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Shamrock shakes return to McDonald’s menus nationwide

Birds chirping and snow melting are all well and good, but the first sign of spring for many is the return of the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. The popular minty green milkshake is officially back on the menu, the company confirmed in a Tweet. Thirsty fans can find the creamy confection using a new feature on the McDonald’s mobile app that tracks which restaurant locations are selling the beverage or by using the Shamrock Shake Finder. https://twitter.com/McDonalds/status/1095714184363458561 For those not in-the-know, Shamrock Shakes — or Shammies — are made by blending McDonald’s vanilla soft serve with minty shamrock shake syrup and topped with whipped cream and a cherry. Since the beverage debuted in 1970, it has earned an impressive following. More than 6 million Shamrock Shakes have been sold. Much like the McRib, Shamrock Shakes are only available at McDonalds for a limited time, while supplies last. This year, you can…

How to perfectly melt chocolate

Chocolate-dipped Oreos, chocolate-covered strawberries, cake decorations — lots of desserts call for perfectly smooth and melted chocolate. But melting chocolate can be intimidating. One wrong step and you’re left with a sticky mess and a burnt pan. However, with just a few simple tips, you can master the art of chocolate melting. Also see, Chocolate Scenes From Your Favorite Movies.  Melting chocolate on the stovetop Melting chocolate on the stovetop is the best method. A double boiler will give you the best temperature control. Rather than putting delicate chocolate in contact with direct heat, the steam rising up from the boiling water gently melts the chocolate. To create a double boiler: Bring a medium pot (filled about half way) with water to a simmer. Place a heatproof bowl on top of the pot. The bowl should be large enough to sit on top of the pot without touching the bottom or…

10 delicious facts you never knew about Girl Scout cookies

Just in time to spoil your New Year’s Resolution, badge-covered vest wearing Girl Scouts arrive at your door with their brilliant fundraising idea — cookies.  Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs: You know you can’t resist. If you haven’t placed your order yet this year, better hurry. More than 2.6 million Girl Scouts in the United States will be turning in their cookie orders soon. And while you’re looking forward to receiving your cookies sometime in weeks that follow, its also worth reflecting on the storied past of these iconic cookies. The entrepreneurial cookie initiative dates back a whole lot further than you might expect. So listen up and earn your merit badge for the day with these 10 facts about Girl Scout cookies. 1. Home baked business In 1917, just five years after Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia, the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma decided to sell cookies…

Lemon lovers puff pastry tart

I confess. I have a serious thing for lemons: on my clothes, in my decor, and definitely in my desserts. The more tart lemon flavor in foods, the better. At this point in my addiction, I’m just a step away from biting directly into the bitter fruit to get my fix. Yesterday I had a hankering for something lemony and sweet but rather than fuss with meringues or cakes, I decided to get right to the good stuff. I had a puff pastry in the refrigerator and handful of lemon (because, of course!), so I got to work. This easy tart takes nearly no time. Very thinly slice two lemons and remove their seeds. Coat both sides of the slices in sugar, and arrange on top of the pastry puff. I also scored about a 1/4″ edge around the pastry to help give it a crust to grab on to.…

Cocoa Krispie Treat footballs, a fan favorite

Are you ready for some football? Of course you are! But do you know what you’re bringing to your friend’s party? This year, let someone else bring the boring chips and dip, while you show up with these adorably delicious Cocoa Krispie Treat footballs. With just four ingredients, this recipe is super easy to make. I melt the butter, add the marshmallows, pour in the cereal, then transfer to wax paper and let it cool. It’s impossible to shape warm, gooey marshmallow, so it will need to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before you start. But don’t wait too long or the mixture will set and become too hard to mold. For the football shapes, I never like recipes that require specific cookie cutters, like — Hello! How many kitchen gadgets do you think I have?! (Actually, don’t answer that.) Anyway, no cookie cutter or special tool required. Footballs…

Queen Elizabeth’s pastry chefs share her favorite gingerbread biscuit recipe

Mince pies and Christmas pudding aren’t the only sweet treats served at Buckingham Palace, of course. Luckily for those of us not dining with the Royals this holiday, a palace pastry chef has revealed (via the Official Royal Family Website) another one of the Queen’s festive favorites — gingerbread biscuits. And the secret recipe has been shared online for you to try. With only a few ingredients, it’s the kind of recipe you can whip up last minute with ingredients you already have if you’re behind on your holiday baking. Of course the decoration on the biscuits at Buckingham Palace will be the definition of perfection, while the rest of us are left to struggle with keeping the lines straight, but none-the-less, it will be fun to have a taste of one of the things the beloved monarchy loves most at her Christmas table. One tip offered by a royal…

Healthy carrot cake smoothie

Don’t you just love dessert for breakfast? Of course eating actual carrot cake for breakfast isn’t exactly a healthy or energizing way to start your morning, but this cool and creamy smoothie is the best of both worlds. Actually, you’ll love this smoothie anytime you want a perfect breakfast, dessert or even a snack. This carrot cake smoothie tastes just like your favorite carrot cake dessert, only lighter and healthier — so it’s totally guilt free. The Greek yogurt replaces with cream cheese so you’ll get a filling dose of protein instead of fat. Maple syrup makes for a great smoothie sweetener, and it can work really well, so start with just a tablespoon and adjust accordingly from there. It’s just eight ingredients and can be whipped up in no time with any high speed blender in under 5 minutes. Keep this one on file for the new year, or…

Tips for storing your Halloween candy so it will last longer

The end of October typically means way too much candy — even for those with the most insatiable sweet tooth. Whether you have kids bringing home big bags of candy, or you overestimated how much you needed for trick-or-treating, chances are, you’re going to need to store some for later. If you want to enjoy your candy haul slowly, it’s vital you know how to properly store your candies. If not, you could end up with a melty mess or scary flavors later on. Candy bars are very high in sugar and low in moisture — a combination that inhibits bacterial growth. This keeps them naturally edible for really long periods of time, but you can extend their shelf-life even further with a little care. Here are some tips from the National Confectioners Association that will leave your candy tasting fresh, long after your jack-o-lantern has gone dark. Candy Storage in…

The sweet history of Candy Corn

Every October, when the weather cools, we recognize that it’s time to start arguing about candy corn. But whether you think the little tri-colored candies are delicious or disgusting, no other candy is more iconic of Halloween. The history of candy corn and its place as a part of Halloween dates back more than a century ago. Though nobody knows for sure, candy corn is said to have been invented in Philadelphia by George Renninger, a candymaker for the Wunderle Candy Company. In 1898, George’s recipe rose to nationwide popularity when the Goelitz Confectionary Company picked it up and started marketing it as “Chicken Feed.” The candy packages pictured a rooster and a tag line that read, “Something worth crowing for.” The initial marketing was intended to appeal to Americans’ agricultural roots, and it was touted as a year-round treat. The Goelitz company, now known as Jelly Belly Candy Co., has the…

Creepy new cooking show coming to Netflix in time for Halloween

There’s a new cooking show headed to Netflix in October, and it sounds perfect addition to our Halloween fun. According to the streaming service’s description, The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell stars the “wickedly talented baker and artist” Christine McConnell. Fans will recognize McConnell from Instagram where the baker/artist/photographer has over 260,000 followers for her creepy cakes, pies and other macabre makings. The show is being produced by Wilshire Studios and Henson Alternative, the grown-up side of the Jim Henson Company, so we just might see some creepy puppet critters lending Christine a hand in the kitchen. The entire season is expected to drop on Netflix Oct. 12. https://www.instagram.com/p/BkL4qqzBdRM/?taken-by=christinehmcconnell The streaming service has released a new poster in advance of the show, which features McConnell in an ET/Stranger Things-esqu style. McConnell described the show to MyRecipes.com saying, “It’s like if Morticia Addams stopped in the the middle of the movie…