Sophisticated Sugar: Cashew Turtles

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I know you’ve been waiting for days. And, now, here it is! The scrumptious, deliciously good Sophisticated Sugar Holiday Special: Cashew Turtles.

 

I say, BRING IT ON!

 

Cashew Turtles

11 oz. Caramel
1 Tbsp. Milk
1 Tbsp. Butter
1/2 cup cashew pieces
15 oz Chocolate (make sure you use a compound chocolate which can melt and set up again)
Chocolate Mold

Place caramel, milk, and butter in a large bowl and melt either in microwave or over a stove top. Make sure to stir frequently and not melt it at too high a heat as it burns easily. If the caramel melts, but the milk and butter aren’t mixing in don’t worry. Just keep stirring and it’ll all come together soon.

Melt chocolate – same as above, do it either in the microwave or on the stove just be careful not to burn it.

Coat the inside of chocolate mold with a thin layer of chocolate and let it set up in the refrigerator for a couple of minutes. Scoop a small amount of melted caramel into the chocolate covered mold, just make sure you stir the caramel right before using it since the cashews will slowly float to the top. Top the caramel with just enough chocolate to cover and seal the chocolate. Place in freezer and allow to harden for several minutes. Pull the mold out, turn it over and pop out the good stuff!

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Sophisticated Sugar: Chocolate Christmas Tree Suckers

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Kids LOVE these chocolate suckers. Anything on a stick is awesome at that age, and then to add chocolate and sprinkles! Ha – those little kiddos didn’t know life could get so good.

Chocolate Christmas Tree Suckers

Melting chocolate – milk, dark or white, any will do
Sprinkles – or anything you’d like to see hanging on your trees
Sucker Sticks
Zip-loc Bag
Paper and Markers
Wax Paper

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Using the marker, draw out a template on your paper. I did simple, tall triangles. These will help me make all my trees the same size and symmetrical. Next melt chocolate in either a microwave or a double-boiler and pour melted chocolate into a zip-loc bag.

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Snip the tip off the corner of the bag, making a very small whole, and squeeze a line of chocolate out and down the center of one tree. Place stick on top of chocolate.

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Starting at the top of the tree, squeeze more chocolate out to form your tree.

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Add sprinkles! This is a great step for kids to get involved with – you can let them decorate their own trees or individualize each tree (peanuts for dad, pink sprinkles for little sister, and cranberries for grandma!) These make fantastic gifts, especially because they are so fast and easy – you can make dozens in hardly any time at all.

These chocolate suckers are great for any occasion. You could make pumpkins for Halloween (White chocolate, colored orange, and use M&Ms, and licorice to make Jack-O-Lantern eyes and mouths), or hearts for Valentines Day (with Red Hots or white pearl sprinkles). Seriously – you could make anything.

 

Sophisticated Sugar: Peppermint Bark

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Of all the candies I have ever made – and I’ve made a lot – no other candy has received so many compliments. With a satisfying snap, this creamy white chocolate is filled with tantalizing peppermint.

 

Peppermint Bark Homemade Candy Bars

3 cups melting white chocolate
12 candy canes (one box)
Mini Loaf Pan

 

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To make these delightful homemade ‘candy bars’, start by cutting pieces of wax paper to line the inside each opening of the loaf pan. Cut the paper to line the bottom of each opening, and still be long enough to continue up two of the sides. Later these wax papers will be used to pull chocolate up and out of the loaf pan.

Crush candy canes. This is best done in either a food processor or blender – crush candy canes until half powder, half small pieces.

Melt white chocolate. You can either microwave the chocolate on half power (a minute at  first, then 30 seconds after that, stirring frequently), or place the chocolate in the top part of a double boiler (just be careful to NOT allow water to get into chocolate as it will ruin it.)

Once chocolate it fully melted, mix chocolate and peppermint cane together thoroughly.

Spoon melted chocolate with peppermint into loaf pan. Each ‘candy bar’ should be about 1/4 inch thick. Two small spoonfuls is usually about right. Once all are full, lift pan two inches above the counter top and drop to tap out any air bubbles and to smooth the top. Do this several times. Place pan in refrigerator for 30-60 minutes or until firm. Pull on wax paper to remove chocolate. Fold wax paper around chocolate, and then wrap in paper for an adorable gift!

Sophisticated Sugar: Caramel Apple Dip

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Smooth, Creamy and the perfect compliment for Apples, Pears, Strawberries or Bananas!

Caramel Apple Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. white sugar
Dash of salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Using egg beaters, whisk the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugars, salt and vanilla. Cream until thoroughly mixed. Serve with fruit – plenty of fruit!

Sophisticated Sugar Series: White Chocolate Popcorn

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Do not let the ease of this recipe deceive you! White Chocolate Popcorn has got to be one of the yummiest, easiest to munch treats I’ve ever eaten – no joke.

White Chocolate Popcorn

1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (Guittard is my personal favorite)
1/4 tsp. salt

Pop the corn in air popper (aka. no oil or butter). Meanwhile, melt the chocolate slowly in the microwave. I recommend only warming chocolate at half power, and for no more than 60 seconds at a time, stirring frequently. Once chocolate is fully melted, sprinkle in the salt and stir until mixed well.

Drizzle melted, salted chocolate over the popped corn. Carefully stir with a large spoon until the chocolate has fully covered the popcorn.

Place a sheet of wax paper on a cookie sheet and pour the covered popcorn out onto the wax paper. Place in a cool place or in the refrigerator until set. If left in a cool place leave over night. If placed in the refrigerator leave 15-30 minutes.

Be careful who you share with – because they will want more!