Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sun Baked M&Ms - A Super Easy Craft and Recipe!

It’s the last few days of summer vacation, so we’re squeezing in lots of fun before school is in full swing, along with a more structured schedule.

This super easy recipe / craft activity was inspired by the famous Lisa Kudrow. I saw her on a talk show segment long ago sharing her go to recipe, Baked M&Ms. I laughed like crazy and knew that someday I would make these with the kiddos. Since then I’ve become a bit of a health nut, but when we got a big bag of M&Ms in a basket we won at a charity event, I knew making Baked M&Ms would be a fun once in a while treat we could all enjoy.

It’s a super hot week, so to make it extra fun and kid friendly (no microwave or toaster oven needed) we baked the M&Ms using the hot sun. I first set this activity up as a craft at the kitchen table with a bowl of M&Ms and plates for the kids to make their own designs.

We made a couple M&M flowers.

This design started out as a cool star that I thought looked like a fun firework, but when my son realized he was going to eat this creation all the M&Ms got pushed to the center and an outer ring of M&Ms was added changing the design into what he now calls a big sun. It’s funny how fast kids figure things out, in this case: Bigger Design = More M&Ms to Eat!

When everyone was happy with their unique M&M creations, we moved the plates outside to bake in the hot sun.

We left our M&Ms bake in the sun for about 30 minutes in the late afternoon. My son even checked “the oven” by looking out the window to see how they were baking. And we didn’t have any trouble getting a volunteer taste tester to determine if the M&Ms were sufficiently melty. After running outside to taste test one, my son gave a big thumbs up. Sure enough when I went outside to verify they were ready, you could see small hairline cracks on the M&Ms which means they are indeed melted to ooey gooey perfection. With the hard candy coating, they didn’t even create a mess.
See the small hairline cracks, Sun Baked M&Ms are ready to eat!
We all enjoyed a fun Sun Baked M&M picnic outside on the grass. My son loved Sun Baked M&Ms so much he asked if we could make Daddy a batch that would be ready when he gets home from work.

If you don’t have a beautiful sunshiny day, simply dump M&Ms into a bowl and microwave or put M&Ms on a baking sheet and stick in the toaster oven to melt, as Lisa Kudrow recommends. I don’t have exact baking times as we haven’t tried these alternate methods, but I’m sure they won’t take long before you can enjoy!

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