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Cap off your child’s school year with a treat that fits the occasion–a chocolate mortarboard with a fruit-leather tassel. You may want to make enough to share with a few classmates. Bon-Apetit!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Miniature peanut butter cups
  • Frosting or peanut butter
  • Chocolate-covered graham crackers
  • Fruit leather

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place a miniature peanut butter cup, bottom up, on a plate. Top with a small dollop of frosting or peanut butter, then press on a chocolate-covered graham cracker.
  2. For a tassel, tightly roll up a small square of fruit leather. Cut fringe on one end and attach the other end to the center of the graham cracker with another dab of frosting or peanut butter.

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I am back! Sorry I have been M.I.A. the past few weeks – I just got married and was out of the country for a bit, but I am back and ready to send you my love with fun blog posts and (hopefully) fun ideas! Now that the sun is out, and the excitement of Memorial Day is approaching, why not have a picnic? I live in New York City with one of the most beautiful parks – Central Park! My goal is to have a family picnic with my new nieces this weekend! Here are two fun recipes you can enjoy with your family too – lunch and dessert! Yum!

FOR LUNCH…

Pizza Scones

My savory scones recipe features sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella. And this portable dish, complete with do-ahead and packing tips, makes a great addition to your picnic menu.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pepperoni (optional)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

INSTRUCTIONS:

Fun To-Go Tip: Take smaller scones to a gathering. Use a 3-inch-round biscuit cutter to make 12 smaller scones, and reduce the baking time to 10 to 15 minutes. The scones should be cooled before packing.

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, basil, oregano, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Place the diced sun-dried tomatoes in a medium-size bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let them stand for 30 seconds, then drain the water and stir in the cheese and pepperoni (if using).
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and the buttermilk, then add them and the tomato mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir until the mixture forms a sticky dough.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead the dough until it holds together, about five times. Divide the dough in half and pat each half into a 1-inch-thick disk. Slice each disk into four wedges.
  5. Place the wedges on a lightly greased baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake them until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve the scones warm or at room temperature. Makes 8 scones.

Per serving (1 scone):
Calories 340 ● Total Fat 17 g (27% DV) ● Saturated Fat 10 g (49% DV) ● Cholesterol 95 mg (32% DV) ● Sodium 525 mg (22% DV) ● Total Carbohydrate 37 g (12% DV) ● Fiber 1 g (6% DV) ● Sugars 3 g ●
Protein 11 g (22% DV)

FOR DESSERT…

Frozen Watermelon Dessert

When is a watermelon not a watermelon? When it’s a refreshing frozen confection combining tangy raspberry sorbet, sweet honeydew, and chocolaty chips.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 honeydew
  • Raspberry sorbet
  • Chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

Note: make sure to make freeze packs in your cooler for your picnic so that your watermelon dessert doesn’t melt.

  1. Halve the honeydew, discard the seeds, and chill it overnight in the fridge.
  2. The next day, put the halves in the freezer for 15 minutes, pull them out, and pack them with sorbet, gently evening off the top.
  3. Using a chilled knife, slice each half into halves again (make sure the melon is sorbet side up).
  4. Finally, insert a row of chocolate chip seeds and serve immediately.

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To all of our loyal readers:

I am sorry I have been a little M.I.A. lately! I am getting ready for my wedding that is in 2 weeks (and counting), and working diligently on prepping and gearing up our Le Top and Rabbitmoon websites with our Fall 2012 collections for you shoppers and fans! I promise to be back with great daily blog posts soon, and appreciate your understanding for our minimized  blog posts the past few weeks. Keep busy with your little ones with this SUPER CUTE cookie recipe…could be a cute idea for mother’s day!! Or to even give to your grandmother’s (as long as they aren’t diabetic)!

 

THE RECIPE!
Yield:
Makes 8-10 cookies

Cookies are a perfect-size snack for little hands. This recipe was designed with kids in mind!

Older children can use their hand to outline the cookies, drawing around it on the dough with a skewer and using a knife tip to cut along the line. If your child can’t cut with a knife, make a pattern from a manila folder or translucent parchment works well; it will allow you to see the shape of the cookie through it.

INGREDIENTS:

For Dough

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, for decorating

For Decorating

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Sanding sugar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, and beat until smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Add reserved flour mixture, and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla. Wrap dough in plastic, and refrigerate for about 45 minutes.
  4. Make cookie pattern and heart stencil while wrapped dough is chilling. For the pattern, have your child trace his or her hand on a manila file folder, and cut out the tracing. You will lay this on the dough and trace around it with the tip of a paring knife. For the heart stencil, cut a heart shape from a piece of parchment paper, discarding center.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a well-floured work surface, roll out cold dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out hand shapes. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Dough scraps may be re-rolled twice.
  6. To decorate the cookies with sanding sugar hearts, lay the heart stencil over a cookie. Combine the egg white with the water in a small bowl. Brush the egg wash in the heart, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Lift stencil and repeat with remaining cookies. Bake until edges just begin to brown lightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cookies cool on pans for 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

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This Fruit Stack Peanut Butter Sandwich is a great idea for kids or even adults who simply love sandwiches. Instead of serving peanut butter toast with a side of fresh fruit – why not combine them?! Thinly sliced apples and bananas are stuffed between two slices of toasted sandwich bread – slathered in chunky peanut butter. A drizzle of maple syrup and cinnamon hides beneath these tasty layers as well! Perfect as a healthy breakfast, lunchbox sandwich or after-school snack. Serve it will a tall glass of OJ or even chocolate milk!

Fruit Stack Peanut Butter Sandwich

FRUIT OPTIONS:
Try these fruits – slice them paper thin – or for soft fruits like raspberries – simply smash them between the bread and call them “fruit smasher” sandwiches!

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • Navel orange slices
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Grapes
  • Mango

Try almond butter, sunflower butter, cashew butter – or good old fashioned peanut butter. Chunky or creamy.

HOW TO:
makes 1 sandwich

  • 2 slices sandwich bread
  • 1 banana, thinly sliced long ways
  • 1 small green apple, sliced paper-thin (or fruit of choice)
  • 3 Tbsp chunky peanut butter
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • a few dashes of cinnamon

TO MAKE:
Toast the bread. 
Slice the fruit paper thin – if you are not eating this sandwich right away you can toss the fruit in a splash of lemon juice to keep them from browning.
Slather peanut butter on both slices of bread. 
Layer fruit. 
Add a drizzle of maple and dashes of cinnamon.
 Close sandwich and slice!

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When you’re looking to turn a classic recipe into something so irresistibly delicious, there’s only one thing to do … add a kick of cake mix. Dry cake mix lends a delicious cake batter flavor to the dough, filling, and icing of these totally incredible (and totally easy!) cinnamon rolls. Whether you’re serving them up for a big day or just adding a bit of oomph to your weekend breakfast table, these Birthday Cake Cinnamon Rolls are totally fab!

Birthday Cake Cinnamon Rolls

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 1/2 cup very warm water
  • 1 packet of yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow cake mix (I prefer Betty Crocker.)
  • 2 cups flour

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup yellow cake mix

For the icing:

  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cake mix
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • 3-5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

Pour the water into a very large bowl. Whisk in the yeast. Then the sugar. Allow the mixture to rest for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the salt, olive oil, and 2 1/4 cups of the flour. Sprinkle just enough flour over the dough until it becomes pliable enough to knead. Knead the dough until it becomes soft and elastic. Cover with a clean cloth and set aside, allowing the dough to rise for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it’s about 1/2″ thick. Drizzle butter across the dough, sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, and cake mix. Roll tightly into a roll, then slice into 2″ pieces with a sharp knife. Place rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet and allow them to rise for 15 minutes more before putting them in the oven and baking for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

In a stand mixer, beat together all icing ingredients until a spreadable frosting is formed. Drizzle over hot rolls. Sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles. Serve and enjoy!

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April Fool’s Day is this weekend….There’s no chance of breaking the yolks when you cook up these eggs for April Fool’s Day with or for your kids or even to serve to daddy before work! That’s because they’re actually dried apricots — a tangy complement to the sweet marshmallow egg whites. I can’t resist a good practical joke – as everybody knows, there’s no business like monkey business.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 12 marshmallows
  • 2 dried whole apricots

DIRECTIONS:

1.     Place a piece of aluminum foil on a flat working surface and then grease the surface of the foil with 1 teaspoon of the butter.

2.     In a small saucepan, melt the second teaspoon of butter over low heat. As soon as it has melted, add the marshmallows to the pan and turn up the heat to medium-low. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the marshmallows are completely melted and have just started to bubble.

3.     Immediately remove the pan from the heat and spoon the melted marshmallow, in 2 separate blobs, onto the greased foil. You have to work fast, before the marshmallow begins to solidify again.
TIP: When spooning the melted marshmallow onto the greased foil, work quickly, using the back of the spoon to spread out the “egg white” a bit.

4.    Shape 2 dried whole apricots and gently press each one, rounded side up, into the center of a marshmallow blob.
TIP: To make a dried apricot look just like a dome-shaped egg yolk, use your thumbs to push the center of the fruit until it is concave.

5.     When the marshmallow has set enough to hold together, but before it stiffens too much, use a spatula to transfer the eggs to a breakfast plate.
TIP: Once the candy eggs have set, insert a plastic spatula beneath each one and, at the same time, use your fingers to gently peel the marshmallow from the foil.

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Adorable dipped strawberries decorated in a sports theme… just in time for a March Madness party or the upcoming Father’s Day. They look like something you would pay top dollar for from one of the large mail order companies but actually cost significantly less and are fun to make!

Making the sports themed strawberries is very easy and only requires five ingredients. To see step-by-step instructions and get the recipe, read below.

This post has been moved to our website. To view the full recipe go to:
http://blog.letop-usa.com/?p=24529

 

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