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Creepy Crawly Creatures Of The Night

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Need a quick and spooky treat this haunting Halloween?? Then how about designing an unique creepy crawly spiderweb of your own.A delectable white chocolate candy that can be decorated as scary or as gruesome as you desire.The human imagination is limitless with this recipe and would be a marvelous treat to serve at any Halloween party.

These spiderwebs are super simple to prepare that even a beginner candy maker will breeze right through it.The kids will also love these as well and will certainly enjoy the decorating process.I believe that everybody involved will get in the Halloween spirit when creating these unusual webs.

These spiderwebs also include a pretty simple ingredient list such as white chocolate,semisweet chocolate as well as decorative sprinkles of choice.The white chocolate creates the base of the web,which helps with creating a glossy finish and a smooth texture. The semisweet chocolate of course is the star of the show with generating the bold outline of the spider web pattern it self.Then finally, we have the decorative sprinkles that really tie everything together.Because you really cannot go without a spider on a web,especially when they are the ultimate makers.This creature is always fitting for the Halloween season.

So try these spider web candies for yourself and see what I really mean by how fun they really are to make.Everyone will enjoy making them as well as devouring them at the same time.Plus if you really want to get a little more crafty for this Halloween.Then try wrapping these lollipops individually in treat bags to display at a party or to pass out to family and friends as a take home treat. No one would dare resist such an extraordinary masterpiece. 

Overall, I must give these frightening treats a two thumbs up and  I wish everyone a safe Happy Halloween!

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 Adapted from Spiderweb Candies
Yield:About 18

2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
12 ounces bakers white chocolate,chopped
2 tsp shortening
Decorative sprinkles

1.Grease and line two large baking sheets with wax or parchment paper.You can also use  aluminum foil,but be sure to grease the top to prevent sticking. 

2. Now fill a medium pot less then half full of water.Turn the heat to low and place a large glass bowl over top.If you have a double boiler,use that instead.

3. Once prepped,add the chopped white chocolate and shortening to the bowl.Slowly melt the chocolate, until smooth and when ready to use be sure to keep the bowl over low heat to prevent setting.

4. Melt the semisweet chocolate chips in a small glass measuring up or microwave safe bowl.Microwave in 30 second intro volts,until completely melted.Let slightly cool.
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5.Using a 2-3 inch cookie cutter as a guide.Place the cutter on the prepped sheet and spoon 1 tbsp of white chocolate inside the cooker cutter. Gently spread the chocolate evenly and remove the cookie cutter to place the lollipop stick,use about less then a tsp of white chocolate to cover the stick.

6.Then place about 2 tbsp of the melted semisweet chocolate into a piping bag and cut a small hole at the tip.Proceed to pipe thin concentric circles on top of each candy,its about 3 to 4 circles.

7.Using a toothpick,begin with the center circle and gently pull the toothpick through each circle towards the outer edge.Clean tooth pick end every time and continue the process to complete a web pattern. 

Tip:The semisweet chocolate may have to warmed up in the microwave during the process.So always keep most of the chocolate in the small glass measuring cup or microwave safe bowl and only use a small amount in the piping bag.

8.Then decorate any way you wish.For example you can use spider sprinkles, black sprinkles or orange sprinkles.Then repeat steps 5 though 8,until white chocolate is completely used.

9.Then chill for 30 minutes or until set.Then store in airtight container.


10.Instead of storing in an airtight container, wrap each spiderweb candy individually, by using a treat bag.This way you have the option to give out some to friends and family for Halloween.These treat bags can be found in most stores with a stationary/craft department in the cake decorating section. These kits include treat bags along with twist ties.For example I used Wilton's shaped treat bags.Even Jack likes the treat!

Slow Cooker Banana Bread

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Banana bread is a beloved dessert by many and just the aromatic scent from baking it in the oven is enough to sway anyone. It's also one of those recipes, that is mastered early on as well as everyone has their own favourite versions. However, has anyone ever made a banana bread loaf in a slow cooker? Yes, It does sounds strange to think about and it has fascinated me since I've come across the idea with how it would actually be done. Would it cook evenly? What would it taste like?

Well I took on the recipe and discovered that baking a banana bread in a slow cooker is a pretty simple concept. It's essentially taking your favorite recipe and cooking it in a crock pot for 5-6 hours on low,until done. The loaf pan does actually sit in the slow cooker itself while it to surprisingly bakes very evenly. Although, don't expect that aromatic scent,since it seems that this can only be accomplished with baking it in the oven. Also,a bread made in a slow cooker will give a varied result and might not be what were all use to.So you definitely need to keep an open mind when taking the first bite.

If you are someone that loves banana bread and doesn't want to mess with a good thing. Then this recipe is probably not something you want to venture into.So, it would be best to keep this recipe for one's that like to try new ideas.

For someone that likes to try out new ideas.When I took the first bite,I was quite surprised with how different it was compared to baking it. It was similar in the sense of texture with it being a moist and dense bread.However, It did not have that strong banana scent as well as the flavor of banana was pretty mellow. Overall, it reminded me more of a caramelized flavor bread and less of a banana bread.Although I still very much enjoyed this delicious bread and its own unique differences.

So, we did find out that it is possible to bake a banana bread in a slow cooker.Although it will vary in flavor, appearance and texture. Maybe next time I will add more banana and add my own favorites.

So go on and try his recipe for yourself and bring your own creative ideas into the mix.Always keep an open mind on any recipe since its simply just a guide line for your own creativity to blossom.

Slow Cooker Banana Bread
Recipe Adapted From Slow Cooker Desserts By Jonnie Downing
Makes: One 8 inch loaf
Used: 8 inch oval(non digital) Crock pot

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mashed banana(about 2 medium over ripe)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Using my electric mixer, I blended together the softened butter, eggs,sugar, milk and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. As well as adding the mashed bananas.

2. With a large bowl, I combined the flour, baking soda and salt. With a rubber spatula, I slowly folded in the banana mixture without over mixing the batter. Optional:add the chop nuts now.

3. Then I prepared the pan by spraying an 8-inch bread pan with cooking spray. Then slowly poured in the bread mixture into the prepared pan and set into the 8-inch oval slow cooker.(Note: If it doesn't sit evenly in the slow cooker, layer the inside the crock pot with aluminum foil to keep the pan stable and help cook the banana bread evenly.)

4. Then I set the slow cooker on low for six hours or until a toothpick inserted in the center came out clean. I turned off my slow cooker earlier than six hours and let the bread cool before removing it from the slow cooker. Once able to touch the bread pan, I let it cool completely on a cooking rack.Once fully cooled, I removed it from the bread pan and cut it into even slices. Serve.

Note: Each recipe from this book will vary in its cooking times. So always check and alter time when baking. It will also vary with brand of crock pot as well as size and if its digital.

Classic Summer Treat :Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Its essential during the summer months to have a cold drink in hand along with a cool spot to appreciate it. Although, the baker in me feels the most important part of these days, is to find delicious recipes that will help everyone beat the heat. Therefore, the rules to go by are finding recipes that do not use the oven at all or only at short increments, all the while creating treats that will cool everyone down.

So,for me I have found a dessert that settles in the category of short heat duration as well as extreme cool down.A recipe that brings back memories of childhood nostalgia, of sitting on the sidewalk enjoying an ice cream treat all the while listening to the melody of the ice cream truck.We of course all miss those days;but what if I said you can now have a piece of that in the home to introduce to your own family. Of course, you would say "Yes"

Well I have your answer.A simple recipe for homemade ice cream sandwiches are really all that you need ,especially when its the most classic summer time treat from every ones childhood. Although, as any adult, you can make as many as you desire and for cheaper the cost.It is also a very versatile dessert where you too can choose anything in the recipe from the cookie all the way to the ice cream filling.Its whatever will help create your own dessert masterpiece.

 Homemade is always the way to go with any baking,but with ice cream sandwiches it is the best choice. With a version like this,you will definitely receive the classic taste that you all remember and love.A soft chocolate drop cookie with a creamy vanilla ice cream.Although,a recipe is just a loose guide and it will always give you the opportunity for new ideas to be born. So, its all in good fun with creating these ice cream treats and even better in taste testing.

So, go ahead and try this recipe, so that you too can have a pile of delicious ice cream sandwiches to enjoy all summer long.Although, with how good these versions are,they may only last a couple days with a crowd.Go on and create your own treats today.

Chocolate Drop Cookies
 Adapted From Betty Crocker Cookbook 2006 Edition
Yields about 24 ice cream sandwiches

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter or margarine,softened
1/3 cup + 1/3 cup buttermilk
(Alternative: Mix 160 ml milk + 2 tsp lemon juice= buttermilk)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate,melted and cooled
5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

1.Preheat oven to 400F. Grease cookie sheets with shortening or spray with cooking spray.

2. Replacement to buttermilk.Mix 160mls of milk with 2 tsp of lemon juice in a medium liquid measure.Let sit for 5 minutes.

3. Chop 4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate and place in a small glass liquid measure. Microwave,at 30 second increments.Stirring after each, until completely melted.Let cool.

4. In a large bowl,beat together granulated sugar,butter,buttermilk,vanilla,egg and melted chocolate.Use a handheld mixer on medium speed.Then stir in the dry ingredients,all purpose flour,baking soda and salt.

Tip:If butter is still too cold,Use a grater to grate the butter.

 5. On cookie sheet,drop dough by tbsp and place about 2 inches apart..Bake for 8-10 minutes or until almost no indentation remain when touched in center.Remove from cookie sheet right away and cool completely on a wire rack. Bake an even amount of cookies.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

2L Vanilla Ice Cream (Used Chap mans)
Parchment or Wax paper
Twine (string) or elastic bands

1. Be sure to match up cookies to create ice cream sandwiches.Then cut up pieces of paper to wrap the sandwiches and cut pieces of twine,if using.

2. Scoop vanilla ice cream to one cookie,place another cookie on top and gently press together.Then wrap the sandwich with the parchment paper and tie with the twine gently to help secure the paper.Then place in the freezer,until set.

3. Tips: Make about about 6 at a time and if the ice cream gets to soft,place in the freezer and wait for about 30 minutes. Prep everything ahead of time before taking the ice cream out of the freezer and work quickly.Let ice cream sandwiches sit overnight to completely freeze.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Souffles

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Warm summer weather is finally upon us on beautiful Vancouver Island.To celebrate,I am sharing a delicious dessert that everyone can simply make,using a slow cooker.Decadent single serve chocolate souffles are a splendid treat to enjoy this summer.A rich dessert made with simple ingredients and includes minimal prep work.The slow cooker does all the work for you in one hour,while keeping your home cool as well as putting time towards other projects.

These mini souffles are a great recipe choice for two to three guests.They can be easily kept warm once ready to serve and can be easily garnished with just about anything you desire.For example, a simple take would be a light dusting of icing sugar and if you prefer a fancier choice ,then a dollop of ice cream topped with fresh fruit and mint would create a defiant crowd pleaser.Although,you can easily decide to keep them untouched, since they hold themselves quite well.

Every spoonful of this dessert is incredibly creamy with the spectacular richness of chocolate. Chocolate souffles are such a delicate dessert and carry such bold flavor as well as texture in every morsel. Overall,this recipe deserves a two thumbs up for its flavor,texture along with how easily it can be made using a slow cooker. 

So, I highly recommend everyone try this recipe out and enjoy it this summer.
Individual Chocolate Souffles

From Slow Cooker Desserts:Jonnie Downing

3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 ounces semisweet chocolate
6 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk

1. Melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat.

2. Then in a small bowl,whisk together the sugar and cornstarch,until no clumps appeared.

3. Then whisk in the chocolate mixture,egg and egg yolk into the dry mixture,whisking until smooth.

 4. Then transfer the mixture into three 3 inch ramekins,not filling them all the way.This recipe fills 3 and fit three in the slow cooker.Then layer the slow cooker with foil or use a trivet to place the ramekins on.Then cover and cook the souffles on high for 1 hour.When done, the middle will still be sort of jiggly.Remove and serve.

 5. To garnish: dust them with icing sugar,serve with ice cream,whip cream, or fruit etc

Celebrate Easter With Bunny Cupcakes!!

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Happy Easter Everyone!!!  

Be sure to enjoy this holiday weekend with your family and friends, along with indulging in comfort foods and goodies.

If you're like me though? You will certainly need that special homemade treat to help celebrate this occasion.So to give you an idea for this year's treat, I will share with you these adorable bunny butt cupcakes that will certainly impress children as well as adults.

So to get you started, we have cupcakes that are made with a pretty basic cake recipe with simple directions as well as inexpensive ingredients.They include no butter or eggs,which creates a very allergy friendly cake, plus it's  quite adaptable to any ones preferences. It also creates a cake that is very moist as well as flavorful and is still a big favorite amongst my family and friends.So you definitely cannot go wrong with this recipe.

This overall creation also includes a creamy Swiss meringue butter cream,which is an excellent frosting for piping and helps create vibrant color.Its definitely my go to recipe for any cake or cupcake;however everyone must be warned it does include a large amount of egg whites and will take an extensive time to make.Although its well worth the effort for its buttery flavor and silky ,smooth texture.You just cannot resist it.

Then finally,we have the overall decorating process, which includes a piping of butter cream on each cupcake as well as a light dusting of graham cracker crumbs.Then each cupcake is placed with a decorated cake ball to construct a bunny butt and then each is fitted with bunny feet as well as a marshmallow tail.This overall decorating, creates the
illusion of a Easter rabbit digging head first in a cupcake,possibly finding Easter eggs while showing off its bunny butt. Trust me,its super cute!

In the end, you will have created an Easter chocolate and vanilla cupcake that every adult and child will love.They might even both want to decorate one for themselves.So try this creation out for yourself because the time and effort are definitely worth it.Also,your welcome to bring your own ideas to the table.

Wacky Chocolate Cupcakes & Vanilla Wacky Confetti Cupcakes
Adapted From Martha Stewart's Wacky Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup cold water

1. I preheated the oven to 350 F and lined the muffin tins.

  2. I sifted together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl,then set it aside.Then I mixed the wet ingredients together in a large bowl with a whisk.

3. Then I added the dry mix to the wet mix,whisking until smooth.

4. Then with the cake batter I filled each liner less then three quarters.Then I baked the cupcakes at 350 F for 20 - 25 minutes.Until a toothpick came out clean.Then I let the cupcakes cool completely.

Confetti Cupcakes

 1.Using the same recipe I removed the 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, and stirred in confetti/Easter sprinkles last.Then I baked the cupcakes at 350F for 20 -25 minutes and let them cool completely.

Wacky Vanilla Cake (Bunny Butts)
Adapted from Grade 12 Foods (Wacky Chocolate Cake)

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp vinegar
5 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup cold water

1. I sifted together the flour, sugar, cocoa,baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.I  then mixed the wet ingredients together in a large bowl.The vanilla,vinegar,water and oil.

2. I then added the dry mix to the wet mixture,stirring until fully combined and smooth.

3. I greased a 9 inch square pan, then poured into the prepared pan.Then I baked the cake at 350F for 25 - 30 minutes,until it springed back and toothpick test was clean.

Creating Bunny Butts

1. Once the cake was cooled I used a small cutter (donut hole size) to cut as many circles in the cake as I could.Then I used the cake scrapes to create the reminder cake balls that I needed. There were 32 cakes balls for 32 cupcakes;however cupcakes will vary of course for two recipes. Then I set them aside to cool.

Swiss Meringue Butter cream
Adapted From (Doubled)

2 cups granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups large egg whites (14 eggs)
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups cold unsalted butter,cubed

1. Without using a double boiler.I filled a medium pot with water,less then half fill on low-medium heat and placed a large glass bowl over top,without touching the water.

2. I then whisked in together the sugar,salt, and egg whites.Then I began constantly whisking, until the sugar dissolved and the mixture reached 140 F on my candy thermometer or uncomfortable hot to the touch.
3. Then once the egg mixture reach the right consistency. I poured the mixture into my stand mixer bowl and beat on medium speed with the whisk attachment, until soft peaks formed and the mixture was cooled to room temp.Then I added in the vanilla.

Tip:Clean any equipment that will come in contact with the egg whites.Any small trace of grease will ruin a batch of meringue.Easy trick is to dampen a paper towel or cloth with lemon juice or vinegar to wipe down all equipment.

4. Then I weighed and cut my butter into small cubes about 1/4 inch in size.Then I slowly added two-three cubes of butter at a time to the cooled egg mixture,while beating.I did this until the butter was fully incorporated and the icing was smooth and satiny.I did have to turn up the power slightly at the end to help the icing come together.It will look curdled in the process,but I kept beating and it will correct itself.

5. I reserved about 1 cup of white butter cream to frost the bunny butts and attach the bunny tails.
6.With three bowls, I took about 1 1/2 cups or more of butter cream for each bowl. Colored one pink,purple and green,or desired colors. Then I used Wilton's gel colors to create vibrant colors. Then I used a toothpick to add color and mix with a small spoon.Then set aside at room temperature or up to 24 hours at room temp.


Bunny Butts

1. Frosted the cake balls slightly with the white butter cream,dipped them in coconut flakes and set them aside in the fridge to set.I used one bag of coconut flakes.

Rabbit Feet

1. Without using a double boiler.I filled a medium pot with water,less then half fill on low-medium heat and placed a large glass bowl over top,without touching the water.

2. I chopped up two lindt white chocolate bars and placed them in the glass bowl.Melted them over medium-high heat.Once melted,I turned the heat down to low.

 3. I then covered a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil and used a piping bag to create bunny feet. (32 pairs of bunny feet for 32 cupcakes)

4. Then I melted Wilton's purple candy melts based on the packages directions.Melted the candy melts for 30 seconds,took out, mixed,repeat, until smooth.Added vegetable oil to help create a smoother mixture.

5. I then used a toothpick to decorate the feet with the candy melts and then placed the rabbit feet into the fridge,until set.

Decorate Cupcakes

 1. Using the Wilton's color swirl 3 color coupler.I filled each piping bag with each color and then piped each cupcake using a star tip.

2. Then I sprinkled graham cracker crumbs on the top or Oreo crumbs to create dirt. Then I placed the coconut cake balls on top and then attached the rabbit feet. Lastly,I added one mini marshmallow  to  the top of the cake balls to create a bunny tail.I repeated the process for each cupcake.

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