Tag Archives: M&M’s

Red Velvet Valentine Bars

Red Velvet Valentine Bars @ NancyC

You’ve probably heard of cookie exchanges…they happen quite a bit around Christmastime. We’ll, this year at work some of us had a little Valentine cookie exchange. I was kind of short on time, so I needed to make something fairly easy, but still wanted it to be very yummy. I’ve seen lots of recipes for cake mix bars and cookies lately, so I thought I’d come up with my own version of Red Velvet bars made with cake mix. After all, any Red Velvet recipe seems appropriate for Valentine’s Day and using cake mix makes it really easy!

These bars are actually more like brownies than cookies–with lots of M&M’s and semi-sweet mini chocolate chips added in! If you’re looking for a simple Valentine treat to make, with lots of yummy chocolate flavor, you still have a little time to try these out!

RED VELVET VALENTINE BARS by NancyC

Makes a 9×13″ pan 

  • 1 (16.5-ounce) box of Red Velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines®) Signature Red Velvet Cake Mix)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup canola oil or light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (11.4-ounce) bag Valentine M&M’s (about 1 2/3 cups), divided

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or line a 9×13″ baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.

Mix cake mix, egg, oil, milk, and vanilla extract until blended–your batter will be fairly thick, but still stirable. Fold in the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and 3/4 cup of the M&M’s, stirring to distribute evenly in batter (save the rest of the M&M’s for sprinkling on top).

Press batter evenly into your prepared 9×13″ pan and sprinkle with the remaining M&M’s, pressing them into the batter. Bake at 350˚F for 23 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean (the toothpick may have a red tint to it when you pull it out). Cool completely, then cut into bars (if you lined your pan with parchment paper, lift the bars out of your pan with the parchment paper edges, and cut into bars).

These are very rich and chocolatey with all those M&M candies and chocolate chips in there! What kinds of goodies are you making for Valentine’s Day?

Advertisements

Easter Trail Mix

ncEasterTrailMix1nm

Something that’s hard for me to resist when I see the long aisle of Easter candy at the store are those malted milk Robin Eggs–malt balls covered with a candy coating. I buy them every year and eat way too many of them! This year, I told myself I would not buy them unless I used them in a recipe. And since I’ve been short on time lately, it needed to be something pretty simple. So I came up with an Easter Trail Mix–a blend of chocolatey sweets mixed in with some healthy ingredients. The mini robin eggs and pastel M&M’s give the mix plenty of chocolatey taste and spring color, and the other goodies include raisins, sunflower kernels, coconut flakes, peanuts, and mini pretzel twists. This recipe makes a large bowl of trail mix, so there’s plenty for everyone to munch on!

EASTER TRAIL MIX by NancyC

Makes about 13 cups

  • 1 (13.7 oz.) bag Mini Robins Eggs (almost 3 cups)
  • 1 (11.4 oz) bag milk chocolate easter M&M’s (about 1 2/3 cup)
  • 1 cup raisins (you can use golden or dark raisins)
  • 2/3 cup roasted and salted sunflower kernels
  • 1 cup sweetened dried coconut flakes
  • 1 (16 oz.) container cocktail peanuts or dry roasted peanuts
  • 3 cups mini pretzel twists (you can also use mini pretzel sticks or mini pretzel snaps)

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, stirring with a large spoon. Eat right away or store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Makes a great food gift, too, packaged in treat bags!

Are you a fan of those Robin Eggs too? Are you using them in any Easter recipes this year?

Linked to Full Plate Thursday.

7 Easy Fall Treats

If you’re looking for ideas for sweet fall treats, here’s a roundup of some I’ve made before. They’re fun and colorful and very easy to make, which is a plus! Have fun trying some of these out!

ncPDCanCorn2nm

Candy” Corn Pay” Day Mix for sweet-and-salty lovers, and just 2 ingredients–candy corn and peanuts! This is probably the easiest treat you’ll ever make! Pack some up in treat bags to give away.

ncCandyCnTrlMix1nm

Candy Corn Trail Mix is also really easy and yummy, made with Golden Grahams, pretzels, peanuts, golden raisins, dried cranberries, sunflower kernels, M&M’s, chocolate chips, and candy corn, of course!

ncOwlCups2nm

How about some Owl Cupcakes? Yummy and chocolatey, with Oreo Cookie and M&M eyes!

ncCndyCrnBark3nm

Candy Corn Bark will satisfy any sweet tooth and is a feast for the eyes with all the colorful goodies in it!

ncCnCrnPopcrnBalls2nm

Candy Corn–Peanut Popcorn Balls are super fun and make great homemade treats!

ncCndyCrnMMkrispybarsnm1

Candy Corn M&M’s Crispy Bars are definitely hard to resist!

ncAcornTrts1nm

And Acorn Treats are so much fun–they’re the perfect bite-sized treat!

These are all so yummy! Have you tried making any of these treats before?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Candy Corn M&M’s Crispy Bars

ncCndyCrnMMkrispybarsnm1

Crispy bars are great, and I think they’re even better when you make them with extra add-ins! Last winter, I made some Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cup Crispy Treats which were really good, so I thought I’d try an autumn version with candy corn. I found this recipe at MyRecipes.com which had both candy corn and M&M’s. I thought I’d add some chopped peanuts in there, too, since I like the candy corn-chocolate-peanut combination. You could use cashews instead of peanuts, if you like. I also changed the amounts of some of the ingredients from the original recipe, which I’ve noted in my version below. If you like sweet-and-salty treats, I think you’ll like these, although they’re more sweet than they are salty. If you’d like them saltier, you could add a little less candy corn or M&M’s, and a little more chopped nuts to the crispy treats mixture. If you prefer your crispy treats all sweet, you can omit the nuts and add in some extra candy corn or M&M’s. I liked using the M&M’s Minis in these treats, but you can also use the regular size M&M’s.

CANDY CORN AND M&M’s CRISPY BARS by NancyCreative, adapted from MyRecipes Makes a 9 x 13″ pan

For Bars:

  • 5 1/2 cups rice cereal
  • 3/4 cup candy corn
  • 3/4 cup M&M’s Minis (or regular M&M’s)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely-chopped salted peanuts (or cashews)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag miniature marshmallows

For Chocolate/Candy Corn Topping:

  • 1 cup white semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup candy corn

ncCndyCrnMMBrs2nmSpray a 9 x 13″ pan with nonstick cooking spray, grease well with butter, or line pan with parchment paper; set aside (I lined my pan with parchment paper).

In a large bowl, add the rice cereal, candy corn, M&M’s, and nuts. Stir these dry ingredients with a large spoon, until all ingredients are blended well; set aside.

Melt butter in large sauce pan over low heat. Add marshmallows, stirring constantly until completely melted and well-blended with the butter, about 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Pour melted marshmallow mixture over the cereal/candy/nut mixture in the large bowl. Immediately stir mixture until all the dry ingredients are coated with the marshmallow mixture.

Using a buttered spatula or waxed paper, press mixture evenly and firmly into  your greased or lined 9 x 13″ pan. Then top with chocolate/candy corn topping.

To make the topping, microwave chocolate chips for 30 seconds, stir, then microwave another 30 seconds and stir, continuing this until chocolate chips are completely melted and smooth–about 2 minutes (be careful not to overcook)! Stir in coconut oil while chocolate is still warm, blending well (the coconut oil helps make the chocolate more drizz-able). Drizzle melted chocolate diagonally over crispy mixture in the pan, and sprinkle the candy corn evenly on top. Then drizzle another layer of chocolate on top of that, going the other direction diagonally, for a cris-cross effect.

Let crispy mixture and topping cool and set, then cut into bars (you can refrigerate them to help them set more quickly, for about 30 minutes). These are best eaten the same day; you can store for up to 2 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

ncCndyCrnMMBrs3nm

Crispy bars are so quick and easy to make! Do you like your crispy bars plain or with add-ins?

Candy Corn Trail Mix

ncCandyCnTrlMix1nm

If you’re looking for a fun, quick, easy snack to make, try this Candy Corn Trail Mix–it’s a colorful, yummy blend of sweetness and saltiness, and the perfect treat for fall! Just mix all the ingredients in a bowl and it’s ready. It’s great for packaging up in small bags, too, if you’re needing some special treats to give out!

CANDY CORN TRAIL MIX by NancyCreative

Makes 15 cups

  • 4 cups Golden Grahams OR Vanilla or Honey Nut Chex cereal
  • 2 1/2 cups bite-size pretzel twists (like Rold Gold Tiny Twists)
  • 2 cups lightly salted dry roasted peanuts or cocktail peanuts
  • 3/4 cup dark or golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup roasted sunflower kernels
  • 2 cups candy corn
  • 2 cups M&M’s plain chocolate candy (or substitute 2 cups chocolate chips–semi-sweet, white, dark, or milk chocolate)

In a large bowl, add all ingredients and mix together by tossing with a large spoon. Serve in the bowl or package into treat bags. If you want to make a healthier autumn trail mix, you can omit the candy corn and M&M’s and substitute 2 cups of dark chocolate chips.

Another easy snack mix to try is Candy Corn “PayDay” Mix. Have you made any fun treats with candy corn this season?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

Candy Corn Bark

ncCndyCrnBark3nm

I’ve been posting some quick and easy candy corn treats, like Candy Corn “Pay Day” MixCandy Corn Trail Mix, and Candy Corn-Peanut Popcorn Balls with Marshmallow Coating. Here’s another super-easy candy corn recipe–Candy Corn Bark! Along with the candy corn, this bark also has mini M&M’s, pretzel twists, and dried cranberries in it. It’s a yummy, simple treat to make–a great combination of sweet-and-salty flavors!

CANDY CORN BARK by NancyCreative

Makes a 9 x 13″ pan

  • 2 (12-ounce) packages white chocolate (vanilla) baking chips
  • 1 cup bite-size pretzel twists (like Rold Gold Tiny Twists)
  • 2/3 cup candy corn
  • 1/2 cup M&M’s Mini’s plain milk chocolate candy
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (or substitute dark or golden raisins)

Line a 9 x 13 ” pan with parchment paper, going up the sides and leaving 2 extra inches of paper on each side (so you can lift the bark out of the pan later); set aside.

In a medium microwaveable bowl or container, microwave the white chocolate chips for one minute, then stop and stir. Continue melting the chocolate in the microwave, stopping and stirring every 30 seconds, until all the chips are melted and smooth, for a total of about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes (be careful not to overheat, or the white chocolate will become clumpy!).

ncCndyCrnBk2nmSpread the melted white chocolate evenly in a thin layer in the parchment-lined pan with a large spoon or spatula. Sprinkle pretzels evenly over melted chocolate, pressing pretzels about halfway into the chocolate as you’re placing them. Then do the same with the candy corn, M&M’s, and dried cranberries or raisins (it helps if you have all these ingredients pre-measured so you can sprinkle them on quickly before the chocolate starts to set). Note: Make sure all ingredients are pressed into the melted chocolate, or they will just fall off when you are breaking up the bark later.

Let bark set about 1 hour, or until completely firm (you can chill the bark in the refrigerator to help it set quicker). Lift bark from the pan (with the sides of the parchment paper) and place on kitchen counter. Peel parchment paper from bottom side of bark, breaking bark into pieces as you peel. Serve on a platter or in a bowl, or package into treat bags. Store any extra bark covered in an airtight container at room temperature.

ncCndyCrnBrk1nm

I like this bark because it’s so fun and colorful! Do you have a favorite autumn bark recipe?

Owl Cupcakes

ncOwlCups1nm

Here’s a fun fall cupcake decorating idea–Owl Cupcakes! There are several different ways you can make owl cupcakes, and you may have already seen other ideas for these on different sites. I thought this idea from Recipe Snobs was one of the cutest and easiest–all you need are cupcakes, Oreos, and M&M’s!

Make sure you generously frost your cupcakes, because the frosting is what holds your Oreo “eyes” and “ears” in place, as you press the cookie halves into the top of the cupcake. Hope you have fun making these!

OWL CUPCAKES adapted from Recipe Snobs

Makes 12 cupcakes

  • 12 chocolate cupcakes generously frosted with chocolate frosting (make your favorite recipe or try these yummy Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Frosting–that’s what I used!)
  • 24 Oreo cookies (regular or Double-Stuff Oreos–I’ve used both; since I really like the cream filling, I prefer the Double-Stuff)
  • 36 M&M candies (I like using blue, green, brown, or red for the eyes, and orange for the nose)

Split the Oreo cookies in half crosswise, so the cream is all on one half and the other half is plain (the directions on Recipe Snobs say you can microwave 5 cookies at a time for 3-5 seconds to help keep the cream side solid; I didn’t try this, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re having problems splitting the Oreos. Also, you can use a frosting spatula or knife to help split the cookies. And you may need to use a small knife to scrape off small crumbs from the cream filling side or to smooth down the filling after splitting the cookies).

For the eyes: Press two of the cream filling cookie halves, with sides almost touching, gently into the middle of a frosted cupcake (part of the cookie halves will extend beyond the cupcake). Press the M&M’s, with the M side down, into the cream filling on each cookie half (refer to my photos for where to place the M&M’s).

For the ears: Use the plain Oreo halves for the ears above the eyes (they kind of look like eyebrows, too!). Score the flat smooth cookie sides with a small sharp knife down the center so you get a clean break for your two ears. OR, if you want thinner ears like I made on these cupcakes, score the cookie half on each side not quite to the center; this will leave you with an extra center strip of cookie (which you can eat or discard–I ate mine! 🙂 ). Score and break all your plain cookie halves.

Take two of the “ears” that you’ve made from the plain cookie halves and press them into the frosting right above the “eyes,” slightly slanted downward and almost meeting at the upper center of the cupcake (the bumpy side of the cookie should be showing from the front).

For the “beak,” press an orange M&M (on its side) in the lower center, right below where the cookie “eyes” meet on the cupcake.

ncOwlCups2nm

There you have it! Enjoy eating these fun cupcakes!

What’s your favorite way of decorating cupcakes for fall?

Monster Cookies and the Monster Doodle iPad App

ncCookiesApp2nm

This is a post about two monstrously good things…a recipe for some yummy Monster Cookies and a fun iPad App called Monster Doodle. They kind of go hand in hand…you and your kids can bake up a batch of these monster-size cookies, then sit back and create some fun monsters on your iPad while you’re munching on those cookies!

ncCookiesApp1nm

The Monster Doodle iPad App was created by two of my friends and co-workers, Brian and Jon. It’s a fun, creative, and imaginative way to come up with hundreds of cartoon monster faces on your iPad! I created the monster shown in the photo above. 🙂 Here’s how it works…

  • Create your own personal monster by choosing from over 150 monster “parts” in 7 categories (body, eyes, nose, mouth, hands, ears, and some fun “extras”)
  • You can change each “part” by rotating it or making it larger or smaller.
  • You can mix and match all the parts and come up with an almost infinite number of monsters!
  • It’s easy to add and remove pieces, or just start completely over.
  • You can save your monster creations to your Photo Album.
  • It provides hours of creative fun for kids of all ages.
  • It’s available on the iTunes store for just $.99! To get to the store, click here.

 

 

 

Okay, now for the Monster Cookie recipe…these cookies are really yummy and they have lots of oatmeal in them, along with peanut butter and raisins. So that makes them kind of healthy, right? 🙂 They also have some M&M’s and chocolate chips…I used dark chocolate chips, but you could use semi-sweet chips, too. The recipe I came up with is a combination of different recipes that I looked up on the web…there are so many variations of this cookie, but I really like the way this recipe turned out…so I hope you get a chance to try them!

MONSTROUSLY GOOD MONSTER COOKIES by NancyCreative

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups M&M’s® milk chocolate candies
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips)
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, mix eggs and brown sugar, blending well. Add the salt, vanilla extract, peanut butter, and softened butter; blend all ingredients well. Add in baking soda, oats, and flour, mixing well. Then fold in M&M’s®, chocolate chips, and raisins, stirring to distribute evenly in batter.

Drop the cookie dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto the lined baking sheets and bake for about 13 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned…careful not to overbake! Let cookies cool for a few minutes on the sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. This makes about 30 jumbo cookies.

You can store them at room temperature in resealable plastic bags or other airtight containers. You can freeze some, too, if you want to save some for later!

Linked to Foodie Friday.