Polar Bear Paws

My friend Karen gifted me some of this delicious candy as a Christmas gift this year and she was kind enough to share the recipe with me. I highly recommend making these for your Holiday gifting!

Polar Bear Paws

11 oz caramel bits or unwrapped squares
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts
24 oz white chocolate almond bark

Start by placing the caramel bits or unwrapped caramel squares in a medium sized microwave safe bowl and add in the whole milk and unsalted butter.

Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Stir in the pure vanilla extract. Add in the dry roasted peanuts and allow the mixture to sit and thicken for about 10 minutes.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Dollop out tablespoon size amounts of the caramel and peanut mixture onto the prepared baking sheets.

Place into the freezer for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, melt the white chocolate almond bark in a large microwave safe bowl for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Stir in one tablespoon solid vegetable shortening if the mixture needs to be slightly thinned out – which makes the dipping process easier.

Remove the mounds from the freezer and carefully pull off from the parchment paper. Using two forks, dip each piece into the melted white chocolate almond bark and coat evenly. Place back onto parchment lined baking sheets.

Allow the white chocolate almond bark to harden slightly before enjoying. If refrigerating or freezing these to speed up the hardening process, be sure to eat and serve at room temperature only.

Enjoy!

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Saltine Cracker Candy

My “Saltine Cracker Candy” can be found in my cookbook but since there’s been a lot of talk about it, I decided to share it here with all of you – step by step. This recipe can also be made using pretzels, pretzel chips, graham crackers, Ritz crackers, club crackers or sourdough thins. Feel free to use dark chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate or a variety. Also feel free to top with a variety of chopped nuts.

Enjoy!

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2 Minute Chocolate Fudge 

I love chocolate fudge and have a made from scratch version in my cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” as well as a “quicker” version that uses sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. This newest version though is quickly becoming my favorite one! I am highly recommending everyone to try this! It literally takes two minutes to stir it up. The longest – and hardest part – is having to wait for the fudge to chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Patience is a virtue! I am sharing this recipe – with step by step photographs – on my Facebook page which can be found by clicking here – http://facebook.com/blaisethebaker

2 Minute Chocolate Fudge

4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, cubed fine
1/4 cup chocolate milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Start by lining a loaf pan with plastic wrap. Spray the plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl sift together the confectioner’s sugar and unsweetened cocoa powder. Add in the prepared unsalted butter and the chocolate milk.

Microwave on high for 1 minute, 30 seconds.

Remove and whisk until smooth.

Add in the pure vanilla extract and salt.

Whisk again.

Pour into prepared loaf pan and wrap with sides of plastic wrap. Place into the refrigerator for one hour.

Remove and cut. Serve.

Enjoy!

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TAKE IT STEP BY STEP…











Classic M&M Cookies 

I love the color – and taste – of these deliciously old-fashioned cookies! They take me right back to my childhood and buying cookies at the mall. These are chewy inside and have a slight crunch outside. I used dark chocolate M&M candies for these but you can use your favorite variety.

Classic M&M Cookies

1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups M&M candy

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the solid vegetable shortening, light brown sugar and white granulated sugar. Combine until no white shortening streaks are visable. Mixture will be thick.

Beat in the two large eggs.

Stir in the pure vanilla extract, baking soda and salt.

Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour.

Gently fold in 1/2 cup of the M&M candy.

Roll dough into teaspoon size balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Top the rest of the cookies with the remaining cup of M&M candy.

Bake, one baking sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 13 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool.

Enjoy!

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Chew This! Sharing Recipes

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month called “Chew This!” I absolutely love it and love sharing my family recipes, stories and memories. If you are in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy of the newspaper today and let me know what you think! If you are not, but would still like to take a look, sign up for an online subscription at http://thecouriertimes.com Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I will be happy to help! blaisethebaker@gmail.com

My newest column is all about celebrating love with recipes and memories! I love celebrating life by doing things for the ones you love, sharing memories with one another, making new memories and by swapping classic family recipes. I have known Theresa Pierce for many years now and over time have gotten to know her family as well. She is an excellent cook and the gene runs in her family. Today I am sharing not one – not two – but THREE recipes from Theresa’s family. Two from Theresa’s Grandma Mary and one from Theresa’s Mom, Grace. All of the recipes I am sharing my family and I love as well – and I hope you and your family will make these, enjoy them and pass them along! 

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature is about casseroles and sharing even more recipes! 

Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think!

Grandma Mary’s Graham Cracker Treats

Grace’s Cap’n Crunch Treats


Grandma Mary’s Cheesy Chicken Casserole

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_88784e35-ad56-5444-807c-de4a3dc8e036.html

Enjoy!

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Chew This! Nancy’s Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month called “Chew This!” I absolutely love it and love sharing my family recipes, stories and memories. If you are in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy of the newspaper today and let me know what you think! If you are not, but would still like to take a look, sign up for an online subscription at http://thecouriertimes.com Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I will be happy to help! blaisethebaker@gmail.com


My newest column is all about sharing recipes and memories with family and friends. A couple weeks ago my Grandma Deloris had the chance to “Live A Dream” and she did so by visiting “Rose City Bowl” in New Castle, Indiana! Grandma was a professional bowler for 48 years and did not think she would ever get the chance to bowl again. It was an emotional – and memorable – experience that we are so thankful for. Huge shoutout and special thanks to Glen Oaks Health Campus for making her dream a reality! Shoutout and special thanks also to Nancy McCormack for sharing with me her recipe for homemade crunchy peanut butter cups! These are delicious and I highly recommend them!

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature is about chicken salad, tarragon, lemon and more tips. Check it out!

Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think!


Nancy’s Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_1c837505-0e39-5f1f-9e9c-01f658ff8620.html

Enjoy! 

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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