Ghoul You are Boo-tiful Candy Craft

Ghoul Candy Craft-5427 on Whisk Together

Book Review:  It is my turn for Book Club this month and we are reading one of my favorites of the last 5 years: “The Last Child” by John Hart.  John Hart won the Edgar Award for this novel and his previous one as well.  The only person to win the Edgar Award for consecutive novels, Hart weaves the disappearance (and assumed murder) of his twin sister Alyssa with the exploration of the dark side of his hometown.  One of my favorites – just make sure to not let the prologue throw you.  The prologue is very slow, but once you get into chapter one and two the mystery unfolds and the action moves faster.

Ghoul Candy Craft-5432 on Whisk Together

Craft:  So many Halloween crafts and goodies!  I am placing these at each seat at our MOPS table on Monday as a little treat for Halloween and a reminder that each one of our ladies is beautiful (inside and out!).  You could use them as a fun neighbor gift, tag for a gift, place setting for Halloween, a teacher gift, frame it for your BFF, etc.

Ghoul Candy Craft-5430 on Whisk Together

The kids and I put these together in less than 10 minutes.  Crunch bars work the best because they have a tight wrapper and 90 degree corners inside.  Milky Way and Snickers WILL work, but I found them difficult with the loose wrapper and rounded edges.  Any candy in the shape of a square or rectangle should work!  Even DOTS boxes!

*The printable is completely free.  I want to give the blogger credit who created it, so the link goes to her website and the printable is there to download.  You don’t need to sign up for anything at all*

What you need:

the printable printed on cardstock or at photo center
-rounded corner punch (optional)
-Crunch candy bars or Dots or any candy with 90 degree angles
-Glue Dots (Zots)

*Alternative Idea:  Print on your printer or the print center and frame it into a photo frame.  You could even add glue dots to the outside of the photo frame and use candy, candy corn, etc. for decoration.

Step One:
Print the Halloween Printable on cardstock or photo paper or have a photo center print it for you.

Ghoul Candy Craft-5419 on Whisk Together

Step Two:
Use the Rounded Corner Punch to round the corners if you wish.  This was entirely optional.

Step Three:
Place glue dot on the back center of the printable.


Ghoul Candy Craft-5422 on Whisk Together

Step Four:
Adhere the long, narrow side of the candy to the printable.

Step Five:
Stand it up!  Hand it out!

Ghoul Candy Craft-5429 on Whisk Together

Ghoul Candy Craft-5420 on Whisk Together

Holy Moly Brownies

Holy Moly Brownies-1863 on Whisk Together

 

I saw these “holy heck brownies” on Pinterest and then used the King Arthur Flour recipe to make the brownie because it had more chocolate in it.  Everyone loved these brownies!  Dark, fudgy, chewy, just the perfect bar to take anywhere.  This version makes a 9×13 pan and snickers inside.  Use up the rest of the Halloween candy or from the Easter egg hunt! 🙂

Here is a photo of the cookies for this weekend.  My sister LOVES the St. Louis Cardinals and so we had these cookies made for her birthday:

St Louis Cardinals Cookies on Whisk Together

 

Then, to be totally topped off, her friend’s mom made this super spectacular good enough for a wedding cake.  I wish I had had my good camera on me, but usually I leave it at home:


Daffodil Cake on Whisk Together2

 

Well, now that your mouth is watering from brownies,

Holy Moly Brownies-1875 on Whisk Together

and cookies,

Holy Moly Brownies-1872 on Whisk Together

 

and cake,

Holy Moly Brownies-1867 on Whisk Together

 

Here is the recipe for Holy Moly Brownies.  Perfect for Easter because brownies go with everything.

Holy Moly Brownies
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. (1 cup/2 sticks/16 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (15.75 oz.) sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temp.
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (3.75 oz) Dutch Process Cocoa or Hershey’s Dark Cocoa*
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. espresso powder**
  • 1 Tb. vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (6.25 oz) AP flour
  • 2 cups (12 oz.) chocolate chips (I used semi sweet)
  • 1 cup caramel sauce
  • 10-15 fun size snickers, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray or Baker’s Joy.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Just before completely melted, add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Continue to stir and heat until the mixture is hot but NOT bubbling – about 2 minutes.
  3. In a separate big bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder and vanilla. It will thick, but beat until it is smooth.
  4. Stir the hot butter/sugar into the cocoa/egg mixture. Keep stirring until smooth.
  5. If you want the chocolate chips to melt in and not be chunky, put the entire bowl in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Then stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Add flour slowly and fold in. You are kind of making muffins here – folding the flour into the mixture in order to avoid creating gluten.
  7. Pour half of the batter into the pan. Pour into caramel sauce. Sprinkle snickers bars. Scoop the rest of the batter on top and spread with an offset spatula. Bake for 40 minutes. Toothpick should be clean with a few crumbs.
  8. Cool on a wire rack. I like them even better the next day.
Notes
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

 

Rolo Cookies

**Update 11/26/12:  So I have made these about…. 12 times over and they worked perfectly every time until now.  Either Rolo has changed their formula (some companies do because of allergy requirements or to remove trans fats as the Nabisco company did for the Oreo), or the changes I did made a big difference:  I froze the rolos instead of refrigerating them and I weighed my ingredients instead of scooping like I used to.  This recipe was not developed with weights, and maybe that’s it.  I’m not sure.  They still taste great though!  Just had oozers.**

**Update 12/12/2014:  Rolos must have changed.  The color and texture of the candy has changed AND they don’t sell them in 13 ounce packages anymore.  The package is now 11 ounces, but you pay the same price.  This decreases the yield of this recipe and you have leftover cookie dough which I just form into regular cookies.

These cookies have been a staple for about ten years or so.  They originated from a Quick Cooking or Taste of Home magazine that I used to receive back in the day before the internet exploded and that was the best place to get recipes.  Aside from my shortbread (that’s another blog post (tee hee Alton Brown reference)), these are one of the top requested cookies I make each year.

The cookie part is mostly chewy  and a tad crisp on the outside.  Don’t skip the white chocolate topping when giving out to people – it really makes these cookies stand out.

Rolo Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup + 1 Tb. sugar, divided
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, divided
  • 1 package Rolos (11 or 13 ounces), unwrapped
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips or almond bark

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, 1 cup sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs and scrape the bowl to combine. Add vanilla and combine.
  2. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the dry stuff: flour, cocoa, and baking soda.
  3. Add dry stuff to wet stuff a little at a time. The batter will get VERY thick. I have to use my Kitchenaid mixer because the hand mixer can't handle the cookie dough. Mix until just combined.
  4. Stir in 3/4 cup nuts using the mixer. Cover and chill the dough for about an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the 1 Tb of sugar and 1/4 cup chopped nuts. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough into balls (about 1"). Roll the dough ball around the Rolo. Dip into the nuts/sugar mixture. Place on the cookie sheet 1" apart.
  6. Bake for 7 minutes. The tops will just begin to crack.
  7. Once the cookies have cooled, melt the white chocolate. I put mine into a ziplock sandwich bag and cut the tip off. Drizzle on cookies. Hand out to friends or freeze up to 1 month.
http://www.whisktogether.com/2014/12/12/rolo-cookies/

Rolo Cookies
yield just over 4 dozen

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup + 1 Tb. sugar, divided
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, divided
1 package Rolos (11 or 13 ounces), unwrapped
1/4 cup white chocolate chips or almond bark

1.  In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, 1 cup sugar and brown sugar.  Add eggs and scrape the bowl to combine.  Add vanilla and combine.
2.  In a medium size bowl, whisk together the dry stuff:  flour, cocoa, and baking soda.
3.  Add dry stuff to wet stuff a little at a time.  The batter will get VERY thick.  I have to use my Kitchenaid mixer because the hand mixer can’t handle the cookie dough.   Mix until just combined.
4.  Stir in 3/4 cup nuts using the mixer.  Cover and chill the dough for about an hour.
5.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a small bowl, mix the 1 Tb of sugar and 1/4 cup chopped nuts.  Using a small cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough into balls (about 1″).  Roll the dough ball around the Rolo.  Dip into the nuts/sugar mixture.  Place on the cookie sheet 1″ apart.
6.  Bake for 7 minutes.  The tops will just begin to crack.
7.  Once the cookies have cooled, melt the white chocolate.  I put mine into a ziplock sandwich bag and cut the tip off. Drizzle on cookies.  Hand out to friends or freeze up to 1 month.

 

 

Chocolate Popcorn

Chocolate Popcorn_3 on Whisk Together

Well… this WAS made to pair with my caramel corn.  But the caramel corn burned the first time (pan was on the lower rack instead of middle-upper rack) and the caramel cooked too long the second time (because I was chopping apples to make apple butter).  What did I learn so you don’t have to?

1.  When making anything with candy, never EVER take your eyes off of it.  Never.  Okay?  Sugar + Stove top = All eyes on me.

2.  When baking in a new oven, check your recipes 5-10 minutes early to be safe.  This is a new oven and my rack was too low, so the caramel burned.  Or I could have baked the caramel corn at 200 degrees which takes longer, but less risk in burning.

3.  When making apple butter, use Jonagold, Pink Lady, Jonathon, Golden Delicious, Empire, McIntosh or Rome apples. Don’t use Honeycrisp.  Save those babies for eating.  They make an okay apple butter.  But, last year the Golden Delicious apples made awesome apple butter.  Last year, I added some apple peel as well which I liked, but the family did not appreciate the texture.

Recipe:  Chocolate popcorn was chocolatey and feels healthy and delicious :-).  I like the candy corn with it and the creamy chocolate on the crunchy popcorn.  I think milk chocolate or dark chocolate would be delectable as well.  It lasted 3 days in a sealed bag.  Beyond that…Don’t ask because it never survived that long!  Fun for a night of watching baseball, giving as gifts during the Fall or mix with red and green M&M’s during Christmas, etc.

How to make plain popcorn?  We purchased the Nordicware Popcorn Popper ages ago based on my friend’s recommendation and love it!  1/3 cup of popcorn kernels yields 8 cups of perfectly popped popcorn every time without oil or salt.  We spray natural butter flavored grapeseed oil with the Misto and sprinkle salt on it for just plain eating.  But for making caramel or chocolate popcorn, this plain popcorn maker works great and we’ve been using it for years.  I can probably pop $50 of those premade bags with just $3 of plain popcorn kernels with this item.

Chocolate Popcorn_4 on Whisk Together

Chocolate Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 12-15 cups plain popped popcorn (12 cups leaves more candy coating, 15 cups leaves less candy coating; photo taken with 15 cups)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 Tb. butter
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup candy corn

Instructions

  1. Spray a roasting pan with nonstick spray. Spread popcorn in the pan. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Prepare a spot on the counter with parchment or silicone mats for later. About 18"-24" tall and 24"-36" wide.
  2. In a metal (not non-stick) pot, mix together the sugar, light corn syrup and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn to medium low heat and boil without stirring for 2 minutes. Remember - silicone or wooden spoons are good here. Other plastic stirring spoons could melt in the high heat of boiling sugar.
  3. Once the 2 minutes are up, take the pot off of the heat. Stir in the chocolate chips and vanilla.
  4. Drizzle the chocolate mix onto the popcorn. Bake for 15 minutes. Stir. Bake for another 15 minutes. Stir. If there is very little chocolate on the bottom of the pan, then remove the pan from the oven.
  5. Immediately, pour the popcorn onto the prepared parchment onto the counter. Cool for just a few moments and break into smaller pieces as the popcorn cools. Cool completely. Store in airtight container.
http://www.whisktogether.com/2014/10/12/chocolate-popcorn/

Chocolate Popcorn
12-15 cups

12-15 cups plain popped popcorn (12 cups leaves more candy coating, 15 cups leaves less candy coating; photo taken with 15 cups)
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 Tb. butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup candy corn

1.  Spray a roasting pan with nonstick spray.  Spread popcorn in the pan.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Prepare a spot on the counter with parchment or silicone mats for later.  About 18″-24″ tall and 24″-36″ wide.
2.  In a metal (not non-stick) pot, mix together the sugar, light corn syrup and butter.   Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Turn to medium low heat and boil without stirring for 2 minutes.  Remember – silicone or wooden spoons are good here.  Other plastic stirring spoons could melt in the high heat of boiling sugar.
3.  Once the 2 minutes are up, take the pot off of the heat.  Stir in the chocolate chips and vanilla.
4.  Drizzle the chocolate mix onto the popcorn.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Stir.  Bake for another 15 minutes.  Stir.  If there is very little chocolate on the bottom of the pan, then remove the pan from the oven.
5.  Immediately, pour the popcorn onto the prepared parchment onto the counter.  Cool for just a few moments and break into smaller pieces as the popcorn cools.  Cool completely.  Store in airtight container.

Recipe from Dierbergs “Everybody Cooks” Fall 2012

 

Homemade Star Crunch Bars

Homemade Star Crunch_4 on Whisk Together

Book Update:  No books.  I did watch “Saving Mr. Banks”.  Such a great movie!  Emma Thompson was sooo good.  Tonight, I saw “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” because my friend John was in the musical.  Here’s my new lunchbox though!  I can’t wait.  I wish I was teaching school just to put it on my desk.

Lunchbox on Whisk Together

Recipe: So the title should really be “Happiness Covered in Chocolate”.  These bars really are simple to make.  The only requirements are the ingredients, a microwave and large glass bowl.  Oh, and some kind of spatula.  The patties can be made as large or as small as you want.  The original star crunch bars are pretty large – about 3″ wide and 1″ thick.  I made these 3/4″ thick and about 1-2″ wide so that I could share them with more people.  Next time, I will just put the rice krispy mixture into a greased 9×13 and slather it with the chocolate instead of shaping them into patties.  That might be easier at a pot luck… although maybe not as fun to eat.

Homemade Star Crunch_3 on Whisk Together

Homemade Star Crunch Bars

Ingredients

  • 11 oz. bag of caramels or caramel bits
  • 4 Tb. (1/4 cup) butter
  • 5 oz. (2 cups or half the bag) mini marshmallows
  • 4 cups crisp rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
  • cooking spray
  • 12 oz. (2 cups) milk chocolate chips
  • 1 Tb. vegetable oil or 2 Tb. vegetable shortening

Instructions

  1. Have everything ready to go because this recipe gets a little sticky.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  3. In a great big glass bowl, pour in the caramel bits or unwrap the caramels.
  4. Cook in the microwave on full power for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Stop every 30 seconds to stir. Depending on the wattage of the microwave, this may require more or less time for the caramels to start getting very soft. They don't need to be completely melted yet.
  5. Add the butter to the caramels. Heat in microwave 1 minute. Stir. The mixture will start to come together, but some of the butter will not mix and that's okay.
  6. Add marshmallows. Heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir when the marshmallows are puffy and mix into the caramel mixture.
  7. Once all mixed together, add cereal. Fold into the caramel mixture.
  8. Spray hands with cooking spray.
  9. Form the mixture into patties and place onto the parchment or silicone mat. The mixture towards the bottom may be too hot to handle and need to cool for a short while.
  10. Cover the patties with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
  11. Take a glass bowl and fill with the milk chocolate chips and vegetable oil or shortening. Melt in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Dip the crunch bars into the chocolate and remove. Using 2 forks or a slotted spoon works well. Then, put on a wire rack or back onto the parchment or silicone.
  12. Once all done, put in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight to firm up the chocolate. Remove from fridge about 2 hours before serving and enjoy! Keep out on the counter covered for a few days or in the fridge for a week.
http://www.whisktogether.com/2014/07/24/homemade-star-crunch-bars/

Recipe from Averie Cooks

Homemade Star Crunch

11 oz. bag of caramels or caramel bits
4 Tb. (1/4 cup) butter
5 oz. (2 cups or half the bag) mini marshmallows
4 cups crisp rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
cooking spray
12 oz. (2 cups) milk chocolate chips
1 Tb. vegetable oil or 2 Tb. vegetable shortening

Have everything ready to go because this recipe gets a little sticky.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
In a great big glass bowl, pour in the caramel bits or unwrap the caramels.
Cook in the microwave on full power for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Stop every 30 seconds to stir. Depending on the wattage of the microwave, this may require more or less time for the caramels to start getting very soft. They don’t need to be completely melted yet.
Add the butter to the caramels. Heat in microwave 1 minute. Stir. The mixture will start to come together, but some of the butter will not mix and that’s okay.
Add marshmallows. Heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir when the marshmallows are puffy and mix into the caramel mixture.
Once all mixed together, add cereal. Fold into the caramel mixture.
Spray hands with cooking spray.
Form the mixture into patties and place onto the parchment or silicone mat. The mixture towards the bottom may be too hot to handle and need to cool for a short while.
Cover the patties with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
Take a glass bowl and fill with the milk chocolate chips and vegetable oil or shortening. Melt in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Dip the crunch bars into the chocolate and remove. Using 2 forks or a slotted spoon works well. Then, put on a wire rack or back onto the parchment or silicone.
Once all done, put in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight to firm up the chocolate. Remove from fridge about 2 hours before serving and enjoy! Keep out on the counter covered for a few days or in the fridge for a week.

Chocolate Covered Caramel Pretzel Bark and Freezer Breakfast Plan

Chocolate Caramel Pretzels on Whisk Together

Book Update:  So, I read through the first movie of “The Hobbit” and my book has been reserved at the library.  I guess I’ll have to wait for the third movie to come out  😉

Freezing Waffles and Pancakes on Whisk Together

Freezer Breakfast Step By Step Printable

Freezer Breakfast:  Breakfast can be one of the hardest parts of the day to find wholesome food to serve to kids fast.  Many items aside from yogurt need cooked or they are consist of preservative-filled cereals.  Here is what my daughter and I worked one morning to create a two weeks worth of pancakes and waffles:

Step One: Pull out all of your ingredients.  As you’ll notice, they are the same ingredients!  Just different proportions.  If you need a recommendation for a waffle maker that is NOT Belgian, we love the Cuisinart Waffle Maker.  The belgian waffles are too big for the kids and I wanted a more traditional waffle which this makes.

From the Fridge:
Milk and lemon juice (or buttermilk)
applesauce or butter
sour cream or Greek Yogurt
eggs

From the Pantry
honey or sugar
AP flour
Whole Wheat Flour
baking soda
baking powder
salt
cinnamon (optional)

Step Two:  You will need three large bowls (batter bowls are big enough), a whisk, a griddle or skillet and waffle maker.

Step Three:  Whisk Together the dry ingredients for the pancakes.  Here is the a basic recipe we use:  2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, dash of cinnamon.

Whisk Together the wet ingredients in Bowl #2:  2 eggs, 2 cups buttermilk (substitute 2 Tb. lemon juice in 2c milk), 3 T melted butter or applesauce, 1/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt, 1 Tb. honey or 2 Tb. sugar.

Add wet to dry and whisk until combined.  Let that sit 10 minutes.  During those 10 minutes, turn on the griddle or skillet and rinse the wet ingredient bowl.

Step Four:  While cooking the pancakes, get the dry ingredients together for the waffles:  4.75 oz. AP flour (scant 1 cup), 4.75 cup whole wheat flour (scant 1 cup), 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt, 3 Tb. sugar or honey, 3 eggs, 4 Tb. melted butter or applesauce, 16 oz (2 cups) buttermilk at room temperature.

Whisk the dry ingredients:  flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Whisk the wet ingredients:  eggs, butter/applesauce, buttermilk and sugar or honey.  If you do use applesauce, perhaps use half butter half applesauce.  Otherwise, you will get floppy waffles and not crispy waffles.  If you are dieting, then use ALL applesauce and simply cook the waffle in the waffle maker AND place it in the toaster oven to make it crispy.

Add wet to dry.  Whisk to combine and sit 5 minutes.  Heat up the waffle maker.

Cook waffles.  Place all your pancakes and waffles on cooling racks to cool completely.  Store in freezer bags.  Remove the air with a straw to suck out the air.  Reheat pancakes in microwave and waffles in the toaster oven.

Freezer Breakfast Step By Step Printable

Recipe:  Back to the recipe.  My friends on Facebook posted this recipe as “crack”.  It is salty and sweet and easy to make.  It reminds me a little of the saltine cracker recipe that is an old favorite.

Chocolate Caramel Pretzels_1 on Whisk Together

Chocolate Covered Caramel Pretzel Bark
about 30-40 servings

8 ounces mini pretzels
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
2 cups (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
sea salt

1.  Turn the oven on to 375 degrees.
2.   Lay out a jelly roll pan (about 11×17) or rimmed cookie sheet.  Cover with parchment paper or non-stick foil. Lay out the pretzels in a single layer on the pan.
3.  In a saucepan on the stovetop, mix the butter and brown sugar.  Melt over medium heat.  Allow the mixture to come to a boil and boil for 3 minutes.  You can stir off and on.
4.  Pour the caramel mixture over the pretzels.
5.  Pop the pan in the oven for 5 minutes.
6.  Place the pan onto a wire rack and sprinkle with chocolate chips.  Wait about 2-3 minutes for them to get soft.
7.  Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate chips into a thin layer of chocolate.  Allow to cool for 2 hours at least.  Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Recipe from Flower Patch Farmgirl

Butterscotch Fudge

Butterscotch Fudge_3 on Whisk Together

Recipe:   This was  a new Christmas recipe this year.  I like to test them out before posting and that is why this recipe and a few other “holiday” recipes will be posted after the holidays.  But, I would rather they be good recipes – and that is what pinning on Pinterest is for anyway, right?  This recipe is made similar to be old chocolate fudge standby recipe, but with a praline/nutty/butterscotch flavor and fudge texture.  Since it is candy, I did not alter the recipe if any at all.  Candy is more of a science than an art it seems.  I highly recommend making this and any other candy recipe in a stainless steel pot and not a non-stick pot.

If you want to make candy, go ahead and by a candy thermometer.  It saved me so much money in ingredients in the long run.  Always test it once a year to make sure it is accurate.  To do this, simply put your candy thermometer in a pot of water.  The boiling water should register 212 degrees.  If it is a little low or high by a few degrees, get another thermometer or adjust the temperature of the recipe.  So for example, if your thermometer reads 215 degrees when the water is boiling, then it reads 3 degrees high.  Make sure that when your caramel recipe asks to remove the pan at 238 degrees, that you take the pot off at 235 degrees.

 

Butterscotch Fudge
8×8 or 9×9 pan of about 16 pieces of fudge or 32 small pieces

1/4 cup (4 ounces or 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (6 ounces) sour cream
1 cup (7.5 ounces) brown sugar
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
2 Tb. light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (2 ounces) nuts (whole or coarse chop; I used walnuts and pecans would be awesome, too)
walnuts or pecans for topping

1.  Spray or butter an 8″ square pan for thick pieces or 9″ square pan for thinner pieces.  Line the pan with parchment.  Or, you could also use non-stick foil and I have had a lot of success with that as well.

2.  In a 2 or 3 quart pot (not non-stick):   Add your butter, sour cream, brown sugar, sugar, salt and light corn syrup.

3.  Stir over medium heat to melt the butter.  Clip the candy thermometer onto the pot once the butter melts.  Take the pot OFF the burner once it hits 238 degrees (F).

4.  Once off the burner, add the salt and vanilla.  Stir that in.  Add in your nuts.  Let sit for about 5 minutes.  Stir the fudge until it starts to thicken a bit. About 1 minute.  After 1 minute mine got almost so thick I couldn’t pour it into the pan.  Pour the mixture into the pan and let it sit until completely cool – about 2 to 3 hours if you can keep the family away from it for that long.

Butterscotch Fudge_1 on Whisk Together

Recipe from King Arthur Flour “Baking Sheet”  Holiday 2013

Homemade Snickers Bars

Homemade Snickers_4 on Whisk Together

Book Update:  I began reading “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers” by Robert Sapolsky.  The writing style is very easy to read and he inserts some humor.  There is a lot of information and a lot of notes in the back as well.  This is a great book for anyone who stresses about anything.  It explains a lot.  Though if you are a parent, want to be a parent, or have parents, you may want to skip the chapter about parenting… because it might stress you out.  Basically, some of the points are that despite your environment and other factors, your life as an infant really does affect you physically for the rest of your life.  For example, women that are pregnant during a famine will have babies that have “learned” there isn’t a lot of food around… therefore, the body will start to hold on to calories.  These people tend to have increased chances of obesity and diabetes regardless of what happens later in life.  Isn’t that crazy??  And speaking of calories… 🙂

Recipe Update:  This recipe is AWESOME!!!  Make it now!!!  There are so many yummy things about it:  It tastes just like snickers bars.  You could change it up to meet your tastes or get creative!  Use salted cashews instead of salted peanuts.  Or add a layer of softened vanilla or caramel ice cream in the middle.  Or use ice cream instead of nougat to fold in the nuts.  Or instead of milk chocolate, you could use dark chocolate.  You could chop these up for Snickers Salad or chop them up and sprinkle them on some apples.  Or cut them small and put them inside a crescent roll with apple slices.  Or add crisp rice cereal (a.k.a. Rice Krispies) to the bottom layer!  Or make your own Snickers concrete!  Or put a layer of pretzels inside to make it like “Take 5”.  Ooh, I do love those Take 5 bars!

Homemade Snickers Bars
Print the Recipe!
yield 9×13 pan

First Chocolate Layer
1 and 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter (I used smooth and creamy Skippy Natural)

Nougat Layer
4 Tb. (1/4 cup) Butter (unsalted or salted)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 and 1/2 cups (7 oz. jar) marshmallow fluff
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 and 1/2 cups salted peanuts, rough chop
1/2 tsp. salt (if using unsalted butter and if the peanuts are not very salty)

Caramel Layer
14 oz. bag of caramels (I like Kraft or Market Pantry (Target brand))
1/4 cup whipping cream

Top Chocolate Layer
1 and 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter

1. To prep your pan:  use a 9×13 pan and cover it in non-stick foil, or grease it and place parchment paper inside and grease the parchment paper.

2.  For the bottom/first layer:  Melt the chocolate and peanut butter together on the stove top on low or in the microwave at 50% power and stirring every 30 seconds or so.  Once you have most of the chips melted, simply stir to get it smooth (don’t want to overcook it and burn!).  Pour into your pan and throw that in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Homemade Snickers on Whisk Together

3.  For the nougat/second layer:  In a saucepan, melt your butter, sugar and evaporated milk together on medium heat.  Once that starts to boil, let it boil for 5 minutes and stir once in a while.  Take the pot off the heat and add your marshmallow fluff, peanut butter and vanilla.  Fold that in until it is all smooth.  Now, fold in your peanuts.  Pour this nougat onto the chocolate layer.  Fridge for 30 minutes.   (A trick for marshmallow fluff:  spray your spatula with cooking spray and it won’t stick.)

Homemade Snickers_1 on Whisk Together

4.  For the caramel/third layer:  Melt together the caramels and cream together either in the microwave at 50% power or on the stove top on low/ medium-low heat.  Stir once in a while until it is smooth.  This step takes about 10-15 minutes so you may want to start it early.  Pour it all on the nougat layer.  Throw it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Homemade Snickers_2 on Whisk Together     Homemade Snickers_3 on Whisk Together

5.  For the chocolate/fourth layer:  Again,  melt your chocolate and peanut butter together at 50% power.  Same as the first layer.  Pour this on top of your caramel layer.  At this point you can freeze or fridge the candy.  I like it frozen for several reasons:  1, the bottom layer stayed mushy a long time in the fridge but was great in the freezer and 2, frozen snickers are easier and cleaner to cut with a knife.  If the knife still won’t go through, run it under some hot water and dry it off. The warm knife should cut through easily.

These get pretty gooey at room temperature.  I was disappointed by that fact and wonder how Snickers manages to get around it.  Maybe they temper the chocolate?  I’m not sure.  Keep them in the fridge at least or better yet the freezer.  To serve, I plan on putting a stone in the freezer and then serving the snickers off of that so they will stay cold.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

Bring your favorite chocolate dessert to Roxana’s Home Baking #chocolateparty and win amazing prizes from OXOCalphalonKeurigImperial SugarHoney Ridge Farms and Land O’ Lakes® Butter.

Easy Rolo Cookies

Easy Rolo Cookies_6 on Whisk Together

I have made Rolo Cookies from scratch before, but these come from a mix so a lot of the work is already done for you. Just like my easy peach crisp… these come from an easy mix with just a couple other ingredients.  I think a pecan on top would be AWESOME!!  But, the recipients had some nut issues, so I just left it off.

Easy Rolo Cookies
serves 24

1 bag of rolos, unwrap 24 rolos (this is about half of the bag)  (I store mine in the fridge to keep them from getting soft)
1 – (1 lb. 1.5 oz) Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix Pouch
3 Tb. vegetable oil
1 Tb. water
1 egg

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  In a large bowl:  Mix cookie mix, oil, water and egg.
3.  Line a mini muffin pan with mini muffin liners.  I would spray them with Baker’s or cooking spray as the cookie stuck to the liner once in a while.
4.  Drop cookie dough in the liners using small cookie scoop (about 1 Tb. of dough)
5.  Bake 8-9 minutes.
6.  Immediately put on the rolo!  Watch it ooze and melt.  (Then add your pecan half here if you want) Remove from the pan once everything is cool.  Sometimes a fork helped get them out.

Easy Rolo Cookies on Whisk Together

I had a little bit of leftover dough – enough for 2 cookies – so I just baked those separate as a cookie rather than getting out a whole other mini muffin pan and stuff to go with it.

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