Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops

Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops | Pinky's Pantry
I decided to make some marshmallow pops for the kids this Halloween. I’d seen a picture somewhere of cupcakes decorated with a Frankenstein head which gave me the inspiration for these Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops. They were fun to make. Just plan on giving yourself a little time to let the corn syrup dry after you roll the sugar onto the marshmallows and to let the icing dry after you pipe on the hair and faces. If you can start making these a day or two before you want to hand them out, all the better.

Also, having the right piping tips makes easy work of piping Frank’s hair and face. I used a “grass” tip to do the hair and a fine round tip to pipe his eyes and mouth. I also found this bottle of Wilton bug sprinkles at my local grocery store which I thought would be perfect to use for Frank’s bolts. If you can’t find the same bug sprinkles, you can use candy coated licorice which will be just as cute.
Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops | Pinky's Pantry

FRANKENSTEIN MARSHMALLOW POPS

  • 1 bag marshmallows
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • green decorating sugar
  • store bought green, black, and red icing
  • Wilton bug sprinkles, for bolts (or could subsitute black candy coated licorice)
  • lollipop sticks
  1. Lightly brush bottom and sides of a marshmallow with corn syrup. No need to brush the top of the marshmallow because it will be covered with icing “hair.”
  2. Press the bottom and roll the sides in green sugar until well coated.
    Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops | Pinky's Pantry
  3. Set aside to dry for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  4. Once dry, stab a lollipop stick into the sugar-coated bottom of each marshmallow.
    Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops | Pinky's Pantry
  5. Cut some green Rips candy into small strips to use for Frankenstein’s brow.
    Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops | Pinky's PantryFrankenstein Marshmallow Pops | Pinky's Pantry
  6. Glue the brow to the top of each marshmallow with green icing.
  7. Using a grass piping tip, pipe hair onto the top of each marshmallow by squeezing a little icing out, then stopping and pulling straight up.
  8. Switch to a small round decorating tip and pipe eyes and a mouth with black icing.
  9. Change to red icing and pipe a little scar on Frank’s cheek.
    Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops | Pinky's Pantry
  10. Push a little bug sprinkle into each side of the marshmallow for bolts.

    Bug Sprinkles | Pinky's Pantry

    These are the Wilton bug sprinkles I found that I thought would make perfect “bolts.”

Sweet and Saltines

Sweet and Saltines | Pinky's PantryThis strange sounding recipe is one of Trisha Yearwood’s. I watched her make it on TV and immediately rushed to the kitchen to try making it myself. O-M-G!!! It was sooo good! The family loved it! Such an unusual recipe and surprisingly yummy! And the best part…. it was super easy to make. You’ve just got to try this one.

SWEET AND SALTINES

  • 35 to 40 saltine crackers
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 8 ozs. semisweet chocolate chips (about 1⅓ cups)
  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. Line 1 large or 2 small jelly­roll pans with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Arrange the saltines salt­ side down in a single layer.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together and boil for a few minutes until it turns a caramel color.
  5. Remove from heat and pour over the crackers, covering them evenly.
  6. Put the jelly­roll pan into the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until just bubbly, watching carefully so as not to burn.
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the crackers.
    Sweet and Saltines | Pinky's Pantry
  8. Wait a minute or so and when the heat melts the chips a bit, spread the chocolate over the crackers with a knife or an offset spatula.
    Sweet and Saltines | Pinky's Pantry
  9. Place the pan in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until completely cold. They will form one solid sheet.
    Sweet and Saltines | Pinky's Pantry
  10. Break up into pieces.
    Sweet and Saltines | Pinky's Pantry
  11. Store in an airtight container. That is…… assuming you have any left to store!

Candied Bacon

Candied Bacon | Pinky's Pantry
I’ve been making this every year for our Christmas morning breakfast for ages. When I don’t, it practically causes a riot among the ranks of the family. They all look forward to it since I only ever make it that one time of year. Why? I have absolutely no idea. It’s so good, I could make it everyday and the family would never tire of it. Everyone loves it. It’s always the first thing on the buffet table to get devoured.

Make sure to use good, thick-sliced bacon. You could use regular bacon, sure, but believe me when I tell you how amazing this is with thick-sliced applewood smoked bacon. Yum! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! I don’t have measurements for the ingredients. It all depends on how many slices of bacon you want to serve, which of course depends on how many people you’re serving. Even the amount of brown sugar is up to you. You could pack it on the bacon slices as thick or thinly as you like. The combination of salty-sweet flavor you get is absolutely to die for.

If you only make one thing from this blog, this is what I recommend you make. With only two ingredients, it’s the simplest thing to do, but the results are absolutely sublime!

CANDIED BACON

  • thick-sliced applewood smoked bacon
  • brown sugar
  1. Line a jellyroll pan with tin foil. Place baking rack on foil-lined pan.
  2. Arrange bacon slices in single layer on rack. Do not overlap!
  3. Bake at 400ºF until top gets crispy, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from oven and flip each bacon slice over on the rack.
  5. Sprinkle brown sugar over each slice, patting sugar down lightly.
  6. Return to oven and bake until bacon is crisp and glazed, about 10 minutes more.
  7. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

NOTE:  If you can’t get thick-sliced bacon and have to settle for the regular thinly-sliced kind, I recommend you not pack the brown sugar on too thickly. Otherwise it masks the saltiness of the bacon and turns out way too sweet.

Browned Butter Toffee Tartlets

Browned Butter Toffee Tartlets | Pinky's PantryI’ve had this recipe a long time. I don’t remember where I got it. It’s probably from one of my old cookbooks, though I don’t remember which one. I made it once years ago and then never made it again. For the life of me, I don’t know why. They were a hit when I made them all those years go. These tartlets are not only yummy, but they’re super-duper easy to make. The recipe makes a lot, too, which is perfect for a party or get-together.
Browned Butter Toffee Tartlets | Pinky's Pantry

BROWNED BUTTER TOFFEE TARTLETS

  • 3 pkgs. (15 pcs. each) baked miniature phyllo dough shells
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsps. vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup toffee pieces
  • 2 ozs. bittersweet chocolate, chopped or bittersweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Place phyllo dough shells on a cookie sheet.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; then reduce heat to medium-low.
  4. Continue to cook, without stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes or until butter becomes brown and fragrant.
  5. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla and salt. Whisk vigorously to combine.
  7. Whisk browned butter into egg mixture.
  8. Stir in toffee pieces.
  9. Spoon filling into tartlet shells.
  10. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until tops are light brown.
  11. Transfer carefully to wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  12. Melt chocolate in microwave in 30-second increments, stirring until smooth.
  13. Drizzle melted chocolate on top of cooled tartlets in any design you want.
  14. Let stand until set.

NOTE:

  • You should get at least 40 tartlets (if not more) from this recipe, depending on how full you fill the shells.
  • If you can’t get toffee pieces, you can substitute chocolate-covered toffee candybars, like Skor, Heath or Daim, and chop them up.
  • To store, layer tartets between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container. Cover and store in refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. If frozen, thaw tartlets at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.

Homemade Dulce de Leche

Dulce de Leche | Pinky's PantryDulce de Leche is a South American caramel confection. It’s made by cooking sweetened condensed milk until the sugar is caramelized and the milk is thickened and brownish in color. I remember my Mom boiling an unopened can of condensed milk for what seemed like hours on the stove. Of course we all grew up hearing the horror stories and dire warnings of how you should be careful because the can could explode, but none of that ever seemed to matter. What was most important was getting a taste of that sweet, thick, and sticky treat. I remember how awfully hard it was to wait for it to be ready, and even harder to wait for it to cool! But you had to let it cool before you could open the can or the dulce would spurt out and could burn you. We would eat it by the teaspoonful, carefully eking it out and eating it ever so slowly to make it last as long as possible because Mom would never let us have more than 2 little spoonfuls of it in one day.

There are many different ways to make your own dulce de leche at home. You could do like my Mom always did and boil an unopened can of condensed milk on the stove for 2 or 3 hours. You could bake an unopened can in a water bath in the oven; or cook a can in a pressure cooker; or cook it in a slow cooker; or open a can, empty the milk into a pot and cook the milk over the stove, stirring till your arm falls off (don’t ask me how I know). Why, I’ve heard you could even make it in a microwave!

My favorite method is super easy and doesn’t involve any risk of explosion or having your arm fall off. Give it a try and you’ll see what I mean.

HOMEMADE DULCE DE LECHE

  1. Empty 1 can of sweetened condensed milk into a glass pie plate.
    Dulce de Leche | Pinky's Pantry
  2. Cover pie plate tightly with foil.
    Dulce de Leche | Pinky's Pantry
  3. Make a water bath by placing a pan larger than the pie plate into the oven and filling it with enough water to go 3/4 up the side of the pie plate.
  4. Place pie plate in center of water bath and bake at 400ºF for 1½ hours or so, adding water as needed. The longer you cook it, the darker the caramel gets.
    Dulce de Leche | Pinky's Pantry
  5. Remove foil. The edges are usually more cooked than the center so take a wire whisk and whisk everything together until it’s well-combined and smooth.
    Dulce de Leche | Pinky's Pantry
  6. Pour into a clean jar and allow to cool before using.
  7. Store dulce de leche in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Snowman Hat Cookies

Snowman Hats | Pinky's Pantry
These are just the cutest little cookies and are perfect for a Christmas buffet table or for taking to a Christmas cookie exchange. With only a handful of ingredients, they’re so easy to put together. The little sprinkles add the crowning touch that makes them absolutely adorable!
Snowman Hats | Pinky's Pantry

SNOWMAN HAT COOKIES

  • Oreo fudge creme cookies
  • marshmallows
  • chocolate chips
  • green christmas tree sprinkles
  • red dot sprinkles
  1. Melt about half a cup of chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave.
    NOTE:  Chocolate will cool while you’re working and will start to harden as it cools. Just re-heat in microwave for 30 seconds or so to re-melt.
  2. Lightly dip just the very bottom of a marshmallow into the melted chocolate.
  3. Press the marshmallow on top of an Oreo cookie and allow chocolate to set.
  4. Dip the top of the marshmallow into the melted chocolate leaving a white band between the oreo and the chocolate.
  5. Set aside to dry.
  6. Put a tiny dab of chocolate behind a christmas tree sprinkle and 3 red dot sprinkles and “glue” to white band on hat to resemble holly.