Super Cute, Super Simple Easter Bunny Cupcakes

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The countdown to Easter Sunday has officially begun! As of tomorrow, there are only 26 days until the big day and we are busy planning the menu for our annual Jolly Easter Egg Hunt & Dinner. We typically host the entire family plus friends, which typically ends up being around 30+ guests…or more. It’s big and loud and there lots of little ones playing in the backyard waiting anxiously for the egg hunt to begin. I’ll admit…I love every second of it. With that many mouths to feed and an egg hunt to pull off, I do try to keep the menu simple though. That’s why I love these Easter Bunny Cupcakes. They are super cute and super simple and kids LOVE them.

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Bunny Ears Cupcakes

Ingredients

 

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Buttercream or Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 2 Cups Shredded Coconut (sweetened or unsweetened depending on your preference)
  • 6 regular sized marshmallows
  • Pink sugar

Directions:

Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 F and line one 12-cup standard muffin tin with cupcake liners. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy about 2 minutes. Add the melted butter and vanilla and mix until combined. Add half the dry ingredients and continue to mix until just combined. Then add the milk and the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined (do not over mix). Divide the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake tins. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool the cupcakes completely on a wire rack. Once cupcakes have cooled, frost using a piping bag or small offset spatula/knife.

Place the shredded coconut in a shallow dish. Lightly roll the top of each cupcake in the coconut.

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Using a sharp knife, cut each marshmallow in half at a diagonal. These will be the bunny ears.

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Dip the flat side of each marshmallow half into the pink sugar.

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Now, just press two marshmallow “ears” into the top of the cupcake. This is your cute bunny cupcake! Super simple, right?

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For your own personalized Easter Countdown Calendar and the most adorable personalized Easter decor and baskets, make sure to visit PersonalCreations.com!

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Easy & Quick Cookie Pops for Valentine’s Day

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This Valentine’s Day we are hosting a little party for the kids at Lucas’ school. To keep it simple and cute, we are making these adorable cookie pops. These are super easy to make and make such a big impact. Plus, kids love them!

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Easy & Quick Cookie Pops for Valentine’s Day

Ingredients:

  • Oreo Cookies
  • 1 Bag White Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Colorful Sprinkles
  • Plus, you will need lollipop sticks.

Directions: Insert the lollipop sticks into the cream part of the cookies and set aside. Melt the white chocolate chips, add the oil, and stir until smooth.

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Dip each cookie pop into the melted white chocolate making sure to gently shake the excess chocolate off. Carefully dip the cookie pop into the sprinkles. Set on a sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with all cookie pops and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour to set the chocolate.

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We will be putting all these yummy goodies in a cute, personalized baking pan with lid from Personal Creations and taking it to Lucas’ school. The great thing is that the teacher can keep the pan!

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Holiday Recipe: Alfajores with Dulce de Leche + $50 Giveaway

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There is one ingredient that we use throughout the holidays. Milk.

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From making homemade cinnamon pancakes and hot cocoa to our traditional Christmas Eve Tres Leches (milks) Cake and homemade alfajores with dulce de leche, milk is part of almost all of our holiday food traditions.

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Lucas drinking hot cocoa made with milk and topped with whipped cream. His favorite!

Being that every 8oz glass of milk has 8 grams of protein, it’s definitely a very nutritious and wholesome ingredient to add to your holiday cooking. Plus, it tastes pretty darn good too! Even Santa gets milk with his cookies on Christmas Eve!

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Today, I want to share with you one of our favorite Latino holiday recipes that feature milk – Homemade Dulce de Leche Alfajores.

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Alfajores are cake like cookies made with corn starch sandwiched between a heaping tablespoon of dulce de leche. They can then be dipped in chocolate, rolled in coconut, or sprinkled with powdered sugar. Dulce de leche, which translates to “milk caramel” is heaven-sent. I can eat it by the spoonfuls for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack lol. It is easy to make and only requires the simplest of ingredients – milk, baking soda, sugar, and vanilla. However, it requires stirring for about 3-4 hours, which sounds crazy of course. Until you taste it. Then, you understand what all the fuss is about. Since stirring for hours is quite a labor of love, I only make it from scratch once per year. Recipe is below – enjoy!

Dulce de Leche Recipe_1

Alfajores Cookies

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions: Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). With the mixer on low, add in the eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the dough just comes together. Do not over mix! Form dough into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes – 1 hour. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Make sure to lightly flour the rolling pin and top of dough as well. Using a 2 inch round cutter, cut out cookies and place them on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheets about 1 inch a part. Refrigerate cut out cookies for about 15 minutes and then bake in 350 degree pre-heated over for 7-10 minutes. The edges of the cookies should be slightly golden when done. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool before assembling with dulce de leche.

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Dulce de Leche

Ingredients:
8 cups of whole milk
2 ½ cups sugar
1.5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions: Combine all the ingredients in large pot over medium low heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add baking soda. Cook for about 2 hours until the milk is reduced and starts to thicken and turn into a caramel color. During this time, you may need to turn the heat to low to prevent it from boiling over and you will need to stir even 5-10 minutes or so. You will notice that the milk will occasionally foam. Skim the foam off the top as you see it.

Once the color turns to a light caramel color, you will need to continue cooking for another 1-2 hours. At this point, you should have the heat on low and stir almost continually to ensure that the dulce de leche doesn’t burn or stick. It should reach a medium to dark caramel color and have a thick and creamy consistency (it will thicken more as it cools). Sometimes, I stop at a lighter caramel color because I’m tired of stirring. That’s ok too – it’s still delicious!

Assembling the Alfajores: Spread a heaping tablespoon of dulce de leche onto one cookie. Don’t skimp on the dulce de leche! Top with another cookie. Optional: Dip half the alfajores in melted chocolate, roll sides with unsweetened coconut flakes or sprinkle powdered sugar on tops.

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As we head into the 2016, many of us will be making resolutions that include better health and nutrition. Milk can help us with those goals! Packed with 9 essential nutrients in each glass, milk is a delicious, easy and affordable way to give your kids and family the protein plus other nutrients they need.

For additional milk recipes and information, make sure to visit FuertesConLeche.com. While you are these, check out Somos Fuertes ambassador, Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli’s recipe videos like the one below!

$50 MILK MONEY GIVEAWAY
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is part of a sponsored collaboration with MilkPEP and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

 

Magic Reindeer Food Recipe and Free Printable

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A fun activity to do with the kids this year is to make magic reindeer food that can be sprinkled on the yard on Christmas Eve. The sparkle will draw the reindeer to your house on Christmas Eve.

Reindeer Food

Making it is super easy! Lucas and I made a large batch using Kellogg’s All Bran Flakes so that we could pass them out to all of the cousins before Christmas.

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Magic Reindeer Food Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Kellogg’s All-Bran Flakes, lightly crushed
  • 1/4 cup red or green sugar crystals
  • 1/4 cup Christmas sprinkles

Directions: Place all ingredients in a large zip-top bag and gently shake. Pour into small mason jars and add label with poem.

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Magic Reindeer Poem

Sprinkle on the lawn at night
The moon will make it sparkle bright
Santa’s reindeer fly and roam
This will guide them to your home

 

FREE PRINTABLE

Just right click on the image below, save to your computer and print to whatever size you need.

 

 

Reindeer Food Printable Tag

 

 

 

 

 

Easy No Bake Christmas Cookies: ‘NILLA Holiday Cookie Bites Recipe

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One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is make cookies! Unfortunately, I (along with every other mom) am also so busy around this time of the year. That’s why I love when I discover an simple treats to serve at holiday parties, take to Lucas’ school events, or give out as yummy gifts to neighbors and teachers. Today I wanted to share with you the recipe for ‘NILLA Holiday Cookie Bites.

NILLA Cookie Bites Recipe

Aren’t they pretty?! I say recipe loosely because there is ZERO baking. These gorgeous treats are made by stacking Nabisco NILLA Wafers, filling with jam, and coating with candy melts. They’d also be amazing filled with a hazelnut spread or whatever kind of filling you like best. These are very festive and make quite the impact! The secret is that they are also very easy to make!

NILLA Cake Bites Recipe

‘NILLA Holiday Cookie Bites Recipe

Ingredients

  • 36 NILLA Wafers
  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam
  • 8 oz. vanilla candy wafers (melts) (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  •  Assorted decorations: crushed starlight mints, colored sprinkles, small round candies, coarse sugar and decorating icings 

Instructions

  • BRUSH  flat sides of 24 NILLA Wafers with juice, then spread with jam.
  • PLACE  remaining wafers, rounded sides up, on waxed paper-covered baking sheet; top each with 2 jam-topped wafers, jam sides down. Freeze for a few hours or overnight (like I did).
  • MELT  candy wafers as directed on package; stir in oil until blended. Dip NILLA stacks, 1 at a time, in melted candy wafers, turning to evenly coat stack and reheating candy wafer mixture if needed. I gently inserted a skewer into NILLA stacks to make dipping a little easier. Return to baking sheet. Immediately add decorations to resemble photo.
  • REFRIGERATE 30 min. or until candy coating is firm. Keep refrigerated.

NILLA Cake Bites

Holiday Party Inspiration!

To get some fresh new holiday party inspiration, make sure to visit The Ultimate Party Planner. It features lots of yummy and festive holiday recipes (like the NILLA Cake Bites recipe featured above) tested and tasted by bloggers along with tips on how to host the perfect party this holiday season. Plus, you can print Publix coupons to use for your grocery shopping this holiday season. Visit nabiscopublixpartyplanner.com to get inspired and save!

Easy Christmas Candy: Chocolate Billionaires Recipe

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My favorite candy combination is caramel and nuts. It’s gooey and crunchy. Sweet and salty. So good. That’s why I love these Chocolate Billionaires. Caramel. Pecans. Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal. Chocolate. It doesn’t get better than that!

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This is the perfect candy to make for the holidays. It’s no-bake and super easy to make. Hope you enjoy it as much as our family does!

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Chocolate Billionaires Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 ounce) package caramels
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips

Directions:

Prep baking or cookie sheets with parchment or wax paper.

Melt caramels and water in microwave until you can easily stir; stir until smooth. Mix in pecans and Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal. Drop candy by spoonfuls onto wax paper. Put candy in freezer for 1-2 hours. Melt chocolate chips in microwave in 1 minute increments until melted, stirring in between. Using a fork, dip candy into melted chocolate, turning to evenly coat all sides. Place candy on sheets of wax paper on the counter to set.

Christmas Cookies Kids Can Make

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One of my favorite holiday activities to do with the kids is to bake cookies together. It’s fun and easy and we get to enjoy our yummy creations too! When it comes to kids in the kitchen though, it’s important to provide them with simple recipes they can create with minimal help from parents. The more they can do by themselves, the happier they are! Today, I’m sharing with you a very easy and super cute reindeer cookie recipe that kids will love to make and Santa will love to eat on Christmas Eve. Enjoy!

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Reindeer Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 roll refrigerated cookie dough (any flavor you like; we like to use either gingerbread or peanut butter because it’s brown like a reindeer)
  • Small pretzel twists (for the antlers)
  • Milk chocolate chips (for the eyes)
  • Red M&Ms (for the red nose)

Directions: 
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. With hands, shape the cookie dough roll into a triangle-shaped log. Make sure that cookie dough is well-chilled before handling.

With thin sharp knife, cut dough into ¼ inch triangular slices and place on silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets.

Place 2 pretzel twists on each triangle near corners for antlers.

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Bake 7 to 11 minutes or until set. While warm, lightly press 2 chocolate chips into each cookie for eyes and 1 red M&M for nose. If necessary, use a little icing to “glue” red M&M as the nose.

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Get the Holiday Products Pictured Above

Dear Santa Message Plate by Personal Creations. Start a new Christmas Eve ritual by leaving Santa a special message on the cookie plate. He can even write back! Includes soapstone chalk.

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3 Ingredient Pumpkin Brownies Recipe (VIDEO)

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So I’m trying to lose weight. Again. This does not mesh well with my love of fall baking and all things pumpkin and chocolate though. That’s why I have been hard at work finding yummy, low calorie baking recipes that will not break my diet. One of my new favorites are these 3 Ingredient Pumpkin Brownies. Yep. 3 ingredients. Brownie mix, canned pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice. These three things come together to make a fudge-like brownie that feels like an indulgence, but has none of the fat of regular brownies. Instructions below and in the video. Enjoy!

3 Ingredient Pumpkin Brownies Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 package brownie mix
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions: Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Lightly coat square pan with cooking spray. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven, allow to cool to room temperature, and cut into squares. Serve with a cold, glass of milk and enjoy!

Video Tutorial

For more personalized serving pieces, make sure to visit PersonalCreations.com!

Easy, Homemade Guacamole Recipe

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Football season is here and my husband, Mike typically has friends or family over on Sundays to watch the Atlanta Falcons game with him and Lucas. One thing to note about football fans…they are a hungry bunch! That’s why I’m always looking for simple and yummy snacks to quickly pull together on game day. One of our favorites is homemade guacamole. This is one of those homemade dishes that is WAY better than anything you can buy at the store. Homemade guac tastes so fresh and bright. Plus, it is super simple to make with just a few ingredients. Recipe is below but after a few times of making this dish – you will be able to eye ball all the ingredients and go by flavor alone!

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Homemade Guacamole Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 large Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and coarsely mashed (I like mine to still have avocado chunks, but if you prefer creamier consistency then mash some more)
  • 2-3 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt

Directions

Combine avocado, salt, garlic, and lime juice in a large bowl and stir. Mix in cilantro, tomato, and red onion. Serve with tortilla chips and ENJOY!

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I like to serve in a festive, personalized chips and dip bowl from Personal Creations. They have the cutest, personalized serving pieces perfect for parties throughout the year! Visit PersonalCreations.com.

 

4th of July Milkshakes Recipe

Today I’m sharing the perfect patriotic treat for 4th of July. Red, white & blue milkshakes made with a layer of vanilla milkshake, strawberry slushy, and fresh blueberries. Not only are these milkshakes adorable, but they are delicious and cold. The perfect way to cool down after grilling out and fireworks this Independence Day!

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4th of July Milkshakes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1-2 Tbsp Honey or sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:
1. Make red layer. Put frozen strawberries, honey (or sugar) and water into the blender and blend until thick slushy consistency. Transfer to another container and store in freezer while you prepare the white layer. 2. Make white layer. Put 3 cups ice cream and 1/4 cup milk into the blender and blend until smooth. You want the milkshake layer to be very thick. 3. Carefully pour vanilla milkshake into a clear glass and top with strawberry slushy and fresh blueberries.

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To make a real impact, serve these icy treats in festive personalized mason jars with paper straws on a personalized Stars and Stripes tray. Both of these can be purchased at Personal Creations. They have a variety of cute home decor items that can be personalized for any holiday!

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