Chocolate-Almond Bark with Sea Salt

Ok – still trying to play catch-up with my posts, but I am getting closer.  I am not going to take up too much time writing today, because I know you all have so much to do right now.  Since we are inching upon Hanukkah and Christmas, my post today is another gift for you.  Just another easy recipe to make gifts from the kitchen.  This time a bark, as opposed to a brittle.

So – what exactly is the difference between a bark and a brittle?  I wondered myself, so I decided to look it up – boy was that an exercise in frustration.  I just could not get a good answer.  The most logical answer would have been that a bark is made of chocolate, and a brittle made of candy – but no, not that easy.  So if anyone knows what the true answer is, I would love to know.

This Chocolate-Almond Bark with Sea Salt that I found in Bon Appetit was a little more involved than the Candy Cane Brittle, because of the candied almonds – but oh was it worth it.  The sweetness of the almonds with the richness of the chocolate, balance out with the bright sea salt was quite something.  I could have eaten the whole batch myself if it wasn’t for the fact that I was making these for other people… and I am not even a huge chocolate fan.  That definitely says something.  So – if you are still wondering what to make people this year – this is a perfect gift.  Although, you might just like it so much, you will keep it as a gift for youself…but you deserve it!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted  butter
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted Marcona almonds (not in oil)
  • 1 pound good-quality dark chocolate (62%–70%  cacao), finely chopped
  • Coarse sea salt (for  sprinkling)

Preparation

Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or foil.  Combine sugar with 2 Tbsp. water in a small saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat  until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook, occasionally swirling pan and  brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until caramel is dark amber, about  5 minutes. Remove from heat. Immediately add butter; whisk until melted. Add  almonds; stir until well coated. Transfer to baking sheet, spreading out to  separate nuts. Let cool. Break up any large clumps of nuts. Set aside 1/4 of  nuts.

Stir chocolate in a medium bowl set over a saucepan of  simmering water until melted. Remove from heat, add nuts from baking sheet, and  stir quickly to combine. Spread chocolate-nut mixture on same baking sheet,  keeping nuts in a single layer. Top with the reserved nuts; sprinkle with salt.  Chill until chocolate is set, about 3 hours.

Break bark into pieces and store between layers of parchment  or waxed paper.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep  chilled.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Chocolate-Almond Bark

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Candy Cane Brittle

I am late…I am very late, and I am sorry.  This has been quite a week, one I wasn’t really expecting, but these weeks happen, and you have to prioritize.  Unfortunately my post just didn’t make it to the top.  But here I am, better late than never.  This week really ended on a high note, so even though I am emotionally drained, there is a happiness as I am typing away…one that I have been waiting for, and it is finally here.

I decided on bark (or I guess Brittle) as one of the treats I made for people this year.  I am by no means an expert at this – although after the Holiday Treats class I took on Thursday night – I am a lot closer.  When I made these, I didn’t take the time to do them right – but it was fine, they still tasted great – not just great, pretty awesome.  I avoided the whole tempering thing…which after learning more about it – I can’t wait to try it out.  It doesn’t really impact the taste, just how it looks.  You get that really nice dark shiny look to your bark, that is just beautiful.

I found this recipe hidden in Bon Appetit this month, and when I said hiding, I meant that it was not the showcase of the recipe.  The Pots de Creme were, but this is what caught my eye.  The chocolate wafer cookies definitely make these amazing.  So – my gift to you this weekend?  Here is a perfect gift you can make for people…now I am going to go relax.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound high-quality bittersweet chocolate,  chopped
  • 1 cup chopped candy canes, divided
  • 1/2 cup chocolate wafer cookies (such as  Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers), lightly crushed
  • 1 ounce high-quality white chocolate,  melted

Preparation

Line a large baking sheet with foil. Stir bittersweet chocolate in a medium  metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until melted. Stir in 3/4 cup  chopped candy and crushed cookies; spread over foil. Sprinkle 1/4 cup candy  over. Drizzle with melted white chocolate. Chill until set, about 30 minutes.  Break into shards.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Candy Cane Brittle

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Hello Kitty Cake Pops

What a weekend…I finished up Thanksgiving, and went immediately into preparing for my younger daughter’s birthday party, which was today.  I had a day to do errands, then a day to bake.  The party was a stuffed animal tea party – everyone got to bring a stuffed animal to our house, which then joined them for the tea party – which consisted of a healthy lunch (carrot sticks, cheese and cracker, fruit salad, PB&J or grilled cheese) and then the birthday treats.  I made some cookies, brownies and the cake pops.  Now, I have to admit that these were partially my fault.  Every year my girls comb through the cookbooks, especially the dreaded Hello Cupcake (which I consider food porn, because really?  seriously, is this for real?), and choose something outrageous for me to make.  This year, I really wanted to try making cake pops, so I brought them up on the computer one day and asked her if she would like them for her birthday.  Ok, now what 5-year-old girl would not say yes to adorable Hello Kitties made of cake and melted chocolate?  I knew that as soon as I pulled them up, it was a done deal.

Ok, so I know this was all my fault, so no need to feel sorry for me (unlike when these were chosen) – but I was still stressed about making them.  I made the cookies, made the brownies, and when everything else was done and I had nothing else to procrastinate with – I started the cake pops.  They were actually not THAT bad, although – yes, it did take some skill.  The only way to get Hello Kitty to be nice and smooth is to double dip.  Yes, that means you dip them in the chocolate once, wait for them to cool, then dip them again.  What that also means is that you have to start with a head that is a lot smaller that you think is appropriate – but don’t worry, it will get bigger.  I also stuck the bow on and the nose when the chocolate was still cooling, it was a lot easier than attaching them afterwards with some melted chocolate.  I basically followed Bakerella’s recipe though to a T – aside from what I just described.  I have to post these crazy things every once in a while – and I always say when I do – these are not quick, these are not easy, and they are not healthy – but for your daughter’s birthday – it is more than fine, it is well deserved.  Go have fun with them – and don’t stress too much – hopefully you will have as much luck as I did!

Ingredients

Preparation

Bake cake according to boxed instructions for a 13×9 size.  After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.

Mix thoroughly with 1 can frosting. (Use the back of a large spoon, but it may be easier to use fingers to mix together. But, be warned, it will get messy. 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.)

Shape the Hello Kitty heads into a semi-flat oval shape. Melt some white chocolate melts in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stir each time until melted.  Insert tip of lollipop stick into some of the melted candy and insert into the bottom of the Hello Kitty head.

Place them in the freezer for a little while to firm up.

Take two white chocolate chips and dip the bottoms in the melted candy and then place/glue them on the top of Hello Kitty head.

Stand them up in a styrofoam block to dry. When the ears are firmly attached to the head, dip the entire Hello Kitty head in a bowl of the white melted candy. Make sure the bowl is deep enough so you can get it in one dunk. Then remove and gently tap off any extra coating. This will help smooth it out, too.  If you don’t think the heads are smooth enough, once the chocolate has hardened, dip them into the chocolate again.

When the Hello Kitty heads are drying, apply the hearts and m&ms to make a bow and the yellow rainbow chips to make a nose.

Once the heads are completely dry, draw the eyes and whiskers on using an black edible ink pen

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Hello Kitty Cake Pops

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Candy Sushi

It’s birthday time again, this time for first-born daughter.  Of course birthdays get more exciting the older you get, until a certain point…  This year she wanted to bring candy sushi into school to celebrate with her classmates, and then I would make bowling pin cupcakes for her birthday party over the weekend – yes, they were going bowling.  I planned it all out – one weekend I make the candy sushi, the next I deal with the cupcakes.

Years ago one of my best friends was living in Tokyo – so my husband and I made the long journey over to visit.  We just had to go when we had a personal tour guide that spoke the language.  I loved it, but with my seafood allergy, I have to admit it was a little frustrating.  She still managed to take us to tons of places where I could eat…oh and the bread in Japan is amazing, I know, you would never think that – but I ate very well.

My husband LOVES sushi, so one day we walked down to the fresh fish market so that they could enjoy some fresh sushi – I brought a book, found a nearby hotel, and sat in the lobby while they feasted.  I couldn’t even go near the fish market, the smells were just too much for me…

So candy sushi is about the closest I will ever come to eating the stuff.  Boy was this fun to make.  She helped me a lot by wrapping all the sushi.  I haven’t made rice krispie treats in years – and for some reason I thought it was actually complicated – not at all!  It was so easy, and easy enough to flatten out in preparation for rolling.  We had a blast, and they came out looking spectacular!  She said they were a huge hit at school – lots of kids were out because of the holiday weekend, so her teacher brought the rest into the teacher’s lounge, and they went nuts.  Gotta love sushi!!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 (10 oz., about 40) pkg. regular marshmallows or 3 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 6 cups Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal
  • Swedish Fish
  • Gummy Worms

Preparation

In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows and continue to stir until the marshmallows have completely melted. Remove from heat.

Stir in the Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal coating them well with the melted marshmallow mixture.

Using a buttered or silicone spatula, press the mixture evenly into a 12 x 17 x 1 inch (jelly roll) pan which has been buttered or sprayed with non-stick spray or lined with wax paper.  Cool completely.

To make the rolls, cut a 12 x 2.5 inch strip of the rice krispie teats.  Place gummy worms next to each other in the middle of the strip.  Very carefully, roll the rice around the gummy worms.  Slice the roll into about 11 pieces.  Take some fruit by the foot, and wrap the outside of each roll.

To make the sushi, cut the rest of the rice krispie treats into rectangles.  Place a swedish fish in the center, and wrap with some fruit by the foot.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Candy Sushi

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Pistachio Baklava with Cinnamon Honey Syrup

I have always wanted to make Baklava.   I remember my first taste of Baklava, it was amazing – all of those layers of luscious honey and nuts – I couldn’t believe I had been missing out on this secret treat.  That was about 10 years ago – and ever since then I have been thinking about how I was going to make it myself.

Fast forward 10 years – here I am, with my blog, always looking for the next challenge to post.  I saw a recipe in Bon Appetit that Molly Wizenberg posted and I felt like she was writing about me.  The thought of making Baklava just scared me!  I had to face my fears…but not with that recipe.  I needed something with cinnamon and honey – and her recipe was orange cardamom.  Not my thing.  But, I decided I was going to do it anyway.  I bought the phyllo – and better than that – I bought pounds of pistachios.  My husband and I spent an hour shelling those pistachios – and they were all ready for me.  And then they sat in the pantry…for weeks.  He kept asking me when I was going to make it?  There was something just not right.  I even took the phyllo out of the freezer all prepared to make it one day – and chickened out.  Back to the freezer it went.

Then I saw it – another recipe in Bon Appetit – this one with cinnamon honey syrup – that was it – I was going to combine both recipes and come up with a winner.  One that would taste ridiculous.  So I did it – and it was not easy, and I had to work very quickly – so quickly, that by the time my daughter came downstairs to help me – I was practically done.  The one trick I learned?  Don’t worry about the phyllo staying in one piece – it’s no big deal it if breaks, you will never know!

The final result was INCREDIBLE!!!!  I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders – I DID IT!!!  I just wanted to shout to the world – I CAN MAKE A BAKLAVA – and it was sick.  It was the most amazing dessert I have ever made.  I brought it into work – and everyone loved it, I was so proud.  Who ever thought that making a dessert could be so rewarding?  But it was…it was the best feeling ever.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plus 8 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 ounces shelled pistachios, toasted (scant 3 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 18 14×9-inch sheets fresh phyllo pastry or frozen, thawed (from one 16-ounce package)

Preparation

Simmer 2 cups sugar, honey, water and cinnamon sticks in saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil over medium heat until reduced to approximately 2 cups, about 15 minutes. Cool syrup.

Place nuts and 2 tablespoons sugar in processor. Using on/off turns, process until most of nuts are finely ground (the largest pieces should be the size of small peas). Mix nuts, 6 tablespoons sugar, and cinnamon in medium bowl.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with some of melted butter. Place 1 phyllo sheet folded over on bottom of dish. Brush lightly with melted butter. Repeat 5 more times with phyllo and melted butter. Sprinkle half of pistachio mixture (about 1 1/2 cups) evenly over phyllo. Place 1 phyllo sheet (folded over) over nuts; brush lightly with butter. Repeat 5 more times with phyllo sheets and melted butter. Sprinkle remaining pistachio mixture evenly over. Place 1 phyllo sheet atop nuts folded in half; brush with butter. Repeat 5 more times with phyllo sheets and melted butter.

Using sharp knife, cut diagonally through top phyllo layer from top left corner to bottom right corner. Cut top layer of phyllo into 1-inch-wide rows parallel to both sides of first cut. Turn pan and cut rows about 2 1/4 inches wide, forming diamond pattern.

Bake baklava until golden brown and crisp, 50 to 55 minutes. Drizzle syrup evenly over hot baklava. Cool in pan on rack. Recut baklava along lines all the way through layers.

For a printer-friendly verison of this recipe, please click here:  Pistachio Baklava with Cinnamon Honey Syrup

DO AHEAD Baklava can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

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Trio of Chocolate Truffles

The last dessert I chose for my Tower of Treats were truffles. Who doesn’t like truffles? The day before the auction I made the truffles and the caramels. I figured that trying to make everything in one day would be a little crazy. So the night that I made the truffles and caramels, I was exhausted…if that was all I had to do during that day, it would have been easy – but with two kids, it is never like that. Nevertheless, I had to rally, we had a pre-adoption party to go to.

I didn’t know a lot of people at the party besides the host and hostess – although my husband knew quite a few. At one point he was talking to a guy he hadn’t seen in a while – and I walked up to them to ask Rich how late he wanted to stay, when the guy gave me a hard time about leaving so early. I told him that I was exhausted – I had made truffles and caramels and the next day I had brownies and peanut butter cupcakes to create (ok, yes, I sounded like a whiner at this point…). He mentioned that he made a huge batch of truffles for the holidays for all his family – and yes, it was not easy. The egg whites make the
chocolate really lumpy, and he felt like he wasted hundreds of dollars’ worth of good chocolate. Egg whites? Those were nowhere near my truffles – and I laughed at him, and told him that truffles don’t have egg whites – just cream and chocolate. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “You obviously have no idea what you are talking about.” Wow. Ok – I didn’t go to culinary school, and definitely have a lot to learn when it comes to cooking and baking – but come on. That was quite a statement. It was a good thing I was so tired – otherwise I would have ripped this guy a new one. But, I just turned around a got a drink – and relished in the fact that I had made some damn good truffles that day – and his were a bomb.

These truffles were like the ones I spend tons of money on at Fran’s Chocolates – I swear. Ok, maybe I am going a little overboard, but these were a chocolate lover’s dream. So rich, creamy and decadent – and yes, I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I used high quality chocolate. They were also particularly easy as far as truffles go – my daughter helped me roll them. Most people liked the ones rolled in cocoa the most – because of the texture – but I preferred the coconut – I just love that coconut flavor. Go ahead – try them out – but leave out the egg whites – they ruin the consistency, I am pretty sure of that.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1 (12-ounce) package (about 2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) finely chopped unsalted almonds

Preparation

Bring cream to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk in vanilla. Pour into medium bowl. Cover; chill until firm, about 3 hours.

Line baking sheet with waxed paper. Drop mixture by rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.

Place cocoa, coconut and nuts in separate bowls. Roll truffles between hands into rounds. Roll 1/3 of truffles in cocoa, 1/3 in coconut and 1/3 in nuts. Cover with plastic; chill until ready to serve. (Can be
made 2 weeks ahead. Keep chilled.)

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Trio of Chocolate Truffles

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Vanilla Bean Caramels with Fleur de Sel

I tend to over-extend myself.  Whether it is at work, or at home – I always think I can do more.  I fill my weekends with activities (ok, my kids fill me with activities), and I try to fit in baking and cooking whenever I can.  I can never say no to baking for auctions, or various events at my kids schools…I actually look for those opportunities – as much as I end up cursing later on.

I signed up to bake for the “Dessert Dash” at an auction we are involved in last weekend.  I didn’t want to just bake a cake, I wanted to do something different.  I wanted to give people some choices, and some variety to choose from – knowing that 10 people bid on dessert – and they are stuck sharing one item.  So – I decided to make a Dessert Tower – or what I called – The Tower of Treats.  I bought a three-tiered cardboard cupcake stand, and filled it with various desserts (all of which I will be posting).  Here is the first one – which I sprinkled in between the other goodies.

I found these delicious caramels at Annie’s Eats – I have always been afraid of the candy thermometer, but I faced my fears, and made these – and I am SO GLAD I DID.  They were amazing – in fact, I am still enjoying them because the recipe made so many.  They are buttery and rich, and the subtle salt flavor is just amazing with that deep caramel.  I couldn’t believe they were so easy…I am making these every holiday to wrap my pretzels before dipping them in chocolate.  Wow, I have really been missing out – don’t waste another day…MAKE THESE NOW!!!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise and scraped
  • 1¼ tsp. fleur de sel, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup water

Preparation

Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper.  Lightly butter the parchment.  In a small saucepan, combine the cream, butter, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, pods, and fleur de sel.  Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water.  Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.  Boil, without stirring but gently swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture is a light golden caramel color.

Remove the vanilla bean pods from the cream mixture and carefully stir the cream mixture into the caramel – the mixture will bubble up, so pour slowly and stir constantly.  Continue simmering the mixture until it registers 248˚ F on a candy thermometer.  Immediately remove from the heat and pour into the prepared pan.  Let cool for 30 minutes, then sprinkle lightly with additional fleur de sel.  Continue to let sit until completely set and cooled.  Cut into 1-inch pieces (a buttered pizza cutter works well).  Wrap the individual caramels in small pieces of wax paper, about 4-inch squares.

Makes approximately 64 caramels

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Vanilla Bean Caramels with Fleur de Sel

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Chocolate Covered Marshmallows

GO STORM!!!  Storm fever, the latest sickness to hit our household.  In case you are not a WNBA fan – I am talking about the Seattle Storm.  They clinched the second round of the play-offs today, in an unbelievable game – they scored a 3 pointer in the last few seconds of the game to come from behind and beat the Phoenix Mercury.

When our second daughter was born, the dream that my husband had about watching professional sports with his children was pretty much done.  I have to say, that watching the Storm game with my girls – both completely interested in what is going on – is amazing.  I love it.  My husband is even starting to get into it.  Most of all, I love that it is women that we are watching on television, and screaming about in the stands.

It is not just little girls that love the games though, my older daughter’s good friend is quite the fan.  He comes to the games in his storm jersey with his face painted – and at the playoff game on Thursday night – I was looking at the little kids on the court who got to hi-five the players as they were introduced – wondering how they got to be so lucky – when there he was – with a brand new basketball in hand, given to him by Lauren Jackson!  Just at that moment – his mom texted me, and yes, it was him!!  What an experience that he will never forget.

Well Seattle Storm – these treats are for you.  Keep up the amazing work – and we will be cheering for you all the way!!

Ingredients

  • 30 marshmallows
  • 1/2 pound of milk or dark chocolate
  • assorted sprinkles or chopped nuts
  • 10 wooden skewers

Preparation

Line some parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Put 3 marshmallows close together at the sharp end of the skewer.  Using a strong pair of scissors, cut off the sharp point.  Place the chocolate in a shallow microwave safe bowl.  Heat the chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring well between each time, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Dip the marshmallows in the chocolate and twist them around to make sure all the marshmallows are completely covered with chocolate.  Place them on the cookie sheet lined with parchment, and decorate with sprinkles.  Let them harden either at room temperature, or by placing them in the refrigerator.

Makes 10 skewers.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Chocolate Covered Marshmallows

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Rocky Rods

I started making these a few years ago because my daughter loves sprinkles, and I thought this would be fun and easy to make around the holidays.  The first year we just dipped them in chocolate, and then I let her go nuts with the sprinkles.  The second year, I found an amazing hole-in-the-wall cake/candy store, where you can buy big hunks of caramel.  It is basically like buying a giant one of these.  I sliced the caramel very thin, and then wrapped a piece around the top of a pretzel rod, very carefully.  Then, I dipped them in chocolate and let her go nuts with the sprinkles.  They were amazing!!!  Now my friends and neighbors feel like they have to remind me that they are looking forward to the pretzel rods every year – just so I am sure to make them.

I cannot take credit for the name – my sister-in-law was experimenting with pretzel snacks in one of her early jobs as a food consultant – and she created this name – I loved it.  Thanks for letting me use it!

Ingredients

  • 1 package of Pretzel Rods
  • 1 lb. caramel in a big square
  • 1 lb. chocolate
  • assorted sprinkles

Preparation

Slice the caramel very thinly – if you can’t get it thin – try rolling it out afterwards with a rolling pin.  Wrap it around the top part of the pretzel rod.  Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, or using the microwave in 30 second intervals – stirring well after each one.  Dip the pretzels into the melted chocolate – you may need to use a spoon to make sure that the chocolate covers the caramel.  Place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Decorate with sprinkles quickly before the chocolate melts.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here: Rocky Rods

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Chocolate Buttons

This time of year I am always looking for little treats that I can give with holiday cards to my neighbors, teachers, friends at work, the list is endless.  My standby is the caramel chocolate covered pretzel rods – as my sister-in-law once coined, “Rocky Rods.”  You will see that post soon – but I didn’t have time this weekend to make those – so instead we went for the quick fix – the chocolate buttons.  These are so great because they are so simple – and kids of all ages can help you.  We had an assembly line going – my youngest daughter was peeling the papers off of the Hershey’s Kisses, my older daughter was arranging pretzels on the cookie sheet then placing the kisses in the center – and I was taking the buttons out of the oven and placing an M&M in the center.  It was teamwork at its best – and everyone was occupied.

I got this recipe from my mother – and she probably saw it on the internet somewhere.  Obviously the combinations are endless with the varieties of Hershey’s Kisses and M&Ms out there – this year I went with the Peanut Butter M&M’s, and I will probably stick with that for a while – the combination was perfect.

Ingredients

  • Snyder’s  Snaps – Pretzels
  • Hershey’s Kisses
  • Peanut Butter M&Ms

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.  Place pretzels on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.  Place a Hershey’s Kiss on top of each pretzel.  Bake in the over for 5-8 minutes – the kisses should be melted all the way through, but still in its original shape.  You can test to see if they are ready by taking an M&M and placing it in the center and pushing down.  If you can push down easily all the way, they are done.  Otherwise, put them back in the oven until ready.  Take them out and push an M&M inside the center of each kiss and press down.  Let them cool on the cookie sheet until hard.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here:  Chocolate Buttons

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