I love throwing Halloween parties. Mostly because I get to make delicious food and give it disgusting names. Here’s a round-up of all the deliciousness I made this year and the nastiness I called it. Most of these items are easy to make (and can be done ahead of time) so you won’t be slaving away in the kitchen while your guests are having a goulishly good time! My hot hubby and I dressed up as Johnny and June Cash this year. We had a blast!
I took my daughter back-to-school shopping last week. We had a grand old-time preparing for the big first day of school. It was all fun and games until I realized that new school clothes meant she was actually heading off to school. Gulp. She started Kindergarten yesterday. My baby. She even (gasp!) rode the bus! She was so stinkin’ excited for her first day. And, she looked adorable in her brand spankin’ new duds. Yes…Mommy got new clothes too.
Looking for a fabulous, easy treat? How about a little caramelly goodness sandwiched between rich chocolate and a little salty crunch? I’ve got you covered with these rolo pretzel bites. They whip up in just minutes and are perfect for munching during a movie, long car ride or on a weekend getaway. They are also HIGHLY addictive. I’d recommend making a double batch. I made the epic mistake of bringing just a single batch to a family camping trip and they were devoured the first evening. I’m embarrassed to tell you how many I shoved in my face. I could not stop. They were just glorious.
Simply top waffle pretzels with an unwrapped Rolo candy. I used slave labor and had my kids unwrap all the candies. They love helping me.
Bake for a couple of minutes and then press a peanut M&M into the Rolo – smooshing it down into the pretzel. You could use a regular M&M, but I like the peanut crunch on top.
This recipe is proof that if Mars & Hershey combined, they could take over the world. You won’t be able to stop eating these.
There are lots of combinations you could do with these little bites. During the holidays, use just red/green M&Ms. You could use Hershey’s kisses or hugs instead of Rolos (but why on earth would you want to remove the caramel from this recipe?). All you peanut butter/chocolate combo folks could press a peanut butter M&M on top to get your fix. Personally, I think these are perfection just as they are. Gooey caramel, salty pretzel and just the right amount of chocolate with a peanut crunch. Oh. Baby.
M&M’s® Rolo® Pretzel Bites
makes about 50
1 bag Rolo candies
50 waffle pretzels
50 peanut M&M’s
On a large parchment paper lined baking sheet, spread out pretzels in a single layer. Unwrap Rolo candies and place one on top of each pretzel.
Bake at 275° F for 2-3 minutes until Rolo candies are soft.
Remove from oven and quickly press one M&M into each Rolo.
Allow to cool completely.
The “O” is for oats. These treats are to DIE for. Incredibly easy and layered deliciousness. I’m taking them camping this weekend. If they last that long. I love recipes where the finished product seems like more work than it actually took. Shhh. It’ll be our little secret how simple these are.
Start with a jelly roll pan and line it with foil, then a single layer of graham crackers.
Mix up some oats, sugar and flour.
Then mix in an egg and some butter (mmmmm – melted butter).
Spread over the grahams. Don’t worry about getting it totally perfect. As it bakes it will spread and layer itself nicely.
Bake until golden, then top with chocolate, almonds and toffee chips.
Break apart into bars or chunks and shove into your face.
These bars are perfectly balanced. They have sweetness and crunch in all the right places plus the earthy goodness of oats.
They are a great camping food. Especially if you’re going somewhere you can’t have a fire. They are a little reminiscent of smores, except better, because they’re toffee. I love caramel buttery toffee. (happy sigh) Enjoy!
Toffee Oat Grahams
adapted from BHG
15 whole graham crackers (rectangles)
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 12 ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup whole almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup heath bar toffee chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan (jelly roll pan) with foil, extending foil beyond edges of pan. Arrange whole graham crackers in a single layer in prepared pan. In a large bowl combine the oats, sugars, and flour. Stir in melted butter, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Spoon over graham crackers and spread evenly to edges of pan to cover graham crackers.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until oat mixture bubbles and is lightly browned on top. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate pieces. Return to oven for 1 minute. Spread melted chocolate over top to cover. Evenly sprinkle with almonds & toffee chips. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Use foil to lift from pan. Remove foil. Cut or break into bars. Makes 30 bars.
I think of butter mints alongside turkey and stuffing, not hearts and flowers. Thanksgiving always meant butter mints when I was a kid. My Nanny (English grandmother, not baby-sitter) would have a bowl of them sitting on top of her giant TV, temptingly out of reach. It was the best turkey day ever when I was tall enough to reach up and help myself to sweet buttery goodness that dissolved on my tongue. I’m not sure what made it pop into my head to make my own mints, but when I realized how EASY it is, I couldn’t wait until next fall. I decided to make some for Valentine’s Day (season). Which, as you may or may not know, runs from the second week of January until mid-February. It’s true. Just ask Hallmark.
Just a few days before Christmas and I finally got the break in the weather I’ve been daily checking for the entire month of December. Oh joy!! It’s a Festivus miracle!!
Weather is always my biggest obstacle when trying to make almond roca (English Toffee). I remember as a kid, my mom would check outside every day to see if it was going to be cold and dry. She never made almond roca unless the sky was clear, the temperature cold and the humidity low. Which, in Seattle is sometimes just one day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. When the conditions were right, my mom would drop everything and make this recipe. I’ve learned to do the same – otherwise, it doesn’t get made. For more details on the science behind weather conditions and the effect they have on candy, see the * at the end of this post. Continue reading
I promise there is a recipe contained in this post. I need to get something off my chest first though. Hang with me. There’s this person I know. I don’t like him at all. Not one little bit. He’s been horrible and awful to someone I love a great deal and I’d like to teach him a lesson. Actually, I would really like to — well, what I’d like to do is complicated. Izma can explain it better than I ever could.
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!! I’m sure many of you have had a similar type person in your life. However, since I’m not prone to violence (as much as sometimes I wish I were) and I really don’t want to end up in jail for smashing someone with a “hammah!”, I had to settle for making fudge. No, really. It helped a tremendously. Let me explain. Continue reading
Hello. My name is Tonya. I’m a Pinterest addict. I blame my cousin Shannon for getting me hooked. She is pure evil. Perhaps some of you have had a similar experience. One of your friends suddenly has all kinds of interesting crafts, baked goods and ideas for fun activities for children. You make the grave mistake of asking where these ideas magically materialized from and then you hear a word. Just one. Pinterest. And that one word suddenly transforms into a time-sucking overwhelming need in your life. If you are reading this wondering how to pronounce this word you’ve never seen before. Run away. Run away from your computer right now. Save yourself while you still can. It is too late for me. But you may still be able to escape. Oh no. You’re typing it into your search engine now…aren’t you. I’m so sorry. Tell your husband and children I’m sorry too. They’ll come looking for you in a couple days and find you, eyes glazed over, index finger cramping from all the mouse-clicking – but with 1000 new ideas for dinner, desserts, home decor and party ideas. I have become a woman obsessed. You see, I have no good ideas on my own. But I’m very very good at stealing them from other people. Pinterest has given me unlimited access to the genius of others. It’s a sickness. That I love. Continue reading
I’ve been hearing from many of you about how long it’s been since I posted anything. First of all, I appreciate being missed. You make me feel so loved. Second. I’m sorry. I was shocked to look back and realize it’s been almost 7 months. For shame for shame!! I wish I had some amazing excuse. Some reason that would be forgivable in any reasonable world – unfortunately, I do not. I suppose I could blame it on the fact that I have a son who just turned three, and the past few months have felt particularly draining with him. But, my little man is (mostly) remarkably well-behaved and I only think he’s trouble until I hang around other three-year-olds. Reality check! He’s really quite delightful. I really don’t feel right blaming him. I don’t have any debilitating ailments or horror stories of massive trauma in my life (thank you Lord for that!). Basically, life has just gotten the better of me. Do you ever feel that way? Like it’s a chore to just get through each day? That adding anything beyond keeping your children breathing and out of the ER is too much to ask? Well, that’s been my state of mind for a while. Can’t pinpoint exactly why. Just, life.
These should have an aka after the title. Also known as “pieces of heaven”. When I read this recipe I started drooling after the first two ingredients. Chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Yeah. You really can’t go wrong when those two things are going to be combined. I’ve never been a fan of rocky road ice cream because the good stuff is surrounded by chocolate ice cream – which I despise. I’ve finally found a version of rocky road that I love. These are a fudgy base filled with marshmallow and pecans. You all know how I feel about nuts, but in this case, it just works. These candies are super quick to put together and make for perfect camping food in my opinion. Throw them all in some tuperware and off you go. I love food that travels well. And to top it off, they are gluten free! Yippee! Continue reading