Never Fail Fudge

Ingredients

5 cups sugar
1 stick butter or margarine
1 large can of cream

1 bag of chocolate chips
7 oz. marshmallow cream

1 cup of pecans or walnuts if desired

Directions
Mix sugar, cream and butter in cooker. Boil 7 minutes after it comes to a full boil. Remove from heat, pour in marshmallow creme and chocolate chips. Beat as still as possible, add nuts, if desired. Pour in plate. Cut when cool. Makes 5 pounds of candy.

Peanut Cup Cookies

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk

40 mini chocolate covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.

Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well. Shape into 40 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan.

Chocolate Easter Candy Eggs

Chocolate Easter Candy Eggs

These moist chocolate cake eggs harbor a delicious secret: caramel candy.

Cake

2 cups sugar

2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3/4 cup Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch- process cocoa

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons espresso powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

3/4 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups water

Filling

1 cup caramel from a block; or 3 dozen unwrapped caramel candies

Topping

3/4 cup caramel from a block, or unwrapped candies and 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream or half and half
Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the wells of an egg pan. Or line a muffin pan with papers, and grease the papers. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla, beating until smooth. Gradually add the water, beating until smooth. Pour the batter into each cup of the prepared pan, bringing it to within 5/8″ of the rim of the pan. While the cakes are baking, prepare the caramel. If you’re using block caramel, scoop 1″ balls and roll them smooth between your palms. Place them in the freezer. Bake the cakes for 14 minutes. Place one ball of caramel (or 2 unwrapped caramel candies) atop each egg or muffin; it’ll sink in. Continue baking for an additional 12 minutes until cake is set and springs back when lightly touched. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Loosen cakes, and gently slip them out of the pan onto a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining batter and caramel. When all the cakes are baked and cooled, combine the 3/4 cup caramel and cream, and heat in the microwave till very hot. Remove, and stir till smooth. Drizzle over the cakes, reheating as necessary.

Butter Pecan Kringle

Butter Pecan Kringle

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, cut into pats

1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1/2 teaspoon salt*

1/4 cup cold water

*Reduce salt to 1/4 teaspoon if you use salted butter.

Pastry topping

1 cup water

1/2 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon salt*

1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon butter rum, eggnog, or vanilla butternut flavor, optional but delicious

*Reduce salt to 1/4 teaspoon if you use salted butter.

Pecans and caramel

12 ounces caramel, cut from a block (about 1 cup, packed); or about 3 dozen individual caramel candies*, unwrapped

2 cups pecan halves, toasted in a 350°F oven till golden brown

*Use fresh, soft caramels. If using harder, supermarket-type caramels, add a couple of tablespoons milk or cream when melting, to keep them soft on the kringle; or substitute caramel sauce.

Glaze

1 cup confectioners’ or glazing sugar

2 tablespoons heavy cream, half and half, or milk, enough to make a thick but pourable glaze

1/8 teaspoon butter rum, eggnog, or vanilla butternut flavor, optional but good

pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) a baking sheet that’s at least 18″ x 13″; or a 14″ round pizza pan.

Directions

Wet your hands, pick up the dough, and shape it into a 12″ x 8″ oval ring on the sheet pan; or a 10″ ring in the pizza pan. This will be messy going, but just keep wetting your fingers and pushing it into a ring.

Once you’ve made the ring, flatten the dough so it’s about 1 1/2″ wide; basically, it’ll look like a train or NASCAR track.

To make the pastry topping: Place the water, butter, and salt in a saucepan, and heat over medium heat till the butter is melted and the mixture is boiling.

Transfer to a mixing bowl, and immediately add the flour, beating until the mixture is cohesive and starts to form a ball.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add the flavor at the end, if you’re using it.

Spread the pastry along the ring, covering it completely; you’ll now have a much wider ring, though it won’t be completely closed in the center; it should still look like a ring.

Bake the kringle for 50 to 60 minutes, till it’s a deep golden brown. If you haven’t yet toasted your pecans, this is a good opportunity to do so; they’ll need about 9 to 11 minutes in the oven. When they’re golden, remove them from the oven and cool. When the kringle is done, remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool completely on the pan.

To add the pecans and caramel: First, have the pecans all ready beside the pan of kringle; you’ll be sprinkling them atop the caramel as soon as you pour it on.

Place the caramel in a microwave-safe spouted cup, if you have one; it’s not necessary, but makes it easier to pour. Melt the caramel till its bubbly, remove it from the microwave, stir a few times to smooth out the bubbles, and immediately drizzle it over the kringle. If it stiffens up, reheat briefly in the microwave.

Sprinkle pecans atop the caramel, pressing them in gently. Allow the kringle to cool completely.

To make the glaze: Stir together the confectioners’ sugar, salt, flavor (if you’re using it), and enough milk or cream to make a pourable glaze. Drizzle it over the kringle.

To serve, cut the kringle in 2″ slices. Yield: one large (12″ x 16″ oval, or 14″ round) kringle, about 2 dozen servings.

CRACKER JACKS

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Ingredients

4 quarts popped popcorn

1 cup Spanish peanuts

4 tbsp butter

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup light corn syrup

2 tbsp molasses

¼ tsp salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Combine popped popcorn and peanuts in a metal bowl or on a cookie sheet and place in preheated oven.  Combine all remaining ingredients in a saucepan.  Stirring over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil.

Using a cooking thermometer, bring the mixture to the hard-ball stage (260-275 degrees).  This will take 20-25 minutes.

Remove the popcorn and peanuts from the oven and, working very quickly, pour the caramel mixture in a fine stream over them.  Then place them back into the oven for 15 minutes.

Mix well every five minutes, so that all of the popcorn is coated.  Remove from oven and pour popcorn out onto wax paper and allow to cool.  Break up the chunks.

Cool and store in a covered container to preserve freshness.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Caramels

Chocolate Caramels

 

Ingredients

4cups heavy cream, divided

2 1/2cups light corn syrup

4 1/2cups granulated sugar

1teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling as desired

10ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate (30 to 40%)

8ounces high quality very dark chocolate (70 to 80%)

8ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes

2teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Line a 12 x 16-inch baking pan with a Silpat or parchment paper and spray generously with nonstick spray. Place the pan in a spot that is easily accessible, but where it will not be moved (the caramel will wrinkle if you move it before it has cooled completely).

In a large pot, combine 2 cups of the cream with the corn syrup, sugar, and salt (be sure to use a large pot — cream has a tendency to boil over!). Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot (an infrared laser thermometer is pretty great, too), and bring it to a boil — stirring occasionally — over medium heat. Wash down the sides of the pot as needed with a pastry brush dipped into tepid water.

Cook, stirring constantly, until the temperature reads 220° F on the thermometer. Continue stirring, and add the chocolate and butter (you may need to adjust the temperature to keep it at a rolling boil). Once the mixture has returned to a boil, gradually add the remaining 2 cups cream.

Continue to boil, stirring constantly, until the temperature reads 240 to 245° F on the thermometer. Stir in the vanilla.

Pour the caramel into the prepared pan (garnish with a sprinkling of additional salt, if using) and let sit — undisturbed and uncovered — for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

When the caramel has cooled completely, spray a cutting board and knife with nonstick spray. Unmold the caramels onto the cutting board, and peel away the Silpat or parchment paper. Cut into rectangles or squares. Wrap in wax paper or parchment and store in a cool, dry place.

Candy Bar Fudge

Candy Bar Fudge

 

Ingredients

1 tsp butter

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup butterscotch chips

1 can (16 ounces) chocolate fudge frosting

2 snickers candy bars (2.07 ounces each) cut into ¼ inch chunks, divided

Directions

Line a 9-in. square pan with foil and grease the foil with butter; set aside.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips; stir until smooth. Stir in frosting and half of the candy bar pieces. Spread into prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining candy bar pieces. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.

Cut fudge into squares

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Turtle Candy

Turtle Candy

Ingredients

1 pound pecan halves, toasted 

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup butter, cubed

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 pound milk chocolate candy coating, chopped

Directions

On waxed paper-lined baking sheets, arrange pecans in small clusters of four to five pecans each. 

 For caramel, in a small saucepan, combine the milk, corn syrup and sugars. Cook and stir over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 238° (soft-ball stage). Remove from the heat. Stir in butter and vanilla. Working quickly, spoon caramel onto pecan clusters. Let stand until set. 

 In a microwave, melt candy coating; stir until smooth. Spoon over caramel. Chill for 10 minutes or until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 4 dozen.

How to Melt Chocolate

How to melt chocolate

Prep a small sauce pan with about an inch of water in the bottom and source yourself a metal, heatproof bowl.  One of the most crucial things in using a double boiler is that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Bring the water to a simmer – a little bubble simmer.

Chop your chocolate into rough pieces and add into the bowl. And make sure to have a rubber spatula or wood spoon on hand immediately.

Continually fold the chocolate in the bowl, making sure to get all the bits that might get tucked into the corners of your bowl. Now as the chocolate melts, the chunks get smaller and smaller, and here is where you have to watch. Just before the final chunks of chocolate disappear – carefully remove the bowl from the double boiler.

The residual heat that is in the chocolate will help finish the melting process. That way you won’t over heat it and cause it to seize.

Homemade Marshmallow Fluff

Marshmallow Fluff Homemade

Ingredients

3 egg whites

2 cups light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 – 3 cups powdered sugar, to taste

1 – 1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract, to taste, or other flavoring

Instructions

In a large mixer, combine egg whites, corn syrup, and salt.

Beat on high speed for at least 10 minutes until the mixture gets large and fluffy.

Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat on low until just blended. Taste the mixture and decide how much powdered sugar, if any, to add.

Add vanilla extract or other flavoring to taste.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.