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Fun Halloween Chocolate Dipped Treats

Getting ready for Halloween is always so much fun, with finding or making the right costumes, decorating the house, and making special treats.  I know, I know you’re probably thinking “Who needs more sweets during this time of year?”  Well, it’s not so much about the need for them, as much as it is about the fun in making them.

We know that kids love to help out in the kitchen especially when you don’t want them too, right?  But these treats are super easy to make and by incorporating the kids into the process, you also build sweet memories of their childhood and working in the kitchen with a parent, especially during the holidays.  I’m sure you have one fond memory of cooking something up in the kitchen with Mom during that time.  Or maybe you were the one that just came around when the final product was complete.  Whatever it is, you have a memory of good times in the kitchen.

To whip up these treats in no time you’ll need:

Pretzel sticks

Wax Paper

Large marshmellows

Chocolate for melting – white, orange, or brown will do

Sprinkles – preferably white, orange, or brown

Lollipop sticks –  short or long

Flower foam block

For display:

(2) Mason jars – whatever size you have on hand (dig around in a cabinet, you’ll find one, I promise)

Burlap string or jute

OK, let the fun begin!

This is so simple to make.  There are no photos of the melting of the chocolate for display.  However, we are confident that its simplicity and our directions will be enough.

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper, heat your chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for about 40 seconds.  Remove and stir.  If it needs more time, heat again for a shorter amount of time.  Remove and stir again.  No lumps!  Then simply tip the bowl and dip your pretzel in the chocolate, giving the pretzel a little spin and tap to remove the access chocolate.  Get your sprinkles and while twirling your pretzel give a good shake over the pretzel to ensure coverage of all sides.  Next to eating them, the kids usually love this part the best!   Then lay flat on the wax paper and let dry.  Done!

Get your flower foam block ready.  Stick each marshmellow with a lollipop stick.  Then do exactly what you did for the pretzels.  Melt chocolate, dip marshmellow, cover with sprinkles, and stick into the foam block to dry.  Done!

After both have dried and are no longer wet, fill your mason jars with each.

Now take your burlap string or jute and double it.  Then wrap around the rim of the jar and tie a pretty bow.  Done!

Because we used small lollipop sticks for the marshmellows, they were a little too short for the jar we used, which wasn’t a mason jar, but an old jelly jar.  To ensure that they would be tall enough, we put some colored tissue paper at the bottom of the jar to add height and color.

There you have it!  A fun and simple sweet treat to make with the kids!  The time to make these was none, but the memories will last a lifetime!

“In the childhood memories of every good cook, there’s a large kitchen, a warm stove, a simmering pot and a mom.” – Barbara Costikyan

 

 

 

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Disappearing Dairy Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookie Bars – With An Autumn Twist

To say we have a sweet tooth is an understatement.  However, being on dairy, soy, and gluten free diets means it is difficult to find desserts that are rich enough to satisfy our intense sugar cravings – sometimes we compare our sugar cravings to drug addicts needing a fix!  Thankfully, the number of delicious and satisfying dessert options for people with dietary concerns increases every day and this recipe is one example of that.  Just because your diet is restricted, you don’t have to eat something that seems to be made of “sand,” as Kevin O’Leary (AKA Mr. Wonderful) of Shark Tank recently joked when presented with a gluten free, vegan cookie by Liz Lovely. (We LOVE that show!!!  We haven’t tried the cookies by Liz Lovely yet, but doubt they taste like sand and will be looking for them in our local grocery store.)

As with most things we cook these days, these cookie bars are very kid friendly, super easy, and QUICK to make.  You don’t even need a mixer for these!  You can definitely engage your children in the process.  And what kid doesn’t like cookies?!?!  We guarantee you won’t find anyone – child or adult alike, who thinks these cookie bars are made of sand!!!!

While these cookie bars are really suitable for any occasion (Dawn’s son asks her: “Make cooookies, Mama?”  EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT.  Yes, they are that good!), we had to give them an autumn twist!  These cookie bars are a great treat to give your holiday guests, as well as a pretty way to dress up your holiday table place settings.

Adapted fromAll Recipes and A Foodie Loves Company

Ingredients*:

1 1/2 c gluten free flour (any brand will  do, but we really like Bobs Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour)

1/4 rounded tsp Xantham Gum

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

3 rounded tsp cinnamon

1 c sugar

1 c brown sugar

1 1/2 c Bob Red Mill’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Rolled Oats

1/2 c canola oil

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

(Raisins are optional)

*As always, PLEASE carefully check the ingredients you are using if you have food allergies

OK, let the fun begin!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. 

Place all of your dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl (flour through oats) and then stir together. 

Add your wet ingredients to your bowl (canola oil, eggs, and vanilla) and mix together with a spoon or your hands.  Make sure any brown sugar lumps are broken up and thoroughly mixed with the rest of your ingredients.  

Press dough onto a rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll making sure the dough is evenly distributed.  If adding some raisins to the mix, you can press those in the top of half of the mix.

Bake 11-13 minutes or until the dough is cooked through, but your sheet of cookies isn’t super crunchy.  Remember the dough will continue to cook while it is cooling.

Once cool, use a pizza cutter to cut the bars into the size of your liking. 

These make a perfect parting gift for the Thanksgiving holiday.  

Here’s what you’ll need:

Real Autumn leaves (these should be fresh, if not, it will be too hard to write on – if you don’t have real, I’m sure silk will suffice, but have never tried writing on them before)

Gold gel pen

Burlap string

Cellophane treat bags (the size can vary depending on the size of your bar, but we used 4 in x 2 in x 9.5 in Celebrate It Brand)

Now all you do is simply write on the leaves!  What you write on them, is up to you.  Choose positive messages, quotes, names, whatever!  It’s your project, so have fun with it.

Now package them up and make them look pretty.  To ensure that your bars will stay fresh, use the twist ties that come with the bags.  Then attach your leaf by first tying a knot with the string around the stem of the leaf so that it stay in place.  Then loop your burlap string around that a couple of times and make a bow.

If you want to keep these all to yourself, simply devour!

 

  

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 {Linking to Chef In Training

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