Buckeyes

Buckeyes are a Midwestern holiday favorite! These peanut butter balls are partially dipped in chocolate to resemble the famous Ohio nut.  I grew up and still live in Ohio. We have a couple of foods that are really popular around here but aren’t as well known outside of our area of the Midwest. Clothespin cookies …

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Buckeyes are a Midwestern holiday favorite! These peanut butter balls are partially dipped in chocolate to resemble the famous Ohio nut. 

Seven buckeyes on a gray plate, set next to a glass of espresso on a piece of parchment paper.

I grew up and still live in Ohio. We have a couple of foods that are really popular around here but aren’t as well known outside of our area of the Midwest.

Clothespin cookies are a must at Christmas and weddings here. Jo jo potato wedges are something I grew up eating. And of course, we can’t forget the most Ohio of all Ohio foods: buckeyes!

I’m not sure I’ve ever been to a Christmas party or big OSU football watch party around here that didn’t have these peanut butter and chocolate candies. If you’ve never had a buckeye, keep reading because you’re gonna want to try these!

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Peanut Butter Fudge

I love making homemade fudge, especially during the holidays. Fudge is the perfect little treat for holiday parties and also makes a great gift for friends and family. This Easy Peanut Butter Fudge recipe is my FAVORITE fudge because I LOVE peanut butt…

I love making homemade fudge, especially during the holidays. Fudge is the perfect little treat for holiday parties and also makes a great gift for friends and family. This Easy Peanut Butter Fudge recipe is my FAVORITE fudge because I LOVE peanut butter. You might have noticed…peanut butter cookies, peanut butter blossoms, puppy chow, scotcheroos,…

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Balls

Chocolate-covered peanut butter balls are a festive treat that transports easily to all your holiday parties. Use your favorite chocolates, candy melts, and sprinkles to decorate these sweet little bites. This time of year is perfect for little poppable treats. Peppermint oreo balls, homemade truffles, bourbon balls, and these chocolate-covered peanut butter balls are some …

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Chocolate-covered peanut butter balls are a festive treat that transports easily to all your holiday parties. Use your favorite chocolates, candy melts, and sprinkles to decorate these sweet little bites.

Close up of a white plate filled with white and dark chocolate-covered peanut butter balls. Red and white mugs of coffee are in the background.

This time of year is perfect for little poppable treats.

Peppermint oreo balls, homemade truffles, bourbon balls, and these chocolate-covered peanut butter balls are some of my personal favorites. 

These festive little guys are easy to make and you can’t go wrong with that classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter.

Add adorable red, white, and green sprinkles, and you’re on to something truly fun. 

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Chocolate Almond Buttercrunch Toffee

While Paris is always beautiful, when winter comes, the city gets rather cold and gray – called la grisaille. In fact, it’s so cold that I refuse to go outside until spring. Believe me, all those romantic photos of Paris you see are taken during the spring and fall are very deceptive. And although it’s very pretty, it would take a mighty big levier (crowbar)…

chocolate almond buttercrunch candy recipe

While Paris is always beautiful, when winter comes, the city gets rather cold and gray – called la grisaille. In fact, it’s so cold that I refuse to go outside until spring. Believe me, all those romantic photos of Paris you see are taken during the spring and fall are very deceptive. And although it’s very pretty, it would take a mighty big levier (crowbar) to get me outdoors some of these days.

Nevertheless, it’s candy season – although isn’t it always? There’s something festival about boiling up a batch of toffee, then pouring it over toasted nuts then slathering on the chocolate which makes me feel all warm and cozy inside.

chocolate almond buttercrunch candy recipe

If you’ve never made candy, this one is really simple and incredibly delicious, so there’s no reason not to try a batch. You chop nuts, make a syrup, and then you pour the syrup over the nuts. Sprinkle some chocolate over it, spread it out, and finish it with more nuts. That’s it. There are no fancy techniques and the only special equipment you’ll need is a candy thermometer; they’re easily found online, and in most supermarkets.

chocolate almond buttercrunch candy recipe

I like to add a sprinkle of fleur de sel, French salt, which gives it a pleasant salty edge which is divine with the dark chocolate and toasty nuts (any coarse salt can be used). Although you can use chips, you can also chop up a block of dark chocolate, instead. In the end, you’ll have a scrumptious batch of chocolate almond buttercrunch toffee, which makes for great gift-giving around the holidays, or just to snack on with friends and family. Enjoy!

chocolate almond buttercrunch candy recipe

Print

Chocolate-Almond Buttercrunch Toffee

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop Be sure to read the recipe completely through before starting so you know all the steps. And keep an eye on the toffee while it’s cooking. The temperature will climb fairly rapidly as it gets close to reaching the right temperature.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (8 ounces, 225 g) toasted almonds or hazelnuts chopped between 'fine' and 'coarse'
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup salted or unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • a big pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (45g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces (140g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped, or 1 cup chocolate chips
  • optional Roasted cocoa nibs and fleur de sel or flaky sea salt

Instructions

  • Form half the nuts into a rectangle about 8″ x 10″ (20 x 25 cm) on an ungreased baking sheet.
  • In a medium, heavy-duty saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the water, butter, salt, and white and brown sugars. Cook, stirring gently if necessary, until the thermometer reads 300ºF (150ºC) degrees. Have the vanilla and baking soda handy.
  • Immediately remove from heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.
  • Quickly pour the mixture over the nuts on the baking sheet. Using a small offset spatula, or similar utensil, spread the warm mixture over the nuts. (If you want to sprinkle some cocoa nibs or some flaky sea salt over the buttercrunch mixture, do it at this point.)
  • Strew the chocolate chips or pieces over the top and let stand 2 minutes, then spread the chocolate in an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the chocolate and gently press them in with your hands.
  • Cool completely and break into pieces to serve. Store in an airtight container, for up to ten days.

Related Recipes and Links

Candy Thermometers

Chocolate FAQs

Chocolate-Covered Caramelized Matzoh Crunch

Triple Chocolate Scotcheroos

Chocolate-Covered Salted Peanut Caramel Cups

The Great Book of Chocolate

Candied Pecans

Candied pecans are sweet, crunchy, bursting with cinnamon flavor, and totally snack worthy. They’re perfect for topping salads and desserts or just munching by the handful. Anyone else remember the days when the mall was *the* coolest place to be? I remember before being able to drive, getting together with my friends and having one …

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Candied pecans are sweet, crunchy, bursting with cinnamon flavor, and totally snack worthy. They’re perfect for topping salads and desserts or just munching by the handful.

Close up of candied pecans in a white bowl.

Anyone else remember the days when the mall was *the* coolest place to be?

I remember before being able to drive, getting together with my friends and having one of our parents drop us off to hang out at the mall. Sometimes we shopped, sometimes we hung out in the food court, and we probably always annoyed the adults who were working there.

The holidays were of course the biggest and best time to be at the mall. Aside from getting your shopping done, you could soak in the decorations and music and the best part: the smell of cinnamon nuts roasting in those little kiosks.

To this day, nothing smells quite as much like Christmas as those candied nuts. There were usually a few different types, but pecans were always the most popular.

The mall may not be the cool place to be anymore (if your town even still has one!), but candied pecans? They still make me feel like it’s the Christmas season – I just make them at home now.

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Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Balls

These peanut butter balls are an old-fashioned treat! Enjoy them as-is, roll them in a variety of toppings, or dip them in chocolate for a sweet holiday treat. This post contains affiliate links. If you weren’t already in the holiday baking mood, it’s now officially holiday cookie season! I love to make platters of traditional …

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These peanut butter balls are an old-fashioned treat! Enjoy them as-is, roll them in a variety of toppings, or dip them in chocolate for a sweet holiday treat.

Tissue paper-lined tin filled with peanut butter balls rolled in rainbow nonpareil sprinkles, chopped nuts, and powdered sugar.

This post contains affiliate links.

If you weren’t already in the holiday baking mood, it’s now officially holiday cookie season!

I love to make platters of traditional Christmas cookies like peppermint mocha cookies, gingerbread cookies, and peanut butter blossoms. But I also like to make some old-fashioned treats that aren’t quite cookies, but fit in perfectly on a holiday cookie platter.

I’m talking recipes like rum balls or bourbon balls, peppermint oreo balls, or these old-fashioned peanut butter balls.

These simple no-bake treats are always fun to make and make everyone nostalgic for the days of baking with their grandmas.

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One Bowl Brown Butter Blondies

Blondies are one of the easiest bakes around. Just combine a few simple pantry ingredients in one bowl with whatever chocolate you have around, spoon the batter into a pan, and bake. The brown butter and vanilla give these a rich and delicious flavor so don’t skimp on either.



One Bowl Brown Butter Blondies

Makes one 8x8-inch pan

10 tablespoons (142g) unsalted butter

1 cup (200g) dark brown sugar

1 large egg, cold from the fridge

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon kosher salt (diamond crystal)

1 cup (128g) all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup (170g) chocolate chips or m&ms plus more to sprinkle

Flaky salt, to sprinkle (optional)

Heat oven to 350ºF and line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper

Brown the butter: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until all of the milk solids turn golden and the butter has a nutty fragrance being careful to not let it burn.

Add the butter to a large bowl, then add the brown sugar. Whisk to combine then whisk in the salt and vanilla. Whisk in the egg.

Fold in the flour and baking powder. When a few streaks of flour remain, fold in the chocolate.

Transfer the batter to the pan and smooth the top then sprinkle with more chocolate and a bit of flaky salt if desired.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set on the edges and still soft in the center. Let the blondies cool in the pan set on a rack.

Salted Dark Chocolate Count Chocula Candy Bars

Salted Dark Chocolate Count Chocula Candy Bars

I always get nostalgic when I see Halloween cereals hitting the shelves. I remember the ads for Count Chocola, Booberry and Frankenberry from my Saturday morning cartoon days all too well, so they really are part of the season – even if I don’t eat as much of them now as I …

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Salted Dark Chocolate Count Chocula Candy Bars

I always get nostalgic when I see Halloween cereals hitting the shelves. I remember the ads for Count Chocola, Booberry and Frankenberry from my Saturday morning cartoon days all too well, so they really are part of the season – even if I don’t eat as much of them now as I did back then! Still, I have a hard time resisting the temptation to pick up a couple of boxes when the season rolls around. I want to play with them just as much as I want to eat them and, fortunately, they are actually great ingredients to work with. In the past, I’ve made Frankenberry Cereal Bars and Count Chocula Cereal Milk Ice Cream, but these delicious Salted Dark Chocolate Count Chocula Candy Bars are sure to be a hit even if you’re not already a fan of the cereals.

These bars actually fall somewhere between a chocolate bar and a granola bar, though they are definitely a bit closer to the decadent side of the spectrum because they have use a lot of chocolate and have a very deep chocolate flavor. They may look like cereal bars at first glance, but the only marshmallows you’ll find in these are the ones that come in the cereal! The chocolate cereal gives them a great crunch – helped along by the addition of toasted almonds – and a light texture that is reminiscent of chocolate bars that use puffed rice for texture. Of course, I used Count Chocula, however you can use another puffed chocolate cereal to get similar results when the spooky seasonal cereal isn’t available.

I used both unsweetened chocolate and white chocolate in these bars, rather than using only dark chocolate, as the name might suggest. The unsweetened chocolate brings in a strong bittersweet cocoa note, while the white chocolate contributes a creamy sweetness and a hint of vanilla. White chocolate alone might be too sweet, but it really blends nicely with the unsweetened chocolate. The resulting chocolate coating has a hint of the creaminess of milk chocolate, but all the strong flavor of dark chocolate. Be sure to use high quality white chocolate that only contains real cocoa butter, nothing with other vegetable fats added. The finishing touch is a sprinkle of sea salt that makes all the flavors pop – and will have you coming back for another bite.

Salted Dark Chocolate Count Chocula Candy Bars

These bars keep very well when stored in an airtight container and should last for up to a week, if they don’t get eaten up first. I like to eat them as bars, however you can cut them into bite sized squares or even crumble up the mixture into small pieces for addition to a trail mix. It is important to let the bars sit out and cool/set completely at room temperature before they are stored, so leave time to prepare them in advance.

Salted Dark Chocolate Count Chocula Bars
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 oz white chocolate, chopped
3 oz toasted, slivered almonds
1 oz coarsely chopped graham crackers
1 oz Count Chocula Cereal (or other chocolate cereal)
coarse salt, for topping

Line a 9-inch pan with lightly greased aluminum foil or parchment paper.
In a small saucepan, combing butter and corn syrup and bring just to a boil. Stir in salt.
Place chopped chocolate in a large bowl and pour hot butter mixture over it. Allow mixture to stand for 1 minute, then stir until very smooth. Add in almonds, graham crackers and cereal, stirring with a spatula until completely coated. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and spread into an even layer, pressing the layer down very firmly to ensure that the bars stick together once they have set. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of coarse salt.
Allow bars to sit, uncovered, at room temperature until they have completely set, at least 1-2 hours. When firm and set, use a sharp knife to cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 12-15 bars.

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Monster Cookie Bars

Monster cookie bars couldn’t be easier to make. This sweet treat is a great way to use up leftover candy and bakes up in no time to make your littlest monsters happy! We’re just over a month away from Halloween, but I feel like I’ve been seeing Halloween candy at the store for weeks now. …

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Monster cookie bars couldn’t be easier to make. This sweet treat is a great way to use up leftover candy and bakes up in no time to make your littlest monsters happy!

We’re just over a month away from Halloween, but I feel like I’ve been seeing Halloween candy at the store for weeks now.

I’m not the only one, right?

With Halloween decorations appearing around the neighborhood and the new Hocus Pocus movie coming out, it’s time to start planning for that post-Halloween problem:

What do we do with all of this leftover Halloween candy?

These monster cookie bars are the perfect solution if you ask me. Whether you’ve got an excess of mini M&M’s or candy bars, you can toss just about anything in this recipe and count on it being delicious!

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Homemade Sour Strawberry Gummies

These homemade sour gummies are bursting with strawberry flavor from real fruit, coated with citric acid and sugar for a spectacularly sour finish. Making your own gummy candies is not for the feint of heart, but the results are well worth the effort. These pectin-based gummies are sweet and sour with a delightful jelly-like texture […]

The post Homemade Sour Strawberry Gummies first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

These homemade sour gummies are bursting with strawberry flavor from real fruit, coated with citric acid and sugar for a spectacularly sour finish.

Making your own gummy candies is not for the feint of heart, but the results are well worth the effort. These pectin-based gummies are sweet and sour with a delightful jelly-like texture that you’ll adore.

Stack of Homemade Strawberry Gummies coated in sour sugar, one candy with a bite out of it; fresh strawberries scattered around.

Before we start, let me just say: these aren’t those kinds of gummies. Don’t get me wrong, they are plenty fun, but just not that kind of fun, if you know what I mean. I have no experience with such confections (we live in the wrong state for that), and thus I cannot advise as to how you might convert this recipe into that kind of recipe, so please don’t ask. Sorry!

Now that that is cleared up, let me tell you a bit about these delightful (and family friendly!) sour strawberry gummy candies.

There is a lot of info in this post, including plenty of sugar science, that I encourage you to read through before attempting this recipe.

Backlit stack of Homemade Sour Strawberry Gummies with a single stemmed strawberry balanced on top.

Made using real fruit (versus fruit extract or flavoring concentrates like many gummy recipe), these homemade gummies taste like a perfectly ripe spring strawberry, only more intense. Both the sugar and the citric acid serve to amp up the strawberry flavor even more.

The gummy itself is not overly sour; rather, the tart kick comes from a coating of sugar mixed with citric acid. You can certainly opt to use just sugar if you wanted a sweeter gummy (though don’t leave out the citric acid in the candy base itself as that is necessary for a proper set). You can also increase the citric acid in the coating for a truly mouth-puckering result.

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