I hate it when my ideas don’t work. Mr. Star Wars had his 10th birthday yesterday, and he wanted brownies with ice cream on top for his birthday dessert. This was just going to be a family dinner and celebration since we celebrated his birthday with a few friends before school started, but I still did not think that a plain old pan brownie was birthday-y enough, so I hunted down an alternative.
I had seen an idea on Pinterest for brownie cups. They seemed easy enough and upon closer inspection, they even used a boxed brownie mix, which I thought would translate into minimal time and effort.
Make the brownie mix according to the box directions. I think a fudgier brownie mix would work better than the one I used.
Spray with Pam or grease with Crisco the insides of a cupcake tin and across the top of the pan where the brownies will rise over the edge of the cup VERY WELL.
Fill the cupcake tins about 2/3 full with brownie mix.
Spray or grease the bottom of the second cupcake tin VERY WELL and gently rest the second cupcake tin on top of the filled cupcake tin.
Bake brownies according to the box directions. I baked my brownies about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove from the oven and remove the top cupcake tin. I thought it was best to remove while the brownies were still warm, but my brownies stuck to the pans, so I am not sure what to advise on this. I let them cool before lifting the cup out of the bottom cupcake tin after seeing the disaster with the top pan, but the base of the brownies completely stuck to the pan, so I ended up with brownie crumbles and broken brownie cups.
Take whatever brownie pieces you can salvage and put them in the bottom of a bowl.
Top with ice cream. Mr. Star Wars and Miss Priss wanted mint chip. TheRoomDad and I had coffee ice cream. Drizzle chocolate syrup over the ice cream.
Thankfully, broken brownie cups taste just as good as perfect brownie cups. Anyone else want to give this one a try and report back? Is it my cupcake tins that are the problem?
Part of our recent road trip was a visit to my sewing sister’s house. This is my sister who made the drawstring bags for our Hello Kitty birthday party. Our trip overlapped with my niece’s 8th birthday, and we were able to celebrate with her. My niece invited two friends to come swimming on the afternoon of her birthday. On the day of the party, my sister whipped up some activities that made the party look like she had been planning for weeks (not only does this sister sew, she is also very good at parties). She kept it simple, but it was so cute and colorful. I think it would be an easy party to host for a wide variety of ages. What are other good ideas for impromptu birthday parties that look coordinated and well-planned?
The Face Painting: My sister did an Internet search for kids’ tattoos– not face painting designs– and copied a collection of simple ideas on master pages that were easy for the kids to reproduce. She set up the face paints and design choices on the table by the pool. It was a “self-serve” operation. The kids took breaks from swimming and decorated their faces, hands, legs, backs…
The Cake: My whole family loves a grocery store birthday cake! My sister ordered an undecorated cake– she did plan this ahead of time– and provided materials for the guests to decorate it. Think of the finished product as an edible pinata. TIP: We decided that an activity like this probably needs a small group. Maybe eight children, max. If you are having a larger party, provide individual cakes or two or three larger cakes. The Betty Crocker Cake Mate squeezable frosting cans were perfect for this project. They came in bright colors and offered different frosting tips for fun decorating options.
The Ice Cream Sundaes: My sister had colorful spoons and bowls from a previous party and purchased a variety of ice cream toppings at the grocery store. After we scooped ice cream, the guests added as many toppings as they wanted!
The Supplies: Most of the food items were in white or blue ramekin dishes. Everything my sister used was in bright “ice cream” colors, which created a themed look to the party even though it was a very casual get together. She had pink bowls, ice cream sundae spoons, brightly colored M&Ms, sprinkles, chocolate and caramel toppings, ice cream cones, brightly colored frosting, and Tervis Tumblers with colorful lids filled with M&Ms for party favors.
If you need a lot of teacher gifts but don’t want to spend too much money, you can put together ice cream sundae kits. My son and I needed about a dozen sirsees or little surprise gifts for the special area teachers, classroom teacher, school receptionist, etc.
We purchased small cake boxes, curly ribbon, cardstock paper, clear bags, and small ziploc jewelry bags at Michael’s. We then bought sugar cones, fun ice cream toppings, and ink jet return address labels at Walmart/grocery store. At home, we printed the labels, printed the cards to tie on the top of the box, and filled bags.
Our gift tag on the box said, “Thank you for teaching me this year. I hope you have a sweet summer.”