Recipes from a Cowboy’s Wife
Sweetwater resident Lori Falcon, aka, A Cowboy’s Wife, has been blogging since February 2007. You might have been a fan of her food blog, My Wooden Spoon, but she has merged it with her blog A Cowboy's Wife (acowboyswife.com).With her blog, Lori has had the opportunity to partner with many major brand names and companies like Lifetime (where she was the food editor at one time). She has also been a Spokesblogger for Kraft Velveeta (featured in the May quarterly issue of Taste of Home for her recipe creation of Shrimp Stroganoff Casserole.); a member of the Panasonic LIHD Family (received over $20,000 of Panasonic equipment to review and keep); an Ambassador for Wilton (always learning how to decorate cakes, several visits to headquarters); an official Wal-Mart Mom (has the opportunity to meet with the CEO of Wal-Mart and others to discuss important topics on behalf of moms and Wal-Mart shoppers everywhere.); and a member of the Hanes Comfort Crew (have been able to have socks and underwear donated to her local charity, among other opportunities).**Recipes and photos by Lori Falcon. For more recipes, check out some of Lori’s other posts on her blog, acowboyswife.com.Halloween Treat — Candy Covered Mini Chocolate Apple BitesThese don’t have to be only Halloween treats, but they do make for a fun one and as you can see, we used Halloween colors and decorations to celebrate the holiday. They are very fun and vibrant. Halloween always seems to be about sweets (and no exceptions here) but at least there are fresh apple bites incorporated into this one! These are much smaller than you probably realize because instead of using whole apples, you’ll be using a melon baller. I have this cool double-sided melon baller for the 2 size options but any will do.I recommend letting the kiddos help you with this one. It’s very easy for them to dip them into the sweets and they’ll just love being your helper. If your kids are helping, I highly recommend you use the tip below to keep the mess to a minimum!Ingredients/Supplies:4-inch lollipop sticksMelon ballerGranny Smith apples (one apple makes about 8 mini apples)Wilton Chocolate Chips (I got mine at Wal-Mart), Butterscotch or peanut butter chipsYou could also use Chopped nuts, sprinkles, shredded coconut, or mini m&m’s…whatever you want.Small paper candy cupsInstructions:With the melon baller, scoop little balls out of the apple. Each ball should have a section of apple peel. Push half of a lollipop stick into the peel of each ball. Pat the apple pieces dry. Melt the chips according to the package directions. Dip and swirl the mini apples in the melted chips, then roll the apples in nuts, sprinkles, coconut or whatever your choice is. Place the mini apples in paper candy cups to set.TIP: Here’s one of my favorite tips to keeping the mess under control with all the different sprinkles, m&m’s, etc. Get a muffin pan out and place muffin liners in them. Pour each topping you plan to use into a separate cup so that all you have to do is dip each covered apple into that topping. Works great! I learned that tip from the fine folks at Wilton.Halloween Black Cat CookiesWell, these Halloween Black Cat Cookies are FAR from perfect but they were definitely a LOT of fun to make! They are a little time consuming but it’s something that you should plan to spend an entire morning or day doing. And I recommend that you make a plan, read all the directions first, and lay out all the tips, bags, colors (supplies) you’ll need. You can buy all the hot seasonal Wilton items at Wal-Mart and back in the arts and craft section, they have all the Wilton icings and tools.When buying Wilton products, there are always instructions and tips on the back of the product. Read them twice.I bought my sugar cookie dough this round, but you can make your own dough, which I recommend. I rolled it out and cut out the cats.Because these were going to be black cats with orange outline, I made my orange icing first. I outlined each cat, using orange buttercream icing. I’m not actually even sure if using regular buttercream was the correct icing to use to be honest but that’s what I did.Royal icing is fun. It’s liquid like and falls into place for the most part. I’ll include the recipe for that below. Obviously I used Wilton’s Black dye for the icing. It’s as simple as confectioners sugar, meringue powder and water.I dyed it, thinned it, and poured into a bag. I snipped the end and let it flow out. This can be messy so be careful. My biggest tip for you is to start with a little amount in the middle and spread out using a toothpick, otherwise, you chance it spilling over. I know this ’cause I did this.After that, I let dry and then I ‘decorated’ the cat by putting eyes and mouth. I used white icing for eyes, tiny amount of the black royal black icing for center of eyes and the orange buttercream for the mouth.I placed the cookies in a Wilton treat box and completed the Halloween Black Cat Cookies! ROYAL ICING (from Wilton)This smooth, hard-drying icing is perfect for making decorations that last. It is also useful as a “cement” to fasten decorations together. Royal icing is edible, but not recommended for icing cakes.Ingredients:3 tablespoons Meringue Powder Easy-Add Meringue Powder4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners’ sugar6 tablespoons warm waterMakes About 3 cups of icing.Instructions:Step 1 - Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).Step 2 - NOTE: Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency.* For stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.**When using large countertop mixer or for stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.Thinned Royal Icing: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Use grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency.Witches BroomsThese Witches Brooms are cute and tasty! One recommendation would be to use your own peanut butter cookie dough recipe or even the store bought roll. This one was okay but I’ve had better. And of course you can make your own orange icing or you can buy ones like Wilton’s Squeeze bottle icing.INGREDIENTS1/2 cup packed brown sugar1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened2 tablespoons water1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1/8 teaspoon salt10 pretzel rods, about 8 1/2 inches long, cut crosswise in half2 teaspoons shortening2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chipsButterscotch-flavored chips, meltedDIRECTIONS:1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Mix brown sugar, butter, water and vanilla in medium bowl. Stir in flour and salt. Shape dough into twenty 1 1/4-inch balls.2. Place pretzel rod halves on ungreased cookie sheet. Press ball of dough onto cut end of each pretzel rod. Press dough with fork to resemble “bristles” of broom.3. Bake about 12 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely on wire rack, about 30 minutes.4. Cover cookie sheet with waxed paper. Place brooms on waxed paper. Heat shortening and chocolate chips over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth; remove from heat. Spoon melted chocolate over brooms, leaving about 1 inch at top of pretzel handle and bottom halves of cookie bristles uncovered. Drizzle with melted butterscotch chips. Let stand until chocolate is set.Makes 20 snacks.**For more Halloween treat ideas, check out some of Lori’s other posts on her blog, acowboyswife.com.