PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CUPS

These little gems are so easy and light, but look really decadent and like you spent all day on them!PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CUPS
60 mini phyllo shells
1 + 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup creamy JIF peanut butter
1 1/2 cups FRESH heavy cream
1/4 cup Kraft caramel balls, chopped for garnish

  • Add 1 cup of the chocolate chips into a glass mixing bowl. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds at a time until melted.
  • Stir in peanut butter until well blended. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl beat cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold whipped cream into peanut butter mixture.
  • Transfer to a ziploc bag. Chill until ready to use.
  • When ready to serve, pipe filling into phyllo shells and sprinkle with chopped caramel and chocolate pieces.

HONEYED BOGS

So I woke up this morning and really wanted to bake even though I can’t personally eat any of it. 😀  I’ve been itching to try something out of my new cookbook from the Prohibition Bakery. All the recipes are boozy and sound absolutely delectable!  I love their slogan, please eat responsibly.

Unfortunately, I don’t have on hand all the ingredients to make any one of their recipes EXACTLY as written so right out of the gate I’m improvising. This recipe is going to be “loosely” based on their PINK LADY recipe on page 181 AND their CARAMEL APPLE recipe from page 277.  I wasn’t thrilled with their PINK LADY frosting so I’m using the basic frosting from their CARAMEL APPLE but replacing the applejack brandy with the honey brandy I’m using to make the fruit puree.

HONEYED BOGS – yields 18 cup cakes

CAKE
1 2/3 (208g) cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup yogurt (240g) (I used a black cherry)
1/3 cup (70g) avocado oil
1 cup (200g) sugar
1/4 cup (60g) lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 eggs

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Line tins with liners
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • Combine the yogurt, avocado oil, sugar, lemon juice and zest with mixer until well incorporated.
  • Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.
  • With mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing until JUST combined. DO NOT OVER BEAT.
  • Fill cup cake liners two-thirds full.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool COMPLETELY before filling or icing.

PUREE
12 ounces cranberries
3/4 cup sugar*see note
1 1/4 cup honey brandy

  • Combine fruit and brandy in a saucepan.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil over a medium heat.
  • Simmer 10-15 minutes until fruit breaks down and mixture starts to thicken.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to food processor, blending until smooth.
  • Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

NOTE:

  • *Cranberries are tarter than most fruits and require a bit of sugar to tame them.
  • Cranberries also require more time to break down the skins so a nice SLOW boil and simmer gives them this time.

FILLING
1 cup (230g) cranberry puree
1/4 cup honey brandy

  • Whisk the puree until smooth.
  • Slowly add in the brandy 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring thoroughly after each spoonful until desired consistency reached.
  • Transfer to a squeeze bottle.

ICING
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 pound powdered sugar
1/3 cup Honey Brandy

  • Cream butter until fluffy.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar until JUST incorporated.
  • Slowly stream in the brandy until icing is smooth and fluffy.
  • Transfer to a piping bag.

ASSEMBLY

  • Core each cupcake with a pastry tip.
  • Fill the cavity with puree. DO NOT OVERFLOW.
  • Frost each cupcake.
  • Decorate to your liking.

PINEAPPLE RAISIN TAMALES

MANY moons ago at a funky little bistro in Silver Lake California I used to order their dessert tamales.  They were soft, silky and TOTALLY delectable full of pineapple and raisins.  At the time I was entering county fairs with my homemade jams and eating these tamales with a spoonful of jam drizzled over top was just pure HEAVEN, at least to me 😀

I CANNOT remember anything else on the menu, I can’t even remember the name of the bistro, but those tamales were worth the drive out of my way just to buy several to take home for later.

I’ve been working to recreate the recipe for years and I think I’ve come as close as I can!

PINEAPPLE RAISIN TAMALES yields 2 dozen tamales
40 corn husks
4 cups corn masa flour
2 sticks salted butter, melted
2 large cans DOLE crushed pineapple, drained (reserve juice)
1 cup of reserved pineapple juice (make yourself a cocktail with the rest) 😀
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups golden raisins
2 dozen marbles

  • SOAK corn husks for 1 hour before beginning.

  • SET UP large dutch oven.
  • Invert a pie tin into bottom of dutch oven.
  • Arrange marbles around the pie tin edge.
  • Fill with water JUST to cover.
  • Arrange a second pie tin right side up on top.
  • Layer several corn husks over top pie tin. Turn flame to low heat and cover while you prepare tamales.

  • Combine masa, butter, juice, sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
  • Add pineapple and raisins, blending with gloved hands until well distributed.
  • Spoon about 1/2 cup of mixture in your corn husk into a 1×3 log shape.
  • Roll up tightly and tie ends with a piece of corn husk or string.
  • Place half of the tamales in the dutch oven and cover, steaming for 45 minutes.
  • Serve warm topped with blueberry sauce.

NOTE: They reheat easily in the microwave.

BANANA NUT ROLL

I have no excuse for NOT making this recipe sooner and hubby is really made that I didn’t.  This is one of those recipes that you could make each and EVERY week and NEVER get tired of!!

BANANA NUT ROLL
CAKE
4 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1/3 + 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup (garnish) finely chopped walnuts
1/4-1/3 cup golden raisins

  • Separate eggs. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Lightly grease 15×10 jelly roll pan. Line with wax paper and grease the wax paper. Set aside.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and pinch of salt. Set aside.

 

  • Prepare the cream cheese filling. (SEE BELOW)
  • Spread filling in prepared pan. Set aside.

 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°.
  • In a small mixing bowl beat the egg yolks with the vanilla, beating about 5 minutes until thick and lemon colored.
  • Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar beating on high until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • With a spatula fold in banana and 1/2 cup nuts until well blended.
  • Thoroughly wash the beaters.

 

  • In a separate chilled clean bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
  • Gradually add the 1/2 cup sugar until STIFF peaks form.
  • Fold banana mixture into the egg whites GENTLY and JUST until combined.
  • GENTLY spoon batter over the filling in the pan and carefully spread evenly.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes or until cake springs back.
  • Immediately run a knife around the edge of the pan and turn cake out onto a cheesecloth sprinkled with powdered sugar.
  • Carefully peel off wax paper and discard.
  • Sprinkle with 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts and raisins.
  • Starting from the short side, roll cake into a spiral.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • Prepare icing.
  • Spread with cream cheese icing.
  • Sprinkle with finely chopped nuts.

CREAM CHEESE FILLING
8 + 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk

  • Combine softened cream cheese in mixing bowl with the sugar, beating until smooth.
  • Add egg and milk, beating until well blended.

CREAM CHEESE ICING
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk

  • Combine cream cheese, almond extract and vanilla extract, beating until light and fluffy.
  • Gradually beat in the powdered sugar.
  • Add in milk 1 tablespoon at a time to reach a spreadable consistency.

NOTEThis icing recipe makes enough to cover the ENTIRE roll thickly.  If you just want a drizzle, cut the icing recipe in half!

BLUEBERRY COFFEE CAKE


BLUEBERRY COFFEE CAKE
CAKE

1 cup all purpose flour + 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Stevia in the raw
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup frozen small wild blueberries DO NOT THAW

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grease and flour dust 13×9 baking dish. Set aside.
  • Sift together 1 cup flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In a larger mixing bowl cream the butter with an electric mixer.
  • Add Stevia and brown sugar, beating until fluffy.
  • Add eggs 1 at a time beating JUST until blended in.
  • Reduce mixer speed. Add flour mixture and milk alternately until well blended.
  • GENTLY toss blueberries with 1 tablespoon flour.
  • Fold blueberries GENTLY into batter.
  • GENTLY spread batter into prepared baking dish.

TOPPING
2/3 cup frozen small wild blueberries DO NOT THAW
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • Whisk together the sugar and cinnamon.
  • Toss blueberries in the sugar mixture.
  • Scatter blueberries and sugar evenly on top of batter.

 

  • Bake cake 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool cake in pan 10-15 minutes before cutting.

NOTE: You can use FRESH berries.  But, if using FROZEN berries DO NOT THAW!!  Thawing the berries makes them too watery and will turn your batter blue.

CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD – Chocolate makes EVERYTHING better!

CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD
2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 LARGE eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium)
1 teaspoon butter vanilla emulsion
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray large (9×5 inch) loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In another mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until creamy.
  • Add eggs and mix well.
  • Add bananas, vanilla emulsion and milk, blending JUST until combined.
  • Fold in nuts and chocolate chips with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • Pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake 1 hour or until tester comes out clean.
  • Let cool on rack 30 minutes before slicing.

MAGIC COOKIE BUTTER BARS

MAGIC COOKIE BUTTER BARS
Years ago one of my VERY favorite treats were Eagle Brand 7 Layer bars A.K.A. as Magic Cookie Bars with sweetened condensed milk, BUT, they were so heavy and calorie packed. This recipe is a WONDERFUL substitute for that recipe and the bars are still moist and tender AND they taste amazingly similar – kind of like a loaded Blondie that strives to be overindulgent! This recipe also makes smaller portion which is great for just 2 people

BARS
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
2 teaspoons QUALITY cinnamon (I use Red Ape)
Heaping 1/3 cup smooth Cookie Butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
pinch salt
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup roasted coconut pieces

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Melt 1/2 cup butter and allow to cool slightly.
  • Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon, whisking until smooth.
  • Add the heaping Cookie Butter, and stir to blend.
  • Add the flour and salt, stirring until just combined DO NOT OVER MIX!!!! – these are like brownies and overtaxing will make them tough.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  • Sprinkle evenly with the chocolate chips, raisins and coconut.
  • Set pan aside while you prepare the streusel.

STREUSEL
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup whole rolled old-fashioned oats DO NOT USE quick or instant oats
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-2 teaspoonS cinnamon, to taste
2 tablespoons Cookie Butter, melted for final drizzle after baking
2 tablespoons milk chocolate chips

  • Using the same bowl you made the batter in add all the streusel ingredients except the 2 tablespoons cookie butter and work the mixture with a spoon, a pastry cutter, or your hands until small pebbles form.
  • Sprinkle streusel evenly over top.
  • Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until center is set and not jiggly; and the edges are set and have pulled away slightly from sides of pan. Test with a toothpick. If it comes out mostly clean, you’re good to go. EVERY oven is different so start checking these at the 30 minute mark.
  • After pulling pan from the oven, heat 2 tablespoons of Cookie Butter and 2 tablespoons milk chocolate chips in the microwave to melt, about 15 seconds.
  • Immediately and evenly drizzle Chocolate Cookie Butter over the top of bars.
  • Allow pan to cool for at least 30 minutes cutting.
  • Lift out foil and place on cutting board.
  • Slice and serve.
  • Store bars in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature, or up to 3 months in the freezer.

ORIGINAL MAGIC COOKIE BARS
“This bar cookie is an old fashioned favorite. Chocolate chips, nuts and coconut are set in a caramelized layer on top of a graham cracker crust.” – Eagle brand

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs OR ginger snap cookie crumbs
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts

  • Heat oven to 350° (325° for glass dish).
  • Coat 13×9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.
  • Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan.
  • Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture.
  • Layer evenly with chocolate chips, raisins, nuts and coconut. Press down firmly.
  • Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Cool.
  • Cut into bars.
  • Store covered at room temperature.

NOTES/VARIATIONS:

  • 7-Layer Magic Cookie Bars: Substitute 1 cup (6-ounces) butterscotch flavored chips* for 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and proceed as directed above.
  • Peanut butter flavored chips or white chocolate chips may be substituted for butterscotch flavored chips.
  • Magic Peanut Cookie Bars: Substitute 2 cups (about 3/4 pound) chocolate-covered peanuts for semi-sweet chocolate chips and chopped nuts.
  • Magic Rainbow Cookie Bars: Substitute 2 cups plain candy-coated chocolate candies for semi-sweet chocolate chips.

EXTRACTS vs. EMULSIONS – a TUTORIAL

Recently a friend and I were debating the flavorings I was going to use in an upcoming recipe and it led us to question a couple definitions, specifically for extracts and emulsions used in baking.

The main difference between emulsions and extracts are that the emulsions are water based and not alcohol based. Yet they can be substituted 1:1 in a recipe. So how do you choose which to use and when to use it when so many meet your flavor needs while cooking and baking?  Best answer: you should choose an emulsion when you’re concerned about the flavor baking out of a recipe. Because they are water-based, bakery emulsions don’t evaporate as quickly as extracts, resulting in stronger aromas and tastes.

EXTRACT – an extract is a preparation containing the active ingredient of a substance in a concentrated form such as vanilla extract used in many cakes and cookies.    SYNONYMS: distillation, distillate, concentrate, essence, juice

EMULSION – I found SEVERAL definitions for emulsions:

  • A system (such as fat in milk) consisting of a liquid dispersed with or without an emulsifier in an immiscible liquid – liquids not forming a homogeneous mixture when added together.
  • A fine dispersion of minute droplets of one liquid in another in which it is not soluble or miscible.

But for me the most accurate definition I think is:

  • a mixture that results when one liquid is added to another and is mixed with it but does not dissolve into such as mixing oil and vinegar together which produces an emulsion.

Extracts and Flavors are great for both cooking and baking applications. Most extracts and flavors contain 45% alcohol by volume and require sufficient cooking time to evaporate the alcohol.

Use an extract or flavor in cookies, cakes, brownies, muffins, and other baked goods. You can also use extracts and flavors in homemade chocolates and candies.

Bakery Emulsions are water-based and alcohol-free versions of extracts. Use them the same way you would an extract but they are also especially great for flavoring frostings and other no-bake applications.

Bakery Emulsions have the same strength as extracts, so they can be substituted one to one in recipes. But conversely because they are water-based, bakery emulsions aren’t suitable for flavoring hard candies or chocolates.

I like the brands Cook’s and Lorann’s extracts and emulsions because they are fairly readily available in most specialty grocers.

Making your own vanilla extract is easy too.  Most recipes call for vodka, but I find flavored rums work really well to as do whiskeys.

VANILLA EXTRACT

6 whole Vanilla Beans
1 cup ALCOHOL of your choice

  • Slice the vanilla beans in half lengthwise with scissors or a knife, leaving a bit intact at the end just to make it pretty. Cut the beans down to fit the height of your jar.
  • Place beans in jar.
  • Cover with alcohol.
  • Screw the lid on tight or cork it and give it a good shake.
  • Place in a cool, dark place for at least 2 months. The longer it sits, the stronger the flavor will be. Be sure and give the jar a shake every week or so.

GRASSHOPPER BROWNIES

GRASSHOPPER BROWNIES
11 ounce package dark chocolate pieces
1/2 cup butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
Creme-de-Menthe Filling (BELOW)
Dark Chocolate Ganache (BELOW)

  • In a medium saucepan, melt and stir 4 ounces (3/4 cup) of the dark chocolate pieces, butter, and the unsweetened chocolate over low heat.
  • Remove from heat; cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan. Grease foil; set aside.
  • Stir sugar into the cooled chocolate mixture in saucepan.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon JUST until combined.
  • Stir in vanilla.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring just until combined.
  • Stir in the remaining 7 ounces (1-1/2 cups) dark chocolate pieces. Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  • Spread Creme-de-Menthe Filling over cooled brownies.
  • Place uncut brownies in the refrigerator while preparing the Dark Chocolate Ganache.
  • Spread slightly cooled Dark Chocolate Ganache over Creme de Menthe Filling, spreading to the edges with a spatula.
  • Cover and chill about 1 hour or until set. Using the edges of the foil, lift the uncut brownies out of the pan. Cut into bars.
  • Place brownies in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

CREME-DE-MENTHE FILLING
3 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons GREEN creme de menthe
Milk (optional)

  • In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and butter.
  • Beat on medium speed with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.
  • Gradually beat in 1 cup of the powdered sugar.
  • Beat in creme-de-menthe.
  • Gradually beat in remaining powdered sugar. If necessary beat in 1 tablespoon of additional milk to make the filling slightly thicker than a frosting

CHOCOLATE GANACHE
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 11 ounce package dark chocolate pieces

  • In a medium saucepan, bring whipping cream JUST to boiling over medium-high heat.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add dark chocolate pieces (do not stir).
  • Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.
  • Cool for 15 minutes.
  • Pour over brownies and QUICKLY spread evenly.

NOTE: You can substitute 2 tablespoons milk, 1/2 teaspoon mint extract, and several drops of green food coloring for the GREEN Creme-de-menthe.

BANANA PUMPKIN MERINGUE PIE

When we go antiquing one of my favorite finds are old recipe boxes, BUT they have to be full of lovingly handwritten recipes!  Needless to say between these finds, cookbooks and magazines I have amassed a LARGE amount of recipes to try or if you will, scraps of recipes, hence the new meme name.

Years ago I participated in a meme called Magazine Monday in an effort to clean out magazines and cook booklets hosted over at the now defunct blog Cream Puffs in Venice. I’d love to revive that meme AND clean out ALL my scraps of paper, but as I don’t know how to contact her for her permission to use the meme, I’ve decided to create my own theme called RECIPE SCRAPS and even better it won’t be tied to a specific day 😀  I like not assigning a specific day to this theme AND even better these scraps of paper will go away forever as I try each recipe.

BANANA PUMPKIN MERINGUE PIE
1 pie crust (homemade or store bought – your choice)
1 can Libby’s pumpkin puree
6 bananas
3 eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon FRESHLY grated nutmeg
pinch FRESH ground salt

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Arrange unpeeled bananas on cookie sheet and roast 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool before handling.
  • Increase oven temperature to 375°.
  • Line a 9 inch pie plate with pie dough.
  • Lightly brush the edges of the pie shell with heavy cream to create a perfect, golden brown finish.
  • Peel bananas.
  • Add bananas to food processor and puree.
  • Add sugar, eggs, cream, pumpkin pie spice, butter, nutmeg and salt.
  • Add pumpkin and stir until JUST incorporated.
  • Transfer to pie plate.
  • Bake 50 minutes or until set around edges and only slightly jiggles.
  • Cool completely on rack.

MERINGUE
4 egg whites
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch FRESH ground salt

  • Preheat oven broiler.
  • Beat egg whites until frothy.
  • Add cream of tartar and powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until stiff glossy curled peaks form.
  • Spread on filling being sure to seal the edges to the pie crust.
  • Swirl meringue with the back of a spoon to create decorative peaks.
  • Broil at least 4 inches from the heat source for 5-7 minutes or until lightly golden.
  • Let cool 30 minutes before slicing.

NOTE:

  • Preparing your meringue in a freezer chilled metal bowl with freezer chilled beaters helps with the meringue success.
  • If you have a kitchen torch, you can also use this method as an alternative, but be careful to spread the flame evenly across the entire surface to achieve a uniform look.

PEANUT BUTTER BALLS

PEANUT BUTTER BALLS
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup QUALITY honey
1 cup JIF creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups rice krispies
Almond Bark (optional)
Sprinkles for decorating (optional)

  • Combine the sugar, corn syrup, honey, peanut butter and vanilla in heavy saucepan, stirring constantly until mixture begins to boil.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add rice krispies.
  • Using gloved hands lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray roll into small balls and place on wax paper.
  • Let cool completely.
  • You can eat them as soon as they cool or decorate them if you choose.
  • Melt almond bark and dip each ball in chocolate before placing on wax paper.
  • Immediately decorate as the almond bark dries very quickly.

NOTE:

  • This recipe is COMPLETELY versatile – change out the cereal for ANY cereal of your choice, cheerios, corn flakes, chex etc… AND/OR you can change out the peanut butter for another nut butter, almond butter, cashew butter…
  • Sprinkles can be anything of your choosing.  I also like using mini chocolate chips and finely chopped honey roasted peanuts.

SALTED PUMPKIN CARAMELS

I was recently hunting for a gift idea for a friend and thought she might like a digital candy thermometer (she’s a baker and makes the most wonderful cupcakes). So I sent her a quick text to start the conversation. It went like this:

ME: Do you have a candy thermometer I could borrow?
H: No I don’t… if a recipe requires me to use a thermometer, I find another recipe 😀
ME: LMBO 😀 😀 😀 😀 That’s great unless you’re actually making something that needs to be a specific temperature to set up.
H: You’re more adventurous!… if it requires a certain spice or ingredient, I just won’t make it.

LOL I had to come up with another idea 😀
SALTED PUMPKIN CARAMELS
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
FLAKY Sea Salt
finely Chopped nuts (optional)

  • Line 9 x 9 inch pan with foil.
  • Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a 3 quart pan melt butter over medium heat.
  • Whisk in sugar, pumpkin pie spice, allspice and cinnamon until well blended.
  • Whisk in corn syrup, sweetened condensed milk and pumpkin.
  • Attach your candy thermometer to the side of the pan and get ready to stir for quite awhile.
  • Stir constantly until you reach 248 degrees a.k.a. firm ball stage.
  • Remove from heat and quickly add nuts if your using them.
  • Pour into prepared pan.
  • Immediately sprinkle with salt.
  • Let stand 2 hours or until firm.
  • Use the foil to lift the caramels from the pan.
  • Using a BUTTERED knife cut into 3/4 inch squares.
  • Wrap in individual non-stick foil or waxed paper and twist ends.

NOTES:  If you want a bit of a change up stir in some chopped honey roasted peanuts or pecans at the last minute before poring into cooling pan.