Friday, September 9, 2011

New England Patriots Rice Krispie Pops

Both the Mister and are football fans. Especially of our home team the New England Patriots. I don't know how it hit me but one day while looking at a Rice Krispie Treat I thought I'd be able to turn it into a football jersey. And since football season just started I decided to make a batch of Patriots pops.

Change the colors and logos and the same idea is good for any other team (except the Jets, this definitely won't work if you're going to make Jets jerseys). Really it's good for any sport- it doesn't have to be limited to football.

I also think they'd be great for a school team. Can you just imagine how excited each child would be getting one of these pops with their name and number on the back!

To make these pops I use pre-packaged Rice Krispie Treats.

They were the perfect shape and size. Also buying them rather than making a batch myself allowed me to get right to the decorating. (But you could make a batch and cut them into rectangles. Or better yet use a shirt cookie cutter if you have one!)

After unwrapping all my cereal treats I cut a treat into pieces that I used to make the sleeves. I got the sleeves for four jerseys out of every one treat I cut.

For the main body of each shirt I used a whole treat and cut a "V" shape out of the top for the neck.

Then I attached the arms to each side. It's amazing how the cereal treats will stick together and mush around like clay. When there were any gaps or areas that didn't stick I used a little of the extra that was cut out of the neck as filler/glue.

Then I stuck in the lollipop sticks. First dipping them into a little melted white chocolate candy melts to help them hold better.

Once all the sticks were in the little shirts I stuck them into the freezer for a few minutes so they would harden up a little.

While they were chilling I got ready to melt and dye a bag of blue chocolate candy melts.
As you might have already guessed this is the project that was delayed earlier this week after the chocolate fiasco. So I very carefully melted the chips. And carefully added enough dye to get a dark blue that more like the Patriots color than the baby blue color of the candy melts.

In case you are wondering it took a LOT of blue dye, a pretty good amount of black and a tiny bit of violet to get this color. Really be careful with the violet though... trust me, it's very easy to get Vikings purple instead of Patriots blue!

In a way I'm happy the chocolate fiasco happened. Without my self-imposed posting deadline of Monday afternoon I was able to relax and put a lot more detail into these pops than I had originally intended. And I think they turned out better for it!

I dipped my pops into the dark blue and set the upright in a stand to dry. One thing to note here, the chocolate came out very thick and sort of gloppy. I'm not sure if that's because I was dipping cereal treats or if that just happened to be the texture of the candy melts. It would have been easier if the chocolate was a bit thinner- but I smoothed it with a knife and most of them turned out fine. Luckily the imperfections also worked for these, it made the shirts look more like fabric with wrinkles and movement instead of a plastic-like brick.

Once all my pops were dipped I began to cutout numbers. I started with a printed template. Then used the paper numbers as my guide while I cut the numbers for the pops out of a white sugar sheet.

After the numbers were done on a whim I thought I'd try to cut out the little logo for each sleeve. I was surprised at how easy it was, and before I new it I had more than enough for all my pops!

I glued my numbers and logos to the shirts with little dabs of frosting.

Then used food coloring pens to color the top part of the logo and the outlines for the numbers.

All that was left was to pipe the finishing details. This was the scariest part for me because I'm really not very good at piping. And was going to have to use the smallest tip I've ever held to fit all the letters in the player's names on those tiny jerseys.

Honestly... I was pretty sure this would be the point where I'd wreck them and I was dreading it because they were almost finished.

And well, it's definitely not the best piping job by any means but I'm pretty happy with the way they came out.

After the names were finished I decided to add the number onto the top of each sleeve just like on a real jersey.

Then added a gray line to each sleeve. Piping the gray was super easy after all those tiny nerve wracking details of numbers and names!

Finally- because I was totally captivated by the tiny sugar decorating minutia of it all I used a toothpick to add gray into the face of the logo on each sleeve.

Happy Football Season- and GO PATS!

P.S. I have received no compensation from the makers of Rice Krispie Treats or the New England Patriots in exchange for this post.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Banana Split Muffins

Yesterday was supposed to be my sweet of the month post- but since it was a holiday weekend here in the U.S. I decided to hold my post until today.

But today dear blog readers... is just not my day. I do have a delicious muffin recipe to share with you but it's not the post I intended.

The sweet treat I planned to share was going along great this morning... until it came time for me to mix a custom colored chocolate. Unfortunately I burned the bottom of an entire bag of candy melts. I've never burned candy melts before... so that should have been a sign to pack it in. But no, I forged ahead and used the only other bag I had. Due to an over-estimate on the amount of violet candy dye needed. What was supposed to be a nice dark blue turned into a lovely shade of deep purple. You can see a bit of it here on the edge of a cup in the sink.

Until I can run out to get more candy melts... this project is on hold for today.

So that brings me to banana split muffins. I just stumbled onto this flavor combo for muffins. And it's delicious! I had a little bit of strawberry shortcake topping (not really enough for a batch of shortcake desserts), and some bananas that were too ripe to eat but perfect for baking. I also had some leftover walnuts and chocolate chips hanging around in the fridge that I've been wanting to use up.

Here's the recipe:

3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 non-fat milk
3 medium sized bananas (mashed)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup strawberry shortcake topping (recipe below)

Add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl and mix together. Add eggs, applesauce, oil honey and milk. Then mix just until ingredients incorporate. Over-mixing will produce a tough muffin. Now add the mashed banana, walnut and chocolate chips. You can add more walnuts or chips to your taste, I just threw in what I had leftover and estimated the amounts for this recipe.

Mix all those ingredients into the batter. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray and then fill each cup 3/4 of the way full with batter. Last but not least put a spoonful of strawberry topping over each muffin.

Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick poked into the center of the muffin comes out clean (about 20 minutes for a large muffin).

They are super yummy muffins but I could also see them making great cupcakes with the addition of a little vanilla frosting and maybe a cherry!

Makes 12 large or 24 regular sized muffins.

I would have photographed more muffins but after I set up the plate I dropped some of them onto the floor. (Which is in desperate need of vacuuming, so into the trash they went.) See it's just not my day!

And if you need a strawberry shortcake topping here's what I do:

Chop fresh strawberries and put them into a bowl. Sprinkle on a spoonful or two of sugar for every half-cup of berries. Stir and let sit in the fridge until the berries have let out their juice and the sugar makes a nice syrup (about 15 minutes). You can adjust the amount of sugar for your taste or depending on how tart the berries are. Taste the sauce and if it's too tart add a bit more sugar.

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