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Candy

Candy/ Cookies/ Dessert

Key Lime Crunch Snack Mix

Tropical Puppy Chow, ooh so good.

Have you ever wanted a recipe so bad you’d do almost anything to get it. Well, I was watching an episode of Top Chef on Bravo and one of the challenges was a Kentucky Derby party and one of the contestants, Kelsey Barnard Clark, made her Puppy Chow Key Lime Crunch. 

So, before the show was even over I was in bed trolling the internet fo find the recipe. I guess everyone else who watched that show was doing the same thing. Finally KBC put a recipe (kind of) on her facebook pages with ingredients but she was using 5 pounds of white chocolate and I knew I was going to have to scale down and I changed a few of the ingredients. Then I came across on on Ritzymom.com and made my own adjustments to her recipe.

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Candy/ Cookies/Bars/ Dessert

Coconut Date Skillet Candy

You don’t have to wait until next Christmas!

Who says you can’t make candy any time of the year? I usually think of my candy making days as something I do in the fall between Thanksgiving and Christmas; but don’t we all have a “sweet tooth” all year.

This was one of my mother’s favorite candy recipes and I remember her stirring the date mixture and after adding the Rice Krispies; my favorite part was to scrape out the leftovers from the skillet and eat it before it was even rolled in coconut.

I decided to make these for my February bunco group to see what people thought. I have a few friends who remember their moms making something very similar. What’s not to love about these little spheres of dates, sugar, butter, coconut, pecans and Rice Krispies? And since I have so many dates, coconut, and pecans left from my holiday baking, I might as well make some to take to craft circle. My grandmother would have said “they have cereal, that makes them healthy”.

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Candy/ Dessert

Honeycomb Shards

Shards of sweetness.

What’s your favorite type of candy? Is it chocolate, (or not), chewy, sour, salty, or hard? If it’s called candy I like it.

My mother always made the best pecan brittle and I remember watching her make it during the holidays. She would roast the pecans that she had picked up out of our yard, cook the sugar mixture until it was just the right temperature and then throw in some baking soda. That was my favorite part; I loved seeing it foam up and almost spill over the pan right before she would pour it up onto a buttered cookie sheet to cool and then be broken into pieces for either us to eat or go to a friend in need of some sweets.

Some recipes call this candy toffee, sponge toffee or cinder toffee; whatever you call it I think you will enjoy the amazing taste from this quick to make confection. I’m not really sure how it differs from a brittle but it isn’t nearly as hard to eat. My first attempt was using light corn syrup but then I wanted to try a recipe using honey. I couldn’t really tell the difference and in my third batch I used 2 tablespoons of syrup and the rest of the 1/2 cup filled with honey.

However you decide to make this, dip a few pieces in chocolate and sprinkle with a little flaked sea salt. My first attempt which was wonderful was from Buzzfeed but I chose to try A Cozy Kitchen’s version for the blog.

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Candy/ Dessert

Date Nut Roll

Have a sweet tooth? It’s Halloween, who doesn’t?

If you have never tasted date nut roll you are really missing a sugary treat. It reminds me a lot of pralines but with the sweet dates added to it. The dates pretty much dissolve in the cooking process.

Do you still call your mom (or did you) if you have some cooking question. My mother has been gone for 7 years and my grandmother for almost 4 and I miss calling them with my cooking questions. Even though I could probably have found the answers on the internet, I just wanted to hear how they made a certain favorite of mine like chili and hushpuppies.

When I have questions about candy, I call my mother-in-law. She is known for her divinity and her date nut Continue Reading…

Candy/ Dessert

Brown Butter Pecan Bark

Can’t get much easier than this. Stack of sweetness

Who doesn’t love an easy recipe? If you are having a sweet craving or if you need something easy to take to a gathering considering making this. After making this you may want to keep some graham crackers on hand for that last minute dessert that literaterly takes minutes to make.

Graham crackers and chocolate always remind me of s’mores so when I found these two ingredients in my pantry and I needed something sweet for a group I started with “Google” (where else would we start). There are always pounds of pecans in my freezer so I knew I had the ingredients to make the recipe I found.

My results were not quite the same as the recipe I found online at the domestic rebel.com. Her recipe actually looked a little better than mine. She had a more caramel look to hers. I will try this again making sure my pecans are at room temperature and not still cold from the freezer. I feel like that might have lowered the temperature of the cooking sugar mixture and kept mine from getting brown like her recipe. Whatever the results, everyone loved these little pieces of crunch. (I couldn’t resist adding some mini chocolate chips to the top when it first came out of the oven.)

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Honey Pecan Stuffed Snow Peas never fail to delight those brave enough to pick one (or two) up and put them on their plates. The last time I looked at this recipe it had 2,180 views. Now it’s up to 4,656 — like I always say “someone out there is looking”. 

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Candy/ Cookies/Bars/ Dessert

Pecan Divinity

Little clouds of sweetness.

(Happy last day shopping everyone. I’m checking my list and checking it twice. I did almost 100% of shopping online and now just waiting for things to start rolling in. I love ordering, it’s like Christmas everyday when packages start rolling in. I always wish I got an earlier start though because I start getting nervous if I know we are leaving and everything hasn’t made it to my door step.) MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I think anyone who has eaten my mother-in-law’s divinity would call these little pieces of candy “pillows from heaven”. I would wager to say she has been making divinity for at least 50 years probably longer and what amazes me is she makes the most wonderful divinity and never uses a candy thermometer.

On a recent trip back to Missouri I talked her into showing me how she does her divinity. I think just about everyone in our hometown probably has tried her divinity and hers is always the first one to sell out at any bake sale.

I remember a life time ago, making some divinity to send to my husband at college. You know how roommates and fraternity brothers can be, of course someone stole some of his divinity. To his misfortune he got a piece that had a pecan shell in it and he broke a tooth. Needless to say, he never took any of my husbands food again.

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Candy/ Cookies/Bars

Purple Kiss

“A kiss is just a kiss” ♫♫♫♫♫

You must remember this
A kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh ♫♫♫♫♫
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by
And when two lovers woo
They still say, “I love you”
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by  ♫♫♫♫♫

So, the wedding is over and how time did go by. Seems like just yesterday that my daughter was on her way to kindergarten and I remember the tears and saying goodbye and what it felt like to have all three kids out of the house — sad, but in a good way.

Oh, how times flies. A new baby, diapers, school, lots of sporting events like swim team, tennis, volleyball, college and then marriage. I made these little “kisses” for treat bags for hotel guest at the wedding last weekend. Purple M&M’s, of course, and I was surprised when I found bags of colored ones at our local Party City store.

So this little treat was something I saw at Pinterest. One can find the most interesting little tidbits there.

These are are as easy as they look and would look just as cute with mixed colored M&M’s. Pretzel, topped with a chocolate kiss, 3 minutes in the oven, and press in an M&M, chill a little, and you are ready to go.

Hope you will try these soon. Orange and brown for Thanksgiving or red and green for Christmas. Cute and yummy little treats.

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Candy/ Dessert

S’more Chocolate Bark

You will be yelling “give me some more”!

A bowl full of delightful chocolate.

What is your earliest memory of a S’more?  I think mine would have to be maybe at day camp with my brownie troop and we were all holding sticks over the campfire until our marshmallows got just the most perfect toasty brown color and then hurrying to put the chocolate and graham cracker together with the melted gooey marshmallow to make the most delicious sandwich you’ve ever had.  Oh, I can almost taste them now.

Were you one of those kids (or adults) that once your marshmallow caught fire you waved it around trying to put out the flames only to have them burn to a crisp. That is my favorite way to do a marshmallow – burnt. Can you think of a dessert, as delicious as a S’more, that you can pack right in your suitcase and have where ever you go. In the past, I have packed all the ingredients for a ski trip and then roasted the marshmallows over an open fireplace. Even if you have to nuke it in a hotel room microwave, just think you will have a hot, yummy dessert before you jump in bed and oh what sweet dreams you will have.

How about a s’more on top of a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate, what a dunkable. Or, a bowl of steaming oatmeal with broken pieces of chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows covering the top.  I recently found this S’more Cup recipe and can’t wait for the opportunity to try it out and also this S’more Dip which would be a hit with any kids or the ones of us who are still kids at heart.

I have seen so many variations of S’mores over the years. Have you ever tried one with a York peppermint patty, Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup, or even an Almond Joy. Well, this recipe is another version. S’more Chocolate Bark is so easy to make and makes the perfect little gift to give guests. I recently did some for a brunch and gave to everyone to take home for their ride back to Austin.

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Candy/ Dessert

Almond Joy Candies

A chocolate fix for anyone who loves chocolate!

Isn’t this beautiful. Hand dipped chocolates! Yum!

Here’s a new candy recipe for your collection. I have always loved Almond Joy candy bars. My only complaint was that you only got two almonds on top of each piece. I only put one almond in each of these, but since you are the candy maker, you can hide a few extra down in the filling if you feel the urge. Be sure to make a few of these for Valentine’s Day. I did, but I gave them away since I have sworn off sweets (and a lot of other stuff) for 21 days.

A great little afternoon treat. A cup of hot chocolate or sipping chocolate would hit the spot on a cold Valentine’s Day.

Do you remember Valentine’s Day when you were a little kid looking for the perfect container to turn into a Valentine Box for your school party. I remember gathering up rows of crepe paper and making ruffles and gluing them around a shoe box, cutting a hole in the top and taking it to school and eagerly awaiting for valentines to be dropped in. I remember the red punch, the cupcakes with red and pink frosting, the little hard candy hearts with “Be My Valentine” printed on them. I remember the first heart shaped box of chocolates my husband gave me when I was 15. Now I get flowers. Much less fattening. 🙂

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Candy/ Cookies/Bars/ Dessert

Bacon and Eggs

Bacon and Eggs – Sausage and Eggs, however you see it!

Ok, ok, so it isn’t really bacon and eggs. But, (my husband says I say BUTTTTT, way too much) it makes a cute breakfast/brunch amuse bouche.

Who doesn’t love bacon and eggs or sausage and eggs? Makes a great breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you are vegan then these little tidbits will satisfy you quickly. Meatless, egg less, but not sugarless!

I first saw this in a magazine at least 15 years ago. I cut the picture out, saved it for years, and have made it several times. This little “thing” (not really sure what to call it) makes a great little conversation piece for a brunch or breakfast.

I did a kids class one year at Williams Sonoma and showed the little ones how to make this along with my pear “rudolph”. They loved the bacon and egg snacks.

It’s simply pretzels, white chocolate and yellow M&M’s.

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Candy/ Cookies/Bars/ Dessert

Migas Bark

Bark made from breadcrumbs?

Last weekend we were in Chicago visiting our son and daughter-in-law who live in Bucktown. They have such wonderful restaurants, and so many are within walking distance of their home. One night we went to this new little restaurant Mado.  Their motto is Midwestern farmers, Mediterranean flavors. This restaurant is on one of the busiest streets in trendy Bucktown.

This restaurant is owned and operated by a husband and wife Allie and Rob Levitt, who met at culinary school.  They have worked in some of Chicago’s best restaurants. The restaurant processes and cure all their own meats and serve almost all of it, I think. We had a tripe dish while there and my son had a dish that had tenderloin, heart, and belly. The restaurant’s menu changes daily so you never know what delicious things may be showing up on the menu.

The New York Times did a review on the restaurant and said, “don’t miss the migas bark” and that is what the waiter told us that night. We ordered that along with a cornmeal cake which I will be making later this week.

This is my attempt to recreate the migas bark we had that night. 

This is a simple little bark but so good and crunchy you would not know you were eating chocolate and bread crumbs.

Tonight was our lady’s night out and we had sushi and came back to my house for pool floating time. That is always fun with a glass of wine and tonight my husband brought us out a chilled plate piled high with the chocolate migas bark. Yum!

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Start with some very good chocolate. The better the chocolate, the better the bark will be. I used bittersweet because that was the remainder of my 10# block of chocolate I had in my pantry. Mado’s bark was a dark chocolate.

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I stopped by Panera Bread on my way home yesterday and picked up this little sourdough bread bowl. Cute isn’t it. Makes me want to make some soup to put in it, but today it is going for a dunk in the chocolate.

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Make bread crumbs with it, then toasted them in the oven until nice and crispy.

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Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or set bowl over pot of boiling water and stir until melted.

Fold in the crumbs and spread on cookie sheet lined with waxed paper.

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Spread it very thin, the thinner the better.

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Migas Bark

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. very good dark chocolate
  • 1 – 1 1/2 bread crumbs torn into pieces

Instructions

  1. I didn’t measure anything but I would say I used about 1 lb. of chocolate and about 1/2 of that small loaf of bread. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water until melted and smooth. Put the bread into a food processor and process until you have coarse crumbs. I toasted my crumbs in a 175 degree oven about an hour or until they were nice and brown.
  2. I processed the crumbs a little more if I still had some chunks. You do not want fine bread crumbs, just coarsely processed. Mix in the crumbs (use your judgement on how many to use). Pour this mixture out onto a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Chill in refrigerator until firm. Break up and put in container until ready to eat. Enjoy.