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Homemade Butterfingers Bars

Homemade Butterfingers Bars Homemade Butterfingers BarsYou know what’s great about Halloween (besides costumes and decorations)? Candy! Especially when it’s half off after Halloween.

Fun fact about me – I absolutely love candy corn, something that most people don’t usually like. As I was looking up things to make with candy corn (because there’s such a limited window that you can find the stuff), I came across something a little surprising. Did you know you can make butterfingers with candy corn?! Immediately I knew I had to try it.

The best thing about this recipe is how easy it is with only three ingredients.

To make about 12 mini bars, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup (8 oz) of candy corn
  • 1 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips

On the stove, melt the peanut butter and candy corn together on low or medium-to-low heat. Stir continuously as the candy corn begins to soften and melt. I found it easier to put the peanut butter in first because the candy corn gets so sticky against the pot when melting.

When the mixture is completely melted and stirred together, it should have a thick consistency. Remove from heat. Lightly spray a square or rectangular pan with cooking spray, and use a spatula to spread the mixture into the pan. Press down and into the corners of the pan until it is flat and about ½ inch thick (much like you would with rice krispie treats). If it is not enough to fill your pan, simply use the spatula to make the end as straight as possible.

Let it sit until it is completely cool, and use a sharp knife to cut small bars out of the pan. I made mine about 1 inch wide and 3 inches long.Homemade Butterfingers BarsMelt the chocolate chips on defrost mode for about 40 seconds, then stir, and repeat in 10-20 second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted. If needed, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the chocolate to thin it out a little. Use a fork to dip the butterfingers centers in chocolate and set on a piece of parchment paper to harden.Homemade Butterfingers Bars Homemade Butterfingers Bars Homemade Butterfingers BarsJust like that you have delicious bite sized butterfingers! Not only are they so simple to make, they actually do taste like the real thing, and I bet you never thought candy corn would be the secret ingredient in butterfingers. You’ll never buy a butterfingers from the store again. Enjoy!

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Mini Banana Bread Loaves

DSC_1032 DSC_1007One of my favorite things my mom used to make when I was a kid was banana bread. She always made it so soft, and I could have eaten the entire loaf in one sitting if she’d have let me. I figured it was about time I finally perfect my own recipe, so here it is in miniature form.

I bought these cute little miniature loaf pans a while back, and I’ve been waiting for the right recipe for them. This banana bread turned out to be the perfect fit, so this recipe makes two miniature loafs, but you could easily double it if you wanted to or use a larger pan!

Your ingredients:

  • 2 bananas, very ripe
  • 1/4 cup of butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Splash of lemon juice (optional)

Mash up the bananas and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat together the softened butter and sugar until creamy. Add in the egg, bananas, lemon juice and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, and continue to mix until everything is well-combined.

Spray each pan with cooking spray, and pour the batter between the two. Bake on 350 degrees for 32-36 minutes until the edges begin to brown, and use a toothpick to check if the bread has cooked through. Let cool on a cooling rack until you can remove the loafs from the pans.DSC_1014 DSC_1028My favorite thing about banana bread is the middle – the part that is least cooked and always moist and soft. There is nothing worse that hard or dry banana bread, and with this recipe, you shouldn’t have that problem. Now, get baking and enjoy! This bread is delicious with a little bit of Nutella on top!

Mummy Rice Krispie Treats

DSC_1077 DSC_1042Halloween is almost here, and when it comes down to the last minute, it’s nice to have a couple easy-to-make treats ready for parties or other get-togethers. These white chocolate mummy rice krispie treats won’t take up too much of your time and they’ll be a huge hit with anyone you offer them to because, honestly, everyone loves rice krispie treats!

Your ingredients (makes about 12 treats):

  • 5 cups of rice krispie cereal (I used a generic brand)
  • 1 bag (10 oz) of mini marshmallows
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 bag of white chocolate chips
  • Black candy melts (only need a couple pieces)
  • Piping bag with small tip

First, melt your butter on low heat and slowly add marshmallows as you continue to stir. I like using mini marshmallows because I think they’re easier to melt and work with. Once you’ve melted together the entire bag, pour over the rice krispie cereal in a separate bowl and mix with your hands or a spatula. I like my rice krispie treats gooey and extra marshmallow-y. If you prefer a different ratio, mix in another cup of cereal.DSC_1098When well mixed and still warm, press the mixture firmly into a pan, pressing into the sides. They should be about an inch thick. Let them cool and use a sharp knife to cut them into rectangles (and maybe eat one or two as you go). Set the treats out onto a piece of parchment paper to decorate them.

Melt the bag of white chocolate chips in a bowl on defrost mode for 30 seconds, stir and continue to melt in 15 second intervals until completely melted. Move the chocolate into a piping bag with a small tip (you can also use a squeeze bottle but I find them to be unreliable). With your piping bag, dispense the chocolate across the rice krispie treats in no particular pattern (I went diagonally one way and then the other to cross the chocolate), leaving just a little uncovered portion at the top where I would put eyes for the mummy.

DSC_1094 DSC_1085Let the chocolate harden, which it will pretty quickly, and microwave several pieces of black candy melts in a small bowl using the same melting method. With a toothpick, create eyes on each treat by dipping into the candy and sticking into the cereal a couple times until the eyes are defined (probably easier that I make it sound). With that, your mummies are complete once all of the chocolate has dried.

Cinnamon French Toast Muffins

DSC_0924Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Honestly, when I go to bed at night, I dream of breakfast. When I lived at home, my mom even used to make fun of me because I knew exactly what I wanted for breakfast by the time I got out of bed in the morning. In fact, breakfast is probably the reason I get out of bed (well, breakfast and Andrew and Oliver). That’s how much I love breakfast, and french toast is my number one choice every single time, so here’s a quick way to have french toast every morning, without needing to wake up extra early to make it.

To make 12 of these delicious french toast muffins, you’ll need:

  • Cinnamon swirl bread (approx. 10 pieces, cut into 1/2 inch cubes) without crust
  • 1 cup of low-fat milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter
  • 2 tbs brown sugar (set 1 tbs aside)
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Maple syrup

DSC_0881First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the crust from your cinnamon bread and cut it into 1/2 cubes. Beat your eggs and slowly add in milk and melted butter in a separate bowl. Whip in vanilla and 1 tbs of brown sugar until well-mixed.

Spray your muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and divide the bread pieces between the trays. Pour about 1/4 cup of mixture on top. You don’t want to drown the bread because it will end up soggy, so less is better – just enough to wet each piece. Sprinkle some brown sugar on top before baking.DSC_0891 DSC_0886Bake for 25-35 minutes until tops are slightly browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. You don’t want the insides to be mushy!DSC_0929Leave them to cool inside the pan on a cooling rack until they are cool enough to handle. Serve warm and topped with powdered sugar, drizzled in maple syrup for best results!

You can also save these in an airtight container and pop in a microwave or toaster oven for a few minutes to reheat throughout the week.

*Tip: You can also try a similar recipe as a casserole!

Orange Buttercream Frosting Pumpkins on Chocolate Cupcakes

DSC_0941It’s almost Halloween, which means it’s time to get down to business and start throwing out themed treats. Designing with candy melts can be tough sometimes, but here’s one super simple way to show off Halloween themed cupcakes without needing superb candy melt decorating skills (because I don’t have those yet either).

What comes to mind when you think of Halloween? Or October? Or fall? Pumpkins, of course. So here’s one simple way to incorporate pumpkins into your autumn treats with orange flavored buttercream frosting, rich chocolate cupcakes, and a little bit of green candy melts. First, gather your ingredients:

For the cake:

  • Boxed mix (I used Duncan Heins Devils Food Cake)
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil

For the frosting/pumpkins:

  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp orange flavoring
  • Orange gel food coloring
  • Green candy melts

Start by mixing your cake according to the box’s instructions and bake inside of cupcake liners.

While they bake, mix your frosting by mixing the softened butter and vanilla until smooth and slowly add the powdered sugar, mixing as you go until it is creamy and still pretty stiff. Add about 2 tsp of orange flavoring (try one at first, taste and decide from there) and about 6 drops of orange gel coloring, and continue to mix until the color is evenly distributed. It’s important to use gel coloring so that it does not change the frosting’s texture.

When your cupcakes are done baking, leave on a cooling rack to cool completely. In the meantime, melt your green candy by microwaving  a couple pieces (you don’t need very much) in a bowl on the defrost setting for about 30 seconds. Stir and continue to heat in 10-15 second intervals until it is completely melted. Then, move the candy into a squeeze bottle or a piping bag with a very small tip.

*Pro tip: You can totally use a regular plastic ziplock bag with the tip cut off to do this if you don’t have a bottle or piping bag.

DSC_0948DSC_0952Carefully pipe the melted candy into multiple curved pumpkin stems on a piece of waxed paper until they are about 1/4 inch wide and 1 inch tall. If you have the hang out it, try making the stems thicker on the bottom like a real pumpkin stem might be. Let them cool and harden.

Once your cupcakes are cool, pipe or  spread the orange frosting onto the tops with a large circular tip or a spatula.

Carefully peel the pumpkin stems off of the waxed paper, and stick them into the tops of each of your cupcakes for a delicious, orange and chocolate flavored pumpkin! Stay tuned for a couple more Halloween inspired DIYs and treats. Enjoy!

Reese’s Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

DSC_0948 DSC_0958You know what’s better than brownies? Brownies with frosting. And what’s even better than that? Brownies with Reese’s peanut butter cups melted in and peanut butter frosting on top! These are peanut butter heaven in a cupcake mold.

I’m still perfecting my from-scratch cake baking, so this one uses boxed brownie mix, which makes the process much simpler and just as delicious. For more on baking from scratch, stay tuned! I’m practicing to get them just right.

Your brownie cupcake ingredients:

  • 1 box of brownie mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cuvegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 bag Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped

Your frosting ingredients:

  • 1 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp milk (optional)

First, mix your brownies according to the package’s directions. Mix in your cut-up Reese’s and divide the batter into your lined cupcake pan until the cups are 2/3 full.DSC_0937Bake according to the package’s instruction. I baked mine on 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Use a toothpick to determine if they’ve baked all the way through.

While the brownies bake, begin mixing your frosting. Mix together the softened butter and the packed creamy peanut butter until they are completely blended. Beat in the vanilla extract and slowly add in the sugar. Continue beating for several minutes until the frosting becomes smooth no longer grainy. Only add the milk if it needs a little more moisture to change the texture.DSC_0951 DSC_0949Once the cupcakes have completely cooled on the cooling rack, top them with this deliciously sweet and creamy peanut butter frosting and garnish with chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups. Enjoy!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting

Homemade Cream Cheese FrostingHomemade Cream Cheese FrostingGuys, it’s finally getting cold around here. I can sleep with a blanket at night, which means life is GOOD. It also means I can bake more often without turning my entire apartment into an oven.

Tuesday was my manager’s birthday, so I brought in these cupcakes Monday to celebrate. We embarrassed her by singing her Happy Birthday, but that’s a birthday pain we all have to endure, right?

I brought in these red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for everyone to celebrate because, honestly, who wouldn’t love homemade cream cheese frosting? In my opinion, cream cheese frosting (or frosting in general) is always better when it’s homemade, but the red velvet cake is from a box (I took is easy this time around).

Cupcake ingredients (24 cupcakes):

  • 1 box of Red Velvet cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water

Frosting ingredients:

  • 2 packages of 8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

First, mix your cake according to the instructions on the box. (easy peezy, right?) Pop the batter into your cupcake tins (2/3 full) for about 15-18 mins, depending on your mix instructions.Homemade Cream Cheese FrostingWhile they bake, mix your frosting. Mix together your softened cream cheese and butter until well mixed. Add in vanilla and sift in the sugar as you continue to mix for several minutes. This will keep help you achieve the right texture. Pop the frosting in fridge until your cupcakes are cooled enough to pipe the frosting. You’ll want to use a wide frosting tip for these.Homemade Cream Cheese FrostingHomemade Cream Cheese FrostingTake it slow with your frosting and when you’re finished, keep the cupcakes in the fridge until they’re ready to eat. These combinations will make the perfect cupcake-to-frosting ratio. Enjoy!