8 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons good-quality honey, such as Tasmanian
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sliced almonds
14 candy corns
Special equipment: latex or other thin food-safe gloves; tweezers, optional; an immersion blender, optional
Make the truffles: Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl with the chocolate over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, put the chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt at 50 percent power in the microwave until soft, about 1 minute. Stir, and continue to heat until completely melted, about 1 minute more.)
Meanwhile, bring the cream and honey to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat (or in the microwave). Gradually whisk the cream into the chocolate until smooth and shiny. Whisk in the butter until very smooth. If possible, switch to an immersion blender and blend for about 1 minute for a satiny texture. Cover the surface of the chocolate with plastic wrap; chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour.
Transfer 2 tablespoons of the chocolate mixture to a small resealable plastic bag and snip a tiny piece off one corner. Twist the top of the bag to push the chocolate mixture down to the cut corner. Set the prepared bag aside.
Line a 13-by-9-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop slightly rounded tablespoon-size portions from the remaining chilled chocolate mixture. With gloved hands, roll each portion into a ball. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.
Decorate the truffles: Let the truffles soften slightly at room temperature for about 10 minutes to make it easier to insert the almond slices. Using a tweezers if desired, gently insert a row of 8 almond slices pointed-ends down in the back of each truffle to make a fanned turkey tail. Press a candy corn, pointy-end facing toward you, on the top of each truffle to make the turkey's face and beak. Press an almond slice underneath each candy corn beak to make the turkey's waddle. Place two almond slices underneath each truffle to make the turkey's feet.
Warm the reserved bag of chocolate mixture in the microwave until soft, 5 to 8 seconds. Squeeze the bag to pipe eyes onto the candy corn faces, and pipe decorative striped lines across the almond tails. Let set at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Once set, the truffles can be held in a cool spot, out of the refrigerator, for up to 2 hours. Otherwise, refrigerate, covered, for up to 5 days. The truffles taste best if served at room temperature, not straight from the refrigerator.
Pecan Carmel Candy
2 cups pecans (halves or pieces)
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Chewy Caramel - jar
1 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups good chocolate (milk or dark, I use lindt chocolate bars for this), melted
Preheat your oven to 325ºF with a rack in the middle position. Toss the pecans with the melted butter in a large bowl, then sprinkle on the salt and toss again.
Spread out in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. The nuts will be fragrant and slightly darker in color. Set aside to cool.
Put the cream and butter in a small saucepan and warm just until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and keep close by.
Put the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large sauce pan. Gently whisk to combine, trying not to get any up the sides of the pan.
Place the pot over medium heat and do not stir any more. Let it come to a boil. Check occasionally with an instant read thermometer and remove the syrup from the heat when it is between 250ºF and 275ºF. It will be translucent and boiling rapidly at this point.
Off the heat, whisk in the warm cream and butter mixture. Be careful, because the syrup will bubble and nearly triple in size.
Return the pot to medium heat, and let it come to a boil, without stirring again. Remove from the heat when it reaches 245ºF. Watch carefully, as it cannot go above 250ºF or the caramel will be too hard and not chewy.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.
You can either use mini muffin tins to have them all uniformly shaped, or you can just drop them onto a silicone, parchment, or waxed paper lined baking sheet.
Place a few pecans in the bottom of a muffin tin, or in groups every few inches on a lined baking sheet.
Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the caramel over top of the nuts. Allow them to cool completely at this point (you can speed this up by putting them into the fridge or freezer if you're in a rush).
Once the candies are cool, melt your chocolate (I just do this in a glass bowl in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds). Dip the caramel side of the candies into the melted chocolate to coat the top, then set on a rimmed baking sheet to cool again (I always put mine in the fridge at this point to speed it up). Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
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1 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. milk
6 tbsp. butter (3/4 stick)
1 1/2 pecans *(roasted) optional
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil achieving "softball stage" (238-240°F). Remove from, heat. **Stir until mixture becomes creamy and cloudy, and pecans stay suspended in mixture. Spoon out on buttered waxed paper or parchment paper. When using waxed paper, be sure to buffer with newspaper underneath, as hot wax will transfer to whatever is underneath.
Options: Praline sauce (add 1/2 c. corn syrup to mixture) Chocolate covered praline candy. Flavored pralines (chocolate, coffee, brandy)
*To roast pecans, bake them on a sheet pan at 275°F. for 20 to 25 min. until slightly browned and fragrant.
**The least amount of stirring will result in a creamier praline. Be careful not to burn it!
Source: New Orleans School of Cooking
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Candy Bar Puffs
1 pkg. (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (2 sheets), thawed
48 ea. miniature chocolate-covered caramel nougat candy bars
2 oz. light cocoa candy melts or dark or white chocolate candy melts
Heat the oven to 400°F. Place mini baking cups into 48 (1 1/2-inch) mini muffin-pan cups.
Unfold the pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface. Roll each pastry sheet into a 10-inch square. Cut each pastry square into 25 (2-inch) squares, making 50 pastry squares in all. You will only need 48 pastry squares for this recipe. Discard the remaining squares or reserve for another use.
Brush the edges of the 48 pastry squares with water. Place 1 candy bar, top-side down, in the center of each pastry square. Fold the corners up over the filling to the center and press to seal. Place 1 filled pastry, seam-side down, into each lined muffin-pan cup.
Bake for 10 minutes or until the puffs are golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the puffs from the pan and cool on wire racks.
Melt the candy melts according to the package directions. Drizzle over the puffs.
Make-Ahead: These puffs can be baked and stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. Handle carefully because the frozen puffs can be fragile.
Ingredient Note: There are many classic candy bars available in miniature sizes- try your favorite or an assortment. This recipe is also a great way to use up leftover Halloween candy.Source: Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry
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Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
4-1/2 teaspoons butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
4 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 ounces each), coarsely chopped
Colored sprinkles, optional
In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup peanut butter, butter, confectioners' sugar and salt until smooth; set aside.
In a microwave, melt the chocolate chips, candy bars and remaining peanut butter; stir until smooth.
Drop teaspoonfuls of chocolate mixture into paper-lined miniature muffin cups. Top each with a scant teaspoonful of peanut butter mixture; top with another teaspoonful of chocolate mixture. Decorate with sprinkles if desired. Refrigerate until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 3 dozen.
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Chocolate Rum Truffles
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1 beaten egg yolk
3 teaspoons rum, brandy, or whipping cream
1 pound chocolate-flavored candy coating, chopped
Finely chopped pistachio nuts (optional)
Vanilla-flavored or pink candy coating, melted, for decorating (optional)
Combine chocolate, butter, and the 3 tablespoons whipping cream in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted (about 10 minutes). Remove saucepan from heat.
Gradually stir about half of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolk. Return egg mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove saucepan from heat.
Stir in rum, brandy, or whipping cream. Transfer chocolate mixture to a small mixing bowl. Chill about 1 hour or until mixture is room temperature and smooth, stirring occasionally.
Beat the cooled chocolate mixture with an electric mixer on medium speed about 2 minutes or until slightly fluffy. Chill about 15 minutes or until mixture holds its shape. Drop mixture from a rounded teaspoon onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Chill about 30 minutes more or until firm. Shape into smooth balls with hands, working quickly so the truffles don't get too soft.
Bring water to boiling in the bottom of a double boiler or a saucepan. Remove from heat. Place chopped chocolate-flavored candy coating in top of double boiler or in a heatproof bowl and set over the boiling water, making sure the bottom of the top pan is not touching the water. Stir frequently until coating melts. Or, melt coating in the microwave oven: In a 2 1/2-quart microwave-safe bowl, microwave candy coating on 100% power (high) for 2 minutes. Stir. If necessary, microwave 30 seconds more or until almost melted. Coating may not look melted until stirred.
Drop truffles, one at a time, into melted candy coating; turn truffles with a large, long-tine fork to coat. Lift truffle out with the fork without piercing the centers; draw fork across rim of pan to remove excess coating. Invert truffles onto a waxed-paper-lined baking sheet. If desired, twist fork slightly as candy falls to make a swirl on top.
Let dipped truffles dry until candy coating hardens. If the candy coating becomes too thick while dipping, reheat it in the microwave. Or, for coating that's been melted in a double boiler, replace the cooled water with warm water. Stir coating constantly until it once again reaches dipping consistency.
To decorate truffles, if desired, place melted vanilla-flavored or pink candy coating in a small, self-sealing plastic bag with a corner snipped off (opening should be very small) or a pastry bag fitted with a small, round tip. Pipe coating in a design atop truffles. Or, drizzle coating over truffles with a spoon. Let dry. Or, if desired, after chilling the shaped truffles for 30 minutes, roll them in finely chopped nuts instead of dipping them into melted chocolate. Makes about 30.
Make-Ahead Tip: Store truffles, tightly covered, in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks. Source:
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Candy Bar Meltaways
1 roll refrigerator sugar Slice 'n Bake cookies
1 9 1/2 oz. pkg. Milky Way fun-size bars
1/2 C. cornflake crumbs, crushed
1/2 C. chopped nut
Pat cookie dough in the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven. Arrange candy evenly over crust; return to oven for 2-3 minutes or until candy softens. Remove from oven and spread.
Sprinkle with cornflake crumbs and nuts; press lightly. Cool and cut into bars. Recipe 4 Living
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PAM'S EASY FUDGE
1 can condensed milk
1 12z pack. chocolate chips
1/2 c. nuts
Melt chocolate chips in microwave
or double boiler on stove.
Pour in milk and mix. Fold in nuts.
Drop by teaspoon onto waxed paper and chill.
Use butterscotch, peanut butter,
raspberry or white chocolate chips
Use walnuts, pecans,
peanuts or macadamia nuts.
Thanks to my sister Pam Jensen Beach, FL - ref:02/01/98
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MARSHMALLOW CREAM FUDGE
1-1/2 c. sugar
2/3 c. evaporated milk
1/4 c. margarine
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 c. nuts
1 tsp. vanilla
In saucepan combine:
Fluff, sugar, milk, marg., salt.
Bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Add chocolate chips, nuts and vanilla.
Pour into 8" square pan. Chill.
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1/2 c. macadamia nuts
12 soft caramels
1 tbl. choc. chips
Grease cookie sheet.
Arrange 3 mac. nuts on cookie sheet.
Set caramel on top, place in oven 10 min.
or til caramel melts.
Remove & top with 2 choc. chips.
Let stand till melted.
Spread over top & sprinkle
with coarse ground mac nuts.
Refrigerate 30 min. or till cool.
Store in air tight up to 2 weeks.
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