Friday, November 30, 2018

Red Kissed Nosed Reindeer Treats


"It's🎜that time of year when the world falls in🎝love..with reindeer!

Since I've only had two Kit Kat crafts this year (with these Christmas trees πŸŽ„ being one of them), I thought it would very Christmassy of me to post another!

These reindeer treats are so easy to make and even easier to eat!

Let's make some! 

 I thought I would use Hershey Kisses and Cherry Sours for my reindeer noses.
But the Kisses were perfect, so no cherry noses!
To make the pretzel antlers, I cut them in half, dipped them in chocolate, and then gently pressed them into a plate full of chocolate sprinkles.
I let them rest there in all those yummy sprinkles until the chocolate hardened.
Make sure to make extra for sampling. Santa's helpers are extra hungry this time of year!
Aren't these antlers just the cutest!?
These reindeer are super simple to make. But first, just use a sharp knife to "break off a piece of that Kit Kat bar."

Melt some chocolate wafers to attach all the candy pieces. I did snip off the end of the paper strip from the Kisses. 
Before attaching the candy at the corners with the chocolate "glue", I turned the longer pieces on their sides. I left the miniature bars right side up.

Let chocolate harden.
Now just attach remaining pieces and let set.

"Hey, Clarice, did you hear that?
Somebody thinks we're cute!!"
"So these are antlers, not ears, Rudi!!"
Three reindeer reporting for duty!
Merry Christmas To All!

Ho Ho Ho, Karen!πŸ’–

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Sugartown Sweets' Graham Cracker Pumpkin Patch

For me, October 31st, 2018, marks 7 years of creating fun and yummy, sweet eats and treats on my blog!!

Yay for Sugartown Sweets! Woo woo!
OK, enough of that!

Pumpkin patches or just plain ol' pumpkins?
I love both! And when I finished decorating these pumpkin patches, I realized they needed a little something more. Candy eyes..you see!

To create my pumpkin patch scene, I used:
Blue candy melts, chocolate melting wafers, graham cracker halves, chocolate sandwich cookies (smashed), leaves sprinkles, candy eyes, and candy pumpkins. I found these teensy little pumpkins at Publix in a clear round tub container.
 October! There's just something magical in the crisp, Autumn air..
And something so fun about jumping into a pile of colorful fall leaves..
And how about those childhood memories of carving bright orange pumpkins picked at the pumpkin patch and then roasting all those glorious seeds?! I loved getting to do this with my own kids and now I get to do it with my grandbabies!

For our craft, we begin by slicing our candy pumpkins in two with a sharp paring knife.
For our *dirt*, we crushed up a few chocolate sandwich cookies after we scraped off the filling. Yum-o!
Now we melt our chocolate and blue wafers in the microwave in 30 second increments on 50% power, stirring each time till melted smooth.
These graham cracker treats are so easy!
Let's spread the blue melted candy on the cracker with an icing spatula, sprinkle on a few leaves and place two pumpkins side by side. We'll let this sit on parchment paper for a few minutes till dry.
Now we'll spread some melted chocolate onto the bottoms of graham crackers and coat with cookie crumbs. And...we're done!

Do we love that we can make these lickety-split when the kiddos need that last minute treat for school, church, snack time or just because life should be sprinkled with fun?!
Yes we do!πŸ’—
Oh I love candy corn! But the pumpkins are fatter so you get a better bite! Dee-licious! 
These turned out cute, but they were just missing something..
There!! The eyes have it! 

What makes this candy maker happy? The reactions I get from little Lydia, my 4 year-old granddaughter. She squealed when she saw these and thoroughly enjoyed every bite!
  Happy Autumn Friends!

It's a Sweet Life, Karen 😊

Friday, October 5, 2018

Stacked Marshmallow Pumpkins On A Stick


Stacked Marshmallow Pumpkins On A Stick!

Don't you just love pumpkins? I sure do, just as long as they don't taste like pumpkin!

And I know I'm the odd one out here, cause it's Fall, y'all, and all I gotta do is walk down the baking aisle at Wally World to find all things Pumpkin!

But just in case there are other non-pumpkin flavored lovers out there, I'm making these sweet little candy coated marshmallow pops all decorated up for the season!

All you need are:marshmallows, candy eyes, green icing, orange candy melts, green sprinkles (leaves), pretzel dipping sticks (not pictured), and colored lollipop sticks.

The marshmallows will hang on to the lollipop stick a little better if you dip the end of the stick in water first. Stack three marshmallows onto each stick.
   I spotted these adorable little green leaves in the cake decorating aisle at Michael's! They have all kinds of different and cute tiny sprinkles in little $1 bags!
Melt candy melts in microwave on 50% power in 30 second increments stirring each time.
The pumpkin stems made from dipping pretzel sticks just so happens to be the perfect topper for these orange colored gourds. Cut just the tip ends off for the right size.
After the melts are..melted, coat the stacked marshmallows, add candy eyes, leaves and stems.

Let set and then with green icing, pipe on those oh so cute, curly tendrils. eek..so cute!
🎜🎝"Oh pumpkin stack, Oh pumpkin stack, How lovely are thy candy eyeballs."😁
We little pumpkins wish you a very Happy Fall!
Have a sweet day, Karen 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Cactus Lollipops


Cactus Lollipops!

Desert Dessert!

So each November for the last several years my awesome hubby and I have made the trek out to Nevada for an auto convention.

Since we had never been to the desert, on that first trip we incorporated a day trip out to the Valley of Fire and Hoover Dam.

To this day I am still in awe of the raw beauty and incredible scenery that is around every bend. 

Our annual trip has included visits to, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Sedona, Albuquerque, and more! Plus a cross country drive all the way back to Georgia! 

I can't wait for our trip this year.
One thing I look forward to seeing are all the cactus plants. They are sooo amazing. And yes I had to touch one just to see how sharp those pointy little spines are! Ouch!πŸ˜„

The sweet thing about my lollipops is that you won't poke your tongue out when you eat one!πŸ˜›
Two views!
For my lollipops I used I used Lorann's recipe.
It works perfectly.

Sugar, light corn syrup, water, color, and flavoring are all you need to turn out these cute little cactus lollies!

Well, you do also need lollipop molds, ready-made sugar flowers, (or make your own fondant ones like i did), green jimmie sprinkles, lollipop sticks, non-stick spray, parchment paper, and a candy thermometer!

I found these cactus lollipop molds online!
I was going to use ready-made sugar flowers but wasn't happy with the way they looked so I used pink fondant, a tiny flower cutter, and jumbo candy sprinkles for the centers to make my own. Aaand..yikes-Sorry about the blurry photo! 
To begin, cover a sheet pan with parchment paper, attach clips to lollipop molds, spray molds with non-stick spray, and insert lollipop sticks into molds. 
 For maximum use of space I alternated the placement of molds.
Okay, so when I saw the gap between my mold and my pan, I kinda freaked out a little.

Don't freak out. Keep scrolling.
We'll go ahead and get started on our candy first. I always use my heavy-bottomed 4 quart pot and my candy thermometer for every batch of candy I make.

Add sugar, corn syrup, and water to saucepan and stir over medium heat till sugar is dissolved.
Crank up the heat to medium high and continue cooking without stirring.
Add coloring at 260 degrees fahrenheit without stirring. Continue cooking until candy reaches 300 degrees fahrenheit and remove from heat.

When sugar mixture has stopped boiling, add coloring and stir. To get this deep dark green I used 3 drops of mint green soft gel paste.
 One thing I didn't mention earlier is that I heated my glass measuring cup in my 250 degree oven while made my candy.
I think this helped keep the candy mixture hot enough while I poured and decorated my lollipops..Although I still needed to work quickly!
 It can get pretty difficult trying to take photos of each process while working with heavy pans and hot candy. Every photo i have posted on my blog has been shot by yours truly..until today!

My talented grandson, Issac, spent the day with me and I asked him to take a shot of me filling the molds. The photo above was taken by him! Good job, Isaac! πŸ’š

Okay, continuing below you can see where the candy seeped out from under the mold. No problem!
After sprinkling on the green jimmies..
And after the lollipops had set, I used a sharp knife to cut away any excess while the molds were still attached to the lollipops.

It works if there is a little or a lot. Super easy!
Here is a photo of my awesome helper today!

The molds pop off effortlessly as you remove the clips. I think we were both surprised by just how easy they came off!
With just a little dab of corn syrup, I attached the pink flowers.

I used pineapple flavoring and we really loved it! We had enough candy mixture to easily make a dozen pops, but we made six and then played around with the remainder!

Hard Candy Recipe By LORANN

2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
¾ cup water
1 dram (1 teaspoon)* LorAnn super-strength flavoring, any flavor 
LorAnn liquid food coloring or gel food coloring (as desired)
Hard candy molds (optional) 
Powdered sugar (optional)
Sucker bags & twist ties (optional)

Use of a candy thermometer is recommended

*Please note that our Cinnamon, Clove and Peppermint flavors are particularly potent. You may wish to reduce the amount used for these flavors.

DIRECTIONS

Have all ingredients and tools assembled and within easy reach of the stove. The use of metal spoons and measuring utensils is recommended. Line a cookie sheet/jelly roll pan with foil and lightly oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray (such as PAM). If using molds, lightly spray cavities of clean, dry candy molds with non-stick cooking spray. Insert sucker sticks.  If using molds, you may also want to spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray. If after pouring the syrup into the molds you have excess candy, you can pour it onto the foil for break-up candy.
  1. In a heavy (good quality) 2-quart saucepan, mix together sugar, corn syrup and water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. 
  2. Insert candy thermometer if using, making certain it does not touch the bottom of the pan. Bring mixture to a boil without stirring. 
  3. Early in the cooking process, "wash down" any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. 
  4. Continue to cook the syrup, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 260ΒΊ F; add drops of coloring until desired hue is achieved. Do not stir; boiling action will incorporate color into syrup. 
  5. Remove from heat precisely at 300° F (temperature will continue rising), or until drops of syrup form hard, brittle threads in cold water (hard crack stage). After boiling action has ceased, add flavor and stir. USE CAUTION WHEN ADDING FLAVORING TO AVOID RISING STEAM. 
  6. Carefully pour syrup into prepared molds or onto the prepared greased and foil lined cookie sheet. (As the sugar mixture begins to set up, you may want to score with a large knife to mark squares.) Do not refrigerate. 
  7. Cool completely. Break sheet candy into small pieces and dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Store in airtight containers between waxed paper. If making lollipops, do not dust with powdered sugar, but place in sucker bags and secure with twist ties. Store hard candy in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate.
Thank you all for stopping by and
Remember To Eat Sweet!
Karen 😊

Friday, August 10, 2018

Caramel Filled Chocolate Clam Shells With Candy Pearls


School may have already begun, but it is still Summer and I'm not ready to let it go!!

We have just recently returned from a trip to St. Augustine. It is such a pretty and unique beach town and of course we visited the Fountain of Youth. I got one hilarious video of my hubby drinking from that famous fountain! Does it really make you look younger? Well, let's just say, the jury is still out on that one!πŸ˜›

We made another couple of beach trips earlier this year..one with the kiddos and grandkiddos to Destin, and our anniversary trip to Cape Cod and Nantucket. That's where the idea for these chocolate clam shell candies came from.

I found the cutest little trinket bracelet in Destin with a clam shell and pearl! I thought, how sweet would it be in sugar form?!

Then, upon check-in to Union Street Inn, they had an adorable box of anniversary candies waiting for us!
There were these teeny little adorable chocolate whales. Well, I had to check out the candy shop that they came from, so we took a walk over and found all kinds of delightful and yummy candies. I fell in love with their chocolate and caramel oyster shells with candy pearls! 

So here we go..making them with the clam shell molds!
A candy pearl surprise! 
Here are the items needed to make the clam shells. I haven't bought ready-made caramels in a while since I like homemade better. But I wanted these to be super easy. If you'd like to try my homemade caramels recipe, you can click on the link.
I used these chocolate molds with six 3 inch shells that I found on Amazon.
After melting the chocolate candy wafers on the stove-top over low heat, I used a food only paintbrush to fill in the chocolate molds. 
Add a little more melted chocolate into each mold and refrigerate till candy is set.
Gently turn candies out onto parchment paper.
I dusted my candy shells with gold pearl dust. I think I went a little overboard.
Less is more!
Caramel! Oh this is gettin' good!

I used about one caramel for each shell. I placed six caramels in a small microwave-safe dish, added a dash of heavy cream, and melted in 30 second increments on defrost power. It took about 45 seconds total.

Spoon a little dollop of melted caramel into chocolate shell.

Mmm...this combo!
Spoon a little more melted chocolate over the caramel, add a sprinkling of sea salt and plop on the candy pearl!
Oh yeah, baby!πŸ˜‹
My sweet inspiration..which just so happens to be the name of the candy shop on Nantucket!
I shouldn't have used the first shell i made..it looks kinda rough. But you get the idea!
We so enjoyed our time here in Nantucket. Biking to the beach, sailboating into the sunset, and of course eating! Here we are celebrating our anniversary at Galley Beach. They had a lovely table set up for us inside, but then I saw these set up on the beach!
It was so cold, but they gave me a blanket and I sure used it!

Let's just keep on celebrating this sweet summer, Karen 😊