February 11, 2009
With just 4 ingredients and about 20 minutes, you can prepare these homemade candies for your favorite Valentine. These are so easy and fabulous! Be sure to butter the pans good to prevent sticking and use wax paper after the candy has been dipped in chocolate. They disappeared in a matter of minutes at my house so I hope you will love them too! Also, thanks to http://www.tipnut.com for recommending my Valentine ideas.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Yield: 24 candies
1 (14-ounce) package caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons skim milk
2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup semisweet chocolate
1. Combine caramels and milk in a heavy saucepan; cook mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Stir in pecans, and drip by tablespoonfuls onto buttered baking sheets. Let stand until firm.
2. Microwave chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring once.
3. Dip caramel candies into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip; place on wax paper. let stand until firm.
February 6, 2009
Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I have 3 children, I am always trying to come up with something clever and sweet. Their school has Valentine class parties, and I have an easy idea that is sure to be a hit. Start with a large waffle cone that can be found in any grocery store and simply coat it in chocolate. Fill with your favorite candy for a colorful, fun presentation. These can be made up to 5 days ahead stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also fill these with your favorite ice cream topped with Valentine candy.
Chocolate-Laced Waffle Cones
For a simpler version of the chocolate mixture, use 1 (7-ounce) container microwavable Baker’s Dipping Chocolate.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 2 minutes
Yield: 8 cones
6 to 8 large waffle cones
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet morsels
1 tablespoon milk
Milk chocolate pieces, solid white chocolate and milk chocolate pieces (kisses and hugs), candy hearts, chocolate hearts
1. Place waffle cone, pointed end up on a baking sheet covered with wax paper. Combine chocolate and milk in top of stove in a double boiler; bring water to a boil; reduce heat to low; cook until chocolate is melted, stirring frequently. (You can also microwave chocolate and milk in a microwave-safe dish 1 minute on HIGH or until melted.)
2. Slowly spoon chocolate over cone coating evenly. Let stand 20 minutes or until chocolate is set. Repeat with remaining cones. Refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, fill cones with your favorite Valentine Candy.
December 4, 2008
Every year, peppermint bark is a holiday hit! My friend and neighbor, Kathy, said she was searching for a wonderful peppermint bark recipe, and since one of my favorite parts of being a Food Consultant for magazines and Food companies is recipe development, I made it my mission to help Kathy out. This recipe is simple to prepare and tastes great. I crushed my candy canes in the food processor to save time and went a little overboard, so I ended up with peppermint snow (as my kids called it-and that’s just how they liked it, by the way). Feel free to chop them more or less, depending how you like it. I used Nestle white and semisweet morsels, but I recommend using a quality chocolate such as ghiradelli (you can also use dark chocolate, if you prefer). Be sure to refrigerate the bark and keep it stored in the refrigerator for optimal results. It will keep for up to 1 month.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 4 minutes
Yield: 2 pounds
1 (8-ounce) package candy cane
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet morsels or baking dark chocolate
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 (12-ounce) package white chocolate morsels or baking white chocolate
1. Place candy canes in a food processor and process until crushed or in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.
2. Melt semisweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl 1 to 2 minutes on HIGH until melted, stirring once. Add peppermint extract, stirring well. Spread evenly on a large 12-x 16-inch baking sheet covered with parchment paper; spray with cooking spray. Place chocolate mixture in refrigerator for up to one hour to set.
3. Melt white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl 1 to 2 minutes on HIGH until melted, stirring once. Spread over semisweet chocolate and top evenly with crushed candy canes. Refrigerate 1 more hour or until set. Break into pieces and give as gifts.