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Monday, March 31, 2014

{Nutella Krispy Treats}

I really hate spoilers. Yet, I somehow end up always being the spoiled one. I think it's written somewhere, "And Tina shall have all the shows cast upon her spoiled. And so it was."

It's not even just shows. I knew about Snape killing Dumbledore before the book release. I looked Rory Williams up on wiki before we saw the Doctor Who episodes with him as a companion. I ended up finding out basically the entire story arch. That stuff is never supposed to be in the opening lines of a wiki article, people. I searched (I'm not sure what now), something entirely innocent having to do with The Walking Dead, and ended up finding out who survives the comic book series. I knew what happened this season on Downton Abbey with Anna. I knew how Breaking Bad ended. I'm just a spoiler magnet. No fair! *pouts*

A couple weeks ago I googled Call The Midwife to see when Series 3 was arriving on PBS. It was last night. DON'T GOOGLE CALL THE MIDWIFE. The first return is a spoiler for the season finale. Thank you very much Huff Post UK. Now, I don't know how this said spoiler happens, but I know too much. Blergh.

Yes, I'll still watch, but still. Hmph.

Call The Midwife, if you don't know, is an EXCELLENT show. It's a BBC show, but much like Downton, it doesn't come to BBCA, but to PBS here in the States. The first 2 series (seasons) of the show are on Netflix streaming. Watch ittttt.

The show is about Midwives in London's East End during the 50's. I love it.

Anyway, after spoilers, I need snacks, because who doesn't.

Here's a quick and easy way to dress up some Krispy Treats... Nutella!

It takes Krispy Treats to the next level. Drizzle with chocolate to make them even more 'gourmet'. ;)

And yes, I totally think Krispy Treats can be gourmet. Gourmet doesn't mean hard, it means amazing!

Krispy Treats are anything but hard, of course!

You know what's hard?

Me avoiding spoilers...


Nutella Krispy Treats

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
10 ounces marshmallows
6 cups crispy rice cereal (for extra chocolatey, use cocoa rice cereal)
1/2 cup Nutella

melted chocolate for drizzling

In a large sauce pan over low heat, melt the butter. Add in marshmallows, and stir constantly until fully melted. Mix in nutella. Pour in cereal, and toss until evenly coated. Pour into 9x13 baking dish prepared with cooking spray and press into pan. When cooled, turn out onto foil and drizzle with melted chocolate.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

{ Coffee House Cupcakes }

I hate my phone company.

I'm one of the few people left in the world that has that archaic thing known as a 'land line'. Ever heard of it? It's the kind of phone your granny used, remember now?

For the last 3 weeks we've had static on our line. Not just a little buzz buzz, but static so loud you can hear nothing else. This also makes our DSL go out. Look, no one messes with my internet. I need things. I must talk to people. I must window shop at Amazon. I must research things. I. MUST. This is important lifing, people!

I've called the phone company 4 different times. Twice they've been out to 'fix' it. Whenever he shows up, nothing is wrong. Why you mess with me Gods of the Phone Line? What did I ever do but love you?

The other day, I called and they were too overloaded to take my call. Please press one to have an operator call you back.

It went something like this:

Presses One

Thank you for calling Your Crappy Phone Company, have a great day...

Dial Tone (well, cells don't have dial tone, but I'm adding it for dramatic effect)


Yesterday I called back again, and they won't be here to fix my, nearly month old, problem for three days.

You know those moments in life when you just NEED a cupcake? Not WANT a cupcake. NEED.

Yeah. This was one of them.

These are what I like to call Coffee House Cupcakes. They are infused with coffee and cinnamon and topped with a chai buttercream. Just to top it all, I added a little grated chocolate to the tops... Because.

I LOVE chai. If you do too, solider on with me.

If you've never had Chai, well, it's spicy. Almost a little fall like in flavor. A good chai latte can totally make my day. I'm easy like that.

A chai latte doesn't actually have coffee in it, but I added just a bit to the cupcakes to really bring out the chocolate flavor.

I may have eaten two of these the other day after my Hulk Rage.

It may have happened.


Want MORE coffee house style treats? You KNOW you do! Head over to my friend Darla's place at Bakingdom and check out her amazing Espresso Cookie Butter Rice Crispy Treats! YUM-MAY.

Coffee House Cupcakes
by Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers

Preheat oven to 350* F

Prepare  tins with cupcake liners

For the cupcakes:
1 box dark chocolate cake mix
Ingredients listed on box to make the cake, less 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup brewed and cooled coffee
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix cake according to box, except use 1/4 cup of coffee in place of 1/4 cup of the water.
Add in cinnamon, beat until distributed.

Scoop into liners and bake according to box

For the Buttercream:
2 sticks butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2-4 Tablespoons brewed and chilled chai tea

Beat butter on high for about 3 minutes. Slowly add in powdered sugar and salt, beat until well combined. Add the vanilla and mix. Starting with 2 tablespoons, mix in the chai tea. If too thick add more, a little at a time until you reach desired consistency.

Monday, March 17, 2014

{Sweet & Salty Cupcakes}

I'm mid-birthday party planning for Bean's 17th. It's not going to be a major blowout with 25 kids like his Super 16th, but, it's going to be FUN.

I hate to keep you all in suspense, but, I'm gonna! It's going to be nerdly, awesome fun. No, not a Potter party, those are reserved for Harry himself, and for me! Let's just say, it's British, it's pretty nerdy, or at least fandom-y. It's not Doctor Who, I've done that as well (party, cake, cookies). Suffice it to say, we are pretty excited about this. The party isn't until April 12, so forgive me for talking about it a month in advance, kay? Thx.

I know it's far off, so in the meantime, I made you some cupcakes.

They are sweet, they are salty, they are delish.

Chocolate cupcakes, topped with a caramel buttercream, drizzled with caramel, sprinkled with sea salt, and topped with a pretzel. Am I forgiven for teasing you about the birthday party now? I thought so.

Enjoy... I'm going back to my party planning now. Lots to do, lots to prep, lots to investigate...


Sweet & Salty Cupcakes
by Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers

 Chocolate Cupcakes (I like this recipe, or you can use a box mix)

1 recipe Caramel Buttercream

Caramel Ice Cream Topping

Sea Salt

1 Pretzel for each cupcake

Pipe Caramel Buttercream onto cooled chocolate cupcakes. Drizzle with caramel topping, sprinkle with sea salt, and top with a pretzel.

*note, do not top with pretzels until close to serving time. They can get soggy in the buttercream.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

{Mint Brownie Pie}

It's time to sign Bean up for the ACT. WHAT?

Did he just learn his ABCs?

This is crazy. Time is a bully. No matter how much we want time to slow down, no matter who you are, it won't. Mean.

So, here we are over 1/2 way through Bean's junior year of high school and I don't even know what to do with myself. I'm so not ready to be an empty nester. So. Not. Ready.

For now though, we will just keep making memories. And eating chocolate. In the words of Remus Lupin, "Eat it. It helps. It really helps.". Wise man, that Lupin.

Today I have for you something that will work for not only St. Patrick's Day, but for Pi Day, which is Friday (3.14). Or, you know, any day you need chocolate.

This starts with my favorite brownie ever, Darla of Bakingdom's recipe. I'm not just saying that because she's my friend either, folks!

The crust is none other than Thin Mints, and the glaze, which is the easiest thing ever, is Andes Crème de Menthe Baking Chips.

Let me tell you about the 'glaze'. After you've baked your brownie, remove it from the oven, sprinkle a cup of Andes Crème de Menthe Baking Chips on top immediately. Walk away for 5 minutes. Come back, and spread with a knife. Then, let cool and harden. Done-zo. It's super delicious too, of course!

To top it all, drizzle on a little hot fudge, whipped cream, and some sprinkles, because reasons.
(Reasons being YUM.)

Happy Pi Day! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Most of all though, make a memory today. As Ferris said, 'Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.'


Mint Brownie Pie
by Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers
(brownie recipe by Darla @ Bakingdom)

Preheat oven to 350 F

For the crust:

1 sleeve Thin Mint Cookies (approx 16 cookies) or Keebler Grasshopper Cookies
1/4 cup butter (melted)

Pulverize cookies in a food processor or roll with rolling pin until fine crumbs
Stir in melted butter until you have a 'dough'.

Press into 9" pie pan.

For the brownie:

1/2 cup  unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt butter. When melted, remove from heat and add in the sugar, stir until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Whisk in the vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients until well combined and pour the batter into the prepared pan, slowly, over the crust.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs.

For the glaze:

1 cup Andes Crème de Menthe Baking Chips

When brownie comes out of the oven, immediately pour on 1 cup of Andes Crème de Menthe Baking Chips. Allow to sit on the brownie for approx 5 minutes. Then use a knife to easily spread the melted chips into a topping.

Allow brownie to cool and chocolate to harden.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

{Quick and Easy Pokemon Party}

A couple weeks ago I hosted a surprise party for my niece's boyfriend. I told her it would be a super simple party. Cookies (he's not a big cake guy), games, and not much else.

The night before the party, I changed my mind. He's (along with most of the others in attendance) a huge Pokemon fan. This party was a little harder for me since I know basically nothing about Pokemon. Bean has one (a Mew), that he lets me 'pet' and feed Pokepuffs to. That's my extent of Pokemon knowledge. So, he helped a LOT with this party.

Again, this is nothing fancy, I gave myself a full 18 hours of  'no theme' to 'Pokemon themed'. Go me.

Most of these treats are store bought for that reason. Like I said, this is a quick (but fun!) party.


Pokemon eat treats called Pokepuffs. These could be homemade mini cupcakes, but since I had no time for that, I bought Little Debbie Brownie Bites, piped on canned Vanilla Icing, and topped with a large Sixlet.

MooMoo Milk:

MooMoo Milk is milk from a Pokemon. It seemed like something I kinda had to have for a party, right?

Slowpoke Tails:

Slowpokes are a, to use Bean's exact word, derpy Pokemon. Things often bite a Slowpoke's tail, and they don't even notice for a full day. They are actually all pink, but I couldn't find just pink Twizzlers. These multi-colored ones were just too much fun. Bean pinched the ends off and formed them to look like tails.


A Swirlix is a Pokemon that eats nothing but sweets. Because of this, it's fur is as sticky and sweet as cotton candy. This is the bagged cotton candy you can buy in the candy aisle.

Charzard Fireballs:

Charzards are a flying lizard. They spit fireballs. I planned to use cheeseballs, but, if you can believe this, I couldn't find any at the store! I used cheese puffcorn. I also thought about using the hot Cheetos.

Squirtle Spit:

Squirtles are little, blue turtle creatures. They spit water at prey. For this I used Blue Hawaiian punch.

Lava Cookies:

Lava Cookies are an item that can heal a Pokemon. Chocolate can heal too, so, same diff, right? I paired the Lava Cookies with Vanilluex & made cookie sundaes with hot fudge sauce.


Vanilluex is a Pokemon made of snow clouds. Basically, it's ice cream. I mean, look at it.


I topped the cookie sundaes with Slurpuff, which is a whipped cream like Pokemon.

That was it for the food items! For the tags, I downloaded the Pokemon Hollow font for free at I got most of the photos from Bulbapedia. I attached the tags to stripy straws. I made a little banner for behind the table in Pokeball colors and we hung a Pokeball from the light over the table. Then, Bean scattered some of his cards around the table. This could easily be taken up levels with tablecloths, napkins, and more banners.

Mostly they played board/video games, but the one planned game I had involved clothes pins. This is taken from an old baby shower game. We wrote the names of Pokemon on the pins and everyone got a few when they arrived. Some were 'shiny' Pokemon, so worth 2 points. Throughout the night, whenever someone would say 'Pokemon' and another person caught them, they had to hand over one of their pins. At the end of the night, the person with the most pins was crowned Pokemaster and won a prize.

So, there ya go. A quick, easy Pokemon Party which can easily be elevated!

Hope you enjoyed.

See all my parties here:

Party Plans



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