Category Archives: Candy

Salted Caramel Macchiato Candy

I only recently discovered the joy of the Salted Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks (yes, I know I’m a little behind the times).  I love it iced on a hot day.  Decaf because of nursing the little one.  I order it skinny when I’m feeling fat and full fat when I’m feeling skinny.  It’s not a complicated drink but there is something about richness of the caramel and the hidden gems of salt that make me forget just a little bit about the craziness of the day.
The same thing happens when I eat these little nuggets.  They are sweet, silky, with a kiss of coffee and salt.  They are slightly chewy but will not pull out your fillings.  Pure joy.
Salted Caramel Macchiato Candy
adapted from Annie’s Eats
1 cup heavy cream
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp espresso powder
1¼ tsp. fleur de sel or kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water 

1.  Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper.  Lightly butter the parchment.

2.  In a small saucepan, whisk together the cream, butter, vanilla extract, espresso powder and salt.  Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat and set aside .

3.  In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water.  Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved.  Boil, without stirring until the mixture is a light golden caramel color, swirling the pan every once in a while to prevent burning.

4.  Carefully stir the cream mixture into the sugar mixture.  Stir carefully and constantly as it will boil up.  Clip on a candy thermometer and continue cooking until the mixture registers 248˚ F.  

5.  Remove from the heat and pour into the prepared pan.  Let cool for 30 minutes, then sprinkle with additional salt.  Continue to let sit until completely cooled.  

6.  Cut into 1-inch pieces with a sharp buttered knife or pizza cutter.  Wrap the individual caramels in small pieces of wax paper, about 4-inch squares.

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Oreo Truffles

Bottom line, these are creamy, chocolaty balls of yummyness.  End of story.
ps  Don’t do what I did and dry the chocolate on a cooling rack so that the truffle welds itself to the rack thus causing the bottom to stay behind when you attempt to pick one up.
Oreo Truffles
1 package Oreo Cookies
8 oz cream cheese (softened)
Melting chocolate
1.  Finely crush cookies in a food processor.  Mix in cream cheese with a rubber spatula.
2.  Roll the mixture into 1 inch balls and place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet.
3.  Melt chocolate in a double boiler.  Dip each ball in the chocolate and place back on the wax paper.  Sprinkle with toppings if desired.
4.  Let chocolate cool and store in refrigerator.

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Homemade Marshmallows

With all the time I had on my hands this weekend without a baby around I decided to try out a recipe that has been waiting in the wings for a while.  Homemade Marshmallows.  We have a carton of watermelon flavored sugar (for cotton candy) left from my baby shower over the summer and it has been just begging me to make some kind of candy out of it.  When I came across a recipe for marshmallows I figured it could be a great application for some sweet watermelony goodness.  
Some google research found there are two types of marshmallow recipes.  With and without egg whites.  While the egg whites would potentially make a fluffier marshmallow, I decided on a recipe without as 1, I had farm fresh eggs thus no pasteurization and 2, raw eggs scare me.   Note, that I omitted the vanilla in my marshmallows as I didn’t think it would go well with the watermelon flavor.  The recipe below is for plain marshmallows.
The marshmallows came out light and tender with just a hint of watermelon flavor.  They were pretty good straight from the container but AWESOME toasted over the burn pile Steve created that afternoon.  Like melty toasty caramelized watermelon candy.  Mmmmmmmmm.  Almost worth making another burn pile just to eat more.
On a side note, the corn syrup and sugar combination in the pot is beautiful!  It sparkles like pink gemstones.   It also reminded me of pink Jelly Shoes.  Those little kid shoes that were so popular when I was a wee one.
The recipe is very easy to make with the hardest part being keeping from touching the mixture as it is STICKY!
Oh and do make sure you use lots of powdered sugar on the finished product to keep it from sticking and give it the full 12 or more hours to set.  Or the middle may end up looking like this.
Homemade Marshmallows
  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water (split into 2, 1/2 cup portions)
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the syrup.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat. With the mixer on low speed slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is thick and about triples in size, about 7-8 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.
Spray a 9×13 inch non-metal baking dish with cooking spray.  Generously dust with confectioners’ sugar. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan using an oiled spatula, smooth the top and dust with more confectioners’ sugar. Allow to stand uncovered overnight until it dries out (at least 12 hours).
Use a small sharp knife to loosen the edges of the marshmallow from the pan.  Turn the marshmallows onto a board (lightly dusted with confectioners sugar) and cut them in squares.  A pizza cutter works well.  Dust the sides of each marshmallow with more confectioners’ sugar. 

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Almond Butter and Chocolate Crispy Bars

These bars take a little time to make.  Not because of complexity but just in the make, wait, make, wait, make, wait steps.  The steps themselves go fairly quickly and in the end, they are sooooo worth it.  Browned butter and rice crispies and almond butter and milk chocolate and dark chocolate.  How can you go wrong?

ps  You can make these with peanut butter in place of the almond butter.  In fact, the original recipe used it and it was quite good.  That being said, I love the nutty flavor of the almonds.  Hmmm, writing the word nutty reminds me of Nutella.  I bet this would be wonderful with Nutella.

pps  This is not a recipe to take to a hot family picnic, or a warmer than normal open house or really anywhere that is going to over 80 degrees.  The nut layer starts getting gooey and very messy.  It still tastes sublime, even licked off your fingers.

ppps You can use regular sized marshmallows instead of the miniature, it just takes longer to get them melted.

Almond Butter and Chocolate Crispy Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
For the rice crispy layer
4 tbs salted butter
1/2 a bag miniature marshmallows
3 cups rice cereal
Lightly spray a 8-inch square baking pan.
Melt the butter in a medium size saucepan over medium/low heat.  Continue cooking the butter until it has foamed and takes on a medium brown color with lots of lovely browned bits floating around.
Take the pan off the heat and mix in the marshmallows, stirring until they are all melted.  Mix in the cereal until it is fully coated.  Poor the mixture into the prepared pan and use a greased spatula or your hands to press it into the bottom of the pan.  Let cool for 20 minutes.
For the almond butter/milk chocolate layer
6 oz milk chocolate chips (1/2 a bag)
1 cup almond butter
In a medium bowl, mix the chocolate and almond butter together.  Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.
Pour the mixture over the cereal layer, using a spatula to make sure it spreads over the entire surface.  Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to harden.
For the dark chocolate layer
6 oz dark chocolate chips (or a coarsely chopped bar)
1/2 tsp light corn syrup
4 tbs salted butter
In a medium bowl, combine chocolate, corn syrup, and the butter.  Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate and butter melt and the mixture is smooth.
Let cool slightly and then pour the mixture over the almond butter layer, using a spatula to very carefully spread the chocolate evenly.  Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour until the chocolate layer hardens.
Enjoy with a large glass of milk or cup of tea.

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