Press Release: Mrs. Fields Sweetens Portfolio

The parent company of Mrs. Fields Cookies and TCBY Yogurt is adding Maxfield Candy and Nutty Guys brands to the portfolio. Famous Brands International, which is owned by private equity firm Z Capital Partners, L.L.C., has acquired the assets of International Confections Co. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Maxfield Candy brand, which previously was owned by a Mrs. Fields licensee, makes assorted chocolates, peppermint bark and truffles. Nutty Guys manufactures premium nut, dried fruit and popcorn products.

“With a renowned heritage as a premium confectioner dating back nearly 70 years, the Maxfield Candy brand is an ideal fit, and I’m confident that the addition of these delicious treats to the Famous Brands portfolio will delight our existing and future customers,” said Joyce Hrinya, interim chief executive officer of Famous Brands.

The addition of Maxfield Candy and Nutty Guys is expected to accelerate global demand for Famous Brands’ products.

“As a long-standing partner to Mrs. Fields, Maxfield Candy is a natural addition to our portfolio,” said James Zenni, chairman of Famous Brands and c.e.o. of Z Capital. “The Famous Brands’ team has worked tirelessly to capitalize on the significant potential of the company’s platform, and today, TCBY and Mrs. Fields are distinctly positioned in their respective markets and expanding rapidly.”

Recipe: Pinecone Treats

Mrs. Fields Secrets Pinecone Treats

It’s frigid and snowy outside, which means it’s a perfect time to stay inside and make some wintery sweet treats. These adorable, delicious pinecones are a no-bake, fun activity to do with the kids on a snow day. You might even have the ingredients in your pantry. They make a beautiful display and a yummy snack or dessert, especially with a fresh dusting of snowy powdered sugar.

Pinecone Treats

1/4 cup hazelnut spread
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup powdered sugar (plus more for dusting)
5 pretzel twists
3 cups chocolate Chex cereal

Directions
In a mixing bowl, combine the hazelnut spread, peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar until a play dough-like texture is reached. Divide into five equal portions, then wrap a portion around each pretzel twist, forming it into a conical shape. Place on a flat surface and begin sticking cereal pieces into the cone, wrapping around from bottom to top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to create a snowy look. Serve at room temperature.

Make Your Own Cookie Butter

Homemade Cookie Butter via A Beautiful Mess

What’s better than cookies and butter? How about cookie butter? And what’s better than cookie butter? How about homemade cookie butter. That’s right, this decadent treat is super simple to make with your favorite cookies and a few simple ingredients. It also makes an absolutely thoughtful gift. We discovered this helpful tutorial on A Beautiful Mess and give it a standing ovation. Here’s what you need to know:

Cookie Butter
adapted from A Beautiful Mess

2 cups cookie crumbs
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup evaporated milk
water as needed

Directions
Prepare cookie crumbs by pulsing cookies in a food processor. (If using sandwich cookies with a cream filling, remove the cream filling first.) Keep pulsing until you have two cups of fine powder. Transfer crumbs to a mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the butter over low heat until melted, and then stir in the sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk and continue stirring until completely combined. Pour 1/2 cup of the liquid into the cookie crumbs and mix together with a spoon. Keep adding small amounts of the liquid until the cookie butter is just wet enough to stay together. Depending on how dry the cookie is to begin with, you’ll need more or less liquid. Buttery cookies (like the sugar cookies) won’t require nearly as much as the drier cookies.

Once the cookie butter is blended, allow it to cool in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Remove from fridge and stir very small amounts of water (start with 1/8 teaspoon) into the mixture. Continue blending and stirring until you reach a smooth, butter-like consistency, adding butter as necessary. Once desired consistency is reached, cover butter and transfer to the refrigerator. It will keep up to two weeks!

Great Tips for Your Holiday Leftovers

The holidays are officially over, but you’ve still got a fridge and pantry full of decadent food and treats. We’ve gathered up some great ideas to put all that food to good use.

Meats and Cheeses
Reinvent your leftover ham, turkey or roast and bits of cheese in a delicious frittata served for breakfast or brunch. Add in fresh veggies, eggs, even pasta or rice, and the flavors come together in a delicious new way.

Fruit
A fruit basket makes a great gift, but it can be overwhelming to eat it all before it goes bad. We recommend transforming it into a fresh fruit pizza or a pitcher of delicious winter sangria.

Cakes
If you’ve got cakes that are starting to get dry, transform them into delicious cake pops. The bite-sized treats are perfectly portioned for your New Year’s goals.

Cookies
If you’ve got an overload of cookies, place a scoop of ice cream between two of them and transform them into a fresh stock of ice cream sandwiches in your freezer.

Breads, Rolls and Crackers
Stale bread makes delicious homemade croutons. Stale rolls and crackers can be turned into bread crumbs in your food processor. Pulse them and then place the crumbs in a freezer-safe bag and store them in the freezer until needed.

Unopened Perishables
Most food banks and shelters get a lot of support during the holidays, but very little afterward. Box up your unopened perishables and deliver them to those in need. Better yet, invite your neighbors to do the same.

Do you have a favorite idea for holiday leftovers? Let us know!

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Our Top Ten Favorite Recipes of 2014

Mrs. Fields Secrets Top Ten 2014 Mrs. Fields Secrets Top Ten 2014 2

 

One of our favorite parts of social media is sharing a fresh new recipe with you each week, prepared in a real home kitchen just like yours. As 2014 draws to a close, we took a look back at our favorite recipes from the year, some of which have turned out to be your favorite recipes too. Thanks for re-pinning, sharing, and joining our community. You’re the best part of our job at Mrs. Fields, and we look forward to a sweet new 2015 with you!

So, without further ado, our favorites from 2014:

1. Banana Bread Bread Pudding
2. Breadstick Cones
3. Butterscotch Budino Pudding
4. Cinnamon Stuffed Scones
5. Drop Sugar Cookies
6. Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake
7. Rice Pudding
8. Almond Pizzelle Cookies
9. Chewy Maple Oatmeal Cookies
10. Watermelon Pie

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know!

6 Sweet Cookie Cocktails

Mrs. Fields Secrets Cookie Cocktails

 

We can’t think of a better way to toast the new year than with a delicious cookie cocktail—your favorite cookie flavors in grownup liquid form. Explore these six delicious, decadent cocktails and raise a glass to having your cookie and your cocktail too. (Follow links to original recipes.) Cheers!

3/4 oz Partida Blanco Tequila
1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
3/4 oz Godiva Liqueur
1-1/2 oz cream
chocolate syrup and candy canes for garnish
Rim martini glass with chocolate syrup and crushed candy canes. Shake ingredients in a shaker with ice and strain into martini glass.
 

1 oz Coconut Milk
1-1/2 oz Coconut Rum
1/4 oz Licor 43
1/2 oz Partida Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz Frangelico
Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a glass filled with ice and garnish with toasted coconut shavings on top.

 

Cinnamon Sugar (I use 3 parts sugar to one part cinnamon)
Honey
3 oz. half and half
1 oz. RumChata
1 oz. Vanilla Vodka (such as Absolut Vanilla)
½ tsp powdered sugar
Dash Cinnamon
Dip the rim of each martini glass into honey and then the cinnamon sugar. In a cocktail shaker, pour half and half, RumChata, Vanilla vodka, powdered sugar and cinnamon over ice. Shake until chilled and mixed well. Divide evenly among cinnamon sugar rimmed martini glasses and enjoy!
 

4. Gingerbread Cookie Cocktail
2 oz spiced rum
a pinch each of ground nutmeg and cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon organic unsulphured blackstrap Molasses
1 tablespoon maple syrup, honey or other liquid sweetener
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (optional)
Ginger beer
Ice
Cinnamon sugar (for the rim)
Add the rum, spices, molasses, maple syrup and freshly grated ginger to a shaker with 2 ice cubes. Shake it really really well. For the sugared rim, combine the ingredients in a small plate. Dip the rim of a glass in water, then in the spiced sugar mixture. Give the shaker another shake and strain into the sugar rimmed cup, add two cubes of ice and top with ginger beer. Give a quick stir and enjoy.

 

5. Sugar Cookie Martini
1 oz vanilla vodka
1 oz amaretto
2 oz Frosted Sugar Cookie or Vanilla International Delight Coffee Creamer

If desired, coat the rim of your glass with light corn syrup and then dip the rim in sugar.
Place ice in a martini shaker, along with all ingredients. Shake and strain into prepared glass. Serve immediately.
 
6. Liquid Oreo Cocktail
Ice cubes
1 1/2 oz vodka (3 tablespoons)
1 1/2 oz Kahlua (3 tablespoons)
1 1/2 oz white creme de cacao (3 tablespoons)
1 1/2 ounces Baileys Irish Cream (3 tablespoons)
Oreo cookies, for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Add the vodka, Kahlua, creme de cacao and Baileys and shake well. Strain into 2 martini glasses. Slip an Oreo onto the side of each glass.

Recipe: Drop Sugar Cookies

Mrs. Fields Secrets Sugar Cookies

These soft and sweet sugar cookies are perfectly crave-able and do not require rolling pins, cookie cutters, or any ounce of perfectionism. Gather the family and friends in the kitchen, whip up a batch and enjoy them on a cozy Christmas Eve. Add food coloring to the frosting, if you will, or leave them snowy white. In the spirit of the holidays, we substituted the milk in the frosting for egg nog and it was a good call. Merry Christmas and happy holidays from all of us at Mrs. Fields.

Drop Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup vegetable oil
1¼ cup sugar (plus another ¼ cup reserved)
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 eggs
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cream of tarter
1 teaspsoon salt
5½ cups flour

for the frosting:
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup sour cream
5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup milk (or egg nog)
food coloring (optional)
sprinkles (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cream of tarter, and salt, then set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, vegetable oil, sugar, powdered sugar, and water. Add in eggs, one at a time. Slowly add in flour mixture until combined. Roll the dough into golf sized balls and place onto a prepared cookie sheet. Dip the bottom of a flat glass into the reserved ¼ cup sugar and press onto the cookie ball to flatten the cookie to about 1/3 inch thickness. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the bottom is barely brown. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
While the cookies are cooling, prepare the frosting by creaming together butter, sour cream, and salt. Add the powdered sugar, then drizzle in the milk to the desired consistency. Spread or pipe frosting over cooled cookies and scatter with sprinkles.

6 Christmas Morning Casseroles

Mrs. Fields Secrets Breakfast Casseroles

After working up an appetite from an unwrapping frenzy, you’ll need some sustenance on Christmas morning. We’ve gathered six mouth-watering make-ahead casseroles that will feel like a gift themselves: three savory recipes and three sweet for a decadent, delicious meal. Prepare your favorite the night before, and pop it in the oven Christmas morning. Breakfast practically takes care of itself!

1. California Breakfast Casserole
2. Eggs Benedict Casserole
3. Breakfast Enchiladas
4. Baked Oatmeal Casserole
5. Blushing Blueberry Croissant Casserole
6. Cinnamon Roll French Toast

Follow the links to the recipes.

5 Can’t-Go-Wrong Hostess Gifts

If you’re staying with friends or family for the holidays, or simply headed to a holiday party, we’ve got a list of home-run hostess gift ideas to express your gratitude and keep those invitations coming for years to come. A hostess gift doesn’t have to be lavish or complicated, but it should be thoughtful. Here are five gifts that every host will appreciate.

1. Take out containers for doggy bags. Stock up on a range of to-go containers from a restaurant supply store and gift them to your host. When the party is over, she can send guests home with easy, attractive doggy bags without raiding her own supply of dishes.

 

2. A fresh, new apron. Immediately useful and appreciated, an apron is an ideal hostess gift. And if you offer to put it on and help in the kitchen, even better!

3. Fresh flowers. You can never go wrong with a beautiful, neutral bouquet. (Be sure to provide a vase so that your host doesn’t have to figure out or arrange the display.)

 

4. Coasters. Easy and thoughtful, coasters are a great hostess gift because they can be put to use right away to protect the host’s furniture. Cork coasters are safe and absorbent and affordable. Add a personalized touch with some simple paint.

5. Relaxation. Nobody needs moments of relaxation like a host after the party. Whether it’s a spa certificate (if you’re staying a week in somebody’s house), a jar of bath salts, or a lavender-scented candle, your host will appreciate a few moments zen when the party is over.

Recipe: Almond Pizzelle Cookies

Mrs. Fields Secrets Almond Pizzelle Cokies
Today’s classic cookie recipe hearkens back generations and overseas. The Pizzelle cookie is an Italian favorite, a thin, wafer-like cookie pressed into a beautiful hot iron to create a delicate look and taste. They are absolutely perfect with a bowl of ice cream (or gelato), topping a mug of cocoa or coffee, or all on their own with a dusting of powdered sugar. The traditional Italian recipe calls for anise extract, which is a black licorice flavor, but you can substitute vanilla or (our favorite) almond extract.

Almond Pizzelle Cookies

3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon almond extract (or anise or vanilla)
1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Directions
In a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until thick and creamy. Slowly pour in the melted butter and almond extract. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together and stir into the batter, blending until smooth. Preheat a Pizzelle iron, and spray with nonstick spray before placing a heaping tablespoon of batter onto each form and pressing closed. Wait approximately two minutes, or until steam from the iron ceases. When cookies are golden brown, remove from the iron and place on a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining batter.

HINT: You’ll need a Pizzelle iron to make them, which can be found in most kitchen stores or online.

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