Snickers Pie

photo: mypizzaring.com

This is fun for everyone to eat. It is dairy so use it as an afternoon treat or after a light dairy dinner.

5 (2.07 ounce) Snickers bars, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 pie shell, baked
1-1/2 cups whipped cream cheese
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons pareve whip

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Scatter candy pieces over bottom of pie shell.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. On low speed, beat in eggs, sour cream and peanut butter. Pour into prepared shell. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until set. Place on wire rack to cool.

In a small saucepan or microwave, melt together chocolate chips and whip. Stir until smooth. Pour over cooled filling. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Makes 24 squares

You can substitute margarine for the coconut oil and regular Rice Krispies as an alternative.
3 tablespoons coconut oil, plus more for greasing
One 10-ounce bag marshmallows
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
6 cups Rice Krispies Gluten Free with Brown Rice

Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with coconut oil or non-stick cooking spray.
In a large pot, melt the 3 tablespoons of coconut oil or margarine. Add the marshmallows and cook thoroughly over low heat, stirring constantly, until they are melted, about 5 minutes. Add the creamy peanut butter and stir until incorporated. Remove the pot from the heat and immediately add the Rice Krispies. Using a wooden spoon or firm spatula, stir to coat them completely. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking pan and, using a sheet of wax paper, press evenly on the mixture to compact it. Let the Rice Krispie treats cool completely, then cut them into squares and serve.

Make Ahead

The treats can be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with (Tofutti) Cream Cheese Frosting

photo: lifeasmom.com

You don’t have to jump through hoops to get your kids to eat pumpkin! Pumpkin goes naturally in so many desserts and snacks and is a big hit with all ages. This recipe is easy enough for your kids to make as well!

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Cupcake Batter:
1 (18.25-ounce) package Duncan Hines Classic Yellow cake mix
1 package vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup canola oil
½ cup water
3 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Icing:
1 (8-ounce) package tofutti cream cheese
¼ cup (1/2 stick) margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 24 muffin cups or line with paper liners.

To prepare batter; In a large bowl, beat together all batter ingredients until no lumps remain. Pour into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to finish cooling. Cool completely before icing (no matter how impatient your kids are!)

To prepare icing: In a medium bowl, beat together all icing ingredients. Gently spoon atop cupcakes.

A Mother’s Day Treat – Mexican Rice Pudding

photo:gourmetfury.com

It seems to be a tradition at this time of year that dads and kids get together in the kitchen to whip up something special for mom. And, while it is certainly the effort that counts, it would be great if it was delicious and something mom enjoys in the process. My family knows that I am a rice pudding fan so they are trying their hand at this Mexican version. I can’t wait!

Mexican Rice Pudding
2-1/4 cups milk (best to use whole milk)
1/3 cup long-grain white rice
3 egg yolks
½ cup dulce de leche
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon

In a medium saucepan, mix 2 cups of milk with the rice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes. Cool slightly.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ¼ cup milk and the egg yolks. Gradually add to rice, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in dulce de leche, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour into container and let cool. Cover and refrigerate until cold, if you can wait that long!

Tie Dye Fruity Cupcakes

photo: kraftbrand.com /Jell-O


Recipe by jello.com

How cute are these? Super fun for the springtime or for a Shabbos afternoon with lots of kids over. They not only look cute but taste great too.

1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix
1/4 cup dry Lemon Flavor kosher Gelatin (1/2 of 3-oz. pkg.)
1/4 cup dry Lime Flavor kosher Gelatin (1/2 of 3-oz. pkg.)
1/4 cup dry Strawberry Flavor kosher Gelatin (1/2 of 3-oz. pkg.)
1 container (16 ounces) ready-to-spread vanilla frosting

PREPARE cake batter as directed on package; divide evenly into 3 bowls.
STIR different flavor dry gelatin mix into batter in each bowl. Alternately spoon batters into 24 paper-lined muffin cups, adding about 2 Tbsp. of each batter to each cup. Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool completely.
PIPE frosting onto cupcakes. (See tip.)

Microwave Coffee Cup Scramble

My kids made this over and over again during the Passover holiday week. It gets nice and puffed up in the microwave. The cheese is melted and delicious mixed with the eggs.

2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

Coat 12-oz. microwave safe coffee mug with cooking spray. Add eggs and milk; beat until blended.
Microwave on high for 45 seconds; stir. Microwave until eggs are almost set, 30 to 45 seconds longer.
Top with cheese; season with salt and pepper.

Mask Cookies

photo: fancyflours.com


Recipe by GKC friend and cake decorator, Gitti Allman

1 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 ½ to 3 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Decorating materials: frosting, fondant, sprinkles, edible markers, embellishments (all available at Breezy’s at 516 374 1544

In a mixer, cream margarine and sugar for 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl and mix for 1 additional minute. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add baking powder and mix. Add flour one cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 45 minutes or up to 3 days.

Roll out dough to about ¼ inch thick on floured surface. Cut into shapes. For easy release, dip cookie cutters into flour before cutting.

Decorate.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

Breezy’s Cake Push Up Pops


All the rage and so much fun! And each one is creative and totally kid friendly. Take photos and send us your push up pop results.

Duncan Hines Cake mix (plus eggs and oil for the mix)
Gel Food Coloring
Frosting
Sprinkles
Push Up Pops Call Breezy’s at 516 374 1544, $15 for a set of 12 (but mention GKC and get $2 off)

Breezy’s Push Up Pop Recipe:
1. Follow any basic cake mix recipe (i.e. Duncan Hines or homemade) After all the ingredients are mixed separate into 3 separate bowls.
2. In each bowl add 2 drops of Gel food coloring (get this at Breezy’s too) of your choice. Bake in a 9″ round pan according to directions on the box.
3. When the cake is cooled, use 1 of the push pop tubes to cut out circles from each cake batter.
4. Assemble push pops by attaching the long stick to the flat disc. Then slide that into the tube.
5. Put any color frosting in a piping or ziploc bag. Squeeze a little on to the bottom of the disc. Add some sprinkles then add a round piece of cake that you cup out in step 3.
6. Repeat step 5 and slowly pull down on the stick until the entire pop is filled up. Then cover it with the plastic lid.

Peanut Butter, Nutella and Banana Sandwich


Maybe not the healthiest (remove the Nutella and you are all set) but definitely one of the yummiest sandwiches we make. Try it with marshmallow fluff too!

2 pieces of bread
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons Nutella
½ banana sliced

Spread peanut butter and Nutella on the bread. On one side place the banana slices. Top with second piece of bread. Slice and eat. Or use the Lunch Punch cutters for great shapes.

Edible Fruit Bowls

by Joanna Brichetto of jewisheveryday.com
Much thanks to Joanna for this adorable and delicious craft. She has great ideas and lots projects for families on her website, jewisheveryday.com. We look forward to her sharing projects with GKC!

You may have seen edible apple bowls used as a Rosh Hashanah honey dish. It’s also a fun family project to adapt for Tu B’Shevat. You and your child can hollow an apple—the paradigmatic tree fruit—and fill it with tree fruit salad. It’s easy with a melon-baller, and the only trick is not to get too energetic and pierce the peel from the inside. Kids can even prepare the fruit for the thematic contents using double-handled apple slicer/corer combos and Montessori-style slicing tools.

Depending on the palate (e.g. pickiness) of the child in question, you can get pretty elaborate with the tree theme. Besides typical lunch-box fruit — typical for my kid, whose lunch-box is exquisitely boring — try coconut, apricot, citrus, papaya, mango, kiwi, plums, cherries, star fruit, and tree nuts galore. Or, find atypical varieties of those typical apples and pears. Dates, figs, pomegranate (juice and/or seeds), grapes and even pitted olives make a thematic nod to the Seven Species of the Land of Israel, which are a big deal at Tu B’Shevat. Dried tree fruit is a nice textural contrast tucked amongst the fresh, and is a good excuse to see if kids (or adults) realize a prune is a dried plum. (You’d be surprised.)

A sprinkling of orange juice or a squeeze of lime will keep apples and pears from oxidizing into beige yuckiness, and act as flavor binder for a wide array of fruits. Whip some coconut cream for a literally over-the-top finish. Divine.

All this tree fruit focus can spark a conversation about where a particular fruit comes from. And what exactly is a fruit, anyway, and which ones grow on trees? Pecans are tree fruits, which might surprise kids, but bananas are not. According to Rabbinic tradition, bananas are “fruit of the ground” (pri ha-admah) because they are produced on a herbaceous, annual plant. And grapes, which kids might know grow on vines, are fruit of the tree (pri ha-etz), because they grow on perennial stems. Blueberries are considered tree fruit for the same reason, which is good news for our fancy tree fruit salad. The idea that a trees is a perennial—like a rose or an azalea—surprises a lot of grownups. Do Rabbinics and botany agree on the categorizations? Not always, but it’s part of the fun to figure out what is what and why.

Who knew a simple snack-tivity could be a vehicle to explore science and religion? You and your kid get all this, plus a hands-on, personal reference point to a Jewish holiday. And of course, a healthy dessert that tastes as good as it looks.

TIP: Adults should make the first slice on the apple bowl with a sharp knife. Turn the apple on its side and make one clean cut through the top third. This method will create a “lid,” which children find irresistible, especially if the apple still has a stem for a handle. Pile your fruit higher than the rim of the bowl for maximum effect. A heaping bowl symbolizes the Earth’s bounty, which is at the core of this sweet holiday.

Candy Necklaces

photo: beentherewipedthat.com


While all the parents are watching the game, you need an activity to keep the little ones busy. The stove is clearly out of the question but food is always popular (as they see from the behavior of the grown-ups in front of the screen!) Little children seem to always love making cheerio necklaces. All you need is some shoestring licorice and some cheerios. The adventurous can add fruit loops and small chocolate pretzels if you can bear the mess. Once you tie the end, the kids can entertain themselves pretty effortlessly. Although you still might have to share your guacamole and chips!

Easy Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Everyone will have fun putting these cookies together – unless of course the kids eat all the middles first!!

Yield: about 4 dozen cookies

Cookie Dough:
2 (18-1/4 ounce) packages Devil’s Food cake mix
4 eggs
2/3 cup canola oil

Filling:
1 (8-ounce) package tofutti cream cheese
½ cup (1 stick) margarine, softened
3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Food coloring of your choice (optional but definitely fun for the kids)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together cake mixes, eggs and oil. Roll into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten slightly and bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Let rest for 2 minutes; then remove to wire rack to cool.

To prepare filling, beat together tofutti cream cheese and margarine. On low speed, add sugar and vanilla. Add food coloring, if desired. Filling can be divided up and different colors can be added to different bowls – now that’s fun!!

Spread filling on bottom half of cookies. Top with remaining cookies.

Yogurt Parfaits with Granola

Yogurt
Granola
Fruit
Nuts
Treats like chocolate chips, sprinkles, or syrup

Start with tall, clear glasses and let kids create their own parfait, layering spoonfuls of yogurt, fruit, granola, and other fun foods. Most ingredients can be store-bought, but try making your own granola!

Homemade Granola
5 cups rolled oats
1 cup blanched slivered almonds
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup wheat germ
2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1 cup canola oil
1-1/2 cups honey
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir together the oats, almonds, walnuts, pecans, sesame seeds, wheat germ, coconut and sunflower seeds. In a small pan over medium heat, stir together the oil and honey. Cook and stir until blended. Pour over the oat mixture, and stir to coat evenly. Spread out in an even layer on two cookie sheets.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the oats and nuts are toasted. Immediately after it comes out of the oven, stir in the raisins and dried cranberries. Let stand until cooled, and stir again to break up any large clusters. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Red Licorice Cupcakes


This is a real “cooking with kids” recipe. For the child in all of us. This is similar to a recipe from the show Cupcake Wars…
Yield: 12 cupcakes

Batter:
1 cup sugar
¾ cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
½ cup nondairy creamer
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup cherry cola, slightly warmed

Filling:
5 pieces of red licorice, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 egg yolks

Frosting(gilding the lily!):
½ cup (1 stick) margarine, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons nondairy creamer
Red food coloring (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 standard muffin cups or line with paper liners. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, creamer, oil and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in cola. Pour into prepared muffin pans and bake for about 15 minutes – until springy to touch. Cool in pan 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to finish cooling.

To prepare filling, combine licorice and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and cool. When cool, whisk in the sugar, cornstarch and egg yolks. Return to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly. Cool to room temperature.

Scoop out a small piece from center of each cooled cupcake and spoon 1-2 tablespoons of filling into hole. Cover with frosting.

To prepare frosting, beat together margarine, powdered sugar and creamer until light and fluffy. For a dramatic effect, add the red food coloring. Spread over cupcakes. Ooh and aah!

Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwiches

Jewish Holiday Recipe - Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich

photo: whatscookinginthebarbershop.com

Serves 12

The ultimate in decadence but super fun for kids anytime but especially during Hanukah. Be careful, the adults love them too.

12 chocolate covered doughnuts (or minis) of your choice, store bought Entemanns work best with this as the doughnuts hold up better to slicing

Ice cream flavor of your choice, I recommend coffee for adults, cookies and cream for kids

Split chocolate covered doughnuts in half crosswise. Spoon mini scoops of ice cream onto the bottom half of the doughnut ring leaving keeping the hole empty. Top with the other half of the doughnut.

Rice Krispie Pops

photo: blogger

3 tablespoons margarine
4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoons oil
Candies, sprinkles, coconut or other toppings of your choice
24 lollipop or popsicle sticks

In a large pot, melt margarine or low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and, using a large wooden spoon, stir in Rice Krispies until completely coated (this requires some muscle power). With a greased ¼ cup scoop or measure cup divide mixture into 24 portions. Shape into balls (grease your hands if mixture is sticking to them). Cool. Melt chocolate with oil in microwave and stir until smooth. Dip each ball into chocolate, then coat with desired topping (mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, chopped nuts, coconut etc.). Place on waxed paper to set. Insert stick.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

photo: gracessweetlife.com


photo by Grace of Grace’s Sweet Life

Makes 8 muffins

GKC loves reader submitted recipes, especially the easy and delicious kind. This one was sent to us from our friend Elisheva who we just met at a Succos table. She loves to cook and is a fantastic preschool teacher, so if she says kids love them, then I believe her. She got this recipe from her friend Laura.

Laura’s Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

¼ cup of sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup of oil
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cup flour
1-teaspoon baking soda
1-teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix the sugar, bananas, oil, eggs and vanilla extract.
In another bowl mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add banana mixture and mix until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour into 8 greased muffin tins (put water in remaining ones).
Bake 20-22 minutes.

Marble Cupcakes

photo: applesandtwinkies.com


I’m not a big fan of marble cake but I think the concept works perfectly in these delicious cupcakes. And kids just love the idea of the two colors together (although I did have to explain to one of my children once that it doesn’t magically separate in the oven; you actually have to keep the vanilla and chocolate apart!) This is a straightforward recipe with an opportunity for lots of fun in the icing department!

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) margarine, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons cocoa

Frosting:
1/3 cup margarine, room temperature
1-1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoons cocoa
1-2 tablespoons nondairy creamer
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper baking cups. Cream together margarine and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the flour and baking powder. Divide the mixture in half and place one half in another bowl. Stir vanilla into one half and cocoa powder into the other. Place a spoonful of vanilla batter, then a spoonful of chocolate in the paper cups until they are 2/3 to ¾ full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely. When cool, prepare frosting.

Beat together margarine, powdered sugar, cocoa and nondairy creamer until smooth and fluffy. If it’s too dry, add some more nondairy creamer, a little at a time. Spread over cupcakes and sprinkle with both types of chocolate chips. (let the kids do both of these steps)

Strawberry Oat Muffins

photo: healthyfoodforliving.com


Muffins disappear fast in our house. The kids love them at all times – in the morning, as school snacks and even as dessert. The delicious berry cream (made from ricotta and Greek yogurt) makes it something you feel great allowing your kids to eat.

Makes 12 muffins
1-½ cups flour
1 cup oats
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup applesauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup frozen strawberries
Confectioner’s sugar
Berry spread

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

Whisk the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs, applesauce, and honey together in a medium bowl. Stir the applesauce mixture into the flour mixture until completely incorporated. Gently fold in the frozen berries.

Using a 1-½ ounce ice cream scoop, portion the batter into the paper cups, filling each about ¾ full. Bake about 20 minutes.

Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve with Berry cream spread.

Berry Cream
½ cup part skim ricotta cheese
¼ cup nonfat plain or berry Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon raspberry or any berry jam
1 tablespoon honey

Mix together and store in the refrigerator.

German Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

photo by Aimee Bumgarner

Although this recipe definitely requires adult involvement, your kids will enjoy pressing their thumbs in the middle of the cookie to make the indentation (or using a spoon to accomplish the same result!) and then watching you fill the hole and seeing the exciting result.

½ cup margarine, room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons corn syrup
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup chopped pecans (if your kids have an aversion to nuts, you can leave these out!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray. Cream together margarine and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs. On low speed, add flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and continue beating until fully combined. Roll dough into balls and roll in sugar. Flatten and press ¼-inch indentation into center of each cookie. Bake for 8 minutes. In the meantime, combine egg yolks, corn syrup, coconut and nuts, if suing. Place about a ½ teaspoonful into center of each cookie. Return to oven and bake an additional 4 to 5 minutes until set. Cook for 5 minutes before transferring to rack to finish cooling. Makes about 2 dozen.

Pizza Puffs

photo: www.noblepig.com

Makes 24 mini muffin puffs

These pizza puffs are another great idea for kids and a fun way to do something other than plain old pizza. They make great snacks and are easy to bring on trips. They will not last long so try one out of the oven before your kids grab them.

3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
4 ounces soy hot dogs, cut into small cubes (about 1 cup) or other pareve meat substitute (optional)
1/2 cup marinara sauce (homemade or store-bought)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella and the soy meat and let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Heat the marinara sauce until warmed through, then stir in 1 tablespoon basil. Sprinkle the puffs with the remaining 1 tablespoon basil. Serve the puffs with the marinara sauce for dipping.

Chocolate Marshmallow Ice Cream Sandwiches

photo: cookiemadness.net

We love the chocolate-marshmallow combination in its most basic s’mores form and in all its variations (Try our Smores Cupcakes or our Marshmallow Pops). That’s why we couldn’t resist this easy recipe for:

1 Devil’s Food cake mix
2 eggs
¼ cup oil
¼ cup water
2 cups chocolate or vanilla ice cream (dairy or pareve, depending on your preference), slightly softened
2/3 cup marshmallow fluff

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together cake mix, eggs, oil and water. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for about 10 minutes. Cool briefly on pan before removing to wire rack to finish cooling. When cookies are completely cool, spread marshmallow fluff on the flat side of half the cookies. Top with ice cream and then the other cookie flat side down. Wrap each sandwich individually in plastic wrap and return to the freezer until ready to serve.

M&M’s Ice Cream Sandwiches

“I scream, you scream…” You’re never too old for ice cream! And somehow, nothing is more evocative of summer – although I did read once that New Englanders consume the most ice cream per capita! But whatever the season, whatever the age, everyone will love these homemade ice cream sandwiches. (Yes, I know you could buy them at the store but then it wouldn’t be an activity also! And they don’t taste as good…)

¾ cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
1-1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-3/4 cups M&M’s Mini Baking Bits (you can use regular M&M’s if you like)
1 quart vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
1 quart chocolate ice cream, slightly softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter or margarine, peanut butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour and baking soda until well combined. Add 1-1/4 cups of the M&M’s and mix well. Shape dough into balls (about 1-1/4-inch) and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Gently flatten and press a few more M&M’s into each cookie. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes – until golden. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Scoop about 1/3 cup ice cream on top of the flat side of one cookie. Press done with flat side of another cookie. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. I make half the sandwiches with vanilla ice cream and half with chocolate but you can do all one flavor, use other flavors or even combine two flavors in one sandwich!

Jell-O Fun!

photo: chocolateonmycranium.blogspot.com

Jell-O filled citrus cups are fun and adorable for kids.

2 oranges
4 lemons
5 limes
1 ½ cups boiling water for every 2 packages of Jell-O
2 (3 –ounce)boxes orange Jell-O
2 (3 –ounce) boxes lemon Jell-O
2 (3 –ounce) boxes red Jell-O, watermelon, raspberry or cherry

Cut oranges, lemons, and limes in half and scoop out the flesh. Then put the rinds in a muffin tin to keep them level. Boil 1 ½ cups boiling water and add 2 3 ounce packages of orange Jello mix and stir until the crystals are dissolved, about 3 minutes. Pour the mixture to the brim of each orange half. Repeat with lemon Jell-O packages, filling the lemon rinds and red Jell-O packages, filling the limes (they look like little watermelon slices). Refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Slice into wedges and serve.

Popcorn Cake

photo: cherryhillcottage.typepad.com

In our never-ending quest to find creative and fun ideas for children, we have hit upon this real “kids only” treat. It has everything a child loves – popcorn, marshmallows, M&M’s, gumdrops…and not a drop of nutritional value whatsoever! Just don’t let me catch you sneaking a bite!

1 cup margarine
1 (8-ounce) bag miniature marshmallows
4 cups popped corn
1 cup M&M’s
1 cup gumdrops
1 cup peanuts

Melt margarine and stir in marshmallows until melted. Pour over popcorn and mix well. Stir in the gumdrops and peanuts. Press into a 9 x 13-inch pan and let set. Cut with a sharp knife (this is a parent’s job) or just tear apart with your fingers. This can be made in a tube pan if for some strange reason you want an “elegant” presentation.