Beautiful Candy Bark (VIDEO AND RECIPE)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted By David Dempsey

I LOVE a gift from the kitchen. This past holiday I made 4 pounds of Everything Bagel Topping and before then it was Homemade Mega Marshmallows. This year for Valentine’s Day, I was under the gun and needed to Macgyver something fast…but still with some Libbie Fun and Beauty.

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Beautiful Candy Bark
(makes 24 servings)

What you need:
2 (11 ounce) packages Ghirardelli white chocolate chips, melted (I used a double boiler)
Food coloring gel, I used purple
Sprinkles or colored sanding sugars (I used light and dark purple sanding sugars and gold dragees. NOTE: It will only take a tablespoon of each)
Edible Flowers (I used violas)
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What to do:
1. Prep: Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. Have all your toppings ready.
2. Divide: Divide melted chocolate into two bowls. One will have 2/3 of the melted chocolate and the other will have 1/3.
3. Color: Add just enough food coloring into the smaller amount of melted chocolate until tinted the color you would like.
4. Spread: WORKING QUICKLY, spread the white chocolate out on the prepared baking sheet. Next, drop dollops of the tinted chocolate on top of the white. Using an offset spatula, swirl the two together.
5. Decorate: AGAIN, WORKING SUPER QUICKLY. Decorate with your sprinkles, sanding sugars and edible flowers before the chocolate starts to harden.
6. Break: Allow the bark to set until completely hardened (about 20 minutes) then lift off the parchment and break apart into pieces.
NOTE: If using edible flowers, Beautiful Candy Bark is best eaten within 24 hours. If not, bark will be good for up to one week. Honestly, you don’t even have to store in an airtight container. We just leave ours on the kitchen counter for nibbling.

Need more help? Watch the video!

Sprinkle Sugar Scrub (RECIPE and VIDEO)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

I love giving gifts made in the kitchen –especially on Valentine’s Day. Making something for your loved one just seems to say “hey, I dig you” a lot more than a grocery store card. Add in the extra cool factor of it being the most yummy smelling exfoliant and moisturizer and you are bound to get some action! 😉

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Sprinkle Sugar Scrub
(makes 8 ounces)

What you need: 
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1/2 cup colored coarse sanding sugar (I used pink)
1/2 cup Toyland Sprinkles (you can sub coarse white sanding sugar)
1/4 cup almond oil
1/4 teaspoon bubblegum extract (you can sub with your favorite extract or essential oil)

What to do:
Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir. Scoop into an 8 ounce jar and seal. Shake before using.
(NOTE: We used pink sanding sugar and there was a visible pink hue that was there when rubbing into the skin, but left when washed away…it was really nice!)

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Watch the fun video of making the Sprinkle Sugar Scrub!

Yum Yum Sprinkle Fudge (Video and Recipe)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

This fudge is as delicious as it is beautiful. Basically, a bubble gum flavored carnival for the mouth and ready in 2 hours!!

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Yum Yum Sprinkle Fudge
Serves 18

What you need: 
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
2 cups white chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup dry white cake mix
1 teaspoon Bubble Gum Extract (you can substitute vanilla extract)
4 tablespoons Spring Break Sprinkles (or your favorite sprinkles), divided

What to do: 
1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper leaving enough paper to hang over all sides. Spray with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the sweetened condensed milk, white chocolate and butter JUST until the chocolate has melted.
3. Remove from heat and quickly stir in cake mix.
4. Stir in extract.
5. Stir in 3 tablespoons sprinkles.
6. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth top and spoon remaining sprinkles over the top.
7. Place in refrigerator until set (about 2 hours).
8. Cut into squares and serve.
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Fried Apple Rings (VIDEO AND RECIPE)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

You could certainly make this recipe at any time of the year (and I encourage you to do so) but, as the days become shorter and there is a hint of autumn in the air you really HAVE to make them. This is a down-home, super simple, show-stopping dessert. Always serve warm, either on their own tossed in cinnamon sugar, drizzled with honey or melting a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Fried Apple Rings
serves 4

What you need: 
3 granny smith apples
Oil for frying (enough for 2-inches in a dutch oven)
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, room temperature
Honey for drizzling
4 small scoops vanilla ice cream (optional)
What to do:
1. Prep Apples: Peel apples and slice into thin round slices (about 1/4-inch thick or slightly thicker. I got 5 slices from every apple).
2. Preheat a large shallow pot full of about 2 inches of oil over medium heat. Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.
3. Make Batter: In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, baking powder, salt and sugar. Whisk in buttermilk and eggs until batter is well combined and no lumps are left.
4. Make Cinnamon Sugar: In a shallow dish, stir together remaining sugar and remaining cinnamon. Set aside.
5. Fry Apples: When the oil reaches 325 -350ºF, dip the apple slices in the batter (allowing excess batter to drip off) and carefully place into the hot oil (work only a few slices at a time). Use a spyder to flip after the bottom is golden brown. Remove to the paper towel lined plate when both sides are browned. Remove from oil and place on some paper towels to drip excess oil off.
6. Finish Apples: Dip apple slices into cinnamon sugar mixture, and coat on both sides.
To Serve: Divide apple slices between plates (stacking) and drizzle with honey. You can also add a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, but you don’t need it!
Make it Sweet and Vicious: I love adding just a pinch of chipotle pepper in the batter. It’s soooo good!!!
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Sprinkle Granola Bars (VIDEO and Recipe)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

An afterschool or lunch snack with flare!

Sprinkle Granola Bars
makes 1 (8×8 pan full)

What you need: 
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup crunchy almond butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup Box of Crayons Sprinkles (or your favorite sprinkle mix)

What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Pour oats and almonds onto a baking sheet and bake (stirring once) until lightly browned (about 15 minutes). You could also toast on the stovetop in a hot sauté pan. Allow to cool and place in a large mixing bowl.
3. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the brown sugar, honey and butter. Cook until the brown sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in almond butter and vanilla.
4. Stir almond butter mixture into toasted oats and almonds until oats are completely coated.
5. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with sprinkles. Use a spatula to lightly press the mixture in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
6. Turn out onto a cutting board and cut into bars or squares.
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