Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's that time of year: Pictures, Recipes, and Suggested Sneaky Snacks

 Yep, it's the time when we start dragging out the trees, putting up baubles, lighting the lights, and remembering to be nice a little more often.  I've not been doing such a great job of the "nice" part.  I've been a bit grouchy the past few days, but I've been super excited for almost the past solid month.  I haven't been on my blog nearly as much lately as I generally try to be, but I do have a valid excuse!  Really!  Just keep reading... or scrolling at least.

 Li'l bit lurking under the tree.  She has a new set of catnip toys under there.  And B and I.  Fin was nice enough to come take a picture for us.  :-)
 But THIS is the reason I've really been so absent.  Yes, wax is the culprit.  See, if you take 1/3 of one of those bars of paraffin, and 12 oz of chocolate (either chips or chunked up bars), and you use it to dip stuff in... magic happens!!!

 Like peanut butter balls!!  Graham cracker crumbs, peanut butter, and powdered sugar, rolled into balls, chilled, and then dipped in chocolate/wax goodness.  Oh yes....  I'm sorry, I can't be more specific.  This recipe isn't mine to give away.  It's my Great Aunt D's, and my cousin (her granddaughter) was generous enough to share it with me, along with a very special recipe for hard candy.
 This hard candy brings back so many childhood memories.  Unfortunately, I didn't use the right type of flavoring, so it's on the bland side.  It also appears that using a non-stick pot is bad news bears for hard candy.  Maybe it doesn't heat as even?  I don't know, but it doesn't taste quite right.  Ivy is reporting recipe tweakings to me, so that we can continue the tradition of Aunt D's famous hard candy.  :-D  My cousin ROCKS!

I don't think the paraffin/chocolate idea is proprietary, though.  And once I realized how easy it was to make dipping chocolate that would harden right... well... here's what happened!  To make anything you see below, just melt the chocolate and the paraffin wax together over low heat.  Once it's melted, just dip whatever you want.  A fork works best to retrieve things you dipped in all the way (like the cracker/peanut butter goodies).  A slotted spoon messed up the chocolate coating on the bottom.  The treats just slide right off the fork no problem.

For the drizzles, I used the same chocolate and wax mixture.  I just dipped a fork in and sort of slung chocolate onto the treats.  Amazingly, I didn't wind up with chocolate on the ceiling ;-)
Chocolate dipped pretzels, and peanut butter and ritz cracker sandwiches:  The white chocolate edition. 

 Dark chocolate dipped pretzels with sprinkles!

White and milk chocolate mixed together became a drizzle, and a medium for dipping broken up bits of the pretzel rods.  And graham crackers got dipped and drizzled, sprinkled and coated.  

The milk chocolate edition of the peanut butter and crackers, and the fully dipped grahams.

And then, of course, the Pup's present.  I turned the graham cracker box inside out and decorated all four sides.  It's got a sampling of the chocolate dipped goodies, and some smaller bite sized bits that I tried to mix together to look like kibbles and bits or puppy chow.  I also made a batch of puppy chow.

Puppy Chow
Chex (or chex like) cereal
1/2 c peanut butter
1/2 stick butter
1 c chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
Powdered sugar

Melt the butter, peanut butter, and chocolate.  Mix in the vanilla after everything has melted.  Toss the cereal in it, and then toss the cereal in powdered sugar.  Ta da!  Puppy Chow.  Soooooo good!

And he had to have something to eat all his goodies out of.  I doodled all over the sides.  Yes, he will actually play with the squeaky bone, if for no other reason than to aggravate B LOL :)

And of course we had to have cookies.  Unfortunately, the icing job was pretty shoddy.  I was experimenting with my own icing.  It's just milk and powdered sugar mixed together till it's the right consistency.  I apparently didn't have it quite right, because it sort of oozed off the cookies.  But, now I know better for next time, and it still hardened up just like it was supposed to once it sat.  


The cookies are Spiced Sugar Cookies.   I found the recipe HERE.  They were really easy, and taste similar to snickerdoodles.

Last, but Oh -- Em -- Gee not least:  Peanut Butter FUDGE!  Oh boy, that stuff is awesome.  It didn't turn out *quite* right.

4c Sugar
1c Milk
1/2 c Butter (1 stick)
7 oz Marshmallow Creme
12 oz Peanut Butter
2/3 c All Purpose Flour

Ok... when I read that recipe, I was thinking that there are 8 oz in a cup, so that is a cup and a half of regular peanut butter.  The fudge didn't quite set up.  It's very soft and squishy, so I am thinking that should be peanut butter chips.  However, it doesn't matter that the fudge is squishy, it is Amazing!  Yes, capital A.  So good!  I'd never made fudge that worked before.  This was too easy, and too yummy.

Sugar, milk, butter goes in the pot.  Melt the sugar and bring it to a boil.  Stir constantly while the sugar is melting, but then don't stir it anymore.

Let it boil for five minutes.  Then remove it from the heat and mix in the marshmallow creme and the peanut butter or peanut butter chips.  Very slowly stir in the flour, and pour it into a buttered 9x13 baking dish to cool.  This stuff is so good, I am only allowed to make it at Yule from now on.  We can't walk by without grabbing a piece.


  1. your treats look delicous. My aunt used to make hard candy, red and green, and called it broken glass. I have not seen any since I was a little girl.

    those treats keep calling my name too, crazy! I guess that is why diets are so popular in January.

  2. Aund Dee would make red and green, too. Mint and cinnamon, usually. There are recipes for hard candy all over the internet. They're all mostly similar. The main difference seems to be a preference for certain flavor oils over others, or different amounts of each. You can start the hard candy tradition back up :)

    And oh yeah.... January is going to have to bring some killer dedication and will power, because I've gone up a jeans size working on two.


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