Pink Wings

Chocolate Banana Crunch Donuts

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, MARS. All opinions are mine alone. #SweetSquad #CollectiveBias

Guys. It's football season. Last weekend hubby and I returned to our college town for a wedding and there was a BIG game going on at the time. Flags everywhere, painted car windows, everyone and their mother talking about it. We went to a friend's house to catch the second half and it was quite intense. I love that about this season, there's so much to get excited about. Game time turns into party time and who doesn't love an excuse for a party! So feeling inspired, I came up with this donut recipe perfect for your next football get-together.

These are baked donuts with a mix of banana and chocolate inside. The "crunch" comes from the new SNICKERS® Crisper candy bars. They're a twist on classic SNICKERS® and are full of peanuts, crisped rice and caramel covered in chocolate. Guys, they are yummm-o. The best thing about them is that they are just in the regular candy aisle at Walmart, no having to hunt them down. And this recipe is super easy, so you can spend all your time on decorating them in your team's colors. These aren't my team colors by the way, I just love the glam look ;)

Check out the recipe below, and find SNICKERS® Crisper in your local Walmart. Do you guys have any favorite football treats?

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SNICKERS® Crisper, chocolate, photography, recipe prep, candy bar, American candy, fun size, Halloween candy

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Chocolate Banana Crunch Donuts
Makes 15 donuts + 10 donut holes*

Donuts:
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 7-8 SNICKERS® Crisper fun size, chopped
Chocolate Glaze:
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup 
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • sprinkles (opt.) 
  • hot water
Icing:
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • water 
  • sandwich bag

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease you donut pans.

For the Donuts:
Place your bananas in a large mixing bowl and beat. Add the sugar, oil, and egg, and beat to combine. Then add the vanilla, salt and baking soda and combine again. Slowly pour in the flour while beating on low. Fold in the chopped SNICKERS® Crisper.

For the donut holes*, use a small spoon to fill 10 donut hole wells halfway with batter and bake for 7-8 minutes.  For the donuts, fill each well halfway, trying to make the batter as even as possible. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Make sure they are completely cool before adding the glaze.

For the Glaze:
Place the chocolate chips and butter in a heat-proof bowl. Heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds at a time just until the chocolate is soft enough to stir smooth. Add the corn syrup, vanilla and milk, and stir gently. If too thick add a bit more milk until it's a spreadable consistency.

Take a bowl that's smaller than your chocolate glaze bowl and fill it with a couple inches of hot water. Place the chocolate glaze bowl on top, making sure it's not touching the water. The steam from the hot water will make sure your glaze doesn't cool and harden before you are done dipping all of your donuts.

Dip each of your donuts and donut holes into the glaze and place back on a rack to cool. Add sprinkles as desired.

Icing:
Pour the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Start with about a 1/2 tsp of water, combine, and keep adding water until you get a spreadable consistency. Pour into the corner of a sandwich bag, snip a very small opening, and pipe onto your donut holes to make them look like footballs.


*Don't have a donut hole pan? Try making cake balls instead: take a few donuts and mash them, mix in some frosting, form into balls, and dip in chocolate!

TWIX® Halloween Cake + BOO Box

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, MARS. All opinions are mine alone. #BOOitForward #SweetSquad #CollectiveBias

The other day I went to the movies with my hubby and the last scene took place in DC in the Fall. The shots in the movie weren't meant to be artistic, but for me they really captured the feeling of the Fall season - the beautiful colors on the trees, chilly air, crunchy fallen leaves, etc. I literally almost started crying in the theater right there. I grew up in Upstate NY and it has been many, many years since I've been able to enjoy that kind of East coast Fall. But after several weeks on the road, we returned home late last night and I woke up to some chilly sweater weather, having to turn the thermostat from AC to heat, and opened up my monitor to this Halloween cake I made recently. There's nothing like a festive dessert to get you into the Autumn mood, and I'm so excited to share today's post with you.

On top of this cake recipe, I put together a tutorial for a BOO Box. The idea is to create a fun Halloween-themed package, "BOO" someone with it by secretly delivering it to them, and include a printable card from BooItForward.com that includes instructions for forwarding the favor:

1. Make a BOO Bundle.
2. Secretly Deliver It.
3. BOO it Forward!

This is such a fun tradition for the beginning of the holiday season! Everything for my BOO Box can be acquired from one quick Walmart run or visit to Walmart.com. I used festive American Greetings supplies to stick a pop-out "BOO!" banner on the inside, decorate the outside, and contain the BOO box treats. My BOO box treats went to a deployed soldier. Coming from a military family, supporting the troops is a cause that's close to my heart. Wherever I go there are always either soldiers or families around me separated from their loved ones who can use a pick-me-up. Though I am still a newb to this stuff, I like to give my support the one way I know how: through food. Do you guys have anyone in your neighborhood, workplace or school deserving of a picker-upper in the form of a BOO Box? Tell me in the comments!

Now my cake is alternating chocolate and white layers, with a fudge-y chocolate TWIX® frosting in between. It was very fun to make, especially since it got me into the Autumn mood. Recipe for that is below, and make sure you check out the BOO Box tutorial as well. Then get more great BOO Bundle ideas and printable cards from BooItForward.com, and go to Walmart or Walmart.com for all your BOO'ing needs!

P.S. A great BOO Box idea: Ghostbusters® is out on DVD on 10/11!






TWIX® Halloween Cake
Makes one 6-inch cake

Orange Cake:
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temp.
  • 3 large egg whites, room temp.
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened and cooled 
  • orange food coloring
Chocolate Cake:
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 egg, room temp.
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup hot chocolate
  • black food coloring (opt.)
Frosting:
  • 2-1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup chocolate pudding
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  •  pinch salt
  • 10 oz. favorite chocolate, chopped and melted
  • 10 TWIX® Fun Size bars
  • Halloween sprinkles (opt.)

Directions:


Preheat oven to 350F. Use the bottom of a 6-inch cake pan to trace 4 circles onto parchment paper. Cut them out and adjust the sizes so that they fit into your pans. Then cut out four 2x19 inch strips of parchment paper for the sides of the pans. Lightly spray your pans with oil, then line your pans with the parchment paper.

Orange Cake:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using the paddle attachment, add the butter and beat on slow until crumbly and uniform. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, whites, and vanilla. On medium speed, gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry and beat for about 2 minutes. Scrape and beat another 30 seconds. Fold in orange food coloring until you get a vibrant orange. Divide between two pans and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Chocolate Cake:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla.

Fit your mixer with the paddle attachment and gradually add the wet ingredients on slow speed. While still on low, slowly add the hot chocolate. If a darker color is desired, add black food coloring.

Divide the batter between two pans and bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove to a cooling rack and let sit in the pan for about 30 minutes, then remove from the pan to cool fully.

Frosting:
Beat the butter until fluffy and lightened in color, about 5 minutes. In a separate bowl sift together the sugar and cocoa. While beating on low, gradually add the sugar and cocoa, hot water, chocolate pudding, vanilla and salt to the butter. Once combined, scrape the bowl and beat on medium for 2 minutes. While still beating, slowly drizzle in the melted chocolate until smooth. Remove 2/3 of the frosting to a separate bowl and set aside.

Place your TWIX® bars in a food processor and process until around pea-sized chunks. Break up any bigger pieces by hand. Fold into the remaining 1/3 frosting.

Assembly:

Using a serrated knife, carefully cut off the tops of your cakes to make them even, and discard (ie eat them up). Then slice each cake into two even layers.

Place a small dollop of frosting onto the middle of a cake plate or cake swivel and place the bottom layer of your orange cake onto it. Spread a layer of TWIX® frosting, almost to the edges. Then place the top chocolate cake layer on top. Spread more TWIX® frosting, and set the other orange cake layer on top. Spread TWIX® frosting, then take your last chocolate cake layer and place it face-down on top. Make sure everything looks even, then place in the fridge for 15-30 minutes until the filling is firm.


Using an uneven spatula, spread a thin layer of the smooth frosting all over the cake for your crumb coat. Place in the fridge another 15 minutes. Then cover the cake completely with the smooth frosting. If desired, use a large round tip to decorate the top, and dust with Halloween sprinkles.


Chocolate Cake adapted from Ina. Frosting adapted from HERE.




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Halloween BOO Box
  • Memory box
  • American Greetings® Halloween Tissue Papers
  • String
  • Halloween Craft Paper
  • Letter Stickers
  • American Greetings® Gift Bags
  • American Greetings® Cards
  • scissors
  • tape 
  • Halloween candy: SNICKERS® Fun Size, TWIX® Fun Size, M&M's® Peanut Fun Size, STARBURST®, Skittles® Original Fun Size and Life Savers®

Instructions:

The tissue papers are folded into rectangles, so cut out one of the rectangles and then cut it into four smaller rectangles. Fold each piece in half to form a square. Cut strips on each, leaving about half a centimeter at the fold. Unfold and roll the tissue paper tightly along the middle. Then fold in half again and twist so it stays. See the pictorial below for a better idea. You can cut up to 4 pieces at once to speed the process. Attach the tissue poms to a string and use tape to wrap the string around your box like in the photos.

For the BOO sign, cut 2-inch triangles out of your craft paper, then use sticker letters to spell out "BOO." Attach to a string and tape to the inside of the box cover so that it hangs when your recipient opens it.






Three Tuna Bento Recipes



Hubs and I are currently over in Europe for a few weeks. At the time I'm writing this we just wrapped up four days in London and are on a train bound for Paris. While in London we biked past Buckingham Palace, enjoyed Afternoon Tea, and waved a wand at Platform 9 and 3/4. It was fun, and we're excited for the rest of our trip, though we do miss our fur babies at home. For me, the best part of traveling is experiencing new cultures and foods, but the best part of going home is getting back to a comfortable house and routine.

A few months ago I started a new routine doing weekly meal preps. At the beginning of the week I create my meal plan, do all my grocery shopping, and cook the whole week's meals in one go. It not only has helped me eat more healthfully and consciously, but also is super convenient. When the clock turns 5pm I don't have to stress about what to make for dinner, but can just pull a container out of the fridge and warm it up. I don't do this every week (it works best when hubby's on the road) but I'll do it at least every other. It's a great tradition to start during back to school time because it cuts down on the stress of this busy season. So today I'm sharing some of my favorite lunch meals: three different tuna bentos.

We use tuna a TON in our house, it's one of those things I literally always keep stocked in the pantry. Hubby is constantly trying to pump himself full of protein because he's always trying to "get them gains," and tuna is the most convenient way to get lean protein and all the other healthy fats and nutrients in there. Since we use it so much, I like to buy the good stuff, aka albacore. I was converted to albacore at the beginning of this year ever since hubby brought an uneaten can home from one of his trips. The thing is, it has this thick, flaky texture that puts it a whole level above chunk light tuna. It's kinda like the Prada of the tuna world. In my three recipes I exclusively used Bumble Bee®'s Solid White Albacore Tuna. Do that and your dishes will be a cut above, promise.

I hope I've convinced you of albacore's superiority by now. Below are my three bento recipes: tuna fried rice, tuna kimbap (sushi rolls), and tuna rice balls. The recipes make more than enough for a week's worth of lunches and I used simple, fresh ingredients to complement the hearty tuna. If you plan on doing a weekly meal prep like me, I included a shopping list below for making all three recipes. And here is my recommendation: the kimbap and rice balls are best made day of (not things you want to heat up), so I say only fully make the fried rice ahead of time. For the kimbap and rice balls, just prep the ingredients ahead of time (including the rice), then on the day of, all you have to do is warm up your rice and add all your pre-made ingredients. Easy cheese.

Check out the recipes below, and take a look at Bumble Bee®'s site for more info on albacore and a full nutritional list HERE









Bento Ingredient List:
  • 4 cups short-grain rice
  • 3-4 cans (5 oz.) Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 large carrots
  • 7 eggs
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1 cucumber
  • pickled radish (opt.)
  • Japanese mayonnaise (normal mayo is fine too)
  • 4-5 sushi seaweed sheets
  • oyster sauce
  • soy sauce
  • salt + pepper
  • oil for frying
  • sesame oil (opt.)
  • rice vinegar (opt.)
  • fruits + vegetables for sides 

    Tuna Fried Rice
    Serves 2
    • 1 can (5 oz.) Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna, drained
    • 1/4 cup diced carrots
    • 1/4 cup chopped onions
    • 1/4 cup frozen peas
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 cup cooked short-grain rice
    • 1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
    • 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
    • salt + pepper
    • oil
    • sesame oil (opt.) 
    • plastic disposable gloves (opt.)

    Directions:

    Warm about 1 Tbsp of oil in a pan or wok over medium heat. Add the garlic, carrots and onions, and fry until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Clear a spot in the middle of the pan and add another 1/2 Tbsp of oil. Crack one egg into the middle of the pan and scramble until almost completely cooked. Add the rice, oyster sauce and soy sauce, peas and albacore tuna, and stir to combine. Add frying oil or sesame oil as needed. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Remove from heat and pour into your bento boxes. Use the same pan to fry the leftover 2 eggs sunny side up. Serve on top of your rice.


    Tuna Kimbap
    Makes 4 rolls
    • 2 cans Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna, drained
    • Japanese mayonnaise (or normal mayonnaise)
    • 2 cups rice, cooked
    • rice vinegar (opt.)
    • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into long strips
    • 2 carrots, cut into long strips
    • Japanese pickled radish (opt.), cut into long strips
    • 1 bunch spinach, steamed
    • 3 eggs, whisked together
    • salt + pepper
    • oil for frying
    • sesame oil (opt.)
    • 4 pieces dried sushi seaweed 

     Directions:

    Place a large skillet over medium heat with about 1/2 Tbsp of oil. Saute the carrots until tender; set aside. Using the same pan, spray with oil and pour your eggs in. Cook a couple minutes, then flip to cook the other side. Once done, remove from heat. Cut the egg into 1-inch strips.

    For the tuna, in a small bowl combine the tuna and a large spoonful of mayonnaise. Add more mayo as desired, you want it to stick together well but not be too wet.

    If desired, season rice with rice vinegar. Start with one teaspoon and add more to taste.

    To assemble:
    Place one piece of seaweed on a bamboo rolling mat or clean surface. Spread a thin layer of rice 3/4 of the way up. Take some grains of rice and smush them along the top edge of the seaweed (so that the end will stick after you roll it). In the middle of the rice, place a slice of egg, cucumber, carrot,  and pickled radish. Spread a thin layer of spinach and a generous line of tuna. Roll, squeezing tightly as you go. Brush with sesame oil (opt.). Repeat for remaining rolls. Use a sharp knife to cut 1/2-inch pieces. Best eaten within the day. *if you have leftover tuna, save it for the rice balls


    Tuna Rice Balls
    Makes 2 rice balls

    • 1 cup short-grain rice, cooked
    • 1 can Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna
    • Japanese mayonnaise (or normal mayonnaise)
    • rice vinegar (opt.)
    • plastic disposable gloves (opt.)
    • 1 piece sushi seaweed, for decorating (opt.)

    Directions:

    In a small bowl, combine the tuna and a spoonful of mayonnaise. Add more mayo as needed, the mixture should stick together well but not be too wet.

    If desired, mix rice vinegar into your rice. Start with 1/2 teaspoon, taste, then add more if needed.

    Here is where you may want disposable kitchen gloves: Take about 1/4 cup of rice and shape into a round disk. Press the center to make a divot, then fill the divot with tuna. Take another 1/4 cup of rice and cover the tuna. Gently but firmly squeeze and shape the rice into a ball. If desired, decorate with seaweed pieces to make animal faces. Repeat for all rice balls. Best eaten within the day.


    I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

    Napa Valley Date with Parabellum

    Things are a bit crazy around our house these days. Hubby's only been home for exactly 4 days in the past month. He just got home again last night, but tomorrow I leave to be a counselor at a youth camp. One week after I get back we'll be off to Europe for three weeks but still don't have an itinerary, eek! But the hubs and I have gotten pretty good at making the most of our short time together. Today we went on a date to one of our favorite places in the Bay: Yountville, in Napa Valley.

    I've said it many times before, but we just love Yountville. It's a tiny little town just north of Napa and it's perfect. Everything is dripping in ivy and so beautiful, and it is chock full of delicious restaurants. Today we grabbed dinner, stopped at the gourmet grocery for a good chocolate bar, and walked around a bit until sunset.

    My new wallet is from Parabellum. Their brand is based in LA and they make beautiful quality leather goods. All of their stuff is responsibly made from free-range bison, and they sell direct to customer, which means that things are kept affordable. I picked out this skinny cash and carry wallet because I thought it would be perfect for traveling, especially when we get to Europe. Check out all their other amazing products, I'm obsessing over their pouches and messenger bag.










    Ghostbusters Candy Bar Tartlets

    This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BTSSpirit #SweetSquad #CollectiveBias

    Okay, so who has seen Ghostbusters?? I've been dying to see it! And that is saying something, because I don't often get excited for movies, but I just love every single one of those funny ladies. Hubby just got home today finally, so tomorrow may be my chance!

    You know, the one good thing about hubby being gone so often is the welcome home celebrations. I love the excitement of prepping the house and putting together a welcome home meal for my hubby's return. The special treat I made this time around was these Ghostbusters candy bar tartlets. They make me happy because they are two things that I love most: easy and delicious. They make a perfect welcome-home treat or even after-school treat because they are quick. Imagine coming home from school to these tartlets and then celebrating a week of hard work with a trip to the see the movie. That's the kind of cool mom I want to be. For now, hopefully I'm a cool wife.

    For this recipe the MARS Mixed Mini Variety Pack worked best. The cute tartlets are quite small, so the mini candies fit perfectly. And in the photos you'll see I used a green whipped cream for the bottom of the ghosts, but in retrospect decided it wasn't necessary, so I left it out of the recipe. I like things simple. While at Walmart I also grabbed the MARS mixed chocolate fun sized variety pack, those will work great for this recipe as well. And my hubby's favorite, M&M's® Peanut Butter. I meant to use them for a couple tartlets but ended up just munching on them, oops. Also look for the M&M's® Milk Chocolate bottles at Walmart, they will have Ghostbusters themed ones along with coupons for 75 cents off.

    If you've seen the movie, tell me what you thought of it below (but no spoilers)! If not, grab some candy, bake these tartlets, and make a night of it like me.

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    Ghostbusters Candy Bar Tartlets
    Makes 12 tartlets

    • 12 mini pie crusts (2 packages)
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 12 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • Mars Mixed Mini variety pack candy bars, sliced
    • fresh whipped cream
    • black gel food coloring

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 250F.

    In a saucepan, combine the heavy cream and milk. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk gently until completely smooth.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolk. While still whisking, gradually pour in about 1/2 cup of the chocolate cream. Then pour the egg mixture into the chocolate and whisk until combined.

    Place the tartlet crusts on a baking pan and fill each with a sliced candy bar. Cover with the chocolate cream. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the edges are set and the middle is jiggly. Let cool on a rack for about 10 minutes, then place in the fridge until ready to serve.

    Just before serving, top with whipped cream: place a few generous spoonfuls of the cream into a small bowl and mix with black gel food coloring. Pipe your white whipped cream onto your tartlets using a large round pastry tip. Then use a small (such as #2 or #3) round tip to pipe the black cream, making ghost faces. Enjoy!


    Filling recipe adapted from HERE