Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Mocha Meltaways

Why do I call these Mocha Meltaways? Well, for one, they have a texture that absolutely melts in your mouth. They're made with cream cheese and chocolate, so they're smooth and silky and have a nice balance of sweet and tangy flavors that perfectly complements the coffee notes. That's the "real" reason. But I prefer to think that they're called meltaways because they disappear as soon as you serve them!

Get the recipe: Mocha Meltaways

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Mocha Meltaways Photo c2012 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

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How to Make Molded Chocolate Candies

Pour Excess Chocolate From the?Molds

How to Make Molded Chocolate Truffles photo (c) 2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

Wait about a minute, then flip the mold upside down over a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper. The excess chocolate will drip down onto the paper. Swirl it slightly to encourage the chocolate to drip down. The chocolate on the paper can later be scraped off and re-melted to be used again.

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Hot Chocolate Bark

Who knew melted marshmallows made such a good candy filling? It's true--the same substance that makes Rice Crispy Squares so ooey-gooey-good makes a bonkers filling between two slabs of chocolate! This quick and easy Hot Chocolate Bark features two layers of spiced chocolate sandwiched around a with a sweet and soft marshmallow center. The cinnamon in the chocolate reminds me of my favorite Mexican hot chocolate recipe, but you can omit the cinnamon or add other spices to suit your taste. You can also add your favorite flavoring extracts to the melted marshmallow--how about a little almond, or mint, or raspberry?

Get the recipe: Hot Chocolate Bark

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Hot Chocolate Bark Photo c2012 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

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Chocolate-Covered Cherries

And now for the tough part: the waiting! While the cherries can be enjoyed as soon as the chocolate is hard, to get liquid centers you will have to wait anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. (The exact time depends on the strength of your invertase.) Store the cherries at warm room temperature during this time—cold temperatures will slow the working of the invertase. You can start testing the cherries after 2-3 days, and continue to monitor their progress via the occasional taste test until the centers are completely liquid.

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Cappuccino Truffles

I'm sorry if this photograph confuses you. You should not actually enjoy these Cappuccino Truffles in a big mug as a substitute for your morning beverage. While they might give you a caffeine buzz, and they will surely give you a little extra energy from all the sugar, your dentist and your mom and your waistline would probably all disapprove. So instead, please think of them as a substitute for an after-dinner coffee. Because these truffles have a subtle white chocolate base, the coffee flavor really shines through. I like to add a handful of mini chocolate chips to the ganache, to make them more of a "cappuccino crunch" truffle, but you could use nuts instead, or omit the add-ins entirely for a pure cappuccino experience.

Get the recipe: Cappuccino Truffles

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Cappuccino Truffles Photo c2012 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Chocolate Cups

Chocolate Cups photo(c) 2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

This recipe for chocolate cups lets you serve candies, mousses, and ganache in a delicious, edible container! Chocolate cups are best known as the base for peanut butter cups, but you can also do so much more with them. Learn how easy it is to make edible chocolate cups, and you might find yourself making them on a regular basis. Don't miss the photo tutorial with step-by-step photos showing how to make chocolate cups!


  • Chopped chocolate or chocolate candy coating
  • Small candy cups, preferably the foil variety
  • Small clean paint brush (optional)


For this recipe, you will either want to temper your chocolate or use chocolate candy coating. Tempered chocolate will taste better, but chocolate candy coating is faster and more convenient to use. I recommend that you do not simply use melted (untempered) chocolate, as it gets soft at warm temperatures and tends to bloom, or develop grayish-white streaks that are unappetizing. So begin by either tempering your chocolate by following these directions or melting your chocolate candy coating.

There are two methods of making edible chocolate cups. For the first, you will want to take a spoon and fill each candy cup to the brim with chocolate. You can use any style or size of candy cup. I prefer the foil variety, since they seem a little sturdier to me, but the paper cups will also work.

Let the chocolate sit for a few minutes, just until it starts to set around the edges. Then grasp a candy cup by the bottom and invert it over the bowl of chocolate, letting the excess drip out. Once the extra chocolate is gone, you'll be left with a thin, even coating on the sides and bottom of your candy cup. This method is fairly fast if you're doing a large number of cups, since by the time you have filled them all the first cups will be ready to invert over the chocolate. The downside is that it does require enough extra chocolate to fill the cups to the brim, so it's not ideal if you're working with a limited amount of chocolate.

The second method involves using a small, clean food-safe paintbrush. Fill a cup about a quarter of the way full of chocolate, then use the paintbrush to paint the chocolate up the sides of the cup to the top. Try to create an even layer, and inspect the cups as you finish them to make sure there are no weak, streaky areas.

If you want to make larger chocolate cups, you can use regular muffin cups (paper or foil) and cut a strip off the top so that they are not quite so tall. Then use the same method of filling and dumping the chocolate, or painting the chocolate up the sides.

Let the chocolate cups set completely, either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. You can now fill them with ganache, mousse, ice cream, or any other candy filling of your choice. They can be left open on top, or sealed with more chocolate on top of whatever filling you choose.

Click Here to View All Candy Cup Recipes

Or browse these recipes that use chocolate cups:
Peanut Butter Cups
Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups
Almond Truffle Cups
Crispy Almond Cups
Mint-White Chocolate Cups
Hot Chocolate Truffle Cups
Peanut Caramel Chocolate Cups
S'mores Candy Cups
Eggnog Truffle Cups
Bananas Foster Truffle Cups

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Strawberry Fields Truffles

Strawberry Fields Truffles photo(c) 2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

Strawberry Fields Truffles are packed with strawberry flavor. These rich chocolate truffles have both strawberry puree and chunks of real berries inside, resulting in a truffle so flavorful, you'll think you're eating a fresh-picked berry.

This recipe calls for freeze-dried strawberries, which are different from regular dried strawberries. They are light and crunchy, and rehydrate in the truffle, turning into moist bits of berry. They can often be found at Trader Joe's grocery stores. If you can't find them they can be omitted, but the truffles will lose a good deal of strawberry flavor.

Yield: about 36 small truffles


  • 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, hulled
  • 5.25 oz (a generous 3/4 cup) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp softened butter
  • 1 cup (about 3/4 oz) freeze-dried strawberries
  • 1 lb chocolate candy coating


1.Begin by making a strawberry puree. If you are using fresh berries, you can just blend them in a food processor or blender, and strain the puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove any seeds. You will need 1/4 cup of strained strawberry puree for this recipe; reserve any extra for another use. If you are using frozen berries, place them in a small saucepan over medium heat until they are warm and release their juices, then blend and strain as above.

2. Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl and set aside for now. In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of strawberry puree, the heavy cream, and the corn syrup. Bring this to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.

3. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Let the cream and chocolate sit together and soften for one minute, then gently whisk or stir them together. Once the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, add the room temperature butter and whisk until it's incorporated. This is your ganache.

4. Take 3/4 cup of the freeze-dried berries and chop them, then add them to the ganache and stir until they're well-mixed. Reserve the remaining 1/4 cup of berries to use for decoration.

5. Press a layer of cling wrap on top of the ganache and refrigerate the ganache until it is firm enough to scoop, about 2 hours.

6. Once firm, use a small candy scoop or a spoon to roll the ganache into little balls. Dust your palms with cocoa powder, and roll the balls between your palms to get them perfectly round. Place the truffles on a foil-or waxed paper-covered baking sheet.

7. Melt the candy coating in the microwave. Using forks or dipping tools, dip a truffle completely in the coating, then tap the fork against the lip of the bowl to remove excess coating. Set the dipped truffle back on the baking sheet and, while the coating is still wet, top it with a piece of freeze-dried strawberry, or other decoration. Repeat until all of the strawberry truffles have been dipped.

8. Strawberry Fields Truffles can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. For best taste and texture, bring them to room temperature before serving.

Click Here to View All Valentine's Day Candy Recipes!

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Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

Funny story: after my husband tasted these sweet and salty Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles, he immediately proposed. (I gently reminded him that we were already married.) I can't blame him, though--these rich truffles might make you do crazy things too. A quick and easy chocolate ganache is packed with salty peanut butter (I use crunchy to get the most bang for my buck) and finely chopped salted pretzels--so not only do they have the sweet-and-salty thing going for them, they also have the creamy-and-crunchy thing working too. And to top it all off, I finished them with a hefty pinch of flaky sea salt on top. Can you blame a guy for getting a little hasty with the marriage proposals after tasting these? All I can say is: make sure you're in good, safe company when you enjoy them!

Get the recipe: Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

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Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles Photo c2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

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Cinnamon Truffles

Cinnamon truffles made of cinnamon-scented cream and deep, dark chocolate. A delicious combination and a sinfully rich candy. As an alternative to rolling them in cocoa, you could try dipping them in chocolate and topping them with a Red Hot or other cinnamon candy.

Prep Time: 30?minutes

Total Time: 30?minutes


  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon


1. Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl and set aside.

2. Place the cinnamon stick with the cream in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, and simmer until the cream just starts to boil. Remove from heat, and remove the cinnamon stick from the cream with a fork or spoon.

3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for one minute. After a minute, whisk the mixture steadily but not too vigorously—you want it to be well-combined but without air bubbles. Whisk until the mixture is entirely smooth. This is your ganache.

4. Cover the ganache with cling wrap, placing the cream wrap directly on top of the ganache so that it is not exposed to air. Allow the ganache to set at room temperature for at least 4 hours, and preferably overnight. The ganache should not be refrigerated, because it might harden too rapidly and the texture will be spoiled.

5. When your ganache is firm enough to shape, scoop teaspoonfuls of ganache and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Repeat until you have formed as many truffles as you desire. Place the truffles in the refrigerator to harden for at least an hour.

6. Combine the cocoa powder and the cinnamon in a shallow bowl or pie tin. Once the truffles are firm, coat your hand in cocoa powder and roll a truffle between your hands to make it round. Roll the truffle in the cocoa-cinnamon mixture and place back on the baking sheet.

7. Once all the truffles are done, they can be stored in a single layer in a refrigerated airtight container for up to a week. They are best served at room temperature when their flavor and texture

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Hot Chocolate Truffle Cups

I can neither confirm nor deny the fact that 90% of the appeal of these Hot Chocolate Truffle Cups comes from the teensy toasted marshmallow perched on top of the milk chocolate ganache. I can tell you, however, that I wouldn't dream of making these cups without the marshmallow hat, and I have been known, in desperate times, to use a large barbeque lighter to toast them when my kitchen torch was out of commission. (Never fear, you don't have to be as foolish as I was--you can pop them on a tray under the broiler to get the same toasted marshmallow effect!)

But I digress. The point is that this is a candy that tastes as good as it looks. A smooth and soft milk chocolate filling that mimics the taste of hot chocolate? Enclosed in a dark chocolate shell? Topped with a chewy, slightly burnt marshmallow on top? Yes please! You may never go back to regular mugs of hot chocolate again.

Get the recipe: Hot Chocolate Truffle Cups

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Hot Chocolate Truffle Cups Photo c2009 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

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Sunday, 8 January 2012

Bacon Candy Recipes

Achin' for bacon? Look no further than this list of bacon candy recipes! Bacon candy is the newest craze, and this collection includes favorites like chocolate-covered bacon, candied bacon, and bacon caramels.

1. Candied Bacon

Candied Bacon photo(c) 2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

Candied bacon may sound wrong, but it's oh so right! To make this easy recipe, all you need to do is coat bacon with a sugar and spice mixture and bake it until it's crispy. The resulting treat is simultaneously chewy and crunchy, sweet and salty, and completely addicting.

2. Chocolate-Covered Bacon

Chocolate-Covered Bacon photo(c) 2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

Sweet meets salty in this recipe for Chocolate-Covered Bacon. If you've never tried bacon and chocolate together, you might be surprised at how well rich, semi-sweet chocolate complements the smoky flavor of crispy bacon. I like to top mine with a few sprinkles of flaked sea salt, but you can use toasted nuts or any other toppings of your choice.

3. Bacon Caramels

Bacon Caramels photo(c) 2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

Despite what their name might suggest, Bacon Caramels actually have a subtle bacon taste, since the recipe does not call for any actual bacon in it. Rather, they are made with bacon fat instead of butter, so they have a slight undertone of a smoky, savory flavor. Of course, you can always top them with some crumbled bacon to boost the pork factor!

4. Bacon Caramel Popcorn

Bacon Caramel Popcorn photo(c) 2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

Bacon adds a whole new layer of flavor to traditional caramel corn in this recipe for Bacon Caramel Popcorn! Chunks of crispy, salty bacon are mixed with caramel corn and toasted pecans, and then everything is baked together until you have sweet, crunchy clusters. If you want to go really crazy, you can drizzle the whole thing with chocolate when you're finished.

5. Bacon Turtles

Bacon Turtles photo(c) 2012 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

This twist on traditional turtle candies adds a strip of crispy bacon to the familiar combination of toasted pecans, chewy caramel, and rich chocolate. I like to finish these with a sprinkling of crunchy sea salt to emphasize the sweet-and-savory flavor combination.

6. Bacon Pralines

Bacon Pralines photo(c) 2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

This bacon pralines recipe puts a modern spin on a Southern favorite! In addition to the familiar toasted pecans, this version of pralines contains bits of crispy bacon, tangy buttermilk, and a hint of orange zest for an unusual, sweet-and-salty variation of a classic candy.

7. Chocolate Bacon Bark

Chocolate Bacon Bark(c) 2008 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

Bacon and chocolate are popping up everywhere in gourmet chocolate bars, and now you can recreate this unlikely pairing at home! Semi-sweet chocolate is studded with chunks of crispy bacon and cut into small squares to make Chocolate Bacon Bark.

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Snickers Fudge

Snickers Fudge is probably a trademark lawsuit waiting to happen. I know I should rename it to something more generic and less likely to bring about a nasty letter from a lawyer, but there's just no better way to describe this candy bar-inspired fudge. (Plus, I'm lazy!) Snickers fudge has not one, not two, not three, but four (count 'em, four!) delicious layers of chocolatey, peanutty love--just like that candy bar that Shall Not Be Named. The base and topping are chocolate fudge, and sandwiched in between these are a thick layer of peanut-studded nougat and chewy, creamy caramel. This recipe requires several chilling periods, so it's a little time intensive, but it's also made entirely in the microwave, so I think that tips the scales in its favor. Give this fudge a try and then see if you're still interested in eating a stale, overpriced candy bar whose name rhymes with "Shmickers."

Get the recipe: Snickers Fudge

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Snickers Fudge Photo c2008 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

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Banana Split Truffles

My aunt called me up not too long ago and asked for a few recommendations of truffle recipes to make for a wedding. After I listed a few more traditional truffles, I had to put in a plug for these Banana Split Truffles. Sure, they may scream "backyard picnic" more than "elegant wedding," but they're so unique, so eye-catching, and so delicious, I had to plead their case!

The soft filling is a mix of white chocolate and real banana, and even straight from the fridge they have a lovely melting quality to them. The kicker, though, is the decorations. Banana split truffles obviously win the award for "cutest candy I've made recently." The toppings are fairly simple: a drizzle of chocolate, colorful sprinkles, and a red candy "cherry." All together, they look like the cutest army of miniature ice cream sundaes EVER. Who wouldn't want to encounter a tray of these at a wedding?

I've put together a step-by-step photo tutorial showing how to make banana split truffles in case the process seems a bit complex.

Get the recipe: Banana Split Truffles

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Banana Split Truffles Photo c2010 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

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Valentine Candy Facts

Valentine’s Day and candy are a match made in heaven. Learn more about the holiday’s long association with sweets and the trends, history, and trivia surrounding Valentine’s Day and candy.

Trivia and Tidbits

  • More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine's Day.
  • American men say they’d prefer to receive boxed chocolate as a Valentine’s Day present followed by gourmet, high-end chocolates then conversation heart candies.
  • A majority of men (53 percent) admit that they lean on friends and family to find the perfect present for their sweetheart while 11 percent look to co-workers, 10 percent ask the cashier and 7 percent consult the World Wide Web.
  • Even if they don’t make the final purchases until the last few days, the majority of men (75%) testify that they plan ahead for Valentine’s Day.
  • When it comes to present time, women prefer a gift after a nice dinner, while most men prefer gifts first thing in the morning.
  • American men and women agree that the most romantic place to share candy is in front of the fireplace.
  • On average, men shell out $130 each on candy, cards, jewelry, flowers and dates. That’s more than double what women commit to spending.
  • Children receive 39 percent of all Valentine’s Day candy and gifts. Following them are wives/mothers (36 percent), fathers/husbands (6 percent), grandparents (3 percent), and pets (1 percent).


  • In the 1800’s physicians commonly advised their lovelorn patients to eat chocolate to calm their pining.
  • As an elixir for love, chocolate has been believed throughout history to bring smiles to the broken-hearted and to prompt amorous feelings in both men and women. It is believed that Madame Du Barry served it to all her suitors; Casanova consumed chocolate instead of champagne to induce romance; and Montezuma, the king of the ancient Aztecs, believed chocolate would make him virile.
  • At one time, conversation candies were made into shapes including horseshoes, baseballs and watches.

Conversation Hearts

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Lovebug Truffles

1. First, prepare the ganache. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl, and set aside. Pour the heavy cream into a small saucepan over medium heat, and bring it to a simmer.

2. Once the cream is near boiling, pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for one minute to soften the chocolate. Gently whisk the cream and chocolate together until they're a smooth, homogenous mixture. Press a piece of cling wrap to the top of the ganache and when it is room temperature, refrigerate it until it is firm enough to scoop, about 2 hours.

3. Once the ganache is firm, cover a baking sheet with waxed paper or foil, and dust your hands with cocoa powder. Use a small candy scoop or a spoon to form the ganache into 24 small 1-inch balls. Roll them between your hands to get them round, and keep your hands dusted with cocoa powder to prevent sticking.

4. After you've formed 24 truffles, you should have ganache left over. Make 24 more balls about half the size of the first set—these will be the ladybugs' heads. If you have extra ganache left over after making the heads, form more ladybugs until you've used all the ganache.

5. Melt the chocolate candy coating in a small bowl. Dip the tip of one of the smaller balls into the coating, then press it against a large ball to glue the head to the body. Hold it until the coating sets, then repeat until all of the heads are glued to the bodies.

6. If your truffles are starting to get soft and warm, refrigerate them until they firm up. If they are still firm, proceed to the dipping stage: melt the red candy coating until it is smooth and fluid. Using forks or dipping tools, dip a lovebug until it is completely coated in the red, then take it out of the coating, letting excess drip back into the bowl. Replace it on the foil-covered baking sheet and repeat until all of the lovebugs are dipped. Let them set at room temperature or harden in the refrigerator.

7. If the chocolate coating has started to harden, re-melt it in the microwave, then pour some into a paper cone or piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Starting at the "neck" area where the head joins the body, pipe a vertical chocolate line down the center of the body to form the lovebugs' wings. Repeat until all of the lovebugs have wings.

8.Pick up a truffle and dunk the head into melted chocolate coating, so that the body remains red but the head is now brown. Replace the lovebug truffle on the baking sheet and repeat until all the lovebugs have chocolate heads.

9. Now it's time to decorate! Melt the white coating and pour it into a paper cone or piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Give the lovebugs eyes and a smiling mouth. Pipe small hearts on their wings, or you can make plain ladybug truffles and pipe dots on the wings instead.

10. You can also use the paper cone of chocolate coating to pipe on chocolate hearts or dots. Be sure to go back and place a small chocolate dot in the center of the white eyeball so your lovebugs have pupils!

11. Once all of your lovebugs are decorated, place them in the refrigerator to set the chocolate before serving. Lovebug Truffles can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. For best taste and texture, bring them to room temperature before serving.

Click Here to View All Valentine's Day Candy Recipes!

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Chocolate Orange Mousse Squares

Gather round, everyone, gather round. I have an announcement to make. Recently I made Chocolate Orange Mousse Squares, and I think they may be my new favorite thing. Ever. In the history of things! Shhh, don't tell sea salt caramels.

Allow me to explain the allure of these dessert-y candies. I call them "mousse squares" because they have the rich flavor and light texture of chocolate mousse. They're creamy, deeply chocolatey squares studded with buttery shortbread, crunchy hazelnuts and tangy candied orange peel. Every bite has a different texture and flavor profile, and I love that they taste so decadent but take only a few minutes to whip up in a mixing bowl. They're so delicate they have to be served from the refrigerator or freezer, which is a blessing and a curse. A blessing, because they taste excellent when they're firm and chilled, but a curse because the freezer used to be where I hid sweets I didn't want to constantly eat, and now my safe space is full of tasty treats, just ready to be eaten straight from the freezer. It's times like these I think a second freezer is necessary...or perhaps just more willpower. Naaaah.

Get the recipe: Chocolate Orange Mousse Squares

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Photo c2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

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Saturday, 7 January 2012

How to Make Fondant Pearls

Coat the Pearls in Luster?Dust

Fondant Pearls (c) 2009 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

1.When you are ready to finish you pearls, pour some luster dust into a container that can be sealed, like a Tupperware container.
2.Add a small amount of clear alcohol or alcohol-based extract, just enough to turn the luster dust into a shimmering liquid.
3. Stir until all of the dust has dissolved. Working in batches if necessary, add the pearls, being sure to leave plenty of room in the container.
4.Cover the container with a lid, and shake the pearls around until they’re coated with the luster dust. Pour the finished pearls onto a baking sheet covered with waxed paper or parchment, and repeat until all of the pearls are coated and shiny, adding more dust and liquid as needed.

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Homemade Twix Bars

New Year's Resolutions are all well and good, but it's been five whole days by now...are you ready for some candy yet? If you need a reward for your hard work, a break from the broccoli, or just a fun recipe to attempt on a lazy afternoon, I have the perfect solution for you: homemade Twix Bars! They're pretty faithful to the original--a crunchy shortbread base, a smooth caramel filling, and a coating of chocolate on the outside. However, this shortbread uses lots of butter for a shatter-in-your-mouth texture, and the caramel is enriched with cream for a luscious taste. Have I teased you enough? Try this Twix Bars recipe and tell me what you think!

Get the recipe: Homemade Twix Bars

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Twix Photos c2010 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

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Snickers Fudge

Snickers Fudge(c) 2008 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

Snickers Fudge has all the elements of the classic candy bar, with plenty of chocolate, peanut, and caramel flavor. This fudge is ingredient and time-intensive, but the final result is delicious and extremely impressive. This recipe yields a large amount of fudge, so if you only need a few dozen pieces, consider cutting it in half and preparing it in an 8x8 pan.


  • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup butterscotch or peanut butter chips
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter, divided use
  • 1/2 stick (2 oz) butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1.5 cups marshmallow cream or fluff
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups chopped salted peanuts
  • 1 package (14 oz) caramels


1. Prepare a 9x13 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Place the chocolate chips, butterscotch or peanut butter chips, and 1/3 cup of peanut butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until melted, stirring after every 45 seconds to prevent overheating. Once the chocolate mixture is melted and completely smooth, pour half of it in the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Set aside the remaining chocolate mixture for later use, and place the pan in the refrigerator to set the chocolate while you prepare the next layer.

3. Place the butter, sugar, and evaporated milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolves. Stir occasionally until the mixture comes to a boil. Once it reaches this point, stir continuously while boiling for five minutes.

4. After five minutes, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the marshmallow cream, remaining 1/3 cup of peanut butter, and the chopped peanuts. Spread this over the chocolate layer in the pan, taking care to not disturb the chocolate and to spread it in an even layer. Return the pan to the refrigerator to set the peanut layer.

5. Unwrap the caramels and put them in a large microwave-safe bowl with 1 tablespoon of water. Microwave until melted, stirring after every minute to prevent overheating. If the caramels are very stiff and resist melting, add another tablespoon of water, but only if completely necessary. (Adding too much liquid will make the caramel soft and cause it to ooze from the fudge once it is cut.)

6. Once the caramel is melted and smooth, pour it over the peanut layer in the pan. Smooth it into an even layer, and return the pan to the refrigerator to briefly set the caramel, for about 10 minutes.

7. If the remaining chocolate-peanut butter mixture has stiffened, microwave it briefly until it is melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate over the caramel and spread it into a smooth, even layer. Allow the fudge to set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

8. Once set, remove the fudge from the pan using the foil as handles. Cut the fudge into small 1-inch squares, and put them in paper candy cups to serve.

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Bacon Turtles

Bacon candies are so popular they're almost a cliche at this point, but the reason they're so popular is because folks go gaga over them. And I must give the people what they want! These Bacon Turtles are a twist on traditional turtles: I've added a strip of crispy bacon to the familiar combination of toasted pecans, chewy caramel, and rich chocolate. The bacon doesn't make them taste bacon-y so much as a little salty, so if you really want to boost the bacon flavor, add two strips of bacon instead of just one. Or top them with crumbled bacon! Or serve them with bacon jam, between two slices of bacon, and eat them with a bacon fork. And then send me a picture, because that sounds insane.

Get the recipe: Bacon Turtles

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Bacon Turtles Photo c2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

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Tuesday, 3 January 2012

How to Make Pumpkin Cake Pops

After the pumpkin cake pops have been frozen, remove them from the freezer. Melt the candy coating in the microwave and stir until completely smooth.

Use a skewer to poke a hole in the top of a pumpkin, then dip the tip of a lollipop stick in the candy coating and press it into the hole. This will help anchor the stick into the cake pop.

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How to Make Easter Egg Cake Pops

Dip the Cake Pops in Candy?Coating

Easter Egg Cake Pops photo (c) 2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

Holding a cake pop by the stick, dip the cake entirely in the candy coating until it is covered. Remove it from the coating and gently tap the stick against the side of the bowl to remove excess coating.

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Conversation Hearts

These homemade conversation hearts make a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift. This recipe produces candy hearts that taste just like the ones you buy at the store, but your homemade hearts can be customized with whatever drawings or messages you choose. Be sure not to miss the photo tutorial with step-by-step illustrations showing how to make conversation hearts!

This recipe requires an extensive drying period, so be sure to start this process 24 hours before you need the hearts. Additionally, you will need special food-coloring markers for writing on the hearts, such as the "Gourmet Writer" markers from AmeriColor.

1. Place the corn syrup, gelatin, and water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Stir until the gelatin is well-distributed. Microwave the mixture for 30 seconds, so the gelatin dissolves, and stir well.

2. Pour the gelatin mixture into the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Alternately, if you are using a hand mixer, pour the gelatin mixture into a large bowl. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and turn the mixer to low, mixing until the sugar is incorporated.

3. Once the sugar is mixed in, add another cup of sugar, again mixing on low until it liquefies. Continue to add the remaining powdered sugar, one cup at a time, pausing in between additions to allow the sugar to mix in, until the full two pounds of powdered sugar is added. Periodically, stop the mixer and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. The candy will progress from a thin, watery liquid to a very stiff dough.

4. Once all of the sugar is incorporated, dust a work surface (counter or large cutting board) with powdered sugar and scrape the candy out onto the work surface. The candy will be very sticky and stiff. Generously dust the top of the ball of candy with powdered sugar, and begin to knead the candy like bread dough: fold the ball of dough over onto itself, then use the heel of your hand to push it down. Give the candy a quarter-turn, and repeat the process, dusting it with more powdered sugar as often as necessary to prevent it from sticking to the board or your hands. Knead until the candy is satiny and not sticky.

5.Decide how many colors/flavors of conversation hearts you want to make, and divide the candy dough into that many portions. To flavor and color the candy, take one of the balls and flatten it into a palm-sized disc. Add a few drops of food coloring and flavoring extract to the center of the disc, and fold it over on itself. (It is a good idea to wear disposable plastic gloves during this step to keep your hands free of colors and odors.) Knead the dough ball, just as you did before, until the color is evenly dispersed throughout the candy, and all streaks have disappeared. Repeat this process with remaining candy balls and colors/flavors, until all of your candy is colored and flavored.

6. Dust your work surface and a rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out one of the candy balls to your desired thickness. Small store-bought conversation hearts tend to be fairly thick, generally over 1/4” thick. I find that this thickness works well for small hearts (under 1”), but it makes larger heart sizes very substantial and a little overwhelming. However, the thickness is entirely a matter of personal preference and does not affect the taste of the final candy.

7. Use heart-shaped cutters to cut hearts out of the rolled candy, and transfer the hearts to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Smaller hearts are more realistic, but larger hearts are easier to write messages on. Once you have cut out your hearts, you can re-roll the scraps to get more shapes out of the candy. Repeat with remaining candy balls.

8. Allow your hearts to air-dry for at least 24 hours before you write on them. This step is VERY important, because the extra moisture in the hearts will cause the ink to run if you do not let them dry properly.

9. After the hearts have dried for a day, use the food writing markers to write messages or draw designs on the hearts. Store your conversation hearts in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Top 10 Candy Recipes of 2011

On this, the last day of 2011, I thought it would be fun to look back at the most popular recipes on my site this year. These Top 10 Candies are the recipes that got the most cumulative page views from January 1, 2011 until yesterday. Some of these are not surprising--we could all use a quick and easy fondant recipe now and then!--but some are a little bit unexpected. (Who knew how popular rock candy could be?) So, without further ado:
  1. Marshmallow Fondant
  2. Rock Candy
  3. Peppermint Bark (this one got a big boost from Christmas visitors!)
  4. Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels
  5. Basic Marzipan
  6. Candy Apples
  7. Saltine Toffee
  8. Turtle Candy
  9. Soft Caramels
  10. Red Velvet Cake Truffles
Happy New Year! Here's to hoping next year is even sweeter.

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Red Velvet Cake Truffles Photo c2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

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Monday, 2 January 2012

Chocolate Orange Fondue

You may be wondering why this Chocolate Orange Fondue is on a candy site. Well, first of all, fondue is delicious, so it is welcome anywhere. But more importantly, this fondue is made from a candy! My family has a tradition of receiving chocolate oranges in our Christmas stockings, which is a lovely custom, but it invariably means that we have a half-dozen chocolate oranges bouncing around the house after Christmas. Sometimes the oranges are eaten, but more often they're "saved" and rediscovered six months later, a little the worse for the wear.

Instead of hoarding our chocolate oranges this year, I've vowed to turn them into a delicious dessert instead. We'll take those chocolate oranges, melt them down, and add a little cream to produce this luxuriously rich Chocolate Orange Fondue. It's a creamy, smooth chocolate with a nice citrus flavor that makes it perfect for dipping fruits, cakes, rice crispy treats, marshmallows, or pretzels.

If you don't have any chocolate oranges, never fear. This recipe can be made with any good-quality chocolate, so gather all those scraps of chocolate bars and chips that are lying around, and get cooking! This is also a fun dessert for a New Year's Eve party--nothing says "ringing in the new year" like eating recycled candy from the year before!

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Chocolate Orange Fondue Photo c2010 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

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