buckeye balls

3/4 c natural peanut butter
1/4 c softened butter
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c XXX sugar
3/4 c chopped dark chocolate
1 tbsp coconut oil

Mix peanut butter, butter, salt, vanilla and XXX sugar together. Chill 3 hr. Form into 24 balls and chill 1 hr.

Dip balls in chocolate using a skewer, then smooth tops. Chill 1 hr and keep chilled.

peppermint bark

1 lb chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 lb chopped white chocolate
8 drops peppermint oil
3/4 c chopped candy canes

Line 11 x 17" baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Melt bittersweet chocolate in a heavy pot on low heat, stirring constantly. Stir in 4 drops peppermint oil or more to taste.

Spread chocolate evenly in prepared pan and chill for 1 hour until set.

Prepare white chocolate in the same way, adding 4 drops of peppermint oil, then add the chopped candy canes. Spread white chocolate over the dark chocolate, working quickly. Chill until set. Break into pieces to serve.

Worth it!

marzipan II

1 c whole blanched almonds (6 oz) or 1 1/3 c slivered
1 1/3 c sifted XXX sugar
2 1/4 c sifted XXX sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp slightly beaten egg white
Food colouring (opt)

Place almonds in blender or food processor bowl. Cover and blend until ground. Beat together the ground almonds, the 1 1/3 c XXX sugar, extract & 2 tbsp water until mixture forms a ball. Beat in remaining XXX sugar. Stir in enough egg white to form a claylike mixture. Tint with food colouring. Mould by using mint moulds lightly dusted with XXX sugar or shape as desired. Store in a covered container at room temperature. Makes 2 c

peanut butter krispie bars

2 1/2 c Rice Krispie cereal
1 1/4 c oats
1 c chopped mixed dried fruit - apricots, dates, raisins, apples, cranberries
1 c chopped peanuts
3/4 c packed brown sugar
3/4 c creamy style peanut butter
3/4 c liquid honey
1/2 c cocoa

Combine cereal, oats, fruit and peanuts in large bowl. Heat brown sugar, peanut butter and honey together in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until melted and smooth. Stir in cocoa. Pour over ingredients in bowl. Mix well. Press firmly into 9x13" pan lined with greased foil. Chill until set. Remove from pan and peel off foil. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container. Freezes well.

sesame balls

1/2 c peanut butter
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp non-fat dry milk powder
3/4 c quick oats
1/4 c toasted sesame seeds

Mix together all but the sesame seeds and chill 15 minutes. Pour sesame seeds onto pie plate. Roll dough into balls (about 1 tsp each), wetting fingers with cold water. Roll in sesame seeds, pressing gently. Makes about 25

orange peanut butter drops

1/4 c thawed orange juice concentrate
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c butter/marg
1 1/2 c quick cooking oats
1/4 c chunky peanut butter
1/2 c raisins

Bring to a boil juice concentrate, sugar and butter. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper and chill until firm. Makes about 30

chocolate panforte

1/4 c AP flour                   
3 oz (85 g) good quality bittersweet chocolate and chopped coarse       
2 c whole blanched almonds,toasted
1/2 tsp cinnamon                               
1/8 tsp ground ginger                       
1/4 c + 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa, divided   
1 tbsp grated orange zest
3/4 c candied orange peel
3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/3 c liquid honey
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp water

Line 9" pie pan or 8" round cake pan with foil, shiny side down, extending it up the pan sides. Lightly oil foil.

In large bowl, stir together the flour, chocolate, 1/4 c sifted cocoa, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Stir in candied orange peel, orange zest and nuts. In heavy 3-quart pot, combine brown sugar, honey, butter and water; stir to blend. Bring to rolling boil over medium heat. Boil, uncovered, for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and immediately pour hot sugar mixture over chocolate-nut mixture, stirring to coat nuts. Turn into prepared pan and using a flexible metal spatula, spread to form a smooth, even layer.

Bake at 325F for 20 minutes until it starts to bubble around the edges. Transfer to wire rack and let stand in pan until completely cool, about 1 hour.

When cool, remove from pan by lifting edges of the foil and then peeling foil away. Invert on rack, so bottom is facing up. Using a fine mesh sieve, dust surface lightly with remaining cocoa. Wrap in foil and store in covered container at room temperature for up to 1 week or in fridge for up to 3 weeks. Allow to age at least a day before cutting. To serve, slice into thin wedges.

nut brittle

3 c raw shelled peanuts or other coarsely chopped nuts
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 c sugar
1 c light corn syrup
1/2 c water
1/4 c butter or margarine

Spread peanuts in a 15x10x1" baking pan; place in 350F for 15 minutes. Remove and pour into a bowl; keep warm. Meanwhile, blend baking soda and salt; set aside. In a 3-quart saucepan stir together sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly until syrup begins to turn a gold colour (275F on a candy thermometer). Add nuts and continue cooking, stirring often, until syrup is a clear gold colour (295F). Remove from heat. Quickly stir in butter or margarine and soda mixture. Immediately pour hot mixture into two 15x10x1" baking pans. If desired, cool slightly and pull with forks to stretch thin. Cool. Break into pieces. Makes 2 1/4 pounds.

simple fudge

18 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1 - 14 oz can condensed milk
Dash of salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c chopped nuts

In heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chips with condensed milk. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread evenly into wax paper lined 8x8" pan. Chill 2-3 hours. Peel off paper and cut into pieces. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

white chocolate variation

Melt 1 1/2 lb white chocolate with condensed milk. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/8 tsp salt, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 c chopped candied cherries. Proceed as above.

potato candy

4 c XXX sugar
 4 c flaked coconut
3/4 c cold mashed potatoes
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb dark or milk chocolate chips

Combine sugar, coconut, potatoes, vanilla and salt, mixing thoroughly. Line a 9x9" square pan with foil then grease the foil. Spread mixture evenly in pan. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 8 hours.

Cut candy into small squares. Melt chocolate over hot, not boiling, water. Dip candies into chocolate and allow to cool and harden. Store at room temperature.

dried fig and nut bars

Makes: 36 bars

More panforte than Fig Newton, these chewy bars are a combination of dried figs, honey, spices, and toasted nuts. They’re sturdy enough to slip into your pocket before you hit the slopes, and will keep you energized all day long.

Special equipment: Use a candy thermometer to know when the honey mixture is done cooking.

To crush the fennel seeds, seal them in a plastic bag, place them on a countertop, and tap on them using the bottom of a pot or a rolling pin until they are lightly crushed. You can also use a mortar and pestle.

1 cup whole, toasted, skinned hazelnuts (about 5 ounces)
1 cup whole, toasted almonds (about 5 ounces)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 teaspoons finely grated orange zest (from 1 medium orange)
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
8 ounces dried black Mission figs, stemmed and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup honey

Heat oven to 300F. Coarsely chop hazelnuts and almonds and set aside. Butter and flour a 10-inch springform pan and set aside. Stir together flour, cocoa powder, orange zest, fennel seeds, cinnamon, and cloves in a large bowl until evenly mixed. Add nuts and figs and stir to coat.

In a small saucepan, stir together sugar and honey and place over low heat. Increase heat to medium and cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches 245F on a candy thermometer, about 6 minutes. Immediately pour over nut mixture and, working quickly, stir until dry ingredients are coated (the mixture will be very thick). Transfer to the prepared pan and, with moistened fingers, press evenly into the pan.

Bake until mixture has puffed slightly and has a toasty aroma, about 35 minutes. (The mixture will be soft and tacky to the touch.) Transfer to a rack to cool to room temperature, at least 1 hour. Remove from the pan and cut horizontally into thirds, then cut each third into 1/2-inch-thick bars (you should have about 36 bars).

spun lace caramel decoration for a pie or cake

Butter outside of a bowl that is the approximate diameter of the pie plate. Combine 2/3 c sugar and 1/4 c water in a heavy saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar melts and mixture comes to a boil. Continue boiling, without stirring, until syrup turns a light golden colour. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Drizzle hot syrup from the tip of a spoon in a quick bakc and forth motion over the buttered bowl. Let cool a couple of minutes just for caramel to harden enough to hold its shape. Carefully ease caramel lace from bowl. Once loose, keep over bowl to cool.