Easter is almost upon us! Growing up, my mom always assembled the BEST Easter baskets for me and my brother. His would be filled with chocolates and mine would contain all of my favorite fruit-flavored items, plus a stuffed animal or two. My mom used to pull together similar packages for us for Valentine’s Day, too. I miss those, but from time to time, we still get surprise packs by mail. :)
The little spring chickies above make adorable cupcakes. I used Pillsbury’s Orangesicle cake mix for my base and yellow sugar, candy orange slices, white chocolate chips, black icing and lemon icing to craft these creatures. The roomie plans to take some to her family’s holiday get together tomorrow.
- Cake mix – 1 Box
- Eggs – 3
- Canola oil
- Yellow sugar
- Lemon icing
- Black icing
- White chocolate chips
- Candy orange slices
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake mix as directed on the package.
2. Pour cake mix into lined cupcake molds and bake for approximately 18-22 minutes. Allow cupcakes time to cool.
3. Frost cupcakes with lemon icing. Then roll frosted cupcakes in yellow sugar.
4. Divide each candy orange slice into 3 sections – 1 to make the beak and 2 for the feet. Make 2 small cuts into each of the feet pieces to give a “zig zag” effect. Use a dab of icing to secure feet and beak pieces to base.
5. Place chocolate chips upside down to create eyeballs and a black tube of icing to create pupils. Plop two dollops of lemon icing on sides of cupcakes to make mini wings. (To do this, I used my Cuisinart cookie press and an icing tip.) And that’s it! You’ve now created some super sugary chicken feed. :-P
In addition to celebrating Thanksgiving this year, I also celebrated Friendsgiving. One of the best things about potlucks, (besides having another reason to try out a new recipe,) is the amount of food available to nibble on! Inevitably, people end up bringing SO MUCH YUM that there is enough to take a plate of leftovers home. Check out a sampling of this year’s spread below. (This was probably about 1/3 of the feast.)
This year for Friendsgiving, I decided to bring a bowl of spicy sweet potato fries…and apple pie cookies. As you’ll see by the ingredients list below, essentially these cookies really ARE miniature pies. Once they’ve baked, they ooze out apple-caramel goodness, and there’s a hint of extra sweetness with the cinnamon sugar coating dusted on top of the “lattice-like” crust. They’re perfect to take to a fall/winter holiday occasion, but really, I think they’d also make a fun dessert in the summer, too.
- Frozen pie crusts – 1 box
- Apple pie filling – 1 can
- Caramel sauce – 1 cup
- Circle cookie cutter (I used a 2.5″ cookie cutter from Sur La Table which yielded ~18 cookies.)
- Cinnamon and sugar – 1 tablespoon of each
- Egg – 1
- Parchment paper
- Flour – just enough to sprinkle on the crusts to keep them from sticking to the parchment paper
1. Sprinkle flour on 1 pie crust and roll it out on a piece of parchment paper. (I also rolled out my 2nd pie crust at the same time on a separate sheet of parchment paper, to ensure it was the same size. You’ll need it later to top your pie cookies!) Squeeze out caramel sauce on crust, and spread with a brush, using just enough to coat crust with a thin layer. (I used a squeeze bottle of Sundae Syrup, but you can also find caramel topping in a jar.)
2. Pour out pie filling on cutting board and chop it into bite-size pieces. Spread topping on crust.
3. Cut 2nd pie crust into strips and weave into a lattice pattern. (I love my little pizza cutter guy…he doubled as a pie crust cutter for this recipe!)
4. Dip circle cookie cutter in egg wash and cut out pie cookies. Arrange on cookie sheet. Brush some extra egg wash on cookie tops and add a dusting of cinnamon and sugar mixture.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes and then allow time to cool. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Oh, Bite It!
One of these things is not like the others…but is definitely still super delicious. :) (I had just talked myself out of eating some of our leftover Halloween candy when my roomie walked in with a new batch of seasonally appropriate sweets.)
In related news, my roomie was at it again last night, decorating our apartment for the holidays. The santa I’ve affectionately dubbed “Kitchen Claus” has made his jolly return. It’s almost time to play round two of Spot the Santas!
Earlier this month, a friend and I moseyed over to the Renegade Craft Fair in search of holiday gifts for our friends…and ourselves. ;)
Apparently, the fair started in Chicago in 2003, and has since expanded to other select cities, too, including BK. (Brooklyn in the house!)
The holiday market was a super cozy affair, hosted in a building that felt like an old school gymnasium, with high ceilings, tiled and wooden floors and winding, narrow hallways. Despite having to struggle through some of the crowds, the close-knit feel of the setting made it fun to explore. Everywhere you turned, you were greeted by a festive explosion of crafts from 100+ indie makers.
Plus they also had a super cool DIY gift wrapping station to stamp and decorate your purchases.
I ended up snagging a pair of earrings from uncommon handmade.
I also bought my dad, our family’s master of desserts, (seriously, Thanksgiving just isn’t a holiday without his pumpkin pie,) a fitting “evil pie” print by Paul Friedrich.