Tag Archives: candy

Crispy Kit Kat Blondies

This recipe for blondies will knock your socks off, with Kit Kats and crisp rice cereal!  Blondies cookies bars with chocolate chips.

blondies-cookiesRecently, two nieces had birthdays.  I love letting my nieces and nephews come up with a custom cookie for their birthdays.  Not only does it let me makes something super fun that’s just for them, but it pushes my own creativity.

Usually I ask them to choose some flavors they like, and I find a way to combine them into a cookie.  One niece chose raspberry and chocolate, and the other, Blue Skies chose “Kit Kat.”

Her mom confessed that she wasn’t at all sure what I could do with a flavor request like that, but I think I won her over with this recipe.

I’ll tell you that the day I made these, I was baking up a storm. With at least 4 different baked good sitting on my counter, these blondies were the thing everyone wanted to pick at.

Myself included.

(See the flavors Blue Skies chose last year!)

recipe-for-blondies

Add these to your Cookies and Bars board on Pinterest!

I started with my fantastic basic blondie recipe, the one I used for these super popular bars.

I think my brilliant plan of adding crisp rice cereal to these blondies worked perfectly.  It gave the bars that crispy, wafery, Kit-Kat feel to them, and sets them apart.  In a good way.

Blue Skies agreed.

recipe-for-blondiesblondies-cookies

If you’ve got some candy bar-loving people in your life, or you want to surprise someone with a bar that stands just a little taller than it’s peers, this bar is your winner.

Does anyone want to make these for me on my birthday?

 

Want more?  Try these fabulous bars!

how-to-make-blondiesTwix-Cheesecake-Bars-fbnutella dessert recipes

 

Crispy Kit Kat Blondies
 
Cook time
Total time
 
A crispy blondie bar with pieces of Kit Kat candy.
Author:
Recipe type: Bars
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • i teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup crisp rice cereal
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 regular Kit-Kat bars
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  2. Add baking powder and flour and mix until combined. Add cereal and chocolate chips and mix until combined.
  3. Break Kit Kat bars into pieces. (I broke each of the 4 sticks into about 6 pieces, for 24 pieces total for each Kit Kat.) Add pieces to the dough, and stir just until combined.
  4. Place dough in a 9x13 pan, and spread evenly. Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes. Bars should be quite brown on top when done. Let cool completely before cutting into bars. (They may look a bit gooey when they come out of the oven, but should solidify as they cool.)
  5. Cut into 15 large or 20 small bars.

 

Black and White Bark

This dark chocolate bark recipe includes white chocolate, too.  It’s sure to be one of your favorite chocolate bark recipes!

Black and White Bark from JensFavoriteCookies.com - dark and white chocolate, chips, and cookies make a super easy treat!I was doing so good today.  Drinking my smoothie for breakfast, eating my veggies for lunch.

And suddenly, I was craving chocolate.  CRAVING.  The kind of craving that takes over your life and commandeers all your thoughts.

I went in a frantic search through my pantry for chocolate, and found a couple items in the chocolate chip box.  Items like this chocolate bar and this white chocolate bar.  And a half a bag of white chocolate chips.  And a bag and a half of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

And since I had to run to the store for something else anyway, I grabbed a package of Oreos to complete my black and white theme.

(See related post: Chocolate Lovers Bark)

Black and White Bark from JensFavoriteCookies.com - dark and white chocolate, chips, and cookies make a super easy treat!

Add this to your Chocolate Recipes board on Pinterest!

I love how quick and easy it is to make chocolate bark.  I mean, melt, spread, chill, cut.  Easy as pie.

And where did that saying come from anyway?  This is WAAAAAAY easier than pie.  No contest.

The best part of this process has got to be making all the pretty little swirls.  I love that part.  Mostly because I am no good at making anything pretty, but this stuff is eeeeeeeasy.

I almost said easy as pie again.  But forget that.  This is easy like Sunday morning.

Black and White Bark from JensFavoriteCookies.com - dark and white chocolate, chips, and cookies make a super easy treat!Black and White Bark from JensFavoriteCookies.com - dark and white chocolate, chips, and cookies make a super easy treat!

Come to think of it, my Sunday mornings are not exactly a breeze either.  I need some new sayings.

It’s like falling off a log.  Like taking candy from a baby.  You get the picture.

20 minutes from now, your chocolate cravings could be totally satisfied!

 

Want more?  Try these easy barks!

peppermint bark featuredchocolate lovershomemade candy

 

 

Black and White Bark
 
A simple chocolate candy.
Author:
Recipe type: Candy
Serves: about 20 pieces
Ingredients
  • 4 oz. good quality chocolate
  • 4 oz. good quality white chocolate
  • 4-5 Oreo cookies, cut into quarters
  • a small handful each of chocolate chips and white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Break chocolate into pieces and place in a microwave safe dish. Melt in the microwave, in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted and smooth.
  2. Spread chocolate on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Break white chocolate into pieces and place in a microwave safe dish. Melt in the microwave, in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted and smooth.
  4. Drop spoonfuls of melted white chocolate in dollops onto spread chocolate. Use a toothpick (or I used a skewer) to swirl the chocolate and white chocolate together into pretty patterns.
  5. Place Oreo pieces evenly on the swirled chocolate, and sprinkles any crumbs on top. Sprinkle chocolate chips and white chocolate chips on top.
  6. Chill in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, until set. Use a large knife to cut into pieces. Store in fridge or freezer.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

 

cookie-dough-truffles (5 of 1)I have a confession to make.  I kind of hate dipping things in chocolate.

I don’t hate eating things that have been dipped in chocolate, just to clarify.  But I do hate dipping them.  It’s always a mess and they never come out looking beautiful and professional.  It’s just very unsatisfying.

So for these cookie dough truffles, I experimented with rolling them in all kinds of things, and yes, dipping them too, to give you and I lots of options.  Variety is the spice of life, right?

The kids were all over these little dough-like balls.  They thought they were cheesecake balls, because I made them with cream cheese.  Cream cheese is one of my favorite things ever.  I’ve never made a recipe with cream cheese that I didn’t like.  Even things I don’t like taste better with cream cheese.  Like crab.  (I’m not much of a seafood lover.  But cream cheese crab dip is to die for.)

cookie-dough-truffles-1

In my attempt to give some non-dipping options to these little truffles, I came up with the following options.

1. Sprinkles.  Sprinkles are always good.  But… they don’t cover entirely, they fall off, and it takes a lot of sprinkles to cover an entire batch of cookie dough truffles.  But if you are a sprinkles lover, I say go for it.

2. Cocoa powder.  I’ve seen other kinds of truffles rolled in cocoa powder, so it definitely deserved a try.  It’s much easier than the sprinkles, but the taste of unsweetened cocoa is something less than desirable, to say the least.  This was my least favorite option.

3. Sugar.  The sugar was super duper easy to work with, but I didn’t really think it got the job done.  It didn’t have the coverage to really make them look like nice, perfectly round little truffle balls, even though the taste was obviously awesome.

4. Cocoa powder + sugar.  This was by far my favorite option.  I mixed some sugar and cocoa powder together to roll them in.  It gave a nice coverage that made them look coated in something, and tasted far better than the plain cocoa powder.

cookie-dough-truffles-3cookie-dough-truffles-4

And let’s not forget the obvious dipping option.  I used almond bark to dip mine.  It melts easy and chills into a nice hard crust.  I used 4 oz. and did about a quarter of my batch, so if this is what you’re using for all of them, you’ll need about 16 oz.

Any way you make them, you are going to end up with a safe (egg-free) cookie dough bite that is totally to die for!

Want more?  Try these easy candies!

almond balls featuredcoconut-trufflestruffles recipebuckeye recipe

 

Recipe adapted from Shugary Sweets, via Food Fanatic

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Cream cheese cookie dough truffles, rolled in cocoa or dipped in chocolate.
Author:
Recipe type: Candy
Serves: 3 dozen
Ingredients
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (or mini chocolate chips)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder + 3 tablespoons sugar, for rolling *(optional) OR
  • 16 oz. almond bark or candy melts, melted *(optional)
Instructions
  1. Place cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to beat until smooth.
  2. Add brown sugar, vanilla, and salt, and mix until smooth. Add flour and mix until smooth.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Chill mixture for 30-60 minutes.
  5. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to form small balls of the dough. Roll dough in a mixture of sugar and cocoa powder, or dip in melted chocolate.
  6. Set balls on a lined baking sheet, and chill for 1-2 hours in the fridge, or 20-30 minutes in the freezer before serving.

 

Almond Joy Fudge

One of my favorite easy chocolate fudge recipes!  This almond joy fudge recipe only requires 4 ingredients and 10 minutes!

Almond Joy Fudge from JensFavoriteCookies.com - this easy fudge recipe requires only 4 ingredients and 10 minutes!I showed the Fruitarian the pictures of this easy chocolate fudge, and he immediately chimed in with, “Is that available?”

The Fruitarian, for those who don’t know, is my 16 year old son.  I also call him The Hungry One.  And The Chocoholic.  And The Sugar Addicted.  I knew he would be all over that fudge.

However, he has a little problem where he doesn’t like nuts.  It makes me wonder if he was switched at birth.  I couldn’t let an opportunity like this pass me by.

“Of course you can have some fudge.  But there’s a problem.  It has almonds.”
“Well, it also has coconut.”
“But what will you do about the almonds?”
“I think I can suffer through them.”
“You know, I’m going to remember this.”

I think the bigger problem will be keeping his sticky fingers out of the freezer, since I intend to save the bulk of this fudge for Christmas. (See related post: Chocolate Peppermint Fudge)

Almond Joy Fudge from JensFavoriteCookies.com - this easy fudge recipe requires only 4 ingredients and 10 minutes!

(Add this to your Christmas recipe Pinterest board!)

I’m sure there are plenty of fun and fancy ways to add coconut and almonds to fudge.  (Layers, anyone?)

But seriously, I was having one of those what-can-I-throw-together-in-5-minutes kind of days.  Tell me I’m not alone.

It seems like it’s worse in December.  All that shopping and going to parties and gift-exchanging lunches with friends takes a lot of time, you know.  A girl can’t spend her whole life in the kitchen, can she?  (See related post:  Black and White Fudge)

Almond Joy Fudge from JensFavoriteCookies.com - this easy fudge recipe requires only 4 ingredients and 10 minutes!

In the end, I can promise you this takes less than 10 minutes to throw together, and maybe an hour in the fridge to set.  Maybe less.  You could be eating it by the time your favorite tv show is over.

Just be sure to put a few pieces in the freezer BEFORE your teenage son sees that there is fudge in the house!

 

Want more?  Check out these easy candy recipes!

cookie-dough-truffles-2easy-chocolate-candy-recipesalmond balls featured

5.0 from 1 reviews
Almond Joy Fudge
 
A very simple chocolate fudge with almonds and coconut.
Author:
Recipe type: Candy
Serves: 36
Ingredients
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 oz. chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
Instructions
  1. Place milk and chocolate chips in a double boiler. *(see notes) Stir until melted and smooth.
  2. Remove from heat, add coconut and almonds.
  3. Pour into a greased or lined 9x9 pan. Let cool. Cut into 36 squares.
Notes
If you don't have a double boiler, do what I do! Put a large heat-proof glass bowl over a small pot of boiling water. Keep a towel or hot pad handy.

 

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Easy peanut butter cookies recipe; Make baking peanut butter cookies fun by adding candy in the middle.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com - they're stuffed with peanut butter cups!Not that there’s anything wrong with a plain old, ordinary peanut butter cookies or anything, but sometimes it’s fun to just take them to the next level.  Know what I mean?

I took these to the next level by stuffing them with peanut butter cups.  It’s like homemade cookie meets candy bar.

That’s how I roll.  With sweets upon sweets inside sweets near sweets.

This particular sweet creation is the brain child of The Incomparable Miss K.  It seems she is a fan of peanut butter.  And peanut butter cookies.  And peanut butter cups.  And putting them all together.

Which is probably why she is so incomparable.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com - they're stuffed with peanut butter cups!

The key to these babies is a muffin tin.  You put a little dough in the bottom of the muffin cups, then put a peanut butter cup on top, and a little more dough over that.

Then bake to peanut butter perfection.

I wanted to give them a peanut butter cookie look even though they didn’t look like a traditional cookie.  I dumped them out on the cooling rack upside down, and left them there a couple minutes.  It gave them a square grid pattern on top that reminded me of the crosshatch that most peanut butter cookies have.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com - they're stuffed with peanut butter cups!

The really fun thing about these is that, like the preachers daughter, they’re not as innocent as they look.  Cut them open and surprise people with a little extra decadence!

Decadence that requires a glass of milk, and a grateful nod to The Incomparable Miss K.

 

Want more?  Try these stuffed cookies!

PB-stuffed-chocolate-cookies-6Peanut Butter Stuffed
Chocolate Cookies
chocolate-stuffed-peanut-butter-cookies-6Chocolate Stuffed
Peanut Butter Cookies
caramel-stuffed-chocolate-chunk-cookies-3Caramel Stuffed
Chocolate Chunk Cookies

 

 

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
 
Cook time
Total time
 
A peanut butter cookie stuffed with a peanut butter cup.
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: about 18
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 16-20 peanut butter cups
Instructions
  1. Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
  2. Add salt and soda and mix well. Add flour and mix just until combined.
  3. Prepare a well-greased muffin tin. Take a small amount of dough, and flatten into a disc, and place it in the bottom of the muffin cup. Place a peanut butter cup on top. Make a second disc of dough and place that on top of the peanut butter cup. Fill all muffin cups this way.
  4. Bake at 350F for 13-18 minutes, until edges are a bit dry and center appears done. Remove from oven, and use a knife or spoon to loosen cookies. Turn out on to a cooling rack and allow to cool.

 

Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Bites

These chocolate covered cheesecake bites are a fun and tasty treat!  Take this cheesecake bites recipe to the next level by dipping it in chocolate.

Chocolate Dipped Cheesecake Bites from JensFavoriteCookies.comI always have mixed feelings about the end of the school year.  I love the routine of the school year, but the end of the year always feels like we are stumbling toward the finish line, gasping for air.

The Hippie Chick, with one week of school left, came home with about 5 days worth of math homework that she had apparently been saving up for a special occasion.  We had to cancel our family tv-watching night because at bedtime she was only about 2 pages into a 20 page math marathon.

And this girl hates math.  Which probably explains why she had been procrastinating so much.

Explaining math to her literally puts the whole family on edge.  Robb and I have to tag team the job, to avoid going postal on the family.  Not even the dog escaped punishment.

Chocolate Dipped Cheesecake Bites from JensFavoriteCookies.com

It was lucky for her I made a batch of chocolate dipped cheesecake squares to nibble on through the evening.  They kept us both sane.

They don’t bother her new braces either, so double bonus.

Dipping things in chocolate is all the rage.  It’s like the trend that never goes out of style, because it’s always awesome.  I dipped these mints in chocolate.  And these peanut butter Buckeyes.

Chocolate Dipped Cheesecake Bites from JensFavoriteCookies.comChocolate Dipped Cheesecake Bites from JensFavoriteCookies.com

It’s kind of fun to keep these little snacks in the fridge.  When the family comes home, fruitlessly searches the kitchen, and inevitably opens the fridge, they give you some oohs-and-aahs when they see bite-sized chocolate candies.

Then they eat a couple, walk away, walk back, eat a couple more, and before you know it, your hard work has disappeared into someone’s stomach.

Chocolate Dipped Cheesecake Bites from JensFavoriteCookies.com

But the ups outweigh the downs.  Unlike math homework.

Now I’m kind of looking forward to the end of the school year.

 

Want more?  Look at these cheesecake treats!

Twix-Cheesecake-Bars-4Twix Cheesecake
Bars
apple-pie-bars-5Apple Pie
Cheesecake Bars
pumpkin-roll-bars-9Pumpkin
Roll Bars

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Bites
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Simple cheesecake, cut into squares and dipped in chocolate.
Author:
Recipe type: Candy
Serves: 35-45 squares
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • about 1 pound chocolate
Instructions
  1. Melt butter, combine with graham cracker crumbs. Press into the bottom of a 9x9 pan.
  2. Combine cream cheese with sugar, egg, flour, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Carefully pour on top of graham cracker crust, and spread evenly.
  3. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes, until edges are brown. Let cool completely. (After cooling, I recommend freezing cheesecake for 30-60 minutes to make dipping easier.)
  4. Melt chocolate in the microwave, in 30 second intervals, stirring between each.
  5. Cut cheesecake into small squares, about 1.5 to 2 inches. Carefully dip cheesecake squares into melted chocolate, removing any excess. Place on a sheet pan lined with wax paper or parchment paper. Chill for about 15 minutes to set.
  6. Store in refrigerator, but these are best served at room temperature.

 

Coconut Truffles

Coconut truffles recipe;  This easy coconut truffles recipe is a great fit for Easter or spring celebrations.

Bunny Tails!  These super easy Coconut Truffles make a great Easter treat.  From JensFavoriteCookies.com Regular readers of this blog know how I feel about coconut.

It’s lovely.  It’s fantastic.  It’s delicious.  It’s one of my favorite flavors, right behind chocolate.  And peanut butter.  And mint.  I’m so indecisive.  I just love all of it.

When I spied these completely adorable Bunny Tails on Pizzazzerie recently, I knew I had to give them a try myself.  Partly because they’re adorable, but mostly because they are coconut.  Anything that involves copious amounts of coconut and powdered sugar is fine with me.

I asked my son and his buddy whether they loved the coconut truffles enough to serve them to their hypothetical girlfriends.  (At least, they better be hypothetical.)  They were concerned that girls wouldn’t like the idea of bunny tails, (too gruesome) so they opted to call them cotton balls.

I don’t know what cotton balls have to do with anything.  But, to each his own, I guess.

Either way, they were fine eating them, fine enough that they went back to the fridge several times in a 5-minute span.

Bunny Tails!  These super easy Coconut Truffles make a great Easter treat.  From JensFavoriteCookies.com

This recipe is proof positive that candy making doesn’t have to be the laborious and detailed process that I always thought it was.  I remember a neighbor showing some of us girls how to make homemade suckers, back when I was a teenager.  I thought the process was hard and scary, and I was just certain I would ruin a pan doing it, so I never did try it on my own. Continue reading “Coconut Truffles” »

Chocolate Dipped Cream Cheese Mints

Cream cheese butter mints recipe;  You’ll love this cream cheese butter mints recipe, it’s an instant classic!

Chocolate Dipped Cream Cheese Mints from JensFavoriteCookies.com  -  These homemade cream cheese mints are a cinch to make and will really impress your friends!When Robb leaves town for one of his week-long business trips, the eating habits of this family have a tendency to change.

For example, we are less apt to sit together and eat a decent meal.  This past week, I think we had zero family meals.  It was a big dinner fail for sure.

Of course, all three of my kids ended up being either busy or sick on their assigned night to cook dinner.  Figures.  Kids have the most convenient timing.

I didn’t have any trouble making some treats, though.  {I never do.}

This week, I figured it would be a good time to revisit the cream cheese mints.  There’s something about the mint flavor that is so refreshing, don’t you think?

And, I made them green, because it’s March.

dipped-cream-cheese-mints-1b

Once a month, I share one of my favorite recipes with My Cooking Spot.

In past months, I have shared recipes for Kentucky Derby Pie, Oreo Truffles, Chocolate Cake Batter Dip, and Giant Peanut Butter Swirled Chocolate Chip Cookies, just to name a few.

This month?  I’m sharing these Cream Cheese Mints.

Chocolate Dipped Cream Cheese Mints from JensFavoriteCookies.com  -  These homemade cream cheese mints are a cinch to make and will really impress your friends!

To get the recipe for these incredible, delicious mint candies, head over to My Cooking Spot!  Besides this one, you’ll find all kinds of great recipes there.

Click here to get the recipe

More minty candies you’ll love!

mint-sandwiches-4Mint
Sandwiches
chocolatePeppermint
Bark
fudge with candy canesChocolate
Peppermint Fudge

Homemade Caramels

Welcome to Day #6 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina! Each day we will be celebrating the holidays with a different set of Christmas-themed treats, as well as a fabulous Christmas giveaway. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting today, Monday, December 9th and ending Saturday, December 14th.

***Disclaimer: This giveaway is being provided by Cake Boss Baking. #ChristmasWeek bloggers have not received product or been compensated as a part of this giveaway.***

Homemade Caramels from Jen's Favorite CookiesOf all the various kinds of food creation out there, candy making has got to be the hardest.  And hence, I only rarely make candy.

I make some pseudo-candies throughout the year, but at Christmas, we have to have homemade caramels.

My family never made homemade caramels, so I learned this tradition from Robb when we were married oh so many years ago.  He usually makes the caramels, but in recent years I have been his loyal assistant.  This year, I decided to go it alone, the result of which was that I basically ruined an entire batch of caramels.

It was extraordinarily disappointing, to say the least.

I over cooked the candy, and they turned out hard as a rock.  Worse than Sugar Daddies.  I’m not sure my big kitchen knife will cut them.

Homemade Caramels from Jen's Favorite Cookies

I’m telling you this story not to scare you away from candy making.  Quite the opposite, actually.  I want you to remember that candy making doesn’t always go perfectly, and if your batch doesn’t turn out the way you wanted, try, try again.  Practice makes perfect.  You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs.  All that jazz.

It takes practice.  And since I only make caramels once a year, I’m a little rusty.  But I’m going to give you all my best tips and tricks here.

Well, Robb’s best tips and tricks, really.  He’s much more experienced at caramel making than I.

 

First, if you have one, use a candy thermometer.  The candy should be at a temperature of 248F when you pour it out.

Second, if you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can use the cold-water-in-a-dish method, which is what we usually do.

Here’s how it works.  You’ll put all your ingredients in a pot, and stir pretty much constantly for 12-15 minutes.  Once you get to the 11-12 minute mark, you can start testing.  Drip a little of the caramel into very cold water.  Add an ice cube or two to be sure this water is cold.  Use your fingers to pinch the caramel into one glob.  If the glob is the consistency you want for your caramels, it’s ready.  Most likely, it will take a few tries of dripping caramel into water to get to the right consistency.

Homemade Caramels from Jen's Favorite Cookies

Homemade Caramels from Jen's Favorite Cookies

Remember that once it gets close to reaching its final temperature, it changes consistency very quickly, and the longer it cooks, the harder it gets.   A minute or even a few seconds can mean the difference between perfect caramels and caramels that are too soft or too hard to be enjoyed.

Homemade Caramels from Jen's Favorite Cookies

Once you get the hang of these caramels, your family will thank you!

cakebossbaking

Today’s #ChristmasWeek giveaway comes courtesy of Cake Boss Baking. Cake Boss Baking is the new branded bake ware from Buddy Valastro, the talented chef and baker behind the TLC TV show, “Cake Boss”. Cake Boss Baking features a full line of cake pans, decorating tools, dessert plates and more, with product for all levels of expertise.

Cake Boss Baking is offering one #ChristmasWeek reader the opportunity to win a prize package full of baking tools and essentials {ARV: $260}, including:

To enter, read the details and use the Rafflecopter below!

***This giveaway is for one Cake Boss Baking baking essentials prize pack (details listed above)! This giveaway is open to Continental US residents only . When the contest concludes, the winner will be chosen by random draw. The winner will be notified through e-mail and they will have 3 days to respond or another winner will be chosen.***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More great candies you might enjoy:

gumdropsHomemade
Gumdrops
Pretzel-Toffee-5Pretzel
Toffee
mint-sandwiches-4Mint
Sandwiches

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Homemade Caramels
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Homemade caramel candies
Author:
Recipe type: Candy
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2¼ cups (or 1 pound) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. Using a heavy saucepan, melt butter.
  2. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and milk, and stir to combine.
  3. Continue cooking over medium high heat, stirring almost constantly, for about 12-15 minutes, until temperature reaches firm ball stage, about 248F / 119C.
  4. Pour into a 9x13 pan which has been either lined with parchment paper or heavily buttered.
  5. Let cool until completely set, about 3-4 hours. Cut into pieces and wrap in wax paper.

 More Christmas Week Recipes you might enjoy:

Mint Sandwiches and Holiday Food Party

Chocolate Mint Candy; These easy candies are made with layers of chocolate and mint.

Mint Sandwiches from Jen's Favorite CookiesThis December is shaping up to be  an… umm… exciting one.  For lack of a better word.

After spending Thanksgiving recovering from pneumonia, which is, by the way, one of the least pleasant experiences I have ever had, my kids also got sick, my husband left town on a business trip and then my fridge died.

Merry Christmas, right?

I spent my week shopping for refrigerators and not for groceries, and running all my fridge-purchase-decision-questions past Robb over the phone.

Ugh.

And thus, this week’s dessert is simple, easy, and requires no refrigeration.

Mint Sandwiches from Jen's Favorite Cookies

If you haven’t yet, it’s time you met my friends!

I love spending the holidays with my friends, and we love sharing our favorite holiday treats with you.  Check out all the amazing recipes we came up with for this party!

Just click on each photo to jump to the recipes.

Christmas Food Party on Jen's Favorite Cookies

Red Velvet Parfait from Cravings of a Lunatic Cranberry & Brie Bites from Crumb Blog Soft Gingerbread Cookies from Roxana's Home Baking Coconut Spice Cake from Magnolia Days Gingerbread Biscotti from Created By Diane Caramel Biscoff Blossoms from That Skinny Chick Can Bake Mint Sandwiches from Jen's Favorite Cookies White Chocolate Cranberry Layer Cake from Pineapple and Coconut Candy Cane Kiss Brownies from Chocolate Moosey Triple Chocolate Buche de Noel from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle from Hungry Couple NYC Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars from Chocolate, Chocolate, and More

My Grandfather used to give all the girls in the family a box of mint sandwiches for Christmas, so this recipe holds nice memories for me.  To make life easy, I used candy melts like those in the links below.  If you want a nicer quality candy, you could splurge on better quality chocolate.

Either way, these simple candies make such a wonderful and memorable holiday treat!

More simple minty treats you’ll love:

chocolatePeppermint Bark fudge with candy canesPeppermint Fudge chocolate mintMint Popcorn Bark

 

Mint Sandwiches and Holiday Food Party
 
Simple chocolate and mint sandwiches.
Author:
Recipe type: Candy
Ingredients
  • 24 oz. chocolate candy melts
  • 12 oz. green candy melts
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract
Instructions
  1. Melt 12 oz. chocolate. You can do this on the stove on low or medium heat, or in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each.
  2. Pour melted chocolate onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Spread out evenly, and let cool.
  3. Once first layer is set, (about 10-20 minutes) melt green candy for the second layer. Once melted, quickly stir in peppermint extract. Pour over first layer, and spread evenly. Let cool and set.
  4. Melt remaining chocolate candy, and spread over green layer. Let set.
  5. Use a large knife to cut candy into squares.

 chocolate mint candy

Pretzel Toffee

Toffee Pretzel Recipe; This recipe uses basic butter toffee poured over pretzels and topped with chocolate.  You’ll love this toffee pretzel recipe!

Pretzel-Toffee-recipeThe hypocrisy is strong around here some days.

Just yesterday, for example, Robb told the way-too-skinny and super active teenage boys that they needed to double their caloric intake if they want to be strong and healthy.

I fully supported this plan.

Then today, he told them they needed to get their jobs done before they could eat lunch.

I also fully supported this plan.

Eat, don’t eat… It’s confusing, I know.

Then I told everyone I would be making snacks, but ended up making candy instead.  What can I say? Life ain’t perfect.

Pretzel-Toffee

Toffee is one of my favorite candies.  Butter + Sugar… what’s not to love? Continue reading “Pretzel Toffee” »

Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars

Recipe for chocolate chip cookie bars;  These coconut chocolate chip cookies are filled with coconut and Mounds bars, baked in a sheet pan, then cut into bars.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookie BarsWatching how differently my kids handle situations is one of the great joys of my life. For instance, as I’m writing this, two of my three kids are at a karate exam. It the first of its kind for the Hippie Chick but it’s old hat for the Lizard.

The Lizard always thinks he has everything under control, even when he doesn’t, but I think the Hippie Chick is nervous. She’s a little too timid to really excel at karate.

Let me rephrase. She’s totally capable of martial arts excellence, but she’s too scared of hurting someone to actually hit them with any fury.

Everyone but the Lizard, that is.  He’s the only one that can really antagonize her until she hits her breaking point.  Which is great at karate, but not so fun at home.

chocolate chip cookie bars

Some parents tell their kids to stop fighting, but not us. WE yell things like, “Hit him!” or “Harder! Leave a bruise!” My go-to motivational phrase for her is, “Make them remember you.”

I had a moment of realization when I heard myself tell someone (tongue in cheek) that I had threatened the Hippie Chick with bodily harm if she didn’t cause some bodily harm during her test.

This is my life.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (bars)

We all have our little struggles and our little preferences, I guess. I love a good chocolate chip cookie and Robb loves anything coconut. It’s the kind of love that makes the world go round.

Put them together and you have heaven on earth.

I remember Lindsay at Pinch of Yum saying she was out of brown sugar, so she just went for it with white sugar only in the cookies. I took a page out of her book and made these sans brown sugar. The lighter cookie flavor was great with the mild coconut and the totally awesome-sauce dark chocolate.

Did you know Mounds was made with dark chocolate? Let me just give a big shout out to the Mounds people for that.  If you’re not a dark chocolate person, I feel really, really bad for you.  I once was not a dark chocolate person, too.  I guess you could use those totally amazing Hershey’s Coconut Kisses, but can I just beg you to give dark chocolate another chance?

chocolate chip cookie bars

I put about 2/3 of my cookie dough in a quarter sheet pan, but feel free to use whatever pan you want. A regular old 9×13 would work great. I sprinkled on the coconut and chopped up Mounds bars, the dropped on the remaining cookie dough in little globs.

Refer to the photos to see exactly what a glob looks like.

And if you feel the need to express your unique personality with some well-controlled violence, I’ll understand!

 

More fantastic coconut recipes!

Coconut cream cookie recipeCoconut Cream
Cookies
sconesCoconut White
Chocolate Scones
coconut cookieCoconut Crispies
(with Corn Flakes)

Continue reading “Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars” »

20 Amazing No Bake Desserts

A collection of no bake desserts; 20 recipes for no bake cookies, cheesecakes, truffles, and candy.

no bakeWho doesn’t love a no-bake dessert? Nobody, that’s who.

I have these amazing ideas for complex desserts right now, but honestly, it’s just so nice outside, I would rather do anything than spend a long afternoon in the kitchen.

I’m sure I’m the only person who feels like this, ever.

That makes this the perfect time to pull together a collection of some of my favorite no-bake desserts from this blog. They range from simple candies, to spoon desserts, to cookies and pies. This is almost no end to what you can no-bake.

I’ve included 8 recipes below from this site. Clicking on a photo will take you to that recipe. Pinning or Sharing to Facebook will save the link forever in a place you can come back to. And commenting at the bottom of the post just gives me a warm fuzzy.

no bake cheesecakeEasy Cheesecake no bakeBuckeyes no bakeMint Popcorn Bark no bakeNutella Cheesecake
no bake cookiesNo Bake Cookies SweetsCream Cheese Mints No BakePeanut Butter Bars no bakeBanana Pudding

I certainly don’t want you thinking I am the only one out there no-baking my life away. I chatted with my blogging buddies and found 12 more fantastic no-bake recipes, from ice cream, to fudge, truffles, even cannoli!

I hope you’ll click through, not just to discover the recipes for these delicious treats, but also to discover more great food blogs. Each photo will take you to a new amazing food blog full of great stuff.

Biscoff-Ice-Cream-CupcakeBiscoff Ice Cream chocolate cannoliChocolate Cannoli Lemon-IceBox-Pie-3Lemon Icebox Pie Strawberry-Cheesecake-ParfaitStrawberry Parfait
macaroonsnobakeveganchocolate-2670Chocolate Macaroons honey-vanilla-marshmallowsHoney Marshmallows Malted Milk Fudge Malted Milk Fudge Mini-No-Bake-Grasshopper-Pie3Grasshopper Pie
cookie-barsNo-Bake Cookie Bars apricot-truffles03Apricot Truffles No-Bake-Cookie-Truffles-with-PB-CenterCookie Truffles Samoas-Bark_Endless-SimmerSamoas Bark

Let’s keep the no-bake love coming! If you have a favorite no-bake dessert, please comment or link below, or tell me all about it on Facebook. Let’s collect even more great stuff from all of you amazing bakers out there!

Biscoff Ice Cream Cupcakes from Juanita’s Cocina
Shortcut Cannoli with Chocolate Mousse Filling from Overtime Cook
Lemon Icebox Pie from Cravings of a Lunatic
Strawberry Parfait from Chocolate Moosey
Chocolate Macaroons from Oh She Glows
Honey Vanilla Marshmallows from Pineapple and Coconut
Malted Milk Fudge from Lemon Tree Dwelling
Grasshopper Pie in a Jar from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs
No Bake Cookie Bars from Cookies and Cups
Apricot Pistachio Truffles from Tales of a Kitchen
Cookie Truffles with Peanut Butter Centers from Minimalist Baker
Samoas Bark from Endless Simmer

Cream Cheese Mints

Sweets recipes, this recipe for Cream Cheese Mints is both simple and delicious.

SweetsThis batch of cream cheese mints caused me to exercise a vast amount of self control.

Vast, people.

And I did okay at exercising all this self control.  Not amazing, but okay.

In other words, I only ate half the batch by myself before I shared with anyone.

These little mints are not unlike the Butter Mints over at Averie Cooks, or these Cream Cheese Mints from Kelley Highway.  I’ve been drooling over both of these little confections for weeks.

I was self-controlling right and left so I could share these little goodies with my friends, who were obviously impressed.

I might be reading too much into their compliments and snacking.

But I don’t think so.

Cream Cheese Mints

Here’s the thing.  Once you mix these up, and form them into whatever shape you’re going to use, you have to lay them out on a tray and let them dry for a long time, overnight at least, but preferably 24-36 hours.

I had this really great idea to put them in a container, so I would Stop. Eating. Them., but, of course, I couldn’t do that.  Because the texture is ever so much better with a few more hours of drying.

Just a few more hours.

sweetscream cheese mints

I’m really not quite as pathetic as I’m making it sound here.  But the mints are really that fantastic.  My kids were distraught that I shared them all with my friends instead of with them.  I tried to explain to them that they get the benefit of my weekly cookie and dessert making, and the friends ought to have a turn once in a while.

But next time, I’m making a double batch.

Mom Blog to Money Blog
T
urn Your Blog
Into Income
gumdropsHomemade
Gumdrops
chocolate cream pie ballsAlmond
Balls

Continue reading “Cream Cheese Mints” »

Buckeyes

Make some buckeyes for the big game! The buckeye recipe calls for chocolate, peanut butter, and no baking.

buckeyesLast weekend, we finally watched Fantastic Mr. Fox, which is one of the most well done kid-friendly shows I’ve seen in a long time.  We loved it.  In this show, they replaced every potentially offensive word with the word “cuss.”  The kids think it’s hysterical, and we’re now using the word “cuss” a lot around the house.  As in:

What the cuss is a buckeye?

I should just clarify up front that I am not from Ohio.  I’ve never lived in Ohio, I’ve never been to Ohio, I’ve never even been anywhere near Ohio.

Okay, that might have been a little more clarity than necessary.

I’m from Utah, and in Utah, we don’t make Buckeyes.  Well, we might make Buckeyes, but we certainly wouldn’t call them that.  We’d probably call them chocolate peanut butter balls, because we’re super creative that way.  Or we’d make them in the shape of a Beehive to show a little state pride.  {Utah is the “Beehive State.”}

buckeye recipe

So I will admit to not really knowing what a Buckeye was, until recently.  And now that I know, I have to be the one to tell you about it.  I’m a touch obsessive that way.

buckeyes

You will tell all your friends you heard it from me, right?

The state tree of Ohio is the buckeye tree.  It has this nut, which looks like this photo (right).

The nut is poisonous, so please don’t eat it.  You can’t make any Ohio-State-Pride treats with such a nut.  So the Ohiuns make this little ball of peanut butter dipped in chocolate, which looks a lot like the real Buckeye, but tastes much better and doesn’t give you indigestion.

This is really a very easy process.  You just make your peanut-butter-balls and pop them in the freezer while you melt some chocolate.

Then you dip the frozen peanut butter in the warm chocolate, and let them chill for a few more minutes.

buckeyes

I ended up with more chocolate than I needed and so I went searching through the kitchen for things to dip in the excess chocolate.  I mean, you can’t let chocolate go to waste right?  So in addition to buckeyes, we have chocolate dipped pecan sandies, chocolate dipped strawberries, and chocolate almonds.

(I used 1 cup chips and 2 T. shortening.  You may want to reduce to 3/4 cup chips and 1 1/2 T. shortening.)

Wait until after kickoff to bring these out.  Trust me.

Continue reading “Buckeyes” »

Almond Balls

chocolate cream pie ballsJust so everyone is clear, let me begin today’s post with an explanation.

When my sister-in-law first introduced me to these Almond Balls, they weren’t what I expected.  I mean, there’s not a lot of almond in those balls.  Maybe I should have titled them “Chocolate Almond Balls” or “Chocolate Cream Pie Balls” or something like that.  They are mostly chocolate, rolled in… not almonds… cookie crumbs.

Robb is taking some time off for the holidays, and he is super concerned that I’m going to spend that time blogging.  (Who? Me?!)  “Why don’t you just do a bunch of baking, and get all your posts ready ahead of time?” he says.

Sure.  No Problem.  Like I don’t already have gifts to buy and wrap, cards to create and send, friends to meet with, parties to attend, afghans to knit, holiday music to practice and perform, to say nothing of the dishes, laundry, house cleaning, dinner making, parenting and other responsibilities I am already behind on.

No problem.  I’ll just squeeze a half dozen new recipes in between the morning carpool and my shower.  Hmpf.

chocolate cream pie almond balls

Every year, my sis-in-law and I spend a day baking for the holidays.  We make things you need two people for, like pumpkin rolls, and graham cracker pudding, and enough sugar cookies to feed an army.  Tucked in among the complicated recipes are these super duper easy little balls of chocolate delight.

Let’s be realistic, some days you need something super duper easy.  I’m talking three-ingredients easy.  No-bake easy.  My-5-year-old-can-make-these easy.

That’s the zone I’m living in today.

chocolate almond ballsno-bake chocolate almond

Here’s an idea of what you’re in for:

Combine some melted chocolate bars with whipped topping.  Chill.  Drop spoonfuls into cookie crumbs.  Freeze.  Inhale.

I mean, if this is the kind of baking I’m going to be doing, I think I could get a lot done before lunch! Continue reading “Almond Balls” »

Black and White Fudge

easy fudge recipeI realize that there are people out there who believe that coconut is not the most amazing thing ever.  To those people, I would just like to say…

You’re Wrong.

Coconut may not be better than chocolate, (Or peanut butter.  Or caramel.) but it is high on the list of amazing flavors.

And that is why I added coconut to the white chocolate part of this black and white fudge.  And you coconut fence-sitters needn’t worry, because I used the unsweetened coconut, which gives a milder flavor and texture than the regular sweetened variety.  I definitely think you should try it before you get all judgmental about it.

black and white chocolate fudge

 

Oh, also?  I’m lazy as crap, so this is not one of those recipes that has a bunch of ingredients, or requires annoying things like measuring the temperature or long bouts of whipping.

You’re welcome. Continue reading “Black and White Fudge” »

Almond Toffee

Simple toffee recipe;  This homemade english toffee recipe is simple and delicious.  There’s no need to be afraid of candy making with this basic toffee recipe!

toffee recipeI don’t know about your house, but at mine, the chores get done really quickly.  Really well, too. *ahem*

Just today, The Lizard asked permission to go to a friends, and I replied by asking whether his chores were done, the chores he knows need to be done every week, or every day.  The chores that should be done before he even asks permission.

And he replied with a grunt of frustration, and headed off to practice the piano.

He is so amazingly efficient, he managed to practice three songs, plus his scales and arpeggios, in less than 10 minutes.  And sadly, it still may have been the best practicing he has done all week.

He proceeded to clean his room {from whence a seriously funky smell was emanating} which took less than 5 minutes.  Who knew a room could be cleaned so quickly?

He was both shocked and angry when I sent him back for a second try.

english toffee recipe

Some famous argument lines:
“Why does my room need to be vacuumed?”
“I already did that!”
“You make it really hard to go to my friends!”

Sigh.  Parenthood is not for the faint of heart.

While the holiday season does not exactly give one a break from the joys of parenthood, it does provide a change of schedule and scenery, which by itself is often enough to recharge the disciplinary batteries.

And if that doesn’t work… I usually opt for homemade candy. Continue reading “Almond Toffee” »

Peppermint Bark

chocolateI don’t even listen to the radio that much.  And yet, I know all the words to basically all five of the songs they play over and over.  Check me out.

“Under my umber-ella-ella-ella-ay-ay-ay”
“We-eee are never, ever, ever, getting back together.”
“I got the moves like Jagger, I got the moves like Jagger…

I GOT THE MOO-OOO-OOO-OOO-OOO-OOO-VES LIKE JAGGER!!”

That was me, singing loudly while driving, for the express purpose of embarrassing all the carpool kids.  It’s so much fun, messing with teenagers.

Listening to teens have conversations, on the other hand, not nearly as fun.

For instance, one day, they were complaining about the horrors of having your sibling in the very same class as you.  Which conversation led to this song:  “We-eee are never, ever, ever, having class together!” Continue reading “Peppermint Bark” »

Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

Easiest fudge recipe ever! This fudge with condensed milk is very easy to make, and seasonal with peppermint chips.

Easy Chocolate Peppermint Fudge from JensFavoriteCookies.com - made with condensed milk, this is the easiest fudge you'll ever have!There’s this old house in the town where I live, that used to belong to my great-great grandparents.  My mom has memories of this very tiny old house being filled with close to a hundred family members.

Now, it’s a museum.  It used to house the family dairy business, and now it houses old typewriters and pictures of the winning church basketball team from 1981.

In my head, these hundred cramped family members were treated to a spread of foods, cakes, cookies, and candies.  But when I asked my mom what desserts she remembered, she replied, “Fudge.  Just fudge.  And divinity.”  Apparently, the cookies and cakes only existed in my head.

I’ve never really been a pro at fudge.  There are so many different versions, and so many different preferences about this popular candy.  My mom prefers hers a little stiff, and always with walnuts.  Always.  It was the same with brownies.  “Don’t make it without walnuts,” she instructed us.  “Just don’t.”

Robb’s family makes a less sweet version, what has come to be known as “dirt fudge” in the annals of family history.  This is because when Robb’s sister gave family fudge to a friend as a “secret Santa” gift, her friend, not realizing who it was from, commented, “This fudge tastes like dirt.”

Easy Chocolate Peppermint Fudge from JensFavoriteCookies.com - made with condensed milk, this is the easiest fudge you'll ever have!

Since I’m sort of new at this whole fudge making thing, I figured I would start small and make the easiest fudge I could find.  Which turned out to be the Bittersweet Cinnamon Fudge by Giada de Laurentiis.  This stuff is so easy, she literally gives you the entire recipe and process during a commercial.

Just my speed.

What’s not my speed? Washing my pan while the fudge was cooking, because someone left it in the fridge with one tiny piece of meatloaf in it, rather than put the leftovers in a baggie or in their mouth, and putting the pan in the sink like a normal person.  I can complain, because for once, it wasn’t me.

Easy Chocolate Peppermint Fudge from JensFavoriteCookies.com - made with condensed milk, this is the easiest fudge you'll ever have!

Easy Chocolate Peppermint Fudge from JensFavoriteCookies.com - made with condensed milk, this is the easiest fudge you'll ever have!

One nice thing about fudge is that if you have a hundred family members to greet during the holidays, you can cut the fudge into little pieces, put it in a box, and it makes a nice gift.  You can even make your own box out of scrapbook paper or cardstock and make it super-duper cute.

gift tagBy the way, Giada was right that this can be made during a commercial break.  It really is that easy!

Grab your Free Printable Gift Tags here.  They’re going to look adorable with your scrapbook paper boxes!

 

 

Here are a few other quick and easy holiday favorites!

condensed milk cookiesCondensed Milk Cookies chocolatePeppermint Bark chocolate cream pie ballsAlmond Balls

 

Chocolate Peppermint Fudge
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups (1 pkg) bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup peppermint baking chips or crushed peppermint candies
Instructions
  1. Place milk in a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water (to create a double boiler). Add chocolate chips. Heat and stir until chocolate is completely melted.
  2. Remove from heat, add vanilla and ½ cup peppermint chips. Stir to incorporate.
  3. Pour into an 8x8 pan lined with greased foil. Press remaining peppermint chips on the top of the fudge.
  4. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Use foil to remove fudge from the pan. Cut into squares.