The beginning of the year always brings a three month stretch of birthdays. And the end of January/first of February is particularly crazy because little chic's birthday, my birthday, and big chic's birthday are all one week after another. What this means to me? Well, I'm sure most of you can imagine what happens to mommy's birthday sandwiched in between the chics'...it gets greatly diluted! OR I inevitably end up at American Girl Bistro because it is smack dab in the middle of the girls' birthdays. Anyway, the chics love taking treats to school to share with their friends and they are very opinionated about exactly what those treats will be (Hmmm...wonder where that comes from?).
We'll start with little chic. She requested, "strawberry cupcakes with strawberry frosting with a strawberry on top with B's like you did sissy's cupcakes". Pretty specific and pretty easy to accomplish. Exhibit A... She added the hearts as I was piping the B's.
Now big chic's birthday request was a little more challenging. She wanted rice marshmallow treats with chocolate inside. I suggested adding chocolate chips to them, but was shot down. I told her I could do a layer of chocolate sandwiched in between the squares, but was shot down again. Many ideas, many rebuttals. Finally I said that her request might be kinda difficult. To this she replied by patting my leg and saying, "That's okay mommy. You're a good cook. You'll figure it out." The hubs almost fell out of his chair laughing so hard. Soooooo, after a little experimentation, I decided to put the chocolate on the outside...and put them on a stick...and roll them in sprinkles. Exhibit B... Then I wrapped them in treat bags and made little tags for them.
I have to admit that I was THRILLED with how they turned out! They were a little finicky to figure out though, so if you wanna try them yourself, here's are a few secrets to success...
I made a test batch a few weeks ago and I am glad that I did! At first the balls fell off the sticks the second that I stuck them into the melted chocolate (oh and I used Candy Melts, by the way! Regular chocolate doesn't dry as hard or as quickly.) Fortunately, one of my friends was hanging out with me that day and she suggested I freeze them before dipping. Genius idea, I tell ya! Not only did they keep they're shape, the chocolate hardened much more quickly. The other trick is the exact timing for sprinkles. If you put them on too soon, they sink into the chocolate, wait too long and they won't stick to them at all. There's no scientific method to it. I wish there were! It'd make things much easier. But I found that as soon as they were a bit difficult to pull off the parchment, they were just tacky enough to hold the sprinkles but not let them sink in. After figuring out the first batch, these were super easy to make. The most time consuming thing was wrapping and tagging. The end result was worth the effort, though and I will definitely be making these again for other school and party treats!
Cucumber slices, Clementine with dried cherry, Wheat Chex, Cheddar cheese with ham twirls
Turkey turkey and cheese sandwich with mini pepper feathers, grapes, chocolate chunk cookie
Ghost marshmallows, Cheese skewers (yes, it's American cheese...don't judge!), Orange globe carrots, Fruit leather and Trail mix cookie.
Cucumber chain, Ham cheese and carrot flowers, Fruit dip with strawberries and pineapple, bagel chips.