Mar 10, 2012

No Bake 3x3 Bandwagon Cookies

No Bake Bandwagon Cookies
OK, so I made up the name for this snack while I was typing the title.  I've seen a lot of Pins on Pinterest for this snack that I remember making in my first grade class (which was about 37 years ago).  I looked at the basic proportions from other recipes and then went from there.  I used the name "Bandwagon" because I was going to start out this entry by saying "I'm jumping on the bandwagon", but then I just decided to use that in the name of the post (yes, I live an exciting life).  And, there are 3 ingredients and 3 steps to make these (well, maybe four steps.)


Mar 9, 2012

Maple Patties

This is a variation on Peppermint Patties.  Basically, I used Maple Extract instead of the Peppermint Extract.  They were quite good.  You can see the basic recipe for the homemade Peppermint Patties here...

 Link to Laurie-made Peppermint Patties

Enjoy!

Maple Patties

Mar 7, 2012

(Cloned See's) Butterscotch Squres

Cloned See’s Butterscotch Squares


Have you ever had See's Chocolates?

I hadn't had them until I moved to Los Angeles in 1998. The coolest part of going to a See's storefront is being able to hand-pick the box.  You kind of feel like you are transported to a different time as the staff is dressed in sort of "old fashioned" candy-shop clothes.  It's a fun experience.

When I would go to the store, I'd fill up a box mostly with Butterscotch Squares and Scotchmallows.  After trying the homemade Butterfingers that were all over Pinterest, I decided to Google a recipe for Homemade See's Butterscotch Squares.  I got a few hits, but they were the same recipe, which is the one I used.


It was quite easy to make.  Took about 40 minutes at the stove to melt everything, bring it to a boil, and then let it boil away for 15 minutes, but it was easy to do. The recipe as I found it, didn't call for dipping the candy in chocolate, but since the Butterscotch Squares from the store are coated in chocolate, I went for that option. I used Chocolate Bark, but you could just as easily use melted chips or chopped chocolate.



Enjoy!

Par for the course...I forget to take a picture of all the pre-melted ingredients in the pan...


Melting the sugar, cream, butter, and salt...

More melting and cooking....

Setting and cooling....




Ingredients
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed (reserve for later)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla flavoring
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted to remove clumps
Directions 
  1. Line ax 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan with parchment.
  2. Combine brown sugar, cream, butter, and salt in a large heavy saucepan.
 I used a 3 quart saucepan which I thought would be good.  For the most part it was, but when I added the baking soda and it foamed, the pot did get kind of full.  I'd suggest using a 4 quart sauce pan. 
  3. Stir to integrate. Apply medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a healthy boil. 
  4. Reduce heat to low, and simmer at a slight boil for 15 minutes,
 stirring every few minutes.  This will help to eliminate any boil-inhibiting skin
 which might form.  
  5. Add the baking soda, remove from the heat, and mix it in well.
  It will foam and get all frothy.
  6. Next stir in the vanilla and confectioner’s sugar. Keep mixing until the sugar is 
well-incorporated.
  7. Add the reserved brown sugar and mix well. 
  8. Pour into a square or rectangular pan such as an 8×8 or 9×9 inch,
 lined with parchment paper. 
  9. Let cool to room temperature
 (a couple hours at least, more depending on weather).  
  10. Cut into inch-square pieces, or less.
  11. Optional to coat in melted chocolate.

Mar 4, 2012

Butterfingers

So, another Pinterest inspired endeavor.  Laurie-made Butterfingers.  When I first saw this 3 ingredient only recipe, I was a bit bit off, but then I thought about it.  And, thought about it some more and went to the store and bought candy corn. Yes.  Candy corn is one of the three ingredients in DIY Butter fingers.  The other two...Peanut Butter and Chocolate.

In the other write-ups I read, people consistently commented that the taste is spot on for the store bought version, but that the consistency was chewier.  I agree with both comments.  I saw one blogger say that she added crushed Rice Krispies and that addressed the crunchy consistency.  I had already gone to the store when I read about adding the cereal, so I'll have to try that next time.  And, I'll definitely be making them again.

Also, this was the first time that I ever used Chocolate Bark.  I was amazed at how easy it melted and how smooth it was.  For a reference point, out of a package with 12 pieces of bark, I used 7 pieces to coat all the filling pieces.


DIY Butterfingers

 I need to get better about taking pictures of all the steps as I go...I didn't take a picture of the melted candy corn which actually looked kind of cool.

Enjoy!

Ingredients
  • 16 oz of Candy Corn
  • 16 oz jar of Creamy Peanut Butter 
  • Chocolate Chips or Chocolate Bark (Melted)
 Directions
  1. Put the Candy Corn in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 60 seconds. (You can also do this in a pan on the stove).
  2. Stir and and continue to heat/stir in 30 second increments until completed melted.
  3. Add the peanut butter and stir until combined
  4. Pour the mixture into a 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish lined with waxed paper
  5. Let cool completely
  6. Cut into desired size/shape
  7. Melt the chocolate (a small deep bowl works well so you can totally submerge the filling)
  8. Use a for to lower the filling into the chocolate. Lightly shake the fork or tap against the side of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate.
  9. Place the coated center on a piece of wax paper until set.
Enjoy!

Center waiting to be coated....
Setting...


All dressed up and ready to go!


Mar 1, 2012

Laurie-made Peppermint Patties

Who doesn't like peppermint patties?  (not me) Who doesn't know the old commercial, "When I eat a York Peppermint Patty, I get the sensation of the cool breeze blowing through my hair..." with the woman making sounds that are well...um...reminiscent of being in the throes of passion. (obviously, i remember it).

I saw this recipe pop up several times on Pinterest, so I tried to give it a whirl.  I should have rolled them out thinner and/or cut them smaller and I didn't get the 4 dozen that the recipe calls for, but they seemed only slightly thicker than a traditional peppermint patty, and they tasted really yummy.  Really yummy.  And, minty.  Good consistency.  Jeremy liked them too!  Well, we only shared one of them.  But, we liked them.

I think next time, just for fun, I'll color the filling.  It will be a nice surprise when you bite into or break open the candy to see an unexpected color.  They were very easy.  A bunch of back and forth steps.  Kneading, rolling.  Freezer.  Coating with sugar.  Freezer.  Cutting, freezer.  Coating.  Setting.  But, all easy and quick steps.  And, then...the best step.  Eating! 

I'll make them again next week and make them thinner and spend more time on the coating.  Then, I'll bring 'em into work.  Oooooh.  I can mix them into homemade ice cream!!!! 

Enjoy!

Laurie-Made Peppermint Patties

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
pinch of salt
10 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used chocolate chips)



Directions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 2 1/4 cups of the confectioners' sugar, the corn syrup, water, peppermint extract, shortening and salt. 
  2. Beat at medium speed just until combined. 
  3. Dust your work surface with some of the remaining 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar. Transfer the mixture to your prepared work surface, and knead until smooth (if it's too sticky to work with, you can add additional confectioners' sugar). 
  4. Roll between 2 sheets of parchment paper until you have a 7 to 8-inch circle that's between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick. 
  5. Freeze until firm, at least 15 minutes. 
  6. Remove from the freezer and peel the parchment from one side of the candy - sprinkle the candy well with confectioners' sugar then replace the parchment. Flip the candy over and remove the other sheet of parchment. Dust with additional confectioners' sugar. 
  7. Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter, cut as many rounds as possible, transferring them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. When you've cut as many as possible, transfer the baking sheet with the rounds to the freezer.
  8. Gather the scraps and reroll them, then freeze and cut more rounds, adding them to the parchment-lined baking sheet. If at any time the dough gets soft pop it back in the freezer for a few minutes.  You could also (I suppose, I didn't try it) roll the scraps into "Junior Mint"-sized piece.  Though the consistency is firmer than a junior mint, it would be a fun bite-sized treat! 
  9. To coat the mint filling- Add the chocolate and 1 tablespoon of shortening to a microwave-safe bowl (it will be easier to dip if you pick one that's deep rather than shallow). 
  10. Microwave for 60 seconds on full power, then stir well. Continue to microwave in 10-second bursts, stirring in between each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. (You could do this over a double boiler too if you prefer.) 
  11. Working with one round at a time, place it on a fork and dip it in the melted chocolate, letting the excess drip off. Transfer back to the parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining rounds
  12. Allow the chocolate to set completely.  
  13. Store the peppermint patties in an airtight container in the fridge (layered between sheets of parchment) for up to a month.

Makes about 4 dozen