Valentine’s Day Candy Bark

For some odd reason I decided to make our bark in a pie pan.  Bad idea–stick to waxed paper on a jellyroll pan.  I love how the salty pretzels help offset the sweet of the candy bark.  Once the candy has melted, you’ll want to work quickly so that it doesn’t set before you place your decorations on it.  Thanks to Wilton for the original idea!

Valentine’s Day Candy Bark

Ingredients:

  • white candy bark
  • chocolate candy bark
  • pretzel twists
  • M&Ms
  • sprinkles

Directions:

Line jellyroll pan with wax paper.  In microwave safe bowl, melt white candy bark according to package directions.  Spread over wax paper in thin layer.  Lightly place pretzels on white bark as desired.  Melt 1/4 to 1/3 package of chocolate candy bark according to package directions.  Carefully spoon into openings of pretzels, covering pretzel so that it resembles a chocolate heart in the center.  Place M&M or desired candy in middle of pretzel hearts.  Decorate white bark with sprinkles.  Leave at room temperature or put in cool place to harden.  Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

Chocolate Cavity-Maker Cake

choc-cav-cake-1

When I want a rich, chocolatey cake this is my go-to recipe.  It’s heavenly when it’s just warm and the chocolate chips are gooey.  Enjoy it with a hot cup of coffee or tea!  I got this recipe from my dad who printed it off of allrecipes.com.  It looks like their version is slighty different from mine, though.

Chocolate Cavity-Maker Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 box dark chocolate cake mix
  • 1 sm. box instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 C. canola oil
  • 1/4 C. milk
  • 1/4 C. coffee
  • 1 C. chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 10″ bundt pan.  In lg. bowl combine cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, eggs, oil, milk, and coffee.  Beat until well blended.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Batter will be thick.  Spoon into prepared pan.  Bake 1 hour or until cake springs back when lightly tapped.  Cool about 10 minutes in pan, loosen sides with thing spatula or knife, and turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.  Dust with powdered sugar to make pretty.  Best served warm.

choc-cav-cake-2

Buckeyes

buckeyes

We absolutely love Buckeyes!  They are a family Christmas tradition and the holidays just aren’t complete without this peanut-buttery treat on the table.  This year my niece made them and she did an excellent job!

Buckeyes

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 C. crunchy OR creamy peanut butter
  • 3 C. Rice Krispies cereal
  • 3 C. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 lb. paraffin wax
  • Lg. Hershey bar or other melting chocolate

Directions:

In lg. bowl, mix together butter, peanut butter, cereal, and powdered sugar.  Melt chocolate and wax together in double boiler.  Form peanut butter mixture into balls, dip in chocolate to cover, and place on wax paper to harden.

Easy Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

easy-pb-cookies

We made this peanut butter cookies to snack on this Christmas.  I actually have two Peanut Butter Kiss Cookie recipes–this is the simple one.  It has surprisingly good taste for how few ingredients are included.  This recipe lends itself well to having children help–they love putting the chocolate on top.

Easy Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 4 C. creamy peanut butter
  • 2 1/2 C. sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 72 Hershey Kisses or chocolate stars

Directions:

Unwrap Kisses.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In lg. bowl, stir together peanut butter, sugar, and eggs until blended (it will be sticky).  Using a small scoop, drop 1 1/2″ balls of dough on cookie sheet about 1 1/2″ apart.  Bake 12-14 minutes, until cookies look dry and tops look cracked.  Remove from oven and immediately press a Kiss or chocolate star in center of each cookie.  Leave on cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.  Make sure chocolate has set before storing.

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

IMG_7848 crThis post contains an affiliate link.

Did you know that it’s really, really easy to make your own Nutella®-type spread?  I’m here to tell you that it is!  My kids were amazed by this stuff, and I must say that I liked it better than the store bought kind.  The original recipe can be found at Hell Yeah It’s Vegan!

IMG_7845 crThis is another recipe that allowed me to use my Nutri Ninja.  It was so easy to just layer all of the ingredients in one of the blender cups and let the blender do the rest.  I couldn’t find whole hazelnuts at the store, so I used hazelnut meal instead.  It worked out just fine.  I also used 2 Tbsp. oil in the spread, otherwise there wasn’t enough liquid to blend it properly.

IMG_7846 cr

This is what it looked like when it was finished.  The consistency was similar to a non-Newtonian fluid, if you know what that is.  Like when you mix cornstarch and water to make a fluid that resists force, but becomes liquid again when left to rest.  One full recipe of this spread was enough to feed all seven of us for breakfast, with just a tad leftover.  It was absolutely delicious and we highly recommend it!

Easy Vegan Cake

IMG_7800 cr

Doesn’t that look delectable?  You’d better believe that it was!  I think this cake can trace its roots to the Great Depression, when it was hard to come by animal products such as milk and eggs.  At any rate, this recipe is vegan and it’s quite simple to make.  I made this version without the optional coffee substitute, but next time I’ll make it with the coffee.  I think it would really improve the flavor.  Sorry, I don’t know the original source of the recipe; somebody printed it off and gave it to me years ago.

IMG_7799 cr

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 C. flour
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 C. warm water
  • powdered sugar (optional)
  • chocolate syrup (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a square brownie pan.  In medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  Make 3 depressions in flour mixture and pour in canola oil, vanilla, and vinegar.  Pour warm water over this and mix until moistened.  Do not beat.   Pour batter into pan.  Bake 30 minutes, until done in the middle.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  To serve, dust with powdered sugar and/or drizzle on chocolate syrup.

Variations: Substitute spices for cocoa powder and/or coffee for water.

IMG_7797 cr

French Bread with Chocolate Sauce

IMG_6976 cr

This breakfast idea was inherited from my husband’s late grandpa.  He used to serve it to his grandkids on occasion, as a special treat.  I had never even heard of it until after we were married.  My son requested this a couple of days ago for his birthday, so we got to enjoy it again.  It’s so easy to make, and I’m sure your family will enjoy it, too!  We have discovered that is best with bread that has been warmed and comes crispy out of the oven.  You can still eat it with soft bakery French bread, but it isn’t quite as nice.

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 1 jar hot fudge sauce

Directions:

If you got a take-and-bake French loaf, warm it in the oven as directed.  Warm hot fudge sauce in the microwave.  When bread is done, cut it into slices.  Smear each slice with hot fudge sauce.  Enjoy!

Serves: 4-5

IMG_6978 cr

Graze Review # 3

IMG_5946 crThis post contains affiliate links.

Graze box number three–yum yum for my tum tum!  This box was a special order Valentine’s Day box with four chocolatey treats.  I’m a serious chocoholic, so you had better believe that I was looking forward to this little box.  Is it bad that my kids don’t even know I got this?  Do any other moms keep “mommy treats” that are hidden from their kids?

IMG_5947 cr

The yummy varieties included:

  • Honeycomb Crunch — milk chocolate honeycomb, almonds & raisins.  Oh my, yes!  The almonds and raisins were yummy, but the chocolate honeycomb was delish!!  Man, I wanted some more of that stuff about two seconds after finishing it.
  • Campfire S’mores — milk chocolate & salted almond buttons, cookie drops & vanilla marshmallows.  Thumbs up!  I think I liked the cookie drops the most, as weird as that is.  I didn’t care for how all of the ingredients tasted together, but they were great when eaten separately.
  • Dark Rocky Road — Belgian dark chocolate buttons, cranberries & pecans.  I didn’t think I would like this one as much, but it turned out to be my overall favorite.  The flavors complement each other really well.
  • Cookies & Cream — mini chocolate cookies, white chocolate buttons, hazelnuts & sunflower seeds.  I haven’t tried this one yet.  Maybe it will be tonight’s snack.

Cost: $6.99/box (4-snack box; other options available)

Shipping: Included

Final Thoughts: Still lovin’ this box.  Super yumariffic!

Check it out for yourself: Graze

Sign up with my code to get your first and fifth boxes free!  LORIB3M2P

Chocolate Monsters

009 cr

Some time ago, I subscribed to All You magazine, thinking I’d save tons of money using their coupons.  That hasn’t happened, but I have come across a few cool ideas to try out.  The last issue featured chocolate-covered rice krispie treats that were decorated to look like monsters.  Perfect to try out with the kids!  Here are photos showcasing the process.

002 cr

005 cr

006-2 cr

007-2 cr

011 cr