Tag Archives: candy

Dawn’s Remarkable Fudge

Candy-making….  Nowadays, we can easily come across candies of all kinds all throughout the year.  Candy shelves line the check-out lanes at the grocery stores.  Quarter candy machines stand beside the doors of barber shops, restaurants, and big box stores.  We even have entire stores dedicated solely to candies and confections.  It’s not often, anymore, that we get into our kitchens and actually cook candy.  And, often, when we do, we mix up a concoction of almond bark, cereal, and nuts:  melt, mix, harden, break.  Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy some “white trash” candy, as it is often called, but there is something about standing over a pot of bubbling sugar and milk with a thermometer that really makes a person feel as if they have conquered the kitchen.  If baking is an art, candy-making is a science.  That sugar and milk has to boil at just the right temperature for just the right amount of time, or the candy won’t set properly when it is finished.  And then, there’s the waiting for it to set up or harden.  (Of course, we are blessed with refrigerators and freezers, so we can speed that process up a bit, these days.)  Now, I do not say all of this to scare you away from candy-making.  By no means!  Get in there, and make some candy.  The funny thing about candy, even if it doesn’t set up right, it often tastes just fine, even if you have to eat it with a spoon.  😉

Happy candy-making and Merry Christmas!

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. butter (or coconut oil)
  • 12 oz. (1 pkg.) chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

  1. Butter a 4-quart saucepan.
  2. In the pan, combine:  sugar, milk, evaporated milk, corn syrup, and salt.
  3. The milks, sugar, salt, and syrup heating up.  Thick pans and wooden spoons work best for candy-making.

    The milks, sugar, salt, and syrup heating up. Thick pans and wooden spoons work best for candy-making.

     

  4. Over medium heat, cook until boiling.
  5. Once it’s boiling, cook until you reach soft ball stage (238-degrees).  Stir only to prevent sticking.  The mixture should boil gently over the entire surface.
  6. Place the tip of the thermometer in the center of the liquid you are trying to measure.  Do not set it on the bottom of the pan.

    Place the tip of the thermometer in the center of the liquid you are trying to measure. Do not set it on the bottom of the pan.

     

  7. Once it has reached the soft ball stage, remove the pan from the heat.  If you have an electric stove, this means moving the pan entirely off the burner because the coils will hold heat for quite some time after you’ve turned the burner off.
  8. Add chocolate chips, butter, and vanilla.  Stir only enough to melt and mix in the chips.  Don’t worry about the mixture being lumpy; you will beat it later.
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  10. Allow the mixture to cool, without stirring, until it is lukewarm (about 110-degrees.)
  11. While you're waiting, take a picture of your assistants because they are too cute not to.  :)

    While you’re waiting, take a picture of your assistants because they are too cute not to. 🙂

    Say "Hi!" Zachary.

    Say “Hi!” Zachary.

     

  12. If you have a hand mixer, use that for the next step.  If, like me,  you only have a stand mixer, then butter the bowl, and transfer the fudge to the bowl.
  13. Now, beat the fudge vigorously for about 10 minutes or until it becomes very thick and loses its gloss.
  14. I mixed mine on a medium-high for several minutes using the paddle attachment.

    I mixed mine on a medium-high for several minutes using the paddle attachment.

     

  15. Spread into a buttered 9×13 pan.  Allow to cool for several hours on the counter or 2-3 hours in the fridge.
  16. Press the fudge out to an even thickness.  This recipe makes about 2 1/4 lbs. of fudge.

    Press the fudge out to an even thickness. This recipe makes about 2 1/4 lbs. of fudge.

     

***Every time this recipe called for using butter, I used coconut oil, and it worked perfectly.

***A recipe by my step-mom and sister Deanie Y. and Dawn R.

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Oreo Truffles

Oreo truffles

Oh sweet, heavenly goodness!  I have a rich dessert recipe for you today.  You know of Oreos, and you know of truffles.  After this post, you will know of Oreo Truffles.  I’m talking Oreos, cream cheese, and vanilla almond bark, folks.  Your tongue will slap your teeth out trying to get to them.  These little gems are simple and fairly quick, especially if you utilize a food processor, a microwave, and a freezer.  I used the recipe from here:  http://www.chef-in-training.com/2011/11/no-bake-oreo-truffles.html.  I figure there are dozens of different versions floating around out there, though, probably even versions from the Oreo and Philadelphia Cream Cheese websites.  In fact, what I ended up doing was different, even from where I got a recipe to follow.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 package of regular Oreos, finely crushed
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 package of vanilla almond bark (You can use chocolate if you prefer or even get some different flavored dipping candies from a baking or craft store.)

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, finely crush the Oreos.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the Oreo crumbs with the cream cheese until it is uniformly mixed.
  3. Ball up the Oreo mixture by the tablespoon, roll between your hands to make a smooth ball, and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  4.  Place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to harden the Oreo balls.
  5. Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl (Glass works well.), melt the almond bark according the package directions.
  6. Dip each Oreo ball in the melted almond bark to coat and place back on the baking sheet.
  7. Return to the freezer for about 10 minutes to harden the candy coating.
  8. Enjoy!  (And have some water or milk to wash them down because they take sweet to new levels.)

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Candied Pecans

candied pecans

I bet you can’t guess what’s growing in our front yard.  A pecan tree!  Actually, we have one and a half pecan trees because one is on the property line with our neighbor.  Anyway, Connor and I have been getting lots of fresh air while I pick up pecans, and he throws them back into the yard.  However, despite his insistence that we leave them all for the squirrels, I have managed to gather quite a few pounds of pecans and crack about 10 cups worth of them.  So far, I have made a pie and these tasty little treats.  I even used a few in some biscuit twists I made recently.  I am quite excited about the pecans.

http://velvetstrawberries.typepad.com/andreasingarella/2012/12/candied-pecans.html

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups (1 lb.) pecan halves
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spray a large metal baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and vanilla.
  3. Add the pecans and mix until all the pecans are coated in egg white mixture.
  4. In a small bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, and salt until well-combined.
  5. Pour over the pecans and toss until pecans are coated in sugar mixture.
  6. Spread the pecans on the baking sheet in a single layer.
  7. Bake for 1 hour, turning and tossing every 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

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Peanut Butter Cups

My husband and I really enjoy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  I mean, seriously, who doesn’t?  Okay, well, my dad doesn’t, but I digress.  Since I have started trying to make more things homemade, I decided to find a way to make this delicious candy myself.  I knew it could be done because as a teenager, my sister and I made some, but after making them the one time, we were never able to find the recipe again.  It was very sad.  Thanks to the World-Wide Web, however, I knew I could find a good recipe, and I did.  So with a big thanks to www.thehungrymouse.com, I present a recipe for homemade peanut butter cups!

These I made with semi-sweet chocolate chips using the “the hard way” to make them.  I recently made more using milk chocolate chips and “the easy way.”  Using milk chocolate makes them taste pretty much exactly like Reese’s.

Ingredients:

12 oz. bag of milk chocolate chips

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

about 25 paper mini muffin cups

Directions:

1. Place the muffin cups on a cookie sheet.

2. Blend together the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

3. Using a double-boiler (or two pans, with one sitting inside the other), melt the chocolate.  To do this, put about 1 inch of water in the bottom of the boiler or the bottom pan, place the top of the boiler or the smaller pan inside the first.  Heat the water to boiling on the stove, and put the chocolate chips in the top pan.  Stir the chips often as they melt.  Once they are melted, remove the pans from heat.

4. For the next part you can do it one of two ways:  The easy way or the hard way.

-Easy way:  Spoon out the peanut butter mixture in teaspoons and roll into balls.  Coat the peanut butter balls in chocolate, and place the coated balls in the mini paper cups.  Place the entire cookie sheet of peanut butter cups into the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes to harden.

-Hard way:  This method will acutally take about 18 oz. of chocolate chips.  Use a spoon to coat the muffin cups with chocolate.  Place the muffin cups in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to harden the chocolate.  Remove from fridge, and begin to spoon about a teaspoon of peanut butter mixture into each cup.  Smooth down the peanut butter with your finger.  Spoon chocolate on top of the peanut butter in the cups.  You may have to reheat the chocolate to do this.  Swirl around the chocolate with your finger or a spoon to create a seal around the peanut butter.  Place the cups in the refrigerator again to harden.

5. Serve and enjoy!

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