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. 

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 is 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 will be emailing you shortly…

For those who did not win – STAY TUNED for more giveaways in the future!

Blaise

GIVEAWAY – Sally’s Candy Addiction

I LOVE this cookbook! What is 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 am 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

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 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
¾ cup milk
2 tablespoons 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 am so excited to share this recipe with everyone. I have 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 is 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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The Original Good’s Candies

Tomorrow is October 1st and of course that means that “The Original Good’s Candies” in Kennard, will be officially OPEN! I always wait for this time of year (and try not to gorge myself on their candy) and it really signals the “official” start of Fall to me and my family.

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“Good’s Candies”

Good’s Candies has been in Kennard for as long as I can remember. I grew up on not only just their delicious candy, but wonderful memories visiting the shop as well. My Grandma Barbra still shares stories of when she worked for them (which I still request she tell me) and every time she shares them with me, the stories get sweeter and sweeter. Literally…because usually I am eating some “Good’s” when she’s story telling.

All of their candy is hand dipped and made from scratch – which is hard to find in today’s world. It’s made in small batches and hand dipped – and ran by the same family for generations! It is REAL “high quality” chocolate that is, without question, my favorite candy on Earth!

Some of my favorites!? Where to I begin? Their milk chocolate dipped toffee is amazing! Deliciously layered milk chocolate en-robbing a large chunky piece of scratch made toffee. (Of course also available in dark chocolate – but I find the milk chocolate to go better with the buttery toffee).

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I also enjoy their maple cream, peanut butter cream, vanilla cream, and raspberry cream. (The raspberry is a deliciously colored purple / pink that is just as gorgeous to look at as it is to eat…)

They also offer “chips” – mint, raspberry and molasses flavored “honeycomb” dipped in chocolate – all wonderful!

And do not get me started on their nut candies! Oh my… pecan rolls, black walnut rolls and chocolate bark are all equally delicious. And you can not forget their chocolate dipped cherries! Like cherries? These are the BEST!

They also offer “house specialties” that simply CAN NOT be missed! Snappers, Chatter Bars and Bourbon Cherries. Let me stop right here though… When you go YOU MUST TRY THE “Chatter Bars”! They are one of my FAVORITES and after one bite – they will be your new favorites as well! Delicious and thick vanilla filling with that “something extra” that really adds to the dark chocolate coating.

And you can not forget their “extras” which include caramel corn, chocolate dipped marshmallows, chocolate dipped pretzels and chocolate covered Oreos – to name just a few.

“Vickery Chocolatier” truffles are also featured exclusively and – OH. MY. These are a MUST TRY!

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Straight from their website… “Our exclusive line of ‘Vickery Chocolatier’ offers ganache made with real cream, and infused with all natural flavors, many of which are grown in house. Extremely small batches are individually hand dipped and hand piped by our own Le Cordon Blu Chef. Seasonally varying flavors include but are not limited to: Fresh Peppermint, Wild Black Raspberry, Double Chocolate, White Chocolate Cardamom, Dark Rum, Port Wine, Whole Bean Espresso, Irish Cream, Hazel Nut, Grand Marnier, Spicy Ancho Chile, Key Lime, Asian Ginger and other custom flavors available upon request!”

Now – really…how bad could that be!? The white chocolate cardamom is calling my name NOW! 

My FAVORITE FAVORITE though!? Their white chocolate LEMONTHE BEST! (They offer a wide selection in white chocolate as well! Contact them for more information…)

I highly HIGHLY recommend everyone stopping in at “Good’s Candies” in Kennard and buying some of their amazing handcrafted chocolates. And take the time to chat too – they always love hearing where you are coming from, and what types of candy are your favorites…

Kevin and Kathy (Good’s Candies owners) are a delight to talk with – and their passion and love for their business and chocolate both run deep.

Stop in and try some – starting TOMORROW!!!

“Good’s Candies” is located at 116 South Main Street, in Kennard, Indiana.

Their phone number is (765) 785-6776

And guess what!? Can’t get to Kennard? THEY TAKE ORDERS ONLINE!!!

Visit them here to read more about their company AND to order your chocolates…

http://goodscandies.com/

Also check them out on Facebook, here…
https://www.facebook.com/goodscandies

Tell them BLAISE sent you!!!
(and wait until you see what they offer for Easter! Hint: BIG chocolate eggs!) 

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Dreaming in chocolate,

Blaise

(Photos throughout by “Good’s Candies” Facebook page)

Buckeye Candy

The other day I ventured into the land of candy making – which I thoroughly enjoyed. Even sent a couple of text messages signing myself off as “Candyman”. Ha! 

I had been promising myself I would make this confection since last October and decided that today would be the day. I started off (as I usually do before making anything) researching my recipe collection and by talking with my Grandma Barbra. I had made buckeye candy one time and used a Paula Deen recipe from her “Southern Bible” – but it did not work out. The butter measurement in that recipe needs to be checked – it can not be right. It didn’t call for enough butter. I know…shocked since it was a Paula Deen recipe, but the results of that batch were very dry and crumbly.

I passed on Paula’s recipe and used one that my Grandma suggested from an old Kennard Friend’s Church cookbook – I believe the date of the book was around the 1960’s? The recipe looked simple enough – but called for paraffin wax. My Grandma explained to me (from her years working at Good’s Candies in Kennard and their refusal to use wax in their candies) that I could omit this – so I did.

The results were fantastic! Now – I did manage (as I sometimes do) to change the recipe a little, so the following is “my” recipe adapted from the original. I also made the buckeye candy about a size smaller than a golf ball – I tend to make my cupcakes, cookies, etc. on the LARGER side…and these were no exception.

They are a RICH dessert – so eat wisely!

Buckeye Candy

Homemade Buckeye Candy 

1 18oz. jar of Reese’s Creamy Peanut Butter
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter
5 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 12oz. bags of chocolate chips
Parchment paper
Toothpicks

Line a baking sheet (13 X 9) with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl (microwave safe) unwrap and melt 2 sticks of butter. Don’t melt them completely down – but take them well past the “softened” stage. Allow to cool for about a minute. Then to the melted butter, add the whole 18oz. jar of Reese’s Creamy Peanut Butter. Stir well to combine both.

NOTE on peanut butter – I used Reese’s brand. Any brand would work here. I also used creamy peanut butter. I have heard of people making buckeye candy with crunchy – but I can not say that I am one of those people that would like it. 

After you have combined the butter and peanut butter – measure out 1 cup of the confectioner’s sugar and add to the butter and peanut butter mixture. Slowly combine. Do this until all 5 cups are used. The mixture will turn stiff and hard to stir. This is when you may want to use your hands. After about the 3rd cup addition, I started mixing with my hands and continued to do so for the other two cups. Add the 1 tablespoon of vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined.

Next is to start making the balls. Roll them in whatever size you desire – although I recommend the smaller the better. About the size of a real life buckeye (which of course is where this recipe got it’s name – from the Ohio State Buckeye). I rolled mine into a larger ball, and although the results were delicious – some people can not pack such a rich punch all at once. So it really depends on who you are making these for.

Line the balls on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Have them fairly close to each other – but not touching. Once you have all the balls rolled and lined on the baking sheet, next is the toothpicks. Insert a toothpick into the top of each ball – pushing most of the way through.

Once the toothpicks are all inserted, put the baking sheet into the freezer (deep freeze) for at least 45 minutes.

Once 45 minutes is up – melt the 2 12oz. bags of chocolate chips in a medium sized bowl (microwave safe) for 3 minutes, in 30 second intervals. Make sure you stir the chocolate between each trip into the microwave.

Now, there is a trick for the perfect buckeye candy. Make sure the buckeye candy is really cold (hence the reason they are in the freezer) and make sure the chocolate is really warm. You will need to try and work fast here.

Take the buckeyes from the freezer, and one by one (holding onto them by their toothpick) dip them into the warm chocolate – and then return the candy to the parchment lined baking sheet. Do this one at a time until all the buckeye candy is coated with the chocolate. Leave the top of the candy chocolate free – to make sure it does look like the traditional “buckeye” candy.

Once the dipping process is complete, remove the toothpicks from each buckeye candy. Return the baking sheet to the freezer (deep freeze) for about 30 minutes. After the time is up, take them out and enjoy!

Some people like eating these a little frozen, some people refrigerate them, or some people like them room temperature. I like to eat them in all varieties of the above – but the batch I made this time, I will be leaving room temperature.

Enjoy!

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Note: Since this recipe was published I have developed an even BETTER recipe for buckeye candy that can be found in my cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Dessert First”.