Fun Fall Peanut Butter Cereal Treats

peanut butter cereal fall halloween treats

I found the recipe for these bars last year in a magazine. I can’t remember which one. I thought they were really cute for a fall treat and the recipe sounded yummy. Plus they are simple enough that the kiddos can help. They are basically Rice Krispy treats using a different cereal and adding peanut butter and M&Ms. I found these red, brown and yellow ones for fall. If you can’t find them, you can always use regular and take out the blue and green.

You’ll need: 30 large marshmallows, 3 Tbsp butter, 1 Tbsp peanut butter, 6 cups Cap’n Crunch peanut butter cereal, and 1 cup M&Ms.

Add marshmallows, butter and peanut butter to a large saucepan.

Cook on medium heat, stirring often, until melted and combined.

Add the cereal…

and M&Ms…

and stir, just until combined. Don’t over stir because the M&Ms will start melting and breaking.

Transfer mixture to a greased 9×13-inch pan. Press firmly to cover bottom of pan.

Allow to cool and then serve!
I decided to cut them into bite-size squares and serve them on a lollipop stick!

peanut butter cereal fall halloween treats

YUM!

peanut butter cereal fall halloween treats

Cool Whip Buck-Eye Bars

AdvertisementThank you COOL WHIP for sponsoring this post. Join us on Facebook for inspiration and recipes for everyday treats. What you add makes it. #coolwhipmoms

I grew up on COOL WHIP whipped topping! Mom used it on strawberry shortcake, Jello, pumpkin pie and more!

But COOL WHIP has come a long way. It’s not just for topping anymore! Several years ago, Kraft started a magazine, Food and Family, that included a collection of recipes using Kraft products. The recipes were really simple and used Kraft products in ways I would never have thought! COOL WHIP is one of Kraft’s products and I was amazed at some of the recipes that used COOL WHIP in them, not just as a topping!

These Buck-eye Bars are one of the recipes that use COOL WHIP as an ingredient rather than a topping. And the ingredient list is small and pretty basic.

2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup softened butter, 3/4 cup Nilla Wafers, 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter, 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 tub COOL WHIP.
Start by beating peanut butter and butter until blended.

Add Nilla wafer crumbs (I crush mine in the food processor) and mix well.

Gradually add the sugar.

Mix until all ingredients are blended and mixture is dough-like.

Press into bottom of a foil-lined pan. The recipe calls for an 8×8 pan but this dessert is really rich so I spread it out a little more by using a little bit larger pan.

Combine COOL WHIP and chocolate chips in microwaveable bowl.

Microwave on HIGH 1 minute.

Remove from microwave and stir.

Microwave 15 to 30 sec. or until chocolate is melted; stir until well blended.

Pour over peanut butter.

Spread evenly over peanut butter.

Refrigerate for at least two hours. Remove from pan using tinfoil as handles. Peel tinfoil away from dessert.

Cut into small squares.

I like to place these little treats in cupcake liners.

And sometimes, I like to add COOL WHIP Whipped Topping just for fun!

Yummy! You gotta try this simple treat! It’s just like the traditional buck-eye balls. You can find the original recipe for Buck-Eye Bars here.

Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content. I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all my own.

Fossilized Lemon Tracks: Cooking with the Kiddos

My boys love the How Do Dinosaurs? books by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. In fact, Jackson was obsessed with these books starting when he was about 18 months old, so he’s been reading them over and over again for almost 3 years!
I recently found this one, How Do Dinosaurs Eat Cookies? and like the others, they love it!

Inside the book was two recipes for cookies. Last night Jackson asked me if we could make these Fossilized Lemon Tracks. It was the perfect activity for this cloudy day!

 And the recipe was easy enough that the boys were able to do most of it themselves.
The ingredients are: 1 cup softened butter, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar plus extra for dipping, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 3/4 cups flour.
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and extracts and mix well, scraping sides if necessary. Sift flour, baking soda and salt and add to butter mixture. Mix until dough forms.

Roll the dough into small balls.

roll cookies into ballroll cookies into balls

Roll the balls of dough in reserved sugar.

roll in sugar

Place on a baking sheet and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.

flatten dough

Use a chopstick or other kitchen utensil to create tracks in the dough.

mark tracks

I showed the boys like this, but let them do it however they liked.

mark dino tracks

Sprinkle the cookies with sugar and put in a 375 degree oven for 9-12 minutes.

Allow to cool for 2 minutes before removing them from the pan.
Did they turn out to look like dino tracks? Not quite. There were a few that looked like footprints. Most of them looked like scallop shells!

But the boys didn’t care!

jackson

They loved them!

parker

Fossilized Lemon Tracks (modified from How Do Dinosaurs Eat Cookies?)

1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar plus extra for dipping
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 3/4 cups flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and extracts and mix well, scraping sides if necessary.
Sift dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Gradually add to sugar mixture and blend until dough forms.
Roll dough into small teaspoon-size balls. Roll in sugar and place on a baking sheet. Flatten with palm of your hand. Use a chopstick to mark tracks int he cookies and sprinkle with sugar. 
Bake in oven for 9-12 minutes or until done. Allow to cool 2 minutes before removing from tray. 

Nutella & Banana Shake

Sunday I was in the mood for a milkshake. I hadn’t made myself a milkshake in ages! It used to be one of my favorite snacks! I was going to make just plain old vanilla but at then decided to get a little creative.

What I came up with was a Nutella & banana milkshake. It was so good, and so easy, I made another one yesterday!

Get out your blender. You’ll need 3 T Nutella, 5 scoops vanilla ice cream, 1 banana and 13/ to 1/2 cup milk {depending how thick you like your shake}. Now you might be thinking my bananas look a little “aged,” but remember, riper bananas are best in smoothies and shakes because they are sweeter!

Put all ingredients in the blender.

Stir it up! It will take a little while for the Nutella to completely mix with the other ingredients. Just watch for it to become smooth. I also learned that the Nutella should be added last at the top. Otherwise you will have to scrape the sides.

When it’s all smooth, you’re ready to enjoy your treat!

I made a little banana  & Nutella sandwich to go along with it! You can never get enough Nutella!

You gotta try this! I think I might just make another for myself today!

Last Minute Semi-homemade Gift Ideas

Can you believe there is just two days left until Christmas Break? That means only two more days to put together your child’s {children’s} teachers’ gifts. Buying teachers’ gifts can be expensive, especially if you have more than one child who may have more than one teacher. But teachers love getting gifts {remember, I was once a teacher} and they totally deserve them! But you don’t have to spend a fortune. Just get a little creative! Give them something homemade! Or better yet – semi-homemade! Here is what my boys’ teachers are getting. {I hope they haven’t stumbled upon my blog yet!}
These cute little buckets filled with homemade white chocolate popcorn mix and a personalized ornament. The total for each gift ended up being about $10. 
I found these cute “paint” buckets at Hobby Lobby. At 50% off,  I think they were $3. 
I decided to fill them with my yummy white chocolate popcorn mix. This recipe isn’t new. I’ve posted it before when I shared my “Ready to Pop” baby shower favors. Actually, I make this mix all the time and modify the colors and ingredients to match the occasion. I’ve found that I really like the addition of pretzels. If you are making it for kids, marshmallows are good in it as well.

Ingredients: popcorn, mini pretzels, premier white chocolate morsels, M&Ms. 
Melt white chocolate in microwave at 50% power for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, just until melted. Do NOT burn!

Add popcorn, pretzels and candy to a very large bowl.
 Pour about 1/4 cup melted white chocolate over the popcorn and stir. 


Repeat two more times until popcorn is generously coated in chocolate. Be sure to save some to drizzle over the top.


Pour popcorn mix on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Using a spoon drizzle remaining melted chocolate over popcorn.

At the last minute I decided to add red and green sprinkles to give it a little more holiday flare! Allow the popcorn mix to cool and harden for about an hour and store in an air-tight container until ready to use.

I love to buy these food and bread bags to use for Christmas goodies. They are perfect for packing up homemade goodies and fit nicely into any size container. So I lined the bucket with the bag. . .

and filled it up with the popcorn mix.
This cute personalized ornament serves as a gift and gift tag! It was just $5. I tied the ornament on with some coordinating ribbons that I had in my craft supplies. And that was it! 

White Chocolate Popcorn Mix Recipe
3 bags microwave popcorn, popped
3 cups mini pretzels
1 – 12 oz. packages premier white chocolate morsels
1 – 12.6 oz. bags chocolate coated candies (such as M&Ms)

Mix popcorn, pretzels and candy in a large bowl. Melt white chocolate morsels in microwave at 50% power for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted. CAREFUL NOT TO BURN!!! Drizzle a small amount {about 1/4 cup} of chocolate over popcorn and stir to coat. Continue adding chocolate, a little at a time, until popcorn mix is fully coated. You will use about 2/3 of the white chocolate. 

Spread popcorn mixture on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Using a spoon, drizzle remaining white chocolate over popcorn. Allow to cool for 1 hour before breaking popcorn mix into large chunks.

Here are a few other handmade ideas for you. These are items I made in Stamp Club made from Stampin’ Up products, but you can use any materials you have.
Stocking gift card holder. A few great giftcards for teachers: Target, the bookstore, Dollar Store, restaurants. Those were always my favorite. 

This cute little goodie sack is made from a paper lunch bag and scrapbook paper. 

A cute little box with a removable rosette flower. Everyone loves rosettes! You could even attach a pin back to it.
You probably shouldn’t send wine to school, but this tag could be used for any bottled drink. It would fit nicely on a bottle of Monin syrup accompanied by a bag of coffee.
These also are fantastic gifts for co-workers, bosses, neighbors, service people, etc. And they are so easy to throw together at the last minute. But because they are semi-homemade, the recipients will think you put a lot of time and effort into making them!

Brownie Bite Surprise Recipe

One of my favorite things about December is the goodies! The baking, the exchanging and the eating of delicious holiday treats! I do a lot of baking during the holidays. Probably more than I do all year! I’m pretty sure I inherited this baking trait from my mom. She always had {and still has} a “buffet” of goodies during the holidays. I think she must make something just about every day of December. So yummy! 
I have some recipes that I make year after year. They are my favorites. Many are treats I grew up eating. Mom’s recipes. A few are recipes I’ve come across that have come to be a holiday favorite. And I always find a copule of new recipes that I try. 
This one, which I call Brownie Bite Surprise, is a new one. One that I came up with. Now listen up, I’m not sayin’ it’s never been done before, I’m sure it has and I’m sure there is a recipe for it somewhere out there. I’m just sayin’ that I didn’t find this recipe on Pinterest, or Allrecipes.com or in a magazine. I thought of it while at the grocery store one day. I wanted to make some chocolate treat with something inside. A surprise, but something different than the Reece’s or Snickers brownies I’ve made before. So as I was browsing the candy isle, I found the perfect stuffer! These little bites turned out gooey and fudgy. The center melts in your mouth but also has a little crunch. So delicious! Here’s the recipe. . . 
Very simple ingredients. And yes, I use boxed brownie mix. I’ve told you before, I do not make stuff like that from scratch. So you need a basic fudge brownie mix {make sure it’s the fudgey kind} and Hershey’s Nuggets {I like the toffee/almond kind}. 
Mix the brownies according to the directions on the box. 
Line a mini-muffin tin with miniature baking cups. {This is a very important step. The first time I made them I greased the pan rather than using baking cups. Big mistake. They were very hard to get out and ended up looking pretty ugly after I had to scoop them out with a spoon.}
Scoop a heaping teaspoon of batter into baking cups. 
Unwrap and cut the nuggets in half.
Place a half of the candy in each muffin cup and press down gently. 
Top with another heaping teaspoon of brownie batter and spread to cover candy. {I know, this doesn’t look pretty}!
Bake in a 350* oven {325* for dark, nonstick pan} for 15-20 minutes. Just watch for the tops to look bubbly and cracked like above. You don’t want to overcook these guys. Cool for at least fifteen minutes before carefully removing from the pan. If your tops have spilled over, you may need to use a knife to lift it from the pan.

Enjoy!
These are a hit and everyone always asks, “What’s in the center?” Surprise! 

Itty Bitty Punkin Treats

Hey y’all! Are you ready for a cute and yummy fall treat?
These little guys are “Itty Bitty Punkin’ Treats!” They may be tiny but they are pure deliciousness!
Here is what you need:
1 box powdered sugar
1 small jar peanut butter
1/2 stick of butter
red & yellow food coloring
chocolate chips
Mix powdered sugar, peanut butter and softened butter in a bowl just until combined.
 Mix red and yellow food coloring with 1/4 cup of water until you get the desired orange.
This was a good job for Little Man #2.

Add the food coloring, a little at a time, to the peanut butter mixture and mix well.

Roll the dough into small teaspoon size balls. Little Man #2 had fun helping me with this.

Use a toothpick to create criss-cross markings across the top of the balls.

Top each ball with a chocolate chip and you have your little punkins!

You can share or save them all for yourself! :)

ENJOY!

Home Stories A2Z

Grillin’ & Chillin’ Cake

Whew! It was a crazy busy weekend! Saturday I was busy garage saling and Sunday I was busy preparing for a shower for some friends getting married at the end of the month. It was a couples shower with the theme “Grillin’ and Chillin’” and we had a blast! We even had a surprise visitor. Our BFF Melly who lives in Chicago made a surprise appearance. It was an evening filled with good food, good friends and good times to celebrate an upcoming marriage! What I want to show you from this party was the cake. 
Isn’t it fabulous and adorable! I cannot take credit for this one. A friend graciously took the time to make it for us. Thanks Cristy! Take a closer look. . .
The layered chocolate cake was a grill with burger patties {rice cakes sprayed with red food coloring} and even burning charcoal inside {marshmallows covered in icing and sprinkles}.
The tray of mini sliders were white cupcakes with a slice of chocolate in the center, covered in yellow/orange icing. And my favorite was the corn on the cob cupcakes covered in jelly beans and a banana Laffy Taffy! Not only did this cake look awesome, but it tasted amazing! Thank you, thank Cristy! This was the hit of the party!

She’s Ready to Pop!

ready to pop baby shower popcorn favor box
While I was away at Creative Estates, my friends and I {even though I wasn’t actually present} hosted a baby shower for my dear friend, Cindi. Since I was going to be gone, I was in charge of items that could be bought and prepared ahead of time. One of my duties: the party favors.
Dun dun dun. . .
{horror sound effect}
Now, I am a creative person. But favors can be hard! I didn’t want to do the same old same old. So I had no idea what I was going to do, until one day I went to Hobby Lobby {What? Me? At HL, you say? I know, crazy!}. So anyway, I was at HL and saw these little favor boxes.
So cute! And they are shaped like movie popcorn boxes! But of course I wasn’t going to fill them with regular old buttered popcorn. . .
Instead, I made this:
Ready to Pop, White Chocolate Popcorn Mix!

Here’s how. . .

3 easy ingredients: popcorn, premier white chocolate morsels, M&Ms.
Melt one bag of white chocolate in microwave at 75% power for 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, just until melted.
Add half of popcorn and one bag of candy to a large bowl.
 {Unless you have a REALLY large bowl, you’ll need to make the mix in two separate batches}
Pour a small amount of melted white chocolate over the popcorn and candy and stir.
Repeat several times until popcorn is generously coated in chocolate {about 2/3 of melted chocolate}. Be sure to save some to drizzle on top.
Pour popcorn mix on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Using a spoon drizzle remaining melted chocolate over popcorn.
Let the popcorn mix harden for about an hour and store in an air-tight container until ready to use.
Is you mouth watering yet?  This stuff is good! I was kind of sad to give it all away!

The favors:

Aren’t they darling?!
And delish!
Ready to Pop, White Chocolate Popcorn Mix!
3 bags microwave popcorn, popped
2 – 12 oz. packages premier white chocolate morsels
2 – 12.6 oz. bags chocolate coated candies (such as M&Ms)
Mix half of popcorn {1- 1/2 bags} and 1 bag of candy in a large bowl. Melt 1 bag white chocolate morsels in microwave at 75% power for 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted. CAREFUL NOT TO BURN!!! Pour a small amount of chocolate over popcorn and stir to coat. Continue adding chocolate, a little at a time, until popcorn mix is fully coated. You will use about 2/3 of the white chocolate.
Spread popcorn mixture on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Using a spoon, drizzle remaining white chocolate over popcorn. Allow to cool for 1 hour before breaking popcorn mix into large chunks.
Repeat with remaining popcorn, candy and white chocolate.
Yield: about 20 cups popcorn mix.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
YES, you can order these for your shower now! Stop by either of my shops to place your “Ready to Pop” order now! don’t see what you want? I can create custom orders to match any theme or decor!

Easter Treat {you don’t want to miss this}

I have a riddle for you. . .
What do you get when you mix
 this 
{white chocolate}
with this?
{jelly beans}
You give up? 
I’ll give you a hint, it’s really yummy treat for Easter!
Friends, let me introduce you to 
Jelly Bean Bark. . .


Yum!
Here is how you make it. 

You’ll need a 24-oz bag of Nestle Premier White Morsels {this is the large size bag} and a 10 to 14 oz bag of jelly beans.

Melt your morsels on the stove using a double-boiler or in the microwave on 70% power. Be careful to stir frequently so that you do not burn the chocolate!! If you are using the microwave, heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted.

While your chocolate is melting, line a cookie sheet with wax paper.

Lay half of the jelly beans on the pan.

Pour the melted chocolate over the jelly beans and use a rubber spatula to spread it across the pan creating an even layer.

Place the remaining jelly beans on top of the melted chocolate. Allow to cool at room temperature for several hours or put in the refrigerator to cool for one hour.
Peel away wax paper and break into 2 to 3-inch pieces.

Enjoy!


Sweet Treat for Someone Special

Have you gotten something special for your special someone! If not, there’s still time! Here’s a delicious treat that is super easy to make! 

First you’ll need to run to the store for the following:
1 package of fresh strawberries
1 bag Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips
white chocolate and/or semi-sweet chocolate chips for decorating
Not too long of a list, right? So here’s what you do. . .
Put your milk chocolate chips in a small crockpot on low for about 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The chocolate will melt quickly, be careful not to burn the chocolate! 
In the meantime, gently rinse the strawberries under cold water. Gently shake off excess water and place on paper towel-lined cookie sheet to continue drying. Dry, cold strawberries will work best for dipping!

When your chocolate is ready, use a skewer to dip and roll the strawberry in the chocolate. 
Let excess chocolate drip off.

Then place dipped strawberries on wax paper to cool.
If you choose to decorate your chocolate-dipped strawberries, melt your semi-sweet and/or white chips in a glass bowl in the microwave on 70% power stirring after, 30 seconds. Continue heating in 30 second intervals  until melted.

Transfer melted chocolate to a plastic sandwich bag and snip off the tip.

Drizzle chocolate over strawberries using back and forth motion.
Allow strawberries to cool completely to harden. You may place them in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
An easy, delicious sweet treat for you your special someone!
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cake Balls, Valentine Style

I found the original recipe for cake balls on my favorite recipe site, allrecipes.com.
And even though I love chocolate, I thought I’d put my own spin on these babies to make them Valentiney (yes, I like to make up my own words). They were soooooo good!

My ingredients:
1 box strawberry cake mix 
(I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I do not bake my cakes from scratch when 
Betty Crocker has put it all together for me).
1 container vanilla frosting
2 packages Baker’s white chocolate or white chocolate chips

Bake the cake according to Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, the Pillsbury Dough Boy, whoever. Let the cake cool slightly (or you will burn your fingers off, trust me) then invert cake into a large bowl and crumble.

 Add the entire container of frosting and mix well.

This is what the mixture will look like. Cover with plastic wrap or transfer to air-tight container and place in the refrigerator for a few hours or longer, until chilled and firm. Mine was refrigerated over night.

Use a melon baller or cookie scoop to scoop out the cake mixture.

Roll the mixture into balls using your hands. 
If you use Baker’s squares, chop them up into small chunks.

Melt the chocolate using either a double boiler on the stove or a glass dish in the microwave.

Once the chocolate has melted, remove your bowl from the pan. Working quickly, dip the balls into chocolate using a fork to allow excess to drip. Normally I would use skewers, but these balls are heavier than truffles so the fork worked better. You may need to reheat your chocolate about half way through if it starts to thicken.

Place the chocolate-coated balls on wax paper to cool. Use sprinkles or candy of your choice to decorate while they are still “wet.” If you are in a hurry for them to harden, slide the wax paper onto a cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator.
There you go! Cake balls to give to your special someone!

Argh Matey, Pirate Cupcakes

Aren’t these pirate cupcakes darling? 
I can’t take too much credit for these. I borrowed the idea from a friend. But they turned out so cute that I just had to share. 
Use any flavor for the cake and bake according to the package. My little guy picked chocolate. I found several different pirate theme liner cups (Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and Party City) but chose gold because it matched the gold coins and jewelry I used for party decor. 

I used a tub of white buttercream frosting and added just a couple spoonfuls of milk chocolate frosting to make a flesh-like color. I mixed it using a hand mixer.

Frost the cupcakes.
Pour chocolate sprinkles onto a small plate or shallow bowl.
Pressing lightly, roll 1/2 the iced cupcake in the sprinkles so that they cover the bottom and slightly up the sides of the cupcake.
There’s the scruffy beard! 

I used vanilla frosting in my Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator for the whites of the eyes. 

Red icing is too hard to make, so I used a can of red cupcake icing for the bandanas then added white polka dots with the vanilla icing using the PC decorator.
You could use any small, round candy, but we chose chocolate chips for the eyeballs. Then used the red icing for the mouth.
Cute and yummy!

A Not So Successful Day in the Land of Baked Goods

Bummer. . .
 I hate it when a new recipe just doesn’t turn out the way I had hoped. They tasted great, but looked horrible! But don’t be discouraged and keep please keep reading. I solved the problem for the last dozen of the cookies that went into the oven.

Lately I’ve been craving chocolate and cherries. I had a really yummy cookie recently at our MOPS cookie exchange. Unfortunately at this cookie exchange we didn’t provide the recipes. So I looked through my cookie cookbooks, searched online for chocolate cherry cookies recipes and couldn’t really find what I was looking for. But I did find this recipe in my Southern Living Christmas Cookies cookbook. Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies. Sounded pretty good and I had the ingredients, so what the hay, I’ll try them.

Here’s the ingredients. Pretty much pantry basics except for the cherries.

Start out by draining a 10 oz jar of maraschino cherries, but be sure to reserve the juice. I do this by placing a glass measuring cup underneath a small strainer. The original recipe asks you to slice the cherries after draining them. I think next time I will leave them whole. They aren’t very big to begin with and I think I would have liked more cherry flavor in the cookie.

Beat 1 stick (1/2 cup) of softened butter and 1 cup sugar until creamy.
Add 1 egg,  1 1/2 tsp vanilla and 2 tsp (or more) of reserved cherry juice and mix well. Next time I think I will try 3 tsp of juice. I didn’t think the actual cookies had any cherry flavor from 2 tsp.

In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients (1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, 1/4 tsp each baking soda, baking powder and salt).
Gradually add to sugar and butter mixture, beating well after each addition. 

 

Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet.

 Using your thumb, make and indention in the center of each ball. Place a cherry in the indention.
My little man putting the cherries in the holes. He loved this job!

Here is where the recipe went downhill for me. . .

Cook 1/2 package (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan over low heat stirring occasionally until melted. Add 1 or more tsp of reserved cherry juice. Again, I think I’ll add a little more next time for more cherry flavor.

Spoon a teaspoon of chocolate over each cookie. Spoon over the cookie? I couldn’t spoon this chocolate over anything because it was more like the consistency of a tub of frosting then a glaze. So I put a dollop of the stuff on each cookie thinking maybe it would melt over the cookie once in the oven. 

NO! Didn’t happen. So I read a few reviews of the recipe and no one mentioned anything about the chocolate topping, so I thought maybe I did something wrong. I tried making it again. Same consistency. I didn’t want to waste everything, so I just blobbed the stuff on top of the second pan of cookies and threw them in the oven.

 
While they were baking, I decided to look at the other similar recipes I found online. Here is where I got an idea that finally made my 3rd and final pan turn out nicely.

I put the chocolate “stuff” into my Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator (LOVE this thing and it’s only 20 bucks!) and swirled it on top of the cookies. 

Now let me assure you that all the cookies tasted really yummy, they just looked awful! And I don’t know about you, but I bake most of my holiday goodies to give away or serve at parties. NO WAY I would have let anyone see these! But I did get one good dozen out of the batch. I’ll save those for friends.
Here is the original recipe from Southern Living
And here is the recipe with photos from Allrecipes.com

Fantasy Fudge

What the fudge? It’s that easy?
I’m not going to tell you that this is the BEST fudge I’ve ever had, but my mom has been making it every year at Christmas since I was a little girl. All these years I’ve I LOVED it! When I “became domesticated” (as my dad calls it) and started baking, I asked my mom for this recipe. I was shocked when I realized how easy it was to make. The recipe actually comes from the jar of Kraft Jet-Puffed marshmallow creme.

Pretty basic ingredients. Butter, sugar, evaporated milk (you only need a small can but I only had a large one so I put the rest in the fridge for mac-n-cheese), marshmallow creme, semi-sweet chocolate chips or baker’s squares, vanilla and nuts (optional).
In a large saucepan over medium heat combine 3 cups sugar, 3/4 cup butter and 1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk. Stir occasionally until butter is melted.

In the meantime, prepare an 8×8 inch pan by lining it with foil.

Bring sugar mixture to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. 

Boil, stirring constantly, 4 minutes or until candy thermometer reads between 230 and 235 degrees. 
 Remove from heat and stir in 12 oz of chocolate and 1 (7oz) jar marshmallow creme. Keep stirring until melted. You’ll burn a few calories here so don’t feel so guilty about eating the fudge later!

Add 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 cup nuts (if desired). Mix well. 
Note: I added walnuts this time. I usually use pecans and have decided that I like the pecans much better.

Pour the fudge into your prepared pan and allow to cool completely. This will take several hours. If you have a cooler room in the house, set the pan in there.
Invert fudge onto cutting board and slice into bite-size squares. Store in an air-tight container and be sure to share with your family and friends.  They will thank you for it!