Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts

Friday, September 19

SHOPPE | Chalk Paint + Chocolate + a little Halloween

I'm finishing up my post for the next project I created for the Cricut Design Space Star challenge.
So while I'm working on that…and will be posting tomorrow…
I wanted to share a few things I've added to the shoppe.

With Chalk Paint on the brain…and chocolate ALWAYS on my brain too…I sketched out this cute art print for my Friday Instagram posts…I call them "Funspiration Fridays". It was too cute not to offer as a printable. There are five different versions included in this download so be sure to check them out in my Etsy Shoppe. 

You guys know how much I LOVE redoing furniture and giving it new life with a fresh coat of paint - usually creamy white. I just knew there would be others out there that would totally get the Chocolate + Chalk Paint Art Print above. It's SO fun…and SO me!

Which by the way…the reason I've got chalk paint on my brain more so than usual is that I'm on eggshells waiting for a BRAND NEW product to arrive on my doorstep that should revolutionize the entire chalk paint industry. Seriously!! (more on that later though)

In addition to that...I also added this fun  Halloween Poem Art Print… original poem by me…thank you!! Didn't know I could write poems too…did ya? Ha!!

This one is an 11x14 and comes with a Chalkboard Background too!!!

I've got this Witch Brooms Poster coming to the shoppe in a large 24x36 Poster as well as some small 5x7 Art Prints.  I just LOVE how it came out!! (Chalkboard version too - below)!!

I hope you'll peruse my shoppe and check out the goodies I've added.

I've got Halloween on the brain, (in addition to the chocolate and chalk paint mentioned above), and I'm excited to start getting some of these art prints displayed in my own home!! Have you already started decorating yet?

Have a great weekend everyone!!

I had all of these grand plans of doing at least THREE different projects for the Cricut Design Space Star Challenge this month but I just didn't have time. Actually, I made an attempt at a 2nd idea I had but it just didn't turn out like I had hoped. I plan on tweaking it though and sharing it with you all down the road.


Tuesday, September 2

BAKE | Best Ever Peanut Butter + Chocolate Pie

If you are new to my blog than you might not know how very much I LOVE peanut butter + chocolate. It's absolutely my very favorite flavor combo because not only does it combine two of my favorite things to eat, (peanut butter + chocolate), but it also covers my love for salty + sweet. I've been known to put peanut butter on a spoon and add some chocolate for a quick no calorie, no fat, no sugar treat! *wink*

So…when a friend is celebrating a birthday and that birthday-celebrating friend loves peanut butter + chocolate just as much as you do…well…you go all out to knock their socks off with an amazing dessert, right? 

That's exactly what happened this past weekend. It's been awhile since I've been able to REALLY do some baking so I was excited to dive right into the task of creating the perfect recipe!!  

The recipes I kept coming across had too much chocolate…
or too much peanut butter…
and for me…
it's GOT to be just the right balance of both.  So, I took bits and pieces from a couple of different recipes and tweaked things to create…


Thursday, May 15

SUGAR | Supermom Dessert :: Easy Whoopie Pies

Do you have a favorite dessert you enjoy making that makes you feel like a "Supermom"?
You know…the desserts your kids rave over and beg you to make over and over again.
Desserts that teachers are still requesting you bring them…YEARS after you first shared them with the staff?

I LOVE desserts like that.
I have a handful of them and these Homemade Oreos, Polar Pies, Whoopie Pies (whatever you want to call them)…are


Monday, October 21

RECIPE RADAR | Super Easy No Bake Hi Hat Cupcakes

I've been intrigued by the thought of these Hi Hat Cupcakes for some time...
and also very intimidated. 
Despite my apprehension I was determined to make them...
and I was also determined to make sure they weren't complicated!

A Hi Hat Cupcake is simply a cupcake frosted with a technique that resembles a twisty ice cream cone dipped in chocolate. 

After finding a couple of recipes explaining the technique for making a hi hat cupcake...
here's what I did first...

I ran out and purchased store-bought chocolate cupcakes and quickly eliminated my need for having to bake any. Afterall, the frosting technique is what makes these cupcakes a hi hat and that was my real focus and challenge.

Next, I refrigerated the cupcakes in their original container for about 30 minutes so I could then cleanly pop off the blob of frosting that had already been piped on! Ha! (You can also request unfrosted cupcakes from your local bakery to eliminate having to do this step).

I then grabbed AND DOUBLED my favorite super easy Peanut Butter Frosting recipe (see the bottom of the post) filled a piping bag (or ziploc) and grabbed my oversized 9P frosting tip from The TomKat Studio and began piping it on! (If you don't see it in the shop, shoot them an email).

Perfection!! I knew this frosting would be the perfect (thicker) consistency you need when making a Hi Hat Cupcake. Don't be afraid to practice piping - either on the cupcake or on a piece of wax paper.
You can always scrape the frosting right back into your piping bag when you are done practicing.

Side Note: It's been referenced that any 7 minute or 12 minute icing or thick frosting with a consistency for maintaining its shape will work for making Hi Hat Cupcakes.

When the cupcakes are all frosted - place them on a cookie sheet and pop them into the freezer for about 20-30 minutes.  If you are short on can also choose to store the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container and refrigerate them overnight so they'll be perfectly ready for dipping the next day.

Freezing your frosted cupcakes (or refrigerating overnight) is VITAL to the success of your hi hats. If your frosting is soft or room temperature you are guaranteed disappointment in your outcome.

Aside from making sure your frosting consistency is nice and thick in order to achieve good height on your "Hi Hat"  and then chilling your cupcakes - melting the chocolate is the next MOST IMPORTANT step.

The chocolate can't be too hot - the frosting will melt.
The chocolate can't be too cold - it'll be too thick for dipping.

I'm happy to say was able to figure out a way to achieve the PERFECT chocolate temperature and without a candy thermometer or any waiting.  (see the process at the bottom of the post).

Slowly dip your cupcake frosting into the chocolate and if you want the edges to be completely covered  be sure to tilt and roll your cupcake to do so. Touchups can be done with a wooden skewer or toothpick dipped in chocolate.

Allow the extra chocolate to drip off of the cupcake (and encourage this with small shaking movements).

Allow the chocolate to set - put them in the refrigerator to speed up the process - and then wrap your Hi Hat cupcakes with a super cute cupcake wrapper - like these white and black polka dot wraps from The TomKat Studio.

Tie on a cute ribbon as an accent and you are ready to wow your guests or the lucky recipients of these tasty treats! (I add a dab of hot glue under the knot of the ribbon on the front and secure the cupcake wrapper and ribbon with tape on the backside).

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Now...let me say this!
These cupcakes are impressive to look at and as you might imagine...
they are SUPER SUGARY!!
The abundance of frosting may be a bit too much for your palate and I found them to be little difficult to eat and maintain your dignity at the same time! *wink*

Noooo problem!!
Let's just mini size these!
Besides, anytime I can find an excuse to mini-size something you know I'm going to take the opportunity to do so.

So....this time I used store-bought mini brownie bites (againto avoid having to bake) and followed the same process...

Aren't they adorable?
See how shiny they are when they are first dipped?
The large cupcakes in the background are already set so I love the comparison of the two finishes.

Want to see inside?

YUM!!! And cool, right?!

Be sure to PIN THIS idea for the future and come back and let me know if you try these out!
Stay tuned for the Halloween version of these adorable and tasty Hi Hats...coming soon!

Peanut Butter Frosting (Double this for 24 cupcakes)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 TBSP butter, softened
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
For Hi Hat Cupcakes:
Add more powdered sugar for achieving the perfect consistency for a Hi Hat - amount will be dependent on your altitude, temperature of your kitchen, etc. I ended up using an additional 1 cup of extra powdered sugar when I doubled the recipe.

Combine cream cheese, butter and peanut butter in a bowl. Beat until creamy for about 3 minutes on medium speed. Add powdered sugar. Beat another 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add more powdered sugar to achieve the desired consistency for piping.

Chocolate for Dipping (Double this for 24 cupcakes)
16oz. bag of chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli semi sweet)
3 TBSP. Canola Oil

Boil 2-3 cups of water in a pan. I used the bottom part of my double boiler but any pan will do.
While your water is boiling in the bottom pan add HALF of your chocolate  and 3 TBSP. of canola oil to the top pan of your double boiler. (or just find a bowl that will rest on top of the bottom pan - without it touching the boiling water).

Once your water has come to a rolling bubble, turn off heat and remove pan from the heat source.
Place your top pan (or bowl) of chocolate and oil mixture on top of the boiling water pan.
Stir and continue to stir until the chocolate has melted completely.
Add the remaining chocolate and stir until melted.
Adding the other half of the bag of chocolate to the already melted chocolate helps to bring the overall temperature down making it perfect for dipping and eliminating the need to have the chocolate rest for 2 or 3 minutes to cool down. Test it with your finger - make sure it feels like the right temperature to you. It should be warm.

Transfer chocolate to cup that is both tall enough to allow your frosted cupcake to be coated without the tip touching the bottom of the cup as well as wide enough to fit your cupcake into.

The bigger the cup you use, the more chocolate you will need to be able to fill the cup and keep the chocolate level deep enough for dipping. A teacup worked perfectly for me but I have seen people use a plastic kids cup or Bakerella used a leftover plastic easter cup.

If you'd like a great chocolate cupcake recipe for making homemade cupcakes instead of doing store-bought , GO HERE!

My first attempts at piping were NOT perfect!
I piped and scraped and piped again a few times! *wink*
It's all in the wrist - as the saying goes!


Tuesday, September 17

STYLE IT | Pretty Picnic Packaging

Hello Pen N' Paperflowers Friends!!

I'm over at The TomKat Studio today sharing this adorable Pint-Sized Picnic Packaging idea!
I've also included one of my favorite recipes for a crowd-pleasing snack you'll want to take along with you on your next picnic! (or for your next BBQ, Potluck or even for your family movie night!!)

Find all of the details right HERE!

I'm addicted to these white pint-size containers! They are SO easy to personalize and make cute with very little effort and the options for what they can be used for are endless!

On a different note, I'm ecstatic over the release of The Pastry Pedestal Platforms - just in time for the holiday season!! They are flying like hotcakes and I'm thrilled to know so many people are excited and crazy about them like I am!!


Monday, September 9

SUGAR | Potted Cupcake Parfaits

How about starting off the week with some fun news!

I'm a blog contributor for Best Friends for Frosting and I've been anxiously awaiting the fun post that went live on the BFFF site late Friday.

One of my favorite aspects of that styled shoot was the "Parfait Potting Station" I put together.
If you loved it too and were wondering about the specifics for assembling the edible plant parfaits,
all of the details are now posted over on the BFFF site.

Here's what you need to make them
and here's where to go to find out all about the how-to!!

I hope you enjoy the tutorial over on BFFF
and while you are there be sure to check out some of the other posts featuring everything from fashion, business, hairstyles, home decor and of course...desserts!

Here's one of my favorite recent posts...

I hope you are sharing in my excitement to be part of the BFFF team.

I have some other fun things to share with you this week...
- tidbits from a special table I'm styling.
- BIG News for The Pastry Pedestal Platforms!!
- some new branding I've got coming to the PNPF site

You can get sneak peeks from my Instagram Feed as well as some inspirational "She Said" quotes I've been sharing over there too!

Wishing you all a great week ahead!!

I joined a couple of Instagram friends on another round of Whole30.
I have re-started the program several times now since making it through my first attempt for an entire 76 days! I really rawked it that first time.

For whatever reason...I just keep falling short on the follow up attempts I keep making.
My last try I made it through 15 days and caved... into a cupcake! (and pizza and m&m's and...) *wink*
I just needed the extra push from the girls on IG and I'm happy to report
this is Day 3 for me and I'm feeling committed and strong and excited to crush this next challenge
for eating healthy and clean for the next 30 days. (27 and counting) *wink*


Wednesday, September 4

PROMISE ME | Vintage Baking - Texas Sheet Cake

This is all that's left of the from-scratch, homemade Texas Sheet Cake I made on Labor Day!

Never having made a Texas Sheet Cake before - this recipe did NOT disappoint.
I whipped it up Monday morning to bring to a BBQ some friends invited us too that afternoon.

It's not one of those cakes where you get to lose yourself in the complexity of the process.
It's actually super easy to make and my greatest pleasure came from using my favorite ingredients - which are the highest quality and unfortunately the most expensive.  I picked up the very best chocolate, vanilla, and flour I could find while J was working - because if it would've been left up to would've been generic-brand everything and mama doesn't like baking or even cooking that way).  My mom taught me when I was younger that using the best ingredients makes a difference and it really does! I've had to make a lot of compromises living with someone who, for one, is budget-minded (not one of my strengths) and two, who doesn't truly appreciate the finer things in life - when it comes to ""frou-frou" baking and healthy cooking. He's completely content with cream of chicken soup crockpot meals, homestyle casseroles, a can of spaghettios and cheesecake swirl brownies from a box. And who isn't? But I prefer fresh ingredients, nothing from a can or box and if I could have my own chickens for beautiful farm fresh eggs I would SO do it. The chickens of course, would need to be one or all of the following breeds: Cuckoo Maran, Mottled Cochin or Porcelain since I'm told they lay the prettiest most glamorous eggs - although there's nothing glamorous  or sanitary about having stinky chicken pens in your backyard - but those gorgeous, fresh eggs would be so worth it). Ha!! Anyway...when the budget allows (or when I can sneak it into the cart) I make sure I'm working with only the best.

Although there was some debate at the barbecue over whether it was a "cake" vs. a pan of brownies...
there was no denying this cake was definitely a crowd-pleaser! What's not to love about a moist cake with an incredible chocolate from-scratch cake frosting topped off with some toasted pecans? Is it obvious I'm lobbying for "It's a cake" votes?) *wink*

I managed to make sure I still had a few pieces to bring home with me since the only other picture I had was this one I posted on MY INSTAGRAM FEED as I was getting ready to put it in the oven:

Ella helped me bake it and I was fascinated by the fact that you are supposed to pour on warm frosting immediately after the cake came out of the oven! Trust me...I hesitated...and even started to panic a little thinking the technique seemed so wrong...but it turned out SO right.

I was SO excited to try out this recipe from the Vintage Cakes book I purchased awhile back.
I bought it specifically to help me reach one of my "Promise Me" Goals to try out some Vintage Baking recipes.

Looking forward to sampling the other recipes inside the gorgeous book!
Here are some of the others I'm eyeing right now...
The Pink Cake - thinking I'll do this one for my birthday
Goober Cake - just because it's got peanut butter in it and looks amazing!
Italian Cream Cake - my stepdad is Italian and his birthday is at the end of the month - PERFECT!
Boston Cream Pie-lets - just because they are mini and who doesn't love Boston Cream pie?
Grammy Cake - sounds like it's going to be delicious and I get to use my pretty fluted cake pan.
Old Vermont Burnt Sugar Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting - yes, please! 

If you appreciate vintage recipes and beautiful cakes, you should totally pick up this book.
The gorgeous cover alone is reason enough to have it displayed in your kitchen! *wink*

Promise Me peeps...
How are you doing on your journey?
I've been able to cross off 5 things on my list with 18 more things to finish and only 5 months left to get busy - it's time to get busy!! You know the holidays are going to be crazy so don't let the next few months sneak by and then cram everything in come January! PLAN IT! We can do this. We are worth it!! Get your promises on your calendars. Incorporate your goals into your every day routine if you can. Plan ahead. That's what's going to get you to where you want to be!!

Looking forward to announcing the Monthly Surprise Winner for August!!
Stay tuned!!

J has come a long way with his "palate"...he, himself, admits it quite often.
In turn, I've come a long way with recognizing the importance of a budget! *wink*
So, on's a win-win.


Monday, August 12

RECIPE RADAR | Flavored Popcorn

Today's "Recipe Radar" post may have you craving couch-time with your favorite movie...
or perhaps even motivate you to host a movie night with your family.
You may be SO inspired by this collection of delicious flavored popcorn recipes...
I'll go out on a limb and say you just might decide to host a popcorn themed party.
(or at least consider putting together a Popcorn Bar  for your next celebration)?

Sweet or Savory...
whatever you might be looking for...
I've got you covered with 20 MORE flavor selections to make your


Friday, May 31

BAKE IT | No-Bake Raw Vegan Brownie Bites

If you celebrated with me yesterday...
then you'll be expecting this recipe today.

 No-Bake Raw Vegan Mini Brownie Bites

Before diving straight into the recipe...
I thought I should first share with you


Monday, March 11

RECiPE RADAR | Irish Cream Desserts

With St. Patrick's Day approaching...
I've been fixated on finding a dessert to try out using Irish Cream.

Since I came across  a lot of different recipes that looked tempting to try...
Instead of picking just one of them to share for my "Recipe Radar" post today...
I decided to do a round up of Irish Cream desserts for you.
Just in case you too have been searching for something fun to try.

For the complete list of 17 Irish Cream the "Read More" button below...


Wednesday, March 6

SUGAR | Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites

You HAD to know these were coming!?
I mean they were totally inevitable...right?
My love for peanut butter + chocolate...
plus the Recipe Radar post last week featuring the yummy recipe from +Jamielyn Nye aka +I Heart Nap Time
combined with my love for all things mini sized...
and you've got yourself some...

 Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites SQUARED

Using the same recipe but two different techniques/molds...
you've got yourself two varieties of sinfully delicious grab n' go treats.
Keep reading to get the full scoop and recipe...


Monday, February 25

RECiPE RADAR | I Heart Naptime's Homemade Reeses

When I spotted these the other day...
I instantly pinned them... 

Hover over the image and Pin it too!!

My love for chocolate + peanut butter 
combined with the flashback of something similar offered in our "Junior High" cafeteria...back in the day...
you KNOW I couldn't pass up trying this out.

I'll be back soon with my results...

A huge thank you to Jamielyn from I Heart Naptime for the inspiration.
If you live under a rock and haven't visited her site yet...
you'll want to add her to your list of favorite sites!

She's got a tremendous following and for good reason...
she shares things related to budget-friendly crafts, home decor, diy, recipes and more.

Here's all of the I Heart Naptime social media links to stalk follow Jamielyn - *wink*

If YOU have a favorite peanut butter + chocolate recipe you want to share...
send it my way. 
I'd LOVE to see it...and try it out! *wink*

With the odds working against me today...
I had to postpone my original post.
Ella is sick - has been all weekend.

With a doctor appointment scheduled...
and a load of design work to get caught up on...
My very first "RECiPE RADAR" post has been born.
Short and "Sweet"...
I think I'll be sticking to it on Mondays from now on.
I LOVE the idea of getting to share a sneak peek with you as to what's on my baking/cooking agenda.
I hope you love the idea too!!


Friday, February 8

HOLiDAY | Mini Chocolate Sweetheart Truffles

Nothing says "love" more than "chocolate", right?!
at least for a Chocolate lover anyway. *wink*

How about packaging up some homemade chocolate truffles for Valentine's Day?
I keep going back to this fabulous recipe I shared with you during the holidays.
The results are divine - like "professional quality" divine...
and there's absolutely no baking involved! 

Chocolate Sweetheart Truffles

These Mini Treat Cups are PERFECT for using to make chocolate truffles...they peel off beautifully!

Just follow the same recipe from THIS POST
and replace the topping suggestions with some of the adorable edible heart glitter you see here!

These make a beautiful addition to any dessert table too!
Pin them for your next event!! They'll be a hit!!

Edible Hearts Glitter  by Wilton 
Mini Treat Cups by Wilton
White Metal Cake Stand - Pottery Barn Kids
Double Chocolate Bittersweet - Ghirardelli
Semi Sweet Chocolate - Ghirardelli

I'm behind on posting photos of the Valentine's Party I've been planning.
The party I was going to have for Ella has been postponed several times
because her little friend we invited has been sick! *frown*


Wednesday, January 16

BAKE iT | Chocolate Ganache Frosted Cupcakes

I am STiLL obsessing over the Chocolate Ganache frosting recipe I shared with you in December.
I used it for a cake...
and now for these...

Chocolate Ganache Frosted Cupcakes

Just in time for Valentine's Day...
or any day for that matter if you are a chocolate ganache + cupcake lover.

I did not pipe on the frosting like I would typically do for several reasons:
• The ganache frosting is softer than typical frostings and I feared it would not keep it's perfectly piped shape.
• I was too lazy to get my piping bags and tips out.
• I've been VERY interested in vintage desserts and frosting techniques and decided to use the good ole hand-frosted method.
• I wanted to roll the edges with these darling pastel sprinkles.

I hope the next batch of cupcakes you'll make...
you'll consider this chocolate ganache frosting...
you could core the cupcakes...
and use the ganache as a filling too! Yum!

Did you notice the pink sprinkles just so happen to match the Valentine's Day color inspiration I shared with you? Love!!

Before I go...
doing a quick check-in with all of the people participating in the Promise Me movement we've got going on here.
If you haven't gotten yourself on the list yet, email me at: pnpflowers AT live DOT com
Also - if you want to be part of the Promise ME 2013 Pinterest Board - let me know in an email!
So excited to get started.
You've got until January 31st to finish creating your lists.

I had to crop the first photo so you wouldn't notice the nibbled edge on the mini cupcake.
I left them unattended for just a minute as I was setting up to photograph them.
Two seconds later, I caught my mischievous jack russell, Hamilton, red-handed.
Just in the nick of time, I might add. *wink*

Want to see it?

I'm SO lucky he didn't just gobble the entire thing...c'mon...what dog "nibbles" anything?


Monday, December 31

STYLiNG | Hot Cocoa Bar

Happy New Year's Eve!!

How about putting together a very simple "Dessert Bar" of sorts...
just in time for your New Year's Eve festivities...


A Few Toppings...

Some Drinking Mugs or Paper Cups
(optional items shown here: striped straws, mini wooden spoons and min wooden scoops)

This FREE printable Chalkboard Art Print

and you and your guests will be enjoying one of these in no time.

One of the great things about a Hot Cocoa Bar is





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