Showing posts with label Candy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Candy. Show all posts

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Brazilian Chocolate Truffles and A New Cookbook

A new cookbook, Sprinkles! Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts by Jackie Alpers is is hitting the shelves this week. At Mimi's kitchen we love sprinkles so this book was made for us. You don't have to be an avid baker to enjoy using this book; there are plenty of ideas for food projects that don't require baking. This book is beautifully photographed, full of vibrant colors that making each recipe come to life.
 From martini's to candy Jackie has a sprinkle idea. The best part is that you can customize any sprinkle recipe to your event. Use holiday colors, team colors, favorite shapes... the options are endless! 
We chose to make these Brazilian Chocolate Truffles because they were something completely new to us and sounded delicious. With only 3 pantry ingredients, plus your choice of sprinkles, a recipe can't get any easier or faster. These chewy, chocolatey candies had a flavor reminiscent of homemade stovetop chocolate pudding, which we absolutely loved. They were rich without being too sweet and the coating of sprinkles added a nice bit of texture. We will definitely make these again, maybe with a pinch of espresso powder or cayenne pepper, and change up the sprinkles for a fun festive look this coming holiday season. 


 Brazilian Chocolate Truffles
Sprinkles! Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts

1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan and hands
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sprinkles.

 1. Coat a large shallow pan or platter with butter or cooking spray (I used an 8 inch square pan). In a large saucepan bring condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter to a boil, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula (I also added a pinch of salt) . Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. It should have the consistency of thick frosting. 
2. Pour mixture into prepared pan; let cool completely and become firm (you can refrigerate it to speed up the process). 
3. Grease your hands with butter and shape pieces into 1 to 11/2 inch balls. Roll each ball in sprinkles. Place on waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.





Thursday, December 20, 2012

White Chocolate Apricot Fudge

Every Christmas our family makes fudge to give away as part of our cookie trays. It was always my favorite Christmas treat as a little girl, and we still use the same recipe that my mom did. It always turns out rich, creamy and super chocolatey. For many years I have wanted to try a white chocolate fudge, but I always run out of time. This year, while flipping though an old issue of Taste of Home Holiday Recipes I came across this fudge recipe and decided that this was the year I was going to make it. It also fits into the December Improv challenge, using both marshmallows and chocolate, so all the more reason to try it. White chocolate always seems so sweet, but I liked the idea of the apricots and walnuts to balance that sweetness. 



I am glad that I finally made time to try this fudge. It was very, very sweet, but suprisingly, we all liked it, and thought it was a nice change from the chocolate and peppermint treats that are everywhere. However, there are a few things I would do differently next time. Some of my apricots were very soft and moist, and seemed almost melted inside the fudge so next time I would choose the firmest dried apricots I can find. Overall, we liked this as a base recipe and might try it again omitting the apricots and adding some dried cranberries and orange zest with the walnuts. 

White Chocolate Apricot Fudge
adapted from Taste of Home Holiday Recipes 2009

1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1  7 oz jar marshmallow cream
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots*
3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts*

Line a 9 inch square pan with foil, grease foil with butter.

In a large bowl combine chopped white chocolate, marshmallow cream and salt. Set aside.

In a heavy sauce pan combine sugar, sour cream and butter. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring until soft ball stage, 234 degrees, about 5 1/2 minutes. 

Pour sugar mixture over chocolate and marshmallow cream and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add vanilla stirring to incorporate. Fold in apricots and walnuts.

Pour into pan allow to set over night or until firm. Use the foil to remove from pan and cut into 1 inch squares.

*This is the recipe I made, but next time I would add more of both the apricots and the walnuts and I would finely chop the apricots.
printable recipe



links:Foodie Friday

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

White Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles



According to the calendar, it's officially autumn, but the 90 degree heat says otherwise. As much as I would love to be roasting squash and baking pumpkin treats, I just can't make myself stand in the kitchen all day with the oven at full blast.

Despite the heat, I couldn't pass up the cans of pumpkin I saw at the store and I knew this recipe would be a great way to ease into fall flavors without too much time in a hot kitchen. These truffles have the spiced pumpkin flavor I was craving, with a little bit of crunch from the graham cracker crumbs and the white chocolate shell. they are easy and delicious, and most importantly, don't require hours in front of an oven!
I used some Halloween colored sprinkles here but I think with some red, orange, or gold dust on top these would make a pretty (and easy) addition to any Thanksgiving dessert display. I know it will be cool enough for pie baking by then, but a little twist on the traditional pumpkin pie is always fun too!


White Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles
adapted from healthy food for living

12 oz. good quality white chocolate
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch cloves
pinch allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
Seasonal sprinkles or edible decorations

12 silicone or foil lined mini muffin cups or other small silicone cups


Melt white chocolate  in the top of a double boiler over medium heat on the stove, stirring constantly until completely melted.  Remove from heat. Using a small spoon, place about 3/4 of a teaspoon of the melted chocolate in a reusable silicone mini cup or into a foil lined mini muffin cup, tilt the cups to swirl the chocolate to cover as much as possible. If necessary, use a paint brush to paint up the sides of the cups with extra chocolate. The chocolate should be thick enough that you can not see through it. You should have left over chocolate when all the cups are done.

Place the cups onto a tray and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until completely hardened.  Remove from freezer (and peel the silicone or papers off of the hardened shells, I did this when I was completely finished with the candies )

In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, spices and the vanilla, whisk or beat until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and whisk until combined.  Stir in the graham cracker crumbs

Using a small spoon, gently divide the mixture among the chocolate cups filling to just below the ridge. Smooth the tops to create an even surface.
Re-heat the remaining melted white chocolate if necessary.  Spoon a small amount of melted chocolate over the smoothed filling surfaces, making sure the chocolate reaches all the way to the edges to seal the cups.  Sprinkle with decorative seasonal sprinkles or edible decorations. (here is where I removed them from the silicon molds)

printable recipe


Foodie Friday

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blonde Rocky Road


Things have been a bit crazy over here at Mimi's Kitchen. Five baby chicks have moved into our house and they are a lively bunch. They keep us pretty busy, from building them a brand new home in our backyard, to holding them and getting to know their personalities so we can appropriately name them, and keeping an eye out for cats ready to pounce at any moment. We did, however, have time for some Marshmallow Madness in the midst of all the chick madness. Homemade marshmallows are nothing like the ones you buy in the grocery store. While those work just fine for campfire roasting, the made-from-scratch marshmallows that result from just a little bit of effort are in an entirely different category. We actually enjoyed popping them in our mouths plain, which is something we never do with the store bought bag. 

Marshalllow Madness, the new book by Shauna Sever, published by Quirk Books, is full of fun and tasty marshmallows and marshmallow treats. Shauna covers all the basic of marshallow making, from marshallow creme, flavored marshmallows,  and other treats with marshmallows as a component. Her recipes are well written and easy to follow, which is important when attempting something that sounds as complicated and intimidating as marshmallows (even though they are actually pretty easy!). We had success with all three of the recipes that we made, so I know we will use this book again for any marshmallow related creations. 


First, we made the marshmallow creme for our Tropical Carrot Pie. It was smooth and creamy with a delicious vanilla flavor. 


Next, we tried the classic vanilla marshmallow, but since we had never made miniture marshallows before we decide to give that a try. They couldn't have been easier, both to make and to snack on!

 Once we had those mini mallows in hand we made the Blonde Rocky Road candy featured in the book. This was spectacular. It was sweet from the butterscotch, salty and crunchy from the peanuts, and the marshmallows were soft and melt-in-your-mouth tender. It was those fresh little marshmallows that really made this candy special.We made it as written the first time, and were surprised that we liked the butterscotch flavor since it is not usually a favorite. We see all kinds of flavor combination for repeats of this recipe, and I think Mini Me would be pleasantly surprised to see a peanut butter version in her next care package. 

Blonde Rocky Road
Marshmallow Madness by Shauna Sever.

1- 12 ounce bag butterscotch chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into tablespoon size pieces.
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups homemade mini marshmallows, divided
3/4 cup salted peanuts, divided.

Line and 8x8inch (I used a 9x9inch) pan with a large sheet of aluminum foil pressing is neatly into the corners.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the butterscotch chips, peanut butter and butter.  Microwave on 50% power for about 3 minutes.  Stop to stir well.  Place back in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds on 50% power and stop to stir again- it should be smooth after a bit more stirring.  If not, give it a couple more 20-second bursts of high power and stir until smooth.
Stir in the vanilla and salt.  Stir in 2 cups of the marshmallows and 1/2 cup of the peanuts.  Turn the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle the remaining marshmallows and peanuts evenly over the top and press lightly into the candy with your palms.  Chill until set, about 15 minutes in the freezer or 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Remove the candy slab from the pan and cut it into 1 1/2 inch squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Printable recipe

Classic Vanilla Marshmallows
Marshmallow Madness by Shauna Sever

4 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
1/2 cup cold water.
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup, divided.
1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt.
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1/2 cup classic coating, plus more for dusting

For regular marshmalows: Lightly coat an 8x8 baking pan with cookling spray

Whisk together the gelatin and cold water in a small bowl and let soften for 5 minutes.

Stir together the sugar, 1/4 cup of corn syrup, water and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat.  Boil, stiring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F.  Meanwhilw, pour remaining 1/4 cup corn syrup into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Microwave gelatin on high until completely melted, about 30 seconds.  Pour it into the mixer bowl. Set the mixer speed to low and keep it running.

When the syrup reaches 204 degrees F., slowly pour it into the mixer bowl.  Increase the speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. Increase to medium-high and beat for 5 minutes. ** Beat on the highest setting for 1-2 minutes more and beat in the vanilla: the finished marsmallows willo be opaque white fluffy, and tripled in volume.  pour into prepared pan.


** for mini marshmallows omit the last 1-2 minutes of beating on high speed instead add the vanilla during the last minute of beating on medium high speed. Load the batter into a large pastry bag fitted with a large round pastry tip.  Pipe long lines of marshmallow in parallel rows across a bakaing sheet dusted in clasic coating. Dust more clasic coating over the marshamllows and let cure.  When set, use kitchen siccors to snip the marshmallow ropes into 1/2 inch wide bits.  Roll the mini mallows in the coating right on the baking sheet, dusting off excess. Store in air tight continer.


Classic Coating:
Sift together 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar and 1 cup cornstarch or potato starch.


This was a really fun book and we will be making many more of Shauna's recipes.  If you want to add this book to your cookbook shelf you can find it at Amazon.com.



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Links: Foodie Friday @Designs by Gollum

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Butterfinger Bites

Mini Me has been away at school for almost two months, so it's time to to get that mid-term care package in the mail. One of our shared loves is peanut butter, so I always try to include a peanut-y treat in her box. I've been seeing home made butterfinger bars all over the internet, and knowing they are a favorite of Mini Me,  I thought I'd give them a try. Looking at the simple, and strange, ingredients, I wasn't quite sure what these would be like. I must admit, I was surprised at how good these were. They don't have that hard snap that butterfingers do, but they sure had the flavor and texture of the soft crumbly part. If you are not a candy corn lover, this is the perfect recipe to re-purpose  candy corn that finds its way to your house on Halloween!
For these tasty little treats, you only need three ingredients that you probably already have on hand, making these even easier to put together.

Butterfinger Bites
1 lb Brach's candy corn
1 lb peanut butter
1 lb chocolate

Directions:
In a mircowave safe bowl melt the candy corn, stiring every 15 seconds until melted.  The melted candy will not be fluid and flow, but be grainy and somewhat lumpy.
Add the peanut butter and stir until completely mixed. Pour into a 9x9 parchment lined pan. Pat down firmly into an even layer. I used an offset spatula to smooth the surface. Allow to cool, cut in to desired size (I cut mine in about 1 inch squares) dip in melted chocolate and let harden on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Enjoy!






Link:Foodie Friday at Deisgns by Gollum