5 Delicious & Easy Desserts for a Graduation Party

 

Graduation season is upon us! You’re probably already busy planning the perfect party to honor your 2017 graduate, scouring Pinterest for decoration, food and drink, and gift ideas. But, let’s be honest – the dessert is the most important part of any party. Yes, you could call your local grocery store or bakery and order the standard sheet cake with “Congratulations” written on it, but why not try something a little different? We’re here to help!

We’ve pulled together a round-up of desserts from some of our favorite bloggers. Pick your favorite – or try a few – and your guests will wonder why they’ve been celebrating with cake for so long!

 

1. Light Funfetti Dip, from My Life Well Loved

Photo used with permission from My Life Well Loved

Desserts dips are underrated and easy to whip up. This recipe from My Life Well Loved can be served with everything from animal crackers, to fruit, to pretzels! Find the recipe here.

 

 

2. 5-Minute Yogurt Bites, from My Life Well Loved

Photo used with permission from My Life Well Loved

These yogurt bites are quick and easy to make, and you can dress them up with whatever toppings suit your fancy: Fruit, chocolate, nuts, etc. Find the recipe here.

 

 

3. S’mores Brownie Cups, from Aileen Cooks

Photo used with permission from Aileen Cooks

 Brownies are always a crowd-pleaser, but this recipe turns it up a notch. By adding graham crackers and marshmallows, these individual brownie cups become irresistible. Find the recipe here.

 

 

4. Whole Wheat Oatmeal Fudge Bars, from Eating Richly

Photo used with permission from Eating Richly

 What do you get when you combine two layers of thick crust with a gooey chocolate ganache? A treat so tasty you won’t believe it’s made with whole wheat flour. Whip up a batch for all those chocolate lovers out there!  Find the recipe here.

 

 

5. Decorated Graduation Cookies

Photo from R&M International

We may be a little bit biased, but we believe that no party is complete without cookies – and sugar cookies are always a crowd-pleaser! Start with our six-piece set of graduation cookie cutters, and then get to work on the cookies (we love this sugar cookie recipe from Alton Brown). When it comes to decorating them, it’s all up to personal choice. If you’re using fondant, check out these tips from our Head Baker and Designer. If you’re not a fan of fondant, try using royal icing to pipe intricate designs. Or, go the easy route: Buy a can of icing from the store, along with a hefty amount of sprinkles and candies. They don’t have to be perfect, they just have to be tasty.

 

These recipes are sure to make your party stand out from the crowd! We’d love to see what you make, so tag us in all your photos using #randminternational.

 

 

 

8 Beginner Tips for Decorating with Fondant

 

 

Once you’ve mastered the art of baking fantastic desserts, you’re probably ready for the next challenge: Decorating them. This can seem overwhelming – there is so much to know! – but with a few basic tips anyone can get started. From there, it’s just practice, practice, practice! The first step to decorating is picking which type of icing you want to work with. Today, our focus is on the ever-popular fondant.

 


The tips below come from our Head Baker & Designer here at R&M International, Linda Schwartz. You may be familiar with her work from her blog, Frog Prince Cake & Cookie Design. Linda has years of experience in decorating, but don’t be intimidated – you can do this! Now, let’s get to it.

 

 

Welcome, bakers! Anyone has the ability to become a pro at decorating, and the best place to start is with fondant. The good news is that you’re probably already familiar with fondant, given its popularity for wedding cakes. Although many wedding cakes are elaborate, fondant can be used for simple designs as well, for both cakes and cookies!

 

The benefit to decorating with fondant is its versatility. It can be tinted, flavored, formed into shapes, twisted, and imprinted with stampers or other items. With a little imagination, fondant can become almost anything you want! The tips below will set you up for success. Some supplies you may need include: cookie cutters, a paintbrush, food coloring, powdered sugar, shortening, and a silicone rolling pin.

 

 

Beginner Tips for Decorating with Fondant

 

 1. Adjust the Taste. A lot of people don’t care for the taste of fondant, but it is possible to dress up the flavor! You can make your own fondant, which is just a mixture of marshmallows, powdered sugar, and shortening, and then add in the flavoring of your choice. A number of flavorings are available, both artificial and natural, which can be easily kneaded into your fondant. I’d recommend adding a drop at a time. Flavorings are easy to mix in, but not as easy to take out. If you do add too much of your flavoring, just add more plain fondant to the mixture to balance out the taste.


2. Roll it Out.
Fondant is easiest to use in a cool, dry room. If your room is too hot, it will make the fondant too soft to work with. Roll it out on a clean, dry surface – a silicone pastry mat works great! Whatever your surface, dust it with powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Fondant should be rolled out to 1/8” thick. When fondant is too thick, it cracks more easily.

 

3. Cool Completely. Make sure your cake or cookies have cooled completely before applying your fondant – preferably a few hours. Don’t rush the process or you’ll have a mess on your hands.

 

4. Getting Fondant to Stick. Fondant won’t stick without a little help. For cookies, attach fondant by brushing on a small amount of light corn syrup. For cakes, spread a thin layer of buttercream over the entire thing before laying your fondant down.

 

5. Decorating Made Easy. You can decorate with fondant well in advance of an event – 2-3 days is best; try not to push it much farther than that. If you’re decorating cookies, sugar cookies are the easiest for beginners. Use whatever cookie cutter you used on your cookies to cut out your fondant. That cut-out will go right on top of your cookie! Cookies tend to spread a bit in the oven, so you won’t need to worry about the size of the fondant overlay. For cakes, you’ll want to roll your fondant out and then lay it over your cake in one piece. Once it’s down, use a knife to trim the excess – do this quickly, as the extra weight can lead to cracks.

 

 

6. Step it Up. While you can always decorate using simple colored fondant or by painting the fondant, you should also think about adding indented features or patterns. Want to go a step further? Try making extra decorations out of fondant, like flowers, bows, or initials. You can make these months ahead of time, as long as you store them in a cool, dry place. Just add them to your baked goods when you’re ready to use them! Lay them flat on greased wax paper or over forms to dry for 24 to 36 hours before using or storing them.

 

7. Fix Those Cracks. Fondant dries very, very quickly. If your fondant has gotten hard, knead it gently with your hands/fingers (put a little bit of shortening on them) – the warmth will make it smooth again. Do not use water, which will dissolve the fondant.

 

8. Store Fondant in an Airtight Container. Storing fondant is simple. The best thing to do is to place it inside of a resealable plastic bag, making sure to remove all air from the bag. Then place the bag inside of an airtight container at room temperature. This will keep your fondant soft/fresh for up to two months.

 

 

Looking for a great fondant recipe? Try this one from Food Network. Good luck as you venture into the world of decorating. Remember, it’s all about practice!

 


Linda will be popping in again for future posts with tips and advice for bakers and decorators. Visit our Facebook and Instagram and let us know what you’d like Linda to talk about! If you tackle a decorating project with fondant, share your photos using #randminternational.

 

Submit Your Cookie Cutter Design!

 

We’re on the hunt for a new cookie cutter design to add to our collection – and we want your help! If you didn’t already enter our “Design Your Own Cookie Cutter” contest at one of our recent tradeshows, we’re opening the contest up to everyone!

 

Submit your design now through April 30th for a chance to win. Our team will review all submissions and pick one design as the winner. The winning cookie cutter will be added to our line of products available to buy online and in stores nationwide, and the winner will also get a gift basket containing our most popular cookie cutters and kitchen tools.

 

Design Your Own Cookie Cutter

 

Directions:

1.  Download the design sheet here and print it out. This sheet gives you the specifications for the size of the cookie cutter you can create.

2.  Fill in your name, phone number, and email address at the top of the sheet. This will allow us to contact you if we have questions – or if you’ve won!

3.  Draw your design to scale in the space provided on the sheet. We suggest that you take a look at our site to make sure we don’t already have a cookie cutter in that shape – we have more than 950 to choose from!

4.  Write a brief description of your cookie cutter (“This is shaped like a guitar.”).

5.  Scan your sheet. If this isn’t possible, take a photo of your sheet, making sure to clearly capture the information. Email that scan/photo to us at sales@randm.us. You can also mail your entry to us, as long as it’s postmarked by April 30th:

R&M International
Attn: Design Your Own Cutter
6250 Kellers Church Rd
Pipersville, PA 18947

6.  We’ll announce the winner by June 1st!

 

Terms & Conditions

Please make sure you read the Terms & Conditions of the contest before you enter:

All contest entrants irrevocably assign and transfer to R&M International and its agents, licensees, and assignees all rights, title, and interest in and to the submitted drawings, including, without limitation, all copyrights. Contest entrants warrant and represent that all drawings submitted to R&M International are wholly original and their own creation, and that they are the sole owner of all rights (other than R&M International) to the submitted drawings. Please note that drawings may need to be adjusted to accommodate the tooling process. Winning drawing(s) will be produced and added to the R&M cookie cutter line for the upcoming year. All winner(s) will be notified by R&M International.

 

If you have any questions you can email us or reach out to us via social media. We can’t wait to see your designs!

How to Bake Biscuits Just Like Grandma

Raise your hand if some of your happiest memories involve being in the kitchen with your grandma – or just eating the delicious homecooked meals your grandma prepared for family dinners. By our unofficial estimate, 90% of grandmas excel at cooking and baking – and 99% of the population wishes that they had the same kitchen skills.

 

Never fear! We’ve enlisted help from our trusted team of grandmas to prepare you for culinary success. Our grandmas all agree that every good cook needs a few basic recipes that they can whip up with minimal effort, and this biscuit recipe will surely become part of your regular rotation!

 

All you’ll need to get started are some everyday ingredients you’ll find in almost any kitchen, a food processor or pastry cutter (though even a fork will do!), a set of biscuit cutters, and a baking sheet. Then just follow this recipe and you’ll be on your way to achieving the coveted kitchen skills that every grandma seems to possess!

 

Grandma’s Biscuits

Ingredients:

– 2 cups all-purpose flour (and more for dusting)
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 5 tablespoons butter, cold (or shortening)
– ¾ cup whole milk

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar, baking powder).

3. Cut in butter (or shortening) 1 tablespoon at a time using a fork or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Alternatively, use a food processor for this step.

4. If you used a food processor for the previous step, return the mixture to your mixing bowl. Slowly add the milk to your bowl, while stirring the mixture with a fork. Continue until the dough is soft, moist, and doesn’t stick to the side of the bowl.

5. Add flour to your surface to prepare it for the dough. Drop your dough onto the surface and pat it into a rectangle that is about ¾-1” thick. Fold it over once and pat it back down until it’s a rectangle that is about ¾-1” thick. Fold it over again.

6. Gently pat the dough (so you’re not overworking it) into a rectangle that is about ½” thick. Dust your biscuit cutters in flour and then use them to cut the dough. Combine unused dough and repeat the process of patting out the dough to a thickness of ½” and cutting out biscuits until no dough remains.

7. Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet. If this makes you nervous, you can put down a silicone baking mat. Bake them until they’re golden brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

This recipe makes approximately 12 biscuits, depending on the size of your cutters.

The best way to serve these is hot out of the oven, but you can cover them in plastic wrap or foil and then place them in an airtight plastic bag. At room temperature, they will last up to 3 days. You can also freeze the unbaked dough and pull it out whenever you’re expecting company or craving a biscuit!


Our team of grandmas shared another little secret with us as well: The best part of cooking and baking is sharing your creations with those around you! So, get into the kitchen and start making some memories – share your biscuits with your family, friends, or coworkers and delight in their praise. We can’t wait to see what you make; be sure to use #randminternational on all your photos!

Cake Decorating With Cookie Cutters for St. Patrick’s Day!

 

Today we have a guest post from Jacquie from The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood. You may remember her from the recipe she recently shared with us for Heart-Shaped Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. Jacquie is giving us all the details on how to make and decorate a gorgeous cake for St. Patrick’s Day – seriously, you’re going to want to make this cake! Grab this Shamrock cookie cutter set and you’re on your way to a delicious celebration. Keep on reading for everything you need to know.    

 

 

Decorated cakes are so popular right now. They’re popping up everywhere, not just for birthdays, but for all sorts of holidays and celebrations. Today we’ve got a really fun St. Patrick’s Day cake idea for you to try that uses the easiest tool ever for decorations – cookie cutters! You don’t have to be a pro to use a few different size shamrock shape cutters to pull off this super cute and festive cake. Come see how easy it is to make a really fun cake – no luck required!

 

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Decorated St. Patrick’s Day Cake

 

Materials:

 

– Prepared Fondant (I like the Satin Ice brand, which you can find online)

– Prepared Buttercream (store-bought or homemade – recipe below)

– 4 tinted 6” round cake layers, 2” high, if possible (I like to use box mixes of white cake for quick and easy family cakes – tinting method below)

Shamrock Cookie Cutter Set

– Chalkboard Sign (I found these at Target, but something similar is probably available at most craft stores)

– Food Coloring (liquid)

Rolling Pin

– Parchment Paper (optional)

– Paintbrush

– Lollipop Sticks

– Sprinkles (optional)

– Cake Stand

 

Directions:

 

  1. 1. Assemble your cake layers right on your cake stand. I couldn’t resist this cute gold cake stand from Target; I knew it’d be perfect for a St. Patty’s day cake. Spread a thin layer of buttercream in between each layer. Refrigerate the cake once it’s assembled to help it firm up a little bit.

 

 

  1. 2. While the cake is chilling, make your fondant decorations. If you’ve purchased fondant that is already dyed different colors, you are ready to go. If you need to dye it yourself, have no fear! It’s easy. Pull off a chunk of fondant. Drop a single drop of liquid food coloring into the center of the piece of fondant. Then gently and carefully knead the color into the fondant. You’ll probably get color on your hands. It wears off quickly, but you can wear gloves if you’d rather not have watercolor hands! If the fondant feels too sticky just set it down for a few minutes. The heat from your hands can warm it up too much – air cools and dries it back down.

 

 

  1. 3. Use a rolling pin to roll out the green fondant to about ⅛” thick. If you are working on granite or quartz or some other smooth surface, the fondant probably won’t stick, but if you are having trouble, use a sheet of parchment paper underneath. Then use your cookie cutters to cut out a few different size shamrock shapes. I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to arrange my shapes, so I made extra just in case. Set these aside and lay plastic wrap over them so they don’t dry out too much (but don’t worry, fondant is forgiving).

 

 

  1. 4. Set aside little balls of fondant in every color of the rainbow. Roll each ball into a long, thin, even log. Gently brush the side of each log of color with water so it will stick to the next log. Lay them all next to each other and gently press them together so they stick. Use a rolling pin to very gently roll this out until you have a ribbon like rainbow. I wrapped this around my chalkboard sign.

 

  1. 5. Repeat step 4 with larger logs of color. Roll this piece into a flat disc and use the medium size cookie cutter to cut a rainbow shamrock. This is my favorite part of the whole cake!

 

  1. 6. Once your decorations are set, take the chilled cake out of the fridge and frost it. Use an offset spatula if you have one or a butter knife if you don’t. No need to be a pro here. Just slather that icing on gently, taking care not to lift crumbs into the top.

 

  1. 7. Once the cake is iced, you can lay your decorations on wherever you want. I like to use a paintbrush to gently brush the backs of the fondant decorations with water before pressing them into the buttercream. This helps them stick really well without fear of sliding or falling. Use a lollipop stick to prop up the fondant pieces you want to stand upright. Add some sprinkles to the base of the cake stand and you are finished!

 

 

  1. 8. Share, then eat. Or eat before you share? I didn’t say it, ha! So yummy.

 

 

 

The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood’s BEST Buttercream

 

Ingredients:

– 2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
1 stick Crisco
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 lbs powdered sugar
4 tbsp. water, depending

 

Directions:

 

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and the Crisco. Add the salt and vanilla and then mix again. Add powdered sugar while also adding 1 tablespoon of water at a time if it gets too thick to mix nicely. This is hands-down the best icing on the planet and the only recipe I ever use.

 

Cake Tinting Instructions:

 

You will need 2 box mixes of cake or you will need to mix the ingredients for two batches of homemade cake.

  1. 1. Mix the cake according to recipe or box directions.
  2. 2. Split the batter in half, putting each half into a separate bowl.
  3. 3. Repeat for second recipe.
  4. 4. You should now have 4 bowls of batter (half a recipe of white cake batter in each bowl). In the first bowl, add 12 drops of green food coloring. Increase the drops by 12 for each of the next three bowls (so each bowl respectively will have 12 drops, 24 drops, 36 drops, and 48 drops). Yes, it’s a lot of food coloring, but if you use too little the cake will bake and the food coloring will disappear. Not what you want for this cake!

 

 

Who needs a pot of gold when you have this cake, right? Many thanks to Jacquie for today’s tutorial! Be sure to follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for even more recipes and tutorials like this! If you make a cake, we’d love to see it! Share your photos using #randminternational.

 

 

An Easy Recipe for Individual Chicken Pot Pies

 

According to the groundhog, winter is hanging around this year! If you’re anything like us, the cold weather is making you crave warm comfort foods – and  nothing tastes better after a long day than a hearty chicken pot pie.

Everyone knows that the crust is one of the best parts, so we suggest making individual pot pies to increase your crust-to-filling ratio – every bite you take will have filling and crust!

All you need to get started is four miniature pie tins – or make it easier on yourself and grab our Chicken Pot Pie Baking Set, which will have everything you need (pie tins, miniature rolling pin, pastry brush, and cutters).

Get ready to warm your belly with a creamy mixture of chicken and veggies in a light, flaky crust. Yum!

Individual Chicken Pot Pies

Serves: 4

Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes prep, plus 20-25 minutes cook time

Ingredients:

The Crust:

  • -4 cups flour
  • -1 and 1/3 cups shortening
  • -12-15 tablespoons cold water
  • -1 teaspoon salt

The Filling:

  • -1 small onion, diced
  • -½ cup celery, diced
  • -½ cup carrots, diced
  • -½ cup peas
  • -½ cup corn
  • -2 cups cooked chicken, diced (you can always make this easier by using a rotisserie chicken)
  • -3 tablespoons butter
  • -1 cup chicken broth
  • -1 cup milk
  • -¼ cup flour
  • -1 chicken bouillon cube
  • -Salt and pepper

 

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Get started on the crust. In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter, add the shortening to the mix. Cut the mixture until the shortening is the size of small peas.

3. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dough is thoroughly mixed. Dough should be moist and slightly sticky.

4. Divide the dough into 9 balls.

5. Take 1 dough ball and place it on a lightly floured surface (or on a silicone mat); roll the dough into a 7-inch circle. Place the dough into your individual pie pan (ungreased). Repeat for a total of 4 pie pans.

6. In a large saucepan, cook the onion, celery, and carrots in 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Once tender, add 1 tablespoon of butter and the peas and corn.

7. Add the flour and the bouillon cube. Then add the milk and chicken broth. Stir over medium-high heat until thick and bubbly. Stir in pre-cooked chicken. Add salt and pepper as desired.

8. Take a spoon and scoop filling into each individual pie pan. Do not fill much higher than the top of the pie pan.

9. Take one of the remaining balls of dough and roll it out to a 5-inch circle. Place on top of filling and join seams of top crust to bottom crust. Crimp the edges of the dough, if desired. Crust should be no more than ½ inch beyond edge of pie plate. Repeat for a total of 4 pie pans. If you’re using our pie kit, you can also use the mini chicken pie top cutter to create a pie top. To do this, place pie topper flat-side down. Place 5-inch circle of dough over pie topper and gently roll, and then lift the dough carefully off of the pie topper (the topper will now have small chicken cut-outs in it). If you do this step, you do not need to cut slits in the dough before placing in the oven.

10. Take the remaining ball of dough and roll it out; then use your favorite cookie cutters to cut the dough into shapes. Our kit comes with 2 different sizes of chicken cutters, and the pie topper can be used to cut out small chicken shapes too

11. Beat one egg in a cup.

12. Lightly brush the pie crust with the egg where you plan to place a cut-out shape. Place shapes where desired.

13. Lightly brush each pie with egg (the more egg you use, the darker the crust will brown).

14. Cut slits in the crust using a knife.

15. Place the pie pans on a baking sheet for easy transfer to the oven.

16. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Watch them so that the edges do not get brown. Our mini pie crust shield will also prevent your edges from browning too quickly.

17. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

These pot pies are somewhat time intensive, but they are worth the effort on days when it’s too cold to go outside! Plus, you may have extra filling, which makes for delicious leftovers!

 

If you make our individual pot pies, be sure to share photos on social media using #randminternational. Enjoy!

Red Velvet Sugar Cookies

Who doesn’t want a sweet treat on Valentine’s Day? Skip the traditional box of chocolates and surprise your loved ones with cookies instead! We’ve already shared Heart-Shaped Cookie Bars, but if you’re not a fan of cookie bars or if you’re looking for something for a frosting-lover, then today’s recipe for Red Velvet Sugar Cookies is for you!

First of all, these cookies are red – perfect for Valentine’s Day. And they’re not just red, they’re red velvet – so they are a little bit more decadent than your typical sugar cookie. And, of course, they are sugar cookies, so you can cut them into whatever shape your Valentine will love (here are some of our favorites)!

 

Red Velvet Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

Cookies:

  • -1 cup and 2 tablespoons flour
  • -3 tablespoons cocoa
  • -¼ tablespoon baking soda
  • -½ cup sugar
  • -5 ounces cream cheese (slightly more than 1/2 a package)
  • -6 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • -1 tablespoon vanilla
  • -2 tablespoons water
  • -1 ½ teaspoons red food coloring

Icing (Optional):

  • -1 cup powdered sugar
  • -2 ounces cream cheese
  • -1 tablespoon butter
  • -2 tablespoons water

 

Directions:

  • -Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • -In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Set aside.
  • -In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, butter, vanilla, water, and cream cheese. Beat the ingredients with a hand mixer or an electric mixer on a medium-to-high speed until smooth, with no lumps. Do not overbeat!
  • -Switch to a low speed and slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl. Once combined, add the food coloring and return the mixer to a medium speed until the dough is fluffy.
  • -Chill the dough for 20 minutes.
  • -Use a silicone mat or spray the surface of your baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • -Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out on a flat surface, using powdered sugar or flour to prevent sticking.
  • -Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut the dough into shapes, placing each one on the baking sheet, spaced at least two fingers-width apart.
  • -Bake for 10-12 minutes. Watch them so that the edges do not get brown.
  • While the cookies are baking, prepare the icing. Put all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to combine, whipping until the icing is light and fluffy.
  • –Let the cookies cool completely before removing them from the baking sheet, so that they maintain their shapes.
  • -Once fully cool, apply the icing as liberally as you choose. The icing is optional.

Makes approximately 12 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters!

 

We recommend making these cookies no more than one day in advance, so that they maintain their soft, cakey texture. We hope you – and your Valentine(s) – enjoy these sweet treats!

 

If you make a batch, as always, we’d love to see them! Share photos on social media using #randminternational.
 

Heart-Shaped Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for a sweet treat to share with your loved ones for Valentine’s Day? Thicker than a cookie, but just as easy to make, these heart-shaped chocolate chip cookie bars are the way to go!

Today’s recipe comes from Jacquie from The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood. If you’re not familiar with Jacquie, what are you waiting for? Her blog posts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) share highlights from her life with her husband, dog, and 3 kids, including crafts and recipes easy enough for anyone to tackle.

Jacquie’s family loves these bars as a special Valentine’s Day treat – and if you like chocolate chip cookies, we’re sure your Valentine will love them too.

Heart-Shaped Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Recipe From The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks salted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (can sub whole wheat or any other flour you like)
  • 2 cups rolled oats (if you have flax seed meal handy and like to use it, eliminate 1/2 cup of oats and add the flax)
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup regular semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Add butter, sugars, egg, pumpkin, and vanilla to a bowl and mix with electric beater or mixer. Then add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the same bowl (in that order), mixing dry ingredients above the wet gently with a fork. Once the dry ingredients are slightly mixed together, continue mixing all the ingredients with the electric beaters. Add oats and chocolate chips and mix by hand with a large, flat cookie-dough mixing spoon.
  • Spray a glass 9×13 pan with baking spray (or butter the entire pan and dust with flour). Press dough into the pan so it is of an even thickness throughout. Then pop into the preheated oven and bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown all over. Watch the edges and take the bars out if the edges start to get too brown. The middle of the bars will set up a little bit out of the oven.
  • Once cooled, use a cookie cutter to cut out the heart shapes. If you don’t already have a heart-shaped cookie cutter, R&M sells them! If you are letting your kids do this, take a deep breath and be prepared for a bit of mess (and cookie waste – just eat this, it’s totally not wasted!).

 

Makes 12 large heart cookie bars or 24 square cut bars.
Thanks to Jacquie, you’re all set for a delicious Valentine’s Day. If you bake a batch, be sure to share them on social media using the hashtag #randminternational.

4 Delicious & Easy After-School Snacks for Even the Pickiest Eater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here at R&M, we’re known for our cookie cutters – we have more than 950 to choose from! – and as an authority, we’re here to let you in on a little secret … cookie cutters can be used for so many things besides just cookies.

 

It’s true! You don’t need to pack them away or only bring them out around Christmas. You can use them all year long, even to make snacks seem more appealing to picky eaters. Don’t believe us? We’re sharing four ways you can use cookie cutters to make snack time more fun; try them out and watch your little eaters gobble up whatever you offer!

 

  1. 1. Adorable Fruits and Veggies

Small or miniature cookie cutters are perfect for transforming fruits and veggies into fun new shapes – instantly making them more appealing to kids. You can pre-cut everything or your little helpers can get involved, picking the shapes they want and slicing their own snacks. Don’t stop at just cutting them into shapes, depending on the ages of your children, bring out the skewers! They can make a stack of their favorites, layering them on a skewer (our fruit kabob set can make this even easier!). Now snack time becomes an activity – and your snacks are portable! For veggies; cucumbers and peppers tend to work best. For fruits; melon is the way to go, but pineapples and apples work well too!

 

  1. 2. Cheese of All Shapes

Cheese is delicious – especially when paired with fruit – and it’s even better when it’s available in a variety of shapes. All you need are large, pre-sliced squares of cheese and you can get to work! Don’t forget the crackers. (Hint: Keep the discarded edges and use them for #4).

 

  1. 3. Crust-Less Sandwiches

This trick is perfect for all those crust-haters out there! Just make a normal sandwich, and then use a cookie cutter. Voila! The sandwich has no crust and it’s in a fun shape. You can make holiday-themed sandwiches (hearts, Christmas trees, bunnies, etc.) or transform them into whatever creations your kids will enjoy (unicorns, dinosaurs, trucks, etc.).

 

  1. 4. Decorative Mini Pizzas

Pizza is delicious. But, it’s even better when it’s mini and in an interesting shape. Start with an English muffin, a pita, or even a tortilla. Then, just cut it into the shape of your choice with your cookie cutter. Follow that with a dollop of tomato sauce, sprinkle on some cheese, and add any toppings. Pop it into the toaster oven or regular oven to heat it up, and that’s it – it’s pizza time!

Snack time is much more fun with cookie cutters – and your kids will agree! Check out this post for more ideas on how to use your cookie cutters for snack time.