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Welcome to my collection of recipes and cooking related ramblings. Please don't expect culinary perfection during your time here... for I am a frustrated foodie with very little patience and more than a tendency for often unnecessary creativity in the kitchen. I have a hard time following instructions (Never fear, I can read, I just don't like being told what to do), so cooking is a good exercise in discipline for me. Luckily I have a willing husband to taste test these creations, good and bad, so I don't have to suffer alone in my experimentations.  

If you dare - learn along with me as I try out recipes, tweak them to my liking, learn what NOT to do and share all the mundane details with you! Let's do this... 

Entries in Candy (2)

Saturday
Apr282012

Chocolate Checkerboard Brownies

 

I stopped by the drugstore the other night on my way home from work, and as usual, there was a ridiculously long line. I was standing there with my conditioner and bandaids next to the wall of bags of candy and, darned it if my impulse control wasn't on the fritz. Next thing I knew I was leaving with two bags of Dove miniatures, dark chocolate almond and milk chocolate peanut butter) and the threat of calorie guilt on the weekend horizon. I decided to put those little candy nuggets to good use and make some Deluxe double chocolate candy coated brownie bites. Don't get intimidated folks, it's just a regular brownie recipe (straight off a box of chocolate) with candies on top. But, because it's my own culinary creation, it's in the details people, I'm gonna call them Chocolate Checkerboard Brownies. 

Chocolate
Checkerboard
Brownies

Ingredients: Serves 28-40

  • 4 1-oz. squares unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup butter (1.5 sticks)
  • 28 or 40 Dove candies. (My pan was 8x5 rows - but 7x4 rows would work well for bigger brownies.)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Unwrap all the candies (pain in the neck!) and set aside.  In a microwave safe bowl, melt the baking chocolate and butter together for 2 minutes on high. Stir continuously until the chocolate is completely melted. Mix in the sugar, when combined, stir in the eggs and vanilla. Lastly, stir in the flour and mix until completely combined. 

Pour mixture into a foil lined 9"x13" baking pan. Alternate your two types of Dove candies in a grid on top of the brownie mixture. I put the candies upside down for a more even surface texture. Bake brownies for 30-35 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out with crumbly chocolate attached. Be careful not to overbake.

Cool completely in the pan and then slice and serve!

Verdict: The dark chocolate almond squares are over the top chocolatey. Not for the faint of heart.. could use a side of vanilla ice cream for sure. The peanut butter ones are yummy on their own, the peanut butter is melty on the inside. Sigh... I think I might need to taste another to be sure. Yeah, I think I do. 

 

Saturday
Apr072012

Try these addictive little pretzel party treats, I dare you.

Need to bring a snack to a potluck or poker game? Have a birthday party coming up or a bar mitzvah? Need to stuff an army full of carbs & sugar for upcoming battle? Whatever the reason, or the season, these little candy pretzel snacks will fit the bill. 

No doubt you've seen this recipe all over the internet, and that's because it's so easy and makes you feel like a rock star for making it, therefore, everyone must blog about it... including me. Big bang for your buck on this recipe. You can make several hundred of these in less than an hour. Trust me, it takes longer to unwrap the Rolos and kisses than anything else in this recipe. 

Kids love these things and so do big adult kids. Get creative in your candy combinations - vary them for the different seasons and try different flavors, colors and varieties of kisses and M&Ms. The picture above uses the peanut butter M&Ms in Easter egg shapes. I've seen them made with the striped peppermint kisses for Christmas. Use your imagination... go nuts. Go peanut M&M nuts. 

If you're a caramel lover - then the more sophisticated variation of Rolo candies and pecans will suit your sweet tooth. The nutty treat is reminiscent of a turtle candy, but crunchier, and saltier. 

Pretzel Party Snax

INGREDIENTS:

  • M&Ms
  • Pretzels
  • Pecan halves
  • Rolo candies
  • Hershey's Kisses

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 225F. There are two different varieties you can make - the first variation uses Hershey's kisses and M&M candies and the second uses Rolo candies and pecan halves. You will need to unwrap either a Rolo or Hershey's kiss for each pretzel. (Note, this will take forever so bring a friend.)

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread out one layer of pretzels. Place a Rolo or kiss on top of each pretzel. Put in the oven for 2 - 2 1/2 minutes. Take the tray out of the oven and let sit on the counter for about one minute - this will allow the chocolate to finish "melting" and will make it easy to "smoosh". Quickly place an M&M on top of each Hershey's Kiss and a pecan half on top of each Rolo candy - press down to flatten. The chocolate will fill into the holes in the pretzel to form a bond. 

Place the tray of candies into the refrigerator to chill for about half an hour. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to serve. These will keep for a few days in the fridge.