Graham Cracker Crack?!

Graham Cracker Crack?!

Today’s recipe is a mystery.  It has been popular on Pinterest for ages under an assortment of names…Crack, Christmas Crack, Graham Toffee Bars, etc. etc.

 

graham-cracker-crackThe recipe was shared on Good Morning America during the holiday season and went viral.  Versions of this recipe are all over blogs so I have no idea who to credit.  I have seen comments from individuals who have been making this for 40 years, some with graham crackers others with saltines as the base.  My fav is the graham crackers but I certainly wouldn’t turn down anyone’s saltine version.

The newer name is “Crack” since it is so very addictive and you may only wish to make it when sharing with others or you may consume the whole tray yourself, little bites at a time…easier to kid yourself you aren’t eating “that much”!

Thought I’d share the recipe in pictures today.  I used 3/4 cup of dark chocolate chips and 3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Some recipes call for 2 cups.  Use what you like.

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Step 1:  Melt 1 cup butter and 1 cup brown sugar together in medium saucepan.

IMG_20160401_114418967Spray a cookie sheet well with non-stick spray and line with graham cracker, about 16 of them.  Break to fit pan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_20160401_114431468Patient Puppy waiting for crumbs to drop to floor!

Additional ingredients needed:  1 cup almonds or other nuts, 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla.  Also preheat oven to 350 F.

Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil and let boil for approximately 4-5 minutes then add in vanilla.  Pour over graham crackers and bake in oven for about 8 minutes.

 

ready-to-eat-graham-cracker-crackRemove tray from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over top.  Wait about 2 minutes for them to soften and spread evenly over HOT HOT HOT mixture (did I say tray will be very hot).

Sprinkle nuts on top and chill.  Break into pieces and enjoy!

 

Whopper Brownies

Whopper Brownies

whopper – noun; informal -something that is very large and impressive.

synonyms: giant, monster, colossus, mammoth, jumbo

These brownies are Whopper Brownies, not because of their size, although you could cut them into mammoth squares, in which case they would then become Double Whopper Brownies, but because of the addition of Whoppers.

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What is a “Whopper” you ask.  It is a small or large smooth chocolate coated ball of yummy sweet malted goodness…I love malted milk balls and adding them into brownie batter is genius and impressive.  I guess these brownies are “Whoppers” in more ways than one. image

Whopper Brownies

Preheat oven to 325F.  Foil line and spray a 11×13-inch pan.

In a small bowl whisk together and set aside:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Ghiradelli Sweet Ground Chocolate

1/2 teaspoon salt

imageIn a large saucepan over a low heat stir until smooth:

3/4 cup butter

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

Add in to saucepan and whisk together:

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Remove saucepan from heat and stir in the dry ingredients and fold in 1 cup of roughly chopped malted milk balls.

Bake the 11 x 13-inch pan for about 25-30 minutes.  Mixture will get firm around edges and crackle on top. You want a couple of crumbs to stick to the toothpick when testing. If using a smaller pan, such as a 9×9-inch you will need to add on to your baking time.

These are gooey, chocolaty, superb, delicious and just plain Mmmmmm.

 

Serve with a scoop of ice cream and a whopper on top for a decadent dessert!  I think it would be just sweet enuf.

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Peanut Butter Cup – Oh Ya!!

Peanut Butter Cup – Oh Ya!!

Peanut Butter Cup
Peanut Butter Cup
PB Cup
PB Cup

I cannot really take much credit for today’s amazingly sweet and delicious recipe.  First I need to thank Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for being available so readily and mostly the Youtube site, My Cupcake Addiction.  If you are looking for videos showing you how to create amazing cakes or looking for ideas this is the site.

After seeing this Pinned a million times, well it seemed like a million times, I looked on My Cupcake Addiction and there were the ingredients I needed and some simple instructions.

Now I didn’t measure my ingredients, I just guessed, and it worked.  My removeable tart pan was 11-inches NOT the 9-inch used in the video. For exact measurements check out My Cupcake Addiction on Youtube.

You could easily cut back on all ingredients and make these in paper lined muffin tins for smaller versions or just to test it out.

Just FYI, the above photo is from the 2nd PB Cup made this week with a 3rd one on the horizon for a BBQ tomorrow evening!

Important, you need compound chocolate for this.  By compound chocolate I mean Cocoa Candy Melts or Merkins.  Found at Bulk Barn, McCall’s Cake Decorating Supplier or Michaels.  The chocolate needs to set up quickly at room temperature and also to stay solid at room temperature.

Parchment wrap the removable bottom of the tart pan.

Melt about 2 cups of the Merkins in the microwave until melted and stir until smooth.

Using a spoon spread the chocolate along bottom and up sides of tart pan.  Make sure it is fairly thick on base as it will crack after it is set when trying to remove from pan.  Let set up.

With an electric mixer beat about 1/2 cup of softened, salted butter with 2 cups of peanut butter and about 1/2 cup of icing sugar until smooth.

Once the shell of chocolate is set spoon the peanut butter filling in and spread around until even and chill in fridge for about half an hour.

Melt an additional cup of chocolate and spread it thinly over top of pie making sure to have chocolate go right to edges.  Let it set.

Melted chocolate to spread over peanut butter filling.
Melted chocolate to spread over peanut butter filling.

Gently remove the set shell from the tart shell mould.  Enjoy!

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White Chocolate Covered Oreo Cookies

White Chocolate Covered Oreo Cookies

Oreo surprise inside!
Oreo surprise inside

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone had the opportunity to connect with family or friends sometime this weekend and had a chance to say a little thank you for all the blessings we take for granted everyday.  Things like clean water at the turn of a tap, an abundance of food at every corner and people who support and care about us every day.

Today’s simple and uber sweet treat is white chocolate covered Oreo cookies.  Oreo cookies on their own are treat enough but enrobed with a delicious sweet coating, why that is something to say Thank You to!!

The most difficult part is making enough to share and not having the boys eat them all.  Well actually the most difficult part is melting the white chocolate merkins or candy melts, but more about that in a bit.

Before sharing the quick and easy instructions for these I need to give credit to Bitsy Treats Boutique, a one woman company who specializes in bite sized sweets, who makes the most beautiful dipped Oreo’s.  Hers are perfectly smooth, have various coloured chocolate designs on the top and more.  After eating several of her beautiful Oreo bites I figured I could make a “poor women’s” version for in-house consumption.  No one at home cares if the surface isn’t smooth or if they are wrapped in pretty foil papers.  Although I must say we do eat with our eyes first so Susan’s confections look gorgeous.

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Pastel Sprinkled Oreo’s

All you need to make the cookies above is a bag of Oreo’s, a 12-cup muffin tin, muffin liners, a microwave safe bowl, a spoon and a bag of white candy melts or merkins.  Sprinkles are optional.

Line the muffin tin with the cupcake liners.  Put candy melts in microwave safe bowl and microwave according to directions.  This is where I have difficulty.  It seems I am always over heating them!  So I have found heating them on about half power, a 5 instead of 10 (full power), is a good start.  About 1 1/2 minutes first time and try to stir them, keep heating for about 45 seconds, then 30 seconds and then maybe 30 again. If they are too hot (but not so hot they seize up) try adding in a few more of the melts and stir furiously.  You may have to do this several times.  One great thing I have found is if mixture is too hot you can actually leave it for a few minutes and go back to it and it will cool down and become more fluid and useable.

Once melted to a nice fluid state, put about a teaspoon of chocolate in the bottom of about 4 liners (work with a small group at a time), then place on Oreo on top and go back and spoon another generous spoonful of chocolate on top.  Gently bang on counter to help disperse the chocolate.  Add some sprinkles for a pretty or festival look or to cover the imperfections!  Or drizzle some other coloured chocolate on top for contrast.  Heat the chocolate again if necessary to keep it fluid.  Keep going.  Let them set at room temperature for a bit, maybe 15 minutes.  You can pop them in the fridge to speed up the process.

2 tone Oreo's
2 tone Oreo’s

Peel the liners away and enjoy.

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Ice Cream Cake – Happy 21st Birthday Robert

Ice Cream Cake – Happy 21st Birthday Robert

Ice Cream Cake Happy 21st Birthday Rob
Ice Cream Cake
Happy 21st Birthday Rob

Why does time move so much faster the older you are.  I heard a theory once that time moves slower for you the younger you are as you have the majority of your life ahead of you.  Once you hit your mature years time moves quicker as you have the majority of your life behind you.  Not sure how you really explain it but it seems just a couple months ago I was baking up something with peanut butter and chocolate for Rob’s 20th birthday.  How is it possible another year has gone by.

We are celebrating Rob’s birthday a week early so I guess I cannot bore you with all the details of his birth, saying I remember this happened today 21 years ago today, wishing someone would hit me over the head with a baseball bat to dull the labour pains whilst waiting for the epidural.  But it was all worth it! And as I look at my bearded almost 21 year old it seems a lifetime ago.

So today’s offering is yummy ice cream cake.  The recipe is in pictures below.  I used a spring form pan (whatever size you wish) and made a graham cracker crust with crumbs, melted butter and a little sugar.  Baked it up and once cooled layered the 2 flavours of ice cream we like, some white chocolate chips and some rough chop peanut butter cups to top the cake.  Wrap well with saran wrap and put back in the freezer.

Voila!  Easy and a lot less expensive than your store bought version.

 

Candied Nuts with Cinnamon


Cinnamon Sugar Nuts
Cinnamon Sugar Nuts

So simple, so tasty and so easy.  These are delicious and make a great holiday nibble.  I’m not sure the nuts still qualify as a ‘heart healthy’ snack after being coated in a combination of brown and white sugar but it’s worth a try.  Use whatever combination of nuts you enjoy most.  I used 2 cups of pecans with 1 cup of almonds but I would also use walnuts or even cashews.

If you prefer a little heat add in 1/2 teaspoon of cayene pepper or add a little citrus flavour with some grated orange rind.  I would definitely double or even triple this recipe!  Don’t wait until after you have made the first batch and it is gobbled up within a day or so.

For today’s recipe you will need:

Nuts, Cinnamon, Sugars, Egg Whites and Water
Nuts, Cinnamon, Sugars, Egg Whites and Water

1 large egg white (I used pasturized egg whites)

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

2 cups raw almonds

1 cup raw pecans

Preheat oven to 300F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg white and 1 tablespoon water until frothy, about 2 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine sugars and cinnamon.

Add nuts to egg white mixture and mix well until nuts are coated.  Sprinkle sugar cinnamon mixture over top and mix well until nuts are coated.

Nuts coated and ready to bake.
Nuts coated and ready to bake.

Spread the  nut mixture evenly over the parchment lined cookie sheet and place in oven.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes stirring about 1/2 way through.  Remove from oven and cool completely.  Break up and store in an airtight container.

Gift Boxed - a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer.
Gift Boxed – a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer.

Caramel Sauce and Ice Cream Cake

Caramel Sauce and Ice Cream Cake

Today’s post is easy Caramel Sauce.  What to do with the leftovers, if there are any, why make an ice cream cake.  So simple you won’t need to spend the $40 to purchase one at a specialty store again.

For the Caramel Sauce you need:

1/4 cup butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup 35% cream

2 Tbsp Corn Syrup

In a small saucepan melt the butter over a low heat.  Stir in the brown sugar, cream and corn syrup.  Cook and stir over the low heat until the mixture just comes to a boil (you will see small bubbles around the edge).

Remove from heat and cool slightly.  Serve when warm.  This will keep in a covered container in your fridge and can be warmed up in the microwave.

IMPORTANT:  This is one of those delicious items you cannot wait to taste.  DON’T, until it has cooled considerably or else you will give yourself a bad burn.  Hold off and then enjoy a spoonful.  It is worth the wait.

Now for the ice cream cake.  Use what you have in the house.  The one I made today was delicious but I would do a couple of things differently which I will suggest.  Each one you make can be unique for the individual you are planning to share it with.

I used a loaf pan and lined it with Saran Wrap to make it easy to remove and cut.  I used a crust of KitKat’s and Coffee Crisp as those are fav’s in my house and I did have a supply in my cupboard.  I would suggest using a chocolate wafer crust or graham wafer crust instead as you need a firm base but something easy to cut through.  Say 1 cup of crumbs with 1/4 cup melted butter mixed together and pressed into the bottom of the pan to create your crust.  Use a springform pan or pie plate, whatever you have on hand, if you don’t like the idea of the loaf pan.

Now top with softened ice cream of your choice.  Use your favourites or mix what you have left in the freezer.  Let the ice cream sit on the counter for maybe 15 minutes or so to soften up.  Scoop a generous amount of ice cream onto the base and gently spread.  I added a layer of caramel and spread it gently on top of my first layer of ice cream and then a layer of chocolate wafers.  Now this is where I would suggest adding the chocolate bars….but I would chop them up and sprinkle them over the caramel.  You could top the caramel with mini chocolate chips, mini M&M’s, chopped nuts or chocolate sauce.

Now add your next layer of ice cream and again top with whatever you like.  For this layer I just added the caramel. Cover lightly with Saran Wrap and put back in the freezer to set for a couple hours.

Remove before serving and cut into slices.

Don’t over think it.  Mine didn’t cut to well as I had the hard frozen chocolate bar crust but it was amazing.  Make it your own.  I hope you enjoy.