25 Days of Christmas Fun: Christmas Tree Cupcakes

We thought it would be fun to start doing a post each night about a fun Christmas craft, recipe, family tradition and all things holly jolly.
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Aren’t these the most adorable Christmas tree cupcakes? I thought they were so cute. I think they would be so fun to make with my kids. I’ve included step by step instructions below for your convenience.

 

Ingredients

CHRISTMAS TREE CUPCAKES

Yields: 24 Cupcakes / Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 box white cake mix (plus required ingredients listed on the box, i.e. eggs, oil & water)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons milk
White Sugar Sprinkles
Round Colored Sprinkles
Green Food Coloring
Sugar Cones

Directions:

1. Prepare cake batter according to box directions and bake in cupcake pan using liners.

2. While cupcakes cool, make frosting. Start by using an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract. Pour in milk and beat for an additional 3 minutes.

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3. Place two cups of white frosting in a piping bag with a round frosting tip. Mix green food coloring in remaining frosting until you reach desired shade of green.

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4. Place one sugar cone upside down onto each cupcake. Using a butter knife, spread a thin layer of green frosting to completely coat each cone.

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5. Fill a piping bag with remaining green frosting and use a small closed star frosting tip to make Christmas tree branches. Start at the top and turn the cupcake, continuing adding branches to fill the entire cone.

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6. Using the white frosting, pipe a thick layer around the bottom of the cone to look like snow.

7. Add white sprinkles to the “snow” and add round colored sprinkles to the “tree”.

Don’t miss out on any of our nightly posts in our 25 Days of Christmas Fun Series. Join us tomorrow night for more Christmas Fun!

 

Easy Minecraft Cake & Creeper Cupcakes

Easy Minecraft Cake & Creeper Cupcakes

(Seriously – the easiest ever)

Hi guys,  Jamie here!  It’s Birthday Eve for my nearly 10 year old, and I’m getting ready to bake my second Minecraft cake in as many years.   I’m scrolling through images online of Marzipan Steves and meticulously placed fondant pixels – and feeling a little worried this time around.  See, last year I was able to get away with the easiest, most cheater cake in the history of cheater cakes.  This year – I’ll have to do something different, new and not  completely dependent on Hershey bars….

But if you’re looking for an incredibly easy Minecraft Cake, I hope this helps you!

{Please excuse the terrible pictures – I would tell you the long sad tale of how I lost two years of photos except for what’s on my Instagram account – but that is a story no one wants to hear (not even me).}

To make a Minecraft cake that looks like a Creeper – just bake a rectangular cake according to the directions.  Then dye a can of icing green and spread it across the cake.  And lastly, use a few Hershey Bars to create the Creeper’s face.

There’s not really an exact science to this – but I will say it helped to plan my chocolate face out on paper before I started breaking it into sections.  Those Creeper jowels can be a little tricky ;)

minecraft-cupcakes

 

For the Creeper Cupcakes, we thought we were fancy for a quick minute and bought a box of black fondant.  FAIL.

It was difficult to work with, sticky, tasted terrible – and didn’t look half as good as a perfectly delicious Hershey bar would’ve.  So my advice – stick with Hershey – he won’t do you wrong.

The good news is, that both of these are easy enough for your child to help you decorate.  My son was thrilled to be able to decorate the cupcakes for his class all by himself – I’m sure he was proud to tell them all that he’d made the faces :)

 

Check out more Dessert Recipes!

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Ham & Egg Breakfast Cups

Disclosure: I wrote this post will participating in a campaign as a Good Cook Kitchen Expert, on behalf of Good Cook and received Good Cook kitchen products to facilitate a review. All views and and opinions regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced, nor reviewed by the company prior to posting.
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ham and egg

We usually travel every Thanksgiving, so I don’t typically have any leftovers. However, I LOVE my mama’s baked ham so much I asked if she would send some home with us. Like most, my kids and hubby aren’t typically excited about eating leftovers. I have found, that if I prepare a dish that is totally different than the original then sometimes they don’t even realize we are having leftovers. So, instead of traditional dishes with leftover ham, I made ham and egg breakfast cups for breakfast. An easy meal, packed with protein!

I used the Good Cook non stick muffin pan, and the Ham & Egg Breakfast cups came out perfectly! You can find more Good Cook Thanksgiving Leftover creations here. [Read more...]

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Dip Recipe

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Dip Recipe

Jamie here!  Thanksgiving is tomorrow – and if you’re looking around for a couple new recipes to set your table apart, this one is a keeper!

Here’s a great cream cheese pumpkin dip recipe that tastes a lot like pumpkin pie – but BETTER – and in a dip form.  It’s a great appetizer to serve around the holidays, or any time when it’s grey and cold out.

 

Directions:

  1. Beat softened cream cheese (or whisk, if it’s reeeally soft) until smooth
  2. Add in the pumpkin, spices and sugar and mix together well
  3. Spread in a medium sized baking or pie dish
  4. Spread mini marshmallows over the top and finish with chopped pecans
  5. Pop it into a preheated oven for a little over 10 minutes minutes, or until marshmallows are golden.  You might want to movie it to the bottom rack halfway through so no nuts are burnt in the process ;)

This goes great with apple slices, cinnamon pita chips, or anything your heart desires.  Graham crackers or vanilla wafers make a nice option for the kiddos.

 

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Pro tip: trying to hand whisk a cold block of cream cheese will accomplish nothing but stuffing all the cream cheese into your whisk.   Believe me, I already tried it out for you, so you don’t have to ;)
pumpkin-dip-marshmallows

 

This recipe is easy and will warm you right up on a cold day – definitely one to keep in the holiday entertaining arsenal!  Also – if you don’t have a little stoneware baking dish – they are just perfect for this dip.  It looks so much nicer than serving it in a glass pyrex pan.  Here’s a very similar one you might want to consider!

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Dip Recipe

Ingredients

  • 15 oz Can of Pumpkin
  • 4 oz block of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 Cup Mini Marshmallows
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Pecans
  • 1/2 Cup packed Brown Sugar

Instructions

  1. Beat the cream cheese (or whisk, if it's soft enough) until smooth
  2. Add in the pumpkin, spices and sugar and mix together well
  3. Spread in a small baking or pie dish
  4. Spread mini marshmallows over the top and finish with chopped pecans
  5. Bake in a 350 oven for 12 - 15 minutes, or until marshmallows are golden
  6. Serve with apples, cinnamon pita chips, graham crackers, etc...
  7. This recipe is easy and will warm you right up on a cold day - definitely
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German Chocolate Pecan Pie Recipe

german chocolate pecan pie
If you are preparing for a crowd this Thanksgiving, German Chocolate Pecan Pie makes the perfect dessert. This is my mom’s recipe that she has prepared for years. It’s so simple to make and tastes divine! Your friends and family will think you’ve spent hours in the kitchen slaving over this recipe. With the perfect combination of chocolate, coconut, and pecans it’s hard to eat just one piece. If you have a nut allergy in your family, you can omit the pecans.

If you are looking for other dessert recipes for Thanksgiving check out our Buttermilk Pie or Mississippi Mud Cake recipe.

 

[Read more...]

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup Recipe

babyjordan

Kasey here, in case you missed my facebook announcement, on November 13th our precious baby girl was born. Jordan Hope was 7lbs 11oz and 19 1/2 inches long. We are absolutely in love with our little miracle! We have had quite a week adjusting to a newborn again as it has been 8 years since we had a baby. I can tell you that having a newborn with big kids is SO MUCH FUN! They absolutely adore her. [Read more...]

Best Ever Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe

best ever mississippi mud cake

Kasey here, my kids and I made this mouth watering Mississippi Mud Cake today for my husband for Father’s Day. It’s completely from scratch, but so easy to make. In fact, my 7 and 10 year old could almost make it by themselves, with a little help from mom of course. It’s a perfect last minute dessert for your favorite chocolate lover. We decided to eat a little piece tonight since my hubby came in from working in the yard and saw what we were cooking. I think it was the first time my kids had ever had Mississippi Mud Cake before, they said it was the best cake ever and that the frosting tasted like fudge! [Read more...]

Homemade Fall Candy & Popcorn Recipe

Kasey here, earlier this week my friend, Barbie, posted a pic of this amazing candy and popcorn that she and her husband made together. It was chock full of candy yumminess and I had to get the recipe!  It’s a family recipe that she has been making for years. In fact, she said her great aunt Glo taught her how to make it when she was just little in her kitchen at the beauty shop while her Grandma had her hair done. I love recipes like this, it’s such a great way to create memories that last a lifetime with your children. This is a perfect recipe to make with the kids, you can actually add any kind of candy you want (think left over Halloween candy). I have included Barbie’s instructions below.
  • First, I prep the candy I am going to put on top of the popcorn. I picked the blue M&M’s out of a couple bags of M&M’s and let the kids eat them while I crushed oreo cookies with a rolling pin in a gallon bag. I added candy corn as well.
  • Then, I popped popcorn. I use an air pop popcorn popper. If you don’t have an air popper you can pop popcorn in a paper bag in your microwave. It’s so easy and works great (how to here). Just be sure you pick out the kernels that didn’t pop either way. (I have heard of using regular microwave popcorn, but I’ve never tried it. I don’t know if the oils would cause an issue with the almond bark.
  • I think a pound of almond bark will cover about 15 quarts of popped popcorn. While it’s melting I cover a counter or my table with wax paper.
  • Once it’s melted I spoon it onto the popcorn and stir from the bottom up, adding more as I go. Once the popcorn is covered spread it out on the wax paper. Working quickly sprinkle the candy over the top and let the it sit until the it’s no longer tacky. It doesn’t take long, approx 20 minutes.
  • This is where my pictures stops, but this is really important. Melt some candy melts in a bag in the microwave, 15 seconds at a time on 50% power. Once it’s melted drizzle the candy melts over the top. It’s the glue that holds it all together. Let that sit up, break it up and turn it over and sprinkle with more candy and drizzle with candy melts again.
I love this pic of her precious babies waiting patiently for a bite. Do you have any family traditions that involve recipes that have been passed down to you? Making memories with our families is such a treasure. I personally hope my kids always remember us working in the kitchen together, creating our family’s favorite recipes.