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    Toasted Sesame Peanut Butter Balls

    Toasted sesame seeds and ancho chile powder give this classic holiday candy a new twist. Tradition dictates that I make some kind of peanut butter and chocolate confection each year for Christmas. Sometimes it's Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Fudge, other times it's Buckeyes. This year I came across a new recipe that intrigued me with its simple ingredients and complex flavors. It incorporates benne seeds – a southern strain of sesame seeds – and ancho chile powder into a well-known classic candy.The benne seed is an heirloom variety derived from the same plant as modern-day sesame seeds. They are scarce, but can be procured at specialty markets. Since sesame seeds are their relative and more widely available (although flavor-wise, benne is more nuanced) I decided to use them in this recipe. It gave this candy a whole new personality!Continued, click to read more… LEGGI TUTTO

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    Kentucky Colonel Candy

    This classic southern candy has a cream center infused with real Kentucky bourbon, and enrobed in smooth chocolate. It’s a perfect gift for the bourbon connoisseur on your list! 

    This is yet another retro southern candy that I’d never tried – until now! The centers hold a cream filling that is packed with bourbon flavor and they’re sandwiched between two pecan halves. Chocolate-dipped and drizzled, they are ready for the holidays and a place on your favorite silver candy tray.

    I’ve always heard these referred to as Kentucky Colonels, but some people call them bourbon balls. In my neck of the woods (TN), a bourbon ball is a completely different confection of packed cookie crumbs mixed with chocolate, honey, and bourbon (see my 5 Minute Bourbon Ball recipe here). It just goes to show you how diverse southern food culture can be – it’s so wonderful to explore!

    The ingredients list is short, so use the best of each you can find, however, any Kentucky bourbon will be wonderful in this recipe. I used a bottle of Four Roses single barrel left over from a wedding cake I made in October. But less costly brands such as Wild Turkey 101 will taste just fine, too.

    After they’re set, these candies stay boozy for quite a while! They will mellow over time, so they can be made a few days in advance.

    One batch of this candy can be divided to make several gifts. They are very rich and have a tongue-tingling bite! Four or six, boxed or packaged in a cellophane bag is the right amount to give considering their potency. Kentucky Colonel Candies[Click for Printable Version]
    Yields 18-20 candies1/4 cup (57 grams) butter
    4 cups (455 grams) confectioners’ sugar
    1/3 cup (80 ml) Kentucky bourbon 
    36-40 pecan halves
    2 cups (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate morsels
    1 tablespoon vegetable shorteningMelt butter on the stovetop on medium heat, or in the microwave for about 20 seconds until just melted. In a medium sized mixing bowl, pour butter into the confectioners’ sugar, along with the bourbon and stir together until the mixture forms a dough. Portion mixture with a small cookie scoop (4 teaspoon capacity) and form into balls, then press a pecan half into the bottom and top of each ball (in other words, sandwich the ball between two pecans). Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for 8 hours, or overnight.Melt chocolate and shortening together in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, and carefully dip bottom half of each candy in chocolate one at a time. Place each candy on a baking sheet lined with parchment to cool.Place 2-3 tablespoons of melted chocolate in a small zip top bag. Snip a tiny hole in one corner of the bag. Drizzle melted chocolate over the tops of the candies. Let candies cool and set at least 30 minutes before serving or packaging. Store in an airtight container. 

    Note: Yield size can be increased by rolling smaller portions of the cream filling, just make sure to have enough pecans and chocolate on hand to accommodate the amount.
    link Kentucky Colonel Candy By Heather Baird Published: Wednesday, December 16, 2020Wednesday, December 16, 2020Kentucky Colonels Candy Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Toasted Hazelnut Fudge

    Toasted Hazelnut Fudge is rich and creamy with the addition of chocolate-hazelnut spread in the mix, and hazelnuts give it craveable crunch!

    I can’t believe we’re already halfway to Christmas Day, and there are still so many things on my to-do list! At least I can cross off the yearly batch of fudge. The season just wouldn’t be the same without it. It’s one of the most giftable confections, and because of its richness, one pan can be divided to make many gifts. 

    This is a condensed milk fudge, which is one of the quickest versions of fudge to make. You’ll simply stir all the ingredients together in a saucepan over heat until smooth, and then pour it into a pan. Just a quick chill will firm it up and it will be ready to enjoy in no time!

    For the best flavor, make sure those hazelnuts are toasted! It only takes about 8 minutes in a 350°F preheated oven. When they come out, rub them gently in a tea towel to remove most of their skins. 

    This fudge is absolutely decadent! It’s so smooth but holds its shape well at room temperature. It is absolutely perfect as written, but a little flake sea salt on top never hurt anything.

    Toasted Hazelnut Fudge[Click for Printable Version]
    Yields 32 pieces
    Adapted from Christmas with Southern Living 20111 tablespoon butter, softened, for the pan
    14oz. (1 can, 397 grams) can sweetened condensed milk
    11.5 oz. (1 package, 326 grams) semisweet chocolate morsels
    1/2 cup (108 grams) chocolate-hazelnut spread
    1 cup (150 grams) chopped toasted hazelnuts, divided
    1 teaspoon vanilla extractGrease the bottom of an 8-inch square or comparable sized pan with butter. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches of foil to extend over sides. Butter the foil and set aside.Combine sweetened condensed milk, chocolate morsels, and hazelnut spread in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat and stir until melted and smooth, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 3/4 cup of the hazelnuts, the vanilla, and salt. Spoon fudge into prepared pan and quickly spread out evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle the top of the fudge with the remaining hazelnuts while it is still soft. 
    Cover and chill one hour until firm. Using foil sides as handles, lift from the pan. Peel away the foil and cut fudge into small squares. Store the candy covered in the refrigerator and it will keep for up to one week.

    link Toasted Hazelnut Fudge By Heather Baird Published: Sunday, December 13, 2020Sunday, December 13, 2020Toasted Hazelnut Fudge Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Martha Washington Candy

    Retro recipes don’t get any better than this! This candy has rich history to match its flavor with creamy coconut and pecan filling. 
    This old fashioned candy has been around for ages, but not quite as far back as its namesake. It’s something your grandma might have made. It originated in Pennsylvania, but it has come to be a southern favorite – mostly because we’ll eat anything if it has a can of sweetened condensed milk in it. 

    When I first made this candy I didn’t know its history, and pondered the fact that coconut, which is a main ingredient, didn’t arrive in the United States until late 1800s – long after Mrs. Washington’s time. It turns out that these candies originated from The Martha Washington Candies Company by purveyor Elie Sheetz, which was a confectionery during the early 1900s. The business thrived until the Great Depression, when most shops closed. This recipe survived and has been handed down for generations!

    Like most handed down things, this recipe can vary slightly according to its origin within a family (or community), but most all of them have sweetened condensed milk, coconut, and pecans. The version I like most has chopped maraschino cherries folded into the filling. 

    The filling is rolled into balls and chilled, then enrobed in chocolate. When the candy comes to room temperature, the centers become soft and gooey. These little morsels are small but potent!

    This recipe makes quite a lot of candy, and the first pieces you dip may look a little imperfect until you get a little practice. (Taste-test those first ones, and you’ll eat the evidence!) The more perfect pieces can be placed in mini cupcake wrappers, bagged in cellophane, and tied with gift tags for lovely holiday gifts! 
    Martha Washington Candy[Click for Printable Version]
    Yields about 5 dozen candies1 lb. powdered sugar
    1 cup or 2 sticks unsalted butter, (227 grams) melted
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    14 oz. package (396 grams) sweetened shredded coconut
    14 oz. can (396 grams) sweetened condensed milk
    3 cups (327 grams) chopped pecans
    10 oz. jar (283 grams) maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
    2 lb. chocolate candy coating (such as chocolate almond bark)
    Optional: 4 oz. white chocolate, meltedLine at least two baking sheets with parchment paper.Stir together powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla, coconut, sweetened condensed milk and pecans in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Fold in chopped cherries, and refrigerate mixture for at least two hours or overnight.Using a small cookie scoop (4 teaspoon capacity), portion mixture and roll into balls between your palms. Place onto prepared baking sheets. Chill balls until firm, about 20 minutes.Once candies are firm, break apart chocolate coating and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat at 30 second increments, stirring well between heating, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Dip and roll balls in melted chocolate with forks, and shake off excess. Place back on baking sheets and allow to set until firm. 

    If using, place melted white chocolate in a zip top bag with a tiny hole cut in one corner; drizzle over set candy. Let stand until set. Transfer candies to an airtight container. Candies will keep up to a week if kept refrigerated in the container.

    link Martha Washington Candy By Heather Baird Published: Saturday, December 12, 2020Saturday, December 12, 2020Martha Washington Candy Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Instant Malted Hot Cocoa Mix

    This instant hot cocoa mix is rich and creamy with a heaping helping of malted milk powder. Chopped malted milk balls melt as you stir this hand-warming drink, which adds even more malt flavor! Just add hot water for instant gratification.

    This has been my favorite warm beverage for the past two months. I’ve made instant hot cocoa before, but this malted milk version is my favorite of them all. It’s made with both dry nonfat milk powder and malted milk powder, which, with all its other awesome ingredients, stirs up with just hot water and makes a very creamy cup of cocoa.  It’s too good not to share, so dig out your mason jars or upcycled jam jars! This recipe makes plenty to pass around.

    The most work you’ll do is gathering the ingredients and chopping the malted milk balls. It’s an easy-peasy homespun gift, and with more cold weather on the way, I’m sure it will be much appreciated by any deserving person on your gift list.

    A few marshmallows on top is always a good idea!

    A jar of this mix looks extra-sweet with a mini whisk tied to its lid (you can find them here) and it’s super efficient at stirring up single servings.

    Instant Malted Milk Hot Cocoa
    [Click for Printable Version]
    Yields about 5 1/2 cups of dry mix

    2 cups (227g) confectioners’ sugar
    1 cup (85g) unsweetened cocoa
    1 cup (120g) nonfat dry milk powder
    1 1/2 cups (135g) malted milk powder
    2 teaspoons cornstarch
    1 teaspoon salt
    5 oz. chocolate-covered malted milk balls, chopped

    Sift the first six ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a large air-tight container or hermetic jar; top with chopped malted milk balls. Alternatively, divide the dry mix between 8 oz. jars and top each with some of the chopped malted milk balls. Lid and tie on a tag with mixing instructions.

    Mixing instructions: Place 4 tablespoons of mix with some of the chopped milk balls in the bottom of an 11 oz. mug. Pour in 1 cup of boiling water and stir until dissolved.

    Stored air-tight at room temperature, this mix will keep for 6 months.

    link Instant Malted Hot Cocoa Mix By Heather Baird Published: Wednesday, December 09, 2020Wednesday, December 09, 2020Instant Malted Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Six Spooky Treats for a Sweet Halloween!

    No tricks here – only treats! Browse a bevy of spooky sweets that are perfect for your next Halloween party or fall gathering! 

    October 31st is just around the corner and I’ve been spending some time getting well-equipped for the occasion. I’ve been on the all-important Halloween candy-buying spree (and eating too much of it), I’ve haunted the house with bats and spider décor – and most importantly – I’ve developed some fun new recipes that are so Halloween party appropriate! 

    My friends at asked me to whip up some ghoulishly good party treats for their website, which are all featured and linked in this blog post!

    These dipped apple slices were perhaps my favorite of all the treats featured here. They’re so colorful and cheerful – and I couldn’t stop eating them! The candy coating cracks between your teeth when you bite into the slice, and the fresh apple is crunchy and delicious against tart candy. This recipe is just the thing to make with leftover Halloween candy.
    Find the recipe for Candy-Covered Apple Pops HERE on

    Next up – these silly fellas. I’d seen a few versions of these online made with mini pretzels, and wanted to supersize a few using puffy sourdough pretzels. I love how they turned out! This is such a fun salty-sweet treat that’s not too difficult to make.

    These bubbling cauldron brownie bites are sweet little treats with big chocolate flavor! I was inspired by a few versions I’d seen on Pinterest, but wanted to up the ante with a witchy spin. A witch hat on the side of the cauldrons make these extra-cute, and they assemble quickly with a chocolate kiss, sour fruit lace, an Oreo thin, and a little buttercream to hold them together.

    Invite a fresh bite to the party with a spooky Halloween fruit tray! Banana mummy pops are hilarious and tasty, while peeled clementine oranges make cute pumpkin lookalikes. Monster strawberries are scary-good, especially when dipped in 2-ingredient toasted marshmallow dip!

    I love making baked donuts for any occasion, but I especially love giving them a spooky makeover with marshmallow webbing! The technique is simple and fun, and a fat chocolate spider completes the effect (along with some unlucky candy bugs that are caught in the trap!). 

    This post’s grand finale is a cute pumpkin pail cake that is brimming with trick-or-treat candy! The cake is made using two bundt cakes sandwiched together, and then frosted with orange buttercream. There’s a few steps involved, but they’re all pretty straight-forward. It’s such a fun edible centerpiece!
    Find the recipe for Jack-o’-Lantern Candy Bucket cake HERE on!
    I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing these treats! I sure enjoyed putting them all together. If you’re looking for more Halloween treat ideas, then check out the gallery curated by my pal and editorial whiz, Chelsea Faulkner, at the following link. 
    62 Frightfully Delicious Halloween Dessert Ideas on!  

    link Six Spooky Treats for a Sweet Halloween! By Heather Baird Published: Wednesday, October 21, 2020Wednesday, October 21, 2020Six Spooky Treats for a Sweet Halloween LEGGI TUTTO

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    Easy Fantasy Fudge


    1 Prep baking pan and assemble ingredients: Prepare everything in advance and have ready to go — chopped chocolate, chopped nuts, the marshmallow cream already out of the jar and in a bowl that you can easily scrape out with a rubber spatula.
    Line a 9×13 baking pan with foil, butter the inside.
    2 Boil sugar, butter, and milk for 4 minutes: In a 3-quart, thick-bottomed saucepan, bring sugar, butter, and milk to a rolling boil on medium heat, stirring constantly once the mixture begins to bubble.
    Once the mixture reaches a boil, set your timer to 4 minutes. You will want to remove the mixture from the heat once it reaches 234°F on a candy thermometer (adjust for altitude as needed) which should take about 4 minutes. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, just go with the four minutes.

    3 Finish the fudge: Remove from heat. Quickly stir in chocolate and marshmallow creme.
    Once the chocolate and marshmallow creme have melted and are well mixed, stir in the vanilla and then the walnuts.

    5 Pour into prepared pan.

    6 Cool to room temperature before slicing (about 4 hours). You may want to chill in the refrigerator to get it more firm.

    Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you! LEGGI TUTTO