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Snowman Oreo Pops – Failure Can Be Fun

As I’ve said before, I have certain unhealthy foods that can really make me lose my self-control. One of those is Oreos. I think they must have cocaine in them.

My daughter and I wanted a fun and easy winter treat. This pin seemed to fit the bill, and incorporated my addiction. What could be better?!

snoworeopoppin

It’s from the Idea Room.

The recipe only calls for a few ingredients:Double-Stuff Oreos (yum!), white chocolate candy melt, mini-chocolate chips and candy corn.

oreosnowpopingre

The first thing you do sounds deceiving simple. You insert the Popsicle sticks into the Oreos.

Sounds easy, right? But when we tried it, the outer cookies popped apart almost every time. No matter what my daughter and I tried, how we held the Oreo – gently, firmly, from one side or the other, it popped apart or one side of the cookie cracked at least a little.

We finally did get a number of them in but, barely, and boy, it wasn’t easy!)

Next, you melt the candy melts and dip the Oreos in the melted candy. Sounds easy, too, right? Wrong!

When I dipped the Oreos in the candy, the sides of the cookie came apart and fell off the Popsicle sticks or broke into pieces. It just got worse with each dip.

Survey the devastation:

oreosnowpopbad

The good news is that though they were a mess, that made it more fun. The worse they came out of the chocolate, the more we laughed. The more atrocious the battlefield of Oreo pops looked, the funnier it was. We had a great time.

The other good news: As ugly as they were, they tasted great! I wondered what the combination of Oreos, mini chocolate chips, white chocolate candy melt and candy corn would taste like. One word: Awesome! My family devoured the mutant snowmen laughing all the way to gastric heaven.

On a skill level, this project would be categorized as high. On a fun level, this project is high, also.

In the end, I gave up on the Popsicle sticks and dipped the Oreos by themselves. That was a little easier.

oreosnowpopdone

He’s not a pop but he’s still cute, right?

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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Rainbow Swirl Cookies

This week I am heading up to Michigan for a meeting, and I am going to freeze!! It’s going to be in the single digits at night, so I will be bundling up!

I’ll be seeing my terrific employee Jim. He has an adorable preschool-aged son, and I wanted to take up something special for him. When I saw this pin, I knew his son would love these:

rainbowcookiepin

The original is from Souders Cookery.

Believe it or not, they’re not too difficult, either.

I normally like to make things from scratch, but sometimes, when you’re in a hurry, convenience is great. This recipe uses Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix, Betty Crocker neon gel food coloring and sprinkles. Yep, that’s it.

cookieingred

You make the mix using the instructions for the cut-out cookies. Then you separate the dough into five equal sections and add a different colored food coloring to each one. To really get the colors that pop, you need to add quite a bit of food coloring.

Next, you take small balls of each color of dough. The original recipe says grape-sized balls. To make sure the cookies are big enough, the balls of dough should be large grape-sized. If they aren’t large enough, the cookies will fall apart.

Then, you need to roll the dough between your hands until you start to have a log formed. Place it on the counter or a cutting board and carefully roll it between the counter and your hands until it is approximately 12” long. Do NOT use flour on the counter. If you don’t have enough dough, the log will start to come apart. Just add more dough to the dough balls next time.

Take the finished cookies and roll the edges in sprinkles. If you haven’t made the dough balls big enough, again, the cookie will start to fall apart.

cookieroll

It can be a bit difficult to make these at first, but once you get the hang of it, they are really not that difficult.

These cookies would be great for a tie-dye party, Dr. Seuss party, circus party, or carnival party.

rainbowcookies copy

Not only do they look good, but they taste good. Now if I can stop myself from eating too many, so I can stay on my diet!!

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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Chocolate Chip Brownie Gift in a Jar – Inexpensive and Delicious

I love my friends, and I’d love to have unlimited funds to shower them in gifts. But I work for a non-profit, my husband is disabled, and I have two kids. So, not much in the way of funds to throw around.

If you are a Pinterest fan, you’ll notice all types of inexpensive homemade gifts. My favorites are the food gifts, especially the ones where you give them the ingredients for a yummy baked good layered in a glass jar with cute little tags and ribbons.

My concern is that when my friends bake up whatever I’ve sent them, it won’t taste that great. So, as a public service to all my faithful readers, I’m going to try out a number of the homemade gifts featured on Pinterest and let you know how they taste, so you can send them to your friends and family, confident that they’ll enjoy it.

Here is the pin I try this week:

browniemixpin

The recipe comes from the Fake It Frugal blog.(This blog is a terrific source of knock-offs of name brand mixes.)

This recipe isn’t technically a homemade gift, but I thought it could be easily adapted to be one. And I like the price – 30 cents!

The instructions from the blog are:

Ingredients:
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Flour
1/3 Cup Cocoa
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder

Mix all these ingredients together with a whisk and dump them into a zipper bag. On the bag, add the following instructions: Add: 2 Eggs, 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil, 1 teaspoon Vanilla. Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

The ingredients were ones I already had on hand and, as mentioned on the blog, they’re inexpensive.

browniemixingr

The mixed together ingredients had an interesting texture and stayed together in a blob when transferred to a pan. To add a little pizzazz, I added a third of a cup of chocolate chips sprinkled on top.

browniemixinpan

The final product was a thin but delicious brownie. The fam loved them, and so did the chocoholic in me. They were gooey brownies with a deep chocolate taste. I knew anyone who received these as a gift from me and made them would be thrilled!

browniemixdone

Now that I knew they were delicious it was time to package them. I found some adorable printable baked good labels to download from TomKat Studio and matched them with pre-cut labels.

browniemixlabels

Aren’t they cute? I wrote the following instructions on them:

Whisk together dry ingredients. Add 2 eggs, ½ cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp. vanilla. Spray cooking spray on 8” x 8” pan. Add mixture and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Most of these gifts in a jar have more ingredients that are aesthetically pleasing for layering. So, to make up for that, you mix all the dry ingredients except for the cocoa. Then put half the dry ingredients in a pint-sized mason jar, next the cocoa, them the rest of the dry ingredients. Tap the jar on the counter between each addition to level it out. Put the chocolate chips in a snack sized bag and place them on top and put the lid on. Attach the label with a ribbon.

Here is the finished product.

browniemixjar

My daughter gave this one to a teacher of hers, and she loved it.

What do you think?

All told, this gift cost around $2.00. The value is in the time, effort and love that goes into the gift. That’s what I value in a gift.

Until next week, happy pinning!

Shelly

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Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper – Even Better Than the Original

I hate to admit this, but I really like Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper. It’s so cheesy and salty and gooey. And it reminds me of being a kid. And it’s easy and cheap. And sometimes I’m lazy and cheap.

But I hate buying processed food. It’s really not that good tasting, and it’s really not that good for you. The boxes are full of sodium and artificial flavors and colors. They usually don’t contain much in the way of fiber or nutrients. So, I like to cook from scratch as much as possible.

However, sometimes I still crave some particular packaged, processed food that I am especially fond of, like Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper. (I’m not alone on this, right, guys?) That’s why I was intrigued by this pin:

hamhelppin

It’s from the Daily Unadventures in Cooking blog. Visit this terrific blog for the recipe.

The recipe calls for ground beef, milk and pasta. We used the extra lean ground beef, skim milk and SmartTaste pasta, which is whole grain, to make the recipe as healthy as possible. The recipe also calls for hot smoked paprika. I didn’t have that, so we used regular paprika and a pinch of hot pepper. Here are all the ingredients I used.

hamhelping

The instructions said to use a Dutch oven, but I chose to cook everything except the pasta in a large skillet.

hamhelpcook

Because we used lean ground beef, we didn’t have as much fat left over as the recipe asked for, so we had to add some. We added about one third butter and two thirds olive oil.  Finishing it was easy enough.  We used two different types of pastas that we had left over – penne and egg noodles. They worked together well, but many pastas would work with this recipe.

hamhelpcooked

We didn’t add salt, but let everyone salt it to their tastes.

hamhelpserve

This recipe knocked it out of the park. The photo cannot reflect how delectable the dish is. Both the taste and texture is superior to Hamburger Helper. Even heated up the next day, it wasn’t dry and bland.

But heed my warning: You will eat too much of this! This homemade Hamburger Helper is wonderfully cheesy, gooey warm comfort food that is not bad for you, so it’s super addictive. I couldn’t stop myself!

Do you have a processed food that you love? Do you have a homemade version? Leave a comment to let us know.

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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Crockpot Mac and Cheese – Easy and Delicious

It is chilly here in Ohio! When it’s cold, snowy and dark by 5 p.m., like it is now, it makes me want to do the human version of hibernating – eat comfort food while snuggled under a fluffy blanket. And maybe take a nap.

My whole family is feeling the same way, especially my son whose favorite food is macaroni and cheese. That’s why this pin was irresistible:

crockpotmacpin

This recipe is from the Tip Garden blog.

Here are the instructions:

Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese

  • Cooking oil spray
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups preshredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • Spray the pot of the slow cooker or if using a liner bag, spray the bag well.  In a mixing bowl whisk together milk, evaporated milk, egg, salt and pepper. Pour milk mixture into the crockpot.  Add cheese and uncooked macaroni. Stir gently to mix.
  • Turn slow cooker on low and cook 3-4 hours, or until the custard is set and the macaroni is tender.  (Do not cook more than 4 hours, or the sides will begin to dry out).  Serve at once.

Best of all, this crockpot recipe is my favorite kind – dump all the ingredients in the crockpot and turn it on. No precooking noodles or sauces!

Here are the ingredients:

crockpotmacingred

The only advance prep is mixing the liquids together.

crockpotmacsauce

Then, into the crockpot it all goes.

crockpotmaccook

The macaroni and cheese was cooked to perfection in three hours. Unfortunately, my family got to the dish before I could take a pic. But I was able to capture the last few bites before they were gone.

crockpotmacdone

This macaroni and cheese was excellent – thick, creamy, and cheesy. I know this is going to be a family favorite. My son, our macaroni and cheese connoisseur, gave it a big thumbs up.

Next chilly night, make the family happy and cook up a pot of macaroni and cheese.

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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Chocolate Brownie Cupcake with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Icing – Rich and Yummy!

I have to admit that I am a sweets-aholic. That’s why this pin was too hard to resist.

browncuppin

Looks so good, am I right?

It comes from the Cooking Classy blog. Here are the instructions:

Brownie Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp milk
Cookie Dough Frosting
  • 10 Tbsp salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 2-3 Tbsp cream or half and half
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, light-brown sugar and cocoa powder. Pour in melted butter and use a wood spoon to stir until combine. Mix in eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in milk. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combine (batter will be thick).
  • Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups filling each about 2/3 full (about 1/4 cup batter in each). Bake in preheated oven 16 – 20 minutes (lesser for gooier brownies). Allow to cool in muffin tin several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely then frost with Cookie Dough Frosting. Store in an airtight container.
Cookie Dough Frosting
  • In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip together butter and light-brown sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 – 4 minutes. Mix in flour then add powdered sugar, vanilla, molasses and 2 Tbsp cream and blend together until smooth adding an additional 1 Tbsp of cream to thin if desired. Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Note that if you want a pipe-able frosting you will have to leave the chocolate chips out then simply add some of them to the top for garnish, otherwise they’ll just get clogged in the piping tips.

Here are the ingredients gathered.

browniecupingred

Here are all the dry ingredients mixed.

browniecupdry

When you add the wet ingredients, the batter is very thick.

browniecupmix

Here they are ready to go into the oven…

browniecupoven

And once they are done. Yum!

browniecupdone

Now on to the icing. The one modification I had to make was adding extra milk to thin the icing. But, don’t make it too thin; the thickness allows you to heap up the icing on top. Here is the icing with the chocolate chips ready to mix in.

browniecupicingchips

Now my daughter is ready to eat!

browniecupkaelin

These cupcakes are extremely rich and taste more like a brownie than a cupcake. Delicious! My daughter and I thought the icing was terrific. It tasted like eating cookie dough. Plus the recipe contains no eggs, so it’s safe to eat. Sugar and chocolate overload. I love it!

They look fabulous, too. When you show people these cupcakes, the first thing they do is give a delighted, “Ooooooo.” I would recommend serving them next time you have guests, for the wow factor.

browniecupfancy

The frosting recipe makes more than enough to ice the cupcakes, so you can really pile it on to give it that amazing appearance you see in the photo. The cupcake is really rich and so is the icing, and you  may decide to use less icing per cupcake if you want something less rich.

My son and husband didn’t like the icing. (There’s no accounting for some people’s tastes.) But my daughter, father and I all gave it a big thumbs up.

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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Apple Pie Salsa and Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla – Ay, Chihuahua!

I love dessert. I mean, I LOVE dessert, but I always feel guilty eating it. So, it makes me feel a little better when I incorporate fruit. Then I can tell myself it has real food value. You know, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, things like that. So, I was excited to come across this pin:

applepiesalsa

I was salivating just looking at the picture. And the apple bowl is so cute. Love it! The recipe comes from the Peach Kitchen blog. Here’s the recipe.

Apple Pie Dip & Cinnamon-Sugar Tortilla Chips

Ingredients:

2 cups peeled, cored, and diced apple
2 tbsp fresh lemon/calamansi juice
3 tbsp brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tsp water

♥ for the chips
5 (6-inch) wheat tortillas
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Directions:

  • You can either cook this on the stove-top or the microwave.
  • Combine all the dip ingredients in a small pan/ microwaveable bowl except the cornstarch-water mixture.
  • Heat for a few minutes until it’s boiling and has extracted juice from the apple.
  • Add cornstarch-water mixture to the “sauce”
  • Put back in the microwave/stove top until boiling and the sauce has thickened.
  • Set aside. You can serve this warm or chilled. It doesn’t matter. It will taste delicious.
  • Cut tortillas into desired size. {wedges}
  • Put in a slightly greased baking pan.
  • Brush the tortillas with butter.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and bake at 210º C until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Let them cool before serving and serve with the Apple Pie Dip.

I had bought a half bushel of some amazing Fuji apples at a local fruit farm, Lynd’s, when they were having their end of season sale. I always mourn when they close for the year. Don’t you just love the farmer’s markets? All that fresh local produce! Wonderful!

applesforsalsa

I started to chop up the apples with a knife, but then I decided that it was going to take a long time to slice enough apples to make two cups. So, I got out my handy-dandy veggie slicing tool.

appleslicing

This made the work much quicker. It resulted in apples cut into the shape of shoestring potatoes.

applessliced

It worked very well. After I got this to this size, I cut them across to produce small pieces. Here they are with all of the ingredients cooking on the stove.

applessimmering

I let the apples cook for at least 15 minutes at a low to medium temperature while I made the tortillas. They didn’t burn, and it made the apples nice and tender.

I cut the tortillas with four cuts, like a pizza or pie, making 8 pieces per tortilla. My daughter liked brushing on the butter. I also mixed the cinnamon and sugar together before sprinkling it on the buttered tortillas so that each tortilla would get an even amount of cinnamon and sugar. Here they are ready to go into the oven.

Cinnamon tortillas for apple pie salsa

I baked them for 12 minutes, but they never got golden brown. That could be because I didn’t use whole wheat tortillas. I was using up tortillas that I had left over from my baked chicken fajitas. Maybe next time I will try broiling them. I think that definitely would get them golden brown.

Here is the final product out of the oven.

cinnamontortillasbaked

And, yes, one is missing. My family can never wait!

Here is the apple pie salsa finished and ready to eat. Miracle of all miracles, it doesn’t have a dent in it. I actually got a picture before someone dug in.

applepiesalsafinished

This stuff was absolutely heavenly, despite the fact that I could not get the tortillas golden brown! Those Peach Kitchen people know what they are doing. My family could not eat this fast enough. I thought blood was going to be drawn over the last tortilla. I would say that of all the Pinterest recipes we have tried so far, this has been our favorite.

I would like to try it with whole wheat tortillas next time to boost the healthiness factor even more.

If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes.

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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Snowman Hot Chocolate Spoons

I can’t say the weather has been great for hot chocolate here in Ohio. It’s been unseasonably warm. But I still love hot chocolate, and it is December. So that’s excuse enough for me and my family!

When I came across this pin, I had to try it.

Snowmanspoonpin

It’s from the Getting Crafty’er blog. Adorable, huh?

Here are the ingredients we gathered.

snowspooningred

We melted the chocolate. It didn’t make much chocolate. So, to cover the spoons, you had to scoop the chocolate in the spoon then spin it around. Next you had to tap off the excess. Here is a picture of me coating a spoon. (Photo credit to my daughter Kaelin!)

snowmanspooncoat

And we didn’t even sneak any. Do you believe it? Hard!!

Next we added three small mini marshmallows, two mini chocolate chips as eyes, and a peanut butter chip hat. I will tell you that this is practically impossible without getting the melted chocolate on the marshmallows. In fact, my daughter and I began laughing and laughing because we kept getting little bits of chocolate on our finger and then we would get it on the marshmallows. So we would come up with a plausible explanation for what that brown chocolate smudge was. “The hat has a brown band around it,” or “That’s his pocket.”

snowmanspoondipped

Then the most difficult part–the coconut. At first I tried to find big enough shreds to go all the way across between the marshmallows, but then realized that there weren’t enough of those. I started using two pieces, one for each arm. Next, it was hard to get them not to fall down into the chocolate. You have to gently place them between the marshmallows and kind of squish the marshmallows together. I don’t know that I ever got the technique quite right.

Here are the final products.

snowmanspoons

They are definitely not perfect, but, boy, they were so much fun to make!

We also make the peanut butter and chocolate chip version. You melt the peanut butter chips the same way and then carefully place mini chocolate chips on the spoons. (Sprinkling them did not look nearly as good.)

pbspoons

Again, not perfectly beautiful, but delicious and fun to make. My daughter had a great time.

A friend of mine was sick with a bad cold, and I was running over some chicken broth to her. I knew these hot chocolate spoons would lift her spirits. I didn’t have cellophane, so I used a sandwich bag. (I’m a master at substituting what I have on hand.) I cut off the top where it seals. I only had purple curling ribbon, so I found some ribbon from a present that my parents gave me.

Here is the finished product.

snowmanspoonwrapped

She loved them. What a great inexpensive present and a fun family activity.

Stay warm, have some hot chocolate, and until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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Baked Chicken Fajitas – Fajitas without the Sizzling Mess

I love Mexican, and fajitas are some of the best in my opinion. Plus they are not half bad for you either. So, this pin looked tempting.

The pin came from Elizabeth Alejandro’s blog which she got from the Real Mom Kitchen blog. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 medium onion, sliced
1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced
12 flour tortillas
Toppings such as cheese, sour cream, and guacamole – if desired

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken strips in a greased 13×9 baking dish.
  • In a small bowl combine the oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt
  • Drizzle the spice mixture over the chicken and stir to coat.
  • Next add the tomatoes, peppers, and onions to the dish and stir to combine.
  • Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Serve on tortillas with desired toppings.

I gathered the supplies and thought I had everything I needed. Unfortunately, I found out I didn’t have cumin. I didn’t want to go to the store because it was time for the family to eat, so I made a substitution. I found that I had fajita seasoning, and it had cumin in it. So I substituted 1 teaspoon of fajita seasoning for the cumin. Since salt was the main ingredient of the fajita seasoning, I left the salt out.

To make the recipe even healthier, I used olive oil for the vegetable oil and I sprayed cooking spray in the dish instead of using grease. Both worked very well. Here is what it looked like going into the oven.

I put it in to bake and took it out at the end of the 20 minutes. My daughter immediately dished it out, took a bite and said it was gross. The chicken was still practically raw! It took 15 extra minutes of baking. So, total baking time was 35 minutes.

Then everyone dug in, and it was fabulous! The veggies cooked just right—not too crisp and not to soft. The spices were great and made the chicken flavorful but not overpowering or too hot.  Here’s what it looked like when finished. My family had already dug in. (One day, I’ll get a pic of my finished product before the hordes devour my dish!)

My husband made what he called a fajita sandwich.

It seems that every pin requires some type of modification to make it work, but so far with modifications, I end up with some terrific treats for me and my family. So, very worth it. What is your experience? Do you usually have to make some modifications when you try pins?

Happy pinning till next time!

Shelly

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Melting Snowman Cookies—A delicious Reese’s Cup taste in a super cute cookie

I was headed to my Aunt Susan’s for dinner, and I always like to make something baked that’s a really cute surprise for my cousins’ little ones. They are all in the four to ten year range, and that’s really an age that appreciates an adorable baked good. So when I found this pin, I knew it was perfect:

The recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens.

Plus, it was chocolate peanut butter and included Reese’s Cups. In my experience, those two factors pretty much guarantee success.

Here is the recipe:

Chocolaty Melting Snowmen

Yield: 20 cookies
Prep 50 mins
Bake 9 mins to 11 mins  per batch
Oven 350°

Ingredients

    • ½ cup shortening
    • ½ cup peanut butter
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • ½ cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 egg
    • 3 tablespoons milk
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla
    • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 pound vanilla-flavored candy coating, coarsely chopped
    • 20 bite-size chocolate-covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped
    • Brown and orange sprinkles or other candies and/or tinted frosting

 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in the granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in the cocoa powder and as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.

 2. Shape dough into twenty 1 3/4-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

 3. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are just firm. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

 4. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Place cooled cookies on prepared baking sheet. In a medium microwave-safe bowl microwave candy coating on 50% power for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Spoon melted coating over each cookie to cover cookie and resemble melted snow. While coating is still tacky, add a peanut butter cup for a top hat and decorate with sprinkles or other candies to resemble snowman faces (If using frosting to make snowman faces, add it when the candy coating is dry.) Let stand until set.

I gathered the ingredients and mixed. The recipe said that you might have to mix the last bit of flour by hand, but my mixer did just fine. Here’s what the batter looked like.

It’s nice and thick and easily forms into balls with your hand.

The recipe calls for 1 and ¾ inch balls of dough, which is bigger than I am used to making for the average cookie. But you will need a ball this size because they don’t spread out very much on baking, and you’ll need room for the decorations. So don’t skimp on the size of your dough ball. Here is a batch ready for the oven.

I know; they look like little poop balls, don’t they? But don’t worry; they will taste great!

Mine required 11 minutes in the oven. They come out looking like little piles of dirt. Not exactly pretty, but perfect for the finished melted-snowman-on-dirt look.

I couldn’t find orange and brown sprinkles separately, so I purchased rainbow sprinkles, then I dumped them out on to a plate and searched through them for ones that looked appropriately sized for long carrot noses and small brown eyes. Great job for the kids if you are doing it together as a project.

The recipe calls for a one pound package of vanilla candy melts, but the only size I could find was 12 ounces. Fortunately, that worked perfectly for covering the cookies. Plus I love Wilton’s candy melts. They always melt so well, and they taste terrific. Yum! Here they are after they melt. Don’t you just want to dig in with a spoon?!

I poured some on the first cookie, popped a Reese’s Cup and the sprinkles on, and this was my first cookie.

I decided the Reese’s Cup whole was way too large for the cookie, and I put the carrot nose on sideways so it looks like a smile.

So, I decided to cut the Reese’s Cups in half for the hat. That worked perfectly, so the rest of the cookies got half of a Reese’s each for their hat. Then I added the sprinkles. This was no small task because I was taking some high dose Prednisone for my chronic migraines, and it makes my hands shake like nobody’s business! Good thing it’s supposed to look kind of sloppy and off-kilter!

One problem was in dribbling the candy, it left dribble marks across the other cookies. I combated that problem by pouring the candy directly from the bowl onto the cookie instead of spooning it on. Also, it worked well to use the Reese’s Cup hat to smooth the icing out somewhat as you place it. That distributed the icing and erased some of the dribble marks. Here are the final products.

Not as perfectly decorated as the pin, for sure. But they still came out pretty cute.

These things are decadent. The cookies are really solid and rich. With the addition of the candy coating and the Reese’s Cup, it’s potent. They are awesome, but I couldn’t eat more than one at a time. My family disagreed with me on that, though. They loved them. We cut one in quarters to try before we took them. (I never take an untested dish to someone’s home. Did that once and it was a disaster!)

Not to brag (OK, I am), but they were the most popular dessert there. And I was up against three different pies, a chocolate cake and two other cookies. Not one cookie made it home. Everyone thought they were adorable.

Happy pinning till next time!

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