Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Season: Candy Mania!

Good afternoon bloggers! Welcome to a brand new, sugary sweet edition of Everyday Meals. As you may have already picked up from my subtle statement, we are indeed making candy. In my household, we make chocolates every year and I wanted to share some equally delicious candy recipes with you all. I want to share a little knowledge with you about peppermint bark, considering that we are making a form of it today. Sit tight and enjoy! Peppermint bark consists of peppermint candy pieces, like candy canes, in white chocolate on top of dark chocolate. Peppermint bark can refer ro any chocolate with peppermint pieces in it. There are of course, variations of peppermint bark. They can include a two-toned layered type, squares, Hersey's kisses, salsa, and peanut butter cups. That's interesting! Now that we know a little about what we are wokring with, let's get in the kitchen and make some candy!

Green Mint Bark

You will need:

  • 1 package (10 to 12 ounces) white baking chips
  • 12 ounces green candy coating disks
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 candy canes, crushed

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil, then set aside. 
  2. In a microwave, melt the chips, making sure to stir until smooth. 
  3. Spread the melted chips into a 13 x 9 inch rectangle on a prepared baking sheet. 
  4. In a microwave, melt the candy coating and stir until smooth. 
  5. Stir in the extract. 
  6. Spread the candy coating over the white layer and sprinkle with candy. 
  7. Chill for 10 minutes or until firm, then break into pieces. 
  8. Store in an airtight container.
  9. Enjoy!

Ready for the next recipe?

Cranberry Orange Truffles

You will need:

  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons thawed orange juice concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

For the Coating:

  • 12 ounces white candy coating, chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

  1. In a double boiler or metal bowl over simmering water, heat the chocolate and butter until melted, stirring frequently. 
  2. Whisk a small amount of the mixture into the egg yolks. 
  3. Return all to the heat, whisking constantly. 
  4. Cook and stir until the mixture reaches at least 160 degrees and coats the back of a metal spoon. 
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the cranberries, orange juice concentrate and extract. 
  6. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. 
  7. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle. 
  8. Shape into 1 inch balls. 
  9. In a microwave, melt the candy coating. 
  10. Dip truffles in the coating and allow any excess to drip off. 
  11. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets and immediately sprinkle with almonds. 
  12. Drizzle with bittersweet chocolate and garnish with dried cranberries. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. 
  13. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 
  14. Enjoy!

And finally, our last recipe...

Homemade Marshmallows

You will need:

  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup cold water, divided
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Optional toppings: 

  • melted chocolate 
  • hot fudge
  • caramel ice cream topping

Optional garnishes:

  • baking cocoa 
  • confectioners' sugar 
  • crushed assorted candies
  • chopped nuts
  • colored sugars 
  • sprinkles

  1. Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with foil, then grease the foil with butter and set aside. 
  2. In a large metal bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup water and set aside. 
  3. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining water. 
  4. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees.
  6. Remove from the heat and gradually add to the gelatin. 
  7. Beat on high speed, in a mixer until the mixture is thick and the volume is doubled, about 15 minutes. 
  8. Beat in the vanilla. 
  9. Spread into the prepared pan. 
  10. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 6 hours or overnight. 
  11. Using foil, lift the marshmallows out of the pan. 
  12. With a knife or pizza cutter coated with cooking spray, cut 1 inch squares. Dip or drizzle marshmallows with toppings if desired. 
  13. Coat with garnishes as well. 
  14. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
  15. Enjoy!

I hope this entry has been as fun for you as it has been for me. Thank you for joining me once again and may you all have a Happy Holiday. I'll catch you all on the flip side! <3