Best Life Hacks for Traveling with Kids

plate of chocolate dipped pecan pie balls

Chocolate Coated Pecan Pie Bites

These Pecan Balls were a huge hit at our house. I shared some with friends, and everyone LOVED them! These are great for holiday parties and cookie trays. They also make great homemade gifts for teachers, co-workers, bus drivers, and friends. Package the balls in a cute box or in some cellophane bags for an easy and delicious gift!

Oh these were a hit in the Test Kitchen! These are just like bite-sized pecan pies. Since they are small, you won’t feel guilty when you take two or three. If you can stop there…


The yummiest part of a Pecan Pie with a little kick! Camille McClendon:

I made these for Thanksgiving and several holiday parties. They were a huge hit with all. Especially, for my healthy “portion controlled” friends! They liked the fact that they could have one pie ball instead of being served one slice of pie and only eating a small portion of it. A lot of people have asked about a non-alcoholic version: try almond extract if you do not like the taste of alcohol. You can also use a rum non-alcohol flavoring. Add a little water to equal liquid amount. Vanilla wafers can be subbed for graham crackers.

plate of chocolate dipped pecan pie balls

How to Make Maple Pecan Balls

These candy balls are very easy to make. Start with chopping the pecans. Once you have the pecans chopped, mix the pecans with some graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, maple syrup, melted butter, and vanilla. Form the pecan mixture into balls and place them in the freezer. Freezing the balls will make them easier to dip in the chocolate.

  • I put my pecans in a food processor and pulsed them a couple of times. You want the pecans in very small pieces.
  • If you want to make Bourbon Pecan Balls, swap some of the maple syrup for bourbon.
  • For the chocolate coating, I used chocolate almond bark. Feel free to swap the almond bark for melted chocolate chips or chocolate bars. Add some shortening to the chips or chocolate bars to make the chocolate mixture smoother.
  • You can also dip the balls in white almond bark or melted white chocolate.
  • If you don’t have maple syrup, you can substitute Karo Syrup.
  • Decorate the balls with any color sprinkles – Christmas, Valentine’s, birthday sprinkles, or your favorite team colors.
  • This recipe makes about 3 or 4 dozen, depending on how big you make the balls.
  • Store the candy in an air-tight container.
  • This candy can be easily frozen, stored in the refrigerator, or at room temperature if you’ll be eating them within a day or two.
  • The candy balls will last about a month in an air-tight container stored in the refrigerator.

To Make this Recipe You’Il Need the following ingredients:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 c pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1 c graham crackers, crushed (vanilla wafers, Oreos can be subbed if you do not like graham crackers)
  • 1 c brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 tsp salt (if you can not handle the sodium, don’t use it!)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 c bourbon, brandy or spiced rum. non alcoholic version: use almond extract, rum extract, or any other that may suit your taste. add a little water/juice to equal the liquid amount.
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 7 oz dark chocolate bark. If you prefer white chocolate…go for it!
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt (optional)

STEPS:

  1. Combine first four ingredients in large bowl.
  2. Add maple syrup, bourbon, and vanilla.
  3. Use your hands to make sure all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly. Almond extract can be subbed for non-alcohol version… add water to equal liquid amount. You can also try non-alcohol rum flavoring.
  4. Form balls by scooping a tablespoon size amount of mixture.
  5. Roll in hands to form balls.
  6. Place balls on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place cookie sheet in the freezer for 2 hrs. Tip: After all balls are made, roll balls again with slightly water damped hands. This will make balls smooth before dipping in chocolate.
  7. Melt chocolate bark in a double boiler or microwave per directions on package.
  8. Dip frozen balls into chocolate.
  9. Then place on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  10. Optional: Sprinkle a few grains of coarse sea salt on balls before the chocolate sets.
  11. These freeze well. Take out of the freezer and let sit for 15 minutes. They are also good frozen!

Guest Post:

The best possible gift you can ever give to your children is the whole wide world. Traveling is not only the best way to learn and see other countries. It gifts a lot of wonderful memories and experiences every one of us will carry forever. But it is not too easy to take your kids and travel the world. In fact, it might be some difficulties and obstacles you may face. To avoid that and to make traveling even more fulfilling, bellow you will find some best life hacks I found. It will make every trip with your beloved ones a lot funnier, cheaper and definitely more amazing.

Pack for different days


Then you are packing your kids clothing, use a simple trick that will help you and your kids a lot during a trip. Pack all clothing items your kid is going to wear in one plastic bag. Then pack other pieces for another day in another plastic bag as so on. This not only let kids dress themselves a lot easier, but it works as a great planning strategy in luggage as well.

Use coupons to reduce prices on everything


From purchasing a luggage to booking a hotel, coupons can make a great price cutter for sure. In fact, there are so many of them you can prepare for a whole trip a lot cheaper. For instance, look at these Hotels.com coupons for bookings or these Target coupons from ChameleonJohn.com you can use for other necessary traveling stuff. Really – just find and use all coupons you need for trip preparations and it will be a lot cheaper instantly!

Make first aid kit


You never know which boo-boos can come while traveling with kids. So you need to be prepared for everything! In fact, it is not so hard to make it by yourself. Just add Band-Aids, Tylenol, cleaning spray or other remedies you think your kids might need. It won’t take a lot of space and it surely will help a lot if needed.

Schedule your trip time around your kids nap time


If it is possible, you can schedule your trip’s time somewhere around that part of the day then your little ones are having their naps. That might help them (and you!) get through the long hours of journey. Of course, this life hack might work only on pretty short one or two hour trips, but if that is all that you need, try to do that!

Prepare some fun activities for a trip


Of course, kids might get bored pretty fast then traveling so you, as a mother, need to think of activities kids can do. That might include everything you can imagine – from watching DVD’s, reading, to simple traveling games if you are traveling by car. It might turn out to be quite fun and it will let children forget about the time and just enjoy traveling.

Pack healthy snacks to keep kids full


It might get pretty easy to eat only junk food while traveling, but that is not healthy and really not necessary if you pack some healthy snacks with you. Little carrots, apples or other vegetables with fruits are healthy, taste good and it will make kids full until the next stop. So don’t forget to pack some of this food and your kids will always be happy during a trip!

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