A Colorful Winter Giveaway (US) Ends 12/25

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It’s the holidays and the time for giving, so what better time than now to have a giveaway!? I haven’t had a giveaway in some time and usually try to do one every Christmas. This year the items are less Christmas themed than usual. I’ve been collecting the cutest cupcake, dessert, and colorful items I could find throughout the year. This time I have two prize packs to giveaway so there will be two winners!

So let’s get right to the giveaway!

Prize Pack #1 – (Total ARV $50.12)

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This prize pack includes:

  • Cupcake-2-Go cupcake carrier
  • Betsey Johnson zipper pouch
  • Cupcake ornament
  • Cupcake bath fizz
  • Doughnut candle
  • Martha Stewart’s New Year’s Celebration DVD
  • Cupcake magnetic page markers
  • Cupcake plunger
  • Doughnut sticky notes
  • A frame
  • Essie mini nail polish
  • Doughnut sanitizer
  • A glitter pencil
  • A handkerchief

 

Prize Pack #2 – (Total ARV $47.31)

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winter2015giveaway2

This prize pack includes:

  • Cupcake-2-Go cupcake carrier
  • Betsey Johnson zipper pouch
  • Reusable silicone baking cups
  • Doughnut candle
  • Cupcake ornament
  • Cupcake bath fizz (Not Pictured)
  • Martha Stewart’s Homemade Holidays DVD
  • Chapstick Cake Batter lip balm
  • Essie mini nail polish
  • A frame
  • Birthday Cake Gourmet Gum
  • Cupcake sticky notes
  • A glitter pencil
  • A handkerchief

The Rules for Entry:

To enter you must be 18+ years old and have a shipping address within the US. The giveaway will end December 25th at 11:59pm EST. Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter widget below. Only entering your contact email is required. The rest of the entry methods are optional and will only increase your odds for winning. For complete giveaway rules, click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

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pecanpie

I was tasked with making a pie for Thanksgiving this week, and I had some bourbon, so I looked around for a recipe I could use it in. I love bourbon and don’t mind the taste of it in desserts, so when I came across this Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie recipe from Allrecipes.com I decided to give it a shot. It was well liked on the website and included a 1/4 cup of bourbon, so I knew it must be good.

Final verdict? It was so frickin good! It has a nice chocolate and bourbon taste that goes so well with the ingredients of the pecan pie. I didn’t want to post about the recipe until I had a chance to try some myself, but it was so good I decided to make a post about it, because this is the perfect pie for the holidays. Nothing better than booze and pie at Christmas-time. The alcohol in the bourbon should be all cooked out by the time it’s complete, so anyone can eat this pie. It still retains the lovely flavor of bourbon after baking too.

pecanpieunbaked

The one thing I would recommend for this pie is to use a deep pie dish. The recipe makes just a little bit too much filling for a regular pie dish. As the above photo shows, the filling fit perfectly in my 1 and 3/4 inch deep pie dish.

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Instead of melting the chocolate, the chips stay intact so that there are nice little nuggets of semi-sweet chocolate throughout. I really liked that.

Make sure to click the link at the beginning of the post for the recipe if you’d like to try this pie. Let me know how you like it!

What desserts are your go-to during the holidays? I’d love for you to share any recipes you love.

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Zombie Brain Brownies

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Zombie Brain Brownies | Shane's Killer Cupcakes

Happy Halloween, everyone! This is my favorite holiday and always like making some creepy treats for it too. This year I came up with Zombie Brain Brownies. They’re made from candy melts, brownie, and strawberry sauce mixed with fresh squeezed orange juice and triple sec. If you are looking for a non-alcoholic version, just omit the triple sec and add more orange juice.

Zombie Brain Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup strawberry topping
  • 2 tbs. triple sec*
  • 1 tb. of fresh orange juice
  • 1 batch of brownies (from a boxed mix or your own recipe)
  • 2-12oz. packages of candy melts in Vibrant Green
  • Red decorating gel
  • Optional
  • Red food coloring
  • Also needed
  • Brain shaped candy molds

Instructions

  1. Make a batch of brownies from scratch or boxed mix and let cool. Once cool, cut the crispy edges off the sides of the brownie (eat or discard).
  2. Using the directions on the package, melt the candy melts and line the brain molds with a layer about 1/8" thick. I use the back of a spoon to achieve this. Don't fill in the entire brain cavity with candy melts, because we need to leave room for the strawberry sauce and brownie.
  3. Once the brain molds are all covered with candy melts, chill it in the freezer for 10 minutes to set it up.
  4. While the brain molds are in the freezer, prepare your strawberry sauce by combining the strawberry topping, triple sec, and orange juice. If you want the sauce to be a brighter red color, add a few drops of red food coloring.
  5. Take the brain molds out of the freezer once the candy melts have set, and spoon a teaspoon of the strawberry sauce in each brain.
  6. Pull a small piece of brownie off and mash it into the brain on top of the sauce, making sure to not squish the sauce out.
  7. Re-melt candy melts if needed, and seal the brownie and sauce into the brain by covering the top with the candy. Make sure it meets with the sides of the candy melts you put in the brain earlier, or you'll have holes that the sauce could seep out of.
  8. Put the molds back in the freezer for 15 minutes to set the candy melts.
  9. Once the brains are set, pop them out carefully.
  10. Before serving them, slather the tops of the brains with the red decorating gel to make the brains look gooey and gross.

Notes

*If you want non-alcoholic treats, leave out the triple sec and add more orange juice.

http://shaneskillercupcakes.com/2015/10/zombie-brain-brownies/

Zombie Brain Brownies | Shane's Killer Cupcakes

If you want, you can slather some red gel over the top to make them bloody or leave it off for a more clean version. You could even get some green decorating gel and put it in the place of the blood for a more gooey oozing effect.

Zombie Brain Brownies | Shane's Killer Cupcakes

When you open them up some of the strawberry sauce could drip out so make sure to have some napkins around!

Zombie Brain Brownies | Shane's Killer Cupcakes

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

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Magic Mike Ladies’ Night Party

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magicmikeposter

Three years ago I won a giveaway from a local movie theater and the prize was a wall-sized vinyl poster from the first Magic Mike movie. It was huge and unwieldy, but it also had nearly life-sized, half naked actors on it, so I thought the best use for it would be to put it up temporarily for a Magic Mike themed party. That party always hung on the back of my mind, but I never went through with it. Then Magic Mike XXL (the sequel) came out, and I knew now was the chance to have that party. So for the release of MM XXL on dvd, I held a Magic Mike Ladies’ Night party, and it was fantastic. We watched both Magic Mike movies, had snacks, played games, and had tons of fun.

As I do for many of my theme parties, I scour the internet for fun ideas. There weren’t very many Magic Mike parties to look at, though, which might have been a good thing, because it forced me to be more creative. I did come across some fun sweets online that would be awesome for a Magic Mike party, so I stepped out of my comfort zone of cupcakes and tried some royal-icing-topped cookies and a cake that was decorated with more than just a little frosting.

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The first thing I wanted to make for the party were these awesome, funny Chippendales dancer-themed torso cookies from The Adventures of Sweet Sugarbelle. I’ve always wanted to learn how to make royal icing and the techniques for icing cookies, but it always looked like a lot of work. Turns out it is, but the results are pretty fun. I didn’t use Sweet Sugarbelle’s icing recipe though, because I forgot to get some of the ingredients, and just went with a simple recipe from Alton Brown instead. It uses raw egg whites though, so you will want to use pasteurized eggs.

magicmikecookiesMy cookies are far from perfect, but I think they looked pretty cute anyway. Not sure how soon I’ll try cookie icing again though. It was more work than I realized!

I couldn’t just have cookies at this party though. One bachelorette party idea I saw pop up in my search was a male stripper cake. That would be perfect at a Magic Mike party, I thought, so I collected some easy materials (Ken doll and a wooden dowel) and affixed them to the top of a three layered chocolate and pumpkin cake. I thought three layers was probably best to give the dowel enough of a foundation to support the doll. To decorate the doll, I made him a little thong, bow tie, and cuffs from some felt and ribbon and printed out some tiny dollar bills to stuff in his undies. I threw a few dollar bills on top of the cake too, but they ended up being camouflaged since I made the cake almost the same color as the money. Oops!

magicmikecake

The “stage” background wasn’t necessary, but the cake looked a bit boring without it. I covered a weighted box in a blue plastic tablecloth, tri-folded a large gold metallic piece of card stock, and decorated it with two fancy balloon weights, two flashlights, and a Magic Mike sign that I made. The tablecloth, card stock, balloon weights, and flashlights all came from a dollar store.

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The party wasn’t all sweets though. I had Pink Panty Dropper punch, (Magic) Mike’s Hard Lemonade, a popcorn bar, and pizza. What’s a movie night without popcorn and pizza?!

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Decorations included leopard print and black tablecloths, gold metallic fringe curtains, black fringe table skirt, the Magic Mike poster I showed you above, and a handmade garland of men’s thongs and bow ties! I made the garland myself. I found a package of thongs at Kmart and a few bow ties in the current Halloween costume section of a dollar store. I sewed them together, but you could hot glue as well if you don’t plan on using the bow ties or thongs again. Decorate it with some ribbon if you want to fancy it up a little. I used animal print ribbon.

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After each movie, we played some Magic Mike themed games. One game I came up with was called Strip Trivia. Usually when you play a game with stripping the players have to strip, but in my game, the players got to take off a paper doll’s clothes! Except for the male body image, I hand drew all of the clothing pieces for the game.  To play the game, I asked my guests trivia questions about the movie we just watched and who ever answered first correctly, got to remove an article of clothing. The first person to remove all clothing won a prize.

striptrivia

The other game we played I have dubbed Place the Kiss on Mike’s Magic. It’s basically Pin the Tail on the Donkey for adults! I found the game in the bachelorette section of a party store and pasted a picture of Channing Tatum over the face to make it a little more Magic Mike themed. It was popular.

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The party was a total success and I got to introduce the awesomeness of Magic Mike to a handful of my friends! This type of party would be fun for any time of year whether you just want to get the girls together, have some drinks and (respectfully) ogle some grown men or if you are throwing a bachelorette party.

Have you ever seen the Magic Mike movies or had a girls’ night in or adult sleepover party before? I’d love to hear some of your experiences or ideas for this type of party.

 

***I was not asked or compensated to mention any brand names in this post. Any brands that I specified are only included to help you find certain materials I used to put on this party.*** 

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Halloween Oreo Truffles

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Halloween Oreo Truffles | Shane's Killer Cupcakes

Welcome to October! With the holidays coming up, I thought I’d share some Oreo Truffles with you because they make great treats for all the parties you’ll inevitably be invited to during the holiday season.

If you’ve never had Oreo Truffles before, you really need to try them. They are simple to make and only include three ingredients: Oreos (or similar cookies), cream cheese, and chocolate. I’m amazed I’ve never made a blog post about them before now, to tell you the truth.

There’s something about the mixture of the cookies and the cream cheese that really makes these special. They are decadent and rich. The added chocolate coating only makes them better.

Halloween Oreo Truffles | Shane's Killer Cupcakes

I saw these Halloween themed Joe Joe’s cookies at Trader Joe’s and thought the box was cool looking so I decided to try them. They were not very good. The chocolate cookies were fine but the filling was bland. It tasted like nothing, and definitely not vanilla. Should I just throw the box of cookies away? Continue eating the cookies and hating life? No! Just make them into Oreo Truffles! Even the blandness of the cookies could be fixed with a little cream cheese and chocolate. Once the cookies are combined with the other ingredients, they didn’t taste that much different than the truffles made with real Oreos. So if you ever end up with a crappy box of Oreo knock-offs, you know what to do!

Halloween Oreo Truffles | Shane's Killer Cupcakes

Halloween Oreo Truffles

Ingredients

  • Package of Oreos or other chocolate sandwich cookies
  • 8 oz. block of cream cheese (softened)
  • 8-14 oz. of semi-sweet baking chocolate or chocolate candy melts
  • Optional toppings:
  • Chopped nuts
  • Sprinkles
  • Sugar confetti
  • Crushed Oreos

Instructions

  1. Put the cookies whole in a large food processor* and crush until the cookies are a fine crumb. If you want to use crushed cookies for topping set some aside at this point.
  2. Put the softened cream cheese into a large bowl and pour the cookie crumbs on top.
  3. With your hands, combine the cookies and cream cheese until completely incorporated. It's a messy job, but at least you get to lick your fingers clean when you're done!
  4. Chill the mixture for 15-20 mins. to thicken it up.
  5. Then roll it into 1 inch balls and place on a wax paper covered jelly roll pan. Chill again for 30 mins.
  6. Melt the semi-sweet baking chocolate in the microwave on 30 sec. intervals, decreasing the time to 15 sec. intervals when the chocolate gets close to melted. You don't want to over heat your chocolate or it'll be ruined.
  7. When the balls are chilled, place each ball, one at a time, in the melted chocolate making sure it's covered completely.
  8. With two forks, pick up the truffle out of the chocolate and place back on the wax paper. While the chocolate is still melted sprinkle the top with your toppings of choice.

Notes

*If you don't have a food processor, split the cookies apart, scrape the filling into a large bowl with the cream cheese and place the cookies in a large ziplock bag. I remove the filling ahead of crushing, because I find the cookies difficult to crush finely when the filling is included.

Crush the cookies finely in the ziplock bag with a mallet or something similar and then place them into the large bowl with the filling.

http://shaneskillercupcakes.com/2015/10/halloween-oreo-truffles/

These little truffles are great for the holidays and an easy, quick treat when you need to make something last minute.

Halloween Oreo Truffles | Shane's Killer Cupcakes

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Happy World Beard Day!

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beardcookies

In honor of beards around the world, last night I made a batch of bearded shortbread cookies! It was done on a whim, so I didn’t really have the right tools or decorations to do proper bearded cookies, but I think they look cute in a bearded-chicken-nugget kind of way.

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Let a bearded man in your life know you appreciate him and his lovely bearded locks today.

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