Favorite Stuff in 2013

Today … the last day of 2013 … I’d like to say THANK YOU!!!  Thank you to each and everyone one of you … for stopping by, reading and leaving your comments.  This has been a great year and I’m sure 2014 will be even better!

I thought that it would be nice to share the top 10 favorite (most viewed) recipes edible crafts … OK, I don’t know exactly what to call it … it’s stuff … a mixture of recipes, holiday treats, peanut butter, chocolate and sugar.

In David Letterman fashion … let’s start with …

# 10  Nutter Butter Acorns 

Nutter Butter Acorns

# 9  edible cupcake box

Cupcake Box … that’s edible!

#8  ding dong the witch is dead

Ding-Dong, the witch is dead!

#7  Peeps on skateboards

Skateboarding Peeps

#6  m&m's Chicks

m&m’s Chicks

#5  pecan pie cupcakes

Pecan Pie Cupcakes

#4  Nacho Cupcakes

Nacho Cupcakes

#3  ooey gooey pumpkin cake

Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Cake

#2  Nutter butter bats

Nutter Butter Bats

#1  Peanut Butter Cup Christmas Tree

Peanut Butter Christmas Trees

Thank you again!  I wish you and your family a happy and safe New Year!  :)

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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!

 

 

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  ♦

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Wreath Cookies

Peanut butter and chocolate go hand in hand, especially in Christmas cookies!  These cookies may seem a little familiar to you …

Peanut butter and chocolate wreath cookies

Yep … the same peanut butter and chocolate cookies as the Reindeer Cookies from a few days ago!  Sometimes inspiration comes when you least expect it!  While I was making the Reindeer Cookies, the light bulb in my head lit up and I can’t explain how or why it happened … who cares … it resulted in another peanut butter chocolate Christmas cookie that is easy peasy!

Peanut butter wreaths

 

Here’s the important stuff … you will need a batch my Favorite Peanut Butter Cookie dough to make 48 Peanut Butter & Chocolate Wreath Cookies and the following …

Wreath cookie supplies

 

  • about 1/2 to 3/4 cup green sugar
  • 96 red candy hearts (from SweetWorks)
  • 48 red candy pearls (from SweetWorks)
  • 48 dark chocolate balls (from SweetWorks)

Make the cookie dough and roll into balls, roll in sugar, place on a parchment lined baking sheet …

peanut butter wreath cookies

Bake at 350°F for 11 minutes, remove from oven, immediately place a chocolate ball in the center of each cookie and gently press down into cookie (the cookie will have cracks) …

chocolate wreath cookies

 

Wait a minute or two and let the chocolate melt a little before going forward …

wreath bow cookies

 

Add a red pearl first, then 2 hearts and let them touch the melted chocolate … it will help hold everything in place … easy peasy ;)

After I was done baking, photographing and packaging cookies for friends … looked at the cookies from a different angle and saw …

minnie mouse cookies

I always look forward to hearing your opinions!

 ♦  I share my stuff with these fun parties ♦

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Reindeer Cookies

Black Friday was last week … Cyber Monday was yesterday … we must have all of our shopping done … right?  I sure don’t!  It will get done, but right now I’m ready to bake cookies and I did.

Do you like those peanut butter cookies with the chocolate candy kiss in the middle?  Well, you’ll love these cookies!  They are not only peanut butter cookies … the chocolate that you see, also has peanut butter filling and they are reindeer!

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Reindeer Cookies

You know that I had to protect my cookies from the hubby and anyone else that came in the kitchen!  I was standing there with a wooden spoon making idle threats … don’t touch the cookies until I get photos!  Everyone cooperated and no cookies (or family members) were harmed ;)

peanut butter chocolate reindeer cookies

I made a batch of my Favorite Peanut Butter Cookie Dough (could be made a few days ahead and stored in the refrigerator) and used a few additional items to make 48 Peanut Butter & Chocolate Reindeer Cookies …

reindeer cookie supplies

  • about 3/4 cup granulated sugar to roll the cookie dough before baking
  • 48 peanut butter filled chocolate bells from SweetWorks (they also have solid chocolate)
  • red and white pearls from SweetWorks
  • a black AmeriColor Gourmet Writer
  • 48 small twist pretzels

Make the cookie dough and roll into balls, roll in sugar, place on a parchment lined baking sheet …

peanut butter cookies in sugar

Bake at 350°F for 11 minutes, remove from oven, immediately place a bell (on its side) in the center of each cookie and gently press down into cookie (the cookie will have cracks) …

reindeer chocolate peanut butter cookies

Let the bell melt a little before proceeding … everything else will stick to the chocolate if it is melted … insert pretzel antlers where the flat part of the bell meets the cookie …

peanut butter blossom reindeer

Add a red pearl nose … place it on the cookie and give it a little push so that it touches the melty chocolate and adheres …

reindeer cookies red nose

The eyes are tricky … the chocolate must be melty or they may roll off …

reindeer cookies

Now you must be patient again!  Sorry to be so bossy … don’t want you to make the make the same mistakes that I did ;)  Let the chocolate harden back up and finish the eyeball with the edible black marker …

reindeer cookies pearl eyeballs

We are done!!!  Shall we sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer … oh, go ahead and have some fun!

reindeer got ran over by grandma cookies

I tried to fix that runaway eyeball :)

Are you baking, shopping or ???  I always enjoy your comments!

 ♦  I share my stuff with these fun parties  ♦

Holiday Review

How about a little eye candy today?  In this case, it’s candy for you to look at ;)

I will be posting new Christmas treat ideas as quick and often as I can … beginning tomorrow!  In the meantime, these may be oldies but goodies …

Chocolate, Caramel and Salty Peanut Bark

Smoothies

Peppermint wreaths

Peppermint Wreaths

Super Simple Edible Snow Globes

Snowman Hat Pops

Please stop by tomorrow for some new stuff ;)