦

Snowboarding Gingerbread Peeps

I am so excited to be participating in the group project … Give the Gift of Gingerbread … with many talented bloggers that you may already know!  I’m sure that you will find some wonderful ideas and recipes and even have the chance to win a great prize!  All of the info is after the directions for my Gingerbread Project!

When you hear gingerbread, what do you think of … gingerbread cake, gingerbread boys or maybe Gingerbread Peeps?  These Peeps jumped right into my grocery cart … OK, I helped a little.  It was decided … they were going home with me!  Within five minutes I knew the Peeps would be snowboarding and skiing … they are very athletic little guys!

Peeps winter X games

I picked up the Gingerbread Peeps because of their cuteness.  When I opened the package, I was surprised how good they smelled … just like gingerbread!

Gingerbread man peeps

This is how to bring your Peeps to life and what you will need …

skiing snowboarding peeps supplies

  • Gingerbread Peeps
  • White candy coating (such as CandiQuik)
  • White/clear coarse sugar
  • Graham cracker squares
  • Fruit Stripe Gum (I found it at Michael’s)
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Large round edible confetti

gingerbread peeps directions

  1. Melt candy coating according to package directions.  Cut or trim graham crackers if necessary.
  2. Spread/smear a little candy on a cracker … I just used the back of a spoon.  Let the candy sit a minute or two, but not harden up.
  3. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and let candy harden up.  Shake off excess sugar and reserve for reuse.

skiing peeps

4.  Use kitchen scissors to cut Peeps apart.

5.  Cut gum to shape skis (pointed end) or snowboards (rounded)

6.  Make ski poles – my pretzels were a little long, so I broke about 1″ off (snacks for later), attach flat end to large sprinkle with a dot of melted white candy.

7.  Attach the Peep to the graham cracker with a little melted candy … add more melted candy in the back to support the Peep if necessary.

That’s it … pretty easy, wasn’t it?

Peeps snowboard ski

Thank you to Jill at Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons and Beth at Hungry Happenings for organizing this Gingerbread Hop and inviting me to join … I am truly honored ;)

Be sure to Hop on over to the other blogs and check out all of the fun Gingerbread projects …

Give the Gift of Gingerbread Blog Hop and Giveaway
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Use the links below to hop from blog to blog to see these wonderful gingerbread themed recipes.
Thanks to our amazing sponsors, you have a chance to win all of these prizes:
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