Candy Bar Trains for Christmas

Make candy trains for Christmas! I’m SO excited to share this post with you guys! Did I say that yesterday too? Well, this year I am sharing a bunch of really fun holiday things that mean a lot to me. You know, like wine cake and such. Because cake with wine is VERY exciting. And today I’m sharing these awesome candy bar trains! This is something me mom made when we were growing up. And while I don’t remember making my own, I think these are the PERFECT alternative to gingerbread houses. Gingerbread houses can be so hard!!! Unless you glue gun the walls together, they often collapse and seem a bit fragile.  But these trains are a little bit easier and such a fun idea for families to do together at the holidays.

Make candy trains for Christmas! When I told my mom that I wanted to do a post on her trains, she searched her archives and came up with these written instructions for how she made them including a supply list. And then she left on a cruise. So I poured over her instructions and started gathering materials. And then got busy and put off making the actual train. And weeks later, my mom was back in town and I was finally ready to take photos of the candy bar train making process. So I invited her over to help me put it all together! I love having my mom help with posts! We pretty much followed her instructions this first go round but I can’t wait to make more and really get creative!

Make candy trains for Christmas! We got everything together and did a little mock-up before starting glueing things together with the royal icing. In doing so, we learned that candy has changed a bit since she first made these. Some things are larger and some things are smaller. Feel free to use whatever candies you think are best and please you, aesthetically. Also, she used to make a train track out of thin black licorice laces. I couldn’t find those anywhere! I also had a hard time finding rolls of Lifesavers (which we didn’t end up using anyway) and the larger Tootsie Rolls which make perfect logs. I feel like you can’t go wrong by buying the candy that looks fun to you and then see what you come up with. And if you have kids, the extra candy certainly isn’t going to go to waste…

Make candy trains for Christmas! We made (I say we, but really my mom made it) royal icing which would act as the glue to hold the train together. We probably could have used a little less of the icing but we wanted to make sure that things stuck really well.

Make candy trains for Christmas! My mom’s diagrams were very detailed about the front train car. But the rest of the cars can be whatever you want them to be. Have fun with it!  This is the back of the first car by the way.

Vintage Christmas miniaturesA few years ago my mom gave me her tin of vintage miniatures that she used for her trains and a few other food crafts she made.  So many memories in that tin! It was awesome to go through and remember all the old plastic figures and show them to my kids.

Make candy trains for Christmas! We let my son decide where Santa should sit. I think he made the right decision.

Make candy trains for Christmas!Our second train car holds a bunch of presents and toys and the final car is the log car. It dawned on me that it would have probably looked a little bit more like logs if we stacked another row in the center and on top of the bottom row. But it’s been probably 30 years since we’ve seen one of these trains so…we forgot. I just love how it came out!

Make candy trains for Christmas! How fun is this tree?! I added a little more royal icing to look like snow.

Make candy trains for Christmas! And of course we added edible glitter to have even more of a snow-like look although it is pretty hard to see. Like gingerbread houses, these are edible, but since all of the candy has been manhandled I wouldn’t recommend eating them. My kids asked so incessantly that I finally said they could eat their cars. Turns out all the different flavors of candy don’t taste that great together. So they stopped eating them instead of picking the candy off individually…dummies. (Yes I just called my kids dummies. But as a joke. That is kind of ironic. Especially since my 3rd grader had to go ask his teacher how to do one of his homework math problems since I couldn’t figure it out…)

Make candy trains for Christmas! I think this will be a tradition that we do with our kids every year. And I can’t wait to share it with the cousins and friends!

Make candy trains for Christmas!I put my train on a cake board that I got from the local craft store. It came in a pack of 5 so you could easily have each kid make their own mutli-car train.

Make candy trains for Christmas!When my youngest son got home from school he skipped lunch (truth be told he had candy for lunch) to make his train. He was so excited! He’s almost 6 and this was really easy for him. Where we had used a piping bag and decorating tip, we gave him a little paint brush to use with the royal icing and it worked really well. In hindsight, we probably would have had a cleaner look if we had used the paintbrush.

Make candy trains for Christmas!This would be a super fun idea for a family holiday party. I had only bought 6 of the large candy bars but the candy used to decorate was very plentiful. I could have made a ton of train cars by just picking up a few more Snickers bars, which is what we’ve always used. I guess you could use a different kind. But you would ruin Christmas…so…

Make candy trains for Christmas!We ended up having a last-minute playdate after school that day so my older son and his friend decided to make them too. Turns out, with a little imagination, your train car can be a sports car.  And a new tradition may be born.

Here is a very general list of what you might need to make a candy bar train with 3 cars like I’ve made above:

Large Snickers bars for the train cars (so 3 Snickers bars for the full train I made)

Fun Size Snickers bar for the front car

14 Peppermint candies for the wheels (note: the first car has 2 extra wheels – and they probably aren’t called wheels are they…)

1 gummy fruit slice for the corn catcher at the front of the train

4 Werther’s or several Lifesavers for the front of the train car

1 JUJU Bee for the light on the very front of the train

1 Gum Drop for the front train car

1 Lifesaver and 1 Rolo for the smoke stack on the first train car

Thin licorice laces to connect the train cars. Can also be used for the train tracks if you decide to add them to your cake board

14 M&M’s for decoration on the wheels

Several Tootsie Rolls for the log car.  The full size work best but you can also stack the Midgees if you can’t find the regular ones.

White edible glitter for snow

Royal Icing and a pastry bag and tips. You can also use a smallish paintbrush instead or if you have a young child where a pastry bag might be too hard to manage.

Assorted Miniatures

Tweezers might also come in handy (if you want to be all type-a about it)

To make Royal Icing: 

3 level TBSP Meringue Powder

4 cups powdered sugar

6 TBSP water

Put all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a mixer for 7 to 10 minutes.

If you make one share it with me on instagram!!!! Tag me at @cupcakescutlery and use the #cupcakesandcandytrains

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Sherry Wine Cake Recipe

Sherry Wine Cake Recipe. One of my newer holiday traditions. Perfect for Christmas morning breakfast. I’ve been meaning to share this recipe with you for years. But posting near the holidays gets to be too much sometime. There are so many things to share and so many extracarricular activities with family and school that I usually run out of time. But this year I made a point to start early so I could share with you one of my newer traditions. Sherry Cake. Yes. Cake made with wine. Oh, and it is also a cake I eat for breakfast. I was introduced to this cake years ago and fell in love with it. It just tastes like Christmas. So I decided that I would make it for Christmas morning breakfast. I think I may be the only person to eat it. But I love it and will continue to have it on the roster.

Sherry Wine Cake Recipe. One of my newer holiday traditions. Perfect for Christmas morning breakfast. This sherry cake recipe couldn’t be easier. It uses boxed cake mix as the base, vanilla pudding mix, oil and eggs. Basic, right? Then you add fresh nutmeg and sherry wine. I don’t know anything about sherry wine. I bought this one at the grocery store, but the bottle I previously had I got at a wine shop and it had a hint of orange to it that I really enjoyed. Sherry is a fortified wine (alcohol added) and it is a really nice, warm flavor. There are tons of different varieties and I can’t see how you could go wrong with any of them. It adds a depth of flavor to the cake that is really lovely. And between the wine and the pudding, the cake is nice and moist.

Sherry Wine Cake Recipe. One of my newer holiday traditions. Perfect for Christmas morning breakfast. I bought this bundt pan specifically for this recipe. I can’t believe I didn’t have one before!

Sherry Wine Cake Recipe. One of my newer holiday traditions. Perfect for Christmas morning breakfast. You mix all the ingredients together. Totes easy.

 

Sherry Wine Cake Recipe. One of my newer holiday traditions. Perfect for Christmas morning breakfast. Put the batter in a greased and floured bundt pan. And bake for about 50 minutes.

Sherry Wine Cake Recipe. One of my newer holiday traditions. Perfect for Christmas morning breakfast. The sherry cake, once inverted, is a dark, gingerbready color. The house smells of nutmeg and vanilla cake. And Christmas. Simply top it with powdered sugar and dig in.

Sherry Wine Cake Recipe. One of my newer holiday traditions. Perfect for Christmas morning breakfast. This is a great cake to bring to a holiday party because it is totally unexpected. It is straight out of the 70’s and I love that about it too.

Sherry Wine Cake Recipe. One of my newer holiday traditions. Perfect for Christmas morning breakfast. Doesn’t the powdered sugar look like snow?! Have you ever had a wine cake before? Let me know if you try this!!!

Sherry Wine Cake Recipe
 
My favorite thing to eat on Christmas morning.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast/ Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 box Yellow cake mix
  • 1 small box instant vanilla pudding (3 oz)
  • ¾ cup oil
  • ¾ cup Sherry (I think you are supposed to use Cream Sherry)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated)
  • 4 eggs
Instructions
  1. Mix cake mix and pudding.
  2. Add oil and Sherry.
  3. Beat at high speed.
  4. Add in one egg at a time, beat in between.
  5. Beat for about 5 more minutes after the last egg.
  6. Add nutmeg.
  7. Oil and flour a Bundt pan.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes and test.
  9. Watch carefully - do not over bake.
  10. Turn out of Bundt pan immediately.
  11. Let cool completely.
  12. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  13. Then eat your face off.

 

Sunbutter Cookie Recipe

Holiday Cookie Exchange Blog Hop with @paperandcake.Hey hey! I’m part of a cookie exchange blog hop today! My pal, Abigail, over at Paper and Cake, set this fun blog hop up and so today I’m sharing this yummy Sunbutter Cookie Recipe. We’ve got a nut allergy in my family and one of the things I’ve missed the most is peanut butter cookies. But when I realized that using Sunbutter tastes so super similar, I figured out how to fill my cookie void.

Sunbutter cookie recipe. A great peanut butter alternative for food allergies. They are just as sweet and rich and nutty tasting (without the death peanuts) as regular peanut butter cookies. Mmmmmmm.

Sunbutter cookie recipe. A great peanut butter alternative for food allergies. Nothing special. Just normal cookie making ingredients. And delicious, delightful Sunbutter. There aren’t any special steps. It’s basic cookie making. And a little bit of prayer since my oven runs hot and I, more often than not, burn EVERYTHING.

Sunbutter cookie recipe. A great peanut butter alternative for food allergies. And to me, these cookies are not complete without being rolled in sugar and pressed down with a fork. It really is what sets them apart.

Sunbutter cookie recipe. A great peanut butter alternative for food allergies. Turns out my nut allergic sun doesn’t really care for these cookies all that much. But at least I know that when I’m craving a peanut butter cookie, I can make these and make sure that he is safe. And can you imagine these dipped in a nice dark chocolate? Oh yeah!

Sunbutter Cookie Recipe
 
These are the perfect replacement for peanut butter cookies when you have a nut allergy.
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Sunbutter
  • 1 cup butter, melted (you can substitute margarine if you have other allergies)
  • 2 eggs (you can use egg replacer if needed for your allergies)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2½ cups flour
  • extra sugar to roll dough in
Instructions
  1. In a stand mixer, mix Sunbutter and butter until creamy.
  2. Add sugars and eggs and mix well.
  3. Add baking soda, vanilla and salt and mix well.
  4. Add flour slowly while mixing.
  5. Shape dough in to balls.
  6. In a bowl full of sugar, toss balls to coat.
  7. Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
  8. Flatten balls with a fork.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe via: http://www.sunbutter.com/recipes-SunButter-Cookies-Lorene-Wallner.php

Bacon and Sage Dip Recipe

Bacon and Sage Dip RecipeSo there is this dip. And I love it. I love it so much that I decided to add bacon and sage to it and make it even better. Because why not. The dip is super easy and tasty. To eat this the right way, you must eat it with Ruffles. (Not sponsored.) Ruffles are the perfect saltiness and the perfect crunch. I didn’t have them on the day I shot this and I was super disappointed. The chips I had on hand were too crunchy and hard which does not provide optimum enjoyment for the dip experience. But I am sure that even with just a spoon to shovel it in your pie hole you will love this Bacon and Sage Dip Recipe.

Bacon and Sage Dip RecipeMayo. Gross. While I can’t eat this on its own I still use it in recipes. As soon as the other ingredients mask the smell I’m totally fine. When you have fresh sage and bacon bits around, well, that’s all you smell. Thank goodness. The cream cheese helps to make it super creamy and the one clove of garlic provides the right amount of flavor and heat.

Bacon and Sage Dip RecipeAnd the wooster sauce adds a nice depth of flavor and meatiness. Ain’t no body able to spell Worcestershire.  Wait, did I do it? Did I spell it right?

Bacon and Sage Dip RecipeWith a hand mixer you just beat all the ingredients together and once creamy, mix in the sage and bacon.

Bacon and Sage Dip RecipeAnd then eat it. Eat it all up.  And then play around with it. Add in other ingredients. Make it your own. All I know is that I love it and the sage makes it perfect for holiday entertaining.

Bacon and Sage Dip RecipeSee. These chips are all kinds of wrong. That is not the color of Ruffles.

Bacon and Sage Dip RecipeBut don’t worry. I powered through and ate the chips and dips anyway. I’m not generally going to turn away a snack food unless it is truly horrid. What is your favorite dip recipe?

Bacon and Sage Dip Recipe
 
I took my favorite dip and jazzed it up with bacon and sage. You're welcome.
Author:
Recipe type: Snacks/ Appetizers
Ingredients
  • 1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 TBSP mayo
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Season salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Enough cream or milk to make desired dip consistency. (for me it's approx. 3 TBSP)
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh sage
  • 2 TBSP bacon bits
  • Serve with Ruffles chips.
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients (except milk, bacon and sage) in to a medium bowl.
  2. Using a hand mixer, beat all ingredients together until smooth.
  3. Add milk or cream, a TBSP at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
  4. Add bacon and sage and stir in to the mixture.
  5. Season to taste.
  6. Enjoy with Ruffles.

 

Cinnamon Walnuts Recipe : Holiday Entertaining

Cinnamon Walnuts Recipe. Perfect for holiday entertaining and Christmas parties. But of course, delicious any time of the year! I’m so excited the holidays are here!  I just love to share my family recipes and traditions with you. As you know, my style is not complicated and the recipes are tasty but simple. This Cinnamon Walnuts Recipe couldn’t be easier. But, gosh dang it, these are GOOD. Anyone who has ever had them has raved about the flavor. And then when they are given the recipe they are blown away by how easy they are.

Cinnamon Walnuts Recipe. Perfect for holiday entertaining and Christmas parties. But of course, delicious any time of the year! Aside from the walnuts, you probably have all of the ingredients at your house already. Sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. That’s it. And a little bit of water.

Cinnamon Walnuts Recipe. Perfect for holiday entertaining and Christmas parties. But of course, delicious any time of the year! Mix it all together on the stove and let it melt together. Stir often so the sugar doesn’t burn. I think most things take on more flavor when they are a little overdone. Not sugar though, man. That just gets nasty.

Cinnamon Walnuts Recipe. Perfect for holiday entertaining and Christmas parties. But of course, delicious any time of the year! Once the mixture has cooked for a few minutes, you add in your walnuts and mix to stir. Then spread them out on a cookie sheet so they can dry. I’m going to be honest, because I’m no expert and I own my mistakes (all of them… you guys, that perm was NOT a good idea), I didn’t cook the sugar mixture quite long enough when I made them for this post. One thing you should know about me is I’m a skimmer. I read recipes through beforehand and then when it counts, when I’m actually making a recipe, I skim and miss valuable information. Like when it said cook until the water dissolves which would have made this mixture a little more caramel-y and harden up nicer. It didn’t ruin them. They still tasted amazing. It just meant that they didn’t harden up as nicely as usual and because the mixture didn’t cook down enough, there was some extra sauce on my nuts…yeah, I know how that sounds and I hope you got a good chuckle out of it. When I say harden, I don’t mean these will be break your teeth hard. I just mean that the sugar mixture won’t be tacky, and kind of candied but the walnut won’t be any more crunchy than it is on it’s own.

Cinnamon Walnuts Recipe. Perfect for holiday entertaining and Christmas parties. But of course, delicious any time of the year! These Cinnamon Walnuts totally remind me of my grandmother. I’m not sure where she got the recipe from but these were always waiting for us at her house when we came to visit around the holidays.  And my mom also made them every year. You could always find these out on her sweets table on Christmas day alongside her fudge, the cinnamon candy, the best caramel corn ever and my fave candied orange peels. And now, my mother in law makes them around the holidays. It’s so fun to see my families share what they love with each other.

Cinnamon Walnuts Recipe. Perfect for holiday entertaining and Christmas parties. But of course, delicious any time of the year! These would make a great gift for the neighbors, teachers or even a hostess gift when you are making the rounds this holiday season. They are also great to keep on hand in case friends and family drop by unannounced (you know how they do) at this time of year. Store them in an air-tight container, out of sight, or else you will eat them all. I guarantee. I finally had to throw the rest of them away (I gave away a bunch too!) because I think my pants are starting to not fit anymore…Tis the season!

Cinnamon Walnuts Recipe
 
This recipe is a family holiday tradition. And super tasty.
Author:
Recipe type: Desserts/ Snacks
Ingredients
  • 3 cups whole walnuts or walnut halves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 TBSP water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except vanilla and walnuts.
  2. Cook on low heat until mixture dissolves and it cooks down a bit (about 7 minutes total).
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add vanilla and mix well.
  5. Add walnuts and stir to coat.
  6. Spread out on a greased cookie sheet to dry.
  7. Eat up.