Mailboxes and Marshmallows

chocolate-dipped Valentine marshmallows

Throughout elementary school, I begged my mom for a shoebox on every February 13th and asked her to cut a slit in the lid. I then pulled out pink construction paper, red glitter glue, and shiny white sequins to decorate the sides. I even pressed on sparkly heart stickers for good measure!

 

The next morning, I carefully held my homemade Valentine mailbox on my lap as Mom drove across town. At school, I placed it on my desk just like the rest of my classmates.

 

After lunch, we walked around the room, dropping paper cards into each person’s mailbox while the parents set up for our classroom party. Although I dreaded the politics of handing out those little Valentines—you had to make sure the sappy ones didn’t go to any of the boys!—I always loved the sugar cookies and conversation hearts that the parents brought in. It was probably a good thing they never made these chocolate dipped marshmallows… I would have eaten every last one and refused to share, even with my crush!   Continue reading for recipe.

February 13, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Delicious Desserts. 26 comments.

Share the Love — Valentine’s Day Blog Swap

Today is our lucky day! Andrea from Mrs. Webb in the Kitchen is going to teach us how to make special truffle stuffed strawberries. Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

 

Andrea and I met in high school and bonded over cold nights marching around the football field for band and giggling our way through nasally accents in French class. Although we lost touch for a few years after graduation, I found out last fall that she now works in a bakery—my dream job! She has picked up lots of tricks and tips, especially in the cake decorating world, and I begged her to share some with us.

 

In exchange, I wrote a guest post for her with a recipe for heart-shaped french toast for two. Be sure to check it out after reading her truffle tutorial, as well as her dainty French macarons and moist gingerbread cake with molasses frosting!

 

truffle-stuffed chocolate covered strawberries

 

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a sucker for Valentine’s Day. Even before I had a sweetheart of my own, I adored a day dedicated to pink hearts, pretty flowers, and candy. In my elementary school years, I couldn’t wait to hand out silly and sweet paper valentines to my classmates- each of the pre-printed sentiments carefully sorted into classmate, crush, or friend-worthy categories!

 

This year, in lieu of passing out stale old conversation hearts, I thought I’d try my hand at some hand-crafted truffles. These strawberry truffles, however, are a fusion of two of the most classic heart day treats: truffles and chocolate covered strawberries! My original plan was to add a berry-flavored extract to ganache to make a traditional truffle interior. Instead, I decided to stuff the ganache inside a real, live strawberry.   Continue reading for recipe.

February 11, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Delicious Desserts. 6 comments.

The “Sweet and Sneaky” Summary

sweet and sneaky ways to eat your veggies

I was amazed by your responses to my mini series on sweet and sneaky ways to eat your veggies. I expected people to think my recipes were insane, or maybe imaginative at best, but you surprised me with many thoughtful compliments instead!

 

I smiled while reading each of your comments, and a few of them really touched my heart.   Continue reading.

February 2, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Delicious Desserts, Midweek Meals. 16 comments.

Sweet and Sneaky Ways to Eat Your Veggies: Beets

aka “And The Beet Goes On…”

fudgy beet brownies

I saved the best for last!

 

I thought beets were weird. Sure, they looked sweet and innocent from far away, but as soon as I mixed them into my salad, they turned my feta cheese hot pink. Hot pink. Strangely, I don’t find neon-colored dairy products very appetizing…

 

So while my mom swore by them, I picked those pesky beets out of my food.   Continue reading for recipe.

January 30, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Delicious Desserts. 50 comments.

Best Desserts of 2012

With New Year’s Eve drawing near, I started flipping through photos from 2012 to smile at the year’s fun memories. As I scrolled through the albums, I laughed… All of my pictures were of food! (Well okay, except for the summer vacation to Kauai. And the father-daughter trip to Arizona.)

 

So I can’t exactly share very many memories, seeing as I barely remember lots of them, but I can relive a few of my favorite recipes instead!   Continue reading for recipes.

December 30, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Delicious Desserts. 19 comments.

Fudging Through a New Tradition

ginger fudge

Every December, various family members bake large batches of gingerbread cookies, fruitcakes, and buckeye balls to share and mail. But not once, in all of my sugary Christmas seasons, can I remember a single relative sending fudge our way. We surely didn’t make our own—the chocolate would have disappeared before Mom pulled out the recipe!—so any fudge came from the store or a neighbor.   Continue reading for recipe.

December 23, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Delicious Desserts. 14 comments.

He Knows If You’ve Been Bad Or Good!

peanut butter and nutella popcorn balls

My popcorn kernels, peanut butter, and nutella all bully each other around on their crowded shelf in my pantry. When I pull the peanut butter down, he knocks the nutella over, and when I grab the popcorn kernels, they push the peanut butter off of the ledge. They just won’t play nicely or give each other any personal space!

 

When I mentioned the predicament to Rebecca at Crave, she encouraged me to create a snack that combined all three. Although tempted to stick them in hour-long timeouts in separate corners of the kitchen, I decided to try her suggestion and get the three to cooperate after all.   Continue reading for recipe.

December 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Delicious Desserts. 17 comments.

Death By Flour (And Chocolatey Nutella)

gluten-free hazelnut cookies

My mother nearly killed me a few weeks ago. She drove up to visit, and as I munched on my afternoon snack, she dropped this on me: “I’m giving up flour!”

 

Choking on my carrot, I barely spluttered out, “W-w-what?” as I reached for my water glass.

 

“I’m giving up flour,” she repeated.

 

“Forever?” My mind was racing… How could my mother, my one and only mother, omit flour from her diet when her daughter dreams of becoming a baker??

 

She reassured me that no, this was a temporary diet-change-for-weight-loss thing, and she still enjoyed the occasional English muffin or fudgy brownie… In moderation. Limited moderation.

 

(You can call the ambulance driver back; I’m not going to die from a heart attack after all.)   Continue reading for recipe.

December 16, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Delicious Desserts. 8 comments.

Candy for Breakfast!

just-like-reese's chocolate and peanut butter oatmeal

Just before Halloween, I elbowed my way through last-minute shoppers on the candy aisle at Walmart. Pausing in front of the large mixed packages with 3 or 4 different types of sweets, I sighed aloud. None of them, not a single one, included miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!

 

Dejected, I went with the next best thing: a bag of Rolos, Kit Kats, and Reese’s Pieces. But those Reese’s Pieces just aren’t the same… I can’t nibble off all of the chocolate and let it melt on my tongue before biting into the peanut butter, not with that thin candy coating shell instead!   Continue reading for recipe.

November 30, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. 20 comments.

After Trick-Or-Treating: The Candy Trade

candy corn butterfinger bars

When it came to trick-or-treating, my brother and I meant business. We planned our M&M and Cleopatra costumes over a month in advance, and we drove our ghost- and witch-covered pillowcases clear across town where the homes were closer together (less time wasted traveling!) and the parents at the doors were more generous.

 

After hauling in the loot, we drew a clear line across the living room carpet and dumped out our treasure, carefully sorting each piece into piles before haggling away at trades. (Mom hovered above us, not to prevent any arguments but to snatch up any nut-laden candy we threatened to throw away!)   Continue reading for recipe.

November 2, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Delicious Desserts. 10 comments.

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