Category Archives: Sweet Treats

Homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries

Homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries -

Chocolates are an iconic Valentine’s Day gift. These HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRIES only have 3 ingredients, but look and taste special enough to be displayed in any heart shaped box. They’re simple enough to make that you could easily get your kids involved and let them take some to their teachers or friends. 

Homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries

Homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries:


1 cup Powdered Sugar (or Confectioners Sugar)
4 Teaspoons Maraschino Cherry Juice (from the jar)
24 Maraschino Cherries
4 oz Chocolate Almond Bark (or other melting chocolate)


Step 1: Drain the juice from the jar of Maraschino Cherries and reserve. Place cherries on a paper towel. IMPORTANT: you don’t want to dry the cherries out, in fact if you want you can store them back in the juice once you’ve measured out what you need to make the sugar paste. If the cherries are too dry, they won’t melt the sugar paste once the cherries are all dipped and finished.


Step 2: Mix 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with 2 teaspoons of cherry juice by adding 1/2 teaspoon at a time and mixing well with the back of a spoon and until well incorporated. It’s going to take a little bit of work, but just keep at it until it looks like a very thick paste. If it is a little crumbly, don’t fret (my pet), it will smooth out once you roll it out (kind of like pie crust). As a note: I make the paste 1/2 batch at a time and wrap 12 cherries with it and then mix up the second 1/2. This way the mixture and cherries don’t dry out. 

Homemade Cherry Corials

Step 3: Take a small spoonful (about a teaspoon) and place it on some plastic wrap. Place a second piece of plastic wrap on top of it and use a rolling pin to roll it very thin. 

Remove the top layer of plastic wrap and place a cherry in the center. Use the plastic wrap on the bottom to help wrap up the sides and then twist at the top to form the paste around the cherry. Carefully unwrap and place on a plate. Continue with the remaining cherries. 

Chocolate Covered Cherries

Step 4: Once all of the cherries are wrapped in the sugar paste, place them in the freezer for at least 10 minutes – but up to 30 minutes. 

Chop 4 oz of Chocolate Almond Bark into chunks and melt in the microwave. Start by microwaving for 30 seconds, stir and go another 30 seconds. If after stirring again, it needs more time, go in 10 second increments, stirring very well after each one. You don’t want to burn the chocolate. Once fully melted remove the cherries from the freezer.

Begin by dipping the bottom of all of the cherries in the chocolate and setting on a plate. Once you have finished dipping all of the bottoms, go back to the first cherry and dip the rest of the cherry by holding on to the bottom. Make sure you get the entire cherry covered in chocolate. The juice will seep out of any tiny holes. Set on a plate to dry. 

Store at room temperature in an airtight container overnight. This allows the juice from the cherries to melt the sugar and turn it into that amazing “sauce” that surrounds cordial cherries. 

Homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries -

 I’m so excited to be participating in 14 Days of Love hosted by Carrie at Crafty Night Owls

14 Days of Love Logo


Be sure to check back here each day for new ideas – check out those that have already been shared:


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24 Christmas Cookie Exchange Recipes

24 Christmas Cookie Exchange Recipes

Let’s just face it, the holidays are laden with sweet treats, decadent dishes, indulgent meals and lots of cheer. I choose to embrace it all. One popular tradition I happen to love is the Christmas Cookie Exchange. Each guest brings 24 homemade cookies and enough copies of the recipe for each person. 12 of the cookies are set out to enjoy during the party and then each guest takes a plate home with one dozen different cookies to try along with recipes for ALL the cookies at the party. I love this type of party because it combines the fun, social aspect of getting together with friends with delicious treats AND lots of new great recipes that you know are good because you’ve tasted the results!

The one downside to a Cookie Exchange Party is that often you’ll get 7 plates of traditional chocolate chip cookies. If you’ve been invited to a Christmas cookie exchange, are hosting your own, or are just on the hunt for some rockin’ cookie recipes – you’re in the right spot! I’ve rounded up 24 Christmas cookie exchange recipes that will knock the socks off of other guests and there is a WIDE variety (notice, not one traditional chocolate chip cookie? If you need a good recipe for that, see this post.)

24 Christmas Cookie Exchange Recipes


If you are in the market for some dessert or cake stands, here are my favorites:

3-Tier Dinner Plate Rack – this is great because you can use your own dinner plates and match them to whatever your colors are.
3-Tiered Dessert Pedestal – classic white matches everything, but this has a little bit of detail to make it unique and cute.
Metal 3-Tier Tray – Antique White – I love the vintage and cottage look to this one, its so chic.

Special THANKS to these contributors: Rae Gun Ramblings, Artsy Fartsy Mama, Cupcake Diaries, Love to be in the Kitchen, Create and Babble, Alimentageuse, Wonky Wonderful, Say Not Sweet Anne, I Heart Eating, Kludgy Mom, Moms Test Kitchen, Sweet Twist of Blogging, The Kitchen is my Playground, A Sweet Baker, Beyond Frosting, Organized Island, Happiness is Homemade, Meal Planning Magic, Kathe with an E, Snap Creativity, Like Mother Like Daughter, Project Domestication, Fearlessly Creative Mammas, Frieda Loves Bread

Happy Holidays!!

National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

There is something about a “national day” that involves delicious desserts that makes me feel like it’s a MUST to celebrate! Today is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day. You feel like giving it your full support, don’t you? 🙂

Well, lucky for you I’ve got two solutions.

The first is if you’re in a hurry today and don’t have time for baking or ice cream making, but you want to join in on the fun. I shared this idea a few weeks ago in my post about our Teddy Bear Picnic. It’s simple to put together, sweet, creamy and delicious. How can you beat that?


Ice Cream Sandwich with whipped cream and caramel


Top a store bought ice cream sandwich with a dollop of whipped topping and a heavy drizzle of caramel sauce and you’re all set!

If you are feeling like Betty Crocker today, then you’re in luck because I have a dessert that will satisfy both your sweet and salty sides.

I call them PB&J Ice Cream Sandwiches. They are made with two homemade peanut butter cookies and a scoop of homemade fresh strawberry ice cream. Yum!

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwich


It was so good. I literally licked the plate (don’t worry, I looked around to make sure no one was watching when I did it). The peanut-buttery cookies were slightly salty and still warm from the oven and the fresh, creamy, sweet ice cream was just starting to melt. I rolled the sides in a few chopped peanuts to add an extra bit of crunch and saltiness. It was heaven. I’m not joking (would I ever joke about desserts?!!).

Peanut Butter Cookies
½ tsp. vanilla
1 c. butter
1 c. peanut butter (I prefer chunky)
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. baking soda

Cream together butter, peanut butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs. Sift all dry ingredients together and add mixing well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake 375 for 10 minutes. 

I made the ice cream in my new Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream & Sorbet maker with a recipe that came in the box. It has a canister that you freeze 24 hours in advance and then you add your ingredients, mix for 15 minutes and you have the soft, creamy, sweet ice cream! I’ve made 5 batches in 2 weeks (this could be my downfall)!

So, go with the quick route or get baking – either way, make sure you celebrate National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!

And, for more ideas on turning an Ice Cream Sandwich into a buffet for a wedding, large party or other event – check this out!

Butterfly Themed Birthday Party: Food & Desserts

Butterfly Themed Party -

Did you love the butterfly decorations? I did too. They were so much fun to put together. The food and desserts were equally fun and they were delicious! I looked for items that either fit the butterfly theme or the color theme – that way they would all coordinate.

Butterfly Themed Party Food:

I held two different parties – one for the family to come for dessert and another for little friends. So, let’s start with the dessert party:

Butterfly Birthday Party - dessert table display -


For the beverages I purchased Strawberry and Orange Crush for the pink and orange colors and Jarritos pinneaple for the yellow (it is a Mexican soda and can be found on the ethnic food aisle). Then I just added a 2″ printed butterfly taped over the logo of the bottle.

Butterfly Themed Party - drinks, beverages, soda -


Oh, the cake. I had such grand visions of a perfect cake. Unfortunately, the vision in my head didn’t come out of the piping bag all by itself. I guess you need to actually have some cake decorating skill in order to get what’s in your head. 🙂 The frosting didn’t blend from one color to the next and the chocolate butterflies that I piped out onto wax paper didn’t stand out as I had hoped, but it tasted good!

Butterfly Themed Party - layered cake - chocolate butterflies -

I made three 9″ round cakes in the three party colors. For the pink layer I used a strawberry cake mix (I made the rest into cupcakes for the friend party). The middle and top layer were a yellow cake mix with a bit of food coloring added for the orange layer. I made homemade cream cheese frosting because I don’t like the flavor of shortening based frostings.

Butterfly Birthday Party - layered cake - Butterfly Birthday Party - ombre birthday cake -

Lemon Bars:

I included lemon bars for an extra sweet treat. They are one of my favorite desserts and they matched the color theme – double score! I love all of the recipes from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe that I have tried and so although I hadn’t had this recipe before, I knew they would be good. They didn’t disappoint – they were perfectly tart, sweet and buttery. Give them a try!

Lemon Bars - Butterfly Themed Party -


For those who wanted a less sugary dessert, I also served fruit kabobs. Keeping with the color theme I served pineapple, cantaloupe and watermelon that I cut using a Butterfly Shaped Cookie Cutter.

Butterfly Themed Party - fruit kabobs - butterfly shaped watermelon -


Guests got to take home Salt Water Taffy in the party colors, chocolate mold butterfly suckers that I made using chocolate candy melt and Butterfly Gummy Candy (purchased at Winco).

IMG_9773Buttefly Themed Party Favors - gummy butterflies, taffy - eventstocelebrate.netButterfly Themed Party - growing wheat grass decoration -

At the party the following day for her little friends I served many of the same items, but added a few to turn it into lunch.

Butterfly Birthday Party - lunch food display -

Butterfly Sandwiches:

I used a butterfly shaped cookie cutter to turn ordinary white sandwich bread into cute little butterfly PB&J’s.

Butterfly Birthday Party - butterfly shaped sandwiches -

Butterfly Crackers with Cheese:

Pepperidge Farm Golden Butter Crackers come in the shape of a butterfly! They also have a box called “Cracker Favorites” that contain butterfly shaped crackers. I found them at my regular local grocery store. I simply paired them with some string cheese or cheddar cheese for a simple tray.

Butterfly Birthday Party - butterfly shaped crackers and cheese -


To continue with the color theme I offered plain potato chips as well as cheetos (what toddler doesn’t love cheetos?).

Butterfly Birthday Party - lunch food display -


It was fun to brainstorm ways to incorporate the butterfly or color palette into all of the food details! Stay tuned for the details on all of the activities we did at the party!

Looking for more Butterfly Themed Party Ideas:

 Click Here for Decoration Ideas

Click Here for Party Activity Ideas


Teddy Bear Picnic

Teddy Bear Picnic -

(Since the ground can be bumpy I used this old suit case as a little food table)

Wednesday, July 10th is National Teddy Bear Picnic Day. I bet you didn’t even know that one existed – right? I love a good picnic. The food and eating outside on a blanket in the shade just makes me so happy – plus it means that the weather is nice out, which I love too.

I recently had a sleepover with a few of my nieces and nephew and we turned our lunch that day into a teddy bear picnic. They (the girls especially) loved that they got to involve their teddy bears and pretend to feed them. It was really cute. We kept the food simple, but the dessert totally stole the show – it was so easy but SO delicious! It is going to be my go-to dessert from now on!

Teddy Bear Picnic Fun!

We dined on grilled hot dogs, cheetos and watermelon slices and washed it down with a Capri Sun.

Teddy Bear Picnic

Mr. Bear (above) and my daughter Lucy (below) were very thirsty.


Ice Cream Sandwiches with a dollop of Whipped Cream and a heafty drizzle of caramel topping was the perfect end to our picnic! Teddy Bear Picnic Dessert Ice Cream Sandwiches

Yum – they were seriously so good!

Ice Cream Sandwich with whipped cream and caramel

So, take your lunch outside this Wednesday, add in a teddy bear for good measure and enjoy the holiday!

Chocolate Frosted Brownies

This Sunday, July 7th is National Chocolate Day. Ahh, chocolate, my good friend. I have a hard time considering any day complete unless I’ve had at least a little bit of chocolate. To celebrate this year, I want to share with you one of my favorite recipes of all time – chocolate frosted brownies. I know you are thinking – “they are just brownies” but I can assure you that I have tried dozens of recipes and none match this – they really are that good.

Brownie recipe chocolate buttercream

Chocolate Frosted Brownies

I got the recipe from my good friend Jen. She lives a few streets away from me and brought these brownies more than a few times. She would bring 5 or 6 on a plate and I would eat every single one. All. By. Myself. 🙂 Finally, she shared the recipe with me and now I make them on a (way too) regular basis. I’ve even reached the point that I have to purposely 1/2 the recipe because I can’t stop myself from eating them. And, last point, don’t even think about skipping the frosting!

Okay, now that you have worked up an appetite – here’s the recipe.


– 1 cup melted butter
– 1/2 cup cocoa powder
– 2 cups granulated sugar
– 4 whole eggs beaten
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

Directions: Whisk together melted butter and cocoa powder. Add sugar, beaten eggs, vanilla and salt. Mix well, then add flour. Stir in slowly until just combined – do not over mix. Pour into a 9 x 13 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 25-28 minutes. Cool completely and then frost (but really, who waits until they are completely cool?!)

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

– 1/2 cup of room temperature butter
– 1/2 tsp vanilla
– 2 Tbsp milk (add more a little at a time if it is too dry)
– 2 cups powdered sugar
– 1/3 – 1/2 cup cocoa powder (depending on how “dark” you like your chocolate)

Beat the butter until smooth and add 1 cup of powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. Slowly mix (to avoid a powdered sugar cloud) and once combined add the other cup of powdered sugar and the cocoa powder, then mix until smooth. Add more milk a teaspoon at a time until you have reached your desired consistency.

I promise they will not disappoint and you will be celebrating National Chocolate Day the best way possible!

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