Sept 21, 2013 Holiday Food gifts

At the Super Saturday I will be doing a demo of 2  Holiday gift recipes:

Mouse Munch

First make Carmel corn: 3-4 quarts popped corn, 1 stick of butter (no substitutes!), 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup Karo Syrup, 1 tsp baking soda – add last

Place stick of butter, brown sugar, salt and corn syrup into microwave safe glass bowl.  Place in microwave and heat on high until it comes to a boil. Once it comes to a complete boil remove from microwave and stir. Return to microwave and cook for 1 minute.

Remove, add baking soda and stir well.  Mixture will thicken and lighten in color.  Pour mixture over the popcorn inside a paper bag. Fold the top of the paper bag down several times to close~  then shake! Shake really well to distribute the caramel and coat all of the popcorn.
Place entire bag of popcorn back into the microwave and heat on high for another 1 1/2 minutes.  Remove and shake some more.  Once cooled you can pour the popcorn onto cookie sheets and break apart.

Now to make it into Reindeer Crunch we will need: Caramel Corn (see recipe above), 1/2 bag (or more) mini marshmallows, 1 bag milk chocolate chips, 1/2 cup (or more) nuts (mixed nuts, dry roasted or honey roasted p-nuts etc.), 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Caramel corn should be broken apart and spread out on cookie sheets.  Sprinkle mini marshmallows and nuts evenly over the popcorn.

In a glass container mix chocolate chips and vegetable oil.  Heat in microwave for 1 minute intervals.  Remove, stir and repeat until melted completely.  Use a spoon to drizzle melted chocolate over popcorn, marshmallows and nuts. Allow to cool.

Oreo Snowmen

Simply take some Double Stuff Oreos and insert a popsicle or sucker stick into the frosting in the middle of the Oreo. Melt some white chocolate. I used almond bark from Walmart. I put 4 – 6 blocks in a glass bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Then 30 seconds more. Stir till smoothe. Dip both sides and tap the extra off. Set them to dry on some wax paper. Add mini chocolate chips for the eyes and the mouth. Add a candy corn for the nose.

Someone suggested Mint White Chocolate from Hobby Lobby as a variation. Also if you did orange or geen chocolate you could make something Halloween looking. Many ideas!

Here are additional idea’s for Holiday Food Gifts. I also welcome any recipes you would like to share. Send them to my E-mail and I will post them on the blog!

Andes Mints: this recipe comes to us from Maggie Staib

21 oz milk chocolate, 10 ½ oz green chocolate, Peppermint oil (not extract) — 7 drops per layer, Orange oil — 10 drops per layer, Almond oil — 7 drops per layer

Put oven on lowest setting (100 – 150).  Put 10 ½ oz of chocolate in 3 different bowls.  Put all three bowls in oven until melted (about 20 minutes).  Tear off wax paper 4” longer than pan.  Center it in your pan and crease it with your fingernail on all four sides so it lays flat in pan.  Place 2 dabs of chocolate under wax paper at each end to hold wax paper down.

Take one bowl of melted chocolate.  Add the drops of peppermint, orange, and almond oil. Stir.  Spread evenly on wax paper in pan.  Pound pan on cupboard to make smooth and remove air bubbles.  Let stand until chocolate loses its shine or glossy look.  Repeat whole process with green layer and top chocolate layer.  As soon as the top layer has lost its shine, it’s ready to cut.

In order for your mints to look nice in a box, you must take your time when cutting and make sure they are exactly the same size.  Mark 1 ½” on the long side of your pan and 1 3/8” on the short side.  For straighter cutting, use a T-square.  Use a glove when boxing mints to prevent fingerprints.

Helpful hints:

**Before cutting your mints, gently pick up each end of wax paper to loosen the dabs of chocolate holding the wax paper down.  Your mints won’t stick in these places if you do.

**If you wait too long between adding each layer of chocolate, the layers won’t bond.  If this happens, place pan in 100 degree oven to re-warm.  Let sit on counter until shine is gone and then continue.

**Once you have spread your chocolate on, do not keep working it.  Pound it out and let it set.

**If you heat your last layer a little bit warmer, it will make your mints smoother.  Don’t move your pan once you’ve pounded the layer.

Pretzel Perfections

Using small Pretzel knots or squares:

#1 Place a rolo on each pretzel, put in 200 degree oven for 5 minutes, then smash down each with a pecan half. Let cool

#2 Place a chocolate Kiss on each pretzel (using different flavors), put in 200 degree oven for 5 minutes, then smash down with M & M. Let cool

Peppermint Bark

12 ounces (about 2 cups) dark chocolate chocolate chips

12 ounces (about 2 cups) white chocolate chips

8 peppermint candy canes

1. Unwrap the candy canes and place them in a food processor. Pulse on/off several times for 5-10 seconds each, until the canes have been crushed into small pieces. Alternately, place the candy canes in a large Ziploc bag and seal tightly. Use a rolling pin to roll/smash the candy canes until they are the size you desire.

2. Prepare a cookie sheet by covering it with smooth aluminum foil.

3. Melt the dark chocolate. Pour the chocolate onto the prepared cookie sheet and use an offset spatula or knife to spread it to an even thickness, a little more than 1/8″ thick. The chocolate does not have to reach all sides of the sheet, as it will be broken up later anyhow. Place the tray in the refrigerator to firm up while you prepare the white chocolate.

4. While the dark chocolate hardens, melt the white chocolate. Stir in most of the candy cane bits, reserving about a quarter of the mixture to put on top.

5. Remove the tray from the refrigerator and spread the white chocolate in an even layer over the dark chocolate.

6. While the white chocolate is still wet, sprinkle the remaining candy cane pieces over the entire surface evenly. Press down very slightly to ensure they stick. Place the tray back in the refrigerator to firm up for 30 minutes.

7. Once the peppermint bark bark is completely set, break into small, uneven pieces by hand.

Lemon Bark

Finely chop 2/3 cup of lemon drops (I used my food processor).

Melt 1 pound of white Almond Bark and add in crushed lemon drops, reserving a few tablespoons to sprinkle on the top.

Spread the Almond Bark onto a wax paper covered cookie sheet and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with reserved crushed lemon drops before the bark sets up. Allow to set up and then break bark into pieces.

Cookies and Cream Bark

Use a combination of white almond bark (or vanilla melts) and semi sweet chocolate melts.  You could also use milk chocolate.

Use 2 cups of each and melted them separately in the microwave.  Crush 12 – 14 Oreos in the food processor and reserve about 1/4 C to sprinkle on top.  Add the rest of the crushed Oreo cookies to the chocolate dividing evenly between the semi sweet and the white.

For a little extra flavor you can add 2 Tbsp of peanut butter into one of the chocolates, mix well.

On a wax paper covered cookie sheet, spoon each of the chocolates into little mounds. Then use a knife to swirl the two chocolates together to create a marbled effect.  Sprinkle the remaining crushed Oreo on top! Allow to harden and then break into pieces.

Oreo Truffles

1 package double stuff Oreo’s, 4 oz cream cheese (can use up to 8 oz) , dipping white chocolate

Chop Oreo’s up finely in a food processor, save some out to sprinkle on top. Combine crumbs with the cream cheese until well combined. Roll into 1″ balls, place on wax paper and freeze for 15 minutes. Melt chocolate, dip the balls, sprinkle with crumbles. Let set in the fridge.

Lemon Cake Truffles

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup LEMON cake mix, dry
Zest of 1 small lemon
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tablespoon milk
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sprinkles
16 oz white dipping chocolate

Beat together butter and sugar using an electric mixer until combined. Add lemon zest. Blend in vanilla. Add cake mix, flour, salt, and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add 1 Tablespoon of milk or more, if needed, to make a dough consistency. Mix in sprinkles by hand. Roll dough into one inch balls and place on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Chill balls in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up.
While dough balls are chilling, melt almond bark in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Stir between intervals. Using a fork, dip truffles into almond bark and shake of excess bark by tapping the bottom of the fork on the side of your bowl. Place truffle back on the cookie sheet and top with sprinkles. Repeat with remaining balls until finished.
Chill cake batter truffles in the refrigerator until serving.
Nutella Truffles

7 ounces dark chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup Nutella
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon oil (I used vegetable)
chocolate sprinkles (optional)

In a double boiler (or a glass bowl set over simmering water) melt together the first four ingredients. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. If you leave the mixture in the refrigerator for longer than 2 hours, it will likely become too firm to work with. So just allow it to soften at room temperature until you can.

Use a melon baller or spoon to form small balls. I powder my hands and spoon with cocoa, so the mixture is easier to work with and doesn’t stick to everything. Once you have all the truffles formed, place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.

In the mean time, melt the white chocolate and oil in a microwave safe bowl. I will microwave on high for 30 seconds, then stir, and repeat until the chocolate is melted. Dip each truffle in the melted chocolate to coat it, then place on a sheet of wax paper.

Add the chocolate sprinkles as you work, before the white chocolate has time to set. I usually drizzle on just a little more chocolate to the tops at the end, just to be fancy. Let these set over night or pop in them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Salted Nut roll bars

1 cup peanut butter
2 lbs white almond bark
3 cups Rice Krispies
2 cups dry roasted peanuts (chopped)
2 cups mini marshmallows

Chop the peanuts. It doesn’t matter how finely you chop them, it just depends on how big of peanut chunks you like. I just gave mine a quick rough chop. Melt peanut butter and almond bark in microwave. Mix well. Stir in cereal, peanuts and marshmallows. Spread into buttered jelly roll pan. Refrigerate until firm. (I let mine set at room temperature and it was fine.) Cut into squares.

No Bake Rocky Road Bars

6 whole graham crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces
2 1/2 cups lightly packed (6 1/4 ounces) mini marshmallows
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (5 ounces) whole skin-on almonds, toasted and chopped coarse
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped coarse
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with a foil sling and grease the foil.

Toss the graham cracker pieces, 1 cup of the marshmallows, and the almonds together in a large bowl and set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups marshmallows and salt and cook, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the chocolate and corn syrup and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until incorporated, about 30 seconds.

Working quickly, pour the chocolate mixture over the graham cracker mixture and fold gently until evenly coated. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking pan and press evenly into the pan with a greased spatula. Refrigerate the bars until firm, about 2 hours. Remove the bars from the pan using the foil sling, cut into squares, and serve.


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