Sep 30, 2015

Marshmallow Sugar Pumpkins

I can't believe that I happened upon these pumpkins!  I made them simply as a cute accent for a candy cottage, but discovered that they taste just like those marshmallow chicks, except BETTER! When I say better, I mean that you might have trouble actually using these to decorate anything other than the inside of your tummy.  They are extremely easy to make and very kid friendly.

Marshmallow Sugar Pumpkins
Orange sugar sprinkles
Pretzel sticks
Green mini M&M's

Dip your marshmallows in water so the sugar will adhere.  Next roll the marshmallows in the orange sugar crystals (fun for the kiddos!) and set aside.  Cut the tips off the pretzel sticks for your stem, and gently push into the top of your pumpkin.  Finally, using kitchen shears, I cut my mini M&M's in half, and also gently pressed into the top of the marshmallows.  So easy!

 Marshmallow Pumpkins would make a cute substitute for candy corn pumpkins

Sep 24, 2015

Boo! Making Edible Ghosts the Easy Way

I was inspired to try make a Twinkies ghost after seeing one on CrazyLittleProjects .  Was it really as easy as it was made out to be? The answer was a resounding yes.  Aside from easy, the little ghosts turned out to be quite cute.  The ingredient list is short, and the actual construction is quick.

Twinkies Ghosts
-Twinkies cut in half
-white chocolate candy bark
-mini chocolate chips

Begin by melting your white chocolate bark candy according to package instructions until smooth.  While the chocolate is melting, cut your Twinkies in half.

Set the Twinkies upright on a wax paper covered surface and spoon melted chocolate over the top.  The chocolate will ooze down the sides, puddling at the bottom, and creating a "ghost shape."  

Finally add your mini morsels for eyes and a mouth and wait for your ghosts to set.  After the candy has hardened, your spooky, yet adorable friends are ready to adorn a Halloween Candy Cottage, and/or be eaten.  Have fun!

Sep 20, 2015

Monster Mash

Every Christmas, I make peppermint bark to pass out to friends and neighbors.  Why not Halloween inspired bark?  Hence, Monster Mash was born.  The bark is truly very easy, and makes a great "cobblestone" effect when decorating your Candy Cottage. 

Monster Mash
1 package of chocolate candy bark
Assortment of candy and snack foods
That's It!!!!

Simply melt your chocolate bark in the microwave or on the stove top according to the directions.  In the meantime, line a cookie sheet with wax paper.  Spread the melted chocolate on the cookie sheet.  Immediately add your candy, and let set until hardened.  I used kettle corn, candy corn, marshmallows, sprinkles, M&M's, and candy bones.  Other cute ideas might include gummy worms, candy eyes, pretzels, nuts, mini chocolate bars, and/or oreos.  Really, your creativity is the limit.  I have found the Monster Mash sets more quickly if placed in the refrigerator.  After hardened, break into smaller pieces.  I used small chunks to decorate the walls of a candy cottage.  Any leftovers are great treats for friends and family! So easy!


Sep 15, 2015

Take a Walk (or Slither) on the Wild Side

Every year at Halloween I enjoy perusing the aisles for the newest, most bizarre candy.  I have not been let down this year.  My son loves snakes, so these all too realistic gummy snakes were a huge hit.

I personally found them a little too life like, however, they certainly would be perfect for a very creepy, spooky Halloween Candy Cottage.  I did not taste them either, but they were kid approved.  Have fun shopping for your creepy, spooky Halloween candy (there is plenty to choose from!).

Sep 12, 2015

Not Your Mama's Candy Corn

When I was growing up, the appearance of candy corn in the grocery store signified the approach of Halloween and all things autumn.  The sweet little triangles of goodness were only to be eaten from September through the first of November, and they always were the same, yellow then orange,with a little white tip.  If you wanted to get a little wild, you might eat a orange pumpkin or get the harvest mix.  While shopping the other day, I happened upon a display of candy corn.  I reached for my usual bag, when "caramel macchiato" caught my eye. What?  Since when did candy corn come in OTHER flavors?  Where have I been the past few Septembers?  Apparently, for the brave at heart, you can now get everything from Peanut Butter Cup to Sea Salt Chocolate.  YUM!

Aside from just being a favorite fall treat, candy corn is a staple Halloween Candy Cottage decoration.  The little triangles make perfect shingles, walkways, roof lines, and accents.  Now you can go even crazier with candy corn of all colors.  The leftovers will be delicious, too!
 Trendy Tree Candy Cottage creation

Sep 8, 2015

Coloring Frosting with Kool-Aid

When you decorate your Candy Cottage this fall, one easy way to jazz it up is to use colored frosting. Halloween is a great time to experiment with a yellow roof or a purple cottage.  Rather than use traditional food coloring, I decided to try Kool-Aid packets.

Believe it or not, Kool-Aid works great.  The colors turned out bright, and as an added bonus, the frosting smelled pretty wonderful (and might taste pretty yummy, too!) The best part is that the whole process is so easy. Simply dump a packet of Kool-Aid into your frosting container and stir.  If you would like, you could always put the frosting in a bowl first, but that is not necessary.  My only tip is to make sure to read to the packets, as a green packet is actually red Kiwi Strawberry.  Get mixing!

Sep 4, 2015

A Cabin in the Woods

While shopping for pretzels to make my pumpkins, I discovered that pretzels of all kinds were on sale, buy one get one free.  Not to pass up a good deal, I bought 4 different kinds (believe it or not, that barely scrapes the surface on pretzel variety...who knew there were so many types!).  Now what to do with hundreds of pretzels...make a Log Cabin of course! A log cabin is actually a relatively easy project for your entire family, including the littles. We ended up using rods, sticks, and butter snaps to decorate our cottage.  We kept it simple, but had fun decorating.  You most certainly could add snow, white cotton candy "smoke" from the chimney, and spruce trees.  Actually, your imagination and creativity are the limits really.  Have fun decorating a fall cottage this weekend, and share a picture with us!

Sep 3, 2015

Pumpkin Pretzels

While summer has its fun, fall has always been my favorite season. The cool, crisp air, changing leaves, hot apple cider, and bonfires are some of my favorite things.  The start of school signals the end of summer, and my mind has turned to all things autumn.  Log cabins and pumpkins are just two of my inspirations this week.  I ran across a cute pretzel pumpkin on Butter With a Side of Bread and decided to give it a try myself with several tweaks. You only need a few ingredients: mini pretzels, candy bark, coconut oil, food coloring, and green M & M's.

Pumpkin Pretzels:

-One bag of mini pretzels
-One package of white candy bark
-One package of M&M's with the green ones sorted out
-Red and Yellow food coloring
-1 Tablespoon of coconut oil (you can also use shortening)

I began by melting the candy bark.  You could use white chocolate chips, but chocolate can be so much harder to work with.  Since I have three young children, I only have time for easy.  The bark comes in cubes, just pop the cubes into a microwave safe container, and heat for 1 minute in your microwave.

Remove from microwave, stir in the coconut oil, and return to the microwave for 30 second intervals until the bark looks like this:

Now you are ready to add the food coloring.  I went with 14 drops yellow to 1 drop red, but it was too pale.  I continued to add a few red drops at a time until my candy coating reached the orange color I liked.  At this point, the real fun begins.  You simply dunk your pretzel in the orange coating, covering it well, and lay it on a sheet of parchment or wax paper to set. Don't forget to set the green M&M sideways in the little pretzel dip on top while the candy is still soft.

I will confess that your hands will most likely get quite messy.  There is no delicate way to dunk pretzels.  However, the end result is more than worth it.  My pretzel pumpkins set in 30 minutes, and are completely adorable.  Aside from the cuteness factor, they are a scrumptious mix of salty and sweet all wrapped up in one. They would be a cute addition to any fall Candy Cottage. Happy Pretzel Dipping!