Monday, February 25, 2013

'Quickie' School Treats

'Mom, the teacher said that the school is having a bake sale and everybody has to bring something. I told her we'd bring <insert fancy food item here>.'
'Sure, honey. How many do you need?'
'<insert insane amount here>.'
'And when does she need it by?'

How many times have you had this conversation? Your child tells you about a bake sale or party at her school or daycare that she needs to bring something for.  You're more than happy to help and know just what to make; that is until he tells you he needs it by tomorrow. Suddenly you find yourself in a time crunch and have to think of something you can make a lot of without having to stay up all night baking. Luckily, I've managed to find a few reasonably-quick but fun recipes for treats your child's class will love. If the recipe doesn't make enough as it is, you can always adjust the recipe to fit.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies-yields 36
40 unwrapped miniature peanut butter cup candies
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine salt, flour and baking soda in a large bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix the peanut butter, sugars and butter and stir together until they are at a 'fluffy' consistency.  Then, beat the egg and add the milk and vanilla. Combine everything into one bowl and stir together until well-mixed. Now, form into small balls and put one ball into each cup of an ungreased mini-muffin pan. Bake for 8 minutes. When you take them out, put a peanut butter cup into the middle of each muffin. Cool and serve.

If you simply don't have time to bake, here's a cookie-esque sweet treat that doesn't require any baking at all. If you're concerned about 'over-sugaring' the kids, the portions are only 1”x1”. They won't mind, because there's a lot of flavor packed into that tiny little piece! Since we're talking about school or daycare parties, you probably aren't going to be the one chasing the kids around anyway. :)
Little Bits of Heaven-yields 60 pieces
4 cups Rice Crispies
4 cups powdered sugar
2 ¾ cups peanut butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
¾ cup chocolate chips
½ cup melted butter
1 small box vanilla instant pudding mix
8 tbsp. milk

In a saucepan, combine the corn syrup, brown sugar and 2 cups peanut butter over low heat. Stir until well-mixed, remove from heat and add ¼ cup of the pudding mix. In a large bowl, add Rice Crispies and stir. Then, spread this mix into a 15”x10” baking sheet. In a separate bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk, butter and the rest of the pudding mix. Stir until smooth and pour over the Rice Crispie mixture. 
Now, melt the chips and the rest of the peanut butter in the microwave, stir until smooth, and spread over the mixture in the pan. When it is well chilled, cut into 1”x1” squares.

There, now you have a few recipes you can make for your child's school or daycare party the next day. These are great for bake sales, holiday gifts or just to bond with your kids. However you serve them, they'll be a huge hit!

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