Graveyard Brownie Halloween Cupcakes

Graveyard Brownie Halloween Cupcakes

These Graveyard Brownie Cupcakes are SO MUCH FUN to make (and eat!) and very, very rich.

If you’re a chocolate lover, then you need to try these!

To make them a little less decadent, you could make regular cupcakes in place of the brownie base, and even try a milder flavor like yellow cake dyed orange.

But I was in need of some heavy-duty chocolate.  This hit the spot.

graveyard-brownie-halloween-cupcakes-2

The first thing I did was make some of my Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pumpkins with my girls.  We made them the day before.

Then we melted some white candy melts to make the chocolate bones using this skeleton mold from Wilton.

We crushed up a handful of Oreo cookies in a plastic bag for our graveyard “dirt,” and we baked up some box brownies according to the package directions.

I’d thought about making the brownies in a big pan to construct a large graveyard scene, but then switched to the cupcake idea.

I was going to use regular cupcake lines and write RIP in icing on some Milano cookies for the gravestones, but then I found these cute graveyard cupcake liners that come with their own paper gravestones on toothpicks.  I happened upon them at Walmart, but there are similar products online and at other stores, too.

graveyard-brownie-halloween-cupcakes-3

We let the brownies cool completely, then iced them with chocolate icing.

We pressed in the graveyard picks and some pumpkins and bones into the icing, before sprinkling over a little of the Oreo dirt.  (If you sprinkle the cookie crumbs first, the chocolate pieces won’t stick into the icing.)

Then we savored the festively decedent chocolate culinary celebrations.

I recommend you share them, and not attempt to eat 18 thick piles of chocolate all by yourself.  Because:  wow.  ;)

Graveyard Brownie Halloween Cupcakes

Happy Halloween Baking!

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Spider Web Peppermint Patties

spider-web-halloween-peppermint-patties-1

I am enchanted by these Spider Web Peppermint Patties!

Seriously easy and super cute Halloween treats are my favorite.  Like my Vampire Donuts or Oreo Ghosts or Jack O’ Lantern Cinnamon Buns.

And these are in that vein.  (Is that a Halloween pun??)

Candy plus icing, and done.

I used peppermint extract to flavor the icing, which was nice with the peppermint candy, but you could also use vanilla.

Spider Web Halloween Peppermint Patties

I made icing with a scoop of powdered sugar, a sprinkle of meringue powder, a dash of peppermint extract, and a splash of water.

(You can see the actual recipe on my Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies, but here I used peppermint extract instead of almond.)

I put the icing in a baggy, snipped off the end, and drew the webs with the icing on top of the York Peppermint Patties.  I drew an asterisk, then made a swishy circle in the shape of a spider web.

I lost the plastic spider-shaped rings I thought I had, which would have looked cute in the photos, but the candy still looked good.  And the kids were super happy!

Happy Halloween Snacking!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Ginger Cookie Truffles

Ginger Cookie Truffles 1

So the other day I was sitting there thinking:  if people make Oreo Truffles all the time, can I make truffles out of other cookies too?

The answer is OH VERY YES.

And the more specific answer would be DUDE IF YOU LIKE SPICE COOKIES/CAKE AT ALL YOU TOTALLY HAVE TO TRY THESE RIGHT NOW.

I chose these ingredients because I’m a big fan of spice cakes and gingerbread cookies and things like that.  My mom can practically live off of ginger snaps.  And fall is on its way.  (Or maybe it’s already here.  I’m not sure:  I live in Florida.)

Ginger Cookie Truffles 2

Anyway, these truffles are basically a combination of cookie crumbs and cream cheese smushed together and dipped into white chocolate.

Then, for a fun touch, drizzled with a little cinnamon chocolate.  Just ’cause.

Ginger Cookie Truffles 3

It took me a little bit of forever to crush up all the cookies because my food processor broke, but it wasn’t difficult.

I like these ginger thins because they’re pretty crispy, which made for great crumbs.

I’m sure you could substitute a different cookie, but you might have to adjust your amounts, and – you know – these ginger thin cookies are incredible so why would you??

Unless you come up with something better – then please let me know.  Food is my favorite type of experiment.  ;)

Oh, and if you’re wondering, I picked up all of my ingredients at Walmart.  But you can also get them online if you can’t find these things locally.  I totally swear by those Ghirardelli wafers.  They seriously rock both in the ease-of-use and taste categories.

Ginger Cookie Truffles 4

The end result?

A silky smooth creamy center exploding with spice and encased in a mildly sweet chocolate that’s decorated with just a hint of cinnamon.

They look good and taste even better.

Ginger Cookie Truffles 5

Ginger Cookie Truffles

Ingredients:

10.5 oz. (2 boxes) Anna’s Swedish Thins or other ginger cookies
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
10 oz. white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli White Melting Wafers)
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)

Crumble the ginger cookies in a food processor or by hand until finely ground.

Mix the cream cheese into the cookie crumbs until well combined and smooth.

Scoop out large teaspoonfuls of the cookie mix and shape into balls.  Place the balls on a tray lined with parchment paper or tin foil.  Freeze for 10 to 15 minutes.

Melt the white chocolate according to the package directions, stirring until smooth.  Take out the cookie balls and dip them into the chocolate using a fork, one at a time, until fully coated.  Shake the fork to allow excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl.  Set the truffles on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper until chocolate hardens, using the side of a second fork to push the truffle off the first fork.

When all the truffles are done, sprinkle a teaspoon or two of cinnamon into the remaining chocolate, depending on how much chocolate is left, and stir to combine. Then use a clean fork to drizzle the cinnamon chocolate over the truffles.

Allow to fully set, then store in the refrigerator.

Makes about 2 dozen.

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Click here to print the free PDF of the recipe:

Ginger Cookie Truffles

Happy Eating!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

I haven’t made this recipe in a while, and I really don’t know why.

This Spicy Shredded BBQ Chicken is great.  And it’s a Freezer Crock Pot meal, so you store them in the freezer, and then on the day you want to eat it, you just pull the bag out of the freezer and dump it into the crock pot.

A bit of work to shred it, but after that, you’re done!

And there’s leftovers, too.  Can’t beat that!

This recipe makes two bags, but you easily can double or triple it and fill up your freezer.

But remember, it IS spicy.  If you’re looking for a more mild version, go easy on the chili powder and consider using fewer green chilies per bag (the recipe calls for 2 oz) or splitting the 4 oz can between 4 bags instead of 2.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Here’s what I love about this (besides the ease of cooking and the leftovers):  you just dump all the ingredients in a bag.

That’s it.

The prep is literally this:  dump everything in the bag.

Sweeeeeeeet.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Make sure you write your instructions on your freezer bags first, before you fill them.

Then prop up the bags on the counter by folding the edges over themselves to keep it open.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Okay, okay…. there is ONE step before the dumping.

You do have to dice up the onions and garlic.

I use a garlic press and squeeze those babies right in the bag.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

See?

Chicken in the bottom and everything else piled in on top.  You may have to cut one chicken thigh in half if you have an uneven amount in your package.

And I guess you could – theoretically – measure out everything, but when it comes to the tomato sauce and chilies, I just go ahead and dump or scoop what looks like half the can into each bag.  It’s close enough.

After that, the easiest way to mix it up is to massage the bag gently with your fingers for a minute.

Then you’ll want to squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag.

Lay each bag flat in the freezer on a tray or large box or anything that will allow it to freeze flat.  Smooth flat any lumpy sections that might be sticking up.

Check after a couple of hours.  Once frozen solid, the bags can be stacked or arranged on a shelf in an upright position.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

When you take the bag out of the freezer, run it under the cold water in the sink for one minute to break up any large chunks – making sure the bag is still sealed and no water gets inside.

Then dump it in the crock pot.  Cover and cook.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

You can flip the chicken over a few times and stir it, if you like.

Or you can just leave it and let it cook.  It doesn’t need stirring.  But I compulsively check on crock pot stuff if I’m home when it’s cooking.  Especially if it smells good.  ;)

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Once it’s cooked, remove the chicken to a bowl or plate and shred it with two forks.

As you work, add the shredded chicken back to the pot.

It should shred easily, and it’s best to have it shredded finely so that the sauce can cling to all the tiny moist pieces, but even if you’re in a super hurry, you can still mush it up pretty quickly.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Doesn’t that look good?  And it’s not even mixed in yet!

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Stir the shredded chicken back into the sauce and set the crock pot to the “stay warm” setting until you’re ready to serve it.

And there are so many ways to serve it.  I sometimes serve it by itself with rice on the side, or you could put it on the rice.  You can put it on a salad, in a taco, on some nachos, or – like in the photo at the top of the page – in a hamburger bun.

If you put it in a bun, you’ll want to toast the inside of the bun to help hold in all the juicy goodness.  Maybe even top it with a little cole slaw.

From one bag, we made a dinner of sloppy joes (in the hamburger bun I mentioned), and then the next day, I constructed some taquitos with the leftovers, pictured below.  I put a little chicken and a little cheese in a 6-inch tortilla, rolled up 15 of them and put them in a 13-by-9-inch dish with some nonstick spray.  Then I baked them at 375°F for about 20 minutes and we dunked them in a little dish of sour cream to eat.  My kids devoured them.

(Oh… and I turned on the broiler for a minute and walked away.  Don’t do that.  Don’t ever walk away from an active broiler… just sayin’)

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Here’s the recipe:

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Ingredients:

2 to 3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 sweet onion, diced
3 to 4 garlic gloves, diced or pressed
8 oz. can tomato sauce
4 oz. can diced green chilies, drained
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dry powdered mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Label two gallon-sized freezer plastic bags with the instructions:  Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken.  Cook on low 5-6 hours (or high 3-4 hours).  Remove chicken, shred, return to sauce, stir, serve.

Evenly distribute all of the ingredients between both bags; for example half the chicken (even if you have to cut one thigh in half), 4 oz. of tomato sauce, 1 ½ tablespoons cider vinegar, et cetera, in each.

Gently massage the bag to mix the ingredients and press out as much air as you can before sealing.  Lay the bags flat in the freezer, on a box or tray, and allow to freeze solid.  Then you can stack them or store them upright until ready to use.

When ready to eat, dump the contents of the bag into a crock pot.  You can run the closed plastic bag under cool water in the sink for a few minutes to make it easier to break it up.  Put the lid on the crock pot and cook for 5 to 6 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high.

Remove the chicken to a plate or bowl and shred it with two forks.  Allow it to cool first, if you need to.  Return the shredded chicken to the crock pot and stir well.  Serve or put on the “keep warm” setting until ready to eat.

Serving suggestions: over rice, inside hamburger buns, inside tacos or burritos, on a salad, or all by itself.

This recipe makes two bags/dinners.  Each bag serves 6 to 8 people.

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To print the PDF version of the recipe, click here:

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Happy Eating!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Glitter Glue Pumpkins

Glitter Glue Pumpkins 1

Last Fall, my daughters and I bought a variety of pumpkins and went at them armed with glue, glitter glue, and lots and lots of glitter!

(And one of these years, since it IS spring as I write this, I’ll maybe actually remember to try this with Easter eggs…)

The pumpkins in the background resemble some of our past pumpkin decorating efforts.

But this year I changed it up just a little and decorated a couple of the mini pumpkins with nothing but silver and gold glitter glue.

I started at the center of the top of the pumpkin, slowly pouring out the glitter glue in a tight circle around the stem.  I did a gold circle, then a silver one, then gold, et cetera, keeping the circles tight and touching each other until I had the entire top of the pumpkin covered in a thick layer of glitter glue and it was just barely starting to drip down the sides in the creases.

Glitter Glue Pumpkins 2

That’s it!  Just drew circles with the glue.

And look how pretty!

Please share your pumpkin photos with me on my Facebook page!

Happy Crafting!

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.]

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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!

Roaming Rosie Signature

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.]

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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