Tag Archives: treat

DIY Envelope Advent Calendar

DIY Envelope Advent Calendar | Revamperate DIY Envelope Advent Calendar | RevamperateAs a kid, I always looked forward to December, knowing that my mom always had an advent calendar with a chocolate or other treat for every day of the month. Having an advent calendar (and having the Christmas tree up the whole month) made it feel like Christmas lasted so much longer. This truly is my favorite time of year, and now that it’s finally December 1st, I feel like it’s finally appropriate to share almost an entire month of Christmas DIYs and recipes. Get ready for it!

Advent calendars aren’t just for kids anymore – I made this one to hang on our wall with a piece of candy for Andrew or I to enjoy every day (because adults love candy too). This is a pretty easy advent calendar DIY, and it will be easily collapsable and reusable in coming years.

You need:

  • 8 very thin, 12-inch wooden dowels
  • Thick string
  • 24 small envelopes
  • Large number stamps
  • 2 different colored stamp pads
  • 24 clothes pins
  • Candy (or other type of small treat)

DIY Envelope Advent Calendar | Revamperate DIY Envelope Advent Calendar | Revamperate DIY Envelope Advent Calendar | RevamperateFirst, tie the string in a knot around the end of one wooden dowel. Then wrap the string around it several more times, tie it again and let out about 3-4 inches of strong before repeating the process with another dowel. You want to leave enough room for an envelope to hang between each layer and tie the string about a half inch from the end of the dowel. Repeat as you go down the layers, tying 8 dowels together with room in between. Then it gets a little tougher…

Use the same steps to tie together the opposite ends of the dowels. Measure as you go, and hold up the top dowel to make sure you leave even spacing in between the dowels. After all, you don’t want your calendar to hang crookedly. When you reach the end, cut a one foot long piece of string, and securely tie each end to the top dowel. This will be what your calendar hangs from, so make sure you’ve tied it extra tight.

Use your stamps to stamp large numbers on the front of the envelope bags in alternating colors – I chose red and white against my brown envelopes. You can also use small bags instead of envelops – mine were more envelope-like. I found all of my items at Michaels (you can see similar stamps here or small bags here).DIY Envelope Advent Calendar | Revamperate DIY Envelope Advent Calendar | RevamperateUse the clothespins to hang the envelopes so that about three will fit on each dowel. Most likely, you will have to clamp the bag directly on the dowel to ensure it will hold once it has some weight in it. Put a piece of candy or other type of treat in each bag and hang it on a wall or door. It adds to your Christmas decor and offers a fun way to countdown to Christmas!

I’m so excited to share more Christmas DIYs in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

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Mini Cheesecake Fruit Pies

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A while back I found cheesecake flavored pudding on clearance at Target. At the time I had no idea what I would do with cheesecake flavored pudding, but it was on clearance, so I obviously had to buy it.

Now here I was months later with cheesecake pudding, and I thought it was about time I used it for something. Thus, I made these mini fruit pies with cheesecake pudding filling.

To make these little pies, you’ll need:

  • Strawberries, blueberries or other fruit
  • One package of cheesecake flavored pudding
  • Low fat or nonfat milk
  • Two rollout pie crusts
  • Powdered sugar
  • Mini cupcake baking pan
  • Whisk or electric mixer
  • Round cutter, approximately 3 inches
  • Rolling pin

First, wash and cut your fruit. Then mix your pudding per the package’s directions. It should say something like, add one cup of milk to mix and whisk quickly for two minutes until pudding starts to thicken. Then pop it in the fridge for a little bit to help it thicken while you create the crusts.

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Preheat the oven per the package’s instructions. Mine called for 450 degrees. Roll out the crusts onto a cookie sheet or cutting board and use a round cutter to cut circles from the dough. I used the top from an old hot chocolate can to cut my circles. Stuff the circles carefully inside the cupcake pan, making sure there are no holes in the dough. You should be able to get all 24 pies out of your dough.

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Bake the pie crusts according to their directions or for approximately 7 minutes. They should be lightly browned. Take them out to cool.

The crusts should come out of the pan fairly easily. Use a spoon to fill each with pudding, add a few pieces of fruit to each and garnish with a sprinkle of powdered sugar!

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And there you have it – bite sized pieces of heaven. The best part is they’re not that bad for you as desserts go. My coworkers ate them up and they made an excellent dessert the next day when my boyfriend’s sister came over for dinner.

S’more Brownie Bars

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I love s’mores and I love brownies, so I thought it was about time I put them together into one delicious treat – thus s’more brownie bars were born!

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For this dish, you’ll need:

  • Graham crackers, approx. 10-12
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Melted butter, 6 tbs
  • Fudge brownie mix (Ghirardelli Triple Fudge Brownie Mix is my first choice)
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Cooking spray
  • Food processor
  • Medium-large baking pan.

First, preheat the oven according to your brownie packaging instructions. 350 degrees should be the average.

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While the oven heats, make the graham cracker crust by breaking up 10-12 graham crackers, and adding approximately 2 tbs of sugar into a food processor. Grind until the mixture is very fine. I did this a few crackers at a time to ensure they were as fine as possible. Place the crumbs into a large bowl while you melt 6 tbs of butter. Pour this into the bowl and stir together with a spoon or spatula. I find that it’s easier to add a little bit at a time as you try to stir it all together. The mixture should be able to stick together when pressed. If necessary, add a small amount of water to get the right texture.

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Spray the bottom and sides of the pan with cooking spray. Then press the graham cracker mixture to the bottom of the pan, covering it completely and assuring that it is pressed together firmly. Set the pan aside and begin mixing the actual brownies.

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Mix the brownies according to the directions on the package – eggs, oil, water, etc. I prefer the Ghirardelli Triple Fudge Brownie Mix because it has a fudge packet that not only makes the brownies more rich, it adds necessary moisture to the finished dessert.

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When completely mixed, carefully spread over the graham cracker crust. Do this carefully because the crust is quite fragile when not cooked and will fall apart easily by sticking to the brownie mix. Then pop the brownies in the oven according to the directions on the package, which should be anywhere from 30-40 minutes, depending on your choice of bakeware.

Halfway through baking, pull the pan out and lay the mini marshmallows on top, covering the surface without overlapping too much. Pop the dish back in the oven for the remaining time. You want to add the marshmallows after the brownies have been baking for a while to ensure that the marshmallow topping does not overcook but browns slightly. You’ll also notice that the marshmallows swell up in size in the oven, which can be alarming, but have no fear – when they cool, the topping flattens.

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When you take the brownies out of the oven, let them cool for at least several minutes before attempting to cut them. You may also have to scrape the sides of the marshmallow down because it is extremely sticky. But they are done and ready for eating!

Note that because the marshmallow top is SO sticky, layering the brownies on top of each other makes them difficult to get apart. Good luck getting all of the marshmallow off of your hands and enjoy!

Oreo Cookie Truffles

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After my last experiment with truffle making, I thought it was time for a little more practice. These Oreo truffles are pretty easy to make, and they disappear quickly, if you know what I mean.

I tried this with three different dipping types – white candy melts, peanut butter candy melts and white chocolate chips. The easiest to dip were the white chocolate chips because I was able to dilute the chocolate with vegetable oil. I have not had enough practice with candy melts yet to master melting them properly.

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You’ll need:

  • One package of Oreos (I guess you could use a knock-off brand)
  • An 8-oz package of cream cheese, thawed
  • One bag of candy melts or white chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Food processor
  • Spatula
  • Rolling pin

First, set aside four to five cookies without cream filling. This will be used for decoration later.

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Put the remaining cookies and those additional cream fillings broken up slightly in the food processor. Grind them as fine as possible in the food processor. If there are still a lot of large pieces like there were in mine, lay the crumbs out on a cookie sheet or sheet of wax paper and use the rolling pin to break them up as much as possible.

Put the Oreo crumbs in a large bowl, and use a spatula or a large spoon to mix in the cream cheese. Mix well.

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Use your hands to form small bite-sized balls and lay them out on a sheet of aluminum foil or wax paper. Put them in the fridge for about 30 minutes. This will help prevent them from breaking apart when you dip them.

While they cool in the fridge, prepare the Oreo topping. Grind up the cookies you put aside in the food processor as fine as possible. Use the rolling pin to smash them again if necessary. Set aside.

Melt your candy melts or white chocolate according to the directions on the package, or for white chocolate chips, melt approximately one cup in a microwave-safe bowl with one teaspoon of vegetable oil. How much you use will be based on preference, so double the amounts if necessary.

Create a dipping tool by breaking off two prongs of a four-prong plastic fork. Place the Oreo truffle ball on the tool and dip into the chocolate or candy coating. When completely covered, lay back on the wax or aluminum sheet. Depending on how they look, you may want to double dip them. If you want to dip them again, put them in the fridge first to harden before attempting a second coat. If you’re satisfied, sprinkle the Oreo cookie crumbs on top for a decorative look.

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Once they cool and harden, they’re ready to eat!

Keep in mind that because these truffles have cream cheese, it is best to refrigerate them when they’re not being devoured. The hard candy coating will not melt, but the white chocolate coating might, so it’s also best to keep them refrigerated if you use white chocolate chips.

Enjoy! And stay tuned for my next adventure in treat making and decorating!

Girl Scout Tagalong Cookie Truffles

IMG_3741 Who doesn’t love Girl Scout cookies, right? I grew up as a Girl Scout, so I’d always try to beg my mom to buy enough to survive on for the rest of the year. Even know, during Girl Scout cookie season, I will always have a cookie-stocked pantry. Hence the dawn of baking with Girl Scout cookies. Of all the things I could do with them, I decided to make truffles.

This recipe only makes ten truffles, so double up if you want more!

IMG_3697 You’ll need:
6 or more Tagalong cookies (or knockoffs)
1/4 cup peanut butter
Bar of baking chocolate
2 1/2 ounces cream cheese

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First, grind up the cookies in a food processor. Move the mixture to a bowl and use the back of a spoon to crush any remaining crunchy pieces. Because of the soft chocolate coating, the cookies would not grind very finely in my ancient food processor. Add in approximately 1/4 cup of peanut butter and 2 1/2 ounces of cream cheese. Use a spoon or spatula to mix everything together. It should be somewhat smooth but still thick.

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Form balls with your hands and place them on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper or aluminum foil. Then melt the bar of baking chocolate according the instructions on the package. Dip each ball into the chocolate and lay back on the cookie sheet. Refrigerate until the chocolate has solidified.

While their cooling, microwave a tablespoon of peanut butter in a small bowl. 30 seconds is all you need. Mix it well. It should be very thin. Using a spoon, gently pour a little bit of the peanut butter over the truffles and put them back in the refrigerator.

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Ta-da! All done and they taste delicious…obviously, since they’re made with Girl Scout cookies.

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