Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Cranberry Truffles

Cranberry Truffles combine dark chocolate with cranberry sauce and orange zest to produce wonderfully fruity truffles with just a hint of tang. I like to top these with chopped toasted pecans, but you could also use dried cranberries, candied orange peel, or leave them plain. I love this recipe because the filling stays fairly soft, so if you serve them at room temperature, they literally melt in your mouth upon first bite.

Get the recipe: Cranberry Truffles

Get my Weekly Newsletter | Connect on Facebook | Find me on Twitter.

Cranberry Truffles Photo c2009 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

View the original article here

Turn Thanksgiving Leftovers Into Candy

If you celebrated American Thanksgiving yesterday, there's a good chance your fridge is currently stuffed with leftovers begging to be eaten. I'm not going to deny you your turkey-stuffing-gravy-cranberry sauce sandwich, but if you find yourself with an excess of yams or potatoes and no more room on your leftovers plate, here are a few recipes to turn those savory sides into sweets.

Sweet Potato Marshmallows are a great way to use up leftover baked sweet potatoes or yams! Turn those healthy veggies into fluffy marshmallows scented with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Like their brethren pumpkin marshmallows, I think these would be outrageously good turned into s'mores with cinnamon graham crackers and white chocolate. You know, just in case you haven't had enough million-calorie desserts recently.

If you're in more of a fudge mood, this Sweet Potato Cinnamon Fudge uses sweet potato puree and cinnamon chips to produce a smooth fudge with an irresistible fall flavor. Looking for more chocolate flavor? Sweet Potato Brownie Fudge has just two ingredients: brownie mix and sweet potato (or pumpkin) puree. The resulting fudge bites are dense, dark chocolatey squares that are low-calorie and low-guilt.

Here are a few more leftover recipes, using regular ole mashed potatoes:

Get my Weekly Newsletter | Connect on Facebook | Find me on Twitter.

Sweet Potato Candy Photos c2010 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

View the original article here

Monday, 28 November 2011

Pecan Pie Fudge

My husband is obsessed with pecan pie. So much so that on his birthday last year, I made him a 12" deep-dish pecan pie instead of the traditional birthday cake. He happily devoured that pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and he had plenty of opportunities, because I am not a pecan pie fan. I love the pecan portion of it, but the gooey corn syrupy filling? No thanks.

Fortunately, we've found a substitute we both can agree on in this Pecan Pie Fudge. It has all the flavors of pecan pie--rich toasted nuts, dark brown sugar, and a vanilla--packed into small squares of creamy fudge. He likes it because it reminds him of his favorite dessert, and I like it because the texture doesn't remind me of snot. Everybody wins!

Get the recipe: Pecan Pie Fudge

Get my Weekly Newsletter | Connect on Facebook | Find me on Twitter.

Pecan Pie Fudge Photo c2008 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

View the original article here

Candy Turkeys

Brining, seasoning, tying, stuffing, roasting, basting, cutting... preparing a traditional Thanksgiving turkey is hard work! You know what's NOT hard work? Making these Candy Turkeys! One reviewer suggested using store-bought truffles (or other large chocolate candies) for the turkey bodies instead of making your own truffles, and I think that's a great idea, especially if you're pressed for time or want to make these with small children. Any store-bought truffle would work well, and would save some valuable time that could be better spent on candy turkey assembly...or holiday napping.

I'm not suggesting you replace your main course with one of these truffle-based candies (although if you do...call me!) but I do think they would look excellent as part of a table decoration or placesetting. I'm actually using them at my own Thanksgiving table, as a sort of modified nametag holder. And after I'm full of turkey, potatoes, gravy, and rolls, I can reach over, pop off his little chocolate-covered peanut head, and give thanks for a holiday that lets us celebrate food in all shapes and sizes.

Get the recipe: Candy Turkeys

Get my Weekly Newsletter | Connect on Facebook | Find me on Twitter.

Candy Turkeys Photo c2010 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

View the original article here

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark (c) 2009 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Peppermint bark is a Christmas classic. Who can resist dark chocolate, white chocolate, and crisp bites of minty candy canes? This delicious, easy peppermint bark makes a wonderful holiday gift.

If you don't have the time or inclination to temper the chocolate, you can either use candy coating, or use untempered chocolate. If you use chocolate chips, don't try to temper them, simply melt them. Just be aware that untempered chocolate bark will melt easily, so it should always be stored in the refrigerator.

Don't miss the video showing how to make peppermint bark!

Cook Time: 25?minutes

Total Time: 25?minutes


  • 12 ounces (about 2 cups) dark chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips
  • 12 ounces (about 2 cups) white chocolate, chopped, or 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 or temper 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 or temper 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.

View the original article here

Cranberry Pâte de Fruits

What's Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce? A sad turkey dinner, that's what! I think we can all agree cranberry sauce is a must this week. I started making my own a few years ago and couldn't believe how easy it is--cranberries, liquid, sugar, heat, DONE. It's so much better than the canned stuff, and takes minimal preparation work. I use a recipe that's very similar to this easy cranberry sauce recipe from our Culinary Arts guide, if you're in the market to make your own this year.

Why all the talk about cranberry sauce on a candy blog? Well, this classic Thanksgiving side dish is the first thing that comes to mind when talking about these Cranberry P?te de Fruits. Like all p?te de fruits, this one starts with a fruit puree--in this case, you basically cook down the cranberries just like you're making a cranberry sauce! After you have your cranberries pureed, you add a little sugar (okay, a lot of sugar) and some pectin, and cook until everything is thick and, dare I say, goopy. After the candy sets you have vibrant little squares with the sweet-tart taste of fresh cranberry sauce! Try adding a little orange zest to give them even more of a holiday flavor.

These candies are perfect if you want to wow your Thanksgiving guests with a delicious pre-dinner treat, or send them home with a lovely assortment of sweets in a goodie bag.

Get the recipe: Cranberry Pate de Fruits

Get my Weekly Newsletter | Connect on Facebook | Find me on Twitter.

Cranberry Pate de Fruits Photo c2009 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

View the original article here

How to Make Chocolate Leaves

If you want to make multicolored leaves, you will need to be using white chocolate or white candy coating. Divide the chocolate into multiple containers and color the portions using oil-based candy and chocolate colors.

Pour the multicolored chocolates onto a large plate, drizzling them together in random patterns. I recommend having a larger proportion of lighter colors, since the motion of running the leaves through the chocolate will begin to mix the colors and the lighter colors will soon turn darker.

View the original article here

How to Make Pumpkin Cake Pops

Pumpkin Cake Pops are adorable moist bites of cake on a stick decorated to look like pumpkins! These fun Halloween candies make perfect gifts or Halloween party refreshments. For an easily printable recipe, please see this Pumpkin Cake Pops page.

Start by gathering your ingredients. You'll need:

  • One 9 x 13 cake, any flavor
  • One can (16 oz) prepared frosting, any flavor
  • 1 lb orange candy coating
  • About 48 lollipop sticks
  • Food-safe markers or 2 tbsp chocolate chips

Since we're making Halloween-themed cake pops, I used a pumpkin spice cake and cream cheese frosting to reflect the season.

View the original article here

Friday, 4 November 2011

Hard-Ball Stage

Definition: Hard-Ball Stage refers to a specific temperature range when cooking sugar syrups. Hard-Ball Stage occurs at 250-266 degrees. This stage can be determined by dropping a spoonful of hot syrup into a bowl of very cold water. In the water, use your fingers to gather the cooled syrup into a ball. If hard-ball stage has been reached, the syrup will hold its ball shape and deform only slightly with very firm pressure. The ball will be quite sticky to the touch.

View the original article here

Goat Cheese Truffles

Depending on your constitution, the thought of Goat Cheese Truffles might make you drool, or it might turn your stomach a little. I admit the name might be part of the problem--who wants to think about goaty goats when they're eating delicious chocolate? Better, instead, to focus on the end product: a rich, fudgy truffle that combines soft, mild goat cheese with bittersweet chocolate, dried cranberries, and a sprinkling of toasted pistachios. The goat cheese adds a tangy flavor (similar to cream cheese), while all the mix-ins keep the goat cheese from being too overwhelming. Don't let the goatiness dissuade you. These truffles are winners.

Get the recipe: Goat Cheese Truffles

Get my Weekly Newsletter | Connect on Facebook | Find me on Twitter.

Goat Cheese Truffles Photo c2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

View the original article here

Candy Turkey

Candy Turkeys are the perfect Thanksgiving candy! These adorable turkey look-alikes are made from chocolate truffles, candy corn, chocolate-covered peanuts, and fruit chews. They make a great Thanksgiving centerpiece or fun holiday craft.

1. The first step is to prepare the ganache for the truffles that will form the turkey bodies. Place the chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl, and put the cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.

2. When the cream comes to a simmer (small bubbles appear around the sides of the pan) pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit a moment to soften and melt the chocolate, then begin to gently whisk the cream and chocolate together. Mix until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth and shiny. Press a piece of cling wrap to the top and refrigerate it until it is firm enough to roll, but not so hard that it cannot be formed into a ball. This should take about 90 minutes.

3. While you wait for the ganache to firm up, prepare the turkey heads. Start by forming the beaks: cut small triangles from the yellow fruit chews and form them into small, pointed beaks. This recipe yields about 16 turkeys, so make as many as 16 beaks, or fewer depending on your needs.

4. Melt the candy coating in a bowl in the microwave. Dip a toothpick in the melted coating and smear a thin layer on the inside of one of the beaks. Press the beak to the side of a chocolate-covered peanut and hold it there until it is firm. Between the coating and the stickiness of the fruit chews, they don't take long to set.

5. Next dip a toothpick in the coating again and dab two dots above the beak. Press a large white sprinkle onto each dot. If you can't find large sprinkles, you can use dabs of melted white chocolate to form the eyes.

6. Use a toothpick to dot tiny specks of coating in the center of the white sprinkles to finish the eyes and complete the turkey heads. Set the heads aside while you finish the turkey bodies.

7. When your ganache is firm but not hard, roll the truffles. Cover a baking sheet with foil or waxed paper, and place a little cocoa powder in a bowl. Dust your hands with cocoa. Use a candy scoop or a teaspoon to form balls of ganache, then roll them between your palms to make them round. If the ganache is very sticky and doesn't easily hold a ball, it needs more time in the refrigerator. If it's so firm it resists being rolled between the palms, let it warm up at room temperature for 5-10 minutes and try again. You should get about 16 1-inch truffles from this recipe.

8. If the truffles are still quite hard after being rolled, they can be dipped right away. If they've gotten soft at room temperature, refrigerate them for about 15 minutes to firm them up a little and help them withstand dipping.

9. If necessary, re-warm the candy coating to get it nice and fluid for dipping truffles. Use a fork to dip a truffle completely in the coating, then tap the fork against the lip of the bowl to let the excess drip off the candy. Place the dipped truffle back on the baking sheet.

10. While the coating is still wet, take two candy corn pieces and press them into opposite sides of the truffles. You'll want to do 2 at once so that the opposing motion keeps the truffle from sliding around. Add a total of three more candy corns, until you have a nice feathered tail fanning out around the outside of the truffle. Repeat until all of the truffles have been dipped and have their candy corn tails.

11. Refrigerate the candy turkeys to set the coating, for about 10 minutes. After the coating has hardened, smear a small amount of melted coating on the back of one of your turkey heads, then press it to the front of a truffle. Hold it there until the coating sets and can support the turkey head.

12. Candy Turkeys can last for up to two weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring them to room temperature before serving.

View the original article here

Marshmallow Snowmen

Children will love making these cute snowmen! You can use any types of candy or decorative foods you have on hand. Assembling these snowmen would make a great activity for a holiday kid’s party.

Prep Time: 15?minutes

Total Time: 15?minutes


  • 1 bag large marshmallows
  • 1 container chow mein noodles
  • 1 package orange tic-tacs
  • 1 package multi-colored tic-tacs
  • 2 ounces melted chocolate
  • Assorted small candies of your choice


1. “Glue” two marshmallows together by placing a small blob of melted chocolate on top of one of the marshmallows, and placing another marshmallow on top of the chocolate.

2. Repeat this procedure with a third marshmallow, so that you end up with three stacked marshmallows, stuck together with chocolate. This is your snowman body.

3. Give the snowman arms by sticking two chow mein noodles in the sides of the middle marshmallow. Pretzels would also work for this purpose.

4.Make buttons by pushing tic-tacs into the front of the middle marshmallow in a vertical line.

5. Use an orange tic-tac to represent the carrot nose: dab a small amount of chocolate in the front of the top marshmallow, and push the tic-tac slightly into the chocolate to get it to stick.

6. Finish decorating the face and body with whatever candy or decorations you have. Try adding sprinkles, red hots, or M&Ms, or drawing on your snowmen with icing or melted chocolate. Hair can be created using shredded wheat cereal, or you can make a hat using wafer candies. Let your creativity run wild!

View the original article here

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Black Cat Truffles

You'll want to sink your claws into these Black Cat Truffles. Rich chocolate ganache gets a few additions to transform into cats: chocolate chip "ears" are added on top, and the finished truffles are decorated with a white chocolate face. They're cute and cuddly and definitely don't need to be reserved just for Halloween season...just don't cross their path on a dark Halloween night.

Get the recipe: Black Cat Truffles

Get my Weekly Newsletter | Connect on Facebook | Find me on Twitter.

Black Cat Truffles Photo c2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

View the original article here

Chocolate-Covered Brie Bites

You've dipped pretzels in chocolate. You've dipped cookies in chocolate. You've dipped marshmallows in chocolate. You've dipped cheese in choc...wait, what was that last one? Well, if you've never had the pleasure of dipping cheese in chocolate, allow me to give you the perfect starter recipe. Chocolate-Covered Brie Bites are exactly what they sound like: small squares of rich, creamy brie cheese, coated in semi-sweet chocolate and topped with a sprinkling of flaked salt, if you like that sort of thing. It's a bit of an odd combination, but it works well because the brie is so mild and rich and dessert-like already. These would make a great addition to a cheese plate or an end-of-party tray of nibbles. So go on, live a little! Toss those pretzels and marshmallows aside and start dippin' that brie!

Get the recipe: Chocolate-Covered Brie Bites

Get my Weekly Newsletter | Connect on Facebook | Find me on Twitter.

Chocolate-Covered Brie Bites Photo c2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

View the original article here

Candy Treat Bags

Happy Halloween! By now you've probably put the finishing touches on your Scooby Doo costume and polished off the first--but not last!--bag of fun sized candy bars. It seems like you have everything under control! But in case you're looking for some last-minute candy recipes, here's my full list of Halloween candy recipes, ready for the perusal. There are some easy and fun last-minute candies you can make in a hurry, like Mummy Pretzel Rods or Ghost Strawberries. They'll be finished before you can say "Boo!"

I also wanted to share a quick Halloween craft in case you're having a party or looking for something to put all that Halloween candy in. These Pumpkin Treat Bags are super-simple to whip up, since you start with pre-made orange craft bags. A little crumpling, a little florist tape, and you're done--cute little pumpkin bags stuffed with your favorite candies. I also have a spookier version that look like gravestones. So if you want to scare people away from your candy, try these Tombstone Treat Bags. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Get my Weekly Newsletter | Connect on Facebook | Find me on Twitter.

Pumpkin Treat Bags Photo c2010 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

View the original article here

Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops

Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops are a monster of a Halloween candy! They couldn't be more simple: marshmallows are skewered on lollipop sticks, then decorated with candy coating to look like Frankenstein. They're super-easy, but something about the square head shape and little Frankenstein faces just kills me. These are fun novelty candies for a Halloween party or Halloween candy buffet.

Get the recipe: Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops

Get my Weekly Newsletter | Connect on Facebook | Find me on Twitter.

Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops Photo c2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

View the original article here


Candy Recipes Template by Ipietoon Cute Blog Design