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Crockpot Christmas Crack

Have you ever dreamed of being one of those people who hands out homemade candy at Christmas, but secretly loathe those with that much time on their hands during the holidays? Well my friend, this recipe is for you. I’ve been making cookies, candies, treats and tasty things at Christmas time for two decades (sheesh I’m old), and never have I found a goodie that takes less time and effort than this Crockpot Christmas Crack.

Crockpot Christmas Crack

This stuff is the easiest Christmas candy ever. EVER. You literally throw all the ingredients in a crockpot, wait a bit, stir, then drop blobs out onto wax paper to cool. Boom. Done. For the super fancy, you can drop the candy blobs into mini cupcake liners. Ooooooh, so very Martha, Betty, Paula, Ina of you!

Crockpot Christmas Crack

Bonus. It tastes incredible. Peanuty chocolatey goodness. You’d swear it came from an upscale sweet shop. Double bonus. It makes a TON. You’ll be able to gift a bag to your neighbors, your co-workers, church small group, kids sports team, cashiers at the corner store, postman, hairdresser, in-laws, out-laws, the butcher, baker and the candlestick maker. Plus still have enough to leave some for Santa, and make yourself sick off what’s left.

Crockpot Christmas Crack

Print Recipe for Crockpot Christmas Crack

Crockpot Christmas Crack
adapted from Just a Pinch

1 – 16 oz jar(s)unsalted peanuts

1 – 16 oz. jar(s)salted peanuts
1 – 12 oz bag(s)semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 – 12 oz bag(s)milk chocolate chips
2 – 10 oz bag(s)peanut butter chips
1 lb pkg white almond bark or vanilla candy coating (I used candy coating)
Layer all ingredients in a large crockpot (starting with peanuts). Turn the pot on low, cover with lid, and leave sitting for 30 minutes. Then, remove lid and stir to combine. Replace lid and leave sitting for another 15-30 minutes. Stir again and then spoon mixture on to wax paper, or if you are feeling SUPER fancy, drop into mini-cupcake liners. Allow to harden for at least 1 hour. Enjoy!
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Graham-O-Toffee Candy

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!

Print Recipe for Graham-O-Toffee Candy

Graham-O-Toffee Candy
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.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

The only time I’ve ever cared about the raw eggs in cookie dough was when I was pregnant. Honestly, I figured if I got sick eating something so delicious it would be worth it. Until I was growing another human that is. Those months were torture. The things we do for our children. If I had known about these cookie dough truffles back then, I’m sure I would have gained about 100 pounds with each pregnancy. Now that the little munchkins are hovering around mixing bowls waiting to lick the batter/spoon/bowl/anything with dough clinging to it, I find that I’m mildly guilt ridden at the idea I could make them sick. Nevermind that I never once felt ill after “helping” my mom with cookies as a kid. Chalk it up to societal pressure. Am I the only one who feels it?

Finally, I found an answer. These delightful little bites hold all the perfect flavor of chocolate chip cookie dough and no eggs. Oh sweet joy! And for those of you who love cookie dough ice cream, just freeze smaller balls and drop them into some plain vanilla — ah-mazing.

We start with a basic cookie dough, but instead of eggs, use a little milk to give it the right consistency. And, since we’re making small truffle sized treats, use mini chocolate chips instead of the full size version. Cover and chill the dough about an hour. Yes, you will want to just eat it immediately. I can’t give you any tips on how not to. A spoonful or two may have found its way into my gullet.

Then we roll the dough into bite sized balls and pop it into the freezer to chill up a little more.

Finally, a little dunk in some chocolate to contain all that sweet dough goodness inside a decadent shell. I’m a fan of the dip, scoop, tap, swoosh method. You’ll need a bowl of melted chocolate, some waxed paper, two forks and your chilled dough balls.

Dip in chocolate.

Scoop it up with a fork.

Tap off the excess and swoosh it off the fork (with another fork) onto the wax paper to firm up.

Then, drizzle with a little melted chocolate for that truly professional look.

Perfection.

And, absolutely scrumptious.

Print Recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
from Eat. Drink. Smile.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

14 oz semi sweet or milk chocolate chips
1 T shortening

Directions:

Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed (or stir by hand) until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.

When dough is firm enough to handle, form dough into 1″ balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Place sheets in freezer and let chill for 30 minutes.

Melt chocolate and shortening in microwave until smooth. Using forks as a dipping tool, dip cookie balls into chocolate to cover. Tap on side of pan to remove any excess coating, and return to waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Chill until set. Store, chilled, in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Valentine’s Day Butter Mints

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.
[Read more…]

Almond Roca – English Toffee

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. [Read more…]

White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

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. [Read more…]

Crushed Cookies

Note to self. A three-year-old plus a platter of cookies = temptation beyond measure. Every single cookie — about 20 of them. Mangled. A little finger print right thru the top. Actually, it kind of looks like what my sister’s boxes of chocolates look like after they’ve tested them to see which ones are cremes/caramels and which are just yucky nut filled things. Maybe Donovan was just checking to see what was inside. Good thing they were wrapped in plastic I suppose. Otherwise, he probably would have eaten them instead of only playing with them.

Salted Caramels

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. [Read more…]

Life In The Way & Crispy Peanut Butter Balls

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.
[Read more…]

Double Chocolate Raspberry Truffles

This is one of my favorite recipes. It requires practically no skill at all, the time commitment is very short and the payoff is HUGE. Your friends will think these chocolates belong in a fancy boutique somewhere. Where people handle things with white gloves and there’s soft music playing in the background. The smell alone makes me think I’m in an old-fashioned chocolatier. (inhale deeply) Oh, it’s so decadent. I’ve made hundreds & hundreds of these truffles in various flavors and they are all fabulous. I always put them in little mini-cupcake liners. Somehow, everything looks better when wrapped in a crimped paper shell. This newest variety I put together for my end of year MOPS tea tomorrow. I can’t wait to share them with my gals! [Read more…]
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