It’s March madness and I had to slip away for some non-basketball talk. So I am going to share some recipes with your. Children of all ages will enjoy these tasty treats! They are sweet or salty or BOTH. They are colorful and delicious. Soon, it will be Student Appreciation week, so I am dusting off some old and trying out some new recipes.
One of my favorite snacks is Birthday Cake Batter Popcorn. Never heard of this? You are missing out on a sweet and salty treat. This recipe calls for melted white chocolate and cake mix. CAKE MIX. It’s kind of brilliant. There are many recipes out there using cake mix to make other treats like cookies, but using it with popcorn and chocolate is amazing. I have made this for my students a number of times, and they are always puzzled with the familiar tastes. I make them guess what’s in it. They never can figure it out.
1 ½ cups melted Almond Vanilla Bark or white chocolate
¼ cup vegetable shortening, NOT oil (like Crisco)
1 ½ cups white or yellow cake mix
6 cups popcorn (popped)
¼ cup of sprinkles
Melt the bark/chocolate in the microwave. Put it in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each 30 seconds until it is fully melted.
Add the vegetable shortening to the melted bark/chocolate and stir until it is melted. If you need to, you can put it back into the microwave to help melt it.
Add the cake mix to the bark/chocolate and stir until completely mixed.
Pour the coating onto the popcorn and coat evenly. I usually put it into a huge bowl and toss with either big spoons or spatulas.
Pour the coated popcorn onto cookie sheets to cool and harden. Immediately sprinkle the popcorn with sprinkles.
Wait until it’s hard. Store in an airtight container well cool. I put it in plastic sealable bags when I bring it to school.
Soft-baked Funfetti Sugar Cookies
These cookies are yummy! They are soft and chewy and colorful! If you are going to a kid party, these will be your go to recipe. The trick to keep them from spreading while baking is to refrigerate them.
½ cup unsalted butter, softened *
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg at room temperature**
1 ½ cups spoon filled & knife leveled all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
½ cup (8 oz.) sprinkles
With handheld or stand mixer, cream the softened butter for about one minute on medium speed. Cream it until smooth. Add sugar on medium speed and cream until fluffy and light in color. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Scrape down side of bowl.
In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cream of tartar. On low speed slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Dough will be thick. Fold in ½ cup of sprinkles.
Scoop about 2 tbsp. of dough and roll into a ball. Chill balls on a cookie sheet for at least 2 hours. I put them all on one cookie sheet to chill, but baked on 2 cookie sheets. They take up too much room in the refrigerator to put both in.
Chill dough balls for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Bake chilled cookie dough for 8 minutes. You do not want them to brown. The cookies will appear to be undercooked and soft. Allow the cookies to cool on cookie sheet for 3 minutes and then finish cooling on wire rack.
Cookies freeze well and keep up to 3 months to bake later.
Recipe can be doubled or tripled.
*To soften butter, cut stick of butter into 6 pieces and microwave for about 10 seconds.
** Room temperature egg is required. Place in warm glass of water for about 10 minutes.