Christmas No-Bake Dessert Table

Christmas Dessert Table

This post is for all of you who keep telling me you don’t know how to bake.  So here it is!  Your chance for you and your kids to put together an amazing Christmas display with absolutely ZERO baking skills necessary.  If you can work a microwave, then you do indeed have the necessary skills to recreate this little dessert display.
Dessert tables are increasingly popular right now and they can seem a bit overwhelming to create and I can understand how you would just rather stop at the grocery store and pick up a pack of cookies.  While this will entail slightly more work than prying open that plastic container, these food projects will provide you an your little ones lasting memories and something that they (and YOU) can be proud of.
So lets start!

MARSHMALLOW SNOWMAN ON A STICK

If you’ve ever been to a fair of any sort, then you KNOW that any snack on a stick just automatically tastes better.  Kids are drawn to them and parents love them since they dramatically decrease the mess for those sweet, pudgy little hands. The sticks for this project are just regular shish kabob sticks that you find pretty much anywhere.
Here are the other ingredients you will need:

 

  • Marshmallows (if you can find the jumbo marshmallows, those would be ideal for this project)
  • White chocolate flavored candy coating (Ghiradelli’s is sooo yummy)
  • Orange jelly beans (or DOTS)
  • Fruit roll-up
  • A bit of cornstarch
  • An edible marker (or mini chocolate chips)
  • Scissors
  • And those kebab sticks.

And now you’re set!

The first step is to cut your marshmallows in half.  A tip I got from The Marshmallow Studio is to always dip your scissors in water and shake off the excess drips before you cut your marshmallows to prevent any sticking.

Take your kebab stick and dip that into water as well and slide on three marshmallows (the stick should go inside about half way through the top marshmallow).

Take your jelly bean (or DOT) and cut a small triangle piece for the snowman’s nose.  If it doesn’t quite look pointy enough just shape it gently with your fingertips.

Melt the white candy according to the directions on the package.  Generally, its 1 minute at full power, stir and continue melting at 30-second intervals at half power until smooth.  Using the end of a kebab stick, add a dot of white chocolate for the nose to stick to.  If you are using mini chocolate chips instead of an edible marker, you’ll want to add white chocolate drops for his eyes, nose and mouth. If you have an edible marker, simply add dots for his eyes and mouth.  Using a little more melted candy, add chocolate chips for the snowman’s buttons.

Take a piece of fruit roll up and cut a strip approximately 3″ long.  I cut a tiny bit of fringe on each end of his scarf but that’s optional. Wrap it around the neck between the two marshmallows.  If you have any issues with the marshmallows keeping in place, secure them with a bit of candy coating between the marshmallows.

And there you go!  Feel free to make as many as you want.  We stopped at two; one for each little boy.

This one little guy was incredibly impressed with this project.

Make that two little guys completely enamored by skewered marshmallows.

 

WHITE CHOCOLATE COVERED OREO SNOWMAN FACE

Since we had melted the white candy coating and had extra, we decided to make this one little chocolate covered Oreo snowman.  I didn’t want to waste that Tablespoon of white chocolate so instead I used more wax paper, cookies, and a jelly bean.  Somehow I’m still proud of the fact that I didn’t waste that small amount of white melted candy!

Here are your ingredients for this piece:

 

  • White candy coating
  • Oreo Cookies
  • Orange jelly beans
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Lollipop sticks
Cover the Oreo with the white candy coating.  I’m sure that there’s a tool for this but I found that having your 2-year old accidentally dropping it in the candy and me fishing it out with a fondu fork worked just brilliantly.

Quick!  Before it dries, add his little chocolate chip eyes and mouth and give him his nose (we had previously stolen all the orange jelly beans off the gingerbread house for these projects but of course I couldn’t find the little dish that had them all in it.  I resorted to using a spiced gumdrop).

Next dip the end of a lollipop stick into the candy and gently insert the stick.  Oh and there’s that little bowl of orange jelly beans…right below the bag of lollipops.  *sigh* Oh well!  At least it can be in the photo below!

 

CANDY COVERED CHRISTMAS TREES

I absolutely love these trees.  I first saw them on a blog from Half Baked last year and couldn’t wait to try my own out.

Ingredients list:

  • Green candy coating
  • Sugar cones
  • Christmas colored sprinkles, sugar pearls, silver dragees, whatever you want!

Again, melt down the green candy coating according to their instructions until its all nice, smooth and shiny.  If it doesn’t seem quite fluid enough, you can add some paramount crystals or even a bit of shortening to get the right consistency.

Next, coat each cone with the green candy and set upright on wax paper.

Again, to avoid any form of disputes between the boys, we did two trees.

Decorate!  Had the boys not both been in time out at the time this project was being completed, they would have created some masterpieces to be sure.  Unfortunately, this Momma likes to be consistent with her discipline so they both watched me decorate the trees until their behavior improved.  We’ll have to try this again later with them and share a follow up photo of their artwork.

 

CHRISTMAS CANDY POPCORN

Yes, you guessed it…I had leftover green candy coating and not wanting to waste it, I decided on this element for the dessert table.  I use this idea quite a bit for dessert tables since its a great filler and can be done in any color.

Pop a batch of popcorn.  I used my air popper but I’m sure that the microwave kind would work just as well.  Spread the popcorn out in a single layer on wax paper.

Using a spatula, transfer your candy coating into a Ziplock bag and trim a small hole in the corner (Voila!  Your very own handmade piping bag!).

Drizzle candy coating all over the popcorn.  Stir to evenly coat.

Spread it out again and add a second drizzling of candy.  Stir well but try not to smoosh or break the popcorn pieces.

Spread it out again into a single layer do another of drizzling of candy coating but this time don’t stir.  Add sprinkles to your heart’s content.

Let dry.

CANDY COVERED MARSHMALLOW CHRISTMAS TREE

For whatever reason, I STILL had green candy coating!  So back to the pantry again to hunt down some other dessert table materials.  I found these guys.

 

Dip the ends of the marshmallows into the green candy coating and let them dry (green side up) on some parchment.  As they are setting up, sprinkle some sugar pearls for “ornaments”.  Place them into a tree shape and add a little pretzel stump.

 

And there you have it!   Your very own Christmas dessert table!

 

 

 

 

 

I just can’t wait to see your photos of these food projects!  Post them to the Fireflies Facebook page so we can all enjoy them.

Praying that you and your family have an incredibly Merry Christmas while celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

A bird on the plate is worth two in the fridge….

Birds are a huge source of entertainment in this household.  The boys and I recently added a large birdfeeder outside our dining room window so we could keep better tabs on the neighborhood bird drama.  We live on the water and have feathered friends of all kind; from small sparrows to geese.  We even have one “city pigeon” that comes in every afternoon for his regular fly-by snack.  Our freezer always maintains extra bread for duck feedings and we have even had to start purchasing our bird seed from Sam’s to keep up with the high demands of our beaked buddies.
To say that the boys were excited to do a bird themed snack would be an understatement.  I knew we were going to have to provide some pretty incredible meals for my two bird-loving boys.  Thankfully, there was no shortage of ideas out there.  Since, we couldn’t choose between a few of them, we planned a whole day of bird themed meals.

BIRD’S NEST BREAKFAST

I found the idea for this on Pinterest and its just incredibly easy for a fast but adorable birdie breakfast for your babies.
All you’ll need is:
  • Bread (toasted according to your little one’s preference)
  • Hard boiled egg (we made this really easy by buying them right from the store)
  • Teensy tiniest bit of a carrot
  • Edible marker (thought you could easily use a small piece of raisin for her little eyes)
Simply cut your toast into strips.  Levi likes his with a little butter so we buttered it first.  Arrange your bread pieces in a nest shape.
Cut a small triangle shape from the end of a carrot for the birds beak and position on the egg.  With your edible marker, add two eyes.  Levi decided our bird was a girl (or “grill” as he pronounces it) so we gave her pretty little eyelashes.
Nestle her into her little warm and “toast”-y nest and serve to your overly enthusiastic little one.

FOR SNACKTIME:

Another very easy idea for a quick snack.
What you’ll need:
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Grapes
  • Carrot
  • Edible Marker

I snapped the pretzel sticks into smaller “twigs” and just tossed them into a small bowl.  Dot little eyes on grapes and set them in their “nest”.  Cut small triangles from carrots and place on the birds and you’re done!

FOR DINNER:

And finally for dinner, spaghetti noodles with bird meatballs on a celery branch.
What you’ll need:
  • Center stalk of celery (with the leaves on the end to look branch-like)
  • Cooked spaghetti
  • Meatballs or like we used, mini-hamburgers
  • Mozarella Cheese
  • Carrot
  • Edible Marker

Place celery branch across plate, use a fork and twirl a large section of spaghetti into a nest shape.  Place noodle nest on its side.  Tuck in two meatballs or mini hamburgers into the nest.  For the eyes, I cut slices of a cheese stick and used a piping tip to make a smaller circle cut out.  You could most certainly use the entire slice though.  Add a black dot in the center of the cheese slice with an edible marker or you could use a caper, piece of black olive or a piece of raisin.  Whatever you happen to have laying around in the pantry.  Position the eyes on the meatball/ hamburger.  Cut a small triangle out of a carrot and place under eyes to form the beak.

The boys loved this idea so much that we had a version of it for dinner the next night as well.  The second night, I made a nest of rice and tucked their meat into it.  Just as easy and just as entertaining for the little ones in your life.
Contributing author: Rachel Skvaril
Sugar Artist

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

The boys and I have been doing a mini unit study on the letter “B” which of course, includes baseball!  For a craft we opted to do the one below.

B is for Baseball
&
Baseball Bat Craft

Things you’ll need:

  • White construction paper
  • Brown construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie or other permanent marker
  • Pencil
  • Red paint
  • Red crayon

On the brown piece of construction paper, draw the outlines of a baseball bat with a sharpie and on the white paper, draw out a circle.  The kids will cut these out in the first step.

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My 6-year old doesn’t really need much practice with his scissors these day but this part was a perfect way for my 3-year old to get some additional practice cutting.

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You can see that he was quite proud of his cut out bat and ball.

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On the white construction paper circle, use a pencil to create the lines on a baseball if your little one needs some extra help.

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Then, have them trace over the lines with a red crayon.

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Have your child dip his finger into the red paint and gently add the threads on the baseball lines.

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When they are all finished you should have a baseball with red fingerprint threading.

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After the baseball has had a chance to dry, glue it to the bottom of the bat forming a “b”.  For our little 3-year old, his “B is for Baseball” craft was just the perfect way to help him remember his letter of the week.

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Baseball Popcorn Balls

All that crafting will certainly work up an appetite so in keeping to the theme of baseball, the boys and I whipped up some popcorn balls.

We followed a recipe found on Allrecipes.com
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-ever-popcorn-balls/

Basically all you’ll need is:

  • light corn syrup
  • margarine
  • water

FFP_BaseballSnack

  • Popcorn

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  • Powdered sugar
  • Marshmallows

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Have your master chef (with a lot of adult supervision) heat all the ingredients minus the popcorn till it comes to a boil on the stovetop.

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How cute is he??

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Coat popcorn with mixture until the mixture is evenly coating all of the popcorn kernels.

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Heavily grease your hands with shortening, shape into balls and set aside on some wax paper while they set up a bit.

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Grab some Twizzlers and add the baseball lines to the popcorn balls.

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And there you have it!  A snack just perfect for the little sluggers in your household.

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Author: Rachel Skvaril
Sugar Artist

www.fondantflinger.com

 

In the kitchen, we can build a snowman

Powdered Doughnut Snowmen

Doesn’t this face make you smile?  As soon as I saw this idea on Pinterest,

I knew I needed to make these with my little men.  One look at that little chocolate dotted face and knew that our family needed this snowy man in our life….and that he needed to have rosy cheeks.  If you were standing outside all day long and make of snow, I’m 100 percent positive that YOU would have rosy cheeks as well.

Look at them all clustered together on a pretty pedestal. Personally, I can’t help but giggle when I see them.  On a side note, for that snowman hat in the middle of the pedestal, I used the same chocolate dipped marshmallow on an Oreo idea that I shared in Thanksgiving post, just leave off the buckle for a plain top hat.

The base ingredients for this food project are these little guys:

One bag of powdered doughnuts was more than enough to make my boys their own snowmen and a little igloo (not shown – long story).
Other ingredients you need are:

  • White chocolate
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Shish kebab sticks
  • An orange candy of some sort.  I used an orange dot on the snowman above just cut one end into a tip and worked the cut end into a smooth point by rubbing it between my fingers.  Master Chef Noah opted to just plop an orange Skittle in there.
  • Optional: Candies for “buttons” (as shown in the above snowmen) and petal dust if you too think that rosy cheeks are a must.
  • A dull knife
 Melt your white chocolate candy coating according to the directions on the package until a smooth consistency is achieved.

Joining us today for our foodie project is my oldest chef, Noah who will be instructing you all today on the fine art of making a powdered sugar doughnut snowman.

As you see, Chef Noah has cleaned his hands and has gathered his ingredients on a sheet of wax paper so any mess will be contained.

The first thing Noah needs to do is pick out the three best powdered sugar doughnuts from the pile.  He doesn’t approve of any cracked doughnuts for this project.

Noah does a trial run of what his snowman will look like by laying them vertically on his workspace.  He wants to be sure that these doughnuts are up to par.

After they have undergone his scrutiny and passed his final testing, Noah then slides each doughnut onto the shish kebab stick.

You will be using the white chocolate candy coating as glue, so get a tiny bit on the end of your dull knife and fill the top doughnut hole with white chocolate.  Before it sets up, place the orange candy into the white chocolate.

Continue adding small amounts of white chocolate where the eyes and mouth will be placed or as Chef Noah has illustrated, just dump a bunch of white chocolate all over the top doughnut.  Place two mini chips for the eyes above the orange nose and form a smile with the mini chips under his nose.

Such concentration displayed by my little chef during this delicate procedure.

Continue to add buttons down the “snowman’s” front, let it set up and there you have it!

Banana Snowman

My little overachiever decided to make up his own snowman project to be included in this month’s post.

The ingredients list:

  • Banana
  • Raisins
  • Pretzel Rods (though sticks would have been easier to use and would have been a better size)

First step:  Peel the banana and immediately start acting like a monkey.

After Mom finally calms you down and gets you back in your seat again, use your dull knife to cut the banana.

Look at these sweet fingers.

Line up three banana slices.

Stick mini chocolate chips in place for his eyes and mouth, raisins for his buttons and rods for his arms.

Two fun recipes for you to share with your little ones this month.
Rachel Skvaril, Sugar Artist
www.fondantflinger.com
And don’t forget to visit Fondant Flinger’s Etsy shop to order your Valentine’s Day cupcake toppers; the perfect addition to your cupcakes for those class parties!