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Friday, May 31, 2013

{SprinkleBakes Cookbook Giveaway}

photo by Heather Baird

My lovely friend Heather Baird, of SprinkleBakes has given me a signed copy of her cookbook, SprinkleBakes for a giveaway here at Sugar Bean Bakers!

Heather is so talented, she's an artist behind a mixer, a painter with icing tips.

If you've never been to her site, check it out here: SprinkleBakes.

She has visually stunning and tastefully delicious items all jam packed into one little (ok, it's BIG) blog!

I've posted using a couple of her recipes already.

My Hogwarts Acceptance Letter Cookie used Heather's Sugar Cookie recipe.

 I made Blue Velvet Cupcakes for my Doctor Who Party & my friend's baby shower (How to Model Fondant Ducks and Frogs) using Heather's recipe as well.

I've got SO many things of Heather's on my "To Make" list like her Salted Caramel Cupcakes, Sugarplums, Tuile Cookie Spoons with Peanut Butter Mousse, Hazelnut Coffee Mousse, Heart Tea Cakes, and so much more!

So, want to win this copy of her book?

1. Required entryyou must comment on this post. Go to Heather's blog, SprinkleBakes and look around. Come back and post what you think looks delicious!

(please be specific with the name of her treat, not just 'cookies' or 'cupcakes'.)

for extra entries (NOT required) 
2. Like Sugar Bean Bakers on Facebook
 (if you already like Sugar Bean Bakers on Facebook, you still get the extra entry :))
4.  Just follow @Sugarbeanbakers on twitter and tweet, “I  want to win @SprinkleBakes cookbook SprinkleBakes from @SugarBeanBakers: ” Once you’ve tweeted, post a comment saying you shared the tweet.
Leave a separate comment for EACH entry. 
A winner will be chosen via a drawing.

Please leave your email in each comment so I can contact you!

Contest closes June 3rd at 8 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time

The winner will be announced that day!

I will contact the winner, so don’t forget to add your email in the email section!

Comments are moderated, so it may take a little while for your comment to appear.

Good luck with the giveaway!

*I'm sorry, but this giveaway is open to US residents only.*


Sunday, May 26, 2013

{Bar Party}

It's finally here! You've been hearing me talk about it forever now, and finally, it happened!

The Bean's Super, Epic 16th Birthday Party was held last night.

Lemme get right down to it, here's what I did.

It was a Bar Party. Not THAT kind of Bar, food bars. Fix your own, do it your way, have it how you like it food bar.

Here's the downlow.

Nacho Bar:

3 kinds of tortillas, cheese dip, queso cheese dip, refried beans, taco meat, jalapenos, sour cream, tomatoes, green onion, shredded Colby Jack cheese, shredded Cheddar cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese.

Snow Cone Bar:

Peach Mango, Grape, Strawberry, Strawberry Lemonade, Blue Raspberry, Cherry, Watermelon.

I totally ran out of time to make the cute labels I showed in the Snow Cone recipe post!

How to make your own syrup.  

Potato Bar:

Baked and Mashed Potatoes, Butter, Sour Cream, Bacon, Broccoli, Cheddar Cheese, Mozzarella Cheese, Cheese Sauce, Green Onion, Cheddar Jack Cheese.

My potatoes were already baked, though I'm sure if you look on the internet you can find out how to bake them in the crockpot.

Cupcake Bar:

Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes with toppings

Mini Chocolate Chips, Mini White Chocolate Chips, Kit Kats, Sixlets, M&Ms, Turtle Crunch Sprinkles, Rainbow nonpareils, Rainbow Jimmies, Sanding Sugar, Reese's Cups, Crunch Bars, Oreos, Chocolate Syrup, Whipped Topping

Here's the photo booth

(learn how to make your own here)

The goodies (we had black lights set up, thus all the neon)

Headboppers, glow braclets/necklaces, finger lights, sparklers, fedoras, sunglasses

Fun with sparklers happened

sparkler fun

 infinity sign

(Bean's Graduation Year)

2013 compliments of this year's newly graduated seniors!

They had a lot of fun with the glow items, the sparklers, playing Capture the Flag, Ghost in the Graveyard, and Beach Ball Volleyball, but the REAL hits of the night were the food bars!

Food Bars are so easy and so much fun. The possibilities are endless!

This isn't the first and certainly will not be the last time I do bars.

Give it a try. I'm sure it'll be a huge hit at your party too!

You can totally dress this up for showers too, just put all the toppings in cute containers with labels. I had planned on doing that for this party, but ran out of time. I don't think the 20 teenagers here minded though!

I'm calling this Super 16 birthday party an Epic Success. Or as Bean so eloquently put it:




Linked up at 30 Handmade Days Pity Party 

Monday, May 20, 2013

{Photo Booth DIY}

I know I've mentioned the Bean's upcoming 16th Birthday Bash. (Yeah, like eleventy million times, sorry!). It's just a few days away now! Woop!

We've got lots of fun things planned. I mentioned the food 'bars', and posted about one (Snow Cone Bar).

One of the fun things I'm doing is a photo booth.

So, see, I'm kinda obsessed with the show Four Weddings. I love it because it gives me all kinds of devious plans for future parties. I'm actually using a few for this party alone. One idea I keep seeing repeated is a photo booth. After snooping around on the net, I figured out, you know what? I can do this myself. Easily. I don't need to buy the pre-made packages of props that sell for $20-30 and over.

What DID I need?

Wooden Dowels
Hot Glue Gun
Hot Glue

That's it. I simply drew and cut out the shapes you see above.

Ok, I have a background in graphics, but here's a little secret. I CANNOT DRAW. My stick figures are sad, strange lil creatures. If I can do these, so can you. The fact that they aren't perfect lend a little more fun to the props. For serious.

Draw and cut the shapes out.

Then, flip over and add a dot of hot glue (I put my dowels on the right because most people are right handed). Add the tiny wooden dowel. Allow to cool.


The cardstock cost about 59 cents a sheet. You can get a LOT out of one sheet. I only had one sheet of each color shown above.

The dowels were $2.79/30

Glue, Glue gun, pencil, and scissors I already owned ;)

It took me about an hour to get all of these done, which I did while I watched Grey's Anatomy, thankyouverymuch.

I made 15 different designs. Ties, lips, mustaches, and a monocle, cause monocle.

For the backdrop I used a black plastic tablecloth, which cost $1.99 at Party City.

In these photos it is fresh out of the bag. I recommend letting it hang for a couple days so some of the fold marks drop out.

I also made a pennant bunting from cardstock, bakers twine, and little clothespins. I simply cut and hot glued the pennants to the twine. The clothespins are for decorative purposes only.

I did buy a few pre-made props. Head boppers, over sized sunglasses, small chalkboard, and plastic fedoras. However, these are totally not necessary for awesome Photo Booth pics!

At the party, I will have a sign that reads:

Snap away with your cells
Or find me for photos!

Want to see the results?

To get the classic Photo Booth look to the pics, you can take them into Photoshop to create this:

If you are taking your photos with a smart phone, you can use an app called PicFrame to frame (I believe it costs 99 cents, but there may be free ones out there) your pics. The PicFrame frame is a little different, very wide on the sides, but when you print it, you can simply cut the sides down.

Or, just use as they are, because they are pretty much a whole lotta fun no matter the frame!

I will be printing these up (with the photo booth frame) as thank yous for the guests.

Do you think they'll have fun with this? I think they'll have fun with this! 

So there you have it. For a few bucks and a little bit of time, you can capture some amazingly fun memories!

Say Cheese & Ham it up!


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.

Monday, May 13, 2013

{Raspberry Shortbread Crusted Brownies}

Ok, confession time.

My favorite cookies? Plain jane.

Sugar. Butter. Shortbread.

I don't need that extra stuff. Delicious, pure flavors. That's what I like.

Shortbread cookies are probably my favorite. I love the rich, butteriness of them.

I was recently invited to join the Ambassador Program for Walkers Shortbread. The awesome news here is that Walker's was the brand I already buy!

Here's a little info about Walkers:

The brand is imported directly from Scotland. The company was started in 1898 by Joseph Walker. It is still family- owned & ran today. They bake their shortbreads, cakes, traditional cookies, oatcakes, and puddings in the village of Aberlour in the Highlands of Scotland.

Authentic Scottish Shortbread? YOU BETCHA.

What I love most about Walkers' is that their shortbread products are guaranteed to contain no GMOs, preservatives, hydrogenated fats. In addition, no antibiotics or bovine growth hormones are given to their grass fed cows.

The classic shortbread is made of only FOUR ingredients: Flour, Sugar, Butter, and a pinch of Salt.

I love that. Seriously.

Walkers Shortbread products are also 100% vegetarian and certified Kosher OUD.

 My first shipment from Walkers contained Raspberry Thins. I knew right away what I wanted to make.

The raspberry in these cookies (biscuits? I want to feel Scottish, so, I'm going with biscuits!) is intensely real tasting. No 'fake' raspberry taste. They smell amazing.

What pairs perfectly with raspberries? Why, chocolate of course!

I decided to make a Raspberry Crusted Shortbread Brownie.

Super easy to do. Just pulverize your biscuits, add a bit of sugar, flour, and butter to make a crust. Press into an 8x8 pan. Then, whip up this 1 pan brownie from my friend Darla, at Bakingdom. I love her recipe because it has the slightly crisp crust and the deep, fudgey middle. Yum.

After cool, dust with a little powdered sugar & top with fresh whipped cream if you wish! You could also top with fresh raspberries.

Honestly, I intended to put a chocolate glaze on these, it it was NOT needed. They are so good as is!

The biscuit I topped the brownie with is the Vanilla Shortbread, which is not only delicious, but a really lovely looking cookie.

Walker has extended an offer to my readers! You can get 20% off your purchases made at when you use my promo code #SBBSPRING until May 24, 2013. This code excludes sale products.

I think you'll love these all natural, delicious biscuits as much as I do!

You know what makes brownies even better?


You know what makes shortbread crusted brownies even better better?




As part of the Walkers Blogger Buzz Ambassador program, I was sent this product to review. However, opinions expressed are my own.

Raspberry Shortbread Crusted Brownies

Preheat oven to 350 F

For the crust:

1 package (4.2 oz) Walkers Raspberry Shortbread Thins
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

Pulverize the cookies in a food processor. Stir in the melted butter, flour, and sugar until well mixed. This should be a 'wet sand' texture.

Press into a greased 8x8 glass dish. Set aside.

For the Brownies:
(recipe by Darla of Bakingdom)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup  unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix together the cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. When butter is melted, remove from heat and mix in sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Slowly, whisk the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture.

When well combined, pour batter on top of the shortbread crust.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean with only a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow to cool totally before cutting and serving.

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.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

{Homemade Snow Cone Syrup}

It's finally feeling like Spring around here. Let me tell you, it was a long time coming. Winter seemed to start early this time and lasted well into April. As much as I love snow, cocoa, and cuddling up by the fire, I was ready to move ON.

The Bean's 16th birthday, as I mentioned, was in April. We wait until late May to have the party so I'm not over run by 20 teenagers in my house. No and thanks. Some years the weather around his birthday is perfect. This year? Yeah, totally glad we are having it in May. It was COLD. Now, I just have to wish the rain away for that weekend.

I'm having food 'bars' for his party. It's his 16th, it's going to be pretty major.

I will have a full report on his party later this month, but one of the bars is a Snow Cone bar!

Snow Cone syrup is pretty spendy, and I figure we'll go through quite a lot. I did some snooping around the internet and found homemade syrup.

ALL of it called for 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water. That seemed like a LOT. So, I tried it with 1 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of sugar. Still SOOOO sweet. SOOOO sweet. I can't imagine the 2 Cups.

In the end, I settled at 1 cup sugar 1 cup water... and, it's good.

I have one of these

and it works great, but it's totally not necessary if you have a blender that will crush ice, or a fridge that spits out crushed ice. Bean won this in a costume contest at church (80's Party, whut's up!).

So, you need just a few things for this: Sugar, Water, Crushed ice, & Koolaid packets.

I recommend heating your water in the microwave instead of on the stove top. If you let it boil with the sugar in it, it will thicken. It's just easier to heat a cup of water in a microwave save bowl/mixing cup.

Once your water is boiling (takes under 3 minutes in my microwave), remove it (carefully, cause it's boiling!) and add sugar. Whisk until dissolved. Then add in 1 packet of Koolaid (or other drink mix). These are the little packets that cost like 20 cents. Whisk until dissolved.

Allow to cool.

That's it!

I like to boil/mix/cool mine in this. It's easy to pour into the bottles when cool.

Oh, and the bottles? Just water bottles with squeeze tops (I saw this idea online somewhere).  I dressed mine up with scrapbook paper.

To fill a water bottle this size (24 ounces), you will need two recipes per bottle.

This is super yummy & so easy. Not to mention inexpensive! Instead of $3 on a small bottle of syrup from the store, you are looking at around 75 cents for a large bottle. Woot!

An excellent summer treat, of course! Just think of all the different flavors you can make.

Can't wait to share the rest of the party with you, it's happening in a couple weeks!

UPDATE, the whole party is now posted here.


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.

Linked up at 30 Handmade Days Pity Party 

Homemade Snow Cone Syrup

1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup water
.22 ounce packet koolaid drink mix
(store brands are usually .15 ounce and work fine too)

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a microwave safe bowl or large measuring cup. Remove it carefully and add 1 cup of sugar. Whisk until dissolved. Then add in 1 packet of Koolaid (or other drink mix).  Whisk until dissolved. Allow to cool fully. Serve over crushed ice. Store leftover syrup in refrigerator.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

{Peanut Butter Oatmeal M&M Cookies}

You know how they say you can have too much of a good thing?


Because peanut butter, oats, and M&M are all good things. If you mix them together with sugar & butter (again, good things), throw in a little flour and a few extra things, you'd THINK it'd be too much. Too much of a good thing. 

But you'd be wrong.

My husband was once such thinker. When I told him I was making PB Oatmeal cookies he thought that sounded good. When I said I was putting in M&Ms he began to doubt.

"Maybe that's TOO much".


He LOVES them. So clearly, I was right.

As usual. ;)

These are soft, tender, and peanuty with bursts of M&M goodness.

They are quick and easy to make. Make them and your family too will go from doubters to believers.

For real.

You can always use chocolate chips instead of M&Ms, or leave the chocolate out altogether (but, WHY? I ask. WHY??).

The perfect thing about these cookies is this:

Not too much oatmeal for someone who isn't an oatmeal fan, but not too little oatmeal for someone who IS an oatmeal.

Oatmeal cookies are hubs favorite, but not Bean's. Bean's favs are peanut butter and chocolate chip.

So, well, I made this cookie and all was right in the land.

A true winner in our house.

Hope you like 'em too!


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.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal M&M Cookies
Recipe by Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers

3/4  cup ( 1 1/2 sticks) butter (at room temp)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup M&Ms

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Mix together the flour, soda, oats, and salt in a bowl. Set aside. 

In a mixing bowl, cream the softened butter & the sugars together. Add the eggs, then the vanilla. Mix in the peanut butter. Slowly add the dry ingredients in. Once they are incorporated, stir in M&Ms.

Roll into balls and place on parchment paper lined (or silpat or greased) cookie sheets.

Flatten slightly with a fork in the classic peanut butter cookie "criss cross".

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool for about 3 minutes before moving to cooling rack.


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