Monday, March 21, 2011

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls (super soft and yummy!)

Jolene P.

6 quarts popped corn
3 c. mini marshmallows
1/2 c. Karo corn syrup
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 cubes margarine
1 tsp. vanilla

Place popcorn in large bowl, then pour marshmallows over top. In a saucepan, combine corn syrup, sugar, margarine, and vanilla, and bring to a boil while stirring. Stop stirring, then let syrup cook to soft ball stage (about 5 minutes). Pour sauce over popcorn/marshmallow mixture and stir. The heat will melt the marshmallows and help to coat the popcorn. Butter hands, and form into balls, OR press popcorn mixture into greased bundt pan. Cool and eat!

**Peanuts, M&M's, Reeses pieces, and chocolate chips are all yummy additions to this recipe. You can also add food color if desired.

Puppy Chow

Jolene P.

2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 1/2 c. peanut butter
13 oz. crispix or chex
2 c. powdered sugar

In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate chips, butter and peanut butter and melt, stirring after each minute. Pour cereal into a large paper grocery sack. When chocolate mixture is melted, pour over cereal, close bag and shake well....all cereal should be well coated. Pour powdered sugar into bag and shake again. Pour pieces onto waxed paper and let cool. Enjoy!

**For fun, place the mixture in a clean dog dish and when company comes over, start munching on it and see what kind of reactions you get. :)


Jolene P.

2 c. sugar
1 c. water
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
food coloring (optional)
flavoring (optional)

In a saucepan, combine sugar water and cream of tartar. Bring to a boil and cook until hard crack (290 to 300 degrees if using a thermometer). Pour into a buttered pan and cool slightly. Using a butter knife, start pulling candy, and when cool enough to touch, pull with hands until light and airy. Pull into long candy string and lay out on floured surface. Score, let cool, then break.

** If you want color and flavor (without flavor, candy has a light, lemony flavor) add just before pouring onto pan.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Patty’s Peanut Butter Popcorn

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup peanut butter (I used chunky)
2 ounces chocolate, melted

Pop the popcorn in an air popper and put it in a big bowl (Really, you could use a fat free microwave popcorn, probably two bags). Heat sugar and corn syrup in a medium sized saucepan until the sugar is dissolved, I let it boil on medium for 1-2 minutes. You just don’t want the sugar to start burning. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter. Pour immediately over popcorn and stir to coat evenly. Let cool just enough to eat.
After peanut butter mixture is cooled on the popcorn, drizzle with melted chocolate and let it harden. (I stuck it in the fridge for a few minutes.) Break up pieces that have clumped together. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cake Balls

Jennifer S.

1 box cake mix
1 container frosting
1- 24 oz package of almond bark or confectioner's coating
wax paper
colored candy melts, butterscotch or peanut butter chips (optional for drizzle)

Bake cake according to package directions in any size cake pan.
Remove cake from oven and immediately dump into a large bowl.
Use a fork to break up the cake into crumbs.
Add the entire container of frosting to the bowl and combine it with the cake. Stir until completely combined.
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
Roll cake mixture into balls and place on cookie sheet.
Place cookie sheet into refrigerator for 2 hours to allow balls to chill.
After balls have chilled, remove cookie sheet from the refrigerator and place on counter.
In a medium bowl or 4 cup glass measuring cup, melt half of the package of almond bark chocolate. Follow melting directions on the back of the package. (Only use half the package to begin with as the mixture will begin to thicken as it cools.)
Stir the chocolate until smooth. Using a spoon add a cake ball to the melted chocolate and turn to coat.
Remove with spoon and replace on chilled wax paper on cookie sheet.
Repeat for all cake balls, adding and melting more chocolate when level gets low.
As an option you can drizzle melted chocolate chips or candy melts across the tops.

Variations: Try different cake mixes, frostings and coatings. Strawberry cake, vanilla frosting and a white chocolate coating would make a lovely spring dessert. Try confetti white cake, white frosting and white chocolate coating drizzled with pink, yellow, light blue and light green tinted drizzle for a baby shower. Cherry cake with pink frosting and chocolate coating would make a delicious birthday treat!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Million Dollar Fudge

Passed down from Great Grandma Hooite (by passed down, I mean it was the recipe printed on the label of the evaporated milk can)

4 C sugar
1 cube butter
1 tall can evaporated milk (We’re not sure why it specifies “tall can” but I can just see her gesturing and saying “It should be about yeah big.”)

* Cook slowly! Candy should not be cooked on high. It has to boil, but can boil on a lower heat. Boil these 3 ingredients 10 minutes.

1 12-oz package chocolate chips
1 Large Hershey bar
1 Heaping cup marshmallows
2 t. vanilla
Nuts as desired

* Pour all these, except marshmallows into hot mixture and stir well until chocolate is melted. Then add marshmallows very last and pour on buttered sheet as marshmallows are just starting to melt.
* Cut into squares after the fudge has cooled and set.
* 1 recipe makes 4 ½ lbs.

Chocolate Candy Making 101

If you have never tried it, the words “candy making” can strike fear into your heart. It might very well bring to mind worries over scorching chocolate, finding the perfect temperature for the sugar to make hard candy, and maybe the time you got molten caramel on your finger and it left a blister for days. After all that, you’re probably ready to give up and head to the store.

However, you do not have to go through all that trouble just to make your own candy. In fact, all you really need are the right ingredients, a refrigerator, and a microwave. Making your own candy is so simple, you could do it at the office if you had the time and, if you like your coworkers enough, share your candy with them.

Of course, to pull this off, you will need some chocolate that has already been tempered, it's called melting chocolate. It comes in both white and dark chocolate packages. This means that your selection of candies will be limited to what you can make with chocolate, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. It is chocolate, after all.

Ready to try it? The following guide will lay out the steps for making the candy and shows how to make a s'mores-style candy with dark chocolate and marshmallows. This candy making guide is just a start; feel free to tinker with it as much, or as little, as you desire.

How to make candy
Step 1: Preparing to Make Your Own Candy
The first step will be to prepare the container that is going to hold the candy. You want a fairly deep (minimum 1-inch), non-reactive vessel; a glass lasagna pan would work perfectly. You also will want to grease it with butter or cooking spray. This example will assume a 9-inch lasagna pan.

Step 2: Making the Candy Crust
This is an optional step. You may or may not choose to put a non-chocolate layer at the bottom of the pan. For our s’mores dessert, you will want to smash up about 20 graham crackers and spread them on the bottom of the vessel. You also could use cereal mix, pretzels, potato chips, etc. Just spread it out so that it evenly coats the entire bottom of the pan.

Step 3: Make Your Own Candy’s First Chocolate Layer
Now it’s time to use the microwave. To make the chocolate layer, mix 8-ounces of melting chocolate with two tablespoons of butter and microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and then microwave again for 15 seconds. You also can stir in about 2 teaspoons of extract or flavoring, if desired.

Once the chocolate is melted, pour it into the pan and spread it evenly so that it coats the entire pan. If you are going to add more layers (see step 4), then put the pan into the refrigerator to let the chocolate cool. If not, go to step 5.

For our s’mores we’re going to use 8-ounces of dark chocolate, 2 tablespoons of butter, and 2 teaspoons of orange extract. The orange is not traditional, but it will taste good. We will not add another layer, so we’ll go to step 5.

Step 4: Candy Making is Better with More Chocolate
This step is optional. If you like, you may layer the chocolate by repeating step 3. Just melt the chocolate, then pour it into the pan and let it cool.

This is what you would do if you were making peppermint bark and wanted to mix light and dark chocolate. Just must sure the chocolate is cool before adding the next layer. For our s'mores, we’re going to skip this step.

Step 5: Topping Your Homemade Candy
This is the final step: You can add another layer of toppings to the candy like chocolate chips, crushed up candy canes, pretzels, or bacon. For our s’mores, we are going to add a layer of mini-marshmallows. All you have to do is scatter them over the top of the candy and then put it in the refrigerator until the chocolate is completely cool.

Note: it is very important that you add the toppings while the chocolate is still warm so that they will adhere to the candy when it cools.

There you have it, you can now make candy in basically the amount of time it takes chocolate to melt. Have fun experimenting with this recipe and keep it handy around Christmas. Peppermint bark, for instance, is nothing more than a dark chocolate layer, a white chocolate layer flavored with peppermint extract, and crushed up candy canes.

Now start experimenting; you have two ideas, have fun creating your own.

Peanut Butter Balls (Buckeyes)

Jennifer S.

* 1 cup peanut butter
* 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
* 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (chocolate chips are just fine)


1. Melt the butter and peanut butter over low heat in a saucepan.
2. Stir in vanilla.
3. Once butter and peanut butter are melted, stir in confectioner's sugar until a dough forms.
4. By rounded teaspoons, roll warm dough into balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheet to set.
5. Melt chocolate in microwave
6. Dip balls in the chocolate and return to baking sheet to set.
7. Serve at room temperature.

Easy Oreo Truffles

Jennifer S.

These easy Oreo truffles are a fantastic anytime treat. Give these delicious Oreo truffles to friends and family or serve as a sweet treat for a casual get-together. The best part about these Oreo truffles is that they can be made ahead and frozen so they're ready for last-minute guests.


* 1 package Oreo cookies
* 1, 8-ounce package cream cheese
* 2 packages semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Process the Oreo cookies in a food processor until they are fine crumbs; add the cream cheese and process until it is combined with the Oreo crumbs; place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
2. Roll into 1 to 1/2-inch balls and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet; place in freezer (may be made one week ahead of time).
3. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave on low, or use a double boiler; remove from heat.
4. Dip frozen balls into chocolate; put back onto parchment paper and decorate with chopped nuts, candy sprinkles, coconut, Heath bar bits, etc., before the chocolate dries.
5. Freeze until ready to serve.

Jelly Bean Prayer

RED is for the blood He gave

GREEN is for the grass He made
YELLOW is for the sun so bright

ORANGE is for the edge of night

BLACK is for the sins we made

WHITE is for the grace He gave

PURPLE is for His hours of sorrow

PINK is for our new tomorrow

A bag full of jellybeans, colorful and sweet

A prayer, a promise, a very special treat!

Cindy’s Caramel Crack Corn

Cindy H.

This is named Crack Corn....because it IS that addictive!!

Prepare 3 bags of the butteriest microwave popcorn you can find (movie theater butter, etc) and place in a gigantic bowl, after sifting out the duds.
In a sauce pan over medium-low heat melt 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, stir in 1/2 cup light corn syrup and 1 & 1/2 cups brown sugar.
Turn heat to med-high and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute and remove from heat, and add 1 tsp vanilla.
Pour over popcorn and stir until well coated and enjoy!!!

Caution the caramel sauce is LAVA hot!!!! This is NOT a project to have small children help with! 

Super Fast, Super Easy Frosting Fudge

Jennifer S.

1 18-oz jar peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
1 16-oz tub of chocolate frosting

Remove foil lids from both containers.
Microwave each container for one minute each. Or until they are pouring consistency.
Pour into mixing bowl and stir well to combine.
Then pour into a greased 13x9 pan and refrigerate until set up.
Cut with plastic knife and ENJOY!!