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


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


  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.

Spring Fever Sugar Cookie Bars

Spring Fever Sugar Cookie BarsI’ve got spring fever and I’ve got it bad.  I’ve had enough snow, enough cold, enough frosty car windows when I leave for work in the morning – enough already!  I even wore a dress last week because it was just above 40 (I’m not completely crazy, I had leggings on, too).  I’m not sure 40 degrees should be considered dress weather, but it needed to happen of I might have completely lost it.  Let me tell you though, I heard lots of birds chirping today, and I’m going to take that as an indication of warmer weather in my (hopefully immediate) future.  Until then, here’s a treat filled with fun pastel colors and deliciousness that will help satisfy your spring cravings.

Spring Fever Sugar Cookie BarsSpring Fever Sugar Cookie Bars

These sugar cookie bars are fabulous and would be a perfect treat to make for Easter.  The recipe uses a sugar cookie mix as a base (Cheating, I know, but I made this with my two nieces, so anything to make it go a little more smoothly is nice).  Let’s be honest, we all need quick and easy recipes and it IS forgiveable to use premade mixes sometimes.  Don’t like store-bought?  Easy solution: homemade cookie mixes and make your own bulk baking mixes  (FYI I haven’t used the cookie mix recipe, but it looks promising.)

Spring Fever Sugar Cookie Bars

I adapted this Cran-Pistachio cookie recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.  That might seem odd, but I wanted to add pudding to make it a little softer, and I liked the additional flour and egg, anything to make them a little fuller in the pan.  You could use your favorite sugar cookie recipe and press it into a pan, or use just the mix and follow the directions on the package, as well.

Spring Fever Sugar Cookie Bars

On a separate note, did you hear about google reader?  I’m sure you did.  When I first decided to use a reader, it was an easy decision to go with google reader.  I already had a gmail, so NO extra work signing up or creating a profile, just one click…I call that a success.  I was happy with the layout and function of it, so everything was good!  When I found out it would no longer be available in a few months, I was  disappointed, but still eager to check out other options.  I’ve heard a lot of about Bloglovin, especially lately with the news about google reader, and decided to give it a shot.   Well, I love it!  My favorite aspect is that it displays an excerpt from each post (rather than the whole post), so you can quickly and easily scroll through new posts.  If you will be in the market for a new reader in a few months or are just curious, I urge you to check out Bloglovin!

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Spring Fever Sugar Cookie Bars

Sugar Cookie Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 9x13 pan


  • 1 17.5 oz pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 1 3.5 oz box vanilla pudding
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • sprinkles and m&ms for decorating, as much or as little as you want


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9x13 in baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sugar cookie mix, pudding, and flour. Add the melted butter and eggs and mix until incorporated. A wooden spoon works very well, an electric mixer risks over-mixing. Fold in the white chocolate chips.
  3. Place sugar cookie mix in greased pan and use a spatula to spread it out. Sprinkle with m&ms. I used both milk chocolate and peanut butter Easter m&ms.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, being careful not to overbake. Let cool completely before serving (if you can!)

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


  • 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


  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.


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).


Leprechaun Bark

Pistachio Loaf

Pistachio LoafIt all started with a visit to my parents house.  I noticed a green cake on the counter… intriguing.  I had to try it; it was SO good that I continued to try it until I had eaten three pieces in the five minutes I had been there.  My mom offered to write down the recipe for me, but I kindly declined.  I can’t make something like this and keep it at home…I have NO self control.  Well, I  regretted that decision almost immediately and that delicious, pale green, cake-like loaf has been haunting my taste buds ever since!Pistachio Loaf
St Patrick’s Day is the perfect excuse to make this wonderfully addicting treat and just as you may have guessed I would, I gave in and had my mom copy down the recipe for me last week.

Pistachio Loaf

The recipe is from a local newspaper (my mom couldn’t remember which), so I’m not sure where it came from originally.  It was actually titled pistachio bread, but it is very cake-like so I prefer to call it pistachio loaf.  You could (and maybe should) use chopped pistachios, but I used chopped walnuts because that’s what I had in my pantry.  I dusted these loaves with powdered sugar, but a simple vanilla glaze would be magnificent as well.Pistachio Loaf

I can’t tell you how much I love this, but I can try.  This recipe gets bonus points because my picky eater husband liked it too!  The delicate, moist center of this pistachio loaf is complimented perfectly by a sweet and slightly crisp crust.  It is soft and springy, sweet and has the perfect pistachio flavor.  I added two drops of green food coloring to enhance the green color and make it a bit more festive, but it is still a pale green without it.  It is SO delicious!

Pistachio Loaf

Pistachio Loaf

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 2 8x4 loaves, 1 9x5 loaf


  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 3.4 oz. box pistachio pudding
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease/butter and flour two 8x4 loaf pans or one 9x5 loaf pan.
  2. Mix all ingredients until well-blended.
  3. Pour into pans.
  4. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  5. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

Pistachio Loaf


Oreo Cupcakes

Oreo CupcakesWhen I first came across the trend of baking oreos/reese’s peanut butter cups/nilla wafers/you-name-it on the bottom of a cupcake, I couldn’t help but want to hop right on that bandwagon.  How could you not love something so easy and adorable – plus that space taken up at the bottom of the cupcake liner means the batter will make more cupcakes!  Of course, that didn’t happen – at least not right away.  I’m in the bad habit of pinning/bookmarking/dreaming up wonderful recipes and ideas and then fiiiinally getting around to them much later (or never!).  And as per usual, much time has passed since I decided I wanted to do this…but hey, at least I finally did it and made these oreo cupcakes!

Oreo CupcakesOreo Cupcakes

I was very pleased with they way these turned out!  The bottom half of the Oreo stayed crisp and the top half softened; you could put a bit of batter and smoosh the Oreo onto it so it would all be softer, but I liked how it made a pseudo-crust on the bottom.  After a few days the bottom half of the Oreo did soften up as well.  These cupcakes were really soft, moist, and light and springy.  They look sort of dense in the photo above, but I assure you, they were very light.  Not that there is anything wrong with a dense chocolate cake recipe, especially when it’s dark chocolate!  The frosting had a subtle marshmallow and cream cheese flavor, which I think worked very well with the cupcake.  It didn’t hold its shape incredibly well, but I didn’t want to add too much powdered sugar and alter the taste much.  I actually ended up liking the softened look the peaks had as a result.  Overall success – definitely something to do again and experiment with different things (like Thin Mints, maybe in time for St Patrick’s Day!).

Oreo CupcakesOreo Cupcakes

Oreo Cupcakes with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 6 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 30 cupcakes


    For the Cupcakes:
  • 1 box of Duncan Hines Devil's Food Cake Mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup (~10 1/2 T) Butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 4.2 oz package Oreo Cookies 'n Cream instant pudding mix
  • 1 package oreos
  • For the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 container jet puffed marshmallow fluff
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp cream


    For the Cupcakes:
  1. Line baking sheet with paper liners and place an Oreo in each. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix cake mix and all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth (beat on low until incorporated then about two minutes on medium).
  3. Spoon or pipe batter on top of the Oreo.
  4. Bake according to package directions (at 350 for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean).
  5. For the frosting:
  6. Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add marshmallow fluff and beat until incorporated.
  7. Add powdered sugar, starting with 3-3 1/2 cups. Add vanilla and mix.
  8. Add additional powdered sugar and cream until you reach desired consistency.
  9. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.


This frosting isn't incredibly stiff, so be careful when piping. If you pipe it too high, it might not hold its peaks well or it could sort of collapse! You could add more powdered sugar to make it stiffer if you wish.


 {this post originally appeared on my former blog, elisebakes}

Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

I love caramel.  I love it so much that I often always put a spoonful of caramel sauce into my coffee, followed by a spoonful of caramel sauce into my mouth.  It’s one of those things I just can’t keep around for fear of my uncontrollable urge to eat it all in one sitting.

Caramel Stuffed Chocolate CookiesCaramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

These cookies were so amazingly delicious that before I knew it had happened, I had eaten three of them and they hadn’t even had time to cool.  Yes, I have a problem…and that’s why I happily gave them away to anyone who was willing to take them [an easy task].  The cookies had a great flavor and texture; they stayed pretty soft kept in an airtight container.  The rolos inside…well, that was the icing on the cake.  While they were still warm, the caramel was gooey, melty and a little messy; once they cooled, it was still soft and caramel-y, without the mess.
Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies: (Adapted from my baking addiction)

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 24 Rolos, unwrapped
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter for a minute, then add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs and beat until well incorporated.
  3. Slowly add dry ingredients and beat until combined.
  4. Chill dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 375.
  6. For each cookie, flatten a 1 Tbsp sized amount of dough and wrap it around a rolo.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 7-10 minutes until set and slightly cracked.  Let cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.
Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

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!

Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes

Strawberry Surprise CupcakesStrawberry Surprise cupcakes.  What’s the surprise, you ask?  I baked a fresh strawberry inside!  Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes

I actually only baked half of them with a strawberry because I wasn’t sure how it would work, so the rest were just vanilla buttermilk cupcakes with strawberry buttercream.  It was a success though; the strawberry cooked to a soft, yummy surprise, and didn’t seem to affect tStrawberry Surprise Cupcakes  Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes he way the cupcake baked.  The cupcakes themselves weren’t mind-blowing; they tasted pretty standard vanilla-ish, and were light and fluffy like a box mix would be.  They were a just tad dry for my taste…See, I like my cake super moist and dense…I should have added a package of vanilla pudding to the dry ingredients – oh well!  The buttercream was amazing.  You could really taste that it was made with fresh strawberries, as opposed to using jam or jelly.Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes

Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes: (Adapted from iamjulieb.com)

  • 2 1/2 cups  flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt or salt substitute, i used no salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ~24 strawberries with the tops cut off
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line your muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the milk, oil and vanilla extract.
  4. In a third , larger mixing bowl,  beat the butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy (~3 mins).
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.
  6. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture alternating with the milk mixture in batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat just until blended.
  7. Fill cupcake wells two-thirds full.  If you want to bake strawberries in them, fill the well about 1/3 full, place a small strawberry inside, and then continue filling them to 2/3 full.
  8.  Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove the cupcakes and cool on a wire rack.  Allow to cool completely before icing.

Notes:  Do not overfill, a couple of mine flattened out over the top because they were too full, but the rest domed very nicely!

Strawberry Buttercream

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3-5 Tbsp strawberry puree
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups powdered sugar
  1. Beat butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Gradually add in powdered sugar.
  3. Add vanilla and 3 Tbsp strawberry puree.  Taste for flavor, and add more as necessary; I used ~4 1/2 Tbsp total.  Depending on the amount of puree you use, you may need to add powdered sugar to maintain the right consistency.
  4. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes

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.