Homemade Grapefruit Slices

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I love, love, love candied grapefruit slices at the candy store. The orange slices are just as good, but I really like the grapefruit slices. They are really sweet and have a distinct grapefruit taste. And guess what?! they aren’t hard to make either!

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I made these grapefruit slices while cleaning my kitchen. Every time you boil the grapefruit slices, you have to strain them to get the bitterness out of the slices. The last time you boil the slices in a lot of sugar and water for 30 minutes. Then you strain them one last time and dip them in sugar. Doesn’t sound too difficult right? Can you see why I made these while cleaning my kitchen? I really wish I had decent lighting in my kitchen in order to show you the steps. Maybe I can set up some kind of rig in my kitchen with my new tripod that I got for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, it was pretty good for me this year! Everyone knows how much of a bacon freak I am and my brother also ended up getting me 3 1/2 pounds of bacon from a butcher where he lives. Also got this cool bacon ornament from my friend and a sign that says bacon makes me happy! It does too!

bacon

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At first the grapefruit slices were kind of bitter. Ben tried one too and he didn’t like them. The next day however, it was like they totally transformed into the grapefruit slices that the candy store has. I let my friends try them and they loved them.

Ingredients

2 large grapefruits
4 cups of sugar
4 cups of water
1 cup of sugar for covering the slices

For directions and step by step pictures please visit Tablespoon!

Rumchata Truffles

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If you have never tried this drink yet run to the liquor store now and grab yourself a bottle real quick! This drink tastes like you’re drinking a bowl of cinnamon french toast cereal and sometimes I just take shots of it right from the jar. It’s really good in hot chocolate. Earlier this week, I made some white hot chocolate with peppermint and rumchata in the crock pot and never got to take a picture of it for my blog. Wish I had! It was super good.

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I’ve been experimenting with different ways of using this liquor and I thought this would be a good substitute for heavy cream in truffles. Truffles aren’t that hard to make. In order to save time, I use the microwave to melt my chocolate instead of a double boiler and then I just stir in the cream until the cream and chocolate are mixed well together. Let the chocolate set up in the fridge and use a small ice cream scoop to make the balls. Dip them in chocolate and decorate whatever way you want to. It is very difficult to get truffles shaped into the perfect size ball like you see in all the prepackaged truffles. Don’t worry if you’re truffles don’t turn out looking perfect, they will taste good no matter what!

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Rumchata Truffles

1/2 cup of Rumchata
12 oz bag of white chocolate chips
almond bark for dipping the truffles
cinnamon

1. Melt white chocolate in the microwave until smooth. Add in Rumchata.

2. Let the chocolate set in the fridge for an hour.

3. Use an ice cream scoop (smaller size), to roll the truffles into a 1 inch size ball. You might have to use your hands to shape the ball.

4. Melt the almond bark in the microwave until the chocolate mixture is melted.

5. Dip the truffles into the almond bark and sprinkle with cinnamon to decorate. Enjoy.

Snickers Fudge

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This is a layered fudge you make in different steps. I don’t know why but the chocolate part ended up looking kind of crumbly on top and I felt like there wasn’t enough chocolate. I did love the two middle layers the caramel and nougat part and I think it probably would have been even better if it had the peanuts. Left those out because I didn’t have any. Also, it would probably be better to make this in a smaller size pan to get the chocolate layer a little bit thicker. I took a really close up shot of it so you could see what the layers looked like.

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I got these cute little pumpkins for Halloween/Fall. They look like Halloween pumpkins but they could be Fall too don’t you think? I’ve been pinning so many ideas for decorating for Halloween the past few days and the best part is, I already have a lot of the stuff for making things. Like a dead corpse. Who would have thought to use a trash bag, duct tape, and news paper for an easy Halloween decoration? Ha.

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For the full recipe click here.

Pretzel M&M Hugs

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I’ve been seeing a lot of pretzel creations on the Internet lately and this is one of them, thought I’d jump on the bandwagon myself. I went to three different stores looking for the round pretzels and no luck so I opted for the Christmas pretzels. The round ones actually work better because the hugs settle in there so nicely. All you do is place a hershey kiss on top of the pretzel and melt them in the oven for 4 to 6 minutes at 200 degrees, and once they come out you place an M & M on top of them. Super easy and it doesn’t require mixing anything in a bowl. What other pretzel creations will they come up with next?

 

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Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy

Pretzel M&M Hugs

Ingredients

  • Hershey chocolate kisses
  • M&M candies
  • Round or square pretzels

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Step 2
Place pretzels down on a cookie sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Put a Hershey kiss in the middle of each pretzel. Let the hershey kisses melt in the oven for 4 to 6 minutes. Immediately after the pretzel and hershey kisses come out of the oven place an M&M on top.

Alton Brown’s Chocolate Fudge

I’ve been becoming quite the candy maker lately. I made some more caramels and fudge yesterday. I’ve tried making pumpkin fudge before, and I think there was something wrong with the recipe. It could be that the pumpkin caused the sugar mixture to start burning too early when it hasn’t even reached 234 degrees yet. I tried about 10 different times  to get that recipe to work and just couldn’t get it. That made me angry.  I decided to try a different fudge recipe this time from Alton Brown. This was super easy to follow and the chocolate mixture did not start burning before the temp reached to 234 degrees. I was pretty happy. You can add whatever you like to this fudge recipe. I added chopped pecans and marshmallows. Any type of dried fruit would be good, candy, cookies, you name it.

This is real fudge people. Not the fudge you make where all you do is melt some chocolate in a microwave or mix some kind of cake mix. I came across a “fudge” recipe the other day ago that just required some cake mix, butter and oil. I was kind of confused because they had called it fudge when the recipe didn’t require any sugar or chocolate to be boiled together until it reached a certain temp. Whatever I guess… it looked pretty easy though and I’m a fan of easy recipes. I also like the difficult recipes every now and then.

Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 ounces unsweetenuped chocolate
  • 3` tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Directions

Step 1
Grease an 8 by 8-inch pan with butter. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, chocolate, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter, half-and-half, and corn syrup.
Step 2
Over medium heat, stir with a wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved and chocolate is melted. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and boil for 3 minutes. Remove the cover and attach a candy thermometer to the pot. Cook until the thermometer reads 234 degrees F. Remove from the heat and add the remaining butter
Step 3
Do not stir. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes or until it drops to 130 degrees F. Add vanilla and nuts, if desired, and mix until well-blended and the shiny texture becomes matte. Pour into the prepared pan. Let sit in cool dry area until firm. Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Dark Chocolate Caramels with Sea Salt

This last weekend, I made caramels. I was mad because I couldn’t blog about it right away, but now I FINALLY can. Caramels were always difficult for me to make. The pot would end up getting burnt on the bottom or the caramel wouldn’t get to it’s soft stage. I think it had something to do with the thermometer. The one thermometer I had tried previously wasn’t digital, and the sauce would take forever to get to a certain temperature. The digital thermometer worked, and the caramel turned out perfectly.

You will definitely like these caramels. They are addicting. I plan on making some more for Christmas gifts this year. I went to Costco for the first time ever and they had a container of these exact same things there. Luckily we don’t have a membership there yet, cause I would have bought 5 containers of them.

Recipe from DoughMesstic

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels

Ingredients

  • 14 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons bourban (I used vanilla extract)
  • 2 cups dark chocolate (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon seal salt

Directions

Step 1
In a heavy bottomed pot, such as enameled cast iron, combine all caramel topping ingredients save for the bourbon. Bring to a boil and stir until sugars are dissolved and the mixture is well combined. Using a candy thermometer, watch for the goal of about 230 degrees. Without a thermometer, watch for a rich caramel color – about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the bourbon. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then pour into an 8×8 silicone pan or a regular pan lined with parchment. Refrigerate for several hours. Once chilled, cut into small squares.
Step 2
To make chocolate coating, melt the chips in the microwave in 30 second increments. After the first 30 seconds, add in the shortening, and reheat another 30 seconds. Be sure to stir after each heating. Coating is ready when the chocolate is smooth and liquid.
Step 3
Dip the cold caramel squares in the chocolate, and shake a bit with a fork, removing extra chocolate. Place on parchment paper to dry, after a light sprinkle of sea salt.

Almond Joy Bars

It’s the Holidays and that means it’s time to start baking. I will sometimes get together with my mom and her friend and bake cookies all day and they will sit there and drink their wine at the same time. Other times, I like to try new things on my own. Last year, I baked a ton of cookies and would like to try more candy making this year.My grandma will give us a big box of baked goods on Christmas day that will have cookies, nuts, and lefse in it.

These almond joy bars would be the perfect hostess gift to give someone if you’re going to a Christmas party this year. This is another candy recipe where you don’t have to turn on the oven. I love that. Also, I have found that using almond bark to dip your candy or whatever it is that you’re dipping, coats things better than chocolate chips do. It just looks nicer and so do those candy melts. I always have to remember to clean my chocolate bowl right away or else the bowl will just sit there and get hard for a couple of days.

The only problem, I had with this recipe was getting the almonds to stick to the coconut mixture. The almonds kept on trying to fall off while dipping them in the chocolate. Otherwise they taste even better than the store bought candy bars. :)

Ingredients from Oh Nuts Blog (step by step pictures can be found here)

7 ounces sweetened condensed milk (half a standard 14-oz can)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups powdered sugar
14 ounces (about 2-1/2 cups) shredded coconut
3/4 cup whole roasted almonds (I prefer roasted salted almonds)
1 lb chopped dark chocolate, or chocolate candy coating

Directions

Prepare your fancy candy bar receptacle by lining a 9×13-inch pan with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, the vanilla, and the salt. Stir them together until they’re well-mixed. If your room is fairly cold and the condensed milk is thick and hard to stir, microwave it for 10-15 seconds, just so that it loosens up and is easier to work with.

Next add the powdered sugar to the bowl with condensed milk, and stir it in.

After the powdered sugar gets incorporated, stir in the coconut.

Lay out the coconut mixture in a 9X13 tin foil papered lined pan and place in a fridge for up to an hour. After an hour, take it out of the pan and use a pizza cutter to cut the candy bars. Dip them in whatever chocolate you prefer.

Homemade Butterfingers

You can make homemade butterfingers with just 3 easy ingredients. Peanut butter, candy corn, and chocolate. This recipe is so simple,  it doesn’t even require melting anything on the stove and the only equipment you need is a microwave. When I was melting the candy corn, and it got to that bright orange consistency, I realized that was how the bright orange colored center got to be.

If you look at the ingredients on the candy bar wrapper it calls for cornflakes, peanuts, cocoa powder, and all of these artificial ingredients. Maybe someday Nestle will change the way they make their butter fingers, cause these taste exactly like them. Who knew you could make butterfingers with just 3 easy ingredients?

Ingredients from Tasty Kitchen

16 ounces, weight Candy Corn
16 ounces, weight Creamy Peanut Butter
3 cups Milk Or Dark Chocolate

Preparation Instructions

Line an 8×8 or 9×9 inch pan with wax paper.

Melt the candy corn in the microwave in a medium bowl, stirring every 30 seconds. Continue heating for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Stir in the peanut butter until equally distributed and smooth. Pour into prepared pan and smooth. Place in the freezer for 10-20 minutes until firm.

In the meantime line a large baking sheet with wax paper.

Take the chilled bars out of the pan and cut them into mini Butterfinger size bars (I just eyeballed it – you can too!).

Melt the chocolate in a clean medium bowl in the microwave stirring every 30 seconds and continuing to heat for additional 30 second bursts until smooth.

Using a fork, dip each Butterfinger into the chocolate, turning to cover completely. Take the bar out of chocolate with fork and tap lightly on the side of the bowl so that excess chocolate falls off. Place on the wax paper lined baking sheet. Continue with Butterfingers until all are dipped. (If at any point your chocolate becomes too hard to dip, simply return it to the microwave and heat for another 10-15 seconds and stir. Do this throughout the process as needed.)

When all bars have been dipped, place them in the freezer for an additional 5-10 minutes. Enjoy.