Friday, February 29, 2008

Pecan Pralines

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cups half-and-half
1/3 stick butter
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups whole pecans
Combine all ingredients except the pecans in a heavy saucepan. Over medium heat stir mixture until it comes to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low and continue to stir. Spoon mixture up on sides of pan to melt any sugar that hasn't melted.
Cook until mixture reaches 238 to 241 degrees F. on a candy thermometer or soft ball stage. Stir in the pecans. Remove from heat. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken and becomes creamy and cloudy. Drop onto parchment paper, buttered pan or buttered marble slab, using a spoon or ice cream scoop. Let cool.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Jamaican Coconut Candy

2 fresh coconuts, whole coconut, not shredded
2 cups chopped fresh ginger root
4 cups raw brown sugar (recommended: Natural Sugar)
1 cup chopped pecans (or nut of choice) optional Melted chocolate, for dipping
Crack open 2 coconuts. (Putting the coconuts in a 250 degree F oven for several minutes will make them easier to crack open). Scoop out the coconut meat using a paring knife. Clean the coconut and cut up into bite-sized pieces.
Put the coconut pieces and chopped ginger root into a large pot (cast iron works best). Cover with water and boil for 3 to 4 hours to soften and bring out the flavors. Be sure to continue to add water as it boils down. Once the water has reduced, add brown sugar and boil for another 30 to 40 minutes or until there is no liquid left. It should be in a syrup state. Fold in chopped pecans. Drop pieces onto nonstick foil and let set for about 15 minutes. Dip in melted chocolate and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pine Nut and Pumpkin Seed Brittle

3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) pine nuts
3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) hulled pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups sugar 1 cup water
6 tablespoons corn syrup
4 ounces unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place the pine nuts and pumpkin seeds on a sheet pan and place in the oven. Roast the nuts until golden, shaking the pan periodically to ensure even browning, about 10 minutes.
Line a large sheet pan with a silpat cover, or, with aluminum foil. Smooth out any wrinkles that form on the sheet pan, grease with the vegetable oil and set aside. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil, without stirring. Add the corn syrup and continue to boil the sugar, brushing down the sides of the saucepan with a brush that's been dipped in water to force down into the pan any crystallized sugar that forms on the walls of the pan.
When the sugar reaches 250 degrees F, gradually add the butter, but do not stir. Continue to cook the sugar until it starts to turn a light caramel color. Remove from the heat and add the salt and baking soda, stirring to distribute. Pour the sugar over the silpat and cover evenly, making a thin sheet over the silpat. While the sugar is still warm, sprinkle the pine nuts and pumpkin seeds over the candy. Allow to cool completely before breaking and serving.
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Old Fashioned Milk Chocolate Fudge

3 tablespoons plus
1 teaspoon butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup half and half
2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Line a 8 by 8 by 2 inch square pan with aluminum foil. Butter the pan with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Butter the bottom and sides of a 2 quart heavy saucepan with 1 teaspoon of the butter. Combine the sugars, cream, chocolate and corn syrup in the saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook until the mixture reaches a boil, stirring constantly. Carefully clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, (234 degrees F), about 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the remaining butter and vanilla. Let the mixture stand, without stirring, for about 1 hour or until the mixture reaches 110 degrees F. Remove the candy thermometer. Using a wooden spoon, beat the mixture continuously until the mixture thickens. Add the nuts and continue to beat the mixture for about 10 minutes, or until very thick and looses shine. Spread the mixture in the prepared pan. Using a knife, score the mixture into individual squares. Let the mixture set completely. Carefully lift the foil from the pan and cut the fudge into individual squares.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Chocolate Toffee Trifle

1 box chocolate cake mix (recommended: Duncan Hines)
1/2 cup coffee liqueur
1 (16-ounce) jar fudge sauce
3 chocolate covered toffee candy bars, broken into pieces
1 1/2 cups heavy cream whipped and sweetened with
1/3 cup sugar

Prepare the cake according to the package directions for a 9 by 13-inch cake. Cool thoroughly.
Prick the entire top of the cake with a fork. Pour coffee liqueur over the cake and allow it to soak in. Wrap the cake with plastic and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Slice the cake into 1-inch thick pieces.
Line the bottom of a large glass bowl with a single layer of cake. Pour 1/4 of the fudge sauce over the cake, top with 1/4 of the candy bar-bits then 1/3 of the whipped cream. Repeat layering 2 more times ending with fudge sauce and candy bits. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
becomes thick and creamy, about 8 minutes. Stir in the vanilla.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Espresso Toffee Fudge

Butter-flavored cooking spray
1 stick butter
4 cups sugar
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
30 large marshmallows
3/4 cup toffee bits

Lightly coat 9 by 13-inch baking pan with butter-flavored cooking spray. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, sugar, evaporated milk, and espresso powder. Stirring constantly, bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and marshmallows until blended. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle toffee chips evenly over fudge and pat lightly. Cool until set, about 3 to 4 hours. Cut into bite-sized squares.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Grand Marnier Chocolate Truffles

1 orange
1 tbs caster sugar
1 tbs water
7 oz milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tbs thickened cream
1 tbs Grand Marnier
1/4 tsp finely grated orange rind
7 oz dark choc melts

Use a zester to remove rind from the orange. (Alternatively, use a vegetable peeler to peel rind from orange. Use a sharp knife to remove white pith from rind. Cut rind into very thin strips). Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Combine the orange rind, sugar and water in a small frying pan over low heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium and bring to the boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until rind is translucent. Use a fork to transfer candied rind to the lined tray.
Place the milk chocolate, cream, Grand Marnier and orange rind in a heatproof bowl and place over a medium saucepan half-filled with simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water). Use a metal spoon to stir until chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until firm enough to roll into balls.
Line a tray with non-stick baking paper. Use a teaspoon to scoop out 1 1/2 teaspoonsful of the chocolate mixture and use your hands to roll into a ball. Place on the prepared tray. Repeat with remaining chocolate mixture. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or until firm.
Place the dark choc melts in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water). Use a metal spoon to stir for 5 minutes or until chocolate melts and is smooth. Remove from heat.
Line a baking tray with non-stick paper. Use a fork to dip a truffle into the melted chocolate to evenly coat. Remove truffle, tapping the fork handle gently on the edge of the bowl to shake off any excess melted chocolate. Transfer to the lined tray. Top with a piece of candied rind. Repeat with remaining truffles and candied rind. Set aside for 30 minutes to set.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Chocolate Fudge Slice

9 oz milk chocolate, roughly chopped
14 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
7 oz milk arrowroot or plain biscuits
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Grease and line a 2 inch deep, 6 x 1o inch pan. Combine chocolate and condensed milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
Place biscuits into a food processor. Process until roughly chopped (do not process to crumbs). Add to chocolate mixture with sultanas and walnuts. Stir until well combined.
Gently press mixture into prepared lamington pan. Cover. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until set. Cut into pieces. Serve.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Palm Sugar Peanut Brittle

You'll need an 7 x 11 inch (base measurement) non-stick slab pan for this recipe.

Ingredients: (serves 8)
Vegetable oil, to grease
1 1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup palm sugar, finely shaved
2 1/2 tbs butter, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 F . Brush an 7 x 11 inch (base measurement) non-stick slab pan with oil to grease. Spread the peanuts in the pan and bake in preheated oven, stirring once during cooking, for 3 minutes or until warmed through.
Combine the caster sugar and palm sugar in a medium non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook, uncovered, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves and becomes golden brown. Stir in peanuts and butter, and cook for a further 2 minutes or until butter melts and mixture is well combined. Pour into prepared pan and set aside for 30 minutes to set and cool completely. Break into large pieces to serve.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Brazil Nut & Almond Brittle

Ingredients (serves 8)
Vegetable oil, to grease
1 cup Brazil nuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
2 oz butter

Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush a 7 x 11 inch (base measurement) slice pan with oil to lightly grease. Spread the Brazil nuts and almonds over separate baking trays. Bake in oven for 5 minutes or until toasted. Set aside to cool slightly.
Cook the sugar in a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves and mixture is golden brown. Remove from heat. Add the Brazil nuts, almonds and butter and stir to coat. Pour into the prepared pan and set aside for 20 minutes to set. Break into large shards to serve.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Flavoured Popcorn

4 oz unsalted butter
To serve, add your choice of flavouring such as 1 tbs chicken seasoning or 1 tbs mild curry powder or 1 tbs of dried Italian herbs and 2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
14 oz of popcorn

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the seasoning of your choice, stirring to combine. Pour over the popcorn, tossing well. Serve in large bowls.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Baileys Chocolate Fudge

Melted butter, to grease
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
3.5 oz butter, cubed
1 1/4 cups, firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbs glucose syrup
5 oz good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup Baileys Original Irish Cream liqueur

Brush a 8 inch square cake pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line base and 2 opposite sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing it to overhang.
Combine the condensed milk, butter, sugar and glucose syrup in a medium heavy-based saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat for 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, for 10-15 minutes or until mixture thickens, turns a caramel colour and leaves the side of pan. Remove from heat.
Add the chocolate and liqueur, and stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Set aside for 1 hour to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until firm.
Remove fudge from pan, using the paper to help lift the fudge. Use a sharp knife to cut fudge into 16 equal portions.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

White Chocolate & Pistachio Fudge

2 cups caster sugar
1 1/2 cups thick cream
4.5 oz white chocolate, broken up
2 tbs liquid glucose
1 oz butter
1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts, roughly chopped

Grease a 8 inch square baking pan.
Place all ingredients, except nuts, in a large pan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium and boil mixture until it's a honey colour and reaches soft ball stage (when a teaspoon of syrup dropped into cold water forms a soft ball, or a sugar thermometer reaches 234-245 F). This may take up to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, add nuts and beat with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes or until thick. Pour into dish. Cut when completely cool and set

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cheesy Popcorn

1/3 cup popcorn kernels
1/2 cup finely grated cheddar

Place 1/3 cup popcorn kernels in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and use a fork to pierce. Cook on High/800watts/100% for 4 minutes or until the popcorn has popped. Transfer the popcorn to a heatproof bowl and discard any unpopped kernels. Add 1/2 cup finely grated cheddar and toss until well combined. Divide among serving bowls and serve immediately.

Monday, February 11, 2008

White Chocolate Liqueur Fudge

Melted butter, to grease
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (Nestle brand)
1 cup, firmly packed brown sugar
4.5 oz butter, cubed
2 tbs liquid glucose
3.5 oz white chocolate (like Nestle Milkybar brand), roughly chopped
3/4 cup walnut halves, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tbs Baileys liqueur

Brush six 1.5 inch deep, loaf pans or an 7 inch (base measurement) square cake pan with the melted butter to grease. Line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing the paper to overhang the sides.
Combine the sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, butter and glucose in a 8-cup, heatproof, microwave-safe glass jug or bowl. Cook, uncovered, on Medium-High/650watts/70%, using a balloon whisk to stir every 2 minutes, for 6-8 minutes or until the mixture begins to boil.
Continue to cook on Medium-High/650watts/70%, stirring every minute, for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture is thick, golden and boils rapidly. With a tea towel or oven mitt, very carefully place the jug on a board and set aside for 1 minute or until the bubbles subside.
Add the white chocolate and use a wooden spoon to stir continuously until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the walnuts and liqueur and mix well.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared pans. Set aside for 2 hours to cool to room temperature and become firm. Remove from pan, wrap in greaseproof or non-stick baking paper and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Cut the fudge into 1inch -thick slices to serve.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Creamy Caramel Fudge

3 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
9 oz butter, chopped
1/3 cup liquid glucose
1/4 cup golden syrup
14 oz good-quality white cooking chocolate, chopped

Grease a 1.5 inch deep, 7* 10 inch slab pan. Line with baking paper, allowing a 1/2 inch overhang at both long ends.
Place condensed milk, sugar, butter, glucose and golden syrup in a large (14-cup capacity), heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring with a balloon whisk every 2 minutes, or until mixture comes to the boil.
Microwave, uncovered, on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) for a further 5 to 6 minutes, stirring every minute with a wooden spoon, or until thick and golden.
Place bowl on a board. Stand for 2 minutes or until bubbles subside. Add white chocolate. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Pour hot fudge mixture into prepared pan. Smooth surface. Stand at room temperature for 3 hours. Refrigerate until firm. Lift out onto a board. Cut into squares.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Spiced Buttered Popcorn

2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup popping corn
1 tbs cumin seeds
1 tsp sea salt flakes
3 oz butter
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp chilli powder

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the corn and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally for 3-5 minutes or until the corn has popped. Transfer to a large bowl.
Cook the cumin seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the salt.
Melt the butter in the frying pan over low heat. Add the coriander, garam masala and chilli and cook for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add to the popcorn and toss until the popcorn is well coated. Sprinkle with the cumin mixture. Serve.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Caramel Popcorn

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup popping corn

4.5 oz butter, chopped
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Line a tray with baking paper. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 pieces of popping corn. If corn slowly turns around in a circle then oil is hot enough.
Add remaining popping corn. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. When corn starts popping, shake saucepan gently. Remove from heat when corn stops popping. Transfer to a large bowl, discarding any unpopped corn.
Make caramel Combine butter, sugar and honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Bring mixture to the boil. Boil, uncovered, without stirring, for 5 to 8 minutes or until light golden.
Remove from heat. Stir in pecans. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and stir until popcorn is coated. Spread over prepared tray. Set aside to cool. Break into pieces. Serve.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Rum & Raisin Chocolate Fudge Squares

1/4 cup rum
1/2 cup raisins
14 oz dark chocolate,
coarsely chopped
1 x 14 oz can sweetened
condensed milk
2 oz unsalted butter

Line a 8 inch square cake pan with non-stick baking paper. Combine the rum and raisins in a small bowl. Set aside for 1 hour to macerate.
Place the chocolate, condensed milk and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan half-filled with simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water). Stir with a metal spoon until chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.
Stir in the raisin mixture. Spoon into the lined pan and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface. Set aside to cool. Place in the fridge overnight to set. Cut into squares.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Chocolate-Coated Orange Peel

2 thick-skinned oranges
9 oz caster sugar
3.5 oz good-quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Quarter each orange and pull the flesh away from the skin. Use a sharp knife to remove any excess white pith from the skin (or the sweets will be bitter).
Cut the peel into 1/4 inch -wide strips. Get an adult to help you place it in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 5 minutes, drain, then repeat twice more. Drain well.
Place 1 cup cold water in a saucepan with the sugar, stirring over low heat until sugar dissolves. Add peel and simmer for 10 minutes, by which time the peel should look translucent. Place on a wire rack over a tray, cover loosely with foil and leave at room temperature overnight.
The next day, get an adult to help you melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering watering, making sure bowl does not touch water. Cool slightly, then dip half of each orange peel strip in chocolate and return to the rack until chocolate hardens.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Choc-Cherry Lollipop Biscuits

2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
7 oz unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
5 oz caster sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
9 oz milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup glace cherries, quartered
30 wooden icy pole sticks

Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda and 1/4 tsp salt into a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla then stir in flour until just combined.
Roll heaped tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls. Place 5cm apart on baking paper-lined oven trays then, using your palm, flatten each to a 2 inch round. Press an icy pole stick into each, then pieces of chocolate and cherries. Bake biscuits for 8-10 minutes or until golden. Cool on trays. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Licorice Allsort Slice

Melted butter, to grease
4.5 oz butter, chopped
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tbs golden syrup
9 oz plain sweet biscuits, crushed
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
13 oz licorice allsorts, coarsely chopped
7 oz dark cooking chocolate, chopped
1 oz copha

Brush a 9*13 inch pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing it to overhang slightly.
Combine the butter, condensed milk and golden syrup in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until butter melts and mixture is smooth. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl. Add the biscuits, coconut and licorice allsorts and stir until just combined. Press the mixture into the base of the prepared pan and set aside for 30 minutes to set.
Place the chocolate and copha in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan half-filled with simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water). Use a metal spoon to stir over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture over the slice in the pan. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to set. Cut into squares to serve.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Chocolate Truffle Easter Eggs

You will need 4 plastic trays each containing 11 Easter-egg moulds for this recipe.
2 x 6 oz pkts white chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 x 7 oz pkts milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup thickened cream

Place half the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan half filled with simmering water. Stir with a metal spoon until chocolate melts. Reserve 2 tablespoons of chocolate.
Use a small clean brush to brush a thin layer of melted chocolate over 22 Easter-egg moulds. Set aside to set. Repeat with half the milk chocolate.
Meanwhile, combine remaining white chocolate and half the cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan half filled with simmering water. Stir with a metal spoon until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour or until ganache thickens. Repeat with remaining milk chocolate and cream.
Spoon white and milk-chocolate ganache evenly among chocolate egg shells and smooth the surface. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.
Turn eggs on to a clean work surface. Melt reserved white chocolate. Brush edge of a white-chocolate egg shell with melted chocolate and sandwich together with a second white-chocolate egg shell to make a whole egg. Set aside to set. Repeat with remaining melted white chocolate and white-chocolate egg shells.
Melt reserved milk chocolate and repeat with milk-chocolate egg shells.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mocha White Chocolate with Chocolate Toffee Candy

8 ounces white chocolate
2 ounces coffee
2 ounces chocolate covered toffee, crushed
Miscellaneous fruits and cakes
Melt the chocolate and coffee in a double boiler. Stir them until creamy and then add the crushed heath bar. Dip fruits and cakes into the mixture and serve.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

White Chocolate Bark

10 candy canes
2 x 7 oz blocks good-quality white cooking chocolate, chopped
Roughly break up candy canes and place in a plastic bag. Press bag to expel air. Wrap bag in a tea towel and place on a hard surface. Pound with a hammer to crush candy into small pieces (see note).
Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Stand bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bowl base to touch water), stirring with a metal spoon for 5 minutes or until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat.
Line 2 flat trays with baking paper. Add candy to chocolate. Stir to combine. Divide mixture between trays and spread out to 20cm x 26cm rectangles. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set.
Break white chocolate bark into large pieces (about 15 pieces per tray). Serve.
Notes & tips
We took the candy canes outside to pound, to prevent damaging the kitchen bench.
Tip: To give white chocolate bark as gifts, place in cellophane bags and tie with ribbon. Add gift tags, if desired.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Chocolate Candy Bar

1 (24-ounce) bag chocolate chips
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (24-ounce) bag pretzel sticks (recommended: Snyder Old Fashioned Dipping Sticks)
1 1/2 cups skinless hazelnuts
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Put the chocolate chips in a bowl and place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir until the chips are melted. (Alternately, put the chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on medium for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave in 30 second intervals until the chocolate has melted. It should take 2 to 3 minutes.) Add 3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil and stir well.
To form the base, dip two pretzel sticks in the chocolate and lay them side by side on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat until you have 24 bases made. Put the baking sheet into the refrigerator to harden the chocolate. Pour the remaining chocolate into a squeeze bottle.
Meanwhile, add the hazelnuts, sugar, and vanilla to the bowl of a food processor. With the machine running, pour in the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Continue processing until the nuts form a smooth spread. Scoop the spread into a plastic bag and snip off a corner to make a piping bag. Remove the bases from the refrigerator and pipe a strip of hazelnut spread between each pair of chocolate covered pretzels. Squeeze chocolate over the top of each one to cover and return the baking sheet to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Trim off any excess chocolate with a knife and wrap each bar individually. Keep refrigerated

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Saturday, January 19, 2008


The marshmallow is a confection that, in its modern form, typically consists of sugar or corn syrup, water, gelatin that has been pre-softened in hot water, dextrose, and flavorings, whipped to a spongy consistency. The traditional recipe used an extract from the mucilaginous root of the marshmallow plant, a shrubby herb (Althaea officinalis), instead of gelatin; the mucilage acted as a cough suppressant.
Commercial marshmallows are a late-nineteenth-century innovation. Since Doumak's patented extrusion process of 1948, marshmallows are extruded as soft cylinders, cut in sections and rolled in a mix of finely powdered cornstarch and confectioner's sugar. Not all brands coat their marshmallows in confectioner's sugar. Most of the current brands of commercially available marshmallows, in the US and Canada, are made and copacked by Kraft Foods and Doumak, Inc, under such names as Jet-Puffed, Campfire, Kidd and numerous "private label" store brands.
Marshmallows are also used in hot chocolate or café mocha (mochachino), Mallomars, Peeps and other candy, Rice Krispie treats, ice cream flavors such as Rocky Road, and S'mores, on top of candied yams during Thanksgiving, and in several other foodstuffs. Americans eat about 90 million pounds of marshmallows a year

Friday, January 18, 2008

Popcorn Candy Balls

1/2 cup butter
1 (16 ounce) package large marshmallows
2 cups popped popcorn
1 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces
In a saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows are softened.
Add popcorn and candies; mix until evenly coated with marshmallows.
Allow to cool enough to touch. Grease hands with butter and form into balls

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Generation Max 3 Musketeers S’mores Brownie Bar

Generation Max is a new line of products by Mars just released this year to provide a healthier candy alternative to kids. “How healthy can candy be?” you wonder. It all comes down to portion control, fat/sugar percentages and added vitamins/minerals. For example, each Generation Max item has less than 150 calories and no trans fat. They also sport less than 35% of total calories from fat, 10% from saturated fat and 35% from sugar. These treats, which feature Mars candy names and items like M&Ms, Snickers and 3 Musketeers, are meant to be sold in vending machines in schools.
I’ve seen many candy bars in my day and the Generation Max 3 Musketeers S’mores Brownie Bar (try saying that three times fast) has the busiest packaging design I’ve seen yet. It’s a bright healthy yellow color with colored silhouettes of people running, jumping… being active and having fun. The 3 Musketeers logo takes second billing to the new “Generation MAX” logo that is the largest image on the whole bar. The catchphrase “Keeps you going!” is clearly written underneath, giving us the impression that this isn’t just good tasting candy, but fuel for our body and fun activities.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Homemade Lollipops

You'll need 18 lollipop sticks
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons glucose syrup (see note)
1/4 cup water
1 to 2 drops food colouring of choice
Line 2 large, flat baking trays with baking paper. Refrigerate until you're ready to use them.
Combine sugar, glucose syrup and water in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until sugar is completely dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to the boil (do not stir).
Add food colouring. Reduce heat to low. Boil gently for 12 minutes, or until mixture has reached correct temperature. To test temperature, drop a small spoonful of sugar mixture into a glass of cold water. Allow to cool, then remove from water. The mixture is ready if toffee is brittle (149°C to 154°C on a sugar thermometer). If not, continue boiling mixture and checking until toffee is brittle. Remove saucepan from heat.
Remove baking trays from fridge. Drop spoonfuls of toffee onto baking trays. While mixture is still soft and warm, press a lollipop stick into the centre of each circle. You will need to work quickly before the toffee sets.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Valentine Heart Candy Gets New Sayings

NEW YORK (Associated Press) - Personal relationships can go through hot and cold spells just like the weather _ a sometimes harsh reality illustrated by this year's new sayings on the New England Confectionery Co.'s traditional Valentine's Day heart candies.
NECCO said Wednesday that its Sweethearts Conversation Hearts will include the weather-themed phrases "Melt My Heart," "In A Fog," "Chill Out," "Cloud Nine," "Heat Wave," "Sun Shine" and "Get My Drift."
The sayings "highlight the excitement and unpredictability of the day-to-day change of weather and people's love lives," NECCO marketing manager Lory Zimbalatti said in a statement.
This year's 10 new sayings also include nature-inspired phrases "Wild Life" and "Nature Lover," and the saying "Do Good."
The Revere-based company has been making Sweethearts Conversation Hearts since 1866, and in the 1990s began introducing different themes. NECCO also makes Necco wafers and Clark bars, with manufacturing plants in Revere and Pewaukee, Wis.
NECCO is being sold to a group of investors under a deal announced Dec. 28. Terms of the sale to a group led by American Capital Strategies Ltd. weren't disclosed.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Butterscotch Fudge Candy

1/4 c Butter
3/4 c Sour Cream
1 c White Sugar
1 ts Vanilla
1/4 ts Salt
1/2 c Nuts
1 c Brown Sugar
2 tb White Syrup

Melt butter. Add brown sugar and heat to boiling. Add white sugar, sour cream and salt. cook to 236 degrees. Cool. Add vanilla and nuts then beat until thick. Pour into buttered pan.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Top 10 Candy Destinations

  1. Hershey, Pa. – Living up to its nickname “The Sweetest Place on Earth,” Hershey, Pa. ranked number one with a 61 percent consumer rating. Trick-or-treaters of all ages can delight in free samples on a free tour ride at Hershey’s Chocolate World; dare to ride the more than 60 exhilarating rides at Hersheypark; and indulge in a chocolate treatment at The Spa At The Hotel Hershey. Both Hersheypark and Hershey’s Chocolate World will host trick-or-treaters the last two weekends in October.
  2. New York, N.Y. – Fifty-four (54) percent of Americans want a sweet bite of the Big Apple. Home to landmarks like the imaginative and interactive M&M’s World, 16-story tall Hershey’s Time Square store, Jacques Torres Chocolate café and Dylan’s Candy Bar, it doesn’t need to be Halloween in New York City to find treats on every corner!
  3. Orlando, Fla. – Ranking third, 53 percent of Americans agree that sunshine and sweets can’t be beat. This Halloween indulge in the sweet treats at Downtown Disney’s whimsical candy, ice-cream and soda shops, including a replica of San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square!
  4. San Francisco, Calif. – Fifty-two (52) percent of Americans say they want to go to Frisco for main attractions including Ghirardelli Square and renowned Scharffen Berger chocolate factory. Also nearby, explore fruity and fun Jelly Belly factory or see the world’s largest Pez dispenser (yes, it really works!).
  5. Chicago, Ill. – Home to more than 100 premier candy manufacturers and attractions, Chi-town offers a taste for every trick-or-treater. Crack open a box of Cracker Jacks at landmark Wrigley Field, or take an evening stroll down Michigan Ave. for a glimpse of the illuminated Wrigley Building. For indulgent delights, visit one of five Ethel’s Chocolate Lounges and don’t miss the free treats on The Chicago Chocolate Tour.
  6. Los Angeles, Calif. – Nearly half (48 percent) of adults say they’d like to get the star treatment at Disneyland’s Candy Palace with an extensive assortment of retro candies. And trick-or-treaters won’t want to miss nearby Godiva Chocolatier, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and famous See’s Candies factory.
  7. Boston, Mass. – Forty-seven (47) percent ofAmericans want a taste of Bean town and its rich candy history. Crowned the 2006 U.S. Trick-or-Treat Capital, Boston is known for “Americanizing” Halloween by launching popular traditions like carving pumpkins, wearing costumes and trick-or-treating. Discover the treats of Halloween’s birthplace at they city’s popular Sugar Heaven candy shop or dip into The Chocolate Dipper for handmade chocolates packaged in unique Boston themed assortments like ‘lobster’ and ‘clam chowder.’
  8. New Orleans, La. – At Halloween everything goes down easy in the Big Easy, like the classic pralines of the French Quarter and confections from local favorites including Evans Creole Candy Factory, Laura’s Candy Shop and Aunt Sally’s Praline Shop.
  9. Las Vegas, Nev. – Cash in your chips and enjoy the sweet side of Vegas. Candy lovers can check out a replica of the M&M’s sponsored #38 NASCAR racecar and catch a 3-D movie at M&M’s World, or enjoy fondue for two at landmark Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge. This Halloween, treat yourself to Vegas Images’ chocolate poker chips as you learn the tricks of the poker trade
  10. Kansas City , Mo. – Kansas City entices more than a third (34 percent) of Americans with Russell Stover headquarters and Andre’s (Andre’s Confiserie Suisse) elegant Rivaz Tearoom. Don’t miss the creative artisan chocolates costumed in hand crafted designs by world-famous confectionery chef Christopher Elbow this Halloween.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Candy Corn Suckers

6 or 8-inch lollipop sticks, as needed
Candy corns, as needed
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon orange or lemon extract
Few drops orange or yellow food coloring
Small plastic bags, as needed
Plastic spider finger rings, as needed
Lollipop collar molds;
Silicone baking mat
If you have lollipop collar molds, lay them on a silicone baking mat-lined sheet pan, fit them with sticks, and place 1 piece of candy corn in each collar. Or, just lay out the sticks in rows on a silpat mat, leaving 3 inches of space between them and place a piece of candy corn above the stick.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a clean, dry small saucepan (preferably 1 with a pouring spout) fitted with a candy thermometer, and bring to a boil over high heat. Without stirring, cook until the mixture reaches 305 degrees F or "hard crack" stage on the candy thermometer. (While the syrup is cooking, occasionally wash down the sides of the pan with a clean brush dipped in water, to prevent crystallization.)
When the mixture is done, remove the pot from the heat and dip it into an ice bath for 15 seconds to stop the cooking. Add the extract and food coloring and stir very gently with a wooden skewer so that the color is evenly distributed. (To avoid air bubbles in the finished lollipops, stir the mixture gently in both directions, but be careful not to over mix.)
Pour or carefully spoon the syrup into the molds or just over the sticks and candy corns, if not using collars, to make a quarter-sized disk. Cool until hard, at least 20 minutes.
Lift the suckers off the mat and remove from the molds. Slip plastic bags over the lollipops and gather the bag shut with a plastic spider finger ring. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.