Strawberry Butter

Strawberry Butter 1

I made some Strawberry Butter with my kids for a fun sweet treat, so I wanted to share it with you.

It was super simple to make (just 3 ingredients), and it made for a fun snack or breakfast dish.

It’s the type of dish you could make when you wake up in the morning for a fresh homemade breakfast with very little effort.

Strawberry Butter 2

The first time we made it, my oldest daughter said it was actually too sweet, so we adjusted it for less sugar the next time, which is what you’ll find in the printable recipe below.

It was also a nice way to use up some extra strawberries, since my girls prefer to eat strawberries only when they’re fresh and crisp.  Once they start to get soft, I have to incorporate them into a recipe.  They won’t eat “mushy” berries.

But mushy or crisp strawberries both work for this.

You could use the butter to top any kind of bagel or English muffin or pancakes, but we like it in the King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, which is what you see in my photos.

Make sure your butter is completely room temperature when you start, to make it a quick and simple process.  If you’re going to make it in the morning, leave the butter out overnight.

You can refrigerate this Strawberry Butter if you don’t use it all right away, but allow it to come to room temperature before serving.  Or at least don’t use it right out of the fridge, because it will be too stiff.

Strawberry Butter

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup diced strawberries, fresh or frozen

In a small bowl, beat the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.  Stir in the strawberries and mix well by hand.

Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.  Bring to room temperature before serving for best results.  Best if used within three days.

Note:  You can use salted or unsalted butter for this.  The salted butter will balance out the sweetness.  And you can use fresh or frozen strawberries, but keep in mind the frozen strawberries may add more juice to the butter, and be sure to thaw them fully first.

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And click below for the printable PDF version:

Strawberry Butter

Happy Eating!

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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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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!

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Vampire /Monster Teeth Doughnuts for Halloween

Vampire Monster Donuts.jpg

These Vampire Donuts were the biggest hit of our last Halloween season.

I always do a lot of crafts and recipes with my girls during Halloween, as it’s my second fave holiday (following quite closely on the heels of Christmas).  But these right here?  Totally made it to the top of the list of awesomeness.

And how incredibly ridiculously EASY???

Seriously.  I went and picked up a dollar bag full of vampire teeth and stuck them in some glazed donuts from Publix.

I had to push open the holes a little to make the teeth fit, but that was no big deal.

You could mix it up with some chocolate or autumn-flavored (apple or pumpkin spice anybody??) donuts instead, and you could dress it up by adding a little red gel icing to look like blood dripping from the fangs too.

But I’m a big fan of sweet and simple.  :)

Share some pics if you try it!

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Open Faced Pumpkin (Jack O’ Lantern) Cheesy Bread

Open Faced Pumpkin Jack O Lantern Cheesy Bread

This Jack O’ Lantern “Pumpkin” Cheesy Bread is another fun lunch idea to serve up in October!

I love playing with food and this is one of those things that makes my kids a little more excited about eating non-candy foods.  Granted, an open-faced cheese sandwich might not be the healthiest thing in their lunchbox, but it’s filling.  And you can make it with whatever kind of bread you like.  It looks better on wheat than white bread, and even better on pumpernickel.

I used the big pumpkins from this cookie cutter set to cut out the bread.  A regular loaf of sandwich bread may be a little small for the big cookie cutter, so you can either use the smaller pumpkin instead, or just flatten out the bread slice a little bit to make it wider.  Like with a rolling pin.  Or your hands, if you’re lazy like me.

Then, take your orange cheese (I used American but if your kids like cheddar, that’s awesome, too) and cut out a pumpkin with the same cutter you used for the bread.  You may have to put two pieces of cheese next to each other to be big enough for the pumpkin, but don’t worry – it’ll all melt together.

On a cutting board, after you’ve cut your pumpkin shape from the cheese slice, use a small knife to carve the face from the cheese.  Draw the face with the point of the knife and then use the knife to lift out the extra pieces.  Then gently transfer the cheese to the bread, lining up the pumpkin shapes.

Put the bread on a napkin and microwave it for 5 to 7 seconds – just enough to barely melt the cheese.  If it melts too much, the face will spread and get mushy.  Remember, you want it to melt just enough to make sure the cheese will stick to the bread and not fall off.

If you’re going to put it into a container for their lunchbox instead of eating it right away, make sure to leave it on the napkin for a minute before enclosing it in plastic, just in case there’s any errant moisture.  Then pack it off, or refrigerate it until the next day.

Happy Halloween!

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Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pumpkins: Version 2015

Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pumpkins for Halloween

I really love these little guys.  There just isn’t much of a better bite-size snack around Halloween than these tiny Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pumpkins.

I’ve made these many times, and this year my girls helped out.  My 5yo made quite a few completely on her own.

It’s a great way to get your kids in the kitchen – the main challenge being getting them not to eat all the marshmallows!

It takes a little bit of time to get all of those tiny marshmallows covered, but it is SO worth it!  Biting into the smooth vanilla-flavored chocolate that surrounds the pillow-like center with that one tiny crunch of the sprinkle “stem” is just utter delight!

Be sure to make a bunch – they’re great to share but will go fast!

Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pumpkins for Halloween 2

You’re going to need some mini marshmallows, some orange candy melts, and some flower green flower shaped sprinkles, kinda like these or these.  Or, if you can’t find flower shaped sprinkles, you could substitute with regular chocolate sprinkles.

Melt the candy melts according to the package directions, making sure the chocolate is smooth and drips from the fork somewhat easily, but that it’s not very hot.

Meanwhile, separate out the green sprinkles.

Throw a marshmallow in the bowl and use a fork or two to cover it with chocolate.  Scoop it out with the fork and gently tap the fork on the edge of the bowl to get rid of the excess chocolate.  Then use a second fork to scrape the marshmallow off of the first fork and onto some parchment or waxed paper, making sure the marshmallow is upright.

Do this for a few marshmallows, and then take a break to insert a green sprinkle in the top of each pumpkin before the chocolate starts to harden, and trace around it with a toothpick if there is a lot of excess chocolate.  This will make it easier to break off any extra big chunks once it has dried.

Coat the marshmallows until you run out of chocolate.  One bag of candy melts will use up about half a bag of mini marshmallows.  Let the pumpkins sit until fully hardened, about an hour.  Then remove them from the paper.  Store covered… and enjoy!

Be sure to check out my other Halloween marshmallows, too:

Chocolate Covered Halloween Ghost and Pumpkin Mini Marshmallows 1

Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pumpkins and Candy Corn

Halloween Marshmallow Mummies

Happy (Yummy) Halloween!

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Oreo Ghosts

Oreo Ghosts

These are a super cute way to add a little Halloween fun to snack time!

Since a bag of Oreos is a dangerous thing, I don’t like to keep them in the house too often… but I’ll buy the small packs now and then for fun stuff like this.

To make the ghosts, first you need to open the cookies while trying to keep all of the icing on one side.  Then use a small paring knife to carve off a bit to give a swirl movement to the sides of the ghost, and then make circle shapes for eyes and a mouth.  Scrape up and off the extra pieces.  And, you know, “discard” them… somehow… ;)

Oreo Ghosts

Then serve up the ghosts to your excited Little Ones!

Happy Halloween!

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