On Etsy

Valentine Marshmallow Treats

These treats taste just as sweet as they look-and they are easy enough for a 5 (or 6 ) year old to make!

I use vanilla melts (from Joann’s in their baking section, Walmart in their craft/wedding area, or your grocery store), marshmallows (honestly buy the more expensive ones(or at least not the cheapest!), the cheap ones are usually smushed and don’t look nearly as nice when finished-and are more difficult to work with because they don’t stand up right!), and valentine colored nonpareils.

1. Melt vanilla melts in a pie plate (or a regular sized glass plate) in 50 second intervals in a microwave. Try not to over melt as they tend to get clumpy. The best melt is when it is just barely melted enough-they cover very smoothly and dry nicely.

2. Dip the top of the marshmallow into the melted vanilla melts, then dip into the nonpareils and place onto a piece of wax paper to let dry (harden). You can also set the marshmallow down and then sprinkle the tops of them with the nonpareils if you prefer.

3. Wait till they dry and voila! Adorable, too delicious and a perfect valentine treat!

To check out our Mother’s Day variations of the marshmallow melts in peanut butter and milk chocolate flavors-click here. These were my then 5 year old’s idea-“Mom, can we make marshmallows with sprinkles?” Hmmmmm, I thought, I think we can!

Happy Mother’s Day!

“Mommy, I want marshmallows with sprinkles!” said my now 6 year old David. That’s how it all started! We used vanilla melts to start, just melted them according to the package directions, dipped in the marshmallow, then topped it off with sprinkles (we used pretty pastel colored nonpareils). It was literally that easy! Then, we wondered, how would they taste in peanut butter?! Even better! Once they were done and I saw how cute they looked we decided to send them to the special mom’s in our lives for Mother’s Day. We made another set of milk chocolate ones and found some pretty boxes and were sure to include the above photos of my silly guys enjoying the marshmallow treats themselves! (I found the vanilla melts, peanut butter melts, and milk chocolate melts at JoAnn Fabric’s!)

Oh, I can’t forget Leonard’s comment-“Can I have a candle in mine?” Too cute! I thought they looked like little mini birthday cakes! What fun for a special treat at school or for a birthday!

One tip if you’re thinking of doing these-check out the marshmallows carefully before buying them! I got a couple of bags where they were all smushed and they wouldn’t stand up right. It was awfully messy and they didn’t look nearly as cute.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the great mom’s out there!

Birthday (Pan)Cakes!

It is never ending the silly stuff you can do with pancakes for kids. Try this one out-stack up several mini pancakes to make a mini breakfast “Pan” cake! Add candles and your little one has had cake for breakfast-and you feel good about it! For pancakes packed with a little extra nutrition try out this recipe.

Heart Pretzels-with powdered sugar and sugar crystals

This is the same recipe as found under the post “Homemade Fun Pretzels” -click on the Cooking section to find it. Omit the italian seasoning, shape into hearts (pinching the bottom and the inside of the top) and when finished brush the tops with butter, sprinkle with powdered sugar and colored sugar crystals.  10 minutes on 350 degrees seems to be about perfect-too much longer and they are a bit too crunchy. “Delicious!” said my 3 year old!

Valentine Heart Pancakes

These little heart pancakes were easy to do-just fill a plastic sandwhich bag with pancake batter, cut a small opening in the tip of the bag and pipe out hearts to your heart’s desire! I also piped white icing in the shape of hearts onto the pancakes and sprinkled on some Valentine colored nonpareils. Tasty! My little guys love helping make the pancake batter, but once the griddle comes out Mommy has to do the rest. You can also pipe jelly onto the pancakes for added color-just be sure to use the kind without the chunks.I like adapting my Betty Crocker pancake recipe-I use some wheat flower (approximately 1/3 of the total flour content) and add in some pureed sweet potatoes in place of the sugar and for extra vitamins.  For more fun things to do with your kids keep checking back-and for your own custom baby and children’s items e-mail me at shannon@coffeycreationsforkids.com !

Pancake recipe-2 cups regular flour, 1/2 cup wheat flour, 2 tablespoonfuls baking powder, 2 tablespoonfuls canola oil, 2 omega eggs, 1/2-3/4 cup pureed sweet potato, 1 tbsp wheat germ, 1 tbsp flaxseed meal. This is actually a double recipe-I make lots of little pancakes and freeze what isn’t eaten. They heat up fast in the microwave for those mornings when you’re rushing to get everyone ready for school!

Homemade fun Pretzels!

My guys LOVE soft pretzels! I use my breadmaker for a lot of fun things- it makes things so much simpler. I also use Pillsbury’s Hot Roll mix as the base for most of my homemade breads. Set your breadmaker to the dough setting, add the Hot Roll Mix, 1&1/4 cup hot water, the yeast packet, an egg (I like to use the Omega 3 eggs-but the egg is really optional), seasonings (I used italian seasoning for these), toss in about a tablespoonful of wheat germ and flaxseed meal. In 1&1/2 hour take the dough out, take a small piece at a time and roll into a long cylinder on a floured surface-here’s where the little guys love to help-then shape into a pretzel. Bake for apprx. 10 minutes (on a greased cookie sheet or pizza pan), take out and lightly brush top of pretzel with butter and sprinkle on Parmesan cheese. Bake for another 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Take out and serve with pizza sauce or plain. You can also substitute cinnamon sugar (omit the italian seasonings) instead of the parmesan for a special treat!

Snowman PB&J’s

These snowmen are too cute in their jelly hats and scarves! Not to mention too easy to make. Cut out the bread with a snowman shaped cookie cutter-or even let your little guy or girl do it.  I used small chocolate chips for the eyes and buttons, a larger butterscotch chip for the nose, a smear of jelly (jam actually spreads more easily), a bit of powdered sugar for the snow falling, vanilla yogurt for the snow covered ground, and cut up brownies for the tree. This is great fun for a snowy day at home! Keep checking back for more fun stuff to do with your kids! E-mail me at shannon@coffeycreationsforkids.com for your own custom made children’s items!

Cooking with Kids-White Chocolate Pretzel Recipe

Okay, so they’re not making white chocolate pretzels in this photo-I know! But, I couldn’t help it! These photos just make me smile-I love the silly chef hats! I can hear the chatter now-“It’s MY turn to stir! Can I have a taste? Pleeeaase?”

But, seriously, this is one of my favorite things to make with my little guys! We make tons of these every year to give as gifts to family, friends, teachers, and ourselves, of course. They find it hard to wait till the pretzels are hardened and I find them sneaking in to get more when they think I’m not watching! This is SO easy to do you will be shocked! And, if they’re not perfect looking? Who cares? They taste amazing!

Shannon’s Secret (not really) White Chocolate Pretzel Recipe

Ingredients

White Vanilla Melts (can be purchased at grocery store -sometimes only during the holiday season-or Walmart  and JoAnn Fabric’s in their candy section).

Bag of Mini Pretzels.

Directions

Pour about 1&1/2 cups vanilla melts on a microwave safe plate or pie plate. Microwave on high 50 seconds, take out, do another 50 seconds, probably needs another 40 seconds (depends on microwave). Do in increments because if they get heated for too long it gets clumpy. Also, you know it’s ready when you can take a small spatula and stir it and it is mostly all melted. A few lumps (non melted pieces) is fine!

Take out of microwave. Stir with spatula and keep to one side of the plate. Put a handful of pretzels on the other size of the plate. Take your spatula and gently scoop some white vanilla melt on top of the pretzel, turn the pretzel over with a fork to make sure it is adequately covered then pick up with the fork and put on a sheet of wax paper.

Variations

1.To let your kids help you can let the vanilla melts sit for several minutes (even as long as 5-10 minutes) after they are melted and stirred. They will cool off but not harden.

2. You can let your child try to coat the pretzel or make it even a little more fun and let them make pretzel “haystacks”. Put the pretzels in a ziploc bag and let them crunch then up with a small rolling pin. Dump the pretzel pieces on the pie plate, mix with the vanilla melts, then scoop small stacks onto the wax paper.

3. Add nonpareils or small bits of candy to the top of the pretzels (before the white chocolate hardens).

4. Instead of pretzels used crunched up candy canes for “candy cane bark”!

*Pretzels will usually harden in 3-5 minutes. Have fun!