10 Cupcake Toppers That Wow

The only thing more fun than cupcakes are creative cupcake toppers. The right topper turns your dessert into part of the decoration. We’ve searched for our ten favorite ideas to take your toppers over the top.

10. Washi Tape Flags. This idea couldn’t be simpler or easier to execute, but packs a big wow factor. Choose a washi tape you like (there are literally zillions of colors and patterns available at your craft store) and wrap it around a toothpick, then trim it into a flag shape. Easy peasy.

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9. The Pineapple Flower. Believe it or not, this delicate yellow flower is actually a thin slice of fresh pineapple, dried and shaped to look like an exotic blossom.

8. Caramel Spirals. These delicate spirals look like spun gold, but are actually spun caramelized sugar (even better!) and look amazing on top of cupcakes. A few simple ingredients, a little bit of technique, and you’ve got an unforgettable topper.

7. Vintage Book Page Cutouts. The yellowed pages of text can be cut out into any shape for a pretty, interesting display. Make your own, or buy them in bulk.

6. Chocolate Filigree. It’s like a delicate little doodle that looks like lace on top of a cupcake. These are easy to make in large quantities. (Use the same technique to write out words in cursive!)

5. Tiny Edible Books. Fruit leather wrapped around white chocolate makes the happiest little books to top your cupcakes. Make a whole library.

4. Gelatin Bubbles. A great big bubble on top of a cupcake seems an impossibility until you check out this technique. Imagine all the fun colors you could produce.

3. Babyface Toppers. A little bit of scissor-and-glue work and you’ve got highly personalized, highly adorable toppers that are ready to party.

2. Pom Pom Toppers. Cupcakes are for celebration, and so are pom poms. Bright and fun, they will make you want to “rah, rah, rah!”

1. Fondant Gilded Feathers. These feathers are so beautiful, it’s hard to believe they’re edible! This topper takes a bit of time, but the result is beyond extraordinary.

Valentine’s Party Ideas for Couples

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In the final installment of our Valentine series with our friends at Little Peanut Magazine and photographer Becky Kimball, we’re sharing some spectacularly fun ideas for a couples party. Invite a handful of your favorite couples and host a party that’s playfully romantic. Of course, our Big Red Heart decoration is the perfect backdrop for such a party, along with thoughtful details like these.

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Table Details: Simple red and white details set a perfect scene, with napkins folded into a heart shape with a slip of hand-written paper slipped inside like an arrow. A bouquet of red and pink flowers is all you need for a stunning centerpiece.

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Pair of Hearts Game: This scatter of hearts on the wall makes a great decoration, but a fun party game too! Create a memory-type matching game by writing the name of each half of a famous duo on the back of each heart, then affix the hearts to the wall with masking tape in whatever pattern you like. Party guests can take turns choosing two hearts at a time to find the right match! The winning couple wins a prize, like our classic Red Heart Tin.

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Conversation Hearts Game: Supply each couple with a bag of conversation hearts and give them three minutes to arrange them into the best conversation they can form, be it zany or sexy or funny. Next, have each couple read their conversation out loud. The best conversation wins a prize like the Conversations Heart Box.

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Treats as Decor: Stacks of delicious cookies on various cake and cupcake plates make a fun decoration and an easy way to serve treats. A lollipop stick with a red heart on top adds a fun wink.

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Drink: Every party needs a signature cocktail and our Cran-Raspberry Spritzer is perfect for Valentine’s Day.

- 16oz cranberry-raspberry juice
– 20 ounces lemon-lime soda
– 1 lemon, quartered
– ice cubes
– fresh raspberries
– raspberry vodka
Directions
Fill four glasses with ice. Divide the cranberry-raspberry juice among the glasses. Add 1 oz. of raspberry vodka to each glass. Divide the lemon-lime soda among the glasses, topping off each cup. Squeeze a hint of fresh lemon juice over each, then garnish with a few fresh raspberries. Stir and serve immediately.

Do you have great ideas for couples’ Valentine parties? Share them with us!

{All images by Becky Kimball}

Valentine’s Day Party Ideas for Kids

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As promised, today we’re teaming up with our friends at Little Peanut Magazine and photographer Becky Kimball to share some fun (and simple) party ideas for kids for Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re volunteering in a classroom, or hosting at your home, these ideas are worth falling in love with.

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Big Heart Balloons: Invite guests with a big heart helium balloon either written with the information, or tied to the string. (For guests who live too far away, mail them a deflated balloon that shows the info when inflated.) Most party stores carry heart-shaped balloons, or you can order them online.

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Pair of Hearts Game: This scatter of hearts on the wall makes a great decoration, but a fun party game too! Create a memory-type matching game by writing the name of each half of a famous duo on the back of each heart, then affix the hearts to the wall with masking tape in whatever pattern you like. Party guests can take turns choosing two hearts at a time to find the right match!

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Lucky in Love Game: A spin on “Hot Potato,” for this game you’ll need two identical containers (we recommend our Dynamite Sticks). One container is filled with candy, while the other is filled with dry beans. (Make sure they are of equal weight to keep the mystery.) Have guests stand in a circle and pass the containers as quickly as they can while music is being played. They can either pass them in a circle or toss them randomly. Once the music stops, the two people holding the containers open them up to find out who is lucky in love and gets a piece of candy, or unlucky in love and gets a bean.

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Menu: When serving refreshments for children, create a fun multi-level buffet of Nibblers® bite-sized cookies, Brownie Bites, and chocolate candies on tiered cake and cupcake stands. (We recommend the assortment in our All Heart Box.) The smaller portion is perfect for kids and allows them to sample a variety without a lot of waste. Pre-poured glasses of milk are the ideal party drink for this spread. Scatter cut-out hearts for extra decoration.

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Decoration: You don’t need too many decorations to set the stage for a great party. Check out the instructions for our Big Red Heart. It’s stunning to look at, but so simple to create!

Do you have great ideas for kids’ Valentine parties? Share them with us!

{All images by Becky Kimball}

How To: Make a Big Red Heart

Mrs. Fields Catalog

If you receive our catalog, you may have already noticed the big red heart featured in our photo shoot. For such a show-stopping piece, we were surprised to learn how easy it is to make! In a collaboration with Megan Bailey of Little Peanut Magazine and photographer Becky Kimball, we’re bringing you several great ideas and how to’s over the coming weeks to create unforgettable Valentine’s Day details and fun parties.

So let’s start with that big red heart, the perfect statement piece for a Valentine party. Behind a table, it sets the stage with eye-catching charm, and it’s made from only a few simple items. Here’s what you’ll need:

The Big Red Heart
designed by Megan Bailey

2×2 wood poles
chicken wire
red paper napkins

Directions
Start with the wood poles, which you can find at any home improvement store, and cut them to size. (Don’t be afraid to go big!) Nail them together to create a frame. Wrap the chicken wire across the frame and secure it in place with a staple gun.

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Finally, open up each napkin and shape it into a V-shaped flare (think badminton shuttlecock), and tuck the point into the chicken wire to secure it. Add as many napkins as necessary to create a full heart shape.

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Start with an outline, then work to fill it all in.

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And voila! Easy as that, and now you have the perfect frame base for any holiday- just change the shape and color. Think white for weddings, big block letters for a birthday—the sky is the limit!

{All images by Becky Kimball}

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!

Thanksgiving Activities for Kids

Mrs. Fields Secrets Thanksgiving Activities for Kids

Looking for fun ways to keep the kids entertained on Thanksgiving? We’ve gathered a cornucopia of simple activities they’ll love, from decorations to snacks to their own serving of butter! Seriously, the kids’ table never seemed so cool. (Follow the links for instructions.)

1. Fan Folded Leaves
2. Grateful Garland
3. Homemade Butter
4. Chocolate Peanut Butter Acorns
5. Turkey Glove Puppet
6. Paper Pumpkins
7. Turkey Apples
8. Paper Pilgrims Hats

Recipe: Homemade Egg Nog

Mrs. Fields Secrets Homemade Egg Nog
The holidays are upon us, which means egg nog is filling the shelves at your local grocery store. This creamy treat is a seasonal favorite, but have you ever tried making your own? Once you try it, you may never go back to the mass-produced options at the grocery store because this stuff is liquid gold! Though not low calorie, it has a whipped lightness that makes it a refreshing treat. Make a batch and serve it at your holiday party with a tray of Mrs. Fields cookies. (We love it with our cinnamon sugar Nibblers bite-sized cookies, but feel free to choose your own favorite.) And one more thing–use fresh nutmeg for best results.

Homemade Egg Nog

4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces bourbon
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
4 egg whites

Directions
In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks until they become light and lemony in color. Add the 1/3 cup of sugar and beat until sugar is completely dissolved, then add the milk, cream, and bourbon and nutmeg. Stir well. In a separate mixing bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until soft peaks begin to form. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar as it is mixing, and whip until peaks are stiff and hold their shape. Gently fold the egg whites into the milk mixture until the two are combined and texture is smooth and creamy. Chill before serving.

HINT: Leave the bourbon out for a non-alcoholic version.

HINT: The recipe contains raw eggs, so be sure to warn anyone with health concerns before serving.

Recipe Roundup: Our Favorites for Your Thanksgiving

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If you are busy putting together your Thanksgiving menu and need some inspiration, we’ve journeyed deep into our archives to gather our absolute favorite recipes to share to save you the trouble. These are the best of our best, crowd-pleasing favorites that you’ll love to share with your family and friends this Thanksgiving.

SIDE DISHES

Cranberry Jalapeño Dip – An easy, make-ahead appetizer that will wow your crowd. Sweet and spicy and absolutely beautiful too.
Flavored Butters – Sweet or savory, these butters can be made in advance and are the perfect pairing for warm rolls.
Glazed Carrots with Feta – A delicious spin on your regular cooked carrots. Not mushy and definitely not boring!
Mashed Cauliflower – A great alternative to mashed potatoes if you’re looking for an alternative to mashed potatoes.
Roasted Parsnip Stuffing – This may be the recipe to finally decide the stuffing debate–delicious!
Spicy Cranberry Chutney – Say goodbye to the jiggly can-shaped cranberry sauce. This sauce adds a perfect zing to your turkey.

PIES

Perfect Pie Crust – The ideal canvas for all your favorite fillings. Flaky, buttery and delicious every time.
Ice Cream Pies
 – A favorite of kids and adults alike, decadent ice cream pies are another make-ahead favorite.
Key Lime Pie – The perfect balance of tart and sweet and creamy.
Brown Bag Apple Pie – The pie of all apple pies, our absolute FAVORITE no-fail, anybody-can-make-this-pie pie.

OTHER DESSERTS

Banana Pudding – Fluffy, creamy, not-too-heavy, this dessert is delicious and should be made 24 hours in advance.
Basic Cheesecake – A standard recipe to top with your favorite fruit or sauce.
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Maple Cream Sauce – Pumpkin pie meets cheesecakes meets adoring crowds.
Bread Pudding – A comfort food classic. Makes a great breakfast for overnight guests, too.
Peach Tart – If fruit pies are too sweet for you, this tart is like a gift.

Do you have a favorite Mrs. Fields recipe? Let us know!

Recipe: Homemade Bread Bowls

Mrs. Fields Secrets Homemade Bread Bowls
Soup season is finally here and nothing pairs better with a steamy bowl of broth or stew or chili than a crusty, chewy bread bowl. This fun serving idea is a classic, and easier than you think to pull off! We’ve taken our favorite artisan bread recipe and transformed it into these personal-size loafs that serve as both serving dish and side dish. Try it yourself with your next favorite pot of comfort food. (Note: this recipe requires a dutch oven. If you don’t have one already, it’s time to invest. You’ll love it!)

Homemade Bread Bowls

3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups very warm water

Directions
In a large mixing bowl, stir flour, yeast, and salt together. Add the warm water and using a large spoon, stir until dough is wet and shaggy in texture. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 12-18 hours. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put a dutch oven in the preheated oven and allow to heat for 30 minutes. While dutch oven is heating, scoop dough onto a floured surface and divide into three or four equal pieces, depending on the size you prefer your bread bowl. (Think four for cup-size servings and three for bowl-size.) With floured hands, shape each piece of dough into a ball, tucking any rough edges underneath.  Place plastic wrap on top and allow to sit until dutch oven is ready. Remove preheated dutch oven and, with floured hands, arrange the dough balls inside, barely touching. (Careful not to burn yourself!) Place the lid on top and put it back in the oven to bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack. Before serving, use a serrated knife to cut a cone shape into the bread. Remove the top and fill the bowl with your favorite soup and serve.

Family Costume Ideas

Dressing up for Halloween this year? Why not make it a family affair? We’ve gathered up the best of the best for family costume fun, so grab your loved ones and dress up for some unforgettable ensembles.

SHARK ATTACK: For the family who lives every week like it’s Shark Week.

STICK FIGURE FAMILY: Your favorite group from the rear window of the minivan brought to life!

SUNDAY DINNER: This super simple costume is a lot of bang for the buck.

BLT: Another food theme, this adorable family is cute enough to eat!

GILLIGAN’S ISLAND: You can’t go wrong with a classic like Gilligan’s Island, especially if you’ve been invited to a three-hour Halloween party.

101 DALMATIONS: You’ll have everyone seeing spots with this adorable crew in costumes that are surprisingly simple to pull off!

COPS & ROBBERS: The money is in the bag and it’s anybody’s guess who wins in this cops and robbers battle. (Our bet is on the cops!)

Do you have a favorite family costume idea? Share it with us on our Facebook Page!

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