Posts Tagged ‘candy’

Oreo Truffles

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

That Bakerella never steers me wrong. Cake Pops, Pound Cake…and now Oreo Truffles. These little bites of chocolate-covered oreo flavor are delicious, but also pretty easy to make. Much easier than cake pops, since you get to skip that whole stick and wrapping and ribbon part. Didn’t even have to wait for a cake to cool!

White Chocolate Covered Oreo Truffles
Adapted from Bakerella.com

  • One package of oreo cookies
  • One 14 ounce package of white chocolate bark
  • One 8 ounce package of cream cheese
  • Sprinkles or decorating crystals (optional)

1. In a food processor fitted with the blade attachement, process oreos until a fine crumb is formed.

2. Add the cream cheese through the feeder tube in approximately two ounce chunks, while the machine continues to run. Once all of the cream cheese is combined, you should have a soft, gooey dough.

3. (I did this part wearing gloves) Shape the dough into balls with your hands, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. I got about 40 truffles out of one package of oreos. Let rest in the freezer for at least 15 minutes—this will help everything stay together when you dip them in chocolate.

4. Melt white chocolate bark or candy melts according to package directions. Place chocolate in a small bowl, and dip the oreo truffles in chocolate using a spoon. Carefully shake off the excess chocolate and place back on the parchment-lined sheet. You can  add sprinkles or decorating crystals now, while the chocolate is still wet, if you desire. Once all of the truffles are dipped and back on the baking sheet, place the sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes or in the refrigerator for half an hour or so, to allow the chocolate to set. Enjoy!

Note: I used the white chocolate bark from the grocery store for these, but I think I would have prefered the Wilton’s candy melts that I normally use for cake pops. They melt better, and I’m just used to the consistency. The oreo dough balls didn’t hold up quite as well as cake pops in the chocolate, so my white chocolate was kind of cookies-&-cream flavored by the end. I poured it out on a parchment lined sheet, added some broken candy cane pieces, and made oreo-peppermint bark anyway! Didn’t get any complaints.

Butterfinger Blondies

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

These Butterfinger Brownies were the other treat I brought along to Paw-Paw’s party. As I mentioned last week, we had a party to honor my grandfather a few weeks ago. He’s been gone for a few years now, and we all came together to celebrate his life with memories and games and the foods he loved.

To be truthful, I never knew him to eat much in the way of sweets–he was diabetic for my whole life, and kept himself to a strict diet. But when I tried to think of things foods that reminded me of him, I remembered one of the few times I had him to myself. After all, I have a whole slew of cousins (and that’s okay!) and we all grew up right here near my grandparents (no complaints there either!). It does mean that most of the time I spent with Granny and Paw-Paw when I was young involved the other kids. But when I thought about it, I remembered being on vacation in Buffalo, New York, and he and I going on a walk, just the two of us, to the nearby drugstore. We’d gone to buy Yahtzee score cards, of all things. I don’t remember what we talked about, but I remember feeling pretty special as we talked the whole way there and the whole way back. And I don’t remember much about the trip, but I do remember him buying me a Butterfinger candy bar to snack on.

So like with the Oyster Crackers last week, rather than show up at the party with Butterfinger candy bars, I tried to come up with a recipe using Butterfingers. And so I came across this recipe at www.recipegirl.com. The original recipe called for full-size bars, but I adapted it to fun-size candy bars–and just in time for Halloween. This would really work with any leftover candy bars you have. The vanilla blondie flavor is the perfect backdrop for any candy bar flavor. Heath bars, Snickers, or Reese’s cups would be delicious.

IMG_2302

Butterfinger Blondies

  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 2¼ cups brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 fun-size Butterfinger Candy bars, crushed

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with greased parchment paper

2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, combine butter and brown sugar.

4. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth.

5. Stir in flour mixture and 1 cup of crushed butterfingers.

6. Spread in prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining crushed butterfinger bars over top of batter, reserving a couple of tablespoons of crushed candy.

7. Bake 30 – 35 minutes, or until the bars are a bit firm to the touch. Remove from the oven. While the bars are still warm, sprinkle with the remaining candy. Remove to a wire cooking rack and let cool completely before cutting into bars.

Servings: 12

June is National Candy Month

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Happy June 1st, everyone!

Apparently, June is National Candy Month.

It’s also National Seafood Month, National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, National Dairy Month, and National Iced Tea Month. Oh, and National Don’t Eat Cheese After Noon Month, but I say eat cheese whenever you like, so we won’t be celebrating that particular “holiday” around my place.

I was surprised to see that June was National Candy Month–I would have expected October, because of all that Halloween candy.

halloween-candy

Or even Christmas or Easter which are big candy holidays.

christmas-candy easter-candy

Of course, June is a big wedding month, and thinking back to this time last year, when we were getting everything ready for our August wedding, Candy was a pretty big focus of mine. There were a lot of things that I wasn’t all that concerned with, as far as details went. I let my girls pick their own dresses and shoes, for instance. And I didn’t even bother with programs. We chose basic DIY centerpieces. But the candy buffet really caught my imagination.

The basic idea is a table full of different kinds of candy, in all different containers. Guests are given a bag or box to fill up, and then can grab whatever they like. It sounds simple, but I had a very specific image in mind–and I acheived it.

I wanted it to be pretty, but also striking. Though we had more candy than we needed, I wanted the candy itself to make a statement–to be kind of overwhelming. An elegant sort of Willy Wonka corner at the wedding. Oh, and I wanted it to match our colors, that is, to be all blue and white.

And it was. I stacked a table full of anything blue and/or white I could find. Lindt dark chocolate truffles and solid Lindt milk chocolate blossoms. Blue gummy bears, and blue gummy fish and blue and white gummy sharks. Jelly Belly jelly beans in Blue Raspberry, Blueberry, and  Coconut. White chocolate covered raisins. White chocolate covered pretzels. Blue and white Whirly Pops. A bouquet of Blue Raspberry blow pops. Rice Krispies Treats and blue Peeps and twelve pounds of Blue Raspberry Twizzlers. Salt-water taffy in vanilla and blueberry and blue raspberry. White heart-shaped mints. Blue & white Giant Pixie Sticks. Blue-raspberry Bubble Tape for the kids. Blue sour-patch kids. Vanilla Tootsie Rolls (in the blue and white wrappers, of course!). Island Fruit Punch Laffy Taffy (it comes wrapped in blue, for some reason). Hershey’s Truffles and Almond Joy bars. Blue lollipops shaped like flowers. White rock candy.

teris-buffet

teris-buffet2

Yes, it was expensive. And yes, it was time consuming. But I still say it was worth it, even if all I have to show for it is two pictures taken by the photographer while everyone was already attacking the table (it’s showing some signs of plunder in the pictures, for sure). I still get complimented on the candy buffet at family gatherings. Everyone enjoyed it, and that’s what it was all about.

So as you can imagine, compared to last June, candy hardly even exists to me these days. I don’t think I’ll ever have to think about candy quite so much ever again.

I’d like to finish this up with two polls. First, if you happened to be at my wedding last year, what was your favorite part of the candy buffet?

What was your favorite part of Teri & Dave's Candy Buffet?

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Second, (for everyone, not just people who weren’t at the wedding) what’s your favorite kind of candy?

What's your favorite kind of candy?

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Cake Pops!

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

I’ve seen these Cake Pops all over the place online…and really, it’s not surprising. Rich, moist balls of cake, dipped in chocolate? Irresistible. They’re adorable, they’re delicious, and honestly, they aren’t that hard to make.

After reading about them for weeks, I finally took the plunge this week and made a batch of these lovely treats to take to work for St. Patrick’s Day. Since I came home empty-handed, I’d have to say they were a hit.

They were really cute…see?

Here’s how to make them:

Chocolate-Covered Cake Pops
Adapted  from Bakerella

  1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
  2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can frosting. (You can use a spoon, but because I dyed my cake green for St. Patrick’s Day, I really needed to mash it all together. I just put on a pair of latex gloves and smashed it up with my hands). Also, you may not need the entire can of frosting, so start out by using almost the entire can and add more if you need to. When the cake was well mixed with the frosting, I added a green food coloring, a drop at a time, until I got the cake to the bright green color I wanted.
  3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50)
  4. Melt chocolate in the microwave per directions on package. (30 sec intervals, stirring in between.)
  5. Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted candy coating and insert into the cake balls. (Insert a little less than halfway.)
  6. Place them in the freezer for a little while to firm up.
  7. Once firm, carefully insert the cake ball into the candy coating by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered. Once covered remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don’t tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off, too.
  8. Place in a styrofoam block to dry.
  9. T0 make green candy to decorate with, I also melted about 1/4 of a package of candy melts with a small amount of green food coloring to drizzle over some of the cake balls. Others I sprinkled with green sugar crystals or colorful sprinkles.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cake

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

I found this recipe on the Food Network website about a year or so ago. I made this for David last winter (maybe around his birthday?) and I knew that we’d be having this again someday. When I was trying to think up a dessert for our big family dinner last weekend, it came to mind again and I thought I’d give it a try. For a cake from scratch, I think it’s very forgiving. This was the first “from scratch” cake I ever made, and I didn’t have any problems at all. I did cheat a little bit when it comes to the garnish, but I don’t think anyone really noticed.

This cake is rich and dark. The texture is heavy like a brownie (not that that’s a bad thing!). If you like York peppermint patties or Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies, I promise, you will not be disappointed by this cake. It even looks like a giant Thin Mint cookie!

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cake

Serve with whipped cream, cocoa fudge sauce, and a drizzle of mint syrup.

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 14 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghiradelli)
  • 16 tablespoons (8 ounces) butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) small-diced peppermint patty candies (I used York mini patties, cut into sixths).

Ganache Topping:

  • 1 cup cream
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • Whipped cream, for serving

To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a 9 1/2 to 10-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper, and flour the pan, tapping out the excess flour.

Melt the chocolate with the butter and cream in the top of a double boiler. Reserve.

In the bowl of a mixer with a whip, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until very thick and light (about 5 minutes). Add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg yolks and mix until just blended. Add the flour, salt, and vanilla and mix until combined, scraping the bowl once or twice. Transfer the batter to a large mixing bowl and stir in the Peppermint Pattie pieces. The mixture will be quite thick.

In a clean mixing bowl, with a clean whip, beat the egg whites to medium soft peaks. Lighten the batter by stirring in about one-third of the egg whites. Fold in the remaining whites and the place batter in the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 45 to 50 minutes. The top of the cake will feel set and very fine hairline cracks will just start to form around the edges. Remove and cool in the pan on a rack.

To make the ganache topping: Heat the cream in a heavy bottomed saucepan to just under a boil. Add the chopped chocolate and, over very low heat, constantly stirring, cook the mixture until it is completely smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until thickened and spreadable. This can take several hours. You can make the topping up to 3 days ahead, refrigerate it, and allow it to come to room temperature for several hours before using. You can also hasten the cooling process by placing the melted ganache over an ice bath and gently stirring it till thickened; however, the resulting texture may not be quite as smooth and creamy.

Place the cooled cake upside down on a cardboard cake circle or a service plate. Remove the sides and bottom of the springform pan. Remove the parchment liner. Using an offset spatula, decoratively spread the ganache over what is now the top of the cake, drawing the ganache all the way out to the edges of the cake. Using the offset spatula, level the edges to give the cake a finished look. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream and a drizzle of mint hot fudge sauce.

Note: The original recipe calls for making your own cocoa fudge sauce and mint syrup to drizzle over the cake when serving. I cheated both times. When I made it for David the first time, I used a store-bought mint chocolate flavored hot fudge, which worked well. This time, I made my own mint-flavored hot fudge by adding a teaspoon of peppermint extract to a jar of store-bought hot fudge. It was delicious, and hard to imagine that all the extra work of creating my own sauces would be worth it. Maybe I’ll try it someday though. Of course, homemade whipped cream is best, but I skipped that too. I didn’t want to make my guests wait around all day while I whipped cream for the cake. I think David got real whipped cream the first time though.

Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Mom and Liz came over to hang out Friday night, and finally got the chance to try the homemade ice cream. As you guys probably remember, I took a poll last time to see what flavor I should make, and this was the winner. I’ve really got this ice cream thing down to a science, if I do say so myself. I got the same rich, creamy results this time around. Remember, chilled ingredients whisked into a chilled bowl and put into the ice cream machine right away makes all the difference.

I think this batch lasted a whole day. I think.

Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream
Adapted from the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream & Dessert Cookbook

  • 4 Heath Bar candy bars
  • 2 large or extra large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips

1. Break candy bars into nickel size pieces or smaller and chill in the refrigerator until ready to add to the ice cream mixture.

2. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend. Add the vanilla extract and blend again.

3. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker. Add while the mixer is on the low setting, then turn it up to high.

4. Once the ice cream is almost finished (about 1 minutes before it is done) add the chilled candy pieces and chocolate chips and continue freezing the mixture until the ice cream is ready.

When it’s done in the ice cream machine, the ice cream will be the consistency of soft-serve. Freeze for at least two hours for a solid, scoopable ice cream.

I really will make butter pecan next time.

Holiday Peppermint Bark

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

My secret santa at work bought me a whole great gift basket of baking supplies, as I mentioned before. The basket included, among other things, a Nestle Tollhouse cookbook. The book is full of cute, simple recipes. They’re easy to follow, include great pictures, and even better, the book is built like a kid’s board book, so you can simply wipe off any stray cookie ingredients that end up splattering the pages.

I am not the neatest cook in the world.

There were a number of recipes that looked tasty and worth a try, but the one that I sampled this time around was the Holiday Peppermint Bark. It was so simple that I’m almost afraid to disclose the recipe here. It looks fancy and tastes great, and those who have tried it will lose respect for me when they learn how simple it really was. But here goes.

Nestle’s Best Loved Recipes – Holiday Peppermint Bark
Makes about 1 pound of candy

  • 2 Cups (one 12 ounce package) White Chocolate Chips (Yup, I use Nestle Premier White Morsels)
  • 24 hard peppermint candies, unwrapped.
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Microwave morsels in medium-sized microwave-safe bowl on medium-high setting (70%) for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave at additional 10 to 15 second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted.
  3. Place peppermint candies in a heavy-duty Ziploc bag. Crush candies using rolling pin or other heavy object.  While holding a strainer over the melted chocolate, pour crushed candy into strainer. Shake to release all small candy pieces into the melted chocolate. Reserve larger pieces in the strainer. Stir chocolate-peppermint mixture.
  4. Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet. Spring with reserved candy pieces and press in lightly. Let stand for about 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces.

I really enjoyed this recipe. It was ridiculously simple, and the results are really very tasty. Yes, I know that white chocolate is not chocolate, strictly speaking, but that’s okay. I thought the bark looked pretty impressive for how easy it was to make. I’m sure I’ll make this again.

Cashew Brittle

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

Apparently, Christmastime is also for candy.

On my hunt for Christmas cookie recipes, I came across an excellent recipe for Cashew Brittle. Now peanut brittle, I’m not that crazy about, but cashews are a whole different story. We also had bought cashews at Costco the week before, which were delicious. So it seemed meant to be.

I’m also a sucker for the salty and sweet combination, and this definitely fits the bill there.

I found this recipe on another blog that I read, The Wednesday Chef.

Homemade candy is one of those things that seems to impress everyone, but brittle is really about the simplest kind of homemade candy that there is. No candy thermometer or special equipment needed.

Note: Because I wanted the salty flavor to really come through, and because it’s what I keep on hand, I used salted butter instead of unsalted, and it was delicious. One other reminder–the instructions call for a large saucepan, and that’s important. When you add the baking soda and salt, it’s REALLY going to rise and bubble, and my saucepan wasn’t large enough to keep it from boiling over. A non-stick stockpot is really a safer bet, in my opinion.

Cashew Brittle
Makes 3.5 pounds

4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (I used salted butter)
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds salted, roasted cashews

1. Line two baking sheets with lightly buttered parchment paper or lightly coat the sheets with cooking spray. Do not use wax paper or plastic wrap.

2. Combine sugar, butter, corn syrup, and water in a large saucepan and stir together. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the caramel turns a medium-golden color, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Carefully whisk in the baking soda and then the salt. The mixture will rise and bubble. Using a wooden or metal spoon, stir in the nuts, then immediately pour the brittle onto the prepared cookie sheets, using the back of the spoon to spread the brittle out.

3. Once brittle is completely cool, break it into bite-sized pieces using the back of a knife or your hands. The brittle can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container, for up to two weeks.

I’ve made this kind of candy once before, and this recipe is as good as I remember. For an extra fun treat, stir a bag of popped popcorn into the hot candy once it’s spread out on the cookie sheets. It makes an awesome poppycock style snack.