Fruit Shaped Sugar Cookies

I recently shared a post over at the KidsSteals blog and shared how to make some fun Watermelon shaped sugar cookies.  No watermelon was actually used in these cookies thank goodness, they just look like fun summery slices of watermelon.  I wanted to make sure that I shared them here with my readers as well in case you may have missed them.  They are really very easy to make and just take a little bit of food coloring and your favorite sugar cookie recipe (or use Our Favorite Sour Cream Sugar Cookie Recipe) to whip up a batch for yourself.  

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Summer officially comes to an end this Labor weekend, but we are still enjoying warm temperatures and trying to make summer last as long as possible when we can.  These would be fun to take to your Labor Day BBQ and activities to share with your friends and family.

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I will share with you how I made them.

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1.  Separate your cookie dough into two halves and set one half aside. 

2.  Take the other half and split it in half again so that you have three total sections of cookie dough. 

3.  Add several drops of red food coloring to the largest ball of cookie dough and thoroughly mix the color in evenly.  

4.  Color one of the quarters green and then leave the third one uncolored.

5.  Roll out each section of cookie dough separately so that it measures about 1/4 inch in height.

6.  Take a round cookie cutter or a cup and cut out circles in your red dough.

7.  Cut thin strips (I cut mine about 1/2 inch)  off of  the green and white cookie dough with a pizza cutter.

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8.  Cut the red circles in half and place on a greased cookie sheet.

9.  Take a strip of green and line it up on the bottom of each red half circle.

10.  Add a strip of white so that it is the middle of the red and green but on top of them both.

11.  Take your clean finger and gently press the white into the red and green dough to ensure it stays in place.

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12. Trim any excess dough on both ends using your pizza cutter.

13.  Gently press a few mini chocolate chips into the red area to represent the watermelon seeds.  I placed the pointed part of the chip down.

**Optional–Take a scalloped (flower) cookie cutter and use it to cut out a bite mark in your cookie.

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Bake at the required temperature and time limit for your recipe.  Then enjoy with your favorite people or give them away!

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And because the watermelon cookies were not cute enough I decided to experiment with the left over cookie dough and see what other fruit cookies I could come up with.  You know how much I enjoy playing with food right?  I made some lemon and orange slices and used the leftover green from the watermelons to make a couple of lime cookies…but must have forgotten to take a picture of them.

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Simply take a round cookie cutter, or a glass, and cut out round cookie shapes from your dough.  Cut the circles in half.  Then cut some more strips of the uncolored dough with your cookie cutter to make the white sections on the lemon and orange slices.  Bake as usual.

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For the apples, I cut out circles again and then pinched in the top and the bottom to make the apples indented.  Then I cut a smaller circle in the uncolored dough and placed it on top of the colored apple.  Add  a couple of regular sized chocolate chips to make some apple seeds and a cut piece of Black Licorice for the stems.  Add a leaf if you would like by just molding a piece of green dough into a leaf shape.  Bake as usual.

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Serve up your delicious fruit.  I may have finally been able to eat my recommended daily allowance from the fruit group that day!  I would love to serve these at a baby, bridal shower or party due to their uniqueness.  Aren’t they fun?  And the kids love to help with these kind of things at my house.  Great project for a rainy day now that the fall weather is right around the corner.

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Party Drinks

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Aren’t these party drinks fun?  I recently saw these adorable drink jars via Pinterest.  Ummm…have you heard of Pinterest?  Serious eye candy!  You can find me on Pinterest here if you are interested and I can send you an invite to join if you would like as well.  But, be warned, it is very addicting!  Anyways…I digress!

I saw these fun jars who are originally from Nicole Hill on her blog, A Little Sussy.

I thought it would be fun to make something similar.

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I simply took some pint mason (Kerr) jars and washed them.

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Then I took a screwdriver and just pounded a hole into the middle of the lid with a hammer.

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Then I took some cute scrapbook paper and cut out circles as big as the lid to cover up the ugly lid and poked a hole where the hole in the lid was.

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Filled it with some lemon and lime slices and our favorite pink lemonade and of course, plenty of ice.

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Super easy right!  I love how fun and festive they were!  And the girls LOVED drinking from them.

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Wouldn’t these also be fun for your next Girls Night Out or Shower?  And the best thing is that you can use them later to can your favorite summer produce (after buying some new lids of course) or save the jars and use them for your next party!
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Moustache and Lip Suckers

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Mustache and Lip Photo Props are all the rage right now!   They are a fun way to get some creative shots of your friends and family members.  They would also be a fun activity for your guests at a birthday party, shower or wedding.  I had been wanting to get some pictures of my kids with these fun props ever since I had so much fun posing with them at a couple of different Blog Conferences this summer. 

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The first photo was taken in the Kodak Suite at EVO and include me, Shelley, Jen, and Kim.  The second photo was from the Utah Bloggers Summit.  The photo booth was set up and provided by a cute little company called ‘Stache In a Box.  Pictured are Megan, Mandi and I.

I was going to make some out of paper but then thought it would be fun to be able to send your guests home with them as a delicious party favor! So I found some molds to actually make Mustache and Lip Suckers.

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I found my molds on Amazon and have provided you with the links to the ones that I actually purchased.  I bought the large lips mold and didn’t realize how LARGE they actually were.  If I were to buy them again I would go for the small lips mold.  In fact…I think I may actually go back and order it.

Large Lip Sucker Molds

Small Lip Sucker Molds

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Moustache Sucker Molds

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I simply filled the molds with melted chocolate onto the sucker sticks for the Mustaches and then let them harden in the freezer.

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For the lips I used the last little bit of my red Candy Melts that I had used for these Apple Pops and some leftover pink Candy Melts from Valentine’s Day.

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See how big those lips are?…haha!  My kids had a great time helping me with this photo shoot.  And as a little bonus they got to eat their props when we had finished!  At least my models will work for little compensation…or I would be broke!  Oh…and make sure if it is hot outside that you work fast.  Just after this last picture was taken, my oldest girl pulled her lips away from her face and it was smeared with melted “lipstick”.  We had a good laugh about that!

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Make Your Own Candy Rings

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Need a fun idea for a girls night out or a little girls birthday party?  Make candy jewelry…in the form of red rose rings!  My kids love Ring Pops and have collected a few of the empty ring forms hidden away in their “special collection boxes”.  I found a few of them when cleaning out and organizing the kids closets this summer and was tempted to throw them away much to my kids complaints.

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And because my mind is always thinking of ways to create and reuse (a curse late at night), I saved them.  Well, it is a good thing that I did because a few days later I remembered a rose candy mold that I had laying around.

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I melted some red and pink Candy Melts  (Wilton) that I had leftover from Valentine’s Day and poured them into the candy mold.  Then I placed the now sterilized (through my dishwasher) plastic ring forms into each one of the rose candies.  I popped them immediately into the freezer to help them set up faster.

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Within 15 minutes they were ready to go.  My kids immediately asked if they could have one.

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Even the boys wanted one…but would not let me take their pictures wearing one…imagine that!  HeHe!  Boys!

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The girls LOVED them!  And guess what?  They tasted even better than the real ring pops in my opinion.  And just imagine if I had made them with some real chocolate?  Wouldn’t they be fun for a bridal shower or a girls night out?  Or a little girl’s birthday party?  I know!  Well, since my now 7 year old just had a birthday and it is her year for a friends party…I made some more for her friends.  Look for that post soon!

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Thirty Hand Made Days

White Cake Recipe

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Some one recently turned SEVEN years old at our house.  My kids usually have strong opinions about what type of cake they would like.  This particular child did not want chocolate cake since we had just had several family birthdays (including mine) where chocolate cake was served!  So we decided to go with a white cake!  An ALL white cake.  And since this girl is all about girly things…we decided to go with “fluff” as our boys refer to it!

We also just decorated her cake really simply by adding some “cupcake toppers” stuck to toothpicks and stuck them into the cake.  The cupcake toppers spelled out her name with a letter on each one and then the number 7 was on one in the front of the cake.  I made them by simply using a 2 inch scalloped paper punch for the outside ring.  Then I printed out the letters of her name and the seven and cut them out using a 1.5 inch circle paper punch.  Simply glue them together so the circle is centered in the scallop.

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We used this recipe which we found at Food.com.  And really liked it.  It was good, moist and had a great flavor to it.  That says a lot coming from me…a chocolate cake kind of a gal!

White Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Grease and flour pans lightly. I used three 8 inch round pans.

  3. Cream together butter & vanilla extract.

  4. Add sugar slowly until all is added and it is mixed well.

  5. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

  6. In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder and salt together twice.

  7. Now add flour mixture, alternating between the milk and flour. Mixing well after each again.

  8. Pour equal amounts into each pan and give it a tap on the counter to remove any air pockets.

  9. Start checking at 25 minutes to prevent burning on the bottom and sides.

  10. Keep checking every 5-10 minutes.  May need to bake for a total of 30-40 minutes which can vary with different ovens.

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We used one of our favorite frosting recipes.   I am not a huge fan of frosting…sorry Lara, guess that means more for you!  But this frosting?  I really like…like I will scrape extra helpings of frosting onto my plate!  It is that good.  Usually the reason I don’t love frosting is how heavy and thick they are.  This frosting is light and fluffy!  So it was perfect for the look we were going for.  It is the same frosting we used on her Rainbow Cake a couple of years ago.

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Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

1.  Place 2 sticks of salted butter, at room temperature (otherwise you will get chunks of butter in your frosting), into mixer and whip together until nice and smooth.

2.  Then add 1 tsp. of vanilla.

3.  Gradually add about ½ to ¾ of a bag (regular size about 4 cups? ) of powdered sugar (Confectioner’s sugar).

It will be a bit chunky and not very smooth.

4.  Gradually add 1 tsp. of milk while mixing frosting.

5.  If it is still not the consistency you desire, add another tsp. of milk until you get a nice thick frosting that is smooth.

6.  Then fold in 1 tub of Cool Whip.

That’s it.

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What about you?  Do you like cake?  And if so…what is your cake of choice?

Orange Sorbet Recipe

I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July holiday and celebrations with family and friends. We spent our weekend with my husband’s family and had a busy fun filled weekend. I have some pictures to share of our trip coming soon. At least some fun pictures till my camera battery died and I had to resort to using my cell phone camera. It was really hard to be without my camera which is usually attached to my hip. The weather was fabulous but hot! And one of our favorite ways to cool off is to eat some Orange Sorbet using this easy orange sorbet recipe, a cool and icy treat.

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Have you heard of Bountiful Baskets? Well, sometimes we get our produce at this co-op. My sister introduced me to it and she volunteers at our local one. The produce is so amazing. This time we ordered some oranges and we didn’t quite eat them all fast enough before they started to go bad.

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So we juiced them and decided to make some orange sorbet. Ummm…can you say DELICIOUS! So Good! Every single one of my kids loved it. They thought it tasted better than ice cream. And it was so refreshing.

orange sorbet

Orange Sorbet

1 cup water

½ cup sugar

2 cups fresh orange juice

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1. Make a sugar syrup by bringing water and sugar to a boil in a sauce pan.

Keep it at a slow simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Take off heat and let cool.

2. Add orange juice and stir together.

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3. Chill in refrigerator. Make your sorbet according to the manufacturer’s instructions for your ice cream maker.

(If you don’t have an ice cream maker you can place it in your freezer and stir the freezing mixture every half an hour until it is a nice frozen consistency)

4. You can create frozen orange cups from oranges cut in half, and gently scooping out the contents and removing all the pulp.

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5. When sorbet is ready, scoop into orange cups, garnish with fruit and serve.

*recipe adapted from Food.com

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How fun would this be for a summer party or a Girl’s Night Out? I also think it would be perfect for a baby or bridal shower. Such an easy and summery treat that is sweet, fresh and cool for these hot summer days! We will definitely be making this recipe again.

What are some of your favorite summer treats?

orange sorbet

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Fourth of July–S’mores on a Stick

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Summer is just flying by!  I can not believe that the 4th of July is right around the corner!  It really snuck up on me this year.  Anyone else feel the same way?  We are going to be spending our 4th of July Holiday with family again this year.  But when I think of the 4th of July, I think of summer and nothing represents summer to me quite like ‘S’mores.  ‘S’mores mean summer time and late nights sitting around the campfire.   We love S’mores!  And since I have been on a “food on a stick” kick lately (graduation pops, snowman pops, reindeer pops, Lollipop Cookies, and Easter pops)…I thought it would be fun to put our beloved S’mores on a stick!

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I simply took the basic ingredients needed for making S’mores:

Chocolate bars

Marshmallows

and Graham Crackers

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and the stacked them on top of one another and melted them in the microwave for about 10 seconds (microwave timing will vary according to your microwaves—watch closely). Have you seen the new flat marshmallows?? I LOVE them. No more Marshmallows rolling off your graham crackers! They were perfect for making a nice flat S’mores! I found them at Target.

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After they have been melted, you will need to simply slide a stick into the middle of them and place them in the freezer for about 30 minutes.  This will make them so easy to dip in your chocolate.  When they have hardened simply dip them into your favorite melted chocolate and place them onto some waxed paper to dry.  I dipped some of mine into some red, white and blue sprinkles to add some extra fun to them.

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They turned out to be so yummy.  They tasted kind of like a moon pie…but so much better!  My kids loved them and wanted me to make some for their friends.

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These would be a fun and festive treat to take to your family and friend’s 4th of July BBQ!  Or give to a friend to brighten up their day!

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What do you think?  Would you like your S’mores on a stick?  How do you like to make your S’mores?

Another way we like to make S’mores is with Melted Peanut Butter Cups…HEAVEN!!

Easter Bunny Gift Bag

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Need a last minute Easter gift idea?  Make this super simple Easter Bunny gift bag. 

Perfect for dropping by a sweet note and and sweet treat for your grandkids or friends.

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Inside the bunny gift bag you can add a little treat.  I simply stapled a little treat bag full of jelly beans inside the bunny.

With the jelly beans sitting right at the base of the bunny, it helps him to stand up on his own.  Pretty cute huh?

  bunny gift bag jellybeans

He can unfold for easy access to his yummy insides!

You could also write a sweet little message to the person you will be giving him too.

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And…I have made it so you can make your own. 

*Click here for the free downloadable pattern

Hope you enjoy him!

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I hope all of you have a wonderful Easter holiday with your friends and loved ones!

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Oh…I am guest posting over at The DIY Club today as one of their Dare Bloggers.  Come and check it out if you are interested.

I made a fun 3-dimensional sign for Spring out of Styrofoam!

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And…The winner of the Rosie Posie Designs giveaway is commenter #136…

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Congratulations Kelli!  Leave me a comment here or send me an email and I will get you in touch with Rosie Posie Designs!  Thanks everyone!  Be sure to stop on over to Rosie Posie Designs next time you need a fun and unique gift!

 

Homemade Granola and Parfaits

Want me to share with you one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast or a late night snack?  Yogurt and fresh fruit parfaits!!

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Yum!  Have you ever had one?  If not, you are seriously missing out on some yummy goodness.  And they are so easy to make.  All you need is some yogurt.  I personally like Vanilla Yoplait yogurt that my local grocery store sells in a large tub.  I also love to add frozen fruit from Costco which contains a mixture of freshly frozen raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.  I also will sometimes just use some fresh raspberries…really anything will work.  You can even used bottled or canned fruit.  I personally like the iciness that the frozen fruit gives the parfaits.  Then finally throw in some granola.  I have used granola with pumpkin seeds in it which I also buy at Costco.  But I recently made some Homemade Granola a few weeks ago with my mom and sisters. 

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It turned out really great and was a hit with everyone in the family!

Here’s the recipe:

6 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup coconut
1/3 c. sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or dried cherries are extra yummy)
1 cup almonds (sliced or whole – you decide how chunky you want it)

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Mix all ingredients together except for the craisins.

In a separate bowl, whisk together:
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla

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Pour over dry mixture.  Stir and coat thoroughly. 

 

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Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.  Stir frequently to insure even baking.  Add craisins or any other dried fruit you’d like during the last 5 min. of baking.  It is important to watch this baking process very carefully.  The cereal should be golden brown.  Do not over-bake.
Makes 8 cups.  {We doubled the recipe so that we could share it!}

 

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When your granola is ready, you can whip up yourself one of these delicious Parfaits.  Enjoy! 

 

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Easter Treats–Bunny and Duck Cookie Pops

Easter is coming and I can hardly believe it!  Where does the time go?  And with each holiday I have had fun challenging myself to come up with a fun holiday related “treat on a stick”!  For Easter I created some bunny and duck pops.

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They are pretty simple to make.  You will need some Oreo Cakesters and white chocolate, Almond Bark or CandiQuik.  I used Vanilla CandiQuik.

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Stick a sucker stick into the bottom of the Oreo Cakester so that it goes up into the middle between the two cake layers.  Then dip the entire Oreo into the melted CandiQuik.  Cover the entire Oreo and the bottom of the stick.  This will harden and hold the Oreo firmly on the stick. 

To make the bunny ears I took two swedish fish and stuck them into the top of the bunny head before the CandiQuik had hardened.  Then I drizzled the CandiQuik over the ears and covered them completely.

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Then I set the cookie down on some parchment paper.  Quickly add two mini chocolate chips for the eyes and a jelly bean for the nose.  I had some heart sprinkles left over from Valentine’s day that I used for the bunny’s cheeks.

For the ears, I took some pink sugar {easy to make—take regular granulated sugar and add a drop of red food coloring and mix together} and sprinkled it on the ears.  Then I took some more CandiQuik and drizzled it on the edges of the ears to make an outline around the sugar.  This made it so the sugar was just on the “inside” of the bunny’s ear.

Then let it dry.

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To make the ducks.  I dipped them the same as the bunny.  I added mini chocolate chips for the eyes.  I used some round sprinkles from Wilton for the cheeks and then some more heart shaped sprinkles on top.  To get the hearts to stick I added a little bit of melted CandiQuik and used it like a glue.  The beak is a mini Cadbury Egg.  I drew a line for the beak with an Edible Black Marker.  Then let it dry.  After it had dried, I added a bit more melted CandiQuik to make the little fluff of feathers on the top of his head.

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Pretty simple to do!  Aren’t they so fun?  A simple and easy gift for kids classmates and friends or for yourself!

duck pop

 

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