Tuesday, April 22, 2014

You Say It's Your Birthday...popcorn.

birthday cake popcorn ... made with birthday cake m&ms
If birthday cake-flavored everything is wrong, then I don't want to be right.

birthday cake m&ms !!!
It all started with these.  Laurel posted a picture of a bag she'd picked up at the airport on Instagram.  Where to find birthday cake M&Ms...that was the question. The hunt for them commenced.  I am now known as the weird lady who walks past each and EVERY check-out aisle in the grocery store...all 20-something of them...scanning each and every candy display.

Luckily, there's this little thing called the Internet.  I found out that these Birthday Cake M&Ms aren't due in stores until May, but CVS stores ended up with them on the shelves early.  Bingo.

That same day, I was walking through Joann Fabrics and BOOM!  Hello, birthday cake-flavored candy melts...
birthday cake candy melts & recipe for birthday cake popcorn
...that's what we call fate. 

let's make some birthday cake popcorn!
All I needed was popcorn and sprinkles, and I had the makings of Birthday Cake Popcorn. 

Crunchy, sweet, with a hint of salt...you'll think it's your birthday when you make it.

print recipe photo printrecipe.jpg

Birthday Cake Popcorn

1 batch stove-popped popcorn (from 1/2 cup unpopped)
2 TBSP salted butter, melted
pinch kosher salt
1 bag birthday cake-flavored candy melts
2 (8-oz) bags birthday cake M&Ms (you'll use 1.5 bags)

Start with your freshly-popped popcorn.  (If you need a refresher on how to do this on the stove, click here.)  Spread the popcorn out on a large rimmed baking sheet.

let's make some birthday cake popcorn!
Pour the melted butter over the popcorn and toss.
{Can we talk for a minute about how much I love that little dot of melted butter?  Ok, thanks.}

Sprinkle on a big pinch of kosher salt.  Toss again. (During all this tossing, discard any unpopped kernels you might see.)

birthday cake popcorn melts photo birthdaycakepopcorn4of8.jpg
Melt the candy melts according to the package instructions.  I use the microwave option.  Pour the melted candy melts over the popcorn, then toss to coat all of the popcorn.

I love my "Salad Hands" for this job.  I actually use these things all the time.

birthday cake popcorn mix photo birthdaycakepopcorn5of8.jpg
While the candy melts are still melted, toss in the M&Ms and the sprinkles.

birthday cake popcorn mixed mess photo birthdaycakepopcorn6of8.jpg
Now is the time to taste.  If you think it needs a bit more salt, add some more kosher or finely ground sea salt.

Spread the popcorn onto two cookie sheets and let the candy melts harden.  Break into clusters and serve or package.

birthday cake popcorn ... made with birthday cake m&ms

I highly suggest bagging it up and getting it out of your house as soon as possible.  On the other hand, popcorn is a very good source of fiber and whole grains.  Hmmm...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sweet on Trader Joe's Saturdays: Butter Almond Thins

Welcome to the 2nd installment of our Sweet on Trader Joe's Saturdays!

This week, kiddo & I review one of his most requested TJ's sweets: the Belgian Butter Almond Thins.
trader joe's butter almond thins review
Trader Joe's describes these as "all-butter traditional Belgian biscuits."  They run $2.79 for a 7.05 ounce box...approximately 8 servings per box.

The cookies are very thin and delicate, crispy, and definitely buttery.

trader joe's butter almond thins review
My Take:  OK...I love that these have 6 ingredients and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.  That said, though, these aren't my favorite.  They're good, but not my cup of tea.  If you're a shortbread cookie lover or love those "butter cookies" in the tins at Christmastime, you might really enjoy these, though.  I, on the other hand, was tempted to slather them with Nutella.  
Overall rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kiddo's Take: I don't know what world she's in, but these are delicious. Their thinness makes it feel like they melt in your mouth, and the almond flavor comes out very strong, leaving you with a sweet and enjoyable aftertaste. (Caution: I could eat an entire box of these in 5 minutes, so be careful.)
Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars

trader joe's butter almond thins review

Trader Joe's Belgian Butter Almond Thins: split decision!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bunny Silhouette Cookies ... and a special guest!

Hey guys! You're in for a treat because my friend Lupita is sharing a cookie tutorial with us today!  You've met Lupita before...I just love her cookies!  She has been posting the prettiest Easter cookies on her blog lately, and I kind of begged her to share one here. ;) 

I know you'll want to see all of her Easter creations...like these speckled eggs where she baked the cookies AND the icing!!!  These little lambs, sweet bunnies...and oh my gosh...these Faberge Egg cookies!

{Lupita's blog is written mainly in Spanish.  Follow the picture tutorials, or do what I do (no thanks to 4 years of high school Spanish), use Google Translate.  Just pop the URL into the translate box and Google will translate the ENTIRE post for you.  So cool!}

Alright...here's Lupita!  Y'all give her a warm welcome!

We are just few days away from Easter, I hope you are already preparing to celebrate this big feast. 

Easter cookie table centerpiece

I love to decorate my table with cookies as you may imagine and I am always looking for practical ideas or ways to multitask my cookies, and I will share with you how to make a silhouette cookie that if you personalize it it can be a place card for your Easter table. 

Easter cookie table

It is really easy to make and it will add a cute touch to your table. 

You will need...

*  Your favorite cookie dough (click here for my favorite)
*  Square cookie cutter
*  Rabbit cookie cutter
*  Royal icing medium and flooding consistency
*  2 Pastry bag, couplers and decorating tip #2
*  Americolor food gel in Turquoise and Black
*  Edible black marker


1) Bake a square cookie and let it cool, prepare a pastry bag with medium consistency white royal icing and tip # 2.

2) Trace the bunny in the center of your cookie using your marker,  outline the border of the rabbit  and the border of the square with white royal icing. 

3)  Prepare flooding icing in light turquoise to fill up  the square and black for the bunny.

4)  Flood the square with turquoise royal icing and let it dry for 6-8 hrs.

5)  When the turquoise icing is dry, flood the bunny with black icing and let it dry completely. 

6)  Prepare some firm medium consistency royal icing in  black and fill up a pastry bag and with tip # 2 make some little dots all around the cookie. 

7)  You can write down the name of each guest on the cookie or just add a little detail that represent each of your guest,for example, you can add some pearls to the Mother Bunny, or some glasses to the Granpa Bunny, or a bow to the Sister Bunny.

What I like the most of decorating cookies is that you have endless posibilites to make your own creations. 

Happy Easter Everyone!!

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