How to make edible Minecraft dirt and grass blocks

Hello, friends! Recently, I threw a Minecraft birthday party for my son, featuring dirt and grass blocks made from crispy cereal. Here is the recipe for those treats, which were delicious, and which scored highly on the Minecraft cred scale with the kids. Enjoy!

Minecraft treat ingredients
Minecraft treat ingredients

Ingredients

1/2 stick margarine

Large box of chocolate Rice Krispies or Cocoa Pebbles (about 8 cups, I think)

2 regular-sized bags of small marshmallows

1/4 cup corn syrup

1/2 cup chocolate chips

green icing in a can

green sugar sprinkles

chocolate sprinkles

Pam or other cooking oil spray

13 x 9 inch cake pan

Dirt blocks without frosting.
Dirt blocks without frosting.

Instructions

In a large nonstick pot, melt the margarine and marshmallows over medium-low heat, stirring so the marshmallows don’t burn. Mix in the corn syrup and keep stirring. Once the mixture is smooth, turn off the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until they’re completely melted and combined.

Add most of the cereal and fold it into the marshmallow mixture. I think I used about 8-10 cups of the cereal, which ended up being the whole box. You want the treats to be chewy, but not so squishy that they won’t hold a cube shape.

Grease the cake pan by rubbing the margarine wrapper all over the inside of the pan, or spray with Pam. Then pour the cereal mixture into the pan and spread it out evenly. It might help to spray some Pam onto your spoon or spatula, and use that to pack the mixture down into the pan. You want to press it down pretty well so there aren’t any big air pockets.

Allow the “cake” to cool to room temperature.

One Minecraft dirt and grass block.
One Minecraft dirt and grass block.

Decorating the treats

Place a cutting board over the top of the cake pan. Hold it in place and flip the whole thing over. Set it on the counter and tap on the bottom of the pan until the whole thing falls out onto the cutting board. Remove the cake pan and use a knife to cut the treats into squares/cubes.

Use your fingers to squeeze the treats into cube shapes and then roll the sides into the chocolate sprinkles. Don’t put sprinkles on the top of the cubes, because we’re going to put frosting on that part.

Use the green icing with the serrated tip (it looks like zig-zags) to make pointy tufts of frosting on top, to look like grass. Sprinkle some of the green sugar on top of the frosting for a little extra sparkle.

Arrange the finished blocks on a plate or tray, and add Creeper face picks if you want to (get free Creeper printables here).

I hope you enjoy these treats. I posted the recipe the way I made them, which was without a recipe, so that’s why the measurements are approximations. Cheers!

For my foodie friends! Recipe contest!

fudge photo“Stick a Fork in It” Food Blogger Contest
Sponsored by Top Recipes Android App

I enjoy cooking, but I know some people that are adventurous, creative, and passionate about food. This contest is for you guys! It’s called the “Stick a Fork in It” competition. And there’s money to be won!

Submit your best original recipe with a photo of the completed dish and you could win:
· First Place: $500 Visa gift card, award-winning designation within the app, plus a “virtual ribbon” to display on your website
· Second Place: $250 Visa gift card, award-winning designation within the app, plus a “virtual ribbon” to display on your website
· Third Place: $100 Visa gift card, award-winning designation within the app, plus a “virtual ribbon” to display on your website
· Editors’ Choice: $25 Visa gift card, award-winning designation within the app, plus a “virtual ribbon” to display on your website

Who can enter: Food blog owners/writers and contributors.

It looks pretty easy to enter. You need to submit an original recipe and an unmarked photo of the finished dish. Enter by February 17 and then tell your friends to download the app (from Google Play) and vote!

Get the full contest information and rules here, and start cooking! Good luck!

Meg Hourihan Makes a “Mean” Chocolate Chip Cookie

Perhaps I get an abnormal amount of satisfaction from a well-done geek project. I also get an unusual amount of satisfaction from a great chocolate chip cookie. This project made me extremely happy, appealing to both my scientific side, and my… well, chocolate side.

I do not have the privilege of knowing Meg Hourihan personally, but I can tell that we would get along! She writes a food blog at megnut.com, and during a recent recipe search, this post caught my eye: A Mean Chocolate Chip Cookie.

Intrigued, I decided to give the recipe a glance. What I found was a wonderful fusion of geekery and bakery.

Meg, a self-described “Food Enthusiast,” had embarked upon a quest to find THE best chocolate chip cookie. She solicited suggestions, and received more recipes than she could use. To simplify her work, she narrowed the list of recipes down to a dozen contenders.

Then, like any good geek, she made a spreadsheet of the recipes. She converted all of the measurements to base 10, averaged the preparation techniques, chilling times, oven temperatures, baking times, etc. She came up with a formula for a “mean” (averaged, get it?) chocolate chip cookie. You can see the complete recipe on her blog. It is quite brilliant.

So, how did the cookies taste? After doing all of the mathematical calculations, measuring, mixing, chilling, and baking (13.04 minutes at 354.17°F), Meg sampled her creation, and declared…

The first bite revealed a cookie crispy around the rim, warm and chewy on the inside. A few hours later, they were firmer, but still tasty. The best chocolate chip cookies ever? I’m not sure, but I baked A Mean Chocolate Chip Cookie. And that’s enough for me.

A happy ending to a unique kitchen adventure! I say, “thank you!” to Meg for her contribution to the canon of kitchen geekery.

Exploring the mysteries of homemade pie crust

Making a perfect pie crust is a skill that can take years to perfect. How can something made from such simple ingredients be so difficult to master? I don’t know! That’s why I always buy pre-made crusts! But this year, I am going to figure out the magic and mystery behind homemade pie crust.

I have gathered some helpful video tutorials on pie crust making, along with some highly-rated recipes, and put them all together on this page. I’ve included video from Alton Brown and Cat Cora, as well as some home cooks.

It’s amazing how you can conjure such a delicious, tender, flaky, golden, crispy, soft, beautiful crust from just flour, fat, salt, and water. Sure, some people add extra stuff, but the basics are always the same. I’ve never had great success with pie crust. Maybe it’s because I’m too impatient to mix the cold fat with the flour properly. Or maybe it’s because my hands are always warm, so the dough gets sticky and overworked. I don’t know. But I hope I can figure it out this season. Otherwise, it’s back to the frozen crusts for good!

Heather’s banana bread

Every time I make this, people ask for the recipe. Thought I’d share it here.

  • 1 c. sugar1 stick margarine, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to about 350 and grease or spray pans (loaf, cake or muffin). Cream margarine and sugar together. Add eggs and blend. Mix together dry ingredients in separate bowl and then add to margarine mixture, and mix. Add mashed bananas and vanilla. Scrape down bowl and mix. Pour into pans and bake until toothpick comes out clean (approx. 60 min for large loaf; approx. 18 min for muffins). Do not overbake. Remove from pans and cool on racks. Then wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.