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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

{Spilled Confetti Cake}

Ever noticed how sprinkles look like confetti?

No? Well, they totally do.

When trying to come up with an idea for a quick and simple New Year's Eve cake, I thought of this little fact. At first I was going to just add the 'confetti' to the top of the cake, to which I was adding a New Year's Eve Ball. In fact, I even made said ball. However, when looking through my cabinets for the perfect sprinkles, I found little champagne glasses that I'd used for another party. I had a different idea in mind with that at first too. I was just sprinkling the cake with confetti and adding more to the glass. Then I thought of what my floor looks like at 12:01 New Year's Day. Confetti EVERYWHERE. Spilled, flung, popped... So, I decided to tip the glass and let the confetti pour out. And that, my friends, is where we are.

This cake is super simple. Just bake up whatever you like, slather in buttercream, and add your confetti. I added mine to the glass, then slowly tipped as I put in on the cake. This resulted in a lot of confetti at the top and at the base of the cake. For the side, I pretty much just took handfuls and threw. It was fun ;)

I also added a bit of confetti between the layers, because fun.

For scale reference, my cake is 3- 6 inch layers. Your glass would fit with room to spare on an 8 or 9 inch cake. You could totally do this on a sheet cake too, and allow the confetti to sprinkle across the top. It's all fun!

Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year's Eve and a beautiful, memorable, fantastic 2014.

Let's do this thing!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

{Easy New Year's Eve Party}

As I mentioned Christmas was hard for me. I had SO much to do and so little time to do it in. I'm sorry to have left you all without any new recipes, but the fact that I made it through this season without a felony record is, in itself, a miracle.

However, I MADE it. And it was good! Christmas went off without a hitch (well, almost, dang USPS delivered one present a day late and I'm still waiting on the other). Christmas Eve was quiet and lovely. I saw an idea somewhere last year to do Christmas Eve in a box, so for the last two year's I've done that. Bean got the traditional new jammies, plus a Christmas movie, and movie snacks. After Christmas Eve service, we change into our jammies and watch the movie. This year's movie was Fred Claus. We've got a lot of Christmas movies already, so finding a new one does prove challenging. Christmas morning we awoke early and celebrated just the three of us. Then the grandparents came over for breakfast. We had sausage gravy and biscuits, breakfast fajitas (recipe soon), and liege waffles. Hours and hours of downtime followed which I LOVED. Again, just the three of us. We watched TV, and I prepped for our big Christmas dinner, which really didn't take long at all. The ham cooked while we hung out. I had made dessert the night before, so one less thing. The Bean insists on Texas Sheet Cake every Christmas. It's quick and easy enough for me. My family arrived and we all celebrated together after our meal. Lots of fun moments happened throughout the day. Then, after everyone was gone, Bean and I sat down to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special and bid Matt Smith, our beloved Eleven, goodbye.

It was a good day. I was finally relaxed and happy.

Now, New Year's Eve upon us and that will be an easy affair. I'm not going complicated this year for sure! Games, food, fun. The end.

Easy New Year's Eve Party

It all starts with our Christmas Tree. For a few years now, I've been doing a New Year's Tree.

It's fun and useful!

New Year's Eve Tree

Then some easy snackies:

Delicious Ham Sams. These are easily made ahead and wrapped in foil. Then just pop in the oven for a bit and you are good to go.

Ham Sams

Now for a little dip, this is the Bean's favorite:

The Big Cheesy

Some sweeties?

My niece requested this.

Chocolate Chip Cheeseball

And finally,

Mock Champagne

This was a huge hit at last year's party and so, so, so easy!

As for games, we will be doing board games, and, of course, our favorite Visual Telephone which I explained in this post.

One more thing to add a little fun, how about some Photo Booth Props? They are easy to make!

Photo Booth Props

Guaranteed fun!

Have fun party planning, if you need more food ideas, check out my Party Food section.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

{Christmas Look Back, Post 2}

I'm back with another look into past Christmases (or posts I think would be good for Christmas).

I mentioned in my last post that I was panicked. Well, I still am, but I'm slightly better. I've managed to get 75% of the shopping done. This week, however, holds shopping, baking, grocery shopping, an orthodontist appointment, and TWO parties. Yay?

Tis the Season, right?

I'm trying to remember to "Relax, Re-evaluate, and Remember the reason".

It's going, well... it's going. I won't even say it's going OK, but I'm trying here, folks!

That said, let me show you some posts I think you'll like this Christmas!

One of the easiest and best cheeseballs ever. You can throw this together in about 2 minutes.

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

These are a Christmas version of one of my most popular recipes on the blog, Chocolate Mint Cupcakes. The glaze is made with Andes Chocolate Mint candy.

Buckeye Bites

Buckeye Bites are the most popular recipe on my blog. They have been for over a year now. They are quick and easy to whip up and great for gift giving as well!

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Snickerdoodles are my favorite cookies and although I could eat them at any time of the year, their cinnamony sweetness always reminds me of Christmas. These Snickerdoodle cupcakes, some of my favorites cuppies I've ever made, therefore make me think they belong in this post.

Honey Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub

A very easy scrub to make up as gifts. All the ingredients are probably already in your kitchen. Sugar Scrubs are very expensive, but this one sure isn't. Mix up, put into a jar, and add a gift tag. Done.

Red Velvet Bûche de Noël  

I'd always wanted to make a Yule Log, and last year was the year. This post shows how it's much easier than appears AND how you can screw things up and still make a gorgeous dessert.

Christmas Tree Starburst Effect Tutorial

Want gorgeous photos of your tree? In this post I tell how to achieve the 'starburst' or 'twinkle' effect. Get photos of your tree you will always treasure.

A quick and easy treat that is perfect for parties... or Santa.

Homemade Marshmallows & Gift Ideas

Homemade marshmallows are MUCH easier than you'd think, and really, quite a lot of fun. Follow this link for gift ideas with or without making your own marshies!

That's all for now, friends! Hopefully I will be back soon with more!


Monday, December 9, 2013

{Caramel Crunch Party Mix}

I'm panicking here, my friends.

PANICKING. There's 16 days til Christmas and I've got so, so much to do. I've got to finish up my shopping, of course, but I also do all the Christmas shopping for my almost 94 year old grandmother. I've got events for youth group, a party here at my house, an orthodontist appointment, holiday baking/candy making, cleaning, wrapping.... Well, you all know the drill. Normally I am way further in my shopping than I am. I started in August, so, you'd think I'd be further along, but no.

So, quick and easy is definitely my friend. This is a very easy snack, great for parties. I'll be adding this one to my holiday giving trays.

This is a play on Caramel Corn and Chex Mix. And, well, it's delicious!

This mix is based off of my Caramel Corn.

You can throw in extras if you like too, of course. Nuts, sprinkles, etc. Yum.

Here's the down low:

Make up some caramel, pour it over the cereal, bake for 45 mins, stirring every 15. Let cool, break apart clumps, add in pretzels and M&Ms. Done.


I hope to be back before Christmas, but if I'm not, you'll know why!

The panic got me!


Reindeer Crunch Party Mix
by Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 cups Rice Chex
2 cups Cheerios
1/2 cup M&Ms
1 cup chocolate covered pretzles

Preheat oven to 200 F

Pour the cereal into a large, greased baking pan.

Combine butter, brown sugar, salt, & corn syrup in a pan, and heat over medium heat. Bring to a boil stirring constantly, boil 3 mins, then remove from heat. Add in the baking soda. Whisk well.

Pour caramel over cereal slowly, toss into all of it. Try to break up large clumps.

Bake for 45 mins, stirring after every 15 mins  (each time trying to break up any clumps).

Pour onto foil and allow to cool. Once cool, if any clumps remain, break. Pour into large bowl, toss in M&Ms and pretzels. Enjoy!

Store in airtight container.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

{ Christmas Look Back, Post One }

Now that Thanksgiving is done and dusted, I'm so ready for Christmas, aren't you? Ok, not ready for CHRISTMAS, but ready for the festive, wonderful season.

I'm going to do a few "Look Back" posts. A post full of things I've done in the past.

Here we go with number one!

Gingerbread houses are so much fun to make, but the kits are super expensive and making them from real gingerbread is, well, it's just plain hard. So, try my tips for making them from graham crackers. Cheap and easy... lots of tips and illustrations in this post.

Gingerbread House Tips & Tricks

Next up is a super fun ornament idea. Here I've used it for Bible verses, but you can use this for numerous ideas. Memories from the year, Baby's firsts, favorite book quotes, etc. Ideas are limitless and I've listed more in the post itself.

Bible Verse Ornament

Here's an idea for Christmas breakfast, inspired by my favorite Christmas movie, Elf.

Maple Coffee Crumb Cake

If you aren't into crumb cake, how about waffles? Liege waffles are, in my opinion, the BEST waffles on this green earth.

Vanilla Bean Liege Waffles

My favorite Christmastime drink is most definitely Wassail! I just love saying it too. Wassail! (Learn about the history of Wassail along with an awesome recipe for it in this post).


And to wrap this post up, a delicious winter time treat, Cocoa. You'll find the recipe for several different cocoas in this post. Yummeh.

That's all for now. Stay tuned for more merriness :)


Saturday, November 23, 2013

{ Doctor Who 3D Glasses Cookies }

Happy Who-liday!

Can you even believe it? The Who 50th anniversary is FINALLY HERE.

In this house, we've been reading/talking about it for months! And finally... here!

I was once told that if you put more than one exclamation point in a post that you are over doing it. There should only ever be one. Um. SUCK ON THAT, MAN. It's excitement time!!!!!!! Woot woot!

I had many ideas for a 50th Anniversary treat, but none of them stuck with me until I came up with this idea. I mean, Tenny in his 3D glasses? I'll take 2, please.

The idea of "stained glass" cookies combined with a glasses cookie cutter just seemed too perfect... and so...

I used a sugar cookie dough & the basic instructions for Stained Glass Cookies (links at end of post). I did find that crushing the candy super finely did not have a happy result. Bigger chunks work better. (There are nice visuals in the Stained Glass Cookie post I'm linking). You will also want to roll your cookies quite fat. More area for the candy to melt.

I found my cutter on Amazon, of course. It's a solid cutter though, so I had to improvise for the lenses. If you have a small round or oval cutter, you are in luck. I didn't, so I took a medium sized icing tip and squeezed it a little. I popped it back into shape when I was finished, but I realize some people might not want to squeeze their tips. Improvising is fun!

After cutting the cookies and placing them on a parchment lined baking sheet, return them to the refrigerator to chill for another hour. This will help them hold their shape much, much better.

I washed mine in a quick and easy glaze. They really didn't NEED this. It didn't make them white like the glasses, but it tastes good. You can totally add royal icing or buttercream to yours if you'd like them to be white white.

In case you are wondering HOW excited Bean is for tonight? Well, there's this:

We are off to the store to get ingredients for Pizza Bread to go along with our cookies. Perhaps I'll pick up some Blue Hawaiian Punch for TARDIS blue drinks!

It's STILL not too late to go ALL OUT and throw a Doctor Who Party. The ideas in this post are super easy!

Be sure to take the TARDIS over to see what Darla made up at Bakingdom for the 50th. They are AMAZING, AMAZING Doctor Cakes. GO. SEE. NOW. Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Cakes.

Just a few more hours now, folks!

Also, I like exclamation points, so there! :p



P.S. If you haven’t already,  you can ‘like’ my Facebook page here, and follow me on twitter here, and you can follow me on instagram here.

Doctor Who 3D Glasses Cookies

Stained Glass Cookie Instructions *
Sugar Cookie Recipe (I used this instead of what is in the stained glass post)

*I used Jolly Ranchers as my candy


1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon Corn Syrup
1 Tablespoon Water
splash of vanilla

Mix together
Brush on cooled cookies with brush

Or you can use-

Royal Icing
or Buttercream

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

{ Maple Coffee Crumb Cake }

We really LOVE the movie Elf. I remember when we went to see it in the theater. Bean was 6 years old. We went the weekend it opened, which was still early in November. I couldn't help it, I REALLY wanted to see that movie. Bean? Oh, yeah, he wanted to see it too. Whatevs.

We had a huge wind storm that day and you could hear them whipping and howling outside the theater. I should have been concerned. I was not because ELF. From the minute it started, I was in love. The super quirky, laugh out loud funny, socially awkwardness was so awesome. Then the message of family and friends and the spirit of Christmas. Gah. LOVE.

As the credits rolled, I turned to Bean and said, "That is going to be a new Christmas Classic". I don't think he knew what that meant, but, it's pretty much true. If you ask 10 people what their favorite Christmas movie is, I'm quite certain you will get more than one "Elf" as a response.

Elf is a movie that we will pop in and play in July. Or May. Or March. Or November. Whatever. We've actually already watched it this month. We will definitely watch it again before Christmas. Bean says that it has the best musical montage in movie history (the part where Buddy first gets to NYC and "Pennies from Heaven" plays. I agree.

When he visits Walter's home for the first time, Buddy asks for syrup to put on his spaghetti. He then recites the Elf food groups:

Candy, Candy Corn, Candy Canes, and Syrup.

Later, when working in the shiny mail room, he sees a guy putting "syrup" in coffee. Buddy proclaims, "Syrup in coffee! Why didn't I think of that?"  He then has a little for himself. This is what led to this recipe.

Syrup in Coffee....Cake!

This simple coffee cake is infused with both coffee and maple syrup. It's then topped with a maple coffee glaze. You can even drizzle a bit more maple syrup on top of that, cause why wouldn't you?

You can also serve it plain, but why? You can also make a plain vanilla glaze as well.

This cake mixes up quick and would be great for Christmas morning.

Buddy would definitely approve.


P.S. What's your favorite Christmas movie? Tell me in comments! :)

Maple Coffee Crumb Cake
adapted from Bakingdom

For the Cake:
1 1/4 Cup Flour
3/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, at room temperature
6 Tablespoons butter, softened and cut into 1 Tablespoon pieces
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup brewed Coffee, cooled

For the Streusel:
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed
1/4 Cup Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

For the Glaze:
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons brewed Coffee
1 Tablespoon Heavy Cream
1/2 teaspoon Maple Flavoring

Preheat oven to 350 F

To make the streusel:
Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the butter and 'cut' into the dry ingredients until it is roughly the size of peas. Cover and place into the freezer while you prepare cake.

To make the cake: lightly grease and flour a 9x9 pan. In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter, a few chunks at a time until well incorporated. Next, add the egg and beat into the mix. Add maple syrup and coffee. Mix well. Add milk. Mix until everything is well distributed.

Pour into prepared pan. Remove struesel from freezer and sprinkle over cake.

Bake for about 40-45 minute until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool about an hour before adding glaze.

 To make glaze: Add powdered sugar to a small mixing bowl. Add in coffee, cream, and maple. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over cake (over whole cake or a piece at a time, up to you). Drizzle with a bit of maple syrup if desired.

Monday, November 11, 2013

{Pumpkin Pie Place Cards}

Well, hey there! I haven't seen you in forever!

Really, I have no excuse for my lack of posting other than... life. You all know how that is, right? Life just gets in the way sometimes. Life moves FAST, doesn't it? Can you even believe that Thanksgiving in in just over 2 weeks? Crazy.

Today my friend Darla (of Bakingdom) is winging her way off to Spain. Spain?? What?

I'm over here all like, "Hey, I'm going to Target!". It's the glamorous life that I lead, folks. The worst part about it? My friend Lori and I are way excited about going to Target! We don't have one close, so we are road trippin' it (about 45 minutes) for a girls day out. Target and lunch with my awesome bestie friend? It may not be Spain, but it will be a great time.

Also, Darla doesn't have Target over there, so *sticks out tongue*

When she goes to London next month, I may NOT be able to contain my jealousy. It may end our friendship. I'll reconsider this if she buys me awesome presents though, so, Darla. Ball? Your court.

We will be getting some Christmas shopping done hopefully, and yes... Thankgiving foods will be purchased.

As I've mentioned in prior posts, I was a Blog Ambassador for Walkers Shortbread. My time is up with them, but I still choose to post about them because I love their all natural and delicious products. When I got the Shortbread Triangles out of the package, I loved their little pie shape. I decided to use it to it's full advantage and make them look even MORE like pies.

This was quick and easy and will be so festive on my Thanksgiving table.

All you need for these are the Walkers Shortbread Triangles, peanut butter candy melts (by Wilton) & white chocolate (candy melts or almond bark).

Melt some white chocolate (double boiler, microwave, or a chocolate pot like I have), and allow to cool slightly. Snip a tiny bit off the end of a ziploc baggie (heavier freezer bags work better) or a piping bag. Squeeze out in a circular motion working upward to make a little spiral of whipped cream. Allow this to harden.

Melt the peanut butter candy melts and spread on the top of the cookie and part way down the side. I use a baby spoon for a lot of my chocolate work. Work carefully and try not to get any on the 'crust' at the top and leave a bit for a bottom crust. Add one of the hardened "whipped creams" to the top while the peanut butter melts are still wet, then allow the coating to cool completely.

After that, simply make up little tags with everyone's names. Done!

Aren't they sweet?

And guess what?? They taste good too! Bonus!

You can also use Petticoat Tails (below), they don't turn out quite as clean, but they are still adorable!

I was cruising Pinterest this morning and stumbled across these cookies by Sweet Sugar Belle. I had actually not seen these before making my own (believe me, I thought I was SUPER clever coming up with the idea). I wanted to give a link though because I think Callye is amazing and because these are a great alternative to my placecards if you cannot find the Walkers products in your store or don't want to order online. Also, the fact that I had an idea similar to Callye is making me feel super clever anyway!

You can check out my other edible Thanksgiving placecards here.

I've got some other recipes in the works, so hopefully I won't go as long without a post again. Plus, I might just find something exciting on my trip to Spain. What? Oh, yeah. I mean on my trip to Target. Riiiiiiiiiight.

Til then,

(Who is, sadly, still in Ohio)

Pumpkin Pie Place Cards

Walkers Shortbread Triangles or Petticoat Tails
Peanut Butter Candy Melts
White Chocolate Candy Melts or Almond Bark
Printer or Pen

Melt white chocolate (double boiler, microwave, or a chocolate pot like I have), and allow to cool slightly. Snip a tiny bit off the end of a ziploc baggie (heavier freezer bags work better) or a piping bag. Squeeze out in a circular motion working upward to make a little spiral of whipped cream. Allow this to harden.

Melt the peanut butter candy melts and spread on the top of the cookie and part way down the side. I use a baby spoon for a lot of my chocolate work. Work carefully and try not to get any on the 'crust' at the top and leave a bit for a bottom crust. Add one of the hardened "whipped creams" to the top while the peanut butter melts are still wet, then allow the coating to cool completely.

After that, simply make up little tags with everyone's names & cut out. Done!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

{Butterbeer Cupcakes}

Yes, it's another Harry Potter inspired post.

This surprises anyone?

Well, not only is it nearly Halloween, but, it's also the birthday of yet another favorite character. Really, she's the glue that holds so many of them together.

She's awesome.

She is Molly Weasley.
photo property of Warner Bros. Studios

She's an amazing mother and a talented, powerful witch. I love her.  Her kids are definitely her first priority and she sure makes them tow the line. No slackers in the Weasley family. She's so strong. She lived through the death of her 2 brothers in the first wizarding war,  she raised 7 children (6 of them boys), became a member of the Order of the Phoenix, watched one son abandon the family,  nursed  her husband and 2 of her sons through grave injuries, and watched another son die.  Oh, and, she totally took down Bellatrix Lastrange single-handedly mere hours after her son died.

Bellatrix Lestrange: "What will happen to your children when I've killed you? When Mummy's gone the same way as Freddie?"
Molly: "You — will — never — touch — our — children — again!"
And let's be honest here, she's got one of the best lines in the entire series.

         Molly: "Not my daughter, you b!t@h!"

The Weasley family may have been poor, but they were never lacking in morals or love, thanks to Molly and Arthur. Molly also considered Harry her own. In Order of the Phoenix when Sirius proclaims that Harry is not her son, she replies back hotly that "He's as good as!".

So, basically... she's.. yeah. awesome.

Today is her birthday. She's normally making the food for people. I know how that feels, so, these, Molly, are for you.

I know Butterbeer Cupcakes have been done and done again, but these? So easy. They start with a box mix. I know, right? Just splash in a few extras, whip up some easy buttercream, and you are done.

Oh, yeah, they also taste AWESOME. Butterbeery. Good. Molly would like them, I know.

That is, if Ron left her any... You know how he is.

Happy Birthday, Molly!


See all my Harry Potter posts (recipes, crafts, and two massive parties!) here.

If you haven’t already,  you can ‘like’ my Facebook page here, and follow me on twitter here, and you can follow me on instagram here.

Easy Butterbeer Cupcakes
by Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers

Yellow Cake Mix (and eggs/oil it calls for)
Vanilla Cream Soda
1/2 teaspoon Butter Flavoring
1/4 cup Butterscotch ice cream topping

Prepare cupcake pan with liners and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F.

Prepare cake as directed on back of box, except use the vanilla cream soda in place of the water that the recipe calls for. After mixing the cake mix, cream soda, eggs, and oil, add in the butter flavoring, and the ice cream topping. Mix again until distributed.

Scoop batter into cupcake liners and bake for approx. 19 minutes. 

Allow to fully cool before adding Butterbeer Buttercream

Butterbeer (Butterscotch) Buttercream
by Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers

3/4 cup butter (softened)
1/4 cup shortening (I prefer Crisco)
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butterscotch ice cream topping
pinch of salt

Beat the butter and shortening until fluffy. Slowly add in the powdered sugar. Beat for about 3 minutes. Add in the salt and ice cream topping. Mix until distributed.

*you shouldn't need any milk with the liquid ice cream topping, but if you find the buttercream too thick, add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency.

Drizzle extra butterscotch topping on top of cupcakes & add sprinkles if desired.

Monday, October 28, 2013

{3rd Blogiversary WINNERS}

Winnnnners! winners!! I have some winners here!

First, for the gorgeous cookbook from  SprinkleBakes we have Post #29- Melinda

and for the box of goodies from Bake it Pretty. (I really want to know what's in your box, so keep me posted :D):

Post #12 Nerdmama

Winners, please email me at to send me your addresses.

Thanks so much to everyone that entered. I really loved reading which posts were your favorite!

Thanks again to Heather at SprinkleBakes & Bake it Pretty for the prize donations!



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