Get the recipe: Mint Meltaways
Mint Meltaways Photo c2012 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Get the recipe: Mint Meltaways
Mint Meltaways Photo c2012 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Chocolate cups are not just used for making candies. They can also be filled with whipped cream, mousse, small scoops of ice cream, ganache, and any other soft and tasty filling you can think of. You can definitely buy chocolate cups--kitchen supply stores, Cost Plus, and even many liquor stores carry them--but it's several dollars for a dozen and I find mine are frequently broken, bloomed, or both when I open the package. So when I have the time, I save myself some frustration and money and make my own. It is a little time consuming, but they can be made in advance and stored for weeks before you use them, so with some advanced planning you can be rollin' in chocolate cups whenever you want!
Chocolate Cups Photo c2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Get the recipe: Grasshopper Truffles
Grasshopper Truffles Photo c2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
(c) 2010 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
For this recipe you will need at least one candy mold that is fairly deep. I like to use what's called a "bonbon" or "truffle" mold, because it's deep enough to allow me to hide a blueberry in the center. If you use shallower molds you can omit the blueberry and also the two-tone gelatin effect. This recipe yields 8 gummies approximately 1" round and 1" tall.
1. Prepare your candy mold by spraying it lightly with nonstick spray, then wiping it gently with a paper towel to leave just a very thin layer of oil in the molds.
2. Pour the water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin packets on top, and allow it to sit for 10 minutes to let the water hydrate the gelatin.
3. Put the pan over medium-low heat to melt the gelatin and stir until it is completely dissolved and smooth.
4. Pour the melted gelatin into a measuring cup with a spout, and then carefully pour the gelatin halfway into the prepared mold cavities. Gently place a blueberry in the middle of each cavity.
5. Place the tray in the freezer for about 5 minutes to firm up the gelatin. While that is setting, stir the condensed milk into the remaining gelatin in the mixing cup to turn it an opaque blue color.
6. After the first layer has set, pour the opaque gelatin on top of the first layer, and refrigerate the candies to set them completely.
7. Once set, pull the gummies out of the molds and serve. Blueberry Gummies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days, or for several weeks if you omit the blueberry inside.
Get the recipe: Inside-Out Peppermint Patties
Inside-Out Peppermint Patties Photo c2012 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
If the photo tutorial still leaves you with questions, check out this video with step-by-step instructions for Making Peanut Butter Cups. The recipe in the video adds graham cracker crumbs for a crunchy, crispy candy cup.
Peanut Butter Cups Photo c2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Kids and candy go hand-in-hand, but sometimes homemade candy recipes can be too technical or dangerous for young kitchen assistants. These simple and safe kid-friendly recipes are a great way to introduce children to the joys of candymaking, and everyone in the family will enjoy eating the final product!
This candy pizza recipe is easy and fun for kids to make, and tastes as great as it looks! Chocolate is mixed with mini marshmallows and crispy cereal to form a chewy, crunchy, chocolatey crust, and is topped with candied fruit or candies, coconut, and drizzles of white chocolate.
These classic Rocky Road drop candies feature dark chocolate, chewy marshmallows and toasted nuts. You can experiment with adding different nuts, chunks of white chocolate, or dried fruit to the mix.
This recipe for oreo truffles calls for only three ingredients. Kids can help roll the balls and dip the candies, and they’ll like the familiar taste of oreos in cookie form.
Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels are easy to make, and the combination of sweet chocolate and salty, crunchy pretzels is fantastic. Let kids choose the toppings and go to town adding sprinkles, nuts, coconut, or whatever else you can think of!
Chocolate Clay is a delicious chocolate-peanut butter candy paste that can be used as an edible Play-Doh. Your kids will have trouble deciding whether they’d rather play with it or eat it!
Turtle Candies get their name from their whimsical turtle shape. The combination of toasted pecans, soft caramel and smooth chocolate is impossible to resist.
Chocolate Cherry Mice are adorable chocolate-covered cherries, decorated with chocolate kisses and almonds so that they look like candy mice! This is a great candy to make with kids, because it doesn't require any cooking and only minimal assembly.
Tiger Fudge is a peanut butter and chocolate treat made from only three ingredients. It looks so sophisticated and tastes so good, no one will ever guess how easy it is to make.
Rock candy is a simple sugar candy that can double as a science experiment. The process can take up to a week, but it’s fun to watch the sugar crystals growing over time.
Young helpers will enjoy shaping the potatoes; and rolling them in the cinnamon mixture. These candies don't contain actual potatoes, but they do feature an unusual but delicious cinnamon-coconut combination.
Get the recipe: Ginger Truffles
Ginger Truffles Photo c2010 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Mexican Chocolate Fudge features cinnamon and a hint of spice in a smooth chocolate fudge, topped by crushed Mexican chocolate. Mexican chocolate can usually be found in the ethnic food section of major grocery stores, and common brands include Ibarra and Abuelita. It differs from regular chocolate in that it is grainy, with a noticeable crunch from undissolved granulated sugar crystals, and it often includes spices like cinnamon. If you cannot find Mexican chocolate, you can omit this step from the recipe, but do not try to substitute other chocolate varieties-- they will not have the intended taste and texture.
1. Prepare an 8x8” baking pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine the marshmallows and chocolate chips in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Place the butter, milk, sugar, cinnamon, cayenne and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves.
4. Bring the mixture to a boil. Continue to let the candy boil, stirring constantly, for five minutes.
5. Remove from the heat. Stir in the marshmallows, chocolate chips, and vanilla, mixing until well-combined.
6. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
7. While fudge is still wet, sprinkle the chopped Mexican chocolate on top. Place in the refrigerator to set the fudge. Once set, cut into 1-inch squares to serve.
Or perhaps you have the opposite problem. You stir and stir and practically stir your little arm off, but your fudge never seems to thicken, and you're left with a gooey sauce that might be a good ice cream topping, but is definitely not going to pass as fudge.
Both of these scenarios--and many, many others--have happened to me in my years of fudge-making. I call it "when bad fudge happens to good people." Although fudge seems like a fairly simple candy, I think old-fashioned fudge is actually a very tricky thing to do properly! So much success depends on knowing when to stop beating, and this is something that is really best seen and understood through experience, not read from a recipe page. But we don't all have grandmothers to show us how to make old-fashioned fudge, so I have a few tips and tricks to get you through the process of making old-fashioned fudge. These tips work for any recipe that requires a sugar syrup to be cooked and then beaten until thick--if you'd like to read an example of this method, check out this Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Fudge recipe.
Tips for Making Old-Fashioned Fudge
Get the recipe: Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Fudge
Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Fudge Photo c2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Get the recipe: Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans
I do, however, like to cook and bake with marmalade, because it's an easy way to pack a lot of citrus flavor into a dish without adding a lot of liquid in the form of juice. These Orange Cream Cheese Balls make good use of marmalade, mixing it with white chocolate and cream cheese to form soft, tangy candies that actually taste like creamsicles! Try rolling them in toasted coconut or chopped nuts, to add a little extra flavor and a crunchy texture.
Get the recipe: Orange Cream Cheese Balls
Orange Cream Cheese Balls Photo c2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
1. Pipe a small amount of royal icing into the bottom portion of the intact egg half. This is to anchor everything else you add.
2. Add a layer of green-tinted coconut or Easter grass, if desired, and press gently to adhere it to the frosting.
3. Begin to add toys, pictures, small candies, or sugar decorations. It is easiest to add a dab of royal icing to the back or bottom of your decorations to help them stick.
4. Continue to add decorations until your egg is complete.
The obvious answer is to keep better track of my dairy, and to use it up before it goes bad. I could do this the boring way (ie, in another dinner recipe) or the fun way! Guess which way I prefer? Chocolate Sour Cream Fudge uses a cup and a half of sour cream, which is guaranteed to cut down my excess sour cream stores by a good amount. You could also substitute full-fat plain greek yogurt (the naturally thick kind) for some or all of the sour cream, if you have a medley of dairy in your fridge, as I do. The sour cream adds a delicious tang to this old-fashioned chocolate fudge, but you don't have to stop there. Try one of these other sour cream candy recipes too:
Photo c2012 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
(c) 2009 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
It’s not traditional to coat apples with candy coating before covering them with caramel, but in this recipe it’s absolutely necessary. Without a protective coating, the moisture in the apples causes the caramel to slide right off. This recipe yields between 12-16 mini apples, depending on the size of your scoop and your apples.
1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and set aside for now.
2. Use a melon baller or small candy scoop to carve small round balls out of the apples, making sure to always have one surface with apple skin. Pat the apple balls very, very well, getting them as dry as possible. Place the apple balls skin-side up and insert the toothpicks or lollipop sticks into the top.
3. Melt the candy coating in the microwave and stir until smooth. Dip each apple briefly in the coating, making sure that the coating extends to where the skin of the apple is, so that the moisture in the apple flesh is completely sealed in. Place them on the baking sheet. Once all the apples are dipped, refrigerate them until the coating is set.
4. While waiting for the coating to set, prepare the caramel. Place the unwrapped caramels and the cream or water in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals until completely melted. Allow it to cool, stirring occasionally, until it is still warm and pourable but no longer hot to the touch.
5. Once the caramel is melted and the coating on the apples is set, it is time to cover the apples with caramel. This can be tricky because the coating will start to melt if exposed to hot caramel, but if the caramel has cooled down it is difficult to manipulate. The following method works best for me: lay some waxed paper or foil on your work station and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Place big spoonfuls of caramel on the foil, and use your hands (sprayed with nonstick spray) to pat them into thin circles. Pick up a circle and wrap it around the apple, pulling and patching it with your fingers as necessary. Wet your fingers occasionally to prevent the caramel from sticking to your hands. If the caramel has cooled enough it should be easy to manipulate in this way, and this method ensures a smooth and even coating of caramel that does not melt the candy coating.
6. If desired, dip the bottoms of the caramel apples in chopped nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, or sprinkles. Place the apples in the refrigerator to set the caramel, and if necessary, use your hands to re-shape any droopy apples before serving. Miniature Caramel Apples are best the day they are made, but if they have been properly assembled, they will keep for an additional day or two in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
The term burfi refers to a number of different sweets in Indian cuisine. Sometimes it's made with carrots, sometimes coconut, sometimes neither. This version is an easy cream-based candy called Coconut Burfi. It has lots of flavor from ground coconut and walnuts, and is subtly scented with ground cardamom. If you've made old-fashioned fudge before, the kind that crumbles a little when you cut it, you'll be familiar with the texture of this burfi. It's homey and comforting and a nice accompaniment to a mug of afternoon tea.
Get the recipe: Coconut Burfi
Coconut Burfi Photo c2009 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Don't believe me? Still a little scared of all of those consonants? Here are a few things readers have said in their reviews of this recipe: "Delicious! "So easy to make! More nutritious than most sweets." and "I made these and they were so easy and taste great! I would never buy them in the store again." You don't have to take my word for it--try them yourself!
Get the recipe: Polish Chocolate Plums
Polish Chocolate Plums Photo c2009 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
(c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Glazed strawberries are fresh berries coated with a shiny candy shell, and they make a gorgeous decorative addition to a fruit platter, fruit tart, or berry cake. They are also delicious on their own, and this glazing recipe can be used to coat orange slices, grapes, or a variety of other fruits. Be aware that this candy should be enjoyed within an hour or two of preparation, because the moisture of the fruit quickly makes the candy shell become sticky.
1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Wash the strawberries and dry them carefully.
3. Prepare an ice bath by placing ice and cold water in a bowl large enough to hold your intended saucepan.
4. Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Insert a candy thermometer, and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
5. Continue to cook, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 300 degrees on the candy thermometer. During this process, which can take from 10-20 minutes, wash down the sides of the saucepan occasionally with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystallization.
6. Once the candy has reached 300 degrees, remove the pan from the heat immediately, and immerse the bottom in the prepared ice bath to stop it from cooking any further.. Do not let the ice water get into the candy!
7. Once the candy has stopped cooking (look for the bubbles to stop rising from the bottom of the pan), you can begin to dip your berries. Holding a strawberry by the stem, dip it until it is almost submerged in the candy. Be careful not to touch the candy, as it is very hot and can cause dangerous burns. Remove the berry from the candy and allow the excess to drip off the end. Turn it a few times to ensure excess candy is removed, then place it on the prepared, oiled baking sheet.
8. Repeat with remaining berries and candy. Allow the candy to set at room temperature, and serve berries within an hour or two of their preparation.
(c) 2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Sweetened Condensed Milk is easy to make at home! All you need are four ingredients and a blender, and you can make this baking staple in just a few minutes.
1. Place the dry milk, granulated sugar, 1/3 cup of the boiling water, and the melted butter in a blender.
2. Blend all ingredients together until they are smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender occasionally to get all the dry ingredients incorporated.
3. Condensed milk typically has a thick, syrupy consistency, but if your homemade condensed milk is too thick to pour easily, add another spoonful or two of boiling water and blend to incorporate. Adjust the water until you are happy with the consistency.
4. Use your homemade sweetened condensed milk right away, or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It will get thicker when it is refrigerated, but will loosen up when stirred and brought to room temperature.
The bad news is that I eat this as voraciously as I eat regular chocolate-dipped orange peel, but the good news is that it's so easy to make, I can whip up more and no one will be the wiser.
Get the recipe: Orange Hazelnut Clusters
Orange Hazelnut Clusters Photo c2012 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.