Rocky Road Bark

I love the flavor combinations of rocky road and I love chocolate bark – so what could be better than combinding them together? The fabulous part about this recipe – aside from the fabulous results – is that the recipe can literally be transformed into millions of different flavor combinations! I use semi-sweet chocolate for the base but feel free to use bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate or even a combination of chocolates all swirled together. Also top with anything your heart desires. Crushed up potato chips, crushed peppermint candies, dried fruit, candy sprinkles – ANYTHING! 

How fabulous is that!?

Rocky Road Bark

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon solid vegetable shortening
2 cups chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon solid vegetable shortening

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place on top a sheet of parchment paper. 

In a large bowl combine the semi-sweet chocolate chips with the solid vegetable shortening. Microwave on high power 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until the chocolate is melted and smooth and glossy. 

Carefully pour the melted chocolate directly in the center of the parchment paper. Using the back side of a spoon spread the melted chocolate out into a rectangle about the size of 12 inches by 18 inches. You want the chocolate thin enough to snap when cooled but not too thin as to break when loading on the topping. Be careful not to make the chocolate too thick either or it will not form traditional bark. 

Once the chocolate is formed sprinkle on the lightly toasted walnuts, mini marshmallows and the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.

In a microwave safe bowl combine the white chocolate chips with the solid vegetable shortening. Microwave on high power 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until the white chocolate is melted and smooth and glossy. 

Take a spoon and drizzle the melted white chocolate over the entire surface of the bark. Use whatever pattern you desire but I think that a single line back and forth across horizontally looks the best. 

You may not use all of the white chocolate. 

Place into the refrigerator for 2 hours. 

Remove and carefully break the bark up into pieces. Store at room temperature. 

Enjoy!

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Pretzel Candy Buttons

Anyone ever had these!? Delicious!

“Pretzel Candy Buttons”

Place dark salted round pretzels on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place a HERSHEY’S KISS in the middle. Bake at 275 degree F. for 3 minutes. Remove and place a M&M’s candy in the center. Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes. 

Remove and enjoy!

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Chew This – Christmas Divinity 

Christmas is just around the corner and one of my favorite Christmas memories is that of old-fashioned Christmas candy. Ribbon candy, lemon drops, chocolate covered cherries, candied pecans and made from scratch divinity are just some of the Christmas candies that fill my dreams around this time of year. 

Have you ever had divinity? Divinity is an old-fashioned beaten candy that is typically made with egg whites. It’s a personal favorite in my household around the Holidays and I really think after you try this recipe, it will become a personal favorite of you and yours as well. 


Christmas Divinity 

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_cebeeebd-ae41-5eab-bf9f-82e61b296675.html

Enjoy! 

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Sally’s Candy Addiction GIVEAWAY Winner

THANK YOU to everyone who entered my “Sally’s Candy Addiction” GIVEAWAY! There were hundreds of entries, but only one winner could be picked…

The winner is… (drum roll, please)

Nick Wilson!!!

Congratulations! I’ll be emailing you shortly…

For those who didn’t win – STAY TUNED for more giveaways in the future!

Blaise

GIVEAWAY – Sally’s Candy Addiction

I LOVE this cookbook! What’s not to love with recipes for ALL types of candy such as – marshmallows, candied apples, popcorn balls, cake pops, candy bars, bark, truffles, caramels, fudge and MORE! PLUS there is a great section in here about melting chocolate and the tips and tricks involved, that really make it foolproof. Did I mention the gorgeous color photos for EACH and every recipe!?

Matter of fact, I LOVE this cookbook so much – I’m wanting to spread the love and give a copy away! I really think this cookbook will be loved by everyone, and I highly recommend you enter to win! Also check out Sally’s website (http://sallysbakingaddiction.com) as well as her FIRST cookbook (which I also love), “Sally’s Baking Addiction”.

How to you enter to win!?

Scroll down, past the picture…

Sally's Candy Addiction Blaise the Baker Giveaway

ENTER TO WIN by clicking on “a Rafflecopter giveaway”…

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Good luck!

Blaise

UPDATE: (10/26/2015) The giveaway is now closed. THANK YOU to everyone that participated! A winner will be announced shortly! Watch your emails…

-Blaise

Cookbook Corner – Artisan Caramels

I’ve always been a huge candy fan (I know, big surprise right?) – but I’ve not actually been a huge fan of caramel, until just a few years ago. I’m not sure what there wasn’t to love for me, when I was turning it down left and right when I was younger – who knows… But now? I can’t get enough. That’s why I’m so excited to share today’s “Cookbook Corner” with everyone! It’s full of caramel, and fabulous!

Artisan Caramels Cookbook Corner Blaise the Baker

“Artisan Caramels” By: Sandy Arevalo

If you love caramel – you will love this book! End of story… It’s a fabulous book filled with different caramel flavor combinations that, up until now, you’ve only dreamed of!

The book is slim in size and volume, but busting with crazy-good flavor and delightful flavor combinations, it will have your head spinning.

Sandy Arevalo walks you through each caramel recipe, and if you read ahead and follow the recipe – your results will be perfect every single time.

Opening the book, is the “basic ingredients”. Guess what? If you have heavy cream, corn syrup, sugar, butter, vanilla and salt in your pantry…you can make caramels!

I loved how Sandy had a list of “tools” that are needed to make the caramel making process easier. It really helps when putting the whole picture together, and gives you information as to why each tool is needed. Her “Helpful Hints” (also in the introduction) were also much used and appreciated.

Before diving into the book, I DO suggest you not only read the “introduction”, but pay close attention to Sandy’s “Step-By-Step Caramels” in which she has taken the time to explain and photograph each step. This takes the guess work out of the recipe, and really gives the reader an idea of what the process will look like.

The book is divided into 6 sections, each with amazing recipes.

The sections (and some of the recipes included in each are…)

Just The Basics (where any of the four recipes could be taken and developed into other delicious confectioneries) “Salted Vanilla Bean Caramels” (page 2 and my personal favorite), “Chocolate Caramels” (page 4 and delicious when sprinkled with a little ground cinnamon) and “Espresso Caramels” (page 8).

The Pie’s The Limit (where the caramels flavor is transformed into that of a pie) “Apple Pie Caramels” (page 14), “Pumpkin Pie Caramels” (page 16), “Pecan Pie Caramels” (page 20), and “Banana Cream Pie Caramels” (page 22 and believe me – these are fabulous!).

Chocolate Lovers (where chocolate and caramel collide) “Chocolate Orange Caramels” (page 28), Hot, Hot Chocolate Caramels (page 32), “Raspberry and White Chocolate Caramels” (page 34 and one of the best recipes in the book…my 2nd favorite to just the original vanilla caramels), and “Banana Chocolate Walnut Caramels” (page 36).

Specialty Desserts (where popular desserts are transformed into caramels) “Red Velvet Caramels” (page 40 – ummm yes, please!), “Strawberry Cheesecake Caramels” (page 44), “Tiramisu Caramels” (page 46), and “Samoa Caramels” (page 50).

Around The World (where world flavors are infused into caramels) “Matcha Green Tea Caramels” (page 56), “Stout and Pretzel Caramels” (page 62), “Earl Grey and Lemon Caramels” (page 64), “Saffron and Blood Orange Olive Oil Caramels” (page 66 – and next on my list to try…), and “Blackberry and Ginger Caramels” (page 68).

Holidays and more (these are perfect caramels to serve around the Holidays) “Eggnog Caramels” (page 76), “Peppermint Mocha Caramels” (page 78), “Lemon Lavender Caramels” (page 80), “French Toast Caramels” (page 82), and “Cinnamon Roll Caramels” (page 84 and the CUTEST pieces of caramel I’ve ever seen…)

I mean, how delicious do all of those sound!? And believe me – the recipes I’ve tried are delicious! A lot of people are afraid to make their own candy, but if you just follow a couple of important rules – the recipe will be foolproof. One important rule – get (and use) a GOOD candy thermometer. Another tip? READ the recipe ahead of time, and make sure you understand the times and temperatures. Sandy has given all of the appropriate information on each recipe about the temperature, boiling time, etc.

I highly recommend this for those who love caramel, and for those who love making candy. It’s a beautiful book, with delightful photographs and inspiring recipes.

To learn more about Sandy, her business “Firefly Confections” (including ORDERING her delicious caramels), please click here…
http://www.fireflyconfections.com/

To buy “Artisan Caramels”, please click here…
http://cedarfort.com/artisan-caramels-classic-and-inspired-confections-paperback.html#.VR3hLfnF-So

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. More information can be found by emailing me your questions. Shout out and special thanks to Cedar Fort Publishing and Sandy Arevalo for this opportunity.

Blaise

Nigella Lawson’s Vanilla Fudge

A couple of weeks ago, I made a Nigella Lawson recipe for “Vanilla Fudge” that I found on her website. I had printed it out months ago, and finally got around to making it – and WOW – SO rich, delicious and super addictive! If you are watching your weight – look away, because this recipe will make your blood race.

It makes a LOT – but share with your family and friends. Or – just make it last. This fudge will last about a week at room temperature. I shared most of mine… SOME of mine… OK – I shared a little… 😉

Her recipe makes about “77 pieces” – which is about right, depending on how big you cut the pieces. I cut mine into smaller than normal pieces due to their richness and “full of sugar” flavor – which I enjoyed quite a bit…

ALSO – this recipe makes the PERFECT gift to give to your Valentine’s Day friends… xo

Nigella's Vanilla Fudge Blaise the Baker

Nigella’s Vanilla Fudge

2 sticks soft butter
1 x 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
¾ cup milk
2 tablespoons golden syrup or light corn syrup
4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Fill a small bowl or jug with ice cold water and put near the stove. Grease a tin of approx. 30 x 20cm / 12 x 8 inch or 25cm / 10 inch square, or use a throwaway foil tin.

Put all the ingredients, apart from the vanilla, into a large, heavy bottomed pan and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.

Boil for 12-20 minutes, still stirring all the time, until the mixture is golden and, when a bit is dropped into the water, it turns solid but still squidgy, i.e., till soft-ball stage. How long this takes depends on how ferociously it bubbles as well as on the properties and dimensions of the pan. This is hot work!

When the fudge is at soft-ball stage, very carefully remove the pan from the stove and stir in the vanilla.

Preferably using an electric whisk beat for about five minutes, by which time the fudge will have thickened to the texture of stiff peanut butter – this is quite steamy and strenuous – and pour and push into the prepared tin. Smooth the top as well as you can.

Put in the fridge to cool, but don’t keep it there for more than 2 hours, or it will set too hard, then remove and using a sharp knife, cut into squares.

Enjoy!

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Chew This – Candied Pecans

Happy “Super Bowl” Sunday – and Happy “Chew This” Sunday! Oh – and Happy February 1st! I’m so excited to share this recipe with everyone. I’ve taken a basic recipe, turned up the flavor and made it basically foolproof!

Candied Pecans Blaise Doubman Chew This

Candied Pecans

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/article_bf210868-a596-11e4-9bcb-6b99c1488547.html

Try it – and let me know what you think! Email me at blaisethebaker@gmail.com

I look forward to hearing from you…

Blaise

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Chew This – Chocolate Brownie Truffles

Happy Sunday and Happy Holidays! Today is the official publication of my newest “CHEW THIS” column for “The Courier-Times”! I am SO excited to share this recipe with everyone…

It’s quick, easy, delicious, rich – perfect for last minute Holiday gift giving!

Be sure to pick up a copy TODAY and let me know what you think – and be sure to check out my Facebook page (http://facebook.com/blaisethebaker) for by “step by step” photos.

Chocolate Brownie Truffles Chew This Blog

Chocolate Brownie Truffles

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/article_1b7de2b4-847e-11e4-be06-b33907dea23b.html

Blaise

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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Please everyone stay safe – and enjoy the candy! 😉

If you have any leftover Halloween candy – why not add what you have left to some chocolate brownies!?

Click here for the recipe… (feel free to substitute any type of candy for the peanut butter cups! Experiment – and have fun!)

https://blaisethebaker.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/chocolate-peanut-butter-cup-fudge-brownies/

Blaise