Floral Ice Cubes

Floral Ice Cubes
Here’s a simple, gorgeous, springy detail to add to your next party—edible flowers incapsulated in ice cubes. Its a beautiful burst of color and oh-so-easy to execute. Here’s a quick how to:

  • Fill ice trays a quarter full with regular distilled water that has been boiled and cooled.
  • Add flowers into each space, face-down, then cover with water until half full, then freeze.
  • Fill to the top and freeze again.

Add these ice cubes to punch bowls, carafes, ice buckets, glass tumblers and anything else that needs a spot of spring.

HINT: The distilled water is what will give you clear, beautiful ice. Regular tap water will result in air bubbles and a cloudy appearance.

For a list of edible flowers, check here.

Recipe: White Beer Cookies

Mrs. Fields Secrets White Beer Cookies

It’s time for our annual baking with beer blog post. That’s right, while some like to sip a tall one, we like to add it to interesting recipes like White Beer Cookies. These sweet and slightly spicy cookies have a smooth yeasty flavor from the beer and a bright, tart zing from the orange zest. It’s the perfect treat for St. Patty’s Day (or any day, for that matter).

White Beer Cookies
adapted from Sean LaFond

24 oz. Belgian-style white beer
5 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 orange, zested
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

for icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon milk
orange zest

Directions
In a saucepan over medium heat, stir beer and honey together and reduce until there is about 1/3 cup of liquid. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together, then add the vanilla, orange zest, coriander, nutmeg and beer reduction and mix until well combined. Add the flour and baking soda and mix until dough is fluffy and even. Spoon rounded tablespoons of dough onto prepared cookie sheets and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until cookies begin to brown around the edges. Remove to a cooling rack and prepare icing by whisking sugar, juice, milk and zest together. Drizzle icing over still-warm cookies and allow to cool before serving.

Send Some Sunshine

Here Comes the Sun Tote

Sick of winter? We are too. But that doesn’t mean we can’t warm things up by sending some sunshine. The Sunshine Collection is our favorite way to spread cheer. It’s perfect for get well gifts, cheer up gifts, or just because winter won’t seem to leave gifts.

Sunny Day Satchel

Know who needs the Sunny Day Satchel? Everyone, but especially your friend who missed her flight and lost her luggage and broke three nails. She really needs it.

Bright Side Basket

Our Bright Side Basket was created with your neighbor in mind, the one who was bitten by a raccoon while trying to rescue a wounded pigeon. The details are fuzzy, but on the bright side, the pigeon is fine now.

Hello Sunshine Tin

Your college son who just got dumped by his first serious girlfriend would really appreciate a fresh delivery of our Hello Sunshine Tin. It’s the second best thing after a mom’s hug.

Sunny Side Cookie Cake

What’s the best way to convey to say to someone that you’re thinking of them? How about a Sunny Side Cookie Cake that says, “Thinking of you”? That should make it clear.

And you know what they say about sunshine, right? The more you spread it, the warmer the world feels.

Thanks a Million

Give Thanks Tin

Expressing thanks is something we probably all value, but don’t always know how to implement. With over 35 years in the gifting business, we have some ideas on the subject. Here’s a primer on becoming a better thank-er. (No need to thank us for it!)

  • Gratitude is a renewable resource. The more you give thanks to people around you, the more grateful you feel, and in turn, the more people want to do kind and helpful things. Challenge yourself to thank at least three people in the next hour and see what happens.
  • Notice the little things. Going hand-in-hand with the previous challenge, begin noticing the small ways in which the people around you excel. You’ll be amazed at what you see.
  • Make it personal and sincere. An under-the-breath “thanks” doesn’t count for much, so make it a point to be both personal and sincere. In person, make eye contact and thank the person specifically for what you appreciate. Otherwise, pick up the phone and call or send a thoughtful text or email.
  • Think about the thankless jobs. From the person who cleans the office after hours to the school bus driver, there are many people who get overlooked for a job well done. It’s not intentional, of course, but out of sight often means out of mind. Take some time to thank one of them.
  • Report to a supervisor. Were you wowed by someone in a professional setting? In addition to expressing your thanks, contact their manager to let them know.
  • Keep thank you notes on hand. Jimmy Fallon takes time every week to jot down some thank you notes and drop them in the mail, and so should you. Having the cards on hand means you can write that note as soon as you think of it.
  • Reward the extra mile. When someone has gone above and beyond on your behalf, it’s always a good idea to say thanks with a gift. Of course, our suggestion is always a surprise delivery of freshly baked cookies and brownies with an enclosed gift message. It’s a thank you gift idea that feels generous without being awkwardly over-the-top.
  • It’s never too late. There is no expiration date on thank you’s, so if you’re plagued with regret for failing to acknowledge something in the past, do something about it today.

And just in case you’re looking for some more gift suggestions, here are some of our favorites:

Appreciation Box

Sweet Spot Gift Box

Thanks All Around Box

Big Cookie Cake

If you liked this advice, pass it on! And if you have your own tips for expressing thanks, share them in the comments.

Thank you.

Recipe: Copycat Three Musketeers Candy Bar

Mrs. Fields Secrets Copycat Candy Bar

What’s better than a candy bar? A homemade candy bar, of course! This copycat Three Musketeers recipe is everything you love about the original, but better—soft, pillowy nougat in the center and a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate coating. And the best part? It only takes a few ingredients!

Copycat Three Musketeers Candy Bars

14 ounces marshmallow creme
32 ounces milk chocolate candy wafers
powdered sugar

Directions
Prepare an 8×8 baking dish by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying it with nonstick spray. Follow package directions to melt half of the milk chocolate wafers in the microwave or on a double boiler. While the chocolate is melting, transfer the marshmallow creme to a mixing bowl. Heat it for 20 seconds in the microwave to soften it before pouring the melted chocolate into it and stirring until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Transfer the dish to the freezer for roughly 2 hours, or until the nougat has thoroughly hardened.

Prepare a shallow dish with powdered sugar and set aside. Take two large pieces of parchment paper and transfer the frozen nougat onto one, removing the foil. Place a cooling rack over the second piece of parchment. Using a sharp knife, quickly cut the nougat into your preferred size of candy bars, then roll each bar in the powdered sugar, so that it has a fine dusting to keep it from getting sticky. (Brush off excess powdered sugar.) Once all nougat bars are prepared and resting on the parchment, melt the last half of chocolate wafers until thin. Coat the bottom side of each nougat bar with melted chocolate, then arrange them on the cooling rack, with about a half inch space between them. Next, pour the chocolate over the tops of the bars, using your fingers or a small spatula to make sure all the sizes are coated in chocolate and the excess can drip down onto the parchment. Allow the chocolate to cool and harden before serving. To keep firm, store in the fridge or freezer.

Pep Up Your St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day Frosted Basket

Are you feeling lucky? Because we’ve got some incredible St. Patrick’s Day ideas to add some fun to your holiday, whether you’re celebrating with friends or family, adults or kids. Check out these creative ways to make the day amazing.

Gold Party via Oh Happy Day

Throw a Gold Party. We’re over the moon (or rather, over the rainbow) for this incredible gold-themed party featured on Oh Happy Day. Simple, inexpensive and full of wow-factor for kids or adults alike.

Rainbow Rimmed Glasses via Oh My! Creative

Serve Rainbow-Rimmed Drinks. For cocktails or mocktails, this clever (and simple) touch from Oh My! Creative will impress every leprechaun you know.

St. Patrick’s Day Cream Puffs via Mrs. Fields Secrets

Serve Puffs. Filled with cream, your favorite chicken salad or even a meatball, these portable green puffs of pastry are perfect St. Patty’s Day fare.

Temporary Hair Color via SheKnows

Chalk Your Hair. Simple, temporary streaks of color are a fun way to show St. Patty’s Day spirit (and maybe prank your friends) using colored chalk and a hair dryer.

Cheese Soup with Beer Bread via Mrs. Fields Secrets

Bake with Beer. Incorporate beer into your cooking on St. Patrick’s Day for a fun twist that the whole family can enjoy. We love this recipe for Tangy Cheese Soup with Beer Bread, as well as Beer Beignets, Apple Ale Cake, Guiness Brownies and Tailgate Chili.

And, of course, don’t forget the cookies! The quickest, easiest way to create an instant party on St. Patrick’s Day is with a fresh delivery of Mrs. Fields! Browse all of our St. Patrick’s Day items for your gifting ideas you’ll love. (No luck of the Irish required.)

Gifting for Dummies

Mrs. Fields Gifts
Fact: not all thoughtful people are good gift-givers. Gifting seems to be a language that is natural and fluent for some, and totally foreign to others. If you find yourself in the latter group, never fear. We’ve got some solid ways to transform you into a gifting guru.

  • Plan Ahead. This tip almost more than any other will improve your gifting. After all, nothing influences a dummy gift choice like a time crunch. (We’re looking at you, people who buy random gifts at the gas station on the way to the party.) Most of us rely on smart phones these days, so let your phone give you some smart reminders about gifting. Set alerts that give you plenty of time to plan and make or buy a gift, and be sure to set the alert for a time in your week when it won’t be easily dismissed. (Mrs. Fields Tip: We designed our checkout for gifting pros and gifting dummies alike. You can buy your gift anytime, then select the exact date you want it delivered!)
  • Listen for Hints. As birthdays and anniversaries and other gifting occasions draw near, listen for hints and look for clues to give you gifting inspiration. Some people drop hints explicitly (“I could sure use a day at the spa!”) but most of the time it’s a matter of paying attention to the needs and wants of the people you care about. Sometimes the best gifts are ones that fill a need and sometimes they fill a want.
  • Put Yourself in Their Shoes. Think about your giftee and his or her life. Gifting dummies make the mistake of giving gifts that they themselves want, or gifts they want their giftee to want. You’ve got to get out of your own head and into somebody else’s shoes to be a better gift giver.
  • Pick up Gifts Along the Way. Gifting geniuses have a stash of ready-to-go gifts they’ve found throughout the year that they know will be just perfect for someone when the time comes. Keep your eyes peeled for those perfect somethings, buy them, and keep them in a safe place. Your future self will thank you.
  • Homemade is a Homerun. A handmade, homemade gift is always a hit because it shows time and dedication. Think about your skill set and what you might be able to create. (Mrs. Fields Tip: How about making a decadent dessert? We have lots of recipes and how to’s.)
  • Focus on Simple Pleasures. Let’s face it, some people are hard to shop for. Avoid gifts like clothing (that might not fit), books (they might not read), and items that the person might feel obligated to display around their house. Focus on simple pleasures, like food, drink, entertainment and relaxation, and you’re almost sure to give something appreciated. (Mrs. Fields Tip: There’s no more simple pleasure than freshly baked cookies and brownies delivered right to the door!)

Want to give your gifting skills a try? Don’t forget that Employee Appreciation Day is coming up on March 6th and right now, there’s a big sale going on at Mrs. Fields.com. (Use code: MADNESS at checkout.)

Recipe: Rice Krispies S’mores Loaf

Mrs. Fields Rice Krispie Smores

A fun twist on two favorite treats, rice krispies and s’mores, this easy dessert is a hit with kids and adults alike and perfect for things like that upcoming bake sale. Infuse graham cracker crumbs into the cereal and marshmallow mix, then roll melted chocolate and marshmallow creme in the middle for a decadent middle. No campfire required.

Rice Krispies S’mores Loaf

1 package mini marshmallows
1/4 cup butter
5 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme
6 milk chocolate candy bars

Directions
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet or jelly roll pan with a sheet of parchment paper sprayed generously with nonstick spray. In a large pot over low heat, melt marshmallows and butter together until smooth. Turn heat off and stir in the cereal and graham cracker crumbs until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet. Spray your hands with nonstick spray and press the cereal to spread evenly in the pan. Next, spread the marshmallow creme over the entire middle of the cereal mixture, leaving about an inch margin around all sides. Break the chocolate bars and spread them out evenly over the marshmallow mixture, then place the pan in the oven for 2-3 minutes, or until the chocolate is melted and spreadable. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the marshmallow, then begin rolling the sheet onto itself (start with one of the long sides), just as you would a cinnamon roll, pulling the parchment away as you roll. Use your hands to shape it into a loaf, seam-side down, then chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour before cutting and serving.

Mrs. Fields Rice Krispie Smores

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15 Brilliant Baking Hacks

Mrs. Fields Secrets Baking Hacks

Want to feel like a baking ninja? We’ve got fifteen genius hacks to give you some mad skills.

  1. Drop a piece of eggshell into the mixing bowl? Wet your finger and hold it just above, and the shell will practically  jump onto your finger.
  2. No time to make frosting to decorate a cake? Spread a piece of lace across the top and sprinkle a liberal amount of powdered sugar or cocoa powder on top. Remove the lace and you’ve got a gorgeous, lacy design!
  3. Want to speed up your rising time for doughs? Set your covered bowl on top of an electric heating pad or blanket, set on medium-low.
  4. Whip up a batch of whipped cream by shaking it in a mason jar with a lid. A vigorous shake for about three minutes does the trick!
  5. Most baking recipes call for room-temperature eggs. If you forgot to take the eggs out hours in advance, simply place them in a bowl of warm tap water for about 10 minutes.
  6. Ran out of brown sugar? Make your own by mixing granulated sugar with molasses.
  7. Tired of splatters from your hand mixer? Use a paper plate as a barrier. Simply poke the beaters through the plate and insert them into the mixer to create an effective, disposable shield.
  8. Keep your favorite go-to recipes handy by printing them out and posting them inside a kitchen cupboard door for easy reference.
  9. Before popping cakes into the oven, hold the pan a few inches over the counter top and drop the pan. This will pop any air bubbles for a more dense, moist cake.
  10. Use dental floss to cut smooth, even layers of cake. Wrap a long strand around, cross in the front and pull slowly for a clean cut every time.
  11. Substitute Jell-O for food coloring in frostings. You get color, flavor and structure from the gelatin!
  12. Keep a couple of marshmallows in your brown sugar to keep it from going hard.
  13. Dip cookie cutters into flour before the dough for a no-stick, clean cut over and over.
  14. Get your cupcakes uniform size by using a cookie dough scoop sprayed with nonstick spray.
  15. Create your own colored sprinkles with sugar and food coloring (and this easy tutorial).

Tricks for Making Boxed Cake Mixes Better

Everybody knows that there’s nothing quite like a made-from-scratch cake, but in a pinch, a boxed cake mix can place a very close second with some secret tips and tricks from the experts. Try them on your next cake and see if you can pass it off for the real thing!

  • Substitute melted butter for oil. This will give your cake the deep rich flavor that only butter can supply. In a saucepan on low heat, melt the butter until just liquified, then add it to your mix just like you would vegetable oil.
  • Add extra yolks. After you add the eggs the box recipe calls for, add one or two more yolks to give the cake even more moisture and richness.
  • Sprinkle sugar over the top before baking. The weight of the sugar will keep your cake from baking with a mound in the middle. A nice, even sprinkle right before it goes into the oven will keep it more level.
  • Add a teaspoon of coffee to chocolate cakes. A little bit of straight black coffee or espresso will bring the chocolate flavors to life. You won’t taste coffee, just rich chocolate.
  • Add hot water to chocolate cakes. Instead of using water right from the tap, use hot water to help “wake up” the cocoa in the mix.
  • Add pudding mix and sour cream. One small package of instant pudding mix (choose the flavor depending on your cake) plus one cup of sour cream creates a dense, moist delectable cake.
  • Add citrus zest. A bit of fresh zest from a lemon, orange, or lime gives a perfect, subtle zing to cakes, especially ones that have berries and chocolate.
  • Add vanilla. An extra teaspoon of vanilla is a great way to bring boxed cake flavors to life. (Keep in mind that white cake mixes may be slightly off white with vanilla added.)
  • Add meringue powder. A tablespoon of this powder will give flimsy cakes some strength while still remaining delicate. Perfect for layered cakes and angel food.

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