Still Feelin Like Fall!

I’m not gonna lie, it was a pretty uneventful weekend. Yes, it was Halloween, but I was getting over a cold (thanks, air travel!), and feeling tired and not too in the mood to do anything exciting.

Friday night included Souper Market takeout and catching up on Netflix. No photos needed – I mean, don’t you know what soup and old How I Met Your Mother episodes look like?

Saturday morning, B had signed us up for a Halloween themed 5 mile race. B dressed up as Ron Burgundy and I dressed up as a dinosaur. I still can’t believe B ran 5 miles in a turtleneck, blazer and grey slacks. That’s commitment!

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After the race, we decided to do our typical Saturday routine. We hadn’t been in town in a while, so it was great to go to the Market and grab some tea. Warm ginger tea and honey with a cold = amazing.

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Saturday afternoon, I did some baking and B did some cooking. We had plans to go to Dave and Anson’s house for trick-or-treaters and scary movie night. B made amazing deep dish pizzas to bring – they were so good I forgot to take a photo until we had eaten half of them.

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For our annual scary movie night, we opted to watch Saw. It’s a movie I’ve seen a few times, but Dave and Anson hadn’t seen it and since it was going off Netflix Nov. 1, we decided to watch it.

Sunday morning, thanks to Daylight Saving, we got up pretty early and decided to get some brunch at Phuel. I’m a big fan of their yogurt and granola parfait.

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After brunch, since it was 60s and gorgeous, we decided to get in a long walk in the Metroparks. The fall colors were looking beautiful and I enjoyed a free Starbucks beverage on the walk. It was pretty much a the perfect fall scene – and the RED CUPS are out already! I’m not ready for red cup season yet.

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After the walk, B and I watched the Browns game and may have taken a nap. That’s two naps for me in one weekend – a new record! I’m taking advantage of getting sleep when I can, especially with this cold.

Family dinner on Sunday night ended with a great dessert – B’s mom made carrot cake and it was AMAZING. I’m not a huge cake person (I prefer cookies and ice cream) – but carrot cake. Oh my. And this one was delicious!

carrotcake

And that was it! See, a pretty uneventful weekend.

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite type of cake?
  • Do you have a favorite scary movie?
  • Do you like naps?

The BEST Soft Sugar Cookies With Buttercream Frosting

I have a sweet tooth. That should come as no surprise to you. I prefer sweet to salty typically (though I do love sweet AND salty a la peanut M&Ms and chocolate covered pretzels) and believe that there is ALWAYS room for dessert. So I typically like almost all dessert recipes. But – let me tell you – this cookie recipe is AMAZING. If you like soft sugar cookies with frosting, this recipe is for you.

icrashedtheweb-sugar cookies with buttercream frosting

Seriously. I typically have a hard time eating my baked goods after I bake them. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll have a cookie a little bit later, but these … these, I ate 3 of these in one day – that’s how good they were. Even B, a non-sugar cookie lover, who was hesitant to try them out, really liked these cookies.

I made mine with Halloween-theme and cut them out with pumpkin and other cookie cutters – you can just roll them with your hand into a ball and flatten them out so that they’re even easier to make. Make these cookies now. They are soft and the frosting is so good. You won’t regret it.

sugar cookies with buttercream frosting

The BEST Soft Sugar Cookies With Buttercream Frosting

Here’s what you need:

For the cookie dough

  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 5 1/4 c flour

For the amazing buttercream frosting (from this recipe)

  • 1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 2 ½ to 3 Tablespoons half-and-half

Here’s what you do:

For the cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and set aside.
  • In a large bowl of a standing mixer, cream together butter, oil, sugars, water, eggs and vanilla.
  • Add in flour mixture about 1 cup at a time, mixing as you add it to the wet mixture. Mix until everything is combined.
  • If you’re making regular (not cookie-cutter) cookies, use your hands to roll about healthy size (a.k.a not exact) round Tablespoon of dough and place it on a cookie sheet. Flatten dough to about ¼ inch tall. If you’re using cookie cutters, you can roll out the dough at this step. Dough should be about ¼ inch tall when you use the cookie cutter. Then place dough on cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.  The cookies should be just browning when you take them out. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Once they are cooled, store them in the fridge and cool completely before frosting

For the vanilla buttercream frosting

  • Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whip until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
  • Frost and decorate cooled cookies. If decorating with sprinkles, add immediately after frosting each cookie so that they stick. I added orange food coloring to make the pumpkins. After frosting was dry I also decorated with black gel icing to make jack-0-lanterns.

sugar cookies with buttercream frosting

 

Halloween Craft: How To Make a Cork Pumpkin

I know I don’t typically share crafts on this blog. Or home decorating ideas. Why? I’m not a craft person. I don’t really decorate my apartment. I don’t get too much pleasure out of either of those things. I’m much more into baking, reading and running for fun. But this is the craft that we did when I hosted the Ladies Craft Beer Society and it was a success. And easy!

Got a lot of extra wine corks hanging around? Looking for something easy to do to decorate for fall and Halloween? I have just the idea for you – you can make a wine cork pumpkin!

This is a VERY EASY  – and I repeat … easy – craft. Even the not-so-crafting-inclined (like moi) can feel good about this!

diy wine cork pumpkins

Here’s what you need:

  • Some wine corks. To make a medium pumpkin (the two on the left in the picture above), you’ll need 25 corks.
  • Something to make your leaves. You can buy fake leaves at a craft store, or green felt or green scrapbook paper.
  • Orange acrylic paint. I bought one that was called “pure pumpkin.”
  • Paint sponge
  • Hot glue
  • Twine or raffia
  • Scissors

Here’s what you do:

  • Find 24 wine corks about the same height and width. I liked lining mine up ahead of time and making sure they looked okay before gluing them together.
  • Glue the corks together! I found it easiest to first use the hot glue to glue the corks in rows. Glue rows of 4, 5, 6, 5, 4. And then glue your rows together. You should have a nice hexagon.
  • Once glued together, you can put the leaves on top. I cut leaves out of scrapbook paper. One of my friends used felt.
  • Cut the last cork in half to make the stem. Use the hot glue to glue it on top of the leaves.
  • Tie the twine or raffia around the cork stem. Tie loosely a few times around or in a bow – whichever style you prefer.
  • Paint your corks! I do this last because it takes a while to dry. You could also paint the corks first, but then you have to wait for them to dry. I poured some orange paint out (fittingly named Pure Pumpkin) on some cardboard and dipped a spongy paint brush in and then painted the corks that were facing out.

And that’s it! I told you it was easy. Feel free to play around with different size pumpkins – bigger or smaller. Also, feel free to paint only some of the corks, or leave them natural or even wine stained for a more rustic look.

lining the corks up, getting ready to glue

lining the corks up, getting ready to glue

We made these at my Ladies Craft Beer Society. So fittingly, I was drinking pumpkin beer while making them 🙂

Warlock pumpkin beer and finished cork pumpkins!

Warlock pumpkin beer and finished cork pumpkins!

Halloween Candy Corn Buckeyes

Do you like scary movies? I don’t really. I don’t like being scared. Sometimes after watching the TV series Sherlock I have to go on Instagram or watch Gossip Girl just so I can sleep without nightmares. Yup. I’m a baby. Which is why when we invited our friends Dave and Anson over for a scary movie night to celebrate the upcoming Halloween holiday, I was less than excited. Excited for the pizza from Crust we’d be eating? Yes. Excited for a scary movie? Not really. But I knew I’d suck it up and enjoy it – same as last year when I barely made it through Paranormal Activity. And if I didn’t? Well, at least I’d enjoy the baked goods!

I love peanut butter and chocolate. Especially during Halloween – who doesn’t like a good Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup? (Ok, I know a few people who don’t) Which is why when I saw this recipe for White Chocolate Candy Corn Buckeyes, I knew I had to make some Halloween themed Buckeyes. Aren’t they cute? And if you haven’t guessed from my previous recipe (Candy Corn White Chocolate Peanutty Bars), candy corn and peanut butter actually go well together. Who would’ve thought?

Halloween Candy Corn Buckeyes - i crashed the web

Halloween Candy Corn Buckeyes (an update to my traditional Buckeye recipe)

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tspvanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup candy corn, about 3/4 of it chopped up
  • 1-12 oz. bag chocolate candy coating wafers (I use the Wilton Candy Melts)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil or waxed paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar. Mix well (I use my KitchenAid) until it forms a stiff dough. Add in chopped candy corn.
  3. Shape dough into balls, about one inch or 2 tsp wide.
  4. Place on baking sheet and place peanut butter dough balls in refrigerator for 1 hour, or freezer for 30 minutes.
  5. Melt chocolate coating wafers according to package directions. I usually nuke in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Stir occasionally until smooth.
  6. Time to coat the Buckeyes! Remove peanut butter balls from freezer. Insert a toothpick into a ball, and dip into the melted chocolate. Return to wax paper or aluminum foil chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. For eyeball-themed buckeye, add a Candy Corn M&M on the exposed peanut butter area. For the plain candy corn buckeyes, coat entire peanut butter ball and immediately after removing from chocolate add a whole candy corn to top of ball while chocolate dries. Repeat with remaining balls.
  7. Refrigerate Buckeyes for 30 min to 1 hour to set.
Spooky Eyeball Halloween Candy Corn Buckeyes - i crashed the web

Top with M&Ms to make spooky eyeballs

Or just top with candy corn and enjoy!

Or just top with candy corn and enjoy!

A few questions for you:

  • Do you like scary movies? Not really. But I really do enjoy reading the Wikipedia pages to get a snapshot of the plot for them!
  • What’s your favorite scary movie? Saw. It scares the heck out of me but is SO interesting! The rest of the Saws don’t seem as good. I haven’t actually seen them – but reading their Wikipedia plot brings me to that conclusion. I also like Scream. That counts right? I went through a phase in high school where I was obsessed with the names Sydney and Tatum for girls.
  • What’s your favorite Halloween treat?

How can you not like this?!

After watching that I need to go flip through Instagram again. Spooky!

Candy Corn White Chocolate Peanutty Bars

Got a sweet tooth? Love candy corn? Or do you just really like Halloween? Then these cookies are for you! They’re festive and perfect for this time of year. Even my husband, who typically is not a candy corn fan (and who has a “meat tooth, not a sweet tooth”), enjoyed these. Well he was able to eat one and enjoy it!

A note on the name. It’s just descriptive. Someone told me they’re also called Hello Dolly bars? Call them what you like – just bake them and enjoy!

Candy Corn White Chocolate Peanutty Bars - I Crashed The Web

Candy Corn White Chocolate Peanutty Bars 

Here’s what you need:

  • 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cups Rice Krispies crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cups white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cups candy corn M&Ms (if you don’t have these on hand feel free to use regular m&ms or extra white chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup candy corn
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare graham and Rice Krispies crumbs! Process both graham crackers and Rice Krispies into a food processor and grind until they make a smooth powder/crumb. You can probably use all graham crackers (or even better, a box of already made graham cracker crumbs) but I like using Rice Krispies to cut the sweetness. And then you can use leftover Krispies for Candy Corn Rice Krispie Treats! But that’s a story for another day 🙂
  3. Mix crumbs with melted butter and combine until thoroughly moistened. Press crumb/butter mixture into bottom of pan.
  4. Sprinkle white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, candy corn M&Ms, peanut butter chips, peanuts, coconut, and candy corn over the top.
  5. Pour the can of condensed milk evenly over the top of the bars.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until bars start to get darker brown at the corners.  Cool completely before cutting into bars. I popped mine in the fridge to harden first and speed up the process.
  7. Enjoy! You probably won’t be able to eat more than one because they’re pretty sweet. But perfect for this sweet holiday!
Candy Corn White Chocolate Peanutty Bars - I Crashed The Web

Look at all that goodness that goes on bars! Peanuts, put butter chips, white chocolate chips, candy corn M&Ms … YUM!

Candy Corn White Chocolate Peanutty Bars - I Crashed The Web

Enjoy!

Just In Time for Halloween … Candy Corn COOKIES

Candy corn is like cilantro — you either love it or you don’t. Me? I’m a semi fan. I can eat probably about 6 pieces before feeling a sugar high, crashing and then feeling sick. My husband isn’t a fan at all. So, to get in the spirit of Halloween, I decided to make some candy corn cookies — without any candy corn involved!

I found the recipe online, pinned it, and have been looking for the perfect day to make it (you need to set aside a decent chunk of time – you need to refrigerate the dough for at least a few hours or overnight, plus the actual forming of the dough into candy corn-like cookies takes time as well).

So, get ready and get baking! This week is the perfect time to get yor candy corn cookies baking:

Candy Corn Cookies

(Adapted from Land O Lakes website)

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (I just squeezed my own from about a half an orange)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Orange food color (I mixed yellow with red because I didn’t have orange at home)
  • Yellow food color
  •  1/2 cup sugar

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Line the inside of a 9×5-inch breadloaf pan with waxed plastic wrap.
  • Mix butter with 1 cup sugar, beat until creamy.
  • Add egg, orange juice, orange zest and salt to butter/sugar mixture. Continue beating until well mixed.
  • Mix together flour and baking soda. Add by 1/2 c portions to the wet ingredients. Beat until fully mixed.
  • Divide dough into thirds. Press one-third of white dough evenly onto bottom of prepared pan.
  • Place another third of dough back into the bowl and add yellow food color. Mix until blended and set the dough aside.
  • Place the final third of dough back into the bowl and add the yellow and red food coloring (or orange, if you have it). I used probably a ratio of 8:1 drops of yellow to red coloring to create an orange ball of dough.
  • Press the orange dough evenly over white dough in pan. Press yellow dough evenly over orange dough in pan.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until hard(at least 2 hours or overnight).
  • Place 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl and set aside.
  • Heat oven to 375°F. Invert loaf pan to remove dough. Peel off plastic wrap and place layered dough onto cutting surface.
  • Cut loaf crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Cut each slice into 6 candy corn shaped wedges. Dip wedges in sugar and then place onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for about 9 – 10 minutes, until edges are firm and bottoms just turning light brown.
  • Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Immediately place warm cookies sugar bowl again; roll in sugar to coat.
  • Cool cookies completely on wire cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Before: the dough out of the pan, ready to be sliced.

After:

Halloween … Meet Social Media

I love Halloween. Dressing up in costumes is always fun, especially when you have someone to share your costume with. This year, one of my coworkers said to me, “Hey you and B should go as the Twitter bird and the Fail Whale for Halloween!” I couldn’t help but laugh. No, I’m not going as the Twitter bird (And B- would never go as the Fail Whale), but it made me wonder – what are some good social media costume ideas?

Luckily, I didn’t have to look far. Social media people have been talking about costumes for Halloween a ton this past week. There are a bunch of sites with ideas, and here are my 5 favorites:

FailWhale CostumeSocial Media Expert: Talk nonstop about your numerous friends and connections and how you know everything about how to get friends and want to share this information with everyone else. Repeat what you have said multiple times, especially about how you can offer tips on how YOU TOO can be an expert (via David Griner).

The Fail Whale and the Twitter Bird: Various websites (including David Griner and InventorSpot) have suggested going as the Fail Whale for Halloween, but why not take my colleague’s suggestion and make the costume perfect for couples? Fail Whale chases Twitter bird all night and may shout “Fail!” See picture (left) from InventorSpot for a sample costume.

facebook-halloween-costumeFacebook: If you’re down to the last minute and still don’t have any costume ideas, don’t take the easy way out and show up without a costume. Why not go as your Facebook page? All it takes is a big piece of poster board with your profile filled out, and perhaps a place for you to stick your head in (where your Facebook photo would go). Bonus points for poking people all night.

iphonedogiPhone: Why should you have all the fun on Halloween? Don’t leave out your pet – instead, create a fun social media costume for Fido. I love the iPhone costume for your dog (or yourself!) – so cute! (image from The River Current)

facebookfairyThe Facebook Fairy: This is a more obscure, slightly nerdier costume (Because only true social media people will get it), but remember the bank intern who said he couldn’t work because of a “family emergency,” and then his boss found his Halloween party pictures (a fairy costume, nonetheless) on Facebook that same day? Why not dress in a similar fairy costume, wear a “Bank Intern” name tag and see if anyone knows who you are? Hey, when else do you get an excuse to wear wings?

For more ideas or to see some of the places that helped me make my list, visit:

Feel free to share some of your costume ideas. What’s the best (social media or not related) costume you’ve seen so far?