Birthday Candle Pancake Breakfast … with Sprinkles!

Birthday Candle Pancake Breakfast with Sprinkles!

You wanna know what we love in our house?

Sprinkles.

Sprinkles are the bomb.

Tiny, sugary confetti bursts of celebratory color.  Perfect for just about anything.  Including pancakes.

For my girls’ birthday breakfasts this year, they got homemade pancakes.  With SPRINKLES!

Because… why not?

It looked awfully impressive, but was such a simple way to add joy to a special day.  Such a fun way to start out a birthday!

Anyway, I used some overnight pancake batter (I’ll get around to posting that recipe… someday) to make the pancakes, threw a couple on their “Frozen” plates, drizzled some syrup, and scooped on the cake sprinkles!

You could also add sprinkles to the batter, but I stuck to using the pop of color just as a topping.

I also stuck in a few candles and lit them just before placing them in front of the girls (whose birthdays are one day apart, so candles for both of them at the same time totally works).

Birthday Candle Pancake Breakfast with Sprinkles!

And if you love sprinkles as much as we do, check out:

Milk Sprinkles   Vanilla Fairy Fudge Recipe  Elf Sized Chocolate Chip Confetti Cookies   Sprinkle Cookies

Enjoy!  And please share your sprinkle pics with me on Facebook!

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A History of Noms de Plume

I just had to share this infographic!

This stuff is fascinating.  Obviously I knew some of these facts – but I still learned SO much by reading this.

And – I’ll have it known – I’m seriously considering changing my pen name to Secretary to the Emperor of the Moon.

Printerinks-Whodunit

I’d love to hear any stories of pen names that you’d like to share!

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(photo credit:  http://www.printerinks.com/a-history-of-noms-de-plume-infographic.html)

Chocolate Fudge with Chocolate Chip Topping

Chocolate Fudge with Chocolate Chip Topping

Did I REALLY just publish THREE fudge recipes in a row??

Yes.  Yes, I did.

And I may do it again one day…. I AM working on some new recipes… ;)

But for today, let’s just stick with this chocolate fudge with its INCREDIBLE chocolate chip topping.

Because, really, the awesomeness here deserves a massive amount of attention.

Chocolate Fudge with Chocolate Chip Topping

It starts out like any normal fudge (well – the kind WITHOUT condensed milk, which are the only ones I’ll cook now).

And go right ahead and ignore those mini chocolate chips in the photo…. I’d put them out before I realized they weren’t the ones I wanted to use.  Don’t ask.  Crazy Mom Brain, I guess.

What you SHOULD use are milk chocolate chips.  Why?  Because they’re softer and it’s a slightly contrasting flavor to the main body of the fudge.  In other words, it compliments the fudge while still standing on it’s own.

Chocolate Fudge with Chocolate Chip Topping

First things first:  whisk together the milk, cream, butter, sugar, and cocoa in a pot.

BUT in a bigger pot than what I photographed above.  Don’t ask.  Probably due to Crazy Mom Brain operating on no sleep.  Either way, this pot overflowed and you just really don’t want to waste any chocolate like that.

So use a bigger pot.

Like this one:

Chocolate Fudge with Chocolate Chip Topping

Bring the mixture to a boil without stirring it.

Then reduce to a rolling simmer.

Chocolate Fudge with Chocolate Chip Topping

After 15 minutes, check the temperature.  Remember:  no stirring.

It NEEDS to hit 235 degrees Fahrenheit.  If it doesn’t hit that temperature (also known as soft ball stage), it won’t set.

But you may need to keep simmering it until it hits 235.  Don’t worry if it takes longer – just keep checking until you get where you need to be.

It’s totally worth the wait.

Chocolate Fudge with Chocolate Chip Topping

Once you get to 235, you can take it off the stove and mix in the vanilla.

To really, really make sure that the fudge sets like it should, you should put the pan over a bowl of ice and stir it for a few minutes until it gets thicker.

Chocolate Fudge with Chocolate Chip Topping

Pour the fudge into a pan prepared with butter or cooking spray (foil really helps, too), and immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top.

Spread out the chips so that they cover the entire top evenly and press down gently to make sure that they adhere.

The fudge shouldn’t be hot enough to melt them at this point if you stirred it over the ice for a couple of minutes, but just warm enough to let the chips slightly melt just enough so that they stick.

Chocolate Fudge with Chocolate Chip Topping

There you go.

Isn’t that beautiful??

Let it sit, preferably on a wire rack to cool the bottom faster, then remove it from the pan.

Flip it over – gently! – for a few minutes to allow the bottom to dry, then – gently! – flip it back and cut it into pieces.

Chocolate Fudge with Chocolate Chip Topping

The inside will still be a little moist, which is why I suggest allowing the cut pieces to sit out, not touching each other, for at least an hour, if not overnight.

That way, the outside is completely dry.  But the inside stays nice and smooth and melt-in-your-mouth amazing.

Seriously.  If you love chocolate, you’re gonna be in heaven with these little bits of bliss.

Don’t be surprised if you take a tray to work or a pot luck and they’re gone before you can blink.

Chocolate Fudge with Chocolate Chip Topping

Chocolate Fudge with Chocolate Topping

Ingredients:

1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 cups sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Prepare an 8×8-inch baking dish with foil and a light coating of butter or cooking spray.

Whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, cocoa, and butter in a large saucepan. Bring it to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer it without stirring. This is important: do NOT stir the mixture! After 15 minutes, test the temperature with a thermometer. Once it reaches 235°F or soft ball stage, remove from heat. Do NOT stop simmering until it reaches this temperature, or it will not set. This may take a few more minutes. It will be noticeably thicker at this point, but still slightly runny. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Fill a large bowl with ice and place the saucepan into the bowl on top of the ice. Stir the fudge for a few minutes until it is very thick. Then (making sure not to let any of the melted ice get into your fudge) pour it into the prepared baking dish, spreading it smooth. Immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Spread them evenly, covering the entire surface, and gently press them down to make sure they adhere to the top of the fudge.

Place baking dish on a wire rack and allow to completely set. This may take a half hour or a little longer, depending on the temperature and humidity of your home. Carefully remove the fudge from the dish by pulling out the foil. Place fudge on a wire baking rack for a few minutes to allow the bottom to dry.

Cut into squares or rectangles with a sharp knife and allow the pieces to sit for a while without touching. I usually leave them out overnight to make sure each piece is fully set and has a nice solidity all the way around the smooth interior. Makes about 3 dozen 1-inch pieces.

[Note: you can also use semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips instead of the milk chocolate.]

********

Click here to print the free PDF version of the recipe:

Chocolate Fudge with Chocolate Chip Topping

And if you like fudge, check out my Vanilla Fairy Fudge and my mini pieces of traditional Chocolate Fudge:

Vanilla Fairy Fudge Recipe Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Happy Baking!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Chocolate Fudge Recipe (with no condensed milk!)

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

As I recently mentioned in my post about Vanilla Fairy Fudge, I really, really, really don’t like fudge that’s made with condensed milk.

So I’ve been experimenting with fudge recipes lately (ones withOUT condensed milk), and today I wanted to share my Chocolate Fudge.

This stuff is AH-may-zing!!!

Just supremely smooth and decadent and perfectly chocolatey!

I think I’m in love.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Just look at that pile of perfection.

Sigh……

This is the stuff dreams are made of.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Anyway – back to the recipe.

Basic fudge stuff, plus a cocoa powder that you like.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Mix together the sugar and cocoa….

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Then mix all of it (except the vanilla) in a sauce pot.

Then whisk it to make sure it’s all mixed.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Bring it up to a boil…..

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Then simmer until it hits 235 degrees Fahrenheit.

Which is important.  You gotta wait until it gets to 235 (soft ball stage) before you take it off the stove.  Otherwise it won’t set properly.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Stir in the vanilla and then put the whole pot on top of a bunch of ice cubes in a big bowl.

Stir, stir, stir.

After a couple of minutes, it will be much thicker.  Time to transfer to your prepared pan!

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

I recommend lining your pan with tin foil and then greasing it with a very light layer of butter or a nonstick cooking spray.  I like coconut oil spray.

BUT – I need to stress that the pan pictured here is NOT a big 9 by 13 inch baking pan!  I didn’t realize that it would look like that in the photos.  I usually use an 8 by 8 inch baking dish for this, but just happened to grab this little guy when I was photographing this batch.

The dish pictured here is actually 1.5 quarts or approximately 6 by 10 inches.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

After a short time, you’ll be able to pick the fudge up out of the pan with the foil and turn it over to allow the bottom to set.

Then you can (carefully) flip it over again and cut it into pieces.

Let those pieces sit out for a while to fully set all around.  I will usually leave them out overnight or for at least a few hours, just to make extra sure they’ve hit the texture I’m looking for before I pack them away.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

The pieces of fudge you will get from this recipe are pretty small, by design.

If you want really thick giant chunks, you’ll have to either double (triple??) the recipe, or just pour it into a smaller pan to set.

But just take a look at that gorgeous pile of deliciousness…… you’ll be wanting to try this.  About right now.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 ½ cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare an 8×8-inch baking dish with foil and a light coating of butter or cooking spray.

Whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, cocoa, and butter in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer it without stirring. This is important: do NOT stir the mixture! After 15 minutes, test the temperature with a thermometer. Once it reaches 235°F or soft ball stage, remove from heat. Do NOT stop simmering until it reaches this temperature, or it will not set. It will be noticeably thicker at this point, but still slightly runny.

Let it sit for a minute and then stir in the vanilla extract.

Fill a large bowl with ice and place the saucepan into the bowl on top of the ice. Stir the fudge for a few minutes until it is very thick. Then (making sure not to let any of the melted ice get into your fudge) pour it into the prepared baking dish, spreading it smooth.

Place baking dish on a wire rack and allow to completely set. This may take a half hour or a little longer, depending on the temperature and humidity of your home. Then carefully remove the fudge from the dish by pulling out the foil. Carefully invert it on a flat plate or platter and allow the bottom to dry. Again, this may only take a few minutes.

Cut into squares or rectangles with a sharp knife and allow the pieces to sit for a while without touching. I usually leave them out overnight to make sure each piece is fully set and has a nice solidity all the way around the smooth interior. Makes about 4 dozen very small pieces, depending on how you cut it.

[Note: the recipe can be doubled or put in a smaller pan if you like thicker pieces.]

**********

Click below for the free printable PDF version of this recipe:

Chocolate Fudge

And if you like this, be sure to check out my Vanilla Fairy Fudge:

Vanilla Fairy Fudge Recipe

Or if you’d prefer cookies……..

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies Mini M M Chocolate Chip Cookies Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookies

Happy Baking!

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Vanilla Fairy Fudge

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

I am a BIG fan of fudge.

But I stopped making fudge for a long time.  I got tired of trying out recipe after recipe and never having an end result that resembled what you’d find in candy stores or ice cream shops.

This was mostly because every recipe that I tried called for condensed milk.  And each and every one of those recipes left me with a fudge that was mushy and half-melted at room temperature.  Which – to me – isn’t really fudge.

Recently I decided to tackle this particular dessert again.  I tried some different combinations of ingredients and some different methods of cooking.  There were successes.  And there were failures.  What I’m posting today was not only a success but a hit.

And I’ll be sharing more fudge recipes soon, but today, let’s just start with this Vanilla Fairy Fudge.

Why “fairy?”

Well, when I was doing Letter F Day with my girls, I wanted to make a snack that started with the letter F.  I was enchanted by the pictures of Fairy Bread that I found on the internet (it’s an Australian treat – not something we see over here in the U.S.), but I decided to go one step further and add another “F” to make it better fit my alphabet theme.  Thus, Fairy Fudge.

The fudge I made that day, however, was a bit of a failure.  Not completely – I mean, we did eat it…..

But it was yet another condensed milk recipe.

Turns out you can use regular milk (and some cream, too) and come up with something even better.  Which is what we have here.  And it’s surprisingly easy, too, once you know the steps to take.

Originally this was just Vanilla Fudge, which was – don’t get me wrong – great, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about my Letter F recipe.  So I added some sprinkles to the next batch.  Great became awesome.

Because sprinkles just make life better.

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

The ingredients are pretty basic:  butter, milk, sugar, etc.

Heavy whipping cream is pretty much the only think here that I’d have to remember to actually pick up at the store ahead of time.

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

Everything except the vanilla and sprinkles gets mixed together and brought to a boil.

Once you reach a boil, you turn it down and simmer it for 15 minutes or so.

There is NO stirring.  You just watch to make sure it’s still bubbling, but that it never boils over.  Especially on stoves like mine.  My stove seems to change its temperature when it feels like it.

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

The important thing is that your fudge reach a temperature of 235 degrees Fahrenheit.

Even if it takes more that 15 minutes.  This step is important.

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

Then you mix in the vanilla and stir it over a bowl of ice to cool it down quickly.

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

When stirring it over the ice, it’ll thicken noticeably.

Then it’s ready to go into your prepared pan.  I like to coat the pan with foil first, to make it easier to remove the fudge once it’s set, but you also need something to grease it with.

Butter works well as long as you don’t overdo it.  I sometimes use nonstick cooking spray.  My favorite is coconut oil spray.

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

Cover the top with sprinkles (all the way to the edges) right away.

It’s better to put too much than too little.  After it’s set, just tilt it to allow the extras to fall away.

The fudge should set quickly.  I might let it sit for an hour just to be extra certain, but it usually sets in just a few minutes.

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

Then you take it out of the pan and turn it over VERY gently onto a large plate (retro plate optional).

But even if you’re like me and you sometimes stop paying attention to what you’re doing and you manage to break the fudge into two or three chunks, that’s okay.  You can always cut the pieces diagonally.

And this recipe is meant to produce small pieces.  Not gigantic thick hunks of candy.  If you want it thicker, though, it’s easy enough to double the recipe or just put it in a smaller pan to set.  Your choice.

I then leave those little pieces out overnight, or for a few hours, to make extra, extra certain that they’re fully set all the way around.  I don’t like mushy edges.

Because the best part is biting into the crisp edges of the fudge piece and discovering the smooth, soft melt-in-your mouth center.

Mmmmmmm…… I think I need to go make some more fudge…….

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

Above is a photo of what the fudge looks like without the sprinkles.

Still delicious.  Just not as colorful.

And, honestly, I love the texture that the sprinkles add to it.  But it’s a choice that’s up to you.  I promise I won’t judge your fudge.  (As long as you don’t judge my rhymes.)

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 ½ cups sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Nonpareil sprinkles

Prepare an 8×8-inch baking dish with foil and a light coating of butter or cooking spray.

Whisk together the milk, cream, butter, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer it without stirring. This is important: do NOT stir the mixture! After 15 minutes, test the temperature with a thermometer. Once it reaches 235°F or soft ball stage, remove from heat. Do NOT stop simmering until it reaches this temperature, or it will not set. It will be noticeably thicker at this point, but still slightly runny.

Let it sit for a minute and then stir in the vanilla extract.

Fill a large bowl with ice and place the saucepan into the bowl on top of the ice. Stir the fudge for a few minutes until it is very thick. Then (making sure not to let any of the melted ice get into your fudge) pour it into the prepared baking dish, spreading it smooth. Immediately cover the top with nonpareil sprinkles. This is an optional step, but it adds a nice texture.

Place baking dish on a wire rack and allow to completely set. This may take a half hour or a little longer, depending on the temperature and humidity of your home. Then carefully remove the fudge from the dish by pulling out the foil. Carefully invert it on a flat plate or platter and allow the bottom to dry. Again, this may only take a few minutes.

Cut into squares or rectangles with a sharp knife and allow the pieces to sit for a while without touching. I usually leave them out overnight to make sure each piece is fully set and has a nice solidity all the way around the smooth interior. Makes about 4 dozen very small pieces, depending on how you cut it.

[Note: the recipe can be doubled or put in a smaller pan if you like thicker pieces.]

**********

Click for the free printable PDF of the recipe:

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

And if you love fudge, then you absolutely HAVE to check out my Chocolate Fudge recipe:

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Happy Baking!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Lemon Oatmeal Cookies

Lemon Oatmeal Cookies

At first, I wasn’t really sure how these Lemon Oatmeal Cookies were going to turn out, but – on the heels of my Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies – I was still on a lemon kick and wanted to try something a little different.

Luckily, these were a hit.

They’re a bit thick, but soft and deliciously lemony.

You also only really need one lemon to make them, but I threw a few more into the photos since I had them on hand.

Lemon Oatmeal Cookies

If you like lemon and oatmeal, these are a must.

Plus, if you don’t really like icing {I could practically live off of icing} you could still eat them without it.  I like how the icing adds a tart sweetness to an otherwise mellow cookie.

Lemon Oatmeal Cookies

The icing can be stirred together in two minutes while the cookies are cooling.

Just don’t put those lemon seeds into the icing. :)

Lemon Oatmeal Cookies

You could flatten the cookies more, I suppose, but I liked the thickness of them.

It makes them softer.

And the powdered sugar on the bottom of the glass that you use to flatten the dough adds a nice, subtle sweetness.

Lemon Oatmeal Cookies

Again, if you didn’t want the extra lemon flavor in the icing, you could just top the cookies with a sprinkle of powdered sugar right before serving.

I like the icing, though, for a few reasons.  Aside from the nice flavor, it also make the cookies ready-to-eat right out of the bag or tub that you keep them in.

Which is especially nice if you’re bringing them to a pot luck or something similar.

And, really, they’d be wonderful at a brunch event.

Lemon Oatmeal Cookies

Lemon Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 egg
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 cup powdered sugar (for dusting)

Icing:

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3 to 5 teaspoons water

Beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the flour, oats, egg, lemon zest, and vanilla and mix well. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Put the 1/8 cup powdered sugar in a small dish.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten the cookies by dipping the bottom of a drinking glass in the powdered sugar and pressing the glass down on the dough.

Bake cookies for 11 to 13 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown.

Cool for one minute on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons of water in a small bowl. Stir with a fork, adding a half-teaspoon of water at a time until you reach your desired consistency. It should drip slowly but smoothly from the fork.

Drizzle the icing over the cooled cookies and allow it to set. Store covered. Makes about 2 dozen.

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Click to print the free PDF version of the recipe:

Lemon Oatmeal Cookies

And if you like lemon, be sure to check out these recipes and crafts:

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies   Lemon Cheesecake Bars Lemon Scented Play Dough

Happy Baking!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Roaming Rosie Reads “Monsters Aren’t Real” by Kerstin Schoene {book review}

Roaming Rosie Reads

Monsters Aren’t Real by Kerstin Schoene is an enchanting picture book that my kids are absolutely in love with.

It’s 44 pages long, but many of the pages have no words at all, or only a few.  Wordless picture books are great for Little Ones.  Plus, the story is packed full of laughs, which always makes reading fun.

The book is about a monster who’s keeps hearing “monster’s aren’t real,” which leads him to wonder, “then what am I?”  He’s as big as a monster… as strong as a monster… so monsters MUST be real.  Right??

Monster's Aren't Real {picture book review}

Our gentle monster tries to prove that he’s real by attempting to scare people.  He says “boo” and he juggles cows, but nobody is scared.  He tried to spread propaganda via helium balloons and posters {my girls always giggle about the poster that’s upside down}, but nobody’s paying attention.

He gets sad and concludes that monsters aren’t, in fact, real.  But then another crazy-looking monster shows up {this one’s my 3yo’s favorite} and insists that they ARE real.

I often have to reread and reread and reread those last two pages.  My girls read them along with me, bursting into laughter every single time.

When the book is over, I always ask, “are monsters real?” and they shout, “NO!”

And then they laugh some more.

You can watch me reading the book in the video below:

And you can purchase the book from Usborne Books & More:

Monsters Aren’t Real

If you’re Little One is a big monster fan, they may also enjoy:

0000891_the_story_of_growl_300 0001053_300 0001065_300 0001129_300 0002493_jonathan_james_and_the_whatif_monster_3000004113_300 0005365_build_a_picture_monsters_sticker_book_300  0002477_300

Happy Reading!

Roaming Rosie Signature