As a busy dad, I dedicate Saturdays to many things. While Hannah, my 4 year old normally expects to go out to the local playplace, I usually end up making a special dessert with her. This weekend was no different. We chatted while we ate our chicken nuggets and she wanted to make a special cupcake for mommy. Well daddy was tired, after pulling drywall on Friday afternoon, I was in no mood to whip up a from scratch recipe, let alone do all the dishes that came with that.
So I looked a my little four year old and said, okay, we can make cupcakes, BUT, you’ve got to do the dishes! She smiled widely and looked over, don’t be silly daddy, the dishwasher does all the hard work, we just need to put the ‘magic pill’ inside it. Her response caught me a little off guard. My wife and I have chosen FINISH dish washer tabs for years. After trying the other stuff, we caught a deal on FINISH and the rest is history. We like that our dishes sparkle when they come out and it’s proven over the years to be a superior product. To give you an idea of how long I’ve trusted this product, I still have an old Electrasol canister (Electasol is the old name for Finish) that I got years ago, which had become my storage bin for the tabs. While looking at my beautiful 4 year old, I got an idea. How bought we do some crafting and cupcakes! I looked at her and said, ‘Wanna make a craft with daddy too.’
Her eyes lit up and that said it all. We headed to Walmart and grabbed all the necessary ingredients for the cupcakes. We decided to make a ‘pill box’ as we affectionately call it, because our old canister is literally falling apart. I decided to just use the Finish boxes, cutting them into a perfect square. I also grabbed pre-painted popsicle/craft sticks at Walmart. I found them in the crafting section and trust me, they are worth every penny not to have to clean up paint.
We baked up the cupcakes first. Daddy cheated a little (don’t tell mommy) and grabbed a box cupcake mix. We baked them up quickly (added chocolate chips of course) and then started on the frosting. This is Hannah’s favorite part because I bust out the stand mixer. She can pour everything into the mixer, turn the knob and watch the frosting come to life. Plus sampling is required as a chef.
The salted caramel was left over from a previous recipe, I’d highly recommend you make it yourself, it’s worth it. Once we finished with the cupcakes, on to our little project!
This requires a little bit of cutting skills with scissors, something I’m not an expert at. My four year old quickly informed me that SHE had scissors and ran back to her room excitedly to get them. She emerged and I gave her one of the three boxes to which she happily destroyed. I slowly cut off the flaps on the two boxes I was working with, and then went outside and spray-painted the boxes grey. This step is important because while the popsicle sticks will cover a good amount of the box, there will be some portions that you will be able to see through to the box.
With a hot glue gun, (and lots of caution with little fingers) place the craft sticks onto the box. You’ll need one package of craft sticks, that should be sufficient. Organize them in a pattern of your choosing, and bam, you’ve got a dishwasher tab organizer!
- 2 sticks of butter (room temperature)
- ⅔ cup of salted caramel (click to see recipe)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups of powdered sugar
- 2 tsp of milk
- 1 tsp of course salt
- With an electric mixer (or stand mixer), beat butter on medium for 1 minute.
- Add salted caramel sauce and vanilla extract, and continue mixing for 2-3 minutes. You will need to periodically stop and scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Add powdered sugar and salt, and beat on low until sugar is completely incorporated.
- Increase speed to medium until you reach a desired consistency.
- This should cover roughly 2 cupcakes if you pipe them like I did, or about 24 cupcakes with a thin layer.
Walmart has great prices on Finish Dishwasher Cleaner, and many products are on Rollback! I would encourage you to try the NEW Finish Quantum Power and Free which has fewer chemicals. Make sure to print out the coupon below and save even more! We trust this product to clean our dishes and trust me it does, salted caramel and all.