As we quickly approach Christmas, you may still be looking for a few quick treat ideas. These simple marshmallow pops are easy to make and are perfect little treats, especially for kids.
You can serve the pops as a cute addition to a dessert table (as I did this year for our Gingerbread House Decorating Party), or wrap them up as little favors or gifts.
All you need…
One bag of large marshmallows
Small cellophane bags (if you want to wrap them up)
~ Directions ~
1. Push a lollipop stick into each marshmallow.
2. Melt some chocolate (I usually use Ghirardelli chocolate, or Merckens chocolate candy melts). You will probably need 8-12 oz. of chocolate, depending on how many marshmallows you dip.
3. Dip one marshmallow at a time into the chocolate.
4. Allow excess chocolate to drip off, then sprinkle your choice of sprinkles onto the chocolate (hold marshmallow over a plate or bowl, to catch the excess sprinkles).
5. Set the marshmallow pop (stick down) in a mug to allow the chocolate to set (you can put the mug of pops in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes)
6. Once the chocolate is set, wrap each pop in a small cellophane bag, if desired.
A few notes on melting chocolate…
Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler, or in the microwave at 50% power. If heating in the microwave, be sure to heat it for short intervals (about 30 seconds) at a time, stirring between intervals. When the chocolate appears about 1/2 melted, remove from the microwave, and stir until fully melted. Do not over heat the chocolate, it will burn and will not be usable.
If you plan to ship the marshmallows, or they will not be eaten for a few days, you may want to use a chocolate candy melt product, such as Merckens brand (available from several shops on-line, including Shop Bakers Nook). Pure chocolate will begin ”bloom” (develop white spots) after 3-4 days (if the chocolate has not been tempered), the chocolate candy melts usually do not have this problem.
I used red striped lollipop/cake pop sticks I found this year at Cost Plus World Market. As an alternative, you could use striped paper straws, or simply use white lollipop sticks, commonly available at any craft store.
To wrap up the marshmallow pops I used small (3″x4″) treat bags (available from most craft stores, such as Michael’s and Hobby Lobby), and tied the bags with red bakers twine (from The Twinery).
I was happy to discover that 6 wrapped marshmallow pops fit perfectly in the small (7″x 4.5″) cookie boxes from BRP Box Shop.
I packed up a couple boxes for friends, and finished them with some pretty labels (from Littlebeane Boutique).
Happy treat making!
I know a lot of people like simple recipes. I’m weird… when I look at a recipe with just a few ingredients I usually assume it’s not going to be very good.
I’ve seen simple apple or pear tart recipes for years… they look pretty, but I’ve always thought “it’s just crust and fruit… how good could it be?” Well my friends, they answer is REALLY good! In fact, I feel like I’ve been missing out by not trying this kind of recipe before!
This apple tart is so easy to make, smells amazing while it bakes, and tastes delicious too!
The recipe starts with Pepperidge Farm’s Puff Pastry. This is a great item to keep on hand, because you can just store it in the freezer, and then make this delicious recipe whenever you want!
Be sure to plan time to defrost the puff pastry according to the package directions (about 45 minutes at room temperature), but once the dough is thawed, this recipe comes together in no time!
Easy Apple Tart
Only a few simple ingredients are needed to create this delicious apple tart.
1 sheet (1/2 package) Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry
2/3 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon corn starch
2 large apples
Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
Thaw puff pastry at room temperature about 45 minutes (according to package directions).
Preheat oven to 400*F.
On a lighly floured work surface, unfold one sheet of pastry. Cut the pastry in half, creating two rectangles. Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, or a baking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and corn starch.
Prepare apples by peeling and removing the core,then slice thinly.
Put apple slices to a large bowl, and squeeze the juice from 1/2 of a lemon onto apples. Stir to coat.
Then, add the contents of small cinnamon/sugar bowl to the apples. Stir to coat.
Arrange apple slices on puff pastry dough (like shingles), leaving about 1/4 inch of dough exposed on all sides.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Cool slighly, and move to a serving plate.
Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar, as desired.
Enjoy warm, or at room temperature. Serve with fresh whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.
Recipe Source- Glorious Treats
Notes- Puff pastry is sold in the freezer section, near pie crusts. Plan your time to properly thaw the puff pastry before use (about 45 minutes).
I used one granny smith apple, and one fugi apple for this recipe, and it was a nice combo.
I’ve included images below to show some of the step-by-step directions, but read the entire recipe above for the full instructions.
Once thawed, unfold the puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface.
Peel, core and thinly slice apples and put in a large bowl. Squeeze lemon juice on apples, and toss to coat.
Add cinnamon sugar mixture (according to recipe above), and stir to coat.
Arrange apple slices on pastry dough. I experimented with two different ways to arrange the apples. On the left, I slightly scored the pastry about 1/2 inch from the edges, so the pastry would bake up and create a defined edge around the apples. Then, I layered the apples in a single layer. On the right, I staggered the apples to more fully fill the pastry, leaving just about 1/4 inch of exposed pastry edge. You’ll notice in the photo below, both tarts baked up beautifully, and either way works great. In the future, I think I’ll go with the style that holds more apples, and has a smaller crust around the edge. Note, the pastries are on opposite sides of the photo, between the image above and below.
Another note- In the image above, the apples are arranged on the dough before being placed on the baking sheet… don’t do it this way! Put your dough on the baking sheet, then add the apples.
Once baked, cool slightly, then sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Move to a serving platter, and enjoy. Eat the tart while still warm, or at room temperature.
Enjoy this simple tart as is, or top with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Be sure to visit the Puffection TM tab on the Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Facebook page and share your own holiday Puff Pastry recipes, and www.puffpastry.com for more recipes, tips and how-to videos.
Disclosure- Pepperidge Farm has provided me with supplies and/or compensation for time invested in the Pepperidge Farm® Puffection TM Holiday Entertaining challenge. All text, photos and opinions are my own.
Last month, I enjoyed a very special and fun weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah. I had the honor of being a presenter at a cookie decorating convention called Cookie Con. Cookie Con was the first large scale, international cookie decorating convention of it’s kind. Around 200 people (99% women) traveled to Salt Lake City to learn new skills, meet their cookie “idols” and meet up with on-line friends face to face! Women traveled from around the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, Great Brittan and Brazil, all for this fun and crazy hobby (and business) of cookie decorating!
Cookie Con was dreamed up (and then organized and executed) by Karen and Mike Summers (pictured below) , owners of the on-line cookie decorating supply shop, Karen’s Cookies. I feel so privileged to call this couple my friends! They are two of the most hard working, giving, kind and patient people I have ever known! And the fact that they could pull together such a large event, keep everything running smoothly, and treat each other with love and respect throughout the weekend was quite inspiring!
Mike and Karen, of Karen’s Cookies
I had been looking forward to Cookie Con for close to six months, and as a presenter had been able to learn little snippets along the planning stages of the fun that would be in store! Life experience reminded me that rarely does a special event, trip, etc. live up to all of the hopes that we hold for it… but I can happily say that this weekend was a wonderful exception to this! Cookie Con was everything and MORE that I had hoped for! The whole weekend was beautifully organized (again, thanks to Karen and Mike), and the positive energy from 200+ women who gathered from around the world just to have fun was beautiful and overwhelming!
The general format of the three day event was a a schedule packed full of presentations by 8 different presenters. Each presenter was asked to teach on a particular cookie decorating technique or concept that they have some expertise in.
The presenters and their demonstrations were as follows…
Alison Stinnett, Ali Bee’s Bakeshop- Piping and royal icing transfers
Glory Albin (me!), Glorious Treats- Decorating cookies with fondant, and (a second presentation) Photography and food styling.
Pam Sneed, Cookie Crazie- De-mystifying glaze icing, and (a second presentation) Ideas for packaging and boxing cookies.
Callye Alvarado, Sweet Sugar Belle- Thinking outside the cookie cutter
Elizabeth Adams, Arty McGoo- Painting on cookies
Lisa Synder, The Bearfoot Baker- Airbrushing on cookies
Julia Usher- Stenciling and Adding Dimension to Cookies
Maryann Rollins, Cookie Artisan- Cookie Platters, and special centerpiece cookies
I could write a whole post just on how wonderful this group of ladies is! These ladies are beautiful, fun, kind, and talented beyond belief!
Here is the beautiful group of presenters… ladies I am so proud to also be able to call my friends!
Julia, Pam, Glory (me), Lisa, Liz, Ali, Callye, Maryann
Each presenter did a wonderful job sharing lots of ideas and techniques, and I’ve already seen many of the attendees trying out the new things they learned!
In addition to the series of presentations, there was a block of time set aside to try all the new techniques, and get help from the instructors. Stations were set up around the room where the attendees could try out each technique, or and ask questions.
Here’s a peek at the room of ladies (listening to Karen and Mike)…
And here they are “in action”, during one of the open decorating sessions…
In addition to the various presentations, one of the special elements of Cookie Con was the “Sugar Show”. Attendees had been given a list of categories (ahead of time) that cookies would be displayed in. Categories included Winter/Christmas, Fall/Thanksgiving, The Good Old Days, and Anything Goes.
The cookies (or sets of cookies) these ladies came up with were just mind blowing! The level of creativity, artistry and skill demonstrated on a “cookie canvas” was awe inspiring and overwhelming! In addition to cookies in the Sugar Show being judged (through voting) by the attendees, each presenter was also given the task of choosing a “judges favorite.” Let me tell you that was quite a job! It was impossible to consider ”judging” such amazing works of art. In the end, each judge simply chose a cookie that really appealed to them personally.
Here is just a teeny tiny sampling of the amazing work displayed in the Sugar Show…
Winter/Snowman set, by Absolutely Sweet.
TV through the decades, by Artfully Delicious.
Cornucopia, by Cookie Bliss.
Black lace cookie, by Clough’D 9 Cookies
White 3-D snowflake, by Seasons of Joy
Christmas fireplace scene, by (TBA)
One of the extra special highlights of the weekend for me was meeting, and getting to spend some time with Julia Usher, author of two (amazing) books on cookie decorating (Cookie Swap, and Ultimate Cookies). I’ve been a fan of Julia’s work from afar for quite a while, but to be able to see her amazing works of art up close and in person, and then to discover that Julia herself is just as lovely as her cookies was an extra treat!
Julia, Glory (me) and Maryann
A display of Julia’s work at her demo/book signing table.
What an amazingly special weekend it was… cookie decorating and spending time with friends! It’s so awesome to realize that ladies that I met over the internet, through our mutual love of decorating cookies, are now such dear friends!
(left) Me, Maryann, Ali (right) Callye and me.
As long as this post already is, it so poorly captures the details of the amazing weekend! I met so many wonderful ladies from around the world, learned new things, had fun with cookies, and laughed quite a lot!
Lucky for you, plans for the next Cookie Con are already in the works, with plans to be bigger and better (not sure how it’s possible, but if anyone can do it, Mike and Karen can!). Keep up to date on all things Cookie Con by bookmarking CookieCon.net, and following the Cookie Con Facebook Page.
As I was planning this post, I thought it might be a bit mean to show you all the fun I had without including a little something for you too…
So how about a little Cookie Con Giveaway?
BRP Box Shop, my favorite place to buy cookie and cupcake boxes, has sent me 40 boxes that were designed with cookie decorators in mind!
You’ll receive 20 boxes of the small, 7″x 4.5″ size, these are perfect as a small gift! And you’ll also receive 20 of the medium sized, 10″x 7″ boxes, perfect for holding about 6 medium sized cookies.
In addition, Julia Usher gave me a signed copy of her newest book, Ultimate Cookies, for the lucky winner of this giveaway! This book is so beautiful and just packed full of amazing cookie decorating ideas and inspiration!
On top of that, Karen’s Cookies, the incredible sponsor and organizers of Cookie Con will give the winner of this giveaway a $50 gift certificate… so you can stock up on all the cookie decorating supplies you desire!
In all you’ll get…
40 Cookie Boxes, from BRP Box Shop
a signed copy of Ultimate Cookies,
and a $50 gift certificate to Karens’ Cookies
To enter, simply leave a comment below (that’s it!) (Giveaway closed)
Certainly I appreciate all of you who follow Glorious Treats on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and if you’re not already, please join along!
Comments must be left on this blog post. E-mail subscribers, click HERE to view this post on-line and leave a comment.
One entry per person. Open to U.S. residents only. Giveaway ends Tuesday, December 17th, 9pm Pacific.
(Thanks to Anita, Pam and Maryann for allowing me to use a couple of their photos in this post)
********************************* Giveaway closed ********************************
Winning comment #127- Cari
Cookies and photo by Sweet Sugar Belle
Today I have a very special guest post from my good friend, Callye, also known as Sweet Sugar Belle. Callye always amazes me with her creativity, and she has a special talent for envisioning simple cookie cutter shapes as new and creative designs! Callye recently created this amazingly sweet set of “Joy” cookies, and is sharing them us today! I just love everything about this beautiful platter of cookies…. the colors, the adorable snowmen, and especially the beautiful and creative “Joy” cookies!
Now sit back and enjoy a peek into the creative mind of Sweet Sugar Belle…
Hello Glorious Treats readers!
Joy cookies are very special to me because they remind me of my friend Glory and her precious daughter Joy. I make them every holiday season and you can too. All you need is a simple stocking cutter.
Use the stocking to piece together the base.
Bake and let cool. It’s important to let pieced cookies cool before moving them so that they don’t break at the seams.
Use royal icing to flood and decorate as desired. This tip will help you to perfectly print “JOY” on the cookie.
For a little dimension, use a smaller cookie as the “O” and mix with other fun cookies like holly leaves and creative snowmen. I also used this idea to create these “JOY” cookies! For the snowflake cookies, I used inspiration from these pretty snowflakes by Ali Bee’s Bakeshop.
I hope you spend this holiday season baking pretty cookies for the ones you love! Happy baking, cookie friends!
Thanks again Callye!
Be sure to peek in on Callye over on her beautiful site, Sweet Sugar Belle. She is currently in the middle of an incredible series of cookies for the 12 days of Christmas, and each post is simply breathtaking!