Friday, October 14, 2011

Bake Sale Goodies - Halloween Style!

So, on my way home from taking Josie to school today, I was trying to decide what to do while we're around the house. I knew I had to head into the office to take care of a little business while the girls were both at school. Plus, I promised the girls we could go to Walmart to pick out their Halloween costumes after school. Once I got home at 7:45, I received an email from Josie's principal about still needing baked goods for the "Sweet Shop" at the Fall Festival tomorrow. (How cute is that by the way?! So much better than "Bake Sale.")

Perfect. Day officially planned. I always get into baking in the Fall but I also always seem to be watching what I eat and since I have absolutely NO willpower, I can't have that stuff around the house. So, I got my act in gear and went on Pinterest for some inspiration. I found a few cute and relatively easy things to make that would be perfect for a Fall Festival Sweet Shop. I passed on some pretty awesome looking Maple Pumpkin Fudge because a few reviews talked about timing being perfect. My timing is never perfect so it was out.

After Walmart, the girls and I proceeded to prep for our baking extravaganza! We put Jack to bed only to learn that he didn't want to nap and instead wanted to strip down to bare behind and dance in his crib. (Side note: I figure I'm due for this one. Three kids and this is a first...Boys...) He played quite nicely the rest of the afternoon.

First, we baked the cupcakes inspired by this recipe. I'm not proud and just went with Betty's mix. I picked chocolate because I thought the dark bottoms would be more "Halloween-ish." The girls helped with the mix and getting the cupcake liners ready.

Once the cupcakes were in the oven, we moved onto the Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats. This is about when the girls lost interest. I found myself literally glued to the mix. I admit that Rice Krispie Treats should be easy, but man, molding them into the pumpkin shape was a mess. Melted marshmellows are apparently super glue. I ended up plastering my hands in Pam in between each pumpkin, which worked really well. Despite my issues, they turned out super cute. (Just click on the links for each of these treats to find the recipe. I just followed them as closely as I could.) The girls enjoyed getting the left overs off the spatula. I, on the other hand, did NOT enjoy getting the leftovers out of the bowl - did I mention super glue?

Finished product...

Then, the girls got involved again when making the Halloween Candy Corn Cookie Bark. I had them break up the Oreo's and pretzels and then sprinkle the candy corn. Meanwhile, I melted the Almond Bark. I've never used this stuff before and it was AWESOME! It tastes really good and isn't chocolate. It's truly vanilla candy coating. This was really easy and I think I could probably come up with my own recipes based on this stuff. I'll definitely be using it this Christmas for some Peppermint Bark. Once that went in the fridge, the girls were really done with the helping. This stuff looks awesome. Didn't get to try it, but may be buying it tomorrow at the festival. :)

I used the rest of the Almond Bark for covering some Halloween Oreos and pretzels. I added some seasonally appropriate sprinkles for good measure. (No picture of these, but they turned out cute. See the picture of everything to catch a glimpse.)

Finally, it was time to decorate the cupcakes. The girls love this part because they get to lick the bowls of icing once I've mixed it up and put it in the piping bag. I've come to the conclusion that cupcakes (and probably cakes for that matter) look a lot better when the icing is BOLD! This is hard to achieve with regular food coloring. I use the Wilton colorings. They're more difficult to use but the results are much better. I also use the Wilton kit for cake decorating - it was probably $9.88 at Walmart. I do think I'll get a full set of dyes though. I have a spring collection and then one or two others. A few sprinkles and we're done!

Jack enjoyed hanging with us today and must have known we were up to something because he moved the cupcake carrier lid over to the table to try to get a closer look and probably swipe something.

What a full day, but a fun one. I found myself frustrated a few times with the kids, but then realized this is why I'm doing these things. I got the stuff out of the house as fast as I could. I took it down to the school tonight. I saved out a few Oreo's and candy covered pretzels for tomorrow. ("Binge Day" on the new diet - more later - tomorrow so I figure I can try one.) Happy to have a reason to do some work in the kitchen today! Here's the final product!

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