Tag Archives: Candy

Sea Turtles

From Charity Ferreira.

Sea Turtles

Yield: About 24 turtles

Butter, for waxed paper

8 ounces Vanilla-Sea Salt Caramels, or store bought soft caramels (about 24 caramels or 1 ¼ cups)

1 ¼ cups unsalted whole cashews (about 5 ounces), lightly toasted

4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

Step 1: Line a baking sheet with generously buttered waxed paper. Unwrap the caramels and place them in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir the caramels occasionally until melted and smooth, 10 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cashews.

Step 2: Spoon 1-inch mounds of the caramels mixture onto the waxed paper. If the mixture is stiff, you might have to use your fingers to coax it into clusters. Refrigerate the clusters until the caramel is firm, about 15 minutes.

Step 3: Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.

Step 4: Spoon about 1 teaspoon melted chocolate over the top of each “turtle.” Return the “turtles” to the refrigerator to harden the chocolate, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Marbled Peppermint Bark

From Charity Ferreira.

Marbled Peppermint Bark

Miniature candy canes, the ones that come individually wrapped, work best for this recipe. They are easier to crush, and, because they have more colored surface area, they break into nicer-looking pieces than larger candy canes. You can sift the larger pieces through a sieve to remove the fine white dust from the crushing process.

Yield: 1 ¼ pounds of bark

1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

4 ounces white chocolate, chopped

1 cup finely crushed candy cane pieces

Step 1: Line a jelly-roll pan with waxed paper. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.

Step 2: In another bowl, melt the white chocolate as above.

Step 3: Stir ¾ cup of the candy cane pieces into the dark chocolate. Scrape the mixture onto the pan and spread out with a spatula to about ¼ inch think. Drizzle the white chocolate evenly over the dark chocolate; use the knife to gently swirl the dark and white chocolates together, leaving plenty of distant streaks. Sprinkle the remaining crushed candy canes evenly over the top.

Step 4: Refrigerate the bark until completely firm, about 2 hours. Break or cut into chunks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day, or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Dark Chocolate-Espresso Truffles

From Charity Ferreira.

Dark Chocolate-Espresso Truffles

For the best flavor, bring them to room temperature before eating.

Yield: 24 (¾-inch) truffles

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 ½ tablespoons instant espresso powder

¾ cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon Kahlua

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Fluted 1-inch paper candy cups (optional)

Step 1: Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the espresso powder in the cream and bring to a boil. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and stir gently with a flexible spatula until the chocolate is melted and smooth. (If the chocolate does not melt completely, place the bowl over a pan of hot water and stir until smooth.) Stir in the Kahlua. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to scoop, at least 3 hours.

Step 2: Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Scoop out tablespoon-size portions of the chocolate mixture; place them on the waxed paper. If the mixture is too firm to scoop, let it stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes to soften.

Step 3: Spread the cocoa on a plate. Dust your hands lightly with cocoa. Shape each scoop of the chocolate mixture into a ball, then roll it in the cocoa to coat. Place the truffles in paper candy cups, if desired. Refrigerate the truffles between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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Macadamia Nut Brittle

Another great candy recipe from Charity Ferreira.

Macadamia Nut Brittle

Yield: 2 pounds of brittle

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus more for pan

½ tablespoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ½ cups sugar

½ cup water

1/3 cup light corn syrup

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups macadamia nuts (about 12 ounces), lightly toasted and roughly chopped

Step 1: Lightly butter a 10-by-15-inch jelly-roll pan. Dissolve the baking soda in the vanilla extract; set aside.

Step 2: In a large pot over medium-low heat, stir together the sugar, water, 6 tablespoons butter, the corn syrup, and salt until the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted. Increase the heat and cook, stirring occasionally with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, until mixture turns a deep golden brown and measures about 335˚F on a candy thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully (the mixture will bubble up) stir in the vanilla mixture and nuts.

Step 3: Immediately pour into the prepared pan. If necessary, use a spatula or wooden spoon to spread the mixture flat. Let stand at room temperature until cool and hard, about 1 hour.

Step 4: Bend the ends of the pan to release the brittle (run a spatula underneath the brittle to help release it, if necessary) and chop or break into chunks. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Marshmallows

I stumbled upon this recipe in a book on preserving by Karen Solomon awhile back. Great recipe! I’ve included a chocolate variation at the bottom.

Marshmallows

These light, fluffy, and flavorful clouds kick the butt off anything jet-puffed by a wide country mile. They will stand up to stick and flame on your next campout and are dreamy when paired with a slab of chocolate and graham crackers.

Yield: about 36 medium (1 1/4 inch) or 16 large (2 inch) marshmallows

Ingredients:

2/3 cup water, divided
3 (1/4-ounce) envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
Pinch of kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Lightly oil the inside of an 8 by 8-inch pan with vegetable oil. Generously coat with confectioners’ sugar; set aside.

Pour 1/3 cup of the water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, and let stand for about 10 minutes, or until the gelatin has softened.

In a saucepan, off heat, combine the remaining 1/3 cup water and the granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat. Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan and make sure it does not touch the bottom. Cook the mixture without stirring until it reaches 240 degrees F. Brush down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush, dipped in water, to gently wipe away any residual sugar crystals.

With the mixer on low speed, very carefully add the hot syrup to the softened gelatin. Add the vanilla, increase the speed to medium-high, and beat for 8 to 13 minutes, until the mixture becomes very white, stiff, and sticky.

Spread the mixture into the prepared pan using a lightly oiled spatula. With wet hands, press the batter evenly into the corners of the pan. Set aside for at least 1 hour, or until the mixture is firm and cool.

Sift the confectioners’ sugar into  shallow dish or bowl. Run a wet knife around the edge of the cooled pan to loosen the marshmallow sheet. Remove the marshmallows from the pan. Cut into 16 or 36 pieces, wetting the knife often to keep it from sticking. Toss each marshmallow in the confectioners’ sugar until completely coated.

Storing:

Store marshmallows in a single layer or in layers separated by wax paper. They will keep for at least 1 month when stored airtight at moderate temperature.

Chocolate Variation:

Substitute sifted unsweetened cocoa powder for the confectioner’s sugar used to coat the marshmallows.

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Buttery Almond Toffee

Another candy recipe from Charity Ferreira.

Buttery Almond Toffee

Yield: 3 pounds of toffee

1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus more for pan

3 ½ cups sugar

¾ cup water

¼ cup light corn syrup

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ cups whole almonds (about 9 ounces), toasted and chopped

12 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

Step 1: Lightly butter a 10-by-15-inch jelly-roll pan.

Step 2: In a large pot over medium heat, stir together the sugar, 1 ½ cups butter, water, corn syrup, and salt until the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted and bubbling. Increase the heat and boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon or a heatproof spatula, until the mixture turns a deep golden brown and measures 290˚ to 300˚F on a candy thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully (the mixture will bubble up) stir in half of the almonds and the vanilla.

Step 3: Immediately pour into prepared pan. If necessary, use a spatula or wooden spoon to spread mixture flat. Let stand at room temperature until cool and hard, about 45 minutes.

Step 4: While the toffee cools, melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a par of hot water (see Melting Chocolate), stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.

Step 5: Pour the chocolate over the cooled toffee, spreading it to the edges with a knife or spatula. Sprinkle the remaining almonds over the chocolate. Refrigerate to set the chocolate, about 30 minutes.

Step 6: Bend the ends of the pan to release the toffee and chop or break into chunks. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Marzipan Filled Dates

These make wonderful winter hostess gifts, Christmas presents, etc. Definitely give these a go. You can also roll them in sugar for an extra treat.

Marzipan-Filled Dates

Soft, sweet California Medjool dates are at their peak during the winter months, and this quick snack or dessert is a great way to take advantage of them. This recipe is for one pound of dates, but it’s easy to make them in any quantity. Marzipan is sweeter and has a more pronounced bitter-almond flavor than almond paste, but both are delicious with the dates.

Yield: 1 pound stuffed dates

1 pound Medjool dates

6 ounces marzipan or almond paste

Step 1: Cut the dates almost in half lengthwise and remove the pits without completely separating the two halves, if you can. Break off ½-inch chunks of marzipan or almond paste (a little smaller than 1 teaspoon) and shape them into an oval with your fingers. Place the marzipan in the center of each date and press the halves together, leaving a little of the marzipan showing.

Step 2: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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