Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

It's incredible how fast this summer is flying by! And just how incredibly hot it is!! I just haven't had the desire to turn on the oven lately. That is linked to my lack of blogging as well as a busy schedule. 

Last week, my family went on vacation. We met up with my brother and his family in Destin, FL for a few days. It was so relaxing to just hang out at the beach and pool and enjoy each other's company! Then on Wednesday, we headed to Atlanta to spend a few days with some great friends that moved there last summer. We went to a Braves game, the Georgia Aquarium, Six Flags, and took in some shopping. It was a lot of fun to reconnect with them plus visit Atlanta and take in the sights!

This week has been spent getting back into a routine.  The boys have Orchestra Camp all week, so I had the entire day off all to myself. Started out at the gym this morning with an elliptical and bike workout (I am still out of running commission with my leg injury) then back home to shower and start some laundry. I met Thomas at Panera Bread (my favorite eating place) for lunch, then headed over to Hastings where I picked up the first season DVD's of Friends. I didn't watch the show when it was aired on TV, but I have been watching reruns on Nick at Nite lately and have been wanting to see it from the beginning.

After I came home, I decided today was a good day for some "kitchen therapy".  The first thing I made was a recipe for Frosty Chocolate Treat that is supposed to taste like a Wendy's frosty. It was very easy to make with very few ingredients, but it made a lot.  I had to do 2 1/2 different batches with my Cuisinart ice cream maker that makes 2 qts. at a time. The texture was very smooth and similar to the Frosty, but it was lacking in the chocolate flavor. I don't mind because I prefer the vanilla, but if you want a more chocolate flavor, you might want to add some chocolate syrup to the mix.
Next, I decided to whip up a batch of chocolate whoopie pies to send with the boys to youth group tonight. Several months ago, I bought a cute Nordic Ware Funny Face Treat pan from the clearance aisle at Target, but I haven't had the chance to use it yet. Today was the day!  I used the recipe that came with the pan. It has a more mild chocolate taste, so next time I will use a little dutch cocoa powder to give it a darker chocolate flavor. I loved the filling - it was a mixture of butter cream frosting with marshmallow cream mixed in. YUMMY!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

4th of July Festive Treats

I hope everyone had an awesome 4th of July.  It was a little strange not seeing or hearing fireworks go off in the neighborhood due to the burn ban and fireworks ban, but we watched some excellent displays on TV.  

Even though it's been a while since I last posted, I have been doing some baking in the kitchen.  I just haven't had a chance to blog about it.  Since yesterday was the 4th, I decided to make some goodies that would celebrate the festivities as well as summer.  My friend was having a Scentsy party and I had some recipes that I wanted to try, so I made them and brought them to the party to share.
The first treat I made is from the recipe for Jello Pinwheels that I shared with you on March 17.  I made 3 recipes and layered them. The first layer was strawberry, the second layer blue raspberry and the third layer strawberry again.  Allow each layer to set before adding the next on top.  After setting up, I took a star cutter and cut out shapes.  The final product, Jello Stars, has a layered effect representing the red, white and blue stars.
The second treat I made was a recipe I found a few days ago at Glorious Treats.  It is Watermelon Krispie Treats and they are so cute! I added them to my "make right away" recipe pile.  Homemade rice krispie treats are one of my favorite simple sweets, along with S'mores.  They are sweet and crispy and relatively low in calories.  I sliced mine into 24 slices and used mini chocolate chips for the watermelon seeds. These were very easy to make and my kids loved them!

These are two great recipes for summer that your kids will love without having to heat up the oven.  The Jello can be colored and adapted to any holiday or occasion.  Just change up the colors and the cutter shapes.