See what CafeMoms are saying about saving time this holiday season..
Last week, we got an email with the latest version of the school calendar: when Curriculum/Meet the Teacher night is, when Winter Break is, the rundown of the PTA meetings. Yes, It has begun. My day planner and the Apple iCal are getting full...and it hasn't even entered Week 2.
When the days are so packed, even one little extra thing can trip me up. Anyone else with me on that? So, I've decided to thwart those tiny hiccups by stocking up and getting ready for them. First on that list: stock up on easy stuff I know I'll need. Like brown paper bags for those field trip lunches, extra treats to have on hand for homework energy boosts, and ingredients to make last-minute yummies for that bake sale I know I'll forget about.
The thing about that last one...well, as has been well documented here on CafeMom, I'm not a good cook, let alone baker. So, I have to find recipes that even a not-so-great-in-the-kitchen mama can make. Imagine my joy when I saw the words "no bake" in front of these bake sale ideas! I know, how awesome is this? Here are a few I'm going to attempt.
Smores Rice Krispie Treats from SallysBakingAddiction.com
6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
1 bag (10.5-oz) miniature marshmallows
1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter
1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker pieces
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (or regular size chocolate chips)
Spray 11x7 baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Pour in the marshmallows and constantly stir until melted with butter. Remove the pan from heat and pour in the rice krispie cereal and graham cracker pieces. Mix together well. Add chocolate chips and gently stir - you want most of the chips to hold their shape and not to completely melt. Immediately press rice krispie treats into prepared baking pan. Use the flat side of a spatula sprayed with nonstick spray to flatten the rice krispie treats down evenly. Refrigerate for about 25 minutes and cut into 24 squares.
Easy Peppermint Bark Recipe from SavorySwetLife.com (ideal for that holiday bake sale)
1 bag of chocolate chips (any kind you like)
1 bag of white chocolate chips
24 mini candy canes, crushed *do not crush using a food processor - place candy canes in a zip lock bag and use a hammer to crush into small pieces
Line the bottom of a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Pour (brown) chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave chocolate chips in increments of 30 seconds stirring the chips each time until chocolate chips have completed melted and mixture is smooth. Spread melted chocolate as evenly as possibly into lined pan. Place pan into freezer for 20 minutes. Repeat the same melting process with the white chips. While chocolate is still smooth, stir in half of the crushed candy cane mixture. Allow the white chocolate to slightly cool for a minute. Remove pan from freezer and spread white chocolate/crushed candy canes mixture on top of the chocolate layer. Spread white chocolate as quickly as possible. Top off with remaining crushed candy cane and gently pat down with the back of a spatula. Return pan to freezer for 20 minutes. Remove from freezer and gently lift the whole mixture from the pan with a butter knife. You should now have a solid sheet of peppermint bark. Remove parchment paper and break into pieces. Store any left over bark in a ziplock bag and place in the freezer. Enjoy!
Chocolate-dipped pretzels from Candy.com
1 package (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1 tbsp shortening
2 dozen pretzel rods or large pretzel twists
Assorted sprinkles or small candies (optional)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil. Combine the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate and the shortening in a large microwave-safe bowl, and microwave until the chocolate is melted, stirring after every 20-30 seconds. When chocolate gets overheated it thickens and becomes unworkable, so watch your chocolate carefully! Take it out of the microwave when there are still unmelted chips remaining, and stir until the final chips melt. If dipping pretzel rods, hold a rod by one end and dip it in the chocolate, leaving an inch or two uncovered. If you are dipping pretzel twists, drop the whole pretzel in the chocolate and submerge it slightly. Use a fork to pull the pretzel out of the chocolate. Shake the chocolate-dipped pretzels several times to remove excess chocolate, and place it on the prepared baking sheet. If you are using sprinkles or small candies, sprinkle them on when the chocolate is still wet. Repeat with remaining chocolate and pretzels. Place the pretzels in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to set the chocolate. If desired, melt the white chocolate and drizzle it over the pretzels for a decorative look. Briefly return the candy to the refrigerator to set the white chocolate before serving.
No Bake Golden Oreo Truffles from SallysBakingAddiction.com
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 package Golden Oreos or Regular Oreos, finely crushed (about 4.5 cups)
2 Ghirardelli White Chocolate or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bars (8 oz total)
Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside. Chop up Oreos finely in a food processor or blender. Mix the crumbs together with the cream cheese until well combined. Shape into 40 (1-inch) balls and place onto prepared baking sheet. Freeze for about 30 minutes. (FREEZING the balls is the most important step of this recipe. If they are not mostly frozen, the chocolate will not coat the balls properly.) Chop up and melt the white chocolate bars according to the package directions. Dip the balls into chocolate and immediately top with sprinkles. Place back onto prepared baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes so the chocolate sets.
Share your easiest no-bake (or bake) bake sale recipes!