February Foodie Pen Pals!

WE’VE MOVED! Go to www.pinkpolkadotbaker.com to see what we have been working on!

Box

This month I received a great box from my Foodie Pen Pal! You can see from the picture that she sent me several delicious items, but let me show you exactly what’s inside!

First, Justin’s Almond Butter and Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter- two butters I had never had, but I am so happy she sent! It’s actually funny that I received these in my box because the person I sent a box to asked for one of Justin’s butters…I didn’t know what the fuss was all about then, but now I do! DELICIOUS!

Butters

Next, Bob’s Red Mill Cranberry Beans. I haven’t tried these yet, but my husband has been asking for them so I’m guessing we’ll have them in the near future!

Cranberry Beans

Third, Black Rice. I’ve never had this before either, but am quite intrigued! I LOVE rice!

Rice

Red Hot Curry Sauce? Yes, please! I love me some spicy foods and I’m sure this will not disappoint!!

Simmer Sauce

Finally, French Vanilla and Gingerbread Spice Tea. I’m not really a tea drinker, but I might become one with these delicious sounding teas!

Tea

I am so excited to try everything from this box! One thing I love about Foodie Pen Pals is I’ve received foods that I probably would never had pulled off the grocery shelves, but will most likely love!

Never heard of Foodie Pen Pals? Check out all the details on The Lean Green Bean‘s website, but the basic gist of it is:
1. Sign-up at The Lean Green Bean by the 5th of the month.
2. Contact your pen pal.
3. Send a box to your pen pal by the 15th of the month ($15 limit).
4. Post about what you received (if you have a blog) on the last day of the month.
5. Repeat!

Foodie love,
Heather

The Lean Green Bean
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Baby Shower Cupcakes!

WE’VE MOVED! Go to www.pinkpolkadotbaker.com to see what we have been working on!

Finished Cupcakes with words

A good friend is due in April and her baby shower was this weekend. Her sister asked if I would make a little something sweet for everyone and I was happy to do so!

To make the cupcakes, I used a recipe my sister suggested at Glorious Treats‘ website. To make the cupcakes, I followed the recipe exactly. One thing that was a little worrisome was how thin the batter is after putting in the boiling water. This is what mine looked like:

Batter

I used the advice to pour the batter into the cupcake holders using a measuring cup, which worked out very nicely, with the exception that they weren’t as uniform in size as I like. It was hard to determine how much to put in while pouring!

In Oven

The recipe says the batter will be thin and they will turn out fine…and it was right!

Baked

To make the buttercream, I used the recipe found at Savory Sweet Life‘s website. This buttercream was delicious and I highly recommend the recipe!!

To color the icing, I used Wilton’s copper coloring. I actually put WAY too much in the frosting and it turned out a completely orange color. I ended up making another batch of buttercream and added half of it to what I already made, but lightened the color enough to make it more of a peach skin color.

I colored the remaining frosting with black Wilton coloring and I had to use quite a bit to get it to the color it was. It still had a purple-y feel to it, but it was harder to tell in the small quantity that was actually on the cupcakes. I used Wilton tip #3 to pipe on the hair, eyes, and nose.

For the cheeks, I used raspberry flavored pink M & M’s, which were totally a happy accident I came across while at the grocery store. The pacifiers were Wilton’s candy pacifiers, which I found on Amazon.

Finished Cupcakes

These cupcakes were so fun to make and everyone seemed to love them!

At Shower

Baking love!
Heather

Chocolate Pretzel Coconut Layer Bars

WE’VE MOVED! Go to www.pinkpolkadotbaker.com to see what we have been working on!

1

Every few weeks I have a work meeting with other teachers in the same position as me and I (almost) always bring some kind of treat for everyone. This week, one of the other teachers asked if I would bring something chocolatey and coconuty…I was happy to oblige, seeing how these are two of my favorite flavors!

After searching the internet a bit for the perfect recipe, I ran across these Chocolate Pretzel Coconut Layer Bars on the Very Best Baking website. These sounded so delicious, I had to make them!!

To make the bars you will need:
(The amounts are what are in the original recipe, but the only thing I actually “measured” were the things that didn’t really need measuring- cake mix, butter, egg, and milk):

1 pkg German Chocolate Cake
1/2 crushed pretzels
1/2 cup butter, softened (the regular recipe calls for it to be melted, but mine came out just fine just softened)
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels (I actually used the entire package…I love chocolate!)
1 cup butterscotch flavored morsels (I used about half of a package)
1 cup flaked coconut (I used half a package)
1 cup chopped pecans (I used an entire small bag)
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan.
2. Combine the cake mix, pretzels, butter, and egg in a bowl. Mix on medium until well mixed.
3. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. I found it was MUCH easier to just use my hands for this part.
4. Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is puffy and looks dry. Cool for 5 minutes.
5. Layer remaining ingredients over the crust. Pour the sweetened condensed last.
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Cool completely! Cut into bars and enjoy!

2

These bars were a complete hit at my meeting- everyone loved them and were raving about them! I loved that this was something I could bake, but I didn’t have to worry so much about exact measurements. I really don’t think you can go with the combination of ingredients used here!

Baking love,
Heather

Super Bowl Fun!

WE’VE MOVED! Go to www.pinkpolkadotbaker.com to see what we have been working on!

Football cupcakes

This Sunday we had a few friends over to watch the Super Bowl and, of course, I took this as an opportunity to bake! First, I made vanilla cupcakes from a recipe I found at Everyday Occasions website. The cupcakes were quite delicious!! I also made the buttercream from the recipe on the same website, which was pretty tasty, but it was a bit too thin to make the grass on the cupcakes. I tried to make it a bit thicker by adding more powdered sugar, but it just didn’t work out! It all just ended up blobbing together in a melty kind of way, which still looked cute, but not quite the effect I was going for!

For the football on top, I used a chocolate buttercream recipe which can be found at Savory Sweet Life‘s website. Let me tell you, this frosting was DELICIOUS!!! It also came out a bit too thin and, when I added extra powdered sugar, it turned to a perfect consistency to pipe the footballs on the cupcakes.

These were fun to make and everyone seemed to enjoy them!

Football cupcake

Since we were having people over, I decided to also make a trifle which I found on Pinterest and linked to indulgy.com‘s website.

Cookie Trifle 2

To make the trifle:
1. Crush a whole package Oreos.
2. Cream together 8 oz cream cheese, 1/4 cup softened butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, and 1/2 tsp vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, mix 2 small boxes vanilla pudding and 3 cups COLD milk. Chill until set.
4. Fold 12 oz thawed Cool Whip with the set pudding.
5. Add the cream cheese mixture.
6. Layer in a trifle bowl, starting and ending with the Oreo’s.
7. Chill until ready to serve…then be ready to be addicted to this deliciousness!!

This trifle was definitely the hit dessert of the party!

Cookie Trifle

Baking love!
Heather