Shannanigans Blog

Everyday Shannanigans

Month: April 2012

Nobody Bakes a Cake as Tasty as a Tastykake

Ok, so I’m sure this sort of thing is frowned upon in the blog world but meh to that. I’m going to post the contents of a guest post that I did over a year ago at Domestic Adventure. Why would I do such a thing? Well, it’s a banging recipe and I want to not only have it readily available on my own blog, but I want to remind you to make it. It’s a little gem called a Peanut Butter Tandy Kake aka KandyKake (no one knows why it’s changed).

See, the Tastykake Baking Co. was (until recently, they were bought by a GA company) a Philadelphia company that makes the most delicious treats around.  If you grew up here, you grew up with Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets, Cherry Pies or Cream Filled Coffee Cakes in your lunchbox. And even as an adult, they’re popular snacks for any time of day.

They are famous around these parts because they’re simply darn good.  One of their most popular snacks is the Peanut Butter Kandy Kake.  A dense white cake, topped with peanut butter and covered in chocolate…it can do no wrong.  So when a former co-worker shared her recipe with me years ago for duplicating the famous snack, I was sold.  And now you can get a little taste of Philly…without all the greasy cheesesteak guilt.


  • 4 eggs,
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter
  • 1 bag milk chocolate chips
  • 1 small jar of creamy peanut butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter & flour a 11 x 13 dish.  In a small saucepan, bring milk and butter to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, hand-mix together the eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla, and salt until combined.
  3. Pour the milk & butter mix into the large bowl and stir until smooth.
  4. Pour cake mix into the floured dish and bake for 25 – 27 minutes.   Test it with a toothpick to make sure the cake is done.  If the toothpick comes out clean, immediately spread the peanut butter onto the cake.  Spread until smooth then place cake into the refrigerator until peanut butter is hard.
  5. Melt chocolate using a double boiler or by microwave and spread on top of hardened peanut butter.  Once smooth, place the cake back into the refrigerator until the chocolate is hard.
  6. Remove cake 30 to 40 minutes before serving to let topping thaw a bit.  If you try to cut it while it’s cold and hard, the chocolate will crack. Still delicious, just not as pretty.  So once it is thawed, cut into pieces. Or take it into the corner with a fork and go to town.

Always Crafty Workshop Recap!

Oh man, where do I start? The beginning? Ok, I’ll start there. A group of awesome ladies came to my house for the Always Crafty Workshop. Some I knew, some I met for the first time. All fantastic. Let me just say that I’ve got so much respect for you guys that come to these blog meet-ups, not knowing a soul. That takes some guts and I appreciate it a TON. I really do.

So anyway, this little crew gathered to get up close and personal with the hot glue guns. In my humble opinion, it turned out awesome. Everything from the decor to the set-up to the crafts to the lemonade bar to the trip to terrain at the end of it. All awesome.

L to R Adrienne (of Oreo Truffle fame), Michelle, Mary, Moi, Gabe, BethanyLaurenLizzie Beth, and Kate. Missing: Katie (sorry pup, we remembered to take this after you left!), Karen (who had to bail) and Nellie (who’s busy growing a babe. And living across the country).Ok, let’s get to the billion pictures. First up, the lemonade bar. It featured lemonade (duh) plus Iced Tea to make Arnold Palmers. And vodka to make Naughty Arnold Palmers. I threw in some mint to make it minty, some mason jars for glasses, a wonky handpainted burlap sign and of course, the adorable straws and drink stirrers from Miss Prissy Paige.

Each room of my main floor was set up with a different craft so things didn’t get too crowded. I made sure to set out examples and instructions for each craft. But I also walked around giving really helpful tips.

It’s kind of obvious that I was going with a yellow, gray and burlap theme so when lunch showed up in these adorable matching boxes, I was thaaaaa-rilled!

One of my favorite things to set up, with major help of Bethany of course, was the Welcome center! I had found this stainless steel monstrosity in my neighbor’s trash last year and in no time at all, had John hauling it home. The hanging baskets made it perfect to hold the swag bags and shopping bags to take all the goods home.


Styling by Bethany, Boots by Gabe and Flowers sent by Nellie for the occasion.

One of my favorite things about having Bethany around beforehand is that she is a crafty enabler. If I’m thinking something in my head but dismiss it for being “overboard” or “too much”, she’s there to push me over the awesome edge. For months, I had planned and planned for this day, making lists and drawing diagrams of how things were going to be set up. And I was good with those plans. Then Bethany showed up and those plans just got amped. Things like lemon chair swags happened. I think the word you’re looking for is…delightful.

Doily chandeliers also happen.


As do giant paper flowers made from Trader Joes bags. See, I knew not ever remembering my reusable bags would come in handy. Sue me, hippies.

Every room was filled with bright yellow forsythia, courtesy of my backyard.

Oh, and the best color coordinating Always Crafty accessory?

Miss Nora. Showing up looking like she knew our color scheme! So thank you, Nora, you really added that certain something we were lacking. And thank you, Bethany, for helping me make this thing look amazing.

So that’s it. What do you guys think? I can totally see another one of these things happening again in the fall. New season, new theme, new color scheme. You in?

Oh, and the winner of the terrain gift card pack has been announced here!

Always Crafty Workshop: Mason Jar Sewing Kit Tutorial

So I’m assuming you guys are playing along at home, right? Crafting these babies up the day after I post them? No? Well, you could at least pin them to be done never.

Let’s get to this Mason Jar Sewing Kit. I picked this craft for the Always Crafty Workshop out of the process of elimination. When you’re planning a craft day, you realize projects that include painting, baking, 24 hours anything, just won’t work. All crafts have to be ready to go home within a few hours. So this adorable little thing made the cut. I think it would make a good gift too, for the right person. The right person is not me. Don’t give me one of these. It’s cute but sooooorta pointless. And I hate clutter.

Now that I’ve convinced you to make this “decorative” sewing kit, let’s get your supplies: mason jar with painted lid, batting, a scrap of fabric around 8″ x 8″ and a glue gun. Cute vintage sewing notions are a plus.

Take your inner lid and place it on the back of your fabric. Draw a circle about an 1-1/2″ from the edge.

Cut that circle out.

Stuff the fabric through the outer lid.

Add some batting and push through, carefully shaping your little pouf.

Snap the inner lid into place, covering the batting. Glue around the edge of the inner lid and press the excess fabric into place.

Fill your jar with fun little things.

Screw your lid on! Keep in mind that it won’t screw completely on because of the bulk of the fabric but it should go on close enough to stay shut should it get knocked over.

Just don’t knock it over ok?

Check out the best craft we made this week: Fabric Flower Garlands


I know for a fact that there are a billion other fabric flower garland tutorials out there and I’m flattered you chose mine. Ha. This is an easy little garland to whip up with scraps. Seriously, you can use whatever. Old t-shirts, sheets, whatever you can find lying around. So here’s what you need: a glue gun, some twine and small squares of fabric. I used burlap here and cut out seven 2″ squares. If you use a thinner fabric, such as the jersey sheets I used for the white flowers, cut out 8 or 9 squares.

Take a square, fold it in half and place a dab of hot glue in the middle, near the fold.

Fold it over and hold for a few seconds until the glue is secure. The hot glue may bleed through but will probably only be warm. Use your own judgment here folks.

Once the square has been folded into quarters, place a glob of glue on the point.

Place the pointed corner down onto another square.

Repeat this step five more times, gluing the corners of the fabric squares onto the same square.

Underneath these folded squares is the flat piece of burlap. It should look fairly full.

Take that bottom piece of burlap and fold it in half

If you’re flower looks wimpy, bulk it up with another folded square or two.

Then take your twine and place it through the middle of the fold.

Drop a glob of glue in there, securing your twine. When it comes to hot glue, I’m a more is a better girl.

Fold it shut and scrunch down to make sure the glue dries and that the flower is secure on the twine.

Boo-yah. You’re done. I obviously like my crafts a little rough looking and embrace imperfection. I don’t measure out um, pretty much anything. So if you mess something up, who cares, use it anyway, add more hot glue or something 😉

Check out all the other crafts we did this week: Moss Monogram Wreath Chicken Wire Frame

Always Crafty Workshop: Moss Monogram Wreath Tutorial

Welcome to Craft Week guys! The Always Crafty Workshop this past weekend was such an amazing success that I decided to share tutorials for all of the crafts we did. So each day this week, I’ll post the how-to’s and end the week with a sweet giveaway. Sound good? Things to keep in mind 1) I didn’t pretend to hide the fact that I bite my nails to death, please ignore them if you possibly can and 2) My hot piece of a husband took all these pictures during weekend toddler naptimes when he could have been laying on the couch watching golf. Crafts come first in this house. Thanks, John. So first, let’s take a sneaky Pete look at the workshop via my pal Bethany’s Instagram

It was straight up gorg if I do say so myself. I’ll be sharing more soon!
Sp first up is the moss monogram wreath. This is a Pottery Barn knock-off that looks super fancy but is ridiculously easy.  Get your supplies: Rolled Moss ($16.99 for 48″ at Jo-Ann Fabric) 12″ Paper Mache Letter ($4.49 at Jo-Ann), Scissors and Hot Glue.

Lay your letter face down on the back of the moss and begin by gluing moss to the side of the letter.

The glue will seep through the moss, so press lightly and repeatedly. Hot glue never really hurts me but maybe I’ve burnt my fingertips off by now, so who knows? You can use a popsicle stick to press the moss against the glue if you’re a wuss.

Continue to the other side of the letter and glue. Then work your way around the top and bottom, cutting and trimming as you go.

When you get to weird angles or curves, you have to get crafty. Figure out which cut would cover the most edge and go with it.

If you mess up, it doesn’t matter. Moss is very forgiving.

Use your trimmed off scraps to cut pieces to fit into your blank spots.

Go around your letter and trim off all excess moss. I obviously didn’t cover the back of the letter. That’s what you call a waste of moss.

Make sure you go back and glue any loose pieces.

Here are more pics of this M in action. It’s mostly cutting, gluing, trimming.

Make sure you flip your letter over in case there are any loose flaps. Loose flaps are no good.

ta-da! You’re done!

String a ribbon up on this baby and get it on your front door asap!

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