Cherry White Chocolate Bark

Cherry White Chocolate BarkMy husband and I have never really celebrated Valentine’s Day, not since we were in high school, anyway (…yes, we were high school sweethearts!).  I’m not really into all that mushy stuff, we rarely exchange gifts for holidays at all, actually, and our idea of the perfect night is one spent cuddled up on the couch with dinner and a movie (or Modern Family!).  Most of all, we just don’t need an excuse to have a night dedicated to ‘us’ – we have them all the time!Cherry White Chocolate BarkCherry White Chocolate Bark

Okay, I have to be honest and say that the girl in me thinks little pink hearts are absolutely adorable, melts for cutesy Valentine-themed anything and totally rocks socks covered in hearts.  After all, pink is my favorite color!  And Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to spend some extra time in the kitchen making something adorable!   Not that I really need an excuse…  So maybe I kind of love V-Day for my own reasons.Cherry White Chocolate Bark

This year, I decided to whip up a batch of Cherry White Chocolate Bark!  I am crazy for bark.  I could go on and on about it, but I’ll cut to the chase.  I LOVE how easy it is to make and how easy it is to adapt to any occasion or flavor combination!  I also love how easy it is to EAT…I’m especially skilled at that part!  Even the husband went gaga over this batch of bark and he is very particular when it comes to sweets.  That means one thing and one thing only…this recipe is a winner!Cherry White Chocolate Bark

Cherry White Chocolate Bark

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 30 pieces

1 piece

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips
  • 1 12 oz bag of red candy melts
  • 1/2 tsp cherry flavoring (oil based)
  • m&ms and sprinkles for decorating

Instructions

  1. Melt red candy melts by method of your choice (I use the microwave). Let cool for a couple minutes and stir in the cherry flavoring. Spread on a sheet of wax paper or foil and let sit until completely hardened.
  2. Melt white chocolate chips by the method of you choice. Spread evenly over the first layer. Sprinkle with m&ms, sprinkles, and anything else you'd like to decorate your bark with. Let it sit until completely hardened.
  3. Break into bite-sized pieces.

Notes

You can substitute cherry chips instead of red candy melt and flavoring (my grocery store doesn't carry them, so I stuck with the flavoring).

http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2014/02/04/cherry-white-chocolate-bark/
Cherry White Chocolate Bark

Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

Milky Way Rice Krispies TreatsWhere has the summer gone?  I looked at the calendar yesterday and realized all at once that we’re basically into fall territory and it’s been over two months since I last posted!  So what have I been up to?  It’s a good question and I’ll let you stare at these delicious Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats while I explain!Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

Work work work.  That’s basically been my life…working overtime and spending my little bits of time off with the husband, camping, and having my nieces over when I had the chance.  Oh and (squealing with excitement) working on buying a house.  We will be moving in mid-October!  I am beyond excited and feeling like more of a grown-up every day! :) Oh, and no more overtime, so I am one very happy girl!  I’m very much a to-do list writer/goal-setter and my latest goal is to post weekly!  Come October, with move-in and immediately beginning the update of a new-to-us-but-actually-very-old farmhouse, I really hope I can maintain that goal!  I’ll be posting lots of before and after pics, too!Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

I can’t wait to have a kitchen of my own to cook and bake in to my heart’s content!  Speaking of cooking and baking, these Milky Way Rice Krispie Treats are my new favorite.  I even like them better than the Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats I made for Valentine’s day…and I so LOVED those.Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

Everything about these makes my mouth water.  Chocolate Rice Krispies smothered in vanilla caramel marshmallow, with chunks of Milky Way candy bars and a light drizzle of caramel.  Is your mouth watering yet?  Mine is.Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

I am an absolute candy fiend…I rarely buy any because it disappears so fast.  I love it all, but Milky Ways…ohh, Milky Ways are my kryptonite.  I bought a bag of fun size candy bars to use for this recipe, and don’t you know that half of them were gone before I could blink.  Oops.  It’s a good thing I didn’t need them all!  I blame it on my mad, mad love for caramel.  I can’t just resist it, which is why I had to give the Original Rice Krispies Treats a delicious, caramely, Milky Way twist.Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

I layered my 9×13 pan with buttered wax paper because I knew I wanted to remove them from the pan, cut them up and dip them in chocolate.  A good buttering will suffice if you plan on serving them straight out of the pan.  I wanted chunks of Milky Way in my bars, so I chilled the pieces too keep them from melting when I mixed them into the warm rice krispies-marshmallow mix.  You could keep them room temperature and let them melt into the mixture if you so choose.  I used this easy microwave caramel sauce recipe, but you could use salted caramel or storebought caramel sauce.Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 8 oz package of vanilla caramel marshmallows
  • 6 cups chocolate Rice Krispies cereal
  • 3/4 cups chopped Milky Way candy bars (9 fun size bars)
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce
  • Optional: Candy melts or chocolate for dipping

Instructions

  1. Melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
  2. Remove from heat and add cereal. Mix until evenly coated.
  3. Fold in chopped candy bars. Drizzle mixture with half of the caramel sauce and gently mix.
  4. Press into a buttered 9x13 pan using wax paper or buttered hands. Drizzle with remaining caramel.
  5. Let cool to room temperature before slicing and removing from pan.
  6. Melt candy melts or chocolate by the method of your choice. Dip the bottom each piece in chocolate and then drizzle some over the top. Let chocolate harden before serving.

Notes

Keep the candy bars chilled; it makes for easier chopping and keeps them from melting when you mix them into the rice krispies.

http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/09/12/milky-way-rice-krispies-treats/

French Vanilla Rice Krispies Treat Pops

French Vanilla Rice Krispies Treat PopsIt’s almost July 4th!  I won’t be able to do much celebrating this year because I’ll be working all night, but that didn’t stop me from whipping up some French Vanilla Cake Batter Rice Krispies Pops!  Everything is better in ‘pop’ form, and that includes these festive rice krispies treats!  French Vanilla Rice Krispies Pops

I never used to get very excited about the Fourth of July.  My dad was always big into fireworks, so watching them was nothing too out of the ordinary and I think I was always to young to understand the feeling of patriotism and togetherness that I now love about it.  I sure wish I was able to be a part of it all this year, but oh well, there’s always next year!French Vanilla Rice Krispies Pops

I don’t know what it is about rice krispies treats, but I love  them so much!  I usually steer away from desserts that are so sweet…okay maybe I don’t steer away from them, but I’d choose something a little more ‘homemade’.  Not rice krispies treats though, I can eat them by the pan.  Seriously, the genius that came up with Rice Krispies Treats is just that, a genius!  I love how adaptable the recipe is.  You can mix in candy, flavoring, or use fun flavored marshmallows.  I always add sprinkles.  Always.  French Vanilla Rice Krispies Pops

I used my Cake Batter Rice Krispies Treats as inspiration, but used french vanilla cake mix because it was what I had on hand.  If you use yellow cake mix instead, you will get a much more distinct cake batter flavor.  I added lollipop sticks, drizzled them with  red, white, and blue candy melts and voilà!  A perfect Fourth of July treat!French Vanilla Rice Krispies Pops

French Vanilla Rice Krispies Treats

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 10-12 pops

1 pop

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup french vanilla cake mix
  • 4 1/2 cups crisped rice cereal
  • 3 Tbsp sprinkles
  • lollipop sticks
  • candy melts or melted chocolate for decorating

Instructions

  1. Line a 9x13 in baking dish with waxed paper.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir continuously until melted. Remove from heat.
  3. Add cake mix and stir until no clumps remain.
  4. Add the cereal and stir to evenly coat. Add sprinkles and keep stirring until distributed throughout.
  5. Use buttered hands or a piece of waxed paper to press the mixture into prepared 9x13 inch pan. It's okay if the mixture doesn't spread all the way to the ends of the pan, just try to get a level surface. Let them cool.
  6. Use a buttered cookie cutter to cut shapes out. You can smush the scraps together and use them to cut more shapes.
  7. Melt candy melts according to package directions. Dip lollipop stick into candy melts and insert into rice krispies treat and let it harden.
  8. Drizzle with or dip them in melted candy melts to decorate.
http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/07/03/french-vanilla-rice-krispies-treat/


Turtle Ice Cream Cake

Turtle Ice Cream Cake

I love ice cream!  Who doesn’t?!  I love ice cream cake, but again, who doesn’t?!  Do you want to know what I don’t love?  The price of a pre-made ice cream cake.  It’s just a little ridiculous and completely prevents me from actually buying them.  There’s a totally obvious and very easy solution though: make your own!Turtle Ice Cream CakeTurtle Ice Cream Cake

This Turtle Ice Cream Cake was so delicious!  Fudge and caramel oozed out of every bite and the hard chocolate on top was quite literally the icing on the cake!  I intented to use actual Turtles (the candies…just in case), but could not find them at my grocery store.  I opted for Dove caramel filled dark chocolates plus chopped pecans instead.  I had no complaints!Turtle Ice Cream CakeTurtle Ice Cream Cake

I so loved the thick chocolate layer on top, but it made it a little difficult to cut into.  I used a very tricky technique where I took a chef knife and hacked at the cake until it sort of cracked on its own, then followed the natural break lines with my knife for a nice clean cut.  To avoid having to use said technique, simply drizzle the chocolate over the top instead of spreading a nice thick layer.  You could also use magic shell chocolate or make your own magic shell and it will be a little thinner.Turtle Ice Cream CakeTurtle Ice Cream Cake

Okay, so this was my first time making ice cream cake, right?  Trial and error.  It actually went very well, but next time, I must remember not to use slow churned ice cream.  It might seem obvious because it’s softer and melts much faster, but it didn’t even occur to me when I was at the store.  I was thinking, “what is the best tasting ice cream I can buy to make this cake super delicious…ooh yes! slow churned!”  Oh well!  It tasted amazing and that’s all that matters, right?  Right!Turtle Ice Cream Cake

Turtle Ice Cream Cake

Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1.5 qt vanilla ice cream
  • 1.5 qt chocolate ice cream
  • 1 10-15 oz. jar of fudge ice cream topping
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 12 Dove caramel filled dark chocolate candies, roughly chopped
  • 1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 Tbsp butter

Instructions

  1. Let vanilla ice cream soften.
  2. Line your dish with plastic wrap for easy removal. I used a 2 1/2 quart round casserole dish.
  3. Spoon vanilla ice cream into dish and level with a spatula. Cover and let it freeze until firm.
  4. Spoon half of the fudge topping onto the vanilla ice cream layer and spread evenly. Top with chopped pecans and Dove candies and drizzle caramel over the top, reserving a couple tablespoons of both the caramel and pecans to garnish the final product. Spoon remaining fudge topping on top and spread evenly. Cover and place back in freezer until firm. Meanwhile, let chocolate ice cream soften.
  5. Spoon the chocolate ice cream over the fudge layer and level with a spatula. Return to freezer for a couple hours to let the whole thing freeze completely.
  6. Melt butter and chocolate chips together by the method of your choice and let cool until it is just about room temperature.
  7. Remove ice cream cake from the freezer and invert onto cake plate. Gently pull the plastic wrap away from the cake.
  8. Drizzle the cake with melted chocolate, or cover it entirely (or both) and caramel. Sprinkle the remaining chopped pecans over the top. Serve immediately, or place back in the freezer until ready to serve.
http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/06/28/turtle-ice-cream-cake/

Loaded White Chocolate Easter Bark

Loaded White Chocolate Easter BarkLoaded White Chocolate Easter Bark, yep I’d say that is a very appropriate description of this delicious flavor combination.  Just the thought of white chocolate sprinkled with lots of festive Easter candy and adorable sprinkles (yes, those are little bunny and butterfly sprinkles you see!) makes me drool.  As I always do, I stuffed my face full of it for a day, then had to send it to work with the husband.  Oh how I missed it the second it walked out the door.

Loaded White Chocolate Easter Bark

I love bark for so many reasons.  Let’s start with an obvious one: it is SUPER easy to make!  When a recipe is as simple as melting chocolate and spreading it out over waxed paper, it is (near) impossible to screw up!  This leads almost directly to the next reason: time.  It takes less than ten minutes (closer to five minutes really) to prepare your bark, and you can pop it in the fridge to let it harden if you’re really tight on time.  Do be careful though, refrigerating/freezing chocolate can cause it to turn white.  It’s called bloom and while it is okay to consume (within expiration), it does not look pretty at all!

Loaded White Chocolate Easter Bark

Bark is so simple; it’s just chocolate or whatever type of candy/chips you choose to melt (almond bark, candy melts, etc.), which makes it pretty universally appealing.  It is not impossible that someone will dislike it though, says the wife of someone who doesn’t particularly like chocolate or dessert in general *gasp!* and who did not care for my Leprechaun Bark.  He did, however, did like this Easter bark and said it reminded him of frosted animal crackers!

Loaded White Chocolate Easter Bark

The sky is the limit with bark; you can use ANYTHING!  Mix in candy, pretzels, crushed cookies, sprinkles, or whatever your imagination can come up with.   Regardless of what you add to it, you will get a wonderful treat that takes no time to make, can be dressed up for any occasion, and will likely be a hit with everyone eating it.  That, my friends, is what I call perfection, or at least pretty darn close!

Loaded White Chocolate Easter BarkLoaded White Chocolate Easter Bark

This Easter bark is perfectly festive and so easy to whip up if you’re short on time.  I used Reese’s eggs, milk chocolate m&ms and Robins eggs, but like I said before, the sky is the limit!  The swirling on my bark is not incredibly noticeable and that is because my chocolate and candy coating were still a little warm when I poured and swirled them.  If you let them cool to room temperature, the colors will not blend together as much.   I’ve already been dreaming up the next bark I want to make and it will definitely involve chocolate and peanut butter.

Loaded White Chocolate Easter Bark

Easter Bark

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 package white chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup pink candy melts
  • sprinkles and candy for decorating

Instructions

  1. Melt the chocolate chips with 1 tsp vegetable oil using the method of your choice. Separately, melt the candy melts. Let each cool until they are just about room temperature.
  2. Spread the white chocolate over a layer of wax paper as thick or thin as you'd like and then spoon or drizzle the melted candy coating over the top. Use a fork/spoon/spatula to swirl the colors together.
  3. Sprinkle with candy and sprinkles and let it harden completely.
  4. Break or cut into bite-sized pieces and serve.
http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/03/27/easter-bark/

Leprechaun Bark

Leprechaun BarkHolidays are a great excuse to eat chocolate…not that anyone really needs an excuse to eat chocolate.  I saw this lucky leprechaun bark and knew I had to make some for St Paddy’s Day.  I actually don’t celebrate St Patrick’s Day at all, but I thought it would be cute, not to mention super tasty!Leprechaun Bark

I love mint and chocolate together, so I used Andes baking chips (+ a little dark chocolate) for the bottom layer.  I added a handful of white candy melts to just less than a full bag of green candy melts to lighten up the color for the top layer of my leprechaun bark.  You can use a microwave, double boiler, or whatever method you choose to melt the chocolate and candy melts.  I microwaved them at 60% power for about 1 1/2 minutes, stirred well, and continued microwaving/stirring at 15-25 second intervals until they were completely melted.  You could add mint flavoring to the candy melts if you’d like, but I thought there was a perfect amount of mint flavor from the Andes chips.
Leprechaun Bark

Leprechaun Bark

Ingredients

  • 1 10 oz bag Andes baking chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vegeatble oil
  • 2 cups green candy melts
  • 1/2 cup white candy melts
  • green m&ms, sprinkles, or anything you'd like to decorate with

Instructions

  1. Melt the Andes chips and chocolate chips together with 1 tsp vegetable oil using the method of your choice. Let it cool for a few minutes, until it is just about room temperature.
  2. Spread over layer of wax paper as thick or thin as you'd like and let sit until completely hardened. You may place it in the refrigerator to speed up this process.
  3. Melt the green and white candy melts according to package directions. Again, let it cool for a couple minutes before spreading.
  4. Spread over the hardened chocolate. Use a spatula to spread/smooth it out.
  5. Sprinkle m&ms and sprinkles over the top and let it harden.
  6. Break or cut into bite-sized pieces.

Notes

If the bottom layer is cool (ie has been refrigerated), the top layer will set fast when you add it, so work quickly to get all your decorations on (or let it come to room temperature before spreading).

http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/03/18/leprechaun-bark/

Leprechaun Bark

Chocolate Strawberry S’mores

Strawberry Chocolate SmoresLast week I made chocolate graham crackers and strawberry marshmallows; it was only natural that they came together as s’mores.  It’s February and 20°F outside, so yeah, too cold to start a bonfire in Wisconsin.  I ‘d be lying if I said the thought didn’t cross my mind, but I settled for the broiler.  This was my first time making s’mores in the oven and let me tell you, it was easy peasy.  It was less messy to make than over a fire, but there’s really no way to eat a s’more without getting marshmallows all over your fingers (or your hair – what a pain!).  I decided not to, but you could add a piece of chocolate, or spread nutella /peanut butter on the graham cracker or add your own twist to it.Strawberry Chocolate Smores

The heart graham crackers didn’t break apart in the middle as perfectly as they look, I had to use a knife to help.  The squares did with no problem though.Strawberry Chocolate Smores

 Just let your broiler preheat on high.  Then place the bottom graham cracker on a baking sheet and top it with a marshmallow.  Broil it for 1-2 minutes, remove the pan, and let it cool a bit.  Place the top graham cracker on and you have yourself a s’more!

Chocolate Fondue

Chocolate Fondue via elisebakes

Fondue is the probably my favorite way to celebrate Valentine’s day – or pre-celebrate in our case.  We needed to eat up the last bit of strawberries that have been hanging out in the fridge, so I put together some strawberry shortcake skewers.  We didn’t stop our dipping there though, we added some strawberry marshmallows, bananas, and rice krispies treats into the mix.  It was a great way to spend our date-night-in last Thursday!

Chocolate Fondue via elisebakesChocolate Fondue via elisebakesChocolate Fondue via elisebakes

Chocolate Fondue:Chocolate Fondue via elisebakes

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  1. Follow your fondue pots instructions, they should read something like this.
  2. Add heavy cream and milk to fondue pot and heat on 4 1/2 until bubbling.
  3. Reduce heat to 3-3 1/2 and add chocolate chips ~1/2 cup at a time, stirring with a whisk (plastic is ideal so you don’t risk scratching the inside of the pot).
  4. When the chocolate is completely melted, turn heat down to 2 1/2-3 to keep it warm.

Notes: You can add in 1/4 cup of liqueur for flavor if desired, just add it after the chocolate chips have melted and give it a stir.  You can use any kind of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate; it’s a great way to use up the half-full bags sitting in the pantry!

Homemade Strawberry Marshmallows

Strawberry Marshmallows  I don’t love store-bought marshmallows.  They’re too sweet and spongy, and taste too artificial for me. Yes, they have their use for rice krispies treats and s’mores, but that’s as far as my concern for them goes.  You can understand my confusion then, when I made peppermint marshmallows this past Christmas and fell in love.  It’s a whole different ballgame.  The texture and taste is so much different, and I actually want to eat these by the handful.  These strawberry marshmallows are just as good and PERFECT for Valentine’s Day.  I made the most adorable Strawberry Chocolate S’mores with them!Strawberry Marshmallows

It’s not as hard as it might seem to make them, it just takes a little patience, and if you don’t have a stand mixer, some soapy water to clean the base of your hand mixer.Strawberry Marshmallows

Strawberry Marshmallows (adapted from Betty Crocker)

  • Butter for greasing
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 1/2 tsp strawberry extract
  • 12-15 drops red food color
  1. Generously grease bottom and sides of 9×9 baking dish with butter; dust with 1 tablespoon of the powdered sugar.  In bowl of stand mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water to soften; set aside.
  2. In 2-quart saucepan, heat granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved.  Heat to boiling; cook without stirring 30-45 minutes to 240°F on candy thermometer or until small amount of mixture dropped into cup of very cold water forms a ball that holds its shape but is pliable; remove from heat.  If this is going very slowly, you can increase heat to medium-low.
  3. Slowly pour syrup into softened gelatin while beating on low speed. Increase speed to high; beat 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is white and has almost tripled in volume. Add strawberry extract and food coloring; you can adjust flavor and color to your taste.  Beat on high speed 1 minute.  Pour into baking dish, patting lightly with wet hands.  Let stand uncovered at least 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Dust cutting board with about 1 tablespoon powdered sugar.  Place remaining powdered sugar in small bowl.  To remove marshmallow mixture, loosen sides from dish and gently lift in one piece onto cutting board.  Using sharp knife greased with butter, cut into squares of desired size (1 inch by 1 inch works well).  Dust bottom and sides of each marshmallow by dipping into bowl of powdered sugar.  Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 weeks.

Notes: Don’t worry if your sugar mixture looks yellow as it boils, it will turn bright white when you start to beat it.  I am very impatient, and the heating steps were taking longer than I felt they should have, so I actually had my heat at 3-4/10 to speed it up, and it was fine.  For the heart marshmallows you see above, I sliced a piece in half to reduce the thickness, then pressed down with a buttered cookie cutter.  I tried this with a smaller flower shaped cookie cutter that didn’t work as well – I think because the shape was not as simple as the heart.

Strawberry Shortcake Rice Krispies Treats

Strawberry Shortcake Rice Krispies TreatsWhen I was buying marshmallows for the Cake Batter Rice Krispies Treats I made last week, a bag of strawberry marshmallows caught my eye.  I immediately thought of the post for strawberry shortcake rice krispies I had seen a couple weeks ago and I knew I had to put my own twist on it!  Strawberry Shortcake Rice Krispies Treats

I was hoping to find dried strawberries, but the closest my go-to grocery store had was strawberry flavored dried cranberries.  I thought I was settling, but they worked marvelously. The slight tartness of the dried cranberries cut the sweetness of the marshmallows in the most delicious way.  The marshmallows have a mild strawberry taste, but you could add 1/2-1 tsp of strawberry extract to enhance it!  Overall, these were a big success!Strawberry Shortcake Rice Krispies TreatsStrawberry Shortcake Rice Krispies Treats

Strawberry Shortcake Rice Krispies Treats

  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 bag of strawberry marshmallows
  • 6 cupscrisped rice cereal
  • 1 heaping cup of cubed angel food cake
  • 1/3 cup strawberry flavored dried cranberries
  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir continuously until melted.  Remove from heat.
  2. Add the cereal and stir to evenly coat.  Add the angel food cake and dried cranberries and fold until distributed throughout.
  3. Use buttered hands or a piece of waxed paper to press the mixture into a 13×9 baking dish.  Let it cool completely before cutting and serving.Strawberry Shortcake Rice Krispies Treats