Polka Dot Peanut Butter Bananas

polka dot peanut butter bananas

I gotta tell ya . . . ever since I was a kid, I could just never get into Ants on a Log.

You know those things where people spread peanut butter over pieces of celery and dot the peanut butter with raisins meant to resemble little bugs?

Yeah.  I can’t stand celery.

It’s one of those things that I do – very, very occasionally – cook with.  Like in soups.  BUT, I dice up the celery super small and use less than what’s called for.

In other words, if I don’t like the taste and texture of something, I’m not going to eat it as a “snack.”

So, especially considering that I’m not a huge raisin fan either, Ants on a Log was never a thing for me.

Until now.

See, bananas I like.  And combine them with peanut butter and chocolate chips, and BOOM:  super awesome.

Seriously.  The combo kind of tastes like cookies or cheesecake.  It’s like a dessert, but in a slightly healthy snack.  Well, it’s fruit anyway.  And you could use any type of nut or seed butter.

Best part?  The kids can make these treats themselves.

I went ahead and sliced the bananas in half and then in half again (to make four quarters out of one banana, which was easier for their little hands to hold), but then I gave them plastic knives to scoop and spread the peanut butter, and I put out a little dish of chocolate chips for them to stick in the peanut butter.

So it was interactive for them and they got to eat something they made.

Ridiculously simple and ridiculously good.

Happy Eating!

Roaming Rosie Signature

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Triple Chocolate Iced Scones

Triple Chocolate Iced Scones Recipe

I recently made some Sweet Honey Scones (they’re awesome btw, you should try them) and I was still in the mood for scones, but also really in the mood for chocolate.

This was my solution.

And a pretty darned great one, if I do say so myself.

These Triple Chocolate Iced Scones are thick and crumbly like a biscuit, but moist too and so very chocolatey.

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 2

I’ve been eating these for breakfast and dessert.

I love versatility.  ;)

They’re freshest within the first 2 or 3 days, but that shouldn’t be a problem.  They are SO easy to eat.

Oh, and the “triple” in the name comes from them being chocolate scones with chocolate chips throughout and topped by a decadent chocolate icing.  *drools*

Triple Chocolate Iced Scones Recipe

Getting set up.

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 4

After you mix together the dry ingredients, you’ll cut in the cold butter.

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 5

Then comes the cream and vanilla (yum!) and the chocolate chips.

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 6

Looks good once it all comes together, no?

Knead it gently to pull it together.  Overworking the dough will make it tough.

And sprinkle some cocoa powder instead of flour over your work surface to keep it from sticking.

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 7

Shape the dough with your hands into a circle or a square.

A circle will make 8 large wedges.  The squares above come in a count of 16, but as you can see in the photo below, I further cut these squares down by slicing them diagonally to make small triangles.

Which made it easier to eat two or three or four at a time…….

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 8

The dough is just slightly sticky enough that you may have to reshape it after cutting, especially if you use a pizza cutter like I did.

But that’s okay.  They reshape easily with your fingers.  Just press the dough where you want it to go.

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 9

The icing is optional, technically, but such a nice touch.

Just blend the cocoa powder and powdered sugar and stir in a little vanilla and water until you’ve got smooth ribbons of chocolate easily dripping from your fork in thin ribbons.

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 10

The baked scones, pre-icing.

Try not to over bake them or the bottoms will burn.  The bottoms will be a little darker than the rest anyway, but keep an eye on them towards the end.

They’ll be done when they look puffy and solid, and there’s no indent left behind when you touch the top with your finger.

Triple Chocolate Iced Scones Recipe

How wonderful do these things look covered in icing??

Triple Chocolate Scones Recipe 12

Cover your work space with waxed paper or something similar to catch the drips of icing.

To decorate your scones like this, scoop the fork into the icing and then wave it back and forth over the scones to drizzle them generously with the liquid yummy-ness.

Let the icing dry completely before storing.  I usually let things like this sit for at least an hour (or more) to make ultra-certain that the icing is hardened all the way through and won’t get smooshed when I stack them in a container.

Triple Chocolate Iced Scones Recipe

Triple Chocolate Iced Scones

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (one stick) cold unsalted butter, sliced
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 3 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until it resembles large crumbs.

Add the cream and vanilla to the dry mixture and stir until just moistened.  Add the chocolate chips.  Knead it gently with your hands to pull it all together.  Do not overmix.

Sprinkle a little cocoa powder over your work surface, and shape the dough with your hands into a circle or square about 8 inches across and one inch high.  Cut the circle into 8 large wedges or cut the square into 16 smaller squares.  If you’d like mini triangles, as shown in the photos, cut the 16 squares in half diagonally to make 32 pieces.  Place them an inch apart on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the dough is set and leaves no indent when you touch the top.  Let rest on pan for two minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Make the icing by mixing the powdered sugar and cocoa powder with a fork.  Add the vanilla and 2 tablespoons of water and stir well.  Continue adding water a teaspoon at a time until the icing smoothly drips from the fork in thin ribbons.  Drizzle the icing over the completely cooled scones.

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To print the free PDF of the recipe click here:

Triple Chocolate Scones

Happy Baking!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Teddy Bear Toast

Teddy Bear Toast

Do you know what is totally cute and totally easy to make??

Teddy Bear Toast!

It’s just a few ingredients and only takes a couple of minutes, so whether you serve it as a snack or part of a meal, you are sure to have some excited kiddos.

Teddy Bear Toast

I toasted the bread instead of using un-toasted bread because it makes it easier to spread the peanut butter.  Less chance of the bread falling apart.

But you don’t have to use peanut butter.  You could use almond butter, nutella, cream cheese (polar bears), or whatever spreadable thing you thing vaguely represents a bear’s fur.

Then press on a banana slice for its ears and snout.  Top that off with two chocolate chips for eyes and a chocolate chip for his nose and you’re done!

I made a tiny hole in the banana slice snout to make that chocolate chip fit a little more snugly, but other than that, you’re pretty much just piling on the goodness.

The other thing is that this is easy for kids to make.  I usually just serve it up, but you could get your kids involved in the kitchen by letting them make their own bears.

Teddy Bear Toast

Isn’t that cute??

Share pics with me of your creations on Facebook!

Check out a couple other posts I’ve done about cute foods here:

Heart Shaped Strawberries and Sandwiches for Kids Lunches  CuteZCute Animal Palz Mini Bento Sandwich Stamping Cutter

Happy Eating!

Roaming Rosie Signature

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.]

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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

Peppermint Polar Bear Paw Treats and The Books That Inspired Them

Peppermint Polar Bear Paw Treats and the Books That Inspired Them

These yummy treats were one of our recent projects.

I’d been wanting to do something that incorporated polar bears, since it’s winter, and when I realized I could shape little minty patties to look like bear paw prints, I got pretty excited.

It’s kind of like a teddy bear paw… but a polar bear instead.

My girls and I had been rotating through a couple of books that featured polar bears, which is one of the main reasons they were on my mind.  The books include East of the Sun, West of the Moon and Hush Little Polar Bear, both of which I’ve reviewed below.

Peppermint Polar Bear Paw Treats and the Books That Inspired Them

The bear paws are easy to make.  The patty is just sugar, cream cheese, and peppermint extract.

Then, for decoration, I added Junior Mints and milk chocolate chips.

You could use semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips instead, but I liked the milk chocolate flavor with these.

Peppermint Polar Bear Paw Treats and the Books That Inspired Them

Here are the necessary ingredients.  I didn’t actually count out the candies ahead of time:  I just poured a bunch in a bowl for my girls to pick from.

My 4yo did a pretty good job, and my 2yo had a lot of fun shaping the dough… when she wasn’t busy eating the candy.

Peppermint Polar Bear Paw Treats and the Books That Inspired Them

To make the mint patties look like bear paws, add one Junior Mint and top with three chocolate chips.

You have to press them in right away, since the heat of your hand is what helps form the shape.  Once you’ve formed the disc and placed it on the counter, it will begin to harden.  So you’ll want to *gently* push in your candy right away.

Then store them in the fridge.

They look really cute on Christmas cookie platters, and would also be fun at winter birthday parties.  Or just, you know, to eat yourself.  :)

East of the Sun, West of the Moon

I love this book.  East of the Sun, West of the Moon is a retelling of a 19th century Norwegian fairytale.  It’s retold by Susanna Davidson and illustrated by Petra Brown.

It’s part of the Usborne Young Readers:  Series Two books.  It’s meant to be read by children who are 8+ years and are gaining confidence in reading on their own.  I bought it to read to my 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 year old girls.  It’s certainly much more appealing to the older child, who get’s very excited about it, but my youngest still enjoys the pictures and does listen to the story.  And older kids will definitely enjoy reading it for themselves.

I think it’s wonderful, especially because it’s a fairy tale written for a younger audience that isn’t one of the same old, worn stories that are told over and over and over in other books.  It’s a fresh tale.  There’s adventure and excitement, and it’s even a little scary – as all fairy tales are – but not too much.

It’s terribly romantic, too, but not in a mushy, flowery way.  This is a story about a brave girl who goes to the ends of the earth to save the man she loves.  She enlists the help of the Four Winds and outsmarts an evil Troll to break the spell that turns her beloved prince into a polar bear.

There’s even a little message hidden in the ending promoting the importance of love and family over money and riches.

The retelling is written to be easily understood by kids.  There are a limited number of words on every page, so as not to be overwhelming, and it’s 64 pages are separated into six chapters.  The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and many are displayed across a double page spread.

The physical book itself is also great.  It’s small, about 5.5 by 8 inches, with thick pages, and its sturdy hardcover is a silky, soft texture.  It feels nice to hold.

I completely and ardently recommend this book.  It is unfortunately no longer available from my Usborne site, but you can sometimes find used copies on Amazon.  You can also check out the other Young Readers:  Series Two books.

Hush Little Polar Bear by Jeff Mack

Hush Little Polar Bear, by Jeff Mack, is a charming picture book.  It’s available as a hardcover or a board book, and we have the hardcover version, since ours was a decommissioned purchase from our local library.

And I’m so glad I came across this gem while hunting for new books to read.  It’s colorful and adventurous, and a wonderful bedtime read.

It’s written in verse as a little girl talking to her stuffed toy polar bear and about what exciting dreams he may be having.  The bear sails the high seas on the back of a whale, swims through a waterfall, swings through the trees, forges through a desert, and floats through the sky … all the way home to her, where they curl up together to sleep.

The text has a good rhythm and the illustrations are a lot of fun.  The little girl appears somewhere on every page, watching the polar bear’s adventures from up close or afar, and my kids enjoy pointing her out.

Plus, I love reading stories at bedtime that end with the characters drifting off to sleep.  It helps set the mood.   :)

If you have Little Ones, you should really consider adding it to your collection.  It’s such a fun read!

Peppermint Polar Bear Paw Treats and the Books That Inspired Them

And now, back to the recipe that was inspired by these fantastic books:

Peppermint Polar Bear Paws

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups confectionery sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
20 Junior Mints candies
60 milk chocolate chips

In a large bowl, use a mixer to combine the softened cream cheese and confectionery sugar until smooth.

Add the peppermint extract and mix until fully blended.

Scoop large spoonfuls of peppermint mixture out and use your hands to shape it into a disc. It won’t “roll” in your hands very well, so you’ll need to form them mostly by pressing them into shape.

Immediately add a Junior Mint and 3 chocolate chips to the peppermint disc in a pattern that represents a bear paw while still malleable. The disc will begin to harden once you stop moving it around in your hands, so make one at a time.

Store covered in the refrigerator. Makes 20.

[Notes: place the chocolate chips in upside down, so that the flat sides are facing up. And when placing the Junior Mints on the disc, press very gently on the edges, instead of in the middle, to avoid cracking them.]

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Click here for the free printable PDF version:

Peppermint Polar Bear Paws

Enjoy!  And Happy Reading!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Halloween Marshmallow Mummies

Halloween Marshmallow Mummies

These Mummy Marshmallows are soooooo cute!

But to be perfectly honest:  they were a pain to make.

The good news?  I know what I did wrong and can help you avoid my mistakes!  :)  If you don’t do what I did, then they’re super, super easy to make.

I picked this particular combination because I liked the concept of these as a somewhat “reversed” mummy.  Usually the mummy wrappings are white and the background dark, but I switched it around by using white marshmallows and a dark colored “wrapping.”

I suppose you could get some chocolate marshmallows and drizzle white candy melts over them, too.

Just a thought.

Halloween Marshmallow Mummies

You can see that I decorated them on the floor.  This was to make it easier for my 4yo could help {her little sister was napping}.  More casual, I guess you could say.

Anyway, to get to the heart of the matter:  I used melted chocolate chips for this.

I don’t know why.

I bake with chocolate chips all the time and seem to repetitively forget that they’re best for just that – baking.  NOT decorating.

To solve this problem, just use candy melts instead.  The regular chocolate chips get too hot, harden too fast, and don’t melt as evenly in the microwave.

I also stuck them in a little plastic baggie.  To my credit, that’s all I had available.  But the tiny sandwich bags tend to burst open when you have something in them that you’re trying to squeeze out of a snipped corner.  Thus:  the half-cleaned blob on my tray.  So do yourself a favor and use either a heavier, freezer-weight baggie or a traditional cake decorating bag with a metal tip.  It’ll save your sanity.

Halloween Marshmallow Mummies

So…

To make the Mummy Marshmallows: 

1.  Place marshmallows on their side on waxed or parchment paper.

2.  Drizzle melted Dark Chocolate Candy Melts over the tops of the marshmallow, moving from side to side.

3.  Place two mini M&Ms on top of the chocolate as eyes {preferably with the “m” facing down} and drizzle a little chocolate over the eyes to make them appear partially hidden.

4.  Let the chocolate harden.  Store covered.

Halloween Marshmallow Mummies

An easy concept, really.  And if you don’t make the mistakes I did, it will only take a few minutes to complete the entire project.

Maybe next year I’ll attempt this with more coffee in my system and remember to follow my own advice.  :)

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Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Banana Bread

This is some awesome bread.

I came up with this recipe to get a bread that was moist and soft and very, very chocolatey.

It’s kinda rich, too.

If you prefer to have a little crunch in the middle, though, you could substitute half of the chocolate chips with chopped walnuts.

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Banana Bread

It’s a pretty basic banana bread recipe.

All the usual suspects.

Plus the chocolate chips, and a little cinnamon for an extra layer of flavor.  I love cinnamon.

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Banana Bread

It will look pretty wet as you’re mixing it, but that’s okay.

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Banana Bread

Here’s the dough in the pan.

The little bit of moisture around the edge is from the baking spray I used.  I don’t usually have the patience to butter and flour a pan, so I use the baking nonstick spray that has flour in it.  Maybe not the healthiest thing in the world, but it’s easy.

I did add a piece of parchment paper to the bottom of the pan, as well, just in case.  Better safe than sorry.

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Banana Bread

Doesn’t that look amazing?

And it smells even better than it looks.

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Banana Bread

Like I said:  very, very chocolatey.

That chocolate in every bite is what I think makes the smoothness of the bananas and the spice of the cinnamon extra awesome.

Sometimes I eat it just like that, and sometimes with butter.  Sometimes for breakfast, and sometimes for dessert.

Either way, it’s pretty filling.

And awesome.

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Banana Bread

Ingredients:

3 large, ripe bananas
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, smash the bananas with a fork until mostly smooth. Mix the melted butter into the bananas. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla until combined. Then mix in the cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until browned. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

[Note: This is a moist bread with chocolate in every bite. If you want less chocolate, and a little crunch, you could substitute half of the chocolate chips for chopped walnuts.]

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For the printable PDF version of the recipe, click here:  Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Banana Bread

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature