Aug 02

The Ultimate Chocolate Cookie Recipe

Chocolate cookiesWhere do you stand when it comes to the chocolate cookie? There are those who track down the perfect crunch and snap, those who like a plain dough and the chocolate kick delivered by chips or better still chunks. Are you one who goes for sticky unctuousness? Perhaps you favour the addition of nuts as a counterbalance to the richness. Whatever your predilection, I am sure we have all at some moment tasted the perfect cookie and hoped to reproduce it ourselves one day.

Most of us will for certain have tested plenty of recipes and often remained disappointed that it just didn’t quite deliver what we hoped for. And those packets bought from the supermarket never, ever, ever satisfy the craving. There is really only one solution and that is to perfect your own. It may take a little time tinkering with the baking time and size. But eventually you will have you ultimate failsafe cookie, and with practice you can have them made and out of the oven in less than 25 minutes. And if you are anything like me, you’ll spend the next 10 minutes staring at them, willing them to cool faster, eventually succumbing too early and eating a warm one.

For me the perfect cookie is a combination, a half-way house, but one without compromise, that delivers the best of both worlds: a crispy crunchy outside, with a gooey, chewy almost brownie like interior.

You can also double the batch amount and freeze in cookie size portions on a tray before packing into a freezer bag. If cooking from frozen adding 3 minutes to the overall cooking time. I recommend doing this, as for some reason, I find these disappear within 24 hours of baking.

Ingredients

Makes 12 med-large cookies

  • 225g dark chocolate (I use a 67% Mexican one)
  • 30g salted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 130g granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 35g plain flour
  • Sea salt flakes (optional)

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to 175c Fan or 180c Convection line two baking trays with parchment
  • Place chocolate and butter in a bowl and melt in microwave in 30 second burst on full power.
  • In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla until light & fluffy
  • Slowly pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture, whisking all the time, followed by the flour and baking powder
  • When fully mixed spoon 12 portions out onto the baking trays leaving plenty of space between each scoop. The mixture will be quite loose at this stage but don’t worry. If you leave it for longer the mixture firms up, but this is not necessary. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes if desired.
  • Bake for 10 – 12 minutes then allow to cool on the tray before eating

Ring the changes: Add 75g of dried cherries, pecans or chocolate chips after step 4.

 

Exceptional, intensely flavoured chocolate boxes which are handcrafted using natural ingredients by former UK MasterChef finalist Ben Axford.

Benjamin Chocolatier handcraft exquisite chocolates using only natural ingredients and a very unique method that delivers exceptional layers of flavour. We like to be different. We like to make people smile. We like the little luxuries in life.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Jul 11

Chocolate and Mint Grasshopper Parfaits

chocolate layered parfaits

Have Fun Making Layered Parfaits!

Chocolate and mint are a great taste combination. This parfait recipe combines the two into an attractive dessert that looks as good as it tastes. The layers of chocolate and green whipped topping come together to make a very tasty treat. If you want more mint than sweet, you can delete the cookies and just use the mint patties for the garnish. This dessert looks wonderful when you set the glasses out in front of each person at the table. Watch everyone’s eyes get big as they look at what is to come for dessert.

If you do not have dessert glasses, you could get a chocolate crumb crust at the grocery store and layer the chocolate pudding and green whipped topping in it to make a delicious pie. It may not serve quite as many that way, but it is a great way to vary this recipe. Garnish it with a sprig of fresh mint if you really want to make a nice presentation.

This recipe is so easy. Use this recipe as an introduction to cooking for your young children. They will be delighted that they can make such a pretty dessert that everyone will love. Take some time with them in the kitchen and let them help. They can dump the pudding mix into the milk. They can take turns stirring the pudding with the whisk. They can help sprinkle the cookie mixture on top of each green layer. You will give them a good experience in the kitchen and they will feel a great sense of accomplishment. It may lead to them being confident in the kitchen, as they get older because they had a good initial experience with you. They will remember it for the rest of their lives and maybe share a similar experience with their own children someday. Watch their faces when the dessert they helped to make is served after dinner. It will be priceless.

Recipe for Grasshopper Parfaits

These cooling parfaits are fun to make and eat.

What You Need

  • 1-1/2 cups chocolate sandwich cookies, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chocolate covered mint patties, finely chopped
  • 1 quart cold milk
  • 2 packages (4 serving size) Jello chocolate instant pudding
  • 2 drops green food coloring
  • 2 cups whipped topping, thawed

How to Make It

In a small bowl, mix up the chopped mint patties and the cookies. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the milk and pudding mixes. Beat using a wire whisk for 2 minutes. Let the pudding stand for 5 minutes.

Stir the food coloring into the whipped topping until it is a smooth, pale green.

Set out 12 dessert or parfait glasses. Take half of the pudding and divide it evenly between the 12 glasses. Add a layer of whipped topping in each glass and then a layer of the cookie mixture. Repeat the layers, finishing with the cookie and mint patty crumbles at the garnish.

Chill in the refrigerator for at least a half hour before serving.

Serves 12

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.net/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Jul 10

White Chocolate – What it is and How to Make It

White Chocolate

White Chocolate

Some people assume that white chocolate is the same as the milk or dark variety but with the color removed. Actually, that could not be further from the truth. This tasty treat is made from sugar, milk solids, and cocoa butter. It has been around since World War I and it became popular in Europe immediately. It made its way to the United States within a year.

Today there are many brands of white chocolate to choose from. This wonderful creamy ingredient can be enjoyed alone or used to make all kinds of sweet recipes. It is very nice when used to make fluffy mousse with jello and there are quite a few jello recipes you can use this ingredient in, either as part of the dessert or as a dessert garnish.

White chocolate contains only a small amount of caffeine, which comes from the cocoa solids. The melting point of cocoa butter is high enough to keep the product solid when it is at room temperature but it is low enough to let your delicious confection melt in the mouth. This is one of the reasons why this food is so comforting. White chocolate is white because it contains cocoa butter instead of solids, but according to the US Food and Drug Administration, it is a form of chocolate nonetheless.

Using It for Baking

This ingredient can be hard to cook with because the cocoa butter can split when it melts and this gives you an oily compound. As soon as you introduce water to the melted product it goes grainy and lumpy, which means the cocoa butter has split. You need to “re-emulsify” it if this happens, which means whisking a little butter into the mixture.

You can buy this ingredient in small or big bricks. You can also get chips, which is easier if you want to work with small amounts, make equal sized portions, or use it as a garnish or decoration.

Recipe for White Chocolate

This is such an easy recipe and you only need five ingredients to make it. You might already have most of these ingredients. You can buy this type of chocolate in the grocery store, of course, but making your own is fun and easy, and it also works out more economical.

It is important not to move the tray when these little snacks are setting in the refrigerator. Try to leave them alone for five hours, as tempting as it is to steal one!

What you will need:

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa butter
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy milk powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

How to make it:

Microwave the cocoa butter for a minute. It needs to melt completely without splitting. Stir in the sugar, then the soy milk powder, then the salt and finally the vanilla extract. The resulting mixture has to be smooth.

Divide it between small molds and tap them to make sure there are no air bubbles. Chill the molds in the refrigerator for five hours and try not to move the tray. Store the white chocolate in an airtight container.

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.net/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Jul 10

Chocolate Wafer Crust Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

cheesecake sliceDoes the thought of chocolaty goodness follow you everywhere you go? Alternatively, perhaps you have one of more chocoholics living in the same house with you. Learning to make simple dessert recipes can be fun as well as delicious, especially when you are a chocolate lover or have a chocoholic in your home. When you make this mouthwatering dessert you will experience the delicious taste of chocolate in two ways. One is with the great tasting chocolate wafer cookie crust. The other is a creamy dose of both semi sweet and unsweetened chocolate.

Feel Free to Adapt Your Dessert Recipes to Enhance the Flavors

This is another dessert recipe that you can adapt to suit the types of chocolate flavors you and your family or friends enjoy eating. For instance, you can make this cheesecake in two different ways. First, you can increase the amount of sugar to make it sweeter or you can reduce the amount of sugar to produce a bitter chocolate dessert experience.

Recipe for Chocolate Wafer Crust Chocolate Cheesecake

What You Need

  • 1 package chocolate wafers 8.5 ounce
  • 3 Tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3/8 cup unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 1/8 cups semi sweet chocolate
  • 4 packages softened cream cheese 3 ounce
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla flavoring
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 container whipped topping

How to Make It

About 20 minutes before preparation time place the cream cheese out onto the countertop to soften for mixing.

Prepare a 9 inch spring form pan by lightly coating it with cooking spray and then set aside until needed.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine in a small saucepan and then set aside until needed.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

To prepare the cheesecake crust you will crush the chocolate wafers and then add the melted 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine. Mix to combine into a crumbly type of dough. Press this mixture into the bottom and along the sides of the prepared 9 inch spring form pan. Set aside until needed.

To prepare the creamy filling you will begin by beating the softened cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy and then set aside until needed.

Using a double boiler over hot water, you will add the remaining butter or margarine, the unsweetened chocolates and the semi sweet chocolates to melt while stirring until the chocolates are melted and smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat well. Add the vanilla flavoring and whipping cream, and then stir until well combined.

Beat the eggs together with the sugar and then gradually add this mixture into the chocolate mixture slowly. Pour this mixture into the prepared cooled cheesecake crust. Place in the preheated oven to bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the cake begins to slightly puff up in the center. Remove from heat and allow the dessert to completely chill before un-molding it for cutting into individual servings. Garnish with a nice dollop of whipped topping before serving to family and friends.

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.net/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Jun 10

Chocolate Lovers Recipe: How To Make Chocolate Coconut Bites

Chocolate BallsChocolate and coconut are quite the combination when it comes to making this delicious chocolate lovers recipe. It is easy to make and only uses a few ingredients. These mouthwatering chocolate covered bites will be a great family snack time treat. They are also wonderful if you need to make something easy to take along and serve at any type of party. Some people even enjoy making and giving these types of homemade chocolates as gift ideas for others.

Whether you want to make them for your children to enjoy or you want to impress everyone at the office party, this recipe is one you may consider. It is economical to make and making these candies will also make you and someone you know happy.

Recipe for Chocolate Coconut Bites

What You Need

  • 1 package white cake mix
  • 1 container vanilla frosting
  • 4 ½ teaspoons coconut flavoring
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 package chocolate almond bark 24 ounce

How to Make It

Follow the directions on the package label of white cake mix to prepare the cake, while also adding 3 teaspoons coconut flavoring to the mix while combining the necessary ingredients to make the cake. After baking the cake remove from the oven and allow the cake to become cool to the touch.

Add the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons coconut flavoring to the container of vanilla frosting and combine well.

After allowing the cake to completely cool to the touch, begin crumbling up the cake into a large mixing bowl and then stir in the frosting to fully combine and coat the cake crumbs. Stir in the shredded sweetened coconut and sliced almonds. Mix well to combine and then form the mixture into a large ball.

Cover with the lid, aluminum foil, plastic food wrap or even a clean dry dishtowel. Place in the refrigerator to chill overnight or for several hours before continuing to make the dessert. You can also place the mixture in the freezer between 45 to 60 minutes before use.

When you are ready to proceed, melt the chocolate almond bark in a medium size saucepan over a low heat setting. Stir constantly to prevent sticking, scorching and burning.

Remover the cake mixture from the refrigerator or freezer and then begin to form small 1 inch bite size balls from the chilled cake mixture, while rolling the dough between your hands to do so. Drop the small 1 inch bite size balls into the melted chocolate and then roll it around until covering the cake balls well. Remove the balls from the chocolate mixture while using two forks to do so. Place chocolate covered balls onto a sheet of wax paper to cool and become firm. Repeat this step as you continue to dip and cover the small 1 inch bite size balls to make the candy. This recipe should yield somewhere between 60 and 70 pieces of chocolate coconut bite candies.

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.net/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

May 10

Easy To Make Recipe: Creamy Chocolate Cookie Balls

Chocolate Cookie BallsAlong with the changing of the seasons there are new holidays to consider and you want to find some great tasting appetizers to serve to your family, friends, work associates or party guests. for instance, soon it will be Easter and you may be interested in finding some appetizer recipes that you can make ahead of time for the kids as well as the adults.

If you are interested in making sweet treats as appetizers, you might like to learn how to make some creamy chocolate cookie balls. this is an easy to make recipe that does not involve any cooking or baking at all other than melting the almond bark for dipping the balls to create a mouthwatering shell around them. since there is little cooking and the recipe is so easy to make, the kids might also like to help you learn how to make these delicious treats.

Recipe for Creamy Chocolate Cookie Balls

What You Need

  • 1 large package chocolate sandwich cookies
  • 1 package softened cream cheese 8 ounce
  • 1 package almond bark

How to Make It

In order for the cream cheese to soften to room temperature you will need to take it from the refrigerator and lay it out onto the kitchen cabinet about 20 minutes before you begin preparing the recipe. Doing so helps soften the cream cheese so that it is easier to blend and cream into the other ingredients.

Twist the chocolate sandwich cookies and take the two sections apart and then scrape the cream filling from the chocolate sandwich cookies and place the cream in a large size mixing bowl.

Place the remaining chocolate sandwich cookies ends into a large size zipper sealed plastic food bag and then seal the bag. Using a rolling pin you will roll the cookies and crush them until they are small fine pieces. Set aside until needed.

Add the package softened cream cheese into the large mixing bowl along with the cookies cream filling, mix together well while beating with an electric mixer. Add the finely crushed chocolate sandwich cookies into the cream cheese mixture. Stir to combine.

Using a spoon you can scoop up the creamy chocolate cookie balls and then roll them in the palm of your hands to form bite size 1 inch cookie balls. Place the cookie balls onto a wax papered baking sheet. Place the cookie balls into the refrigerator to chill overnight or for at least 3 or 4 hours.

After allowing the cookie balls to chill, you will follow the directions on the package of almond bark to melt it. After melting the almond bark you will dip each of the cookie balls into the melted almond bark. After dipping the cookie balls you will arrange them on a wax paper covered baking sheet. Allow the almond bark to become firm around the cookies before serving. You can make about 3 or 4 dozen creamy chocolate cookie balls while using this recipe. If you need more appetizers, simply increase the ingredients to make a large batch of cookies.

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.net/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Apr 10

Best Crockpot Recipes: How To Make A Chocolate Turtle Pudding

chocolate puddingYou can find some of the best crockpot recipes while searching for them online. Whether you want to make a delicious main course, pasta, soups, stews and chowders as well as mouthwatering desserts, you can find a recipe for it. You may even be delighted to find that there are many dessert ideas around today that you can make in your slow cooker.

For instance, if you love chocolate you will find there are so many different things you can make and eat that you become overwhelmed by the choices. Making a delicious pudding to serve to family or friends is much the same. If you search for them, you will find some of the best crockpot recipes.

Do you love the flavor of chocolate? Do you love to snack on chocolate turtle candies or maybe you just love chocolate and nuts. Caramel, chocolate, and nuts have always been a popular mixture whether you are eating candy, ice cream, or puddings. You can make your own chocolate turtle pudding by following these simple directions.

The best thing about using your crockpot or slow cooker to make delicious desserts like this is that you can prepare the ingredients, set the temperature, and then walk away while all the hard hot work is taken care of by your slow cooker.

Recipe for Chocolate Turtle Pudding

What You Need

  • 1 package brownie mix 21.5 ounce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 15 caramel candies
  • Vanilla ice cream

How to Make It

Using a 5 quart crockpot you will place a low rack or vegetable steamer in the bottom and then pour in 4 cups of hot water. Set the temperature to high and cover with the lid.

Prepare a 2.5 quart dish that will sit inside the crockpot by lightly coating it with butter or margarine and then dusting it with sugar. Set aside until needed.

Using a large mixing bowl you will add the brownie mix, water, oil and the egg. Beat to combine well.

Stir the chocolate chips and the chopped nuts into the brownie mixture. Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish. Unwrap the caramel candies and then gently push the caramel pieces into the top of the brownie mixture, while making sure not to completely cover them with the brownie mixture.

Wrap the 2.5 quart dish in aluminum foil twice and then tie the foil package with kitchen string in order to insert the dish and then remove the dish from the crockpot after cooking.

Place the foil covered dish on the low rack or vegetable steamer inside the crockpot. Cover with the lid and then cook for 4 1/2 hours on high.

After cooking the dessert, remove the dish from the crockpot. Uncover the dessert and allow it to cool for about 30 minutes before serving. You can serve this dessert by adding a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream or you might want to add a dollop of whipped topping before serving.

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.net/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Feb 14

White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

Homemade Cookies with Heart-Shaped CenterEveryone loves cookies. They are small, portable, and sweet. White chocolate and raspberries seem to be made for each other. Why not combine them all and make white chocolate raspberry cookies? It may sound decadent, but you only live once, right? Close your eyes and imagine… the first bite. Your teeth break through the light crispness of the cookie and sink into the soft inner portion of the cookie.

The cookie bite fills your mouth with texture and flavor. The brightness of the raspberry bursts on your tongue, mixing sweetness with a touch of tartness. The creamy white chocolate takes over, mixing with the raspberry, smoothing it out. The crumbly cookie adds in a wonderful chewy texture. Sounds wonderful, does not it? It makes you want to run right out to the store and get the ingredients so you can mix up a batch right now.

It may be unusual to use fresh fruit in a cookie recipe, but why not do it? The raspberries add a uniqueness to this recipe that you do not normally find in a cookie made with dried fruits. You might be able to use frozen raspberries, but they may end up being too soggy. Fresh is best. They will be in season before you know it. Look at your local farmer’s market or roadside farm stand for the best raspberries. If you can stop yourself from eating them all before you get home, make the cookies. Serve them with tea, vanilla ice cream or just enjoy them on their own. They would be perfect for a tea party, a shower, potluck, or other get together. You can even increase the decadence and add some macadamia nuts if you really want to push the envelope. Everyone will want your recipe, so go ahead and make a few copies and keep them with you. Once everyone tastes these cookies, you will be the one everyone turns to for great cookies.

Recipe for White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

Serve these colorful, rich cookies with tea for a real treat.

What You Need

  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1-1/3 cups flour
  • 4 to 5 ounces white chocolate, broken into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, washed and dried

How to Make It

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cream both sugars and the butter together with your mixer. Beat in the egg, the vanilla, and cream. Mix in salt, baking soda, and cornstarch. Add flour and stir in until just blended. Fold in white chocolate chunks.

Using tablespoons, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Slice raspberries in half or in quarters, depending on how much you want to add to each cookie and the size of the raspberries. Gently press the raspberry pieces into your cookie dough.

Bake in the oven for 12-13 minutes. Transfer finished cookies to a wire rack for cooling.

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.net/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Feb 10

Simple Chocolate Turtle Pie

Chocolate PieChocolate turtle pie is based upon the candy. Chocolate turtles are a dollop of caramel with pecans stuck in it that is then covered in chocolate. They are delectable and a frequent holiday gift. The pie is also a decadent treat that is perfect for holidays or special occasions. Some recipes call for a chocolate cookie crust on top of everything else, but a baked pie shell works just as well. Use what you like best. The baked shell will lower the richness factor by a little bit. The caramel dessert topping is the same kind you would pour over ice cream. You could also make a homemade caramel sauce, but the kind in a jar works just fine for this pie. Save a little to decorate the top of the pie at the end. Just drizzle it from the end of a spoon in a back and forth pattern to make your pie look nice.

Bring this pie to potlucks if you want to be inundated by people asking for your recipe. You will become very popular. It is also perfect for birthdays, parties and many other occasions. You will be the toast of the evening if you serve this rich, delicious pie. Watch the size of the slices because it is very rich. This is a great dessert to share with the one you love. Cut a big slice and serve it with two forks for the end of a romantic evening.

You can use instant pudding with this recipe, but the cooked pudding has a chocolaty flavor you cannot get with the instant variety. Take the extra time and make the cooked pudding for the best results. It is creamier and richer, too. If you really want to make your pie special, make your chocolate pudding from scratch, though the cooked boxed type will work just fine.

Recipe for Chocolate Turtle Pie

This classic will have everyone asking for more.

What You Need

  • 1/4 cup caramel or butterscotch flavored dessert topping
  • 1 baked pie shell (8 or 9 inches), cooled
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves
  • 1 package (4 servings) chocolate pudding
  • 1-3/4 cups milk
  • 1-3/4 cups whipped topping, thawed

How to Make It

Heat up the caramel topping in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a boil; stir constantly. Pour the topping into a pie shell. Arrange the pecans on top of this layer and let it chill in the refrigerator.

In a medium pan, mix the pudding and milk together until well blended. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Let it cool for 5 minutes, stirring twice. Pour the pudding over the nuts in the pie shell.

Cover the surface with plastic wrap and let the pie chill for 3 hours. Remove the plastic wrap. Fill a piping bag with whipped topping and decorate the edge of the pie. Drizzle lightly with leftover caramel topping and garnish with pecans if you wish.

Serves 8

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.net/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Oct 20

Sweeten the holidays naturally

Chocolate Walnut Fudge

Chocolate Walnut Fudge

From rich chocolate fudge to creamy caramels and sweet lollipops — candy is always a crowd-pleaser. This season, serve up a few of your favorite confections, sweetened the natural way, using pure honey.

Using honey in a candy recipe not only provides a mild, naturally sweet flavor, it also dissolves and blends well and delivers a smoother candy texture. Candy making can be tricky, so keep the following tips in mind:

* For a candy making surface that can take the heat, use a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Cool the candy at room temperature and then gently remove from the foil.

* Use pure honey, which is already in a liquid form, to help avoid the hassle that comes with large sugar crystals forming during the candy-making process.

* Bringing the candy mixture to the correct temperature is essential A candy thermometer is the most accurate and efficient way of testing the temperature.

* Only use real butter in candy making.

The following candy recipes are easy to make and feature scrumptious, seasonal ingredients such as cinnamon, walnuts, vanilla, almonds, and of course chocolate. Friends and family will be delighted to savor these tasty treats at holiday parties, as hostess gifts, or even as stocking stuffers.

Visit www.honey.com for more delicious holiday candy recipes.

Chocolate Walnut Fudge
Makes 25 squares.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup pure honey
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (4 ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts

Directions:
Line an 8-inch by 8-inch pan with foil; butter and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine honey, sweetened condensed milk and salt. Mix well. Bring mixture just to a boil, stirring frequently. Lower heat to a simmer. Add chocolate chips and bittersweet chocolate, stirring constantly, until chocolate melts completely and mixture is smooth. Stir in walnuts. Pour immediately into pan and smooth top. Let cool, then refrigerate until cold. Cut into 25 pieces.

Honey Pops
Makes 15 to 20 lollipops.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup pure honey
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon candy flavoring (or 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
red paste food coloring, optional

Directions:
In a heavy pan, combine sugar, honey, and water. Over high heat, bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-high and continue to boil until honey mixture reaches 300F on candy thermometer (hard-crack stage), about five to six minutes, stirring frequently. Add flavoring and color. Mix well. Pour into prepared lollipop molds (greased with lollipop sticks inserted), following manufacturer’s directions. Cool completely. Remove from molds and wrap in plastic wrap. Store in a cool, dry place.

Cinnamon candy flavoring is an oil-based flavoring, which can be found where candy-making supplies are sold. You may substitute 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, if desired.

Tip: Candy may be molded in buttered, wax-coated paper drinking cups.

Holiday Honey Caramels
Makes 30 caramels.

Ingredients:
2 cups pure honey
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
finely chopped almonds, optional
1 cup butter (no substitutions)

Directions:
Line bottom and sides of 9-inch square pan with plastic wrap and set it aside. Melt butter in medium-sized heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add honey, cream and brown sugar. Mix well. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to boil, stirring frequently. Continue boiling, stirring frequently, until candy thermometer registers 250 F, about 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into prepared pan.

Let cool completely in refrigerator before cutting into individual caramels with very sharp knife. Roll in chopped nuts or coconut, if desired, and wrap each individually in clear plastic wrap. Store tightly wrapped in refrigerator up to one month. Caramels will be soft at room temperature and firm if kept chilled.

Serving Suggestions:
Drop one into a cup of hot coffee or tea or enjoy this delicious treat on its own.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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