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!

Roaming Rosie Signature

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!

Roaming Rosie Signature

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!

Roaming Rosie Signature

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!

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

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

Valentine’s Day Lunch Snack Ideas for Kids

Valentine's Day Lunch Snack Ideas For Kids at RoamingRosie.com

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I’ve already started adding fun Valentines-themed snacks to my kid’s lunches.

The top picture is of heart-shaped strawberries.

Okay, okay… they’re not obviously hearts upon first glance, so I did mention to my girls ahead of time that they were getting strawberry hearts in their lunch bags.  Just in case my artfulness didn’t shine through right away.

Anyway, to make quick strawberry treats that vaguely resemble hearts, follow these steps:

  • Wash strawberry.
  • Cut top off of strawberry.
  • Cut berry in half.
  • Cut a triangle out of the top center of the berry.
  • Cut off the edges of the top at an angle.
  • Ensure children they’re getting lovingly carved hearts and not mangled fruit pieces.

You can also toss those extra strawberry pieces into a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, by the way.

And onto the next photo…. I used a tiny {about 1-inch} cookie cutter to cut hearts out of American cheese slices and flour tortillas.

I cut out about twice as many tortilla hearts as cheese ones because my oldest likes to assemble her own cheese sandwiches out of the pieces.

The last photo doesn’t have anything heart-shaped, but instead includes something red.

I tossed a few red M&Ms {leftover from Christmas} into a container of nuts.  Cashews, specifically, since I think they taste better than peanuts, and there are kids in my daughters’ classes with peanut allergies.

My girls will eat the nuts without any extra incentive, but I felt the dash of red color just added a little fun.

And if you’re wondering about the containers I had the cashews in, these are the ones I use:

Kotobuki Children's Bub a Buu Snack Container, Triangular Onigiri Animals, Set of 3

My girls love getting snacks in these little triangle containers.  They’re technically condiment containers, but they’re easy to open {even for my 2yo} and they hold plenty of food.

Not a LOT of food, mind you, but a handful of nuts or raisins or goldfish or about 5 or 6 grapes.  Enough for a snack.

Oh, and I also cut apple slices and used the same heart shaped cookie cutter to remove the seeds, thus putting a heart in the middle of the circle slice.  But I forgot to photograph those.  I’ll try to remember next time.  :)

Please share any fun Valentine’s snacks you’ve made for your own kiddos!

**********EDIT:  Aug 2015**********

Aaaaaand….. now that I’ve been making heart strawberries in a way that’s SO much easier for a while now, I should probably update this post!  ;)

Anyway, after I wrote this, I discovered that it was way easier to just cut the strawberry in half and use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the heart.  Takes two seconds and looks amazing!  Plus – the cuteness factor means my kids eat more fruit!  (Even at school!!!)

Check it out:

Heart Shaped Strawberries and Sandwiches for Kids Lunches

And you can see that I used one of the larger heart-shaped cutters for the sandwiches.  Since peanut butter and (strawberry) jelly can get a little messy, I sometimes cut out the bread first and then fill them instead of making the sandwich ahead of time and then cutting out the heart.

Happy Eating!  (Or happy school-lunch making!)

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