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Posts Tagged ‘nuts’

I like fudge. I eat fudge once in a while. One time, I ate too much fudge from a fudge shop in Hawaii or Nisswa, Minnesota—I don’t remember which—and I got sick. My favorite flavor is amaretto. I don’t recall the last time I made fudge (or if I ever have).three chocoate fudge recipe

But this Christmas I saw a three-chocolate fudge recipe in Jason’s mom’s Taste of Home magazine and I was randomly inspired to make a pan.

three chocolate fudge

View three-chocolate fudge recipe on Taste of Home. I like this recipe because you don’t need a candy thermometer. Just follow the instructions carefully by bringing the sugar, butter, and evaporated milk to a boil and then continue cooking it for five minutes. As just a personal preference, I reduced the pecans to 1 cup instead of 2 cups and I used pecan cookie pieces. It makes a lot of fudge so be ready to share.

If you are ever in Brookings, South Dakota you should definitely eat fudge at Choco Latte. Where’s your favorite place to get fudge?

Sweet square wishes,

Staci

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Here’s a [short] story of oat-packed, honey-sticking, fall-spiced energy balls.

They didn’t get made in time for the girls varsity state hockey tournament, but since the ingredients were already in my pantry, they made their way to sisters shopping trip. OK, so the hockey players needed the energy more than we did but I don’t know a mom who can’t use a tiny ball of get-up-and-go.

pumpkin spice energy balls

The recipe for spiced pumpkin energy balls is from Wholesome Magazine & Community. I substituted sliced almonds for the walnuts and due to availability, I substituted dry roasted sunflower seeds for the raw pumpkin seeds.

I’m not sure if this would help keep them together better but I would add an extra tablespoon or so of honey because the chilled balls fell apart when we ate them (luckily in the hotel parking lot). An easy solution to the crumbs would be to serve them in cupcake papers.

As they aren’t supposed to be, these aren’t sweet except for the dried cranberries. Next time I might ruin the healthy thing and sneak in a few mini semi sweet chocolate chips and dried cherries instead of cranberries.

Sweet & healthy shopping,

Staci

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When it comes to making candy, there aren’t many simpler methods than no baking, no dipping, no cutting, no ball-rolling, and no candy thermometer testing.

That’s what you get with Boston baked beans tiger butter—none of the work but the result is a swirly layer of chocolate and butterscotch on a milky blend of almond bark and peanut butter infiltrated with the sweet snap of Boston baked beans candy. To add a wisp of saltiness, it’s coated with crushed dry roasted peanuts.

Boston baked bean tiger butter

I tried making peanut brittle once. When it cooled I tossed it into my toolbox to use as a hammer.

This recipe is not discriminatory. It doesn’t matter if you think you can’t bake or if you crinkle your nose at the thought of even owning a candy thermometer, because you don’t need one. If you can slowly melt chocolate in a saucepan, you can make Boston baked beans tiger butter. Just think about how impressed your friends will be.

Boston baked beans tiger butter

24 ounces (1 pound and 8 ounces package) vanilla flavored almond bark (candy coating)

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup crushed Boston baked beans candy (I crush them in my blender because I don’t have a food processor.)

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup butterscotch chips

1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, crushed (I use the salted peanuts because the salt balances out all the sweetness.)

Before you begin melting ingredients, finely chop the Boston baked beans candy and the dry roasted peanuts. Set them aside. Line a baker’s half sheet pan (approximately 13″x18″) or a jelly roll pan (approximately 10″x15″) with parchment paper or pan lining paper.

Drop the chunks of almond bark into a medium saucepan. Melt slowly over medium-low heat, stirring often so it doesn’t burn. Once it’s melted and smooth, turn the heat down to low and stir in the peanut butter. Mix until creamy. Remove from heat.

Grab a small saucepan and melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips together over medium-low heat. Stir frequently.

While the chocolate is melting, throw the crushed Boston baked beans candy into the melted almond bark peanut butter mixture and stir until combined. Remember to keep stirring the chocolate chips.

When the chocolate chips are melted, remove from heat and turn off the stove.

Spread the almond bark mixture evenly into the prepared pan. It works best to use an offset spatula if you have one. Scatter the chocolate and butterscotch mixture over the base layer. Using the offset spatula or a butter knife and without disturbing the almond bark mixture too much, gently swirl the chocolate into the almond bark using figure 8 motions. You’ve now created your tiger stripes.

Toss the crushed dry roasted peanuts on top, lightly pressing down so they harden into the chocolate.

Chill until hardened. Lift the candy from the pan and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container in a cool place or in the refrigerator.

I lied about the age of Random Sweetness Baking so you can find me on Facebook now! (If you have teenagers, you understand the sarcasm.)

Come give me a Like and tell me if you’ve ever eaten Boston baked beans.

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The soft, dark-spotted bananas that you’ll have leftover from this weekend’s camping trip are destined for traditional banana bread. But if you’re looking to mash those bananas into something new, try this tender, not too moist Peanut Butter Banana Bread from Clabber Girl or our family favorite Double Chocolate Banana Muffin Loaves.

The peanut butter banana bread recipe makes two 8×4″ loaves but I made one large loaf and eight mini loaves. The frosting wasn’t quite enough for all those loaves but a dab of softened, salty butter and a drizzle of local honey on a warm slice of the bread turns it into the perfect sidekick for your morning caffeine.

Peanut butter banana bread

All these loaves freeze well so you can take them on your next camping trip. (Don’t tell anyone, but I forgot to add the chocolate chunks.)

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You may be as surprised as I was to learn that there are people who don’t have a gooey caramel brownie recipe. Shocking, I know. But if you are one of them, let me share my Yes! Yes! brownie recipe with you. In under 45 minutes, you’ll have a hot pan of gooey, caramel-stringy, could there be more chocolate, brownies on your kitchen counter.

gooey caramel double chocolate brownies

The summer of 1990, I was just out of high school and I worked at 3M as a plant manager. Literally. Besides sorting smocks for laundry, I cleaned bathrooms, refilled vending machines in the cafeteria, and watered the plants around the offices and lobby areas. So they jokingly called me the plant manager. It was during this stint that a co-worker, Judy B., shared these brownies and I’m pretty sure I begged for the recipe.

Years, and years, oh my gosh, 23 years and 50 extra pounds later, my recipe card is bent and crinkled and the plastic protector is melted on the entire left side. When I bring these bars to work now, they disappear. But I never really thought there are people who don’t have their own recipe for caramel brownies. So I never blogged it. I assumed people would be like, “What?! As if I don’t already have a recipe like that.” Boring.

Then one morning I almost fell off my couch when I was watching my favorite T.V. show and Ree from Food Network’s Pioneer Woman showed the world how to make Knock You Naked Brownies. And I was like, “What?! I’ve been making those for years!” Not boring. And then I felt like there was no place for me in the blogging world anymore because anything I had to offer had already been done.

A few months later at work, my friend Mary said she was still waiting for me to blog my caramel brownie recipe. I told her I hadn’t blogged it because I figured everyone had a similar recipe and didn’t need mine. Mary didn’t. She needed my recipe. And for you chocolate lovers out there, you know I really mean needed.

So now, I share it with you. And when you bake them for your friends and they beg you for the recipe, you will say, Yes! Yes!.

{Yes! Yes! Caramel Brownies}

50 caramels (I buy a bag of Kraft caramels and use them all, minus the few my kids run away with.)

1 package chocolate cake mix (Any flavor will do – milk chocolate, chocolate fudge, german chocolate, etc.)

3/4 cup butter, melted

1 small can evaporated milk, divided into two portions, 1/3 cup each

1 cup chopped nuts, optional

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I cover the pan of brownies so who really knows how much that is.)

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix melted butter, cake mix, 1/3 cup evaporated milk and nuts. This can be done by hand. Spread half of this mixture into a lightly greased 9×9-inch or 13×9-inch cake pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Take out of the oven.

Melt caramels with 1/3 cup evaporated milk. Stir until creamy.

Cover the hot crust with the chocolate chips, then pour the caramel mixture over the chips. Top with the remaining batter and bake the 9×9 pan for 20-25 minutes and for the 13×9 pan, bake 15-18 minutes.

Cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container. Share with everyone you know.

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Before I tell you the conversation that led me to the discovery of nutmeats, let me give you the background on our Orange Chewins. Straight up, these brown-sugared, orange slice candy-filled, coconut, crackly crusted bars are not my favorite. But they are one of my sister Heidi’s favorite Christmas treats that my mom makes.

Orange Chewins Bars | Random Sweetness Baking

My sister travels a lot in her corporate trainer job and doesn’t get much time to spend at home, this means no time to bake and a lot of time being exposed to candy bars with a 7-year gas station shelf life. So, being the (sorta) nice sister that I am, I wanted to bake Orange Chewins for Heidi one weekend when she was coming home.

But I didn’t.

Then during our family Christmas, my mom asked me if I had made them for Heidi that one time a couple of months back.

With my sisters, mom, and step-mom sitting around the tables, I said, “No, I didn’t make them because there was an ingredient in the recipe that I didn’t know what it was.”

My mom asked me what it was and I said I couldn’t remember – just that it was something that I wasn’t familiar with.

Perplexed, my mom said, “There’s not anything unusual in them – brown sugar, eggs, orange slices, coconut…”

But I knew that there was something on that recipe card that stopped me from baking Orange Chewins for Heidi that weekend. So I dug into my cupboard and pulled the card from my wooden recipe roll-top file.

“Nutmeats!” I exclaimed. “There are nutmeats in there and I don’t know what that is.”

“Those are nuts. Just the insides of nuts,” my mom said.

“Oh, THAT’S what they are. You can tell it’s an old recipe because they are just called nuts now,” I said trying to recover an ounce of scratch-baking pride.

pecan nutmeats

Pecan Pieces (a.k.a. pecan nutmeats)

A few weeks later, I baked Orange Chewins for the first time. But by that time, the coconut I had was gone. So I substituted oatmeal and sent them off to Heidi’s. She liked them that way so much that she said she’ll bake them that way from now on. I liked them this way too because I don’t like coconut, which is probably why I never really like these. Either way, coconut or oatmeal or a little of both, these could become a favorite at your house.

I thought it would be nice to share a family recipe that isn’t as widely recognized as grandma’s chocolate chip cookies.

But secretly, I’m hoping there’s at least one person out there who reads this and says, “Ha, I wouldn’t have known what nutmeats are either.”

Orange Chewins Bars

3 eggs well beaten

1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups orange slices (Heidi uses floured kitchen scissors to cut them easily into bite sized pieces. I toss the pieces with sugar to keep them from sticking to each other.)

1/2 cup chopped nutmeats (pecan pieces, chopped walnuts, etc.)

1/2 cup coconut OR 1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal

2 cups flour

  1. Beat eggs until foamy with the water.
  2. Add vanilla, gradually add brown sugar  and salt. Beat well and then add orange slice candy pieces, coconut, nuts & flour. Mix well.
  3. Pour into greased 15 x 10 x 1 pan. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes.
  4. Cut before completely cooled.

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At Christmas time last year, my mom texted my two sisters and me asking what we’d like her to bake for our Christmas together. She used to bake so much during the winter holiday that she would stack containers full of sweet, gooey treats halfway up her attic steps. But now that we are older and have families, my sisters and I do a lot of our own baking, so mom doesn’t need to bake as much. We all answered back with our own, “please bake _____, ____ and ____, or Christmas won’t be the same” list, but the one goodie we all requested was her Forgotten Kisses.

I came across her recipe for Forgotten Kisses the other night and realized that after all these years of baking, I’ve never made them. They only take 15 to 20 minutes to whip up, and the bake time is “forgotten” in the oven so they are perfect to make before you go to bed or before you head out for the day. (They bake with the oven OFF.)

After I made a batch mom’s traditional way, I decided to try them with Andes Mint baking pieces. (You can read about my obsession with Andes Mints in my posts for Andes Mint Cheesecake, Chocolate Island Mint Bars and Brownie Crunch Mint Crispy Bars.) Although I really like the Forgotten Kisses using Andes Mints and my friends at work do too, my taste buds favor the traditional recipe using mini chocolate chips. Must be the sweet holiday memories.

{Forgotten Kisses}

2 egg whites

2/3 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

pinch of salt

1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips OR 1 cup Andes Mint baking pieces

3/4 cup finely chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashews, etc.)

Preheat oven to 375˚. Beat egg whites until frothy. Add salt and cream of tartar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Add sugar gradually. Beat 10 minutes. Gently fold in chocolate chips OR Andes Mint pieces and chopped nuts. Using two spoons, drop by tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets or cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Turn oven OFF. Place cookie sheets in oven and close door. Leave in oven overnight.

Forgotten Kisses don’t really spread out or take much of a different shape than how you place them on the cookie sheet. They are best as a smaller treat, about the size of an Oreo or slightly bigger.

What’s one of your favorite family recipes that you haven’t made yet?

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