Saturday, April 3, 2010

Un-Baked Cookie Nests

Adapted from Kitchen Simplicity

Kids can: Fill the nests with coconut and eggs.

* 2 cups sugar
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1/2 cup butter
* 3 cups rolled oats
* 4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
* pinch salt
* 1 cup coconut
* 1 tsp. vanilla
* mini chocolate eggs and coconut, for decorating.

1. Bring sugar, milk and butter to a boil in a saucepan. Simmer 3 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients until well incorporated.
3. Spoon into lightly greased muffin cups (or use un-greased silicone muffin cups for easier removal). Using the back of a spoon press the mixture down in the middle and up along the sides, forming a nest. Allow to harden.
4. Using a knife, loosen the edges and gently pop out the nests.
5. Store covered at room temperature for up to two days. Freeze for longer storage.
6. To decorate: sprinkle with coconut and fill with mini eggs.

Makes: 12 large

* For a super cute alternative you could form these in mini muffin cups.

* If you would like to tint the coconut a certain color simply place it in a resealable plastic bag along with a few drops of food coloring. Massage and shake until evening distributed.

* You could use jelly beans or chocolate covered almonds for a different variety of eggs.

* To make the regular cookies simply drop the mixture by spoonfuls onto wax paper and allow to firm up.

Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispie Eggs

Adapted from Kitchen Simplicity

Kids can: Dip the eggs in chocolate and sprinkles.

* 1/4 cup butter
* 40 large marshmallows (5 cups mini or 250g)
* 1/2 tsp. vanilla
* 6 cups rice krispies
* 6 oz. baking chocolate
* sprinkles

1. Melt butter and marshmallows over low heat. Stir in vanilla. Remove from heat and add rice krispies. Stir until equally incorporated.
2. Using a greased 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop out some of the mixture and form into an egg. Set aside and repeat until all of the mixture has been used up.
3. Melt chocolate. Dip the tops into chocolate, then into sprinkles.
4. Store covered at room temperature for up to two days. Freeze for longer storage.

Makes: 24

* If you don’t want to go through the work of making the eggs. You could put the mixture into a greased 9×13 pan. Once it has set up, cut into bars and dip away. Still festive, less work.

* Dampen your hands with water before forming to stop the mixture from sticking to them.

Game: Easter Bunny Kisses

Adapted from

While bunnies are widely admired for their cute little noses, their lips don't seem to be mentioned much.

So when it comes time for bunnies to kiss, we believe they put their noses into action. All a bunny has to do to give a nice kiss is twitch a bunny-nose back and forth against another bunny's cheek.

Kids can easily duplicate a bunny kiss. One really doesn't need a specific reason to bunny kiss a family member, but here's a fun Easter-themed, bunny-kissing game for you. (It was the perfect diversion the other day when we were waiting, and my kids started to grow restless.)

Here's how to play:

Start off by announcing, "Anyone wearing black will now get a bunny kiss." Make sure to follow this announcement by bunny-kissing any child wearing black. Then the kids get a chance to pick the color that will warrant a bunny kiss from them.

(Even though it created a little rowdiness and one possibly disapproving stare, our family did have a lot of fun the other day.)

You can also introduce some vocabulary words and learning into this activity. Instead of doling out kisses based on color, you can use the words: plaid, gingham, and stripes. For older kids, you can teach other concepts: "If your age is the same as two times four, you're up for a B.K." or "If you can't name the capital city of Oklahoma before I count to ten, you're getting bunny kissed!"

We hope your family has a fun, festive weekend. (And one more thought: if any child has an noticeably runny nose, you might want to wear an apron or smock while playing this bunny-kissing game!)

Easter Egg Dying

Adapted from

Traditional Easter egg dye? Think again. With a fun, hands-on tissue-paper tinting technique, you never know what you'll get.

What you'll need: Hard-boiled eggs, bleeding art tissue, cups or bowls, water, scissors, crayons, and double-sided tape.

Make it:
Rainbow Stripes Tear tissue paper into strips and twist or fold to a narrow width. Wet tissue and wrap around the egg. Repeat with different colors. Leave strips on for 10 to 15 minutes, remove, and discard. Rest egg on paper towel until completely dry. Tip: For brighter color, leave strips on longer.

Crayon Resist Place a piece of crumpled tissue paper in the bottom of a cup or small bowl. Fill with hot water and stir to create a dye bath. (Mix tissue-paper colors together in dye bath to create new shades.) Draw your design on egg with crayon. Place egg in dye bath and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove egg and blot dry. Leave colored design intact, or rub off using paper towel if you want a white design. Rest egg on paper towel until completely dry.

Marbled Eggs Tear a piece of tissue in half. Crumple it, then unfold and wrap loosely around eggshell. Wet the tissue in spots, leaving some areas drier than others. (Dry areas will stay white, giving the egg a marbleized look.) Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove the tissue and blot dry. Rest egg on paper towel until completely dry.

Tape Resist Make stripes on the eggshell using 1/8-inch-wide double-sided tape. Place egg in dye bath (see crayon-resist instructions) and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove, blot dry, and remove tape. Rest egg on paper towel until completely dry.

Sheep-er by the Dozen

Adapted from

Fuzzy white baby socks and felt transform eggs into a fun flock.

What you'll need: Fuzzy white baby sock (0-6 months), scissors, tan felt, pink felt, tacky glue, two googly eyes, black embroidery floss, needle, two 1/2-inch white pom-poms.

Make it: Cut sock to 2 1/2 inches tall. Cut two outer ear pieces from tan felt and two inner ear pieces from pink felt using the templates. Glue the pink piece to the center of the tan piece and repeat for other ear. Once dry, glue ears to the sides of the sock, pink side down. Cut a circle 1 1/4 inches in diameter out of tan felt and glue to sock. Glue googly eyes on the circle and stitch an upper-case "Y" below the eyes with embroidery floss for the nose and mouth. Glue two 1/2-inch white pom-poms to the front bottom edge for the feet.

Easter Sock Crafts

Adapted from

Make Easter breakfast extra special with these charming bird and bunny cover-ups.

What you'll need: Baby socks (0-6 months), scissors, two contrasting colors of felt, tacky glue, two googly eyes, thread, hairspray, one 5-mm white pom-pom, three 1/2-inch white pom-poms.

Make it: Cut sock to 2 1/2 inches tall. Then cut the inner and outer ear pieces from felt using templates. Cut a 1/4-inch slit in the middle of the base of the outer ear, then glue inner ear just above cut. Place a dot of glue toward the base of the ear, pinch sides together, and hold until glue sticks. Glue ears to the top of the sock. Glue two googly eyes to the sock. Cut three 2-inch pieces of thread for the whiskers. Spray with hairspray to stiffen, and let dry. Gather the stiffened threads together in the center and attach with a dot of glue just below the eyes. While glue is wet, press small white pom-pom on top for the nose. To make paws, glue two 1/2-inch white pom-poms to the front bottom edge; glue one on the back for the tail.

What you'll need: Baby socks (0-6 months), scissors, eyes, orange felt, tacky glue, feathers, orange chenille stems.

Make it: Cut sock to 2 1/2 inches tall. Glue two googly eyes to the front of the sock. Cut a small triangle from orange felt and glue under the eyes for the beak. Glue several feathers to each side of the sock and trim to desired length. Cut six 3/4-inch pieces of chenille stem to make the feet. Twist three pieces together at one end and glue to the front of the sock. Repeat for the other foot.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cookie Monster Day - Nov 2

November 2nd is Cookie Monster Day and here's a recipe for some very cute cupcakes.

Cookie Monster Cupcakes

For cupcakes:
2 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 c. buttermilk, at room temperature
24 oreos, one side twisted off and reserved for frosting

For filling:
2/3 c. whipping cream
1 Tbsp powdered sugar (I just pulsed some granulated sugar in a mini food processor)
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c. oreo cookie crumbs, made from reserved oreo sides

For decoration:
1 recipe buttercream, tinted blue
1 small container of blue sugar sprinkles, place in a small bowl for dipping
white candy melts
oreos, halved with sharp knife

-Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
-Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan.
-Place one oreo in each liner, cream side up.
-In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
-In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth.
-Gradually add the brown sugar and continue beating until fluffy.
-Beat in the vanilla.
-Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
-Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour, beating after each addition.
-Divide the batter between the prepared liners.
-Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, 19 to 24 minutes.
-Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.
-Let the cupcakes cake cool completely before filling and frosting.
-Meanwhile, make filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff.
-Gently fold in the cookie crumbs.
-Scoop the mixture into a piping bag (or gallon sized Ziploc bag), and using a 1M tip, inject filling into each cupcake by sticking the tip into the middle of the cupcake and squeezing a bit.
-Frost the cupcakes with blue buttercream.
-Dip tops into blue sprinkles.
-Use white candy melts for eyes and half oreos for mouths.

Yields 24 cupcakes
Adapted from Good Things Catered