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Category Archives: Candy

Peppermint Bark Lollipops

a girl with a lollipop

Image via Wikipedia

Do you like peppermint bark? Do you like lollipops? Then you’re going to love these sweet treats- Peppermint Bark Lollipops. So easy to make. Cheap, cute and did I mention they’re a show stopper. Yes. SHOW stopper. I made about 60 lollipops for a Christmas Eve party and everyone was talking about them! It’s just the right amount of chocolate and peppermint and they’re great for big parties, to hold and walk around and still look pretty :) .

Going for an NYE party? Make these and bring them! Plus I’ll show you how to turn these lollipops into a chocolate bouquet- it’s super easy and cheap! And impressive, might I add. Let’s get started:

Peppermint Bark Lollipops:

Holiday Bouquet Prep:

  • 1 small basket (I bought mine from Michael’s)
  • 1 small styrofoam ball (I bought mine from Michael’s)
  • ribbon- assorted colors
  • pine tree leaves- optional

Tools: cookie sheets, parchment paper

1. Break up the dark and 1 bar of the semisweet chocolate and place into a glass bowl. Microwave for 35 seconds. Remove, stir with a spatula. Microwave for another 35 seconds. Remove and stir. Microwave for another 35 seconds if chocolate is not melted. When it’s just melted add the remaining semisweet chocolate bar and stir until everything is smooth and melted. Add 1-1 1/2 tbsp peppermint extract and stir. Melt the white chocolate in a separate bowl and stir in 1 tbsp peppermint extract.

2. On a cookie sheet (I used 3 of them) line with 1-2 sheets of parchment paper. Using a tbsp pour 1 tbsp of dark chocolate into a circle on the cookie sheet. Take the cookie stick and swirl into the bottom of the circle. Decorate with cranberries/pearls/sprinkles or a drop of white chocolate in the center and swirl with a toothpick. Repeat until chocolate is finished. I made a few white chocolate lollipops. Place in the fridge until hard and cool.

3. To make the bouquet: Cut small pieces of ribbon and tie around each stick. Using a scissor curl ends. Place lollipops in the freezer an hour or 2 before placing in the basket before your party. Place styrofoam ball in the basket and if using pine tree leaves, cover the foam with the leaves. Once the chocolate lollipops are hard and slightly frozen, stick them into the styrofoam until the whole thing is covered like a bouquet.

Makes 60 chocolate lollipops


Like Chocolate? Like Dessert? Check these out!

Mini Chocolate-Pumpkin Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting

Snowy Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate-Pumpkin Spice Latte

 

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Carrot Cake Balls, perfect for Easter Treats

Carrot cake in pan

Image via Wikipedia

Carrot Cake Ball

I bake desserts all the time. I try to make sure we have something home-baked and sweet in our refrigerator for every week. It’s comforting after a long day at work, I can come home, whip up a quick dinner, and still have a home-baked dessert to finish the meal.

One of Hubby’s favorite desserts is carrot cake. Carrot cake is something I rarely make from scratch. Why? Because I hate grating the carrots. If I had a food processor, I’d use that, but despite how much I bake and cook, I don’t own a food processor. Or a heavy duty mixer. I either hand-knead bread, use a whisk to whip cake batter, or sometimes a very old, somewhat functioning hand mixer. Someday, I’ll have a shiny new food processor and mixer, but I’m not counting the days since it may not be until I’m too old and weak to hand-knead bread ;-)

Back to the cake balls. I found a Duncan Hines carrot cake mix that has dehydrated carrots and raisins that you rehydrate, not “carrot flavored pieces” like other cake mixes. So, I bought a box and carrot cake balls were quick to follow.

CARROT CAKE BALLS:

  • Preheat oven according to cake package directions.
  • Line a baking pan with foil leaving some hang over, grease and flour, and set aside.
  • Make 1 box Duncan Hines Classic Carrot Cake Mix according to package directions and bake according to package directions depending on the type of pan you are using. – FYI, this is one of the best cake mixes I’ve ever tasted, which means I may never even consider making carrot cake from scratch. A little sweeter than I’m used to for a cake, but so moist and flavorful.
  • Once cooked through, use foil to remove cake from pan and cool on wire rack.
  • Once completely cooled, use your hands or a food processor to break the cake into fine crumbs.
  • Slowly add cream cheese frosting to the crumbs and mix thoroughly until the crumbs stick together. I never measure the frosting, just use however much it takes to form a “dough” with the crumbs. I had leftover homemade cream cheese frosting (recipe below) that I used.
  • Pinch about a tablespoon-sized portion of the crumb/frosting mixture and roll between palms of hands to form a ball; place on parchment paper, and repeat until all crumb/frosting mixture has been used. I got about 65 cake balls from one box of cake mix.
  • Melt 1 package of Ambrosia brand white candy coating, or any white coating chocolate.
  • Dip cake balls one at a time into the candy coating, cover completely, set on parchment paper to dry, and top with desired sprinkles.
  • Once the coating is cooled, use a fine-tipped knife to cut away any excess coating that spread away from the cake ball to form a clean ball shape.
  • I store mine in gallon-sized plastic bags in the refrigerator. To serve to guests, place in mini cupcake papers.

TIP: I melt half the package of candy coating at a time so that it doesn’t cool too much and become stiff before I get to all the cake balls. I only had green sprinkles, though I wished I had orange for the carrot cake.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

  • Mix 1 8-ounce package lower fat cream cheese with 1/4 cup Earth Balance Margarine with a hand mixer until soft and combined.
  • Add 2 cups powdered sugar and mix thoroughly, adding more sugar as needed.
  • Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and mix until combined.

Cut Carrot Cake Ball

YUM, YUM, YUM! I took some to work and passed one out to each of my immediate co-workers to share a little carrot goodness. You should definitely make these for Easter and find some fancy sprinkles to dress them up.

~Ingredients to nourish the body put together in ways to nourish the soul to share with family and friends to nourish the heart~

Source: http://gourmetmemoirs.com/2011/03/22/carrot-cake-balls-perfect-for-easter-treats/

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Candy, Sweets

 

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Dark and White Chocolate Cherry Bars Recipe

A pair of cherries from the same stalk. Prunus...

Image via Wikipedia

The count down is here! Only two more days until spring break. Boy, am I ready. As I count down the days, I become more and more anxious for the sun, it’s warmth and, most of all, at least a short break from school. There are a lot of really great things about school, but after the last month, which has been charging ahead like a bull chasing a bull fighter, my brain is feeling a bit fried… and while some things, like beignets, doughnuts, and french fries are better fried, my brain is not. This will be a much needed week of rejuvenation.

We are starting the celebrating early in this house hold with these little gems: Dark and White Chocolate Chip Cherry bars. Every cherry is like a little spot of sunshine! These pictures are of the few remaining bars left- anything with cherry, or chocolate, not to mention both, will have a very short life span in this house. (Self control? What’s that?)

I know this spring break is going to be a good one. How could it not be? I’ve got chocolate and cherries on my team (in a bar!!).

Happy Spring! (Can you believe it’s here already? Where is 2011 going?!)

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup dried cherries (cranberries also work and are easier to find- look for cranberries that have been dehydrated with cherry juice to maintain the cherry flavor)

 

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer.

Add in the vanilla.

Mix in the salt, flour, and oats. The dough will have a consistency similar to shortbread dough.

Mix in the chocolate and cherries. Press the dough into a 9 x 9.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool.

Cut into bars.

 

Source: http://lacasitainspirada.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/dark-and-white-chocolate-cherry-bars-key-to-a-happy-spring/

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Candy, Chocolate, Dessert, Fruit, Sweets

 

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peanut butter banana chocolate chip muffins

butter, sugar, egg, flour, baking powder, choc...

Image via Wikipedia

What do you do when (a) it’s your free day, (b) there’s plenty of bananas in the kitchen, (c) and there’s that cool jar of peanut butter sitting in the pantry, screaming out “try me!” ? Bake these muffins of course. Yeah I know, it’s like four weeks or so to the end of the semester, and I have like a pile of readings and assignments to do. I need a break, yes? HEH HEH. These muffins were totally worth the mini break!

Crunchy muffin top, yet soft, fluffy and moist on the inside. Even if you’re not a peanut butter fan, you’ll still love these. I’d know because I’m not a big fan of peanut butter unless it comes in the form of reese peanut butter cups. This recipe’s definitely a keeper for me. Trust me, make these muffins. (:

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
makes about 20 medium sized muffins
(adapted from here)

Ingredients

 

  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 large, ripe bananas, mashed (makes about 1 1/4 cups of mashed bananas)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp canola oil (I used normal vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Steps

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F/167 C.
  2. In a large bowl, sift flour and baking powder. Add sugar, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Combine, and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine mashed bananas, milk, peanut butter, egg, oil, and vanilla essence. Mix well.
  4. Add dry mixture into the wet mixture. Mix enough just to combine. Add in the chocolate chips.
  5. Fill muffin cases, about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Oh in case you were wondering, this is the jar of peanut butter that left me intrigued. It’s my dad’s favourite brand of peanut butter.

source: http://snaprolls.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/fifteen-peanut-butter-banana-chocolate-chip-muffins/

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Candy, Chocolate, Fruit, Sweets

 

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Cappuccino Vanilla Cake Recipe

Dry ingredients for a Wacky Cake - ingredients...

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I am starting to think this food blog idea may not have been such a good idea. After all, I’m making all kinds of cakes, cupcakes, chocolates, and amazing meals that are too tempting to resist. I don’t think I thought this through thoroughly. Who is going to eat all this?! Yikes!

I’ve been sending the desserts to work with P which helps out a lot. It’s nice to share and also not to have the dessert calling to me from the fridge: ‘Eat me!”.  But to add to my recent array of baking sins, I recently made a Cappuccino Vanilla cake. Yes. I know. How could I do such a horrible thing!?

Well, I did it and it was delicious. Of course I overdid it on the liqueurs and even added Crème de Cacao to the icing.

I am so bad.

**Warning: This cake is truly a temptress.**

Here is what you will need:

Vanilla Cake

1- 8 inch baking pan

1 ½ cup of flour

¾ cup of sugar

½ tbsp of baking powder

1 ½ tsp of salt

½ cup of unsalted butter (equals 1 stick of butter), at room temperature

½ cup of milk (I used skim)

2 eggs

¾ tsp of vanilla extract

Coffee Buttercream

2/3 cup of heavy cream

1 ¼ cup of white chocolate buttons

1 2/3 cup of unsalted butter (at room temperature)

2/3 cup of icing sugar

1 tbsp of instant coffee powder

1 tbsp of Crème de Cacao

Finishing Touches

1/3 cup of roasted and roughly chopped or blended hazelnuts

5 Ferrero Rocher chocolates

Cocoa Powder, to dust

Crème de Cacao

1 tbsp of instant coffee powder

Here is what to do:

Let your butter come to room temperature.

Set the oven to 325F and grease your pan with butter.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Place all the wet ingredients in another bowl: eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Wisk and set aside.

Using a mixer, slowly add the soft butter in chunks to the dry ingredients until the butter is fully incorporated. Then begin adding the wet ingredients in 3 parts until the dry and wet ingredients are well mixed. Fill your 8-inch baking pan ¾ of the way and level off at the top.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 325F. To check if it’s ready, insert a skewer into the centre and if it comes out lean – it’s ready to come out of the oven.

Remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes.  Remove from the pan and let cool off completely.

Cut the cake in half and put in the freezer while you prepare the buttercream icing. Freezing your cake will prevent crumbs coming up when you are icing it.

Dissolve the instant coffee in heated Crème de Cacao (or you can use hot water instead). Stir and set to the side (or refrigerate it) to cool off.

Bring water to a simmer and using a double boiler heat the cream and chocolate until melted. In a separate bowl, beat the butter using a hand mixer until it is light and creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar, and then beat in the melted chocolate and cream mixture. Beat the dissolved instant coffee into the buttercream.

Remove the cake from the freezer and place the top of the cake on the bottom. Mix 2 oz of Crème de Cacao and dissolved instant coffee and using a brush, gently pat both sides of the cake layers and allow the mixture to be absorbed by the cake. This will make the cake more flavorful and moist.

Place the top of the cake on the bottom and set up your layers so that the top of the cake is the most level. Then spread a quarter of the coffee buttercream on the first layer, level it with a spatula and then sandwich with the other layer. Cover the top with more buttercream icing and cover the sides with the rest. Press the hazelnuts into the sides of the cake.

Pile the Ferrero Roche chocolates on top of the cake and dust the cake with cocoa powder. You can tie a bow around the cake for a more refined finishing touch.

I’m sure by now your kitchen smells of coffee, melted chocolate and Crème de Cacao. Make sure you share this cake! It will be worth it.

Happy Baking!

Marynika

source: http://foodtoheart.com/2011/02/22/cappuccino-vanilla-cake/

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 22, 2011 in Baking, Candy, Chocolate, Dessert, Sweets

 

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Chocolate Crumb Pie Crust Recipe

In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make a Chocolate Crumb Pie Crust. This pie crust is made of finely crushed Oreo cookies (minus the filling), sugar, and butter. It is baked in an oven and then cooled before filling.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups finely crushed chocolate cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together 1 ½ cup chocolate cookie crumbs and 3 tablespoons sugar. Add 6 tablespoons melted butter, and stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. (You may use a deep dish pie plate if you have a large amount of pie filling.) Using the back of a spoon or a cup, press the crumb mixture evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. The pie crust may now be filled and baked, or baked as is to hold a prepared filling. When baked as is, bake at 350 degrees (F) 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and fill with pie filling, cooling first, if necessary. This pie crust is great for cream pies. Peanut Butter Pie is great in this crust! This crust can be used for almost any flavor of cream pie. I will be uploading an interesting filling for this Chocolate Crumb Pie Crust soon. I hope you enjoy this recipe! –Betty 

 

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Chocolate Truffles – Valentines Day Recipe

Chocolate Truffles

Image by Dave Lifson via Flickr

How to make delicious chocolate truffles. They’re very simple and taste amazingly good, give them a go!

Ingredients:
200g dark cooking chocolate (for filling)
90ml double/thickened cream
200g dark cooking chocolate (for outer coating)

Alcoholic Truffles:
200g dark cooking chocolate (for filling)
70ml double/thickened cream
2 tbs of your favourite spirit or liqueur (rum, baileys, frangelico etc)

I hope you enjoy! :)

 
17 Comments

Posted by on March 12, 2011 in Candy, Chocolate, Dessert, Sweets

 

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