There are no calories at Christmas, right? :) I remember my mother baking treats well in advance of every Christmas growing up and big containers and tins of cakes, cookies, and other goodies stored in the freezer and overflowing into frosty winter garage. Oh how yummy! Cakes, cookies, and many candies like truffles and fudge can be made ahead to a less stressful holiday hosting and gifting season. What are your favourite homemade sweets and treats? Here are a few of my own favourites as well as links to recipes from other folks featured in the photo above.
My husband loves Rocky Road. I don't make it often, but it's VERY simple to make. Melt together 1 cup of chocolate with 1/4 cup of peanut butter. Stir in 3/4 cup roughly chopped glace cherries and 1.5 cups of roughly chopped peanuts, then quickly stir through 1.5 cups of mini marshmallows. Pour into a lined dish, sprinkle with coconut, and leave to set thoroughly before lifting and cutting. Tips: So easy to customise! The peanut butter helps make the chocolate binding together these treats softer so that they crumble less when cut/eaten. Adding the marshmallows last helps keep them from melting while you mix. If you're cooking/baking for a vegetarian, don't forget that many marshmallows are made from gelatin. If you prefer a less chunky blend, use more chocolate mix or less add-ins.
Marzipan is so festive and easy to make from scratch if you prefer instead of buying (I'll save that for a separate post). Pairing it with delicious dark chocolate is a perfect match made even more perfect by doubling the chocolate for Dark Chocolate Marzipan Truffles. Simply roll marzipan into bite-sized balls, melt dark chocolate with a little cream or coconut oil so that it will set a touch soft. Dip your marzipan balls. Once set, roll in your hands to smooth and slightly soften the coating, then roll in dark cocoa powder to coat. Tips: You can, of course, skip the double chocolate and just do a single chocolate candy coating or cocoa roll.
Both the Dark Chocolate Truffles and White Chocolate Truffles were made using my favourite Chocolate Truffle recipe and rolled in coconut for a festive snowball coating. It's my go-to when making candy and nobody ever needs to know how easy these truffles were for you to make. Hehehe...
I accidentally created something delicious when making my candies when I inadvertently mixed up two of my pre-prepped ingredients. It had been so long since I last made peanut brittle that I couldn't remember how (shame...), so I decided to try Average Betty's Heartbreaker Nut Brittle recipe. It came together brilliantly until I accidentally dropped in my pre-measured baking soda for the Hokey Pokey also burbling away on the stove top instead of the smaller quantity meant for the brittle. It frothed up like a mad thing and realising my error I dropped it straight into my toasted peanuts and onto the prepped pan, bubble and all The resulting love-child has been nicknamed Peanut Pokey, combining the tastiness of toasted peanuts with an airy honeycomb brittle that is less susceptible to the stickiness that plagues Hokey Pokey. I'll be making this mistake again and refining my new Peanut Pokey recipe for the right mix of baking soda to toffee. :) What's the best thing you accidentally created in the kitchen? Other deliciousness from this batch of candy making included old fashioned dark chocolate fudge embedded with homemade english butter toffee bits. Yum!
If you are prepping your holiday baking/gifts and would like to fancy things up with some great wash-and-wear labels, check out Kidecals, like those seen throughout this post. I've been playing with them for a few months now, and they're awesome! They hold up incredible well in the dishwasher, but come off no-muss no-fuss whenever you'd like to remove them. You can customise them with full printing (like our emergency tags) or leave some space for individual customisation, which helpful if you'd like to order lots or need some extra flexibility. I've experimented a little and they work great with fine-point Sharpies for semi-permanent changes and with dry erase markers for very temporary text. Handy for keeping unsuspecting humans from snacking on tasty looking dog treats which are also pretty common in my kitchen...hehe! They're also a classy way to identify your dishes/platters to ensure their safe return from pot-luck gatherings and tons of other uses. If you'd like to try Kidecals for yourself (or give them as a gift), you can use coupon code summersavings (don't be too jealous, but it's summertime down here) to save a tidy 15% on your purchase. Disclosure: Discounted Kidecals products were provided for my use on a no-obligation basis. Opinions provided are my own and are an honest representation of my user experience.