Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chocolate Billionaires

These very similar to a 100 Grand candy bar. If you want to make these extra special toast the pecans!

1 (14 ounce) package caramels
3 tbsp. water
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup crisp rice cereal
3 cups milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp. shortening

Line two baking sheets with waxed paper; grease the paper and set aside.  In a large saucepan combine the caramels and water; cook and stir over low heat until smooth.  Stir in pecans and cereal until coated.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared pan.  Refrigerate for 10 min. or until firm.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips and shortening over low heat; stir until smooth.  Dip candy into chocolate, coating all sides.  Place on prepared pans.  Refrigerate until set and store in an airtight container. 

Holiday Pecan Log

This came from These taste just like the ones you can buy.  If you want you can add piece of cherry like some pecan logs have, but mine are just the plain ones. 

1/2 cup + 2 tsp. butter, softened and divided
3 3/4 cups confictioners' sugar
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 package (14 ounce) caramels
1 tbsp. milk or half-and-half cream
2 cups chopped pecans

Butter an 8-inch square pan with 2 tsp. butter; set aside.  Combine confectioners' sugar and milk powder; set aside.  In a heavy saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter, sugar, and corn syrup; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Stir in confectioners' sugar mixture, about a third at a time, until blended.
Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.  Continue stirring until the mixture mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon.  Spread into prepared pan and cool.  Cut candy in 4 strips; cut each strip in half.  Shape each into a log; wrap in waxed paper and twist ends.  Freeze or refrigerate until form.
Meanwhile, in a microwave, melt caramels with milk, stirring often.  Roll logs in caramel mixture, then in pecans.  Wrap in waxed paper.  Store at room temperature in airtight containers.  Cut into slices with a serrated knife. 

Corn Flake Bars

This came from one of my favorite blog spots, bakeorbreak.
These combine my favorites: cereal and peanut butter. They're a quick dessert if you need something in a hurry.

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups crushed corn flakes

Combine the brown sugar and corn syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and peanut butter.  Fold in corn flakes until well mixed.  Spread into a 9x13 inch pan.  Chill until set and cut into squares. 

Sweet Sorghum Cookies

These cookies are extremely moist, but not so much that they fall to pieces. They are the best-shaped cookies I've ever made.  I'm not a huge fan of sorghum, but these taste like a lighter version of gingerbread cookies.

 1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 Sorghum syrup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, cream margarine, shortening, and sugar  Beat in sorghum and eggs; set mixture aside.  In another large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.  Blend thoroughly with a wire whisk.  Gradually mix flour mixture into creamed ingredients until dough is blended and smooth.  Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls.  Dip tops in granulated sugar; place 2 1/2-inches apart on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 11 min.  Do not overbake.  Cool on wire rack.  Store in tightly-covered container to maintain softness. Yields about 3 dozen cookies.  These cookies are soft ad chewy and freeze well. 

Candy Cane Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These cookies are obviously very festive.  The only problem I encountered was taking the cookies off the baking sheet.  Once the peppermint pieces melt, they attach to the pan making it very hard to remove them. Be sure to spray your cookie sheets with a nonstick cooking spray. I got this recipe from (

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cream of  tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (5 ounce) milk chocolate candy bar, chopped (I actually used a package of Andes mint chocolate candies instead and it added a stronger mint flavor)
1 cup coarsely chopped peppermint candy canes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and peppermint extracts.  Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.  Stir into the creamed mixture until all of the dry ingredients have been absorbed.  Mix in the chocolate chunks and chopped candy cane.  Form spoonfuls of dough into balls, and place them 2 inches apart onto a GREASED baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 min. in the preheated oven. 

White Chocolate Holiday Bark

This easy candy came from the Food Network Channel, so you know it must be good. It has the sweet and salty taste embedded with the smooth white chocolate. I added a few roasted peanuts to mine because I didn't have enough pistachios. 

1 pound finely chopped white chocolate
1 1/2 tsp. nut or plain oil
1/2 cup cranberries
1 1/4 cups shelled pistachio nuts, toasted and papery coating peeled

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, simmering the water on a low heat.  You can use a candy thermometer to keep a check on it; it should read between 82 to 86 degrees.  Once melted, stir in the oil, cranberries, and nuts.  Spread wax or parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Pour the mixture on it the cookie sheet and refrigerate until the mixture hardens. Break into pieces. 

Puppy Chow/Dog Food/Reindeer Poop

There's quite an assortment of names for this, but I find puppy chow the most appealing and least disgusting.  I'm sure everyone has eaten this at some point in their life so there's no need for me to tell you how wonderfully addicting it.

9 cups Rice Chex cereal
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 to 3 cups confectioners' sugar (It really depends on how much you want. I tend to use half a bag or so)

Melt the butter, chocolate, and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl for about 1 1/2 min. Add vanilla.  Pour the cereal into a large bowl and pour the chocolate mixture, coating the cereal thoroughly. Place the mixture in a large plastic bag if you don't have a lid for your large bowl; add the confectioners' sugar and shake until all the cereal is evenly coated. You can add any extras to this if you want; I added peanut butter M&M's to mine, though I like it without anything added the best.

Pink Lady Cake

I got this recipe from smittenkitchen. Here's the link to the original recipe with much better pictures than I can provide:
The cake is gigantic! It filled up my entire KitchenAid bowl.  I'm not a huge fan of cream cheese icing, but those who were seemed to like's definitely a lot of cake, but very pretty. :)

For the cake:
4 1/2 cups cake flour
3 cups sugar
5 1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 
1 1/2 cups pureed frozen strawberries
8 egg whites
2/3 cup milk
1 to 2 drops red food dye

For the cream cheese frosting:
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese. softened (You can use low-fat too)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch or 8-inch round baking pans. Line with parchment paper and butter the paper. 
Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl.  With the electric mixer (I'd use a KitchenAid, not a handheld electric mixer) on low speed, blend for 30 seconds.  Add the butter and strawberry puree and mix to blend the ingredients.  Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 min.; the batter will resemble strawberry ice cream at this point. 
In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk, and red food dye to blend.  Add the whites to the batter in 2 or 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well and mixing only to incorporate after each addition.  Divide the batter among the 3 prepared pans.
Bake the cakes for 30-35 min. or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow the layers to cool in the pans for 10-15 min.  Invert and turn out onto wire racks and peel off the paper liners.  Let stand until completely cooled before assembling the cake, at least one hour.

For the frosting:
In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy.  Mix in the vanilla, then gradually  stir in the confectioners' sugar.  Store in the refrigerator after use.