Nanaimo Bars

  Nanaimo Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Nanaimo Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

In prep for our next gift book, See the World…, we take you to Canada. This delicious Canadian treat is named after Nanaimo, British Columbia. It comprises of three delicious layers, all of which require no baking. There’s a bit of a wait between making layers, but it’s well worth it!Nanaimo Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Here are the ingredients for the first, bottom layer (photographed above):

-1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

-1/4 cup granulated white sugar

-1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

-1 large egg, lightly beaten

-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

-2 cups graham cracker, crushed

-1 cup sweetened or unsweetened coconut (shredded or flaked)

-1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped

To make the bottom layer you will need to first melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Once the butter has melted completely, remove from heat and add the sugar and cocoa powder. Stir. Now whisk the beaten egg in. Bring the saucepan back to low heat for another 1-2 minutes. Once the mixture has become thick, remove from heat and add the vanilla extra, crushed graham cracker, coconut, and walnuts. Stir until all the ingredients have mixed together. In a 9x9in prepared pan, spread the mixture evenly onto the bottom. Refrigerate for about an hour or until the mixture has become firm.

Nanaimo Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Ingredients to make the second, middle layer (photographed above):

-1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

-2 – 3 tablespoons milk or cream

-2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder or vanilla pudding powder

-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

-2 cups powdered sugar

To make the second layer you will need to first beat the butter in an electric mixer (or hand mixer). Once the butter has become smooth and creamy you can go ahead and add the rest of the ingredients. Beat all of the ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Evenly add this mixture on top of the first layer. (Tip: If the mixture is too thick, add some milk). Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until the second layer has become firm.

Nanaimo Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Ingredients to make the third, top layer (photographed above):

-1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

-1 tablespoon unsalted butter

To make the final layer you will need to put the chocolate chips and butter into a heat-safe bowl. Place this heat-safe bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.  Once it has completely melted, spread the final layer evenly on top.

Nanaimo Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Nanaimo Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

I’ve heard there are a bunch of different variations of the Nanaimo bar and after trying this one and falling in love with it I’m eager to try the others. I hope you enjoy this Canadian treat!

DIY ADVENTUROUS GIFT TAGS

DIY ADVENTUROUS GIFT TAGS | See the World... | www.gigglingcaravan.comWe have this book on California that has pages torn and falling out. But since it is filled with all these great images of California, we decided that instead of tossing it out we should keep it for some “reuse DIY” projects. Here is one of those “reuse DIY” projects: a super easy way to create your own gift tags!

DIY ADVENTUROUS GIFT TAGS | See the World... | www.gigglingcaravan.com

DIY ADVENTUROUS GIFT TAGS | See the World... | www.gigglingcaravan.com

DIY ADVENTUROUS GIFT TAGS | See the World... | www.gigglingcaravan.com

You can either cut out your own tag using thick construction paper like we did here or you can buy pre-made tags from a craft store. Cut out an image and glue to it one side of your tag. Let the glue dry completely. Trim down the image to fit the tag. Using a hole puncher, punch a hole on the top side of the tag. Use some decorative string to attach the tag to the gift. Leave a sweet note or an inspirational travel quote on the opposite, plain side of the gift tag.

DIY ADVENTUROUS GIFT TAGS | See the World... | www.gigglingcaravan.com

DIY ADVENTUROUS GIFT TAGS | See the World... | www.gigglingcaravan.com

If you’re looking for more gift wrapping ideas, make sure to check out our DIY Map Decorative Tape post!

Adventure Awaits! Free Printable

Adventure Awaits! Free Printable from GigglingCaravan.com

You can download these free  Adventure Awaits with purple text here  and with orange text here. You can also purchase a larger size without a watermark of each printable at our shop. Just like our books, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of our prints benefit children charities.

 

Adventure Awaits! Free Printable from GigglingCaravan.com

 

We always LOVE seeing the creative ways you use our printables, so make sure to tag #gigglingcaravan on social media. Also, make sure to keep checking back because there will be plenty of free printables all month long!

I Know a Boy... www.gigglingcaravan.comI Know a Girl... www.gigglingcaravan.com

This printable is inspired by our gift books, I Know a Boy… and I Know a Girl….

Pumpkin Trail Mix Bars

Pumpkin Trail Mix Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.comPumpkin Trail Mix Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

These pumpkin trail mix bars are the snack to bring along for a fall hike or to just snack on in between sips of pumpkin spiced latte.

Ingredients:

-4 cups oats

-½ cup vegetable oil

-½ cup honey

-½ cup pumpkin puree

-2 teaspoons cinnamon

-½ teaspoons salt

-1 1/3 cups sliced or slivered almonds

-½ cup pepitas

-11 ounces butterscotch chips

Steps:

1. In a large bowl, stir the oats and vegetable oil together.

2. Add the honey, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, salt, and stir together. (If you want them to be really sweet add ½ cup brown sugar)

3.  Add almonds and pepitas, stir.

4. Lastly, stir in the butterscotch chips

Pumpkin Trail Mix Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

5. Using your spatula, press the mixture down and evenly across a parchment lined cookie sheet.

6. Bake in oven at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.

7. Take out of oven, using your spatula, carefully press down mixture again and put in the oven for an additional 20 minutes. 

8. Let cool before cutting. When storing it is helpful to put parchment paper between each layer so the bars don’t stick together.

Pumpkin Trail Mix Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Pumpkin Trail Mix Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Pumpkin Trail Mix Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Enjoy your pumpkin trail mix bars!

Bake the World a Better Place | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Check out our print Bake the World a Better Place! Just like our books, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of our prints benefit children charities. 

You Can Catch Each and Every One of Your Many Dreams

You Can Catch Each and Every One of Your Many Dreams | Free Printable! www.gigglingcaravan.com

You can download our free  You Can Catch Each and Every One of Your Many Dreams here. You can also purchase a larger size of each printable at our shop. Just like our books, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of our prints benefit children charities.

We always LOVE seeing the creative ways you use our printables, so make sure to tag #gigglingcaravan on social media. Also, make sure to keep checking back because there will be plenty of free printables all month long!

I Know a Boy... www.gigglingcaravan.comI Know a Girl... www.gigglingcaravan.com

This printable is inspired by our gift books, I Know a Boy… and I Know a Girl….

Mini Memory Keepsakes

Mini Memory Keepsakes | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Since our next inspirational children’s book, See the World…, is out in only two months, we thought we’d make some  fun travel diys.

Sometimes the souvenirs you bring back with you are a lot more personal than the ones you could buy from the tourist shops- Like a ticket to a museum, a seashell you picked up on a walk along a beach, or some euros for when you go back (Because you’re determined to go back). All of these may be small in size but are not small when it comes to their personal importance. Here’s a fun way to display where you’ve been as well as organize those little memories you brought back with you so you can easily find them and reminisce.

Here’s what you need: A tin-box, paint, and removable sticker letters.

Mini Memory Keepsakes | www.gigglingcaravan.com
Mini Memory Keepsakes | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Take your letter stickers and spell out the state, city or country you want to make a keepsake for. Paint over tin-box, including the letters you have placed down. Once you have added a few layers of paint, let it dry completely. Carefully remove the letters. I found it helpful to have a an exacto knife by my side. That way if the paint wanted to stay attached to the letters I made  small cuts to free the two from each other.

Mini Memory Keepsakes | www.gigglingcaravan.com

What little souvenirs have you brought back from your travels?

Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites

Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites | www.gigglingcaravan.comHere at the studio, we are always looking for ways to get a healthy energy boost so that we can keep making books and prints for you all. These cranberry energy bites sure did the trick! Plus, a little travel themed for our next kiddie book: See the World… out November 2014!Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Ingredients:

- 8oz chopped dates

-1/2 cup honey

-1 tbsp. ground flax seed

-pinch of salt

-1 1/2 cup of (dry) old fashioned oats

-1 cup shelled pistachio nuts

-1 cup dried cranberries

-1/3 cup white chocolate chips

Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Steps:

1. In a food processor, combine the dates, honey, flax seed, and salt.

2. In a large bowl, evenly combine the mixture, oats, pistachios, dried cranberries, and white chocolate chips.

3. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, shape the cooled mixture into your perfect sized energy bite (these are about an inch in diameter).

Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites| www.gigglingcaravan.com Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites | www.gigglingcaravan.comEnjoy!

Simple Whoopie Pie

Simple Whoopie Pie | Bake the World a Better Place www.gigglingcaravan.com

We’re baking treats and making dishes from around the world in excitement of our next book, See the World… (out November 2014).

There’s a lot of “we made it first” when it comes to the Whoopie Pie; Pennsylvania, Maine, and New Hampshire all say they are this treat’s birthplace. However, Maine decided to one up all the other states by making it their official state treat in 2011. Apparently, people take the whoopie pie very seriously. After you have a bite, you’ll understand why. Here’s is a really quick way to make whoopie pies using cake mix. Cake ingredients: 2 boxes of devil food’s cake mix, 4 eggs, and 1 ¼ cup shortening.

Simple Whoopie Pie | Bake the World a Better Place www.gigglingcaravan.com

Prepare by lining a baking tray with parchment paper and preheating the oven to 375 degrees. Combine all of the cake ingredients and mix. The batter will be thick. Using a 1in ice-cream scooper, scoop the batter and place each about 2 inches apart. (A round tablespoon works perfect too. Just give it a few taps and the batter comes out in the perfect shape.) With a little water on your fingertips, smooth the surface out.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.Simple Whoopie Pie | Bake the World a Better Place www.gigglingcaravan.com

Simple Whoopie Pie | Bake the World a Better Place www.gigglingcaravan.com

Frosting ingredients: 4 cups of powdered sugar, 8 ounces of cream cheese, ½  cup butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Mix all the ingredients and place frosting into a piping bag. Frost the bottom side of one cookie and place a second cookie on top like a sandwich.Simple Whoopie Pie | Bake the World a Better Place www.gigglingcaravan.com

This recipe makes about 24 whoopie pies. Too many whoopies? Just cut the recipe in half. If you’d like to get real professional you can make it from scratch and even purchase a whoopie pie tray! I hope you enjoy Maine’s official state treat!

Bake the World a Better Place www.gigglingcaravan.comLove baking? Check out our print Bake the World a Better Place! Just like our books, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of our prints benefit children charities.